Friday, October 4, 2013

A day for remembering

So here we are on Friday the 4th October 2013. And today 20 years ago I lost my dear wife Christine To Breast Cancer So Today,s Journal is for and about Christine.

I met Christine at a Youth Worker training weekend run by Hampshire County Council in 1972 in Brockenhurst in the New Forest.

Brockenhurst, Hampshire.
  Both christine and I were working part time evenings as youth workers, Christine was working at Portchester Youth Centre and I was working at Fareham Youth Centre and we hit it of almost immediately and so our romance blossomed from that point on.

Christine was living with her parents at Drayton just outside of Portsmouth and I was living at home with Mum in Fareham, however within  a matter of Months we had decided to move in together and rented a bedsit in Southsea,

Christine was working as a Clerical assistant with Portsmouth City Council and I was working as an instrument Technician at Portsmouth Aviation. after a year in the bedsit we moved into a Council flat in Southsea where we stayed until 79.

Where we had our flat in Southsea.
We had some wonderful times in our time here at the flat and still think of those memories if I ever go past it now. It was while we were here that we got married at Portsmouth Registry office in June 1977.

Portsmouth Registry Office 29th June 1977
 In 1979 we brought our first house in together in Prince Albert Road Southsea for the princely sum of £15,000 and set up home there until 1984 when Christine,s mother passed away and we moved up to her fathers Bungalow in  Drayton to look After him,

While we were at Prince Albert Road Our son Gervase was born in May 1981 and he completed our lives and everything seemed to be looking rosy for our future together, unfortunately this was when we were hit with the bombshell in 1983 when Christine was diagnosed with Breast Cancer.
Hello Gervase.
 In 1982 I was made redundant from my job and that is when I went and trained and became a driving Instructor for the British School of Motoring, Christine had already left Portsmouth city council in 1979 and was working as a PA for Marconi.

Once Christine had her diagnosis she started her treatment and had the lump removed and went through her course of treatment and in 1984 after moving to Drayton Christine got the all clear, after which she decided that she would go to Portsmouth Polytechnic and train to become a Primary School Teacher, so we restructured our days so that I could Start my own driving school, Gervase was at Nursery school, Christine was at collage and  had the freedom to look after Christine,s dad while working the hours suit us.
Christine,s Dad 1981 with Gervase
 Christine,s Dad passed away in 1986 and we stayed in the Bungalow in Drayton until July 1989 when we sold the Bungalow and Purchased our home in Grayshott Road.

Pauline Graduated as a Primary School Teacher in 1988 with her Bachelor of Education Degree in 1988 and was appointed in her teaching job at Cumberland First school in Southsea which is why we moved back down to Southsea.

Cumberland First School, Southsea
  And so here we were back down in Southsea, The driving school was going well, Christine was happy at her job teaching primary school children and Gervase was at Portsmouth Grammar school so life was good and everything looked good for our future together as a family and then Wham we got hit again. in October 1989 we learnt that Christine,s Cancer had returned in the other breast so they removed the Breast and also it had got into her womb so they also did a Hysterectomy. It was long 4 years ahead, christine went through her treatment with a positive attitude which showed her character and also carried in working until june 1993 when it was discovered that it had got into her spine and from there on in it was diagnosed as terminal, I sold the Driving school as I  had promised Christine that I would look after her at home as she did not want to die in a hospital, and that is what I did until she passed away peacefully holding my hand in the early hours of the morning on the 4th October 1993. 20 years ago today.

Christine was a marvelous lady with a great sense of humour and determination and always though of Others, She loved Gervase so very Much and I am sure she is so proud of the man he has become. Christine retained her sense of humour right to the very end and it is that memory that has helped me to cope with this myositis. I love her now as much as I did when I first met her 41 years ago and think of her every day,so here are a few Pictures of Christine a very Brave and Lovely Lady.


And Christine,s favourite cat who never left her side 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

and so here we are into October.

