How many?!

Since my last blog,plans for modifications to the superbike have been hatched. With currently less than five weeks to go, the swingarm is on its way for an extension mod and quick release wheel system. The forks are set for some Ohlins internals; an exhaust system is en route and the bike is back in around 1000 pieces with 2000 things to sort out. Once complete, I feel that this bike will be the best machine I’ve ever campaigned at the TT. If it doesn’t come together in time I have got my restored RD350LC in the garage, so I guess I could pull that out for the Senior!


So with loads of things to get sorted on the bike and time running low, my body has decided to let me down……again! I’d been feeling a bit rough with cold type symptoms for the week running up to Easter. I’d carried on cycling to work as this normally gives me a good snot clear out. After a trip out on Good Friday to watch Belle Vue speedway (read more on this later) I started shaking and generally running hot (possible head gasket fault?). I laid about all day on Saturday taking paracetamol to control my temperature and headaches –  generally I felt rough.

Come that evening after coughing up some impressive looking colours Jo suggested that I call the out of hours doctors. Obviously I’d got some kind of infection so getting started on some antibiotics would be a good move and save me feeling like death for the next 2 days before my doctor’s surgery reopened. Out of hours asked a few questions, one of which was how much paracetamol had I used? Now when I got thinking about this I’d just been popping them in every four hours. The reality that I’d been a knob and taken 7 doses in 24 hours, as opposed to the 4 dose limit, suddenly hit me. I was told to go straight to casualty to get checked out.

After a few hours messing about A&E informed me that I’d need to be admitted to a ward for 21 hours of ‘antidote’ to be administered through a drip….great news! They didn’t seem overly bothered to check the root cause of my fever, which was the reason that I had become a junkie in the first place. Sunday was spent attached to a drip on a ward. The doctor came around once to ask if I’d been up and about. I politely said that I’d been around the ward a few times. The voices inside me were screaming that I was attached by 4 feet of pipe to a pump which had 3 feet of electrical cable, every time I unplugged it to go to the toilet the battery back up flashed and it stopped pumping. I didn’t fancy prolonging the experience by going on a ten minute walk!

At 11pm Sunday the bag ran out, watching the timer tick down was like a countdown for new year, they had said that after some blood test results returned I could go home. But I’d started running hot again so suddenly it was decided that an investigation was required, all they’d looked at up to this point was my stupidity (for which there was no cure!) and accidental overdose. A chest X-ray revealed that I had pneumonia on my right lung. With this in mind they said that, with the now addition of antibiotics required to go into my body, I’d need another 16 hour bag of the antidote to be input by drip again! Now Jo wasn’t best pleased, neither was I but I played good cop as she spelled it out to the doc that all this should’ve been checked out sooner, we came in telling them there was an issue in my chest etc etc. Funnily enough as the same doctor was taking blood five minutes later it was the most painful experience of the whole hospital visit – odd that!

Night number two got started and it must’ve been a full moon in the nuthouse, old ladies screaming in the night, nurses arguing with them to get back into bed etc etc, not much sleep was had by anyone. Bank holiday Monday was spent attached to the drip again. I’ve now discovered that there’s no better way to be taught a lesson than have to sit on one of those things for 37 hours and miss the holidays! 7pm on Monday they finally let me go under strict instructions to rest. This was no chesty cough, it would take a week to clear the infection and several weeks for the lung to heal. So the Oulton park meeting is off on Saturday then? Yes, came the reply. I also asked how I keep my temp down if the fever comes back, as I’m pretty sure paracetamol is off the menu for a while! The doctor said to take ibuprofen and take my clothes off. What even if I’m in Asda??? So I’ve spent the next two days resting at home and am gradually feeling better. To be honest the pneumonia thing isn’t causing me any breathing difficulties after all I’d cycled 35 miles the day before the symptoms came out just thinking that I had a head cold.

As mentioned earlier we had a family trip out to watch Belle Vue speedway, Ted always watches the speedway GP on Eurosport. We had looked at taking him before but the meetings are generally all late evening. Fortunately the away team was Wolverhampton whose captain is world champion Tai Woffinden. Ted always shouts for “Woffi” on TV so it’d give him a point to be interested in. Just before the meeting started the pit gate is opened for the fans to meet the riders. We nearly missed the opportunity but the guy on the gate took pity on us and let us through. Ted got to meet Tai Woffinden, who was a true gent and really took his time to meet the fans and promote a good atmosphere. A proper champion! He even pointed to Ted to look at the camera as we took a picture of them both. Belle Vue won the meeting, Ted watched with intent especially when his “friend” Woffi was racing. Since then Ted said that he wants to be a world champion. Jo convinced him that he needed lots of sleep to achieve this goal. So he now goes to sleep with no problems at all, to be like Woffi!


Finally, the sexual innuendo moment of the month goes to Walt Disney (shame on you Disney!) Whilst watching ‘Frozen’, for one of the many times that Ted sat through it in a matter of days, at the point where the Princess stomps into a hay barn and demands that Christoph (the ice salesman) ‘takes her up the north mountain!’ Maybe it’s just the way my mind works but I can’t get through that bit of the film without an adolescent snigger!!

I’m looking forward to getting back on my feet this week and starting to get some jobs done on the race bikes. I’ve also got another Oset trial to run on the Sunday of the first May bank holiday. I’ll keep you posted as always.

Mackers #30

Ian Mackman