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

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Day 109 (62) to Day 116 (69)

My friend Richard visited this morning and put a saucepan rack in my kitchen. Thank you Richard.  Bitterly cold again but with March around the corner I rather hope it will get warmer during the month especially as Easter is at the end of March. 

I see poor old Christchurch (in NZ) has endured yet another fairly strong earthquake over night (Sunday/Monday for them) - 4.3 on the Richter scale bit only a depth of 5km so a real shake poor souls.

Much better today. It was as if a good night's sleep fixed everything.  My consultant did warn me that days like yesterday would happen from time-to-time - he was right and they are not very pleasant when the do happen. Had a lovely shower this morning - there's still a bit of work to do but in the main things are finished.

The large piece of glass
disappearing into
my house
A really bad day today - I felt as if I had gone backwards down a really steep slope. Very tired and very sore.  I put it down to sitting for 2 and a half hours at a CRT meeting in a very cold (bitterly cold in my view) meeting over lunch.

Jim and Dave finished off most of the bathroom work today - they had to take a large piece of glass up the outside of the house - a bit scary but they managed it with ease.

A quiet day looking after the boys as the make great progress with the shower - it really looks good but we can't get the glass partition up the stairs (well they can't) so on Friday it will be hoisted up the outside of the house to the middle bedroom window - I'll get some photos to record what happens.

A busy day today.  Blood test at 09:30, tea and biscuits for the boys, a meeting with CRT in the Museum at 14:00 and an appointment with the NHS Physio in Towcester at 14:45.  Interestingly she advised me that for every week of no movement it will take seven (7) weeks to get full muscle tone back so that's the end of November for me!

Off to Westbury in Wilshire today for the funeral of of my very good friend Derek and to support his wife Georgie and sons Julian and Trevor. Mike P very kindly insisted on driving me there and back. If funerals can be good it was a very good one.  Poor Derek has been slowly going for about 11 years and finally succumbed to the inevitable on 9-February. I was very pleased to be able to go.  On the way back Mike and I stopped in Devizes for a cuppa. 

Awful smell in the house when we arrived home because the sewer was 'blowing' up the pipe - soon fixed with a piece of cling film!  All the tiles on one wall fell off when the first one was removed - it must have given the boys a fright.

Jim and Dave were meant to start work on my bathroom today but unfortunately Dave's daughter was ill so it will be tomorrow when they start - I'll be away in Westbury (Wilts) for the day. I had a session this morning with Liz (my private Physio) in which she had my leg in all sorts of positions - I understand the bone is very strong but the muscles are still in need of attention - and don't I know it after today!

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Day 102 (54) to Day 108 (61)

Blowy and gusty again today but as with yesterday only scheduled to last a few hours. A busy week coming up with Jim and Dave doing the bathroom all week, Physio on Monday, Derek's funeral in Westbury on Tuesday, a blood test, a CRT meeting (in the museum) and further NHS Physio on Wednesday - relaxation on Thursday I hope and I'll maybe get to use my new shower by then.

Still a bit stiff this morning but almost no pain in the hip and 'quad' muscles - all very odd and unpredictable! Walking so well (a relative term!) today - very strange it all is.

The new bathroom cabinets
There will be mirrors in the doors
I have undertaken a little more research on Trendelenburg's this morning and found this. It seems quite common and a likely by-product of a hip repair.  I shall keep doing the exercises the Registrar suggested and check with 'my' Physio, Liz, when I see her on Monday. However quite stiff and sore today - I wonder why that is - most days are good with the odd one here and there a bit of a step backwards.

The bathroom cupboards - the curved
one is for the main bathroom
I popped over to Weedon this morning to see Jim (who is doing my bathroom and the little ensuite in the top bedroom) to see what the furniture looked like.  The larger 'cupboards' will have frosted glass basins let into the tops. There are more images of Jim's work here.

I did a day for CRT in Milton Keynes today and got struck in to what CRT think are winding holes and what independent map makers think are winding holes - there's quite a bit of difference!

A letter from the NHS when I got home reporting on my visit to the Fracture Clinic last Thursday - I was surprised to read I have a 'Slightly Positive Trendelenburg' stance which suggests an instability in my pelvis and something to do with either my muscles and/or nerves on the side my hip was broken.  The comment says I will not show this stance in three months - I hope that's correct.

