Disability Training – MS Warrior Programme Week 9

Entering the last quarter now and feeling a little down in regards to my progress within the programme. I have achieved what I wanted to achieve already, which is fantastic and I must keep reminding myself of this. But after the first 3 weeks I felt better than I do now. The stress of situations and the isolation I have been feeling, mixed with my diet not being as great as it was at the start has made me feel a bit down. I have a few days working this week which I am sure will be good for me.

 

Day 57 – Monday 3rd December 2018

Monday was a normal day.  Which was a blessing considering how crazy it has been lately; a normal day is heavenly. I took full advantage of not having any trades people walking in and out and treading mud into my carpet. Me and Ember played all morning; we played tea parties board games, it was lovely.

Laura went to pick Brooke-Haze up from school with Ember so I used my free time wisely and smashed out the push workout. I am not going to lie, not having to worry about hitting Ember with a dumbbell does make doing a workout a lot easier.

 

Day 58 – Tuesday 4th December 2018

It was my first working day of the week. I used to work with my brother full time at Soper BMW, but I left there just over 3 years ago and moved to a company closer to home called Rimmer Bros. Rimmers was a convenient job due to the proximity to my house. Was I good there? Of course. Was I the best Rimmer in Lincoln? That’s for the public to decide.

The car was icy, so icy that the doors wouldn’t open. I poured water on the seals whilst gently prising them open until voila, I was in. I made it to work but couldn’t find a parking space, I drove past my brother without realising (good awareness) and he told me where to park. My right leg hasn’t been great. Since the spasms last week, it hasn’t been the same. I keep stretching and doing the balance exercises but it’s like there’s a constant cramp in my calf and intermittent tremors in my thigh.

It was a good day and I enjoyed talking to other adults for a change. It was nice to see some familiar faces and not so nice to see others.

 

Day 59 – Wednesday 5th December 2018

It was the last day of the kitchen/dining room renovations, so I had one plumber out to install the kitchen radiator and another plumber to install the toilet, sink and radiator in the downstairs bathroom. All because an unprofessional plumber named Alistair hung up on me and refused to come because he messed up. But this was a blessing in disguise because that plumber was going to bodge fit the kitchen radiator, whereas the replacement plumber refused to do it that way and fitted it correctly; every cloud has a silver lining. The only issue was for him to be able to install it correctly he had to cut into the newly plastered wall. I’d rather have that done that have it installed in the lazy way Alistair was going to do it.

We got to go on a mini school trip to the library with Brooke-Haze this afternoon. A quiet place to come and read books in a tranquil environment, unless you are going with around 12 kids aged 5-6. They were running around, jumping on bean bags, one kid ripped one. It was chaos, but fun crazy chaos. Brooke-Haze loves reading and gets into stories very easily. I am really pleased we never have to encourage her to read.

It was bicep day. I did this later as Dom said he tries to workout, eat then sleep. I found this harder as my body was tired by the end of the day. His email was all about cutting the negative people from your life. I have seen the entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk (Gary Vee) talk about this and I can see their point. I think the issue with me has always been “what to do with my life.” I feel lost in that area. I want to have a positive impact on the world and I want my girls to be proud of their Dad. But when it comes to what to do career wise I always draw a blank.

 

Day 60 – Thursday 6th December 2018

My second working day this week (I know, you’re thinking “how does he do it?”) and it was another good day. By the time I got home though I was feeling tired. I am not one for napping in the day; never have been and probably never will be. But I was feeling the exhaustion running through my body. I ate tea but that was a struggle and then went upstairs to get changed. I lay on the bed and couldn’t keep my eyes open. I felt like an iPhone with no juice. I just slept. I briefly woke up by the sounds of the girls but couldn’t move or stay awake. I didn’t feel right at all and didn’t like it. I eventually was able to get myself together and got up to put Brooke-Haze to bed (Ember was already asleep at this point). My breathing felt exhausting and my hands and arms ached.

I was so exhausted I couldn’t do my balance exercises. That shows how tired I was, firstly because I like doing these exercises and secondly, they’re not intense at all.

 

Day 61 – Friday 7th December 2018

Friday was a total write off. I got between three and four hours sleep again. I had to get out of bed to take the girls to school and nursery, but my body did not want to cooperate. It was cold and raining heavily; all the things that makes your body so “nope, not today.” I felt so drained of life I honestly don’t know how I got Brooke-Haze to school on time. After school drop off it was nursery drop off which used to be simple but due to road works it is no longer simple. When I finally got home, I stripped off my soaking wet jeans, put my hood up and climbed into bed wearing my hoodie, socks and my lucky pink pants (which haven’t brought me much luck). I laid there snuggled into my duvet, shivering and trying to stay warm. I laid there in the same spot for over an hour.

