Saturday, 20 September 2014

Saturday Morning

Good morning all yesterday was a bit of down day in this house with no one feeling the full ticket apart from Tubby.  Basso is still very unwell and I have set an alarm to make sure he gets his antibiotics evenly divided.  I personally think this is important with antibiotics as it keeps the blood levels even and the bacteria don't get any time off to regroup.  My visit to the doctor was strange I saw some unknown doctor so he needed filling in on the situation.  I explained that I had just about reached breaking point and had been advised to see the primary carers counselling team.  He recommended that I try a quicker route and gave me a number to telephone.  This I did and left a message on their answer machine at 12 midday - now I am waiting for the return call.  He has also given me some sleeping tablets one of which I took at 2am so it gave me 4 hours which is not bad and better than nothing.  He has also put me on some tablets to reduce my stress levels but when I read up about them the side effects list includes almost every symptom you can imagine including depression and insomnia. Sounds just the ticket!!!! They do take time to take effect but the bit that really annoys me is that they are exacerbated by grapefruit juice.  I don't drink alcohol as it does not agree with me so I run on coffee or pink grapefruit squash which I like as it is not too sweet. I guess I am on water only now.  Coffee I am careful with and never drink any after lunch.  As you know I have a fancy coffee machine which makes really good coffee.  The caffeine content is not that great as the water passes through very fast and has little time to dissolve the caffeine, which is water soluble, hence I avoid cafetiere coffee.  Ok, so why not decaf, well when you research how they get the caffeine out of the coffee you will understand why I avoid that too.  As you know I try to avoid over processed food off all types.  I prefer to mess around with the natural ingredients myself wherever possible.

Now on to the Scottish thing; I for one am glad the results have turned out as they did but I think Alex Salmond has kicked a hornet's nest and I hope that the disappointed folks don't decide to cause any trouble and can accept the will of the majority.

The weather here was really warm yesterday poor Basso was looking for a cool place to lie so I turned on a fan for him but he is very restless pacing around panting.  I find myself in the trap of what to do about a fever.  It is a reaction by the immune system - bacteria don't like heat so I am a believer in only reducing fevers when they are extremely high and likely to cause further problem.  Dogs run at 101 - 102 ºF in old money [38.3 to 38.8ºC not so easy to read].  I have no veterinary experience but I treat dogs as I would a human and hope for the best.  High protein to build antibodies and high calorie to stop him burning his muscles for fuel.  Anyway fingers crossed he pulls through.  

This morning we are in the middle of a cloud, it is damp and misty and very autumnal but still very warm.  I am going to get out to the supermarket bright and early as I am devoid of vegetables having cancelled my delivery for the week I was due to be away.

Well thats about it for today I hope you are all impressed that I am being good and doing what I am told. LOL

Friday, 19 September 2014

Firday Morning

Good morning all.  I was awakened at 3am by a big downpour it only lasted a couple of minutes but it came down in buckets full.  Basso is still a very poorly boy but we have moved on to tablets instead of injections.  Then it is back to the vet on Monday morning.  Shiona came over and we had a nice chat she is a very sensible person and I do listen to her advice.  She was in need of some shopping so we hit Aldi for a few bits and bobs while the chicken roasted itself in the halogen oven.  I had done some mash and peas, really imaginative, and gravy.  However, given my general apathy, even that was a miracle.  The cold chicken got chopped up and mixed with some chopped ham and mayo to make a nice filling for some sandwiches for supper.  The carcass has left me with some lovely stock and a plateful of bits of gristle and skin for the dogs.  Basso still has an appetite which is good but he is not too keen on dog food however chicken is irresistible.  I bought a packet of cheese triangles as I find them very useful for hiding tablets in for the dogs.  The men have been warned to keep their sticky mitts off them.  

Finally I have organised to have my diningroom and hall carpet cleaned and the guy is coming next thursday morning.  Mark the gardener rang to say he was ready to erect the trellis and it could be as early as monday but he is going to ring me and confirm today.  He also has a customer who has had a pond tragedy with the local foxes eating most of their fish.  They need to restock and Mark knows I have way too many fish in my pond and I am desperate to get rid of some so it seems like a win win situation.

