Archive for August, 2005

Day 95 – Monday 1st August

The Occupational Therapist (OT) came to the house today. It is difficult to know what needs doing to the house in the long term as the next few weeks/months will be key in knowing how well she is going to get about, but the OT measured chairs, doorways, steps so a further visit shouldn’t be necessary.

It was clear that kp wouldn’t be able to get from the wheelchair to the settee unless she can transfer herself and that is quite a few weeks off. This means the visit home she had mentally in her mind will mean she has to stay in the wheelchair for the taxi-ride home and the visit itself. After speaking to kp, she didn’t seem very keen on this and would rather wait until she can get on the settee.

For the physio session today, the OT was present and we practiced getting Karen sitting over the end of the bed. The idea being, that if we can get Karen on the edge of the bed, she can wash her face, clean her teeth etc without needing to go in the hoist. This maneuvre needs 2 people, and the first time the physio did it with the OT’s help. The second time, I did it with the OT’s help which is important if we are going to be able to do it at any time of the day.

kp was well impressed with the fact we can now get her on the edge of the bed and the maneuvre feels quite a smooth one.

After the physios left, kp wanted some lunch and agreed to sit on the hard chair and sit upright. This strengthens torso-based muscles without her even realising they are being taxed. She coped really well with it and after 5-10 mins was balancing subconcsciously.

We then had a snooze until Nigel and Terry arrived (2pm).

Nigel :- Hiya Karen, we have brought you some Belgian Chocolates from Asda.
kp :- Nige, you’re supposed to say “we have brought you some Belgian Chocolates”. Don’t be saying which supermarket you bought them at.

We had lots of laughs (and some serious talk) with Nige and Terry, before they had to go and visit Nige’s dad who has just had a pacemaker fitted in another hospital. Wishing you well Mr Gibbs Senior.

That’s it for today. kp is well, a bit tired today generally, but still in a great frame of mind.

Day 96 – Tuesday 2nd August

kp was tired when I went in today. I was also tired after a bad night’s sleep so we both went to sleep at 10am until 12.15pm. Lovely sleep.

We then had a quick bath before having a Fish and Chip Lunch hot from the chippy down the road. She loved it and nearly ate it all and it was a big portion.

It was then time for physio. The physio session started out with a 10 minute laughing session and no work could be done because kp was in hysterics along with the physios and myself. One of the physios was doing impressions and it was so funny. The physio session couldn’t start because kp started giggling again which started us all off again.

When we finally got down to it, it ended up being quite a hard session of lying on her side and doing the walking action with some painful stretching exercises. Strangely her right leg (non-stroke side) is worse than her left leg, something to do with right legs being the steadying leg and being used more often than the stroke side.

When she got back to her room, she was already starting to ache when being moved, so I think she may be in for a rough night and tomorrow.

Adele arrived to take over the evening shift, and I believe Linda Mac (work colleague) is visiting about 6pm.

Day 97 – Wednesday 3rd August

Not a good day today.

kp was very “quiet” when I went in.

dp:- Are you alright love ? You seem a bit flat ?
kp:- I am not flat, I am quiet.

She just wasn’t the usual kp of the last few days. She had soup tomato soup and a couple of buns for lunch, but it was not a chatty lunch. Physio soon followed and within a minute of the physios coming for Karen, they asked the very same question I had when I came in.

We went to the physio room as per usual and today was going to be sitting forward exercises. Shortly after getting kp sitting upright, she was feeling nauseous and called for a sick bowl. We had a wretch or two, but no sickness, but the physios asked if she still felt up to physio. She didn’t so we went back to the bedroom where she slept for about 2 hours solid after taking her anti-sickness medication early.

Debs (work colleague) was supposed to visit this afternoon and she asked me to cancel her. Debs was very understanding.

During kp’s sleep, the orthopedic consultant who had worked kp at the beginning and the other week (for the 2 ops) came to inspect his handywork. He was happy with the wound and how well it is healing. He said that it will gradually close from the inside. He tipped us off about the fact kp is going for a urology x-ray on August 15th to assess if there is any bladder damage remaining from the accident. They pump dye into kp’s veins and x-ray her at the same time. He said it is just a precaution, but that there was significant bleeding from the bladder when kp first came in (1/2 pint of blood lost from bladder) and that they want to make sure it’s all ok now. The nurses tipped him off about kp’s sickness today. He said he would check with the microbiologist to see if kp can come off some of her antibiotics. 30 minutes later, she arrived to confirm that she can :-) The idea being that they could be contributing to the nausea.

Abbie and Marie arrived and kp woke up about 4.30pm. She seemed ever so slightly more perky, but not anyway near as perky as she has been.

Let’s hope tomorrow she feels a lot better.

Day 98 – Thursday 4th August 2005

Better day today :-)

She certainly wasn’t as quiet this morning when I first went in.

I was running late and so had rang her to tell her that I would be late. She finished the call by saying that she was in a bad position and very uncomfortable and asked if I could ring the ward to get them to move her. I rang the ward clerk and told her that kp had lost her buzzer and could someone go in and move her. I was told the message would be passed to the nurse who was standing by the ward clerk.

When I arrived at the ward, I started my usual banter to kp but she looked at me annoyed saying how uncomfortable she was. Noone had been in to move her. The message had been passed on but to the same nurse who a couple of weeks ago had forgot (on a number of occasions) to get kp some anti-embellism socks. I was very annoyed and went straight out of the room to find out why nothing had been done. kp called me back asking me to move her first ! We started laughing at the fact I was so annoyed (as I very rarely get annoyed into action).

I sorted kp out and then took issue with the nurse concerned. The ward manager got involved (at the behest of the nurse) and it was all resolved to everyone’s satisfaction. I am a firm believer in the Q.E. being the best hospital in the area. Mistakes happen and the way people deal with it is indicative of the general level of care you receive. Top Marks to Ward 22, Q.E. Hospital Gateshead.

The bath routine was a little different today. I suggested to kp that she sit on the hard chair (sat upright, not leaning back) to take her own nighty off and clean teeth/wash face. She went for it big time and nailed it all no problems. It seemed to be a lot quicker than when i do it.

Bath over, it was nearly lunch time. She had Fish Cakes. I don’t think she will be having them again.

She did very well at physio today. They did the sitting exercises where she leans over (a lot) to pick up cones that are far from her. Some of the cones I would have struggled to get. They force kp to transfer loads of weight onto her feet and her left or right buttock to rise off the bench. This is the purpose of the exercise and is a prelude to standing.

Tomorrow we are going to be doing another stand again. I took a video of the first stand she did, but got loads of the physios in as well. I will try and take some video tomorrow without the physios faces in so I can publish it on the blog (no promises). The photos make it look easy. The video leaves you thinking “how the hell did she do that ?”

Great Day overall. She is back to the usual kp ! :-)

Day 99 – Friday 5th August

Today went from bad to excellent.

I didn’t arrive until about 10.45am as I was picking up a hot chicken and fresh rolls from Sainsburys. By the time we had chatted it was 11.15am. This left us 45 minutes to have a bath before lunch arrived. It normally takes an hour and she still wanted to go for it.

