Sunday, 29 April 2012

Short but Sweet

Will it ever stop raining!!!!!

I have a few minutes before having to get ready for work so I thought I'd take the opportunity to give you a quick update.

Firstly I'd like to thank everyone who has sent messages of support and encouragement, they are very much appreciated and it is nice to know how many people are supporting me. For the one person, and it was only one, who decided to kick me while I'm down. You message says more about you than it does me and I feel real pity that you are so bitter that you cannot do anything other than spit bile at me. If you hate me so much why do you still read my blog?

Well as I'd hoped work has improved my mood considerably by helping me think of something else. You know how it is, the more you think about a problem the bigger and more insurmountable it becomes. Yesterday was busy for a Saturday and I spent a straight seven hours sorting out other peoples problems while forgetting all about mine. As a result when I did think about things instead of the knee jerk 'I'm not doing it' reaction I had before I'm now thinking 'maybe'. I still do not want the RHC but I'm now willing to at least hear what the hospital have to say when they ring on Tuesday.

Had a surprise in the post yesterday. A letter from my consultant to my son's school outlining what I'm going through and asking for consideration to be taken for Andrew when he takes his final exams at the end of May. What a lovely thing to do. Andrew of course is delighted but I have warned him that the letter doesn't mean he doesn't have to revise.

Well time to get my uniform on and head off to see what terrible things my fellow man have been doing to each other. Catch you soon.

Friday, 27 April 2012


Well the phone call came and although it wasn't a no it is still a maybe as they now want to carry out a Right Heart Catheter test. For those that don't know, this involves pushing a flexible wire into your heart from your groin or neck in order to read the pressures inside it. It is not nice and I, with my needle phobia, find them very traumatic. I immediately refused this procedure but agreed to think about it over the weekend. They will phone me back to discuss it further on Tuesday and, if I agree, fix a date. I know it sounds silly but I would have been happier with a straight 'no'. I have a real fear of this test, my last one was a disaster, and nothing on God's green earth will make me take another one. I think this will mean the end of my transplant if I don't but I just can't do it and I've been tearful all day.

So with the knowledge that I will no longer be on the list I had to go and attend my regular appointment at the Brompton. They had obviously been forewarned as my specialist nurse jumped into action straight away and took me into a quiet room to discuss the situation. Having asked if there was anything that could be done to make taking the test easier for me I said I'd do the procedure but only under general anesthetic, I've had it done this way before. This was refused so the stand off is still on going. After an hour of back and fore discussion the subject was finally dropped. There was some good news though, all the results are now in from my tests earlier in the week and it is looking really good. All my other internal organs are working normally and my coronary arteries are clear with no kinks or blockages, the only cloud on the horizon is in the blood gas and lung function tests, both of which are dreadful, but I knew that anyway, why else would I need a transplant!

I don't know if anyone else feels like this but sometimes I feel that my life is just one long medical test. The last three months, when I haven't been ill, I've either been working or in hospital being tested for something and I think it has all become just too much. I really want just to have some time to have fun. I can't remember when I really had fun. I've been out and enjoyed myself but hospital's and tests, tablets and of course this damned machine are all hovering in the back of my mind ready to spoil things at a moments noticed. After this week all I want to do at the moment is curl up under the covers and cry myself dry.

The journey home was quite interesting, the traffic was absolutely terrible. We don't go through the center of London we skirt around it after being caught in a jam on Oxford Street lasting over an hour. After stop-go, stop-go for miles we finally hit the M1 and turned on the radio for local news. We were totally shocked to find that there was a nutter threatening to blow himself up in the middle of Tottenham Court Road and police were diverting traffic. And what was he protesting about? He'd been refused a HGV license. Some people!

It is back to work tomorrow and I'm on lates so I get the best of both worlds, a lie in and my dinner cooked for when I get back. Now I'm off to put my feet up with a nice cuppa and try and lose myself in Neighbours for half an hour.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Judgement Day

I must start today's blog with The Apprentice. As some of you might have gathered I was less than impressed with last week's effort but last night's episode was back on form and then some. The task was to make and sell upmarket 'street' food but to stand out from the usual burger bars. The key words were 'quality' and 'cost', words that were immediately sidelined by one team and over embraced by the other. After the usual debate of what they were going to sell both teams then went on the hunt for ingredients. Team Sterling decided on a gourmet 'scot pot' an interesting fusion brought about by the team leader being from Lancaster and the selling pitch being in Edinburgh. This team spent a whopping £290 on their ingredients and made a casserole to die for, it certainly looked good and by all accounts smelt and tasted divine.

Team Phoenix employed the services of a famous Italian chef to devise a simple pasta and meatball dish. As the chef looked on with a mixture of exasperation and dismay the team leader ditched all his fresh, prime cut ingredients and started to substitute with the cheapest stuff he could find. The one thing Phoenix did not stint on though was the price and after altering the recipe beyond recognition decided to charge £5.99 per portion, even higher than Sterling were charging for their top quality meals. Having spent just £90 on ingredients Adam was smugly confident he had the winning formula to make a small fortune. His smile became even wider when Katie (The Blonde Assassin) came up with the brilliant idea of pitching next to the football ground just before or after a match. I don't like football, have never attended a game but knew that they were on to a loser. Football fans are more into simple fare they can eat on the terraces with the minimum of fuss and were unlikely to pay the high price demanded. As it turned out I was right and they sold barely a dozen portions. Katie then had the idea of hijacking bus tours dressed as a pizza which unsurprisingly also failed to bring in any customers. Yes I know, I can't work out why she dressed as a pizza to sell meatballs either.

Meanwhile Sterling, while not racing ahead, had a steady stream of customers which increased significantly when they began to drop their prices as end of trading approached. Back in the boardroom Adam remained smug convinced he'd won, the look on his face when Sterling, despite spending almost three times as much, won by just £21 was well worth seeing. Adam, obviously in shock but not out of bluster placed the blame squarely on Katie's shoulders, Lord Sugar agreed and Katie was sent home in back of a black cab. So yet another of my hate figures out of the picture, I'm doing well this year. I have now transfered to Adam, who is emerging as a prime idiot.

Went shopping yesterday and having free reign to eat lots of unhealthy fatty stuff I indulged myself with lots of sweeties, crisps and snacks. I also bough loads of fruit. I am going through the fruit like there is no tomorrow while the unhealthy stuff remains in the cupboard untouched. I am fine with the odd chocolate treat but just cannot bring myself to eat tons of the stuff. My problem is that I prefer fruit to sweets and veg to chips, I just can't help it. I also love cheese so I am letting myself have free range with that, which is a start I suppose.

I also picked up my new glasses, which are a bit, well, different. I've always gone for the John Lennon type before but decided on a change and have chosen a rectangle shape with a thicker, plastic frame. Having got used to them I must say I'm rather pleased. Although there is not much change in my regular prescription, the only reason I'm updating is because the lenses are all scratched, but the reading glasses are a bonus. I didn't realise how much I was beginning to struggle until I read in bed last night, what a difference.

