Archive for December, 2005

Day 217 – Thursday 1st December

I was wide awake at 4.30am listening to kp snoring her little head off. I got up at 6am to walk the dogs and have some brekky.

I took the opportunity of an early rise to review our finances. In examining bank statements I came across £37.50 going out every month since January. I had NO IDEA what it was. I managed to trace the company who was charging us this and got them on the phone to explain what it was. They would only speak to Mrs Pollard. It was 9am, kp was fast asleep, but I was keen to find out what it was.

dp:- Karen, can you speak to this lady ? It’s about some money that leaves our bank every month.
kp (in full earshot of the woman) :- Do I have to ?
dp:- Please

Well, it took a few sentences before kp woke up. But we tracked the item down to my relief at the cost of an irate kp.

The Occupational Therapist visited today with a student onlooker. It was just a discussion today to discuss what kp wants to achieve. First real session is next week.

That’s it for today.

Day 218 – Friday 2nd December

For the first time today, the home help lady let herself in the house by way of the keysafe. I was washing the dogs down at the time.

As soon as breakfast was over, we were on the way to physio. We used the blue badge for the first time today. We had been using my improvised version uptil today.

Physio today was good. kp explained to the physio that she had been suffering from a lot of pain this week and was especially stiff around the neck. The pain was because one of her patches was duff. The physio went to get some product from her native country (Anti-flamme) and started massaging it into kp’s neck for about 10 minutes. It is a bit like Deep Heat but smells of peppermint and has a cooling/heating effect apparently ?!

It did the trick and kp was feeling a lot better. The physio suggested that kp may benefit from some light massage sessions, so that is something we will try and sort out.

With kp’s neck a lot looser, kp laid down on the bench and the physio worked her left arm to see the range of movement.

kp could get it farther than I have seen her do it with me.

After doing a few exercises with her left arm, kp sat upright and the physio got a cup and got kp to practice bringing it to her mouth with her left hand and attempting to tilt it as if there was some drink in there. She did very well. If there were any liquid in there, it wouldn’t have made it to her mouth and would have adorned her t-shirt, but the fact she can get it so high is an improvement. She needs to work on the strength and the control somewhat, but it’s a start.

Physio over, we went home and kp snoozed from 1.30pm until 4.45pm.

We went for a meal tonight with Tommy & Eileen and my mum and dad. It was a lovely meal and even better it was Mum/Dad’s treat. The “free” meals always taste better to me. Even better, it was the “Pump House” in Durham and they do lovely food. I was too full as was kp.

Straight home to bed.

Thanks Mum and Dad – it was lovely. Thanks Tommy and Eileen for coming and providing the chauffeur service.

Day 219 – Saturday 3rd December

Well, let me start with something funny that happened yesterday. Karen is trying to use her left arm/hand as much as she can to try and encourage it to work more. For example, she will hold her toothbrush in her left hand, whilst putting paste on with the right. She will try and hold toilet roll in the left while breaking some off with the right.

So, she had been to the loo and I had come out of the loo before her. When I turned round I was greeted with a very funny sight. Karen was walking out of the loo trailing toilet paper from her left hand going all the way back to the toilet roll dispenser (JUST LIKE THE ANDREX PUP). She had forgot to release the toilet paper from her left hand and it was gripped by her thumb and forefinger. We both had a good laugh about it. It is very strange that she can’t feel that she is still holding toilet paper, but yet she can feel cold metals against her left hand as painful.

Today was a very rushed morning. After our lovely meal last night, we both lay in until 10:05am. I walked the dogs and got back just in time for the Tesco van arriving with the shopping, then Sue and Gary (kp’s workmate and partner/husband (strike as applicable)) arrived for a visit with some lovely flowers.

We had a nice chat with them. They left and Marie arrived very flustered about the previous evening’s events (complicated). I took both ladies to the hairdressers to be beautified. Surprisingly it only took 90 mins !

2 new hairstyles later, they emerged………..

They had both had a relaxing time.

That’s it for today. Tonight will be X Factor, Strictly Come Dancing and Pizza……… :-)

Day 220 – Sunday 4th December

Another lie-in enjoyed by both of us. kp didn’t take a sleeping tablet and had an excellent night’s sleep. Even she said so !

Before I walked the dogs, I set away our slow cooker with 2 Lamb Shanks in (recipe provided by my sister, thanks Jane), plus shallots, onions, carrots + mushrooms. It smells nice.

Very uneventful day apart from that. kp got up at 10.30am and was back in bed (after breakfast) until 6pm, although she only slept for 3-4 hours.

That’s our Sunday !


Day 221 – Monday 5th November

kp took a sleeping tablet last night. After sleeping so long yesterday, she felt she wouldn’t sleep at all. She woke up saying how badly she had slept despite the Tamazepam.

Physio today, and the Home Help lady was running late, so I showered kp, got her dressed and her hair dried and styled. I don’t like the new style – it requires too much “hairdressing”. kp kept assuring me how easy it was, and kept putting her hand in her hair and “whisking the hair” to try and get some at the back to stand up. It didn’t work. Time meant we couldn’t try again.

Physio today involved working kp’s left arm and doing some walking skills.

