2014 Road Trip – The Journey Part 2

Day 4 – The Morning After

Because we stayed the night at the venue, we woke to the thought of a lovely late, casual breakfast in the dining room.  Derek woke tired, but not as bad as he could have.  Leaving the Wedding Reception as the Dance began was bad for me, but a good idea for him.

Everyone was meeting at 9am.  This gave me time to pack everything into the car before breakfast, then we all met in the lounge in front of a lovely fire, to chat before Breakfast was served.

There were 14 people that stayed over night.  We sat around a lovely long table chatting.  Again Derek found it very tiring.  There were people on each side having conversation, and he wanted to join in.  This meant listening and conversing.

By the time we finished Breakfast you could see how tired Derek had become.  This after a 10 hour sleep.  Because he had taken extra meds on Friday for the Wedding he decided that he should be OK for Saturday.

After breakfast we  headed back to Hamilton.  This was an easy journey.  We were heading to the Brides family home for a BBQ lunch with others.  Our first stop however, was to get me a cup of coffee from the local Cafe.

Again, it was a great lunch, but there were a lot of people there, a lot of talking, a lot of background noise.

Derek decided by 1pm that he needed to get out of the house for a while and went for a walk.  I left him for 5 minutes then set out to follow him. I saw him in the distance and just paced him, watching to see where he would go.  I felt like a mother watching her child walk somewhere for the first time.  As I sped up, I noticed him turn to cross the road.  My heart went to the floor as I watched him, slowly, walk out in front of a car.  I could see the back of the car and saw it’s breaks go on, and rapidly slow down.  All the while Derek ambled across the road.

Once he was safely on the other side I called out to him.  But I had to be careful.  I didn’t want him trying to cross the road again.  I made sure the way was clear and I went across the road to him.  I questioned him about walking out in front of the car.  He had seen it, but “it was a long way away and I had plenty of time”.

This was wrong, and I told him so.  But he was sure the car was well away from him.  He was surprised when I said it needed to break.  This is a classic example of why I need to make sure he does not go anywhere on his own, except where I know there is a pedestrian crossing for him to use.  His ability to calculate speed of a moving vehicle, and his ability to walk fast to get out of it’s way are both flawed now.

The rest of Day 4 was spent at my Sisters relaxing.  Derek had a lay down for an hour, then just sat watching TV or reading his book.


Day 5

This day was another beautiful sunny morning, but cold because of fog.  We had planned a relaxing time, joining Derek’s brother for lunch at a nice Cafe.

We went to the Cafe right on lunch time.  It was busy, so we sat at the only available table, which was inside.  You could see that Derek was having problems with all the noise around him.  I went to the counter and asked if they could save the first outside seat available for us, as my husband had a medical condition and the noise inside was too much.

This they did, without question.

As soon as a table emptied out, they cleared it, and let us know it was free.  We sat there having good conversation.  There were 4 of us, Derek, Derek’s brother, me, my sister.

By the time we had finished lunch you could see Derek was fading.  Again he was only on normal meds but the work it takes to focus when having a conversation in a noisy environment is great.

We needed to get him home to bed.  Thankfully both my sister and Derek’s brother understand that there are times when we need to just go.  Derek’s brother was also very careful about making sure it was safe for Derek to cross the road.

That evening we went for an early supper with some other friends.  They suggested that we play a game of trivial pursuits.  We agreed to play as a team so I could take the strain off Derek.  It didn’t work. By the time we were half way through the game Derek could hardly think.  When we got home, we had to put him straight to bed.

Day 6 – Rest Day

Monday was a day for relaxing.  No extra meds, no major pressure regarding visiting people.  We planned to go and visit our friends who had the wedding.  This we did in the afternoon, after a walk for a coffee in the morning, then a relaxing lunch at home.

It was a pressure free day.  We got back to my sisters place for a lovely meal, followed by an early night.  Derek was extremely tired, but felt good otherwise.

Day 7 dawned stress free.

Then the stress started. The people we were going to stay with in Auckland for the concert were not able to have us to stay because of illness in the house.  It meant we had to go to a hotel.  Being very aware of what stress can do to Derek, our friends very kindly put us up in a hotel near the concert.

