I spend the morning catching up on messages and emails, and posting links to my latest vlog on various Parkinson’s Disease forums. Then my wife and I go to North Walsham to buy some nibbles for tomorrow evening, when we will be seeing in the new year with my wife’s eldest son and his fiancee (and our eldest granddaughter). While we are out and about we drop in on my wife’s parents for a cup of tea and a chat. Before we know it, the daylight is fading, and it’s completely dark by the time we get back to Southrepps. My wife takes the dog for a walk while I do the usual business of getting the logs in, lighting the fire and vacuuming downstairs.
Once again, it is my tremor (left leg) that is most troublesome, but I’m wary of increasing the voltage on my neurostimulator in case it has a detrimental effect on my voice (which still isn’t great). I opt for a little cannabis and a beer to relax me, and that does the trick.
It’s Friday, so it’s vlog day. I get up late, but my schedule for the day is already in tatters. My wife is at home this week, so my normal routine has gone out of the window. I committed to going to the Dunelm sale on the outskirts of Norwich today, so I know that I won’t be able to get started on scripting my weekly vlog until we get back home. My wife walks the dog while I do some research on the internet. I continue my reading while my wife drives us to Dunelm, and then we wander around the store in search of bargains. My wife buys some towels, and then we call at a local craft store to buy some wool (my wife is desperate to start knitting a blanket for our youngest granddaughter) before dropping in on her youngest son and wife on our way back to Southrepps.
The daylight is fading fast by the time we get home, so my wife takes the dog for her afternoon walk while I split logs, fill the log basket and light the fire.
I write a script for my video, and film myself while my wife sits on the other sofa pretending not to watch me. I have quite a few retakes, but I’m soon loading the video onto my MacBook and editing it. I manage to finish the edit, get it uploaded to my YouTube channel and publish it before the day is out…
Tremor in my left leg is my worst symptom today, but a little cannabis this evening moderates it.
It’s another day of taking it easy, and the day starts off with a nice lie-in.
I split a few logs, fill the log basket and light the fire while my wife does some laundry and cleans the bathroom and bedroom.
We decide to go to Cromer to get out of the house, get some fresh air, and get some groceries. I feel incredibly lazy at the moment, and really don’t feel like doing very much at all. My tremor (left leg) and dystonia (right foot) are playing me up today. My voice is dreadful – high pitched, indistinct and slurred. My right arm is still painful, so I guess it’s a Parkinson’s symptom rather than just a simple muscle strain – I’ve been hoping that it would get better (which it should have done by now if it were a strain), but I guess I have to accept that it is PD progression…
We return to Southrepps, chuck a couple more logs on the fire, and watch a film or two on the telly.
The festivities are over for another year, and my wife and I enjoy a significant lie-in to recover from the last couple of days.
It’s teeming with rain here this morning, and there’s also a strong wind blowing, so I don’t really feel much like going for a dog walk (and neither does the dog!). Luckily, the rain eases a little at around 11.30am, and we have a very quick dash around the field before it resumes.
I light the woodburner and get a few more logs in from the back garden, and then we have a very lazy afternoon on the sofa in front of the fire.
Boxing Day, and were decide that we will go to see the grey seals and their pups at Horsey to get us all out of the house for some exercise and fresh air, so we get in the car and drive the 20 miles to Horsey, where we walk along the sand dunes at the top of the beach and take a few snaps of these strange looking creatures. By the time we return to the car (about 45 minutes, I think) I’m feeling completely exhausted and I’m quite keen to get back home to recover.
We have a late Boxing Day lunch of leftover turkey, cheese and pickles, sausage rolls and quiche, followed by Christmas pudding with brandy butter, and then settle down in front of the telly to watch Dunkirk.
My wife and I return to Southrepps (with the dog), and have an early night.
Christmas Day – we both have an unsettled night and we are up and about reasonably early. Breakfast and present opening are top of the agenda, and so we have a breakfast of bacon, sausage and beans amidst a sea of discarded wrapping paper.
My wife and I go back home to Southrepps to drop off our presents and have a bath, and then we drop in on her mum and dad to deliver their gifts.
We return to Hevingham to cook Christmas dinner for everyone (my wife does the cooking) and sit around drinking beer (I do the drinking).
