Friday, April 29, 2011

It just keeps happening.

Yesterday Mum finally had her operation, went down early, had a general and then into recovery all by 11am. Dad had called a couple of times and all seemed to be going well, up until the point they told him she was in surgery again. I then heard from my brother so I called the hospital and they said that she had been in recovery when she had another big bleed and required a further operation. Poor dad was in a bit of a state so we had to go into the hospital until we were sure she was back. She got late afternoon. Spoke to the surgeon who said there was no single point of bleeding but lots of little ones, they had sealed as many as they could and have now packed out the wound and will try negative vacuum pressure pump to encourage healing. When we saw her last night she was disorientated by the drugs and when Dad told her to leave her oxygen mask on, she said 'who asked you Doctor Bob'!!!!  All she was worried about was not missing the Royal Wedding! I have checked with her and she has watched it on her little TV this morning.
We are going to have 'tea' with Carl and his girlfriend, plus some friends. We have decided to wear Red White and Blue and home made hats. I have made some crowns, Hunny is getting into the Royal Wedding spirit, Carl painted her claws red and she is wearing a red football top.

Congratulations to William and Catherine!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Another Four day Weekend.

Well I can cope with these three day weeks !! Three days are just about right for me I may have to look into doing just that!
Things are still not going to plan at the hospital. Mum had a big bleed from her wound yesterday morning so they decided to operate yesterday to try and sort it out. It was exactly one month since the original operation and the wound has bled some times severely every day since. They eventually took her down at 8pm last night. We heard at 10pm that they had not done the operation because they could not get the epidural in and there were insufficient staff to go for the riskier general. I am glad they didn't risk it,they are going to try again this morning. Mum is pretty fed up and wanted them to go ahead with the general, I am pleased that they didn't.
I heard yesterday that they have arranged another meeting with Keith and I at the QVM to discuss out complaint, so at the beginning of May we have that to look forward to. The problem is if Mum heals up its likely she will be heading out to there again for rehab.
Looking forward to tomorrow because we are having a Royal Wedding afternoon tea, I have all the bunting ready and we will be off!!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Good Long Weekend!!!

Well the weekend has flown it seems minutes since it started and now it has gone. The only bonus is that we have another four day weekend coming up in three days time result !!!!

Anyway before I cover the activities of the weekend I just wanted to remind you of the Charity climb that Carl is doing in the summer. Already people have sponsored him but he has a long way to go!! So if you would like to support a very worthy cause please consider supporting him at his Just Giving page which is HERE!!!
Thank You in anticipation!!!

Mum is still in hospital, her wound still hasn't healed and she is still losing a good amount of blood, enough for them to change the bandages twice a day, she hasn't been out of bed and she has had a load of blood transfusions in an effort to get things to heal. If they are no better by the morning they will re assess her and decided how they will deal with it. Its now been 3 1/2 weeks since the operation. She has good days and bad days but is trying to stay upbeat.
After a quiet Easter Sunday where I managed to serve a roast dinner in the evening complete with a serving of frozen mixed vegetables (I was trying not to over do them as my dear son had been complaining that I had been over cooking them) They look cooked and they were steaming but it was a show put on by the vegetable which were actually still frozen (broccoli,cauliflower and carrots) I was told that despite cooking Sunday lunch for at least the last 27 years my neighbour Karen over the road is a cook I should aspire to be like, her cooking is legendary and I am simply not in the same league. I think next Sunday someone else will be cooking the dinner, it won't be me!!!!
Today we popped out to Matalan along with most of Hertford, there were queues getting in and out of the car park. I just wanted to make sure that Beth and Tom had clothes for the cruise coming up. Once in we managed to get Tom some shirts and a couple of ties, but Beth ended up with a new dress, shoes, t shirts and swim suit. I bought a Union Jack door mat.
So everyone have a happy week and please consider sponsoring Carl!!!!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Community Spirit.

I have had a lovely Easter Saturday morning all thanks to my lovely neighbours. Beth and Megan have been working hard over the past few weeks to prepare an Easter egg hunt for Phoebe, Olivia, Ollie and Keanush.
The weather today is glorious very hot and sunny. So we went outside and set up under the beautiful blossom tree. The girls had worked very hard organising the hunt plus some colouring and egg painting.
This is what I love about living here, the way that fate has thrown everyone together, you have little choice about who ends up as your neighbour but we all get along just fine. Its great having little children again now ours have grown up and best of all we have learned that we will be having another October addition in the street. October is a dangerous month for our road!!
Karen supplied the cakes, some more of her gorgeous cup cakes and chick biscuits and a few more of those lovely  whirly cakes. The best for me was a huge basket of lemon drizzle cake, that is to die for .

