You may note that it has been quiet ’round here of late.
Firstly, the results of that blogging competition came back. You know, the one I said I didn’t care about? Well, apparently I cared about it more than I realised … which is why I was gutted to only rank fourth place. I considered blaming you lot for not voting (rather than my crappy writing) but later I discovered that the winner is someone with 25,000 Twitter followers. It would be rather difficult to drum up the kind of voting support to beat that. Maybe it’s for the best – I’m fairly certain that the cost of all the celebratory cake I had promised would exceed the value of the prize; it would have been cheaper just to buy the laptop myself.
It hasn’t been a complete loss, though: I have become Facebook-friends with at least two other nominees who have turned out to be very pleasant gents, and my hit-count has been consistently higher since the competition. But I’m still more gutted than I really ought to be.
Work has also been busy. Pleasantly so; not crazily there’s-no-way-we-can-do-it-in-time busy. But enough that I’m too sleepy to write anything on my morning train journey, and too tired on the way home.
Oh, and we’ve just moved house. So we’re decorating, dealing with builders and conservatory
bastards ‘salesmen’ and spending a fortune at Wickes. I’m terrible at DIY, but it seems that the previous owner was even worse. It’s been quite a confidence-booster just to be able to fix (normally in an hour) each crap job that he apparently lived with for nearly a decade.
All of which has made the last few months a bit of a creative “dry-patch”. Life has just conspired to get in the way of writing. I’ve started a few pieces, but not finished anything.
But then … nothing like a real-life calamity to give you something to talk about, eh?
All the following account comes second-hand (from my wife) as I don’t remember any of it, but apparently on getting out of bed on Tuesday morning I began to fit violently: thrashing around, foaming at the mouth, chewing my tongue – the whole performance. I imagine my wife just assumed I’d seen another case of apostrophe-abuse on Facebook (because that’s my usual reaction) but when I still hadn’t stopped after my usual ranty-minute she realised it was more serious and called an ambulance.
One enforced-trip to hospital later (the term the paramedics used was “non co-operative”, which doesn’t sound like me; usually the worst I am described as is “sardonic”) and a ridiculous number of scans and X-rays reveal that I have had a fit/seizure/stroke/epileptic incident/bleed on the brain (depending on which doctor you ask).
I was quite a novelty on the stroke-ward, because I was the youngest person on the books by about fifty years.
The scary thing for me is how much damage the seizure has done. It was only a few minutes, and was just me lying on the bedroom floor. No angry skinheads armed with snooker cues were involved.
Yet I am covered in bruises (I look like a Friesian cow). I have shredded my tongue so much that it is difficult to eat. My face is covered in carpet burns because I fitted face-down. I have damaged my shoulder so severely that I’m due back in hospital on Monday to have the whole joint replaced. I’m also banned from driving or any manual labour for six months, motorbiking possibly forever, two years of physiotherapy, thankyouverymuch.
These are the kind of afflictions I would expect of one of my extreme-sports-nutjob friends. Not me, the computer programmer whose idea of an “extreme” night out is watching two films end-to-end at the cinema.
But there’s been some good experiences this week, too. My family and friends (and neighbours, who we barely know) have been awesome. My wife – who regularly tells me that the moment I can’t pee solo she’s putting me in a home – has been far more sympathetic than even I knew she could be (she’s a softy, really). And I couldn’t have asked for a more sympathetic, considerate employer – particularly as I missed the big office shift-around on Friday and my desk detritus was described by an unlucky co-worker as “like electronic pocket lint”.
All in all, I’m delighted to be surrounded by people who care for me as much as they do. I really don’t deserve it.
So the hospital let me out for the weekend to get my affairs in order and eat food which does not taste of hopelessness and despair, before they unzip me on Monday and I begin the journey towards my new life as a cyborg. I’ve got all the Darth Vader and Terminator quotes ready to use as my ringtone when I get out. I particularly like this one.
Anyway, I just thought I’d let you know. No biggie. Whatevs.