Tag Archives: Driving

The Perils of Parking

You may recall that B can be a little ‘precious’ about the his car and the one thing he hasn’t had to worry about since last November is me driving it – until yesterday!  I didn’t even tell him about my intention as I thought to quote a friend ‘don’t trouble trouble’.

With not having dialysis yesterday and our next door neighbours collecting me from Liverpool after I’d dropped off my bottle of wee I knew I would be back in time to drive myself to Armchair Yoga.  It’s not far to our new location, just four miles, but it gets busy along the road and I was a tad apprehensive.  BUT I had the incentive to make a shorter trial run to our GPs’ medical centre – the incentive being I’d run out of stronger painkillers.  If your giving me any kind of look you can save your facial muscles because B already did it when he found out.  How did I do this?  I’m not too sure – I was going to try and explain but when I started typing things they still have me thinking – how did I manage to run out.  Needless to say some niggly pain can certainly be an incentive.

I was reversing off the drive thinking ‘What am I doing?’ followed swiftly by ‘It’ll be fine.’ and it was – apart from a windy moment on the small car park at the medical centre, a little ‘kerb drill’ as my Dad used to say when I moved too far over to allow a car past on our road (I have to say I forgot to tell B about it) and this…

The car is 51cm (20″) from the porch window, a reasonable distance I think but which in B’s opinion is too close.

B had briefly woke up after I’d been to the doctors and when he discovered that I’d been out in the car he wanted to know ‘if it was alright’.  He and Bud were out walking when I arrived back from Armchair Yoga and I looked up from what I was doing in the kitchen to find B giving the car the once over and then when he saw me he shouted ‘Could you get it any closer?’  Well obviously I could of.  It’s one of those things were usually I’d have to push it but I could just see it ending in an emergency glazier and paying extra to have it done before B woke up – he’d probably sleep through the bang.

The best thing is I was actually relieved that B hadn’t seen me stop on the drive since the position the car ended up was the first place we stopped or more likely STOPPED.  At least I know the brakes are good.

A fellow Armchair Yoga-ist said that when he saw our car on the car park he fully expected to walk in and find B in a chair!

Bud and I also went for a tramp in the wood yesterday – a short walk that is as opposed to setting about a vagrant – another first since November.  We went again today at Bud’s insistence.  You do something that he likes once and it sets a precedent.

Driving Miss Paula

‘Okay Bud, I’ll show you how to drive and then we don’t  need to let Paula near the wheel again.’

‘So you got all that about where everything is?’

‘Yeah, but I can’t get the hang of this changing gear malarkey…

let’s try this…

or this, narghhhh!’

‘Phew, I need a kip.’

‘All that effort and now I’m stuck in roadworks!’

Bumper Cars

We’re having trouble with the internet again however if I had been able to post on Friday evening this is what I would have said…

Someone bumped the car.  Someone bumped the car.  Someone bumped the car.  Someone bumped the car.  Someone bumped the car.  Someone bumped the car.  Someone bumped the car.  Someone bumped the car.  Someone bumped the car.  Someone bumped the car.  Someone bumped the car.  Someone bumped the car.  Someone bumped the car.  Someone bumped the car.  Someone bumped the car.  Someone bumped the car.  Someone bumped the car.  Someone bumped the car.  Someone bumped the car.  {Gasp!  Inhale…}  Someone bumped the car.  Someone bumped the car.  Someone bumped the car.  Someone bumped the car.  Someone bumped the car.  Someone bumped the car.  Someone bumped the car.  Someone bumped the car.  Someone bumped the car.  Someone bumped the car.  Someone bumped the car.  Someone bumped the car.  Someone bumped the car.  Someone bumped the car.  Someone bumped the car.  Someone bumped the car.  Someone bumped the car.  Someone bumped Margaret’s car.  That wasn’t me I’ve never been to Italy.  Someone bumped Bernard’s car.  THAT… WAS… ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Somehow this is how it looked on Saturday…?

If only bones were made of something similar!