The physio lady started working kp’s left arm. She is trying to get kp to extend her left arm without pushing her elbow in the air, which is her tendency at the moment. So, she got a beanbag on a table and kp had to move the beanbag up and down the table, without it going out of alignment. To aid this, she put a walking stick on the left hand side and kp wasn’t allowed to move the walking stick. It took quite a while for kp to crack this, and although she could do it by the end, it still required ALL her attention. One of the weirdest things (as an onlooker) as how totally focussed kp’s eyes are on the beanbag and her hand. She obviously doesn’t feel where her left arm/hand is going and so has to employ lots of eye/hand coordination to get it to work.

After she had done this successfully a couple of times, it was time for some walking skills. Before this, the physio tested the strength of kp’s hips. She got her to lie on her side and see how far she could raise each knee.

From this, the physio could tell kp’s left hip was substantially weakened from the stroke, but the right hip was worse, no doubt from the hip breakages/issues.

She went on to explain the importance of the hip muscles for walking. Weak hips basically mean that, every step, your hip can’t support itself and falls on the leg, meaning the next step is harder. This is how kp walks all the time and probably part of the reason for her being a slow walker.

In order for kp to walk more normally, the physio advised she is really going to have to do some hip exercises.

This over, she wanted to see how strong kp’s left (stroke side) knee was at standing between steps. So, she rolled kp’s trousers up past her knees and got kp to walk up the room. I would have loved to grab a photo of that, but the pair of them are basically ganging up against the photographer and stopping it happening :-(

She looked like Andy Cap on the beach paddling.

Physio over, we were both longing to go to bed. Me, ‘cos I am feeling a bit “under the weather” at the moment (Sore Throat, arrrrrrrrrrrrr) and kp ‘cos of the bad sleep. So, with not wanting to waste any time on cooking, we got a chip butty on the way home, and then went to sleep for 3-4 horus. It was lovely. I was well gone, and woke up to find my mouth was open and that I had been dribbling all over the pillow. How lovely !

Time to get kp up now……….That’s it for today.

Day 222 – Tuesday 6th December

Cracking Day today.

Last night we enjoyed the last “I am a Celebrity”, before both of us benefitted from a really good sleep ! She only had to nudge me once for snoring which means either I didn’t snore much (unlikely) or she had a really good sleep (much more likely).

Today was “Massage” day. Diana Baker, a friend of ours, is a qualified masseuse and she came round to give Karen, Marie and I a massage.

We had a ball. Marie was first and opted for a back and neck massage. She came out feeling fantastic.

I was next. I remember thinking (last time Diane gave me a massage), let her tell me what I need. Diane had been reading the blog and before I even had time to tell her my ailments she suggested a “full body” massage. Spot on. It REALLLLLY did the trick. I came out feeling as light as a feather and really good in myself. I also wanted to have the Hopi Ear Candles, because last time they had got loads of wax out of my ears. They are very relaxing. She basically sticks a special candle in each ear (NOT AT THE SAME TIME), and as it burns it sucks out all the gunge. It sounds very relaxing (like you’re by a log fire). Highly recommended !

Then it was Karen’s turn. Karen had instructions that it shouldn’t be a deep tissue massage, but she didn’t need to tell Diane as she had done her homework on the website and already had in mind what she was going to do.

She gave Karen a back, neck, head and hand massage to die for. Diane had me read out a relaxing passage from a book. I managed to keep a straight face and not spoil kp’s pamper time. Karen really enjoyed it. We all had such a lovely afternoon. Karen definately deserved it, as did Marie (come to think of it). Actually so did I. Yeah !

Here’s a picture of Diane and Karen :-

Karen’s hair is a mess because of the massage btw. If it’s not a mess, then ignore this comment.

If you want a piece of heaven, you can call Diane Baker on 07884021677. Click on her name to see her website which details more of the kind of things she can do.

No snoozes today, apart from being VERY relaxed during the massage. So, we should both sleep tonight.

That’s it for today.

Day 223 – Wednesday 7th December

Wow, what a sleep. Both of us were fast asleep by 10.30am and neither of woke up until 10am !! Just spoken to Marie, and for the first time in a long time, she had a cracking sleep. We are putting it down to the massage yesterday. Diane did say something about it ridding our body of toxins.

So a 10am start meant I had lied in and not gotten the dogs out of the house before the OT arrived with her student aide. So their knocking woke us all up when the dogs went berserk.

The idea of the OT coming today was to help kp learn techniques to get showered, dried, dressed etc…. with the use of only one arm.

Unfortunately, today of all days, we had no water pressure (due to mains works in the street), so the training session had to be limited to getting dressed.

Rescheduled for next Tuesday.

After I got back from dogwalking, we had a breakfast, but both of us felt tired still, so we went back to sleep. kp is still there now (3.30pm).

Day 224 – Thursday 8th December

First of all, a funny couple of incidents from yesterday.

During the OT visit, kp had learned a few moves to assist her in trying to get clothes on herself. When she was putting her nighty on, she insisted I didn’t say a word while she put her nighty top on.

