Archive for June, 2007

On the 1st of June I visited my GP to report bleeding from my rear after taking the prescribed medications (Anti-inflammatory agents and co-codemol). I was quickly  referred to the local hospital as an out patient. I stopped taking all forms of medication by the 6th June, including headache tablets as to be honest the whole situation was starting to scare me. What I noticed after I stopped taking medication is that over a couple of days, the bleeding began to get less and less, finally stopping completely.

On the 13th I visited the local hospital again. After the initial consultation with the general practitioner nurse, it was decided to send me for an Colonoscopy at the Endoscopy unit within the same hospital to ensure the drugs haven’t brought forward a problem that could get me in 10 years time or something. I thought it was a reasonable precaution to take saying it could had saved my life in 10 years time.

The date of the Colonoscopy was set for the 26th June. On the day before though, I needed to clear out my digestion system using a laxative called “CitraFleet (TM)” which is virtually the same stuff as Picolax. I had two 16.11g sachets to take during the day, each containing: 10mg of Sodium Piccosulfate, 3.5g Magnesium Oxide, 12g Citric Acid and it also contained an unspecified amount of Potassium Hydrogen Carbonate. This was then combined with a very specific light diet and drinking lots of clear liquids.

After reading all the reviews about Picolax on the internet I was scared to death of taking this stuff as it seemed completely irrational to take something that is going to make you potentially unwell. The night before, I was scared and didn’t sleep much that night at all.

At 7:15am I got up, washed and went downstairs to take my first sachet of poison (that is how i thought of it at the time) before breakfast. As apart of the dietary plan, you had to take the first Sachet before 8am. I filled a mug of ice cold water from the fridge and very apprehensively added the Citra Fleet powder to the water. I had read some else on the internet the previous night, not to mix the drink in a plastic or paper cut as it can react with it and melt the container, which rather freaked out a patient. There was a warning that the solution can heat up to by itself, but that didn’t happen with me, it stayed stone cold.

The powder is stirred in for 2 or 3 minutes with a spoon just as if you were preparing a cold remedy drink. I did check the spoon head and it was still there, it hadn’t melted it away (lol). The drink itself smelt and tasted like Lemsip but it looked like dish water or that soapy solution left after washing a moderately filthy car. Other than the Lemsip like taste, the drink didn’t sit very well on my stomach and apart of me wanted to bring it back up again. Fortunately, it stayed down. I had just got it down at 7:55am, 5 minutes before the deadline. Initially, there within the first 10 minutes there was a bloating and bubbling feeling in the stomach, but nothing else.

I had read that some people reported an instant reaction within 15 minutes of taking the first dosage. Again, with me this didn’t happen. On the diet sheet between 8am and 9am it was breakfast time. At 8:15am I started making breakfast. Since I wasn’t allowed to have cereal, I made myself a boiled egg, two slices of toast with a light scraping of marine and a cup of tea minus its milk.

At 8:30am I was starting to feel further bloating and discomfort. It wasn’t too dissimilar to that of a beached whale or a hot air balloon full of lead. There was more bubbling which appeared to coming from deep down. I still had a feeling like I was going to be sick, without actually bringing anything up.

By 9:05am I was getting the first signs of wanting to go to the toilet. I decided to hold it off until it became more urgent. The belly was rolling quiet a bit and by now I was clenching my buttocks slightly.

I was only able to hold it off 5 minutes and by 9:10am I had my first bowl movement. I had just finished, washed my hands and immediately turned around to go back into the loo for my second bowel movement at 9:20am!

At 9:30am, I again had another cup of tea (no milk or sugar). A very important part of the process is to drink approximately 250ml of clear liquid every hour. 250ml is just under half a pint for those that use imperial measurements. (1 pint is equal to 568.26ml) What the laxative does is to increase the amount of water in the turds and thus eventually literally flushing your system. You are losing allot of water from the body and so its vital to keep drinking to stop yourself from getting dehydrated and getting headaches etc.

At 9:50am and 10:10am I had my third and fourth bowel movements. I followed this by another cup of tea. At 11:50am, I had a major bowel movement which lasted perhaps 20 minutes. It just wouldn’t stop and I had the thought that perhaps people are really full of shit after all.