We did the bath thing, but it was disjointed, rushed and every so often in my haste to dump kp in the bath, I would move a limb like it was a joint of beef with the resultant pain. If she was double-jointed, I could have got the bath done in 45 minutes no problem, but no I chose a wife whose joints bend only in one direction. But that’s a 12 year old mistake which I won’t rake over now ;-)

At the end of the bath, kp was ratty with me and I was ratty with her. We were ready at 12pm (on the dot) but both had faces of stone. Normally, kp’s room being next to the kitchen, she gets her food first, but today they had started at the other end of the ward (working back to the kitchen) so we had 20 minutes to lighten up our moods. Which we did !

Our last bit of rattiness was how long before the trolley arrived I should butter the bread for the hot chicken sandwiches. Once the chips arrived, we both enjoyed our lunch and the morning trials were behind us. Things got great from there in.

kp had a sleep between the bath and physio and I did some Su Doku puzzles left by Linda Mac.

Physio was awesome ! Marie had come early to see the standing and the 3 physios, Karen, Marie and I were in stitches within seconds of getting in the physio room. The first stage was getting Karen sitting on the edge of the bench and loosening up her leg muscles. The lead physio got kp to stretch one of her legs up in front of her. As she did this, she leant back and had the sensation that she was going to fall on her back. The physios reassured her that this wouldn’t happen, but kp still grabbed out at the physio on her left.

Physio :- Hey, watch my [plastic] pinny ?

kp started laughing at this. Really belly laughing. Her laughter spread round the room and we were all laughing. It took about 5 minutes to calm down. Not at all funny in the blog, but hey.

After these warm-up exercises, it was time for “The Stand”.

kp had told me earlier in the week that she was concerned the stand wouldn’t be any easier than last week.

She needn’t have been concerned.

She went from sitting to standing much quicker (probably about 3-4 seconds, instead of 6-7). All the physios remarked about how much less they had to do this time. She stood for a minute (not 20 seconds) and was over the moon about the fact it was easier than the previous week. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t easy by a long shot, but last week was such a struggle.

After a few minutes of rest after the first stand, she went on to do 2 more stands (1 minute and 30 seconds respectively). The physios were VERY pleased at this and kp was chuffed. After the second stand, she was starting to feel sick, so the 3rd stand was a real bonus.

I haven’t got any video footage :-( as I was the fourth “physio” taking care of kp’s left arm (from the front) with no time to get the camera out.

Marie really appreciated being there for the stand. It is hard to put into words how wonderful it is to see one’s loved one standing after 100 days (tomorrow) in bed. Marie had a side-on view for the stands and she remarked that the physio behind Karen didn’t do anything for the final stand ! All I did was take care of her left arm, and the 2 physios (1 for each leg) probably only help kp lock her knees into place.

So, I don’t think it will take too long to get kp to stand freely herself. She is amazing !

To finish the day (for me), we had some more laughs with one of the nurses. She did some impressions for us and we were all howling. I was in pain I was laughing that much and it is so lovely to see kp grab her belly and laugh till it hurts.

Day 100 – Saturday 6th August – Part One

Day 100 – Wow ! :-)

Not much to report from this morning. kp in top form. Lots of laughs again. The morning went pretty quickly.

I arrived, we chatted, we were both tired and so slept until 12pm when Yvonne arrived. kp wanted a bath, so I did a few moves to get the bath sling underneath her. One of the moves resulted in a “yelp” from kp. She was aching from the physio from yesterday.

kp:- Stop flinging me around the bed !
Yvonne :- He isn’t “flinging” you round the bed Karen

Karen started belly laughing and in no time we were all laughing.

After the bath, Adele and Abbie arrived and that’s about it.

Day 100 – Saturday 6th August – Part Two

Karen had a cracking afternoon with Yvonne, Adele and Abbie. Yvonne was demonstrating the fruits of her attendance at dance classes. It had them all in stitches apparently. Certainly, they were all laughing when I returned at 5.15pm.

Once the girls had left for Middlesbrough, Karen and I ordered our Saturday Night Pizza and enjoyed watching American Idol. We were watching it avidly 100+ days ago and I took in the episode we had got up to and we watched it on my laptop. It doesn’t feel like 100 days. We could remember all the singers.

Karen told me tonight that she feels she may have other stroke symptoms. She said that she occasionally wants to say something, but she can’t because she can’t find the words. I explained that this can happen to anyone and may be nothing to do with the stroke, but that she should raise it with the stroke consultant when he gets back off his hols.

Day 101 – Sunday 7th August – Part One

Last night one of our German Shepherds, had diarrhoea. A fact everyone probably wanted to know. On Wednesday, we had new carpets fitted (for Karen’s homecoming). You can probably see where this is going. I wrote the blog up last night and went into the living room to be greeted by a trail of poo going 360′ around our dining room table. Thanks Bonnie !

At the time I was livid. It took me about 30 minutes to get it all up and the stain out of the new carpet. Mum is bringing the Vanish today to get it as new.

So, why am I writing this in the blog ? Well, after my annoyance last night, I took a video of it for Karen’s amusement. It was one of the first things we did this morning. Well, Karen couldn’t believe it. Seeing a trail of poo in a near oval is different to hearing about it. The skill of Bonnie being able to walk around the dining room table a full 360′ whilst busy doing other things is “commendable” (probably the wrong word).

It amused Karen.

After this, we did the bath thing at a leisurely pace and then the Sister and Nurse came to do kp’s dressing. The Sister had been away and hadn’t seen kp’s wound for a while and was pleased with the improvement. Apparently it has overgranulated and she gave a cracking analogy of fairy cakes to describe what it meant. It was a bit over my head, but kp got it first time.

This Sister had once said to Karen that she would be sharing a Xmas cracker with her. Karen is like an elephant, she never forgets anything.

kp:- Do you think I will still be sharing a Xmas cracker with you ?
Sister :- No, I think you will be at home by Xmas.

kp was well pleased. In typical kp fashion she pursued this issue further. She was basically trying to get a date and time to book the taxi to go home. The nearest to this she could get from the Sister was end of October, beginning of November. :-)

kp then asked about home visits. Basically, as soon as Karen can sit for 4 hours without being in pain, she can visit home for a couple of hours. This is all good for karen, ‘cos it gives her things to aim for.

Marie arrived for the afternoon shift. Mum and Dad are visiting later on.

Day 101 – Sunday 7th August – Part Two

kp slept most of the afternoon leaving Marie in crossword land.

When I arrived (4.45pm), she stayed asleep. Mum and Dad arrived (4.55pm), she stayed asleep. It wasn’t until one of the funny nurses came in and started making us all laugh that kp woke up with a big smile on her face.

She was in good spirit for the evening and enjoyed all mum and dad’s banter. They left to cook my tea :-) and kp and I had a little chat before kp got tired. She was soon firing Zzzzzzzzzzz’s.

Day 102 – Monday 8th August

Good Day Overall

kp had been worried before I got in this morning. She had forgotten that I don’t come in until 10am weekdays now, and at 9.15am (45 mins late in her eyes) was concerned that I had an accident. The nurses were helping her find my mobile number, before one of them said “Doesn’t he come in at 10am now ?”. All was then fine.

