Midsummer last year I was winding my way back up from Bristol after a brief spell doing some of the best and most inspiring climbing I've ever done.
Midsummer this year I am winding my way back from the New Victoria hospital after a long overdue endoscopy. And that's a bit fucking toss really.
(As predicted by the gastroenterologist and nutritionist, the endoscopy has showed nothing significant, although I will be waiting for the results of a biopsy from my duodenum)
So this is a health and climbing blog update (follow up to this) - boring but it gets the information to people who kindly ask me about it.
Since the last update I have been on a heavily restricted diet and various digestive supplements, this has been bloody frustrating but seems to be SLOWLY working. I haven't had a full nausea bout for 6 weeks now, and although I often feel mildly queasy and sore, this does indicate some SLOW progress. Yes you might guess the SLOWNESS is also frustrating... I've seen the nutritionist again and she is happy there is some progress and I am on the right track, and also estimates it could be 3-6 months from starting the full diet until I am healed enough (to hopefully go back on to a normal, healthy, and enjoyable diet). That is a....SLOWish timescale but at least it's promisingly finite.
Since the last update I have had less issues with acute emotional responses to nausea bouts (because there haven't really been any - although the regular discomfort is unavoidably distracting and mood-lowering, albeit quite temporarily), and more issues with "conventional" depression - a natural repercussion from dealing with this illness, even after it's ceased being so physically bad. This too is something I am tackling in various ways, from getting help and support to working on my general thought patterns, to trying to keep active in any form - which has included a lot of going to the indoor wall on gloriously sunny and dry days, and telling myself it will be okay and even having a little bit of fun doing so (mostly thanks to the excellent new Eden Rock opening in Edinburgh).
There has been some! I've struggled a lot with motivation, will-power, focus, organisation, commitment, travelling, planning, and interacting with people - and thus have wasted most of that reliable hot dry spell. I might be slightly grumpy about that. On the other hand, I haven't struggled so much with moving over rock nor especially plastic. I think my fitness and strength are almost as normal, even if my confidence isn't. So when I've finally got in the right situation, I've done okay. Bit of trad, bit more of sport, small numbers, some success, some failure, some fun. Keeping going on the basis that it (climbing and training) will all add up in the end and when I'm finally healed I will be able to climb normally and fully happily.
As a small reward for reading another paint-dryingly exciting post, here's some photos to celebrate some recent climbing: