Monthly Archives: October 2015

Another 12 donors πŸ˜ƒ

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Friday 23rd October

Organ Donation promotion day.

Robyn was helping me with all of it. Lynda came for a few hours in the middle of the day. Leah came up on her lunch break. Hannah came on her lunch break. Julie called in after work. And Gary popped in a couple of times.

 

It was quite nice seeing some of ‘my regular customers’ from when I was working on the tills. They all seemed pleased anyway to see me again :/    I managed to grab most of them I think to have a go on the stall. We were doing a mini tombola to help attract people over. And we had post it pads, Love your Liver ribbons and wristbands to sell for British Liver Trust. But mainly our aim was to get people to sign up to become an Organ Donor. Also as Robyn was there to witness it, this meant she could add them to the numbers for her challenge. Visit http://bit.ly/DunbarsDonors to find out more.

I had asked our little local paper ‘Chipping Norton News’ to call in if they could which they did. They took some photos and took a few details down so hopefully we will be in the December edition of that.
We got 12 people to sign up to become Organ Donors today. And we gave out many more leaflets, so hopefully some of them will decide to sign up too in their own time. We raised Β£129.34 which I am sending off to British Liver Trust. For just a small stall in a local supermarket I think we did quite well πŸ™‚

My body didn’t do quite so well though. My back and my feet were killing me. I sat down on a nearby bench when I got the chance, but that didn’t last for long. And I was so cold in there, had my coat on and I was still shivering. I tried to ignore it all and just got on with things. It was fun though, a good successful day.

Then all I really wanted to do was lay on a sofa in the warm somewhere! But I had a party to go to. It was the Riverside Festival organisers’ after party and it was 1940’s fancy dress. I had been thinking about going as a land army girl, but Gary had bought a hat, goggles and scarf set for us to go as pilots, so I did that instead. Well, minus the hat!

  

What on earth do I look like? And I went out looking like that!! πŸ˜†

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Picnic bench

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Thursday 22nd October

Robyn was taking me to the QE today. But this time I didn’t need to be worried. We were just going to visit my hospital friend Marina. (I mentioned previously that I hadn’t heard from her for a while and that she had been quite poorly). 

On the way we took a bag of Robyn’s clothes that she had sorted out the other day to her friend’s little sister to try on and see if she wanted any, a bag of bits of pieces and two bags of clothes to the charity shop, and a bag full of carrier bags that they like to reuse, to another charity shop! Then when we got to Birmingham I had another two bags of clothes to give to their collection. Felt great getting rid of all that πŸ™‚

Lunchtime! Robyn had made herself a packed lunch, I had thrown a Dairylea Dunker, bag of crisps and an apple in my bag! (I still wasn’t feeling like eating that much :/ ) We found what we are now calling our ‘picnic bench’ which is where we now always sit and people watch when visiting Birmingham.

Marina was asleep. We didn’t know what to do! After a bit we decided we should wake her :/ So I gently shook her arm and said ‘Marina, wake up’. She said ‘no, you’re always bothering me’!! She thought I was one of the nurses. They always seem to disturb you when you’re having a good old sleep :/ When I said it was me and I wasn’t going to do that to her she said ‘Oh hello Val’ and immediately woke up πŸ™‚ Her sister came in later too. We had a nice afternoon. I do hope Marina soon feels much better.

We saw nurse Robyn again (who had looked after me during my stay), she’s been promoted to Sister now, and bought some of their Christmas raffle tickets. Let’s hope we win, there are some really nice prizes.

We didn’t get back until late again. Robyn was getting hangry!

Later in the evening we started to gather all our bits and pieces together in one place and get ready for the morning – Organ Donation promotion day πŸ˜€ I had been sorting bits at various times during the past couple of weeks and both my sisters gave me a few things as we were going to do a tombola to try and raise a bit of money too. So we had to organise and fold all the tickets for that. We got Jack and Leah to blow up the balloons and tie the ribbons!

