Tag Archives: living with chronic illness

Weekly roundup

We cruise along in life blissfully ignorant of the fact that on any given day, totally without warning, our world could come crashing down.  That’s what has happened to my sister-in-law this week when she was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 49.  Of course, it would be the s-i-l that helps me with my parents, has a full-time job as a home care manager and still has a child living at home, and not my other s-i-l who does absolutely bugger all – it’s the unfairness of it that makes your blood boil.

As you all know, I’ve been trying for over 2 years now to find a reason for my Dad’s severe sensorimotor polyneuropathy.  The neurologist at the RVI in Newcastle, as a last resort in July 2019, ordered a lip biopsy to check for Sjogren’s Syndrome (the gold standard test for SS) and sent the report through to my Dad’s GP.  The GP couldn’t make head nor tail of the histology report, but as the neurologist said in her letter that the result showed “mild inflammation” my Dad was referred to a Rheumatologist for further consultation.  We saw him in October, but he hadn’t been sent the histology report.  He ordered a load of further tests which all came back normal and we waited, and waited, for a follow on appointment.  In the last 3 months I’ve rung his secretary twice to ask what the hold up is and she just kept saying they hadn’t received the lip biopsy report, so I told her to bloody well chase it up.  Then last week my Dad gets a letter from the Rheumatologist to say he still hadn’t had a copy of the biopsy report, but as all the other tests were negative he was discharging my Dad from his Clinic.  WTF?!

The same day, I rang the RVI and it took less than 3 minutes for them to email me the biopsy report, so why the hell the Rheumy’s secretary couldn’t have done that is anyone’s guess.  And the report shows “focal lymphocytic sialadenitis; focus score = 1” in other words it is absolutely positive for Sjogren’s Syndrome, or possibly the blood cancer lymphoma which we already know my Dad has a marker for.  I am LIVID.

Livid that this was done 6 months ago, yet for some reason the neurologist has called the result “mild inflammation” when it’s nothing of the kind.  Livid that my GP didn’t bother to Google the result if she didn’t understand it, and realize it was positive for SS.  And livid that the Rheumatologist would discharge my Dad from Clinic without bothering to get hold of the biopsy report first.  These people get paid tens of thousands of pounds each year of my tax money to do their job – I shouldn’t have to be doing it for them.  Needless to say, I sent a very sarcastic letter to all 3 health care providers and requested an urgent appt to discuss.

My Mum’s been having some stomach issues lately, so on New Year’s Eve I sat for 2½ hours in the hospital waiting for her to have an endoscopy, which in the end had to be halted mid-way through as Mum couldn’t breathe due to her severe COPD.  She went back on Tuesday to have the test repeated, but this time they put her on oxygen and it was much better.  Thankfully nothing sinister was found, though there was a large area of inflammation which was biopsied and we’re now waiting to find out if she has h-pylori, which can cause ulcers and needs a course of antibiotics.

I’m so fed up of hospitals I can’t even tell you.

In amongst all of the above, I’ve been trying to sell my house and buy a knackered bungalow – more on that in my next post!


Weekly Roundup

It is week 5 of my cold virus and, although my runny nose has finally dried up, I’m still coughing.  It’s making me grumpy and irritable and I tell it to fuck right off twenty times a day 😉

Despite my Mum’s endoscopy appointment being for 9am on New Year’s Eve we still waited a whole hour before she was called in for her pre-test checks and were there over 2 hours in total.  It isn’t physically possible to be running an entire hour late at 9 o’clock in the morning, so one can only assume the way the department is run leaves a lot to be desired.  I know when my Dad had his endoscopy it took 4½ hours, 3½ hours of which were spent sitting in the waiting room.  The upshot of Mum’s endoscopy was that it had to be halted mid-way through because of a drop in her oxygen levels (having half a lung and a humongous tube down your throat will do that to you), so we’ve got to go back and have it done again.  Oh joy.

Speaking of my Mum, we had a conversation in the car about menopausal hormones and how they can make you irritable.  “You were really nasty when you first started going through the menopause” she tells me, “I recognized it from when I went through it”.  Er, no, Mother.  I shouted at you because I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown because you are an alcoholic and were drunk every day by lunchtime, leaving me to run your life, my Dad’s life, your home, my home and my own life all the while suffering from 3 serious and disabling diseases!  I didn’t say that, though, because she was on her way for an endoscopy and I didn’t want to upset her.  This is the extent to which addicts are in denial.  They can’t see that their behaviour affects anyone but them and are unable to take responsibility for their situation.  I’m still seething about her comment a week later – pointless I know, but I’m only human.

