Friday, 26 March 2010

Nearing the end of a decade

Well, from close of play tonight I'm just 365 days away from the turn of a decade. Decade turns have always horrified me ... no longer in your teens, no longer in your twenties, then the crap starts ... no longer in your thirties ... how do you cope? (OK I know it goes on some from the count up, but I was depressed enough there!)

I thought I would say what has happened in this past week, in this past month, in this past year, and whilst I'd love to tell you of the rest of this past decade we would then be here some time!

This week, DH was released (on probation, you might say) from hospital. He didn't have severe indigestion, or IBS or excess acid, he had atrial fibrillation (a wickedly erratic heartbeat which caused the mad dash to A&E not long after my last post), caused by heart congestion, a prolapsed mitral valve and pressure on the chamber of the heart that has caused the muscle to weaken and distort. Right now he is on warfarin, to thin the blood, ACE inhibitors to help the muscle consolidate and stop it weakening further, beta blockers and digitalis to try to slow the heart rate, thiamin and strong vitamin b compound tablets to help his liver, and finally a simple ant-acid dose of Gaviscon to soothe any indigestion. When his blood is thin enough (we are attending the Warfarin clinic 3 times a week for blood work testing) he will have an angiogram to analyse the state of his arteries - some plaque is suspected - and perhaps have cardioversion - electric shock treatment to the heart - to reinstate sinus (normal) rhythm to his heart. He may need angioplasty if the arteries are clogged, he may need valve replacement, the next few weeks will tell.

So the past month has seen me as nurse, medicator, chauffeur and confidante. (Won't bother to list the details of all the other roles that get offset to women - you know anyway).

MadMother has been distressed because she knows DH is ill, but I'm shielding her from the details - she will worry with or without full disclosure, less I hope for knowing less. In this past year she has broken her hip and had her alzheimers diagnosed. I have enrolled her at 3 day care sessions, and she has found new friends, to replace those who have died or moved away into more sheltered housing, and new interests. She has forgotten old skills, and has forgotten to be safety conscious. I have been to rescue her from our local hospital so often the nurses recognise me. Still, she is no longer depressed or lonely and her mental deterioration has slowed enormously.

The past year has seen my knitting stash grow like a well cultivated crop, well that's apt then, it is a well cultivated crop. I've learned new cast ons, and I've increased my ability at ultra fine lace knitting, whilst churning out socks like I have to clad the world. For the second year running I made all my friends and family a hand knitted Christmas gift. I've joined sock clubs, a lace club and a blanket club. I've joined a new knitting group and made new friends. I've met up with old friends and gone to Harrogate for knitting meet ups, I've put friends on hold whilst my life spins and I try to control the skidding. I read other people's blogs as a life saver - to take me away from my anxiety, and I'm relying on snail mail post from a friend whom I struggle to answer.

DH's daughter has been diagnosed as an alcoholic and she has successfully been off the booze for 5 months now. Her 3 month old daughter seems ok, putting on weight and thriving; time will tell if she has dodged the foetal alcohol syndrome bullet, but my fingers are crossed and holding.

My own DS's twins are divine, I went on holiday with them in August, and they were a joy. As my problems have increased I have seen them less, but oh my god how I miss them.

On Mother's Day this year, DH was in hospital in the cardiac unit, I was exhausted and tearful at the drain and pain of the previous months, when my gorgeous, wonderful daughter turned up at early o'clock. She had driven for an hour and a quarter to get to my house in time to make me a mother's day morning cup of tea; she had brought breakfast- eggs and croissants; she had brought gorgeous little knitting gifts. But the best gift of all, apart from the whole thought and deed, was home-made chicken soup. She had stayed up til almost midnight the night before making me soup, so that I would have something nourishing and comforting when I got home from the hospital after late evening visiting. I know how lucky I am and it makes me tearful. Really, seriously, distressingly happy but tearful.

This time last year I had a lump in my breast, ultrasound and a biopsy - the lump is benign. This time last year I was packing to jump on a plane and fly around the world to see a dear sister get married to a wonderful man. I spent hours on a plane and days making a house fit for a wedding, and I am pleased I was there for her. This time last year I was thinking life would slow down - HUH!

