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Let’s get one thing clear from the start.

I am an adventurous, free-spirit who travels light on this Earth and can pick up a rucksack at the drop of a hat and set off to explore pastures new.

At least, that is who I was when I was born and who I remain inside.

However, accidents and misfortunes have rendered my poor old frame injured, surgically altered, immune constrained, chemically sensitive with food allergies, and recently diagnosed with cancer.

So, that poses a teensy problem when travelling to somewhere like China.

It took me seven months to make the necessary preparations which was frustrating in the extreme, but proved wise in the event.

If you are interested I explain here what is recommended and what precautions I took: if you are not interested, please just skip:)

Now a lot of advice is geared towards people who are independent travellers and/or who are up-country: for my own safety and for the security of an established umbrella organisation I had decided that I needed to be sensible and go with a well-known travel company.  This I did and although it meant that the trip was rather too organised and over-sanitized for my liking, and most of the other people, although very pleasant were not my type, it was a good choice and also meant that our visits to many sites were stream lined, trouble- and queue-free.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the following vaccinations for travellers to China:

Adult diphtheria and tetanus (ADT) : Hepatitis A : Hepatitis BMeasles, mumps and rubella (MMR):  TyphoidVaricella If you haven’t had chickenpox.

The following immunisations are recommended for travellers spending more than one month in the country or those at special risk:

Influenza : Japanese B encephalitis : Pneumonia: Rabies : Tuberculosis 

In China there are day flying mosquitoes and night time flying mosquitoes: both carry diseases. – Dengue Fever and Japanese Encephalitis.

First of all my doctor was adamant that I should have most of these immunisations:   as I have severe chemical allergies to 40% of modern pharmaceutical drugs this necessitated arranging a session in hospital while I was ‘challenged’ with minute amounts to see whether my system could cope with them.  This took months to arrange, and when it did take place I collapsed, so no immunisations for me.

Although water quality in many of China’s major cities is now much safer, the delivery system is not, so non-Chinese are not advised to drink the water, although washing and brushing one’s teeth is OK.  However, since I need to change surgical dressings on a regular basis my doctor wished me to use only bottled water both for drinking, teeth brushing and wound cleansing: after washing my hands I was also to use hand sanitizer and follow the recommendation to wear long-sleeved tops, trousers, and socks to avoid mosquito bites.  Also to use mosquito nets and apply insect repellents.

Now I am fairly sensible so I chose dates for this holiday that fell as nearly as possible into times when mosquitoes would be least abundant.  However, since we are visiting both warm southerly places as well as chiller northern ones this was slightly problematic.  Being on a river for six days in warm areas was also thought provoking!  Unfortunately, I cannot be around most sanitizers without collapsing and the same effect happens with anti-mosquito preparations.  So I had to spend some time trying to track down things that I could take that would not affect me. The Cruise ship sprayed the cabins each day but I had to ask them not to do this in my cabin and also asked them if it would be possible for them to provide a mosquito net.  Look for the photo of my cabin later in this diary to see how they responded to this request.

Finally, I found anti-bacterial wipes that I could tolerate and took long, light-coloured, loose cotton clothing to help prevent disease-carrying insect bites (none of which I have in my wardrobe living in the north of England, of course!!).  My holiday was to be constant hand washing followed by hand wipes, and brushing my teeth in bottled water.  Also, no salads, peeled fruit, or cold dishes: in some parts of China human waste is still a standard agricultural fertiliser!  If I get any kind of stomach upset it can be extremely serious within a few hours leading to extreme dehydration and collapse.

So far, so good. Although my doctor was not overjoyed at the prospect of this trip, or me going unprotected.

