Monthly Archives: June 2015

Not another car crash 😢


Sunday 28th June

I didn’t feel that great when I woke up today. 

Then Robyn turned up in the morning to see me, to tell me that she had just had a car crash. She had one nearly two years ago now and was badly injured and was airlifted to hospital. She was very lucky. But that was a terrifying time. This time it wasn’t quite as serious, no one was hurt physically, but of course it brought all her bad memories of the other one back to her. Plus the man in the other car got out and was shouting at her and she said she thought he was going to hit her! She was very shaken up. I must add that NEITHER of these crashes were actually her fault. Julie and Hannah to the rescue 💨 👭 Hannah still in her pyjamas. Whit woo 🙂 Funny thing was when we went to Robyn’s first crash, Leah was running down the road to get to her in just her pants!! (It was a very hot day and she had been messing around with water in the garden and sunbathing). These accidents never come at suitable times! 

Not a very good start to the day for poor Robyn at all. So as well as her worrying over me being in hospital, she now has all that to sort out with her insurance company.

She ate her lunch with me and then left because she was going to her friend’s baby shower. Hope you’re okay Robyn 😦

I started to feel better in the afternoon. Julie, Hannah and Gary visited. I had mentioned the day before to Hannah that I liked to count the seconds on the clock in my room. This didn’t go down very well because when I was crazy in Critical Care in Birmingham, I used to just stare at the clock and not really take any notice of my visitors, or I used to tell them a specific time they had to leave by! Don’t think Hannah wanted me to go crazy again so she brought me a nice colouring book for adults with stress, called Colour me Calm, and some nice new pens. It’s funny because Leah told us just the other week about an article in the Daily Mail (which she reads on her phone before work, she’s becoming quite an expert on things now!) which said that adult colouring was becoming the new craze. It is quite stress relieving, so thanks Hannah 😃

The smiley doctor appeared again late at night. He just wanted more blood this time. No tests for tonight. Yay 🙂

Cheesy grin


Saturday 27th June

So because of my high temperature the porters arrived at 12.30am to take me down for another chest X-ray. I guess their looking for any chest infection. As I was half asleep I decided to go in my bed. Normally they like to wheelchair you. But why not spoil yourself I thought. There was just one girl sat on the bed waiting for me in the X-ray department. I said to her ‘Are you here on your own all night?’ She was. That must be difficult having to try to stay awake all night when your on your own. She said that A&E was busy so that may have kept her busy too. I think that’s what she was hoping for.

Had a lovely shower this morning 🚿 The shower here is like a power shower, it sprays halfway across the room. So my ensuite bathroom got a little flooded. Whoops!

I think this was the day that they took 5 attempts to get a cannula into my arm. My poor veins are starting to give in.

I felt tired and just not quite myself this evening and led on my bed dozing and did nothing else.

A doctor arrived late at night wanting to take yet more blood. He peered round the door with a big cheesy grin on his face. Silly man! He was nice though.

I don’t think much else happened today, but that’s it on weekends in hospital, they have skeleton staff.

I wish I could go home 😦

Chicken, coleslaw and pasta


Friday 26th June

This morning the diarrhoea started. This is the reaction I have to the strong drugs they give me. I had it in Birmingham. But of course the doctors think it might be where my infection is so they want to do a camera to investigate. I hate these procedures. Anyway I didn’t have much time to think about it, the porters soon arrived to take me down. 😳 Right at lunchtime too. I missed my fish and chips because when I got back they said I couldn’t have it. Think it’s something to do with the temperature of the food. Or maybe they had just given it to someone else!! So I had to have a ham sandwich which I had also ordered for my tea!

Then they decided they were going to move me again. This time on the same ward but just a bit further along, another side room down a short corridor.

I was wheeled off for an X-ray on my tummy. Dr Ellis was waiting for me in my room when I got back. He hadn’t brought good news for me. Because I had still been having temperatures and my white blood cell count was still low, he didn’t want to let me home. He said it was just too risky. I was going to have to spend the whole weekend in this room on my own. I was going to go mad.

