Lived on-board Hadar

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Friday, February 28, 2014

New Mattress Ordered

We ordered a new mattress for our bed on Hadar yesterday. We have to have it made specially, as it is 3 small mattresses 2' by 4' which make into a 4' by 6' bed, but because it is is 3 pieces one piece makes the cushion for the  seat, another piece stays in the bottom of the cupboard, and the 3rd fits in the cupboard door when down between the other 2 and is stowed in the cupboard along with the bedding in the cupboard. Also the existing mattress is only 3" thick to match standard boat cushion thickness, but we have opted to go to 4" thick and have decided to move away from a memory foam mattress to an orthopaedic one. It is not a cheap way to buy a mattress but such is life! Let us hope that it works for both our backs, although delivery could be up to 21 days, but let us hope it is sooner.

I did email a company with a request for a quote for 3 pieces of mattress. This is the email conversation as follows with my initial fairly explicit request:-


Dear Sir/Madam, we are looking to replace our custom made mattress in our working narrowboat. It consists of 3 separate mattresses each measuring 24" by 48" by 4" thick. It is made this way as one of the sections forms a seat (for which we only require the foam as it will fit inside the existing "cushion" cover) and the other 2 sections to be complete mattresses in removable covers, one of which lives inside the cupboard opposite the seat, this cupboard serve 2 purposes to be ⅓ of the bed and to store the 3rd section of mattress and bedding during the day. The cupboard door folds down to meet the seat opposite, so by removing the centre section of mattress from the cupboard and placing on this cupboard door we have a 4' by 6' bed.

So if I can reiterate we require 2 mattresses fitted with removable covers measuring 24" by 48", and 1 piece of foam only (uncovered) measuring also 24" by 48".

We also require them to be orthopedic for both of us suffer with bad backs.

Could you please quote a price for the 3 sections of mattress.

Keith Lodge


This was their initial reply:-



Please would you be able to send a hand drawn template for this and we can then quote for you.

Kind Regards



Well I thought this only deserved one reply as follows:-


Dear ?????, Template? Doesn't your company know what a 24" by 48" by 4" mattress looks like? To me it looks like a mattress that measures 24" by 48" by 4". I thought you were in the mattress making business? Seems not from your reply.

Keith Lodge


To which I received the following reply this morning:-



Apologies for this.

So all the pieces normal mattress shaped then? I will get back to you with prices.

Kind Regards



This was soon followed by a further email with quoted prices and delivery estimate, to which I replied as follows:-


Many thanks for your reply, however we have opted for another companies offer.

Keith Lodge


Can you blame us? I thought it was so funny and that my response although harsh was well deserved.

Keith Lodge

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Back On-board Hadar

I was discharged from hospital just after lunch yesterday. It is so nice to be back home. I have been in hospital for 6 weeks following a grossly inflated gallbladder, which I had an emergency operation on, the surgeon suspecting it would burst. Open going in by keyhole surgery he had to abandon that and do open surgery as it looked like the gallbladder had burst. However, apparently he could not find a tear in the gallbladder, but open further investigation discover the bile duct had in fact ruptured instead. He told me in all his years as one of the UK's top surgeons, especially keyhole surgery, he had never seen such a mess inside someone before. I knew nothing of this happening. Early hours of Monday morning, 12th January, I had extreme pain in my chest just below the sternum and I was rushed into hospital, I remember arriving at A&E, but nothing after that for about 2 weeks! Apparently according to Jo I was held in the 23 hour ward for 3 days when I was rushed into surgery, and then spent 4 day in the Intensive Treatment Unit before being moved the the surgical ward. It has been a rough and bumpy road, but now that I an back on-board Hadar, I just have to take things easy and recover slowly.

 I still have to return for further blood tests in 2 weeks, and the removal of my final drain if all is well, hopefully on the same day, but if not I will have to return again to have it removed. I will be able to see the daffodils bloom in our garden, which I thought I would miss, especially as it is our first year here on our residential mooring which we fortuitously took up in October. I thought I would miss our first blooming having stripped the garden in October and replanted the bulbs we found. Paddy was so pleased to see me after spending 6 weeks in hospital, but Marmite looked most disgusted as we realized she would lose her new bed next to Jo where she has been sleeping on my half of the bed whilst I have been away! It is going to be a long road to recovery, so we have decided not to cruise this summer, but for met not only to fully recover, but I still have my nose operation, which we have had to postpone twice whilst I was in hospital, but also just prior to Christmas I was rushed into hospital with back spasms, for which they want to do and MRI scan, which we have also had to postpone. Guess we will have to just put our feet up for this year and enjoy the summer sitting on our pontoon.