The children really seemed to enjoy themselves, they found all the chocolate and were pleased with their presents. Beth and Megan worked really hard Well done girls!!

It was such a good morning it has made us all think that we could do with another street party, Karen still has the bunting, so all we need is a suitable date and we'll be off!!

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Dog and Tulip.

Well its here, the long weekend, its started off well, hot weather, clear blue sky and four days of nothing ahead of us. Bliss. Its been a tough week but I am glad Easter is here.
Yesterday Beth went out on a shopping trip with Hannah, they idea was to buy school shoes and school trainers. I also said she could buy a dress for the cruise if she could find one. In the end she came back with the shoes, couldn't find a dress but did find the below 'onesie' in Primark!!
Here she is modeling her latest outfit, not sure that will be acceptable attire for formal evening on the ship!!!
As I didn't have to get up for work I thought I would have a lie in, but it didn't happen, I woke at the same time and once awake I have to get up. So I have done three loads of washing and been around to Dads for a cup of tea. We bought back some Tulips from Amsterdam (its the law, you just have to !!) when we visited a few years ago and these are in full flower in Dads garden, they are stunning.

Mum is still in hospital, its quite a slog now with visiting and working, I am trying very hard to do both but I think perhaps I am not doing either very well its just so exhausting. Mum seems to be OK, the wound is still bleeding but getting less so hopefully that's on the mend.
My friend Madeline is doing well after hr hip replacement, chatting to her yesterday I realised why we have been friends for so many years, around 47 years to date. She and I have so many similarities. I am so proud of her, she had her hip replaced with a spinal and NO SEDATION!!!!! she was chatting to the staff and discussing all sorts, I took the same option with my hysterectomy there is something about knowing what is going on. I wanted to see when I was on the receiving end, but they wouldn't let me. My dentist is more accommodating, he puts a mirror up so I can watch!!
Happy Easter!!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Spring Again

I know I have recently taken photos of blossom, but you simply have to do it when the blossom is there to be appreciated. Today there is a fantastic display all over town, on bright sunny days I am thankful that I live in such a beautiful place. I am not really sure what this blossom is but it is really pretty and has a lovely scent!!
This one is local in fact its out the front of my house!! This blossom never disappoints deep pink and loads and loads of blooms. The only problem is that a slight breeze or a drop of rain will batter it to pieces. Its glorious at the moment though.

This lilac we planted in our front garden around 10 years ago. It started as a small bush which was a reject from the local garden centre. It didn't look very strong, it obviously likes where it is and has grown into a 20 foot high tree. The flowers are just starting to come out. Once they are fully out the fragrance is heady and a little sun and a slight breeze blows the scent into the house.

A little Bird Told Me!!!!!!

I was sitting in the conservatory when I saw a small movement out of the corner of my eye, there was this little blue tit on the fat balls in the tree next to the back door.I slowly went for my camera and managed to catch this expression!!! There are always birds on the feeders, but this one was happy to stay put and grab some food!!
He was persistent and finally managed to prise a nut out of the ball. There is also a little Robin that visits, although he doesn't pose for photos. We also have a pair of Magpies nesting in the tree at the end of the garden. We see the pair flying in and out and they have made a huge messy nest but we can't hear any babies yet!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Busy Beader.

This week has been hectic, Mum is still in hospital and looking at having another operation next week. She has had a scan on her leg and they can see that its still bleeding, so they are going to have to go in and stop that. They are worried about another general so will have to look at epidural or worse case local and sedation.I just hope they can get it sorted it has been nearly five weeks in bed now.
Madeline on the other hand (or leg!!) is doing very well, she is up and about and Grace tells me may be discharged later today or tomorrow, brilliant news. I am keeping my fingers crossed for her.

Yesterday I spent a lazy day playing with my glass. I just wanted to try out some techniques and use some of the new presses that I had bought. By and large things came out OK, I am having a real problem using the heart press and I will have to look for further advice on that which is a little disappointing as I want to make hearts. Nothing is as easy as it looks.

Anyway here are a few of my successes.
These were made with my new lentil press they were fairly easy and I made a fair few with the same colour and I plan to turn them into a necklace sometime soon.

Made with the same press and same colours I need to keep practicing the flower shapes!
Same lentil press but red glass .