At 11:55am we became making lunch of poached Fish and Rice, in a light chicken stock cube gravy. After setting the smoke alarm off yet again, I sat down to lunch at 12:15am. The excess gravy I drank as an alternative to another cup of tea. No more solid food was allowed for the rest of the day.

At 1:20pm and 1:30pm I had my sixth and seventh major bowel movements spending a total time of 30 minutes in the toilet. I was indeed starting to feel a bit drained by this time. This movement made me very sore.

By 2:15pm it was time to take the second dosage/sachet of CitraFleet (Picolax). Again, I mixed it as before and it tasted just the same. I didn’t feel so sickly when taking it this time, mind you! I quickly followed drinking it with another 250ml of water at 2:30pm. By this time I was developing a headache and was trying to hold back my bowels I little more. A mere 5 minutes later, at 2:35pm I was having my eighth bowel movement which lasted 15 minutes. I drank another glass of water afterwards. It was becoming very painful now passing anything. It was like passing glass or nettles. I didn’t have any barrier cream, which is now on the list if I ever have to go through anything like this again!

The next bowel movement was at 4:15pm which lasted for 35 minutes. There was a definite odour of fish. After emptying my guts, at 4:50pm I drank another 250ml of water and had another drink at 6:15pm. I had my tenth bowel movement at 6:35pm and this lasted another 30 minutes. At this time I was passing light brown clear liquid and a few bits.

At 7:10pm I took another 250ml of water, which was followed by a further 15 minutes on the loo at 8pm. I took on board another 250mil at 8:15pm and at 10pm I visited the loo for the 12th time. I started slowly down my intake of water at this time of night, and was sipping up to mid-night. I visited the loo for the final time that evening at 1am, before turning in.

I didn’t sleep very well that night at all. I perhaps could 3 or 4 hours sleep, partly about of worrying and partly because I had some pretty bad wind. There was allot of gas around that evening.

The following morning you are suppose to get up early to get a drink in before the procedure at the hospital. The diet sheet said that I shouldn’t drink anything for 2 hours before the procedure, which would had meant me getting up at 6:30am just to get my drink of water in. I decided not to get up and stayed in bed until 7:30am instead. With hindsight I perhaps should had gotten up to get some more water on board since I suffered for it later on in the day, big time.

I visited the loo for the last time around 8:10am and again I was passing brown water with a small number of bits in it. The last visit was more or less just warm water that sprayed out like water from a hose pipe.

We left for the hospital at 8:50am for the appointment at 9:30am. There was quite allot of traffic in the morning, since there were some road closures and all the traffic were being diverted to the ring road; which is of course the way we had to go. Luckily, it wasn’t too bad and we arrived at 9:15am at the front entrance.


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Software For RSI Suffers

Slick Run is a command line tool that allows you to associate a long command string with a single keyword or Magic word (as it calls it). This is useful since instead of starting programs from the windows desktop or start menu, you can simply type the appropriate magic word in the command box ~ which remains on top at all times. For example; to start OpenOffice Writer I have this associated with the magic word of “OO” and “mail” starts Thunderbird. You can also associate web site URL’s with keywords, I use the word “blog” which leads to the login screen for my online blog.

Work Rave is a piece of software that helps in the recovery and more importantly prevents those at the highest risk of developing RSI. Its a timer application that reminds you to take regular micro breaks, longer rest breaks and your maximum daily quota. During breaks it can lock you out, so forcing you to take a time out. This can be annoying at times, but mostly it a helpful bit of kit for anyone that appreciates how painful it is to be injured. Its likely to annoy those more that are not long term suffers. What I particularly like about this program is that it displays little graphics of the sort of stretches and exercises you can be doing on the longer breaks and gives other useful advise. I have this program loaded at start up on my box.

