Monthly Archives: January 2013

What to do, what to do.

I’ve mentioned recently that neither Julia nor I are at our best at the moment which may account for my lack of forethought today. All will be explained.

Last Friday we had a visit from the Macmillan Nurse in response to a request and telling them that Ju’s stomach was/is very distended and painful. It’s fortunate that apart from her regular prescribed morphine she also has emergency doses for times like this. She wouldn’t have had them still if she’d let me have them when I dropped a knife on my toe last week though. Still that’s by the by. ‘M’ for that’s the designation I shall give the Nurse thought it possible that there was a large fluid build up which needed draining. As it was too late to do anything on Friday she’s arrange for bloods t be taken on Monday this week and she’s speak to the Oncologist about seeing Ju as soon as possible.

The ‘LEECH’ came on Monday and removed the obligatory armful from Ju and left the rest of the day free for us. I reminded Ju of something we needed from the next town over to distract her and then said that on the way we could drop off  prescription request with my doctor. This we did and just outside the surgery Ju suggested making an appointment for me. My distraction hadn’t worked but with a sigh of relief I pointed out how full the car park was meaning it would be unlikely there would be free appointments now, and that we couldn’t make them for Tuesday in case the oncologist called. We went and picked up the non-urgent item, had a coffee and returned home. No phone calls Monday.

Tuesday we did nothing exciting but despite the wait no phone call. On Wednesday we went to collect my prescription from the surgery but I still had the excuse of not knowing when her far more urgent appointment would appear. As we got home there was a message on the phone from the hospital’s resident Macmillan Nurse to say she needed to  speak to Ju but try as we might we couldn’t get hold of her. Today we needed to go out to the bank which of course meant having a coffee out. On our return Ju had a call from our daughter who is a little less patient than we are. The Oncologist would see us at 2.30 today. She wouldn’t be able to be there to see Dr. Drool with us and was sad but Ju was to faithfully repeat every phrase in his delightful accent on our return.

We arrived at 2.00pm and decided t have a glass of orange rather than torture ourselves with tea or coffee from the League of Fiends kiosk. It was lovely but a mistake as I then needed the loo. Dare I go in case Ju was called or should I just persevere with crossed legs? I decided to go in case it became a case of crossed eyes and a total inability to walk. I made it back safely before Ju was called. The great weigh in showed there is another loss of weight which led to guilty looks from Ju. I know cancer patient lose weight but she doesn’t help by not eating much. Anyway, I told tales on her to Dr.Sex Bomb and got her a new course of steroids to see if we can improve the appetite. He palpated her stomach and decided we’d better have a new ultrasound scan to see how things lie. I bit my tongue at this point as I’ve said before now we need to see what’s what in there. But the silken tones of the Good Doctor Gorgeous placated even me this time. Actually he distracted me by asking where his fan club was this time.                The appointment will probably be the beginning of next week.

On coming out Julia and I went off to the pharmacist and as we waited for the steroids Ju decided to text Yvonne to say how she’s got on and also texted one of my nieces. That was where my problems started since I hadn’t told the girls where we were going and who we were going to see. We were back in the car coming home before Ju’s phone beeped with a text. I cringed. All has been peaceful since Sunday when my nieces were here and I knew things were going to happen, and not good things either. When we got home I nipped to my bedroom where I’d left my phone. There were three outstanding messages from Niece Number 1. Starting with why didn’t I say we’d got an appointment, to how could I go to see Dr. Yummy without their support ( read- without them ogling him) to have I got my doctor’s appointment yet? Niece Number 2 has still to come back to me but it’s written in stone she will. I’m semi safe tomorrow as I know it’s main shopping day and as Yvonne is meeting us it’s just a case of staying out long enough to make sure it’s too late for an appointment then. For now I asked Ju to text my niece and say my phone has no credit so I’m safe tonight. But tomorrow…… What to do, what to do?