A fairly quiet day - looking in my wardrobe for something decent to wear to Derek's funeral next week. I think I have found something at fits the occasion and adds a bit of colour to to the event in celebration of Derek's life.

My friend Mike delivered an excellent presentation (no PowerPoint thank goodness) last night at the monthly Friends of The Canal Museum meeting.  All about his 20, or so, years in Stoke Bruerne which was finished off by a bit of excellent mucking about on his trumpet - I wonder what Village at War will bring. I had a lovely evening meal with my friend David Daines in the Navigation prior to the FoCM meeting.  

Jim (the bathroom man) called me today to say he would start on Monday next (22-Feb) which is good news.  I shall be away for one day attending the funeral of my friend Derek in Westbury, Wilts.  My friend Mike has banned me from driving and will take me which is very kind of him.

Nothing like so stiff this morning although I did keep up on the exercises the consultant prescribed. A sharp frost overnight, but no more cold than I remember in the early 1980s - I get exasperated by the media who do go on and on and on about how cold it was last night. It is a typical winter's day today - bright, clear and frosty - just what a winter should be - my only change in lifestyle will be that I shall be a bit more careful when outside in case I slip - because I know only too well the consequences of slipping! I have a real fear of falling over - no more gin then!

Last night I started the exercises which my consultant had suggested would help. The longer term answer is that they do work, of that there is no doubt BUT I was so stiff this morning I could hardly move!  It took a walk to the tunnel portal and back to get things moving again but I do think the longer term result is good.  Maybe after a few 'consultant' exercises I won't be quite so stiff in the mornings!

Still bitterly cold with a biting NE wind.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Day 97 (49) to Day 101 (53)

A photo taken from the top floor of the museum by my friend Steph.  Left to right are the historic boats
  Sculptor, Southern Cross, Moon and William

The day has dawn clear but with a naggingly cold east wind - as I write this at 10:30 there are lots of people around.

We had a great day but it remained bitterly cold all day.

A really raw and cold day with constant drizzle. Despite the weather there were a good number of visitors here being shown around the lock.  William, Phobos and Southern Cross were here to compliment Sculptor as the photo at the top shows.  In the evening we had a lovely time in the Spice of Bruerne.

Jim the builder came round to do some last minute checks, yes I have had the quote, fallen over and picked myself up off the floor and accepted Jim's quote.  It looks as if he may start on 22-Feb!

A quiet Friday doing what I could to help CRT get ready for the Lock Open Days at the top Lock. It was bitterly cold and promises to be much the same for the weekend.

A good session with Liz my Physio this morning followed this afternoon by an appointment with the registrar.  All looking good and he doesn't wish to see me again until May.  This image alongside is of the 'repair' taken on 14-December-15.  I am surprised about the extra screw but I was told that it is the one that locks everything in place!

A bit stiff this morning but I have worked it off and now (10:00) am doing well. A phone call to the doctor this morning to check on the results of last week's blood test to find that I am 'borderline' on Creatinine so of course they would like some more blood - it must be posh blood!

A phone call yesterday from my very good (and long-standing) family friend Trevor to say his father had died overnight.  Trevor's Mum Georgie was so good to me when I had a difficult period in my life 35 years or so ago.  Derek was in a nursing home for some time and succumbed to dementia. I honestly think everyone is sorry he has gone but thankful he is no longer suffering.

Today was 'Adoption Day' in Stoke Bruerne - still not fit enough to take part but it was good to go and have a cup of tea with the team at lunchtime.

A much better day from the point-of-view of the weather. First thing Stuart came to clean my oven - I just couldn't do it with the hip the way it is and he has done a 'sparkling' job. Then John Dodwell (a Trustee for Canal and River Trust) and Peter Gray for morning tea followed by a FRED (Fish Rescue Education Day) following the draining of the pound below the lock. John and I then went to see David Blagrove and his wife Jean - David and John go back 60 years!

John and I had a lovely lunch in the Navigation before he went off with Ian (Knocky) Final to look at issues on the Grand Union South.

I was delighted to receive an e-mail fro a friend of mine in South Africa who had sent a photo of an old 2CV of mine which is now in a museum in the Netherlands. I remember driving RFF192 back from Dublin and then to Slovenia and back in 1995 - oh to be that young again and have the carefree attitude that I did in those days - who else would drive a 1955 12hp 2CV all the way to Slovenia and back for fun? It is lovely to see that it is being cared for and in a museum where it will last for so much longer.

