Watch Out for the Curveballs
Copyright © Robert L J Borg 2017
In all since arriving here I have lost six kilo and when I began using the treadmills I found I was burning off in the region of 25 calories during the ten minute sessions.
There’s really not much to do except read, do crosswords, watch TV [provided you are willing to pay their exorbitant charges] or chat. As my French conversation is somewhat limited, although improving all the time, I find I’m spending a lot of time on my own either walking around their beautiful grounds, writing up this blog, or taking a nap. And thanks for my HP Slate tablet [a birthday gift from Sandra a few years ago] I have been keeping tabs on my emails, playing mindless games, and checking up what is happening on Facebook – so who needs TV?
Some views of the grounds:
Some of the views from the grounds:
The days are beginning to blend together and either I am losing it or time has ‘lost’ me. Today is August 8, 2017 – how time flies. Yesterday the remaining twelve staples were removed [eight were taken out last week – I don’t know why I never mentioned it before]. Before the first 8 were removed the nurse taking them out took a photo of the wound for my benefit –
If you’re squeamish don’t look at the following photo:
It was a great feeling as it proved I was on the mend properly. Unfortunately I was still unable to shower as they didn’t want to cover it with a plastic bandage, but a conventional one to allow the wound to ‘breathe’. Luckily I don’t stink as I maintain a good regime of washing every day, and use baby wipes every time I go to the loo. They said they’ll check it again on Thursday [10th] but for the moment they don’t want me to wet the wound area.
At this rate I may as well just maintain my normal cleanliness routine and wait until the 18th when I am sent home. You can be sure the first thing I’ll do is have one long, hot, shower.
Physio moved up another step today. Apart from the usual exercises and treadmill, I progressed to the bike and most importantly tackling the stairs using only one crutch. My physio therapist today was Jenna [there’s at least five of them each in the area I work out in, with their own specialty of how they foresee the exercises will go – there are about four others in another wing of the gym]. Jenna is particularly happy with my progress and has told me that tomorrow she would like me to start using only one crutch. She’s a sweet girl – I wish I could keep her, but she is in high demand. In fact they all are. They are a friendly, helpful team and constantly encourage you to go one step further.
Today’s session has left me absolutely knackered and I know if I was to put my head down now I would have difficulty in waking up again.
Despite us repeating the same sort of exercises daily it never is boring, and we are helped along with some really decent music in the background. Today was Michael Jackson and at one point there was a frightful scream which made everyone stop what they were doing. Of course, being me, I couldn’t resist the opportunity of the ‘stage’ and passed the comment that someone must have seen our lunchtime menu. There were a few sniggers by those standing nearby showing appreciation of my humour, the rest didn’t seem too impressed – typical!!
Happy Days! It’s Wednesday 9th and my bandage came off permanently. It’s the first time that part of my leg has seen daylight since the operation three weeks ago. Nurse “Coo Coo” [her call sign every time she approaches any of the patients – I never did find out her real name] suggested that I can now shower – roll on tomorrow.
I’ve been left with a six-inch long scar shaped like a miniature railway track. I expect it will vanish over time – perhaps not completely.
Sods Law! The right leg has been playing up more than normal today – I wish it would just shut up and be helpful by allowing me time to get over this procedure. I’m scheduled to see Dr Bohic on 20th September for a follow-up, and I will ask him then when is the soonest I can have the right leg done. I know what I said earlier that I would live with the pain – but no way, who wants to live in constant discomfort? I may as well tackle it while the experience is still fresh in my mind so that I know what to expect. Although it’s not the nicest of experiences if it allows me the joys of the use of my legs like before they had become stuffed up then it would be worth it. The only thing is I would need to check with my insurance broker to see if I would be covered for the procedure and rehab so close to the recent one.
The next question is whether I should take the jump and have my heart done? To tell the truth I’m terrified at the thought of the procedure that was recommended. I suppose before I do anything I will ask my GP to obtain a second opinion. It’s not something that should be taken lightly as memories of my disastrous angiogram still linger in my mind, but so too does the early termination of my cousin Ron’s life that could have been prevented had he gone ahead with this procedure when he had been told of the problem. I had liked Ron. Apart from being a relative he was counted as one of my best friends. The man was a genius. He had something like twelve ‘O’ Levels, four ‘A’ Levels, and an ‘S’ Level. He went to Imperial College and obtained a First Class honours degree [I think it was for Physics and Engineering]. He then went on to Caius College Cambridge to obtain a PhD in mathematics, but he gave up before he finished saying that he had studied enough and now it was time to work. He joined some friends who had set up an IT Management Consultancy company, a few years earlier during 1969. By all accounts Ron had been an important player in the firm’s growth and had he been alive today might have been an extremely wealthy man.
Moving on… it was ‘thanks’ to Ron though, and his personal coaching, that I was able to understand physics and mathematics. It was due to him that I was finally able to ‘see’ numbers and tackle them accordingly. Later, it was also thanks to him that I able to pass examinations in Economics, Economic History, and Marketing.
He died on 12th September 1987. We were with a group of friends riding our bikes from London to Brighton for a charity ride to raise money to buy a scanner unit for the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital at Welwyn Garden City, which is where another friend had died of cancer on 7th June that year.
Ron was an active person who enjoyed nothing better than playing squash once a week, trekking across the Amazon, cycling holidays here, there, and everywhere. He had just returned from a few days cycling across Portugal. Due to his business interests he was in one of their offices either in London, Rotterdam, or New York on a weekly basis. To Ron this was his ‘normal’ life. It was cut short on the climb up Redhill, Surrey thanks to a massive heart attack. According to the coroner he was dead before he hit the ground. I miss him still.
Ronald Daniel Sasson
15th May 1951 – 12th September 1987
Rest In Peace
Personally I think my heart problem has nothing to do with a few extra electrodes causing havoc with my valves. I’m convinced that the cardiac events of the past were due to excessive stress caused at work, long hours commuting, my two dodgy hips and life in general.
As I no longer work, except for pumping out a story or two now and again, and one of my hips has been fixed, I believe that once the right hip has also been replaced I should see an end of my irregular heart beat and fast pulse rate. Whatever I decide to do with the heart, I shan’t be doing anything until the right hip has been fixed. If I’m right, then the heart will settle down and I’ll just continue with the medication just to keep it in check.
To Be Continued…
RLB – Tomewriter