All set – hope it goes okay :/

Back to the Future day

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Monday 19th to Wednesday 21st October

Robyn was on holiday from work this week. And what a busy week it was going to be.

On Monday we spent the day at home (well I did anyway!)  This is normally Robyn’s day off so it probably didn’t feel much different to her. She was her normal busy efficient self. She went off to yoga and then the gym in the morning. Then she goes up to her bedroom and starts to sort through her clothes, getting rid of the ones she doesn’t like or doesn’t wear anymore. A black bin bag full. This makes yet another job for me though as I now need to go through them all and see which ones I want to keep! I like all of Robyn’s clothes but obviously her being 23 and me a whole lot older, there are certain ones that I don’t think I would be able to wear :/ ‘Why are you getting rid of all this stuff Robyn?’ ‘I’m making room for the new stuff I’m going to buy tomorrow!’ She gives herself a quick lunch break then back she goes to tidy her room, change her bed, and give her carpet a good hoover! She gives herself a treat after all that, a nice bath! πŸ›€  Then dinner. Julie and Hannah call round for a cup of tea. After that brief sit down, she’s back out to meet her friend Lucie for a drink. What a busy day she’s had! And me? I did sort out some more of my clothes, sorted a few bits of paperwork, sorted and did some washing and pottered about doing other stuff. Annoyingly I didn’t seem to be as productive as Robyn though, as always 😠

Tuesday morning and we were up early as we were off on a shopping spree πŸ™‚ We were going to Swindon. As we were both looking for new coats (remember I had to take my nice new one back already 😟 ) we went to the Outlet Centre first so we could look in the Superdry shop. We both actually found coats we liked there but they didn’t have our sizes in either of them. So frustrating. Love all the clothes in that shop though. Nice place to wander around in that is! Then we went into the town centre. Robyn renewed her stock of clothes! She got some really nice stuff. I’ll probably be borrowing all of it sometime soon 😜 She also managed to find another coat that she liked and bought it this time. Of course, I couldn’t find one anywhere. Well I did find one that I tried on but the hood was SO massive my head could have fitted in it twice, I wouldn’t have been able to see where I was going or anything. So I came back with a pair of black jeggings and a top for Leah that I bought her as a treat. (Nice mummy I am!)

While we were walking around the shops I got a text from my friend Violet asking if I was still coming later. Oh my goodness, I had completely forgotten that I was meant to be going out. And after a long day shopping? :/ I would have to see what time we were back and how I felt. This also meant that I had forgotten Violet’s birthday. It was yesterday apparently. Whoops, sorry Violet.

We eventually got home at about 6.30. What on earth should I do? I think I made my mind up at 7 that I would go, and had to meet them all at 7.15!!!

I didn’t feel that great and couldn’t get comfortable the whole evening. Maybe as a result of my long day. I had a terrible throbbing pain down my leg, as well as my normal back and feet. I suffered in silence though and tried to join in through the rest of the evening. I even text Gary to ask for a lift back, which I normally wouldn’t have done. 

Wednesday already and I woke up feeling horrible. Not again. I’m so fed up with this now. It’s getting me down. Why can’t I just be better πŸ˜” I had a terrible headache, unsettled tummy as in feeling sick every now and again, and had to force myself to eat something as Robyn kept on at me!

Robyn went off to the gym again πŸ’ͺ. 

In the afternoon Lou came round (Robyn’s friend’s mum and also my friend!) as Robyn had arranged to cut her hair. So that actually worked out quite well for me today as I could sit and just take it easy and have a chat with her. That’s really all I felt like doing :/

In the evening we watched Gift of Life on Channel 5. It’s a programme following the lives of different people waiting for transplants. This week there was a 6 year old girl waiting for a heart, the first time she went in they found out the heart didn’t match, she had her transplant the second time around. There was a lady, she was alive and well, and she decided that she wanted to help another woman (who she didn’t know at all) that was unwell and waiting for a kidney. Obviously that transplant went ahead too after they both had all the tests. There was a man waiting for new lungs. He was called in to the hospital six separate times, to be told that either the lungs didn’t match, or he wasn’t well enough himself to go through the operation. That poor man didn’t make it through, his condition just got worse and he died 😦 I can’t begin to imagine what his state of mind must have been, to get your hopes up six times and then just have to try and get back on with your life, whilst still very ill. Made me realise how lucky in that way I have been. On the transplant list for just over a month and had a match the very first time. It was only after that my problems started …

