Archive for April, 2006

Day 338 – Saturday 1st April 2006

Uneventful Day. Lots of plans (Alnwick Castle, Raby Castle) for today got scuppered.

It ended up being a sleepy day. kp had a restless night last night, and didn’t get to sleep until 6am. Consequently, she didn’t get up until 2pm. So Ronnie and I amused ourselves chatting and sleeping.

Pizza night tonight. I suspect the night will be a bit more intersting :-) Although not on a blog-worthy scale.

Day 339 – Sunday 2nd April 2006

Uneventful Day.

We bade farewell to Ronnie at 1pm and had a lazy afternoon in front of the tv. kp went for a 3 hour snooze and was out for the count as soon as she hit the pillow.

In a Devonshire accent………”This week, I have been mostly eating cabbages”

This week………..

Monday – Car in for a service. Angela (other car victim) visiting in the afternoon
Tuesday – Physio in the afternoon
Wednesday – Neuropsychologist in the afternoon
Thursday and Friday, I think Marie is coming up one day and Jane is coming for a lunch out with kp with her friend (but I think these have yet tbc).

Day 340 – Monday 3rd April 2006

Good night’s sleep for kp. She has dropped down her Tamazepam to 1/2 a night and it doesn’t seem to prevent her from sleeping.

Someone came to pick up our car today to get it serviced, so i had to be up for 9am, but kp slept through until 11.30am. We had a nice breakfast outside, it was glorious at that time.

Angela (ex work colleague who was also badly injured in the crash) arrived at 1pm for a chinwag. kp had made some home made soup (I chopped, she ordered me around). It was delicious. We had some real good laughs with Angela. She stayed for about 3 hours, but kp started yawning more than she was talking, so Angela left to allow kp some snooze time.

When kp awoke from her snooze, I was preparing tea. She walked in on me chopping onions, and was surprised to see me with a pair of swimming goggles on. The other day, I made 3 Lasagnes and was really crying, so I took precautions this time.

She said “that should go on the blog”, so I lent her my phone to take a picture… Only fair I suppose…

It took her about 6 attempts to get me and the onion in shot ! She just couldn’t seem to line it up correctly, but we had a good laugh about it.

That’s it for today.

Day 341 – Tuesday 4th April 2006

kp wasn’t tired at bedtime last night, so I gave her the emergency button (which I usually do when I leave her on her own), so that if she fell, she could push it and the warden would come to her rescue. There is much more chance of the warden coming than me waking from a deep sleep.

Of course, when I leave her on her own, I have a restless night sleep and keep waking up all the time. So, last night, I woke up every couple of hours and could hear the tv on, so I knew she was ok.

So, something funny happened this morning. I was VERY aware that kp had come to bed VERY late (about 6am) and had been up and down to the commode from 6am until 7.30am (when I got up). She was not aware that I knew of her bad night’s sleep.

At 7.30am kp was snoring like a TROOPER, the loudest snores I have heard in a while. I got up as quietly as I could, but I still woke her. I knew she would tell me about her bad night. It went something like this……

dp quietly gets out of bed

kp wakes up………

kp:- I haven’t been asleep at all !

Well, I knew what she meant, but found it funny that she was snoring so loud, clearly asleep at that point, and she said she hadn’t slept at all – lol !

I let her sleep on until 2pm when we had to get her up for physio

The physio consulted kp’s notes and knew that this week she wanted to concentrate on trying to use a fork again (with her left hand). She only uses a fork in her right hand at the moment (and I cut up her food).

The physio went to get some adapted forks which basically have big grips, which are more easy for kp to hold.

kp was given some tips to hold the fork correctly…..

She then tried it herself. It took her a while to get the fork in the right position with her left finger on the top to give added pressure.

After a bit of practice, she picked up the knife to try the whole thing.

Once she had practiced holding “things” with a fork so she could cut them with a knife, it was then to try using the fork to get food to her mouth. This didn’t go as well. She found it hard to bend the fork in such a way as it would hold food. Once she got it right, she would then try and leave the imaginary food to her mouth, and then it would go all to pot.

At one point, she moved the fork to her mouth and at the same time, moved her mouth down to the fork and nearly took her eye out. Both the physio and I shrieked at the same time which was funny. At the moment, she doesn’t have the control or dexterity in her fingers to pull this off.

With this in mind, the physio decided to try and concentrate on building up kp’s hand/wrist/fingers dexterity. The physio suggested it would be a good idea to try moving coins around her left hand to improve on her finger/wrist/hand movement. I got some coins out of my pocket (only 1p’s and 2p’s, as I could see that some of them may go the distance). kp has to look at her hand to know there is a coin in her hand, so you can imagine how difficult it is for her to move them around her hand. Well, I must have given her 8p in 2p’s and 1p’s, I’d be surprised if I got 3p back. People will be finding copper coins all around the physio room for weeks to come.

