All good so far …


New phone seems to working well. It’s not taken too long to get used to, but I’ve not used all the features yet. As I thought, I needed to get a new, smaller sim card. Fortunately, we were going to Harrogate on the day New Phonemy phone was due to arrive. I thought it would be a good idea to call in the phone shop and ask for a new sim. I explained that I was picking up my new phone later and it needed a new card. The salesman tried to upgrade my plan, but when he looked at the details he agreed that I couldn’t get a better plan for the money. He then took a few security details and was able to validate and authorise the new sim ‘to save me time later ‘ he said. Now that was a mistake! When he validated my new sim, it automatically invalidated the old one. That meant that when I checked my email, I was charged for the data, as although the card was invalid, the account wasn’t. It was only a small charge, but I was a little bit miffed.

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Because both K*** and me are classed as carers, we are entitled to a free flu jab every year. I think also that since my MVR operation, I would be classed as being in a ‘vulnerable group’. It would seem that flu can have a serious effect on a person with a heart condition. R*** accepted the injection without any fuss and was even smiling  when the nurse pushed the needle into his arm. K*** thinks it was because he could see what the nurse was doing and that he remembered it from last year. Like me, he likes to watch the needle go in. I always try to watch because that way, it does not make me jump. Many years ago, when I was a blood donor, I had a bad experience with a needle. I was in the transfusion clinic which I had been doing every six months for years. I was looking around the room when the doctor inserted the main needle into my arm. I was not expecting it and it startled me a little. This reaction made the needle go into the vein too far, and instead of laying in the vein itself, it pierced the other side and from what I was told, blood was escaping into my arm. This resulted in a small haematoma forming. I was assured that it was not dangerous, as they had caught it in good time, but they said it could have been a lot worse. Ever since then, I’ve tried to watch for the moment the needle enters and I don’t have a problem.

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Full of cold …


Yep, I’m full of cold. It started with a bit of a cough at the beginning of the week and it’s now reached the ‘messy’ stage. Problem is, that on Saturday, we are all going for our annual ‘flu jab’. I’ve been told, that with any prosthetic heart valve, the flu vaccination is a very good, if not essential idea. Not sure if I will be able to have it. Certainly don’t feel up to having it at this precise moment.

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Bramham All Saints Church

We went to church on Sunday. Not such a big thing you may say, many people do. I used to go often when R*** was a lot younger, but as he has grown up, getting out of the house on his ‘days off’ is a big problem. I can understand too. He goes off to his daycare centre Monday to Friday, so on the weekend, all he wants to do is be in his room, doing the things that he likes to do. A bit like most of us really. If it’s not something you have to do, then why do it? Anyway, he was on respite at the weekend, and it seemed such a good opportunity to go. It was interesting seeing people that we know, but have not seen for a while. We are looking to go again on the 5th November, when R*** is on a weekend respite again. This could become a regular occurrence.

 

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Now the bathroom is finished, I’m looking to start on some decorating. I need to tidy up the paintwork in the bathroom, (ceiling and door frame to be precise) but want to have a good go at it without too many break-offs. R*** goes on respite again on Monday, so I could probably do that in one day. I then need to start on the staircase. There is not a lot to paint, but it will be the access that will be the main issue. Hopefully, if I can crack on, I should get it all done before he returns of Friday afternoon. Ideally, I’d like to have all the work done by the end of Thursday, but that may be pushing it a little. It’s all in the planning! I’m thinking though, that the doorframes, may have to wait until the following week.

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I have once again used the new WordPress editor to publish this, and the jury is still out. I have yet to work out how to publish as a draft, or in fact if I need to publish as a draft first.

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** I have just discovered the ‘Preview’ button. This seems to work as a draft mode, allowing me to check what the post looks like before posting. So no real need to post a draft first. I have also just found the Windows Store ‘WordPress.com’ app. So the next post will be using that (if I can remember) **

Reinvent the letter format – #writing 101


Dear Knees,

I appreciate that you may be feeling a little left out at the moment and I know you’re missing the cod liver oil capsules. However I feel that you may not be aware of the reasons for my discontinuation of that Omega 3 supplement that you so cherish.

I am unsure if Brain actually mentioned this, but in June of last year Heart went through a bit of a traumatic experience. Brain did assure me that the correct signals had been issued, but he is getting on a bit, and may have missed you off the list.

