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Optimistic, realistic, candid. You'll find here a personal perspective. Even so, you'll come to appreciate that I'm around. Trust me, I'm a lawyer. Find me on www.twitter.com/Little_Lawyer

17 January 2017

At least you've got your health...

So health wise I've had a tough time of it in the last year. It started when i returned from my honeymoon. I just couldn't seem to function as i used to and everyday at work was a struggle. After about 2 months i suffered from planta faciaisis (whilst not diagnosed by my doctor, discussion with friends cleared up that this was in fact what I had, and not MS). This was 6 months of walking like every step was on glass, being bent over having difficulty straightening up, and generally feeling past it. At 36. Surely not already? Well I'd enjoyed my earlier years...

But it didn't end there...the fatigue I'd felt at the start of the year persisted, and then the symptoms began. Terrifying, look back into the red bowl symptoms. Terrible, I feel like I'm carrying rocks in my tummy symptoms. Terrible, it kind of hurts and is so uncomfortable to be intimate with my new husband symptoms. What was wrong with me?

After a number of trips to my GP (with photos and even video...believe me it was necessary), I was referred to my local hospital...for an appointment in 6 months! I think I cried that day (at least on the inside, I don't do tears). Long story short and after some jiggery pokery, I managed to get myself in to a consultant within a week, and within 3 had been booked in for a colonoscopy (again thanks to photos). It was something one would rather not have, but it was not as horrendous as I thought. And there it was...on the screen before me, the inflammation which was causing me misery. On finishing up I was told "you have colitis and you'll need to keep a diary and take our number", and waited to be seen by a consultant. And waited. And waited. So apparently its OK to discharge a person who has just been told she has a chronic lifelong condition for which there is no cure and let her go...of course I wasn't having that and managed to get myself a course of drugs to deal with the symptoms I'd been suffering. And wow what a difference!

So anyway the point of this whole blog post was to talk about how we can be kinder to others on the tube. I spent most of 2015 in pain, unable to stand, or simply exhausted. I travel from East to West and back again every day and work long hours. It was just knackering. One day as I was half asleep in a priority seat at rush hour, a pregnant woman on crutches asked me to stand up as she needed my seat. Of course she did...but I could have cried that day. I felt unwell, and probably looked it but had no choice but to give up my seat. I didn't feel able to ask someone else for theirs. It made me wonder whether there was a better way.

I understand that TfL are trailing badges for the disabled, however I wonder whether we can free up more seats than that. When I'm well, often I take a seat just simply to get out of the way. What if we had a "Need a seat? Ask me" badge? Or a system called "1,2,3 rotate" for those happy not to sit for their whole journey and can swap with other rotators? Or maybe I should just feel confident to ask for a seat when I need one (without feeling a need to explain why) and not feel hard done by if someone says no. Could we all be a bit more compassionate and understanding with each other?

I'm not particularly convinced us commuters have it in us unfortunately...for the last few months I've been carrying my own little passenger...the commuting populus have certainly maintained their unique personality! All I can say is thank goodness for that little white badge...

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