Saturday, March 31, 2007


With sincere apologies to CATHERINE TATE for borrowing her catchphrase I thought as this month is rapidly coming to an end and with visitors this weekend I won't have much time to post; that I would just get a few things off my chest that have "bovvered" me during the month.
The car and van drivers who insist on parking on the pavement which means that access is limited to the pedestrian and I have to "bump" Mick's wheelchair down the kerb and walk into the road in order to get past.....................

The Tesco worker who, when I ordered 1kg of brussel sprouts in my online shopping list, laughably dutifully wieghed and bagged ONE brussel sprout.


People who spit out their chewing gum on to the pavement and I have to HOPE that I've noticed it before I run it all over the carpet
People who manage to get specialised shower facilities (and free cars) because of their problem with walking....yet manage to dig up their gardens, repair their fences with no problems and walk the "long" way round to their house rather than have to pass us.

Glad I got that out of my system!!!! I must admit though I almost used the catch phrase of another Catherine Tate Show character, Joannie "Nan" Taylor (the foul-mouthed grandmother who constantly swears at and criticises other people) "What a f***ing liberty"!

Mick did well yesterday with his food and managed to eat all his breakfast and almost all of his dinner. Later in the evening (well it was more early morning) he had a bowl of rice pudding! Today we have Lynn coming for the day, her friend Lou is doing a charity run tomorrow in aid of a leukaemia charity so Lynn is going back home to cheer her on. We also have Mick's brother Ron and his wife Brenda visiting so it will be quite a full house. Well I'd better get the kettle on, Lynn will have left home at 5am and should be here soon; in fact she is at the door now!!! and I'm still in my nightclothes!!!!!!!

Friday, March 30, 2007


Yesterday was the complete opposite of Wednesday on so many different levels. It was one of those "didn't really get light" days from start to finish. The skies were grey and we had quite a lot of rain (the garden needed it) and the temperature seemed to have dropped a good 10C. Mick hardly woke up all day and until 11pm last night had hardly eaten a thing. Far different from the "often waking" Mick of the day before! I try not to let days like this worry me; after all that fresh air Wednesday and then the gloominess of yesterday I felt pretty tired myself!

Manda had a pretty stressful day at work and was in a "kick butt" mood and I needed something to get my adrenalin going so we decided to have a change around in the bedrooms. We had intended to do it in the Easter Holidays but yesterday the "time was right". Talj is coming to visit in May....YIPPEE....and I want to give her a little more "moving" space in her bedroom; the last thing she needs is to be tripping up over all our rubbish antiques! Well, even with popping up and downstairs to check on Mick we had within just over an hour moved 2 children's beds into the other bedroom (three beds in there now), put a "proper" bed in Talj's room, moved loads of junk (actually lots of stuff that would usually be in our living room), moved excess storage units into other rooms, put a small sofa into Talj's room and hoovered!!!!
As I said previously Mick didn't really eat much until 11pm when he managed 2 bowls of Semolina; I went to bed a lot happier after that.
That's pretty much it for yesterday except that most of the day this van was parked outside our house. I'm not sure who the lucky people are who are having a disabled shower put in but wish it was us!

Thursday, March 29, 2007


Once again the chilly start belied the rest of the day. Mick was quite slow to wake up but once he did his breakfast went down quite quickly. While Manda popped in for her pre work visit I went and got the other wheelchair out of the garage. As I explained this is a far more cumbersome one, much more difficult to get Mick in as it it taller than the other one, this means that it doesn't fit easily under the hoist; it's also more awkward to push and not practical for taking on a trip out. It doesn't fold up so storage is more of a problem. It is, though, perfect for a long sit in the garden. I hope from these photos you can see how it can be tipped back.

Mick can lay his head right back if he wants though he seems to be happier most of the time with it forward. The whole angle of the chair seems far more comfortable and it also doesn't have the arm rest gap problem.

