Sunday, 20 January 2013

I Want To Go For A Walk

Someone at work asked me yesterday what I'd want to do once I'd had my transplant and without hesitation I said 'go for a walk'.

I know I should be saying things like 'promote organ donation' or 'run a marathon for PH' or 'trek across the Andes', and I will do things like that, things that I'd put off until I had time or could afford it, but right now I just want to go for a walk. The sheer joy of just pulling on my thermals and hiking boots and setting off along snowy bridal paths to lose myself for an hour or two is a far away ambition at the moment. Doesn't it sound silly that something so mundane should become an all consuming ambition.

Quite understandably my colleague said she understood but the wry smile that went with it gave away the fact that she didn't, not really and not in a bad way. My colleagues are terribly understanding and as a group probably know more about PH than most GPs surgeries, having lived with it for the last three years. However unless you have a condition it is impossible to really understand how it feels. I, for instance, didn't understand the sheer terror cancer can bring until I was told I could have it. I never want to feel like that again. So for her the thought of going for a walk as an ambition was a sort of non ambition because she can do it anytime she wants and without thinking beyond what to wear. For her an ambition is trekking across the Andes or similar. And now I'm going to turn all Del Boy but this time next year maybe I will feel the same, though I think it is more likely that I will be giving thanks to my donor and be in awe of the miracle that gave me my life back, here's hoping.

This week has been both difficult and uplifting.

The snow has made life really difficult, my breathing is laboured and my chest feels like someone is sticking knives into it. There have been times when the pain has been so sharp and caught me so suddenly that I've nearly cried out in the middle of the office, that would have sent everyone into a panic. Don't get me wrong I love snow, the sheer beauty of a white field totally untouched is one to behold, driving in it is another matter. On Friday, when the snow was really coming down I was eighteen miles away from home helping others who had crashed or broken down. So when it rolled around to six and it was my turn to pick my way home I was more that a little nervous. Fortunately I made it to the duel carriageway and then onto the motorway both of which were relatively clear. It was the last mile into my village that caused the most problem as I slipped and slithered along the narrow country roads until finally I made it to my driveway and safety. I was tired, cold and in pain so had a hot tea got changed into my woollies and collapsed in front of my TV knowing full well I was going to have to do it in the other direction the next morning. Thankfully by then all the roads had been gritted and ploughed.

The uplifting part was getting awarded a citation for my parting in a very traumatic incident at work. I was invited to attend an award ceremony on Thursday night and although it meant staying out late on a school night, I've never been awarded anything before so I was determined to go. It was a lovely evening though I left as soon as the ceremony was over and celebrated with a bag of chips on the way home. Peter is going to frame my certificate and hang it on the wall. I have to say I was more excited than when I got my degree. I worked bloody hard for my degree so felt I deserved it, the award was a complete surprise and therefore more exciting.

Next week I start my new shift pattern which means for this weekend only I only have two days off instead of my usual four. However I only work three days next week and for shorter hours so I'm hoping I will manage. Then it is back having three rest days and no more weekend working. I decided that it was time to shorten my hours a bit and by finishing at four instead of six I should always making it home in daylight. Hopefully my health will improve and I will have less sick days on the new pattern as I won't be so tired. After three years of ten hours days I think it is time I took it a bit easier, don't you?

Today it is snowing again but today all I have to do is put my feet up and relax, that is after I've made lunch, stripped the beds and washed the towels.