My last blog post started with a morning spent inside a MRI scanner followed by a little outdoor activity, albeit not including any mountains! Since that blog post, my knee troubles have stayed on a steady plane, not getting any worse but certainly not getting any better!
At my post scan consultation I was certain I would be told about another meniscal tear and how surgery would solve the issue…. I was right about the second part but not the first…. Apparently the fragments that showed up on the X ray and subsequent MRI findings pointed to pieces of bone (and cartilage) floating around in my knee and defects in my femoral Condyle. A condition called OCD! (not that OCD though! (OsteoChrondritis Dissecans !). Probably better explained by following this link-
So I am currently waiting on a date for surgery, however although I am not able to go into the hills, my requirement for outdoor adventure (or should that be an OCD addiction!) is currently being satisfied by my kayak.
Last week we had a morning free so we headed to the shores of Loch Lubnaig in the Trossachs. The weather was to be cloudy but more importantly for the loch – no or little wind. This indeed turned out to be the case and an inky black mirror awaited us as we unloaded the cars and fought through the midge to get the boats on the water.
This therapeutic intervention was exactly what the doctor had ordered! A fine paddle to the northern shore saw us taking in the fish rising as well as a magnificent Osprey who was also taking an interest in the fish rising! A couple of Highland Coos were also taking an interest in our activities (them horns really are quite big!).
The surrounding mountain tops were hiding behind some low cloud today but the outdoor fix was satisfied. Given that I could be out of action until Christmas (dependent on how the surgery progresses) I am very glad to be able to utilise these boats, however I am not sure how long they will substitute for the high tops -…perhaps my other OCD (Obsessive compulsive Disorder;)) for the high wild places will remain subdued by the Scupper Pro ;)…. Time will tell….
This morning I sat for 30 minutes looking at the ceiling with my lower body inside a circular machine which sounded like it had a jack hammer inside. Listening to the radio , I found the experience strangely calming, strange given the noise from the MRI scanner.
It’s now been nearing two months since I’ve been to the mountains proper but following today’s scan I am hoping that the next consultation will enlighten me as to when I can get out and play next. In the interim I have been glad of the purchase I made a few years ago. Around three years ago we travelled down to the Lake District in search of a kayak called a Scupper Pro. After a paddle round Derwent Water we headed north with our new purchases attached to the roofs. An excellent sit on top kayak, these boats have provided us with some great adventures since they accompanied us north across Hadrians Wall, and now they have been invaluable in enabling outdoor adventures to continue following a knee injury…..
A glimpse of summer was promised a few weeks ago so we headed towards the eastern shore of Loch Lomond with Island hopping on the mind. We eventually left from Sallochy Bay on a sunny day with a fresh breeze. It was great to get out again and as we paddled north up the Loch the Bulk of Ben Lomond started to dominate the horizon to the east. The weather and views were great and we crossed the loch to hug the western shore and headed towards a spot from some Al fresco dining. Inchlonaig’s northern shores looked inviting and we landed on a sandy beach with a grand panorama looking north.
A fine lunch was enjoyed and a compelling soup quiz was had on the beach.
The wind direction had varied depending on our position on the loch, in fact it had gone from a SW to a Northerly as we headed further north on the loch. As we left Inchlonaig the SW was picking up, giving us a grand help back towards Sallochy. However the wind had also caused the waters to become a little more choppy and we had to work hard to get back without any dramas!
Back at the bay the sun was starting to haze as the high cloud started to move in from the west……..
A few weeks later (yesterday) and I left the hospital knowing the next adventure was a short drive away;) Still unable to go up anything resembling a mountain, I headed to Fife for some water sports on the kayaks and also the SUP. The sea was choppy so a paddle round the harbour and up the Kinness Burn was the order of the day. After a spell in the kayak , I decided to give the SUP a shot. My knee didn’t like it too much , however the rest of me did. The few times I’ve been on the SUP , I really have not enjoyed the experience, but something changed today, I seemed to enjoyed it (when I blocked out the pain from the knee!!). Maybe a new pursuit beckons, but I am starting to miss the mountains……… Hope he news from the scan is good and something can get sorted soon!
Some thoughts and reports from my outdoors activties...