first-aidMy right leg and my left hand are not working properly. With 20 trails to hike and 30,000+ words to type up afterwards, this is quite a worry. I wake up on Thursday to the feeling I’m walking across hot stones and pressing against a radiator. By Sunday I can’t trust my left hand to hold a cup of tea and on Wednesday I’m in AECU, where I meet a stream of professionals who get more senior – and more friendly – as the day wears on.

 

I’m asked to take my jeans off behind a curtain and hooked up to some machines. I get dressed, wait some more then get called into a proper room and asked to take my jeans off again. This time, I face the serious testing equipment – a pin (can’t feel it being stuck into several parts of my leg) and… oh my God… the cotton wool. Man I’m ticklish on the bits of me that still work ok.

 

I wait some more and a nice lady with a trolley offers me an NHS sandwich and a cup of tea. At such kindness I sob into the tea (weak as shit but actually free!) and get called to see the consultant. I take my jeans off, which turns out to be unnecessary as he only wants me to waggle my toes, but he doesn’t seem to mind. I wonder if you’re allowed to become a consultant only once you’ve become so professional and friendly that half-dresssed, tear-stained patients don’t phase you in the slightest. He reassures me that it could be absolutely nothing but that he’s going to book me in for an MRI to see what’s going on. Fuck (I don’t say this to the lovely doctor; he’s been so friendly and awfully good about the jeans).

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I plod through the week, pretending to work but actually Googling ‘horrendous conditions that will scare the shit out of you’. Twitter tells me it’s #InternationalDayofHappiness. I stare out of the window, picture my happiest place and wonder if I’ll ever climb to the top of it again.