Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Bump..... back down to reality again.

Well after a few days of moaning about my materialistic phone, its time to face the reality of life once again, and worry about more important things etc.
This morning sees a trip to Guys Hospital in London SE1, mum has 2 appointments there today back to back. A lung function test, and an appointment in Oncology for a check up.
So again, things seem slightly more in perspective now,

The weather outside is crap, got to get on a packed train, which I hate at the best of times, but I both get to ensure mum gets there and back safely, and to see the progress on The Shard too. The Shard being a fascinating modern building being put up next to London Bridge station. So its fun to watch from week to week as it progresses, and it takes my mind off other things.

In the meantime, the Blackberry 9700 still has no data, I have written and posted a letter to their complaints dept at head office, and that is as much as I am going to do now. I'm NOT going to carry it around with me in the hope that someone will phone me and fix it, I'm NOT going to pull the battery 100 times for them to run through little tests. Instead I am going to leave it sitting here, and if by Thursday afternoon its not working, then I will call Orange back, and decide on my next move.

Right, time to get ready for the hospital, hope you have a great day, and thanks once again for reading one of my little rants.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A letter to Orange head office

Dear Sir / Madam,
I write to you with a bitter taste in my mouth caused by recent communications and issues with the Orange handset support system.

On Thursday 25th March I awoke to find my Blackberry was no longer sending or receiving data. I placed a call to handset support, who ran through some diagnostics, but was unable to resolve the issue, so passed me on to another department. Unfortunately by the end of many tests and checks the data service was not restored.

Following this there have been numerous calls to Orange, promises of call backs from customer services, escalations, failed call backs from team leaders, and many more infuriating occurrences. These calls total somewhere in the region of 5-6 hours now. However as I write this letter, I am again without data for the 6th consecutive day now. I have been told over and over that I cannot have a replacement handset as they are still running diagnostics. However at what point does the inconvenience to me start to matter to Orange. Six days is somewhat ridiculous, especially considering there is still not a replacement on its way to me.

I have 6 lines with Orange, and have been a loyal customer for 5 or 6 years at least now. I have never encountered anything more than a mild disappointment before, let alone been drawn so close to wishing to cancel my contracts and move to another provider. I spend in excess of £2,000 a year with Orange as a private consumer, yet when it comes to what matters to me, having a working handset with data, suddenly I am insignificant.

I have had various explanations of what is going on, why the delay, why the handset cannot be replaced (apparently the computers won’t let them be courteous), time scales, amended time scales, indefinite time scales, and many other comments and explanations which help my case in no way whatsoever. I refuse to get mad at these people like some would, and have always been courteous, polite and as understanding as I can, given the circumstances. However I now find myself reaching the end of my tether.

I spoke with someone from the executive office this afternoon, who again looked into the matter, updated me on where we are with all this, advised me that the issue has now been passed to RIM, and told me “hopefully” I will get a call from Orange, or my data will start to work again by Thursday afternoon, before the office closes for Easter. I certainly hope this is the case, however am not holding out in hope for this to happen.

I am left a little bewildered that after a week of running diagnostics, finding nothing, and now passing the matter to RIM, I have become nothing more than a guinea pig for technical people to get to change settings and pull the battery on the phone while they remain determined they can fix it. So with that in mind I have decided that if the service is not resumed by Thursday PM, I will be returning the handset to Orange, if someone can advise me on where to send it to, and it can be fixed at Orange’s leisure, and I will play no further part in this charade.

Should this turn out to be the case, I will be contacting Orange, and the appropriate ombudsmen regarding termination of the contract with Orange, compensation for the problems caused, and any further action recommended by said ombudsmen. I truly hope it does not reach this stage, and that something can be sorted out in the meantime.

I hope to remain a loyal and happy Orange customer for many years to come, and hope that this issue can finally be overcome.

Michael Snasdell

Is this what they call "progress"?

Well after another entertaining day speaking to Orange over and over and over, I have made I believe what some would call progress.
After an earlier encounter with a call back from Orange, which just put be right back at the beginning, I searched the web and found an email address for the Executive Offices for Orange. The address is . After emailing them I was expecting the same sort of response as most other promises of call backs etc. But to my amazement, after a trip to the loo I came back to find a missed call and a message. Michael from the exec offices had called back to discuss the matter, and see what they could do to sort the matter out.

After a long call to the techs, he came back with almost what everyone else had said, that tech were SURE it was a problem with RIM now and not the handset. The issue has been passed on to Research In Motion for further investigation. Unfortunately as they are a 3rd party Orange are unable to give or enforce timescales for these matters, so it is simply a matter of waiting again now til RIM contact Orange.

So really I am no further down the line. Although on the other hand I am, as I have a single point of contact now, who is going to see the matter through to resolution. We have also started discussing reimbursement for time wasted, calls placed and services not provided.

One comment made me chuckle though. He said he was happy to make such a credit to my account but would do it once resolved "in case" it is another week of no service". My response was to laugh and politely inform him that if it drags over to next week I wont be an Orange customer anymore. He understood this clearly.

So onwards, and nowhere for the time being lol. I am in higher spirits about it now, thanks to a settlement cheque arriving on my mat this morning, but that's about the only thing keeping me from driving to Orange HQ and having a word in person.
IF..... and I mean IF, this turns out to be a handset fault after all, the whole thing will become VERY messy indeed. As I explained to one of the call centre guys, I am not a guinea pig for them to experiment with their theories on. I am a paying customer, and a high paying customer at that. I expect to be treated like an individual, and not someone they can mess about, just so the geeks in the basement can prove they can fix the phone.

Thursday afternoon is the cutoff for this whole matter now, which was made clear to the exec when we spoke. If I have to call them back that afternoon as its not resolved, then I will be asking for an address to send the phone to, and will be rid of it once and for all. At that point I want nothing more to do with it until it is fixed, working, and I don't have to call Orange again. Renewal time is nigh, but I am having serious doubts about it all now, unless they can do something really special. REALLY special.

I have never felt SO insulted!

OK so this is the 6th day this whole "no data" thing has been dragging on today, and I have placed a number of calls to them, once again.
First call today was to retentions. After not getting a call back from them yesterday, after asking to be called by a manager, I was seriously wound up, so thought I would explore how much it would cost to get out of this particular contract.
Truth of the matter is, I dont really want to cancel it, as I have 5 other contracts with Orange, and cant be bothered working with 2 service providers, having 2 billing points etc, but want to keep my options open anyway.

On speaking to retentions the guy was super helpful and made some calls for me to try and get the matter sped up. He also gave me the cancellation fee of £67, which is a small price for the amount of time I have wasted calling Orange over the past week.

I got a call back from Orange early this afternoon, a guy from customer relations, announcing to me that he had someone on line that was going to take care of the matter for me. To my dismay (hardly suprised) it was a guy from the indian call centre, level 1 handset faults. He proceeded to start ask what was wrong, and start going through the basics all over again. Which pissed me off no end! remained calm and went through it all to keep him happy, but it made no difference to the service on the handset.
I was then passed to, yup Level 2 diagnostics, networking. After running through the matter again, I pointed out it was already with Level 3, so he decided to call them. Even though I have been told over and over that they CANT contact Level 3 by phone.
A few mins later he came back on the phone, and advised me it was NOT a handset fault, it was a problem with RIM, then started to try and explain who RIM are..... Oh do shut up !

