Monthly Archives: June 2016

Staying on in the UK

I was once again delighted to see Sally’s pretty smiling face and be cosseted off to her car.  Parked as usual right outside the door.

She had been doing some research for me and one of her friends had some good information they wanted to share, and as I was still set on flying back the next morning it was tonight or not at all. So off we went to visit them.

And what a lovely couple they are, and so welcoming.  Danni had a cancer scare herself recently and had done lots of research on alternative diets and remedies and, like me was refusing conventional treatment.  It was lovely to chat with them both and the time flew, but of course the long time hanging around in the hospital feeling cold and cross had worn me down quite a bit, and all of a sudden I really felt that I needed something to eat, as by now it was well gone ten in the evening and my lunchtime steamed vegetables seemed a long way away.

So in the normal whirlwind Sally and I scooted off to a local Indian restaurant who were still serving to order a takeaway.  When I heard it would be ready in about half an hour I really thought I was likely to pass out, and we decided to eat in so at least I could have some popadoms and a lager, hardly ideal for my diet, but needs must.

By the time we had eaten and got back to the caravan it was about midnight, and my flight from East Midlands airport was at about 8.30 am meaning the latest we could possibly start was 6.30 am.  In the circumstances I knew the whole idea was a non-starter and asked Sally if it was okay for me to stay on, and gratifyingly she was delighted.

Next day I did little but sleep and intermittently get up to have something to eat, but the rest was doing me good.  The next days were spent similarly but at last some of the colour seemed to be coming back to my cheeks, and I was not the drained, and ghastly white I had been.

We were coming up to the Bank Holiday Weekend, when Sally opens the farm to the public, and I have often helped, and though everyone said just come along and sit there I knew even that would put a strain on the slim recovery I was making, and in fact it was rather nice to have the place to myself.  I even organised a lady to come and give me reflexology treatment and I have to say it really helped.

As I got better I looked for flights home, but around the Bank Holiday all the flights are really expensive.  So the first cheap flight was on my birthday, and as I didn’t feel like flying that day I chose the day after, which was, in fact an even better price.

Sally, bless her was a bit upset, as not knowing I would have been here on my birthday weekend had previously booked a weekend at Butlin’s with her boyfriend and his two charming children.  They were even to have lessons with the dance team Diversity, so, of course she couldn’t be around for my birthday.

But I was fine with that, and I arranged with my two brothers that we should all have lunch together which was a lovely treat for me.  And then I would go back with Mike and spend the night at his house so it would give me a chance to catch up with my niece and nephew who are currently embroiled in the interminable exams which seem to beset youngsters these days.  And also see my lovely sister-in-law.  So as far as I could see it was a win, win situation.

Sorted!

But Sally had other ideas.

A Bit of a Whinge

We whizzed up the motorways in Sally’s £250 special, though did stop for some food at one of the services, where Sally brought me back a lovely brown bread with crayfish and salad sandwich, plus a huge tub of fresh fruit for us to share.  Just what was needed.  And before long we were approaching the Worcester turn off.

But before we did there was an emergency phone call from the farmer next to Sally’s smallholding.  Her pigs had escaped and were in his field, and not just an ordinary field, it was a field used for producing lawn turf.  Sally explained we were nearly there and as soon as she arrived she would get them in.  And so it was.

I had to admit I stayed in the passenger seat not even wanting to get out of the car – it had been another long day for me, and all I really wanted to do was to have a lie down, but jobs such as this have to be done.  Then we had a quick look at all the work Sally had been doing on the wonderful shop and cafe they have built on-site.  Full marks to her again.  I really don’t know how she manages to cram everything in to such a hectic life.

But I was really glad when at last we reached the caravan which has become her main place to stay since taking over the family transport business, where she needs to be on-hand to cope with the many emergencies which seem to be part of her daily routine.

It looked really cosy and welcoming and I was more than grateful to be able to lie down in the comfy bed and relax at last after another long day.