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Birthday Gifts

Well I’m finally caught up. The weather has cleared enough to allow visitors and yesterday I had Birthday Number 4 . It came complete with cake but fortunately no candles because it would be a fire hazard at my age, and I certainly wouldn’t have enough puff to bow them out and continue to breathe.

Despite the initial disappointment at not being able to have my birthday on the actual day, I’ve found this round of smaller ongoing birthdays to be fun and it’s given me a great opportunity to see how some people perceive me. Julia was with me on my birthday and gave me things she knew I wanted which was great. My friend and proof reader Lis who lives close was able to get here in time and brought me a gist I’d never have thought of, but love, some shoe spikes for getting about in the snow and ice. How novel is that?

Next, for my second birthday was Yvonne with her new husband Ugo. Apart from a PC cd Rom I wanted, they showed great thought by bringing me a new keyboard for the computer with all the keys covered in a clear nail varnish to (hopefully) prevent me from chipping off the letters with my nails when I’m typing as I have done with the current one and the last million or so. I suppose one option would be to cut my nails but they grow so fast. It’s as well my fingers have an inbuilt memory of where things are as otherwise none of my letters would make sense or they’d all take about two hours to write while I found the appropriate key. I’m changing to the new one tomorrow.

Along came birthday number 3 this last Sunday in the form of my two nieces. They are pure entertainment and I could listen to their stories for hours. They bought me some lovely gifts including a sign to hang on my wall that reminds me families are forever ( That thwarts my plan to take them back for a partial refund then) and a lovely jumper which is part of the reason for this story which I hope will become clear in a minute or two.

Yesterday brought birthday number 4. My beloved sister in law Muriel and her husband John. As they came in the door a huge bag was thrust at me. It was like Christmas. Before I had chance to sit down she produced a birthday cake ( thank the Lord it didn’t carry my age) because she knew I’d bought cakes the day of my birthday when I was expecting them. Since I’m diabetic I risked just a small slice with a cup of coffee ( yes, I used sweeteners). Amongst the gifts they brought was a USB computer light which I won’t be able to use because my base unit is at floor level unless I can find a way to raise it up. There was a mousemat which is 3D with a picture of an eagle on it. If you lean forward too quickly it seems to attack. A fantastic belt buckle and some ties came next and then the main gift, a fantastic new dressing gown, which sort of brings me to the point of this story.

How people perceive me….. I have been the size I am for some time now. It’s not excessive by most standards but I have a stomach I’d love to get rid of but can’t. I’m a size XL. My brother and my nieces when buying me gifts of clothing tend to buy me size L , I think I’m flattered. Do they still see me as sylph like?( Oi you, less of the comments, I heard that).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 My S/I/L and B/I/L yesterday however bought me a size XXL. Should I feel devastated that they see me as that big? Mind you, they bought me a thermal vest too so perhaps I should imagine they see me as cold? It struck me that we do have certain perceptions of people we’re close to and I wondered how much is coloured by how we see them. Fathers are often Gods to kids so are they seen as  huge beings ( Look , I warned you once, lay off. I’m not huge). Younger or little brothers, do we see them as much smaller? I know my brother is 7 years my junior  yet is 3 inches taller. I imagined him to be a size L and yet it turns out he’s also XL. I’m wondering how many birthday and Christmas gifts don’t fit merely because we love people and see them as larger than life or younger-must be smaller than us.

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I’m dilated to meet you.

Today the snow was meant to be gone, or at least well on the way to going. Instead when I got up, the receding flow had stopped and a new tidal wave was threatening to engulf us as more and more came down in a steady flow. Because it hadn’t reached a critical level where we live it was decided that I should still attend a 10.30 am appointment at the hospital……or to be more precise at a vehicle in the hospital car park.

By the time we’d dug the car out we were pushing the time a little bit but just made it. The hill was quiet, the road to the hospital was quiet and the hospital car park was quiet apart from some few cars trying to get enough grip to leave. For some reason the car park was built sloping down so it’s easy to get into but not so easy to get out of if there’s any ice. The gritters had obviously been out yesterday but had also believed the reports of no snow today and weren’t prepared. Anyway, we were there and rang the bell on the outside of the wagon that at least sounded as though it would be warm with a generator running. The nurse who opened the door expressed some surprise to see us but invited us in. That in itself was a task as the steps were very steep so Ju and I on crutches felt like Sherpa Tensing.