The problem was kp’s left hand can’t make a cup shape to hold coins. Actually, it does do the cup shape but it is at such an angle, the coins just fall out, so the physio started working on trying to get kp’s hand more cupped and flat (not tilted).

We didn’t crack it today, but with a bit of homework, we should loosen her arm/wrist/hand up a bit.

With physio over, we went to Sainsbury’s shopping. Here’s kp heading to the till with an extra purchase of dishcloths.

As soon as she got home, she went to bed.

I’m off to prepare tea. Hot chicken from Sainsburys, carrots, cabbage and new potatoes.

Yum Yum !

Day 342 – Wednesday 5th April 2006

A good day today.

kp had to be up at the crack of dawn today (9.45am) as she had to have visit a doctor in Durham for an assessment.

He was a nice bloke and he asked kp lots about the accident and how it has affected her life. He finished with an examination where we had a funny incident. To set the scene, kp has a very large scar on her stomach. It is about 1 inch wide and because of her hernia is very long going from just below her chest to the very bottom of her stomach (about 16 inches). It has the usual cross-pattern where the stitches were, so is quite a sight at first viewing. So, back to the examination…..

He assessed the strength in kp’s legs/arms, saw how much movement she had and various other tests. He then wanted to see her stomach.

Doctor (as he lifted kp’s t-shirt up) :- Have you had any operations on your stomach ?
Doctor (t-shirt lifted) :- My word ! That’s a yes then.

We laughed.

Following this, she went for an eye examination (another one). First of all, kp’s left eye was covered so she could only see out of her bad eye.

Eye woman :- So, what is the first letter ?
kp looked for about 5 seconds, obviously not seeing it (or probably even the board the letters were on)

Eye woman :- Can you see the big “O” at the top ?
kp looked for a second and said ……………… :- “O”

I laughed.

She didn’t get any more, but I am sure if the woman had asked her if she could see “X D and N” she would have got them too.

With that examination over, we came home and had a cup of tea with Adele who was here cleaning the house and then it was time for a snooze before the neuropsychologist (NP) came.

The NP’s visit was good and we had a nice natter with her. kp’s mood has been good since her last visit and so there weren’t really any problems to be addressed. We aren’t going to have any more planned appointments and are just going to ring her if we need her help, which is probably for the best.

That’s it. Things are going well at the moment, so fingers crossed kp’s mood stays lifted. :-)

Day 343 – Thursday 6th April 2006

Nice day today.

kp had to be up at 11am to get ready in time for Jane and Carol who were coming to take her out for a meal.

When I woke her up, she was not a happy bunny. She had slept for 12 hours, but I think another couple were needed.

kp:- I can’t believe the time. (11am)

Jane was running a little late, which was just as well as kp got a phonecall from Linda McMann, a friend of Karen’s from her schooldays. They did a lot of catching up, and kp really enjoyed the call.

Jane had pre-ordered teas/coffees moments before their arrival, so we all had some tea/coffee. Here are the ladies….Carol, kp and Jane

They went to Chevitas in Durham and had a really nice meal.

More chinwagging on their return. Whilst she was out Karen had received a letter asking her to ring to make an appointment with the consultant who will do Karen’s last (I HOPE !) operation.

I told her and she said she would ring them to arrange a date. She came through to the study to make the phonecall so I could open the diary for her at the dates they suggested, but before she made the call………..

kp:- I need to ring the hairdressers first to get me and Marie booked in for tomorrow.

I thought it was funny ! A woman’s priorities will always be a mystery to a man !

Day 344 – Friday 7th April 2006

Both had a cracking night’s sleep for the second night running.

Well rested when we got up. Marie came over today with Kieran (stepson (17)) for 2 nights. Kieran is jobbing on for us around the house which is good :-)

Karen and Marie went to get their hair done. Here they are coming out of the hairdressers.

Marie’s son died of leukemia in 2001 (aged 18) and whilst he was in remission he planted a “Weeping Willow” in our front garden. Karen and I had arranged a little plaque to go in front of the tree and it arrived today – perfect timing for Marie to see it.

I set it up while the ladies were frittering money away on their hair.

Marie did a double take when she saw it, but I think she was pleased.

I asked the ladies to pose in front of it for the blog, but I couldn’t seem to get them in, so kp suggested they bend down. Well, it got them in the frame, but I can’t say it makes the best picture in the world, what with Lee’s branches masking their faces.

