My journey from 59 to ………

Archive for the tag “Physio”

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 😃😃😃



Fat / Weight / 2 weeks 1 notch

My blog has sort of turned into a diary of what I’ve been up to which I like as I write it for me and one day, when I’m old, I’ll look back at all this stuff I used to get up to.

Today I’m going to write about something else first though.  That ongoing relationship between me and my fat!!!  Although I’ve got fat in lots of places I’m only really bothered (as regular readers will know) by my belly. I don’t care what I weigh because I’ve understood how meaningless that is, so I’ve come up with a new way of looking at this.

When I started at the prison I was really skinny and, when I was given my belt the officer said he thought id have to make extra holes! I didn’t, but now I have spare holes 😦  So I came up with the idea of 2 weeks – 1 notch. In 2 weeks I needed to be able to wear my belt one notch tighter.

That meant starting with getting rid of the sugar monster AGAIN!!!!!!!!

I have a real problem with sugar. Ray likes Viennese Whirls and so did I. (Notice the use of the past tense!) But I wouldn’t have one. I could eat 10 in a row. I could be shoving them down my throat despite the fact that I felt sick.



But I am also very good at visualisation.  I have now convinced myself that at the end of every conveyor belt that produces Viennese Whirls there is somebody with exceptionally dirty (leave what that is to your imagination) hands who touches each cake before it us packed!  I have not had any since!!!!!

My nutrition has been much better over the last couple of weeks although I have to confess to sugar free sweets. I know they are worse for me than natural sugars but I do seem to be able to control myself with them so it’s time for the pragmatic approach!

I’ve also eaten some interesting things but more about that later!

I’ve been doing a weighing experiment. As this is not about weight that may seem strange but, as I’m not looking at it emotionally I thought I’d do an experiment and weigh myself daily.  The evidence shows that this is definitely not a good idea! As you can see from the graph my weight gives up and down on a daily basis. If weight loss was my goal I’d have thought ‘Well sod it then’ several times!


2 weeks – 1 notch was a success.


Now I’m not naive enough to not realise that by moving the position of a belt you can change hue it does up but this wasn’t really about the belt, it was about getting my head back in the right place and it has definitely worked! I have now got 4 weeks to be able to tighten it another notch 🙂

I’ve now added another thing.

When I was at the Westminster Mile / BUPA 10k this weekend I stayed overnight. Carrying my rucksack about I realised how heavy it was so ………… although this isn’t about weight I came up with an idea (I’m really good at these!).

The rucksack is now full of cans of food, jars of sauces and bottles of water. Every night I have to put the rucksack on and go for a walk, do things in the garden etc just to remind myself what I’m carrying all the time.  When I think that I used to ‘carry’ 4 or 5 of these everywhere ……


Diary time now..what have I been up to? (Note form!)

Havens to Havens – a 10 mile walk with Nigel & Renei

The Branches at Havens

Garden furniture – I bought this at the end of last summer, the table has just arrived and the chairs changed for a matching pair. Others thought I’d been ripped off and would not get them. I never had any doubt!!!! So much safer for Ray to get I and out of.

London marathon – only watching this year, with my friend Lindsay, but the ballot has been entered for 2016


Ham house – Renei and I have joined the National Trust and are going to visit as many places as possible.

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Pedal for Js- marshalling a bike ride for Js hospice

Great Bardfield garage sale

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Nuclear races – watching the Club One Hundred team!


Meal with Zung & Lien – two ex pupils and now good friends! Felt a bit like Bear Grylls as I had chicken feet (ugh, preferred the crispy version), ducks tongues (did you know they have bones in them?) and cow’s stomach (which I liked but they thought that was because of the oyster sauce!)

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New car, Ray can get in and out of this one!


New programs = loving them!

4 weeks – 2nd notch starts

Westminster mile – thank you Sweatshop Bluewater!


Premier inn – the luxury of a bath as opposed to the practicality of a wet room (and a night off from caring!)


Doing the baggage for the BUPA 10k

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Getting a packed lunch from Fortnum & Mason!

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And I’ve just got a physio appointment about my knee for next week!

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