Archive for the ‘health’ Category

Never a dull moment

March 20, 2020

I apologise now for the long wordy post, however make yourself a cuppa, sit back in a comfy chair, and enjoy the read!

They say that life in hospital is quite boring and that time seems to go by very slowly, but not for me. Looking back, I don’t think I realised just how ill I was as days blurred into one another and I seemed to want to do nothing but sleep. Eating was not high on my priority list and I don’t think I really ate anything much for at least the first four or five days, besides, the food at the hospital is worse than bad, it’s terrible, not what should be fed to very ill people who are in need of nutrient rich food, however, I have been very fortunate for friends and family to come to the rescue with delicious food parcels for me.

Excitement does occur occasionally and that happened on Monday morning when on my return from a bathroom visit, a dodgy looking, scruffy couple came into my room, scouted around the others cubicles ( I’m in a four bed room), so I asked “can I help you, are you looking for someone?” The reply was ” oh no, just looking for a pen”. Hmmm I thought, that doesn’t sound right, as I was trying to get back into my bed the girl asked ” do you need help?” No I do not” I replied, given with one of those stern looks of you’d better get out now before I beat you with one of my crutches looks! “Oh” she said, “oh right, I suppose we should go and put our uniforms on”. With that they left the room and I could see them wandering up and down the corridor. I thought to myself, nope, this doesn’t feel right, so I rang the bell for the nurse and told them what had just occurred. Soon, I hear the nurse came back into our room to tell the other nurse who was with me that there was a code Orange alert and security were on their way. Shortly, we heard that the security cornered this couple, who apparently were going from room to room stealing patients belongings. Police were called and arrived very quickly, they were arrested and removed. All this was done in probably less than 15minutes from my first encounter with them. But how low can you go, stealing from very ill people, on an orthopaedic ward where they probably knew how immobile most patients are. All rather dramatic.

On Tuesday the excitement was to ramp up a little. I mentioned in my last blog about the ungrateful, rude American woman in the next bed to me. Mrs P we shall call her. Mrs P (in her early 80’s, very fit and mentally onto it) had broken her upper femur whilst on a tour of NZ. Well, her daughter (Miss A) arrived from the US on the Sunday morning having independently booked some sort of cycling tour which just so happened to cross over time wise by a few days of Mrs P’s trip. Miss A had been up to the hospital visiting many times, always wearing a mask, and never coming too close to any of the rest of us although I did engage in conversations with her as she seemed a little more amenable than her cantankerous mother. Well, Tuesday evening after Miss A had left, and other visitors had left Mrs P was visited by the charge nurse and was told that with the way things are, Mrs P needed to be removed to a single, isolated room, tested for Covid-19 and Miss A was no longer able to visit the hospital and should go into self isolation. Mrs P was not impressed and threw a hissy fit….her daughter had arrived before the cut off time albeit by a few hours, why wasn’t she Mrs P being removed back to the US now, her insurance company was saying one thing, her son in the US another, the medical team at AKL hospital something else, airlines were all against her…blah blah blah blah. Nothing about putting others at potential risk.

Well, that sent us all into a mild panic, to say the least. I really really felt for one of my other room mates who not only had surgery for fractured bones but is also undergoing chemotherapy so her immunity is seriously compromised. Mrs P was removed from our room without a thank you or good bye from her as she was wheeled out. The stripping and cleaning of the room began….all this was now after midnight.

Meanwhile I was keeping my family up to date with what was going on. Antony had been in to visit that same evening and he was here when Miss A was visiting, and sat in the chair next to my bed on the side which Mrs P was, albeit behind the dividing curtain. Antony immediately rang his boss and put himself into self isolation because as he said he did not want to become “patient 31”. Yes, I know, I didn’t know what that meant either until a quick google search. As a brief explanation “Patient 31upended South Korea’s coronavirus-containment efforts, Patient 31 Caused 80% of Coronavirus Infections in South Korea, showcasing the importance of testing and social distancing.

The remaining three of us were subsequently visited by management, at some ungodly hours of the morning, questions answered as best they could and reassurances, as such, were given. None of us had any contact with Miss A or Mrs P for that matter, Miss A did wear a mask whenever she was in the room, and was never within a metre of any of us, however, that niggling doubt sticks in the back of ones mind, and we wait for Mrs P’s test results to return, before we all panic too much.