I dropped the ramp down before I took Mick outside; as it does lean back and our garden slopes I wanted to put it on as flat a surface as possible.The sun got so strong that I ended up putting the parasol up and was glad I'd slapped the Piz Brun on Mick's face, neck and hands. Mick's legs have felt quite cold the last few days and I'd purposely put his dark trousers on him in the hopes of them absorbing the heat. It seemed to work as his legs started to feel slightly warm to the touch. We had a look through a garden catalogue which came in the post....a "wish book" as Mick and I always call them. It surprised me how much Mick opened his eyes and I left it open on his lap while I was pottering about, turning a page every now and again. Manda noticed when she came in for lunch that Mick seemed to keep opening his eyes and looking at it.I also explained to him about the Strawberry Spinach seedlings I was pricking out. I know having a vegetable and a fruit on the same plant would interest him; we would often day dream of a really large garden and a HUGE vegetable plot. We imagined ourselves being like Tom and Barbara in The Good Life.It was so warm it was almost a relief when a little cloud rolled in. I'm convinced this is that little yappy dog from Tuesday's walk trying to catch a snowball in his mouth! We actually stayed outside until almost 3pm!!!! I was much happier about staying in the garden for longer with Mick in this wheelchair. Mick didn't manage all his dinner last night but I think that fresh air had tired him out in the nicest possible way! He did wake at 11pm and ate some rice pudding; still doesn't seem to want to drink. He is sleeping peacefully as I type this (Thursday morning); it's a grey start to the day and some rain is forecast but I won't complain; after all the sun the garden needs a drop of rain.

The last sun rays of yesterday

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


We were so lucky yesterday some of the country was covered in a slow clearing mist all day but for us the sun shone warm and bright. Mick had eaten every scrap of his breakfast so I took him for a walk down to the Dairy Stores...we haven't walked that way for months as it's a bit of a trudge but with the weather so nice I knew it would be warm enough to stop and take the odd break. I'm posting the walk on M.M.L.M.G. later today so won't go into details here. I will admit I was a bit naughty and picked a piece of Wallflower from someones smelled so lovely and I wanted Mick to be able to have a good whiff. He did take exception to this yapping dog; his head almost lifted straight up and a definite mumble came from his lips. Mick loves dogs and doesn't mind a dog with a good bark; but the "yappy" ones always drove him mad. We were out for a couple of hours and when we got back I sat Mick briefly in the garden while I made lunch. The sun was so hot by then that I had to sit him in the shade!
When I put him back on his bed he had his eyes wide open; it was lovely to see...a very rare occurrence nowadays. He soon fell asleep and slept all afternoon. He managed all his dinner with only some choking towards the end and managed a good wee without any wincing...I was glad of this as he hadn't been for the last 24 hours.
It's a chilly morning this morning but if it does warm up I may get the "cumbersome" wheelchair out of the garage. It's due to rain tomorrow and so I want Mick to have as much fresh air as possible today....he will be able to lay back a bit in the other wheelchair and doze in the sunshine....fingers crossed for another day like yesterday!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Mick's body clock not having adjusted to daylight saving, it was almost half past nine before he properly woke up yesterday. It was a glorious Spring day out side and by the time he'd eaten (most of) his breakfast and was washed and dressed it was 11.30. As he was having his kitchenshower I would have normally left him on his bed so that he didn't get over taxed; but it was so lovely outside we just had to sit in the garden. I sat him for a while next to one of his "babies" as the first of it's flowers was coming out, the frost had caught it a little but hopefully as the rest come out they will look better. All of the acid lovers have been Mick's responsibility in the past; a local radio programme once said that Rhododendrons couldn't be grown successfully in Sudbury soil...they hadn't reckoned on Mick's TLC! The responsibility for them is mine now...I hope I can do as well.
Mick, being the gentleman he is, gallantly ate one of these;
I've run out of plant labels and need lolly sticks urgently!
Mick didn't manage any lunch but then he didn't finish his breakfast until after 10am. He had time for a rest on his bed before his shower; I changed the dressing on his chest and am really pleased at how well the pressure area is healing. Far better than I expected considering the fact that his wrist is continuously applying pressure on it. I've also managed to bandage his hand with some padding so hopefully that will improve too.
Once again we had a glorious sunset and the sun was blood red; all you "real" photographers out do I take a photo of a RED sun...the sun just comes out WHITE?

