back at Mum’s

Well, I managed 24 hours at home, having got back rather after 6pm on Monday, and leaving rather before 7pm on Tuesday. Mum had had another “event” – this time, while her hairdresser was there, fortunately. She got very confused, and didn’t even recognise my sister Jane on the phone. Ambulance called, taken to JR2, and a scan showed no TIA or stroke, so they decided not to keep her in overnight.

Mum wasn’t best pleased about this, but the excessive blood pressure events (240 upwards) so far haven’t actually produced any bleeds to the brain, and it just takes a while for the swelling of the blood vessels to go down and allow a return to normalcy (or as close as she gets).

Fortunately, local friends Sue and Pippa had noticed the ambulance, and kept family informed. They went to visit Mum early evening in hospital, and were there when she was discharged so were able to bring her home, which was massively helpful. I arrived around 8.30 (train to Hanborough, then cab) about ten minutes after they all got back.

Later on, Mum was worrying about the electrode stickers that had still been left on, and I noticed that they’d actually still left a cannula in! A quick call to my sister (‘cos she’s up to speed on local medical services), then a long call to NHS111. “A doctor will call back within the hour“, which duly happened. “A paramedic will come and remove the cannula in the next hour or so“. They turned up at about half past midnight, having had a spot of difficulty in finding the house (why do they never ring for directions, as we always tells them to – the place is a bugger to find in the dark if you don’t know it!). Anyway, I was much relieved once the cannula had been taken out.

Exhausted, I slept from 1am until the alarm went off just after 8 – the first uninterrupted sleep I’ve had since the New Year, as the cold / nasty chest and sinuses I’ve had has been waking me a couple of times a night.  This morning, my sister had managed to re-instate the morning carer who has been cancelled when Mum went into hospital, which was good news (though a bit of a shock, as she arrived unexpectedly when I was in my dressing gown making my first coffee of the day – not my best time!).

I expect Mum will spend most of the day in bed, dozing. I’ve done most of the routine chores, and will try to get out for a walk – it’s a glorious sunny and rather frosty morning.

catkins

Over at my Mum’s, and a stroll on the Common this morning. Exceedingly soggy underfoot! Snowdrops in abundance, and the hazel catkins are out, though it’s all a bit swamp-like to go looking for signs of other plants emerging.

catkins

OUT wake

Last night was the “OUT Wake” – a meet-up of various member of the OUT gay social networking website, of which I’ve been a member since March 2005. Sadly, the site is now about to close. It was great to chat to several old friends and acquaintances, though the venue (The Yard in Rupert Street) was, of course, very noisy. Still, being sort-of-outside, I got to smoke my e-cig, which I suppose was a bonus.

Here’s a pic of some of us – I’m sitting.

OUT wake

Leaving the Yard, I realised that I’d got extremely cold, and my back was playing hob. In fact, I started shivering uncontrollably, and even the heat of the tube didn’t really help. A brief stop off at Liverpool Street station for a hot chicken and bacon “megaslice” helped a bit. Back to the hotel – in Bethnal Green, the same one as I stayed in for Phoebe’s graduation. That had been the hottest day of last year, so I suppose it kind of makes sense that this time was the coldest night of the winter so far!

There was a glittering frost on the fields on my train journey home this morning (and a thick mist on the Cotswolds scarp between Moreton-in-Marsh and Evesham).

There are still frost patches in the parts of the garden that the sun doesn’t reach. The first flower (ever) is now fully out on my 2-year-old camellia – hopefully, the frost isn’t heavy enough to kill the rest of the buds.

camellia flower

not really spring yet!

The forsythia brought in on New Year’s day is now fully open, and cheering the place up a bit.

forsythia

Much needed – I’ve had a really shitty time since getting home on 30th December: a cold, which has settled on my chest and in my sinuses. The result is almost no voice, blurred vision, headaches, and frequent dizzy spells. I had something similar a couple of years ago, which took around six weeks to shake off, and I’m desperately hoping that this resolves itself before then!

I’m due to go to London at the weekend, for a “wake” to celebrate the existence (and impending closure) of OUT – a gay social networking site I’ve been a member of since March 2005. I’ve met a number of good friends – known mainly on line with only the occasional meeting in person – through the site, and enjoyed a lot of stimulating debate on the forums there. I’ll be deeply sorry to see it go, though there’s promise of “an app” called Gmeet, to operate in a similar social space, for which I’ve contributed to the crowdfunder. Launch date is uncertain … possibly March?

garden bits

Everything is still very damp here!

I’ve been pretty much housebound for the last week, but have managed a couple of expeditions up the garden, to pull a few carrots and put veg peelings in the compost bin. I’m surprised at how backward everything here is, compared to the past few years.

When I cut a couple of forsythia branches to bring in on New Years Day, they were all in very tight bud, though in previous years some of the flowers have been actually open. The clematis cirrhosa v. balearica has only just shown decent-sized buds, and I normally reckon on a flush of flowers well before Christmas.

Daffodils – both in the front garden and in pots outside the French windows – are just starting to poke their leaves an inch or so out of the soil, so it doesn’t look as though I’ll have the flowers in the last week of January which I had last year. Only the iberis sempervirens – perennial candytuft – seems to be on the normal schedule, with the first flowers opening just before Christmas, and gradually working itself up towards being a wonderful white froth of flowers against the dark green leaves.

iberis

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iberis

flower bits

Sunshine this morning, so I’m feeling a bit more cheerful, even if still rather groggy. The camellia outside the French windows is starting to show a flush of pink on the buds – fingers crossed, though I’ll probably lose them if there’s a heavy frost. Indoors, the dendrobium on the bathroom windowsill is in full flower.

camellia

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dendrobium

lurgy

I got back from Christmas at my Mum’s at lunchtime on Sunday 29th December with a mild sniffle. On the Monday, I was losing my voice and had a splitting headache. By the Tuesday, New Year’s Eve, it was clear I had a fierce cold, which was settling in my sinuses, and my vision had gone very blurry.

For (as far as I remember) the first time since 1961 I didn’t stay up to see the New Year in!

Still very unwell, and I’ve only bothered to get up and dressed to put the bin out  last night for emptying, and today to bring it in again. Tomorrow will have to see an expedition of 200 yards to the Co-Op, as I’m nearly out of blackcurrant lemsip and honey to put in it.