Next day I did little more than sleep and occasionally get up to chat with everyone and have something to eat.  Sally had stocked the big fridge to the gunnels with organic fruit and vegetables and had her vegetable steamer in full production in honour of my visit.  As someone remarked – I have never seen so many ‘bleeping’ vegetables in my life!

Brother Mike popped over to see me, as I wanted his advice/opinion on things in general, and also whether or not to attempt flying back to France the following day.  And he made the useful suggestion that he took me across to Worcester A&E where I could get my blood levels tested, and also see what I felt about possibly staying in the UK to have my cancer treated as the Bristol doctor had suggested.  As Sally and her Mum had heard that Worcester had just opened an all singing all dancing new Cancer Unit this struck me as a good idea and he drove me over there.

As they usually take so long in the UK hospitals, plus I could understand the language without anyone to translate he left me at the door, and after popping in to see I was okay headed off.

Well!  What an eye opener for someone who has been in the care of the French Health System

To start off with I had to stand (and standing was something I really was not fit to do) at the slightly grubby window with slits and openings to speak to the receptionist who eventually appeared.  I had actually been treated there in 2013 when I had anaphylactic shock following a wasp or hornet sting.  So I mistakenly assumed I would be on their system.  No such luck.  So we had to start from the beginning whilst I leant more and more heavily on the counter, as nothing so civilised as somewhere to sit had been provided.  Eventually – formalities completed I was told to sit down somewhere and my name would be called.

A while later a Triage Nurse (whatever that is) came and I followed her into an office where various information on my illness was taken, and then I was sent back to sit outside and wait being called again.  Quite a while later I followed another nurse, who informed me she would be in charge of my case, then led me through an obstacle course of pushed wheely bins and various patients and their friends to a cubicle.  “Take off your clothes and pop on this gown – then just hop on the bed and if you are cold and need another blanket  there is one behind you”  I was and I did, and there wasn’t another blanket to be found.  I did my best to cover myself with the thin blanket on the bed and then spread my cardigan to over myself to try and keep myself at least somewhat warm.  And there I lay, completely ignored by everyone for an hour or two.

I am not sure whether one is now allowed to use mobile phones in uk hospitals, but I somewhat crossly phoned my brother to tell what had happened so far – i.e. nothing.  After my call I realised that I must have been in the cubicle next to the nurses’ station as almost immediately the ‘nurse who was in charge of my case’ breezed in and asking various questions filled in some sort of questionnaire – which was then casually left on my feet.  She did take my temperature and blood pressure, and when I asked what they were, airly replied -‘Perfectly normal’  which was less information that I had hoped for, and certainly far different to the norm in the French hospitals.

At no time did anyone ask if I was cold though it was obvious that I was, and after a while having been at the hospital for so long I needed to use the loo, so had to get up and try to attract the attention of someone.  ‘My’ nurse spotted me wandering about and asked why I hadn’t used the bell, but as it was well concealed behind the bed and she hadn’t told me where it was I think I would have been hard pressed to find it.  Anyway she waved her hand towards the bottom of the corridor and said the loo was down there.

Back in bed and after some more waiting a man came in and asked a few questions, stuck his stethoscope on my back in a few places, and seeming pretty disinterested in general said he would do a ‘rough’ blood test and if it looked okay  I would be fine to fly home tomorrow.  He did ask if I was happy to be treated by the French Health System, and by now I was pretty certain I was.  In the first hours I had arrived I scored the French Health System 98 and the British 20, but before I left I had dropped the latter to 6.5 in comparison.

I assume he was a doctor, though for all I knew he could have been anyone.  He certainly didn’t have a white coat or introduce himself as far as I remember, but whoever he was he was back in a short while and told me my blood stood at 105 which is apparently nearly normal, so I could get dressed and leave as soon as I wanted and he would bring back a letter of discharge.

