Guest Blog – John Kinnaird End to End

John Kinnaird is an inspiration to me and many others. I met John through twitter and I know I’ve gained a friend for life. When anyone takes on any challenge in life it’s vital you get support. John has that support in abundance from his friends and family and certainly from me. However, I think John will agree that the fire in his belly comes from Lorna – an example to us all. I had the pleasure of meeting John and Lorna in Carlisle at the Old Fire Station a few weeks back and they are just great people. I’m proud to know both and wish them every success in the future. All the from the world health innovation summit team. “Together, We Inspire” – Gareth Presch

What an amazing JourneyOne week to go & the doubts have set in. Could I have done more training, am I being stupid, what if I can’t do this?
I have described before in my blogs how heart failure effects your confidence, how your fears are exaggerated and how negativity can become your mood of choice as you fight the constant symptoms that in realty never leave you, we only learn to live with them better.
Lorna had an interesting chat with my dad the other night when they were at Thistle game as I worked and my Dad described to Lorna that all my life if I wanted something I would focus totally to get it, nobody could change my mind & basically I listened to nobody once my mind was made up. (EDIT- Lorna here – what he actually said was ‘he’ll do what he wants no matter what anyone says! He’s a stubborn b#^*$~d! ��)

So the dream is to cycle John O’Groats to lands End, what a stupid dream for a heart failure patient, did I think this through? Clearly not as all my planning would need to be done in only 4 weeks once I felt I could do it. I can’t train for something if every session can feel like the 1st one no matter how fit I am, how would I pay for it?
8 years ago I entered a doctors surgery in Maryhill to meet my mums doctor to see if I could register as patient. From that 1st meeting he became a central figure in my journey. He didn’t question my plan to exercise my way to health, he explained I was relatively young & just had had a life altering experience, I would question everything in my life.
I asked him about the depression like symptoms & could I have tablets? He explained I should look at what made me happy, it was the only tablets he has ever refused me.
I explained how returning to work & staying in work full time was a central goal I need but so many times over the last 8 years he has asked if now was the time to consider retiring as he saw me at times struggle both physically and psychologically but every time I have said No & he supported me every time & not so much with tablets but simply talking about me, my family & how well I had done.

I don’t see him much now as he is so busy and at times my appointments are with various doctors who all question my drugs on 1st meeting “we don’t like to prescribe them” is initial reaction but I get them as clearly I manage my condition well if they simply looked at records & majority say Dr Spence has spoken about me but none of them have that special thing Dr Spence has that all brilliant doctors should have in that I leave his surgery always feeling better with bounce in my step. I think I seek his approval in all my plans.
So over 8 years this surgery has grown into the huge Barclay Medical Practice covering most of North Glasgow,
On Monday at routine drug appointment the Dr asked was I still excercising & I explained my End2End she said well done & would tell Dr Spence at surgery meeting in morning. I thought nothing more of it
The next day Kim the practice manager called, what did I need? After my initial shock We agreed on branded clothing for the team and a cycling rain Jacket for me, then today Friday we agreed to meet about this adventure.
During this meeting she explained the surgery was all about life/work balance, about making things happen for patients in treatments not offered elsewhere & run like a business because by growing it could help more, all business look at opportunities to support good causes so did I need anything else?.
Both Lorna and I were blown away when she offered £1000 to cover our accommodation and expenses on top of buying team clothing (£200). We were totally speechless!
I almost cried because here were people at Center of my journey willing to back me, trusting me & believing in me.
Why? Because 8 years ago I trusted a doctor enough to be truthful with him & I trusted what he told me, together we showed heart failure can be more about mind than physical restrictions, we showed what a good doctor/patient relationship can be with mutual trust & respect.
This is the biggest contribution I could have dreamed of but not alone in it’s sentiment. Since announcing this challenge I have seen many come forward from my last 8 years to offer support. It is amazing if honest.
8 years ago I walked into a doctors surgery with a challenge and we did it, today I left the same health Center with a challenge and they once again sent me on my way believing it is possible. I still have my doubts but much less.

john kinnaird
*The opinions expressed are the bloggers own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the World Health Innovation Summit.

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