Independence from Sugar

Day 10 of getting ‘aff the sugar – Saturday 4th July – happy independence day, America!

Lockdown in Scotland is starting to ease but not quick enough for my friend who was supposed to be getting married today. M and I still have a hotel reservation in Stirling for the rescheduled wedding so we decide to cycle to the East Coast and have a wee change of scene for the weekend.

I miss my car so much. The tonic clonic seizure in October meant that I had to give up my license for a year, and I’ve really struggled mentally with the lack of independence. For me, it’s definitely the worst part of my epilepsy – I realise that makes me sound so ungrateful when I know how awful and debilitating the disease can be for so many people but the seizure in October was my first in 17 years or so, so long after the side-effects of the seizure (and the resulting three-month long concussion when I smacked my head so hard that it caused an internal bleed before I fell unconscious) have passed, the lack of freedom without my car still hurts. When I read about other people’s epilepsy experiences though, I do know how lucky I am so I shouldn’t complain but, you know.

Normally my weekends are spent driving up North – walking, camping, swimming, all over Scotland, but post-seizure, everything has to be reachable through public transport, or dependent on the generosity of friends. Lockdown has almost been a blessing for me as it’s meant that no one else has been able to do much either, so I’ve not felt like I was missing out (yes, I know how selfish that makes me!). The lockdown-enforced lack of public transport has meant me rediscovering my love of cycling. I use it to cycle the 12 mins between M’s and my flat, instead of a 40-min walk. We often have an afternoon cycling at the weekend (haribos spilling out my pockets as I go) and today it’s going to take us on a four-hour jaunt to Stirling (castle, wallace monument) via Falkirk (Falkirk wheel, kelpies).

Breakfast is boiled eggs and soldiers, and then I’m ready to go! M has made some tuna baguettes for our lunch and I slip a packet of glucose tablets in to my pockets for a comfort blanket.

We cycle for 4.5hrs (65km), visiting the Falkirk Wheel (ach, it’s the best we can do – excellent Still Game reference that repeats in my head for the next hour) and Bannockburn before onwards to Stirling. No light headedness, felt great all day. Still have enough energy to wander around Stirling in the evening – it’s a beautiful historic town and we stroll for over an hour before our tired legs and weary bodies call it a day. We grab a well deserved carry-out for our room (as pubs are not yet open due to lockdown) and I have two wee beers and get an excellent Chinese delivered. Didn’t get sweeties (feel ridiculously proud!) but did get a pallet of raspberries. Think I’ve probably deserved them.

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