Friday, 31 August 2012

The Ice Man Cometh

It's a bit on the cold side this morning.

Although the summer has been wet, the wettest in one hundred years apparently, it has still been warm. So imagine my surprise this morning when I woke up, threw the covers back and immediately broke out in goose pimples. The first thing I did was grab my dressing gown, the second shut the window and then it was downstairs to stare in disbelief at the temperature gauge. 8.5C at 0830 in the morning, surely a mistake, I haven't seen figures that low since May. I've had to dig out my slipper socks from the back of the drawer and find a cardigan to slip over my normal tee shirt. I hope this isn't a hint of things to come, a long, cold winter is the last thing we need.

I am currently on the hunt for kitties. Not for me but for Laurence who has requested a pair for his birthday. I decided to go for a rescue cats and so I rang up the Cats Protection League and quickly ran into more bureaucracy than I ever thought possible. I rang my local branch in Bedfordshire who point blank refused to deal with me because I was in a different county to my son. I was given the number of the Northampton branch and so I tried them. They refused to deal with me because my son lives in Rushden and I was given the number for the Wellingborough and Rushden branch. All the numbers are premium numbers by the way so I'd spent about two pounds so far and not actually discussed the adoption yet so it was with some trepidation I picked up the phone and dialed again.

This time I got hold of a fiercely efficient sounding woman who barked questions at me. The fact that Laurence had grown up with cats elicited a 'good' from her, he works long shifts a 'hum'. After about ten minutes of interrogation I was finally asked what I was looking for. Two males, preferably brothers, preferably under one year old, and preferably either black or grey in colour. We are in luck, there are several litters on their books at the moment and she is sure at least one litter has grey kittens. I then made the mistake of asking when we could see them.

'Oh it doesn't work like that. We will have to do a home visit to check the suitability of the home before we will allow you to view the kittens.'

I couldn't believe it, when I got our two, OK it was fourteen years ago, all I had to do was sign a contract saying that if things didn't work out I'd return them to the CPL. Now it seems the cat has to chose us, not the other way around. Fortunately Laurence is quite happy with this arrangement so I've passed his number onto the CPL so they can do the negotiations, I'll just end up footing the bill, again! Much to my chagrin I have been banned from the actual 'choosen a kitten' process. Laurence let me down as gently as he could.

'You know what you're like Mum. You go for the smallest runt because you don't think anyone else will pick them. Then you end up with a Pepper or a Tarmac. I don't want mental cases so I'll chose them, you can see them when I have already picked the tow I want.'

He may have a point, Pepper dribbled, fell off things and howled at walls, while Tarmac has taken to quacking and howls at the bath.

One last word on the subject, I was asked if the garden was enclosed with high fences, I said yes because it is. It was only when I put the phone down that I realised the stupidity of what I'd been asked. These are cats, a fence is no object. How bazaar!

Paralympics Watch

Well we've already got our first two golds and spattering of silver and bronze to go with them. 

I can't say I'm as gripped as I was with the Olympics but when it does grip me I look on with awe. The outstanding athlete for me yesterday was the Chinese swimmer who won gold. This lady has no arms and swims like a dolphin. I wouldn't even get in the water in her condition for fear of drowning. It just goes to show that if you are determined enough you can do anything no matter what obstacles are put in your way.

I have finally received my appointment for Papworth. It is on the 24th September, the exact date we'd penciled in for our get away. So once again plans have to be changed or cancelled, let's hope this time it is worth it.

I started on the shower curtain yesterday. Well I got the material our of the bag. This afternoon I plan to get the sewing machine out, you never know I might even use it.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

I've Got To Get Away

Yesterday afternoon we braved the weather and went out to do our shopping, I wasn't feeling 100% so I took my wheelchair with me but soon realised that maybe it would have been better to stay at home. Wheelchairs, rain and puddles just don't mix. I got soaked.

The bathroom is all but finished, I've got to pull my finger out and make the new blind and the shower curtain. There is still the question over the flooring, we still haven't found anything remotely suitable as yet but there isn't any real hurry. OK the tiles don't quite match the new colour scheme and after a through scrubbing and blast with the power washer they've come up a shade lighter but, they are still in good condition so will do for now. We also need a new mirror but again we are still arguing about shape and size.

It is now only three weeks until Andrew leaves for uni and I'm beginning to have the wobbles. Not only that but there is so much stuff to sort out. Because of his course he needs specialist clothing and although he gets given a uniform he still needs special footwear, and of course there are items such as thermal underwear to get as he will be out and about in all weathers. He also needs to get his own pots and pans and a supply of tinned and dried goods that will suffice as a meal on those days he is too busy or gets in too late to cook. I have already paid out upwards of £700 since he got accepted ten days ago and there is more to come. We haven't even started on the text books he is going to need. It will all be worth it in the end though. He is doing something very worth while and will spend his life saving others, what more can anyone ask for? And there will be one paramedic in London who fully understands PH and all it's complications.

We are going to bite the bullet and take a short trip abroad after we've deposited Andrew at his halls. I'm still grounded so we will go via the channel tunnel but even this is not difficulty free. Eurostar are not too happy with the thought of taking an oxygen cylinder on board, concentrators are fine and they won't charge but cylinders they don't seem to like much. They haven't said an outright no but the cylinders have to be of a certain type and size. Also they only allow two wheelchair users per train and you have to pay a special wheelchair rate which I haven't looked into yet. The wheelchair spaces are located in premium or business class, you are allowed one companion who will pay a discounted rate, any one else will have to sit in a different part of the train of pay the full rate. It all sounds depressingly familiar, yes we cater for disabled people but we do everything to discourage them that we can. So now we are looking at taking our car so we can carry all the equipment I'll need in the boot, still not sure if I'll be allowed to take the oxygen but that is just one of the questions I will need to ask.

I feel I need to be removed from everything for a while. I've had a crap eight months one way or another and in order to save myself from myself and regain my positive outlook I need to take a step back. I can't do it here as I'm constantly waiting for that letter, that phone call, keeping on the look out for the next mini disaster or disappointment. By putting myself out of reach I will hopefully be able to relax and enjoy myself. I am sure the not sleeping, not eating and general 'down' is all because of the enormous stress I've been under. This trip is a necessity not a treat.

Paralympic Watch

I didn't manage to stay up to see all of the opening ceremony unfortunately. By half past eleven my eyes were having to be forced open so reluctantly I called it quits with the intention of catching up on what I missed today.

What I did see, although not as frenetic as the Olympic version, was just as weird. There were many similarities of course, we still had a self important actor hamming up Shakespeare, only this one looked as though he'd just stuck his finger in the light socket. We still had the boring speeches, though mercifully not doubled up by being translated into French and we still had the Queen looking, well, miserable to be quite frank. At least we didn't have the toe curling parachute jump this time. The theme seems to be umbrellas, which was appropriate considering it had bucketed down for most of the day. And we had Stephen Hawking, possibly the most famous disabled person in the entire world.

To be honest I didn't think it lived up to the Olympic effort but maybe it was just different. Hopefully the games themselves will keep me riveted.

This afternoon I'm resting and catching up on my soaps. I'm pretty sure I've got another chest infection brewing but it might just be that I need to rest. So settee here I come.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Operation Pussycat.

I have to start with this today. My favourite story of the year so far.

