Thursday, 22 May 2014

Week 10: May 10th-16th: Family Outings

For an explanation of this project and blog please click here.
Click on photos to enlarge or see slideshow

Saturday 10th-Sunday May 11th:

My sister had invited old university friends so she could catch up. The rest of the family had gone to London to catch up with friends of their own who were visiting from France.
As for myself, as indicated at the end of my last post, the various wheelchair walks and playing with my niece had caught up with me with greatly increased pain and various symptoms. So this time was spent recovering.

Monday May 12th:

My sister, Mum and Dad all have birthdays in May. Since my other sister had also managed to join us and I was now feeling better, we decided to do a joint celebration.
We went out for lunch at the local village pub and enjoyed an evening together with cake and champagne (at least for those of us allowed alcohol, which sadly does not include me!).

Tuesday May 14th:

This was an absolutely glorious day. I was still feeling reasonably good and so Mum, my sister, niece and myself went on a wheelchair (and pushchair!) walk along a local canal.
However I first went and visited the grave of a very dear friend of mine who died a couple of months ago. He had been my archery coach from the age of 16 until my illness forced me to give it all up at age 20, but he was much more than that. He was like family to me. Quite apart from being funny, kind, generous as well as simply an interesting person, he was there when I first became ill and supported me through it all. He was a huge part of my life and I will never forget him.

Canal Walk Entrance

Twisty Path

The Road Ahead

Canal Locks

Barging Through

Dog Figurehead

Wednesday May 15th:

Bleurgh. Muscles gave up in disgust. Day was spent sprawled in a heap.

Thursday May 16th:

Marginally better. I went out briefly with my sister and niece to shop for clothes. We managed one shop and then rushed home again!

Friday May 17th

This was a slightly hard day. A friend of mine died in difficult circumstances a couple of weeks ago aged only 30. Her funeral was today. However due to the travel and length of service etc, it was not possible for me to attend. We supported each other in our respective illnesses and I know she would not have wanted me to put my health at risk. As a compromise I therefore went to the local church and spent time there instead. I think it is what she would have wanted.


Local Cemetery

End of Week 10
Click here to go to Week 11
Click here to go to Week 9

Week 9: May 3rd-9th: Exciting Holiday!

For an explanation of this project and blog please click here.
Click on photos to enlarge or see slideshow

Saturday May 3rd:

Much excitement! I travelled to my parents where I am going to stay for two weeks. This took 1.5 hours by car. It was painful and tiring, but it did not provoke a flare up of an illness, simply a worsening of my muscle symptoms.

I hardly ever go away as I am too sick. Travel is extremely painful and I take time to recover. A "proper" holiday would be pointless. I would arrive and have to rest for a day or two. I would then go out for at most two hours and then spend another day or two stuck in a hotel room. Not exactly my idea of fun! Thus I have not been on holiday since 2006 bar occasional visits to family.

But anyway, let's move on. The reason for my visit is that my sister is over here for 7 weeks from Australia and I am meeting my 6 month old niece for the very first time. So far we have only communicated by Skype. This has been surprisingly successful, even playing games of peekaboo etc, but not the same as seeing her in person.

Sunday May 4th:

My sister arrived. I can't begin to say how good it was to see her. We are very close and it is hard for both of us for her to live so far away. As for meeting my niece... Well. She is simply gorgeous! (not that I'm biased in any way). Her father is spanish and she has that mediterranean look. Unusually for a 6 month old she also has a full head of black hair. I would love to share photos, but unfortunately don't feel it is safe to do so on an open site.

Monday May 5th-Friday May 9th

My other sister was able to join us and these days were spent simply relaxing together and getting to know the new pint sized addition to the family. She is adorable but really knows her own mind already!

My parents live in a beautiful rural area and some places have had wheelchair accessible paths put in. My health was doing much better and this meant I was able to go on some brilliant "wheelchair walks".

This did take its toll though and some days I was too ill to accompany the rest of the family. I also had several bad episodes of lowered oxygen and my muscles simply gave up the ghost towards the end of the week. We realised this was due to trying to do too much with my niece and adapted accordingly, for instance bringing her to my bed in the mornings instead of sitting her on my lap.

Wheelchair Walks around the Village:

Typical Cottage

Thatched Cottage

Old Vicarage

Fields on way to Church

Church Approach

Local Church

Wheelchair Walk to a Local Viewpoint:

Route to Monument


The Monument

We got there!

End of Week 9
Click here to go to Week 10
Click here to go to Week 8

Week 8: April 26th-May 2nd: Fish Tank Therapy

For an explanation of this project and blog please click here.
Click on photos to enlarge or see slideshow

Well things certainly did not improve after Friday night.
Over the weekend I became so ill that I could barely stand. This was a problem as I receive less care at weekends.
A very good friend of mine comes round several times a week to spend time chatting, playing games and watching a film or episodes of whatever TV drama series we're into at the moment. He was due to come round in the evenings.
When I realised that even going to the kitchen to fetch supper that my carer/PA (personal assistant) had prepared for me was next to impossible, I phoned him to see if he could come round early and give me a hand. Luckily he was happy to do so and in fact we spent quite a fun weekend together despite the fact that I felt like death warmed up.

The rest of the week was spent recovering. I was too ill to do much at all. I fell asleep if I watched TV.  I couldn't read. I couldn't listen to audiobooks. I couldn't spend any time on my laptop. So mostly I watched my fish tanks!

I have 3 of these in my lounge: 2 larger and 1 small one.
Being a geek, I have decorated one on a Doctor Who theme. The others are currently decorated on a greek and oriental theme respectively.

These are great for the days when I am this ill. They are simultaneously soothing and interesting to watch. It is certainly a lot better than staring at the ceiling! This is what I call my "fish tank therapy".

Doctor Who Fish Tank

Greek Fish Tank

Oriental Fish Tank

End of Week 8
Click here to go to Week 9.
Click here to go to Week 7.