Posted by: glenswatman | July 21, 2012

20120701-10 Slow recovery

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SUNDAY 1 JULY – It’s 39 years since we went on our first (blind) date. Would be nice to go out and celebrate but that will have to keep. Again Steve is whacked after eating breakfast, it seems almost everything physical drains him. He joins me for a trip to Iceland and Aldi but after the first aisle in Iceland has to return to the car for a rest. Anyway we have lots of fresh food in stock so he gets plenty of good meals and snacks but does take his naps more seriously.

MONDAY 2 JULY – I leave Steve in bed and walk down to town. Mom is struggling even more with her knee problem and has an appointment at the Docs this afternoon. When I arrive home Ray Stephens has called round to visit Steve which prompted him to get out of bed, even if not dressed. In the evening Natasha and Claire call round, short visits like this are perfect for Steve.

TUESDAY 3 JULY – Sitting in the lounge we see a couple walking the streets with a pet rabbit bobbing ahead of them. When they lunge to catch it we realise it is not their rabbit. Even with help they are unable to catch it and it settles down under the car behind ours. Paul & Elaine from Newport arrive late morning. They are honoured to be our first proper dinner guests as we drag the table into the middle of the lounge in order to have a 3 course lunch. It’s really nice to see them again and they seem to cheer Steve up. Paul & Elaine help me with a few lifting jobs around the bungalow. As the school children start to walk pass we hear lots of noise. They have seen the rabbit under the car and in an attempt to catch it their charging around and shouting is scaring the pool thing to death. Heading out for a walk Paul & Elaine manage to get the children to calm down and help in getting the rabbit caught. One of the school girls knows the owners up the road and says she will take it back. Steve is up for a short walk and knowing he has plenty of support we manage to go all the way around the block. Paul & Elaine tell us they will visit again soon and offer any help they can which is really nice. In the evening we hear the Dad came out of hospital last night and is now in respite care at Thompson Court, he loves going there and considers it a holiday.

WEDNESDAY 4 JULY – Back at BRI Steve begins by having his blood taken. Helen meets with us and suggests dropping the pain patches down from 37mg hour to 25mg and supplementing them with tablets if needed. She tells us Steve will need the hallucination and blood pressure tablets until the fluid on the brain has fully dispersed. He’s put on 3kg since last Friday but Dr Ackroyd feels that continuing with the chemo programme would be dangerous. In the interim they plan to give him the first maintenance treatment in 2 weeks then the following week we go to Leeds for the transplant consultation (even though it may not be an option as they still haven’t found a donor). Whichever course we take this recent incident has compromised Steve’s position so it will all be a tough decision. On the way back we call in to Thompson Court to visit Dad, who is delighted to see us even for a short visit. Next I stop by Mom’s as she wants some stuff moving to make space for the new bed. Steve is jiggered and stays in the car then flops into bed as soon as we get home. In between heavy downpours I do manage a bit more gardening but have been struggling with a knee injury for a few weeks and bending down doesn’t help at all. After watching the Penny Bohn DVD about the Bristol Approach Steve suggests a body massage before he goes to bed. We get set up with the heating on, candles and soft music and other than being frustrated at not being able to kneel I am able to give him a nice soothing treat which really helps him sleep.

THURSDAY 5 JULY – Steve wakes with a headache (maybe a sign of the reduce pain patch) so I massage it with tiger balm, give him some breakfast and suggest he goes back to sleep whilst I go down town. Mom is no better and it is obvious she will not be able to look after Dad when he comes home on Monday. She lets me call the nurse attached to the surgery who says they can either arrange for Dad to stay in an extra week or for home help to come each morning and get Dad up and dressed and showered if he wants. When I get home Steve’s headache has gone and he is ready for lunch. He suggests an afternoon walk between showers but we get a bit lost and it ends up further than he would have liked. We try the massage routing again in the evening but it is quite a bit shorter as my knee is swollen and sore. In fact we have a terrible night, Steve going hot and cold and me unable to get comfortable with my knee pain.