Oh, just want to give my brother George a little mention. It’s his birthday today. And on ‘Back to the Future day’ too πŸ˜€

Lots of food

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Saturday 17th to Sunday 18th October

Well, the builder did come back Saturday morning to lay the couple of slabs at the top of the path. He told me there was going to be shingle down the rest of one side by the fence and the other side was just to be soil, I guess their thinking is that the grass should eventually grow up to it. It wasn’t done on Saturday though, so maybe it’s not him that’s going to be doing that bit? :/

Me and Gary went to Banbury in the afternoon. I decided to take my new coat back as the stitching was already starting to come undone on the sleeve and I had only worn it once. And also the zips on the pockets were really rough and kept catching on the material, sounding like it was going to tear. How annoying, I was going to be coatless again 😦

Went into BHS (among other shops). I wonder how many times I’m going to look around their Christmas shop this year, first visit done!!

We called round to Julie and Hannah’s when we got home (Robyn was also there) as they had said earlier in the day they were making oat cookies. I wanted to try some. Well, they were pretty awful πŸ˜‚ And I’m not the only one who said that, Julie didn’t like them either but Hannah seemed to! Something I did like very much was the fact that Julie had made me an apple cake. Now that WAS nice.

In the end it turned out to be curry Saturday again, how spoilt am I?

  

Chicken, mushroom and green bean curry with a potato, cauliflower and peas side dish. Dee-licious πŸ˜‹

Had a bit of a cooked breakfast Sunday morning! I seem to be eating a lot this weekend don’t I? :/

I went home around lunchtime to get a few jobs done and to see what Robyn and Leah were up to and then they both went out, so that backfired on me didn’t it! I felt a bit fed up at first, so I decided to just sit down and blog. But then I found out the rugby was on the TV, Australia v Scotland, I got a bit sidetracked as the game was quite exciting, I couldn’t concentrate on my blogging so I just watched that instead. Poor Scotland, they were knocked out the World Cup by just 1 point, how gutted must they have been 😦

Spent some of the evening watching X Factor. Six chair challenge. If you watch it, how annoying were the audience shouting ‘bring her back, bring her back’ ‘bring him back, bring him back’, they can’t bring everyone back once they’ve told them to go! Its a silly programme but I seem to have to watch it :/

Path saga

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Tuesday 13th to Friday 16th October

Tuesday was the day. My new path was going to be laid! Or was it …

No course not. The builder knocked on the door to say that the skip wasn’t coming until later, so he would now start the job tomorrow as he didn’t particularly want to have to move the stuff, that he needed to dig up so that he could start to lay the slabs, twice. Fair enough. 

I just spent the day having a very good hoover! (which didn’t do my back much good) and other random things :/ I can always find something that needs doing.

On Wednesday morning the work on the path was started at last πŸ™‚ It was all dug out nicely and four slabs were laid. Yes four!! My landlady’s partner had only arranged for one bag of cement to be here to do the whole path! You just have to laugh :/ So off the builder went saying he had ordered some more cement with some more sand too and that he would be back tomorrow.

I started to sort a few more of my clothes out today as I had seen the QE Hospital Birmingham tweeting about an appeal they are doing for ‘donations of clothes to help local people and patients in crisis this winter’. I have been sorting my clothes out a bit at a time for a while now and taking them to charity shops. But this latest bag will be off to Birmingham instead πŸ˜€

I also made a shepherds pie for us all! (I think in the end I managed to poison us all with this though, as we all had unsettled tummies after eating it :/ !!!)

