Friday, 30 January 2015

Friday Morning

Good morning all well we have had just the merest scattering of snow which has hardly touched the ground it is mostly just wet.  Yesterday was a real eye opener when the ladies came to take care of Mike they were really lovely girls and he behaved well but once that was done I had a two and half hour session answering questions while they filled in a 20 page risk assessment.  Everything from where the stop cock was to wether I had sufficient storage space. Still I am not complaining I was just surprised at the amount of paperwork required to get someone washed and dressed in the morning. It felt more like speaking to an estate agent than carers and they too were in despair at all the paper needed which probably no one will read ever.

I took a walk up the road to get some milk and it is the first time I have been out of the house and boy did the cold air hit me in the chest. It was like breathing fire......  Poor James is at the height of his illness and spent most of the day asleep in bed which is by far the best place for him.  As I write the snow is falling quite hard but doesn't look like it will settle.  I had intended to take Dante to the last shoot of the season but I think I would be foolish to go and stand in the cold for hours so I have decided against it.

Sorry I am a bit late but I had a pretty terrible night and finally fell asleep in the wee small hours so I have slept in late.  I now need to get my backside in gear and get going as the carer will be here in 20 minutes.  Im not sure if they are a help or a hinderance but at least Mike will do what they ask without putting up a fight so for him they are a help.  

My mind is a total blank with regard to food for today and I can see us having a nice pasta lunch with whatever I can find to put on it.  None of us has really got an appetite so we are largely grazing on what we can find.  Fortunately my house is stocked for a siege so we would be fine for about a month before we ran out of food.  I might even be lazy and get a food order delivered by one of the supermarkets while we are all poleaxed. 

Anyway must go now time is flying and lots to do - Oh by the way our new neighbours moved in yesterday and I did just stick my head out and welcome them and explain that we were all down with plague and were not being antisocial.  I will make proper introductions once we are all up and running again.  I don't suppose they would thank me for a dose of bugs given how stressful moving is anyway.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Thursday Morning

Mike arrived back home yesterday evening at around 8.30pm but I had been waiting since 4pm when they had booked the transport.  He came through the door cursing and swearing as they had told him he was staying another night and he had gone to sleep only to be rudely awakened and bundled off into an ambulance.  He came home with a huge bag full of drugs which I will have to sit and study this morning so that I can dole out the right regimen. His breathing seems to be back to what it was before he became ill which is hopeful.  This morning at 8.30 I am expecting a couple of carers to come and help get him up, washed and dressed.  Then apparently I have to sit and do a 2 hour risk assessment with them.  Breaking the news of Nips demise was difficult but I think he knew it was on the cards.  Apparently he had visits from two of his brothers and their wives over the weekend which I knew nothing about, it is such a pity they didn't let me know or I could have got his glasses into him.  He had left home with a view to being in for just one night so I packed a bag to suit but both of us forgot the glasses.  I was running a high temperature so my mind was not fully functional. Fortunately he only needs them for reading so any old reading glasses would do.  Not that he reads much anyway I don't suppose he missed them much.  The audiology department had a look at his hearing aids while he was in hospital as he has been complaining bitterly that they don't work.  As he was in such a bad mood I just made him a hot chocolate, which he fancied, and got him settled into bed.  Let's hope he wakes in a bit better frame of mind.  He seems extremely angry at getting old and is finding hard to come to terms with so blame is liberally dished out to all and sundry.  I looked after his mother when she was very elderly and I see exactly the same sort of anger and wishing to turn back the clock.  Sadly that is something none of us can do we just have to muddle along as best we can supporting each other.  At least he had a clean room to come home to as I had laundered everything.

I have been given a list of the things he wants to make him more comfortable, a new wastepaper basket, a new bedside lamp, and an electric fan heater despite the 8 kilowatt gas fire he already has.  I gave him the wastepaper basket from my room which apparently fitted the bill and today I will organise another bedside light and I think we have an electric fan heater in the shed which I used to use with a low reading thermometer just to keep the frost off the greenhouse and I am hoping that it is still in one of the sheds.  Failing that I might look at one of the dyson fan/heaters. Nice and safe and will double as a fan if we get a summer.

