Friday, January 04, 2008

Come Friendly Bombs...

As some of you will know from the comments on the previous post Karen's mum suffered a stroke on New Year's Day. By an amazing coincidence her granny also had a heart attack on the same day. Both are recovering in hospital.

Without going into too much detail Karen's mum suffered a stroke to the brain-stem region of her nervous system/brain - mentally she's fine but at the moment is unable to eat, swallow or talk... so communication is carried out by the aid of an A4 sheet of paper with the alphabet printed onto it. To say it's very frustrating for all concerned is an understatement.

Karen and I are making regular journey's down to Slough to visit her in hospital... with a 6 year old and a 3 month old baby in tow this is a massive undertaking to organize so my blogging might be intermittent for a week or two - but I will keep you all posted.

Anyway, this has been my first experience of Slough and aside from jokes about The Office I can see little that is noteworthy in the wide, compressed and desolate thoroughfares of Slough. Sir John Betjemen was right - what a thoroughly drab, down-at-heel, concrete pancake of a place!

The highlight of the journey was spotting the Lego offices. The lucky buggers have all the latest Lego models lining their office windows. Freebies I bet. Lucky gits. I would give anything to work there...

...if it wasn't in Slough!

(It isn't fit for humans now...) too bloody right!


Tristan said...

I've been very sorry to hear about Karen's mum and gran - it's a shitty time of year for these terrible things to happen.

Interesting that you'd rule out living in Slough to work at Lego? Surely it'd be worth the pain to live the Lego dream?

Rol said...

Best wishes to both. Why does this sort of thing tend to happen so often at Christmas?

per.pri said...

Thinking of you all and wishing you all the best.

I hope those concerned making speedy recoveries.

Take care,


The Hitch said...

Steve ,two of my grandparents have had strokes.
You need to make sure the hospital gets her into therapy as soom as possible, they tend to leave people sitting around, and that is a bad thing for recovery.
There is a stroke association in the uk. They can provide you with advice and things that can help with mental stimulation.
Good luck.

Daisy said...

all the best thoughts are going out to you and karen...i know it seems a pain right now going back and forth...but you will never regret the time you have taken to visit with her (as rough as it is now) and you are teaching your children something more valuable than the college education they are being prompted for...

The Sagittarian said...

Sending best wishes for your family your way...what a start to the new least you could argue that you've had your lot of crap for the year and things can only get better!! Thinking of you all.

Steve said...

Thanks for your good wishes one and all - they're much appreciated by both Karen and myself.

Tris - I'm sure you've experienced the drab hell that is Slough for yourself... any job would have to be amazing to compensate for travelling there every day. However, I may yet check on-line to see what positions are available at the Lego company... maybe I could supervise the maintenance of Lego buildings?

Rol - I guess there's never a good time but there does always seem to be a proliferation of crap at this time of year. I think mid Winter sees everybody at a low ebb and weakened...

Thank you Per.pri... things are progressing pretty well. I'll explain more in another post later... but we're more hopeful than we were.

Hitch - thanks for the excellent advice. Thankfully as Karen's mum is herself a Dr. she's being very pushy about what type of treatment she herself thinks she needs. They've already given her a timetable of various therapy treatements starting on Monday. The fact they left her lying around without a food tube for 2 days is, however, another story...

Thanks Daisy, you are of course right and Karen and I certainly don't regret the efforts we've made over the last few days... we now have to balance future expeditions against what is best for Ben & Tom and ourselves so that we don't make ourselves ill in the process!

Ally, that is certainly how I'm trying to think of it! Get all the crap out of the way early... then let the good times roll!

Anonymous said...

I hope it all goes OK, Steve. So stressful and worrying.

Don't they make Mars Bars and things in Slough though? I thought so. So it does have chocolate as a redeeming feature.

Steve said...

So thought I, RB, until Karen pointed out that Mars also make dog food... Hmm. Mars with marrowbone... lovely.

Glenda Young said...

My thoughts are with you all, what an awful way to start off the year and I hope Karen's mum and gran both make a good and speedy recovery.

The Hitch said...

Steve you need to be pushy
I had to have severe words with some folk to get my grandfather off the ward.
We had to go in and feed both grandparents, bathe them, provide fans and televisons.
The NHS seems to exist for the benefit of staff not patients.
Not all of them, I met some wonderful people,however, they seem to be in a minority.
Glad to hear that the MIL is on good form telling people what she thinks.

Annie G said...

Hi Steve, Trevor and I will keep Karen's mum and granny in our thoughts. It's just so horrible for all of you at the moment.

Never been to Slough but I know the Betjeman poem. I read once that Betjeman had terrible teeth which were covered in green slime. Ugh! Oops, I'm going off course again. Is Slough really that bad?

Chin up kid.

Old Cheeser said...

So sorry to hear about two close relations falling ill at the same time - that is totally crap. As some of the others have said though, after a bad start to the New Year it can only get better. My Nanna actually passed away just before Xmas and yesterday I attended her funeral. To be honest we weren't that close so it wasn't a massive upset but it was still quite sad.

Anyway sending my best wishes and hope that Karen's Mum and Granny are on the mend soon!

As for the Lego job I think it would be an absolute dream! Would it be possible to commute from Lemington Spa??

TimeWarden said...

Very sorry to hear the news, Steve, and hope both ladies make a full and speedy recovery.

I've learnt over the last couple of months, from seeing and talking to other victims, that every stroke is different but all human bodies require plenty of time to mend.

Warfarin is often prescribed to thin the blood, to prevent a further stroke, so I was surprised to read that this is Karen's Mum's second.

One of my Aunts also suffered a stroke to the brain-stem region after her son was killed in a cycling accident at University.

I wish you and your family well and look forward to hearing news of gradual improvement.

Steve said...

Thank you, Nora!

Hitch, Karen's mother is about as pushy as they come... I almost feel more sorry for the nurses! ;-)

Thank you, Annie - I had no idea of Betjeman's dental problems! Green slime? Thank God he called for "friendly bombs" rather than just spitting all over Slough...

Thank you for your kind thoughts OC, especially when you've suffered a bereavment. We all send our best to you and your family. Such news is sad at any time of the year but so much worse around Christmas and the New Year. As for commuting from Leamo to Slough... it would be quite a journey. Sadly the Lego company are currently only looking for Danish speakers... my impressions of the cook from the Muppets won't get me very far I'm afraid!

Hi TimeWarden, Karen's mum suffered her first stroke about 20 years ago. She's long been suffering from Lupus which is gradually wearing her body's defences down... her speech was slurred after the first stroke so we'll have to wait and see how much she recovers of it this time... thank you for your good wishes.

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Blimey - somewhere even grimmer than Coventry city centre?

One can only hope the thought of getting discharged from Slough will spur them on to get well even quicker!

Bummer of a New Year for you though - sorry to hear it.

All the best to yourself and Mrs Bloggertropolis GTi, plus of course the patients! Laura x

Steve said...

Many, many thanks Laura - yes Slough makes Coventry look like Barcelona... Seriously!