Saturday, May 24, 2014

Teeth Update March... All Done Wooo Hooo!

As I said in my last blog post, which was about my trip to Brighton for Maisie's birthday, I had to extend my holiday slightly... terrible shame. When I had gone back in December for Baby Jaxon's birth, I had the bite registration plus impressions done. That was all ok apart from as my old nan would have said "I'm a good 'ealer!" Whenever the posts of the implants had to be exposed for impressions to be made, the skin on my gums would grow over the posts again very quickly. This meant I would have to have lots of injections to numb my mouth (as I'm a coward with pain, but I'm fine with injections) to expose the posts again. Well this was done however the laboratory were not completely happy with the results. We considered finding an English speaking dentist here, but then thought it was better to just extend my stay in Brighton so the same procedure could be done again, and then hopefully the implants would be all sorted for my return back to Spain at the end of the week.

Just a little reminder.... For a few years I had a problem on the left top side of my mouth, with old crowns, and a chipped front tooth that was failing very quickly. I knew eventually something sensible would need to be done but I was dreading the thought of what.  

The first consultation when the decision was made, not just to do a couple of extractions but four, and I would need a partial denture was a tough one.  As a child I had a brace and hated the feeling of it on the roof of my mouth.  It made me feel sick whilst eating, and I never kept it up.  I feared I would feel the same way.  

The extraction process and drilling into the jaw bone for the implants caused me very few problems. I was sedated, although I think I remember most of what was going on, but I really couldn’t have cared less what was being done.... it’s good stuff, you know! Having to be without a partial denture for just a few days was difficult. I felt old and ugly but hey it was only a few days, then I got a phone call a day earlier than I was expecting to say it was ready.

The denture looked amazing and it was great to have teeth again, even falsies. I have to admit I felt rather down wearing them though. I couldn’t eat lots of things, even a nice salad would be too crunchy, and I really hated that feeling of the plastic in the roof of my mouth. It rather felt like a made to measure shoe horn!

Because I live in Spain, I opted for a dentist in the UK I trusted, and of course could understand. It did mean that the length of time between the first appointment with extractions to the final fitting of the implants was a year. It would probably have been around 6 months if I had lived locally, with healing time included. 

Well I now have had my new implants for a couple of months and I find it difficult to find the words to describe how they have changed my life! I feel much more confident just knowing I don’t have a denture, AND I can eat and totally enjoy my food again. I would advise anyone considering for a moment about getting implants, that ok it’s not the nicest of procedures. I wouldn’t say painful as there can always be a top up of injections to anaesthetise any pain. I did feel a little wiped out after long procedures in the dentist chair.... BUT ... Is it worth it? Totally! Would I recommend it? Absolutely! Would I go through it again? Yes I would!

Is this an advertisment for implants? Well it wasn't meant to be!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Brighton for the Beautiful Maisie's Birthday

The beginning of March saw me budget-airline-hopping back to the UK, to celebrate my beautiful granddaughter Maisie's fourth birthday. I had been in touch with Maisie's mummy lots before the trip, and I was over the moon to be invited to watch Maisie in both her swimming and ballet lesson during the week. Getting permission to watch a ballet lesson is a pretty big deal too, so I was very grateful!

I had actually booked to travel to Brighton the week after Maisie's birthday as I knew Mark, my son was having Maisie that following weekend.  I also sneakily extended my stay as my dental procedure needed another appointment too.

I arrived on the Friday, and was very happy to hear that plans had been made for Maisie to have a sleep over at my daughter Frankie's house with Kaci.  They are so alike, they think are are total princesses, so girly, into hair and nails and all things pretty.  It was great for me to read them both a bed time story that first night.  Plus at four years old they are not yet thinking about staying up all hours chatting, they were happy to just turn over and go to sleep!

On the Saturday we celebrated Maisie's birthday.  First stop  was to meet up with Mark and Maisie, plus a good friend of Mark and Frankie's, Martin and his little boy Dillon. Dillon is two weeks younger than Maisie.  Mark and Martin were in the same year as each other at school and were mates, but he will always be remembered by me for looking after Frankie when she had too much to drink one night when she was under age, naughty girl!  Martin looked after her and brought her home... good lad! It was great they were able to share the day with us.  The Sea Life centre was the first port of call and the kids loved it.

Touch a starfish... poor starfish!

Mark with Kaci and Maisie

Martin and Dillon

Next stop the pier and chips!  It had to be done, and it didn't disappoint!  It's one of the few things I miss here, chip shop chips... yummy!  The kids had a great time on a few of the rides too.

Photo bombed by a seagull!

