Posted by: glenswatman | April 1, 2014

20140321-31 Road to recovery

FRIDAY 21 MARCH – I think the good fairy must have visited me in the night as I have had a normal, rather than drug induced, sleep and wake feeling much better and in only moderate pain on movement.  I tuck into and enjoy a good breakfast and even manage a shower on my own.  In my own mind I know I am now ready for leaving hospital but not up to the 3 ½ journey to Norwich so have a backup plan of staying at Claire’s for a few days.  It comes as no surprise that Mr Aldouri tells me I am well enough to go home.  Bit of a shock to realise that I need to have injections for 28 days but I’m sure I can do that myself.  I will need to go to my local Doctor 2 weeks post operation to have the staples removed and must take things steady.  Steve arrives mid afternoon but it takes another couple of hours for my medication to be sorted.  I’m told how serious it is being without a spleen and need to carry a special card or wear an alert bracelet.  If I get something simple like a sore throat I must get to the Doctor’s and not take any risks.  Just like Steve I will be on penicillin for the rest of my life and leave loaded up with those and pain killers, anti sickness, stomach and other medication.   It’s a bit of an uncomfortable drive to Claire’s as I feel every bump.  Claire settles us in and leaves us with some tasty soup for our tea.  We’ve got the place to ourselves as she is staying at Richards once they come back from doing jobs at the new house.  Unfortunately her central heating has broken down so I am really pleased she has loaned me her seriously snugly hooded “Next” nightdress.  At least it hided all my shrivelled lose skin.



SATURDAY 22 MARCH – I’ve not had quite such a good night and wake with back ache.  Once I’ve showered and moved around a bit it eases.  We take a drive to Claire’s new house; a 6 bedroom detached one with plenty of space for everyone.  She’s right; it is a real mess but can be made to look beautiful.  Back at Claire’s the plumber arrives and fixes the heating and I catch up on my Internet.  My appetite is definitely coming back as I test the water with a bacon sandwich.   In the evening Claire & Richard arrive back along with Lisa & Mick who have been round to the new house to help them with a few jobs.  Once they leave Claire cooks us a lovely salmon meal before heading off to pick up Daniel.  He’s been down to Cardiff with the school debating society and tells us all about his experience in a real court.  The team that beat them went on to win the trip to New York.



SUNDAY 23 MARCH – I’ve improved a little more and can pretty much dull the pain with tablets.  Sunday is a quieter day for traffic we decide to head home.  We leave around 10am, stop for a stretch and a quick shop at the Farm Food Barn then again for lunch at Brewers Fayre on the outskirts of Kings Lynn.  I feel hungry but after the soup and salad I can only fit in a small plate of the carvery lunch but enjoy what I have.  Our last stop is for a quick shop at Lidl in East Dereham.  It’s good to stretch my legs but even leaning on the trolley the walk up and down each aisle takes its toll.  By the time we get home we are both aching and weary and of course Steve has to unpack everything on his own.  Other than putting away chilled foods we just let the rest pile up until tomorrow.  It’s a cold night but with the gas fire on we are nice and cosy and contented to be home again.



MONDAY 24 MARCH – I’ve had a reasonable amount of sleep by 8am so get up and potter a little leaving Steve to sleep in until 10.  It’s a very nice day and late morning we sit out on the patio where Steve does a bit of gardening putting compost in the tubs and planting out some herbs.



TUESDAY 25 MARCH – I’m up at 7.30am and get a load of washing in as it looks like being a nice day.  We sit out a little but the wind soon drives us inside.  I’m feeling a little better but still in pain with a vice like feeling around the wound area making it difficult for me to stand up straight or get comfy sitting or lying down.  “Computer Mike” calls round and tells us he offers Wi-Fi with a good connection at £90 for the season so that is something to consider as phone and internet reception are frustratingly bad here.  Steve goes to the clubhouse for the free pool games in the evening and has a good hour or so playing Nick.



WEDNESDAY 26 MARCH – It’s a cold and rainy day so we potter at home.  I make a pumpkin pate which turns out to be really tasty.  In the evening I decide to change my dressing and it turns out that is the cause of most of my problems.  They swapped it in hospital one night when I had a leak and put the new one on whilst I was propped up in bed and it turns out that resulted in them pinching my skin too tight causing a bulge over the cut.  Once I get a new dressing on flat I feel so much better.  I’m doing OK giving myself the injections each night but hope to reduce a few more drugs tomorrow.



THURSDAY 27 MARCH – Well what a difference changing the dressing has made.  I’m much more comfortable, haven’t needed any painkillers and slept through until 7.30am without needing to get up in the night for tablets.  I suggest a ride out so we head to Sainsbury’s where we do a mega £100+ shop to get our freezer stocked.  I’m still losing weight and now down to 9 stone 4 lbs so it’s easy to justify a few cream cakes and chocolates finding their way into the trolley.



