Hi I am Jo…wife, lover, best friend and soulmate to Keith. Lover of all things to do with nature and the canals. I am passionate about the Waterways and its history.
I hope you will join me in my rambles and do please comment – I love to hear from and meet new people in blogland!
Sunday, 12 November 2017
I have been sat listening to Emma Smith. Emma Smith was interviewed at London Canal Museum in November 2014 about her time on the boat during World War II. Emma was an "Idle Women". The nickname was taken by the initials "IW", which actually meant "Inland Waterways. In no way were the "Idle Women" Idle. They were extremely hard working.
Please go to this LINK and take some time out of your day to listen to this wonderful woman.
Saturday, 11 November 2017
Well where were we?
Oh yes Keith seemed to be improving. That was sadly short lived. Wednesday onward Keith's back seemed to go from being quite good to bloomin crippling, making him look like an 80 year old John Wayne (Check out how John Wayne walked, Keith was worse). The Diazepam and Morphine just seemed to send Keith to sleep and nothing more, but with Physio coming up on Friday, we hoped that would bring us progress.
Thursday night I set my phone alarm for 6 am Friday morning and I had the presence of mind to set our old fashioned alarm clock to the same time. I woke at 5 am I think worrying that my alarms would not go off. This proved to be the case with my phone, because the Alarm did not go off at all. Thankfully the old fashioned alarm clock did its business and chirped into life at 6am on the dot. Sometimes the old things are the best. I have still to work out why my phone did not go off.
I got Keith up and dressed, because we needed to be at the Physio for 8am (I know bloomin early). My plan was to set off at 7.15am for the walk to the hospital. Now this walk usually takes me 15 minutes, but because of Keith's back, I knew it would take us at least twice as long. We actually arrived at the Physio at 7.50am, so 10 minutes to spare phew. No sooner keith's name was called, the Physio could see how hard it was for him to walk. She spent an over an hour with us, trying to get to the route of Keith's problem and she examined him. She could not however do anything for him whilst he was still in so much pain and she suggested we go back to his GP to get his pain medication sorted out. On returning to the boat, I immediately contacted the GP, who made us an appointment with a new GP for the afternoon.
After lunch and a rest, it was time to stagger to the doctors. The GP could see how much pain Keith was in, but he did not want him taking the Diazepam or the Oral Morphine, because he said "All's they do is send you to sleep and constipate you". This GP was a spinal surgeon and told us he knew exactly the treatment Keith needed and so has put Keith on Methocarbamol 750 mg, two tablets four times a day for a few days and then reduce it to one tablet four times a day and he said these tablets would definitely sort Keith's back out. He also told Keith to rest but also not be afraid of exercise, because keeping his back moving was a good thing. With that reassurance, we left the surgery, went straight to the chemist to collect this magic drug.
Keith had two lots of the medication last night and one dose this morning and the change in him was amazing. He no longer looked like a 80 year old John Wayne whilst walking. With Keith's new found energy and pain back, we were up at 8am, mainly because I had a plan for the day.
Warwick was to be visited by The One Show's Rickshaw Challenge as they do The Ride to the Clyde and so I wanted to be up and ready to go out and take some photographs as they came along our road. We had been following them on their virtual map and it said they were due in Warwick at around 10am. Now I did not know if that was completely correct so I went out with my camera at 9.15am to stand and wait for the Rickshaw to come my way. 10am arrived and went and I was joined by Keith and a small crowd of people wanting to wish them well as they wheeled their way to Cannock their next stop. We heard from one lady that they were at Sainsbury for a stop, so they were not far away. 10.30am we got a sight of them coming off the roundabout.
Keith felt up to the walk, so we walked to the market just in time to hear a gun go off to signal a 2 minute silence for Armistice Day, where those at the market stopped what they were doing and stood silent for 2 minutes when the gun went off again. You know it does not take much to salute those who lost their lives to save ours in the 1st and 2nd World Wars. I lost relatives in both wars and it always brings a lump to my throat as I think of their sacrifice, so that I can live free in this wonderful if not mad world. Having brought fruit and veggies, I suggested we take a break at Wetherspoons and have a late breakfast. This of course went down nicely, but as Keith has issues with sitting any length of time, we ate our breakfast, drank our tea and left to make our way home. By now Keith was in a little pain and feeling somewhat tired. My order to him was to put his feet up for the afternoon, once he had had his medication. I on the other hand needed to wash some bedding, empty the toilet cassette and nip to Sainsbury for a few items. My Sciatica is still angry, but I am sure it will settle down again, once I have time to sort myself out. At the moment I need to concentrate on Keith and his health. Jobs done and coffee made, it was time to sit and write this posting.
I hope you have found it enjoyable.
