Archive for September, 2009

Day 1599 to 1605. Monday 31st August to Sunday 6th September 2009

Busy week with one thing or another.

First, I’m going to start with a general overview. It seems a while since I’ve done one.

kph is generally in great form at the moment. She’s quit smoking for 3 months+. Pain is in control (unless she pushes it) and the patches are on the decrease. She was on 600 at the peak and is now down to 237.5. It’s a strange amount, and that is because dropping too much has given her cold turkey, so we’re dropping by 12.5 every month now. Sleeping is 1000% better than when she was at its worst. 9/10 times she has a good sleep. Thanks to venlafaxine and amytrypteline we think.

Mood-wise, things are also vastly improved. There are still teary days, but there few and far between and whereas previously, they would have knocked her for 6, when she gets them now, she bounces back within 24 hours – a sure sign the depression is under control ! Yay !

So, life is good.

So, this week..…

Monday and kp & Nat went for a swimming lesson. It went very well. kp wasn’t as impressed as Nat and Gail, but she knows that it was an improvement. After that, she did the weekly shopping trip, allowing me to do some revision.

Tuesday and the last throes of Summer saw kp gardening. She did some road safety with the dogs. Some brain and auditory training as well. She got 27/30 on a certain auditory attention test. I managed to get the only flying lesson in of the week.

And the rest of the week followed the same pattern. She managed to get her auditory attention mark unto 29/30 !!!! Well done kp. That’s good enough to move on to the next part of the testing/training.

Saturday, we walked the dogs and caught up on TV.

Today, I’m going diving and kp has a day to herself. She’s going to catch up on emails and her tv.

Here are some photos from the week with the Boxall kids…..






Day 1606-1612. Monday 7th to Sunday 13th September 2009

Busy week.

Monday and the day started with the girls going to the Gym. Auditory Attention training followed with kp scoring 27/30 on her first attempt at a new exercise :-)

Medico-legal appointment in the afternoon which was very interesting. kp had an early neurophysio called Paul Johnson. We were always amazed at the skill level of Paul. I remember remarking in the blog how he looked at kp and you could tell he wasn’t seeing a person, more a set of muscles and bones. It was uncanny and he worked miracles. It turned out this lady knew him and he is a Bobath tutor. It turns out this is the “dogs bollocks” of neurophysio. It was nice to get confirmation that our respect for Paul is mirrored in the neurophysio community. She also knew Heidi who is also Bobath trained, so it appears kp fortunately had the best physio she could have done to start her recovery.

Tuesday was physio, some shopping in Seaham and an OT visit in the afternoon. At OT, Rachel worked on kp’s left-sided neglect. She brought a laser pointer and used it (and some blu-tak) to train kp to attend to her left field more. It seemed to go well.

Wednesday was another medico-legal appointment (for the other side). No tears, which is good ! But, it was a long one (About 3.5 hours) with Syd here too.

Thursday and I had a heli lesson while kp  went to see Angela. They had a good catchup and Angela took kp to get some good dog beds (for our 2) plus a short walk with her dogs which kp enjoyed.

Friday and another heli lesson (for me). The weather was gorgeous !!!! Karen and Nat made the most of it with some gardening.

The weekend has been a relaxing one.

Day 1613-1619. Monday 14th to Sunday 20th September 2009

Busy jam-packed fun week. So jam-packed, I didn’t get chance to do the daily diary :-( So, hopefully I’ll remember what happened. ;-)

Monday – Brain Training & Gym and lots of chatting.

Tuesday – Auditory Attention Training and practice road crossing whilst I had a heli lesson. I was back in time to take kp for her annual hip x-ray and review. Dr Scott was very pleased with how it looks but wants to keep regular checks as it’s far better to catch things early and fix them, than let it get loose and then try and repair it. Made sense to us.

Wednesday – Auditory Attention, Dog walk and Brain Injury book work (with me). This is a book that helps brain-injured people (and family) come to terms with the effect of a brain injury. It’s a cracking book, it really is. And we’re both getting a lot out of it.

Thursday was OT in the morning. They did more of the laser eye pointer stuff to try and get an improvement in kp’s left-sided neglect. I think it needed both Nat and Rachel to do it. Karen had misunderstood the instructions the previous week, so when it became clear she was doing it wrong, they explained and she came on really well !!

The afternoon saw Lydia (one of kp’s ex workmates) come round. What a great afternoon ! kp was laughing like I haven’t seen for quite a while. It was a real joy to see. She stayed all afternoon and kp (and I) really enjoyed the catchup !!

Friday was a solo flight to Carlisle for me and then the return flight back to Newcastle. Loved it. Karen and Nat went shopping and to Costco.

