Friday 31 January 2014

Rain,rain go away

Another rainy day. I had intended getting in a walk today but I would have needed a wet suit and a snorkel to survive, on top of which I was sick after breakfast again, just as I thought my stomach problems were behind me.  A reminder of how long  this recovery will take.  At last we have reached the position where we can afford repairs to the upstairs shower which has developed a nasty habit of suddenly going cold, mid- shower. Joy - oh joy. The only saving grace is the shower is a similar size to the Royal Albert Hall which gives an emergency strategy of diving out of the way until hot water returns, but in my current state I don't move fast enough unfortuneately.  Repairs scheduled for Monday.

Thursday 30 January 2014


Snowing today. Wet and not settling. My appointment with the epileptic nurse went well, as expected. She is an absolute diamond, pity the NHS couldn't clone her. Running out of appointments at last, although London phoned with a possible scan date, private and not NHS. As I do not have the resources of Richard Branson I declined, but they promised to get back to me quickly with an NHS date ( September? ).
Arsenal were toppled off the League top spot last night, without even playing, courtesy of a previous off- night , but there remains only one point in it. ( exciting stuff, eh? ).

Wednesday 29 January 2014

Hoops unravel

We think the first hoop may have been negotiated, but from past experience await confirmation. Don't count your chickens, etc, etc. my new leg consultant should have received a faxed letter this morning from my geriatric consultant's secretary requesting he takes up the treatment henceforth. Sounds simple? What could possible go wrong? Let's wait and see shall we? Our practice manager also received a faxed copy of the letter and phoned to ask if there is anything else (?) she needs to do. As it has taken her almost a week to do absolutely nothing we told her not to worry. Here we have NHS "customers" advising a Practice Manager on NHS procedures. What next? Brain surgery? Watch this space.
I managed a walk to the Dry cleaners and the Chemist between showers this afternoon and boy was it cold. I saw no brass monkeys in my travels today.

Tuesday 28 January 2014

Systems designed for simplicity

The NHS has a system called click and choose which in theory allows "customers"  to seek treatment anywhere they wish ( within the UK ) , but in fact does little to encourage it. A number of "hoops "has to be negotiated  seemingly preventing the ultimate aim of the scheme . However, the originators failed to cover the likes of Lynne who fails to recognise "hoops", let alone failure to successfully negotiate them. It is interesting  watching progress ( or lack of it ) as each hoop is traversed, often SAS style . However, I still have to see a hoop traversed so I'll give clues if and when it ever happens. Watch this space.

Whilst getting bored and frustrated by NHS systems I took the opportunity to catch up with an award winning film missed in the 90's "Nell". To say it is a masterpiece would be an understatement.

Sunday 26 January 2014

Long distance NHS

The last couple of days has been eventful to say the least. I suffered 3 falls, fortunately with only a grazed knee as evidence, although I guess my stiff neck can also be added. Yesterday was wasted as fuzzy- headedness returned with a vengeance,  so long after my last treatment. Strange but true.    A letter belatedly arrived from the sceptical  leg guy, (shortage of staff ) again stating the operation could kill me or result in amputation. His preferred option is antibiotics for life and treatment for the occasional  infection breakout. Transferring the operation to Stanmore is my obvious preference but may be difficult due to the complexities of the NHS funding system, apparently. My GP, bless her, is currently investigating this but returning to the butcher of Leicester cannot be an option, given his low expertise and confidence in this matter, surely?

Thursday 23 January 2014

Further progress

The weather today is generally wet and lousy, so I don't expect a repeat of yesterday's walk. However, I do need a trip to the barbers .welcome hair growth. My leg muscles ache but otherwise I am another step nearer normality , although I have a lot of weight and fitness to regain, something not to be rushed.
Stuck indoors alone so I indulged myself playing the Eagles "Hell freezes over" CD ( a few times ) which spans their entire career, some originals, some live, all recommended and very good value.

Wednesday 22 January 2014

Progress report

Keeping up the positive attitude after a pretty hefty breakfast. I managed to refix the steam pipe to the clothes drier in the shed before embarking on a walking adventure to the village bridge and back, before demolishing a decent lunch, by which time the temperature and my energy levels had dropped considerably. A work in progress, but progress all the same.

Sunday 19 January 2014

Plan B?

"The orthopaedic surgeon at Leicester on Friday was total doom and gloom, whereas his equivalent  at Stanmore on Monday was the exact opposite. Problems? What problems? Plan B is for me to have the op ASAP at Stanmore orthopaedic hospital ( the best in the UK ).  The attitude difference was staggering. In comedy terms the first guy would have been in the Bruce Forsyth league whilst the second could rival Monty Python, metaphorically speaking. The last few days have been like a giant veil has been removed from my future, allowing me to get back to the old Monty Python advice of " Always look on the bright side of life" ( those who know me can have a wry smile at this point)

Wednesday 15 January 2014

The old two steps forward routine

Having completed two days of eating progress I awoke early with a rumbling tum, managed to eat a pear for breakfast before it quickly escaped again. I returned to bed with a seriously empty stomach  where I stayed until the arrival of Margaret, Bob and the dogs. 
Lunch and tea stayed-put, and Lynne has discovered  protein milk shakes, so further progress is being made. Tomorrow we're back to hospital for a decision on my leg, hopefully.