When kp relayed this story to me it threw me for the whole morning and all I could think of was the worry she had gone through. I was in a stupor and the bath routine which we went straight into went at a snail’s pace. I couldn’t think of the 101 steps that it seems need to be done to get kp in the bath. After the bath, we went for a long sleep. I laid out on the floor and we must have had a good 2 hours. It was lovely sleep. We were woken by a nurse wanting Karen’s blood.

The physio session today saw the return of the main physio from his hols. He was well pleased with Karen’s progress and spent most of the session assessing kp’s movement in all her limbs (probably about 30 minutes) and then finished the session with some stands. This time there were only 2 physios to help kp.

Karen had to work a lot harder herself today. On the first couple of attempts she got upright but was unable to lock her knees. It seems her muscle contractions (according to the main man) are in more short bursts (on/off) than prolonged sustaining of the muscle action. So from a low sitting position, her stand effort got her to near-standing but didn’t do enough to lock the knees. So the main man had to support kp’s knees. I could see this happening and immediately stood up in front of Karen (so she could see me) and started doing pelvic thrusts to try and get her to thrust her bum more forward. It didn’t work and I looked a pillock so sat down.

He raised the bed so that she was higher in the standing action than the low sitting position she had started in. This time she got to full standing with no more pelvic thrusts from me. Her knees were locked and I got the impression she could have stayed there a while. She stood up for about 30 seconds before controlling her sitting action. The physio said the main point of today was for him to assess her current movement capabilities now he was back off his hols. He was delighted with kp’s progress.

kp’s left arm has been giving her jip today. It has had a constant ache no matter what position it was in. At the physio session, she mentioned this and asked if she would get full movement back in her left arm. The physio was very nice about it and said he wouldn’t put his life savings on the fact that she would get it to the same level as her right arm, but he also said that he wouldn’t bet she wouldn’t either. I came away from that conversation thinking it was unlikely to get to the same level, but who knows with kp !!!! :-)

Another thing that became clear from today’s session was that her left leg (stroke side) isn’t as strong has her right. Funnily enough, I noticed this earlier on, when I asked kp to lift her left knee so I could get the sling underneath her (to hoist her into the chair), it came up and flopped over to one side. Early days, the first 6 months are where most of the improvement comes so fingers crossed.

So, a good physio session.

After physio, the doctor came to see kp. kp mentioned to her that she sometimes struggles to find certain words. The doctor did some memory tests on kp, and she was spot on.

Doctor :- Remember these 3 words, “Cup, Bowl, Spoon”
The doctor checked kp’s Date of birth, Address and a few other things.

Doctor :- What were those 3 words.
kp said them fine
Doctor :- What’s 100 – 7
kp said the right answer
Doctor :- Take away 7 again
kp said the right answer
Doctor :- Take away 7 again
kp said the right answer
Doctor :- Take away 7 again
Doctor :- What were the 3 words I told you earlier ?

I hadn’t a clue !!! kp got it straight away. I have loads of excuses for not being able to get them, but I’ll keep them to myself.

So, no problems there for kp.

kp asked if she still had MRSA. She went away to check. And her last tests show she is CLEAR !!!! of MRSA. Yay !!!!!!!!!!!! Very pleased at that !

All in all, a good day.

Day 103 – Tuesday 9th August

Forgot to mention that yesterday the doctor had reviewed Karen’s medication and had moved Karen’s sleeping tablet to the “as and when required” category instead of the daily category. The same goes for the anti-sickness injection in the morning. She didn’t take the sleeping tablet last night, but still had a good night’s sleep which is great. She missed the anti-sickness injection and felt a little nauseous after brushing her teeth but no sickness came so another bit of medication out of the way.

kp enjoyed her bath as usual. It is one of the highlights of her day along with physio. She said she wouldn’t know what to do with herself if it wasn’t for the bath and physio.

Lunch followed snooze followed bath.

Physio today involved them working on Karen’s arm. She mentioned it had been giving her jip. Karen was hoisted from the wheelchair to the bench and she looked really hunched up on her left side. They laid her down on her right side and the main physio moved her left arm in all sorts of directions. He did loads with her shoulder as well. After about 30-40 minutes of these movements (with the odd “ow!”), kp’s movement (without pain) had increased quite a bit.

Towards the end, he was getting Karen to move her left arm in different directions herself. He held her hand so she didn’t have the weight of her hand to move. She did very well. I was uncertain how much the physio was doing and how much kp was doing. I will have to ask kp tomorrow.
We had a conversation today about what the physio had said about her left arm and how it may not get back to full health. She wasn’t overly concerned about it and basically had the opinion on the long lines of “as long as I can still do all the things I used to do”. She thought about it for a few seconds and then said “If I can’t walk the dogs on my own, I will be annoyed.” This made me a little bit sad, because she definately will need 2 arms to walk the dogs, possibly even 3 !

I think, in time, she will realise how much she needs 2 arms and this may get her down, but she is ok for now, and you never know, she could regain enough movement in her left arm to do the things she likes to do, although I personally can’t see this happening, but what do I know : she keeps amazing me with something every week !

Day 103 – Tuesday 9th August – Addendum

I phoned Karen just before I had my tea (7.30pm) just to check all was ok.

It wasn’t. She was very upset and “just want(ed) to go home”. It appears she had got really upset whilst Marie was still there and poor Marie had to leave her at 6.30pm (to get her bus) with Karen assuring her she would be ok and just needed to be alone.

When I phoned she couldn’t get the sentence “I want to come home” out without interrupting it with real anguish and tears.

dp:- Do you want me to come in ?
kp:- No, there’s (sobbing) nothing (sobbing) you can do
dp:- I am coming in.

When I got there and this will sound corny, I could feel kp’s mood lift. I could see how much she had been crying, her face was beetroot red, but she was pleased to see me. We had lots of tears and lots of talking. A couple of things had triggered it :-

  • The realisation that her left arm may not get to be as capable as her right arm (and the implications)
  • A discussion she had had with another patient where she had found out the other patient (very similar age to Karen) was going home on Friday

We talked these things through. There are no easy answers or quick fixes that can be applied. It will be hard, but I think Karen took solace in the fact that we would get through them together.

We discussed at length home visits and whether she would want them or not. The pros for them are being home, seeing the dogs, a bit of normality and lots more. The cons are leaving the home and more importantly the dogs.

She doesn’t want to leave the dogs. We decided on the fact that she would come home for visits when she can stand up from the bed to get into the wheelchair, and stand up from the wheelchair to a chair that is at any height. In other words, when she comes home, she could get on to the settee, back to the wheelchair, get to the loo etc….

She seemed happy with that for now.

I left her at 10pm tired and more settled than she was. She was very grateful that I had come in, I think especially because she had said to me “you don’t have to come in”. I am starting to understand the female language better the older I get. I now understand that “you don’t have to come in” means “be here within 30 minutes” ;-)

Hope you feel better tomorrow love :-)


Day 104 – Wednesday 10th August

Karen had slept well considering the evening’s events. No sleeping tablet either. She still feels sleepy in the mornings even without the sleeping tablet, but apparently, it takes a few days to get out of the system.

She didn’t have any dinner the night before. She didn’t have any breakfast this morning. I arrived late this morning (as arranged) and we went straight into the blog comments. Today was going to be Fish and Chip Shop day but she didn’t feel like any lunch when it came to that time. I could tell she was still a bit fed up and couldn’t be arsed with anything.