I clearly walked too far today (will I ever learn) and I find my right thigh is really quite sore this evening.  I have done a lot today so I'll need to monitor how my recovery goes but based on previous issues like this I am sure it will be fine after a night's rest.

A horrible day weather wise today - huge winds (90mph on the south coast) and bitterly cold. My friend Sue was crossing from Dublin to Holyhead - bit of a roller coaster journey I should think. The CRT boys have started work on the top lock so that will give me an interest for a few weeks.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Day 91 (43) to Day 96 (48)

Another quiet day today. Just doing the 'normal' things such as the ironing and housework - the housework is good Physio for me and I am happy to take life quietly at the moment. A busy week in prospect with the top lock outside due to be taken apart starting on Monday morning, a FRED (Fish Rescue Education Day) on Tuesday, Adoption Day on Wednesday (won't be doing too much manual labour though), Physio and the Fracture Clinic on Thursday and then the Lock Open weekend on the Saturday and Sunday.  I'll have Friday off for good behaviour!

Waitangi Day today; a day that most Kiwis do not forget (mainly because it is a public holiday in NZ!).

My friend Richard came over this morning whist I scanned in his drawings of the cloths for Sculptor - they cover the cargo hold when the weather is inclement or when carrying a cargo that is susceptible to water. The drawings will be sent on to a company under Spaghetti Junction (Gravely Hill Interchange in proper speak!) which is the intersection of the M5 and M6.

I have enjoyed a quiet day today (I had the pleasure of entertaining by friend Emma for 45 mins or so) as it is the first round of 6 Nations rugby this weekend.

Much more flexible this morning - I know I have to push the exercise but obtaining the right balance is quite a challenge.  Friday was fine and I felt as if my mobility was as good as it has been since breaking my hip.  I had an appointment today to have my eyes tested - the good news is that I don't need new glasses and that my eyes have neither deteriorated or improved in the last two years.

An appointment today with the Phlebotomist (what a title!) at my GP surgery today.  She needed a bit of blood from me.  I asked about my Vitamin D levels which she said were normal but that the hospital were concerned about my kidney function and my creatinine levels - - I am of the opinion that my leg muscles waisted a bit during the long periods of doing nothing and now I am up and down the stairs, going out for walks and doing as much Physio as I can so I am not surprised that my creatinine levels are on the high side.  Anyway I can't change much at the moment so I'll need to wait and see.

I walked up to the tunnel portal and back at lunchtime and paid for it later in the evening - no trouble walking but that, coupled with a bit more walking around in the afternoon, kind of seized me up by the time I went to bed (much better the following morning).

A quiet day spent watching the England/South Africa cricket match. Managed to put the rubbish out today which is another 'first'.  Tomorrow I am off to the vampires at my local GP Surgery as they want more blood from me - probably because my Vitamin D levels are still low - I'll try and find out why if I can. It might seem like a small thing but I can now balance on my right leg 'on demand' and I can put on my Jimmys (not a pleasant sight!) without the need to sit down or use an external means of supporting myself. I've not been able to do that for three months.

Another 'good' day - much more flexibility and mobility. This morning John Chambers came and fitted grab handles to two out of the three flights of stairs I have - on the top flight it just doesn't seem possible (or necessary) to fit grab handles. I did expect the NHS to look at doing that but I can't have looked pathetic enough at the time. They will, I expect, become useful in the coming years! There are two on the flight of stairs from the sitting room to the kitchen and two on the flight of stairs from the sitting room to the bathroom/spare bedroom.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Day 90 (42)

On Saturday I made mention as follows of a new appointment 'A letter from the Fracture Clinic this morning saying I had an appointment for 11-February but I also have one for 5-February which doesn't seem to have been cancelled - I'll need to check with them on Monday.' 

I rang the Fracture Clinic this morning and after 10 minutes waiting I was advised that, although the letter I had received on Saturday did not advise of a change in appointment, it was, in fact, a change of appointment; they don't, apparently, have the right template to say it is a change of appointment. The date on the letter is the same date I had received a phone call from an external agency asking me to confirm I was going to the 5-February appointment.  So I now have an appointment for 11-February (some two months after the first one despite the advice that I needed to see the Fracture Clinic monthly!).

Why was I not surprised to receive a phone this evening at 18:20 asking me to confirm I would be attending the 11-February appointment - less than eight hours after agreeing I was going to the 11-February appointment.

Is it any wonder that the NHS is in such disarray?