Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Another month nearly done

Today Wednesday 29th is thankfully dry but not very warm.  We had loads of rain over the weekend but fortunately we had Sunday Lunch at our local pub to look forward to.  Ron managed to walk in to the pub and walk out afterwards with the minimum of help.

We enjoyed three days away last week.  We stayed at Hatherley Manor between Cheltenham and Gloucester and we had a very good time.  We met our friends John and Carolyn Smith  who were on their way home from France.  Carolyn is a very good driver and took over the driving of our S type and we had two days out.  The Wednesday it was forecast rain so we went to Gloucester Docks to the museum of the Royal Gloucester Regiment which was very interesting.   There was a tiny lift which Ron's scooter just fitted into as the displays were all upstairs.    Fortunately the rain held off and we had lunch  and  then had a quick walk/ride about the outlet centre Gloucester Quays.  We only had a quick look because we had two shopping phobic men in tow.   We did manage to buy a very smart pair of shorts for Ron.  I managed to leave the stick in a shop and luckily John or Carolyn noticed it was missing when we got back to the car.

On Thursday we went to Bourton on the Water and had a lovely day there. No dramas thank goodness.

We came home on Friday and the weather was terrible, rain all the way and lots of spray but we had a nice break - heaven to have all meals chosen and cooked by someone else and the food was excellent.

We have another break this weekend.  We are off to Jaguar National Day with the Mark Ten and wonderful news have just had a phone call to say the hotel have had a cancellation so we are able to cancel our Premier Inn reservation.  This was going to be a headache as there is a Dinner on Saturday which we have booked so it would have involved two 5 mile journeys at night to get to the  hotel and back to the P.I.  Our room is on 1st floor but there is a lift so taking a chance there will not be a fire!!

We have an extra physio visit this week as Liz is coming from the Community Team which is quite lucky as our Group Session had to be cancelled on Tuesday due to ill health.  Alli came today and she always inspires Ron to do well.

Must go now potatoes boiling.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Summertime

Well after my moaning last post, we have had some very good weather and Ron and I are looking brown as berries.  Today it is raining and according to the forecast, it is going to be wet for several days but the garden certainly needs it.  As I treated the lawn with weed and feed on Saturday I think this weather is what the lawn needs.

Since I last wrote we have had visits from Allie the community OT and this has been really useful as she is able to target things in the home that Ron needs help with.  Ron can now walk up and down the ramp from lounge to dining room and he can then sit on a dining chair to eat his dinner.  On 3rd July Ron walked outside the french doors to the car and back again this involved a ramp.   Unfortunately he could not repeat this last Friday as he got half way along and then decided he was too unsteady so I took the wheelchair to him.  This is how it goes but I am sure he will try again soon and will master it.

This Friday Allie is going to bring a physio with her and they will be assessing what help Ron needs.

Ron is getting on well with his scooter and it means I get a rest from the pushing.  We have been on two of my U3A garden visits and he is able to get about on the scooter.  We went to   The Orwell Hotel in Felixtowe.  The drive was cancelled as there were not enough people to make it worth while but obviously we still went for lunch.  Our outward journey was a bit traumatic as we could not find the hotel despite our sat nav, when we eventually pulled in the car park was chock a block so I had to stop in the middle to assemble the scooter and get Ron out of the car by which time it was raining.  I needed my glass of red wine.   Lunch was lovely and the surroundings are like something out of a 50's film set - piano playing in the corner and big silver domes over the roast beef.

We have been lucky enough to have been out and about over the past few weeks.   We went to Andrea's for our family reunion with my niece Jackie - lucky with the weather and a lovely barbecue it was great to get together and catch up with all the news and reminisce.  Angel and Bob Fuller celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary with an evening garden party to which we were invited again good weather.   And up to date, yesterday we went to Area 33's Rally at Cressing Barns Car and Motorcycle Rally where we had a good time and met up with friends then on the way home we called in to Suzanne's.  I stopped outside and she then reversed the Mark 10 in to their drive as if it was a mini - if only I could drive that well!

All in all Ron is improving all the time but we have to keep reminding ourselves of this as it is all too easy to think about all the things we can't do.

Let us all enjoy summer and make the most of the life we have.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Mid June - Is this summer?