We are off out tonight for a meal with Tommy and Eileen, Kieran and Marie, so that should be nice.

Day 345 – Saturday 8th April 2006

Well, we had a lovely time with Tommy and Eileen, Marie and Kieran last night at the Fir Tree Inn, Crook.

Food was nice, and the pool (ball game, not swimming) afterwards was great fun.

Kieran stayed up late watching a film while we all retired to bed. Marie was just dozing off but kept being woken up by the volume of the TV in the front room. Rather than get up to tell Kieran to turn it down, she texted him ! ;-)

kp had a “commode” of a night, up and down every hour. That will teach her for drinking 2 halves of lager shandy. Dirty stopout !

Karen got up about 1pm for a Marie cooked breakfast – which was very nice. She went back to bed at 2pm until 5pm. Uneventful Day generally. Marie has been cleaning out our kitchen cupboards, I have been getting stuff from the attic for Lee’s charity stall in May and Kieran has been clearing out our shed. Busy day I suppose. Karen is exhausted after keeping her eyes shut all afternoon ;-)

Day 346 – Sunday 9th April 2006

Well, last night, we were all engrossed with American Idol. Here are kp and Marie watching it, completely unaware of me taking a photo.

I went to bed early (10pm) leaving Marie, kp and Kieran (watching Parkinson). I was very tempted to text Marie to tell her the tv was loud, but was too tired.

I got up at 5.30am to walk the dogs (as you do). Kieran got up at 7am for a fag. We both decided to head back to bed.

kp and I were woken by the dulcet tones of Marie hoovering outside our door at about 12pm. We had breakfast and went over to Adele’s to see her house with carpets down and walls painted. It looks great !

We had tea and cake at Adele’s.

kp was starting to get tired, I could tell on the journey over there.

But, she did very well, enjoying a nice time at Adele’s. We dropped off some charity stuff at Marie’s before kp fell asleep in the car on the way home.

It’s 9.20pm now and we haven’t had tea yet. We got home and we snoozed until 7pm, which was lovely.

Pasta and stir-in sauce for tea (I think).

That’s it for today.


Day 347 – Monday 10th April 2006

Strange Night. kp’s sleep pattern is well out of sync at the moment. She came to bed at 5am. All her snoozes are making it hard for her to sleep on a night, but she doesn’t seem too bothered by it. I got up at 5.30am because I couldn’t get back to sleep after she came to bed.

We had an appointment today with the Stroke Association. The lady concerned was due to arrive at 12pm, so I got kp up 15 minutes before as ordered/requested.

We enjoyed a nice cup of tea out the front in the glorious weather awaiting her arrival. Not much to report from that meeting. She explained more about rehab uk (a brain injury based unit in Newcastle that helps people get back to work). Although kp knows she is nowhere near ready for work, she wants something to aim for.

When the lady left, we both had a lovely snooze. We fell asleep in each other’s arms and 2 hours later, we were in the exact same position :-) Aaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrr :-) (Vomit !)

It was still glorious outside so we went out the back (that’s where the sun is in the afternoon for us) and had a cup of tea/can of cider. I wish she wouldn’t drink so much cider ;-)

kp has been in her pyjamas all day and her hair has not been, how can I put it politely, looking good all day, but I don’t mind. I wanted to take a photo for the blog of us sitting outside, but kp wasn’t having any of it.

So, I have compromised. I have used my incredible artistic talent to draw a very life-like kp in the chair with the appropriate hairstyle.

Day 348 – Tuesday 11th April 2006

A more ordered night’s sleep, but she still got up for an hour somewhere in the middle.

I forgot to mention a big step forward the other day – kp made the evening meal !!!! It was Bacon in baps and lovely at that ! :-)

I think she may cook tea again tonight and I think it’s Bacon in baps again. Hope there’s not a trend developing here.

Today, kp showed the signs of “going on a downer”, quietness, staring, thinking, solemn face. This afternoon, she confirmed my fears that she felt she was.

Cue distractions. We went for a 1mph walk to post a letter and get some bread/milk. kp has been keen to get a new bathroom setup, so we started looking into that more. And fortunately, tomorrow Marie, Adele, Abbie and Louisa are coming over to stay the afternoon/night. That couldn’t have been better timed. She went for a snooze after her walk.

kp:- My buns are killing me.

Since the accident, kp has been calling her calfs, slabs and her bum cheeks, buns ?! We are going to try and do a walk-a-day, to try and build her stamina.

She seems ok after her snooze, watching Coronation Street.

