I’m worn out now but I have just achieved two very good days.
Yesterday I went to a football match at Chelsea FC with my son, Jamie (19). He bought the tickets and asked if I would go with him. I said yes as I don’t want our lives to be different but he would have to bear with me and my dodgy legs. I took my fold-up stick in its pouch and off we went. We caught the train from a different station to our local one as the last train back locally would have been a bit of a rush and I wasn’t sure my legs could rush that much. It wasn’t too bad on the way there as I didn’t have to do too much walking in one go and could rest on the trains and tube. At the ground the worst bit was climbing up 6 flights of stairs. I rested at the top of each flight but by the time we got to level 6 I was literally hauling myself up by the handrail as my thighs had no strength left and the steward was saying “I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry”. I had to say I was okay as pity doesn’t help and usually makes me want to cry whereas I can fight on with a laugh or a joke. Jamie just said give up smoking Mum (I have never smoked!). That diffused the pity and we had a laugh and I managed the last few steps and could stop and rest again.
The match was really good, Jamie was so pleased to see CFC showing some excellent skills like Torres’ rabona (which I had never heard of but have now had the lecture!). CFC won 2-1 against the Russian side Rubin Kazan which stands them in good stead for their visit to Moscow for the second leg. It was bitterly cold though, I was glad I had worn so many layers and had my earmuffs on and a scarf wound round my face.
Then we had to return home. The Tube station at Fulham Broadway right next to the ground is always heaving so Jamie always likes to walk to Earls Court and catch the Tube from there. Out came the stick (a pretty red floral one) and we set off with the crowd. I thought I was setting a cracking pace and it felt like I was walking really quickly compared to how I manage without the stick but gradually they all overtook me, even the elderly and the very young children. In the end we could see the crowd in the distance but Jamie was great and told me to not worry about how things used to be and to just concentrate on managing as best I could NOW. The Tube was still pretty busy but as soon as I got on a man moved even though there were some free seats further on in the carriage. The stick made it clear that I needed a seat and I was grateful for that. I couldn’t believe I had walked a mile in one go. I had put Jamie onto my car insurance and we shared the drive home as he could see that I was exhausted. We finally arrived home at 2.30 am as he had to stop for a McDonald’s on the way - typical teenager ;-). I have to confess that I joined him - I’m blaming the steroids that I had a few weeks ago, I’m still eating heartily!
Today I slept until 3 in the afternoon and my legs aren’t too bad. Then I went out for a meal to celebrate a friend’s 60th birthday. I have just got in and am now off to bed again. All in all a very successful couple of days and I have surprised myself.
A couple of weeks ago I wouldn’t have thought I could walk a mile for a very long time and would certainly have thought it would take me several days to recover if I did. This relapse hasn’t been so severe as the one four years ago and I am recovering faster than I did back then too. Partly this is due to the Rebif injections which, although not pleasant, aren’t nearly as bad as I once thought they would be and partly this is due to the good advice I received on this forum about the use of a stick which means I can walk better and further without the risk of falling and/or seizing up. I can’t believe the difference it makes having something to take the pressure off my bad leg. When I am being stubborn and trying to manage without it my legs ache so much and I walk soooo slowly, whereas with the stick I can make progress so much better and when I have the odd wobble the stick is there to save me.
Thank you to those of you who made me see sense. I never thought I would love my stick so much …