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Monday, April 26, 2010

It's been a while

Well almost a year since I last posted on this blog, but I'm going back in to hospital again. So like oct 2007 I hope to keep a diary of how things go.
This time it's a fairly major procedure being done in 2 stages 2 months apart.
I just hope it doesn't turn out to be as lenghty stay as last time

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Swine Flu?

Monday, March 16, 2009

A Win worth mentioning

I haven't commented on the championship so much this year because I have had difficulty in finding words to describe Englands performance so far without errupting in appoplexy.
Things changed on Sunday, England 34 - France 10. It wasn't just the final score that was a joy but the return of that magic spark that enables England to play proper rugby.
The ball was quick and moved around the field in such a way that demoralised the French, less ping pong kicking, more discipline and most of all attacking from the backs and use of the wings, well done England.
On a different note Dom and Charlie are coming home next week, Hurrah!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

No Comment

When I came home yesterday afternoon nearly all the snow from Tuesday had almost gone, then I got up this morning to this

Now Belinda has the day off as work is closed due to the roads being impassble, however this poses a problem - how are we going to get to Wine Rack today?

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

6 Nations time again

Well I got that wrong, it's still snowing, white out at 9:30 this morning, but now the sun is out and starting a global meltdown, but still half the country is taking another day off.

Still we've got the weekend to look forward to, yes it's that time of the year again, the RBS 6 Nations and we've got a gentle start with the Italians ( if they're not working at a Total Oil refinery in the North East). However my money is yet again on Wales who have shown more consistancy in the autumn tests which the England squad have yet to attain. Click on the logo left for the official RBS site with the fixtures listed

So that's my next 6 weeks of TV sorted all I need is to make sure there's a good supply of Guinness in the fridge.

Talking of TV, I know I said we're not avid watchers but there's a new series called being human on BBC 3 Sundays repeated after DR Who (repeat of last series) on Friday nights. I won't go into detail but it's about a modern day Werewolf, a Vampire and a female ghost who all share a house in London, quite amusing and followed by a double helping of the best thing on TV - Family Guy

Monday, February 02, 2009

Same as Usual

One night of snow brings headlines 'Snow Brings Travel Chaos Across Britain'.
This phenomena only happens in Britain, the only country to experience snow falling out of the Sky - in the Worrrldd!
Despite 2 days of snow forecasts the whole country has to shut down due to the fact that nothing will work in the snow. Buses cannot run due to Health and Safety, Airports are closed because planes cannot take off or land, Motorways are closed because they haven't been gritted, and trains cant run because the people who operate them are swivel eyed tossers and any excuse not to get out of bed is good enough for them.
Ever heard of SNOWPLOUGHS? Do you think that all Scandinavian Countries close down for six month of the year because of some white stuff?
We've got 5cm here, my son works at a ski resort in the French Alps, he arrived there in October in a Ford transit camper van and hasn't seen it since, due to it being under 2M of snow, (see picture in post 6 down) yet the French (curses under breath) manage to keep the roads entirely free of the icy stuff.

And here's another thing, the government warns us not to venture outside unless our journey is essential- so what does that mean? The entire country can take the day off work? what is essential anyway? if you've got a heart bypass operation booked for this morning forget it, your surgeon can't get the bus to the hospital and ambulances are confined to their garages due to health and safety.

And tomorrow it will be all gone and everyone will be asking the same question, the same one we ask every year - why does the country come to a halt every time it snows? I'm sure the answer has something to do with the same reason that this country is in deep shit.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Magic Goat Arrested

Oh only if this were true. Report in the paper yesterday

Police in Nigeria are holding a goat on suspicion of attempted armed robbery.
Vigilantes took the black and white beast to the police saying it was an armed robber who had used black magic to transform himself into a goat to escape arrest after trying to steal a Mazda 323.
"The group of vigilante men came to report that while they were on patrol they saw some hoodlums attempting to rob a car," Kwara state police spokesman Tunde Mohammed told Reuters by telephone.
"They pursued them. However one of them escaped while the other turned into a goat. We cannot confirm the story, but the goat is in our custody. We cannot base our information on something mystical. It is something that has to be proved scientifically, that a human being turned into a goat."
Meanwhile... Nigerian police are seeking your help regarding a huge sum of money from a deceased deposit in the Security and Finance company. They assure that all will be well, and are contacting you because you are known to be reputable.

