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Dom Mooney's Website

August 2009

Back Home

I’m back home now from the hospital following my hernia operation, a day later than expected. I was only meant to be in for the day itself (I was in for “day surgery” ) but there were a number of complications during the operation and afterwards.

I was first into the theatre that day, and it looks like I may have taken a hour longer than planned, as I went in on time, and the chap following me was delayed by a hour for his operation. Apparently, the hernia was larger than they expected from the pre-operative assessments. Anyway, the operation went well, and I’m patched with mesh. I was all set to go home the same day, when we discovered that the top of my leg didn’t want to work.

It was a very strange feeling; although there was some sensation at the bottom of my leg, the top and sides were completely numb, and as a result I had no muscle power there. So, although I could move my lower leg, wiggle my toes etc. I couldn’t actually put any weight on the leg without going down like a sack of potatoes. Long and short of it was that I was kept in day surgery for as long as possible, and when there was still no sign of an improvement I was transferred to a ward for an overnight stay.

Fortunately, the next morning, muscle power and some sensation had recovered. When the medics who had carried out the operation came around on their rounds they had a debate whether it was the anesthetist’s fault or theirs (ie the general or local anesthetic), and came to the conclusion that the local was the probably cause.

Mandanol: Paracetamol for real men and man-flu!

Anyway, I’m now back at home, and taking it easy. I have a selection of pain killers, ranging from the delightfully named ‘mandanol’, which is paracetamol (for man-flu?) through to some stronger things that will knock me flat if things aren’t too good. At the moment, it’s bearable and the mandanol is fine. As Jill has pointed out, the incision I’ve had (as the operation wasn’t keyhole) is probably the closest thing I could have to a c-section.

I’m taking it easy, reading, listening to music and generally not overdoing it; I also managed to watch the end of Life of Mars Series 2, which was excellent. Also had first shower and shave post operation, which was a delight.

The big challenge will be when Nathan gets back home, as I’m not allowed to lift him for at least two weeks. How do you explain that to a two and half year old?

Currently feeling: Sore and achy but glad to be home.
Currently listening to: 13th Star (Fish)
Currently reading: Risk: The Science and Politics of Fear (Dan Gardner )

Needing a Season Ticket?

Taken from the Harrogate website

I’m starting to wonder if I need a season ticket Harrogate District Hospital after the last week of fun; and it all started so innocuously!

On My Bike
Out on our ride

Monday was a great day as usual. I’d done my work the night before and was able to play with Nathan with full concentration. We played trains, watched favourites on TV, and played in the garden with his toy diggers and push-around car. Then we went for another bike ride to Spofforth like the one from the day before. I remembered to take a drink and snack this time, and we stopped along the way. Nathan was very insistent that he gave his toy bunny some juice.

Bunny want Juice...
Bunny wants Juice

After the ride, it was back to the house for more play with diggers until Jill returned home, coincidentally from her first day at her new job. When she did, a certain young man decided to start playing up and ended up on the ‘naughty step’. Whilst this was happening, I went to get his Bunny for afterwards, which was when it all got very complicated.

I stepped out of the back door, straight onto a nice round stone from the water feature which Nathan had been using to play with his diggers. Grey-on-grey, I didn’t see it, something I regret as my ankle went both ways, and I fell over. The first part of me to land, my left hand, hit hard against the concrete manhole cover we have in the back garden. It hurt somewhat, and the ‘S shape’ my finger was in suggested that something was wrong and a trip to the local A&E was in order.

We left Nathan with the next door neighbours, and headed to A&E where, after two X rays, some prodding, squeezing and pulling, my double dislocated and fractured finger was back in place and strapped up. I must praise how professional and caring the staff were, even though what I had was pretty trivial compared to what they must see day to day. The only stomach turning bit was when Jill and I were sitting in the cubicle, and Jill overheard the Doctor talking to the Ward Sister and discussing what kind of tug my finger needed to sort out the dislocation. Jill was greatly amused by this!

I must also make a note to hurt myself on a Monday night in future, as it was very quiet! Jill had gone back home to get Nathan fed and to bed, so I had a short wait before she could come back, which I spent reading Le Carré’s excellent “A Most Wanted Man” I had came prepared for a long wait with iPod and book. It was actually quite restful after I resolved my coffee cravings.