 

Driving Bernard potty

I decided we’ll take a short interlude in the Wedding Daze trilogy to visit today’s bone marrow trephine and aspirate.  This one differed from my previous two in three ways:

I had a definite appointment on the horizon as opposed to being in hospital and knowing one would happen but having a ‘surprise – we’ll do it know’ non-appointment,

Having spent quite of lot of time at the day unit over the past months I’d seen/heard a fair bit in relation to bone marrow biopsies (BMB)  – extreme nervousness, crying, one patient stopping part way through, a lot of tranquilisers requested and one time tranquilisers in conjunction with the bone marrow transplant co-ordinator travelling down three floors to carry it out, and

I felt it.

In light of my other two being only unpleasant scrapping sensation and nothing I decided the best way to distract my thoughts away from ‘Sooner or later one is going to really hurt’ was to drive myself there.  Yes that’s right, take B’s car to a busy city centre for the first time ever (on purpose, I once skirted it my accident when I missed a turn off for the motorway) and park it possibly on a multi-storey car park if there were no spaces left on the nice flat car park we had seen several weeks ago.  This car park was 10 minutes walk from the hospital but you can’t have everything.  Look at it this way, I figured this would be a bigger worry than the BMB, and it was except it added to it rather than replaced it.  Plus whereas B has never been with me for a BMB and has no comprehension that to some people they can be excruciating so he wouldn’t have worried, he had no trouble at all comprehended me and his precious car in Liverpool city centre – so overall it added a whole new layer of tenseness.

However in the end, and after B offering to take me himself and probably having to restrain himself from calling round at the neighbours to see if they were available, it came down to a matter of pride.  I once read about my star sign (Aries) that we see the saying ‘Pride goes before a fall’ as ‘When your pride goes you fall’ and certainly this is the way I felt this morning.  Thousands of people drive into Liverpool every day, that said – not in B’s car – why shouldn’t I.

So I got a grip and got in the car with the little map from Google Maps, something crafty for my half hour lie down after the BMB and a Linkin Park Hybrid Theory CD  and off we went.  And of course it was fine – well okay it took about five miles before the fineness of it kicked in but it was so fine that I found the car park with no trouble and even reversed into the parking space perfectly – this being a bit of an Achilles heel at the best of times.

I may have said before B is usually in bed by 9:00, 9:30 at the latest.  As I was walking up to the Royal at 10:10 my mobile rang.  It was B checking I had got there okay – yeah right ‘I’ – okay, he did say that but it was swiftly followed by ‘Where did you park?’

I arrived at the day unit and after some light banter we got down to business.  The anaesthetic going in was fine but I felt a sharpness from the aspirate and a bit of a shooting pain down my buttock which was okay but which I pointed out.  I think just because this was a new to me sensation.  Then we got down to the trephine bit (which is the actual marrow sample).  I did feel this but the nurse clinician counted down from five to zero on both occasions of pain, so overall there were 10 seconds of pain and it wasn’t that bad and stopped straight away when she stopped tweaking.  Unlike last time the aspirate sample was a good one and the trephine sample looked like a large white and red rat poo in the fluid.  It’s really tiny considering.  Overall it should take 20 minutes but felt way quicker than this possibly because the nurse was really chatty and funny.  Having experienced pain this time I won’t be concerned about next time – I know that sounds odd but it’s not the thought of pain so much as the thought of unknown pain.

While I was lying on my back for the next half hour I mentioned the pain I’d had (and still do a bit) in my shoulder region.  I thought about not bothering but since I was there any way I thought I might as well get peace of mind.  While I waited for a doctor a guy came in for a BMB which took place on the bed next to me.  Now I thought I’d whinged by saying that I felt the aspirate, but I hadn’t whinged during the trephine however ‘next bed guy’ probably frightened seagulls off the building’s roof four floors up.  He started at the anaesthetic going in and it just got worse.  The doctor came to see me and we both had to raise our voices to be heard.  At one point she stopped and said it sounded like a slaughter house. And after it all what did he tell the nurse – wild guess anyone?  I’d offer a prize but I’m thinking you won’t get it right.  He said ‘That was fantastic.’  I can only think he had some sort of kinky tendency and he did enjoy the soup and sandwich he got after.