She was tired, I was tired so we both had a snooze from 11.30am until 1.30pm.

Yesterday, one of the nurses had come into kp’s room to tell us it one of the Sisters last day before going away to get married. She had planned the usual funny things, “L” plates and devil’s horns to wear, rice and gunge in pockets etc etc…

dp:- You should make out you’re getting a stripper in.

Before I knew it, I was the “stripper” ! :-( The nurse was going to bring in elvis gear and relevant music (“You can leave your hat on” (Tom Jones)). Yikes ! I wanted to do it to add a bit of variety to kp’s day, but at the same time, I am no John Travolta.

So, today comes and 2pm is the time we had been told to be ready. The nurses station was where it was going down (a short wheelchair ride from kp’s room). I was sh+tting myself. I had only woke up 30 mins prior and in 30 minutes I had to develop dancing skills and a routine.

dp:- Are you ready to get in the chair ?
kp:- I don’t want to get in the chair
dp:- But, I was gonna do that thing for X, do you not want to see it ?
kp:- Not really

Well, I was mortified. Part of the reason for doing it was to cheer kp up.

dp:- But, I am only doing it for you love. I thought it might brighten your day ?!
kp:- ok then.

I got her in the chair and went in her bathroom to get changed into the elvis wig/glasses, bermuda-style shorts and tee shirt. When I came out of the bathroom, kp gave a lovely smile that made the whole thing worth it.

I asked the nurse that had arranged it all what should I do. She gave me the moves she thought would work and went out to put the cd on. I heard the Sister, who it was all for, running away when she realised what was happening and then heard someone shout “It isn’t a stripper, it isn’t a stripper”. I know karen hates strippers, so I understood exactly what the Sister was worrying about. With that in mind, with the Sister back at the nurse’s station, the instructions from the nurse, the music playing I came out and strutted my stuff. I nearly had a baby when I saw how many people were out there. I expected about 5, there were about 10-15 I think. I didn’t even notice who was there, and the only face I caught a glimpse of was Karen and she was smiling her head off. Yay ! :-) The Sister concerned was laughing which I was relieved at.

Here is Elvis and kp after the event :-

I later found out that kp was howling with laughter (holding her belly jobby) at the whole thing. I wished I had had the wherewithall to look at her during the event more. That would have been awesome to see, but still nice to know she really enjoyed it.

After the strip routine (with no stripping !), kp had her bath and shortly after that Michelle arrived. That’s it for today. Hopefully she will be ok tonight.

Day 105 – Thursday 11th August

Uneventful morning consisting of blog comments and bath. It was Roast Pork for lunch and she ate a full plateful which I was very relieved at. She had also had a full breakfast before I arrived. I am relieved that she is eating ok again.

Physio this afternoon consisted of lots of pelvic/hip movement done by the main physio, followed by some sit to stand crunches where she holds the position halfway between sitting and standing. It is very hard. I try and do one of everything kp does, and my hips and pelvis are A1 (they could bear children they are that good), but this maneuvre is really hard for a fit person. kp did about 5-6 of them in total and was knackered.

We had discussed a question we wanted to ask the main physio and I raised it at the end of the session :-

dp:- X, kp wanted to know if you can give us some idea about when kp can go home for a visit ? She doesn’t want to go and sit in a wheelchair for a few hours, she wants to be able to transfer to a comfy chair and back again. ?

The answer wasn’t what either of us wanted to hear. Of course, it is VERY hard for the physio to answer this question definitively, and we totally understand that it is an unknown to a great degree, but at the same time, kp and I wanted a rough idea. His guestimate was 6-8 weeks. Karen’s mood instantly dropped on hearing this and she went very quiet. It could be sooner, but was unlikely to be longer was the impression we got. I was looking at kp for tears, but none came, but she was definately quieter. I feel sorry for the physio ‘cos we pushed him for the answer.

We left the physio room to go back to her bedroom and on the way passed the patient who is Karen’s age and who was doing really well. Karen wanted to say “bye” as she is going home for good on Friday. I wheeled her in and she talked for a minute to the lady and her friends and then the tears started to flow. I couldn’t see karen as I was in the doorway having pushed her wheelchair just in. But I could tell by the faces of the ladies in the room that something was up, sure enough she was in full flow. kp made her apologies. The ladies were very understanding and I wheeled her back to her room at full speed.

kp had a good long cry about how she wanted to go home. She didn’t want to wait 6 weeks never mind 8 weeks and “why should (she)I have to wait ?. I’ve done nothing wrong !”. It makes me so sad to hear her so upset. It’s at times like this she feels real anger to the driver concerned. Me too. When kp gets back to her room she needs hoisting back to the bed and turning twice to get the sling from underneath her. I asked her if I should wait (till she stopped crying). She didn’t want to wait. So, here is kp crying her little heart out, and my flinging her round the bed getting the sling from underneath her. :-( Very very sad !

After she was back in the bed, we had lots of hugs and I tried to say all the right things, but she “had heard it all before”.

We passed one of kp’s physios on the way back to the bedroom. She could see kp was distressed and thankfully she must have told the main man that kp was upset as he knocked on the door. He was lovely and spent about 10-15 minutes talking through things with kp. kp felt a bit better when he left, but was still not 100% emotionally, more like 50%, compared with 30% before he came.

We didn’t have time to chat further, when Marie, Chris and Ethan (sister, nephew, greatnephew) arrived. They stayed in the day room for a while until kp could compose herself and then she really enjoyed their time when they came in the room.

I left kp in Marie’s hand, getting a manicure. I may go back tonight, dependant on how she sounds on the phone. Fingers crossed she feels better when I ring. She is doing so well.

Day 106 – Friday 12th August

Picked up a hot chicken from Sainsburys again. By the time I arrived, it gave us only 90 mins for a bath before lunch, so we got straight into it.

It was a nice relaxing bath lasting an hour and by the time we were done, we had time to chat before chicken and chips :-) Just before lunch, the dietician came in. She had come to discharge kp from her care. kp was pleased. It means she is eating ok now and this is no longer a worry. One down.

I had some good news for Karen this morning. I was speaking to Eileen (our ace neighbour) and she was saying that her daughter had been speaking to Karen’s hairdresser (Liz) and that she wanted to visit kp and if she wanted her hair doing, she would do it. Well, this couldn’t have come at a better time. kp has been saying for the past week how her hair needs some style to it. All I do when she gets out of the bath is dry it and comb it. She either gets a side parting or a comb back, because that’s all i can do. When I say to her that “I can comb it in different directions if you like”, she just says “there’s nothing you can do, the style has fallen out of it”. To me, she is speaking a foreign language.

So, I spoke to Liz today and we are all set for Tuesday. kp is realling looking forward to seeing her. I am pleased for her.

Lunch was lovely. After lunch kp was tired, so she went for a snooze. I did some Su Doku before feeling a bit tired myself. kp was asleep by 1pm, I went about 1.30pm. We didn’t wake up until 3.40pm. Cracking 40 winks ! We had slept all the way through physio. According to the physio, she had been and gone 3 times and didn’t want to disturb our beauty sleep. :-)

The “main man” physio was away today, so the other physio came to kp’s room and did lots of stuff with her left arm. Whenever they do work to the left arm, it eases the pain that kp gets when her left arm is moved around. So hopefully tonight she will have less pain.