Lonely Planet Medical Checklist

Recommended items for a personal medical kit:

  • Antibacterial cream, eg mucipirocin
  • Antibiotics for diarrhoea, including norfloxacin, ciprofloxacin or azithromycin for bacterial diarrhoea; or tinidazole for giardia or amoebic dysentery
  • Antibiotics for skin infections, eg amoxicillin/clavulanate or cephalexin
  • Antifungal cream, eg clotrimazole
  • Antihistamine, eg cetrizine for daytime and promethazine for night-time
  • Anti-inflammatory, eg ibuprofen
  • Antiseptic, eg Betadine
  • Antispasmodic for stomach cramps, eg Buscopan
  • Decongestant, eg pseudoephedrine
  • Diamox if going to high altitudes
  • Elastoplasts, bandages, gauze, thermometer (but not mercury), sterile needles and syringes, safety pins and tweezers
  • Indigestion tablets, such as Quick-Eze or Mylanta
  • Insect repellent containing DEET
  • Iodine tablets to purify water (unless you’re pregnant or have a thyroid problem)
  • Laxative, eg coloxyl
  • Oral-rehydration solution (eg Gastrolyte) for diarrhoea, diarrhoea ‘stopper’ (eg loperamide) and antinausea medication (eg prochlorperazine)
  • Paracetamol
  • Permethrin to impregnate clothing and mosquito nets
  • Steroid cream for rashes, eg 1% to 2% hydrocortisone
  • Sunscreen
  • Thrush (vaginal yeast infection) treatment, eg clotrimazole pessaries or Diflucan tablet
  • Urinary infection treatment, eg Ural

I did not take all of this but I did take the few items I knew that were safe for me and also covered most common conditions: clove oil, T-tree oil, homeopathic kit, soluble ibruprofen, dioralyte, codeine phosphate, buccastem, anti allergy tape, cough tablets, and my regular prescription items.

Tips for Packing

  • Pack medications in their original, clearly labelled containers.
  • If you take any regular medication, bring double your needs in case of loss or theft.
  • Take a signed and dated letter from your physician describing your medical conditions and medications (using generic names).
  • If carrying syringes or needles, ensure you have a physician’s letter documenting their medical necessity.If you have a heart condition, bring a copy of your ECG taken just prior to travelling.
  • Get your teeth checked before you travel.
  • If you wear glasses, take a spare pair and your prescription.

In China you can buy some medications over the counter without a doctor’s prescription, but not all, and in general it is not advisable to buy medications locally without a doctor’s advice. Fake medications and poorly stored or out-of-date drugs are also common, so try to bring your own.

So, I heeded this advice, followed it, and for good measure had my prescriptions printed out, dated and signed by both my Doctor and Pharmacist: I was anticipating problems with Chinese officials: as it turned out this did not happen, it was the English officials who behaved like little Hitlers.  (More on this next time.)

I also discovered that the flights to and from the UK to China were fumigated with an insect killer which I could not tolerate.  It took all seven months to track down a face mask and filter combination that I could wear on the plane for 40 minutes while this took place.  The company also recommended that I took charcoal masks to cope with the common problem of air pollution in many Chinese cities, and other chemical events that I might encounter.  Very helpful of them.

It was suggested that I should contact the airline for two reasons: one to ask for oxygen to be available in case of some kind of chemical exposure during the flight (oxygen is the only thing which brings me round) and secondly to explain my need for medical equipment because in that case my luggage would not be weight limited.  Given the weight of the mask and filter alone this was a tremendous help.  Apparently only one passenger per flight is allowed oxygen.  I was on four flights with British Airways: Manchester to London, London to Shanghai, Beijing to London, London to Manchester. (I could not manage to discover how to make this arrangement with the three different Chinese Airlines we also flew on.)  Gods be praised, but no other passengers on my flights had asked for this concession, so after several doctor’s letters and filling in loads of forms, my medical allowance was given the go-ahead and my oxygen request accepted by BA.

Are you bored yet? I was.  Bored and fed up and frustrated  Image result for frustration   and getting more depressed by the day as the complications of my medical situation were brought home to me.  Of course we were preparing for all the worst possible scenarios which is highly unlikely, but in the circumstances the doctors thought it necessary.

Then I got the diagnosis of cancer and my surgeon wanted to operate in July/August: I refused as the operation will make me immobile for at least three months.  Not until after China I determined.  But it was more pressure. Oh yes, and now I have very little hair.  For some reason it has been falling out at a rate of knots, either from the shock of the cancer diagnosis or the various interventions I have tried.  Very good for morale.

