Just attack it
It’s been a while since I’ve posted an update as time away results in an inevitable catching up period but after two weeks of extra Physio, end of season charity dinners and a lot of uni work I have finally found some time to check in.
There’s no signs of things slowing down either…. surviving my stag do, returning to uni and climbing the next mountain makes for an exciting few months…. not to mention getting married to that girl on the beach… 🔥
I’m going to have to rewind a bit before we crack on though…
First of all I want to apologise for being that person who tortures people back home with pictures of themselves drinking coconuts on a beach or frolicking around in the sun. Trust me I know how it feels, for three months last summer I lay in hospital and watched everyone’s sunny breaks (some of which I was supposed to be on) unfold before me. I think I even wrote a blog about it called FOMO (fear of missing out). To all of you lot; let’s just say we’re even, to those who didn’t have fun last summer; the apology stands. But here’s one more anyway 😉.
I’ll spare you any more details on how incredible the Philippines is, Im just going to briefly cover the challenges thrown ones way when island hopping in the tropics with an SCI (a pretty niche subject I know).
From rope swings and climbing into boats to riding side saddle on the back of a motorbike, every day my disability was challenged in increasingly adventurous ways. One of the biggest tests was managing without a foot splint. I had my blue rocker with me, which was great, however it only works when you have shoes on and as I was in and out of water I had to try and manage without it on a regular basis as you’ve probably seen from the 007 audition.
The first few days of boat transfers and jungle trails were navigated with great caution however as time went on and confidence grew the phrase ‘just attack it’ was coined. I was lucky that the male half of the couple that we were travelling with (Tom) is a big guy and has had plenty of practice as a wing man. This led to me spending a rather disproportionate amount of time with my arm around him or holding his hand, so much so that i think Vicki and Lois started to get a bit jealous…
In the UK i see a lot of people looking at me strangely, trying to work out what’s wrong, but very rarely does anyone say anything. In the Philippines on the other hand, every man woman and child doesn’t just want to know whats wrong but how it happened and how they can help. This caring nature of theirs resulted in an abundance of assistance coming from every direction. I would often find myself surrounded by people trying to help, the only issue was the sheer volume of queries. Initially i tried to explain what a spinal cord injury was but that was often met with a look of bemusement, so eventually i resorted to just saying i had a bad leg.
Temperature regulation was another tricky issue that i touched on in a previous post. A combination of 35 degree heat, 90% humidity and my inability to sweat from below the nipples resulted in occasional overheating. However i feel that over time i began to acclimatise and as long as i stayed well hydrated then it was fine.
We were faced with many situations where the sensible decision would have been to turn around and do something different but life’s too short to worry about shallow water or giant sharks.