Tag Archives: Health

Thank you

 

Yes. Thank you to everyone who sent good wishes, love and concern for me yesterday, as I fought another day in what I referred to as my ‘ ear war’ or in the long lonely months since July, struggling to swallow, clear my air passages, or hear and indeed to be heard. I am sure all the staff at my local health centre might have referred to me as their local ‘headcase’ when they saw me coming or heard my voice on the phone.

I must pay special tribute to my new neighbours, who, when I went to ask them to keep a watchful eye on my house, if I was admitted to the hospital ward, insisted on driving me over to the hospital. Robert even wanted to carry my overnight bag and sit and wait with me until I was seen.  Sandra came to collect me when I was finished for the day and released. She told me that Robert had tears in his eyes when he came home, having left me all alone at the door of the hospital, to fend for myself.

Your love and concern helped me as I played the waiting game between doctors and Consultants yesterday. The online bantering certainly helped.

Arvind, all the way over in Bengaluru/Bangalore, India, told me to “Cheer up. Relax. Uncross all the fingers, toes and whatever…”. They were just the words I needed to put my problem into perspective.

My loss of perspective came to a head last week, the antibiotics were increased to the highest level that could be safely given as an outpatient. My ‘Urgent’ ENT appointment had a SIX Month waiting list… For five days I was unable to get out of my pjs, except to wash down as far as possible, up as far as possible and… not forget ‘possible’!

My hobby of crochet & knitting evaporated, there were days when I awoke in the chair with the needles still in my hand, and nothing to show for it. I was sleeping for 80% of my days. Over four of those days I did not hear a living voice, I had no desire to hear a voice or need to make a reply. Over the past months those who did phone, were concerned about me, The questions were all the same, I was sounding like a broken record repeating and repeating the same words, hearing no news from outside my four walls. My problems grew to fill my space. Boring bigtime.

Back to yesterday,

On my way home from my GP to pick up my overnight bag, which is always packed, I met a friend on the street. We greeted each other with the usual genuine warm smiles, this time we were both wearing our ‘street faces’. She asked how I was, my reply was “Don’t ask! I have been with my GP and am now on my way to A&E, so hopefully next I see you, I will have some news”. I followed up with “No need to worry, I am not pregnant!”.

Asking how she was, I learned that she was just home from England and a visit to her mother. Her brother died… it came slowly… He was missing for three days before his body was found. I asked no questions, I still have all my siblings, so had no idea of how she was feeling inside, but I could empathise with her.

Suddenly…

My problems were minuscule!

PS: This is not a pity me post. It is yet another example of perspective. Stay at home and the problem grows to fill your space. Go outside and you soon learn that others carry a far heavier burden.

On the move again!

In Work for today on 7th January, I was telling you about applying for my driving licence.

Move forward to 11th May and the following conversation took place:

After several attempts to try and get through to DVA in Coleraine, I finally managed to do so at 11:30. The long route of listening and clicking through a million options, brought me to a recorded voice advising me that I was number nine in the answering queue.

Holding

I was not moving. I held on listening to some gentle music and eventually spoke to a young lady.

I had of course to prove who I was etc., And having related the whole tired story, she put me on hold to contact the Post Room to check if they had record of receiving my money. Yes they did. (£30 I paid on 21st April).

Next she put me on hold while she went to check progress with the Medical department…

Back she came to tell me: ‘On 5th May my status was changed from Stopped to current by the medical team’??? The same medical team who gave me verbal permission to drive.

So in order for the new licence to be processed it must go to Swansea, in Wales. The DVA are unable to produce the little plastic ‘credit’ sized cards that include a photograph, in Northern Ireland… so it would be another few days before I got it.

Twenty five minutes to learn all of that and I was still a lady-in-waiting.

Another few days she said. It has been one hell of a long few days since 19-01-16.

And finally…

On 16th May my letterbox rattled and Lo and Behold My brand spanking new driving licence landed in my hall!

One whole week later I finally manage to share my delight with you. This new licence  is for three years and at least the next one will be free.

Who pulled the plug?

Well that is what it felt like. Invisible plugs in the soles of my feet were pulled and all my energy drained faster than a full bath scented with my favourite bath oils.

No need to worry it is just a blip… CFS/ME is something that has been part of my health package for about fourteen years. It happens suddenly. Unexpectedly. Elly is one of the few people that can read the signs. She has seen the colour drain from my face and my body suddenly droop to a wobbly jelly. This time she was nowhere near me and busy with work and her own life – that is as it should be – I gave her life and not a life sentence to be tied to my apron strings for life.

Over the years I learned to read the signs, slow down and rest.

This time I had other things on my mind and blamed the ‘tiredness’ on what I was trying to do, so kept going.

  • My friend recovering from a fractured hip, returned home on 10th February. She needed some help with shopping etc., and my daily visits did mean that I actually sat for at least an hour to chat.
  • I was expecting visitors (Post for another day.)
  • I cut my finger badly. It has healed well on the surface, but internally it will never be the same. So now I have two index fingers that refuse to work on a touch screen – First World Problems
  • Regular weekly appointments to attend.

