On a bike, not at work

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Lemtrada plus 4 weeks.

I am improving. I am getting there. But it feels like progress is very slow.

Last weekend, for the first time, I was out on a bike. It felt a bit wobbly (I felt a bit wobbly) – but it was hugely spiriting to feel some fresh air on my face. Things were definitely moving in the right direction. Turning “glass pedals”, wrapped in layer upon layer to keep out the cold, I, at least, felt as though things were going to be ok.

The air was crystal clear and the sky was blue.

Happiness seemed so uncomplicated.

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To add a sense of challenge to my “Lemtrada” treatment, the last few weeks have seen, firstly, a house move; and then, secondly, my wife losing her job. As is often the case, timing could probably have been better. This undercurrent (overcurrent?) of stress has been somewhat exacerbated by the fact that I’m not getting any sick-pay during this current period of recovery – I’ve long benefitted from the freedoms of being self employed, but sadly sick-pay is not one of them. With all this in mind, I made a bid today to get back to work. The financial imperative.

What a disaster.

It went wrong before I’d even arrived. As I tentatively commuted in by car, another driver crashed into me whilst I sat stationary at some lights. A crumpled bonnet, smashed number plate and a sore neck & head. Could have been worse – lucky I wasn’t on my bike.

When I first got back to work, I couldn’t remember my laptop’s 6 digit user ID. The same ID I’d used every single day at work for over a year. I really hope my brain hasn’t turned irreparably to mush. I panicked that I couldn’t remember my colleague’s name… and I wondered how long I could hope to maintain the pretence of a job if my mind has actually ceased to function…

Despite leaving home a good hour early, I was then running late and had to hurry to my appointed training room without having lunch. (I was due to take a training session of perhaps 15 attendees).

I didn’t have any time to prepare, and had started talking to my audience before I’d really had a chance to compose myself. It quickly became apparent that I couldn’t focus on my screen. I was trying to use my laptop as I illustrated points on an OHP – but the focus, then re-focus, on more than one screen was too much for me: the dreaded vertigo kicked in. I started to hear, and then listen to my own voice as though it was somehow disconnected from anything I was doing. A thought flashed into my head that maybe I was dreaming… and then a second later a panic that I was maybe going to faint. Mid-sentence, I paused… sat down… then announced that I couldn’t continue. A colleague gamely stepped in, as I exited stage-right and adopted the brace position.

I wondered if I could get away with charging 2 minutes of time for the period that I had actually been talking. I wondered if I’d be able to get back home safely. I felt very ill.

Happiness can be so uncomplicated. What a shame that we can’t always just be so.

 

 

 

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