I have found the last 6 weeks, post-Lemtrada, pretty hard.
I’ve been struggling with vertigo, a deep-seated fatigue and general malaise.
I very much acknowledge that, in some ways, I was probably not making things easy for myself: I couldn’t come to peace with my new predicament. I burned with frustrations and cabin fever; and I couldn’t resist over-doing things when I felt ok. Although I acknowledged these flaws, I failed to compensate for them and couldn’t seem to alter my emotions or behaviours. The fact that I couldn’t even change those things within my power makes me feel a bit embarrassed – and full of fuss.
My head knew that I was still alive and well; happy, with my two healthy children. My spirit, though, felt angry and battling, reeling in a fight.
Then, on Monday this week, I got out of bed and for the first time in over a month, I didn’t immediately have to pause for my legs and arms to stop shaking with spasms. I walked to the bathroom, and for the first time in over a month, I didn’t immediately feel awash with vertigo. I commuted into Bristol and, just about, did half a day’s work (although this was cut-short at lunchtime by a knock-out bout of vertigo worthy of Tyson Fury).
On Tuesday, I took my winter bike around some of the local canal paths. My vision was disorientating, and I felt dizzy and tired. But this counted as a bike ride. (In the rain). I had so missed fresh air.
On Thursday, I cycled up a hill for the first time in many weeks. I might have felt as weak as a kitten – but this was how things will get re-started.
Fast forward to today, Saturday. I’ve now got a full day’s work under my belt; and I’m contemplating the start-line (maybe the ride?) for tomorrow’s charity bike ride with my club, Bristol South.
I’ve had a few more glitches – I (embarrassingly) completely lost my balance at work as I stepped out of a lift; and vertigo continues to kick-in from time to time during innocent conversations… so I’m not “back”. Not yet. But it now feels as though I’m on the right road. As soon as I was able to get out on a bike again, my mood changed. My spirit improved almost immediately and I could feel my “internal engine” kicking into gear again. I feel as though my will; my hopes; and my optimism have returned. In the absence of being able to walk (let alone jog or run), this is why cycling has become so important to me.
Last night I booked us family tickets for the new Star Wars film.
“The Force Awakens” indeed.
Game on, 2016. Full of “A New Hope”.