Archive for April, 2007

Day 697 – 700. Thursday 29th March to Sunday 1st April 2007

Well, I am pleased to report kp has improved as the week progressed. Each day brought further mobility, and a happier kp.

I was even “allowed” to go out for a drink with a work colleague on tuesday night. Got the form signed and everything.

We got news that kp’s employer is coming in April to sack her. :-)   Should be fun.

Mum and Dad came over on Saturday to check out the new (nearly completed) kitchen. They took us out for a lovely lunch at the Pump House.

Very little else to report. But kp is feeling really good in herself and is been “walking” without stick most of the day. It’s my niece’s birthday today. Happy Birthday Sophie ! I think she is 5 or 6. Princesses and Pirates party today.

All good at the Durham Pollard household.

Day 701 – 706 – Monday 2nd April to Saturday 7th April 2007

Some cracking days this week both weather wise and kp mood wise. They coincided with the patches going on (obviously not the weather days).

kp had a really good day in the early week, after going downhill a bit. It was the day after the patch application.

Previous to that, she had been of low mood.

kp:- This is what it’s going to be like, for the rest of my life

Wednesday saw the arrival of Abby, Louisa and mum Adele. We had a good laff with them. Here are Abby and Louisa having the Roast Lamb tea.


Obviously, I reassured her she was still only 5 weeks post op, and things will still improve.

On thursday, I booked her a doctor’s appointment with a view to trying to get the patches sorted. The doctor has kept the strength the same, but changed the type of patch to a different Fentanyl patch. He is hoping that there will be a different release mechanism that may give out the fentanyl for the full 3 days, instead of kp absorbing all in the first 36 hours. Fingers crossed.

Yesterday, Good Friday, with 150ug Fentanyl put on at 4am, I saw a kp that was walking better and feeling top of the world. She wanted to go out shopping for kitchen gear. She loved every minute, although was flagging towards the end, but it still didn’t stop the enjoyment.

With the increased distances in mind, she thought about changing the patch strength. She knows that with the right dosages of Fentantyl, she feels great. So we decided to up it to 175ug (the limit, according to a website we read somewhere). We put the additional 25ug on this morning (7am), so hopefully when she gets up later today (it’s 11am now), she will feel like yesterday. At 7am, she was already not feeling tip top.

So, a patchy week (no pun intended), with some cracking high points.

Tomorrow, I fly off to Cyprus for the week, leaving kp in the care of Marie. I am really looking forward to it, but wish kp could come.

Day 707 – 715. Sunday 8th April to Monday 16th April 2007

Cracking week for both kp and I.

I left on the Saturday afternoon to go down to mum and dad’s (Lancashire) to be ready for the early flight to Larnaka (Cyprus). Karen was going to be “on her own” the whole week. When I say “on her own”, I think there was only 1 night she was “on her own” as she was inundated with friends and family coming over to look after her and stay the night.

II’ll do this blog in 2 halves. My half and the kp half.

kp (the important bit)
Well, she couldn’t go on the holiday because of the risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), so close after her op and all that. We had seen the doctor’s the previous week and he had prescribed some new patches with a different release mechanism. I was sceptical, kp was hopeful. But by golly (can’t say that, racist), by Jove (can’t say that, religious). Start again. Would you believe it ? The pain (and I don’t want to tempt fate) is “under control”, for the first time I can recall. No more ups and downs, she has had a brilliant week with the pain under control. Now, that could be partly due to the weather (which apparently has been gorgeous in the England), but my gut is telling me the patches are working better. The old Fentanyl patches (Durogesic (brandname)) have been replaced with a different brandname (Matrifen). They are thicker with a smaller surface area (by half) which could explain the slower but more constant release.

So, good patches, good weather, lots of visits from family and friends (Marie, Adele, Abbie, Louisa, Jane, Michelle and Freddy) made for a great week for kp. I was on the phone AT LEAST twice daily. Predictably compos mentis during the day, and a little worse for wear on the last phone call of the day after some double brandies, but I don’t think kp could tell (much). Whilst I was away, Marie undertook a huge job, that of reading the whole blog from start to finish. We needed someone to do this, to work out what we can claim back from the insurance. The blog has also served as a record of the trips Karen went on (Physio, hospital visits, etc…) and Marie went through the whole thing, itemising what costs we have incurred each day, from taxis to telephone costs (in the hospital), from food (in the hospital) to dog walkers (at home). It all needs to be claimed back. Thank you SOOOO much Marie – I was absolutely dreading that job.

