Stu's Stories as at 2022

70 | P a g e (This was written in 2014 in anger after my (then) doctor refused to listen to me and arrange for a cortizone injection in my knee. Told me everything was worn out. It was worn out 60 years ago! I sacked him!) Story of a “Pig-headed So-and-So!”– Me! I contracted Polio at age 15! When I went back to work (age 16) I had a journeyman tell me I was a “pig-headed so-and-so”. After thinking about it, I went back and told him I agreed with him. My right leg was wasted and I walked with a slight limp and, every now and then, would collapse with intense chest pain. I went back to outpatients for treatment, and after about an hour or so walked out telling them their treatment was going to leave me a cripple for life as they insisted on forcing the muscles. As I reached the entrance, the hospital administrator was waiting (they must have called ahead). He looked down his nose at me and said: “You walk out that door now, don’t come back!” I looked him up and down and told him I wasn’t coming back to have him cripple me. The “pig-headed so-and-so” strikes again! I lived at Coogee Bay in Sydney and swam every morning across the bay between the two points. Being new to Sydney I didn’t know I was swimming out in some of the (then) most shark infested water around Sydney. Maybe the sharks took pity on me and let me be, as I never saw any. However, the result was that within 12 months of this plodding along in the ocean, the leg had filled out until, instead of 4” difference, there was only ¼” difference between the two legs. When my GP told the hospital, their answer was: “oh, well, he couldn’t have had polio.” I guess I was ahead of the times…I had used a huge hydrotherapy pool to build the muscles back up. I still had my battles. Every so often I would collapse with intense pain in my chest; so severe I could not breathe. Lying on the ground, trying not to breathe because of the intense pain it caused, I would eventually start to black out. Once this happened, the muscles would relax, easing the pain, and I would start breathing again. Doctors couldn’t tell me what was wrong, just that it was not heart. At age 33 this happened in a doctor’s surgery and he tracked the chest pain around the rib-cage to the neck. He had my back and neck areas all x-rayed and told me there was nothing he could do for me as I had extremely severe osteoarthritis all through me. He told me I was “an old man young” and that I should expect to be in a nursing home within around 2 years. Great! Not long married with a new house, a 25-year mortgage and a new baby! However, this “pig-headed so-and-so” was not about to give up. Unable to keep at my old trade because of the severe pain that would spread from my neck out through the shoulder muscles, causing loss of use of my right arm, I decided to do something different. We bought a citrus orchard! The thought being that when the pain got to severe doing one thing I could go and do something else

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