After a brief conversation he said he could only tell me what level 3 had told him, and that they were still looking into the matter. I pointed out this is day SIX of this issue, and informed him I am not a guniea pig for running geeks experiments on, and if someone wants to sort it out, maybe they can send me a new phone in the meantime and let the geek work on it in his time not mine!

He advised me he would escalate the matter for me, and ask his line manager to call me back, so I am waiting on a call back now from Level's 1 2 and 3 from Orange tech support now.

Note to Orange.
You are a complete joke now. I spend over £2000 a year with you as a private customer, I have stayed with the network for 5-6 years, and always sung praises for the great service, brilliant products and customer services.
That has all changed now.
Six days..... SIX days to try and decide what is wrong with one of your handsets, no replacement, and leaving me without a usable handset is a disgrace, and one I will tell EVERYONE about. Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Blogger, Google, anywhere, thats where it is going now.

I will also now be escalating the matter to the official bodies, so an email will be getting fired off shortly.

I am at a total loss for words now, so will shut up for the time being, but please Orange, restore my faith in you.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Emailed the CEO of Orange

OK so im not expecting him to personally read it and mail me back, but some attention from someone higher up the food chain would be good right now.

I escalated my issue to Orange earlier this evening, before my last entry. At this point I was told the issue would be viewed by a manager or team leader and I would get a call back. Well suprise suprise I am yet to hear back from Orange in any way shape or form.
On calling them about an hour ago I was informed by the lady I spoke to, that she was not allowed to discuss the matter further with me until the manager had called me back.
When I asked when this would be, she was unable to tell me, as she is based in Darlington, but the dept the manager was from are based in Bristol.

Instead all she could suggest was that I was owed an apology, and I would have to wait until the manager called back until the matter could be continued/resolved.

So I finally got fed up and fired the email off to the CEO in the hope that it will find its way to someone who can actually do something about this once and for all.

Surprise surprise

Well its Day 5 for the ongoing issues with Orange and I am still no closer to getting my phone replaced. I have had 3 people agree with me now that it is a handset fault, but they are unable to authorise a replacement be sent out.

Why? Well apparently "computer says nooo" The system they use decides using the responses it is fed, and as it has no scenario that a phone can not work in the way it is behaving, it just cries for help and refers the matter to specialists. Network have now confirmed everything is functioning their end (no shit Sherlock), but as it is still not working, the system has referreds it to diagnostics now. Which also has a 48-72 lead time on it.

To say I am fed up now is an understatement. I am waiting on the teamleader to call me back now so I can discuss the matter further and vent some frustration at someone. Who knows, hopefully with human intervention they may be able to over ride the damn computer and say enough is enough, and get me a new phone sent out. Maybe lol.

I won't hold my breath on getting the callback, let alone getting a replacement. Instead I shall search for email addresses of senior people in the company and start a campaign to get my Blackberry replaced and back working again.

I can't remember a time I was this frustrated and angry at the same time.

Oh and to make matters worse, by staying at work in the other office to make the call to Orange (on my own phone) I have now been blocked in by a dam lorry, so am stuck at work.

Sent using BlackBerry®

Lord give me strength.

OK im not religious at all, but I sure as hell feel like I need divine intervention on this one.
On Thursday my Blackberry 9700 started playing up, no data. I called Orange to register the fault with them.
Since then it has been constant phone calls to them, speaking to numerous people all with a different take on the matter, different departments all suggesting wild ideas on how to fix the issue, and quite a few promised deadlines for call backs, however there has been no offer of replacing the phone yet.
Its Monday now, I mean come on.
Even the lady I have just spoken to has said, just on the notes she has read on it, some of which have been entered a number of times, the handset should just be replaced now.

So the clock starts ticking again now. Apparently networks have my case logged, are working on it, and will get back to me as soon as there is a decision, or with my luck, more questions to be asked. I am SO hoping that this time they finally just say REPLACE, and this whole nightmare will be over. If the outcome of the next callback is not heading in the right direction, its time to call cancellations and talk about "inability to provide the contracted service".

So, cross those fingers, replacement 9700 for me by tomorrow PLEASE!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

P**sed off with Orange

Just sent an email off to Orange UK cust services regarding the ongoing issue with my Blackberry.
I think, all things considered its pretty damn polite.

"I have had a data issue with my handset now since Thursday AM. I have spoken to numerous call centre agents, handset fault engineers and now network engineers, but as of yet, at 19.00 on Saturday evening I am still not able to use the said handset.

No one seems to be listening to the fundamental issue which is... The SIM in the handset operates fine in another of my Blackberrys, and the SIM from the working BB will NOT work in the 9700... It is a hard/software issue NOT a network issue. Yet still I am bounced from department from department, being told each time to run through the whole matter again as if no one has made any notes on my account.

On the last call I was asked to verify the PIN and IMEI from the software, the handset and the box as if I am trying to con Orange or something.

I have 5-6 contracts with Orange and have had for years and I have NEVER had such a long winded, frustrating and outright unacceptable issue in all my time.

I have been without the handset for 3 days now, will I be credited this? Should I even consider renewing when the contracts expire? Right now the answer is no.

I just want my handset working, my Blackberry functioning with data, and not to keep being told to pull the battery, delete service books, and other pointless exercises. Is there ANY chance of a replacement, please? "

Fair ?


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Friday, March 26, 2010

Seems like an eternity....

.... but in fact only about 3-4 days.
Quite a few "interesting" things have happened over the past few days.

First up, the hospital, and how that went. Eventually mum was actually feeling ok, so we got the train up there to the appointment. She did well getting there, so well done mummy. The appointment went well, they seemed quite happy with her test results, and the appointment ended with a chest x-ray, which we dont know the results of yet. There is another appointment at the Oncology clinic on Wednesday 31st, to see the consultant, so will see where we go from there really. Still waiting on the colonoscopy appointment, which reminds me I have to phone and chase that up. (thank you Blog)

Other than that, she is in much better health now, and getting about far more freely. She has popped to the post office a couple of times now and other bits, so its good to see her getting some get up and go back. Think back 2 weeks, and she was sure she was about to die. How things change huh. So thats mum.

Me, well this week I have been keeping myself busy by buying things lol. As previously mentioned I bought a new bike the other day. A Specialized Hardrock Pro 2010, which I am pleased to say was delivered this afternoon. Cant wait to get home to get it out of the box, and put on the other new addition. I also ordered some DMR V8 pedals in red, which will go straight on instead of the factory shin scrapers. So thats an exciting new thing for me.
Also on Wednesday I finally got back to the gym and started training again. I am paying for it now, and ache like a mofo, but I feel good for it. I have started watching what I eat again too (he says after eating a chinese for lunch (food not a person))

Errrm what else is there.... Hmmm. Actually its not been that an exciting week after all has it lol.
Well thats me for now, I must have a mental block going on.

Oooooh thats it, how could I forget that.
Today marks 7 years for me. 7 years with my dear little Chantal. happy anniversary sausage ;o)
Love ya x

Monday, March 22, 2010

While I am waiting.

