The Zombie State

No, this is not a State that’s crept into the Union unobserved in America. I refer to a state of mind and body.

Last night was a bad night with Ju going to bed early because of pain. Actually if she goes to bed much earlier it will be straight after breakfast. She took her normal  morphine dose and lay watching TV which these days give you another kind of pain. At 8 o’clock the pain was worse so I suggested she take a dose of the emergency dose we’d agreed with the MacMillan Nurse. By midnight she was writhing in pain and even the extra dose had done nothing, but since it had been four hours since the other a again suggested another dose. Ju was wary but did so. By one o’clock things hadn’t improved, and though she didn’t want to call a doctor I impressed upon her that it wouldn’t hurt to just talk to one and explain the problem.

She agreed. ( I always said miracles happen) so we phoned NHS Direct where Ju spoke first to the lady who assesses the problem ? after which she promised to get a nurse to call back. One did, and a nice young man he was, very helpful. Before agreeing Ju should take another dose of morphine he promised to speak to a doctor and comeback to us.

At two o’clock the phone rang and it was a doctor. Ju went over the problem again- pancreatic cancer, inoperable, distended stomach, awaiting scan, please help. By now both she and I were getting very tired. The doctor was a wonder. He’s come out and give an injection, but as he was coming from Wrexham it would take a while. Wonderful. At 3 o’clock he arrived was very kind to Ju, gave the injection and at 3.30 he left. Just before he went he gave me an ampoule of morphine and some paperwork to show that if we needed this again we could call the Marie Curie nurses ( who are closer) and he gave instructions to them to inject this ampoule .

Being sure now that Ju would settle and that she needed nothing I went to sleep and though I woke at five I decided to sleep again until I woke at seven.Guessing Ju would not be up to shopping I  left her where she was and concentrated on giving the girls a treat and turning on the lights of the fish tank and feeding them. I had texted Yvonne last night to say we wouldn’t be shopping so she needn’t rush to meet us. Cruel as I am I woke Ju gently at 8.30 to see how she was and whether she was up to playtime with the girls or not. They generally miss out on a Friday morning as we leave the house early. She decided she was tired but OK and would get the girls out for a while. The phone rang and I picked up the receiver in the lounge meaning to pas it to Ju but it was dead. I passed the one from the hall to her quickly and while she answered it, I went to see why the other one was dead. My suspicions were correct. SOMETHING had bitten through the cable to the plug. I wasn’t sure who’d been the last escapee from the degu cage and out of kindness I was ruling out Saffy, but one of her daughters has really pi**ed me off. This is the second set of phones I’ve had to buy. Anyway, the phone call was from Ju’s sister Mu who said she’d had nightmares about Ju last night and she and John would visit today.

I couldn’t face breakfast but gave Ju a small bowl of Rice Krispies for the rats. I was too mean for Shreddies today and off I went with a coffee to start my mail. 99 messages were waiting and I groaned. Hadn’t I suffered enough? Obviously not. Yvonne sent a message to say she was on her way but the bus was stuck in traffic and could I tell her how her Ma was. I could, I did. By 9.45 I was coming to an end because luckily few had meant a long reply and those people who just needed blog comments were to be disappointed today. Time to get dressed. A few minutes past ten Yvonne arrived and you could see she was worried and upset. Her talk of not applying make-up didn’t ring true. It must be terrible to be far away when something happens and you can’t see how the land lies. I feel bad that I obviously didn’t do enough to dispel her fears but to be honest I was feeling quite zombie like about then.

10.30 and MuJo arrived. I dashed to the kitchen to put the kettle on while they hugged Ju and said their hellos’s. Drinks taken care of I slid out of the room and went back to my computer. John joined me to get away from chatter. I was able to pass him a ruby pendant he’d asked me to get for Mu as the firm I deal with are unbeatable. (For all you Ebay afficionado’s it’s 925-silver-link ). Then, with lunch time fast approaching Mu offered to take me shopping and she could pick up something for lunch at the same time. I love my S/I/L but she drives ahem sedately around 20 mph with traffic backing up behind her. 21 mph and John is shouting “Slow down woman, it’s not Brands Hatch”.  I’m glad the store isn’t far away. We made it safely and I started round. Mu told me to take my time yet started putting things like  a hot chicken and hot sausage rolls in my trolley. I moved faster. As I did, she was catching me up and putting items of her own shopping in the trolley and my space was getting less and less. I called it quits and suggested we left while the food was still hot. Mu dealt with speaking at the counter for me and I just smiled and paid up so I was OK.

