A trip to Blackpool

The summer is fading fast and by now we have usually made many trips away. Including day jaunts on the Harley Davidson sightseeing, weekends with Dunedin Chapter http://www.dunedin.hog to Motorcycle Rallies, wonderful sun seeking holidays to our favourite island, Ibiza https://www.tui.co.uk/destinations/europe/spain/ibiza/holidays-ibiza.html

Since mid March this year we have been pretty much cooped up and adhering to all the covid rules and regulations. Steve has been fortunate and been able to work right through although life hasn’t always been easy, making sure maintaining a safe social and physical distance at all times. However getting materials is still difficult at times. Its the anniversary of my Mum’s death on 9th August and its my birthday on 6th August, and we got married on 22 August; it is lovely to do something nice. We usually go to Edinburgh Festival and go to Thunder in The Glen in Aviemore. Both cancelled this year due to covid.

What should we do? Steve took the bull by the horns. Once the hotels opened their doors to the paying public once more. He booked two family rooms at a town that we frequented with parents, children and grandparents. We were going for a trip to Blackpool. We were now going to introduce grandchildren to a place that had fond memories to us.

We decided to travel down with very mixed emotions. Our youngest granddaughter, only 4 months old was in ICU after open heart surgery. Also the worry of how safe life will be regarding COVID. The day before we left, my amazing nurse came in, serviced my gastrostomy tube, changed my dressing and administered my octreotide. Evelyn came bearing gifts, she had made face masks for the girls and me for our trip. Steve took Buddy and Bella to Sally at Sals Pals http://www.salspals.co.uk Knowing our babies will be well looked after when we are away.

Steve, Stuart, Alexandra, Grace and I clambered into the big red BMW – all set for our adventure before Grace starts back to primary 2 and Alexandra at nursery school. The journey down was grand, stopped once. As we approached Blackpool I could see The Tower in the distance. We played a game the first one to spot The Tower gets 10 points. The girls giggled, they were so excited. They both looked out of the window and called together, there it is and pointed in excitement. This made me extremely happy.


The Girls and me all set in the car for the journey ūüėė


we arrived at The Premiere Inn. https://www.premierinn.com/gb/en/hotels/england/lancashire/blackpool/blackpool-east-m55-jct4.

Premier Inn have got it right. Staff wearing masks or visors. Comfortable rooms were immaculate. Service with a smile. There was a restaurant attached, we booked to get a meal. There was hand sanitizer at the door entrance and everyone used it upon entry. We ordered our food using our mobile telephones and within 15 minutes hot tasty food was served to our table.

We went into Blackpool for the evening after our meal, we parked on the sea front. Made our way to The South Pier. On the pier there are plenty of rides to keep us amused. The girls eyes were like saucers, their heads bobbed from side to side taking in all they could see. The bright flashing lights, beeping sounds and clunking of coins rattling was their first sight and sounds of the pier. Lots of 2 penny machines to play, big glass boxes with cuddly toys to try and grab to win. We played some games, had amazing fun came out the other side to a funfair on the pier. Stuart, Alexandra and Grace had great fun on the rides. This was a taster for the big rides next day.



We had a great sleep, rooms comfortable, had a buffet all you can eat breakfast. Again, Hand sanitizers were offered. Tables clean. Physical distance maintained.

After breakfast we made our way to https://www.blackpoolpleasurebeach.com/

What a day we had. We had already booked our tickets online. When we arrived at the park, all staff had masks on. They maintained a very professional approach. We all went on the rides, and enjoyed them very much. Steve missed out on my mum’s favourite ride, the log flume Рoh boy is he glad he did. When I got off I looked like I had fallen in a river. I was drenched. Certainly didn’t stop me enjoying it. Pretty sure the ride we all liked the best was The Wallace and Gromit Ride. It was so good we all went on it twice.


Blackpool has a lot more to offer than most people think. It‚Äôs not all kiss me quick hats, candy floss and Blackpool rock. Yes these are readily available and suckers like me, love hats, cannot resist the feel of cotton candy on my lips and so enjoy seeing the rock being made into different colours, shapes and flavours; the most beautiful looking baskets of fruit of rock. Blackpool is UK’s Las Vegas; bright lights, casinos and lots of puggies. What fun we had at Coral Island, playing the machines, collecting the tickets, saving them up in return for prizes at the end of the day. At the end of the excitement we remembered we had parked the car quite some way away. There was no way my legs were going to carry me. Bus, tram, taxi? We were going in style. We were going in a horse in Carriage, it was a princess ball covered trap pulled by a single horse. I was as excited as the girls. What a wonderful ride it was.

Our last day in Blackpool was my birthday. It was as if I had stepped back in time. The sun was shining, it was beautiful and warm and we were going to Stanley Park. This is somewhere that has the most amazing childhood memories. Feeding the birds with my parents and grandparents, walking in the stunning well kept gardens. Chasing my sister around on the large grassy areas. This day was no disappointment, we walked into the park, firstly we played with the girls at the play park then we walked along the path, it took us passed the fabulous cycle play area and then onto The Model Village. We all went in. What a wonderful set up, it looks amazing. The chap that booked us in was lovely, explaining to the girls if they found all the gnomes they would get a prize.

we arrived at The Premiere Inn. https://www.premierinn.com/gb/en/hotels/england/lancashire/blackpool/blackpool-east-m55-jct4.

