5 good things about having an injury

CJPljhrWIAAOWUNSo I have a fractured wrist and torn ligaments all supported by a nice blue plastic case. This is going to last for another 6-8 weeks. Obviously I have thought about all the annoying things that stem from this not least not being able to do things like eat with a knife and fork, and the most awful thing has been accepting that I won’t be going to my beloved gym for as long (and perhaps longer) than the casing is on. I’ve done exercises before about appreciating the ‘gift’ of HIV and there really aren’t many as I am sure those asked to respond to the gift of cancer, diabetes, hepatitis or TB will tell you. But this physical injury will ultimately heal (hopefully to be as good as new) and so I have set myself the task of identifying at least five good things that come from it.

1. My normal routine has been changed. Very easy to fall into a set pattern and for me that was very much around going to the gym 3-4 times per week and a jog-run once per week. My work and leisure time were built around this. So now I’m experiencing a different life and not least the question what to do with the time I would have been at the gym? It is good to have change not least because it makes us appreciate what has gone but also makes us think about doing new things which may create an even better situation.

2. I’ve got more spare time. This means I can do things I didn’t think I had time to do. For me the big thing is that I have more time to read which I love. I am never going to get through all those books I want to before I die but now at least I can have a bit more of a go. And I aim to spend more time watching DVDs and going to the cinema as well as trying to get to more museums and galleries. Last weekend I managed two DVDs and a visit to Tate Britain.

3. I will be doing new exercise and perhaps more of it. The only real option I have for exercise at the moment is walking. So that is going to be my new way of exercising and burning calories. Last week I had several long walks taking more than two hours albeit sometimes with coffee breaks. I am walking between mum’s and Dave’s as well as yesterday walking back from work in Vauxhall all the way to Olympia. My plan today is Paddington to Victoria and tomorrow Victoria to Kings Cross then back due to the tube strike. And new time to listen to my ipod.

4. I will be getting more rest. Inevitably the pace of life is going to have to slow down with effectively the use of only one arm. Eating and typing are harder so done at a slower pace. And I am trying to avoid travelling on the busy tube because I don’t want to get my bad arm knocked or fall again. I am starting to feel already that I am more tired and having mini-lay ins to 7/7.30 instead of my usual get up time of 6.30am. Perhaps I have been pushing myself too much recently and now my body is just taking the chance to replenish itself?

5. I might even be a better person. Having a temporary injury has made me more aware of what it is like to have a more permanent disability. My HIV and depression is that but there is a difference in appreciating what it is like to have a physical problem. I hope I am more aware of the limitations some people live with and triumph through. And I think as a result of this I will be someone more attentive to those around me who need real support and the way that some people are discriminated simply through the way ‘everyday life’ is led.

Overall, don’t get me wrong that I wish this injury had not occurred but shit happens and this is where I am. So in that context I need to work out how I can use the situation in the best way possible.

Any thoughts, views or comments on this mini-blog much appreciated.


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