My journey from 59 to ………

Archive for the tag “pain”

I love the NHS!

On Friday I had a steroid injection in my knee (for arthritis / Bakers cyst) at Brentwood Community Hospital. 

Needles don’t bother me and I was quite relaxed about the whole thing. Linda, the physio, and I share the same sense of humour and attitude to life! 

I caught a glimpse of the needle which was quite big, but she was so efficient that I hardly felt a thing. 

After sitting in the waiting room for 10 minutes to make sure there were no reactions I left, with her warning to take things easy ringing in my ears. 

Now I was full of good intentions and decided I definitely wouldn’t go to the gym on Saturday, so I went to Bluewater. 

Driving back I was hit by a pain that I could only describe as excruciating. It was horrendous. I was trying to breathe through it, relax into it, talk through it, anything to get me home. 

I rang Ray, he finally answered, & warned him to have the front door open. I got home, raced in and picked up the phone to dial 111. 

Picture the scene, I’m doubled up in pain trying to answer the questions from the person on the phone whilst Ray is telling me to get Spin CDs up on the computer for him!!!!!! 

My answers were such that led to me being put through to a clinician who said I should go to the out of hours GP (an appointment was made for 20:20 and to take a urine sample with me) and that I could take paracetamol and ibuprofen. 

Got Ray fed, tucked him in, prepared his injections and tablets for the next day and, as I could not settle, set off early. 

Stopped en route to but him some biscuits and me some ibuprofen then got to the out of hours GP based at Basildon Hospital. I knew where that was as I’d taken Ray there a couple of years ago. 

Doctor was very pleasant, asked lots of questions then tested my sample. Now I drink loads of water and I’d been surprised at how dark it was, thought I must have been dehydrated for some reason for the previous few days but no, turned out it was blood :-/

The GP spoke to the surgeons and sent me over to A&E. Staff there were helpful but I had to wait quite a long time until I was seen. I was walking round in circles because it hurt less if I was moving. I was reaching the point where I was going to have to call for pain relief when my name was called and I went through. 

(I have no complaints about the wait, I should have probably told reception how bad it was but there were lots of other very ill people there, staff were doing their best and it is just not my way!)

Memories after that become a bit hazy. I remember seeing a doctor and saying the pain level was 8/9 (again not like me) and being given paracetamol and a diclofenic suppository! I was dubious about thus but happy to try anything at that point. It was magic! I took it just before going to X-ray for a scan and, by the time I arrived there, the pain had eased. 

I didn’t find out until later that I could only have one of these a day, I would never have thought I could look forward to having anything shoved up my bottom!

The scan confirmed all the doctors diagnoses, a kidney stone! 2.7mm in the uretha. 

Back to A&E and the really kind nurse to wait to be admitted. 

I was so relieved to be safe in the hospital and getting help with the pain that I didn’t care how long that took. 

At some point in the night the nurse took me to the Surgical Referral Unit where I was put in a room on my own. 

Time then started to rake on a surreal quality, in fact I think I ‘lost’ a day! 

Doctors explained what was wrong and that they were hoping it would pass naturally, nurses kept checking me, asking if I was in pain, taking my temperature, blood pressure etc and giving me the much needed pain relief! 

Now I’m usually very fit and healthy these days and my blood pressure is good so you can imagine my reaction when, at 6am on Sunday morning, when all I’d been doing was lying down for hours, it was recorded at 189/76!

The pain continued and I was being given liquid morphine and paracetamol which dulled it but did not stop it altogether 😦

This was the  best painkiller but, as I’ve said, I could only have it once a day!


I think this, incredibly unflattering, selfie shows the state I was in!

But, as a carer, I couldn’t just think of me! 

I’d left Ray his injections for Sunday and pills for Sunday & Monday but I needed to sort out future meds and meals. 

The meals side was, relatively, easy. My wonderful next door neighbour Pat made him dinner on Sunday. 

I rang the District Nurses to explain the situation, confident that they would take over his medications until I, an unqualified, unpaid mug, oops carer, who had been doing it for 24 years was well enough to be discharged. 

I was SO wrong! The person who answered my call said they would not be able to help. 

I was gobsmacked, and I am again as I’m writing this! 

You’ve seen the state I was in, I truly cannot remember all the details about what happened. I argued and, eventually, they got a district nurse to ring me. 