Monday, January 05, 2009


Well as I mentioned, Santa brought both B and I the flu for Christmas which 10 days later we are still suffering the affects.
This meant that we spent the entire holiday period pretty much housebound apart from B having to attend to the horses daily as they had managed to injure themseleves in various ways.
This meant that a considerable amount of time was spent in front of the TV which we don't normally do, in fact we only normally watch on a Sunday evening and the late news on a daily basis.
Unfortunately the terestial TV schedule for the entire period was about as exciting as measles (apart from Dr Who) so alot of channel hoping occured until on boxing day I discovered DAVE.
Dave is a freeview digital station on channel 19 that shows continuous reruns of Top gear, QI and Have I got news for you and loads more.
Certainly the saviour of Christmas TV.

Monday, December 29, 2008

My end of year political rant

London Times Obituary of the late Mr. Common Sense

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as: Knowing when to come in out of the rain; why the early bird gets the worm; Life isn't always fair; and maybe it was my fault.
Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are incharge). His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned butoverbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.
Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their fat unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an Elastoplast to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.
Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband; churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common Sense took a beating when youcouldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.
Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement. Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; hiswife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason.
He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers; I Know My Rights, I Want It Now, Someone Else Is To Blame, and I'm A Victim. Not many attended his funeral because so few realised he was gone.
If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.'

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Christmas

Santa brought me a Dremmel workstation and the FLU! - cheers Santa

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Twas the night before Christmas

There's nothing like giving a turkey a good massage!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Dom & Charlie Update

Dom and Charlie arrived in La Salle les Alpes in October and within a couple of weeks the snow arrived. Dom is working at the ski resort Serre Chevalier which opened on 6th Dec. They are having a great time and certainly plenty of skiing. The picture above shows Dom's van buried uder snow.

This will be our first Christmas without Dom, we'll miss him.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Deja Vu

Well on 9th October I went back in to hospital, exactly a year to the day of my initial operation. This time for a clean out and possible revision as the infection is still in the joint.
All went well and I am now relitavely pain free but still need the walking frame to get about and the knee brace, However; they have told me that the only way to fix this is to completely remove the implant and replace it, but this can't be done in one operation.
Stage one would be a 3 hour op to remove it and replace with a plaster version impregnated with slow release antibiotics. An attempt at this stage would be made to realign the Tibia. Hospital stay approx 10 days
Stage 2, 8 weeks at home without weight bearing and a course of intravenous antibiotics, which would mean the insertion of a central veneous catheter again.
Stage 3 back to hospital, removal of temporary implant and fitting of the new one with final tibial realignment, 10 days.
Stage 4 recoverey - approx 4 - 6 months.!

Well I've given up any idea of playing golf again in the near future, but they tell me that I do not need this op until I want it, which at the moment is some time never, but be assured they said, the infection will flare up again and at which point I will be begging for it. - So we'll just wait and see.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Dom & Charlie update

Having spent the summer travelling through France, Holland and Germany, Dom & Charlie finally settled in southern Spain and worked the season. They have Just arrived in Grenoble (French Alps) and are waiting for the start of the Ski season which starts in December. They hope to be able to stay there until April

Monday, June 30, 2008

Bad English Kills

This should brighten your day up, unless you're a sailor in distress, in which case don't trust the Germans


Saturday, June 28, 2008

Still Struggling

Well I eventually received an appointment with Swindon Orthotics to have my knee assed for a fitted permanent brace. Appt date 10th October!
I had a post op temporary brace fitted in April affter it was decided by my consultant that my impant had failed and as they had cut me knee away, there is nothing further they can do except brace it. The temorary brace is now 2 months old and apart from being very uncomforatable it is falling apart.
My consulatant wrote to Orthotics stating that it was urgent that I was assessed and that I could not walk without the brace.
They have come back with a new date - 8th August!
Still not able to make the golf course, but practicing pitching and putting in the garden. Now over a year since I last played.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Gerroff my Garage!

