Due to the worst depression I've had all year, just finding everything so very hard.
Take care of yourselves.
It was freezing when I took the dog out at 07.15 this morning - same as yesterday, but at least it was dry. My face was so frozen I could barely speak, and my fingers were numb. And that's just a couple of degrees below freezing, goodness only knows how people in really cold countries cope....we're a nation of softies here. I don't wear gloves because I've only got woollen ones and don't feel I have a secure enough grip on the dog lead whilst wearing them, I need to get some leather ones I think. Will have a look on the internet in a bit.
So it was nice to spend a couple of hours in the warm kitchen doing some baking this morning. I made cheese scones to have with home cooked ham and salad for lunch, a meat pie for dinner this evening, and a fruit sponge topped pudding for husband.
I've been making scones for years, both fruit and savoury...I prefer savoury scones myself. Sometimes I do plain cheese, sometimes with sun dried tomato and tomato puree added. I generally use half white/half wholemeal flour. This morning I added smoked paprika and chopped spring onions. A few weeks ago I saw a recipe for 3-ingredient cheese scones - just self raising flour, mature cheddar and yogurt, I was a bit sceptical but the recipe was from a well known writer and the pictures looked good, so I tried it. Well, they're brilliant...light, fluffy, flaky and well risen, I use the same recipe all the time now. Here's the link: https://www.theenglishkitchen.co/2019/03/three-ingredient-cheese-scones.html?fbclid=IwAR0iCASLUY_7p8uVuaDgoHi-g1tWSL1KKVSdylvNehVuTvZ2wTNnLa2G7-U the writer is Marie of The English Kitchen, a Canadian lady who lived in the UK for many years, she's just returned home to Canada after a marriage break up. I love her recipes.
For the meat pie I used bought puff pastry and a tub of cooked and frozen minced steak and veggies, it'll do 2 meals for us so we'll have it again tomorrow.
The fruit pudding is our home grown apples, pears and blueberries out of the freezer, topped with a sponge mix flavoured with cinnamon. I'm not much of a pudding eater, but husband is.
Thank you for comments on my last post, I'm still working on my Plans list.
In my late teens/early 20s I had a very busy social life, Sunday evening was just about the only time I stayed at home (well, I needed to do my washing!). Mondays to Thursdays my work colleagues and I went to the pub straight from work, had a few drinks, played pool or darts, got a takeaway on the way home. Fridays we always went to a local disco, Saturdays we had a proper night out at a bigger disco, either in London (Hammersmith Palais was a favourite) or at Heathrow in one of the airport hotels...several of them had good nightclubs, exciting because they always had glamorous handsome airline staff in them (although they might have been baggage handlers posing as pilots to get us girls interested 😂). Sunday lunchtimes we went out for meals or just for a drink, usually nursing a hangover. I also managed to fit in a lot of boyfriends 😉. Surprisingly, I was quite slim back then, amazing considering the takeaways and drinks and bacon sarnies for breakfast every morning and burgers for lunch (our office was opposite a bakery and a MaccyD).
Then I met my future husband, we moved to the Midlands and got married, I was 23, he was 32. I had a good secretarial job with friendly young colleagues and continued to go for nights out with them, without husband, although only once or twice a week. Eventually that fizzled out though, I just stopped going....because I felt guilty. Husband never, and I do mean never, went out with his workmates - not because he didn't get on with them, he did. Husband is the world's most passionate and vociferous anti-smoker (ex-smoker!), most of his workmates smoked and they nearly always went to pubs. He's never been much of a drinker, and back then everyone smoked in pubs, so he didn't much like going in them. So he preferred to stay home...whilst he didn't object to me going out, I felt uncomfortable doing it and leaving him at home.
Because husband drove for a living (he was a lorry driver, hence why he didn't drink much, had to protect his licence), he didn't like driving on his days off...understandable I suppose. So we didn't go out a lot. For holidays, he preferred cottages in or near towns, or holiday camps (my idea of hell), as a perfect holiday to him was one where he parked up on arrival and didn't have to drive at all for the rest of the week, whereas I like walking, exploring, mooching around craft shops and visiting stately homes. He also liked spending the day on a beach soaking up the sun - I'm fair skinned, burn very easily and the sun gives me a headache, so not my idea of a nice time! We compromised by having a couple of days out...I'd go inside a stately home whilst he had a nap in the car, or he'd drop me off in a nearby town for some shop browsing whilst he went on the beach. The rest of the time he'd be relaxing watching tv and I did A LOT of reading.
