Catherine’s Diary (42): 3 to 15 February 2021

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“Thank you Postal Workers for delivering my letters. Not many mistakes this time. One day I’ll get it perfect” is the message on the back of Catherine’s envelope. It seems so long since a Diary arrived through the letter box. I’ve missed them and I realise that the Diary is one of the few things that arrives by post (other than the letter inviting me for my vaccination).

3 February 2021

Today was Garden Bin Collection Day; not having much, I didn’t put it at the bottom of the path, but they still came and emptied it for me. I thought, how special am I. Shock horror, I’ve missed the Wheelie Bin (non-recycling) men. I had two bleach bottles that needed opening. I will try again with the nut-crackers, other than that, I will have to wait until Amanda comes. I did manage to open one with the nut-crackers, and the Sainsbury Delivery Lad opened the other. Kitchen sink got the first squeeze. As it flowed, the smell was so aromatic. When you can’t open the top, you miss that smell.

I can’t believe it was a week tomorrow that I had a procedure done at Addenbrooke’s Hospital. What a week, Monday phone call, Tuesday Amanda took me to Cambridge for a COVID Swab Test (it was negative), Wednesday day off, Thursday breakfast, last meal (had to eat white bland food all week), Thursday evening drink liquid, looked and tasted like Andrew’s Liver Salts (without the fizz) for 4 hours. Panicked, would I get down the stairs for the cats’ last supper‽ Yes, I managed it at 11.30pm. This hospital is so vast. Amanda wasn’t allowed in with me, and I did miss her. Well signposted though. The medical team were excellent, friendly and made me feel at ease. And best of all, a negative result. Afterwards, I had an ECG which showed my heart was pumping too fast. David, who was on the Medical Team, spoke to my doctor to get me sorted out. To cut a long story short, I am now on a blood thinner and a blood pressure pill. So I say ‘thank you’ to David who also phoned me on the following Monday to check I was ok from the Colonoscopy on Friday. (I worked my way through typing this story and thinking “is she going to tell anyone what this test was?”. Knowing my family, I thought it might be yet another secret but, no, Catherine was brave enough to talk about it. Good on you, Catherine!).

I get frightened of starting new medication. It’s like the ‘Unknown’. You can’t see what the pills are doing to your body. For six days, I’ve had a fogginess round my head for about two hours in the afternoon. Felt really tired, but today not so foggy, fingers crossed, it’s going to get better. At last I’m back on proper colourful food. I missed my vegetables, fruit (although I’m not a fruit person), brown bread, steak. I got fed up eating chicken and potatoes for three days! Amanda says a lot of people eat bland diets. I don’t know how they do it.

Trying to give up cakes and trying not to drink so much alcohol. Doing well on both counts. Can’t drink on this new medication. Amanda got me some non-alcoholic wine, had a glass. If I had dimples, they would be sucked to the back of my throat!

Thick snow has arrived, and it is bitterly cold, especially the wind. Three times in the garden to make sure the birds have food and water. JUST REALISED, NO DATES BARBARA!

11 February 2021

Wade took me to the doctor’s, for the nurse to take my blood pressure. You can’t just walk in now. You have to use the intercom, then they open the door, use sanitiser and only four chairs well-distanced apart. BP was a bit up, nerves I think. I was weighed. Well pleased I had lost some weight. Different way out of GPs, then taxi home

12 February 2021

Ventured into town with Sue. Needed to go to Boots for pills, buses half-hourly and on time, makes a change. Went in Wilko and Tesco. Very quiet up the town and everyone was wearing a mask, perhaps the message has got through. I hope so. I was glad to get home.

13 February 2021

‘P’ Day. New phone, feeling apprehensive, took pen and paper to Amanda’s to take notes. In the end I didn’t take any except the Password, though in my head now. Amanda was getting uptight with the ‘lessons’, but I can’t take everything in at once. As Mary says, ‘How long did it take for Amanda to use a spoon?!” We had a takeaway curry which was lovely. Time to go home, on my own, in the house, with the PHONE. I managed some messages, then I thought I had locked myself out. Wade said “Turn the phone off and hopefully it would be alright”. To my relief it was. Now I know how to get it back without turning it off. The best part is receiving pictures. I hope to get bombarded with them. They are there forever to look back on. It’s a much heavier phone to use, thin in width, have to be careful how I transport it around. With all this texting, I’m charging twice a day so far. Need to be taught punctuation, and to find the numbers. When I get through to Boots I have to press ‘3’ to get to the pharmacy. I want to learn how to take a picture. I can show off my cats and all the cat food I have!

15 February 2021

Received a tea towel from Barbara (photo) with Scottish words on it; her favourite is ‘dreich’. Closing my Diary with a message to Amanda “Happy Birthday Amanda on 17 February. Love Mum”

I’m exhausted just reading all that, no wonder I haven’t seen a Diary in a while. The phone is going well. At one point I begged her daughter to help locate the punctuation button otherwise everything was one long sentence. Resolved now.

With the subject of the Diary being either health or phones, I realised I didn’t have a tea towel of a phone so today’s tea towel is ‘Body Parts’

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