You know the neighbours will park anywhere

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Starting at the begining again

The onset of the good weather has opened up a whole new world of opportunities for me. Since the operation I have pretty much been confined to indoors, apart from my twice weekly visits to the physiotherapist who is still trying to get me to walk without a frame and the odd visit to the pub.
Now that we have got the garden furiniture out, I can use it to balance against and move around small areas of the garden and use my ride on mower for further distances. I can also use the sun lounger to do my exercises on.
However the most important thing is today I'm going to learn to swing a golf club again, (after a year) I'm not aloud to hit a ball yet as this will throw me off balance, but just gradually building up the muscles neede to swing and trying to bend knees - I'm so excited!
Just hope the good weather lasts.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Love this story


Flying priest disappears

A priest who took off with hundreds of helium-filled party balloons has gone missing off Brazil.
Rescuers in helicopters and small fishing boats are searching off the coast of Santa Catarina, reports the Daily Telegraph.
Rev Adelir Antonio de Carli took off from Paranagua, wearing a helmet, thermal suit and a parachute. He was reported missing eight hours later.
The 41-year-old priest wanted to break a 19-hour record for the longest period aloft with balloons, to raise money for a spiritual rest-stop for truckers.
A video of the priest showed the smiling padre being strapped to a seat attached to a huge column of green, red, white and yellow balloons, and soaring into the air to the cheers of a crowd.
Denise Gallas, treasurer of Sao Cristovao parish, said he priest soared to an altitude of 20,000 feet then descended to about 8,200 feet for his planned flight to the city of Dourados, 465 miles north west of his parish.
But winds pushed him in another direction, and the priest was about 30 miles off the coast when he last contacted Paranagua’s port authority, she said.
He had a GPS device, a satellite phone, a buoyant chair and is an experienced skydiver.
"We are absolutely confident he will be found alive and well, floating somewhere in the ocean," she said.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Plastic carrier bags

This topic currently in the press annoys the hell out of me. The reason: Why the hell do we have them at all?
Currently M&S and various other stores are going to charge 5p for a plastic bag. 5p! is that going to stop people using them, if you shop at M&S you can afford 5p per bag so this is hardly going to reduce or even stop the use of plastic bags, maybe charging £1 per bag might have an impact.
In the States they use brown paper bags at nearly all stores AND someone packs them for you, they are totally biodegradable, recycleable and probably cost less than 5p to provide. why hasn't anyone in the media mentioned this. Is there some underlying political reason for not using paper, do the health and saftey Nazis have some problem with paper bags?
I remember not to long ago when supermarkets used to stack cardbaord boxes near the end of the checkouts, hardly anyone used plastic bags it was so much easier to pack everything into one box.
So vote for paper bags at supermarkets, lets face it they provide free 6 bottle wine carriers in cardboard so get rid os the plastic bag!

Pleas sign the onlie petition to the Prime Minister at and make the government force all retailers to use paper bags.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Why Did I Bother

It's taken a coouple of days to bring myself to post this as one can imagine.
The day was a success as far as my ability to travel as far and manage to see the day through.
The day was not a success as 40,000 Welsh travelled in from the West along the same road as us, basically one long traffic jam from the M$ to Twickenham.
The day was not a success as the 40,000 Welsh who caused the traffic jam delayed us by 2 hours thus subjecting us to one of the longest queues at the Guinness bar that I have ever known and allowing us to only down 2 pints before kick off.
The day was not a success as Englasnd played like a bunch of 6 year old - Girls!
The only highlight was that Jonny's first penalty kick between the post,the ball landed in my lap. However I still managed a knock on.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