My first commission!! My friend Hannah asked me to make a few beads for her bracelet, I have explained that I am still in my practice makes perfect stage, but she wanted a couple anyway, so I hope she likes them.
Lastly I watched a tutorial at Flame Off last weekend and decided to have a try, again not as easy as it looks The one on the right is a bit blobby particularly around the dots which have melted into a splodge and not in an attractive way!!!The one on the left has nicer spots but is generally lumpy, so once I have learned how to combine the two elements, I may have a usable button.
Its been fun trying!!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Great Recycling fiasco!!

Welwyn and Hatfield Council have got into the recycling game, we have all been issued with Wheelie bins (Yippee!!!) The problem is I have a bit of a love hate relationship with the refuge collection operatives. They seem to forget about the collection bit and I frequently get missed. I really can't believe that it happens so often. I live in a small street with just 7 houses, In the past they have driven down the road, taken the bins from the right side of the road but forgotten us on the left. I was beginning to take it personally. Since the wheelie bins have arrived we are now faced with a near 'krypton factor ' sorting activity every time you want to throw something away. Woe betide anyone who accidentally puts paper where the plastic should be because you will find yourself with an unemptied bin and an attractive swing label telling you of the crime against recycling that you have committed. The real problem that we have is the volume of plastics that have to be recycled. There are 4 of us and I have found myself sitting trying to compress my packaging to get it all in the container. So on a Thursday evening you will find me slaving over my plastics bin......

The problem is that by a Thursday there is about 3cms of space left and a whole load of plastic to get in it. If the bin goes out and the lid is not shut they will not collect it. So all week we have been shoving it down with a broom and a mop, but no room calls for drastic measures.....

So take a two litre empty pop bottle.....

Fine a stick like implement in my case a long handled wood spoon is perfect. Then using your implement of choice, stuff all the plastic packaging you can find into the bottle.

Around half an hour later you find yourself with a plastic bottle stuffed with plastic waste packaging. For good measure you can them put the bottle in a regular bottle squasher to reduce it to half the size.
All that is left of the huge bin full of recycling is........

This little pile of plastic. The problem is I am not sure that secretly stuffing pop bottles with plastic is allowed, there may be some poor worker at the other end tasked with unstuffing my Master piece, so to make sure that my bin is collected I carefully bury the bottle half way down the bin. Shhhhhh don't tell anyone!!!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

In the Interests of Market Research!!!

My lovely neighbour Karen (over the road type of friend) is a fantastic cook, she could really make a living at baking cakes, she bakes a KILLER cake!! I agreed to help her out over the weekend, it seems she again needed a tester to help her check out the quality of her marbled icing. Its a tough job but someone has to do it, so she kindly sent over half a dozen of her test cakes and I tried one out. So the verdict?? The cake was brilliant, tasty light springy and yummy. The case was filled nicely and was very pleasing to look at. The icing was delicious tasted perfect but I am sorry to report that the shade of pink was simply not to my liking. I really think that she needs to try again this week and see if she can produce a cake with icing that is just the right shade, of course I will make the supreme sacrifice and test them for her, I mean if she was to make half a dozen all different shades I could try them all until she manages to produce the perfect cake!!!
Seriously Karen, you are the perfect neighbour and I would be lost without you!! (((hugs)))

Last night we called into see Mum, things are still not brilliant with her leg, it is still bleeding on and off two weeks after the operation, they are talking of having to go back in and see why its bleeding.  They are very worried about giving her another general so they are now saying that perhaps they will give her a local and look from there. Some of the wound has held together but any strain is causing it to bleed. They may have to take out the clips and add stitches.

Tomorrow my friend Madeline is going in for a hip replacement at St Albans City Hospital. I want to wish her all the luck and good wishes in the world and hope that she is back on her feet very soon.

Monday, April 11, 2011

My Glassy Haul!!

I have a fair bit of glass now, Laura bought me this stash,(thank you Laura) its quite a substantial haul of some very thick rods. I have used a couple and they melt surprisingly easily considering their thickness!! I really want to get set up and try a few of them out but its hardly worth doing all the set up for the middle of the week. I am planning ion making some sets of beads this time. I feel as if I am at that point, sets instead of odd beads!!!

I want to perfect some shapes so I have bought a couple of presses. I think that's going to be another whole brand new learning curve. I hope to be soon producing lentil and heart shaped beads. I also want to make button and so much more.

