19 April 2011
A full day/. At 9.30 this morning we had a visit from Dr Margaret Saunders, from the Rank hospice in Cambridge. She came in her capacity as a palliative care adviser to check up on a few of the irritating problems from which I suffer and which if resolved would improve the quality of my life.. She turned out to be a very gentle, quietly spoken lady in whom one immediately has a great deal of confidence. She ha certainly gives the impression that she’s heard it all before and knows exactly how to tackle the problem.
My particular issues, although they may well sound minor, were irritating enough to need attention. For example my constantly runny nose which is extremely debilitating and exhausting for me to have to keep trying to raise the handkerchief up every few minutes with such weak arms. Also, it can be a real problem under the respirator. She has some ideas how we might tackle that one. Then there is the flatulence which is caused by excess air in my belly causing it to expand like a football, compressing my diaphragm and making my breathing more difficult. Apparently, as an air swallower, all night on the respirator probably introduces a certain amount of air into the stomach which gets trapped . The doctor will be sending a physiotherapist to train Alice how to massage the stomach in the morning.
No doubt to release some of this air. I suggested’ my lovely’ could j simply jump on it, rather like getting air out of a lilo, but the good Dr didn’t seem to be in favour of that method of releasing the air!. We then dealt with the painful joints in bed and she suggested dropping one of the diazepam,, as this is muscle relaxant, to see if that helped. Otherwise there are other thing she can try. As I say we both found this delightful Dr most sympathetic and helpful and have a great deal of confidence that she will alleviate these minor problems as far as it is possible.
As soon as she left I had a long session with David of the technical arm of AbilitNet, as my Dragon (voice activation system) was playing up and not picking up my Buddy Microphone. In the end I’ve had to re-train it but it really doesn’t take very long and seems to pick up my speech profile where I left off.
Almost immediately that session came to an end my good friend and stockbroker, Peter Long, a director of Brewin Dolphin, arrived by train from London to take me out to lunch at the Cricketers Pub next door. We sat outside in the sun and spent half an hour or so discussing various investments, the unpalatable truth being eased down with a glas paid post title here front of document s of champagne. The papers having been put away we enjoyed a good lunch washed down with a decent bottle of Merlot. After wheeling me back to the house, Peter, our good gardener, very kindly ran the other Peter to the local station as he had been ripped off by a taxi driver on the inward run. It’s always good to see Peter, who, over the many years has looked after my meagre investments. We have become friends and enjoy our lunches together talking, of everything but money.
By the time Peter had left and’ my lovely’ and I had had tea I just about had time to deal with my e-mails and make one or two phone calls before it was time for my evening glass of front of document