I’m still sounding like a drunkard (even before I started drinking) and have a fair amount of tremor in my left leg. To be honest, I find the slurred speech more debilitating than the tremor I am experiencing at the moment – I’m reluctant to get into conversation with anyone. I can see how isolating Parkinson’s Disease can be…
Christmas Eve, and we are getting ready to be away from home for a few days. My wife and I are staying with her youngest son and his wife for Christmas day and Boxing Day, and we have been invited to have dinner with her eldest son and his fiancee this evening, so we need to load the car up with all of our Christmas gifts (and the dog) and get ourselves over to Hevingham.
First things first… We need to get some more beer to take with us, so I dash into Lidl in North Walsham and buy some bottles of Hobgoblin and Bishop’s Finger while my wife busies herself wrapping presents and cooking Christmas food to take with us.
Presents wrapped, food cooked, car loaded we depart for Hevingham.
I have some last minute Christmas shopping to do, so I drive to North Walsham this morning (after walking the dog) and have a wander around the shops looking for some inspiration. I don’t find any, so I decide to have a look in Cromer instead.
I’m swiftly losing the will to live because I can’t find anything suitable for the remaining gifts that I need to buy. Everything that I want to buy is out of stock until the new year – that should teach me not to leave it to the last minute next time (but it won’t!).
This evening we are going for a (belated birthday) drink for my wife with her mum and dad in The Vernon Arms. The pub is surprisingly empty for a Saturday night, so we manage to get the coveted armchair and sofa in front of the open fire. My voice is really bad at the moment, at least to my ears. I’m slurring like a drunkard before I’ve even had a sniff of my beer, and I’m sure my wife’s parents think I have been drinking all day. Three pints of Abbot Ale and a small Dalwhinnie later, and I’m struggling to make myself understood (and, although I know that I’ve had some drink, I’m certainly not drunk). The lateness of the hour doesn’t help, either – tiredness alone can adversely affect my voice, and it’s 1am before my wife’s parents leave us to get to bed.
It’s a day of disruption for me. Friday is the day that I do my weekly vlog, but I usually have the house to myself. This week my daughter is here, my wife is at home (having taken a couple of days off from working) and our eldest granddaughter is coming over for a few hours to prepare a Christmas surprise for her parents (with a little help from my wife).
I walk the dog while my wife is collecting our granddaughter from Hevingham, and then I sit on the sofa with my iPad and write my script while my daughter sits on the other sofa revising for her final year exams and my granddaughter trashes the place!
My wife returns our granddaughter to her mother just after lunchtime, and my daughter takes the dog for a good walk while I set up lights, teleprompter, camera and tripod, and film myself. I manage to do what I need to do in record time, with only half a dozen re-takes, and by the time my wife and my daughter return, I have packed everything away again and am in the middle of editing the video.
I wax and polish my daughter’s car this morning, even though I’m aching from washing it yesterday. It’s a major improvement, but it won’t stay bright and shiny for long – the roads are wet and muddy, so the car will be dirty again as soon as it’s driven.
We are scattering my mum’s ashes on Barton Broad this afternoon, so we head over to Stalham (driven by my daughter in her clean and shiny car) to meet my younger brother. We motor down the River Ant in my brother’s boat – it’s very misty, and I’m already thinking that perhaps this is not such a good idea! When we get onto Barton Broad, the mist is so thick that we have great difficulty navigating, but eventually my brother declares that we are in the right place. We scatter the ashes on the water and lay flowers in memory of mum. Then comes the tricky bit – finding our way back to the boatyard. We become completely disorientated and don’t know which way we are going – if it weren’t for the GPS software on my smartphone then it’s quite likely that we would still be on Barton Broad, cruising round and round in ever decreasing circles.
We return to Southrepps in my daughter’s car (which is now significantly less clean and shiny than it was this morning), and my wife takes the dog for a walk while I get some logs in from the back garden and light the fire.
We eat out at The Vernon Arms this evening (a belated birthday treat for my wife) and enjoy a pint or two of Abbot Ale as well as an excellent meal.
It’s my wife’s birthday today, so she’s having the day off work and we’re going into Norwich to do some more Christmas shopping (with my daughter). It’s horrendously busy in the city, and it’s not long before we have had enough and we head back to the tranquility of Southrepps.