Saturday was usual dog walk, tv and catching-up on emails etc…..On the night time we watched The X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing. Great night, although I must say I’m VERY annoyed that Arlene Philips isn’t judging on Strictly. Alesha Dixon is a lovely lass, but who the hell is she to be a dancing judge. She’s not a scratch on Arlene !!! Bring Arlene Back !!!!

While I remember, Bonnie has not been very well this last week. She’s been leaving a hell of a mess on the kitchen floor every night. Very unlike her. Sometimes, there’d be 5 piles of mixed consistency poo. I’d clean it up before kp got up. We were laughing about this, because we think the problem has been caused by Bonnie stealing some Pig’s Ears off the table and scoffing the lot (only 3). We were talking earlier in the week about how to stop the diarrhoea and Karen said not to give them pig’s ears  for a week. I told her “a week’s a bit long“. Karen said “But who has to get up and clear it all up ?

Karen then realised that it was me who gets up and clears it all up. She was laughing at herself, because she had meant to score a really good point and then realised that it was an own goal !!!

Now, last night (Saturday night), kp did get up before me and went into streaks of diarrhoea on the hallway carpet and then a kitchen floor covered in sloppy and firm poos. :-( I was fast asleep. To top it all off, there was a big pile of diarrhoea in the Utility Room. It was bad ! Real bad !

kp came in to wake me up having tried to clear it up. Bless her, she’d tried. There was some kitchen roll on top of each of the poos  (not sure how that helped), but what she hadn’t realised is she had stepped in quite a few poos and had walked it around the house. So, a bad mess was a terrible mess. Her slippers went straight in the bin, she didn’t realise she had spread it around. Spatial Awareness issues and a diarrhoea-laden kitchen don’t go hand in hand.

So, thankfully, kp had got me up (at 5:11am) as she knew she couldn’t do it. We’re laughing about it now, but it wasn’t so funny at 5:11am.

Today, we’ve been to see my family in Lancashire. Mum cooked us a gorgeous Roast Lamb (with all the trimmings). And it was good to see everyone :-)

So, good week. Another busy week coming up.

Last Blog Entry

Well, this is the last ever blog entry. Karen has been asking me to stop writing the blog for the last few weeks, and so I’ve decided to call it a day. The legal case continues (and is set for court in October 2010). And, of course, the rehab and Karen’s hard work continue too.

I would like to take a moment to thank EVERYONE who has posted a comment on the blog. These comments were so invaluable when they came in. I remember reading them all out to Karen back in the hospital and she was always amazed at the level of support everyone gave her. THANK YOU SO MUCH for that support. It really is appreciated and I _KNOW_ it helped me along my journey through Karen’s Biggest Challenge. The blog was started and continued to let family and friends know how kp was doing. I didn’t envisage the two-way flow that would come from it, and for that I thank everyone who posted and offered a message of support.

Time for some special thanks in no particular order ……..

The early days in the hospital were awful. Marie, thank you so much for all your support. You brought food, amusing magazines and poor horse racing tips to the Green room and we made the best of a very bad situation. You also helped me by keeping everyone informed (pre-blog) on how kp was doing.  Thank you for that and of course all the work you did on the kp care rota so we ensured Karen had someone with her at all times !!

Michelle, Yvonne and Adele all helped cover the kp care rota too, so thank you to you all !!

Jane Burns dropped everything to come and be my side for about a week. She stayed with me at our house until Karen was out of the woods (1 week+), so thanks to Jane. And to Jane’s husband Tony, for the loan of Jane !!

Veronica (kp’s friend down south) – you may not have been in the area, but you were the most avid blog reader and contributor and every comment you made was read out to Karen. We thank you for your ever-lasting friendship and support !!!

My family have been awesome. Mum, Dad, Jane and Guy all came up regularly from Lancashire to support me. Not only emotionally, but with the housework which wasn’t quite up to kp’s standards under my charge. Thanks Mum for that !

Thanks to everyone who came to Karen’s homecoming !

Thanks to all Karen’s colleagues at the National Blood Service especially Angela, Deborah and Lydia. Karen couldn’t want for better work colleagues. Thanks too to Sue Brady (kp’s ex work boss) for your continuing support and friendship.

I could thank people for ever, but I’ll end with another 2 important “Thank You”s.

Thank you to the staff of the QE Hospital, Gateshead (and Sunderland Hospital). You are heroes in this story. We all thought Karen wasn’t going to make it (including you!), but this never stopped you not giving up on her and giving kp 110%.

Final thanks, of course, go to the real hero in this story, Karen Pollard ! You have battled consistently throughout this horrendous ordeal. Failure was never an option. You have been an inspiration to me and everyone who knows you.

Well done Karen, not only in the way you dealt with, and are dealing with your “biggest challenge”, but for never giving up. I am _SO_ proud of you. I know the battle is not over and the fight may never end, but I know you’ll continue to give it 110%.

All my love !


. Page Hits View Stats