Premier Inn have got it right.  Staff wearing masks or visors.  Comfortable rooms were immaculate.  Service with a smile.  There was a restaurant attached, we booked to get a meal.  There was hand sanitizer at the door entrance and everyone used it upon entry.   We ordered our food using our mobile telephones and within 15 minutes hot tasty food was served to our table.  

We went into Blackpool for the evening after our meal, we parked on the sea front.  Made our way to The South Pier.  On the pier there are plenty of rides to keep us amused.  The girls eyes were like saucers, their heads bobbed from side to side taking in all they could see.  The bright flashing lights, beeping sounds and clunking of coins rattling was their first sight and sounds of the pier.  Lots of 2 penny machines to play, big glass boxes with cuddly toys to try and grab to win.  We played some games, had amazing fun came out the other side to a funfair on the pier.  Stuart, Alexandra and Grace had great fun on the rides.  This was a taster for the big rides next day.  

We had a great sleep, rooms comfortable, had a buffet all you can eat breakfast.  Again, Hand sanitizers were offered.  Tables clean.  Physical distance maintained.  

After breakfast we made our way to https://www.blackpoolpleasurebeach.com/

What a day we had.  We had already booked our tickets online.  When we arrived at the park, all staff had masks on.  They maintained a very professional approach.  We all went on the rides, and enjoyed them very much.  Steve missed out on my mum‚Äôs favourite ride, the log flume – oh boy is he glad he did.  When I got off I looked like I had fallen in a river.  I was drenched.  Certainly didn‚Äôt stop me enjoying it.  Pretty sure the ride we all liked the best was The Wallace and Gromit Ride.  It was so good we all went on it twice.  

Blackpool has a lot more to offer than most people think.  It‚Äôs not all kiss me quick hats, candy floss and Blackpool rock.  Yes these are readily available and suckers like me, love hats, cannot resist the feel of cotton candy on my lips and so enjoy seeing the rock being made into different colours, shapes and flavours; the most beautiful looking baskets of fruit of rock.    Blackpool is UK’s Las Vegas; bright lights, casinos and lots of puggies.  What fun we had at Coral Island, playing the machines, collecting the tickets, saving them up in return for prizes at the end of the day.   At the end of the excitement we remembered we had parked the car quite some way away.  There was no way my legs were going to carry me.  Bus, tram, taxi?  We were going in style.  We were going in a horse in Carriage,  it was a princess ball covered trap pulled by a single horse.  I was as excited as the girls.  What a wonderful ride it was.  

Our last day in Blackpool was my birthday.  It was as if I had stepped back in time.  The sun was shining, it was beautiful and warm and we were going to Stanley Park.  This is somewhere that has the most amazing childhood memories.  Feeding the birds with my parents and grandparents, walking in the stunning well kept gardens.  Chasing my sister around on the large grassy areas.  This day was no disappointment, we walked into the park, firstly we played with the girls at the play park then we walked along the path, it took us passed the fabulous cycle play area and then onto The Model Village.  We all went in.  What a wonderful set up, it looks amazing.  The chap that booked us in was lovely, explaining to the girls if they found all the gnomes they would get a prize.  


After the model village we headed to the pond. Everything was just as I remembered. We fed the swans, ducks and pigeons. The birds were delightful; so calm. Could have stayed there at the pond all day. It was so inviting and relaxing. We went for a walk in the beautiful large park. Into The gardens, where there were so many pretty flower beds and array of colours. Seating provided to enjoy the water feature. Alexandra couldn’t resist putting her hand in the water flow. This made me grin from ear to ear. Stanley Park is a happy place, somewhere that makes me feel at peace with myself. Great for running around with the kids, or dogs and kicking a ball. Or taking a slow leisurely walk and soaking in the rays whilst gathering thoughts.


On the walk back to the car we encountered a doorway. We made up a story who may live there. Stuart, Alexandra and Grace knocked on the door – no answer, I shouted out the giant is coming…….. they about jumped out their skins.

we got back to the car very safely and drove back to Scotland. Until our next visit.

A fabulous time had been had by us in Blackpool. I didn’t buy rock, or kiss me quick hats. No cotton candy was eaten. However laughter was top on the agenda. Many childhood memories were rekindled. Walking along the paths of Stanley Park I had my Mum, Granny and uncle Allan alongside. I could feel their spirits watch over. Feel the warmth love. The girls enjoyed their time in Blackpool I’m sure as much as I did when I was a child.

If you think you know Blackpool think again. It’s worth a visit.

