Ripply Fish?!?!

My Creative Space this week was supposed to comprise a cardigan I’d knit for myself however it didn’t make it for two reasons

1)  I intended to model it myself but B was going to work by the time I finished it

2)  When I popped it onto my dress form to photograph it became blatantly apparent that it desperately needed blocking.  I have to admit it had been a little apparent before that but I thought that with the aid of a few strategically placed pins I could get away with it but that would be – NO

So the cardy is currently enjoying (hopefully) a wool cycle in the washing machine and instead we have the latest pram/cot (crib) blanket I’ve been asked to do…

It is again from Comfort Knitting and Crochet Afghans, is called Fish Ripple Pattern and is in a double knitting yarn.  The grandmother to be choose the colours which will  show up better when I take a pic in daylight.

I meanwhile had about three hours sleep again last night before today’s dialysis so I am expecting to sleep well tonight especially since B has accused me of overdoing it today – but we’ve a nurse coming out tomorrow to check out the house’s suitability for carrying out peritoneal dialysis (it was only arranged today) and B’s ‘It looks alright’ wasn’t satisfying me.  I mean okay I could just have stuffed the card making stuff back in the cupboard without finishing off my sis-in-law’s card and the paper bin under the desk possibly didn’t need emptying but the soil in the porch from a wayward plant really did need brushing up and whilst I was at it I might as well sort out the covers on the settee’s again, wipe down the kitchen worktops and get the bubble wrap out of the glory-hole while I was at it.  B took the cloth and vinegar spray off me before I had chance to clean the porch window (or rather Bud’s nose marks off the window) and did it instead.

However dialysis this way at home could cut out the problem of lack of sleep on the evening before dialysis mind you since it can be done during the night it could also keep me awake all night!  I’m now off to check on my washed cardigan there could be tears if it ends up like the tea cosy and then I’m off to bed where Bud’s already had an early night!

Other Creative Spaces can be found here.


Interesting Ears

Buddy went to see the Doggy Dermatologist yesterday for a follow up appointment with it being 12 weeks after he’d started getting his desensitising injections. As usual he didn’t disappoint and was the noisiest and most active dog there – ‘Talking’ at us to make his displeasure known and lying down for all of five seconds and then jumping back up to go under the chairs, whizz round our legs or pop his paws on our legs so he could ‘speak’ to us close up as we really weren’t getting the message.

There was a spaniel of some description quietly minding its own beeswax – actually it was sitting/standing on the plastic chairs next to its owner and Bud didn’t pay it any attention. A young lady arrived with a large black dog and B asked me what it was – I had no idea and the best I could do was say it looked like a BIG terrier but obviously that was no help, it turned out to be a Giant Schnauzer with very interesting ears – I asked – about the breed, Bud made enquiries about the ears which was so cute and funny.

Initially he didn’t really bother much about this dog, he did make a brief introduction but then went back to telling us he’d like to go but then a HUGE Newfoundland arrived and when the Schnauzer started paying attention to it (it had had a good Newfie friend until it moved) Bud decided he’d like to get in on the doggy action. Funnily enough he wasn’t too interested in the Newfie but was suddenly very interested in the Schnauzer and in particular his ears. Bud stood up on his back legs as this was the only way he could reach and started poking his nose in its ear. His owner said that a lot of dogs liked his ears. The next time Bud attempted it he decided there was an easier way than keeping his own balance and put his paws on the other dog’s neck – looking for all intents and purposes just like he was giving him a hug. The second time the Schnauzer thought this was too much and gave a little grumble, not much of one but Bud was being very familiar after all. The Schnauzer wasn’t too forceful however since when he lay down Bud didn’t hesitate to trot over and stick his nose in an ear without effort.

Fortunately we got called in soon after and Bud was able to hare around the vet’s consultation room off his lead. I’m pretty sure she didn’t believe us that he sometimes stayed still at home particularly as the nurse who Bud and B had been seeing for the injections had said how energetic he was. B popped him on the table and she snuck the injection in towards his rear end before he even noticed and he actually managed to stay on the table while his paws were checked, then B decided the easiest way to get him down was to let him go and he leaped onto the floor.

