Granny Savidge Update #4

I thought it was time for a little catch up post, as I know that many of you have enjoyed her appearances on the blog and since she has been sick have asked how she is either on the blog in comments or via emails and the like and having spent most of last week with her I thought this would be timely.

Poor Gran, she has had a rocky week or so. Her walking has deteriorated and so now she can stand up but that is about it, which is so irritating for both her sense of independence and also having accomplished so much over the last few months since her stroke-that-was-actually-a-tumour-bleed that left her half paralysed. I think it must be maddeningly frustrating especially after the rigmarole of radiotherapy (which we are all pleased she has had as it’s given us another 6 – 9 months and amazingly after losing some of her hair it is now growing back black, she says black hair with white around all the edge will be a new trend!).

She has also just been feeling generally unwell and not wanting to eat from a constant dizziness and nausea. The other thing, and I don’t mean to moan but sometimes a vent is helpful, is that to be honest the NHS are being absolutely s**t, we have an NHS Care Manager who doesn’t care and a District Nurse who tells us to contact her and is, erm, never there. I normally think we are very lucky for the NHS, and know this won’t be the same for everyone, but at the moment it is proving a nightmare. I spent 5 hours on the phone, when I could have been sat with Gran, sorting out a Macmillan nurse at the hospice for her simply because no other bugger had.

Sorry for the mild swearing there but it is just so infuriating, someone with a terminal prognosis of ANY length should be looked after and have the minimal admin, form filling, telephone calls and general sorting out of stuff to do. They should be allowed to do whatever makes them happy in their final months, seeing family and friends, eating ridiculous amounts of chocolate (and falling asleep so being caught in the act – see picture below) and just enjoying their time. Not spending hours and hours with bureaucracy and pen/paper pushing. Oh and don’t even get me started on the night time care, I wouldn’t normally slate charities but Marie Curie have been dreadful, they have pulled out of the last four nights of care last minuet… anyway, let us move on. End of rant.

Caught in the act...

Caught in the act…

As usual of course Gran and I have been talking lots about books. She has read and very much admired Laurent Binet’s ‘HHhH’ (which I need to pilfer back) and has started and absolutely loved Tarquin Hall’s series of detective mysteries featuring Vish Puri and set in India. She has just read her first Val McDermid, seems she is having a crime phase, which she found ‘very page turning’ and is now deep into the latest Philip Kerr. Oh and she liked the Women’s Prize for Fiction shortlist (and has read a few of them, including the Mantel which she will not bash) though she did say ‘why has the name of the prize become so long, not catchy is it?’ Ha!

So that is the latest with Gran really, I will keep you updated and pass on your thoughts. I am off mid Literary Festival on the 6th as, bless her, she has to have one of her teeth extracted and a root canal, as if having a brain tumour wasn’t enough hey? Back with bookish bits tomorrow… In the meantime if you know any books like the above Gran might like do please let me know!

16 Comments

Filed under Granny Savidge Reads

16 responses to “Granny Savidge Update #4

  1. Tooth extraction and a root canal after what she’s been through?! Blimey!

    I’m not sure if the book I’ve just reviewed would be up your gran’s street, but I found it quite therapeutic! It’s called Secret Garden by Johanna Basford and is actually a colouring book… It’s quite relaxing. Beautiful illustrations too.

    You’ve probably read most of the books I could recommend, but if she’s into crime, has she read Imogen Robertson’s historical crime novels?

    My thoughts are with you and your gran. I hope things get sorted for her care as it’s not fair that you have to spend your time sorting things out when you could be spending it with her.

    Take care.

  2. Laura Caldwell

    As a Christian I will pray pray for your granny. Simon, you are such a lovely person to devote the time you do to your grandmother. All vulnerable people need to have advocates for them when dealing with bureaucracies, it is wonderful that you can be such a person for her. It is obvious how much she means to you. You are both lucky people.

