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Small Update On Tom

Lots of people are emailing Tom and wondering how he is. I felt it was now time to let you know that he has been saying goodbye to his family and friends individually and letting them know he is leaving us very soon. Tom is at peace with everything and is now focussed on leaving this world. He said he wished he could give just 5 minutes of the peace he has to all those who are weeping for him. He said it is indiscribable. He is sleeping most of the time and I am trying to keep him as comfortable as possible. As hard as it is for me, I only want that peace for him now with no more struggling and suffering. I will keep you informed. God Bless Barbara

BarbaraG

BarbaraG

 

The Last Chapter

36 years ago I drove up Onchan Head very early in the morning. It was summer and there was a most fantastic sunrise that caused me to stop my car and take in the breathtaking scene. What made this memory stand out so much after all those years is the fact that I'd spent the whole night ferrying people to Nobles and supporting distraught wives, husbands and parents who where waiting or who had received news of their loved ones missing or injured in the Summerland Disaster. I was a young 21 year old Salvation Army Officer. I was worn out that morning and traumatised myself by the events that happened and the pain of having to tell a mother she had lost both her husband and son and many more besides. Then there was that beauty that for one instant caused my spirit to lift as I marveled at the view as Summerland smoldered. Today I awoke to an equally awesome sunrise. I couldn't see the sun, but against a dark blue sky, beautiful pink clouds where everywhere in the sky. In the white frosty field across the river, I could see the rabbits running about. The birds flying across the skies with their nest building twigs, shone pink in the reflection of the rising sun. I had spent a good part of the night awake watching Tom and going through the events of the day before which were traumatic for both of us and all those that know and love Tom. Then just for a short time I was able to marvel at that scene. It melted away as the clouds blotted out the sun, but for a short time my spirits lifted. Now we have to enter the last chapter of our marriage as I nurse Tom through the most traumatic and difficult part of his whole life. Yesterday chemotherapy was withheld as his blood tests showed that the cancer had now gone to Toms liver and was very aggressive. Yes, my heart is heavy and aching and Tom is facing it with the courage and fortitude he has faced every trauma in his life, although this is by far the worst. I now have to put tears aside as there will be time for those later and do the best I can for Tom, along with the nurses that will come and help me. Tom feels it is unlikely he will complete his 2nd book but there is enough material already and with the help of friends, I will finish the book. I haven't the time, nor the concentration to answer individual emails but I am thinking of all who write and I will keep you updated via this blog.

BarbaraG

BarbaraG

 

Thursday 26th February

We have been to the hospital this morning for Toms check up before his next chemo cycle. The Oncologist appeared pleased with Toms improved health and the chemo will go ahead next Wednesday. Tom doesn't seem to be having many symptoms from the chemotherapy. What previously we thought were side effects were in fact caused by the tumour. Tom totally lost his voice at one point and was communicating by whispering and texting me when I was in another room or even dialling my mobile. This week his voice is getting stronger day by day and its obvious that the chemotherapy is actually improving things. The other day when Toms voice started to show a significant improvement, he sang a line of a song as I woke. It was great to hear him sing and indicatve of how well he was feeling and the overnight improvement. There is a long way to go before his voice will be a baritone again, but at least we are heading in the right direction. He's happy and improving and that is all that matters. Yesterday Tom came for a walk in the park and sat on a bench whilst I exercised Skipper. It was a beautiful day sheltered from the breeze and sitting with the warming sun on him. It has been a while since he has been well enough to dare walk to far without the car as backup. The park was full of children playing and Tom seemed pretty entertained listening to them, especially one little girl who exclaimed to her friends that she wasn't playing anymore if she couldn't be captain. I walked Skipper to the waterfall the other day and listened to the noises from the herons nesting in the large fir trees close by. One appeared to be calling their mate, probably to take over the nest. I could also hear the cries of a baby heron. It was obviously quite young, but still quite distinctive with its grating cry. As it gets older and is joined by other siblings, the noise will get louder and sound more like someone hammering and doing running repairs. I will try and get a sound file when it gets to that stage. When I first heard it years ago I wondered what on earth the noise was. Skipper is presently out for a walk with Miriam and will be pretty tired by the time he comes home. Having said that, i don't think its possible to tire a collie. Tom will be blogging over the weekend and so I shall go now and make us both a cuppa.

BarbaraG

BarbaraG

 

A Nobles' Dilemma

I was sitting in a Nobles day ward having a test done and reading a book. Just a novel, a book whose author I have followed for over twenty years. An author who’s inspired me with his plots and paragraphs and phrases, and given me insights into different points of view. A writer who has created stories fantastically linking the everyday with a magical reality which always lies just under the surface of the mundane.   The nurse bustled in talking fifty to the dozen, reminiscing about Isle of Man childhoods and such like. “Oh that looks an interesting book,” she clucks hardly stopping to hear my reply. “Yes, I’ve enjoyed him a lot, though I know he’s a little controversial.” But then she was gone again, leaving me seated by the bed listening to the nurses chatting in the background.   I had arrived early, a little nervous for the test, and had been seated down as they paged the doctor to come and do the bit with needles, medicines, and blood. And now I could hear the nurse greeting a doctor arriving in the orderly room at the entrance to the ward. An accent from the Sub-continent returned the pleasantries and I was suddenly struck with a thought.   You see the book was by Salman Rushdie and as far as I am aware a reasonable proportion of the doctors from the Sub-continent are Bangladeshi or have names showing a heritage in Islam.   Would my reading matter be taken as offensive, a snub to culture and religion? Luckily I was reading his latest novel, The Enchantress of Florence, and not the Satanic Verses, but still, Rushdie is a polarizing figure and known for his opinions.   I sat and wondered. I was about to have a needle pushed into a vein. Now I am sure that the doctor treating me is a consummate professional, but - ignoring any paranoid worries about the needle going in just slightly deeper than usual, a slip as I finch on that “slight scratch” they warn you about - is reading this book rude?   A part of my brain raised British rights, freedom of speech and all that; and us all muddling along with live-and-let-live give-and-take – it’s a book for Heaven’s sake. Another raised a need to be polite and accept cultural sensitivities - you don’t go pushing things in people’s faces.   But it’s just a book, a story, an exploration of the possible and the improbably to entertain and provoke thought.   I pondered for a moment casting my eye over the Hello magazines or what-not piled on the table close to the bed. Just put it away and read some dross. There is no need to push tolerances early in the morning while undergoing needles and the like.   So I did put it away; secreting Mr Rushdie out of sight in a coat pocket. I sat listening as another voice joined the conversation outside.   In bustled a petite East Asian lady, with the status displaying stethoscope draped about her neck. She briskly washed hands, swabbed my arm, opened various plastic packages and once prepared stabbed down with the needle – and missed.   “Ouch that hurt” I mutter as she pulls it out and stabs in again, this time in-and-through as the catheter slides into the vein.   Job done, she sneezes, apologises for her cold, and is gone.   Well – my arm is slightly throbbing and my pre-conceptions about seeing a Sub-continental doctor proved wrong, but what of my initial dilemma. Should I have hidden my reading away? I’m not ashamed to read Rhusdie, and I’m not really worried about there being any consequences from reading him in public – I definitely think the chances of getting shoddy care too remote to contemplate – but I also just didn’t see the need to risk giving offence.   It’s a complicated world we’ve created - doing the politically correct thing, being sensitive to diverse opinions and all that. Reading a book – what a world we live in where you’ve got to debate the dilemmas of doing that. Oh well.

Chinahand

Chinahand

 

Saturday February 21st

Well hi there folks and welcome to a good old beef from me after a weeks silence. Today it’s the airport that is doing my head in. Well not just the airport, I guess I could say general security on the Island. Our Government has followed a policy over the last 20 years or so, that appears to be based on what everyone from outside the Island appears to know what is best for us. So, we have imported boat loads of civil servants from the UK and given them out top jobs so that they can and are free to make the same mess over here, as they have done across the water. We used to have a nice quiet quaint little airport until the playboys and girls turned up. Just look at (in my opinion) the outrageous goings on down at Ronaldsway. Firstly we now have to find an extra 2 million quid for an extension to a runway that in my opinion is totally unnecessary, all because Alan Bell used the wrong cheque book when he was paying for the thing. This extension it would appear, is to comply with minimum runway lengths throughout Europe, or is it by the CIA, god knows and he isn’t answering me so far and I have asked him twice. They are getting away with murder on this compliance lark. They are using compliance as an excuse to waste out money and squander our resources. Over half the runways in Europe do not and will not comply with this latest bloody nonsense. The Americans certainly had a security problem in their airports. However, I still believe the aircraft that crashed in to twin towers would have done so anyway. To prevent or eliminate it here, we decide to build a runway that is capable of taking the size of aircraft the terrorists prefer to use. Once this monster has been completed they have another little nugget up their sleeve folks. Yes they are going to erect the most expensive hi-grade security fence around the entire airfield. This will undoubted become the most expensive fence ever built to keep mushroom pickers off the airfield. I think the cost was something like £200,000 the last I heard. Well let’s hope Allan gets his right cheque book out this time then. Then you take all the rest of the nonsense that goes on down at the airport, such as taking your shoes off to be checked out. In my case, I am usually handing my shoes over to a neighbour or at least someone that knows me well, in order for them to make sure I am not carrying a couple of bombs in my heels. Well folks I can tell you that I already have enough problems finding my way around our cluttered pavements without the additional hassle of lugging a couple of bombs around in my shoes. Flying is still in my opinion by far and the best way of getting from A to B, and until someone events a better way we are stuck with it. Anyway no one is going to take a damn bit of notice of me, so I will now shut up on this subject. In fact people I am going to belt up for the day as I can’t concentrate very well on writing these days. It’s coming back to me, but a few more days are needed under my belt. I will blog again tomorrow as I have probably achieved nothing more than doing your poor heads in this morning.   I am still plodding my way along the Silverburn folks; however, I do get scared every time I see a digger or something arrive at the railway station. A dratted security fence along the banks of the river I think to myself, or could it be that some civil servant has located a document in the Manx Museum telling the story of how a drunken monk from Rushen Abbey fell in the river and drowned back in the 17 hundreds, so now they have to erect a security fence to prevent it happening again today! There are no monks left, so I guess it would just be as always is the case - done in our best interests’ folks.

TomGlassey

TomGlassey

 

Friday 20th February

Everything is going OK for us this week. Tom has been feeling much better despite being in the low period of his chemo. He is on large doses of steroids which will causing him to feel extra well. Also after weeks of eating very little, he has managed fish, chips and mushy peas twice this week. We were at the hospital again this morning for the anticoagulant checks. He's still not quite there yet with the levels, but hopefully when we have the test done again on Monday, there will be a difference. He's even been sussing out whether he can have an alcoholic drink as well, which he hasn't had since around Christmas. He can have a small amount which is what he was down to anyway, so if he does feel like one, he can have one. Tom is very busy with his book and this is keeping him occupied inbetween hospital visits etc. I haven't had the time to spend with my aviary birds this week apart from the routine feeding etc. Orry is cuckooing as I write this and I've been trying to teach him to cuckoo and then whistle the cuckoo waltz in between. Now he's barking and next he'll be calling me in Toms voice or Skipper in mine. Skipper has been taking his hen rounding up a little bit too seriously. Yesterday 4 hens were sunning themselves in a corner of the garden and 2 others were pecking down the other end of the garden. He wasn't happy until he'd got them all in the sun corner and then decided he'd move them all into an old greenhouse which they use in the winter for sunning themselves. The ducks and geese on the river have reduced their food intake which generally means they are feeling the spring as well. Most of the wild birds are now busying themselves making nests and declaring territory. I love the spring and the young birds, but there is also a lot of sadness as well. Male ducks drown the females and other males. I've seen the geese do it to each other as well. Anyway, its all part of nature, but its difficult to watch. Next Thursday Tom sees the onologist and is down for chemo the week after. Anyway, I'm out of things to say. Tom will write over the weekend, but my little updates keep you informed.

BarbaraG

BarbaraG

 

Wednesday 18th February

Things are ticking over quite well for Tom and I at the moment. Today we go to the blood clinic at Nobles to have Toms blood clotting checked. We went on Monday and Tom still required daily injections by the district nurse as well as Warfarin. Tom is still doing well despite his set back and is eating better and full of humour. We had a new shower bath fitted last friday and a vanity unit yesterday. Our bathroom is small and about 9 years ago we decided to get rid of the bath and have just a shower. It was fine for quite a while, but we have both been missing having a good relaxing soak. Anyway that is now resolved and it's great. Whilst we are waiting for the blood results today, I'm eventually going to call in Manx Telecom to sort out the emailing on my iphone. I'm still trying to get to grips with the touch screen keyboard. It was fine when I had my pda and used a stylus, but I don't half get frustrated typing in the iphone using fingertips. I've ended up making more phone calls as I just find I haven't the patience sometimes and go for the easy option. Its probably cheaper at the end of the day. Our friend Miraim has been brilliant taking Skipper out whilst we are back and forth to the hospital. I also found it hard to leave Tom for very long when he came home from the hospital and Miriam has taken the pressure off me a lot by making sure Skipper has had a good collie workout. The weather has improved of late and is warmer and sunnier. Hopefully we will start to get some benefit from the motorhome part of our vehicle and I'll be able to execise Skipper and then make a cuppa and sit by the sea with Tom in the comfort of the camper. I'll have to make a move now to get everything done before we head off. Again thanks to everyone who has emailed me. We are doing fine and now entering the dip after chemo, but so far nothing to report. Bye for now.

