Wednesday, 1 September 2010

My Year.

The timeline...


T -2 Weeks

22/07/09 - Onsight F6c+ at Kilnsey (burning Lord Log off), working F7b+.
23/07/09 - 40min run comfortably.
24/07/09 - Trad puntering.
25/07/09 - 1.5 hours slog up to Kinder, more trad puntering.
26/07/09 - Redpoint first F7c - Another Choadside Attraction at The Tor.
27/07/09 to 02/08/09 - Mild but persistent lower back pain. Go running a few times, but only 25 mins due to 30'c heat in Spain.


03/08/09 - Struggling to walk, can only walk a few yards due to severe hip pain. Doctor initially diagnoses sciatica. Prescribed strong painkillers.
04/08/09 - Painkillers help but right leg swells up (later weight tests indicate 5kg of excess fluid) and has blood rash in evening.
05/08/09 - Revisit doctor who is concerned and sends me to hospital. Admitted to Ward O2, Royal Hallamshire.
06/08/09 - Doppler scan reveals extensive Deep Vein Thrombosis around femoral, iliac and pelvic veins.
07-27/08/09 - Remain in hospital with occasional days out allowed. Struggling to walk, on max dose of coedeine daily, regular injections, blood samples, and tests. Doctors keep trying to find the cause of DVTs.
18/08/09 - Worst point of the illness: hunched over, can hardly walk, difficulty sleeping, left thigh extremely painful, scared to walk 10 yards to hospital toilet. Break down and am given morphine. Things start to improve.
23/08/09 - Go swimming with my dad. I can swim quite well but it's very difficult walking to and from the pool.
26/08/09 - Have MRI Venogram, the last in very many tests I had.
28/08/09 - Discharged from hospital. Can walk a few minutes with difficulty.


T +1 Month

31/08/09 - First day out climbing! Lead 2 F6as and HVS 5a. Tiring!
01/09/09 - MRI Venogram results reveal I have a sealed vein in my chest (congenital aplaisic IVC) which has slowed the blood flow from my legs and allowed clots to form. Will be on Warfarin for life, climbing not recommended.
07/09/09 - Go swimming with Duncan Choadstable. Swim 1km for the first time ever! Can't walk up steep road out of pool so Dunc has to collect me.
12-14/09/09 - First weekend away climbing! North Wales - Lead 3 E1 5bs and 1 E2 5b, a total of 7 5b pitches. Boulder V3. Very hard walking up hill. Have to rest a lot with legs propped up.
19-20/09/09 - Second weekend away climbing! Mid Wales (Rhinnogs, yay!)- Lead 2 E1 5bs, 2 E2 5bs, 1 E3 5c. Very hard walking up hill, but can walk on flat fine.
21/09/09 - Start moving to Glasgow. Extremely difficult due to sorting out house in Sheffield, finding accomodation in Glasgow, and lots of difficulties with partner.

T +2 Months

05/10/09 - Move to temporary accomodation in Glasgow. Things still very difficult.
??/10/09 - First local climbing in Scotland at Weem. Have to rest on the 5 min walk-in and dog up a F6a+ due to general exhaustion.
20/10/09 - Go to Ratho for the first time. Rest on F6b and feel dizzy and exhausted.
29/10/09 - Finally get settled in a wee flat in Glasgow after a generally traumatic time.

T +3 Months

07/11/09 - Lads Bouldering Weekend at Hepburn. First V5 since illness.

T +4 Months

12-13/12/09 - First weekend away to North West Scotland. Amazing place with perfect winter suntraps. Lead 3 E1s and 2 E2s. T-shirt weather in December!
18/12/09 - Getting better at Ratho. Flash 2 F6cs despite (or because of?) Arctic conditions. Do falling practice.
27/12/09 to 01/01/09 - Climbing in Spain, 5 days continuously no problem, lead several F6cs. Walking uphill still desperate.

T +5 Months

09/01/10 - First time back skiing!! Did fine, cruising reds, legs a bit tired especially on lifts, but manageable.
14-15/01/10 - More skiing, fine.
22-30/01/10 - Climbing in Tenerife, 8 days continuously, 42 routes, many F6cs, a few F6c+s, and maybe 2 F7as.

