It is now mid to late 2005

(Brief addition in May 2008 by PK on behalf of Slim for years 2006-2008)

Many people have asked what happened following the last entry back in mid-2000. How had I fared? How was the leg? Why wasn't I updating the site? So here I am, now with the ability to log back into the ftp-site again and actually carrying out some much needed updates and conveying some new(ish) fixator information

So what happened to my leg post the lizzie?

In the last 5 years since the frame was removed, I have managed to keep the leg - hoorah! It is still about 45mm short as I never chose to try the procedure again. This had nothing to do with the surgery or recovery but was based solely on the inherent genetic problems that came to light with regard to my body's healing ability.

Two bouts of MRSA and one of Strep B combined with the appearing to have diabetes but not helped me to decide the try to live my life "as is" so to speak.

Under normal circumstances I do not use a built up shoe as I found that threw my already damaged back into further problems. Strangely I now only use the build up if my back is aching. Then it seems to work. If however I wear it when my back's OK then the back trouble I suffer subsequently is horrendous - and good osteopaths don't come cheap.

Career? - What career?

I was medically retired from my employment finally in 1999. A subsequent meeting with the UK social services and my 'run in' with a buffoon of a member of staff led to me being classified as unfit for work. The reasons? - you don't need to know. Suffice it to say that since my accident, combined with severe memory problems, I developed a hair trigger temper. Tolerance of idiots is no longer my forte!

However at college I studied in a few different skills and whilst achieving average to good abilities, my memory problems meant that I cannot always remember the names for how or what I was doing. Any tactile skills were no problem, knowing what i had to do was ok but remembering what they were called was (and still is) very variable. For a while I did some voluntary work for the patient ambulance service. Non-paid but enjoyable. However there was worse in store for me, and nothing that involved the leg.

Childhood diseases as an adult - not fun!

Back in 2001 I was doing a TV program on road safety for a satellite TV program. As the day rolled on, I began to feel really ill. By early afternoon I felt atrocious. The director was happy for me to quit, which I did and went home. By early evening I was in terrible internal pain and was staring to sprout huge poison filled blisters all over my body. By about midnight I had been admitted as an emergency into the local hospital at the start of what was going to become the most disabling period of my life.

By the following monday morning I had seen eight doctors and one consultant. None of them had any idea of the problem and were bandying about expressions like kidney or liver failure. As ever with modern medicine, they almost instinctively pumped me full of antibiotics - even though they had no idea what was wrong.

Later that morning, a nurse came on duty who took one look at me and merely asked "Have you ever had chickenpox sir?" . I hadn't - but I sure as hell did then. Apparently, at the age of 49 I had contracted a full blown dose of the innocuous children's disease. Only as an adult it's potentially lethal. And the worst thing you can do? - pump the person full of antibiotics.

The infection ripped me apart. Apparently I even had the blisters on the internal organs - not good. So what did the hospital do? They discharged me! With an interesting warning to be careful as I could contract pneumonia. So of course - that's just what I did.

Pneumonia and Post Viral Syndrome

The blisters from the chickenpox literally covered my entire body. No where and I mean NOWHERE was free of them. Then I started to feel better. And then I started to feel bad again. Weaker and weaker and with a difficulty breathing. My doctor confirmed that - yes - I'd got pneumonia. He offered me two options. I could go into hospital where I could get yet another bout of MRSA, Strep B or whatever or I could go home with a major bundle of antibiotics and fight it off there. Hardly surprisingly, I chose the second option.

Eventually the spots are cleared up and the scabs vanished. The pneumonia effects waned but I was often having trouble even getting out of bed. I was totally exhausted 24/7. I went back to my GP who was at that time one of the more enlightened doctors. He asked a lot of questions, almost like a tick box questionnaire. His eventual diagnosis PVS. Post Viral Syndrome. At that time I'd not heard of it except, rather disparagingly as Yuppie Flu. Nowadays we call it Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or viral ME, and it's existence is far more widely acknowledged. However the doctor who took over from my GP when he sadly had to leave was an ignorant bitch who's opinion was that all I needed to do was buck my ideas up as PVS didn't exist. She actually said that if the blood tests were clear then there was nothing wrong. I asked none too politely if this applied to a broken limb. She called me pedantic and I called her a dozy bitch and that was the end of our patient/doctor relationship.

Sadly it wasn't the end of the ME.

ME and a major fall and now - dislocation time!