This helped reduce what could have been a very stressful time.  We still had to deal with the motorway into Auckland, something I wasn’t looking forward to as it was always congested, and I had no idea where I was going.

I chose to ignore the navigator and took what should have been a shorter route, but due to a breakdown, that the navigator knew about, we were stuck.

Due to traveling Derek took an extra 5 mg twice that day.  This was a good thing because when we got stuck in traffic and it took over an hour to do a 20 minute drive.  He also had to try and help navigate.

Once we arrived at the hotel, we went to bed.  I had to get up in the morning to get to the Airport and the last time I drove to that particular airport, a number of years previous, it took several hours in major traffic snarl ups.

This time as I was driving to the airport I decided to listen to the navigator.  Derek was with me.  He had his phone navigating, and his tablet with a map so he could see what route it was sending us on, and give me warnings of strange directions.

It worked.  What used to be a 1-1.5 hour journey took 22 minutes, and absolutely no stress.

Once we had the kids we went back to the hotel and Derek and I relaxed.  We took a walk, had a late lunch, then a lay down before the concert.

Derek took 10mg extra HC for the concert. It meant he could sit through it.  The thing we found interesting is that he can not be in a crowded room for more than 30 minutes without feeling sick, and heady.  We were sitting in an arena with 11,000 others, and he felt fine. He later commented that there didn’t seem to be an echo in the room, which made it easier.  I didn’t talk to him and he managed to block the noise out.  He tried to strike up a conversation with the people on the other side of him, but I told him not to, or he would have to leave before the main event.

The warmup band started, Naturally 7,  was amazing.  There was a strange silence when they began.  In New Zealand you don’t sit their yelling so loud you can’t hear the music.  We pay good money to go and listen, so while the songs are sung, it is quiet, unless you are singing along.  This is actually good for Derek because he is not having to filter out useless noise to try and hear anything.

Then Michael Buble came on.  Again, during the songs it was silent.  The concert was fantastic.  Michael came to the back of the arena onto another small stage, and joined Naturally 7 for a set.  Bevan, my youngest son, was so excited that he jumped the fence between the stand seats, and the arena it’self so he could get right up to the stage.  A couple of the Nautrally 7 members saw it.  What they didn’t know is that Bevan dances and does athletics (long and tripple jump) and so had the skill to jump it with ease.

Because it was going to be hard work, we sat after the concert and waited until the arena had cleared before we attempted to leave.  Bevan had already left because he wanted to go and talk to Naturally 7.

By the time we got Derek carefully down the stairs (he was tired and a little stiff) we found Bevan talking to the band.  I got a photo of him with one of the members (the bass of course) and then started to head to the motel.

Derek’s drugs were starting to wear off, so he was getting tired, but traffic was bottleneck and we had to find a way of getting back to the Motel as we had taken 2 taxi’s to get there.

It was a challenge, but after 3/4 of an hour, we were all safely back in the motel, and Derek was in bed.

All indications were that the increased meds were working, and he was actually coping well.

All that is left is to get home safely.

My youngest Bevan, with the Bass from Naturally 7

My youngest Bevan, with the Bass from Naturally 7


If anyone is thinking of going to a concert and you get a chance to see Naturally 7, do so.  It is well worth it.




4 thoughts on “2014 Road Trip – The Journey Part 2

  1. Reading this makes me understand what my Husband must go through with me. I was very sick and “out of it” for many years but this last year I have been more aware and able to deal with stress a little easier. It breaks my heart to read about Derek and his difficulties with this damned illness. He is lucky to have you.

    • Thanks Mo. There are days when it can get hard but I remind myself that he didnt ask for this, and isnt like it by choice. We do what we have to to cope. As much as I dont like it some days I know Derek likes it less.

  2. I have also scared my husband before by walking out in front of a vehicle using the excuse ““It was a long way away and I had plenty of time” after he pointed out that no, I actually didn’t and that truck had to brake in order to not hit me. But that only happens if my cortisol is too low.

    Perhaps Derek would benefit from an overall higher daily dose of HC?

    • Thanks Amber but they believe he also has a brain injury which they are currently investigating. The effect of the brain injury is permenant brain fog to varying degrees.

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