After a super day all together Kaci went to her daddy for the rest of the weekend, which gave me time to have lots of cuddles with my gorgeous new grandson Jaxon.  Little Jaxon was 3 months old, and had already changed so much.  Bless his heart he has had a few health problems too.  He has been suffering with reflux, and a flappy or floppy larynx.  In other words he kept bringing his milk back up, and he had terible tummy ache since he was born.  Poor little mite was always crying, and almost constantly bringing his knees up in pain.  It must have been so difficult for Frankie.  Time after time at the doctors they told Frankie there was nothing wrong.  Eventually one day Frankie, going on her mum's intuition, paid a visit to the children's accident and emergency department at the the local childrens hopsital.  A doctor diagnosed it within a couple of minutes.  At least that put her mind at rest and they are keeping an eye on him, plus he has some medication too to try and control it. 

The following day the sun was shining brightly and Mark, Laura (Mark's girlfriend) and Maisie all came over to Frankie and Jordan's flat and we had a lovely walk along the seafront.  Although I have to admit these days, I see the sunshine and expect some heat from it.  Yes I know it was only March.  So a hot chocolate was the order of the day, before heading back again.

The holiday flew by, as it always does.  I loved spending my time with my children and gorgeous grandchildren.  It was great to be able to let Frankie have that extra hour in bed some mornings. It's not easy with two little ones. As for me, I loved my early morning wake up calls. 

I watched little Maisie in her swimming lesson, although she had a few tears, I think she was tired after a busy day at nursery.  Her ballet she got totally stuck into and concentrated really hard, bless her, even though I was watching.  Good girl Maisie, Nanny was very proud of you!

As always I managed to catch up with a few special friends, not all of course... some are already on my list for next time. I, of course managed to see Uncle Charlie, who thankfully was keeping well.  It was my job, this trip, to try and organise him a free buss pass. What an ordeal!  Having tried three different offices in town, we were told "I can see your uncle is over 65, but I'm afraid if he doesn't have a passport, driving licence or birth certificate with him, we cannot issue him with a free bus pass!"  Uncle Charlie's answer to this was "Tell the lady I swam the channel, a couple of months ago... and I did it in record time!"  Bless him!  Still no free bass pass  So we went back to his pub instead!

Kaci and I had a little scoot along the seafront one morning.  Well Kaci scooted and I walked and we enjoyed an ice cream together, whist her mummy had a bit of time with Jax. She wanted to wear her Spanish flamenco dress, but it was a bit nippy so she was wearing lots of other clothes underneath it.

Two more exciting things to do before travelling back to sunny Spain, the first was the final part of my implants (yes, the teeth still)  the second was a lovely night with the family.  As I'm not the worlds best cook, Jordan (Frankie's boyfriend) who is a very good cook, offered, or maybe I even asked him, if he would cook something nice on my last evening.  We invited Mark and Laura over too.  It was a really lovely evening, and the food was lovely, thanks Jordan.  It really finished off a lovely holiday.  Thanks so much for having me!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Our Geri

One evening a few weeks ago now (as I'm so behind ... sorry) the dogs were going bananas!  There had been a stunning cream mastin wandering around at the bottom of our track.  We were unsure if it was the one belonging to one of our neighbours, Rafa. We could see one on the hills with him earlier during the day, or was it another, that had just turned up?

After last years summer guests left, Alan and I decided to move upstairs for some comfort during the winter. The last couple of years we have used the same apartment throughought the year but it's not great in winter. There is a fire place for an open fire, but depending on which way the wind blows, most nights we had to have a window open as we were getting smoked out.  Defeating the object really!
We were sleeping upstairs, Arthur and Blue, the mastins were in the big kitchen.  This is the best place for our Big Arf as he knows he's off duty, and sleeps all night unless something wakes him.  The little ones, Geri, Carlos and Miliko were sleeping in our bottom apartment, where we normally sleep.  Carlos and Miliko sleep on one sofa, and Geri on another.  We removed the cushions from hers so it's not so high.  She likes to jump on and off the sofa, all night long.  Mainly to have the odd drink during the night, and to have a potter around, and at nearly 16 years old she could just manage this leap without too many problems.  

After a noisy night with the dogs, the following morning I  found Geri lying on the floor with her back legs totally in the splits, the following morning.  Her breathing was fast and shallow and her heart going really fast.  I thought she'd lost all the power in her legs. Our poor Geri is totally deaf, and practically blind with cataracts. I carefully picked her up, bringing her little legs gently together and lay her on her sofa, whilst I lay next to her.  I knew Alan would come looking for me if I wasn't back in the kitchen thinking about breakfast, pretty soon... and this he did.  When Alan found us laying on the hairy Geri sofa, I was really thinking the worst but Alan, ever calm said "We'll let her rest, see if she wants a little food or water, and we'll give her an anti inflammatory." She suprised us by eating a little, so the pill was no problem then we rested her for a hour. We stayed with her and got her up after an hour, but still she had no strength in her legs.  She had a little more food and drink, which was a good sign, then we rested her again and she slept quite soundly.  The next time when she woke up we carried her outside, and stood her up. Previously we had been standing her on the tiles inside the apartment.  I kept one hand under her tummy as a bit of support, whilst Alan spent most of the time trying to distract 'The nightmare that is Miliko' from getting excited seeing her, and bowling her over with affection. After about 10 minutes of me practically crawling around on all fours supporting her, I took my hand away, and she walked a bit.  We took her back indoors again, so not to over do it, where she slept for another couple of hours... well she is an old lady! When it was time to take her out again, we still carried her, and after just a few minutes of me supporting her, she took off and almost ran round the corner, squatted and weed.  We were delighted!

