A day to remember

A few months ago I was invited to a wedding reception by a couple of friends from my school days who were getting married, it was totally unexpected but rather nice.  I wasn’t sure if I was going to go or not, due to a number of reasons but particularly down to concerns regarding my recent health issues.  Nearing the time of the wedding reception although I was feeling better, I wasn’t sure about going as I was concerned about travelling alone.  Amazingly one of my friends was coming to my area on some business and said they would come with me all the way there and some of the way back on Sunday, so I accepted.  He got a good deal on a hotel too.

The day before we travelled to Blackpool I met my friend with mutual friends and their daughter in a local café where we put all our plans together, the couple offered to give me a lift to the station which was great too.  That evening I booked my assistance they said they couldn’t guarantee the help as it wasn’t 24 hours in advance which rattled me a bit as it’s not always possible to book ahead, plus I had done some last minute Christmas shopping which delayed my call.  The people I ring up at Journey care are fantastic though.

Our lift got us to the train on time and the assistance turned up, so that was a relief.  Although our train was on time it didn’t arrive on time at our change over stop which meant we missed the train we were to catch but fortunately there were more trains to Blackpool from that stop than I originally thought, so we hopped on the train and arrived in time to do a quick call in at our hotel to drop our things off and head straight to the wedding reception.

My friends daughter spotted me if I remember rightly and found a table with my friend Mrs Bubbles and her husband Benedict Bubbles, we were all rather hungry, I hadn’t eaten till early that morning, fortunately I had a few flapjacks with me which I had baked a couple of days earlier! I managed to go and see the bride who looked lovely in purple and white.

I looked around and spotted a woman from my school year and her husband who I spoke to for a while, when I was at school we had little to do with each other really, however,  we then had a great conversation, which is probably the first proper conversation I ever remember us having. Eventually they came over to join us.

Mrs Bubble, Una Stubbs  (the one I had a great convo with) and I ended up having a picture taken when Mrs Bubble suggested we all said pooh and wee. Mr Benn the groom came over to chat as well later.  Mr DJ came over to get messages to record for Mr and Mrs Benn which I thought was a lovely idea.

At around 5 we ate buffet food we all managed quite well considering there were many people who were visually impaired and some of them had guide dogs, as far as I know there were no crashes and bangs oh  sorrys said which can happen in those sort of situations.  I stayed with a friend sometime ago, who had other friends staying too, we all kept saying sorry to each other because of bumps and crashes, they named it the sorry house. Anyway there was a meat feast and some pizzas and quiche and desert to fill our bellys, I personally found the sweets a bit too rich for me but the rest of the food was great.

There was much laughter, people buying one another drinks (I don’t think I got opportunity to buy drinks) and  discussions varying from books to school and music.  The in house entertainment was a woman who could play various instruments  and sing which was quite good, I wasn’t sure whether it was all completely live or not but I certainly saw the instruments but it was very loud.  I think it was around 8 we had a meal I had lasagne, which was tasty.

The disco got going just towards the end, there was what I call a group karaoke going on, first with Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen, earlier on we had Oliver’s army by Elvis Costello. I joined in with the singing but not the dancing till the last track came on.  Apart from being grabbed by one person to dance with me, which I found rather uncomfortable, it was enjoyable both the singing and the dancing.  After saying goodbye to those I could Father Ted and I returned to our hotel.

I surprisingly slept quite well but it took a while to get comfortable as the duvet didn’t quite reach my shoulders.  The bizarre thing about my hotel room was that there was no window. There was also a lot of banging, however I have the beauty of lying on my hearing ear to block out the noise.

The following morning Father Ted and I had a delicious breakfast which was well worth the money, ahhs and oos could be heard when we had entered the restaurant because of Father Ted’s dog who is a gorgeous black Labrador who is a force to be reckoned with. After breakfast  we  headed straight off to the station to catch the train home.  At the station we met up with several of the guests at the previous nights do, and travelled home with one of them, who I will call Dougal, I don’t know why that name, a nice man who had few words but gentle ones.  Father Ted and I went our separate ways and I caught the last leg of the journey home, I was pleased to find I didn’t have to wait long for the bus either.

