Rome 2007, a limping Roger sweats his way around the Coliseum accompanied by The Marchioness of Basford and Sherwood.
It is now about 5 or 6 weeks since a masked man in green pyjamas cut me in half. I am feeling a lot more like the old me now. I have more energy and I have got used to the new plumbing.
One of the strange side effects of having colitis has been that my leg joints have been really painful at times. Sometimes it meant that I lurched slightly in the street, and being quite large and bewhiskered, people would cross the road in case I asked them for money.
At times I've had to use a walking stick, and I have been rendered virtually immobile. Some UC patients will have experience of Infliximab which I was on before the surgery. Apart from playing around with my immune system it also gave me a few weeks pain free walking before I would slowly seize up again.
I used to run a lot, many years ago now I admit. I used to casually run 10 miles without a thought. Then I got the Ulcerative Colitis and running didn't seem like such a good idea. It shook my guts, and as time progressed hurt my ankles and knees. So then I used to go to a gym and grunt on the machines there before swimming a lot of lengths - (100).
I was going to the gym right up to the day before I went into hospital to meet the masked man. Now, after the operation, my legs don't hurt me anymore. I can walk with ease.
One cold night last week I was coming back from a pub, and I took it into my head to combat the cold by running. So I started to run and despite still looking a little frightening to other pedestrians (not wearing running gear you see) it was not too painful.
So a few days later I set off to run round a large park area of Nottingham called The Forest. It was cold morning and my eyes and nose and ears were cold.
I started to run very slowly the length of The Forest. It was a bit odd, I seemed to have leaden legs and I ran out of breath pretty quickly. All around me were athletic people gliding by at speed almost as if riding bicycles whilst I trailed along at petty pace gasping for breath. Some of them slips of girls that ran like whippets, some of them big muscular men in football gear nonchalantly trotting past me like horses.
Today I had another go. This time I had planned to walk for a bit, run for a bit, walk for a bit, run etc. I started by going for a walk up a hilly road to warm and loosen the legs, then on the flat I began an inelegant run. I managed to keep it up for about three minutes (That really is bad) then I walked for about the same amount of time. I repeated the walk run routine for about 30 minutes.
My knees and ankles have become very weak, and going down hill I fear that my knees will give way.
IT DOESN'T MATTER! I'm running. Just a little bit, just a step at a time.
I will run again.