Level-Up: Part 7

Every Sunday (I know it’s Monday) I record my health achievements and discoveries for the week here. To find out why I decided to start doing this, you can read an explanation in the first post of the series here.

I had no major plans last week. I had work to do, but nowhere particular I needed to be. When I have plans – whether they be social, medical or work based – they tend to dominate the week because I have to make sure I’m reserving enough energy to make it through them and, in some cases, enjoy them. Hitting that mark is always difficult when I don’t know how dizzy and tired I’ll be feeling from one hour to the next.

With no plans, I tried to be a little more spontaneous about when I went for walks. Spontaneity is something of a distant memory. It’s also a risk to just pick up and go somewhere not having planned for it. How tiring will this be? What if something more important comes up and I’ve used all my energy stores going to Greggs for a sausage roll? Always trying to consider how well I was feeling physically, I gave it a try.

I went for three walks last week; always to the same local shops, but never really planning for them. Just getting up and going when I got hungry, or remembered something that needed taking to the post office, or just fancied some fresh air. It felt good. Exciting, almost. As if I’d clawed back some of the freedom I felt had been stolen by my illness in the past.

The first was difficult because my brain decided to push my movement to the left for the entire walk. It was as if every time I took a step someone nudged me to the left and made me stumble. I stopped a few times and held on to a few walls while I regained my composure. The second was without too much incident. The third was irritating.

On my way into the village I was accosted by a group of people trying to get folk to sign up to a club pooling utility bills. They were preying on everyone, but I saw them watching me shuffling along with my walking stick and felt them moving in for the kill.

Normally I’d be the first to say no and walk away, but being out by myself in a situation where I know I can’t quickly walk on makes me feel vulnerable. When I was in the city centre by myself a couple of weeks ago I was keenly aware that if anyone mugged me for the £500+ phone I’d just bought and was carrying in an Apple branded carrier bag, I’d have no way of chasing after them.

Said vulture smiled through her well-rehearsed patter while I grimaced and looked for a railing to hold on to. She continued, even though I said that I have trouble standing for too long. I was annoyed, both at her for not having the decency to let me go when I was clearly not interested and at myself for feeling unable to leave the conversation.

Furious at this incident, I eventually prised her away from me and went to sit on a wall to rest. I had been standing for too long and could feel myself getting wobblier. Yes, I felt taken advantage of. But to flip it on its head, this only happened because I was out and about doing things I couldn’t even have contemplated doing a few months ago. The more people you meet, the more chances there are you’ll meet a few wankers. And that’s aaaaaalright.



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