I remember writing on my last journal on Friday that the rollator was made for walking but my legs were not, well a bit of a misquote there I think it should have read "But my Body was not" as I will tell you after welcoming you all to...................
I ended Fridays Journal saying that I was going to get dinner ready for Friday evening, well I had dinner about 7.00 pm and then from 8.00 until about 9.30 I spent between the lounge and the bathroom vomiting and bringing my dinner back up (not a pretty sight), I felt so ill that I even had to phone gervase and he came round to be with me for a couple of hours, I let Pauline know and she and Gordon wanted to come down but I said that Gervase was coming round, and we would phone if it got any worse and let them know.

Anyway this went on for about 2 hours until it started to settle down at about 10.00 ish, at which time I thought that Gervase had spent far to much time with me and that he needed to get back to Leanne , as the poor lad had not even had time to have his evening meal. so after much nagging from me he went back home after making me promise to phone him if it started up again, anyway once Gervase had gone I phoned Pauline and gordon and then went off to bed feeling very old and fragile.
 It was a very restless night,s sleep and when I eventually got off to a decent sleep, I slept through until about 9.00 am when I received a text from Pauline to see how I was. The good thing about it was that I was not feeling "Nauseous" but the muscles in my lower chest and stomach were really Sore and Painful, I had certainly put some strain on them last night, so It was going to be a couple of days of rest for me, anyway I made a cup of Twinings fruit tea 

and had a small bowl of cereal for breakfast and then  settled down to rest and watch some TV. I also took a couple of co-codamol which helped to ease the pain and soreness.

well Saturday passed very uneventful, I kept my food intake down to a minimum and upped my fluid intake to stay hydrated and got through Saturday with no more bouts of sickness.
Pauline and Gordon came down to see me and to make sure that I was OK and to see if I needed to have the bathroom cleaned or anything, but that was OK, They also brought me my paper and some milk with them, anyway they stayed for an hour or so and had a chat and then made there way back to Waterlooville, Gervase phone to see If I wanted him to come round but I said that was not necessary as I was going to spend the day watching Movies. and so that is how my day went, I had a couple of scrambled eggs on a slice of toast for lunch and some chicken soup in the evening and also a complan, and then had an early night. at least I managed to keep my food down on Saturday and was feeling slightly better by saturday night.

now on Reflection I think that I had just really pushed my body to the limit over the previous few days and was now paying the penalty for my stupidity. I had walked far to much in such a short period of time and also was eating far to much as well. Through all the trauma over the last 2 years with the myositis diagnosis and the chronic dysphagia and the slow rate of improvement it was easy to forget that I was also diagnosed with a twisted stomach (Cup and spill stomach) and I need also to take that into account as well.

I slept pretty well on Saturday night and Sunday was much the same as Saturday, I was feeling better but on reflection I have decided that I need to eat 2 smaller meals in a day instead of one larger one so that is what I am going to do, Gervase came round and we went out in his car and did a little bit of shopping, we went to Marks and Spencers where I got  6 mini meals for Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, and then we went up to sainsburys where Gervase did his shopping I took it very easy with only a small amount of walking.  
M&S Mini Meals for one
So apart from shopping I spent most of the day recovering from the last aches and Pains from Friday, Friday night I slept pretty well and got up at about 9.00 on Monday.

Monday was again a day of rest and taking it easy, I am still making sure that I am taking it easy and pacing myself better throughout the day. I walked round to get my paper from the new spar shop and the lad that served me was on his mobile phone and did not stop talking even when taking the money for the paper, How rude is that, I certainly wont be shopping there again 
The worst shopping experience ever, really rubbish
anyway spoke to Pauline and Gordon and then just spent the day pottering around the house and catching up on episodes of Bonanza and Gunsmoke. Tuesday was also spent much the same way except on tuesday evening I went to see Gervase and leanne for a couple of hours, Leanne,s dad Dave was there as well and gave me a lift back home about 9.15, I am certainly feeling a lot better now but that was really a rubbishy last few day,s.

So Now we are at Wednesday and it is shopping day with Pauline. having two mini meals a day rather than one large meal has certainly been beneficial to my digestive system, so I will carry on with that regime at the moment, I will contact my speech therapist in the next few weeks and have a chat with her as it is getting near the time when they will need to do a follow up  Endoscopy to see if there has been any change in my cup and spill stomach.

