Sunday 21 st June.
Another night sleeping in my chair in the lounge ensured I got some sleep and kept breathing.It was a long night though and I didn’t want to turn the TV on even quietly in case it disturbed Mike. As it happens, he tells me he had a poor night listening out to make sure I was still breathing. I got up at 6.00 am and started taking meds and making myself some toast to take the steroids with. I didn’t know they needed feeding first.
I was in my bedroom on the computer when Mike stuck his head in about 9.30 am. He’s getting very good at getting himself up. He’ll be getting himself dressed soon as well. We had plenty of time this morning as we weren’t meeting anyone for lunch until 12.30 pm so needn’t think of leaving before 11.30 am. By the time we’d faffed about shaving and getting dressed it was 11.45 am. We took a slow drive down the coast road to Prestatyn and parked up in the car park of the new place. It looked much nicer than it had when it was the worst pub in the town. A new extension made all the difference. Mike and I were a bit worried that no-one was inside when we got there, especially Karen and Jo who’d made the booking. I was beginning to think I’d directed Mike to the wrong place. Then Lee , Jen and the new baby arrived so I thought we were OK. The booking was for 12.30 pm and at 12.40 pm we’re on the steps being told there’s no booking and heck No Karen and Jo, no Yvonne, Ugo and Reuben either.
Karen and Jo were last to arrive. I expect it of Yvonne/Ugo but not usually them. Anyway, the booking was sorted. The Manageress had taken it and not written it down. The staff couldn’t argue with her. They found us two tables to push together, Reuben was brought paper and crayons and things were looking up. We still had the argument about who’s paying to go through and someone rugby tackled my legs when I tried to do a runner. Of the 8 adults 7 chose a carvery and Ugo chose a lamb burger meal. The fathers amongst us were given vouchers for a free drink ( but only alcoholic?) so I passed my voucher to Ugo and had a lime and lemonade. He was having a pint of beer anyway but could maybe take a bottle home. He ended up with two of those.
The carvery was fantastic and I was worried when the manageress came round to help me fill my plate because of the crutches. When that’s happened in the past the ‘helpful’ ones have restricted my intake. She was amazing offering more and more which had I accepted would have looked like The Great Pyramid of Giza and she’d have broken a wrist carrying it. I tell you this so you can see how restrained I am. I take a lot of strength from being with my family like that, they’re special people but before too long I’d had enough. I asked for another lime and lemonade then we all went our merry way. At home Mike was going to watch the grand prix but my eyes were tired and heavy and I fell into a deep sleep that lasted over two hours he told me. At least I woke up in time for him to go this time. After waving him off about 6.30 pm I sat back in front of the TV and coughed, coughed and coughed some more till it was bedtime.
On this Date, at this Place, at this Time, nothing extraordinary happened. I should have a plaque put above my front door. I had managed to get some sleep in the chair but was still up and about before 5.00 am. I had a pre-foodie to have breakfast to take the steroids and then took all my other meds. I took a coffee to the bedroom and had a half hour on the computer before getting dressed. At 8.50 am I started walking towards the Chemist/Post Office. I needed to hand in my request for repeat prescriptions and then also to post a parcel. I hope early next week a friend may get a nice surprise and have a giggle. On the way back I called in at Pauline’s to buy a few things. After I’d paid for them I handed over my lottery ticket from Saturday to collect £25 I’d won. Nice to leave the shop with a profit.
Back at home I was knackered. I sat in my chair to watch a programme on buying houses at auctions. I fell asleep. A good thing maybe as sleep is the great cure-all, but I didn’t hear the warden at the door and so missed her visit. Yvonne texted me to say she’d had a message on her phone from the DWP ( Dept of Works and Pensions) which must mean they have more questions. But, they hadn’t phoned my house phone and left a message, and nor told Yvonne anything on the phone. Annoyingly when she tried to phone back during a work break she just got a recorded message to say if they required anything else they’d phone again. That leads me to think they’ll actually waste more time now and write to me. I’ve nothing left to give them, they already have all the proof I had to give them. I just want to hear they’ve sorted the mess that shouldn’t have happened in the first place.
After lunch I managed a read , a sleep and a bit of TV. Then I had the worst coughing fit yet which completely blacked me out, but I don’t know how long for. Probably a matter of seconds I suppose. For my tea I took my Oz Doc’s advice and indulged in a little BFG. I’d forgotten how good it tasted. Later in the evening ,well after my quizzes and a really upsetting Who Do You Think You Are with Stephen Fry I came back to the computer for what should have been a half hour but which turned out to be an hour and a half. At least I managed to get some work done and my conscience pricks less.
