You couldn’t make it up…

My hospital appointment to get my knee sorted was today. I booked it online on the 7th of May. This required me using a days holiday from work.

I was there the regulation 5 minutes early at Kidderminster Hospital reception for my 11:10am appointment with the acute knee & hip injury Department.

I showed the lady on reception my printed off online appointment sheet and she promptly told me she had never seen one of them before. You know when you get a sense of foreboding that things are not going to go well for you…

After 10 minutes of key tapping, she says to me quite incredulously “Why are you here? Your appointment was cancelled!”

I resisted the urge to smash the ball into the back of the sarcasm net. I answered quite politely, “Nobody has informed me that my appointment was cancelled.” The word OBVIOUSLY was left unsaid, but I knew that she knew it was hanging in the air.

“Well it was” she said “You booked it on the 7th of May and they cancelled it on the 9th of May.” Please take note of today’s date gentle Reader.

“Can you tell me why and more to the point when can I see the knee consultant?” Said I.

“Hang on, go and sit over there” she said “I’ll speak to the Boss.”

10 minutes later she came back brandishing a phone, “speak to this lady, she’ll be able to help you.”

Without being boring and long winded, it transpired that the knee consultant saw the results of my MRI scan and decided that he couldn’t repair the damage and chucked it to a colleague who apparently could. Quite what type of damage and exactly what he decided he couldn’t do I have absolutely no idea. But I’m thinking it must mean surgery.

Now was the problem of actually getting to see the new bloke. The NHS bureaucracy is renowned for moving slower than one of the Earth’s continental plates.

To prevent terminal boredom, and suffice it to say after much contact with various people/administrators/receptionists/secretaries and general phone answering types I believe I have finally secured yet another appointment to see my new consultant on July the 18th. That is to be confirmed in writing though and the time has yet to be decided. It is this year I think, I’d better check…

The way things are going, I’ll be having the treatment for my knee on the first anniversary of the injury which is next February!

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Breaking the habit of a lifetime…

I don’t usually do this, but in the absence of any pedaling news I am going against the very sensible advice of my Dad who told me “Never discuss religion and politics with friends” I’m going to talk about the EU referendum.

For my friends across the pond who may be unaware, this is an open vote next Thursday for the Nation to decide if the UK stays in the European Union. It’s currently dominating the news and all of my social media feeds with various people both famous/infamous/unknown all chucking their ten pennorth worth in as to whether we should stay in or come out.

There are a few problems in this for me.

  1. Nobody of either side really knows what will happen if we stay or leave.
  2. The people telling me what they think I should do, are mainly politicians.
  3. News media

Onto the first issue, both sides are coming out with various “facts” or predictions of what will happen in either case. The other side then comes out with counter “facts” or predictions to disprove the other sides case.

The second problem is the one I have with Politicians of every hue. They are all, self-serving, lying, cheating, criminally corrupt, power seeking ego maniacs, who pander to the highest bidder, or opportunity to stay in Westminster regardless of the consequences.

Then we have the news media of all types, most of who are owned by large corporations with vested interests in one side or the other.

Who to believe, what to do?

I am genuinely torn, I always attend the polling stations and exercise my democratic right at every election, but because I feel such despair at the choices in front of me, disgust at the people standing and a loathing and contempt for system in general, that for the longest time I have written pretty much what I wrote above about Politicians on my ballot paper.

My friends who I do discuss such things with all tell me the same. “You’re wasting your vote Clive, I agree with you mate, they’re all idiots, so that’s why I vote for the least worse!”

Vote for the least worse. Think about that for a moment, you’re not choosing an MP you actually want, you’re choosing the lesser of 2 evils. Is that what our glorious democracy has come to, yes we have to have someone, so we’ll go for this incompetent corrupt twat instead of that slightly more incompetent corrupt twat. Good choice…

My answer to that is this. If more people actually feel like I do and have no faith in the people standing or the actual system now, then why don’t they vote actually how they would like to? Why not be true to yourself. I can safely say with my hand on my heart, I haven’t voted for any of the idiots in power since probably 25 years ago. None of this bollocks is my fault!

Just think of the constitutional crisis that would ensue if the winner by a huge margin at every election was spoiled votes. Especially scrawled with similar comments to mine! The idiots at Westminster would really understand how we feel and realise they have no mandate to do the stuff they want to do. Plus the media feeding frenzy would be something to behold! Career politician, what the hell is a career politician? Someone who is straight from University, has no life experience and wants a large expense account for very little work is what a career politician is!