Just over 2 weeks sees the 1st anniversary of the accident. kp has been wondering what to do for the day. It’s a tricky one, because on the one hand, I would like it to be just kp and I, but on the other, some distraction may be necessary, not so much for kp, but for me. I am starting to think back to those awful first days. They are not nice memories. We’ll see what happens.

So, generally, not the best of days. Fingers crossed, her mood doesn’t get any lower. It’s not too bad at the moment, but it’s one of those turning point days.

Day 348 – Tuesday 11th April 2006 – Addendum

Well, how wrong can a husband get it ?

kp wanted to watch some of the home videos that I have converted to DVD. I was a bit worried that seeing her mam, Lee and nana would make her upset, so was reluctant to let her watch them, but I gave in and she really enjoyed them.

Tonight, I egged Karen on to watch King Kong on DVD. Well, she was crying her eyes out at the end. I feel very guilty. I didn’t see it coming at all.

It’s such a life-like Kong, I must confess I had a few tears in my eyes at the end.

Day 349 – Wednesday 12th April 2006

Eventful day today. kp didn’t really have time to contemplate her situation and for her mood to worsen as it has been quite hectic with one thing or another.

She had another interrupted sleep, getting up for an hour or so, sometime in the middle of the night.

I didn’t wake her until I got a text from Marie to say she was ready to be picked up at the bus station, accompanied by Adele, Abbie and Louisa.

By the time I returned, she was ready to get her socks and bra on (the 2 items she can’t do herself) and get her hair dried. The kids were very good, but also very demanding and kp didn’t get chance to have a snooze. Somehow I fitted one in though ;-)

Whilst I was asleep, Karen received a phonecall to tell her that her cousin Angela had died. She was 37 with 3 kids (13, 18, 19) and was found by her daughter (13) in the bathroom this morning. Cause of death is unknown at the moment, but she had been unwell the day before apparently. So, that came as a bit of a shock to us all.

When I got up, Karen and I took Abbie and Louisa to feed the horses. Here they armed with a bag of sugared bread and a bag of carrots.

Louisa has no fear when it comes to animals and was quite happy to try and feed them, until the last moment when she just threw the carrots at the horse.

Abbie on the other hand was a bit more timid, and couldn’t quite get close enough to feed them. The food went down very well though.

Feeding the horses over, the kids wanted to explore the woods, so we let them wander off.

Marie had started the Roast Pork off while we were out and peeled all the veg. I took over the reins as was planned. Plus I had my commis chefs. It started off with just Louisa (stirring gravy)…..

And soon Abbie was joining in………

We enjoyed the meal. The end of the meal was greeted by Louisa (2) shouting…….

Louisa :- “I beel dick”

Well, none of us could understand her, but she was quite adamant that she beeled dick. So Marie rang Louisa’s mam (adele) for the translation. It is of course

Louisa :- “I feel sick”.

Well, she was saying it with such enthusiasm, that we didn’t believe her. She was fast asleep 15 minutes later.

So, a sad day for the family today. I can’t remember if I put this in the blog, but about 2 weeks ago, another of Karen’s cousins (18) died of heart failure, so quite a bit of bad luck around at the moment.

But, kp has kept strong and for now is ok.

Day 349 – Wednesday 12th April 2006 – Addendum

All is quiet in the Pollard household.

Day 350 – Thursday 13th April 2006

I am pleased to report a full night’s sleep for kp :-)

Marie and I kept the kids amused from about 7.30am onwards until kp graced her with her presence at about 12pm. Did you know a cardboard box can keep them amused for hours if you turn it into a house ?

I wish I had took a photo of Louisa with the box on her head, pretending she was inside the house ! ;-)

When kp got up, we had breakfast before taking the kids to the park on the way to physio. Louisa was having such a good time, she didn’t want to leave and snook herself away behind a climbing frame, thinking we couldn’t get to her.

Sorry about the photo quality today, my phone was low on memory.

Physio was very productive today. The physio decided to reassess kp to see how much she has improved since first attending her sessions back in November. It was evidence of her vast improvement :-)

The first assessments were based on balancing.

They ranged from balancing with feet close together, on one leg, one foot in front of another, picking up something from the floor etc etc…

Stepping was no problem….

One foot in front of the other was a bit more challenging and she lost her balance a few times, grabbing at the physios coat to stop her falling.

Picking up keys was a big improvement. Last time, she really had to snatch them from the floor in a very uncontrolled manner. This time, it was more of a natural swoop.

Then it was time for a timed walk. She had last done this the week before she left hospital and had completed the 10m walk in 35 seconds.

Linford Christie, watch out, we are talking 15 seconds !!!!

Back to the physio room to try the pegs in the holes exercise. Bloggers with a good memory may remember that the first time kp attempted this, she got so frustrated trying to even pick the pegs up, it was called off.