BarbaraG

BarbaraG

 

Sunday February 15th

Well yesterday was Valentine’s Day. Barbara and I have never gone in for these so-called special days. It seems to me that just about every day in the calendar is dedicated to someone, something or some event. They are nothing more than money making rackets though as far as I am concerned. Barbara and I buy presents and pull surprises whenever we feel so inclined. These days, every day I wake is a joy and usually full of surprises. Mind you, I did once have a rather special Valentines Day back in 1968 in Liverpool when I was at school which I will tell you about later.   Now then, I went to the hospital last Wednesday for my usual chemo treatment. I might not have done so if I had known what lay ahead of me. The chemo treatment went as normal. After chemo I was looking forward to going home when the nurse decided she needed a doctor a doctor to look me over. This was arranged and the doctor came and decided after consulting with another doctor that I didn’t look to clever and needed a scan in order to confirm what he thought was wrong with me. I was informed that if the scan confirmed it, I would become an emergency patient and flown out to Liverpool onboard the air ambulance that day. This came as a great shock to me as I felt fine. Anyway I did become an emergency patient and I was carted off to a ward and told to wait for the arrangements to be made. An hour later I was downgraded to just an urgent case and would fly out on the patient transfer flight the next day. Very good I thought, treatment has not even begun yet and I must be getting better. I asked the doctor what exactly they intended doing with me. He said “Radiation at Clatterbridge.” I explained that that was impossible as I had had radiation treatment last July and they would never agree to radiation again so soon in the same place. No one was listening to me though and bless my soul within an hour I was upgraded to a full emergency air ambulance patient again. Not to worry, it didn’t last long as within another hour or so I was not going anywhere. The doctor came in and informed me that he had spoken to Clatterbridge and they would inform the specialist who was due over to the Island the next day and he would decide the treatment. I was then left for the night in peace not knowing really what was to become of me. I still did not know whether I was to be sent to Clatterbridge the following day or not. I lay in bed worrying about Barbara. What on earth would she do? How could she come to England on a minutes notice? What would happen to Skipper and Orry our parrot, not to mention all the other birds? About 11 p.m I drifted off to sleep only to be woken at 11-30 to be given a sleeping pill! The following morning I woke, dressed and lay on my bed still wondering what was to become of me. The doctor turned up mid morning and informed me that I was going nowhere. Clatterbridge was not an option because of my because of my earlier radiation treatment and the fact that I had only just had a chemotherapy cycle. If only he had listened to me yesterday. The Specialist had arrived on the Island to see other cancer patients and after looking at my scan he decided that he could get to the bottom of my problems over here. My brother arrived mid morning and together we observed the general goings the ward until lunchtime. At one point, an unattended bed came crashing threw the ward doors and crashed in to one of the nurses cabinets at the far end of the ward. The porters followed close behind put didn’t seem too put out by the affair. I will tell you more about my stay in Nobles Hospital at a later date.   Well to finish off for today we go back to that Valentines Day. I was telling you about at the beginning I was at school in Liverpool and took myself off with a mate one Saturday afternoon to watch Prescott town play a football match. Prescott won the match 5-1 as I recall. The Prescott striker was named Eddie Valentine and he scored three goals and we all went home delighted.   Until next week then people, I am still soldiering on the banks of the Silverburn River.  

TomGlassey

TomGlassey

 

Saturday 14th February

Tom came home yesterday afternoon and was going to write a blog today, but he's a little tired now. I know that people will be wondering what is happening and so after a hectic day so far, I will update you before I read the paper. Tom isn't too bad although the obstruction remains but is being controlled by steroids and chemotherapy which he had on Wednesday. His voice starts off well in the morning and deteriorates as the day goes on.The district nurse came today and again tomorrow to give him anticoagulant injections as he has a bit of clotting. He is in good spirits and full of tales from his short stay in hospital. You will be able to gauge his mood yourselves when he does do his blog. I'm just going to relax now with a cuppa and leave the rest to Tom probably tomorrow. Bye for now

BarbaraG

BarbaraG

 

Thursday 12th February - With Update

I'm having trouble sleeping and thought now would be a good time to update you all on Toms progress. At present Tom is in ward 6 at Nobles. We will find out today if he has to fly over to Clatterbridge for emergency radiotherapy for an obstruction. Yesterday Tom had chemotherapy as planned, but whilst I was there I spoke to the nurse and told her of the troubles we have had over the past week. She questioned me further and decided that a doctor may need to check him out. When chemo had completed a doctor came to examine Tom and then he sent for another doctor for a 2nd opinion. They both agreed that Tom would have to have a CT Scan and ECG to rule out their suspicions and Tom was admitted to ward 6 in order to have them done in an emergency. By 4.15 they were done and we had to wait for the results which came at around 5.45 p.m. We got that news that the tumour is pressing on his throat etc and causing difficulty in swallowing, speaking etc etc. The oncologist is over here today and so we will know what the next step is going to be. It was a long day and to make matters worse we had Skipper in the Camper van. Luckily we have a combination vehicle that acts as both a car and camper and so it wasn't too bad for him. I was able to give him fresh water and we had more than one walk in the Millennium park (I know I have the name wrong but I can't think straight). At 6 o'clock after much resistance, Tom persuaded me to go home and sort some things out for him as we were told he would be staying the night. I didn't want to leave him and yet I had to think of Skipper and get Tom the things he needed. Our friends Ray and Pauline Cregeen came to the house to let Orry out for a while and Ray took Skipper for a walk whilst I gathered Toms things and Pauline made a cuppa. They basically took control of things whilst I gathered this, that and the other in somewhat of a daze. Anyway, I returned and stayed with Tom until around 8.30 when he was feeling very tired. That is where we are at. Today things may move very fast or they may drag on. I will update this blog as I find out what is happening. I have to apologise to everyone who emails me and never receives a reply and explain that I'm finding it very difficult to put my mind to emailing people. So Dorothy I have heard the birdsong radio channel on the internet radio whilst looking for stations for Tom. My "Oh look a bird song radio channel", brought no response from Tom and I moved on. Elizabeth and Wendy I do read and enjoy your emails but I leave it to Tom to write to you both. Janine Tom will probably text you when I take the correct phone charger into the hospital. I took 2 chargers to the hospital yesterday for his phone and radio and I got both wrong. I'm grateful to all my friends who email me and know that they're not going to get a reply, but continue to write to me. It sounds selfish doesn't it, but I will get round to phoning you all at some point. I'll go and let make a cuppa now and I will keep you all informed throughout the day. I've just received a text off Tom "I am awake. I had a good night sleep. Feeling really good." I'm happy now I've heard and he's feeling well. I'll talk later.       11 a.m. The oncologist has been to see Tom and because he had chemo yesterday, radiotherapy would be to much too soon. He is being given steroids and along with the chemo, they are hoping it will reduce the pressure etc. He is being kept in hospital for a few days to monitor him and he is in good spirits at the moment. His brother Lenny went into the hospital at 10 this morning and delivered the correct chargers so he will be able to use his phone again. I will be going into see him this afternoon and will let you know if there is anything to report. For now, I have been going to see to me aviary birds and hens for the last hour, but I seem to be taking treble the time to do anything. Orry is having some out time and grooming both me and himself as I type. Our friend Miriam from across the road has taken Skipper for a good walk for me, so all I have to do now is get my act together.