The weather forecast looks good for today too; we may go for a walk. I'll see how Mick seems when he wakes up.

Monday, March 26, 2007

SUN WORSHIPPERS (some shade required)

As the sun rose yesterday the clouds soon disappeared and for rest of the daylight hours we had clear blue skies. They was a cool breeze but we were quite sheltered in the back garden.
I made sure that Mick's face was shaded well from the sun, one of the warnings on the antibiotics he's on at the moment is that the skin can be more sensitive to the sun. It soon turned warm enough for me to roll my trouser legs up! As we'd done a lot of potting up yesterday no actual gardening was done; though it took me a good 40 minutes of running upstairs and downstairs gathering growing pots of plants and seedlings and bringing them out into the garden for some fresh air! I brought out the radio and we listened to the Radio Kent gardening programme
and I even picked up a book and had a read; something I haven't done over the last couple of years.
All in all it was a pretty good day. Mick ate breakfast though wasn't interested in any other food until dinner time. He did drink a little though. He ate all of his dinner and managed to wee. It's not looking quite as strong now and smells better too.
Of course every silver lining has a cloud; his right hand, that he leans on so much, is badly marked with steroid induced bruising, also his skin is very thin. Sadly yesterday where he had leaned on it so much the skin has actually broken in one area. I can't put any sort of sticking plaster on it; even micropore tears his skin when I remove it; so I've place one of the Inadine patches (we use for his chest) on the broken area and loosely wrapped some lint dressing around it; hopefully that will protect it and stop the problem getting worse. It didn't appear to give him any pain when I "rocked and rolled" him to get him ready for bed.
Well today appears to be "set fair" so I'm sure we will sit out again. Apologies to all of you who will be stuck in an office all day; we shall be thinking of you.........myspace layouts, myspace codes, glitter graphics

Sunday, March 25, 2007


Now did all of you in the U.K. remember to put your clocks forward?

put me forward one hourI always wait until the following morning to do ours; it's surprising how many clocks there are in the house; not only ordinary clocks but ones on the phone, cooker, heating and videos, and it takes a while to change them all. When I woke up this morning I looked at our Freeview box; it's the only clock I can see in the dark thanks to it lit up display. It said 6.30 (almost a lie in for me) and of course as I hadn't changed the clocks yet it meant that it was really 7.30am. I got up, Mick was sleeping peacefully and dashed upstairs for a quick wash, dress etc then went into the kitchen to make myself a coffee before I started the "clock changing" chore. I went to the kitchen clock first...weird only said 5.45...I looked at the cooker clock...that said 5.45 too! I went back into the living-cum-bedroom and looked at the Freeview box said 6.45.......I'D FORGOTTEN THAT THE FREEVIEW BOX AUTOMATICALLY CHANGES ITSELF!!!!!

I've already mentioned in my post last night that Mick ate his dinner well so I'll just briefly catch you up on the rest of our day. As had been forecast, yesterday's sunny start soon turned into a dismal, rainy and chilly day. Unperturbed Mick and I donned our roles of kitchen gardeners as our kitchen-cum-shower room became our kitchen-cum-potting shed!
a bit of potting up

We spent a couple of hours out there and I managed to get quite a lot done (far more than you can see in the photo). The kitchen was quite crowded with Mick, myself, bags of compost, trays of seedlings, potting on trays and all the other bit and pieces a gardener can't do without. I won't tell you about what the floor looked like afterwards!

MEMO TO SELF; don't put light coloured trousers on Mick when I'm throwing compost all over the place.

The time passed so quickly (as it does when you're having fun) and I put Mick back into bed for a sleep while I cleared up. The afternoon passed quickly too, I got a few more chores done, had a Blogaround, then put on the book CD I'd been listening to and sat on my bed next to Mick and chilled out. Well I certainly chilled!!!! fact I fell asleep!!!!...not something I'm known to do during the day.

Well that's about know the rest.....I'm not sure what we'll do today. The weather outside looks dismal but it may brighten up. Have a great Sunday yourselves!

Saturday, March 24, 2007


Would have normally told you about this in my post tomorrow but I'm so thrilled that I just had to share it tonight.


