Monday, 23 April 2018

Monday


Good morning to you, everyone, and a Happy St George's Day. It's looking nice out there at the moment although the forecast is for showers. That will be good - no need to worry about watering the allotment.

Talking of which - I met Beth down there yesterday pm. She weeded around the rhubarb, I did a bit more digging and then we sat under the tree on the bench and had cold sparkling water while we chatted about stuff. It was lovely. 
The new raspberry canes all seem to have taken, ditto the strawberries apart from one very tiny one.  We will give it a chance to shoot anew and, if it doesn't, no problems as I have several others at home.  Last year's chard is still sending up loadsa growth and all four fruit trees are doing the blossom thing now.  They look a picture!  Beth said she will plant the potatoes next weekend. 

Then Beth went home with stacks of rhubarb. I went home with nicely aching muscles!

Goodness, I was tired. I forced myself to keep awake but finally gave up at around nine, went up and was asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. I woke a couple of times for the loo but slept until half past five so it was a very good night's sleep.

Today, I plan to have a very gentle and easy morning with sessions of deep breathing.  It won't bring the BP down if the cause is physical but it might if it is stress related.  After lunch I'm off to meet the anaesthetist and have another blood test after which I will know what's happening. With a bit of luck and a following wind I will then need to see who (if anyone) can drop me off at the hospital tomorrow morning.  I've planned salmon and SW chips for dinner, either as a consolation or as a celebration, whichever it needs to be.

I am so grateful for all the comments and wise advice yesterday (and Saturday too). You are all so kind to take the time to help and it has made a great difference.
I took a quick look at the 'Yoga with Adriene' channel on youtube and saw that there was a clip for absolute beginners so I am pretty sure I will give it a go. What clinched it was that it has subtitles! For deffies like me, that is very important.
I'll also look up the Tai Chi. I've seen it before, I'm sure.  One thing - either yoga or that should improve my balance considerably!
I will also give the beetroot powder a whirl and see. There must be recipes I can use it in if I don't like it as a drink. Worth a go anyway.
The BP monitor should arrive in a few days and I can then check for results.  

Welcome to the new, more healthy me!  😇


Sunday, 22 April 2018

Sunday - and strategies

Good morning, everyone.  Another nice day is predicted for today but I feel for the Marathon runners as it's expected to be hot in London.
I'm awake early and there's a lovely breeze moving the curtains although it is too dark to see what the weather is doing.  I don't think we had any storms but my hearing is so bad that it wouldn't wake me anyway.

Well, I did Google and everywhere I looked came up with similar points.  Whether the op goes ahead on Tuesday or not, I have to do something to sort out the hypertension so this is what I gleaned . . .

1.  Lose weight.  Tick.  I can't lose weight any faster than I already am doing so it's an added incentive (if one were needed) to carry on.

2.  Eat a healthy diet.  Definitely tick - and using a doctor given regime so can't do more!  Sooze, if/when I have to come off the LS diet, I'll try what you suggested.  How big a glassful?

3.  Reduce salt.  Specifically they mentioned eating fewer processed meals.  I hardly ever have a processed meal, most of my meals are made from scratch; fresh ingredients and a recipe.  I can gradually cut down on the amount of salt I add to the cooking water, etc, and  I am sure I will notice other ways now I'm more aware.

4.  Exercise.  Well, this * is * something I can work on and had already planned to do so.  I have decided that after recovery (or next week, if the worst happens (!) ) I am joining the local Nuffield gym because they have a lovely pool - nice changing room, great individual showers, hair dryers, etc.  I do belong to the pool in town but it's not as nice (there's a new one being built but it will take ages before it is open and then I can reconsider) and it's not as simple to use either, there being lots of times when it's used by schools or for fun swims in the holiday.  I have no problems with that, it's just that if you want to just go up and down, up and down, it's not so easy at times.  It'll be more expensive, of course, but not as bad as it first appears as I will cancel the other membership for now.
I hate exercise classes - dodgy ankles being one of several reasons - and am getting some weight exercise from the allotment work which can be quite heavy, so I think swimming is the way to go.  I know I can stick to that.

5.  Limit alcohol.  Tick.  I'm totally off alcohol at the moment anyway and have been since Christmas, more or less.  It is banned on the liver shrinking diet.

6.  Stop smoking.  Never have smoked, so there.  :-)  Tick.

7.  Cut back on caffeine.  Nearly tick.  Well, most of the coffee I have is decaf nowadays but I'll go 100% again and see.