BarbaraG

BarbaraG

 

Monday February 9th

I was wondering whether to write today or wait for a bit, but there are quite a few people wanting to know how we are fairing. Well we haven't had the best of weekends as Tom has been quite under the weather. We had to call the Emergeny Doctor late on Saturday for advice of how to handle the breathlessness that Tom was experiencing. He is pretty well managing at the moment and we've had the hospice nurse visiting us today. She is going to organise to physiotherapy & guidance on breathing to help Toms symptoms. Toms appetite is also not very good but I have stopped stressing now and Tom is drinking the prescribed drinks with all the vitamins and protein that he needs. He also manages some homemade broth. Chemo makes the throat and mouth sore amongst other things and one of the tips we received was pineapple. It acts as a natural antisceptic and soother for sore mouths. On the positive side, today was the best day weatherwise that we have had for ages which enabled Tom to have a short walk. The weather has been too cold for him to do much or the wind too strong. Today we went for a walk in the park with Skipper. It was only a short walk, but it was good for him. This Wednesday the next chemotherapy is due. Tom will have the blood tests again tomorrow to check if his blood is ok for it to go ahead. He is alot better now than he was last week when the blood tests were done and his colour was pale. I am expecting that the haemoglobin will have recovered a bit from the results last week. Yesterday I walked though the fields with Skipper as I looked for any chickweed and dandelions for my aviary and rabbit. I didn't succeed in finding chickweed, but I did find some dandelions and some nice fresh grass. It was lovely to see the snowdrops growing along the river bank reminding me that it won't be long now before the bank is covered with bluebells and wild garlic. It was a promise that spring is just around the corner whilst Skipper and I were getting a right drubbing in the rain. For all the forecasts of snow, at sea level we have only had rain and the odd hail shower. Anyway, I will do another update after chemo on Wednesday. Bye for now

BarbaraG

BarbaraG

 

Friday February 6th

Good morning folks. Well this has not been my best week. I have been so damn tired that I have hardly been able to do anything. Anyway today I am having a good day and soon I will be leaving for Port Erin. It is very cold today and at present the sun is shining however, it is also snowing, which proves our weather is very much like our government and tries to be all things to everyone but really hasn’t a flaming clue what to do next. With Christmas now well and truly astern of us, Easter is lying dead ahead. When I was at school at the convent in Liverpool I used to wonder how Jesus Christ could have possibly died and risen on a different date each year. I didn’t know then and of course the nuns never explained to us that Good Friday was originally a pagan feast day and was always acknowledged on the Friday at the end of the month that was nearest to the next full moon. They kept it to themselves that the Christian church had swiped the pagan feasts of Christmas and Easter because they couldn’t accurately date the birth and death of Christ themselves. Anyway I guess I am already in hot water so we shall steer away from that subject now.   Well old Jeremy Clarkson has been at it once again, and if Clarkson can get away with calling Gordon Brown a one eyed Scottish idiot on the BBC, then I can certainly get away with calling him a brainless English crack pot on my blog. Carol Thatcher gets sacked from her show because off air she said a black tennis player looked like a gollywog. Jonathan Ross and his mate get suspended for insulting someone, yet Clarkson can say whatever he likes and get away with it. I guess it goes to show the BBC doesn’t really have any ethics. It’s all about how much money you are worth to them. If only having one eye makes you an idiot, then Clarkson’s got two which must make him a double idiot. As for me with no eyes at all, well I guess I must be in a league of my own.   Well my friends, that is just about it for this week.   So until we meet again. This is Tom Glassey on the banks of the Silverburn River.

TomGlassey

TomGlassey

 

Help Required

Ok, the blood tests are back and Toms haemoglobin is very low. That explains why he has been very breathless and not getting enough air in his lungs, very tired and today faint. This morning he woke up feeling well as he slept apart from our 4 a.m cuppa. He was raring to go but then got faint just after getting dressed. He recovered and has spent his morning writing his next Manx Tails entry. Anyway, I now need your help if possible to give me some suggestions on how I can get his blood levels up for next Tuesday, Haemoglobin especially. To make the task more difficult, green vegetables are out, Guinness at a push and he does suffer with a sore throat. Preferably natural food rather than vitamins which can interfere with the chemo and perhaps some recipes with which to tempt a husband who says he isn't fussy, but will reduce the list of food acceptable drastically. I have to take Skipper out now. It's a beautiful day and the cruel wind has dropped. I have no asthma problems today and so I will enjoy the walk. Don't forget the suggestions please.   The walk I took skipper into the park today and what a difference to yesterday. Although there was a slight breeze, it was gorgeous. The rooks followed me as far as the childrens playground and I threw bits of bread to them. They can't come beyond there in the park as that is crow territory. There a around 3 families of crows and they have the park divided up from the rookery inwards. The 1st family go almost to the middle gate, the second family stop short of the bullring and the 3rd has the rest of the park. The territory stretches across the park as well almost like a line has been drawn and no crow encroaches without a good thumping.Skipper and I were the only people in the park which was great. I sat on Norman Sloans bench and just watched and listened to all around me. A military helicopter came over and that execised Skipper for me as he chased it out of the park. As I had made my way through the park I had made sure each family of birds had been fed. It is easy to see the large birds calling and following me around, but often the smaller birds are also having a meal but are not so obvious. Over time I have become aware of the robins, blackbirds, thrushes and chaffinches etc that wait for me in the bushes. They are more trusting now and they make sure I don't miss them. Looking across the fields, the sun was shining on the hills and there was snow on the tops. It wasn't thick, just enough to give a patchwork quilt effect with white, purple and greens. The river gently made its way to the harbour beyond the park boundary and the moorhens gave away their positions with their cries. After sunning myself for a while and trying to persuade a robin to land on me, I decided I'd better entertain Skipper a better and so I walked on whilst calling him right and left etc making him run after nothing. I walked through the bull ring which is a skate park. A few wood pigeons were startled and flew off when they heard me. The trees are large fir tree's and I didn't see the pigeons until they freaked out. I know one of the trees is being investigated by the herons for nesting. It is the tallest tree in the park. They will probably change their minds and nest further up the river like they did last year. It was a shame to see broken glass in the skatepark. Older children tend to use the back of the equipment as drinking dens at night and get some sort of pleasure at smashing the glass everywhere afterwards. Skipper and I made our way towards home where he met another dog with a similar nature to himself and they got on fine as long as they weren't on leads. Once on a lead, Skipper barks at everything that moves. I believe that is nervous aggression. Anyway, as I sit updating this blog in our bedroom, the sun is going down and shining on Golden Meadow mill, the river and trees in beautiful reds and gold. Tomorrow tom see's the specialist and so we may have something to report. Bye for now

