Monday, 31 October 2011

This morning C felt well when she woke, and then she started to feel nauseous and throw things up. After she found she could not keep water down, we rang the GP. She (the GP) immediately saw that C was becoming jaundiced: because I see her every day, I hadn't noticed, but am cursing myself for not having checked. Dr S suspects that there is a problem with the stent that was keeping her bile duct open. She also discovered that C is running a temperature and thinks it likely she may have a urine or kidney infection. Half an hour ago she was taken away in an ambulance.

I have rarely felt so desperate, but without her here to help keep me focused in the present, I'm having a lot of trouble stopping the future from intruding. She may well recover from this, but there's an abyss of loneliness opening up in front of me.

I'll post more when I know more

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Sweet and low

A dear friend wrote to me about this blog that "It must be bleak at times. But the photos tell a different story and they are beautiful and full of light." (I'll write back soon, J, I promise.) There haven't, in fact, been that many bleak days, although there have been times in the last week when bleak would have been a blessing.

C started to take a steroid in the hope that it would shrink the swelling around the tumour, and so alleviate 'Squeezed Stomach Syndrome' which is probably behind her all too predictable bouts of nausea. Unfortunately this, combined with C's recently acquired habit of taking sweet drinks – and indeed eating sweets – because they were a good way of boosting her calorie intake in the face of the nausea and lack of appetite, tipped her over into Type 2 diabetes. A community nurse came to check her sugar levels on Tuesday, and they literally sent her meter off the scale, a result that induced a panic in the medical staff assigned to her – C's GP, for whom we can find no praise sufficient, immediately came out to check her over, blood tests were arranged, we had the Doctors on Call service calling us...

As it happened, it was that very morning that a parcel had arrived containing £70-worth of goodies from  the finest online sweetstore in the land, which I thought would keep us in stocks through to next year. So it goes...

A combination of yet more drugs, stopping the steroids and not eating any sugar, or indeed much of anything at all, has brought the readings down, but still not low enough that a nurse doesn't pop in every day to check. The whole thing has dispirited C utterly, and left her feeling exhausted and utterly depleted, although she is slowly bumping back up. Just to add to the general joys, her ME and accompanying viral flare-ups have returned. As you can imagine, I didn't take many pictures.

It seems such a long while ago, yet it was only last Sunday when, inspired by a sudden shaft of sunshine, we went out to Shobrooke Park, just a couple of miles away, to enjoy a lovely autumn day, with C managing to get around the whole mile or so circuit, including several stiles, with very little trouble and much enjoyment: she was wearing a lovely velvet skirt, one of many glorious garments that have been hidden away for years on the grounds of being too good for everyday wear, at a time when every day was seemingly everyday. C was thrilled to have got out, thrilled to have made the circuit, thrilled to be alive and wreathed in smiles.


A tense moment in the fishing competition
Kez and C striding out
The skirt in full effect
The ruined boathouse, Shobrooke's equivalent of Dave Trippas's house
(that's confused all but about three potential readers, I reckon)
Wreathed in smiles, like I said: would I lie to you?

  The following day, the Monday, was grey and damp, so I followed the advice of C's dear, and unfortunately late, friend Terry, who prescribed baking as an ideal way to cheer up a miserable day. Without the wherewithal for cake, but with a pile up of loaf-nubs, I went for bread pudding, and put it in the oven just before we went into Crediton to harass Boots for more drugs. When we came back, throwing open the kitchen door from outside, the blast of warmth, fruit and sweet spice was just heavenly.

I don't have any pictures of the bread pudding, so here's
something else rich, dark and full of fragrant goodness

Thursday, 6 October 2011

more holiday snaps

as promised/threatened in the last post, more of our day-trip to Dawlish.

One of the main reasons we chose to go to Dawlish was that we could get a train that dropped us virtually on the beach, after a spectacular riverside ride down the Exe Estuary, followed by a run of a mile or two between the cliff and the surf. C had never made the journey before, but I often came here in the 70s and 80s as my pal Jim's parents lived there, and I was invited for the odd holiday.

We walked to Coryton Cove, an old stamping (and indeed splashing) ground just beyond the Big Red Rock (quite how it got this name when the whole town is built on red rocks, many of them a lot bigger than the one that bears its name, is moot) to find the tide was seriously out (it was a new moon close to the equinox). C is the small black dot in the middle of the pic and I am only up to around my calves in the water this far from the shoreline
calm down, ladies, he's taken

As far as we know, K-Dawg's first trip on a train, or public transport of any kind. He behaved impeccably, but absolutely refused to go anywhere near the water. When I put a lead on him and attempted to drag him in for a paddle, he planted his paws and lowered his head so that his collar threatened to come off over his ears.

Can't be said too often