Everything was good and B decided that he’d take Bud back for the next injection at least. Well everything was good until we were waiting to pay and Bud cocked his leg up on the nice ‘free delivery’ display board. In the second before I poked B, as he was hold of the lead, Bud got a noticeable amount out but when I gushed about it to the receptionist she said it happened all the time. Indeed when I brought him back from out trip outside to let him finish off I noticed a puddle on another corner.

With me I’ve been having a bit of trouble over the past week and a bit with hand washing and a couple of other incidents which must be a result of the dexamethasone. It’s been bearable, only a shadow of what happened previously, and is probably worse because its brought back how bad it was last time (which was nearly three years ago) and which I couldn’t believe how much of the intensity I’d actually forgotten. There have been a few poo moments but I think its got easier today generally and I’ve still been able to knit every day, make butties and of course blog.

And today I accompanied Bud and B on their walk which slowed them down but Bud seemed to get quite excited about it and ran about like a loon and did a bit of barking at us, well mainly B, and he isn’t a barker – B and crackers, it turns out, being the only things he barks at, not the door bell . I managed it without a sit down which impressed B and I only had to ask him to slow down the once.


The Perils of Parking

You may recall that B can be a little ‘precious’ about the his car and the one thing he hasn’t had to worry about since last November is me driving it – until yesterday!  I didn’t even tell him about my intention as I thought to quote a friend ‘don’t trouble trouble’.

With not having dialysis yesterday and our next door neighbours collecting me from Liverpool after I’d dropped off my bottle of wee I knew I would be back in time to drive myself to Armchair Yoga.  It’s not far to our new location, just four miles, but it gets busy along the road and I was a tad apprehensive.  BUT I had the incentive to make a shorter trial run to our GPs’ medical centre – the incentive being I’d run out of stronger painkillers.  If your giving me any kind of look you can save your facial muscles because B already did it when he found out.  How did I do this?  I’m not too sure – I was going to try and explain but when I started typing things they still have me thinking – how did I manage to run out.  Needless to say some niggly pain can certainly be an incentive.

I was reversing off the drive thinking ‘What am I doing?’ followed swiftly by ‘It’ll be fine.’ and it was – apart from a windy moment on the small car park at the medical centre, a little ‘kerb drill’ as my Dad used to say when I moved too far over to allow a car past on our road (I have to say I forgot to tell B about it) and this…

The car is 51cm (20″) from the porch window, a reasonable distance I think but which in B’s opinion is too close.

B had briefly woke up after I’d been to the doctors and when he discovered that I’d been out in the car he wanted to know ‘if it was alright’.  He and Bud were out walking when I arrived back from Armchair Yoga and I looked up from what I was doing in the kitchen to find B giving the car the once over and then when he saw me he shouted ‘Could you get it any closer?’  Well obviously I could of.  It’s one of those things were usually I’d have to push it but I could just see it ending in an emergency glazier and paying extra to have it done before B woke up – he’d probably sleep through the bang.

The best thing is I was actually relieved that B hadn’t seen me stop on the drive since the position the car ended up was the first place we stopped or more likely STOPPED.  At least I know the brakes are good.

A fellow Armchair Yoga-ist said that when he saw our car on the car park he fully expected to walk in and find B in a chair!

Bud and I also went for a tramp in the wood yesterday – a short walk that is as opposed to setting about a vagrant – another first since November.  We went again today at Bud’s insistence.  You do something that he likes once and it sets a precedent.

‘There’s nothing like a day out’

B was heard to say as we got back in the car today after going to Liverpool for our first kidney clinic appointment.  ’Yes’ I replied ‘and that was nothing like a day out.’

