Tuesday, 5 July 2016

July update

I have just read through my last post and I note that the weather was pretty dismal then.  The rest of June was much the same lots of rain and just enough sun to make the weeds grow like crazy.   However the marigolds are thriving and the begonias are coming into flower.  I don't get as much time in the garden as I would like but I am just about keeping on top of it.

The Cloud is still away at the painters but the Mark Ten has passed the MOT after having a little welding done on the floor panel.

We had some trouble getting it running properly , turns out that something had come loose in one of the carburretors (spelling?)  We paid someone to sort it but Ron was not happy with the set up so he managed to re-set them with just a little help from Graham under instruction.   We took it out on Sunday to Maldon Motor  Show where we joined Area 33 on the JDC stand.   The weather was very good and we had a nice time.     The car ran well although I think Ron thinks it is smoking so no doubt more fettling will be required.  

Unfortunately while the car was away being welded a small amount of damage has been done to the rear off-side wheel arch.   So another visit to the paint shop.

We have not had many outings during June with the cars.   I have had a few outings myself with my U3A club and on 22nd I went to Southend for the day with the bus pass group.   Ron and I joined John and Jill and  Barbara and Tony to have lunch at the Bluebell Inn in Hempstead.   The lunch was nice but the pub was a bit chaotic as it was so busy.   We went to Graham and Erica's for a barbecue for Fathers Day and Elliot was there so that was nice.

I am going to Green Island Garden near Colchester tomorrow and then on Saturday we have an early start as Anita (my niece) is getting married in Leighton Buzzard at 11.30.  We are staying overnight after the reception at a Weatherspoons in the town so that will be an experience I am sure.

Ron has not made any significant improvement his hand movement is still an occasional movement of his forefinger and sometimes a little flexing of the thumb.
We are working on strengthening his leg muscles so that he can walk further without his legs aching.
Ron has been driving whenever we have had to take the other cars to painters, garage etc but he says he does not enjoy it and has no interest in driving.   He gets quite depressed and frustrated when there is anything to be done on the cars and he cannot do it.   He talks on and off of getting rid of the cars but I don't think he is ready for that yet as he still hopes to get much better.   Of course, finances may dictate what happens.  We have always said that it Ron could not maintain the cars, we would not be able to afford them and we are certainly using up the savings lately.

That's about it - my tummy tells me it is lunch time

XXX

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Wintry June

1st June today and the central heating is on!


Read more ยป

Friday, 29 April 2016

18 Months On

Yes this coming week it will be 18 months since the day that changed our lives.  What a steep learning curve it has been.  There has been times when it all seemed too much and Ron does get very frustrated sometimes but overall I think we are managing well.

In my last post I said I would let you know how we got on doing the Physio ourselves, well the answer is not too well.  We are able to do the exercises but it is the sticking to a routine that I find difficult.  There always seems to be something more pressing, washing to hang out, meal to be prepared, grass to cut, shopping to be done - the list goes on.   I really must get more discipline into my days.  When we have found the time,, Ron is improving.   Still no movement in his hand but there  is still hope.  We have met a couple of people lately who have been as bad as Ron but have got movement back up to 3 years after.   We live in hope.

We have had two weekends away.  The first a RREC trip to near Swansea in Wales when we took the Silver Cloud.   This went well although it rained heavily most of the journey there and we got soaked at the services.  The rest of the weekend it was fine and as usual the Welsh Section had everything organised.   Ron and I were invited to travel with John and Carolyn Smith which was lovely for me as it meant I did not have to do any parking!  Of course there was one problem we forgot Ron's quad stick.  Fortunately we were able to borrow a stick but of course it was a normal stick so Ron was not as good on his feet as he can be but we managed.

Last weekend we went away with Area 33 Jaguar Drivers Club.   This was in Hetherset, near Norwich and we took the S type and of course a much shorter journey.   The weather was very cold and showery but we managed to get out and about.   We went to a Game and Country Fair on Saturday and to Sandringham on Sunday.   There was lots of fun and banter at the dinner table and in the bar and we were really glad we went.

I don't think we will do any longer that 3 or 4 days away as I think this is about long enough for both off us to manage.   We don't have another weekend until August but lots of Sunday lunches and one day outing with the cars.

Ron continues to become more independent and I am now able to go out for the day and Ron encourages me to get out and about so I am gradually resuming my social life.

I think that more or less bring us up to date, looking forward now to some warmer weather.  The African marigolds that Ron planted are all doing well in the greenhouse and our begonias are beginning to sprout.

I will write again in a month or sooner if there is anything to report.

Friday, 18 March 2016

Time flies when you are having fun!

I can't believe it is a month since my last post.  Not much has happened in that time.

After a few assessments with Suzanne Ron has been out driving a few times.  He is fine but says he does not enjoy it as he used to, he says he needs to concentrate all the time.  However it is good to know he can do it if he wants to.

We had our last OT session on Wednesday and we now have no professional involvement at all.  We have drawn up a schedule so that we have a framework to work to so we don't just sit around but continue to do the Physio ourselves.

I hope that Ron will continue to make progress.  I am a bit concerned about his walking pace I am sure he used to walk a lot faster but his comment is that there is no rush and that he would rather be slow and safe which obviously makes sense but if he would go just a little faster he would not draw so much attention.