We had a natter until Marie and Glenn arrived and that’s it for today.

Tomorrow my sister + family are coming up. Only one blog entry tomorrow and it will be late because of the shift patterns.

Day 107 – Saturday 13th August

Good Cooked Breakfast this morning.

Yvonne was on the early shift today. No sooner had she arrived than 2 of the nurses came in to whisk kp away for her bath. When she returned, she chatted to Yvonne for a while before falling asleep.

I arrived at 1.45pm. kp was due a dressing change today, a visit from my sister and family and a visit from the policeman (to take a statement). We had tried to plan everything so it would all happen at different times, but unfortunately, it all happened at once. The policeman was later than planned and arrived at the same time Jane (my sister) arrived, and then the nurse came to do the dressing. The nurse kindly came back later. The policeman didn’t mind Jane being there, so it all worked out in the end.

It was great to see Jane, Guy, Sophie and Jamie. Sophie (3 years old) was very well behaved and wasn’t at all perturbed by Karen being in a hospital bed. Jamie (1 year old) was very tired for the whole visit and was no bother. Karen enjoyed their visit, but it felt very short by the time the policeman had gone. They are returning tomorrow before they go back to Lancashire which is nice.

The policeman took a statement from Karen regarding what she can remember from the accident (not much !) and then filled her in on the next steps. All I can say really is we are waiting on the Crown Prosecution Service to decide on the charge and it SHOULD all be over by Xmas. Karen told the policeman how she was now starting to feel anger towards the driver at fault. She told him whilst he was taking her statement and very nearly wrote it down as part of her statement. LOL. Karen made it clear she was just telling him her opinion.

Pizza night tonight. We did our usual Saturday Night evening, watching American Idol and eating pizza. Lovely ! :-)

That’s about it.

One more thing, one of the nurses who had took some photos of the Elvis day, brought them in to show us. I was so pleased she had, because there is a LOVELY foto of kp laughing her little head off which I had been told she did, but never saw.

Elvis is in the building strutting his stuff

Karen amused

Karen being told to “Say Cheese” and yes Elvis did chew gum.

The Sister and Elvis still chewing.

The Sister, kp and Elvis still chewing.

Day 108 – Sunday 14th August

Cracking day today. Jam-packed – very interesting.

I went in at 9.30am to ensure kp was all bathed and ready for the onslaught of Jane (my sister) and her family. We had a very leisurely bath and had the idea of going in the chair to meet them at the backdoor.

We nearly made it outside, but Jane was too quick for us. Rather than go to the room, we went to the cafeteria for teas/coffees and kitkats. We thoroughly enjoyed the time with Jane, Guy, Sophie and Jamie. They were very well behaved and so were Sophie and Jamie.

When they left, we returned to the room for a snooze so we were ready for Angela and Neil. Angela was the other lady in the car accident and has’t seen kp since the accident. We got already for 1pm. At 1pm, in waltzed a patient on the ward and she started chatting to us. This patient is well-liked on the ward, and we invited her to sit down for a chat. She is dead canny. We offered her a kitkat, and my fillings nearly hit the roof when she started eating it through the tin foil. I quickly offered to remove the silver foil.

After about 20 minutes, the lady left just in time for Angela and Neil. It was great to see Angela. She looks a lot better than when I last saw her (at Sunderland Hospital). Angela and Neil stayed for about 2.5 hours and the time flew past. We were all sharing our experiences of the whole thing and kp and I were completely enraptured by Angela’s experiences of going home. It is not as rosy as it sounds, and kp + I will definately benefit from the fact Angela and Neil have been there first and shared their take on it. kp was in the chair from 12.55pm until 3pm. Over 2 hours without a murmur. Distraction definately does the trick !! At this point she asked Angela if she would mind if she got into bed. For the remaining 30 minutes of their visit, kp was in the bed.

Today flew past. A hectic day and a thoroughly enjoyable one. kp was knackered and falling asleep at 4pm. I got her comfy and left. She will be fast asleep as I type this. Just hope she can manage some tea.

Day 109 – Monday 15th August

Strange day today.

Karen was very sleepy when I arrived. She didn’t feel like a bath and went back to sleep until about 11am. At 11am we did the bath thing, but she didn’t want any lunch. Instead she went back to sleep until 3pm (physio time). At various points upto 3pm I had asked her if she was ok, and she assured me she was (I wasn’t convinced), but that she felt sleepy. She lacked the usual kp sparkle.

Her left arm has been painful a lot of the morning, and I half thought she may be sleepy to try and not be awake for the pain ?! You never know.

The nurse had tipped the physio off about kp’s pain and he went to work straight away on trying to alleviate it. He believes the pain is caused by kp’s right side being stronger than her left side, and this causes kp’s left shoulder to hunch up (which it does). In turn, this causes pain. This chap is VERY good. I watch him looking at Karen, and if you have ever seen “The Matrix”, there is a scene right at the end where the main character (Neo) sees the 3 agents as bits of light (matrix code). This chap looks at Karen and doesn’t see a woman with a bad hair doo, he sees 202+ bones with X hundred muscles. He really does look like he can see through skin. Bizarre and wonderful to watch.

Needless to say, he sorted kp’s pain and finished by getting me onto the bench and showing me how to ease kp’s shoulder if it stiffens up over night or at the weekend.

Within an hour of being back in her room, kp was starting to feel pain again unfortunately. We’ll need to keep an eye on this.

At about 4.30pm, Jane and Michelle arrived. Jane had been away on holidays and within minutes of her arrival we were in stitches at her tales of Tony’s teeth.

Tomorrow kp’s bad hair doo should be history as Liz (Karen’s hairdresser) is visiting. kp is really looking forward to it.

Day 110 – Tuesday 16th August

kp back on top form.

Went in early today to get kp already for Liz (kp’s hairdresser). We wanted to have the bath behind us and ideally leave kp hair’s wet for Liz. As it happens, Liz was running late, so we had plenty of time anyway. Liz brought her daughter (Kelly) along and kp was pleased to see them both. Within no time of their arrival, it was as if kp was at the hairdressers. The banter was typical, although I didn’t hear “are you going anywhere for your holidays ?”. But gossip !!!! Never heard as much in an hour. This did as much good for Karen as the hairdoo, which she really appreciated it. Thanks very much Liz !!!! kp was very pleased with the end result.

Liz, kp and Kelly

After Liz and Kelly left, kp and I had some lunch (chicken sandwiches), and then kp went to sleep until physio (2.30pm).

Physio was awesome today.

kp’s arm was feeling a lot better today after tha main man’s mastery yesterday. So no time was lost easing any pain and kp went straight into strengthening her “standing up” leg muscles. kp lied on her back and the main man leant his body weight (not all of it) onto kp’s left foot and kp had to keep him up and not let him fall on her. The same was done with the right, but more time was spent on the left leg, this being the weaker side. There was no additional physio, just the main man, Karen and I.

After about 10 minutes of this, kp (lying down) had to thrust her hip in the air (left side then right side, then both together) – all good practice for standing up apparently.