A lion had been photographed in Essex resulting in the police deploying two helicopters, at enormous expense, several armed officers and half the keepers from a nearby zoo. I have seen the photo and how anyone mistook that for a lion is beyond me, unless of course they'd had a little drinky or two. The picture shows a bright ginger animal with pointy ears, a flat-ish muzzle and a white bib, lions tend to be beige have rounded fluffy ears, a prominent muzzle and although their bibs are lighter, they are rarely white. I don't know which 'expert' this photo was shown to but maybe an eye test might be in order. As it turned out the 'lion' was later identified as Teddy Bear a Maine Coon. I will allow that Teddy is on the large size even for a Maine but a lion? I think the residents of St Osyth can rest easy in their beds, until one of them gets eaten of course.

Having said all that alerts regarding wild animals are quite common in areas that have nearby zoos or wildlife parks but these alerts are almost always false. Animals do get out though, I know because I've seen them myself. I'll never forget my close encounter with a wallaby when walking across the local downs. It is well known locally that a small colony now lives in the area following several escapes and some breeding amongst the escapees. However Wallabies are one thing big cats something entirely different. As much as I'd love to believe in the 'beast of Bodmin' etc I can't see it somehow. A cat that size would eat a lot and so things would go missing. Also, just like Nessie, to still be alive after all this time breeding must be taking place and in theory there must be dozens out there now. Yet the only evidence we have are blurred, grainy photos and videos from cameras mysteriously lacking any form of zoom function.

So how am I? Well I won't lie, I have been pretty down the last few days.

Throughout our lives we all have battles to fight, some are big, some are petty, some are for the good of many and some are for the good of one person, you. The common element in all these battles is that something you hold dear is being threatened. I have never been one to be walked over and have fought many battles and I've found that the secret to winning is timing. Picking the right battle at the right time is essential, make the mistake of going out with all guns blazing at the wrong moment means you loose, plain and simple. However, despite indications to the contrary, I am a very patient person, time means nothing to me, I wait it out until the time is right. So for now this particular battle has been put on the back burner.

There are people, and I thank you all for the emails and messages of support I've been receiving, who think I should fight, not just for me but for everyone who has or might face a similar situation. Some have even hinted that I am selfish for not doing so. To those people I'd just like to remind them of the campaigning I did on their behalf, and for myself, to stop NICE withdrawing funding for our much needed medicines. I also took on the airlines to stop them charging hundreds of pounds for in flight oxygen. And before anyone starts shouting, I didn't do these things by myself, I was part of a team. However I did attend select committees in parliament, I did meet politicians sympathetic to our cause, I did discuss our case on radio and I did appear in newspapers, so I'm not adverse to fighting my corner. However the other thing about battles is that you can only really fight one at a time. I am already fighting a battle, a battle for the chance to live and, yes it is selfish, but that is the most important battle right now. When that battle has been won then I can look at everything else, but for now I'm saving my strength and energy.

So what actually caused all this distress and anger, most of you know by now as I'm sure the grapevine has been working overtime. However as a warning to those of you don't know here are the facts.

It was decided in a meeting between a GP working for occupational health, HR, and those above me that because I have less oxygen in my blood my 'thought processes' may not be as quick as those with normal blood oxygen. And because of that I have been prevented from doing the more complex aspects of my work. This decision was made without anyone seeking advice from a PH expert. What is even more annoying this decision hasn't been made because of anything I've actually done but in case something happens in the future.

Anyone who knows anything about PH or actually has PH will probably understand exactly how I felt on receiving this little bit of news. We all know what it is like to have our condition completely misunderstood, is there anyone with PH who has not been told by someone that they 'only have high blood pressure'? I am fortunate that my employers do understand how ill I am and that I do need special consideration. In some ways they have bent over backwards to accommodate me. I will also say in fairness that there are days when I can barely function so they may have a point. However my problem with this decision is that it was done behind my back. If I'd been included in the meeting, given a chance to put my side of things, even if the outcome had been the same, at least I'd have had a chance and maybe understood better their reasoning.

The most unfortunate outcome of all this is I have lost my trust. I felt comfortable, I was settled and happy and had begun to relax. I know my working life is coming to an end, with my age and my health no new employers would  take me on, so I felt lucky that I'd found somewhere I could end my working life happy and fulfilled. I will now be on my guard, where I once told them everything I will now cherry pick any developments in my condition and will never be as open again. Such a shame.

So am I still angry, oh yes, I am still angry but the overwhelming feeling now is one of disappointment.

Talking of disappointment I was amazed yesterday when someone who really should know better made fun of me. I was walking through the lobby of my building decked out in my flolan pump and oxygen pack when this bloke who I've never seen before shouted 'here she comes, our resident ghost buster.' Now I like to think I've got a good, if quirky, sense of humour but amused I was not. I gave him the 'death stare' and continued on my way. If he or anyone else does it again however, they are going to find themselves quickly educated.

Paralympics Watch

It is the opening ceremony tonight and I really cannot wait. Having been bowled over by the Olympics I have great hopes for these very special games. 

Of course there has to be a fly in the ointment and this time it is yet another ticket scandal. Whereas able bodied spectators can book their tickets on a free website, disabled supporters are having to book theirs via a premium rate telephone line. Given that as a whole the disabled are less well off than the able bodied this has been seen as one of the worst forms of discrimination. When challenged the powers that be say that disabled people need to ring in to ensure their particular needs are catered for. Fair enough but if that really is the case why not provide a free line?

Well I'm off to make lunch, sausage and mash for them, blueberry yogurt and grapes for me. I did manage half a chicken mayo sandwich and a bowl of cornflakes yesterday and kept them down so things are looking up.

Friday, 24 August 2012

2,4,6,8 Motorway

Well thanks to it being a Bank Holiday, school holidays and between Olympic/Paralympics London was empty. There were no roadworks holding everything up and we sailed in arriving at the Brompton a record forty minutes early.

There has been a down turn in my condition but not too much, the biggest concern being the two kilos I've lost since my last visit. I am now officially under seven stones and that is not good. So I'm back on the Complan, whoop de doop de doo! The trouble is that I'm filling myself up on fruit, because that is all I can face, which is very healthy but not very calorific. I have been advised to 'get a bacon butty' down me with a side order of cheesy chips and do it at least once a day, I want to puke just thinking about it. I've been referred back to palliative care team to see if they can stop me feeling sick without destroying my appetite. I'm actually in a catch 22 situation. The drug I take is based on bodyweight so you get a dose specific to how much you weigh. If you put weight on the drug becomes less effective and will need increasing if the weight gain looks long term. If you lose weight then the drug become too strong causing nausea which means you lose more weight and this in turn makes the drug even stronger. I can't win. They cannot take me off the drug because it is the only thing left and so in effect I'm slowly starving.

I am also showing signs of extreme stress with my blood pressure and pulse up on my normal sedate readings. They already know the cause and are both appalled and upset on my behalf. My consultant gave me a letter and offered to ring up and give the person concerned a telling off but I said the letter would be fine for now. The sad thing is PH is so misunderstood that this sort of event is not a rare occurrence so they are more used to putting idiots in their place than they ought to be.