Since he retired, 3.5 years ago, he's been quite busy - his life is outside, doing projects in his veg plot and shed, helping friends and neighbours with their gardens and doing lots of DIY jobs for them...he's quite a handyman, fixing leaking gutters and pipes, mending sheds and fences, helping to fix cars, etc....he's always out doing something. Well, obviously not at the moment whilst he's incapacitated, and not so much during lockdown. Whilst he's out, I'm generally at home doing housework, cooking, weeding and pruning my flower garden, or doing my crafts. A few times I've been invited out by neighbours to go for coffee in a garden centre, or a browse round the shops....I nearly always say no. For no good reason really, other than being out of the habit of socialising, it's been so many years since I did it.
Well, to be blunt....it feels like my life has been on hold for years and years, lockdown and husband's incapacity following his operation have exacerbated how I feel. Hence why I've decided that I'm going to start actually having a life....before I get too old!
I'll go into what plans I've started to make in the next post.
Thanks so much for your supportive comments on my last post. I've been having a bit of an internal battle...whilst I am determined to change things in the new year, I do kind of feel a bit selfish. I've run a few of my plans past husband and best friend...I get the impression they're a bit surprised. Certainly husband seems a bit disgruntled about one or two things, although he's not tried to dissuade me. I won't let it put me off though, I think it will benefit us both in the future if I'm happier about things.
Now that I know things are going to change in the new year, I'm feeling a bit happier and more positive. I can't make any real changes before then....partly due to Covid restrictions, husband's incapacity, and just the time of year - some of my plans depend on decent weather. But I can at least make plans.
Yesterday and today husband actually took Betty out, for short walks only (on my recommendation), he's much more stable on his feet now and in a lot less pain. It's the first time he's left the house in 3 1/2 weeks, other than a hospital appointment, he managed pretty well, hopefully he'll be able to go a bit further in due course. It'll make my life a bit easier as well, and benefit him....he's been spending too much time lying on the sofa, usually asleep, he needs to start getting his life going again.
I'm going for my hip x-ray tomorrow, I'll be interested to see exactly how bad my hip is. If I do need a hip replacement, I can't see it being anytime soon, it's not a priority operation (unless I fall over and break it, not something I plan on doing!). But it might open the way towards more treatment, possibly acupuncture or pain relief injections? I'd consider anything, I'm really not happy about taking codeine every day.
Sorry I've not commented much on your blogs recently, no excuse other than not being on the internet much, had so much to do. I will endeavour to catch up!
Husband's foot is getting better, the swelling is going down in his toes and ankle and he's stopped taking painkillers. I know it's not so painful because he's not complaining about it all the time. So I'm hopeful that when he goes back to hospital for x-ray and another chat with the consultant in 3 weeks time, she'll say it's healed so well he can start driving again and walking normally. Fingers crossed she does, I don't think I can take many more weeks of this enforced personal lockdown and life being put on hold. It feels like we've been doing it forever. He's asleep on the sofa as usual, with the tv playing away to itself...at least it's a David Attenborough nature show with nice relaxing music, and not some noisy boring car doer-upper show, which he watches endless repeats of.
Had a nice squelch, erm walk with betty this afternoon in the field...it hasn't rained for a couple of days so the field is slightly less boggy than usual, I even let her off the lead for a good run around. It would take a month of no rain to dry the field out though, and that's not going to happen. Hope my wellies last out!
For reasons that I'm not going into, my life since the age of 13 has consisted of taking care of family members, doing housework, shopping and cooking, being mum to my younger siblings, being a carer, helping husband with stuff he couldn't do himself, providing emotional and physical support to family, whilst holding down a full time job. Doing what others wanted and needed...willingly, I might add. Over the years I've kind of lost myself and felt that I'd become invisible and taken for granted, and lockdown has made things worse.
Having had so much time to think lately whilst I've been cooped up or walking the dog, I've decided that at the grand old age of 61, I'm going to start living my life, doing what I want for a change, rather than just what others want or expect of me. I'll still take care of husband, home and dog, but will be doing things for myself as well. I will also practise saying No! Nothing much can or will change this side of Christmas, but come January it will be new year, new me. I have lots of plans for the new me.
