Monthly Archives: December 2016

Outpatient only!

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Saturday 31st December

The last day of 2016. And unless things change in the next few hours πŸ€”

I HAVE NOT BEEN ADMITTED INTO HOSPITAL THIS YEAR πŸ˜€

Many clinic and outpatient appointments for various things, scans and a couple of minor treatments have still been happening. But I haven’t needed to be an inpatient. The first time for AT LEAST TWO YEARS.

All because of my two hero organ donors and their families – thank you.

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😫

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Monday 26th to Friday 30th December

Christmas has come and gone.

My two sisters came round on Christmas Eve, bringing with them the extra saucepans and dishes that we would need for our Christmas lunch. Then a whirlwind of organisation and vegetable peeling started to happen and a cauliflower cheese was made. Everything went out of my control.

Gary cooked the turkey on Christmas Day morning then the rest of us descended into the kitchen to organise and cook the roast potatoes, vegetables and all the rest of it. I think it all worked out reasonably well. I hope all the others thought that too? πŸ€”πŸ˜

Lots of present opening (I got very spoilt) and games played. It was a busy, but nice, day.

Of course we had to all sit down and watch #Eastenders in the evening to see what was happening about Phil Mitchell and his liver transplant!

Now on to Boxing Day. A walk down to the town where the Heythrop Hunt meets every year and then a drink in the pub with some more of my family.

And then it all became a normal week for me. Back to work and then time just spent at home.

I haven’t been very happy at all this week! I have found everything a real struggle. Work has been just so non-stop busy and then there was nothing exciting to look forward to either when I got back home! 😫

I was feeling both physically and mentally exhausted.

Although I did have a nice enjoyable walk along the side of the river in Stratford upon Avon on my day off on Thursday.

Which ended up with a nice bowl of pasta – but my bruschetta was my absolute favourite πŸ˜‹

My first proper meal since Christmas Day (I have had no appetite whatsoever).

Lynda came and picked up the remnants of our Christmas turkey to make a soup for herself and John. She has become my new way of food recycling. I sent her home with a load of leftover food on Christmas Eve that was just going to end up in our food recycling bin!

Thank goodness that last week of 2016 is over, that’s all I can say …

December

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Thursday 1st to Friday 23rd December

And so it’s now December!

And this dreaded thing called Christmas seems to come and take over my life :/

Weekends have mainly been taken up with endless trips to the shops looking for suitable Christmas presents for everyone. Exhausting, both physically and mentally!

Then of course there is the mountains of presents to be wrapped, the Xmas decorations, food shopping, all to be fitted in around all the endless but normal household jobs that have to be done.

I think Leah had the best idea when she went away with Jack to the seaside for a week πŸ€”

I finally managed to arrange to get the dining room table back from my brother. He has very kindly been looking after it since we last moved house two years ago as we just had no room for it anywhere, but he seemed to have taken a bit of a shine to it since and was a tiny bit reluctant to give it back! 😳

I’ve had my hair cut and coloured. You get cake in Robyn’s salon now! πŸ™‚ 

Work has obviously been very chaotic as I work in a local supermarket. The amount of food people have in their trolleys when they get to the checkout amazes me! I always wonder to myself about how much of it actually gets eaten?

I’ve been on three Christmas meals. All so very different. The volunteer Christmas party was an experience. I had no idea what to expect, I think just a few volunteers getting together. But no. A very grand affair with 100 people! I only knew the two organisers who were obviously very busy rushing around so I felt very ‘alone’ there. It was almost too much for me to cope with but I was quite proud of myself that I persevered and stayed in the end. Mainly thanks to a 79 year old man (you would never have guessed that) who kind of took me under his wing :/ and then sitting next to Corky the guide dog (and his owner) also helped me.

I’ve had a clinic visit. It looks like my kidneys are being affected by my anti rejection medication that I have to take so I am being referred to the Churchill Hospital in Oxford so they can now keep an eye on that part of my body there! My blood pressure was high which can also affect the kidneys, so I have been given some extra tablets to take for that. I also discovered that I have been taking the wrong dose of ursodeoxycholic acid (this is what I take to try and help my liver) since my last appointment so I have to add another extra tablet of that to my night time medication now. My tablet collection seems to be steadily growing again. I don’t like it 😦

It’s been a tough month in many different ways.

Also three incredibly sad things have happened and have been very hard to deal with. A lovely lady that I used to work with some years ago now sadly passed away. My friend Mark didn’t make it through the complications of his liver transplant surgery in the end (Mark’s funeral service was different, upsetting of course, but very lovely). We had to have our dog Jake put to sleep. At the moment these things are still too upsetting for me to even think or talk about, I am hiding them away somewhere 😫

It has been decided to have Christmas Day lunch at our new house this year (among the boxes that have now just been put to one side, the unpacking and sorting will now have to resume in the New Year). Julie and Hannah are joining Robyn, Leah, myself and Gary – who decided he would like the chef’s job.

So wish us luck … πŸ˜‚

Racing reindeers

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Friday 25th to Wednesday 30th November

Off I went to work on this Friday morning, but with my thoughts being very much elsewhere. Back at the QE Hospital, wondering how Mark was doing and thinking of all the other very poorly patients.

In the evening I went out for a meal with Gary and his family. 

On Saturday I went to a ‘reindeer race night’. It starts off with an auction type bid to buy the horses for each race, a jockey gets chosen, they put on the relevant different coloured hat and sit on small wooden horses (vaguely decorated as reindeers especially for Christmas!) on a course which is marked out with tape on the floor, massive dice are thrown and the reindeers move along accordingly. You can then have a 50p bet on whichever one you think might win. A bit bizarre but a bit of fun. 

