This weekend marks the last in the Adventure Series Triathlons, with Chris taking part in the Sandman Triathlon; 1.5k swim, 58k bike & 10k swim. He has been participating in these endurance events in part for his own mental health, but also to raise the profile of Sepsis Research FEAT. It is therefore somewhat fitting that September is Sepsis Awareness Month.
Sepsis Research FEAT was founded as FEAT- the Fiona Elizabeth Agnew Trust- in 2013 by Craig Stobo after the sudden death of his wife Dr Fiona Elizabeth Agnew and their unborn daughter Isla in Aug 2012. They are a small charity but committed to not only raising the awareness of Sepsis, but also to funding much needed research. Much is made of early detection, and although the importance of this cannot be underplayed, the horrible reality is that even with early detection and swift medical intervention, the treatment is not always enough, as we found in Lauren's case, and countless other have too. New estimates from the industry leading Lancet Report show that twice as many people are dying from sepsis worldwide than researchers thought before. This is why more research is so desperately needed.
I cannot tell you how it feels for me every time a loved one gets sick, or has a cut, or generally feels under the weather, I know the signs to look out for, but I also know that might not be enough. It takes strength and determination to live under a Damocles sword whilst not having it affect my every waking moment, and sometimes I don't manage it and I spiral. It is difficult not to catastrophise when you have stared catastrophe in the face and come off worst. The reality is, it could happen to anyone. The difficult bit is to accept that, whilst still managing to live a life that, to contain fun and spontaneity, must also include risk.
Recent thoughts have been on some of the Victorian ideals we still seem to hold in relation to work. Hard work is seen as something that we should all strive to. "The devil makes work for idle hands" is still not far from our thinking. This is more problematic now than ever before. Although we may cheer hybrid working as the helping redress the work/life balance and being a blessed relief for those who try to fit work around other caring commitments, does the fact that we spend less time in an actual office mean that the balance has been redressed? I think back to when my children were young and I did briefly flit with the idea of working one day a week from home before realising that it was not possible, I could neither work or parent in any meaningful way, and I went part time instead. However, money was tight and I think if the option had been available a couple of years later I would probably have taken it. Instead I stayed at 3 days a week which meant that 4 days a week I was fully available to my family, for trips to the park, to collect them from school when they were poorly, to have time to cook their favourite tea, but also, probably just as importantly, to meet up with friends for a coffee or an exercise class, to sit in blessed silence or take the dog for a long walk across the fields.
Now we have hybrid working there is a push to be constantly on. I can't be the only one answering emails at 9.30pm at night, or quickly logging onto the laptop after tea. It's not even as if I'm expected to do it, but I feel anxious if I leave something or someone waiting. As a society instant gratification has become the norm. If we want something we can have it the next day, or the same day (thanks Amazon). It's no wonder that town centre's are struggling, who has the "time" to go to the shops. I constantly order online as the time spent driving to the shop, walking round the shop, waiting at the tills, is wasted time, or so I tell myself.
So from now on I have a new approach, the why approach. Why am I doing this, why have I prioritised this over that, why do I think this is more important. I'm hoping that by asking myself this I will become more present with what is actually important and more aware of life instead of letting it continually rush by. After all a drive to the shops is just a bit of time to listen to the radio or a podcast, time spent out and about is time we can connect with other people, maybe bump into an old friend, or your aunties next door neighbour. I'm not planning on cancelling the amazon subscription anytime soon, but I want there to be some down time in my day. Going to the shops might be a baby step in that direction, before long I might not feel too bad about taking time to just sit and do absolutely nothing...imagine!
For more information on Sepsis Research FEAT see the details below;-