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Everything posted by Alfa2Evora

  1. TODAY'S REPORT: I'm very pleased to say that today was a continuation of yesterday. Jennifer was again sitting in her chair, which being next to the window into the ward corridor means that she can 'monitor' the comings and goings, and today proved that she wasn't just reacting to movement without being able to focus fully on what was actually going on. As I walked down the corridor, there were a couple of nurses just ahead of me and as they passed by the window I could see Jennifer looking at them and her head turning to follow their progress. As I arrived at the window, she looked straight at me, her eyes opened wide, but as I continued past on my way to the nurses' station to sign in, I was then greeted with an "Oi!", . I'd say that about half of the following hour consisted of fairly lucid and coherent 'chat' interspersed with several karaoke sessions as she accompanied the piped music in the background, and she wasn't just following the song that fraction of a beat behind like some of us do, , oh no, Jennifer was right there with the melody and lyrics and occasionally slightly ahead in anticipation. I truly believe now that she has turned the corner and as Hercule Poirot would say, "ze leetle grey cells they are forming une idée". More of the same again tomorrow please Jennifer.
  2. Finally, after being without an internet connection most of the day, I am able to post this. TODAY'S UPDATE: Well, I'm pleased to say that going into the hospital that bit earlier proved fruitful. Jennifer was sitting in a chair next to her bed when I walked in and the moment she clocked me, her whole face lit up. We may not have been able to carry on a full blown conversation, but we did manage a good 15 minutes or so of 'connection' across the hour of my visit. I showed her some of the photos that I'd left the other day, and she was able to name the dogs and recognise some of the locations such as on our trips to the Isle of Lewis and to France. When a nurse came in and one of the other patients asked what was for lunch, the answer of "fish and chips" got Jennifer smiling - it really hurt me to have to break it to her that as she's still not able to swallow properly, she'd be limited to a pot of yogurt or custard. A look of disappointment spread over her face, accompanied by a forceful "Oh!". I'm really amazed at her progress - long may it continue.
  3. In here today again - of course I'm more than happy that her condition hasn't worsened, but somewhat unhappy that I'm not getting any connection with her. TODAY'S REPORT: Well, that didn't quite go according to plan. Going in 4 hours earlier today than I had done the last couple of days, I was quietly confident that I would find Jennifer sitting up awaiting my arrival. She was fast asleep again, and apart from her eyes briefly flickering open, she remained so for the duration of my visit. The nurses said that she's been sitting in her chair all morning, had a visit from the speech therapist, and was singing along to some of the piped music in between times, but come lunchtime, her batteries just seemed to run out of charge. I'm sure all this rest must be doing her nothing but good, but it is a tad frustrating for me not to be able to engage with her on any level - that's 3 days in a row now and it's killing me. Booked for 11.30am tomorrow. Surely I'll catch her awake then?
  4. I wondered that when I saw it @yeller77, then I decided it must just be a still from a security camera watching that they didn't make a sudden move towards the door, .
  5. Back here again today I'm afraid. At least she's holding her own which is all I'm asking. TODAY'S REPORT: Big non-event today I'm afraid. They moved Jennifer from the single room back to the 6-bed side ward this morning which meant that it's back to the pre-booked once-only-per-day 1 hour visiting slots again and because everybody else had already booked for today when they were in yesterday, I got a take it or leave it option of 6.30- 730pm. When I went in Jennifer was fast asleep, clearly tired out by what had gone on during the day. Her eyes flickered open a couple of time so hopefully she registered that I was there, but other than that she lay and snored the whole time I was there. Frustratingly, because of course everybody else had been in before me today, they'd bagged all the other slots for tomorrow so I'm stuck with 6.30pm again, but the staff nurse did open up the bookings for Thursday so I could have first choice. I'll be going at 2.30pm, which is when Jennifer has seemed at her most receptive on previous visits. Tomorrow night will probably be much like tonight I fear, but hopefully there will be something more positive to report on Thursday.
  6. @BibsHow come in that photo above, our Murican friends, despite their fabled enormous appetites, have tiddly little 'normal' steaks and you've got half a cow on your plate?
