Sunday 21 July 2024

Taking a little break

 The situation here isn't very good.  I will be back when I can. 

Saturday 20 July 2024

A bat in my SOCK!

 Well, the Universe has obviously decided to have some fun with me, so after Splat the Bat, today we had the Bat in the Sock.  These were socks I wore for half an hour yesterday before I found out how hot it was already outside, so took them off and - yes - left on the carpet.  Rather than have a totally clean pair on today, I thought I'd use these. However, the 2nd sock had a bat inside it and I nearly put my foot in the sock and on the bat.  Normally I don't panic when bats are around (unlike Tamzin), but I will confess that I DID shriek! and flung the sock across the room. The bat then landed on my dressing gown, and in opening the window to shake it out, Shadow hurtled into the room, obviously intending to take advantage and the bat dropped onto the radiator and I only just got it out with my hanky before it became a Bat at Bedtime tonight.

Keith's a bit brighter today, but still not eating much.  The D. Nurses came out and showed me how to put the sliding sheets on the bed so I can get him up the bed when I'm here alone.  I had put the top sheet up the wrong way when I tried, as the only instructions showed a picture of one sheet going lengthways and the other across it . . .

Tam and Rosie here, so I will away.  The photo was taken in the beautiful walled garden and orchards at Berrington Hall.  

Friday 19 July 2024

Berrington Hall - a great day out. Part I

 Words will be few.  I feel a bit in limbo at the moment - waiting for Keith to wake up.  I had a phone call from the D. Nurse to say that the bed locally had gone to a patient leaving Hereford.  No beds at the other local hospitals either so he is here for the moment.  

It's very hot here today and so I am doing washing to get it outside and dried quickly.  I've just stripped and remade my bed.  I've had a good tidy up this morning, finding little bits of I's belongings, kitchen apparel etc from D&E (their caravan arrives today).  I've also finally shrink bagged E's blankets which had been a big heap in the Library for the last  6 mths.  

Anyway, here are some photos of the house.  It was lovely and felt like a family home rather than a grand pile like Chatsworth.

This was the most stupendous dress, some 5 feet wide - you would definitely have to go through doorways with a sideways sidle!  How amazing that it turned up in auction?

The first floor gallieried landing, with bedrooms off, and lit by this beautiful glass dome, which had recently been totally restored, and would you believe all the glass panels are straight, not curving, and held in place by greenhouse clips!

A view across the parkland.  This was a lovely light room - perfect for sitting and sewing in. Lancelot "Capability" Brown was responsible for the landscaping.

A room off the dressing room, which had hand-sewn accoutrements in it.  These designs on the walls were stomachers, the central panel of a court dress.  All designed and sewn by ladies locally.

I think this was my favourite.

Lovely examples of smocking and feather stitching on the final completed one.

Pettitcoat to go under that 5 ft wide dress!  The dress I was wearing had panels of pre-machine-embroidered sashing/ribbon down it.  The Duvet one (should have taken a photo) was one of the Dorma designs, back in the day.  Cream with pink florals prigging.

Too hot to garden though perhaps I should just dead head a couple of roses . . .  I hate this waiting, and am worried about Keith of course.

Thursday 18 July 2024

Dressing up at Berrington Hall - and UPDATE

 Just the one photo to go on with (I took dozens).  They had a dressing up room, and Gabs and I had the greatest fun dressing up.  I had to promise NOT to show the ones of her, especially the one where she has a wig on . . .  but here am I.  One dress (I had to smile) had clearly been made from a Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady duvet cover or two!

Unfortunately Keith not at his best and has been sleeping nearly all day.  In touch with D. Nurses . . .  Turns out he had been awake nearly all last night.

UPDATE:  Keith is booked to go to the Community Hospital tomorrow, so not far to go and visit.  They need to get to grips with his throat being blocked with mucous etc., antibiotics, and feeding.  I am really struggling with the feeding problem as I am too scared he will choke if he has a proper meal pureed.  As it is, he is struggling with even thick yoghurt and it is blocking his drinking too.  