Just thought I would add a few lines while I am sitting here waiting about.
I thought I had a meeting this morning, but the guy has not shown up, so I am trying to find out if I got my dates wrong, or something has happened to prevent him coming over. Either was im a bit irritated that I got up earlier than planned and waited about for nothing.

However its time to get mum ready for going to hospital. Still trying to work out how this is gonna work, as I still have the issue of getting her out of the car, then getting parked and getting her into the hospital. Last time I tried this, she collapsed getting out of the car, so my guard is up.

Well here goes nothing.

Well that was stupid....

....and kinda expected too I guess.
After a pretty good week last week, and ramping up my enthusiasm towards this week, planning to attack the gym, and get into my new routine, I decided to needed to celebrate. So I did.

Last night I got in the last Domino's for what I hope to be the next 90 days. Why 90 days, well thats roughly when I fly to Florida, so want to start getting a little more trim for the trip. Annnyway, back to my whining.
So last night I order a pizza, thought nothing of stuffing my face, and in fact I enjoyed it. However there was a hidden price to pay... GOUT! Thats right, its made a comeback just to scupper my plans for the day/week. The pain is just about bareable, but there is a side effect. I have a lot of driving to do today, all rather important, including getting mum to hospital for some tests. But with my foot like this I will be lucky if I can get a shoe on, let alone operate a foot pedal on a car. Just my luck too, its the left, which means the foot that does all the regular, constant hard work. Joy joy !

I have taken some meds for it, but cant see anything happening til tonight, which will all be a bit late, so im hoping that I can struggle and muddle through it without too much grief.

In other news....
I am excited that my paperwork for the bike finance will get sent today. Hoping to hear back with good news soon. Its agreed, I just want a delivery date NOW! Not that I can ride at the moment or anything but its principals!

Mum is off to Guys today for a POPS assessment. Should take a few hours but hopefully they will go through a lot of things with her and make sure all is well. Still no news on the colonoscopy, but at this clinic they will do all the bloods etc, so we will find out if there are any problems with BP dropping still or anything. Nice to have regular check ups.
Sadly the clinic is for pre op screening, so im sure there will be a lot of moaning about "im not having an operation" all day long lol. But all the clinics want this screen done as a matter of urgency now.

Gym tomorrow morning as long as I can walk! Honest!

Right, better go take more pills and see if I can get a shoe on my foot.
Lovely day out there, have a good one.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A brief hello.

2/3rds of the way through the weekend, so time to summarise.

Yesterday being indoor, bored got the better of me, and I ended up buying myself a new mountain bike. A 2010 Specialized Hardrock Pro has been a twinkle in my eye for a while now, and yesterday I could cope no longer without it, so I bought it. £550 well spent, or so I am led to believe anyway lol.
I look forward to receiving it, and getting some use out of it, with spring fast approaching that should be easy. Now I just have to resist buying the Canon 450D I have been eyeing up, at least for a while anyway.

Yesterdays weather was crap, however today looks promising. Sadly I have no plans for the day, and so far all I have to do is walk the dogs and go to IKEA with my sister and her tribe to help bring a bed back for them. I am tempted to get the fencing out the back sorted out too, but maybe thats for next weekend eh?

Right im off, have a good day.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Red letter(s) day

Well, the appointment I have been waiting for, for mum to see the POPS team at Guys has finally come, although not actually a letter, but a phone call. After scheduling it for mid April, I got a call today to say they want her in on Monday instead, as all dept's have asked for it to be done ASAP. Which comes as quite a relief to me. Sods law says tomorrow we will get a letter saying the Colonoscopy has been set for Monday too lol. (bloody hope not)
So that's one piece of good news. And also she gets a full once over again on Monday which makes sure her HB and BP are still fine and she is healthy to be at home for now.

The other letter of the day is from my solicitor. The solicitor has been working on my behalf now for about 28 months, acting on the liability case against my employer.
Its been a long journey, but today I got the letter from my solicitor confirming their intention to settle the payment for loss of earnings and for private physio I received following the start of the issue. This draws to a close the whole messy affair, and allows me to finally get on with life as normal. No longer worrying about what appointments or letters need attending to next.

The funny thing about the whole matter is it was almost completely avoidable. But one man on a mission to make life difficult for me has cost the company a huge sum of money, a lot of disruption, and may I add, me a lot of physical pain and discomfort. Sadly, like most cases like this, its me and the company paying for it, not him.

Anyway, that's me for now.

Oh couple of quick updates.
Mum is in good health and spirit right now. Much better than she was a week ago.
And I am planning my return to the gym on Tuesday, following a successful introduction of my new early rise routine. Cant do Monday as I have a day of appointments with mum etc.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Happy days! (Saddo!)

Well, here is my happy little family, which will hopefully change things for me and keep me away from the PC more in the evenings.

Dell Inspiron 11z, Blackberry 9700 and my MotoDEXT.
Laptop arrived this morning a whole 8 days early which was a nice suprise.
First impressions, can't believe how light it is, fast to load and run, and nice and dinky sized.

Just thought I would share that lol

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Cor what a morning

Plan was to get mum to the hospital by train, get her to her Oncology appt, then get into work.
About 30 mins before we were due to leave she told me she could not make it to the hospital as she felt too ill. Having been here before I decided she HAD to go, so suggested drive to the hospital instead. She agreed.
On our arrival there, she was just getting out, and went wobbly. That was enough. I got her back in the car, and ran in to get a nurse. Thankfully I found an amazing Oncology nurse called Sharon. She was fantastic, got a chair, sorted parking out with security and in we went.
Attention was immediate, with doctors and nurses all over the place running bloods etc. A good examination as well as her appointment. She has been sent home now thankfully as her hb and bp are both stable.

This is only a quick entry as she has asked for a burger from the shop for lunch so I'm writing this while waiting lol.

Main thing is she is ok, and been told to hydrate herself properly, and advise of any issues. Next problem is keeping an eye on her all the time, hmmm.

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Panic, worry, or just a little concerned.

Well I guess at the moment its just a little concerned about how mum is. My sister is round there at the moment, but mum has been grumpy and slow moving all morning. She has been eating which is a good thing, but insists she now cant eat many things (again). Cant eat her usual crackers as her mouth is sore, cant drink orange juice for the same reason. So when I left her she was trying a spag bol (at 11am lol)

A friend just suggested getting some CCTV around the house so I can see what is going on with the house, security and safety wise. Added bonus to this is I can keep an eye on the dogs at the same time. So kills 2 birds with one stone. Lets see what mum's opinion of that is. If I tell her its just for watching the dogs, im sure she will say less about it.
I will look into the cost of installing it and maybe sourcing it over the weekend. (watch this space)

In other news.....
Im getting on with the Android better than expected and have decided to keep it for the second line. It adds a bit of sparkle, while the Blackberry continues to do the more practical side of things, and keep me in touch with the world. I can see the appeal of the iPhone now, with the fun and trick apps that are available. Although their appeal is short lived.

Its been an eternity.

Or at least it seems like it has been, since I last wrote anything here. In reality, I missed one day lol. How you begin to depend on routine for stability in your daily life eh. Shocking.

