Thursday 22nd September 2011

Sue's Birthday


Today is Sue's birthday. Hopefully we will finish the day with a pleasant dinner with Chris at the Gamekeepers in Mapledurwell. But, before then, she has a busy day, very little of which contributes to a "Happy Birthday".

We started at the hospital. Not for me this time, Sue had an X-Ray on her hip. Hopefullty that will tell us why it hurts and what the long term plan should be. Then we needed to go into town, mostly for my benefit, but hopefully, I will be able to buy her a watch for her birthday. Finally, Sue has her swimming lessons to organise at Queen Mary's College.

I think I probably overdid the work yesterday. My hip is showing some signs of discomfort and my digestive system is not quite stable to the extent that I feel the need to carry spare underpants in case of accident.

I am probably not going to be able to spend many hours at my PC, especially if I want to be comfortable for dinner. I didn't get a great deal of sleep last night, so dozing in front of a film on TV may be the right course of action. Sue reminded me that it is a week since the last chemo was administered, so I am entering the week when I should expect to be tired.

Sue's X-Ray did not take long. Unfortunately, she will have to wait for 2 weeks to find out the results.

From the hospital, we went into town, where everything we needed to do worked out very well. The first jeweller we went to had an excellent range of watches, so we were able to buy Sue's birthday present without having to walk all over the shopping centre.

Then to Marks and Spencer to get some smaller trousers to match my current weight and larger socks to fit my swelling feet and finally to Boots for more medical supplies. Overall, this is probably the furthest I have walked for quite a while, so next stop was Starbucks.

This brings me to a slightly embarrassing, but very real problem. With an increased need to visit the loo and some diarrhoea, there is a risk of the occasional accident, especially after a car journey in unpredictable traffic. Washing a pair of jeans is not too bad. Having to get formal trousers clean would be much more trouble. At times like this, it is necessary to sacrifice pride. The solution .. incontinence pads for men. While I was tempted not to mention this issue, I am trying to be very open about everything that is happening.

Currently, I am sleeping with 5 pillows to get a position which is comfortable for my hip. Sue suggested that I try to find a "wedge pillow" because it would be more stable than a heap of 5 pillows. Google found a supplier in seconds and a pillow will be delivered to me tomorrow. All done from a tablet computer in Starbucks.

Yesterday, I reported problems dealing with Curry's. Today, I have problems with Moss Bros. When I bought a new DJ last weekend, the trousers needed to be shortened by 1". When Sue went to collect them, they were not ready because the tailor's sewing machine has broken. As a result, we are having to sit around for another hour waiting, and after the hour, they were still not ready. Sue had to wait another 15 minutes.

As a contrast, we had coffee at Starbucks at around 10:30 this morning at £1 per cup. We went shopping and returned to Starbucks at 12:30. When we ordered more coffee, we were told that they counted as free refills, so there was no charge.

A couple of weeks ago, I made reference to watching old movies on the TV. Today, I watched/dozed through one of my favourite comedies of all time, the 1953 Ealing Comedy, The Titfield Thunderbolt. As a lifelong railway enthusiast, the combination of the railway theme and the gentle English comedy really appeals to me.

We finished Sue's Birthday by going out to dinner. Chris came round and we went to a local pub/restaurant, The Gamekeepers. As its name suggests, it specialises in local country food, especially game. Their speciality starter is a baked Tunworth (photo left), a local cheese. This is absolutely delicious. I think we have had that every time we have gone to The Gamekeepers. I was able to try out my new Cosyfeet shoes for the evening ahead of the dinner in Brighton on Saturday.