I phoned Sally to say I was coming out, and could she collect me please, and got myself dressed.  At which ‘My’ nurse reappeared and asked what I was doing dressed, when I explained she said there wouldn’t have been time to do a blood test, but whatever, my mind was made up and all I wanted to do was go

When Mr or Dr X return he asked if I had any swelling in my legs or ankles, which I did, and he almost went to examine them, but then decided it really wasn’t worth the effort, handed me my discharge note and said follow me – which I did – to sit once more in the bleak, cold reception area, and gaze at the obstacle course of ‘Wet Floor’ signs which had been there since shortly after I arrived.

Seeing the Homoeopathic Doctor

In the nice little ensuite bathroom was a lovely deep bath, and a good, long soak was high on my list of priorities when feeling a bit rested.

Sally must have thought the same, as amongst the armful of things she returned with was a huge, big jar of lavender bath salts.  Just typing this makes me long for another soak.  If I do buy the house here in Champagnac, then a lovely deep bath will be a must, and huge jars of lavender bath salts as well

I began to feel a bit brighter, and although neither of us felt that hungry I thought that we should eat again, otherwise come ten or eleven Sally would be needing food, and we wouldn’t know where to get it.  So down to the other part of the hotel, which must have been an adjacent coaching house in days gone by – The White Swan – where I decided that a steak sandwich might do my blood levels some good, and Sally had the biggest pizza I have seen in a long time, though neither of us really did justice to the food after the lunch we had enjoyed

Then back to sleep, and boy was I tired

Next morning we had an excellent breakfast, so I felt the hotel had, by now, fully redeemed itself from our rocky start.

My appointment was not until 2pm, so having checked out from the hotel we entertained ourselves by driving over the Clifton Suspension Bridge and touring the roads of magnificent mansions, constructed when Bristol was a hugely important sea port.

We also checked out where we had to go that afternoon, so there would be no last minute hassle.  I felt guilty keeping Sally from her work, when I know she is so very, very busy, but I have to say I was immensely grateful to have her there with me.  She is a true friend and a real star.  Thank you Sally Jones!

I had been told my appointment would last an hour, and we got there early.  Leaving Sally in the shady carpark I went into the elegant Regency reception room.  The shortsighted NHS might have thrown them out of their previous home, which I very much doubt was bought by the NHS, but somehow they now have their own beautiful premises.

I was a little late being called in, but I can easily forgive that when, on leaving, I realised that it was nearly four o’clock,  and that my hour’s appointment had stretched into nearly two.

My doctor was a lovely lady, kind, patient, and attentive, all I could have wished.  Though she seemed very worried about my intentions of flying back in a couple of days, and did all she could to persuade me to go straight to A&E in Bristol and get myself admitted for immediate treatment with chemotherapy.

Once again my ‘pig-headedness’ struck and instead Sally drove me back to the Midlands.

The Hotel

I texted Sally to tell her I had arrived and was in the gangway within sight of the Disabled Assembly Point, and before long she suddenly appeared.  It was truly lovely to see her happy, smiling face, and greet her after so much had happened in the last months.

She had managed to park really close to the entrance, as only Sally Jones would have been able to do, and soon I was wheeled out to the waiting car – her £250 wonder.  It apparently ‘goes like the clappers’ and I can vouch for that, though apparently, shortly after its purchase the engine fell out on a roundabout!

She took the wheelchair back and we set off to find the hotel we were booked into – unaware that I had just lost my phone containing all the numbers I have ever had since using a mobile phone.

We returned via the route her Sat Nav lady had brought her, and it was up to the standard of the ones my Strict Lady tries to find me, with narrow, steep, twisting bends, but with Sally at the wheel we whizzed along and soon found the hotel

I had asked when booking my homoeopathic appointment if there was a nice hotel nearby and  had been recommended The White Lion as it was an old inn with nice view, which on googling I found was amalgamated with the Avon Gorge Hotel – and there were very good views of the Clifton Suspension Bridge to be had from some of the bedrooms. So when I booked I was most insistent that we needed a twin bedded room with nice views of the bridge, and as I was so early booking I was promised a room which sounded excellent

The hotel itself looked promising – I always prefer quirky old hotels to modern soul-less ones.