BarbaraG

BarbaraG

 

Tuesday 3rd February 2009

I have been getting emails from people wanting an update, Manxbird especially and so I have put my mind to doing it. Well things have been a bit hectic the past few days and the weather hasn't helped. For people off the Island, the snow hasn't been a problem for us over here. Some places have had snow settling on the ground, but in Castletown we have had the benefit of seeing the lovely white flakes floating through the air and melting on impact. The real bug bear has been the keen North Easterly which is absolutely biting and awful for asthmatics like myself and people with chest complaints. Anyway, I've found it hard to write over the weekend as nothing much happened and Tom was stable after his Blog on Friday. I was bragging to my sister-in-law Rosie on Sunday how Tom was hardly coughing and only using the nebulizer twice a day. If I was a superstitious person I suppose I would have touched wood, however I'm not and things did go downhill quite rapidly on Sunday evening. Toms breathing and cough got worse and we were up in the middle of the night again with the nebulizer. Monday continued in the same vein with the cough getting worse. Tom had a very bad night last night with pleurisy returning with the harsh cough and the pain being almost unbearable. I got in touch with the Hospice nurse who calls each week and explained everything that was happening. She is great for getting things done and we had a district nurse out this morning taking blood to check Tom isn't too anaemic and the doctor called this afternoon. The doctor and nurses visit wasn't because Tom was too ill to go to the surgery, though it may have been a problem the first half of the day until we got the pain under control. It is because now he is on chemo, he isn't allowed to go to the doctors surgery as his immune system is very low. Anyway, the doctor came and examined Tom this afternoon by which time Tom had improved quite a bit. The doctor decided that it was probably the chemo inflaming his lungs etc and I think he has probably peaked now. He should now gradually regain his strength just in time for the next chemo session on the 11th. Tom see's the specialist on Thursday morning. Next Tuesday he has the blood tests which will determine if he is fit for chemo the next day. It is always a nervous time in case the blood levels are not back within the limits. All is not lost as the chemotherapy drug will have already been dispensed and it would be expensive to lose, so blood tests are done a couple of days later and if ok, chemo will happen then. The drug has a very short shelf life of around 7 days. Anyway, that's where we are at and as U write this, Tom is much more comfortable. The lump under Toms arm is very reduced and if that is any reflection on the rest of the cancer, there is a good response. My hens are laying and if nothing else, we're certainly getting fresh eggs. Skipper is still loving hen rounding up and is becoming very good at it. My aviary birds are feeling spring in the air, even if it is so cold. The male canaries are feeding the females, the male cockatiels are singing and strutting about the females. I don't encourage them to breed as they are prolific and I don't like parting with them, so I don't put nest boxes in the aviary. That doesn't stop them finding little corners and I spend the warmer days playing hunt the eggs with the determined cockatiels. Orry is now in the process of learning "When Irish Eyes are smiling" for the hospice nurse when she calls. She is totally bowled over with an African Grey landing on her shoulder and wanting to kiss her and has set him the task for her next visit. So far he's more interested in his own extensive repertoire, but we'll get there. As for describing any walks I have done, they have happened with layers of apparel, hat, gloves and head down into the wind. Brass monkey weather to be precise. I will hopefully improve on that as the weather improves. Today I was just so grateful for Miriam calling for Skipper and taking him to Ballasalla and back along the river. I'll do a little update when we have the latest blood results. Bye for now.

BarbaraG

BarbaraG

 

Friday 30th January

Okay folks, I’m back for at least once a week. Barbara has been giving me a severe ear bashing all morning regarding the blog. I have had to agree to write a blog once a week and it will probably be on Fridays. Yes I really do enjoy writing the blog and I have really missed it. But I really did need to get on with other things that I have neglected. The book is now taking shape and hopefully will be out later this year. I have also had to agree to certain changes to my Manxtails articles. There material now will not appear on any blogs as it was starting to cause major confusion.   Now then, can I thank all of you that have emailed believing that I am very sick and the odd one or two that seem to think I’m dead! Yes people, I did get very ill this time round with my chemo, then all of a sudden about three days ago, I started to make a recovery. On Monday I could not walk up the stairs without stopping. I can now run up the stairs. Yes things are looking a lot brighter lately.   It was my poor Uncle Normans funeral yesterday. I wrote his Eulogy of course but was too ill to read it myself so I handed it over to vicar Roberts at the Abbey church to read on my behalf. There are so many wonderful things I could say about my Uncle Normie, However, I shall leave it to the March edition of Manxtails.   Well we are now deep in to January and February will be with us in a few days. Just a few more gales and maybe the odd storm to get through and it will be spring once again. This has been a very long and difficult winter for me. There have been lots of tears and disappointments. I really do believe now that I have got the fight back in my belly. I just about gave up on everything. I now have the thirst back and I am ready for the battle all over again. I am off now to make a cup of tea and I hope you will all do the same. I will blog again next Friday which is the day after I see the oncologist who will check my progress before chemotherapy the following week.   Until then people I say farewell. This is Tom Glassey blogging once more on the banks of the Silverburn River with a happy wife. J  

TomGlassey

TomGlassey

 