So, she started putting her nighty on, but I could see straight away that she had got it positioned back to front, before even trying to get it on………..

dp:- Can I just………..
kp:- Don’t say ANYTHING, just watch
dp:- but………..
kp:- You can say things afterwards.
dp:- k……..

So, i watched…………..

It was a bit like watching an escapology act in reverse. She did manage to get both arms in and the thing pulled down which was definately a new trick.

kp:- Now, you can speak
dp:- It’s back to front.

We both had a good laugh.

So, she started again.

This time we made sure it was the right way round. Normally, I put the weak arm in first (as it is harder to get in afterwards), but kp did it the other way. I didn’t say anything, thinking she knew a trick the OT had told her about.

Well, she did her escapology thing, and did a nice maneuvre which VERY nearly got her left arm in the armhole of the nighty. Karen obviously thought she HAD got it in, and carried on. A few seconds later…………..

kp:- There !

She had her nighty on 90% perfectly, except her left arm was inside the nighty with her hand hanging out of the bottom of the nighty (not through the arm hole at all).

I couldn’t help but laugh, and as I did so, I showed her where her left arm/hand was. She was in stitches.

Things like this could be so sad, but we have really learned to laugh about them. It works for us.

Last night was awful for both of us. Karen had slept so much during the day, she couldn’t sleep. I am a bit under the weather still (achy/painy/chesty coughy/nose drippy), and so was very unsettled. We tossed and turned for ages. According to Karen, as soon as I got settled and fell asleep, I was snoring, and she would wake me up. When kp fell asleep, I would be tossing and turning and would wake her up.

I just remember a night of being woken up by Karen every hour (for snoring). So, by 6am, we had had enough and I went to sleep in a different room, leaving her a phone in case she had problems. I was gone until 10am when HHL#1 came. SO was kp !

Today, we had a visit from a lady who has installed a Mobile Warden System. Basically, kp wears a pendant round her neck and if she falls (and I am not here), she pushes the pendant and she can speak to the Warden who will come round. One of our worries, is when I eventually go back to work, and kp falls without a phone on her, she will be well and truly buggered, so this way, she can push the button. It costs 4GBP a week, but is money well spent for the peace of mind in our opinion.

Once the warden lady left, I took kp to the doctors. She has been having quite a bit of pain during the night and wanted more pain medication. He has upped the Fentanyl dosage to 100mg. She was originally on 100mg. We’ll see how that goes.

Day 225 – Friday 9th December

I got up at the crack of dawn to walk the dogs. It was that nice feeling of “I’ve had my sleep”.

As soon as HHL#1 arrived, I went to Costco to get the Christmas shopping in. We were both going to go if kp woke up earlier, but she slept in, so we wouldn’t have had time to Costco shop at Karen’s pace with Deborah visiting us in the afternoon.

Whilst I was away, Karen received some flowers from an old friend of mine (Adam Brockbank) and his family. I had COMPLETELY forgot to let him know about kp’s accident. Sorry Adam + co !

Thanks for the flowers – they were lovely.

I took a photo of the flowers for the blog, but a photo of flowers on their own doesn’t seem that interesting, so I asked Karen to stand next to them for the second shot.

After the shop, I went for a snooze and completely missed Deborah’s visit, which I was well miffed at, as I had been looking forward to it for days :-(

kp and Deborah had a nice chinwag apparently.

Soon after Deborah left, Marie and Abbie arrived. They are stopping the night. We have been making Christmas Calendars. My first thoughts were “oh, bugger, I have to make Xmas Calendars”, but then once you start, you just want to make another one ! Here is Abby with the finished products.

Marie (the swot) did 2 !! Hers are on the right. Abbie did 1 (top left) and I did 1 (bottom left). Karen advised whilst practising her arm extension exercises.

Day 226 – Saturday 10th December

Abbie and Marie were up early. Abbie amused herself drawing whilst Marie did some housework (thanks Marie !).

Marie did a fryup for us all, which was lovely. She even cut the fat off the bacon – a real cook !! Once Marie and Abbie had left, kp and I went for a new toaster (our old one kept blowing the house circuit, leaving us powerless). We didn’t take the wheelchair (FOR THE FIRST TIME !). It was just, me, kp + stick, and although she was very slow, she did the whole thing without the wheelchair.

It’s quite good having someone disabled with you actually, ‘cos I can whip out the disabled badge and park right next to the shop. And if anyone’s in the way, you can just shout “Excuse me, Disabled person coming through”.

Well, you can shout “Excuse me” and let them see kp’s slow walk and they get the drift. :-)

We got our toaster and because of Marie’s big mouth, we had to get a George Foreman Grill. Although the man in the shop looked a bit confused when I asked him where his “George Formby” grills were. kp laughed.

Once home, we both had a snooze until the evening’s entertainment commenced. We thoroughly enjoyed our Saturday night.

kp had her new 100mg Fentanol Patch on yesterday lunchtime and her Saturday night sleep was excellent. She can definately feel the benefit. So, I think she will be staying on the 100mg Patches.

Day 227 – Sunday 11th December

Uneventful day

kp had a snooze in the afternoon and we had braising steak for tea. Going to watch the Royal Variety Show tonight.

kp’s patch is working well and she feels a lot less pain, at the expense of tiredness !

