Lockdown Diaries

My diary for yesterday – 29 April 2020. I’m writing it in the early hours of the next day after a full day of loafing. I thought I’d have a go at writing a diary so I can look back in years to come. I also means that I can moan in this one and write a soup recipe in the other post.

Despite my commitment to earlier rising I managed to roll over and go back to sleep after Julia got up. This is becoming a habit and something I need to avoid. It started as a matter of practicality  – I would let everyone else in the house use the bathroom and dress before rushing round, eating breakfast prepared by Julia and then giving her a lift to work.

It has, over the years, become less a matter of practicality and more a matter of laziness. I am also finding, with having arthritis, that it isn’t so easy to rush in a morning. I used to resemble a meercat, bright and busy, but I now move like a tectonic plate. The grating in my knees and back adds to the impression of geological motion.

My back has been particularly bad for the last three days and I’m having trouble getting around. I am using my stick even to get round the house. Last week I had trouble with my knees and ended up wearing a knee brace. I seem to be falling apart by installments.

When I finally creaked downstairs the post had already been and I had a letter about a telephone consultation with rheumatology. I’m beginning to wonder why we can’t always do it by phone, apart from blood tests and X-Rays. Later in the day I had a phone call to tell me the blood tests results were OK and I could start taking the Methotrexate. This was an exact copy of the call I had yesterday, They are trying to patch a service together using part-time staff and staff out of retirement, and there are a few rough edges. On the other hand, it’s not a great problem to get an extra phone call – it’s a lot better than not getting the results at all, which, unfortunately, has happened in the past.

The Methotrexate has several side effects, and I think I may have one of them as my stomach is giving trouble. After taking the pills last night (you take six on one day and then take a vitamin pill on the other six days) I did not feel very well. On the other hand it may be coincidence. The vitamin pills are to help counter some of the drug’s side effects. You know you have problems when you have to take pills to protect you from the other pills you are taking.

If I had my life over again I would look after my health and my money more sensibly. And my wife.

I made soup for lunch, which I have already written about.

plastic container with fruits and vegetables on green grass

Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

Later I went online and finalised my grocery order. We have a Click & Collect order to pick up tomorrow and, as it’s difficult to order groceries two weeks in advance, it needed quite a lot of alteration. You have to secure a slot as soon as it becomes available and worry about the details later.

I did put in an order two weeks ago and haven’t been able to alter it until now. The original order had 19 items and they were unable to supply five of them. I cancelled some things and added others. When I went to checkout I found four of the items were out of stock, including the flour. Twenty minutes and they were already cancelling things…

I went back to the flour to look for alternatives and there were none, However, they were still showing my original selection to be in stock. I thought I’d order it again just to check. It was out of stock when I got back to checkout. I am thinking bad thoughts about ASDA.

Six weeks after the panic buying and I still can’t buy flour. I also had trouble with eggs, baked beans and tinned chickpeas. Makes you wonder about the “robust supply chains” they claim they have.

The ASDA site even asks if you can go round the shop instead of using the delivery or collection services. To be honest, no. If I do click and collect or delivery I meet one or two people, who keep well away from me. Mathematically that’s a lot better than walking round a shop full of people who walk too close.

I’m not a great worrier, but I’ve decided on a strategy and I’m going to keep to it.

person holding silver blister pack

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com


25 thoughts on “Lockdown Diaries

  1. Lavinia Ross

    From meerkat to tectonic plate! I hope you feel better soon, Quercus. Methotrexate is also chemotherapy drug.

    I was finally able to find a store with semolina flour for Rick, and got him 2 bags. He makes homemade clam pizza, and has perfected the crust to our mutual liking, but it requires semolina.

    1. quercuscommunity

      Yes, the first thing they tell you is that it’s a chemo drug when used in larger doses. I hope I never have to experience it..

      I always like the texture of semolina flour with pizza. Julia tried a local shop today while out walking – still no flour.

  2. Pingback: ASDA Disaster! | quercuscommunity

  3. tootlepedal

    I spent time on methotrexate with very good results so I hope that it works for you. I was able to come off it and not go back on so fingers crossed that you get good results too.

    We got two packets of bread flour delivered from our butcher today. They were wrapped in plain brown paper wrapping so they must be regarded as very dangerous.

    1. quercuscommunity

      Does that mean I’m going to have to take up cycling in a couple of years time?

      I never thought I’d live to see they day when flour came in plain wrappings to conceal it from the neighbours. 🙂

  4. Clare Pooley

    P.S. Do you have a Morrisons, a CoOp or a Lidl near you? I bought flour form the CoOp two weeks ago and both Morrisons and Lidl have had flour for the past couple of weeks as well. Still no yeast.

    1. quercuscommunity

      We have, but I’m trying to avoid shopping. According to Julia’s brother rural Suffolk is a land of milk and honey and long country walks. His experience of lockdown is very different from mine. 🙂

  5. Clare Pooley

    Simon; stick with the methotrexate. I have been taking it for years and it does work very well. Give it time and if at all possible, transfer to the weekly injections instead of the multiple pills. The doctors may demur about this but try to insist you transfer asap. As soon as I stopped having to take the tablets I was aware of a marked improvement and I have now been in remission for three years. The tablets do make you feel ill; nauseous and weak and that kicks in fairly soon after taking the tablets and often lasts for a couple of days. The injections also cause these side effects but aren’t so severe because the drug by-passes the stomach and goes straight into the bloodstream. I take the medication fairly late in the afternoon because, strangely, eating something often makes me feel better. Also, most of the worst of the side effects will be happening while you are in bed at night, resting. You will have to have blood tests very regularly at first just to make sure the drug is for you and not causing worse problems than arthritis. This is an immuno-suppressant drug that can be used for treating some kinds of cancer, lupus and other conditions caused by an over-active immune system. Once you are on this drug, like me you will get a letter telling you that you must stay at home for three months and not leave the house.
    Apologies for such a long comment. Best of luck and do try to stick with it if you can.

    1. quercuscommunity

      Not at all, it was better information than I could get off the nurses or the NHS website. I queried the advisibility of me going on an immuno-supressant at this time and was told it was no problem. That was the conversation where I was told I wasn’t special and didn’t need to bother about isolating myself. 🙁

      The doctor told me to avoid shops and now you aretelling me to do the full 12 weeks. I know who I trust. 🙂

      1. Clare Pooley

        🙂 🙂 After taking the tablets for a while your body will get used to them and the side effects will reduce. Make sure you take the folic acid regularly. When I first started taking the tablets they hadn’t discovered the soothing effect of it. When they did they told me I must only take one tablet once a week. Eventually they realised it was fine to take it all week except the day on which you take the methotrexate. It does work and does reduce the sickness.

  6. Laurie Graves

    So very sorry to read about your knees and back. I have the same problem with my knees and know that it’s no fun. At all. Yes, a good strategy. Yesterday, for the first time ever, we had groceries delivered to our house. Right on our doorstep. Holy cats! Oh, brave new world that has such services even when you live in the woods.


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