All about recovery

Mon 27 Aug – Sun 2 Sept 2018

The inevitability of recovery

recoveryAfter the ‘excitement’ of the week before with Dave being ill, last week really was just about recovery. This is something we all need in our lives no matter if it’s big or small recovery. The lull after the storm which may only be temporary but is still to be enjoyed and utilised.

There is always a recovery, nothing bad lasts forever. Indeed, I suppose the ultimate recovery from the exhaustion of life is quite simply death.

Dave is a lot better

He has spent time chilling and is no longer using a walking aid – neither crutch nor stick. But he is still in pain and can only walk for a limited time. He is also so slow when he walks though he was never a fast walker in the first place. I think he will be OK for Berlin Folsom next week but it won’t be a mad one.

He had to attend outpatients last week and they did loads of tests. He’s had a text message saying he needs to return in October. Strange because why would they say to return if no issues but then if there are issues they can’t be serious because the appointment is so far away?

Health and Efficiency

Ongoing cold and a very bad Friday / Saturday

spreading diseaseMy bloody cold is still here. I am so snotty and coughing but then I seem to have spent the last 20 years coughing. I am sure my lungs and sinuses have never been the same following my pulmonary embolisms and crazy drugs period.

Felt rough on Wed – cold and shivery. It seemed to get better but then hit with a vengeance on Friday and continued into Saturday. Sweaty and flu-like feelings with pain developing in my sinuses and into my teeth.

nothing but bedNight-time sleeps over the weekend were particularly weird. Hard to sleep and breathing felt hard at times with all the mucus. And I was so constantly dehydrated but also needing to get up to go to the toilet.

Felt better slowly as the weekend progressed. Though I took things easy and I was so bloody sweaty generally. Lots of napping during the day. One of the key things about recovery is slipping back then having to recover again. Recovery in any sense is rarely tidy and linear.

Meds renewal time

pillsThere was a lot of health stuff last week. Tues morning up to the hospital to collect my 6 month supply of ARV meds. All very easy though the fact I had my 6 monthly bloods done at another clinic appointment a month before completely flumoxed everyone.

Indeed I got called back to my clinic after collecting my meds to double check what had happened. The (dis)connected NHS.

Disastrous INR

warfarin tabletsThen on Fri morning it was down to my GP’s for my INR. And I also needed to check out how to renew my regular meds prescription online as it can’t now be renewed regularly by the pharmacist to avoid wastage.

I know we don’t want to waste meds but if someone doesn’t collect them within a month and after warnings then surely they just get put back into the central stock? Pointless bureaucracy.

bloods takenINR was an absolute disaster. 5.5 which is massively over target and means I am liable to (internal) bleeding. No reason it should have gone like that, my medication dosage has not changed and I’m not taking new meds. So one day break in warfarin, changed dosage and back again in a week in order to check all is OK.

The main problem of dealing with a chronic illness is often just the simple boredom of constant checks.

Exercise failure

when only bed can helpLack of time and my cold stopped exercise such as a nice 5k jog-run. However I did do a leisurely long purposeful walk on Bank Holiday Monday. I walked from Dave’s place in Victoria to mine near Olympia. Along the dreadful King’s Road (horrible chain shops and snobby people). But through the wonderfully decrepit Brompton cemetery, unfortunately being made into something altogether more swishy.

I had planned lunch at the Chelsea Diner, the last of a string of cheap old-fashioned diners in central London. Always good to pop in for low-cost, no frills food. But alas, like we all will one day, it has been shut down. πŸ™ No point in wallowing in nostalgia.

I was thinking of doing my jog-run at the weekend but my heavy cold put paid to that. Dave has mentioned that perhaps not doing my regular gym is affecting me i.e. getting colds. He may well be right. I am definitely missing the gym with the sense of achievement and purpose it gave me beyond any specific physical benefits that may have come.


Innovation and Creativity

Two and a half days of work whereas should have only been two with the bank holiday. Extra half day was on Tues to attend a training session on safeguarding. This is a new requirement for all of us and it was good in-house training. It moved along with the right amount of pace not dragging at all plus informative with the right blend of being spoken to and group work.