Today is my lazy day, well if you discount the pile of ironing lined up for this afternoon. I'm trying to keep myself busy while I wait for the phone call that will tell me if I'm still OK for transplant. Despite the anxiety I slept well last night but today I am a bundle of nerves. I can see no reason for them to say no based on the test results I've been told about but I'm not a doctor. I hate this feeling that someone, who doesn't really know me, is sitting in a room miles away discussing whether I should be given the chance to live. It is horrendous knowing that I can't even plead my own case, everything has to be judged through test results. I know it is the same for everyone, which is fair but just because it is the right thing to do doesn't mean I have to like it.

As fate would have it I'm off to the Brompton tomorrow for my regular clinic appointment. Let's hope I have something positive to tell them.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger

I am glad to say I've survived my assessment at Harefield and come away with only four bruises, two on each arm, which is quite good for me.

I arrive on time on the Monday morning and was whisked up to the ward where I was place in a large, bright and airy room of my own with a magnificent view to the portacabins and construction site, they are having a new suite built. I didn't even have time to unpack when a nurse came in to take bloods, this done the transplant coordinator popped into to give my my itinerary for the day. She explained I'd be going through the whole transplant assessment to see if anything has changed from last time I was seen. She'd barely finished explaining when a wheelchair arrived and whisked me off for my first test. For those who have never been through this process or are waiting to be assessed this is a list of what I had done, these tests may vary from center to center or person to person depending on your condition..

Full bloods
Fasting bloods
Arterial bloods (ouch)
CT scan
Lung perfusion scan
Lung function tests
Bone density scan
Muscle mass tests
Liver and kidney ultra sound
Kidney function (basically collecting all your wee in a pot for 24 hours, yuk!)
24 hour tape
Full examination by Consultant.
Psychiatric assessment
MRSA swabs
Chest measurement

All the tests have come back with normal results except the CT scan and the lung function tests which show a marked deterioration, the drugs I am taking are slowing things down but not enough and they certainly are not stopping the progress. There will be a meeting on Thursday to review my listing and I've been told there are four possible outcomes,

Too ill for transplant
Too well for transplant (highly unlikely)
Offer transplant with more urgency, this means being offered lungs too big (these will be trimmed to my size), too small or from ex-smokers, so less than perfect but will increase my chances.
Offer transplant with only good lungs, but this will lessen my chances.

I also had a chance to discuss my post care treatment. My heart is causing a bit of a worry, mainly because my condition is so severe and some damage has been done. In a nutshell they said that because my heart has been beating against great pressure for so long when that pressure is relieved my heart is likely to go crazy and I could have a heart attack. To prevent that happening they are going to put me on a machine, the name of which I've forgotten, which is basically a heart lung machine. It will take over from my heart for a while until everything settles down and they can gradually let my heart take over again. This means a longer time for me in intensive care but they still aim to have me home in six weeks.

For the first time concern has been shown about my work, Although my work is not physically demanding they recognise that at times it can be emotionally and mentally stressful. They are worried that this stress is beginning to have an effect on my physical well being. They haven't said I can't work, in fact it is good that I still do, but I may have to think about making changes to take the pressure off.

I have been offered morphine, not just for the pain but it will ease the feeling of breathlessness and make day to day life easier. I have declined that step at the moment as I feel that is a slippery slope I'd rather not go down just yet.

Surprisingly I've been told to start exercising. I've lost a lot of muscle bulk from my upper body of late and that is not good news for transplant patients, it make recover slower and more painful if your muscles are too week to hold you properly. Gentle weight training has been advised, preferably done sitting down and with strict instruction to not over do it. I am delighted at this because weight training is something I really miss. I've been told to eat more of the stuff that is really bad for me to maintain and hopefully put on weight, Chinese take away here I come.

Overall there can be no guarantees and I know that transplant will be risky, my life expectancy could be significantly shortened and I face a lifetime of drugs, and lifestyle restrictions. I also know I could be offered transplant tomorrow, next week, next year or never. On the other hand, I'm on my last chance for drug therapy, there is nothing after this and this drug could fail me, as other have done, within days, weeks or months. I know my life expectancy is very short at the moment. I feel ill most of the time and I am very restricted on what I can do. Of course if everything goes smoothly I could emerge with a greatly improved life expectancy and quality. I might even be well enough to return to teaching, go on foreign holidays or take part in the transplant games. It should be a no brainer but it is not, it is a hard choice to make and I constantly waver between wanting it now and withdrawing consent. In the end I know I will still go for transplant because even if I only have a couple of years of perfect health it will be worth it.

Friday, 20 April 2012



Well what a first day back.

I was late, I hate being late and fumed as I sat in a queue of traffic behind a HGV that had broken down at a cross roads. In the end it was only a couple of minutes but it meant I felt rushed as I set up my work station and got ready for my first call. I then got sworn at within two minutes of plugging myself in and it all went downhill from there really. I was so glad when three thirty came around and I could escape.

It has been raining today, a lot but at least we don't need to worry about watering our gardens anymore.

Last night The Apprentice gave it's all to the world of fitness video's, much to my hilarity and delight and the shortest pair of red shorts I've seen in a long while.Both teams boasted candidates who claimed to know a bit about the fitness industry and so the team leaders were chosen without much of a fight for once. One team decided to go with a combination of street dance and martial arts, while the other went back to the 80's and incorporated space hoppers and hula hoops into their routines. Mayhem hit when egos started to come into play and it has to be said both teams ended up with pretty similar and rather bland routines. What made me giggle and Lord Sugar raise his eyebrows in disbelief was the 80's themed team thinking they could sell space hoppers for a pound a piece. In the end Duane failed to impress anyone and was given the boot.

Friday started out bright and breezy but ended once again in downpours and dark clouds. Loving this drought.

Sometimes I despair at my fellow man and today was such a day. Just when you think people couldn't get more stupid they do. Still it made for an interesting time and my seven hours passed quite swiftly.

As I think I've said previously we've been given new chairs which I'm finding very uncomfortable, mainly because they have shortish backs and no head rests. Today the health and safety bod came to see me and once I explained my predicament he agreed that I needed a chair with a long back and I was allowed to keep my old chair. I even have my name on it now so no one can nick it from me, result.

Tomorrow will be a first, I going to have to take my portable oxygen in with me. The walk from car to office is resulting in me being so out of puff I can't speak for the first few minutes after I arrive, and that's with going up in the lift. I fought against doing this for some time but now it has got to be done, it's either that or the bloody wheelchair again. At least with oxygen I'm still on my own two feet. I'm reasoning that it might only be short term anyway as the tests I'm having next week might result in another med to help. If it doesn't, like everything else, I'm sure I will get used to it eventually.

This might be my last blog for a few days. I'm on lates for the next couple of days and then on Monday I'm off to Harefield for tests. I will try and blog from the hospital if I have time and I am allowed to use my computer. If not my next blog will be Wednesday. See you soon.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

High Expectations

The goblins have gone, thank goodness. I slept soundly and as far as I can tell didn't dream at all.

The weather, if possible, is even worse today than it was yesterday. Driving rain, high winds and it is cold, it is almost back to winter again.

