Garry McGivern’s March-2023 Update

March-2023 update Garry McGivern’s regular monthly update. Well, that was a good month, plenty of cycling, with two trips away. My hip is feeling pretty good; I’m more or less pain-free. I’ve been to the hospital more times than I can count. Been written off by the doctors and had somebody impersonating me on TikTok. It’s certainly been a busy month.

I started the month with a trip to the Isle of Wight for the first night of Grange Farms camping season. I enjoyed it so much that after cycling around the island, I returned for another night. (mainly because there weren’t many other campsites open.) While on the island, I also caught up with my old mate Malcolm, who I’d not seen for a couple of years. Only a short tour covering 135 miles in three days.

Man with bike
Loaded and ready to leave the Isle of Wight
Back To The Hospital

After visiting the Isle of Wight, I returned home as I had a couple of appointments at the hospital. One was only for physio on my hip. At the appointment, Calum (my physio) and I decided to give up! It was causing my sciatica to flare up, and we both agreed that my sciatic pain outweighed any benefits I gained from physio. At least that’s one less appointment I need to worry about now.

The other appointment was for a scan of my hip. And after discovering that there was some inflammation, I was given a steroid injection. Before being given the injection, I asked if it could be the infection showing up on the scan rather than inflammation. The doctor said that he was pretty sure it was not an infection, as my blood results showed only a slight rise in infection markers. (But that was back in December, I thought.) He said the best-case scenario would be that it would sort my hip out for good. In the worst case, I’d end up with another infection! But I’m pleased to report that my hip feels really good, and I wished I’d had one of these injections years ago.

Annoying Bits

I can’t remember how I came across it, but somebody on TikTok has set up an account in my name using my images, which annoyed me so much I posted about it earlier in the month. Unfortunately, the account is still up and running, although they haven’t added any new photos. I’m still trying to contact TikTok, but like all firms these days, trying to find an email address is near on impossible.

Trying to get ahead of myself on the website by pre-writing my “on this day” posts, I noticed how little I’ve been away in the past few years. I’ve also not been away as much as I thought in earlier years. (although that may have been down to the time of year I was looking at ) The past few years are understandable, what with my sepsis, the recovery period after and the ongoing health problems I seem to have. Plus, we’ve had the Covid pandemic, which curtailed travelling for everybody. It’s one of the reasons I’m trying to get away as much as possible this year, especially as I’m feeling so good.

Feeling Good

Now I’m feeling pretty good; the doctors seem to have written me off, signing me off from work long-term. But in a big surprise to the doctors and me. They gave me a clean bill of health when I went for a “well-man check-up.” My cholesterol was low, my blood pressure was spot on, and my risk of a heart attack was very low. Although I passed the well-man check-up with flying colours, I think the rest of my body is pretty knackered and worn out! When I was away on the Isle of Wight, buying a ticket for the Fastcat home, I got asked if I had any concessions. I wasn’t sure whether they were referring to my age or that I wasn’t walking too well! It’s pretty ironic, really.

I was going to go away on my bike the following day after my steroid injection, which was a Monday. But the weather was awful, and I put it off until the Wednesday. But come Wednesday, I was off heading for Salisbury again. I was away for four nights on this trip and spent nights in Salisbury, Devizes, Oxford and, Edmonton, London. Although it was a rather wet trip with plenty of rain, it was still good. And to be honest, although I only covered 279 miles, it’s the first time in a few years that I’d felt that good while touring. The mileage might not be entirely accurate after my cycle computer packed up, and I relied on Google for my daily mileage.

Canal bridge lock trees
Along the Kennet & Avon Canal
And Yet More Tests

Back home, I again had an appointment at the hospital, this time for my neck. And after an hour of talking and tests. I’ve now got to have an MRI scan and nerve conduction tests. Hopefully, I’ll be on my way to the New Forest today (1st April). Hollands Wood opens up for the season, although I’ll possibly only stop for one night or two at the most. Because surprise, surprise, I’ve got more hospital appointments next week.

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