Saturday, December 09, 2006

quick update

A quick update from London. I'm piggybacking on someone's open network at the moment and I never know how long this is going to last for. I have had some amazingly supportive and heartfelt messages from others after my blog was featured on Steve Runner's goofly little podcast, Phedippidations. Yet another benefit of running and the internet - a worldwide community. But seriously - it's very moving to feel good karma coming from all over the world.

My son is doing well. It has been a harrowing week for all of us but things are beginning to look up. His surgery went well, his doctors are pleased and his prognosis is very good. He is being operated for some major bladder problems and this could be his last operation. Fingers crossed. At nearly 4, he has been incredibly brave and strong and has coped with everything that has come his way in an amazing fashion. He is still in some considerable pain at times, but seems to be coping well and improving. It has been heartbreaking for us as parents at times - it is unbelievably hideous to see your child suffer. But he has, to borrow Steve Runner's phrase, a truly indomitable spirit and, minutes after suffering a terrible bladder spasm, will be making jokes and playing with his cars.

While it has not been a pleasant experience and we would have been happier without it, it has been quite a moving time at the same time. Friends have been incredibly supportive, showing up and spending hours with us at the hospital, deluging us with text messages and support. Strangers have sent me messages of support (see above) which have been incredibly hearfelt and warm. My son is staying at Great Ormond Street Hospital, a world famous children's hospital which treats children with all sorts of rare diseases. Being here has made us appreciate our own health and how lucky we are that Felix is nowhere near as sick as some of the children here. It is a strange microcosm to spend time in but seeing the dedication and devotion of all of the staff and the incredible courage of the children in facing a frequently unpleasant reality has been very humbling and perhaps a very good insight, particularly at this time of year.

Finally - running. I'm running to and from hospital every morning and night, at about 6:30 am and 8pm. It's not a long run, 20 minutes, but it's blissful even in smog and traffic. 20 minutes to switch off and disengage - it's been wonderful. I feel that, perhaps bizarrely, running is giving something back to me. I have put a lot aside to run in the past - I've followed schedules and stuck to all sorts of regiments. But now I've got this habit which is really helping at a time of stress, and I'm thrilled with it.

So long, for now. Run long, and enjoy the fact you are able to and the quality of life running can give you!