Three minute warning

Apparently, a craving for a smoke lasts between two and three minutes.

I read this a while ago and decided I needed distraction for those minutes while the clock was ticking and my mind was urging me to strike up.

I wrote a list (I am a list person) of things I enjoyed doing that I could do when the cravings hit me. Potter around cleaning my motorbike, make a drink, eat a piece of fruit or yogurt, etc, etc. If I had a gun, I could shoot someone I dont particularly like.

Each time a craving came upon me, distraction was the key to getting through it.


Day 9 – Living in a smoke free zone

It has been 9 days since my last smoke. Sighs.

Yesterday I went back to work. Probably a little too early, as I felt drained by mid afternoon

I did speak to the Living Donor centre, they advised me that my scans had been examined and the consultant has decided my sis will get my right kidney, both kidneys appear to be functioning well and equally, so I guess it makes little difference to me. I advised them of the torn blood vessel in my neck, they didnt seem to worried, though it may delay things a little. They are arranging for a copy of the MRI scan from my local hospital.

When I got home, I felt uttterly exhausted along with a banging head and a strange, gentle pins and needles sensation across one side of my head. I think my wife wanted me to go back to the doctors or ring the neurology ward, but I was hoping I just needed a rest.¬†And a cigarette. Damn insidious little things. I resisted though. And read for a while before heading to bed around 920pm. That’s odd for me, as I normally dont hit the sheets until around midnight.

When my head hit the pillow, I was out for the count. I awoke sometime after 3am, with a bad head and realised I still had my patch on.

A quick cuppa, tablets, patch in the bin and back to bed I went. I didnt wake back up until just before 8am.

Today has been a work from home day. Apart from a few deep urges to light up a ciggy, I have plodded on and got a fair amount of work done. Flagging now though, its mid afternoon and I have another hour and a half to go.

Long exposure

It’s been a while, a really long while.

For almost a decade, my camera and I were almost inseperable. And I excelled at long exposures, blurred, misty waters, night turned into day, all that kind of stuff.

Recently though, I have been uninspired. The zest and sparkle had gone out of it. I think its time to dust off the camera, clean up the lenses and do something new and different.

Dear Cigarette

I know you like to convince me that you are my best friend. That you are there both before and after each life event. And I do find myself thinking….cigarette before …. and afterwards…now a cigarette, but really, you are just an insidious little bastard.

Giving you up is a little like realising that someone who is “always there for you” is actually, always draining you, of health, money and just not giving anything much in return.

Six and a bit days…and out of hospital

Bank Holiday Monday – it is traditional for it to piss down, though it is dry right now.

Where where we. Ah yes, MRI Friday, the consultant eventually came around and let me go home, woohoo! A rupture to my neck was the prognosis, take it easy for a few weeks, take aspirin indefinitely and ring the doctor on the ward if I experience any further symptoms. There is a possibility of something dislodging and moving up to my brain which would clearly be a bad thing.

Saturday was fairly uneventful, still not smoking, I walked into town three times even though I hate shopping with a passion – just to be doing something rather than hankering after a cigarette. I also watched on of the motorbike TT videos, which to be honest, just made me feel a little down. Given the prognosis, its unlikely I should ever be subjecting my body to those kinds of stresses.

Sunday morning I did some work on the bike, changed petrol pipes as the old ones were corroded and split and balanced the carbs. I had intended changing the plugs but my plug socket doesnt reach – water cooled bike engines tend to have the plugs buried pretty deep. I think I will get it round to the bike shop later this week and get him to do a plug and oil change. I took it out for a brief spin, I know I’m supposed to be taking it easy, but I just needed a little something, an adrenaline rush if you like. Later we went out for some lunch, Mum is back from my sisters, though I’m not sure for how long. She looks tired, very tired.

Today (Monday) my alarm was set for 6am. My daughter is off to her boyfriend’s and was booked on the 635am train. She is such a grumpy bugger first thing in the morning too, I wonder where she gets that from?

As far as smoking is concerned, its been six days and almost 8 hours. Sometimes it is a breeze, other times, I could kill for one. So I work hard at distracting myself. I do feel like I am breathing easier and can smell better. And the surplus cash is going towards an upgraded bike. I am torn between something sporty like the Yamaha R1, but I know, deep down, that I dont need something that can wheelie in almost any gear and do 100mph in first and something like a Honda DL650, with its combination of dirt bike/tourer style. Not that I need to worry about which to choose just yet.


A year or so, we had two funerals in as many months. My aunt on Dads side of the family passed away after a lengthy illness. And my uncle, who wasn’t much older than me, on Mum’s side was diagnosed and passed away in a very short space of time. I wasn’t much involved in the former, but helped mum with some elements of organising my uncles funeral.

This included scanning and tidying up some old photos and locating some music.

Selecting music for my own funeral, while it may be a little morbid, is something that occasionally comes back to me. Today I’ve been listening to a fairly random selection of music on my phone. From this, I have picked the following 4 tracks I’m not 100% convinced by sailing, the others are classics:
Sarah Machlachlan – Angel
Rod Stewart – Sailing
Simon and Garfunkel – Sound of Silence
Baz Luhrmann – Sunscreen

MRI Friday

Its now Friday afternoon. Since my last post I’ve spent most of the time in hospital, waiting for various results. Last night I was moved from the transit ward 1 to the neurology ward. The staff were awesome, despite some difficult patients. One poor old chap had lost his memory and had no idea of his name or where he lived. Poor bugger.

Anyway, the neurologist came to see me before the move with the results of the catscan. A lovely lady doctor, great manner, and after an examination, she told me I’d be moved wards and sent for an MRI scan tomorrow. I pressed on the whole going home issue and she reluctantly agreed. So I spent the night in my own bed. I got home around 8pm, went for a lie down at 830 and was there for the night.

I was up early though and got some films onto my playbook and ordered some bike bits from in the hope that I will be home for the weekend.

My wife dropped me at the hospital on her way to work, she is saving her holidays for the transplant like I am.

I wandered to the shop for a magazine before going up to the ward. It was 730am and it didn’t open until 8. Seems a bit silly in a hospital.

The MRI was strange and uncomfortable. The machine is noisy (they give you earplugs) and claustrophobic. I didn’t really know what to expect. My daughter has an MRI today as well for vertigo problems so I pinged her to see if she was okay. It took about 40 minutes and then back to the ward, just in time for the doctors rounds.

The main doctor suggested I might be going home in a few hours but its now almost 4 hours later. The nurse popped by and said it didn’t look like I’m going home. I saw her a few minutes later and she said the registrar contradicted the doctor and said I might be. Who knows. Feeling a little uncomfortable waiting for the results now though.

On the up side, its been 75 hours (15 minutes and 10 seconds :)) since my last cigarrette. Apart from a few strong urges for one, I haven’t overly missed them and my breathing feels better.