Posted by sean on April 29, 2020 at 7:56 pm in Health with No Comments


It has been seven weeks since I properly updated you all on my health. It was two days before my birthday, and I was full of the joys of spring, as I could see light at the end of the recovery tunnel.

Frustratingly, I am still in the tunnel and although the light appears closer, it is taking a hell of a lot longer to reach than I envisaged 49 days ago.

On that day in March, I was jubilant at how I had taken myself from the bedroom to the sofa downstairs, using my frame, wheelchair and the stair lift.

Since then, a ‘normal’ day for me would involve walking with the frame all the way to the stair lift – at the time of my last health update, I had to take a rest mid-journey. At least since then, I have been making the transfer in one go. The wheelchair would be waiting at the foot of the stairs to take me to the sofa.

Trying to remember how I was in March, I can’t recall how many days a week I would spend downstairs, or for how long. Seven weeks on, I have found myself having to spend one day a week upstairs, as I am still subject to tremendous fatigue. At least I can now claim to be spending most of the week downstairs, where I will stay for about eight hours.

I am feeling very frustrated at my recovery time. It seems to be taking forever and while minor improvements have been made, I don’t seem to be making major progress. I am still reliant upon Claire for many essential, yet basic aspects of care.

My doctor has extended my sick note until early June. Not that I need to worry about returning to the office then – as you accrue annual leave, even when off sick, I have many weeks of holiday to take. Although I don’t think ‘holiday’ is the right word – like most people, I won’t be going away on my hols anytime soon. COVID-19 has placed me under house arrest until at least July! That isolation timer on the right of this blog is set to climb higher and higher.

I have often wondered what will happen once the clock reaches 100 days. Will there be enough room to fit the additional number? Will it break my website? Perhaps one hundred days and nights, without leaving the house, will break me.

Returning to my frustrations – I made the conscious decision that instead of moping around, feeling sorry for myself and talking about what my next steps to recovery will be, I’ll do something about it! After all, actions speak louder than words… isn’t that right, Mr. Prime Minister?

So, without further ado, here is a list of additions to my daily routine, which I hope will help improve my conditioning and overall fitness…

  • As well as walking to the stairlift upstairs, getting off at the bottom and walking with my frame to the sofa.
  • Remaining downstairs for around eight hours a time.
  • Pushing myself to get out of bed and go downstairs every day and not just five or six days a week.

All these new plans are currently in operation. I hope it will be less than seven weeks before I feel the need to add new tasks to my regime.

If I want to return to how I was before falling off my scooter, I must stay active and continue to increase my activity levels.

Posted by sean on April 13, 2020 at 11:01 pm in Health with No Comments


After six consecutive days of spending my time downstairs from morning until bedtime, I was feeling rather tired.

Due to the success of my recovery, it is easy to forget that there are still a number of areas I need to improve upon, before I can say that I have returned to my ‘pre-crash state’.

One such area continues to be fitness and conditioning. I feel that I have made huge strides forward in those areas, but there is still much room for improvement. This is one of the reasons I found myself becoming increasingly fatigued over the last couple of days.

So, after spending a lazy Easter Monday in bed – and a rather relaxing one at that – I am now feeling refreshed, recharged and after a good nights sleep, will be ready to face the world… well, maybe just the ground floor and Roman.

Posted by sean on March 10, 2020 at 8:36 pm in Health with No Comments


I’m flippin’ tired this evening. Since my last progress update, I have accomplished a lot, when it comes to my rehabilitation.

I believe that I told of how pleased I was, having managed to transfer from the bed, to the nearby wheelchair and back again.

Today was my busiest day yet, and I am proud to report that I can now…

  • Walk approximately ten feet, from bedroom to landing, and sit on a parked wheelchair.
  • Transfer from wheelchair to stair lift, at the top of the stairs.
  • Transfer from stair lift to wheelchair, at the bottom of the stairs.
  • Move from sofa, walk alongside coffee table and onto wheelchair – my pre-accident means of transferring.

I still find myself getting a little out of puff while performing these moves. It also isn’t uncommon for my back and arms to ache a few hours later.

This will be because I have spent the majority of the past four months in bed. I am very much deconditioned. Luckily, everything is getting easier – presumably, as my fitness improves.