I noticed that when I phoned to find out what was happening to Mike the hospital greeting now has an additional plea that those who have colds not visit patients in hospital until they have been symptom free for 48 hours which kind of rules James and I out.  I am still coughing like crazy and my sinuses are brimming over and James is on day 3 of his antibiotics.  I felt so guilty not going to see him but in my heart I knew it was the right thing to do for all concerned.

Anyway "once more unto the breach dear friends"...............................

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Wednesday morning

Good morning all yesterday passed off with little problems once I has cleared up the mess and bathed Dante.  Denny came and worked her magic on the rest of the house.  James had been put on antibiotics by our GP and the latests update is that Mike will be discharged today and the carer will be coming in on Thursday morning.  

I made a mushroom risotto for lunch the remains of which are in the fridge drying out ready to make arancini for lunch today.  I always put a knob of mozzarella in the middle of each which makes for some fun as it goes all gooey  and stringy.  That and a green salad should do for us but I am not sure what time Mike will be coming back.  His room is all set up, cleaned and ready and I have some mince which I may well just prepare as mince and potatoes which is nice and simple to eat or maybe a cottage pie given that I have plenty of mash in the freezer.  

I have been up since stupid o'clock and I think I might just go back to bed and and see if I can't get a couple more hours of sleep.  I have put the rubbish out for the bin men and the house is good order all I have left to do is put a load of washing in the tumble dryer and then all I have to do is cooking so that will make me happy.  

As yet the cold weather has not materialised but I believe we are in for some more frost as the cold air makes its way down from the north.  Everyone is still asleep including the dogs so I am off to bed to see if I can get a bit more sleep.  Have a good day all......

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Tuesday morning

Oh deep joy I have just found Dante in a bit of a parlous state having had diarrhoea in his crate overnight.  Just the sort of mess you want to clean up before you are really awake.  Anyway I have decided to at least have a cup of tea, I still can't face coffee, before I get stuck in to cleaning up the mess and bathing the dog.  I will need to get this done before Denny arrives at 8 am sharp as I think this falls just slightly out of her remit.

News on Mike he is going to be discharged on Thursday which gives us a couple more days to get a bit healthier before his return. They are also going to send in a carer first thing to encourage him to get up, wash and dress.  He is capable of doing this himself but if I try to encourage him he just takes it as nagging and digs his heels in and refuses.  I am hopeful that if the carer can get into a routine he might continue of his own accord.

Well thats it for this morning I have a major task awaiting me so I had better get on and sort it out.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Monday morning

And then there were two

Good job they are friends as now they only have each other.  Yesterday passed off quite smoothly but it looks like James has succumbed to the lurgy and he spent most of yesterday in bed with lemsip and tea for company.  I have just sent him back to bed as he has been up since 1am.  Fortunately I am back to about 50% effectiveness and I managed to cook a nice roast chicken lunch which in the end did us for the whole day.  We had a late lunch and come supper time neither of us felt much like eating so I have plenty of cold chicken for lunch today.  I also have a slow cooker full of restorative chicken broth which is guaranteed to raise the dead.  

There has been talk of Mike being discharged today but as yet nothing concrete and we will have to wait for the doctors to do their rounds today before we will be informed what is happening.  I must say I find tenuous arrangements like this difficult - how many for lunch?  I had intended to do a stir fry but if Mike is back I had better not put any chili in the mix as he hates spicy food but both James and I love it.   If I hold back a bit of chicken I can always make Mike a chicken omelet/sandwich when and if he turns up.  

I had made lashings of mashed potatoes which was far too much for one meal but I always thought to freeze some.  I put portion size blobs onto some baking parchment and open freeze then transfer to a polythene bag for more permanent storage.  I must say it is very useful to be able to pull out the requisite number of blobs.  You can always use a blob to thicken up a soup that is a bit thin.  

Now here is a question, what do you do with red cabbage?  I am not a lover of spiced red cabbage and I already have a tub of that in the freezer.  I like it raw in a salad but it has to have been soaked to soften it and a whole cabbage is way too much for a salad.  Any ideas most welcome.  

