That’s the longest holiday I’ve ever had.  Nearly four weeks out of the country and a convoluted route home to maximise cheaper air fares.

And before I book anywhere else it’s right to take stock of my overall health situation.

My ability to shift a large suitcase around is a concern.  Lifting it strains my back.  Rolling it from terminal to taxi/hotel is also a challenge.  Ahead of Australia I need to review my definition of “pack light” and pack lighter.  I won’t have Chris helping me out next time.

I’ve woken this morning with very limited ability to bend.  The open suitcase I’ve left on the floor has numerous items left in it where I’m struggling to bend down and reach.   I’m hoping my body will become more flexible as the day progresses.

Monday sees a  CT scan that, as well as focusing on my lungs, will also look at my lower back and pelvis.  This will hopefully explain why I suffer frequent low level back pain that has recently re-added sciatica to its list of symptoms.

Siting down for long periods currently causes less coccyx pain than it used to though.  But anything over an hour in the same position is uncomfortable.

Naproxen, paracetomol, the occasional tramadol and occasion amytriptoline are needed.

I’m still deaf in my right ear, as a result of Bell’s palsy.  I need to get my GP to refer me to a hearing specialist as it seems my eye clinician isn’t allowed to do that himself.  The palsy itself is now ten months old.  Nose bleeds, eye pain and difficulty talking are ongoing issues.  I still have to tape my eye up nightly to protect it while it remains open 24/7.  My eye drops are useless.  The prescribed eye lubricant is excellent along with wearing shades to keep light out.

My other issue is the ease of which I pick up aches and strains.  My right shoulder seems to have overstretched and it hurts like hell when I cough.  And then there’s the worry that it’s not the shoulder, it’s a pain in my lung deteriorating.  The CT scan will hopefully remove that thought.

As long as the stiffness wears off I consider myself fit to fly again.  I’ll rest for a couple of days and then work out a radical route to the USA West Coast!

Flight Twelve: Preceded by News of a Cancer Death