Pauline and Gordon arrive about 11.00 and while Pauline and I go down to the city centre Gordon will spend a couple of hours doing my weekly flat clean.
Get a move on Gordon
Once down town we go to the bank and then boots the chemist, before heading into M&S to get 8 mini meals to take me through until Sunday, we then go to Morrisons in the Victory Retail Park to get the main shopping before getting a taxi back home.
Morrisons Victory retail Park. Portsmouth
once back home, we get the shopping put away and then we have a sandwich and a coffee for lunch before Gordon and Pauline head back home about 3.00. so that is the end of another day, suffice to say that the Rollator stayed at home today and I took the wheelchair, I have certainly learn a valuable lesson over the last few days and that is that with this Myositis, no matter how well you feel take it easy and do not overdo things as it is always lurking in the background ready to pounce and give you a reminder.

Anyway I am feeling almost back to norma again now and I really think the 2 mini meals a day is benefitting me so we will see how that goes, and certainly a bigger variation in my diet so hopefully less laxatives, but thats another story. So Until my next Journal I will say a fond goodbye.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Rollator,s are made for walking.

But Unfortunately my Muscles are not, I have certainly overdone it the last Three days so need to re-assess my trips out with the rollator.
Anyway it is now.........................

So at least time to have a rest and to let my aches and pains subside a little bit before Sunday comes around and I go shopping with Gervase. anyway I thought I would write today about my last three days of overdoing it. The one thing I have realized is that although the brain is telling me that I am ready to rely less on the wheelchair and Taxis my body has different ideas.

Since I have had my rollator I have found that it has given me more freedom to walk further than I could with a walking cane, primarily because it gives me more control over my balance. However I think that walking further around the block to get my paper in the morning, and walking 2 to 3 miles to Asda or the Health centre are two entirely different cases. 

Anyway although I am finding that my leg and thigh muscles are aching today I am sure that with rest over the next couple of days that they will settle down suffice to say that Lessons have been learnt, all be it the hard way so in future it will be walk one way and Taxi the other. so enough said, but at least I did it.

So let me tell you about the two meetings that I attended this week as I have decide that I need to be more involved in the community through the Portsmouth Disability Forum (PDF) which is based at the Frank Sorrell Centre in Prince Albert Road, Southsea.
Frank Sorrell Centre, Prince Albert Road, Southsea 
The meeting on Tuesday was the Health and Social Overview Group (HASCOG) this group meets one a month. HASCOG, is a group of Health and social care users who meet to discuss the issues that affect our lives as we use these services, it covers concerns about Health Services, Social care services, Well being and Independent living, we discuss the issues with these services, invite guest speakers and work with similar groups.

It was a very interesting introduction for me and I did enjoy it and also the dedication of the other members there. The Guest Speaker was from the "Healthwatch Project" Portsmouth, which is a local branch of a national  organisation in Portsmouth that helps to improve health and social care service,s in Portsmouth.
Healthwatch Portsmouth Logo.

We also discussed other aspects of health care and then the meeting ended and I made my way back home, so a very interesting 2+ hours.

Portsmouth Disability Forum Logo 

Thursdays meeting was also at the Frank Sorrell Centre, this time it was a meeting of the 
PDF Open Access Forum. This forum focuses on issues relating to Physical Access to services and transport for all disabled people and how well or not they are working for disabled people. This was attended by a larger number of people than Tuesdays meeting and there was also another new comer like me so that was good. 

This meeting looked at any problems relating to physical access for all disabled people in Portsmouth, an example was the problem of taxi,s and vans parking in designated bus stops which prevented wheelchair users being able to board a bus as the bus had to stop outside the designated area where the kerb,s were higher, also the access to the museum in Southsea for wheelchair user,s and then looking at the proposed plans for the Hot Walls Development and liaising with the planning department to make suggestions for access for disabled persons.
Architects plans for hot walls development.
This was a very interesting meeting with lots of discussion on a variety of issues from writing to the local council about the amount of advertising A Boards on narrow pavements, to illegal parking on pavements or across dropped kerb,s, to the person who was assessed as being "To Blind" to have a Guide dog !!!!!!!!. so looking forward to the next meeting in october.

so there we are that was my busy three days, two days of Meetings and then a day of shopping on Wednesday down the city centre with Pauline, no wonder my poor old muscles are going on strike, but if there is one positive in all this exercise and movement it has woken my bowels up so have not had to rely so much on Fybogel and Laxido.