Inside was a lovely old reception hall with a super plaster ceiling, (hopefully photos to follow as I had managed to leave my camera in France.   We did the booking in bit, though they left us to find our own way, and I would normally expect to be shown to the room.

By now I was feeling it had been a long day already.   Lisa and I had started out at 8.30 meaning I had got up at 7.30, which was, allowing for the uk time difference, 6.30.  And the flight seemed to have affected me a bit so although I was not haemorrhaging I was loosing some blood, and of course, I had precious little of it left.  Still we walked over to the lift – why is it that nowadays lifts never have seats – they always did – and it seemed a long time for me to stand.

Out on the third floor and down the winding corridors and steps that one finds in old hotels to find our room.  Sally put the key in the lock and opened the door.

I was horrified

I think the third floor must have been the old servant quarters, and the windows were arranged so it was not possible to see out as they were so high.  The room was a dull overall beige, and what’s more the room sported a double, rather than twin bed.  Tired as I was I felt furious, and with a rush of adrenaline I turned on my heel and stomped back to the lift, conscious that my energy levels were sinking fast, and if I was going to complain I needed to do it now whilst I still had the strength.  Sally was pursuing me with the cases, not realising at first that I had gone, and by the time she caught up with me the lift doors had closed and I was half a floor down.

Back to the ground floor and across the lobby.  I could see the reception desk, but nearer was a comfy sofa.  I sank in and conducted my, somewhat loud and annoyed, conversation with the receptionist across the expanse of the lobby.  Her first ploy was to say the beds could be made into twins, but I was adamant that I had no intention of staying in such a room.  She then said that there was a view from the windows, to which my reply was I would only manage to see it if I stood on the bed and jumped up and down.  Her next plan was to say that I had requested a room near to the lift because I was unwell, which I might have done had I realised how long and thin the hotel was, but I hadn’t and I didn’t!

Eventually she said she would call for housekeeping, and a nice lady came, and sensing I looked like trouble she escorted us to a pleasant room, with full length Georgian windows overlooking the gorge and bridge, saying that although the bed was made up as a double it would unzip and she would immediately send for someone to remake it as two singles.  I felt quite happy and satisfied apart from the fact I would have dearly loved to have a lie down, but at least there was an armchair for me to sit in, and soon housekeeping were busy fluffing pillows and spreading sheets.

So having had a sit down, and with the beds made up we decided lunch was in order.  Being up so early I had simply eaten a banana, and I very much doubt that Sally had eaten anything at all.

I had googled all the restaurants in Bristol when I had booked our room and there were several I would have like to have tried,  but I had been feeling much better then.  At the moment I was tired and wan, and was happy to see what the hotel restaurant had to offer.

In fact we were lucky as the weather was with us and we could eat on their outside terrace high above the Bristol gorge, and with a view of the bridge.  I threw caution to the winds and ordered a bottle of champagne and decided I could have a normal meal for once, and it was really quite good.  We sat and nattered, and ate and drank and it was all very pleasant, but the journey was beginning to tell on me, and I really needed to rest, bearing in mind I had been practicing sitting up only the day before.

I think Sally was a bit worried about me, as after just a short walk across the hotel reception areas I was in dire need of a sit down, plus I think I was looking pretty haggard and a ghastly white.

I made it back up to the room and gratefully got on the bed, whilst Sally went in search of contact lens solution, which had to be left behind as it was in a 200ml bottle, plus Iron and Vit B tablets, and other vital supplies.

Arriving at Bristol Airport

The plane arrived just a little early to a fanfare from Ryan Air – rather nice I thought.

The jet itself was almost brand new, as I had been informed by my jet-setting travel companion, and it held 189 passengers, they have reduced the padding in the seats to lighten it, and give extra leg room, but if I intended to take a longer flight I think I would make sure I had a cushion as the seats were somewhat hard.  Still – on the flight we were on it was fine.