Monday, February 24, 2014

Coming Home

Update for anyone reading this now. Keith is coming HOME today..... So excited to be getting my darling man home at long last. All your crossing of fingers, toes etc really made the difference thank you so much xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Day 40 and 41

Friday Day 40 and I slept well last night, which was wonderful. I think it helped having dinner out with Val and Terry and a nice pint of Ruddles at Wetherspoon’s.
Up early and jobs done, I went off to the hospital as usual. I think I could probably walk the route with my eyes closed now.
Keith had had a couple of dizzy spells and had to be helped back to his bed. Over night he had his last antibiotic and then went on to have the shivers and shakes again, which is not what he needs right now. Once he was feeling better, we headed off to the bathroom to do his wash and shave. Even this task wears Keith out.
Every day I look at his charts and it showed his temperature was 37.4c  in the morning and in the afternoon it went up to 37.6c. It has to be hoped it does not continue upwards. During the morning one of the doctors came to take Keith’s blood, but despite four attempts in different places, Keith was not giving his blood to anyone, so Tom the doctor said he would return later for another go, but during the afternoon another doctor arrived and he took blood from Keith’s groin, which worked perfectly. They are checking his bloods to see if the levels change, which may suggest his infection has not gone away. They are due to do it again on Sunday.
Keith managed to quite a bit of his lunch and the yogurt I had taken in for him, so that as an improvement. He felt well enough to walk into the day room to watch the Curling men’s final which we sadly lost, but still we came home with a Silver medal. All this excitement wore Keith out and so it was back to bed. I left Keith ready for a snooze. The walk back was done in  Wintery sunshine, but even the sunshine does not make the hill any better. Back at the boat, I got the coal in for the night, checked the post box, but nothing for us and then fed mog and dog. After something for dinner, I settled in to watch the TV, which included Wales v France. Wales hammered France. It was then away to my bed, where Marmite had already found her spot for the night on Keith’s side of the bed.
Saturday Day 41.
Sleep was difficult, I had so many things running around in my head, that I kept waking up, so at 2 am I was sat up in bed drinking a cuppa, whilst Marmite lounged by my side. I hate this non sleeping lark, but I know it will get better once Keith comes home.
I was up just after 5 am drinking yet more tea, and thinking about what I was going to do before heading to the hospital. I pottered around the boat until 7 am, I then went and fed the birds, because Mr Robin was sat waiting for his breakfast. Every morning he waits for me to feed him.
He is a scruffy little fellow, so he needs feeding up to get his feathers in better condition. Birds fed, Paddy got his walk and was then fed along side Marmite. I then made myself some toast for my breakfast. It is clear to see the pecking order on our boat when the animals get fed first ha ha ha. 8 am I got the hosepipes out of the lockup and filled the water tank. I have not used much water over the past fortnight, but I like to keep the tank topped up, so whilst the tank filled, I stood on the bow and enjoyed the peace of the arm and listening to the bird song and the traffic noise which was building. With the sun shining, it felt so mild and as if Spring is on its way. Some of the bulbs we planted in November have begun to flower, so we have Snowdrops and Daffodils out and Crocus beginning to flower. Photos will follow.
With all the jobs done on the boat, it was time to walk the walk to the hospital.
Keith was suffering from a sore throat, which was not good, but hopefully it will not make him feel to poorly. The nurses are allowing him to suck throat sweets to help with the soreness. He did eat most of his dinner and the yogurt I took in for him, which was great. His blood tests which were done yesterday showed Keith has low Potassium, so they are giving him a supplement. We sat in the day room and watched some of the Winter Olympics, but Keith found sitting to much so it was back to his bed.
Monday’s Discharge Day is still on.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Day 39

Looking good. For those of you waiting glued to your computer, laptop, ipad or phone for an update, here is today's. Keith very much enjoyed a visit from his sister Valerie and Terry. Keith was having a hot flush this morning and felt a bit under the weather, but as the day went on he brightened. His surgeon was very happy with his scan and so they have clamped off his tube from the t-piece to see if the bile will reach his bowel. They are stopping his antibiotics tonight and will keep a close eye on him over the weekend, to see if his bloods stay level and his temperature down. They will also check to see if his bile is reaching his bowel and that he does not turn Yellow. If everything does as it should, then my darling man could possibly be coming home on Monday. So please will you keep everything crossed over this coming weekend.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Day 38.

