Journal – November-December 2010

This is a difficult set of journal entries to share, with Dad going back into hospital, as things haven’t ended well in that regard. I could just stop sharing these posts and resume when things improve again, but as this is life-changing and will clearly have a huge impact on my future, it’s important to include and acknowledge it.

I do mention various other things in these entries as well, including DVDs, TV shows, music, Christmas food, news stories, etc. But most of it is about my father, with some of the details edited out of course. So if it’s the sort of thing you’d rather not read about, then by all means skip this, and come back at a later date when things improve again. But if you do read on, I hope you find it of interest.

Sunday November 7, 2010

Dad came home on Wednesday evening. We saw the doctor on Tuesday, and he said he could give Dad a long list of things he hasn’t got wrong with him, but it’s still a puzzle as to what the issue actually is. They’re happy for him to come home and rest though, and his blood count seems to be slowly getting stronger of its own accord. They extracted some bone marrow from him on Tuesday, which sounded like a painful procedure, the way they had to stick things in him for 10 minutes to get it out, so he’s had to have painkillers for a few days while that settles down again.

He’s got to have an echocardiogram on his heart on Tuesday, then on Thursday he’s got an appointment with the doctor, who should have all his test results back by then. In the meantime, all Dad can do is take it easy, while I help Mum out with various things. He’s eating soups and small dinners, and he can move around a little, but it’s still quite tiring.

As for me, work’s going fine, nothing major to report there, although I will have to do a bit more over the next few weeks while a few colleagues are either on holiday or moving house. And we’ve also booked our Christmas lunch, so that should be good.

I’ve also had more DVDs arriving – Family: Guy Season 9 and Harry Hill’s TV Burp Gold 3 – plus there are more coming out over the next few weeks in the run up to Christmas. I’ve also bought soundtrack albums, on CD and MP3 downloads, for 24, The Simpsons, and a live Family Guy album, as well as other music I generally buy, so that’s all been good to listen to. I’ve finished watching the first season of Sherlock now too, so I’m looking forward to the next series. And I’ve completed 2 seasons in my catch-up of 24 – it’s been great watching the earlier shows again, I’d forgotten some of the things that went on all those series ago.

I spoke to SM the other day on Skype – the only program that wants to work on his computer right now, as he’s got a virus from somewhere. He even got a blue screen of death while we were talking, but it let him continue to talk to me for a couple more minutes before his computer restarted itself. And apart from that he’s doing alright, he’s looking forward to his birthday.

Friday November 12, 2010

Dad’s back in hospital again. He went in for an echocardiogram on Tuesday morning (essentially an ultrasound on his heart), and they found a faulty valve, which could well be the cause of all the problems. The valves in your heart let blood in or out, and if one doesn’t work, the blood has to work harder to pump blood around, which in turn makes you feel tired and out of breath. So it makes a lot of sense. It’s not a result of his lifestyle, it’s just one of those things.

So he’s going to need surgery to replace the valve, which is pretty simple I think. I found a booklet from the British Heart Foundation on the internet at work and printed that off, it’s very clearly written. But the surgery can’t happen yet, as Dad has an infection that they think might have come in through his gums, plus a kidney infection too, so they need to sort all of that out. He’s got a long line tube in his arm that they’re using to flush things through his system, and it’s apparently starting to clear up the infections, so that’s hopeful. The tube essentially goes into a blood vessel and all the way around to just above his heart, so it really is quite long, not to mention slim! They do put other tubes in him sometimes as well, plus they’ve done a few other tests, and various doctors and consultants have been looking at him. The surgeon’s also going to come and see him on Tuesday – his operation will be at a different hospital whenever it happens – and he’s got to see the dentist as well.

He’ll be in hospital for at least 4 weeks, probably a bit longer. Hopefully he’ll be home by Christmas, but it’s too early to say yet. Mum and I visited him on Tuesday to take him pyjamas and clothes and toiletries, and we’re now getting into a routine of visiting him regularly, going in the evenings and at weekends, so I don’t have to take any more time off work. It’s also easy enough for Dad to get the hospital to ring us, or for us to ring the ward or him, so we’ll be updated regularly with how things are going.

