I had an extremely lazy day today, just resting and taking tablets like the doctor told me. I finished a Jodi Picoult novel and watched some television and ended up vomiting quite a bit, probably because of the codeine, which I haven’t done for quite a long time. It was just as disgusting an experience as I remember, but Belinda and Andrew took really good care of me. So I possibly will go without codeine for the rest of my (fingers crossed) recovery. I shall soldier on. Yahoo.


Luce went to New York at 1am this morning!! Exciting 🙂 Later on this morning I woke up bright and early to get ready for a really fun weekend that Belinda and Andrew had kindly planned. We were going to see Pemberley from Pride and Prejudice and then go to Sherwood Forest and stay overnight in Edwinstowe, the rumoured home of Robin Hood. Then we were going to stay Saturday night in York. Instead, I got up and pretty much couldn’t walk, or dress myself, or get down the stairs. It’s finally caught up with me. So I rang the physio and Andrew drove me there at 9am. The physio helped me a little with my hip and then took one look at my knee and ankle and told me to see a doctor. So we drove to the doctors surgery and made an emergency appointment and waited, and then the doctor took one look at my hip and told me to get to casualty to get it x-rayed. So then we all drove to the hospital.

We arrived at about 1pm and left at about 8pm. It was an incredibly long day and Belinda and Andrew waited with me the whole time because they are lovely. Apparently there was a bit of confusion as to what department was going to look at me which accounts for the long wait, but once they’d got blood pressure and drawn blood and wheeled me off to a nice doctor who poked and prodded me for a bit, they took me for x-rays which came back….completely normal. The doctor was, in her words, flummoxed, but they gave me some realllllllly strong painkillers and sent me home with a sufficient supply and some crutches and told me to rest up. The painkillers seem to be working, so hopefully I’ll feel better in the next couple of days. Belinda and Andrew bought me fish and chips for dinner and I need to go to bed now because the painkillers have made me really tired.

Electrical pulses

Apologies for the lack of blog over the last few days. The charger to my netbook has died and I am trying to conserve the battery power. Sean, being the lovely man he is, has arranged for a new one to be sent and it should arrive sometime today, so fingers crossed! The last three days we have had a continuation of utterly gorgeous weather. Weather that is too hot to wear jeans in, with completely cloudless skies and a very faint breeze. It’s been unbelievably beautiful and I wish, wish, WISH my back/legs were feeling better because it’s the kind of weather that makes you want to run around in a park. The last three days I have been for walks around Crosby, completing various errands, then coming back to the house and putting frozen peas on my knee and trying to stretch my hip. On Tuesday I went to a physiotherapist and he was pretty amazing. He gave me a very painful massage to loosen up my back and then put a machine on my back that sent electrical pulses through my muscles. The machine went for 15 minutes and it was about the most bizarre sensation I have ever experienced. My back felt like someone else’s when I stood up afterwards, and for the next hour, I could still feel the same sensation after I left the physio’s, but it definitely felt better than it had. I’m going back on Monday for a follow-up. Belinda and Andrew have been the perfect hosts, and it’s been so nice to have home-cooked meals and a place that is not full of strangers while I am feeling so rotten. Don’t get me wrong, I love meeting new people, but pain makes me anti-social. Since I had the crazy electric therapy, I have felt quite good once the day gets going. Mornings are the worst though, and that is what I am hoping will get better. Sean is having a great time with Tim and Helen and seeing a show every day. I miss him but I am really pleased he’s getting to see stuff at his own pace rather than have to constantly be waiting for me. Today I plan to do much of the same – walk, sun, read, ice my knee, stretch. Until my next blog!

Crosby times

The last two days have been very relaxing and really good for my back. I have spent a lot of time lying down on a camping mat, reading and watching British television, but we went for a long walk today along Crosby Beach. It’s difficult because I should be staying active to stretch out my back, but the pain in my knees and hips make it hard. Yesterday we went to lunch at The Courtyard (Mum, Dad, next time you visit Liverpool, you need to go here for lunch, it’s gorgeous). Crosby is lovely because it’s really close to the city centre, but it’s also on the beach, and you only need to drive ten minutes or so to get to the country. It’s the best of all worlds; all it needs is a nice mountain range. I hear Sean has been having an awesome time at the Dr Who convention, hopefully the weather in Cardiff is as nice as it is here. Brilliant sunshine the last two days – real beachy, t-shirt-and-shorts type skies. A really nice change from wintry grey 🙂

Liverpool again :)

