Row hard, row fast

Monthly Archives: February 2015

Katherine Grainger

It was amazing. Truly inspiring- a word I try to avoid using too often, but genuinely you could feel her passion as she spoke.  It was interesting hearing some of my own rational for the things I do, being spoken aloud. I can understand why she wants to return, to be the best in the world for as long as possible is a great aim in my eyes, and I don’t blame her.  If you can do it then do.  Life is too short to live with regrets and ‘what ifs’.

My friend I took as my assistant was sent down to the front to see if Katherine would come and see me as I couldn’t get down to her.  She spent ages with me, thought my boat looked fantastic, posed for a few photos, and wrote me a good luck message!!  She seemed genuinely interested in my experience and what I’d been through which was pretty cool.

I was buzzing that evening, it renewed my focus on training and reminded why I was doing what I was doing.

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Sadly it didn’t last- I’ve been fighting a chest infection pretty much from November, and eventually about 3 weeks ago, I was referred urgently to a respiratory consultant as I had a very serious bacterial lung infection, I’d been in the gym that morning and the doctors weren’t entirely sure how I’d managed to keep going.  I was started on home IV antibiotics, but a few days later I realised I wasn’t doing too well and was brought into hospital.  I’ve been here two weeks, bored and feeling like I’m wasting a bed, but I’ve been lucky apparently so yay!!

Home today, and already planning when I can get back into training, going to start slowly building lung strength as well as generally getting stronger.  I’ve been doing a bit of sports psychology reading whilst I’ve been in, as well as catching up on a few documents I needed to write.  Unfortunately I’m limited on the ward as there is no Wi-Fi, only in the main concourse, which when you’re having multiple IVs, waiting to see consultants, physios, dieticians, specialist nurses, and anybody else who might need to be involved, plus having visitors (which is always awesome) and oh being pretty unwell mean work has been limited and succeeded by sleep many times!!

I’m feeling positive about my future though, these last few weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind,  with a new diagnosis, and lots of new treatments to fit into my hectic schedule- Anybody know how to add a few hours into the day?! But I’m determined, this combined with my other respiratory team may actually manage to get on top of the situation and sort things out, which will make me hopefully an even more able rower when my lungs aren’t restricting me so much.

I kept being visited by people from the chaplaincy, not sure what it was about me, that attracted them (other than the first two who discovered I was the only one awake on the ward- first time I’d been awake at that time since I’d been admitted!!) but I managed to see 4 of them in the space of about a week.  They were all lovely and caring, but kept telling me I’m inspiring.  I’m really not, I’m not doing anything special.  Just fortunate to have been given the life I have and I’m determined to make the most of it.  I want to put my mark on the planet someway, make my life mean something- pretentious perhaps, but I hope that I can do something for the greater good in my life.

I am grateful, I have my family’s support, fantastic friends, a good network of support, talented HCPs involved in my care, a roof over my head, nutrition, a job I love, a decent education, I don’t go without and am in the position to do some volunteering.  What more could I need?  My QoL is pretty darn good when I’m out of hospital.

My life is complex, not the one I set out to life, or a path I ever expected to find myself down, but I am, and I am going to make the most of it, and make sure I appreciate it as much as I can.

Next project is getting back to health, and getting back into my degree. Wish me luck.

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