Gordon 57 – checking in

Well, I started this once and something went funny, the screen blanked out and I lost the lot before I could post it. I’ll try again. :-)

I’ve never left the site, just wasn't posting. I’m not going into all the reasons just here. Over the weekend I popped by and read a few posts, and replied to a couple. A few people have asked how I’m doing so I thought I may as well post an update.

I’ll start with the bad news first. My Dad passed away last August. He had suffered for some time with Lewy Body Dementia. In his final year he was in a care home. To start with he was able to go out now and again and knew who was who. Sadly, he wasn't able to walk any more so had to be hoisted and wheeled about. He got worse and ended up in bed all the time, curled up, his bones fused in that position. It was no life for him and we think he just gave up. He hadn't been the same since Mum went in April 2012. Since then I've lost two more aunties, all of my Dad’s side of the family in that generation are gone now. My brother and I know – we are next

I know my own condition is getting worse, I recently had a full spirometry test and the results were well down on previous. I puff and pant a lot more, I wheeze, I walk slower and everything takes longer to do. I'm just at the end of one of my regular chest infections with a swine of a cold thrown in for good measure. My wife knew it was bad as I confined myself to the sofa with a quilt for four days. Today I’ve got up and dressed to stop myself going mad. Not going anywhere, I dare not go out of the door. I just gave myself a shock as I coughed up some gunk. We’re told to look at it and check the colour etc. I saw some dark red flecks in it and wondered where the blood was coming from – then remembered I’d just been drinking Ribena…

I’ll quickly try to catch up on other things. I got my central heating installed in September 2013 and have had three great winters where the house has been warm and comfortable. Before I was sleeping in an armchair wrapped in sleeping bags and fleeces and was still cold. Our old gas wall heaters got condemned and taken out, we still have the gas fires but very rare we have them on now.

I finally got my DLA mobility component after the third application and appeal merry-go-round. I have a small car and can get to hospital appointments etc. Not only can I get around but my confidence has increased too. Sometimes I use taxis and trains, especially if I am visiting a beer festival. I’ll come back to those later. I’ve been encouraged by the wonderful assistance people at most rail stations. If I book in advance they help me to the platform or to change trains, really good and I usually get my connection too. I have to plan these days out well in advance to allow the time for all that of course, but that’s become normal for me now. Gone are the days when I’d just turn up at the station and hope I could get a train somewhere.

Yes, I still do my radio shows. They are all done here at home, pre-recorded then uploaded to the station to play out when they want them. That means I can take my time in preparing them. If I am recording I can stop and re-do a bit if I cough (or muck it up) or gasp for breath. I was a DJ for many years so have a heck of a music collection. Each show I do has its own format and jingles and it’s a bit like shelling peas finding the material then a jigsaw putting it together. I need to keep occupied, I’m not one for sitting watching TV all day. I can’t do gardening and there’s not a great deal else I can do that interests me.

If you are in East Yorkshire you can hear me on Vixen101, 101.8FM from Market Weighton. You can also hear the station via the website at vixen101.co.uk or on your smartphone and tablet get the TuneIn app (free) and look for Vixen101. I do the Sunday 70’s show from 2-3pm every Sunday afternoon and I also do alternate Saturday lunchtime from 11am to 1pm there.

I’m also on Internet radio station WRFN1025. Use the TuneIn app on tablets and mobiles and search for WRFN1025 or on computer go to wrfn1025.rocks to hear the station. I do three shows a week on there, Gordons Goldies, The Connections Hour and Remember When. This last week has been repeats and emergency backup shows as I’ve not been well enough to record any.

Because my wife works funny shifts we sometimes go for a pub meal as there isn’t time to cook by the time she gets in. I like a pint or two of real ale and we have a few favourite places although we’re finding others now I’m happier going further afield. I tend to drive there and the wife drives back, she does not drink alcohol unless she’s at home.

I joined CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale a couple of years ago and have now taken on a role with them to protect pubs from being converted into supermarkets or whatever with little warning. I’ll be doing the paperwork to register premises as Assets of Community Value. Nearly all done from home, mostly by email or phone. I can get to visit a few of them if I have to and I do have help within the branch if I can’t go myself. Again, it’s as and when I can do things, I don’t have to jump up and run out to stand in front of a bulldozer or anything like that.