Potential good news. Keith had a dizzy spell this morning and felt under the weather, but this afternoon he was much better.
Keith finally had his cholangiogram this afternoon, after I think the Registra kicked up because it had not been booked on Sunday as was first thought. According to what the guy who did the dye and the scan said, he could not see a stone or restriction, which if right is great news. We should know from the surgeon tomorrow.
Once maybe is forgivable, but twice I find annoying. Again Keith's antibiotic was forgotten last night and this time it was the Gentamicin. The Registra was not to impressed and it was therefore given to Keith at 11.30 am and changed on his drug chart to be given in the 2pm session when he has his Tazocin, instead of 6 pm, so they cannot forget to give it to him. Makes me cross that they forget to give drugs, which are important. The Registra told me that missing the odd one was not so important, but to me if the drugs are written up then they should be given on time.
But on a brighter note Keith could be coming home next week if all goes well. But not going to count my chickens just yet LOL.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Feeling Better

I am feeling a lot better today, having had chronic constipation yesterday but the enema did the trick. My own fault really as I had been refusing the laxatives, as I had been going regularly and felt I didn't need them. I will be taking them from now on.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Day 36

Update. Keith was not so good again today. I think the Cholangiography, which will be done this week will be very important, because I think they are worried the bile is not reaching his bowel. This could be due to a stone blocking the tube, or a restriction, or it could be just be all the bile is heading into the bag, but from speaking to Phil the doctor he would expect some of the bile to be reaching the bowel by now. If there is no issue when they do the test they may cap off the tube into the bag and see what happens then. So time will tell. Keith is quite weak and down today as he does not feel hungry and has not had breakfast and only a couple of forkfuls of his lunch, which is not great. Here's hoping tomorrow is better. xxxx

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Days 33 and 34.

Keith sent me a text to say there was Norovirus again in the hospital, but this time on the 23 hour ward, so we were back to restricted visiting times, which was not great because Keith's sister Wendy was coming to visit from Whitney. I could not go to the hospital until the afternoon and therefore Keith waited for his wash etc. Wendy arrived at 4.10 pm and we went to the cafe until 6 pm when we could then visit Keith again. It was great for Keith to have a different visitor and Wendy really cheered him up with her conversation. *pm we had to leave and so we headed into Warwick and Wetherspoons to get an evening meal. With it being Valentines Day we expected it to be busy, but it was in fact not to bad. Wendy stayed on the boat with me over night in the howling gale..

Saturday morning we were awake at 1 am with the noise of the wind, so I made Wendy and I a cuppa, before we went back to bed. By the time we got up, the sun was shining and the wind had dropped a little. I checked the hospital website and it said that despite the 23 hour ward still being closed, the rest of the hospital was open for visiting as normal. So after breakfast and the usual chores Wendy and I headed off to see Keith. Once there, I got Keith ready for the day and then we enjoyed a lovely morning with him. After his and our lunch we then wheeled him down to the cafe for a change of scenery.
Keith was so pleased to have Wendy come to see him, it was nice for him to have a different person to chat too. Wendy left us at 4 pm and I stayed on for a while after wheeling him back to the ward.
Keith is now waiting for his next test the Cholangiogram to his bile duct, which should happen this coming week. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Days 31 and 32.

Apologises if you came to look for an update yesterday. There was very little to post about, so I left it for today.