I can also take assurances from a recent visit to hospital, where I was given a clean bill of health.

Returning to work is still a while off – in that it won’t be within the next fortnight! – but I can finally see a slight glimmer of light at the end of the long, dark tunnel I found myself in.

Posted by sean on March 3, 2020 at 9:34 am in Health with No Comments


I continue to make small improvements with regards to my health and mobility.

I recently surprised and impressed myself, by transferring from the bed to a nearby wheelchair, without any help from Claire.

Yesterday, I successfully managed to go one step further. After making my own way to the chair, I was able to return to and sit on the edge of the bed.

I guess you could call that one small step for me, one giant leap towards my recovery.

Posted by sean on March 2, 2020 at 11:26 am in Health with No Comments


I recently attended my local hospital, for a routine appointment regarding my breathing.

As we only live round the corner from the hospital site, Claire pushed me in my wheelchair. I would like to report that it was a relaxing and peaceful stroll, but I can’t.

While it would be unfair on the two of us to say that we left late, we did have to make haste, to ensure that we were not late. This meant that Claire had to walk fairly briskly, all while pushing me rather quickly!

A pretty intense workout, I can imagine…

A combination of Claire’s speed in getting me to the appointment on time, along with Bath and North East Somerset Council’s poor maintenance of the pavement, meant that it felt as if one of the wheels was going to fall off my chair and I was going to topple out onto the ground again.

IT’S EASILY DONE…

Part of my outpatient visit involved providing a sample of blood. This blood isn’t your every day, common variety. The blood required is apparently special – as is the way of obtaining it…

In order for the special blood to be successfully collected, the patient must travel to Tibet and climb to the summit of the Lhotse mountain.

You will meet a monk, who will use the ancient Wand of Pavitrata (‘pavitrata’ being Hindi for ‘purity’), to extract the blood from a specific spot, located at the rear of your head. The extraction may only take place once every four years, on 29th February.

Luckily for me, my local hospital is also able to perform the procedure…

When providing blood for a standard test – of which I’ve had many* – you can normally expect the following…

  • Turn up in vampires’ lair and take a seat.
  • Roll up the sleeve of whatever garment you happen to be wearing.
  • Allow the vampire – normally wearing a plastic apron and latex gloves – to tie an extremely tight belt around your forearm.
  • Say a quick prayer that the blood supply to your wrist doesn’t get cut off and you lose your right hand.
  • Listen out for the vampire telling you to expect a “short, sharp scratch”.
  • Watch while vampire produces what can only be described as a skewer, large enough to roast marshmallows on a camp fire.
  • Brace yourself as skewer is jammed into your arm.
  • Get told by vampire that they couldn’t find a vein and that they will have to try again.
  • Watch with tear-filled eyes, as the skewer is removed from your arm and thrust back in.
  • Notice that this time, without the warning of a “scratch”. You’ve been stabbed once already and know what it feels like. The vampire isn’t going to insult your intelligence.
  • Relax as the pain from the skewer, now embedded in your body, eases. Possibly because of a severed nerve.
  • Tell yourself not to look at the claret coloured liquid, draining from your punctured limb.
  • Look anyway. Either vomit, scream or faint. Possibly even a combination of all three.
  • Breathe a sigh of relief, as the skewer is removed.

  • Worry when you are given a cotton wool ball and instructed to hold it over the wound.
  • Try not to think about the fact that this small ball of fluff is the one thing preventing you from bleeding to death.
  • Thank the vampire when they stick a plaster over the gaping hole.
  • Wonder why you just thanked somebody who committed GBH on you, just two minutes earlier.
  • Leave vampires’ lair.
  • Ask yourself why two vials of blood were taken, when you were only being tested for one issue.
  • Realise to your horror, that vampire will be drinking one of the vials for their lunch.

* oh, and blood tests are nothing new to me – this  is due to them being a daily occurrence, during my three stays as an inpatient. I don’t keep getting tested for STIs, in case you were wondering.

Apologies if you found my guide to providing a blood sample a little graphic. I’m not even needle-phobic!

Luckily, the most recent blood test didn’t involve being stabbed with a needle. Instead, I was slashed with a knife – no, seriously!

YOU CALL THAT A KNIFE?

