What did we take a 3 week break?

What did we take a 3 week break?

I feel we are well overdue one of our ‘one on one’ chats with you all.

So, that's precisely what this post is, a conversation, to let you know what's been going on, why we have taken such a long break between trails and when we will be hiking again!

Some of the reasons why we haven’t been walking you already know about, however, some of the reasons you don’t…yet. So I will talk about that first before we move onto talking about our next trail.

The main issue (this time) is with Sarah…Sarah has been having some ‘medical’ issues that only really became apparent after a ‘challenging’ day at work that became further exacerbated after completing our last trail, the Formartine and Buchanan Way.

Sarah has spent the last few years overcompensating as she walks. This is because of pain caused by the damage to her foot from the cancer, as well as long-term knee injuries from an accident 15 or so years ago.

As a result Sarah has now damaged her hips, which has led to a range of conditions causing her, at times, excruciating pain.

Sarah has been undergoing some medical investigations through the NHS including X-rays, (amongst other things) as there is a fear of permanent and worsening damage being done to her hips and pelvis!

We have had some serious discussions about how this could impact both her future and our current plans, including our Scottish Great Trails Charity Hike for Scottish Autism and our plans for next year…!

This has led to a few, rather heated, debates between Sarah and I, including my desire for her to quit work and for me to go back to work. This would inevitably result in us having to pause the charity walk for this year. But I have been trying to come up with a plan to work around this or at least mitigate it as much as possible.

Our discussions, ideas and plans are very much ongoing and have definitely not concluded or come anywhere close to a solution.

This is further compounded by the emotional needs of Eve and her desire not to be parted from Sarah for any prolonged length of time. Eve doesn't want to be separated from Sarah like she was last year on our JOGLE charity hike, albeit last year it was not as much of an issue as it is this year!

If we were to carry on hiking without Sarah’s involvement, inevitably, Eve would use her veto (if Sarah I don't use it first), and then it would all be over and we would have failed to complete all of Scotland's Great Trails.

But even more importantly there would be the emotional cost on all of us getting to that point. Further to that point we would have failed in our duty as parents to manage and moderate Eve’s physical and mental needs to be ‘outdoors’ with her emotional needs as an autistic child wanting time with her mother!

This has all played heavily on my mind, as I feel the burden and guilt for most of it.

One of the big emotional feelings of guilt that I have is on the work/job front. I was raised with a work ethic that is strong and unbreakable. One point that regularly creates arguments between Sarah and me, is on this subject of work, as I desperately want to work!

We have had ‘discussions’ regarding Sarah leaving her job (which I want her to do) and for me to go back to work. My main priority however is to take the slack and pressure off Sarah regarding work, and giving by default Sarah and Eve plenty of one-one time together!My concern is that even if Sarah just kept popping painkillers and pushes through the pain to continue working, what condition would she be in afterwards…

I’m not talking now, but in a few months time or next year and what would that do to any plans for adventure?

I have considered an electric bike… but they're so expensive and I don’t think Sarah is keen anyway!

It feels like an impossible question with no obvious answer. Even writing this post feels disjointed and incoherent, as I haven’t arranged my thoughts in my head properly. I'm not even sure if we’re asking ourselves the correct questions!

Either way, something needs to happen and decisions need to be made. I think I need to dig deeper and put on my philosophical hat to search for correct questions, to find the best solution.

Over the last few weeks, we have also had a few other things that seemed to land perfectly to put any potential plans back on the drawing board, from our cat's medical issues to my mother's 70th birthday and our car (the marshmallow) that we think is on its last (metaphorical) legs.

So, moving on, I think that brings us to now and the need to make an immediate decision for the near future… for a temporary solution. So, the idea is, we are going to start hiking our next trail on Wednesday, not too far from home and for Sarah to meet us at points along the trail.

The trail we are planning to do is the Fife Coastal Path which starts at the Kincardine Bridge and then heads east.If you are interested this is a link to the official website for the Fife Coastal Path; https://fifecoastandcountrysidetrust.co.uk/.../fife.../

Our primary reason for choosing this trail is to avoid the midges and our favourite type of walking is coastal! So that's where we're at… we don't know yet how to manage the delicate balancing act between Sarah and her medical/physical needs and Eve's emotional and physical needs to be outdoors hiking but to be with Sarah who simply can't keep pace with her whilst walking.

We are still planning on walking for a week or so and then being home for a week so Sarah and Eve can spend some much needed time together. But this is easier on paper than in principal with Sarah’s work patterns and our trail lengths and locations, etc.

If you do have any ideas, please let us know, as I would love to hear your opinions, ideas, thoughts and perspective.

Right I think i’ve talked enough for one night.

until next time, have a good night and see you all soon.