The surgeons reconstruct my right subtalar joint on Tuesday afternoon, and what better way to usher in the start of a painful healing process than a party!
That's right, Monday evening, 30th May please do drop by my bed in the ward, chat, have a drink, hang out with folks, and taunt me with scalpels (lord knows I deserve it). Drop by any time after 7pm; stay as little or as long as you like. They honestly don't mind people drinking...
Full info on the events listing, 2005-05-30 // Pre-op "party" at St Thomas' Hospital
Had a chat with yet another of the doctors here and apparently if the surgery goes well (which of course it will) I could be out of here by this time next week. I can then start to bear weight on that foot within about six weeks, expecting decent usefulness in eight to twelve weeks. Since my left foot at the moment is more damaged it'll be longer. An immobile summer awaits.
I've mixed feelings about leaving the hospital.Continue reading "Recovery timings"
As it approaches the two week anniversary of my injury I have finally been out of bed! Not only that I was fortunate enough to have a proper shower! Each day I wash myself with these "semi-disposable" wipes, a dishbowl of warm soapy water, and a fair amount of contorting. Today Azar (fast becoming my favourite nurse) and I braved the shower...Continue reading "Woohoo, a shower!"
More updates from the Man from A.N.K.L.E. The registrar who works with my appointed foot surgeon came by to have me sign a consent form for Tuesday afternoon's operation. This in essence involves explaining everything that can go wrong and have me sign that I understand. Oddly enough I was quite reassured; partly as I already knew from my smattering of medical knowledge and there were no surprises, and partly as the possible problems seemed on the whole fairly unlikely.Continue reading "More updates"
For those interested in the gory details (and let's face it, you don't watch Formula 1 or Moto GP without a sneaky root for a crash): I have bilateral calcaneus fractures, extending into each talus joint, and an L2 lumbar vertrebra compression fracture.Continue reading "What's up, doc?"
One of the effects of being almost totally immobile 24h/day is your appetite shrinks to a diddly snack of its previous feast self. What also happens is the quality of the appetite shifts too. Regular physical activity seems to create a raw, animal need for food, and a concomitant satisfaction when it's sated. Every meal is a truly enjoyable experience. In fact, it's one of the really great side-effects of heavy exercise is that connection to a serious growling hunger.
Whereas without the exercise my appetite feels almost intellectual, a scrawning whining thing that makes weak mentions of its vague caloric insufficiency every so often but when actually presented with sustenance it seems neither grateful nor particularly excited. Lack of exertion has robbed me of a pleasure of being alive.
It's not the quality of hospital food - I'd say it's pretty decent, solid English fare, and they give the patients plenty of choice. No, the problem is physiological.
For example, right now, I am "hungry". Yet there's been a plate of roast chicken, sautéed potatoes, veg, and a pear sitting here next to be my bed cooling off for the last hour. My desire to eat is less than the effort required to simply shift the laptop off my legs and start the mechanics of consumption. Amazing, considering normally my hunger has been known (in admittedly extreme cases) to pull food out of bins rather than wait another 20mins before getting home.
To think that people who are totally sedentary live without the regular enjoyment of satisfying a proper hunger. Gah! Poor bastards.
Anyway, the meals here keeps me more than filled; it's generally an exercise in persistence, a sense of self-responsibility about nourishment, and strong aversion to waste that makes me even finish it.
So, no more grapes, thanks :-)
Come to think of it ... Green & Black's chocolate's fine though, hee hee
Since being in hospital Saturday 14th I've had no internet connection - there is no wireless here, nor any Ethernet, nor even a crappy bedside unit. There is a bedside unit that does TV and radio, and is supposed to do 'net but it doesn't work, and besides has an awful PDA-style keypad.
For the first few days Nik ever so kindly shuttled his powerbook back and forth with my mail downloaded for offline tinkering. This worked pretty well all-in-all but obviously I couldn't use the Web or do any work. We did try to set up a dev environment but it was quite hard work and out of both our areas of knowledge.
A miracle the nurses tolerate this kind of "ops centre" annexation...
By this stage I'd taken up residence closer to the window for precisely the purpose of getting a wireless signal at some point. And today was the day...Continue reading "How to get internet from a hospital bed"
Just got this email about a book that's been on my wishlist for over a year, and that was ordered over a month ago...
Your order #026-5565489-2650012 (received 08 April 2005, 22:53 BST) ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Ordered Title Price Dispatched Subtotal ------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1 The Art of Running: With the A 9.99 GBP 1 9.99 GBP Sold by Amazon.com Int'l Sales, Inc.
As it happens, my MBT shoes arrived earlier this week too.
