Pre California - April 2022 - A Break in between trips


Coming Coming out of my cage and I’ll been doing just fine.

Hmm, not exactly true but where do I start?


Florida seemed to pass in a whirl as we were straight back into things from Day 1 on our return. We had Barry’s birthday which we celebrated with a BBQ (but not a Hot Tub as I hadn’t got round to refilling it). Karen’s car finally went into be repaired and we were given a Fiat 500 as a courtesy car for 2 weeks – not impressed.


Then when I did fill the Hot Tub and started using it, Karen decided to get out for a moment to check how the tea was cooking and slipped on the water dripping from her costume indoors on the kitchen floor. She was immediately in a lot of pain, but it was not until the next morning when she finally decided she should go to A&E that we had it confirmed that she had broken her upper right arm just below the shoulder.


It has been very painful for her, but fortunately it does now finally seem to be slowly on the mend. She no longer screams or needs help when getting dressed. However, she is still in a sling and cannot drive. This has proved challenging as apart from cancelling one day of work when she was in A&E she didn’t want to let any of her schools down. This has meant I have had to chauffeur her everywhere, including to a school in East Ruston. All the roadworks in and around Hellesdon made this task far more challenging than it should ever have been.


Then I had a big birthday which we celebrated in Blythburgh in Graham & Jo’s house that they kindly lent to us for the weekend. The boys and Ellie came and stayed as well and we had a really good time.



I feel I should mention the football as the trauma of the end of the season is now finally fading and I am starting to feel optimistic for next season. However, I will never forget the whole crowd laughing at the manner in which we conceded the 2nd goal against Spurs, nor the feeling of desperately wanting the referee to blow the whistle in the 70th minute just to put us out of our misery.


Just before we flew to Florida, Karen had her Bowel screening test arrived that she returned. When we got back there was a letter saying that they had spotted something and that she needed come into Hospital for a colonoscopy for further checks. We both played down the possible implications but I was happy that she got herself an early appointment. A kit came through beforehand and she was told to clear the day before the appointment as the gallons of liquid she was required to drink meant she would not want to be more than 10 feet from a toilet. She was very good in sorting herself out with all the preparation.


On the day itself I took her to the new unit opposite the N&N, which is apparently the biggest and busiest specialist unit in Europe. Karen said they were incredibly efficient and kind to her. She was in and out in just over 3 hours and thankfully was given the all clear on the day. I have since had to do the screening test myself and feel very fortunate that it was clear. Thank goodness for our wonderful NHS, even if it is creaking through no fault of its own.


Then late May I started to feel unwell. In fact, I felt really poorly. To start with I had a streaming nose and sore throat. Then a really bad cough and a feeling of complete exhaustion all of the time. I was taking a Covid test every other day and they were all negative. The only time I getting up to do was to drive Karen to wherever she needed to be and then going back home to lay down again. I was having to cancel all my own arrangements and hated having to let people down. It was a full 2 weeks before I started to feel normal again. I had an online GP appointment who confirmed he thought it was just a nasty non Covid virus that was doing the rounds. I still have the remains of a cough which annoys me as well as everyone else.


On top of this, my right knee problems have continued and ending up getting worse. I am now really struggling to walk any distance. Upon returning from Florida I raised a claim through our health insurers to see someone about it. I was eventually sent to see a private physio. Now I’m not saying the Physio was young but I have pants older than him. His initial diagnosis was a ligament problem. He prescribed a set of exercises that I started doing every day. These seemed to making the problem worse. He then said I was doing too many and to only do them every other day. This made no difference. Whilst laying around with the virus for many days though I had no pain. Then I realised my step count over those days had been less than 100. When I started pottering again around the problem returned with a vengeance.


The problem was I lost 2 weeks in getting the issue sorted being laid up with that poxy virus. I have now had a whirlwind of appointments this week trying to get it properly diagnosed. I have now had 3 opinions that think it is something called a Bakers Cyst behind the knee which may have to be drained. I don’t care what it is, I just want it sorted.


My GP has told me to take 2 different painkillers daily, prescribed more tablets to offset any impact the painkillers may have on my stomach, to ice it when I can and to rest it when I can – all just to get me through the holiday. In the meantime, hopefully MRI scans are being organised for my return to see what ligament/tendon damage I may have that has caused the build-up of fluid. If I haven’t got confirmation of the MRI being booked in a couple of days then I will just book and pay for one privately as I need it sorted.


Pain is a funny thing. I live with it constantly especially with my back. My back pain wakes me several times as night and sometimes I cannot find a position to lie in which is not hurting me. I have pains in my legs most days but nothing like the distress this knee is now causing me. It is knocking everything out of alignment meaning I also have calf cramps, a swollen foot, hamstring problems and hip pains. I also hate taking the painkillers.


How do you measure pain? Is it the same for everyone or do we each have different thresholds? Being pain free is something to behold and something I now constantly long for. Without your health what do you have? Getting old is no fun in that respect.


As if that hasn’t all been enough, the week before we were due to fly, our bathroom was finally being replaced. The new suite has been in the garage since October waiting for someone to be available to install it. This was the only timeslot available. So, there has been mess everywhere. Then for some reason we thought we would get then get the bathroom also decorated whilst we are away as well. Well, said Karen, if the bathroom was being done, then we might as well have our bedroom done at the same time in preparation for the fitted wardrobes being installed the week after we return. That of course meant we had to empty our bedroom before we leave. Nightmare. Karen has more clothes than a M&S warehouse. With just one arm she was not able to move any of them or any furniture. So, with only one working leg and still feeling the after effects of the that virus it fell mostly down to me to do that (although to be fair Karen did one handed hoover behind the existing wardrobes once they had been moved).


I’ll be doing just fine – yeah right. We could do with a nice relaxing trip but the timing for this one could have been better and perhaps better deferred to once we are both fighting fit again. Yet neither of us wanted to let Neil down and the trip is already paid for, so with flowers in our hair we are as set as we can be for California. Just don’t mention to me that I had to pay for supervised Covid tests to be able to enter the USA when that requirement is being scrapped the day after we arrive.

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