After about an hour of various other exercises, we thought it was all over and the main man (and me helping) got kp sitting upright on the side of the bench. So then, he got kp to practice “half stands”, where she holds a position half way between sitting and standing. This looks (and is) really hard.

Finally as the “icing on the cake”, he positioned himself in front of Karen (I did nothing at all), and put his hands along her back and kp did the standing motion and he helped her go to full standing. The main man said he had to do a lot less than he thought he would have to do. He got her to hold the standing position for about 45 seconds.

Holding a standing position isn’t as hard as “standing up”, so the fact that kp did so much herself is really good. She was well pleased with the session. I was dead proud of her.

We went back to the room where Marie and Adele were waiting.

They had a tea party all laid out for Karen and we all thoroughly enjoyed it.

A little amusing story to finish on. Marie is known for appearing every day and saying “Hey, I got these shorts for you at (some famous store), 2 for £4″, or “I found this T-shirt at X, only 25p”. Well, I won’t mention the shorts she bought last week which were size 18-20 and you could have fit me and Karen in, but I will mention the cockup I made today of fitting the t-shirt to karen. This t-shirt (see picture above) has a “hidden support compartment” for breasts. Well, within minutes of arriving, Marie was fumbling at Karen’s breasts. I just stood out of the way. After Marie’s fumble, kp looked spot on. Basically I had fitted the t-shirt incorrectly and you shouldn’t be able to see the “hidden support compartment” that is SO visible in the picture above.

We live and learn.

Day 111 – Wednesday 17th August

Going to keep it brief today as the lawn needs cutting and rain is forecast.

Lovely day today.

Straight into bath to be ready for 11.15am physio. Physio was better than yesterday. kp did all the usual exercises with the main man and then finished the session off with a stand. This stand was amazing, she seemed to just do it in a much more fluid action. The main man assisted throughout of course and he said she did really well, and all he had to do was to keep her left hip and left knee in the standing position, but from time to time kp was keeping them there herself. As an onlooker, it looked like kp did 95% of the standing action and 90% of the “stay standing” Whilst she was in the “stay standing” position, he got her to crouch slightly and practice the last bit of a stand. She practices this quite a few times, and this will no doubt help her to maintain a standing position next time.

This photo makes it look a lot easier than it actually was.

This one looks like kp is dancing with the main man.

When we got back from physio, there was a beautiful orchid plant (with loads of buds) waiting for us. Well, waiting for Karen probably. Thanks to Kevin and Julie Bentley for them !!! It was a lovely surprise. In our care, it should last a day and a half before collapsing in a heap. We are not known for our green fingers. Actually, whilst we were umming and arring on “how to care for orchids”, one of the nurses popped in to do kp’s dressings and her husband grows orchids for a hobby. So, we know all the good tips now. I’ll give it a week now !

Marie came early today to join kp and I for our Wednesday Fish and Chips Day treat ! It was lovely.

That’s about it.

Day 112 – Thursday 18th August

Busy Busy Day today.

kp was knackered when i arrived this morning. When she is tired, she goes very quiet.

  1. She doesn’t say much and when she does
  2. She is very softly spoken

I told her that Dad was very pleased to hear of yesterday’s progress and that she had some surprise vistors on the afternoon in the form of Tommy and Eileen (our neighbours) and Amy and Niamh (2 of their grandkids). No time to lose, straight into the bath routine. This woke kp up a bit, especially when she had to dry/style her own hair. During the bath, we had a visit from a patient who has took a liking to kp + I and who regular wanders in/out of kp’s room. Well, kp was in her birthday suit in the bath and she wanders in. Thankfully she didn’t get past the curtain and I was able to usher her out. Within 30 seconds, she was back in again. She was looking for Steve, so I suggested looking down the corridor. No harm done.

Straight after the bath, it was physio. Another storming day today. Everyday she seems to surprise me. Today we didn’t use the hoist AT ALL in the physio room. kp went to the standing position from the wheelchair, which was amazing. The main man was needed to ensure it all went ok. His input at the moment consists of coaching kp in how to stand and how to correct her position if it is out of alignment. At the moment, kp goes from sitting to standing, but doesn’t lock her left knee and her bum sticks out (left hip alignment). When she gets to this position, the main man tells her to stand straight, pull her bum in etc etc and then kp is at full standing. On the last attempt, kp was doing 95% of it all herself. She is so close to be able to do it herself. I personally reckon within 2 weeks, she will have nailed standing. Once she can do this, they will then work on her doing the same thing but upto a swivel board, which is kind of a rotating standing platform onto which she stands, and then I can whizz her round 180′ so she can sit down onto something different to which she stood up from. As soon as she can do this without help (or limited help) she can visit home, so she was well pleased with herself today and rightfully so.

Main Man and Karen

Another thing he got her to do was (once she was standing) to sway herself from side to side. This was very interesting, because if you think about it, she can’t walk until each leg can bear the weight of her full body. By swaying side to side, she is working up each leg individually to bear her weight. Very clever stuff.

kp in “Turn the bl++dy camera off look”

So, physio was a great success. On the way back to the room, kp was pleased to be able to tell the nurses that “(she has) been standing herself”. They were all very pleased

When we were back in the room :-

kp:- That was amazing. I was standing myself
dp:- It was amazing love. You did really well, but its not quite standing yourself.


I explained that “standing yourself” is when you can stand without anyone’s assistance at all. She has a different understanding of it, and I felt so bad for effectively knocking her outstanding achievement :-(

I ate humble pie as much as I could, and tried to praise her as much as possible. We didn’t dwell on this and I think she is ok now.

Silly dp.

After physio, kp snoozed for a couple of hours and then we went downstairs to greet Tommy, Eileen, Niamh and Amy. They treated us to tea/coffee in the restaurant and Amy and Niamh were lovely and really gave kp something to smile about. They also taught us the meaning of loud and quiet. :-)
It was lovely to see them all.

Niamh, kp, dp and Amy

Eileen and kp. How on earth did they get a quiet moment ?

We had a real good laugh !

That’s it. As we bid goodbye to Tommy and Eileen, the sisters arrived.

Day 113 – Friday 19th August

We’re turning the gas on, igniting it, and cooking on it ! (We’re cooking on gas mum !)
Picked up hot chicken and got in for 10.30am to find kp still fast asleep ! She had slept all the way through until my arrival.

We had a chat for 5-10 mins and then did the bath thing. Whilst we had our little chat a nurse popped in to give kp her tablets, and whilst she was in the emergency alarm went off. (There are 2 alarms a patient can pull, the “attention” button, and the “emergency” button. The attention button sounds one type of alarm and the “emergency” button sounds a more urgent-like sound alarm. The attention-type alarm is triggered by pushing a button on a pad on the end of a wire. The pad is normally kept close to the patient on their bed. The emergency one can not be pushed by the patients unless they can get out of bed because it is a button on the wall marked “Emergency”. The noise we could hear was the urgent one. The nurse immediately ran out of the door, no sooner had she stepped outside the door, than the alarm stopped.

Nurse :- It’ll be X. When she goes to the bathroom, she pushes it thinking it is the light switch.

The bathrooms have lights that automatically come on when you enter them, but they take a few seconds to realise you’re in the room, so naturally the first thing you do is look for a light switch button.