Mick has eaten every scrap of his dinner with NO CHOKING! Isn't that wonderful!! I admit it wasn't a massive meal, some chicken, brussels and a roast potato and I had pureed each item up (individually)....but it's the most he's eaten all week in one go.

As good things are reputed to come in threes, I'll just mention a couple more goodies;

Nicole, one of our grandaughters has been chosen as an Ambassador for her school and is going to visit Cambridge University for the day on Tuesday; she gained this accolade by doing so well in her lessons.

This is the girl who tells us that she is hopeless at school and that all the teachers don't like her!!!!!....yeh right Nicole...who are you trying to kid!!! (Thanks to Andi for this photo he took)

And last but by no means least; I've won another award!!!!!!!
this one is courtesy of Women On The Verge...... They had to choose 5 blogs out of all the blogs they visit.......they just couldn't make the decision so it was a "out of the hat" choice. This makes it all the more special because it means that Lady Luck is looking down on me.

Now where's that lottery ticket?


Seems I now have to pick 5 blogs; the price of

With so many to choose from I opted for the "out of a hat" choice;

First out of the hat was.......

OOPS!!!!!...wrong hat

That's better......right the winners no particular order.......

Libby at Woodlands World

Merle at Third try

Mauigirl at Mauigirl's Meanderings

Ruby at Living In Bury St Edmunds

Gleds at Gledwood Vol 2 you have to choose 5!!!!....but it's worth because you now all have one of these!!!!!


I'd noticed Thursday evening and again yesterday morning that at times Mick was really wincing. He can't tell me what the problem is and so I have to rely on a bit of guesswork as to what the problem is. I know the area on his chest hurts him but the wincing didn't happen when I touched his arm My next idea was that his urine infection had returned; I've already said how low his urine output is and so thought I would put my idea to the test. I took off his "padding" , as we call it, and tried to coax him into having a wee. I think it is more natural for him to try with the padding off, it is pretty bulky and uncomfortable. Luckily he did manage a dribble and sure enough the wince on his face appeared. I phoned the Doctor's Surgery to see if they would repeat the prescription he had earlier in the month. The receptionist wasn't sure whether the Doctor would have to see Mick before prescribing anything and asked me to phone back at 11.45am. This I did but the Doctor hadn't received my request yet so she asked me to try again later. About half an hour later the Doctor phoned me; I think he may have been a locum as he had a strong French accent. He agreed to a repeat prescription and asked me to come down to the surgery and pick it up. It was pouring with rain and I didn't really want to drag Mick out but luckily Manda finishes work early on a Friday so was able to pick it up at 3pm. The surgery is only 10 minutes from us at a brisk pace and by 4pm she wasn't back. I text her to see if there was a problem....THERE WAS.....the Doctor had prescribed Mick TABLETS rather than liquid antibiotics. Thank goodness Manda had the foresight to check the prescription before she took it to the Chemists. She immediately told the receptionist and then had to wait over an hour before the doctor would correct the prescription. it makes me wonder whether doctors actually bother to look at patients records!!!! I am so grateful to Manda...can you imagine if I had dragged Mick out, not noticed the error, then walked all the way to the Chemists only to find that he had been prescribed tablets! Manda did find one interesting piece of information while she was waiting......besides all the "confidential" medical information, names and addresses of patients that were being shouted between the reception staff and down the phone for all to hear........she picked up a leaflet about Cancer, it seems that as soon as a patient is diagnosed they are assigned a "key worker" who helps them and deals with any questions/problems that may arise between diagnosis and whatever outcome there may be. Didn't know that!!!

My idea of "little and often" has worked well so far....I'm in the process of making up various small meals, both savoury and sweet which will only take minutes to heat in the microwave. Yesterday Mick managed 4 "small meals" and even drank a little orange squash without too much choking. As soon as the slightest sign of mucus build up occurred I stopped giving him food and tried again a few hours later. Hopefully the same system will work today. He also kept his eyes open for quite a time while they Gardening Programmes were on TV......and turned his head slightly towards the TV on occasions.

You know the little donation box in my side bar, the one that looks like this.