I received the vet’s bill for Bertie’s tooth cleaning, blood test and dewclaw removal this week.  £400 ($523).  Arrggghhhh!  He wasn’t even in a day, let alone overnight.  And before anyone asks why he isn’t insured, he used to be.  I paid £19.50 a month until the insurers discovered he had a slipped disc and they demanded £179 a month instead.  Fucking robbers.

Things are starting to move with the house sale/purchase and I’ve received a ginormous wad of paperwork to fill in from my solicitor.  Several people have asked that I do pictures of the bungalow renovation, so I’ve set up a separate blog for that – I’ll let you know when I start posting!  I seem to be the only person excited about my house move – everyone else thinks I’m mental for taking on such a massive project, which is starting to get to me :-/  It’s happening, I’ve done my research, survey, costings and plans and it’s not like I haven’t done houses up before (admittedly not this level of renovation but still).  I’m not clueless or naive, so I wish they’d just get on board and be supportive.

My elderly, disabled friend who I called an ambulance for when he fell out of bed bought me a new hoover for Christmas 😮  He’s not short of a bob or three so £300 isn’t anything to him, but it’s a big deal to someone on my income and I’m incredibly grateful.  It’s a lightweight, cordless, stick one and doesn’t kill my back like my big, clunky Dyson – important as I’m still currently sans cleaner.  You know your life is a huge pit of excrement when you get excited by a hoover.

Well, I’d better get up and get my arse in gear.  I’m meeting my bestie for lunch today in the city, which I’m very much looking forward to, and am fairly sure it wouldn’t be acceptable to rock up in my jim jams and fluffy bedsocks with the hole in the heel 😀  But first I have to walk the mutt.  He knows the route with his eyes shut, so why he can’t just take himself off for a wander and leave me to have a lie-in is beyond me, the selfish article.


Weekly roundup

OMG I have the raging lergie and feel like the undead.  It feels so unfair – I don’t have the resources to be sick on top of being sick.  It started on Tuesday with one of the worst sore throats I think I’ve ever had.  Every time I lay down I felt like I was choking and my entire oesophagus felt inflamed.  I didn’t feel ill with it though – that came later.

Wednesday I woke up streaming.  Every time I moved my head my nose dripped and trust me when I say my nose isn’t exactly small 😉  I still didn’t feel poorly but, though I was off my food.

Thursday I woke and the streaming had stopped, but in its place was feeling like I’d been run over by a bus, which had backed up and run over me again just to make sure I was truly dead.  I had zero energy, my head pounded and every part of me ached.  I took my temperature which was normal, then spent the day drinking elderflower codial like a woman lost in a desert and consequently peeing like a race horse.

Friday I woke sounding like Donald Duck.  My throat was on fire and my neck was visibly swollen.  No ulcers though, or puss, so it isn’t tonsilitis – just a virulent virus which everyone I know has succumbed to.  My voice had almost totally gone and I ached from head to toe.  I only got 3 hours sleep that night because every time I lay down I either started coughing or felt like I was choking.  It didn’t help that I was woken at 2.15am by what sounded like someone tap dancing on my bedroom ceiling in hob nailed boots but which was probably just a little vole scuttling about.  It needs to eat the poison that’s up there quick smart and die!

Saturday my throat was worse than ever, which I didn’t think was physically possible, and my nose was back to streaming.  While writing the 4 paragraphs above I sneezed no less than 7 times and went through 5 aloe vera infused tissues.

I didn’t need the worst cold of the past decade this week, when I’ve had the biggest news in 15 years :-/  It’s difficult to get excited about my house move when my head if full of cotton wool, my eyelids feel like concrete blocks and I’m feeling utterly dreadful, though I am of course thrilled to bits 🙂

Last Saturday I received a request from a couple who wanted to view my house.  The man booked it and I didn’t recognize the name, so imagine my surprise when I opened the door to find a woman on my doorstep who used to be my cleaner!  They’d moved away to run a business which sadly didn’t work out and they were desperate to move back to my village because both her Mum and Sister live here.  They put in a good offer the same night.

