As the title suggests there have been quite a few visits to the hospital, all not without incident! Nan, quite naturally at the age of 86 yrs is in possession of body that is wearing out and our superb NHS is throwing all its support and technology at her various problems. I think that Nan alone may be responsible for the resourcing crisis that appears to have hit this unique organisation.
The 6th of October began a series of visits and consultations to the medical services of Leicestershire. During the morning I took her to Harborough Medical Centre for a blood test, followed by a trip to Kettering Hospital for a specialist consultation.
Another visit on the 21st to Harbororugh Hospital preceded another run to Kettering on the 27th. I had long ago decided to sync Nan’s appointments into my on-line diary, set to email and text me with reminders as the date got closer. Mostly, her appointments were preceded with a snowstorm of reminder letters from the NHS, but occasionally she would receive an appointment by telephone, sometimes followed by letter (if time permitted). I had Nan trained into ringing me as soon as she received one of these calls so that I could immediately place the appointment in my diary. However, not on every occasion could she tell me what the appointment was for, though with date, time and location logged in it added a little bit of mystery to our visits.
A doctor’s visit took place on the 31st with a further visit to Kettering hospital on the 3rd of November. However, this proved to be a memorable visit. The previous week I had taken to my bed with cystitis, annoyingly the subscribed antibiotics seemed to make little if any impact on the nasty little bugs who made their presence felt regular as clockwork every 20 mins, regardless of whether I needed to or not. Feeling better and confident I could control matters (to some extent), I drove Nan for her appointment. Unfortunately, as usual the hospital car parks had queues extending way down the access road, so dropping her off at the reception I found a parking space in an off-site car-park and walked back.
Making my way to the Endoscopy department I came across a group of nurses fussing over an old lady sat in a chair in a corridor. Taking a second glance, with dismay I saw it was Nan. Years of witnessing personal and others broken limbs, I could see what she had done. She is doddery at the best times with poor feeling in her feet and double vision because of Diabetes, she admitted to being distracted by a group of young interns who had appeared in front of her from a side room and down she had gone. Eight and a half hours later I arrived home with Nan tucked up in her own bed cradling a broken arm, set and plastered by the consultant. The hour-long Endoscopy routine never happened and I am not looking forward to attempting the re-match.
The following Monday meant another trip to Kettering to check on the break, it had misaligned so got reset. Another trip the following Monday afternoon (after a diversion to Harborough Cottage Hospital during the morning to attend a non-existent appointment) took place and this time she was discharged for another four weeks (phew!)
Friday (14th Nov) night family gathering for curry didn’t happen. Sarah was in Nottingham and the Rothwells cried off because of illness. Lucas and Ellis had picked up what was thought at first was a sickness bug, but proved to be more serious with Ellis. By Saturday he had been admitted to Northampton Hospital with difficulty breathing. A combination of diarrhoea, tonsillitis, dehydration and Scarlet Fever had made him a very poorly boy. Charlotte stayed with him over the weekend, luckily they had a private room so there was a little peace for them both from the distractions of a ward.
At present (17th) they are both still in Hospital, though Ellis has come off the drip he was placed on to replace lost fluids and being encouraged to drink. He managed to eat a sandwich during the afternoon and was discharged later that afternoon.
Rest of the family news:
Sarah and Lee have been very busy looking for houses. A previous one that they had been considering in Loughborough had attracted a poor Survey Report and they had decided against it. On the 10th we travelled up to East Leake in Nottinghamshire to have a look at another one they had found. We had planned a walk in the area prior to meeting Lee and the Estate Agent at the house. We thought the village/small town of East Leake was lovely and our pre-visit to look at the house was favourable. The walk took us from East to West Leake and was very enjoyable with the weather playing its part and the pub at the end being in the perfect spot. After refreshments we had a walk around the centre and were quite impressed. We met Lee and the Agent at the house just after 5pm and had a look around the house. It was quite a substantial property and appeared in good condition.
They made an offer subject to survey on the house and it was accepted. Disappointingly when the survey was conducted, it highlighted quite a few points that could potentially turn out to be expensive, the surveyor’s recommendation was not to purchase. Modernisation of the property had been very poor and there was asbestos debris in the loft space as well as a necessary re-wiring among other issues. A shame, but they have their feet on the ground and are now back looking at more properties and expanding the area of search.
Sue and I have discovered that the Odeon in Kettering have special showings of films on Wednesday mornings 2 with free coffee and biscuits, all for £3. They call it ‘Silver Screen’, I can’t think why. I went with Sue on the 15th for our first film and it obviously is very popular as most seats were occupied. Charlotte went with Sue on the next couple of occasions as I had double booked walks with John Lee.
It was this time last year that our central heating boiler played up and there appeared to be a poltergeist inside, banging to get out. He is back. Of course we booked EON to come and exorcise him, and as last year when the gas priest turned up, the spirit failed to perform. However, unlike last year, after a few incantations and flushing of systems he did not go away and returned with a vengeance just a few days later. With another gas priest now booked we shall keep our fingers crossed that the crucifixes and garlic I have placed around the boiler will do the trick.