So, cracking week for Karen, she has really enjoyed it. Thanks for everyone’s support !!

My holiday was awesome. The only downside was kp not being there, but that didn’t deter me from having the best of holidays. The weather was glorious, the company excellent, the fun abundant, it was just brilliant. The kids were great pretty much the whole holiday – lots of fun. The Pollard Clan can be quite competitive (ahem), and in true Pollard fashion, the holiday pretty much turned into a mini-olympics. We played Tennis, Table-Tennis, Beach Volleyball and Cards (based on points for the whole week). Dad and I won the Tennis. The table tennis was won by Guy (well done Guy, bastard). Mum won the cards. Jane won bugger all. Actually, that’s not fair. Jane won “biggest inflicted bruise” in the table tennis. Her slams don’t score too heavily in the accuracy field, but what they lack in accuracy, they make up for in power. Guy lost an eye, I have a third nipple, and Dad won’t be giving Jane or I any new brothers/sisters.

The table tennis proved to be the most competitive of competitions. Guy started poorly, Dad was the strongest candidate for the championship title. But, then Guy started romping up the pressure. He has an annoying habit of returning the ball consistently EVERY time. That’s fine for most players, for the impatient Pollards, we get bored in long rallies, and by about the 20th ball, we are longing to end it, and the resultant slams either miss (or Guy bloody returns them).

So, for the record. Guy (top), dp (second), Dad (third), Jane (fourth).

Tennis was just as competitive but Dad and I stormed it. Jane and Guy had youth on their side, but even with Dad’s bad back and my bad hip, they still couldn’t break us. Formidable says it all. ;-)

So, for the record. Dad and dp (winners), Jane and Guy (loooooooooooooooooooosers). ;-)

Cards was great fun. Mum and Dad, the card counters, did brilliantly, Mum winning the week’s play overall. Just when you thought you had a good hand, Mum would trounce it, winning the round and then saying “Sorry, love.” We got so annoyed, not by her winning, but by the “Sorry, love”, that we had it written in the rules that if she said “Sorry, love” when she won a round, the round was void. In fact, I asked for that to be amended to include “any form of apology, written or spoken, implicit or explicit” just to be sure. She only forgot once, very impressive. We let her off (inebriation makes one very forgiving).

The volleyball, to be fair, wasn’t a family affair. It was arranged by the hotel, and Guy and I got roped in, but we enjoyed it. So, it’s probably not fair to mention which team won, but because it was mine, I don’t mind telling you “WE DID !!!!” ;-) Had Guy’s team won, I would. of course, have just mentioned that we played Beach Volleyball (who won would have been irrelevant) ;-)

The swimming pools were freezing (apart from the inside one). But, the kids didn’t mind. As the Uncle (on the trip), I have that joyous right to DECIDE when I get involved with the kids, and surprise surprise when it came to “Uncle David, come and play with us in the pool”, I had other things on the go (normally a devilish Sudoku puzzle). Mummy and Daddy (and Grandma and Grandpa) didn’t have that luxury. Oh, my bleeding heart.

The sea was a bit warmer (strangely), and I did go in there (upto my knees), but only to board a catamaran for 30 minutes sailing. It would have been an hour if the wind was a bit stronger, but it wasn’t quite enough to do the leaning out thing, so I got bored, tacking to and fro all the time.

I could go on about the holiday for ages, it really was absolutely brilliant. Dad picked up the whole tab and normally I would say “that was the best bit of the holiday”, but it didn’t matter. I would have enjoyed it even if I had to open my wallet. Although that statement is null and void for future holidays, if you fancy treating us again !! :-)

Thanks Mum and Dad for treating us, thanks Mum, Dad, Jane, Guy, Sophie and Jemms (my new name for Jamie) for making it so much fun. :-)

Here are some photos….

