November 2018 Update

Windsor castle

Time for a small celebration I think!

From being the sickest person in the county (that’s according to the hospital) with infection markers of over 300, less than 4-months ago, I’m now the fittest! Well not quite, but my markers are down to just one, and I’ve not got to go back to see my consultant for four months!

Hopefully, that means the end of any of that nasty infection and I can concentrate on building my strength up ready for my next operation!

Steam boat
Steam boat on the river Thames
Back At The Hospital

On a separate visit to the hospital, I’d been invited to visit the intensive care unit that cared for me back in August!

What a brilliant idea! It was really good for me to see where I’d spent all that time and even better to see the nurses, doctors, consultants and auxiliary staff that looked after me!

Some of whom I recognised some I didn’t, but disturbingly they all seemed to remember and recognise me! And despite their busy schedule, looking after the patients that were in the unit now, they all came over, said hello and asked how I was!

Windsor castle
Windsor castle in the sun

I think the staff got as much out of it as both myself and Vicky did, it was all rather emotional! Learning first hand from the people that had cared for me, just how ill I was!

And from their point of view, that person that was in their care for a month. The person that wouldn’t respond to any of the antibiotics they tried! But now seeing that person, looking so fit and healthy! (relatively!)

I am truly one of the lucky ones and will be eternally grateful to all the staff on the ICU unit and all at St Richards Hospital, Chichester!

Away From The Hospital

On the subject of being in hospital and people thinking that I was going to die! My cousins decided to come and see me! They came from Wales, the Midlands and Australia! It was lovely to see them all, and we had a couple of lovely family meals.

Family gathering
Garry attending his own wake

Fed up with the state of my garden I decided I needed to get out there and do something!

It may not have been the best of ideas I managed to hit my head on the garage wall, giving me a nasty graze!

Gave up after that and went for a lay down!

Cut on a head
Garry with his grazed head

Julie was on holiday this month, so we had a few days out! Which made a lovely change for me! We didn’t go very far, one day we went to Windsor, Julie had never been there before. We also had days out in Portsmouth and Brighton, both of which I would regularly cycle to not that long ago!

Ship leaving port
Ship leaving Portsmouth

The cycling continues to improve; although I’ve still only been cycling locally, I’m hoping next month to go a bit further?!

October 2018 Update

Bosham harbour

It’s been another good news month. I’m back on the bike! My voice is back to normal (maybe that’s not such good news!), and I’m walking with just the one crutch!

Every day I do my exercises, and no matter what the weathers like I spend as much time as possible either walking or cycling in a bid to regain my fitness and stamina! It might only be short distances at a time but built up over the day it all adds up.

All the pictures this month have been taken while I’ve been out walking or cycling.

getting back on the bike

Ever since I came out of the hospital, I’ve had it in my head that I’m going to go away on one last camping trip before the season finishes.

Man on a bike
Garry started cycling in the garden to start with

My first goal was to get to the New Forest before the end of September before the campsite at Brockenhurst closed, no way was that going to happen I wasn’t even cycling then, but it was still something for me to aim for!

My next target was to get to Grange Farm on the Isle of Wight before they closed at the end of this month, this was probably a more realistic target, as I was now back on the bike, although the furthest I’d cycled in one day was 32-miles!

Garry McGivern at Bosham quay
Garry in Bosham quay

But determined as ever on the last weekend of the month I started to load the touring bike up ready to leave on Monday morning. Everything still takes a long time to do, and it took me nearly all of the weekend to complete, but I got there in the end!

Boat in harbour
The good ship Alice moored up in Bosham for the winter. Garry went out on it a couple of years ago.

Once loaded I thought I’d go out for a little ride, to see how things felt, but I couldn’t get on the thing! It was too wide and high with all the panniers on; I just can’t lift my leg high enough! The only way I could get on it was standing on something tall, like an old crate or chair!

St Mary's church, Felpham
St Mary’s church, Felpham

This wasn’t a very good start, but I seemed to remember I’d had this problem before I went into the hospital, so I thought it would be okay!

he’s off

Monday morning came, (Incidentally it was seven years to the day since I’d left on my big adventure of cycling around the world!) the sun was shining, and I had a nice tailwind wind to help me along. After my initial problem of getting on the bike, which I achieved by leaning the bike up against my van holding the brakes on, putting the peddle in its highest position then getting on!

Once on I went for a quick ride around the block to see how things felt, they were fine, so off I went!

After nearly 4 hours I made it to Portsmouth, feeling pretty exhausted!

Isle of Wight ferry
One of the new Isle of Wight ferries

There was no way that I was going to be able to cycle across the island, apart from the distance involved it would be hilly, and hills are a real big problem for me!

more problems!

The other big problem I have, which I forgot to mention earlier is, I can’t kneel yet, the muscles in the back of my legs are too tight! Now that would be a problem a tent! Although if I did feel that I wouldn’t be able to manage in my tent, Grange Farm have these camping pod things which I could always stay in!

Boats on the river Arun
The River Arun at Arundel

In the end, after weighing everything up, I decided to break the trip in two! I’d get the train home today, then tomorrow get the train back to Portsmouth and then cycle across the island!

Unfortunately, after only nine miles, the train I was on got cancelled, and I was forced to cycle home!

The following morning there was no rush to get going. I wasn’t allowed on the train until after 9.30, so I took a leisurely ride across the fields to Barnham, where I would catch the train!

Grey squirrel
Squirrel gathering nuts for the winter

By the time I’d got to Barnham I was done in, completely exhausted! Maybe I won’t be going to the Isle of Wight after all!

I’d only cycled 2-miles, but my legs felt more like they’d cycled a 100!

There was no way I was going to able to cycle across the island, I was too worn out!

Portsmouth harbour
Portsmouth harbour, one of Garry’s favourite places, watching the hustle and bustle of a busy port.

Reluctantly I turned around and headed back home, maybe I’m not as fit as I thought! But I was still proud of the fact that I’d managed to get as far as Portsmouth the previous day, after all, It was only 10-weeks ago that I was in intensive care! And I’ve not even been back on the bike a month!

videos

I’ve also been busy putting together the videos from my cycle ride to Salisbury, last May which can now be seen on my YouTube channel or watched below.

I’m currently working on the videos that were filmed the week before I was taken into hospital, they’re certainly an eye-opener!

The first episode will be out this weekend, with consequent episodes released as and when I do them.

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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.