Fybogel is good for you
It makes you big and strong
it helps to make your motions soft
and to emit a healthy pong

So on that note I think I will make quick retreat and get ready for getting my dinner prepared for tonight and then it will be time for the dreaded Methotrexate. so I will get this Journal posted and say.
and hopefully the next journal will be a little bit more interesting for you,

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Time is flying By.

I just cannot believe that it was last Thursday that I wrote my last "Daily ???" Journal it seems to be heading to a weekly Journal, still the good thing is that I have just about made up my mind what spec I need for my new larger screen computer so once that has been purchased I will hopefully be back writing Journals on a Daily Basis. so all I can say is thank you for being patient with me while I get my vision and computer sorted and welcome to................
Friday 20th September 2013

Much like any other Freaky Friday, Friday came and went I slept pretty well on Thursday night and was up about 8.30 on Friday morning. after sending the morning text to Pauline I got my breakfast and then settled down to catch up with the news on the local radio, Pauline phoned to say that all was ok with her, Gordon had spent the night over in Salisbury with his son, and he was due back after work this afternoon.
Talking to Pauline on the phone
Once I had finished talking to Pauline I got myself dressed and then took a stroll with the rollator around to the local co-op store to get some milk and the daily paper before having a stroll down to the eastney health centre to hand in my repeat prescription form and then headed back home it was a 3 mile round trip but I took it easy and enjoyed it. Once back home I settle down with the radio and to read the paper and get the crossword done.
Doing the Crossword in the daily paper
The rest of the day went by pretty much as it usually does, Gervase phoned about 1.30 to say he was at Leeds railway station ready to get his train home, he has been up in leeds since Tuesday with work , so is looking forward to getting back home to leanne.
I got dinner ready for 6.50 as usual and then after dinner settled down to watch the TV and to take my 15 mg of Methotrexate, and then was ready for bed at 10.30.
Its another Freaky Friday

Saturday 21st September 2013

and today dawned bright and sunny and also today is Myositis Awareness Day

So Saturday started like all my days with texts, phone call,s and breakfast. It was a decent nights sleep again last night, it is funny but since I have curtailed the amount of time spent on my laptop I am certainly sleeping better and am not having the headaches and vision problems that I was getting, so that is a positive for my Eye,s.....

Gervase Phoned at about 11.00 to say that he will be round to take me shopping at 12.00 he will be going to Fratton Park at 3.00 for the football as he is a Pompey season ticket holder and on the weekend that Pompey are playing home at Fratton Park we go shopping on the Saturday as I only live about a 5 minute walk away from the football stadium.
Frogmore road entrance to Fratton Park
Gervase arrives at about 11.50 so we decide that due to the  problems of the increase in traffic on match days around Portsmouth which is a city of mainly victorian terraced houses and narrow victorian roads that we would walk down to the Bridge centre at Fratton and go to Asda. It is about a mile away so I said that I will walk with the Wheelchair  and then when I have had enough Gervase could push me as it happens I walk all the way there, around Asda and all the way back home pushing the wheelchair so really pleased with that, it means that I walked 3 miles on Thursday with the Rollator and 2 miles Saturday with the wheelchair so am really feeling positive at the moment.

The Bridge Centre and Asda at Fratton.
Well once we were back home Gervase went off to meet his mates for Football and I made a coffee and then went for a lie down for an hour or So. Gervase came in on the way home from Football at 5.00 pm, Pompey lost 0-1 so not a happy chappy.
Framed print of the "Pompey" Sailor Mascot
Anyway he collects his shopping and then makes his way home to Leanne while I get my dinner cooked and then settle down to an evening of TV.