We discussed the transplant situation and the good news is Papworth are willing to assess me and will be sending me out an appointment in the next week or so, where have I heard that one before? The delay has been caused by Harefield, who have yet to pass on to the Brompton the exact reasons for rejecting me. The Brompton maintain that my heart is in very good condition and after looking over my test results Papworth seem to agree so no one can understand why I was rejected, unless it was a mistake. I don't even want to go down that path.

I am assured that Papworth reject far less patients than Harefield so I should be positive because there is still a very good chance Papworth will take me on. My consultant says they tend to take on even the most hopeless of cases, not sure that is actually making me feel any better right now though.

To cheer me up we stopped on the way home for a mug of tea and a sandwich at my favourite biker cafe, the Ace Cafe in north London. As we sat and chatted I admired the rows of shining machinery parked outside. Unlike car owners who think if you show any interest you are planning to nick the thing, bikers are all to happy to show off their polished chrome and custom painted fuel tanks.

As we approached the M1 several police vehicle went whizzing past, we knew all to well what that meant. We caught up with them an hour later as we crawled past the scene of the accident. They were attending a small disagreement between a lorry and a mini bus. No seemed injured though.

So it is back to work tomorrow, another four rest days that weren't. I've booked three weeks off in September and I can't wait, I really need to get away from everything and try and enjoy myself for once.

Next blog Wednesday.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Knights In White Satin

Calm has been restored helped significantly by two events that occurred this morning.

First a phone call offering a deep apology and the promise that heads will be banged together. Second a fabulous letter written by my outraged and unexpected supporter. I am hoping to look forward to some grovelling next week. When it has all blown over I will fill you in with what happened but for now I want to keep things close to my chest, I hope you understand.

I slept better last night though I don't know whether that was from sheer exhaustion or because the intense pain of the last few days is subsiding. Having said that it might be because the cavalry are now at my back and ready to leap into action if need be. All my barriers are now back in place. It has meant getting rid of some friends that I will miss but I have to think of me for now and I will feel safer not having them around.

I have even managed to eat, OK, one handful of grapes and a packet of prawn cocktail crisps is not much but I have to start somewhere.

Yesterdays blog was published about two hours before it was announced that Tony Nicklinson, a victim of 'locked in syndrome', had died. Tony and his wife campaigned tirelessly for the right to assisted suicide since his stroke back in 2004. He died peacefully of pneumonia in the end and the years of further suffering that he dreaded are gone. Clearly when I was talking about suicide being the cowards way out I was not referring to people like Tony, who is probably one of the bravest people I've ever heard of. More than that he stood up for what he truly believed and will be remembered for the inspiration he gave to others during his long fight for justice.

I paid for Andrew's deposit for his university accommodation today and I have to say I'm a bit pissed off.

Not only are they forcing him to live on campus but are demanding £400 upfront, before he even gets his grant, to secure his room. I said I would pay with some of my savings and he could pay me back when he had the money. When we got onto the website to pay we discovered that they will only accept payment by credit card then had the cheek to charge me £6 for the privilege of doing so. Where do these people get off? Still it is done now and I've transfered my savings onto my card so I shouldn't incur any interest. It is lucky for Andrew that he has a parent with a credit card who is able to step in and help but what about the thousands that are not so fortunate? How do they get through the red tape?

Another minor irritation came in the form of my optician who called to say my new contacts were in. I'd forgotten I was down to my last box and had run out before ordering so I'm wearing my old prescription at the moment which I kept as a back up. Things are a little fuzzy around the edges but it isn't too bad. Anyway I drove into town, picked my lenses up and returned home. I had assumed that as the optician had called to say my lenses were in he had checked them so imagine my surprise when I opened the box to find the wrong lenses in the wrong prescription. So another trip into town later I come away with a deep apology and a week's supply of free lenses to keep me going until they can sort it out. Maybe it was because I had my best 'don't fuck with me' face on but I can highly recommend Boots opticians for the speedy resolution to a problem.

So I am off to the Brompton tomorrow for a check up and to discuss recent events. They are also organising a letter so I am going to be armed to the teeth come Saturday. I have an early appointment so I hope to be back in time to write another blog but if I'm not then there will be a hum dinger of one one Tuesday.

Enjoy the Bank Holiday.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Suicide Is Painless

Actually it is not. Pain in death is as inevitable as death itself the only uncertainty is how much.

I have had numerous messages sending good wishes and advice. I thank you all for that and will try to reply to you individually once the storm has blown over. Out of it all there were two pieces that I am currently mulling over and using as a raft to cling to, one is 'don't let the bastards get you down' the other is 'don't get mad, get even' a bit of a tough call that one at the moment. Be assured though that suicide will never be an option for me. I have always viewed suicide as a cowards way out and I may be many things but a coward I am not, well OK, I am a bit of a coward when it comes to needles. And spiders. And heights but overall I am not cowardly by nature. I won't say there haven't been times when I haven't considered it because I'd be lying but it is not for me, I'm going to have to wait for nature to take it's course.

I thought I was in luck last night when I thought for about five minutes that I was having a heart attack. I felt a sudden crushing pain, felt sick and broke out in a sweat. Unfortunately the episode passed and I live to face another day. I can't say I'm not disappointed as dying of a stress related heart attack two days later would probably the best 'up yours' I could hope to get but I'm going to have to think of another way, such is life. Talking of which isn't it funny that you can be clinging desperately to any hope one minute and then be wishing it would all just stop the next.

So how am I? Well still seething basically, I have had about three hours sleep since Sunday night, I managed a couple of blissful hours of oblivion on the settee last night. Every now and then white fury rolls in but it is not constant as it was yesterday. I'm having bouts of palpitations, almost certainly stress related, and the knot in my stomach means I haven't eaten properly for days. To top it all my breathing is terrible, again I suspect because of the stress.

I've set about thinking why I have taken this one thing so badly when every thing else that has happened in the last six months or so have rolled off me like water on a duck's back. Even the transplant fiasco didn't hit me this hard, yes I had a cry and a couple of days feeling miserable but nothing compared to this. I can only assume that this last event was the step to far, the final straw, the catalyst that brought everything to the surface. And boy did it surface and is still doing so.

I am now able to think calmly for short periods of time so I've started making plans, unfortunately these plans still regularly descend into commenting some act of violence so I have to think in short spurts. I have elicited help and advice from a trusted source and have had an offer from a very surprising and unexpected place that I will consider when I can start weighing up all my options sensibly.

I have taken steps to protect myself by removing a dozen or so people that either have, or have the potential to, hurt me further from my life and the barrier is coming along nicely, just a couple more things to do and then I will be safe and the healing process can begin.

Today my main priority to to try and calm down. I am due for a check up at the Brompton on Friday and in my current state it is unlikely to go well. If I can get some sleep it will be a bonus.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

A Trust Betrayed

I've made the fatal mistake of letting my guard down.

From a very early age my mantra has been don't trust anyone, don't let anyone in, keep everything to yourself as much as possible. That of course has changed over the years and now I can count three people whom I totally and utterly trust and they are the three men in my life.

I began to think that maybe it was time to start lowering the barriers, let others in. PH is a lonely illness at the best of times and I figured I needed as much support as I could get but what happened? The minute I did so they set about destroying me, I've never been so hurt and humiliated. And I am so angry I am even scaring myself. Even being turned down for transplant didn't hurt as much as this and why? Because that decision was made by strangers this was done by people I looked up to, people I though cared, people I thought were on my side, people I though I could turn too when the chips were down, people I took a risk on and let in. The anguish I feel is overwhelming, gradually every piece of me is being taken away and with each loss I am in agony.