AutoHotkey is a quite a sophisticated little macro language. I used to use a previous version of this language to perform repetitive tasks for me. Being an ex-programmer, obviously I was able to make the language to carry out some very complex tasks. Technically you can make a macro that can do manually at the moment. I used to use the script myself to open multiple links on a single page in different windows in the background without using a mouse. Then by using Alt-Tab I could cycle through the pages, read and close them. Its an awesome little language, though I have discovered that this verson appears to make Microsoft Internet Explorer crash when loaded at start up. I’m not sure if thats a problem with IE or AutoHotkey.

Dragon Naturally Speaking is a very important piece of software for me. I wouldn’t even be able to write this blog without it. This software is great for typing text on your behalf, though it is without a doubt completely useless for any type of programming activities. I would reccommend only using this software for writing content, text, emails etc. I don’t have any experience with using it with spreadsheets, but I hear its pretty good with that.

For it to work well, you do need a quiet place with little ambient noise and an excellent noise cancelling handset microphone. I got mine from a small company called “IT Speaking” run by a ex-lecturer at Birmingham University. A really nice chap who gave me some great advice. Its important to spend quite a bit on a decent microphone that is both comfortable to wear and actually works well. You will be wearing it for many hours a day and so don’t waste your money on a cheap plastic head set that grips your head like a mouse trap! And finally; Skype or Voip headsets on the whole are not suitable.

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Samson WoodMy uncle arrived at 2pm as usual and mentioned that the local paper had printed another one on my pictures. It was a picture I’d had taken a couple of weeks prior in Samsons Wood near Calverton. It was the picture of the halfway cut through the woodland with tall straight trees on both sides. I thought at time of taking that he might get in the paper as it is quite an interesting shot. [Read More]

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Woodland Path

My uncle arrived at 2pm as usual and mentioned that the local paper had printed another one on my pictures. It was a picture I’d had taken a couple of weeks prior in Samsons Wood near Calverton. It was the picture of the halfway cut through the woodland with tall straight trees on both sides. I thought at time of taking that he might get in the paper as it is quite an interesting shot.

I was quite worried going out this afternoon whether I was going to be rained on yet again and armed myself with an appropriate umbrella. We parked up in bulwell Park near the golf course, as we start walking out of the back of the park you could hear the engine noise of aeroplanes close by. I looked up one moment and saw a Lancaster bomber, a Spitfire and hurricane flying in formation very low. It was incredibly noisy and you could feel the sound through your feet. That was a bloody awesome sight! Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera ready to take the picture and anyway they were quite a few trees blocking the view.

Blue Plane

We continued towards the noise/hucknall aerodrome. The foot path wrapped around the edge of the airfield and so I was able to take pictures of planes taxi-ing to the runway. These were mostly hobbyists aircraft as the military ones had flown in from somewhere with a larger runway. My position myself nicely at the end of the taxiway and helpfully the aircraft pilots stopped just in shot, which allowed me to take the picture! It was almost the perfect location. Another photographer had the perfect location as he sat on the turn between the taxiway and the runway itself, so his pictures probably came out a lot better than mine. We had missed the majority of the display, which apparently was earlier in the day. It didn’t matter, as we hadn’t really come to see it anyway.

White Plane

We walked around the back of Hucknall and I took the shot of the countryside. There was nothing really spectacular, but there are some decent views. One in particular that caught my eye was the view over the fields towards Watnall Brickyard (4 towers in the background). Apparently during the Second World War fighter pilots that is landed at the aerodrome used to use the four chimneys as a navigational aid. I am not sure but I think Spitfire’s could had been stationed here. On the border of one of these fields, there was a row of poppies growing and I just thought it was appropriate at the same time as a hurricane was banking and sweeping through the skies. We walk past the aerodrome on the way back and most of the planes that had taken part in the meeting were preparing to leave.

Watnall Brickyard Chimneys

We got home earlier than usual as it was only a short walk. I was really tired and slept like a baby last night.

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Glucosamine is an interesting natural supplement that can have moderate effects in reduces joint swelling. There has been some research done on Glucosamine Sulphate that indeed shows some anti-inflammatory properties without the side affects associated with NSAIDs. Unfortunately you cannot get this on prescription and you would have to spend between £10-£20 a month since the daily require dose is 1500 mg. The drug should only be used for patient with mild to medium conditions. I wish I had heard of this before as then I would had tried this before I went to the doctors for prescription tablets.