As a little extra soupçon a few years ago I badly re-injured a knee joint: exercise, diet and pilates have transformed the joint but it is still ‘iffy’ so that meant taking two hiking poles and a knee-brace to use on the Great Wall at least.

Did I mention that I like to travel light?         Image result for travelling light

Because of surgery I do not absorb or metabolize nutrients well, so that necessitated taking supplements that I needed.  Also the few usual drugs that I can tolerate in case they are not available where I would be – all of which have to be prescription items for me.  It was brought home to me that since some of these contain codeine the Chinese Customs might not be happy: so that entailed getting print-outs of all my prescription items, listed, dated, and signed by my dispensing Chemist and Doctor.

I was told that I MUST carry all my medical items in my hand luggage so that I could not be parted from them. Because of lots of major surgery in the past I have to wear an appliance.  That is normally no problem.  But with skin allergies there are only certain types of appliance that I can tolerate: these are not available in China.  So I had to take everything I might possibly need for the whole stay, plus extra in case of emergencies.  This involved pastes and powders.  And, you guessed it, no Security in any Airport lets you go through with large amounts of pastes, liquids and foreign looking powders.  More paperwork, this time to present to Security: this paperwork was approved, dated and signed by British Airways Medical department and also the relevant NHS departments.

You may have noticed that so far there has been no mention of guide books, normal day clothes, diaries, pens, sun hats, underwear,  – the usual things people consider when packing.  Not relevant so far.

Since I cannot eat gluten or dairy products, I had had translated and printed off, a sheet that I could give to restaurants, cafes and chefs: I also took some gluten-free crackers and a few other dried emergency items – just in case.  All triple wrapped in case of sniffer dogs at Chinese customs.  Oh yes, and a bar of 90% dark chocolate for when everything just got too much!!           Image result for emergency chocolate

By now you would imagine that all possible eventualities had been researched, discussed, and dealt with.

Oh no.

One week before I was due to set off I felt that I had crossed every T and dotted every i.  I had printed paperwork for everything I had organised, plus translations into Chinese, and had laminated some of these as well.  Then my normal monthly appliance prescription was returned  – late- with some of the most essential items missing and no explanation.  I spent three days trying to find out if anyone else had the items or knew what the problem was.  I was told eventually that the manufacturer had, with no notice and no explanation, stopped making the items and would not make them again until November.  You can perhaps imagine my feelings at this point?  I was also told that the local hospital pharmacies would not dispense them for me even with my prescription because it was a family doctor prescription not a hospital prescription, even though the surgery had obviously taken place at the hospital.

If anyone ever felt that the fates were against this journey, that was me at that moment.

But I also felt that I had worked damn hard for this trip, at the same time as negotiating other family problems, and pet crises, and that come hell or high  water I was going.

Finally, nearly crying with frustration,   Image result for frustration     I found an online dispenser who listened to my plea, knew about the manufacturer’s situation, and cut through all the red tape by suggesting that she send me the next generation appliance which would be following on from the one I was already using.  It was not yet available on prescription so I could not send her that, but like an angel, she said not to worry, she would send them to me and write them off as sales samples.  She had them despatched by courier and they arrived the day before I was due to leave.  I would have hugged and kissed her if I could.Image result for kind angel

 

When I was young I knew that I had cousins in Peking (as it was then) who were half Swedish and half Chinese: it seemed very exotic and I always wanted to know about their lives.  Their escape from the Red Guard was legendary in the family.

People from Burma lived in our house when I was very small and I loved it when they were on baby-sitting duties: the stories they told and the clothes they wore were different, prettier, so much lovelier than my day-to-day normality.  Sitting on their knee was to be in heaven: the ladies were loving, dark, petite, fine-boned, smelled gorgeous and wore silky and satiny clothes.  So different from my tall, bony, blond Scandinavian relatives.

One of my favourite stories was a book they gave me called Dabbitse (by Chiang Yee, see note below) about a little boy whose father was called Obstinate Ho.  The boy spent each day with his beloved Water Buffalo Dabbitse.  One day Dabbitse gets into the garden of a rich house and eats the Lotus flowers in the pond much to the distress of the owner’s daughter!!!  The illustrations are wonderful, several in delicate water colour and more in traditional Chinese ink.  It was a book which opened up magical vistas to me.

