Heavenly Barbecued Burgers
Heavenly Barbecued Burgers

The often quoted New York based writer, Christian Nestell Bovee, once said,

“Doubt whom you will, but never yourself.”

In the two weeks since my last post I have walked 47.6 miles ascending 2,477.84 feet, cycled 28.02 miles ascending 1,889.1 feet and run 4.8 miles ascending 372.34 feet, while eating 14 balanced daily lifestyle breakfasts and lunches while cooking from scratch 12 delicious and terribly good for one evening meals following my balanced daily lifestyle principles, while trying to learn to play tunes on the keyboard and trying to write coherent sentences as much as I can, to do all that I can to try to retrain and strengthen my brain while attempting to prevent the return of my brain tumour as predicted, while capturing four smiles to bring light into the lives of those that struggle, while raising £132 to save and rebuild the lives of the world’s poorest, starving and dying in their hundreds of thousands, men, women and children, trapped in the triple whammy of COVID, warfare and climate change related natural disaster.

It had been a busy but balanced fortnight and I truly felt that I was getting stronger with my efforts day by day, week by week, month by month, year by year. I even considered asking my neurologist if he might support an application to get my driving licence back as I got such a lot of warning should a SMART attack start to develop. More than enough to find somewhere to pull over, wait and let it pass.

Hula And Maja Originally From Poland Now Happily Living And Working In Edinburgh
Hula And Maja Originally From Poland Now Happily Living And Working In Edinburgh

However, just two days ago, as I was brushing my teeth, I felt a little odd and suddenly realised that I couldn’t spit; as I tried to spit just a dribble of toothpaste made it through my lips that had by now swollen to that of a goldfish. I tried to ignore it but, as I tried to continue, the strength went from my left arm and a light like the scanner on a photocopier moved its blinding light down then up across my vision like I was being scanned. I awaited the sonic-like boom of a pressure wave through my right inner ear that would send me tumbling to the floor. I hadn’t had one of these drop attacks for at least several years yet I could feel it building, I could almost hear the pressure building in the right side of my brain. I gripped the sink and tried to call for help but unable to shout, to swallow, to spit as the seizure gripped my throat in an ivy-like grip pulsing and making breathing more laboured, I knew that I had to get back to bed, to try to reset the brain with a thirty minute snooze. Allie, who had retrained as an editor in order to be able to work from home and care for me, was there like a flash just as soon as she sensed something was up. One sound from me and she knew it was a smart attack. She took me to the bedroom and settled me in the bed to keep me safe from dropping or falling as I started to lose all motor coordination in my left side, and then went to mix up 600mg of Aspirin into a glass of water to help thin the blood to ease its passage into the brain to help calm the brain to help me sleep it off. Forty-five minutes later, Allie gently woke me. The motor coordination had come back, I could see ok, breathe ok and my lips and cheeks were no longer swollen, I could talk okay. I was exhausted so started my recovery routine of a twenty-minute brisk walk followed by a snooze followed by a twenty–minute brisk walk and so on until I was fit for the day’s activity. After such events I insist on forcing my brain to try to function normally so insisted on making my balanced daily lunch for us both. Under Allie’s watchful eye I made lunch and sat to eat it quietly as part of my recovery as Allie returned to her office to work. As I sat to eat, two, very strong epileptic auras swept through me, one immediately after the other, leaving me with a feeling of deep anxiety for an impending doom that was shortly to happen. As I sat there trying to breathe it away, I had no idea what the impending doom was, just a deep knowledge that something bad was going to happen. It took the strength from both my arms this time and left me quietly whimpering at the table. Allie once again sensed something was up and came to sit with me, to reassure me before helping me to clear up before settling me on the sofa for another nap, this time induced by an episode of Bargain Hunt. I woke believing that the episodes had passed and feeling so very much better. However, over the next day I realised that I was still not recovered. It was like I had developed the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. I had been warned by my neurologist that, after all the damage done to the brain, that I was at the top of the Alzheimer’s risk spectrum, that I should do all that I can to prevent becoming demented. Yet here I was attempting to unload the dishwasher and leaving crockery in random places around the kitchen, rather than in its rightful place in the cupboards. I was finding myself in random rooms standing there and wondering what on earth I had gone in for. I wanted to test my brain further so took myself for a walk around Leith on a route that would need fine navigation around the town. Allie decided to come with me and thank goodness she did, I was struggling to relate ground to map. I would have got hopelessly lost were it not for Allie. Today, after a great night’s sleep, two days after the SMART attack, I can report that I am back to normal and managed to write this post which makes sense thanks to Allie’s patient light editing.

What this SMART attack told me was that I am not nearly fit enough to drive. This came in from left field without warning and debilitated me quickly. But I refuse to doubt that I will ever one day get fit to drive, fit to work again. I will beat this beast, however long it takes.

Malky and Tully From South Edinburgh
Malky and Tully From South Edinburgh

Please help me to spread a little light into the lives of those that struggle by sending me a photo of your smile that I can publish, with the other 236 smiles so far captured, on the smileometer on my website, and via the Challenge social media channels of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Emailing it to me would be best on archie@beatthebeastchallenge.co.uk or message it to me on Messenger or Instagram.

Furthermore I continue to look for sponsorship. Many have suggested that I would find life more comfortable if I was to take a chill pill and just focus on enjoying life. Yet I keep fighting and keep writing despite my neurological challenges, purely and simply to save lives; mine, and those who are starving to death as I write: men, women and children trapped in their millions in the triple whammy of COVID, warfare and climate change related natural disaster around the world in the Yemen, Syria, South Sudan, Myanmar and Nepal.

There are 64,000,000 active current accounts in the UK. My challenge is to convince just 1% of those account holders to challenge me to keep fighting to achieve success with just £1 per month I could raise over £640,000 a month with which to help save and rebuild the lives of those most in need through the Disasters Emergency Committee. With 66 sponsors so far obtained I am 0.01% of the way towards my target. It is easy to doubt that I will ever get there, but I refuse to, so please sponsor me, I guarantee, that with the generosity of:

  • The Royal Bank of Scotland.
  • Webb and Wallace Accountants in Doune.
  • MHCreations in Glasgow.
  • Key Facilities Management in Doune.
Honey And Soy Salmon
Honey And Soy Salmon

That every single penny raised goes to save and rebuild lives through the Disasters Emergency Committee. Not a single penny is lost to costs.
Every penny raised encourages me to keep fighting to prevent my brain tumour from returning as predicted, and to retrain and strengthen my brain, using the mediums of Golf, Music, Navigating over the Hills, Drama, Dance, Juggling, Litter Picking and Writing, with becoming neurologically and cognitively strong enough to one day be able to sustain myself in some form of future employment being my goal while saving lives through the DEC on the way.

Please sponsor me to make me happy. After all, happiness is the key to success


Thank you, Keep safe, keep being brilliant. Keeeeeeeeeeeep smiling

Yours aye with love and gratitude,
Archie xx