So somethings have to change…

Well dear reader, assuming there is still a read out there, we need to have a conversation, we need to discuss something important and somethings have to change.

Every now and then in life, there is a surprise or a shock and you end up taking stock to some extent. This time, it was a phone call on the way to work to tell me that my mother was unwell, dad was in a panic. Ambulance called, just waiting for arrival.  From the limited bit I got, as panic was in charge, I got that we were having trouble breathing and didn’t feel well. Now for some reason dad went for the 111 non emergency number, but quite quickly it was triaged and become important enough for the flashing lights to be on their way.

I arrived just before the ambulance and tried to calm people down and then they arrived and let them do their thing. Its clearly serious enough, with wires, leads and monitors all beeping away. Information sent to hospital and urgent attendance needed…. so off they go. I chase them down and find them in A&E doing all the things they need to do. We say our bit, and wait for details. Stabilisation is the order of the day and quickly with the appropriate care, improvement is rapid and massive.

Further care needed, and a transfer to another hospital is the order of the day as specialisation means different things go to different places. For the north east, The Freeman is the heart & lung place of choice , infact known around the world. They reject her as not serious enough, so fear not, off we go to Sunderland Royal.

Settled in, treatment discussed, Angioplasty (stents and balloons to you and I) is the order of the day, and its planned in fairly routine.

 

But then, the first spanner in the works…. A coloured die is injected to see how it all looks and the surgeon doesn’t fancy it, more complicated… its been escalated. Another hospital is on the cards, either Freeman or James Cook (wayyy down south). We suggest Freeman is better suited and easier for us all, but its bed availability that’s key. 3 days of waiting eventually transferred across. New surgery planned, a triple bypass no less! Good effort mother!

Second spanner in the works.  Off to theatre, all planned in – we hide at home as its safer and we can’t do anything of use to anyone at this point. Advised to call after 11…. We watch the clock, watch it some more, and then finally its time to call.  I am given the dubious pleasure.

I call and and told back in ICU all ok, but there are complications. That set my heart racing! But, it turns out what that actually means is that the operation was aborted before it began. It seems mother decided things were not complicated enough, so she would add something new to the mix. Now she has no allergies we are aware of… but (and you can guess where this is going) We understand she went to sleep ok, but then was given the necessary drugs for the op (4 different ones….) and it seems she is allergic to one of them…

 

They correctly back out of the operation. Back to ICU.

It seems mother isn’t happy with the provided breathing tube, and decides to pull it out. That didn’t go down well with the nurses. Ooops

Plan B is resurrected, with the balloons and stents back on the table, as its a local and not general anaesthetic.  This I am pleased to say worked better, and she’s made it home so phew….

So thanks for reading this far, but you are questioning whats this all got to do with the title…. well as part of the visiting etc etc, and maybe its because barriers are down etc, mother decided life was changing, better food, no cheating, a diet you name it. In short, she outright called me fat, and my dad, and my partner…. So if you know me, its a factually correct statement and I’ve never hidden from this.  But given the scare, and support she needs, maybe it is time to make a change, and properly do something about it.  A lot of heart disease and block arteries are diet related, and to be fair its in my control if i want it to be.

So its time to make changes, eat healthier, get back on the bandwagon…. and support the family whilst helping my self.

Today was day one, and its been good, no cheating at work, less coffee, salad for lunch. A 2 miles walk at lunch. Gym tonight for rowing and weights, and then a little sauna and swim to cool it all down.

Now Rome wasn’t built in a day, and one day doesnt make a week or a month. But its a start, and it needed to start.

 

Enough from me for now.

 

Cheers

Stephen

 

 

 

NHS

 

So this past weekend, we had need as a family to make use of the NHS and emergency services. Its something we kind of take for granted, and I know we can see the pressures they face. They were fantastic in helping, caring and fixing which is what we needed. Additionally, they offer for the patient to stay in, or go home… As responsible people, on balance we chose to go home as family we were able to cope and tide the person over whilst appropriate medication kicks in.