I treated myself yesterday to a pair of Scholl classic wooden sandals. I had several pairs of these sandals when I was in my late teens and early twenties and I wore them everywhere, with anything. They were so comfortable and I loved them. I gave them up, reluctantly, when I became pregnant as the midwife nagged me about the possibility of falling in them and never went back. While in Tesco's yesterday I heard the familiar clack-clack, turned around and there they were, denim fabric with a few sparkles on them but unmistakable. Back home I scoured the Internet and eventually found a pair in my size on Ebay, a bargain at £18 and brand new. I was even more delighted that they were a beige suede, exactly the same as my favourite pair from all those years ago. Can't wait for them to arrive. Of course there is a downside to Scholls, they are noisy. I wore them in a library with wooden floors once and sounded like a heard of elephants on the rampage. No doubt on the first occasion I wear them to a hospital appointment I'll be warned that they could be a trip risk, however, having fallen off, out off or over many types of shoes, I never once fell or tripped in my Scholls.

Today is definitely a stay indoors day, which is just as well as I haven't done this week's ironing yet. I will settle down on the settee this afternoon and watch a film while slogging away.

Andrew is much better, he is back to eating normally and has now had two uninterrupted nights sleep so is no longer so tired. He's talking of going back to school tomorrow so is obviously much recovered.

It is back to work for me tomorrow and an early start, which I don't mind too much as I get an early finish thrown into the bargain. If this week goes well then I'm going to give eight hours a go again especially as I will only be working the three days instead of four week after next, so an easy introduction. Personally I'm hoping it pours down all weekend, I'm doing Saturday and Sunday this week, as we won't be plagued with complaints about mini motorcycles if it rains.

Next week is more or less given over to hospital appointments. On Monday I'm off to Harefield for an overnight stay while they carry out all manner of lung function tests. Part of it is to reassess for transplant, the other is to try and find out why my condition suddenly worsened and landed me in hospital earlier this year. Although I am back on my feet and feeling OK, my breathing has never fully recovered after the incident despite the introduction of a new med. Sitting down I'm fine but even walking on the flat without oxygen now leaves me breathless. If I over do it, as I did last week by foolishly trying to run up the stairs, I feel as though all breath has left my body and I can't breath fast or deep enough to get any back in. It is a strange and alarming sensation to say the least.

When I was in hospital last time they did a CT scan which showed extensive scarring and pockets of deep seated infection in both lungs. The infection has cleared at last so now is the time to assess exactly how much damage has been done. I'm nervous because the results will obviously make a difference to my chances of a transplant. If the lungs are really bad or haven't changed much I will be OK, if my heart has started to become damaged then they might say no it is too risky now. On the other hand I might become an urgent case to try and get things done before the heart gets any worse. I HATE all this waiting around while other people decide, to put it bluntly, whether I will be given or denied a chance to live. I feel so out of control, knowing why decisions are made doesn't make it any better either.

Don't get me wrong, I love the way my specialists are so open with me and always explain all the possibilities and risks to me so I fully understand what I'm letting myself in for. Sometimes, such as now, I wish they'd keep more to themselves. Although I'm usually very positive I tend to err on the side of the worst possible outcome. I think I do this so I'm always prepared for bad news but it means that as a result I don't sleep much for the few days before tests or clinics. I'm quite glad I'm in work right up to the day I go in as it will keep my mind off it. On the other hand I can see Sunday being a disaster as by then I'll have barely slept and my stomach will be churning.

After two days back home I'm then down in the Brompton for my regular clinic, hence why I'm only working three days rather than four. I am expecting an increase in my meds at this appointment as I've had problems recently with pain and, of course, increased breathlessness. I'm not looking forward to that either truth be told. OK I'll feel better breathing wise but if things go the way they have previously I'll be vomiting everywhere for weeks.

Oh how I long for the says when the only major decisions I had to make were what to put in the kids lunch boxes and whether I should go for a long walk or an hour in the pool. 

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Rip Off!

I'm sitting here in the middle of a drought hit county listening to the rain being lashed against the window by gale force winds. Typical, the minute they put a  hosepipe ban in place the heavens opened and we haven't had a completely dry day since. Of course this being a special year with the jubilee and Olympics taking place this weather is likely to continue until at least September. It is always the same in Britain, plan massive, mostly outdoor, events and down comes the rain. Tell people they can't water their gardens and they don't need to. Maybe next year, when there is nothing special happening, at least not that I know of, it might be the summer of 1976 again, especially if the weather people can be bribed into predicting freezing temperatures and torrential rain.

My dream was back again last night, not the entire thing, just the bit where I hauled the first goblin out of the shed window and threw him to the ground. This played on a loop over and over but I never managed to progress on to what happened next, very odd.

I was saddened today to learn of the death of yet another friend with Pulmonary Hypertension. I never met Suzi personally but had chatted to her on the PH forums and there are so few of us that there is an 'all in it together' vibe that makes us close. There has been a rather alarming number of deaths from PH over the last few months, more than I can remember in previous years. I know it is a very selfish thing to say but it makes me nervous and very aware that I am now well beyond my predicted life expectancy. There have been great leaps forward in treatments and possible cures over the last couple of years. New drugs have been developed to keep us going, stem cell research is still on going but those taking part talk about it as if it is a miracle cure and of course transplant survival rates, especially for lungs have increased. Sadly all these things are not happening quickly enough and many more will die before a proper cure is found.

In today's news a story that is particularly close to my heart.

A couple of years ago, on behalf of the PH Association, I and several other PH sufferers took part in a campaign to make airlines stop charging for oxygen on flights. At the time the majority of airlines charged any thing between £100 and £300 pounds to provide oxygen often doubling the cost of the flight. During the campaign I took part in a select committee in parliament and attended several functions there intended to raise awareness amongst MP's and the like. I even went on an early morning radio show to highlight the cause, nervous or what? I think we made a difference, at least the scandal was out in the open and some airlines did change their policies. So imagine my horror when reading an online paper to find the one airline is charging £660 or 800 euros for a three year old to have oxygen on a flight. This flight should be taking her for treatment for her rare condition but her cash strapped parents cannot afford this extra charge. What an outrage, I shall not be travelling by KLM again, and if you are disabled or know someone who is I suggest you might want to think twice.
Full story here

I've got the weekly trip to Tesco to look forward to this afternoon, I can only hope the weather perks up before we venture out. I'm going to try and find some tempting little treats for Andrew. He is eating again now but not normally and is very tired and weak. He was supposed to return to school today but has had to give it a miss as he just doesn't feel up to it. He's better, there is no doubt about it, but not himself, hopefully it won't belong before he is bouncing around again.

I have to make a correction about the trial of Anders Breivik. Yesterday I said that they had decided before the trial that he was sane. However watching a news report today it seems that the assessment of his sanity is on going and will continue right through the trial.

The trip to Tesco was more exciting than usual as Peter took the opportunity to try out our new satnav after the other one died on us a few weeks ago. I shall miss our old satnav as it had developed a rather endearing stutter. This one was efficient, rather posh and warned us about a speed camera that wasn't there while ignoring one that was.

Time for a cuppa and to put my feet up.

Monday, 16 April 2012

What A Day For A Daydream

OK not a daydream an actual dream.

A couple of days ago a colleague from work told me she had a very vivid dream about me. We were sitting in a Victorian style conservatory surrounded by cut glass objects and I was raging against my husband for selling them on ebay behind my back. I own very little cut glass, in fact I'm not keen on ornaments, too much dusting, we don't have a conservatory of any type and my colleague has never met my husband, who would never do such a thing. We both pondered the possible meaning of this dream and eventually gave up having absolutely no idea of it's meaning, if it means anything at all that is.

