14 June 2016

Needing another boost following
a week of walks in the countryside

In the fields and farms of Comberford … walking in the countryside is good for body, mind and spirit (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2016)

Patrick Comerford

My walks in the English countryside last week made me feel better about myself, if they had no immediate effect on my long-term health or did anything to reverse the symptoms of my Sarcoidosis or my B12 deficiency.

An app on my phone acts as a good counter for walking distances, and also acts as incentive to walk more each day.

However, despite walks on the beaches in Bray last Friday [10 June 2016] and in Skerries and around the harbour on Sunday [12 June 2016], my daily average has slipped this week. My only excuse lies in an exceptionally busy few days, with an academic committee meeting in Trinity College Dublin, teaching throughout Saturday on the reader course, being with students for two days while they defended their dissertations over two days, meetings with students planning their dissertation work next year,a working dinner and meetings with the external examiner and then this afternoon’s meeting of the Court of Examiners.

Of course, a sedentary posture for Ireland’s opening match in Paris against Sweden late yesterday [15 June 2016] did not nothing to reverse my sedentary disposition.

But last week I was particularly pleased with the distances I clocked up in the English countryside. On Sunday [5 June 2016], I had long walks in Lichfield and Tamworth, and through the fields and farms in Comberford, totalling almost 20 km. On Monday, I walked through the countryside between Lichfield and Farewell, before travelling on to Derbyshire, and walked almost 13.5 km.

Then, during the USPG conference in Swanwick, some of my walks around the lake and through the fields and countryside totalled over 7 km each day.

All of this makes me feel much better in body, mind and spirit, but by the beginning of this week it seemed all the good I had done for myself had been reversed. It was if there had been no pay-off for the symptoms of both Sarcoidosis and my B12 deficiency, and makes no difference to the joint pains, my coughing and sometimes a real lack of energy that comes with the pains.

After this afternoon’s meeting of the Court of Examiners for the MTh course, it was time to get back to my GP for my regular B12. I had a three-hour wait, but all because my GP provides careful attention for each patient, and is never reluctant or hesitant about giving each patient the individual care and attention they need.

There was the additional good news that recent biopsies have been positive, and my fears about Sarcodosis spreading to my head are unfounded.

The B12 injections take a few hours to begin to kick in. After this evening’s injection, I should be back to normal energy levels tomorrow. By the time it kicks in fully, I should have plenty of energy for a few weeks in Greece. I am really looking forward to being back in Crete later this month.

Meanwhile, as I say so often, I may have Sarcoidosis, but Sarcoidosis does not have me.

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