The justification is that it is 'for my own good', 'to help me', 'to give me breathing space'. Things I've heard countless times before and which actually mean it is better for them.

So I'm rebuilding my barriers, pulling down the shutters and retreating to lick my wounds and mend my protective shell. Things will now be kept within the family and only the family. I don't even know if I can bring myself to continue this blog anymore.

I cried at first long and hard, so hard my ribs still ache this morning then the anger came. It is intense and destructive and so far shows no signs of abating. It kept me awake all night and has robbed me of the little appetite I had. I know I must control it in order to calmly think about what has happened.

Over the last few years I have done everything asked of me and more. There have been times when I've been in such pain I couldn't breath. There have been times when I could hardly put one foot in front of the other. And there have been times when I've gone to bed sincerely hoping I didn't wake up but I've pulled myself out of bed and been there for them and all I get in return is kicked in the teeth.

This is the deepest I have fallen and this time I don't think I'm going to be able to crawl back to the top. I might get halfway but then again I might decide it is time to stop fighting and accept that I am swimming an increasingly strong tide.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Some Good News At Last

Hi did it, he did it, he did it! A in Biology, B in Physics and C in Psychology plus an email confirming his place in university. To say I am happy would be a complete understatement. He has worked so hard and waited so long for this and it was all worth it. I haven't been this thrilled since Laurence got accepted into the Prison Service and I went to his graduation. Now I have another graduation to look forward too. Not sure I'm going to be quite so thrilled when my credit card starts taking a battering but that will be worth it too.

Right feet back on the ground, although I feel better today I'm still went to see my GP. Being so close to the weekend I've decided not to take a chance and to get some antibiotics in case things decide to flare up again on Friday evening, which always seems to happen to me. After a through examination she decided that although I didn't have an infection yet I had a slight wheeze and crackle on one side so has given me antibiotics as a precaution. This is what I like about my GP surgery, they've begun to see the benefits in prevention rather than cure and as a result I've had a lot less time off work this year.

I was really sad to see that Prince Phillip has been admitted to hospital again. At ninety one I can't help thinking he needs to ease up on his work load and start taking more care of himself. A lot of people do not like the Royal family, they believe they are free loaders, over privileged and cost us lots of money. I agree that there are some members who really should be given a kick up the backside, I can think of two Princesses for a start. However how many of these wingers would be happy to see themselves or a member of their family still working at that age? Unlike normal people of their age the Queen and Prince Phillip will never be able to retire. They will literally work until they drop, surely that if nothing else deserves to be admired or at least respected..

Well I did watch Cleopatra right through from start to finish, what a brilliant film, no special effects, no aliens, no foul language, just pure class from start to finish. They really don't make them like that anymore. This afternoon's viewing will be less awe inspiring as I will be watching the opening episode of Celebrity Big Brother. I always watch the opening show to see if there really are any celebrities in it and as I will be doing the ironing at the same time I wanted something I didn't have to think to much about. I decided to record it to get rid of all the annoying adverts, they could easily cut two hours down to one if they didn't put in an ad break between each reveal. The other reason is because I am watching an absolutely brilliant serial on BBC2 at the moment called Vexed. It is a sort of comedy/drama about two police detectives who don't get along. The characters are a bit formulaic but it is well written and quite funny in places. Worth a look if you get the chance 9pm BBC2 Wednesdays.

Well as I said I have ironing and things to do before work tomorrow. At the moment I feel I am well enough to go so expect the next blog in four days. If however a blog appears tomorrow you'll know that things are not quite what they should be.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Best Laid Plans

Yesterday did not go entirely to plan it has to be said, though we did have a lovely day.

Andrew was going into London with some mates for a party and I was originally told that he wouldn't be in for lunch, hence our plan to go out for a pub lunch. However he then announced that he wasn't leaving until half past one so would be in for lunch. So we had a hastily made curry instead. The we decided that as half the day had gone we would put our plans on hold and celebrate today instead. Andrew wasn't expected back until late afternoon. So we got our shopping and chores out of the way first and I was treated to a bottle of expensive perfume in John Lewis.

We arrived home to a deserted house and settled in for a quiet night, possibly with a DVD and maybe even a glass of wine or two. I was even thinking take away as a rare treat then the door bell rang and standing on the doorstep was Andrew. Apparently some of the people at this party were not the type of people many would want to be around. He didn't say anything but I got the impression that drugs might have been involved, so he decided to leave before things got out of hand and come home. Disappointing for him and frustrating for us but I'd rather he come home that get involved in something that might affect his future.

Today several things have conspired against us. Firstly Andrew being home but he doesn't mind us going out and has said he will make his own lunch. Then the weather, any chance of taking pictures in the countryside are well and truly off due to rain and high winds. Finally there is me, I'm having a bad day, a really, really bad day. Although my lungs are clear I'm having difficulty breathing and, although I haven't eaten a thing, I feel really full and bloated and anything I swallow make me feel even worse. I'm hoping it is just an off day but I've made an appointment with my GP for tomorrow just in case it is another infection brewing. Quite often the next day I'll feel as though nothing happened and if that is the case I will cancel, as seeing my GP twice in four days is a little bit much, even for me.

So today is another in front of the TV doing as little as possible and hoping things start to improve. I'm so bad at the minute I've had to put my oxygen on.

In the news it seems the ticket fiasco that dogged the Olympics is now causing problem for the Paralympics too. It seems that if you want to attend and are in a wheelchair you will have to sit on your own is the designated wheelchair area while you family will have to sit else where in the arena, and that could be right over the other side. If you are severely disabled one person may be allowed to sit with you, I've no idea what they class as 'severely disabled', to me being in a wheelchair is disabled enough isn't it? So how are these wheelchair bound spectators meant to get to the toilets, get a drink, alert someone that they are not feeling well or take their medications? Can I just remind you we are talking about disabled people going to watch disabled people here, crazy! I've no doubt this situation will be swiftly resolved once the public outcry alerts the powers that be what idiots they are being but it shouldn't need an outcry to point this out. These are games for disabled people surely they expected disable people to want to go and watch.

I still haven't heard from Papworth regarding my 'urgent' referral. Maybe they are hoping I pop my clogs before they get round to me. Sometimes it really feels as though that is the reason for all the delays. So I've fired off another email to my specialists at the Brompton to ask what the hell is going on. It is not their fault, they did exactly what they promised. I'm reluctant to phone Papworth myself as I don't know who to shout at, and I don't want to get myself in their bad books before I even see them by getting myself classed as an awkward patient. It is all very frustrating. In fact I'd even class it as cruel. If they are going to turn me down I'd rather know now than wait the six months it took Harefield to do the same.

Well I promised myself I wouldn't get worked up about this so I'm going to take my mind off it by watching Cleopatra with Elizabeth Taylor. Brilliant film but too long for one sitting, unless you are ill and can't do anything else of course.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Having A Knees Up

It was our 29th wedding anniversary yesterday but unfortunately Peter had to work so we are celebrating today instead. We are spending the whole day together doing fun things such a taking a long lazy lunch at a country pub and if the weather holds a stroll somewhere with our cameras. So excuse this blog for being a little shorter than usual.

