Thursday, 16 November 2017

Autumn in Japan.

   Whenever I am asked - "When is a good time of year to be in Japan?" - my answer is always the same - "Any-time of year is a good time to be in Japan. But some times are better than others. Like Spring and Autumn".

   Yesterday I went for one of my regular 'Bookrides into Kyoto' to check-out what my favourite second-hand bookshop had of interest. As it's been some time since I took this particular route - Yawataohashi Bridge along the Ujigawa River to Rokujizo. Then the Yamashiro River to the Biwako Canal and into the city - and, as it was Autumn, I took my time so I could take-in the beautiful colours that are abound at this time of year. And I wasn't disappointed. I realised how fortunate I was to be here in Japan, a country that is bursting-at-the-seams with scenic delights.

   The previous day, Tuesday 14th November, I had another appointment with the Opthamologist. He is still a bit confused as to exactly what is my problem and to find an appropriate diagnosis. He mentioned how unusual it was for my eye to return to near normality. Which impressed me, somewhat. He prescribed me more medication and made another appointment in another month. He wants to do another test to gauge my peripheral vision. And possibly another injection in my eye. I wish he hadn't mentioned that last comment.

   I have become use to the obscured vision in my left eye. The discomfort in my forehead, when I squint my eyes, has lessened. But, I still have to remind myself, when approaching an intersection, to make sure I observe what is on my left.

   Since my last post, I have been on two outings where I was accompanied by one other. On the 1st November we hiked a section of the 'Kyoto Trail', a trail that partly circumnavigates Kyoto City. It was my first hike since my medical problems arose. It felt great to be out on foot and I handled the occasion excellently.

   As always, when hiking in this area, there is plenty of great scenery and many photo opportunities.

   Four days later, on the 5th, my wife and I decided on a short bike-ride, which ended-up being a marathon 30km ride, to check-out a cafe at Makino, before making our way through Yawata City and finishing-up at Starbucks. 

   I am eager to get back into the swing of things. Later this-morning, when I have completed this post, I want to go for a short ride to check-out a few cycle shops in the area - my cycle computer has packed-up and needs replacing - in the hope I am ready for a long ride tomorrow. My friend, who I went hiking with a couple-of-weeks ago, is keen to do another section of the 'Kyoto Trail' and I have another hike I want to do. Hopefully these can be completed before the Winter snows arrive.

So, until next time,



Tuesday, 24 October 2017

The Aftermath Of Typhoon-21.

   For the best part of the past three weeks, whenever I have looked out the window, all I saw was grey skies and/or rain. This-morning I pulled-back the drapes to be greeted by blue skies and the sun.

   The weekend of the 21st & 22nd of October the 21st typhoon of 2017 came-ashore after gaining strength out in the Pacific Ocean. As-soon-as it struck land - the islands of Okinawa - it then turned right and made it's way up the East Coast of Japan, dumping and enormous amount of water on the country. In the area near where I live, there are four major rivers - the Kizu, Uji and Katsura and, when they converge, they become the Yodo River. It's always exciting, after a storm of this magnitude, to head-out on my bike and check the damage. 

   In my last post, Reflection, I mentioned how my mood had deteriorated and how I was feel low. When the weather forecasters predicted that today would be fine, I needed no encouragement to get out and blow the cobwebs off my body, and my bike. My course, a regular course of 64km,would follow the four rivers mentioned, and I made sure my smartphone was fully charged so I could take any photos of interest. I felt invigorated and today's ride was going to be a good one. 3.5-hours after leaving home, I returned feeling on top-of-the-world. And, much to my joy, no ill side-effects.My bike will need another wash as, with all the sediment left behind after the water receded, it is very dirty. Today's ride has given me the impetus to take advantage of the fine weather predicted for the coming week.

   Last-night my wife and I talked about the many questions we have for the doctor, when we next meet on the 14th November. Over the past several months some things have been happening concerning my body. A website I read hinted that these may have been symptoms of Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy - tenderness of the scalp & malaise. Today's ride was also good as I felt I am getting better used to the weakness in my left eye, and adapting to the difference between the two.