And, being a CAMRA member, I like to visit beer festivals if I can. This goes back a few years to when I ‘met’ Warwickstag (David) on here and we arranged to meet at one such beerfest. I’m happy to say we’ve met many more time since then, along with a couple of other friends who enjoy the same sort of thing – good beer. I appreciate that David is worse than I am and he carries oxygen to these events. It’s a target to reach, finding a suitable venue that it’s possible to get to, planning the trip, getting the tickets and best of all, enjoying the day out. I’ve had a couple of late arrivals back home but it’s better to take my time and not rush, especially if I fell asleep on the train.

I'm sure there were bits I wrote before I've forgotten about now...

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38 Replies

  • Hello Gordon so sorry to hear about you father I know. How fond you was of him

    My late husband had dementia so been there done that worn the t shirt it's so sad to see someone you love not know his children or grandchildren I was able to keep him at home but my doctor kept telling me it wouldn't be long before he would have too go in a home ,there's no way I would have been able to look after him now 14. Years later

    Look after yourself and take care


  • Nice to catch up Gordon. I joined HU in April 2012 and l remember you visiting your dad. Sorry to hear of his passing. My MIL has dementia so l can empathise.

    Glad you can still enjoy your radio show and real ales, good to be able to do something with your time.

    Pete is also worse and is more sob than he used to be. He moves less too because of ongoing back problems.

    Hope to hear from you again soon. Take care. Xxx

  • Second what everyone else as said and is nice to see ya posting again

    Sorry to read about your dad

  • Hi Gordon, lovely to hear from, it's been a long time.

    So sorry to hear about the passing of your father, thoughts and prayers are with you.

    So good to hear from you will need to stay in touch.

    All the best.


  • Hey David, good to see you're still around here too.

  • Nice to see you back, sorry for your loss, dementia is so cruel. Once a week friends take me out to lunch, he is founder member of CAMRA, and we work our way through handbook in Herts and Beds every year. Have persuaded our local to serve real ale and they usually have Doombar and a guest beer so not bad. Look forward to hearing more from you.

  • Oh dear Doombar. The power of marketing over good taste. Pity they didn't stick to the Coors Lite.

  • Not like it used to be when just a niche brewery but not changed as much as some of the others! Tring brewery is great can buy any size container and they have some first class beers.

  • Hi Gordon, it's great hear all your news - except the losses in your family. Very sorry to hear about your dad. Mine too was stuck in the foetal position for a very long time it's hard to witness.

    I hope you post again, you've lots to inspire people with. Have you still got the dog? Peege

  • Now there's bad news and good as well. Sasha left us just before Christmas 2014. We're not sure what was wrong but she stopped moving, eating, just about everything. We took her to the vets and I held her as they gave her the injection, it was all we could do for her really.

    Then, in January 2015, we got Sam, another Border Collie, our third. He's a funny little thing, a bit of a wimp as he runs away from other dogs, is bothered by kids playing football, hates cars going past, yet barks like crazy at the window when people go past. Just black & white this time, we're told the license is cheaper...

  • Ahhhhh border collies. The very best dogs xxx

  • Sorry to hear you lost Sasha. I lost mine in January '15. He'd have been 10 today, I've not the heart to take his photo down. Still find the odd hair of his. I've got Lola now, 11 months old, a bundle of energy, medium sized, half Tibetan Terrier.

    Did you see the great update from CanaChris recently? He's doing well in Portugal .

  • Hi, Gordon. Big wave from me. xx

  • upload.wikimedia.org/wikipe...

    Wonder if that works on here...? If not, I was trying to send a 'big wave' back :-)

  • It works, lol. x

  • Hi Gordon I'm new to this site but like to send my condolences to you on your dad's passing you take care .

