Jaye’s Week, such as it is…

Jaye’s Week, such as it is…

My brain is so unfair.

It knows I am having trouble, but it wants to get cracking anyway. Keeps coming up with interesting and brilliant writing and promotion ideas that simply vanish before I have the time to get my thinking cap on.

Only five minutes ago, for example, it came up with a cracker. I told myself (and my brain) that I would check it out in a minute. But before I could finish reading the last email on my list, it had left the premises, gone for a walk. Vanished completely. This is what I put up with daily, it’s a wonder I manage to do anything these days…

not sure what these are called, but I love them!

Spending more time away from the computer does have its advantages, however. The recent lovely weather and the arrival of signs of Spring have sent me out of doors. I have discovered that gardening does not give me trouble at all, arthritic knees notwithstanding (or bending for that matter) and I am loving every minute!

Today I will be organising seed sowing. Tomatoes and dahlias. Next week I intend to finish repotting the bonsai that I didn’t get around to last autumn.

I must go now, for the words on my screen are swimming away from me.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and I will see you again on Monday…

Jaye XXX

I Must Make a Decision…

Image by Esi Grünhagen from Pixabay

I must make a decision.

One I have been putting off for a while now. Unfortunately, I must cut back on the work I do, the reading, writing and blogging, due to severe dizziness and nausea.

It breaks my heart, for I love what I do, every single minute of it.

I had enough trouble years back when cataracts nearly scuppered me, but being a trooper, I found other ways to do things.

Now, I have a new and most unwelcome visitor. Something my doctor thinks is Meniere’s Disease. Sounds awful, doesn’t it?

I have been having what I call my dizzy days for years, days when I must give in and switch off the PC. Luckily, these only lasted a day back then. Then it gradually changed to two days, then more, becoming a big problem.

Then the earache began, and the dizziness became worse. I couldn’t work, couldn’t go out in the car due to travel sickness. At my age, I ask you!

Of course, this situation is ongoing. I have new pills that don’t seem to do anything and have yet to be referred to the ENT department at our local hospital.

In the meantime, I am reducing my computer time, as this seems to be the worst culprit. Looking on the bright side, I might get more writing done, away from the glare of that hypnotic screen!

I am determined not to vanish completely, as that will not do at all. I just wanted to let you know that things may look a bit different around here for a while…

Jaye

Another amazing post from Nebari Bonsai…

A little repotting

Brian VF Repotting March 12, 2022 1 Minute

Repotting is done for several reasons: to work on and prune the roots, to change and refresh the soil, and to adjust the planting angle. Sometimes all three. Here are a few examples of each.

First up is a “normal” repotting of a Chinese quince, which is pot-bound. All soil is removed, roots are trimmed back, and heavy roots are removed from underneath the base. The tree is secured back into the same pot, and fresh soil is worked in:

This is the time of year that all bonsai growers start to think of repotting, (depending on where you live, of course) Repotting is the one most important thing to get right to keep your babies happy!

Continue reading to see how an expert does it… HERE

A Very Happy Chinese New Year of the Tiger…

Image by JL G from Pixabay

The year of the Tiger brings bravery, wisdom and strength, all of the attributes I need right now.

I love tigers, so maybe this year will be wonderful after all…

(This post has been a long time coming, and at times I didn’t think I would be writing it)

Worry is a terrible thing, it steals the quality of life from right under your nose, reducing your world into a place of doom and gloom. We have been sitting on a massive worry these past six months and have refused to start the new year until we had good news.

I desperately tried to keep everything normal, finish my WIP and keep the website going, but I have to admit it was a poor imitation of the real thing, and I apologise for that.

I have not been sharing much of this with our friends and followers and this may seem strange after all your incredible support when Anita had that massive heart attack in 2020. Your love and good wishes pulled us through that terrible time, but when disaster struck again last year, it seemed far more serious, and we really felt that talking about it might make it worse.

Anita’s heart is still severely damaged, and despite having two stents and a pacemaker fitted, it only barely functions. When a series of lumps started to appear around her neck last year, the alarm bells started ringing again.

