Monthly Archives: July 2017

Visit from James


Friday 14th to Monday 17th July

Not much happened on Friday or over the weekend. 

A visit from baby James which is always lovely and cheers me up. He is just the cutest thing and is getting such a clever boy now!

A visit to my sister’s, a trip into Banbury, a Chinese takeaway! A couple of nice walks.

And then on Monday I went out with Leah. We went to Oxford, first of all searching for a place in the Churchill Hospital so she knew where to go for her course early the next morning. Then as it was a lovely day ☀️ we decided to sit by the river and have a little picnic (where I had to keep a very close eye on the geese – they just want your food and are so scary 😳) followed by a nice walk along the riverbank.

Avocado pits 🥑 – very clever!

Organ donation


So just another reminder to please talk about organ donation with your families and tell everyone you know to do the same! I do understand that it doesn’t even cross a lot of peoples’ minds until they, or someone they know, are in a situation which concerns organ donation in whatever way themselves, but just think of the gift that could be left behind and the happiness it would bring to another person and their family … 

or YOU may even be needing that special gift yourself one day …



Thursday 13th July

Clinic appointment day. Seems like I haven’t been for absolutely ages. Leah was on holiday from work so was able to take me 🙂

I got Leah to come for a walk around the outside of the hospital with me. We decided to be naughty and try and get in A&E so we could see what it was like in their department (as Leah works in A&E in a different hospital) but we couldn’t get much further than the door!

Leah’s sandal decided to break as we were walking. This was very annoying for her because she now had to spend the day like this :/ and annoying for me because we couldn’t go for a very long walk! It did make us laugh though as she had to struggle to keep it on her foot as she was walking along and it made quite a noise with each step she took 🤣

I first had an appointment for a chat with a lady from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity. She also brought along a university student with her who was doing work experience. She wanted to hear my story as she is thinking of maybe using it in some way to help promote Organ Donation Week in September. I know she has looked at my blog so just in case she reads this post too I just want to say thank you for our friendly chat (and I’m sorry but I do just need to mention it, I’m sure you have been told many times before, you have the most amazingly coloured eyes!)

While we were talking to the ladies I was looking around the restaurant where we were sat and I saw one of my hero surgeons Dr Mergental, sat at one of the tables. I was going to go and say hello but by the time we had finished the interview he had left ☹️

Myself and Leah then had a nice chilli for lunch, sat overlooking the atrium, so we could do a bit of people watching at the same time.

Time for my appointment. 

My liver was doing well 🙂 It looked like it was responding to the Urso (the medication I take to help the bile ducts in my liver). Of course this is a good thing, but may also just confirm a little bit more that PBC is back already in my new liver :/ 

My kidneys are still not 100% (these are affected by the immunosuppressants I have to take) but they just need to be kept monitored.

I have to start taking my blood pressure tablets again now (these were stopped by the doctors in Oxford in April when I lost all the blood) as this should help the kidneys a little.

I had been waiting for this appointment for what seems like ages so that I could ask Professor Hirschfield about all the blood results that were sent to them from my doctor’s surgery in April following my John Radcliffe Hospital stay. Do you remember I was forever going to the surgery to have my blood taken? But he couldn’t find anything on his system. I remember it being all such a big mix up at the time. Where did all my results go then? Obviously not where they should have been. Dangerous isn’t it really? What if my liver had really been affected and I needed some kind of treatment following those results …

I also checked with him if it was okay that I was still taking my hormone tablet every day, which I started taking to stop the heavy bleeding. He said it was okay for now but advisable to try and get everything finally sorted, ‘better to take as few tablets as you can’!

So back in a few months for my next appointment. At the moment I just need to be kept an eye on! 👁

A reasonably quick clinic visit today. I think it was an extra clinic that had been added in so it wasn’t as busy as it usually is.

I bought myself a new ‘love QEHB’ sweatshirt 😱 I did resist the bag! Maybe next time …

I also bought myself coffee and carrot cake to celebrate a good result!

Then we finally left for home. Because we didn’t have to hang around too much this meant I was back in time for my Thursday evening walk 👣 which was a nice 5 miler around Over Norton Park walls with Kate and Sue 🙂

Naughty caterpillar 🐛 


Friday 7th to Wednesday 12th July

The next three days were spent at Cornbury Music Festival. Lots of music to listen to over three main stages and all kinds of other stuff going on! We were based at the Riverside stage, as Gary helps out there.

Robyn, Leah and their boyfriends plus an extra friend were all lucky enough to be able to go too. The weather was lovely, at times just too hot ☀️ We were all camping over. If you were awake during the night it was absolutely freezing in the tent, but first thing in the morning, as soon as the sun came up, the heat in the tent was just unbearable. I literally couldn’t breathe, I just had to get out as quick as I could and get some fresh air in my lungs!

Whenever I had the chance I took off for a little walk around the festival site. Adding all of my walking up together I managed just over 17 miles over the weekend 🙂

I think I managed to keep up with everyone quite well over the whole weekend and didn’t feel too bad all the way through, even though I really didn’t get very much sleep at all.

Why not have a look at some of the photos which were taken during our time at Cornbury which I have now put onto my Photos page 📷

(There are also a few photos on there too from my hospital stay in April!)

