I got an email on friday asking if me and Ali fancied joining the cyclechat boys at the track on sunday. Obviously even I knew me riding was a silly idea but Ali was keen. So we headed down at lunchtime. It was great to see some of the forum regulars as I don't go on cyclechat that much these days. There weren't many of them so the coach had them riding lots. It looked tiring but fun. Hopefully i'll be fit enough for the next one.
Oh and at long last we collected our track accreditation cards.
The first two days out of hospital I slept through the afternoon. But I was feeling bored. So on friday my mum took me out to Chapel tearooms over at rivington. Chocolate cake and a chance to get out of the house was great. But it was tiring. Yesterday we went and visited my mum, only a short visit as I got tired. Today was all about resting. Looks like its going to take me time to recover. Had a look on sportstracks, a big zero for training hours. The first time I think thiss has happened since I started recording and riding consistently in january 2008:
Generally I am quite healthy (apart from mh issues) but I do tend to get ill the same way. My tonsils and my glands swell up. This has been happening since seondary school and back in sixth form I remember being really ill. I've got pretty good at looking after myself and when the first signs come I rest and look after myself. I've had a cold for the last couple of weeks, well I thought I had got rid of it but it came back again and by friday I was having the hard to eat problems. But I didn't feel too bad. Friday night wasn't great and neither of us got much sleep but Ali headed out for ice-cream on saturday and I started to feel better. Saturday night I slept loads better (although I did wake up twice for painkillers). But on sunday I was a little concerned by how little I had to drink and I was really struggling to talk no matter eat. This is when the excitement started.
We decided Ali should ring NHS direct, I expected to be told we were doing the right thing and to go to my GP tomorrow. Initially Ali spoke to someone who took the information and said someone would ring back within four hours then a nurse rang about an hour later. Lots of encouragement to get me to try and drink, eat ice-cream etc but she said she would be forwarding me onto my GP's out of hours service and to expect to hear from them within two hours. It was probably only 15minutes when an out-of-ours GP rang and after speaking to Ali asked me to come in for an appointment at 9:50pm (about and hour and a half later). So I had to make the effort to get dressed and head out. At this point I thought I was wasting everyones time and really I should just have waited till monday morning and made an appointment with my GP as they were likely to just give me anti-biotics. We weren't waiting too long to be seen and he said he wanted me to go to hospital as I probably had a Qunisy (apparently the difficulty talking and opening my mouth are giveaway symptoms). I thought he meant on the monday till he checked Ali was okay to take me there and then got on the phone. I started feeling a little dizzy so he had me lie down while he sorted out for me to be seen. Back on the chair and he started to take my blood pressure, I went really dizzy and the next thing I knew is I was on the floor, oops. The Dr was shouting for some help and Ali was telling me I was fine. I was actually embarrassed to find myself on the floor and wanted to get up but was told I had to stay there and an ambulance had been called. After taking my blood sugar levels and blood pressure again I was allowed to move onto the bed and put on oxygen till the ambulance got there.
So that was how I ended up getting taken to hospital in an ambulance, they took me to the ward that the Dr had organised but there were no beds so I was taken to another. Left there waiting for a Dr. I wasn't allowed anything to drink and noone was sure if I was staying or not. The dr took 3hours as she was on call and so had lots to deal with. Once I saw her it was clear I wasn't going anywhere, she got the nurse to start me on IV fluids, anti-biotics and paracetamol. Ali was told to go home and that a Dr from ENT would come and see me before 9am in the morning. So Ali left me at 4am and I was left in a hospital bed on my own for the first time ever.
I didn't get much sleep before the lights were on and breakfast was being done, I was down as getting nothing till I had been seen by the Dr, to be fair I didn't feel like eating much but it would have given me something to do. The Dr came just after 9am, she said she thought it was a Quinsy as well and that it would probably need to be drained, lovely. She said she would be back with her boss later. I asked about eating and she said that I was welcome to try and eat as much as I could. Ali came and dropped me off some books and some PJ's but she couldn't stay as it wasn't visiting hours. She promised to come back at 2pm and went off to work, she must have been shattered. The Dr and her boss came back, they would try and drain it at about 12noon and before then I was to have a steroid injection which would help reduce the swelling - I was still on all the IV stuff. Lunch came and I was given soup, not really enough for me but I did actually find that hard enough and didn't finish it. Ali turned up saying mum was on her way just before they came to take me up to ENT for the draining. Ali was allowed to come with me, which was great as we were waiting up there for ages. Dr Kat struggled to get the local anesthetic on as my mouth just wasn't opening and they had to try a number of needles before they could reach. Apparently they got 2mm out which was a lot, I don't know my eyes were shut and it hurt a lot.
