Zone Doubt, a.k.a. 'Surreal Я Us'...
Joules, trusted by... dozens... to make a drama out of your crisis...
:: JAT :: WaveWrights :: Publications ::
I live to write. It's not wise to get in my
... I'd write my autobiography, but no-one would believe it....
If you come across any words you don't recognise in this blog, take a look at the Taylorspeke Glossary in the left-hand infopane, you'll usually find a definition there.
Adventures in Orchids
Apparently I am now collecting them...
EO - Everlasting orchid. Phalaenopsis. I've had this orchid for at least 15 years and it just keeps flowering...
AO - Alien face orchid. Phalaenopsis . Bought 2018 - lovely little flowers, all different patterns!
RO - Rescued orchid
TO - Tiny orchid. Phalaenopsis. Bought at Tesco 21.8.20. It just begged to come home with me. How could I say no?
CO - Crimson orchid. Cambria. Another Tesco find. This one may be going to live in Ken's room once we've redecorated and put up the new shelving; it prefers a cooler, less sunny windowsill. If so, I'll need to find another cambrian to keep it company.
GO - Golden orchid. Phalaenopsis. Saw this one when I bought CO and left it behind - then immediately regretted it as soon as I got home. Never seen one like it before. Ken, bless him, went back over to Tesco in the rain and bought it for me...
DO - Dendrobium Orchid. Smells of wisteria, so beautiful...
RO2 - Rescued orchid no 2. Phalaenopsis. This is the one I rescued from the wall along the road middle of 2021.
PO. Pink orchid. Phalaenopsis. This is the one I bought at Cabury Garden Centre on special, late 2021. It's much happier here!
TWO. Teeny weeny orchid, Phalaenopsis. Rescued from Tesco end 2021 (I think).
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Catch up time.
Kai started feeling a little rough on Sunday - thought it might be tiredness from the walk, but today he has a slight rash on his back and Prof Marks says it's possibly GvHD: we have to go back tomorrow for Kai to have a skin biopsy. Prof assured us it's very common, and as long as it stays just on the skin steroid cream should fix it. Fingers crossed. Oh, and he's back to MMF tablets three times a day and we don't stop them tomorrow, which had been the original plan.
I had my blood tests and 'flu jab yesterday (and today feel a bit grim, might actually go back to bed for an hour in a little while). But I met Wendy at Temple Meads, and we bussed out to Clevedon for lunch at the Little Harp Inn, a walk along the pier, and stopped off at Golden Acres garden centre on the way back. They were having their end of season sale - most plants on a BOGOF - so I have four new irises, two red cyclamen, and a little tree, one of these, in fact. Not sure whether to put it out the front to replace the cherry, or at the back: will decide at the weekend. Had a lovely day - it was fantastic to chat again!
[sigh] The DVD recorder has packed up, and I still had a handful of tapes to transfer, dammit. The cheapest replacement I've found is £249.99 (most of them have a whole host of things we don't want or need) and I thought it might be cheaper to just buy replacement DVDs of the tapes I didn't have time to do, but three of them are at ridiculous prices. So for now we've deferred the decision.
Tired. I think a nap would do me good.
Saturday, October 25, 2014
All continues well. Went for a walk down the park today and both thoroughly enjoyed it
Adored the DW ep...
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
... and we had a little celebration. Kai fancied fajitas for lunch, and roast pork for dinner (with Belgian chocolate sauce covered chocolate puds nuked and served with ice-cream for dessert), and we watched and thoroughly enjoyed Maleficent.
Kai had his central line out yesterday (took about half an hour and was painful, even with the local anaesthetic), and his appointments dropped to one a week. This afternoon we went for a walk down to the park and sat for a while, just enjoying the fresh air...
Still a way to go, but we're getting there.
Monday, October 20, 2014
So, next Tuesday 9.40 am 'flu jab (Ken's is on Sat) and full blood test to see if we can find out why my joints are still aching like hell and what's wrong with my hip. (Wendy, I should be able to make Temple Meads easily to meet you but if I'm late, just wait or ring me to see where I am!) If that doesn't establish the cause, the next step will be x-rays...
Have been having major tape-to-dvd transfer sessions - all of The Sentinel now done, all of Kai's (from 2 weeks to 2004), an episode of Xena with Craig Parker, and one of the ancient animes I bought back in 94. Still a few more to do but the pile of tapes has seriously shrunk.
Client site content uploaded today too.
