Thursday, 23 June 2016

Changing Tyres the easy way

My new tyres arrived today and at the moment I can't really strain much to fit them as I am currently recovering from an operation and have a stent in me.  Vic had offered to come over but me being me had to at least try it myself. 
I got the old ones off but when it came to fitting the new tyres it just seemed impossible I really couldn't manage it, after almost half an hour I was in pain and getting nowhere, half convincing myself that the tyres were somehow wrong for the wheel, they were 700 x 28c same as what had come off but a different brand. 
I should say my rims are fairly narrow and the new tyres are Shwalbe Marathon plus probably one of the sturdiest tyres on the market and very very stiff to fit when new.

Well they say necessity is the mother of invention so I did what I normally do when brute force and celtic don't work I simply stared at the problem and tried to think a way out.  The main problem was that as soon as you pushed one part in it caused the one next to it to jump out so you chased the tyre round the wheel unendingly.
Well I came up with a solution that made the whole job so much easier, there was no straining involved and each one was done with little fuss and very quickly.   Now I know what your thinking.... I admitted defeat and I called Vic and got him to do for me, well you would be wrong.  
Instead i simply pushed one section into the rim and then taped it with a little electrical tape, then went a bit further along and did the same.  It only took about 3 sections being held in place to make the whole job so much easier.  Like having 3 sets of helping hands.

Three Tape Sections

Close Up

I always carry an amount of this tape in my tool kit, I wrap mine round the small aluminium tube that came with my tent to repair a broken pole in an emergency.  In future when I am travelling out and tired after a long day ending up with a puncture won't be such a chore, however it's a long time since I had a puncture!
Anyhow I hope this helps, it's a trick I won't forget!

Friday, 17 June 2016

Still Going - Still Positive

Sometimes you think you are on the upward climb and then you find your in a double dip recession!!!  but that's no reason to lose hope, hope it seems costs nothing staying positive costs nothing but it can be difficult.

Just as I started to get better I decided to take some time off work purely to focus on getting back out on my bike and giving me a nice reset.  I had begun to notice that my urine was getting darker but didn't feel unwell so thought nothing of it..

Part way through my holiday I had agreed to visit another University with some of my colleagues to explore why they had chosen a particular vendor in their network refresh.  We drove up on a 3hr drive, I started to feel uncomfortable, this continued throughout the day but I didn't say anything.  I got back to the hotel went to the loo and I was essentially urinating blood.

Trying not to panic I phoned the 111 for advice and they told me they would refer me to a nurse, she then said she would consult with a doctor and call me back.  I met my colleagues at a little restraunt just outside the hotel and explained that I had a little problem and was waiting for a call back from the doctor.

Low and behold I was told to go into the hospital,  the staff their were great and they xrayed me etc.. and said that I had kidney stones...  They admitted me because they wanted to make sure it wasn't anything more severe as they wouldn't expect that much blood.  Being as bloody minded as I am I wasn't about to spend any length of time in hospital in a strange city so I discharged myself promising that I would see my doctor straight away.

I saw my doctor and they made an appointment (2 weeks away...)  About a day after i started to experience severe pain similar to my recent brush with Gallstones and losing my gall bladder.  I attended A&E under advice and they confirmed kidney stones and sent me home with a letter for the doctor.  This kind of repeated until I had the mother of all attacks which was agonising in a way that was hard to describe, the nearest I could think of was a mouth full of teeth every one with toothache stuffed in my left side and then someone poking them with a piece of tin foil.

I should mention that during one of my visits to A&E late at night it was so crowded and I was in so much pain I was feeling nauseous i was standing rather than sitting, when i felt dizzy, I was stood by an open room which had two couches in and a small table with magazines no sign on the door and it was open.  I went in lay on the couch for a second and the pain really kicked in, the receptionist a young lad came over and told me that I couldn't lie down and had to go to the seats in the waiting room, I told him I was in too much pain.

he fetched a nurse i explained what was wrong and she said how did he get here to the receptionist who said I walked in and she said well he can walk out then this is for grieving people??? again no sign on the door ..  She then said to her colleague that I was just trying to get ahead of the queue.. I doubt she will read this but "you have no right being a nurse you complete bitch" I wasn't aggressive loud or argumentative I was just in some of the most severe pain I have ever experienced and vulnerable.

There were people watching I was so humiliated and weak I forced myself up and literally dragged myself out of A&E called my friend who came and picked me up.  I sat down outside and was told I couldn't even sit there so I was made to go over to the grass on the other side of the road I felt like a criminal and just could not understand why I was treated like that.  I spent a night of agony till an appointment the next day with the urologist who admitted me.   Needless to say I have put a formal complaint in and I am awaiting the results, I described what had happened and the other staff were genuinely shocked. 

The A&E staff are normally wonderful people patient understanding and kind which is my normal experience with them the nurse who dealt with me brings nothing but shame on her profession.