Because of the raging virus and all the hospital delays, it took months to have the lumps investigated. The consultant mentioned cancer and after deliberation, they finally decided to remove part of her thyroid. Surgery was a problem as they didn’t think her heart was strong enough, but they said that delaying it was not an option.

This was a nightmare time for all the family, especially Anita, for she can’t abide hospitals at the best of times. She has never been seriously ill and to be struck down by two life-threatening illnesses almost at the same time seems very unfair. She made it through this surgery without incident, but we had to wait two agonising weeks to get the results of the tests.

By this time, we were all terrified and sick with worry, dreading the news.

On the day of the appointment, I felt sick to my stomach but somehow kept a smile on my face. I think I held my breath when she was called into the consultant’s office, but five minutes later the door opened and she rushed out of the room, a massive smile on her face. We watched in amazement as she ran out of the ENT department to a standing ovation from the nurses.

By this time, we knew the news must be good, but I wanted to know how good. Just before we all reached the lifts, I caught her arm and made her stop walking. ‘Well,’, I said and waited.

She stood there laughing at me as if she just won the lottery, and I didn’t think she was going to say anything.

Quietly, and for the first time with a serious face, she looked at me and said, ‘there is no cancer…’

All the way home in the car, she kept repeating those words and her relief was wonderful to see. Despite the odds, her poor old ticker had survived the surgery and she was cancer-free.

But four days later, we had to rush to the hospital as she was having trouble breathing again. She is now back home, but it seems that worrying isn’t going anywhere after all.

She is looking better, although still very weak and breathless much of the time. The list of her medications grows ever longer, but … and you may have noticed this, none of what happened has stopped her writing her poetry.

Now all I have to do is get my own head back together!

Mad Monday…

This is me this morning I’m afraid.

Yesterday was a nightmare, one I don’t want to ever have again.

Last Monday, Anita had surgery to remove suspicious activity in her thyroid. Everything seemed to go okay, and she came home on Thursday. She was a little breathless and very weak, but we thought this was to be expected.

What we didn’t expect, was for the breathing to become much worse every day, almost stopping on Sunday morning. We rang 111 but the answer message said to call later as they were so busy! We debated whether to call 999, but suppose they were too busy? At that point, we were getting frantic, so we all piled in the car and Anita’s son drove like a demon, hazards on and so fast, I was dizzy. At this point, Anita’s breathing was getting worse and she kept saying she thought she was dying. She was probably remembering that other time nearly two years ago when we made the same journey and she really was dying from a massive heart attack.

The roads were not busy, and any cars we came across soon got out of our way as we made the ten miles to the hospital. Within seconds, the A & E staff had her on oxygen and we all breathed a sigh of relief.

Turns out that it could be something that happened during the thyroid surgery, and we await the truth about that, hopefully, today.

So you see, I am probably even angrier than that cat…

What a Week this has Been!

What a week this has been!

At the beginning of the week and fed up to my back teeth with feeling so sick and giddy all the time, secretly wondering if a stroke might be imminent as my head felt both awful and wrong at the same time, I bit the bullet and rang my doctor.

I was probably wasting my time and wouldn’t get an appointment, or even the time of day if last time was anything to go by, but I was hoping for a conversation at the very least.

At our surgery, patients must first go through hoops with the receptionists. They are instructed to triage all calls, basically to judge whether you are sick enough to be blessed with a chance to speak to your doctor. They draw the line at dying though, as the recorded message tells you not to bother them; to ring 999.

I made it through the first hurdle and was told my doctor would call me that day. Oh boy, I must really be sick, I thought, but not dying though, which was good to know.

The verdict was an inner ear problem, and a prescription was sent to my local chemist. I was to take the pills for two days, but if the dizziness hadn’t gone to ring back, as she would have to see me (in person!)

During those two days, a very sad family disaster upset everyone’s apple cart, and we finally received notification of the start of Anita’s thyroid investigation at the hospital. We only waited for weeks this time, so that was an improvement.

I felt no better after the two waiting days, so I rang the surgery again. This time, they said my doctor was not available and that my name would be added to the duty rota list. Hopefully, someone will call me later.

