Bike it … you’ll like it!

Edinburgh Bicycle Co-operative logo

Having booked my bike into the Edinburgh Bicycle Co-operative I expected to have to leave it there to have my gears set up and return to collect it tomorrow; that’s what I normally have to do. Instead they fixed it there and then, and all for nothing, it being the first service after they fitted a new freewheel cassette a few months back.

I have to say — and I said this to the chap in the workshop — every time I’ve been to the EBC their service, enthusiasm and help have been fantastic. They are clearly all bike enthusiasts who are only too happy to help people of all abilities. No question is too stupid, they really are there to help. I thoroughly recommend them.

So, this afternoon I went out on my bike, to test out my new Cateye Velo 8 trip computer. I cycled only 0.9 miles when I got a puncture: a dirty great thorn sticking into my front tyre. Thankfully, I always carry my bike toolkit (in an unused toiletries bag) and two spare inner-tubes, so I pulled over and replaced my front inner-tube:

Bike without front wheel leaning against a hedge

… and took off again. Here’s the data from my trip computer:

Time: 55 mins 47 seconds
Distance: 11:09 miles
Total Distance: 11:1 miles
Average Speed: 11.9 mph
Max Speed: 35.5 mph
Calories burned: 295.9 calories*

(* The calorie consumption data is only the accumulated value that is calculated from the speed data of every second. It differs from the actual consumed calorie.)

I’m determined to get fit again. I’ve put on far too much weight over the summer, mostly due to both comfort eating (as I’ve not dealt with various bits of news very well), and lack of exercise (not helped by my pulling muscles in my back in July). The trip computer I’m hoping will be a good motivational tool, helping me to chart my progress using the magic of numbers.

Now, can anybody tell me what a calorie is (without looking it up)? I know, but do you?

Fertility results

The news this morning took us completely by surprise. I’m still taking it in, to be honest.

We were at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh for our follow-up appointment with the fertility expert, to get the results of my two sperm tests and Jane’s laparoscopy, and to see where we go from here.

I’d previously blogged:

The operation was a success, it seems, and the surgeon said that he couldn’t see any reason why we shouldn’t be able to have a baby.

It appears that that was, unfortunately, far from the truth. (For once) I won’t go into details suffice to say that we were told that it looks unlikely that Jane will be able to conceive naturally, and that our best chance of having a baby will be with IVF (In vitro fertilisation). The waiting list, on which our names now appear, is between 15 – 18 months.

Under the NHS we are given three goes, free. If we were to go private the wait would be reduced to between 4 and 6 months, I recall, but would cost around £3,000. And for every 1 private treatment you receive you are deducted 1 free NHS treatment. Jane has age on her side, being under 30 years. But even then the success rate is just under 45%. But forty-five is quite a big number. And one of my favourites.

I spent much of the rest of the day, in committee meetings, in a state of shock, and hurting; as Jane did on the other side of the New Town in the DoE offices. It will take some time for the news to sink in. We totally weren’t expecting that, especially after the ‘good news’ that we’d received after Jane’s day (and a half) op.

Still, looking on the bright side, at least in April 2006 when this post finishes and we’re turfed out into the street we won’t have to worry about keeping the baby dry in our cardboard box!

Iatrogenic Jane

Jane is still feeling very poorly. This morning I took Jane to the health centre to have her stitches removed by the practice nurse, who took one look at Jane and called in the duty doctor who whisked her off to her surgery.

It was confirmed that Jane has picked up an infection and has been prescribed a course of wide-spectrum antibiotics. “That sort of thing happens, with surgery,” said the doctor. See iatrogenic for details. But if you can’t be bothered to, that’s illness caused by a physician.

Iatros is a Greek word meaning ‘physician’, and -genic means ‘induced by’; combined they become iatrogenic, meaning ‘physician-induced’.

Let’s just review the last few days: Jane went into hospital on Monday morning a healthy specimen of loveliness. On Monday afternoon she underwent explorative (keyhole) surgery. By Monday evening she was feeling particularly unwell, a direct result of the trauma caused to her body by the surgery, the drugs, and now it appears an infection that she picked up along the way. Iatrogenic indeed!

Jane is currently asleep on the sofa, having had a very rough morning indeed. She still hasn’t had anything proper to eat since Sunday.

Day Surgery, pt.2

I went to see Jane in hospital this evening. She was on a trolley (don’t worry, it wasn’t a shopping trolley) in a real hospital, where real doctors had done a real operation on her. One of them, it seems had touched the sides while trying to remove a small plastic bucket, and it had turned her nose bright red, like a light and then … oh! I can’t remember the rules after that bit.

Anyway, they’re keeping her in overnight for observation. That and she was feeling too sick and dizzy to even sit up, let alone stand, get dressed, walk to the car and come home. I’ll pick her up in the morning.

The operation was a success, it seems, and the surgeon said that he couldn’t see any reason why we shouldn’t be able to have a baby. We see the fertility specialist next month to get further results and discuss the matter further, including questions about assisted fertility.

The adventure continues…