Posted by: glenswatman | January 2, 2014

20131221-31 My turn in hospital for a change.


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SATURDAY 21 DECEMBER – Steve surprises me by suggesting we take a drive out to drop in on a few friends.  Sandra is out so Keith is able to do his “grumpy old man” bit and really sound off about Christmas!  We pass our old Post Office and call in to see what a difference the extension has made.  The store part is much bigger but in our opinion badly laid out and not well stocked although the guy admits it is a work in progress with a rear extension planned.  The family invite us through to look at the house as well and what a sorry state that is in.  We put an expensive oak kitchen in 27 years ago and it is still in place but with doors and drawer fronts hanging off.  In the old utility room my flowery curtains are just about hanging and there’s a rusty old washing machine.  The decoration all needs redoing and all the white paintwork is chipped.  The main lounge upstairs is being used as store room, the chimney breast has been knocked out so they could do the same in the shop and they have carried this through to the loft where they have put a window in ready to extend up there as well.   It may well be a work in progress but there is no way we could live in a place with every room such a mess.  One of our old customers comes in whilst we are in the store wanting to buy milk but the only one left in the fridge is out of date.  A far cry from when we were in charge!  For old times’ sake we also call in to what was our meat and pie supplier Stanley Middleton’s.  It’s still being run by Chris who bought it from Stanley but he’s out.  We chat to Tim who has been there for years.  The cheese and onion pasty is nice but not as nice as I remember them when we collected them warm and fresh from the oven each morning.  Jenny & John are our next stop, Jenny is looking really well on her palliative cancer treatment and they have managed to take a number of trips abroad, albeit chancing it without full insurance.  At Mom & Dad’s we spot David’s car but he is fast asleep in the studio.  Steve heads to the pub to watch football whilst I walk into town to return most of the things I bought yesterday!   We see David after the football finished, he’s been fast asleep after a rough start to his night.  We have another rough night with me in pain and vomiting, the sooner I can get this gall bladder removed the better.


SUNDAY 22 DECEMBER – David calls in as he is leaving.  I think winter is arriving as we get a hail storm in the afternoon.  Claire has put in an order for a tray of carrot cake so I make that and a batch of vegetable soup.  Struggling to find things I can eat at the moment as even stuff I used to tolerate is aggravating my gall bladder.


MONDAY 23 DECEMBER – Receive a call from Jean & Arf to tell us they are at Dover ready to board the next ferry for France.  Know how delighted they must feel to be back in their motorhome after a rough year or so of medical problems.  Feel sure we must be next on the departure list!    Steve opts to join me for a ride out.  I had a call yesterday begging me to do a Mystery Shopper assignment at MacDonald’s and with a premium payment of £18 it was hard to resist.  It’s easier to resist eating it all once I have done my test checks.  In Haworth Claire has a lemon drizzle cake ordered from The Kitchen and we pick it up although she is frustrated to find they have put the price up to £13 from £10 in previous years.  Reckon I might have to set myself up in business making that as well as carrot cake.  Call in to the Doctors as I have found out that my gall bladder operation will be further delayed as they have had to pull off another surgeon in order to keep up with a recent spate of breast cancer.  After a few phone calls I establish that St Luke’s have 17 surgeons who do gall bladder operations and have myself booked in for a consultation on 14th January.  Back home I re check everything I can do to help the problem by way of diet and I can see it is going to be a fun festive period with no cheese, butter, ice cream, pork, poultry, coffee, nuts etc – in fact you name anything I like to eat and it is on there.  Interestingly the list of what to avoid is about twice as long as the list of all the yummy things you should eat.  However I will give it my best shot as I can’t do with being in so much pain.  Steve is also a bit cheesed off as he picked up a help sheet at the Doctors about shingles telling him it will last for about a month and many symptoms can linger in people over 50.  It has depressed him so much he retires to bed in the afternoon.  Think we are getting a bit low in the spirits department.


TUESDAY 24 DECEMBER – Steve’s weary and in pain so we cancel his scheduled childhood injections.  It’s such a windy and rainy day that it is almost lunchtime before we summon up the effort to get up.  Luckily Claire & the kids are round in the evening and this cheers us up.  I’ve hardly eaten for the last 2 days but cope well with Chinese veg and rice whilst the others enjoy their “Great Wall” take away choices.  I’ve planned quite a lot of games but Steve steps out when it gets really rowdy during “gargle that tune”.  They are so impressed with the grab a parcel game that Claire takes things away with her to replay tomorrow.


WEDNESDAY 25 DECEMBER – Steve’s feeling worse but we have planned to stay away at Cousin Karen’s boyfriends place so at least we won’t have to do much.  Calling in to see Claire I end up helping her make the cranberry stuffing balls as she is behind on time.  Daniel and Natasha have already gone to their Dad’s for lunch and Claire will be eating round at Richards along with his kids and some of his old neighbours.  Milos only lives 4 miles away at Clifton and makes us very welcome.  We sit in the conservatory chatting until Karen arrives around 4.30pm.  He’s a GP and well aware of the type of food that irritate gall bladder problems so has cooked me sea bass as an alternative to the belly pork that they all at.  Even so I begin to get the pains back again and we both have a disturbed night.