I couldn’t formally accept though because I hadn’t had my offer accepted on the bungalow I wanted.  However, I was in a much stronger buying position now I had an offer on mine, so rang the Estate Agent at 9am Monday morning to place my best and final bid.  Despite being on the market for 7 months and mine being the only offer, the vendor had another viewing booked for Friday so made me wait until that had taken place and the viewers clearly weren’t interested in buying before he accepted.  So one way and another it’s been a stupendously stressful week and I’m sooooo relieved it’s all turned out OK, streaming nose, aching limbs and razor blade throat aside.

Right, I’m going to attempt to get dressed in order to pay a visit to my local farm shop where they make Jersey ice cream, which I’ve heard can be very soothing for firey throats.  Well, that’s going to be my excuse for binging on a 6 scoop tub anyhow and I’m sticking to it 😀





Weekly roundup

Tomorrow I find out whether the next chapter of my life begins………..or not.  It’s the biggest thing to happen to me in 16 years, so please send some positive vibes out into the Universe that it goes the way I hope.  I’ll do a post on the outcome when I know.

This week has been spent mainly helping my parents.  My Mum is chocka with cold which has inevitably gone to her chest (she has half a lung, emphysema and severe COPD).  She has emergency antibiotics at home so started them early, but they make her nauseous and give her the runs so she’s pretty miserable and feeling really unwell.  My ‘nice’ neighbours both have the same lergie, as does my dog walker, so it seems like a pretty virulent bug :-/

My Dad is doing OK after his hip operation and subsequent huge bleed and is managing to walk outdoors for short distances.  He had 34 staples taken out of his leg on Friday and the wound is healing well.  His leg is swelling badly every day though and since the staples came out he says he’s getting severe pins and needles, so if it’s no better tomorrow I’m going to ring the post-surgery helpline number at Hexham to see if that’s normal or not.

Bertie also had his stitches out on Friday following the amputation of his rear dewclaw.  Unfortunately there is little skin to cover the wound so it will take some time to scab over.  I did notice a bit of puss last night, so put some Germolene on and covered it with a dressing, which I’ll change twice a day for the next few days to see if I can get on top of the infection.  Not sure if you’re supposed to put Germolene on a dog, but I’ve been doing it for years and as long as you cover it so the dog can’t lick it off and poison itself it seems to be as effective on mutts as it is on humans!

Other than that I’ve been trying to keep on top of housework/cleaning/laundry.  I am running on empty now and have told my folks I’m having 10 days off over Christmas to recoup my energy (famous last words!).  Despite everything I am miraculously ready for Christmas though – cards are sent, presents are bought and wrapped and Boxing Day lunch at a hotel is booked (we don’t do Xmas day lunch, we’re all too ill).

I felt sick last night with a mixture of nerves and excitement so didn’t have any tea.  Consequently, I’m starving this morning and ready for an early breakfast.  Then I’ll take Bert out before meeting my disabled friend D for brunch in a local cafe.  Tomorrow I’m taking both my parents all the way to Sunderland for checks following their cataract operations, while also trying to juggle my life changing (or not) event.  It’s going to be a big week and by the end of it I could either be stupendously happy or stupendously depressed – watch this space.



Weekly roundup

I haven’t been touched by another human being for a decade.  My Mum stopped hugging me when her alcoholism took off, my Dad isn’t a hugger and I don’t have a partner, so my little dog Bertie is the only physical contact I have with another living creature.  Monday he went to the vets for a little operation.  He needed his teeth cleaning but also had a deformed dewclaw removed, which sounds trivial but is actually classed as an amputation because rear dewclaws are attached by bone just like a thumb.  Even though he’s elderly now at 11 and has a heart murmur I wasn’t concerned – he’d had anaesthetic before for his castration when he was little and all went well – so imagine my horror when I went to collect him only to be told they’d had to ring the cardiac specialist during his operation because his heart had been going like the clappers 😮  It had started the second he was given his pre-med, so I’m assuming he had an allergic reaction to the drug.  Thankfully he pulled through and is recovering well but I swear my blood turned to ice when the vet was relaying what had happened – I simply don’t know what my life would be like without him.

I barely got any sleep Monday night as Bert was in pain and couldn’t get comfortable, so Tuesday I was fairly knackered.  Following my Dad’s hip replacement last Friday, however, my parents are needing much more help than usual so despite my exhaustion I was in town helping them out.  My youngest brother and family have really stepped up to the plate though for which I am truly grateful and are making them meals, getting my Dad his newspaper each morning and going for prescriptions etc.  My elder brother and family haven’t even been to visit, despite living only a few streets away :-/

Weds I went to visit a friend as she has been having awful problems with her 9 year old daughter, who’s suddenly developed severe anxiety disorder.  My friend is so worked up and getting so little help that she literally can’t eat or sleep and cries at the drop of a hat, so I popped round just to offer her a shoulder.  I can’t believe in this day and age there are still so few mental health services for children – it’s a bloody disgrace.