Laurence came to stay over the weekend as promised but I didn't see much of him. I got home at 6.30 and he was away at 8 pm for a night out with his mates, I was in bed by the time he came in. We did manage a nice meal together before he went out though and had a nice chat over breakfast on Sunday morning. Still it was nice to have him around again even if it was only briefly.

My knees are going down but the bruising has spread so I look like I'm wearing a couple of sweat bands around them. A trip to the doctor revealed low blood pressure so I've been given advice to not stand for long periods and to be careful getting up from a sitting or lying position. I have an appointment to see the Brompton next week so I'll mention it to them, it could be that my meds need adjusting again.

Although the Olympics have ended they are not out of the news yet as the BBC seems reluctant to let go. Our news bulletins were full of pictures of hung over athletes gathering at Heathrow to fly home. I wonder how long it will be before the euphoria wears off?

In other news more details are emerging in the Tia Sharp case. It appears she might have been smothered before being hidden in the loft. By all accounts this roof space was blazing hot and we all know that heat accelerates decomposition so how come no one smelt her during the initial searches? It could be that this was a Shannon Matthews situation that went wrong or her body was moved, hence the arrest of the neighbour. Of course the most pressing question is why she was killed and I doubt very much that Stuart Hazell will ever tell us the real reason. What I found curious is that, despite his picture being shown on every news bulletin and splashed across countless newspapers, when he appeared in court by video link we got a court drawing. That seems to be a case of closing the barn door after the horse has bolted to me, I mean what was the point?

For those that don't know or don't remember Shannon went missing aged eight sparking a huge search and offers of large rewards for her safe return. However her mother's acting skills were not up to much and police got suspicious. Shannon was found twenty days later hidden and drugged in the storage space of a double bed at her uncle's house. Shannon was taken into care and mother and uncle jailed. The pair cooked up the plan of the uncle suddenly 'finding' Shannon and claiming the reward which they'd split between them. I cannot imagine anyone would copy such a stupid plan but there are some very stupid people about and to be fair neither Stuart Hazell or Tia's grandmother look very bright.

The news that really excited me though is the discovery of two, or possibly more, pyramids in the Egyptian dessert. Not everyone is enamored by Google but this time their Google Earth cameras seem to have come up trumps by discovering something that is invisible from the ground. As a lover of everything Ancient Egyptian I am beside myself and cannot wait for these discoveries to be examined by archaeologists. They have obviously lain undiscovered for thousands of years so there is a good chance that if they are pyramids they will be intact. Maybe their contents will top those of Tutankhamen. And who is in them? We know that lots of Pharaohs have not been discovered, could we soon be adding a few more to our list? if you want to see these amazing pictures for yourself just follow the link.

Well must go and try to make myself look more human for my big day out. Will tell you all about it tomorrow.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Weird...But Wonderful

As the Olympics come to an end I am left wondering how a cynical 'hates everything about the Olympics' person like me managed to shed a tear while watching the flame go out.

Over the last two weeks I've watched, in no particular order, tennis, boxing gymnastics, running, cycling, swimming, BMX, canoing, kayaking, shooting, archery, mountain biking, pentathlon, decathlon, heptathlon, long jump, high jump, triple jump, marathon and diving. At each event I was on the edge of my seat willing Team GB to come away with a medal and by an large they did. I'd rush home form work each night and sit watching until forced to bed by Peter. I'd avidly read every word in the papers the next day and constantly checked the medals table to see how we were doing.

While I watched the opening ceremony with a sense of dread, vowing it would be the only thing I'd be watching I slowly got drawn in as the medals started to arrive. Last night I sat down in eager anticipation and a sense of sadness that what was to come would be magnificent but also the final breathes of a wonderful event. I must say it didn't disappoint and was a wacky as the opening ceremony, if not slightly more so. To be honest the first half hour was, well boring and slightly confusing but it soon picked up. I loved the fact that the loudest singing was to Eric Idle's 'Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life'. I was amused at Boris Johnson, London's mayor, bopping away enthusiastically to the Spice Girls, though I must admit to a secret longing for one of them to fall off the top of her taxi. George Michael was a surprise and John Lennon was very fitting, and really should have been the last song. It was a little spooky having John and Freddie Mercury appearing in digital form but both represented the talent we have lost while Jessie J and her mates showed all too clearly that the ability to sing is no longer needed to be a pop star. My one grip was letting Jessie perform with Queen, Queen songs require a powerful but melodious voice not a screeching banshee. Tom Jones, George Michael or even Meatloaf would have been better.

There were the weird bits of course, a giant octopus for one, Russell Brand for another, though he was quite good, and Del and Rodney as Batman and Robin, though I suspect that bit was lost on our foreign visitors. And Darcy Bussell on fire flying into the arena. Thankfully Paul McCartney was shelved this time but we got Roger Daltry instead. He was better but only slightly.

Now it is all over and the cauldron is now dark and silent. Do they light it again for the Paralympics I wonder? They must do, mustn't they? Only another two weeks until we find out. There will be less coverage, though I don't see why that should be, but I will be rushing home again each night to see how we are doing.

So what was my favourite, most defining moment of the games? Well it has to be Andy Murray winning the tennis, not just because I am a fan but because he over came a personal stumbling block called Roger Federer and has finally silenced his doubters, well most of them anyway. Next year's Wimbledon could be very different as Murray goes into it as the Olympic champion, and hopefully with renewed confidence. Tom Daley came a very close second.

So how have I been doing well it has been a very strange four days in the office. Lots of weird calls from people with far to much time on their hands, but that is what you get at weekends.

This week the excitement was provided! I took a bit of a tumble in the locker room and couldn't get up. One minute I was opening my locker to put my stuff away, the next I was on the floor with all my stuff scattered around me. I sat for a moment contemplating my situation and realised I was stuck as there was nothing for me to hang on to on which I could pull myself up. I waited for a while hoping someone would come in but being six on a Saturday evening it was a forlorn hope so I had to phone my office to summon help. And boy did help come, I immediately heard footsteps and voices shouting as two of my colleagues burst into the room. I felt such a fool. After making sure I was OK I was hauled to my feet by one of my male colleagues and escorted to my car in case I went over again. Looking back it was hilarious but I'm slightly worried as I don't remember what happened. I have swellings the size of eggs on both knees which are a fetching shade of purple and a large bruise on my hip so I obviously hit the floor hard. I will be calling the doctor to get myself checked out.

In the news no one can have missed or be moved by the murder of Tia Sharp. I hate to say this but I had Stuart Hazell pegged from the moment I saw him. It is nearly always a family member or someone close to the family that ends up being the offender. Is the grandmother involved? Well I really cannot see how she didn't know something was wrong. My guess is both will eventually be charged and hopefully locked up for life.

It is rest day today and the only thing I am doing is cooking lunch then onto the settee to catch up on all my recorded soaps and rest my poor knees.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

You Got Mail

While I am writing this I am waiting for a phone call from Andrew. He went to a party at a friends house and elected to spend the night so he could have a drink or two. A wise move I'm sure you'll agree but annoying when you've been up since seven waiting for a call that still hasn't come two hours later.