I know that we seem to have had poor service from our local hospital but the latest scandal is of some poor chap who was finally diagnosed with a fractured spine but only on the fourth visit to the hospital and this follows on from the poor guy with the broken leg which was not diagnosed until after it had spontaneously healed despite numerous visits to the hospital.  In the light of these cases I guess we got off lightly.  Today I am off to the surgery in the hopes of getting some form of support via the primary carer counselling service.  However, I am not holding my breath as no doubt there will be a long wait.  Being the cynic that I am I wonder if we are an experiment in a new form of triage - wait long enough and your patient numbers will diminish thus reducing costs.  A proportion will die, some will get better naturally, some will give up and pay, which just leaves the strong, poor and patient people needing treatment.  Accessing psychiatry is easy by comparison all you need do is run naked down the high street throwing bricks through shop windows and you will get immediate treatment.  Sorry couldn't resist that one!!!!!  As you can tell my warped sense of humour is still intact.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Thursday Morning

This morning will start with a visit to the vet as usual but at least we have an idea of what we are dealing with.  Basso now has a diagnosis of bronchopneumonia as his white cell count was completely off the scale.  He is still running a fever but he just looks for cool places to lie and rest fortunately his appetite is still good so we are giving him quite a bit extra to help with all the calories he is burning in his effort to fight off this infection.  In fact he had a donner kebab for lunch yesterday as Mike left most of his.  I am working on the principle that the sick need good nourishing food if they are to recover well. I know I was going to roast the chicken for lunch but I just plain ran out of gas having been up from 2am.  By about 11am I was like a wet dish cloth, coming down from an adrenalin high leaves you feeling very tired.  

I did virtually nothing yesterday but what the hell I am on holiday!!!!! The washing that had been on the line for 24 hours was still quite damp as the weather has been very misty and cloudy so I gave up on it and brought it in.  One piece of good news is that the cheque arrived for our solar panel payment.  For the first three quarters of this year we have made in excess of £1,000, not to be sneezed at and hopefully it will cover our costs for both electricity and gas.  

Yesterday evening I had a lovely chat with a friend who lives in France, in fact we chatted so long her phone ran out power!!!! I tried to phone her back but nothing doing. She is a lovely understanding person who has had her fair share of troubles so she really gets what a strain this is on me. I have a standing invitation to visit her but getting away is really difficult. One day I will make it. Shiona is popping over today so we can commiserate with each other.  I think she is going to leave her dogs at home as it seems silly to expose them to Basso who though not contagious is infectious.  Poor Tubby doesn't know what is happening his best mate doesn't want to play with him any more.  

I must admit that my day of indolence yesterday has recharged my batteries somewhat and I feel less tired today.  Mike seems a bit happier now that he has a date and time for his assessment and the hope of some treatment for his depression.  His current medication is completely useless so maybe a change of antidepressants might make a difference.  I have been trying for ages got get him to the doctor but he has always refused.  He has a very victorian attitude to mental health in that he thinks there are only 2 mental states - sane or crazy and nothing in between.  His view of depression was that it is just an excuse for feeling a bit down and all that is needed is to pull yourself together.  I think the penny has finally dropped and he now knows the one thing a depressed person cannot do is pull themselves together and snap out of it.

Well that about it for this morning I am off to the kitchen to make preparations for lunch while I still have the energy then it is off to the vet for 8.30am.   

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Wednesday Morning

Well the good news is that after constant pestering I have managed to arrange an appointment for Mike for next Wednesday.  I am seeing some unknown doctor on Friday so I can fill in a bunch of forms which may get me some counselling to help me cope better with the current situation.  James is now back from his friends house so at least I have a bit of help around the house.  At last we are no longer in limbo land.

Basso is still unwell and we are off to the vet again this morning.  His temperature has come down  a bit and other than being a bit off colour he is showing no other symptoms.  He does however think I am a pervert.  The vet wanted a urine sample from him so I have had to follow him around with my receptacle.  He tried hiding in the hedges and kept looking over his shoulder at me with a look of consternation as to why he could not just relieve himself in private.  Anyway it is a good job no one had a video camera or we would be making money from "You've been Framed".  I managed to get the specimen in the end but what a caper it was.

We returned from the vet yesterday morning after Basso had had a second blood test taken and all the dogs were jumping around pleased to see us back.  We then noticed that there was blood being splattered all over the dining room carpet.  I quickly checked Basso to see it he was bleeding but no it was Tubby who has some how managed to cut his paw.  He was very excited and scampering about all over the place and blood was going everywhere.  We finally managed to get a bandage on his foot and I then set too with the bicarbonate of soda getting the blood stains out of the carpet.  I have done a reasonable job of clearing up but the time to have the whole carpet cleaned has finally been reached.  So on my to do list for today will be to ring up a carpet cleaner and organise to have the carpet done.