She was not at all helpful or supportive. She said they were not covered to do it and hadn’t I got a neighbour or family member who could do it? I remember commenting on how they as qualified nurses couldn’t do it but that I should tell a random unqualified person to do it. She then said “Well where are your family?” In a very disapproving tone at which point I lost it. I asked her what the hell she meant and then said tell you what, let’s forget it and just let him fucking die!!!

That got a reaction, she asked me not to swear at her!

I was beside myself and shed the first (& only) tears of the whole episode!

Another, much nicer, nurse rang me later and said they were going to contact our Health Centre to ask the doctors to ask them to do it. 

Exhausted I went back to my pain / morphine / paracetamol haze …….. The phone rang again later … Ray ….. but when I answered it was a doctor ringing from my house to talk to me about what dosages he should have so that she can tell the nurses. 

Now, as his blood sugars can vary between 1.3 and off the scale I vary the dose, but they can’t do that? 

Still, at least I could stop worrying about it. 

Bacon the good stuff ………

I cannot praise Basidon Hospital enough. 

There was a good choice of food

I was going on and off nil by mouth as they debated whether to operate but meals were ordered up for me and prepared the minute I was allowed to eat. 

I was checked regularly and pain relief was given quickly when I asked for it. 

I remember at one point being asked if I was in pain and saying that I honestly didn’t know any more!!!

By midnight on Sunday, after continuous pain, and no sleep since Friday   I asked for, and was given, a sleeping tablet, but by 4 a.m. the pain was bad enough to wake me up again, that was the end of sleep! 

I was getting very good at sucking the very last drop out of the morphine syringe! Anything I was offered I grabbed! 

Another examination by the doctors ….. back on nil by mouth, preparations made for an operation to fit a stent. 

The pain, despite 2 lots of morphine and paracetamol was unbearable and I was walking round the room more to distract myself than anything else. Then I went for a wee, looked back and thought ‘what’s that?’ 

I could see a bit of grit in the toilet bowl, it was still there after I’d flushed but the pain had eased so I grabbed it, took it to the nurses and asked if it could be significant!

I cannot believe how something so tiny could destroy me!

I’ve now got to do some praising!

Everybody I came across at the hospital were brilliant! The nurses, the support staff, the doctors, the radiologist, the cleaners ….. everybody! I could not have been treated better!

But not only me, I saw the care that was given to other patients especially a group of Alzheimer’s patients including Annie (not her real name) an articulate, intelligent, argumentative woman with kleptomaniac tendencies. Although in my hazy state she gave me some amusement she must gave been driving all of you mad but you were amazing with her!

All the Facebook comments. The text messages and offers of help (you know who you are) were much appreciated. Thanks guys!

I must also thank brother Nigel and, even more, my sister in law Renei who brought me stuff in, shopped for me, sorted out Ray’s tablets, are a meal with him and took me home with her and thoroughly spoiled me before I returned home on Tuesday. 

Recovery is taking some time and I’m still taking paracetamol but that’s enough!

 I have had to accept that I can’t go to the riot training / control and restraint day that I’ve been looking forward to for years 😦 

I’ve also said I can’t do the search dog assessment on Saturday 😦

My knee has benefited from the rest tbough and feels great 😃

From tomorrow we are going to practice Ray doing his own meds. We obviously need to be self sufficient!
Best comment I have received – had to be added 😃😃😃



Three notches down!

Having got into a muddle I’ve decided to split this update into 2 posts. This one will focus on health / nutrition / training / ramblings and the other will be a sort of diary. They will of course overlap but it will suit me better!


I missed out a post!

Last time I posted I said that I was aiming to get the belt down by one more notch in 4 weeks. I did that but I forgot to bore you all with it, and I went straight into getting the third notch in 8 weeks.

The 8 weeks were up 2 weeks ago and …………. I did it!

4 belts

Now, as I’ve said before, I’m well aware that the number of notches can be changed by the position that you wear it, but this is a ‘working’ belt and I can only count it as successful if I’ve worn it, and used it, for a full day, which I have!

The next ‘target’, if I go for it, is to get it on to the last notch (now I’m wondering if I should have said hole but I like the word notch much more, in 16 weeks time. That’ll be on the 4th December 2015!