   About this time of night, 7pm-to-8pm, when my wife is at work, I like to take a stroll through the neighbourhood. Just as I was about to set-off, I discovered it was raining. Maybe tomorrow for that stroll.

   I shall now share a few images from today's ride.


   This is the Kazuya Bridge that crosses the Kizu River. It is the oldest wooden bridge in Japan. It is unique, in that the platform, that spans the bridge, is not attached to the pylons. But, instead, each segment is held together by a strand of steel rope. So, whenever a flood of this magnitude, the platform separates and is washed-down river, to be salvaged and re-attached later. On this occasion the pieces have remained attached to the main structure, the first time I have seen this in the five times the bridge has been damaged since I came to Japan 13-years ago.

   This is the car-park next to the Uji River. Most days this space is nearly full of vehicles of picnickers, walkers, cyclists, and many other.

   To the left in the image, is a peninsular that separates the Kizu and Uji Rivers. The confluence of the three rivers is at the top of the image.

   As I was making my way down the true right of the Yoda River, I encountered this sad sight. A fish caught in the flood unable to make it back to the river. 

   About a hundred meters further back, I had to cycle through a half-meter of water, as I was making my way through it, I could see many fish caught, separated from home.

   This is the Yodo River from the Hirakata bridge. As can be seen, the river would have flooded, stretching across both sides. 

Thursday, 19 October 2017


   My last post - Murphy's Law - was a lighthearted description of the events of the 17th.

   For the three weeks leading-up to the 17th, and the two days since, I have spent many hours reflecting, covering the many aspects of my life. Yesterday I went for a short bike-ride - 40km x 3-hours - and, as I was in cruise mode, took the opportunity to take-in my surroundings. Although I have cycled this course many-many times over the years, I am still in awe of how very beautiful this planet is, and how fortunate I am to be able to appreciate & admire it.

   I regard myself a realist and avoid taking life, in whatever shape or form, for granted. I know, when I am with my lovely wife, or sitting atop a mountain, that one day I won't be here to appreciate it. So, during those three weeks, I looked at what I can do that, when my time comes to leave this life, will make others transition less stressful. Although I find this discussion easy, others find it not so. I need to tread carefully.

   In my blog - The Story So Far - I talked about the two possible diagnosis presented by the doctor - Neuromyelitis Optica and Giant Cell Arteritis - but, after Tuesday's consultation, it seems Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy  is the conclusion reached. And, after reading the information, my symptoms fit the symptoms detailed in the link.

   Another link I accessed was information regarding the medication I have been prescribed - vitamin B12. I know I said earlier that this was a mistake, but there are symptoms I am experiencing and am curious to know if they are related to the medication. 

   Last-night, and again during today, I have been experiencing bouts of low mood. Like most people, I don't like being sick. Even a cold or headache drives me up the wall. But this illness isn't going to go away quickly. Although the information says there is a good chance of a full/near full recovery, I am also aware my illness may be around for some time, this is backed up by the amount of medication I have been prescribed.

   This bout of wet weather isn't helping my cause either. I realize how long spells of rain can test the best of us, but not being able to get-out on my bike or hiking or, for that matter, any exercise, lowers my state of mood too. Today a Facebook Friend of mine invited me to join him on a hike. Although I didn't turn his offer down, instead I had to ask him to wait until I improved.

   Tomorrow, Friday 20th, and a predicted break in the rain. Albeit for one day. My plan, all going well, is to give my bike a long-overdue clean, a trip to the library, and a short bike-ride.


Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Murphy's Law.

   Basically, what can go wrong, will go wrong. And that, of all days, is exactly how the day began.

   After sitting on tenterhooks this past three weeks, today was the day all my results would - I hope - be in. As my first appointment was for 08:30am, and Tuesday being laundry day, I decided to do my first load on Monday night, hang-it inside, then, do a second load Tuesday morning (the forecast was for rain). All went to plan. That was until the laundry pole collapsed, just as we were leaving, and we had to rush around and re-hang it on another frame. We were only delayed by 5-minutes and, as it was a 20-minute drive to the hospital, it was felt we still had tons-of-time. Wrong. Very Wrong. As it was raining, other commuters decided to take their cars to work, and the 20-minute drive turned-into a 1-hour drive. 

