Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Out shopping , late with the journal

Sorry the Journal is late today folks, but it has been a very tiring day out shopping with my Friend Pauline.  anyway welcome to Wednesdays daily journal
The Morning rush

As usual the morning followed its normal pattern of Wake, coffee, text Pauline, coffee, Bathroom, coffee, breakfast, coffee ( not always in that order), anyway that takes up the first hour or so with quick bursts of Facebook in between.

However once that is all done I have a phone call from Pauline to say that her and Gordon will be down about 11.00 and as it is now 9.45 I need to get myself washed, shaved and dressed ready for when they arrive, as today is Shopping day down the city centre with Pauline and while we are doing he shopping , Gordon cleans my flat for me, I enjoy wednesdays and look forward to it, especially when they bring Misty the labrador with them.
Misty at my Flat in the Lounge
Your doing a good job Gordon
Once I have got myself ready it is 10.45 and pauline texts to say they are on the Milton Road so time to get the coffee made for when they get here.

Pauline and Gordon duly arrive and the coffee is made so we sit and have a coffee and a chat and give Misty a fuss, before getting the wheelchair ready and everything else I need to take, and then Phone Citywide Taxis for a Taxi to take us down to the city centre.

By this time it is 11.30 so the taxi arrives and loads the wheelchair and off we go , once we have gone Gordon starts to get the Flat cleaning started.

Once we get down to the city centre, we go and start the shopping, we go into Wilkinsons first to get some cleaning products and some food for Pauline,s cat and then make our way out to the Nationwide Building society where I need to get some business done, while I go and get that sorted Pauline goes over to Marks & Spencer where she has a look around the clothes area, once I have finished in Nationwide I go over in the wheelchair and meet her there.

Anyway at this Point I need to use the disabled toilet which is on the first floor by the cafe so we go up in the lift and into the Disabled toilet and this is where the fun starts.

The disabled toilet really is a discrace , I have always used the disabled toilet when we shop in M&S and have never had a problem before, There were no Paper towels, No toilet paper, no soap in the soap dispenser and the hand dry blower did not work, Good job I always carry hand gel, toilet wet wipes and tissues with me. at least the hot water tap worked, needless to say I was not amused, so a strong letter of complaint will be heading there way. 

Time to Panic
I think the problem that is occurring in the stores is that to save money Portsmouth City council has closed most of the Public toilets in Portsmouth and relying on the public using toilets in the shops, utter disgrace but that is another story, but that is not the end of it, We head to the lift and go down to the ground floor , where we head to the food hall, Pauline gets a basket I go to get my shopping list and I have left my shoulder travel bag upstairs in the Toilet, "PANIC" pauline heads up to the toilet and cafe to see if it is there I follow up in the wheelchair, and then all of a sudden I remember where I left it, I had hung it on the handle of the wheelchair when I used the toilet and in my disgust at the state of the toilets I had not put it back over my head and it was hanging on the back of the wheelchair behind the wheelchair bag, that is why we had not seen it. "I felt a right Plonker"

So once that had been sorted we get some food shopping and then head out into the precinct where we sit and have a coffee and I got chatting to a chap about my age, he was a smoker and he asked if I minded if he smoked, I thought that was nice of him as he could see that I was breathing heavy and I said that I did not mind at all, as I used to be a smoker, anyway we had a nice chat and Pauline took a picture of us .
Me and my new found friend
It was not too busy in the Precinct today, not as busy as I thought it would be anyway. Here is a couple of Photographs of Portsmouth City Centre shopping Precinct.
Looking North from where we are sat
Looking south from where we are sat
After we have finished our coffee we make our way into the Tesco supermarket to get the rest of the shopping and then go back outside and phone for a Taxi to take us home, it is now 2.40.
Pauline with the shopping and the wheelchair
The City wide Taxi arrives and it is one of our regular drivers
Once we get home we have a coffee and a sandwich for lunch, Gordon has as always got the flat spotless and so we get the shopping put away and then Pauline Gordon and Misty make there way home while I have a lie down as it is 4.00 and I am wacked, and then at 4,40 I get the journal started.