6 Nations time again

I can't beleive a year passed since the last tournament a lot has happened in the last 12 months, so here we are again. We are planning to go to Twickenham on Saturday for the England v Wales match, I just hope I'm fit enough, it'll be the furthest I've travelled and the longest period of time I'll have been out of doors since October 9th last year. I just hope I'm up to it as the match is one I'm really looking forward to. I think England have a good chance of the grand slam, the triple crown and the tournament. The last time I said that was 2 years ago when I had a nice little bet on Wales for the 3 and won so maybe it's worth call to the bookies.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Set Backs

well I managed to get rid of the knee infection by the beginig of January, however it did mean that we spent New years eve at home for the first time in 30 years and Christmas day was very shortlived for me as I managed an hour in the plume and then stayed awake long enough to eat Christmas dinner and a couple of glasses of Fleurie which I had to force down. However asw soon as the IV course finished on Boxing day things stared to pick up, I actually started to feel human again and on 30th dec was told the infection level was low enough to restart my physio.
So 2 weeks later and some hard work I was getting pretty much back to where I was before the infection.
That is until last Wednesdy when I had to call out the Doc who comfirmed that I had a bladder infection and prescribed a frther course of antibiotics.. Now normally this passes quite quickly, unlike passing water which is very painful, but combined with a neurological condition such as mine the infection causes multiple other problems and the only way to deal with this is to go to bed until it passes.
So that's where I've been for the last 5 days, along with several buckets to piss in as I couldn't get up to go to the loo. No fun for B' as I was perching over the edge of the bed during the night every half an hour making excriuciating noises.
After 3 days the antibiotics kicked in and the peeing pains stopped but then all the other stuff started happening, pains, sweats, stomach gripes, hadn't eaten for 5 days. So now it looks like its over which is just as well as I go back in to hospital tomorrow to have my CVC tube removed, what's the betting that brings some further problems.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Happy Christmas

As we haven't been able to send any cards out this year we would like to wish all our friends and readers a very Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Requests for the full story

Since my last post I have had a number of requests for the full story so here then is part 1 in more detail:

Tues 9thth October admission to Aldbourne ward in the new Brunel building at Swindon’s GWR. Check in very uneventful nice room though as it seems I managed to blag a private room with on suite bathroom, not dissimilar to a travel lodge but without the trouser press and mini bar. A fairly comfortable night although apprehensive about the op scheduled for 2 pm the next day.

Interesting experience down in the anesthetic prep room. I was having a spinal bock and epidural instead of a general anesthetic, this involved an injection directly into the spinal sheath along with a catheter placed outside the sheath (for the epidural pain relief – this stays in for 5 days) I was lying on my side whilst the injections where put into the base of my spine and IV canulas (cannuli ?) were inserted in my left arm.
The anesthetic took immediate effect in my left leg which I commented on to the anesthetist saying that it was rather clever. He explained that the dope solution worked on gravity and when I turn over I should go numb from the waist down which was rather handy as his next job was to insert a catheter up through the end of my willy and into my bladder, I then informed him that as I was now numb from the waist down would he refrain from volunteering any further details on what he was about to do.
My surgeon then came in along with his registrar when we exchanged the usual pre-op jokes like me asking if I will ever be able to play the Piano again. ‘Of course’ he replied, ‘strange’ I said ‘I couldn’t before’ Boom Boom!
He of course said ‘You won’t feel a thing’ with a maniacal grin, I waited for him to add ‘ever again’ but he didn’t
I then complained that every one had a face mask except me, was I becoming paranoid? So they gave me one just to shut me up. It was at this point I saw the strangest thing; the surgeon who was standing adjacent to my waist had a shaved orange leg hanging over his shoulder in the way a butcher would carry a lump of meat, oddly this made me laugh until I realized the leg was mine coated in Iodine.
It had been explained to me that I would be awake for the whole procedure but I would not feel anything and as it was scheduled for 2 hours I would probably drift off with the help of a mild sedation I would be given. So into theatre we went and the surgeon plunged into me with his scalpel, I couldn’t see or feel anything and so fell in and out of consciousness; however I could see a clock on the wall which currently read 2:45. suddenly the surgeon exclaim ‘Oh shit!’ at which point everyone gathers round, it appears that after having cut out and sawn off my existing knee and inserted the uper rod into my femur the lower rod would not pass an old fracture preventing the insertion of the lower shaft. I know no more until I come round in recovery at 5:00 pm and then taken back to my room.

