Well the blog's not dead, although there's hardly been a breath of life in it for almost two years and I have no idea if anyone will even read this, does anyone read blogs anymore ? I'm happy to write for my own amusement anyway.
The last time I wrote about health and exercise I'd managed to lose 4 stone and had run a half marathon. At the time I said "Becoming big is just something that creeps up on you gradually." And it does. At some point after that achievement my regular running dropped away, I stopped watching what I ate and the weight crept back on. At the end of 2015 I'd gone back up to 15 stone, still a stone a half short of my heaviest, I was drinking pretty much every night, eating what I wanted, taking no exercise and them boom, at the start of December I had a stroke.
I thought I had food poisoning, I was up half the night with violent vomiting and diarrhea and I felt awful. In the morning it dawned on me that my left arm wasn't working at all properly, I couldn't pick up a glass or fasten my shirt buttons. I called the doctor and got Dad to drive me across, a few basic tests later and I was in the back of a 999 ambulance on the way to Bradford Royal Infirmary.
I seem to be halfway between stroke and TIA, the effects lasted more than day which my doctor tells me is the diagnosis for a stroke, but the effects had gone within about three days leaving me feeling just as I did before the event.
I've had a ton of health advice, all of which I'm trying to follow, lose some weight, cut down on fatty and rich foods, cut down on alcohol, eat oily fish at least twice a week, eat 5 A Day, get more exercise, don't forget to take my morning stash of tablets.
I've really cut down on my drinking. My habit had become to open a bottle of beer and drink that while I was cooking dinner, then have at least two half a bottle of wine with dinner, and then a whisky after that if I fancied, and if we went out I'd have a whole bottle of wine to myself. I like wine and beer, they taste great, and wine with dinner just seems normal and civilised to me, but if the Doc says to cut down then I will. I'm trying to stay somewhere close to the recommended 14 units per week.
I'm back to running again, I have even gone so far as to join a running club, the Airecentre Pacers, aka #OrangeArmy, although Dutch football fans might have first dibs on that. From struggling to do 3 miles at New Year, I'm now breezing through regular 6-7 mile runs and trying to get back to half marathon levels of fitness. The running club is good fun, they seem like nice folk and running in groups both keeps you going and fires up that bit of competitiveness in me, I definately run harder when I'm running 'against' others.
I've lost a stone, again, and I'm back down to 14 stone, so still some work to do there, but at least it's coming off.
When I was in hospital it seemed I'd had the luckiest of escapes. I'd had a stroke but comparing my situation to that of others on the ward I wasn't in a bad state. There were blokes whose strokes were life changing events, brain bleeds that left people unable to walk or communicate, left them locked within themselves unable to function without help. Me, I'd had a bad night, had a hilariously wobbly arm, got a months' driving band and the everything went back to normal. But I don't fancy another one, you can bet that a second event wouldn't be quite so harm free as the first, so diet, exercise and moderation it is.
Me and Dad would toast ourselves with "Everything in moderation, especially moderation" and we still will, but now I'll have to raise a glass of lemonade for half the week.