View from the bedroom….


Sophie (with my specs on)…


Kids Teas….


Not sure what this is about……


Breakfast with Sophie….


Kids could be drowning, but we have time to smile for the camera…..


Face Painting…..James is a tiger, Sophie is a washed out ladybird…..


Day 716 to 721 – Tuesday 17th to Sunday 22nd April 2007

Busy week.

Monday saw kp and I attend the Orthopedic Clinic at the University Hospital, Durham. This was the 6-weekly checkup after the hip op. X-rays were taken and we got to sneak a look at them. It looked SO much better than previous x-rays. You could clearly see a beautiful metal hip, compared to a real brittle look to the old bones she had there. He told kp he thought her walking was a bit wooden.

But we are used to that. She is going to be put forward for some physio, which is good.

Tuesday and Wednesday saw bathroom people visit to look into new bathrooms (kp’s next project).

Thursday was a terrible night. I am not permitted to go into why, but when kp reads this back, she will remember why. Certainly, it’s something I will never forget. ’nuff said. No questions please ! Need to record these things when it comes to the claim.

Friday saw Veronica and Jane come up. Ronnie and kp had their hair done on Saturday morning. And then we had a chinese on the night. Thanks for coming ladies.

Pain-wise, kp has been up and down. We had run out of the right kind of patch at the start of the week, so pain was getting the better of her. Lots of codeine, diclofenac and paracetamol were needed. Eileen picked up the prescription and she is back on the good patches now, so fingers crossed, we see her go back to the way she has been for the past couple of weeks.

This week, we have the social worker coming tomorrow morning (9.30am) and Thursday sees kp’s bosses + a personnel manager (3 in total), coming to sack her.

Should be fine.

The good news of the week is kp has been approved for “ill health retirement”. What that means we are not exactly sure, but it should mean she should get her pension early, we think.

Day 722 – 728. Monday 23rd April to Sunday 29th April 2007

Mixed Bag of a week.

Pain was all over the place – it started really bad, lots of tears, “life won’t be the same ever again” kind of stuff.  I assured her we would get on top of the pain. We had done it before (2 weeks previously) and we would crack it again.

We are keeping a chart of how much Fentanyl patch (strength) is going on so we can go back to the doctor to get adjusted to what works. She is supposed to be on a 125ug patch (changed every 2.5 days). That definitely wasn’ t working. On average she is on a 150ug and a further 50ug (every 2.5 days) and it seems to have borne fruit as the week has progressed.

The side effect is that she sleeps A LOT, but better that than the pain. The pain (btw) is pelvis pain (we think), extending down her legs. The hip seems to be much improved. Although she has complained of left hip pain (stroke side) which is a bit strange, but we’ll keep a watch on it.

Monday, I had arranged with work to be off until late morning as the social worker was coming. Pollards aren’t patient creatures and when she was 15 minutes late (at 9.45am), I was tapping my feet. By 10.15am, I was livid. I rang up only to find she had forgot about the appointment ! Grrrrrrrrrr ! The annoying thing is she lives in Esh Winning anyway !!!!

It was rescheduled for Wednesday (some MORE time off work). Nice lady. Just checked kp was getting all the help she needed.

Thursday was an eventful day. Michelle and Adele came during the day (about 11.30am ish), Adele to do the cleaning, and Michelle for a visit. kp enjoyed their company, although she didn’t wake up until 1pm !

I was off work AGAIN in the afternoon, this time it was for Karen’s bosses who were attending to formally dismiss her (based on ill health). It was Karen’s direct boss, the Personnel Manager for the North East Region and the big wig for the North East Blood Service (with the power to sack). We had never met her before. All three were lovely ! The bigwig had no airs and graces about her and seemed really pleased to meet kp.

kp chatted to them for ages (while I made the tea) – catching up on all the gossip. She has a habit of being quite direct in her questioning techniques, which they found unnerving but funny. She was asking the bigwig who had employed Karen’s boss what Karen’s boss was like as an employee and other such leading questions. There were lots of laughs and it was a good afternoon. Eventually, Karen had run out of questions. That doesn’t sound possible, but it happened.

kp:- So, I suppose you’re going to fire me now.