Anyway, a quick catch up on everything. Im not sure where to start. Oh I know, mum.
Yesterday, being Monday, the doctors started doing their rounds again, and started looking at what else could be causing mums problems. There is still an internal bleed, and she up until Sunday evening was still having tranfusions. Which I am assuming as they have not found the "leak" yet, must continue until thats resolved.
So you can imagine my suprise when she text to say they were letting her go. A trip to the hospital and a chat with the nurses last night confirmed this, and she was discharged, pending further appointments for investigation. Now call me daft or stupid, but if she is still losing blood, and has been getting topped up every day or 2, then what happens now she is at home, and how long til she needs to go back in for a top up?

The next stage of the investigation is a colonoscopy, but she has to wait to be sent an appointment for that, so I have no idea when that is at all. She does however have an Oncology appointment at Guys tomorrow. Although it remains to be seen if she actually goes or not.

Me on the other hand. Im on a bit of a slippery slope at the moment if the truth be told. Been here before, and am clinging on for dear life right now.
Depression or becoming very introvert is a regular side effect for me when going through something like this, and its that I am fighting right now. Taking a look from the outside I am noticing myself wanting to do less and less, and just looking for the easy ways out.
Yesterday evening was spent listening out for mum, making sure there were no loud thumps, making sure I could hear her cough from time to time, and that she was not calling out for me. Today will be spent torturing myself, wondering if she is ok while I am at work. And so the routine will continue.

I am desperate to get some of my own routine back now, like gym for one. I have a plan to get in better shape and intend on sticking to it, or at least getting back on track with it. Although at the moment I am desperatly lacking the enthusiasm to even pack a bag for the gym, let alone go there. So this week I am trying to establish an early rise routine, walking the dogs early, leaving me time for the gym with no excuses. If I stick to it til Mon, then I can start back at the gym on Mon too. Fingers crossed for me.

Right, time for a breather, might be back later with more steam to blow off.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Brief update

Just had to pop to the hospital to see mum. She has been moved to a general ward for further studies.
She decided to go walk about against their advice because as she says "I can't take this" apparently being "stuck" in a hospital where you are constantly being topped up with blood and kept alive is a bit of a chore.

Grrr sometimes it makes me pretty angry listening to her moaning about the staff, the treatment, the food, the bed, and anything else she can moan about.

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Pictures of the roadtrip

The dash at the end, as well as a couple of pics of the bay.

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A little update from me.

Right, mum first.
She is now in a stable condition, and following her endoscopy they have NOT found where the bleed is coming from. Thankfully though they are keeping her topped up with blood, with 2-3 units a day being pumped in to keep her running. She is miserable and just wants to be at home. She is trying to block out what is going on, for the sake of complaining and saying she wants to go home.
Other than that, she is behaving in the hospital, and back to eating again, which she is thankful for.

All that said, as I type, mum has just text to say she cant take it there anymore, and wants some clothes so she can just come home. So not really thinking too straight or paying much attention to what is going on with her. Really does not seem to grasp what is going on inside.

However... Yesterday I jumped in the car in the morning and drove up to Wales to see my aunt.
4 hours to get there thanks to roadworks etc. But well worth the drive. Arriving in the town was really quite emotional, and it took a while to compose myself. So I took some time, taking in the views from the seafront (Which I will post soon)
On arriving at my aunts house, I took a couple of minutes to get myself together, and message a few people to say I was there. But noticed my aunt was already looking out of the window at the car, curiously.
When I finally knocked, the greeting was very warm, and the hug alone made the trip more than worth it. We had a long chat and discussed many things, from health to current affairs lol. And I plan to return as soon as I can to see her again.
The drive home was a bloody nightmare, taking about 5 1/2 hours in total. Pulling up on the drive, the total distance was about 502 miles. And worth every inch.

The road ahead. With the recent text from mum it is obvious that she is getting twitchy and wants to be out of there as soon as possible. I can see some problems unfolding from this, but I am not saying a word, and will see how things pan out.
Hopefully she will hang in there, and let them do the investigations and find out what is going on inside before trying to escape the ward. While I can understand its boring, frustrating and a little upsetting, I dont think that coming home and bleeding to death is really the answer. With her current blood loss she would be lucky to stay alive for 24 hours.

Just a footnote to this entry, not a lot of detail, but blogs are for venting right?
Yesterday I felt a little like a delivery courier or something. Dropping something off in Wales, but collecting something else to bring back with me that I was not expecting. Thrown a bit of a spanner in the mental works, but nothing that cant be sorted out. Im sure more detail will follow in time. But a strange twist none the less.

New kid on the block

Well, its here, the MotoDEXT aka the MotoCLIQ.
First impressions are good, like the function of it, not too keen on the build though. Heavy and wobbly too.
The MotoBLUR is great for just keeping an eye on social network sites.

Slowly getting used to it and setting up its functionality. Willing to give it a chance and settle with it, which is a different story to the other touch screen phones I have used in the past.

More to follow.

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Friday, March 12, 2010

The morning after.

Strange night sleep, no sounds of coughing or choking all night. In fact a silent house apart from the sounds of the dogs moving around in the hallway, clippity clop of their claws on the boards. Quite theraputic, strangely.

Anyway, no news from the hospital at this point, which over night is a good thing.
What we do no so far is as follows.
Yesterday afternoon after saying she could not make a GP appointment as she felt to weak, she began convulsing. Thankfully due to some cunning thinking there were 3 of us there. I called the ambulance while Paula and Dave (sister and her BF) got mum on the floor into recovery and took care of her. Sister did well on this occasion, with a little guidance/interferance from me.

During the fitting she discharged a large amount of blood. 4 EMT's got her stable and slightly responsive again, and got her into the ambulance, ran some ECG's and then whisked her off to Lewisham Hospital. I followed shortly after. Why didnt I go with her? Well simple, ambulances are small and I have a car. There were 2 EMT's in the back with her, so driving and not being in the way was the right choice.

I arrived about 20 mins behind the ambulance, knowing they would need to work on her anyway, and I would not be allowed in. On my arrival I was shown through to the Family Room, and asked to wait for the doctor. For a moment I really thought that was it, and she was gone. No sense of panic or distress at that point, but I think I have a barrier up at the moment and am trying not to let things get to me. But I KNOW deep inside there is a lot of anguish and upset screaming to get out. Just got to find the right time for it.

After about 10 mins one of the doctors came out and advised me of her condition, what had happened, and what their plans were. I am very grateful for when you are given a clear picture rather than a pretty one.

The diagnosis was quite simple, she had collapsed/fitted due to quite a severe loss of blood. On researching it, it appears a 30-40% loss of blood will cause such symptoms. And for that reason she has undergone a tranfusion of 4 units over night to try and top her up a bit, and get her in a better state. The next issue is to find the bleed. This is where is could be simple or complex. The doctor says he feels its probably in the stomach area, and they will so xrays, scans and hopefully an endoscopic procedure later today to locate the bleed and see about resolving it.
As with any internal bleeding, its not always as simple as that, so this chapter is far from over.
Her BP reflects the loss of blood being down around 90/55 but should improve as more blood enters the system.

The next question is how long has it been going on, and what harm as it done. Bleed site infected etc. The other issue is, she has been taking Warfarin for a year or so now to thin the blood due to DVT's. However now they have has to counteract this due to the bleed, so the DVT risk rises again for a while. Another "damned if you do...." moment.