Obviously 189 passengers taking their luggage down from the racks and shuffling down the isles took quite a longish while, but it really didn’t matter, as when they had all finally departed the five of us who needed assistance were told that there would be a delay as the staff who organised it at Bristol were ‘very busy’  Ah! Welcome to the good old UK!

And there was quite a delay – I would guess about twenty minutes, certainly the crew had completely tidied the whole of the interior and the captain got out to stretch his legs before flying on to Venice, sadly for him to return straight to the UK with no chance for the crew to have a look round.

Eventually something came clanking across the tarmac to the waiting plane and the five of us shuffled out onto something which looked like a platform on a very large fork lift truck.  Holding onto the rusting and somewhat wobbly rails we were lowered, then shepherded off the platform and into the body of the vehicle, where we made it to our individual seats and were driven over towards the airport buildings.  Back onto the platform, which was then lowered to ground floor where THREE wheelchairs awaited us.

Did I mention there were FIVE of us needing wheelchair assistance.

Okay – shouted one of the attendants, how many of you need a wheelchair.  I assume the answer was five, but I was too weak and shaky to start making comments, and feeling like one of those joke toys which were sold some years ago of Racing Grannies, which each had a miniature zimmer frame, I headed off to the nearest chair – mind you they were all in a line and at a distance of about 20 yards so everyone had an equal chance I suppose!

Normally I would have hung back and been polite, and checked if anyone was in greater need than I, but somehow  the thought of having to stand for more than a minute was so worrying that I just headed for the seat, and sat in it feeling like the winner in a game of musical chairs.

An elderly lady accompanied by her daughter managed to bag the chair next to mine, and having got her mother seated the lady told the attendant that she would need assistance as she had her own, and her mother’s baggage, and would not be able to manage both the cases and to push the wheelchair.

“Well – I can’t help”  Expostulated the guy who had now taken charge of my chair “ I’ve got this one to push”

“Well I am not moving from here until someone comes to help”  replied the exasperated daughter.

A groan, a large sigh, and a “Follow me then” was the reply from my ‘helper’ and off we trundled.  To be honest I didn’t turn to see how the others were faring, but was just grateful it wasn’t me having to stand and argue the point.

Having got us to the baggage carousel I was then asked if I could manage from there, and my swift answer was “No”

“So you want me to get your baggage for you”  – “Yes please.  Its the brown case with the yellow stickers”

The lady accompanying her mother managed to catch their cases, and remonstrated with the attendant that she wouldn’t be able to manage both of them plus her mother.

He had a sudden brain wave and hung a case on each of the wheelchair handles, though of course they stuck out a wild angles, making the whole assemblage about two meters wide, but with a self satisfied – “You okay now” he left her to it and pushed me to baggage and passport control.

“Are you alright from here now”  he asked again, and of course, once again my reply was “No!”  so with another deep sigh he pushed me on through and out of the exit doors, stopping in the middle of the gangway.

The now familiar “You alright from here then” came and at last I felt able to say yes, thinking that I could text Sally – who was collecting me and she could find me.

My ‘helper’ stood looking at me – perplexed.

“Aren’t you going to get out of the chair then”  With no seat in sight my answer was once again in the negative, and he stomped off in a disgruntled sort of way.  I assume that meant they would now be down to two chairs for the next round of musical wheelchairs.

To a certain extent I was impeding the flow of pedestrian traffic – stuck as I was in the middle of the gangway, but someone kindly pushed me back a bit, and then I noticed that less than 20 yards away was a coral of unused wheelchairs, beneath a large sign saying Disabled Assembly Point!

Flying From Limoges Airport

I had intended to drive myself to the airport and leave the Renault in the long stay carpark, but there was no chance of my doing that, so once again Lisa very kindly stepped into the breech and drove me there.

It’s a fantastic little airport.

