I’ve managed to get the blog up to date until early April of this year. That means there are another five months of travels and adventures yet to be shared. For the next two months, I shall have plenty of time to do that, and we won’t be adding anything exciting during that period – I fervently hope!
A Hospital Visit
As regular readers will be aware, over two years ago Barry twisted his right hip playing badminton in Gisborne. Over a year later, after diagnosing a ‘labral tear‘ (that’s me, with Google’s help, and subsequently the physio!), he was still in almost constant pain. In September 2022 he had an X-ray which showed ‘moderate to severe arthritis’ in his right hip. He was informed he’d need a hip replacement sooner, rather than later, a week before we were due to fly to New Zealand last November.
He’s been pretty stoic since then, hardly complaining yet noticeably grimacing frequently as the head/ball of his hip grinds against the dry socket. We know it’s doing that as the kind Orthopaedic Surgeon showed us his X-ray in July, at his initial consultation. He was offered three choices:
- Do nothing, put up with the pain, and continue to take regular pain-killing tablets and anti-inflammatories.
- Have steroid injections into the joint – this can provide temporary relief, but you can only have a limited number
- A total hip replacement (THR)
Barry was given extensive information, both verbally and written, and I was mightily impressed by the process of informed consent. He opted for, as he put it, “the knife“. Jovial as always, even when the prospect of a major operation loomed darkly …
All On Track For Saturday 2nd September
Even more impressive was the short wait once we saw the consultant. Barry’s ‘Total Hip Replacement’ is scheduled to take place on Saturday 2nd September. Less than two days away.
We’re booked into Tattenhall Marina for two months, as it’ll take at least 8 weeks until he’s fully mobile again. The dear doctor did ask if we could stay at my daughter’s house (absolutely no spare room there!), rather than the boat, and people have seemed concerned about how we’ll manage. But we’ve thought long and hard about it. In all honesty, we feel he’s going to be safer and recover quicker on the boat. There are only three steps to climb down at the back of the boat, where he’ll get in or out, then one from the engine room to the bedroom. In a house, he’d have to climb stairs morning and evening. Our bed is already a high one, as is the seating in our living area. We’re just going to have to use the toilet seat raise that the physio at the hospital should provide.
Today we’ve settled into the visitor moorings, which are a short walk from the car to the boat. Plus the pumpout hose will reach – meaning I won’t have to move the boat! We’re hooked on power (such a luxury every time!) and have a water tap we can fill our tanks with at any time.
Our son-in-law Rob made Barry a brilliant card …
I’ll be borrowing our Rob’s car from tomorrow, till hopefully collecting Barry on Monday if all goes smoothly and he’s fit for discharge.
The August 2023 Blue Supermoon
Over the last two nights, we’ve been fortunate to see the blue supermoon from where we’ve been staying next to Egg Bridge in Waverton. On Tuesday night Barry waited patiently at the bridge, then realised the moon was rising to the right instead. So we walked to the park and watched her shining through the trees.
The photos below were taken with my iPhone 13 on 29th August. Nowhere near as sharp as Barry’s of 30th August further down.
“A supermoon is a full moon or a new moon that nearly coincides with perigee—the closest that the Moon comes to the Earth in its elliptic orbit—resulting in a slightly larger-than-usual apparent size of the Moon as viewed from Earth. The technical name is a perigee syzygy or a full Moon around perigee.”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supermoon
The moon was certainly not blue, but definitely had a tinge of yellowy orange.
“The yellow colour is actually due to the interplay of the atmosphere with sunlight, and other particles (such as dust) in the atmosphere. When the Moon is low on the horizon, the light has a thicker layer of atmosphere to pass through, so the shorter wavelengths of light, like blue and green, are more effectively scattered than the longer wavelengths (red and yellow). This allows the yellow and red hues to dominate, leading to the Moon’s yellowish colour.”https://www.sciencefocus.com/super-blue-moon-august-2023
Last night we were enthralled to see her rising right at the end of the Shropshire Union Canal. You’ll be aware it’s not blue in colour. A blue moon occurs when there are two full moons in a calendar month. You can easily spot which of the photos below are Barry’s, taken with his Lumix, and mine:
The rarity of this one is that it’s so close to the earth to be called ‘super’, which won’t occur again until 31st January 2037. Hopefully, we’ll both still be alive and continuing to travel and have adventures together in 2037 …
I’ll keep you posted on Barry’s progress over the coming weeks. In the meantime I’m sure he’d love to receive any healing thoughts you’re able to send his way …