Everything caught up with me on Thursday and I felt stupendously MEish.  Despite having a banging headache and spinning vertigo I had to go into town for Bert to have his post-op checkup and when I got back at 4pm I was literally dead on my feet.  Desperate to just get into bed I was accosted by my neighbour, irritatingly saying he’d been trying to get hold of me.  His landline had developed a crackle and the BT engineer needed to check the box on the side of my house which feeds his line, however as he needed to go up a ladder he wanted to drill a hole in the side of my house to secure it – health and safely ‘n all that (it’s a tiny cottage for heaven’s sake, not the bloody Clifton Suspension Bridge!).  I said no.  There are water and gas pipes buried in the wall, not to mention the fact my house is up for sale and the last thing I want is a hole drilling in the outside render which I would then have to fill in and re-paint.  My neighbour stomped off in a  huff and I wearily ran myself a bath, the first time I’d had a wash or cleaned my hair for 6 days!  I hadn’t been in the water 5 minutes when the doorbell went.  It was the sodding BT engineer and before he’d even opened his mouth I barked “I’ve already told my neighbour you’re not drilling in my wall!” and virtually slammed the door in his face.  I got back in the bath but by then the water was luke warm and I was pissed.  I got into bed and cried with exhaustion and the unfairness of not even being allowed half an hour to have a bath without someone wanting something from me.

I’d dozed off watching telly when, at 9pm, my phone went.  WTF?!  It was my Mum to say my Dad’s leg had swollen like a balloon and there was a bruise the size of a grapefruit behind his knee.  I had no clue what to do.  The hospital had given us a post-surgery helpline number to ring so I tried that, but it was only open during office hours – useful!  So I rang the ward at the hospital, but the nurse said unless she could see it she couldn’t advise us and told me to ring the non-emergency NHS number 111.  It’s fucking useless.  I tried to ring it last month when I found my disabled friend on the floor having fallen out of bed, but after being on hold for 40 minutes gave up and rang 999.  This time, after being on hold for 20 minutes I also gave up and went online to fill out a form which gave me no opportunity to actually describe what was happening.  Luckily, though, the minute I wrote my Dad was on the blood thinner Warfarin it told me I needed to see a Doctor and I was allowed to request a call back from a medic.  Without even seeing him, the Doctor told my Dad “you should be fine” (reassuring, not!) and to see his GP in the morning.

So at 8.30am Friday morning I spent 20 minutes on hold trying to get a GP appointment.  They were short-staffed due to sickness, so in the end he had to see a nurse who didn’t really have much clue what was going on and removed his dressing to check his wound, even though we’d been told at the hospital not to do that under any circumstance :-/  He was sent home after being told it was all “normal”, despite the fact no-one could tell him why he’d suddenly had a massive bleed from his thigh to his calf a whole week after his surgery.

I was awake most of Friday night with a thumping, sickening migraine which made my right eye bloodshot and the right side of my face swell up.   Of course I was.

Saturday I contacted my bestie and said if I didn’t speak to someone who wasn’t a) old, b) crying or c) furry soon she would be visiting me in the local mental asylum and, bless her, despite being really unwell herself she drove 45 minutes down the motorway to meet me for lunch and spent the first hour listening to me offload.  I’d do a heart emoticon, if I knew how to do that in WordPress!

It’s Sunday today and after taking Bert out this morning I want to put my Christmas tree up.  I haven’t even given Xmas a seconds thought and am now panicking that there is only a fortnight to go and I haven’t even bought my cards yet, let alone written or posted them.  I’m sure everyone would understand if I didn’t do Xmas this year, but I actually love Xmas (well, I would if I didn’t have to spend any time with my drunk Mother) and putting my tree up is something I’d like to do for me.  I’ve treated myself to a lightbox for Christmas to photograph flowers, but have decided I’m not waiting til 25th and am going to try it out this afternoon – I think I’ve earned a treat.

p.s. after my meltdown to the Blue Badge team I receive an email from them to say my renewal had been successful – they probably feared for their lives if they refused me 😉

