Now the work begins

It’s been a long time since I updated this blog. That’s mainly because I’ve been feeling so much better that I’ve got nothing to write about. It’s been about seven weeks since the clot and for the past couple of weeks I have been feeling great, apart from some weird dizzy spells which don’t really bother me.

There was some weight loss too. I lost twenty pounds in the first month to take me down to 17st 4lbs. But then I began to feel better – my appetite came back and I really, really fancied a pint. I had gone six weeks withuot a drop and hadn’t missed it but circumstances conspired to put me in a difficult position.

Firstly I spent a weekend in Cardiff which included a match against Portsmouth which meant that I had to drive back through Canton past pubs that I knew were full of old mates all celebrating victory. I was staying at my Mother’s house and if I couldn’t have a drink I was buggered if I was going to sit in on a sunny Saturday eating rabbit food. I had a pizza and bloody nice it was too. Then came a football tour over a long weekend in Holland. On a scorching sunny day, I felt the euphoria experienced by  a load of mates after a long day’s football, and submitted to my first drink in the bar of the host football club. Bloody fantastic, though the knowledge that I’d have to stop after a few glasses made me sad.

I hadn’t really given the long term much thought while I was ill, but I started to wonder about alternatives to a life on rat poison dominated by constriction and denial. I had a chat with my consultant and the news was mixed. He recommended that I stay on warfarin for the rest of my life. I am at high risk of another clot, and with warfarin my chances of another episode are limited to 2%.  I can come off warfarin, and that would raise to 10%. If I change my lifestyle, lose weight and stay active, that percentage mught come down to 6%. Even then, the clot would most likely be in my leg and treatable. And if it did go to my lung, then I would have a 60% chance of survival. Those odds demand consideration if I want a life free of virtual imprisonment by my prescription.

One thing that has helped is my discovery of alcohol-free ciders and beer. I’ve experienced just how much a night on the booze is psychological. It isn’t all about the alcohol, it’s about the shared experience and the act of drinking. On a recent campaign weekend, I had a couple of ciders before moving on to the alcohol-free stuff, and enjoyed the usual late night jopshing around a campfire without feeling left out of the party. It made me realise how much I used to drink socially just for the sake of it.And that horrible feeling I used to associate with camping? It turns out that it was down to the boozing after all.

So now I am feeeling great, but I’ve put half a stone back on. I need to get training but I’m really hampered by this bloody knee. I still don’t have a date for my MRI scan but I need to try something. My legs are next to useless, so I might start off with some swimming, and use a float between my knees. The thought fills me with ennui, but I need to start somewhere if I’m going to get fit and make those alps next Summer.

About 2clots

47-year old Welsh cyclist. I suffered a dual pulmonary embolism in March 2011, following an attack of transverse myelinitis in 1994. Apart from that, I'm fine. Author of Red Dragons: The Story of Welsh Football.
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