A couple of months ago I had to pay the doctor a routine visit for a fungal infection on my big toes. Whilst there she advised I have another blood check but as I wasn’t at that time due for such a test she post-dated it. On Friday (27 th) I visited the nurse at the surgery to give a blood sample and as it was for lipid levels I couldn’t eat anything for twelve hours prior to the sample being given. It turned out that I hadn’t eaten for seventeen hours by the time I was at the surgery. Naturally I was feeling quite hungry on my return home. Even so I didn’t eat more than I would normally do at breakfast (break-fast). As the appointment was for eight-fifty the first thing I ate was at breakfast time, though a little belated breakfast time for me. The danger in fasting is the temptation to over-indulge when the fast is over. It sets the trend for more overeating and we end up putting on weight. If we eat too much at a sitting our stomach stretches to accommodate the food so that at the next meal we feel the need to fill it too much once more else we still feel hungry. If our stomach is full we feel satisfied therefore it is sensible to eat small amounts frequently rather than gorging down large quantities which stretch the stomach. Obviously the type of food we eat is important too if we are to feel satisfied. In today’s society, here in the UK at least, we are faced with encouraging signs to eat more instead of eating sensibly. A point in question, I have found that most of the ‘fish and chip’ shops I have visited throughout my life encourage us to eat more by supplying larger portions of chips than we actually want. When I have asked for a smaller portion I find the person serving me has difficulty in doing that. It is as if they have to give large portions to justify the prices they charge. Why not supply smaller portions at a lower price for those who want them? If there is someone with me, like E for instance, we buy one portion and share and even then there is often too much in the portion. Is it any wonder people are becoming overweight when because they receive larger portions they feel the need to eat it all? It would seem a waste otherwise wouldn’t it? Feeling hungry is one thing but feeling a large waist is another!
Just sitting here waiting for the pins and needles to go from my right hand. My hand is slowly beginning to feel normal once more now that I am hitting the keys writing this. I often used to wonder what exactly pins and needles were but now I know. It is the blood returning under pressure to areas which have temporarily lost circulation. In this case I had been resting on my right arm and my hand went numb! One of the strangest feelings I have ever had regarding pins and needles, and it has happened a few times in my life, was when I lost all feeling to either my right or my left foot. In those cases I couldn’t feel my foot at all for quite a while and attempting to walk was really amusing. Have you ever tried to stand on a foot you cannot feel? Slowly the blood returns and the pins and needles are felt and sometimes there is the urgency to visit the lavatory! I wonder why my brain thinks I have to visit the lavatory because I have pins and needles in my foot? We are very strange beings aren’t we?
I wasn’t going to write about pins and needles initially but as I had them at the start of writing it seemed logical to mention them. I was going to write about my very early start to the day having gotten up out of bed at a couple of minutes before four o’clock. I was fast asleep a short time after my head hit the pillow at nine the previous evening so the early rise simply followed. It has become my routine lately to go to bed early and rise early. I didn’t eat breakfast but went directly into the rear garden to water it, especially the grass. When I returned indoors I prepared for my early morning walk and was out the front door at five-twenty. I speeded things up this time by walking as briskly as I could and found myself back home at six-fifty. That meant I had covered the four and a half miles of my chosen route in an hour and a half, three miles per hour. Not bad I thought considering my age. When I looked in the mirror on my return home I was as red as a berry! Not much wrong with the blood circulation after the walk! I hadn’t been wearing heavy clothing, just my lightweight summer stuff. My breakfast tasted all that much better after the exercise.
