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Difficult Roads Lead to Beautiful Destinations

This post must start with a huge THANK YOU. I am overwhelmed by direct messages from wonderful people offering get well wishes after my mishap at the end of October. That thing called ‘human inquisitiveness’ has also prompted this post; people want to know what happened. A brief review follows.

Saturday 28 October 2017. Working with our 19-year-old son, Sasha on a DIY project in the ‘little girls’ bedroom. Ha ha, they are 11 and 13 years. Not little anymore . . .

After a few hours of enjoyable work, I became tired and had an uncomfortable ache from hip to toes in my left leg. Recognising and ignoring it, I blamed the nervous system illness I have had for many years but we decided we had done enough for the day and our stomachs growled. So we packed away the tools.

Sasha gave me an appraising look and told me to go downstairs, he would finish. I didn’t want to quit yet. It’s not that often that we have the time to work together but five-minutes later the pain had increased so intensely I couldn’t stand. I knew then that this wasn’t the regular pain thing.

Helped to bed but not able to remember the journey is an interesting experience that has gone in my ‘notes to include in writing’ file. I was upstairs, then I wasn’t and found myself falling into a very dark place where exquisite pain was the companion. I take morphine to manage daily pain, the regular dose and the boosters had no effect , so I asked for a glass of rum (I don’t drink spirits). It had the desired effect, and I slept for a short while.

On waking, I discovered only one position that didn’t make me want to scream, bite into the pillows . . . but it wasn’t practical; my upper body was at right angles to my legs and there was little space for Sarah to join me in the bed later. It was suggested that an ambulance be called but I didn’t want that because the thought of more fuss and movement was very unappealing. I don’t want to recall the following thirty-six hours until the point where I gave in and agreed that an ambulance was necessary. Nor do I want to revisit the journey from bed to the ambulance. Those guys were great, but they had no magic wands except a powerful ambulance and a siren with blue light to get us through the roadworks joining the main route from home to Carcassonne.

Nobody was expecting Christmas trees while we travelled around the Carcassonne ring road at 120 KPH. Expletives from the driver followed by a thud and scraping sound beneath the vehicle diverted our attention. Recovering his composure, he explained that a car and trailer carrying unfettered Christmas trees had shed part of its load. We were dragging some of it along on the under carriage. After a few radio exchanges he said he wasn’t going to stop, and we carried our new load the remaining four kilometres into the ‘Urgence’ bay.

Colleagues detached the tree and were excited to receive their first Christmas tree of the season which they proudly stood in a corner; standing at over two metres tall. No damage to the ambulance. The triage team, examined and attached three liquids that brought a quick drugged haze and an emergency MRI scan that showed a disk in my lower back had moved into the spinal canal.

Seven long immobile days later, I was transferred to a specialist hospital near Toulouse where on 04 November; a surgeon removed the disk and performed a spinal fusion operation. The next day, I got out of bed and walked. They performed a miracle! The pain in the leg has reduced considerably, but it’s going to be a long road to complete recovery. My usual optimism will take care of that.

That’s the story and one I must say was not enjoyable to relate. Yet look at the positives; the skill and dedication of everybody involved was humbling. The ‘get well wishes’ too have played a great part in recovery.

Back and work now relinking to the positive thread I left behind almost six weeks ago.

Under Attack

Is that an overstatement I see in the header above me? From  my position  on this hospital bed, I say, “understatement,” So the question is, how can my recent articles have been true? They were sprinkled with lashings of positivity and, genuine it was too. I ask again for my benefit more than yours; how can positives like those I enjoyed last week take such a serious nosedive? Slightly different phrasing brings the following thoughts:-

  1. Everything I write in here, and certain aspects of my fictional works are true. That said, those lashings of positivity were an accurate reflection of the state of the nation at the time of writing.

