Monday, 20 April 2015

Busy with baskets and a weekend away

This is one of the trays of begonias that Ron and I have rescued from last year's summer baskets.  Ron was able to set up on the cutting table in the garage/workshop and I brought the baskets into him one at a time.   This was a good day as it made Ron feel useful.  The corms have all been washed to get rid of the pests and then dried in the sun and are now in trays (2) lightly covered with compost. Hopefully we will have success and will be able to have some baskets later in the year.

We have successfully completed our weekend away in Wales(Cwmbran).  Everyone was so pleased to see us and we were made very welcome. Lots of help was offered. I managed the driving there and back with no problem Motorway on the way out and non-motorway on the way home -some lovely views in the sunshine.  Our friends took us out in their cars while we were there which seemed to work well as we were able  to enjoy their company.  Unfortunately Ron was not at his best physically so was not able to walk about the room as we had hoped but we managed with the wheelchair although it was very tight in the bathroom as we did not have a disabled room.   Not sure what was wrong with Ron but I think being in a strange place unsettled him, so much of this disability is down to the mental outlook and ability, if only we could bottle a little physiotherapist because they fill him with confidence and then he can do loads of things.  Last week he was able to climb up three steps and then down the other side plus he walked the length of the gym pushing the wheelchair and then walked for 2 minutes on the treadmill but in the hotel he could hardly stand upright.

However we have shown that we can manage so let's look at what else we can do this year!!

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Busy at home

Since we have been home, there is always something to do.   In order to create an entrance to the garages for the electric wheelchair a storage cabinet had to be dismantled and emptied. Consequently lots of rubbish/valuable spares which were just loaded on to the cutting table had to be found a new home.  We made a good start on sorting this out.   

Last week I put some things on Freestuff and some very nice people came and collected my unwanted goods.   Two garage heaters have gone on e-bay today, even if they sell for only 99p and someone collects them, I will be pleased.  Let's wait and see.

Erica and Lucy went off to Australia the same day we moved home and Graham went out last Wednesday basically to bring Lucy home so she can resume school.

Ron is more or less back to where he was before the disastrous tablets. He has  been having his physio weekly and always feels on top of the world after his session.  Today the physio came to the house to see what we have to work with here at home and she has given us lots of ideas.

Unfortunately as I expected being home has compounded Ron's frustration at not being able to do things and one day last week he was rather depressed but he seems to have pulled round.

On Saturday I went to London with Andrea to enjoy my birthday/mothers day gift of a meal in Marco Pierre White's restaurant.   We had a lovely day and Ron was OK with his babysitters,Vince and Ryan.   Steve came to cut the lawn and Sheila came too so he had a nice day with lots of visitors.   Chas has been busy painting the garage and I must say it looks lovely.

We went out on Sunday to The Duck at Newney Green for a RREC lunch.   We went in the S type and that was OK the entrance was quite difficult but fortunately there were some strong men on hand to help.  We had a good lunch but Ron was absolutely shattered when we came home.   I am a bit concerned as to how he will manage when we go to Wales but we have paid up now so the die is cast.

Our 30th wedding anniversay was on 30th March so we went out for lunch to celebrate.  I cannot believe the years have passed so quickly and I am so thankful we were both here to enjoy the day.

It's 10.45 now and past my bedtime so I will end this rather muddled blog and try to write another soon.

Friday, 27 March 2015

Some good news

Yes we are home in our newly converted to wheelchair friendly house.   Thanks to lots of hard work especially by Graham and Ryan who have had to sacrifice a lot of family time.  We are so grateful.  There really is nowhere like your own home.