Did I tell you that for this test, the blood had to be taken from my ear?

To provide a good quality sample, your ears need to be hot. My earlobe was therefore covered in some cream that smelt of Deep Heat.

I know that many people hate the smell, but I’ve always been a fan. If I could wear it as a cologne, without it resulting in my family, friends and colleagues refusing to come within 500 feet of me, I would.

POUR HOMME.

Unfortunately, my King Lears had become cold, during the journey to the hospital. I was going to suggest that the staff on reception start gossiping about me. Apparently, if people are talking about you, your ears start burning.

Instead, the blood nurse (I’ll show her respect, by not calling her a vampire) placed a tissue soaked in hot water, over my ear. This did the trick. Why they didn’t do this to start with, I don’t know. Maybe the nurse enjoys the fragrance of Deep Heat too.

Once my ears had reached their optimal temperature, the nurse got her knives out. Surprisingly, I was more concerned about my coat getting blood on it, than somebody slashing me with a blade.

You may recall, that when I had my scooter accident last November, the paramedic had to cut my lovely blue coat – releasing hundreds of goose feathers into the street.

I really liked that coat and I was kindly given an identical replacement for Christmas. As I was wearing this coat at the time of my latest hospital appointment, I was a little concerned that I would ruin it, by dripping blood everywhere.

Thankfully, no excess blood went astray, as the nurse managed to catch and contain it all in a test tube, before whisking it off for testing.

After being suitably patched up, I was asked to return to the waiting area, where I would soon be summoned by the consultant and told how well or poorly I performed on the exam – sorry, blood test.

The waiting room was rammed. I have visited the same unit many times before, over the last 18 months, and it had never been busy. Something told me that I wouldn’t be seen on time.

After waiting around 40 minutes, the consultant called one gentleman into her office. He politely asked if his family could join him, and was naturally told “yes”.

With that, no less than half of the waiting room stood up. It was like the entire Brady Bunch had come along.

The consultant apologised to the man for the tardiness of her clinic, to which a posh woman, who was presumably family chortled “Never mind. My children wanted to spend an afternoon in a hospital waiting room!”.

Despite her ‘joke’, it was clear to me that she was exhibiting faux joviality. I found her to be rude.

One of the main reasons why clinics run late, is because patients use more than the time allotted to them for their appointment.

I am of the belief that every patient has the right to spend as long as they need with their doctor or consultant. It is none of our business what they are discussing and certainly not our position to judge.

If a patient before me spends a long time in their consultation and causes my own appointment to run late, that is not an issue for me.

It clearly was a problem for the posh woman. Incidentally, the gentleman whose appointment she sat in on, spent over half an hour with the consultant.

Now, I am not ignorant enough to forget where I was at the time – a hospital. It could have been the case that the woman was worried about her relative, which may explain her curt manner. If stress was the reason, I hope that her troubles are resolved. I still disagree that there is an excuse to be offhand.

Naturally I didn’t mind in the slightest – I believe it to be his entitlement – although, I wonder if the woman cracked any more passive-aggressive jokes about the time they spent in the consultation room?

Although I generally don’t mind about hospital delays, there is something disconcerting, when the receptionist and other admin staff shut down their computers, put their coats on, before collecting their bags and heading home for the weekend.

I couldn’t help but wonder if I had been forgotten about – just like what happened to Victor Meldrew in an episode of One Foot in the Grave.

When I was eventually summoned to be seen, Claire and I both made a collective sigh of relief. I was almost certainly the consultant’s quickest appointment of the day. No doubt she wanted to get home as quickly as we did.

This is certainly not a bad thing. The reason why my consultation was so brief, was because the tests carried out on my blood all produced encouraging results. Basically, my breathing is healthy and as it should be.

A MARS A DAY KEEPS THE DOCTOR AWAY.

While I wasn’t too surprised by the results, as I have been feeling well, it is always a relief to hear – especially as it was respiratory issues which landed me in intensive care in 2018.

I celebrated my healthy lungs by smoking an entire pack of Hamlet cigars and suckling on a Shisha pipe.

LIKE A DAILY MARS BAR AND 18 HOURS OF TELEVISION A DAY, SMOKING IS ALL PART OF A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE.

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