101 Ways to be Happy #3: a day on the South Bank

Today is the three month anniversary of my discharge from hospital following my Lemtrada treatment. Since it was decided that I would have Lemtrada, a year and a few years ago, I’ve been on a special anti-listeria diet. It’s been a challenge – no chilled ready-to-eat food, no unwashed salad or fruit, no cured meat or soft cheese. Today is the first day I can come off the diet and start eating normally again, so it feels like a milestone.

I’ve also been back at work this week, and was in the office for two days – the most since last April. It’s a bit daunting finding my feet again, but I’m enjoying it, and starting to feel like now the first round of Lemtrada is behind me I can look to the future and make some plans.

After feeling like I’ve been in exile in my house for so long, I have a real craving to have some proper family days out. We’re starting off with baby steps, but on Bank Holiday Monday we decided to take the train the short distance to London Bridge and go for a wander along the South Bank. This is the sort of thing I wouldn’t have countenanced doing a few months ago, I’d talk myself out of it imagining that the walking would be impossible, however lately I’ve decided to stop thinking my way out of things and start living life again.

The Shard from the Tate Modern viewing gallery

We wandered down from London Bridge through Borough Market, stopping for lunch before heading on to the Tate Modern. We took the lift to the tenth floor viewing terrace to see London laid out like a model village below. The sun shone and it felt so good to be out.

I used my stick and my FES to help my walking, but I didn’t feel bad about sitting down when I needed to. Having my stick was a useful excuse for the occasional wobble, I’m feeling a lot less self-conscious about it now than when I first had it (I freaked out about it a bit). I walked a bit further than I’m used to, and I was definitely very tired by the end of the day. But I found that I was less focused on the fact that my wobbly legs were almost collapsing beneath me, which used to take up all of my attention, and more glad that I’d got out and spent time with the family. That’s something I’m determined to keep doing, to face the fear and push myself to keep as mobile as I can.

St Paul’s from the Tate Modern viewing gallery

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