Best Friend

Today is a special day. It’s the anniversary of the wedding of my hubby, Steve and me. We got married in August 1986. A lot of water has gone under the bridge since then. We have had amazing fabulous times, laughed so much it hurt. Gone to so many lovely places together, shared many happy times and learned to love, live, cry and smile every day. Although life hasn’t always been easy, and there have been turns in the road that have tried our strength. We have always had each other to come home to, share the burden and lighten the load. I feel very happy to have my husband as my Best Friend

STEVE AND ME IN IBIZA

Steve and I are proud of our two children and we are pleased to have beautiful grandchildren. It’s a tremendous feeling to have such little ones warming our hearts.

Our home is a happy one filled with love, laughter and most definitely plenty of chatter. Steve and I at home with two loyal labradors, Buddy and Bella. Regular welcomed family visitors keeping us on our toes and entertained. Never a dull moment in our household.

Never a dull moment in our household. On the day we got married; Friday 22 August 1986 РI woke up and realised I didn’t have an appropriate pair of shoes to wear. Steve and I jumped on his Honda Superdream and went into Edinburgh for a pair. The sales assistant asked if she could help, I told her I needed a pair of shoes for a wedding, when i explained I was the bride she was taken aback. She said I hope the groom is more organised. I laughed and said to her maybe you want to ask him and nodded my head in Steve’s direction, as he stood at my side. Oh my isn’t it bad luck to see each other before the vows. We will take our chances we said. THIRTY FOUR YEARS LATER I COULDN’T LOVE MY HUSBAND ANY MORE THAN I DO TODAY.

Turn that frown upside down

I would like to introduce a young lady who lives in Midlothian, Scotland. At present she works in an office however dreams of one day working full time in the writing world. Whilst chatting to Beth Merry I can feel her frustration and want to break out and get those fingers tapping the keys and tell the world all she has to say. Although Beth writes her own blog https://bethanybloggswriter.wordpress.com I suggested she write a guest blog for my site. Since my site is smile each and every day. I gave her the topic ‚Äúsmile everyday‚ÄĚ. This was the heartfelt article I got back from Beth. Its about one of the hardest times in her life when she found it difficult to smile, whilst she was surrounded by sunshine, all that energy and heat failed to warm her heart and make her happy. Despite the rays from the big yellow sun and the beautiful blue sky Beth felt cold and alone and at many times incapable of smiling and having that warm butterfly feeling of comfort inside you when you know you are safe, loved and belong. Would she ever feel like this again, and be able to turn that frown upside down. I hope you enjoy it.

Why 2020 is Better than 2016 to Me

Before 2020, there was another year that as a society collectively decided was – to put frankly – absolutely awful. 2016 saw many beloved celebrity deaths, worldwide panic over the election in America, terror attacks seemingly around every corner, and plenty of other horrors that left the world pausing to catch its breath on the 31 December that year and crossing every finger and toe that 2017 would be kinder.

For me, 2016 was particularly awful because both my mum and my grandad sadly passed away, and I had to pull on my grown-up pants at 19 years old and pretend I was strong. It was one of the hardest years of my life; and now with 2020 being deemed an even worse year due to the pandemic, I’ve had time to do some reflecting on how much has changed.

Moana Beach, Adelaide, Australia

In 2016, I was living in Australia. My family had emigrated when I was 10, and while the first couple of years I had enjoyed, the shine eventually wore off and I found myself desperate to make my way back to the UK, back to my home. I felt increasingly out of place at all times, and desperate to tell people that I didn’t belong Рthe fact that I had absorbed the accent almost immediately did little to persuade folk. As the next of kin for my mum who passed away in June, I was left in charge of putting her affairs in order for myself and my younger sister which meant a lot of phone calls I didn’t know how to make and, more importantly, arranging a funeral. I grew up a lot that year Рand fast. I was still studying, still working two jobs and getting over a lot of heartbreak. It felt like things would never improve.

Seafood Rise, Adelaide, Australia

Fast forward to 2020. As I write this, I’m sat in my house in the Scottish countryside that my partner and I bought together nearly 9 months ago. He’s putting together some units to complete the massive desk he’s constructed for our home office, and I’ve got a stew bubbling away on the stove. I’ve had an uneventful day at work РSat at my dining room table lockdown style of course Рstretching my writing muscles now. Saturday was my birthday, and I had a quiet barbecue in our newly landscaped back garden with some family, and on Sunday my partner and I ventured out to Gore Glen to finally see the beautiful waterfall and connect with nature. I can breathe fairly easy these days and my worries are far less significant than those of 2016

Gore Glen, Midlothian, Scotland

I never could have predicted that in 4 years time I’d be in the space to feel this content. In a time where my world was crumbling around me, I pushed through to venture by myself to the other side of the world where the love of my life and I have made a life together for ourselves. Coronavirus be damned Рthe opportunity to look back at the last 4 years and see how far I’ve come make all the lockdown restrictions worth it.

These days, I smile everyday because while there are still a few things beyond my reach. I’m a damn sight further ahead than where I was in 2016.and there’s so much to be grateful for! I’m home in the UK where I belong, I wake up everyday to my amazing partner and the views over the Pentland, and I have room to grow at my own pace. What’s not to love?