Leah and Hannah brought me some still warm cooked chicken from the supermarket and some coleslaw, to try and tempt me into eating. I ate the chicken and some of the coleslaw. Quite tasty. They had more success than poor Robyn and Hannah last night. They brought me some pesto pasta and another tomato or something! pasta and I hardly ate any, I didn’t like it :/

I got another temperature this evening. Over 100 again. I have a bad headache and my neck aches, my eyes are watery, I’m sweating.

Because of this the doctor came again. I was going to be given 3 different kinds of medication now because I shouldn’t still be getting temperatures after two full days of antibiotics. One of these new medications was from a group of drugs that I have had before and which made me feel a bit strange! when taking it, so I was a bit worried about this one. But the doctor said they really did want me to try it again because they thought it would help me.

Well I had it. Intravenously as always. They kept coming in and checking on me. But so far I have had no bad reaction to it.

Side wards


Thursday 25th June

So I was woken up at 1.15am to be told that I was being moved to a ward. The porter didn’t turn up until 2.00am! Seems crazy how they leave you all day then want to do everything with you in the middle of the night :/

I was put in a side ward again down a small corridor even further away from everyone. I felt like I was being punished for something, not in a place where they were going to make me better. And when completely cold toast and a stewed lukewarm cup of tea arrived for my breakfast, that was the last straw. I am supposed to eat regularly to help my recovery, this I find difficult enough as it is as I have no appetite, there was no way I could even attempt to have any of that. I got upset 😥 I so badly wanted to go home. I wasn’t feeling particularly unwell at this time either.

The doctor came and said that my white blood cells were still very low. I needed to keep having these strong antibiotics so I still couldn’t go home. Yet from my tests they still couldn’t find an infection.

This side room was SO hot and you couldn’t open the windows to let fresh air in. They had big bits of plastic screwed to them! We mentioned this to the doctor and he said that they were trying to get me out of this room to yet another ward because the one I was in was mainly for people with heart problems and they didn’t have any experience of transplant patients! Urm, so why was I transferred there in the first place? Because that was probably the only side room available at the time apparently. In the meantime the nurse went and found me a fan for the room.

One of the nurses from this ward was quite fascinated by me. She kept asking lots of questions and wanted to know all about the operations and things. Like I said, she hadn’t come across a patient like me before, I was quite a novelty!!

The reason for all the side rooms is because my white blood cells (neutrophils) are very low. Neutrophils help the body fight infection and it would be much too dangerous for me to catch an infection from any of the other patients here, so they reduce the chances of that happening by isolating me 😦  Please come back to me very soon white blood cells.

I think I was moved around tea time (not in the middle of the night for once!) to the correct ward this time. 

Just kept being pumped with the antibiotics.

Gary, Robyn, Hannah (and Tom briefly) came to visit. I can’t remember what the food was but it was something I didn’t want to eat and they all kept bullying me about my eating habits and how awful they are 😏

Salad cream


Wednesday 24th June

So I spent Wednesday in this side room in EAU. A doctor came about 7.30 in the morning and just checked me over. He told me another doctor would come and see me. So I just kept being given iv antibiotics in case of infection. And my observations were taken regularly. My blood pressure kept going low but everything else was okay really. My visitors came and went. Leah, Gary, my sister Lynda and John her husband. Then Robyn.

This is what happens when she visits me!! 😦

The doctor never appeared. 

Nightmare begins


Tuesday 23rd June

Felt a tiny bit better this morning but my whole body still ached. I had got it into my head that I was going to spring clean and sort my kitchen sink area, drainer etc today. Even though I didn’t feel my best I still wanted to get this done. So I made a start, amongst other jobs that cropped up and hanging the washing out and having a short sit down every now and then. I decided to walk along to Julie and Hannah’s to return some things I had found of theirs, so I gave Hannah her present I bought for her the other day, and had a cup of tea with them. I had every intention of carrying on with my kitchen sink later, I had just gone visiting for a little break, but when I got home I felt like I had a temperature so I thought I had better check. It was over 100. When Leah got in from work I told her and she told me to take some paracetamol. I just carried on pottering around and told Robyn later when she got in from work. She just stared at me and was terrified. ‘You need to take it again’. But I said no point because I had just had a drink and it wouldn’t be accurate. She was very worried and kept on at me.