We pulled up at the passenger drop off spot, and a few paces had me inside the hall and sitting on a chair.  France 100 – and as I was to find later UK 9

Lisa had parked up and went across to find a wheelchair, though there was a minor scare when she mistakenly thought we had come on the wrong day, but all was well, and she pushed me to the check in – about 20 paces away – before saying goodbye and leaving me in the very capable hands of the French airport staff.

I think Lisa was a bit dubious about my insisting on flying back, but bless her she kept her misgivings to herself, and didn’t try to bully me into staying.  Thank you Lisa!

I must say I was already feeling a bit shattered and probably looked somewhat suspicious, as my baggage got a thorough going over by the staff.  I had to walk through the machine thing, and nearly set everything off by trying to hold onto it as a support, but I made it through and gratefully settled back into the chair to be taken down to the departure lounge where I was thoughtfully parked up by the drinks machine.

It really is quite good travelling in a wheelchair!  One no longer has to strain to hear those endless muffled announcements and decide if it is time to make a move or not.  One just sits there in the secure knowledge, that eventually, someone will come and see you get onto the plane.  And so it was.  Once all the passengers were on the plane, five of us who needed assistance were collected and wheeled over the tarmac to the waiting jet.

I was asked if I needed to be carried up the stairs, but after having sat for quite a while felt strong enough to manage on my own.  Though having got to the top I was unable to reach my allocated seat owing to everyone trying to stow their baggage in the overhead lockers.  My own baggage had efficiently been labelled with a bright yellow Free Baggage sticker and taken from me to be stowed in the hold.  But I needed to sit down – and to sit down NOW.  Telling the steward at the door, I was immediately given a seat and sat there happily till everyone was settled when I could make my way down to the third row from the front – not too far at all – where I was in the middle between two charming passengers with whom I was to spend the next one hour forty five minutes.

I must admit I love flying and have no fears whatsoever, but the lady on my right nearest the gangway was a bit more nervous.  Her son and daughter-in-law had moved to the area a few years ago, and she visits them as often as possible, and is intending to move her as soon as she retires.  Its amazing how many people just love this part of France.  I nattered with her for quite a while, then suddenly felt slightly dizzy so had to conserve my oxygen supplies for breathing rather than nattering.

But after a bit of a rest I wondered how much longer it would be before we landed and struck up a conversation with the gentleman on my left who turned out to be an international traveller, well versed in jet travel and we had a lovely chat.  The flight went really quickly and we were soon over the UK.  It is a truly beautiful country, but my goodness it feels really FULL of people after the quietness of rural France.

More Problems!

Gradually my blood pressure and temperature began to increase towards normal, and I felt slightly less exhausted.  The doctor who had been in charge of my exploratory operation was not back until Tuesday, so they kept me in until she could see me, and then I was free to go back to Thebus, having been told that this was likely to reoccur, and given some tablets to take to stop any further bleeding should it happen again.

Lisa had organised taking Phoebe to the dog creche, though she couldn’t go until the afternoon, so she had been taken for a nice long walk by one of my site neighbours.   Everyone is so very kind, and I can’t thank them enough.

I felt pretty weak and washed out, and my skin looked very ‘pale and interesting’ – so thinking that Phoebe would have to go back to the creche the following Monday when I flew back to the UK I decided to leave her there, and give myself the opportunity of gaining some strength.

But!

At about 10 pm on the Wednesday night it started all over again, but this time much worse.

I decided not to ‘mess about’ with my alternative remedies, and went straight to the medicine they had given me for just such an occurrence, saying it would save me keep coming back into the hospital.

The packet said to take 2 tablets a day.  So I took one and awaited the results.

I have to say it had no effect whatsoever.  I  got up and googled the name on the packet.  You could take up to three a day.

It had been just over an hour and I was feeling desperate – I took another – with exactly the same result.  In the drawer I had some phials of the Exacyl they had given me after my initial procedure, which had resulted in similar haemorrhaging – and remembering that the drip at the hospital had contained this I took a phial.  Zilch!

