James’ News & Progress – 15 May 2009

With Mother’s Day (in Australia) falling on the second Sunday of May, I knew ahead of time what I would be doing last weekend. Following a sensational Thai meal with friends in the Eastern suburbs (this means they live on the other side of the Sydney Harbour Bridge to me) on Saturday night, Sunday was spent showing Sarah some of the harbour culminating with lunch on the foreshores looking back on the city. Then it was over to my aunt and uncle’s house which was conveniently located up the road for a big family dinner with plenty of attention to the mothers around the table. As usual, an amazing spread was devoured by all and sundry with my belt desperately needing loosening by the end of the evening!

Monday evening I was lucky enough to spend an hour or so with one of the most inspirational people I have met to date. John Maclean is the only man, able-bodied or otherwise, to have swum the English Channel (more people have climbed Everest) and complete a Hawaiian Iron Man (first paraplegic to do so). In addition John represented Australia in two Olympic Games with a silver medal in Beijing last year. Not only is he an exceptional athlete but also a very humble person and great guy. For me, he is living proof that greatness can be achieved after any injury, although unfortunately I think I have missed the cut off for the Hawaiian Iron Man this year!

On Wednesday it was time for me to go for my second round of Botox injections which are done specifically to reduce spasms in some of my more over active muscles. In this case I have had two muscles in each calf and a muscle in each forearm injected with almost maximum doses. In theory, these should assist with my balance when upright and help with my extension through the wrists. I should be able to confirm or otherwise in coming weeks as they take up to two weeks to take effect and last up to three months.

I am happy to report that my needle phobia seems to be waning somewhat as I even managed to slip in the flu jab (after putting it off three times) at the end of an injection intensive week. Maybe I should not get too cocky though given my blood test scheduled for Monday.

Wish me luck ……