I eventually mustered up enough energy to get up and go make some food. I made scrambled eggs, thinking they would be easy to eat, but I just couldn’t manage it. Instead I made a cup of tea (because tea fixes everything) took some paracetamol, some ibuprofen, covered myself in Vicks vapour rub; all the things a man needs. I sat down feeling drained and exhausted, even breathing felt an effort. I literally did nothing. I searched for songs to help but I could not find a song to match my mood.

I did no exercise, not even my balance ones. I think I was feeling a little self-pity. At the start of this programme I was feeling good, positive and strong-willed. The past few weeks have been so hard with the kids being ill, house renovations going wrong at every corner and the constant concern in the back of my mind that something with my MS is not right. However I do not want to go see my Neurologist because I have now achieved 5 years free of a relapse (I want a chip like AA gives out). This means I can now apply for serious illness cover. I currently am not covered for serious illnesses like cancer, because I was diagnosed so young, no company would cover me. My mortgage advisor kindly pointed out that if I was diagnosed now, I would have had a nice pay-out. Thank you for that totally useless and annoying information Colin.

 

I feel I have fallen off the wagon with my diet. My family are like the devil on my shoulder rather than the angel lately. People say for you to be successful with dietary changes, the people around you need to also change with you. This has not happened. It is not their fault per say as I still control my choices, but when someone is eating a naughty piece of taste bud pleasing food, it is hard to say no.

 

Day 62 – Saturday 8th December 2018

I woke up feeling like a microwaved bag of dog poo. My sexy voice was no longer there, my throat and chest felt full of phlegm (sexy). But I had to shake of the aches and pains as we were taking the girls to see the big man in red, the one man that never gets questioned by the police for watching boys and girls sleeping in their beds, the one the only… Father Christmas!

Brooke-Haze was her usual whirlwind of craziness and Ember followed suit. We went to this garden centre somewhere (my wife knows but she is at work and if you know me you know I have zero sense of direction. I got lost inside a hotel once). It is where we have gone for the past 4 years and it is a nice place. It has a beautiful little Winter Wonderland with interactive animals, a train ride and lots of beautiful decorations. After walking through the delightful Wonderland, it was finally our turn to go see the big guy. I wasn’t sure how Ember was going to be with him, she is a funny shade of shy but because her happy go lucky chatterbox big sis was with her, she was fine. Brooke-Haze will happily talk to anyone and Santa was no exception. The cutest thing happened during this visit, Brooke-Haze sang Santa a snippet of a song from her upcoming school nativity play. My heart felt so big and proud, then, Ember from out of nowhere burst out singing “baa baa black sheep have you any wool” and proudly sang the whole song solo. I was feeling so proud and was filled with so much love in that moment.

No exercises again. We got home early afternoon and I was feeling the strain. But the universe made sure resting was not on the cards. The washing machine was leaking, yay. I pulled out the heavy washing machine (good job I’ve been working those upper body muscles) and checked the pipe. From my expert diagnosis I determined the inlet pipe was the issue. I rang our local spares shop (where I worked every Saturday for 8 weeks and they paid me a whopping £2 an hour) to make sure it was in stock. My wife then took the girls to get the pipe and some food for tea. After tea I fitted the new pipe and boom, the leak was fixed (I then had to brag my success to my friend Darren who is an appliance repairer).

 

Day 63 – Sunday 9th December 2018

Laura woke me up as she got up for work. Every part of me hurt and ached, my ears hurt lying on my pillow that’s how bad I felt. I was cold and quickly took some ibuprofen and asked Laura to make me a tea, so I could take my miracle medicine “Beechams Cold & Flu.” That’s right, I had a cup of tea at 5.30am. Brooke-Haze was also awake, but she stayed in her room playing. She then came bursting in at 7.58am scaring the crap out of me saying she could hear Ember. Brooke went to get Ember up and they played nicely until I was able to get out of bed. They are so lovely with each other and I love listening to them play. They have such a good relationship it makes me happy.

I loved Dom’s email as it was all about not apologising too much. It made me think, and I do it. Whenever I feel I am slowing someone down, in someone’s way or feel a little on show and embarrassed, I will apologise. Dom is right, we shouldn’t. It doesn’t matter because it is not our fault or our choice. It is our life and we should take ownership of the symptoms and stop apologising so much. We are still amazing and still strong, still sexy and still beautiful, and most importantly, we are still people and we still matter. Never forget that.

 

Conclusion

I am feeling happy and disappointed at this point. I am happy with what I have learnt, what I have added to my daily routine regarding exercises, but I feel disappointed with my diet. I never set out to lose weight because I am not fat (things could be tight and firmer) but I would be lying if I didn’t expect to look a little different. Saying this, my upper body does, my arms and my shoulders feel tighter and stronger. I am feeling this way because of how good I felt at the start, I have 3 weeks left of this programme and I am going to give it all my determination and resilience to finish it as strong as I can.

 

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