It’s about six years since I first became ill with Sarcoidosis, and I’ve been in remission for three of those years. After all this time, it’s clear I’m never going to return to full health but, so long as things stay stable, I can live with that. That I still struggle with hills and stairs reminds me that my lung function isn’t 100%, I’m unlikely to go running ever again, and I can’t pogo on the dancefloor like I used to (and as a 46 year old Mum that’s not advisable anyway #pelvicfloor). I’ve already written about how debilitating this illness is, and how frustrating it is when you look perfectly healthy on the outside. At its worst, I would happily have traded my fucked up lymph nodes/lungs for a massive scar on my face or something, as I learned not to take internal physical health for granted in a world where we are so fixated on external appearance. I inevitably also gained weight and don’t fit into half my clothes, but that really doesn’t matter in the scheme of things. I’d happily gain another stone if it meant I could nonchalantly jog up a flight of stairs or run for the bus without fear.
Something I have been able to do more of (and I mentally check my privilege and cross my fingers as I say this) is walking. Not hardcore walking in the peaks or whatever, you need to buy proper kit to do that, and I can’t afford that right now, but ordinary, urban walking. I set myself the simple task of 70,000 steps a week, as we’re told we should all aim to walk 10,000 steps a day. It’s not always easy fitting this in around work and other responsibilities, but it’s actually pretty simple if you can be arsed. For example, I generally don’t park my car at work, but a 15 minute walk away. And if I’m getting the bus, I can alight a couple of stops early – it’s not rocket science.
My favourite walk at the moment is to some nearby woods and fields. It’s right next to a busy dual carriageway, which means the littering/fly tipping is depressing (and sometimes downright bizarre), but the horses, fields and changing light through the trees are gorgeous. And as I’ve succumbed to the Fitbit fad with all its clever appy aptness, I’ve also tried drawing knobs with my walks – which is a lot harder than I expected.
I just need to make sure this isn’t a phase and keep it up (the steps, not the cocks).