That was the plan. The reality was that your bemused correspondent spent most of the day in hospital. The above is a picture of him undergoing today's portion of the training for VBW.
What a trip this is turning out to be, medically. For the first time since our mid-January arrival in New Zealand, we both seem to be free of coughs, colds and 'flu. In a couple of days we are supposed to be heading down to the south of South Island to conquer the Rail Trail again on our bikes and also do some strenuous walking to the tune of 30 or more kilometres per day.
Instead, we popped over the road from the Annabelle Motel, to the Ground Floor Cafe, where I had, once again, one of their world-beating date scones and a latte for breakfast. We returned to the motel for a few minutes before heading into the town centre. We were talking to Jo, who together with her husband Tracey, run the motel, just outside our door. I walked through the door and – whammo! - a startling pain in the area of my right kidney. Thinking this would go away, we walked across Hagley Park in the direction of the town centre, which, as it turns out, is fortunately also in the direction of the hospital. As we walked across the park the pain became so excruciating that I wondered whether I would make it to the other gate, and became convinced that the hospital was a better destination – if I could make it.
As I walked into the hospital the pain disappeared. I then spent all day being prodded and poked, giving blood samples, having my blood pressure, urine and pulse tested, having my blood sugar tested, and eventually having an X-Ray and CT scan (this was just like going through the Stargate) of my abdomen (the latter confirming what a doctor told me some time ago, that my liver and intestines are in the wrong place).
Although I went through the Stargate, I did not arrive in a different galaxy; neither did the doctors arrive at a conclusion. The outcome was bafflement on behalf of all parties about what had happened. Microscopic blood in my urine and various other indications that I may have had a kidney stone or possibly an attack of pancreatitis. I was given the option of staying in overnight so that the surgeons (this sounded very ominous!) could further observe me, or be released with strict instructions to get back to a hospital pretty damn quick if anything like this happened again. I took the latter option.