Yesterday Keith had his CT scan and had a pretty good day. They are giving him Salt tablets to bring up his Sodium level, because it is to low.
So today we waited with baited breath for the results of the CT scan. He still has a patch of fluid, but it is only a small one, so the docs are really happy, which makes us happy. He is still staying on the strong antibiotics, so is not coming home just yet, but we are getting closer. The surgeon wants a test done on the t-piece connecting the bile tube to the bag I think its an angiography, but that will happen at some point before they decide to take the bag off. He was on about sending Keith home, but this would of meant us going to the hospital 3 times a day for his antibiotics to be given, as they are toxic and cannot be given at home. So we told him we don't have a car, and this would completely wipe Keith out energy wise. so he scrapped that idea. Not only that they need to keep an eye on Keith's bloods, which cannot be done at home. Keith is quite happy to stay where he is until they have him sorted properly. We had a bit of a walk, did two lots of stairs and a walk to the cafe, this did Keith in, so a snooze was called for before lunch. But he is in good spirits which is important. The surgeon has made it quite clear he is not ready to let him go until he is sure Keith is clear of infection, so the wait for him to come home properly is still on. Oh and Keith has put on 2 pounds in 3 days, which is

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Day 30.

It seems hard to believe that Keith has been in hospital for 30 days or a month. Which ever way you say it, it is a long time and we know he will be in there for at least this week. He has to wait for his CT scan and then we will know where we stand. The doctors prescribed him Salt tablets today, because his Sodium levels are to low. Apparently they taste dreadful, so rather Keith than me.
He was in good form today and there is no real news because it is all a waiting game. He is still on two antibiotics and pain relief, but keeping cheerful.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Day 29.

I had a good chat with Keith's doctors today, in particular the naval surgeon and the blood doctor. The surgeon who did Keith's op is back from his holiday, which is good and he saw Keith at 6 am. Keith will be having a couple of scans towards the end of the week to see if the fluid build up has diminished or is the same or more. If it is more or has not diminished then they will do another scan to see if his T piece in the bile duct is leaking. Now if it is leaking he may have to have another operation to repair it, but we will cross that bridge when we get there, if we get there. He has to eat more salt because his sodium levels are to low, this is due to the bile he is losing. He also has to increase his calories because he has lost another 5 pounds and is down to 10 st 3 pounds. In himself he is looking much better and we had a good walk this afternoon, so it is all down the what the CT scan says now. His blood results are up and down. He did not have any Gentamicin today because the toxic level was to high. The doctors need to speak to the microbiologists to see where they go next with that. At the moment his Liver and Kidneys are coping alright with the heavy antibiotics which is great news. So that is where we are at today.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Day 28.

Another pretty good day. Keith was very chipper and had a couple of short walks and a spell in the day room to see some of the Winter Olympics. 
According to his notes they have written up the Gentamicin for 12 days as from the 7th Feb, which seems to have upset the pharmacist, he is also on the Tazocin for 14 days. It seems that the Gentamicin should only be used for 5 consecutive days and therefore the pharmacist wants the doctors to go back to the microbiologist if they want to use the Gentamicin past the 5 days. I know It is very toxic and they are keeping a close eye on Keith's renal levels every 2 days. He certainly seems to have picked up since they started him back on both these antibiotics. He has an appetite now and enjoyed his roast beef, yorkshire pudding and veg today.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Day 27.

Update. Keith has had a good day today. He was much brighter and we had a couple of walks. I think it is because the stronger antibiotics are now working (fingers crossed). They are still keeping a close eye on his bloods, but he has had a good day. He has certainly got his appetite back and his colour. He must be getting better, because he was getting grumpy with me hahahaha. Keith managed to get the nurses to change his mattress, so he can at least get some proper rest now. The visiting restrictions have been lifted which is good news.

Friday, February 07, 2014

Day 26.

Keith was poorly this morning with sickness, but having been given something for it, he perked up. His bloods are a little better today hooray. He is back on fluid through his drip and they gave him an ECG, just to make sure things are ticking along nicely. 2 hours visiting was not enough but it will have to do for now xx

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Day 25.

Nothing really to report. He saw the docs this morning and they are keeping a close eye on him. He has been getting pain, which they say is healing pain, but he needs Liquid Morphine to cope with it. There is Norovirus in the hospital, so there is restricted vising again grrrrr, so I will not be seeing that much of him until the restrictions are lifted. He is eating well, which is a good sign. xx

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Day 24.

