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

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