I said goodbye to Kim and Sean today! Big hugs all round. The delightful Derry taxi system showed up for me without me even phoning. I had mentioned to a driver yesterday that I was going to the airport at 10am this morning and he told me to phone him. I was literally getting to my feet to call him this morning when there was a knock on the hostel door. It was a different taxi driver. The man I spoke to yesterday had been called away to something but he wanted to make sure someone was there to pick me up at 10. These people are so considerate and lovely. I had a great chat to the taxi driver on the way to the airport. We talked about Australia and Ireland and snow and our families mainly, and when he pulled up at the airport, he took all my luggage into the terminal because he could see I was having trouble with my back. It was a really lovely way to start the day.
Derry airport is tiny. It’s about the size of the toilet blocks at Tullamarine. There were two gates, and the tiniest little lounge, and everyone was really friendly. I chatted to the nicest Liverpudlian who told me all about her family and her city and how much she loved it. The plane trip to Liverpool took 40 minutes, but I closed my eyes briefly and then felt this almighty crash. I thought it was the most mental turbulence I’d ever encountered, but I opened my eyes and we had actually landed, so I can only assume I drifted off to sleep as it felt like we’d been in the air for 10 minutes.
I took a bus to the city centre and Andrew picked me up and drove me to their house in Crosby. It’s really nice to be back. I scared the living daylights out of Luce when she got back, but after that we spent the afternoon chatting, with me sprawled out along the floor which has become the custom. The lovely Belinda bought me fish and chips for dinner and we watched Sport Relief 2012. It feels hideously selfish to be whinging about a bit of back pain when children are dying of the most pointless and treatable illnesses. It really puts it into perspective. And I need to donate some moolah.
Later kids!

Lying on the floor for two days and other activities

The last two days have involved long stretches of lying on my side on the floor while reading. Not terribly exciting, but unfortunately, necessary. Nevermind, I am still managing to surf a lot of Net and read a lot of books. I’ve also done a lot of other boring jobs like washing, posting stuff home and printing off my boarding pass to fly to Liverpool tomorrow. I’ve had AMAZING curries for dinner both nights at the Wetherspoons pub which is this uber cheap and tasty chain throughout the UK, and last night we went to the Peader O’Donnell’s pub for some traditional Irish music. It’s full of Irish people who are excited to see tourists and they are really friendly and chatty. I got a kiss and told I was a ‘gorgeous gal’. Ah, Ireland 🙂

This afternoon we went on a walking tour around the Bogside and the city walls. I did the same tour about 4 years ago and from what I can remember it was really different, and just as enjoyable. Tomorrow I am headed back to Belinda and Andrew’s and Sean is headed to Cardiff, then London. It will be weird to be separated from him after living in each other’s pockets for 9 weeks, but we’ll be meeting up in Newcastle in ten days to visit his family, so it’s not for long!

I am the pincushion. Coo coo cachoo.

This morning I went to a physio about my back pain. It has been impacting too much on my plans and I need to do something, so today I took a taxi to the Back Pain Clinic. The taxi cost me 4 pounds and arrived at the hostel within 3 minutes of me calling them. Lift your game, Melbs! The physio was really nice, made me stretch a bit, then mentioned that he used acupuncture quite a lot, and did I mind? I asked if it hurt, he said you feel a bit of a pinch, like a normal needle. I said, well okay. I was seriously willing to try anything. So he stuck 4 needles in my hip and left them there. He was right, I did feel a bit of a pinch. A damn painful pinch with every needle, but then you sort of relax and the pain goes away. But I tried to move at one point and that hurt, so don’t move if you ever had it. Then he went away for about 15 minutes and I got Sean to talk to me to distract me because I didn’t want a repeat of the blood donation, where I thought about the fact there was a needle in me and cried. Yay. But Sean talked to me and I was pretty relaxed, and then the physio came back to turn the needles. That bit also hurt. Quite a lot. But again, only for a few seconds, then the pain faded. He gave me a really vigorous massage along my spine afterwards, and then stood me up. He wasn’t happy with what he saw, so he put the needles in again, but this time only for about 30 seconds, then we tried again. It was really amazing. The pain in my back has improved significantly and he showed me some tricks with posture and core strength to help me manage it. Unfortunately, the pain in my legs is still quite bad, but I have a follow-up appointment on Thursday morning so I’ll mention it if it’s unchanged.

He told me to avoid sitting, and to stay standing and active if I could. Because of the swelling in my knee it’s not too possible right now, so I pretty much have to lie on my side for long periods of time if I need to sit down. It’s only temporary, but it’s frustrating to say the least. Sean and I walked back through Derry in an attempt to stay active and found some cool shops, then I spent most of the afternoon lying on the couch reading. I got up to go to a restaurant for dinner with Sean then we had a drink with Kim when she finished her volunteering duties. We don’t have any major plans for tomorrow, just washing and posting stuff home, but if we get that done, it’ll be a big weight off my shoulders!