The bigger, if you’ll pardon the pun, use of it is to stop me getting bigger though. The trouble with living in lycra is that it stretches, and stretches so you don’t get as many wake up calls. This belt definitely does not stretch! Nor do the 2 pairs of cargo pants I’ve bought. I know this because for the last two weeks I’ve been in face stuffing mode and they have told me!

I have to confess that I’ve been bitten by whatever the sugar equivalent of the tsetse fly is again. The man at the end of the conveyor belt where they make Viennese Whirls must have washed his hands because I’ve been force feeding  myself with those, and other sorts of cakes 😦

My training has also suffered, Darryl has given me three new programs. Normally I’d be ultra excited and attacking them but I did not manage to complete even one of them 😦

I haven’t been feeling great, very tired and episodes of ‘wooziness’ (M.S. stuff – boo) and my knee has been playing up.


  • Gluttony! It will never leave me, I just have to learn to manage it and I’m getting better at it all the time
  • The weather. Yes, that’s a real point. It’s been very hot and muggy and my body reacts badly to that
  • Doing too much! (Not so good at learning about that!)

But let’s rewind because it has been a long time since I told you what I’ve been doing and, before this latest blip, training was going brilliantly!

We have had the Club One Hundred Games!!!

COH games

The games were open to all members of Club One Hundred and were made up of 6 events. You got points for each event depending on your position, and the winners would be the man / woman with the most points.

The events were:

  • maximum deadlift
  • 2000 metre row for time
  • 21 – 15 – 9 – 3 Burpees and Thrusters for time
  • maximum clean and jerk
  • 3 sets of: 500 metre run, 100 x single unders skipping, 2 lengths of walking lunges
  • As many rounds as possible in 12 minutes of: 7 press-ups, 10 hanging knee raises, 15 box squats

Because I train fortnightly we were doing 2 events per session and this was session one! (Where I peaked!)


I was really pleased with these results, but when I looked at the board and saw someone had lifted 90kg I was not happy! There was only Darryl and I in the studio and he tentatively, and carefully, pointed out that I was not in my mid 20s!!! Gareth walked in at that point to find me moving around the studio, kicking myself and chanting “Got to remember I’m 62!”

The next session I did the burpees (lying down on the floor and standing up in my case) & thrusters. I  may occasionally (OK, frequently) suffer from flatulence but I do not do burpees! Still, I’d been practicing them at the gym and I gave it my best shot. Part way through I was VERY hot and felt sick so I had a little pause then carried on. Although I was proud of myself for not giving up I was a bit gutted that I knew I could be faster. I was, however, thrilled when I found out that I was not the slowest!!!!

I also did the clean and jerk that session. Now I can clean (only this sort, not housework), and I can press, but …. waiting for the sniggers …. I can’t jerk! I have a real problem with any form of jumping, my feet do not want to leave the ground at the same time! So my final weight that day was 25 kg. But I really, really wanted to do 30kg, just for my benefit. Darryl gave me a list of weights and reps to try it with and, one day at the gym ………


I was SO happy! I may never do it again, but it doesn’t matter, I DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!

On to the final session ….. save the worst until last!

I did not have high expectations of myself, this was cardio! My major concern was whether I’d be able to do both of the events …. & complete them in an hour!

These were by far my weakest events but, bizarrely, they are possibly the ones I am most proud of. I didn’t bottle it, I went for it and did far, far better than I ever expected to ( you have to remember that my expectations were awful, don’t assume from my reaction that I smashed them, I did not! But, for me, I was thrilled!)

These Games have taken me on a further journey.

I may come across as being very confident! and I suppose I am, but I never think that I’m that good at stuff. When people say I’m inspirational or a role model I tend to think I must be kidding them in some way but the Club One Hundred Games have made me realise, again, that I should be proud of myself. 

I am a LOT older (chronologically) than the other ‘competitors’ but I did myself proud. I came 13th out of the women!!!
I’ve finally got to finish this post as I’m sat in my hospital bed with nothing else to do!

On Friday I had the steroid injection in my knee, that went really well

On Saturday I was hit by excruciating pain, and I’m sat here, having taken loads of painkillers, about to spend a second night in hospital, waiting to see if nature will get rid of it. How can something that small (2.5mm) be so painful? And how can it cause my blood pressure to soar to 189/76? And that was before my melt down trying to get help for Ray!

























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