So a bit of an update on things over the last few weeks – first off I have got out of the ‘prison’ home a few times with mates popping over for a walk down to the country park and a cuppa and bacon roll – only a few minutes walk and have a wee before I leave the house and another at the park, can’t ever be too far from a ‘wee point’! That has been magic.

We had sold my Land Rover when I was in hospital and so are a one car family at the moment and although I am driving again it has only been to get over to the hospital for appointments and take some weight of Lisa having to drive. It also saved begging lifts from mates who were absolute stars in giving me lifts there or picking me up – particularly Ally, Daniel, Mark, Tony and David. Without them we would have been in real trouble as at the time Lisa was also struggling with a bad back again and could not really drive. However with one car I am a bit stranded and it is more of an impact just knowing I can’t get out even if I want to. Spending quite a lot of time on Autotrader at the moment dreaming of a replacement Land Rover, or similar…!

Hmm, what about one of these..?!

Anyway, after being essentially at home for 6 plus months it was great to get out albeit with all the normal caveats – keep away from other people as best as possible, hence the country park where I could sit outside, don’t overdo it, only go when I feel well enough and/or have enough energy and call it when I feel the wheels starting to come off. The latter is not a great feeling as going out for an hour or two takes a toll pretty quickly and I can easily spend the next few hours in bed resting – after a coffee and bacon roll!!

As a contrast there is the latest on medical stuff and I had a visit to the hospital for a ‘nuclear medicine’ scan on my kidneys which are still not working properly – there is a part of me that thinks that’s ok because in my mind if they were working fully that would mean more flow to my bladder and I still have just 30 mins between going for a wee. The worst bit about the scan was the need to have a powerful diuretic injected beforehand so they could measure the flow from my kidneys – I had to be in the scan for between 30 and 40 minutes but the nurse had said I could get up if I needed the loo – good job as the diuretic worked perfectly and I was going every 3 – 5 minutes, in the end I just cried with frustration and a degree of humiliation. The nurse bless her went and got me a wee bottle, bag and absorbent pad to sit on when I drove home just in case; as it was I found new gateways and pull in points between Cambridge and home as by the time I got away I was still needing to pee every 7 or 8 minutes. It took 90 minutes to get home, loved it.

I still get occasional bad pain in my bladder a severe dull ache and have resorted quite a few times to paracetemol and codeine at night as I can’t afford to be lying there in pain instead of being asleep. Capacity and frequency is the same as it has been for the last 7 – 8 months, 75 ml (compared to normal capacity of around 350ml) and going on average every 30 mins. It’s wearisome.

On the upside though has been the Royal Wedding! I love the royals and not least the economic benefit they bring to the UK which will probably now increase hugely with an American Royal!! I think Trump should perhaps change his tune and face the inevitable, instead of ‘Make America Great’ he should change it to ‘Make America Great Britain’ and accept that The Queen should be Head of State – it just makes sense! Lisa and I sat and watched most of the Wedding and both cried at various times – me a lot as I thought about how much my Princess has had to put up with over the last year plus – what a star.

An exciting part of the day, and one that was really quite scary for me was going to a Garden Party to celebrate the wedding (thank you Penny!) – amazing seeing so many people I knew and some good friends on such a lovely day both with the weather and the Wedding.

A few more tears were shed there as well as some of reminisced over the last year and times we’ve had a laugh together with various things – particularly my old mate Sean as we talked about how he survived the last day of our Thames Row in 2016 on board with me, Bav and Sogan – his write up on that is here and I think he was generous, we were properly grumpy so and so’s that day in the heat, tired, long way to row, not enough coffee etc….(click here to read it) Maybe we’ll get on the water again this year…..wishful thinking or ambitious thinking?!

The following day it was another get together and this time for us and our neighbours and again it was extremely emotional for me – I think the emotion and of course the drugs I’m on led me to act out of character and be inappropriate, smutty, and a bit sweary…..!!

It was amazing to see all the great people who live right on our doorstep who have helped us through the last year and a bit and continue to do so with their love and support, be that emotional, practical or arguably the best one – gin!!

Great also to be at both with my Mum & Dad who’ve been such help.

Overall, it had a great feel good factor for Lisa and I – big thanks to everyone. xx

Today though was back to reality and a visit to Addenbrookes to see the Urology Doctor about my bladder results – and that is when the feel good train hit  the buffers for us both. The stark facts are that my right kidney is working at 20% and my left one at 80% which is much worse than I expected as I thought my left kidney was down a bit, in my head probably around 80% and that my right one would be close to 100%.

It got a little worse after that as the reasons for this are varied, with the Doc discussing the worst one first, the possibility of tumours on my kidneys restricting the flow from them. The way forward for that is to go back this Friday for a CT scan to check to see if there are tumours or if there are blockages eleswhere. Also booked in today is another endoscopy on my bladder and this time to use the telescopic camera to go and look up each tube from my bladder to each kidney – so another invasion of my Gentleman’s Sausage via my ‘Oriental Eye.’ Deep joy as it is still smarting from the last effort so can’t wait for that.

As for the actual inflammation in my bladder which is what is restricting my capacity I found out today that the most likely way for that to heal is simply time…and it could take up to two years so a day of lots of good news. It’s a blow right there and then and again Lisa and I have been very emotional with a fair amount of crying but we will bounce back as ever over the next day or so. We’ve done it before so many times and will do it again, and no doubt again and again. (Woof!)

Lastly, been working on redefining ‘overdoing it’ by doing lots of different things in the garden from the more lightweight cutting the lawn to more heavyweight moving and laying gravel, paving slabs/tiles, creosoting, digging the flower beds and sticking plants in pots.

Main thing has been working on bits and bobs on Lisa’s water feature (another ‘Woof!’ Edited in, per David’s comment below!) – it’s nearly there now, but as with the last year there are setbacks – bastard thing seems to be leaking….FFS!!

It’s been fun, invigorating to actually break a sweat at times and I’m getting closer to being able to do stuff the following day rather than be laid up for the following two!

Calibrating overdoing it is getting narrowed down!

Please feel free to share these blogs especially as my FB closure plan is now to bail out by the end of the month – delayed for various reasons not least the number of people who have asked me not to go. 184 people have signed up to the blog from my health shenanigans and we’ll keep plugging away.

Last thoughts go to Pete’s family and Steff’s family – life is so fragile.






Challenges, Ian's Blog

Join the conversation! 6 Comments

  1. Can’t believe you didn’t put a “woof!” after “I’ve been working on Lisa’s water feature”. Come on, man.

  2. An extraordinary update. You continue to defy the normal. We just want you to succeed for the both of you, so stay upbeat and defiant!

  3. Another great read. I love your openness (sure that should be a word) and your grit. Most people buckle under everyday ‘problems’. Not our Ian though! I often think that should I ever fall ill or lose a limb (or similar!) I’d have the drive to get up and prove my body wrong or people, and show that life can go on. In reality you don’t really know if that’s possible. It may be a slow road you’re on (slow meandering river perhaps?) But dammit you’re a fighter and that in itself is heart warming and makes us want to go woof!! With you! From afar i can only marvel at the strength and courage of Lisa and yourself.

    Enough mushy shit. You’re a dick.

    • Haha! Loved the last line! When I told a mate that I’d got ‘The Main Event’ a year ago he just asked ‘What did you do that for? You twat!’
      Another finally kicked my arse at running just before I was diagnosed and when I explained why that was he just said, ‘Doesn’t matter, a win’s a win!’

      All fair points!! I’d be really worried if I didn’t get that!

      Keep on scooting Big Fella!


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