Robyn is doing a challenge to raise awareness of organ and blood donation (more about that later) so she had arranged for her dad to come over so we could all have our picture taken with our special recycled parts t-shirts on, ready to advertise her campaign. Leah took our photos in the garden.

But Robyn hadn’t forgotten. ‘Take your temperature now then’. So I had to give in. It was still over 100. So she made me ring the transplant co-ordinator in the QE Birmingham who put me through to the on-call liver registrar. He told me I needed to go to a hospital so I could be checked out, blood, urine tests etc. in case I had got an infection. So she gave me about 5 minutes! to gather a few bits together and we were off!! 🚗 🏥

I think we got to A&E at the Horton hospital, Banbury at around 9. Loads of people were there, I thought that we were in for a long wait. But luckily (in one way at least) for me, they called me almost immediately. My blood results showed that my white blood cells were low (as they sometimes have been) but even lower! So the first thing they do apparently with transplant patients is to give them some strong antibiotics intravenously in case of infection. It’s the same treatment for cancer patients too because their white blood cells are destroyed if they have chemotherapy. Both transplant and cancer patients with low white blood cells are extremely susceptible to catching infections. So I had my antibiotics in A&E and at about 2.30am they transferred me to a ward in EAU (Emergency Assessment Unit). After asking their questions and ‘booking’ me in (yes even at that time of night) they then decided I needed to be in a side ward, to help me to not get infected with other peoples’ illnesses as well. I think I then might have got a few hours sleep.



Monday 22nd June

Today I felt a bit under the weather. The first time in a long time and I didn’t like it one bit. My tummy was a bit achy and unsettled and my whole body also ached.

I had suggested to Robyn last week that if she was free on Monday (as its her day off) she could take me to the tip again, so I could get rid of a bit more of my collected junk, mainly from the garden this time. This is a job she hates doing, but she reluctantly agreed. So I couldn’t miss my chance. I had to still do it even though I was feeling a bit unwell. 

So off we went, taking 2 bags to the local charity shops on the way. A good job done. Thanks Robyn! Did a bit of shopping then went back home.

I think I even went to bed quite early, unusual for me 😵😴 

Secret tunnels


Sunday 21st June

It’s Chipping Norton Town Festival. So off me and Gary went for a day out. 

We met Robyn and her friend Lucie and the first thing we did was go down a trapdoor and some steep steps in our Post Office floor and looked around the unusual room that was there! All stone but some carvings of faces in the corners and some windows that looked out onto nothing! But they said that many many years ago they thought the road outside was much lower and you could probably have looked out across the fields! I think we have secret tunnels under our town too but I don’t really know much about them! Quite amazing really.

We spent the rest of the day wandering about, sitting on bales of straw listening to the bands playing (with Julie, Hannah, Robyn, friends). It turned out to be quite a warm sunny day so it was nice to just sit about. Saw a few more people that I hadn’t seen since my transplants and they asked me how I was getting on. My boss was manning the Co-op stall so I went over and said hello to him too. We went in to Bitter & Twisted, a pub in the centre of town, and had some lunch. That was really nice as always.

Later I saw my friend Sally and her husband Charlie and daughter Charley-Ann and some others and had a chat and a tonic water with them! 

I did get a few sharp stabbing pains in my liver area during the day but I wasn’t going to let that spoil things for me. 

A long day but it was fun.

PS – I decided to do a bit of research about my earlier comments on what is actually underneath Chipping Norton, so you don’t think I have completely gone mad!!

