Anniversary Day…

23 April 2020… 23rd April 2019 is a date I will never forget…Today is the anniversary of my diagnosis with heart disease… The visit to the doctor on this day last year discovered a heart murmur, a murmur that changed my life and really my view of life… The confirmation of a dodgy heart started with a blood test and an ECG, 8 weeks later a Cardiograph that resulted in immediate admission to Prince Philip Hospital.

The outcome of these tests showed a critical heart valve and the only remedy was surgery… I spent the next 5 weeks in Ward 4 of PPH looked after by the brilliant team of medical and hotel services staff. I was then shipped off to Morriston Hospital where another brilliant team of medical and hotel services staff prepared me for the near 8 hour operation on 31 July…

I woke in ICU and was transferred to the HDU afterwards and a week later I was sent home with a heart that was working a lot better. A year later I am close to recovery, still some pain and discomfort but if I had not gone to the doctor when I did, the outcome might have involved daisies…At this time of uncertainty due to this dreaded virus, I can testify that the NHS is second to none in providing care and support for everyone, all the members of staff that work day in day out looking after the sick deserves the appreciation of the nation again at 8pm…

Let’s get out there and show it for them, but also do not forget the care and support staff looking after the vulnerable at this difficult time and all the key workers that are doing their best to support all of us under this massive cloud of illness and sadly death that surrounds us all…

From every wound there is a scar, and every scar tells a story. A story that says, I survived…

Heart

A Change Has Come…

15 April 2020… Today it appears that this government has realised that social care for the elderly and all the other vulnerable classes does exist and has started to make provision for the thousands of dedicated care and support workers that put in many hours ensuring the quality of life for these individuals matters. Up until now the main group during this period has been the NHS and the work they do within the hospital wards and ICU where the many that have succumbed to this deadly virus have in a lot of cases sadly lost their lives without family to say goodbye, we salute them but there are other services that are also finding it difficult to cope. The number of organisations that provide round the clock care for the elderly, many suffering from dementia, the vulnerable adults, youngsters and children that have special needs and learning disabilities is really immense, some for profit and a large number of organisations are not for profit, but the staff employed are dedicated, empathetic and do their support role extremely well. These care and support workers are the mainstay of these organisations, ensuring that all aspects of community life and services are part of the path to independence and education for those being supported. The role of the care and support worker has never been a job for those looking for recognition, it is a job that can be at times extremely hard and frustrating, but perseverance, patience and the will to improve the quality of life of the service user are some of the qualities that provide the cornerstone of success. It may take some time, but that is a commodity that is in abundance. Without our care and support staff the world of the vulnerable in our society would be a really dark place, no care and support worker wants a medal, they do the role because they have the main qualities of aspiration, capability and dedication to improve the lives of individuals that require the hands on support to enrich their lives. The care and support staff do not want any applause but an acknowledgement of their role during this difficult time is reward enough.

Still the Darkness Persists…

14 April 2020… Three weeks into this lockdown and there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel yet…A birthday has passed, never in my 67 years have I spent so many hours in complete and utter boredom… The highlight of the day was reading all the birthday messages from Family, Facebook friends, Councillors, former UNISON colleagues, friends from my employer and people I have known for years… The days are long, drawn out and boring. Today I had a call from the Leisure Centre with an update regarding the exercise class that I was attending before this pandemic took over all our diaries and changed people’s lives forever. I have been sent a couple of web links for home exercise from the British Heart Foundation, hopefully they might be of some use and benefit everyone’s health during these dark times.

https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/support/cardiac-rehabilitation-at-home/cardiac-rehabilitation-exercise-videos

https://www.blf.org.uk/exercise-video

Beach of Dreams…

26 March 2020… Another day in stay at home mode… Had a walk with Alfie, it was nice to get out in the sunshine… Talking of sun and holidays it may quite a while before the virus is eradicated from our lives and as our thoughts turn to resuming normality, so to endeavour the lifting of spirits I have put together some photographs of past holidays in Aruba, Cape Verde and Mexico. We all need to ensure now that our lives will not be blighted forever by the current circumstances by following the rules so that we can walk on the golden sands of our favourite holiday destinations once more…

Give me Sunshine…

Ignorance is Bliss…?