Some Encouragement

Its almost a week since Tom had his chemotherapy and after a dip, today he is starting to feel a little better. The first few days he felt quite well and he gradually got more tired and his chest became more problematic. I think Monday was his worst day and he is now improving. He was singing again this morning which I've said before, is my Tom barometer. When he initially went to the doctors in December, it was because he found a lump in his armpit. After a CT scan, it was found that the cancer had returned and it was now much higher in is chest. The lump under his arm was connected and so more chemotherapy was suggested. Well, today he felt the lump that he hadn't checked for a while and found it had reduced by about a third. Previously he has only been able to measure any improvement by his breathing, but today he was physically able to see an improvement, hence the singing. Although he is improved, he decided yesterday that he wouldn't be able to go to Uncle Normans funeral to do the eulogy and so this morning he wrote it and the Vicar is going to read it on his behalf. Although Tom is feeling slightly better today, for the rest of the week he enters a critical period where he is very vulnerable to infections. Chemotherapy doesn't just kill cancer cells, it also kills off the red and white blood cells along with other other rapidly reproducing cells of the body. By the time Tom has his next blood test for chemotherapy, everything should be back within the normal range for him to have his next treatment. My walks with Skipper have been some what calmer since my muddy bath on Sunday. Yesterday we went to Fort Island for the first outing whilst Tom was resting. It was a beautiful day with a slight breeze and there was only Skipper and I there for most of the time. I'd have to be honest and say that I was a little tired for walking and so I let Skipper entertain himself for a while chasing planes. I stood and watched the birds and the clear sea gently lapping on the shingle shore. Skipper disturbed a couple of curlews and they flew off showing their annoyance in their call. Ducks seemed to be making the most of the quiet sea and just floated, letting the sea gently move them. I walked down the old jetty and marvelled at how clear the water was and how the seaweed seemed magnified in the sea with the sun bringing out all the different colours. After my reverie and Skipper happy at seeing off the planes, we returned home. Today I didn't go anyway other than the park. This morning it was very misty, but even so, the planes where still taking off and Skipper was getting a good run in an empty park. I checked the trees today as well. I can hear you wondering what I could possiblly be checking the trees for. Well, when the trees were shedding their leaves in October/November, I noticed that they had already started to bud. Today I was checking how the budding was doing and it really hadn't changed. It will be a few months before the buds have a surge and we feel the thrill of spring. Tonight when I went to the park, I left it until it was nearly dark. Its good if it can be planned for the busiest taking off or landing of the planes. It doesn't half exercise Skipper for me. I stood a while with the light of the railway station illuminating part of the park. A little wren was shouting and alarm and as I got closer, it went into a bush and went very quiet. A blackbird was across the park singing probably his last song of the day and a couple of herons clack, clack, clacked in an evergreen tree where they appear to be nesting. Skipper and I made our way home when I was sure there was a lull at the airport. On the river the ducks, swans and geese were having their last meal of the night. All was well.

BarbaraG

BarbaraG

 

25th January 2009

I used to think Tom should think up different titles for his blogs instead of the date, but after sitting here staring out of the window as I try to dream up a title, I'm afraid I'm going to do the same. Well, Tom is doing OK after the chemotherapy. Obviously he is not as bouncy as he was the 1st time he had chemo, as his body has had quite a battering with the previous chemotherapy and especially the radiotherapy. He is eating better, but is tired and a little breathless. Apart from that, none of the other nasty side effects have affected him to date. He was very tired yesterday and had a sleep whilst I went about my daily routine and then I took Skipper to Langness. It was quite a nice day, but very nippy. Walking along the Douglas side, there wasn't much in the way of birdlife. I think they were all sheltering lower down in the wetland area. There was the occassional cormorant flying along the coast or sitting on rocks drying their wings. Looking back inland, Snaefell stood out with a dusting of snow on her peak. It was a very clear day, the sun was very bright, and the grass blowing in the breeze also shone with the bright sun on it. I walked across to the castletown side when I reached Jeremy Clarksons fence. I don't think I've every seen the path on west side of Langness so muddy. I decided I probably wouldn't use that path again until things dried out a bit. Today Tom decided he would come for a ride in the camper when I took Skipper out, so that he was getting out of the house, even if he wasn't walking further than the camper. It was much windier today and I decided maybe I'd just go to Fort Island. Tom doubted we'd get over the causeway as the sea was quite wild. I decided that we'd go to Langness instead. I try to walk Skipper away from people and their dogs as I just never know how he is going to react. Its just easier that way and I don't get stressed. I decided the easiest way to go when we arrived at Langness, was the west side path as there was no-one in sight on that side. What a short memory I have! I negotiated the mud and water up to the fence. Apart from the difficult walking conditions, the view was something else. The sea was wild and blue, with wave after wave coming in. I wished I had my camera so I could take a picture to put on the blog. Anyway, Skipper and I walked the road way back and we almost got all the way back to the camper and Tom without meeting anyone, when just at the beginning of the road, a couple stood waiting for their King Charles spaniel. I decided to walk across to the muddy path with Skipper on the lead so as to avoid a confrontation. It almost worked except the spaniel decided it wasn't going to move, so I attempted to walk past whilst telling Skipper"No" as he eyed the little dog. Then he started barking. "Sit Skipper" I commanded trying to get some control. He sat, but looked at the spaniel like he does the hens when he seems to be waiting for the next command. I decided to walk on as we where almost at the carpark. The little dog also decided it was a good time to catch his owners up. Skipper pulled as he barked and I held on and shouted "no". In an instant I found myself looking at the sky, still hanging onto Skipper, but oh, I was covered in mud and so embarrassed at finding myself in a prone position in front of the couple. It required a complete change of clothes when I returned home and luckily having a camper meant that I had covers to save the seat. I definitely won't be forgetting the mud at Langness for a while and will make do with the park for this evenings walk. It was nice to return home from the walk and find Toms mum and brother waiting for us. She had baked us a bonnag and an apple sponge. She is 81 and still bakes lovely cakes and scones. Even my mum still talks about the lovely 'melt in the mouth' scones she had from her when she was over visiting last year. Orry the parrot is barking his head off as I am writing this, in between whistling "The Entertainer". Tom is ready for a cuppa, so I'd better go now.

BarbaraG

BarbaraG

 

