Once again I apologise for my absence. It's far, far too long since I blogged, but I've actually needed a little bit of a break as quite a lot has been going on. It's also been quite difficult to type comfortably while my hand has been recovering from the carpal tunnel release surgery. The recovery hasn't been as straight forward with my left hand as it was with my right, and when I went back to clinic to have the stitches removed the wound fell open. The nurse put an antiseptic dressing on it, steri-stripped the wound back together, and told me to come back this week to see how it was getting on. Thankfully, when I went back on Wednesday the wound seemed a fair bit better - at least it was holding together - but it's a lot more painful/sensitive than the other one was, it's still very swollen (to be expected really), and there's a bit of an odd lump at the base of the wound that's very tender. I've been told that I may need some ultrasound therapy on it from the physios, but to see how it goes over the next couple of weeks and get in touch for physio after that if it's still really sore. One relief is that I now have the big bandages off, and whilst I still need to wear a tubigrip support bandage sometimes, I'm generally much more dexterous again, and typing isn't anywhere near as painful as it was.
This time of absence has been very mixed aside from the slight anxieties of my hand not healing brilliantly. Very sadly a friend from church died suddenly and unexpectedly at the end of March. It's been quite a shock. It doesn't matter that she was seventy years old - that's no age at all these days - she was a lovely person who always went out of her way to find out how I was doing, even though things weren't always straightforward in her own life. It's her funeral on Tuesday, but I won't be able to go as I'm up in Edinburgh at my mum's for a bit of a break. I'm sorry not to be going to celebrate J's life at her funeral, but I will have some quite time of contemplation and remembering her on my own on Tuesday afternoon, and if I get a chance to get to the cathedral sometimes while I'm here then I'll light a candle for her. Rest in peace, J.
This past week has also seen the first anniversary of my step-brother's suicide. It was a year ago last Tuesday that he went missing and killed himself and three days afterwards that he was found. I've thought about him a lot. I've missed him. I've thought about my step-sister A and my step-brother N (Nn's sister and brother) a lot. It's still all so very sad and tragic. W came round for a bit on Tuesday evening to keep me company :o) That was lovely. We had a quiet evening doing cross-stitch and eating chip shop chips with baked beans added at home. An evening of comfort food and comfort activity :o) Just what I needed.
Not everything has been sad though. There have been positives too, which is why I said that it's been a mixed time. Firstly, there's been the positive of the clocks having gone forward, which means that we've made it through the winter and the long, dark nights that come with winter. I've been enjoying the lighter evenings and going for trundles in the park to make the most of them. I went to local park here by my mum's this evening with my step-dad, which was lovely, and it was fabulous that it was still light when we got back at 7pm.
The other excellent thing that has happened since I last blogged is that I have been granted funding by Motability for a wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV) and a powered ramp for it. They're not giving me funding for privacy glass in the rear windows as I said it was for security rather than privacy, but to be honest I'm not terribly surprised and I'm actually going to fund this myself. At first they were being a bit iffy about giving me funding for a powered ramp, questioning why I couldn't manage a gas-assisted ramp, despite my GP having written a letter saying that bending down to deploy and lift a gas-assisted ramp requires a change in blood pressure which I cannot maintain and would very likely be frequently passing out. One of the cars that I test-drove actually had a gas-assisted ramp, which I'd tried and couldn't manage, and Bill (the guy from the car converter company) had stated this in his report, along with a suggestion that I'd need a powered ramp. However, Motability insisted that I try it again and laughably suggested that I flick the ramp back up with my foot. As Bill said after he demonstrated this manoeuvre to me, 'It's nothing that no premier league footballer or professional athlete couldn't manage' ;oP Again, he wrote on another report for Motability that I would need a powered ramp, and thankfully they saw sense and have granted me funding for it. I have now ordered my new car - a Citroen Berlingo - and should get it in about six weeks time. It may be a little longer (possibly up to ten weeks), but Bill was hopeful for about six weeks. I'm looking forward to it, even though I hate what it stands for and I'm loathed to part with my Vauxhall Meriva, which I love. The WAV Berlingo is going to open up my life again and that's invaluable.
The only other little bit of news is that I went to falls and syncope clinic again last week and my consultant doesn't think they can do anything for the POTS so I don't have to go back. I'm not sure how I feel about this. Yeah, it's good to be free of another hospital appointment, but it's not great that yet again I've reached the end of treatment possibilities ... not that there are many treatment possibilities for POTS. I don't think I've actually been discharged, so to speak, but rather that there's not a lot of point in me going back at the moment, as the consultant said that I can get in touch with them if I feel I need to or if my GP thinks I need to be seen again. I guess we'll just have to see how things go.
That's about all my news for now. Hopefully I'll be back with you again in the next few days. In the meantime, have a very happy Easter.