I want to thank Mr and Mrs Benn for inviting me and everyone who I spent time with over that period of time, it was fun and a privilege to be with such lovely people and certainly a day to remember.
































Not just an ordinary day

Last Wednesday, I had made plans, voluntary work in the morning, an interview with an employment advisor in the afternoon and a relaxing evening as it had been a busy week after the funeral I went to on the Monday and a friend coming round with a new TV on the Tuesday.  However my relaxing evening didn’t transpire.

As usual I went to the hospital to carry out my voluntary work, had a mixed morning, then had to navigate travelling from the hospital to our city centre by 2:30 in the afternoon I left a little earlier to compensate for the time as I finish by one normally, if I remember rightly I didn’t have to wait long.  I arrived at my appointment early got served my coffee and got on with the conversation, took my bus home about 3:45ish but it was late, and I think  I was in a traffic jam.

By the time I got home I was ready for a relaxing evening but it wasn’t meant to be, something wasn’t right. It all started on the Sunday, unusual aches in the far right of my body, I thought it was a bit of trapped wind to be honest or constipation, it would come and go, sometimes I get constipation before my cycle, everyday I was getting some discomfort then it would wear off until Wednesday.

By 5pm I was experiencing unusual pain ordinary pain, followed by fiery tearing shafts of pain, long and short of it I ended up in our local A&E (Accident and Emergency) for non UK people.  I was there from 7pm until about 2am before I got seen too, the first set of nurses weren’t that great.  Also in the meantime I’d been physically sick, and there had been one rather aggressive drunk woman, shouting her head off.  At the same time a woman next to me who worked in a care home passed me some tissues.

At 2am another waiting room greeted me and eventually a lovely nurse dealt with me, I had trouble understanding her, but she really went to the ends of the earth to help me. I found it difficult to talk the pain I was in.  She gave me morphine that did nothing, but eventually gave me liquid paraceatamol that did the trick.  I think before she did that I had a CT scan as they thought it might be a kidney stone, I then got seen by a lovely doctor who asked me a lot of questions its horrendous business being asked a lot of questions when your dealing with a lot of pain at the same time.  It turned out I had something on my ovary which is what the CT scan had picked up, so I would need an ultrasound to show more details.  Still in A&E I was put in a side room overnight, with a drip hanging out my arm, because the drip stand wasn’t great I had to have my arm at an awkward angle on a narrow bed, so I barely slept.

Thursday morning I hadn’t been given enough water for my scan so I had to drink more to get a proper one, much better.  oh yes, blood tests too. The day staff weren’t as nice and helpful, I had to drag my drip stand into the bathroom with me for the loo, the night staff made sure I had the stand right next to me before they shut the door on me, but the day staff just got me inside and slammed the door behind me.  I was concerned I would pull the drip out.

I then got moved to the surgical assessment unit, where again mixed experience, one ward assistant training to take bloods was great at getting the needle in without really hurting me, someone else staff trained was very rough the night before.  I was finally allowed to eat, earlier in the day, another examination and questions from a female doctor who was lovely.  I had difficulty getting comfortable to go to sleep although my main pain had decreased considerably I was left with bad constipation and stomach spasms, my best position was on my back with my head turned slightly to the right, well on the Thursday night at 1:30am I had just got into a comfortable position to be told I was going to be moved again.  This time I was moved to a plastics ward, which at least was more modern.

The consultant came to see me to say I was going home that day, and they would operate, that I would have another appointment and once I moved my bowels I could go home, and then disappeared, which hardly gave me any time to ask questions.  I didn’t go home till the following day, I saw  a much kinder consultant, who answered questions, who didn’t think what I had was ominous, but they do have to do further tests to make sure.

Now I’m at home recuperating from my ordeal, the strange thing is at no time was I frightened, in fact I was very peaceful, even though my BP at one point had been at a staggering 157, I don’t know what the bottom line had been.  I’ve always been used to what my former GP described as a disgustingly normal BP.  I still have to take meds and more tests to follow.

Upon reflection I’m glad I came through it, I have a deeper appreciation of what being in hospital is like as the last time I had been in I was only 10.  I can take what I’ve learnt and hopefully make patients that I see in hospital have a better and more comfortable experience than I did. For now I’m putting my feet up before I face that particular world again.