Paul Strickland

Paul Strickland

Hospital, Dresden and PyQt

This year, autumn didn’t turn out at all like I expected. I was planning to work on developing my fitness over autumn and winter, ready for more cycling and climbing adventures next year.

At the beginning of September I was admitted to hospital with severe abdominal pain. This had actually happened before on a couple of occasions, and after a couple of days treatment I was well enough to go home. I thought that this would be the case once again, and was quite confident, despite being in a lot of pain, that I would be out in time to watch the wheelchair basketball final at the Paralympics, a few days away.

As the days went by, I began to question whether I would be out in time. It turned out that I wouldn’t be, and instead of watching the basketball, I would be having an operation! Being told this came as a bit of a surprise, but by then I was in no fit state to suggest that it wasn’t necessary.

Although I was disappointed that I wouldn’t be out of hospital sooner, the prospect of surgery itself wasn’t too daunting. I had been operated on a few times as a child, so knew what to expect, and just waited to get better.

I always find that the National Health Service gets a lot of bad press in Britain. I know that it isn’t perfect, but my experience each time I have been treated has been very good. This time in particular I was amazed at the dedication of the nurses to their patients, and I am very grateful to them for looking after me. As for the NHS overall, I dread to think what my life would be like if I had to pay for each specific treatment at the point of delivery.

After two weeks in hospital, I was deemed well enough to go home, and I was fairly optimistic of a swift recovery. Well, I was wrong about that.

Throughout the rest of September and the whole of October, I was in an almost permanent state of exhaustion. Being in hospital I lost over 10 kg in weight, and I felt very weak. Apart from getting up each day and eating, it seemed that I was able to do little else than sit in front of the delights of daytime TV. It got quite frustrating, but at the same time I was impressed at the amount of progress I made each week; if I compared how I felt to the previous week, I would be a great deal stronger and feel quite a lot better. I was certainly improving at a swift rate, but the problem was that there was a lot of recovering still to do.

Eventually, as November began, I was well enough to begin going back to work. It’s been a gradual process, but now I feel almost back to normal. I am still quite tired and unfit, but a whole lot better than when I first came home from hospital.

During my time off, I read a few books, built a couple of Lego models, but not much else. In the last week or so, I finished one of those books and I also began writing some Python again. And despite the large amount written about being ill, it is these two things that I wanted to write about. I split the posts onto separate pages, so you can find them here:

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