…if it’s the last thing I ever do. Yes a familiar line from an old song which I think if I can remember was by a group called ‘The Animals’ with a front man called Eric Burden. It was recorded in the mid-sixties. Now I am showing my age which for those who wish to know is 72. As I write this it is Wednesday morning on the fourth of July. Now there’s a familiar date. Greetings to all my American friends, which by that I mean all of you living there. Okay I am two weeks late but the date doesn’t matter. By the way I greet all people the same no matter from where they hail. I am stuck at home though stuck isn’t probably the right word to use, perhaps left at home might be more apt. E has gone to stay with her mom for a few hours whilst her brother, who lives with his mom, has somewhere he needs to go. I am not really sure why he still lives at home with his mom for he is I think 60 years old. Life has dealt him a few bad cards over the years and I guess things just fell into place and kept him living there. E doesn’t speak much about him and I haven’t even seen him for well over twenty years. That’s what happens when families don’t stick together and support each other. There are reasons of course, many are too self-centred and have bigoted feelings. I don’t know why people are like that, after all we are all in the same boat. All you need is love. Now where have I heard that one before? I am not sure many folk know what real love is. If you’ve an ear I can tell you but I don’t wish to preach, not in this post anyway. I see folk going about their daily business and often wonder what it is they think about, what their focus on life is. One day they will, we all will, leave this place and everything in it and in fact it will be the last thing we ever do won’t it? Once more it is a beautifully sunny day, probably going to be too hot again for me if I’m honest. I am maybe thinking I should get out of this place, that is my house and go for a walk somewhere but do you know, I am not sure I will feel better for it. It is late in the morning as I finish this post. I haven’t eaten breakfast because I wasn’t hungry when I got up but I am feeling a little hungry now. After I have eaten I will be ‘reviewing the situation’, (yes, from Oliver Twist, the musical). Have a really nice day my readers.
It isn’t unusual that one day can be so different from the previous one. Many of my days follow a set pattern and nothing much is different between them but there are days which flip the trend. Doing something new or something that hasn’t been done for a while make a day different but other things can do just the same. In yesterday’s post I talked about taking a walk in the rain. At the time it felt good but today, that is Sunday (aka Father’s Day this particular Sunday 17 th) I think I am paying the price! I have been feeling ‘run down’, tired and listless and all I want to do is sit and relax, even take a nap! I just feel drained of energy and am assuming the cold of yesterday has had a negative affect on my health. Hopefully it won’t last but for today at least I am putting up with it. Fortunately I haven’t been bored by just sitting around for the television came to the rescue. Not everyone is interested in soccer but I am not one of them. I am not a fanatic as some might be but I do enjoy watching a good game and this summer there are plenty to watch during the FIFA World Cup championships. This year as all will know it is being held in Russia. I would like to see England do well but it has been so many years since they have. To be honest I don’t support or follow any particular country’s team even my own, I just like watching good football. However if there is something else to do I will abandon the television unless it is the final game which I would probably take time out for. So here I am late on Sunday afternoon waiting for the next game to begin in the next ten minutes writing this and listening to records by various artists from the sixties on Vintage Tv. They are all remembered and bring back my memories from those wonderful days in my life. I remember how it was for me and how I had lacked determination to follow the path in life I perhaps should have taken instead of the one I did. Missed opportunities I regret and yet life has been good despite all the negative things that have happened in my life since then. Today I am happier than I thought I’d ever be and content with life. Tomorrow will be even better…and I am feeling better already.
It’s to not myself I am referring but my next-door neighbour. If my readers will remember I mentioned she had been taken to hospital in an emergency after she had difficulty in breathing. She had been and still does rely on her oxygen bottles else she would die. Her condition has been brought about by smoking and not being able to desist after being repeatedly told by her doctor to stop. She is I think around 81 years of age. After being informed she would be coming home then later told she would have to stay in hospital and later still that she would have to spend the rest of her days in a care home. Finally on Monday last (4 th) she came home late in the afternoon. E and I didn’t pay her a visit until the following day that is after she had settled in. Though she is at home she receives palliative care and is visited daily by care workers and a district nurse who visits less frequently. E and I visited her again today, that is Sunday as I write. She is upbeat about her situation and for someone who is seriously ill she is as lively as ever. Physically she has lost quite a lot of weight though she wasn’t well-built in any case beforehand. Whilst we talked with her she kept losing her breath even though she had her oxygen supply. Any exertion, even slight and she is gasping for air. It is a sad affair but little more can be done for her other than what she receives. She is always happy to see us though and we keep her laughing and in good spirit. Obviously we help in any way we can. She hinted that she would like the tv up on the wall so I told her I would fit a shelf to take it. Buying a special wall bracket, if one could be purchased for that tv would be too expensive and not worth it. I will also help her son to remove the old and faulty built-in fridge/freezer so we can install the replacement unit. Both jobs are simple and shouldn’t take long to do. E and I will continue to keep an eye on her and help as we are able.
