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and so poor old Goosey continued to pine for his Lucy and every day he’s sat out the back calling, calling, calling for her.

Marie has been feeding him and watering him and slowly but surely you could see him starting to bond with her.  He got very excited when she appeared in the backyard and started following her very closely when she was there.  Even when I ventured into the backyard, he was almost affectionate and clearly just wanted some company, coming and sitting very close to me and even allowing me to touch him…but Marie was definitely the favourite.

He even figured out which room she was sleeping in and whenever she moved about her room or coughed or made any noise, he started calling her…I had to give her ear plugs for the night because she’s had a cough that sometimes wakes her at night and yes, every cough bought a chorus of Goosey calls for her.

Last Friday we went to Yambol so Nana ( that’s me) could have a bit of a day out and a bit of an airing. Hey, spending most of your life in bed is very boring and really starts to get you down after a while.  Anyway, I was in the bathroom drawing on a face when from down below, at the front of the house, I heard the funny little ‘putt putt’ noise that geese make.  I thought to myself that he must be out the front of the house…next thing I heard Marie’s voice asking ‘and what are you doing around here ?’  Well, clearly, looking for her !!

And the other day she decided to clear the snow from the front of the house and guess who discovered her there and spent the rest of the time keeping her company….it’s really sweet.

and people ask me why I don’t eat my geese !!  How could you eat something that forms bonds with  not only it’s own species, but with humans as well.  This has been fantastic to watch, Marie and her new bestie wandering around the yard.  He just loves her.

A friend made the comment that Marie may look out the window of the plane when she’s returning to Australia and see Goosey flying along next to her shouting ” Oi, where do you think you’re going…what about me ”

But don’t think I’ve forgotten his goosey needs.  A friend found me another goose and she’s beautiful

White, like her predecessor, but she has curly wings, which is lovely.  After Goosey’s initial excitement at meeting her, there’s been a bit of a cooling off and now she and Goosey and kinda skirting around each other a little, doing a lot of checking out of each other.  I’m hoping they do bond and in fact, Marie and I are sure they will once he forgets Marie  🙂

TooLucy, for that is her name, is a bit of a harpy and she nags him a bit.  When she does this, he promptly seeks out Marie.  She’s much quieter and doesn’t nag. I have no doubt that they will settle into each other and it will be nice to see Goosey with company again…he really has been so lonely and it’s been quite sad to watch.

Mind you, the ever practical Hristina on finding out that Lucy had been killed suggested that I knock his head off and eat him !!!

And me ??  I just continue to improve in my general health stakes.  Every day sees me in less pain and less difficulty and able to do more and more.  I have another blood test later this week and I’ve got everything crossed that the results are even better than the last lot.  I feel so much better and figure that must be a good sign.  Wish me luck.

but no bad news….which is nice.

First the glad. My latest round of blood tests have shown some improvement. !!!  I’m doing my best not to get too excited because I’ve had improvement before and then those hopes have been dashed.  But though I’ve had improvements before, they’ve never been this good.

Just to help you understand what’s happening to me:

The areas that my blood is failing are white cells, red cells, haemoglobin and platelets…most things really….  🙂

My white count should be between 4,000 – 11,000. When I was tested on Jan12th it had fallen to it’s all time lowest, 600.  Latest result, I have 1,000 white soldiers helping to keep me alive.  It’s still a long way short of ‘really good’ but there’s a part of me now that thinks if I do catch a cold, I might not die.

My red count should be between 4.20 – 5.40. Last test, 2.88 –  Most recent test 3.84

Hemoglobin should be between 120 -160…last test 71, this time 91

and my platelets should be 140 – 440…last test, 165 and this time 194

The psychological effect it had on me was worth a million bucks of great medical treatment and I think the effect is still happening.  I just feel so much better in every way.  Still frail, still fragile and my weight has dropped even further to 63 kilos – my new look will be ‘Famine Chic’, but I can always build up again later. But generally, I just feel a lifting of spirits…let’s hope I don’t get crushed again.

