Archive for June 1st, 2008

Day 1132 – 1140. Saturday 24th May to Sunday 1st June 2008

Ups and Downs kind of week.

We went to Spain for the week with my family (Mum, Dad, Jane (sister), Guy and Sophie and Jamie). The weather wasn’t the usual Spanish weather. We can’t recall a day previously where we had had rain, but this week, it was like being in England for the majority of the week. Having said that, we were blessed with 2 or 3 good days, so we shouldn’t complain. On the day we came home, it was POURING down in Spain, and about 16′C and we landed in Newcastle with not a cloud in the sky and it was 20′C !!

Generally, it was a great week. It was nice to see my family and spend some time with them, especially the kids, who were lots of fun.

It was a very relaxing holiday. We had been given a self-help book about Post Traumatic Stress by Jane (the clinical psychologist treating kp at the moment) which made for good reading. It was quite deep at times (and too much for Karen), BUT it was really good. I underlined all the bits to read to Karen so she could see what PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder) is all about and how to treat it. So much of what kp is experiencing at the moment is mirrored in the book and we both found it really helpful to know that there were reasons for what she was experiencing.

I managed to get in a day of diving (2 dives). The water felt really cold (19′C) even with a 5mm wet suit on and the vis didn’t compare to the Red Sea, but I still managed to see a tiny Moray Eel, an octopus and a big lobster. kp enjoyed the morning reading all about Katie Price (latest autobiography).

The downside of the week was kp found it hard (at times) to integrate with my family. It’s nothing personal to my family, she finds it similarly hard to integrate with her family (at times). She describes it as “I don’t fit in anymore”. One afternoon, things got so bad that she missed the evening meal completely. The following night she tried again, but she felt very isolated and I could kick myself because I didn’t notice as I was wrapped up messing with the kids. We had LOTS of tears that night when we got back to the hotel and I feared she would be in the hotel room for the rest of the holiday. But, on the final night, she made an effort again, and managed to enjoy it, so that was a nice “Up” to end the holiday on.

The best way of describing Karen and groups is that the group naturally goes at a certain pace, but since the accident, kp’s pace isn’t at the speed of the rest of the group and she loses track of where everyone is in conversation, jokes, banter etc….And she can’t reinsert herself into it. It’s very sad. And heartbreaking to listen to her discuss how she feels she isn’t the person she was before.

At least, we ended on a bit more of a positive last day and night. I think, for future holidays, we will have to plan in for pacing ourselves so we don’t hit this wall again. I hope it didn’t sour the holiday for the Pollard clan too much.

Overall, a good holiday. kp and I took time out from the family to do the Pier Walk (a 1-mile walk out to sea, and then back again). The weather was good, and the wind and temperature perfect. It was lovely. Here’s kp half-way along the pier. She did the whole mile there, and a quarter of it back, before we had to use the wheelchair. Nice one kp.


We walked the dogs in the pouring rain this morning.  On the way back, we passed through a field with a horse in. As kp got 1/2 of the way across the field, the horse started getting hyper and started kicking at me and the dogs. At the halfway point is a bridge (across a stream), and kp was safe there. But she could see what was going on and she got frightened. I joined her to comfort her and the horse seemed settled on the other side of the stream. So, we made our way to the other side of the field. kp got within 10m of the end of the field and the horse bounded over and started putting it’s arse in our direction (getting ready to kick). I ushered kp on and distracted the horse and kp made it to the end. However, it really upset kp and frightened her. Her legs were like jelly and she was wretching all the way home. :-(

Poor kp !

Anyway, she is safely home now and has caught up on some tv which has nicely distracted her.

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