But the thing that got me the most was the arrogant selfish attitude of Mrs P, she was not concerned about any one else at all, in fact all she was worried about was herself, and she kept going on about the fact that Miss A had arrived before the isolation cut off time time of midnight Sunday. And yes she did arrive before midnight but by only a few hours before the curfew was invoked and of course subsequently all tourist arriving 14 days prior to the official cut off time have been told now to self isolate. Miss A certainly hadn’t come to NZ to see her mother, no she was booked on an independent trip, which was subsequently cancelled as soon as she got here. The relationship between mother and daughter I would have called platonic at best and was not particularly warm or even amicable.

I really really feel for the amazing nurses that work at Auckland Hospital, they too are all worried as of course they had very close contact with Mrs P.

So we waited, and waited, for the test results to come in. This is when time really did seem to drag, meanwhile Antony was at his home, keeping out of physical contact with work, as he said, the last thing needed at this time was for a whole section of detectives to be taken out of action. We waited and waited. Meanwhile, I start to feel better and better each day. My “numbers” are reducing rapidly which means the antibiotics are working. I must add here, that I have always been of the understanding that I was allergic to penicillin, coming out in a rash, this from childhood, which let’s face it was a few years ago now! I was put on an antibiotic that was on the penicillin spectrum but which between the Infectious Diseases team and the Allergic reaction team agreed I should be able to tolerate. The type of infection that I apparently have responds really really well to a very specific narrow based type of penicillin, Benzylpenicillin, which I was keen to try as I did wonder about my supposed allergy. Again after much to-ing and fro-ing between my surgical team, the Infectious Diseases team and the allergic reaction team, and as I was seemingly tolerating the other drug very well, we decided to give one dose a go. Well, of course nothing happened, no rash, no anaphylactic reaction of any kind, so I’m on the Benzylpenicillin with no side effects at all plus of course it is really targeting the bug causing the infection.

As I need to be on the drug, given intravenously, for 6 weeks, the thought of being in hospital for 6 weeks was horrifying, I was told the best way of administering the drug and to get me out of hospital was if I had a PICC line inserted. Peripherally Inserted Central Cather, PICC, line is inserted into your arm under local anaesthetic, the line runs up the vein inside your arm and ends up in a large vein in your chest. It is often used for administering chemotherapy.

I had this procedure done on Tuesday morning, not without some angst on my part….well, I am a wuss. My dear friend Di came to visit that morning and was waiting for me when I returned from having the procedure done. She was brilliant, as I don’t like all the gory details of what is done, on my return to my room Di went off with the nurse to have explained to her out of my earshot about the line I had put in and how it’s all attached externally etc etc. Di could then relate all of this to Roy, and I don’t really want to know!

Apart from being a little uncomfortable once the local had worn off, it wasn’t too bad, just unpleasant. It now meant I could have the other IV needles removed, and also bloods can be taken from the line as well so no more being a pin cushion.

In hospital I was having the antibiotic administered every 4 hours, but it now meant I could go home and have a 24 hour infusion attached. This infusion method is changed once every 24 hours and can be done from home via a District Nurse visiting, and I can be taught how to do it myself.

Meanwhile, we still wait for test results.

The wonderful OPIVA Nurse (Outpatient Intravenous Antibiotics) came Wednesday afternoon to explain to me how it all works and to give a little demo. This was now getting exciting as it meant that I’m ever closer to being discharged and with the outside world going crazy with Covid-19 news I was looking forward to being at home. Thursday morning and my surgeon visits, he is really happy with the way things are looking, and if everything can be put into place, was I happy to be discharged this afternoon? Really? I’m ecstatic! Behind the scenes teams have been working hard at sorting out the realities of my life because of course we have no fixed address. We use Antony’s address as a nominal address but as we are staying at Shakespear for the duration of my treatment, I was actually causing problems by being under 3 different District Health Boards. With some fabulous team work, I am sorted, I get my OPIVA stuff all done under one DHB and I can continue under the care of my surgeon through another DHB rather than the one covered by Antony’s address which means I get continuity of care.

Thursday morning and I’m given another demo of administering the PICC line, with my first hook up to the system scheduled for 3pm and if Roy could come in at that time he could also become au fait with what is happening and once that is done I could be discharged.

Test results finally come in, Mrs P is negative, phew, we can all relax a little.