Now I've had a vivid dream, not involving any work colleagues, or indeed anyone I know, but it was so real I could actually smell and feel things. I was driving to work when I spotted a couple of filthy tramps on the side of the road. I stopped and offer them a lift, they wanted to go to Bedford, which is where I was heading so in they got. Now I never, ever pick up hitchhikers. They could be the cleanest, most respectable people in the world, they could be Lord Sugar and Prince Charles and I still wouldn't pick them up. I am very aware of how vulnerable I am in my current state of health and know that if anything happened I couldn't run out of trouble. Anyway back to the dream. These two, both male were hideous close up, they looked like the goblins in the Harry Potter films and they smelt even worse, I had to open the car windows. On top of that they were obnoxious. I cannot remember where on my route I picked them up but I think it was at the turning to Kempston Hardwick so it was a surprise to find myself driving through Flitwick, which I pass though long before reaching KH. Unable to stand my two companions any longer I pulled over at the village hall and ordered them out. Both refused as it wasn't Bedford and that's what I promised. I remember being angry but not afraid so I put my foot down and flew on to Bedford. I pulled into the car park outside of work and got them out of the car. The scene then changed to my back garden and these males were now holed up inside my garden shed refusing to come out. The shed had a sort of opening, like you get on roadside burger vans, and the tramps, now both wearing stab proof vests with police written across them were taunting me and threating to burn the shed down. Suddenly a red mist descended and I grabbed the one who was currently leaning out of the window swearing at me, and hauled him out of the window by his vest and threw him on the ground. Then I woke up sweating, breathless and with a racing heart. Strange or what? If anyone can tell what the hell it means please let me know.

I was calm again within ten minutes or so but can still remember the details, including that horrible smell, which is unusual for me as I never remember dreams.

Last week at work a colleague gave me a recipe for a lamb korma which he assured me was fabulous and not like your usual korma. Keen to give it a go I went through my cupboards to find I had everything I needed except the lamb. Isn't that just typical, you want to try something out and you don't have what you need to make it. A trip to Tesco later today will ensure I can give it a go tomorrow.

I changed my dressing today and at last the bleeding seems to have stopped and once again the site looks like it is healing over. I received a batch of different dressings which I'm trying out over the next few weeks to see if it makes a difference. They have only provided a different waterproof covering though and not the gauze that goes directly over the wound site itself so I'm not expecting much change. However if the new covering stops my skin from tearing and developing sore patches at least that will be some improvement.

Andrew has improved again and is feeling up to trying a cooked meal today, though smaller portions. Now that he is feeling better we've been through everything he ate on the Thursday before becoming ill. He didn't go out that day so there was nothing consumed outside the house. He slept late so did not have breakfast. I was home because of pain so I cooked up lunch of bacon, eggs, fried bread and beans, we all had the same only Andrew added a large blob of garlic mayonnaise from a new unopened jar to his. For tea he had some Riveta with nothing on it, as he was already feeling a bit queasy, and he went to bed early having nothing else but a glass of apple juice. After eliminating all other possibilities the finger of suspicion is pointing firmly at the garlic mayo. The jar is now in the bin and I won't be buying another for a while as Andrew is the only one who eats the stuff and not unsurprisingly he's gone off it.

This morning I gave the bathroom and the downstairs loo another bleaching but I think the danger is passed now and if it was the garlic mayo the risks were much less than if it had been a bug.

In the news the trial has started of Anders Behring Breivik who shot seventy seven young people enjoying a camping trip in Norway nine months ago. This man gave a fascist salute in court, wept and claimed he did it in 'self defence', acknowledged his actions then pleaded not guilty. A good deal of time before the trial was taken up with the powers that be trying to work out whether he was 'mad' or 'bad'. They decided he was 'bad' and so the trial is going ahead as though Breivik is totally sane. I find this remarkable as he clearly is not sane, well not in any definition of the word I know. And why can't someone be mad and bad? Why does it have to be one or the other. The argument is that all the planning and preparation he did shows someone who knew what he was doing. I agree but for me the question is 'why' did he do it? What drove him to think that a group of youngsters on a Christian camp were such a danger to him? In the end whether he was mad or bad won't make much difference, either way he is unlikely to see the outside of a prison ever again.

I have a packed day of TV watching ahead as I catch up on all the stuff I missed while in work. Being at home so often I have become addicted to Neighbours and now cannot bare to miss an episode so I record them all when I'm working to watch when I'm not. How awful is that? Still a little of what you fancy does you good as they say.

Sunday, 15 April 2012


Today is the one hundredth anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic and the TV schedules are awash with Titanic related programmes. There are films, documentaries and docudramas but there is one noticeable omission, James Cameron's Titanic with Leonardo and Kate. I'm going to play the cynic and say this is probably because those associated with the film would rather make you pay to see the remastered HD edition in the cinema's than let you watch the old version for free in the comfort of your own home.

I have this film on DVD and plan to watch it this afternoon and will be silently putting two fingers up at the money grabbers. To be honest it is not a great film. Yes the sets are brilliant and as far as anyone can tell historically accurate but the whole thing is marred by what is essentially a naff love story, and it is about an hour too long to boot. I also have a bit of trouble with the ending, there was plenty of room on that piece of wood for Leo, and a girl as well built as Kate shouldn't have had any trouble hauling skinny Leo out of the water, what was she thinking? Well of course it wasn't Kate's fault, that is down to those who will never let sense get in the way of a good story. I will watch it anyway and try and imagine what it must have been like on that terrible night, something that for all the docudramas no one really, really knows.

Andrew, I am pleased to report, had an undisturbed night and is feeling a lot better today. I am still bleaching and disinfecting everything though, just to be on the safe side.

The day started off beautifully with brilliant blue skies and lots of sunshine, however by lunchtime the gentle breeze had turned into a biting wind and dark clouds were gathering. I washed and hung out as much as I could, which I normally try not to do on a weekend to avoid the 'barbecue brigade' but I figured they were unlikely to light up today and so it proved. It was a tense afternoon though as I kept watching for the first spot of rain that would herald a mad dash to get everything back in again. Thankfully the wind was drying everything in double quick time so I got everything done and in the airing cupboard before tea time.

Bee Gee Robin Gibb is still in a coma and things are looking grim. The cause is pneumonia caused by his poor immune system which in turn is a result of his cancer treatment. Another singer, George Michael, recently had pneumonia and also had a few tricky days. He pulled through and is now back to full health, lets hope Robin has the same result.

This morning I watched the Chinese Grand Prix and again we had another exciting race and another, it has to be said, unexpected driver coming in first. That is three races and three different winners so far, looks like this season the race will be on for the championship rather than second place. Nico Rosberg won, partly thanks to team mate Michael Schumacher having to retire after his pit crew messed up a tyre change. Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton came in second and third respectively. This is the kind of season I adore, those years when it has been obvious from the very start who the winner will be are not for me. I like to be kept on the edge of my seat until at least two thirds of the way through, this year might do just that. Lewis is leading the championship with Jenson just two points behind.