I’d inadvertently cramped our dining possibilities by telling Auntie Eleanor at weekend that B would pick her up and bring her to visit this afternoon.  Since our appointment was 11.30 I didn’t think it was physically possible to get to the Asian restaurant that had been recommended, by a friend of Sean, eat and get back.  We’d only said on Friday it’s four months since we actually ate out and when we asked for my blood counts on Saturday my neutrophils were high enough to deal with bacteria laden restaurant food – though with all the spices potentially involved it would probably have been a safe bet anyway.  I’d had a GCSF injection on Friday and my neutrophils on Saturday were 12!  Yes 12 – normal range is 2.0 to 7.5 and I don’t know when mine have ever been near the higher end of this so it took a bit of digesting before I remembered the neutrophil boosting injection.  As it turned out I’d decided that I’d rather see Auntie En than eat out on this occasion so I wasn’t waiting for din dins.

I’d thought that after a long day yesterday we’d just nip out to the Royal today, have the appointment and get back home in under three hours.  Yesterday no ambulance transport had turned up by 7.00 to ferry me to dialysis so I rang and they confirmed that the team had left and I was on the list.  They then rang back at 7.30 and said they’d sent a taxi.  In the end I was only hooked up to the dialysis machine at quarter to nine so finished at quarter to one but didn’t have to wait that long at all for a lift home.  The trip home itself however involved a visit to a nearby hospital to collect and then drop off another patient and then a stop of an hour and a half at another hospital as the patient there couldn’t be located.  They or rather we, went to every conceivable collection point.  It turned out that another team had collected her hours ago but no-one had told our crew that she was no longer their responsibility.    At least I know that if I go AWOL at any point they won’t leave without me.  B had decided that he was going to come get me and when I rang him to say that we were finally on our way it turned out he was nearly there – although he didn’t tell me that.  The first I knew was when we pulled onto the main dual carriageway and stopped at traffic lights and my attention was caught by someone shouting outside.  My attention was peaked further as I thought ‘I know that voice’.  B was stopped at the side and was shouting to the driver ‘I’ll take Paula home’.  They pulled over at the nearby bus stop and one of the ambulance guys carried all my bags and coat to the car and explained/apologised to B.  So from being ready at just after six AM it was half three when we got back home.

As it turned out today we did do it in under three hours.  Well, we did the trip to the Royal and the trip home but we didn’t get the clinic appointment.  No, it wasn’t me, I had the right date/time.    We’d waited for a bit in a busy waiting area and then decided we’d go for a drink.  The receptionist said we should check with one of the nurses as there was only a few in front of me in the clinic I was in.  The nurse asked what time my appointment was (11.30), said that they were up to quarter to ten and gave me two free tea/coffee/cup of water tickets.

We had our free cup of tea/coffee/cup of water and in fact I hadn’t quite finished mine when our buzzer went off and we headed back to the clinic.  The receptionist said that the doctor had just left and the nurse would have a word with us.  As it happened a very apologetic health care assistant came over and explained that she’d weighed me and taken my wee sample but had put my file in the transplant pile rather than the renal pile and the consultant had gone without seeing my notes but they were going to see if one of the registrars would come down and see me.  About five minutes later we got called in and told that the registrar was in a meeting but either someone could see me on dialysis tomorrow or we could come back next week.  B is back at work next week so we opted for tomorrow.  I said ‘Well at least we got a free cup of coffee’ and she said ‘Well you would have got that anyway’.  WHAT! – we’ve never had a free cup of water let alone tea or coffee at the blood clinic and we have an ‘ology in waiting there.

On the upside all this transportation has meant imposed craftiness time and indeed after making a denim and white stripped Myeloma Buddy for a member of the Royal catering staff a friend of hers asked for two too…

and the catering lady asked for something else for her first grandson who is due in May.  She was telling me that her son and his girlfriend are going to give the baby her younger son’s name as a middle name since her younger son had died a few years ago at 19 after being ill since he was six weeks old.  You know that old saying about treating people considerately because you never know what things they are dealing with is sometimes so true.

Anyhoo, we opted for a little aran type jacket age six to nine months which I started yesterday…

but there’s a boo boo! I noticed something was amiss when the pattern on the front wasn’t finishing at the same point as the pattern on the back.  Now I had trouble working out where exactly I’d gone wrong and I’m pretty sure it’s not that noticeable and I could probably get away with it but could I live with that?   Probably not.