We were in. The nurse took my name and said they were phoning people to come this morning as it was possible they’d have to give up before the afternoon. All in all, most people were cancelling. She put my drops in without warning me they were sulphuric acid and would burn their way to the back of my head. “Might sting a bit” she added.I was given a couple of pieces of tissue and told to sit in the waiting room with Ju for twenty minutes. The waiting room was where I’d come into the vehicle and had one bench seat that would hold about four anorexics. Ju and I were two of them. After a few minutes another nurse appeared from a different room and said she’d be doing the photographs of the back of my eye, retinopathy. They’re very good at doing these at least once a year if you’re diabetic.

There was a ring on the bell and another willing sacrifice arrived and was taken through to be tortured. I was going to try and mouth to him ” Get away while you still can” but I think the nurse was watching me. I’m not sure as by now my pupils had dilated and my eyes were watering like mad. Three more people arrived that they’d phoned. The first came came out and sat with Ju and I, he called “Right, all together now, breathe out so I can slip in” and he managed it. Luckily for me as the next one came out  groping blindly and zombie like, the second nurse came to say she was ready for me. There was no room at the inn for Ju though so she had to stay on the bench like a substitute at a football match.

I vaguely saw the nurse sitting on a chair and went to take a seat opposite her and found a laptop open . ” Hold on” she said “you sit over here. I was just adjusting it for you”. I moved round to the chair she vacated and she did the same with me. I hope I left hers warmer than she left mine. She told me to place my chin in a device that hung in front of my face and place my forehead against the bar above it. It was a bit of a strain on the neck but I managed it and off we went………nowhere. “Eyes wide please, and concentrate on the blue light” she said. I did. FLASH!!! “Wait” she told me, that didn’t work there’s some condensation on the lens.” I waited while she came round to my side and vigorously polished the lens. As she returned to her seat I drew myself up and placed my chin back in the device but the strain of getting my forehead there was much worse as the chair I was on had been getting lower and lower as I waited. I was praying for this to be over.

Again we were unsuccessful and she had to clean my lens. “Perhaps it’s on the inside “I said “due to all the cold outside.”    “This is a £9000 camera in a sealed unit” she said, “it can’t be on the inside.”!  We had two more failures and I thought my neck would snap she she suddenly announced “I think it must be on the inside. I’m afraid I’ll have to phone my boss. Could you just sit outside a minute please.”  I didn’t dare say there was no way I’d find a seat out there with all the other blind people but I agreed and let myself out. I didn’t have long to wait before she came out and told us all she was sorry but her boss had decided all appointments were cancelled for the day. They needed to subject the camera to heat for at least half an hour. FREEDOM !!

Ju and I carefully walked back to where we’d parked and cleared the new snow from the roof and windscreen. Sitting inside I lit up a cigarette and swore I wasn’t going again until the summer. Ju remarked how odd I looked with such dilated pupils. We headed up the slope of the car park and over the road to my doctors car park to drop off a prescription request then went to the supermarket for a fresh loaf before going home to have soup for lunch and watch the snow were not having fall outside. Late this afternoon it stopped snowing but I’m not taking bets on what tomorrow holds.

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Happy Birthday.

Well, the big day was yesterday. The 60 something birthday and the day the snow was predicted to arrive. Isn’t that typical, you sit here Christmas day hoping for a blanket of white and it arrives in mid January when you don’t want it.

Ju had tried the sign of the cross to ward off the evil of an early start but as I was expecting a flood of visitors laden down with gifts I wanted to get back from the shopping. The reason for shopping on a Friday, blame Ju since she decided to start horse riding on a Saturday at one stage. OK, I admit that’s changed now but the shopping expedition seems to have stuck.

