Well the new year started off the same way the last one ended with that horrible flu virus, but luckily after staying in for nearly a week it seemed a lot better and I actually felt up to going out.
Knowing that I had my operation coming up on the 20th of the month and that I wouldn’t be able to ride my bike for at least 6 weeks I was desperate to try and get away for a short tour but it just seemed as if everything was against me! Initially I had that flu/cold virus so really didn’t feel like cycling at all, when I finally felt up to cycling it was the weather that was against me, it was either very strong winds or heavy rain or most of the time both together! The only consolation is that I do have a couple of short’ish tours worked out that I can do when I’m finally back on the bike! I did however manage to do just over 250 miles in odd rides in the week leading up to the operation.
Over the Christmas period I really managed to knacker my website up, it was still up and running I just couldn’t login to the administration page so couldn’t do anything with it, I got in contact with the company that host the website and they told me to try several things none of which worked, or rather they probably would have worked if I’d have understood what they were telling me! Eventually I had to pay somebody to fix it for me. The website is now back up and running properly and Alex the very kind and knowledgeable man who fixed it for me also gave me some training and added some things to the website that should stop me messing it up in the future, so hopefully it won’t happen again! Apologies for all the emails of pictures that people would have received they were backed up in the system but once it was all fixed they went out. Must remember to leave things well alone and not play with things I don’t understand when I’m bored!!
My back operation was on the 20th of the month which unfortunately didn’t seem to go as well as planned there was a tear somewhere in my spine which caused fluid to leak out which in turn meant I had to remain in bed for the first 48hrs after the operation to allow time for the tear to heal. I had to eat, drink and go to the toilet all lying down, not the easiest of things to do as I also had to keep my back dead straight! Whereas on my last operation as soon I had woken up they had me up and walking about! Apparently the tear happened during the operation where the surgeon was trying to get round to the other side of the spine and it’s not an uncommon thing, and it shouldn’t make any difference to the outcome.
The first night in hospital I had a bit of trouble sleeping I seemed to have things attached to me all over and couldn’t move and when I did move it hurt! On my legs I had a machine called a Flowtron which basically was inflatable pads attached by pipes to a pump on the bottom of the bed, these were on my lower legs they would inflate and deflate intermittently to stimulate the flow of blood to stop me getting DVT (deep vein thrombosis) the machine had an alarm on it which every time I moved went off! I also had oxygen on which again I kept getting tangled up in! The other problem I had was that because I hadn’t passed any water since the operation they were threatening to put a catheter in me, so I’d spent the earlier part of the evening drinking copious amounts of water in an attempt to break the seal! Which luckily I did but now I couldn’t stop going, you know what they say once you break the seal or once you pop!
After lying down for 48hrs it was time to get up, that came as a bit of a surprise first of all they got me to just sit up which was fine, after a minute or two of sitting they got me to stand with the help of two nurses, my legs felt very weak and I came over all dizzy and had to lay down again, after an hour had passed they came back to try and get me to stand again sitting first before standing, this time I did manage to stand up for a few minutes before becoming dizzy again and once again had to lay down. On the third attempt I felt fine and was able to walk the two paces to the window and back! I continued doing this for a couple of hours getting up, walking to the window then laying back down until I felt a bit more steady on my feet then I was able to go for a bit of a longer walk along the corridor with the help of the physiotherapist. I would never have thought that my legs would have become so weak in such a short time although it was possibly down to the operation in part.
On the morning of my discharge from hospital I went to sit down not that I’m allowed to but there is one place I am allowed! As I went to get up I felt a really sharp pain in the bottom of my back and then a shooting pain down my leg, instantly I recognised this pain as the same pain I experienced before my cycle ride around the world and the same one I got on the way to Athens, sciatica another slipped disc only this time I actually felt it go! Brilliant I thought 3 years, one injection and two operations later I’m right back where I started! I was now in a lot of pain and hardly able to walk, I told my surgeon what happened just before my discharge and his advice was that once at home I should stay in bed most of the time for the first two weeks with very short walks i.e.: around the house and garden, and then after the two weeks try walking a little more and to gradually increase the distance and he would see me in three weeks time. I am now beginning to wonder if I will ever be able to walk properly again! Luckily I’d got plenty of supplies in before going into hospital!
It’s been rather boring and frustrating being at home since my discharge having to spend most of my time in bed, even meal times I’m only meant to perch rather than sit so we’ve put my granddaughters toy box on the table so it’s at a more manageable height where I’ve also put the laptop so I can use that, the only trouble is it hurts too much to perch and I just end up standing which again I can only do for a short time before I’m in too much pain and my leg gets too numb! My only hope is that this time because I am in so much pain the operation might have worked, whereas last time when I had the operation I wasn’t in any pain afterwards but it didn’t work!