Good bye to 2017


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Happy new year to you! May 2018 bring you health, peace, joy, a touch of adventure and a nice bit of cash, I find the last can help achieve the others.

My mother and brother are over for a visit from the UK and we celebrated the New Year with a group of other people down on the beach. There was a lovely atmosphere with a great bonfire, local musicians playing traditional music, children running round, friends greeting each other, the huge sky over head and the sea just beginning to return from low tide which, according to local legend, promises us a good winter. Just before midnight we formed a huge circle and called out for love, peace, health and happiness for the coming year.


New Year's Eve Bonfire on the beach. 2017

As the hour slipped past midnight we popped the cork on a bottle of something bubbly and then walked into the sea, with me calling the Awen. When the fireworks died down our son provided a light show with his LED poi, a present from Grandma and something he is very good at, especially as he is self taught (proud mum moment).

LED Poi light show New years eve 2017

New years eve bonfire and LED poi 2017

And to round up 2017;

My last post, back in September, was about a plastic project I’d started at the local school. Once again things did not go as planned (they rarely do) in part due to Neu’s on going medical situation, but other issues in the village also played a part in the project having to be shelved for the time being.

I am still stuffing all our soft plastic rubbish into plastic bottles, as are several other people in the village and hopefully some of the school kids too. We shall see how many filled bottles we have when the project starts up again, sometime in the next couple of months.

I make an effort to keep our plastic waste to a minimum, trying to buy items with the least amount of packaging, refusing plastic bags, re-using plastic items etc but we are still generating a shocking amount of plastic rubbish, as attested to by the sack load of plastic filled plastic bottles that we have created in the last six months or so.

So it is watch this space for more on the project once I get it up and running again.

As mentioned earlier, Neu’s health issues and the battle to get him the right treatment continues to be a cause for concern. Having had some parts of the abdominal screen cut away where it protruded through his skin, it was obvious that he had developed an infection, which multiple doses of antibiotics had failed to deal with.

In mid September 2017, Neu’s surgeon said it was no longer possible to treat him as an outpatient and that the only course of action was to open him up again under general anesthetic and then remove as much of the screen as was possible. We were told we would receive a call in the next couple of days telling us when he would be admitted to the surgical ward. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case.

A month later Neu had an appointment with the gastric specialist. She was horrified that we were still waiting for the surgical department to call and said that while it was not possible for Neu to be admitted that day, she would do all she could to get him a bed on the gastric ward, hopefully by the end of the following week.

That didn’t happen either but finally, in the second week of November, Neu was admitted to the gastric department, just over the corridor from where we had been before and while we were pleased that the waiting was over and were more than a little touched by the number of people who remembered us, we were both more than a little traumatised by being back on the ward. I don’t think I have ever admitted, not even to myself, just how much that whole experience took out of me. Still, now was not the same as then.

Unfortunately the surgeons decided that to open Neu up completely would be too risky. They don’t want to give him a general anesthetic and no one can be sure of where his intestines actually are now, obviously cutting into them by mistake would lead to further complications for Neu.  So instead the surgeons opted to give Neu a lower level of anesthetic and then draw out and remove as much of the screen as they could through the holes in his skin.

Neu’s gastric doctor said she was disappointed by the surgeons decision, as were we, because until those damn holes close up he can’t go back on the transplant list and, while he is incredibly brave and hardly ever complains, neither of us had ever imagined that two years after surgery we would still be doing daily dressing changes, that the holes would be no smaller than they were when he was discharged from the hospital and that consequently he still can’t go to sea!

We are now using a really good raw honey on his wounds in the hope that it will keep infection at bay and stimulate the skin to heal over. I’m not recommending that as a course of action to anyone else, but it does seem to be working for us.

The surgeon had said that Neu will have to return to hospital for further similar procedures until little by little they have removed the bulk of the screen. I sincerely hope that by this time next year, I will be able to report that he is healed over, free of infection and back on the transplant list.

Thank you so much for all your kind words of support and love, these last couple of years would have been so much harder with out you.

Onwards and upwards folks