It is Bahrain next week and at the time of writing the powers that be are insisting that the race will go ahead. Last year this race was cancelled and, to be honest, we expected the same this year as well. A week is a long time in formula one and an even longer time in politics, I would not be surprised if it still isn't cancelled at the last minute. If it does go ahead I think we can expect some attempt to interrupt the race. Security is going to have to be air tight for this one.

Well the settee, Leonardo and Kate are waiting for me, time to snuggle up to a poor unfortunate cat and drift off into the Atlantic.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

My Little Bug Factory

Well as you probably gathered I am pain free again and so back at work. In the end I only needed two doses of the high level pain killers and it all settled. Peter reckons that what had happened was my muscles went into spasm and continued to spasm as I kept tensing to try and stop it hurting. Once I took the painkillers and the pain went I was able to relax my muscles and relieve the spasm. He may be right, I just don't care as long as it doesn't start hurting again.

Someone else in the household is also suffering at the moment. Poor Andrew has a tummy bug. He started around two on Friday morning and continued right through until about six this morning. When I arrived home this afternoon he announced he was feeling better and had managed to eat, and keep down, a couple of mouthfuls of soup. Sensibly he has canceled his paper round for tomorrow but I think he is on the mend. I have been taking precautions and am currently going through anti bacterial spray and hand wash as though it is going out of fashion. The Domestos has taken a hit as well. I know some will think I'm panicking but I really do not need another infection, especially one where I'd lose weight.

Today a colleague had to rush home after hearing that his elderly mother had suffered a fall. I hope every thing is OK and things are not as bad as we feared.

It has been a bit of a strange day, weekends always are a bit odd. It amazes me how many people think that someone who visited them at two in the morning might still be on duty at twelve the following day and then throw a strop to find they actually have to sleep sometimes and are not in. I sailed through the seven hours with barely a pause and feel a lot better at the end of my four days this week than I did last. I have asked to do just seven hours shifts again next week and then I'll have another go at going up to eight. As I've been told repeatedly I can always go down again if I find it too much.

In the news the world waits with baited breath as BeeGee Robin Gibb lies in a coma 'close to death'. It was only a short while ago that he was claiming to be feeling really well after beating cancer. It seems the cancer had other ideas. I think this story is likely to end badly but I really hope we get better news tomorrow.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Anger And Agony

I am in agony. I woke up in dreadful pain around four this morning and by five it was unbearable. Only having paracetamol in the house Peter went out to find an all night supermarket and came back armed with Nurofen power plus which I gobbled like sweeties. Half an hour later the pain had subsided enough for me to sink back into a restless sleep only to be woken at seven thirty by my alarm clock. Still in pain and now exhausted with it I decided that the best thing to do would be to skip work and get an appointment with my GP. I'm pretty sure it is just muscular pain but what bothers me is that it is in my left arm and across my shoulder joint into my upper left ribcage. I've checked my pulse and blood pressure and both are fine, as is my breathing so I'm at a loss as to the cause.

Yesterday I arrived at work to find we have new chairs. They are a lot more comfortable than our old chairs however, me being a shorty I can't adjust the seat down far enough to be able to put my whole foot on the floor. I can just about manage tippy toes and solved the problem by grabbing one of the foot stools we have lying around. The other problem is the arm rest. On our old chairs they were fabric covered, on the new chairs they are hard plastic with a dip going down the center. This is fine if you want to sit with your arms straight out in front of you but quite painful any other way. I guess we will get used to them and there are a few of the old style chairs still around so whenever I can I'll try and grab one of them instead.

It was an extremely busy day with lots of things going on. I got sworn at again and told that I was useless but to be honest that sort of thing no longer bothers me as it used to. All our calls are recorded so if someone complains and tries to make out that I'd said something I didn't I'm covered. I came home feeling rather down though. It is difficult when every call you take is someone angry and taking it out on you. Health wise I felt much, much better at the end of my seven hours than I did last week. Again it is only day one so that has to be taken into account, as should the fact that I'm starting later than usual and so get a longer lie in. Having said all that, and ignoring my mystery pain, I might be able to go back to my eight hours pretty soon.

And so to my weekly treat The Apprentice. The teams have been well and truly mixed up now so I can no longer say the girls/boys team. Instead I'm going to have to call them by the pretentious names they've given themselves, Sterling and Phoenix.

The task this week was to buy junk, tart it up and then resell it. Each team were given one thousand pounds and a shop in which to sell their refurbished items. It was clear from the start that neither team really 'got' what they were expected to do. One team went to an auction and paid well over the odds, the other visited various junk shops where on shop keeper gloated to camera that they'd just bough a load of stuff he couldn't even give away. One team went as far as raiding the bins outside to find items to trashy even for the junk shop. Team Sterling then went on to spend a quarter of their budget on paints, fabrics, wheels and door handles to spruce their items up. Phoenix relied on a lick of paint, a good polish and a well laid out shop, they won and Sterling ended up in the cafe drinking coffee and trying to work out who to blame.

In the end project manager Laura dragged Gabrielle, whose idea of design was to paint a union jack on everything and was partly responsible for the enormous materials spend, and Jane, who sold just ten pounds worth of stuff and did very little else, into the boardroom. After quite a catty exchange Jane was shown the door and showed that she did have a softer side by crying in the car as it drove her away. I was a little bit bereft myself as she had become the candidate I loved to hate. I guess it is back to 'The Blonde Assassin' for me then.

Overall not as good an episode as we've had previously, next week though it is the video making task. Who can forget 'Pants Man', I can't wait.

Well the verdict on the pain is that I appear to have trapped a nerve in my shoulder and it is causing all the muscles around my shoulder, down my back and around my chest wall to tighten up causing more pain. Painkillers given and advice to do some gentle rotation exercises with my shoulder to try and loosen up the ceased muscles and free the nerve. Got to go back on Monday if still having trouble and they will do an x ray. A relief I must say, it might be bloody painful but at least it isn't serious.

If alls well I'll go back to work tomorrow, yippee! I think.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Planning A Get Away.

The subject of a holiday was approached with caution yesterday. I say 'with caution' as every time we start to think about, plan or, God forbid, book a holiday something bad happens, usually in the form of me becoming poorly. There is also the added complication of having to pack loads of drugs and equipment if we go anywhere. If we go for a week the boot will only just be big enough to pack our suitcases AND all the stuff I'll need to do the daily line change. Anything longer than that would mean filling up the back seats as well. This means that anything abroad is immediately ruled out. I cannot fly, dare not get on a boat as I suffer from chronic seasickness and there is too much to carry to go by train.

At the moment the only continent we could reach is Europe and that would have to be by Eurostar. Now we have done this before and toured from place to place finding overnight accommodation as we went. With all my drug stuff and the need to have somewhere fairly hygienic to do the change Peter feels that this is now just too much of a risk. So the only choice we have is in good old blighty. There is a problem with this idea too though. Peter wants to remain within a four hour dash to Harefield as he doesn't want me to miss my chance should a suitable donor turn up. We both know that my chances are low as it is. Although I'm near the top of the list various complications, along with my age, mean that I will probably only have the one shot, if that. So on that basis I've chosen Canterbury as a possible destination as it is somewhere I've always wanted to go. I'd really like to go to Edinburgh to see my brother, or Wales for my yearly visit to my mum and sister but they are all to far away. All I've got to do now is find a nice hotel and decide exactly when and how long for. Sod's law says I'll get the call the day before.