I woke her at 7 am with a cuppa, a warning that we had half an hour before leaving and that there was a smidgeon of snow on the ground. I backed out of the bedroom to ensure I could see any missiles heading in my direction. My coffee was in the lounge where I’d given all the girls a yoghurt drop as a treat. Ju cowered in her bedroom afraid to venture out in case she had a fit of conscience at not giving the girls their early morning outing on the settee. In fairness, I’ve told her if she wants to do it I’ll get her up at 6.am

I gathered the shopping bags, my list and the all important lottery pouch., brought Ju’s handbag through to the hall and said goodbye to the girls. Off we set. The winds of Siberia were howling around the front door and the smidgeon had become a couple of inches and it was still coming down. After what felt like a three mile trek to the car which is 50 feet away we hauled ourselves in and set a’shivering while waiting for the heater to kick in. The wipers took the worst off the screen and away we went.

Living by the coast has it’s benefits one of which is that snow rarely sticks here. I guess no-one was listening as I shouted a reminder to the gods. The coast road was still fairly clear and it had obviously been salted. We made good time to the supermarket arriving just before they opened at 8.am. The heater hadn’t done a fantastic job as some fool had opened the window to smoke. ahem. moving rapidly on……. I got out and walked stiff-legged to where the shopping trolleys were parked. I put in my £ coin and tried to pull mine away from the rest. After a few minutes trying I went to borrow an ice axe to separate them then shot into the warmth of the store.

Our routine is that Ju goes off to buy the lottery tickets and her paper then while I go round the store to shop, she sits and has a coffee till I’m in the queue at the till when she comes to help me pack.(If she sees me. I have pointed out that she stands a better chance if she actually faces the tills). Three quarters of an hour later I’m done and ready for a coffee and a diet conscious, diabetic, toasted sausage sandwich with brown sauce. Mmmmmm. As I’m sitting there Ju tells me Yvonne has phoned and won’t be able to get through because of the white stuff and her sister has phoned and said the same. Heavens above, what’s the matter with these people. Mu and John only live 40 miles away at the bottom of a valley with about 4 mountains between us. No-one makes an effort anymore. Looking out the window convinces me that maybe the gods are making an effort because the car is fast disappearing.

We’re on our way home when I remember that I promised to visit ‘our’ cafe Let me Tempt You, to take a pair of earring to one of the girls. When I mention it to Ju her lip seems to curl. I think it must be the cold contracting her muscles. We arrive home safely and the snow is sticking . We unpack and I say ” would you like a coffee sweetie”?     “Yes please babe” is the response. “Grab your coat then and let’s take these earrings to K….”. I hear a growl and almost think there’s a dog handy but my beloved knows it’s my birthday and is humouring me. Borrowed tennis racquets on our feet we struggle back to the car. I try breathing on the lock to getthe key in but my nose sticks to the side of the car. Afraid Ju will drive off with me in this position I tug and take the skin off the tip off my nose. Oooh, that stings.

The Coast Road is still accessible and we make it safely to the cafe. K… looks up in surprise and said she didn’t expect to see us in view of the weather. I just say a promise is a promise. I’m renowned for my wisdom. Ju makes a comment about buying me my birthday drink and she head off to order while K… selects the earrings she wants. Leaving K… smiling happily I go to join Ju who has found us a table…….ha, 40 tables, 3 customers, how hard that must have been, and sit. I am no sooner ready to take my gloves off than the tray arrives with two of the staff who start to serenade me “Penblwydd Hapus i chwi. penblwydd hapus…..Dear David……..” I’m cringing and trying to crawl into my boots as everyone is looking and of course the next four customers in sat just behind me. I’m given a lovely card and a sweet little gift as well as a free coffee. Ah, and Ju must be warming up since the mouth seems to be grinning.

We came home about 11.30 and spent the rest of the day wrapped up warmly indoors. It carried on snowing.

