Random Jottings Of Gildersleeve

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Location: United Kingdom

Perhaps you'll learn more about me as you read my blog. For anyone who translates my blog using the translator facility, don't forget if you wish to read the comments in your own language to click on the title of the post down the left hand side otherwise they will remain in english. Also I assume that the translation is accurate but I don't know, so please allow for errors.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

I'm Off To See My Dr...

Hopefully I'll be back later on...

If not at least you know why I have disappeared.

Update:Not to draw this out...I'm back.

I have to continue propping my legs up in bed.

I can take an extra water tablet.

Hopefully, the water retention will not mean that the condition is worse than previously. I was checked out and before being examined my Dr had described what I was like so he obviously has seen cases similar to mine even if the condition may be different.

And it's down to whether the treatment works and...the blood test on Monday/Hospital Appointment on Thursday.

An excuse to have a lay down and do as little as possible in the meantime.

Though it does mean that I am getting behind regarding my interests...at least I am home again.

For anyone that has given their support and left comments or are in contact elsewhere and just reading this blog...


G x

Problem now is a lack of sleep, trying to stay comfortable when propping up my legs to avoid water retention which as you have to drink to take tablets is contradictory and it's so boring. Especially, when it is happening very quickly. I think I'll try and get some sleep hopefully now.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

If Ill...

Do such rants matter? Probably not, as it's more important that I am still around for many years to come.

Around January 31st our Wheelie Bin was blown over whilst being collected in the strong winds but it happened whilst I was in hospital having a check up. So the first we knew was upon our return home later that day.

All was ok(we thought)but one of the little black plastic pins that pushes through a hole and secures the bin lid on the bin was missing.

There was no way we could find it but the other one was still partially connected so I pushed that home(a 5 year old child could do it)I reported the other missing pin and was told that we could have one delivered by 18th February. I explained that the wheelie bin is locked away as our home has a passage so the bin is not out on show until collection day and it keeps it safe.

And with my hospital appointments and illness could they just pop it through the letterbox and I would put pop it in place as I already had.

The person I talked to on the phone said that a note had been made of my request and they would pop it through the letter box. That they have this information and they will do so.

A few phone calls since, it still hasn't arrived(and now I have a month of rubbish collecting)

I phone today am now told that they will not put the pin through the letterbox and they have to do it because so many people are unable to do the repair(even though I have done so and it's not complicated) You push a little plastic pin into a hole. The holes are not difficult to aliegn.

This after being told I can do it for over a month. And they'll travel a 14 miles round trip to do this job that will take 25 seconds.

And what will that cost? And because I may not be in or it takes time to get to the door to answer anyone calling, I am now having to leave the bin outside every day until someone calls.

And until today the department that the person on the phone contacts about this repair has said I would be allowed to do the repair. But this same department has been saying the opposite for the last month.

There was also some mix up about our repair not even having been dealt with on the system. All for a little black plastic pin worth 10p if that.

Talk about red tape.

Did The Earth Move For You...

I'm laid on my bed resting and perfectly still trying to improve my illness...approx 1am my bed kind of felt as though something had fallen off it(but as there is nothing on it but me that's impossible)then a little further vibration and it stopped. I'm wide awake so I couldn't imagine it.

Then the guy on Radio 5 in London mentions the whole of the UK has had an Earthquake or tremour and they are looking into it and that lots of e-mails are coming in with information but the official site on the net that mentions these things has crashed. I reckon about 5 seconds here but other areas seem to have had the incident much worse. Houses shaking, windows rattling, beds moving and so on.

It's probably not my first but I've slept through others unknowingly.

Information is being relayed via the American body on this kind of thing and it seems to have taken place in the Kingston On Hill area and was 4.7 on the Richter scale so damage and injury is possible and further after shocks. The British equivelent has since said it was 5.3(I think)But of course they are using sensors that are more local than is possible doing it from the other side of the World but it's the strongest we've had for around 20 years.

Earth tremor felt across England

Daily Mail

The Northern Echo(Local Paper to my area)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Four Days In...

I'm amazed considering how careful I am to follow how I take my medication(I have been taking two water tablets and I should only have been taking One and I've been doing so for over a month)but the direction leaflet does allow for more to be taken though you should go by your Consultant's instructions so I am back on one today to see what happens.

Yesterday, the two made no difference whatsoever as to how much urine I passed and surprisingly looking at my legs at 9pm yesterday I found my ankles had really swollen...a lot. I spent most of the night trying to prop my legs up to drain the water off.

