So here we are. The event that has been looming on the horizon for some while has come to pass: Missy G has gone into hospital to be fixed up.
We’ve known about this operation for some time: being of the non-urgent variety, the waiting time has been measured in months. We’d been given a date for her to go in, but one that came with the proviso she would be back-ordered if they found themselves unexpectedly busy on the day.
Not wishing to tempt providence, I have refrained from making mention of it until we were sure it was a goer. Although we had a Plan B in place for if she got bumped, it would have been a bit of a faff, what with all the preparations that needed to be made beforehand.
The good news is that everything seems to have gone well and she may well be discharged as early as today. To be honest, I can’t wait! But now the hard work of gradually getting her back to fitness will begin.
Of course this kind of thing can affect anyone, so I’m not seeking any special sympathy for our situation. We know there are many out there who have some massive issues to deal with, health-wise and otherwise, compared to which our predicament is a mere inconvenience that hardly warrants comment. If that is you, we wish you well. But, as any one who has been faced with similar circumstances knows, it does become the focus of one’s life at the time and provides a reminder that good health should not be taken for granted.
The process of rehabilitation now begins, a task that will be measured in weeks and months, rather than days. For walkers such as ourselves, this means a pretty radical change to our normal lives. Although walking is encouraged during recuperation, they mean a gentle walk round the block not a full day hike over a mountain with a large backpack!
Depending on how quickly Missy G recovers this could mean a lay-off of four to five months before she is fully fit again. Naturally, we are somewhat dispirited by this scenario. Walking has played such a major part in our lives for thirty years or more that not being able to go will leave us feeling bereft: we simply won’t know what to do in our free time.
Coupled with that we are just heading into spring, one of the most beautiful seasons for walking in the UK, and the gorgeous weather we have experienced recently but have been unable to take advantage of has seemed an unnecessarily cruel taunt.
However, we will be looking on the bright side (as always) and aiming to get back to normal as quickly as Nature allows. Bit, by bit, by bit, we will see the improvement, and hopefully her fitness levels prior to going in will stand her in good stead. But we’re not going to push it: first, a walk to the end of the road, then another up to the village. In a couple of weeks maybe build up to an hour or two on the flat. Then, in a month or so, perhaps a half day walk somewhere easy – if I carry the rucksack! Perhaps I should be in training myself.
Needless to say, despite a good first quarter, our annual walking target is likely to be curtailed. And, as far as holidays go, there is likely to be no major trek or far-flung destination this year, at least until the autumn. But we will do what we can and enjoy it for what it is – after all, that is the best anyone can say – although we will no doubt miss the bigger outings that have become the staple of our year.
Because, ultimately, being out there is such an integral part of our lives – such an addiction – we will not feel right until we can get a proper fix again.