Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Live the best life you can

Time for a little update as things have been quite busy recently. The past four weeks I have been on placement working on a medical rehab ward, mostly with elderly patients. Initally I thought this would be quite dull as the pace was much slower than the acute medical wards where I had been before that. I didn't think that I would learn very much from helping old people get out of bed and walk to the toilet. However, as these things tend to work out, I learnt far more than I would ever have thought possible.

Sometimes all people want is your time. A lot of the patients I met were well into their 80s or 90s and many didn't have relatives living nearby who could visit, and a few had no relatives living at all. I was in the fortunate position to have a fairly relaxed case load, and was lucky enough to be able to spend some time with some of the patients just having a chat. I think that the younger generation today could learn so much from those who have lived through wars, and have experienced hardships that we cannot imagine. On my birthday, I was talking to one man who was due to be discharged. I needed to do one final assessment to check that he was safe walking on his own. The assessment was quickly completed and passed, and then we had a while when we could talk. The man told me all about his life; where he had served in the war, about his wife and children and the places he had lived. Then he looked at me and told me to make sure that I lived the best life I can, because it will go by too quickly. 

Its strange sometimes that we end up gaining so much more from someone in ways that we never expect to. The man was discharged later that day and I didn't see him again. I doubt he will even remember me at all. But his words will stay with me for a long time. I don't know to live the best life I can. I think sometimes I am scared to do just that.I suppose just trying to be the best that I can be at every chance that I get is a start. With this in mind, I set off on a slow long distance run on Saturday night, and managed a huge 9 miles. Apart from aching knees, I was still quite comfortable at the end, and managing to maintain the same pace that I started with. I finally feel like I am really making progress, and the half marathon distance is achievable.

In other developments, I have managed to bugger up both knees by falling over while out walking. They were probably made worse by the fact that I was wearing shorts and walking on a stony track when I fell, meaning that I had to hobble back to the car with blood pouring down both legs. I was also forced to sit on the floor for several minutes as the friend I was with at the time was too busy laughing to be of any use in helping me into an upright position. I was then humiliated by having to ask the nice people at Castell Coch (near where I happened to be at the time) for some wet wipes so I could clean myself up a bit. I've now got two rather unattractive scabby knees just in time for my holiday next week. Looking on the bright side, I'm not actually properly injured just a bit sore.

And finally, tonight I managed to run 5k in under 30 minutes for the first time. There was a time trial session on the track with the club and I decided to just go for it. Got round in 29.44 and although I am still bringing up the rear of the field, I am getting faster all the time. When I started running, I never thought I would get anywhere near 30 minutes, or run 9 miles or even stick with this for long enough that I started to enjoy it.

Thanks for reading.

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