Archive for October, 2006

Day 509 – 515 – Monday 25th September to Sunday 1st October 2006

She’s cooking on gas this week.

It seems like forever that Karen has been really low (probably only 3 weeks). :-( But, we turned the corner this week.

On Sunday (24th) night, Karen was really low again and couldn’t find any good in life. It was time to move up a notch on my part. We had asked the neuropsychologist (np) to come last week, but she hadn’t even phoned. We couldn’t afford another week like that.

So, first thing Monday morning, I rang her again
………….Answering Machine……………

I left a short message nearly begging for her help. I have no doubt that she would be able to hear desperation in my voice. That same night, she came to see Karen at 5pm. She was still there when I got back at 6.30pm. There had been lots of tears and lots of talking, but Karen felt “something had clicked”. Music to my ears. Whilst I was there the np explained to me how me going back to work had affected Karen and how she felt trapped at times etc etc……She obviously went through a lot more than this, but my memory is awful and I can’t remember what she said.

While I remember, Karen has been trying to explain her bad memory to me. She can’t remember as much as she used to be able to. When I hear this, I simply tell her that “my memory is sh1te”, but this really annoy Karen as she can tell her memory and other mental functions aren’t as good as they were pre-accident.

Back to the NP session, the important thing was that she had gone through things in such a way that Karen felt better. The other thing that came up was Karen’s sleep talking. This came out just “in passing”, but turns out to be quite important. Since Karen came home from hospital, she has been talking a great deal in her sleep. She also moves her hands a lot whilst asleep, i.e. scratching her head, holding her other hand etc…The conversations she has are quite lengthy and quite strange. I am so used to them now, I try and make a mental note about what the conversation was about and then fall back to sleep. By the morning, I have invariably forgotten the subject matter. I do remember last night’s one vividly. It was a single word, shouted out. It was either…..

kp:- “Bitch !”


kp:- “Fetch !”

Anyway, the NP is referring Karen to a sleep clinic in Middlesbrough so this can be looked into in more detail. She may have to spend the night there. Watch this space.

After the NP left, we had a good talk and were both very relieved that a corner had been turned.

The next day I emailed Pip (on Karen’s behest) to find out what magic she had done to get Karen to turn that corner…..Here is her reply…..It took me a few attempts to grasp….

“….All I did in the meeting with Karen was to contextualise the change in her perception about the problem, comparing her perceptions before she took on this information with after. I did this taking some of the physical elements of her condition as an example – walking/vision and arm movement. When looked at on balance her ‘real’ underlying feelings about possible recovery were not all that different before and after. Infact, because of the possibility of occlusion of one eye to prevent double vision – she actually thinks things could improve on balance a little more than she had expected.

The other general area we discussed, I think when you came into the room was the tendancy she has to think in black and white and the fears she had about the effect of her illness/your return to work on your relationship. This was resulting in a tendancy for her to withdraw into a shell and not talk properly to you and increasingly build up a sense of isolation/loss and concerns that you might overwork yourself – but at the same time really wanting to be independent and manage without you needing to be around all the time. – As you get back on with your normal life she feels that she is becoming an onlooker, rather than really living as she used to (perhaps the reason for the ‘dead inside’ feeling).

I think these were the key elements I remember. If you give this to Karen this may be sufficient to jog her memory so that she can think whether it was this or something else that helped her.”

The following days saw further improvement as Karen reverted back to her old self again.

Wednesday was physio. Karen went by herself as Marie was on holiday. She struggled with her bra again, and asked the dog walker (another Marie) to put it on. I think Marie was quite shocked at the request but she helped her anyway. Karen isn’t phased at all by other women putting her bra on. Probably as a result of the long hospital stay. The physio went well, although the following few days saw Karen paying the price for her physio session in the form of stiffness and pain.

Another thing I forgot to recall from last week is that we tried to reduce the pain patches from 125ug to 112.5ug. Unfortunately, kp could feel the difference and with her mood being so low, it wasn’t worth persisting with the pain as this would only aggravate her low mood.

