Well what a haul! I was admitted a week ago today and transferred from Southmead to here in Frenchay where I had major surgery on my spine on Friday. Was in theatre for several hours – basically the top half of my spine in now encased in titanium supports and screwed together. The surgical team express delight with results so far and are extremely up beat about everything. Friday and the weekend were very much a blur and I cannot remember much about any of those days at all. Monday I was keen to try and get out of bed but was unable to manage until Tuesday, when I was able - thank God - to sit out for several hours. Wednesday was a step forward in that I managed to not only to visit he bathroom but also utilise its facilities – least said the better!!! The pain which has been kept under control by a cocktail of drugs including morphine seems to be subsidising though I remain sore and stiff with a 12 – 14” scar on my back and a large packing dressing – still it is getting better. Today out of bed for most of the day – visits to the bathroom and two strolls up the length of the ward on crutches – no pun intended but big strides forward!I 've had visits today from physiotherapists who are working hard to get me back on my feet – and also an occupational therapist who also will assist me back to normality. A lot of dedicated caring people who are doing a fantastic job on my behalf. We have spoken today to the surgeon down the line who still has to operate on thy thyroid and also to the the radioiodine treatment people and glad to report that all is still on track – so even with the delays we’re on schedule still. Moments of despair do creep in from time-to-time, but other people have beaten worse than this, and I certainly intend doing my level best to reclaim my life for my family and myself as well as so many others who are encouraging me on this awful journey through a whole gamut of emotions, hopes and fears. It is frightening putting so much of one’s life in to the hands of others and being so completely dependent upon them – not just the surgery, but basic personal hygiene, pain management, food, drink and even movement. But they’re a great professional team and I have cause to be very grateful. Thanks repeated to many who send greetings, cards and messages – those who have been to the hospital and are supporting in so many ways – not least my employers COMBATSRESS and my livery company the Coach Makers and Coach Harness Makers. I can only express my gratitude and that of my family in a very inadequate but nonetheless heartfelt voice of thanks.