Health matters more than ever

Today I received worrying news about my health that has made me think a lot about my basic priorities. Life has already dealt me a blow when I suffered from final-stage renal failure about a decade ago. We fixed that, thanks to my wonderful Dad donating one of his. I now have another scare to deal with but I will fix that too!

Sun May 13 2018

I sit here at my laptop, now more concious than ever of my sedentary lifestyle with the letter from the Doctor sat to the side. My focus today is shot to bits because the letter reveals that a routine blood test I had recently,shows a higher than usual blood-sugar level. This means I am in what is known as “Pre-Diabetes”, such a blow but in some ways I am not surprised, given my renal background and that I am at risk of so many other things now than I ever was before. To top it all, I spend so much time sat at a desk. I often drive to the shops rather than walk. It’s ironic because I fear time, that I don’t have enough of it, I am just so busy. However am I really? That is the topic I want to discuss in this blog entry.

You may like to read the blogs I wrote on my old Wordpress site about the transplant process. You may find them a tough read, it was after all a difficult time but the reason behind it was that I had (or maybe to a certain degree still have) a condition known as Focal Segmental Glomerischlerosis or FSGS for short. In layman’s terms, this means scarring of the kidney tissue and little is known about why this exists.

However as I think about the latest development, I need to make radical changes. I am not feeling very safe at the moment. I am on edge because this latest news has rocked my cosy little world. It has also made me dig deep and learn to listen to those who have been warning me about that fine balance of maintaining a healthy balanced life. If I neglect it for too long, I will be digging myself an early grave. Now this may sound really harsh but the time has come to really do some soul searching and to take action today, not tomorrow.

Making time

My situation and other peoples’ problem nowadays is to use time as an excuse, as we never have enough of it, life is so ‘urgent’ and that is pretty tragic. However quick fixes are a good start, so here are a few of mine that I will step up in the days to come. I hope other people find some use in this too.

  • Leave the car at home, cycle instead. Well this is not hard for me because home and my office are in the same town. To be honest only a mile or so apart. I have two bikes, one is a hybrid that I use for bigger rides and the second is my Dawes fold-up, which is easy to bring up into my office. I shall share some pics on Instagram of it! Ironically before I received the letter from the Dr, I started cycling again this past week. I fully intend to keep it going. It is essential to push it a bit too, pedal harder and perhaps find routes with hills, inclines or maybe take the longer way round. I just need to allow time. This leads me to my point, it actually takes on occasions, less time to cycle than to drive, traffic and finding a space in the car park. So in fact, I make time!
  • So now I am getting my cycle legs back, it is time to dust off the hybrid bike and go exploring. I remember when I was a younger chap how we used to go for miles. 40 miles at a time was not unusual for me. Nowadays, uggggh, I need to buck my ideas up!
  • Walking - and when I say walking, yes, to the shops and back is good, better than driving. However I am thinking of grander ambitions, to walk harder terrain more often, the sort that really takes the wind out of you. You wake up the following day regretting it but each time you do it, you adapt. I used to know and I am going to get back to where I was. I am 46 years of age and want to wind back about 10 years!
  • Food - Just Eat is great, so is a lovely take-away. How about an Indian or a Kebab? I don’t often eat takeaways to be honest but there are times when the Time Monster looms, your stomach is crying out for food, you have to eat now, a quick fix is in demand. I also believe that I cannot cook, well that is not really true, I just need to get my head around it. Nowadays with an abundance of cook books that are weighing down our bookshelves, I glance along each shelf, cheeky grins from Tom Kerridge, Jamie Oliver and Rick Stein beckon me to open their books. I do and then I get lost, thinking what do I want? I am hungry now! Well the answer is a little planning goes a long way, to be more prepared for each day and to overcome my fear of pans, whisks, bowls and ovens. We have so much control at our fingertips, that it seems insane not to create your own glorious food. I made a Chicken Korma two days ago that I was super proud of and it made me think that it’s just not that hard really. It took no major time to prepare and the satisfaction I gained from it was delightful. What’s more - Tina, my wife was very complimentary too :-)

This after all is more of a personal blog so…

…sorry for the grim start to this article but what I’m doing here is keeping my chin up. We are all dealt curve balls in life and I know all too well (perhaps more than some other people). However we can all learn from eachothers experiences and how we overcome them. We need to conquer life at times, to be our own little champions. So let me restart this blog, new direction, better blog, better me and hopefuly better you!

Help myself, help others

So writing code for a living is cool, lots of fun, plenty of challenges, pays the bills fair and square. However it can be an unhealthy job with a lot of sitting around, often being hunched over a laptop. I am going to attempt to write more often about the freelance lifestyle and how to maintain a good work-life balance. I find that writing is a good way of getting to grips with the challenges you face and more often than not, you often find there is some form of resonance with other people. A blog is all about it’s audience and consistency is key.

Some reading material

Anyway time to do do some planning, some reading and writing a lot of articles. I want to get a better understanding of what will consitute a better breakfast, lunch and dinner. I will also discuss ideas around how to get excercise throughout the day. I know that setting a timer to take a break every 25 minutes, the “Pomodoro” technique is good… I’m starting to go off on a tangent, so let’s park the blog there for now. I will rustle up some juciy, healthy content to inspire as soon as I can… catch you all soon, have a great week!