The other good news is that Ron seems to be recovering from the horrible side effects of the drug that he was taking for his spasms.  They had a horrible effect on him all known side effects- muscle weakness, sleepiness and urinary frequency but it was the muscle weakness which was worse where previously he was walking 15 or 20 yards, after around a week on the  tablets he was no longer able to stand for more than a minute or two so it was back to the rotastand - and backwards is not somewhere we want to go,  Ron had to only take half a tablet 3 times a day and the whole tablet was not much bigger that a sweetener such power in drugs!  Unfortunately you cannot stop them straight away, you have to come off them gradually,  Yesterday was the first day with none and today Ron is able to walk again albeit very hesitantly.   For those of you that like to know, Baclofen was the drug.  I don't know what proportion of people are affected like Ron but I am surprised that a stroke doctor would prescribe this.

It was really hard work moving yesterday but I wanted to get it done and dusted.  By the time I got back with the second load (who knew Nissan Micras were removal vans) I was exhausted and never more pleased to see Michelle's car parked on the drive.

Another little niggle we have no sound on the TV, it was OK yesterday but Ron watched a video and had control of the buttons so who knows what he pressed but we spent hours trying to get it to work and Ryan did also with no luck - Formula 1 this weekend !!!

Next physio session on Monday - hope Ron is back to where he was before this set back.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Happenings this week.

At last we had our assessment with the NeuroPhysio.  We went to Herts and Essex Gym on Tuesday and met with Marion Henthorn. We spent nearly two hours with her but a good deal of time was used up wth taking history and filling in the forms on line but when she did work with Ron she certainly knew her business and was really challenging for Ron,taking him out of his comfort zone.   She explained that the physio that makes the difference is what you practice at home between visits and she will give exercises to do during the week.  Only one visit a week and unfortunately she is on holiday next week so we have to wait until 30th for the next session.   I phoned the private physio but her advice is that what Marion told us is correct and we should take what we can from the NHS and call on her services when they have finished with us.

On Wednesday we met with Glen Grinrod a RR mechanic who is going to rebuild the engine of our Silver Cloud that Ron dismantled to do the valves.  This engine has been in bits for two years and Ron had hoped to work on it over the winter but it was not meant to be.

In the evening we had a visit from Suzanne and Elliot.

Due to all this activity Ron has been very tired for two days.  When he gets tired like this he cannot use his bad leg so consequently we have not been able to practice the exercises the physio gave us - frustrating.

The wetroom is complete but I have not seen it yet, I am going to go tomorrow and start the big clean up, I have offers of help from Andrea and Michelle.  We are promised a replacement stairlift next Wednesday - fingers crossed that it will do the job.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

A few minutes spare

Not much to report on progress for Ron.  The past few days have been sleepy days.  Last weekend Ron was presented with his trophy which would have been presented at The Classic Car Show at the NEC.  Brian and Joan Ekin from JDC called in on their way home from the wedding celebrations of Len and Gaynor.  The cut glass trophy is very beautiful at least it does not need polishing.

We had a big disappointment this week as the stairlift which was fitted on Tuesday was unsuitable for Ron as his legs were hitting the bannisters - he is too long from hip to knee.  We are now waiting for the lift people to source some more turns and they are going to try fitting it on the bannister side (this way we gain the width of the skirting even with this it will be touch and go, keep your fingers crossed for us.

We booked the S type Jaguar in for a MOT on Thursday, got to Burton End and the battery was flat!  Phoned and cancelled MOT, Went to Stortford and bought a new battery, phoned Ryan who was fortunately working locally and he came and fitted the new battery (very heavy).  Phoned MOT station and they agreed to do the MOT at 1.00 pm.   I got on well driving the Jag and Ron is able to get in and out so we will be able to go to Wales in that - still not 100% sure if we are going to go but I am beginning to hope that we do go.

17th March is a big day for us - bathroom fittings are arriving between 7 and 11 and we have our first appontment with the Neuro physios for an assessment at 11.00 hopefully they are going to be able to offer some intensive physio.  I do now have a phone number for a private physio who comes well recommended.  Our lovely Jenna who has been such a help to Ron did her last session last week it is only due to her work that Ron has made the progress that he has.