So back to me and my shoulder.  I said that my concern was that it was referred pain from the loosening at the vertebra at C6.  She didn’t however think this was the case and after various questions and movement/strength tests and discussion with a more senior doc I got to have an x-ray on my shoulder and then go home.  Well I say AN x-ray it turned out to be five.  One straight on and then four goes to get the scapula – apparently it’s really hard to get and isn’t requested that much and every radiographer has their own ideas on the best position of the body and arm to get the best shot.  So although I missed my Armchair Yoga as it was three by the time I got home I did get a bit of a work out in the x-ray department and apparently just in case you need a scapula x-ray it’s best to muscle up because muscular men produce the best shots as the muscles push the bone out!  So go pump some iron just in case.

An experiment in pain management

I generally take at least 30mg of codeine twice a day along with 100mg of paracetamol.  Sometimes I take more but never less and this keeps me in a practically pain free state.  However over the past month I have taken more with headaches and a little bit of strimming (after a bit of a problem with weeds and a neighbour – a very nice neighbour mind but with an immaculate garden).  Obviously codeine can be addictive so occasionally I wonder if I take it because I need to or need to – if you get my drift.

So I completed my prescription request online last Thursday and felt the need to provide an explanation to the doctor for the earlier than usual request.  By the time we got home from the Royal on Friday it was too late to pick the prescription up, there was no doctor available at the Royal and ‘we’ declined the offer of waiting for the on call doctor and picked up some Syndol from the chemist.  This contains 10mg of codeine and  500mg of paracetamol per tablet

As it turns out I probably don’t take too many.  I woke up Saturday and Sunday night and needed to take some to get back to sleep.  It wasn’t PAIN but just enough discomfort that I couldn’t drop back off.  With the aid of the painkillers I take before bed I generally don’t wake during the night unless I need a wee (which happens a fair bit as I drink three litres a day).  They must eliminate any discomfort from turning over in my sleep.

Irrespective of this I did still wonder if I could manage without the 30mg codeine so I hadn’t been to collect my prescription until today.  When I got up I had a bit of an ache round my sacrum and top edge of my pelvis (nothing unusual in it being this area).  I had intended on walking Bud to the local cemetery with some flowers from the garden (it was my Mum’s birthday on Monday) but wasn’t too sure about going that far plus the weather was wet.  So after a downpour had ceased and there seemed to be a break in the weather we got in the car and drove to the cemetery.  When we got back we went for a walk the sun had broken through and got absolutely soaked to the skin.  One second it was dry the next it was as if a bucket of water had been thrown on us.

In between arriving back at home and going for a walk we had a bit of an ‘incident’.  As you all know by now what goes on the blog, stays on the blog however in this instance I decided to come clean to B first as last.

As I may have mentioned Bud is not good in the car.  He’s eager enough to get in but once underway it all goes pear shaped.  Today he whinged his way there but on the way back he was really good.  So much so he distracted me – and yes once again this is my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

We stopped on the drive and Bud remained in the passenger seat – he is restrained but this doesn’t stop him from attempting to get into the rear seat.  I turned the engine off and heard a noise.  ‘Oh, it’s the workmen filling in the potholes down the road.’ I thought and telling Bud to stay where he was I got out.  I turned round to shut the door and the car was rolling backwards (thank goodness the slight slope on the drive is away from the glass porch).  I leapt back in and stamped on the brake.  I hadn’t engaged the electronic handbrake – OOPS!  Bud pulled against his restraints so that he was lying across my lap – so maybe now he won’t even be eager to get in the car.  I moved the car back to its proper position and was still giggling hysterically when we went for our walk.

Needless to say this afternoon saw B driving into the ‘village’ for my prescription as I NEEDED some stronger painkillers for the persistent ache.

Shingles and Roofing Felt

I swear I just can’t let Sean Teirnan have anything to himself.

Sean’s stem cell transplant didn’t work, mine then gave in.

It was decided that Sean wouldn’t benefit from the usual second line treatment here of Velcade and Dexamethasone so he got Doxorubicin too (or PAD as it is known).  I refused Dexamethasone as an accompaniment for Velcade because it sent me round the bend and so got Doxorubicin instead.

Sean got shingles and now I have them too.  Albeit mine, at this exact moment in time cover a much, much smaller area. 