Well I guess we'll just have to wait and see what will happen today and play it by ear.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Sunday morning

I am pleased to report that nothing untoward happened yesterday.  I gave myself a 10,000 mile service and though it kind of knocked the stuffing out of me I did at least feel clean and wholesome once more.  Once I had regained my equilibrium James and I hit Tesco and stocked up for a siege. The thermomix made the cream of artichoke soup which we had for lunch and for supper we had a homemade stir fry singapore noodles with prawns.  I love wok cooking, once you have everything chopped it only takes a matter of seconds to cook, which is great.  My wok is pretty ancient and as black as your hat but it has never seen detergent and only ever gets rinsed out in hot water so it is totally non stick.  

Today for lunch I have a nice free range chicken which will go into the halogen oven for the allotted hour and though there are just the 2 of us cold chicken never goes to waste in fact I have enough stir fry ingredients to go a second time with cold chicken instead of prawns.  I am not quite the full ticket yet and tend to run out of gas rather quickly however I am feeling much better in myself.   My venture out yesterday was taxing but bearable but I still think I would be foolish to bring my bugs into a hospital with vulnerable patients.  Plus hospitals are not the healthiest places for me either and the last thing I need is to pick up some other rotten bug while I too am vulnerable.  Hopefully the shoppers in Tesco are fit and healthy for the time being at least.  

We are all set up for Mikes discharge which we anticipate tomorrow.  Today I will give his room a good clean and change his bed so that it is all ready.  James has volunteered to clean the carpet in the dining room which still bears the scars of Nips last illness.  A quick go over with the hoover then the steam cleaner should see it back to normal.  

Dante has finished his sack of puppy food and is now being weaned on to adult food which he is tolerating well.  However, he still keeps informing us that he is starving to death so we are continuing to give him three meals per day.  Spinone are notoriously difficult to get weight on when they are young they just seem to burn off the food and stay all gangly for quite a while.  He reminds me of teenage boys who are impossible to feed adequately as they too are permanently hungry.  Just like my eldest who used to make his own breakfast in a soup tureen which held the 6 weetabix and pint of milk he felt he needed.  

I am hoping to be fit enough to take Dante to the last shoot of the season just so he can hear the guns and watch what the other dogs are doing.  I will need to keep him 75 yards back from the guns as his ears are still not fully developed.  Anyway that is the plan, it will not matter if he behaves badly as the guns will be the beaters rather than paying customers.  So far he has not shown any signs of being startled by loud noises so I am hopeful that he will not be gun shy and the last thing I need is to frighten him at this stage.  The shoot will go on for most of the day but I only intend to spend an hour or so watching.  

Well that it for today lets hope it passes peacefully and we get our chores done ready to face another week.  

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Saturday Morning


Just when you think things can't get any worse yet another bombshell lands.  As you know Nip had been unwell for a couple of days and yesterday after a lovely walk by the sea side he was off to the new vet who immediately suggested he had reached his sell by date as his kidneys had failed.  He had had 15 years of wonderful life so he drifted off to sleep for the last time.  Sadly I was not with him but James cuddled him as he made his dignified exit.  How I wish we could show this level of kindness to our fellow man.  Though I am sad at losing a long standing friend he was not allowed to suffer at all so my conscience is clear he died in the arms of a loved one.

Then this arrived from Len and Margaret who had been to visit Mike in hospital, what good friends as they had only found out that morning that Mike had been admitted.  He is making good progress and they will be looking to discharge him on Monday so we have a weekend to get ourselves organised.  I believe they are going to send in a carer each morning to make sure he is up washed and dressed - I wish her lots of luck.  Probably Mike will cooperate with her when he will not do what I ask.  Of course my requests and advice are just marked down as nagging.

I am making slow progress each morning I wake feeling better but by 4pm I am going down hill again.  Sadly the older you are the longer it takes to get over things.  Anyway today with a bit of peace and quiet I am going to have a long leisurely soak and general pampering session before I get stuck into the chores of the day.  Todays soup lunch will be artichoke which we all love but which has disastrous effects in the wind deparment hence they are known as fartichokes in this house.