On thursday, I was busy at work talking to Julie my work colleague when a text came through from Karen. There were no words just this picture…..


Karen was so proud she had been able to get the duvet cover on the washing line, she had texted me a photo of it. :-) I couldn’t help but laugh. Nice one kp !!

Friday we had arranged an appointment to see the Doctor. Karen wanted some stronger sleeping tablets and we needed a new sick note. She is now on 20mg Tamazepam a night.

Saturday saw us make a trip to Lancashire to see my mum (and family) after her hip replacement. She was doing really well walking around the house (with her crutch). Dad cooked lunch. Amazingly good considering the chef !! ;-)

It was great to see all my family again and we all had a good time….


Here is Jamie with his special camera smile….


Sophie took over the camera and took ALL of these photos…..





Day 516/7 – Mon/Tue – 2/3rd October 2006

Strange start to the week.

Karen is still doing really well mentally. Physically, she is doing all her exercises as requested by the physio, who had done a great schedule for kp (personally adapted to her) i.e. things like walk the dogs round the garden, play with the dogs, etc…

But today (Tuesday, start of our holiday), at about 5am, she started crying in her sleep, murmurs to begin with, but then it grew and grew. I had to wake her up.

dp:- Karen, you’re dreaming.

kp:- I am not, I am losing my mind (still crying)

She was still asleep, but awake (if that makes sense)

Normal trip to the loo, sobbing along the way as she went. I went with her.

As she sat on the loo, I hugged her and reaffirmed that she was just dreaming, she hugged me SO hard back.

dp:- It’s just a dream, love.

kp:- Is it ? (kind of waking up now)

dp:- Yup, just a dream

She calmed down bit by bit. The hugging got less and less choking, I could breath shallow breaths now.

We went for a fag. I asked her what her dream was about, but she didn’t want to talk about it, and I didn’t want to take her back to that upset, so just left it.

Very strange.


Holidays today. We left a bit too late (for my liking) to the airport. There were huge queues at the security point. Shoes off and x-ray job. kp could leave her shoes on. They must think terrorists wouldn’t use in a wheelchair ?!

We had to find Nige/Terry and Wills. No surprise to find Nigel in the technical shop, eyeing some gadgetry (like a moth to the light).

We all sat together on the plane and it was great to share in Will’s excitement at his first flight. He loved it.

kp pretty much slept the whole way there. I managed an hour or so.

We picked up the hire car as usual and drove to the villa. No sooner had we left the airport, than we started to hear a clunking sound. kp was really scared. I couldn’t pull over as we were on the motorway by this stage.

The clunking continued. The car handled fine. We couldn’t work it out at first. It wasn’t a noise that was clunking at the speed of the engine, but the speed of the car, which meant brakes, wheels, something like that. We carried on at a steady space.

Karen was really on edge for about 5 minutes :-(

Just before we pulled over in the services, we had sussed out what it was. It was the roof rack. Nige and I tightened it up and the problem was gone. Big relief for us all really, especially Karen though.

Nigel, Terry and I popped in to the shops for supplies, while Wills and kp stretched their legs.

The first night, we went down to Filtons, the restaurant at the bottom of the road and had a thoroughbly enjoyable time. kp and I then made our excuses and headed off to the hotel for a late check-in (11pm).

Good first day.

I have taken a photo of the meal tonight, but unfortunately, technology is letting me down this morning. Hopefully, I will sort this out as the week progresses and the holiday blog will be a bit more comfortable.

I can hear my mym shouting what’s the weather like. Mum, the weather is gorgeous. 30′C yesterday, but the next few days are a bit colder :-(

29,28,29′C (Wed, Thurs, Fri)


Day 518 – Wednesday 4th October 2006

Our first night was an interrupted night of sleep. First night bedding into our new hard beds at the hotel.

The result of this was we didn’t wake up until 12.30pm !! Nige found this very amusing as they had been up since 9am with William.

It was decidedly mild. The sun wasn’t out at all, completely overcast. At this time of the year, you really need full-on sun to brave the pool. But, kids don’t understand that and Terry had to brave the pool water with William. As soon as his lips were blue (they really were), she pulled him out. She was very relieved.
We all went shopping at the Carrefour, Nigel being lured to the technology section under the guise of “getting a battery for William’s mp3 player”.