As we hit voting day, I ask you all to vote, not just based on a headline, but on a fact based approach having considered the issues and things that are important to you. I don’t mind how you vote, but vote, and make an informed decision….

Cheers

 

Steve

 

Write it down, move on…

custom_heart_character_13296Well sometimes I do say write it down, get it out there, and move on. And in fairness, that seems to have worked. I talked about feeling exposed, and its done no need to rehash the wheel so to speak. I did email the people at the gym and they picked up my points quickly and suggested things to do around scaling and if you need a break do so, which is all sensible stuff. In hind sight, I shouldn’t have emailed them, but it was part of clearing out the mind.

So change of mindset, relax and refresh and back to 100%

Ta

 

DIY – a work in progress

stick_figure_carrying_wood_400_wht_7671So a few days off has seen me working at the parents on their new bathroom. It started off by finding a leak and repairing to lets have a whole new bathroom.  its been a large lwork in progress. For the past two days it has been wall panels and the like. Tonight was buying the last of the bathroom furntiure, but its done….

Time to go back to work to relax, and unwind…

 

 

Taking stock, planning and moving on…

Now the the title sounds grander than the post may actually suggest, but sometimes in writing its hard to sound even more dull than I am or the mundaneness of what I am about to post, but hey. As its some time out of work, I am completing as rearrangement of some finance work I did before I went on my holidays.  Thankfully my holiday was paid for from a sharesave and money I had in the bank so no need for any debt.

scissors_clipping_credit_card_400_clr_2292However, as I was checking through where I was at, I “rediscovered” the amount of plastic I had sitting in a wallet, in a drawer, just around the house. In the main they all had zero balances are small (and I mean tiny) balances. As such I’ve been making an effort to clear down and more importantly closing down accounts. For some easy I had all details for others, didnt have the card in question which makes it difficult.

As part of my review, I’ve been going through APR’s to see whats cheap and expensive. My go to card is a Barclaycard at 6.9% which isnt too bad in fairness. I’ve just closed a Tesco @12.9% as they wouldnt move me to the 7% card and I need to leave, wait 6 months and reapply…. A Natwest at 20+ has gone and a MBNA is almost gone (but its currently 0%)  In terms of revolving credit through cards, there was scope for 30k+ of debt, thank god I am not completely mental.

Fair to say though not just about the APR rate I’ve kept a nationwide highish % as its a fee free no load european card so worth having if abroad.

 

walk_toward_bank_400_clr_14822Next up is the biannual trip to the bank as the mortgage is about to drop off its 2 year fixed deal and interest rate would revert to base. Now that’s not great in the current state of play so I need to go back and revisit. In all fairness last time, no issue, I went with all the details which confused the lady and we had an offer done in less than 20 minutes and it all concluded in a month or so. There was also an incentive cashback payment last time. I wonder what they will offer this time?

A quick look suggests on a 2 year jobbie:

Borrowing between 60% and 75% of your home’s value
No product or mortgage account fee. 2.09% fixed until 31 October 2017 Homeowner Variable Rate, currently 3.99% £0 3.8% APR For loans between £0 and £149,999.

Or 5 years:

Borrowing between 65% and 75% of your home’s value
No product or mortgage account fee. 2.89% fixed until 31 October 2020 Homeowner Variable Rate, currently 3.99% £0 3.7% APR For loans between £0 and £149,999.

Decisions….. but not until next week…. or even looking further afield….

 

Rough night and a missed gym session…

Hi All,

custom_figure_pain_spot_15571Well wouldn’t you know it, time for a holiday and I fall apart. A tough gym session during the week targeting the legs, then add in a pinch of rugby and the inevitable result? Pain, lots of it.

My right knee has started to go pop when I walk, and last night that meant little sleep and a cocktail of pain killers to get through the night. The ice pack certainly did help. The upset of this? One grumpy stephen and missed saturday morning session.

Additionally, it doesn’t look great for Sunday’s kickboxercise either. Bugger. I shall see what support I can give it for the day along with some rest.

Rubbish I tell ya, rubbish