Woken up by the wind howling outside and rattling the windows (they're double glazed but old and poorly fitted - the curtains even move!). No chance of getting back to sleep with that going on, so I've been downstairs reading since about 4 am. Not looking forward to taking Betty out.
Sue, you asked why I never learnt to drive....I did actually have lessons, twice (2 separate periods of time that is, not 2 lessons) - the first time in my early 20s, and then again in my 30s. It didn't work out either time - around both times we had a car accident...not whilst I was driving, I hasten to add, husband was. It wasn't his fault on either occasion, both times I suffered whiplash and was in a collar and having physio for several weeks. And then my cousin, a front seat passenger, was killed in another car crash. It all left me too nervous to drive after that, so that was the end of my attempts to learn.
My brother and I were discussing covid conspiracy theories the other day.....beats me how people can say it doesn't exist, it's all an attempt to control us - what do they think 50,000 people have died of then? Presumably, the theorists don't know anyone who's had it (lucky them!). Personally, we have several relatives who've actually had covid - 2 of my nephews and my cousin's husband all had it (and recovered, thankfully) early on in the pandemic. Recently, 2 of husband's siblings, their spouses and their adult children have had/still have it, one is seriously ill in hospital. And several friends of my sister have it too, one hospitalised. We've not come into contact with any of them, none of them live near us and we haven't seen any of them since mum's funeral back in January, so no danger of us becoming infected. All those infected seem to have caught it in places where there were lots of others around - work, for several of them, and with several of husband's relatives, from a holiday camp (!! Why anyone would want to go stay in a holiday camp during a pandemic is beyond me - I certainly wouldn't. But each to their own, I suppose).
Well, I certainly don't think it's a conspiracy, I do my best to stay safe, and I've just signed up to go on a list of volunteers for covid vaccine testing. That's another thing I don't understand...the anti-vax brigade. Why would anyone not want a vaccine to protect oneself against a deadly disease? Well, again, each to their own I guess.
I've just weighed myself, for the first time in weeks....my diet has completely gone out of the window, can't be bothered with it at the moment, so was expecting to have gained a few pounds. Well, to my amazement, I've lost more....in fact I've now lost the 10% of my body weight that my consultant recommended (ironically, since my op has been postponed for 6 months!). As a matter of fact, I've actually lost a pound more than the 10%. Must be all the dog walks.
Betty's just got up, asked to go out and did a big wee in the garden....good, so no rush for me to take her out now, we can wait till the wind dies down a bit.
I've been doing a lot of deep thinking lately whilst I've been dog walking, or marooned at home. Things are going to change in the new year.
So husband had his stitches out yesterday, new thickly padded dressing on and new boot thing. Told again to stay off foot for at least another week, has to go back to hospital in another 4 weeks, at which time he'll be x-rayed and told what the next steps are in terms of possible physio and whether/when he can start driving again. So essentially no change for the next 4 weeks for either of us. Brilliant. As if I wasn't depressed enough already.
The consultant did apologise for not giving him crutches, said it was an oversight on their part - well yes!! Now, if I'd been there with him - which I wasn't as he had to go alone because of covid restrictions - I would have asked for him to be shown how to use the crutches. He didn't think to ask though, he never does think of relevant questions, it's always me who does that.
Can't sleep again, hip is agony after a particularly horrible dog walk in the rain yesterday, so am sitting downstairs making lists of things I need to do.....sort out and rearrange stuff in big freezer, defrost small freezer, make 2 lots of dog food, prep and freeze a load more of our home grown apples. All exciting stuff!! 😒
Betty's just come and sat beside me for a cuddle. I do envy dogs their ability to sleep anywhere, anytime.
Thank you all for comments, they are helpful.
It's not that I don't have enough to do, or a routine - I do have a routine, I'm very organised (years of being a personal secretary make sure of that). I have too much to do though, with husband being unable to do a lot of things it means I have to do the jobs that he normally does but presently can't, as well as the housework, cooking, washing, shopping ordering, banking etc that I always do. And then of course having to walk Betty twice a day - which I would enjoy if it wasn't winter and my hip wasn't so painful.
