Welcome to the Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge brought together by WEGO Health – a social network for all health activists. Again, I am participating in the annual Writer’s Month Challenge in which I will be writing about my health activism and health condition based upon prompts given.
Today’s prompt reads as follows:
Lesson Learned…What’s a lesson you learned the hard way? Tell us a time when you made a mistake and promised never to make the same mistake again
There are many lessons that you learn when diagnosed with a chronic illness, such as acceptance is not about giving up and you are not defined by your diagnosis. But it is not these big life lessons that you learn whilst living with a chronic illness but you learn everyday on how to live with your specific condition. For example, I have learnt that in order to cope better with the dizziness that is a good idea to wear a hat, with a fisherman’s hat being the preferable choice, as it blocks out more visual stimuli than other styles. I have also learned to tell when I need to use the wheelchair, or when I need to take a nap. However, one lesson that I should have learnt a long time ago is one which I learned the hard way…
The lesson happened one night in late February, Mum and Dad had gone out to see a concert and so I was left home alone. On that day, I remember it was one of my bad days, with the dizziness and the trembling in my legs particularly bad, and so before they left my Mum had done the washing-up as I was unable to stand for long. And so they left me in front of the television with a packet of sweets; as my legs was so bad, I probably should have known just to stay lying on the sofa and find a film to watch.
But instead, I thought it was a good idea to walk upstairs to grab my Kindle as there was nothing to watch on the television and walk downstairs. However, instead of walking down the stairs, I fell down them as I had suddenly lost all sensation in my legs (probably should not have wished for the trembling to stop!). Fortunately, I was fine – a little shook up, but I hadn’t broken anything. Well, I hadn’t broken any part of my body, but the Kindle that I was bringing downstairs? That was indeed broken – the screen had cracked and so became completely unreadable.
As an avid reader, this really upset me as it was one of my gadgets that I regularly use, and as I was saving towards the holiday I could not afford to replace it.
The story does have a happy ending however; after it happened I talked about the incident on social media, I think partly as I was on my own and still shook up about what happened and it was my way of having company, or at least some version of it. A few days after it happened I was sent an email from an employee at Amazon UK who had heard about my fall via social media and the company was offering me a replacement Kindle free of charge! It was an amazing act of generosity that I will never forget and I am now a happy owner of a new Kindle and reading books on it to my hearts’ content!
But a lesson that I learnt from the incident is when the weakness and trembling is as bad as it was that night, then to stay sitting or lying exactly where I am and not to exert my legs in doing more they can handle. An important lesson but one which I learned the hard way! (And you will be happy to know that I no longer walk down the stairs holding my Kindle!)
A special thank you to Amazon too!!
What are some of the lessons you have learned during your life with chronic illness? Are there any that you learned the hard way? As ever would love to hear your thoughts and comments on the blog post, or the blog generally. Please feel free to leave your comments below…