Day in the Life of Angela Matthews
My day starts at 4:30am when my alarm goes off (I have a second one which goes off at 4:55am, just in case!). My tremor and balance are generally worse in the morning, so I leave a lot of time to get ready and I don’t prepare any food which includes knives or hot water in the morning! I have a handful of berries for breakfast, and then take three cartons of Glytactin out of the fridge when I leave for the day. I have my first Glytactin as I walk to the station at 5:45am.
I am Head of Policy and Research at a non-profit in London, so I commute from West Kent most weekdays. I am on the train by 6:05am, and I’ll use the journey time to plan my priorities for the day and catch up on any Government or Parliamentary announcements that have happened since the evening before or that are due to happen that day.
By 7am, I am in the coffee queue near my office. I have 11 exchanges per day, but I don’t compromise on my flat white during the week. I can’t work without that 7am flat white! By 7:30am, I have started work and, by 9:30am, my body is asking for my second Glytactin.
Most of my job is about reading long documents, advising people, designing research, and writing submissions to inquiries, often within tight deadlines. I need to be focussed and the arguments I form need to be accurate and robust, and I need to communicate effectively with Government and senior leaders. For that reason, I don’t believe in ‘off’ days with my diet and supplements. I have to think well, sleep well, and maintain my energy – all of which are challenging if I let my PKU regime slip.
I usually have a salad or free vegetables for lunch. The Sainsbury’s near my office is great for that. At 2pm, my body needs another Glytactin. I can almost tell the time by when my body needs it!
I leave the office by 6pm to get the train home again. I get home by 7:30pm. In the evening, I practice my viola, go for a swim, or watch a film.
At 8pm, I have my last Glytactin, and I am often asleep by 10pm.
At the weekends, I keep my Glytactin dose times the same. On Saturdays, I usually borrow my friend’s dog, walk somewhere, and I’ll meet my friends for coffee, or go to the spa. I try to keep a day most weekends free to stay close to home, and have a ‘slow’ day of reading, listening to music, or doing things around the house.
My week is about balancing being the best I can be in my career, spending time with people who are important to me, and giving my body the food and rest it needs as a PKUer. I haven’t perfected that yet, but I’m trying!
We would like to thank Angela for writing for our ‘Day in the Life’ series. Angela is a fantastic example of how you can thrive on diet and have a successful work and home life, all at the same time.
If you would like to write for us, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.