Monday, 28 October 2019

Thanks so much

Thank you all so much for the really lovely comments.....Gemma's Person, who are the Mahoneys?

Only a few days to go to our holiday now, I hope the weather is reasonable.  By that I mean that it doesn't rain all the time.....we've had so much rain lately down here.  I don't mind it being cold (can always put another layer and a scarf on), but I really don't like walking in the rain.

Sister rang elder brother and I yesterday to say Mum was having difficulty breathing and the carer had called for an ambulance.  We all thought this was it....turned out to be a false alarm though, paramedics checked Mum over and said her vitals were ok and it was probably just acid reflux (she was sick a bit later, a common occurrence).  Think the carer was just being cautious.  It's like this all the time with Mum now, it's a total rollercoaster.  Mum fell over yet again a few days ago, another big bump on her head and more bruises to add to her collection.  Luckily, the district nurse was there at the time (she'd turned her back to do something for a split second) and was able to get Mum up with the help of younger bro, get her back into bed and check she was ok, she also went back later on in the day to check on her again.  Mum does get good care, for which we're all grateful.  Her GP now thinks Mum's kidney cancer has spread to her womb, nothing is being done about it in view of Mum's age and poor state of health, plus the fact that she doesn't want any more 'messing around'.  She'll just be kept as comfortable as possible and her pain managed.

I've asked sis to keep me informed whilst we're away on holiday next week, but said we won't be coming home early if anything happens.  There won't be anything we can do if Mum dies, and husband can't drive a couple of hundred miles up to the Midlands anyway, he's just not fit enough for that anymore (hence why we're only going to the next county).  But we do both need this holiday and a break from what seems like our constant medical appointments.  In the week after we come back from hol, husband has a GP and a hospital appointment, I have 2 hospital appointments and then the GP.  We certainly get our money's worth from the NHS.

Friday, 25 October 2019

On being 60

I'll be 60 in 12 days time (I may have mentioned it once or twice!).

I've always had a bit of a thing about getting's long been a standing joke in my family that I'm 39 every year, my brother even writes it in my card each year, along with some cheeky comment (he can afford to be smug, he's exactly a year younger than me).  I can remember waking up on the morning of my 30th birthday and thinking 'this is's all downhill from here!'.  On my 40th I decided that I didn't actually want to be 40, hence why I stayed at 39 forever after.  Oddly enough though, when I was approaching 50 it didn't feel so bad - I kind of felt like I'd finally grown up and was able to start doing whatever I wanted to, as opposed to doing what had been expected of me up till then.  So I had my belly button pierced and got 2 small tattoos (a pansy on my forearm and a butterfly on my foot) just shy of my 50th birthday, they were my birthday presents to myself.  I didn't tell husband until after they'd been done.....he just raised his eyebrows and smiled when I showed him, he's not really shocked by anything I do.  I guess it was my kind of rebellion against middle age.....sort of like a middle aged bloke suddenly buying a motorbike and a medallion necklace.

(Incidentally, the belly button piercing, which I loved, didn't last long - I caught it on the edge of a box I was lifting at work, nearly ripping it went septic and I had to have it removed!).

My darling Nana, who I loved to bits and who died when I was 14 and she was in her very early 60s, always seemed like an old lady to me.  She always wore the same thing - a long sort of wrap around floral apron/overall, she must have had a few of them.....most of her neighbours wore the same kind of thing, like a uniform almost.  On her feet she wore sturdy lace up brown shoes, even indoors, her hair she wore loose, unlike her neighbours who all had theirs in a bun.  Nana's hair was pure platinum, I thought it was lovely and different, as her female neighbours all had grey hair.  She didn't dye it, it just naturally went that colour.  My Nana looked the same - old to me - all my life, despite not actually being that old at all.

The women in my family aren't really conventional dressers.  My lovely Mum has always favoured a sort of hippy style, she wears long floaty skirts and dresses in bright colours, with one of her large collection of colourful scarves and shawls....not necessarily in colours/patterns matching her dresses!  But Mum doesn't care whether they match or not, she wears what she likes.  Well, wore - past tense now as she's bed bound, sadly.  I have as my laptop screen saver one of my favourite photos of Mum, she's sat in her garden, wearing a maxi length leopard print dress and a bright purple cardigan, it was taken by my sister in early summer this year.