Pop back soon xxxx
Tuesday, 7 November 2017
After a week of desperate pain and a lack of mobility, Keith is finally showing improvement with his back problem. He is definitely better when walking or standing. Sitting for to long is still uncomfortable, so he lays in his reclining chair. We have been out for gentle walks. His first walk was up into town, which completely wiped him out. The second was to a friends for tea and this was much more successful. Today we have walked into town again, as I needed to get food and other items. As I type he is snoozing in his chair, so I think I wore him out.
The past few days have been somewhat hectic, because I have been doing all of the chores, dog walking, shopping and being a nurse, which has meant helping Keith to dress and when he is struggling to get up, I have had to take his weight, which when the pain kicks in means he is a dead weight. This has taken its toll on my Sciatica, which is kicking off big time at the moment. Thank goodness for pain killers, they are keeping me mobile. I would not do for us both to be laid out flat. I will be fine, as it always settles down eventually.
Yesterday we met up with a gentleman that Keith had not seen for 40 years. Alan used to work with Keith all those years ago and as he and his partner Michelle were coming through Warwick they came and found us. We took them to The Cape of Good Hope for lunch. It was lovely to sit and natter and by the time they left us, it felt like I had known them for years. Hopefully we will meet up again next year.
Is it me or has the Christmas advertising on the TV started early?
I know the shops begin at the end of August in some cases, but it looks like the TV companies are getting in early as well. By the time December comes, we will all be sick of Christmas. I have always said, that nothing to do with Christmas should begin before December 1st in my opinion.
Anyway I am off now to put my feet up, watch a movie and listen to my snoozing other half.
Pop back soon xx
Friday, 3 November 2017
Sorry I have been away, but trying to help the other half when he has done his back takes up all of my time and energy.
So as you will have read, Saturday was a fun day NOT. Sunday did not fair any better as Keith spent all day in bed, with his back in spasm. On Monday morning there was no change and if anything he was worse. There was nothing for it but for me to ring his GP. Keith's GP was not in until Wednesday (how inconsiderate ha ha). But I did speak to another GP which Keith has seen before. Having explained to him what had happened and what was going on, I was told to call an ambulance and to get him into hospital, because he needed strong medication. So 999 was rung and I again explained to the lady on the other end of the phone all about Keith and what had happened. She duly dispatched an ambulance, which arrived some five minutes later.
Two lovely lady paramedics turned up and I helped them get onto our boat, where they found Keith in the back cabin in bed. Neither of the ladies had been on a narrowboat before, and were shocked at how tiny our living space was, but they managed to get themselves organised. To get Keith off the boat and into the ambulance it took copious amounts of gas and air. Finally after half an hour we had gotten him into the back of the ambulance and onto the bed.
We arrived at the hospital at 10 am and were put into a trolley bay, because there were no cubicles spare, although they did not seem to rushed off their feet. He was immediately seen and notes taken. His pain level when moved was off the scale. Blood tests and an x-ray were done and finally by five past two we were told he was going to be kept in and a bed had been found for him on a new ward.
Now Keith has been in and out of Warwick Hospital a fair bit and so has been in several different wards. I told him I need to get him a season ticket for the place, and I am sure he wants to try every ward out. I have told him he cannot go to the children's ward or the maternity ward. Anway by 2.30 pm, he was on the ward and being looked after by the nurses. I eventually got home to sort mog and dog out. There was no point me going back to the hospital in the evening, because the ward closes at 7.30 pm.
Tuesday morning the Physios came and got Keith up with a walking stick, they had him walking and he did a step up and down and he felt much better, but by the time I got in which was opening time 12 noon, he was not good on his feet and when I went with him to get him washed, he could not stand at the basin, so I had to get him back to the bed and do a bed wash and shave. I stayed with him until 3.30 pm and spoke to his consultant, who said they wanted to get him mobile and then send him home. I got back to the boat at gone 4 pm, and could hear marmite at the door meowing, because she thought it was her tea-time. "Not for another hour" I told her. I also think she was quite annoyed she had been left with Paddy for the few hours I was away. I sorted her and Paddy out and then I had to go out and sort the boat out, because the water level in the Arm was way down and we had a tilt on.
Wednesday morning saw us listing more and the realisation that more water had leaked out of the Arm. I then got a phone call from Keith, saying he was coming home, so I needed to get my act together to go and collect him at 12 noon. So I emptied the toilet cassette, got rid of rubbish, hoovered and washed the floors and did a general tidy up. By the time I had done all of that it was time to head off to the hospital with Keith's clothing and coat. Keith and I wanted till 4.30 pm before his meds arrived and he was allowed home. Now whilst he was mobile, he was still very stiff and in pain, but with the medication we hoped he would be fine. Our dear friend came and collected us, so we did not have to get a taxi and so we got back to the boat, which was pushed out into the channel, to stop us listing. Keith managed to get on the boat and soon he was in his chair for a while, before heading to bed.
