Category Archives: Health

I am so fortunate

Yes. I really am.

I may well be a lady-in-waiting, on a long list for eye surgery, but I can still see. This is NOT a ‘pity me’ post, only an explanation. Once I wear my prescription sunglasses, I am legally covered to drive. driving for me is FREEDOM. I can go out, meet people and enjoy the outside world. Heck, I drove a 119 mile round trip to have lunch with Elly & George, last Saturday (their journey was a little longer).

In my Granny’s day she needed to have cataract surgery, but back then, you had to go blind before surgery was attempted. That was when I was a schoolgirl  in the early 1960s. She did not go blind, but could not read beyond the headlines in a newspaper, so reading books or going to the movies (flickering screens) were lost to her. The surgery that I now require would not have been available to her either.

Some days are better than others, the Macular hole in my right eye affects the vision I use when looking directly at something, for example when I’m reading or looking at the laptop screen, thus the lack of posting from me. i have no pain in my eye but the discomfort varies from day to day. There are days when I do not want to read. Anything.

I use WhatsApp for daily contact with Elly, either by way of my mobiile or on the laptop. She tells me that she knows which device I am using, by the number of typos. I realise how frustrating this can be for regular readers, but hopefully the situation will improve post-surgery.

Please have patience with this patient!

I found this fellow when we were out yesterday. I had to wait until I came home to see what the photo detail was like. I have no idea of who the sculptor was, but I liked the piece.

Hello dear!

Hello dear!

Pick and mix

I have been quiet for a while, but I am still alive and very much so. Things have been happening. Some good and some not so good.

This was the sky on Tuesday 5th May at 17:44, it makes it hard to believe it is nearly summer.

20150505_174434

There was a birthday that I missed attending on Wednesday 6th May, it was a little too far away….  87 hours without traffic, otherwise it would take 89 hours (according to Google)! Mind you, this was beginning on the A26 and the journey would involve car transport, toll roads, include a ferry and have to cross through multiple countries. In other words a distance of 4,095 miles! Anyway, I had other plans that day.

A photo session with twenty questions!

Not that kind of photo session. I was allowed to keep my clothes on… so long as there were no buttons, zips or bits of metal. The pictures were rather revealing, in a good and not so good way. Livable with!

I made some discoveries. I lost and I gained. Twelve years ago, I discovered I was a full inch taller that I thought I was for all of my adult life. I was 170.5 cms, now I  have lost 1cm.

And the gain? I had put on weight. Middle age spread. Is it any wonder that gravity is winning the battle and pulling everything south! 🙁 I was on the scales at 09:45.

I do know for a fact that at that very time, thirty seven years ago I weighed in at all of 130 lbs, by late afternoon, I was so much lighter (114.5 lbs) and had a bundle in my arms. That very bundle was now celebrating her birthday in Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel.  She was working, but we did manage to speak by phone, and I was pleased to hear that her colleagues were taking her out for dinner.

No. I am not trying to hide the amount of weight that i gained in thirty seven years… I am all of 139 lbs today! Note to self: Avoid walking over grating incase I disappear! 😛

The following morning I was up and out early to do my duty and cast my vote. There was one other voter in the poling room and a couple joined us as I was adding my folded piece of paper with an X to the box. I turned to walk out of the room as the school bell rang for the normal start of the school day: 09:00. I walked home through the park, which I had to myself with the only sounds coming from the ducks.

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I do have a tip for you that I learned over the past few weeks

My last batch of antibiotics came in a bottle with a childproof lid. I am sure that every child would manage to open it unaided far faster then my aging hands with lack of grip. I am never stuck. living alone, I cannot afford to be stuck!

Nut cracker to open a pill pot

I used a nut cracker to grip the lid where it is meant to be squeased and turned the bottle with the other hand.

Today I had mail. A small package and the contents were described as ‘Flexible rubber, dimpled and ridged’ and there is a hole for a size guide! Now get your durty minds out of the gutter guys, I am talking about something very useful and simple.

Thanks to Kate I discovered an unusual kind of thimble. I asked her for details, and phoned around to see if I could get it locally. Alas no, I had to order it on line. For my sewing friends out there, I give details below. it feels really comfortable and I look forward to using it tomorrow.

Flexible thimble_1

Flexible thimble_1

flexible thimble_2

flexible thimble_2

I’m back!

I have been absent for a week, but it was certainly no holiday. Thank you for your patience with this old patient!

For the first time in sixty eight years I was floored by a problem with the waterworks. My waterworks (UTI).

I was as limp as a wet lettuce, with no interest in blogging or reading anything. The words went in and got lost in the cotton wool of my brain. My energy levels went out the window and all I wanted to do was sleep.

Did I have a temperature? Yes but not in the way you would expect it was 33°C. 35°C would be normal for me, I am the original ice maiden. 37°C is the recognised normal body temperature. Not wanting to go down the antibiotics route, I decided to go for the old home remedies.

