Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Another Week Older and Deeper in Debt!

That's our back garden and our Plum Tree full of Blossom. There was me in my last post being very negative about the chances of the blossom lasting. Usually the blossom come out and is washed away in a couple of days, but this year the weather has been remarkable really and very pleasant.

I went out on the Patio to take this picture despite dire warnings from Pat. She is quite right, the steps down from our Patio Door are quite steep, but with care I managed it, though I won't do it very often. Lovely to get outside the house, and quite stunning. Not just for the blossom, but the last time I was outside, just before my accident, there was not a great deal of green in the garden and now suddenly it all seems to be there. Still a lot of growing time for the plants, but that is OK.

So I went to the Hospital last Wednesday. When they said that they were going to take the stitches out of my operation scar, I assumed they would take the whole plaster off, but they didn't. Just a letter box shaped piece cut out of the knee of my cast. So the scar runs in a shallow S shaped curve from about 3 cm below the knee cap to about the same above it. Amazingly it was closed up with metal staples, I guess they use those all the time these days, but I would have thought it would be painful to have a cut in your skin stapled up, but it wasn't, and it didn't even hurt taking them out again. So they took out the staples, patched up the plaster with some more of the stuff and I was sent on my way rejoicing. Come back in 4 weeks and we'll see how you are doing.

So we went out for lunch at a lovely little Cafe on Woodseats lane in Charlesworth. Had a very nice Panini and a pudding and went home. They were very nice and got me a foot stool, but it still was less than comfortable. I guess that going out is really going to have to wait until my knee is better.

And that is really it. There is only so much that you get to do sitting in the house waiting for your knee to get better. I'm in the middle of my third book, though they are not anything to write home about, so I won't even mention their names. I've been watching a fair few DVDs as well, many of them recorded off the TV at a time when there was so much going on that I didn't have time to enjoy TV. My favourite so far is "John Adams" which was made by the American HBO Channel and shown here on Channel 4. The actors are brilliant and the story is subtle and gentle. Instead of trying to get a substantial story dealt with in two two hour shows they devoted seven disparately long episodes to this story. I really, really enjoyed it. I never really knew anything about John Adams, the Second President of the USA, but I have found his story to be enriching. Well done HBO!

And with that, I will leave you for a while. Hope none of you succumb to the Swine Flu pandemic!

See you soon, if we are spared!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

April, Come She Will

I was just sitting there for a moment, trying to think about what to write. I said only yesterday that I was definitely going to put something on the blog every day, but sometimes I sit here and there is nothing I really want to say.

Then I just glanced out of the window for a moment and I realised what I could write. Here in Glossopdale we are well up the country, reet Northern, nehthen! And also quite high up in the air, living pretty much on the top of the hill. The last few days the weather has been gorgeous, with warm temperatures and lots of sun. Just the time to have a buggered up knee and get to sit indoors all the time.

Anyway, our next door neighbours have a plum tree in their front garden, we have one in the back garden but I cannot see our tree from where I sit. I suddenly realised that the tree has come into blossom and sitting here with the sun going down, it looks wonderful. Surely this is what the promise of Spring is all about.

It made me think, fleetingly, of the Simon & Garfunkel Song, so I did a quick Google search for the lyrics and here we go:

April come she will
When streams are ripe and swelled with rain;
May, she will stay,
Resting in my arms again.
June, she'll change her tune,
In restless walks she'll prowl the night;
July, she will fly
And give no warning to her flight.

August, die she must,
The autumn winds blow chilly and cold;
September I'll remember
A love once new has now grown old.

Rather poignant and apposite that. While I was writing about the blossom on the plum tree I realised that almost every year the blossom comes out and three days later we have storms, high winds and driving rain and after three glorious days all the blossom vanishes. My wife says that I'm a born misery guts. I always seem to be saying that the glass is half empty and the holiday is almost over before it is started. Maybe this year will be different. Who knows.

I'll report on the continuing medical condition from time to time. Not that any of you give a damn about me and my knee, but it's my blog so you can suffer.

I went out yesterday, me and my two NHS Elbow Crutches. I walked up the close as far as Wilf's House. Wilf lives in the house next to the house next to us, so I must have walked, ooooooooooooooo 40 feet (or about 12 metres for you continental types reading this. But what a sense of liberation, out of the house again, even if I was accompanied at every step by my lovely wife. She is determined that I won't make even more of a mess of my knee.

Then we managed to get me into her car, a lovely little Renault Clio called Poppy. Poppy is a three door car so the front door opens wider than it does on my car. With some hustling and bustling I got in, we went for a twenty minute car ride. Not the most comfortable way to travel, but suddenly I don't feel as if I'm going to be stuck indoors for evermore.