As for not feeling safe to go out because of the fear of catching covid - actually, I don't worry about that much at all...for the simple reason that I don't have close contact with anybody. If I see any neighbours when out with Betty (rare), I only converse with them from a distance. When I have to get one of them to give me a lift anywhere, I wear a mask in their car, as do they. I've not been inside anyone else's house, nor anybody in ours, since March, other than a couple of times with best friend when we weren't in lockdown. I keep as safe as I possibly can, so no I'm not overly concerned about catching the virus. I'm just so fed up with not being able to go anywhere or see family and friends, with husband being unable to drive for weeks and me being a non driver, I just feel so isolated and cooped up.
Finding some gripping tv series to watch....if only! As husband is more or less immobile, he's watching the bloody thing all day every day - he's had car racing on for almost the entire day today, I had to go upstairs to escape it. By preference I'd have the radio on, on a music channel like Heart, Gold or Smooth Radio, which I do in the kitchen or upstairs.
He's going to hospital tomorrow, to have his stitches out, a new dressing put on and instructions as to what happens next. He still won't be allowed to drive for a while, but I'm hoping he'll be given a date when he can.
It's been 2 weeks since husband's operation. What with the first lockdown, then husband (and thus me also) having to self isolate for a fortnight prior to his op, then unable to put weight on the foot for another fortnight, nor drive for weeks, plus the current lockdown....I feel like a prisoner who's been locked up for a year. Ok so I take the dog out....but we don't see anyone.
I'm just going stir crazy. Finding it all very difficult at mo.
Horrible weather here, strong winds and rain, although strangely warm - had to get dressed up for winter weather to take the dog out, but was sweating like a pig (do pigs actually sweat?) by the time I got home. I went out earlier than usual, at 06.30, as it was only spitting then, the heavier rain forecast to start a bit later. We walked along the lanes instead of in the field....the field is too treacherous right now, it's so waterlogged and thick with mud, which makes it even more difficult to walk through as I can't see trip hazards like ridges and humps when they're under water or thick mud. I don't like walking the lanes though as they're so narrow, meaning it's difficult to get out of the way of passing traffic, particularly tractors or horse boxes....fortunately only 2 vehicles this morning. It was dark still, making it even more hazardous (no streetlights here), so we didn't stay out long. If only husband's op had been in summer! I really loathe walking in bad weather, don't think Betty likes it much either, but needs must.
I booked my hip x-ray yesterday, a fortnight's time at the local hospital. I could have got in earlier at one of the more distant hospitals, but didn't feel able to do that as obviously I've got to ask someone to take me. Whilst most of the neighbours have already been very helpful and keep saying just ask, it's difficult really, I don't like having to keep asking them to take me anywhere....although I don't have any option, I simply can't get anywhere under my own steam. I just feel bad about having to ask, I feel like a nuisance. It's become apparent that a couple of people, despite saying cheerfully 'give us a shout if you need anything', only really mean 'I'll give you a hand at such and such a time when I'm not doing anything else'. Now, I don't expect people to drop everything just to help me out when I need it - certainly not! But don't offer to help if you don't actually mean it!
Had some unwelcome news yesterday about my bladder op, which I should have had at the beginning of November but had to put off, as I needed to look after husband and dog...I postponed it until mid December. Had a letter from my consultant saying that because of covid, the op is being postponed for 6 months, so that makes it May next year (unless he means 6 months from the postponement date of December! Oh I hope not). Which means I have to put up with the problems for even longer, as if it isn't already difficult enough.
This isn't my favourite time of year under normal circumstances....right now, with everything that's happening, covid and lockdown, it's even worse. I wish I could hibernate and wake up in Spring next year. I expect we all do.
Afternoon all, and a lovely sunny one it is.
The vet yesterday said she's sure it is a barbed wire wound to Betty's face. She said the raw bare patch, hidden as it is within her wrinkly skin folds, is the perfect environment for infection to fester - warm, moist and airless, there was already some infection forming. She assured me I did the right thing in taking her quickly. Antibiotic tablets and antibacterial cream given, £58 lighter of pocket but I don't care what it costs. She seems brighter this afternoon....she was quite subdued yesterday.
To answer some comments - Gemma's Person, thank you for the corn starch (cornflour here in the UK) tip, I'll remember that for the future.