In desperation I took a third tablet, then another phial, and I was getting nowhere.  I was however being very careful at not getting up suddenly, and also moving slowly to avoid passing out, but by now it was nearly morning.

Then I remembered the Sabina and took one, fairly quickly things seemed better.  I took another and again an improvement.  At last I could stay in bed and take a Sabina every so often, and gradually the haemorrhage gave over.  But by now you can imagine about how short of blood I was.

I just lay around most of the day, but did manage to eat something, and also take some of the Vit. B tablets they had given me to build up my strength.

For the next few days I slept most of the time, grateful that I didn’t have Phoebe to worry about, and then on Sunday, the day before I was due to fly back to the UK I practiced sitting up so I would be used to it, but standing for more than a minute or two was beyond my capabilities.

Franc helped my organise my boarding pass for the flight as my brain was not working at top speed, and I also made sure I had assisted passage so I would not have to walk round the airport.

Early Hours Emergency!

Since my initial successful treatment with homoeopathy all those years ago I have had an interest and bought various books, read lots, and can use the remedies to treat many minor illnesses and accidents, but with what afflicted me now I felt totally out of my depth, but because everything was taking so long I had begun to tentatively treat myself.

Knowing nothing about cancer, and finding little information on the internet about the specific cancer I have been diagnosed with – Endometrial Cancer – meant that I was working very much in the dark.  But I gave it my best shot and used two remedies I thought may help.

Now – I still know almost nothing about Endometrial Cancer, but when I started to lose a lot of blood, I somehow imagined that it was clearing out my insides – so was a ‘good’ thing.

I had brought in quite a lot of shopping that day, as the organic shop I use is more than half and hours drive away, and popping back and forth is wearing and time consuming.  All that had to brought in and packed away, and then I took Phoebe for a long ‘promenade’, so when I started to haemorrhage (and it was a  haemorrhage) at just gone six in the evening I wasn’t unduly perturbed.

By gone 2 am next morning when I passed out for a few seconds I decided that I had better do something about things, so took some Sabina 30C which is a good remedy for haemorrhaging.  Telling Phoebe to be good, and putting on my thick dressing gown made it over to Franc and Lisa’s static, hoping not to be too frightening knocking their door at such an unearthly hour, but desperately needing their help.

They were goodness itself.  Franc opened the door, and Lisa, hearing what was going on immediately was up and dressed.  They asked if I wanted an ambulance or to be driven in, and feeling very woozy I decided I would like to be driven there.

Lisa said she would take me, for which I was most grateful, and before long we were in the car, driving slowly and carefully – as at that time in the morning there are often deer crossing the roads when least expected.

I thought we should go to the Mere et Enfant (Mother and Child) hospital where I had been treated, as they would know me, and it seemed the most suitable place, plus Lisa knew where it was.  On the journey over I tried to keep talking so she would know I was still okay, and before long we were there, but everything was closed up for the night, so it was off to find the A&E.

Lisa parked outside and went for a chair for me and wheeled me in, and though very weak the Sabina seemed to be taking effect and the haemorrhage easing.  We were, of course, at the wrong department and our first choice had been right.  Apparently if we had approached the closed roller shutter door it would have opened, but they sent for an ambulance car for me, and Lisa followed in her’s.  Such a kind a caring girl.

I was wheeled up to the – by now – familiar third floor, and before long I was saying goodbye to my good friend and being tucked up into bed, ready to be hooked up to a drip, which was pretty difficult owing to how little blood seemed to be left in my veins, but they were as gentle as they could be, and soon I was left to rest.

Once again I had my own en-suite room with full facilities, and once again the nurses were tireless in checking me throughout the night and day, taking care to show me my temperature and blood pressure readings, plus tidying the bed whenever I had got it in too much of a tangle.

Because I was an emergency admission there was a little bag with a toothbrush, comb, toothpaste, soap, even some cotton buds and a pen.