At 2.00 am I gave up trying to sleep in the bedroom. I kept sliding down the bed and trying to roll onto my right side which is how I sleep usually. Pure Bert next door must be fed up of the constant coughing now, and mine’s no better. I went through to the lounge and slept there till 5.00 am. I had an early breakfast with my steroids and left the rest till later. I’m still not up to spending all my time on the computer keeping up with emails so am still limiting my time. But, from 5.30 am to 7.00 am didn’t seem to bad. Then I took the rest of the meds and nodded off in the chair for another hour. I’ve no intention of leaving the house today so got dressed leaving my socks off, I’m such a Bohemian. I saw one of my neighbours going out and a few minutes later saw the warden going to his door. I opened the front door to apologise for missing her yesterday while I slept. She came in today and we had a good old chinwag which also involved her persuading me to wear my alarm pendant while I’m still below par. Any repeat hiccups like yesterday and I may need help. Once she’d gone the postie came and he brought the leather jacket I’d ordered just yesterday morning. Talk about speed. Now I must try and see Karen and Jo before they go away next week.
I had corned beef hash at lunch time and watched my Bargain Hunt then back on the computer for a while but at 2.30 am I’d had enough and went through to the lounge. My timing was actually perfect. The phone rang and when it stopped I checked and it was the DWP (pensions) who next rang Yvonne and told her yes, there had been an error and they hadn’t allowed for my tax, hence a large deduction and an overpayment. It seems the fault was actually mine though for having provided them with too much information. i.e. I told them the percentage increase and I told them the gross amount. At that point I had already given them the nett amount showing my new rate but the gross figure just threw them. I shouldn’t supply that next year. I can just imagine myself doing that and being accused of not providing enough information. Still, hopefully that’s one problem that might have gone away by Thursday, before the non-existent debt recovery starts. I hoped my drugs might have arrived today but for some reason not. I shall have to walk to the chemist tomorrow to make sure they haven’t been held because they’re waiting for one item again. I am in need of one item. It looks as though we may ( ha, why do I say we when I mean Yvonne) have to phone for more anti-biotics and possibly steroids again in the morning as the chest is still not right though my breathing is much improved.
I read quite late last night, took off the alarm pendant and tried to sleep. It was impossible to get into a position where I didn’t cough so it was back to my chair again. That worked out quite well as I slept until almost 6.00 am. The sun was up and it looked glorious outside. I took my meds and made a coffee to bring with me into the gloom of my bedroom where the curtains never get opened. I hate the glare of sunlight on my screen. The post wasn’t too bad especially when done in bite size chunks and by 8.00 am I’d actually completed on of the mailboxes. I celebrated with some smothered toast for breakfast.
At 9.00 m I took a slow walk to Pauline’s for some bread and my TV mag. I went in just a tee shirt ( yes, I was wearing jeans too) and there seemed to be some warmth from the sun. It was really pleasant. Aldo pleasant was the ability to breathe again. Though the walk left me breathless, it wasn’t the same as the oppressiveness of the bronchitis. The cough and it’s content are still there though so Yvonne had spoken to the surgery and asked for another home visit to see if more steroids & antibiotics are needed. We’ll have to see who I get this time.
The postman came when I got back but still nothing from the DWP who have supposedly put a letter in the post for me. A text from Dil putting tonight off was disappointing but then he rescheduled for tomorrow and that was great. I watched TV during the morning and occasionally nodded off. During Bargain Hunt the doctor chose to appear so I missed the auctions at the end, Bummer. She was nicer today and almost pleasant after the lecture about you know what. Anyway, she left me a prescription for more steroids on a declining dose after 5 days and some more antibiotics. I also have to give a sputum sample but it didn’t occur to me to ask what she wanted me to do with it after I’d given it. Anyway, once she’d gone I got my shoes on and trudged up as far as the chemist then stood gasping for breath while he filled the prescription. At the same time, my drugs from the Monday morning request had been dealt with and I was able to bring those home too. I had some beef stew and dumplings for lunch which was quite pleasant then even though I wanted a nap I decided to come through and heck the post so I can get back to normal, if you can use that word and me in the same sentence.