Me, happy, home

The Tattoo

Folks have been inking their bodies for much longer than anyone can imagine. ¬†The oldest discovery of tattooed human skin to date is found on the body of √Ėtzi the Iceman, dating to between 3370 and 3100 BC. ¬†Today many people get a tattoo in celebration of the birth of their child, remembrance of a loved one, and of course expression of art. ¬†Me myself, I have never been attracted to the idea of tattoos in the slightest on myself, however, I have no objection to anyone else having artwork on their skin. ¬†In fact I rather admire the work the tattoo artist work does. ¬†The first male love of my life, my Dad has one tattoo; he got it when he was in the army, it has a thistle on it and the name of my mother on it. ¬†I used to kiss it and look at it lovingly and rub his arm and think to myself if someone loves me like my daddy loves my mummy I will be one lucky lady. ¬†My And yes people for the record this has happened. ¬† My hubby does have three small blue tattoos on his tummy, they are markers the radiotherapy he underwent for his testicular cancer. ¬†In 1996 this is the way they set up the simulation and marked the skin and the patient is left with permanent reminder. ¬†Mum and Dad were married for 60 years before Mum died, Steve and I have been married since 1986, following in their footsteps; happy with that.

Both of my brothers, Albert and Brian have tattoos, and my sister Helen has a tattoo.  After my our Mother passed away.  Albert had an image of Mum on his arm.  Helen got a tattoo in remembrance of Mum too.  We all cope in different ways with death and honouring loved ones.

I have a few friends who particularly liked to express themselves one way or another.  Whether it is eclectic dress, many colour hair changing, piercings, and the main discussion of this post getting a tattoo or five.

One of my friends particularly likes to get tattoos. ¬†Louise is a very close friend who has became one of the family. ¬†Lou and Keith, got one of Buddy and Bella’s pups from the first litter, he is the image of Buddy, they call him Gunner. ¬†When the second litter came along goes without saying another puppy had to join their household. ¬†Harris, now one year old may look like his Daddy, but majority of his characteristics are of his Mummy, Bella. ¬†Lou, has been wonderful over the last three years, visits plentiful. ¬†Giving lifts to hospitals. ¬†Helping with fundraisers for Scotland’s Net Cancer Charity – The Ann Edgar Charitable Trust. ¬†What fun we had at The Tea Party and The Music For Nets Night.

Lou is a busy lady, but if she says she is going to help – I can guarantee you she will be there. ¬†The one thing I found harder than anything else was asking for help. ¬†When I had to give up driving the reliance on getting a lift is essential. ¬†The spontaneous hypoglycaemia and exhaustion means I like to plan outings in advance. ¬†Not living on a bus route isn’t ideal. ¬†But Ive got to admit, car travel is usually the best form of transport. So asking for help….. with Lou, you don’t need to ask. ¬† For Many things, hubby Steve and I go together. ¬†Both our sons, Tony and Stuart assist as and when needed. ¬†My sister hazel helps out when she can too, which really lightens the load.

Lou messaged ¬†me one morning Ive got something I want to show you. ¬†Its a present. ¬†But its only for you to see. ¬†I really hope you like it. ¬†I asked if she liked it. ¬†She answered, oh i’m pleased with it. ¬†Left me a tad bamboozled and yet looking forward, as always to her visit.

Later that morning In comes the smiling face, Buddy and Bella run up the long hall and cover our guest in a mountain of blonde hair while dutifully competing for a slobbery snog. ¬†The kettle goes on as always. ¬†I wait in anticipation for the ‘surprise’. ¬† As I bring through the teas and coffee Lou takes off her sweater for the unveiling. ¬† ¬†As I catch a glimpse of what I can see on her arm I almost drop the cup. ¬†On her arm she has had a tattoo. ¬†And what is it? ¬†A Zebra. ¬†I see her lips move, I can hear the words come out in an almost muffled way, ¬†I got this for you. ¬†For the first time in my life I can almost say¬†I have a tattoo. ¬†My heart skips a beat and brings a tear to my eye. ¬†I had no inkling, what a lovely thing to do for me. ¬†And to raise awareness for net cancer. ¬†Thanks Lou.

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Why did she chose the Zebra?

In medicine, the term ‚Äúzebra‚ÄĚ is used in reference to a rare disease or condition, like Neuroendocrine (NET) Cancers. ‚ÄúIf you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras.‚ÄĚ … This because in the medical community the term zebra is universally used to reference a rare disease or condition.

You can find out much more about neuroendocrine tumours, net cancers. ¬†And particular support in Scotland by visiting Scotland’s Net charity. ¬†This charity was set up by my consultant and a patient, ¬†at Edinburgh’s Western General Hospital. ¬†Her name was Ann Edgar. ¬†The charity can be found at http://www.taect.scot

Bye Lavita you have been a lifesaver

Its the start of the weekend I’m in my own home and boy am I glad to be so. ¬†A few weeks ago I was in hospital with yet another infection. ¬† It started of I wasn’t feeling too good, said to my nurse I felt horrid, my tummy began to swell, my temp rose, the leakage that came out of around my peg site increased, the smell began to get really offensive. ¬†My energy became non existent. ¬†I visited my GP, within 2 hours I was in hospital. ¬†Before I knew it connected to IV drip and on IV antibiotics. ¬†I was feeling absolutely awful, could hardly put one foot in front of the other. ¬†The familiar face of SPB came to my bed. ¬†He is the surgeon that put my gastrostomy tube in two years ago. ¬†Lavita has been a lifesaver and fed me on demand. ¬†After blood tests, X-rays, scans and careful discussion with the surgeon and the wonderful dieticians Bev and Marion it was decided it was time to change the tube.

 

 

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Im not going to lie, I was bloody nervous at the thought of getting lavita taken out and another tube put in. ¬†The nurse came to tell me that I was getting my tube changed later that day. ¬†just after lunch I could hear a familiar Irish mans voice outside my bedroom. ¬†A few minutes later the doctor popped his head round the door, remember me Elizabeth?¬†He said. ¬†How could I forget. ¬†He was the doctor that took out my jej extension. ¬†I have faith in him. ¬†My nervousness left me and I felt calm. ¬†How could I forget,¬†I replied. ¬†He changed my gastrostomy tube. ¬†I’m not saying it was plain sailing. ¬† Mainly due to the infection, ¬†I had a lot of tummy pain and there was quite a lot of discharge and blood. There was a lot of tugging and pulling. ¬†The burning gastric acid from my stomach was trickling down my skin, it hurt like hell. ¬†He mopped it up very quickly. ¬†The saliva was running down my gums, yet my lips and mouth felt dry. ¬†We agreed that a larger circumference tube would go in this time, in the hope that there will be less leakage. ¬† ¬†We have moved up a size and a half and its fitted perfectly. ¬† ¬†I was in hospital for 5 days, and got well looked after, support from dieticians, nursing staff, and doctors fantastic.

Its took me a while to get on my feet since getting out of hospital. ¬†¬†¬†I have been very tired, in fact super exhausted to be exact. ¬† ¬†Regular things have taken a back seat and gosh have I missed it all. ¬†In particular not having the granddaughters at the house as often. ¬† A couple of weeks before I went into the hospital our house was full of laughter of two beautiful granddaughter’s. ¬†Our 17 month old princess was running up and down the hall saying¬†Papa Papa, Broom Broom¬†– she is desperate to go sit on her grandfather’s motorcycle. ¬†Grace calls from the kitchen¬†Bella Boo to one of our labs. ¬†¬†The girls are away on a two week holiday at the seaside. ¬†Gosh I miss their visits.

 

 

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Since I have been home, I am getting my regular visits from my nurses. ¬†Getting my tube maintained, ¬†The balloon water changed. My dressings changed. ¬†Working hard on building up the old stamina ūüôā

The one important thing that needs to be done next is find a name for my new tube. ¬†Its a balloon gastrostomy that feeds me through a pump directly into my tummy. ¬†Im attached to the feed 20 hours out of 24 every day. ¬†This prevents me having a hypo and helps me maintain my weight. ¬†My wonderful hubby has bought me a lovely new Michael Kors leather backpack to put my pump in, it means I can be attached to my feed, carry it on my back and still be ‘fashionable’ as well as carry other essentials with me.

If you have any suggestion of a name for my new tube, please comment.  All suggestions, comments welcome.

 

Making The Most………

Wow its been a while since my fingers have tapped out a post.  To say I haven’t jotted down anything would not be true.  However, everything I have written recently has been very personal and Im not quite ready to share these thoughts.

It’s the beginning of July the last post was published in March.  Quite a lot has gone on in my life in the last 4 months.  The puppies have all grown, and gone to new homes.  They have left a footprint on my heart – they were jolly hard work but oh so lovely to have.  We kept one from the litter.  A stunning young lady.  We named her Bess.  And yes she is turning out to be just we hoped; a great combination of mum, Bella and dad, buddy.   Bess is already taking note to sit and wait when nurse Evelyn is attending to me.  She is intrigued in all the help that a grown up Labrador parent can be.  

We had the honour of attending and celebrating Sophie’s first Holy Communion in May.  What a wonderful day that was.  Alexandra and Grace were ever so happy to get into their dresses and drive through to Glasgow.   What a day to remember.  So happy, full of laughter and love.  Quite a memory.

Sophie trying to beat Stuart’s time completing the rubix cube. 

Sophie with Alexandra and Grace at her Holy Communion Celebration.

I felt far from my best in the last few months.  Seen my consultant, dietician, several hospital visits.  My wonderful nurses come to the house and cater to my needs.  I’ve lost weight which is a bit of a bummer.   My gastrostomy tube snapped which was slightly annoying- lovely staff from the hospital came out straight away with a new part.  Now that’s what I call service.   There has been a fault with the batch – there has been a run on broken tubes ūüėā 

On the 10th of each month I get the chance to meet up with net cancer patients.  Through the charity The Ann Edgar Charitable Trust.  We have a great time blethering away, sharing stories.  10th June my sister hazel drove me to haddington to meet up with the others for a coffee on a Saturday afternoon.  July 10th Steve and I went in style on steves BMW motorcycle to the evening meeting.  The meetings help me a great deal.  They give an opportunity to talk, share experience and most important be YOU.   Looking forward to the next one.  

Lanreotide Injection with a special delivery

As usual the run up to my injection was met with even more trips to the bathroom. ¬†Bowels ¬†working in overdrive. ¬†The day my nurse suggested I get incontinence pads delivered, I was a tad reserved, now I couldn’t do without them. ¬†Before I started getting the jab every three weeks I had total uncontrollable running to the loo, more than ten times per day every day. ¬†Now its greatly reduced. ¬†On a really good day, its three times a day, the week before my injection is due I’m met with a rapid increase of visits to the little room. ¬† This week as well as my usual company of my companion dog, Buddy. ¬†We had Bella getting up with us too. ¬†Bella is our 4 year old labrador retriever. ¬†Who is heavily pregnant. ¬†And lets just say the puppies were moving around in a way that she couldn’t hold the loo in for too long. ¬†Poor girl.

The night before my injection Bella starts getting even more restless, comes to me and gives me a big hug, goes into her large birthing box bed and starts digging the bed to make it comfortable.  She is going to go into labour.  Boy its going to be a long night.  Bella starts to pant and shows all signs of first stage labour and then second stage.

At 0045am the first pup is born a little girl.  She is a perfect fox red labrador retriever.  Just like her daddy.  Bella is so good, bites through the sack, cleans the little one up and welcomes her into the world.  I give Bella a reassuring cuddle.  And make sure the little and Bella are ok.  They are.  I take a photograph of them,  I tell Steve first of course, and then send proud messages of the exciting first birth.  My friend Louise lives three miles from me and asks if she can come and observe Bella giving birth and be of any assistance to me.  She is there for the rest of the litter delivery.

 

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By 0725am there are 8 puppies born into the world. ¬† Steve comes in to see Bella and is there for pup number 9 and 10. ¬†Bella feeds the puppies and a big rest. ¬†Despite being on cloud nine and so happy I’m shattered and feel like I can hardly put one foot in front of the ¬†other. I get myself washed and dressed my nurse will be here this morning to check over my gastrostomy tube, change my dressing, and give me my lanreotide injection.

10am my nurse Evelyn walks through the door.  At first Bella barks, only until she realises who it is.   Evelyn pops her head into the room to view the pups, and then walks along the hall.  She scrubs up and then does all the needful for me.  As my faithful labrador retriever, Buddy, sits by my side and watches everything my nurse does.  I get ready for this painful deed to get done.   Tummy first I think she says.  The soiled dressing taken off, site all cleaned, helan cream and cavilon applied.  And then my nice new clean dressing put on, carefully with tape not to touch my skin and cause a reaction.  Evelyn  then picks up my lanreotide injection.  I get this every 21 days.  Its your left side this time she says as I slip down my knickers.  I then have to work out which way to lie so evelyn can inject my left buttock, I have enough problems with this at the best of times, put lack of sleep into the mixture and we have a recipe for disaster.  I was this way and that way on the sofa. Evelyn said, just a minute and listen to me and then lie down like I tell you,  it worked a treat.  As she administered the injection of lantreotide buddy sat a few feet away watching all, making sure all was good.  Which it was.  All done.    Everything put in the sharps box.  A good discussion between me and my nurse, as always.  Notes written.

 

 

 

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Steve calls my name along the hall. ¬†I take myself along inviting my super nurse with me. ¬†Bella is having a contraction, and as in previous seems to want me to work with her as a team. ¬†I rub her tummy and reassure her that I am by her side. ¬†Come on Bella, one big push for mummy,¬†I say to her. ¬†I can see her body contracting, the pain in her eyes. ¬†My lovely dog looks so tired. ¬†I can see a little tail appearing and a foot,¬†one last push Baby belle. ¬†And so she did. ¬†Out comes the most beautiful little puppy. ¬†Puppy number 11. ¬†Bella is exhausted, I hold it while Bella bites the chord, cleans him vigorously, suddenly a little squeal comes from the puppy. ¬†Bella wags her tail. ¬†He is perfect and she is happy. ¬† Puppy number 11 was born at 1118am. ¬† What a team, you both make. ¬†Evelyn says to me. ¬†I feel very proud. ¬†Bella gave birth to 8 boys and 3 girls. ¬†I’m so pleased that things have gone well. ¬†My dog is well, her puppies are healthy and of a good size. ¬†Buddy, the daddy, watches on eagerly, I know he is desperate to play with the little fella’s.

My nurse managed to see the puppy being born, she got more than she bargained for on her home visits for this Thursday. ¬† I certainly do not doubt that she has eventful days but I guess she doesn’t have puppies making an entrance into the world very often.

 

My Shining Lights when the going gets tough!!