I found this – To the visitor passing through, Chipping Norton seems just like any other Cotswold town, honey coloured cottages and quaint back lanes with old buildings, but it holds a secret, it must be the most haunted corner of England.

Every May and October a shadowy figure roams the town after dark, called the Stowfair man by locals, he is said to make objects disappear, many locals swear they have experience of this.

On the High Street is the Crown & Cushion Hotel, where the Gunpowder plot was hatched, aided by Robert Catesby who used to own Chastleton House just outside the town. The ghosts of the conspirators huddled in a corner of the bar have been seen by more than one person.

Just down from the High Street is the Parish Church, from whose tower the local priest was hanged, and his ghost is still reputed to be walking about the town.

Mysterious tunnels are reputed to criss cross the town, used by ancient monks to visit Inns, out of sight of the God fearing citizens.

I also found this – Chipping Norton also had a notorious reputation on account of clerical and monastic sex crimes and allegations of witchcraft.  For example, beneath the streets of the town were secret tunnels leading from the local monastery to the nunnery whereby monks and nuns enjoyed scandalous liaisons.

Oooh. Even more amazing than I first thought. But how true these two bits of information are I’m really not sure!  :/

And I also found this – The Medieval undercroft under the Post Office. You never imagine what is below you whilst waiting in the queue to buy stamps. It is thought the upper side of the High Street may have been up to 8 feet lower than it is today. Apart from St Mary’s Church this 14th century undercroft is one of the earliest structures still surviving in the town.


Saturday night out


Friday 19th to Saturday 20th June

Friday was just a day at home until I met my friend Jackie in Cafe Nero for a nice mug of tea!!

On Saturday the plan was to go out for lunch with Emma and Jamie. We went to Hilltop garden centre. Had a bit of a wander about (bought my niece a little present which my poor daughter Robyn wasn’t happy about!!!) then had lunch. Egg, chips and beans for me, rather tasty 😀

Then Emma wanted to go somewhere different so we went to Burford garden centre!! Had a bit of a wander about (didn’t buy anything!!!) then had a drink. Fizzy orange for me, rather tasty 😀

On the way home we called in at Gary’s mum and dads so that Gary could deliver his Fathers Day present and card ready for tomorrow. We stayed for a while then trundled off home.

It was to be my first Saturday night out this year!! We went to a pub in the town because a local band called Chaser who we quite like to watch were playing. Had a bit of a listen while drinking my tonic water :/ An old friend of mine was on her hen night so I knew quite a few of the people that were with her who I hadn’t seen since my transplants, so they came over to see how I was getting on.

An enjoyable evening but I was tired by the end of it 😴

Those steroids


Thursday 18th June

Clinic day. I was ok again. Saw my surgeon Mr Mergental. And guess what, he wanted to stop my steroids! So I told the story yet again. But this time he said no you don’t need to be on them anymore, please stop taking them. I was a bit worried about this but I guess these guys know what their doing! :/

And he discharged me from the surgeons clinic and now I will see the liver doctors who I used to see before transplant. And I don’t need to go for a month. So that’s good news. But they still wouldn’t let me see my consultant closer to home yet for my checkups. Think I have to wait a bit longer for that.

As our friend Kate had recently returned to hospital with some problems we decided that as we were up there, we would just call in to the ward and say hello. She wasn’t there, she had gone for a test, so we decided to get some lunch and go back to see her later. As it was warm and sunny, we took it outside and sat on the grass which many other people were also doing, nurses, physios, office workers. Mr Mergental walked past, spotted us and waved. He must have eagle eyes!!! Kate had returned when we went back so we popped in and had a quick chat and left her with a bag of Haribo’s! Get well soon Kate. I was glad we waited and eventually saw her. She came to visit me when I was in Critical Care so I was happy to do the same.

On the way home we did a trolleyful of shopping, must have got carried away as didn’t take enough money into the shop to pay for it, so Leah had to run out to the car and bring some more back, holding the queue up behind us. Oh dear, bit embarrassing 😳 💷