To the sad news.  Unfortunately, because I am out of action, I’ve let a few things slide, one being the locking up of the geese every night. On Wednesday night my poor lovely Lucy paid the ultimate price for my laxness when, what I can only assume were dogs, got into the yard and literally tore the poor wee thing apart.  I awoke yesterday and could hear Goosey making a rather strange cry…over and over and over and over.  Now this is a goose who loves a good trumpeting and a damned good honking, but this was different.  I threw on some clothes and headed outside, only to find the remains of Lucy and her poor old partner just sitting there calling for her.  And he’s still calling for her…it’s really sad.

I went down this morning and the f**kers had obviously come back last night to get him.  Fortunately I had asked Marie to ensure he was locked in safely and so he was OK, but they had been right around the enclosure, obviously looking for a way in.

I opened the gate to let him out and he just came and sat next to me.  Geese partner for life and I think he’s very lonely.  As soon as I’m fit enough, I’m going to ask around the village for a new girlie for him… he deserves it. Whatever took Lucy apart did it in front of him, so he must be feeling pretty shit right now.

Other than that, life (if I can call it that) goes on.  Gina is as happy as a pig in poo because Marie is cooking her deluxe food, far more deluxe than she gets from me.  I warned her she’d be making a rod for her own back, but of course, it’ll be a rod for my back after Marie has gone…a bit like Jillian and her two walks a day for Madam the Queen….boy, is Gina loving this.

Time for me to sleep away another 3 or 4 hours…

ciao for now

at Pirin Shestniaset  (Pirin 16…where I live)

So here I was, starting to feel a little nervous about Jillian’s impending departure and wondering if I could just manage on my own here while I  sorted out getting myself and Gina back to Australia, for this is the decision I had made.

Unbeknown to myself there were plans afoot that should have involved me but, for some reason, my family made the decision to exclude me from their ideas. Anyway, Tony blew that out of the water when he forwarded an email that certainly was not for my eyes and I then spat my dummy and insisted that anything that was being planned for me, was to include me.  Now, it was all good anyway and yesterday another of my sisters, Marie, arrived from Australia to take up the care duties of this broken down old soul.

So ‘Cyclone Jillian’ made her departure back to Australia this morning and the ‘quietly determined, don’t argue with me Marie Mercer’  (all 5ft of her) has stepped in to fill the breach.

I will never be able to thank Jillian for all she has done for me. I told her that this morning and really, there just isn’t.  She has certainly aided my recovery and made a huge difference to my mental state. She has done so much work around the place that should I actually be fit by Spring, getting the summer garden in won’t be too much of a chore, and she’s finished off dozens a ‘things’ around the house that I won’t have to worry about any more…she’s a bleedin’ star !!  And it’s been fun having her here, probably more fun for me than her, but fun none the less.

As I write this, she’s in a plane winging her way back to her real life, her dog and her home…and I suspect she’ll be glad to put her feet up for a few days before she gets back to work.

And working quietly around the place now, Marie is picking up where Jillian left off, and it is wonderful to have her here as well.  I guess I really don’t want to face this alone, and my sisters have made things just that big bit better.

To things bloody…I spoke with my doctor yesterday and he believes the reason my last result were so rubbish is because I had a couple of infections and was fighting them off instead to working to rebuild my immune system. Problem I have is every opportunistic little infection like thrush, herpes or urinary tract infections becomes a BIG problem for my system.  When I had my last blood test, I had the bloody lot….riddled I was !! and that would not help my white count.

So, this week I’m spending my time and Marie’s energy trying to build myself up again…mind you, I do have something nasty growing in my right nostril, but I’m sure I can beat that into submission before I have another test.  One of my brothers partners, Marilu, has sent me a blood tonic, which I’m getting stuck into and I’m jumping on any infections that try and poke their heads over the parapet, hopefully before they get established.  I even have a little pink in my lower eyelids, which is already an improvement on the last few weeks. With any luck, by Monday or Tuesday it will be time to have another crack at my blood

And look  …

I’m clearly not dead yet…and there’s even a little life in those eyes of mine

Bloody Hell !!!

My latest set of blood tests were a crashing disaster…now I wait to hear from my Doctor so we can figure out what the hell I’m going to do.  Perhaps I can wrap the house in plastic and become the woman in a bubble.  Mind you, can’t see my Gina being too keen on that…

 

On & On & On & On

it went…the never ending illness !!

As today has been quite a good day, I’ve got Jillian to bring me the computer so I can try and catch up on a few things like emails and my webpage. So, here I am.