  7. Some significant, in the scheme of things anyway, improvements today. TODAY'S UPDATE (21.02) When I went in, they had Jennifer sitting in a chair rather than lying in bed so that was a very welcome sight. She had a relatively peaceful night last night, so if she repeats that tonight, they'll move her out of the single room and back to the ward tomorrow. Not great for visiting as it'll be back to the 1 visit per day only scenario again, but that's just my selfish view on things. It's much better for Jennifer as she'll have pretty much constant movement and sounds around her to stimulate her rather than just being stuck in a fairly featureless room all on her own. I managed to corner the consultant today, eventually - it would probably have been easier to find Lord Lucan riding Shergar. Anyway, the scans they took the other day have, as I suspected and hoped by the doctor's lack of communication, revealed no further damage to her brain and no signs of any further gastric bleeding. She has some damage to both the motor skills for her left side area and the cognitive processing area of her brain but not enough to be of any concern for a reasonable recovery of those functions. Of slightly more concern is the fairly substantial damage to the part of the brain that controls her speech and things like swallowing. What's happening is that she's clearly understanding the bulk of what's being said to her - you can see it by her expression - but when it comes to replying, the signals going into her speech control centre are being scrambled. What they are essentially going to have to do is retrain another part of her brain to take over these functions, which will involve intensive speech therapy going back to basics such as counting from 1 to 10 and reciting nursery rhymes and such like. I'm going to sit in on some of these therapy sessions, the first having been this afternoon, so I can do my bit to continue her recovery path while I'm there visiting. By the end of today's session, if you said "1........2" she responded with "buckle my shoe" then followed it with "3......4, open the door" without any further prompting. They may seen like tiny steps, but they're fantastic nonetheless. To paraphrase Neil Armstrong, "That's one small step for neurology, a giant leap for Jennifer-kind".
  8. The post for today (21 Feb) qualifies for being in the "HAPPY" thread, .
  9. Back here for today's post I'm afraid - I suppose it's too much at this early stage to expect every day to show an improvement. TODAY'S UPDATE: Not really much to report today - Jennifer is pretty much the same as yesterday so I should take comfort I suppose in the fact that she's not got any worse after the minor set-back a couple of days ago. She's been moved to a single-bed room as she has been quite agitated and restless the past few nights which had been disturbing the other patients in the side ward. With the room door propped open, her bed is in line-of-sight with the nurses' station so they'll be able to spot quickly if she makes any further attempts to climb out over the guard-rails on the side of the bed. The nurses noticed that she seems to settle quite quickly when I'm next to her, so I'm now 'on call' 24/7 to go in if she gets upset again, and with her being separated from the other patients, I'm now not constrained by the normal once-a-day visiting policy and can go in anytime I like, which I'm just about to do now.
  10. Well, that's the Evora's new cover in place from the beginning of next month. Having the number of modifications that mine has, made it quite a challenge to find somebody to take it on at reasonable cost (I got one quote for just shy of £6k and I had to fit a black box, ) but I just didn't want to be held to ransom yet again by my existing insurer - they were quoting £846 for the renewal. In the end, I've just added it to the multicar policy we have for our other 2 cars through the high-ranking naval officer and so I now have the Lotus, Alfa and Saab all on 1 policy, at a premium that's about £100 less than the renewal figure for just the Evora and with £300 less of an excess. The only material difference between the 2 policies is that whereas the old one covered the modifications fully, the new one allows the car to be modified but should I make an 'at fault' claim, it would only be repaired back to factory specification - doesn't bother me as I've never made a claim on my own policy ever, in nearly 50 years of driving, and I've certainly no intention of starting now. There, that's jinxed it for sure, . Amazingly, when I informed my old insurer not to renew, they suddenly came back with a revised quote that was close to the additional premium on the multicar policy, . Sorry! Too little, too late. Why couldn't they offer that from the outset?
  11. I got the shorter version (from Greg's Race Parts), which came in a gloss black finish rather than CF. As there was a batch of paint being mixed for the new front bumper anyway, I had the scoops painted too and I think being the same as the bodywork makes them look a bit less aftermarket add-ons - just my humble opinion, .
  12. Today's visit to the hospital went better than I was anticipating/dreading so the update is posted in the 'HAPPY' thread.
  13. I'm feeling sufficiently relieved after today's visit to Jennifer's bedside to post the daily update on her progress here, . TODAY'S UPDATE: Well, I'm pleased to report that today's visit went much better, with a bit of interaction both verbally and physically. Jennifer replied to several of my conversation-starters with an albeit very short but encouragingly coherent answer. She also sucked some water from the little foam lollipops they use there, several times when I offered them to her, after the ward staff having had no success all morning - they were so impressed that they've now offered me a job, 😁. Back again tomorrow at 2.30pm again - let's hope it's more of the same.