She said last night while still in resuscitation "I wish this was it, I wish I had just died" which is quite a hard thing to hear your mother say. On the flip side, for all the time she has been feeling weak and tired, a lot of it has been caused by this. So there is a possibility that this is not it for her at all, and she will feel a damn sight better once she has some blood in her veins and colour in her cheeks.

I shall update as I know more. Will be speaking to the hospital, and paying a visit this morning just as soon as we know its ok to do so.

And if you were wondering about the last dilemma.... Well its still unresolved and undecided, but last night sure brought the true strength of the situation to home, and made that decision even more important now. Hoping mum will be in a fit enough state to discuss this later, without stressing her too much. My sister wants mums blessing before telling Joan about it, but appreciates she needs to know soon.

In other news...
Trivial I know but hey, its a blog right!
Diet was paused last night, wanted food in my to deal with stress etc, so grabbed some grilled chicken and chips. I shall repent!
And also the new phone arrives at work today. Trying out the Android system with a MotoDEXT

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Well here we go. Just blowing off a few seconds of steam while the paramedic techs take care of mum.

She collapsed just after I got home, going into convulsions, and stopping breathing for a short while.

Thank you to London Ambulance for an amazing response and their guidance on the phone.
Just having ECG's etc run at the mo to see which hospital she will be taken to.
Updates to follow.

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Damned if you do......

....damned if you don't. That's the saying right?
Well it applies to me very well right now, as I sit here in the middle of one of the biggest dilemma's of my life.

A short version of a long story for you.
There were once 3 sisters, Joan, Mary and Ann (mum to me). All born in Wales, Ann moved to London when she was young and settled down. Mary and Joan stayed in Wales. Joan married, Mary settled down with a friend, and Ann married and had kids (that's me +1)
Ann and the kids would visit her sisters twice a year, and spend time with both families. One year and argument broke out between Mary and Joan and they stopped talking. Some 8-10 years later, still having not spoken (on Mary's wishes) Mary's life long friend passed away from cancer. Peggy (my assumed aunt) was all Mary had, so Joan reached out to her and they connected again.

A few years later Mary married finally, but soon became ill. As her and Joan lived close, Mary told Joan she was ill, but asked her not to tell Ann as she was far away, had kids, and would worry etc. Mary soon passed away too, from cancer. Ann found out that Joan had held out on her, and until this day, although they still speak, it is a form of silent resentment from Ann towards Joan.

Now the big twist. Ann (my mum) is now terminally ill with cancer, and still over 200 miles away from her now aging sister. She was diagnosed 2 years ago, but has still not told Joan that she is ill. She says she does not want to worry Joan with it, as she is old and it would put pressure on her. But when you nag about her seeing Joan she admits that she does not see why she should tell Joan, as Joan never told her about Mary. The problem with that is, its a vicious circle.. Mary swore Joan to secrecy about her illness, Ann resents Joan for keeping this secret. Now Ann (mum) wants me to keep the secret, which leaves only me (and my sister) to take the full brunt of the resentment, and upset from Joan for not being told her sister was dying.

Told you it was complex!

So, if I tell Joan, I have "betrayed" my mothers confidence, and if I don't, I will have held out on Joan's only hope to see her dying sister, for the first time in about 10 years I might add!

Personally I am swaying towards telling Joan. Its always seemed the morally right thing to do, I think my mum really needs to talk about this with someone else, and the truth of the matter is that Joan is quite possibly too old and frail to make the trip to London to see mum now anyway. Although I would dearly love it if she could.

Mum of course will worry about the state of the house, how Joan might "judge" her etc before finally realising its her frickin sister, and she needs to do this.

The next awkward decision is how to do this! In person is the only way really. And I would have to be prepared in case Joan wanted to travel down, so would have to take a spacious car with me for her comfort. Dear oh dear, nothing is simple eh.

Anyway, that's my dilemma for the day. Makes the rest of the day quite pale and boring in comparison.

Thanks for reading, and have a great day, sorry for the depressing tones.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A day of mixed emotions.

Well the day started out early, with me having to be somewhere first thing for an "exam". Nope, for once I don't mean an examination, I mean an exam, a test. Which I am pleased to say I passed, with a rather good score if I do say so myself. Was all a bit of a last minute panic as I have been a bit short of time recently, so revision suffered, but in the end it all worked out.

So by 10am (ish) I was all done and headed home.

Got home, checked online to see if the payment to AMEX was finally through, and I'm pleased to say it was, so we know what that means. Holiday booking time. I'm jumping forwards a bit there.

While getting ready for work I did my morning weigh in, and am pleased to announce that the official weight of the day is 233.6lbs. So still dropping nicely, making the effort all the more worth it. I shall continue on the plan I have worked out, and hope to be sub 230 by the end of the weekend. No eating out for me this week eh!

So the time came to go to work, so I popped into the kitchen to say hi and bye to mum. While I was there she asked me if I knew how long the assignment of tenancy would take. I explained it would be around 42 days as the man had told me. She grimaced at that and said "I'm not sure if I will be around that long", then went on to explain in simple terms that she things she will die soon. Always a nice thing to hear before you leave someone eh...... NOT !

Later this evening she explained that she has started bleeding, which I think she feels is a cancer internally bleeding, which is coming out through the bowel. Naturally I will be getting this checked out asap at the morning. Bleeding for her is bad (well it is for anyone) as she is on Warfarin.

Needless to say this news has knocked me a little bit, and suddenly my mind is racing again, the things that are going to happen, what could happen etc. But I wont dwell on that right now.

In other news today, I have finally got a delivery date from Dell for the new laptop mini, which is 26th march. I have managed to book our flights for Florida, so that's all on track (cheapest option, as it gives more flexibility on the rest of the trip) and after calling Orange to disconnect one of my mobile phones, ended up extending the contract, and replacing the handset with a MotoDEXT. Orange of course have been very generous with the tariff and handset etc. So I will get my first taste of Android on Friday.

Right that's me for now, all a bit unstructured I know, but just jotting rather than blogging today.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnd breathe...

..or not as in my mums case right now.
I have taken a day off today to try and finally start tackling this whole hospital/doctor thing with mum, and rather than rushing at her, and having a heated conversation with limited time, I can just talk, nicely with her about it and try and talk her round to at least trying to tackle the breathing thing.

Granted, now she has a cold too, its going to mask some of the underlying issues for the time being. But ultimately she needs to get seen by someone, or the future is bleak right now.
I have come to terms with and accepted her wish to let the cancer run its course. I have spoken to the doctors and have an idea of what to expect as that gets worse, and have accepted that. But the bit I have not signed up for just yet is the struggling to breathe, fighting for air, and total immobility caused by this "oh I give up" attitude towards her breathing.

As I write this she is in the kitchen, smoking and choking away with the little air she can get into her lungs, if that's not giving up, I don't know what is. Because of this, spending time with her is becoming difficult. Trying to get her out for lunch or other such simple things for her to enjoy are just impossible now.

So the plan, well I don't actually have one. I want her to see a GP, but at the same time I would really like her to get referred to the hospital again, and maybe a short stay there to get some treatment, nebulisers, medication she cant avoid, and cut down on the smoking for now. This is honestly worse than knowing she has a terminal illness. Watching her just wasting away is heartbreaking to say the least.