We took the wheelchair for kp simply for the airports as there is a great deal of walking involved. The supermarkets were “sin wheelchair” (spanish for without wheelchair I think). And she did really well. Her pace was such that we felt it best to split from the Gibbses and do 2 seperate shops. It worked really well.

With the shopping done, we spent the rest of the afternoon by the pool. The sun came out for the odd 10 minutes. It was my turn to brave the pool with William. Erect nipples, the order of the day. Nigel was concerned that certain ball-shaped parts of his body would not survive the cold but as I had gone in, he couldn’t lose face with William already in, and seconds after I was in, he was in. Fortunately for me, that meant I could get out :-) . So poor Nigel had to spend 20-30 minutes with William until Will’s lips were blue once more.

kp went for a snooze after about an hour – she was really flagging.

Dinner was at Rancho Blanco. We had some really good laughs, but by 10pm we were flagging. Terry had practiced the Spanish for “Can I have the bill please ?” and was all ready to do her bit, but there was no waiter around.

I spotted one in the distance, and did the mime version for “Can I have the bill please ?”. Poor Terry didn’t get to practice her Spanish.

Straight to bed on our return for all of us.

We are hoping the weather will pick up. The weather forecast says it will, but that doesn’t mean too much after yesterday’s wrong prediction.

Day 519 – Thursday 5th October 2006

Cracking Day had by all today.

After a decidedly luke warm first day, Thursday saw beautiful cloudless skies. It wasn’t too hot, but hot enough (28′C).

Last night, we had overused the a/c and needed a blanket and some mutual bodily warmth to survive the night. Pollards = wimps.

We were up at a very respectable 8.30am. Breakfast on the balcony – croissants, toast, freshly squeezed orange juice – lovely start to the day. Karen was in good form physically having just had a set of patches applied. Mentally she is great.

We had witnessed an awesome thunderstorm in the middle of the night. It was 50+ miles away (out to sea) – you could hear no thunder, but the frequency and intensity of the lightning lit up the storm clouds on the horizon – very impressive.

Once showered and changed we headed to the Gibbses. After a cup of tea, we prepared lunch (Terry mostly) and went to La Zenia beach. As usual, the beach merchants came round offering sunglasses, rattling stones etc…Then the Henna artists, followed by massers. This beautiful chinese lady came round and offered Nigel a full body massage. Nigel jumped at it and within seconds was prone, face down on his beach towel. The lady applied the lotion, and then did some unusual hand signals to her friend in the distance. Her friend was a chinese gentleman who unbeknowst to Nigel approached and continued the massage seamlesly. We all had a good snigger at the fact Nigel thought he was being massage by this Chinese lady.

She then offered me a massage. After some furtive glances around for lurking chinese gentleman and not spotting any, I said “yes”. The massage was lovely – very relaxing. At one point, when she was massaging my inner leg, she brushed by a testicle.

Lady :- “Excuse me”

dp :- “No, that’s fine”

It was the best bit, but unfortunately, it wasn’t that kind of a massage and with the wife less than a foot away, it was just as well.

Discussing the massages later with Nige, he remarked how he had found it strange that the woman’s voice seemed to fade into the distance while she was massaging him, at which point he had realized that it was no longer her massaging him. We all laughed. As Nigel himself pointed out, he wouldn’t have had a massage if he had known it was a bloke.

The sea was MUCH warmer than both the hotel pool and the villa pool, so we had a good splash around in that. kp stayed back with Terry, both of them discussing their dislike for sand/beaches. William paddled while Nige and I went for a swim and some bodysurfing.

By the time the swim was over, it was lunchtime (2pm), and we went upto the hotel to enjoy our sandwiches and beers. We stayed by the hotel pool for a while as Nige, Terry and William enjoyed the “big” pool.