So that’s where we are now, I’m at home, back in the van, I am comfortable in changing the infuser full of antibiotics into my PICC line daily although the District Health Nurse will oversee my first changeover today and then I can just go to their hub once a week to get dressings and fittings changed. By administering it myself also means one less thing for stressed and stretched health worker resources to be under. I’m sure as things develop over the next few weeks/months they need as much help as they can get. I get my medication couriered to me once a week, of course it has to be kept refrigerated, but we are comfortable with managing this. I have to have weekly blood tests, visit the Nursing hub once a week, see my surgeon once a week (initially), enough to keep us busy.

I won’t be doing much as I am under strict instructions to rest, rest and rest. Hopefully next week I will be able to have the 35+ staples removed from my knee, and I’ll get into the swing of things generally. Here is where you can say thank you for not putting up the pictures of my knee with the staples in it!!!

As the weather cools, and with world events ever changing, we don’t expect too many campers will be coming in and certainly no more school, scout or guide groups in. So you could say we are self isolating.

The world has certainly changed, for the better? Who knows, but one thing is for sure, I don’t think we realise what is ahead of us. Stay safe with your families friends and neighbours. Look out for each other.

First week post surgery

February 27, 2020

True to his word, my lovely surgeon allowed me to go home on the third day after surgery seeing as though I was doing so well. I’ve got good range of motion, can put full weight on my leg and can even take a couple of steps without crutches (shhh, don’t tell anyone that, I’ll get into trouble!!).

But before I left hospital, I had a surprise visit from some lovely friends. It was a great visit breaking up my day and catching up on news. It was certainly a huge and very unexpected but welcome surprise and really made my day. You know who you are, you are both treasures. As well, I had lots of phone calls and messages from special people, thank you so much for your kind thoughts.

We are now happily back in the campground and the weather is just stunning, although we could desperately do with some rain. The weekends are full in the camp, during the week it is very quiet, but Roy still dons his hi-vis vest and goes off to check people in.

Roy heading off to do his duties whilst wearing his new vest emblazoned with Camp Host

We settled back into the campground, and I’ve settled into a semblance of a routine by doing my exercises, walking a little, and putting my leg up to rest. The latter is important due to having a very swollen foot and ankle.

One left foot and ankle very swollen. Note the lovely ice pack on the knee – it’s hiding the bruising too!

Just a bit of bruising

Some of the bruising at the back of the knee

Bruising down the leg and onto the foot, I thought initially that I had stepped into something and it had left a dirty mark!!!

Not that it stops me doing much. Did you know you can still vacuum with one crutch! Shhhh, don’t tell a Roy what I’ve been up to.

Vacuum in one hand, crutch in the other!

Meanwhile, my garden is growing well, I just need a bit more flex in the knee before I can get out there and give it a good weed. And just so that I don’t get my hands too dirty, Rangers Bruce & Emma found this toy on the beach and thought that it would be perfect for me!

Toy rake

All in all, everything is going really well, with the best thing being that I am not in any pain at all, just a bit of tenderness over the surgery site and a bit uncomfortable with the bruising and swelling however I consider myself very fortunate indeed.Long may it continue.

Back to being kneedy

February 9, 2020

It’s all happening very quickly. I went to see my surgeon on Tuesday as my hip is still very painful and keeping me awake at nights. Actually it’s sort of my upper thigh and bum that is very sore, and I thought it was probably referred pain from my knee radiating to my hip. This is the left hip that was replaced 18 months ago, then I had the Avulsion fracture at the top of the femur on the trochanter, the right knee was replaced a year ago.

The surgeon suggested that the pain was more likely coming from my back, possibly a trapped nerve or something similar but to make sure an MRI is needed. That was scheduled for Friday morning with a follow up appointment with him later in the day. In the meantime we scheduled a full knee replacement for the 17th February, which would go ahead if the MRI came back ok. Yes, I know, it’s very quick but he knows we want to go to the UK in April so the sooner he could do it the better.

Friday morning was an early start as I had to be at the MRI at the Southern Cross Hospital Wairau Road on the North Shore for 7.00am and with traffic the way that it is, who knows how long it could possibly take so we set off before 6am! I am NOT a morning person at the best of times so it was a struggle to drag myself out of bed at some ungodly hour. With Waitangi Day (Public Holiday) the previous day, we hoped that many people will have taken the Friday off work so that the traffic would not be quite so hectic.