This is NOT a ‘pity me’ post, it is an explanation for my absence from blogging. So no sympathy comments or I will unfriend and block you. SERIOUSLY!! I do not need sympathy, it is energy I need.

In these circumstances the longer I push against the grain… the harder the recovery time. It took me all my time to getup, wash, dress and make my meals. Thankfully my freezer was well stocked with home prepared meals allowing me to thaw, heat and eat them.

There were aches and pains in all my limbs and back. Even reading made my eyes heavy and concentration evaporated.

Thinking. Thinking of a few words to put on a page became impossible. I actually closed down the laptop and put it away. I almost returned to pre technology days with only the odd visit to Facebook so family would know I was alive.

That might explain my lack of posting in the last few months:-

  • January: 6 posts
  • February: 12 posts

Tuesdays are when I go to Parlour Yarns for my weekly injection of fun people happily knitting or crocheting, nattering & laughing. I normally come home full of ideas, stories, high energy and good spirits.

Two weeks ago I had to push myself to attend. During my morning I managed three rounds of a crochet granny square… it was all I could do. Before I came home, Jennifer our leader encouraged and gave me an idea. A simple idea. It was just what I needed to get back on track.

Once home, fed and rested, I gathered all the odd remnants of yarn, the half used balls and all the odds and sods lurking at the bottom of a large see through storage crate. They were every colour of the rainbow and more.

I began a corner to corner (C2C) crochet throw in random colours, a first for me. Each line was a different colour and the early rows used up the little scraps of colour. The different textures and colours worked well together.

C2C Shrug

C2C Shrug

It became like a drug. I sat in my corner at every opportunity… my plan was to work to fifty rows before beginning the decreasing, with a finishing border all round the edge to complete it.  It was so relaxing and distracted me from my aches and frustrations.

I have worked the fifty increase rows and now am ten rows down on the decreases with all this yarn still to play with:

Oddments of yarn

Oddments of yarn

I feel the energy slowly returning. No way am I ready to climb Cave hill, but by the time the rain stops and the throw is finished… I might be ready to take my camera for a dander.

A bad mistake

I didn’t make the call!

In my recent posts, I mentioned somewhere that I live in a small estate (20 Bungalows). A quiet estate that I have called home for almost 39 years. I quickly learned the names of all the residents, those who spoke to me, those who tolerated me and those who chose to ignore me.

It would have been considered a ‘proddy’ town thirty nine years ago, and everyone seemed to be related. At the height of the troubles, having a strong southern brogue was worse than a dose of the plague. Anyone with a southern accent was considered to be Roman Catholic and a member of the IRA.

Jack had lived here since the houses were built forty six years ago and I joined him in a ready made home, seven years later. We were blissfully happy. I remember saying to him a few times, that it was a good job I loved him so much, because had I not done so, I would be gone long ago. Not because of anything he did, but because of the way some people including neighbours, had treated me. The strange thing was that the people who treated me badly, were not behind the door when they wanted help or to make use of my skills!

That is all past now and As of today, our house is the only one with the original family name. I am now the longest resident. Not the oldest, but the longest.

There was one man who never spoke to me in all the thirty nine years. He would speak to Jack and totally ignore me, I was invisible to him. He was a peculiar character, had very gifted hands for woodwork, he made ladders, tables and bird boxes. He regularly had arguments with his neighbours and at times was rather a recluse.

This man lived around the corner from me, directly opposite my friend who had her hip replaced. In her absence I called to her house each day to move the post, leave back freshly washed clothes collect other items she required etc. All the while I noticed the blinds on the windows opposite were never opened. No sight of the man who lived there.

I asked my friend when I visited her when she last saw him. She could not remember.

“He is often in there and does not open the blinds or appear for days at a time”. She said. I let it go.

A week later I mentioned it to two different neighbours who lived closer than I did. Neither had seen him for some time. I should have phoned the PSNI (Police Service for Northern Ireland) at that point, but because he chose to have nothing to do with me. I let it go.

If he was there and knew I had called the police there would be hell to pay for interfering. I let it go.

My questions must have disturbed the people I shared my concerns with. They asked others and the answers were all the same.

Today two male neighbours tried ringing the bell and knocking on the door. No reply. They went around to the back of the house but there was no sign of him. They finally phoned the PSNI.

The PSNI had to break down the door to gain entry.

He was lying dead in the living room. There was a bundle of untouched mail lying in the hallway. As yet, I have no idea how long he has been lying there.

In today’s world, we are inclined to live in our own bubble of busyness and not give time to check on the frail elderly, particularly those living alone.

Perhaps…

Perhaps we should all adopt an elderly person to check up on… particularly in the cold weather.

None of us are getting any younger, and it would be nice to think that someone would check up on us when we are frail old and cold!

My finger

On January 25 a carrot, a sharp knife and my finger were involved in a contretemps.

I saw red.

Pumping red!

I ran to the bathroom for a plaster. It would not stick to my finger.

Pumping hell!

I wrapped the finger in a clean face flannel and that changed colour instantaneously. I rewrapped the damaged digit in a fresh dressing and a cool damp clean face flannel and held it in the air. I needed help.

