Wednesday, 8 October 2014

If I was a house....

.... I'd need a rewire, simple as that. You see I had the letter from my Consultant about my recent appointment. We meet every 6 months, chat about how things are, decide that we are getting the best we going to get from meds and then part with a 'see you in 6 months'.

I am well aware that I'm far luckier than most in that my Consultant has no intention of discharging me, is genuinely interested in my wellbeing and wishes he could do more. He Is always on the lookout for anything which might help, but knows I am pragmatic about my prognosis and he can tell it how it is.

This time though was a little different. My diagnosis has changed. It is now officially:
       l. CRPS in  legs
      2. Chronic Widespread Pain syndrome
The latter is new, and means that my entire nervous system is hypersensitive. Hence my rewire quip at the start. What does this mean for me?

Well, everything and nothing really. My arms have been affected a year and a half now, my eyes have also been 'misbehaving' for many more years than that. In both cases the symptoms can't be explained by other disease, illness etc. Part of me worries about what will 'go wrong' next.

It's only natural I suppose. Here's an example. I've been suffering from a tooth/gum infection for over a month now. Surely it should have gone by now? Antibiotics helped a bit, antibacterial gel a bit more but it still isn't right. Is it going to linger for a while? Will it ever get better? Has another part of my body become affected? It would be easy to become paranoid wouldn't it? Or extremely depressed, frightened to do anything.

Not me. The worsening of my condition, spreading throughout my body changes nothing. My philosophy has always been, and will continue to be, to remain as positive as I can be. I fight everything that comes with having chronic illness . I do what I can, but my quality of life remains rubbish, stuck in this leather reclining chair with my legs up, gazing at the same four walls for days on end. I firmly believe that it is a waste of time moping, feeling sorry for yourself etc. It gets you nowhere because you're still stuck in the same useless, broken body. Make the most of what you have, that's my motto.

My biggest 'v sign' to my condition is archery of course. Anyone who has read my blog knows how much it means to me, it's an integral part of my existence, my life. I look forward to every session, and then immediately yearn for the next. I would shoot every day if my condition allowed. I push it as far as I can, but even I have to be sensible to get the best out of myself. Twice a week seems to be the optimism. Up to now I've shot against myself (trying to better my scores each time), but will be entering some competitions in the months to come.

Which brings me to something that is both utterly fantastic and utterly cruel. Recently there has been the opportunity to apply for selection to a fast track Para Archer program aiming to shoot at Rio 2016. I know some people who have applied. I did ask my coaches what they thought. Only in passing and fully expecting them to say no chance. Imagine my shock when the following came back:

'knowing how dedicated, committed and strong willed you are, there is no reason why you might not set your own goal for becoming a Para archer in the future' along with telling me face to face that I had the technique needed to compete at that level.

Wowzer!!! I couldn't believe it. I was completely gobsmacked. Me? No! Never in a miIIion years!!

But here's the cruelty of it.... They explained that for me to fully participate in the program I'd have to travel all the way to Lilleshall a couple of times a week. That's before you consider the necessary extra practice I' d need to do, shoots around the country or even abroad. And everything else that would be involved Oh, and you're only allowed an 80cm wheelchair length at shoots. Mine is 4 feet 6 inches! This was their only concern, and rightly so. It is a complete non-starter, I couldn't even remotely cope with it. Never in my wildest dreams.

To be told I have what it takes to be a Para archer means the world to me. That they feel that I'm capable. The reality of course is that nothing has changed. I can't do anything about it, but can take the positives. It is enough to know that they feel I could. That'll do for me....