Category: Personal (page 1 of 27)

Staying Active

Apple ran a challenge this year – Ring in the New Year, which rewarded you if you kept active for a week. For me it was a nice goal to reach, keep active for a week and seeing as it was start of the year a chance to work on shedding some holiday weight. It also had a bit more meaning for me as I’ve still had a viral type thing hanging around so running or biking have been a no no. The week went well so why not carry on?

So during the month of February I kept a daily walk going. Most days it was easy to fit with a lunchtime stroll at work and some walks at the weekend. Some days it wasn’t so much especially after a 6 hour drive to and from Barrow…cue a 20 minute walk in the rain but I felt better for it.

I’ve enjoyed getting out and about again, even if it is just locally. The walks have been good at clearing my head especially during busy days at work. I’m also physically feeling a bit better so the plan is to keep up the schedule through March and all going well I’ll look at stepping up distance and then on to cycling and running again. I’m not going to be ruled by meeting the circles every day but I’m glad of the kick they have given me over the last few weeks. Onwards.


Eight weeks ago I fainted at work. I’d felt some back pain an hour earlier but nothing else. As I sat at my desk I could feel a rush of blood and my senses starting to go haywire and I blurted out to my colleague…I’m going to be ill. 30 seconds later I came round and was a bit lost. A couple of minutes later I was sweating. A couple of minutes later I was shaking. I was also struggling to breathe properly. What’s going on?

A few minutes later our emergency response team at work turned up, sat with me for a while then took me to the medical room and gave me oxygen. Not long after they called for an ambulance and before long two paramedics were on site and conducting an ECG and checking blood pressure. Apart from the shaking everything was checking out normal and after 20 minutes the shaking had subsided. Talking it through with the paramedics the best course of action was to take the day off, rest and get to my GP to check out what had happened. I lucked out and got an appointment later that same day but as time passed I was getting chest pains, pains down my arm and back and well…I won’t deny I was starting to worry about just what had happened in the morning.

The doctor was really good, checked my blood pressure again and assured me that it probably wasn’t heart related but more likely a muscle spasm. Blood tests were ordered and I was back at work a couple of days later still with the chest pains. As the week wore on things got worse. Waves of feeling sick and sore heads, chest pain worsening, pain in the left arm pretty constant and feeling cold most of the time. By Friday I was knackered and struggling to stay awake and when I got home I slept for 16 hours. The rest of the weekend was spent resting and on Monday I booked another GP appointment for the following Wednesday. I’d also lost 2kg over the space of 5 days. As diets go this was the best yet!

By the day of the appointment I’d gotten good news in that almost all my blood results were good with one marginal. However the GP appointment didn’t go well and it felt I was wasting her time despite feeling awful and my condition changing since I visited her colleague last week. She referred me to a heart specialist and also gave me an angina spray…which shouldn’t be taken by migraine sufferers i.e. me.

A couple of weeks passed until I visited the heart clinic. During that time I’d have good and bad days but the weight came back on and I was feeling less tired but the chest and arm pains remained. More good news from the hospital checkup in that the specialist was 95% sure that whatever was happening to me wasn’t heart related but maybe a viral infection attacking the heart or a slightly enlarged heart. Unfortunately it may take another few weeks to pass and if it doesn’t get back to the GP.

A few weeks did pass and last week I was back at the GP’s to try and get some help as pains, heads and sickness were less severe but didn’t seem to be leaving me anytime soon. The doctor was excellent and this time has diagnosed a non heart related issue as the cause of my woes. I’m now on a course of tablets and had an x-ray last week to rule out anything else. The pains while still there seem to be dissipating and I’ve taken a week off work to rest up and relax to help speed the recovery.

What I’ve missed the most is running. As the season changes into Autumn/Winter I love going out for a run, seeing the autumn colours and enjoying the colder mornings. It’s almost nine weeks since my last run and the way things are going I’m looking at probably next year before I can get out there again. I’ll probably start slowly and follow a couch to 5k program to get me back up to speed. Also frustrating is how unpredictable this is. One hour I’m fine, a couple of hours later I have zero energy and think I’m about to puke. An hour later and it’s passed and I feel not too bad again. Other days and it can be all day that I feel lousy.