Well another successful day, I have a nice M&S Salmon salad for dinner later on and then a relaxing quiet evening ahead. it is now 6.00 pm and I need to get the journal posted so until tomorrow I will say...........

















Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A walk in the Park


Well here we are again absolutely Knackered but happy, so welcome on this sunny day in Portsmouth  on the South coast of the UK, so open the door and walk right in.
early morning Bathroom Break
Last night was not a good night,s sleep I think that this hot and humid weather is taking it out of a lot of us at the moment here in the UK, we are not used to this type of weather here, well not in recent years anyway, you could always rely on the rain coming when the Schools closed for the 6 week summer break, and this has not happened this year.
Anyway I was very restless, and was up and wide awake at 3.00 in the morning , well it was time for the bathroom break anyway.
 Well after I had abluted I returned to bed and then just dozed on and off until I went back off to sleep until I woke at 8.30 feeling like I was ready to go back to bed.

An Australian Beauty
Well Once I was eventually up I made a coffee and went into the lounge where I got on the computer and logged on to Facebook to see what had  been happening in the Myositis support groups overnight, "Especially the Australian bunch" because when we are in the land of nod they are awake and creating havoc.

My Rollator
Well Once I had finished on Facebook and posting in the
Myositis Friends Support Group.
Myositis Support Australasia
Myositis-Canada
The Myositis Ramblers "KIT" Group
I then go and get another coffee and have my Breakfast before washing up and getting ready to go out round with my Rollator/Walker  to the local Tesco express store to get my daily paper and then as it is a nice day a trip around the park where I can sit in the shade and do the crossword in the paper and watch the world go by.

It amazes me that in a very congested city we still have so many parks and open Spaces. Milton park is surrounded by 3 busy roads but has been here for centuries, it used to be a farm in 1722 and was purchased as a Park by Portsmouth corporation in 1912. It is a very well used park in Milton/Eastney which is on the eastern side of Portsea Island. Following are some Photographs that I took today.
Looking towards the Entrance to Milton Park from The Crossroads at Goldsmith Avenue.









Dog Walkers ?
Once I get into the Park i found a nice seat in the shade of one of the many trees that are in the Park and it is nice as although it is surrounded by busy roads it is still a fairly quiet place with lots of people out walking the dogs and as it is school holidays there are mothers with there children in the Play Park area having picnics etc, a nice family environment.

However I read my paper and do the easy crossword, the harder one can be done this afternoon or evening, as for some reason I am not watching that much TV at the moment, I prefer to listen to the local radio or to Classical FM. (must be getting old) after about 45 minutes I start to make my way back home.  It is only about a 20 minute walk with the rollator for me, about 8 minutes of anyone else, but today I seem to be having more problems with my legs not wanting to work, it is the upper leg and thigh muscles that seem to be the problem an both the left and right hand side, I have noticed a slow deterioration over the last 3 or 4 weeks, but today it just seems to be that little bit harder.
A Sandwich for lunch

Once I am home I get myself a coffee and then go for a lie down to rest the legs, after which i notice that it is nearly 2.00 pm so time to make a corned beef and tomato sandwich for lunch and also a yoghurt

well that is really about exciting as today got, I now need to get todays journal started and then I can think about what to have for tea, and get myself rested for Shopping tomorrow with Pauline, I have a feeling the wheelchair will be needed tomorrow as we will be going down to the city centre.
Frank is Old and Cranky
 I Have an appointment with my GP on Thursday so I will have a word with her, I am not one to start to try and analyse what the problem may be but knowing my body and after 3 years of Myositis the  likely causes are Either the tapering of the Prednisolone, "Adrenal deficiency" from being on the Prednisolone for over 3 years and taking my age into account,  or progressive weakening of the muscles. it is not a problem with the bone as it is certainly a muscle ache and weakness. either way I will get it sorted, my GP will probably contact my Neurologist and bring my appointment with him forward as I my next appointment is on September the 18th and they will probably up the Prednisolone in the meantime, AS I am now on 2.5 mg a day and I have been struggling ever since started to taper from 10 mg daily. Oh the Joys of Dermatomyositis