My Implant

As I fully come round I feel fine, I do a quick assessment of my status, check that I still have both legs, I have a saline drip, a blood drip, a drain tube from my knee and a catheter from my willy (don’t even think about a morning involuntary erection) and the best bit an epidural drip into my spine delivering a measured dosage of Morphine and heroine so no wonder I feel no pain and have a smile on my face. I’m reminded of the Pink Floyd song ‘Comfortably Numb’
I’m offered food and drink at this stage which I gratefully devour at which point Belinda arrives and is pleased to see me sitting up and so bright.
I finished my meal and chatting non stop telling B all that I can remember about the op when she says that I am looking a little pale and getting paler by the second. I then pass out and she runs out shouting for a nurse who arrives very promptly and proceeds to try and rouse me (B, explained all this later) by gently shaking me and calling ‘Phil, Phil can you hear me’ she repeated this a couple of times then asked B if I responded to Phil or Philip, ‘Neither’ she explained ‘his name is Martyn’ at which point I came too.
Apparently my blood pressure had dropped rapidly causing me to faint, but back on the oxygen it soon returned to normal. The drawback of this meant that I had to have my BP taken every 30 mins throughout the night for the next 4 nights, this is not conducive for getting good nights sleep, but you soon get used to sleeping with your arm hanging out of bed.

A couple of days later a physio comes to see me, fortunately along with the staff nurse who was looking after me. At the time of my admission it had been explained to the staff that due to my Neuro condition that I could go into spasm any time my legs received a sudden jolt or pain shock and that IV Diazapam be kept on the ward in case. Unfortunately there was some part of this that the physio didn’t grasp because he just grabbed my foot and jerked it toward me. Immediately I felt my quads tighten then the whole of both legs, I shouted ‘spasm!’ just before the full effect hit me, fortunately the nurse was ahead of the game, she got out of the door, unlocked a drugs cabinet, filled a syringe with 20ml Diazapam and shot it into a canula in my left arm all in about 15 seconds. Unfortunately she didn’t have time to flush the canula first so had to force the drug through which hurt like hell and I didn’t know which was making me scream most. The spasm relaxed immediately, it was some time before the physio came back.

On the Saturday I watched England beat France in the semi of the RWC, somehow not as satisfying on your own with only a couple of cans of Guinness, watched on a 14” lcd screen 2ft away from your face, all alone. No one to discuss the match with, not quite the same somehow.

Ok now it’s time to get lavatorial, I haven’t ‘opened my bowels’ as they put it for 6 days now and so there is some mention of suppositories which I really do not take on board so I do a deal. I have now had all my tubes removed and so I am sort of mobile so if they can get me on the commode, which is basically a toilet seat on a wheelchair that slides over the toilet, put me in position, I can be left to get on with it. Well there’s a lot of wind but little lese so I pull the bell cord to get some one to let me out and half an hour later I am still sat there. I attempt calling but to no avail.
I am basically nude but decide that if I can at least get to the door I can probably get out and get some attention. To cut a long story short I managed to wheel myself by grabbing wall etc, into the main corridor with balls akimbo only to find everyone had gone for a tea break.
So day 7 and still no shit so will have to have 3 bum pills tonight. The duty nurse that evening was a delightfully funny, large Jamaican woman who explained that she would administer the suppositories for me and make sure that I ‘hung on to them’ so that they would be absorbed properly and to do this she would use a short piece of plastic tubing.
I immediately had an image of her using a blow pipe and said no way. I explained that, should I find it suddenly necessary, it would be difficult to get to the toilet unaided in the middle of the night I would have to use a bed pan – would this be a good idea after 7 days? She saw my point and decided to leave it until the morning.
The first thing next morning I got a nurse to get me into the bathroom and with the image of the nurse with a blow pipe I suddenly passed the equivalent combined weight of the England front row, it felt so good I let out a large cheer, cleaned up and pulled the nurse called.
‘Are you alright?’ she asked.
‘Yes, but you may need to put in a call to Dyna Rod’