The MRI was, as usual, a test of my ability to contain myself from panicking from within such a confined space for the hour long procedure, and for some reason I felt things heating up much more this time and I remained heated for some hours afterwards.

We had a few hours to chillout before my appointment with the specialist across town in Remuera, so we amused ourselves for as long as we could but we still managed to get to the specialist over an hour before my scheduled appointment. Luckily he managed to see me almost straight away, with the upshot being that I have some condition of my lower, the name of which was a very long sentence and I’ve now forgotten, but basically means I have arthritic type growths/spurs on the hook shaped bones of the lower spine (possibly called the transverse processes), which, when I move around they have a tendency to trap and pinch the nerves that run through them. The good news is that it is not in the central column where the spinal cord runs. After much discussion, we decided to leave well alone at this stage.

Spinal anatomy

What I did learn though was that the Avulsion fracture of the trochanter, the top of the femur, does not heal as such, it’s just a broken off piece of bone that just sits there. If it continues to cause problems I will probably have to have the piece of bone removed.

Anyway, the upshot of all this is that I am having my left knee replacement done, which also may help to alleviate the back issues by balancing out the way I walk. The surgery will take place in just a week away, on the 17th February, which will mean that we should still be on schedule to go to the UK in April. Yippee!

Oh and after an epic day of travelling around Auckland, we arrived back to the van to find this on the doorstep.

A lovely pot of succulents, set inside a kete with flax flowers

The card

How nice is that?

We have been so spoilt this year by campers, which puts the odd negative event or camper out of the hundreds we meet into perspective and we have made some great friends over the years we have been here. We look forward to camp hosting for however-many-more years to come.

Hip hip boo hoo

February 15, 2019

Last week I had my follow up appointment after knee replacement surgery. I have to say that I found the knee replacement surgery a doddle and had full mobility after just a week or so, and the pain has been negligible, compared to my hip, but you will find out why that is shortly.

Here’s the X-ray of the said knee replacement, with a side view on the left and front view on the right and yes, I know the X-ray is reversed!

The knee is fully healed and I have full range of motion and what is more…no pain!

My hip replacement however, has not been all that I expected, for a start I have had continual pain, so much so that the past few months I have been unable to sleep and you know what that means? …yes, grumpy Bernice. We knew after the post op checkup X-ray and subsequent MRI that there was a probable crack in the trochanter which I was expecting it to have healed by now. There was also a suggestion at the time (and the reason I had the MRI) that something more sinister could be going on rather than a break.

There was apparently lots of discussion between radiologists and my surgeon as to what was going on but I was pretty confident that the surgeon was right and it was just a break.. did I really say that? “just” a break?

However, my surgeon was adamant that it was stress fracture, the talk of worse things he played down considerably so that I would not worry or panic. He now tells us that he discussed it with his wife, who just so happens to be a cancer specialist, and he was sure he was correct and that there was no need to put me through the trauma of a biopsy, which we discussed at the time of the first MRI when we considered having it done whilst I was under anaesthetic for the knee replacement. But the week before the knee surgery we discussed the biopsy possibilities again and I was more than comfortable with his recommendation that we don’t proceed with it. And at this stage the pain was not so bad and in fact had started to dissipate however, over the last two months the pain has increased, a lot.

Last week during the knee checkup I explained to the specialist that my hip was becoming excruciatingly painful, especially at night, and I was not a happy chappy. He quickly sent me back to the X-ray dept next door for another X-ray, this time of the hip.

And what do you know? It’s definitely fractured, with the offending piece having completely broken off at some stage! No wonder it’s been damn painful. The following pictures are of my X-ray on the lightbox so there is some shadowing and reflection.

the offending trochanter which is the knobbly piece at the top of the femur

The trochanter circled in red, the break is indicated by the yellow arrow. Not only has it completely broken off, it has moved a bit. Ouch!

So another MRI was booked and I had that on Tuesday as well as a follow up appointment with the specialist.

This latest MRI confirmed the specialists view, what has happened is that the stress fracture developed over time to become a full on fracture. I was relieved that a) it was nothing more serious and b) that I had a very reasonable excuse for being in such pain and I wasn’t just being pathetic!

