Hospital update

After a month on the impossible diet, which in fairness I have to say has had some positive results on my blood tests, I returned to the renal department at 9.00am today. I didn’t see the consultant but one of his colleagues  who, having discussed with me the increased  fluid retention (puffy eyes and ankles and fingers) and general feeling of nausea, itching etc which accompany this level of renal failure, spent the first half of my appointment telling me how much better I will feel once I start dialysis then wandered off to discuss with the consultant the plan (he did ask me what the plan was first but as it seems to change each month I couldn’t help) and came back having completely changed his ideas and gave me a prescription for 3 weeks of new diuretic and blood pressure tablets and an appointment for 3 weeks time with instructions to call the dialysis nurses at anytime between now and then if things don’t improve. I then spent a fruitless hour or so waiting for and seeing the dietician to go over the same ground as last month and she also told me how much better life will be when I’m on dialysis.

Question. If dialysis is going to make such a difference to my life why are we messing about changing one tablet here and cutting another food group out of my diet there instead of just ……. well getting on with it?

Next stop the appointment desk, I handed over the slip on which it clearly said 3 weeks and the clerk offered me an appointment in just over a month so i politely pointed out that I needed to be seen in 3 weeks as I’m trying the new drugs for 3 weeks only. He assured me that my GP can prescribe some more at the end of the prescription I’ve just been given and I pointed out that I’m in end stage renal failure and likely to need dialysis soon hence the increasingly frequent appointments and the three week trial of the new meds. He rang someone else and then said I was to have an appointment on April 22nd which I rejected as being even further away so he took my booking form and said I’d get an appointment in the post and if that isn’t suitable I can phone up and complain. Now I fully accept that clinics are busy and that it isn’t the clerk’s fault if there are no appointments available on the date the consultant or staff request but I felt so frustrated I can understand why people end up shouting at the clerks. I decided I really didn’t feel up to arguing any further so have left it for the time being.

After a further wait to get the prescription filled I was home just in time to eat a quick cottage cheese sandwich and a handfull of pills before going off to work.

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Half Term holiday

It is half term which means a week of no school and some time to sew, I have completed my Walkloden boiled wool suit, after a struggle with the lining of the jacket which seemed unnecessarily complicated. It is warm and comfortable and will be ideal for chilly winter days. The sun has therefore come out to taunt me into wanting to sew lighter Spring clothes so this morning I have made a start on a pair of jersey trousers, “leisure wear” I suppose, I’m thinking of them as something soft and comfortable to wear in the evenings. They are a rather dull grey colour – the fabric has been in the stash for a while and hasn’t inspired me so I thought it would be a good test fabric. If I like the finished style then I can make some more in more inspiring fabrics. The pattern is an old one Butterick 5150butterick 5150 designed for fleece fabric or double knits.

Sewing time is frequently interrupted by two indignant dogs who cannot understand why there are men outside stealing the pavement (the tarmac and edgings are all being replaced) and why I am doing nothing about it. Skye in particular is very concerned with them so we spend much of the day at the back of the house as far away as possible but it is impossible to escape the noise and dust they are creating. Although I’m less than delighted at them being around in what should be a peaceful week for me I’m glad I am around as the dogs would be more upset if they were here on their own.

Edited to add, the Butterick trousers are much much looser than anticipated, I made a size 14, took them in to about a 12 and still have too much ease. They will be very comfortable as lounging around trousers but it’s not quite the look I was hoping for!  Butterick measurements are plainly very generous.

I was still in the sewing mood so this afternoon began sewing Vogue 9070, a short sleeved blouse which I made some years ago and liked. In the intervening years I have lost the instruction sheet but it’s a blouse how difficult can it be? vogue 9070

I want to do French seams inside which are not part of the pattern but as I’m using quite a fine cotton fabric will give a neater finish than the pressed open seams recommended. The fabric is pink and white stripes with some pulled threadwork and embroidery making up the stripes. It is a piece I’ve had for years but will do fine as a wearable muslin to check the fit of the pattern before I cut into the linen I’m planning to make it in next. My wardrobe is very short of blouses and skirts so my vague sewing plan is to make a collection of suitable pieces for wearing as the weather gets warmer.  Assuming of course we get some decent warm weather this year, last year I gave up summer sewing altogether as it was so wet and cold.

I have also sorted out my boxes of patterns and have disposed of those no longer in a fit state to use or with pieces missing that can’t be replaced, not to mention one or two “What was I thinking” patterns that should never see the light of day.  The sunshine combined with the holiday has given me more energy than usual but I’m now (at 4.15pm) ready for a rest and as the road men seem to have gone home the dogs are happy to relax too.

Mes Confitures

In wake of the general grumpiness of yet another visit to the renal dietician I ordered “Mes mes confituresConfitures”  a delicious book of jams and jellies by the French cook Christine Ferber. I am smitten, I want to move to Alsace and shop in a French market and make my confitures with green walnuts and Mara strawberries and Pinot Noir and all the other wonderful ingredients Mme Ferber describes.

On Saturday I made gelée de pamplemousse rose or Pink Grapefruit jelly, it is a pretty pale pink with a delicate scent and taste. This morning the kitchen is scented with the preparations for Conserver au citron et kiwi – Lemon and Kiwi Conserve . I would like to make every recipe in the book, the photography is stunning, the combinations of flavours original and inspiring.