Let’s Keep It Simple

I do remember simpler times.

When I was a kid, roaming loose in the Essex badlands, we used to stay out way after dark, hiding in the woods. We got pocket money on Saturday mornings, then we went out and spent it. The highlight of the week was Top Of The Pops and all my mates down my street shared just the one football. I can’t quite remember when things started to get complicated, but boy, how much harder life has now become? It seems like everywhere we turn these days, we’re forced to choose, face challenges and deal with setbacks.

This week, they told me I have diabetes.

That’s type 2 – the kind that’s a wake-up call, because my lifestyle and my diet have been neglected, over time. I feel sore about it, I should have looked after myself better. Working in a call centre for 13 years after I became disabled certainly didn’t help. But still, I guess it’s mostly down to me. So that’s another complication to add to my post-sepsis set of circumstances. I do like to make things difficult for myself, don’t I? The nurse at the medical centre gave me a book a 100 pages long telling me just what I have to do.

But the way I see it, it’s simple.

I’m resolved to deal with this, I’m absolutely not fazed – I’m just going to concentrate on two things – diet and exercise. I need to cut out all the refined sugars and excess carbs, then make sure I get more exercise. That’s it. And in terms of exercise, you might think it’s complicated for a quadruple amputee, but actually, I can’t make any excuses – it’s really not. Like everyone else, I just have to get out the front door and do it. ‘It’ being half an hour’s walk every day, round and round the houses.

My post sepsis syndrome means it’s more difficult for me to hold onto and process information.

I have to work at it. My short-term memory isn’t terrific, so I’ve learned strategies to cope and function as best as I can. I make copious notes, even though, for a man without hands, that’s kind of tricky in itself. I follow strict routines and that helps to effectively regulate and ground me every day. With my walking, I used to keep a log of my steps, but even that got too complicated. Now I just keep on going for half an hour, then I stop. My daily life is focused on very simple routines and the older I get, the more I like that.

I’m content.

Happy. Do you know how much work I’ve put into getting to the point where I can use the ‘h’ word? Happy? For the past 17 and a half years, I’ve had to negotiate the complications of living every day with severe disability, profound sorrow and deep physical pain – but now things are simple, it feels like I can breathe. I can function. I can even excel at some things. My writing goes from strength to strength, I enjoy my work and we’re developing our public speaking. So let’s keep things simple, shall we?

picture courtesy and copyright Nic Ray