Getting a bit fed up with this weather - the forecasts keep saying it is going to improve and be warmer but it doesn't and isn't - still no good moaning at least today is dry.  Group session this morning so Ron will be tired out this evening, he has got into a bad habit when walking of putting too much weight on his right hand holding the stick and not letting his left leg be weight bearing so I think it was particularly exhausting for him as they tried to correct him.  We took the scooter for the first time today and had a bit of a problem as I did not realise it was out of gear.  Of course some kind hearted guy came and offered to help and eventually he said " does this red lever haveanything to do with it" I felt a bit stupid but of course won't make that mistake again.  Another mistake I won't make again, at least I hope not, is leaving the battery at home charging in the living room.  Fortunately we were only a few miles down the road at Graham's so I was able to come home and get it but I did not really need to as Ron walked in on his own, sat on a dining chair and after dinner walked to the annexe, walked to the toilet and when we left walked from the annexe back to the car, ramp as well.   This was a great achievement especially as he had been feeling weak before we left home.

This outing was to celebrate Fathers Day and Elliot joined us for a lovely barbecue eaten indoors as the weather was again on the cool and dull side.

Last Thursday we went to our friends' new bungalow in Saffron Walden for an afternoon tea to celebrate Tony's birthday and to have a first look at their new to them home.   What an enormous undertaking to move house at over 80 and the poor dears seem to have so little help.  I only wish I could do more to help them but at the moment my circumstances just won't allow it.  I cannot tell you how grateful we are to our wonderful family each and every one of them have been marvelous, nothing has been too much trouble.   Incidentally the sun shone last Thursday!!

We have had some good news.   The community OT has at last made contact with our Herts Physio and has been given permission to work at home with us so with effect from this Thursday she will come and work with Ron, possibly bringing a trainee physio with her.   She plans to work with Ron for 3 months and I think this will be very helpful as however much I try to encourage Ron with his exercises, it it not the same as a professional.

We have made arrangements to meet our good friends John and Carolyn Smith for a 3 day break near Gloucester.  They will be on their way home to the North West from France and we will make the journey specially.  I am looking forward to it but at the same time I am a little nervous.  We have a busy weekend as on Saturday we are going to Andrea's as she is hosting a family get together as my niece and her husband are over here on holiday so I am looking forward to seeing her after 30 plus years and on Sunday we are going on a drive with RREC from Colchester Football club to the Orwell Hotel where we will have lunch.

Must go now Suzanne has come to visit.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Latest Progress

For the past two Tuesdays Ron has attended the Group Physio Sessions at Herts and Essex Gym, not much of a group the first week - just two participants but they got a lot of attention from the physios and OT's.  I think that Ron is deriving good benefit from these sessions as they get more than an hour and they are on the go the whole time.

Ron sets himself challenges his latest is to walk up and down the sitting room using a normal walking stick rather than the quad stick he usually uses.

We have been to visit Suzanne and Chas at their home.  We parked near the front door and Ron walked to the front door and up the steps into the kitchen diner where he sat in an ordinary chair and of course he made the return journey to the car.  He was very pleased that he was able to do this especially as he had a little loss of balance on the step when he tried to step up with his bad leg but the good news was that he was able to correct this with just a little help from Suzanne and me.

Last Sunday we went out for lunch with the RR Essex Section which went well, we were able sit with our friends which was good and Ron did not get as tired as he had previously.   On the way home Ron said let us go to Ryan and Michelle's house to see if he could get into their summer-house.  When we arrived he got out of the car and walked to their patio area over shingle and grass and then on to paving.  We had a sit down and then Michelle wanted to show me their vegetable patch and Ron said he would walk across the lawn with us (about 20 yards each way)  my heart was in my mouth but he did it.  We sat and had a coffee and then he walked back to the car.  This is major progress -all those different surfaces some of them uneven.

Today (Friday 5th) we have been to Maldon with my U3A  Garden Group 5 of us ladies and Ron.  We made a day of it and had lunch in Prezzo's and then headed of to see the gardens at Beeleigh.  Ron took his scooter, the first real trial driving from the car park along the pavements to the restaurant.  He managed to sit on a chair at the table and then get back on the scooter.   It certainly saved me a lot of hard work when we explored the beautiful gardens.   The scooter coped well with shingle paths and grass  We had the compulsory tea in the marquee on the lawn.  It was a successful day and I think everyone enjoyed it.

You will see we are able to get out and about with increasing ease.


We have received notification that Ron qualifies for the lower rate of Attendance Allowance, we are a  little disappointed with this but evidently you only get the higher rate if you need help during the night,  I of course answered all the questions honestly and Ron does not get up during the night, he takes a bottle to bed and uses it himself.  We are grateful that we can manage without any outside help but there is no doubt that you cannot live as frugally when you are disabled so we are grateful for the financial help.