Generally work was quite nondescript. Still working on how we can be more environmentally friendly. And I’ve got to get stuff together for a hack we are doing on my return from Germany to source good media stories. So nice to have a mini catch-up with my job-share Dilhani on Wed morning. We are both very busy and never seem to have much time together.

Personal Development

10 year anniversaryThis all went a bit to pieces as with my ongoing colds and looking after Dave + mum. Hope you like my new way of estimating progress I am making each week around my key personal development areas:

  • Duolingo 6/10
  • Coding 3/10
  • Emails 7/10 (personal 8, work 6)



Me and Dave went off to see the Picasso exhibition at Tate Modern on Thurs morning. Incredibly expensive at Β£22 each! And it focuses on just one year, 1932 with the rooms based on individual months. But it is a brilliant show. His output was so varied and prestigious. You keep needing to remind yourself this covers just one single year. It really is like being in the presence of a genius. Indeed, you need to be careful it doesn’t leave you feeling completely inferior rather than inspired.


Larry Grayson, ‘Amnesia’ & Celebrity Big Brother

Then over the weekend, whilst I was in recovery from the cold-flu thing, a couple of bits of less high-brow culture. Sat night me and Dave caught up on a documentary about Larry Grayson. Very funny and sad. It’s great we can laugh at him now but I think we can only do that because we have got to a time when being gay is OK rather than some dirty innuendo. And on Sun afternoon I watched a Canadian film about a gay man who had lost his memory. He slowly regains it but what is true and what is fiction? Plus I’ve been keeping an eye on the goings-on in CBB – great, trashy fun.

Books and Reading

‘Sleeping Giants: Themis Files Book 1’

A perfectly decent modern sci-fi story from the library (where I went on Sat as well – one of my favourite places). It’s the story of a team working on recovering the pieces of a huge walking statue that is actually an alien weapon. It’s written as a series of interviews which always feels a wee bit like cheating to me. The main protagonist is a mystery character like the smoking man in X-Files. Ah, where would we be without conspirary theories? Fun but trashy and certainly no masterpiece.


John Waters

The ever brilliant film director John Walters (Hairspray, etc) took a hitchhiking trip across America. Not a totally new idea but still fun to read about. It is hard to continually be new, fun and exciting.

The book is in 3 parts. First, the dream trip which is quite spicy. Then the nightmare trip which is very modern horror and quite dependent on deranged fans. Finally the mundanity of real life – lots of hanging around.

Is modern life rubbish?

His trip does feel slightly cheating in that it is frequently based on people picking him up because they recognise him. For most ‘normal’ hitchhikers they would probably be left there. Sad that modern life has scared hitchhikers and car drivers from sharing journeys. Such an obvious way of expressing the shared and circular economies beloved of hipsters and modern economists. Hitchhiking has gone the way of cheap central London cafes bulldozed by profits, brands and lack of trust.

‘Thin Air’

CharityA horror ghost story from the Michelle Paver author of ‘Dark Matter’ – fundamentally also a ghost story. But how far is the ghost ‘real’ and how far is it psychological? A team of mountaineers climb the mountain and find the dark truth about a previous attempt. It is very Victorian though actually based in the post-Victorian period. But it does remind me of all the reasons why I hate the sanctimonious, stiff upper-lip, hypocrisy of Victorian England. A truly disastrous period in our history.

The Week Ahead

  • Work Mon, Tues & Wed with a focus on getting ready for the stories hack when I come back from Berlin
  • Thurs me and Dave are off to Germany for the annual Folsom event. Not sure if I’m in the mood for a mad one. Also every year it gets busier and busier with the inevitable gay success swing to the beautiful ones taking over and pushing out us non-perfect people.
  • Not sure I will read 3 books this week even with a holiday – target is at least 2
  • Exercise-wise, next week is a write-off. Perhaps the best I can hope for are some long purposeful walks inΒ  Berlin such as wandering around Tier Garten.
  • May get a chance to do more personal development stuff in Berlin as I chill (and recover) at the coffee shops but no promises to myself

And Finally…

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