This weeks holiday of mine is turning into quite an exciting time I now have 2 defective men and 2 defective dogs to look after.  If my life were a Mills and Boon book you would say it is ridiculous and quite unbelieveable. One thing is for certain it isn't boring and it throws into sharp relief the people you can rely on and those you cannot.  Now all I need is the very handsome chiseled jawed rescuer to ride in on his white charger and solve all my problems in one fell swoop.  While I wait for this miracle I guess I will just plod on.   I have a large chicken in the fridge which I think I will roast for lunch today and cold tomorrow and some soup with the bones.  Oh and by the way the pond is leaking!!!!!

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Tuesday morning

Just when you think it can't get any worse.  Yesterday morning was spent at the vets with Basso who now has a high fever and a large lump in his neck.  I think it is a lymph gland and I am hoping it is swollen in response to an infection.  I can't even begin to think of the other more serious things it could be. Fortunately my wonderful vet is still in practice until the end of the month so lets hope things are sorted out by then.  He had a blood test and an antibiotic injection but despite the fact that he is eating he has lost half a stone in weight.  Anyway that is where we will be starting this morning so we will be at the vets at 8.30am and hope that it is good news.  I say we because James has volunteered to help and drive me to the vet.  This is a great help as parking at the vets is all but impossible so it helps to have a driver, plus the fact that Basso doesn't want to get in the car and it take two of us to manhandle him into the back.

I chased up the advice to seek counselling for myself but first I need an appointment with the GP so I can fill out a pile of forms. So that will just have to wait until things settle a bit. I also tried to get some sort of idea when the psychiatric assessment for Mike may happen but no news on that front we are still in limbo just waiting. Perhaps this weeks holiday was just never meant to be.

I popped into Aldi to stock up on milk and bits and as usual the car park had its fair share of Mercedes and BMW's but I was stunned to see this car in the carpark.

This is an Overfinch Range Rover which retails at £140,000 
I will have to keep my eyes peeled for a Lamborghini or a Maserati, blow Fortnum and Mason, Aldi is the place to be seen!!!!

I rang Sandy to thank her for the lovely lunch only to find that they had had a death in the family overnight so she is up to her armpits dealing with that. It was not unexpected but rather sooner than they thought. Sometimes I feel like a catastrophe magnet.  

Shiona was driving back down from Scotland yesterday and I am almost afraid to ring her.  She too has her fair share of problems with her mother in an elderly care home so far away and trying to clear out and sell her property on Loch Fyne.  

Please tell me you have good things happening at least the weather is gorgeous at the moment.

p.s. just tried to book appointment with GP on line appointment service.  The system seems to have crashed no appointment with any GP at any time or any surgery.  Great!!!!!!

Monday, 15 September 2014

Monday morning

Yesterday I had a busy morning dog walking and getting a few bits sorted at home then filling the car with diesel before setting off to Sandy for Sunday lunch.  How lovely to have a meal cooked for you for a change and what a meal it was.  Roast lamb with a huge assortment of lovely vegetables all from her new allotment.  She had also made a lovely crumble but I was too full to participate.  

I know I am late but I had a really rotten night and didn't get to sleep until about 4am which is  when I usually get up.  Anyway James has come round and taken the dogs for their walk while I slowly come to consciousness over a large mug of coffee.

I am hoping that at some point today I might hear if and when they will be coming to see Mike and hopefully do something to help him.  I too am going to investigate a counselling program for people who are dealing with difficult home situations.  I am not too proud to accept help if I can find some but I believe I need a GP referral so that is where I will start.  Currently I am coping all be it in a bit of a raggedy fashion.  Mental health is not my forte and though I did do some psychiatry in my training it was a very long time ago.  I know enough to recognise depression when I see it but it is a creeping insidious sort of condition.  Running a psychiatric ward here at home is a bit beyond my capacity.  Give my physical problems any day those I know how to deal with.  

I also need to do a bit of shopping so I think I will buy a few things that need a lot of cooking which will give me a bit of focus.  As you know happiness for me is cooking and my kitchen is my sanctuary.  I have just read a recipe, from another blogger in Trieste Italy, for a spinach risotto with blobs of clotted cream on top to finish it off.  Sounds really good to me, I think I could eat sawdust with clotted cream!!!!