FRIDAY 28 MARCH – By the time Steve gets up the doors and windows are flung open, the radio is blasting away and the soup kitchen is open as I begin making batches of soup to stock up the freezer – feels like life is getting back to normal.  At Merryhill the clubhouse is open to everyone but if you want to us it for a private party you are welcome to do so but there must be an open invitation to all members and visitors.  Tonight is Gordon & Simone’s Golden wedding party.  We still feel a bit strange attending as we have never even met them but are told that we would be most welcome and going to these functions will help us meet more people.  Member Pauline used to run a catering company and everyone here now uses her to do the buffets.  We tuck in to a good spread but I probably eat a little too much as after an hour or so I simply cannot get comfortable.  I leave Steve and head home to stretch out on the sofa.  During the night I have quite a lot of discomfort with indigestion, not sure whether I ate too much, too late or too much processed food but a lesson has been learnt!



SATURDAY 29 MARCH – Fortunately I’m feeling better by morning.  We like to get a newspaper on Saturdays and with no shop within walking distance it involves a drive out.  I decide that we will use my new personalised Ordnance Survey map centred on Merryhill to explore a few country roads en route to Lenwade village.  We pass Dinosaur World and after picking up a paper park by the old railway track that is now Marriott’s Way walking path.  It runs mostly alongside the River Wensum but also passes a number of fenced in private fishing lakes.  We return another way passing the famous Bernard Matthews turkey factory with not a turkey in sight.  In a small village we see home grown lettuce at 25p and buying one and talking to the home owner she shows him her future crops that will be coming on sale.  It’s warm enough for us to sit out and have lunch and spend the afternoon outside and so warm that for the first time we don’t even need the gas fire on in the evening.  Tonight the clocks go forward to British Summer Time so we look forward to long sunny summer.



SUNDAY 30 MARCH – We make sure we are up early in spite of losing an hours sleep.  Peter and Margaret are coming over to visit today and leaving home at 9am so expected any time after 11am.  I set about cooking up a bolognaise sauce and Steve gets the spare chairs out of the storage box and cleans them and the other outdoor furniture.  We get a text around 11am to say they have been slowed up by road works but are now 18 miles away so at about half past Steve strolls up to the gate to meet them.  A bit later I get another text to say there has been a mistake and they will be another hour or so.  They finally arrive at about 1.30pm.  It sounds like their Satnav wouldn’t accept the postcode so Peter checked it out on Google maps and keyed in the co-ordinates and that took them to a place 38 miles away.  They’ve brought some lovely gifts, a homemade cake, some herbs from their garden, a cherry tomato kit and an aerial photo of Merryhill showing our caravan.  We settle down to a 3 course lunch.  I’ve cheated a bit and only made the pumpkin pate and bolognaise and bought everything else which makes me feel a little guilty as Margaret looks after us so well with home cooking when we visit them.  We haven’t seen them since last September so lots to catch up on.  It’s Margaret’s 80th birthday in May and we have been invited to her party so she tells us more about it as it will be a big day with multiple events enabling her to have gatherings of not only friends and relatives but ex pupils from her teaching days and involves different functions at different times at The British School where she is a volunteer.  Margaret is probably the most active almost 80 year old person we know.  She has been down to London for the day on Friday and Saturday, was out at a dance on Saturday night and still got up early this morning to bake us a cake.  She also goes to yoga classes and dances and more.   Peter struggles to walk so Steve takes Margaret off for a stroll around Merryhill where she seems amazed at the early season specials on caravans from £2000.  They head off just before 7pm and we are pleased to get a phone call at about 9.30pm to tell us they are home but did hit lots of roadworks en route.



MONDAY 31 MARCH – At Mattishall Surgery we both have new patient appointments with the nurse so go in together.  She checks my blood pressure, height, weight and urine sample and pronounces me normal (you can tell she doesn’t know me!).  Steve leaves the room whilst she takes my dressings off in order to remove the 30+ staples.  St James gave me a special machine and this seems to bend the staple in the middle whilst simultaneously raising both of the curved edges so it can be lifted out relatively painlessly.  Both cuts are heeling very well.  Unfortunately one of the drain sites hasn’t  and is inflamed and festering so Jo washes it out and puts some iodine on before redressing that and the other wounds.  I must return on Wednesday to have it redressed and for a booster injection.  Like me Steve is pronounced fit and well after his checks but he must also return on Wednesday for a Doctor’s appointment to get his repeat prescriptions on order.  Take the back roads through to Dereham where we shop at the huge Tesco then Roys and Poundstretcher before giving up on the last few items.  There’s a pub opposite that has a fish and chip shop attached so makes a good stop for a late lunch.  When we get back I’ve a bit of a headache and feel rather weary but soon perk up after an hour on the bed.  It’s certainly much warmer now and the only time we need a little heating is first thing in the morning, a nice early taste of summer.




  1. About time that things took a ‘turn for the better’ for you too- and with a new home, some Spring sunshine and all ops out of the way, perhaps you can now settle to more pleasurable things! See you soon??

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