They have improved and I did manage to "wee" some of that off this morning even without the medication(Am I writing this?) and then continued after the one I have to take officially but by this afternoon, the ankles are up again.

Now, I have to try and restrict my liquid intake enough to avoid this happening but drink enough not to be thirsty and become dehydrated.

Or maybe I can find a time in the day that the one tablet works best.

I also believe I am better sipping small amounts of liquid or eating fruit/ sucking on ice so liquid is taken in smaller amounts but of course I need to get the tablets down and that does require a reasonable amount of liquid intake.

But of course I am concerned about the high cholesterol reading of 11. That is separate issue but no one is seemingly bothered about that for now. Yet the radio today is saying that's a Liver matter and that high readings are not good for the heart or arteries so is this something else to worry over and can it be treated whilst everything else is happening or do I wait? They are tieing Diabetes into this too.

I am a stone heavier since starting treatment(so I have to guage if this is related to the drugs or water)but they say water retention happens fast, food related weight gain is slow. I am likely to blame the drugs for now.

I must be in a bad way?

More questions to ask. Or could the drugs I'm on help that? I don't fancy a heart attack or my arteries becoming blocked.

I will wait and see the results of my next blood test and appointment at the Hospital on March 6th and be ready with more questions.

Tomorrow I shall buy a pack of larger underpants and a larger pair of trousers...just in case.

Oh and BTW here comes the preaching bit(again)even if you feel ok...go and have a medical check up now and again. You don't have to be a hypocondriac and believe that you have every illness going but I do believe in having a blood test, blood pressure reading, urine tested, what I call simple tests and screenings as some illness show little if any signs until it's too late.

Better to be picked up sooner so the condition is stablised or reversed if possible. Remember high blood pressure alone if untreated can cause strokes and kidney damage. But you'd probably have no idea it was happening.

No longer is it a case of going to see the Dr only when you think you are ill.

I remember an old joke by Morecambe and Wise a comic team popular in the UK for many years where one of them goes to see a Dr in a comedy sketch and the opening line was "Ahh, Mr Morecambe...I haven't seen you for awhile" and he replies..."I know...I've been ill"

(Of course...it might have been Tommy Cooper who said this...I'm certain it's one or the other)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Oh, Dr I'm In Trouble...

Well, Goodness Gracious Me...(reference to an old comic song performed by Peter Sellers and Sophia Loren for anyone unfamiliar)

Well, I'll try and keep things reasonably brief. I saw my Consultant today...well, not exactly. My Consultant popped in to see me and discuss my condition and treatment. I was however, seen by a Dr who works within my Consultant's department and with him. I assume. He had to check what treatment I should be given and both discussed between them the correct course to take. The Dr may be being trained to become a consultant himself and may for all I know in time takeover some of my Consultant's workload.

He was very pleasant and polite. He shook hands upon us entering the examination room and when leaving(I understand as he left the hospital and walked past my Mum who was with me)he crossed his fingers and gave her a smile. He also throughout being given information gave her as much reassurance as any Dr can or would dare to. Of course he cannot say the treatment will work or I'll be cured(no one can say that but they have to understandably be careful of saying something that a patient or relative can come back and sue them.

The upshot is I am back on full treatment. He explained everything so clearly and calmly and detailed(perhaps more than my own Consultant)and as I had looked up the information myself on the internet lately I knew what I was being told matched what I know. He also answered any questions I had.

If I am fortunate...the problem might go away.

If I am fortunate I may have to have treatment and they can stablise the problem and keep it for worsening.

Unfortunately, sometimes no matter what they do they cannot halt the condition and I'd rather not go there. That's the worst case scenario.

My consultant says that I probably will respond and improve and not to panic yet. As it worked before there is every reason to hope it will work again.

My immune system is attacking the kidneys. The longer they leak protein the more damage is caused. So having waited until now hopefully the delay hasn't caused too much damage. Otherwise I'd have wished that I had started sooner.

So it's back on the steroids to try and get rid of the inflamation. Back on the Immune suppresents(to dampen down the part of the immune system that is bad)but this also means the good part is affected so I am likely to catch infections. This particular drug can affect the Liver function so we're playing one organ against another. The immune system is attacking the Kidney's believing it's doing good but it's having the opposite affect. It's a bit like catching a cold or a Flu virus and the body is trying to get rid of it as though it's an infection.

