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Where am I

I managed to slip over on 6-November-2015 and fracture the femoral head of my right hip. This blog is just to keep friends and relatives up-to-date with my recovery. It also will show where the NHS is good and where there is opportunity to improve. If you click the images tab (above) there are a few images of the break before and after the repair.

Update 10-June-2016 - sadly the femoral head has avascular necrosis and a total hip replacement will be carried out on 15-June-2016

I am home in Stoke Bruerne

Friday, 4 November 2016

One year on

It is a year ago today that I broke my hip; a challenging year that is sorting itself out very well now following my total hip replacement in June.

I saw a consultant Orthopaedic man on last Friday; he is very pleased with my progress but does say it will probably take until approximately mid-2017 (a year on from the total hip replacement) to fully 'recover' and get all my strength back in my right leg but at the same time he does advise working (!) and playing normally.

However the purpose of this post is not to talk about my hip but to take the opportunity of saying 'thank you' (in reality two totally inadequate words in the circumstances) to all of you for all the kindness, help, support, taxi services, mothering, counselling and just being there and so on over the last year - it's been a huge help and something that makes me feel so very humble and is something I shall never forget.

On Wednesday (2-November) I helped crew Sculptor - the Canal & River Trust's historic, former working boat, based at the Canal Museum in Stoke Bruerne - back from Weedon where it had been undergoing some much needed maintenance.  It's a year since I crewed Sculptor; I was pleased to realise I hadn't forgotten how to bring her through the 2.8km of Blisworth Tunnel without touching the sides!

And what does the future hold?  Well the lovely Orthopaedic man said that in all probability my new hip will last some time but conversely it may fail without warning. He said it is man-made and we were never as good at putting things together as mother nature.  Live life (just the one life!) as if your hip hadn't been replaced but if it fails just let us know and we'll get the tools out to repair it - wise advice I think.

Thank you all so much and with special thanks to:
  • Liz Soames of Working Bodies in Towcester who has persevered with me over the last year.
  • Stephanie (Mother) Furniss
  • Vicky Martin - who was always 'there' for me in the early days
  • Rob & Helen Westlake who made sure I didn't spend last Christmas at home after being discharged from NGH on 23-December
  • José Blanco who repaired me (twice!)

Friday, 28 October 2016

It's almost a year since I broke my hip

I had an appointment with an Orthopaedic Consultant today - what a lovely man he is.

He says I am doing very well and that with any luck the new hip will see me out but to be aware that it also may not last - it's just one of those things because the hip is now man-made there is the possibility of it failing.

Well I suppose that's a risk we take in life and where would I be if the NHS hadn't replaced it (after trying so hard to repair it).

He did say that I should try and forget that I have had my hip replaced and just get on and enjoy life which is what I think I have been doing for the last few months so that's what I'll do and unless there is something important to say I'll not update this blog.

Monday, 12 September 2016

Time to close the blog?

Last time I decided to close this blog my hip 'collapsed' but I do feel I am doing so well (my friend Vicky said that I had made an industry of getting back to full fitness) that the chances of any complications are really very small.

The walking continues well - yesterday I accomplished over 4km without going more that 100m from home - it was Village at War weekend in Stoke Bruerne though and very busy!

Thursday, 1 September 2016

An odd phone call

My phone rang this morning and on the other end of the line was Northampton General Hospital. They asked me to confirm who I was and that I had recently had a hip replacement - no problem there!

It turns out they thought I had been discharged yesterday and were keen to offer me physio as soon as possible.  I explained that it was about 11.5 weeks since my hip replacement on 15-June. There was a deathly silence and then NGH said they would like to see me anyway!

Can't believe it has taken them that long to call me and even more dumbfounded to be told the earliest they can see me is 14-September!  No wonder the NHS is in trouble.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Still doing well

Sculptor returning David's coffin to Stoke Bruerne
after a trip into Blisworth Tunnel
I am going from strength-to-strength still although my back let me down a little yesterday (Saturday) but seems much better this morning thank goodness.  Liz, my physio, is very pleased with my progress but I suspect the exercises she now has me doing may have exacerbated the issues with my lower back - I'll take life more easily for the next few days!

A huge funeral in Stoke Bruerne this week for David Blagrove - the church, which I understands holds 200 people seated, was reputed to have a congregation of 500!  It was a lovely day all all respects - beautiful weather and a fitting send off for a man who has been at the heart of the waterways for such a long time.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Going from strength to strength


I noticed last Sunday that I no longer think about going up the stairs in my house - despite it being a Georgian design (Victorian built) with eight  inch risers on the treads I seem to be able to do it now without a backward look.  I am sure that is in the main due to my physio (still nothing provided by the NHS despite promises) and I think my walking helps a lot - see graph - the big spike is the day I spent in Woking for the 50th Anniversaries of the Basingstoke Canal Society and the Historic Narrowboat Club. My average is 3.4km (just over 2 miles) a day which I expect is greater than the average of the population.

I am not sure how accurate my iPhone is at recording my walking but I suppose the graph is recording like with like so that's a known quantity/quality.

Back to boating today too - we took Sculptor down to the A508 to wind her (only place we really can) and then I brought her back to Stoke Bruerne. Had the pleasure of passing Owl and Hampton at the top lock (after Jim on Owl had spent some time on the historic mooring in Stoke Bruerne removing a wedding dress from his propellor).

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Things still going well

Although I am not back to doing everything I used to do I am still making, what I consider, good progress.  The day in Woking didn't set me back at all and I continue my walking every day - not always a great distance but as often as possible at least just above the long term average if I possibly can.

My physio, Liz, has left it to me to make the next appointment as she feels I am making such good progress but of course she has given me some fairly strenuous exercises to undertake!

Part of me wishes so much that I had been given a new hip all those months ago in November-2015 but I am assured the right decision was made (for me and the NHS) to try and make the Dynamic Hip Screw work.  However there's not much to be gained from looking backwards and saying 'I wish' and the right way is to look forward and take advantage of the work that was done for me.