The health centre is a mile away. No way could I drive one handed, and walking that far would surely leave a stream of blood from door to door.

The kitchen looked like a massacre had occurred. Blood on the counter, the draining board, the cooker and on the floor. The bathroom was not much better. Darn blood thinners – they sure keep the red stuff running! 🙁

💡 I could phone a friend. It might not make a millionaire out of me, but she might save my life.

Emily jumped to the rescue and became my flying angel for the morning. She even arrived with a great big towel to soak up the juice. She sat patiently waiting while I was looked after and on the way home we stopped for a coffee. It was just what I needed before going home to clear up the murder evidence.

So you see from my recent posts, I had plenty of excuses for staying away from blogging over the past month.

PS: No spiders, animals or people were massacred during this event!

Time to do a web search… Does anyone make metal gloves? 😕

In the doldrums

Not me.

I have been busy making up for lost time.

My eye surgery was a wonderful success and I have found a new joy in craft work that had been neglected for the past year or so.

There was a t-shirt that Elly threw on my bed one morning, way back last year.

“Could you alter the neckline for me mum, it is far to high and tight? You know me, I hate tight necklines they make me feel like I am choking. I think it needs to be shortened about three inches… and the side seams taken in”.

I love how my non ‘needle’ daughter sees her mother! 😛

The t-shirt is well on the way now and I have a morning’s hand sewing left to finish it off… photos to follow.

I emptied, washed and refilled my heat packs and made a new one to Elly’s specifications. I use a fleece fabric.

I washed and re-corded my kitchen blinds.

Fabric that I bought over a year ago for bathroom curtains, has now reached the top of my sewing bundle. And I still have a fitted sheet to alter.

I completed some crochet items, a star knee blanket, a jacket – which you have seen, two berets and a third is at the final stage.

These tasks all take time. I am slower than I used to be and the late, but welcome Gypsy summer as my friend Celi calls it, gave us extra daylight for the past month. The first of November was a wonderful bright and sun filled day, so totally different and warmer than 1st of June – our high summer.

I am also enjoying driving again. For quite a while it was local and utilitarian. I am venturing further and even had a week in Dublin. Elly suggested their late bank holiday weekend and she stretched it by taking an extra day’s holiday on the Friday. We did Girly things – shopping, eating, visiting friends and an evening at the Movies. George worked in the background and my car was given the works, a complete Valeting – it looked like it was just out of the showroom. Pity the skies cried all the way home to County Antrim!

I do have photos, but need to sort them out.

I am back! And hope to return to regular blog reading and commenting, although I missed it, the weeks away from screens large and small, was good for my soul. I knew you would understand. Good friends do.

Is it really?

Coconut oil – the new wonder substance

“The health benefits of coconut oil include hair care, skin care, stress relief, cholesterol level maintenance, weight loss, boosted immune system, proper digestion and regulated metabolism. It also provides relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV, and cancer, while helping to improve dental quality and bone strength.”

Sounds wonderful. But, does it mean I’d have…

  • Silky soft curls.
  • Skin like a baby.
  • Not a care in the world.
  • Cholesterol level of below 4 point whatever the Docs are all shouting about.
  • A figure like a pubescent teenager.
  • A super duper immune system.
  • I’d be able to gorge on cream, milk and butter? (even typing that sentence makes my tummy heave!)
  • Gold star metabolism.
  • Heart problems & high blood pressure would return to normal in a flash!
  • I would never suffer from kidney problems, , diabetes, HIV, and cancer.
  • Mind you it claims only to help improve dental quality and bone strength. *

“The fatty acids and breakdown products in coconut oil can kill harmful pathogens, potentially helping to prevent infections.” **

What? It has not discovered a cure for the common cold or annual flu virus yet?

Have you noticed any Doctor prescribing it for patients? If it was that good, we would all be super healthy and in no need of doctors ❗

Think I will give it a miss so!

A glass of wine with friends and a good old giggle are the only cure I need in life, they dull the aches and pains, warm the cockles of my heart and turn the wrinkles laughter lines upwards ↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑ 

 

Big sun

** I added the red colour to the text for emphasis.

What’s on my mind?

Audio books for my posturing phase. Head down I will find it difficult enough to try to do things that I need to do, never mind hold a book.

I am hoping that audio books might distract me from the discomfort and keep frustration at bay. Not quite War and Peace – I am not expecting to be hanging down for that long, and Uselesses (Ulysses) 😉 might just put me to sleep!

I need a story that will draw me into it and the voice of the narrator is quite important to my ear. There have been a few recently that were spoiled by the drone of the reader’s voice.

I do have a few ideas so far:

Daft Wee Stories
Written & Narrated by: Limmy

The Tent, The Bucket and Me
Written & Narrated by: Emma Kennedy

The End of the Affair
Written by: Graham Greene Narrated by: Colin Firth

One Small Act of Kindness
Written by: Lucy Dillon Narrated by: Lucy Price-Lewis

Do you have any suggestions that I might try?

Anyone from John Grisham, Maggie Makepiece to Joanna Trollope and more….

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