I can’t move on to number 2 just yet because I need to point out what Sherlock Holmes referred to as his question of sobriety. Well this is my ‘QOS’ not that belonging to Holmes. Anybody who has been treated for a medical problem with high doses of morphine will know what I mean. Why didn’t I move to number 2? Oh look at the view of the mountains and the old city (La Cité) of Carcassonne (I can’t see them but I know they can be seen through my window).   Blue sky, a few high, streaky clouds too. I’m still not sure of what I was saying, I really can’t remember. Now I,ve been distracted by a nurse who has told me to type one-handed because blood is getting into the line. I know what I wanted to say.

My sobriety has been challenged, memory dimmed far more than usual, don’t expect miracles here but i will do my best. Sigh, following a visit from doctor’s junior and senior, I’ve completely lost the plot now so I’m going to do a virtual Tardis tour of the end of last week (easy to remember because the posts and other tasks are here on my notebook).

Leaving out the detail, it’s clear that last week was one of those that I am very happy to sign off as a great week. A couple of blog articles, positive action on social media, excellent strides forward with the edit of my current WIP and chapter 1 belonging to the book following the WIP, written and waiting impatiently for what will follow. I don’t usually jump ahead like that but sometimes it just has to be done.

My Twitter followers had also taken a substantial leap and I had been interacting with many through DM. Some were various types of publisher who would like to have my trade. Others were readers who have said they have or, will be reading my work. I’m not a follower counter but I value the relationships building in the Twitterverse. Note past tense just moved in.

Shortly before logging out on Friday, a new follower caught my eye. ‘Wow, he looks young for a US Army general. Surely not a day over sixteen. So, that set off the alarm bells and more so when he sent a DM not five minutes later saying, ‘hi, how are you and the family?’

‘Fine, thanks. How’re you and yours, ‘Sir;” Note the respectful sir. That was around 18:00 hours and I needed to logout to make dinner.

Strange thing; at 20:00, Twitter locked me out for breaking terms and conditions. I never did discover what I had allegedly done and support didn’t respond to my query. I sorted it out and it happened again at 21:00 and 07:00 on Saturday. There was two more re-runs on Sunday and Monday but the earth may have ended and I doubt that my awareness  would have registered on the most sensitive of scales. So those went unnoticed. But, David P. Perlmutter (not the doctor, the one who wrote the cool true story), I may need that ‘get out of jail free card.’ I know it’s rude to ask for the return of gifts but, needs must.

Seriously, I was not alone last weekend. Other Twitterversians had their accounts interfered with. Using third party programs to reach people on opposite time zones may be the cause of some of that interference but wait!  Oh dear, we are back to lists of two items again, although the previous one did get a bit confusing didn’t  it. So much so, I promised two items and left you stranded searching for that ellusive number 2. Not this time!

2. Using third party programs to promote your tweets is not allowed. So, I have been using  for several months because it enables my tweets to go live when folks are online in NZ, Aus, etc. As people who see my tweets will be aware, they advertise my books, this blog and a range of tweets to inspire and motivate (nice little non-earners).

That number two has potentially turned into something quite large. What about the widget I am about to use to post this to Twitter, Facebook . . . ? It is after all, third party software. Golly! Following the publication of this post and subsequent third party mention on Twitter, I will let you know with a brief follow up post about what happened.

First I have a huge favour to ask. I would dearly like to contact my Twitter friends to let them know I am not sulking but infact, laying on my back, typing with one hand to a screen above me. The Carcassonne Hospital network uses a version of Firefox that is so old, Twitter flatly  refuses to open on such a relic. So if a few people would be so kind as to put out the word I would be very happy. Please also let me know if I get sent to jail again.

Designing and building a simple wardrobe with my son caused a disk hernea and the disk is pushing against the sciatic nerve. Raising my head 4 cm off the pillow causes nasty pain in my legs . . . but I still seek those Positive, Dynamic Solutions. I have a book tour planned in The UK in four weeks so healing energies gratefully appreciated. My meditations will be on fixing the problem so the doctors don’t have to.

Getting to this point was a challenge, more so in the last couple of hours because a new medication has been added. These guys really are on my side. Perhaps we should all stop for a moment and meditate on the good health of healthcare workers across the world. Without them we would be lost.




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