Smile Through It II: The Next Chapter

Chasing dreams, because I can

  • Catagories

My life in a bottle

Posted by Oli on Tuesday 8th May, 2007

This is why I don’t like tiredness. My mini-rant (was it mini?) yesterday has been playing on my mind all day.

I stand by what I say, because it is all incredibly annoying and occasionally morale-sapping, but at the same time I feel a bit petulant for having brought it up in the first place. I suppose it’s the “suffer in silence” side of me coming out again.

Lest anyone get the wrong impression yesterday, I don’t hate my life. I have a huge number of very positive things going on in my life and I’m surrounded by wonderful people. I enjoy every day (some more than others) and like to make the most of what I can do with each one.

Although I may not be able to do the things I did this time last year, and although I may get a little down about being in a different situation which places more demands on my sense of sensible-ness than it has previously, I still manage to do the things that matter most to me and living in this way has given me a wonderful sense of my priorities in life.

I received an email today from someone who had obviously got my address from the message boards and wanted to ask me a couple of questions about life etc. In my reply to her, I realised just how much of a positive thing being on the transplant list can be.

Rapidly declining health, or a low-health plateau such as I’ve hit at the moment, is wonderful for really hammering home what really matters in your life – what you choose to expend your energy on.

To use an analogy, a day’s evergy is like a bottle of water: every day you wake up in the morning and you fill your 2 litre bottle up to the brim with fresh water. Over the course of the day, the various things you do each require different amounts of water. Make breakfast takes, say 100mls. Do some exercise and you’ve spent 500mls. Sit as your desk working for a few hours and it’s a few hundred mls more.

When you get the stage I’m at, suddenly you’ve not only got less water – a single litre, maybe – but it also takes more water to do things. Cooking a meal becomes 250mls, which is 1/4 of your daily allowance taken up already. Walking anywhere, for even the shortest amount of time may be up to 500mls – half your day’s worth gone. And on the worst days you can be doing as little as possible and still find that you’ve got a hole in the bottom of your bottle and you’re leaking energy all over your shoe.

So when I wake up and fill my bottle in the mornings now, I know that my ration is that much less than I’m used to, that I need to make sure that the water I am going to be pouring out of the bottle goes in the most sensible of places.

Sometimes it’s not even the most sensible place – sometimes it’s just the place that matters the most. But you know that if you’ve only got a finite amount of energy for the day, there’s no point wasting it on things of little consequence. It means you spend it on the things that really matter.

Yesterday, thanks to a busy weekend, I had a very small bottle of water. But I knew that the most important thing to me was to see and spend time with my Godson. I only manage a couple of hours before I ran myself dry, but those were two of the best, most enjoyable, most pleasure-focused hours that I’ve spent with my Godson for a long time – because I knew I was using my ration for him. It didn’t matter to me that the rest of the day was a total wash-out and that I would be incapable of doing anything else: I was more than happy to use my ration on him and him alone.

The thing I dislike most about tiredness is that loss of perspective that it delivers – how it takes away your ability to see things in the light you normally see things. It’s not about losing the facade, which I seemed so keenly aware of yesterday, it’s about losing the bright side – losing the very positivity which drives me forward each and every day.

I try to keep my water bottle as full as I can and I try to replenish it as frequently as possible. But some things are worth emptying it out for – and it’s when you realise what those things are that you really strike gold.

Advertisements

4 Responses to “My life in a bottle”

  1. Emmie said

    Hiya Oli
    The water bottle comparrison is so very apt and I can really relate to it (even though I’ve got a bigger water bottle than you obviously, but I still have to work out carefully throughout the day which bits the water gets “spent” on and which bits get saved etc) Much better than those blessed spoons from the “spoon theory” LOL! You may have noticed that I didn’t call you this evening *ahem* I was actually at a AmDram committee meeting which I had totally forgotten about until an hour before it started. I’m banking on the fact that it was drama-related to allow you to forgive me ;o) I will DEFINITELY ring you tomorrow though, probably early afternoon as I havea dress rehersal in the evening. So glad to hear you feeling a little brighter/more sparkly today. Keeping shining brightly my twinkly friend! xxx

  2. Emmie said

    Hiya Oli
    The water bottle comparrison is so very apt and I can really relate to it (even though I’ve got a bigger water bottle than you obviously, but I still have to work out carefully throughout the day which bits the water gets “spent” on and which bits get saved etc) Much better than those blessed spoons from the “spoon theory” LOL! You may have noticed that I didn’t call you this evening *ahem* I was actually at a AmDram committee meeting which I had totally forgotten about until an hour before it started. I’m banking on the fact that it was drama-related to allow you to forgive me ;o) I will DEFINITELY ring you tomorrow though, probably early afternoon as I have a dress rehersal in the evening. So glad to hear you feeling a little brighter/more sparkly today. Keeping shining brightly my twinkly friend! xxx

  3. Emily said

    Emmie posted twice she loves you so much 😉

    Good blog as always 🙂 x

  4. Anders said

    Hi Oli,

    Just dropping by to wish you my best. I completly understand the water bottle analogy. Here’s hoping you get a full tank of water with a good few litres soon and that can replace the poor wee bottle you have now.

    Keep Trucking!

    Take care

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: