Singlespeed bikes, Japan, getting out of Streatham, trying not to bang on about multiple sclerosis

Monday, November 27, 2006

Japanese blues

Two weeks in Japan, and according to Sue the Physio this morning I'm walking better than I was before I went, which is cheering, I guess. But how cheery is the overall picture? It's nearly six months since I had my first really big relapse, and as I was getting over that I had another one - so for half a year I've been pretty sedentary, which is not how I like to be. What dominates my thoughts, though, isn't the prospect of never getting on a bike again, but of never straying more than two minutes' travel from a toilet, and also recalibrating my mental scale of how far "two minutes" is to adjust to the stumbling, slow, lopsided gait that I'm developing. You can only piss yourself so many times before you feel the clammy hand of despair. Or maybe it's just the clammy boxer shorts. I've never talked to anyone about it, outside the Wolfson centre, which was full of people in a worse state than I was. You ever been catheterised? Wheeled your chair around with a bag of piss strapped to your calf, that's fed by a tube plumbed into your nob? Neither have I, but there was at least one guy there who was in exactly that state. He never complained.

Anyway, that's me, with my brother Andrew (the blond one) and his girlfriend, Sayaka. They're engaged.


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