Today actually started off sunny but by eleven the clouds had come across and rain looked to be on it's way. I don't really mind the rain at this time of year as in April you do expect it. However packing the car with shopping in the middle of a cloudburst is not a good experience.

Well it turned out to be a fuller day than expected. First stop Wellingborough so Peter could pick up some bits and pieces he'd ordered, then on to Rushden to call in on Laurence and return some items he forgot to take with him on Sunday. Then it was back to Milton Keynes and a quick scamper around Costco before home and feet up with a cuppa. And although we got rained on, hailstones at one point, we packed the car in the dry but, by God, was it cold. That wind could cut through glass. I got all the salad stuff I wanted along with tuna, eggs and cheese and am fully stocked for the next four days of sandwiches, all I've got to do now is remember to make them. I almost indulged in a box of half price chocolates but resisted the urge, especially as the boxes looked as though they'd been trodden on.

Finally ordered my new glasses, on this occasion from Boots who were doing a special offer. I got two pairs, one distance, one reading for the princely sum of £110. I consider this to be a bargain as Costco tried to charge me £275 for one pair just before Christmas. If they last as long as my current glasses, about five years, I'll be more than happy.

Talking of happy, Andrew was ecstatic when I let him drive my car this afternoon. I didn't let him go alone though and sat in the passenger seat, it was also on a wide expanse of empty private land, so nothing to hit. He was a lot better than I thought he'd be while he was surprised at how powerful my car was. He's already hinting that he wants to do it again, soon.

Back to work tomorrow, where does the time go? Still I've only got one early start this week, the rest of the time I start at ten so a bit of a lie in can be had. Will keep you updated.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Messing About On The River

Well the gateaux wasn't exactly a disaster but wasn't a triumph either. It tasted nice and once the decoration was on looked good, just wish it resembled a cake more than it did a biscuit.

A bit of excitement livened up what was looking to be a rather dull Saturday afternoon. I'd forgotten the boat race was on and it is something I always watch so was dismayed to find they were almost at the halfway point by the time I remembered. However I turned on at just the right moment as within minutes of me settling down the race was stopped as a moron (idiot is too nice a word for him) swam between the boats almost getting himself decapitated in the process. Fortunately officialdom was quick off the mark and he was soon out of the water and in a police cell. Thirty minutes later another shock as the boats got too close and a clash of oars resulted in breakage for Oxford who went on to loose the race. The final shock came as one of the Oxford rowers collapsed from exhaustion and had to be rushed to hospital.

The last two events would undoubtedly not happened if the race hadn't been interrupted. I personally think the race should not have been restarted and a draw called and I'm not alone in this. The race was already over halfway when it was stopped and the boats were neck and neck, the rowers were coming to the end of their stamina and the water was choppy as conditions were not ideal. It took them half an hour to get back to the halfway point to restart, surely an exhausting exercise in itself. No wonder the poor bloke collapsed at the end of it.

As for the swimmer well he's Australian, comes from a wealthy background, had a private education and runs his own business. What was he protesting about? Elitism. You couldn't make it up.

One more thought, if that rower had collapse and died would Mr Trenton Oldfield be charged with manslaughter? I certainly hope so.

At last I managed a lie in, it was nearly nine when I surfaced from my slumbers on Sunday and did I feel better for it? No, I did not. I felt thick headed, stiff and thirsty. Two cups of tea and a quick shower and must admit I was feeling so, so much better. I couldn't relax much though as we always make a big thing of Easter lunch and I had loads to do. I'd left the lamb to marinade overnight so I added the final touches and slammed it in the oven. Then it was a flurry of whipped cream and chocolate flakes and the gateaux was ready. The cheesecake had set, raspberry and was topped off with dabs of whipped cream topped with fresh fruit. All I had to do then was wait for Laurence to arrive and Peter to finish laying the table, he always sets it out so beautifully on special occasions. The lunch turned out to be a great success and everyone throughly enjoyed themselves, though Andrew was feeling a little delicate having been to a party on Saturday night.

Last night we settled down to watch Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part one. What a dark miserable film it turned out to be, where has the wonder gone that was so prevalent in the earlier films? The ending was very unsatisfactory and I got the feeling that the whole film was nothing more than a scene setting exercise for part two. I shall have to watch the last film as I need to know what happened next but I have a feeling I won't enjoy it much.

So much for the water shortage and hosepipe ban, it is pouring down and windy with it, it is just like being plunged back into winter. Typical isn't it that the moment a hosepipe ban comes into force it rains every single day after, I hope this isn't an indication of our summer. Today is going to be another 'do nothing day' to recover from all the activity yesterday. I slept well and woke up at just after eight. I might just do the ironing as I hate leaving it to the day before I go back to work but apart from that I'm taking it easy.

We still have loads of gateaux and cheesecake left so I will be indulging my sweet tooth, and hopefully putting on some weight, while munching my way through the fridge. We decided against easter eggs this year. Both the boys are grown up and frankly for the amount of chocolate you get they just are not worth the money.

Tomorrow we are off out to do some shopping and stock up on stuff for my sandwiches. I've decided that the price and quality of the sandwiches in work do not match up and will from now on be making my own. I've also got to be careful about catching bugs and, having suffered a really nasty bout of tummy trouble after an egg sandwich, have never really trusted them since. And before you ask one of my colleagues also ate an egg sandwich and went down with tummy trouble the same day so yes I do know where it came from. At a minimum of £1.60 a roll I've decided that is a bit much for a sprinkle of cheese and a slice of tomato. If you want something more substantial, and tasty, then be prepared to pay out £2.50 or more, scandalous! If I make my own they will be packed with fresh, crisp salad and probably cost me £1.60 a week. Tuna will feature high on the shopping list as I love it, as does Andrew. Also on the list is ham, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, red onion, cress, eggs, chicken and cheese. My mouth is watering already. Grapes, apples, bananas, oranges, pineapple and melon will be bought, chopped and taken in as a fruit salad. It all sound delicious and healthy but won't help me put on weight, I argue it will if it means I'm eating more of it but I will include a few bounty bars just in case.

Ah well off to make lunch now and I've decided on something light and simple so tomato and basil pasta it is then.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Benefit Cheats

As some of you may know the government have started a process of assessing all those claiming disability benefits.As a disabled person I see nothing wrong with this as it is well known that disability benefit is the most abused benefit we have. In the past people have been awarded disability because they eat too much, are alcoholics or have drug problems, not anymore. I've always maintained that if you have a genuine disability you have nothing to fear. Yesterday I read something that made me change my mind and have decided to share it with you.

In Norwich, Atos, the agency the government has entrusted these assessments too, are located in a building that has no car park, is not on any public transport route and has no disabled access. The assessment center is situated on the second floor of this building, it does have a lift but wheelchair users are not allowed to use it for health and safety reasons. Talk about stacking the odds. No wonder the agency is boasting that more than a third of claimants don't bother turning up for their assessments. I'm willing to bet they do, they just can't get in.

Well the choice has been made and this afternoon I am attempting to bake a white chocolate gateaux. I say 'attempt' because as regular readers will know I am not a pastry chef. My efforts in the cake making department are variable to say the least. Thankfully this cake will be smothered in cream and white chocolate curls so no one will notice, or care, if it sinks in the middle.