Thursday. Where’s the builder? No idea but he certainly wasn’t in my garden today …

I met Jackie for a mug of tea and a catch up. Her sister popped in briefly. Her husband is really not very well at the moment, he’s also waiting for a liver transplant. Seems to be getting a more common thing, or is it just that I’m more aware of things like this now.

Then time for my Thursday evening walk.

Friday and the builder returned. Yay! He managed to lay the rest of the slabs apart from one at the bottom! 

   

Not sure this photo shows it that well but it’s not very straight and it slopes all the way down. We will all have to watch it in the icy weather πŸ‚ The builder told me he would be back again in the morning! This time to cut and lay a couple of slabs at the top by the back door to fill that bit in right up to the edges.

I was meeting my sister for a cuppa this time. 

This evening me and Gary went to watch Tom (Robyn’s boyfriend and the drummer in Dance a la Plage) play at the Jericho Tavern in Oxford. We took Robyn and her friends Rochele and Yaz with us. It was quite a fun night. Robyn came and got me and took me down to the front to have a bit of a dance with them! On the way back they were all a bit drunk and they started to sing some songs that they used to sing at primary school, as they all went to school together. It was funny and I loved it. Brought back some nice memories. I think they all enjoyed themselves too πŸ˜€

Goodbye tiles

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Monday 12th October

Clinic day :/

As we would be going through Shipston where our local tip now is, I managed to persuade Robyn to call in there so we could at long last get rid of all the tiles from my garden. I have tried to sell them a couple of times and give them away on Freecycle but no ones ever interested so I had decided they just needed to go. I packed them all into boxes and bags. It was freezing out in the garden first thing in the morning! I also got Tom busy in my shed as all my boxes that were stacked on top of each other had collapsed, so he sorted it for me πŸ™‚

Off we went. The lady from the ‘tip shop’ (where they resell many things that people have brought in) didn’t want my tiles either 😦 She said to put them in the rubble skip. Nooo. Robyn found great delight in throwing them in and smashing them. I couldn’t bear to do that, I just put them in gently! I’m sure someone somewhere would have been glad of them :/ 

So we got to clinic a bit early as requested by Prof Newberger so that he could see me himself. He gave us our ‘counselling session’ as Robyn calls it, about how all liver transplant patients are liars and when asked how their doing they say ‘fine, thank you’. Then he said about how it’s normal to not feel on top of the world which is how other people expect you to feel, and that you can still start to feel like this a year after transplant. He always seems to be able to tell when I’ve been a bit down. He always reassures me, it WILL get better!

Anyway, he just decided to give me another two kinds of tablets to take to replace the vitamins I am deficient in, Vitamin D and folate, and to wait and see if this helps my pains and to go back in a month. If not I guess they will do different investigations. Might have to restart the steroids 😦 A month seems like a long time to wait for me being in pain, he told me not to suffer and to just take regular paracetamol, that should help, but I don’t like taking all these tablets. I’ve already now got an extra five a day to take, as I have to have a double dose of Vitamin D because I am so low in it. I don’t want to take any more. I feel like I’m going backwards a bit now, not getting better. (As yet I still haven’t taken any paracetamol, silly stubborn me).

We waited for my tablets to be ready from the pharmacy. Then we sat and had a little picnic in the hospital! I had half of a coronation chicken baguette that we had got from the very nice farm shop that we called into on the way this morning, Robyn of course had been organised and brought her lunch with her, pitta bread and tonnes of fruit.

In the car park, as we were about to leave, Robyn looked in her mirror and saw my hospital friend Marina being pushed in a wheelchair by her sister. ‘Get out, Get out’ she shouted at me! as she knew I would want to see her. I was so pleased. I had text Marina a couple of times just recently and had got no reply and I had said to Robyn before that I was worried about this. We found out why. She had hardly been out of hospital since I left in April. Poor Marina hadn’t been very well at all. She has been getting infections which have been making her very poorly. She has a pump fitted inside her which is supposed to drain the fluid from her, but she’s due to have it taken out now. That seems like a good idea to me that does, as when I was in hospital with her she was always having problems and terrible pains with it. So she’s also been suspended from the transplant list at the minute because she’s not fit enough to undergo the operation. I hope they sort you out soon Marina. It honestly made my day to see you.