Also today, between bouts with mother, I have to get to the housing office too, to get the paperwork sorted out for the house. Get some shopping in for mum as she appears to have run out of all kinds of food, not that she eats of course, it all tastes so foul and she can eat a thing.... yeah right!
The dogs will need their morning walk too, which today I think will have music playing through headphones too. Its strange, as much as I love being out with the dogs, in the fresh air, getting the heart going.... It drives me mad! Why? Simple, all that time to think, and I spend an hour and a half just stewing about stuff, winding myself up, running scenario's through my head, arguing with people in my head. Music silences the voices lol.

Right, I'm ready for battle..... let battle commence.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Well something went wrong, kinda!

Got home this evening, and the first thing mother said as I walked through the door was "can you call the hospital and cancel my appointment"..... Suprise, she does not feel well enough to go.
OK Its sort of valid, she has a streaming cold, and does not feel she should be in there with other ill people. But at the same time its the blood test clinic, to check her blood is clotting ok with her Warfarin. So quite important.

I had suggested I would take her there, and we could wait out of the way from the waiting room til its her turn, but then the story changed, it wasnt about the other people, she is just to ill to go there at all, as she cant move about without becoming breathless.

On making suggestions of alternative arrangements, I was just read the riot act, and on daring to ask again when her appointment was, on this occasion so I knew when to call to cancel, I had my head blown off by a booming scream of "im too ill to go" So with that I called it a night.
A little selfish I know but with that last bit my stress levels were going through the roof, and I would much rather not have a full blown arguement with her about it.

So im hoping to take a day off work tomorrow, get the hospital sorted out, get her back down to the GP or even A&E to get checked out properly. Something tells me she will be getting admitted to hospital some time soon the way her breathing is going. And without the ability to talk to her about it and get through to her that she is making herself worse, she is unlikely to get herself out of this situation.

So damn frustrating watching someone you love run themselves into the ground like this. Cancer aside, I still dont quite grasp how someone can give up like this, and exist in such a state of suffering when help in on hand.

Is expecting something to go wrong shortly.

Why? Simple really, because something good just happened, so surely it will balance itself out.

Over the weekend I ordered a new laptop from Dell. After much decision making I decided on a mid level spec for £379, complete with Windows 7.
I did the whole online deposit thing, and financed it as there was a good offer on, but didnt get an email confirmation.

This afternoon I have been on chat to Dell to confirm all was well. Unfortunatly, being stupid I didnt make a record of the order number, so the agent had to search for me. I gave him all the info I could, price, spec, etc and he came back to me to say he had found the order, but it was showing up as £359 not £379. On checking my basket, sure enough, there it was for £359. Not one to argue I went ahead with the order.
On looking closer I noticed they were also now offering a free colour cover upgrade too, so asked the agent if I could add this also.... Again I could.

So yesterday it was £379, today £359, and a free £35 alpine white cover for it.

So................ whats gonna go wrong now?

New week, new challenges etc

Blah blah blah and all that, you know how all the optimistic saying go right?

OK so a rather hectic weekend, but a fun one too, and one that involved lots of eating. Or a darn sight more than I did for the week.
Friday saw an extra large chicken shish kebab for dinner (grilled chicken) Saturday saw Nando's, more grilled chicken, but this time with chips and garlic bread, as well as some chocolate and popcorn in the cinema, and buckets of Diet Pepsi. Sunday was to be the day of rest for my stomach, but with such a lovely day we decided to go out for lunch. That resulted in chicken wings for starters, grilled chicken and chips for main, and apple pie and custard for dessert (and loads more Pepsi Max). So all in all my stomach had a full load to contend with.

This morning I was expecting a pound or 2 extra on the scales, but guess what..... 0.6 of a pound less. So official Monday morning weigh in is 235.4lbs. Back on the shakes immediately and for the remainder of the week now. Gym is postponed as I have a few things I need to do this week and want to get them out of the way before I can be 100% focused and committed to returning to the gym.

This morning I have been up early, walked and fed the dogs, run a few errands, and am getting ready to pay off my last outstanding debt, which is a nice feeling. I will also be running up more debt just as soon as AMEX recognise my payment to them and credit my account with the 2k I gave them.

On the downside, on chatting to mum just now, it appears she has cancelled a doctors appointment as she is "too ill" to go again. Still not grasping the concept of me taking her there obviously. So that has led to a heated discussion and setting her straight that its go there, or they come here, which she will hate even more. Just wish we could overcome this whole messing about and avoiding doctors thing.

Right, so like I say, busy week ahead, a few important things I need to get done, so hopefully a good week and will have something to smile about by the weekend. In fact maybe a few things.

Here's to a good week for all.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Fun Sunny Sunday

Well, its a lovely day outside, enough to lift most peoples spirits anyway.
Plan was after taking the dogs for a lovely long walk this morning, was to take mum for lunch. Unfortunately she is not feeling up to it, so its just me and Chantal off to the pub for lunch instead.
Eating again, surely not you say! Well its ok, my weight has remained stable over the weekend, even though I filled my face with chips, garlic bread, quality street and popcorn last night, so that's a good thing. Last food will be this meal though, then back to the food packs.

Feeling quite full of energy at the moment, and hoping to pay a visit to the gym in the morning also, after walking the dogs, so lets see how that plan all works out for me lol.

In other news..... why do some credit card companies take SO long to credit your account after you make a payment. Orange credited my account as soon as the payment was made, AMEX however still have not, which is quite annoying as I want to book my flights on the card asap.

Right off to eat.............................. yes Ellie, that's right, CHICKEN! :op

Have a lovely day.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Fun fun fun!

Well its always nice to relax and kick back with friends, so tonight was a rather welcome break.
This evening was spent with Clive, Caroline, Noel, Marsha and Chantal at Nando's and then the cinema. The film of choice was Alice In Wonderland in 3D IMAX.

Views on the film... "mixed"
An amazing adaptation of the original, and probably the closest depiction of it true story since its conception.
The characters are played very well. Not the most impressive role Johnny Depp has done, but he carries it off well. The film takes a long time to get into, but by mid way, like Alice you are immersed in "Wonderland". It kept me entertained, and I thought it was worth seeing.

As usual we chose to watch the film in The Gallery, for that added experience.

So, that was fun, and pigging out at Nando's was cool too :)

Off to bed now, thanks everyone for a cool night.

Remove and reflect

Once in a while it helps you remove yourself from your boots, take a step back, and reflect. Take stock of what you have, and realise that life ain't so bad after all.
We all manage to immerse ourselves so deeply in our world, our lifestyle and life within our own little bubble. But because of this we fail to see the bigger picture.

All around us is pain, suffering, and people struggling to achieve the most basic things in life. I'm not talking about the 3rd world, war torn nations etc, I'm talking about here, the UK, London. Poverty, addictions, pain and suffering from all causes.

I moan a lot about "not got enough money for this" but in reality I live a pretty OK lifestyle. 2 holidays a year.... my mum is 72 and never left the UK, not even France! Only an x" TV, only Y spec PC and so on. Because these are all things I take for granted, that I am entitled to, deserving of, and should have in my life.
Then there is health, arm ache here, operation there, moan, moan, moan. But then turn and look at my mum going through hell right now. She waited to tell me about her cancer until after my first operation because she didn't want to upset me during recovery from the op!

