Back home.

At 5:30pm on 5 January my wife had a fall. It took way too long for a paramedic to arrive and longer still for an ambulance. It then took far too long waiting in A&E for the ambulance guys to hand over to the nursing staff and for stuff to start happening. I got home at about 5:30am the next day after she had been admitted to ward 18 at the LRI.
The standard of care on ward 18 varied from good to “What the hell?”. (To nurses of old – like me – I found it astonishing that the nurse in charge was the Named/Primary Nurse for every patient. And that drugs are now given out by one nurse, not two. And that so many general nurses had no idea what Multiple Sclerosis was) Anyway…

She came home last night. We have a hospital bed, hoist and other stuff downstairs now. 3 2-carer visits a day to help. The District Nurse has been, we are expecting a Physiotherapist and probably an Occupational Therapist. Minimum of 4 weeks of this and then we see what happens.

Would be better but for my coming down with the worst cold I’ve had in years 2 days ago. That’ll pass though and I’m off for 2 weeks as of Saturday (I checked and it’ll be my second proper break since 2010).

Not been fun here.

Migraine on repeat

Now entered the 3rd consecutive week of the same migraine and it’s getting very tiresome and very wearing. I’m used to constant headaches – diagnosed with chronic daily migraines earlier this year after tests – but I’m not used to prodrome / postdrome (the migraine hangover) sensations constantly. For reasons I know not I’m just not moving out of it. I have no idea at all what to do.

In other news…
Koda

One week

One week ago I lost Storm. For the first time in 9 years there was no dog in the house.
No reason to go downstairs on waking.
No reason to take a break mid-morning to go walk.
No reason to take an afternoon break for a longer walk.

I remember that in 2007 I was at the second Automattic meetup (at Stinson Beach) and I’d done a certain amount of work and said that if I was at home I’d take the dog – then just Winston – for a walk. Matt said we should take a walk along the beach which we did. We chatted about Akismet.

Every day I have had a reason to get up and go for a walk. Peace. Quiet. Slow. Thinking time.

I felt okay just sauntering along with the dogs – or just a dog – through the village. But doing the same without them? It feels strange. Not just that they are not there but as others perceive me. In the dusk/darkness a guy with a dog means people pass closer than if you are just a guy wandering along.

Years ago as I was crossing a bridge with Winston I met a guy who stopped, fussed Winston and stood and chatted. He explained that for years he had walked his dog this route and he’d just lost his dog. But he couldn’t stop that walking. It was habit. It was comforting. I know that now. I wish I did not.

A walk

We went for a walk tonight. The fog was pretty thick, visibility was lampost to lampost but hey, we’d done this for years. I held Storm’s collar as I walked, talked to him as we passed the places he would always stop and praised him when a car went past with too much noise. And I cried.
I miss him.
Had a dog? You know what I mean.
Not had one? You don’t know.

Storm

The last thing he felt was me hugging him.
The last thing he heard was me telling him I loved him.

LCS

Storm is now on the last medication that can help him. He’s been back to the specialists. Thing is that what he has cannot be cured. He cannot ever again run and jump for a tennis ball, come for a walk around the village with me, try to catch snowballs. We are so very close to that point where we have to consider his quality of life, if we would be keeping him alive for us rather than him. He doesn’t even come upstairs now – and he would more often than not come and sleep on the floor next to my side of the bed. He hasn’t walked more than 100 yards at once, he is not eating. And yet he wags his tail every time I go to stroke him, talk to him. And he is only 3.

More Storm

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Storm has a very enlarged heart. The valves are all damaged. He is in heart failure. There is no cure. He has been prescribed medication.
In 3-4 months he has gone from a bouncy energetic beast to a dog way older than he should be. He’s only 3. He should be running around fields, enjoying long walks. But he is not interested in food and has lost so much weight. I don’t know what else to say.

Storm is ill

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A few weeks ago he fell ill and we took him to the vet. They diagnosed pancreatitis and kept him at the surgery..  While there he was diagnosed with Canine DIC which can kill. They fixed him. But he stayed unwell, head down, losing weight – just not the bouncy dog he had been.  I took him back to the vet a couple of days ago. His heart is all over the place – atrial fibrillation. Tomorrow he goes to a specialist place in Coventry. I really hope they can help.