Feeling a bit broken but its ok

Feeling a bit broken but its ok

A year ago I had major limb reconstruction surgery, where I had my leg broken in two places. The journey of recovery has been more difficult than I expected, but has made me really reflect on what the most important things in life are. When something is broken in this day and age we throw it away. We rarely take the time to mend anything, it’s quicker just to get a new replacement because things are not built to last in the throwaway culture of today. Recently I bought some super glue. Generally, superglue is used to fix something that is broken – the idea is to attempt to glue the…

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Faces of Humanity: My Stay in Hospital

Faces of Humanity: My Stay in Hospital

During my seven day stay in hospital as I initially recovered from my second limb reconstruction surgery, I met so many people coming into and out of my small five bay ward.  We were all having to stay in hospital either in preparation for surgery, or to be looked after post-surgery.  We were all being operated on for various reasons and we all responded in different ways –  some angry, some very upset, some always positive, others frustrated and fearful Hospital is a leveler because suffering is universal.  It did not matter that I have an OBE and they didn’t.  It didn’t matter about what job we had, where we…

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Courage does not always roar

Courage does not always roar

As some of you know I have a degenerative knee problem which requires major limb reconstruction surgery, they need to break my right leg above the ankle and knee and then attached a large circular frame with three metal rings circling my leg ankle, shin and just below the knee. These rings would be linked by twelve metal struts that would have to be moved slowly to set the bones correctly and to allow the bone to grow into the gaps created. The frame is on for around 6 months to 12 months. At the moment the operation is scheduled for the 30th June at Kings College Hospital London though…

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The Waiting Game

The Waiting Game

Sitting on the train reflecting on the future wishing I could plan. I can’t plan anything for certain more than three weeks in advance.  Yesterday we had another phone conversation with the hospital with the same familiar news; the NHS are in a crisis, operations keep getting cancelled, and there are no beds available. They still can’t give me a date for my operation even though I have been on the waiting list for over a year now. For those who don’t know I am expecting limb reconstruction surgery which involves a metal frame (called an external fixator) being attached to and through my leg for at least six months….

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I'm spiritually numb

I’m spiritually numb

Many people talk about their times of suffering as the times they have known God closest. For me, it was the opposite; just when I most needed to know God’s presence in my life, when my body, mind and spirit were taking a beating daily, I couldn’t feel him at all. In the darkest moments I wondered if God had left me. My prayers were short and desperate: ‘Please say something God. Anything.’ But there was no response. It helped to know that one of my heroes, Mother Teresa, experienced something similar. She wrote: In my heart there is no faith, no love, no trust. There is so much pain,…

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God won’t give you more than you can bear? Really?

God won’t give you more than you can bear? Really?

In June myself and my friend Singer-Song Andy Flanagan went on a tour “When Faith Gets Shaken” on the back of my book. To be honest I didn’t really know what to expect as had never done anything like this before. I had that very uncomfortable feeling and was filled with conflicting thoughts and fears: Will anyone come? Will it be helpful to people? I don’t want to come across as self–promoting yet at the same time I want people to read the book. I don’t want to be referred to as a Christian Celebrity yet I want to do the tour Argh argh what to do? I spend too…

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Showreel Time

Showreel Time

It’s come to that time of year when I need to sit down and start writing lots of talks for the summer festivals. After a year of doing hardly any talks it’s a bit strange to be back in that process but it’s nice to be in a place where I can go out and speak and I’m looking forward to meeting people again. The last year has been a rollercoaster for me and my family and sometimes I still feel unsure whether I’m coming or going. I am going back to the hospital soon to start the conversation about when I should get the second leg operated on and…

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Vulnerability: the Journey Back

Vulnerability: the Journey Back

Whilst having limb reconstruction surgery it is suggested that you meet regularly with a therapist. The consultant explains that what happens to us physically also has an effect on us emotionally and mentally. “Most people get the frames taken off and then think they are fine. But in reality, you’re still recovering,” said my therapist. I could understand what she was saying but nevertheless thought it was time to throw myself back into things, get back to how life used to be. All the jobs that I couldn’t do before I could now do; picking the kids up, cutting the grass etc, so I just went for it. I thought…

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Broken Yet Held Together – Five Months On

Broken Yet Held Together – Five Months On

Yesterday I went to a meeting with my consultant at hospital. He said that the bones in my leg had healed well and the frame could be removed the very next day in theatre. This was totally unexpected.  It’s my 40th birthday next week and Diane and I had at one time hoped the frame would be gone by then, but had recently given up hope as the date got nearer. He said he would have to make some calls and asked me to wait in reception. He eventually came back and said, “sorry but there is no space in surgery until the 25th March, but the other option is…

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