Weekly roundup

My week started at 5.50am with me, in my dressing gown in the pitch dark, following my dog around with a jug.  Over the past 18 months he’s been drinking more than he used to, so the vet requested an early morning pee sample to test for diabetes and kidney issues.  Every time Bert cocked his leg and I placed the jug underneath, however, he looked at me in horror and refused to widdle.   I can’t blame him, I’d’ve felt the same way 😉

I eventually managed to catch a little bit of urine and it turned out to be fine.  But he is having a small operation next week.  His teeth need a scale, plus he’s had a deformed dew claw since he was born and it’s a nightmare to trim.  It grows like the clappers and has to be cut every 4 weeks, but it’s becoming increasingly painful for him to have done and he yelps 😦  So the vet thought it best to remove it, but it’s classed as a digit amputation as the rear dewclaws are attached by a bone, a bit like a small thumb 😮

My Dad had his cataract surgery on Tuesday.  It was at Sunderland, 90 miles away, and I refused to take him.  I’ve already been once this month with my Mum and both of them are due back for checkups in December for which I’ll be taking them, so I made my lazy-arsed brother go this week instead.  He works 3 shifts, then has an entire week off – I see no reason why he can’t do more for his parents.

Wednesday I was guest speaker at a Camera Club in Scotland.  I’d battled a throat infection for days and was worried my voice wouldn’t hold out, but apart from the last 5 minutes when I sounded like Donald Duck it went OK.  Well, I say that but it was an interesting evening and I’m going to do a whole post on it just because I can – so watch out for that.

Since my surprise period 12 days ago I have been plagued by severe migraines and I spent most of Friday drinking ibuprofen suspension like it was pop (I’m allergic to all other forms of migraine medication).  I’m so over the whole hormone-induced head pain I can’t even tell you.  I woke at 1am today with the right side of my brain throbbing and as I type this it feels like rats are gnawing on my skull.

Also on Friday I was informed by my estate agent that someone had requested to view my house the next day.  Eeeek, it wasn’t much notice so after I walked Bertie in the afternoon I did the 14 mile round trip into town, in Friday rush hour traffic (which did my migraine no favours), to spend £10 on flowers and to get some polish ’cause I’d run out.   My cleaner has quit and the house was a bit of a pig sty so I spent the whole of Saturday morning cleaning, tidying, washing the front gate (covered in bird poo), sweeping the yard, washing the front door and all the other stuff you do to make your house immaculate.  I palmed the dog off onto my neighbour as he barks his head off at visitors and I can’t concentrate and when 2pm arrived I waited.   And I waited.  And I waited.  And the bitch was a no show.  Four hours later I get a text forwarded from my estate agent apologizing but giving no explanation and asking if she could book another viewing for in the week.  This is the 4th booking this person has made and she hasn’t shown up for any of them.  Needless to say, I said no and that I wouldn’t be accepting any more viewing requests from her.  Today I can barely walk as I’m crippled with back pain from hoovering and mopping all the floors and both wrists and elbows are on fire.

In amongst all the dross there has been some good news but.  Each year, the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain holds a competition where they choose 60 photographers from the 40,000 members of Camera Clubs around the UK they deem to be a master of print.  And I am absolutely thrilled to say that, for the 2nd year running, I have been chosen.  I still have to pinch myself that little old me, lying in my bed in the wilds of the lake district has found something that, not only can I do and which gives me huge joy, but has reached this level of acclaim.  It’s freakin’ awesome 😀

Weekly roundup

I’m a bit late with my roundup on account of the fact I’ve spent the morning with paramedics – more on that shortly!

My week actually started out relatively OK.  Well, if you can ignore the fact I was feeling shite and on the verge of a relapse ME-wise that is.  As I mentioned in last week’s roundup, I’ve been doing wayyyy too much in recent months and it’s now seriously affecting my health.  So, this week I decided to cancel everything in order to rest.  Sounds simple doesn’t it, but in reality it’s like wrestling a bear.

Monday I’d arranged to meet my 75 year old disabled friend, Dave, at a local furniture centre to choose a riser-recliner chair, on account of the fact he can now barely get out of an ordinary chair to standing position.  It took 2 hours, not that I minded, but I’d already spent the morning helping my parents, then 2 hours with Dave, then I walked the dog on the way home and by that stage it was 3.30pm and time for bed.  So Monday was a bit of a right off.