So things are finally moving along, now that we have a clearer idea of what’s wrong and how they plan to treat him. You really can’t fault the way they’re looking after him, they’re very thorough and are doing their best to make him comfortable. Plus he is generally healthy in all other respects, which should help in any recovery.

At home, however, a hospital car turned up yesterday for the appointment Dad had told the hospital to cancel – apparently nobody tells the transport, that sort of thing happens a lot! We’ve also spoken to our builder friend and his wife, who are happy to come over if we need anything, and have talked to my Aunt and Nan in London. We’ll keep them all regularly updated as things progress. Plus I’ve spoken to my mate SM to keep him updated, and he’s got rid of the virus on his computer now it seems.

Apart from all that, there’s not much to report on the work front. We’ve chosen our menu items for our Christmas dinner – I’ve having soup for starters, turkey for mains, and a gooseberry and toffee dessert for dessert. Things might be a little bit busier over the next week or two though, with various people away. Still, I’m sure we’ll manage, things aren’t too bad right now. And at home I’ve now got the steelbook edition DVD of Doctor Who: Series 5, along with the soundtrack album as a download, which is very good.

Saturday November 20, 2010

Mum and I have visited Dad a couple of times this week. Having now seen the dentist, he’s got to have 8 of his remaining 12 teeth out, which will happen over the next week or two, perhaps in two trips to remove 4 teeth in each case. Hopefully that’ll help them to clear the gum infection, which appears to be what got into his blood stream and infected his valve, causing it to stop working, or something like that. They can’t operate until that infection’s got rid of and the gums are healed, so he’s going to be in hospital for at least another 4 weeks, not counting this week. That makes it very unlikely that he’ll be out by Christmas now, unfortunately, but there’s nothing we can do about that.

Other than that he’s doing ok though, all things considered – bored, but comfortable, plus he’s breathing a lot more easily and finding it easier to sit up and talk, so that’s encouraging. He’s not having so much stuff pumped into him with tubes now either – although he still has the long line tube in, and has to take plenty of pills for antibiotics, and have an injection in his chest at regular intervals. We also brought him his mobile phone, in case he wants to ring Mum with any updates. I’ve made sure it’s topped up with credit to last him a while, but can always add more if need be.

Back at home, Mum and I also got an RNIB Penfriend on Thursday, which we ordered on Tuesday night. This is basically a device that looks like a fat pen, but is actually a clever little voice recorder (and MP3 player if you want it to be). It comes supplied with a set of labels (and we bought two more packs to keep us going) in a few shapes and sizes. You get a few hundred labels in a set. Each label has a unique ID, which the pen can read when you tap the label with it. This allows you to record something for each sticker – thus creating audio labels. So I’m going to stick labels on each of Mum & Dad’s DVDs and audiobooks, to record audio labels for each one. All they then have to do is tap the pen against each label to hear what it is. We think it’ll also be useful for phone numbers, important letters, tins and other food items, and so on. It’s very clever! In order to get ready for that, I’ve been sorting out their DVDs to get them into order again, and will have to do the same with their audiobooks. Then I can record the labels a few at a time.

I’ve also had more DVDs coming through. Mainly comedies, including The Best Of Russell Howard’s Good News: Series 1, Outnumbered: Series 1-3 and Mock The Week: Too Hot For TV 3, but there’s also the final season of 24 in amongst it all.

The Beatles are now on iTunes at last as well, after all the legal wranglings, so I downloaded their complete box set last night and have started listening to it. I’ve never heard their full back catalogue before so, while the price (£125) is a bit steep to some perhaps, it’s worth it for me, especially as it has all the album artwork, mini-documentaries and a US concert film all included as well.