Nurse :- It’ll go off again in a few minutes when she leaves the bathroom as she “switches the light off”.

5 minutes after we went in the bathroom, it went off again for a few seconds. We laughed.

After the bath, we enjoyed our “chicken and chips” lunch. We both then decided on a snooze until physio (2.30pm).

Physio today was another good session. The main man is aiming to get kp ready for going home (for visits) as soon as possible. He told us yesterday that today would be spent strengthening kp’s muscles. Most of the session was spent doing just that. kp was on her back trying to lift her hips off the bed, using her legs to push the main man away, lifting a buttock at a time (always a good skill to have) etc etc… All of this, by the way, is very useful stuff, as it is all muscles needed for standing/walking, they are just being exercised whilst kp is lying down.

Regular bloggers will know that kp has been standing quite a lot this week and whilst standing, she has been swaying her hips from side to side (kind of putting all the weight on one foot, then the other, then the other etc…). I mentioned I thought this was to prepare kp for walking. Well, it probably is, but today I learned the true reason for it.

And herein lies the good news…..

One of the things kp needs to be able to do before she visits home is to be able to transfer from one surface (bed, for example), to a chair without the aid of a hoist.


With the aid of the main man. Here is how it happened. Towards the end of the session by the way, the Prof came in. He is the head of everything stroke at the hospital. He is our consultant’s boss (I think). He sat in for about 10-15 minutes seeing how kp was doing.

So, back to the transfer. kp was sat upright on the bench. and the wheelchair was positioned at 90′ to the bench, right next to the bench. With the main man’s assistance kp went from sitting to standing and just stood for a few seconds to get her balance. He then got her to do the swaying of the hips maneuvre where she takes all her weight off one leg and puts it on the other. After she had got into the swaying motion, he started moving the leg with no weight on into a different position, and within about 5 moves, he had turned her 90′ so she was now standing in front of her wheelchair. She then sat down and did the usual wiggles to be sat fully back in the wheelchair.


She had gone from the bench to the wheelchair with no hoist ! A big achievement.

He then went onto say how well she had done and that she just needs to work on strengthening her muscles so he has to do less work. Once she can do more of this herself, he will train me in how to do the bit that he does, so that we can think about getting her home for regular visits. He didn’t want to say when this will be, but given the progress kp has made this week alone, I think we are looking at a lot less than 6-8 weeks ! :-)

We are having a party on the Bank Holiday Monday for Adele’s birthday (at the hospital), and it would have been great if we could have got home for that, but I don’t think we are talking that short a time !

Well done kp, you have done a great week’s work ! Very proud of you !


Day 114 – Saturday 20th August – Part One

Very short blog ‘cos nothing of note to report. Snoozy morning. Both kp and I were tired when I arrived at 9.30am, so we both just chatted for a while and then went to sleep until about 11.15am.

A bath followed and then we arrived back at the room to find Yvonne had already arrived. kp styled her hair and then we got in the wheelchair to await the arrival of Abbie, Adele and Michelle.

We went for a cup of tea in the cafe and that’s the morning. Short and Sweet ! :-)

Here’s a picture taken a few weeks ago (at Louisa’s birthday party) when kp was still being barrier nursed (hence the apron and gloves) :-

Day 114 – Saturday 20th August – Part Two

It sounds like kp had a fun afternoon – lots of laughs with Abbie, Michelle and Yvonne.

kp had a bath in hot tea. Apparently, she was lying on the bed on her side with the top part of the bed raised (in other words, she was lying at quite a strange angle). Tea was being served and according to Michelle the scenario went something like this :-

kp:- I am looking forward to my cup of tea
Michelle :- Do you want me to turn you on your back to drink your tea ?
kp (lifting her cup of tea to her mouth) :- No, I should be ok.

Whoosh ! Hot Tea all down her !

The only thing injured was Karen’s nighty and pride. The nighty sadly drowned, the pride has recovered remarkably well.

Tonight was the usual Pizza and Program (X-Factor). Not as nice pizzas as previous weeks.

kp was ABSOLUTELY exhausted tonight at the end of the X-Factor. Her eyes were bloodshot and she said she felt drunk. She’d only had some Diet Orange Crush. The last few sentences I got out were met with closed eyes and murmurs of response. I feel sure she was fast asleep by the time I shut the door.

Day 115 – Sunday 21st August – Part One

Short blog for this morning.

kp was a lot more “with it” this morning. A good night’s sleep was just what she needed.

She had just been turned shortly before I got there, and the turn had caused her a lot of pain, so she was gagging for a bath to ease her aches. Thoroughly enjoyed it (surprise, surprise).

We had a nice chat when we got back and then she went to sleep. Marie arrived to take over for the afternoon shift.

And that’s about that for now

Day 115 – Sunday 21st August – Part Two

kp slept a good part of the afternoon but also had some nice chinwag with Marie.

Mum and Dad visited tonight. Mum brought with her a chicken sandwich which kp thoroughly enjoyed with the plate of chips provided by the Q.E.

Very little to report, but an enjoyable day for kp overall.

Day 116 – Monday 22nd August

kp was very tired when I went in today. She had gone to sleep when I left the night before (7.30pm) and not woken up until 7.30am this morning but was still tired.

I had forgot to mention that last night, kp’s left arm and hand had swollen up slightly. This morning, they were a bit more swollen. So, we mentioned these things to the Sister who had a good chat with kp. She gave us some exercises to do with kp’s left arm. The tiredness may be down to the pain patches/medication, but kp and I had a chat about these and she would rather be tired than risk being in pain and was happier just knowing that there was a cause for the sleepiness.

During the bath, we had an attempt to try and remove kp’s rings from her left hand (in case the swelling got even worse), but they wouldn’t budge (even with loads of soap), so fingers crossed the swelling only goes down. The doctor came to look at the arm/hand and has asked for a scan just to make sure that she hasn’t had any clots, and I think she mentioned upping the anti-embellism injection.

After the bath, it was lunchtime, and kp walloped down some Kate and Sidney Pie (as one of the nurses calls it). Whilst she was waiting for lunch, she was in her big chair, and kept falling asleep while sitting upright. Quite funny to watch.

After lunch, she couldn’t get to sleep quick enough and we both had a lovely snooze from 12.30pm till about 3.45pm. Marie arrived at 2.45pm apparently and we were oblivious to her arrival.

No physio as the main man is away today, although kp’s old physio popped in for a nice chat and an arm rub.

Physio back on tomorrow. kp has a urogram on Wednesday 2.30pm. They pump die into a vein and do loads of x-rays to ensure that kp’s bladder is ok given the damage it sustained in the accident.

That’s it for today.

Day 117 – Tuesday 23rd August

Over 12 hours sleep for kp. But, she looked a bit more refreshed than the last couple of days.

I took my laptop in for kp today as she wanted to dictate a letter to her work colleagues to thank them for a present. In fact, I have taken my laptop in every day for the last week but we never got round to it until today.

Bit of background info, yesterday, kp had asked me what I was missing about her and I told her what I was missing. She then asked

kp:- “Do you not miss me making you laugh ?”
dp:- “I don’t remember you making me laugh ?! You didn’t used to make me laugh. I used to make you laugh !”