My sister, 4 years younger than me, is a sort of Goth - she wears lots of black and purple and dresses like Morticia of the Addams Family, she has pale skin and uses dramatic makeup.  Her hair, dyed blonde like mine, is shaved on one side and long on the other.  She looks fantastic, she's very tall and striking looking, whereas I'm short and dumpy.  My sister is always perfectly made up, with long purple or red nails and matching lipstick, whereas I've never been a fan of makeup, much preferring the natural look.....I feel quite scruffy beside her.

I live in jeggings (a cross between jeans and leggings, for the uninitiated) or brightly patterned lycra leggings, t-shirts or sleeveless tops in the summer, fleece rugby shirts in the winter.  I like bright colours and bold patterns, being a big girl I think I can carry it off, even at my advanced age!  Not that I care what anyone else thinks of what I wear, anyway.  That's an advantage of older cease to worry about how others view you.

My hair, naturally a sort of nondescript mousy blonde, has been dyed continually ever since I was about 14 or 15....nearly always light blonde, although I've had brief experiments with other colours.  I went red for a couple of weeks once years ago - a mistake, it didn't suit my English rose complexion.  I've had it purple a few times, which I really like but not the dusky greyish lilac it fades to.  I've also had blue or bright pink highlights now and then.

So this is me at (almost) 60, trying on a lovely shirt I've bought specially for my birthday.  We'll be going out for a birthday meal with friends on holiday, so thought I ought to make a bit of an effort and dress up for the occasion.

(Apologies for the terrible lighting, it's peeing down today so is very dark and dismal....and I really ought to have cleaned the mirror before I took the photo!)

Sunday, 20 October 2019

bye for now

Will be taking a break for a while, back sooner or later.  

Saturday, 19 October 2019

Sod's law again

So much stuff going on at the mo, my head's all over the place and I don't know if I'm coming or going.  Can't seem to concentrate on anything for any length of time, lots of stuff needs doing to prepare for our holiday in 2 weeks' time.  We rearranged the entire lounge the other day, after being gifted a lovely dark pine corner desk from my best friend.....this meant lots of sorting out.  The old desk and sideboard both needed clearing out and most of the stuff from them is still in boxes under the stairs and in the dining room....I know I need to get on and do it, but just haven't got the oomph right now.  

I've cooked a few meals and frozen them to take with us on hols, but can't remember exactly what I cooked, they're all in the big freezer in the utility room in different drawers as it's currently full up.  The whole freezer needs sorting out and reorganising so all the veggies are together, meat in another drawer, fish in another, batch cooked meals together, etc.  It started off like that but has become totally disorganised and I can never find anything.

I've almost come to the end of the stack of cards I made for Mum, there's only 1 left (I send her a couple a week), so need to make another lot, even my cardmaking mojo has left me recently.

My gut problems are ongoing, I did try keeping a food diary for a few days to see if there's something specific upsetting my stomach.  No pattern emerging though, seems like anything and everything disagrees with me, although not all the time - some days I'm in agony within half an hour of eating anything, other times not so much, even if I've eaten the same thing.  Some days I feel so sick even the thought of food makes me want to heave, other days I feel fine....well, not fine, wrong word, haven't felt fine for months.  Can't wait for my scans to see what's going on.

On the subject of which....husband has today had in an appointment for the wee test the consultant wants him to have, prior to having his prostate op.  Sod's law - it's the same day as my scans, in a different hospital, and the 2 hospitals are nowhere near each other.  Both his and my procedures are important, but obviously we'll have to rearrange one of them.  Why is everything so complicated?!

