Thursday, 25 February 2016

Nina's Drama (part 2)

We woke up to sunshine on the monday morning in Portugal after the drama & trauma of the past 24hrs
We calm things down and set about the process of R & R for Nina with her doing as little as possible as she's in constant pain bless her from the 'stable fracture' she has.
She embarks on a regime of tablet taking every 2hrs with me becoming the 'look and go fetch' personal assistant which I'm more than happy to do….

Look away Tim….

Doing myself no favours here I know….

The vehicle battery also decides to have a drama of its own and fails to hold charge
Andre takes me in to Messines and a replacement AGM battery is procured from his local contact in Battery World. €250.00 later and with some help from Howie on site we are good to go, or rather a gentle amble up to Castro Verde to get charged up at the Municipal Campsite

Nina is braving it out this week and after a few days here we receive a couple of calls from the consultants back in the UK to advise us that an MRI scan is required ASAP on Nina.
The worrying bit left out of the last post was that at the time of her CT scan on the day of the fall the results showed an 'area of density' on her right breast. This, as you can imagine, was our immediate huge cause for concern and we were expecting her to return to the UK for a mammogram within the next week or so anyway. After some quality customer care from Kings Mill Hospital the following monday was to be the day she had both scans booked in and so needed to return in time for them

I have to say that the response from friends, far and wide, and family was heart warming for us both with much support and good wishes from all. Nina was at all times upbeat about the whole affair and insisted she would not worry about things until it was time to do so. This 'brave face' attitude, although admirable, proved to be her downfall the following week when it all got too much for her and the delayed shock set in

We were stuck between a rock and a hard place. I wanted to return with her for the tests but Nina was adamant all would be well and that she would be flying back a couple of days later to await the telephoned results. Me staying in Portugal was distinctly odd but sensible I guess as if long term treatment was required (the unthinkable) I would be best placed to drive the rig back and give us somewhere to live of course. 

Mum & Dad met her off the plane and accompanied her for the tests the next day. 

The Radiologists said that they thought all was OK with nothing to concern them, which was a massive relief, but the consultant said that a biopsy of the 'breast lesion' was the only way to make sure as he could distinctly feel it.
The MRI scan later in the day proved the more traumatic for her as she said it was a horrible, noisy and uncomfortable experience

So what now?
Nina and family decided to make the best of their time together and a flight from Stansted was booked in for the following sunday evening. This meant us being apart from each other for a full week, something quite weird really and difficult to deal with to be honest as we've been together every day for the last three and a half years….

A poorly timed photo of 'home' to cheer her up only made things worse…

Nina suggested I go on the weekly walk with Andre and his current guests which seemed the best thing really as I was like a lost puppy

Martin & Jen, Kath & Howie & several Dutch residents proved to be real gems and helped me get through the long week. Regular chats on 'Whatsapp' with Nina proved highly beneficial (thanks Keith)

Puff ball fungus thingy..

Destination 'Pylon', then back for a coffee at the local cafe

Just Nina missing…..

Nightly photos of my culinary skills kept Nina from worrying too much that I'd fade away..

The day before she returned to Faro I had the nonce to go get the bedding done as a welcome home present..

So, after a week apart, and the future still uncertain, we get to hug each other amidst the tears in the arrivals lounge at Faro airport
She's still in pain bless her but loads more TLC will help the cause me thinks in the following weeks

We spend the night wild camping near the airport and set off back next morning for the site at Messines. We've only gone a few kms when the news we wanted to really hear comes via a phone call from the breast consultant in the UK…All is OK!!!!!!!!
Biopsy results show normal tissue….Yippeeeeee…..

The next few days are spent walking on air (Nina on eggshells) and we are mightily relieved

Out gentle walking today the first of the 'Rock Roses' are coming out

Together with camomile flowers…

We are yet to learn of the MRI scan results but given she's been zapped several times now and told to go really easy we feel that should there be cause for further concern we would have been informed by now. TLC and loads of sunshine then….

A massive thanks to all our Friends and Family who have rallied around us with support and offers of practical help. Its good to know you are there in difficult times….

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Blighty Revisited

We moved on next to Andre & Fran's site at Messines
We have become regulars here as the location is great and its pure tranquility
The main reason for coming here much earlier than last year is that we have pre booked to leave the rig here for 18 days and return to the UK to visit fiends and family
Andre takes us to Faro airport on a warm wednesday afternoon and within hours we are shivering in the car park at East Mids looking for our hire car
Welcome home….

Mum is doing really well and its good to see she's in good spirits

Martyn, after a gut busting local carvery meal

A week is spent generally overindulging with wine and good food, visiting Mum and helping decorate our hosts' hall, stairs & landings (a job which seemed a very good idea at the time but ageing muscles reminded me what work was all about!)

Time to visit this pair en route for Ipswich and a few days with Richard & Emilja
As ever the good food was washed down with copious amounts of traditional British beer and we left Bingham down the A1 with surprisingly clear heads for once…

A while ago Emilja & Richard told us they were buying their first home together in Stowmarket near Ipswich
A trip to the show house and actual build (pictured) at the weekend was a treat for us and the girls spent many hours measuring this and lots of that followed by trips to retail parks.
How the boys were excited……

The weather, albeit very cold, was kind to us on the saturday so off we toddled to Aldeburgh on the Suffolk coast

Keeping out the wind these guys are trying to land some local delicacies

Chilly trio...

The RNLI lifeboat station proved a big hit, and warmer too

Save us!

Poor lad, frozen solid..

Heaven sent at 10 per cent Abv

There now follows a small homage to British Grub, look away if you feel hungry...

Curry with parents at Bakewell

Pork & trimmings with P & J in Bingham

Superb fish & chips in Aldeburgh

Roast turkey lunch in Westerfield with the Lovebirds...

And finally the beef alternative…

Always a drama….

The day before our intended flights back to the rig in Portugal Nina stumbled on the stairs and went head first down a full flight and hit the wall and skirting at the bottom with much force
The Paramedics strapped her in to the full spinal injury package and whisked her (& me) off to A & E just 500m down the road
She had cut her scalp quite convincingly and needed glue and 3 stitches ultimately but was a major cause for concern for many hours as she remained strapped immobilised on the Ferno board whist she had a Cat scan.
To our massive relief she was then X rayed and given a provisional all clear to go home and consume a variety of tablets for the next few days and monitor the pain and movement
Within an hour of leaving A & E she is recalled for further examination by the consultant staff and then again released after briefing us on the state of her upper spine (she has a small fracture on one of her vertebrae) 

The upshot was we bizarrely made the airport the next day with their approval and as I blog Nina is in quite some distress with the pain and trauma but safely resting here in the van in warmer Portugal
The hospital has rung a couple of times and the situation is still fluid…

She's been so lucky not to have broken her neck and we are very grateful to the superb staff at King's Mill Hospital, Mansfield