Hospital checkup was good, CT scan showed there is still air but reduced from post operation scans (and that I had a blocked right nostril).  Renogram results were not ready for discussion, had a productive conversation with the consultant regarding everything from spasms to toe problems to fertility.  She gouged the blood and tissue from the side of my toe and finish the job with silver nitrate which made me feel extremely strange for the rest of the day as my skin burnt, very different approach from the podiatrist (laissez-faire).  Good news about fertility, Dr Graham had a look at my “field” and showed me (which was exciting) the strongest field she had seen in a while and gave me advice on how to keep it that way including good ventilation and not sitting on myself.


Was good to see some of the staff, unfortunately not many of the patients I knew were there (either left or on weekend leave), still managed to spend a lot of time chatting about work/carers etc.


Off to work in a minute, ramping up my knowledge for the project I’m going to do, trying to understand the very well written code of the demonstrator I am going to work with and what the project manager wants me to do with it.  Days are extremely long with the large commute but it is very rewarding being back at work and will be even more so when I feel I am making a contribution.


Great to hear about Oliver’s visit in December, I will have to ask him when he wants me to take holiday.  Looking forward to drunken brotherly revelry.  Sunday 21st of December sounds good for a bonfire, I think the housewarming maybe somewhere in December if the pavilion is complete.


sadly, an ex-fellow patient of Stoke Mandeville, Dan James has passed away.  He was about my age and was a good friend  and chess partner.  Although I didn’t know him very well I thought it was one of the most instantly likeable guys I have met and my commiserations to his family and friends.


In response to the previous comments (thank you very much for leaving them).  Felix: Suze will be taking me to work every day I am working, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and she will have access to the Internet and will hopefully occupy herself while I am busy.  I should imagine she will get on well with colleagues, people usually get on with her.  I only travel with one person in the car nowadays, it seems to work fine that way.  Shower share was a mistake, I meant to write shower chair.  Pat: I read using a mobile arm support (a device which takes some of the weight of my arm so I can move it across my body) to turn pages usually but at the moment I don’t have one so I am asking carers to turn the page.  Although I can read a lot of things on the computer it’s nice to read a bit of fiction from a real book now and then.

Not doing very well at writing regular posts, it is mainly laziness but I would also like to blame my being preoccupied with lots of new systems, novelties and adjustments.  I also feel that as I become busy with rebuilding a reasonably productive lifestyle I spend less time reflecting on my own feelings and interactions. This is what I feel people like hearing about because it is such a novel and interesting situation to reflect on and emotions encountered on dealing with the situation are often quite extreme.

I’m starting to encounter many new difficulties associated with pseudo-independent living on my own (Ellen spends weekdays in Cardiff at the moment designing a play called Hayfever at the Royal Welsh College of music and drama, the silver lining is that it enables us our own space in this experimental phase which allows me at least to develop my own routines and allows Ellen to focus without distractions).  Moving into a new home is never a simple matter and I am finding that doing so in such a disabled state requires even more careful consideration of everything from furniture placement to electrical wiring, lighting, storage, flooring etc.  I am now living in the new extension which is a great improvement even if it does feel a little empty at the moment, watching the pavilion construction is a joy as it looks like a fantastic structure.

Learning to live with carers is a challenge, maintaining the attitude of an employer whilst being so dependent and spending so much time with the carer is difficult.  Keeping a friendly rapport while at the same time being able to be firm and show displeasure at or correct the conduct of a carer is an awkward balance to strike.  The complication of not actually being the direct employer of the carer requires me to have an efficient form of communication through the employing agency and to be able to negotiate with the carer if my requests and the rules and regulations of the agency differ.  I’m lucky in that the whole package of care has and is working very well for me but at the same time I appreciate the limitations that it enforces.  The three-hour break that the live-in carer is entitled to means that every day I have to be at home during the handover hours or make special efforts to arrange for the carer to have extra break on another day, the strictness of this varies with the flexibility of the carer at hand.  I also have to be at home for handover days unless specially arranged.

I am content with being faced with these challenges and look forward to another which starts on Monday, my new job.  It’s an interesting scenario where I have so many things to do and yet spend so much time waiting for the seemingly small part of the day in which I can create, at least I spend a lot of time thinking.

That’s my self-centred rant for the day.  Best wishes to all.