Smile Through It II: The Next Chapter

Chasing dreams, because I can

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Posted by Oli on Sunday 7th December, 2008

Today was both an emminently enjoyable day and a massively frsutrating one.

A while back, as you’ll no doubt have noticed from the banner on the right of the page here (unless you’re reading this through in the archives in the middle of 2011), I signed myself up to take on this years Santa Run through Greenwich park.

At the time – about 7 weeks before the run – I thought that a small, fun 5k could be just the right way to ease myself into the physical challenges I’ve set myself for the next couple of years.  I’ve developed a bit of a master plan that I’m not going to la out on here because I’ll only fall foul of it at some point and feel lousy, but suffice to say that a 5k before Christmas seemed to be a good way of easing myself in.

Then came my port op at the end of last month and truly knocked me back.  Not physically – or at least not in my chest – but the pain in my shoulder and the general disablement it brought caused me to have to stop running.  I figured that even having missed a week’s training I’d still be good for the run, but it appears that my shoulder protests too much.

Any kind of movement of the shoulder, particularly harsh, juddering, running-style movement, has been really painful and – mindful of the fact that I’d have to operate a car all the way home after the event – I had to take the disappointing decision to “drop out” of the run.  I say drop out, but that’s really not true, I just ended up walking it instead of running it.

I was, frankly, really bummed about it the week leading up to it – the whole point of the exercise had been to give myself a physical challenge to round of what’s been an amazing twelve months – but as people kept pointing out to me, it’s a big step forward.  I just wasn’t so sure it was, after all, I’ve done a lot of walking since my op, not least back in October when I not only walked 5k, but did it with a video camera on my shoulder to shoot Nelly’s World’s Biggest Walk.

It was only once I was actually walking around the park, breathing in the freezing cold but deliciously crisp winter morning’s air that I realised what a difference the last year has made.  At this point 12 months ago, I was just learning to wobble around the ward on two very over-sized legs in between bouts of dialysis to keep everything under control and on course for a Christmas release, a date which seemed to be looming without signs of improvement.  To be wandering freely through the park today, holding conversations and pushing Nelly up a really steep hill (until her family came to a perfectly-timed rescue) is a miracle beyond words.

I feel like I spend every post on here at the moment in a moment of thanks to my donor and their family, but if it wasn’t for them I’d never have had the chance to do all of that.  And I’d never have seen my Great Cousin born last night, either – so thank you all, whoever you are.


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