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Today I had my regular phyio appointment at a fairly local health center. I generally catch the bus there and if its not raining, i’d walk back. This weeks session was pretty swift as for the last month or so, the physio hasn’t given me any further exercises as she reckons that I am at full stretch already. This is even more so now I have had to stop taking all my medication, after it was causing some sort of internal bleed. The bleed is being investigated next Tuesday with yet another procedure at the hospital. I’ve got some very nasty prep on Monday and a yacky diet designed to clear my system out.

Anyway, I asked my physio about getting a diagnosis for my upper body problems. She said that its highly unlikely that I will be able to get a label, other than a general term of it being a RSI type of condition. She reckons there are multiple problems or a combination that are causing me so much distress. I asked about DLA too and she said that the GP/Doctor would normally supply supportive letters rather than herself. So, I don’t know if I am going to be able to that as I find it extremely difficult to communicate with my GP who just seems want to refer you to elsewhere. In fact it took him 18 months just to check my blood pressure after going back to the surgery probably a dozen times over that period. Normally what my GP does is just refer you back to the hospital for further investigation rather than doing any sort of standard check up like doctors used to do 20 years ago.

My Phyio asked whether my GP had sent me for blood tests for Arthritic type conditions. Apparently, he did as that is what the ‘ESR’ test is for. All my tests were clear with the exception of one; the Red Cell Count which was flashing red but not too much under the bar. This though could indicate the presense of an internal bleed or just anemia. I am hoping its the later as its abit more easily fixed as all you do is eat more liver and cabbage, amonst other things.

I know there isn’t something right with me, as my stomach has been tender and hard all week. I’ve been getting inexplicitable wind issues too ever since I stopped taking the RSI medication. I get a particular problem with it when sitting up as the beer belly flapping down appears to be putting pressure on something and it feels uncomfortable. I have been getting some issues laying down too, but it reliefs it when I lift my legs apart (like I am about to give birth). Well, I’ve mention it all to the doctor when I see the doctor on Tuesday. My mum thinks and hopes its just IBS. (me too)

Anyway going back to my theraphy. The Physio passed on another excellent trick. If like me you get spots or knots in the muscle where its extremely painful then this is sometimes a nerve problem. What the nerves are doing is over reacting and firing off too much. So, what you do is find these points and use your thumb and pull them in really hard until the pain goes away. What this does is temporarily switches off the reacting nerve from sending this pain signal. I tell you what, it works like Magic. She did it on me at the session and it was an instant fix. Better than any drugs! She taught me how to do it and so in theory I should be able to do this myself. Again, its only temporary thing and the idea is that by switching off the pain, you can use this time to work on the root problem. ie, why the nerves are over-firing.

My next visit is in two weeks time, on the 6th July. I’ve kept it as a morning appointment as the mornings is when my condition is far worse. I’m like an old man in the mornings as my body is still quite stiff at times from spending 8 hours in bed. Not just laying still bothers me, but sitting for more than 90 minutes in one place has a similar effect. I tend to have to get up, walk around abit or/and stretch some for 5 or 10 minutes before re-sitting again. I feel like an old man sometimes! I’m only 35 going on 75 years old.

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America States

I was playing a game with Dad today, trying to remember all the American States. Once upon a time I used to know them all and could roll them off just like that. Nowadays, It takes me ages to remember them and some not at all. Its a good job, I’m not American!

Arizonia, Albama, Alaska, Arankas
California, Connecticut, South Carolina, North Carolina, Colorado
North Dakota, South Dakota, Delaware
Indianna, Idaeho, Iowa, Illinious
Kentucky, Kansas
Massachusetts, Maryland, Minisotta, Missouri, Mississippi, Maine, Montana, Michagan
Nebraska, New York State, New Jersey, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Nevada
Ohio, Oeregon, Oklahoma
Rhode Island
Tennesse, Texas
Virgina, West Virgina, Vermount
Wiscoinsin, Washington, Wyoming

Dad got 47 of them right!
I got less.. I couldn’t remember them 😦

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