Archive for January, 2008

Day 971 to 984. Monday 24th December to Sunday 6th January 2008

Well, bit of a gap in the blog because of Xmas. First some good news – Elsa is back to 100% health. As suspected it must have been some 24/48 hour bug or something as she is right as rain now. Big relief all round.

Xmas Day saw us go to Mum and Dad’s for Xmas Lunch. As usual, it was an absolutely delicious meal and we were left stuffed :-) My sister’s husband’s (Guy) dad (John) gave a nice little speech before we ate about how nice it was to see kp still here :-) It was very touching.

Susa and Simon (Guy’s sister and brother-in-law) were there as was Guy’s mother Melda. We had a lovely day.

On the Saturday between Xmas and New Year, we had a big family get together for Karen’s side of the family. We had a lovely buffet at Marie’s and played some fun games. LOTS AND LOTS of laughs. It was great. kp had a great time too.

New Year’s Eve saw kp and I out clubbing in Newcastle. kp wore a mini-skirt and a bikini top and we were out until 5am. We were drunk as skunks. Actually, that was the dream I had. We were in bed for 11pm and saw the New Year in snoring.

On Thursday, we went to the Lakes for a few days with Mum, Dad, Jane, Guy and the kids. It was snowing hard overnight and when we got up, the roads were real bad where we were. The Lakes were snow-free at the time we set off. We set off and it took us 40 minutes to get a mile ! When a big white van jack-knifed coming down a hill towards us, we decided to go back home. kp was absolutely besides herself.

Here is the car in the drive. It had only been out of the garage for 5 minutes when i took this photo.


We planned another route going further south before going west, and that turned out to be a very wise move.

We had a great time in the Lakes. We took the dogs and luckily we had a little cottage with a separate single bed (perfect for the dogs).

Here are some photos of us down there.






Health-wise, kp is doing really well. The pain is pretty much under control. Sleep remaining the big issue. She had 2 hours last night. Weirdly, while we were away, she slept much better. Interesting !

She is going to start her new schedule tomorrow. It’s something we have drawn up to give her enough to keep her going in the hope it brings better sleep. Here is a snapshot of it.

Picture 1.png

Comments back on

Well, I have upgraded the blog and it has better anti-spam, so messages can be left for kp again. Fingers crossed.

Day 985 – 991. Monday 7th January to Sunday 13th January 2008

So so week this week for kp.

Karen started the schedule for the first week. The first day didn’t go too well, but by thursday she was well upto speed and doing all the tasks that were asked of her. The wobble board exercises didn’t start too well, but by the end of the week, she was able to do the 10 seconds required – well done kp.

By Friday, she was knackered, and took the day off.

As well as her routine, the OT came on Monday to do some assessments. She watched kp hoover and make some tea/toast. Don’t know the results yet, but I did find some dog hair on the carpet when I got home, for which I gave Karen a beating.

What she did say is that Karen shouldn’t hoover by herself.

Angela (fellow car crash victim) visited on Thursday and they had a good gas catching up on each other’s lives.

Karen is going away with Jane and Ronnie in a couple of weeks for a girly week away. And Karen and I are in the process of planning another week away in March with Dave and Helen (who we met in Egypt). So, lots to look forward to.

Karen has had a few problems this week generally.

1. Flashbacks
These seem to be getting more frequent. She gets in a tizz and relives the noises and things she saw during the accident. This can be upsetting for her. Not sure why they are getting more frequent.

2. Sleep
Still the biggest issue. Really got her down yesterday. She was ABSOLUTELY knackered and had taken 3 x 20mg Tamazepam and still couldn’t sleep. This needs addressing – she is going to raise it with Syd when he comes this week.

3. Pain
We have had pain under control for about a month, but kp feels that she is starting to get used to 600mg Fentanyl :-(   . Now, we are not sure if she is getting used to it, or it is because she is doing a lot more (with her schedule). ie the wobbleboard exercises are testing muscles she doesn’t use very often. Fingers crossed, it’s the latter.