Husband continues to be clumsy - a couple of nights ago he got up to go to the loo and fell in the bathroom....a combination of him being half asleep, not putting the light on and losing his balance.  The almighty great crash and his loud moans scared the life out of me, fortunately he wasn't badly hurt, just a very large area of bruising on his back and some surface grazes, which bled of course, him being a 'bleeder' because of his blood thinning meds.  And yesterday he dropped his dinner on the lounge rug....we were eating off trays whilst watching TV, he leaned sideways to give a bit of fish skin to the dog (yes I know, shouldn't feed the dog off our plates), didn't pay attention to his dinner and the plate slid off the tray, somersaulted and scattered salmon steak, brown rice and veggies all over the mat, he'd eaten less than half of it.  Betty was initially very startled, but then thought Christmas had come, husband had to quickly shut her out of the room.  I was very restrained and didn't say a word, just quietly left him to clear it all up, then gave him half my dinner....just because I didn't really want it anyway, as my guts were playing up.

So life goes on pretty much as normal - normal for us, that is, which is to say one problem after another!

My birthday is fast approaching, I'll be 60 whilst we're away.  Having spent years and years insisting (and feeling) I'm only 39, I now feel every day of my age.  Don't even look in the mirror anymore.

Thank you all for comments, Dunster beach was lovely as always, even though it did start raining a bit whilst we were there (which wasn't forecast).  There wasn't much wind for a change, the only pity was the tide was out, very far out, so couldn't really see the sea.  Couldn't walk down to the water's edge as the Somerset coast is notorious for very soft sticky mud.  Betty had a whale of a time, she absolutely loves the beach, haring around like a mad thing, frantically digging in the sand and scattering it everywhere, then throwing herself on her back and rolling around in it, it's a joy to watch her having so much fun.  Even if she is filthy afterwards!

Oh and I must say welcome to a couple of new followers, I hope I don't bore you to death!

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Feet stuff

Thank you for comments yesterday, I need to clear a few things up as I may inadvertently have given the wrong impression.

Both husband and I will be having our foot ops (in his case) and investigations (mine)....but in due course, for various reasons we can't have them now.  We both have to ring today and make arrangements - would have done it yesterday but our phone and broadband were off for most of the day, BT were here dealing with it on and off throughout the day.

It's not a question of not having transport to get us to/from our various hospital appointments if husband has his foot ops now - that will make things difficult, of course, with me not driving, but not impossible.  Various neighbours have offered help.  It's the fact that his upcoming UTI tests and prostate op take precedence over his feet - he can't have everything done at once, it's not possible or logical, it's a question of priorities.

Same with me.  I'm having so much gut trouble that it's a priority to get the cause identified and then treated, my feet are not a priority right now.  It may be that my foot problems do turn out to be diabetic neuropathy, and I do know that's serious (nobody wants toes or a foot amputated)….but it isn't going to happen overnight, and it may not be that at all.  Incidentally, my diabetes nurse doesn't think it is, she's referred me to podiatry as a precaution.

It's just that everything has come at once, we both have so many health things going on, some of which are more important than others.  

Thank you all for your concerns, it's really nice to know people care.

Mum seems to have rallied, she was feeling much better yesterday.  But yes, as was mentioned in comments, it is an emotional rollercoaster all the time.

It's sunny today, thankfully, it seems to have been almost neverending rain recently, which is always depressing.  Husband has a GP appointment later on this morning, I have to wait in for a delivery, then after lunch we're going to our favourite place, Dunster beach.  Betty's not had a good run for ages, due to the rain (she doesn't like being out in the rain anymore than we do, she just wants to get back home more or less as soon as she's done her business).  And all of us need a walk in the fresh sea air.

Monday, 14 October 2019

Self pity

Thank you for all the encouraging comments, I wish friends and family were the same, I feel totally abandoned by them lately.  I don't blame them I guess, it feels like they're all either totally fed up with me, don't believe there's anything wrong with me or just don't want to know.

My life has been completely taken over with not feeling well physically, in fact there are some days where I feel so ill I'd like to just stay in bed, not that I ever have.  And all the physical stuff is pulling me down mentally, I feel depressed, empty and tearful.  It's all medical stuff at the moment, for both husband and I (we both have several hospital and GP appointments coming up), and my mum has gone downhill again, sister texted on Saturday to say that it looked like mum was on her last legs, although she did improve slightly yesterday afternoon.  To be fair, this has happened several times - mum being at death's door, by the looks of things, and then pulling out of it a few hours later.  But we know that one day soon, she won't.  

