Medication Sucks…

13 February 2020… One of the drawbacks of having open heart surgery is the necessity to take medication afterwards… It is all very well for the doctors to prescribe Ace Inhibitors and Blood Pressure medication and they are necessary but some of them have side effects that cause more issue than the AVR operation itself… Having a bit of an outing with Ramipril and Losartan, I only wish I could do without them…

Met the FANs…

12 February 2020… Middle of the week, after a relatively late night for me, well it was 21:30 before I got to bed and being the Chair of Governors of a school attending a briefing about changes to the Education system in the county gives you that  privilege. Early start today with an invite to a FAN meeting this morning at 09:30. FAN is a Friends and Neighbours group that meets once a week, it gives the opportunity for individuals that have little regular friends to meet up over a cup of tea to share stories and observations. As a local Councillor it gives the opportunity for me to experience other areas where constituents share their time… The FAN meet up was interesting, only lasted an hour so plenty of time to try and catch up with a bit of fresh air with my best mate Alfie. Managed to stick the exercise until 14:30, really felt tired then so end of day for me, now to sit at my desk and tend to the mediocre tasks of phone calls and emails…Definitely an earlier night for me and hopefully catch up with reading and watching a film…

Change the Hat…

11 February 2020… Blustery day today, heavy showers and cold… This is a date that will never go from my memory, wedding anniversary, 42 years today, how did I get to this point? Well it hasn’t been without its hurdles and challenges, not many jobs during that time, redundancy has played a part but as one door closed another seemed to open instantly. Steel Industry, Offshore Oil Industry, Shipbuilding in Belfast, followed by teaching staff to fix computers over the telephone, at £1.00 per minute. It has had its variety, ups and downs along the way but I have weathered the storms bravely and survived everything thrown at me. Come 21 June 2019, 41 years later I was told my heart had a problem and needed fixing, another challenge for me but I approached that in the same manner and here I am today tapping away at the keyboard looking forward to a future I might not have had. My memories of being transported to work in helicopters, ferries, boats and trains will never go away, but the biggest memory to date is being wheeled into theatre and coming out the other side… fast asleep but ready to move on… Below are the two biggest projects I worked on… great times…

Decisions, Decisions…

10 February 2020… After a very stormy weekend and a disappointing result for the Welsh rugby team it was back to work today for many and decision day for me with regards to going back to work. I have been absent since 23 April last year and the trip through the summer and autumn was something I will never forget. But the time comes to decide whether the work aspect is going to continue and taking into account my age (67 in 7 weeks) do I really want to return. Since I was discharged from hospital I have been only able to carry out light duties with no physical effort allowed. It will improve with time, but working with vulnerable adults can be difficult at times, but continuing to stay home will not allow me to get back to near full health. So the decision has been made, all going well I will resume work from 16 March 2020. Next stop… Occupational Health Assessment… It will be a phased return, 16 hours a week, perhaps after returning I will make the decision to retire… who knows…

Councillor Philip Warlow – Retired

6 Nations Weekend…

7 February 2020… Friday has arrived, another weekend upon us, a Six Nations weekend with England going up to Scotland and Wales travelling over to Ireland, really should be two great games. Welsh rugby fans love to see England lose, so hopefully Eddie Jones will have a sour face on around 7pm tomorrow evening and chariots with wheels missing will be strewn along the length of the M6 and A1(M). Weather is supposed to be poor so turn the television up and stay safe from the forecast high winds and rain. To wet the appetite 10 tries from Wales in 2005…

Ten top tries from Wales…

Wired for Sound…

4 February 2020… Looking at the sunshine outside you would not think it is February, a nice bright day but the wind is bitterly cold and one of the drawbacks of having an aortic valve replacement operation is the requirement to split the sternum and wire back together when the repair to the heart valve is completed before being sewn up…Apart from the initial pain after the operation the sternum is what takes the longest to heal… during rehab I was told by a specialist nurse that it may take 12 months to lose the pain… I am sure everyone is different and the recovery time will vary amongst recipients of replacement valves… But I am the ultimate patient patient and in time I will feel better.

Not 500 miles but 10000 Steps…

3 February 2020… Start of another week at home, just me and the wee man Alfie, took a walk to the town centre to do the banking and a little shopping. Home straight and the dog is itching to go for his walk. Coat on, harness on, lead on, toolkit in pocket and away we go. 10000 steps later we are back and I am pooped, the cold wind has not helped my chest one bit, snooze time in a warm place… for both of us…

Pets & Chores Day…

1 February 2020… Weekend has arrived and for a change the sun is out… As it is the start of the 6 Nations Rugby early chores were necessary…Washing done, shopping before the crowds, 7000 steps walking with Alfie before 10am… trifle made and Alfie & Charlie fed… Feet up Councillor, you have earned it!!! There also was some news today…I am going to a Grampa again…now I really do feel old…Congratulations to Rebecca and Matt… August will soon be here…

Boys and Girls…

Anniversary Meet…

31 January 2020… 6 months since my AVR operation, how time flies… Prince Philip Hospital revisit today to meet up with the medical staff that looked after me during my 5 week stay…The Acute Coronary Syndrome unit was celebrating its first year of service and the consultants, doctors, nursing staff were there together with invited patients that had previously spent time at the unit… It was great to see how well everyone looked, proof that if you get early treatment and the best care available health issues can be reversed. I would like to personally thank everyone for making the morning so enjoyable and to all my former fellow patients, keep up the good work and stay on the journey back to full health…

The Gift of Life…

30 January 2020… Life is a gift and when you are given a present, it is something for the most part that is treasured. Looking after your health is something like looking after presents, but health generally takes a back seat as everyone is busy and downtime is something that is frowned upon in this frantic, fast environment we all live in… I mention the above as a gentle nudge to everyone who experiences symptoms of ill health, do not ignore as I did because of workload and then find that one is on a possible cliff edge with health. Go to the GP and get checked out, ignore your own mind telling “it’s ok, the pain will go away” mine didn’t and that led to the summer in bed. Spending 5 weeks in Prince Philip Hospital during June and July is not the best way to spend the summer but it was important that I had my heart checked and treated. I am glad to report that the open heart surgery was a success and I am now going through the recovery stage well. Thanks to all the dedicated nursing staff at Prince Philip Hospital and Morriston Hospital for their care and support through my time in hospital. It is also important to acknowledge the support and care that the hospital professionals provide, tomorrow there is a reception to celebrate the anniversary of the Acute Coronary Syndrome unit in Ward 4 at Prince Philip Hospital in Llanelli. I spent 5 weeks in this unit and along with another long term patient we have been invited along to celebrate the anniversary. A reunion of staff and patients, should be great to see familiar faces again…

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