With me I am never sure what I want to do on any particular day though when there is a project on the go I usually have a set plan. At the time of writing this there is still work to be done in the cellar but because E is limited in what she can do I have to do the things she would normally do herself and cannot get on with my own work. If I am not shopping I am taking her to her appointments and have to wait to bring her back home. Yesterday afternoon though I decided a meal out was due as we hadn’t dined out for some time. We went to our local pub this time and had a really great time. Today (Wed 16) for instance I had to take her to the hospital in the afternoon and stayed there for over an hour. I had an appointment with the dentist myself in the morning and also spent time on the exercise equipment later. I ended up scratching around trying to get at least some work done in what time I had left. So for a while this is how it is going to be but I will make an effort to get my projects done despite that. Tomorrow morning I have to do the weekly shopping and maybe after lunch I will take a trip to the garden centre to buy some more tree bark chippings and then spread it out in the flowerbeds. I mentioned to E that I would be taking a walk tomorrow morning but then realised I had to do the shopping. Maybe there should be more hours in the day! I did manage to cut the piece of wood that will form the threshold for the cellar storage room and paint it ready for fixing to the floor. I also managed to cut off the excess carpet where the threshold is to be fitted. Yes, there are carpets in three of the cellar rooms but they are only there because new carpets replaced them in the rooms above where they had been and it seemed like a good idea at the time. I suppose I must be grateful that I am able to do anything at my age having seen the plight of many of similar age stuck in hospital or visiting as out-patients. Speaking of hospitals, our next-door neighbour was supposed to be returning home last week then early this week and now as I write they say it will be Friday. Having told her son that she would receive palliative care the doctors changed their minds regarding her condition and cancelled the care last week. Yesterday he was told that her life expectancy was again put below three months and as a result she will get the palliative care at home after all.
There’s always something going on in life as the saying goes though at this time those ‘somethings’ are not exactly what I have in mind. Another day passes by without anything further done on my projects but still I am active though in a different way. Yesterday we had bright sunshine and it was reasonably warm, only kept cooler because of the breeze. Today (Friday 11) it is quite cold, overcast and windy, a complete change. I would have taken a long walk in the morning but for the fact that I had to drive E to the hospital for her to keep another appointment. Instead, I spent time exercising on the gym equipment before breakfast and waited for E to be ready to go out. This time she was having steroid injections in her left foot in order to alleviate pain in some of her toes. Next week she has further appointments so now I have to plan my work, if I am doing any, around those times. Everything moves at a snail’s pace if I am out with E these days whereas years ago I sometimes had difficulty in just keeping up with her! Strange at it may seem her spinal problems (spina biffida) don’t appear to be causing her as much pain as the other problems she has. Until she contracted the back pain, shoulder pain and problems in her feet she managed to get around quite well. To be honest I don’t know how she would cope if I wasn’t around but I suppose she would somehow. It’s not all doom and gloom though, just something we have to cope with in our lives. I often wonder how we as human beings manage to survive the many health problems many of us face during our lives. If it isn’t one thing it’s another which strikes us unless we are very lucky though some of us are more vulnerable than others I guess.
….and tomorrow a new month. I write this on the last day of April. It is Monday and the start of a week of unknowns. Despite not having any definite plan for the day I was very busy. I had ordered clothing, floor paint and a cordless vacuum cleaner but only one of those was scheduled for delivery that day, the vacuum cleaner. I wanted the paint delivering as soon as possible so that I could finish the cellar storage room project. As I write this I still have no idea when it will arrive. The clothing should be here within the next couple of days. There was a small amount of painting to do around the door on the inside of the store-room which was the first thing I did. Following that I went into the front garden and using a watering can and soluble plant food I fed all the plants, dug out weeds then swept the pathways. It was approaching lunchtime when that was done so I stopped work and went indoors just in time to unpack and assemble the new vacuum cleaner. I am considering purchasing another for use on the upper floors but will see how this one performs first. After lunch I made myself busy by first of all sweeping up the leaves, lots of them, from the paths in the rear garden then mowing the lawn. Next, I got out the hoe and gave the flowerbeds a make-over removing the weeds. It was late afternoon when I had finished and I spent an hour in the sunshine relaxing on the patio. When I returned indoors our next-door neighbour’s son called to update us on his mom’s condition. Late on Sunday afternoon she had been rushed to hospital with a collapsed lung and could hardly breathe. She has advanced emphysema and relies on her oxygen bottles to get through the day. The prognosis wasn’t good and the doctors thought she wouldn’t survive. Her son was calling to let us know that she had perked-up somewhat and could possibly return home. She is at death’s door and the doctors practically indicated that so even if she can return home she would need palliative care. For the moment she remains in hospital. We invited our neighbour’s son inside for a chat and he stayed awhile. That was basically my day and I was tired after it all.