Subsequently, she managed to get 3 of the pegs in. This time, she got them ALL in. It took a while, but she was NOT going to give up.

Here she is posing (at my request) for the camera. I ask her to do a thumbs up !!! It’s the left hand doing it as well !!!!

Because of the pelvic/hip injuries (not the stroke), when Karen walks, her right hip drops at every step, preventing her from walking fluidly, and therefore causing a walk to be much more strenous than it would be for most of us. kp didn’t know what the physio meant by “her hip dropping”, so she placed kp in front of a mirror and showed her.

When asked what else she would like to cover, I butted in and asked if kp would be able to walk faster than the usual 1mph.

So, the physio got kp walking (whilst supporting her) and then made her walk fast. It was amazing to see !!!

The physio went one better and we redid the timed walk at this new pace without any support from the physio. Here it is in video format.

CLICK HERE to see kp speed walking. It looks like a vintage bit of film where they walk dead fast, but this is NOT an optical illusion. This is actually how karen walks fast (at the moment). She did the 10m in 7 seconds !

It was the last physio for a few weeks today, as kp starts hydrotherapy next week, but it was a very good one to end on.

By the time we got to Sainsbury’s for our weekly shop, kp was already in pain.

We are running a hot bath as I type this.

Day 351 – Friday 14th April 2006

Cracking day today.

We were expecting the worst given kp’s speed walking yesterday, but she managed to overcome the pain to enjoy a good day.

She didn’t get up until 1.50pm and needed help getting out of bed. It reminded us of the days when I used to have to pull her up from the bed every time.

Once up, we enjoyed breakfast outside in the glorious bank holiday weather. We had planned a few things today because a day with nothing on can be very demoralising for kp. Today, it was “walk a dog”, plan a bathroom design and watch “Acorn Antiques – the musical” on dvd.

We changed walking a dog to walking 3 dogs. The dogs thought they were heaven with a second walk in the middle of the day :-)

Here is kp with Cleo. I actually walked the 3 dogs, but gave her Cleo for the photo. Elsa got the blog camera time last time ! :-)

kp wanted to make the walk longer so we ended up doing about 1/2 a mile. On the way back, kp had to do a 6 foot stretch of the walk at a 45′ angle. It knacked her (kp ‘s words). If that had been at the beginning of the walk, we would have gone straight home. She really struggled and I had to put all my weight behind her to get her up.

Very nice walk.

With the walk over, we went straight into bathroom planning. That kept us both mentally taxed for 30 minutes.

We then went outside with the dogs in the back garden to enjoy a lager and lager shandy for 30 minutes.

Here’s the dogs ………..

and here’s kp………..

By this stage, kp’s every movement was causing her pain, so she had to retire

kp:- I am not going to sleep, I just need to rest my body.

I nearly spat my drink out.

Well, I can hear snoring from the next room, but I can’t say I am surprised.

That’s it for today

Acorn Antiques tonight

Day 352 – Saturday 15th April 2006

Today was “Easter Egg Hunt Day at Maries”.

kp was up a couple of times in the night, but otherwise had a good night’s sleep. On the way to Marie’s, we popped in to a bathroom showroom in Middlesbrough for a good mooch round at various bathroom setups.

Once at Marie’s, we tucked into the lovely buffet lunch Marie had laid on, before the Easter Egg Hunt was on. Four kids (Abbie(8), Ethan(7), Louisa(2) and David(12)). I was looking forward to SHARING some chocolate with the kids. Unfortunately, David(11) gets hyperactive on chocolate so there was no easter eggs to hunt, only toys. Well, I was polite and didn’t spit my dummy out at the fact there was no chocolate.

Here is the family picture……..

The kids enjoyed finding the toys. Marie could see I was a bit miffed there was no chocolate and as if by magic, a galaxy bar appeared in front of me :-)

The toys Marie had got provided us with a cracking afternoon’s entertainment and the kids enjoyed it too. She had got them these big blowup England-themed football hammers that you blow up. There were 4 of them. I was knackered after blowing 2 of them up (must cut down on the fags).

The kids had a whale of a time with the hammers. But soon the adults were being battered by the kids. That’s when it all changed. The adults took over and took their revenge.

Adele was the first to come a cropper from the kids, but she took no prisoners and was beating the merry hell out of any kid who came close, including her own daughter.

I overheard someone threatening to call Social Services, but it was an idle threat.

Michelle helped Abbie beat the boys….

Abbie was tired, so Michelle and Adele took the boys on……

Michelle fought hard…

I was trying to avoid being hit, but hiding behind Karen only wins a bit of time. Ethan came for me, but I grabbed the hammer and showed him how strong 25 year olds can be….