To cut a short story even shorter, Heart had a procedure undertaken in a medical establishment. This procedure meant that Heart had one of his valves (I understand it was a Mitral valve) being replaced or repaired. I am reliably advised that you would have been informed at some point. At the end of the day, the procedure and resulting medications mean that the Omega 3 supplement (that you know as Cod Liver Oil) has had to be withdrawn. Now, I am not aware of the full reason for this, but Mouth says (and this is in Mouths words) that “… it buggers up your INR and messes with the Warfarin …” Eyes had Googled this and it seems that the information is accurate as far as Wikipedia is concerned.

So that is it in a nutshell. In order that Heart keeps up its proscribed function, it needs this Warfarin stuff. For that to work properly, the Omega 3 supplement has to be forgone. I can understand your reluctance to accept this, but I hope you realise that without Heart, your position as Knees are untenable.

Yours sincerely

Body

Happy New Year


Did it start with a ‘Bang’? Well no, not really. We stayed up until midnight as we are obliged to do, watching good old Jools Holland, but it was nothing special. I suppose now I should spout all the usual clichés, but to be honest I just cannot be bothered.

It’s been a bit of a rough year all in all. What with the concerns about the new job and the worry about whether I would actually have a job. The five office moves, the problems with R***. Eldest moving in with his girlfriend. Finally to cap it all, my heart operation.

Still, I came through all and am still here (well 99.9% of me is still here) so I don’t suppose I have too much to grumble about really. R*** seems to be in a good place at the moment. Eldest and his girlfriend both seem to be very happy. I still have a job at the same on the same pay and it does not look like we are moving office for the foreseeable future. And to cap it all, my old heart is working properly again.

It’s been a while


It’s been a month or so since my last post, and a few things have happened since then. The video change that I mentioned last time worked, thankfully. Which was more than we hoped for. Both K*** and I had this fear that it might cause a problem for the driver on his way in the morning. Fortunately that issue did not arise. We now think that so long as R*** knows what is happening and so long as it happens, he is more or less fine with it.

Two weeks ago, I had to go into work to have a chat with my line manager. Because I have had more than four week continuous sick leave, I have hit a ‘trigger’ in our attendance management policy that requires me to be interviewed about how they can support my return to work. My line manager was furious about this and I understand that she had a few choice words with our HR department. Now I understand the need for the policy, however there needs to be some form of flexibility built in that allows for the fact that some people are not at work for a damn good reason. In my case, recovering from heart surgery and being told by the surgeon that I would not be able to work for three months after to operation. It does not matter that some system in HR has hit a flag, it’s down to the medical staff when I’m fit to return, not some piece of computer software. Rant over!!!

The new work structure has been issued, and it does nothing to suppress any worries I have. We’ve been told that there are enough jobs to go around, with some spare, but are those positions at the same grade that staff are at now? Will there be enough grades at my level for all those at the same grade? Without knowing what grades we currently have, it’s impossible to know what the changes might be. The meeting was only held on Friday, so those questions may have been answered. I will wait until the minutes come out, before I start asking any questions.

Talking about work, K*** and I are in the process of changing S****s old room into more of an office, than a bedroom. We had decided that it would be a good idea, when I work from home, for me to utilise this now spare room, to work from. But we have taken it a step further, and although the bed is still in there, my work computer is all set up.

On Tuesday, I am going for my 1st Out Patients appointment since being discharged from the hospital. This is where I find out that I can drive again and can remove these ‘anti-embolism’ stockings for good. It is also the date when I should be told when I can go back to work. I’ve started making some plans, but cannot be more definite until after this appointment. I fear driving will be a bit of an issue. I have to inform the insurance company about my operation and I think it will mean a large hike in the premiums. I don’t see why it should be a problem, but we shall see. You know what insurance companies are like.

And now me! I feel a thousand time better than I did this time in June. It is hard to believe that such a small piece of hardware can make such a difference, but I can assure you it does! I still have a chest that aches like I have run into a brick wall, but there has never been the pain that others appear to have had. My problem seems to be one of backache. It comes on around half four in the morning and makes sleeping very uncomfortable. I’ve been told that backache is one of the side effects of the operation and that it does go away in time. Hopefully that is true. The valve seems to be working fine and as expected, it can be heard. It sounds different and different time, but mainly seems to be a clicking noise on the left hand side of the scar. Most people can hear it, and S**** seems to think it is quite cool!! I found a picture of the thing they used and I was very surprised how simple it looked. I don’t know what I was expecting though.