As mentioned previously I have been on a few walks with John. To Langham, Yarwell and Warmington (not on sea). As usual we were blessed with good weather, refreshments and food. We had exceptional steak and kidney puddings in Yarwell. Warmington was memorable as we discovered a Game Shop in the village and I purchased an oak smoked pheasant and partridge for £5 the pair and join negotiated to have his trout smoked for £8 a fish, as opposed to £15 a fish with one he uses in Bristol. As a keen trout fisherman he has a freezer full of them.
On the 28th, we had Lucas and Ellis for the day. Sue took them to Wicksteed Park in the morning and during the afternoon I joined them at Harborough Museum, they loved the interactive floor they have in the adjoining Library, having great fun jumping around and squashing bugs before being treated at the new Ice-cream Parlour in town.
On the 1st of November David and Genya came to visit Nan. They had arrived back in the country a few days earlier and it was just a fleeting visit to buy a few necessaries and then drive back in the van. During the morning I joined them at Nan’s and caught up with Bulgarian news.
That afternoon I and Peter helped Jim knock the wall down in his kitchen. We must have seemed eager as when we had completed that task he decided to knock the wall down in the lounge. Strange how when David is around I seem to get involved in destroying bits of houses. However, on this occasion I didn’t have to make my own tea or fall asleep in a bed full of builders rubble. As an aside, later that evening Jim decided to move the units about in the kitchen and unluckily (tee-hee) the crockery fell out and smashed leaving him with just 2 plates intact. Brigitte (his wife) was away with her sister in Spain for that week and was due to fly back the following morning. I bet she was pleased.
On the 3rd Jamie went to Amsterdam with a new friend called Amy. They took a ferry from Newcastle and returned the following Wednesday. I think the pair enjoyed themselves and managed to see quite a few of the sights but must have decided that they weren’t made for each other as we haven’t heard of her since.
On the morning of the 8th, Sue, Charlotte, Sarah and I went on a council walk around Tilton-on-the-hill followed by lunch in Billesdon. I spent the afternoon watching the rugby in the Angel before travelling that evening to Brixworth with Sue to celebrate Frank Johnson’s 50th birthday. It was nice to meet up with Jeremy Brown, Robin Blades and their wives to catch up with news and do a lot of rugby orientated reminiscing.
On the 9th Suraj and I went to see Interstellar in Kettering. Quite far-fetched, annoying if you have any scientific knowledge and quite frustratingly wordy for the first half, yet when I surrendered to the visual effects during the second half I quite enjoyed being saved again by the Americans. The following evening I again met Suraj, but this time with Jamie and Jim to enjoy a splendid Pie Night at the Bottom Locks Inn in Foxton. Excellent pies, and you could have as much as you could eat. We have vowed to return (Jamie has booked to go tonight).
On the 12th Charlotte came over and together with Sue I we drove up to Sheffield to see Sarah be awarded her BA (Hons) at the City Hall. After parking the car in a nearby multi-story we found her and Lee finishing off lunch in a Weatherspoons pub. Later, while Sara went to change into her gown the rest of us wandered around the city centre looking for a suitable venue for a celebratory meal.
By 2.30pm we were sat in our seats in the concert hall ready for the ceremony. The Chancellor, Lord Winston presented Sarah with her degree along with what seemed like a million other students over what seemed like an eternity. My poor little hands got thoroughly clapped out! But we all felt very proud.
After photographs outside and Sarah saying goodbye to her friends we made our way to a Brazilian Restaurant not far away. The service was somewhat unusual, there was 12 meats being served and around every 5 mins or so you were offered one of them. You indicated with a card that was green on one side and red on the other whether you wanted it or not. Of course I haven’t mentioned the 20 salads that you picked from or the stews and casseroles on offer. I managed 13 meats (they keep going round), but was surpassed by Charlotte who went one better (from a very early age she was always a ravenous carnivore). Grossly over-stuffed we made our way to our cars and made our return homeward journeys. We to Harborough and Sarah and Lee to Nottinghamshire.
Saturday saw me attending a VP’s luncheon at the rugby club and then witnessed England lose yet another game, this time to South Africa. Surprisingly, I perked up later in the evening when I watched England (soccer) beat Slovenia.
Over the last month or so I have been networking the house to share a 2TB drive through ethernet or WiFi. Having lost some the family photographs on a failed hard drive attached to one of my study PC’s last year, I have been attempting to recover them. Now having completed this I have saved them all on the new drive and also on a 1TB pen drive which can also be accessed through the network from either PC, Tablet, laptop of mobile anywhere on the house. I considered making it available over the net for when we are away, but I thought that was too slanderous and not necessary. As a fail-safe I have also made copies on DVD of everything; photos, movies and music.