Hello all, now just about back to being able to spend time on the computer with limited neck movement from my bed.Â Just been catching up with all your comments and with Rob Holden’s progress in his training.
I am beginning to gather an appreciation of the extent of Rob’s challenge, through his entertaining accounts of training, face plants while eating on descent (I am familiar with face plants from being an avid skateboarder) and the temptations of a kebab (although mine usually come after a few beers), the distance of the ultra-tour and the route through the Alps is absolutely huge and the thought of someone running this in less than 40 hours is mind-boggling.Â I would like toÂ take this opportunity to thank Rob again for his enduring efforts and goodwill.
I’m amazed at the generosity of people and the efficiency of Tom Ernst and his fundraising team, I am so grateful to everyone for helping raise money for the Pavilion and Backup trusts, it will make a great difference in the standard of living of paralysed people such as myself.Â
Please keep fundraising efforts going, every little helps. Rob Holden will be commencing his mad run on the 24th of August and his progress can be tracked from his website (link accessible on the right of this webpage).Â
Some very creative and generous friends of mine will kindly be organising a couple ofÂ fund-raising musical events in Kilburn in London during the next few months for the Pavilion trust.Â At the beginning of September, a musical extravaganza called LAURAFEST will occur to celebrate the existence of two wonderful Lauras, with ticket revenue going towards the Pavilion trust, more postings and contact details to follow.
In terms of my own progress since the operation, which was 11 hours in duration and caused some concern, I have been extremely lucky in that I didn’t end up with a tracheostomy.Â The reason for the length of the operation was the extent of infection in my neck and the degradation of the spinal column around the area of the lesion. The surgeons performed the existing titanium plate removal, further bone graft from the hips, spinal column correction and fixing using nylon string from behind, and then the fixation of an extended length of the spinal column using a longer titanium plate.Â
I had very congested lungs which took a few days of heavy physiotherapy to clear (they are still being cleared continuously), and the acute neck pain eased up after around four days, two of which were spent numbed by morphine.Â After seven days I was able to get up in the manual wheelchair and get a special collar fitted, which I’m told will become comfortable during the time I am required to wear it (up to three months), and have been moved downstairs back to St David’s ward in the same room as I previously occupied.Â The past week on bed rest has been extremely boring, and has left me thinking of the disadvantages of my situation far too much.Â Therefore now I will be making the most of my ability to use a computer and to rearrange my room into a more favourable environment for self-education and entertainment.
Prior to my operation I enjoyed a birthday celebration at my grandfather’s house with many friends from London, this was a great day out and it was great to see all who were there, some of whom I hadn’t seen in a while.Â Thanks to all who came and organised and for the great cards and presents.
Thank you to all who have visited since the operation, I have been fed like a king which has enabled me to regain my appetite, which would have taken longer with just hospital food.Â I would like to especially thank my mum and Ellen for their help and support day in and day out.
I have been enjoying conversations about how to endure feelings of restlessness physical and mental, and how to strike a working balance between a withdrawn and relaxing lifestyle and a modern urban lifestyle, plus the potential flexibility in the mode in which we use of our minds.Â Thank you Peter and Maria.
Ellen is in Edinburgh at the Festival, and hopefully enjoying herself with friends.Â I amÂ looking forward to seeing Ollie, Polly, the ferrets, dad and gill soon.
Love to all, T