Sunday 24th September 2023

Another 3 am wake up and wide awake. Made a cup of tea, felt so shattered went back to bed.

Mal text later saying he hadn’t slept well, someone screaming in pain all night ….ouch!

I sorted a lot of summer clothes out to put away now we won’t be holidaying in Madeira, also put the cases away which I hadn’t got round to. Then back to the hospital again. Mal asked me to tell people he doesn’t want visitors yet, not even his sons, he just wants to sleep and relax. I told them and they are trying to ignore the fact Mal has asked they go through me. Have they no respect for their father? I don’t care if they don’t have respect for me but Mal is the centre of the universe at the moment, not them, time they realised it and stopped being so selfish.  I am not their mother she may have been weak, I am not!!

I was invited to Lou and Rhys’s for an evening roast. I sat in the hospital and Rhys phoned absolutely choking with cold, he had to go home from work he felt so ill and they didn’t have any Covid tests left. He offered to eat away from me in the living room or they would  plate up my dinner…….I can’t believe it, can something go right please? I can’t risk getting any infection and taking it into Mal. So, Rhys waited in the car while I collected my Sunday roast!! What a shame. I did however bring Ellie back with me to try and get back into some sort of “normal”, like taking her for a walk in the morning instead of walking round in circles wondering what I am doing!!

So lovely to have her home, just need Mal  now! She ran upstairs to find him, remember she had sat next to him all the time when the paramedics were here knowing something was wrong. I think she was happy to be home.

Saturday 23rd September 2023

I slept but was awake at 3am, up and made a cup of tea, can’t stay in bed “thinking”!

Instead I made a long list of “to do’s” today. Things like cancelling the taxi that was taking us to the airport for Madeira, also cancelling the special Afternoon Tea at Reids Palace Hotel for our anniversary, trying to find someone who would like our tickets for “The Crown Jewels” at the theatre next week, free of course but a shame to waste them, cancelling the dog sitter, the list goes on!! The kindness of Lea and Jaye (dog sitters) , they said if Ellie needed looking after they would have her free of charge, bless them!

I took my phone back to the phone shop as if I had to use the keypad during a call, the screen went blank, also I can no longer use my fingerprint. He couldn’t get that to work but I told him as long as I could get in with the code it didn’t matter as long as he has fixed the rest.

Then I drove to Lou and Rhys’ as I hadn’t sent enough dog food for Ellie, so took some more. I have decided I am bringing her home tomorrow night.

Back to the hospital and Mal was very “down” and just wanted to sleep. I sat holding his hand and later he text me to say his blood pressure had gone right down.  The kidney consultant came round, checked all his charts and said the number was now 400, so even more improvement and decided there won’t be any dialysis. Mal is definitely the weakest on the ward and two other patients were sent home on Friday.

At the moment he really isn’t up for visitors and told me to “sort it out”, so tried to tell his sons to wait a while as his body gains more strength and repairs. This has been major trauma for his body.

It’s tiring just sitting in the hospital and when eventually I did leave, travelled home exhausted. Our neighbour Jeanette popped in to see how Mal is.

All the work Mal did for the Jubilee Centre but in the end I had to explain he was in hospital and I had to take him off the trustees group chat as night and day his phone was bleeping. Have any of them been in touch to see how he is?? Not one! True friends…..LOL! As they say, it is times like this you find out who your friends are.

Friday 22nd September 2023

Back in to see Mal again.  He was in a very low dip, maybe the adrenaline from the last few days has gone. He just wanted to sleep with me holding his hand. The ward was busy again, they seem such dedicated staff, backwards and forwards all the time to the 6 men in their part of the ward. The doctor came again when I was there and said the creatinine levels had dropped more so he was very pleased but a long way to go. They had taken his drip out but just after I left Mal text to say they had put it back on again.

I also tried to cancel our holiday,  Madeira in October for our silver wedding but trying to do it on the website is horrendous with the chat bot that continually repeats the same questions. In fact I was so frustrated with not being able to do something I presumed to be simple. I just sat and cried. My phone went off and it was my friend Pam, who asked how I was and said obviously “having a moment”. How spooky is it that she rang when I was crying. I think it was the last few days added together and she told me to leave it for another day, which I did. I felt better after she calmed me down. I can honestly say after giving up smoking years and years ago, I really felt like a cigarette BUT resisted. Later in the evening I had a gin and tonic.

I also miss Ellie being here and as Lou and Rhys have invited me over for Sunday roast on Sunday evening I have decided to bring her back then. I am sure she will prefer me being away a time while I visit Mal rather than not being home.

Also my repaired phone isn’t quite what it should be, flashes on and off if I am trying to end a call for instance. I’ll have to take that back.


Thursday 21st September 2023

I went into Canterbury to leave Mal’s phone with him. I had borrowed his while mine was repaired, the lovely nurse let me sneak in and see him for 5 minutes, then it wasn’t worth driving home again so I hung around Canterbury. Mal asked me to get some Yorkshire tea bags, so spent a while in Asda!  Free parking there! Mal said the tea was awful in the hospital!

