Or how he overcame himself
As you know from my previous missive, I had a stroke back in 2018; well, that isn’t the whole story
Why today is a good day
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I like mountaineering. It’s been my thing for such a long time. In fact that’s how I used to earn my living. So there I was one sunny August day in 2015. I had been receiving a very comprehensive series of physio and acupressure sessions for a long standing injury. So I was all loose and a bit wobbly. Being injured is pretty much my default state; when I was very young I came off an horse and it left me with a left leg that switches off and on at a whim. Consultants, over the years have gleefully wanted to slice me up and fit all manner of steel thingies in my spine. The last one wanting to do so drove a whacking great Bentley to transport his well fed frame, whilst being dressed by Saville Row. This did not impress me, nor did it inspire great confidence in his diagnosis. The magnificent gold pinky ring was the decider. My solution to this drastic measure was to take to the Mountains. The thought behind it being that if I were to be in a wheelchair by the time I was 40, as I was so advised, then I was bloody well going to enjoy myself up until that point. Somehow being fitted with an internal steel brace didn’t seem to fit in with that desire. Needless to say all manner of dire warnings ensued, which of course fell on my very deaf ears. Did I not mention that I am deaf too. Well, there you go.
Back to that sunny day. I am easily distracted. Myself and a colleague together with our respective clients were on our way down Cribau on the Slopes of Yr Wyddfa, just below Bwlch Saethau (Snowdon to those not in the know) after a day of climbing and lounging about at the summit watching the grockles and such, when my leg did it’s thing and disappeared out from under me. Left leg forward, right leg back. Left arm and walking pole back and right arm and pole forward. It hurt. Very embarrassing. So we carried on down and I gave it not another thought. Hot bath and a spliff and I was fine, yeah right.
Fast forward to November and I’m wandering around the Moelwynion, as you do, when I slip again. This time I land right on my arse. Again hot bath and a spliff.
Long story short, over the next couple of years my feet hurt like mad and the feeling in my legs started to disappear from the ankles up. The hair on my lower legs dropped out.
So I am climbing an easy severe with a client one day in May 2018 (British climbing grade - equates to : bloody easy really, just one up from V.Diff, which is a piece of piss.), step up left awkwardly and tear everything in my big toe, across the top of my foot and up the outer side of my ankle and into and behind the left knee. Usual treatment. Carry on as normal, as you do.
That summer was bloody hard physically and by November I was knackered. Turned 59 in September. My feet hurt like mad and I kept falling over. I put it down to plantar fascitis and bought some more Superfeet insoles. (More about these in a later letter) I had had an inkling that things really weren’t quite right the winter before when I took rather poorly for a few days, could barely take a step without dragging my feet. I was carrying a right pain in my neck as well. It had been there since the fall in 2015. Which the doctor dismissed. I had been to A and E several times as I kept banging my head. All of which signs were ignored.
It was the just before the beginning of autumn half term. I had been to have the blood pressure in my legs tested. Sure enough it was very low. The test results got lost. I asked the doctor for something to tide me over the following week as I was so, so busy. Prescribed me some opiate based painkillers ( that’s a whole other story). A few days into half/term and my head went bang.
So. Why has today been such a good day? Well the photo at the top might supply the clue. I’ll tell you next time….
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti