Archive for December, 2006

Day 575 – 581 – Monday 27th November to Sunday 3rd December 2006

Not the best of weeks this week.

Karen’s mood was on the turn at the beginning of the week, and has seen a downward spiral since. :-(

She did have a really good Wednesday however. Marie came up and spent the day with Karen. Knowing how much I detest women’s clothes shopping, kp had arranged with Marie to go to Next and Tesco (in Durham) to spend hours and hours shopping for this and that. kp REALLY enjoyed it. They had lots of laughs along the way.

Karen had bought some big items in Matalan and the walk to Tesco was a canny distance away. Karen told Marie to take the trolley (Matalan’s trolley) from Matalan to Tesco instead of carrying all the big items. As Karen inhaled on her fag, Marie explained that it wasn’t right for the trolley to leave the Matalan part of the car park.

kp:- Oh, you’re a right scaredy cat you !

Amusing at the time ! Marie is known for obeying all the rules that noone else gives a thought to.

They started shopping about 2pm, and I picked them up from Tesco at 7pm – although they had stopped for refreshments, kp was absolutely exhausted !

The rest of the week was quiet. kp is in a funny place at the moment. She is really appreciating her own time, but left alone, she has time to ponder life and its meaning and Thursday saw kp take a turn for the worse mentally. She has really low self esteem at the moment. She doesn’t feel she adds value to any group gathering, she doesn’t feel that we have the relationship we used to have and that “all she ever does is whinge”. When kp is down, I am down, so it’s really hard to pick things up again. I will be calling the neuropsychologist tomorrow and asking her to pay a visit and work her magic.

Friday night saw me go out with Nigel (fellow workmate) to a gathering in Sunderland of our ex work mates for a couple of staff’s leaving doos (Caroline and Gregg). kp was keen for me to still go and was looking forward to a night “in charge” as she put it. We all met in a pub in Sunderland and had a few drinks before heading to an Indian for a meal. It was an absolutely cracking night ! It was so much fun to catch up with the MTC crew. I drunk far too much and was paralytic by 9pm. Vague memories of the night after that include…..

  • Picking up a dropped fag from the floor, then
  • falling down and looking up at the ceiling, then
  • Being thrown out of the pub by 2 bouncers (I could have had them, but I didn’t want to cause a scene).
  • Dancing with Monique around the pub

and allegedly…..

  • Feeling her bum as we danced. Yikes !

Sorry to the MTC crew if I embarassed you. Big thanks to Craig who looked after me when I got chucked out. And of course, big thanks to Nige, for getting me home.

On the way home in the taxi, I remember phoning Karen from my mobile and that it took me about 5 minutes to type the number in. I don’t recall the conversation, but Karen tells me it went something like this….
dp:- I am a little bit tipsy love.

kp:- You sound drunk

dp:- Nah, I am just titsssy.

Cracking night as far as I can remember.

Saturday, I remained tipsy most of the day, and was much worse for wear. kp was knackered after being up most of the night worrying if I got home ok. Sorry love ! So we spent a good portion of the day asleep.

Sunday has been a bad day. Saturday night was full of tears, and these carried on through a lot of Sunday. kp’s heading for rock bottom. She sees herself as having no value to society, family or friends. She doesn’t feel the same in group situations and can’t find purpose in life. I feel much the same re “purpose in life”, but told her how valuable work is to me now as a deterrent from thinking about things too far. I suggested she come in to work with me for a few hours per day for the banter. It would need “ok”ing, but I think it would do her a lot of good and I know there are things she could do that would help us. I have planted the seed. We will see what comes of it.

Fingers crossed, for a better week this week.

I’ll end this entry with a couple of photos. Here is one of Friday night. I was semi-drunk when I took this, so apologies to Gary for me blocking him out with my finger. To be fair, it is probably for the best.


Also, here is a nice letter we received from the Intensive Care Unit thanking me for a letter I wrote to them a couple of months thanking them for everything they did.


Day 582 – 588 – Monday 4th to 10th Dec 2006

Not a good week.

We went to the RVI on Tuesday to have another bash with the contact lens. We stayed around for 30 minutes afterwards to make sure there were no issues, which there weren’t. The evening generally went ok, but towards the end of the evening, it was starting to irritate kp. She had been told to sleep with it in, and kp was keen to try as hard as she could to keep it in. At 4am, her eye was red, but she went back to sleep eager to keep it in. At 6am, it was too much and we took it out. Here is a picture of her eye (not a good picture sorry)…


With the awful weekend last week, I was straight on the phone to the Neuropsychologist lady. She came out on Wednesday. She started by scoring how low Karen felt on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being suicidal, 10 being top banana). Karen was a 2. :-(

She was asked if she had considered ending it all, to which kp answered she had thought about taking an overdose of tablets, but more on the lines of “what would it be like ?” rather than “when she would do it”.

This lady has an incredible ability to turn kp’s mood around. She didn’t quite pull it off today (no fault on her), but left kp on a 4.

We returned to the RVI on Wednesday to get kp’s eye examined and they could only put it down to an allergic reaction to the lens. kp is desperate to get her eyes sorted and she got this across well to the opthamologist lady who suggested they try a lens made out of a different material. Sounds good ! So, we will be back in due course to try this all over again. My work are being great about all the time off now so no worries from that score.

kp is such a trooper – I am so proud of her !

One of the things left over from the neuropsychologists visit was that kp needs to occupy her time more. She enjoys being on her own, but it’s obviously no good for her. Unfortunately, this week has seen our internet connection go down and according to TalkTalk (spits) it won’t be fixed for 5-7 days !!!! You don’t half miss it when it’s gone ! I have had to do this blog at work !

But kp really enjoys emailing friends etc, so that’s a big loss ! The other thing we have done to keep kp occupied is to get Sky switched back on. We had gone to Freesky (no monthly subscription) to save some pennies, but I think keeping kp occupied is more important, so I ordered the full Sky Package (minus Sports (sorry Dad)). We also bought a new TV, an XBOX360 and a Sky HD box. I am sure 2 of these 3 will keep kp amused no end !! ;-)

We were both gagging for the weekend by the time it came. I had had an awful week at work, kp was keen to spend some time with me, so we were glad when it arrived. Unfortunately we both got some bug and were coughing, sniffing, sore throating and sleeping most of the weekend. :-(   With the internet being down, we couldn’t do our normal Tesco Online shop and so had to go shopping the old fashioned way. With me taking numerous calls from work, the whole thing took 3 hours, as I had to keep going to the car to take the calls (I couldn’t concentrate). Nightmare. We were well relieved to get home.
We both still feel a bit worse for wear but have got over the worst of it. kp accuses me of having “man flu”, which is her way of saying I make a mountain out of a molehill ! Oh, how we laughed !

She has a fairly busy week this week, so I think things will improve. On Wednesday, I have got the call up to give blood, which as well as getting me out of a company customer night out, allows kp to come with me and see all her chums. So all good !

Adele is coming up on Tuesday (I think), and thursday/friday sees Marge Baggot (that is her real name) coming to stay for a night or two. No doubt we will be 5 Shepherds Pies and 5 Lasagnes better off by the time she leaves.

Not a good week, but the only way is up, ……….. baby.


Forgot to mention Karen’s trip to the Metro Centre. I think it was Monday.
Adele, Abbie and Louisa came to our house and Karen had booked a taxi to the Metro for some Xmas shopping. They thoroughly enjoyed it, but I think Abbie was nonplussed by it. The trip was timed so I could bring them home (my work being close to the Metro). Karen had told me she was at a certain place in the Metro, but she definately wasn’t despite me looking for ages. In my searching, someone shouted “David !”.

It was one of the physios that used to work on Karen at the hospital. It was lovely to see hear. I told her Karen was around here somewhere if she’d like to say hello, which she was keen to do.

This physio knew another place that could meet Karen’s description and we headed off to kp. As we gained on them, I hid behind a pillar so the kids wouldn’t shout “There he is !”. This allowed the physio to surprise Karen. She was well shocked and pleased to see her. The physio remarked on how well she looked which was nice.

Day 589 to Day 600 – Monday 11th December to Thursday 21st December 2006

Things not good in the Pollard household at the moment :-(

I was due to give blood last Wednesday. Great, an opportunity for kp to see her workmates and buck her up a bit, but when I arrived home early from work, she didn’t want to go :-(

Karen’s mood is rock bottom. She has a preoccupation with death at the moment. She sees herself with no purpose, having no value amongst family/friends. She can’t understand why I am still with her.  This morning, after her being up since 12am (unbeknownst to me), she said she had awful thoughts. Suicide was considered, but not followed through because of she would be leaving me on my own.
I feel so powerless, so helpless. I feel like I have exhausted everything to help her. I have tried to encourage her to set herself aims for each day, to go and see her family (by taxi), to go shopping with Adele, but she hasn’t the motiviation. I have told her that it is only 2 days, before I am off with her for the whole of Xmas. That seemed to help a little.
We saw the doctor this week and got her state of mind at that time across to him, and he is going to refer her to a psychiatrist, which is good. I am ringing the Neuropsychologist today for some emergency help. Fingers crossed, she can come out today or tomorrow. :-|

We still have no internet access at home thanks to TalkTalk’s ineptitude. Karen used to regularly go on the internet to email people and browse the web. I know she is missing this. I have set her up with modem access, but it’s painfully slow and she gets frustrated with it.

Karen’s physical wellbeing isn’t helping. She feels her body doesn’t go at the speed she wants it to and that it feels very stiff, probably because she has lapsed on the physio she was supposed to be doing (lack of motivation).

Really not good at the moment. She has already been hinting that if she “doesn’t want to go anywhere over Xmas”, will that be ok. Of course it will. So, mum/dad, heads up that there is a chance we may not be down for Xmas lunch, we’ll have to see how she feels on the day. Also, we are due to go to my work’s doo on Saturday. I am keen for her to meet some of the faces behind the work stories I tell, but this also may be at risk. We will see.

From my perspective, it is an utterly heartbreaking situation to be in. Wanting to fix her, but not having the tools to do it, and not seeing a way out of it. Very glad Xmas is here and that we will have a week off together.

Day 601 – Friday 22nd December 2006

Well, things are heading in the right direction again. I contacted the neuropsychologist yesterday and she phoned Karen and spent about 45 minutes with her (over the phone). When she first spoke to Karen, she rated herself on the mood scale as 0/10. By the time the neuropsychologist hung up, kp rated herself as 1/10. I’ll take that 1 over the 0/10 anyday. Whereas the past few days have seen Karen hardly say a word on the evenings, she was more talkative, managing a laugh at a “Mr Mainwaring” impression this morning :-)

Both my mum and sister phoned kp yesterday, and I think that helped distract kp a bit, so thanks for that !

I know she will be better when I am around, so it should be a good Xmas. We have to ensure we do 1 interesting thing everyday over the New Year period. Shouldn’t be a problem !

She had a good night’s sleep for the first time in a long time last night. Normally, she gets up about 12am/2pm ish and doesn’t come back to bed until 5/6am.

Roll on Xmas !

Day 602 – 610 – Saturday 23rd December to Sunday 31st December 2006

kp’s mood continues to be low, but me being off has definately helped her enjoy the odd moment. I have been regularly asking for her mood score (0-10). The most she has been has been a 4, and it has been between 1 to 4 since the last blog. Plenty to tell in this blog….just hope I can remember it all.

Saturday 23rd December saw my work’s xmas doo. Marie and Glenn kindly came over to stay the night and dogsit as we were stopping at the hotel. kp went to get her hair done plus a facial. She really enjoys being pampered and she came out looking great. We picked a work colleague of mine up in Durham (Helen) and headed to the Gateshead Marriot. The staff were very welcoming and the bedroom was gorgeous. London could learn a thing or two about hospitality from the North East.

Here is kp and I at the Xmas Doo.


kp had a good night, I had an excellent night. She was flagging by about 9.30pm and so retired. I helped her into bed and then returned back down for the rest of the night. Cracking night. ITPS are very good – the meal was paid for, as were the first £200 worth of drinks per table. That lasted the whole night for our table.

After a lovely breakfast at the hotel with Nigel and Terry, we headed home.

It was Xmas Eve and we did our usual presents run to Middlesbrough. First stop was to pick Michelle and Freddy up and go to Emma and ethan’s. Ethan was annoyed he couldn’t “play out” with his mates and that he had to come in to see “family”. But the opening of presents cheered him up. Then on to Adele, Abbie and Louisa’s. They were all in their pyjamas and in a very good Xmas mood. We had bought louisa a replica kids Dyson vacuum cleaner. She absolutely loved it and never stopped hoovering ! Her favourite bits were to tell us to “lift our feet up” and to push down on the front part with her foot to start it going. She has obviously watched her mam loads of times and it was comical to see her go round the room 10x.

Another funny came when they got the fishes game out. It was a strange contraption that blew little fishes out the top of an inflated chimney and the idea is Louisa had to catch them. She was hopeless and it made for lots of laughs. She didn’t watch the fishes at all, and instead focussed on the chimney. Was a good laugh.

Here is Louisa looking anywhere but at the fishes.


We then retired to Michelle and Freddy’s for some adult time before returning home. Xmas Day the following day and we had to be up early to get to mum and dad’s (in Lancashire) in good time.

We ended up getting up early (7.30am) and had time to walk the dogs, and open our presents before heading down South. I had got kp a handbag, and she had got me a fart machine (remote controlled).