Queen are also going to be re-releasing their back catalogue in the form of remastered albums, featuring extra tracks, for their 40th anniversary in 2011, having signed a new record deal with Universal, so that’ll be very interesting as well. And there are more DVDs coming out that I’ll be getting over the next couple of weeks.

The weather hasn’t been too nice this week. It was pouring down with rain last night when we went to visit Dad, and there was serious flooding in Cornwall which made the national news. But, at the cheerful end of the scale, Prince William and Kate Middleton have announced their engagement, prompting mass speculation about their Royal Wedding which will be held next year – where it will be, what they’ll wear, and all that sort of stuff.

And the BBC’s Children In Need show was on last night, which I’ve only seen some of so far (I recorded it last night as it’s easier to watch and skip the bits I don’t like). But I see they’ve raised £18 million, which is great in the current recession!

Saturday November 27, 2010

This has been an eventful week for Dad. He went to the dentist on Monday and they took 8 roots out, that were left over from teeth that had been taken out in the past. So maybe it was diseased roots causing the problems, although we can’t know for sure. But he was able to talk to Mum on the phone properly that evening – his mobile’s come in very handy so they don’t feel so cut off from each other – so it didn’t affect his speech by all accounts, he was just a bit tired. And his mouth has since been feeling a bit better, although he’s got nothing left on the top row, it’s just gums now. But hopefully that will help to clear up the infection there. In relation to that we also received a letter for him, booking an appointment for maxillofacial surgery, which is a mixture of dentistry and surgery, working on the jaw and skeletal bones in that area. We can only assume it’s in relation to giving him new dentures, given that his current ones won’t be quite so suitable any more.

On the downside, his right arm started to feel hot and painful last weekend, starting from his hand and spreading up to his elbow. The nurses gave him painkillers to try and tide him over, but they didn’t help much. So when the doctor came in on Sunday night, they gave him a stronger painkiller, which they said would probably knock him out – and it did, so he got a good night’s sleep at least, and they did the same again on Monday night. They also did some more tests and another X-ray, and it appears to be another infection – as if he needed another one, but then his body is weaker at the moment because of the faulty valve.

Then on Tuesday Dad was booked in for his heart surgery on Thursday, which was going to be at a different hospital. So we went to see him on Tuesday evening before he left. We brought him some clean pyjamas and some fruit (a few grapes and an orange), which was a nice change from his regular food I think. He also told us about a patient down the end of the corridor who’s a bit of a nuisance – he’s a 91-year-old who threw a chair through the window, bringing out security and police and doctors and so on! What with that and the way some patients can be demanding in general, you certainly have to admire the patience of the medical staff.

Since then, Mum’s had regular contact with the new hospital since Dad was taken there, and all the staff she’s spoken to have been really helpful and friendly. They’re more than happy to speak to us regarding Dad’s progress, encouraging us to ring up, and telling us when the best times might be.

So Dad was taken into theatre at 1:30pm on Thursday afternoon, and was finally brought back to the Intensive Care Unit at 12:30am yesterday morning. And the operation was a success by all accounts. There was a bit of extra bleeding and some trouble with his blood clotting, but they’re common problems that are easy to fix. So they kept him sedated and on the ventilator yesterday in order to monitor him closely. And they also gave him a chest X-ray to double-check everything, which they were happy with. They don’t take any chances or rush things, which is good.

They then brought him back to consciousness slowly but surely, and he was off the ventilator today. He’s been a bit agitated and disorientated, understandably, but he tends to stay calm much of the time. Their main concern at the moment is that, although he’s been having plenty of fluids, he’s not been producing as much urine as they’d like, which points back to the kidney infection we were told he had. Apparently waste products had been building up in them, which is an indication of such an infection. So they’ve put a filter in for the time being, to see how that goes, and they’ll make a further decision on how to treat it soon. It’s pretty common anyway, we’re told. And if he’s had it for a while, as seems likely, it’s naturally going to take a little while to clear up. So we’ll ring tonight, and again a few times during Sunday, to see how things are going.

