December 2019 Update

Garry McGivern’s December 2019 Update. It’s been a busy month, but generally, for all the wrong reasons! The weather hasn’t improved; it’s still wet and windy for much of the time! I had my birthday, which was an enjoyable day. I’ve been doing grandad duties and babysitting Indya, and of course, we’ve had Christmas! Oh, and I’m now going to therapy three times a week!

As mentioned above, the weather is still pretty lousy, and we’ve now had some local flooding! Despite the wet weather, I’ve still managed to get out on the bike for the odd ride, but only locally. Having to go for therapy three times a week stops me from going too far, as I have it on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday. And most weekends, I seem to have had something on.


After suffering for the past few years, I’m now getting treatment! It’s a bit of a bind having to go three times a week, and as I said earlier, it stops me from cycling too far. But, by rights, I should have been at home recovering from my hip operation that got cancelled in November! So I wouldn’t have travelled too far anyway! Hopefully, though, once I finish, I’ll be back to normal and able to tour once more. That is until I have my operation!

Flooded car park
Our Local Tesco’s car park flooded

Therapy is held over at Worthing, which is only 15 miles away, but can sometimes take me an hour and a half to get there by car! Usually, I would cycle, but it’s just not practical.

It’s a Long Course

The treatment is spread over three months, and I’ve already done a month. Only two more to go, then! But I think it’s worth it as I’m feeling a lot better now. Oops, I forgot to mention that it’s phototherapy I’m going for, not therapy on a couch! Although I probably need that as well!! Hopefully, it’s going to cure my skin condition, so I won’t need to take steroids anymore!

Man in helmet
Garry wearing his radiation shield at therapy

As I said, normally, I would cycle, but as I’m not allowed to wear any deodorant on therapy days, it wouldn’t be very pleasant for the nurses at the clinic! I also have to watch how much sun I’m exposed to, not that that matters, seeing as we’ve not had much of it!

Phototherapy is a very high dose of UVB light, and whenever I go, there’s always a strong smell of burning flesh! The phototherapy is administered in what I can only describe as a stand-up sunbed. My first session at the beginning of December was only for 23 seconds, but has now increased to 2 minutes!

A Downside

Although phototherapy is not guaranteed to work, it’s still worth trying. Unfortunately, it now means that my hip operation will have to be postponed until March at the earliest! Although I’ve not discussed that with my consultant yet. And as much as I want to get my hip operation out of the way, light treatment is best done at this time of year, I think, for me anyway! I would find it extremely hard and frustrating to keep out of the sun or cover up when the weather is nice. Staying in at this time of year isn’t so bad, and what sun we do have is very weak!

One side effect of all this is that I’m getting a nice suntan!

Man woman baby
Garry and Julie with Indya on Christmas day
Other News

It was my birthday this month, and I spent out on the bike in the morning. Although I didn’t cycle much, most of it was spent dodging the rain! The afternoon was spent down the pub and then out for a curry in the evening, an enjoyable day!

Things are on the up, and we’ve had the shortest day! I know there’s still a long way to go, and the worst of winter is yet to come, but at least the days are getting longer!

Ships water
Ships old and new in Portsmouth

I did try to go away in the gap between Christmas and New Year, as I didn’t have any clinic on that Friday. But after getting as far as Portsmouth, I gave up! I just couldn’t decide where to go! In the end, after bimbling around Portsmouth, I jumped on a train and went to Brighton. And rode home from there, a 65-mile ride.

Because I’d planned on being away, the following morning, I got up and cycled the 70 or so miles to London. Then caught a train home!

Road sign
Nearly there

The following week, it was back to normal, and my trips to the clinic resumed!

I’ve been babysitting Indya this past month, and I know I’m biased, but she is so easy to look after, such a contented baby full of smiles, just like her grandad!!

2019 Review

2019 has been a good year on the cycling front and definitely a lot better on the health front. Plus, I got a new granddaughter!

With my fitness and stamina building all the time, I managed two big tours. Ireland and Europe, plus plenty of shorter trips which can be found on the 2019 tour page. And I’ve covered over 5,500 touring miles. Much better than I could have ever expected, considering how ill I was last year!

On the health front, I’ve had a camera up my bum, had a suspected blood clot, and spent most of the year taking steroids for a skin condition, which as mentioned above, will hopefully be sorted out! Got gout in my foot, had high blood pressure, and thought I may have contracted sepsis again! And I’ve not even mentioned my hip or back! But I’m still smiling, and life is good!

Happy New Year
Cycle race statue near Box Hill, Surrey, which I passed on my way to London

A big thank you and Happy New Year to everybody, who’s commented and followed me throughout the past year. Here’s to a happy and healthy 2020 with plenty of bicycle tours!

6 Replies to “December 2019 Update”

  1. Happy new year to You Garry. Chin up and all that. Thanks for sharing your adventures. I’ve felt a bit inspired to do my own trips now. I’ve always fancied the Normandy beaches.

  2. Well you are bleeding bonkers. Worthing for just a few seconds treatment. Just dab yourself over with DMSO.
    Get that hip done – go back to those doctors in India. What was that route you cycled in Australia?

    1. I must admit, It is a lot of effort for such a short time, but anythings worth a try!
      It might be quicker to go to India!
      Perth to Sidney via the Nullarbor then up to Brisbane, see map.

  3. Wishing you a happy and healthy 2020 Gary.. always enjoy your video’s and vlogs…I’m a Grandad and I’ve neumerous health issues so I know where your at. Cheers🍻👍

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