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!!

2 responses to “A Bit Of A 2020 Review – With A Bit Of Personal Good News!”

  1. Likewise with your postings, Clive, all really good reads!

    Perchpuddles last posting was Sept 2018 … I’ve posted in his ‘Comments’ a few times since to see if he’s still about but never had a reply… shame as I liked reading his postings too!

    But now we have the new Swansea blogger in Jacksonb1 … :)
    I have an affinity with the area as my paternal grandparents (and a line of great aunts and uncles too) were from Port Talbot … and I believe that Neath has the greatest concentration of ‘Ridds’ in the country with something like 3% of all Ridds live there!! I just Googled ‘Ridd Neath’ and it came back with pages things about different Ridds – some being involved with court cases!! LOL! Not surprising though as in a family tree my aunt drew up a couple of Ridd brothers were listed as ‘moved’ to Australia – during the times of ‘the transports’ so one wonders :) The family originated in Devon (area of ‘Lorna Doone and John Ridd’ fame) where a lot of Ridds also exist … and one John Ridd was ‘Champion Wrestler of All England’ in the 1600’s IIRC. R.D. Blackmore’s (author of Lorna Doone) grandfather was also the rector of the church at Little Oare and did perform a marriage of a John Ridd but not to a Lorna! However,perhaps RDB created his characters based on my ancestors and an exiled Scottish family (the Dounes, part of the Stewart clan) who also ended up in the area… The Ridd’s ended up in South Wales during slack times in the West Country when they ’emigrated’ over the Channel to get work at the Margam Steelworks.
    In J’b1’s last posting he mentioned fishing at Port Talbot Docks and when we visited my grandparents a days fishing there was always on the cards – a working dock in those times and so saltwater but I understand its more ‘brackish’ now and coarse fish are now the main quarry there. AND I still exchange Xmas cards with ‘the girl next door to my grandparents’! I say ‘girl’ but she’s a year or so older than myself – and sadly lost her husband last year.

    The club I’m leaving has a bit of a reputation with some well known anglers among its membership – Chris Ponsford (aka The Pons) is a member (and a great guy) and writes articles that appear in ‘Improve Your Coarse Angling’ quite frequently – in fact I believe he has a feature of bream fishing in the upcoming new edition – and currently the waiting list is such that someone who joined the waiting list in 2018 is now number 90 on the waiting list – so about another 4 years will see him get his invite to apply….!! Anyway, its a great club – some very nice waters inc excellent stretches on the Severn and Warks Avon – BUT for me in my current state I need emergency access to ‘facilities’ at times and access also involves too much walking from car park to water in my weakened state so I would be (and have been) subject to limited visits which makes the fees not-value-for-money in my case especially as there’s also Liz’s membership to take into account as she only fishes with me. So, being a member of 2 other clubs that are better for me for access, So I’m dropping that membership and Liz will also drop hers and (re-)join one of the other clubs at same cost … so effectively we will be saving over £100 from the lost memberships overall at the end of the day too.

    Bit of money that can go towards our hoped for new vehicle at the start of 2021!

    Sorry to hear that the new Tier 4 will be spoiling your Xmas plans and hope that your daughter remains safe and free of the virus!! We have friends in Kent to whom I’m their son’s godfather and its going to impact on their Xmas too! And Liz’s brother and partner moved to live in Great Yarmouth in Sept… not sure how far north of London the T4 zone covers but hope they’ll be OK esp as they initially lived in their caravan on a holiday site (Parkdean), got moved out and had to go to a hotel, but then allowed to move back to caravan in Nov and then managed to get a rent on a house … but their cats are still at the caravan and had been planned to be taken to the house in the next few days (obviously they’re getting visited and fed and watered daily!) after getting the house ready for them.

    ANYWAY… all that’s left to do now is to wish you and all your family the best Christmas possible in the circumstances and hope you all have a good New Year despite being able to fulfil your original plans … and Covid eventually becomes a memory or at least a minor inconvenience like a bad cold!!

    AND TIGHT LINES in 2021!!!!


  2. Steve

    Where to start? In no particular order:

    Thanks for keeping the posts flowing in 2020 – we’ve all needed entertaining in 2020 and you’ve ticked that box.

    I too miss Perchpuddle, but as I don’t check my stats/profile I don’t know if he has dropped me or if he just stopped posting. However, I’m glad Jackosnb1 has found you as he writes well and offers a lot of good tips

    Really good news that your health is on the upward trend.

    Not a bad idea to refresh one of your clubs, a change of scene is no bad thing. Were it not for the signing on fee I might well rotate between Christchurch and Ringwood year on year, but I feel slightly locked in!

    All best wishes for you and Liz at Christmas and for 2021 (2020 can ‘do one’ as far as I am concerned). Our daughter was plunged into tier four w.e.f. midnight so she won’t be home for Christmas so it is just the three of us at Sidestream Towers this year. Mrs Sidestream is not best pleased, but although I’ll miss the daughter a) she was determined to go sea swimming with me Christmas Day, so I’ve got out of that and b) it gives her a precedent to spend future Christmas with her fella. I’d love to see her every Christmas Day, but there comes a point where they have to make their own lives ( a view that I’m not brave enough to express out loud in Mrs. Sidestream’s hearing)



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: