Finally after a long wet, and sometimes very cold, winter spring has arrived. Last year I had my garden redesigned into a low maintenance garden and lost a lot of the lovely flowers and shrubs that were there. However, I did manage to save a beautiful rhododendron and two magnolia trees. They came into flower and really cheered me up. They were also supposed to save my camellias but that didn’t happen so now I have two new ones which have still to establish themselves. I have also continued the rhododendron theme into the remaining few beds of the garden with one exception. This was an oleander, reminiscent of our time in Cyprus and love of Greek islands, which flourished when moved to its new position. Unfortunately it looks like the cold weather has killed it off so I will have to find something else to put there. In the meantime it is amazing where all the weeds come from!
My health continues to be a bit erratic with continued low blood HB, an iron level of 1 – when it should be between 14 and 21, and a cough that just won’t seem to go away. After the blood transfusion at Easter I should have been more energised for a few weeks at least. However, in no time at all I felt that I was back to square one. This proved to be the case with and HB level of 74 so they tested for thyroid function as a possible cause. Turns out thyroid is normal so then it was testing iron level and there was the problem. Unfortunately all of this was only identified two days before our holiday so there was no time for a blood transfusion boost this time. We had to settle for iron tablets and steroids to see me through. I am also waiting for another CT scan to try and find out the cause of the continuing cough. Although I have to say that two weeks on steroids seem to have settled it down and since we got back from our holiday I seem to only cough when there is a change in temperature.
We had a lovely 10 days in Kos staying in the same apartments that we have stayed in before. The family there are very welcoming and will do anything to help. The season is only just starting there and already they are fully booked until the middle of September. Many of their guests are returners and we met up with another couple who had been there last year when we were there. We also met another couple who live only a few miles from us. As my energy level was quite low we didn’t do very much but we did hire a car for a few days and went out to visit some of the places we visited when we first went there. One of my favourite trips was to Therma which is a hot water spring in the sea. It was very relaxing although you had to be careful not to burn your feet on the hot sand as you get in and out! When we left I had to climb a short hill back to the car – by the time I got to the top I could barely put one foot in front of the other! Combination of total relaxation in the spa, warm sunshine and low energy. I do make a fairly quick recovery though so it is not all bad news. I didn’t take any photos of places while we were away but I did photograph some beautiful bougainvillea – a flower I love but which is much too susceptible to the cold to flourish here.
We got home about 11:30 on Wednesday night and I started to unpack and get the first load of washing on while I drank my very welcome cup of tea before bed. Once in bed it was not long before I started to get stabbing pains in my abdomen. Nothing I did helped and I had no stronger medication than the paracetamol I take anyway so there followed a very uncomfortable night. I managed to get an emergency appointment with my GP Thursday afternoon and dozed my way through the day until then. I even had to cancel a hair appointment as I couldn’t face it! My GP diagnosed gastritis brought on by steroids and minor stomach upset and gave me codeine for the pain. We were supposed to meet up with visiting family that night, the only possible night to do it, but I just couldn’t face going out so my husband had to go without me. Unfortunately the codeine didn’t hit the pain either so a second uncomfortable night followed. However, by the next morning I did feel I was starting to recover and managed to eat both lunch and dinner on Friday. In fact by bedtime on Friday I felt I was returning to normal. Was it just the whole travelling home, change of climate – it was only 8 degrees when we landed, general upset thing? I know last year I ended up in hospital with uncontrolled pain after a series of bad decisions and I wonder whether similar circumstances nearly put me there again. My GP said he had a low threshold for admitting me under the circumstances!
Now that I am fully recovered I have been able to finish the unpacking, do all of the washing – but not the ironing yet, and do the shopping. I have to be careful not to try and do too much though which is not easy for me as I can see all of the things that need doing and want to get on with them. Still I have sat out in the garden and dozed for an hour this afternoon. I am so glad we have some decent sunshine at the moment to welcome us home.
Through April I did seem to have a lot of problems with both bladder and bowels. Turns out I had a bladder infection which some antibiotics sorted out. My bowels though are a law unto themselves. I don’t think they ever recovered from the first campylobacter infection years ago and having suffered at least one more since then I have learned to live with unpredictability. All this did mean though that I felt pretty under the weather for much of the month in which both my husband and I celebrated our birthdays – or rather didn’t celebrate. I didn’t feel like going out at all and I guess it was largely down to the low HB and these infections. I don’t like to accept that I am ill, it is not something I do well.
I went up to stay with my daughter for a few days so that I could spend a little time with them. They have such busy lives, as you would expect from a family with children, that it is hard to find the time to spend together. This was a welcome opportunity when she wasn’t at work and we managed a girlie shopping day at the Trafford Centre. I found it quite exhausting though.
I collected my ear mould hearing aids last month and have found them very strange. Ordinary hearing aids felt weird enough but this is even worse. They are taking some getting used to as it feels like you are shut off from the world a bit. Rather like if you have ear plugs in for flying. Still I have to persevere now, at least the feedback has stopped.
So, that’s the last six weeks. I wonder what the next six weeks will bring.