Later turned out to be a synonym for never, apparently, as I am still waiting!

Despite such a terrible week, I have managed to continue writing in short bursts, I must admit, but worrying about my characters problems has kept me sane.

Hoping for a quiet weekend… and wishing the same for all of you!

The Windows of my Soul…

a big yellow, dizzy emoji
Image by Christian Dorn from Pixabay

The Windows of my Soul…

The first time it happened, I thought my brain had decided to quit, breakdown or crash, whatever it is brains do when they die. One minute I was perfectly fine, reading something on the computer screen and then it happened.

My brain lurched.  That is the best way I can describe what it felt like. It was as if the contents of my head twisted around in one quick movement. Instantly, I felt sick and nauseous, and when I tried to stand, the room revolved violently, and I had to sit down again.

I was unable to walk or work. I wasn’t actually sick, but it felt as though I would be at any minute. The following morning, I opened my eyes, expecting the worst, only to discover whatever it was had gone. It didn’t happen again for what seemed like a long time, but I had to endure these “dizzy days” every couple of months, and although I coped with it, I secretly worried what it could mean.

Last year these ‘spells’ have begun to get closer together and last a little bit longer than just one day. This was roughly when the optician discovered I had cataracts growing in my eyes. They were very small and didn’t need to be removed yet. I was assured they were not the cause of my symptoms and prescribed a special coating for my glasses to combat the glare from the computer screen.

Fast forward to this year and the dizzy spells. They last for a bit longer now, and another visit to the opticians confirmed that the cataracts are still small and unlikely to be causing me trouble. Again, I am not convinced. Something must be causing all my dizziness.

I found respite by wearing sunglasses over my glasses, at the computer as well as out of doors, and may invest in new tinted glasses to avoid wearing two pairs all the time. I have been reluctant to bother my doctor again, as he didn’t have a clue last time I went. I already suspect it is probably yet another of those mysterious ailments that must be endured as part of growing old. I am learning to limit my screen time and I cannot wear my glasses all day either.

The thought of losing my sight, or worse, fills me with equal amounts of fear and dread. I think of all the things I love to do and might not be able to manage anymore, and don’t know how I will cope if the worst happens. Quite apart from my writing and hobbies, there are so many other things I love to do. It breaks my heart to even consider life without them all.

For a start, what would I do all day…?

Throwback Thursday… This Time Last Year…

Hell of a Week… Published this time last year…

It would be lovely if I could think of one thing at a time these days, but it’s not happening. I have been trying to publish shadows, Anita’s new book of poetry. Fate is conspiring against me, but I aim to release it next week.

And the more I struggle to think about writing, it opens the floodgates for a ton of ideas to jump into my head. I often wonder if I am on the wrong horse, so to speak.

Wrong house more like, as we have had major roadworks outside the house for two weeks. They have moved along the road today, but I can still hear their infernal noise. 

And now we have these temporary traffic lights right outside the front door!

So concentrating has been a mite difficult, to say the least.

Making sure we have enough medication for Anita is proving difficult too, as our doctor’s surgery is obviously being run by a bunch of idiots. That is probably a little unkind, as I’m sure they are doing their best. I keep sending them the updated lists from the hospital whenever the meds change, but they still don’t get them right.

Then today, the heart consultant telephoned to talk about the pacemaker/defibrillator and to reassure us that it will happen soon. This will be the last piece of the puzzle and will finally fix Anita’s wagon!

This afternoon, the family took us out to our local lake, affectionally called the Pond. We love this place, but it seemed as though the whole of Petersfield had the same idea! There was no room on any of the benches and the lovely cafe had removed all their seating, so I had to forego my usual mug of hot chocolate. 

All things considered, it was wonderful to see the water and the wildlife and the walk was undoubtably good for us both…

And now?

I am tempted to say, same old, same old, as on the surface at least, nothing much has changed since this time last year. In reality though, so much has changed. In very subtle ways its true, but I think we are in a better position than we were.

There have been some bad days these past twelve months, days when depression tripped us up and we landed on our backsides. Times when the delays got us down and we wondered if life was ever going to get any better. Days when tempers frayed and patience took a holiday.