Back to the ward and I was told I could eat what I want and to keep trying to drink. Mum and Ali had to go but came back for evening visitng. I had managed sausage and mash for tea, the trick was cutting everything up small enough to get it into my mouth. I was still really struggling to drink but at least managed to go to the toilet for the first time within 24hours, I was really dehyrdrated. That evening I was moved up to ENT and once there fell asleep, I was so tired. I slept through most of the coming and goings on the ward as well. That morning I got my weetabix so I was happy. Dr Kat came to see me again with a number of other Dr's and explained they were going to try and drain some more later. I was beginning to feel a lot better and getting bored. They came for me before lunch this time and got about 4mm of lovel yellow pus out this time. She was just going to get another needle to have another go, apparently there was still lots there when I started to get dizzy, next thing I know the chair had been lent back and the nurse was taking my blood pressure and heart rate (44bpm which suprised me as I felt like it was racing!) they laughed when I asked if I was going to get to go home that day.
More IV fluids and another day of reading, Ali brought me a chocolate brownie that evening to make up for the lack of cake which was good. Another reasonable nights sleep, once the nurse finished all the medications at midnight and I was feeling quite perky. Dr Kat commented on how well I looked. My mouth still wasn't opening but I was not managing to drink. So the decision was taken to allow me to go home with anti-biotics. I was suprised as I thought they would try and drain again. I had instructions to come straight back to hospital if it got worse or my voice went funny again. So Ali was rang and she came to collect me.
So now I'm at home. Think it may be a little while before I am out on a bike though.
Tuesday night and I turned up at Cooksons to ride with Chris to find that Shaun was joining us. I knew this meant I was in for a hard ride. Both these boys are fast. We headed out up Rooley Moor Road and although it was a cold night I was soon hot on the climb. I could just about keep them in sight (okay they were probably waiting for me) and after a bit of the Crag Singletrack I had to stop and have some food.
Dropping down into Edenfield Chris gave me the option of road home or Robin Hoods Well, I of course chose another climb even though my legs had given up by this point. I think Shaun was ready to go home since we were near his house but he was persuaded that another climb was a good idea.
This time I couldn't keep them in sight. apart from chris kindly stopping to take a picture of me suffering. I was glad to jump on the road at Ramsbottom and arrive home. I was empty and shattered but they say it makes you stronger?
I was leading a group from Whitworth yesterday morning. It was their first ride on natural trails having had a number of sessions at Lee Quarry. The day was perfect for riding and the kids loved all the muddy puddles and they all finished covered in mud.
When it came to riding home it was too nice a day not to go over the moors. I manage to puncture just as I got to Bury, but on a sunny day it is less annoying. Days like thuis don't feel like working.
Lots has happened this week and there are lots and thoughts and feelings going through my head. But yesterday I did what might be my last session in a school for the company i've been working for since march 2009; first as a freelancer and then for five months as part of the mountain bike team. I can't afford to stay freelancing again as the work is so unpredictable so from monday I will working somewhere new. All this meant that friday felt strange. I really like the people I work with and friday reminded me of some of the many reasons I didn't want to leave. I had a lovely group, we did wheely practice and when my lock refused to open Billy smashed it off for me. All in a days work.
So onto next week, who knows if I have made the right decision but I know I had to take the chance, I don't think I will have lost anything if it doesn't work out as I would be needing to job hunt even if I didn't go.
I know it happens every year but it always feels quite sudden that its dark when i'm home for the evening. But it does mean one thing night riding season. It's been a stressful week while I make decisions about work, its all change and only time will tell if it is the right decision but I was going nowhere with the company I had been at.
So onto night riding, on wednesday all the girls came over to Bolton to ride the usual loop. We were late heading up the Belmont road as the traffic problems on the M60 meant people were late arriving. It was really misty and I had my light on low but it was still reflecting back at me. I also forgot how to ride downhill and dabbed I don't know how how many times on the ice-cream run. Back down to the pub before riding home, lovely evening if a little wet.
Onto thursday and I picked chris up from cooksons and we headed out towards entwistle where we were actually riding through the reservoir at one point as the water level was so high. Onto the Darwen moors and I remembered how much I loved being up there as you really do feel out in the middle of nowhere. I could hear the grit wearing away my brake pads but Chris was telling me his last forever. Along the witton weaver way and Chris annouched there was something wrong with his rear wheel. Turns out his brakes pads had worn out and the spring was catching. Next thing we know his front pads go as well. Good job we were on the way home. Back after 35miles of mud.
I always forget how much fun night riding in the winter is, so get the lights on and get out there.
On Saturday we met up with Ali's Australian cousins for a treasure hunt in London. On the way to meet them I spotted some Boris Bikes, in typical trio fashion I had to sit on the bikes....next time we will have to look at using them.
The treasure hunt itself was really good fun, although hard! It was a fun way to spend the morning and certainly made you pay more attention to what was round you.