At the time of writing this, he is doing pretty well. He has a walking stick and can get around, but is still in pain and stiff. I am doing my nursing tasks and making sure he takes his meds.
We will see how things go over the coming days and hope that we have some water beneath us.
Pop back soon xxx
Sunday, 29 October 2017
We have only been back home for a few days and already things have slipped back into our normal routine.
We arrived home on the Wednesday (25th) and sorted ourselves out, by connecting us back up to the electric, phone and TV. It was then a matter of sorting out the things which needed to go away until March and getting out the things we would be needing until then. Such as the electric kettle came out and the side fenders were hung up on the pontoon. The recycling bags went back on the shelf, ready for me to recycle the tins, paper, plastic etc. I think we take for granted a lot of things when we are out cruising. When we are out we do not use an electric, we use the one on the back cabin stove or the whistling kettle on the gas. We do very little recycling when out, because most of the sanitary stations do not have recycling bins. We do not bother with the TV, we listen to the radio. I do not use the hoover when out, because it would take too much out of the batteries, so I use a dust pan and brush. It is the small things we take for granted.
Anyway having sorted most of the things out, it was time to light the stove and settle in for the Winter months. Thursday it was laundry day. I wanted to get a load of whites washed and hung out to dry, whilst the weather was still fair. The hoover went round and I got down to washing the floors.
Being home means catching up with people in the arm, who do not go out on their boats now. There is always plenty to talk about and before we knew it our second day at home had come to an end. My Sciatica was still a little sore, but jobs have to be done, so I just get on with it and keep taking the tablets. Talking of tablets I am doing just fine off of the HRT and as yet I have not had any ill effects.
Friday I looked at the garden and wondered if I should begin the tidy-up and then I thought better of it. Another day of doing very little was called for and hey we have the whole of the Winter to get the garden tidy again. Well that was my thinking until Saturday came and I decided to make a start.
Saturday morning, began peaceful enough with a good nights sleep and a cup of tea first thing with the BBC 1 news on. Once up Paddy needed walking and breakfast needed making. I then went and did a huge coloured wash and got it hung out on the line, this was when everything began to unravel. Keith had decided he was off up to the bank and whilst climbing out of the boat, his back decided to go out. Getting him on to the boat, was not easy as he was stuck in the engine room doorway. I had to stand behind him and take his weight, so he could lower himself down. I thein managed to help him to his chair, where he stayed for most of the day. I immediately started him on his Diazepam and Oral Morphine, hoping to give him some relief from the pain, which does have him crying out in pain when it catches him. Throughout the day, I helped him to and from the bathroom, which was not an easy thing. I kept hoping he did not go down, because I would not have been able to get him up on my own and he would end up going into hospital, which we wanted to try and avoid this time, as we have the medication on the boat. Whilst Keith sat and watched TV, I went out and did some gardening. Yeah I know we have all Winter to do it, but I felt the need to start cutting things back and tidying. I managed to get a quarter of our patch weeded and pruned. By the evening Keith was nodding in and out of sleep, so I suggested he go to bed. I managed to get him into the back cabin, I then put the bed down and man handled him into bed, with his cries of pain ringing in my ears, but we could not do things any different.
Thankfully we both had a pretty good nights sleep, until around 3am when he woke up in pain. He did settle back down until 7 am.
Did you remember to put the clocks back?
So here we were Sunday morning, the clocks have gone back and it is the end of British Summertime. Keith decided he was staying in bed, where he hoped that if he rested his back with the help of the Diazepam and Morphine, he would be on the road to recovery again. I rigged up something so he could pull himself up. The gear rod is overhead and with a cord hung over it and tied in a knot it made a good pull me up for him. I got on with the morning. I had to haul Paddy out through the engine room door, so he could go out. Yes I know he felt it was very undignified, but needs must. I managed to get some tidying done in the saloon, I made a vegetable soup and kept keith going with coffees and toast. He spent his time watching TV and being online. Oh the joys of having a small TV in our bed 'ole :-). Before lunch I walked up to Sainsbury for a few items and once I was back I made us some lunch. As of yet there has been no improvement with his back, so I may well need to consult his GP as to what to do next. But we will give it a day or two before we get drastic. Our main issue is getting Keith to the bathroom, this is problematic to say the least. But nurse Jo has a way.
It is quiz night, but we will not be going. I think it maybe an early night for us both.
Before I go. I am feeling rather proud and honoured, because some of my Autumn and Winter photographs are exhibiting at the Boiler House Museum at Foxton. It is the first time I have had my work exhibited.
Pop back soon xx