For most of us life is hard enough. ¬†We all run along in the treadmill of life in our own way. Me, I try and make the best of it even on the bleakest day. ¬†The last three weeks have been a struggle. ¬†My father is in hospital, he has had life saving open heart surgery, his surgery was fairly extensive; a triple bypass, a valve replacement and a pacemaker. ¬†He has been in intensive care, moved onto high dependency and now graduated to the specialist cardiology ward. ¬†He still has a long hard journey ahead of him. ¬†My Papa is made of strong stuff, he will fight all the way. ¬† I am finding it hard, seeing him lie in the hospital bed looking so frail and lost when I am so used to seeing him going around the family home like a busy bee. ¬†To let you understand my Dad is not one for sitting down, as you would say he has a ‘glass ass’. ¬†He likes to keep busy, making sure everyone is looked after when they visit him. ¬†There is always coffee and a sandwich on offer.

Ive been feeling a tad worse than usual over the last few weeks too. ¬†On the medics advice Ive increased my steroids. ¬†Whats keeping me going and giving me strength? ¬†Love. ¬†From particular special individuals: my hubby Steve, my sons Tony & Stuart and my granddaughters Alexandra & Grace. ¬† They are my shining light, all of them fill my heart with warmth and love. ¬† They light up my life even on the darkest days. ¬†And make me smile –¬†Always. ¬†I love them so much and am so grateful to have them in my life.

 

 

 

30 Years On……..

Well it’s nearly 2am and I’m wide awake. It’s been a great day.  Today was our 30th wedding anniversary and we are in Boat of Garten, near Aviemore to celebrate.    I can hear two very familiar sounds.  The first is the whiring of my feed pump, the other -rumbling snoring; my hubby, Steve, this gasping pup pup sound coming methodically from him.  I wake up often at this time, giving me the opportunity to reflect on what’s going on in my life.  

I’ve had two lovely nights in Aberdeen with Steve.  We were staying in a lovely hotel, went to a great party to celebrate the 60th birthday of his cousin, Annette and the 30th birthday of her son Lee.  Great seeing the family and spending time with Steve’s aunt Margaret and her children.  Steve’s sister Julie, Nicole and jack are here too.  Lovely quality family time; had a super family meal and went back to cousin Jimmy and Teresa’s for a visit.  Steve and I had some time on own too, the drive through Aberdeen for me set of many childhood memories.  My aunt lived in Aberdeen and we visited often.  As we drove passed Duthie Park my heart leapt and I can remember it as if it was yesterday playing in the hot sun with my mum, granny Baird and auntie Nellie.  I yearn so to take my grandkids there, share my happiest times with them.  The time went so fast over the weekend.  After breakfast we popped in to see auntie Margaret.  She was telling us about manuka doctor honey.  And how it helps health conditions for some people.  She brought the jar through to show us, steve took a photo of it. We have since looked it up and we can purchase it at Holland & Barrett for ¬£28.99 and get a second jar for 1penny.  We are going to give it a try.   For a lady of eighty years of age she is marvellous.  When I was there I had my backpack feed on.  She was open and asked me about it.  I wish there were more people would ask when they really want to know.  I really don’t mind answering the questions.  You tend to find its children and people over the age of 75 that ask.  
  

Our anniversary day was wonderful.  Drive from Aberdeen to boat of Garten was delightful. We drove passed the lecht ski centre, one of my old haunts.  For me so strange to see it covered in Heather rather than snow.  A warm welcome awaited us at our beautiful hotel, we have a garden room, so somewhere to sit out with a pot of tea ūüėė.  A huge six foot wide bed – could do with that at home.  We literally dropped our bags and drove into Aviemore.  We were booked on the strathspey steam railway for first class afternoon tea.  What a great journey we had.  Our own we private compartment, pot of tea, coffee, and lots of lovely food.  I thought this would be a great treat for Steve, since he is always running about after me, working so hard with his business and rarely gets time just to sit and watch the world go by.  And we both love the idea of the steam train.  An hour an a half of relaxation was wonderful.  I’m sure it did the two of us the world of good.  We had parked the car about a five minute walk from the train.  As we were walking back, I said to Steve I needed to go to the toilet.  We immediately saw a tesco – bingo, that will do,  I was bursting now, thank goodness I had an insurance policy on.  Steve put his hand gently on my shoulder you are too close to the edge of the road he said as a large lorry rumbled passed feeling like it was about to take of my nose.  At last the green man, we could cross.  Yes, they had customer toilets.  Thank,goodness.  Oh the relief. 
  

We came back to the hotel at 5pm for a rest before going downstairs for a wee while at dinner time.  I sat on the decking with a pot of tea, it was was a lovely day and at 5.10pm it was 19 degrees – in Scotland, nearing the end of August that’s pretty good.  Sitting watching the world go by, soaking in the atmosphere, beautiful.  Suddenly a wave washed over me and I could feel a chill to my bones.  The wee voice was saying watch you don’t get overtired now – you have done much more than you are used to.  The tummy started rumbling, get to the loo woman and deal with it.  I said to myself,  it’s your blasted anniversary.  So I did.  A beauty of a major explosion in the bathroom – the sweat running down my back with the pain.   Along with my teatime medication I took extra anti sickness pills.  I lay on the bed for twenty minutes with Steve.  Much better.  