Whilst I was waiting for the phone call I did ALL the ironing as when I am worried like that, I like to keep busy, so now all the big king size duvet covers are neatly pressed and ready to go away in the coffer in my bedroom.  Danny has gone off for a long weekend away (up to London for E's birthday present - a stage show), taking lots of belongings with them as the caravan is being delivered tomorrow.  I shall be glad to wave goodbye to Shadow in the next week . . .

Here's another - lovely to my mind - photo taken at Berrington Hall today.  Just fledged House Martins on the carved frieze above the front of the house.

P.S.  WHY is it that whenever I have a nice day out, I come back to find I have to gird my loins and deal with a BIG problem.  Every time1

Pippi is a ratbag - official!

View from Malvern . . .

 Yesterday started off with me needing to be in Llandod Hospital for an 8 a.m. appt. with the Physio for my foot.  I have some exercises to do now to help it - I have to scrunch my toes over as if I am trying to pick up paper for 1 minute a day.  That strengthens the little muscles in the big toe.  Then I have to stand on tiptoe 10 times.  I go back in 3 weeks so she can check on progress.

I managed some long-overdue tidying up in the garden, mainly up on the bank, which was a positive.  I went to collect Keith's Nutricrems.  He's not mad on them, but he does eat them, as long as I mix some water in so they're not too thick.  It has to be water and not milk I use - perish the thought he should actually have EXTRA nutrition. . .  I had a walk for half an hour in the Groe, where it is flat.  The Physio said to avoid hills at present as that puts more strain on the toe (which is what I already knew anyway).

I baked two cakes - a Banana cake to use up black bananas, and a Lemon Drizzle Cake as we have friends coming to visit on Friday.  

Then I had a VERY stressful evening.  I had bought an Oximeter, the thing which goes on your finger and measures your Oxygen levels and pulse.  Keith was on 93 for the Oxygen, which indicated he should still be on it (he removed it in the night . . .) but the worrying thing was his pulse - normally 60 - 65, was 134!  He was in a lot of pain with his neck and I think that must have caused it as when he had a Diazapam, it settled back down to normal levels. That really got me stressed though.  Meanwhile, Pippi had sloped off for HOURS and I searched for her all around the triangles of land and the trackway up to the big house next door.  I called and called and called and rattled the little bag of Dreamies that they would normally sell their soul for.  No Pippi.

There had been the Amazon delivery van here earlier and I became convinced that she had gotten in it (a habit of hers) and ended up jumping out at their next stop, which might be miles away and the other side of a main road/railway line/river . . .  You can see the way my mind was working from being stressed over Keith.  Then my imagination had her eating rat poison, being stuck up a tree out of earshot, being knocked by a car and crawling away to die. After the last round of searching, I trailed disconsolatedly back to the house, thinking I would never see her again . . . She was sat on the front path, looking at me as if butter wouldn't melt in her mouth.  What a RATBAG she is!  It was 9 p.m.  She has "form" for this having done it last summer, but not for so long.

Anyway, Gabby was here at 10 p.m., having dropped everything and headed over straight away.  We watched Poldark and had a couple of glasses of wine - much needed for my nerves.  Today Danny is covering for us with Keith, and G and I are going to Berrington Hall, over the Herefordshire border about an hour from us.  I can't wait. Keith and I used to love to go to properties like this.  I shall buy the booklet about the house so he can see what it's like. 

Tuesday 16 July 2024

Well - THAT didn't go to plan


A photo to cheer me up.

Well, Keith is still here.  We waited and waited for an ambulance yesterday.  They phoned from the surgery to say it would be between 3 and 7.  I hoped not the latter.  The ambulance service phoned several hours later and said they were really really busy and people were being picked up on a priorities listing.  Sounds like K was towards the bottom.  They suggested I phoned 999 if I was worried about him.  Well at 7.30ish I did, as his throat sounded thicker again and his breathing faster.  After an hour two lovely lasses turned up (one had been a responder back in November, when Keith had choked badly for the first time).