Day 228 – Monday 12th December

I got a bit tipsy last night (ahem !). I started drinking red wine whilst flying a plane full of people from Plymouth to Gatwick in Microsoft’s Flight Simulator. It’s a 75 minute flight and I kept drinking glass after glass of red wine. Suffice to say, I got through 2 bottles by the time I got to Glasgow, and I have no recollection of landing the plane at all, but do remember it breaking up in midair because I was descending too fast. So, a lovely night for me, but I have 50 passengers who are well miffed they are dead.

There is another person who wasn’t too keen on me last night. You can guess who ! Apparently, I get very rough when I am tipsy/drunk. So, no doubt when I was getting her nighty on, I would have whipped things off her very harshly, although to me, it would have felt like a dainty touch !

So, this morning, when I woke up, I felt a bit like I may be in for a slap or 2 from kp. But, despite worrying that I was going to get it, kp was ok with my “carrying on”.

Physio was at 11.30am this morning. kp had done her homework religiously, and the physio could tell her hip muscle strength had increased which was good :-)

She got kp to do her “raise the walking stick” exercise on the bed. Note the paper towel under her left hand, without which she feels the stick is burning her (with cold).

She did very well, and got it further than on her first attempts.

She also got her to practice moving a beanbag on a table without hooking her left arm in to her chest as she tends to do. Again, with a few tweaks, she did very well !

So, overall a very good physio session. We then went to Adele’s for a cup of tea and a MacDonalds.

And then went on to Marie’s to set her new computer up so she can access t’internet.

Marie has got all her Xmas decorations up and kp couldn’t resist putting on a xmas party hat.

No snooze for kp today. And she made a toilet trip at both Adele and Marie’s so she was knackered and I have no doubt tomorrow, she will pay for a very full day today.

Good Day though ! :-)

Day 229 – Tuesday 13th December

kp paid the price for 2 flights of stairs yesterday and was in a lot of pain last night and today. It started as soon as she got out of the car yesterday :-(

She got up just before the Occupational Therapist arrived. She gave her a few tips on getting changed and drying hair etc… Seemed to go ok. I was out walking the dogs at the time.

kp did loads of Xmas cards today, whilst I took the vets saga to the next level, writing to Trading Standards, Local Paper, BBC Watchdog and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. What a fart on that was. My next plan of attack if I don’t get any joy is to visit their waiting room and hand out leaflets to all their customers showing them how they can get veterinary medication for cheaper than the vets do it.

Just as we had finished all our letters, Ronnie arrived from London, and Jane had just arrived as I type this blog, so we should have a fun night tonight.

Day 230 – Wednesday 14th December

Busy day today, but very enjoyable.

Before I forget, I presented Karen with her Xmas present yesterday, a little early, but we are away for Xmas at my mum and dad’s, so wouldn’t get time for a present exchange. She said she liked it, but I have since found out she was being polite. My thoughts were along the lines of “What do you get someone who has problems putting on their own shoes ?”. A shoehorn, but it’s for Xmas, it has to be a good shoehorn. How about a brass shoehorn ?

Well, I was thrilled with it, and thought kp would be, but as soon as Ronnie and Jane arrived yesterday they started taking the Michael out of my present.

The girls have reeducated me on buying lady’s Xmas presents and I have done some last minute shopping along their suggestions, so fingers crossed.

This morning, we had a visit from the Mobile Care Warden who came to check kp was ok. We totally misunderstood who she was, as we were expecting the Social Worker and someone from the Care department. Pretty much as soon as she left, the 2 people we were expecting arrived and discussed kp’s care options.

Getting her in a Care Home isn’t one of them – I live in hope ! ;-)

With them gone, we had a lovely fryup courtesy of Jane and Ronnie.

To thank Ronnie and Jane for their support during Karen’s last 8 months, we had arranged for our friend Diane Baker (Masseuse extraordinaire) to come and do her stuff. Even Adele popped up for a massage. It was wonderful as ever.

We treat Jane and Ronnie to half an hour each. Jane was in there nearly 90 minutes !!!!

Karen wanted to have a much deeper massage this week. We had practiced (on our bed) seeing if Karen could get on her front. It took a great deal of maneuvering but we managed it, so the plan was for kp to get on her front on Diane’s massage table. Well, I knew I would be needed so hung around, but we just couldn’t even get kp on the massage table. She couldn’t lift her hips/bum to get her bum on. So I had to get the step ladders so she could use the first step to get her bum on the table. Eventually, we managed it.

kp loved her massage and we think she fell asleep half way through. No surprise, given she was up until 1am with Jane and Ronnie.

We all had a thoroughly enjoyable session with Diane. She even had a cup of tea with us and asked us “who snored ?”. There was a mass pointing of fingers at each other. She then proceeded to tell us a way of stopping snoring, massaging a certain part of the foot.

She massaged this area on all the snorers. I am too much of a gentleman to name the snorers. Actually, bugger that, in order of volume, Jane, Karen, David and Ronnie. So, we’ll know tomorrow how well it’s worked. Watch this space.