Monday morning and it was time for the festival to be broken down. We all helped for a little while to clear some of the bits away from the Riverside stage area.

I even went for a bit of a walk on Monday evening after we had got back home with all of our bags and stuff.

I also had a bit of a wander out into the garden to see how my plants had been doing while I was gone! And I had a flower! 😁 The plant is called sempervivum montanum! Well that’s the scientific name :/ Also known as Mountain Houseleek!

You may remember that one of the plants which I have been growing in memory of my mum, a liquorice plant, wasn’t doing very well. And while I was inspecting my garden I found the culprit 😡

He was curled up in a clump of the leaves. Naughty 🐛! I am hoping that the plant will get a new lease of life now 🤞

On Tuesday morning I was back to work. I was tired. I was late!

And then when I got home from work later that was basically it. I think my busy weekend with hardly any sleep finally caught up with me. I struggled. I think I just sat, I seemed to be in a bit of a trance, I couldn’t move or get myself into the right frame of mind to do anything. I was exhausted. I had so much I needed to do. But no, my body just was not going to do anything else. I didn’t even manage to take myself out for a walk in the evening – I must have been bad 😴

To top it all off I had to be at work at 8 o’clock the next morning too 😳 And then I made myself get back to it with a 3 mile walk in the evening as well 👣

Catch up


Friday 16th June to Thursday 6th July

I think a catch up is needed! I do apologise 😏

So during this time –

I have had an appointment with my GP Dr Fisher. He asked for the appointment himself to check that I knew what was going on with all the blood tests I kept having to go to the surgery for following my blood loss in April, to make sure I understood the reasons why they keep such a close eye on me (they do realise it must be very frustrating for me sometimes and very stressful) and mainly to check if I was okay as he hadn’t seen me for a while. How kind of him was that? There are some nice caring people about if you look hard enough!

I have been to a family barbecue, been to yoga, bought some new trainers, visited a friend in Banbury (I used to childmind her daughter and we have stayed in touch). I’ve been to a music festival in our town with my family to listen to some live bands play, visited my friend Jackie for a cuppa and of course just been going to work as normal.

I’ve spent an evening in Oxford with Robyn which was quite fun. We decided to catch the bus in to make it a bit more different. While on the way she suddenly decided to take the sticky label off her water bottle and proceeded to ‘wax’ my eyebrows with it 🤣 We had a scary bus journey on the way home in the dark, trust us to get the one that has to go through all the villages, and as the driver seemed to like to drive rather fast, sitting upstairs right at the front of a double decker bus is not to be recommended in this situation 😱 Robyn also kept me entertained by constantly playing the ‘would you rather’ game, funny girl!!!

I’ve had a couple of unsuccessful volunteering attempts for different reasons which is a bit annoying when I’ve made the effort to get up to the hospital. But I try not to get too fed up about this and usually turn the day into my own and go for a nice walk about and then go and get myself a coffee, have a blog and some iPad time.

We have been fortunate enough to have had some very nice hot and sunny weather ☀️ Its been extremely hot at times, some unbearable hot and sticky nights. 

I have of course been doing lots of walking and have been on some good long walks. June was in fact my best month so far with 127 miles being walked. I have also now reached the 500 mile mark 👣

I would love to be able to have a go at doing some of the long distance walks which are mentioned in Walking in midlife. Perhaps I should take some of the lady’s advice and just take off 🤔

On one of my walks to the local unused airfield we found masses of succulents growing wild, I brought a few tiny offcuts home with me and replanted them. So far they are still doing well 🌱

I’ve spent other little odd bits of time in the garden when I can. I enjoy pottering about on a warm sunny afternoon. I am really quite pleased with the way all the flowers in my tubs are doing, I’m not used to having much success with things 😏

And finally healthwise – I have had a headache on and off for quite a lot of the time (something I don’t usually suffer with). I thought it was possibly the hormone tablets which I am now taking but when I mentioned it to my doctor he didn’t seem to think it would be those and said why don’t I just think about getting my eyes tested! Sensible idea I guess. My hands and ankles have been swollen from time to time but I’m just putting that down to the hot weather. I have had various difficult things going on which I have had to try and deal with so I have been struggling mentally some days (stressed, difficulty in concentrating) and I have been quite upset at times, but I make myself keep on going 💪! My main problem at the moment seems to be my feet, I do get a lot of pain from them 😫 which is not ideal when you’re trying to do a walking challenge … But apart from all of that, generally I have been feeling quite well!

Fun in the sun


Thursday 15th June

Happy Birthday Robyn 🎉

Breakfast was served out in the garden! as it was a lovely warm morning.

Then off me and Robyn went to spend the day in Evesham.

We went and had a look around a few shops first of all and then a walk along the riverbank.

We had worked up an appetite then for our picnic lunch. A bit more of a walk around including a visit to the children’s play area where, among other things, we had some fun bouncing together on the trampoline 🤣


Then it was time to leave. Robyn had been lucky enough to receive an iPad for her birthday so we needed to get back to some Wifi!

Then it was time to get ready for the evening celebrations. A drink in a local pub, where Robyn finally had her birthday ‘cake’. Julie and Hannah had made this train out of melon and water melon (as Robyn is a massive fruit fan 🍉🍇🥝) Brilliant.

I hope you enjoyed your day of fun in the sun Robyn 😀