For most of last summer I had been dragging myself to work. This is not like me at all. I love what I do and even when its a grind I know its just stuff to dig in for, so that I can get to the stuff I want to do. Not last summer. Last summer I was waking up exhausted. I was existing in a world full of treacle. I had nothing left. I don't know what I was running on but it wasn't as full as empty. It was mystifying, as if I had gone back a few years. When I was just out of hospital then, when after learning to walk again a 2 minute stand in the kitchen to make a cup of tea would leave me whacked for more than an hour afterwards. I learned to keep drink near me, diet coke to keep back the nausea ( it works btw) so that I didn't dehydrate.
I thought those days were long gone. I hadn't noticed I'd taken the horses out of my life again. Riding stopped - a mixture of too busy and too tired, I had ceased. But I hadn't noted what was going on. It was insidious and crept up on me til I was forced to a standstill.
It turned out to be a simple thing, easily controlled. Diabetes. What a relief, something to pay attention to but in the scheme of things quite manageable. I should have been diabetic after they removed most of my innards and I had frustrated the medics when I hadn't been then. Now I was. Now I am.
Being at home contemplating how bloody I had felt and thinking through what this diagnosis now meant in terms of lifestyle changes was an interesting experience. I now have to eat breakfast. Six words. Six innocent little words that do not convey the depth of difficulty that adjustment has been, still is, for me to make. I now have to eat regularly. I was always a "eat when I am hungry" person - get lost in my activities and then realise the day has passed and no food. Now I eat more regularly, still I have a long way to go, and I have appointed guardians who ping me regularly to ask me if I have eaten, just to make me conscious of the thought.
I also made another change. A while back my dog had died, and for lots of reasons I had not been ready to have another one. I knew my role at Talis was changing or rather how I approached it would be, which meant that having another dog became a real possibility. As the time wore on at home recovering I was allowed my laptop and clearly from there I had easy access to any part of the world I liked. Initially I was looking at greyhounds and contemplating rescuing one and it is still in the back of my mind to do that. I was reminded by a nephew that I had always wanted a dalmatian. He was right, I had, How had I forgotten that too? So then another hunt was on. In December I collected a little spotty wolf in puppy clothing. I saw his litter at 3 weeks old, he chose me and I collected him at 7 weeks.
Dalmatians are bonkers. I just thought I'd mention that. They are permanently ON. They are very intelligent and thoughtful (yes really) and quick to spot opportunities. They are also playful in the sense that they tease. They are industrial strength chewing machines, but at the same time quite gentle. One of his toys a giraffe is loved hard with this teeth but is still intact, and carried around. His bed is picked up and tossed across the floor and into another room when he is annoyed and there are others which he relentlessly, diligently and systematically ruthlessly destroys. He is coming to terms with the cats. He has an awareness that their thinking is quite different to his own. He might bounce them like Tigger but both cats know about dishes served cold. Once the Panther has had enough of his antics she will hold his head down with her paws and bite his ear till he squeals in submission and then she will stop and look at him hard. This interspecies sibling rivalry doesn't stop her wanting to join him for a walk in the valley in the evening though, nor he from running up to her after a day a way and licking her older wise head (which she finds disgusting but tolerates as she can see he means well). The Spidermonkeykitten cat has a wholly different but no less effective strategy. Though tiny she runs at him squawking and he demonstrates his dressage ability well and backs away. Even she will be given a quick whole face wash when he has a mellow moment hit him.
Dalmatians need exercise, lots of it, so as well as breakfast a serious amount of outside walking is happening under a big sky. He is still only 6 months old, watching him notice things for the first time, or seeing his surprised look on his face when his back legs decide the front of his body is heading across the field at a rate of knots brings a pleasure that is hard to convey but easy to experience
So with the help of breakfast, a dog and lots of exercise I am no longer dragging myself anywhere. What a sense of freedom and space that has given to my mind.
Next month, I plan to put the horses back in too.