December 2020: still counting
When she read my last blog, my wife, Lorraine, complained that I should call it not “Living with heart failure”, but “Gardening with heart failure.” Fair comment, will try to do better. My message was : with heart failure you could still do important things you always did, you just had to learn how to do them m differently and more slowly.
One way I do things differently and more slowly is climbing stairs. I could do this, but my, it was hard work, and a long period of shortness of breath awaited me at the top. So I took the plunge and bought a stair lift. Not as straightforward as I expected. I tried a local company; they had good salesman, but what a price! Tried a different one, another great sales spiel, quoted the best part of £4,000, for a straight stair lift, without problems. Tried a third, decided to haggle hard. Eventually got an offer for just over £2,000, from a reputable firm. Accepted this as so much better than the other offers, though I suspect I could have got a better deal if I had persisted, though doubtless sacrificing some quality and reliability. Still I have had a year’s use of the stair lift, not a hint of trouble; costly but I am so glad we bought it.
The vaccine has brought welcome hope towards the end of a difficult year. Being over 85 and “clinically extremely vulnerable” is sobering, but a small consolation is we shall be among first to receive the vaccine. A lot of patience is required, and a lot more hibernation, but there is the prospect of a holiday and most important, seeing my lovely family again – and the opportunity to catch up on long overdue hugs.
So, another year, a difficult, often depressing year, has gone by. I am a little more breathless on exertion, a little slower, more easily fatigued, but still going, more or less independent, and still COUNTING.