Sensible Shoes is 2!

Sensible Shoes is 2 years old!

I have always had grand plans for the blog and truthfully, they’ve never materialised due to my own laziness. As we know already, this is a recurring theme of my life (“Rebecca could have achieved so much if she could have been bothered” is probably a quote about me from playgroup).

Having said that, lots has come of this blog, more than I could ever have imagined. Opportunities, meeting people and so much more.

In my last post I debated whether to continue blogging or not. My symptoms have pretty much plateaued and I think I’m almost (if not totally) in medication induced remission. Which isn’t to say I don’t still have some problems, but for the most part, I’m as normal as I ever was (stop laughing in the back). The overwhelming response to continuing the blog however was yes yes yes. And so, I shall give the people what they want!

I’m going to get the blog diary up and running again, where I wrote down all blog ideas and a publishing schedule. I think I managed 2 posts this way before…well…you know how it goes. I also don’t know where the notebook now is. Probably thrown in to a corner of my spare room where it shall never be seen again. Like my hopes and dreams.

At the start of this week wordpress notified me that it was 2 years since I started the blog. It went through a through iterations before I settled on Sensible Shoes and this is likely to change again shortly due to be painfully indecisive.

So, to celebrate turning 2 I’m going to share the highs of the blog and the mixed bag of my life over the last 2 years

Highs

  • The London Marathon. Sure, it wasn’t fast, and I spent most of my time walking and talking (me, really?) and making new friends, but it really was, to date, the most profound moment of my life. I grew up just outside of London and spent my entire childhood wishing I could run it. As I grew older, I set myself the goal of running it before the ae of 30. Aged 25 I took running up and became pretty good. I had realistic ambitions of running it in 4hr20. Then age 27…well, we all know how it ends. I was told I would never run again. And they were kind of right. It’s more of a slow jog shuffle. But I kept moving, and I completed 26.2 miles on the hottest marathon day in history. And I didn’t die. Truly. The best experience of my life to date and (whisper it quietly) one I hope to achieve again
  • Two Great North Runs. Neither fast or pretty. But both post-arthritis. I have one more to go this year and I’m already looking forward to it
  • I was contacted by the fab-u-lous Juliette who took my story of staying in work with arthritis to The Guardian where I was a 2 page spread in the magazine. Juliette sent me a copy of her AMAZING book which was one of the things I meant to review on the blog, and never did. So, I promise I will get to this soon
  • As well as The Guardian I was also published in The Mirror and The Sun (sadly, not page 3) as well as local newspapers and arthritis websites
  • Connecting with some of the most amazing people through the power of the internet. Whether it be through emails, comments or a good ol’ Instagram friendship, these would never have presented themselves to me if it weren’t for being a little bit broken
  • Cosentyx changing my life. Psoriasis free for the first time ever (I cannot stress enough just what an impact this has had on my life) and my arthritis is almost totally controlled. Cosentyx I love you please don’t ever leave me
  • My wee cat Mo. Who, even though to some people is ‘just’ a pet, has helped to change my life for the better. On those days when I either couldn’t or didn’t want to get out of bed, Mo meant that I had to, because she wasn’t going to feed herself. On the days off from work sick or depressed, she was there with me, providing me company. My wee shadow. I can’t even go for a wee without her either being in the bathroom with me (you’ve not lived until you find yourself having a wee with a cat on your lap) or is sat outside the door crying for me. She has the most amazing intuition for when I am poorly or sad and she really was supposed to be adopted by us. The universe wanted her to come to us. She is my best friend and I can’t imagine life without her.

Fair to middling

  • Still trying to work out what I want to do with my life. I know it doesn’t involve me living in Aberdeen, and I know it doesn’t involve me continuing in my current job. I know all the things that I don’t want, but I don’t know what I do This isn’t a new feeling, this is something I have had my entire life. Hence the long list of jobs, flats, cities, degrees etc etc that I’ve embarked upon to try and find the life I want. But all those years ago when I was just bumbling through life I was still young and free enough to not have to worry about what I was doing. At 30, nearly 31 (sweet Mother of Moses where does the time go), I feel like I should know. Like I shouldn’t be walking out of a job without one to walk in to because responsibilities. But other times…I think that’s exactly what I should do. Or I’ll be in exactly the same position in 10 years time wondering when the change will happen
  • I picked my Open University studies in Politics, Philosophy and Economics back up. The good thing about this is that I’ve almost finished year 2 (out of 6) and have done pretty well mark wise. The bad news is that I’m aware once again at how frivolous it is, to pay all this money for a degree I neither want or need. I’ve come this far so I should see it out. Just to find the motivation to do so and hope that it’s all worth it
  • Still working on the ol’ self esteem. Some days I feel like my old self again. Some days I look like I should be the before photo on a makeover show
  • Toe straightening surgery. Sure this is what I wanted and longed for, but I’m still unsure if it was worth it. Toe two in particular is very sore but I suppose in the grand scheme of it, it could be worse. But it felt like I went through a lot for something that might not be worth it. Is this going to stop me going through with op 2? Hell no. Operations = time off work.

Lows

  • Methotrexate. Never been so tired or fecking miserable in my entire life and still trying to pick myself back up mentally from this draining experience. Sleeping from Friday night to Wednesday morning and still feeling like I was clinically dead. Miserable, grey and tired. The fact I got through 9 months on it is testament to me having the patience to give it the time to work. Alas. It didn’t work
  • Sulfasalazine. Never been so ill than when I ate those yellow pills. It caused me to break out in guttate psoriasis from my forehead to the soles of my feet and had me rushing to the GP to be told I was suffering a severe allergic reaction. My lips were swelling, I was short of breath and my joints were swelling alarmingly fast. All this in 6 days. If you don’t know how this story ends, get me to tell you it one evening over a drink. It involves me driving (In the aforementioned state) to no fewer than 5 pharmacies in Aberdeen, crying my eyes out, trying to source a steroid injection that was to be administered to me by a doctor who then slapped my bum at the same time as jabbing in the steroid injection to find out which hurt more. This is just the tip of the iceberg and genuinely, one of the best worst experiences of my life and one for ‘the book’
  • Depression and anxiety caused by my feeling like I was unable to cope with life. Not helped by the fact I was suffering a panic attack almost every day. I’ve always been a *little* highly strung but when I went on to methotrexate and it changed how I could live my life I sunk in to a deeeeeeeep depression of which I struggled to cope with. I literally couldn’t cope with life. My toothbrush broke. Cue a meltdown at work for which I was sent home. I was incapable of parking my car because I was petrified I was going to smash in to other cars. Unable to spend even a few hours at home alone and needing my Mum to provide me with near constant care. Two bouts of happy pills later and I’m less anxious (though I will never be completely anxiety free, it’s basically 90% of my DNA), and able to cope with life much better
  • Weight gain. I cannot even begin to explain. I went in to this cosentyx journey at one weight and 16 months later I’m a stonking 14kgs heavier and officially overweight. I hold cosentyx responsible and it’s not fun. I look like a misshapen soft potato (you know the kind that sprouts when left in a dark cupboard too long) and my wardrobe is slowly becoming emptier as the clothes that fit me become fewer and fewer. I find myself contemplating going keto and even though this scares me (because, crisps), something has to give. And not just the buttons on my trousers.

 

So what does the future hold? Where do I see myself in another 2 years time? What do I want to achieve? Who do I want to be? What do I want to be? Where do I want to be? What people will still be in my life and who won’t make the cut? Who am I yet to meet? What am I yet to do?

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