   08:30am at a Japanese outpatients clinic can be pandemonium and my first queue seemed to stretch for several meters. I managed to cheat and went to another desk to check-in. Then to the Ophthalmology department, where I was given the news that the doctor I was booked to see, was off due to a family situation - the day before the hospital phoned my wife but, as the number wasn't registered in her phones directory, and they couldn't leave a message, the number was ignored. I was asked if I would like to re-book. By now I am looking skyward and thinking "I'm Doomed". But, all was not lost. There was another equally-qualified doctor on duty and would I like to see him?

   But, as the saying goes - 'Every cloud has a silver lining'. After going through the preliminary tests - eye-drops, eye-test, eye cleaning, x-ray - I walked-into the doctors cubicle. First the x-rays and, when compared with the same images taken 3-weeks ago, there was an obvious improvement, which I confirmed from my experiences of this past week. Then the biggie - the blood test results. All checked-out and was well-within all limits. The cause? To quote something we all say, at my stage in life - I'm not getting younger. Although my blood results were good, I need to take-on more fluid so my blood doesn't get too thick and, as a consequence, not cause problems like the sort I experienced. 

   But, even better news, I'm okay to resume my outdoor activities. And, within moderation, enjoy a beer from time-to-time.

   Tonight, I sit here trying to take-in all that has occurred this past 3-weeks. I'm not entirely out-of-the-woods. I still need to return to outpatients for regular check-ups. Now, after three weeks with limited exercise, I need to get back on track and back in condition before the onset of winter. But first, I need to wait for this damn rain to stop.



Monday, 16 October 2017

Closing-in On The 17th.

   I am now within 24-hours of learning my fate, I hope, and I don't think I am kidding myself when I say - "I am beginning to feel nervous". I made the mistake last-night of checking the website for information regarding the two options regarding my diagnosis.My mind went into overdrive but, thankfully, I had a good sleep and arose to a new day and this weeks housekeeping.

   But lets go back to Thur' 12th & Fri' the 13th. The 13th is our wedding anniversary so my wife booked us into 'Grax' (Map Location), a campground that has everything provided. This was our third trip here and it is always great to go camping without having to lug your own gear. The rain didn't dampen our enthusiasm and we were able to relax and chill-out.

   So, tomorrow. I have an 08:30am appointment and, unlike my first trip to the outpatients clinic, I hope it is the only one. That way I can head to Starbucks afterwards for a large latte and a good book to read, while my wife is shopping.

   It is still raining outside, which is a pain, as I like to go for a short stroll at this time of night. So I just have to find another source of relaxation. Maybe that book.



Tuesday, 10 October 2017

"Back On The Road Again".

   After my tentative rides last week - a 30km followed by a 10km - I was pleased my limbs didn't react and I was able to get a good nights uninterrupted sleep. So, last Saturday 7th, and again today, I decided to clock-up some serious kilometers and see how my body responded. Saturday's ride was one of my 'Bookride to Kyoto' outings. This is an easy 60km ride, following the Yodo, Katsura and Kamo Rivers into my favorite bookstore in Kyoto. Today's 65km ride was a circuit I often do, where I make my way to Seika Town, connect with the Kizu River and follow it to Yawata, then the Yodo River to Hirakata and home. The first section is a series of three hill-climbs, with the remainder flat. Tomorrow I might do a short 10km ride to a shopping center for supplies for this weekend. With the weather forecast for next week for wet conditions, I can't see myself getting out much, if at all.

   Over the past few days I have noticed a slight improvement with my eye. The vision doesn't seem to be as obscured as what it was when the problem first appeared. With my right eye being the best of the two, I still rely on it and have to take extra precautions, especially when crossing an intersection. In the past a slight move of my head was sufficient, but these days, I have to anti-rotate the top half of my body. Difficult when on a bike. Sometimes, when I am squinting my eyes, especially when the sun is low or I am trying to focus on something, I get this pain in my forehead. But, when I met with the doctor, he asked me if I am experiencing any discomfort that area of my head.    