I give my daughter’s car a quick wash, because it’s in a disgraceful state. We plan to wax and polish it tomorrow (it’s been a long time since it has seen any wax).
This evening we travel to have a birthday dinner for my wife at her eldest son’s house in Hevingham (prepared by her youngest son’s wife). A chaotic evening of good food, a beer or two and a house full of my wife’s relatives ensues.
We get back home shortly after 9pm, have another beer and settle down for an episode of Suits on Netflix.
My daughter is arriving this evening to spend a few days with us before Christmas, and it’s my wife’s birthday tomorrow, so I need to go shopping in North Walsham this morning to get some more food and snacks and drink to offer to my daughter, and a birthday card for my wife.
I walk the dog (first things first!) and then drive to North Walsham to do my shopping. The shops are busy with Christmas shoppers, which makes me feel quite claustrophobic, so I buy what I need as quickly as possible and head back home to Southrepps.
I wrap my wife’s birthday present, write her birthday card and then prepare a basket of logs for a fire this evening.
Considering that we had a long day yesterday, and I drove us home from Derbyshire in appalling conditions, I’m not feeling too bad today – tremor, dystonia, dyskinesia are all tolerable. Even my mood isn’t too bad.
My wife and I are travelling to Derbyshire to visit my wife’s grandmother today, so we leave Southrepps at little after 8am, having guzzled some breakfast cereal and a couple of mugs of tea/coffee. We drop the dog off at my wife’s youngest son’s house in Hevingham, collect daughter-in-law and youngest granddaughter and join a long line of traffic travelling up the A17.
My wife’s grandmother is pleased to see us (she only recently moved into a care home, and is enjoying a new lease of life) and we spend a pleasant couple of hours with her before taking our leave and heading back to Norfolk.
Traffic is heavy, the temperature is near freezing and it’s foggy – not ideal driving conditions. By the time we get back home (dropping off daughter-in-law and granddaughter, and picking up the dog en-route) it’s getting on for 9pm and I’m shattered!
We unwind with a beer and an episode of Suits on Netflix before retiring to bed.
It’s flipping freezing here this morning! The road outside our cottage is icy and the doors to my car are frozen shut.
We are going over to Hevingham this morning to give my wife’s eldest son’s fiancee her birthday presents, and then going on to Stalham to meet my younger brother on his boat, with a view to going down the River Ant to Barton Broad to scatter mum’s ashes.
So, we are up early (for a Sunday), tea/coffee drunk, dog walked and we are out of the house and on our way just before 10am.
Birthday gifts given to (and opened by) the birthday girl, we are getting ready to drive over to Stalham when my brother calls to tell me that the water in the boat yard (where he keeps his boat) has frozen over, so the scattering of ashes will have to wait for another day.
By the time we get back home it has started to rain (at least the temperature has risen sufficiently to prevent it falling as snow). My wife sets about cleaning and tidying the house, so I walk the dog, split a few logs, fill the log basket and light the fire.
Left leg tremor has returned and my mood is on the low side again (and I’m feeling grumpy). Time for a beer, some cannabis and an early night.
My wife and I are off to Hevingham this morning, to babysit our eldest granddaughter while her mum and dad go Christmas shopping, and then we have a little Christmas shopping of our own to do.
Before we leave for Hevingham, I take the dog for a quick walk, fill the log basket for this evening and then pop into Cromer to pick up my mum’s ashes from the funeral director – my younger brother and I plan to scatter her ashes over Barton Broad tomorrow afternoon (weather permitting).
My wife entertains our granddaughter while I surf the internet on my iPad, catching up on the latest news. By the time we leave Hevingham to go to do our Christmas shopping it’s starting to get dark and I’m really not feeling like traipsing around the shops, but time is running out, so we go shopping.
We get back to Southrepps in the dark, and I light the fire while my wife prepares dinner. Time for a beer, some cannabis and some Netflix.
Vlog day has arrived, once again, and I haven’t really given a thought to the subject of this week’s video. I take the dog for an early walk, and then sit in the lounge on the sofa with my iPad and scan the internet, looking for inspiration.
Duly inspired, I rattle off a script, then film, edit and upload the finished video to my YouTube channel.