Louisa was unimpressed…..

It was a really good afternoon. kp was flagging about halfway through, so we took Ethan and Chris home, before driving back to Durham.

Lovely Day !

Day 353 – Sunday 16th April 2006

Lovely day today. kp in good mood despite nothing on.

kp was up at 11am. We had a lovely breakfast outside and then she made a few phonecalls (lasting 2 hours), whilst I carried on the work on the blog (the book version).

Here’s a little thing that I found today whilst going through Karen’s medical notes and I suppose it’s a snippet preview of the book version…..

kp then went to sleep after her phone calls until 5pm, whilst I mowed the lawn.

That’s it for today.

Day 354 – Monday 17th April 2006

Today has been a “reminder of Karen’s stroke” day. It’s not been a bad day, don’t get me wrong, but a few stroke related things have popped up.

kp got up early today, about 10am. I was amazed, but pleased.

We had our usual breakfast outside. kp buttered her own toast today, but she doesn’t like doing it, because it reminds her how hard it is with only one controlled hand. What is interesting (to me) is how she cut the toast. Bear in mind, kp neglects her left field of vision. She doesn’t see 1/8th (of the left) of what we see. It shows itself in her cutting of the toast.

She would think she cut the toast in the middle, but as the picture shows (which she has no idea I took), she was quite a bit off. She thinks the left hand side of the toast is closer to the right than it actually is. Notice also the butter on her left finger (highlighted). I only spotted this just now when I am writing the blog, but I guarantee that butter is probably still on her finger, or all over the furniture, because of the reduced sensation in her left arm/hand. It’s something the family is aware of and we look out for certain things from time to time, but these are shareable examples.

Today, she wasn’t quite herself however.

During our breakfast conversation, she was trying to get a sentence out, but couldn’t find the word “depends”. She could say the sentence in a different way, but it was really frustrating her that she couldn’t pick the word out.

kp:- I feel like everything is in slow motion.

So, after breakfast, on my suggestion, she went back to bed to get some extra zzzz’s. She got up about 3pm and we have had a nice afternoon doing very little.

That’s it for today.

Day 355 – Tuesday 18th April 2006

kp had an awful night’s sleep last night. I got this email from her this morning when i woke up…..

“it is645 and just coming to bed awful night got up at 1am came back at 4.30and never went back to sleepso got up at 6.30 let dogs out and here we are.there is a smell off cleo were she has beenlicking but couldnt see snything it needs a better look but i couldnt get down enough to see”

Poor cow.

I let her lie in until 1pm. Whilst she was sleeping, I prepared her next 4 week’s tablets. I left the current week’s tablet out for her by the fridge, and piled her other 3 week’s tablets in a pile on the right hand side.

I have just noticed that she has been taking tablets from the wrong pile, completely ignoring the tray of tablets I had left out for her on the left hand side. You’d think I would have cottoned on to this neglect thing by now !

Once kp was up, we had breakfast and went to Costco to stock up. We enjoyed a nice shop and had an early tea on our return.

That’s it for today. Apart from a word about Cleo. There was an awful smell coming from her left leg. I had a good look, and she has the biggest of blisters where her hugely enlarged left leg has been rubbing against her right (active) leg. We had enough dressings/bandages from previous dog episodes to clean the wound up and bandage her up.

Doesn’t she look fetching ?

Day 356 – Wednesday 19th April 2006

Well, we decided on an early night last night, but all the best made plans of mice and men etc….

Cleo had been licking her bad leg all day. And just as we were about to retire, we could smell a really bad smell. On further investigation, cleo’s swollen tumour had split open and you could see down to the muscle. Not a pretty sight and the smell was pervasive.

So, we got out some old bandages and gave her a good clean and bandaged her up. After getting hooked on a show on tv, it was 12am before we retired.

In the morning, the bandages had been torn off by Cleo and the smell was even worse – a vet trip was in order.

kp got up at 2pm and we enjoyed breakfast outside, but were mindful that we could be taking Cleo in to get her “put to sleep”. I took some photos of the dogs, thinking it could be the last time Cleo and Elsa (sisters) were together.

Here is kp waiting at the vets.

We were worrying for nothing about Cleo. The vet said her skin had ulcerated and set her on a course of antibiotics. Phew !

That’s it for today. When home, we went to the shop to post a letter and get some groceries in. Here is kp on the return.

Hydrotherapy tomorrow.

Day 357 – Thursday 20th April 2006

kp didn’t have a good sleep last night, so I didn’t wake her until I had to, which was, in time to go to Hydrotherapy.