Off to recharge as soon as my hair's dry. We were woken by playing, screaming foxes before 6 this morning (they probably woke up the whole road!) after getting to bed after midnight. Just a tad tired...
Friday, October 17, 2014
Quick trip to South Bristol Community Hospital at Henleaze for Kai to have a heart ultrasound scan - no doubt they'll contact us if there's anything wrong.
Ken and I have been advised to have 'flu jabs to make sure Kai isn't at risk this winter. I'll try to get that organised on Monday.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Quick appointment: Prof Marks is very pleased, we're to reduce Kai's MMF to nothing over the next three weeks, his central line is coming out next week, and we're hoping to reduce the appointments to once a week soon. Still a way to go, but so far so great!
This is the new BHI atrium. Well snazzy.
We watched Edge of Tomorrow on Filmflex last night - very enjoyable, very unusual. I may not like Cruise at all, but I have to admit he does make good films...
Monday, October 13, 2014
Longer appointment than usual today, as Kai is feeling really awful and they wanted us to wait for the blood results to come back before letting us go (and also took another chest x-ray, just to be sure), in case there was an infection. Luckily not, but his tacrolimus levels are high again, which is what's causing the feeling dreadful, so we have to skip the next four doses and then reduce to 500 am and 250 pm. (I'll pick up the prescription on Wed.)
Tyjer takes advantage of the rare occasions I sit down (usually for Doctor Who) to come and sit on me, right across my legs so I can't move...
Three more eps to transfer and that'll be all of Sentinel season 2. They are great fun!
Saturday, October 11, 2014
It's been a busy couple of days. Thursday appt was fine, everything still going as hoped, although Kai has had a handful of heart flutters/skips since the transplant - not many, and since we've been told it's perfectly normal for a large proportion of the population to have the occasional palpitation it's probably nowt. Nevertheless, they're taking no risks, and yesterday we went in for him to be fitted with a 72 hour heart trace. Only took 20 minutes and it can be taken off to shower. He removes it on Monday anyway and we'll drop it off at cardiology on Wednesday (and I'll try to get some photos - cardiology is wonderful! They have an atrium with real trees!)
Friday was shopping and some more sewing, and I started transferring The Sentinel Season 2 (as of tody I have 10 eps now on DVD. Of 24, so there's still a way to go.) The quality is surprisingly good, and Kai thinks he'd like to see the entire thing from start to finish, perhaps at the beginning of next year. January is always a bit grim.
Pottered today. Tesco shop, tidying up, freezing the last of the apples... I've helped Kai tidy up his room a little (there were boxes he didn't know where to put, etc: it's better now and he can put his daily stuff where he wants it). Still haven't managed much of a day off, but I feel things are a little more under control again now.
Hoping to tackle some garden jobs with Ken tomorrow. He's been out with Dawn today on an art trail up in Clifton...
Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Productive day yesterday. Finished sewing - and Kai got the VCR/DVD recorder combo working. I've spent this morning transferring his ancient steam train and my ancient Exeter historical tapes to DVD. It's not perfect - playback is only in 4:3 resolution - but at least it rescues the tapes before they disintegrate.
Next up, my Sentinel eps. It looks like I might be missing a lot of Season 4, but there's one tape without notes: fingers crossed they're all on there. There was some kind of huge copyright outrage or something about the series, and it's pretty unlikely Seasons 2, 3, and 4 will ever be released on DVD. (Of interest to no-one but me, the voice actor for Unicron Trilogy Starscream, Michael Dobson, is in Season 2 ep 3, Deep Water. Be fun to see him acting!)
Kai is more or less OK but desperately tired. We'll ask about that at the next appt. At the moment he's off the tacrolimus as his levels were too high: several phone conversations with the registrar yesterday established he's been taking a higher dose of the med than he was supposed to, 1 mg instead of 500 microgrammes or milligrammes, I didn't quite catch which, so I have to bus into the BRI to pick up a new prescription this afternoon. Not too chuffed about this, I take the list of his meds we were given to every appt and they copy it all down, so they knew what dose he was on and should have reduced it earlier...
I picked up Warm Bodies a while back, and we watched it on Friday. I never thought I'd say such a thing of a zombie film but it's absolutely charming! Thoroughly enjoyable (as long as you don't mind a bit of gore) and really a delight. On Sunday we watched Now You See Me, which was also a lot of fun, and Ken and I saw Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa while Kai was in hospital: It's very amusing. Looking forward to all the big films - X-Men: Days of Future Past, Guardians of the Galaxy, Hercules (I like Dwayne Johnson, sue me), How To Train Your Dragon 2 (mostly for Kai, apparently all his online friends have seen it and have been saying how good it is, and he feels left out) being released to DVD though - nothing until the end of this month. (Transformers: Age of Extinction isn't out until the 17th of November, dammit.)
