A Special Day

 

31/10/13

The last couple of months of 2011 and first 8 months of 2012 werent that good for me from a health perspective. Late 2011 saw me catch a nasty virus, which led to a series of unpleasant side effects over a number of months(I lost almost 3 stone), culminating in an early morning call from my local hospital ‘Come in NOW.. you need an emergency blood transfusion’ – this is not the sort of call I want to wake up to at 6am. But.. in we went – my haemoglobin had almost disappeared. my heart was racing trying to circulate what little oxygen it could get into my blood. After 4 days (and 3 units of blood) I was well enough to be released, although I did have some follow up in the shape of a bone marrow biopsy (NOT on my Bucket List) and several months of very close monitoring by the National Health Service who despite all the moans etc do an absolutely FABULOUS job.

January of this year saw me discharged as an outpatient, I was fit, the weight had (and still is) coming back. My local GP Doctor kept an eye on me with somewhat regular blood tests. Guess what.. in May it started to deviate again. He let it go but when the next test showed the same, he decided to refer me for further analysis.

In truth , actually getting the referral appointment was a bit of a farce, but I DID get to see a liver specialist – using private medical insurance (only because I couldnt get an NHS appointment for at least 3 months). More Blood tests and an ultrasound were done. A full set of liver related tests were run. And… we SEEM to have a cause.. Its a somewhat common (1% UK population have it) condition called Coeliac Disease, where the bodies immune system thinks that Gluten is something that needs to be attacked. The result is that it damages the part of the stomach that derives nutrition from food and amongst a great long list of possible symptoms, anaemia and tiredness – all of which I had in varying degrees since late 2011.

So we know what it is (well one more run in with an Endoscope and we will – not looking forward to that so much but hey, been there, done that, got the tee-shirt) – the cure is to avoid Gluten at all costs. WOW – do you have any idea how much food and drink contains GLUTEN? Definitely life changing for me.. BUT.. it could have been a whole lot worse. I’m just getting to grips with it, getting my head around it… but.. it’ll be ok.

A very special Day for me.. finally I know what the problem is and know how to fix it!

Happy Halloween!

ps if you REALLY want all the boring detail – http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Coeliac-disease/Pages/Introduction.aspx

pps Not my usual sort of post.. but I think today deserved it. Thanks for reading if you got this far!

Here we go again.

Well here we are – waiting for the widely predicted storm to hit overnight tonight. The forecast is that the eye of the storm will pretty much sweep across the midlands of england. High winds and various potential for damage from falling trees, displaced slates (very dangerous) and anything thats not nailed down. The Met Office have actually been quite vocal this time round – the most famous faux pas was the failure to warn about the hurricane that hit the area I live in in 1986, so ever since then they have not been backward in coming forward (as we say). In 1986 we couldn’t leave where we lived as a huge tree had closed the road(and it took the local authorities a day or so to clear). I do remember being woken by the wind, looking out of the window and all the trees were being blown at right angles to their trunks.. lets hope its nothing like that… time will tell. I’ll try and get some pics up on here if anything interesting happens :-).

So we sit and wait.. we have been warned!

Do something Dirty

Do something Dirty

Our last time in Kauai we spent an afternoon off roading with Quad Bikes on an old sugar cane plantation on the south shore of Kauai. Their was a choice of Quad bikes or beach buggies. Their were a few highlights – the waterfalls we stopped at for a break and lunch, the plantation tunnel through the hill where the only guide was reflected light off a buried railway track which had been placed in the centre to guide you through. Oh and we saw where a bit of the original Jurassic Park had been filmed. We all looked like pandas by the time we finished – covered in red dirt but all smiling as we headed into the showers.

Just as it started raining

Just as it started raining

Not a good idea to wear sunglasses through!

Not a good idea to wear sunglasses through!

First stop to cool down

First stop to cool down

The guides were great

The guides were great

A Bit muddy...

A Bit muddy…

Its amazing the places the dust made it to!

Its amazing the places the dust made it to!

All in all we had a great time, not sure if KauaiATV is still in business.. I hope they are…..

 

 

Light and Shade

Light and Shade

NO, not the album from Mike Oldfield (which I feel is rather good!), but a shot of the hotel in the bright winter sunshine. Love all the angles in this, the contrast between sunshine and shadow – and the tree for contrast. You can tell its late in the year – no one in the pool 🙂 This was actually taken at the Sheraton Algarve which is a few miles outside Albufeira, along the coast toward Faro…

Early November, but still sunny

Early November, but still sunny

This picture sums up a visit we had to The Algarve in early November a few years ago. The sun was still hot, the sand was warm, but the beaches were deserted! A lot of the tourist focused restaraunts were shut, but it meant that the ones that were open catered for the locals and therefore the food was good(not a burger in sight) and reasonably priced. It did feel a bit surreal when we went to a local shopping centre to see all the christmas trees/decorations etc in the shop..