Hydrotherapy – she loved it. Unfortunately, I wasn’t allowed in :-( Understandable, because there were other patients in there, but a real kick in the teeth, as I have been able to follow her recovery 100% until then.

Sounds like she had a lovely lady to guide her through the moves. One of the things kp wants to be able to do, is to be able to bend down on her knees. At the moment, they don’t bend enough for that, so I think she did some exercises to help towards that.

Anyway, she really enjoyed it, the water was apparently a lovely temperature.

Once home, we snoozed for an hour until the “bathroom man” came to measure up.

That’s our jam-packed day ;-)

Day 358 – Friday 21st April 2006

Well, today was the day of Angela’s funeral. Karen didn’t feel strong enough to attend, but did think about it and her thoughts were with her family.

Very uneventful day. Cleo is very subdued and has been, since taking the antibiotics :-( This has affected Karen’s mood and she is quite quiet today. kp has been asleep all day apart from 11am to 1pm, and has been up since about 4pm, but is now back asleep (5.30pm).

She is in a surprising amount of pain today. Neither of us were expecting that, but the hydrotherapy must be more intense than she realises at the time.

Tomorrow, Adele is coming up, so that may well cheer her up. And then we have the Take That concert on Sunday and a busy week next week, so hopefully there is enough distraction there to keep her occupied and not thinking too down.

Day 359 – Saturday 22nd April 2006

Uneventful Day.

kp didn’t think she would sleep last night, having slept a lot yesterday, but she was asleep from 10pm until 12pm (14 hours) with no commode trips. So she must have needed it.

We went round to the post box to post a cheque to some ebayer Karen has bought some makeup off. Lucky I checked the envelope, as the address read something like this :-

Mr John Smith

She had missed the house number and street off and half the postcode. We chuckled about it, but at the same time, she does realise that she “can’t be trusted with things like that” (her words)

On our return, we dropped in at Eileen’s and played with her grandkids for 20 minutes or so. Adele has just arrived and no doubt it will be pizza tonight

Welcome to the new look blog

If you have any problems with it, please don’t hesitate to let me know. Leave a comment below.

David P.

Day 360 – Sunday 23rd April 2006

Well, we had a good night watching tv last night with the obligatory Pizza. It has been an absolutely glorious day today. Hot in the city tonight ! Let’s hope so, ‘cos it’s the Take That concert in Newcastle.

Here is the crew enjoying the sunshine before we set off.

It’ll be a late night tonight, so there’s unlikely to be a blog update until the early hours or tomorrow possibly.

Day 360 – Sunday 24th April 2006 – Take That

Well, I wasn’t keen on going to the Take That concert to say the least. I didn’t want kp to know as she would have felt guilty asking me to come along.


We all thoroughly enjoyed it and Take That were brilliant. Their showmanship was awesome. Their show was funny, exciting and the music as good, if not better than ever. They had done different arrangments for the songs and they were very catchy. It was just incredible.

At one point a 200 feet long walkway and second stage came down from the ceiling and they played songs within spitting distance of us (lots of Beatle numbers).

Jane, Adele and Karen thoroughly enjoyed it too. And it was great to see Karen tapping along and laughing out loud when they started doing the same dances they did 10 years ago.

We all had a great night, and I doubt I will ever see a concert in my lifetime of such high quality and entertainment. It’s a shame Lulu wasn’t there (and Robbie of course). But Beverly Knight did a good job !

Here are some photos of the night………..

First of all, while we were getting kp ready, it was clear she had caught the sun BIG TIME !

Here is kp waiting for the show to start. Very excited !

Here is Jane, equally (if not more) excited…..

I was more interested in the workings of the show……..I spotted this huge walkway and stage stuck to the ceiling and was wondering if it would come down…..The stage is more easily visible (with its 4 legs), but I have had to brighten the walkway bit….

They used it to perform Beatle’s numbers…

At half time, Jane took kp out for some fresh air. Jane has a gammy leg, and the wheelchair (with kp in it) nearly laid Jane flat on her face and Jane had to run as best she could so she didn’t fall.

Also, at half-time, the campest looking skinhead (with a Take That T-shirt on) came over to kp and started talking to her. I thought she must know him, but a worried glance at me confirmed that she didn’t.

He was bigger than me, but I was ready to “offer him out”.
He was asking Karen if he could sit in her wheelchair.

Karen:- No, you can’t. B+++er off.

He duly left.

Karen:- He said that I have the best seat in the house and he wanted it.

He was a good laugh actually.

Cracking Night

We got chips on the way home and all slept like babies.