We talked at length about what to do about it, coming to the conclusion that doing nothing for the trochanteric break was the only real option. It is now healing nicely albeit slower than I would like, and further surgery is definitely not in the scheme of things. The thought of them having to do further surgery to rebreak it, then reattach with screws, plates and wires is a daunting prospect particularly as everything I’ve read and studied all come to the same conclusion; the outcomes after 12 months are almost identical wether nothing is done or surgery is performed. So with good pain management the priority, we now have a plan in place and hopefully it will continue to heal and I just have to be patient (not one of my best qualities) and definitely no skydiving or other dangerous activities, even though I’ve been walking around on a fracture for months.

Apparently fractures occur in a very small number of replacements but they are the most common complication after total hip replacement surgery and of those small number of fractures about 5% are trocanteric fractures. So it’s just my shit luck to be part of the very, very small percentage to have this occur! I always knew I was a bit “special” 😉.

Knee update

January 18, 2019

A number of people have asked how my knee has been post surgery, so after 6 weeks here is an update.

It has been a breeze, pain has been negligible since day one, however it has been carefully managed and I have tried not to be a hero and go without the pain meds which I am sure is part of the reason why recovery has been so easy. I had full movement back after just a week post surgery and I was diligent in doing the exercises given to me by my physio.

I continued using crutches for about 4 weeks although I could have given them up long before then but I have been very mindful to take things carefully so as not to have any mishaps. My wound healed really well, helped I am sure by the Manuka Honey Wound Gel that my surgeon suggested I use. The scar is already becoming less and less visible, now assisted by the use of rosehip oil to reduce the evidence of scarring.

the scar isn’t looking too bad at all is it?

It has been so easy that I am wondering why I put it off for so long? In fact I asked the surgeon the day after the op if he could whip me down to theatre and do the other knee whilst I was there. Unfortunately his schedule was full.

I had been putting surgery off in the hope that the research into stem cell use would be done by now. Although some people are having stem cell therapy done and with some success, my very thorough research says that clinical trials are still ongoing with advances coming all the time however there have been too many incidences of rogue cells becoming cancerous. Hence my reticence in trying it out.

I am reliable told that advances in orthopaedic surgery in the past two years has been remarkable which has probably helped my recovery as well. But having a great surgeon and anaesthetist is also a huge factor in my quick recovery I am sure.

Now just the next one to be done, I think we may just postpone that one until we return from the UK as if I have it done before we go I am pretty sure that Sod’s law will kick in and something will go wrong and I definitely don’t want to do anything to jeopardise that exciting trip.

So to sum up, it’s been such an easy surgery and recovery I wish I had had it done years ago. I even enjoyed? (not sure that is the right word) my hospital stay pretending I was on a mini holiday break with the bed made for me, meals cooked for me, with lots of rest involved. Just keep your fingers crossed that the next one goes as well.

The good news

December 10, 2018

We have both been back to our respective surgeons this past week, actually on the same day but on the opposite sides of Auckland. Roy headed off to Ascot Hospital Greenlane in the morning for his post op check up, which went well, his PSA levels are almost zero and everything else is healing fine.

My appointment was at Southern Cross Hospital in Wairau Road, and Keith came to the rescue and did his best “Driving Miss Daisy” impression and we were there in no time. I also got a good review, the allergic reaction has settled, the wound is healing nicely, so well in fact that instead of seeing the surgeon in a couple of weeks time for the post op X-rays and checkup, we have delayed it until next year as we both felt that it would be a better time frame and considering I am doing so well, there was no point in an early appointment.

But prior to our appointments we were spectators to an amazing thunder and lightning storm which also brought with it torrential rain.

the view from the door during the deluge.

The thunder and lightning was directly overhead, the noise was intense and I must admit I was a little concerned. What we didn’t find out until later in the day was that three sheep, up on the hill not 150metres from the van, were struck by lightning and killed.

The storm was over in a few short hours and was all clear by the time we needed to get away to our appointments.

The view from the door just a few hours after the storm departed. amazing really that the water was already disappearing from sight.

The following day was departure day for Keith & Debbie, we have been travelling together for the past few months and have enjoyed having their company and at various times assistance with bits and pieces especially as both Roy and I have been on light duties post surgeries. We’ve shared a few laughs, in fact a lot of laughs, and of course we have enjoyed the fishing exploits. We will meet up again next year when the freezers need filling up again with lots of lovely fresh fish.

So life for us is back to camp hosting duties, which is already proving to be interesting,, what with a terrible booking system to contend with from an end user perspective, tourists who cannot book in for whatever reason, the odd partying underage campers to deal with, campers arriving late and being noisy without regard for others and campers who arrive without essential items and come looking for assistance.