  14. This was very close to reverting back to the 'UNHAPPY' thread but since I've started here I'll continue. The fact that she's still 'with us' should be compensation enough for any disappointments elsewhere I suppose on reflection. TODAY'S UPDATE: Nothing of any significance to report I'm afraid. It didn't help that although my allotted visiting time was 1130 to 1230, and I was there on the dot, just before I arrived they'd taken her for a scan to check on her gastric bleed from a few days ago. I sat staring at the empty space where her bed should be until 1210 when Jennifer appeared back on the ward, but then had to leave 20 minutes later as my time was up and somebody else was waiting to start their visit with another patient. Her eyes were open this time, but I'm presuming (hoping/praying) that the reason she seemed to look straight past me with no sign of recognition was that she was tired out from her scan session. She didn't say very much other than a few incoherent phrases, then closed her eyes and that was that. I asked the staff nurse for an update on what their observations were. She did mention that Jennifer was quite agitated and vocal during the night, but it would be best if a doctor spoke to me later. 10 hours on, I'm still waiting, - I know they're busy but I'm going out of my mind with worry over what seems to be a sizeable step back from Jennifer's apparent progress at the beginning of the week. "Is there something they don't want to tell me?" is a thought I'm finding difficult to get out of my head. I'm back tomorrow at 2.30pm this time to see if her levels of activity are different at a different time of day - certainly when she was in High Dependency, I got more of a connection later in the day than first thing in the morning. Ward doctor tomorrow, be advised I'm coming looking for you. You can run but you can't hide!
  15. Today was very much a day of mixed emotions. When I went into the ward, Jennifer was lying there, eyes tightly closed but quietly singing along in part to some of the tracks coming over the sound system. I announced my arrival to her as usual, but got no response in return. I kept talking to her and stroking her forehead but there was not even a glimmer of recognition. After about 10 minutes, she stopped singing, and fell fast asleep if the snoring is anything to go by. I sat the whole hour talking and caressing without a single interaction or connection with her consciousness. I came away feeling very deflated and dispirited, having gone in full of hope and optimism following the progress in the previous 72 hours. I know it's not going to be an overnight fix no matter how much I'm willing it to be so, and that there are going to be a lot of peaks and troughs along the way but it still knocks the wind out of your sails when a day like today comes along. Perhaps it's just me being selfish, wanting her to 'be there' so we can have some communication, which on reflection might heighten her frustration and agitation at not being able respond to me as she wants to, or perhaps more correctly at my inability to understand and respond to her as she expects me to, and so maybe a period of complete withdrawal like today might actually be more beneficial to her by keeping her in a state of calm and tranquility. Anyway, fingers crossed for tomorrow's visit.
  16. Things didn't quite reach the qualification level required for my subsequent posts to be in the "Happy" thread so I've created a new one specifically for those half-way occurences:
  17. It seemed appropriate to create this new thread as that's exactly how I'm feeling today. TODAY'S UPDATE ON JENNIFER: No real change in Jennifer's condition today but then it's probably expecting way too much to expect every day to produce the amazing improvement seen on Monday. The good thing is that she's stable and hasn't deteriorated, other than showing a few signs of delirium (acute confusional state) which the consultant assures me is fairly common at this stage in the post-trauma process and that he would hope to see it subside over the course of the next week or so. They were obviously satisfied that she was out of immediate life-threatening danger as, between my two visits today, they moved her from the High Dependency Unit to the Stroke Unit in readiness for commencing the long programme of therapies aimed at restoring her as close as possible to her previous quality of life. This big change in location could also be partly responsible for her confused state. They play a selection of 80's and 90's music over the ward's sound system, and several times during my visit this evening, Jennifer started singing along if it was one of her favourites (Annie Lennox, Culture Club and George Michael to name but three) and she was pretty much spot-on with the lyrics and melody (better than me in a fair few instances) so that was a really encouraging sign that her brain is getting better at processing the signals it's receiving and translating them into a response. I'm going back at 11.30am tomorrow - unfortunately I'm limited to one visit per day from now on, , as she's in a small side ward with five others and they only allow one visitor on the ward at any one time, you have to prebook your slot and stick to it, avoiding the lunch hour and the supper hour, with the first slot at 11.30am and the last visitor is 'kicked out' at 7.30pm - they made an exception for me tonight, being her first night there. We're in this for the long haul by the looks of it. The prediction is that she'll be on this ward certainly for several weeks and possibly for several months, and will need many more months of care at home once she's discharged so it looks like that'll be me finally retiring from pounding the highways in my 44-tonner.
