The first of two posts today. Today when my hubby and I went to the new house, we found an absolute hive of industry in progress. Two men were working on the roof, starting to strip off the old tiles.
Here is a pallet of the new tiles that are going on – they are grey man-made slate, which should look very nice.
Inside, we found Andy and Chris, Ashley the painter and decorator, and Tim the electrician, all hard at it! Andy was working in my ARTHaven (see next post) and Christ was working on the bathroom. Quite a lot of stripping out has taken place in there, and the dado is now gone, and most of the fittings around the bath and pipes etc. This wall is where the new doorway to the bedroom will be created.
At the other end of the bath, Chris has prepared the wall for breaking through to form the arch into the wet room area.
Here’s Chris sitting on the loo! He’s unscrewing the grab rail. This is the other side of the wall in the previous photo, where the arch will be. Note Chris’s famous (and very stylish) knee pads.
We popped back after lunch because there were one or two things we wanted to discuss with Andy, that had come up during the lunch conversation. When we got back, more progress had been made. Chris had broken through the wall to form the beginning of the arch between the main bathroom and the wet room and loo area.
Here it is from the bathroom side.
Nice to see the old lath-and-plaster walls.
Downstairs, we found Tim the electrician hard at work in the kitchen, fixing the wiring ready for the appliances. This is the wall which will have the normal height units with illuminated wall units over, and the fridge-freezer at the farther end.
Here is Tim chiselling out some plaster for cable trunking, above where the hob will be.
You will notice that the old sink is still in place. I remarked on this to Andy the other day, that I was impressed that he has kept a source of running water and the ability to make tea, and he said he always does this – this old sink unit won’t come out until the new one is ready to go in. He is amazed at how many builders just rip out the whole kitchen, and five days later the owners still haven’t got running water and either have to go and stay somewhere else, or beg, borrow or steal from the neighbours! He says it’s so unnecessary, when a little forward planning makes for a smooth transition from the old kitchen to the new. If we were living there, he would have left basic cooking facilities, too, but as it is, the old gas cooker has now been taken by a friend of my hubby’s for the house he is doing up.
In the next picture you can see the work Tim is doing on the annexe kitchen wiring.
Apparently the boiler man is coming again tomorrow, and will be removing the old boiler and tank from the annexe kitchen, and installing the new combi boiler in the utility room.
Here is Ashley, sealing around the door from the hall into the annexe. He is painting the hall, landing and stairs, and will begin on the kitchen once work progresses in there. You can see the mushroom shade of the walls below the dado.
He has also started painting the magnolia above the dado on the landing, and once it’s had another coat, it will be perfect. The colour combination is lovely, and the whole space looks so much lighter and more open than with the floral wallpaper that was there before. It will make a nice backdrop for our pictures etc.
For the dramatic progress on my new ARTHaven, please see my next post!
I had my colonoscopy this morning at 8.30.
The good news is that they found no polyps, and no evidence of cancer! Phew! What a relief! However, even I could see on the camera what a horrible mess the inside of my bowel looked – they say it is very inflamed all the way round, and have diagnosed ulcerative colitis. This is no big problem, though – the doctor is referring me to one of his colleagues who specialises in IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), and he will get me on a regimen of treatment straight away. Apparently it is well treated with medication, with little need for any change of diet, and they tell me this should clear up the chronic diarrhoea and make me feel a lot better, which is tremendous news! It’s not a cure, but keeps it under control. There is a higher risk of cancer in patients with UC but they will keep an eye on me now I’m on the books.
The doctor was charming, and explained everything, and was very gentle with me. As for the nurses, well, where do they manage to find so many absolutely lovely ladies to fulfil this role? Jayne, who we saw the other day, was there, and two other colleagues, and they were all so bright and friendly, and made me feel as if I was the only patient in the whole hospital, and they were there to make me comfortable and feel reassured. They never did anything without telling me what was happening, and everything was explained. I was amused that I had to dress in one of those hospital gowns with ties down the back, and a rather odd dressing gown sort of garment with miscellaneous ties everywhere – I didn’t know what tied to what, so I just left that undone. I also had to wear a pair of navy blue paper knee-length boxer shorts with a slit up the back so they could access my bum!!! (What a job these folks have - looking up people’s bums all day!)