Back at home, Mum’s got a new little stepladder, that has a cushioned handle running across the top of it, so she can use it to get to high places like shelves and top windows inside the house. It looks pretty good, even if it did come in a massive cardboard box that took me a good half an hour to tear up! And I’m well into recording labels for Mum & Dad’s audiobooks on that handy Penfriend device.

I’ve also received Toy Story 3 on Blu-ray and a bunch of stand-up DVDs from Amazon this week. Plus I’ve got the final Harry Potter book (The Deathly Hallows) in Daisy Talking Book format from the RNIB, to complete our set. It’s the same recording read by Stephen Fry that’s on commercial release elsewhere, it’s just way cheaper to get it this way. From RNIB, a single disc containing 24 hours of MP3s is £8.99. To get exactly the same version on audio CD from Amazon would cost £43 for 20 CDs (and that’s down from the RRP of £75!). So it’s a no-brainer really! Plus the book’s so long that the film’s had to be split into 2 parts – the first of which has just come out in cinemas – so I want to listen to the book before I see the movie.

Tuesday November 30, 2010

I went to see Dad today, as the new hospital’s a bit too difficult for Mum to travel to, as it’s quite far away. Visiting hours in his ward are 10am-12pm and 3pm-8pm. The earlier times wouldn’t be that convenient for us, so I aimed for the 3pm time instead. I got the bus in good time, arriving in the town about 1:40pm, giving me a chance to pop into WHSmith and get a bunch of Christmas cards for relatives and friends. Then I went to see which buses I could get to the hospital from there, and there were a fair few buses going that way, so I was able to get on one. None of these bus journeys have cost me anything either, thanks to my bus pass.

The hospital itself is massive but everyone there was very helpful, and I was taken to Dad easily enough. It’s strange seeing him laid up in a bed in intensive care – it’s one of those big beds on wheels that they can move around. As we’d been told on the phone, he was a bit disorientated and confused and frustrated, as he can’t see what’s going on without his glasses, and he can’t do anything, on top of not feeling well, all of which is to be expected. So it was hard to see him like that.

But his memory’s totally fine. He recognised me, and was pleased to hear about Mum and our relatives and friends, with everyone sending him their best wishes. I told him about the audio labelling I’ve been doing for his audiobooks and DVDs too.

The doctors are happy with him as well, and they’re taking observations at hourly intervals. His blood pressure and cell counts are at normal levels, so it looks like the surgery was a success, although it’s still early days of course. And he’s breathing normally, although he has a bit of a bad cough now and again. They’ll probably give him breathing exercises for that. He hasn’t been eating much though, but then he doesn’t feel hungry, plus it’s hard to eat when you’re lying down all the time. He’s taking drinks through a straw mainly.

The main problem right now is his kidneys. He wasn’t producing enough urine to start with, but the filter they’ve put in seems to be doing the trick. Plus he’s on a course of antibiotics, which is going to continue, with close medical supervision required, for at least the next 5 weeks. Thankfully, however, they’re transferring him back to our local hospital tomorrow, so Mum and I will be able to visit him more easily again.

When I left, one of the male nurses was able to take me back to the main entrance of the hospital and kindly booked me a taxi, telling the driver to come and call for me in the main entrance. Which he did, after he arrived about 5-10 minutes later. It was easier to get a taxi back to the centre of town than a bus this time, and it only cost £9.20. I was then able to find the bus home, and got back just before 7pm.

Other than that, a few more stand-up comedy DVDs have arrived during the week, with more to come this week or next. I’ve started audio labelling Mum & Dad’s DVDs too, as I mentioned earlier, so I need to carry on with that. And I’m going out this Saturday, to have a look around Marks & Spencer for interesting Christmas food, and to see what other goodies I might be able to find. Although I’ve got Christmas cards for relatives, we still need a general box or two for cards we send to other people, plus a large print calendar will be useful for Dad when he’s home. I’m not optimistic that it’ll be any warmer than today – it was pretty chilly out there, and a lot of the country’s had snow lately – but it is winter, so we can’t expect too much in the way of warmth!