Back to today, during the dictation of the letter to work coleagues, she said something like “I did my first move from a wheelchair to a bed the other day. Yippppeeeeee”, but when she said yippee, she actually sung it, like you would when really saying “yippee”. I laughed, and asked her how she wanted that typing.

kp:- I thought you said I didn’t make you laugh !

We found this amusing.

kp’s swollen arm has gone down nicely today. It is not back to normal, but the raising of it and the moving of fingers etfc that we have been doing has obviously helped.

kp got weighed today. I am not allowed to report her weight on pain of “pickled testicles”, but I can get away with writing that she has lost a pound since her last weigh-in.

She was generally aching today and has some breakthrough pain, and was keen for the bath to ease the aches and pains. I don’t need to report that she loved the bath.

After lunch, we snoozed for 90 mins or so before physio.

You could tell today that kp hadn’t done physio for a few days. The movements she found so easy last week were a bit more taxing today. I think the main man was going to start the session with a transfer from the chair to the bench, but as he was preparing her for the move, it became clear that her left arm was giving her jip and instead he worked on this and hoisted to the bench.

He did some muscle strengthening moves and finished the session with quite a few stands which weren’t as strong a stands (from kp’s perspective) as last week. The main man said that is to be expected given that we didn’t do as much pre-strengthening routines. The finale was a transfer from the bench to the chair. He offered kp a choice of whether she wanted to be hoisted or try a transfer. The star she is, she opted for the harder route.

The transfer wasn’t as strong as last weeks, but I feel sure by the end of the week, it will be stronger than Friday of last week.

After the physio session, kp had blood seeping trough her buttock wound dressing, through her shorts and onto the sheets. This was redressed. I got a good look at the wound today, and it looks a lot better than last I saw it (about 10 days ago). There is still a bit of sluff at the top, but less than before.

At about 4pm, Marie, Michelle and Jane arrived and within minutes, we were laughing our heads off as we always do when Jane comes. She was telling us about the things she used to say when she was on the market stalls in Middlesbrough. I’ll end this blog entry on Jane’s cucumber sales pitch.

“Come on up ladies. Get your cucumbers here. Give your husband a rest for the night. We’ll chop it in half if a full one is too big for you.”

We were in stitches.

I’ll not mention how she sold black grapes !

Day 118 – Wednesday 24th August

kp was surprised when I walked in the door at 9am instead of 10am. Physio was at 11:15am today and she had forgot that we have an early start when physio is early so that we can get the bath done in time.

We chatted for a while and I read out blog comments from people for the last few days. Carole, she was dead chuffed you were still reading the blog. Veronica, she always enjoys hearing from you and laughed at your stories of Irene and the highlights !

kp had a few swabs taken before her bath. She is MRSA-clear now in her back of head wound and her buttock wound, which is good. She has two new wounds now. She has two head scars on either side of her head (behind and above the ears) where the bed in intensive care clamped her in position. The scabs of these have come off over the last few days and the wounds are quite moist so they have been swabbed as a precaution. I personally don’t think they will find MRSA, but it’s best to be sure.

Lovely bath, surprise surprise.

dp:- What would you do if you couldn’t have a bath every day ?
kp:- I dunno. I’d survive though, but I’d miss it. Do you remember when you used to give me bedbaths ?

I did remember, but I wouldn’t have a clue how to do them now. I know I had it down to a routine, but could I hell remember the routine ? It’s funny. Karen’s accident happened 118 days ago, just under 4 months ago, but it feels like years ago. One of the photos on Karen’s wall is of her standing outside a London theatre having seen Chitty Chitty Bang Bang with the kids. I was looking at this photo today. She was standing normally, no fuss. I can’t remember that Karen. That photo seems surreal, unreal, strange.

After the bath, physio was due. It mostly consisted of physical exercises with the main man. One of them involve kp lying on her side and lifting her weak leg (left) horizontally up in the air. She did it brilliantly. I try and do most of the exercises myself, and I couldn’t do this one. It was very hard. But, I suppose women are better at spreading their legs than men (dp ducks !!!!!). No standing today, no transferring, not because of kp, but because it wasn’t appropriate for this session and the main man had a bit of a bad back.

Karen couldn’t have any lunch because of the Urogram, so we went for a snooze. Lovely ! :-)

At 1.40pm we woke up in time to get ready for the porter to collect kp. He came at 1.55pm with a wheelchair (instead of a bed). kp needs a hoist to get into a wheelchair, so there was a bit of a set to between the porter and Ward 22 staff because he should have brought a trolley bed. The porter disappeared muttering “well, she has missed her appointment then”. There was talk of rescheduling for tomorrow. kp wasn’t really bothered and was just keen to drink something as she had been nil by mouth since breakfast.

Suddenly another porter appeared with a trolley bed and we went to X-ray. At x-ray, they pumped this iodine contrast solution into kp, and took 5-minutely x-ray pictures of her. It was very interesting. I had to leave the room every 5 minutes while they zapped her, but I was dead chuffed I finished a “fiendish” Su Doku puzzle in one of my outings. It had been taxing me for ages. A couple of minutes after every 5 minute photo they brought through the picture. It is intriguing to see kp’s insides. You can see the plate, the screws, the pins, the screwdriver (presumably left in by accident). Actually when I asked it turned out not to be a screwdriver, but some other contraption. kp is now the bionic woman. lol. Each 5-minute shot of kp’s inside showed the dye going from the kidneys, down the ureter, and the final shots were of the bladder, but we never got to see them. We’ll know the results in a day or so, but I am sure there is no problem in this area.

We got back to the room and got settled. Jane and Michelle arrived. Jane brought some lovely Lillies (spelling mum ?!) and her wicked sense of humour ! Michelle brought her bionic woman impersonation. It is very funny. Very very funny and involves lots of her saying Tsch Tsch Tsch Tsch (to herself). Probably have to see it to see how funny it is.

Soon after they arrived, kp’s consultant arrived. He had been off for a few weeks. It was very good of him to come in given his personal circumstances at the moment. He had a lovely long chat to kp about her situation and her progress. During the session he kept referencing Karen’s log. Both kp and I thought he was referring to some medical record on Karen that the nurses keep. It turned out he was referring to this blog. Blog is short for WeBLOG, so he was dead right, but because kp and I always refer to it as the blog, he threw us. I was chuffed to bits that he had been reading bits of it to keep up with kp’s condition. The end result of the visit was that kp was going to reduce her painkiller to see if that reduces her sleepiness and other issues. She doesn’t have a problem with this, given he said we can up it again if she gets pain again.

That was about it for today. A good day overall.

Day 118 – Wednesday 24th August – Addendum

Forgot to mention…………..

The consultant said the results of one of kp’s blood tests was that she needs a scan of her left arm (stroke side). Apparently, the result showed a possibility of a blood clot. He didn’t seem unduly worried and that “we have drugs that can treat that”.

I think the scan is tomorrow.

Will keep you posted


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Some readers may have noticed spurious comments appearing advertising everything from Viagra to Loans. People have been abusing the ability for ANYONE to post comments to pass on to Karen. I have been deleting these as quickly as I can, but they have been getting more frequent and harder to keep up with.

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