Cranberry juice and mammy’s barley water. I know that cranberry Juice is a No-No for anyone on Warfarin, thankfully that is not one of my meds, but I am on a blood thinning drug so still need to be careful.

A glass of cranberry juice was followed by another of boiled water.

I tried to distract myself with an unfinished knitting project. I had to rip out the same piece three times! 😡 Eventually I have finished it, so maybe I will post about it on Wednesday.  🙂

I noticed an improvement yesterday and today.

I WILL LIVE!

Maybe by mid week, I’ll be in form to venture out for a walk or a coffee.

I had some surprises in the past few days…

For the first time in thirty seven years of living in this house, I had not one, but two actual candidates for the Westminster Election on 7th May, ring my door bell and…….

Speak to me!

Tests

Last week I went to see the Vampire nurse.

My letter said ‘Fasting bloods’ and no mention of any other test. 😉

I brought my arm! 😆

“Did you bring…..?” she began to ask.

“I didn’t. The letter never mentioned bring a sample, I checked.”

“Could you manage one for me now ?” She asks producing a syringe.

“Sorry” I said “You haven’t a hope. It will be at least lunchtime before I can manage a drop!”

“Well, take this home and put the filled syringe in the bag when you are finished, seal it, and return it to the clinic!”

I know you don’t believe me

Syringe for sample

Syringe for sample

On previous occasions we had little bottles for this purpose

Old and new styles

Old and new styles

The old style was easier to fill, this time I used a foil cupcake dish and drew the liquid into the syringe, replaced the cap,  put it in the bag with my details and returned it to the clinic.

Have you come across these syringes before?

Breaking silence.

 

Blog posts from me have been few and far between of late and now I am in a position to share the reason. This post is not a pity party, only an explanation.

Today I had a problem confirmed. Certainly not life threatening, but a nuisance just the same. I have a problem with my right eye. No connection with the infection I had over the Christmas period, or the antibiotic I was given for it.

I saw my Optometrist on Monday and he arranged for me to see an Ophthalmologist for specialist advice this morning.

The membrane over the macula has become wrinkled just like my neck and face or an un-ironed shirt.. Stop laughing Toyboys, I’m serious! In the gap caused by the wrinkles are bubbles/cysts. The membrane needs to be peeled in surgery to stop it progressing further.

The cause? In short: Too many birthdays. 🙁

It might well be March before they are ready for me. What a wonderful birthday present that would be! 😀

Now I wonder what mischief I can get up to in the meantime…..

I got it!

I have been in the waiting room for the past few days. Yes. I was waiting for my copy of Letters for my Little Sister to pop through my door.

Letters for my Little Sister

Letters for my Little Sister

I knew it was on the way. Each day there was news from The Fellowship’ of the Farmy, that readers and contributors had received their books. They were actually holding a copy in their hot little hands.

I write as I speak. My contribution is my story, in my words. Simple words.

Mine was an instant response, I wanted to write it before I changed my mind. Once begun, my fingers would not stop. I wanted to share. To let other women know they were not alone, what was happening to them, had happened to other women. Just as there are no text book bodies, there are no text book/alarm clock menopauses. Each is unique, but there are similarities in the symptoms.

As I waited, I worried: Did I ramble rubbishingly with unnecessary detail? Then I consoled myself…

IF IT HELPS JUST ONE WOMAN, THEN IT WILL HAVE BEEN WORTHWHILE!

There are 68 contributions, no, strike that, there are SIXTY NINE contributions altogether. Number sixty nine comes in two parts – the opening and closing of this wonderful book. No better way to begin and end than with the words of Cecilia B W Gunther, the inspiration behind the project. A project to share personal stories about a hidden and sometimes forbidden topic: The Menopause.

Tales long and short in poetry and prose, from all corners of the globe, with just one aim: To help our sisters, cousins, aunts, nieces and granddaughters. This book will have you laughing one minute and close to tears in the next, so tissues at the ready….

Letters for my Little Sister is available on Amazon.com go check out the reviews, you know you want to.

Cecilia Buyswheeler Gunther, originally from New Zealand, is now married to an American living on the prairies of Illinois, USA. She spends her life writing and managing her own sustainable farm, She is the founder and writer/photographer for the blog The Kitchen’s Garden. We the contributors, are part of a band of regular readers who comment on the blog.

Now all I need to do is deliver the other copies to my little sister and to Elly, my daughter.

I have my list….

On my recent visit to the cardiologist, we spent some time discussing medication. The one that caused me to black out and partake in ground kissing and the replacement/s needed to control my BP since then. He had a query about the latest option.

“Have you got your list?” he asked. After eight months, he remembered I carried a typed list of medications and potted medical history. Again, he said “I wish more patients kept an up-to-date list like this. You would not believe the number of patients who cannot remember the names of their medications!”

