Tuesday, 31 July 2012

So I've been in Southport for a whole week already, can't believe how quick the time goes!

Thankfully last night I got moved from the high dependency ward, so back in a more standard ward, a lot less machines beeping through the night in here but, to be honest I'd pretty much got used to them. The snoring on the other hand was a whole different beast, industrial ear plugs would have been rendered useless against it, thankfully it often woke him up too which provided some rest-bite. Although having written all this I may be a little premature with my celebrations as I've only moved next door and I'm backing on to the adjoining wall!

The spinal unit here in Southport is bigger and much busier, there's a lot less idle time than Middlesbrough, which despite my fondness for being rather idle is a really good thing! I'm down for about three hours of physio and extra occupational therapy time every day and, from what I encountered in my first 'proper' day  they really do push you.  I certainly slept well anyway (though I can't be 100% sure if that was the physio or leaving my nasal friend).

All the staff seem to be nice, I'm struggling to learn a whole new set of names and routines but I'll get there, lots of "excuse me's" and "sorry's" for the time being. And it works both ways, as they're just getting to know me too, so there have been some frustrations in the last week, spending a couple of days in bed and then limiting my time up in the chair, but it's all for good reason so I can't grumble, as it's certainly better to take some time now than end up with days of bed rest!!

One of tomorrows physio sessions is on wheelchair skills, I'm hoping to have a new set of wheels by then as my current chariot is something of a classic fossilised heap of crap! And just making it to the session will be skill enough! There's a photo on the wall from 1972 featuring what looks like potentially a newer version of the beauty! It actually has wood under the armrests, hi tech materials indeed! And trying to go in a straight line is nigh on impossible, unchecked it veers off to the left  and would see me in the wall every fifth push!

The hospital itself is a wee bit older and smaller than 'boro and sadly lacks the same standard of refreshment opportunities, so visitors beware, no longer will we be going for a nice Costa, instead there's Apple Jacks Cafe, the size of a broom cupboard and a similar standard of brew! And there's also the main restaurant, that looks like a school canteen on a cross channel ferry! Obviously that's not why I'm here and I know I shouldn't grumble but I'm guessing it's part of the withdrawal symptoms from my daily Costa!

It's been pretty busy again on the visitor front since returning, as its slightly less of a planned expedition for people coming to Southport. The highlight of the visits being Mr Parr showing up a couple of times, but before his ego inflates it wasn't his presence that was the highlight, but his choice of midriff attire. For those who don't know him, he's made the big move from north to south and seems to have been somewhat liberated by it. His belt buckles where both diamant√© encrusted closet busters! My favourite being the sparkly red love heart model, sadly I forgot to take a photo but I'm hoping he'll be a sport and forward one on!  ( I bet he'll send you one pretty quick when he's see this one!.. Betty) ........see told you didn't I!

....... But seriously thanks to all those who've popped up/messaged etc... it really means a lot (and apologies for picking on you parr, I love you really!)

Thanks Mark xx


  1. teamslug - Member Singletrack.7/31/2012 3:30 pm

    Just read the blog. Not sure what to type if i'm honest....inspiring to read your positivity. Hope it all goes well for you over the coming months.

  2. postierich- Member Singletrack7/31/2012 3:41 pm

    Puts my little problems into perspective! inspiring , well done Mark and Betty!

  3. racefacec90 - Member Singletrack7/31/2012 3:42 pm

    just read this thread. i hope you get well soon mark.

  4. Hi Swifty,
    Glad to see your settling in :-) Thought we'd leave the visit for a coupla weeks to let people who hadn't been able to get up to Boro see you but will be in soon.

    Look forward to seeing you, Shell, Fods and Harrison x

  5. Good stuff swift. Settling in well then. A brand new set of nurses to get to know. . . . can't be bad!!

    Will look forward to checking out your "unbelivable tekkers" after the wheelchair skills session soon then. See you next week.

  6. I Know you love me by the way your little finger touched "me" when you were inspecting my buckle, at first I thought, "an accident?" but catching a look at your face which secretly said " I want to hold you" I realised it was meant. So here we are hundreds of miles apart and just my " love buckle " to remind me of your tender, intentional, touch. I hope one day our love can "come out" and we can be happy together.
    Yours always,
    Mr P

    Ps to late to deny your love as you stated it at the bottom of your blog

  7. Betty the Blog7/31/2012 11:49 pm

    Excuse me!
    This is a family blog.........get a room!

  8. Project. Member Singletrack8/01/2012 10:55 am

    Taken from Message Board on Singletrack:
    So glad i started this thread, because without it few of us would know about Mark, and the massive effort he is making to get better, and the huge commitment and enthusiasm he has along with being so posititive, funny and grateful to all around him.

    I wish you your family and girlfriend the very best wishes.

  9. wwaswas: Member Singletrack8/01/2012 10:56 am

    nothing really to add beyond an admiration for your approach to all this and, if I'm really honest, a slight feeling that it could easily have been me a few times and I hope I'd have coped as well as your blog seems to show you are.


  10. Hi Mark!

    Great to hear that you are settling in so well at Southport and getting more and more time with the physios and occupational therapists. I know that they won't be having to concentrate on pushing you to work hard, as with your motivation and determination this is an easy job for them!

    How is your new set of wheels working out for you? Better I hope? No more left-ward swerves? I look forward to seeing some perfected skills when I come to Southport in a few weeks!

    Keep being as amazing as ever, Jayne xxx

    ps, how has Jenna coped with the Costa tragedy???

  11. I take it Betty has already asked if you could deliver the Champion for us within the hospital?
    Nice update Mark and glad to see you have settled in well. john has just been describing the fancy dan wheelchair and me thinks he is already thinking of giving it the " pimp my ride " treatment.
    Looking forward to seeing you and jenna soon ( unless of course you do a runner and call into our offices first !! )and will be armed with another bag of goodies.
    As always your strength radiates amongst others Mark and were with you all the way mate. Take care