All in a days work.

It was all going so well

December 2, 2018

My surgery and subsequent recovery had been going so well, I’m well ahead of expectations of range of motion and activity and all was great. The physio came out to see me on Monday, she was also impressed at where I was up to but she did say that she thought I should pop back to the hospital to get the dressing changed as it appeared the wound was oozing somewhat.

Instead I rang my surgeon and talked to his receptionist about what to do. She suggested I come in and let Hugh have a look but also to start the antibiotics I was given for a just-in-case situation like this. By late that afternoon I was at his office getting it looked at. It turns out that the wound itself was fine, but I had reacted to the glue on the dressing and it had formed blisters all around the wound. Ouch.

So he cleaned it up and put on a different dressing. This was Tuesday afternoon. Thursday the dressing was again soaked but also bit of an ugly shade of green.. so I again rang Nicki who suggested I send Hugh a photo of what it looked like. So I did. I mean how many surgeons give you their cell phone number?? He rang almost immediately and said remove the dressing clean it with the special wash I had been given and send him another picture.

Which we duly did. He rang back again, saying he thought the wound looked fine, it was just this allergic reaction, so sit in the sun with it exposed for a while, and then put on the Manuka Wound Gel he had told me about, redress and come and see him in the morning. Which we did on Friday for a dressing dressing change and some ointment for the blistery, itchy, hot, annoying rash that circumnavigates the long thin scar of the surgery.

I go back to him on Tuesday for another check up, I hope to goodness that the rash and blisters have cleared up by then otherwise I may be very annoyed!

There will be no pictures in this blog entry, I do not need to share the ugly side of my wound, it’s bad enough having it out in the sunshine for people to see.

Apart from that and a very swollen ankle and foot, all is well and I am well on the road to recovery..

Roy also has a post op checkup on Tuesday, let’s hope that it is also a good result.

Knees up

November 20, 2018

The worst bit about going into hospital for surgery is the waiting time before you actually get taken into theatre. I had to check in at Southern Cross North Harbour Hospital at 11am and by 11.30 I was ready and waiting for the inevitable, I was wheeled down to the theatre at 1.35pm, left outside the door of the theatre once the anaesthetist had put in the needles ready for what comes next. As I was left by myself waiting (5 minutes seemed like an hour) wondering wether I should do a runner, actually that would be more of a limp, or just breathe in, breathe in, breathe in…….and out and calm myself down.

They were soon back to have me walk into theatre, this time I was very good and didn’t look around at all to see all the gory bits and pieces, I hopped onto the theatre bed which they have at the side so I could face the wall and not see anything behind me, the epidural was put in seamlessly and painlessly then the sedative injected. Next I knew I was in the recovery room. But what a weird sensation of having no feeling of anything below my waist. I tried desperately to move my feet and toes but I don’t think messages were getting through.

I was back in my room by 4pm where Roy was waiting for me.

my attempt at a selfie post op!!

After an hour or two, a light snack was brought in for me to try, jelly, ice cream and little sandwiches….I thought I was at a kids party! I haven’t had jelly on its own for years, and it was delicious. See, I qualified that Keith by saying jelly on its own, I know you made that lovely layered dessert for Debs birthday that included a jelly and fruit layer!!

The epidural eventually wore off over the evening but I had also apparently been given a femoral block. What does that do? well, you feel no pain at all and I can tell you it was bliss. For the first time in I don’t know how many months I actually slept for 5 hours straight, unlike my usual pattern of no sleep until the early hours of the morning and then for a maximum of 2 hours at a time.

I was put on the bending knee machine which you can gradually increase the incline of the bend. I eventually got it up to a 90 degree bend without too much trouble.

I don’t think it will get that far today now that the effects of the block are wearing off but I have to say that any pain i do have is being well managed unlike when I had my hip done and things were excruciatingly painful, until I realised I could ask for pain meds!! I have walked around the bed with crutches today, which is apparently pretty good, and I will have another couple of goes later this afternoon and evening.

So far this hospital experience has been very different from when I had my hip done, same surgeon and anaesthetist just different hospital and protocols. I have been made very comfortable and haven’t felt so terrible afterwards which means I have a better appetite, which of course makes you feel better too.