So for what it is worth I am producing my version of the list that appealed to him. It may encourage some of you to produce and carry your own version with you, if medications are part of your daily diet.

 

medication list

medication list

Nowadays we are all reduced to being a number! 🙁

Phone the bank, utility provider or mobile phone provider with a query and they will ask for an account number.

For anything in connection with pensions, health care, driving licence or bus passes, we in the UK must provide our National Insurance Number. The latter is the number I mean for the starred number above. It may have a different name where you live.

In the unfortunate case of you falling down in a faint, an event so common in the days of the Bronte sisters or Jane Austen… yes those days of corsets and eighteen inch waists, everyone carried smelling salts, the cure all for every situation! Today with the mood change to ‘let it all hang out’ there is ner a mention of, or a place to carry the salts.

A list like mine might well save time and your life! Make one for yourself and save it to your computer. It will be easy to update any changes and print a new copy.

Stay well.

 

Life is Good!

I know I have been quiet, but life is busy. Good busy.

In the last few weeks I pushed myself to the limit. I walked plenty. The hill up from the town to home, is still a tough one, but I have learned not to carry heavy weights when on that journey. The week in Dublin, gave me plenty of variety for walking on the flat. I even brought Buffy with me on one of those days. She was happy to be out and stayed within the bounds of the lead, and never once ran around me as she had done in the past, wrapping the lead round my legs.

I have good news.

Last week, I saw my Cardiologist and yes, he had good news for me. The results of all the tests were in and he was pleased, there was no cause to give him concern. The fact that there were no more episodes of ground kissing, pleased him. It seems my problem was caused by medication for raised BP. He had stopped me taking that medication back in September. He suggested a different range of medication, if my BP moved up the scale. It did. It took several efforts and changes, to find meds to suited me.

The only down side of the visit from my side, was the confirmation of 14 pounds in weight that has attached it self around my middle. The long dark dull & dreary winter, let to some comfort eating 🙁

So for the good news.

Ta-da!

I am allowed to drive my car again.

After eight whole months sitting in the darkness of my garage, the car will be allowed to see the light of day once more. I did on a regular basis, reverse the car onto the drive and run the engine, but the last time I tried the battery was flat. Tyres will need to be replaced and the engine serviced, before I put her through the statuary MOT test for road worthiness.

I have booked the MOT for 9th June. In the meantime my Toyboys are organising the tyres, are preparing to sort the battery and service the engine next week, in readiness for the test and my future adventures.

In order to stay patient and calm I am playing with a storage box.

Not just any storage box. This 80 litre storage box is full to the brim and a gift from Brogan:

Box of treasure

Box of treasure

It contains all of this treasure, plus the needle case with eight pairs of Bamboo needles.

A gift from Brogan

A gift from Brogan

And these:

Bamboo Needles

Bamboo Needles

A little something I made on Monday with my hands and no needles. This yarn was from a previous gift from Brighid.

Infinity scarf

First experiment with ‘HAND’ knitting – using my hands instead of needles!

The project I began yesterday……

What will it be

What will it be

I wonder if you can guess what it might be?

Tagging

Following on from yesterday’s post Mobile telephony and the reaction to ICE numbers, my mind went into overdrive last night…

  • By law, all dogs need to be chipped before you can buy a dog licence. These microchips are inserted under the skin along the spine area with details of the dog and the owner. If a dog is found wandering, any vet can read the chip to help locate the owner.
  • Prisoners who are considered a danger to the public, can be tagged when paroled or waiting for a case to go to court.
  • Trolleys at supermarkets now have tags that prevent them from removal outside the boundary of the shop car park.

Surely we can do something like that to help keep track of vulnerable Alzheimer’s patients. I have know of many cases of these patients wandering.

Annie, an elderly widow, was found wandering up the street of her small town, late one wet and blustery evening. She had rollers in her hair (usual for a Saturday night), the apron she wore on a daily basis while doing household chores and her slippers. She did have her Sunday Best cardigan on over the apron and a large handbag over her arm, it contained only the church envelope with her weekly contribution. Thankfully she was found by someone who recognised her, but it took them time to convince her that it was not time for Sunday church service and to turn her round and bring her home.

Robert, was a widower and when it became unsafe to live alone, his daughter arranged for him to stay in an Abbeyfield house local to her. It was many miles away from where he had lived all his married life. A couple of times he went walk about, but was found before he ventured too far. One day he was not found in time. Robert went ‘walkies’ one bright morning and was found about twelve hours later, on a pavement not far from his old home, a victim of a fatal hit and run motor accident.

Then there was the sad tale of Peggy Mangan, 65, who suffered from Alzheimer’s. Peggy took her faithful dog Casper for a walk and never came home. I wrote about her in an earlier LBC post Ego,

Surely, if we have ways of tracking dogs, prisoners and supermarket trolleys…..

Alzheimer patients are more important and worth protecting from themselves, if not from accidents or lonely deaths, and their families from unnecessary heartache!