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.

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.