Thursday January 22nd

Hello folks. Yes I am back again and so soon! Well no not really, I have come out of retirement to write a very special blog dedicated to a very special person. My Uncle Norman (Gregson) or Normie as he liked to be known, followed all my blogs. He didn’t have a computer, but he made sure each week that they were printed off for him by someone in an office. Norman sadly past away on Tuesday morning, he simply never recovered from a so-called ‘not to serious’ operation. I was extremely close to my Uncle Normie. He was a very special person and I am more than happy to be delivering his Eulogy in the Abbey church Ballasalla next week.   By some very strange irony I found myself in the chemo ward at Noble yesterday. I was about to begin chemo again for the second time. Last year I was on this very same ward receiving my chemo and just across the passageway lay my Dad. He had died that morning. Yesterday Normie lay just across the passageway having died the day before. Now let me try and give you a brief insight in to Normie’s life. He was a wonderful friend, never let you down and always there for you. I recall a time back in the early 80’s when I had relocated to North Wales. I had gone there to learn a bit about restoring antique furniture. I had taken up residense in a flat, which was on the top floor of an old folk’s home. Hardly ideal, but with very little money I could not afford to be fussy. I had only been there a few days and was still feeling my way round. I had taken to nipping over the road to a little pub called the Castle. This was in the town of Abergele. I knew absolutely nobody; neither did I know my way around. I didn’t know the names of any streets or how to get to the nearest shop even. I remember sitting in the Castle Pub this night having ordered a pint and trying to make it last because I only had about a quid left. There was no one I could turn to for help as I did not know anyone. I sat there almost crying in to my beer, when all of a sudden the door of the pub burst open and a voice I knew only to well roared across the bar. “Never fear Toma, Normie’s here” Norm had been visiting his sick Mother in a hospital in Wales somewhere and tracked me down. Within seconds he had pulled up a bar stool ordered his Bacardi, a pint for me and drinks for the landlord and anyone else that was within arms reach at the bar. He even managed to talk the landlord in to giving him a lift to Liverpool the next morning in order to catch the boat, and I enjoyed my first lock in in Abergele since my arrival. We staggered home at some ungodly hour and turned in for the rest of the night. The following morning Normie had woken on time, dressed, made tea and on leaving, he tossed a handful of fivers in to my bed. In a flash he was gone almost as quickly as he had arrived. That was Normie. Whenever I was heading for trouble, Normie just seemed to appear out of nowhere. Back in about 1970, Normie had not been over here very long. He had relocated back to the Island from Coventry and gone into business with my Dad, landscape gardening. The bowling green in Port Erin is a monument to his work. Anyway I was returning to college in Birmingham where I was hoping to become an engineer. Normie was at the same time travelling back to Coventry to collect his daughter Mandy. She had been staying with her Gran, the fantastic Dolly, a living font of human kindness. Well Normie and I boarded the Manx Maid and set sail for Liverpool on what turned out to be the roughest crossing for 4 years. We both sat in the passenger lounge, and as the ship sailed out of Douglas and got further and further out to sea, so she became a tossing pancake. Everytime she took a roll to starboard, every dish and table crashed down the length of the deck, and then all came back on the return roll. Any old man spotting his opportunity positioned himself across the open door to the deck and began catching all the passengers as they were hurled from one side of the lounge to the other. Normie decided to set himself up as the official commentator of this malarkey. He described how the old man was hanging on to the lady passengers much longer than he was the men. Normie thought it was great crack. Soon we were hit by a huge sea which dislodged us out of our seats and sent me and Normie crashing to the floor. I landed on top of Norman and he couldn’t do anything because of the fit of laughter he had gone into. Eventually he pulled himself together and we managed to get the seat firmly back in position. Every passenger was throwing up and we were the only two who were wrapped in delirious laughter, lying spread out in the middle of the lounge floor. We eventually we got into Liverpool and boarded a train to Birmingham where Normie regaled the passengers in the carriage with the story of our epic sea voyage. I was starting to think we had just crossed the Atlantic. Eventually someone sniggered “Where have you sailed from?” There was much laughter when we replied “The Isle of Man.” In Birmingham Normie got off the train and came with me to the college before continuing his passage to Coventry. I had a small homesick tear in my eye as I climbed the college steps. I didn’t turn around but I know Normie was weeping too as he trudged his way back down the college driveway. God bless my Uncle Normie, I shall miss him terribly. He has not gone forever though. I will join him again at some point in the future. Until then, Goodbye my very special friend. We part yet again with tears in our eyes, but this parting is not forever. Only a tiny part of you has died. Our love and friendship is still here and will never ever die.   Now I know you are all enjoying Barbara’s blogs. I have not returned to takeover again this has been a special blog for a very special person. For the record though, I am now back on chemo and already feeling much better. You are still of course more than welcome to email me at tomglassey@manx.net.   For the time being though, good bye people and farewell from Tom on the banks of the Silverburn River.

TomGlassey

TomGlassey

 

A Mixed Day

I'm so sorry I am late with an update, but its been a busy day. Tom woke this morning and was singing in bed for the 1st time for months. For those who don't know, Tom is a happy person who loves to sing and because of the news of the cancer returning and his dip in his health, his singing has been sorely missed. I've always loved the way he rides above everything and has a song in his heart. Anyway, it was back today with the realisation that he would be taking a step towards stopping the cancer. Unfortunately he had some bad news early this morning. His uncle, Norman Gregson, whom he has written about a few times, died in the night. If he is well enough, Tom will blog tomorrow or soon and write about his uncle. We went to the hospital for 2 p.m. and chemotherapy did take place. I very rarely have time to shop and took advantage of the time and spent some Christmas vouchers in Marksies. I had just over an hour and made the most of it. Tom took the chemotherapy well and we got home at around 4.45 p.m. His appetite has been pretty poor of late and I gave him what he wanted for his tea which was a small salad. He was very tired and went to bed at 6. I'd have to say how pleased I was to hear him shout for a jam sandwich. This may not sound like much, but its brilliant when you realise how little he has been eating. It also meant that rather than worrying about him being sick after the chemo, it seems to have stimulated his appetite. When a person has chemo, they are also given anti sickness drugs as well, as this is one of the most common side effects and can be quite debilitating. Tom didn't need them last time, but we had been warned that the good health enjoyed last time, is going to be highly unlikely this time. We will see. Anyway, as I say, you will have the master blogger himself tomorrow with luck. I have to apologise to all who emailed me today and I tried to be cocky and email you back from my new whizzy iphone. Once I had mastered how to hit the right keys on the extremely sensative screen keyboard, I messed about with my settings. I marvelled at the emails I received along with pictures, but I have still not got my settings right for replying to you all. Everything is sitting there unable to make a connection. When I've stopped playinh with all the other clever things on the phone, I'll get round to sorting out the things that still don't work. All I will say is that unless you have oodles of patience, do not buy an iphone. If you have, its flippin brilliant. I would have to add that it was a delayed birthady present to me from Tom. We had to wait until Manx Telecom got them in stock. I'm going to carry on playing with it now. Bye :-)

BarbaraG

BarbaraG

 