Well take a look at what the Just Giving Blog have said ..........CLICK HERE .

Even if you're not in a position to donate yourself but would like to help...please think about putting it on your sidebar for others to see. Hopefully your lives have not been touched by the "BIG C", the more research that is done to obliterate it the more likely it is that your children and grandchildren won't be touched by it either.

To those of you who have already added the donation box.......a huge THANK means a lot to me, more than I can put into mere words.

The sun rose beautifully this morning though the forecast is for rain; no matter though.....I shall take Mick into the kitchen and he can watch me potting up seedlings..............

p.s. still not cleaned the oven!

Friday, March 23, 2007


Well I'm still struggling with this choking business...I should rephrase that...WE are still struggling.........Mick's fine with the first few mouthfuls then suddenly the choking starts. Talj has been a great help; because of what happened to Rose she has contact with a lot of Brain Tumour Forums; she has posted about Mick to see if anyone has any ideas. The suggestion was made that a Speech Therapist may help; sometimes when the body has had enough food in BT patients it can mean they continue to eat but that the food goes into their lungs instead of their stomach, this is what causes the choking. Also a "swallowing xray" can be done that shows if this is what is happening; if it is... one solution would be a feeding tube. Well as many of you may know we have in fact been down the "Speech Therapist"'ll find one of the posts about it here.....TONGUE IN CHEEK....just click for a reminder. Even if the xray was done I know Mick wouldn't enjoy a feeding tube. It would make things a lot more difficult moving him around too.........also Mick's enjoyment of food comes from the taste of wouldn't be the same down a tube. Besides who am I kidding.........I'm 100% sure that our doctor would not even consider such a thing..........even if I have called him in fearing chest or urine infections or about the choking and dehydration, nothing really has been done......I've never once seen a stethoscope come out to "sound" his blood pressure temperature fact, as with the odd visit from a District Nurse (not since last year), the Doctor has never TOUCHED Mick. When I showed him the pressure area on Mick's chest a few weeks back the Doctor never attempted to help me move Mick's clenched arm so that he could see it. If I couldn't have managed it...the Doctor wouldn't have even seen what I was talking about. Oh for a Doctor like Hugh Laurie portrays in the series "House".... his bedside mannner may not be the greatest but BOY! does he get things done.....I wonder if there are any like him anywhere in this world!

I've decided that I'm going down the "little and often" route....well as much as Mick's awake periods will allow. I'm going to make varied savoury and sweet courses up in little ramekin dishes.....they will then be almost "instantly" available if Mick does want a little to eat. Not much I can do about his liquid intake...he is not "weeing" much at all. This week just once a day.....and I have to coax him to do that. It goes to show though that he is still understanding me in as much that the "coaxing" works!

We have no visitors this weekend so I'm hoping to catch up on a few jobs; I've some potting on to do of some seedlings (Mick can sit in the kitchen and watch me doing that); I've also got to sort out the reams of photos on the computer...they are a bit all over the place at the moment; I want to get some "labels" on my old posts too to make it easier to refer back to; if we do have some nice weather (raining at the moment) we shall of course head out into the garden...............with any luck all of these things will keep me so busy that there won't be time to clean the many times I've intended to do it and got (very easily) sidetracked !!!!
I must do it soon though before the food starts walking out of the oven in disgust!

And if you've got a few minutes to spare and have a chore that you're trying to "put off" you could always pay a visit to the Team Smarties HQ or The Prints for Rose Online Store.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


After a bright, sunny, blue skied start this morning, by about 10am the skies had clouded over....YIPPEE!!!.................I can hear you thinking "She's lost it...the stress has got too much for her.....normally she wants the she's glad it's cloudy.........CALL OUT THE MEN IN THE WHITE COATS!!!!!............well don't panic....I'm still perfectly sane. The reason the cloud was such a blessing was because the clear early morning skies meant that we had a very bad frost and it was FREEZING cold! As soon as the skies clouded over the temperature started to rise....crazy but true...and this meant that Mick and I could go out for a walk.
So after breakfast (more choking I'm afraid), a quick shave (Mick not me!), wash and getting dressed we left the house behind usand off we went. We haven't been out since last week and it really lifted my spirits.......despite all the dog's "doings" (no photos just in case you're having your dinner) all over the pavement which meant I either had to wheel Mick through it and then clean the wheels before we went back indoors or do an extra hump up and down the pavement and onto the road to miss it....I opted for the latter. Why people let their dogs do this I don't know....if they are not going to clear it up at least make them do it on the grass!It was good to see the horizon and distant view; we can't see far from our house because of other houses in the way. Maybe I should send this to Talj for her picture wall. This is the view Mick will have had many times when he has done work on our roof.