Had a very interesting postbag this morning. Firstly my results came back from the Warfarin clinic saying I don't have to see them again until October 16th, that's ten whole weeks. For a needle phobic there really couldn't be much better news.

The second letter is from the Brompton asking me to go in and see my consultant in two weeks. This is a bit of a surprise as I wasn't meant to see him again until the end of September. Now of course I'm worrying that he may have bad news to tell me and doesn't want to do it over the phone. I'm not sure what I'm going to do if Papworth have said no.

I am back to full working order and have had two days of normal meals without any problems so I'm planning a return to work tomorrow. In a strange way I'm rather looking forward to it, it will take my mind off my appointment for a start. Being home on your days off are usually enjoyable and because of this you can never pack in everything you want to do in. Being home because you are ill is not fun at all especially when the house is full of noise, dust and strange smells and you are banned from the bathroom for long periods of time.

So today is going to be a day of getting ready in between watching TV. To be fair I had already washed and ironed my work stuff ages ago so all I need to do is make sure Andrew and Peter don't starve while I'm at work. I usually make a couple of tubs of pasta sauce (different ones of course) and pop them in the fridge, then all they have to do is boil up some pasta and blast the sauce in the microwave. Of late though Andrew has experimented with cooking bacon, eggs and sausages. He says he is practicing for uni, which is good, but a vegetable or two won't go amiss.

Olympic Watch

Haven't we done well, several records broken, the best ever haul of medals in an Olympics and still five days to go. No wonder other countries are looking at us as if something strange is happening. Great Britain has become used to being the nearly man, 'nearly' winning Wimbledon, 'nearly' winning football etc, etc and suddenly we are leaving everyone else behind. If we are so good at all these other sports isn't it time we saw more of them on mainstream TV?

Talking of seeing more on mainstream TV, are the paralympics going to get as much coverage as the main event? I certainly think they should, after all have the athletes taking part worked any less hard? Or might they just have worked that little bit harder?

In the news, new pictures of the Loch Ness Monster. Having done the maths this poor creature must about three hundred years old by now. I have to admit the new picture is very convincing but photography is no longer the medium that doesn't lie. Now I'm not saying the photograph has been manipulated but making it public at the height of the tourist season seems just a little too fortuitous to me.

Well the next blog will be in four days, catch you then.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Great Achievements

Well the trip to the warfarin clinic was unusually short and sweet this morning. My bottom had barely brushed the seat when my name was called. I mentioned how few people were in compared to my last visit and was told by a rather world weary nurse that it was the 'Olympics effect'. Apparently outpatients appointments are being cancelled left, right and center because people would rather be watching the sport than sitting in a smelly clinic waiting to be jabbed. Who'd have thought it! On the down side the minute the Olympics finish the clinic is going to be over run. I hope my appointment is another ten week one, I suspect September will be hell.

Had a phone call from Laurence last night. He was asking if it were all right for him to sleep over on Saturday as he is planning to hit the town with his mates and didn't want to travel all the way back to his. Of course I am delighted to have him back under my roof again, even if it is for just one night. I'm getting excited already.

Olympic Watch

It seems our medal success has provoked a bit of moaning from our French and Australian cousins who are finding it hard to believe how good we are in certain events. The Australians sound positively shell shocked and are blaming their poor showing on the fact that most of their coaches have been lured abroad to take charge of their rivals. Meanwhile the French have hinted at possible cheating going on, especially in the cycling events. The French representatives deny they are accusing us of using drugs but are miffed that Team GB cover their bike wheels at the end of events. This is not unusual as many teams do the same but the French don't like it. What a shame!

Victory for common sense!

I was so pleased to read about this story in the paper this morning. This is the story of an unemployed graduate who, as part of the governments new 'Back To Work' programme was told to attend work experience at Poundland for a few weeks. Now before I go any further this scheme only applies to those classed as long term unemployed, and this woman had been out of work for going on two years. In a fit of pique she claimed that the scheme was akin to slavery and breached her human rights and promptly took the government to court. What she actually meant was that she considered working in Poundland beneath her. Yesterday her case was thrown out of court, brilliant!

Yes the DWP were found to be at fault for not making things clearer in their correspondence about the scheme, but then when have the DWP been clear about anything. However in the DWP's defense, many are sick to death of paying taxes just so perfectly healthy human beings can live on benefits doing absolutely nothing to earn them. I for one welcome such schemes and to be fair anyone claiming money from the public purse should comply with any conditions applied to it.

In other news NASA are going crazy celebrating the safe landing of their Rover on the surface of Mars. Now although an exciting event it isn't really up there with the great achievements of all time is it. In 1969 we landed a man on the moon, I know I watched it, and Concorde took its first flight, and in 1981 the first space shuttle was launched. All three involved technology that is no longer available to us, most due to cost. Each one, in my opinion, is a far greater achievement than the landing of a mini on Mars.

Wouldn't it be nice if, instead of looking for life on other planets, NASA put its energy and know how into solving world hunger? Just a thought.

Monday, 6 August 2012

How Rude!

I am venturing out today for a brief shopping trip. Now that Andrew is back on form we are being eaten out of house and home again so the cupboards need some serious stocking up. Of course now the dust from his holiday and illness has settled his thoughts are turning to university and I'm detecting a slight show of nerves. He keeps talking about clearing as though he expects to have to go through it. He's also mentioned getting a job for a year and resiting his exams with the intention of trying again next year. I'm hoping it is all just nerves but if it isn't then I'll be here for him.

Olympic Watch

I'm going to have a little moan, just a little one so here goes.

Yes it was an amazing achievement but others won gold this weekend apart from Jessica Ennis. I don't wish to put her down in anyway, it is not her fault, but she is only one of many medal winners this weekend so why is she the only one to be constantly on the front pages of our newspapers. I find the fact that other winners are being ignored very rude and frankly insulting. Could it possibly be because she is not only a great athlete but is also pretty, when some of the other winners are less photogenic? I do hope the obsession with looks is not encroaching its way into sport as well.

One person who really deserved to be on the front pages this morning was Andy Murray who comprehensively beat Federer and won the first tennis gold since 1908. Of course that achievement is not good enough for our media and so Usain Bolt took center stage who isn't even British and did exactly what he was expected to do.

Not really OW but related, does the country now have a new set of role models for children to look up too?

This question was put by one of the columnists in my paper this morning and it is one that is worth debating. For too long now the vacuous, plastic world of 'celebrity' has been at the fore front of our children's ambitions. Most think that the way to becoming famous and earning pots of money is to appear on a reality show or marry a footballer. This of course requires no effort as long as you have a pretty face and a self obsession of terrifying proportions.

The Olympics are showing youngsters that there are other ways to the top but will they take up the challenge? The people we see on the podiums day after day have worked hard since very young for their brief moment of glory and this is where we reach a sticking point. Most of today's youngsters don't want to work hard for something, they expect it to fall into their lap. So will we see an increased uptake of sport? Yes I expect we will for a while then the reality will set in and all but a few will go back to playing video games, eating crisps and dreaming of being old enough to apply for Big Brother. Sad but true.

Well the shopping trip passed off without major incident so why did I leave the shop fuming?

