Monday, 25 June 2007

Alan Johnston, BBC Correspondent

A very simple post today. I've added the Alan Johnston button to my blog. Having seen him on TV again tonight, I feel so distressed for what he and his family are going through. No one should be treated like this - it is totally unacceptable. Alan was doing his job and by all accounts in a very fair and unbiased way. There can be nothing to gain for those who have taken him. No glory - nothing. Alan, my thoughts are with you.

Friday, 1 June 2007

New Millennium – Take 2

There’s not much I remember about the start of the new millennium in 2000 other than the fears over Y2K and how at the stroke of midnight between 1999 and 2000 there was the potential for total and utter chaos. The other thing about 2000 though was that it was the year in which I was very ill.

The problem started the year before (in the previous century and indeed in the previous millennium!). But of course, me being me, I ignored it and I also kept it to myself. I put it down to basically being tired because I was working too hard and ridiculously long hours. That changed one Sunday when I was working in the garden on a project. I was pushing to get it finished but I could feel the energy draining from me and could feel the intensity of the pain in my neck increase. The lump was far bigger than it had ever been – maybe this was more than swollen glands due to tiredness (my diagnosis). I knew then I had to see a doctor. What followed was a near immediate appointment with an ENT consultant. I needed an operation to remove the lump. “I’ll be a day patient having this done under local anaesthetic?” I asked. “You need to recognise the seriousness of the illness” was the reply “general anaesthetic, possibly a week in hospital and who knows yet what follow-up treatment”.

Within days my body just seemed to give up – I could hardly move. I had no energy and I was sure that the antibiotics that I was taking in lead-up to the operation were making me feel worse – I was right, I had a massive reaction to them. The operation, which was expected to take up to an hour, took several hours. I had actually exacerbated things by having ignored the problem for so long. A week after, I was to see the consultant to have the stitches removed, and to hear what the analysis of the lump had revealed. Everything was fine – it was benign. I was off work for 3 months though as a result of the illness – I had no energy, my system was out of sync due to the medications and I’d started to put on weight as a result.

I decided that this was a life-changing experience. I needed to mend my ways. My focus would be on looking after myself, getting a better work/life balance, and putting work into perspective. So let’s fast forward …….. here I am in 2007. I have no energy, I’m carrying too much weight (which I still blame on my illness), and I still don’t have that work/life balance and focus right.

These past few weeks since ‘The Disappointment’, I’ve been sitting thinking and jotting down (mainly through mind-mapping) my thoughts, the issues, things I’d like to do and so on. I’m at the point now where I’ve identified some actions to take. What keeps stopping me is I feel I just don’t have the energy to push things along even a little bit. I read again my ‘Triple Gym Workout’ and realised that this is the lynchpin of my PLAN A. I need to take action in this area before I will feel up to taking action in other areas. I took a big step last night when I rejoined a diet class and this coming Monday I’ll get back to the gym. So I’ve started the ‘Body’ workout bit. ‘Mind’ and ‘Spirit’ to follow. Happy New Millennium!