How lucky was that. A minute either way and we would have missed each other. In a weird way I do sometimes still miss being back in the hospital, all the hustle and bustle, I got a lot of attention I guess, and did have some fun at times with Marina, Pat and Alex.

We got stuck in a bit of traffic on the way home, then we still had to go and get the food shopping. Robyn dropped me off in one shop while she went to another! What a team πŸ™‚ As we were back late we got Leah to help us unload the car. Jack and his brother Charlie arrived just at the right time to help with the heavy bags too. Charlie had come over to play FIFA with Jack and stay for the night. Had a bit of silly chatter with the two of them and Leah while I was putting the shopping away. I like it when I have a house full of people. Robyn was rushing about, she wanted to change and leave immediately so she could go in the gym before her yoga session started. Mad girl πŸ’ͺ What a nice day off she had!  :/

New coat

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Saturday 10th to Sunday 11th October

A Saturday shopping trip to Banbury and today I bought myself a new coat. I have been half heartedly looking for one for a while when we’ve been out shopping, but today I found one that I really liked. And I had an outstanding credit note for the shop that I could use, decision made!

Later it turned out to be curry Saturday at Gary’s again, luckily for me. Chicken, mushroom and cauliflower in the main curry this time. And the side dish was green beans with mustard seeds and other ingredients which I can’t remember! But it tasted real good πŸ˜ƒ

On Sunday morning I went back home for a while to get a few odd jobs done as this afternoon we were going out to see an aeroplane! It was the XH558 on one of its farewell flights. We went to Wellesbourne airfield to see it going over. 

 
I couldn’t actually believe how many other people were there, I think I was expecting just a few more other cars, there were at least a thousand I would say :/

When we were sat in the car queueing to get off the airfield I noticed that some of the stitching was starting to come undone on my new coat already. Nooo, I had just found one I liked. Now it looks like I’m going to have to return it already 😦

Later we went out to find some food and called into the Blue Boar for a drink on our way home.

Toasted sandwich

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Thursday 8th to Friday 9th October

Happy Birthday Lynda 🎁

And do you know how she was spending her day? 

With me, taking things to the tip!

Luckily it was a nice dry day. I had already collected quite a lot of things from the garden and put them ready to go in a big junk pile! So we loaded the car (I think a few spiders decided they were coming for a ride too 🐜) which took a while, as cars have to be parked on the road at the end of the lane by my house. Back and forward, back and forward. I helped as much as I could, but knowing I also had to unload it all again at the other end shortly I came to a stop. Lynda kept going though and tidied up what we had found underneath, loads of dead weeds, old twigs, stones etc. 

 
That part of the garden looks so much better, now still waiting for the path to be done.
Off we then went and unloaded it all. I tried to keep an eye on Lynda to check she was putting the things in the right skips! She’s not into recycling, I’m sure she would secretly liked to have just tipped it all into the one place!

A very good job done to get rid of all that stuff. Have been waiting to do that for a long time. Glad I’m now fit enough to be able to decide to do and organise these things, and then get to help as well.

On the way home we called into the doctors’ surgery so that I could pick up my results. In fact today was the day I heard back from my consultant, not yesterday as I have written in my previous blog. Sorry for getting it wrong :/ Details are all still the same though!

Our treat I guess was a mug of tea and a tiny mozzarella and sundried tomato toasted sandwich from Cafe Nero.

Thank you for all your hard work once again Lynda 😊

Back to cook a whole load of pasta for everyone, though I think we were all putting different things into it!

Then for my walk. I was determined to go even though I had been busy all day. I made it round. Probably shouldn’t have gone as already done too much for my body, but why should I miss out on something I like doing? I do horrible jobs all the time and have to put up with the pain, so I’m going to make sure I do something that I want to do, even though that hurts too.

