20 09 2013

I can certainly say its been an eventful couple of weeks since ‘ Man Down but Not Out’ and, on that note I wanted to say a heartfelt thank you to those who promptly offered me their help after reading my last blog, so kind, thank you so very much.

But in true Rebekah fashion I continued my one woman mission to make Gladys fit for a King to come home to. Alistair came down with Flu, (not man flu, proper in bed for a week, weak and feeble flu)! so I painted whilst he sweated and slept deliriously. My knee insisted that I slowed down and took things at a more genteel pace ( unheard of in my normal ‘in it to win it’ attitude) which helped and we are so pleased with the end result.  We went for Tibetan yellow and we love it. There is a tiny bit of additional Tibetan Red to be added here and there and some new velvet curtains to be procured, oh and the kitchen sink and worktop is being replaced next week. But, apart from that she’s almost done. Pictures will be added soon.

As promised Kirt came last weekend and helped us put up the Safari room and wow, what a difference thats made, loads of covered outdoor space, warmer inside Gladys and, to Alistair’s delight, no mud fest right outside the door ( how he hates mud, with a passion)!

We had a trip to London Hospital for Alistair’s pre op assessment. Great things to report there, firstly the service was excellent which was a relief, good old fashioned nursing care and excellent standards of infection control and patient safety, all good news when sadly many NHS hospitals are failing to meet these basic standards in care. Alistair’s health checks were also excellent, his blood pressure is amazing, ECG perfect, in fact, as he said apart from having cancer he is in perfect health. I think the juicing, the food choices, the supplements and l the other cleansing things he is doing must be really helping.

Alistair’s sister Gillian and Brother in Law Paul paid us a surprise visit and very thoughtfully and so kindly carried on the ‘Getting Gladys and Us Warm for Winter’ theme. They came armed with wooly socks for us, huge 13.5 tog Kingsize Duvet, Kingsize luxuriously warm throw and bed linen for our new mattress. I can tell you, that bed is draped in soft fluffy layers of toasty warm opulent bedding that takes the discipline of a monk to get out of in the morning! Thank you both so very much, that was a real treat and very much appreciated.

Sadly we had to hurry them out a little earlier than we would have liked as we had a call form the pre op assessment unit, we had to go back immediately for a couple of repeat tests, panic… was it the MRSA, surely not, was it his pee, could be. Thankfully no, it was neither, it was in fact human error, the MRSA label had been put on the urine sample and the urine label on the MRSA swabs and no, quite rightly, the lab would not test under these circumstances. We  had literally 48 to spare for the new samples to be taken and tested before his admission on Thursday afternoon (which was handy as it takes 48 hours for a negative result to come back)!

My turn next, time for my knee to be injected with some synthetic Hyaluronic acid (the natural substance that makes up the synovial fluid that lubricates the joints and the ground matrix around the joint). This meant that I was going to be out of ‘Yorkie Job Action’ for a few days post injection therefore between us we had to make sure all the outside jobs were up to date before the jab. We have a brilliant new trolley ( Alistair treated me to it to make the lugging easier on my knee, what a lucky girl) which does actually make a big difference and takes the load of quite a lot as long as I wear the knee brace as well.

Sadly, it seems that my knee may have degenerated a little more ( hence the increase in knife like pain being jabbed into the centre of my joint) but again due to my young age (why thank you) I really just need to try and manage it for as long as I can and make some lifestyle adjustments until I can have a partial knee replacement which should buy me 10 more years and then a full replacement which buys me another 10 years and after that I suppose  I will be in my seventies and I can have a scooter!  “So”, said the consultant, ” You need to be driving an automatic car Rebekah, its time” Oh, I’ll just put that on my next shopping list then shall I! Luckily, Alistair’s ‘Driving Miss Daisy Car’ is automatic so a little swap over is all thats needed for the time being.

So, I must remember that little tortoise that greeted us in Turkey, I must learn to slow myself down. It doesn’t come naturally to me to be slow, but its obviously a life lesson I need to learn and my knee brace and new walking stick can help me to learn it.

Enough about me, back to Alistair, admission time came yesterday afternoon and didn’t quite go according to plan in that the ward were not expecting him and didn’t have him on their admission list! The Senior Registrar who had requested it couldn’t remember why he had requested it but, the good news was that they did have a spare bed for him! Not a good start for Alistair, he’s like a torch paper in these situations, so I tend to leap in quickly and prevent the flame from going up. He did settle though, his blood pressure was still good ( stress and anxiety considered 122/71 is bloody brilliant). I packed him off with an organic tea, some midnight snacks and plenty of bottled water and organic coconut water. He plugged himself into the pay per view TV/Radio/Media station by his bed and got his head into the ‘Hospital Zone’.