And here’s a photo of Bud that I’ve been meaning to take for ages but have never seemed to have the camera to hand at the right time…

he starts to get off the settee and then just stops with this front legs on the floor and back legs, stretched or bunched up, or in this case 50/50 still on the cushion and then just stands there for ages.  His Auntie Chris told him he looks like a dork but I find it quirkily endearing and it’s not like I’m biased or anything.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

SLEEP – Don’t you just love it? I know I do. Although B would probably say that I am fonder of it than most. I think I have very nearly caught up with the sleep I missed whilst on my short Royal-cation. I can’t remember having so many late nights – what with the dialysis and then the ‘deep clean’ on Thursday – I’ve never ever had such a late night out. I’m sure I could easily become nocturnal I certainly function better at night that in a morning.

We (me and two fellow patients) were relocated from the ward to the waiting area of the day unit when the patient who’d arrived on Tuesday night started having oxygen and blood pressure problems during a plasma exchange. We were camped out in the waiting area in our jim jams and with accompanying attachments (in my case two bags of chemo, my netbook and knitting) by about noon. It turned out that one of the people wearing clothes was actually waiting for the bed of the fellow patient due to go home that afternoon but who was at that moment in time still connected to a bag of blood which resulted in her companion telling a number of people over the phone that ‘No, she hasnt got a bed yet. The woman whose bed she’s having is currently sitting opposite.’

By five I’d decamped to one of the day unit treatment rooms, one fellow patient had managed to successfully get discharged and the other had wangled a side room all to herself. It turned out that she had bug related diarrhoea and the entire room needed cleaning. This entailed my stuff ending up in bags in the shower room while everything, including my cabinet, was deep cleaned (our washing powder smells very nice apparently as per the nurse who packed). Initially we thought I’d be back in the room about eight. Then the sign on the actual door said ‘No Entry until 10.30pm’. By eleven the night nurse had chased up where the cleaners were as the room needed tidying. Seriously it was a mess. I’d thought it would just involve making the beds but chairs and tables were all piled on the beds. I was tucking into a late night Pot Noodle at this point as I couldn’t get comfy with my back on the comfy recliner I was on by then. It then transpired that the button on the deep cleaning machine hadn’t been pressed and it needed to be done again – actually ‘again’s’ not right is it – it needed to be done!

I was provided with a bed in the day room but just couldn’t nod off despite looking forward to going to bed (a term that always amuses B when I use it when in hospital) from getting up that morning. I ended up watching two films and looking at the clock for the last time at four am. I woke up at ten to six as the night staff were about to roll me up the corridor to the ward. It was just as well that I was discharged on Friday as the new patient, even though she said she’d had two hours sleep and was really tired was waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too perky Friday morning. I thought ‘HELP! I’m not going to be able to cope with her first thing in a morning after a good night’s sleep!’

So I’ve been getting flashy lights and other visual disturbances, typical of a migraine, since last week and initially thought this was due to the unusual sleeping pattern but seem to remember reading somewhere about steroids and migraines. I’ve only had a small dose (80mg over eight days) and they finished Friday so if it is related hopefully it should abate shortly.

Generally other than being part comatose I’ve felt okay. I’m still taking anti sickness tablets (Ondansetron and Cyclyzine) and they certainly seem to be doing the job. I’m also being really diligent with the mouth care (mouth wash and Nystatin about four times a day) and so far my tongue is a teeny, tiny bit tender – resulting in me occasionally feeling like I have a lisp – and it looks a bit furry.

Speaking of tender, I have felt tender all over. Kinda like muscle soreness without the benefit of exercising. It’s fine unless I’m touched! I do remember feeling like this when having Doxorubicin this time last year. It’s a lot easier today but I admit when I was half asleep getting out of bed yesterday I gave myself a little start when I thought my dialysis line exit site was sore and then I remembered that everything was sore.

I managed to get my pre Royal-cation ‘To Do’ list done except for one thing – Auntie Ann and Uncle Ray’s Christmas present. What’s frustrating is that I know exactly what I want to get them but can’t find it. Anyhoo one of the items on the list was fabric for backing my Christmas embroideries. I found just what I wanted on ebay…

It arrived last week and B opened it.