I had an incision wound at the side of my knee which wouldn’t heal up and continuously leaked fluid and it seemed whatever dressing they put on it still leaked through, however I was due to go home as I could now fully weight bear on the knee and inspite of leaving a trail of blood from my wound along the corridor after having convinced the physio’s that I could manage stairs, they pronounced me fit and able to be discharged. This would mean that I would be home for the Rugby World Cup Final! However I did mention to the Doc that morning that I had a pain in the calf muscle to which to suggested that they get it scanned before I go ‘just in case’
Getting a scan took another 2 days, Friday, and the result was …. 3 blood clots in 3 veins so if you would care to stay with us for another 7 days we’d be pleased to have you, oh and enjoy all the facilities, sorry about the trouser press. I actually cried
Didn’t enjoy Rugby final started on Warfarin and high dose Tinzaparin injections in stomach.
Sunday was fun, I had my staples out, this made my side wound bleed even more heavly, never mind they just used thicker dressings.
A week later Thurs 25th Doc says I can go as long as my INR is near 2, but only way to stop wound bleeding will be to stitch up. Mr Cool (the registrar, real name Ahmed somethingorother) comes up from theatre to confer and agrees, as skin at that point is so tough it takes 2 of them to get 8 stitches in but it does the job and finally the wound is sealed. Physio tries the steps again and we are successful so he signed me off. INR result comes back at 1.9 which is good enough with a final shot and off I go!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