I stayed answering mail for almost 2 hours and it left me weary. ( my excuse and I’m sticking to it). Back to my chair in the lounge and I flaked out for over an hour and missed the start of my quiz. After Quizzes 1 & 2 I moved on to a show called Wheeler Dealers for half an hour and then came back for another attempt at the mail. By 8.00 pm I’d succeeded in clearing one account out but didn’t have time for the other just then. I needed a cold drink and the chance to watch some more TV , in particular at 9.00 pm is the show Auction Hunters I mentioned last week. It’s excellent. And it was, excellent I mean, lots of enthusiasm from the two buyers but lots of humour too. And no nastiness towards the others trying to buy the ‘rooms’ which many of the other shows seem to feature. I have a particular dislike for Lori and Brandon off a different show and I’m ashamed to be British when I see the competitors on the UK version. Nasty, Nasty, Brashty. At 10.00 pm I came back through to check my mail boxes and unbelievably they were clear so I took the opportunity to get an early reading night.
I did a fair bit of reading in bed last night. It was getting on for 3.00 am when I turned the light off and since I seemed to be well propped decided to sleep where I was. It was lovely to wake this morning to quite bright sunshine, even if I was seeing it at a slightly odd angle- sideways on and through a ferocious coughing fit. Obviously the two were related since I’d toppled over at a right angle and my lungs weren’t able to get any air. I struggled upright and swung my legs out of bed. The coughing subsided on the way to the loo which was just as well as I wasn’t wearing the alarm pendant. I came back and cleared my office chair to let me sit down and log on. It was then I noticed it was only 5.20 am. I felt cheated. Anyway, at least there was chance to sign into my bank and see what’s happened with my pension payments following the DWP conversation with Yvonne a couple of days ago. Firstly let me clear up that my maths wasn’t very accurate. They’ve been taking £25 pw from me not £30 pw. And they’ve done it for 4 weeks so far so they should owe me £100 plus this week’s money at the rate before their mistake. But,though they have in fact paid me arrears, it’s very confusing because the figures make no sense. I shall have to try and decipher the letter when it comes.
At 6.00 am I went through and started lobbing pills down my throat in order to have breakfast. I couldn’t be sure of eating at the other end of the day with Dil coming for games night so breakfast and lunch seem the most appropriate meals today. Coming back after my Cornflakes I started an assault on the mail. Things were going so well I was able to get dressed at 8.30 am ( in actual fact I did have the ability to get dressed before this but chose not too) and at 9.00 am I was ready to brave the Mother’s Mafia to get my lottery tickets. It was really odd that as I approached the road I needed to cross a large estate car turned partly out of the traffic coming down the hill as though to turn into my road but then started trying to u-turn back into the flow it had just left. Then the brakes went on where she was, across the junction. When I came out of Pauline’s minutes later ( I got to the front of the queue) the car was now on my side of the road, facing the traffic going downhill but backing into a position on the other side of the road as though trying to park up. She then shot forward and edged into the downhill flow where she’d started from and all without a single signal.
The postie came not long after I arrived home and yes, it was a big brown envelope. Here I was hoping for an explanation of what’s happened with the pension and all I got was a letter regarding the start of recovery on the £142.00 I don’t owe them. The letter says they’ll start next week but hopefully by then the whole thing will have been ironed out. Still no sign of the letter supposedly sent to me on Monday. I had a little time back with my mail and then retired to the lounge for a look at a property programme and one re-uniting missing family members both were followed by my Bargain Hunt. The property one I really enjoy and slept through most of it. The family one I was awake for but missed chunks while I did my lunch of sausage, boiled new potatoes and beans and then I was able to watch Bargain Hunt in full- Yes, you heard me, even to the auction phase though I don’t remember the results so my attention may have been elsewhere. I turned off after that and came back through to see how much damage the morning had wrought on my post. Answer, A lot. I could only allow an hour as I’d promised myself Who Do You Think You Are with the great Annie Lennox as the subject. Fascinating.
I had a text about 2.30 pm to say Mike was on his way so hopefully he’ll be here by 5.30 pm. I also had a text from Dil to see if other visitors were here today. He’s now coming about 4.30 pm which is brilliant. My brother is one of the nicest people I know.Very laid back and even tempered which is not to say he can’t get angry when the occasion warrants it. We have been apart for many years living in different places. Never kept in touch except for the odd Christmas card but I’ve never disliked my brother or not been glad to see him. Our closeness over the last four years or so since they moved back into the area has been great, especially with the institution of this games evening after Ju died that he seems to enjoy as much as I do. Anyhoo, Dil and Matt arrived about 4.20 am, I’d forgotten he was off this week. Mike strolled in at just gone 5.00 pm so I got his drink and we all sat to watch the quiz. At 6.00 pm when the quiz was over off went the TV and out came the table. I can tell you we played Yahtzee, Chase the Lady and Crazy 8’s. I can tell you also that if I have to mention the scores I may well have to jump off a high bridge. Even my constant coughing didn’t distract them, merciless as they are. Are you beginning to get the gist of this conversation and an idea about the type of people I play games with?