I am taking the Mark Ten for a MOT on Monday so I will go for a practice run over the weekend fingers crossed for me.

More news soon


Sunday, 24 May 2015

Progress

Ron has made lots of progress this week.  On Tuesday the physio and OT came and enouraged Ron to walk from the chair lift to the bed and back again.  Since then he has not used the wheelchair to and from the bedroom.  In addition on Wednesday he walked to the bathroom and back to the chair lift,  this is really difficult for him and he has to overcome his fear of the stairs, it takes him ages to get through the doorway but he refuses to give in.  He really is so brave.   He has done this every day.   The physio will be amazed.

We went to Lorraine's last week and Ron managed the transfer from car to living room.  He did really well.   It has given us confidence to visit others.

The scooter has arrived and we used it for the first time yesterday when we went to visit Andrea.  We need more practice especially me but I think it will be fine in the end.

We have been busy in the garden 19 troughs have been planted up with african marigolds these line the wall that borders the drive up to the garage.  Three baskets planted up with million bells and begonias (saved from last year)
 
  

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Catch up

It has been pointed out to me that I have not written anything lately so here goes.

There are no big breakthroughs to report (worse luck) but lots of little improvements for which we are very grateful.  Ron can now get into bed and out of bed on his own and since last Tuesday he now gets onto the stairlift on his own - it takes ages and I can hardly bear to watch so I go off and do something else as it is important that he does anything he can however difficult.

For the last two Tuesdays we have been lucky enough to have our physio Marion and Debbie an OT come to our house.  The reason for this is that the planned Group Sessions have had to be cancelled due to Norovirus at Herts and Essex Hospital.  This past Tuesday they tried to get Ron to walk into the bathroom from the stairlift.   He managed the walk in very well but had a very difficult time coming back to the stairlift.  He was too worried about the stairs on his right hand and just froze.  Consequently this put him back.  He did manage to walk from the door to the bed on Tuesday and Wednesday but by Thursday he had lost all confidence.  The OT admitted that the bathroom walk was a step too far and they perhaps should have started off with a less challenging task.  

For a short while we were lucky enough to have the Community OT - Ellie or Allie not quite sure which - come to the house to work with Ron.   She was very shocked to hear that we had waited 10 weeks for any official physio and then it was only fortnightly and she was willing to come weekly but  it seems professional protocol has got in the way as she said she would check with Marion and now we have not heard anything.

Next Tuesday should be the first Group Session and we ae waiting to see what that is like.

Ron has had a birthday since I last wrote and we went to Graham's  for a meal which was lovely and we were joined by Elliott which pleased Ron.


A couple of weeks ago we went to Lorraine's for the afternoon and then on to a Thai Restaurant for dinner.  Ron just about managed the front door and steps and we are going to try again today.

We have ordered an electric scooter, the type that can be put in the car, it has not arrived yet so I can't tell you whether Ron will be able to operate it with one hand.  Fingers crossed.

Not much else to report we lead a rather boring life.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Ups and Downs

Had a horribe day on Tuesday.  We turned up at the hospital for our physio appointment at 11.00 and the physio did not turn up until 12 but not to see us but another client.  She had no record of our appointment.  Well I know one thing she definitely made the appointment two week earlier because I always put it straight into my I-phone.   She said she thought our next appointment was for the group session which is to be on 5th May well this would have meant a three week wait for physion- not on, I think.   Ron was discharged from hospital on 7th January and since then we have had just 3 official physio appointments!!   I was so annoyed and upset I had to fight back the tears.

We went to The Nags Head for lunch to drown our sorrows (food, tea and diet coke).

We don't know how these group sessions are going to work out.  I am trying to stay positive.

Following our aborted physio session, Ron felt he had to work extra hard at home doing lots of walking and inevitably he had a fall.  I felt guilty because I think he was trying to cheer me up because I was so upset.   We had a job getting him up but eventually we managed.  No injuries thank goodness but of course another  blow to his confidence.

Today we had a visit from the Community OT and this was very positive.  She wants to come every week and work with Ron and she is also going to speak to the Community Physio as she thinks that she would be able to work alongside Marion.   The more input we get from professionals the better because this is what gives Ron the confidence in himself.

We have a busy weekend ahead, Lynda and Nigel are coming on Saturday and we are going to try and get in Lorraine's house on Monday and then we are all going for a meal at The Royal Tiger, a Thai Restaurant.