So although I knew a little about Asia I had never been.  I have also mentioned elsewhere that I have always wanted to stand on the Great Wall of China and when I was first diagnosed with this cancer my first thought was that I will not die without having stood on the Great Wall.

Therefore, I was going.  And if I fell off the Great Wall or some other dire event befell me, then so be it.  Better to try and fail, than not try.

But after all these months of preparation I was emotionally frazzled and exhausted.  And, I am ashamed to admit, although not often given to self-pity, I did ruminate darkly from time to time when I heard other’s complaints about the amount of work necessary  for them to go on holiday;)

So, finally, after all these months, D-Day dawned, and miraculously, I was ready.

Related image

 

 

P.S.  I do not own any copyright to any of the images in this post.

P.P.S.  Chinese artist and writer Chiang Yee (1903-1977) came to Britain in 1933, where he lived and worked until 1955. During this time he wrote a successful series of illustrated travelogues using the pen name ‘Yaxingzhe’ or ‘Silent Traveller’. The books describe Chiang Yee’s life in London and Oxford during the turbulent years of the Second World War and record his travels to the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales, Edinburgh and Dublin.  Illustrated throughout, with his own unique ink and watercolour paintings, sketches and poems, they represent a significant artistic, as well as literary project.Notably among the first Chinese writers to write books in English in the first half of the 20th century, Chiang enjoyed a prolific publishing career in Britain, in which he also published two seminal texts on Chinese painting and calligraphy, memoirs of his childhood in China, and several children’s books including ‘Dabbitse’.

 

Well folks, I’m back home.

After what has turned out to be the most amazing, astonishing and over-stimulating trip of my life!!

Worth every second of the months of preparation (which really depressed me) and the brutal experiences of British Security (in my opinion).

I actually returned home last Saturday night but since then have been suffering from a bad viral chest infection which everyone else had either taken with them on the trip, or caught en route, but which I avoided when away, only to succumb once back here.   I think I know where and when i picked it up but that is for later in my narrative.  Add to that some jet-lag, a migraine and a mind so wildly over-excited that I cannot lie down to sleep without seeing China in my mind and dreaming about being overwhelmed by visual stimuli.

Seven air flights, over 12 Gb of photos, a notebook full of scrawled jottings which went everywhere with me, 5 hotels, a River Cruise and more coach trips than I could count.  Ancient temples, palaces, pagodas, giant Buddhas, cliffs of coffins, the largest dam in the world which necessitated our boat passing through a night of locks, pandas, carvings, costumes, social history, political history, tea ceremonies, dhows, sampans, gardens, tombs, archaeology, geology, natural history, rickshaw rides, hospitality in C15 Beijing Hutongs, the list goes on and on.

I am going to try to write my account of this trip, primarily for myself, so that I have a digital copy to treasure: however, I do hope that it will prove to be of interest to any of you who drop in to read it, but please bear with the parts which are boring to you and just skip them whilst making allowances for my personal memories.

As usual life will not stop to give me adequate time for this mammoth task: for instance I will be away for a while next week taking Eddie to see the Supervet.  But I will try my hardest to complete this diary.

When I departed I was 50% excited and 50% anxious: I nearly turned back at Heathrow security and as I stood there in public, humiliated, crying my eyes out, (not a nice look for a 70 year old woman whose hair is falling out) I was literally on the verge of giving up the attempt.

But I am so glad I went, I would not have missed this trip for anything, and I do so hope you get some pleasure from my account:)

 

What to believe?

Two weeks ago I had another MRI scan.

According to the measurements on the second Radiologist’s report the tumour has shrunk by nearly 1/3rd. In only four months!!!  I was thrilled to bits, assuming that some of all the measures I have been taking, have had an effect.

Then last week I was down to see my Consultant at the Royal Marsden for a follow-up appointment in which we were due to discuss dates for surgery.

