Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Quick Update

I have to write this quick post as something wonderful has happened. Yesterday Ron moved his thumb.   Now this doesn't sound much but it is momentous.  He has not been able to repeat it but we know from experience that he will in the future.  It was the same with his feet and legs, he did something for the first time and then could not repeat it but he now does those movements almost without thinking.

The Papworth Physio came last Saturday and she was very good, Ron went for a walk outside, lots of different surfaces and slopes.   He did squats and is continuing to practice these.  On the advice of the physio we resumed using the mirror box on Sunday (could this have prompted the thumb movement?)

As I said just a short note - off to the gym in half-hour.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Welcome 2016

We had a lovely Christmas.  Suzanne made a wonderful meal and 9 of us sat down at the beautifully laid table prepared by Chas with the help of a tape measure.   23 (I think) of us gathered at Graham and Erica's lovely home on Boxing Day to enjoy delicious food , supplied mainly by guests, loud music and some rowdy party games.

Between Christmas and New Year we went to Ryan's house.  Ron entered by the back door but on leaving he used the front door which requires you to bend low under the beam and step up.  So another achievement.

Our trip to Llangollen, North Wales started out by us leaving home at 10.30 ish on 30th, we stopped for lunch and a comfort break at around 12.15 on the A14 and soon after leaving the Little Chef traffic came to a standstill and there we sat for 2 hours!   We set off traffic moving slowly and by now it was beginning to get dark as it was a dull, rainy day.  Disaster struck the driver side windscreen wiper broke away, I pulled in at a lay-by and following Ron's instructions managed to push it back on.  Ron said it had never been satisfactory since he had it replaced.  We set off again and reached the M6 using the wiper only manually and intermittently.  Then it came off again and I could hardly see it was now completely dark and heavy rain all I could see were red lights again and no way of knowing if they are rear lights or stoplight .  We stopped again a couple of times to push it back on.  All in all a nightmare journey- all those intersections and you can't see the road markings.  We eventually arrived at out hotel at 7.15!!!!  Quick change in our very nice room and then down to dinner.

We had a very nice New Year Break enjoying the company of our friends and our return journey was completely trouble free.

Our friend Ted Kelly took us to Wrexham to buy a part and then fixed it for us.  According to a mechanic staying at the hotel, the one fitted on the car was not the correct one for the car.

I do feel quite proud of myself as I think I managed quite well.

We have the Physio from Papworth coming on Saurday and we heard today that we are booked in to Saffron Walden for another 8 week session (twice a week).  Ron has been able to improve the movement he has on his arm from elbow and this may be due to the exercises he has been doing since theOT came to visit.   He continues to practice his staggering without a stick but we had a bad freezing incident on the slope to the dining room this week, I am hoping the Neuro Psychologist will sort this out for him.

Ron has not yet driven using his conversion and I am not encouraging it.  I hope again the psychologist will be able to reassure me.

Must get on lots to do today.

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Happy Christmas

Well here we are Christmas Eve and what a difference a year makes.  This time last year we were worrying about getting Ron home for the day on Christmas Day and Boxing Day and sorting out taxis at extortionate rates.   This year we are going to Suzanne's for  Christmas Day and then to Graham's on Boxing Day for the big bash.  I am missing the usual planning panic.  We wont be having our traditional Christmas Eve surprise dinner out this year but instead I plan to visit Tesco around 5.30 to see if there are any last minute bargains and then to the local chippie for fish and chips!.

We have had visits from an assessor from Papworth's and also a physio and an OT both qualified for neuro.  I have heard from the neurological psychologist that they will be in touch in the new year - this is all wonderful news.   We are already practicing some of the arm moves suggested by the OT.  Ron continues to practice his walking and he did quite a bit at the gym on Friday (stick free).

We are planning to go to LLangollen North Wales for New Year, joining Ted and Pat Kelly and Norma and Gary Byrne.  Just hoping the weather holds out.  We are booked in for three nights and should have a disabled access room.

Since I last wrote we have taken the family out to a Thai Restaurant as a thank you for all the help we have had and continue to have.   Unfortunately Suzanne and Chas were not able to come as Suzanne was not well but we will take them out separately.  Other than that and a visit to Jaguar Drivers Club Night we have not done anything too much apart from some family visits but I think we are fine.   I will let you know how things go over the holiday period.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

NEC and more

The visit to NEC was good in some ways but horrible in other ways.   No problem with parking when we arrived as we were able to park in one of the car parks set aside for disabled and as it was only 7 minutes walk to the centre and it was dry so we walked to the  exhibition Hall.  At least I walked and Ron rode on his scooter.   We went straight to JDC stand as I had a very heavy bag of cakes which I had made for them.   They were pleased with these.   We were able to sit on the chairs on the stand and lots of people came to see us.   Trying to move about the exhibition was very difficult, it was so crowded and people just don't register the wheelchair user.   When you are able you are able to stop, start and manoeuvre with no problems but it is not that easy for Ron on his scooter.   I tried to walk in front to clear a path but that did not work.  In the end we mainly stayed at the JDC stand although we did manage to get to RREC where we met Rob and Jane Pedlar.  When the time came to leave the show it was drizzling rain so we decided to wait for a dropped kerb bus rather than get wet going back to the car park.   This was a mistake because although Ron was able to drive on OK when it was time to get off he had great difficulty turning round bearing in mind that the bus was crowded with people.  Of course eventually we were able to get off and we set off for the Premier Inn.   I was so pleased that I had booked this as I was exhausted.  We found our room and decided to go and have our meal in the adjoining Beefeater straight away about 5.30.  We had a nice meal and returned to our room intending to sit and read.   I laid on the bed to read and the next thing I  knew it was morning.  Ron had managed to get himself undressed and into bed on his own.