After lunch Yvonne had to leave. Mu walked with her to the bus stop while John and I sat with Ju. That lasted 5 minutes till Ju announced she needed to lie down.( I must change my deodorant).Our Doctor rang to say he was upping the dosage of morphine and would write a prescription out for her. Within a few minutes she was snoring away for Britain. Mu returned and said she’s run me to the doctors to collect the prescription. I swear I didn’t say I could run quicker than she could run me but the temptation was there. John said he’d stay with Ju. Off we went ever so sedately again though I’m sure at one point we reached 25mph because John wasn’t with us. What a rebel. She got the right road and turned in and I pointed out the doctor’s car park. I was still pointing at it as we sailed past it and Mu entered the hospital overflow car park. “Where’s the surgery” she asked. I was still pointing though now my arm was wrapped round my neck. I got out, walked across the grass verges, through the doctor car park and down the hill to the entrance. The staff know me by sight if not by voice and I soon had the prescriptions in my hand. Back up the hill, across the car park and over the verge, gasping for breath I reached the car. “I should have parked in that car park shouldn’t I ” asked Mu.

We stopped at the chemist near home where they also know me well and within a few minutes my order was filled. Mu had gone ahead so I walked home clutching my hope for tonight.I gently woke Ju and asked if  she was well enough to come through as her sister was about to go.  MuJo wished us goodbye and promised to see us next week. That left just Ju and I. We sat companionably for a while then about 4,00 pm she had to go back to bed. I understood as I knew how tired she must be feeling. I started to watch a Move to the Country programme on the TV knowing my favourite antiques programme was on at half past. That was it. I woke at 5.15 just after it had finished. I went to see that Ju was OK and confessed I’d nodded off. “I know ” she said, “Mike told me.He even kissed you on the forehead and you didn’t move.” My brother had called to borrow a bucket as he’s cleaning the house he’s moving out of soon and he’s off to a new flat in the Midlands. No more Bro at the weekends to banter with. How I hadn’t woken with him here I’ll never know. So, I watched a quiz till six and then came back to my mail for the day.I feel like a zombie now but know if I go to bed too early I’ll be up and working at 4 am tomorrow. Still. I usually am no matter what time I go to sleep. A built in alarm clock.


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26 responses to “The Zombie State

  1. Dear GL,
    Send Yvonne extra Luv from me, I’m sure Ugo helps her a lot with all of this going on. You are doing the best you can mister zombie… Ju is in the best of hands with you by her side. Give her my Luv and hugs and the same to you!! Wish I was there. 😦 Sorry brother Grimm is moving away. xoxo

    • I’m sure Yvonne will appreciate it, and I just took Ju’s in. She sends her love and hope’s you’re properly better now. I send love and Hugs too. I’ll miss Brothjer Grimm but I have you and some good friends to keep me smiling. xxxxxxxxxxxx

  2. Sending warm thoughts across the ocean to you both.

  3. Catherine Johnson

    I don’t know why it has suddenly popped in my head but we had some friends in Chichester who clubbed together to buy a machine that takes all the toxins out of your body and it’s great for arthritis. I just wondered if it would help Julia at all. Apparently it looks like a foot spa and the toxins drain out of your feet. Dunno! :0)

    • I’ve not heard of that Catherine. I wonder whether Ju needs some toxins to help fight the cancer? Though she suffers with arthritis too so maybe that would benefit. Sending you massive Hugs. xxxx

      • I have used this after cancer, a friend of mine with Lupus bought one. It uses positive and negative charge to remove “ill humors”. I dont know if what it removes has been studied, as I have not researched it. It takes an hour to do one setting. The stuff it takes out is a chunky green-ish blue mixure. I did feel my legs get lighter. The are 4000 US dollars, but a clinic or internet search may help you find a way to access one. I don’t know what it does about leaching out medications, that is always a possibility.

      • Thanks Lorene, that’s very interesting. I’ll ask at the hospital next week as they’re bound to have heard of them. Hugs

  4. My timezones are shot so if you’re sleeping I hope you have a good night this time. Is there any chance Dr Gorgeous can pull some strings and get Julia some treatment soon? I know how all these tests etc take time but it sounds as if Julia really does need some help asap.