I ummed and ahhed this morning about phoning up somebody – being a bank holiday due to some wedding somewhere down south both the day unit at the Royal and our doctor’s were closed.  I thought about going to the local walk-in centre but then thought that could put others at risk from getting chicken pox from me and more importantly obviously put me at risk of picking up who knows what from the waiting area.

I thought I’d wait until this afternoon and see if the rash had changed any.  After reading the comments to yesterday’s post I realised that I probably wasn’t being a hypochondriac if I phoned the on call doctor.  So I rang at 17:20 and got an appointment for 17:50 at a local chemist a few miles away.

This caused B to drop everything, literally since he’d been on the shed roof and needed to change his trousers before he’d even consider getting in the car. However following a discussion:

P:  ‘I’ll drive myself.’

B:  ‘Do you know where you are going?’

P:  ‘Yes, of course I do.’

B: ‘You need to go down the East Lancs and blah, blah, blah.’

P:  ‘And it’s on my left.’

B:  ‘No, it’s on your right.’

P:  ‘I’ll find it.’

B:  I’ll take you.’ (After having gotten down off the shed roof.)

P:  ‘I feel well enough to drive.’

B:  ‘I don’t mind taking you.’

P:  ‘No, I’ll be fine,’ (Thinking ‘Yes you drive’ and obviously showing it on my face.)

B:  ‘Oh, bloody hell!’ Dropping trackie bottoms for the second time in the garage.

P:  ‘NO, I’ll take myself.’  (The ‘bloody hell’ being the deciding factor.  I had let him drive me to town, for card for the Buddy tags, yesterday because I couldn’t be bothered and I really don’t want it becoming a regular occurrence in case I lose my confidence in driving HIS car.)

B on the shed roof hard at work chatting to one of the neighbours.  Not that I’m saying he doesn’t do much DIY type things, but one of the other neighbours said they nearly got the ‘cine camera’ out when he cut the ‘lawn’ last weekend.

So off we (me and the car) went and we had a completely uneventful trip that wouldn’t have caused B’s blood pressure to rise even a tiddly bit.

I got seen straight away and was in with the doctor all of three minutes.  ‘Let’s have a look.’ she said before I’d even sat down.  I lifted the back of my T-shirt and from about three feet away she said ‘Yes, that’s shingles. What other medications are you taking?  We don’t want to take any chances because of your lowered immunity.  Have some anti virals.’  I came out with 35 x 800mg Acyclovir tablets to take over the next seven days.

Fortunately, unlike Sean’s, it’s not painful.  It’s a bit tender to touch and I am aware of it sometimes but some of the rash is residing under the back strap of my bra so occasionally it chafes.  I love that word. Chafes, it’s so funny.  Come on admit it we all have our favourite words.  I also like to write the outline for solicitors in shorthand – Pitman 2000 – hey I could have worse quirks and foibles.  Oh, wait I probably do but they are strictly not for public consumption.

Driving in Falling Snow is Wildly Exciting!

The Friday before Christmas Eve we had the biggest deposit of snow in one go that I can remember and we, the car and I, got to drive in it.

I’d clocked off work at 18:00 and agreed with B that I would drive to see Chris, the friend who’d had the mini stroke at the beginning of the week, on my own.  There was a light dusting of not quite snow, not quite just frost on the ground and I was heard to say that I had driven in much worse with my driving instructor in January so what was there to be worry about?!?!?! I agreed to be home by 19:30 – as I just needed to Chris with my own two eyes to confirm that she was okay.

I was a little longer than anticipated as Chris and her hubby were about to have their tea when I arrived and Chris as me to have a cup of tea after.  Her husband was going to choir practice and this needed me to move the car.  We walked out and it was snowing – a bit.  He ummmed and errrrrred about whether to go and then went.  I went back in and agreed with Chris that I’d just have the tea and then go.  I’d barely got my backside on the settee when the phone rang.  We bet that it would be B asking where I was but no, it was Chris’s husband saying he was coming home.

Ohhhh, we looked outside, it was coming down thick and fast.  Maybe I, who had been driving  9 months, and the car B adores should head home.  Chris suggested I could stay there but there were two things to consider – me getting home to Buddy and the car getting home to B.