Briony, I'm glad Rupert is better, our furry family do give us worries as well as joy don't they? I can't take ibuprofen or naproxen, I have an adverse reaction to them, so it has to be codeine plus the nasty orange drink. At least the stronger codeine does help me sleep.
Annabeth, no husband wasn't measured or given any instruction for crutches - the hospital didn't supply any (cutbacks presumably), I had to buy them myself. He's having a look on YouTube for demos, I've also tried them out myself and shown him how (and it really isn't that easy when you've never had to use them before! But I'm sure practise makes perfect).
Joy, for various reasons, I'm the only one who can walk Betty, it's just a case of getting on with it. It's ok when the weather is reasonable, not so good when it's raining and the field is very muddy indeed. She is actually quite well behaved with me, more so than with husband, except when she sees prey!
Thank you everyone for your comments, we're getting there slowly, and with help from lovely friends and neighbours.
Got my friend coming this afternoon to take me to the doctor's, and to the vets with Betty. My hip pain has worsened significantly over the past 10 days or so since I've been dog walking....Pain doesn't usually bother me much, I can ride it out, but not now, it's just got so bad. The GP is giving me stronger painkillers (the dreaded codeine, plus the stuff to combat the resultant constipation), and referring me for x-ray.
Betty has a 2 cm long raw wound on her cheek....I noticed it yesterday after we came back from the walk, I saw she was scratching and rubbing her face so had a look. The wound is buried in her cheek wrinkles so was hard to spot initially, I first noticed several small puncture wounds on her face. She's a right bloodhound when out, her nose is to the ground sniffing all the time, and she frequently shoves her entire face into the hedges or undergrowth if she's following a scent. So I think she's caught her face on brambles or most likely barbed wire, as friend suggested. I've been bathing it with cooled boiled salty water, but its a bit weepy and red looking this morning. I'm concerned that if it was barbed wire, it may have been rusty and so cause infection, and of course she was scratching and probably has dirt under her claws. So it's off to the vets as a precaution. She is a bit subdued and hasn't eaten breakfast, although that in itself isn't totally unusual.
There's always something.
Husband is still struggling trying to use the crutches, he's still not quite got the hang of it.
Thank you for all the birthday wishes. For lunch I made a Stilton spread (just crumbled stilton mashed and mixed with butter, Philadelphia cream cheese and smoked paprika), we had it on some bought crackers. I cooked a simple but nice meal for dinner - a small gammon ham with honey and mustard poured over, spicy wedges and I made coleslaw to go with it. I also made a pudding - a dish of our home grown blueberries topped with chocolate sponge made with cocoa and dark choc chips, I had cream with it, husband had custard.
When walking Betty yesterday afternoon on the extendable lead in the field (it's really muddy, waterlogged and squelchy right now), she saw something in the distance, I know not what, pheasant or rabbit probably. She took off like a rocket, nearly yanking me over in the process, consequently my hip, back, side and right shoulder are agony now. I've decided that if (when) she does it again, I'm going to drop the lead and let her go, hoping she doesn't catch whatever it is. She does come back to me when I call her, with a bit of encouragement. She gets so caked in mud though, which is why I'm not keen on letting her off the lead right now - bending down to clean her off when we get home is a problem for me.
I've just had some of that chocolate pudding, with some Greek yogurt, for breakfast - and you know what? It was bloody lovely! Sod the diet.
I have no idea what I'll cook for dinner tonight, something out of the freezer I expect.
Once this is all over and husband is back on his feet and able to drive, walk the dog and take care of himself (some weeks away yet), I'm going to go away for a week, I need a break on my own to do - well, nothing. Oh, and provided there isn't another lockdown by then!
Bless you all, you are kind. It was just a blip, feeling much better today. Husband's crutches came yesterday, but he's struggling to use them, he can't seem to get the hang of keeping his bad foot off the ground, he's using them more like walking sticks. Perhaps I need to demonstrate....! 😒
It's my birthday today, an odd one that's for sure. We sometimes go out for a meal on my birthday, or else husband cooks something of my choice (something easy!), or we have a takeaway. I'll be cooking today, obviously. I've had some nice cards and flowers, and the sun's shining. I might commandeer the tv later on (for a change) and watch one of my favourite musicals, Phantom of the Opera or My Fair Lady.