Tuesday saw a return to the hospital for the fracture clinic. This was a little traumatic, as I though (despite being nearly 30 min early) that I wasn’t going to get there on time because of the queue of cars for the car park. Fortunately, I made it in with a few minutes to spare after 25 minutes of waiting, and got to the clinic in time. It looks like my finger will be strapped for at least two weeks. I got a good look at the sexy digital X-ray system display when I was in the clinic, and I’m impressed how far things have gone since I was a kid. There’s no developing time now; they take the X-ray and check it when you’re in the room, and the medics can just pull it up in the computer screen. Cool.

My final trip of the week to Harrogate District Hospital was on Thursday night, when I went for my pre-op assessment for a hernia repair I’m having later this month. All went smoothly, although I ended up with another unneeded ECG, thanks to the super-powered hearing of a BNFL doctor nearly 19 years ago.

Muse Ale and Wine Bar (stolen from their website)

Nathan had a few days away with his Grandma and Poppy (who has become “Pops” at the moment, but we’re working on fixing that) going to a Shire Horse Centre and having lots of fun. He came back with another toy tractor. In case it’s as important to you as it is for him, it’s a John Deere. Jill and I took advantage of this to go out for a meal at the Muse, which is one of our favourite haunts, but somewhere we’ve been to far too little post-childbirth! It was a lovely meal, and we got to just chat, something which we miss too often in the rush of day to day life.

The weekend has been spent with my parents here in Wetherby, working on clearing the loft in preparation for some work there. It’s amazing how much stuff accumulates so quickly. I can see why my dad has said he dreads doing their loft! We managed to complete the work on Sunday morning; Saturday had been like a sauna up there, so we started early to avoid the heat on Sunday. Aside from that, the garden had some maintenance; a quick lawn cut, then some general thinning and lifting of the somewhat overgrown trees and bushes to try and save some of the grass by allowing water and light through. Aside from that, we visited the Farmer’s Market and relaxed in the sunshine.

Currently feeling: Chilled, with a hurty ankle and strapped fingers.
Currently listening to: Numberjacks (CBeebies...)
Currently reading: Risk: The Science and Politics of Fear (Dan Gardner )

Taken for a Ride

Route 66 at Wetherby
The Harland Way, site of our bike ride

We had a good weekend, with Nathan on form as ever.

We’re enjoying the joys of potty training, and overall he’s doing very well and catching on to the idea. I’m not 100% certain about him running back into rooms when we’re out in company and yelling “I’VE DONE A BIG ONE” with a big grin, but he seems to be enjoying it and it does generally get a lot of smiles!

We went out on the bikes on Sunday afternoon, Jill on hers, and Nathan and I on mine. He’s got a purpose built carrier mounted on my bike which was a kind gift from our next door neighbours when they were thinking of throwing it away because their son was too big for it. I learned a number of things about my bike, including that things get a lot easier if you have the tyres near their correct pressure. I’d always done it by hand as it has the non-car style high pressure valves and as I couldn’t find a gauge to fit it was always a bit of guesswork. Anyway, I found I was getting 30psi and it should have been 60psi. It was a bit of a struggle to get there, as the adapter for the car footpump bleeds a lot of air from 50psi on, but it made a lot of difference out in use.

We travelled for about 8 miles on the old railway track which runs from near our house to Spofforth. Nathan kept a beady eye out for tractors (none spotted) and was very pleased when he saw the windmill at the farm on the ride about Spofforth. He started to yell “Look, Windy Miller!”. If that pop culture reference passes you buy, go immediately to this page on Amazon and travel to Trumptonshire! On the way back home I felt a strange knocking on my back, looking around to find out that he had gone to sleep! In reality, he was dozing, and everytime I stopped he muttered “Ride, Daddy”, which was a bit of a change from his earlier demands of “Go Faster, Daddy”.

Having watched the first series when we were away on holiday, Jill and I got out ourcopy of “Life on Mars” Series 2 this weekend. We watched two episodes, and it’s just as good as the first series. We’re looking forward to working our way through this one.

In other film and TV news, I watched “Watchmen” this week, which was great. It kept pretty faithfully to the original graphic novel, both in plot and visuals, and was done very well. The ending was changed, but was actually improved it from my perspective, as it made it far more believeable. I can imagine that the multilayered nature of the plot would be pretty challenging to follow if you hadn’t read the original. It’s far less approachable than some of Alan Moore’s other works like “V for Vendetta”, but a worthy adaption all the same. The only criticism I could have is the level of violence, but again, that matches the source. Worth a look if you like more complex and dark stories.

Currently feeling: Tired, bad night’s sleep, but happy.
Currently listening to: Big Cook, Little Cook (CBeebies...) & Beowulf (Seamus Heaney)
Currently reading: A Most Wanted Man (John le Carré )