I was in the queue with my trolley of approx thirty items when this business type woman came behind me with just two items so, as I have done many times before, I asked her if she wanted to go ahead of me, which she did. She then left without a word of thanks, just paid and left. Even the girl working on the checkout commented on how rude the woman had been. Apart from being angry I was really shocked. I've let every sort of person past me, some who look as though they'd rip your head off soon as look at you, and all have said thanks. And yet a respectable looking, suited woman in her mid forties totally ignored me. No wonder people are so horrible to each other when even those you expect to be polite can't be bothered. Unfortunately she has made me think twice about making this gesture in the future. I probably still will but if you are a business woman in a suit expect to be ignored.

It is the warfarin clinic tomorrow, joy!

Sunday, 5 August 2012


Well I've gone from not caring about the Olympics, and being slightly miffed that all my favourite programmes have either been moved or stopped altogether, to 'wow' in the space of one evening. Yes I've been pleased when hearing about our sports people winning medals, and I did watch Murray storm to the final and a guaranteed silver but I've been fairly unmoved up to now. Like most of the nation I was on the edge of my seat watching Mo Farrar last night and our planned film night went down the drain yet again.

I can officially announce I am feeling a lot, lot better. I managed my first proper meal yesterday and enjoyed every morsel. I'm going for something a little more substantial today and I'm eating fruit by the bucket load. I'm still having the odd wobbly moment, which is a bit strange, but on the whole I've got my old zing back.

Of course now that I'm feeling better I've got all the jobs I've put off facing me and foremost is a pile of bedding and towels to be washed and dried. I did the ironing yesterday, well most of it, but by tonight there will be another pile waiting in the wings. Still I have four days to catch up so I don't need to go for it hammer and tongs.

After my early morning soak, Andrew did his paper round so we were all up and dressed by eight, I was banned from the bathroom as Peter is finishing up all the little tricky bits and doesn't want to keep clearing things up so I can use the loo. Not for the first time I am I thanking our fore thought in having a second loo put in when the boys were little.

Talking of Andrew his rash has cleared up nicely and had been reduced to a few spots here and there. We are all very relieved not least that neither Peter or myself caught it. I'm giving it one more day and then he is going to get a great big hug.

Olympic Watch

I am finding it difficult to find anything to put into today's edition, everything has more or less been said in the main blog. So in the absence of news that has actually happened I'm going to make note of what has not happened.

We are at the mid point and we haven't been attacked in any shape or form. Now it might be that the sight of an aircraft carrier in the Thames is enough to put off the most determined terrorist but I doubt it. Although it is good to be careful, and in this day and age security is a must, I'm now wondering if we have gone just a little bit overboard. We have rocket launchers on top of tower blocks for goodness sake. Do the powers that be really think an attack is going to be as obvious as someone trying to fly a plane into the stadium? Any terrorist, or loan nutter, as there are plenty of them about too, worth his salt will not be an obvious source of threat. Let's face it, you walk in with 'I am a terrorist' on your tee shirt you are going to find yourself in a cell being strip searched before you can draw breathe. If an attack comes it will be carried out by the most normal looking person in the building but with a bit of luck the second half of the games will be as peaceful as the first.

Before I finish OW I just want to point out how sad some people really are. We have had a fantastic week of sport. Sports that are never normally seen on British TV are being shown and vast numbers are watching them. However after the best day of the games for Team GB so far, six golds, there are still people saying that their whole weekend is ruined because the football team are out of the competition. I am speechless.

Do you remember me saying a few blogs back how delighted I was to find a pair of original wooden Scholls. Well I've fallen out of love with them big time after one slipped off my foot yesterday and clouted me on the ankle then caused immense pain as I stepped on it sideways. The bruise is a sight to see and my foot still aches. I don't remember doing that in my twenties.

Oh dear, another day another plaster, time to patch up the husband again.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

High Hopes

For five glorious minutes this morning I considered going into work as I felt really well. However this idea was swiftly sat on by Peter who has told me that work is out of the question until I've had a day of eating proper meals. He is right of course and often steps in to save me from myself. So today I'm making a determined effort to try and eat normally. You know what it is like though, you just start feeling really well and want to keep that feeling and so food sort of becomes the enemy. You know that eating might make you feel ill again so you start avoiding it. Now I love my food, always have, so this is a worrying development but one I'm not going to let take hold.

Finally heard from the Brompton regarding my transplant referral. They are disgusted that I still haven't heard from Papworth and are going to do some chasing for me. I am to let them know if I still haven't heard anything by the end of next week.

I have found a new ally in the road back to normality, watermelon! This stuff is ideal, it is light, tasty, not acidic and full of liquid and is going down a treat. I've eaten at least half of a whacking big one already and Peter only brought it home at tea time last night. Today I am planning my first proper meal, a light pasta with a delicate tomato sauce, minus the garlic and chilli's I normally add. If I can keep that down I know I'm on to a winner.

Olympic Watch

Andy Murray is guaranteed at least a silver medal after beating Djokovic in the semi's yesterday. I am ecstatic! He will be meeting Federer in a final yet again, time for revenge I wonder?

There was another flurry of medals yesterday bringing us up to fourth in the medal table with a total of 22 medals, eight of which are gold. Today there are 25 medals up for grabs in various events, let's hope some come our way.

The only thing I can find to complain about today is the banning of Pimms at Wimbledon. Why? Because they manufacturers are not official sponsors of course, pathetic isn't it. There are still empty seats but not so many now as spares are now being sold nightly online and for as low as a fiver, now if they had only done this from the start we wouldn't have had any empty seats at all.

Andrew's rash has all but disappeared overnight. He's gone from looking like a smallpox victim to your average acned teenager in a matter of hours. He even managed to have a shower, a great relief for all, which he has been unable to do up to now as his skin was so sore.

Isn't it typical, the moment I start feeling better the heavens open and the rain starts pouring and an afternoon on the decking with a good book has been shelved. So I'm looking at another afternoon of slobbing in front of the TV but fed up with doing absolutely nothing I'm going to combine watching with ironing, not too much, but a small start on the mountain that has built up over the last week, yes I can tell Andrew is back. I have been ordered not to touch the bathroom, an order I can easily obey as polishing grout off tiles is hardly my favourite occupation.

In the news the mother of Mark Duggan, whose death sparked last years riots, is claiming he was 'assassinated' by police. How ridiculous a statement is that, and how irresponsible. Her comments are stirring up 'feelings' in those who would like nothing better than another excuse for more civil unrest. An excuse this women is plainly handing to them on a plate by advertising a memorial service for Duggan on Sunday as though he were some hero.

Now I am not going to say his death wasn't sad and I am not going to say the police get it right all the time but in this case I don't believe they had much choice. Duggan was a serial offender who was known for violence, he refused to cooperate with the police and had in his possession a gun which despite warnings he refused to put down and repeatedly pointed at police. Yes the death shouldn't have happened but Duggan was not the total innocent in all this and at least partially contributed to his own death. Hero he definitely is not.

Well off to prepare my first proper meal, I have to say I am really looking forward to eating again.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Food Glorious Food!

Well I've now moved on to tomato soup and banana's, not together you understand. Again small amounts but I'm picking up on the frequency. I'm still a bit nauseous if I've eaten too much but mostly everything has settled down nicely. I really fancied a cheese sandwich around five yesterday evening and took an hour to pluck up courage to try half of one. Not a bad reaction but I think I might wait another day before trying a full one. The tea is interspersed with barely there blackcurrant squash and I've started on the Complan again to try and give myself a bit of a boost as I'm still incredibly wobbly. I dared to weigh myself this morning and was pleased to see I've only lost five pounds but it still means another up hill battle to put the weight back on.

