Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Hello World! I'm Back!

Hi folks – just a (not so) quick note to say that Roger Benson has made contact with the idea of a couple of polls based on his stuff in the up-coming days and weeks and also to explain where I've been all this time.

The pic at the top – I have to point out – has precious little to do with any of this; it's just something I put out on my Tumblr account a couple of days ago to kind of say “hello world! I'm back!”, since I had it hanging around on my hard drive. But it also serves as a kind of demonstration of how several images may be put together to tell a story, along with a little bit of 'colourizing'. The original pics can be seen on my Pinterest account if anyone is interested.

So - Yes, I'm still here. Only just about though! SO much has gone wrong this year. Earlier in the year my mum got sick (she suffered a fall while I was away in Ross-On-Wry (I doubt that's spelled correctly) and went to hospital where that let her just sit or lie for several days without exercise, so although she was not hurt in any way from the fall per se she suffered muscle atrophy and her arthritis got a LOT worse from the inactivity).  Now she has carers visiting four times per day and I have to get the shopping, clean up from time to time and now sort out her financial affairs for which I have a letter of 'general power of attorney' which in itself has been hassle and taken up a lot of time (especially since her bumbling old twat of a solicitor managed to mess up the first version) so that thus far I've only sorted out only one bank of the many banks she has accounts with.

But also back in late April / early May I developed pneumonia. Then I went to Cyprus for two weeks while convalescing, for the warm dry climate, but used the time to improve fitness in the hotel gym. But all the time I was having to deal with calls from social workers, physiotherapists, care team managers and the like re my mum. Then a few weeks later I went to Spain for near-on three weeks, then I was home for a few days, taken up on doing stuff revolving around my mum, before going off to Broadstairs, Kent on Monday 13th August (what was I thinking about, travelling on the 13th), intending to spend a few days at the Broadstairs Folk Week.

Actually the first night - the evening of the 13th - went fine, despite the fact I left London a little on the late side having spent most of the day in a local pub, but I got the high speed Javelin train from St Pancras station and was in Broadstairs by 5:30 - 6 PM. Then early Tuesday I woke up to find the hotel room stifling and jumped out of bed to open the window...and promptly fainted, coming down HARD on my chin on the top of and old style central heating radiator and momentarily knocking myself out. I KNOW it was only a momentary loss of consciousness because I found myself on my hands and knees by the side of the bed, not laid out flat on the floor, but there was blood everywhere!

So I pulled myself together - my teeth were all there - GOOD! - but there were two deep gashes below the chin. Well, FINE, I could see in the mirror they'd need stitches (as it later turned out only one did - just three stitches - the other they were able to glue) but I figured I could roll a towel underneath my chin to staunch the bleeding temporarily, perhaps have a bit more sleep for a couple of hours (now that's a little stupid following a possible concussion, but that's me for you!) and then pop up at A & E in Margate (I was staying in Ramsgate - SO much cheaper than Bradstowe itself anytime, let alone Folk Week) a little later in the day, get a couple of stitches and return to the gigs and pubs of Broadstairs around mid afternoon, perhaps after a snack for lunch and a few beers in the Ramsgate Wetherspoons...

It was THEN I noticed two things: One: my teeth didn't seem to line up properly and felt kind of...well...'weird'! Two - and more importantly: I had blood trickling down the side of my face coming from within my right ear!!!  OMG! Blood coming from inside an ear after a bang on the head is definitely NEVER a good thing!

Ok, so I'd not actually hit my head per se, not the cranium itself; it had been more like a violently delivered (is there any other form?) upper-cut with an iron bar, but definitely time to call an ambulance! So you can probably guess the rest. My hearing was ok - so no worries there - but I'd basically performed the diagnosis before I'd called for the ambulance...hmmm... jaw fracture - high up, close to the joint, probably within the joint capsule itself since then it would be likely that the bleeding from the ear would be due to a secondary crack radiating out from the socket into the outer ear canal...And yes it was! Exactly that!

