Tuesday, 21 July 2009


I've been crawling around the last few days with a stance and gait a bit like Quasimodo. I've been hauling the lounge furniture around chasing the dust and cobwebs away. Once too often obviously.

I got out of bed stiffly last Thursday and pulled my back muscles as I tried to catch a urine speciment in an itsy bitsy pot for the nurse. The joys of being a woman.

My pelvis tilted - ouch and F**k . It took me 3 days to get to the point where I could place both feet flat on the floor while I stood. As one leg was temporarily several inches (it felt like feet) shorter than the other. For 2 days I could only sit in a firm garden chair or in my Lloyd loom chair in the bedroom. I had to lie down to relieve and relax muscles but then had to endure a marathon exercise to sit up again.

We both lived on fruit, bread, cheese and painkillers. I became tired cranky depressed. It was a timely reminder for me that this is what MyMan has to endure daily. I was weeping with frustration and tiredness after only 48 hours. Once my powers of concentration returned I enjoyed the excuse to sit, rest. To spend time by reading, reading, reading and watching the cricket.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

What a pain in the neck

What a pain in the neck it is having to attend hospital appointments. Up early to leave to get to Exeter. Rushing along with the rush hour traffic we make it to Heavitree hospital by 8.50. MyMan is exhausted. Exhausted by depression. Exhausted with the effort of rising early enough to leave the house by 8 a.m. Exhausted by the nervous energy wasted on the journey.

Exhausted as he sat checking on all the other drivers. Exhorting me to 'watch out'; 'that one's changing lanes'; 'mind that car'; 'God, for a minute there I thought he wasn't going to stop'. I breathe a sigh of relief that all these possible threats of danger seem to be driven by males. MyMan calls on 'God' and 'Jesus' a great many times as a passenger. For a man who has no religious beliefs it's rather touching in a way.

I was hoping that a new larger safer car would reassure him. But it appears not. I'm not sure if the anxiety of being in a car adds to the pain he feels or whether the pain he feels adds to his fears. Pain being a perpetual reminder of his accident.

It's several years since he last had a pain management assessment. This time I sat in with him. He needs me to at least listen to what he is told. Besides my acting as his memory he needs motivation. Motivating to follow through with the suggested programme. The action plan is:
  1. A new pain relieving drug that will also help him sleep

  2. A 6 week course of acupuncture

  3. Physiotherapy to correct posture and tone muscles

He dreads the idea of the regular twice weekly journeys to Wonford and Heavitree hospitals. He was looking for an excuse to refuse the suggested treatments. He doesn't want to 'place more pressure' on me by taking him there each time. He doesn't want to ask a friend to taxi him there. nor to use the hospital car service. He's unable to use public transport.

There was also talk of a possible minor surgical procedure. But I'm just thinking of it by taking it one step at a time.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

A National Debate

I hear that there is to be a National Debate on the future of 'Care and Support'. The DHSocial Care want us to " encourage other people to talk about care & support".

Talk is easy enough. It's actions that speak louder than words. And of course any actions planned will need financing. But maybe this is a step in the right direction.

As far as I'm concerned 'Care in the Community' was all very well with its high ideals. But it wasn't sufficiently funded from the beginning. Community Care really means 'leave care to the family' or 'leave the responsibility for care to the neighbours' .

There is even a 'blog' on the need for change 'Care Support Independence' - why don't you pop over, have a look and maybe join in the debate.

Friday, 3 July 2009

Symptoms of Swine Flu

Symptoms of Swine Flu? I wonder what they are. Obviously a sore throat and fever.

I went into the surgery this morning to book an appointment with the nurse for a routine blood test in a couple of weeks. The first thing I was asked was did I have a sore throat - "yes, I often have one during summer". It's caused by a post nasal drip due to hay fever.

Did I have a fever? "How would I know with all these hot flushes I keep getting? "

I managed to make an appointment. If I should end up catching swine flu I now know there is no point in calling in to the surgery to see a doctor. The waiting room and all the local chemists have huge notices telling us to stay at home if we have swine flu. Don't go to the surgery.

I thought all us 60+ year olds were supposed to be immune from it. Perhaps I don't 'look' 60.