Sunny at last!

25th May 2012

Fern web buis wood web Tim Brean web KS 13web C6web

Yes the sun is out and everything feels better and brighter but...judgement day is finally approaching, I am going in for my SLAP lesion repair (left shoulder) on 29th May. This has been a long time coming but they have decided that an operation is necessary, for a chance to get back to proper climbing again. I could opt not to have the op but to feel like I’ve been feeling over the last three years, is not something I would choose. If there is a chance it can feel nearly normal again, I’ve got to give it a go.

I have to admit to feeling a little nervous about it. I don’t normally think about medical procedures too much, as they just kind of take care of themselves, after all, you’re not really aware of what is going on.

But when I had my syndesmotic screw in my ankle removed in April, I had a very traumatic anaesthetic experience. I have had four generals previously and they have all been straightforward and pain free. Well this one wasn’t! I don’t think I’ve ever felt pain like it and I’ve broken quite a few bones in my time and had some big falls. When the main aneasthetic was being administered through the cannula, something must’ve gone wrong because my whole arm felt like it had a red hot poker being shoved all around it and I was writhing around and screaming on the bed; it didn’t last just a few seconds either. Hmm, not the best and has now made me very wary about future procedures. I’d be very interested to hear from anybody else who has experienced this feeling when having a general because as yet, I haven’t come across anyone.

There is never a good time to have an operation but I would’ve dearly loved to have had this op slightly sooner than it is. Because of course my ankle is recovering well but I won’t be able to do much due to the shoulder. It is also quite a lengthy process of recovery from this op and will probably be autumn time before I can realistically climb again. Hey ho.

At least I can walk though, a couple of months ago, it felt like I wasn’t ever going to walk properly again. But thankfully my leg has improved well and I am now very mobile. I wouldn’t like to imagine not being able to walk, it wouldn’t be much fun for all those around me. It has made me realise just how important being able to walk is to me and I feel very sorry for people who have trouble with this.

The good news is that I climbed on rock last weekend. It suddenly dawned on me that I haven’t climbed on rock since last year, I couldn’t really believe it. And then getting the operation date through, I realised that it might not be possible for a very long time to come. I thought trad would be a little risky, as my ankle is still unstable and I would have to drop the grade so low so the climbing was straightforward enough that I didn’t think it would be particularly enjoyable. So we decided to head down to the south west for some bolt clipping at Brean Down, this was a double whammy as I could visit my family too.

The weather was nice and the tides were perfect but I have to admit it was a bit weird climbing on rock again. I was pleased with how my ankle coped on small footholds, it felt surprisingly strong, it’s only had big holds down the wall to contend with so far. But I felt very wary about falling off, as my physio would kill me and I would probably do some pretty bad damage again at this stage. So I climbed a weirdly hard f6a+ and then did a f6c, which to be honest is the hardest thing I’ve climbed for a long time. So that was nice, but I’m looking forward to the day when I know my ankle is up to full strength and I’m not climbing with self-preservation in mind, I can just climb without holding back or worrying. I didn’t do anymore than that, as the next option was a f7a and I think that would’ve been a step too far.

So I took some nice pictures of the scenery and some climbing pics of some friendly locals we met there.

I am totally into my photography at the moment. Tim and I went to the Lleyn Peninsula a couple of weekends ago in the van and had a lovely time. For some reason something clicked inside my head and I got very psyched on taking pictures, it’s a very beautiful place after all- we were on Hell’s Mouth beach. And since then I haven’t put the camera down- I have got a ridiculous amount of images on my hard drive now and it does take a lot of time to edit them- phew!

I’ve always enjoyed taking pics but only ever had point and shoots. The difference with a pro end camera is incredible, you can do so much more and create the image you want. I do love my point and shoot, as the quality is amazing and you get some stunning images but you just get to the point where it’s frustrating because you can see what would make a great image but the camera won’t let you do it. So with Tim teaching me how to use an SLR in manual mode (a recipe for some domestics!), I am now finding the scope to be a little more creative, it’s a lovely process.

I've put a small selection of some of the images I've taken so far.

My next blog will probably be after my op and I’ll be typing one-handed, it may take a while…

Kite surfing at Hell's Mouth, Lleyn Peninsula