What Day Is It Anyway?

Dear friends, and you are all friends, you have proved this more than once. I feel I should explain my absence since 4th June. I have been unable to write or even read any one’s posts, my apologies. Then this morning I spotted how Darswood had said she had wondered where I was and had sent condolences for the family that I should give you a heads up for now.

Firstly, MIL died late night 3rd/ early hours 4th June. The Covid and frailty won in the end. MIL did not go quietly she fought it to the end with every ounce she had. She made her goal, her 100th Birthday and was conscious, up and dressed to celebrate it with the hospital staff and hubby.

© willowdot21

Then the days began to blur we fell into a pit of organisation. As you will know if you have been following my #WDIIA posts hubby and his brother and sister do not get on too well. But when MIL died they agreed hubby should organise everything, this is just as well as otherwise it would of been chaos. So he threw himself into arranging the funeral. I gave all the support I could but he was a man on a mission, he wanted to do his mum proud.

We got up at stupid o’clock, we walked Ruby , Hubby arranged the funeral this strange pandemic life continued with its highs and lows.

© willowdot21

Stangely I was feeling ill, sleeping, eating and doing even less. I found it hard to write or read. Pains in my shoulders, back, chest, neck, jaw all escalated until we thought heart attack? … But for days? Eventually I rang our GP surgery.

Now going to the GP surgery these days is not normal. You ring up and talk to a non medical receptionist who quizzes you, luckily I was deemed unwell enough to see a duty Dr at 5pm that evening. Instructions : Arrive at carpark wearing a mask and gloves, stand at the first yellow line by the emergency exit and someone will let you in. I was greeted by an woman in brown scrubs, plastic apron, gloves, mask, goggles and a visor. She was actually the Dr. Her PPE and my mask made conversation rather difficult, anyway I had a chat with her then a nurse gave me an ECG. And an appointment for blood test was arranged. ECG was fine.

I am not well

It was a very painful weekend though Saturday we got to see our son , his wife and the grandchildren, under brand new rules we are now allowed to have a BBQ of six people who must socially distancing. You may not go into the host’s house at all. So we had a lovely bbq.. and it was cold and windy and some of the time it rained thank goodness for heavy garden umbrellas. But it was the first chance to see them since lockdown and it was lovely. Some of the above rules have changed again.

© willowdot21

As the weekend progressed I got worse. Monday was terrific, pain, Monday night thought I was dying, Tuesday I took to my bed. By 4pm we had to call 101, they sent an Ambulance which took me to E.D. Home at 5am next morning then back at AEC at 11am tests all day, then Ultrasound found the problem. A massively swollen gall bladder full of bile and large stones, one huge one blocking the neck. I was admitted.

© willowdot21 Not where I was but similar.

Now again because of the pandemic we have to go to hospital unaccompanied, so hubby had spent Monday night and Tuesday not really knowing how I was really coping. Luckily we were in touch by mobile.

Wednesday after nil by mouth I.V. antibiotics, fluids and painkillers overnight on the ward it was decided they would put in a drain and fit a cholecystectomy bag. Mid morning I was taken to ultrasound, the procedure did not go smoothly and it had to be done twice with a CT Angiogram done half way through to see what was going wrong. I might talk about that later but not today, the drain and bag are with me now for 6 to 8 weeks with appointments arranged with the surgeon and then another operation to remove the gall bladder.

© willowdot21%

Hospitals too at the moment are dark and scary places , staff wearing PPE, and inpatients and outpatients wearing masks and gloves. I will write about about my experiences, fears, what I heard and saw but not now I am tired and I don’t have the muse with me she is on holiday.

I was discharged from hospital Saturday evening, wearing my new accessary the cholecystectomy bag, with scant instructions on how to empty and keep it clean and even less on what I can and can’t do myself, but there’s always Google and my brain to help me with that . So Sunday dawned warm and it was so good to feel safe at home, hubby and I emptied the cholecystectomy bag , over 200mls good I thought it’s draining well , We had a very quiet day and it was good to relax and eat something edible though small. A neighbour rang and whilst they were chatting I was dozing. Hubby looked at my bag and there was another 150 mils in it. He said our neighbour had said it should not be red and looking like tomato sauce and over 300mls was an awful lot to loose since coming home. Thankfully we listened as we knew she was a nurse albeit 34yrs ago.