My bones can be affected so I have been given a new tablet that will replace lost Calcium(I have to take that once a week)and when I take it I have to sit upright in a chair for 30 minutes and not lie down. Apparently lieing down can result in it coming back up the gullet and damaging me in some way(a bit like reflux I guess)Otherwise I may get brittle bones and the joints may be affected.

That might explain why over the last period of treatment my legs started to hurt and my knee joints have deteriorated hence my needing a walking cane. So maybe that's why I was given this drug this time. Of course these could be new drugs that were not around back then or available to the NHS.

I have to take 12 steroid tablets and if possible altogether. Morning has been suggested as if taken in the afternoon, I may not get a good night's sleep.

I have another new tablet that must be taken to try and stop any stomach irritation(or the possiblity of ulsers)

And I still have to take my water tablets and blood pressure tablet daily. The water tablets are keeping the retention down by as much as a stone but today when the Dr pressed my legs, there was retention still. But for the past three weeks I have been checking daily and that wasn't a problem. Or so I thought.

For pain I have access to Co-Dydramol.

My diet as yet has not been restricted and for now it is not believed to that will make much if any difference to my loss of protein.

So I suspect if the treatment works I will see an increase in weight, my face will balloon again and I may suffer mood swings.

The good news is that the treatment may/will work...that is the hope.

The blood pressure is good(that is something that is still ok)

I have to drink liquid to take the tablets and enough so I am not thirsty but restrict my intake.

I'm on for another blood test and being seen by my Consultant in a fortnight(but am out in a few minutes hoping to catch my own Dr to tell him what has happened)I haven't an appointment but my Mum has and if I am there my Dr sometimes allows me a few minutes(unofficially)and I'll fill him in as to what has happened.

Now all I can do is wait and see what happens. And remain positive.

Oh and it was Mum's birthday today...what a way to spend it...

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Town Continues To Suffer...

Save Our Town...the successful candidate asked the town's people to sign a petition during the election campaign to choose the area's new MP. The petition was to be handed into the very people who had been dealing with the redevelopment of the town for years and are being wound up, under new proposals across the whole of the UK and Wales, so why would a council that is being closed down want to be bothered with lots of extra work when they probably have to tie up lots of loose ends for when the new authority takes over?

After all all the present councillors will have to stand for election again and for all we know, fewer will be required and the wards they manage may become larger.

Social housing is being put up for possible sale again and will probably happen this time. Already the repair service has been moved into a kind of association that all but means a private company is handling them(and all council maintenence workers have been moved into the scheme)

It may be denied but the older part of the town still suffers with empty shop units and established businesses struggling with ever dwindling shoppers spending their money.

In a freesheet that was delivered at the weekend, there is a lead story about the closure of a Post Office branch in town or is under threat of closure and standing in a photo giving his full support to fight the closure is our MP. There may good business reason behind the closing of many post offices. It's happening all over the country. I know that many post offices do more than sell postage stamps and for many in the community they are a place where many other things can be done such as paying bills, buying services, some are combined stores so you can shop whilst there, in many cases they offer a social service especially to the elderly.

I'd miss my own branch if it closed. It would be difficult for me to travel, costly and time consuming.

Update:LBC(Commercial radio station based in London)is reporting 1 in 5 Post Offices could be closed(that's 175 branches)across the city and again, all the social reasons are being given for saving them but it's being said unless they are closed, the service will not be able to continue.

Unless I have misread the situation, the post office under it's business model is subsidised by the taxpayer. And the Government is it's paymaster. It is not a private business. So the Government is looking for ways to save money and some do not make money but are imporant socially.

So as the MP offering his support stands there in a T-shirt with a slogan written across it and saying he'll do what he can to keep this branch open...The party that is in power and putting these proposals through is the one he is member of.

And if this one is saved, another will not be as lucky. Decisions have probably all been made and agreed.

Now there may be a political biasness here and therefore it pays to look at the overal picture but at this time on the front page of the local Freesheet this was featured on the front page alongside the story about the Post Office. It tells of rises in costs to the population regarding various charges like the Community Charges. It also mentions the cost of some signs that have been errected and all because after years and years it has been decided to change the name of the Industrial Estate to Business Park and what they have cost.

And one of my taxi drivers was unhappy about this and was telling me what they look like. I haven't seen them myself. But at a time where our retail area has not been completed and the Councils around the UK are being wound down and money probably has to be spent or lost maybe other ideas could have been suggested for this to be spent on. Do I care if a place is called a Business Park or Industrial Estate...not really.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Voices Of The Past...