Because of my various chemical allergies surgery is problematic for me.  In the euphoria following the second MRI scan I had been hoping to postpone surgery for a good while, and perhaps even change the nature of any operation depending on how much more the tumour might reduce.

His Registrar said that she thought the tumour had not grown much.  Grown? Grown?  Excuse me?

Then the Consultant himself came in and said that things were much the same as before.  WTF?

I mentioned the differences in measurements in the Radiologists’s reports but was told that it was because they assumed that different places had been measured.  But my Consultant had not seen the MRI scan, only read the report.

Surely a Radiologist would use some kind of positioning system so that all future scans could give an accurate measurement of any changes, or what is the point?  Surely a health professional would be incredibly careful since surgery could depend on his/her readings?

I am/was confused.

BUT, somehow the whole tenor of the consultation was different from my last one.  Suddenly the urgency, the drastic nature of treatment, all were changed.  I was asked if I would be happy to wait for surgery and let them monitor the situation for another four months.

Since this was exactly what I wanted, I was happy to agree:)

So, what do you think was going on?

Personally, I think that they could not believe the apparent reduction since they had not seen this before.  But have they had a patient with this type of cancer who has done the things I have?

At least this is what I need to believe.

But I am rather unhappy and confused: some validation would have really helped as the things I am doing are not easy and it is a lonely struggle swimming against accepted health opinions.

Still, onwards and upwards.  I have great excitements coming up soon as I leave for China on Thursday 5th October.  Even writing this sounds unbelievable.  And checking through all my travel documents today has thrown me into a fever of anticipation.  I am going with a friend as my husband is not interested in going to China: we begin in Shanghai for a few days, then fly to Wuhan where we get on a river boat to cruise up the Yangtze for five days passing through the Three Gorges en route.  After that we disembark at Chongqing, fly to Xian to stay, then fly on to Beijing for several days.  Amongst other things we hope to visit the Panda Breeding Station, the Terracotta Warriors, the Great Wall and most of the other usual tourist sites with, hopefully, some less usual sites thrown in too.  AndImage result for chinese fisherman with cormorant I so hope to see a fisherman with his tame cormorant sitting on his shoulder!!

When I was given my diagnosis in June this year, I was resolved that come what may, I shall stand on the Great Wall of China during my lifetime.  I postponed surgery from a suggested date in July until this trip was accomplished and now it looks as if it may even happen.  Gosh, I am so, so lucky:)  🙂

 

 

(Brochure picture from Viking Cruises ‘Imperial Jewels of China’ Tour.  Their copyright.)

A bit of a break

A week ago I managed to grab a few days by the sea, courtesy of my sister and brother-in-law:)

Exhausted by the constant round of health practitioners, I was worn out and desperate for some ‘down’ time.  When I finally arrived and unpacked, I fell into bed with a good book, and believe it or not, there I remained for 36 hours.  I ached in every muscle and was just too tired to do anything but sleep and read.  Luckily I had taken home-made soup, burgers and veg/salad so had no need to go out unless I wanted to.

However, I finally came ’round’ and was able to relax and enjoy the fabulous view from their windows.

.

 

It is such a pretty and comfortable caravan with stunning views:

 

A walk round the site and the surrounding countryside gave an overview of the site itself:

It is a mature site with hedges and trees surrounding the caravans which is lovely!!

In some sheltered sunny spots I saw lots of butterflies, Red Admirals in particular.

 

 

And one can walk directly from the caravan on to the cliff path through lovely countryside towards Bempton Cliffs which is an RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) site, of which I am a member.  We had violent winds and rain for part of each day, followed by glorious sunshine.  Which, of course, gave us lots of rainbows.  This was the view from the Dining Area of the Caravan of one such, looking towards Bempton Cliffs:

 

 

Of course I took myself for a happy day’s bird watching:

 

 

 

 

 

There is a huge colony of Gannets, but I also saw Razorbills, Kittiwakes and Herring Gulls and others which I did not stop to identify, as I was just glorying in walking and smelling and watching, in the sunshine and the wind and the sea air.

In this next one I can actually see some of the colours which Monet saw in water, all the purples, aquamarines, mauves, greens and blues.