The lads then played some tennis on the tennis court, with some balls that had virtually no bounce in them. It was tiring. Us old men can’t move around the court as quick as we used to be able to. William was a good ball boy and not a bad tennis player when he kept his eye on the ball.

Tennis over, the girls relaxed on the sun loungers while the blokes went back to the sea to build sandcastles and go back out to do some bodysurfing. William wasn’t keen at all on the sea and ended up coming back with Nigel (in tears).

At about 6pm, we all headed up to the hotel bedroom. The boys had showers to get all the sand off and then we drove to the villa. For the first time on the holiday, I didn’t drive. Terry offered to drive so she could memorise the route. As Karen got in the car, she gave me a look as if to say “Yikes”. This wasn’t ‘cos it was Terry, more that it wasn’t me. Although Terry didn’t help matters by saying she had never driven from the left seat again.

kp was quite quite scared.

It didn’t help matters when Terry……….

  • couldn’t move the seat forward
  • couldn’t start the car (was a button, no key)
  • applied the brakes firmly all the time (they were harsher breaks than her car)
  • went for the gearstick where there was no gearstick (left of her seat)
  • couldn’t adjust the mirrot remarking “who needs to see behind anyway”
  • approached roundabouts saying “which way round do I go”

Within 5 minutes, she was sound and she drove really well. I just know Karen was unnerved by every little thing that didn’t go smoothly.

Chinese night tonight. Nigel and I went for the chinese. On the way, we stopped at the pharmacy for some aftersun. We had all caught the sun. A gadgety-looking health machine caught his eye. For €1 it weighed you, measured your height, blood pressure, body fat index etc… Nige couldn’t resist. He lost his first €1 when it thought he was a woman. The lovely pharmacy man came over to assist and Nigel got his health check. When it came to my health check, Nigel did everything possible to distort my readings. At least I hope that is why my pulse was only 95 over 60.

We ordered our chinese and sat down for some prawn crackers and beers while we waited.

The meal was huge when we got it back to the villa and we could only eat about 2/3rds of it. By this stage, we were all knackered. Nige and I offered to wash up, which we duly did. Washing up isn’t a mentally taxing affair for Nige and I and in no time at all we were pretending to be robots on a production line (with all the relevant noises). He would wash and pass me the plates, and I would do the robot thing whilst I dried them.

Well, that’s when things got a bit out of hand. We were both laughing at our inane attempts at being robots, the laughing got worse and worse, until I was out of control and couldn’t stop laughing. This made Nigel worse, which made me worse etc etc… I had to leave the room and go out on the veranda. kp was laughing ‘cos I was laughing so much, ditto Terry. Unfortunately, I couldn’t stop laughing and could see how people could die from laughing. Eventually I  stopped, but my sides were literally hurting !!

Cracking night !!! The weather forecast is great everyday until we return (Tuesday). Big thanks to Marie who is homesitting/dogminding !!! :-)

Day 520 – Friday 6th October 2006

Quieter day today.

Karen’s pain was starting to resurface a little – dry patch syndrome methinks. It gets changed in the morning so that’s not so bad.

Up about 10.30am and straight into the heated indoor pool which wasn’t heated ! It was freezing. At least the jacuzzi was hot. Shower followed jacuzzi.

A trip to Carrefour was in order as Karen wanted to get some warm clothes for the evenings. I was ok with my t-shirt and shorts, but Karen feels the cold much more since the accident (bizarrely) and 20 minutes shopping around Carrefour left us with the clothes she needed.

The Gibbses had had a chilled morning. Not ‘cos of the weather, as it was a scorcher today. kp and I called in at the local supermarket on the way home to get fresh bread and other lunch supplies. I made lunch. kp just had a croissant. William wasn’t hungry and hid himself away in his bedroom.

Following lunch, kp, me and Terry went for a snooze leaving Nigel to play with William in the pool. He had cunningly worked out how to be in the pool with William without actually getting wet. There is an inflatable turtle (quite large) that can take an adult. He had gone onto this and managed only to get his feet and hands wet. If there hadn’t have been a turtle, I feel sure Nigel would have worked something else out – it was that cold.