8.  Reduce stress.  Er - how?  I do have quite a lot of stress in my life right now, but it is associated with other people  and situations over which I have no control (which is why I don't talk about it here - it's not my story to tell).  I try to manage it and I do remain pretty positive but maybe I need to do more.  Deep breathing is supposed to help with that so, yes, I will give that a go and see.

9.  Monitor.  I ordered a home blood pressure thingy yesterday so I'll do that as soon as it comes.  It'll give me some idea of how it's going anyway.

10.  Visit your GP regularly.  Huh!!!  Whoever wrote this has no idea of how hard it can be to get an appointment but I'll ask about regular monitoring when I next go.

So there you go!  There are some things I can do but an awful lot is already in place.  The biggie is more exercise, I think.  As if life wasn't full enough already!  :-)

What do you think?  Any other advice?  Thank you all for your splendid comments yesterday.  I'm fine about it all now as they helped a lot.

Today, after the drive home which is cross-country and very pleasant, I intend to do a bit of allotmenting this afternoon and then go home and rest/relax.  I might get out the sewing machine and catch up.
I've realised I'm a bit short on summer skirts (I tend to wear skirts and tops a lot) but am reluctant to shell out loadsa money on clothes that I might only wear this season if things go according to plan.  I have a few lengths of fabric but am not sure if I want to use them to make something short term.  I found a lovely skirt (well, I think it is lovely) online yesterday which I have ordered in one size smaller than I am now and it can be my next target - to be able to wear it before I go to Center Parcs.  And while I'm thinking of that, a big thank you to my friend, S, who has agreed to 'house sit' for me again.  What a good friend.

Here's the skirt (taken from the web site).  It won't look as good as that on me but nevertheless, I love it.


Well, better stop rambling now.  Have a great day and may the sun shine for you.

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Saturday - and an apology

Oh dear, oh dear, I was in a bad mood yesterday morning.  Apologies for the very abrupt reply to a number of lovely comments.  I was quite upset and was throwing a bit of a wobbly!  :-)

The reason is that the twelve hour blood pressure monitor results were not wonderful which was, in itself, a disappointment, but the nurse at the surgery hinted that it might be enough to stop the operation on Tuesday.  I won't say what it was but it was higher than it ought to be.  So I came home and very childishly sulked!

I don't know what else to do really - I've taken the meds faithfully and I've lost loads of weight.  I don't have a lot of salt in my diet and, as you know, portions are small and balanced.  I have an appt with my GP but not until 10th May, the first date they could find!

I may be troubling trouble, of course.  The op may go ahead but I won't know that until I 'meet the anaesthetist' on Monday afternoon.  Ho hum.

I have to be reasonable - if it's not safe to operate, then it is better not to have the op.  I will have more time HAVING to eat carefully and sensibly.  The liver shrinking regime seems to have minimised the discomfort most of the time so, although it can ache, it isn't a fully blown gallstone pain (thankfully), so it could be a lot worse.

I will Google about how to lower blood pressure and see if there are any sensible strategies out there that I can put into place - I need to do that anyway, regardless of what happens or doesn't happen next week.

Thanks for listening, folks.  Back to normal tomorrow!


Friday, 20 April 2018

Friday

Good morning, everyone.  Another lovely day expected today - very cheering!

I've been ba-a-ad and booked a holiday.  Not till June so a couple of months down the line but the weather should be nice then.  It's at the Elveden Center Parcs and it's a posh self catering thingy (eating out there is not cheap) with nice views.  AND it gets cleaned every day - how's that for spoiling myself.

I've always loved Center Parcs.  When we (me and the children) had not long moved out of the 'marital home', I got a month's supply and decided a holiday would be a nice idea.  I went down to the tracel agents in town and the girl showed me details of this 'new' kind of holiday that the weather couldn't spoil - the first ever Center Parcs in Sherwood Forest, opened just that year.
We had a wonderful week and when we left both Beth and Dave cried because they didn't want to leave so as soon as I got home I booked another week for the following year.

I'm looking forward to it already.

Yesterday was a day full of half hourly blood pressure checks.  I'm really not sure how good it will be - I peeped at the machine once and it was high!  It was very discouraging as I've taken the meds faithfully AND lost oodles of weight too.  You'd think that would send it down.  I get the official news this morning when I take the machinery back to the surgery.
And to add to my feeling of unease, I've gained 1lb this week.  It was bound to happen at some point but I'm not happy, all the same!  It might be down again soon - I hope so anyway.  Whatever, it is still Carry On Regardless!