Diane explained how her massage (on all of us) will expel all the toxins, and that tonight we should be very wary of drinking alcohol (as that is a form of toxin). So, we have all been sat down thinking about this, and we have decided that eating fruit should be ok. And wine is only fermented fruit. I can drink my cider because it’s only fermented apples. Jane has brought some Advocaat to make Snowballs and get us in the festive spirit. Advocaat is mostly eggs and milk (according to the label). (Well, 17.1% alcohol as well, but that was in smaller ink, so can’t be as important). So, Diane if you are reading this, we are sure you’ll agree that our planned fruit night should go ahead !

Karen has been asleep since her massage. Ronnie has cooked us Spag Bol and it smells lovely, so it’s time to wake the beast, I mean, the wife.

Day 231 – Thursday 15th December

I went to bed about midnight amd Karen (the dirty stopout) rolled in to bed at 3am !!!! Ronnie and Jane are definately bad influences.

kp felt like it was the middle of the night when HHL#1 came to get her up at 10.30am. I got a neat little tablet box (off Ebay) for kp and it takes a week’s worth medication, but today was fill-up day. So, I filled this up as the girls gossipped. Here is a picture of kp’s medication for a week (bar the patches)……..

Jane did us a lovely fryup (again), Ronnie assisted, I washed up.

Getting up was the highlight of the day really, as no sooner had Jane gone back to work, kp and I were snoozing in bed, Ronnie was jobbing on. Ronnie got on the 6.22pm train back to London and kp is watching “Deal or No Deal”.

Day 232 – Friday 16th December

Bad day today. kp’s fentanol patch was due to be changed today, and she really could tell – she was in a lot of pain. I gave her the patch early, but it was a duff patch, and wouldn’t stick properly, so I had to get another one, as she didn’t want there to be ANY risk of the pain relief not working.

Everything was an effort. We had an invite to Abbie’s Nativity Play over in Middlesbrough and I knew she was only going because she didn’t want to let Abbie down.

She knew she would need to go to the loo at some point whilst at Adele’s (before the play) and was worrying in the car about the steps to the loo at Adele’s. This led her on to worry about the steps at my parent’s (for our Xmas trip). She really doesn’t like steps. Thank God for bungalows !!

The nativity play was a hoot, and really took kp’s mind off things. Both kp and I got the giggles during the entertainment, and we were both struggling not to burst out laughing. I’ll set the scene. Year 4 students came on from the music class to perform 2 songs on the recorder. Well, these students knew ONLY 2 notes. And they used one note in one song, and the other in the other song. How is this possible, I sense you are asking. They had a backing track, and in one song, they tooted along to the track with one note, and in the other they changed their grip to too along with another note.

It was funny at the time.

Abbie was an angel in the Nativity, pictured here (tallest angel)……….

(Click on the photo to see it blown up, sorry about the blur)

The nativity over, we had some mince pies and coffee, provided by the school :-)

We took everyone back to Adele’s where we stayed for a cup of tea, but I could tell Karen wasn’t 100%. On the way home, she returned a call from the National Blood Service Personnel department, and I could tell she was getting frustrated. She really struggles to take things in since the accident. She hadn’t grasped the meaning of the conversation and I had to ring a work colleague (who had had the same conversation with Personnel) to find out what it was all about :-(

We had a few tears when we got home. Things are getting on top of her – the pain, the confusion in conversations etc… :-( We had a good talk, and we are going to talk more tomorrow. She is using distraction (Deal or No Deal) to pass the time until tea is ready. (Tracy and Marge’s Shepherds Pie).

So, overall, a bad day, with some fun in the middle

Day 233 – Saturday 17th December

kp was feeling a little better (both mentally and physically) when she woke up this morning. I think she appreciated a day with no plans. At the same time, I am wary of these days as they can be the worst days (as she has time to think about her situation) , but today she needed a day off.

She had breakfast and then her aches and pains were telling her to stop moving, so she went to bed from 12pm until 3pm. I got her up for a cup of tea, and then we both went for a snooze until 5.30pm.

It’s the big night tonight ———– Strictly Come Dancing (Finale) and X Factor (Finale). Should be good ! :-)

Day 234 – Sunday 18th December

kp had a better night last night and felt a bit less achy/painy today (to start off with).

We had breakfast and then Eileen came round with her grandkids who were full of energy and wanted to play whichever computer game the other one was playing. When they had left, we packed all the presents up for family members. We didn’t do wrapping this year, so don’t expect wrapped presents.

By this time, kp had been up and down a bit and was feeling like she didn’t want to move for the rest of the day, so went to bed from 3pm until 6pm. She probably slept half of that.

Roast Chicken tonight, Cabbage, Parsnips, Carrots, Leeks and Broccoli, Sage and Onion Stuffing with sausagemeat, Roast Potatoes, Yorkshire Puddings and a Partridge in a Pear Tree. 2.6kg Chicken should just be enough for the 2 of us. I know 3 animals who will be keen to help us out.

Uneventful Day really.

Day 235 – Monday 19th December

kp was very subdued today when she woke up. She didn’t know what was wrong, but I knew something was.