  • Lovely to hear from you Gordon, sorry dad's gone, that type of dementia is not a picnic (I know someone with it) it is s bit weird being 'the next generation' and becoming an orphan, no matter what age. I punched the air for you getting the benefits you are entitled to, and great to hear your doing your bit for real ales, if your ever in Kent for a festival, drop us a note. Hope you carry on posting here Gordon, your experience and knowledge are still missed xxxx

  • Kent's probably too far a trek for a festival. I'm way up in Yorkshire so it's going to have to be a ruddy good one to justify three and a half hours each way travel time, £70-ish train fare (advance, with railcard) and having headless beer too :-)

    It could be done, would have perhaps 6 hours if I did Canterbury ? Maybe if I eventually get a cheque from Camelot I would do an overnight rather than all of that in one day. At present the pension does not really stretch that far. :-(

    As for posting more, hmmm, the jury is out on that one...

  • Hello Gordan A nice post to read I joined the site in Dec 2014 and have read some of your old posts as you were mentioned in others posts and I was not sure who you were. Sorry to hear of your family problems, that must have been really hard to deal with. Look forward to you posting again.

  • Hi there. Several years ago I was a regular poster on here, many a day in fact. I had some idiots attacking me and decided not to bother any more, that's the short version anyway. I deleted loads of my older posts but then picked myself back up and tried again, until the next round of attacks. I realised it wasn't worth the hassle so stepped right back and only pop in now and again.

    I used to go visit my Dad a lot, after Mum passed especially. It was a long way to go for me, originally by taxi, train and bus. It really wore me out but I carried on until I couldn't manage that any more. Thankfully, I then got my DLA and a car and was able to go a bit more often. But, when he was in the nursing home, I was concious that when I was ill I was not supposed to go as I could cause big problems for him and others.

    I've done a lot of research into my condition, what medication I've been given and all that. I used to go to Breathe Easy sessions but that got a bit too much as well.

    Something I missed in the re-write of this blog was that I've been diagnosed T2 Diabetic as well as everything else. However, I've chosen to stop taking all the tablets they gave me for that and go backwards on my health situation to figure out why. I now know and some other tablets have been dropped from my daily dosage. I feel a heck of a lot better for doing that too but it's not for me to suggest anyone else do that. It worked for me, I'll put it that way ;-)

  • Hi Gordon57, thank you for the update. Nice to see you built a relationship up with Warwickstag ( David) . Sorry to hear of your not so good times, the past six months have been similar for myself, but my mum who was moved into a home about two years ago but passed away in November, then another younger member passed away with cancer of the lung in February. Plus our own health problems. Sounds like you get out and about a lot now you have a car, which helps the moral. Have a good day and hope life is more settled for you in the coming months . Enjoy the real ale & festivals life is short enjoy while you are able Bye for now.

  • Lovely to have you black posting Gordon

  • It's the only colour available :-) (sorry...)

  • That was typo - my post should have read "lovely to have you back posting" - not "black posting" (wasn't referring to the colour of your posts Gordon) - I should check before sending LOL.

  • Hello Gordon, nice to hear from you. Like you I visit everyday to read some posts but only post occasionally not like the old times when we used to chat for ages on here. Sorry to hear about your Dad, I remember the trips you used to make to see him. As yet I am not the eldest in our family as my Mother is 94. I don't get to see her as often as I should but now the better weather will be coming (hopefully) I should be able to get out more. Keep smiling.

    Carole x

  • Hi Gordon nice to see you back here X

  • Good to see you back Gordon. Thanks for the update. I'm so sorry to hear about your father. Also sorry to hear you feel you're getting worse, but glad you finally got your DLA mobility, so you can get out and about when you want to.

    You are obviously keeping very busy which is good for the soul, and enjoying what you do - especially the beer festivals I'm sure! Take good care of yourself. Jan :-)

  • Welcome back Gordon so sorry to hear about your dad and also your dog great to see you back

  • Thanks to everyone for the lovely responses.

    I'm not 'back' in the sense I'll spend every waking hour on here as I once did, I just pop in now and again unless I get a PM or message to say someone has replied to one of my posts.

    I'd love to say I'd been making lots of nice pancakes but that's become too much to tackle these days. I struggled to stop myself from keeling over when using the hand blender to do the mix and could not stop coughing once I put the frying pan on, the smoke really gets to me now. I'm thankful that my wife understands, she's a home carer, and does all the cooking and washing up too.