Despite this I’m feeling pretty lucky as I’ve been checked for all the serious stuff and it’s come back negative and visiting hospital brings into sharp focus those that are really ill against those that are complaining about a cough or cold. I’m also thankful for the NHS which in general has been really good while clearly struggling with funding. That we are renewing Trident while the NHS falls around us boggles my mind. The SNP also need to focus on governing rather than banging the independence drum as it’s on their watch that the NHS in Scotland has declined the most.

Here’s hoping my next health related post is from a running injury!

Comic Con

I do love me a comic or two but I’ve never seen the big draw of visiting a Comic Con. However with me and Shak picking up new camera’s (more on that soon) it seemed a good excuse to visit one and also try the new camera’s.


We went on Sunday and it was pretty busy, but not as busy as Saturday. By far the biggest thing there was cosplay.

Black Widow, Winter Soldier and Captain America

There was loads of folk dressed up, some with just minor costumes but most had make a tremendous effort for the show. Also common were ‘free hugs’ signs which the cynical in me was a bit suspicious of but the overwhelming mood looked to be positive and the event was notable for no aggro, no wee neds and just good natured fun.

For me it was a bit dull though and I didn’t see much to buy. Load’s for the cosplayers but not so much for comic fans…or maybe I just didn’t spot the right shops in amongst the mobs.

Harley Quinn

As for the camera, it worked really well although I need to get used to using a prime lens and get in a bit closer to subjects. A confidence thing as I could see others doing it but it all felt a bit weird to be doing. More photo’s from Comic Con are on Flickr. Comic Con was interesting more than enjoyable but at least I’ve been to one as I can’t see me rushing back.


It’s graduation season and with one of my colleagues son’s graduating last week it made me realise that it’s 20 years since I graduated from Glasgow University. 20 years ago today to be precise.

Lewis, Richard, Me, Hamid and Andrew

Me graduating

MECI Group photo

We’re all a little older and greyer and a bit more soft around the edges but it still doesn’t feel like twenty years since I finished at Glasgow. Time flies.


A pretty glum weekend all round. No one reason but a culmination of issues and niggles all of which are in my own gift to fix. Mostly.

Not quite sure what I’ve done but my knee is giving me problems for the first time. Had it for a few weeks and it wasn’t really stopping me running although the last run was more difficult than normal. An hour after the run and it was pretty sore and in certain positions it is really sore, like something is ripping at the knee. I’ve given it almost total rest this weekend and I’ll go easy for the next couple of days but it shows no sign of improving. Next step is to visit a physio and try and get to the bottom of the problem. I really missed doing any running or exercise this week and I don’t want it to turn into anything serious. Running/walking is great for de-stressing and clearing my head so I don’t want to go without it for too long.

IMG_3664I keep work talk to a minimum but two issues are getting to me – meetings and e-mail. The volume of meetings is getting a bit OTT, to the point that I struggle some days to get any work done due to back to back meetings. My Todoist stats show the impact – no work tasks done on Thursday just…meetings. I’ve also spent the weekend catching up and doing my favourite task – PowerPoint presentations. There’s a definite knack to doing these, one that I don’t have. Still, broke the back on them.

Next issue – email. There’s nothing better than getting energy sapping nit picky admin e-mails on a Friday and it’s becoming a trend. I’m going to make sure that I don’t become guilty of doing the same but there’s little I can do to stop anyone else doing it…and it also shows my general state of mind that I’m letting things like that get to me. But still…if you’re in a position that you need to send out admin mails from time to time have a think about how you word it. Makes all the difference.

Man Up
So no biggies but all the same, it’s meant for a pretty miserable weekend. Not only that the TV is constantly reminding me that it’s a bank holiday weekend but not for me as I’m at work tomorrow. I’ve also got a head cold. And I’ve burnt my hand in the oven. Grumble grumble grumble.

But it’s fine really. Even writing this has helped. Perspective. If this is all thats bothering me I need to man up.

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