Friday, 28 October 2016

Friday morning

Good morning all - as most of you know yesterday was a bit traumatic and the worst part was waiting to get the undertakers in which didn't occur until lunch time.  Of course, I had a plethora of phone calls to make to alert family members and then my friends.   Angela sent me a beautiful pose of flowers in my favourite colour.

Sandie, who had hurt her back also dragged herself for a visit and Elaine dragged herself to me also despite being half dead from her flight back from Prague.  Thank you all for your condolences.  Mike could not have gone more peacefully than in his sleep.  Now, of course, I am faced with the horrendous paperwork however the undertaker has left me a big to do list so I will be working my way through that.  First I need to get the death certificate from the GP so that I can then make an appointment with the registrar to register the death and once that has been done we can then look at funeral arrangements.  This will be the worst bit as I don't really believe in funerals so it will be as simple as I can make it.

I have been banished from the front room and my friends are going to come next week and gut the room for me.  The oxygen is being removed today and Monday will see the going of all the zimmer frames etc.  It is my intention to completely redecorate the front room which has spent most of its life as a bedroom.  The flooring is destroyed so I will be looking for something in the laminate floor style.  If I go for a sofa bed then I will, at last, be able to have friends to stay once more.

With my mind buzzing the boys put me to bed and I don't know what they gave me but I was out for the count in minutes and slept right through the night.  Funnily enough, I was not in the mood for food but I did manage to motor through tons of sugar ladened rubbish until I felt quite sick.  My body just craved sugar.

Today is going to be busy but most of it is phone calls and once I have got rid of all the paraphernalia we will be better able to see what needs doing in the room. It needs a complete revamp as it is just full of bad memories.  I believe the council will remove big items by appointment so perhaps that would be the simplest way to get rid of the furniture.

I am still a bit incoherent so I think I will bo back to bed with a nice hot cup of coffee and wait until I am fully compos metis before I start the day.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Thursday morning

Good morning all just an update it has been a long night I have been up for most of it checking on Mike who is now febrile and fading fast.  I have alerted his brothers and I think David is going to come and see him today and the hospice nurse is due at 10am and David is due around 11am, however, I have made it clear that the catering department is closed and there are plenty of pubs for lunch.  I really don't need to be catering for visitors I have quite enough to do without that.  

Yesterday I organised some lovely mackerel fillets from the fish monger which I cooked simply with some gremolata [garlic parsley and lemon zest].  I served it with a shredded fennel salad which was ideal. Quick easy and very tasty.  The boys fed themselves for supper and James went and got me a small chow mein.  Which kept me going through the night, in fact, I still feel full now.  I would like to give Mike a wash and brush up but he is asleep and I will not wake him. There is no point in pulling him around when he is happily sleeping and oblivious to his condition.  He has decided that the oramorph is cough mixture and I have not disillusioned him.

guess who has been swimming?

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Wednesday morning

Good morning all.  Yesterday I had a day of total indolence and didn't even get out of my dressing gown.  I cared for Mike but little else and as he is now sleeping a lot especially at night I am able to rest more easily myself.  The only things he wants to eat are biscuits or other sweet things so I am keeping him supplied with jaffa cakes and the like.  He is drinking very little maybe 200mls per day just enough to keep his mouth damp.  I have backed right off and I am leaving him to do precisely what he wants the only thing I am really monitoring is his morphine which I am making sure he get regularly so he is comfortable.  I have alerted his brothers to the situation and asked them to stay away as Mike really doesn't want to have crowds of visitors.  I think he is embarrassed about his decrepit state and though he shouldn't be he is.  If he changes his mind I will, of course, summon them immediately.

I am a very lucky person not only do I have the boys for support but all my friends are in constant contact and checking up on me and how I am fairing.  They have all offered me help should I need it and I know that I can call at any time and they will come running.  Which gives me huge confidence should I hit a brick wall.  In the meantime, I am just treading water.  This is now a waiting game and I am trying to brace myself for the inevitable outcome.

