Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Calmed Down Now.

Well the anticipated depression did not arrive - thank goodness and I have calmed down.   I think I use this blog as a bit of a pressure valve which then worries other people.  So just bear this in mind for future panics.

We have been keeping busy.  We went to a RREC lunch at Black Bull Fyfield which I think I may have already mentioned.  You will know that we took the Cloud.  I was not happy with the brakes and I was proved right as they have now been relined and they were in a bad state when they came off which was really surprising as they were done just 5 years ago and the car does not get used that much and when Ron drove he would not have been "driving on the brakes" as he tells me I do!

We went to Capel Manor in it last Sunday (Enfield) and I was much happier (not sure happy can describe my emotion).  The weather stayed fine and we had a good day.  Ron was able to get around on his scooter and he is never happier that when he is chatting to people who admire the cars.  Each time we do one of these excursions it becomes easier for me and Ron is able to do more.  This time he walked in to the disabled loo rather than take the scooter in.

We started at Saffron Walden gym on 21st, there was no gym on 28th but we went again Friday 4th and Ron thinks he gets more benefit from his session there than the Herts and Essex session but this could just be that it is new to us.  There is no H & E gym 25th,1st,8th,15th but it starts again on 22nd so lucky we have SW.  Ali has been on holiday for two weeks but is back now and due here at 3.00 tomorrow.  We did not see or hear from Liz last week but the week before that she came and Ron walked down the lane outside our house - I am not good at distances but probably about 35 yards so this was very encouraging for him.   He does do a lot himself during the day and last week he was able to turn his wrist back and forth but so far has not been able to repeat it but he will.   This was very exciting for both of us because it means there is hope for regaining movement in his hand.

We have had two very nice barbecues lately . On 23rd (sunny day) we went to Graham and Erica's and on 29th we went to Lynda's for a family barbecue to celebrate the planning of Anita and Matt's wedding.   I just love family get togethers.  Hopefully we are going to get n Indian Summer so there may be more barbecues.

Sunday we have a lunch meet with RREC so another outing to get used to the Cloud before we go off to Bournemouth in it at the end of the month.

Friday, 21 August 2015


Ron has failed his driving assessment and I am distraught to think he will never be able to drive our wonderful cars again.   Unfortunately it is not because he drove badly but his brain is just too damaged for him to recognise the left, so he is not able to have lessons or try again because the assessor said he would just not be safe.

I keep feeling like crying, tears come to my eyes and I have a permanant lump in my throat but I am not able to give in to it because Ron is being so stoic.   I am not sure if he realises the implications fully although they were explained to us in detail but he does not always grasp things the first time.  He said last night that we would not send off the report to the DVLC (which we must) as they will then cancel his licence and if he wants to drive again, he will have to take a test.

He failed the cognitive test with a score of 11 - 10 is fail and the aim is zero.

I am dreading the next weeks as surely when it sinks in he will become depressed.

If Ron were reading this he would say that I am being typically pessimistic and please god that I am.  Hope to write more positively in the future.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Interesting Times

Where to start?  Two Tuesday Gym sessions cancelled due to ill health - can't be helped but as we missed one when we went away it means no gym for a month.  Thankfully we still have our visits from Ali the Essex OT and in addition we have a visit from Liz who is an Assistant Physio, which means she does what she is told by Ali.   She has a piece of paper telling her what to do and for some reason Ron has taken a dislike to her but she is able to do things that I cannot due to the elbow trouble I have.   I hope I can persuade Ron to overcome his feelings as any help we can get is useful.  Last week we had some very good news as Essex are willing to give us two gym sessions a week plus Ali and Liz will still come.   Today Hayley the physio from  Essex phoned to say they have a vacancy on  Fridays at 3.00 - there is still not a vacancy on Tuesday but hopefully there will be one in 6-8 weeks.  I am hoping that we can continue at Herts and Essex on Tuesdays but the Herts people may not like the idea.

On Thursday Ron has an appointment for a driving assessment using a car that has an adaption for driving with one hand.   This will take approx 3 hours and includes physical assessment, eye test and written cognitive tests followed by the opportunity to have a go in the car and if you then feel confident you can have the assessment on the public road.   A lot is hanging on this and I am a bit concerned that Ron will get tired out because he will be very worked up.

As mentioned last time we went to the Jaguar National Day in Wroxall near Warwick.   We had a lovely time and it was great to meet all our friends who were thrilled that we had made the effort to attend.   In fact we did not know that we had so many friends.   I got on well driving the Mark Ten however on our return journey we broke down at a traffic lights somewhere on the outskirts of Coventry.   It was a very worrying time but a wonderful man came to our rescue.  He first looked under the bonnet and could find nothing wrong so he said he would push us!!! round the corner so we would be safe.  When we got off the main road he said he would check the fuses and he found that the terminal had come off the iginition switch, once replaced the car started and gave us no more trouble all the way home.  What a good samaritan and how lucky were we unfortunately I did not take any details from him and although I thanked him profusely on the day, I would have liked to write and thank him .

We both went to the optician and Ron ordered some new glasses which we collected after a week.  I did not need a new prescription.

Sheila and Steve had a big family hog roast and we enjoyed watching everyone enjoying themselves.

On the 7th I went on one of my garden club visits and Ron was OK for the afternoon on his own.  He is now able to balance and do a wee - a small thing to most people but such a great thing for us.

Sunday was RR lunch meet at Black Bull Fyfield.  The Silver cloud is back on the road and I drove us but I am not happy with the brakes so looks like more money being thrown into the money pit!  When I was loading the car Ron came and got in the passenger seat then he slid across into the drivers seat and drove the car out of the garage on to the drive and then when we came home he did the same thing and reversed the car in to the garage.   He managed well with just one hand and I think he was pleased with himself.

All in all we are happy with Ron's progress but every now and then he has a blip and appears to go backwards,  we are hopeful that the intensive physio that he will be getting will see him making even more progress.

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


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