They put a cannula in my arm and gave me a strong painkiller and a sedative, which took immediate effect and made me feel woozy. They also gave me a low dose of oxygen through a little sponge on the end of a tube – they stuck the sponge in my nostril, and they also gave me a mask with gas and air which I could use as I wanted. The whole procedure was a lot less uncomfortable than I thought it would be – medium discomfort as they inserted the camera all the way round, and much less so as they slowly pulled it out, during which they did the examination. Being a bit spaced out, I wasn’t sure how long it took, but the literature they gave me said 30-40 mins, although it seemed a lot shorter than that. I was awake enough to be able to take an interest in what was going on on the screen, and I could see exactly how they took a couple of tissue samples for biopsy. They told me afterwards that they also took a sample of poo for examination for bacterial infection. Straight away afterwards they told me there were no polyps and no cancer, and how the appearance of the bowel lining led them to diagnose UC. So I now have to wait for another hospital appointment, and start treatment as soon as possible.
I must say I am mightily relieved. Not only is the news of non-cancer absolutely brilliant, but out of this has come the opportunity to treat the bowel condition that I’ve been living with for so long – I never asked for investigation into it at the time because it presented exactly as my IBS had done in the 70s and 80s, and I just assumed it had gone into remission and reappeared with the onset of M.E. because the conditions so commonly go together. I am not clear whether I still have IBS or not - from what they said today, I probably don’t; I have UC instead, but I think it is possible to have both together. Anyway, we will see what the new consultant has to say. The symptoms are classic IBS, although less severe from the point of view of bloating and cramps than they were years ago.
My hubby thought I’d want to come straight home and go to bed after all this, but after probably half an hour’s rest, (again, time does funny things when you’re sedated) dozing, to recover afterwards, they roused me and suggested I got dressed. They then brought me a lovely thick egg sandwich, I had 2 cups of tea and some biccies and could feel myself reviving by the minute! I’d had a pretty bad night last night, getting up with the last of the diarrhoea after the laxative, and felt pretty spaced out first thing this morning, mostly from lack of sleep. I never would have thought that a hospital cup of tea – a bag dunked into a polystyrene cup – could have been so delicious that I asked for a second one!
When he came back to pick me up, he found me ready to go to the new house and see what progress had been made, and for him to do a bit more in the garden. I have to keep pinching myself to be sure this is really happening – it’s like a dream coming true, and it’s made even more special by the relief that I haven’t got that cancer cloud hanging over me, ready to rob me of all this before I have a chance to enjoy it.
Dad is not well. We called in on the way home and he was in his room, very, very confused, and not able to engage with us in conversation much. Apparently the benefit of the last lot of antibiotics was short-lived. He had a fall yesterday, and he is very bent over and seems to find it hard to raise his head, and he’s very thin – they are having problems getting him to eat, and they had to feed him at lunch time today, which was a first. He is definitely declining, poor old Dad. I rang my sister this evening with all the news, and she agreed with me that we hoped he wouldn’t linger on too long, but would be taken sooner rather than later. We feel we’ve already lost him really, and we agreed that we will live on the lovely memories of what he used to be like, and nobody can take that away. Extreme old age can be so cruel, can't it.
Despite the somewhat unpleasant start to the day and my natural anxiety, the day turned out to be a really special one. My hubby has spoilt me today – we went out for lunch. It was a really good meal, although I couldn’t finish mine – probably because of not being able to eat for the last 24 hours, and eating a very bland diet for a couple of days before that, but it was a lovely treat. Then after we left the new house, he drove me out to a place called Labrador Bay which I’d never heard of before – beautiful views! It was a bit cooler with the sea breeze blowing in, and the wild flowers smelt so lovely. A nice drive back home through the country lanes. On the way home he stopped to post a letter, and bought me a box of choccies!!!