Saturday’s trip will give me another chance to listen to a few more chapters of the final Harry Potter book on the bus too, as I was doing today on my iPod. I’ve done 4 chapters so far, it sounds like it’s going to be very interesting. And when I’ve finished all 24 hours of it, at least I’ll have read the book before seeing the films, which will make a change!

Sunday December 12, 2010

There isn’t a lot to say about Dad really, but they didn’t move him back to our local hospital after all. His heart’s been fine since his operation, but his kidneys still aren’t up to strength yet, as he still isn’t producing enough urine, and fluids have been building up inside him instead. So they put him on a dialysis machine last weekend for a couple of days, to give his kidneys a rest for a little while, and now they’re trying to use antibiotics and other medication to help him. It’s also meant that he’s had some difficulty breathing or has felt sleepy sometimes, as there hasn’t been enough oxygen getting around his system, because his kidneys aren’t fully cleaning the blood. So he’s been taking in oxygen directly through a mask for the last couple of days.

But otherwise he’s been fairly stable by the sound of things, and was moving around a bit more yesterday. He’s still a bit confused about what’s going on, but no more than usual I think. We’re hoping to find a way to get Mum there to see him, perhaps with our builder friend or his wife driving her down there. Getting 2 buses there and back, plus all the walking around as well, would be too much for her. And it’ll be hard enough seeing Dad in intensive care anyway. So we’ll see what happens.

Still, at home we’ve both got tons of DVDs to watch now, as I helped Mum order a load from Amazon, so they’ve been coming through during the week, including All Creatures Great & Small, Boon, Public Eye and Paul Temple. And we ordered a few unabridged audiobooks for Mum and Dad’s Christmas present from me. We also received an M&S hamper from our relatives, like they sent last year.

And I’ve been shopping too, both last weekend and this weekend. I got a couple more stand-up comedy DVDs from WHSmith for a start. Plus I got some food at M&S of course, including a chocolate fudge cake, a couple of ready meals (liver and bacon for Mum, and a roast turkey dinner for me), and more mince pies. And we’ve got another Tesco order arriving next week, including mince pies and Tunis cakes hopefully.

As for the news, that’s been dominated by the government voting for a rise in tuition fees, meaning the maximum that universities can charge has now gone up to £9,000. It’s been very controversial of course, with lots of protests over the past month, and particularly on the day of the vote. Many of the protests have been calm, but were overshadowed by the significant number of students who were violent. Early on in their campaign, the entrance windows of Conservative HQ were smashed, and in the riots this week, police had missiles thrown at them, and graffiti was pasted over the Treasury building.

The government voted for the increase in fees in the end, but their majority was significantly reduced to just 21. Over 300 MPs voted against it, including over 20 Lib Dems and a few conservatives, and some other MPs abstained from voting altogether.

The Lib Dems are really going to suffer the most for this though – they made a big deal in their election manifesto and publicity out of the fact that they wouldn’t raise tuition fees. Now they’ve gone ahead and voted for it, nobody’s going to trust them to keep their promises, something Labour leader Ed Miliband has pounced on, saying he doesn’t want to make any promises he isn’t sure he can keep. Whether he will keep any promises he makes we’ve yet to see, but I expect people will be keeping an eye on it. In any case, the student protests and campaigns will continue for a while yet, as there are other votes on education to come, although that was probably the biggest.

Apart from that, the cold weather has been the other big item of news, although it’s perhaps not been quite as bad this week. And comedy shows like Russell Howard’s Good News and Have I Got News For You have happily been playing the tape of the woman who rang 999 to say her snowman had been stolen! I hope she feels suitably embarrassed now!