    I was looking forward to a mini beer festival at Easter but I have a feeling I'll not get there, I really don't feel like going out of the house with the way I'm feeling. I've replied to one message above about going to one in Kent, a long way to go for headless beer I put :-)

    I've plenty to keep me occupied though, radio shows to prepare and I'll record them when I can talk without coughing. If I feel like one I have some bottles of beer in the house. Not quite the same as a pint in the pub but at least I keep in practise.

    Looking forwards to the warmer weather now, and hoping we can all enjoy some better days :-)

  • HI Gordon, I very rarely post but read daily & have always looked forward to reading your posts as they were so informative & interesting. I'm sorry to hear of the passing of your Dad I remember you talking about the journey to see him often & I know losing a pet is like losing a family member.It has been so nice to hear you're doing ok and are warm at last. Great to know that you are still doing the radio shows too. Good luck for the future in all that you do. Thanks so much for the much needed update.

    Lin x

  • Well it was good to hear what`s been happening to you Gordon.I`m so sorry you lost your Dad. It`s terrible to watch someone you love deteriorate when their quality of life has gone. Glad you`re still DJing ! Keep well, Sheila xx

  • DJ-ing and doing radio shows are very different, thankfully. As a DJ I had to carry big boxes of records, then CD's, about to the pubs and clubs and stand up all night.

    I can sit at my own desk to do the radio stuff, naked if I really wanted to :-D

  • Hello Gordon, such a nice surprise to see you posting and I am so sorry to hear of your Dads passing. It sounds like you have had a bad time of it with your colds and I hope you feel better soon.

    I am glad you've got yourself mobile and you're still enjoying the music which is so good for us all 😁

    Hope you keep posting,could you perhaps get yourself on a PR course if you can it as could help with building up your strength and immunity to germs.

    Get well soon, huff xxx 😁😄😷

  • Actually, I've done 2 PR courses already and I asked my COPD nurse to refer me again just a few weeks ago :-) I have weights and the rubber band things at home and do do the exercises from time to time. I have a couple of low steps outside the back door but it's been a bit too cold to go out and play on those.

    There is a reason for wanting to go back, the dreaded PIP is on it's way. I'm told I'll probably get a letter this year to change from DLA and I'm making sure all my medical records are up to date. They won't use info more than a year old, even though my condition is never going to get better.

    When I finally got DLA mobility it was mainly down to the head physio's report from the PR session I'd done that supported me.

  • Hi Gordon, it's lovely to hear from you again. When I first joined, you were one of the regular posters that made the site so welcoming.

    I'm sorry to hear of your Dad passing away and also, that you feel your Copd has worsened. I really hope things get better for you in the coming warmer months. xx

  • Well, inevitable that the COPD would get worse, it's a downhill slope. It wasn't that I didn't expect that. I've learned to cope with it, how to manage my meds better and to use exercise to feel better in myself. The fact that I can now walk only a fraction of the distance I could do 4 years ago is just part of it. I just slow down, take it steady, rest as I need to and hopefully get where I want to be. I don't even try to set off if I have any doubts of my own ability.

    The warmer months are better though. Bigger gaps between chest infections for a start. I've spent most of the last 2 weeks stuck indoors, dare not go out. I tried to treat myself to a Sunday lunch but ended up leaving half of it and was really thankful I'd gone in my own car so I could get back home quickly. I dumped the car at the gate and went to lay down, I'd done too much - again. The car got parked up about 4 hours later.

  • I was so pleased your name come up, Gordon.  Good to hear although not all your news was good.  Like you, I like to keep in touch with HU but dont do so much posting.  I am well into the winter of my life!!  Resigned because that is the way of things but try to keep a GSOH.  Sorry to hear about your Dad.  I have lost my beloved husband and now friends.  That is the way of life.  But I have Malcolm to keep me company - yes, a much loved cat!!!  I love my bungalow in New Milton.  People are so friendly around here and they talk about the South being unfriendly.   Never found that.  They call NM God's waiting room.  What fun!!  XX Pergola

  • I'm still plodding along but realise my path is becoming more restricted. At one time I would have considered the 4-5 hour each way journey to the south coast 

    I used to think New Miltion was the stuff they sterilised baby bottles in :-) 

    Good to hear form you, I do pop in and have a read now and again and will always respond to messages ;-) 

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