Shiona is currently nursing a colleague who has just had a knee replacement and doesn't have any family to help her.  I am hoping I might be able to take a couple of hours off on Friday to visit her but much depends on the situation here.   

Sorry, this is so downbeat but life is tough for us all.  Thank you for your kind comments.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Tuesday morning

Good morning all, I have just slept like the dead and the boys just left me to sleep.  Mike had a good night as I finally managed to get him some Oro morph.  That was a real song and dance the GP come to see Mike and agreed it was time for some morphine but it took me 7 hours to finally get the prescription filled.  Total cock up at the doctor's surgery, so numerous phone calls and finally they tracked down the prescription and the pharmacy filled it.  Fortunately, we had it ready for the night which was great.   I think we all had a good nights sleep so recharged batteries all round.  I woke at four as usual but soon drifted back off to sleep as the house was silent and my blackout curtains stopped the light waking me.  It was the phone that finally woke me and it was the nurses from the hospice who would like to come and see Mike on Thursday morning.  He is a little more chirpy this morning following a very good night.  I have made him some breakfast now I had better do some for myself.  

As yet I have no real plans for the day it is just a case of keeping the ship afloat the fridge is full so we will no doubt find something for lunch and may treat ourselves to a takeaway for supper.  One thing the Medway towns are not short of is takeaways.  When we moved here there was a butcher and a greengrocer but they are all takeaways now. I must say they do come in handy when things are fraught.  Not good for your health or wallet but useful none the less.

Dan and Tubby have just come back from a walk and a swim and Dan managed to get his coat filled with burrs.  Fortunately, I have a de-matting comb which gets the burrs out very nicely.

As I am so late I had better stop writing and get on with something more productive and remember to eat breakfast - poached egg on toast sounds appealing.  Until tomorrow have a good day all.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Monday morning

Good morning all it is still pitch dark outside so I guess winter is not far away.  Mike is going down hill and didn't even get out of bed yesterday he is eating enough to keep a shrew alive and also not drinking so I wonder if now is the time for some palliative care.  Mentally he is ok and has given up fighting us.  I think he may have realised that we have been trying to help him and I think he is also now aware that he is not going to improve significantly.  He has voiced, to me, several times that he would like to end it all but doesn't have the courage and he has signed a DNR [do not ressusitate] while in hospital.  Difficult times but now my nursing skills will come into their own.  Sorry to start the week off with such depressing news but I am not first nor will I be the last to go through this and I value your support.

I am trying to keep myself healthy and strong and to that end, I am reading and applying the advice in Tom Rath's book "Eat Move Sleep".  It is crazy but having a pedometer makes you move more the mear fact that your steps are being counted makes you aware of how much sitting down you do. Much of what he recommends is common sense but it never hurts to remind yourself of the basic principle for a healthy life. Now is not the time for me to falter.

I hope you enjoyed the photos of the Barcolana in Trieste it is quite a sight to see 2,000 sailing ships/yachts making their way around the bay. The photos are by another blogger who permission I have had to share with you.

Well, the sun is coming up and I need to have my breakfast today will be mushrooms on wholemeal toast.  Then lunch will be either sausages or a bolognese whichever the boys fancy and the other will be supper.  I have plenty of veg to accompany the meat so it is just a case of choosing. A big salad with the bolognese and perhaps mash and cabbage with the sausages. anyway onward and upward have a good day all.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Sunday morning

Good morning all.  It is Sunday yet again but for us, it is a working day as Denzil is out at work and we tend to have our major meals when he is off.  Yesterday was successful in that the Bibo water machine is now fully functional and not leaking so the cleaning process did the job. I decided it was time to change from a quilt to a duvet on my bed as winter is coming and I put the quilt through the washing machine [it is single so it fits] out it went on to the line to get a good blow and I just managed to get it in before the rain started.  Now it is destined for a vacuum bag until next spring/summer.  Soon I will have to do the same with my summer clothes but not quite yet.  I put a pedometer app on my phone which should make sure I move a bit more apparently the mear fact that your steps are being counted makes you walk more.  I did my penance and walked to the end of the garden which was a bit of downer as it does look dreadful.  However, it provoked me to write to the gardening company and ask for some help to shut the garden down for the winter.  I ate breakfast of scrambled eggs on toast and today I am going to have a couple of rashers of bacon and a tomato. There is definitely something to be said for small steps that you can achieve and once they become a habit you can push on.  I am sure that years of shift work mess with your mind and appetite I am quite happy to eat stew for breakfast and cereal for supper.