   The 17th, and the blood test results, is only a week away. But it may as well be a year. Although it's been two weeks since all this began, and it just seems like yesterday, I can't tolerate the anxiety of waiting. I occupy myself with getting my nose into a good book, watching t.v, planning & executing an outing, but I just can't get that date out of my head.

   Later this week my wife and I are off for an overnight gramping. Located next door is an Onsen with indoor swimming pool. Hopefully some images to share in my next post. So, until then - 



Friday, 6 October 2017


   Commencing from the first week of September, and continuing through to the first week of November, I take a BIG breath and hold it.

   October is the month full of anniversaries. Of one sort or another. It commences on the 4th with my birthday. The 13th is our wedding anniversary, and the following day is my wife's birthday. Somewhere around this time, my niece, from my oldest brother, was born, along with the two children from my other niece, from my second-oldest brother.

   Then there are the less-celebrated anniversaries. Both my parents died in October, along with my cousin.

   In early September 2015, my step-sister was readmitted to hospital with a recrudescence of her cancer, after being in remission for 18-months. One of my first thoughts, and please don't take this the wrong way, was that this was going to be another October anniversary to mark off on the calendar. She passed-away on the 12th September.

   Now here we are back in October 2017, and this time possibly another anniversary to be marked-off on the calendar. It 's going to be a very-long remaining 25-days. Actually the next 11-days will be longer, as I wait for the, hopefully, final diagnosis as to what is wrong with me.

   Again I am faced with the recurrence of the tricks that the mind can play. On Wednesday I went for my first bike-ride in two weeks - normally I try to get out 3-to-4 times a week - and, in situations when I miss my regular ride, I don't play catch-up but recommence with a short ride. On this day, 30km. I went for a short ride again last-night, 10km. On both nights, when I was in bed, I had problems with all my limbs. They were very restless and affected my sleep. In the past year I have noticed this happening many times and have put it down to my age. But the question I have been asking myself, is this linked in any way to the problem with my eye? Seeing as the doctor has linked it to being M.S. related.

   I miss it, when I can't get out for a bike-ride, or hike, and I tend to get a bit moody. Sometimes the situation can't be helped - vis a vis the weather. As like today. Tonight I shall take note of how I sleep. Tomorrow, if it is fine, I want to bike into Kyoto City, a round trip of 60km. I'll let you know how it goes.



Thursday, 5 October 2017

My Family, and my decision not to tell them.

   If you have a family, especially a young family, or you are yet to enter the realms of parenthood, don't do this to your children. Don't do what our parents did to us. It's not fair. Whatever issues you may be experiencing, that is having an effect on your lives, don't let your children be the ones who suffer. It's not their fault. Remember, they are your children.

   I am the youngest of three boys. As children we were raised in an unhealthy environment. A psychologically unhealthy environment. As children our parents denied us the opportunity to be siblings. To grow-up loving, respecting and appreciating each other as siblings and, as we have made our way through life, our paths have taken us in the opposite direction to that of the other two. Each of us have been scarred and, to this day, we still bear those scars and deal with those awful days in our own ways. If our parents weren't satisfied with the mess they made of our lives, when they were alive, in death they both couldn't help themselves but leave us with a legacy where we would forever remain parted.

   Throughout my life I have lived with the dream that, one day, we will be united as siblings. But recently something happened, and I realized that that dream was just a fallacy. I still live with the respect and knowledge, that my older brothers are my brothers, but that is where it ends.

   I have decided to keep what is happening from my brothers, and other members of My family, and not inform them, until, if it comes to that point, after my remains have been disposed of. This is not punishment for past misdemeanors.I have mentioned this action to my wife, and I realize that she is uncomfortable with what I am asking of her. So, once things become more clearer, I will compose letters, seal & address them and have them stamped, to be posted after my remains have been disposed of.


   P.S. This is the final post of my series of catch-up posts. From here I shall compose as an occasion arises.