The rest of my weekend was spent shopping for Christmas presents (well that was the idea although I’m not sure I was too successful) and I’m sure I would have spent quite a bit of my time doing lots of household jobs too.

Monday was the day that the headboard was finally delivered for my new bed. Feels like I’ve been waiting for ages for that! 

As Gary had the day off we had a trip to IKEA. It seems to take a long time to walk around that place, we were in there for hours! Then on to the big Asda superstore which is next door. A long day of shopping.

It would have been my dad’s birthday today. Cheers dad 🍻

On both Tuesday and Wednesday I went to work, despite the fact that I didn’t feel very well.

Bed space 12

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Monday 21st to Thursday 24th November

Monday – Leah had bought herself a lovely new unit for her bedroom with two wardrobes and cupboards that goes over the top of the bed. Because it was so big, looked quite complicated and it was advised on the instructions that more than one person would be needed to put it all together, she had also arranged for someone to come and do that job. Leah was at work but as I had the day off it had been arranged for today.

So one young man turned up on his own! I thought to myself, surely he is not going to be able to do this πŸ€” Leah will be cross if she gets home and it’s not been done.

I had to break off three times from my own jobs that I was trying to sort out :/ to hold certain bits for him while he tightened the screws up (it’s not heavy he told me!!! πŸ’ͺ) but apart from that he did a really good job. It looks great. And most importantly Leah was really pleased with it.

Later in the evening we all seemed to get ‘the bug’ and did various jobs in our own bedrooms.

 

Tuesday and Wednesday – Work and time spent at home doing all the various things that needed doing about the house.

Thursday – I decided that I wanted to go and visit my friend Mark (who I have met through my volunteering work at the John Radcliffe hospital) who recently finally got ‘the call’ and had received his liver transplant. He has been suffering with complications since and still wasn’t conscious. During our chats I had promised him I would visit when he got his transplant and I wanted to make sure I did that. 

It was going to be the first time that I had driven to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham on my own but I was determined to do it. So I borrowed Tom’s satnav and off I went. The journey was fine. I was pleased with myself πŸ™‚

I met up with Mark’s brother outside Critical Care and we went in to see him. It was difficult for me going back there, especially when I found out that he was in the exact same bed that I was in when I was very ill. What are the chances of that?!  What memories I have from being in that bed. And most of them are not nice ones 😩 

I spent most of the day there, going out from time to time to the waiting room when they needed to do certain things to Mark. It all made me think about what my children, Gary and my family went through and how they must have felt when they were all visiting me. They have previously told me all about having to go to the waiting room at various times and the things they did there to try and help them through some very tough times.

It was upsetting to see Mark the way he was but I was really glad that I had made the effort. It’s tough when you visit places like that where people are all so very ill and literally fighting to survive and then just a few steps away back into the outside world everyone is just rushing around doing their ‘normal’ things, driving, working, shopping, sat drinking coffee, whatever. I find it quite bizarre and difficult to get my head around.

But I needed to pull myself together and concentrate for my journey home πŸš—

I got back just in time for my much needed evening walk. Fresh air, tiny bit of exercise and a chat. Good stress relief.

A cuddle with Daisy

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Monday 14th to Sunday 20th November

The following days were spent doing jobs all mainly related to the house move.

I went back down to the old house and cleared out the last things from the shed there. When I got back I was lucky enough to get a cuddle with baby Daisy (Robyn’s friend Katie had popped round for a visit) πŸ‘Ά My new bed was delivered (so this now meant that my old bed was squeezed down in the living room among all the boxes that are still waiting to be unpacked. Thankfully someone came to collect it later in the week after I had advertised it as going for free to anyone that wanted it!) I drove over to my sister’s house in a nearby village to bring back a couple of the boxes that we had previously taken over there for storage, unfortunately that is all that would fit into my little mini πŸ˜πŸš—

I went to work.

Robyn had a hospital appointment arranged so we went off to Banbury and managed to do a bit of shopping first. I got my first Christmas Costa! πŸ˜€


I had a cold and have also been suffering very regularly with the Shingles type virus that I get (I seem to be getting a new outbreak every week at the minute πŸ˜•) so I couldn’t really go and volunteer. It was all making me feel pretty miserable. And I also feel very frustrated when I can’t make it in to the John Radcliffe hospital.

But instead of resting I decided to give the bathroom a good clean up and sort out, put up the new shower curtain and a fun wall hanging. I’m just waiting to find a suitable storage chest for that room now.

Then I arranged to meet my landlady and handed back all of our keys and received back the deposit that we paid over 2 years ago which is when we first moved in. That was everything finally all sorted now at number 29. I was very ill while living there, left from there to have my transplant and spent a lot of time on my own there during my recovery, so it will always hold some special memories for me (alongside some other very frustrating memories πŸ˜–)

I carried on walking into town and treated myself to a CaffΓ¨ Nero! I also had another nice walk later with my walking friends. 

I went to work again.

Any spare time that I did find was spent unpacking boxes or any of the other day to day jobs that also have to be done.

At the weekend lots more DIY was continuing to be done at my house. My brother also called round. I was making bacon sandwiches at the time and it made me quite happy to make him one too (I’ve quite possibly never done that for him before!) Most unexpectedly later in the evening it turned out to be a curry Saturday πŸ˜‹

Chicken and mushroom with side dishes of sweet potato and green beans, both with mustard seeds. Rice and tomato garnish!

Gary, Robyn and myself called over to my niece Claire’s to take some drawers that none of us had a use for anymore. Her daughter Tia was going to have them. That was another thing sorted and cleared. Off out in the evening with Gary for some food, a very delicious roast dinner for me 😬