Photo of the sailing festival in Trieste which I still consider to be home

Though I only lived there for a short period of my childhood it is my spiritual home as that is where my grandparents lived.

Ok enough now time to eat breakfast!!!!

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Saturday morning

Good morning all here we are at the weekend again. This week has flown by as I have been quite busy catching up.  I had my flu vaccination yesterday so hopefully, that will increase my chances of not getting flu.  I believe the success rate is about 70% so I hope I fall into that category.  I have also been plowing on with my course in "A life of happiness and fulfillment" which I would strongly recommend to anyone.  I didn't realise how badly wrong I have been in my attempts to be happy the course is heavily backed by research and has completely corrected my misperceptions.  Yesterday saw me have to write a letter of forgiveness to someone who has wronged me, then I had to print it off and put it in the shredder telling myself that the matter is now closed.  You feel a complete prat doing it but it does work and I feel better for having let it go. Harboring resentment doesn't make you happy and this is a great way to gain closure and put it behind you.  My next task is to look at my life and make some changes toward a healthier lifestyle.  So here is the plan I am going to eat breakfast, you may think this is a small step but for me, it is huge as I have never eaten breakfast for as long as I can remember.  However, my hosts in France always served me breakfast and if the truth be told I did feel better for having eaten something.  This morning I am going to have scrambled eggs on toast.  I am writing this here to remind me to actually do it.  I can't tell you how many times I have promised myself I would eat breakfast but failed. Item two is to walk more and spend less time sitting down so again a small step, I am going to walk the length of the garden once in the morning. My aim is to make my steps achievable.  Then I can move on to bigger and better things once these habits are established.  I have already made changes to my sleeping arrangements with a blackout curtain and that has had a beneficial effect as I am now sleeping much longer.

Ok, enough of that I have a huge basket of washed laundry that needs sorting out into that which needs ironing and that which can be put straight away.  Then, of course, there is the eternal problem of lunch and dinner to sort out.  My bibo machine has been leaking so last night I put a cleaning solution through the hot tank and left it over night now I have to go through the rinsing process and hope that this will fix the problem.  I must also make contact with the gardening company and organise a time for them to come and sort out the winter shut down.  My greenhouse has been unused this year but it is full of weed seeds so I thought I would water just once and let the seeds germinate then die over the winter from cold and lack of water.  I don't know if this will work but I am going to give it a try.

That's about it for this morning if I am to get some of this done I had better move my backside until tomorrow have a good day all

Friday, 21 October 2016

Friday morning

Good morning all I seem to have been charging about all week catching up on jobs that I should have done before I left anyway, I think I am back to where I was before my little break. One thing I have noticed is that I am sleeping much better and also for longer which can only be a good thing.  There has been quite a change in Mikes demeanour he has gone from aggressive to pathetic which I find really hard to cope with I don't do pathetic and needy.  I can only assume that his brain is being addled by the quantity of medication he is on and the lack of oxygen.  Though he is lucid I do not recognise who he is anymore as his character has completely changed.  

Well, enough of that, I made a big pot of leek and potato soup yesterday which we had for supper and I used some of the piment d'espelette that I brought back from France to just sprinkle on the top which made a significant difference.  It is a very gentle chilli type but nowhere near as fierce as most and just adds a mild hint.  Apparently it is available in Waitrose if you fancy a try.  My chef friend has sent me a host of recipes and it appears to be a sort of universal type of spice which goes with just about anything that needs a bit of livening up.  Today I have some cavolo nero which needs to be used and I also have an oxtail in the freezer so I am thinking of a stew of some kind.  With the pressure cooker I think I can get it ready for lunch time but if I fail then it will have to be supper.