After driving past two supermarkets on my way home yesterday we have decided to forgo the shopping experience today and stay put. These supermarkets are closed for one day and yet people are acting as though they might never open again. Why do people do this? Yes I buy things I would never normally get at Christmas and Easter but it really isn't the end of the world if I forget the cranberry sauce or we end up eating beef instead of lamb, and yet for some people such events are major problems. Maybe I'm just too laid back, maybe I have just given up caring, personally I'd like to think that I'm sensible and level headed enough to realise there are worse things going on in the world than not having sprinkles for the fairy cakes.

Talking of worst things, this week saw the release from prison of Karen Matthews. For those of you who have forgotten or have no idea what I'm talking about a quick resume.

Back in 2008 an eight year old girl called Shannon went missing while popping  down to the shops for her mum, that would be Karen. A huge media campaign was launched and Karen was seem crying and begging for the return of her daughter on almost every news bulletin. Karen lived on a poor estate but the neighbours rallied around cooking her meals, printing t shirts, spending day after day and night after night searching. After a couple of weeks neighbours and friends began to worry about Karen's mental state. They commented on how calm and brave Karen was, some even though the event has sent her a little crazy as she'd act as though there was nothing going on.

Twenty one days after she went missing Shannon was found safe and well concealed in the bottom of her uncle's divan bed. He was arrested and promptly pointed the finger at Karen. If you put the pair of them together their IQ would struggle to reach a hundred but they had put together a plan that they hoped would net them money, and lots of it. The plan was roughly that Shannon's uncle would join the hunt and 'find' Shannon. He would then claim the generous reward put up by several newspapers and split it with Karen and they would all live happily ever after. Unfortunately for them their lack of intelligence meant that they gave the game away almost immediately. Shannon and her siblings were taken into care and Karen and the uncle were jailed, Karen protesting that she hadn't done anything wrong.

Fast forward to last week and this silly woman has been released still believing she did nothing wrong. Not only that but she wants to go on Jeremy Kyle (the English version of Jerry Springer) and take a lie detector to prove it. Unlike other notorious criminals Karen has not been given a whole new change of identity simply because they believe it would be a complete waste of time and money. Karen hasn't got the sense to keep her true identity secret. Karen has been warned to stay away from the estate where she used to live but I have absolutely no doubt that instruction will be ignored and we will soon be reading Karen's sob story about how she tried to build bridges and got beaten up. I just hope whichever newspaper prints it gives the fee to a children's charity and not to Karen Matthews.

Ah well gateaux waits for no man. I'm going to go and stare at the ingredients for a while as I brace myself for, what could be, another kitchen disaster. I'll let you know how it turned out tomorrow.

Happy Easter!

Thursday, 5 April 2012

One Year On

It is one year since I started this blog and I am really pleased that I have kept it going so long, I usually give up on things like this in the first month. Over the weekend I'm going to read back through a few of my earlier posts as I think it will be interesting to see how I've changed over the last year. I know there are going to be some lows but hopefully the highs will outweigh them.I feel that this year will be one of big changes for me so hopefully there will be some interesting stuff to come. Thanks to everyone who reads my blog, here's to another year.

Andrew is implementing a few revision techniques and has stuck up little cards all over the place with important information on them. In particular in places that he passes most often. So this morning while getting my breakfast I learned about magnetic fields (fridge), cell devision (crockery cupboard) and proteins (cutlery drawer), if he keeps this up I'll be able to sit the exam for him.

Well the promised hosepipe ban came into force today and it is raining, typical. Apparently I'm exempt because I'm registered disabled but as I never use a hosepipe anyway I won't be that bothered. I am willing to rent myself out for lawn waterings at £5 per go though.

Anyone who reads this blog will know by now that I am a huge fan of The Apprentice.

It was week three and the task was to make a new condiment. The teams were messed up a bit with the 'Blonde Assassin' leading the boys team while two of the boys defected to the girls. It didn't matter though as there were huge mistakes made on both sides and it was wonderful to watch. The girls, who turned out to be the winning team, made pineapple, ginger and chilli chutney and were almost at the bottling stage before anyone decided to suggest tasting it. Let's just say it did not go well, with one poor soul having to retreat to a corner coughing and gagging. Nick Hewer, Lord Sugar's eyes and ears, described the mixture as 'poisonous' and it was soon dumped. This meant that the sub team sent to pitch did not have any samples to give prospective buyers to taste. Watching them trying to describe it was one of the funniest bits of the show.  The second attempt faired better, even though it was a hideous yellow, and swiftly bottled.

The boys team plumped for a table sauce and quickly mixed up a red pepper and chilli concoction that stubbornly refused to pour once it had cooled down. This lead to hilarious scenes of the boys trying to force the stuff into slippery bottles that they kept dropping. Eventually they managed to get a reasonable amount bottled and went off to peddle their wears only to be told by the first person they pitched to that they had spelt the name wrong. 'Bellissimo' was missing an 'L' and their fate was sealed, they lost.In the boardroom the 'Blonde Assassin' was quick to put the blame squarely on a gentleman with the unfortunate name of Ricky Martin. Ricky swiftly parried the blow and they both blamed Michael. Lord Sugar agreed with them and the dreaded finger was pointed. I haven't enjoyed myself so much in ages, well not since last Wednesday.

I have got through the last three days at work fairly easily, now whether that is because of my reduced hours or because I'm getting used to being back at work again I don't honestly know. I have identified a couple of threats to my well being however. One colleague announced they has a sinus infection, while another is coughing and sneezing in a rather alarming manner. My antibacterial hand wash worked overtime, let's hope it isn't too little too late.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

(Don't) Call Me

I hate school holidays with a passion, you won't believe the number of little sods hoaxing us today.

On the plus side I breezed through the day and left feeling quite perky. That hour does seem to make a difference but of course it is only day one, I have another three to go.

The weather changed dramatically during the period I left for work and when I returned. It was fairly still when I left, warm enough for me to be in shirtsleeves and dry. Coming home I had to wear a jumper and a freezing wind had arrived and thick dark clouds spotted my car with rain. We are expecting sleet/snow overnight and tomorrow, joy!

I got a reply from my specialist nurse regarding the problems I've been having and this is what he said.

"The only explanation that I can give is that it is to do with the concentration of the drug in your body, which drops as treatment is interrupted, and when it restarts it boosts up again. It may be that sometimes there is the tiniest of air bubbles between bung and line, which delays administration causing the boost effect."

As for the site problems, well he is sending me a different dressing to try.

Of course the big news today is the shooting of several students at a college campus in California. This thankfully seems to be one of those crimes that is almost solely confined to America. You very rarely hear of it happening anywhere else thank goodness. Unfortunately if you live in a country that allows the general public to arm themselves occasionally a gun will find it's way into the wrong hands and people will be left asking why such a terrible thing has happened. I hope and pray that the UK will have the sense never to allow the general public to carry guns, it would be an absolute disaster.

Finally managed to book the tickets for Andrew's trip to Bulgeria, just the passport and the spending money to sort out now.

