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Eastern Europe Trip

A year of adventure and misfortune - the story of our Eastern Europe trip, the accident and subsequent recovery, and our lives up until September 2008... For the latest blog, click on Blogs in the header...

Sunday, 11 November 2007


The impatient patient...

This has been a rather odd week, as I’ve tried to find time in between looking after Tracy to catch up with what has been happening back at work, and Tracy has been getting increasingly frustrated at being unable to get about…

For Tracy, there’s not really been much to report this week. Her days all seem to be following a similar pattern, which is as follows… First, she wakes up in some discomfort, mainly from her elbow but also a little in her back. Then I get up, help her into her back brace so she can go to the loo and freshen up, and then she goes back to bed to lie down whilst I grab my breakfast before making hers (a cup of tea and a slice of toast with Bovril on… disgusting if you ask me, but if that’s what the lady wants…). We move her a little bit more upright so she can eat her brekkie, and afterwards she’ll watch a bit of telly before we put the brace back on so she can come downstairs. Once in the relative comfort of the settee in the dining room, we remove the brace again and she’ll sit there and chat for a while. If this is a day when the district nurse is due (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) then she’ll sit there until they arrive (which on Friday was well into the afternoon, leaving her in some discomfort!). If not, she’ll sit for perhaps an hour before it’s brace on again and back upstairs so she can lie down properly to alleviate the discomfort in her back. The longer she stays downstairs the worse it gets. Of late, she’s taken to staying in bed of an evening, as the pain in her back prevents her from sitting comfortably in the front room watching evening telly – so she’ll watch something on the little tv in our room. But I think it’s the being reliant on someone else to help her get up before she can move around that’s bothering her most at the moment (coupled with the constant ache in her back and elbow, of course!). It’s not surprising that she sometimes feels a little down… To cheer her up, today (Sunday) we got her up and dressed and she walked outside into the back yard and down the drive, getting her first taste of the outside air since she walked from the hospital ward to my car 3 weeks ago… That seemed to cheer her up a little!!

As for me, well, I’m getting stir crazy too. It’s not through looking after Tracy, but more to do with being stuck indoors 24x7, which is not something I can stand for too long anyway! I did manage to get out a few times this week, though. First was on Tuesday evening, when I popped into the office for a chat with my boss, then on Friday I managed to get into the office again as Carlie was home, this time to catch up with a colleague who was leaving that day and needed to hand stuff over to me… So now I’m back with a pile of work to do, which should help keep me out of mischief in between my nursing duties! But by far and away my best escape this week was yesterday (Saturday). I’d arranged for Carlie to look after Tracy for the whole day, so I escaped on my bike (once I’d done my breakfast chores, of course!). To pass the time whilst we recover, Tracy and I have been discussing the possibility of buying a smallholding (just one of several dreams we’ve invented to replace the Round the World Trip), and had spotted a couple near Nenthead (Alston) at the north end of the Pennines. This seemed like an ideal opportunity for me to get out on my bike on the pretext of seeing what the area was like. So, all wrapped up against a cold and miserable looking day, I got the bike out, plugged in my replacement MP3 player (bought to replace the one that didn’t make it back from Slovakia) and to the sound of the Stereophonics headed off for what turned out to be a 6-hour ride.

Out enjoying the mists above Hartside…

I didn’t find any of the properties we’d seen on the web, but I did discover that Nenthead is a long way from where we live, and the journey there (up the M6 to Penrith) is pretty dull. To make it a bit more interesting on the journey back, I came the “long way home” via Devil’s Bridge (Kirkby Lonsdale) and Settle… To say I was mellow by the time I arrived back again would be an understatement, the ride being just what I needed to blow away the cobwebs and get me feeling like my old self again.

So now we’re looking forward(!) to another week of similar antics… although this week the “plastics nurse” (see previous posts for an explanation!) will be coming back on Wednesday to check on progress. And we also have a date for Tracy to go back and see the consultant – the 28th November – so hopefully she’ll only have until then to wear the back brace… In the meantime, she’s starting to get up more often, and I’m still shovelling food into her as frequently as possible in what appears to be a vain attempt to get her to put some weight back on!!

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