This week, there is a visit from the OT and then Syd the case manager is coming on friday.


Was browsing the stats for Karen’s blog. Here is a map showing where people were in the world, when they browsed Karen’s blog last week.


Day 992 – 998. Monday 14th January to Sunday 20th January 2007

Not a good week this week.  It all kicked off on Tuesday night after the OT had been. They had been discussing Karen’s aims, and the fact that Karen’s right eye is damaged. One of Karen’s aims is to drive again. The OT seemed to have said that that isn’t possible because the optic nerve damage doesn’t improve with time. kp got very upset in the presence of the OT. When I came home, she was still upset and this continued all night. I tried to reassure her that the loss of her driving licence was nothing to do with her eyesight, but hearing something so final from the OT really hit her hard and by the end of the night, I felt she was at the start of a nervous breakdown.

She couldn’t make decisions, she was extremely irritable, all the signs were there.

One of the good things to come out of the OT’s session was that Karen is to keep a sleep diary. This is to help work out how / when she sleeps. And presumably then to work at improving it.

Wednesday saw kp and Adele go shopping, but Karen’s mood was still not right and she didn’t enjoy it. That night she had a particularly bad night’s sleep (probably only a couple of hours’ worth), and she woke up with bad cramp in her calf and hot sweats.

Thursday was uneventful.

Friday morning, I came into the front room to find Karen slumped over the settee. She was fast asleep with her head nearly level with the coffee table. How she didn’t fall over, I don’t know.

Worryingly, she had no recollection of how she got there. :-(

Sleep is still the biggest issue at the moment.

Given the poor state of her mind, I took the morning off work at the last moment to meet up with the Case Manager (Syd) and Karen. We needed to raise how bad things were, which we did. He came with some good news. The neuropsychologist that karen had back in the hospital has agreed to take her case on a private basis. She is awesome and I really look forward to her getting involved with kp. I have no doubt it will bring improvements mentally.

The other bit of good news is that Syd is looking into a separate private Dorsal Column Stimulation appointment.

By Friday night, things were greatly improved as far as Karen’s state of mind. Yippee!


Saturday saw us walk the dogs – it was a glorious day. The usual afternoon snooze and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (PLUS Pizza) ended off a lovely day.

We have decided to try separate rooms for sleep. Karen finds it a lot easier to fall asleep with the TV on, but, of course, that disturbs my sleep, which she is reluctant to do. It helped a bit, but nothing too brilliant, but enough that I slept in a different room last night as well.

Today, we have been for Sunday lunch at the County Restaurant in the Royal County Hotel in Durham. It was diabolical. The Roast Beef was just like you got for school meals, wafer-thin and over cooked. Mental note – Avoid Marriott Royal County Durham for dining ! Lunch was complete in 45 minutes and then we went to BHS for some shopping.

This coming week, Karen is getting ready for her hols with the girls. Packing. Hair Doos etc…….Tomorrow, she has her yearly orthopedic appointment with the consultant who did her Pelvic op. Hopefully he will discharge her. And then in the afternoon, the solicitor is coming to see us, to give us an update.

On Friday, Karen is participating in the interviews for her Care Assistant.

So Busy Busy Busy !!! :-)

Day 999 – 1005. Monday 21st to Sunday 27th January 2008

Eventful week this week.

Monday, I had sorted out the day working from home (where poss) so that I could accompany kp to Sunderland Hospital where Mr Cross was going to review kp’s pelvis (yearly appointment) (or so we thought).

As expected, there were long waits in an assortment of waiting rooms. We thought it odd, when she was told that he would be x-raying her right hip, but didn’t think too deeply about it.

Long story short – Mr Cross had wanted to x-ray kp’s right hip as he thought it could need replacing. He was surprised to see this had already been done. Woe betide the consultant who didn’t let him know that he had replaced kp’s hip. Mr Cross doesn’t suffer fools.

Anyway, the good news is that he discharged her. We both thanked him a LOT for everything he had done. He may be the archetypal consultant whose staff bow as he passes, but he is one of a team that saved kp’s life, so our thanks genuinely go to him !