I achieve nothing else today, aside from a second dog walk, getting the logs in for the fire this evening (and lighting it), and vacuuming downstairs before my wife gets home from work.
Tremor is being a nuisance today, both in my left leg and in my right hand, which slows me down substantially. Other than that, my only other symptom that bothers me is my mood – I’ve been feeling a little bit low and grumpy for the last 24 hours or so. Hopefully I’ll be able to shake it off tomorrow.
Another day of trying to cross a few items off my “to do” list. Another day of failing to achieve very much at all. I do manage to cross one or two items off, but they aren’t the most important or pressing tasks. Motivation (or lack thereof) is really, really frustrating!
I email Martha Orbach, the London based artist (who has just relocated to Glasgow) who is working on a project about Parkinson’s Disease and DBS – I promised her some input to her project when we met in London a few weeks ago, and I have now forgotten exactly what it is that I promised!
I defrost the freezer in the kitchen, placing bowls of boiling water inside to speed the process up, and then (impatience cutting in) use my wife’s hair dryer to blast it with warm air and really speed the process up.
I butcher my daughter’s defunct MacBook so that I can use some of the parts to repair and upgrade my MacBook – my computer is becoming very slow, the hard disk is getting extremely full and I want to make it as saleable as possible so that I can sell it in the New Year and buy something a little less antiquated (my MacBook is over 12 years old).
I also take my car around the block a couple of times – it has been well over a week since it has been used, and the security system has a habit of flattening the battery if the car isn’t used for a long period of time.
Other than that, I walk the dog (twice), bring in some logs for the woodburner and light the fire.
Southrepps has avoided the blanket of snow that seems to have brought most of the UK to a grinding halt. The temperature this morning has risen sufficiently for the ice on the road outside our cottage to have thawed, although it’s still pretty chilly out there!
I take the dog for her morning walk, and then respond to a couple of messages that I have received on YouTube, one of which requires a detailed response that takes me quite a while to formulate.
I’m feeling the cold again, so warm myself up by splitting a few logs, filling the log basket and lighting the fire.
I review (and add to) my “to do” list, which is getting longer and longer – I’m starting to feel a little panicky because I have a lot of things to do before Christmas is upon us, and it’s already the 13th of December!
My wife’s younger brother takes us out to dinner at The Vernon Arms this evening, which is really kind of him. We have food, a beer or three and a good chin-wag.
It was a cold night last night, and the road outside our house is a sheet of ice that remains frozen the whole day – I narrowly avoid falling flat on my backside this morning, when I slip whilst taking the dog for her walk. I’m certainly a lot more cautious when I take her out for another walk this afternoon.
I make some progress with my neighbour’s safari holiday video, but it’s pretty slow going – I’m working on day 9 at the moment, and there’s still another 5 days to go!
It’s not exactly chilly in our little cottage, but walking the dog has chilled me to the bone, even though I was fully togged up for the weather – thick coat, woolly hat and a pair of gloves. I make it a priority to split a few logs, fill the log basket and light the woodburner before lunchtime.
My tremor is a little calmer than it was yesterday, which is nice. The only problematic symptom today is my voice, but since I only need to use it a couple of times (when I receive phone calls from my wife and my younger brother) then it really isn’t that much of a problem. I count myself lucky!
It’s cold and grey outside this morning, but at least it isn’t raining. It actually feels cold enough to snow, and the leaden sky appears to be full of snow clouds. We do have a light shower of hailstones this afternoon, just as the dog and I are venturing out for our afternoon exercise, but it only lasts for a few minutes.
I stay indoors as much as possible, only venturing out to bring some logs in from the back garden so that I can light the fire.
I deal with a minor backlog of emails and social media messages, and start work on some of the paperwork associated with my mum’s recent demise (which I have been putting off).
I have a couple of videos that I need to work on this week (my neighbour’s safari holiday video, and my wife’s youngest son’s wedding video), so I start preparing to work on those – I feel I should finish the neighbour’s safari video first (he gave me a video camera in payment, and he has been waiting very quietly and patiently for some months now), but I really want to finish the wedding video because I know that the happy couple are eager to see it…
It’s forecast to snow here today, and it certainly feels cold enough. It doesn’t snow, but it does rain. Heavily. All day. My wife ventures out with the dog in the morning, and I take her out in the afternoon (the dog, not my wife) when the rain is much lighter. Apart from that, we stay in the house, although I do dash out to the log store in the back garden to get an armful of logs for the woodburner.