© willowdot21

So it was Sunday evening I was back in hospital much to my distress, thank goodness after 24hrs, more tests, bloods and two nasty injections through a cannular I am back home , grateful and determined to stay here.

Last night I slept like a baby, we were up at a quarter to stupid o’clock. But today is MIL’s funeral and sadly I can’t go, I am not well enough. That again is another post. .

© willowdot21

So I am going to stop now as I am exhausted, I have been trying to finish this post on and off for over 12 hours now but I am determined to do so.

The funeral went well, and MIL’s road was lined with her neighbours, family and friends. A mark of the woman she was. Our middle son followed the hearse to the Crematorium as a mark of respect, a one man Cortege. He payed his respects to the 10 family members allowed into the funeral then drove to our house to look after me. In the garden socially distancing.

Hubby and our two other sons attended the funeral, hubby read his lovely eulogy to his mum, the Celebrant spoke beautifully about MIL from what hubby had told her. Hubby and our to other lads joined The middle lad and me in the garden, we made a party of six with Ruby dog, and we were all socially distanced. The boys drifted off one by one the youngest first home to his family, then the middle to his flat our eldest and hubby took Ruby for a walk . Then he went off home too.

Below the music from the funeral.

Mil entered to this as it was a favourite of hers.

This hymn was for all to join in, with was this version.

Unforgettable, bless she is. Was her exit anthem.

So I think that is that for now, I still don’t feel up to being back full time yet. The loss, the cholecystectomy bag, the next op, the fear and pain, pandemic is all a little to much just now. I am here I am trying and it’s so good to know you are all there.

Thank you to Sue at Daily Echo and Ritu at But I Smile Anyway for seeing me through a dark night on the ward. Thank you Marjorie Mallon for her kind words and Darswood for giving me the shove I needed to write this post. To all of you , you know who you are Betty, Geoff, Di, Hugh, Colleen, Dale, Ronovanwrite’s, Kat, John, Jim all of you out there, I am here. I am coming back I just need some time. If your name’s not there consider yourselves all mentioned.

This is part of LindaGHill’s #WDIIA.

consider yourself mentioned Linda💜

Keep safe
Be kind
Be brave

If we were having Coffee: I feel like Alice

Hello  everyone  welcome  to  the garden  we have a marquee  and  heaters, all the garden  furniture  has  been washed  and  I have put out cushions for your  comfort.

Well what  do  you  think  shall  we  chance  it . Now  as  always  we have  tea  and coffee  from all over  the world not to mention all our cakes  and muffins  and  as Paul  calls  them sweets! Every single  one  is  calorie  free! Plus of course  we now have spirits  and liquors  to warm the coldest of  you.

If we were having  Coffee: I would ask  you what  has been going on in your world this week, has  anything  deeply affected  you, have  you need a sympathetic ear, a shoulder to cry  on or  just  needed someone  to make  you laugh! If  yes  feel free to talk it out  here  with us. We will all help if  we can.

If we were having Coffee: I would  remind  you  that  there  are lots of  other  coffee mornings  all shared  and organized  By  Diana  and  Gene’O  over at,Part time monster  

If we were having coffee: Phew, I  shall  have  to say  I  am sorry  for being late . I have had  a really  eventful weekend! Yesterday  (Saturday ) I was up really  early  because I had  to be at  the hospital at 8am. I had  to  go in  for an operation. I had  spent  all week  since  returning  from  the  cruise  worrying  about it! Well  what  do  you know  I have been in had  my  op  and I  am now  home  and I have survived. Results  of  two  biopsys in 3/4 weeks!

Silly  me  I  was really  worried   and  I don’t  know  why  because  normally  I take  things in my  stride.Hey ho  what do ya know!!