At 9.30 pm Dil and Matt left a lot smugger than they arrived. I tidied up quickly and then made Mike something to eat though actually I just told him how much time to put on the microwave. I had a sandwich and then we settled to watch Person of Interest. It’s a shame I’ve missed so many of them and can’t follow the story anymore. At 11.00 pm I said goodnight and came through to have a last go at the mail. It’s 3 mins to midnight now and I’m heading off for a read.
A slightly surreal start to the day.I went through to the lounge and my chair when I finished reading at 1.00 am. I slept until 3.40 am then came through to the bedroom. Immediately there was a coughing fit which was followed by a huge sneeze and my glasses shot off my nose. I have shocking eyesight without the glasses and having a rough idea of direction I got down on my knees to search. I was praying for no accidents as my spares are a dark lens and inside the house not ideal. Even sunny days look grim. The area to search wasn’t very big since it’s a small room and I sit in the middle of it, but, no sign of the glasses. I moved a pair of shoes to see if they’d gone behind but instead found they’d landed, properly folded ( and intact) inside the left shoe. I turned the computer on and headed for the bank. No more from the DWP but at least my normal pension has gone in and I can eat again. Once I’d done that I signed into the first of my mail boxes and started clearing what I could.
At 6.10 am I went through to the kitchen. Had my normal sprays and my usual tablets then added the antibiotic to the mix. I took a pre-foodie,put two pieces of bread in the toaster and put the steroids and post foodies to one side. Being Friday it’s renewal day for my drug container. Yesterday when pushing an antibiotic out of the foil I’d split a nail well below the part where skin joins nail and had to apply a plaster immediately. This morning I found I couldn’t use my right thumb for the job without bending the nail in a way I really didn’t want. I had to resort to useless left hand and the job ended up taking until 6.55 am,way outside the 15 mins between pre-foodie and eating. I think I inhaled the toast it was gone so quickly. I made my coffee to take the other tablets with and left the kitchen.
It was still too early to wake Mike no matter how much the temptation rattled round my cruel head, and I didn’t want to start watching TV so it was back to work. At least no-one can moan when I’m alone. By 8.30 am I’d actually got more or less up to date and I knew my life was returning to normal as within a very short space of time I was notified of a $25.5 m payment due to me, told I’d need to clarify certain information with The Bank of Ireland despite not dealing with them and also reminded that I didn’t have long left to pick up my £25 voucher from a clothing store even though I could patently see they hadn’t sent it. I think the silly season is starting again. I got dressed. There had been rain outside ( huh, how unusual- sarcasm) but it was still warm enough for a tee-shirt. At 8.45 am I put the kettle on and made Mike a coffee which I took through. He doesn’t use an alarm on a Friday so I knew he’d not catch me being early unless he got up immediately. Ha, I should stop this, I don’t specialise in fairy stories. I woke him , told him the drink was there then left him for a few minutes. At 9.00 am I called to him that his drink was going cold and that I was going to Pauline’s for milk.
No mother’s mafia today but there were a couple of customers in. Pauline greeted me and served me with milk, a small bottle of pop and two ice lollies since I was so thirsty and warm. Mike was up and in the lounge when I got back. Judging by his state of dress he was warm too. I remember he told me his lady friends said he has the body of a god. I can see that for myself now, it’s Buddah. Not that I’m any better, just longer so the fat is a little better stretched. I’m the Michelin man with a few extra spare tyres. I sat down with him for a while but this morning he got himself ready to go early as he was dropping a sputum sample off at the surgery for me. I suppose I should put it in a jar? He left at 9.45 am and I’m afraid I turned the TV on to watch a property auction programme and promptly fell asleep. I woke for the last 15 minutes then nodded straight off again missing all the next programme and woke up just at the start of the reuniting family programme. I managed most of that before dropping off yet again and missing most of the antiques show. When I finally woke there seemed no reason to watch the end of it so I turned off and went to make lunch which today just happened to be cottage pie.