Thank you all for your comments it makes me feel good to know that you are out there and though this blog is really written for my benefit, that you take the time to read and comment is very pleasing.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Sunday morning

Yesterday was one of the longest days of my life.  It seemed like a good idea to have a pampering day but in fact it gave me hours to think and ponder on the situation.  In the end I came to the conclusion that no matter which way the cards fall I am going to be hurt.  I have been piggy in the middle for 40 years and that is never going to change.  James and Mike don't get on and never will. Neither of them is well enough to live alone so every time there is a clash I am left to pick up the pieces.   I had made contingency plans for Mike to be cared for while we were on holiday and I needed James help with the caravan as it is getting too much for me to handle on my own.  I had expected a few ruckshions but I didn't expect the lengths Mike would resort to to make sure we didn't go.  I'm sorry if this sounds like bleating and whining but I am between a rock and a hard place with no room for maneuver.  On the plus side I am very clean as is the bathroom and Sandy has invited me to have lunch with them today which will get me out of the house for a couple of hours.  I think the only way I am going to weather this storm is to bury myself in jobs and not give myself time to think while I wait for the wheels of the NHS to turn.  Now seems as good a time as any to clean out the sheds and put the new hoover to work.  I have bulbs to plant and plenty of weeds to deal with. Following the freezer disaster I also have plenty of room for some batch cooking so that will keep me occupied for a while.  

Thank you all for your good wishes I must say my friends have been fabulous and rallied around me but sadly there is nothing anyone can do to ameliorate the situation.  I am sure things will sort themselves out one way or the other in the fullness of time but until they do I will just have to try and keep my head above the water.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Saturday morning

Yes it is the crack of dawn but I have been asleep for many hours.  By about 6pm I had completely run out of gas.  I had spent the morning trying to get some help for Mike via the psychiatric teams, age uk, the GP, but it is like wading through treacle.  Each phone call just leads on to another phone call and then on to the next.  Anyway, the upshot of the exercise is that I have an urgent appointment for a psychiatric assessment which may be as early as sometime next week.  So presumably I just sit and twiddle my thumbs until they come - no date, no time nothing to indicate if or when.

In the afternoon I met up with James and we took the dogs for a walk.  He has done the right thing by getting out of the situation before it impacts on his health which has been improving so dramatically of late.  I was so worried that all the work we have put into getting him back on his feet would be damaged by Mikes deteriorating mental state.  Unfortunately I cannot extricate myself from the mess just yet.  I was hoping to find a way of getting some respite care for Mike but it would be easier to book the presidential suite at Claridges.  All I would have to do is win the lottery and hey presto it would be done.

The plan of campaign now is to make sure that I take myself out of the house as much as possible and go and visit friends or wander around the shops.  I am very well aware that if I go down the whole house of cards goes down.  For this reason I am moving myself to priority number one.  This is completely alien to my nature but I know I must do it no matter how hard it is. I need to be away from this toxic environment.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Friday part 2

Photos from yesterday
 The pack


Friday Morning

First of all many thanks Joy for the offer of a bolt hole.  I am very fortunate that I have lots of friends who have offered me sanctuary. I think I will take up Shionas offer as she has the room for both me and the dogs. The dust is beginning to settle - the holiday has all been cancelled and James is still with his friends but we are going to meet up today and take the dogs for a walk.  Which will give us a bit of time to talk over what is the best course of action for all concerned.  

Yesterday morning I shot off to Sandy's house with the dogs in the car and after I had been treated for "shock" with a large mug of hot sweet tea and a slice of toast and bovril we took the dogs out for a nice long run and ended up on a bench in the churchyard where we sat and chatted for a while.  Sandy took some nice photos of the dogs but as yet she hasn't sent them through to me.  When she does I will post them for you to see.  Sandy has lived in her village all her life so the churchyard is filled with her friends and family and is a place she naturally gravitates to in times of trouble. 

These pictures are from google images that show the field and churchyard

By the time I got home around lunchtime I was poleaxed tired and took myself off to bed to see if I could catch up on some sleep.  Today I am going to look into getting some respite care for Mike.  I think a change of scene would do him good and might make him appreciate just how lucky he is.  It would also give us a bit of breathing space while we sort out the current mess.