Tuesday, 16 August 2011

My Cefiro #10: Dust, cobwebs, hospital and wheelchairs

This post by far covers the least active and most unpleasant period of time I've owned the Cefiro. As I mentioned in the previous post, soon after the respray, my health problems got to the point where I was not really able to drive. 

In the middle of July, I got worse and was admitted to hospital for ten days, due to the nausea being so bad I couldn't eat or drink enough to get adequate nutrition or stay hydrated. Which is a lot less fun than it might sound, see this post for more details: http://carscameraschronicillness.blogspot.com/2011/06/my-story-hospital-2010-1.html

I was still very unwell when I came home, so the Ceffy continued to sit in the garage, waiting for me to drive it again. The next couple of months consisted mostly of lying down and trying to eat a fairly marginal amount of food, and barely having the energy to sit up for more than a few minutes at a time.

August 18th, 2010.

I was missing being able to drive the Ceffy, so in early September I borrowed a battery charger from my Uncle Paul, and hooked it up for a couple of days to resuscitate the battery. As you can see in the photos, there were already a few spiders making the Cefiro their home.

September 11th, 2010.

So after giving the charger a couple of days to do its thing, I lowered myself into the driver's seat, with my Canon Powershot camera running video next to the exhaust. After not being driven properly for several months, I wasn't sure what to expect, or if it would even crank over and run properly after 6 weeks of sitting silently in the dust.

Surpisingly, the engine came to life as soon as I turned the key, and settled into a smooth but high idle within 10 seconds or so.

I let the engine warm up for a few minutes, and then slowly eased it out of the garage and onto the road. Just hearing it idling was nice, but it did feel good to actually drive it again. I was still rather weak at this point, and the clutch on the Ceffy is pretty heavy, so after gingerly driving it around the block a few times, I headed back home and nosed it back into the garage again.

Just the exertion of that short drive took the rest of my spare energy, and I spent the rest of the day lying down trying to recover. While I was obviously very unwell, I thought getting the car running again was a step in the right direction towards recovery.

Little did I know that I would not be well enough and able to drive it again until June 6th, 2011.

While being somewhat stable in a way for a couple of months, at the end of September, my digestive system pretty much decided that it didn't want to have to go to the effort of moving food through my body. Obviously this led rather quickly to me being hospitalised again. And if I thought the previous hospital visit was pretty awful, it paled in comparison with the torturous 7 week hospital stay I was about to endure.

Just as a warning, there are a few medical-ish photos below if you're sensitive to that sort of thing.

With my upper digestive system basically closed for business, I had to have a naso-gastric feeding tube inserted into my stomach. while completely awake and alert. It was a pretty horrific experience, and it actually felt a lot worse than I imagined it would, so whatever you think it might be like, it's worse. It's hard to describe, but the sensation was like someone was coiling up a rope in my throat and all the way down to my stomach, and strangling me while I was gagging, choking, coughing and being unable to breathe. Both my girlfriend and my mum had to leave the room after the first 30 seconds of attempting the insertion.

As you can see in these photos my girlfriend Sally took on her phone in early October, I'm not exactly the picture of health.

So I went from having some nice wheels to drive in the way of owning the Cefiro, to being relegated to a hospital bed and wheelchair for a couple of months. 

I was around 63kg at the start of 2010, but by late October my weight had plummeted to 50kg. After spending weeks with the naso-gastric feeding tube rammed down my throat, the doctors decided the best long term option for me was to have a jejunostomy. Which essentially involves surgically implanting a feeding tube directly into the jejunum, which is below the stomach, as my stomach wasn't working at all really.

About a week after the surgery and once I'd stabilised a bit, I was finally able to go home in late November. I really wasn't any better, but after the surgery there really wasn't much else they could do.

The next few months I felt too sick and weak to do anything at all, besides lie in bed trying to make it through to the next day. It wasn't until February that I even took any more photos of the Ceffy, when one of my friends dropped round in his JZX100 Toyota Chaser.

February 3rd, 2011.

 Checking out my hellaflush spiderwebs.

March 7th, 2011.

Gathering yet more dust, webs and associated plant debris.

May 26th, 2011.

By this point the whole car was coated in a layer of dirt and dust, peppered with some paw prints from nearby cats. I was also wondering if I would need some sort of winch to pull it free from all the cobwebs connecting the chassis to the ground. 

I managed to very slowly pick up some strength in the first few months of 2011. At the end of May, I was still extremely sick, but was able to contemplate being able to drive the Cefiro again, so I made a post on Performance Forums to ask about getting it running again. It hadn't even been started since that brief drive in September, so I wasn't sure how much I might need to do to get it back on the road.

Coming up in Post #11; Bringing it back to life.

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