They kept me in because my kidney function deteriorated and then let me go again as it started to improve,  I then had another really bad attack and they tried to remove the main culprit with ultrasound this didn't work at all and the consultant said I would need a stent as a temporary measure until they could get a space for me to have a procedure (almost 6 weeks away) that involved passing a laser up through the last place in the world I want anything to go in and through my bladder into my kidney this would stop the kidney stone pain but would likely lead to some bleeding and being uncomfortable.

Well the day of my op arrived and low and behold they came to see me and said they weren't going to give me the stent as a spot had opened up so the following morning they were going to go in and laser the kidney stone HURRAH!  Unfortunately the operation went wrong, when they went in my kidney was in my consultants words "full of puss" it was infected and to make it worse they had accidentally put a hole in my uretera...  they had put a stent in and I would have to keep it for 6-8 weeks untill they try the op again.

So I have had the stent for about a week now, it's painful uncomfortable and it interferes with just about everything.  I was starting to feel pretty miserable then I thought:

1. imagine if I had been born 100 yrs ago I would likely be dead from this.
2. My close mates have been amazing
3. My family have been great
4. Work have been supportive
5. I will get better it's only temporary
6. I have dealt with worse
7. I have experienced worse pain
8. I lost a stone in hospital "seriously a stone"
9. I could be the complete Jerk and the Nurse at A&E reception who were humiliating imagine being that kind of person.

So that made me feel way more positive, I am faced with weeks of pain/discomfort but what the hell it's just another hill to cycle up so im dropping into a lower gear putting my head down and grinding for a while....  

Sometimes being positive is as simple as saying bugger it this is not going to stop me!

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Keeping Going

Apologies up front for the following, it's not related to cycling other than the willpower to keep going and in the main it's just me putting my rambling morphine interrupted thoughts down with no coheerent planning, so if what I am writing is disjointed or illogical poke away and make as much fun as you like I could do with the amusement!

It's been kind of a rough year since I got back from my tour last year.   I went down with gallstones and spent a long time in hospital and recovering.   Just when I have started to feel better and begin cycling again I have gone down with kidney stones which are very painful. 

So once again i find myself sat in a hospital bed, a drip in one arm and the other arm looking like a pin cushion.  Frustrated at not being at work and just general frustration of not being in control.

I don't like letting people down and I guess that not being at work, not being able to do things I said I would is just another source of frustration.  No matter how many times people tell me it's fine or that I should focus on getting better I still just don't like being held back, I guess it's the stubborn part of me.

It's times like this that I just try and dig in, keep going and try not to come to a complete halt, starting from a standstill is a lot harder than starting when you are already moving.  So I try and keep up to date with my emails, research what I can and generally think of ways to keep on top of things from my bed.

it's a trite saying that there are always people worse off than you... trundled out to make people feel better etc..  but in the last few weeks two firends have gone down with cancer, one has testicular cancer and he is only 22 but amazingly positive about the whole thing and his future, the other is much older and has already battled through incredible odds in his life and is one of natures fighters all the way.   So I keep saying to myself there really are people worse off and you know them!

so in the end I am staying positive so life can throw at me what it wants because I will still be standing, someone at work said to me the other day that I "seemed to be having a hell of a time" and I replied do you know why I am so big?   "it's because it takes more than one torpedo to sink a battleship". 

I am also thinking about the whole leave europe thing as I am firmly in the Brexit camp, I won't bore you with the details of why but I read an article yesterday about sports direct and the incredible indignity and selfish practices the company has heaped upon it's staff and then saw a headline which simply said "this is what britain could look like if we left the EU".

I work for a wonderful organisation a University and they are supportive and moral as it is possible for anything that is essentially bricks mortar and policies lead by various people at one point or another.  That makes me incredibly lucky and well cared for in the grand scheeme of things, it makes me "privelaged" am I ready to sacrifice the protection to those less privelaged low income workers in this country that Europe provides???   I'ts a tough question because I simply don't trust any politician currently so if we left the EU could I trust them to look after the workers interests to the same level?

I have never minded paying taxes as long as the less fortunate and the less able in society are well cared for, I think a lot of that "morality" will disapear if we leave Europe it all seems to be getting to harsh and uncaring of late...  

I asked someone once what they did and they said I am only a cleaner as if that somehow made them less than others in the workplace,  I have always had a view and will always hold it, If you are working and being a productive member of society or trying to be in work then you can hold your head up with equality in any company, what you do does not matter all that matters is that you are doing something that is all socieity has the right to ask, after that it's all about how hard you work to achieve your ambitions, I do feel that being in Europe assures this, I don't yet know how we will assure it in leaving the EU.

well ramble over, I have reminded myself that my problems are very insignificant in the grand scheeme of things so I am feeling bettter already.