If we were having coffee:  The  hubby  and I  had  a  trip out this  week  just off  the cuff  and unexpected I  think he  was  very  kindly  trying  to keep  my  mind off  the impending operation. Well  it  was lovely   the  weather and  not  too busy.  We  went  to Marlow  on  the  Thames , we had  a good drive  down  there  but  sadly  we  could not  find  anywhere  to  park  so  we took  a trip down memory  lane  and  found a  spot  where hubby had picniced  with his parents  when he was young!  I have  put in  a photo below  of  the spot. After that  we went  to  the lovely  village  of Bisham  and  we had  a  beautiful  meal in a country  pub.  here  are  some  photos  of Bisham too.

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Bisham

Winter Hill

Winter Hill

A lovely  day out indeed!

If  we were having coffee : It is  garden  time again….. stop  yawning I  am only  going to  show  you  two photos, it is of  our  first  early  crop of  new potatoes!

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More to come

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Green fingers and gloves

Right  well If we were having coffee: I would have to  say I  must  take  my leave  I  am not  feeling  tip top yet   and  we have had  the  mother in law over  for the day  and she keeps us on our toes. Plus I had a temperature  this afternoon. So I  am off  to  get my  Jimjams  and  slippers  and have an early  night.

Once  again I  thank  you  all for  visiting  me  and Paul  too  we love to  see you  and hear  what  you have to say  and  we hope  you will join us again next  week! Hugs  to you  all!

Do  all stay  and  be comfortable   we love  to see  you  all.

And of course  the

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE:  WEEKEND COFFEE SHARE

over at Part Time  Monster  and Gene’O’s

If We Were Having Coffee – Mar. 08/2015 Guest Post

Can I have Some Toast, Please?

Paul your Barista

Paul your Barista

Welcome to Willow’s weekly coffee and tea garden. My name is Paul, I’ll be your barista today and I’m happy to be here once again. Please come in and make yourself comfortable. Willow has plumped the cushions and started a cozy fire so we can warm ourselves while we have a cuppa and chat. As usual, I’d be pleased to bring a pot of whatever beverage you prefer – we have a wide range of teas and coffees to satisfy our world-wide readership. Also available is a large selection of spirits for addition to your cuppa or in its place. We can relax while we discuss the affairs of the week both personal and/or worldwide. How has your week been?

Well, this week has been busy for me. A week ago Friday, I had numerous appointments at the General Hospital in preparation for an operation on Wednesday. All the appts were in the same module – PAU, Pre-Admissions Unit – and included a pharma review, paperwork with a surgical nurse, and a meeting with an anesthesiologist. They were all quite upbeat and positive and I was surprised when I told the anesthesiologist that I would arrange an extra dialysis appt for Tuesday night so as to be prepared for the operation and he replied: “You can do that?” Oh yeah. I also found out that I have shrunk and inch and a half – I used to be 6’ 3 1⁄2” and am now 6’ 2”. Drats! The things you learn. The operation itself is to correct a problem created by kidney failure. Healthy kidneys  are involved in regulating the parathyroid glands, which in turn produce a hormone that balances calcium and phosphates in the body. These in turn affect bone density, muscle strength, joint function, heart rate, and nerve function, amongst others. Because my kidneys are not working properly, they are not regulating the parathyroid glands, which are running amuck and allowing serious imbalance of calcium and phosphates. To fix this it is necessary to remove the majority of the parathyroids (there are typically 4 but may be less and occasionally may be more – my doctor said she’s seen up to 11). They are little fellas about 6 mms long and 2-3 mms wide, shaped like lentil seeds and they are clustered around the thyroid gland in the neck.

