Well it's been quite a week. Herbie was due in Tooleys dock on Thursday for blacking and the plan was for me and Kath to cruise down to Banbury on Monday or Tuesday and spend a day or two enjoying the delights of the town before handing her over to Matt at the dock. Well the best laid plans . . .
On Sunday Kath took ill - severe abdominal pains, short of breath, low blood pressure, she was proper poorly. Next morning we went to see the GP and he sent us straight to A&E. Although Kath was triaged within half an hour there then followed a three hour wait to get to a bed. They did however fit her up with a saline drip while we sat in the busy waiting room. Blood tests were taken. It wasn't until 11pm that a doctor finally came. He'd seen the blood results and said Kath needed to stay in hospital for at least one or two days. Next morning they had diagnosed a bacterial gut infection and . . Covid! Thus far we weren't all that impressed with the speed of things at the hospital but after that things changed rapidly and since then they have been little short of superb. Kath was moved to a private room in an acute dependency ward and she has had constant attention, Tests, scans, xrays, the lot. A nurse comes in every fifteen minutes and takes measurements. Visiting her was a bit scary with her looking pale and tubes sticking in both hand and up her nose.
What to do about taking Herbie to Banbury? We didn't want to lose our slot. Our daughter Clairedid the hospital visits. Enter our lovely neighbour Andrew who drove me up to Cropredy and acted as crew and lock wheeler in chief to get us to Tooleys. Andrew had never been on a narrowboat before but after the first lock he was as good as an expert. We got back to Cropredy in a taxi driven by an elderly man from Kashmir who was a hilarious story teller and put a nice finish to the day. Getting Herbie delivered was a real weight off my mind and I could concentrate on Kath.
Kath was very ill for a time with low blood oxygen, abdominal pain and shortage of breath and numerous other symptoms. The gut infection took buckets of antibiotics to clear. Now it's Friday and she is so much better. Infections have cleared and she is no longer breathing oxygen through a nose tube. In all likelihood they will allow her to come home tomorrow. Big relief and many many thanks to the superb folk at Frimley Park hospital. The facility Kath was in was impressive and the care was brilliant. Good old NHS.
There is a downside though. Kath was diagnosed as type 2 diabetic a couple of years ago and the hospital tests revealed that it has got considerably worse. This probably contributed to her condition this week. It was quite a struggle to get her sugar levels down to an acceptable level. Now she has to be very careful with her diet and will have to have daily insulin. Happily the foods that Zoe have been recommending for me are very good in a diabetes context so we'll be well prepared for her needs.
So that's the story of the week. Kath has gone through quite a serious illness and Herbie has been delivered for her blacking and a handful of other jobs which Matt has agreed to take on. If we can't get back to Herbie when she is ready on Monday she can rest in Banbury on a 14 day mooring and even after that CRT will let us overstay on medical grounds if need be.