Arrived at yet another section of the same hospital which surprisingly was running late( a it of a pun on an orphaepedics unit,eh? ). 2 x-rays and we were seen by the orphaepedics guy, who raised our expectations immediately by listing the reasons why an operation would not be a good option, as follows;
Long term diabetes
Long term leg problem ( ignoring that the hospital had ignored it for 5 months)
Extensive bone damage
Skin in poor condition.
We quickly gained the impression he had no intention of operating and we equally quickly decided he would not operate, come hell or high water.
Another plan B  formulated by visiting the UK's number one expert on Monday, involving an early start and a train journey.

Monday 13 January 2014

A bad place

Having hit the buffers at treatment end I am finding the recovery period to be far, far worse in many ways. My appetite has, if anything, gone backwards. I am still unstable on my pins. This restricts my movements in and out of the house. I am a prisoner. My concentration levels are virtually nil. Apart from watching Country file on TV I spent the rest of the day asleep. 

What a difference a day makes. Sunny and springlike. Birds singing. Swans a-swimming. Tardis Two looked her usual sparkling self ,just as we had left her several months ago. We had lunch at the marina pub and popped into see friends (not staff ) at Stensen to catch up on all the gossip, of which there is plenty. The number of staff is plummeting it seems. Financial problems? Time will tell. I feel so much better at day end.

Friday 10 January 2014

Treatment end

Only one down point to report at the end of treatment. One down point after 6 weeks of sheer hell, I hear you ask? What could that possibly be?
Apparently my red and white blood cells are out of kilter and will need better matching before my leg operation can take place. This may happen on its own or need some assistance. Watch this space whilst I try to find out.

Wednesday 8 January 2014

End is nigh

Wednesday done and only two days radiotherapy left. From there on I would expect my stability and my appetite to begin returning, plus more energy please. "Only"the leg to concern me then, eh? Bring it on.
Dry, sunny and cold till mid-afternoon when heavy rain arrived and the temperatures rose a little. The flood plains

Tuesday 7 January 2014

Last chemo

Today I had my last chemo tablet, high fives all around. Only 3 radio's left. I can't wait. Struggling through all the medical jargon in the hospital doctor's letter to my GP, courtesy of Google, it appears my dodgy leg has a chunk of bone floating around in it, plus the infection of course.
Today is sunny with a bitingly cold wind.

Monday 6 January 2014

More graffiti

I had yet another fall this morning, causing surface damage to my forehead. Sore but not life-threatening. I will discuss this phenomena with my doctor this afternoon but I doubt he will be able to shed fresh light on the subject. He seems to avoid shedding light on anything to be honest. A Pratt to go camping with I would think.
Recovering from my fall lying on the bed I noticed the same row of trees that provide the rhino, a bit further along, also have two Marabou storks , perhaps the world's ugliest birds, but who am I to comment?
The whole of the UK has been battered by heavy storms over recent days but our local flood defences have met the challenge . The flood plains are considerably underwater.
My last Monday treatment was against the backdrop of "love is all around" by The Troggs, which beats carols anytime.
The title is a play on words as I often get gravity and graffiti mixed-up in what is left of my brain. Nurses and patients confirm dizzyness  is a common side-effect of my treatment, better late than never I suppose?

Sunday 5 January 2014


I have had 4 arguments with gravity over recent weeks, suffering minor injuries on only 1 occasion luckily. The reasons remain unknown but, hey- ho, so do many things. Eliminating my unsteadiness may just mean getting off my current treatment regime and/or improving my food intake, both likely in the next week or so. Yesterday could be marked as a best forgotten one, most of it spent in bed until a sickness bout mid-afternoon seemed to clear the problem ( no pun intended ). Today seems to have continued the improved scenario.

Friday 3 January 2014

Ditto and yet more ditto

Changeable is the best weather description at the moment (add extremely ) and you're even closer. It seems to dramatically change from hour to hour, let alone day to day. Margaret and Bob are packing to go home after an extended stay, mainly due to their car being trapped on a car drive we had borrowed by replacement electrical cable works. Margaret has been great support for Lynne and I so she will be missed, even though treatment end is now in sight.

Thursday 2 January 2014

The calm after the storm?

Warm, sunny and windless, long may it last. With festivities left behind all focus can be on future projects again, like shrinking my tumour, eliminating my fits and rectifying my leg, relaunching Tardis Two and cruising the waterways.  Having said the above the evening revealed gale force winds and rain yet again, with some parts of the country likely to flood ( we think we are ok in Anstey, so the armbands remain in the loft. )          

Wednesday 1 January 2014

Rockin' rhino new year

For the first time in memory I stayed-up to see in 2014, perhaps more in hope of seeing out 2013, a very mixed year for me. A new boating adventure and the tumour making itself felt again. We sat-up watching Queen in Montreal, fireworks and Gary Barlow in London - a fairly mixed bag.
The rhino is suffering wind again, together with heavy rain.  Considering my late night  I have remained fairly awake all day, apart from a sneaked 15 minutes after lunch, a large portion of which I managed to eat for a change. Progress. Mellie seems relaxed about the whole affair ( below).