Tuesday December 21, 2010

As I’ve got the day off work today, I may as well spend a bit of time writing an update. Dad’s still in the same hospital at the moment. His heart’s still fine, and his kidneys are now well on the mend, having turned the corner during the past week or so. But now he’s got pneumonia to deal with as well! This basically causes the air sacs in the lungs to become inflamed and fill with fluid, making it harder to breathe.

So they’re giving him medication to treat it, and have had him sedated and on a ventilator for a few days to support his breathing. They don’t want to keep him on it too long though, in case the tube that goes in through the mouth gets infected or anything like that. So they’re going to try and take him off it to see how he gets on.

It may be that they perform a tracheotomy to help him breathe that way for a bit, which involves the use of a tube through a hole in the throat, enabling breathing without having to use the mouth or nose. Hopefully it would only be a temporary measure – they’ve said it’s not an emergency, nor have they suggested it would be permanent, so that’s hopeful. He’s been stable for the past few days, which is a good sign, but it’ll take a while for the pneumonia to clear up and his lungs to settle down, as well as his kidneys recovering too.

Mum and I were going to be driven down to see him by our builder’s wife today, hence I’ve got the day off. But the weather conditions, which have been the main focus of the news of late, have forced us to shelve that idea. There was lots of ice on the roads yesterday, especially on the back roads. And while the roads around here are dry today, others aren’t, and it’s not worth the risk at the moment. So we’re going to wait until next week, to see if the cold weather lets up a bit by then. We even had a nice layer of snow on Saturday. Mum and I still went out shopping though and posted all our Christmas cards off – it wasn’t slippery, it was actually nice and crunchy underfoot, without being too thick to move through. If it’s like that on Christmas Day itself, it’ll be beautiful.

It was also snowing when I went with my work colleagues for our Christmas lunch in The Jolly Judge last Friday. And it was pretty nice. I had soup for starters, turkey for mains of course, then some sort of gooseberry and toffee dessert. The latter was ok, although not something I’d go mad for. Worth a try though. We’ve got plenty of food at home for Christmas too, including mince pies of course, and we’ve already got the turkey. I did a little bit of shopping this morning when I went to get my hair cut, but we’ve got a big Tesco delivery coming this evening too. Not sure how much we’ll get in that depending on their stock levels at present, but we’ll have to see. I also posted off Christmas cards from Mum & I to Dad this morning – not sure if he’ll get them before Christmas Day itself, but hopefully he’ll get them soon.

Sunday December 26, 2010

Well, this is certainly an unusual Christmas for us, with Dad still in hospital, but we’re coping. They want to move him back to our local hospital, but couldn’t on Thursday due to the ice, and transport’s difficult to get hold of because of the skeleton staff they have over Christmas. Plus there’s a little bit of bleeding in his stomach they want to check just to make sure there’s nothing untoward. But we’re still speaking to the hospital each day, and they agree that he would be better off near us, where we could visit him and give him that mental strength to recover. He’s stable where he is, but it’s hard to improve when you haven’t got people around you that you know very well. And they understand that, so they’re pushing to try and get him back to our hospital as soon as possible. It should help us all feel a bit less anxious.

Still, Mum and I had a nice Christmas Day, all things considered. Dinner worked out really well – we had a Bernard Matthews turkey, Tesco Finest sausages wrapped in bacon, goose fat roasting potatoes, Yorkshire puddings and vegetables, and it was very nice indeed. We watched the Christmas episode of the Good Life while we ate it too, which is always funny no matter how many times you see it.

We were able to relax in the afternoon, then I spent the evening watching Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol, a fun sketch show (The One Ronnie) and a documentary about Ronnie Corbett as part of his 80th birthday celebrations, 2010 compilations of Have I Got News For You and Russell Howard’s Good News, and the rest of the Channel 4 Comedy Gala I’d started watching on DVD earlier in the week, which had a great collection of comedy performers over 3 hours in aid of Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital.

