The Grinch came to stay!

Sunday 07/01/18 Tilbury
Monday 08/01/18 Amsterdam
Tuesday 09/01/18 – Wednesday 10/01/18 At Sea
Thursday 11/01/18 Lisbon
Friday 12/01/18 At Sea
Saturday 13/01/18 Funchal, Madeira
Sunday 14/01/18 – Monday 15/01/18 At Sea
Tuesday 16/01/18 Porto Grande, Mindelo
Wednesday 17/01/18 – Saturday 20/01/18 At Sea
Sunday 21/01/18 Fazendinha Pilot Station
Monday 22/01/18 Santarem Early AM PM
Tuesday 23/01/18 Boca da Valeria
Wednesday 24/01/18 Manaus, Amazonas
Thursday 25/01/18 Manaus, Amazonas
Friday 26/01/18 Parintins, Amazonas
Saturday 27/01/18 Alter do Chao, Para
Sunday 28/01/18 Cruising Amazon River
Monday 29/01/18 Icoaraci, for Belem, Para
Tuesday 30/01/18 At Sea
Wednesday 31/01/18 Ile du Salut
Thursday 01/02/18 At Sea
Friday 02/02/18 Scarborough, Tobago
Saturday 03/02/18 St Georges, Grenada
Sunday 04/02/18 Bridgetown, Barbados
Monday 05/02/18 Castries, St Lucia
Tuesday 06/02/18 St Johns, Antigua
Wednesday 07/02/18 -Thursday 08/02/18 At Sea
Friday 09/02/18 – Sunday 11/02/18 At Sea
Monday 12/02/18 Horta, Faial, Azores
Tuesday 13/02/18 Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel, Azores
Wednesday 14/02/18 – Saturday 17/02/18 At Sea
Sunday 18/02/18 Tilbury
The above listing was the itinerary of Susan’s Christmas present, but from the 28th December both Sue and I became very ill, eventually resulting with us cancelling the trip on the 3rd Of January when Sue’s GP advised against travelling. We had resigned ourselves to this decision several days prior, but needed confirmation and documentation to confirm our fears.
When the family left us on the 28th after completing our Christmas celebrations events took a steep downhill course. Sue’s pre-xmas pneumonia began to return and some annoying bowels twinges started to give me quite a bit of pain. Up to the 31st Dec. we both were either bedridden or couch ridden in growing discomfort. Though we were still taking in liquids, nothing had been eaten for a few days. By around midday on New Years Eve, I was struggling and I could see that Sue was in a much worse condition and slipping fast. The local radio was broadcasting that the ambulance service was only managing a 3-4 hour call-out so I rang for Charlotte to get her mum to hospital, it was beyond me. As they left, I curled up on the settee and slept.
The hospital was rammed, as relayed hourly on the news; ambulances were queuing for hours to discharge their very ill patients, corridors contained a procession of stretcher cases with ambulance crew and nurses in attendance and A&E was overwhelmed.
It was obvious how ill Sue was and she was soon placed on a drip with antibiotics and then followed a series of x-rays and tests to confirm that she once again had pneumonia.
With no beds available, she was prescribed stronger ‘specialised’ antibiotics, and was going to be discharged, however it was so late in the evening there were no pharmacists open, not even in the hospital! Besides, it would take two days to order the new medicine! A new prescription was written and the tablets taken from one of the wards. A very exhausted Charlotte and Sue arrived home around midnight and went to bed.
Charlotte woke we at 7am (New Years day) to take me to the walk-in centre in Corby. We arrived at opening time (8am) to join the end of a long queue. However, we were very quickly seen by a doctor as it must have been obvious to the check-in nurse that I was much worse than the revellers in the line. The cause was identified as Diverticulitis and suitable antibiotics administered. We returned home, Charlotte acquiring the pills from Harborough. After tucking us both up she returned home leaving us to sleep with our various medicines. They next few days were taken up with sleep and more sleep.
