Tee: It's not paranoia when they (or in this case, teh killer man) are out to get you It's no bother with cars, it just struck me as funny that unbeknownst to me I'd developed a bizarre way of coping with it. I've made it to the Bristol fair before, but, unfortunately I'm booked in on a training course that weekend. Thanks for looking in to the options for non-surgical correction. I may very well want it, as well as need it by now.
Oh, karma. After eight months peace and quiet from my problems, the last twelve hours have been bad. I had to have a friend's help to dress myself this morning, and 1500 mg of co-dydramol hasn't touched it yet. I just popped in to the office to use the internet as it had abated somewhat, and I've sat down and can't get up again. Literally. I'm not going anywhere fast, and I'm sitting comfortably, so either hit your "back" button or brace for a long post.
Of the last few years, "it" has been an episodic annoyance more than anything. Which is why I comprehensively ignored the consultant's advice not to do anything load-bearing for the rest of my natural. In fact, how I work and play mean that to take the consultant's advice would have meant never again doing anything that gives that life meaning. So, to paint a little pen portrait of the world champion grade idiotic ignorer of good sound advice I am, allow me to recount how the last episode played out.
Eight months ago I was working in the arctic and did myself dragging gear across the tundra. I'd had a month of daily treks up and down glaciers with up to forty kilos of assorted science trash, guns and chocolate on my back, no problem apart from a knee injury from a bad river crossing. Knee support, a night's RICE, a heavy dose of "Doctor Jameson" and some brufen in the morning. No problem. A little pain is a proof of being alive.
And then the rest of the team exercised the privilege of seniority take their leave to attend the mundane concerns of responsible adulthood in the real world, such as moving home and back surgery, respectively, leaving me to haul all the experimental kit, solo in bear country, using a combination of trailer lashed to mountain bike, hauling the trailer on foot and shuttling the gear back and forth. I didn't mind as much. After three weeks of almost literally being buddy-buddied to go to the toilet I spent the trip glad of the solitude and casting an occasional eye at the ship taking my colleagues down the fjord, and debating how many rounds of G&T loaded with glacier ice they'd had, or whether it was lobster or crayfish on the ship's menu. More likely the toffy ecotourists had closed ranks against the sweaty, stinky, muddy field biologists and they might get some flatbread.
But one day of dragging an off-centre load equivlent to two-thirds of my body weight plus the strain from bad knee was a little too much. But, seeing as there was nobody else to do the hauling, I had no option but to get it done. The noose-tight ligature of Health & Safety, risk assessments and manual handling regulations which prevents most risky fun in the field is hiding behind the skidoo sheds when things like this come to pass.
Oh well, it meant that the remaining sampling trips I did were interspersed with trips of the same duration to get from my bunk to the toilet at night. Both required the placement of assorted mountaineering tat to safeguard progress. Back home in Wales I went on a little weekend trip up to the Ogwen valley. Progress was slow, but viable, until I lay down on a roche moutonee to contemplate what the place would have looked like about fifteen thousand years ago. Big mistake. Getting up proved impossible. Eventually, with benefit of co-dydramol, I re-attained verticality, but not before out-bleating the goats of Tryfan.
After a few weeks of living quietly, and spending a substantial part of it writhing in agony over simple everyday tasks such as basic hygiene or working in the lab, or even lying still in bed, the problem went away.
A couple of weeks ago I reaggravated that knee injury while climbing, and I think that the reduced flexibility and "guarding" the knee has set it off again. Or maybe it's all psychosomatic, and talking about it on this thread again as set it off. Spooky. Unless it's here for good, there's a fair chance that I'll suffer for the next couple of days or weeks, and then not be troubled by it for quite some time, until I do some more Extreme Ironing or something.
Anyway, I believe my good old friend co-dydramol has made it to the hurty bits, so I may take advantage of mobility while I can, and leave it there.