Well, that’s it, just over 24 hours since surgery was completed, and I think I’ve written this in some sort of sane manner! I’m sure someone will let me know if I haven’t .

Now comes the hard recovery work.

Time drifts on by

August 20, 2018

I am always surprised at how time seems to slip through our fingers, before you know it another week has gone and we wonder what on earth we have been doing.

We are still at Uretiti enjoying the sunshine and relative peace and quiet and managing to keep ourselves very busy doing not much at all. Oh I tell lies, there are always things to be done, and places to go and people to see with little spare time for much else.

We have been to local markets to stock up on lovely fresh vegetables as well we have been in to Whangarei to do some shopping as there always seems to be those little bits and pieces to buy.

Included doing the odd things like cleaning the vents and the vent covers, cleaning the windows, and as well putting new broom holders on the wall in the laundry area.

All looking neat and tidy.

It’s been lovely having Keith & Debbie around, we all seem to get on well without living in each other’s pockets. The chaps have been out fishing on numerous occasions with very little catching being done with either the drone or the kite, but it seems as though no one is catching much off this beach right at the moment so we think it’s time for us to move further north. We’ve been on the odd excursion into Whangarei, finding new things and rediscovering others whilst always having a laugh and a half. Keith & Debbie are now off with family for a couple of weeks but we shall meet up with them again in another few weeks.

We’ve caught up with Mark & Glynis a couple of times, with the last occasion Glynis finally remembered to take a photo of us

It was a great night too, lovely food, fabulous Ata Rangi wines, and fantastic company.

Roy and I had a quick trip down to Auckland for specialists appointments and to collect our mail and have a quick catch up with Antony. Included in the mail was my new Fitbit-style activity tracker, which is keeping me on track so I know exactly how far I am walking each day.

I haven’t quite got to the recommended 10,000 steps as yet but I am getting there. I just have to get used to all the features this tracker has to make best use of it. It seems to do just about everything as it is paired to my phone so I get notified of messages, txts, emails etc as well as the tracking features, heart rate monitor etc etc. We are so impressed that we have ordered one for a Roy, his one has even more features so that should be fun.

My hip is really good now, the last annoying stitch finally fell off yesterday, and I have very little hip pain at all apart from when I do something I shouldn’t! But the knees are another story. You can tell they are giving me lots of pain and issues as I am not hesitant at all about going to back to the surgeon to get them sorted……it’s only been 12 years since I was first told I needed them replaced but I don’t think I can put it off any longer.

Other little tasks have been done like getting warrant of fitness certificate for the RAV, and then both vehicles needed registering.

Another wee job that has always gone to the “I’ll do that later” list, has finally been sorted. I am getting my engagement and eternity rings fixed after a mishap I had with catching my hand in a door some time ago. I have found a fabulous jeweller here in Whangarei that actually does design and repair work. They have suggested that they join my eternity and engagement rings together as part of the problem has been that the two rings move against each other and have resulted in damage. Brilliant idea.

There have been many other motorhoming friends pass through the camp so it has been an opportune time to catch up on all their comings and goings and what everyone is up to since we saw them last.

The hands have been busy knitting up a storm with lots of baby things done for friends and family that are having babies.

I’ve also got back into making my sourdough bread again which has proved to be very successful. So much so I’ve had to make a couple of loaves every second day to keep up with demand!

All in all we manage to keep ourselves out of mischief and we do achieve a few things occasionally!

Another woohoo

August 1, 2018

Yes it’s another woohoo in the Vannini vanhold bushold rvhold household.

I had my checkup with my surgeon yesterday and everything is looking good. I still have some pain, just minor stuff which is just things taking their time to heal after bones being bashed and sawn, muscles & nerves being chopped – goodness me sounds more like butchery than surgery – however we are getting back into shape and we are getting there. I see the surgeon again in 8weeks time when we make the BIG decision on which knee to do first.

Funnily enough it has always been my left knee that has caused the most pain and grief but since having the left hip replaced it is the right knee that is now causing the most angst. Apparently that is to be expected as some of the knee pain was coming from the hip and of course relying on the other knee heavily whilst recovering from surgery has put added pressure on the right knee. Anyway, we shall see what happens in a couple of months time when we make the decision to go with the left or the right. And NOT having a ‘Lieutenant Dan’ (Forest Gump reference) as my delightful son suggested!!!

Meanwhile we are still at Uretiti…..there is a story behind that but more on that later!