Poor Ju was unwell and had to go to bed about 4.pm but it was not snow or shopping trip related. This morning she seemed a little better and the snow has stopped. They say we’ll have another little flurry than it should clear over the next few days but it’s going to be cold, verrrry cold with icy blasts in the minus. Maybe we can hibernate for a while. Oh, a phone call to say my next birthday is tomorrow when Yvonne and Ugo are going to come then another early next week when Mu and John come. Then the following Sunday when my nieces turn up. I quite like the idea of Official Birthdays and unofficial ones to follow.

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The Diagnosis.

In order not to disappoint my antipodean friends and those of the ‘I told you so persuasion” I admit to seeing the doctor today. Unfortunately as the pins in the voodoo doll must have worked I woke with a gyppy tummy today. I suppose it’s just conceivable that it had something to do with the liquorice allsorts of yesterday but after all, why take the chance of spreading any new illness in the surgery. Even more unfortunately that excuse didn’t hold water with my doctor who decided to do a home visit instead.

With waiting for the back and forth telephone calls to make arrangements either to visit or leave a prescription my chances of going out to enjoy a morning coffee dwindled before my eyes, even afternoon tea was out the window when the last call came to confirm “I’m just around the corner and will be there in minutes” at half past three. By twenty five to four there he was gone. The look, the questions and the bloody cold stethoscope all led to the same conclusion. I have a cough. Mind you, the deafening proportions of the cough might have given it away. Well, he should have warmed the stethoscope up first.

I have a deep seated infection. Of the dire rear there was no mention and I’d already hidden the box of allsorts when I hid the ashtrays and cigarettes. I reminded the doc via my interpreter Lady J ( I don’t talk to doctors well) that amoxycillin are like Smarties and just about as effective. He chose to leave me a prescription for Doxycycline 100mg which I’m sure I had last year as the last of the four I took. The rules with these are to take two straight away with a meal and then one daily with a meal. No way am I having a meal mid afternoon like that so after Julia had been to the chemist ( drugstore) I had two (OK 4 ) dark chocolate digestives and the tablets. He also left me a bottle of some kind of suspension to take 10mls three times daily so I took a swig there and then. Not bad, but nt as tasty as my own choice.

What amazed me when I come to check out the medicines is that I note the Doxycycline are given for acne, syphilis, tick bites and malaria. I hadn’t realised just how sophisticated the stethoscope has become to pick up on all those as well as the bronchitic infection. Medicine moves on apace doesn’t it.

By the way, no chance at all I’m not going out for morning coffee tomorrow or I’ll be stir crazy but I promise to wrap up warm mum.

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Leonard, I’m sick.

For those of you who know me, you’ll know I’m a big fan of the Wonderful Big Bang Theory. If any of you also  like it enough not to miss an episode ( even when repeated for the umpteenth time) the phrase above will be familiar. Leonard I’m sick ! At which point Leonard is on his way out of the front door dragging on his trousers at 6am on a Sunday morning. When Sheldon gets no response o his plea he rings Leonard who claims to be in work on an emergency call.

Well poor Julia is having a Leonard week and she couldn’t even get out of the front door without being seen by me. Not that she’s renowned for being up at 6 am and not that she’s famous for hearing my calls anyway.

This has been coming on a week. Constant coughing with me swearing I’ll be able to shake it off usually leading to a trip to the doctors and very often a little holiday in hospital. This year I was determined, no docs, no hospitals. I didn’t do a Sheldon by inviting everyone to comment on the colour of my phlegm. Mossy green looked close enough. Monday I went out for a while with Ju’s sister and her husband with whom I’m very close and heard all the comments about looking white, looking pasty and looking below par as well as “Isn’t this chocolate Indulgence drink fantastic.” I was glad to get home. My breathing was getting worse and the constant coughing exacerbated that.