    Hugs to you both, and to the girls.

    • It says you sent this at 2.23 am my time and it’s now 3.51 so my night gave me three and a half hours sleep again.I must have annoyed one of the gods by snoring or something. Dr McHottie arranged the first scan date so it’s us that got a nearer one. Maybe he’s not available to do the drain. If not, Michelle the Macmillan Nurse has arranged a bed and a doctor at the Hospice.with luck we should know on Wednesday. Hugs galore and kisses from the girls.(well from 3 of them, a nip from the fourth and some chewed phone wires from the degus)

      • Ouch. Another zombie day then. 😦 I hope you can nap during the day. Hugs back to all your girls, including the ones who are currently in the dog house. 🙂

      • I think I’ll be asleep by lunchtime. I just hope it’s not over a shopping trolley or leaning on a lamppost outside a shop somewhere. I’m scared I’ll be left behind. All three degus are now in the kennel as they just rolled into my room and all I could hear was their teeth trying to gnaw their way out of the balls. That’s another 3 I’ll have to buy. That sound will haunt me. But I will pass your Hugs on to them, I’m not sure how much pressure to apply though. Gentle Hugs back to you. xx

      • lmao – Do Not Hug the Degu Daud! I take it all back. 🙂

  5. I was going to ask about hospice, as painful as that thought must be, but she needs peace and pain control at this stage. I know you are sucking out every minute you can with her, and my heart breaks for you both. You have been so strong through this with your posts, I so admire your “stiff upper lip”. I pray that she will rally and the Drs can find some help for her. Have you considered a second opinion? I know there are research studies going on in the States for pancreatic cancer. Don’t know your finances or her strength for this idea. My very best to you and Lady Ju.

    • I actually spoke to the hospitals where the pancreatic studies are going on in the States but there was nothing suitable for her at the time and she doesn’t fit the profile over here yet either as she needs to be stage 3. But, just recently heard of a new ( to us) treatment called radiofrequency ablation. So common in India you can book a family trip to do it. They put some kind of probe in the tumour, heat it up and burn the cancer cells out. We’ll be asking about this next week but we know it may be a no go as Ju’s tumour has wrapped itself round major blood vessels which is why it’s inoperable. We’ll never give up. We’re not at the hospice stage yet and hope to get back some normality when the distended stomach is dealt with. We’ll always look to how she feels about a hospice and let her go if she’s ready but she’s not there yet.
      You’d laugh if you could see my stiff upper lip quiver sometimes. Thanks for your best wishes. I send Hugs. x

  6. Curse those pesty critters! Maybe a visit to a pet dentist might save you buying any more phones or exercise balls. Of course you will have to feed them mush from now on but when they try to give you an angry bite out of revenge it will turn out to be a far less satisfying gumming instead 😀

    I hope you and the Lady J have far more peaceful night sleeps from now on and that the drain makes her feel much more comfortable.

    Just remember that zombies eat brains so if you start craving them maybe you should start worrying….

    • I just wish Mummy degu would train her little girls properly, she seems content not to gnaw….unless of course she’s just laying the blame on them. I think your idea is excellent and I’ll see the dentist next week, I’ll have fake teeth made from marshmallow to replace them then a bite won’t hurt.In fairness though, they don’t bite people- just cables.
      I’m sure the drain will make Ju’s life a lot easier and I look forward to it happening.
      When I was a kid ( two maybe three years ago) I used to see Brain’s Faggots advertised and for years I thought they were made from…… guessed it. As it happens, I quite fancy some Brain’;s about now !!

  7. Good to hear positive comments on NHS Direct. We’ve used them a couple of times and they’ve been better than the press would let you believe. All the best to you both.

    • Many thanks Pete. We’ve used them three times and they’ve been great twice and ridiculous once. I think it’s like a surgery, pot luck as to which doctor you get. The phone side isn’t a problem at least.
      Best wishes back at you.

  8. I’ve never met either of you, but I can feel your strength across the sea– which by the way is surging today with this storm.

    • Honestly the storm’s not my fault- she made me do it !
      We’re very lucky in that we have each other and do lend each other strength, but I also get a great deal from the friends who send me so much mental support from all over the world.That’s not a confession that I’m mental BTW.
      Hugs Sandell and hopes that the storm isn’t treating you too badly with snow.

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