It's been one of those days today, things going wrong and loads of minor irritations, I've been weepy and irritable all day. Being so tired doesn't help. Nor does husband when he keeps saying how much his foot hurts still...well of course it does. And the bloody crutches I ordered and paid extra for next day delivery still haven't arrived, when they should have come yesterday. Covid delays, apparently (yes blame everything on Covid!). And new lockdown starts tomorrow.....not that we'll notice much, seeing as husband can't drive or go outside....oh and no working car even if he could drive. Got a right case of the grumps today, one of those days when I felt like staying in bed with the quilt pulled over my head.
Husband's still really struggling to get around, the crutches haven't arrived yet, hopefully they'll come tomorrow. He's very constipated because of all the codeine he's taking, fortunately we have plenty of those laxative orange sachets. Being so immobile doesn't help much either, and his appetite isn't yet back to normal. He'll get there in due course.
I got drenched taking Betty out first thing...feels like it's been raining forever, although luckily it's mostly showers. She caught sight of 2 other dogs and nearly yanked my arm off straining on the lead to get to them, and then a van raced past, no attempt to slow down or move over, splashing us and almost whacking me with his wing mirror. It was the first and last time I shall be walking down the lane with the dog....I only went that way as the field is so waterlogged and muddy. It'll be wellies and sloshing about in the field from now on, it's the safer option....not that it does my hip much good. Oh and the car was collected by the garage and taken off for the MOT - it failed. Hey ho - just as well husband's foot and the impending lockdown mean we don't need it imminently.
Later on though, my best friend came and picked me and Betty up and took us to my favourite beach, Dunster, for an hour's walk - oh it was wonderful. My happy place, Betty having a ball charging around the beach, and spending time catching up with my lovely friend, pretty much a perfect afternoon. Thank you M 😘
I need to do some serious housework tomorrow, not that I want to but it does need doing. I'll sit husband at the kitchen table and get him prepping the veg for dinner, to save me a job, it'll just be roasted veggies and chicken legs so easy to do. After lunch - easy again, cheese, crackers and an apple - I'm going to sit up in my craft room, I have several cards I need to make.
Husband's foot hasn't been put in plaster as we'd thought it would be, it's heavily bandaged and padded, he's been given a big shoe thing with Velcro straps for when he has to stand up. But no crutches....Yet he was told not to put any pressure on the foot for 2 weeks. So how is he supposed to go to the bathroom or move around from room to room, go up and down stairs, have a shower (it's an over the bath one, not a cubicle) without putting any weight on that foot? We don't have a downstairs loo, only upstairs. He can't move around without holding onto something - he's almost 70, unsteady on his feet at the best of times, and not skinny! So I've ordered him some crutches, they'll be delivered tomorrow. In the meantime, I was going to borrow a Zimmer frame for him from a neighbour whose husband used it before he died....unfortunately, she's gone to stay with her son for a few days so I can't. Ridiculous not to give him crutches, how on earth did they think he/we would manage?
I've been up and down stairs so many times (he stayed in bed yesterday) - what with that, walking the dog 2x daily, doing all the housework (minimal I have to say!), cooking, washing up, washing, taking rubbish out, sorting his bedroom out which looks like a bomb's hit it, he's so untidy, I will lose stones without even trying. And I am totally knackered. Just trying to keep up with giving him pain meds 4x daily, along with the 8 or 10 normal heart etc meds he takes every day, wears me out...He's so forgetful, I have to do everything for him, it's like having a demanding child. Not that he demands anything, he doesn't, he is aware how helpless he is without me. I'm just so tired.
He's got to go back to hospital in a fortnight to have the bandages taken off and renewed, the consultant will check his foot then and decide on the next steps....whether/when to start physiotherapy. Although now we're back in lockdown I can't see how he will be going for the weekly physio sessions for 6 weeks that was originally mentioned.
He says if he knew how painful his foot would be and how difficult it would make everything, he wouldn't have had the op. Well, I'd guessed it would be, I don't know why he thought it would be a breeze. At least he won't be in daily pain like he was before the op, once he's recovered.
He's a very difficult patient and I'm not cut out to be a nurse. Sorry to moan, but I'm so totally knackered, physically and emotionally.