Well that is about it for today so a nice beef casserole for dinner tonight and then a relaxing evening listening to the radio, with a brief interlude to watch Emmerdale on the TV, it is the only "soap"I watch so all thats left is to say is..............
See Ya Tomorrow







Monday, July 28, 2014

The Return of my Daily Journal.



And so here I am back again after a gap of nearly Ten months and here I come riding back into your lives on a white charger, well it has been an interesting few months which I will not bore you with apart to say that I had a few up,s and downs with tapering my Prednisolone but at least I have now got new glasses and a larger screen computer so hopefully get back to what i do best and that is boring you all silly .



So where do I start,  I am now down to 2.5 mg of Prednisolone daily ( 5 mg taken alternate days} and that was a journey and a half to get to this from 5 mg daily (10 mg taken alternate days) but fingers crossed i am now finding it easier but a big difference in my energy levels, they are so much lower on this low dose.

Anyway I have got to where my Neurologist wants me to be, and now all I have to do is to work on my weight, I am just under 13 stone which is not helping with my Knees and with my weak muscles in my upper legs and thigh,s, My Neurologist "Dr Gibb" wants me to be at 11 stone unfortunately that is not going to happen so I am going to try to get to 12 stone and see where we go from there but I think Jogging is out of the question.

So that just about brings us up to date on the health side of things so we start with today. as usual it was a case of waking up not knowing if the heatwave we are in the middle of was going to continue again or not, it was another night of restless sleep as it is so hot and humid here in the UK so wait to see what the weather forecast is for today
Well it looks like it is another hot day ahead and so it seems the Fan will be used to its maximum again today, anyway time for breakfast so that is a coffee with a bowl of Special K with red berries followed by the obligatory 4 pitted prunes, I have found that having 4 prune,s in the morning with my breakfast can reduce my laxative ( Latulose) from twice a day to just once in the evening.

Once I had finished Breakfast I send the morning text to Pauline, and she phones me back to make sure that all is Ok, Pauline and Gordon  are off up to Waterlooville town centre to do some shopping and asked if there is anything I needed but all I have to get today is Milk and the daily Paper, as I went shopping with Gervase yesterday so i have everything I need until Pauline takes me shopping down to Portsmouth city centre on Wednesday.
Waterlooville  Town Centre.
Once I have spoken to Pauline I check out the myositis support groups on Facebook and then I get myself ready and go down to winter road with the Rollator to get my Daily paper and a couple of pints of Milk. While I am out I take a walk down Devonshire avenue and around the block back home, which is my exercise for the day. it takes about 20 to 30 minutes and the good thing about using a rollator it has a seat so I can sit down if required, however it is a lot less humid today so it was not to bad on the breathing
Approach to Devonshire avenue from Winter Road
Winter Road looking north to the shops.
Once i am back home I have a sit down and a coffee and then go out and dead head the Rose bush and the two hanging baskets, there are still a lot of buds on them to bloom yet, They are at the front of my flat and looks very pretty, there are a lot of hanging Baskets in the houses down our street.

The Rose bush is doing well this year.

one of my Hanging Baskets

My other Hanging Basket.
Once I had done that it was time for some lunch so a nice Corned beef Sandwich and then a lie down for an hour until 3.00 when it is time to get the computer ready, make a coffee and then on to writing the daily journal before getting dinner ready for tonight, Tonight it will be a sea bass fillet with New Potatoes, Broccoli and a cauliflower cheese, all home made from fresh ingredients.


well that is about it for today, not the most exciting of days but an enjoyable one all the same so I will say bye Bye to you all until tomorrow, and It is so good to be back writing the Journal, it will probably take a few days to get back into the swing of things.







