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


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.

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.