So Chris gave me instructions on which corners to be careful of and how I should attempt not to break at the junction of her road and the main road and off I went.

There was so much snow coming down I had to have the windscreen wipers on fast and it was building up rapidly on the ground.  I got to the junction of Chris’s road and eased to a stop.  There were cars on either side and no room to move over if something was coming.  I almost thought about staying but that would have involved turning round anyway so I might as well give it a go.

I acquired a vehicle behind me, or should I say BEHIND me, way too close – well certainly for my liking.  Did they not know it was snowing and that this was my first time driving in snow when it was falling from the sky and how much B thought of the car?

I went across a mini roundabout.  Not in the conventional way of ‘go straight ahead’ meaning take the second (generally) exit but literally as nothing was coming.

The roads between Chris’s and the main road, which she assured me would be clear, are windy country roads and as I approached the next bend, doing all of 10 miles an hour, I slid onto the opposite side of the road.  By this time my heart was beating like a bird’s.  Fortunately the oncoming car was about 200 feet off.  I slid/steered back onto my side.

‘I can always pull over and get out and walk back’ I thought.  However what if something happened to the car.  Let’s keep going.  Just keep, as per the driving theory test, in the highest gear possible and what can go wrong.

I got to the second T junction Chris had warned me about and had to stop as there were cars passing.  Okay deep breaths.  We can do this.  Got onto the road and phew this takes us down to the dual carriageway which is going to be clear.

This road slopes, gently as it turns out, to the traffic lights, but that night it felt like we were coming down the north face of the Eiger with a little four wheel drive already at the bottom, or rather the lights, which were on RED.  Well I guess that means we won’t slide into oncoming traffic just into the back of the 4×4.  I think I very well may have a heart attack first.

With impeccable timing the lights changed to green.  We turn right, the road was anything but clear.  I couldn’t see a hint of road surface, just a slight indentation from the cars in front of which there weren’t that many.  So it’s now just one straight road, a right turn and three left turns and we’re parked on the drive.

This dual carriageway always seems a relatively level road and suddenly I realised that it is actually up and down like a roller coaster.  Roller coasters are probably not a good idea for me anymore however I have to say I have never been so scared on a roller coaster.  My heart was pounding.  I was wildly terrified AND wildly excited.

I had to move over, across the outside lane to get to the turning lane.  Our rear end slid out as we turned right.  Wooohoooo nearly home.  The car behind pulled over to the fast lane and started to overtake.  Don’t hit us – I don’t want to have to explain this to B so close to home.  It overtook us and then all the cars in front.  It was a clapped out old banger – maybe I should get one of those.

Now we had the slip road with bollards (very nearly what I was thinking by them) at the turning point.  We managed to avoid those, then the turn at the end of the road and onto the drive to find B peering through the bedroom window.  B who then starts giving me hand gestures as to how close to get to the porch.  No pressure there then.  I get out and the boot (trunk) is practically on the pavement.  So I get back in to move it and the tyres wouldn’t grip.  I thought sod it and got out.

I had never actually understood the expression ‘I need a drink’ until that night.  I NEEDED a drink.

I got in to a warm welcome of Bud and a B with a face like a smacked backside.

B:  ‘If you’d left at 19:00 like you said you’d have missed it!’

Me:  ‘I’m glad to see both you and the car made it home okay a major achievement considering how long you’ve been driving.’

B:  ‘You were the one that said you’d driven in snow before.’

Me:  ‘Yes with my driving instructor, in snow that was on the ground, in daylight!  If anything went pear shaped I could have got out and he could have taken over.’

I however was way too hyper by then to let B’s glumness bring me down and after two single malts, one with hot water and honey and the other neat while I was waiting for the kettle to boil, and a phone call to Chris and my Auntie Ann (who had called while I was out) to confirm I had made it home in one piece Bud and I went out to play fetch in the snow and left the grinch inside!  ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL!

Buddy and the Beach

I have been taking Tuesdays as holidays so that I can go to Armchair Yoga, however yesterday I was unable to attend for two reasons as it turned out.  The bathroom is being refitted so someone had to babysit Bud and as it turned out I couldn’t have gone anyway because I have a bit of a cold that I may not have been able to keep to myself.