Sunday 22nd September 2013

And so we go into Sunday, legs are a bit achey after yesterday but I slept well so a couple of co-codamol to ease the pain and I am fit and ready for a busy Sunday. after all the usual bits and pieces I go round to Tesco express to get my daily paper and some milk and then back home to settle down with the paper and to catch up on saturdays recordings of Bonanza on the sky box.
well Pauline and Gordon are coming down later this morning at about 11.30, anyway at 11.00 I get a phone call from Pauline,s sister Fran to say that her, Colin and Stewie are down in Southsea and are going to come in and see me, so that is a nice surprise so they arrive about 11.40 and Pauline and Gordon arrive at about 11.50. so it s a flat full of visitors and it is a really great time to see them all here, however Fran, Colin and Stewie make a move at about 12.10, and them Pauline and Gordon are going to sort out my front forecourt and also the back yard to get everything trimmed back and tidied up for the winter. They are here for a good 4 hours and I help with what I can which really is not a lot but at least I can make the teas and coffee,s, me and gordon go over to B&Q to get a couple of shrubs to put in pots and also a rose bush to plant in the front.
The Front courtyard with new pots and rose planted

A Tidy and clean back yard
Once it is all done Pauline and Gordon head back home and I go and relax in the recliner before getting dinner at 6.30 and then watching TV until bed time at 11.00 pm.

Monday 23rd September 2013

Not much to say about Monday, It was a great nights sleep on Sunday night and Monday was a very warm and sunny day, I was up at 8.30 and after the normal bits and pieces took a walk around the block and along Devonshire square where I got my Paper and milk from the local co-op before heading back home to spend a little bit of time giving the front courtyard and back yard a sweep and a hose down before settling down with the paper and some TV.
Devonshire Avenue Portsmouth
At 2.00 I get some Sardines and Crispbread for lunch before settling down to watch a couple of old episodes of "Gunsmoke" which I recorded on Sunday afternoon.
Gunsmoke with James Arness 1955
at 6.00 I do myself some Chicken in White wine sauce with Brown rice for dinner and then settle down to watch emmerdale at 7.00 and then at 9.00 it is Doc Martin so that is a good relaxing evening and then off to bed at 10.30 after the 10.00 News.
Doc Martin starring Martin Clunes
Tuesday 24th September 2013

And so here we are at Tuesday and I have caught up with myself. well here we are on a very bright and sunny Tuesday in the middle of September. well it is going to be an interesting day today as I am going to a meeting of the " Health and Social Care overview Group" at the Frank Sorrell centre Southsea. it is at the rear of Eastney Health centre where my doctors surgery is, It is about 1.5 miles from my flat and I am going to take a slow stroll down with my rollator and see how I go, I walked it last week when I took my repeat prescription down.
This is the Rollator that I need
anyway after texting and speaking to Pauline and also having breakfast I get myself ready and then at about 9.55 I set of to take a gentle stroll down to the Frank Sorrell centre, I get there at about 10.20 so it has taken me about 30 minutes to walk the 1½ miles. anyway It was a good meeting and I really enjoyed it and will enjoy being involved in the community health and social care program. I have also been invite to take part in a meeting on Thursday which is the Portsmouth Disability Forum, Open Access Forum which focus,s on issues relating to physical access to services and transport for all disabled people. "What have I let myself in for ?"

Well at least it will get me out of the flat and get me meeting other people and also to get involved within the community, once the meeting had finished and I said my goodbye,s I went round to the health centre to pick up my prescription for prednisolone and Methotrexate which I will get made up tomorrow, and then as I have to go tomorrow for blood tests I also arranged to have my Flu vaccination tomorrow as well, so that will work out well, I then head back home collecting my paper and some milk on the way. once I am back home I make a coffee have a sandwich for lunch and then settle down to get this journal written.

Writing my daily Journal
well it has got warmer and sunnier as the day has gone on, it has been brilliant blue sky today and a temperature in Southsea of 24C/75F so a nice warm day. It has been a really great day today met some new people and walked 3 mile with the rollator so well pleased with myself, anyway it is now 4.45 so I will close this now and hopefully I will get the next journal written on Friday/Saturday so until then I will say ...............