We went into hospital to see Mum tonight she seems very bright and she is still positive. They have said they are fairly happy with her progress but if the wound has not made considerable progress by the weekend they will take her back to theatre to clean the wound and try to seal it up again. Fingers crossed that she continues to get better.
Last night we went around to Mad and Johns for the evening. We had a great evening, (I think) I am not absolutely sure a I drank rather a large amount of port. It was always on the cards as we were celebrating the last weekend (hopefully) before Madeline's hip replacement operation. It was the first time that I have suffered as a result of drinking port so either it was a couple of bad bottles of port, or Mad and I are losing our touch and our ability to drink!!! Good Luck Madeline I hope your operation is over and done with as soon as possible xxxx

Saturday, April 09, 2011

The Luther Blissett Experience!!!

Today has been a good day for lots of different reasons. I am going to start at the end and work back to the start!! I have for a long time been a fan of Luther Blissett, this stems back to my days of working at Watford Football Club and watching him score a hat trick in one of the first matches I ever saw him play in. (pretty sure it was against Southampton) Despite moving around Luther to this day holds the record for number of appearances for the club and number of goals scored - 503 appearances and 186 goals.

Despite playing for Milan, he kept coming back to Watford and remains there today still at the club in a promotional role. I have always found him to be a very 'attractive' man and happened to mention that to my brother who goes to the home games and has a box at the ground.
Well tonight he gave me a little gift .........

Luther Blissetts autograph!!!
We its pretty clear it is ' To Liz'  and its obvious that its signed by Luther, what is not so clear is the bit in the middle. I am pretty certain that it says;-
 'If you want to pop out for dinner with me one night, that would be great'
Or perhaps not!!!! What ever it says I am happy with it, specially for me.
He is still looking pretty good!!!

We have been in to see Mum, she has had a further two blood transfusions and they seem to be helping her. She is still very tired but is slowly picking up. They have moved her onto an air mattress to prevent bed sores, she doesn't really like it as it keeps everything moving and she keeps drifting to the bottom of the bed. They have changed her dressing and it has just about stopped bleeding and has started to heal up - Hurrah!!!! Today I also received a letter from the complaints department at the hospital, I had to get a signature from Mum so that they will start their investigation. I put the letter into my bag to take into the hospital and managed to give myself an enormous paper cut which bled like nobodies business!! (sods law???)

This morning Tom, Debbie and I went to 'Flame Off' at Towcester Race course. It was a flame workers show, with all that was good and new on display. Deb and I bought a few bits, a couple of presses (hearts) plus some reactive glass to try out. We watched some demos and came away with somethings that we want to try out. When I got home I had a big surprise, a huge package arrived for me and it was packed with glass rods, I had no idea where that had come from, but found out it was from Laura she had ordered it before Mothers day but it had been late arriving!! I now have to try and find a decent storage system for my glass! Happy Days!!

Friday, April 08, 2011

Nearly the Weekend.

Thank goodness its friday its been an extremely long and hard week its difficult to balance all the emotions flying around and continue to do the day job!! I am looking forward to a bit of rest and recouperation this weekend. We are planning on seeing Madeline and John on Sunday and Tom and I are going out to a bead fair tomorrow. Because of all the going on's we don't seem to do anything together anymore.
Popped in to see Mum last night and she is definately looking better her log is still leaking fluid and they do not want to move her off of the bed in case it breaks down completely. She seems quite bright in herself although she is fed upstuck in bed for the foreseeable future.

Yesterday I received an email from my MP he had written in complaint to the health authority and they had replied to him. I think the standard of their reply is an indication of how little they care about our complaint. To start with they got my name and the MP's name wrong!! They then went on to say in one part of the letter they had received only one letter of complaint while further down they admitted to having both letters of complaint from us. I think that they are not sure what they are doing. I have given the MP all the letters we have ever sent them and he will continue to deal.

Last night while in hospital visiting we got chatting to the other relatives in the bay (there are 4 patients in each bay) turns out three out of the 4 have made complaints about the treatment. One lady has had the same take you to the theatre and then not operate scenario that Mum has had she has been down 6 days now. The other lady has a fractured hip and they want to discharge her so that she can go on a waiting list to have it repaired!!! Her daughter is ready to kill and Mum said that there had been a very heated 'discussion' between the family and the consutant about her lack of treatment. The daughter had a huge list of people she had complained to and she had also gone to her MP.Its an absolute shambles. They have taken the decision to pay for the hip replacement privately and have had to take a loan to do so.

So the question is will all this get worse before it gets better?? or is this as good as it gets??

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Up and Down Day.