He called at 1045pm last night to say the Doctor had just been to see him and he is all set for some time today. Oh and the only light that could be shone on the need for admission the night before the op was so that he actually had his bum in a hospital bed so it would be harder for him to be bumped off the operating list on the day!

So, he is nearly there, we have such a lot riding on this, for him to be able to pee normally again, its been nearly a year of catheterisation in one way or another, it will mean such a lot to him, to both of us.

Fingers crossed my friends and please whatever you each believe in, send a bit of it to Alistair, he will gratefully receive anything sent with love and healing wishes.


Man Down!

5 09 2013

It seemed time for Gladys to have a bit of a makeover. She’s been a real trouper for us and shown us just how brilliantly she can accommodate us throughout each of the four seasons (Its incredible to think we are heading into our second autumn in her) so,  we thought we would  show our appreciation and give her a bit of a freshen up.

We bravely went for a bit of a radical interior redesign and decided that as all of the children have there own places to stay we really didn’t need to keep the old dinette/ double bed conversion. So that got ripped out last weekend and wow, we have positively loads of space for a neat ( well funky) little sitting area. The old green sofa bed really had had its day and whenever it got pulled out we all got wheezy, and what a mouldy old mess we found behind it when it got taken apart, no wonder it caused a wheezy reaction in us! Interestingly I’ve been asthma free for over 2 years now apart from when that sofa bed got used oh, and any use of regular brand household cleaners (nasty chemicals you see, we use Ecover or The Earth friendly Product Co). If you’re interested, I healed it by clearing my 4th Chakra and finding and using my voice, if you’re not then skip that bit!

As usual, Kirt came up trumps and helped out with all the lifting and humfing, (Alistair pee’s blood if he lifts anything heavy so obviously we need to avoid that at all costs). And Kirt is like a whirlwind, its no sooner said than done, which is great for me as Im not one for hanging around, I want things done as soon as the idea has been mooted and I’ve got my head around it!

The next bit was the painting (organic or VOC free paint of course) and blimey, what a job. The trouble is that Alistair had helped with the bathroom on the first day of painting and decorating and that left him pretty wiped out for the next day or two! (sad but true) so of course I stepped up and continued with the bedroom makeover. A two day job from start to finish, it does look much better though but shows how desperately the rest of Gladys is crying out for a lick of paint (we’re thinking Tibetan yellow and red in the living room and kitchen area). I also made sure to follow our ‘no accumulation of junk’ rule and took any clothes or household items that hadn’t been worn or used since moving into Gladys a year ago to the charity shop (well, they are actually in the holding place, aka my car, ready to be dropped into said shop).

I know when we first moved into Gladys I had written in a post that we have very set ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ jobs in Gladys, Alistair’s outside and mine inside! Well, since the pee problem and all that, I have been on outdoor duty too ( for those not in the know this means the Yorkie jobs, those that are not for girls like; emptying the plop tank, the washing up and shower water tank and refilling the water tank). Doesn’t sound like too much I know but, it has taken its toll on my poor old knee ( I have an old lady’s knee that actually needs a replacement but I don’t qualify until Im at least 50- so another 2 years to go yet)!

Im sad about this because I had managed to reduce the swelling and the need for a walking stick last year, but then I realise that I was doing very little to stress my knee at that point. Our anti-inflammatory diet helps and I will begin some supplements of my own but Im sad to report that for the time being I am back in the knee brace and if the pain continues I will be looking for a funky walking stick once again 😦

So, this has somewhat held up poor Gladys’ makeover schedule although I am still hopeful that I can have it completed by the time Alistair goes in for his Operation so that she’s all lovely and bright for when he comes home.

Our final job that needs to be done is to prepare Gladys for the autumn and winter. We were green last year whereas this year we can prepare ourselves! I think, with Kirts help, (thanks Kirt) we will put up our safari room ( sounds grand doesn’t it, but an awning basically) which should help to keep us a little less muddy directly outside and perhaps keep the chill out a little bit. We need some long velvet curtains for the door and curtains at the windows to help reduce the draughts ( if anyone is holding onto velvet curtains let me know)! And I think we probably need one or two more dehumidifiers to help with the condensation.

Then we will be ready for our second years adventure living in our lovely Gladys full time.



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