An update - if youv'e got a spare half an hour

For those who didn’t get an update on my knee operation I will try and combine the two but mainly concentrating on part 2.
Part 1 involved the basic knee replacement with various complications not least developing deep vein thrombosis which extended my 7-10 day scheduled stay to 17 days the worst of this being that I had to watch both the Rugby World cup semis and finals on my own on a tiny monitor over my bed, with only 2 cans of Guinness each time but there again not having had a shit for 6 days the guinness did help things along eventually, however after 3 days at home I was starting to walk again with the aid of a frame and even made it to the pub, albeit with a lot of help. The only problem being an incision wound in the side of my knee which had been made to reposition my knee cap wouldn’t heal and was being oozing fluid and being checked daily by our finest district nurse.
I was home for a total of 7 days before part 2 of this journey kicked in. I collapsed on a Sunday morning, fortunately in front of the district nurse who was redressing the wound in the side of my knee which wouldn’t heal. I had felt unwell during the night so she took my temperature just before I passed out. 39 c (102F). She called out a Doc who immediately called an ambulance and I was taken to Swindon A&E.
It soon became apparent that the wound was infected and had then infected the whole of the knee joint. I was admitted and sent up to a Surgical Assessment ward, then straight to theatre, (the play was awful – lol) as I’d had nothing to eat all day and it was then 10:00pm I was able to have a general anesthetic, so they proceeded to get as much poison out as possible then pumped me full of antibiotics.
The next morning they told me I would have to have another procedure which would involve opening my knee and scraping and flushing everything out and this would involve another general anesthetic so nil by mouth. I’d last eaten a slice of toast and drank a cup of tea at midnight after the first op.
I lay there all day waiting for them to come for me to go to theatre, eventually I was taken down at 1:30 am almost 25 hours after the toast but at least I was on a drip so that I didn’t dehydrate. It was a 4 hour op and I came around fairly sharply and although it was 4:30 I asked for something to eat and was rewarded with another slice of toast, Unfortunately I’d fallen asleep before it arrived!
In the morning they explained what I’d had done and that as my consultant surgeon wasn’t on the premises someone else had carried out the procedure and should have replaced a neoprene part of my implant but hadn’t. My consultant wanted to open up again, replace the part and flush out again.
So general anesthetic number 3 and a late afternoon visit to theatre again (same play). The next day I don’t know what planet I’m on, all I can say is thank God for the morphine drip.
After 2 days I feel a good deal better and get moved to a room with 3 other beds where I spend the next 8 days along with a number of different bed fellow who come and go as their stays are much shorter. Many different types of people become my neighbour including a chap who had just served 4 years in Belmarsh prison for attempted murder and was a crack cocaine addict – he had a stroke and was relatively docile but extremely paranoid.
I was told that I would have to have a tube inserted in my neck known as a Central Veneous Catherter, or Hickman tube (we call it my hicky) It’s inserted through a main vein in my neck a leads to the Aorta where it is anchored and a tube then comes out through my chest with a valve on the end. This means that my antibiotics can be administered IV at home. This procedure was done the following Friday under a local anesthetic and was fairly unpleasant and would rather stick my tongue up a Camel’s arse but I would now be free to go home.The only problem was that it was now 5.30pm on a Friday and a district nurse would have to attend on me for the first week when I got home and this would not be possible to arrange until Monday additionally all my medication would need to be ordered and delivered to my home so Tuesday was going to be my release date.
However the chap in the bed opposite had been moved into our room the day after me, he was elderly and not quite with it, on his seventh night he died. I was moved to another ward across the other side of the hospital and later learnt that he had died from MRSA. I had been moved as I was the only one who had surgery.
The new room was exactly the same as the old one, 4 beds, same layout people come and go. The following day, a Sunday a chap in his 60’s arrived on the ward straight up from theatre, he was awake and sitting up, I had a brief chat with him he’d had a minor stomach op and was able to get out of bed a walk to the bathroom with his drip stand. His family visited in the afternoon and I chatted to him in the evening. He fell asleep about 9.00pm and was pronounced dead at 1:38am. I had been awoken by a crash alarm and a lot of people came running into the ward with trolleys etc. They pulled the curtain around his bed but I could hear everything that was going on. Apparently the night nurse had come to me to flush my tube with Heparin – an anti-coalgulant- she had told me earlier in the evening that it would need doing, so I told her to just do it and don’t bother waking me. This she managed to do and after me she checked on the chap opposite only to find him still – no pulse – dead! The crash team didn’t bother to revive him as he’d been gone for an hour or so, apparently heart failure due to the anesthetic, so when they tell you there’s 1 in 100 chance of dying from surgery when signing the consent form believe them!
By now I’m getting paranoid, I really want to get out of there so come Monday morning I get nurses on the case with a view to getting discharged asap. Belinda got on to Hungerford surgery from home and they were brilliant, as soon as the hospital rang them they were already in place for me from Tuesday morning, by the end of Monday the medication I would need at home had been ordered and would be delivered along with a fridge to store them all in would be delivered by 8:30 the next morning and an IV nurse to train us all up.
Tuesday came and I was told I would be discharged late afternoon as all my in hospital medication would have to be administered at the correct time. As I’d been having Tinsaparin injections in my stomach for the last 10 days at 4:00 pm I would have to wait until then. Belinda came at 4.00 and the nurse went off to get my Tinsaparin shot and check my dosage which varies according to my INR blood level. When she came back she aid my INR level was to low and I would need to continue the shots for several days more, however they had not taken this into consideration when ordering my supplies and it was now too late to get pre-loaded syringes from the in-house pharmacy, would I mind staying another night? I was sat on the edge of my bed, packed and ready to go – to right I would mind!
Fortunately Belinda recalled that we had been given 4 syringes for emergencies the last time I came home so once I’d had the jab and we managed to convince them that we had enough at home they let me go – only 17 days!