I had contemplated taking Buddy somewhere different for his walk but then I started thinking well I have something to do and maybe I shouldn’t take him far in the car by myself on the motorway and then I thought if I have to wait for Bernard to come… well I wouldn’t hold my breath for that to happen.  I’m not saying it’s difficult to get my husband to go to places he doesn’t normally go but it took me four weeks to get him to come to the ‘nature reserve’ two miles up the road with us!  And then it was after a rainfall so it was muddy and although he didn’t quite get to the point of saying we couldn’t go again (he knows better than that) but I was advised to take a change of shoes next time we went.

A couple of people have suggested that I see if I can have my four weekly Zometa infusions at the local hospital rather than in Liverpool – if I did this I would never get my lunch out!

So with a view to enjoying TODAY and not putting things of until tomorrow (not because there may not be a tomorrow but because there may be something equally new and fun to do then) we set off in the car.

Buddy is not a good passenger.  He is all to keen to get IN the car but once we move off (and he does this if B is driving too) he starts to whinge.  Now I like the idea of him being fastened in but since we are completely down one seat belt and he started on another for the time being he is a loose cannon.

He whinges in the back – sitting up, lying down, looking out of the window, staring at the floor – he’s not fussy. Then he gets in the front, and is a little bit quieter and looks hysterically funny sitting in the passenger seat staring out of the front windscreen.

Yesterday however he got a little bit more than he bargained for and indeed had fair claim on a whinge.  There was a little bit of sudden bracking and he nearly ended up in the footwell.  He lay down for a while after.

I thought I did particularly well and managed to tune out his protests at being in a moving car by… turning up My Chemical Romance on the CD.  This however did not cover up the beeping noise produced when Bud shifted his little doggie weight to such a position on the seat that the car thought ‘Oh, there is someone in the passenger seat who has not put the seat belt on.  I must therefore make an irritating noise until they rectify this position.’

Needless to say we got there in once piece and had a ‘whale’ of a time.

We saw super large jelly fish – well they were super large to us at over a foot across – I’ve only ever seen little ones on a British beach before

It was lovely and sunny, freezing cold but lovely and sunny…

We met lots of dogs which gave Bud some more experience interacting with other canines – including a near hysterical tiny, tiny dog no bigger than Bud’s head which he just blanked twice.  I still wouldn’t trust him near another dog off the lead but maybe one day in the fuuuuuuuuuuuuuture.

Some of you may be aware that B has only ever read about two of my posts and what goes on the blog stays on the blog apart from ‘Keygate‘, so I shouldn’t really need to say that B doesn’t NEED to know about any frollicking in the surf, because remember we were in the his car…

This is an ‘arty’ shoot as someone had accidentally switched to panoramic…

We both really enjoyed ourselves, Bud so much that he was reluctant to get back in the car – YES IT WAS BECAUSE HE HAD FUN ON THE BEACH – and nothing to do with my driving.  And we both ended up having a kip on the seettee when we got home for all of 10 minutes until the tiler rang the doorbell.

I for one won’t be putting fun things off in the future, life is oh so precious and we really do need to make the most of it.

 

Stem Cell Transplant Holiday Packing List

In view of Sean over at My Life with Myeloma going in for his stem cell transplant next week I decided to do a stem cell transplant holiday packing list.  Obviously some items are specific to the Royal in Liverpool, and some to the UK.

Toiletries

Mild hand wash (I took Highland Soap Company and can recommend this one fully – in fact we took a 50 mile detour on the way to Aviemore so I could stock up and get to smell everything)

Body lotion (again Highland Soap Company – this agreed with me even when my usual facial moisturiser which is quite natural didn’t)

Facial moisturiser (mine fell out with me as my skin, which is the only sensitive thing about me went extremely sensitive and I ended up sending Auntie Ann on a shopping spree for Simple stuff, which I don’t normally use as it’s not natural enough)

Shower gel (naturalish)

Children’s fruity toothpaste (I took natural, again, minty toothpaste but it stung when my mouth got sore)