We kept the family away, fearing that they would catch one of our bug. I indeed contracted a shorter version of Sue’s bug to add a chesty cough, galloping runny nose  and splutter to the heat, chills and bowel pain. Not surprisingly, Charlotte has now come down with the flu and after two visits to the GP has been prescribed antibiotics. Unfortunately, it is a very pernicious  bug and poor little Lucas has also succumbed.
I saw my GP the day after we cancelled the Cruise and he informed me that prior test results indicated that I also had a water infection, he prescribed yet more antibiotics. These however, did immediately seem to make inroads against the marauding forces of evil and I started to perk up and eat. Sue seemed to remain the same, no worse but no better. A friend Doreen had been providing home-made soup for her, making it at home then quickly dropping a bag off at the front door, quickly scuttling off to avoid any contact with the plagued.
On a rare foray to Tesco for milk I discovered the ready-meal shelf. What a life-saver. Tasty, not too big and 5 minutes  in the microwave provided sustenance for both Sue and I, and it didn’t take me from my nice warm couch for too long. Long live the ready meal.
By the 10th Jan. I was beginning to feel my old self again, though very weak and delicate. Optimistically, I thought I had detected a slight improvement in Sue, but this was quickly dispelled when I received a phone call from her soon after dropping her off at the GP’s, I had to take her into Glenfield Hospital (Leicester) straight away. He could do no more for her and she needed more specialised help.
 As expected, parking was a big problem, but I eventually found a space and it soon became apparent on the long search for the CDU dept. that Sue was struggling. It was full to bursting when we eventually found it we knew it was going to be along wait. After checking-in, Sue managed to find a seat but the nearest I could get was outside the department and down the corridor. Every 10 minutes or so I would check back, but the queue for check-in and waiting never decreased in size. Sue was subjected to all the usual tests, but there was so many waiting to be seen that the doctors were in overload and the results had to take their turn before being passed in front of medical eyes. However, the patients were being fed with sandwiches and drinks at regular intervals and I am sure this helped those that still had an appetite.
When 2.30pm arrived and there was no sign of Sue being processed one way or the other I inquired at the desk as to how long she might be, as we had rushed in I had not brought my medicine and I was now over due to take my own antibiotics. This was not a place to be staying in without their protection. Unable to provide an answer I returned home with the direct number of the department and a promise to ring if there was any development.
It was 7.30pm before she returned home, courtesy of Lee who had earlier in the day  offered to pick her up. Handily, he and Sarah only live ten minutes away from the hospital. She now has chronic bronchitis on top of her pneumonia and has been given steroids to help combat this. I do believe she is now beginning to rattle when she moves!
On the bright side we have both since continued to improve. Today (12th), I saw the GP to get the results of a blood test earlier in the week and everything was fine, I even had to give a precautionary urine sample to check for infection and this displayed clear. No more appointments or prescriptions, until the next time! Sue’s chest is beginning to clear up and no longer seems so painful to cough up phlegm. FINGERS CROSSED.
Other Issues:
Uncle Stanley deteriorated while waiting to go into Respite Care and had eventually to agree to go into Salford Royal Hospital. Despite improving he is still there as his home is not fit for his return. He was expected to be  released last Monday, but that would have been to his home, when we complained, this was changed to a care home. However, his conditioned has deteriorated and he is going nowhere at present.
We had taken out insurance to cover our cancelled trip and are at present waiting on the invoice from the cruise company to confirm that we have cancelled the trip. The form from our GP (cost £50) was completed in double-quick time as was the other supporting documentation. This should be straight forward, we shall see.
Jamie and Ashton spent New Year’s Eve at a hotel in London. They had their evening meal at the rather select Oxford Tower, but unfortunately started the evenings celebrations far too early and missed the fireworks display on the river. They are going to try again next year and see if they can make all the way to midnight.
Mia now has a dog walker. Earlier this week she went out for the first time, accompanied by two new friends, a Beagle and an Alsatian. By the look of the photos and video that Sarah has sent on Messenger, she loves her new activity.

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