2 hours 15 minutes worth of travel to Lancashire saw us arrive early. We were made feel very welcome and enjoyed a lovely roast Turkey, with Roasties cooked in Goose fat. (Lose the goose fat next time mum please, yeuch!). Here is a picture of us at the table. kp is on the end on the right (but you can only just see her hair).


Here is Jamie in the dog’s basket after the meal with his Bob the Builder hat on.


We left about 3.30pm and headed home through some awful fog where I had to crawl along at 20 mph on a 70 mph road. But still made it in 2 hours 30 mins. An early night followed ! Thanks to Eileen who let the dogs out twice for us during the day.

We had planned to go shopping on Boxing day, but thought better of it. Instead we went for a long dog walk ( 1/2 a mile, long for kp ). She does like getting out of the house. I think a lot of her problems stem from the feeling of being housebound. Watching films, programmes and eating sweets was the order of the day.

Wednesday 27th saw us go over to Middlesbrough for a big family get together. But, first, we went shopping in Middlesbrough, a first for me. Middlesbrough is an awesome shopping experience and coming from me (who hates shopping) that is a big compliment. The shops are well laid out, joined in a good way. Clothes shops next to gadget shops, marvellous. We shopped for about 3 hours and it flew past. I was able to gadget shop, while kp shopped for clothes. She was keen to get something that was like a swimming costume, but with a bra built in. She still can’t do bras, despite trying everything under the sun. She found what she was looking for (don’t know if they are called bodices ?), but imagine a woman’s swimming costume, but where the gusset is, it has popits to allow for toilet breaks. It also has a built-in bra. Anyway, it didn’t work (when we got it home). The tension the gusset was under meant she couldn’t hold it with her left while doing the popits with her right. It was worth a try though !

After the shopping we went on to Marie’s. Marie had done a lovely buffet, and we played games (like Family Fortunes, etc…). It was a cracking night. It’s good to get the family together once a year. Twice would be too much ;-) Here is Louisa giving kp a great hug.


We also went to the Doctors re kp’s depression. I had rung the psychiatry hospital to see if we could get an earlier appointment, the psychiatrist recommended seeing the doctor to rush things along which we did. The following morning the psychiatrist rang up and said he would get us in the week after next (home visit). He has also immediately changed kp’s anti-depressant from Citalopram, to Cyprolex, which is supposed to be more effective – fingers crossed.

Thursday saw us go to Homebase for 2 bulbs, but we ended up buying £10,000 worth of new kitchen and £1000 worth of dining room furniture. Jesus tonight ! To say I was a little dry in the throat would be an understatement. But, kp needs something to get her teeth into, and I think this will help her mood a great deal. To be fair, we do need a new kitchen. I have never liked our current one, but the oven being on the floor is a nightmare for karen. She can’t pick heavy things up from the floor-level oven, and the new kitchen will see a waist height oven, which will be much better for her. Similar improvements have been done with the fridge and freezer. So, it should be much more manageable for kp.

The chap came out to our house on the Thursday night and measure up for the new kitchen.

I can’t remember what we did on Friday, but we did something. I have made sure we have done something every day as the neuropsychologist suggested. I think we went to the tip. Hey, it might not sound like fun, but there is a certain pleasure in sitting in a mile-long queue of cars all getting rid of their xmas rubbish. We saw the queue, and thought bugger that. We ended up going to the pound shop for a rummage around and by the time we came out, the queue had gone down somewhat. We also got the car washed. Excitement all round !

Saturday (yesterday) saw us return to Homebase to see the new design kitchen and put the deposit down.

We watched loads of films this week – The Interpreter (very good), The Clearing (weirdly dull), Bewitched (only watched half, not brilliant), Shrek 2 (brilliant), Collateral (very good) and many others. One a night at least. kp enjoyed them too.

Today, Sunday, we have nothing planned, but given it is 1.30pm and kp is still fast asleep, I don’t think she will be bothered about that.

A good Xmas overall. kp’s mood has fluctuated peaking at 4. Guy had suggested getting a new dog to better kp’s mood. It is something I had already considered and attempted to sell to kp, but she wasn’t having it. Too much work, she can barely cope with 2 etc…. Well, I tried again Guy. Got a bit further, but its still a “no” for now. She says if she feels physically more able to cope with the work involved, we may go down that route.

I would love another pup, but it would be kp doing most of the toilet training and clearing up, and I don’t think she is quite up for that at the moment.

It’s the start of the New Year tomorrow, so fingers crossed, it is a better year than 2006. Here’s hoping !! Merry Xmas everyone and a Happy New Year to all blog readers !

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