Soft toothbrush (Aldi’s best)

Deodorant (again, strangely enough, natural)

Moist toilet tissue and barrier cream along with mouthwash, mouth coating rinse and pastilles supplied by holiday hosts.  (I didn’t make the most of these since the rinse made me throw up, it got swapped for a less volitile one

Hand sanitiser – took my own as hospital one makes my hands raw, applied in conjunction with body lotion (just to my hands) as I did use a lot

Clothes

Pyjamas (or nightie – whatever takes your fancy – I decided against trackie bottoms and T-shirts even though they are comfy and even though I got up every day from the bed to the chair jim-jams were the right choice.  Even allowing for washing being taken home every day you need about 100 pairs.  Okay I exaggerate but only slightly.  I took about seven and had allowed for two pairs a day – HA  – on a good day maybe but I didn’t take into account a nosebleed, the odd bit of vomit and a lot of wee – I would have you know not because of THAT kind of accident but because of missing the jug!  I know how hard is it but I now realise it’s no wonder because little did I know at the time but diamorphine, of which I was on 30mg at one point is heroin!  I’m a junkie.  There was oramorph and paracetamol on top of that.  I have to say I don’t see the appeal!

Undergarments – Knickers, bras, socks –  I can say without a doubt that men have the easier option here.  Bras and IV stands/Hickman lines DO NOT MIX.

One set of outdoor clothes – I kept the pair I went in – I had intended to use this to go home in when I was able to go for a little walk around the hospital when it was quiet for two days before I was released I got dressed as I was not prepared to wander round in my jim jams even though a lot of people do even outside.

Slippers – I don’t do slippers!

Food

Bearing in mind that for most of the time everything, EVERYTHING (cordial, biscuits, sweets) opened has to be used within 24 hours or given away individual stuff is best if available.

As I went in on the Monday after the Wednesday I didn’t really eat any hospital food except for breakfast cereal/porridge and a cooked breakfast provided on my last morning.

Mint tea, camomile and night time tea again these lasted until Wednesday.

Things I did eat

Rice pudding – tons of

Cottage pie

Lasagne

Sweets – blackcurrant and liquorice, fruit sherbets (went off these a BIT when mouth got sore), Haribo gums, again sours were a no, no.

Fruit pastille ice lollies

Hospital shakes

Tinned fruit – satsumas (although I can’t say I ate that many)

Yoghurt – Muller Fruit Corners – generally just the yoghurt – a big NO NO are probitoic yoghurts

Ribena – I went off water, it tended to make me sick

Orange juice (hospital supplied – I know this is contraindicated for chemotherapy but it went down better than just water)

Milk (hospital supplies) with crisps

Hot chocolate (hospital supplies)

McVities Digestives

Chocolate – this was okay at first but then made my teeth hurt, like cold stuff can do!

Chocolate milk – okay at first but then went off

Entertainment

Hospital supplies TV with freeview (I didn’t switch mine on)

Laptop – downloaded quite a few films from skyplayer, bigfish games also essential if only for visiting husband!

Knitting – socks, myeloma buddies, baby blanket – not much done but like toddler’s security blanky

Books – at least one big one for storing in ‘library’

Other Stuff

During administration of melphalan I had a hospital ice lolly.  I think I should have gone with ice instead and lots of it.  I don’t know whether this would have made a difference to the trouble I had with muscositis but this is the route I would take if need be again.  It may not make a difference but it won’t do any harm!

I didn’t have my hair cut/shaved before I went in.  I did however have a number one as soon as it started falling out which was 12 days after the melpahlan – however I understand this varies immensely.

As Fred, my first night nurse said when discussing whether I wanted a Periton for itching caused by plaster covering Hickman line (same plaster that she had put down not to be used and which caused a bigger scab than from line – I still have a mark the reaction to the plaster), anyhoo, Fred said ‘Heroes don’t get better faster and it seems longer!’

Whilst I was typing this I remembered something and had to ask B a question.

Me:  ‘Did I ask you to look at my green poo?’

Long pause – B: ‘Yes, but I didn’t.  Well at least I don’t think I did.’

Me:  ‘You can’t have done, you’d have remembered.’