Our time on the Earth is fleeting. It seems to stretch out in front of us and we feel as though we've always been here and always will. Well, that's how it feels for me.

Though when I had that health scare some ten years ago, I realised how finite life is. It hangs by a thread. And though thankfully I am able to put such thoughts out of sight, out of mind most of the time I guess having an illness and also getting older you realise how much time has passed by and there is no way even if fit there will be as much time in the future as I have lived through.

I know everyone is as important as each other and there is terrible suffering and grief being felt by someone who has lost someone close to them and I can and do get moved by a lot of what I see and hear.

You cannot help what moves you.

I was listening online to a segment of a radio show called Pirate Radio Skues. For anyone outside of the UK Keith Skues used to be a dj on the Pirate Radio ships in the 1960's when the UK had no commercial radio(unless you count the shows being beamed in by the English service of Radio Luxembourg)all radio came from state radio the BBC(Public broadcasting)

I don't remember all the stations, the dj's(I was too young at the time)and many stations were not giving a signal that I could pick up(the main stations were aiming their output at the south coast)

In 1967 for a variety of reasons stations were closed down. A law was passed by the British Government. All kind of reasons were given(and many have been refuted and proven groundless since)

Well, Keith was playing the final hour of Radio City which was on a fort in the sea and all the dj's were saying their goodbyes and hopes for radio in the future in the UK and towards the end, they started saying what they hoped they would be doing in the future seeing as when the midnight hour approached, they were all out of work.

At least three of them managed to remain in the radio business(two or three returned to Australia)Tom Edwards like so many managed to have a long and distinguished career in broadcasting doing quite a lot of work for the BBC(TV and Radio)and commercial tv fronting news programmes and doing continuity presentation.

But at the end of this old recording as Keith read out what they were doing between then and now(41 years)the information supplied to Keith from Tom he mentioned Paul Kramer, he'd be around 20 years of age(I guess)he moved onto Radio Caroline for a short time and then Radio 270 based off the coast of Yorkshire and the resort of Scarborough. But he went back into the movie business and I suppose life looked promising.

And then Keith mentioned that Tom had said...

Paul was killed in a car accident on Putney Bridge in London on 5th December 1968 and that he had read some words at the service and it's never really been explained what the cause was and there is still mystery surrounding the incident. And I don't know something just hit me. How all the plans he probably had and what he might've done and came to nothing. Approx a year after leaving Radio City and talking about his future. How fortunate we don't know what's around the corner. And its a bit earie hearing these voices through the ether after all this time and to hear him talking of his hopes.

RIP Paul...

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The RSPB...

One of a number of charities that look after and advise on the care of the wild birds that visit or live within the UK.

On the weekend of the 30th/31st January they held their annual national survey where they ask the public to take an hour and count how many birds visit the garden or a public space you happen to be and then later they come back and tell us whether certain speices have reduced in number or have increased.

I have to say that for as long as I can remember the weather of the weekend chosen has been poor...high winds, rain and very cold.

It's not been helped by the changes made to the environment by new neighbours that moved in and removed lots of green stuff and covered their gardens(front and back)with lots of stone and concrete.

So this year I did find numbers were down and some birds were missing.
However, I did manage to see in the greatest numbers first...Starlings, Sparrows, Blackbirds, Seagulls, Colared Doves, Blue Tits, Great Tits, Crows, Magpies, Chafinches and Robins(some were in single figures)

As for the Seagulls(considering we are quite a long way in land, that's amazing(and we have more of them since a local supermarket was built nearby)even though there is no suggestion that food is being discarded to attract them. They don't land in the garden as such but do sit on rooves and land in the road at the front of the house so that's close enough for me to include them. And some areas do not see any Sparrows but luckily they are still around here.

I hope to put some extra bushes/shrubs in the garden to offer the birds both protection and hopefully they will have berries at certain times of the year to provide extra food.
Hopefully in time numbers will increase. This at a time where many tv and radio programmes and wildlife experts are asking us to care for our feathered friends and wildlife in general because as much as anything "we" the Humans have taken more and more of the land and habitat that they live.

This is also against some of the problems being faced by red tape from authorities trying to stop people feeding the birds and wildlife who have done so for decades and have done so in a very responsible way.

Councils have been introducing new rules in some areas and where some housing associations have taken over property new rules have been introduced making it difficult to continue to do this.
For all the wild and cold weather of late it appears both squirrels have continued to survive(Sorry the image is so small)