Mum, meanwhile, watched Poirot’s Murder On The Orient Express, which was a new episode featuring David Suchet for this year. And we treated ourselves to a piece of a Thorntons chocolate celebration cake during the evening, which was very nice. As for presents from our relatives, Dad got a jumper, Mum got tights, and I got a scarf, and we’ll be getting money from them soon too. The weather was very cold outside all day, but we were nice and warm indoors.

In sport, England are thrashing Australia in the fourth test of the Ashes, the Aussies getting their lowest ever score at home after we got them all out for just 98 runs! If we can get a good lead on the second day, then we should be able to win the Test comfortably and be one Test ahead in the Ashes with one to go. Hopefully we can retain the trophy this year. The Queen’s Christmas message was partly about sport this year too, and how it brings people together.

Anyway, Mum and I are about to have our second Christmas dinner as I write this, which should be as nice as yesterday’s, and then sit back and relax for the rest of the day, as best we can anyway. Not quite so much on TV tonight, apart from a TV Burp compilation and a festive 8 Out Of 10 Cats I might watch, but I’ve got plenty of DVDs as well anyway, and Mum’s got a new Upstairs Downstairs to watch over tonight and the next 2 nights. I finished labelling all of Mum and Dad’s DVDs on Christmas Eve night, incidentally, so that’s another job out of the way.

And that’s all I can think of really. Hopefully, once they’re satisfied the little bit of bleeding Dad has is ok, and they can get the transport, he’ll be back to our local hospital soon.

Friday December 31, 2010

So much for a positive end to the year. They got Dad back to our local hospital last night, which is good, but when visiting him today we were told that he’s unlikely to survive. That’s obviously not something they could tell us over the phone. His body’s taken such a battering from everything – heart surgery, kidney trouble, pneumonia, even a bit of bleeding on the brain, and he’s not waking up properly despite being off sedation. We sat with him and chatted for a little while before the consultant spoke to us, but we’re not sure if he was aware of us. There is always the chance he might pull through, but realistically we doubt it.

It’s a great shame, especially for him, as he never got to enjoy his retirement, which he worked so hard for. And he’s in the best place, as the hospital staff will make sure he’s comfortable if he does go.  They’ll keep trying to help him, of course, but there are certain things they don’t want to do in case it makes things worse, such as putting him back on the ventilator, which evidently isn’t of any benefit. When he’s ready to go, they’ll let him, hopefully giving us a chance to say our goodbyes first.

So it’s going to be a horrible year. Mum and I are trying to look ahead though – it’s very early days to make any definite plans, but we need to have something to focus on or we’ll go mad otherwise. A tempting option is to move to London – selling our current home, which is too big for just 2 people really, and moving in with Nan, so we would then take over her place after she dies. We’ve told my Nan and Aunt the news of course, and our builder friend and his wife, and I’m going to contact my friends as soon as I’m able.

We’ve also been looking through some of the stuff we have in the loft to see what’s there. We found Dad’s will, as well as various bits of jewellery his parents had, an old set of coins, a couple of old FA Cup Final programmes, and other bits and bobs. We just needed something to keep us occupied while we let the news sink in.

It’s just gone 10:15pm as I write this, so we’re waiting to see the New Year in, not that it’ll be a very happy one now. But it could be an interesting year of change, albeit enforced and unwanted. If we move, and I get a new job, then we’ll effectively be closing off this chapter of our lives and starting afresh, which we feel we need to do. And it would be a tribute to Dad to move to London, as that’s where he started his life.

We’ll have to see though. We can’t act on our plans until we know what’s happening in the present. We know the hospital are looking after him as best they can, and they were very nice in the way they gave us the news, so we can’t fault them at all. So it’s just a waiting game. We’ll stay hopeful, but I think we all know how this is going to go.

Author: Glen

Love London, love a laugh, love life. Visually impaired blogger, culture vulture & accessibility advocate, with aniridia & nystagmus, posting about my experiences & adventures.

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