Thoughts while running…

While running or cycling I tend to let my mind wander. It’s good for my mental health, but some strange thoughts do run through at times.

The thought for this morning was my most unpleasant experience. Excluding the obvious, I settled on a medical procedure a couple of years ago. I suggest the squeamish move on now…

Still with me? You sure? OK. Here goes.

When I was four, I had surgery for a squint. I was OK for many years, but a few years ago I developed a divergent squint – my eyes pointed outwards a little. The decision was made that it would be worth revisiting the surgery to try to get better alignment. This was two years ago. The surgery is basically detaching the muscles that control eye movement and reattaching them. If you want to see there are plenty of videos of similar surgery on youtube. Just search for squint or strabisimus surgery. This isn’t the unpleasant bit yet.

As a result of the previous surgery, there was quite a bit of scarring on some of the muscles. This meant after surgery I was left with a convergent squint – a bit cross eyed.

The first treatment to try for that is an injection. Doesn’t sound too bad. The injection is into one of the muscles that controls the eye. Starting to sound a little icky isn’t it. This is done under a local anaesthetic in an operating theatre. You walk into a fully equipped theatre wide awake and look at all the kit. They wire you up as normal. They put drops in to numb the eye, and wire up your face to electrodes. You need to look forwards while doing this. Did I mention it’s in an operating theatre? Have you seen the lights they use? Can you imagine what it’s like looking up at one? It’s so bright it hurts. It is difficult to look forwards it’s that bright.

Then they ask you to move your eye so they have a better chance of getting the injection into the muscle. So you look that way. Then they come at your eye with a syringe. It’s only natural to look at the sharp pointy thing heading to your eye, with the bright-as-the-sun lamp behind it. So you go through a few cycles of look to the side, they approach and you look at the needle.

Eventually you manage to stay looking in the direction they want gripping the sides of the operating table tightly, and they insert the needle. They then have to move the needle around until they have it in the right place. That’s what the electrodes stuck to your face are for. They listen to the noise being made and wiggle the needle about they have sticking into your eye. Eventually they decide it is the right place and squeeze the botox into the muscle. They then send you off home a little while later.

A couple of dates…

Just to take the edge of the nice neat new year new start, the year opens with two significant dates. Yes – I am that unusual creature – a bloke that remembers dates!

Today marks 23 years since the day we actually met. Despite me being from Bolton and Susanne from Hindley we met in Stockport at the all dayer they used to have every year.

I have mentioned previously about not exactly being socially gifted. One thing I really struggle with is striking up a conversation with someone I don’t know, regardless of gender.

I also struggle picking up signals – positive or negative.

I had been seeing Susanne around at various events for about eighteen months and had been, er, noticing her. I was totally oblivious to the fact that for a similar time she had also been paying attention to me. I later found out that I was a regular subject of discussion in the factory, and I was asked by one or two of her friends from work what took me so long?

As I have said previously, in mitigation she was normally sitting with her parents. That filters out all bar the truly keen from saying hello. As always in Stockport she was with her Mum & Dad.

One of the main bands on that night was the Metrotones. A UK based doowop band. I had already seen the band a few times. That gave me a possible subject to talk about. You will all now be aware of my relationship with music I can talk for hours, whether you are interested or not! All I needed was opportunity.
In a way they were instrumental (geddit?) in Susanne and I getting together. A gig of theirs led to a separation from a previous girlfriend, and then Susanne and I met at one of their gigs. Two in one from the Metrotones!

Ever the subtle one, I was sitting with my friends, my back to them gazing over. When her parents got up for a dance, it was a now or never kind of moment. Fortunately, we hit it off and the rest is history.

The third of January was our first date. We had arranged to meet in Westhoughton, outside the town hall. From there it was over to The White Hart in Farnworth. There was DJ on playing Rock N Roll. Strangely for me, I was rather distracted from the music that night!