The PIC line went in last night and they started his IV antibiotics of Co-Amoxicillin. Then this morning they got the blood tests results back which show an elevated white blood cell count, which was not what any of us wanted to see. So he is now back on the antibiotics Gentamicin and Tazocin, which is what he was on in the first place. His Potassium is also high 5.7, so they are keeping a close eye on that as well. In himself he is fine and ate all his breakfast and lunch. They weighed him today and he has lost another 6 pounds, but now he is eating properly I am hoping that goes back on fairly quickly. The physios walked him and got him to go down and back up some stairs and have discharged him from their care, so that was some good news. Today was his 3rd discharge day and he has missed it. One of the nurses indicated that that Keith would probably be coming home with antibiotics very soon. But on speaking to one of his doctors, they are in no hurry to let him go whilst he is still so unstable, which is a huge relief. So an up and down situation today.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Day 23.

I saw the surgeon and got the result of Keith's Ultrasound. It showed that the drain put in last week had done its job, so that was to come out. But the scan also showed up two small pools of fluid, which could be infected or become infected. They cannot be drained, so the surgeon decided that Keith would have a long line inserted in his upper arm if they could find a vein. This will be done in theatre and with the use of ultrasound. This long line can stay in for up to a month and they can give him IV antibiotics again. Keith is finding it difficult to swallow all the tablets they are giving him. So the IV antibiotics will be so welcome. In himself today he was cheerful, even though he had a difficult night with stomach pain. His wound is almost healed up now which is great news. So we will wait to see how he gets on with this new line, because the ordinary cannulas were difficult to get in to Keith's veins as they had shut down and even now they find it hard to get any blood from him for his daily blood tests. So some positives from today.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Day 22.

Today Keith was not so good. I did manage to speak to the Naval Surgeon and he is not worried about the amount of bile Keith is discharging, so that is good. However Keith was feeling hot, but felt cold and was sweating so as a precaution they have put him back on the antibiotic Amoxicillin 625 mg three times a day and still have him down as Sepsis. Keith went for an Ultrasound this afternoon, to see if the drain needs moving or it is not doing its job. I will know what they think tomorrow hopefully. Keith ate breakfast, but was not allowed lunch due to the scan, so I hope he manages something for tea, but he was feeling very yuck. Another step back after a few steps forward. In himself he just does not feel right. I managed to give him a wash and a shave this morning, but that did him in. They have him down for Wednesday home, but it looks like he may miss another Discharge date.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Day 21.

Last night I had a very nice meal with a friend who offered to cook me dinner. It was lovely to have an evening of chatter and a glass of wine with Jacquie. Thanks Jacquie for a wonderful time.
I went to the hospital today, hoping to see further improvement from Keith, but Keith did not have a great night with pain, so they gave him liquid Morphine. His and everyone else’s night on the ward was made worse by the fact that a new patient came in from a side room and he shouted all night. The poor man was very confused and I have to say his language was also very colourful, so no one in the ward slept. They even tried putting cotton wool ear plugs in to see if that would help, but no. I did feel for the elderly gentleman, who kept calling out. Oh god please help me. I am done for and so lost. Please someone come and help me. From other things he was saying, I would say he was once a military man and very much in control of his life and now he finds himself without any control over what he is doing. he was getting very annoyed by everything happening in the ward, shouting at people for things that were happening. So very sad really.
Today Keith has been hot, but feeling cold and sweating. His BP was up this morning, but this afternoon it had come down again. He did not eat breakfast, but did manage a small amount of lunch. I left him dozing, so hopefully he will have a better night. If they can knock the other gentleman out. They all tired ear plugs, but they did not even work.

I am getting a bit annoyed that I have had to keep asking to get Keith’s drain flushed and this happened yet again today. When they eventually flushed it, it was blocked at the point of entry to Keith’s chest. I was told that they are short staffed due to sickness and whilst I do feel for them, my responsibility is towards Keith.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Day 20.

Todays update. Keith was good in himself, just tired and light headed. But after the night from hell what can you expect. Two patients from another bay in his ward tried escaping though Keith's bay, and day room. So the nurses had to bar the door into and out of the day room, once they had got them back to their beds. So little sleep was had and they had to empty his bile bag a couple of times in the night. The main concern is his bile drain. They emptied it at 1am and from then till 4pm when I left he had produced 830 ml, which seems like a huge amount. It has been said it should be slowing down by now, so I hope to speak to someone on Monday. But In himself he is doing just fine and he ate his lunch completely which was a first in almost 3 weeks. So we will see what happens Monday.