At about 6pm, we all started chilling in the front room while William watched Goldeneye. It was a bit blustery out and starting to get cool. We were due to have a barbecue, but it was felt to be too windy, so that has been postponed until tomorrow – instead, Nigel and I performed our hunter gatherer role and went down the chippy providing food for our women and kid.

We watched the end of the film and were all tired and ready for bed. kp and I drove back to the hotel and had an early night. (11pm – quite a late night actually for Karen).

Day 521 – Saturday 7th October 2006

Good Night\’s Sleep for kp and I.

The patches were applied this morning much to kp\’s relief. Breakfast on the balcony followed. Gorgeous – lovely freshly squeezed Orange Juice, tea, coffee, toast and danishes.

Yesterday, the heat on the balcony was bordering on unbearable, but today, a high level of cloud nicely masked the sun\’s intensity and it was a real pleasure to sit out. Whilst sitting out, I found a small marble-size lump under my skin (few inches below my left nipple). Was in 2 minds whether to tell kp or not as she gets very protective of me and dreads me not being around to care for her. I told her and she was alright about it. Must get it checked out when we get back.

After breakfast, kp was still tired and went back to sleep. Nigel had lent me William\’s Nintendo, so I was content playing that for an hour or so.

We then showered and got ready and headed off to the Carrefour. kp wanted some warmer clothes for the evening. I detest clothes shopping, but put a brave face on for \’wor wife. She has a tendency to browse. If it was me, and I needed some warm clothes, I would go straight to the relevant aisle, pick the clothes, check the size, go straight to the checkout and leave asap. Things catch kp\’s eyes, despite her lack of vision in her right eye. When she had amassed about 5 items of warm clothing, we headed to the checkout, but then something caught her eye AGAIN.

dp:- I\’ll go and queue !

That\’s my hint at \”I am sick of shopping\”. I think I got a bit of a tut, but I didn\’t wait to hear any ensuing argument.

We stopped at the pharmacy for some bonjela-like stuff for kp\’s mouth ulcer. kp gave the health gadget machine a try, wanting to know what her vital statistics were. It was confirmed, she is a short woman, slightly overweight, but the key health bits and bobs were fine :-)

At the villa, we had agreed to skip lunch in favour of an early barbecue. Wiliam was keen to brave the pool, unfortunately there weren\’t too many volunteers to go in with him. This is where it\’s good to be the one without kids, because the get-out clause is so easy to play.

William:- \”David Pollard, will you go in the pool with me ?\”

He always calls me David Pollard, not just David ?!

dp :- \”Yes, later, but I think your mum and dad would rather go in !\”

Scowls follow, but it\’s good for a laugh ! Terry braved the pool, but cleverly went on the turte (big inflatable) so as not to immerse fully. It did the trick, and William was soon having the time of his life. Unfortunately for Terry, she fell off at one point and we all enjoyed watching her hyperventilate.

Dad was less than keen to do the pool today, which was fair as Nigel had been in for a good hour or so yesterday with William. He was the only one I think !!

kp was content reading magazines by the side of the pool. Nigel was fixing the nintendo n some form. When Terry was too cold to continue, it fell on me to join William in the pool. I said I would if he practiced some swimming (without the rubber ring) with his mam. Unfortunately, he did this and I had no get-out clause. It wasn\’t as cold as it was on the first day to be fair, and we had a good laugh.

Once dried from swimming, Nigel went shopping for some beers, while Karen prepared the salad and cooked the jacket potatoes, and I started the barbecue. It was Terry\’s turn to take a well-earned rest from food prep. The barbecue was lovely (if I say so myself).
After the barby, we played cards for a couple of minutes, until it dawned on us that Nigel and Terry weren\’t that keen on cards. We chatted for a while, before then retiring back to the hotel.

I was knackered and went straight to sleep. kp watched tv for a bit before joining me in slumberland.

Good day overall.

Day 522 – Sunday 8th October 2006

Lovely day.

The forecast was Sunny Intervals. The reality – Sun Sun and more Sun.