The Tricks the Mind Can Play.

   About 30-years ago, my doctor prescribed medication for a problem I was having with my Sinuses, a problem that has affected most of my family. The problem was Hay Fever. And it was a pain-in-the-ass. I was prescribed tablets, to relieve any infection, and nasal spray.

   At the time I was working as a Nurse-Aid in a Psychiatric Hospital. One day, soon after I commenced the course of medication, I took the opportunity to check the Drug Cards at work, for any information regarding any side-effects. BIG-BIG mistake. There were side-effects, and, within days, I was suffering from all of them. My mind was playing tricks on me. But, in saying that, I guess I will never know if the side-effects were actually happening. I have never done that again.

   I made a similar mistake the following day after the preliminary diagnoses were given - Tuesday 26th. I discovered the notes my wife had made, and found the preliminary diagnoses. I logged-into the internet to check what information was there. Soon after I remembered that day, 30-years earlier, and decided to call a halt to any further research until the 17th when, hopefully, the doctor can shed some light on what is actually wrong.

   Another trap I am wary of, is taking advice from the amateur members of the medical community. These people will always tell you - "I had the same problem", "I know best", or "I knew someone who . . . ". I won't be paying any attention to them.

   Last Monday 2nd, my wife had the day off. It was felt some Retail Therapy was the order of the day. And deservedly so. As it had been some time since my last visit to Starbucks, and I was getting-behind with my book, I knew what I was going to do for the 2-hours my wife required to check-out the latest fashions. Sitting there, and later when I was strolling through the mall, I became self- conscience. I thought people were looking at me, or at my eye in particular. Then I realised there was nothing wrong with how my eye looked. My issue is within the eye itself. As the day wore-on I began to think the 'What If' issue. What if this is a disease I have and, what if it effects how I act in public. Because, if 'What If' does eventuate, people will stare at me. I have to be prepared for that. But, as I said earlier, lets wait until the 17th.

   Another symptom I have been experiencing, and this has been occurring long before this all started, is with my limbs. About 20-years ago I had a consultation with a Neurologist regarding my limbs. His diagnosis was Restless Legs Syndrome, something I experience when it is very hot; sometimes, when we rise in the morning, my wife is rubbing her face because, during the night, I was so restless my arms were flailing-about and I hit her. I have noticed, in recent months, when I have been out for a long bike-ride or hike, my recovery isn't what it use to be, and my limbs become restless and painful. I have to ask myself, is this my mind playing tricks, or is it for real?

   Another issue I need to be wary of is Depression and/or Anxiety. I am a sufferer of both.



Wednesday, 4 October 2017

What If. . . .

   I have always firmly believed in the importance of communication. The passing of information. Something that stems from my 25-years of nursing.

   Saturday 30th. We both have the day off and decide on a day of R & R. We chose to stroll down to Yamadaike Park, a very large park about 15-minutes walk from where we live. The park has a network of paths and one can choose what terrain they want to stroll through. It is also an ideal site for that Weekend BBQ or Picnic. We packed a couple bottles of drink, some sandwiches & buns, plus the plastic ground sheet. On our way there we picked-up Azuki-chan, a 5-year old Jack Russel/Miniature Doberman cross, who belongs to Mother-in-Law. We have very fond memories of Yamadaike Park, and the many hours we have spent over the years strolling through it.

   As we are making our way to the park, I raise the topic - What If? I feel this important, as it may relieve my wife of any anxieties of what to do if a situation arises. In many countries people compile a Will & Testament so as there is no confusion as to what action to take in case . . . . Here, in Japan, this, I understand, is not common. The first issue I raise is a request that none of my family are to be notified that I am either ill, am dying, or have died (this will be covered in another post) and are not to be informed until after my remains have been disposed of. I realise this makes my wife uncomfortable so I don't pursue the discussion any further. Actually I drop the subject altogether. I feel, if it does comes to that, I shall compose a letter, address, seal and stamp it and have someone post it after.

