Posted by: glenswatman | November 1, 2013

20131021-31 An operation is afoot

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MONDAY 21 OCTOBER – Steve’s banned from going to the cottage, it causes him too much stress.  I want to catch up with neighbour Mandy so kill two birds with one stone as she joins me for a drive over to Newport.  Mandy loves the cottage and all its quirks.  I struggle to get the central heating working; the new insurance says it must be left on 24/7 at 10C from October through until March.  In the garden there are lots of leaves to be swept away and whilst doing this I notice that a large plant and also a display tub have been nicked.  We’ve had a lot of rain overnight and this shows up leaks in both the shed and garage roofs which I have just paid to have fixed, good job Steve didn’t come.  Back in Drayton Netty calls round with Olivia and we have a good chat. Netty also has liver problems and I’m able to give her diet information that should stave off the painful attacks until she has her operation.  Steve’s still really weary so I leave him at the bungalow whilst I walk up town to visit Mum.  I manage to help out with some paperwork and sort through her Christmas decorations leaving her just enough to go on her pretty laser lit tree.  I call our good friend Paul to help with the problems at Newport.  He fits a padlock to the gate to deter trespasses and gets the central heating working, if only I’d remembered that I had asked him to turn the gas off a few weeks ago!  I’ve done comparisons on “right move” website and we are competitively priced but there is such a lot of competition and people generally prefer modern houses on an estate.  David sounds to be having an eventful holiday in Crete and today managed to hurt himself by turning a quad bike over, luckily the main damage being to his wallet when he was fined Euro 20 for damage to the bike.


TUESDAY 22 OCTOBER – Yesterday I called in to the agents who are handling the sale of Mum’s bungalow and the person who wants to buy it still hasn’t had an offer on his.  With this in mind S&J agents to come to Mum’s to give us an opinion on whether she could easily rent it out and for how much.  They say it shouldn’t be too difficult to let but would only get about £650 a month, rentals are definitely sliding down quickly I suspect as many people are holding off selling until prices start to go up or at least until spring.  After a quick clean around I load up more of our stuff from the cellar then we head off.  Steve’s still whacked so I drive and it is good journey traffic wise but the weather is fowl with really heavy rain.  Call in to see Claire who has just had her cast of, she is now walking fairly well in trainers but it will be another month before she is really back to normal.  Back home Steve goes to bed whilst I unpack things then set out on a cooking spree making a huge pot of pumpkin soup and some scones.  David’s drama of the day is from him ignoring instructions at the water park and burning his feet by going down a slide the wrong way – when will he ever learn?


WEDNESDAY 23 OCTOBER – I’m up early to fit in breakfast before my 7.30am cut off.   I crack on and do a really good clean up and then cook a big batch of chilli con carne for the freezer.  At mid day Steve drops me off at Ward 20 Airedale Hospital.  Nurse Heather preps me for my bunion operation and I get a visit from the anaesthetist and Mr Leggetter who will do the operation.  At 2.45 I am walked down to theatre.  In the prep room there are lots of posters of the Antarctic on the walls, turns out the anaesthetist used to work there.  There’s a new technique for the anaesthetic which makes me feel like I am getting a nice glow over my body then very slowly drifting off.  I’m rudely awakened from my tranquil sleep and notice it is 4.45pm.  The recovery room nurse is really nice and looks after me until it is time to return to the ward.  Good riddance to my bunion I say.  I’ve had them since I was 7 in spite of Mum always getting me wide fitting Clark’s shoes.  Being back in England and having to wear closed in shoes has highlighted the problem so it was time for them to take a hike.  Steve picks me up at 7.15pm and I hobble out on a rocker boot.  The local anaesthetic must still be taking effect as I am almost pain free.  I rest with my foot up and only move to go to the loo.  Unfortunately on my 10pm visit I notice a lot of blood seeping through the bandages.  The hospital instruction leaflet advises you to make contact if this happens and the number to call at night is the new 111 NHS helpline.  They are a bit hopeless and say that due to the unusual nature of the problem a Doctor will have to call me back.  By 11pm there’s been no call so I head to bed and Steve comes in just before midnight to say they have called to say they can’t find a Doctor and what do we want to do?  Steve’s told them that we will sort ourselves out in the morning.


THURSDAY 24 OCTOBER – I’ve had very little sleep which I am sure has meant the same for Steve.  Ward 20 opens at 8am so we’re both up and ready when I call in.  They tell me to wait at home and Mr Leggetter will call me back. He’s on the phone at 8.30am and says if I can go straight over he will have a look at my foot.  Apparently bleeding is not uncommon but he does want to change the dressing and with my foot bared I take the opportunity of a photograph.  There is a cut along the inside of my foot and another above the next toe but even with the swelling I can see there is going to be a huge improvement.  The bleeding has just about stopped so another bandage is put on and I am instructed that rather than rest when not walking around I should try and rest as much as possible and keep my foot elevated higher than my heart.  Not sure whether it is from the anaesthetic or what but I’ve got quite a sore throat and feel like a cold is coming on, a bit of a worry as after almost 3 weeks Steve seems to be having less coughing fits himself.  Spend much of the day being a couch potato, resting in bed and reading and giving Steve a bit of a run around.  When I try to walk I am in quite a lot of pain so get stuck into the selection boxes of pain killers I have been provided with.