  3. novelinsights

    Rant away. If it’s therapeutic then it should be said and it’s incredibly hard what she is going through and for you in supporting her through it. I’m sure others in similar situations would read your words and both appreciate your candour and agree with some of what you say. Thinking of you x

  4. Ann Fuller

    Not sure if your Gran likes books about Upper Michigan in the U.S.? But I read a series which is very exciting by Steve Hamilton about an ex-policeman- Alex McKnight- who finds all kinds of mayhem and mischief. Check them out. Wish your Gran a speedy recovery. Ann

  5. I just started Susan Hill’s crime series, but I’m sure you and your Gran are aware/have read them given you’re a Susan Hill fan. I really loved the first one, anyway.
    I’ve also been enjoying Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Milhone series, a lot more American and lightweight than Susan Hill, but entertaining crime.
    Love to you and Granny Savidge xx

  6. Elaine at Random reviewed Susan Hill’s crime series re; Simon Serrailler series. I downloaded the 7 kindle books of it for my husband and he has gone through them rapidly. Supposed to be quite good. Elaine and my other half liked them.

  7. As always I’m glad you are able to spend time with your Gran, even if it’s only to be there to advocate on her behalf. It’s so important that she not have to be worrying about that herself.

    As for book recommendations, my recent reads have included Wolf Hall and HHhH, so Granny Savidge is one step ahead of me there. However, for constant dizziness and nausea, I highly recommended having a supply of uncrystallized ginger on hand to chew. It is the only thing that helps me during spells of my recurring positional vertigo.

    Here an example of what you might look for in the UK: http://www.holosfoods.com/p/Buderim-Ginger–Naked-Ginger–Uncrystallised-Stem-Ginger-200g/

    Best wishes to you and your Gran!

  8. I look forward to these updates and hope Gran is feeling better after seeing the dentist this week! I thought of the book, “Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand.” She may have already read it, but it’s just a sweet story. And of course, there’s always Agatha Raisin! I’ll continue to send Granny healing and peaceful thoughts.

  9. Maybe your Gran would like the gentle wisdom of the character Mma Ramotswe In the series The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith. Wishing her healing comfort during this challenging time.

  10. You don’t have to apologise for the swearing, it’s justified. I haven’t had to experience personally what you’re going through, but have heard from close friends and work colleagues many similar stories about the horrors of trying to get the right care for loved ones. My boss lost her mother to throat cancer and said the nurses and the Macmillan lady were dreadful and actually made things worse during what was a long, painful process. The main thing is to keep your Gran with the best quality of life you can. Sending healing thoughts your way…

  11. whole situation sounds dreadful and typical for derbyshire nhs simon ,all the best stu

  12. e

    Simon = I have just read the second Grantchester mystery collection of long short stories by James Runcie. If you nip over to Random you will see I have just reviewed it. If your Gran has not already read this one and the first, I am sure she would love them. Bloomsbury will send you copies I am sure, if they have not already done so. Love to your Gran x

  13. Bet

    Do NOT apologize for the rant; it sounds well-deserved! Hoping and praying that she gets better care and healing from now on.

    Does she like spy thrillers? I recently enjoyed A Foreign Country by Charles Cumming.

  14. Simon, I am so sorry to hear what a trial this has all been. Contact your local PALS department http://www.pals.nhs.uk/ and let rip at them, it is what they are there for and they should get onto this and sort it so that at the very least it doesn’t happen to someone else, but also that your Gran gets the care she needs the minute she needs it in the weeks to come. Sending big (((hugs))

  15. Sorry to hear your gran’s had a rough few weeks but it’s great that she’s through the radiotherapy and it’s great that you are there for both company and dealing with the admin crap. I also second the recommendation of ginger for dealing with nausea. Even a ginger biscuit can do the job.

    No idea what books to recommend, sorry. I’m really enjoying The Suspicions of Mr Whicher at the moment but it’s kinda giving me the willies. Can’t read it last thing at night!

    Take care, both you and your gran, x

  16. Aurora

    Thanks for the update, sending virtual hugs to Gran. Glad to see her enjoying the Thorntons….yum yum! My recommendation is either of the Mari Hannah books The Murder Wall or Settled Blood both of which I very much enjoyed.

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