Back to the hospital at 2pm. Tris said he would be there early ie before 2, as usual he was late, turned up at 2.30!!  Two doctors came to talk to us plus the consultant. (And this is in a double doctor strike!! They are certainly dedicated)

Briefly, Mal’s creatine levels were 2,200 (should be 2 figures), his potassium levels and BP were through the roof and his kidney function was down to 1% and what I hadn’t known was that he was “blue lighted” from QEQM to Canterbury hospital. The consultant (a lovely lady) suggested Mal should have listened to me in the first place! MEN!!!!  He really is so stubborn. The positive that the creatine has halved. He may need dialysis but thinking twice about that but will need an operation but he needs all his obs to be sorted before any decisions. Tris stayed a couple of hours. I stayed until 6pm.

I went home exhausted and then had to make more phone calls, including Mal’s brother, who himself is not brilliant following 3 strokes.

Wednesday 20th September 2023

Eventually, Mal was moved to a cubicle and a nurse arrived to pump him full of drugs and put a nebuliser on him. I then asked the doc what was going on. His potassium levels were high, dodgy blood pressure etc and they had to keep testing his bloods, so I came home at 5am! In fact the doc said “And then we can sort out the babies” pointing to his abdomen. Yes he did look pregnant. They were all trying to joke around, I think it is the only way the med staff keep going.

I couldn’t sleep and so walked Ellie at 7. I then heard from Lou and Rhys and they said  they would come and collect her so I had one less thing to think about. They stayed for a while listening to the whole saga. I then rang the hospital and they had transferred him to Kent and Canterbury Hospital. He was in ED waiting for a bed and as soon as I heard he was on a ward, I drove over there.

I use my phone as a sat nav using Waze. It is usually good and it took me through the little villages avoiding the city centre BUT 2 roads had been temporarily closed for repairs, so I took many diversions and I think it may have been quicker going through the city centre! I arrived at the hospital parked the car and it was sooooo windy. As I got out, phone in my hand the car door swung back and hit me knocking my phone out of my hands. I picked it up and the glass was smashed to pieces and it only flashed wouldn’t come on….broken! Not a good day!

It did improve as when I managed to find the ward Mal was on, he looked a lot better , maybe because they had started draining fluids from him and the pain was easing. BUT when the trolley came round with food he asked me to buy him a Cornish pasty and he had eaten breakfast. He hadn’t eaten for days. Of course he has to stay in, we will have to wait and see what happens.

In the bed opposite Mal was a very loud eastender who was keeping Mal entertained with stories of his prostate! In fact he came over and joined in our conversations. A bit annoying but Mal is trapped in bed! Lol. I just have to think how fortunate Mal is having a bed and being looked after during this double doctors strike. In fact, it seemed most of the doctors had turned up to work. The medical teams are so underestimated and treated badly but they keep smiling. When I left Mal had already ordered his dinner from the menu and had a huge smile on his face. I should think he is starving after no food for so long.

I have to say I am pleased he is in K&C hospital now as QEQM doesn’t have a good reputation.

Then I had to find my car, wasn’t taking much notice when I picked my smashed phone up!

Then I had to find a shop to repair my phone. Obviously, never had to find one before. There are shops called iCrack that repair phones and he did it in 20 minutes. Mind you it was £120 but important that I had a phone with everyone keep ringing me. I also bought a screen protector but now I can’t use my fingerprint on it!

I also bought Mal some more PJ’s as he doesn’t normally wear them.

Back home exhausted, I missed Ellie’s waggy, welcoming tail.  I still hadn’t unpacked!

Then of course the phone calls started to update everyone. It’s fair to say I was exhausted when I fell into bed.

Thought for the Day – “Express gratitude for the greatness of small things.” ~ Richie Norton

Tuesday 19th September 2023

Mal was still not well, so I took Ellie on the beach. Mal had a bath and just sat in the chair all morning, not even dressed. Again I tried to get him to eat, just a small amount of plain yoghurt. He just slept and said he would feel better the following day. This was getting crazy so I made the decision to come home, 3 days early. I apologised as I handed the keys in about the carpet!

I was then seriously worried by the time we arrived home and really not sure what to do.  He went to bed and was promptly sick “coffee grounds”” as the medics call it.

I called my sister and she got in touch with our family member GP. I hate asking him as he has enough at work. He phoned straight back spoke to me and Mal and immediately told us to ring 999.

The two paramedic girls were really lovely, took ECG’s blood pressure etc etc and then said they had never seen such a swollen abdomen!  They were here about an hour, trying to get through to people to know which hospital to take him.  His blood pressure was all over the place and his legs had swollen with the excess  fluid. The final decision was QEQM.  I went in the ambulance with Mal and we joined the “corridor queue”. He would be ill during the doctors strike! Mal said he was more comfortable in a chair but after 4 hours (waiting) he wanted a trolley. It was the second patient the two girls we had in the ambulance and even said to Mal he looked uncomfortable, so bless her she went and found him a  trolley and then went looking for the bedding! That was better and he was able to nod off. I forgot to say one of the paras left her mobile in our house, so earlier she took me back in the ambulance which meant I could also pick my car up.



Monday 18th September 2023

Mal decided he was well enough to go to Pevensey even though it took him most of the morning to get ready.  He said it would be nice just to sit by the sea. The lodges are next to the beach. I did all the packing of food etc we would need. We arrived about 4.30, a lovely spotlessly clean lodge . Mal was tired and wanted very little to eat, the tiny amount he had made him sick. He went to bed early.

Meanwhile I had to try and clear up the mess and sadly he wasn’t able to make it to the sink and of course I didn’t have all my cleaning kit with me but did the best I could.

I just took Ellie into the wooded area for a walk.