Seeing this gap reminded me that the last time we walked out the council were cutting the tree down.From a distance I thought there was a crow's nest in this treeon closer inspection I realised it was a ballmade me smile as under the tree is this sign!


Don't buy awkward things to carry home when you are on your own with Mick and pushing a wheelchairI bought this new cutlery drawer in the Co-Op and already had the wheelchair shopping bag full of shopping so tried balancing it on Mick's lap. The pavements are so bumpy though and after it had fallen off three times I wedged it in the top of my handbagI must admit it did make the chair awkward to push. There are just some things one NEEDS to have...and a new cutlery drawer was one of themand FRESH Brussel Sprouts were another!!!!

We arrived back home not long before Manda came in for lunch....she was pleased we had managed to get out....she knows I get a bit stir crazy after a few days. We have one relative who expresses complete surprise (tinged with disgust) that I take Mick out or sit him in the garden. But as I said to Manda when she came in..."Does Mick look any worse for our trip out?"....her reply "Not at all...he looks more contented!" The relatives attitude reminds me of when I was fighting to get a wheelchair from the of the O.T. staff actually said to me when I explained that I needed a chair so that I could sit Mick in the garden or go for a walk....."OH...erm...but it's more normal to leave terminal cases in bed!" similar to the "it's not worth it" attitude I've fought for 22 months.


Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Mick ate quite well last night though once again towards the end of his meal he had another terrible choking fit. It is such a shame as it was obvious that he was enjoying his dinner......maybe the effect of the patches is wearing off as his body gets used to the drug in them?.......maybe he has some sort of gastric upset?.....I don't know and he can't tell me....I just have to rely on intuition, keep calm and get him through it.

Today the sky looks like thisso what am I doing typing this post instead of sitting out in the garden?.......well it's because the temperature is thisand on the ground there is still thisas tempted as I am there is no way I'm taking Mick outside when it's this's not so bad when you're moving about but when you're just sitting.....Brrrrrrr!

Behind glass in the living room it feels quite, although Mick has a nice view on the mantelpiece as I've picked some daffs and hyacinths
I've sat him in his armchair...the sun will gradually shine in on him and warm him up; with that warmth and the scent of the flowers I'm sure he will be dreaming of Summer Days ahead.
I don't know if it's something to do with the post Christmas bills catching up with everyone or the fact that (here in England) it's Council Tax Bill and Water Bill time but so many people seem to be having financial hic-cups at the moment. We are fortunate here as with Mick being ill we do receive benefits from the government.......well we paid our taxes and National Health payments for enough years so I reckon we are entitled to a bit back. Mick receives a Disability Allowance and I get £27 a week for taking care of him!!!...not a fortune but it keeps the wolf from the door. I had to smile when Mick received this statement in the post though. I don't know how clearly you will be able to see it but it's a statement for £75.81 dated 28th February 2007 for an invoice dated 6th August 1999. It seems a strange thing to receive "out of the blue"......Mick has always been a "cash" payer for goods and I know that over the last 2 years when I've been opening his post that he has received no other statements. Very weird...even if Mick had for some reason bought goods "on account" I would have thought we would have heard from the company long before this! I can't ask Mick about it...even if he was well I doubt if he'd remember this far back in time. I'm going to email them and explain Mick's situation.....I certainly have no way of proving or disproving that Mick owes this money...and to be honest after all this time I wouldn't pay it anyway...I'd rather give the money to the Clatteridge Campaign. It will be interesting to see what the company's reaction will be.....I wonder if they will try to take Mick to that would be interesting!