Blog Archives

Back Home

I’m back from hospital, and now have two weeks’ convalescence where I must not mix with many people for infection control reasons. I have been ordering Bob Dylan CDs from the library to keep me occupied, along with my books. 

Things began well yesterday morning. I was one of the earlier patients taken to theatre. The modern anaesthetics are amazing. One moment I was talking to the anaesthetist and his assistant, the next I was waking up bright as a button in the recovery suite. I have suffered no pain or nausea after the surgery, either. 

Not everything was straightforward, though. The bleeding from my nose took longer to halt than expected. The nurses decided this was connected with the fact that my blood pressure was misbehaving. So instead of coming home last night, I was kept in, just in case a nasty nose bleed started up. 

As it happens, all that occurred was that I didn’t get a single second of sleep. The operation leaves patients with highly bunged up noses, largely with congealed blood. You are not allowed to try to remove it, because you could expose the work of the surgeons underneath. It would be like a child picking a scab on a knee before the new skin had formed. This left me finding it hard to breathe sufficiently deeply for sleep. Breathing through my mouth didn’t work either, because I had a sore throat from the tube that had been placed down it during the surgery. 

However, at least the blood pressure was a little more co-operative this morning. Combined with the fact that the only bleeding I had in the night was the result of a sneezing fit, my discharge today became routine. 

So I phoned Debbie and arranged that she would pick me up outside the main building at the drop-off point. We agreed on 9:15 am. Come 9:20, she still wasn’t there. My mobile vibrated in my pocket. “Where are you,” she asked, “I’ve driven past the entrance and you’re not there.”

“I’m outside the pick up and drop off point.”

“But I’ve been past A and E and didn’t see you.”

A and E? St John’s Hospital doesn’t have one. She had gone to Broomfield Hospital, eight miles away.

But before I leave this topic, I must include praise for all the staff on the ward. Their advice and care was first class. The NHS may be far from perfect, but give me that system ahead of a national private insurance scheme any day. 

The rest of the day has included some joys at the children’s achievements. Mark won a special effort sticker in assembly today for always getting on with his work straight away, and at swimming after school he swam a width without armbands for the first time. We have promised a family meal out when he managed that, and with Friday being a non-pupil day at the school, that will probably be our day. Rebekah, too, has done well, going up another stage on the reading scheme today.

It will be an early night tonight. Goodnight, all.

Sabbatical, Day 58: Nosing Around


Lee Bay from the rear of Lee Abbey

Lee Bay from the rear of Lee Abbey

I’m opening up today’s post with a few final photos from last week’s photography course at Lee Abbey. All of these were taken last Thursday, on the final full day of the course. This is Lee Bay from the rear of Lee Abbey. It’s wonderful to look out on this view every day when you come down for an early morning cuppa. 

Seat in the grounds of Lee Abbey

Seat in the grounds of Lee Abbey

Here is a seat in the grounds of Lee Abbey, where you can relax. They chose the right email address for general enquiries: it’s relax AT leeabbey DOT org DOT uk. (I am not being paid for all this promotion of the place! I have simply been there five or six times over the years, and it is one of my favourite ‘thin places‘ in the world.)


Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway

Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway

I spent Thursday afternoon in Lynton and Lynmouth. I took the Cliff Railway down from the former to the latter. It is another reason why I would like to take Debbie and the children there. We did visit the area for a few hours one day some years ago when Rebekah was tiny and we were on holiday elsewhere in North Devon, but I think the kids would love an attraction like this. Especially since at the bottom in Lynmouth there are some great shops for clotted cream (Debbie would love that) and clotted cream ice cream (we’d all love that). Not only that, there is a fish restaurant that sends the most wonderful aroma into the local atmosphere. 



River and Bristol Channel at Lynmouth

River and Bristol Channel at Lynmouth

Lynmouth itself is small, but pretty. There is a river which runs through the town and out into the Bristol Channel, as depicted here. I also caught various scenes of the river flowing under bridges and houses and hôtels built on the steep bank between the river at the bottom at Lynton at the top. 

But at this point, I think I’m going to leave my memories of the Lee Abbey trip, at least so far as the blog is concerned. I might have wished for further ‘input’ on the course in terms of some theological reflection or some further inspiration on technique (although it was specifically advertised as not being a ‘technique’ course), but overall I am glad I went.


On finally tonight to some personal news from today. I wrote in January about an out-patient appointment regarding my nose and sinuses, then earlier this month about the CT scan I subsequently had. Well, today was the follow-up appointment. I agreed to have the surgery, called septoplasty. It will happen some time in the next three months, involve an overnight stay in hospital and two weeks off work. The scan also showed some information I need to relay to my dentist, because the surgeon quite thought my sinuses were being interfered with by a tooth on the right of my mouth!