23 March 2020… Start of another week… Many people during this period dying from the virus and people putting up two fingers at the advice being shared not only by the government but by concerned publishers of the print and television media and also by individuals via Social Media… The message is quite clear but being widely ignored… This is going to get a lot worse before it gets better and the sooner the masses realise that everyone within the UK is at risk the less likelihood there is of extensive casualties…The medical staff working in the NHS are brilliant but can only do so much, the rest is up to us… Please adhere to the messages and for those that care… Let’s be careful out there…

Stay at Home…Message of the Week…

You Know it Makes Sense…

22 March 2020… Today will go down in history as the Mother’s Day that did not happen… Sons, daughters and grandchildren will not be able to visit mums on this special day… I do not think for a minute that everyone will adhere to the advice, that is evident by those that are travelling to remote areas and the many that are going about as if everything is fine and dandy… To you people… it is not safe and you are putting at risk the lives of thousands… With my wife being one of the key workers and on shift until Monday at 3:30pm today will be spent with my loyal wee man Alfie, Charlie the cat will be here and there, music through Alexa will be on to see the day through… By what I have seen on television and social media many are ignoring the advice of staying at home or ensuring that social distancing is being practiced…We are all in this together, please think of others and make decisions that allows protection to the many… Avoid the crowds…

Less crowds means less deaths…

Window of Hope…?

21 March 2020… A very quiet day today following the requirements of social distancing and self isolation… All household chores completed and now relaxing with some music.  For the last 30 years I have loved listening to Oleta Adams, first heard her on the radio singing “Get Here” when I was working on the oil platform BP Clyde in 1990… her voice has been with me ever since, never get tired of listening to her music… her first break came singing with Tears for Fears on the track “Woman in Chains” never been available to enjoy a concert but that might be on my bucket list… The virus has claimed more lives today, think we are in for a long stretch of despondency and hard choices going forward… Please follow the recommendations and think of others before making decisions that will impact others… we are all in this together…

It’s Good to Share…

20 March 2020… End of a difficult week for most people, the virus has altered so many of the population’s lives and the outlook is just as gloomy,  difficult to put an end date to all this upheaval. Great start to Friday for myself, ventured out for my daily hour at 8:00 am with the intention of collecting my medication from the Superdrug pharmacy, spoke to them on Monday and they confirmed that they were collecting the prescription, today is Friday and lo and behold they had not even picked up the prescription, I got the feeling that the pharmacist did not even care…after a few choice words I decided to walk and collect the prescriptions myself…Took them to Boots across the road and voila my medication…Really did not make my Friday start well… the antidote to my disappointment was to come home and take my wee mate Alfie out for a walk… lovely stroll in the sunshine with Alfie, he sniffed and watered every tree, post and blade of grass and his tail wagged throughout… At home now and far away from the panic buyers, hoarders and selfish individuals that walk the aisles of the supermarkets!!!

Share and Share Alike…

Boring…Boring…

19 March 2020… Today will go down as one of the most boring days I have ever known… Socially distancing myself from everyone, just Alfie and Charlie the cat around, wife in work all day and to cap it all another load of bollocks delivered by Boris the buffoon…Time to retire upstairs with Alfie…End of the week is nigh, out for 1 hour in the morning to pick up medication and give Alfie a walk then more isolation from the madding crowds…​

Protection, Prevention of Coronavirus Covid-19

Community Spirit Rules…

18 March 2020… Another day with mayhem all around us, the UK Government trying to find out what the other hand is doing… then I get the phone call that I expected…Rehab classes postponed until the end of May… Drat… Highlight of today has been a drive out in the CAT to post a letter… It has also been announced that all schools in Wales will close at 3:30pm on Friday for the foreseeable future… Life is about to get hard and difficult for everyone, but let us all have a little community spirit to try and overcome this period of uncertainty…

Together we will get through it…