T +6 Months

03/02/10 - More skiing, fine. Getting stronger at it.
07/02/10 - Attempted hill-walking, 40 mins with rests every few mins, desperate.
13/02/10 - 2nd day out trad of the year, first E3 5c in Scotland. Epic and cold but good.
17/02/10 - After various short running/walking sessions, attempt the longest time I can run. Can only manage 10 mins, down from 40 mins before DVT.
18/02/10 - Have consultation following 2nd MRI Venogram. Confirms the IVC is sealed and unopenable, and the clots are still present in my legs, blocking my pelvic veins. Prognosis is that they will likely stay sealed with minimal blood flow and the surrounding veins will have to take up the work. Will take a long time to get back to any sort of leg fitness. Get cross.
19/02/10 - Still cross. Book skiing holiday out of a mixture of passion and rage.
20/02/10 - Still cross. Do hardest boulder problem ever - first V8 - after 5 days effort. Raaargh.

T +7 Months

06-13/03/10 - Skiing in Meribel!! Best ski-trip ever. Hard and fast every day. Legs no problem (apart from a wee walk uphill to the lift in the morning), skiied as good as I ever have, including every black run in Les Trois Vallees (only Grand Couloir is tricky).
14/03/10 - Lads Bouldering Weekend. Flash V4 at St Bees and V5 at Bowderstone.
23/03/10 - Climbing outdoors at Ratho, first E3 6a in Scotland, hardest route since coming out of hospital.
27/03/10 - Out clubbing to Dave Clark and Jeff Mills. 5 hours dancing no problems. Techno, yay.

T +8 Months

??/04/10 - Climbing in Sicily. 21 routes in 4 days. Several F6cs.
??/04/10 - Climbing in Northumberland. First E4 6a since illness, although probably only E3 5c. Amazing moves though.
14-15/04/10 - Climbing in Glen Nevis. Get sunburnt in Highlands in April!! First E4 6a in Scotland, great route. Survive 30 mins walk-in to Wave Buttress.
21/04/10 - Local sport climbing, first F6c in Scotland.
25/04/10 - More sport climbing, two more diverse F6cs.

T +9 Months

01/05/10 - Improving at Ratho, 3 F7as onsight, including possibly the hardest I've climbed indoors.
7-9/05/10 - Another awesome weekend away in North West Scotland. 2 E2s, 2 E3s, 3 E4s, F6c/+, and another V4 flash. Feel great climbing and totally inspired.
15-16/05/10 - Finally get to grips with Aberdeen climbing, 4 E1s, 1 E2, 3 E3s including the hardest moves (6a fisting!) I've done on lead since illness.
22/05/10 - Hill walk in to Ben Ledi. 2 hours. Fairly desperate but lots of rests taken.
24/05/10 - Doing well at Cambussbarron, E3 6a and E4 6a, climbed fairly well.

T +10 Months

??/06/10 - Hardest walk yet - 1.5 hours up to Aonach Dubh (should be 45 minutes). Utterly exhausting. Attempted E4 6a, properly fell off due to terminal pump, total body exhausting.
??/06/10 - Long weekend in North West Scotland, 1 E1, 6 E2s, 1 E3, 2 E4s, some great challenges.
??/06/10 - Good couple of days at Creag Dubh, 2 E2s, 2 E3s, 1 E4. Walk-in possibly the hardest bit.
??/06/10 - Keep doing various good climbing, the highlight being an awesome E3 slab at Rosehearty that I got completely freaked on, pulled it together, and enjoyed a great climb.

T +11 Months

4-5/07/10 - Training at Rob's Reed. First 2 F6c+s in Scotland.
17/07/10 - Back to Weem again. Did the walk-in without resting, although collapsed with exhaustion on reaching the crag. Retro-flashed the F6a+ I dogged (F6b and badly bolted). Lead F6c slab, desperate and sketchy but did it.
24/07/10 - Rob's Reed, first F7a flash in Scotland.

T +12 Months

05/08/10 - Saw a vascular surgeon in London for a 3rd opinion. No change. There is nothing that can be done medically / surgically / chemically to improve my blood flow, my pelvic veins will remain sealed, and any blood flow will be taken up by the surrounding veins....very slowly. However we did discuss useful ideas for exercise...
08/08/10 - Afternoon at Loudon Hill, hadn't climbed trad in ages but managed a cool E3 6a with little problems.
09/08/10 - First gym CV training session - 20 mins on recumbent cycle machine and 20 mins rowing, got a good workout but almost no problems with legs!
21/08/10 - Sport climbing at Strathyre, second F7a flash in Scotland.
29/08/10 - Went for first run for ages. 11 mins with a few walking bits, as crap as ever!
30/08/10 - Redpointed first F8a (soft) - Sufferance at Dumbarton, culmination of many days effort.


That's my year since having DVT. From my first day back climbing after getting out of hospital to my most recent day out. In that time I've led trad as good as before, flashed sport as good as before, redpointed harder than before, bouldered harder than before, and skiied as good as I ever have. I can't walk to the bloody crags but when I get there....I think I'm doing pretty well :).