OK its all getting a bit deeper than I planned here, so stepping back a little. What I am trying to get across is for every misfortune you have in your life, there will be 1,000 others out there going through far worse. Your PC crashed? Lots of people would love to have a PC, never mind if it crashes. Your car running rough? The thought of independent transport for some is a fantasy.

Be grateful for whatever life gives you. We are all blessed with life itself, that's a damn good start. Life is full of challenges, but that's what makes it exciting and worth living. To face and overcome issue, to learn and to educate others with your knowledge.

So in brief... when you are under it, feeling down, unfortunate etc. Take a step back from the situation, and reflect on how bad the situation REALLY is. Drop the drama, and take it at face values.

Right I'm off to walk the dogs and hug a few trees, have a good weekend.

Friday, March 5, 2010

I just thought I would say.....

Seeing as it is a nice day, and im feeling good about the weekend, and the road ahead now I thought it was time to reflect a little, so here goes.

The last couple of years have been a bit of a challenge to say the least, with ill health, surgery, family drama, and some big changes in my social life and online persona. Many changes have happened, and tidal waves of emotions have washed over my life on more than one occasion. But you know what... im still here, still ready to take whatever life can throw, and ready to move onwards and upwards.

The next year or 2 will see some big changes in my life, lifstyle will be a big one, but I remain confident I can deal with this.
Why so confident? Quite simple really... Friends.

So I post this to say thank you to my closest and dearest friends who have been there for me through thick and thin. Stood by me at desperate times, and shown concern when all falls quiet. It is people like you who make the world a better place, and I am thankful and grateful to be blessed with such people in my life.

Thats my deep and meaningful done for another decade now.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The cravings have started.

Ok so its the end of day 4 of the diet. First up I have to say I have not been as strict as I could have been, and certainly not as strict as last time.
In the evenings I have been indulging on a tin of tuna, and a couple of sneaky biscuits.
Its not as bad as it sounds, the loss is still constant, so the diet is working. Just right now with everything going on, I have to be on my A game.
I will be interested to see what the loss is by tomorrow, and if there is another loss on today. Today's loss was only half a pound, but based on a week that's 3.5lb average, which isn't bad at all.
Tomorrow will tell.

Right I have had a long day, so that's me done. Fingers crossed the morning will bring another small weight loss, and hopefully that bloody cheque will be cleared too!

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So the doctor says......

Oooooooooooook this is how it goes.

Finally got her to the hospital, parked as close to the dept as possible for her, only to find they have moved it lol. Sister helped her there while I got parked properly and not pay extortionate rates for parking.
Lovely new department, in the new wing, so no more dark broom closet anymore.

Running a bit behind, but got seen within an hour of the original appointment time. Me and my sister waited while she saw the doctor, then when she came out, I popped in. I was welcomed by the doctor and specialist nurse who sat me down and filled me in on the whole matter. Mum had apparently said no to me sitting in previously.
Suprisingly on the journey home she was 100% straight about almost everything said, which was pleasent.

So, the prognosis, outcome, road ahead.
The right side has become very large now, and radiotherapy is not considered a viable option. Chemo "may" have a partial effect, but the preferred treatment is now surgery only. HOWEVER, her COPD is in the way of that, with her breathing being considered borderline too bad for general anaesthetic, so she has to have a complete medical inc scans, xrays etc to see if she is fit enough to even be considered for surgery... not that she has accepted having surgery, but they are thinking ahead.

Unfortunatly, due to the size of the lump now, it would be a more intrusive surgery, with the breast being removed, and her requiring a skin graft to cover it up and help it heal. Given that she was against a simple lump being taken out, I cant see her going for this at all. Myself, the doctor and the nurse are all in agreement that she has made a very rational decision to let the cancer take its course, and to see it to the end with no further treatment. So I am grateful to the doctor for continuing to pursue the surgery route even though its an outside chance.

The COPD is what is causing all her main symptoms at the moment, for which she needs to go back to the GP, so I am in the middle of trying to get that sorted out for her too. Once again, unfortunatly she is unlikely to take on board much of what they say or give her, so the condition will get worse. Amazingly with full blown cancer, its the COPD making life awkward for her now. So hopefully we can get some help for her there, and make life a little better for her, a little mobility and freedom. But the harsh reality is, she is going to need to be watched much closer again now, with the risk of her passing out again.

So the road I forsee is as follows.
Refusal of any other treatments, and letting the cancer take its course.
Supervision from the hospital, and pain meds given to make things comfortable.
Reluctance to get anything done about the COPD
Breathing getting worse and worse.

Hopefully she is "friends" with the doctor again now, and will continue to go there and get help from them, inc pain relief.

Next appointment has been set for within a couple of weeks time, to go to Guys to see the specialist there. Updates to follow.

Phew that was close

An hour or so ago I passed mum in the hall way and she informed me she was not going.
I took 5 and walked the dogs to get my head together, then came home for a "chat" with her. On getting home I noticed she has been smoking, made a coffee, and had a bath, but is too weak to go hospital.... I think not!

Just had a gentle heart to heart with her, and explained I am not going to pressure her into treatment etc, I just want her safe. She followed this by telling me she almost passed out getting out of the bath... So my worrys are now justified.

Needless to say she is just getting ready (with my sister) to go to the hospital.

Back on track

Just a quick lazy entry.

In a bit of a muddle and a rush right now so can't get on the PC, so thought I would just add this via the Berry.

The good news is, after a stern chat last night, and assurances that she won't have to walk far at the hospital, mum has agreed to go to her Oncology appointment at Lewisham today. My sister has even decided to join us this time too.

Just got a bit of a manic morning planning dogs, breakfast and transport to the hospital, so I am off for now.

Back later with "what the doctor said"

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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I feel.......alive.

Well thats about the only feeling I can really confirm at the moment, amongst the confusion and upset with mum, I can honestly confirm I definatly feel "alive"

Positives of the day, diet going well, weigh loss is constant (at the mo, it tails off in a bit) feeling awake and ready to go, no headache, half way through the week, and not feeling hungry lol.

Negatives, mum is still being a PITA about the hospital, mum still not very well, and I have not booked an appointment with her GP now because of the fuss she made yesterday (is this me getting weak?) Got to go to work in a while, and I have a really itchy armpit!

So, thats whats running through my mind at the moment, so maybe a little more detail and factual stuff eh.

Diet is going well, no problems with hunger yet. I have been having a tin of tuna in the evenings just to give the stomach something solid to chew over. And of course one of the meal packs a day has been a bar. Not going down that road again of trying to get my digestive system working again lol. Total loss since Monday is 8lb and a bit. 246.6 down to 238.4 Main thing for me is reaching a milestone quickly, it gives me a little drive.
The bulk of the weightloss is going to be the last of the solid foods exiting the body, after that it will slow down a little, but hopefully still be recordable daily. It I can get into the high 220's by the end of next week I will feel I am achieving something and remain driven. So lets see how that carries on.

Mum.... well she has decided she is not going to her appointment, but that is still open to negotiation tonight. If she does not want treatment, thats fine. But she has to at least know what the hell is going on inside her body. So at least there can be some forward planning, and knowledge for me and my sister to know whats going on, and what to expect to happen health wise. Fingers crossed she will see sense on that one.

