A very rare post from me on my own blog.
I keep a lot of plates spinning most of the time, and sadly that means some fall to the ground from time to time. I maintain a monthly blog over on the Diabetes UK website, but rarely seem to find time to come back here.
At the weekend, I finished my last competitive run for 2015. That took my yearly mileage to 1066 (just short of 151 hours in total). I’ve been tired for a while and the last couple of miles on Sunday felt like a real struggle. Having finished, I feel like I’ve shifted some pressure off myself which is a much bigger sense of relief than I’d expected.
Switching off that area of my brain (for the most part at least) has been nice. I’d lost the sense of why I enjoyed running and it felt like a job I had to do, rather than something I wanted to do. Hopefully a few weeks off will allow me to regain some perspective.
The problem with switching your attention off something is that it doesn’t really allow you time to actually relax – that fleeting spare capacity is merely taken over by something else. Last night as I was finding it somewhat difficult to fall asleep, I became reacquainted with pain, and suddenly became conscious of every small niggle and ache that I’d ignored for the last few months.
I’m quite lucky with my diabetes that (touch wood), it doesn’t really cause me much direct pain. There’s the occasional time I’ll half press the button on the needle before doing a finger-prick test because I know it’s going to be more ‘uncomfortable’ than usual. There’s also the extra deep breath and moment of hesitation before I insert a new cannula because I can’t see the hidden bruises beneath the skin. Sticking a needle (even a short one) into a bruise you can’t see is extraordinarily unpleasant.
After 13 years, I’m pretty much prepared for these daily pangs, though I’m not beyond muttering the odd expletive under my breath from time to time. But I’m lucky. I’ve got a chronic illness and it doesn’t cause me constant pain or discomfort and I can mostly live my life without giving it much thought. (As I type that, I realise my cannula is currently in at a non-work friendly height as I bash it against the desk…)
But laid in bed last night I just felt pain everywhere. Laying perfectly still, I could feel throbbing in my foot, a sharp pain in my ankle, an ache across my neck and shoulder... not constant, unbearable pain, just a dull sense of something not being right – a reminder that whilst I might occasionally live like I’m 20 years old, I’m definitely not. And despite thinking that I’ve managed diabetes into a place where it plays a supporting role in my life as opposed to being the leading light, that’s really not true. As much as I’d rather not admit it, diabetes deserves respect. But only enough to keep it in line, not so much as it takes over my life.
I’m trying to allow myself to take it easy for the next couple of weeks. Not switching off from everything, but reducing the amount of time I give over to certain things. I’ve got fewer early morning runs to accommodate and my charity commitments for the year will mostly be over in a couple of weeks. Christmas is around the corner and it’s the one certain time I can spend with family and friends without the distractions that the other 50 weeks of the year often bring.