I did my last tuition for a week or so and all went well.  Apart from that, it was a day in, windows open, doing this, that and the other.

Today, after the surgery visit, it is back home to do some clearing up and then off to the allotment for a couple of hours and a few rows of ground clearance before the heat builds.  Then it's more pottering at home.  Nice.

Have a lovely day and enjoy the warm weather.


Thursday, 19 April 2018

Thursday

Good morning, everyone.  Thanks for the nice comments about the allotment yesterday.  I thought I'd dig out an old photo from a year ago to compare.

This is when we started on it last year.


And here's the day before yesterday, taken from the other side.   About half of that strip has now been done as well The polytunnels are not ours.

As we keep on telling each other, we'll get there.

I'm having a day off from allotment duties today as I am having my blood pressure monitored for 12 hours and I really don't want to dig while attached to medical stuff, however small it is.  There's plenty to get on with around here including a stack of ironing and more washing, preparing the guest room, and the ever-present planning (not a lot of that though).  I also want to make a vegetable and bean 'mixture' for the freezer to sit alongside the other stuff I have made recently so that post op I don't have to do all that much cooking.

After making the rhubarb cordial the other day (lovely stuff), I found a recipe for orange and lemon cordial which is remarkably similar to the one I used to make when Beth and Dave were tiny, both in ingredients and in method.  Then it was called St Clements squash.  Anyway, I shall make some but I don't have any citric acid so have had to order some for Amazon and I'm going to have to wait until it arrives.

I have some rhubarb to cook, some bread to make and, generally, I will happily potter around my home all day.  No complaints here.  And all the time, every ten minutes, I will have to stop and relax while the machine checks and records my blood pressure!  Yippety-doo!


Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Wednesday

Good morning, everyone.  It's dry, clear and looking good this morning.  Fingers crossed for a nice day.

Oh, I was tired yesterday evening.  I was in bed by eight thirty and , apart from a meander down the landing to the smallest room at some point, slept soundly until after half past five.  Now that's what I call a good night's sleep.

The recent digging aches and pains are subsiding now and I'm feeling energetic, which is great!

I pootled off to Springfield Hospital yesterday and emerged twenty minutes later having had a very efficient blood test and an ECG that showed that I have a healthy ticker.  I know that really but when one has been so overweight - well, I wondered.  The next visit there is next Monday to have another blood test and to 'meet the anaesthetist'.

I did more digging and de-weeding/rooting.  In fact, apart from a bit of watering, that's all I did and, while it doesn't look all that much, it is getting done slowly.  I shall do more later on this morning.

Tuition was cancelled as pupil has gone down with a bad cold and the last thing I want is to catch anything that will mean a cancellation next Tuesday.  That's OK - it means that when we start back again, the first session is all planned and ready!  Excellent!

So today looks like this:  allotment, school (Y!, reading), tuition, crash out!  That'll keep me out of trouble, for sure.

I'll finish with a few photos I took yesterday.

Getting there.  Maybe, by Friday . . .

Plum blossom

Pear blossom

They all seem to have 'taken' and are sending out new leaves.  Strawberries in June!

Lovely rhubarb

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Tuesday

Good morning, everyone.  Yesterday was nice - I mean really nice.  Mild, some sun, a gentle breeze, just what the doctor ordered, in fact.  Today?  More of the same, maybe up to 20C, according to BBC weather.  Fantastic!

I got to the allotment, I did my share of digging (getting there slowly), I planted out the rest of the strawberries and gave the grass a lower cut.  It was still a bit too wet but never mind, I got it done anyway.

In school, pm, my back was aching quite badly and I wasn't sure if it was muscles or gallstones but came to the conclusion that it was the former as it was a different sort of ache really.  A few tablets sorted it out and I've had another good night's sleep.

Today is - guess what - more digging. 

Must remember to take a photo of how the digging is getting on.  I'm continuing to check through the forked soil by hand.  I got out a lot of ground elder roots yesterday so it is well worth the effort.  The Weed War has resumed!
I also want to pull some rhubarb for a friend and some for the weekend as I am making a crumble for someone.
I think there's also going to be some watering, especially with the forecast of such warm weather.

That's this morning.  This afternoon I have an appointment for a blood test and ECG and I may or may not get tuition done.  It depends how long I am really.

Beth's round this evening so I'm doing our old favourite, beans on toast, and Beth can have cheese on hers.  We love beans on toast and I always add a squidge of ketchup and a squidge of brown sauce to the beans.  Delicious!