So I spent half the day or more in A & E being tested and scanned every which way. Then at length I was told I was to be transferred to the specialist maxial-facial unit of the William Harvey hospital in Ashford, also Kent and gave me a fix of oral morphine (VERY pleasant - but I don't know why since it really wasn't hurting all that much...unless I yawned; I learned quickly early on NOT to yawn!). And then - no more than a half hour later (after a couple more scans requested by the SHO at the William Harvey) they seemed to change their minds and discharged me with the instruction to present myself at the William Harvey maxial-facial unit in two days time.

So off I toddled to the bus stop - all wobbly and woozy on the morphine they'd seemed to have forgotten they'd given me - to head off back to the pub gigs of Folk Week. Actually it was quite nice - it was mid afternoon, the sun was blazing in a perfect blue sky, and the beers sort of gradually took over the pain relief duties as the morphine wore off in an apparently seamless change over! So I still got a couple of days in folk week and the pain never returned...until that is one day after my Ashford appointment.

It turned out on top of everything else I'd contracted tonsillitis (and I also had a mouth full of ulcers; but I get those with stress or if I bite my mouth and so on, and so they were probably directly related to the trauma). The tonsillitis I think had already been lurking, probably from the flight home from Spain (I don't know the incubation period) since upon my arrival back in London I discovered my significant other to also be suffering from a terrible sore throat.

I was already on antibiotics since the blood in my ear was indicative of what had been essentially an 'open' fracture, even if perhaps only momentarily open - and they were 'broad spectrum' so no reason to bother the GP, plus I wouldn't have been able to open my mouth wide enough for him to look anyway. But it felt like there were also some ulceration of the throat also, in addition to the inflammation. So basically I ended up seeking pain relief for the throat and ulcers, even though I had been not taking anything to manage the discomfort of the jaw fracture (I'd been trying to avoid taking NSAIDS since the inflammation reaction is an important stage in the healing process).

So anyway, as things played out, I only returned home here a few days ago - I'd been staying with friends while getting over the worst of it. I've been on 'soft foods' since the 14th August (three weeks today) which translates as protein drinks, baby food and puréed stuff and if I eat out we go to a posh chippy up in Cockfosters where I can have taramasalata or humus starters (minus the pitta bread - I managed some smoked salmon last time, mashed with my fork) and a couple of cod roes - which I can mash with a fork - and mushy peas. I started back at the gym nearly a week ago, although I have to be careful not to clench my teeth. But the good news is that the medical folks haven't so far felt the need to wire up my jaws.

I had a check up last Friday at Northwick Park hospital over near Harrow-on-The-Hill (it would have been quicker to have travelled back to Ashford!) and the consultant was happy as regards my progress, although they'd be loathe to operate due to the proximity of the fracture to a major facial motor nerve (the fracture turned out to be exactly where I'd predicted - a crack right through the chondial head - intra-capsular - with a crack radiating from the socket into the external ear canal) and at this present time - although only three weeks out from the trauma - I am beginning physiotherapy exercises to try improve the range of movement of the jaw (all the info is available via Google - but is common sense really anyway.

Oh yes - and the other half's mother is dying of cancer and hasn't long to go by all accounts!  So Much shit in one year!!!

But I'm beginning to get it all back together as you can see, and you'll be hearing a lot more from me as Autumn comes on! At this moment in addition to the above mentioned Roger Benson 'poll' which is ready to go, I also have a completed book penned by a chap called 'Robin Stone' which I'm supposed to be publishing on behalf of the writer (and thus acting as his publisher I guess) and which thus far is only available in one form (PDF) under my own name on LULU because I was having problems creating a LULU account under the writer's own name – and then everything started going wrong. This particular task I'm hoping to get completed over the next week or so, hopefully getting it out in various formats on Amazon, LULU etc. Although not my writing style or 'thing' generally - due to certain themes and interests which don't float my personal water transport - nevertheless I did contribute a fair bit of artwork and also an opening section, some proof reading and a few paragraphs here as well as the formatting, and so I'm keen to get it out there. I'll tell you more next time!


Bruno said...

Nice to see you back. What about your "domestic environment" book ?

bruno said...

Nice to see you back.
What about your "domestic environmentt" story ?

Anonymous said...

It's a real shame you have had so many issues and challenges in such a concentrated period of time. I want to wish you happier days ahead, not to mention a glass of beer and a steak.