I've just had another choose and book letter in for yet another hospital appointment, this time for my feet.  I'm having a bit of a problem with mainly my right foot, being diabetic it might be a neuropathy thing or it might be nothing.  When it first happened, months ago, my diabetes nurse referred me for further investigations, I had a letter (eventually, after several weeks) from the hospital, basically saying go away, we're very busy and you're not a priority.  Well, now it's come in and all I can think is oh I can't be bothered, it's just something else to add to the list.

Husband has also had an appointment for a pre-op assessment for his feet - his is a tendon problem, he needs an op (on both feet) to reverse damage caused by years of wearing constrictive steel-capped rigid work boots.  The problem is, once he has the op he'll be on crutches and unable to drive for 6-8 weeks, and won't actually be able to walk much at all for the first week or so.  With his current UTI and prostate problems and upcoming further tests and an op for that, it couldn't have come at a worse time, so he's going to have to postpone the foot thing.  Oh, and we're going on holiday in 3 weeks, and we both desperately need it.

I did actually feel slightly better the latter part of last week, for the first time in weeks.  But it was shortlived, I had a terrible weekend, felt worse than ever and still feel very unwell now.  

It's all getting on top of me at the moment, I just feel like hiding in a corner and doing absolutely nothing, don't think i could even cry, just feeling empty.  Well i know i can't carry on like this, i don't want to be moping around doing sod all on holiday, i want to enjoy it.  So I have to pull myself out of it and help myself - nobody else is going to!

I need to do some food prep and batch cooking for the freezer, it's all gone by the wayside recently as I just haven't felt up to it, we still have loads of home grown fruit and veg languishing in the utility room and if I don't do something with it in the next few days, it's going to go to waste and I don't want that to happen.

Thursday, 10 October 2019

Still alive!

Thank you to those who have left messages and emails.  We are ok, I've just got nothing much to say at the mo, husband's awaiting another test, I've got two scans coming up.  Have lost my blogging mojo....will be back when I find it.

Saturday, 5 October 2019

Success for husband

We did actually get to see husband's consultant yesterday, nice man, if a bit abrupt (aren't they all?).  He confirmed husband's wee sample shows yet another infection....or rather, a continuation of the ongoing infection.  He doesn't think the antibacterial medication our GP put husband on instead of the antibiotics is doing any good at all, and said he may as well stop taking it.  He also thinks the prostate-shrinking med husband has been taking for 4 months has probably done all it's going to do, he said it would have worked by now if it was going to work at all.

I asked the consultant if the fact that the GP keeps giving husband only short courses of antibiotics (he's had about 7 or 8 so far), with a break in between courses, and then stopping them altogether, has contributed to husband having ongoing UTIs - the infection never gets controlled or eradicated.  He said Yes, exactly that.  But....he also thinks that antibiotic use is far too prevalent nowadays and resistance to them will soon be a massive problem, so it's a bit of a Catch 22 situation.  

He thinks husband's ongoing problems can be cured, hopefully, with an operation on his prostate.  He needs to do a particular test first, something to do with finding out where and how big the blockage in the prostate is, and he can't do this test whilst husband still has an infection, it will distort the results, apparently.  So he's recommending to the GP that husband has a 7 day course of a targeted strong antibiotic, followed by a wee test, and then another 7 day course and another wee test.  But, and this is a crucial bit, he's to take a low dose maintenance course of antibiotic in between the strong 7 day courses.  He's hoping that this approach will get on top of the infection properly.  At last, a positive response after all these months of waiting!  We're happy that an end may be in sight, it's taken long enough.

I was up just after 2 this morning, in total agony again.  I'd not eaten much at all yesterday, so it wasn't any food disagreeing with me.  Took some painkillers, which did take the edge off the gut pain, so I went back to bed after about half an hour.  Woke up again a couple of times feeling sick, but went back to sleep quite quickly each time....and finally woke up at 06.40 am.  That's virtually unheard of for me, I can't even remember the last time I got up that late.  Despite having far more sleep than usual though, I still feel totally knackered, as if I haven't had any sleep at all for days.

