Tag Archives: Health

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.


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!


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 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.


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?

Oliver & Grace

We met at a barbecue, a short ten years ago. For a number of years our paths crossed on a regular basis, and I entertained them to dinner in my home on a number of occasions. Oliver & Grace* were about ten years my senior, and I was fascinated by the story of their journey to true love.

Growing up in the same area of a Belfast suburb, Oliver & Grace first met in their teens as members of the same youth organisations. They quickly became friends and were soon inseparable. Grace’s mother did not really like Oliver, not for any particular reason, she just felt he was not right for her daughter.

Grace’s family were moving away, at short notice, to the UK mainland. She was only informed the evening before departure – not an uncommon situation back then – children were often excluded from plans or arrangements. Grace was rather forlorn when she told Oliver her news, but promised to write as soon as they were settled into the new house.

Two days later, Grace kept her promise and wrote to Oliver urging him to write and tell her all the local news.

A week later, she wrote again, and the one after that, but no reply was forthcoming. Waiting a couple of weeks she tried again, but no joy, she still never heard from Oliver. Sadly, she decided, Oliver had forgotten all about her or was not very keen to keep in touch.

Grace, settled into the routine of her new life and Oliver drifted to the dark corners of her memory box. With time Grace trained to be a nurse and after several years opened her own nursing home. Her mother died suddenly and as an only child, the funeral arrangements and clearing out the family home were down to her.

While grace was clearing her mother’s desk, she found a folder containing a bundle of letters. At first she thought that they might have been from her father, and sent to her mother before his death many years earlier.

Turning the bundle over, Grace gasped. The letters were all addressed to her and not her mother. The handwriting was familiar and a tear escaped from the corner of her eye. Oliver had written. Not once but every week for several months, long after Grace had stopped and thought she was forgotten.

Why? Why? Why? Asked Grace. Her mother had never mentioned Oliver’s name since they left the shores of Ireland, yet she kept these letters. All unopened!

It took three full days for Grace to work up the courage to write to the only address she had for Oliver and she included her phone number along with the address. Two days later the phone rang as she was about to make dinner.

It was Oliver.

Food was forgotten. They talked for a couple of hours, catching up on all that had happened in the intervening years. They vowed never to lose contact again. A month later Oliver travelled over for a long weekend.
Within the year, Grace sold the Nursing Home to her deputy, then packed up her belonging and headed home to marry Oliver. They never looked back. They were a wonderful couple, meant to be together and brought joy to all around them.

In the latter part of last year Grace became unwell and suffered great pain, seeking the help from her local medical practice, painkillers were suggested and prescribed, with Grace being told it was muscular. Showing no sign of abating, the pain increased all the while and stronger painkillers were administered. Oliver worried, but Grace tried to reassure him.

One morning Grace looked grey and unable to sit up in bed. Oliver decided he had enough. He changed his plans for the day and went straight to the doctor’s surgery. He did not mince his words and told them that he was prepared to sit there all day until a doctor came home with him to see Grace.

A doctor did go with Oliver. On examining Grace, he had her admitted to hospital immediately. Tests and scans began. Two days later Grace was told she had cancer.

Oliver went to see the Consultant and discovered the pain was due to a large mass pressing on Grace’s spine. As that sank in, Oliver asked, like we all would “How many years would you say Grace has left?

Years? Said the Consultant. I am not talking years. At most two months… or one!

That night Oliver phoned their few close friends to break the news. Tom and Anne offered to collect him the next day and take him to the hospital.

Tom got no reply to the doorbell, which was unusual, Oliver was always ready on the doorstep when someone was coming to collect him. Eventually Oliver found someone with a key and they went in to find Oliver was lying on the kitchen floor the kettle on its side on the floor beside him. Oliver was cold.

A Doctor was called. It was the same Doctor who came to see Grace, he thought death had occurred eight to ten hours earlier.

Tom now had the task of informing Grace, who was now unable to move her limbs, of the death of her beloved Oliver. He also undertook to make the arrangements for the funeral.

The first of the two months have past, but it is a waiting game for Grace, with her condition worsening with the days.

I hope for her sake the end comes soon.

The lesson for all of us is to: LIVE NOW. Make the moment a worthwhile one!

* Names changed for obvious reasons.

UPDATE: Grace died on 25th January 2013. R I P

Bits, bobs and spiders.

Inhalers for asthma are in the news lately. While in the Pharmacy on Friday, I overheard the Pharmacist asking a lady to send her son in to collect his inhaler, normally she would collect it for him.

Each inhaler user was being checked to make sure they were using the device in the proper way. I suppose with time, bad habits can take over and the inhaled gas or powder does not act like it should.

If taken in a haphazard way it might:

  • Go down the wrong way, which can do damage.
  • The breathing is incorrect and the contents cannot take effect, wasting money over time.

If you use an inhaler, please go and have a refresher lesson on how to use it. It might save your life!


Spiders do not like conkers. I hear they hate them and will not go anywhere near them.

Elly are you listening?

Leave them in the bathrooms or near open windows and doors, but make sure they are well out of Buffy’s way!

Maybe I should hang a couple near the PIR in my garage, to stop spiders setting off my house alarm.


Delores at Life on a limb wrote about prank calls the other day.

It brought me back to a call my mother answered one day. We were busy in the kitchen cooking and baking for the hoards who were expected to descend on us later in the evening. Apart from the sounds of the kitchen, the rest of the house was as quiet as a grave.

Mammy was closer and her hands were dry so she went to quieten the ring, ring sound on the old heavy fixed phone on the hall table. She was back in double quick time laughing her head off.

“Who was that?” I asked.

Still laughing she told me: “Some young lad who asked if I smoked after intercourse”!

“What did you say?” I said, trying not to giggle.

“I told him I had not checked lately. And hung up!”

Is it any wonder I have a weird sense of humour!


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!


‘Beauty is the size of your heart, NOT the size of your jeans.’ No idea who said that.

My jeans are long but small. Hearts are small.

An average heart weighs 10 ounces. For something that small it can cause a mighty lot of problems.

I sometimes wonder if I really have a heart and if it is made of wood?

Maybe by the end of the day I will have an answer!

Buffy practicing for blog posting

Buffy practicing for blog posting

Buffy, will you mind Tobias for me today? Sure, now you know how to type on the keyboard. You are not to spend half the day on YouTube barking at the dogs and cats!

Laters folks!