Life has been stressful and tiring, I have had the love and support of friends, family and the most wonderful daughter. If you have read this far, then thank you for hanging in there with me. I count you as friends, when you send comfort as a post, and support as a tweet.

Happy Birthday to me, for tomorrow. Virtual cake and bubbly to you all.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

DH's drug issues!

Life has frantic of late but, whilst I have been knitting without stopping as my very sanity is dependent on the stress relief I get from it, there has been little photographic evidence that has made it from my phone or my camera to my computer.

As I felt the need to blog I thought I would share this photo with you. It is my most favourited project on Ravelry, and it is most beloved by my DD's cat Yoyo. Yoyo drags the fairy around with her and her once sleek blond hair is now well loved and dribbled upon. I like it that the cat appreciates my knitting!

Meanwhile today I drove the 16 mile round trip to my GP's practice 3 times: I took DH for his 9.10 appointment, sat in a cold car knitting for 20 mins, then DH appeared without having seen the doctor as he had been called away on an emergency. At home an hour later the surgery telephoned to say the GP was back and DH should scoot on down there - round trip no 2. The GP doubled the beta blocker dosage, doubled the PPI (protein pump inhibitor) dosage, doubled the renitidin (?) anti indigestion med, changed his soluble aspirin for a coated one, to try and reduce the adverse effect it was having on his stomach whilst maintaining the anti clot action and recommended regular paracetamol.

Four hours later DH in ever increasing pain and gets another appointment for 6pm this evening - the dreaded but wonderful emergency time. Journey to surgery and back - another 16 mile round trip. Extra drugs dispensed, to reduce bowel spasms.

Home, I'm self medicating with a glass of red and YH's Earl Grey socks for DD's partner's birthday in the lovely DIC Smooshy, blue lagoon. Missed my Knit and Natter evening, bugger.

On the bright side - MMother sounded chirpy again tonight - I love it when she's happy and hanging in there!

Sending love, please send chocolate, red wine and hugs by return please, seriously, please, now!

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Not so easy jetting.

Life is sometimes a little too interesting. Lately, like this past couple of years, it's been too interesting and too complicated.

We flew to Spain for a quick respite break and, thanks to the wonderful people at Easyjet who cancelled our plane after technical difficulties, we spent 3 hours waiting for the flight, one our collecting our embarked then disembarked luggage, and 4 hours queuing to get a replacement flight. So, after around 10 hours at Alicante airport we had a flight for 2 days later, four cancelled appointments, a distressed madmother, who didn't know why I wasn't visiting or talking to her, an extra car hire bill of Euro 150 and aggravation from Easyjet customer service who appear not to want to abide by the terms of European legislation, particularly EU Regulation 261/2004 which says that Euro 400 should be payable to customers who have been denied flights. Automatic compensation - not claimed for; not argued about but payable. The "debate" rages on. But for now, my personal opinion, avoid any "service" that doesn't offer customer service.

Meanwhile DH's indigestion was getting worse, it became compounded by a gastric bug which gave him "traveller's diarheaa" Lovely! This was so bad that it affected his heart, and he now has atrial fibrillation which, coupled, with his slight heart murmur, has left him debilitated, breathless and weak. Once home the GP has popped him on beta blockers, asprin (totally aggravating the indigestion) and now PPIs to reduce the acid and hopefully diminish the acid levels in his stomach.
I've got a cold. Poor me. It's only a cold, but instead of being able to mope and keep warm I'm playing nurse to a sickly husband and minder to a mad mother.

All bad things have a silver lining and the knitting is yomping home. on 3rd pair of socks ... the latest for "son-in-law", ie partner of daughter, whose birthday is next monday. Also going well is the Aeolian shawl, Kingscot, DA's mystery blanket, and sock of the month club.

Meanwhile, as I have no knitting photos to show you, here's one of MM herself ... slightly puzzled as to why I am pointing a phone at her!!

I've met up with a lovely friend, whose Mother is waiting for the results of investigative tests, and my fingers are crossed for the results of that. She's a knitter too ... we agreed, like so many others, that knitting keeps us (almost) sane during stressful times.

So wherever you, and whatever you are knitting, or frogging, or sewing up, or contemplating, may the needles treat you kindly.

Love and hugs
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