I was supposed to be in hospital last week having an operation, but because of my lousy blood results the Doctor cancelled.  I have had two tests just over a week apart and was very excited to get a marginal improvement in the second week, though 800 white soldiers instead of 700 still isn’t that fantastic AND, keep in mind, I should have a minimum of 4,000….but I was pleased and, considering it got as low as 300 in the early days,  it gave me a much needed little boost.

I’m ‘medicating’ up at the moment as I’m about to start another run of bone marrow sampling and blood testing.  Please god there’s been an improvement because if there hasn’t, we running out of places to go.

I still have to avoid all sick people though, which isn’t that difficult in a village with 400 people and great clean air. There’s a constant supply of Jewish antibiotics (chicken soup filled with freshly slaughtered free range chicken and chemical free winter garden vege) coming across the road from my fabulous neighbour, Hristina.

I asked Jillian to bring me some jelly crystals, because you can’t get them here yet. My reason for asking was to do with cooking, but as I’m not doing any, I’ve rediscovered the joy of eating jelly.  Quite possibly helping to keep me alive  🙂

Having Jillian here has been so healing for me.  I know there was a huge spike in my improvement when she first arrived, but I think a lot of that was pure excitement and I seem to have settled back into a circle of good days and bad. She’s gone from being my strength, my support and my nurse and added dog walker and carer, turkey buddy, garage sorter and clean up miracle lady and even hairdresser.  I got it into my head to put a colour through my hair the other day.  Hey, I look like shit …I’m all scrawny and my hair is just a mess, and I thought a bit of colour might help.  Got my ambitions mixed up with my capabilities, didn’t I ? Got the colour in, got the hair tied up and then went to pieces.  I’m finding if I stand too long, I become really nauseous and very weak.  So there I am in the bathroom, too weak to call out, hardly able to stand and wondering if lying on the bathroom floor would be good or bad for my struggling health.  Thank god Jillian got a little concerned about the silence and came and retrieved me.  She helped me to the sofa so I could lie down ( after covering the pillows with plastic…I’ve got dark auburn dye in my hair remember ) and there I remained until the sickness passed…far too long for the colour in my hair, let me tell you.  When I eventually had the strength to be led back to the bathroom, where Jillian then rinsed my hair out, I emerged a much darker haired woman…and I don’t think it helps the whole sick look.  Porcelain white skin against dark, dark hair…Goth gone wrong springs to mind.

Anyway, that kinda led to a few days back in bed.  I’ve been sleeping like the dead and Jillian insists I stay, as long as I feel better for it. And I confess to feeling better and better when  I do sleep my days and nights away.

And let’s not forget the fabulous food she is cooking for me.  OK, I can only manage a very small plate but she’s making me wonderful food full of wonderful flavours and all based on just what benefits my blood will get from it. So it’s not just about soup & jelly.  I’ve been treated to salmon & chicken poached in garlic oil with lots of lovely ‘blood’ veges…beetroot, broccoli, mushrooms, all served with rice or potatoes.  Mind you, I still get menu envy a lot because Jillian’s having even more lovely stuff that I can’t eat. I’d love a slice of toasted pannetoni or some Christmas cake, but they’re just not on the list at the moment.

I’m still losing weight but have decided there will be no new clothes.  I actually bought a belt the other day, the first one I have ever owned, and I think I only got it because Jillian didn’t think tying my jeans up with string was a good look.

I think I am truly finding out the meaning of the words ‘fragile’ & ‘feeble’.  This is just so debilitating and I’m used to being strong and able. It’s very hard for me.  All my muscle has gone so I have nothing to ‘hold’ me up when I want to climb stairs or go for a little walk.  My legs shake and my heart goes into overdrive, and that’s when I do bugger all.  I look like a baby elephant who’s trying to survive a drought…muscles are gone, fat’s disappearing but the skin remains.  I have all the skin and nothing to put in it.  I can’t even look at myself anymore.  It was funny at first…not any more.

Anyway, I don’t have a lot of news, given that the scope of my world has been reduced to my bedroom and the lounge room.

