Today you join a tired seated person.
No, you’re right, this is not an uncommon state of affairs. In fact since last years MS diagnosis its only really through a heady combination of bloody mindedness and far too much caffeine that I function at all.
Last week’s wonderful bank holiday weekend though? Well after that I was flirting with exhaustion more than ever, and here’s the reason why.
It has, as mentioned, been nearly a whole year (eleven months to be exact), since it was confirmed that MS had taken it upon itself to make sure my Pernicious Anaemia, my Spina Bifida, and my Chiari Malformation, weren’t having all the fun and, rather rudely, invite itself to the party.
It was a biggy. I mean I’m not going to pretend that life has been a bowl of cherries, or even a fruit I actually like, but MS has meant making some changes. Chief of these was the decision to stop working, but not far behind it was the uncertainty surrounding my driving.
It was one of the things that I had to give some real thought to. Driving, for me, represents independence, the ability to go where I want when I want. Giving that up, even with public transport to rely on, would have been hard. Luckily after a shortish rehabilitation period and an assessment at a local driving place, I was passed fit to get back behind the wheel. I can only apologise to other motorists (that should possibly include the odd pedestrian too). So, after a few nervous journeys, I was back on the road. My independence restored.
Well to a point, anyway.
Driving has, like so much of life, become a little limited you see. This is down to no-one but myself really, and possibly has a lot to do with erring on the side of caution. I drive most days, it’s something that comes in handy for getting the Mrs to work, and therefore putting food on the table. It’s also handy for picking that food up from the supermarket. These kind of trips, along with a few visits to the family, ten miles down the road, are pretty much the going rate for mileage, and I was comfortable with that. I felt no need to push the envelope, or any other stationary, no need to go any further… Until last Friday that is.
Those of you lucky enough to have this blog as part of your regular reading might recall that I have a step-daughter. You might remember that she is about to tackle her exams, the ones that will lead to university, and eventually to the inside of an ambulance. No, I’m not talking about the almost obligatory visit to casualty for a studenty-stomach pump-type experience. Sarah (the step-daughter in question) has her eyes firmly on the prize of becoming a paramedic. That’s the reason for the ambulance and, even though she has just discovered Cheeky Vimto, hopefully it’s the only one.
Of course, with the start of the exam period, it is a time of much stress for Sarah, This means that, as by-product, it’s also a stressful time for my wife, Tina. Getting the two stressed out women-folk together then, well that became unavoidable.
The Road Less Travelled
It seemed unfair to get Sarah to travel all the way to us when she should be studying. We therefore decide that, on this occasion, Mohammed would get on his hiking gear and set off for the mountain. We looked at trains. We investigated buses. In the end all of these were just a touch too much of a strain on the old wallet. We therefore resolved to drive... And when I say we, I of course mean me.
I won’t pretend I wasn’t nervous about the hundred and twenty mile round trip along the busy motorways that lie between Mirfield and Cheshire Oaks. It was by far the longest journey I’d undertaken in many, many months. It was also a trip that would be made in an unfamiliar car, as my courtesy car, provided to me whilst my own lovely motor undergoes repairs, had finally been provided. Must needs when the blogger drives though, so, with a sufficient amount of coffee, a full fuel tank, and a niggling sense of unease, we set off.
I needn’t have worried.
The Slow Lane
As you can probably tell by the way these words have almost magically appeared in front of you... I made it.
Our progress might have been slower than Miss Daisy’s arthritic pet tortoise on a hot day, we might have stuck to the left hand lane more than I think anyone in history ever has, we might even have been overtaken by a caravan (the shame), but we made it, and in one piece too.
It was a lovely day. I had a hot-dog, something I usually avoid due to my pork intolerance (100% beef, lovely words) and, thanks to friends gifting us a voucher for lunch, we didn’t spend much money at all. The journey back, well, thanks to rush hour kicking of especially early for the bank holiday, I think that was even longer. At least this time it wasn’t me holding up the traffic though.
Winner Stays On
We got home at about half past five and I was done. As soon as I stopped the mind numbing, energy sapping fatigue kicked right in. I don’t really remember much of the rest of the night. This weariness stuck around, probably not helped by a couple of early starts. It haunted me all weekend and continued into the week. A good couple of sleep-ins (post ten o’clock!) helped kill it completely, at least for now, leaving just memories of the day and a rather nifty sense of achievement.
I’m not saying I’ll do it every week, nor even every six months, but I’ve done it. In the constant battle that is Mark vs MS, I win this round.
Until next time...