Friday, October 4, 2013

A day for remembering

So here we are on Friday the 4th October 2013. And today 20 years ago I lost my dear wife Christine To Breast Cancer So Today,s Journal is for and about Christine.


I met Christine at a Youth Worker training weekend run by Hampshire County Council in 1972 in Brockenhurst in the New Forest.

Brockenhurst, Hampshire.
  Both christine and I were working part time evenings as youth workers, Christine was working at Portchester Youth Centre and I was working at Fareham Youth Centre and we hit it of almost immediately and so our romance blossomed from that point on.

Christine was living with her parents at Drayton just outside of Portsmouth and I was living at home with Mum in Fareham, however within  a matter of Months we had decided to move in together and rented a bedsit in Southsea,

Christine was working as a Clerical assistant with Portsmouth City Council and I was working as an instrument Technician at Portsmouth Aviation. after a year in the bedsit we moved into a Council flat in Southsea where we stayed until 79.

Where we had our flat in Southsea.
We had some wonderful times in our time here at the flat and still think of those memories if I ever go past it now. It was while we were here that we got married at Portsmouth Registry office in June 1977.

Portsmouth Registry Office 29th June 1977
 In 1979 we brought our first house in together in Prince Albert Road Southsea for the princely sum of £15,000 and set up home there until 1984 when Christine,s mother passed away and we moved up to her fathers Bungalow in  Drayton to look After him,

While we were at Prince Albert Road Our son Gervase was born in May 1981 and he completed our lives and everything seemed to be looking rosy for our future together, unfortunately this was when we were hit with the bombshell in 1983 when Christine was diagnosed with Breast Cancer.
Hello Gervase.
 In 1982 I was made redundant from my job and that is when I went and trained and became a driving Instructor for the British School of Motoring, Christine had already left Portsmouth city council in 1979 and was working as a PA for Marconi.

Once Christine had her diagnosis she started her treatment and had the lump removed and went through her course of treatment and in 1984 after moving to Drayton Christine got the all clear, after which she decided that she would go to Portsmouth Polytechnic and train to become a Primary School Teacher, so we restructured our days so that I could Start my own driving school, Gervase was at Nursery school, Christine was at collage and  had the freedom to look after Christine,s dad while working the hours suit us.
Christine,s Dad 1981 with Gervase
 Christine,s Dad passed away in 1986 and we stayed in the Bungalow in Drayton until July 1989 when we sold the Bungalow and Purchased our home in Grayshott Road.

Pauline Graduated as a Primary School Teacher in 1988 with her Bachelor of Education Degree in 1988 and was appointed in her teaching job at Cumberland First school in Southsea which is why we moved back down to Southsea.

Cumberland First School, Southsea
  And so here we were back down in Southsea, The driving school was going well, Christine was happy at her job teaching primary school children and Gervase was at Portsmouth Grammar school so life was good and everything looked good for our future together as a family and then Wham we got hit again. in October 1989 we learnt that Christine,s Cancer had returned in the other breast so they removed the Breast and also it had got into her womb so they also did a Hysterectomy. It was long 4 years ahead, christine went through her treatment with a positive attitude which showed her character and also carried in working until june 1993 when it was discovered that it had got into her spine and from there on in it was diagnosed as terminal, I sold the Driving school as I  had promised Christine that I would look after her at home as she did not want to die in a hospital, and that is what I did until she passed away peacefully holding my hand in the early hours of the morning on the 4th October 1993. 20 years ago today.

Christine was a marvelous lady with a great sense of humour and determination and always though of Others, She loved Gervase so very Much and I am sure she is so proud of the man he has become. Christine retained her sense of humour right to the very end and it is that memory that has helped me to cope with this myositis. I love her now as much as I did when I first met her 41 years ago and think of her every day,so here are a few Pictures of Christine a very Brave and Lovely Lady.

Christine







And Christine,s favourite cat who never left her side 
Dumbo