At the gym Ron has been walking in the parallel bars without holding on and last Friday he was able to walk outside the bars without holding.   Since the he has walked alongside the countertop at Graham's and also at Andrea's and then to top it all he walked 6 or 7 steps in the middle of the room so great progress.  When we left he stood alone and shook hands with Vince.   It really feels we are getting somewhere.

Our lovely community OT Alison has referred us to   Papworth Trust for some intensive neuro rehab and Ron has been assessed and the assessor is going to recommend a neuro physio to come to the house, a neuro OT to work on Ron's hand and arms and a neuro psychologist to address cognitive issues.   We have been told this may take some time to arrange but it is brilliant news.

More news soon.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Latest news

At least - not much news but just to let you know we are still about.  Following much the same routine.  Saffron Walden gym every Tuesday and Friday.  Whenever there is a lunch meeting at the weekend, we will go although Ron gets restless as soon as he finishes eating so we never get to sit about afterwards to chat.   We are like beggars we eat and run.

I had the Planning Meeting for the U3A Garden Group that I lead on Friday so Suzanne took Ron to his physio and she came back with a lovely bunch of flowers for me.

I have  photographed them on the draining board because this is where the light was best but they don't live there
Ron is now able to walk the length of the parallel bars without holding on "walk" is a generous word here - more like stagger but he improves his technique every week.

Following our visit to the Stroke Doctor, Ron has had a letter from DVLC saying that the doctor has said he is able to drive so they have returned his licence.!!  On Saturday we went to Colchester to have a look at a hand control unit.  Ron was pleased with what he saw and the total cost with fitting will be about 1,000 and these can be fitted on any car.    No decision has been made by Ron.   I only wish we had never has the driving assessment at WGC which was an entirely voluntary thing but if we had not had it I would now be pleased and excited for Ron instead of worried.

We got in touch with Barry and Valda and met up for lunch following our visit to the hand control place.  We had a lovely lunch at The Cricketers, Fordham Heath.  Lovely food and reasonably priced.

Life continues to get easier just little things like being able to manage in disabled toilets as Ron can now stand alone.  He can get his pants and trousers off without help when we go to bed.

Next week we are off to the Classic Car Show at NEC, we will drive up on Sat morning and stay overnight at a Premier Inn.  I have been busy making cakes for the Jaguar Drivers Club stand
I am a bit concerned how things will be re parking they say there is parking for disabled and transport but if it is a bus Ron will have trouble getting his scooter on as the scooter cannot deal with any changes in levels - I am not going to fret about it.

I will let you know how we get on in the next blog - bye for now.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Weekends away.

It has been sometime since my last post so I thought it was about time for an update.  No startling news on Ron but he is doing more and more little things.  For example we no longer use the wheelchair upstairs.  He walks in to the bathroom and has a perching stool at the sink.  We now have a good routine for showering and I no longer get exhausted.  Ron is now walking to the dining table although he sometimes has difficulties with the thresholds but he is determined not to be beaten.

We go to any Sunday Lunch that we can.  We had a rather fraught time getting to The Cricketers at Fryerning when our trusty Sat Nav failed to perform - it later appeared we had a faulty cigar lighter socket.  However more by luck than judgement we arrived and enjoyed a good meal (at least I did).

Not sure if I mentioned that we are now attending Saffron Walden Rehab Gym on Tuesday and Friday.  We are therefore discharged from Herts.  Ali has told us she is going to cut back on her visits we will miss her but she has told us that she is going to attend a course on Neurological damage in November so she wants to keep Ron on her books until then in case she learns anything that can help him.

We had a visit to the stroke doctor, this visit was at the request of DVLC but will take the place of the planned visit in November.   Nothing to report re the doctor's visit.

We had a great weekend in Bournemouth with RR Essex Section.   A very busy full-on weekend.   We had a lovely room and Ron managed everything he needed to do.  There was a raffle and an auction in aid of The Stroke Association and around 430 was raised which was brilliant.   People are so kind going out of their way to help things go smoothly for us.

We returned from Bournemouth on Monday evening, had Tuesday and Wednesday at home and set off for Crewe on Thursday (172 miles).  We met up with John and Linda Deed and enjoyed dinner with them which was very nice.   On Friday morning we set off for Bentley's Customer 's building where we had coffee and a presentation on their new SUV.  Following this Ron and I headed of to The Goat Hotel which was to be the location for  the meet you fellow guests and afternoon tea at 4.00 pm but we were there for lunch which we enjoyed in the sunshine on the lawn.  There was a bucks fizz reception in the evening, followed by a meal with a table magician to entertain us.  The Saturday was planned as a driving day.  We were supplied with a list of local attractions and a map showing several suggested routes.  However we were both exhausted and decided to spend a lazy day in the hotel.   We spent the morning in the beautiful lounge reading and drinking tea and coffee and then had a very good lunch in the restaurant.  In the afternoon we read and dozed in our room.   Once more there was a champagne reception before dinner in the evening and this time there was a band for dancing.  Sunday we left for home after breakfast.

Bringing this post up to date, we have been out for lunch again with Essex Section, followed by visits to Suzanne, Graham then home when Andrea and Vince called for a quick visit- phew!

In between all the activities over the past couple of weeks I have mowed the lawn and helped Ryan clean out our back pond.

Bye for now.

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.