Firstly, I would like to thank you for your cards, gifts of flowers and messages of good will over the last few months. They have given me great joy and comfort during this time of recovery from surgery. My surgeon had warned me that I could expect to be five days in hospital and three months before I would be back to my usual self. As usual, I thought that was a bit too long and I would soon be up and out of bed. “The surgery is the easy the bit, the tricky part is recovering” were his words and now I understand what he meant and why the time scale was more realistic. So secondly, Brian asked if I would give you an update on how things are going.
It seems an age ago since the operation on the 10th February. I had agreed to undertake the microvascular decompression procedure on a short notice basis following the good advice of many of you who had better experience of how the John Radcliffe works but I didn’t realise that it would be quite so quick. I was rung on the 9th to go in the next day. The operation went very well and a large blood vessel was tied back to stop it aggravating the ganglion within my brain and causing the facial pain of trigeminal neuralgia that I have been suffering from for 17 years. The scar behind my right ear is healing and the small strip of hair that was shaved is growing back.
The recovery has been slow and was set back at first by a bad virus that made me very ill and lose even more weight but I am now much improved and daily out of my bed. Lent this year is definitely not about abstention but about preparation for the joy of Easter to come. The children love the fact that I permanently have a large bar of chocolate to share with them. It is with deep joy that all sense of pain has left the right side of my face. The constant lightening shocks that prevented me from speaking, eating or touching any part of my face had become such a daily depressing reality that I still can’t quite believe it. It is with some trepidation that I am slowly lowering the buffer of medication which has masked the chronic condition for so long. But as the weeks go by the notion that the pain may have ceased becomes more and more a reality. I have been warned that this procedure is not necessarily a cure but pray that maybe it is.
Finally, I would like to thank the churchwardens Brian, John, Robin, Richard and Robert especially for being brilliant at this time and to all those who have stepped in and taken on the responsibilities of running the church, to Mark and all the clergy and ministers who are helping with services and to the whole church community for their loving kindness and patience. I hope to be back with you by the 1st June. But most of all thank you for your prayers which have held me during this time and upon which I have come so much to rely.