FRIDAY 25 OCTOBER – With my foot propped on a pillow I’ve had quite a few long sleep stretches and it’s 9.30am when I wake.  Following Claire’s accident at Alton Towers Marie has agreed that when Claire is better she needs to decide whether to sue them or to send a proposition to them for something they can offer direct.  Claire now feels her foot will be OK so I’ve written a letter explaining how everyone was inconvenienced and optimistically requested premium annual passes for Claire and kids, Richard and kids and Steve and myself.  My letter must have hit the mark as Marie calls to say surprisingly the authority above her has granted our wish restoring our faith in the Merlin group.  I’m in contact with my sister Netty who is feeling rough today after another bad night with liver problems.  She’s now desperate to try the alkaline diet which I email to her.  It’s amazing how much our medical lives have in common, we both have liver problems at the moment, have both had hysterectomies and I am now following in Netty’s footsteps with the bunion op – must all run in the family.


SATURDAY 26 OCTOBER- I’m now managing quite well without the pain killer and have almost no pain when my foot is raised. This spurs me on to attempt a shower (ours is a disabled cubicle) and all works well until I want to get out.  Having walked in I now realise the floor is wet and I can’t put my cling film wrapped bandaged foot down so have to stand there until Steve gets back from the paper shop to help me out.  Early afternoon his friend Richard arrives, he’s a Wolves supporter and they are playing Bradford City today so he is taking Steve with him to the match.  It’s a huge relief to get a call from Fodens who have managed to get us tenants for Saltershall Cottage moving in on 8th November.  They are a family with 3 children who want to be there until late May when they will move into their new house so this will at least get us through the winter months and buy us time to figure out what to do with the cottage next year.  The main item on the news is hurricane St Jude which is heading towards England expected to hit at its hardest early tomorrow morning.


MONDAY 28 OCTOBER – The weather is a little strange with sunny spells interspaced by darkness, wind and rain but nothing too bad in Yorkshire.  The storm was downgraded before it hit but the south was still badly affected.  98 mph on the Isle of Wight, 4 lives lost and quite a lot of damage mainly down to fallen trees.  We pop down to Mom & Dad’s as she wants me to research travel insurance for her numerous British coach breaks and I could use the phone to deal with the tenants insurance for Saltershall Cottage and chase up the gas and electric supply problems there.  En route Steve notices the battery light is on and after reading the handbook heads to Doughty Brooks garage.  He returns a few minutes later and say the alternator is broken and I need to get in the car right away so he can run me home then return to the garage before it dies.  Steve walks home and tells me it should be no more than £150 and ready this afternoon.  Sure enough we get a call and by chance it is exactly £150.  Steve picks up the car then returns for me to go back to the “office”.  Mum’s insurance s over £300 with £250 excess so probably cheaper to take a gamble and hope she doesn’t have to cancel or return home early.  I sort out Saltershall insurance but still have the ongoing battle trying to get British Gas to change from the business to the much cheaper domestic tariff, this is the 4th person I have spoken to and I’m not sure who is the most frustrated.  I speak to both Doctor’s and dentist in the Norwich area who would take us on if we moved over there.  2-hours later I seem to have a few things sorted or being sorted.


TUESDAY 29 OCTOBER – Spend a quiet day at home.  Receive news from Suzanne at Leeds that Norwich hospital are prepared to take Steve on for shared care so with other things in place we are able to write back to Merryhill Leisure and tell them we intend buying the static caravan on plot 30.  It’s half term this week and Steve picks Natasha up in Keighley and they go shopping together.  They arrive home with a giant pumpkin for her to carve and a number of other goodies that weren’t on the shopping list.  Natasha gets her requested egg with homemade chips followed by chocolate pancakes with ice cream.  She carves out the pumpkin and I make a coconut curry with the innards.


WEDNESDAY 30 OCTOBER – Natasha has slept on the sofa bed in the lounge and has been so comfortable it is quite a task getting her out of it.  She’s a busy bee making crumble to go on top of blackberries, a really delicious chocolate cake and then setting the bread machine going.  Nat is no trouble at all and really quite entertaining and helpful as she even vacuums for us.  Claire joins us for tea.  She is now wearing normal shoes and walking fairly well although still has discomfort.


THURSDAY 31 OCTOBER- At the Doctors Steve has his 13 month injections.   Other than a couple of phone calls with British Gas trying to sort out our business account it is a pretty normal (boring) day!



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