Thanks Mr Cross.

So, effectively, a wasted trip to Sunderland General. We headed off home. As soon as we got West of Durham, the weather was atrocious. Very heavy snowfall. No evidence of gritters being out, and the hill to get to Esh Winning was full of skids and careful driving. kp was besides herself when we finally got home.

Here is what it was like by the time we got home.


I worked from home in the afternoon as we expected Fran (the solicitor) at about 4pm, but alas, the weather was too bad, so she postponed until later in the week.

Bad sleeps have prevailed again this week.

When Karen got up on Tuesday, she was knackered after 90 minutes sleep all night. She had an appointment at the hairdressers to get her hair, nails and face done. She hated it. She arrived at 11am (with Adele), and didn’t get home until 4.30pm ! So, not a good day.

The night was worse. Karen spent most of it very upset. Adele and Karen had been chatting. Quite innocently, Adele had told kp how much she pays for her childcare to allow her to come and clean for us. kp had said “oh, that’s a good price” and not thought anything more of it. But, later on, she had realised that it was a LOT of money and she felt guilty for…..

1-Not realising it at the time that it was a lot of money
2-Having had the accident and being a “burden on others”
and a few other things.

I tried to reassure her that she has NOTHING to feel guilty for but I think she was so tired, she wasn’t able to take it in etc….

Wednesday saw the OT come. She was due to come about 6pm, but because of the traffic, didn’t get here until nearer 7pm. By 9pm, she had gone and we had a pizza tea.

Thursday saw Fran (the solicitor) come for her postponed (from monday) meeting. She arrived at 4pm and didn’t leave until abut 7pm. Fran has now got up to date with all the paperwork from the previous solicitors and now has a good handle on kp’s case. Another year or two should see it to the end. Basically, we have to wait to see how much kp improves with all the rehab she is getting this year before they can assess how the accident will affect her financially etc….

We are both so pleased with IrwinMitchell. Fran could not have been more communicative. And we both get a feel she really knows karen’s case. It feels like a real safe pair of hands ! Thanks Fran !

The other eventful day this week was Friday when kp, Syd and Patti (Syd’s wife and business partner) all went to Durham Job Centre to interview 4 ladies for the post of “Karen’s Support Worker”. Basically, it’s part of a rehab package that Syd has put together. This lady will work approx 30 hours per week assisting Karen in day to day living with the aim to make kp more independent. By all accounts, kp was great. All her old interviewing skills came back and Syd told me he was very impressed and could tell she had done it before.

We have a new lady, and she sounds great from what Syd and kp told me.

Jane and Ronnie arrived that night ready for their holiday to FuentaVentura on Saturday.

We had a late chinese, and an earlyish night (12am). I took the girls to the airport at 6am. 20 minutes after I had dropped them off, I got a phonecall from Karen saying “had I packed the tickets ?”. Well, I thought I had. It was the confirmation email from the airline listing all the passengers plus a confirmation code etc etc…..

Unfortunately, this was not the tickets, and we had some PROPER tickets ?! Karen got upset on the phone saying “it was all her fault”. I could hear Jane and Ronnie comforting her in the background telling her it wasn’t. To be honest, if anyone would have asked me “David, have you packed the tickets”, I would have said “Yes” as I thought the email was the tickets if you know what I mean. It normally is for our holidays.

Anyhow. She phoned me back 10 minutes later, saying everything was ok. I got the impression Jane had spoken with the woman on the desk and they had printed some more tickets out. kp was still upset when she phoned back. More Guilty Feelings.

It’s Sunday when I write this, and I have just phoned kp and Good News !! She slept ALL NIGHT !!!!! I can’t remember the last tiime that happened.

I think she said 12am until 8.30am !

Very pleased for her !

So, she is in the sunny (24′C) Canary Islands this week and she said it was lovely to wake up and for it not to be dark and cold.

I am sure she will have a great week !

Work for me ! Yay !

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