It was cold out walking tonight, nice shower to try and warm myself up. Then definitely a rest.

After all that Friday was just a day spent at home.

Unhappy day

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Wednesday 7th October

I wasn’t feeling very happy today. I guess the fact that I couldn’t really get on with things that I wanted to do without suffering afterwards with quite a lot of pain, didn’t help. I also couldn’t concentrate. I just couldn’t get myself to do anything and it was really frustrating me. 

My doctor was due to be ringing me at 11.15 with the results of my blood tests. I think it was about 12.oo when he tried and I missed the phone call. So I tried to ring him back and he was now busy so I had to book another telephone appointment for later in the afternoon :/

So I finally gave up and decided to take myself away from everything, I went into town for coffee and cake. Then unexpectedly in comes Robyn. She was having a bad day at work so needed to get out in her lunch break. Dr Fisher also rang again while I was in there. I was deficient in two vitamins, Vitamin D and folate. He didn’t really know how to treat me, so told me it was best if I waited until my appointment in Birmingham on Monday and take their advice! He would leave a printed copy of my results at the surgery reception for me to collect and give to my consultant.

I think maybe because of my mood today, I decided to ring Birmingham when I got home and see if I could talk to my consultant. I left a message with his secretary and he phoned me back when he was on his way home from London! He said that he wanted to see me himself (rather than one of the other doctors) at clinic on Monday so could I please make it there before clinic started, as he always gets there early!

Bit scary that, what was wrong? But I was also a bit relieved as I wasn’t really happy with the last doctor I saw there. Hope to get some answers this time.

Pain

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Monday 5th to Tuesday 6th October

Robyn was coming back from holiday today, yay πŸ˜ƒ

I rang QE Birmingham and spoke to one of the liver doctors’ secretarys. After I told her what my problem was with my very painful joints, she said I should contact my GP first, even though I told her I had previously been told to ring Birmingham when I had any questions. So I rang my GP, all appointments with my doctor had gone but if I rang after 5.30pm there might be some extra ones going! Weird system that.

Then I had a meeting with my boss. When I saw him about a month ago he told me it was more or less up to me on how many hours and which days I started back to work. This time he had changed his mind and seemed to have worked out a plan, which im not sure I could do, or even want to do!! And he told me I couldn’t change my day off, which last time I’m sure he said I could :/ How frustrating, aaaargh! Something else for me to try and sort out now.

Hannah had been waiting in the shop for me to finish. So I dragged her round shopping with me! Then she got her mum to meet us when she had finished work, so I got a lift back home, saved me carrying all that shopping, and I went back to theirs for a cup of tea β˜•οΈ

Then Robyn came home. It was good to have her back with me! We spent the evening having a natter, filling each other in on what we both had been doing and looking at her holiday photos through her cracked phone screen! It looked lovely there, she had a real good time.

I think she loved her bowl of apples that were waiting for her, after leaving me her instructions!

So yesterday I had eventually managed to get a doctor’s appointment for Tuesday morning. I got on the wrong bus (typical!) but luckily for me in the end it was also going to the surgery.

Dr Fisher examined my hands and feet after I explained my pain to him. Then my back, when he got to the bottom of my spine it was very painful when he was prodding around. I hadn’t expected that 😦 He took my blood and said he would ring me tomorrow with the results.

Back at home Hannah came round as it was her day off. She had brought cake, good girl Hannah! I thought she was coming round to help me clean my kitchen floor but Leah had already told her that her bedroom was a mess and did Hannah want to tidy it for her, so Hannah went in there and made a start in her bedroom instead. HANNAH 😫 So I made a start on the floor. We have the hairiest dog in the world, so before you can even begin to think of mopping, you have to get the hoover out. Then doing all round the edges on your hands and knees. Hannah did help me a little bit with this in the end.

Β 

It’s quite a job.

My poor body at the end of the day though. Agony. I probably shouldn’t have done it should I?