All being well we will be well on our  way to returning home.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Latest news

I have not written for a few days so just a catch up. No big things to report. It's the usual story with Ron, he makes giant strides forward (not literally you understand) and then relapses.  It must be so frustrating for him, it certainly is for me.  Last weekend he did a really long walk round the ground floor here - about 20 yards or so, really confident steps, that was Sunday and then so far this week his legs have been really weak and he finds it difficult to stand.  People keep telling me it is early days and I know this is true and he has made very good progress but....

Ron has been getting a lot of spasms during the night they are a bit like cramp and we told the stroke consultant about them who said they are quite common.   I read up about them on the American Stroke Association website where it said that you should have daily physio to avoid getting them !!!
We had a good visit to the stoke doctor who answered all our questions and explained that on that day Ron did not have Atrial Fibrillation but that the medication he is on will prevent any side effects if or when it re-occurs.

Last Sunday my daughter Lorraine and son-in-law Chris took us to the pictures and then out for a meal.  We saw The Second Best Marigold Hotel we both enjoyed it and then paid our first visit to a disabled toilet - another experience under our belt.  We ate at Frankie and Benny's three of us enjoyed our meal but Ron's fish was dry and horrible so they did not charge for it.

On Monday we went shopping for comfy shoes for Ron.  Because his left foot is so swollen his shoes were causing him a lot of pain although they were velcro fastenings.  However he is now sorted and is no longer in pain.  We also bought him a short warm coat.  We had lunch in The Harvey Centre.

We had booked for a weekend in Wales before Ron had his stroke and I have not cancelled it.  I phoned the hotel to change our room to a disabled one but they are all booked.  They have changed us from 3rd floor to ground but I am not sure that Ron will be able to manage the toilet in a normal room ((ie no grab rails).  I have left the booking in place until the last minute in the hope there might be a cancellation or Ron might make improvements in his ability to squat.  He used to be really good at this but seems to have lost the skill.   Of course, if we do go, there will be the question of which car we will take.  I would be happiest in my Micra but Ron will fight this.  I don't think he will be able to get out of the Jaguar and the Shadow brakes are not working.  I have never driven the Mark 10 and would not feel confident on a long trip to Wales for my first outing - so watch this space.

I am off out this evening to History Society I am down to do the teas.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Our Busy Life

We have been going out and about quite a lot lately various shops to look at shower panels, a visit to our friends Barbara and Tony, a social visit to Andrea and Vince (including dinner) and a trip to Burton End to try out the new access via ramps.  It is good that we are now able to get in and out  of my car so we have our independence back.  The Financial Adviser came on Thursday to do our Financial Assessment which we had both been dreading, not that we have anything to hide just that we are both of a certain age and we don't like other people nosing around our bank statements - anyway the good news is that as we are not intending to have any further care, we do not have to have an Assessment and the really good news is that the care we have had so far comes courtesy of ECC or NHS and we don't have to pay.  (This is not what I was told by the Hospital Social Worker who told me we would definitely have to pay).  So cheers all round.

We have had a really busy weekend, Ryan and Michelle came Friday, on Saturday we joined our friends from the North West, Ted and Pat Kelly and Carolyn and John Smith, who came all the way to spend an evening with us.  They stayed at a local Hotel and we joined them for dinner and it was wonderful to enjoy their company and special sense of humour.  On Sunday Jenna, the physio came - more later - and in the afternoon Suzanne, Chas and Sheila came.

Here is a picture of our new Rise and Recline Chair together with Ron's Walking Aid


and here is the really wonderful news,  when Jenna came on Saturday, Ron walked  11 1/2 metres ( two 5 metres and one 7 1/2 metre lengths) using the walking stock pictured and what is more today he walked 15 metres (two 7 1/2 metre lengths).  Not yet up to turning round hence the various lengths.    This is such a momentous turning point for us and we are both thrilled.

Not sure if there is any connection but Sunday Night Ron had a really good night's sleep and woke without any back pain.

Tomorrow MOT in the morning and a visit from a friend in the afternoon, Wednesday is our six week follow up with the stroke consultant so it looks like another busy week.

Bye for now