We are busy filling in our diary with car club outings on Sunday's through the year plus several weekends away.   I am gradually returning to my club activities as Ron is OK to be left home alone and he is adamant that I resume these.

I will write more and let you know how we get on with our regime.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Busy times

Well I see it is a month since I last wrote something so here goes with a catch-up.  After the excitement of seeing Ron's thumb moving it turns out that it was an automatic movement and not one that Ron did.   However since then he has moved it under his control just a few days ago.
We have been so busy as we have had visits from the Papworth team, Physio once a week, OT twice a week plus Saffron Walden Gym twice a week.  In addition the Neuro psychologist has been and spent three hours assessing Ron.  We were delighted with the results which she gave us verbally on the day.  Basically she assessed Ron as almost normal for someone of his age.  She said that he needs time and/or repitition to absorb information and she is going to send us a written report together with suggested strategies to put in place such as repeating information such as appointments.   Best of all she could see no reason why Ron could not drive our converted Jaguar.  She said some people in this situation would take some driving lessons to gain confidence and since her visit Ron's daughter who is a qualified driving instructor has been out with him twice.  He got on well, just needs to get used to the controls.

Ron continues to progress regarding becoming more independent with personal care, toilet and washing.   He now walks in the house, rather than use his electric wheelchair, he sits at the table, pulling the chair in himself.

On Sat 14th we had the last visit from the Papworth Physio and she did all the measurements and tests again to compare with those she did when she started.  Ron's original score was 32 out of 54 and he was 49 on Saturday so a huge improvement and his test walk outside had gone from 16 mins to 11 so again very satisfying.

We are so grateful for this extra help we have had from Papworth Trust.  The OT's last session will be around 3rd March and our Saffron Walden Physio finishes on 1st March and then we will be on our own.   I think this is going to be a bit of a let down so we have to make sure that we organise ourselves as it is all too easy to get lazy.   I will set up a spreadsheet and hope that this will motivate us.  
The Physio is going to recommend another session and this will be great if we can get it.   If not we have the option of paying privately we will just have to see how it goes.

We have been out for various lunches with the car clubs, Ron is able to walk in, albeit slowly, and this makes it a lot easier.
On Wednesday 10th I went out all day and Ron managed perfectly well.  I can go out for a few hours without any problems or preparation.

I will write again when there is something to report.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Quick Update

I have to write this quick post as something wonderful has happened. Yesterday Ron moved his thumb.   Now this doesn't sound much but it is momentous.  He has not been able to repeat it but we know from experience that he will in the future.  It was the same with his feet and legs, he did something for the first time and then could not repeat it but he now does those movements almost without thinking.

The Papworth Physio came last Saturday and she was very good, Ron went for a walk outside, lots of different surfaces and slopes.   He did squats and is continuing to practice these.  On the advice of the physio we resumed using the mirror box on Sunday (could this have prompted the thumb movement?)

As I said just a short note - off to the gym in half-hour.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Welcome 2016

We had a lovely Christmas.  Suzanne made a wonderful meal and 9 of us sat down at the beautifully laid table prepared by Chas with the help of a tape measure.   23 (I think) of us gathered at Graham and Erica's lovely home on Boxing Day to enjoy delicious food , supplied mainly by guests, loud music and some rowdy party games.

Between Christmas and New Year we went to Ryan's house.  Ron entered by the back door but on leaving he used the front door which requires you to bend low under the beam and step up.  So another achievement.

Our trip to Llangollen, North Wales started out by us leaving home at 10.30 ish on 30th, we stopped for lunch and a comfort break at around 12.15 on the A14 and soon after leaving the Little Chef traffic came to a standstill and there we sat for 2 hours!   We set off traffic moving slowly and by now it was beginning to get dark as it was a dull, rainy day.  Disaster struck the driver side windscreen wiper broke away, I pulled in at a lay-by and following Ron's instructions managed to push it back on.  Ron said it had never been satisfactory since he had it replaced.  We set off again and reached the M6 using the wiper only manually and intermittently.  Then it came off again and I could hardly see it was now completely dark and heavy rain all I could see were red lights again and no way of knowing if they are rear lights or stoplight .  We stopped again a couple of times to push it back on.  All in all a nightmare journey- all those intersections and you can't see the road markings.  We eventually arrived at out hotel at 7.15!!!!  Quick change in our very nice room and then down to dinner.

We had a very nice New Year Break enjoying the company of our friends and our return journey was completely trouble free.

Our friend Ted Kelly took us to Wrexham to buy a part and then fixed it for us.  According to a mechanic staying at the hotel, the one fitted on the car was not the correct one for the car.

I do feel quite proud of myself as I think I managed quite well.


We have the Physio from Papworth coming on Saurday and we heard today that we are booked in to Saffron Walden for another 8 week session (twice a week).  Ron has been able to improve the movement he has on his arm from elbow and this may be due to the exercises he has been doing since theOT came to visit.   He continues to practice his staggering without a stick but we had a bad freezing incident on the slope to the dining room this week, I am hoping the Neuro Psychologist will sort this out for him.


Ron has not yet driven using his conversion and I am not encouraging it.  I hope again the psychologist will be able to reassure me.


Must get on lots to do today.