Obviously we moved back downstairs that same day, there was no way we could risk that happening again, we were feeling so guilty as were were not sure how long she had been in that position for.  The barking from the other dogs was of course them trying to let us know something was wrong.  They are always right too!   Bless her, she did take a few days to recover but she is doing well.  I thought we were going to lose her that morning. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Bless my Uncle Charlie

Regular readers of my blog will remember me mentioning visiting my Uncle Charlie, when I'm in Brighton.  He is some character! He is my mum's brother, and she followed him at school. Unfortunately his reputation meant she had a bit of a raw deal!  Uncle Charlie and my dear mum were two of seven children, a good catholic family from Glasgow.  U.C was the sickly one of the family and as a youngster was in and out of hospital with health problems, I'm not sure exactly what but I do know he only has one kidney. Would you believe he is the only one of that generation alive.

I remember very clearly when he and his dad, my papa, came down from Scotland to live with us.  Papa was becoming frail and U.C just happeened to still be living at home.  U.C however has always liked a bit of a drink, so he didn't stay too long.  I'm sure mum would have encouraged him to find a place of his own. I remember us having great fun together. For a while I started judo and he was only 4ft 9 short, and we would do judo together, in the living room.  U.C travelled the world fighting for his country during the war.  He says he was in the SAS, I'm not sure if they had an 'SAS' in those days, or if he was in an elite group that was similar.  Even now he loves to talk about his paratrouping days.  He loves to remind us he was always first to leave the plane, and last to land, due to his height and weight.

This February he reached the grand age of 93.  He is doing well but getting a little more confused, as you are allowed at that age.  A couple of months ago, I had a panic phone call one morning from Frankie.  She is first point of call with any worries with him.  He has a carer once a week, plus people doing quick calls twice a day, mainly to ensure he is eating.  Touch wood this works well most days. I received the call from Frankie it was to say U.C hadn't been at home for his evening meal.  That is quite unusual as he tends to go to the pub Monday to Saturday with a day off on Sunday however he's usually home by late afternoon. Luckily he goes to a regular pub where everyone knows him.  He doesn't realise it's a gay bar (that's why he left his last regular) everyone is so friendly towards him, and the bar staff really look out for him.  I'm not sure what goes through his mind when he sees the occasional act performing there.  Regulars are called 'Sally Vate' and 'Miss Jason' possibly he blames it on his cataracts!  Anyway.... Frankie received a phone call to say he wasn't at home, so she didn't worry too much thinking he had just stayed for a slightly longer session than usual.  The following morning another phone call came through, he wasn't there and his bed hadn't been slept in.  Could this have meant he had been out all night?

Frankie phoned this hospital, he is quite a regular sadly.  He does have the odd fall, and is quite well known to the staff.  This day however there was no sign of him.  The next call was to the police station, plus Frankie and I both put his photo on facebook, and it zoomed around Brighton in no time.

I was distraught!  We know he will not live for ever but it was devastating to think he may have collapsed somewhere in the street and been there all night.   The next couple of hours went passed in slow motion. Things weren't looking good.  I then got a quick message from Frankie, "He's in hospital, but we don't know how he is yet!"  At least we knew where he was.  There wasn't much of a jigsaw to piece together but apparently he had fallen in the street and some kind soul had phoned an ambulance.  It seemed a little strange that when Frankie initially phoned the hospital they had no record of him being a patient, they simply said he was between wards?  Luckily he was back home the same day!

Low and behold he did the same thing again a month later, however this time, he was missing for dinner and breakfast once again.  No signs of U.C in the hospital and once again the community police kept a look out for him.  Facebook pleas were posted and shared all over the Brighton community. The bar has a facebook page and the regulars were aware he was missing once again.  Mid afternoon I received a message "Charlie's just walk into the bar, and he's fine!"  No one could get out of him where he had been!  He was totally unaware that half of Brighton had been looking for him.  He just sat at his favourite table and ordered a double brandy (they always give him a single) and spent the rest of the afternoon there! He is a worry to us all!

My dear Uncle Charlie and I