Once again the food was all home cooked, and though I am trying to follow a vegetarian veering towards vegan diet and tried to order things which were suitable, I couldn’t resist the confit leg of duck on the first day’s lunch menu.  So my meal went something like.  Home made vegetable soup and a fresh bread roll; a salad of lettuce with a whole ripe tomato sliced and coated with good french dressing; braised duck leg with fresh green beans; an individual goats cheese with a fresh pear.  Food you feel you could get well on.

 

Catching up on the last few weeks…..

Firstly – Many thanks to those who have emailed or put kind and encouraging comments on the blog.  It really does mean a lot to know there are folk out there who care about me and are wishing me well, even if you have never met me.  All your positive thoughts will go a long way to giving me the recovery I intend to have – so THANK YOU – THANK YOU – THANK YOU!

 

 

So…… Its been a while since I updated the blog and a lot seems to have happened, not all of it good…… but not all of it bad either, though you will get most of the bad bits first.  Having decided to continue with the blog I have to include the bad bits, otherwise it doesn’t make sense.

To try and start in some sort of order.

I had, after seeing the consultant who gave me my initial depressing diagnosis, made an appointment to see a homoeopathic consultant in England.  It had taken me a long a tortuous route to find her, mainly as the NHS, benightedly, has chosen to close down the long established and successful homoeopathic hospital in Bristol, which I had visited in the past and had helped me when the regular doctors had failed.

It had been when I had developed an allergy to tap water, and come out in a terrible, itchy rash over the whole of my body.  Initially I had blamed the dogs and cats for bringing in fleas and sprayed and dosed them with all sorts of stuff, with (unsurprisingly) no results.  In the end I realised it could not be flea bites and had visited my local doctor, who said it was an allergy to ‘something’ and to go away and try to discover what it might be by removing individual items from my diet until I found out what was causing the problem.

Of course, the water one drinks is going to be about the last thing anyone would think of, but fortunately for me I spent a weekend away at a hotel which had its own water source, and the penny dropped.  I went back to the doctor in triumph and announced what was causing the allergy.  “Oh!  That’s interesting” came the reply “Two of my other patients are allergic to tap water”

“That’s good then.  What is the cure”   –   “Oh! There isn’t one”  was his jovial response.

Now some years earlier I had been cured by homoeopathy, when once again, the conventional doctors were stumped as to what to do.  Sadly that excellent doctor had passed on, but in our chats she had mentioned the Homoeopathic Hospital at Bristol – (And yes! – you have chats with homeopathic doctors, and they listen to what you say, rather than checking the clock on the wall behind your back to see when you go just over the ten minutes allowed for each patient)

Knowing this particular hospital was run by the NHS and was only open to referred NHS patients I immediately asked for a referral.  “Oh!  I’ve never heard of that, and have no idea of how to go about referring you.  But if you find out how its done and write some sort of letter and bring it in I will sign it for you”

Okay – Off I went, did my research, typed out a letter, got it signed by the doctor and posted it off myself.  But I had to wait six weeks for an appointment, and in that time, my allergy changed from getting a reaction from simply drinking water, to getting a reaction when vegetables were boiled in water, drinking fruit juices made from concentrate, and towards the end of the six weeks, even from bathing!!!!

And when I finally saw a specialist at Bristol I was treated with potentised tap water!

Potentising means that it is diluted to such an extent there is no longer anything chemically traceable in the remedy, but guess what?  Within a short time I was cured, and although for the ensuring months I had a few reoccurrences, my allergy finally stopped altogether, and for many years now I have been fine. Of course skeptics will say it was the placebo effect, and if so that is fine by me, as long as I am cured, and preferably without the normal nasty side effects of regular ‘drugs’,

Finally, after literally months of trying I found the phone number of the Renamed, and Removed facility and contacted them.  Once again it was going to be a long wait for an appointment which was scheduled for 24th May.