I'm in the throes of making a Halloween card, various ideas popping into my head as I'm doing it so it's kind of evolving as I go along.  I'll show it on my cardmaking blog when it's done.

Friday, 4 October 2019


Cherie of North Yorkshires Craft Guru blog mentioned having the munchies last evening (hope your leg allowed you to get some sleep, Cherie).  By coincidence, I also had the munchies - it was before I read Cherie's blog, so I must have been psychic!  Instead of Cherie's onion rings though (which I wouldn't have as onion disagrees with me, unless it's well disguised in a stew or something), I had some little baked spelt crackers with pumpkin seeds and parmesan baked into them.  They sounded healthy in the shop, as well as looking delicious....they were delicious, if somewhat harder to crunch than I'd expected. 

Well, it's now just gone 03.30 am and I'm in agony with gut ache, it's like there's a pair of hands inside my gut grabbing hold of my organs and twisting them round.  Horrible.  And I feel as sick as anything.  

Lots of perfectly innocuous foods seem to be upsetting my stomach right now, it almost makes me feel like not eating anything.  Seeing my GP on Monday for the results of my blood tests.  Sounds strange I know, but I really hope the various tests come back as abnormal - at least that means something is wrong and it can hopefully be treated.  If they're all fine, well what on earth is causing me to feel so ill?  I'm downstairs with a hot water bottle (well, one of those wheat bag things you put in the microwave) on my tummy, can't see me getting any more sleep, it's too painful and am pretty sure I'm going to throw up soon.

We're going to see husband's urology consultant today, following the cancelled appointment a fortnight ago.  It had better not be cancelled again!  Oh, we had a reply back from my complaint to PALS - they basically just said sorry, and blamed it on an administrative error.  Well, that's alright then 😒  They also said the reason he hasn't yet seen a consultant - well, any specialist doctor of any grade - is that they wanted him to have all the tests first, so they had all the relevant results to hand before seeing him.  So it's taken 6 months to have all these tests and he's suffered with constant UTIs during the whole of that time?!  Hmmm.

We both had our flu jabs a couple of days ago.....husband says his arm's been killing him since, like someone has punched him, oddly my arm feels fine, no reaction at all.

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Stomach playing tunes

Thank you for the lovely comments, I do appreciate the support.  Thankfully, I only rarely get troll comments and if I do, generally just bin them and don't even mention them - why give them publicity?  But it's hard to ignore and brush them off when feeling at a very low ebb.  

Some of you suggested making my blog private - I did try that, back when I restarted this blog.  Unfortunately, despite following Blogger's instructions, it just didn't work - can't remember why now.  I'm not the most techie person, techie stuff confuses the hell out of me, so possibly I was doing something or other wrong.  Whatever, I simply don't have the energy or will even to try doing it again, at this time.

I'm going for my armful of blood tests this afternoon, and it can't come soon enough, I'm feeling increasingly unwell, all the time now.  There's definitely something going on, my guts are playing up the whole time, I was actually sick yesterday for the first time - been feeling very nauseous for some weeks but not actually been sick before.  Literally everything I eat right now seems to upset my stomach....just had a bit of scrambled egg - just that, no toast or anything, and couldn't even finish it because it just made me feel sick.  Never mind, the dog happily finished it off, she loves scrambled egg.  

As well as the gut issues (my abdomen is so bloated I look like I'm pregnant - scary thought!), I've also had constant back pain for a couple of months, and feel knackered the entire time, from the minute i get out of bed.  Permanent headache too, which isn't something i usually suffer with.  Got lots of gripey pains in my gut and gurgling all the time - bit embarrassing as it can be quite loud, in fact it puts me in mind of the 1812 Overture!  When my GP listened to my stomach with her stethoscope, she said it sounded like a volcano erupting.  Even Betty is noticing, when she's sitting near me she keeps doing a double take, ears pricking up, her head whipping round suddenly and staring at my stomach, it is quite funny though.  Or it would be, if I felt well enough to laugh.

I can't remember what it's like to feel well, it seems to have become the norm to feel ill, and it's downright bloody horrible.  We're going away in a month and at this rate I'll be spending the week away in bed.