Karen had quite a bit of pain in the night – can only think the patch is drying out too quickly again. This meant we both didn’t have a brilliant sleep. We woke up about 8.30am, ordered breakfast, enjoyed that and then returned for more sleep. Getting up at about 1.30pm, we got ready and headed off to pick up the Gibbses to go into Torrevieja for the Pier Walk.

Karen felt she could walk off the pain – I wasn’t convinced. We took the wheelchair – even Karen accepted she couldn’t walk the full 2 miles (1 mile out, 1 mile back). We started off with an ice cream – Haagen Daz (gorgeous). Terry didn’t have one, so she got the non-so-cushy number of pushing Karen (in the wheelchair) up the long ramp to the start of the pier walk so I could eat my ice cream. :-)

Karen got out of the wheelchair when her ice cream was done and proceeded to walk the first half mile. We saw loads of fish along the way, much to William’s amazement. Once at the end of the pier, kp got out of the wheelchair to enjoy some tobacco pleasures. Stopping on the return for more photo opportunities, we headed back to the start of the pier. kp walked the first quarter of the return, but by then, her “buns” were killing her. (arse cheeks).

We headed off to a cafe for a large beer and soft drinks (for the ladies).

William was desperate (I can’t remember how I should spell that mum – is this right ? Can’t remember what you said !!) to buy something. We dabbled at the night markets, but couldn’t find anything and so instead bought a plastic car from the ice cream shop.

We returned to the villa, where Nige and I played each other on the Nintendo, while the girls chilled. Whilst playing nintendo, William (6 3/4) shouted from the loo that he needed his bum wiping. We paused the game………….Nigel headed off to perform his fatherly duty.

Nigel :- Wow, son, that’s a cracking one that. Hang on, let me get my camera.

And then, yes, you guessed it – Nigel came out of the loo, grabbed his digital camera, took a photo, gave the camera to his son and heir who proceeded to show his turd off to everyone. You can take the Gibbses anywhere !!!!!!!!!!!

It wasn’t long before it was time to go for the evening meal. Patio Andaluz tonight (home of the Flamenco Dancers, the duelling guitarists and the chap who poors pernod down your throat from a height).

It was a great night. We were not in the line of sight of the Flamenco Dancers, but rather just in front of a huge tv showing rugby off Sky Sports. But thankfully, once the entertainment started it changed to a picture of the Flamenco dancers. At one point, kp needed a fag and walked off in front of the flamenco dancers and we all had a chuckle at her walk past on our big screen :-)

I was so amused by this, I followed her shortly after doing an impression of her. It amused me anyway. You could actually see past the flamenco dancers into the car park. And I started finding it really amusing that someone standing behind them (in the car park) would look really funny if they were having a fag. So I ended up being this person. I found it funny, I am not too sure anyone else did. Small things !

With the meal over, it was about 9.30pm and everyone was tired. We dropped the Gibbses off and came back to the hotel, chatted for 30 mins and then it was time for sleep. Short, but good day !

Day 523 – Monday 9th October 2006

We got up at a half decent hour this morning. Breakfast on the balcony – as usual – NO CONSISTENCY with the breakfast. One morning you get a perfect breakfast of freshly squeezed orange juice, hot toast, croissants etc etc….Today, was orange squash, toast with no “toasted” element (slightly firm bread), and biscuits. I am not the best tipper in the world – I think perhaps the message has got round the hotel. :-(

We pretty much headed straight out today (“fag run” to Torre). Unfortunately, unbeknownst to us, it’s a Bank Holiday in Spain and all the fag shops shut on Bank Holidays. Other things were open, but not “tabacs”. Ah well. Manana.

We returned to the hotel for a snooze and to do the shower routine before heading to the villa. The Gibbses were nowhere to be seen. They had gone out for lunch. We had some croissants and cups of tea and then kp went for a 2 1/2 hour sleep, while I read my book. We had searched Torrevieja for a water pistol for William (not as easy to find as you may think!) and ended up buying one near the hotel. When the Gibbses returned from lunch…

dp (to William) :- Karen and I have bought you something.

Eyes lit up.

dp :- But………you can only have it if you promise to do something. Can you think what that might be ?