It turned out all her aches and pains were getting to her. She is a bit sick of spending most of the time in bed, but at the same time, she knows it’s the only place she feels that her pains are in check.

As soon as I got up this morning, I booked an appointment at the doctors to speak to him about kp’s medication. We felt that we would get things sorted then.

We were due a physio session today also, and as it turns out, we sorted most things out in the physio session. The physio really hit the nail on the head with kp’s pain problems. A lot of it is down to Karen’s left arm. kp is trying to use her left arm as much as possible. kp tries to involve it in nearly everything she does. But when she tries to use her left arm, a lot of the effort comes from her shoulders, because her left arm actually can’t do that much. This means her left shoulder does things that a shoulder doesn’t normally do, which in turn, means it gets stiff very quickly with all the effort she puts in. Another thing the physio highlighted was that because Karen’s left side is weak, her posture in sitting is poor and leaves her head dropping over her legs. I had noticed this, and was really pleased the physio had picked up on it.

So, the physio gave kp some good exercise techniques for loosening her shoulders, and for good posture. She also released a LOT of kp’s shoulder tension by applying painful pressure to her “pressure points”. kp really likes the end result of this.

Here is a photo of the physio showing kp how to achieve good posture.

It involves adopting the “Ssssssssssssshhhh” position with your head (with your shoulders back) and then moving your head back from your fingers. It works well.

We left physio with kp still feeling down in the dumps. I felt marvellous because I felt the physio had sussed out kp’s problems and we had a way forward. We went to the doctors and got 4 sheets worth of prescriptions for kp and then the thing that REALLY cheered Karen up came. A visit to the local butcher, coop and baker. Would you believe it ?! She came out of the three shops with a teacake, 2 sirloin steaks, mushrooms and a lovely smile on her face, feeling more positive in herself.

Excellent. We went back home and had a cup of tea (and teacakes) with Adele who had come up to do some cleaning (Thanks Adele). kp then went for a lie-down to ease the aches, but is feeling much better in her head.

Tonight is Sirloin Steak, Mushroom, Onion and Chips. No doubt kp will have me cooking the steak, mushrooms and onions on the George Formby Grill ! ;-)

Day 236 – Tuesday 20th December

Before I forget………….something I missed out of yesterday’s blog.

If you read yesterday’s entry, you will know kp was very down. She said something that made me very sad. It was at the height of the aches and pains and I TOTALLY understand where she was coming from………..

kp:- I am really fed up, David. …………. Why do I bother ?

Now, she meant “why does she bother putting in all the effort that she does” when all she ever gets is aches and pains. I think the whole “rehabilitation” thing is taking its toll.

Why did it make me sad, well, I think part of her is feeling “this life is no fun anymore.” ?!

So, today………I am pleased to report, kp is feeling better in herself. As soon as she woke up, we did her exercises which really help loosen up her shoulder. The OT’s arrived to help kp get showered and spread on their tips. The usual OT was off sick, so the student OT came with a new lady who was very nice. The student OT is lovely too and VERY kindly came with a gadget that enables kp to dry her hair without using a hairdryer. This is VERY useful because at the moment, someone else has to hold the hairdryer while kp styles or vice-versa. It’s the student’s very own gadget and we have it on trial to see if it helps kp.

Physically, kp felt better as well this morning — Much less stiff ! :-) So, we will definately keep up the physio’s suggestions.

Whilst I was out walking the dogs, Marie arrived. She is staying the night. The girls had an 11.30am hair appointment. kp opted for yet another style and colour.

Marie also changed colour.

And shortly after returning home, kp went to bed to rest (not sleep). The aches are starting to kick in, but only in the legs today, which is an improvement of sorts.

Day 237 – Wednesday 21st December

Nice day today. kp is feeling well in herself and she managed to stay free of any aches and pains until about an hour ago (4pm ish), which is considered to be a good day.

We did kp’s exercises first thing. I say “we”, I only orchestrate them and show her what she should be doing. kp does the hard work.

The home help lady came to get kp showered/dressed etc…. Whilst HHL#1 did that, Marie jobbed on. She defrosted our fridge…………It was like an iceberg inside……….but soon Marie had all the ice in the sink…………..

We had a visit today from a lady from the council about changing the way kp receives care. From December 26th, kp has to pay towards her own care but she can choose who cares for her. So Marie is going to be kp’s carer and will be employed by Karen. It’s not much money, but it is good to keep it in the family and it allows us to be much more flexible about timings. Currently, the home help lady comes at a certain time each day, worked around her other jobs. With Marie, we can build the hours up and get Marie to come up for a whole day to give me a break etc…..

So, it should be better all round.

kp hasn’t had a snooze all day, so will be ready for bed when it comes round tonight. I have cooked a lovely bolognaise sauce (thanks to Tracy and Marge for the recipe) to go with Pasta, so that’s our tea in about 10 minutes ! Should be nice and then an early night for both of us.

Day 238 – Thursday 22nd December

First day in a few weeks where there has been nothing on. We need days like to day, but at the same time, I am wary of them being bad days for kp, but today was a good day.

kp was feeling a bit of pain and a bit stiff when she got up. We did the breakfast thing, and went back to bed for a few hours. I changed kp’s patch before bed, and when she woke up, her left shoulder/arm were feeling painfree. I can’t remember the last time that occurred.

