Taking A Step Back

The holidays after the weekend is over. I am glad. It took me this long to recover from those four days of excesses. Weekends and holidays allow Wuan and I to spend the whole day together. We only get to see each other for a few hours on weekdays. But holidays make me sick. There are just too many things to do, too much excitement, too little routine and practically no time for rest. Contrary to my perception of my adaptability, I thrive on routine. I like the routine that I keep. It gives me a sense of control on my life.

My weekdays are very structured; I keep to a low-protein diet, drink every hour, catheterise every three hours and take plenty of rest in between. This routine keeps me alive and healthy, to a certain extent. It slows down the progression of my renal failure. Holidays and weekends are different. We are usually out for the entire day. It is difficult to adhere to the diet when temptations abound. I do not drink as much to reduce the need to look for accessible toilets. Clean ones are difficult to come by. People here simply do not know how to use public toilets and keep it clean and dry for the next person.

After a couple of years of living outside my comfort zone, I have retreated back into it. Loving my weekday routine is proof of that. This is not necessarily a good thing but not a bad thing either. Trying to fit into the mainstream is taxing especially when the environment is fraught with barriers. My energy level is already below its midway mark. Traversing the attitudinal and physical barriers takes a big chunk out of that. I have a choice; fight it and get burnt out at the end of the day or take a step back and preserve my energy for more worthy endeavours. The latter seems more sensible, for now.

Author: Peter Tan

Peter Gabriel Tan. Penangite residing in the Klang Valley. Blissfully married to Wuan. A LaSallian through and through. Slave to three cats. Wheelchair user since 1984. End-stage renal disease since 2017. Principal Facilitator at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. Former columnist of Breaking Barriers with The Borneo Post. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

One thought on “Taking A Step Back”

  1. Clean toilets in Malaysia have come a long ways. During the 70s and early 80s, they were almost none existent. I left Malaysia in ’84 and have been living in the US since then. When my dad visited me, he told me that the public toilets are clean with toilet paper. I can understand your frustrations.

    Clean toilets here is like a gem, far and few in between, still.

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