In other news....
It is my nephews 11th birthday today, so Happy Birthday Calum.

Oh and finally.... why do cheques take SO long to clear when you are waiting on the cash!
OK so by all accounts its not a REALLY long time, paid in on Saturday, so 3 working days. But I am sure other cheques clear faster when you are not needing the money for something else.
Come on Natwest, thats all my money and I need to spend it all by the end of the week!
Worst part is, after finding "cheap" flights for the holiday this year, they are resting on this cheque too. No cash, no booking..... no booking, the price could rise (and with my luck WILL)

Im out, foodpack and work for me.
Make today a good one.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Feeling a little pi**ed off right now.

Having tried to avoid mentioning mums hospital appointment to her, its just been brought to her attention. Immediatly the defenses have started, and she has text a few times to say if she feels this ill on Thursday she is not going.

Now correct me if I am wrong, but are doctors not there to make people better. So if you are ill, you go and see a doctor....right?
So here we have the current situation. She is really tired and has no energy, her COPD is causing her problems so she cant breathe very well right now, and of course her cancer is coming back, so really she needs to see the Oncologist asap to get it all assessed and dealt with. However BECAUSE she is not feeling well she says she cant go.

Is it just me that thinks that all a bit mixed up. I mean its not like she has to walk or use public transport to go to the doctors or hospital. I will be taking her, and going in with her, so she wont be alone, or left to struggle from office to office.

I have said before I know, but have to say it again. I cannot understand, or relate to someone being ill but using that as a reason/excuse NOT to see the doctors. I understand that she is afraid of what they are going to tell her, and probably does not want to know if there is a finite amount of time left etc. I can definatly relate to not liking being prodded and poked, but at the end of it all there is one common goal.... Feeling better!

Surely regardless of what she wants the outcome to be, if she wants to fight the cancer or not, her main consideration should be quality of life, and comfort. In all honesty thats all I want her to have. I respect her choice, and if chemo and other treatments are not wanted, then I stand by her and will remain there.

However.... this is where I am coming from.
Its is upsetting to see someone just lay back and give up on life, especially one of your parents. It is frustrating to know there is help on hand, pain relief, and other things to make the last months/years comfortable, but to see the person refuse it. Possibly through not understanding what is available, possibly through fear of what they may find out.
And the part that tears me up, is the anger I feel deep inside, at myself for allowing this to go on. I cant find peace with myself right now, because of the conflicts within. Am I being weak for standing by and watching this happen? Am I pushing too hard and forcing her to take treatments she does not want? Its all rather confusing for me right now, and for that reason, I am at war with myself within.

Ketosis sucks! Freakin headaches.

Well, I knew it was coming, just not so soon. With abstainaince comes ketosis, with ketosis comes headaches (for a few days anyway) Its the body missing its caffine, balancing its hydration levels and wondering where the hell all the food went!

So as the food exits the body, and is not replaced by anything, the weight drops quite rapidly for a couple of days. Yesterday morning I was 246.6lbs, this morning, 24 hours later, I was 241.0lbs, quite a drop. But like I say, thats not actual weight loss as such, more a good old clearout (sorry about that description)

Im hoping over the coming days/weeks the loss will be constant, and I can count down the milestones as before. First one coming soon, im hoping by Thursday I can be sub 240's and it will be 23*lbs :) I will of course be back to tell all soon.

The downside is when I woke this morning to a nasty headache, which needed sleeping off. Naturally I popped a couple of headache tablets and got back in bed, which has had a knock on effect with my routine for the day. Getting up an hour and a half later, meant the dogs had to be patient, and I had to rush (no shortcuts taken though)

Fingers crossed that will be the only headache I get in this process, but who knows. Im certainly staying well hydrated with 6-8 litres consumed with ease per day.

Now on to mum. Still not very well, spending most of the day in bed recently, and quite sure that she is not going to see any doctors any time soon. Tomorrow I will book her an appointment to see the GP for Thursday afternoon after the Oncology appointment in the morning. Get it all out of the way in one hit.
I have avoided the subject with her for now, as I dont want an arguement rolling on for days and days about it, nor feed her ideas that she can plan against. Im sure if I mention hospital or doctors now, she will become incredibly ill and unable to talk let alone see a doctor. I am expecting a bout of severe deafness to hit as soon as we get ready to go to the hospital.

Right, running late, so socks on and off to work.

Have a good day all.

Monday, March 1, 2010

There is always somthing!

Bah, that scuppered my plan slightly. I thought I had some old foodpacks let, but turns out all I have is Veggie Soup, which is ok, but I can only really stomach one a day lol.
So eBay is my friend, and I have ordered a weeks worth of foodpacks, and can only hope they arrive soon, so I can get in the flow of things. In the meantime I need a new blender too, my old one is destroyed now. (cant use VLCD foodpacks without a blender!)

So its a Slim Fast bar for breakfast, followed by whatever I can pick up in Sainsburys on the way to work for lunch and dinner.

On the plus side, the dogs have had a nice walk this morning, and the weather was rather nice too.

In other news.......
Following mums decision on Saturday to stop taking her medication, guess what. Yup thats right, she is feeling ill again now.
Insistant that she is NOT going back to the doctors to discuss alternative medication (I beg to differ), I get the feeling there is a well thought out plan in amongst this.

One minute she will be gasping, saying how bad her breathing is, the next she is gassing on the phone to her sister with no problems. Which kind of indicates she is laying it on a little thick at times. Her conversations with the doctor on the phone are the same, to the receptionist she can talk normally, as soon as the doc is on the line is wheeze and gasp time.

Anyway, the plan I speak of..... She has an Oncology appointment on Thursday, and I get the feeling her health will fail just enough for her to say she cant make the appointment. Which of course is rubbish as I will carry here there if I have to. But I get the impression she is gonna try it. Why? Simple, she will be seeing the doctor who she saw originally who made the cancer diagnosis, and who she now intensly dislikes.

Whatever the case, she WILL be making her Oncology appointment on Thursday, and she WILL be going back to see the GP regarding alternative meds for her breathing etc. Watch this space.

A new dawn...

Some rubbish like that anyway, to quote a song....
"Its a new dawn, its a new day, its a new life for me"
Maybe not quite that serious, but today marks an important day for me, time for a little change.

Finally on track in the brain department, I can start to take care of other matters like my incredible increasing weight for 1. Since I realised it was really starting to pile on I kind of gave up, and over did it slightly. But today that all changes.

The solution... Protikee. Similar to LighterLife, just half the price and no meetings. It worked before and it will work again im sure. Now that I can think straight, hopefully I can muster up some willpower too.

Right so the first stage of any diet should begin like this... My name is Michael Snasdell and I know I have a weight problem. Currently 246lb, which is 3 stone heavier than I ended my diet on 2 years ago. But given what has been going on, and what the predictions were, its not so bad. So today it all begins. Yesterday I had a blowout of food, today I start with nothing.

I am going to see about doing a couple of weeks of full abstainance, and see where I go with that. Not going to be easy as life is a little more active and hectic than it was first time round, but im gonna give it a damn good go.
So wish me luck, here goes nothing.