Apparently it goes green as a result of some bloke called Billy and his rubic cube!  No, seriously it’s because of bilirubin and the liver detoxifying and as one of the nurses said it’s not like real poo!

And you get to have conversations about wee like…

Me:  ‘Is that okay?’

Nurse:  ‘Yes, I was just thinking what a good colour it is.’

Me:  ‘No, the froth on top.’

Nurse:  ‘Maybe it’s normally like that.’

Me:  ‘I think we can safely say based on what I’ve seen over the past few weeks, no, it’s not.’

Nurse:  ‘I wouldn’t worry about it.’

It only happened a couple of times and only at night and only after taking a certain tablet.

And my final tip – when your wife is driving for the first time on winding highland roads, don’t ask her what speed she is doing when approaching a bend and then after she provides the answer complain that she nearly (allegedly) crashed!

Scatterbrained!

Well I truly excelled myself today in the fluff head department. Previously I have been quite sharp to the point of being in danger of cutting myself whilst at the minute I’m as sharp as a sausage.

I did myself a list for the day so nothing essential was missed off.  Acupuncture appointment with Deb, pick up material, finish myeloma buddy and donkey nosebands* for yoga tomorrow, make cards for blood group meeting tomorrow and a couple of non deadline things.

(* I sold three Buddies last week at yoga, by accident, and agreed that in exchange for keeping the change I would make a donkey noseband for WSPA.)

It was the first time I’d been to Debs since getting back from holiday. So during an in-depth how did it go I mentioned that I was experiencing forgetfulness, but as long as it didn’t get to the point of needing to do a list saying – have wash, clean teeth, go to the toilet – it would be okay.

And then it cost me £25!

I’d paid for two hours on the car park from 11:34 – you can see where this is going. I left Debs at about 13:20 called for some green tea at the health shop and as I was leaving thought I’ll just nip and get some hand sanitizer from an adjoining shop. Whilst there I was pondering the wiseness of getting the m-i-l something germ neutralising so that I don’t get Ebola from her kitchen cloths, okay bit of an exaggeration, maybe just Marburg, when my mobile rang. It was the occupational therapist over the bath seat the m-i-l is refusing to have fitted. The therapist thought it may be a good idea for her to call round with it instead of getting the workman to turn up and have the m-i-l throw a wobbler. So she was ringing to make an appointment for this. I sorted that out and then picked the appropriate ‘kills 99.9% of bacteria within a two mile radius’ products and it was only when I was on my way back to the car park that I even gave a thought to the time.

Low and behold I got back to the car and there’s a traffic warden keying the car’s details into his little machine. He apologised twice and said I could appeal it at a nearby building but I was 10 minutes late so how could I argue.

I was getting a bit teary on the way home – it’s just a parking ticket, wasting £25 fair enough, but a parking ticket, no damage to the car, no points on my licence, no biggy.

B was up when I got home and asked what was up as I seemed quiet. Nothing. A little later as B was getting lunch (well warming up soup) he asks again and I start crying, what the … So then B is looking really worried because I rarely cry and asks

‘Who’s died?’

‘Nobody, I got a parking fine.’

‘Is that all?’ laughing with relief ‘I knew you’d done nothing to the car I’ve been out and checked. Why are you so upset? It’s just a ticket, you don’t get any points on your licence.’

‘I know! It’s the thought that I didn’t even think about it until I was on my way back to the car park. I get distracted by something and everything else goes out of my head.’

To do list for Tuesday

  • Get up
  • Go to the toilet
  • Brush teeth
  • Have shower
  • Get dressed
  • 11:30 – Pick up fellow yoga participant (Need at all costs to avoid having to say at lunch ‘Excuse me I’ll be back shortly…’)

Addendum – I checked my email before posting this and there was one from the MMA List (which for those of you not familiar is a mailing list where you can send out myeloma questions/information). It contained a link to ‘Jim’s Story’ on Heroes Web TV. It’s worth a look – Jim was diagnosed in 1996. It’s nice, he seems, as is compulsory, lovely – my eyes sprung a bit of a leak again, whilst smiling though this time, it must be something in the water, or maybe I need a plumber.