Anyway, back to the Euro Referendum, what to do, where do I put my X or shall I do what I usually do? In the absence of believable data from either side I can see people tossing a coin!

I have these 2 conflicting feelings, one is to stay, my reason is that looking back on our bloody history, especially European history, we have the start, however wobbly of the first knockings of World Government, which if we are to survive and thrive as a global species, then this must happen eventually. I take Gene Roddenberry’s view of a future world as a model. World Peace for the future based on the small start of the European Union!

My other feeling obviously is to leave, mainly because I guess of my age and weirdly knowledge of our history, who in their right mind would trust the Germans? Or even worse the French for F***s sake! The other thing that is telling me to leave is the lack of democratic process in the decision making/policy department in Brussels. None of the big wigs are elected, they’re all appointed Mandarins on a huge wage! Where is the accountability?

But, as with all of my views about modern politics and the vultures that inhabit the corridors of power, I really believe none of it will matter in the long run.

But I’ll leave you with this, which sums up my feelings about everything “democratic”, Mark Twain famously said “If voting really made a difference, do you really think they’d let us do it?” He was a very astute Gentleman…

I’m still here!

Just a quick in and out as it were to prove I’m still here.

Another month hobbling around like an 80 year old. But my hospital appointment with the specialist has finally been confirmed as next Tuesday the 21st.

This will be the big moment when I finally get to hear exactly what is wrong with my knee following my MRI scan the week before last. More importantly I’m hoping I’ll be given an idea of treatment and when I’ll be fit again!

I may have mentioned before, it is getting a tad boring now!

It hasn’t stopped me doing other stuff though, I had a great day’s fishing last week in Shropshire with my mate Ski and my Son Dan, we all caught fish, some nice fair sized Carp but the fish of the day was Dan’s Perch, the biggest I’ve ever seen. Well done Dan!

Perch

Me and Ski finished the day with an evening at the pub, then had a curry. Simple things done well.

Me and Dan have also been out target shooting with our air rifles over a friend’s piece of land. Anything to get outside!

We have a family weekend away coming up which we’re looking forward to, but more on that after the event!

My daughter Fay landed in Canada on Saturday with her unit, she is on excercise for a good long while at the British Army Training Unit in Suffield. BATUS for short. Living the dream! A proud but jealous Dad! I wish I was 20 again!

To finish, I had some good news over the weekend, I was honoured to be offered a coaching position with The North Midlands Ladies Rugby Squad. That’s a pretty big deal and I really am looking forward to working with the calibre of athlete that The North Midlands County Squad has in its ranks.

I had that good news just after I watched England beat Australia in Australia with the lads at my Rugby Club. It was a good Rugby weekend all told!

 

Catching up and a realisation of what’s important…

A brilliant Bank Holiday weekend.

It’s weird, sometimes you get a smack around the head and realise just what is important.

This weekend did just that. It was a regimental reunion on Saturday night, the first one in a generation. The old and bold turned up in their droves and a fabulous evening was had by all.

It was this that made me realise what is important. Friends. More than that, family, because my Royal Signals mates are family. We do not see each other from one year to the next, but drop us all in the same room and we are back in our 20s and immortal again. It was the best evening I’ve had in years. I really do love them all.

It was made all the more poignant when the Boss proposed a toast to absent friends, we are all in our 40s and 50s now and some of the Senior folk when I was a youngster are now in their 70s, sadly we have lost a few.

MessThe Motley Crew…

But the last 3 weeks have been marvelous/funny/moving/hysterical/pressurized/motivating/inspirational/piss taking (delete as appropriate) as we have had a task that needed our attention.

One of our very good mates was in the middle of rebuilding his 1973 Triumph Spitfire when he fell seriously ill. No need to go into into details, but suffice it to say he was in no condition to complete the build.

This was causing him unnecessary stress, so our old Sergeant Major got on the phone/social media/email and rounded up the lads to get the car complete for him by last Saturday’s reunion, where we hoped he’d be well enough to sit in the thing and go for a little spin around the car park.

The car was a bare shell and in various boxes 3 weeks ago.

This was the car on Saturday after his old Signals mates gave up time/Holidays/family stuff and rearranged work schedules to do this for their old mate. 3 weeks from knacker to a top looking running motor. I have to say, I enjoyed working on this car loads, it was just great to be on a task with the lads again.

s engineEngine Bay

sintInterior

Car

Finished motor.