My plans were almost thwarted on Saturday. It was another warm and sunny day as we enjoyed the slightly unseasonal weather for April with temperatures around six, seven and eight degrees above normal. Although I wanted to spend more time outdoors I knew I had to do at least some more work in the cellar. This little project is certainly taking quite some time to complete. I was up and about around eight o’clock and after breakfast the first thing I did was to water the rear garden as we hadn’t any rain for days. It was especially important that I did it if only for the sake of the newly bedded plants I had put in the day before though all the garden plants needed it too. On returning indoors I continued with the painting and was doing fine until after an hour or so I thought I heard E calling out to me so went to investigate. She was two floors up and kind of stuck on the landing unable to move with muscular pain in her back, something she says happens occasionally. I did my best to assist but there was little I could do but to see that she made it downstairs safely. From that point onward and throughout the day I had to do the fetching and carrying for her and prepare her meals as she often eats different things to me. Once I knew she was settled I returned to my painting but my phone rang soon after I had resumed. It was our next-door neighbour who asked if I could check out a couple of garden lights she had recently purchased but hadn’t worked. I told her I would call as soon as I could and went there around thirty minutes later after completing what I was painting. The lights are solar units which charge during the day and when night falls they illuminate. There are switches on them but no indication of their function, they could either be for preventing the units from charging or from illuminating. I asked for the instruction sheet but she told me she had thrown it out with the garbage! I suggested she return them as faulty. When I returned home I removed my overalls for I knew it wasn’t worth keeping them on, my services to E would be taking preference and my project would have to wait a couple of days. At least E was able to join me out on the patio to relax for a couple of hours in the afternoon.
My life has always been governed by routine and I suppose that is true for most people despite what they may say to the contrary. Routines are one thing and plans another. My life is also governed by plans and yes, probably everyone else’s are too. We all make plans in life. Plans are the promises we make to ourselves but sometimes don’t receive or carry out. After a complete rest on Sunday I was ready to resume the routine of working on my plan, a project I had given myself (like all the others) to fill a portion of my days with something to do but something else had to be done first. I had to have my six-monthly appointment with the doctor for check-ups and prescription renewal. I planned to do a little shopping after the appointment and then do a couple of other errands before returning home. The appointment was for 0910 but as is usual I didn’t get to see the doctor until twenty minutes later. On leaving the surgery I walked into town to purchase a few things one of which was a blood pressure monitor before returning to my vehicle to drive home. According to my doctor my blood pressure was again just as the previous time very high. On that occasion I had subsequently been loaned a monitor to carry out the tests at home and they proved my blood pressure wasn’t high at all. The doctor suggested I might purchase a monitor or have another check-up by the chemist. I chose to purchase one so that I could take several tests and submit them to the surgery. Later at home my tests showed once more that my pressure levels were not high at all. I told the doctor that my results were always high when I visit the surgery. Now I suppose the reason for that is I don’t find it easy to relax at the surgery. I took my purchases home and immediately drove off again to dump some rubbish and unwanted items at the waste recycling depot returning home via the builder’s depot to purchase granite dust and cement. It was lunch time when I got home and after lunch I didn’t much feel like working but did a little plastering in the cellar storage room. The day hadn’t turned out anything like I thought it would, it had been totally disrupted. I thought later that I should have concentrated on installing the replacement shower cubicle glass instead but there was always tomorrow.