A Bit Of A 2020 Review – With A Bit Of Personal Good News!

So a quick look back over my year from Xmas 2019 to Xmas 2020….

Well, it didn’t really start great for me with an health issue that I later learned had started happening in July 2018 but seemingly missed by my GPs at the time. Having had a cancer in my rectum removed in Sept 2019 I was on the road to recovering from the surgeries for that but late October a problem I had had with eating (and I thought it was just me becoming ‘overfussy’) in that I was losing my tastes, building dislikes to various food textures, hence not eating a lot and bringing up much of what I did eat soon after, etc increased. In fact between going for the operation and Xmas 2019 my weight had dropped from 95Kg to 78Kg. Obviously, eating so little, I was getting to feel weaker and weaker. The first week of December I saw my then GP and he prescribed Complan type drinks… which didn’t do much and I continued to feel weaker and weaker to the point that on the Thursday preceding Xmas I had to get Liz to take me to A&E … where they did tests and pronounced my kidneys ‘bone dry’, put me on a drip and kept me in a ward until the following Monday … and even after the first lot of drips I felt so much better and was eating well without any nausea. I was discharged on the Monday, feeling very well, and was thus home on Xmas Day and had my full Xmas Day lunch. However, Boxing Day I started to feel ill again and so it was back to A&E the following day where I was again admitted and put on drips for the weekend again. Touch wood, I’ve been fine regarding the kidneys since then and monitoring has shown them functioning well again.

January, I made a decision to change my GP – and Liz also changed along with me – as I had become increasingly unhappy with my then current practice for several reasons over the previous 24 months or so – despite having been with the same practice for 60 years or more. Misdiagnosis of cancer, failure to spot kidney problem, having to book appointments on the day at 8am on the phone (so often couldn’t get through until all appointments gone and so have to retry to following.. and often the following,..etc) and the feeling that they just wanted to empty the waiting room asap… and the final straw was when I learnt that both the senior partners are to retire in 2021 and the practice was in the initial stages of becoming part of a large group being established by a couple of other local doctors – and when I checked reviews of this group online they were predominantly getting ‘1 out of 5’ scores BUT even worse were the comments accompanying those scores many of which read ‘The sole reason I scored this group only 1 was because I couldn’t score 0 or lower!’. Not good! So mid-Jan both Liz and myself were with the new practice. An excellent decision! Contact at any time of day to make an appointment which can be for any day and try their best to fit a time to suit you, etc … appointments are for 20 minutes rather than the usual 10 … they listen intently to you! Had more samples taken in the first 3 months of being with them than the previous 2 years with my old one! AND … seems my kidney problem started in July 2018, doc showed me the papers that had been sent from old GP and on the graph there is a cliff-like fall in the figures that had either been totally missed or ignored – but whichever….

Anyway, strength regained a bit, I was able to manage a bit of fishing, heading for my first 2020 session, pike fishing with Liz, at the start of the second week of January… and fished weekly until March 24th, the first day of the first Covid lockdown … not intentionally, but as I haven’t read a newspaper or watched a single TV news broadcast in over 15 years I was totally unaware of it!

Anyway, it was May until I fished again when fishing was again allowed…. and then I fished almost weekly until the start of July when I was again in hospital to have the ileostomy I had back in Sept 2019 reversed – the bag removed and the pipeline restored to use the normal outlet. All went well with the op BUT hospital was like a high security prison camp due to Covid restrictions – confined to the small ward and about 15 yards of corridor for the 10 days – no walks around the hospital corridors, no Greggs! I was really happy to say goodbye!

I started my fishing again from 1st September and continued until the end of November but December is generally a fishing free month for me and has been so again. Leaves in the water, cold and damp (cold and dry is fine but any dampness in the air soon gets past the best of thermals, etc) … and Xmas preps take their toll too. And I’ve had a lot of medical appointments too …. nothing for months and then suddenly appointments appear for diabetic reviews, blood samples and the reviews for my operations and associated tests…

BUT I have had good news from one of the tests …. yesterday I had a colonoscopy to check my bowels as part of of my cancer reviews …. ALL CLEAR! One small polyp was removed at the same time and tested as benign – think this was there on the original scan done in Sept 2019 but due to the more pressing concerns of the cancer they left it there. When I went to bed last night my stomach was well bloated, tense and uncomfortable probably due to the air they pump into the bowels … but woke up this morning feeling fine! Apologies to Liz if there was a strange odour overnight LOL!

So, I’m now looking forward to my 2021 fishing starting in a couple of weeks time…

A few changes happening too … leaving one of my clubs as their waters are not really suitable for me in my medically refined state and most are too far from facilities/carpark … and as Liz only fishes with me then she’s also leaving but will be re-joining one of my other clubs.


BTW I see we seem to have lost a Swansea blogger (Perchpuddle) along the way but have recently gained another in the form of ‘Jacksonb1’ – nice to have you along!!