B: ‘There was another package.’

Me: ‘Was it fabric?’

B: ‘Yes. Is it cleaning cloth?’

And look even Bud’s not impressed. Mind you with the migrainy eyes I don’t think I’ll be tackling the stripes any time soon.

Guess where I am

Go on guess.  Ohhhhhh, you’re taking too long,  I’ll just tell ya – Nestled on the settee at home!

Freshly showered and jim jammed with Bud on his mat playing with a toy and B upstairs hoovering.  I would have blogged a few minutes earlier but it’s a bit hard when you invite the small furry family member to join you on the comfy seat and he takes this to mean ‘come lay across my lap’.

To say being discharge was a little bit of a surprise is a tiny bit of an understatement but obviously a fantastic one – particularly bearing in mind last night’s lack of sleep.

Ohhh, nutha little Buddy attention break there.

So yes, there was a question about which days I went to the day unit but with going to dialysis three times a week I don’t – they do the bloods there and then they get looked at in Haematology.  I thought it maybe had to do with getting things in place next week.

Then I was pottering around with mouthwash when the ward pharmacist turned up – it’s relevant that I was on my feet as I managed to see ‘Discharge Medication’ on her paperwork.  ’Erm?’ with nod of my head towards paperwork.  ’Has no-one said anything about going home today or tomorrow?’  ’That would be no.’

Big small furry family member fussin’ as B and Hetty the Hoover moved downstairs and Bud wanted a safe position from which to supervise – ‘Don’t get that Hetty too close to my toys.’

The pharmacist pointed out that there were some consultants on the ward so something may be said shortly and we agreed I wouldn’t hold anything against her if it didn’t pan out.    Shortly after a regular but different pharmacist turned up to actual go through the tablets in my meds locker and I asked about more painkillers and mouthwash – just in case.

And now another interruption for tea – ours and Bud’s – we all had curry and rice.

Then the nurse responsible for our room came over and said had I heard anything about going home as she’d seen my Discharge Letter printed off.  When I explained I hadn’t officially been told anything she said she’d check with the registrar when the docs had finished their meeting.

All of this transpired between B ringing me to say he was on his way in with all my current requests and ringing me from the shop across the road from the Royal to ask if I wanted big of small Pot Noodles.  A thing I can’t remember having eaten at home but rediscovered via a fellow patient this week – better than hospital food and not a big serving.  Needless to say he didn’t say ‘Yipee’ when he found out he might have a passenger on the way home.

Initially he wanted to go home and get my big coat just in case – but since we didn’t know 100% I thought that was a bit of a waste – particularly as he said at that time of night (about five o’clock) he would probably be two hours!  We comprised on my new cut down ‘Bagpuss’ style cardigown…

seriously I had street clothes but no coat, so persuaded B that I would wait in the lobby doing a ‘Bagpuss’ impression there and all the way home.  Home where – hoovering hadn’t been done, the bathroom hadn’t been cleaned and the sheets hadn’t been changed last week.  B did initially say that it may be better if I came out Saturday – this is probably why!  I’m generally well I’ll go home whenever and don’t get too excited just in case but I have to admit I nearly wet myself at the very prospect of getting home to my bed and okay, maybe the small furry family member as well.

Despite a teeny, tiny touch and go moment the ward nurse said it was the fastest discharge she’d done and she managed this even though she was having one of the craziest shifts ever.

By quarter to seven I was able to say to Bud ‘Go fetch your bone’ as I walked into the garage and he promptly popped into the house and went upstairs for it – much to B’s amusement as he hadn’t touched in all week.

I’m about to completely snuggle down on the settee as the sheets are currently in the dryer!  B’s just got the bathroom to go but since I’ve already used it there’s  no rush!

Thank you Buddy

Dear Bud,

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I got the parcel this morning. I gave it a quick sniff to make sure it wasn’t dangerous and then this is what I did:

Can you tell how excited I was?
Love Toni x 

Odd Man Out

I used to love Sesame Street especially Mr Snuffleupagus (or however that’s spelled), the Count counting and Ernie the Grouch – so let’s get all Sesame Street – ‘One of these things just doesn’t belong here, one of these things just isn’t the same.’