 

On one day I went to Flamborough village and bought fresh fish from a fisherman, and it was simply gorgeous.  I bought some fresh runner beans from the local greengrocer and had a super chat with both her and another customer about goose eggs.  Then I called into the local coffee shop for a cup of tea and some homemade tea-bread: dogs were allowed in which was fun and a pleasant change from all the ghastly health and safety hype.  How can you ever develop a good immune system without coming into contact with germs?

All in all, I had a wonderfully relaxed trip with no unexpected events (bliss) except that one very sad and lonely widower propositioned me!!  He said he was looking for a rich widow, and I could truthfully explain that I was neither:)

Ho hum, I rather thought that I was safely past the age when such things could happen!!

 

Saving Eddie

I have posted before about our two Rescue Romanian Dogs.  I have also mentioned the plight of one of them, little Eddie who was abused and tortured: he had his tail cut off, was hung from a tree in a metal snare and left to die

,

and then hit on the head with a metal spike, to kill him.  This missed his skull but made a hole in his nose through which a bone and tissue destroying bacteria has entered, destroyed the inside of his nose and is now in the bones of his skull, giving him a life threatening disease: we are crowd funding to try to raise money to pay for life saving veterinary treatment for him.

 

We are being supported by a local charity who are helping by circulating information: all their Trustees are donating and trying to raise his profile.  Two local Newspapers have run stories on the dogs including with photos of me, which I am not keen on but they wanted them, so there we are.

(My recently dyed hair to celebrate my 70th birthday is showing up well!!!)

Now a UK author, Milly Johnson, has joined in and is holding an auction on ebay giving bidders the chance to name a character in her 15th book and to liaise with the author about the character development, receive signed copies and a hamper of goodies:

so if you like her books you might like to go over and check it out at

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/172832677119?ssPageName=STRK%3AMESELX%3AIT&_trksid=p3984.m1558.l2649

Several of you kind readers have already donated and I am so humbled and grateful by your support and that of people locally who know about poor little Eddie.

Given the awful things happening all round the world I sometimes question whether I should be trying to raise money for one little dog rather than for other charities, but as has been pointed out to me, this gives some people a focus, an idea of something practical they can do to right some terrible wrongs, and raises the profile of stray dogs in Romania.  It also makes people feel happier knowing that a fairly simple gesture will make a huge difference to another sentient being at a time when a lot of us feel powerless to help millions of other animals and people.

At the risk of boring you silly, I will once again leave the link to the crowd funding page at the end of this post for those who have not visited here before, and will end with a photo of Eddie sending you all lots of licky kisses:)

 

https://www.leetchi.com/c/money-pot-eddie-22587947

 

I have just seen this trailer for a new series by Jane Goodall and it looks wonderful.

Although it seems dreadful to utter the C word, we have had our first Charity Catalogues come through the post already so I might as well put it out there that I would like this Series for my present this year:)

https://www.masterclass.com/classes/jane-goodall-teaches-conservation?utm_source=Paid&utm_medium=YouTube&utm_term=Aq-Prospecting&utm_content=Video&utm_campaign=JG

Then I can go back to enjoying our wet, Spring-like August and praying for an Indian Summer through September and October to give me some kind of harvest this year.  It was too cold, wet and windy to plant out early, not really until late May, and it has come back in July, making for such a short growing season on the top of my hill.  The shortest I have every known.  I have just germinated some more French Beans and Sugarsnap peas because the last lot have not done well: these will need a couple of days to harden off and then I will plant them out, probably with fleece, to see if I can possibly get a bit of a harvest for the freezer.

Yesterday a photographer from the local paper came to take photos of me and Eddie:  he behaved like a pro but I was not very happy about having my own photo taken.  The photographer was a lovely young lady who said it made a change from football matches!!

Today I have been clearing piles of papers from several years ago and researching suggested supplements online for therapeutic ketosis and immune support.

Life has thrown us another curveball in that a house we have long had in the back of our minds for our old age has just come on the market.  But we cannot bear the thought of leaving our present home for at least four or five years.  So what to do?  It is unique, as our present house is, has even better views than we do and is just on the edge of the village instead of down the lane in a small hamlet.  The last owners of this other house have been there for 35 years so if we do not take the plunge now, will we lose the chance?