Well thats about it for this morning lets hope nothing else happens today and we can have a peaceful day pottering about.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Friday morning

Good morning all, I am at last beginning to feel almost human again I am not out of the woods yet but improvement is a good sign.  Mike is doing Ok in hospital but as you can imagine I am the last person they would be happy to see.  James is holding the fort and just to add to our miseries Nip spent yesterday being sick.  He finally stopped at about 10pm and my dining room carpet is now pock marked with stains.  I think Dante is taking it all in his stride he has decided we are all completely mad and the only sensible one is Tubby.  So when in doubt just curl up and sleep.

As you can see he hasn't quite grown into his shoes yet but he is getting bigger every day.  His second coat is growing in and his colour is gradually changing and he is now teething so the big chunks of deer antler are ideal to stop him chewing the chair legs.  Tubby makes sure he is exhausted from an overdose of fun and games.  They call staffies the nanny dog and it is so true he has taken responsibility for Dan since day one.

I pottered around a little yesterday as my new TV arrived and needed to be set up which of course James did for me.  It connects to my router so I am not quite sure of what it can do but I have the rest of my life to investigate and when my brain is a little less scrambled I will have to sort out all the facilities it offers.  In the mean time I am just happy to watch the usual rubbish on what seems like a massive screen.

We have a large pot of leek and potato soup to see us through the day today.  I also did a bit of an experiment we had some left over chips from the takeaway and rather than just binning them I laid them on a tray and put them in hot oven for about 5 minutes and hey presto revived chips.  Sadly I still can't taste anything but I have it on good authority that they were fine.

The temperature is well below zero so I will be confined to barracks again today and I must say I am going a little stir crazy but I am trying to break the habit of a lifetime and be sensible.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Thursday Morning

Well what a busy day we had yesterday.  The respiratory team came to visit Mike and decided hospital was in order so off he went in an ambulance to the worst hospital in the country.  By 10pm he was still in A&E but I am glad to say they finally found him a bed and he is now receiving intravenous antibiotics and oxygen.  I have just spoken to the ward staff who told me he had a very restless night with his oxygen saturation dropping badly.  Yesterday evening it took me 25 minutes on hold to get some information.  Obviously I cannot go and visit him as I am highly infectious myself and I am sure they would not thank me if I darkened their doors.  I am improving all be it very slowly.  The morning is my best time but by 4pm I start to go downhill again.  I must admit I slept much better last night knowing that someone else was looking after Mike.  James made us a lovely mushroom risotto for lunch and for supper we had a takeaway burger salad and chips as neither of us could be bothered cooking.  I must say it doesn't matter much to me what I eat as it all tastes like cotton wool. Can you believe I couldn't even taste raw onion!!!

Today I am anticipating delivery of my new TV which I am hoping James will install for me.  Poor old Dan doesn't understand what is happening as the usual routine is all up in the air.  He does however seem to realise I am not the full ticket and just wants to cuddle with me.  We have also reached a milestone in his development he is now lifting his leg so he has realised he is boy!!!! soon he will realise he has a mind of his own and that will be a taxing time.  By this time I hope to be back on my feet as he will need some firm handling if I am not to end up with an unruly dog.  At the moment he is very obedient so he is easy to handle.

Well thats about it from the house of disasters the only consolation is things can hardly get any worse so they must start to get better.  

P.S. Joy this is for you; did you read about one of our primary schools who have found a novel way of keeping control of the children you simply lock the naughty ones in a cupboard.  Apparently the inspectors insisted that the door to the cupboard was taken off it hinges to prevent any further occurrences of this appalling treatment.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Wednesday morning

Yesterday is best forgotten after 48 hours of antibiotics at least the fevers have subsided.  I won't bore you with the details but James did a splendid job of nursing both of us and keeping an eye on all the dogs.  I hope to be back on my feet by the weekend.  I can't remember being this ill for many years. Sadly the older you get the longer it takes for you to recover.  We were forecast snow for today but instead we have rain and sleet.  Needless to say I am neither cooking nor eating but I am drinking copious amounts.