Buddy

An orange

Me

Any guesses? Well if you guessed me you’d be right. The connection between Bud and the orange is this…

B has stuck both Bud and the orange with it. After taking Bud to the doggy dermatologist for his allergy related cysts and infections on his paws back in September she suggested that we could try a desensitising vaccine on him. Now I may have been tempted to say no but his paws did look quite sore and there’s also the risk of an infection I could pick up and the other longer term treatment if he needed it involved a medication that I wouldn’t be able to touch, so I said yes.

B took him for his first jab while I was in hospital. The dermatologist said that we could do the rest of the injections at home, there’s about ten in all but B felt that he couldn’t manage it on his own with so he’s been taking Bud back to the vets and the nurse has been doing it. Well, the nurse did the second one and then B did the third under her supervision. On Thursday we took Bud for his fourth and B did that one too. Bud however wasn’t as settled and calm as on the previous occasion – possibly because I was there – and I have to admit my heart was in my mouth when Bud started to wriggle while B still had the needle in. B has decided that he will take Bud back for another one under instruction and then give them a whirl at home.

The nurse had given B the old syringe on the third trip and suggested he practise on an orange which he did. Now when we went to the clinic on Friday I got some anti-clotting Fragmin injections, because of the Thalidomide, and on Friday when I did the first one I asked B if he wanted to do it since both mine and Bud’s are done subcutaneously (under the skin as opposed to into a vein). He declined and maybe it was just as well he did if we take a little looky at the post injection orange…


Happy Christmas

Well I made it home by four o’clock. It’s obviously fantastic and was just wonderful to see Bud, who I think was pleased to see me too. I shan’t discuss the state of the back bedroom or the dining room table and part of the lounge actually but that’s just unused as yet Christmas decorations. We had a minor hiccup with the switch from IV to oral antibiotics in that they hadn’t been prescribed on my drug chart. Two of the junior doctors came in, separately, looking for it yesterday and presumably when they couldn’t find it they either forgot or just didn’t carry on looking hard enough. The pharmacy is technically closed today but the doctor that is in got round it by doing an outpaitent prescription and one of the nurses went down to the chemist and picked them up as it was only open until 1.00pm.

Tuesday night I started coughing then Thursday I think I woke up unable to breath through my nose and swabs were taken. The nurse this morning came over to me and started saying that the doctor had said that the swabs had come back postive for flu but as I felt well I could still go home. My counts today were HB 11, platelets 24 and neutrophils 0.0. I gave myself a very short haircut last night as I had started to shed. One of my fellow patients said it really suited me which was what people said the first time funnily enough. Maybe a number two (how a very short setting on the clippers is referred to and now the bodily function) is how I should go in the future.

It looks like it’s me, B and Bud for Christmas lunch. Auntie Ann’s cold hasn’t got better. However she’s making lunch and Uncle Ray is bringing it over – he insisted even though one of our neighbours had made the same offer – they couldn’t have us round either as two of them have colds. Auntie Ann however is really disappointed about not being able to spend Christmas Day together but we are going to have Christmas Day on New Years Day.

My sister in law and nephews left not so long ago after dropping off our presents and as I was sitting typing in the dining room I heard the sound of the bag being investigated by the small furry family member. Fortunately when he didn’t reappear to be near me I went to investigate him. Bud had knocked the bag over and was proceeding to unwrap one of the presents. I wouldn’t mind but it wasn’t even his one it was B’s. He hadn’t got very far. He’s now having a kip, I think he’s tired himself out.

Oh, and one thing that B did do this year that I couldn’t manage last Christmas was get the reindeer antlers on Bud the other day. I asked him how he’d done it and he said ‘I just put them on’. And they were on so well that Bud couldn’t reach them with his paw to take them off himself!

So I wish you all a Wonderful Christmas and really appreciate you reading, commenting and caring.

Love and hugs

Paula xx