We spend the day sorting stuff out, cleaning the house and putting up Christmas decorations. I’m not really that fond of Christmas (I hate all of the commercialism – my wife refers to me as a “bah humbug”), but I must admit to looking forward to seeing our grandchildren enjoy it, particularly our eldest granddaughter who is now getting to an age where she knows what’s going on.
My tremor is still breaking through (quite strongly) in my left leg, so I decide to increase the voltage on my neurostimulator to see if it can be contained. I increase the left voltage by 0.1v (now 2.4 volts on the left, and 2.75 volts on the right). It calms it a little, but doesn’t obliterate it, so I add a little cannabis to the mix (which helps).
My immune system has managed to give the dreaded lurgy the heave-ho, and I’m feeling so much better today.
My wife disappears off to North Walsham to do some Christmas shopping, and I make a start on straightening out the lounge (which I have cluttered up with various paraphernalia over the last week). I split a few logs, fill the log basket, prepare about a week’s worth of kindling and light the woodburner (it’s 2 degrees Celsius outside, and I’m feeling distinctly chilly!).
The rest of the afternoon is spent trying to configure an electronic gadget that I bought online a couple of months ago – gone are the days when I would have done something like this in a few minutes, and would have done so the moment I opened the package. I used to think that the reason my father struggled with such things was that he was from a generation that was less familiar with electronic gadgetry – I’m beginning to think it’s more to do with advancing age and a lack of patience! I give up the battle when my wife serves up our dinner – it can wait for another day.
I had considered giving my weekly vlog a miss this week, because I’m still feeling pretty lousy. After having a couple of cups of tea and taking the dog for a walk, I manage to convince myself that I am feeling marginally better than I did yesterday, so I sit on the sofa with my iPad and start scripting the first subject that comes into my head which, appropriately, is DBS related.
While I go through the process of scripting, filming, editing and uploading my weekly vlog to my YouTube channel, I sustain myself with a couple of slices of dry white toast and another cup of tea, and feel a little more human. I must be getting better, because I couldn’t even face dry white toast yesterday.
It’s a chilly day in Southrepps, so I split a few logs, fill the log basket and light the woodburner. It feels a lot cosier in the cottage when the fire is lit!
Okay, I’ve had enough of feeling ill now. I expected to be feeling just a little more human today, but I’m actually feeling even worse. I had decided not to have anything to eat or drink (other than water) last night, but then my wife arrived home with some chicken soup and two bottles of Lucozade, so my resolve weakened. This morning I’m paying the price, because I feel as if someone has given me a good kick in the stomach. Liquids only today, I think.
It’s chucking it down with rain this morning – luckily the dog doesn’t want to go out in the wet, so we wait for a break in the weather before venturing out just after 11am.
I manage to tackle a few of the tasks on my list, the most important one being “buy birthday present for wife”, so that’s good! My other achievements of the day? Well, I get some logs in for the fire this evening, vacuum downstairs and light the woodburner. Considering how I’m feeling, that’s not a bad list…
Today my wife and I are babysitting our eldest granddaughter, so we decide to take her to Stompers (a soft play area) in North Walsham, to use up some of her (seemingly) boundless energy.
I’m still suffering from the dreaded lurgy and am feeling extremely unwell, so it’s with a large serving of reluctance that I leave the house at all. Once we are there, my wife entertains our granddaughter while I sit quietly, reading The Metro online.
I have a splitting headache, so we drop into Waitrose on the way back to Southrepps and pick up some more paracetamol.
Mid-afternoon, my wife returns our granddaughter to Hevingham while I light the fire, bring in some more logs, walk the dog, have a quick tidy around and then slump on the sofa (again).
My tremor seems to be aggravated by the lurgy, and is driving me mad at the moment. I want to self-medicate with some cannabis but I’m feeling exceptionally nauseous today, so I really don’t want to risk doing anything that’s may aggravate that. I haven’t been able to face food since breakfast time (when I forced down a couple of buttered crumpets) and I’ve only managed a glass of water since my morning cups of tea. It’s probably wisest to refrain from eating and drinking this evening, and just hope I’m feeling better tomorrow.