So I settled into slowly coming to terms with the effects of ME. The tiredness, the aches and pains, the depression. And then when having a day out at the Museum of Kentish History (or some such name) I took a fall. My injured leg had one of it's occasional glitches and went down like a tree. I knew at once that I'd dislocated my shoulder. A local first aider relocated it with a deal of swearing from me only to have the thing spontaneously release again about 36 hours later.

This time I ended up in hospital again. It was relocated under anaesthetic and I was sent home, clutching my X-rays and wearing a sling I was told to not remove for 14 days! My local hospital took over at this point and after more xrays (They never looked the ones from Maidstone) decided that I just needed physiotherapy - and lots of it.

This I got but the amount of motion got no better and in the end I was politely told to p~ss off as that was all they could do without opening me up to look around inside. And that was a definite no-no.

So I learned to live with it. Time passes as it does and I get into a period of severe back trouble again. I go to a new osteopath who I was recommended to. She sorts out my back in a trice and then asks if my shoulder is a problem. I explain the story and she informs me that it has never been relocated properly. So whilst I grit my teeth awaiting excruciating pain she gently manipulates my arm; theres a small click and a sliding sensation inside my shoulder area and - voila - 100% motion again. But this isn't the end of the story...........

More dislocation fun!

And so I am at a club with some friends. Doing nothing in particular. I swing my arm round and - bang - I'm on the floor in agony. The shoulder has dislocated again. Between myself and a friend (and don't ask how) we relocated the thing and I went home. Thinking 'stuff the hospitals' I went to my osteopath, this time armed with the Maidstone hospital xrays that Bromley hospital hadn't wanted. She looked at them; frowned quite a lot, felt around my shoulder, prodded and poked and pronounced that I was in fact missing a frontal ligament (or something) that pulls the clavicle into the somethingorother. result - spontaneous dislocation - yep, that'd be it right enough. Needless to say neither hospital had noticed this. Even though it would seem that the increased size of some particular gap that should be between the shoulder bones when viewed after relocation clearly shows there's a problem

And the answer - a fairly major surgery with a no better than 50/50 chance of success and a side effect of possibly making the shoulder even less stable than it is.

Strike that from the list of options then.

I've learned to live with an iffy right leg. I already have a non-functional right wrist so I guess that a buggered right shoulder sort of completes the set so to speak.

Late Extra on the dislocation front

To add insult to injury at about 2am on Sunday December 11th I was suddenly awoken by the pain I know too well. It means that no matter what i do, I'm about to suffer the joy of a dislocation once again. Picture the scene therefore of me managing to climb onto the bed, hooking my hand in the canopy rail (It's a 4 poster style) and then dropping down with the accompanying cracking and burst of pain as the joint slips back in. Trust me - it's an experience well worth avoiding

So for now, at least that's about the size of it. My depression comes and goes with the breeze or, more exactly, with the viral ME. As for my medical future - I really have no idea. I guess I just have to wait and see. Oh, but to add to the joy of things, back in May 2005 I was diagnosed as suffering from asteototic eczema add that to my arthritis and - ah hell, who cares?

Addition on behalf of Slim Haines for year 2006 - 2008 (Present)

Many of you may have been aware that during the year 2006, Slim's health took a downward turn. Not related to his leg but instead related to increasingly bad back problems and pain.
This culminated with him having an MRI scan in February 2007 which revealed that he had a spinal tumour. Matters continued to get worse until he was eventually admitted as an emergency into Guy's hospital London where he commenced being subjected to a barrage of tests and biopsies.
These eventually led in August 2007 to a diagnosis of spinal and latterly stomach cancer (Stage 2A, high grade, diffuse large B cell non-Hodgkin Lymphoma).
Since that time Slim has been undergoing major chemotherapy and radiotherapy to treat his cancer.
He is at present in remission which is as close as the medical profession can ever get to saying any cancer is cured.
Slim continues to suffer terrible side effects from his treatments and is about to commence a regime of rehabilitation.
Sadly there is still a possibility that he will have to undergo what is called a spinal stabilisation. This is major surgery to his spine involving the bolting together of the lower 5 vertebra precluding him bending from the stomach area of his body.
It is hoped that the recovery from the radiotherapy may render this unnecessary but it is all a matter of 'wait and see' since the damage done to his L4/L5 vertera by the metastatic tumour was extensive.

Slim is still unable to resume updating the website but I have added this addendum on his behalf.

Pete Kenwood.

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