William :- Tie my shoelaces.

dp:- No, but that’s a good idea, something a little more belt height.

Willam :- Fasten my belt

dp:- No……Wipe your…………

William :- Bum

dp:- That’s the one.

Anyway, he promised and got this pump action water pistol, which kept him amused for the rest of the daylight hours. It also kept Nigel and I amused as we had to get it working. The family Gibbs braved the pool and 2 hours of water fun ensued. Never heard a kid laugh so much in my life. It was non-stop, but a real pleasure to behold.

With Karen’s sleep over, we went into Torre for the night markets, which thankfully did open on the Bank Holiday. William went on a few fair rides and then we did the market stalls, guarding our wallets carefully after our last Spanish experience where Glenn nearly got done.

I had to make an impromptu dash to a nearby toilet. Something hadn’t agreed with me. The only thing I had eaten all day was the croissants ?!

Night markets complete, we went to Olli’s Treff for dinner (9pm). The meal was absolutely top notch, steak perfectly cooked, melt in your mouth stuff – gorgeous.

Time for our last night’s sleep.

That’s the holiday over really. Tomorrow is cleaning day and another fag run. For the first time on the holiday, we have been bitten to hell by some unknown critter. I have 9 bites. kp about 6. kp has a mouth ulcer and 2 huge cold sores (1 either side of her mouth) but it hasn’t deterred from a really good holiday. Very relaxing.

Another plus………the technological problems suffered earlier in the week have been overcome and I have managed to copy the photos to the blog. :-)

Not a good photo. Had left the phone on the wrong setting. Gibbses (first dinner)


Second morning, sunrise.


dp playing William at Nintendo. Too bright, hence the towels.


The Gibbses in the hotel pool on the 3rd day.


Gibbs inside villa.


kp breakfasting.


Beautiful day (view from hotel)


Nigel and dp getting massages. kp looking non-plussed.


kp by pool reading magazine.


kp on the pier walk, looking great !


dp, holding his stomach in.




Day 524 – 537 – Upto Sunday 22nd October 2006

A stormy last couple of weeks, hence no blog since the holiday.
Probably the most upsetting 2 weeks since the accident for both kp and I. I don’t want to go into too much detail in the blog, but the upset revolves around work / home commitments for me and the impact on Karen. Both of us have felt really low, and one of the agreements we have come to is that I will seek counselling for the depth of my mood. The neuropsychologist is referring me on to an appropriate resource.

Anyway……let’s get positive. kp has been doing really well physically for the last week or so. The Spanish holiday did her the world of good. The warmer climes really do help her feel more agile. She started Hydrotherapy again at University Hospital Durham on Monday of this week. Adele accompanied her to help her with her swimming costume. She was fine after Monday’s physio, but Thursday’s hydro took its toll and she has been “rough as” since . Apparently the exercise that caused her the most gip was when (in the pool) she had to lift her right knee up and move it outwards, effectively straining the hip joint. Since the hydro, kp has locked up twice !!! It’s quite alarming to see ! She will be walking from one chair to the other and then suddenly will just stop midtrack in a strange position and do loads of “ow”s. After 10 seconds or so, it releases again.

This week has seen kp and I feel better in ourselves. kp unbeknownst to me had planned for a weekend of relationship building. Unfortunately we had a customer at the company I work for, that had a major problem with their one and only server, and this meant that I had to go in on Saturday. I asked her if it was ok if I go in. I got a “Do what you have to do” reply. So I did.

Later, I learned that this had gone down like a lead balloon. Another stormy night ensued ! :-(

But, today we had a good day and I think we are back on the right track. I just have to be very careful with the work/home balance. It’s swaying too much towards work at the moment.

Today, we went shopping at Sainsburys (15 mins away). We did a cracking shop – both enjoyed it. Got to the till to find out we had forgot payment methods. My mind is all over the shop at the moment. So I dropped kp back at home and went back for the shopping.