Yesterday was meant to be a very short trip out to collect something but I couldn’t manage it. Last night I went to bed about 10pm and slept till two when I was wide awake coughing. I answered messages on the computer till 5 am then went back to bed till 8.30 which is quite a lot for me. In between coughs I tried to giggle as I rang the bell Ju had left me with in case I needed her. Perhaps she didn’t hear it because it said ring for peace and quiet. If only they sold one that said ring for Armageddon. She didn’t hear me so I swung myself out of bed and went to wake her, give the girls their morning treat and put the kettle on. I just laid her tea on the table as she arrived to get the girls out for a play. I took my meds and ambled back to my bedroom to check the mail.

Very oddly I found myself nodding off over my keyboard, of course I didn’t realise it until I actually woke with a start and realised I’d no idea what message I was dealing with, whether I was answering them with balderdash or just deleting them. It all seemed such an effort. I really felt so odd ( yes, other than my usual self thank you Oz) I had to lie down and the next thing it’s 11.30 am and Ju’s asking me what I want for lunch. Because of the knife in her hand I forebore to mention I hadn’t even had breakfast. Anyway we lunched and in order to satisfy the diet tabs I had egg toasties. Almost straight afterwards I must have fallen asleep. Ju gave me a gentle shake at 1.15 pm to say she was going to her riding. Hugs were exchanges as were I love you’s and she left. I saw a little news and decided to come back to my mail for another go. I was doing really well and had cleared it by just gone 3.00 and thought the afternoon film at 3.15 appealed. I turned on and promptly fell asleep though of course I denied it when Ju walked in about 3 40 pm. I made her a cuppa and settled to the film again. Viewed though my eyelids it was quite different. That over I was fine between 4.45 and 6.oo for part of an antique show and a quiz. By that time Ju was ready to relax in comfort in bed and I came through here again to catch my messages. I’m going to urn in soon because I feel tired, my breathing is atrocious and the coughing is annoying me. In honesty I’d go out and leave it if I could,

So, if any of you hear a plaintive little cry of ‘I’m sick’ tomorrow morning, it’s not Sheldon so you’re safe. It’s me, get over here with the chicken soup and brow soothers as soon as possible.

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New Year Starter.

It’s January 1st 2013 and as usual I’m sitting at my desk dealing with the gazillions of emails I get a day. Some times I open one and get surprised. This is one of those. 

one-lovely-blog-award      The very kind Belle DiMonte ( apologies but I have no idea how to get an accent over the final E ) has nominated me for an award. I know I normally post these under their own little section but as the day itself is special as is the award I thought for a change I’d share it. In all honesty I have no idea why my Blog has been awarded this award since it’s not a regular contributor to the blog world and when it is there may be a touch of the self pity’s about it, all in all probably not the best blog to raise a smile. However I was only thinking this morning that maybe I should increase my output and maybe I can learn some positivity to pass round.

So, my undying thanks to Belle since the rules say I must thank my nominator and as part of the rules I must share 7 things with my readers as well as passing the award on to 7 other unfortunates who then have to find 7 things to share. Let’s start……….

1. I died from an asthma attack aged about 5  but was brought back.

2. I used to have a very high IQ but never enough common sense.

3. I was once offered a place at an art college but was too young to be allowed to go.

4. My first name is David but some family members still call me Michael so as not to confuse me with my father.

5. I was born on an RAF base outside the UK.

6. Though I have no problem writing blogs I couldn’t have a conversation with a stranger.

7. I like the milk to be inside my cup before the tea is poured.

And Now, the 7 Blogs I nominate

1. Like a bump on a Blog             http://amberrisme.com/?wref=bif

2.Emma Woodcock                      http://emmawoodcock.wordpress.com/

3. L Leander                                    http://lleander11.wordpress.com/

4. Colinology                                  http://colinon.wordpress.com/

5. Roxie’s Blog                               http://roxieh.wordpress.com/

6. I kissed my date Goodnight  http://ruthrutherford.wordpress.com/

7. Circles in the sky.                     http://circlesinthesky.wordpress.com/

Now all that remains for me to do is notify them

To all those of you who’ve shown so much kindness and not just a little patience over the last year let me say HAPPY NEW YEAR, may 2013 be the year that gives you Health, Wealth and Happiness in abundance.

Hugs

David

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