After lunch I went back to the computer for a while but I was still tired and now had indigestion which stayed with me the rest of the day. I had my lollies to try and ease the situation but no joy and a drink of pop just made me hiccup and burp. At 3.30 pm I gave up and went back to my chair and the sleep it seemed I needed. Any Zzzz’s floating round must have been mistaken for the insect population so there were no complaints from outside. At 5.00 pm I readied myself for the quiz and got a message from Mike that he was on his way back. Should be here about 6.30 pm then. Idle beggar took an extra ten minutes. I did his coffee and when my episode of Big Bang Theory was over went to get a shower. Mike did my hair for me to save me stretching and then bollocked me for flooding the bathroom floor- don’t ask ! We watched some TV together until 10.00 pm when I decided to come through and attack the mail again for the last time. I wanted my bed but the mail kept me till 11.00 pm. The bully said I could have an extra half hour for this and left. Just as well he can’t hear me from his room but I’m tapping very lightly just in case.
Again I read till one. I turned the light out but couldn’t get to sleep. About 2.00 am I went through to the lounge and about 2.30 I heard Mike go to the loo. After that I nodded off until 3.40 am when I though I might just give bed one more try. I propped myself up and zonked. The next thing I know is Mike’s alarm is going off. He’s ignoring it two rooms away and it’s waking me up here. I must have stung someone nice as a wasp in my previous life is all I can say. I galloped to the kitchen and put the kettle on and the stuff in his cup. Then I started taking my tabs. I had a pre-foodie so I could take my prednisilone afterwards. The kettle boiled and I took his drink through more or less as his alarm went off the second time.Back to the kitchen where I finished taking sprays and had a round of toast to take the last of my tablets with. I made myself a cup of coffee and went through to give Mike his second call for me and remind him the coffee was going cold. I got a perfectly viable answer from him which let me think job done but no, his bloody alarm went for the third time and he still went back to sleep. I was trying to get my rubbish bags together and the recycling stuff. I dropped it at the end of the path and when I came back in his fourth alarm coincided with me asking if he was going for a new record this week. He moved, it was 7.00 pm. Mike 4 A 3 C a new low I think.
By the time we were both dressed and ready to go it was 7.40 am but we were there by just past 8.00 am thanks to Mike having permission to travel at the speed of light and the luck to get there in one piece. I got money from the machine and we started. Typically my shopping list was still sitting on the table at home, but I had last weeks I could play around with. I got every single item on there spot on.Mainly because the only foodstuff was milk, but hey you can’t have everything. Mike had needed some slacks as he’d forgotten to pack a spare pair and he was lucky to find some. We needed some nice chocolates for Ceri’s 40th tomorrow and we found those too. We’d have to leave them for her today as she’s on a weekend off and I don’t usually get there on a Sunday anyway. I should tell you also I got a round of applause on the bread aisle for not being in a wheelchair this week. I didn’t tell them it was because I don’t trust someone’s driving. Keep backing up and locking the wheels etc. Or ditching me mid -aisle while he runs to the loo. I’m not naming names though. After the checkout it was time for a drink and I had a nice- but very thick- chocolate milkshake while Mike had his usual coffee.
Off to Flint next where we parked up and walked over to Homies for a card and gift bag. Mike sat on a bench and wrote them out before we went to Temptations for our usual. I say our usual but I don’t usually have a piece of lemon meringue but I did today. We went to the frozen food shop where I stocked up on ice lollies because of the fantastic temperatures they’ve promised sometime during next week. Most of which will probably be gone this afternoon during the moderate heat of today. When we’d unpaacked at home I opened my mail. The promised brown envelope. Would you believe the letter says my money has been adjusted from 23 May but will go down again on 03.Jul to start recovering the non-existent debt until October. I didn’t know whether to laugh hysterically or weep with frustration. How can they balls up something so simple a second time?
Mike wanted a specific thingamabob to fix his whajacallit so we decided to head towards the Greyhound Park in Chester and we were wondering where to eat today. Passing through Flint we spotted a little cafe and tried there. Not too bad. We carried on to Chester and I showed him one shop to price them up. Then we could go to another hop to price theirs and pick the best. It was the second shop for him and while there I bought a fan as he complains he gets too warm to sleep at night. Funny. I always thought it was too warm to wake he got. We went into a large new shop there where I also found a pedestal fan at a good price which I picked up so I have a reserve should I need one. We sat in the car with an ice cream and then headed home. I needed to get a look at my mail if nothing else. He allowed me from 4.00 pm to 6.00 pm on the computer which seemed a real treat until I tried sitting down for that long to do it. I managed to do it. We watched Avatar which he hadn’t seen before then a topical subject programme/quiz. Eventually I managed to sneak away again to look at the mail and to do the blog. I think he must have fallen asleep again.
Have a wonderful new week full of Hugs.