Meningitis Now
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OK Knees........Brace Yourself! The Continued Ramblings of a 11 Year Post VM Survivor

It’s been a while since I've posted here, in fact a few months or as estate agents call it ‘a short while’. So what has your humble correspondent been up to? I wish I could say I have been living a James Bond lifestyle driving fast and making the world a safer place but actually I'm nearly 50 and to be honest I’d prefer a cup of tea and a nice malted milk biscuit. I was going to say chocolate but because of viral meningitis and my brother’s industrial strength cocoa I'm intolerant to it.

Yes you see I haven’t forgotten that I'm a meningitis survivor but I've learned to be bitter, resentful, angry and really grumpy, no hang on a minute that’s not right…..Well OK the grumpy bit might be right but then I am now so mature in years when I can actually blame my age for that. Yahoo!

No what I've been doing is training hard for the half ironman triathlon I'm doing in August as well as the Olympic distance triathlon in July. The thing is though I'm getting older, did I mention that? Not sure I did but anyway the trouble with getting older is that things well sort of wear out. Take my knees for example, no really please do take my knees, they have pushed me through 22 years of being a triathlete, served me well when I had to learn to go more than a few steps after I had meningitis and crucially because of them VM didn’t kill me.

My medical notes said at the time that it was my fitness which saved me and that being a triathlete gave me aerobic fitness which meant that even though my system was shutting down I could fight back. Take that meningitis, na na nee na na. My knees now though sadly seem to be giving up and going home without me. As one of my ex colleagues once said when asked how a project was going ‘it was all going really well right up until the point it started to go wrong’ and my knees seem to be telling me that running long distances is a really stupid idea. The more astute amongst you might already be thinking that without advice from my knees.

I was out running four weeks ago and a woman in a small car decided to drive across a pavement when leaving a shop car park. Unfortunately I was in front of her at the time and was forced to swerve sideways to the right to avoid being mown down which I suspect twisted my knees in a way that they were not supposed to go. My knees were hurting a bit before then but since that rueful day I have had intolerable pain when I run. Fortunately I had the presence of mind to whack her car bonnet to make her stop otherwise I would have been underneath it.

A trip to the doctors and the usual ‘well you’re nearly 50 and a triathlete so it must be arthritis’ and an X-Ray now under the belt I can imagine you thinking well he can’t possibly be exercising now and its game over. Well you can go on thinking that because I can still swim and more to the point my coach has given me some really interesting sessions to do including ‘aqua jogging’ or drowning as I think it’s technically called. I won’t get the results of the X-Ray for a week or so but I am determined to keep going in some way shape or form to make the start line of the two biggest sporting challenges I have ever taken on. I'm raising money for the Meningitis Trust and I'm not going to let them down even if my knees do.

As we say in triathlon ‘pain is nature’s way of saying you are a triathlete’ so here we go knees brace yourself its going to hurt. I'm going to be grumpy, I'm going to be training, I'm going to be down but one thing I'm not going to be is……….out.

3 Replies

Rock on Jonad!


You are amazing it shows what determination and a positive outlook can do, good luck, Sorba


oh you mad me laugh, what a great blog, good luck, and rock and roll :)


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