Olympic Watch

Well now the golds have started coming it has turned into a cascade of medals and a big leap in the medal table. We are now fifth and look to rise higher if we keep this up.

Unfortunately good news is almost always accompanied by bad and cyclists Victoria Pendleton and Jess Varnish were disqualified from the inaugural women's team sprint for an illegal change during their second-round contest with Ukraine. What a shame, cycling was one of the events we were almost guaranteed medals in.

There was also controversy surrounding the mens win after the youngest of the group implied he'd fallen off deliberately to force a restart when the he didn't get off quickly enough on the first attempt. This has now been dismissed as a misunderstanding and 'language problems' as Philip Hindes has only been learning English for a couple of years. Even so there is a slight taint to the win now and if anyone really does fall off in the early stages of a race in future they are likely to be looked at very carefully.

And isn't it hard to believe we are already half way through!

Andrew is looking better, the rash is not so red or sore and his throat is completely fine now, thank goodness for that. Now he can talk he is chattering on about his holiday and has shown us some pictures. I'd never thought of Bulgeria as a holiday destination but it is so beautiful, and has lots to see and do apparently. However it is not disabled friendly, lots of stairs and steps, cobbled roads and very little of it is flat. Maybe one for after the transplant then.

Talking of which despite several emails and messages left on answer phones there has not been a peep out of the Brompton. A fellow PH sufferer has given me the number of the PALS admin person to get in touch with which I will be doing today. I must say though it is unusual for my PH team not to get back to me within a day or two, they are usually very good.

Another PH sufferer has advised I also contact Papworth's transplant team to see what is going on. I don't feel I can do that yet though as I haven't had it confirmed that my referral has gone though. It is all highly frustrating I must say.

I am finding it hard to find news stories worth discussing at the moment. The Olympics are all consuming and very little other news is getting through. This is another thing I do not like about the way the media, the BBC in particular, are covering the games. I keep missing things I want to see because they will give a time but not a channel. Or they will give such a large time range that you can't watch all the way through and quiet often they cut what you are watching to move to something else. It is very irritating. Now I appreciate that there is a lot going on and it is very difficult to show everything but if they have started a particular competition they should at least stick with it until the final stages.

In desperation I have switched to other channels in the hope of finding out what is going on beyond London at the moment but they are all equally obsessed and real news is now confined to a five minute round up at the end. What did catch my eye was the report that Kofi Annan has given up on his attempts to broker peace in Syria. If Kofi Annan gives up on you, you know you are in trouble.

At least the weather is getting a rest, it being our usual national obsession.

Well time for another cup of tea with the added draw of a digestive biscuit. Who can resist?

Thursday, 2 August 2012


I am feeling so much better today. Still wobbly on my feet and as weak as a kitten but better. I have stuck to white toast, tea. porridge and plain potato mash but it has all stayed down which is reassuring. I've even managed to take my warfarin again, something which was just not happening Monday and Tuesday.

Olympics Watch

Well yesterday was certainly a day of mixed fortunes.

We got GOLD! At last! And not just one but two. Well done Heather, Helen and Bradley. Let's hope this is the start of a golden shower.

For other countries the news was not so good as three Badminton teams were kicked out of the Olympics for cheating, well sort of. China, South Korea and Indonesia all saw their womens teams kicked out after some very dodgy play in last night's events. So what did they actually do? Well as I understand it they tried to manipulate the play offs by throwing matches in order to get a more favourable draw in the next round. Each team decided they did not want to meet their own countries in the play offs as that would mean only one team from their country going higher. Not actually cheating but certainly a manipulation of the contest by anyones standards. They are appealing of course but I doubt they have much chance of returning to the competition. It is such a shame that athletes or their countries, for I have no doubt the idea came from further up the feeding chain, feel they have to resort to such tactics to do well. And would they ever really be happy with the win knowing how it was gained?

Andrew's rash is not only spreading but getting worse. His hands are so sore he hasn't been able to unpack yet. On the plus side his throat has all but cleared up and he is tucking in to anything he can get his teeth around like there is no tomorrow. I've been carefully examining my hands and feet for early signs but so far I appear to have been successful in avoiding it, whatever it is. I'm still thinking allergic reaction to something as he feels fine in himself and as it is his hands and face that are mostly affected I'm thinking a contact allergy rather than something he's swallowed.

Work has started again on the bathroom and the last of the tiling has mostly been completed. There is still grouting to do and then the cleaning and polishing up of the tiles but I'm not up to doing anything like that yet so it will have to wait a while.

We have new neighbours, again.

The lovely Japanese couple are going abroad for four years because of work commitments so they have rented their house out and the new couple appear to be moving in today. I haven't seen anyone yet but there are lots of vans arriving and departing and strange cars parked outside. I hope they are nice people, we have been very lucky with our neighbours so far and I'm really hoping this new lot won't break the trend.

Peter is in work for the next couple of days so Andrew has been given orders not to let me over do it so it is another day in front of the TV. At least I've now moved from bed to settee so a definite improvement. Andrew is still keeping his distance but we can sit in the same room and talk now even if it is in chairs on opposite sides of the room..

Still heard nothing from Papworth regarding the transplant assessment so I've fired off an email to the Brompton to ask them to chase. It appears an 'urgent' referral must mean something different in hospital circles than to us mere mortals. It is so unfair that ill people are kept waiting and stressed out all the time by those that are meant to be helping us. If I ruled the NHS, grrrr!

Wednesday, 1 August 2012


The bugs rumble on, however we are both feeling a little better today.

Andrew is not allergic to penicillin but the rash is linked to the virus he's picked so he is now taking antivirals as well. He looks a mess today but assures me he is feeling better and he has been able to swallow some solid food at last. He is still keeping as far away from me as possible to the extent of talking to me from the corridor rather than coming into the bedroom and sitting on the bed as he'd normally do. It is very considerate but also very sad.

I am now able to drink and keep down tea. Anything else comes back up immediately so I'm sticking with tea for today so at least I'll get my hydration back up to normal. I've also managed to keep down my anti sickness tablet so when that kicks in I'm hoping for a vast improvement. My problem is that I tread such a fine line between sick and not sick with my meds than any sickness bug sends me right over the edge and it take ages to gain back my equilibrium. I think I'm going to have to throw in the towel with this one and forget about work altogether until I can get my stomach settled again. As for my weight gain well from the way my PJ's are hanging off me I'm guessing I'm going to have to start the battle from scratch as I think I'm even lighter now than when I started the first time. How frustrating is that?

Work on the bathroom is at a complete standstill because of my frequent visits so I've nothing to report there.

Olympic Watch

Still no gold.

I have very little to say on this matter today as I haven't been keeping up with news or papers over the last day or two. I have had the TV on in the bedroom for most of the day though and have seen more of the games than I ever intended to. I enjoyed the women's gymnastics, such as shame there was no medal.

Still lots of empty seats from what I saw so obviously that has not been solved yet.

Well another short one today I'm afraid, back to bed for me, catch up soon.