Hopefully Very Soon

Well we are not long back from the hospital where Tom had to have blood tests to check he will be OK for chemotherapy on Wednesday. This was one of the few times we could jump the queue as people who are having, or about to have chemotherapy, have to keep away from public places so they are not exposed to any colds or viruses etc. Chemotherapy won't take place if Tom has a temperature or if any of his required blood levels as too low. It's a nervous time for him which only stops when the nurse who delivers the chemotherapy checks everything and then the drug is administered. It is all for his own good as to give chemotherapy to a person whose immunity is very low, would be very dangerous for him. We've had a quiet weekend which is not unusual. Toms appetite is not the best at the moment and as I say, chemotherapy is what he is focusing on. He has listened to all but one of the 5 books I got for him from the RNIB. The one that is left looks to be a very large one, so hopefully it will keep him occupied until I order more from him. With the weather being not too good this weekend, I have cut down my walks with Skipper and have entertained him another way which he absolutely loves. Skipper is a rejected sheep dog. He wasn't quite a year old when we got him, but the herding instinct is very much in him. That is why he is such a nightmare to take for a walk. He wants to herd pretty well everything that moves. I decided to play to his strengths at home and see if I could have a happier dog. I have hens in the garden and since the day we got Skipper, he has gazed at them through the partitioned fence. So intent was he on staring at them and trembling with anticipation, that I didn't trust him one iota. Anyway I decided to test him. I let him in with the hens and told him to sit and he was happy just to lie and watch them. He never made an attempt to chase or harass them. That was stunning! So I decided to let the hens into the part of the garden that they are not allowed and that Skipper normally has too himself. I tried a few commands that I looked up on the internet on Training sheepdogs. Most of them he ignored, but a few he knew and soon he was rounding up the hens ever so gently to bring them back. He won't do it without my commands, but he just loves it. He may have not been very good with sheep, but he's brilliant with the hens and so gentle. The strange thing is how he will lie and let them walk past him and he just ignores them and they are not intimidated by him. Once he is given reign to work, he stares them out something cruel. I thought they wouldn't realise they were being given the 'Move it now' stare as they are hens, but believe me, they know he means business and he gets the respect. Anyway, I hope I haven't bored you all with Skipper the hen dog. Anyway, I have to say that my hen dog may be a gentle soul with the hens, but he's still a right sod when I'm walking him. I have to think of more psychology now to have him gentle on the walks. My next blog will be a chemo update. Bye for now.

BarbaraG

BarbaraG

 

The Right Stuff

I recently watched the movie the Right Stuff exploring how America and NASA launched their first astronauts into space. I really enjoyed it, I think you can tell it was based on Tom Wolfe's book - its well written on lots of levels.   I enjoyed the recurrent motif of Chuck Yeager who's story of breaking the sound barrier starts the film, but who is then left behind apart from continued reprises as the astronauts take centre stage. He bravely headed out time and time again to push his aircraft to the limit. The adoration and press coverage may have left him behind, but the risks and never ending battle between man, technology and failure at height and speed remained.   I also enjoyed the Shakespearian comedy of the incompetent NASA officials, one too tall, one too short, bumbling around looking for suitable astronaut candidates; and the realistic portrayal of the astronauts themselves, flawed and human with their infidelities and arrogances, but also with their comradeship and their support for their wives bugged by press and politicians. The wives themselves were also a major part of the movie, learning to live, with no support, with the dangers that bureaucrats and male drive put their loved ones in.   And then those dangers. The Mercury missions were casualty free, but that underplays the risks. The board of photos each showing a killed test pilot in Chuck Yeager’s regular watering hole reinforces his words that these people were volunteering for a suicide mission; it was only by luck and hard work that they all survived. And what of the hard work? – “Without the bucks they'd be no Buck Rogers.” The work of probably hundreds of thousands of people all converging on to one person strapped into a tin can at the top of hundreds of tonnes of explosive liquid and gas. Isn't it amazing what human ingenuity can do? The engineers were also given a Shakespearian, comedic role with Teutonic minds that ignored that people need to pee. I think that is a little unfair. I wish to take nothing away from the astronauts, but the people who slaved away, with far less head-line grabbing reward, to get the rockets to actually work were also heroic - allowing us to slip the surly bonds of earth.   We definitely do need reminding that some of humanity's achievements really are awe inspiring. The Right Stuff did it for me. I definitely recommend it - as long as you've got 3+ hours to spare.

Chinahand

Chinahand

 

Humour Lifts The Moment

Well its a new day and we're both feeling better than this time yesterday. We had our usual middle of the night cuppa and then I went back to sleep. That is the bit that Tom doesn't manage. He has some discomfort that stops him staying in one position for too long. Yesterday alittle gadget arrived that I ordered for Tom last week. It is the visually impaired version of an ipod I suppose. It plays mps's, talking books, podcasts, records and can also have an addon to make labels that can be read out loud by the gadget. It uses Daisy player format for the talking books which allows books formatted with Daisy to be navigated and bookmarks set etc. He took this with him yesterday to the hospital and listened to the book "Attention All Shipping". It took his mind off the long wait and he was obviously enjoying it judging by the laughter that came from him occassionally. Others waiting just said they wished they could hear what was amusing him. On our way into the hospital I particularly noticed that Tom seemed to put his right foot down loudly whilst the left foot was soundless. I pondered it for nano seconds and then knowing how he has always had a problem wearing shoes down, I told him I thought perhaps that maybe his right leg was slightly longer than the left. "What makes you think that?" he asked. "Its the loud dragging when that foot goes down. Like it hits the floor harder and thats all I can think of!" Tom never answered and I daydreamed my way to Medical Outpatients. We sat for probably 1 1/2 hours waiting for Toms turn. Tom listened to his book and I played Bubble Breaker on my pda. Eventually our turn came and we were asked to sit in the cubicle that has an examintaion bed and 2 chairs facing each other. I directed Tom to one chair and I sat opposite him. The nurse left after telling us the doctor wouldn't be long. Thats when I saw it "Oh no!" I shouted. "What?" said Tom. "You have got 2 odd shoes on. One brown and the other black. Even worse, they're not the same style." We both fell about laughing especially me with my daft 'you've got one leg longer that the other'. The right shoe had a leather bottom and the left was more like rubber. I suggested various things we could do for when the doctor came, all of which Tom dismissed. Anyway, it lightened the moment when the doctor and the nurse did clock the shoes after the difficult results were discussed and the option available. At least Tom was his calm self and not fazed in the slightest. I would have been mortified like I was when I went to the doctors with my jumper inside out and another time when I lay on the examination bed in the doctors due to a stomach problem and the lady doctor pointed out that I had left the massive stickon Marksies label on my new casual bottoms which stated £9.99. Anyway, Tom is resting and looking forward to starting treatment. I won't be blogging as much as Tom but I will keep you informed of his progress, health and whatever else may be of interest. Below I took a sneaky photo of the said shoes as we waited. I thought you may like to see for yourselves. Tom doesn't mind and has given his kind permission.

BarbaraG

BarbaraG

 

Thursday 15th January

Barbara has now started a blog to keep readers up to date with progress. To read it go to http://www.manxforums.com/forums/blog/barb...?showentry=834I I will be back some time soon.Tom Glassey on the banks of the Silverburn

TomGlassey

TomGlassey

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