Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Home, Sweet Home

Almost anyway - i am staying at my mum and sister's bedsit in London. It is another good milestone to leave hospital. Another of my sisters is also here, she is helping me out and waiting for her new job to start next week.

I am walking every day but not that far yet, it is improving everyday. On Saturday we walked to the new Westfield mall in Sheppard’s bush. It was a little further than we realized and when I arrived I was pretty sore. Even getting into the building was a problem – we had to walk another block to find an entrance with a manageable number of stairs … It was once I got home I realized how much I had overdone it…I couldn’t even reach for the loo paper I had stiffened up so much!

I am constantly having to be more realistic with my goals... But everyday i am improving. This part of the journey isn't particularly fun or exciting...
I am aiming to be on a plane home to NZ by mid December (Already pushed out later than i orginally planned, hopefully this is a realistic timeframe this time...)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Life in Wellington Hospital, St Johns Wood, London

So now I have access to facebook but not to my blog… these things are sent to try us. (Kris has posted this for me....)

I arrived in London last Tuesday, the trip went well. I loved flying business class on the seats the lie flat and the good food, service and entertainment… I was taken by ambulance to Wellington Hospital in St Johns Wood where I have been ever since.

Wednesday I had more x-rays which showed that I had broken my transverse process, a little sticky out piece of vertebrae (L2) in my back. This wasn’t completely surprising as I have had a lot of pain there.

I didn’t sleep well and woke in the night feeling sick – nausea. I had taken some laxative the night before which the nurses thought may have caused this. To cut a long story short I started vomiting and didn’t stop until I had a stomach tube inserted through my nose and down my throat to remove the contents of my stomach manually. It isn’t nice vomiting with broken ribs.

X ray showed an obstruction in my small bowel so I was started on IV fluids and not allowed to eat or drink anything at all. I spent a couple of days like this with just a little ice to relieve the pain in my throat where the tube was rubbing. On Saturday afternoon I was allowed a glass of water and some clear soup. I have started to have a low residue diet and will slowly work up to normal meals as my tummy allows.

Problems with bowels are common after spinal injuries and this is just a little strange that it took so long to develop. …

So, it has been a bit longer in hospital than I thought I would be… I am just relieved that the hospital identified the problem quickly and did the right thing as the nausea was horrendous. Now I am slowly coming right and starting to think about getting out of here- before the end of the week!

Monday, November 10, 2008

I'm Leaving Delhi!!

I am off to London in the morning!!! i assume i passed my x-ray this morning cos no one said i didn't and i am now packing up (read: i am sitting in bed directing and managing while poor Kris is busy packing up). We are moving stuff around cos i am worried the airline might damage my glider - kind of ironic isn't it??

So i am up to walking about 50m now, the sacro-illiac (sp??) joints in my back are still causing grief but i am going to survive. I I was pushing a little hard to get active in the last day or so and have had higher levels of pain and exhaustion as my companion as a result. Today i slept most of the morning and this afternoon i had two sessions of physiotherapy.

We had a dinner party in Austalian Chris' room tonight. We managed to get my dinner sent down to his room. The food and beverage manager loves Australians(his son lives in Canberra) and thinks that Kiwi Kris and I are both australian so he keeps sending complimentary meals up to Kris... we stopped trying to correct his mistake after a while. It is funny. The only thing missing was the kingfisher beer.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Quick update on my status

