Bad times

Apologies for this. If you don’t like reading personal news, especially bad news, don’t persist. I am writing it down in the hope of putting it behind me.

Back in early April, Rosemary had a very bad fall on the Fife Coastal Path. She tumbled over a six-metre cliff into a rocky river bed, full of icy water. I was able to lift her head out of the water, but it was an hour before the ambulance and coastguard were able to get her out of the river on a scoop and into a helicopter to take her to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee. She had multiple fractures to vertebrae and pelvis as well as scalp lacerations, and her right eye had moved out of position. She was in hospital for two months. She is home now, but I am her full-time carer. I don’t mind doing this, but it eats up time and energy, and I know I am not coping well with other things; I try to get some things done but there is no way I can deal with everything that arrives.

The medics expect her to make a full recovery. She can now walk several blocks on elbow crutches, and the eye is moving back into its correct position. But the vertebrae have not yet mended, so she still has intermittent pain. Part of my job is administering painkillers four times a day. Of course I have all the cooking, cleaning, laundry, and so on, as well as helping her wash and dress herself. It will be months rather than weeks before she is recovered, so I will be on the treadmill for a while yet.

I know this is all very mild compared to what she has been through, but one of the worst things I have to deal with is the memory of watching her fall and being completely unable to help. In the first weeks after the accident it took all my mental strength to stop this scene replaying over and over. I am coming to terms with it a bit better now.

So finally an apology for the rather intermittent updating of this blog. I have been to two outstanding on-line conferences over the past couple of weeks: the British Combinatorial Conference and the Portuguese Mathematical Society’s 80th anniversary meeting. Normally I would have reported on some of the wonderful things I learned at these. But because of circumstances I had to skip many conference talks that I would have liked to attend, and have not had time or energy to write about the ones I did hear. I will just say that, at the Portuguese meeting, several plenary talks which appeared at first sight to be some way from my interests turned out to be absolutely fascinating. The BCC plenary talks have already been posted and the Portuguese talks will appear soon, I hope. When this happens I might try to point you to some of my favourites.

About Peter Cameron

I count all the things that need to be counted.
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11 Responses to Bad times

  1. Otto H. Kegel says:

    Dear Peter

    it was a good idea that you posted this ‘bad’ news.

    It sounds that there is hope and Rosemary will recover to a normal life!

    With all good wishes

    Cordially Yours

    Otto

  2. Shrikhande, Mohan says:

    Peter,
    Very sad to hear the terrible ordeal that Rosemary is going through. Both of you are in my thoughts.
    Mohan

    Sent from my iPad
    Mohan Shrikhande
    Rockville, MD
    20850
    Emeritus Professor
    Mathematics Department
    Central Michigan University
    Mt. Pleasant,MI
    48859

  3. Jon Awbrey says:

    Best wishes for Rosemary’s full recovery. I know from experience it’s good in times like these to keep in touch with other people. Please keep writing about anything on your mind, math or not. 🙞 Jon

  4. vcvpaiva says:

    So sorry to hear about this horrible accident! sending best wishes for Rosemary’s speedy recovery!

  5. Kerri says:

    Very sorry to hear about this bad news. My thoughts are with you both. Kerri

  6. Thanks everyone for your support. As long as things get a little better each day I will be able to get through this.

  7. Robin Whitty says:

    Goodness how frightful. Please give Rosemary mine and Pinky’s heartfelt wishes. And post us updates while you’re finding the time and energy to post mathematical things.

  8. Maria Elisa Fernandes says:

    Dear Peter! Thats so sad. You will get over this. Força!

  9. Allan van Hulst says:

    You truly are a good man. I remember sending you an e-mail back in March with some (perhaps rather trivial) observations. We never had any contact before, but you still took the time to write a very detailed reply. Things like that are very much appreciated by younger scientists.

    If I can do anything to reduce your task load at the moment (converting handwritten notes into Latex, writing a computer program to test something, etc.). Just send me an e-mail.

    All the best.

  10. Richard Pinch says:

    Peter: My sympathy and best wishes to Rosemary and yourself. Richard

  11. Very sorry to hear of this. This must be a very difficult time for you both, you have my heartfelt sympathies. Sending Prof. Bailey the very best wishes for a full and complete recovery!

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