It is very expensive which might just take the choice out of our hands; we are having ours valued on Monday.  This other house is modern, smaller, and we would want to spend quite a lot and make some substantial changes, but it is on fairly level ground, five minutes from the bus, ten minutes from the doctor and shops, yet has a paddock which would take the geese and ponies, a stable and huge workshop garage, garden shed and is fully dog proofed.

However, it has street lighting which I hate, a busy road running past, and is semi-detached which we are not used to.  Oh dear, this is so very hard.  I know what I would say to someone else, but it is quite different when it is your own home you might have to leave, which you have loved and rebuilt over 40 years and where all your pets are buried and which has all the plants and trees from friends and family now deceased.  Here we just walk out of the gate onto a lane with trees all round, where we feel totally safe, comfortable and at home.  But good sense suggests that we think extremely carefully about our decision as in all the years we have been here, we have never seen another house, except for the one now for sale, which has things that we both need and want.

We went to look at it yesterday: it is not surrounded by trees as we are here.  When I went to bed last night our owls were hooting and chatting in the big trees outside the bedroom window. Our pheasants and badgers creep over the fields and through the undergrowth and the hedges we planted 30 years ago and wait for us to feed them every evening. How can we leave them?

But, if things go badly for me healthwise in the next little while it would be much easier for me to manage in this other house, and if I die before my husband, he could actually continue on in this new house whereas he says he could not manage here alone.  Oh, how hard it is to grow older physically but stay young mentally.

You have to admit that life on this hill is varied!

 

 

Some of you may be aware of little Eddie, our Romanian Rescue dog.

 

He has several injuries resulting from a life of abuse and torture, the most obvious being the hole in his nose.  I am adding a link to his crowdfunding page at the end of this post on which you read more about his past.

The vets have now had the results of the tissue cultures and swabs: he has a bacterial infection (rather than a fungal one) which is responsible for the destruction of the interior of his nose.  In one way that is good because fungi are harder to eradicate than most bacteria. But the bad news is that not only is the infection in his nose but is also in the bones of his skull.  Therefore, if left untreated he will die.

The bacteria entered his system through the large hole in his nose and have been steadily chomping away internally.  The vet has two treatment plans ready to go, Plans A and B.  We all prefer Plan A which is the simplest and involves eight weeks of targeted antibiotics followed by, if the infection is defeated, plastic surgery to his face to close the hole and help his poor old nose.  Plan B will involve opening up his nose further, packing the whole space with gauze and inserting a tube down which antibiotic will be dripped twice a day, as well as continuing with the oral antibiotics.  When the bacteria are dead, his face will have to be reconstructed.  Sounds horrid, but the vet, a famous vet in the UK, is sure that it is possible to achieve a good result eventually.

Of course, the pet insurance will not pay anything because they state, quite correctly, that it is a pre-existing condition.

It was this TV vet who suggested the crowdfunding as he thinks Eddie is such a deserving case!  Actually, I think that perhaps the vet himself could have offered to waive or reduce the fees, but perhaps he will contribute to the crowdfunding;)

So, we begin medicating tomorrow and will be keeping our fingers crossed.

https://www.leetchi.com/c/money-pot-eddie-22587947

If anyone feels moved to read more about Eddie follow the above link: if you feel like contributing, however little, it would be a real act of kindness, but sharing the link would be really, really helpful too, so that as many people as possible have the chance to read about little Eddie’s amazing story.  Thank you:)

And, as for me, well I completed a 19 day water-only fast in June/July and now am intermittent fasting, eating only in a four hour window during the day.  All to see whether I can reduce or remove the cancer.  But during those four hours I eat for England, which is fun:D

 

Image result for greed for food(From google images.)

Husband has been taken on a weekend trip by our son so I am having an indolent and selfish three days doing exactly what I please, as I please.

Oh yes, and a man crashed his car into the driver’s side of my car yesterday, so something else to sort.  Really, I wonder exactly how many balls I can juggle at once!!!!!

 

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