Put the kettle on, make a brew – I’ve got a story of woe to tell you. If you don’t already know, I was recently diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. It’s a condition I was born with that causes about 29616643 different symptoms, amongst them extreme fatigue, widespread pain and frequent joint dislocations. Yeah it’s a barrel of laughs 😄
Please consider this Lesson One in a study of ‘Things I’ve learned from disability’ 🤷
On Tuesday I woke up in a really sorry state. To be honest I felt like I was hung over to death and my joints felt like they were being held together by butter. I lay on the sofa feeling very sorry for myself indeed.
Ironically I was due to attend a Mums In Business networking meeting in Preston to present a talk about vision boarding, and power of positivity!
I’d used the printer at my local BookCycle the day before, to produce worksheets for the attendees but clearly a kind of brain fog was already descending as instead of printing 15 of each page, I printed 5! Not to worry, I thought as I drifted off to sleep that night, Preston is a University city, there’s sure to be lots of print shops and photocopying services. My train would get me there over an hour early so I’d have plenty of time to undo my mistake AND be there with lots of time to set up. Look at me being all organised and professional!!
I was dropped off at the station and should have taken my time getting to the platform…but of course I didn’t do that. That would have been sensible!
Instead I rushed and fell and predictably tore my tights revealing legs that hadn’t been shaved in at least 4 weeks!!
I missed my train and as is tradition with me and trains, the next one was over 20 minutes late. At least my poor luck is consistent, right?! Still, I arrived in Preston in plenty of time and headed to the post office.
Turns out you need to be a student to use student facilities – who knew!?
The Post Office was locked, unlit and had a big ol’ ‘for sale’ sign on it. Our local Post Office has also closed down and it’s been moved into WHSmiths so I headed there. Smith’s couldn’t help me. None of the photo development shops could help me. Estate Agents, Solicitors, even the University couldn’t help me – turns out you need to be a student to use student facilities – who knew?
I sat on a wall and looked at my phone. I was only a 10 minute walk away from the venue but I was already a couple of minutes late and I only had a third of the print outs I needed. I had scuffed shoes and unshaved legs and I was sweaty and red. I was in so much pain and the pain killers I’d taken were having no effect whatsoever, other than to make me feel fuzzy-headed. In a last ditch attempt, I popped into the office of a student let company, Kexgill and begged them to let me use their photocopier.
And unlike every other place I’d tried, they said yes. In fact they even refused to let me pay for the paper (I put money in their charity box instead) and offered to make me a hot drink!
While the sheets were printed I chatted to the staff about the presentation and the shocking morning I’d had. The manager proposed what I’d already considered, that perhaps the Universe was trying to tell me that I wasn’t supposed to attend this event??
Now I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. Part of my presentation discusses the way that even negative experiences can be positive if we take control and ownership of them. We choose how to frame any situation we find ourselves in. So what good could come of this?
1. I discovered a great letting agent should anyone ever need it! And had my faith in people restored after so many had declined to help.
2. I realised how much I wanted to be at that event, how much I enjoy presenting and hosting workshops. I knew that this was the right path.
3. I saw the lack of logic and self care in the way I’d managed the situation and I learned my lesson.
A couple of days later I subluxed (partially dislocated) my right hip by rolling over in bed. This is a new sublux for me, my left hip is really quite unstable but my right was always the ‘good one’. I’m confident that it was brought on by all the walking, all the rushing around on Tuesday.
I should have known better. My EDS is only going to get worse and it’ll get worse quickly if I don’t take care of myself. I need to work smarter. Instead of rushing for the train, I should have paced myself – I’d left in good time. Instead of hobbling all over Preston, I should have sat on a bench and rung around to see where I could get photocopies. In fact I should have double checked my printing in the first place! I could even have asked someone for help – my stubbornness knows no bounds.
The presentation went really well!
The attendees were really welcoming and the more I spoke about positivity and mindfulness, the more I promised myself to learn the lesson I’d been presented with.
More haste – less speed.
Love Rachel ❤️