I'll be up and using all this stuff soon!
Coming up to nearly a week now I've been in hospital with two smashed heels and a crushed lumbar vertebra after having unsuccessfully scaled the side of a house to get in after some friend's keys went missing. The fall was about 5m onto the road.
Bed 23 (yes, not 25 any more; window seat, baby!)
Alan Apley Ward (11th floor)
St Thomas' Hospital
Lambeth Palace Road
London SE1 7EH
Do drop by! Call/text first so I know though; may be having stuff done to me (ooer, nurse).
A longer "thank you" is coming but for now I almost cannot put into words how grateful I am to everyone who's helped me; I am so touched. Nik & Eva for more than can be listed right now, my parents for being parents, Nadia for solidity and physicianly comfort in the early moments, Saul for internet and practical toys, Adrian & Emir for entertainments, Teresa for being lovely and knowing how my bed works, and the nursing staff for being so so nice.
Now for the good, the bad, and the ugly...Continue reading "In hospital"
I have in the past raved about my keyboard volume control, an example of a frequently used interface "widget" made available in hardware.
What to do with them?Continue reading "Handy extra mouse buttons"
(More dressing up pix)
Skating crew (minus Maria):
The final--and happy--chapter in the issue with unsolicited SMS. Toward the end of last week I received a couple of calls from the 82277 guys (Tyrone Technologies Ltd, as it happens) who checked their call log, discovered my number had been transcribed incorrectly, apologised, and have sent a cheque to cover the full amount.
Anyone received unsolicited SMS from 82277 should call 0870 4050406, repeatedly if necessary. Mention you found this advice online (i.e. here), too.
What happened was that apparently someone else had signed up for their weekly competition service and the person taking the call transposed digits in the number, ending up by accident with my number. The explanation the chap gave me was pretty detailed and it sounded like a genuine error. So no harm, no foul. Just wish they'd got back to me a little quicker...
Despite having learnt all about the process, I'll have to wait for someone else to do me wrong before heading to the small claims court! :-)
Today's surprise discovery. Skating with someone on piggy-back is really, really hard.
I've been skating on and off for about ten years and am reasonably decent at it, even teach it. In terms of strength I can deep squat twice this person's bodyweight (=2x55kg). Yet, skating with her on my back was seriously challenging: you have no hands for balance, the glutes and lower back are working like crazy being leant forward so far, and to support the weight on each foot for more than a moment requires demonic ankle strength and coordination. Give it a try...
Read The Time Capsule Arrives first.
A pair of G-clamps
And why not.
Boxes upon boxes of my old stuff has after three years been opened. Amidst wondering where on earth I'll even put it all, the ten hours I've spent with it has provided me with some reflections and a couple of surprises.Continue reading "Opening the Time Capsule..."
32kg (70+lb) standing a.k.a. military press, baby
At last, this solid goal achieved. Single rep, barely completed. But completed! God I love being a meathead. Such simple pleasures in life :-)
Bit of background: this is a tough move. Not only is a 32kg kettlebell awkward due to its off-centre handle, it's laterally off-centre to boot. If that wasn't enough, it's a standing press rather than the wussy seated version (with its nice comfy back rest, piped music, and saunas 'n smoothies for afters). So it additionally requires solid core and leg stability too.
More to the point, I've worked pretty hard to get to this weight, and here I am goddammit! Stoked!
Now, if I could only do this with my left arm...
You know the cute idea of taking a little box, filling it with knick-knacks, burying it in the ground, then years later "finding" it again, fascinatedly & coyly remarking "oh, cool! What crap interested me then!" ?
Well, I have done just that, except it was a 750kg box of everything I owned, and "buried" in a garage in Wellington, NZ. This Life Experiment cost me at least US$4,500 between two shipping companies, an unused work visa, and Customs. But at least I now have three woks, six pairs of skates, and some out-of-date painkillers.Continue reading "The Time Capsule arrives"
Update 2005-05-08: This issue has been resolved
Last month I wrote about unsolicited (spam) SMS from 82277 and how over the course of seven such messages I have been billed £10.50. Not a staggering amount of money but money that isn't rightfully theirs.
So I'm finding out what it takes to get it back. Here's what I've done so far...Continue reading "More on 82277 spam"
Over the weekend I learnt through a new physio friend about mBT, essentially a shoe with a curved sole that promotes instability thus neuro-muscular/proprioceptive training, lower limb blood flow, and postural and gait adjustment. The especially neat bit though is having links to more skeletons! They've used some optical motion capture to compare body movements before-and-after using mBT to produce some really beautiful animations.Continue reading "Masai Barefoot Technology"