THURSDAY 26 DECEMBER – It’s a glorious crisp and sunny morning so I join Karen and Milos for a walk.  Clifton is really high up so we get some smashing views of the surrounding countryside.  Clifton is famous as the place where Robin Hood is buried although people in Nottingham would dispute this.  We play a few rounds of charades before eating our “Christmas” turkey dinner late afternoon.  In truth there’s only the sprouts that I should be eating as the other veg have been roasted but I manage to get through a little of everything.  It’s really unfortunate that neither of us is well enough to enjoy it all or really partake so we change our plan to stay overnight and head home to bed.  My pain is really bad through the night and nothing seems to offer relief.  I suspect that I have now taken so many strong pain killers that constipation is kicking in and compounding the problem.


FRIDAY 27 DECEMBER – I phone up Airedale pleading with the waiting list secretary to get me an operation date but to no avail.  I book an appointment at my Doctors as I now have a terrible headache, back, stomach and gall bladder pain.  Dr Williams puts it down to constipation and prescribes suppositories and a laxative and says it should improve in about 24 hours.  Steve is also in a bad way so we opt for me to sleep on the sofa bed in the lounge leaving him space to sprawl out in bed.


SATURDAY 28 DECEMBER – We spend the day like weathermen swapping from the bed to the sofa bed.  My pain doesn’t improve even after the constipation is relieved but I live in hope of feeling better in the morning whilst Steve tries everything he can to get comfy.  Accepting how poorly we both are I reluctantly cancel our planned trip down to the Midlands where we had hoped to spend New Years Eve with our good friends.


SUNDAY 29 DECEMBER –   I’m getting a bit desperate now as I am still in a lot of pain so call 111.  A Doctor calls me back and says to go to the Out Patient Doctor at Airedale at 12.10.  He examines me and asks why I waited so long to come in.  He admits me to ward 14 so I’m hopeful of getting my operation done.  Steve waits with me on the ward but after a couple of hours I’ve only had a basic examination and some fluids so I send him home.  The Doctors come round and I get a very painful examination followed by much needed morphine.  He says my gall bladder is too swollen for an operation so they will move me to Ward 13 for now.   Whilst I am waiting I get a call from Leeds offering me an appointment with the spleen specialist on Friday.  I’ve had a quiet word with one of the Doctors explaining that Steve has shingles and low immunity and they arrange for me to go in a side ward.  Throughout the night I am treated with various drips and pain killers.


MONDAY 30 DECEMBER – The Doctors do their rounds and conclude I have an infection in my gall bladder.  Whilst it is inflamed they are reluctant to operate as they would have to do the full operation rather than key hole surgery.  Doctor is actually more concerned about the 5 1/2cm tumour in my spleen and thinks that Leeds will want to operate and remove it and could probably take the gall bladder at the same time.  For now they are going to have me on a drip with 3 different antibiotics and fluids.  Steve, Claire, Natasha and Azura arrive in the afternoon.  They’ve tidied up and cooked lunch at our bungalow and then the girls have had spray tans ready for Claire and Richards 1980’s themed New Years Eve party.  They are going as lifesavers out of Baywatch.   Steve has been in touch with his Doctor about the shingles pain and gets a call back saying there will be a prescription for him to pick up and try a different type of medication.  Sandra calls to visit in the evening and we manage to talk our way through the 1 1/2 hours.


TUESDAY 31 DECEMBER –I’ve not eaten since I came in to hospital and seem to have lost weight as my pyjama bottoms keep slipping down.  Feeling quite a lot better I go for a walk around the extensive corridors.  Reckon I could easily cover a mile indoors here.  Calling in to see our friend Sharon in admin she helps me out with a few safety pins for my pyjamas.  The Doctor has said that when the gall bladder infection dies down I will be able to eat again and suggests starting today.  At lunch I can’t believe how delicious the diluted leek & potato soup tastes.  Steve arrives for the afternoon visit and tells me the new tablets are making no difference as he is still in pain and hardly sleeping.  However he did feel well enough to have his childhood jabs this morning so that’s an improvement over last week.  In the afternoon I notice the gall bladder pain creeping back so just have fish, veg and potato for tea.  A few patients congregate in the TV lounge where we enjoy watching Mama Mia and often break out into song.  One of the ladies used to have a bar in Nerja Spain and says she will be observing Spanish tradition and attempting to eat the twelve grapes at midnight.  We watch Gary Barlow doing the countdown to New Year with spectacular fireworks in London.  Only 2 of us are up for doing the Auld Lang Syne and no one for the conga.  At least I have company whilst Steve is home alone.  My pain becomes quite bad in the night and they have to up my pain killers.  Here’s hoping to a better year ahead.




  1. Hello to both of you! I didn’t know you were that sick! I can’t get on FB very often with my old computer..I need to change for a tablet..Just want to wish you both a better health and hope you’ll get through this least whwn one is feeling good, but in your case, you’re both out..I’m still in Nicaragua and really enjoy it..just went on Ometepe island in Lake Nicaragua..calm, beautiful volcanoes, went hiking so I had sore muscles last night. My friend’s daughters are sportive-types and are so young (20-22-24),
    but I managed going to beautiful waterfalls, struggling with rockclimbing..made it, and quite happy..still have my blog, so I’ll be explaining. Wish you better days and sending out 30 C sunshine. XXSandra

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