Thursday, October 25, 2012


Tomorrow morning I am having the MRI on my spine.
I made the appointment for 6.45am.  I know this seems early but, as I have to rely on Philip to drive me to the clinic, it means I don't make him very late for work.
But, they phoned this morning to say they had to put the appointment back to 8am.
She told me it was because they needed to inject some sort of dye and there has to be a doctor present in the building when they do it.
The doctors do not arrive before 8am.
Hmmm.....I had an MRI on my neck a few years ago and I didn't have anything injected then.
Then I got a bit of a shock.
She told me they were injecting the dye as they were looking for a compression fracture of my spine.
I didn't know that.
I didn't let on that this was a surprise to me but just agreed to the new time.
Something must have shown up on the million x rays I had, that no one thought to mention.
It wouldn't surprise me as it would explain the amount of pain I have been in over the past 7 weeks or so.
Oh well, at least maybe then they can give me some treatment or advice.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Crappity crap crap

Horrid week.
I have not felt any better since I came home.
In fact, at times, I have felt worse.
So, on Tuesday I saw my doctor and explained it all to her......the continuing pain in the side, the hospital visit in England etc.
She immediately sent me for x rays and arranged a CatScan.
She mentioned a few things it could be.........none of which were good.
I had a million x rays and then on Thursday I had the CatScan.  I haven't had one of these before.
You have to drink about a gallon on special liquid which doesn't taste that awful but ......there is so much of it.
They also injected stuff into my vein during the procedure which took around 30 minutes.
The stuff they inject makes you feel very hot and quite peculiar.
I have been in a state of turmoil all week.  The scenarios that have played out in my imagination have been horrendous.
There were many things I felt sure I had.  I couldn't eat or sleep properly and have been very weepy.
On Friday, I phoned the doctor a couple of times to see if she had any results.
I was going crazy with worry.
She eventually phoned me at around 5pm.
It seems the CatScan showed a couple of small cysts on my liver and one on a kidney. 
These, she assured me, were nothing to worry about.
They found nothing nasty.
The x rays showed I have a narrowing of the thoracic spine which could be causing this pain.
She is arranging an MRI for me for next week to see if a nerve is being pinched.

All this has been very stressful.  I am still a bit shaky. 
But, the results of the tests are far better than I had hoped so I must now get over the collywobbles.

The picture above is of HRH Princess Lilibet III doing her Halloween pose.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Final Weekend of This Odd Trip

And so to Wetherspoon's for Sunday lunch.
The last pub lunch for me for another year.
This is Donna, Lauren  and Donna's chap Mark.  He is lovely and they seem very happy together.

A quick re visit of Dobbie's where Glenn captured this photo of the mens' loo for me.

How fab is this.
Mens' wee wee thingies that are flowers.

Sunday afternoon Donna took me to the hotel at the airport.  I was staying overnight in order to catch an early flight on Monday.
It was pretty basic but ok.
I fell out of bed though.   I think the mattress was old and had 'gone' at the edges.
I turned over during the night and rolled straight out onto the floor.  I don't think I have fallen out of bed since I was a kid.
All went well. I got the shuttle from the hotel to the airport and made a new friend on the way.  She was on an adventure.
She was meeting a couple of friends and they were all going to Burma for 16 days.  She said the borders have only recently been opened so they decided to go. blooming brave......she was even older than me !!!

The flight was fine and the aircraft half empty.  I had the aisle seat and the window one next to me was empty so I had plenty of room.
I arrived here Monday afternoon.  The cats 'seemed' pleased to have me home.   Yesterday, Tuesday, I suffered a bit probably due to the long flight and having to lug my heavy case around on my own.  I didn't sleep well last night so today I am taking things easy so I can start healing again.
The weather here is sunny and cold.  
I did enjoy my trip even though it was not how I had planned it.  Maybe we shouldn't plan things.

Week 3

A restful weekend with Donna, Lauren and Glenn.
Donna's cat, Tommy, doesn't have any problems with his back by the look of this picture.

We visited some friends of ours one evening. It was lovely to see them but I couldn't stay long.......yet again I couldn't sit comfortably.
Then another evening some friends visited us and it was good to see them.
Heather came and got me again and we met up with yet another former work colleague whom I hadn't seen in ages.  It was lovely to talk about old times and he looks really well.
Dover Castle.....we did it.
It was wonderful.  Not just the castle but the World War Two tunnels.
These have been totally revamped at a cost of 3 million pounds.
They are inter active now and really amazing.  I thoroughly recommend anyone who hasn't seen it to visit.
If you haven't been since 2010 then you will be in for a treat.  The way they showed the rescues at Dunkirk was brilliant and very touching.