Would you like another cuppa? Perhaps a sweet? Anyway, I was told to be at Day Surgery at 12:15 on Wednesday, so there I was with my humble bag of clothes and toiletries and a case of nerves. I’ve had small surgeries here before but there is always a sense of falling down a big hole with no idea what’s on the other side. Yeaaa Haw! I actually arrived about 20 minutes early and as soon as I walked in and registered, the nurse called my name. She took me to a prep area where I had to strip naked (for an operation on my neck?) and put on the silly hospital gown. I met with my doctor who reassured me and then off we went. Chats with a few doctors and nurses outside the operating room on my gurney and then wheeled into the scary room itself. More polished stainless and chrome instruments hanging from every piece of wall and ceiling and that silly little narrow table that doesn’t even support your shoulders, let alone arms. You’d think they’d be able to afford a wider table, wouldn’t you? And about 8 people all gowned and masked and standing waiting to do their special part. They all introduced themselves, but those names never even made it to my short term memory. The very cost of having all this sitting here waiting for me is mind-boggling. Then they couldn’t find the doctor, but she was along in a minute or so. A couple of breaths through an oxygen mask and the anesthetic started through the intravenous line and I woke up in recovery.

Another cuppa? Perhaps something a bit stronger? So, I was starving and ugly and complaining. After a bit they rolled me up to my room and I was still complaining about being hungry – remember I wasn’t  permitted to eat since the day before and it was after 6 pm when I arrived at my room. The nurse was vey kind and brought me a boxed lunch – a sandwich and juice and pudding. Not much. As she was delivering that my room mate’s daughter brought him in a McDonald’s meal and carried out his untouched prepared supper. I called the nurse and told her that I’d eat his supper too if it was OK and so she carried it back in, along with his snack of a sandwich which he hadn’t touched. Ha! Now I had two sandwiches and a full meal and all the trimmings – two teas, two salads, soup and lots more. A veritable feast. I dug in while the nurse watched and kept saying – “Be careful of nausea.” No nausea here – ha! After polishing that off and having my pain killer, I asked for some toast and jam and then I slept like a log. The next morning after breakfast and toast, I did a survey of the damage and found a scar about 3 inches long at the base of my throat and another small scar in my right forearm where the doctor had re-inserted one of the parathyroid glands so it could do its business at a much lesser rate. This placement also allowed future adjustments of the gland size if it grew too big. There will be no mark or evidence of its position once the incision is healed. Well, now it was time to start planning my exit strategy. The ENT (Ear, Nose Throat) Docs said I would have to stay until the calcium/phosphate balance was re- established. But, they were assigning that responsibility to my kidney doctor. So, I saw my kidney doctor and she said I would have to stay until after my Friday night dialysis– which would then be the weekend and no chance of escape. So I argued with her that I did not want to stay any longer than necessary and she agreed to move my dialysis to Friday morning and then do an assessment and let me go if all was OK. So, I got the ENT docs back and told them the plan and wanted to know if they had any reason why I should stay longer than Friday. They hummed and hawed but decided it would be OK and wrote my discharge papers contingent on an OK by the kidney doc. I celebrated with some toast, jam and tea.

Friday Dialysis (yes, I’ve let my beard and hair grow –non-corporate length) My kidney doc saw me passing in the hall at one point as I arranged all this and wanted to know what I was doing. I just put my finger to my lips and went “Shhh!” She laughed. Dialysis Friday morning went like a charm and after the blood tests were analyzed, they agreed to let me go. I had some toast and jam then they gave me a prescription for pain killers but there is no pain – just a slight itchiness – so I didn’t get it filled. I was told that the stitches were of the dissolving type and I just had to remove the steri-strips over the incisions after a week. Already I feel stronger and am walking easier. Hopefully this will continue to improve. It seems like the week has flown past as I sit here writing this now. I hope that your week went well but less complicated than mine. Time for some toast and tea. Ha!

That’s about all we have room for this week, so it’s time to settle in with another cuppa and watch the fire. Sweets anyone? Please join me in thanking Willow for her invitation to tea. We are all honored that you dropped by today to visit. I hope you’ve enjoyed yourself and the conversation and please look around at Willow’s other posts while you’re here. Willow is over there serving her guests and chatting it up. Let’s go see how she is today. Have a great week. We look forward to seeing you back here for sweets and beverages of your choice again next week.

Photo by Bruno Guay – Nurse Extraordinaire

And of course  the

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE:  WEEKEND COFFEE SHARE

over at Part Time  Monster  and Gene’O’s

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