Thursday, 4 May 2017

Progress and set-backs

The trip to Norwich for MWNN's cataract operation was beset with difficulties. The actual op. was very successful, and MWNN is planning a re-run on the other eye soon.

One of the problems we encountered was the location of our accommodation for the four-day trip.

It was very centrally located, right next to the Cathedral, where there was no long-term parking, even with a visitor's permit. To be fair, the nearest multi-story car-park was a mere 3 minutes walk from the house; but the weather wasn't kind - it rained - a lot.

Add to that the regular need to negotiate Norwich's one-way-system to get to the hospital, less than friendly local motorists, and a the Bint on the Sat Nav not being up-to-date with the local restrictions, and stress levels rose every time.

On our arrival, I discovered the local 'park' in which Ron could be exercised. James Stuart Garden was literally round the corner, in the next street.

The path leads from the main entrance gate to a circular walk around the main planting area. Just to the left, is a side gate, hidden in a very ancient yew hedge.

One entering, the scent of bluebells soothes frayed nerves, and the areas left un-mowed are filling with wild flowers.

I told MWNN about this convenient area, which he used later that day, for Ron's final outing.

It's very easy to find because of the beautiful entrance porch.

MWNN ventured further afield later in the week, and found the Cathedral Close.

There's no car parking (except for residents) so the chance of visiting the Cathedral and leaving Ron in the car, were nil.

On the final morning of the trip, I walked Ron to the Cathdral Close, taking the pedestrian route, along Horse Fair Loke, which forms part of the (gated) Riverside Walk.

View from the corner, approaching the Close.

By the morning after the op., MWNN reported that his vision was 20/20. He was told not to drive for a few days, but, after I confessed to having a vertigo attack while waiting for him in the hospital car park, he insisted on driving the following day.

Vertigo was just the tip of the iceberg. I'd been nursing a painful left shoulder for days before the Norwich trip. It was easing off as we travelled to Norwich. By the following day, it had swapped shoulders and the pain grew worse throughout the trip. Breathing in was painful as were certain movements. I put it down to a bad sleeping position and a very soggy bed in the Cathedral Street house.

By the time we arrived home, the pain was quite bad and I felt absoultely shattered. Sleeping was virtually impossible, but I still put it down to a muscle problem and didn't think of taking my blood pressure until Bank Holiday Monday. It was very high. Only a few weeks ago I had thought of asking to taper off the BP medication.

I hate taking medication, specifically long-term for chronic conditions. 

I looked up my old LJ Blog to find the period during which I was diagnosed with high blood pressure (235/113). It was during the long hot summer of 2003. The heat was killing people by the thousands in France, and we were aboard a narrowboat, where temperatures soared to over 40 degrees.

I managed to get an appointment with my GP early on Tuesday morning. The 'muscle' pain, was pleurisy (should have suspected when both lungs were involved), probably the result of the head colds and sinus infections. The BP was high, but falling, and was probably the result of stress and pain over the past few weeks.

Looking back on my entries for August, after we returned from the South of France, it is clear that the heat played a major part in my problem. MWNN was away in Ireland when I had the diagnosis. He flew back early because he was worried about me being on my own.  Add high BP to my chronic chest complaint and it seems wise to stay on the medication indefinitely.

But I don't like it.

I'd like to visit Norwich again, to appreciate what I couldn't during the recent trip.

The area around the Cathedral is ancient, with a history I would like to explore.

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