FRIDAY 6 JULY – We’re woken by a knock on the door, the man from In Communities to mend the fire. When the fire visual effect is turned on you start to get a noise like a heart monitor and he has never come across this before. He quickly traces the problem to a rubber stopper on the end of the rotisserie that has the flame effects and putting it back in place silences it. We’re both really tired to return to bed with me getting up around 9.30am. Steve still feels really weary so I leave him until 11am when he needs to take his tablets. He can’t give any reason but doesn’t feel well today and moves from the bed to making up to sofa bed in the lounge to watch tennis. The plumber arrives and fixes the toilet leak then tells us the problem with the bathroom sink is that the plug hole is not sealed underneath and will be 2-hour job that needs booking in the future. Steve is whacked and returns to bed at at 7.30pm then funnily enough comes back into the lounge at 11pm when I go to bed.

SATURDAY 7 JULY – After the forecast warning of 1 months’ rain in a day I am pleasantly surprised to wake to a warm sunny morning and quickly get the washing in. At lunch time Netty & Ian and Bobby and Steph arrive for a visit. I’ve already got jacket potatoes cooking and they have bought stuff for dessert so we have a real feast. Mid afternoon we leave Ian & Steve watching the Grand Prix whilst we go shopping. Netty has offered me some suggestions on finishing touches for the bungalow and I end up with a glass vase and huge flower for the bathroom and black stencil type frames for the hall and kitchen. Late afternoon Netty & Ian set off to run up to then around the Tarn and back whilst I drive Steve up there for our one lap walk. It starts to rain heavily with thunder on the way back but even after I turn back to collect them the runners insist on making their own way back before hopping in the shower. They are having their bathroom revamped at home and don’t have one at the moment so take the opportunity to have an indoor shower rather than a camp shower in their garden. They leave around 5pm and at 7pm I pick up Daniel who is coming to stay the night. Needless to say much of the evening is spent playing cards.

SUNDAY 8 JULY – Seems we are getting decent morning’s then late afternoon rain so I cash in on it and borrowing Richards hedge trimmers I massacre the borders. Basically I cut it all back to be level with the borders and on the top to what seems a nice level, looks a bit sad afterwards. My knee is still sore to Daniel helps by gathering all the trimmings and putting them in the green bin. Claire arrives to pick up Daniel and ends up leaving Natasha behind. She’s no trouble and really enjoys her roast beef Sunday dinner, especially the cabbage and sprouts (strange girl). Again we end up sat on the floor playing cards then watching Wimbledon where Andy Murray loses in the final. Claire picks Natasha up at 4pm leaving us in peace after a hectic weekend. There’s just time to fit in a stroll to the top of the road and back before the rain kicks in.

MONDAY 9 JULY ¬After Steve’s post breakfast nap we head off to ASDA where he manages to stay with me for a full shop. Dad is now home from respite care and just as we are leaving the new multi position bed arrives. Steve has another of his strange turns late afternoon and retires to bed, he can’t fully explain how he feels but it is an odd feeling complete with queasiness.

TUESDAY 10 JULY – I arrive early for my pre admission check up at Airedale. Good job as I have great difficulty finding the ward and traipse miles up hospital corridors. A junior nurse checks my vital signs and other things before sending me to an admissions nurse to talk about the op. She is concerned about my blood pressure being 149/90 and says I need to see my GP about it. Everything about the hysterectomy is explained clearly and I am given leaflets to refer to. They don’t know whether I will get away with the “keyhole” surgery or need the full op so suggest I make tentative arrangements for extra care for Steve as it takes 6 weeks to recover from the full surgery. After lunch we head to BRI for Steve’s check up. They reduce his pain patch to 12mg and also the “monster” buster drug from 2 to 1. Steve has put on no weight at all but they are just happy that he hasn’t lost any and say he is well enough for us to make the journey to Bristol next week using the Midlands as a stopover. In the evening the man from Oxtoby’s in Bradford returns our Vienna wall clock. It has cost £95 to have it repaired and tested but as a family heirloom (won in a card game the day Steve’s Dad was born) we think it worth it. Claire calls round in the evening having left the kids at home and she finds it hard to leave knowing she is going from a quiet room to a mad house.


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