   We enter the park through the main entrance and set-about to check-out a recently opened addition to the park. From there we make our way to an area we decide suitable for our picnic. We spend  a nice relaxing 60-minutes sitting in the shade, consuming our food & drink, and enjoying the view. The park is very busy, as you would expect of a warm, fine weekend day. From here we continue on our way around the park, exiting at the game gate we entered. Azuki-chan is returned home, not as energetic as she was when we picked her up. We arrive home, batteries recharged, put-on the jug for a coffee, and chill-out on the couch with a good book.

   Getting back to the 'What If' discussion. As-much-as I want to talk to my wife about 'What If', I need to wait until we know for sure what the diagnosis is and the prognosis. So, in the mean time, unless she raises the topic, we shall wait until the 17th October and resume the lives we were leading before that Saturday in late September.

   In my next post I want to talk about the tricks the mind can play. So, until then -


My Wife. My Best Friend. My Life Companion.

   For reasons of privacy, I shall, throughout this series of posts, refer to my wife as 'My Wife'.

   The title of this post sums-up how I feel about 'My Wife'. I am blessed to have her as my wife. She is the best friend anyone could wish for. And, as I have experienced since that day, when the first sign of a problem arose, she has been my companion and supported me throughout. In the past 17-years of our married life, I don't think a day has passed without me uttering the words - 'I Love You'.

   My Wife is a registered Nurse and works at a clinic specialising in Internal Medicine. She is very busy. The clinic is open seven days of the week and is only closed for three days of the year - the New-Year Holidays. The clinic has two surgeries per day - the morning & evening - and so the staff work a split shift. They also don't have regular days-off. 

   On Monday 25th, when I was given the news that something was seriously wrong with my left eye, and I needed to go to the hospital for tests a.s.a.p, an appointment was made for 09:30am the following day. As My Wife was on duty that evening, and rostered to work the following day, she had to hurriedly reorganise that day by swapping with another staff member so she could be with me.

   The following day, Tuesday 26th, we drove to the Outpatients Clinic at the Kansai Medical University Hospital. Hoping, like we all do when attending an Outpatients Clinic, we would be in-and-out for time for lunch. How wrong we were. It was the best part of nine hours, and we went from one clinic to another, for a whole range of tests, before returning to the Ophthalmologist for a wrap-up of all the results. Throughout, my wife supported  me and translated between myself and the doctors. No easy task, but she handled-it in a cool, calm, and collected manner. I was so very proud of her.

   Friday 29th and I had to return for an injection in my eye. This time the appointment was for 12:30pm and I was able to make my own way there. My Wife was working, but she managed to get time-off to come and support me.

   As the week drew to a close I began to notice how tired & listless she was, but she never gave-up on the support. This began to concern me, so much so, my health issues took a back-seat and I concentrated my energies on her health and well-being. I could take a rest at any time, but she had the clinic to return to, and her role as a nurse.

   So, thankfully, she had the following day off and a day of R & R. But that's another post - 'What If'.

So, until then,



The Story So Far.

   Saturday 23rd September I awoke with vision in my left eye partly clouded-over. Thinking it was a result of not enough sleep, I applied eye-drops in the hope it would clear the problem.

   The following day the condition had deteriorated, leaving me with about 10% vision. My wife & I have the day off together and decide to take a drive into the country, find a nice cafe for lunch, and take a stroll through the village. I commenced the driving and, within a short time, found it very difficult and dangerous. So I handed the wheel over to my wife.

   Monday 25th, and no improvement. It's decided I should make an appointment to see an Ophthalmologist and, as luck would have it, there is one close to where we live and that it has English speaking staff. I get an appointment for 5pm and my wife composes an accompanying letter, detailing the problem and including her phone-number. After a few tests are completed - eye-wash, eye chart test, and vision test - I am then called-into the specialists room. She does an X-ray and posts the results to check. She immediately asks me if I suffer from Hypertension. I answer no, my B.P. and Pulse have always been good. She then goes on to tell me the problem and, taking one look at the X-rays, one doesn't have to be shortsighted to see the problem. A blood vessel in my left eye had hemorrhaged and I needed to go to hospital for further tests a.s.a.p. I ask her if I could postpone the tests until the Friday as I had work commitments on the Wednesday & Thursday. She reluctantly says yes. I then go outside to phone the agency to confirm the days and bring her up-to-date with my situation. While I am doing this, the Doctor is on the phone to my wife giving her a more serious description of my problem. And, after my chat with my wife, I am forced to phone-back the agency with the news I might not be available. Understandably she hangs-up on me. The Doctor, in the mean time, phones the hospital and makes an appointment for me for the following day. I re-phone the agency and instruct her to hold-off informing the client. I may be available.