But there were also days when laughter was heard around the house again and smiling faces brought the sunshine.

I am trying to write a current update post about where we are at the moment, so watch this space!

Jaye’s Week… Stop the World…

Stop the World – I want to get Off!

Life simply isn’t getting any better, and in some respects, it’s getting worse.

Tensions are running very high in our house, very much due, I’m afraid, to the slow-moving mechanism that drives the NHS these days. And before anyone jumps all over me, I will add that I think they have done an outstanding job coping with Covid. The rest of the system may never recover, however.

It has been a year since Anita’s devastating heart attack. A year of delays, lost results and what can only be described as apathy. So busy saving the world, some patients are falling by the wayside.

Not to mention the song and dance every time we attend the hospital on those rare occasions. At the moment, we are waiting for an appointment for a possible stent to be fitted, as although Anita is coping brilliantly with her reduced mobility and general fitness, she could be a lot better.

I wasn’t expecting to throw my own hat into the ring too, and tried very hard to wait until a shred of normality looked like returning.

It was probably due to the extra workload, and definitely caused by all the stress, but my arthritis has been severely showing off, crippling my knees, and reducing me to a shambling wreck.

When I damaged my knee once before, pre covid, I went to my local A & E, had an Xray and an amazing injection that enabled me to walk without pain.

Yesterday I had reached the end of my rope, and thinking we were as close to normal as we were ever likely to get, I turned up at A&E again, only to be sent packing. Well, advised to attend a Minor Injuries Unit which was miles away!

Apparently, our Accident & Emergency Department are only accepting Life threatening emergencies.

Time to have a word with our GP. Not that you can actually have a face-to-face appointment anymore. You must wait weeks for a telephone conversation and so on. I think I will write a letter and see what happens.

In the meantime, the housework and gardening can go take a running jump!

The Fragile Heart…

image by Jaye Marie

The First Day

Luckily, we left in plenty of time to reach the hospital. Just as well, as it turned out, for when we arrived there were queues of cars on all the roads approaching the main gates.

We joined the queue and fifteen minutes late, crawled through the gates to find road works, traffic cones and red barriers all along the road that lead to the car parks.

This is when Anita began to panic.

She had been relatively calm in the car up until this point, even though I knew she was hating every minute, the closer we got to the hospital. Clearly upset, and probably taking this as a bad omen, she demanded to be taken home. A request we tried to ignore. At our peril, I might add, but the moment seemed to pass, and we were safe.

Finding a place to park was a nightmare and fraught with visions of another meltdown, so when we spotted one, we all breathed a sigh of relief.

Anita was called promptly at her allotted appointment time, and the procedure revealed no clots in her heart whatsoever. A year ago this month, there was a massive clot in her left ventricle and now it had gone! This was such great news, but why was Anita still so breathless?

On returning home we were all completely shattered and turned in early, just to be better equipped for another day at the hospital tomorrow.

Day Two

We left even earlier for the appointment just in case the situation at the hospital had deteriorated even further, and of course, we arrived far too early. We didn’t fancy leaving Anita in Outpatients on her own for longer than necessary. We couldn’t be with her (covid precautions still in operation), so we all sat in the hospital lobby, a very pleasant waiting area and twiddled our thumbs. I mean, what do you talk about on these occasions?

Anita seemed more relaxed today, even though this test was more important and complicated. Yesterdays test was to see her heart working and this one was to check all her arteries using a dye. The possibility of a stent being needed has been mentioned.

This was where todays nightmare began.

They couldn’t they find any veins in Anita’s arms! At this point, I was in the waiting room, (one person allowed today, and only if they didn’t need the chair) and Anita kept appearing in her hospital nightie, waving, as yet another attempt failed! When they finally found one, using some new-fangled machine, we all felt like cheering. Me mainly, because Anita was taking all of this so well and even looked as though she was enjoying it.

This doctor wasn’t as forthcoming as yesterdays, all he said at the end of the procedure was that he had managed to obtain good clear images and they would be sent to the consultant for analysis.

More blooming waiting!