Settling in our new companion,and a new floor

Happy to report that our new family member Buddy has fitted right in, and it feels like we have had him for ever. To all intents and purposes he is your typical Labrador, loves a fuss, likes lots of sleep, has lots of energy when he is awake and loves to play. Food is a great motivator and he is quickly becoming fast friends with our young grandson Arthur, as they take it in turns to follow each other around whilst getting to know each other. Although we do need to keep a close eye on both of their ideas on toy sharing!!

Buddy is definitely good for my health and well being, in that he has got me out walking again most days and is great company, although in the week he arrived I admit I got a bit over enthusiastic on the walking front and overdid it. I made the mistake of ignoring the creeping fatigue that affects me in the 4-5 days before my jab is due. Buddy arrived on the Saturday before my injection on the following Wednesday. As a result of this on the Thursday following my jab, we went for a walk down the canal and after about a mile and a half it felt like my balloon had been popped. I honestly thought I was going to collapse it happened so quickly, my stomach was cramping, my energy just disappeared, I was also struggling to breathe.

My head had felt a bit muzzy when we set out, I thought it was just my post jab headache that I get sometimes and had taken some painkillers before going out, but to no avail. The experience did frighten me and it was the longest walk home ever. Thankfully Buddy is good on the lead and didn’t pull, and I had to sit down a few times on the way home, it shook me so much I had to ring Ade. Thankfully he was able to come home so as I could go to bed and not have to worry about Buddy. As we had only had him a few days and he was still settling in, we didn’t want to leave him to his own devices for to long.

So after giving Ade a good fright too we arrived home at the same time, it is a 25 minute journey home from work if there is no traffic. I promptly took myself off to bed thinking Buddy would stay downstairs with Ade while he worked, Buddy however choose to lie down by the bed whilst i slept and did not move for the next 2 hours.  Needless to say, my post jab lag lasted a few days longer than usual, and I slept away most of the weekend.

Unfortunately my reliance on painkillers and heat packs remains pretty constant at the moment, even though it is not has bad as it was in the 6-8 weeks after our holiday, I do not seem to be able to go longer that a few days at a time without the use of at least one of them. I mostly need it when I go to bed, which, even though it is not what I would like is better than having my days wiped out too. Added to this I have also noticed that the joint pain I sometimes experience after my jab has moved position from my right shoulder, elbow and wrist, to the back of my right hand and wrist. It feels like I have been smacked pretty hard on the back of my hand, it feels very tender and affects my grip, painkillers help, but if I am going to experience joint pain I would rather it stuck to the original joints.

Towards the end of September though when my energy returned we had a family Sunday lunch to introduce Buddy to the rest of the family. We are still working on his bouncy behaviour when people come into the house, but he was a big hit with everybody, and really is just a big softy once he calms down. I also received my CT & MRI appointments for my next review, I go for scans on the 1st November and see the consultant the following week on the 8th November, so fingers crossed for a good result.

I do seem to need to wear pads a lot at the moment too, so there is a part of me that wonders if there has been some progression, especially with the pain and longer periods of fatigue added in. I try not to dwell on it too much and mostly succeed. I did however crash and burn emotionally a couple of weeks ago, which was my worst one for a while. The gaps are getting bigger, which is good, but as a result of this one I also took myself off social media for a week, including my forum administrative responsibilities. Sometimes you just need to shut the door on the world outside. After the anger and the tears stopped I felt extremely sad for a good few days. I didn’t feel sorry for myself, just sad about lots of other things, but for me shutting myself off for a week seems to have done the trick.

Additionally we have had the builders in as the floor in our conservatory needed to be fixed.   We have had a bit of a crack across the floor for a few years that we have successfully managed to ignore, we only use it really in the summer and at Christmas, as it is too cold to use most of the winter. We knew it was not subsidence as the size of the crack had not change, and when the work started we located the problem. We were not surprised, as this house can no longer surprise us when it comes to having work done (I hope). It would appear that when the conservatory was built, there was only hard core under the part of the floor that is connected to the house, the other end was just clay, and in the middle they had left part of the old patio intact. The rainwater drain that runs into the main drain underneath the floor had not been capped off properly either i.e. it was stuffed with plastic bags and had a piece on concrete on top! Finally the wooden sill from the old patio doors had been left in situ, so when the old drain had over flowed due to a blockage it soaked in to the wall and the sill, resulting in the crack following the aftershocks of the 2008 earthquake in Hull. We were woken up by the house shaking at about 03:30 in the morning.

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The conservatory is 20 sq ft too, so not a small space to fix, this time a proper job has been done. The builders were great and did a good job, talking us through the problems they encountered every step of the way. We also had a surveyor in to check the conservatory construction as we also plan to put a new roof on next year. Thankfully the converyor confirmed that the rest of the structure was sound, and can take a new roof. We hope that with a new floor, which has also been properly insulated, and a new roof we will get more use out of the space for longer in the year, as it really is a lovely space. For now though we just need to decorate and get the new floor tiles laid in time for Christmas.

The work was finished last Friday, and by the end of the week I was shattered, it was jab week as well. As a consequence of having had to be up all week earlier than I am used to these days, I had to cancel a night out with some of my old work mates, as I was dead on my feet. Fortunately I was able to indulge in a long lie in on Saturday morning though. Buddy had his first visit with us to dog school on Friday too for his training assessment, he did well, and his training and ours starts in earnest this week, and yes, we need training too!! I am sure you will be seeing regular updates on all our progress over the coming months;-)

I did also manage to finalise arrangements for the coffee morning for NETs Day on the 10th November, at Barlaston Village Hall. It will be between 11:00 & 13:00 if any of you are close by and interested in coming along and joining us for a brew and some cake. For a small fee of course;-) We will also have a tombola and a second hand book stall.

“I’m not afraid of dying, it’s time I’m afraid of…” Interstellar 2014


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