The fragile body

Last weekend, I hit the streets of London hard. Literally. Falling while out running, I took a lump out of my right elbow, badly hurt my right root and knee and (it turns out) twisted my ankle in the process.

This wouldn’t have been so bad – I’m a big boy, after all – except I had to pack for a week-long business trip to Bristol. I then had to haul my suitcase full of clothes and training/coaching materials across London to Paddington Station, deal with crowds, navigate Bristol Temple Meads Station and unpack in the hotel at the other end.

I have to admit, it got me down. It reminded me of how helpless I was after my knee operation a few years back. I had to do quite a few things with just my left arm, as my right elbow was swollen and had a tendency to bleed if bent.

It ached to pick up and put down my backpack. Stairs were a nuisance. Rolling over in bed resulted in flashes of white-hot pain that regularly woke me up through the week.

A week later and I’m in much better shape. My elbow still looks like a wild animal has tried to chew it off, but it’s clean and continues to heal up. Yesterday night’s return journey from Bristol was awkward in that I had to navigate rush-hour crowds with same (slightly lighter) suitcase and backpack as soon as I got off the train in Paddington. Cue lots of people banging into my elbow and knee.

But a nice meal out with @FrankDJS and a spot of comedy on TV improved my mood considerably.

It was weird though. I’m used to some limitations on what I can do, due to epilepsy. Not many, but enough to remind me I’m living with it. But add in a few external injuries and it’s tiresome. Maybe more than tiresome.

During the week, I ended up thinking about what it would be like to live with more limitations on my physical ability, or indeed live with constant pain. (Working with a constant throbbing in my elbow, that painkillers weren’t touching, was tiresome to say the least) wasn’t a happy thought.

But on the flip side, I quickly adapted and was supported by other people as soon as they realised I was slightly and temporarily ‘broken’.

We’re adaptable, us humans. 😜 Attitude and mindset are key!

I’m not going running today, as it’s a pretty busy day (good busy) and I’m not feeling 100%. I might go tomorrow afternoon, after my MRI. Yes, the start of the tests. An MRI tomorrow and a sleep-deprived EEG on Tuesday morning.

All combining to remind me that my body doesn’t work as well as it might.

On the other hand, and in the big scheme of things, it’s relatively minor. I have access to a great neurologist, he’s keen to get to the bottom of my recent epilepsy issues and I have the flexibility and support in my life to get through this.

And the absolutely horrific events in Nice, followed by last night’s attempted coup in Turkey gave me pause for thought.

I’m alive, for god’s sake. I’m not exposed to daily risk of death. I’ve not been attacked, bereaved, deprived of my liberty. I don’t live under the petty whims of a dictator.

Time to suck it up, MacPsych. Your brain occasionally reboots, unexpectedly. Get on with it.

Life’s far too fragile and short for navel-gazing and self-pity.

  1. Great post, I completely agree that Mindset is key. I believe that to be true in all things, whether its just a bad day at work, or something far worse. I hope your MRI and EEG go well, and they get to the bottom of things for you. My girlfriend has Epilepsy and it’s helpful for me to hear the perspectives of others, as she’s not the most emotionally open! I’d be interested to see if you find the tests helpful, and will be following your blog if that’s OK with you 🙂

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    1. Thanks Shaun! I’m sure I’ll be sharing the outcomes here at some stage and I write regularly about what it’s like to live with epilepsy. Welcome aboard as the newest follower!

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      1. I did have a look back through some of your posts as I followed. Simply searching for the tag on here has been unbelievably helpful for me, found so many great and open people on the subject; it’s been invaluable to someone like myself. Thank you for being willing to share 🙂

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        1. No problem! Anything that helps remove some of the stigma attached to epilepsy.

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