I am feeling better everyday, my improvement is really quite remarkable. My lung has re inflated, and now i am doing exercises to make it stronger. The pain in my lower back is slowly reducing, although i do have problems with the joints between my back and pelvis. The rib is bearable except when Chris makes terrible jokes. Chris is an Australian i was flying with in Bir, three days after my accident he had a bad landing and managed to break his back... Funny how his accident was so much less impressive but worse damage. He is in a room two floors down so i spend much of my day scheming on how to convince the nurses to wheel me down there to say hi. They wheel my bed into his room and so we can lie together like two munted peas in a pod.
Today i got out of bed and had a shower, walked about 50m, sat in a chair for 40min and did 5 sessions of physiotherapy for my chest, neck lower back and legs! I managed to walk to the toilet a couple of times too - such an improvement from a bedpan! The other day i had a bad day when i missed the bedpan twice - i have to say i was a very small child last time i wet the bed and it isn't a nice feeling! Now if i can find someone to help me i can get to the toilet!
So, i am on track to be capable of leaving India on Tuesday - to leave i must pass one last chest xray on Monday and be able to sit in a wheelchair for about 90 min and sit upright on the aeroplane for landing and take off. i have to be able to move between chairs and fly for 8 hrs and make my way to the loo if i have to go. I hope it is all achievable as i am pretty keen on a change of scenery.

Old Delhi and markets

The streets are heaving with people. There is so much work being done. people are carting stuff everywhere. Looking down at part of teh Spice market where people are busy buying presents for Dwali

Autorickshaws can fit four tourists plus driver - as long as everyone keeps their fingers and toes inside!

When it all gets too tough for the rickshaw riders they just jump off and push.. We were pedalled around the old city for an afternoon and just had to place our full trust in our driver.

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Delh in pictures

I think you have to be born in Delhi to love it. The smells, sounds, sights are pretty overwhelming.

The parliment and presidental buildings are large and rather impressive - very British. We are looking at various ministries in the photo.

I visited a Sikh temple which was beautiful i was shown around by a sikh teacher who went to great lenghts to explain the persecution they have endured from muslims. There were many graphic pictures showing sikhs with their heads cut off.

Kris got close and cuddly with some vipers... makes me shiver.

This is a great indicator of the state of energy in Delhi, the lines make great gyms for the monkeys... not sure about supplying poewr to the masses though!
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Friday, November 7, 2008

Crash photos

The dark ridge in the foreground is where I crashed - where it is "flat" in the middle, and just on the other side. Photo taken just before the rescue team left the Police Station to start the climb up to rescue me!

If you want to see more than to to this Album

I should probably mention that there are actually photos of both my and Chris 's crashes. He had a bad landing two days after my accident and ended up compressing his spine so we both visited the same hospital. He was also airlifted to Delhi and is lying in a bed a couple of floors down. We occassionally get orderlies to push beds to go and visit each other!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Faces of Himachal Pradesh

Cleaning a pot in a flooded rice paddy

This lady has three children and she is 30 yrs old

My troup of children followed me giggling and skipping down to the road after i landed in their village.

A part of an Indian wedding was held at the resort we were at. A huge outdoor kitchen was set up and these guys were the chefs, the cooked for 400 people and served excepional food. We snuck out into the kitchen and they started to cook and feed us everything there. I am sure the food tasted better when we watched it cooked! The only strange thing about this wedding was that there were NO WOMEN present. They were having their own party up the road. Kris E said that the night reminded him of a Gay Disco -and he would know!
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I crashed my paraglider in the Himalayan mts on the 31 October and end up lying on my back in a hospital in Delhi, India ever since.

I am fine, it was a close call, but i will fully recover. In the meantime i have spent the last week being happily drugged. Now they have reduced the pain medication to sensible levels, and i am becoming coherent again.

I will leave the story of the accident to another day when i am up for writing it (hopefully i will have some cool pics too) in the meantime i can post some pictures of flying and travelling in India before my accident.

Launch on a beautiful day.

This is the closest picture i got of a Himalayan Griffon Vulture. These guys love to thermal and they also love to come pretty close to paragliders as we all share the sky. They may look a little scruffy on the ground but they a so beautiful in the air. One came so close to me at one point he flew straight over me and i could see his shaggy cuddly looking underbelly...

On glide with friends, it is so nice to just hang out in smooth air with friends, we are all just cruising here.

This was my longest flight ever, about 40km and i landed in a rice paddy near a village, in microseconds i had lots and lots of kids coming to watch. They were adorable children and i felt like the pided piper leading them all away from the village back t the road.
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