I think that is about all, except that K*** has decided that we need new PVC windows and doors. Groan!! That is happening in just under a fortnight, and we have been told that it will all be done in a day!! Will let you know on that one after the event!

Life changer + 17


Well, I think it all went according to somebodies plan yesterday. It was one of those days when you just cannot get your head around what is happening. My appointment was at 12:30, and we got there about 12:15. The Staff Nurse (I think she was the Staff Nurse) went over a few points before realising that there were more men than women for the procedure. So they had to swap beds around, which looked fun. K*** was told she would have to go and I was shown to my bed/trolley. Paper knickers, I ask you. As if it was bad enough, they gave me paper knickers to wear.

I sat around for about an hour whilst they ‘did’ the ones before me. I have to say, some of the people that were there were a couple of years younger than me, but without being too smug…..they did not look it. One guy was 6 months younger than K*** and he looked about 10 – 15 years older. Laid there with a bit of a smile on my face, which kind of lasted until they told me it was my turn.

F**k, it’s happening!

I was wheeled in to what they called ‘the lab’, which was basically a room with lots of high-tech equipment. Bless them, they did their best to put me at ease, but I knew from the gibberish that I was coming out with, that ‘ease’ was the last thing I was feeling. Then my consultant came in. It was unusual to see him in his ‘scrubs’ (see how I got the technical talk off to a tee) as I have only seen him in a suit. He explained what was going to happen, and it was all quite painless really. I think there might have been a little panic at one point when someone called something out and the consultant shouted back ‘I’m on it!!’ I looked at one of the many screen and saw that the heartbeat monitor was off the scale. So that was a bit scary, but it all settled down and I was out of there in less than 20 minutes, after being told that my arteries were good.

After a couple of hours recovery, I was told I could go and K*** was waiting for me. They explained that I was to take it steady for the next 48 hours and to keep checking for problems.

So today, I was classed as being ‘on the sick’. I was going to work from home on Friday, but was told to just rest. So rest I will. I’ll need all my strength for when R*** gest bak from respite.

Life changing day . . . .


    As the title says, today was life changing. I may have mentioned it before, but I have what is called an Abnormal Heart Murmur or a Regurgitation or more commonly, a Leaky Valve. I’ve probably had it since I was born, but it was only noticed about 8 years ago. Since then, I have been regularly monitored at hospital. There has always been the view, by the doctor, that one day, the valve would need replacing. It has always been, in the doctors words “…. a conversation for the future…” That future arrived today. I had my regular ultrasound appointment closely followed by an appointment with my doctor. I had the strange sense that something was different during the scan. It normally take 20 – 25 at the most, but on the doctors’ instruction, the radiologist took a lot more readings, and in the end, it was nearly 50 minutes before the job was done. It was now time to see my doctor, Dr Mc****y.

    The results of the scan, were a bit late in coming from the radiology department, so I had a bit of a wait before I was allowed into see Dr M. When I say ‘… a bit of a wait…’ it was about 45 minutes, which I don’t consider long at all. You should have heard the moans and groans from the patients that were there. Everyone was complaining about how long it was taking and how long they were delayed. For f**k sake, it’s not the end of the world if you have to wait 30 – 40 minutes to see your doctor. It is usually because some earlier patient was late or had been given some bad news. Just get over yourself, you’re not the only important person in the place !!!!! I apologise for the mini rant, but it does get me so cross.

But I digress. So my notes are delivered and after another 5 minutes, my turn comes. Dr M asked how I was and asked the usual questions eg do I get out of breath, can I still do everything I used to etc etc. I usually say I’m fine, but recently, I have been getting a little out of breath doing things like climbing stairs. That was it! He was like a cougar, jumping into action. He examined me for about 10 minutes and then hit me with the bombshell …… “I think I need to talk to the surgeon at the next meeting.” I just sat there nodding and saying shit like “fine” and “okay” and “I understand”. What he was basically saying, and he did not mince his words, was that I need my mitral valve replacing, and it needed doing soon.

I shall leave this as a bit of a cliff hanger …… to be continued!