Spitfire

The team who made it possible.

Special mention must go to the Triumph Sports Six club who supplied the venue and a goodly amount of knowledge. Top blokes to a man, who bought into the Squaddie banter and way of doing things brilliantly!

Unfortunately our mate was too ill to attend the reunion Saturday night, but his wife came down and accepted the keys on her husband’s behalf. Moving wasn’t the word.

Onto my knee injury stuff, MRI was done, it is now a 2 week wait to get the results. The knee is still officially in bits and getting steadily worse. The last physio I had resulted in the physio peeling me off the ceiling and saying “Oh, I think there may be something else going on in the knee!” No shit Sherlock…

Testing testing 1 2 3…

It’s kind of hard to write a weight loss through cycling blog when you can’t cycle because of a knee injury.

What I would say is that for whatever reason I find it hard to concentrate on food discipline when I am injured and cannot cycle.

That’s not a whinge, just a simple fact. I haven’t stood on the scales in 2 weeks and I know all my good intentions in relation to food are being severely challenged.

Weekends are very tricky and I find myself being constantly tested. Monday to Friday isn’t an issue at all as I’m very busy here at work, but come Saturday, wow, it’s difficult.

Last Monday my knee caved in at work and I fell over in a heap in front of my desk after bouncing off a door. I wasn’t certain if it was a shock of pain or just a complete knee failure that caused it. All I know is I was on my arse quick smart.

I revisited the docs and I saw a different bloke, one I get on quite well with, we both share a love of aircraft geekery and that subject usually comes up a few times every visit!

Anyway, to cut a long story short he didn’t bother with anything other than ordering an MRI scan immediately and mega strong pain killers. Quite why the previous Doc and the knee specialist didn’t is a bit beyond me. But hey ho, small steps, or small limps…

I’m glad he’s done that as I genuinely think there is more going on in there than the specialist thinks. An MRI scan will hopefully show the injury in all of its glory and be able to help with a quicker course of treatment.

It is getting a tad boring now…

I want to ride my bicycle…

Not too much happening due to my knee injury, which to be honest is starting to grind me down a tad. It is not getting any better, worse if anything and it’s constantly very painful. Sorry for the whinge, but being a veteran of knee injuries over the years I’m not at all optimistic that physio will help. And it’s still over 2 weeks until my physio starts. Oh hum…

Dan has been racing around the village and the surrounding countryside on his bike with his mates and I have suddenly become the go to person for the local kids bike repairs. I ought to start charging! The amount of times Dan has rocked up with yet another mate in tow, with them saying “my Dad can’t fix this, Dan says you can” is now bordering on epidemic.

Yesterday it was a seized BMX rear wheel which the lad’s Dad said was busted brakes which he couldn’t fix without new brakes. What it actually was, was the rear wheel axle had come loose and moved the wheel over to one side of the frame so the brake was constantly on. A quick spin up with an adjustable spanner soon freed it up so the axle was positioned correctly and Dan and his mate was soon on their way again.

Monty Python’s Bicycle Repair Man springs to mind…

The food thing is becoming a huge battle again, concentration is wavering and my resolve is being tested every minute of the weekend. Work isn’t an issue as there is no food around, but time at home is a challenge. I just want to ride my bicycle! I’m sure there is a song in there somewhere…

 

Quick Update…

It’s been a bit quiet of late on the cycling weight loss front, mainly due to Easter with Dan and slow progress with my knee injury.

My injury finally got diagnosed by a specialist last week as a grade 2 medial ligament tear, for which he has organised physio for. I also had a new experience while he was examining the knee. The guy doing the examining was late 20s early 30s and a rugby player, so we were getting on famously, but then he dropped the line that I knew would be aimed at me eventually, but not so soon!

He said “If the physio doen’t work, we’ll MRI it and have a rethink, but we don’t like operating on people your age!”

My age! I’m officially old it seems. My knee is still very painful, but he said to ditch the stick and try to walk as normally as possible to start killing the scar tissue on the ligament. I musn’t limp and again I quote “Just man up!” That is easier said than done, but I’m doing my very best!

Being a veteran of various knee injuries over the years I do know a bit about dodgy knees and I’m not confident that physio will work. The injury is just not getting better, not even slightly and that’s with me doing everything the medics have told me to do.

But we’ll see what the physios say, which unfortunately is 3 weeks away. So from injuring myself in February to getting the first meaningful treatment will be almost 3 months to the day.