If you want to see how much fun we had, click on the link below to see some video footage (not the best quality) of the night….

Click Here for low quality, but faster download

Click Here for better quality, but slower download

Day 361 – Monday 24th April 2006

So, we all had a cracking night’s sleep.

I was up early (5.30am) walking the dogs, and got kp up at 8am as she had a doctor’s appointment at 8.40am.

kp:- Where am I ?

You’re in bed.

kp:- It’s not “get up” time is it ?

dp:- Yes, love, sorry

She had just been dreaming and was very confused when she woke up. Doctor’s over, we returned to have breakfast with Jane and Adele before they scooted off and then it was straight back to bed, before Karen’s boss (Colin) and Personnel Manager (Linda) came. We were expecting them at 12pm, they arrived at 11.15am.

Poor kp didn’t know if she was coming or going.

We had a nice chat with them and some laughs as well.

Then it was hydrotherapy time. Here is kp in the pool, not the best of photos I am afraid….

And a little bit of video footage. I have to be careful to respect other patient’s privacy, so getting shots with only kp on is a bit tricky.

Click Here to see a very small clip of kp in hydrotherapy….

She loves it. She felt the session was too short today.

That’s it for today. Going to see bathrooms tomorrow.

Day 362 – Tuesday 25th April 2006

Karen was in a lot of pain AGAIN after hydro. It really seems to hit her hard, but yet she feels nothing while it’s going on. She got up in the middle of the night to take some Diclofenac and Codeine (a cocktail she uses for breakthru pain) which doesn’t make it go away, but allows her to bear it.

She was up at 12.30pm.

Karen had a nice surprise in the post today. Mum (and Dad) had bought her a lovely heavy (therefore expensive, I think) gold necklace to cover her trachy scar. It was the perfect fit. She was over the moon. Thanks M+D.

We had the usual breakfast outside (lovely weather) and headed over to HS interiors in Middlesbrough to browse bathrooms. They have some lovely stuff there, and the chap had been out to measure up and had done some cracking 3D views of the proposed bathroom. Once he showed us the proposal, he took us round the proposed showers etc…

Here is kp when I locked her in a shower cubicle.

Shame about the price though ! £25,000 for 2 bathrooms I kid you NOT ! I remained calm(ish) and was then just anxious to leave. To be fair, it was a top notch bathroom, but we could buy a house for not much more.

Once that was over, we went to Jane (Burns) to see her new pup. He is lovely. Here is kp training him to sit. He is called Murphy (left) and Caffrey (his dad) is on the right. The other dog is Karen. I am gonna get it for that (in a year’s time !)

That’s it for today. We got back at 7pm and kp went straight for a lie down.

Day 363 – Wednesday 26th April 2006

Well, tomorrow is the one year anniversary of the accident. Unfortunately, this is Day 363, which means this is one of those special years with only 364 days in it. No doubt, along the way, I have skipped a day, but I am sure there are quite a few I would have like to have skipped.

Another lunchtime get-up for kp today. We had to take Cleo to the vets for a re-examination. She is still ok and on more antibiotics.

kp asked if it would be a good idea to get her leg off, and the vet didn’t really hint at either getting it off, or keeping it on, but either way, suggested nothing be done until after our holiday in a couple of weeks time.

Marie and Glenn came (for tea) tonight. I had been snoozing in the afternoon and never really woke up when I got up, hence I forgot the Yorkshire Puds for the casserole I had made. Only just remembered the blog, must have other things on my mind. :-)

Busy few days coming up……Jane is coming up tomorrow to watch the Middlesbrough match with a Chinese. VDfromboro is going to the match and coming up afterwards and staying the weekend with Jane, so it should be a fun weekend.

All blog readers should use to access the blog from now on. will remain, but will not be updated and in a day or so will just take you immediately to this page.

Here is another snippet of the upcoming blog book version…..It’s a photo taken from the police helicopter of them trying to get Karen out of the car.

Trying to get kp out of car

Day 366 – Thursday 27th April 2006

Lots of thoughts today about “a year ago”. But no depressing dwelling on how bad things were, just happy/funny thoughts about the events around this day.

kp got up just in time to go to hydro at 1.40pm.

It went very well. She is keen to be able to kneel down again so she can do weeding and planting, so they concentrated on that today. It was quite a long session and no doubt tomorrow she will feel the pain for her efforts.

A beautiful afternoon this afternoon – a real scorcher ! Michelle sent a bottle of champagne and some lovely flowers – thanks Michelle (kp was over the moon) and we have had lots of well wishes which we also really appreciate.

Jane has just arrived and we are going to have a lovely weekend with vdfromboro (when she arrives after the match).

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