Another Rehab False Start

I felt the blood drain from my face. My arms lost feeling and I knew I was
on my way out. Fainting is part of the transition from bed to wheelchair,
the first step to rehab. It is caused in part by the blood draining from the
top half of my body into my dormant bottom half. It was emotional, painful
and exhausting, but at least it was progress.


However, as soon as I started, I was wiped out by another infection. 

Three weeks passed. Three weeks of vomiting, sky-high temperatures,
ice-baths, blood draws from ever retreating veins, drips and scans confining
me to bed again. It was another false start, another assault on my
motivation, and another scare for Simone and my family as they watched my
body suffer and my mind withdraw. 

During the haze of sickness our South Pole race documentary – *‘Blind Man
Walking’* – screened in Ireland. I was too sick to do any of the planned
radio interviews and could not summon the energy to inform everyone who was
involved that it was on. But, as I lay here in the days that followed,
hundreds of messages popped up on my phone, many from complete strangers. Ross
Whitaker, film maker and friend, had captured the story of why the South
Pole race was, and is, so important to me and the response to that story has
been incredible. I thank you. During the South Pole race, when my resolve
was fractured, the people supporting me gave me hope. Now I am again
sustained by others in the absence of my own motivation. 

*‘Blind Man Walking’* tells the story of how racing to the South Pole helped
me to deal with the demons of blindness that were still haunting me ten
years after losing my sight. The film sparked memories of the contentment
and peace which I am struggling to feel now. Today I am mentally and
physically destroyed in a way that I don’t think I ever was by the
blindness. I need to stop feeling sick and I need to get out of hospital.
But I still have months of rehab ahead. 

So I will start again tomorrow. I will start to learn how to sit up without
falling. I will learn to dress myself, to feed myself, to transfer from the
bed to the wheelchair. I have to learn to live again from scratch and it
feels pathetic. 

But I will learn and I know it will not feel like this forever. It’s just
that I have so little energy for the fight today. I cannot take another bout
of illness – I need this to be a true start.


X (Twitter)