So I am now home, confined to upstairs (I’m not allowed to use the stairs) so spend all day in the office and go to bed at 6:00pm. The nurse comes every morning but Belinda is getting pretty good at administering the 3 IV syringes and tomorrow she is entirely solo as the nurse wants her to do it without her being here.

Some other facts: The bug I got is called coagulase negative staphylococcus, I lost 3 stone in weight, grew a beard which came out grey and ginger (now shaved off), I still have the infection and will have for a further 6 weeks, they measure the level of infection by a CRP count in the white blood cells. The normal level should 0 – 6, 10 days after starting the antibiotic course my count was 133!, the last count was last Friday when it was 88 so it’s coming down, my next one is Monday so I hope it’s half that but it wont be until it’s in single figures that I will be in the clear.

So that’s it – in a nut shell – I would loose the will to live if I was to tell you the full story.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Bring it on

Now this is getting interesting, The all Blacks on a bus home and England v France next weekend. Serge Betson will almost cerntainly be out as he suffered a concusion during the game, that's a legal 3 week lay off so all we need is for the neandertal Cheval to get food posing the night before and we're in!

Saturday, October 06, 2007


England 12, Australia 10 (and going home)
Well we did it, I don't know how but we did. I ho9nestly didn't expect us to beat the Wallabies again and I would definitely have not put any money on England, but what a match. I haven't been so nervous since the 2003 final 30 seconds. Well done England lets see what happens next weekend.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Round up

Well by now I was supposed to have a new knee and should have been just about ready to put weight on it but alas no. My operation was cancelled!
I was admitted on Tuesday as planned at Swindons's Great Western Hospital having spent the previous 2 days crapping myself with nerves and packing then repacking and generally hanging about with a knot in my stomach.
On the Monday I phoned admissions as requested to check that there was a bed available.
'Yes your bed is available an your operation will be at 11:00 am with Mr Kennedy' informed the kind lady at the other end of the phone.
'But my surgeon is Mr Deo' I replied.
'Sorry Mr Deo is on leave, Mr Kennedy will be doing your surgery, he's very good you know'
'I'm sure he is but he's not touching me, he knows nothing about me, do you even know what I'm having done?
'er, no, it'll be on the list and your on the list' replied kind lady'
'I suggest that you contact Mr Deo's office, because he's operating on me on Wednesday morning and I don't think he'll be best pleased to find that someone has already operated on his patient'
'Ok' said lady now not sounding so kind 'I'll call you back'
Six hours later the ward sister called me to inform me that Mr.Deo would be operating on me on Wednesday morning.
'Yes I know that, that's what I told the admissions lady six hours ago' she chose to ignore that remark.
'Can you come in at 2pm tomorrow (Tues) afternoon, come straight up to the ward@
We arrived at 2pm on Tuesday and approached a nurse at a desk and gave my name, she quickly glanced at a large wipe board with names and times written all over it, she then visibly turned pale and whispered something to another nurse who soon became agitated and then turned and smiled and suggested that we might like to wait in the corridor for a moment. After five minutes a red faced nurse came out and ushered us to my room. I was most impressed, en-suite bathroom, TV a good view of the A419, alas but no trouser press or mini bar.
'Would you like some tea?' asked the nurse.
'That would be nice' I replied, 'Shall I lie on the bed or what?'
'Er, no, could you just wait here, Sister will be along to see you shortly'
An hour later Sister came in and I hit the roof 'CANCELLED, what do you mean?'
'I'm ever so sorry the parts haven't arrived'
'I'm here for a knee replacement, not a 50,000 mile service'
'Oh yes I know you see we've got the implant just not the extra size drill jig that we need to fit it, as your having a rare implant we hire it in and it hasn't arrived. Can you come back next week?'

Bring it on next Tuesday!