I’m having an airing tomorrow as I head to Yambol for blood test #20.  Lets hope these result are good…I’ll keep you posted.

back to sleep for me……ciao for now

Chestita Nova Godina to everyone…That’s ‘Happy New Year’ for the non Bulgarian speakers

I’m not dead !!!  and nor is Gina…and thanks to everyone for asking

Though at times I feel mostly dead, I think my recovery has been more than assisted by the arrival and presence of this woman

My sister ‘ Cyclone’ Jillian arrived just before Christmas and has been my nurse, my strength and my support…and has become Gina’s new best friend…forever !!  (BFF apparently)

I’ll be back with more detail later, but for now, I’ve been ordered back to bed  🙂

I just wanted to wish everyone a Happy New Year

is a sound I’ve heard a couple of times since this whole mess started. The first time was when I was sitting in my hospital room waiting for Dimitir to come and take me back to Miladinovtsi.  I was feeling very, very beaten and very vulnerable and suddenly, there he was, my guardian angel ( the younger) standing in the room looking very concerned about me.  This is a terrific young man. The amount of times he was helped me and my friends and sorted out the seemingly impossible and everything he does, he does with warmth and kindness.  This is a ‘good’ man, an expression I think gets used rather more frequently about people than many really deserve…Dimitor does. I’m sure he’s not perfect, but he has a warmth and realness about himself that is very hard to find these days.

He helped me sort out all the hospital stuff and get my own Pharmacy organised, bundled me into his car and delivered me safe and sound to my home.  I crawled into my bed, just happy to be alive. He has phoned me almost everyday to be sure I am OK and when I gave him a list of stuff I needed to start treating all my problems, he did my shopping and delivered it out here to me.  His parting words ”  you phone me any time of the day or night if you need help” and I know if I did, he would be here like a shot.  He has his own life, his family and his work and yet he will always find time to be there for people who need help.

I settled in as best I could, given my condition.  Colin was still here for two days and then he was off.  On the Tuesday  morning, at the crack of dawn, he departed.  Hristina came over and once he had gone she got me back to my bed and settled.  As she walked away back to her house, I heard that rustling sound again and I think that’s when she very gently folded her senior guardian angel wings around my house and me. There would be no interlopers, no intruders, only her and the local doctor, who was coming to change my dressing and give me B12 injections every other day. Once he had finished, and after a little chat with me, she shooed him out .

The house was disgusting.  I had been sick for so long by this stage and nothing was being done to keep the place in check.  Hristina sat on my bed one morning sort of looking around and commented that things weren’t that clean. She understood that I could not do a thing. On the Friday morning, I was lying in bed when I heard a bit of giggling and shuffling about.  Hristina and her friend, Donka appeared downstairs wanting to know where Gina was, and once they knew she was outside, they went to work.  Six hours later they had transformed the place, especially my floor, including my bedroom. I had smashed another of my big glass doors and though I had bought the new glass before I got sick, I then got too sick to repair it.  In came the cavalry,  …in the shape of Hristina’s husband Volcho and Donka’s husband Ivan.  Before you could say it, the house was lovely, the door was fixed and back hanging and I was sitting in my bed crying.

This concerned them all greatly and they wanted to know if the things they had done weren’t good enough, which just made me cry more. Hristina and Donka tucked me in and they all left me to continue my healing.

Now, I’m not eating a great deal, though things are getting a little better.  It’s been pro-biotic yoghurt to try and repair my innards and a little banana here and there.  On the Sunday, the mob appeared back in my house. They were having a ‘Banket’…as it sounds, a get together with food and a few drinks.  Obviously I wasn’t up to it and Hristian and Donka pressed a little napkin with something warm in it into my hand.  I opened it up and there was a small piece of freshly fried fish.  I decided to brave a small bite, having no idea how my body would respond.  God, it was the best thing I have ever eaten,  It had been rolled in flour and a little salt and fried.  It tasted like nothing I had ever put in my mouth, and I’ve been lucky to eat some damned fine food over the years…it was amazing, and I can still taste that warm, salty, fishy flavour.  I was sitting in bed eating it very slowly and just relishing the taste when Hristina asked me if it was ‘dobre’ and I started to cry again.  She asked what was wrong with it and I then had to try and explain that she had given me the best thing I could ever remember eating.  I think she thought I was completely nuts !!

They gave the house another little cursory clean and then disappeared for their day together.

How can I ever thank or repay these people.

I continue to sleep.  Not so much drug addled sleep now, so things are obviously on the mend, but I have a long way to go.