Lockdown by Phil Folly

A few days before LOCKDOWN I had a slight sore throat.  Janet our neighbour had been ill for some weeks and I thought I must have the start of her illness. Anyway, it was Saturday and we were due to have a Chesham in Bloom Mothers Day event, something we have done  for many years, bought 100 primulas in pots and we would grab kids off the street to decorate them for their mothers, but it was cancelled.  And the restaurant I used daily was only doing Take – aways, Things where getting serious and on the following Monday 23rd March the P.M Boris Johnson ordered the country into Lockdown.

That Monday Kate and I were on our allotments. I got home before Kate as my throat was sore. I sat in the chair to watch some morning programme on TV. I must have dropped off and when I woke didn’t feel too good so I made my way to the kitchen for a drink of water and my legs gave way, I was on the floor and I grabbed at the chair and hauled myself to the nearby  telephone but I couldn’t remember my mobile or my neighbours phone  number so I dialled   999 and asked for an ambulance.  I was put straight through to an operator who asked me a number of questions, I gradually began to feel better and managed to sit on the chair, she spoke to me for several minutes and asked me if I required an ambulance, I was feeling a lot better so I declined, she said I was to put the phone down and I would get a phone call from a  clinical nurse. Within a minute the nurse phoned I spoke to her for several minutes and at the end she said she would send a report to my doctor. I didn’t bother to get through to my doctor as I felt a lot better,

My main worry was that in two weeks I was to have radiotherapy treatment at Mount Vernon Hospital Cancer Centre and didn’t want that to be cancelled as my sore throat persisted. April 6th, I drove to Mount Vernon, I had an 11.00 appointment, I been given instruction on what to do when arriving at the hospital. Once I was in the car park I was to phone a number I had been given previously, give my name and appointment time, I also told them I had a sore throat and hot flushes due to hormone injections. It was okay; I booked in, and was told to wait until  I got a phone call to enter, this was the procedure for the next 20 days of treatment – weekdays only, I was let off  weekends and an Easter Bank holiday Monday. That first visit I was on my own, for the further 19 appointments Kate came with me. It was Lockdown, most of my appointments were in the mornings and there was hardly any traffic, I took my appointment card with me in case I was pulled over by the police, in fact everything went smoothly. I had been told by others that treatment wasn’t too bad it was after that I might have problems. I was fine for about 9 days, I got off my chair to go to bed one night, and I  lost my balance, I managed to crawl up the stairs to my bedroom, got into bed to sleep the feeling off. During the night I was up several times vomiting. In the morning my balance was worse. I phoned Mount Vernon radiotherapy number, I was told that the symptoms I had weren’t to do with my treatment and best to phone my doctor, I might have an ear infection. My doctor agreed that it was probably an ear problem and gave me a prescription for what they pre,scribe for sea sickness a course of 28 tablets, after 6 days the loss of balance and dizzy spells wore off. During the Lockdown Kate and I were lucky, we have a back garden, two allotments, one each, and friends who done our shopping. A usual week for me is a variety of several meetings, gardening, including watering around Chesham, litter picking, and Lunch at ‘The Tavern.’  But after my treatment finished on the 4th May,  the back garden fence was painted, my allotment as never looked so good and this continued till I lost my balance on 14th May two days before my birthday. Once I regained my balance I continued as before mainly on the allotment, going out early in the morning as the weather was pleasant, and the only effect of my treatment was tiredness, the afternoons were for sleeping. In June several of us Chesham in Bloom volunteers started up again, keeping distances  we worked in two’s or more on several flower beds around Chesham. Things for me are getting back to normal, the restaurants were allowed to open so it was back to lunch at ‘The Tavern’ although we still have shopping done for us by very kind friends.   

Uncle Phil…..