Of Free Healthcare and Exercise (benefits of)

On 27th May 2012 I crashed my bicycle all by myself resulting in a snapped femur, a rather badly broken collarbone and numerous scrapes etc. I was rapidly scooped off the road by an ambulance crew (there were 3 ambos in total, but that is a story for another day) and delivered to the John Radcliffe A+E which, rather fortuitously it happens, is a designated trauma Centre for SE England. I then had a 6 hour operation performed by the President of  the British Trauma Society no less. Isn’t the NHS a great thing? Nye Bevin, you rocked. Net result; one shiny new Dynamic Hip Screw and a chunk of temporary metal in the shoulder. Only down side is that DHS isn’t titanium. Still, it was ALL FREE. Even the morphine. Now there is a drug I could happily develop an addiction too. Gosh, it didn’t hurt and I remember very little. Government supplied pharmaceutical grade heroin. What’s not to like about that? Overall I am a pretty happy customer.

Oh yeah, I was a shocking state when I left the hospital. I had a four-footed cane, had lost 3/4 stone, couldn’t even lift my leg up from the floor and could barely do anything for myself and was forced to be waited on hand and foot. Sounds cool but like international business travel it wears thin pretty quickly. I like to do things for myself. It’s a control thing. In the interests of completeness I also have pretty mild MS – doesn’t really bug me so I don’t count it. Nor should you.

Soooo, much physio (thank you BUPA – the NHS is not so hot on follow-up) etc and I am getting better. I still walk with a roll though it is getting slowly better. I am terrible at doing the exact exercises instead preferring to “do stuff” that works the muscles in question.

Yesterday was my best expression of that yet. I cycled an entire and very hilly 65 mile sportive w. no stopping, walking or any other form of wimping out. The words of a pretty hardcore friend kept running through my head. To whit: “Dry your eyes, Princess”. The last third was pretty heavy going as the most exercise I had done in the preceding time was a couple of short (12 mile) rides into Oxford from home. Zappi’s Gran (Medio in my case) Fondo was the event I took part in. Not only are the benefits physical but the mental rush upon completion and even now is pretty powerful. I want more. Gimme more. Indeed, it’s hands down better than morphine.

I reckon that more people would have better lives if they got up off their backsides and indulged in a little activity that pushed them. They’d be pleasantly surprise. How much taxpayers money is wasted on our wonderful NHS because some people don’t, in the words of my mate, “Dry your eyes, Princess” and push themselves just a tiny bit, once even?

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