Spring is coming.

That makes me think of a little poem, often attrbuted to e.e.cummings, my favourite American poet. It is also attributed to Ogden Nash, but I don't think either of them actually wrote it. Does anyone know, or care????????

Here it is, a jolly little poem to finish the day.

Da Spring is sprung

Da grass is rizd

I wonder where de boidies is

Da boidies on da wing

But dat's absoid

I always toit

Da wings is on da boid.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Pieces of Eight, Squawk.

This is really dreadful, isn't it. I haven't even looked at the Blog for ages and when I do, another two months have gone by without a posting. I'm fortunate in that so few people read this that they probably won't notice.

Don't have an excuse either, not really. I could say I've been too busy, but let's face it, being too busy is usually just a cop out for "I couldn't be bothered." I did look at the blog once or twice and think,"What can I write about?" then when nothing came to mind I did something else instead.

I think that I now have an extended period of time when the range of things that I can do has been vastly reduced, so the Blog may keep my Sanity together.

A week last Friday, Good Friday here in the UK, I did something remarkably silly that is going to have repercussions for several months.

We, Pat and I, had decided to redecorate the little front bedroom. Theoretically it is my study, but to be honest that is a misnomer. I call it the "Pigsty" which tells you a lot about how tidy I am. To decorate it, we have to remove all the books, hundreds and hundreds of books, and the bookcases, the computer and ADSL Router, The Filing Cabinets and so on. A huge job in itself. By tea time, most of the books were gone and I decided to take one of the fold away Oak Bookcases down and put it in the garage, out of the way. Pat told me not to be stupid and just put it in our bedroom, but I, (the man, you see, ((You know where this is going don't you!))) knew best.

I got down most of the staircase, but three steps from the bottom I felt my foot slide off the front of the step. I don't think I thought about anything, just reacted. I assume that I pushed the bookcase away from my now falling body to stop it falling on me, and instead I fell on the bookcase. When I stopped falling, and screaming (It seemed like a good idea to scream because something hurt badly) I decided first that I'd broken my leg, then I decided that my knee felt odd, so I thought that I'd dislocated my knee.

My wonderful wife grabbed the phone and dialled 999 for an ambulance. Meanwhile, I had rolled over and had sat up against the staircase - I told you, I'm a man, I'm stupid. However, I hadn't hit my head or my back and, rather curiously, nothing seemed to be hurting. My knee was aching but I thought that might be a twist or a sprain. The ambulance was there in less that 10 minutes and by that time I was already thinking that I was a fraud. My leg did'nt really hurt.

The paramedics got me sitting on the step, then they got me standing with all my weight on my right leg, the one that I hadn't hurt, then one of them said, "OK, let's try putting some weight on the other leg and see how bad it is. Dutifully, I put some weight onto my left leg and I went down like a sack of potatoes. There was no strength in my leg at all. Oooooooooooooops!

So I'll now cut the long story short. Off to Hospital in the back of an ambulance. Four hours in an assessment bay while various doctors came and prodded me at intervals. A very nice young Doctor called Nick, who looked old enough to be one of my pupils, told me that he thought I'd "broken" my Quadriceps Tendon and that was quite bad. He suggested an operation and said, "Would you like us to operate on you and put it right?" Now what would you say? I thought it was a bit of a no brainer but I asked what would be the result if I refused an operation. He smiled at me, "You wouldn't walk again!" See what I mean, at least he said it with a smile.

So I was admitted to Orthopaedics. I had an operation the following afternoon. They fitted me with a proper plaster cast three days later and sent me home after just six days in hospital.

The Consultant Surgeon, another very nice man, tells me that this is going to take time, lots of time. So I will be in plaster from my ankle to my naughty bits fot eight weeks. Oh yes, it turned out that I have not bust my Quadriceps Tendon, but "partly torn my Patellar Tendon", so it could actually have been worse, there is an awful lot of power in that Quadriceps Muscle and I rather think that you let that go at your peril.

Philip, the Vicar at my Church, popped in to the hospital on the day after my operation. Lovely to see him. In the course of our conversation he said, "Of course, you do realise that this is His way of telling you that you need to take a rest." This, of course, could well be right, but, why didn't He just send me a postcard.

Like I say, I hope that I'm going to have a lot of time to keep the Blog up to date in the next eight weeks or so. However, with a pot Leg on I cannot see me going very far at all! But we'll see. I might write a bit more this afternoon! See you then!