We received notification today of the court date for the dangerous driving hearing – 12th January 2005. We also received all the statements from everyone involved in the accident. It was quite stirring reading all their views. It really rammed home how lucky we are that kp made it through.

It’s a miracle.

Uneventful day really apart from that.

Tomorrow we are at Yvonne’s for a Xmas pressy handover for the boro clan.

Day 239 – Friday 23rd December

Last night, kp and I did quite a bit of talking. This pending Xmas coupled with reading the witness statements of everyone at the accident scene has made us BOTH realise how damn lucky we are to be still together.

It’s very hard to put into words our feelings for each other at the moment. We were very much in love before any of this happened and both of us would have said it couldn’t have got more intense, but it has tenfold.

I am so grateful for kp being alive and with me. Last night, I spent half of the night (slight exaggeration) waking up and looking at her and just kissing her, which met with a sleepy “Thanks”.

kp is so grateful for having me around to help her get through this, that she does similar things at the drop of a hat.

I think we are both scared (kp a little more so) that something else is going to happen to break us apart. Neither of us want that to happen, but we are very much in a place where we can’t get enough of each other (not meant sexually, chance would be a fine thing).

When today came and we woke up, the same thoughts stayed with us all day, and i expect will stay with us for quite a few more weeks. If we could grip each other so tight that we melted into one, we would.

Anyway, sloppy stuff apart.

Last day for the home help lady today. As soon as she left, we started packing for our Xmas trip to mum and dad’s and then I had a load of paperwork to get through for kp with regards Incapacity Benefit, Disability Living Allowance, Solicitor Letters, Road Tax Exemption, Paying for the warden service etc etc…

That took an age and we left late to get to Yvonne’s for the Boro clan get together. We exchanged presents and stuffed ourselves on Yvonne’s buffet.

It was nice to see everyone…….I took some photos, but my phone camera isn’t the best….

So, excuse the blurs………


Abbie Close Up

Freddy, Abby + Ethan

Yvonne, Chris, Craig, Dave, Glenn

kp and I had a late night last night (1.30am) and no snoozes today, so we are ready for an early night.

A lovely day.

kp and I are really going to enjoy each other’s company over Xmas. It is a very special time generally anyway, but MUCH more so this year. Much more……….

Day 240 – Saturday 24th December

Lovely day today. The first day today without Home Help. Was nice in a lot of ways to get our house back. Previously, the home help lady (who was lovely) used to stay for a cup of tea after her work, which was “ok”, but it’s not what we would normally do. Today, we got a piece of our ordinary lives back.

Bit of a mad rush this morning getting ready for our trip to Mum and Dad’s.

kp had a blowjob booked in at the hairdressers. She calls it a “blowdry”, but I know it annoys her when I keep calling it a blowjob. So, she was there for 11.30am and out by 12.15pm. In that time, I had managed to get back to the house, get loads of packing done, and be back to collect her again.

We had a lovely drive down, going the scenic route, and stopping over for some refreshments at a nice pub in the country.

Mum and Dad were pleased to see us and vice versa. I spent most of the evening trying to get their xmas present working. I used to be good at gadgets, but in my old age (28 years old +/-) I am not as quick as I used to be. kp had a good evening, and we both enjoyed mum’s steak pudding (a Lancashire delicacy) and chips, although not enough chips. Mum will be hearing from my solicitor (family joke).

Should be great tomorrow seeing all the family ! :-)

Day 241 – Christmas Day

The blog is proud to announce that it has the official permission of Her Majesty to be the first blog to pass on the Queen’s Annual Message :-)

Her Majesty The Queen :-

“This year has been a horrible anus of a year (Annus Horribilis). When one is shunted in the rear of one’s vehicle at 60mph, one sees for oneself the meaning of vehicular impact. Life can be a bitchius maximus…….”

On a more serious note, Karen and I would like to thank everyone for the wonderful support they have given us over the past 241 days. It has probably been said before, but it really does help you get through something like this. There are so many people also who deserve special thanks. You know who you are ! Thank you so much everyone for all your support. Karen and I are VERY grateful.

So, Christmas Day started with kp getting a lovely night’s sleep. I was not so fortunate, being woken up by the very clock Jane and I bought mum and dad for their 75th Wedding Anniversary. It does Big Ben every 15 minutes starting at 6am ! There is some sad justice in that somewhere.

We had a quick breakfast cuppa before the guests arrived. Jane, Guy + kids, Guy’s sister Susa and hubbie Simon and Guy’s mum and Dad (Melda and John), plus us four and Duncan made a total of 13 for lunch.

A beautifully tasty lunch from Mum. We all thoroughly enjoyed it – not enough potatoes though MUM !!! Legal Action to follow. Wine from Simon and Susa plus Champagne plus a beautiful sweet wine to accompany the Xmas Pudd.

It was a lovely day and so nice to see everyone. kp did very well, polishing off ALL her food and too much champagne :-) She was a bit dodgy on her feet and it was nothing to do with her injuries !

kp + I retired early.