   Tuesday we arrive at the Kansai Medical University Hospital in plenty of time for my 09:30am appointment. Hoping, as anyone does when visiting an outpatients clinic, this will be short-and-sweet and we can be out of there in time to go somewhere for lunch. Oh how wrong we were. It was the best part of 9-hours and lunch was crammed in between tests. Apart from the two Ophthalmologists, there was the Neurologist, an MRI Scan and a Blood Test, before returning to the second specialist for a final diagnosis. But there was a problem. He couldn't make a firm decision as to what the problem was. There were three possibilities, one was discarded, the other two being M.S. related - Neuromyelitis Optica and Giant-Cell Arteritis but, with the results of one of the blood tests to come in, he wanted to wait before making the call. We left the hospital hungry and knackered, but our day wasn't over. We still had grocery shopping to do, I needed to get a haircut, then pick-up the prescribed medication. An appointment was made for me to return on the Friday for an injection in my eye. During the course of the afternoon I managed to phone the agency to confirm my availability for Wed' & Thur'.

   Wednesday 27th & Thursday 28th. Modelling can be a rewarding profession, not just financially, but it can be enjoyable and fun. It can also be very boring and tiring. I always take something to read when experiencing down-time. They can also be very long days. To get to-and-from the site, took me the best part of 90-minutes and required 1-bus and 2-train rides so, by 7pm that night, when I finally arrived home, my fuse was almost gone and, to add to my woes, I couldn't enjoy a glass of Shochu, thanks to the medication. The guys I worked with that day were great. They had been briefed as to my condition and were very sympathetic and appreciative for me making the effort to fulfil my obligations.

   Friday 29th, and my 12:30pm appointment at the hospital. Ever since the previous Tuesday, when the Doctor told me he was going to insert a needle into my eye, and inject something into it, I would shiver whenever I thought about it. My wife arrived just as I was going into the surgery. As the Doctor was preparing the area, I was totally relaxed, so relaxed I had no idea of any pain (although an anaesthetic had been applied) but, when he said it was over and I could sit-up, that's when it struck me and I felt nauseous and had to stay where I was. Before we left, the Doctor made an appointment for me on the 17th October for, hopefully, a final diagnosis. From the hospital we crossed the road to a very nice restaurant for a lovely lunch, before returning home for a relaxing afternoon.

   In my next post I want to tell you about my Wife. So, until then - 



An Introduction.

   My name is Ross-Barry. I am an 'Outdoorholic'. I have named myself this as I have a huge respect & appreciation for the outdoors, that is regardless of my mode or purpose for being there. Most of my experiences I like to share with anyone that is interested. Apart from the 'Social Network' sites, I have my own Blog - - where most of my experiences are posted.

   But 'My Journey. . . . ' blog is about a different experience. An experience, at this point of my life, I am not sure where or how it will end.

   Let me give you a brief explanation. I recently awoke one morning with a problem with my left eye and, two days later, I was given the news that something was seriously wrong. My next post, titled 'The Story So far', will deal in more detail with that first week.

   I have never considered myself a fitness-freak, but have appreciated the benefits of exercise without becoming obsessed. Mountain-biking, hiking and walking being my main forms of exercise. Swimming is also a favourite but, unfortunately, swimming-pools are a rarity and expensive to attend. I have always kept within my bodies parameters and listened to what it is saying to me.

   Well, that's about it in a nutshell. Sorry if it is short-and-sweet, but I have a tendency to waffle-on. I shall publish this now so I can move-onto completing my next post.

So, until then,