Letter to my sister

7th November 2011

Saturday was my 50th birthday.  This year was a bit different to other years as we helped with the church outreach.  The morning started with prayer then coffee.  Rick had bought me a chocolate birthday cake so we all had a piece of that as well.  Once a month volunteers clean up two streets so we split up into two groups.  I actually enjoyed it even though it was hard work at times.  One of the residents brought us out a coffee each and chocolate.  We had a good morning though.  Lunchtime was spent at J-P and N’s home and had barbequed sausages in rolls which went down well.

The afternoon was spent relaxing and we had an Indian meal at home.  As usual we couldn’t go out due to the fireworks.  Bruno hid and I had to suffer Chyna on my lap being a pain.  She is so heavy and shakes so I got a bit annoyed in the end.

I spoke to my Dad yesterday.  It was good to catch up on news although my sister is suffering with her health.  I was going to wait until her birthday before writing but this gave me the opportunity to write.  This is what I wrote:

Dear Caroline,

I spoke to Dad yesterday and he told me about your gall stones and that you will be having a scan.   I told him I would drop you a line so you would know I am thinking of you.  Dad also mentioned that Brian is insulin dependent now.  Obviously I asked after the girls and he told me that Katie’s had James and that you look after Isabelle on Tuesdays.  Dad also mentioned that Katie has mastitis (sp?) so I hope she is better soon.

Our health has also been up and down as well.  Rick has arthritis in his back and trapped nerves in his spine.   He has also been diagnosed with diabetes a few months ago.  Rick had put on quite a bit of weight on over a few months despite getting plenty of exercise.  Our doctor suggested gastric surgery and we went to an information evening.  Rick had to have blood tests done and that’s how we found out.  His blood sugar levels went up to 30 at its worst and had to be in hospital overnight.  The diabetes is controlled with medication now although now Rick is having problems with his skin on his left arm.  Rick has an infection in his arm and one of his fingers so I having to put cream on for him.  He is also taking antibiotics.

I now have curvature of the spine and arthritis in my back as well as my hands now.  I am taking NSAID medication and a strong painkiller that is used for depression as well as for pain relief.  For almost three years I have been taking two types of medication for high blood pressure and one for high cholesterol.  My blood pressure went up to 210/160 which was dangerously high and took several months to come down.  I am now permanently on an anti depressant due to severe depression.  I have suffered with it for many years but refused to take anything as I couldn’t admit to myself how bad my depression was.  In 2005 I couldn’t take feeling so low so did see my doctor.  This was after years of self harming as it was the only way I knew how to let emotional pain out.  I had also been suicidal over the years.  This included being hospitalised overnight in 1998 so my heart could be monitored.  In 2005 I did tell Mum and Dad I was suffering with depression but they never knew how bad it was.  Dad still doesn’t know how bad it is so please don’t tell him.

We are very happy living up north.  A few years ago we lived in Hartlepool near where Poppa grew up and where our great grandfather was also born.  We moved back for a few years but missed it so much that we came back.

For years now we have been attending Pentecostal churches.  In November 2005 I was baptised by full immersion, Rick was baptised back in 1989.  We are members of our local church where we are very involved which includes keeping the website up to date.

Take care of yourself, love to everybody and I hope all goes well with the scan.

With love



About Philippa

I am married to Rick and we live in a small town in County Durham. We have two dogs, a cat and two budgies. I am also an adoption survivor. In 1981 my son was born and I was then forced to surrender him. It took 23 years and reunion for my to find out that my son's adoption was legally known as a forced adoption and illegal but social workers got away with it because mothers didn't know their rights.
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