They checked him over and found that his oxygen sats were OK and said he could come off the oxygen whilst they were there, and they checked it (ok) every 10 mins.  Whilst there was some crackling in his chest, it wasn't suggesting a developing infection, and said he could be treated adequately with the full course of antibiotics at home.  They said, why is he down to go to SHREWSBURY?  Well, that was news to me.  They then had to hang around for two hours waiting for ShropDoc to phone them back, as they couldn't change the destination without recourse to K's notes.  I began to have conspiracy theories - he was being sent there to give me respite and it was so far away I wouldn't be tempted to visit.  Or else, it was the only bed available.  Either way, it was not going to happen as Keith (and I) refused point blank.  The paramedics said that a two hour journey on a stretcher over bumpy roads wasn't going to help his bed sores either and he would end up with more.  It just wasn't in his best interests.  ShropDoc finally phoned back so they were able to progress everything to its conclusion.  I was extremely relieved Keith was staying here.  He was asleep at this stage anyway, as it was quite an exhausting evening, not helped by the appearance of two more bats, which livened up the progress of one medic down the stairs!

So, have written a note to the Dr and sent down the Medics' report and she will be making up a prescription for him this afternoon.  She hadn't asked for Shrewsbury apparently, so don't know where that came from.

Thank you for all your kind comments.  I will try and answer them later.  Needless to say I'm a bit tired and am not getting much done today, although I have bought two Christmas presents.  I shot into Llandod first thing as yesterday, when food shopping, I had seen a beautifully crocheted (hexagons) blanket in many differing colours, with a fringe, in The Bracken Trust charity shop and I knew who would LOVE it.  I just needed to be there as the door opened.  It's now home with me.  I also got Jon a big bar of Toblerone, which he loves, as that was on offer in Tescopolis.  I also fancied a casserole so bought reduced beef and have a tasty Goulash in the slow cooker.  That will do a couple of days.  I will have it with broccoli and cauliflower.

Trying to get nutrition down Keith to Fool (dble cream in that), and some Skyr yoghurt.  I got some baby food too (casserole purees) so will try him with those and see if he likes them.

Yeesh.  Just shows the Universe is still pulling them there strings . . .

Sunday 14 July 2024

Then it got worse - and update

Well, the weekend then got even worse and to cut a long story short - no more solids for Keith (not even rice pudding) and the ambulance crew found out he had a temperature and starting a chest infection, and he needed oxygen.  He has refused to go into hospital so is on oxygen at home, and Amoxillin, but the GP will have to write a prescription for stronger anti-biotics today.  I don't know where this will be going, if I am honest.  I really struggled over the weekend. I just felt bludgeoned.

Somehow I forced myself to clean the bottom oven of the cooker, and make some simple biscuits (heart shaped) as a thank you to my next door neighbour for changing the water filter for me.  That was the last push for normality yesterday morning.

I forced myself out for the slowest walk, just half a mile or so up to the barn and back.  I looked at roses that needed dead-heading.  I pulled out some grass from the cobbles.  I rescued a big slow worm that Pippi had found, and was trying to escape her beneath the hosepipe.  I was too late for the beautiful dragonfly I found dieing on the kitchen floor. That made me so sad.

A friend had noticed the ambulance in the vicinity and asked if it came here.  She offered to help in any way, bless her.  I am equally grateful for my friends down in the town, who I chat to daily.  One cared for her husband so knows what it's like.

Keith, bless him, doesn't realize the state I'm in - he just spelt out I was trying too hard . . . Well, not really, just carrying out the care he needs daily - pills at regular intervals, ear drops, eye drops, Atropine drops, all at specific times.  Just getting him higher up the bed without Danny here is such a struggle as the slidy sheet is quite something to tussle with.  Getting him in and out of bed single-handed is a challenge. Obviously, we can't get him into Respite with a chest infection.  

Thanks to everyone for your kind comments.  I'm not really up to replying right now.  I just have to keep on keeping on. 

UPDATE:  GP been out and persuaded Keith that we have reached the limit with what we can do for him at home, and that in order to have the feeding PEG he has to have the chest infection sorted.  An ambulance will come for him later.  I feel like the worst wife in the world because I was with her on insisting this happened, but I can imagine how he feels as he really didn't want to go back in.  Now I have the 100 mile trip to Hereford and back daily, but at least I can rest afterwards.