September 2018 Update

Garry McGivern

Firstly the most important news of the month, at least as far I’m concerned!

When I left the hospital, I was told by the physios that I wouldn’t be able to ride my bike until I had my hip replaced properly next year! They were wrong!

British Blue cat
Toby keeping Garry company

After an appointment with my consultant, the one who operated on me and the one who would probably be the most pissed off if I damaged my temporary hip, said that I was okay to ride my bike!

It’s just down to me, whether I feel strong enough to cycle, in fact, she lifted all restrictions on what I can and can’t do, saying you’ll know whether you can or not! But you’ve still got months of recovery before your fully recovered from the sepsis and completely back to normal! Was I ever normal!?!

Garry McGivern
Garry’s new form of transport

My blood and markers were all nearly back to normal, so she also took me off the antibiotics that I had to have injected every day!

Things are slowly improving on the health front, albeit very slowly, or that’s what it seems to me! It’s only when I look back over a week as opposed to each day I can see progress!

As I’m constantly being told, “be patient, it’ll take time!”

Pint of lager
Garry’s first pint since leaving hospital

I’m still on crutches and can’t walk too far; my voice is still croaky, my taste buds have gone, everything has a tang to it, even beer! My shoulder is still frozen, and I still get very tired and have to take to my bed for a nap each day! Some days I overdo things and pay for it the next day, but you know what they say “no gain without pain!”

back on the bike!

Ever since I got told that I was allowed to ride my bike I’ve been trying to get on it every day, but I physically can’t, I don’t have the strength or flexibility in my legs!

Garry McGivern
Garry on his bike

Although now at the end of the month I’ve managed to get on it a couple of times with a real struggle! But not had the confidence to try and cycle yet! I’m now thinking of getting a ladies bike or 3 wheeler!

World sepsis day

Sepsis aware poster

Every 3.5 seconds, someone in the world dies of sepsis. In the UK alone, 44,000 people lose their lives to sepsis every year. This is more than breast, bowel & prostate cancer combined. Today is World sepsis day please spread the symptoms of sepsis far and wide.

Friday 7th September. Home.

Well, I’ve been out of the hospital for a week now and have been staying at my daughter’s, although I’m hoping to go home to my house next week.

Dad and daughter
Garry just about to leave hospital with his daughter Vicky

I have a nurse that comes round each day to administer my antibiotics, which have to be given intravenously and also to check my stats, which have all been more or less okay since I’ve been home!

I exercise my right hip/leg every day, although maybe not as much as I should, I find it all a bit painful and too exhausting!

I’ve now worked out or rather I’ve been told about my stay in hospital!

I was taken to the A&E department at St Richard’s Hospital Chichester by ambulance on the Saturday night/Sunday morning. Over the next four days, I was moved from ward to ward, with nobody knowing what was wrong with me!

Man having a manicure
Vicky giving her dad a manicure while he was sedated

Eventually, after a couple of nights on the emergency floor, (I wasn’t actually on the floor it’s a name of the ward!) They told me that if I didn’t pass any water, they were going to put a catheter in me! Not wanting that I immediately asked for a jug of water which I downed straight away! That was quickly followed by three more, which didn’t work either! My last memory was of me dragging a chair across the ward for support to the toilet, with my sister telling my brother-in-law Pat to go with me!

what happened

Everything from here on until my last few days in intensive care is what people have told me happened!

After another day or so of confusion on my part, not knowing who I was, where I was or who anybody else was they then realised that I had sepsis and transferred me to the intensive care unit.

After a day or two in intensive care, things weren’t getting better, and my kidneys stopped working! Soon after my kidneys stopped working my lungs and heart started to pack up! It was then that they sedated me! And put me on life support to give my body a chance to recover!

Garry McGivern on life support
Garry sedated and hooked up to life support

I was sedated for six days before they revived me, and I stayed in intensive care for another 3-weeks, which I don’t remember either!

While in intensive care they discovered that I had two abscesses on my right hip, my bad one.

After draining the two abscesses, they told me that they were going to remove the hip and put a temporary spacer in until they were sure that all the infection had gone! So I’ve now got this temporary spacer, which will stay in until they decide to replace my hip properly, which from what they were saying is unlikely to be this year!

Man in hospital eating
Enjoying some fish and chips that the family bought in

The only downside to having this spacer and it’s a really big downside, I’m not allowed to ride my bike at all, in any way shape or form until I get my new hip! So that’s no cycling until next year! Must try not to get to down about it! Think I may need to lock my bikes up and throw away the keys, then I won’t be able to ride them! That’s if my daughters not already done that!

After four weeks in intensive care, they discharged me to the orthopaedic ward, where I spent another two weeks before being discharged home.

I’ve not gone home I’m staying at my daughter’s, so as you can imagine I’m spoilt rotten!

It wasn’t until I’d heard all this from different people that I realise how ill I was and just how lucky I am to be here!

Thank you

I can’t praise or thank the staff at St Richard’s enough, who let’s face it without them I wouldn’t be here now!

Visiting in hospital
Julie and her daughter Hayley pay Garry a visit

I’d also like to thank my family and friends for all the support they’ve given me and are continuing to, particularly my daughter Vicky, who worries about me at the best of times, so god knows what she’s been going through!

Turkish barbers
Garry finally managing to get a haircut and shave

Also, thank you for all the comments I’ve received via my website and social media, many from people I don’t know and many from people that I’ve only met once while on my travels! Thank you all I appreciated everybody’s kind words and thoughts!

Saturday 25th August. St Richard’s Hospital Chichester.

Now I don’t what everybody knows or doesn’t! So please forgive me if I repeat! I don’t know too much myself!

I was admitted to St Richard’s hospital on the 22nd July in a lot of pain and no idea what was causing it!

Garry in ITU

After spending a few days in hospital being passed from ward to ward! The ugly truth of what was actually wrong with me reared its head! I had sepsis and organs on my body were rapidly starting to shut down!

Apparently I was then put on a respirator for a week!

Not that I remember any of that it’s just what I’ve been told! But apparently I’m lucky to still be here!

But that’s all in the past and obviously I survived!

I’ve now got months of recovery to look forward to both in hospital and at home!

Man on a bike
Garry in Italy in 2010

So it could be a while before I’m back on the bike, but never fear I will return at some point! And please don’t think I’m ignoring you if you’ve sent me a message, I will reply, it’s just I’m finding everything hard work at the moment!