I'm also most intrigued by Snowpiercer, and am going to order it as one of our Yule DVDs.
Monday, October 06, 2014
Another nice quick appointment: still all OK, although Kai's a bit low on magnesium (doctor rang me to see if he had any of the whapping great chewable tablets, which we do, and said to take two three times a day until Wed night, should fix the problem), but other than that it's all going well. She suggested I ask Dr Reading for a blood test though, as the aching is unlikely to be G-CSF-related after all this time.
Made the lounge inner curtain this afternoon, looks good and will keep the heat in. We've also now put the heating on, as Kai is feeling the cold.
The top of the stairs... I think it looks pretty!
Sunday, October 05, 2014
Quick catchup - was going to post some photos but they haven't come out very well, so will try again tomorrow.
Kai and I have been down to the park the last two days - just a gentle walk, but it's wonderful to see him out and about. We're taking it easy, of course, and he tires easily - but now he can sit and rest and catch his breath, then get up and carry on. His RBC still isn't back to normal, but it's high enough that that awful exhaustion isn't there any more. The change is fantastic.
House is coming along well too: the landing curtain is made and up, and it all looks quite continental. Very happy with it, and will try to photograph tomorrow. The organza curtain over the patio doors is also back up (the pole hooks pulled out of the wall with the weight of the felt curtain) so next door can no longer peer in. And yesterday Ken dug and raked the soil up on the slope and we moved the bench to its new position. The view is lovely, and will be even better when we get the new apple and plum trees. Oh, yes, I'm reconfiguring the veg bed. Finally accepted there are things that just won't grow for me, and that anyway aren't really safe for me to give to Kai with the foxes regular visitors (carrots, onions, caulis), so I shall focus on the organic sweetcorn, mange tout and dwarf French beans that I know I can grow successfully and that we can't buy. But I seem to be quite successful with fruit, so I'm planning to get another apple tree - a russet variety I think, soft and sweet and juicy - and either another pear or a plum. Probably a plum. I'm rather fond of plums...
So that's the Yule gift money from the folks already spent! Hoping for a trip to Almondsbury: I want well grown trees, 6 - 8 ft high at least so it won't take so long for them to fruit, and I'm pretty sure Almondsbury can provide them. It'll mean paying for delivery, but that's fine!
We're a third of the way through the 100 Days and everything's going well so far...
Friday, October 03, 2014
OK, so, chimaerism...
The online medical dictionary defines it as: "a state in bone marrow transplantation in which bone marrow and host cells exist compatibly without signs of graft-versus-host rejection disease." What the consultants want is a state of no chimaerism - in other words, they want my cells to completely replace Kai's.
And that is a really, really odd, creepy feeling...
Back to more normal considerations.
Went into town yesterday to pick up fabric for the landing curtain, which I made this morning. It's going on a lightweight, slender silver pole, a new thing from Wilkinson's that should look quite good. I still have to make new organza inner curtains for the lounge and hall: they have to be handsewn as my old art deco-era hand machine can't handle material that fine. The lounge window is big, so I'm not looking forward to that...
Decided not to put up the display shelving in our room - less to dust and the room's small, looks less cluttered with less in it. The important things sit perfectly happily on the windowsills.
Kai kept me company yesterday, sitting on the bench while I hoed the slope, but he can't stay out in the sun for long (consultants have been very clear about that, and there is a warning on the voriconazole packaging about protecting your skin from the sun even on cloudy days. OK, he's not taking it any more, but still...) He's looking forward to the cooler, cloudier weather. Hoping to get more gardening done tomorrow when Ken can help with the heavier stuff.
Wednesday, October 01, 2014
Later edit: Appt went very well, everyone is very happy, his weight is nearly back up to pre-transplant, fingers crossed, carry on and see how we do. It's time now for Kai to start consciously getting a little more exercise: planning gentle walks down to the park, and he's asked to use the exercise bike, which is an excellent idea (once we clear all the unwanted books from around it). Altogether a good day. We like days like this...
[Note to myself to explain about chimerism tomorrow...]
Have now checked and added the correct Days.