Donna, Lauren and I called in at Heather and Andy's.
I had seen their little boy since he was a few months old and he is two and a half now.
He is a delight.   Donna was ready to take him home.  It was great to see him so happy and full of fun.
We also saw another friend, Paul, in the town for a cup of coffee.  It was Donna's day off so she took me.
He looked well ........I was amazed at how long it has been since I saw him.

I had lunch with Fred in Folkestone one day and Sue took me out again another day.   Time was now slipping away.  I didn't get to see my brother or any of his family.
What a strange trip this had turned out to be.

Week 2

My very good friend, Sue, who I worked with for years, knowing I couldn't get about much very kindly came and picked me to take me to Dobbie's.
Dobbie's is a truly glorious place.
It is in Ashford but has been built since I was last over.  It is a garden centre, but much more than that, it is smashing.
They have a wonderful restaurant there where we had lunch and then, of course, a trip to the 'ladies'.
This is it.
Fabulous flower wash basins and beautiful walls.
They were just beginning their Christmas displays so I knew I would go back before I left.
She then took me back to her house so I could say hi to her husband Stephen, before taking me home.
My back was beginning to play me up and I couldn't sit comfortably.

I had to rest for a day or two, to recover, but then another good old mate...Fred.....came to collect me.
He had had extravagant plans to go to Brighton or somewhere equally exotic.
Alas, my pains would not allow me to sit in a car for that long so we settled on a trip to Bybrook Barn in Ashford (another garden centre) and then a short drive to Hythe for lunch.
Dear Fred kept me amused the whole time.  We had a lovely day (even though the rain was relentless).
I know he wanted to take me other places and kept asking me where I would like to go next.  He said he and the car were at my disposal, bless him, but I really needed to go home.
My back was hurting and I was tired. 
What a bloody holiday.   We have said for the past few years that someone is always ill when I go over there. This year it was obviously my turn.
There were so many things I wanted to do, so many people I wanted to see and I wasn't going to do half of it.
After a day or so's rest my dear friend Heather arrived to take me out.
We had tried two years ago to see Dover Castle but it was closed.  We had plans to do it this year but not this day.  I could not face the walking.  There is a lot of 'up' at Dover Castle.
So, she took me for lunch at a pub and then on to Walmer Castle which is a lot more user friendly....and I had never been.
She loved the wine yoke I had bought her.   Works well doesn't it?

Walmer Castle is beautiful.  It also has beautiful gardens.   Just right for posing in.

So, another lovely day and great company.
Heather took me home as I was pretty worn out but she was going off to her first night of .....Morris Dancing.   If I had been ok I would have gone too.

Week 1

The first week of my trip I spent mostly lying down on Donna's sofa with heat packs on my side and back.
I did go out for a little walk now and again as I was told to keeping moving - gently.
One day, towards the end of the week, I thought I would try going into town on the bus.  The bus stop is two minutes from Donna's so I thought it would be fine.
As soon as the bus started I knew I had made a mistake.
It jiggled me about.  The bumps and vibrations did me know good at all.  By the time I got to town I had to buy a bottle of water, find a bench to sit on and take two pills.
The coming weekend I had to be in Whitstable.  I had been looking forward to this weekend, Glenn was coming with me and we were visiting Philip's stepfather and his partner.
I had booked the B&B before leaving Milwaukee.  I didn't want to mess it up being poorly.
So, back to Donna's and more rest and heat.
Donna took Glenn and I to Whitstable on Saturday morning.  It was a glorious day too.

I had never been there before.  It is a really lovely place, like a little gem hidden away.
I managed to walk around pretty well and had chips with salt and vinegar out of the paper.  We ate them at the harbour.  I didn't even care when I was told they had been cooked in lard.
I can't remember the last time I had proper chips.
Glenn tried his first oysters ever.  I have also never tried them.....and still haven't.
He doesn't look totally convinced does he?

On Sunday it poured with rain but that didn't stop us having a proper lunch at a pub.  I had been looking forward to this.
Peter had taken his own 'gluten free' gravy with him.  Chris couldn't finish his pint so Peter asked the barmaid to put cling film on it and he took it home.  Brilliant.
The weekend was fabulous.  We had so much fun and it really helped take my mind off being poorly.

Thank you to Peter and Chris for providing such wonderful hospitality and a warm welcome.