Well a short round up of the day, now off to sit down with the newspaper and a cuppa and relax before I have to face the phones again tomorrow. Let's hope the kids have found someone else to torment by then.


Monday, 2 April 2012

Don't Cry For Me Argentina

Woke to a lovely crisp, bright sunny day so rushed to get some washing out on the line. Glad I did as by lunchtime it started to cloud over and the temperature began to drop significantly. I cannot believe they are predicting snow in the next couple of days.

Another quiet day in but spent more productively than some others. I have decided on the white chocolate gateaux and been through my cupboards noting down all the ingredients I'm going to need to get to cook everything. I'm working up to Saturday so I'm sending Peter and Andrew out on a mission to get everything for me.

Watched Legend on DVD last night, what a tedious film that was. A young Tom Cruise in a short skirt does absolutely nothing for me. Though it was amusing to realise that I'd seen the 'unicorns running through the forest' bit somewhere before. Could I think where, of course not and I nearly drove myself potty until Peter mentioned that the scene had been borrowed for Bladerunner, one of our favourite films. I'm going to have to watch that now just to check it out, damn.

Our neighbour is having something done to his house and we are having to put up with drilling, hammering and the occasional bit of foul language. I have a feeling all might not be going to plan.

Another thing that doesn't seem to be going to plan is Andrew's revision,. Though with all the noise I'm not that surprised. He did a couple of hours yesterday and again today but he keeps finding other things to do. I suspect that he'll find it easier to get into once the bad weather returns. There is nothing worse than knowing you've got to get the books out when all you really want to do is lie in the sun.

Today it the 30th anniversary of the Falkland Islands invasion. My goodness did those thirty years go quickly. I worked in a library at the time and unusually we were allowed to have a TV on so we could keep up with events as they happened. I remember being quite worried at one point as both myself and Peter were in the Royal Observer Corps at the time and there was always the possibility, however faint, of our services being called on. News coverage wasn't as extensive as it is now but the BBC ran special programmes all through the day keeping everyone updated. After the initial invasion things calmed down a bit and unless something really important happened news bulletins returned to normal, though tended to be extended. Of course today sabers are being rattled again and various 'celebrities' have favoured us with their opinions which seem to extend to giving in and letting Argentina have the islands back. Of course these 'celebrities' don't really care what happens as long as their pronouncements get their names in the papers. To just give up the islands would be a deep insult to those who died defending them but of course 'celebrities' don't care about normal people. Personally I think the only people entitled to decide what happens to the islands are the islanders themselves and celebrities and politicians, on both sides, should stay out of it until asked.

Sent an email to my specialist nurse today as I've started having a bit of trouble with my line changing.

To be fair I've experienced this event occasionally once or twice since going onto the Flolan but recently it has happened nearly every change and I'm beginning to get a bit fed up. When I change the site adapter, which I do every third day, I experience a suddenly flushing as though my whole head is swelling, then I'm sick, very sick. The whole thing only lasts about five minutes but leaves me feeling washed out for a good couple of hours. It is very strange and is now so bad I'm a nervous wreck on the days the change is due. It never happens when I'm just changing the line itself. I'm not doing anything different so I'm at a loss as to why this has started to happen. I'm also experiencing some problems with the line site. It has never healed and every now and then bleeds. There is no infection, I've had it checked out more than once, but I worry that having an open wound leave me open to one. This has been brought up with my medical team on several occasions and it has left them scratching their heads as after nine months it shouldn't be anything more than a small scar. This week it bled enough for the stain to show through my dressing. I just don't know what is going on but I hope it sorts itself out soon.

It's back to work tomorrow and I'll be working an hour less just to see if it makes a difference. Personally I'm not expecting to see a huge difference from one hour but you never know, sometimes it is the small changes that make the biggest differences. Work promises to be busy as it is the school holidays and that always bring with it a rise in hoax calls and reports of mini motorcycles doing things they shouldn't. With a bit of luck the weather will intervene and keep everyone indoors, if not it is going to be a very long four days

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Lazy Days And Sundays

Well what a disappointment Britain's Got Talent turned out to be. There were no real weirdos and no one outstandingly good either. Yes the boy with the guitar at the end sang sweetly enough and I give him credit for writing his own song. The burlesque dancer at the beginning raised a smile but there was none of the 'wow' factor that the previous show had. Rumour has it that Simon Cowell fiddled with last night's programme in an effort to beat BBC's The Voice in the ratings. If true he failed miserably in my opinion. I watched The Voice while doing my drug prep and I must say it wasn't that bad but overall neither show had me enthralled. In the end TV was abandoned and we settled down with a DVD instead.

Woke up to a bright, sunny but frosty day. I knew it was a cold one as both cats were snuggled up and tolerating each others company. I had a really good night's sleep, and that was without the help of alcohol I might add, and felt better than I have done for days. I am distressed that my breathing isn't getting any better, the sudden drop in temperature hasn't helped, and I'm huffing and puffing a lot more than I used to. I have been booked into Harefield at the end of this month to have extensive lung function tests to see if they can get to the bottom of it. Although I hate being in hospital what they do or do not find might bump me up the transplant list a bit so it will be well worth it, and three days isn't very long. In on Monday, out on Wednesday, I can live with that. To be honest I'm so fed up with feeling the way I do I'll agree to anything at the moment.

Being April the first I have scoured the newspapers for bogus stories but couldn't find anything that qualified as a good April fools. Let's face it, there are so many weird things going on in the world these days absolutely anything could be true.

Made a start on deciding the menu for Easter Sunday, I always make a bit of an effort at Easter as traditionally it is one of the few guaranteed days we'd all be together. Laurence is coming over so it'll be the four of us, which will be nice. I've got everything sorted, except actually buying it of course, but cannot decide on the dessert. I have a choice of three different gateaux to choose from and as it stands I'm probably going to end up making all three.

Two months after smashing my lasagna dish to pieces by being stupid today I managed to break my flan dish. I had two, a very large one that I use for quiches and a smaller on that I use for tortes etc. Well I don't have a smaller one anymore. I took it out of the cupboard to reach for something behind it and noticed a wavy black line running along the glaze. I tried to rub it off but it wouldn't move and suddenly I was left holding half a flan dish. No one is admitting to having anything to do with its demise but I don't think they'd actually know they'd done it. Looking hard it looks like something has been dropped on it as there is a small dent going across the line. So now I've got to hunt down another dish, the fun just never stops.

Apart from doing the ironing and running a cloth over the bathroom I've had a really lazy relaxed day. I sort of feel guilty as Peter has been busy cleaning the cars and Andrew has started his revision but as I keep trying to tell myself I need to rest. At least my inactivity will keep my medical team happy, they always have a quiet nag about how much I do. When I see them in two weeks time I'll be able to say I've been good for once.

Tomorrow I might just go out and brave the shops, well Boots to be precise. They currently have a special mix and match offer on. I'm looking to get a pair of normal glasses and a pair of reading glasses. The opticians where I had my eye test tried to sell me a pair of varifocals for £250 saying it would be the best option for me. Not at that price I thought. Since then I've spoken to others about varifocals and the main complaint is seasickness as you are getting used to them. Indeed some people never did get used to them and had to revert back to normal glasses. So I've decided to shop around and see what I can get.

Hope it is as nice tomorrow as it has been today.