There’s also the minor irritants of still having to feed myself, stack the dishwasher, bathe, shop and walk the dog every afternoon (and 3 mornings).  And let’s not forget the fact I’m guest speaker at another Camera club (booked a year ago!) in 10 days time so need to put together a 2 hour speech from scratch.  Oh, and I’m selling my house and this week my fucking cleaner decided to quit on me, so now on top of feeling rubbish and everything else that’s going on I’m having to change the bed, hoover and mop the floors, despite the fact it kills my back.  Other than all that, though, I’ve been resting – honest  😉  I’ve had to, because for 3 days I had one of the worst bouts of vertigo I’ve had in ages and every time I moved my head the entire room spun.

Friday my Mum was having cataract surgery at Sunderland 90 miles away and it was booked for 10am which meant getting up at 6am, breakfast, dressed, dog walked, into town and Mum picked up for 8am.  I was fucked before we’d even set off.  It all went brilliantly, though, and we were actually back home by just after lunch (no mean feat when it’s a 1hr 45min drive each way!).  Of course, I had the dog to walk in the afternoon, so eventually got back home absolutely exhausted……..only to find a car parked in my driveway, blocking my garage.  It was a customer of the upholstery business at the end of my drive.  Regular readers will know that for 3 years the twat who leases the buildings for his upholstery business has allowed, nay encouraged, his customers to park in my drive meaning I can’t get in or out.  It’s illegal because the right of way that exists is to “pass and repass” which means to travel over, not stop on, plus it causes a legal “nuisance” to me.  But he doesn’t give a flying fuck.  I wouldn’t care but he owns the top part of the drive, so I asked the car owner to please pull forward 6 feet so I could get in my garage at which the upholstery guy went ballistic at me, red faced and ranting that I was being unreasonable.  I was as polite as always and stood there while he shouted, then asked the customer to please move his car.  Again.  Which he did.  After I parked up, however, I went into the upholsterer’s office and told him I had had enough and was taking legal action against him.  I’d already got it all set up because this has been going on for nearly 4 years now, so I made a quick call to my solicitor who will sending a pre-action letter this week.

The thing is, though, that I am selling my house so this “dispute” will now need to be made clear to any buyer, which is bound to put people off and may affect the sale.  I can’t be verbally abused every time I need to leave my house, though, especially as shit-for-brains is breaking the law and I am doing absolutely nothing wrong!  So it needs sorting once and for all.

As if all that weren’t bad enough, I enter the house to find a note through the door – Amazon had delivered a parcel in my absence which had been placed in the “grey bin with the black lid”.  Er, you mean the dust bin?  W-T-actual-FUCK?!

I was telling the tale on social media afterwards, and one of my friends says “I haven’t seen one of those since 1993.  The delivery guy obviously didn’t know it was a dust bin”.  Er, really?  The delivery note said “grey bin” so he was well aware it was a bin, but even if he wasn’t I’m not sure what else it could be masquerading as?  The giveaway would have been when he took the lid off to place my parcel inside and it was full of rotting food and 2 black bags of disgustingly smelly dog shit.  That I’m fairly sure, should have given the game away.  Needless to say I then spent the next 30 minutes chatting online to Amazon’s complaint’s department in some far-flung province of India because they don’t give you a goddamn email address to write to and Indian labour is cheap – who cares they don’t know what an English dust bin looks like either and couldn’t give a flying fuck in any event.

Saturday, of course, I spent the day with a stupendous migraine.  Par for the course after all that driving, not to mention stress.  Plus the vertigo was back.

Sunday mornings, after I’ve walked the dog, I sometimes meet my elderly, disabled friend Dave for coffee at a local cafe.  I had no intention of going today because I was feeling rubbish (no pun intended) but Dave had emailed me on Friday to say he wasn’t feeling well, so I decided to make the effort and see him.  He goes every week at 9.30am, but when I arrived at 10am he wasn’t there.  I waited for 10 minutes then started to worry and, to cut a very long story short, finally rocked up at his house to find him lying stark naked on the bedroom floor having fallen out of bed 😦  He’d lain there for 4 hours, but despite being cold he looked flushed, had a banging headache and a nasty cough so Sherlock Holmes here deduced he had a chest infection which is why he’d gone off his legs.  I rang for an ambulance.  While we waited I managed to get him sat upright on the floor, get his pyjamas on, socks and a sweater, got him a hot drink and made him eat a cracker (he’s diabetic).  Two hours later, with a confirmed raging temperature, chest infection and irregular heartbeat (he’s already had a heart attack, has a stent and suffers from angina), he was taken off to the Infirmary – I’ll ring at 6pm to find out which ward he’s been admitted to and will go through to the city tomorrow to see him.  Who needs to rest anyway?!