Day 242 – Boxing Day

We both had a great night’s sleep. kp loves the bed at mum and dad’s.

After a morning cuppa, we had quite a few visitors (family and friends of the Pollards) around for a nice buffet lunch Mum had put on. And more champagne. kp was feeling a bit tipsy again – Go Girl !! :-)

Then it was Panto time. Oh no, it wasn’t……….Oh Yes, it was. I can’t hear you. Oh Yes, it was. I still can’t hear you. Oh shut up blithering David.

The Panto was at the Lowry Centre in Manchester. It was ok. kp slept through most of it as did my mother and father. The kids weren’t that interested after the first 15 minutes, but apart from that it was well worth the trip ;-) I enjoyed it anyway !

Mum and Dad are out tonight, so kp and I will be watching a bit of tv and then retiring, once I have sorted mum’s 140 viruses out on her pc.

Day 243 – Tuesday 27th December

kp had another great night’s sleep. I was watching her for about 30 mins this morning while she was still fast asleep. She was snoring, but whilst she was snoring, she would scratch parts of her body. It was very funny to watch. Her hand would come up to her face, scratch her cheek, move to scratch her lip, hover ………. then gently subside back to the bed. She did this a few times with different parts of her face.

I love her so much.

We got up about 10am and got all ready for a breakfast of mince pies and toast. I then did some work on mum’s computer, before we had a training session on their dvd recorder. It was then time to go home.

We said our farewells. The weather on the trip home was treacherous. We hit bits of snow which became blizzards over the A66. The car was sliding around the round and kp was VERY frightened. It didn’t help when we nearly got home and got to Crook to see loads of fire engines, policecars AND an air aimbulance that had landed ON THE ROAD. They were still cuttinh the people out of the car as we passed. kp didn’t look at all but it really unnerved her. The road was complete black ice for quite a few miles. It was a horrid journey :-(

She didn’t want me to pick the dogs up from the vet tonight, but knew we had to. Thankfully, the roads around Lanchester were a lot better than around Crook.

Dogs home, we got a pizza in and watched some episodes of “Lost”. It’ll be time for bed shortly. kp is kn+ckered !

Day 244 – Wednesday 28th December

It was a lovely Xmas’y scene when I got up this morning :-)

We were due a visit today from the Social Services to means test kp to see how much she has to contribute towards her own care. This meant an early start for me, in order to get everything (including kp) ready for her visit.

When I got back from the dog walk (in the thick snow), she had left a message to say that they were not making any house calls today because of the bad weather ! Grrrrrrrrrr!

kp was pleased as she was knackered and didn’t want to get up anyway. She is at the end of her pain patch and for the last day or so has had increased pain from all of the walking she has been doing. I told her I was going to Sainsbury’s for some shopping and she was happy to snooze on.

By the time I had been shopping and got back it was nigh on 11.15am, but I managed to persuade kp to get up to have her Fentanyl patch changed.

We had a fryup for breakfast and kp went back to bed. Any movement was causing her grief and bed seemed like the best place.

So, I am writing the blog early…………

Here is a photo of our house taken a few minutes ago…………

Ronnie, you should come up here this week, bring your ski’s, you’re laughing !

I have also uploaded the photos from Xmas Day. There are more on the way from Susa when she emails me them.

kp with her presents (sorry, it’s dark)

Dad, Susa and Simon


Dad said a few words before the meal

Here he is still speaking ! :-)

The kid’s end of the table

This is the view kp and I woke up to on Xmas Day from Mum/Dad’s house

Day 245 – Thursday 29th December

Treacherous conditions outside, so just as well we have supplies to last us through the day. I met Tommy on the dogwalk and he told me a woman lost control of her car on the bend approaching Esh Winning. She had 4 kids in. The car went into the beck (a drop of about 10 feet). All are ok apparently, although the last kid is still in hospital.

Uneventful day. kp couldn’t see very well today. She has days like this. She was checking her email and surfing the web and it got too much for her and I had to take over. We have an optician appointment for her in the New Year, so hopefully that will ease things a bit. The pain is more in check today which is good.

We need to try and get kp down a patch level. She is currently on the top whack of fentanyl patches (morphine-based), and she is tired a lot of the time. I think things may improve if we can go to 75ug/h level. Have put the idea in her head.

We are supposed to have had a phonecall interview today about kp’s mean testing. It hasn’t come yet (4.20pm). kp has been asleep most of the afternoon.

Not much else to tell.

Day 246 – Friday 30th December

Uneventful day.

Funny moment in the night where kp grabbed my hand at the wrist (it was resting on her) and moved it up and down a lot. I think she was trying to suss out if it was her left arm or not.

I told her it was my arm and she fell back asleep.

We were both up late today. We woke up at 11.30am !!!! I was greeted by 2 big dog piles and wet patches in our living room. Poor dogs !!

That aside, not much has happened.

Eileen asked us if we wanted to go for a meal tonight, but the roads are still snowy and kp doesn’t want to be in that situation again in a hurry, so we excused ourselves.

New Year’s Eve tomorrow. Tony and Jane are coming for the night. Jane is cooking.

CLICK HERE for January 2006

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