Today has been another up and down one, I have been at work, the weather has been beautiful and my foot has been playing up. Perhaps I am allergic to summery weather. I was in meetings all afternoon, so I had my phone on silent, once I was able to check my phone there was a message from the hospital asking me to go in. So Tom and I went in to find that Mum had experienced an 'episode' They were going to get her out of bed using the hoist, all was going well until they started to lift her she was barely off of the bed when she suffered a major bleed from her wound. The nurse said she was not sure how much blood she had lost but she described it as 'a lot' They stopped immediately and called the Doctors from critical care down.
She has now been put back on a drip and has had another blood transfusion. They have stopped the warfarin and need to give her a clotting agent to try and help the wound to heal.
When we got there she was being seen by a very nice Doctor who explained that they were not sure what was going on, she might have a urine infection, it might be the sudden loss of blood that had put her body into shock. Although she looked pretty rough when we got there, the staff said that she had been much worse before hand. By the time we left she was looking a fair bit better but she was exhausted and really needed to sleep. I have called the hospital tonight and they say that she has told them she feels better, which is good. They are about to start another transfusion of blood and they are re hydrating her with saline. She is stable and they are keeping their eye on things.
On speaking to the Doctor who was tending her, we have found out other snippets of information. He said he had no idea why the repair had broken down, he said that the notes said that there was evidence that the bones had started to regrow, but in elderly patients that could take 6 months and she may have put the repair under pressure before it was fully ready. He estimates that she may be in hospital at least 6 weeks with this operation and that is if there aren't any further complications. So keep saying a prayer or two and hope that she makes a recovery.

Last night I had dinner out with my friends, Madeline, Sue and Sandra. Madeline is having a hip replacement next week if she doesn't get cancelled, fingers crossed. Sue gave me a belated birthday present of a lovely sweet pea candle and a bead making/ jewelery making book. Very useful it is too, I had wanted to learn how to knot between beads and the book has a whole chapter on it!!

Monday, April 04, 2011

Getting Quicker

I have not had a lot of spare time recently (Amazing I hear you all cry!!!)but I did manage to get an hour to  myself Saturday afternoon and made a few beads. Its quite addictive. These orange and black beads are quite striking lots of people who have looked at them love them. They are a little garish for my taste!

This red and white bead is equally garish but I love it, the other two are for practice and have turned out to be almost a matching pair - result!!

These are my favourites the two outside beads were turquoise base with alternating ivory and turquoise dots, the centre bead is an ivory bead with turquoise dots!! I have made a few of these now and I like the combination.
I am hoping to have more time to do some more.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

On The Mend..

After a rocky time, Mum has finally made it out of ICU. We are so pleased, she seems so much stronger. Today she is back on Lemsford ward and they are looking after her. All the signs of recovery are there, kidneys working, pain under control, bleeding stopped and mental ability seems to have returned.Most of the lines have gone including the central line and the wound drain. The only slight spanner in the works is that they have now found an irregular heart beat which the consultant thinks might as a result of the blood transfusions. (she has had rather a lot and it can have odd effects) They are getting that sorted as well. In fact she is now making such good progress that they are likely to have her up on Tuesday to see if she can stand. Fingers crossed.

Today is Mothers Day, so we took Mum her presents in tonight. I gave her a necklace made with my own beads and a vase of silk flowers, that look so realistic that she must have asked half a dozen times if she needed to give me the vase back once they had died!!
Laura gave me a flowering plant in a pretty pot and a heart shaped charm with my name on it.
Beth treated me out to dinner so we all went to Aroma. Carl made me chocolate strawberries and very nice they are too!!!!

Friday, April 01, 2011

Confusion Reigns.

Tonight Beth and I went in to see Mum, she was totally confused mentally, she kept switching between present and past and she assured us that she had been up and around sitting in a chair. Apparently she even got off the bed under her own steam. Sadly its the drugs talking. She was also able to see a bloke with a black hat sitting in the cupboard and she was pretty cross with the ambulance ladies for leaving her at the hospital recently. On speaking to the nurse it seems that she is suffering from the morphine and tiredness. Morphine really screws with her and she can't work things out. Tonight they are going to switch to something else and add a sedative to give her a decent nights sleep. She has had to have further blood transfusions during the day and the wound is still bleeding. On the positive side she is not in pain, the blood pressure has settled and her kidneys are working. Tonight she remains in Intensive care but that's not a bad thing.

Looking Up.

After a terrible couple of days things are starting to look up, Mum has been in Intensive care for a few days but they are now talking about moving he to High dependency and them hopefully back onto the ward. She is conscious and understanding what is going on. Her kidneys seem to have kicked back in, although not fully so they are keeping an eye on that. Blood pressure has been up and down but they have that under control. So all those prayers and finger crossing has really helped.
The whole recovery is going to be a long hard slog but this is a start and more than we thought we would have a few days ago.