They laughed and a bit more conversation ensued.

About 5 minutes later, the question returned.

kp:- Eeeeee, sorry, I could talk for England. We had better get started.

At this, the tears started rolling and kp got very upset. I think she had perhaps, been trying to stall the inevitable. She hadn’t thought she would cry. She had thought she could see it as a “fun” thing, but all of those who know Karen could have predicted it. I jumped off my seat and went to comfort her. The bigwig jumped off her seat and kneeled down in front of the sofa. Both Karen and I shrieked at the fact she would get dog hairs on her, but she wasn’t at all phased. She was genuinely concerned for Karen as Karen’s boss and the Personnel Manager were.

They were absolutely fantastic. You couldn’t want for a better “sacking”. I felt so sorry for Karen. She knew that it was coming, she knows she can’t do the job any more, but yet the finality of it, is what got to her. And, I think, the fact that it wasn’t her choice. The choice was in other’s hands and they had said that she can’t work anymore.

The tears and sadness probably carried on for the best part of an hour (on and off). They arrived at 4pm and didn’t get away until about 5.30pm.

They did say some lovely things about Karen, which I was really pleased at. I have worked with Karen before (I used to be her boss), and I KNOW how good she is as a worker. But, to hear it from them, made me really proud (and sad).

Bigwig (who doesn’t know Karen, apart from what others have told her) :- I have heard only good things about you. It’s always the good ones that this kind of thing happens to.

Personnel Manager – You are an absolute inspiration Karen. You should be so proud. And you are too (looking at me) :-)

Karen’s Boss – You’ll really be missed. You’re welcome to pop down anytime and come in for a cup of tea.

So, not a nice experience, but handled so brilliantly, I don’t think it could have been any better.

After the upset subsided, there was some more informal banter and then it came to the time they had to go. As they got upto leave, the tears began again…….

kp:- I am sorry, you’ll just have to go.

And that was that…..

They must have felt awful, but I hope they understand that they did a good job. kp did tell them as well, so they should.

The upset continued for another couple of hours and then by the time it was bedtime, the job was history. (well, I say that now, there may be more upset to come, but my gut is telling me that that should be it).

Well done Karen.

Friday was a new day, by this time, we were starting to get the pain in control. It was the TWO YEAR anniversary of the accident. Angela (fellow crashmate) had sent a hand made card. kp really appreciated the work that had gone into it and the words inside. Thanks Angela. It was also physio day. kp had some hip physio arranged, which turned into a very low impact assessment of her hip movement and them putting them forward for more hydro. Which is great, she loves that and it does her wonders.

She took a taxi to the town, where Marie was waiting for her at a prearranged point. She had come over from the ‘boro to do some shopping with kp. By all accounts, she loved it. They had a good walk around Durham, stopping for cups of tea, and sitting in every shop they came to (for Karen). Marie carried all the bags. Poor Marie. I think Karen got everything she wanted. But, more importantly, she really enjoyed it ! Thanks Marie – really appreciate it. It was lovely to see her so full of life when I got home.

A nice surprise awaited Marie and Karen when they got home. Michelle, who had been over the day before, had sent some flowers to Karen. Here is a piccy….

Day 722 - 728. Monday 23rd April to Sunday 29th April 2007

Thanks Michelle. She really appreciated them !

Saturday saw kp and I have a lovely day. We were “jobbing on” pretty much all day, but it was just really nice to be together for the day. We achieved a lot, got the shed cleared out, new “gate” put up, and other things that I have already forgotten.

Sunday was a more chilly out day. kp has slept A LOT today. From 1am to 10am, 11am to 1pm, 4pm to ? (still asleep, when I write this at 5.30pm). She is on 200ug patch, so I suppose it is to be expected.

This week should be a quieter week. Lydia (ex work mate) is coming tomorrow. Physio on thursday, and Adele coming up to clean Tuesday and Friday I think. So, nice week.

PS – It’s 2 years since the accident but I must have lost a few days as it is only Day 728 (supposedly), so I’ll correct this next week. I think today should be Day 732.

. Page Hits View Stats