  18. YET ANOTHER UPDATE: As the song goes, "What a difference a day makes" or in Jennifer's case that should be 'half a day'. After last night's midnight call and the subsequent 'Resuscitate or not' conversation with the doctor on arrival, I was absolutely dreading what I was going to walk into this morning. When I left her about 2.30am, there were so many machines connected to her with flashing lights and beeps going off, it looked like her bed was in Mission Control Houston. I had to wait for the consultant to finish his rounds so it was about 11.30am before I got in. I could barely believe what I was seeing on entering her room. Gone was all the equipment apart from a drip and a heart monitor and she was sitting up in bed looking at her surroundings. When she saw me, her eyes lit up and over the next 2 hours we chatted about anything and everything. A proportion of her responses was still incoherent - to be expected I suppose given what her brain has just endured - but when I could make out what she was saying, it was relevant to what I'd just said. I'm just back from this evening's 2-hour session, and she's a bit stronger again physically - at one point she was trying to climb out the bed to go for a pee. She now has nothing constantly connected to her, although they do still have to connect up a drip from time to time for nutrition and hydration as she's still not able to swallow. Our conversation was still very hit or miss, but at one point she even got argumentative - that's more like my Jennifer. There's still a long way to go, that's for sure - she's not out of the woods yet, not by a long chalk but she's at least found a clearing in among the trees to stop and draw breath before tackling the next stint of hacking through the undergrowth. The medical staff are equally amazed at how much she's improved, and are thinking that they might be able to move her from the High Dependency Unit down to the stroke ward to start her therapies as early as tomorrow. I'm a greatly relieved bunny tonight I can tell you, , and I can't thank you all enough for all your support and good wishes, . I've been on a good few car forums (should I be pedantic and use 'fora'? ) over the years but this one is in a different league. Love you all! Future updates should be posted in the 'Happy' thread, I'm hoping.
  19. Just after midnight, I got the dreaded "We think you should come" phone call. Jennifer was very poorly, having started to vomit blood as the blood-thinners had caused a gastric bleed. They've got it under control for now and she's still hanging in there, but by a thread. I'm about to leave for this morning's visit - I'm just waiting on them calling me back to confirm what time I can go along, having confirmed my negative Covid lateral flow test. I'm at my wit's end - Jennifer is my world.
  20. UPDATE: Jennifer was moved to the High Dependency Unit about an hour ago, but they're currently waiting for a doctor to see her as she became quite agitated after the move. Knowing how active Jennifer likes to be, it's probably sheer frustration at being stuck in a bed with a load of tubes and wires keeping her immobilised. They've suggested that I delay visiting until tomorrow to give her time to acclimatise to her new surroundings, so as not to confuse and upset her any more than she already is. I can understand where they're coming from but this is killing me - I just want to get her in my arms and cuddle her forever. Upon arrival at our house, the paramedics asked for a brief medical history. When I told them that she had a history of blood vessels, particularly in her nose, eyes and limbs spontaneously haemorrhaging, they said it was best to wait until they got her to hospital before administering any blood-thinning treatments. She was given a brain scan as soon as she arrived, and with that having established that the cause was not a bleed on the brain, she was then given a TPA infusion via a drip - that's apparently another reason why they kept her in A&E for the best part of 15 hours, so they could keep a close eye out for any sudden bleeds. I had dialed 999 within 1 minute of Jennifer collapsing as I recognised the signs immediately and the paramedics arrived 6 minutes after that (I was still speaking to their control centre when they pulled-up outsde). They worked on her for about 10 minutes before loading her into the ambulance for the 4 mile trip to the hospital so hopefully the short timescale, well inside the critical 'Golden Hour', has given her the best chance of a reasonable recovery.
  21. My beloved partner, of nigh-on 30 years, Jennifer suffered what is being described by the medics as a significant stroke in the early hours of this morning. An ambulance arrived very quickly (full marks to them) and she was in A&E within 25 minutes of it happening, which I'm told makes a big difference to her recovery prospects. 9 hours later, she's still in A&E as there are no beds available in the stroke unit. Due to Covid restrictions, I can't get to see her until she's on a ward. Damn this Covid and damn our underfunded NHS Scotland.
  22. That's why I fitted the Radium! Payback for all the days and weeks of incessant drilling and sawing from next door, but just outside my bedroom window as that is apparently the only place they can use their power-tools, when they know full-well that I'm on permanent nightshift, .
  23. @peteLooks like Flow are part of LV, but whereas LV will accept some modifications (just not all of mine, ), Flow won't accept any.
  24. LV won't quote on mine due to the modifications, . Hopefully I can find something soon as renewal is 1st March. I haven't had the figure yet from my current provider (AIB) but going on the past 2 years it's going to be north of £700 if I want any decent sort of mileage allowance.
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