Today feels like a repeat of yesterday. The dreaded lurgy is still in control, and I’m feeling like death warmed-up, so the prospects of my actually doing anything useful today are virtually nil.
My son calls me on FaceTime from Australia (where he is currently on his travels) wanting me to have a look at his blog, Wandering Yokel, which he is using to catalogue his travels over the next year or so. We review his efforts and have a chin wag about his plans for the next few weeks.
I am feeling cold and miserable, so decide to cheer myself up by lighting the fire and toasting myself next to it. I take the log basket outside to fill it, only to find that my neatly stacked pile of logs has toppled over, so I spend the next 45 minutes picking them up and re-stacking them. By the time I have done this, I’m so hot and bothered that I don’t need to light the fire.
I cool down by walking the dog, and light the woodburner when we return.
Our eldest granddaughter is coming to stay the night tonight, so I vacuum downstairs, mop the kitchen/dining room floor, and construct our large child-proof fireguard before my wife arrives home with her.
I’m feeling pretty rough this morning – the dreaded lurgy has tightened its grip, so I spend much of the day slumped on the sofa, armed with a packet of Strepsils, some paracetamol and a big box of tissues.
I have a list of things to do this week, and I had every intention of starting to work through the list today, but as the day progresses it becomes more and more obvious that I’m not going to do so.
I walk the dog (twice) and then (spurred on by the fact that I’m feeling the cold) I split a load of kindling and a basket of logs. I light the fire and vacuum downstairs, and return to the sofa feeling annoyed with myself (for not doing anything on my list) and pretty low (but a little warmer).
Left leg tremor has raised its ugly head again, presumably because I’m feeling under the weather. The pain in my right arm is also playing me up, and my tinnitus is significantly louder than usual. I self medicate with some cannabis oil to calm the tremor, moderate the pain in my arm and to help my mood, which seems to be getting darker by the minute.
We have had a very lazy Sunday (especially me). This morning we didn’t exactly rush to get out of bed (9.30am) and then I just sat drinking tea while my wife took the dog for her morning walk. I had a bit of a disturbed night, and woke up at a shade after 4am with a terribly sore throat. I eventually got back to sleep around 6am having had a gargle with mouthwash to numb the pain.
We had our Sunday lunch over at The Vernon Arms for a change, and I’m glad to say that I was feeling much better by the time we crossed the road to the pub. My wife’s youngest son and his wife (and our youngest granddaughter) joined us for a dessert, which was a nice surprise.
By the time we return home it’s gone 4pm, so I take the dog for a stumble around in the dark, before carrying in a few logs from the back garden and lighting the fire. I’m feeling weak and feeble and full of the dreaded lurgy, so it’s an early night for me!
I have a good lie-in this morning, and it’s almost 11am by the time I drag myself out of bed.
I’m suffering with a bad back today, and I have quite a large portion of sciatic pain in my left hip and right leg. It was giving me some discomfort yesterday, but today it is causing me to move very slowly and carefully. I think it’s probably a result of overdoing things when splitting logs and carrying them into the house – I’ll certainly be a little more careful when I do them today!
My wife and I go out to North Walsham to do a little bit of Christmas shopping and to see if we can find a small Christmas tree to go in our small cottage (we failed). I end up feeling exhausted after an embarrassingly short period of time, so we head back home.
My wife takes the dog for her afternoon walk while I split few logs, fill the log basket (carefully) and light the fire. A little cannabis relaxes me and takes the edge off my discomfort.
I have my weekly vlog to do today. I had already selected a subject, but changed my mind at the last minute, so I haven’t given my new topic any thought at all, let alone done any research. I spend the entire morning (and part of the afternoon) researching sham treatments for Parkinson’s. I’m ready to film myself just after 1.30pm, which I accomplish without too many takes, and then take the dog for her afternoon walk while the video is transferring to my MacBook.
I have the video edited and uploading to my YouTube channel just after 4pm, and hastily split some logs and fill the log basket before it gets too dark to see what I’m doing. A quick whizz around with the vacuum cleaner, and I’m done for the day.