As a result of the last 2 weeks or so, kp is making an increased effort to be independant. She even wanted to have a go in the car. Only up the drive I hasten to add. Should be fine I thought. With me ready to whap the handbrake on full if anything went awry.

The problems she encountered in order were as follows :-

  1. Getting into the driver’s seat
  2. Getting the seat forward
  3. Getting it into gear (with her left hand) (we ended up in 5th, then 3rd). I put it into 1st.
  4. Getting the handbrake off (non-starter) – she had to use her right hand

After that, things seemed to go ok, as we crept up the drive clipping the conifers with the wing mirror. Great !
Then, Karen had a great idea. The garage is open – “why don’t I park next to David’s motorbike”. My heart was in my mouth. I have just had the motorbike resprayed white (for maximum visibility) and was extra protective of its paintwork. As she headed gleefully to clip the bike with the car wing mirror, I screamed.

dp:- “STOP !!!! The bike !”

Nothing wrong with karen’s emergency stop, thank the Lord ! With that over we headed inside to get warm. Starting to get a bit cold in Durham. We had a good chat with Keith and Tommy. Keith resprayed the bike and had come over to put some extra fluorescent stripes on. Thanks Keith ! Keith is emigrating to Oz next year and he spent 30 minutes talking to Karen and I about it. I think kp would go over their to emigrate for the warmer climes if it weren’t for the redback and huntsman spiders stories !!

That’s it for this blog.

Day 538 to 544 – Sunday 22nd to Sunday 29th October 2006

This week seems to have been a break from the lows we have experienced recently.

Tuesday saw a trip to the RVI Newcastle to get kp’s contact lens measurements taken. kp took the taxi to the RVI and I met her there from work. We were there 90 mins, most of that waiting time. Here is kp having one or another checks being done.


Wednesday saw Marie, Adele, Abbie and Louisa come over for the day. I think kp was more in the mood for company this week and really enjoyed spending time with them all.

Here is Louisa wearing kp’s designer “steamed” glasses….


Louisa was all over Karen and I which was nice. Abbie was being independant designing office layouts on the computer ?!

Adele came up on monday to go to hydro with Karen and Marie accompanied her on the Thursday trip. Learning from the previous week’s excessive exercise, she had taken it a little easier this week and thankfully it didn’t cause her problems in the week.

Saturday was Karen’s birthday. 21 again for the 22nd time ! I had arranged a pamper morning at the local beauty salon/hairdressers. I had tried to arrange the usual lady who does our massages to come in the afternoon, but she couldn’t make it, so kp got a massage at the beauty salon. She absolutely loved the morning – I was really pleased. I had arranged a surprise visit from Ronnie, Jane and Deborah (Lydia couldn’t make it). They were there to greet her on her return from the salon.

We then went for a lovely meal at the Pump House.


Deborah had to go early as her daughter (in the army) was back from Iraq. Jane, Ronnie, kp and I had a cracking night. Lots of laughs !

Sunday (today) saw us have a lazy day. kp and I got up earlyish. Joined later by Jane and Ronnie. I can’t remember what this photo was about, but Karen was in absolute stitches over something.


Soon after this, kp and I retired for an extended sleep. The girls (Jane and Ronnie) were planning a holiday for Karen when we woke. They had been at it for about 2 hours solid, and had found a country to go to, that was about it. (A country that was warm in January). Within another hour, they had found a hotel, and then another hour or so later, they told Karen about it. Karen had her own thoughts on the place they should go and they spent another 90 minutes discussing things before they ended back up at the original hotel in Egypt. At some point, Karen had lost track of what was happening and she joined me for a fag outside. She started crying.

kp:- I can’t understand it. I can’t take it all in. I could have done before, but I can’t now and they don’t understand

Ronnie and Jane joined us outside as Karen’s tears were drying up, but they could tell something was up. Karen’s crying started Jane off, and then shortly after Ronnie was at it. Unusually, I was fine.

15 minutes of uneasy silence ensued, but then laughter resumed as Ronnie made a joke that even Jane didn’t know what they were booking and that she had to ask Ronnie what the name of the hotel was.

Hope next week is as good as this week.

. Page Hits View Stats