We had a wonderful evening downstairs.  Gosh, not a late night for us though.  We went down at 6.30pm and we were back in our room  at 8.15pm.  Before we came to our room we walked round a beautiful community garden opposite the hotel. Lovely way to finish off the evening.    Back in our lovely room, we had time to relax and planning our Tuesday.    

We have to make sure we get plenty time to do my creams,  dressings, medications and my feed.  Two 500mls on the pump overnight, one or two 500mls during the day depending  and 4 bolus feeds during the day.   Steve is very  organised and methodical when it comes to my medication.  He sorts it all out first thing in the morning, puts it in little pots and transfers if medicine containers if we are going out. 

Looking forward to today.  We are meeting my sister hazel and brother in law alan.  Going up in fenicular railway.  

Well I’ve Done It: I’m 50 :)

Well today its my birthday. ¬†I am half a century – the big 50. ¬†Many folk hide their age, dread being fifty and pretend their younger than they are. ¬†Me, I’m happy to be here. ¬†I feel privileged to say I have hit such a milestone. ¬†My fortieth decade was a mixed one. ¬†There was many happy events, lots of love and laughter which keeps me going. ¬†However, I ¬†also had to face a few difficult life challenging times which were so difficult.

 

Steve & Me
Happy to get up the castle

 

 

I had many occasions to have cause for celebration. ¬†Both my sons attended university in this decade furthered their education. ¬†Our delightful labradors, Buddy and Bella ¬†came into our lives; the unconditional love they give is amazing, I really can’t imagine my life without the hairy beasties. ¬†We delivered a litter of puppies from them, and have kept in touch with puppies and owners. ¬†Now made some lovely friends. ¬†Some wonderful children have been born in the last ten years who are really close to my heart. ¬†There have been a few very happy weddings. ¬†I have mad many new friends. ¬†Need I go on. ¬† Life is precious and for living, it is all too easy to get bogged down with our problems. ¬†On a personal level Steve and I are as much in love as we were when we were teenagers. ¬†I believe this is my weapon –¬†Love. ¬†

The one thing I am certain is in the last ten years I felt loved. ¬†The first five years were very difficult, I suddenly lost 3 stone in weight, felt very ill, and no-one seemed to know why was wrong with me. ¬†It took a while to get my health situation sorted out, but with the love of Steve, the boys and my parents I felt secure. ¬† I’ve had a few hairy moments been in hospital with septicaemia for 7 weeks, and boy was that scary. ¬†Now got my gastrostomy tube fitted. ¬†Life isn’t always easy with a stoma. ¬†Ive been admitted with several infections. ¬†However, its much better than it was, ¬†I have a fantastic medical team and nurses that come to the house which is fantastic. ¬†And I’m still here to tell the tale and thats whats important.

The second half of my forties were slightly more challenging than the first emotionally. ¬†Amongst other things: ¬†A very close uncle died, my youngest son had extensive brain surgery, my Mum died, my eldest son had meningitis, hubby had eye surgery for detached retina. ¬†But you know what we got through it all. ¬†The boys are doing well. ¬†Steve still has problems, and only had surgery last week again, but the brave bugger is dealing with it the only way he knows – full of courage – like a lion. ¬†It will be three years on the 9th August that Mum passed. ¬†I miss her every day. ¬†We had one of those relationships that we spoke or text every day. ¬†Mum wouldn’t want me moping around. ¬†She was a great character, a beautiful woman that I looked up to and admired.

One day in the consulting room at the hospital my professor handed me a card. ¬†It was for the NET Tumour Support Group that I now meet regularly with. ¬†. ¬†We have all became great friends. ¬†Sadly, one of the friends that I was very fond of passed away last year. ¬†However, I would rather have ¬†spent time with her, laughed, cried, etc, even for one year and then felt the pain of her loss than not have met her at all. ¬† we all meet regularly every month and have a great time. ¬†Its not doom and gloom, we meet at each others house or in the pub. ¬†Partners, friends, carers go too. ¬†You can have a look at the charity’s website to see what work they do: ¬†www.taect.scot ¬†I’m looking forward to helping organise the tea party in Pencaitland in November for NET Cancer Day.

I’ve had cards delivered for my 50th birthday. ¬†Including cards from friends in the Net group which is lovely. ¬†One of my friends in the group, Barbara was very thoughtful, because my eating is restricted, she made me a flower birthday cake. ¬†I could have cried, its so beautiful.

Looking forward to spending my 50’s ¬†with Steve. ¬†Doing what I enjoy. ¬†Taking photos, ¬†writing, cuddling my labs, crafting, etc. ¬†My big aim is to get back into baking and cooking, just because I’m not eating as I did doesn’t mean I should stop what I love. ¬†I got a beautiful mixer last year and boy is it going to get its ass worked off now that I have got over that hurdle. ¬† ¬†Have a great weekend guys. ¬†After Ive finished my treatment today My hubby is taking me to The Edinburgh Festival tonight and tomorrow night. ¬†Tonight its Craig Hill, tomorrow its Nina Conti

 

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