A Celtic Blessing

May the road rise to meet you,
may the wind be always at your back,
may the sun shine warm upon your face,
may the rains fall soft upon your fields.
Until we meet again,
may God hold you in the hollow of his hand.

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

That little stretch of water

Nollick ghennal to you all!

Well the festive season has come and gone and things are getting back to normal. If anyone wants to be put off the modern Christmas, I can think of no more off-putting method that working in retail. We didn't quite have any fights, but I think it was a close run thing.

Anyway, back to the stretch of water. I live closer to my parents than my sister does. However, when she wants to see them, she gets in the car and is there in a couple of hours. For me, it is a flight or a ferry (and the later you book it, the more expensive it is), and then getting to their house from where I land. And I need to be there more and more. Dad is going downhill faster and faster - his Alzheimer's seems to be like a runaway train, gathering pace as it goes. Now he forgets where he lives in the 20 minutes it takes to go and buy the morning paper. he is on Promazine twice a day, and we all fear that one day it will not be enough, and his threats of violence will boil over into more than threats.

One day, Mum will not be able to cope. And if he is in 24-hour nursing care, what becomes of Mum? For nearly 50 years, she has kept the home and looked after the family, so that he can work. With no-one to support and care for, what will become of her? In my darkest moments, I see Mum going downhill because she has nothing and no-one left to support.

What can I do?

Monday, 17 December 2007

Second blood

This time noone can say I did it wrong!

A woman, 7-months pregnant, slipped and fell (well if she will wear high heels!) and went down with a bang. I got her a seat, sat her down and persuaded her to go to hospital for a check-up, then called the ambulance and talked them through. No problems, no reaction (apart from concern) so I did this one right. It was not the most taxing one I have had to deal with, but I did everything that ahd to be done which is what matters.

Thought for today - there is no evidence that Christmas should be in December. Some people think November, some October and some even in September. Supermarkets think it should be in all of them.

Saturday, 15 December 2007

Never trust a daughter

Or beware of daughters saving seats!

It was the Peel pantomime last night. My daughter has been in the chorus for many years, but this year she was cast in one of the main parts. At last I found out that she was the Principal Boy (Prince Handsome!) I have to say, I was apprehensive how she would cope, as she has never had a main role before. I have to say though, even without prejudice, she was great!

I have been to the pantos since Joy started in them. And to be honest, it was one of the best pantos I have ever seen. Not just because of Joy (I am biased so I would say that), but overall. The directing was sharp, the actors knew their lines and they could also ad-lib well if things went wrong (such as audience shouting!) Even when the baddie was about to stab the principal boy (and I was shouting out 'Do it!'), and the fairies were trying to encourage the audience to support them and overcome the baddie, the principal boy lifted her head, looked at the audience and said 'You have no hope'! She is a natural I think!

Any way - the reason for not trusting a daughter. I was told that I had had a seat saved for me, so that I would get a good view. I thought this was normal for the main people in the performance (how naive can I be?) It was a good seat (I tend to sit towards the back as I am taller than many), but the penny didn't drop until the clown said that they needed a bodyguard from the audience. I thought I had escaped when the 'spotlight of doom' went onto someone else, but then finally the truth came through. I was 'the chosen one', and since it had been emphasized that whatever happened, I had to get up and take part, I could hardly back out. I had to go up on stage, put on a coat and a hat like a chicken, then march while singing '500 Miles' by The Proclaimers. It was embarrassing but also a laugh - maybe I will see if I can get in to the panto next year!

However, I will know now not to trust my daughter any more!

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

A bit of follow-up

Well it is one week since the mega-migraine. I took the following days off, and went back to work on Monday. I knew after a couple of hours that my left leg wasn't right, so managed to get a doctor's appointment for Wednesday. And on my first day back, I had to work extra hours to make up for having to leave early to go to the doctor's later in the week!

Anyway, the leg. It is like walking around on a leg that is asleep - it works but you don't feel the feedback in the way youa re used to. Sometimes when I turn, it does not want to turn with me. And on one occaision, I kicked a chair and only realised I had done it when it banged into my thigh. Add to that a tingling in the fingertips of mmy left hand, and I am sure you can understand why I am worried.

Well the doctor could not find anything wrong. All my reflexes are working normally, and there is power in the leg. He could not explain why it is like it is, but he wants me to see a speciualist as soon as possible (and on the NHS that can be quite a long time!). So I wait ... and wait ... and wait ...

Saturday, 8 December 2007

Horrid wet day

As the brooms of rain sweep down the valley, I sit and wait for it to ease off enough to make it worth going for the bread without getting soaked. I thought when the wind backed it would ease off, but that has not happened yet. When it is raining, I can tell the direction of the wind by which side of the power station chimney is wet. It was in the south but has now backed to the east (note that when the wind swings in a clockwise direction it is veering, and when it swings counter-clockwise it is backing).

Thank you for the messages of support after my last post. It really was horrible, but I am on the mend now. Apart from a little bit of numbness in the leg, and some weakness, I am as good as new. Which is why I am waiting to walk down to the bakery to collect my bread, and not wanting to get soaked.

Well the rain has eased off so I shall risk going out.

Update from later. I made it down town but the wind was horrendous!

Thursday, 6 December 2007

I think it's Thursday...

...but I am not sure. After the last 36 hours, I am not really sure about anything!

Wednesday - just another day of the week, right? Well as far as yesterday is concerned, wrong! It started out as a fairly normal day, then rapidly went off. The bus got in late, though I had time top nip down and do my bit of shopping before going to the canteen for a cup of tea and a sausage sandwich. And that was when the 'fun' began.

I had had a minor migraine attack on Tuesday, so I had the headache. As I sat in the canteen, I could tell my eyes were going off and I was heading into another attack. I took a couple of paracetamol to see if that would ease the pain. I sat, and the eyes got worse. Come 9:30, time to head downstairs. I stood up and went down all right - straight back into my chair (and it was lucky that was behind me or it would have been the floor). After that, it got a bit confused. I will list some of the memories I can recall
  • falling sideways off a chair and being supported by someone's tummy
  • being told to stand up but not being able to use my legs
  • hearing the ambulance man saying 'I am not convinced' (I never found out what about)
  • being put in the CT scanner
  • trying to remember the access code for my phone
  • lying on a stationary trolley feeling it turning round and round
  • being wheeled along endless, cold corridor
The next clear memory I have is being in the hospital ward with my manager sitting next to me. I think that was about 12:30, so I am not sure what happened to the morning. I spent the afternoon and evening in bed, because I had no strength at all in my legs, particularly the left one. I missed lunch, and only had a sandwich for dinner, despite having a packed lunch in my bag (I wasn't hungry).

They settled us down for the night about 10:30, but that wasn't the end of it. With an admission at about 12:30 and another about 2:30, it was close on 4 before I got to sleep. I was awake by 6. The other occupant of the ward, an 82 year old gentleman called Jack who was awaiting the air ambulance to return so he could be flown to Liverpool to get his pacemaker replaced, managed even less than me, because at 5 his pulse dropped and a CCU* team rushed in to make sure he was ok!

And today? Today was waiting to get out. I kept trying my legs, and strength to stand was back by morning, and I could walk unaided by about 2. I got out at about 2:30, and caught the bus home, though the walk from the bus wore me out. Pepsi was glad to see me but I am glad I had some quick meals in the freezer, so I didn;t have to do much. I have sat in front of the TV tonight, too tired to read or sew. An early night with some pain-killers for me. What have you all been doing?

*CCU - Coronary Care Unit