My car has been poorly with a perforated exhaust for around the last eight months. Almost every day I’ve asked myself whether I’m well enough to drive a few minutes to Falkirk to get it fixed. On Monday I judged the time had come to attempt it. So I set up a rendezvous with Davie the exhaust repair man and off I went.
I had been prepared for feeling anxious. During the wait, I sipped cold water in a cafe, listening to one of my favourite relaxation tracks. It was uneasy and uncomfortable but I managed.
I had been prepared for a sympathetic nervous system over-reaction. It didn’t come which was a huge welcome surprise.
What I had not been prepared for was what actually happened. I can describe it only as an inflammatory response. Starting in my head and spreading down my neck and spine into my back was a feeling of pressure and pain as if some fiend was pumping pressurised air into me. It pressed on my eyes, making my vision strange and on my ears giving me feelings of vertigo. It was as if the touch of sinusitis I had been feeling had intensified and spread throughout my upper body.
Again, in eight years I’d never experienced anything quite like this. Or, to be more accurate, I’d never watched symptoms like this develop so closely before.
It was a huge relief to get the phone call saying the exhaust was fixed.
I’m glad I tested my boundaries on Monday. I’ve both learned something else about the ways in which my body will react when pushed beyond its limits and got my car back on the road. A huge achievement set in the context of recent (non) events. For now, I’m resting to allow the symptoms to subside. Then I’ll think about my next exploit…..