I was in France when our surgery did their mass flu vaccinations so I am booked in for 11.30 today to get mine.  There is no way I want a dose of flu this winter, I have have had it twice in my life and that is enough.  However, if you have ever had real flu you will never again call a cold flu.

Yesterday, we managed to get the laundry up to date but as you know it doesn't last long, I'm sure the laundry basket fills itself when I am not looking.  My major concern now is the state of the garden which I need to get sorted out so I am going to contact the company who gave it the once over in the early summer.  I know I just don't have the energy or the will to do it myself.  

That about it for today, nothing very exciting.  Half an hour a go it was beautifully sunny but now it has clouded over and has become very dull and I think we are due for some rain. 

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Thursday morning

Good morning all.  Yesterday was fairly busy as Dennie was here trying to restore a semblance of order and cleanliness.  Once she had finished with the kitchen I hid in there and made a ratatouille as I had all the ingredients.  Not difficult but time-consuming.  It turned out very well and we had it with some sausages for lunch.  Supper was easy as it was just a big bowl of the chicken broth I had made with the carcass of the bird with some pasta that looks like rice and a healthy amount of parmesan on the top.  

I am not sure what I shall be doing today but I am racing to use up vegetables which are on the blink I have a bag of real spinach which is in need of using so I will use that as my starting place for lunch perhaps eggs florentine might be a good solution.  Anyway, I have to go out today and restock as we are low on meat and fish and a wash with vegetables.  

There is some good news our new neighbours are now the proud parents of a new daughter.  I would love to pop round and see them but with this cold sore on my lip, I think I had better stay away new babies don't need exposing to infection.  However, I think I will buy mum a bunch of flowers just to recognise her efforts. This is their third child so I expect they have plenty of baby clothes and mum deserves something for her.

I have to go to the pharmacy and pick up my prescription and I will pop into the doctors surgery as Mikes discharge information the hospital sent is directed to the wrong GP.  I rang them to let them know but apparently they cannot pass the letter on it has to go back to the hospital so I will take my copy and they can take a photocopy, which should short-circuit the process.  If I wait for the letter to do the round trip there is every likely hood we will all have passed on before they get their act together.  Every time I have dealings with the hospital I have had to pick them up on their mistakes most of which are trivial but the fact that they are making so many errors is terrifying.

Well that is the plan for the day so now it is time to put it into action - have a good day all.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Wednesday morning

Good morning all chilly this morning down to single figures.  Shiona came yesterday to collect the fireworks I had bought for her in Aldi and between us, we managed to cobble together an adequate lunch which was a lesson in how to stretch one chicken breast to feed 5 people.  Shiona made pancakes while I made the filling of chicken, onion, garlic, sour cream and courgettes.  The thermomix made a nice cheese sauce which we tipped over the pancakes and then set under the grill we accompanied it with a big green salad and that was lunch.  The washing up fell to the boys and we had successfully used just about every piece of equipment in the kitchen. Some women do not work well with others in their kitchen but given that Shiona and I had shared an office at one time and we are both team players it is rather nice to work together in the kitchen.  We have both worked in operating theatres so we are used to being totally in the hands of an assistant.

Today the wonderful Denny is due and the house could use a bit of a spruce up.  I gutted Mikes room before he returned and made sure it was clean and presentable but the rest of the house is a bit chaotic and in need of a good hoover.  I have items on the line but they keep drying then getting soaked again hopefully I will get them in when they are dry today and not wait until we get a shower.  The garden is a big mess and needs some serious work so I am hoping to get the gardeners back to give it a birthday before winter really sets in.  The plants in the front garden have almost occluded the front door and you have to fight the bay trees to get to the washing machine so much chopping down is required.  It is also bin day and I need to get the recycling out as that is the second lorry to come.  Landfill rubbish is collected some time later and the first lorry collects garden waste.  We are really lucky to still have a weekly collection of the three types of rubbish.

Well, Mike has pottered out and is asking for coffee so I had better go and get him sorted out before I start my day.  Denny will be here in an hour so I had better press on have a great day all until tomorrow.