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2023 - August - Pre Trips Catch Up

Well as ever there has been a break in the blog between trips but it has been even longer than I expected due to events I will come onto.

I write this as we start on a fleeting visit up North and not at all sure where to start with all that has happened since the return from our fun trip to Portugal.

I have had lots of fun opportunities to catch up with family and many friends. We had a lovely day out with Neil at Lords watching the warm up test against Ireland. The journey home from there after dropping Karen at her cousins in Epsom (she was going with her brother to see the Derby the following day) was though stupidly long with seemingly every road back to Norwich closed for different reasons.

We have had several visits to the Theatre and Cinema. Both the films we saw were good but could have been made shorter (Mission Impossible 7 & Oppenheimer). Some of the theatre was very good (Showstopper & Tim Vine) whilst others were just plain weird (Heathers the Musical). There was also the show at the London Coliseum that we travelled all the way down to see with Graham & Jo, but then not actually allowed into as they were full and our tickets apparently (as it was being filmed for Apple TV) did not guarantee entry.

We also made our annual visit to see ‘The Common Lot ‘ Community Theatre Group perform at Cow Tower. This year the show was called ‘Mile Cross – The Great Estate’. It was as educational as it was entertaining. We both really enjoyed it.

It was walking back from one of the Theatre visits that I first felt a twinge in my stomach. I put it down initially to over doing it at the gym earlier that day. The following day it felt worse. The day I after I started to get really worried as felt far more than a normal muscle pull or tear That evening even Karen could tell I was in considerable pain and suggested that I should consider going to A&E. I ignored this advice as Neil & I had tickets for the following day at Edgbaston for Day 1 of the First Ashes test. We had both been looking forward to this for ages. I knew if I didn’t go then Neil wouldn’t either, nor would he go if he knew how much pain I was in. I determined to grit my teeth take painkillers and go.

Neil drove us there. Every little jolt in the road was agony for me. I am not sure I spoke the whole journey. I was so relieved when I made it to my seat, but I didn’t move all day apart from lunchtime and I am not sure how I didn’t pass out with the pain when I did.

The cricket that day was great, but I was so relieved to get home. Karen said I needed to see someone urgently and I agreed to go to the walk-in centre the following morning. I was in the queue at 6.45am waiting for it to open. I was quickly seen and told to go straight to A&E. I went home instead and decided to get a second opinion through an urgent Online GP appointment through my Health Insurance. They told me to go straight to A&E and so finally I heeded advice and did so.

I was there 10 hours. After many tests and being initially told it was likely to be appendicitis, a CT scan confirmed it actually wasn’t and suddenly I was told I could go home as the ‘problem’ would sort itself out. I was in no state to understand what they had diagnosed but went home on the understanding that I would return two days later to be readmitted for further tests and confirmation.

I went back 48 hours later was readmitted back to the Surgical ward where it was explained to me that I had suffered a very rare Omentum Infarction. This apparently is when the blood supply for an unknown reason gets cut off to the ‘apron’ that covers the stomach. The stomach apparently then takes 2 – 3 weeks to heal itself without the need for surgical intervention. I was given some very strong painkillers (which I never took) and told to rest properly for a few weeks until I felt better.

After a couple of days at home still in pain I decided to utilise my Health Insurance again and requested to see a Senior Consultant privately to get another opinion. I was pleased to get an appointment the same week. He was incredibly reassuring and said he would get the CT scan re-examined, did some more detailed blood tests and booked me in for a colonoscopy to thoroughly check everything else.

Everything then came back confirming the original diagnosis. I cannot say I enjoyed the colonoscopy (apart from the gas and air which was marvellous). They removed a couple of polyps (which the subsequent biopsies showed nothing to be concerned about). I have one final follow up appointment next week and been told to get back to doing things in my own time. I was very nervous about hitting a golf ball again but it has hasn’t caused any problem or sadly improved my game.

Now though I am suffering badly with my right knee again. It is very sore and stiff and feels very full of fluid. Karen won’t let me put a needle in it to try and remove it myself. Last week I had an MRI scan and am awaiting the results from this. I need it sorted quickly as I am struggling to walk any distance again without pain which is very frustrating after seemingly recovering from the stomach issues.

All these medical problems have made me think about my own morbidity. It is no fun getting old and having body parts increasingly start to fail. My anxiety levels were through the roof whilst laying around waiting for results and recovering. There is so much more I want to do. I also worry about others and what little impact I have had upon the world. Karen’s reaction is that we just need to have more holidays whilst we can. So, we have been merrily making more plans and even more bookings for 2024.

My health problems meant we missed seeing Jack Savoretti at Thetford Forest and had to reschedule our trip to Copenhagen as I was in no fit state to go anywhere at the time, and hence the increased gap between blogs. The boys somehow got to me the Baseball at the London Stadium and that was a good day. Karen & Ellie headed to the V&A museum whilst we were at the match.

On another happier note, we recently had a lovely day at Gorleston with a subset of the Golfing crew trying out Lawn Bowls on the Cliff Top followed by a very long lunch with the ladies as well at The Cliff Hotel. I am not sure that I want to play competitively yet but amongst friends it was very enjoyable and we will do it again.

We have had a couple of weddings in the family and we felt very privileged to be invited to one of them considering the size of our immediate families. It was a beautiful day to be part of.

Finally, what an Ashes series. Whilst I was sitting around for all those weeks recovering, I was able to get engrossed in watching the 5 test matches live. It was terrific contest and compelling viewing. We should also not forget it is the best time of year to be a Norwich City supporter with full of what I think is genuine optimism for the forthcoming season.

And so, onto this trip which is a good excuse for Karen to meet up with her siblings as well as an opportunity for a short break in this country and enjoy the British Summer weather at its finest or not.

One final statement to just check that a fellow blogger is reading down to the bottom. He recently asked ‘Who needs Florida – when you have Norfolk’. The answer is I do. I love Norfolk and feel very proud and protective of it. Yet I also love Florida but in a totally different way. I would never want to live there and mostly cannot wait to get back to Norfolk. Yet out of all the trips we have already booked it is always the next one to Florida I look most forward to. Florida is Florida but Norfolk is Norfolk. Perhaps the question should be as Dorothy clicks her heels, ‘There’s nowhere quite like home in Norfolk and who needs Suffolk – for anything?’.

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