My trip to the US of A! (part 3)


Colin and Alison at La JollaAnother week’s passed and I still don’t have my iPad, but we do still have this glorious weather – although I have to admit to finding the storms a little disturbing! Thanks to all of you for your response to the blog, and for letting me know how things are going – Mary, no doubt you could have done without your nightime vigil, and Debz, nothing quite like cat vomit to sharpen the senses!!

That said, it’s lovely that we can all share our news – good and bad – on this site, and thank you, as always for keeping me in the loop. I do think of you often!

I realise, having read back over last week’s blog, that it was a tad lengthy, and for those of you not lucky enough to have had any form of a break, I felt somewhat churlish! So I thought, for the final part of our holiday, I’d try and let the photos do most of the talking…

The best thing about travelling across a country as big as America is seeing the vast difference in lifestyles, even within the same States! From the relatively quiet and rural landscape of Gary in Texas, we headed south in our Landcruiser towards La Porte, which is in Harris County, quite near the coast.

There we were to meet up with Greg, who is an avid Country music fan and follower of Colin’s music, and had arranged for Colin to play his songs at a local ’open mic night’. Our journey there took just over three hours and we watched the temperature gauge in the car rise to the high 90’s!

La Porte's petrochemical paradiseWe were booked into a hotel that was just off the Interstate and very close to where Greg and his wife, Rhonda, lived. Although their home, and the surrounding area, was pretty, with wide roads and single storey buildings, what literally filled the skyline was the Bayport Terminal and Industrial District, which is basically an enormous complex of companies involved in petroleum and petrochemical processing.

It stretches from La Porte to Seabrook, through to Galveston Bay and into the Gulf of Mexico. It is an industry that never sleeps and at night, when illuminated, the mile upon mile of oil refineries give the appearance of a massive city.

Greg and Rhonda were delightful and, after meeting them at their home, they drove us to Momma’s Country Kitchen where the weekly open mic night was taking place. It was jammed with families and friends who filled every corner of the restaurant, and, in spite of the heat, there were just ceiling fans to cut through the 70% humidity.

I was happy to accept a cold bottle of Shiner (local beer) which proved to be very drinkable, and helped wash down the inordinate amount of food I ate! I know I’ve not really majored on the menus, but in Texas EVERYTHING is deep fried. You can even order fried pies!! For our supper we had fried cheese sticks, fried pickles, chicken fried chicken, nachos, dip, deep fried corn, oh and corn bread, which actually looks like a muffin! I don’t remember EVER feeling that full!

Luckily, thanks to the ballast, I was suitably steady on my feet when called upon to film Colin performing two of his songs in front of the somewhat lively crowd. He couldn’t have asked for a more receptive audience and the response he got at the end of his set was phenomenal. I’ll never forget the look or smile on his face.

Alison and Colin on Galveston Beach Tiki Island

The following day we visited Galveston Beach, which stretches for miles and is incredibly windy but hot. We ate grilled shrimp and garlic potatoes, and were served Margaritas so large I didn’t know whether to drink or swim in mine!

Close by was Tiki Island (above, right), a very salubrious and swish area where all the homeowners had boats and their own jetties. The houses were raised above the land to avoid flooding. Some beautiful properties and some huge price tags!

A few miles further along the coast was Khema – a place that Gae Lynne had recommended to us, which reminded me of the fairground in the Tom Hank’s film ‘Big‘ … I almost rode on this wooden roller coaster, until I saw they’d repaired a part of it with steel rivets, and then my nerve went!

RodeoWe met up with Greg and Rhonda on our final night as they had very kindly bought tickets for us to attend the Crosby Annual Fair and Rodeo. It was a hot, sunny evening, and the arena was packed, so we munched on our corn dogs and burgers and enjoyed the show, which was quite simply incredible. 

Live country music followed, accompanied by several cans of Shiner beer, and then, in the wee small hours, with the temperature still in the 80’s, Greg and Rhonda took us back to our hotel where we said our goodbyes. Yet again, we felt very lucky to have met such lovely people and to have been so spoiled by them.

Suzi B and husband, AdamWith our bags packed and safely stowed in the car, we spent our final day on Galveston beach and then drove the nearly six-hour journey from Houston back to Dallas for our flight, which would take us to our final destination: San Diego and Suzi B (pictured with her husband, Adam, left)!

The flight there is just two and a half hours and as we flew in over San Diego harbour the sky was bright blue and the sun was shining :) This final part of our holiday was to be in California spending time with Suzi B whose jewellery range you may well remember from QVC.

Casa de PradoWe were booked in to a hotel for the first two nights and then with Suzi and her husband, Adam, for the rest of the trip. Adam had arranged for us to stay at The US Grant and it was absolutely gorgeous! Having explored our room, we didn't bother to unpack, just got changed and headed out into downtown San Diego.

It's a very cosmopolitan city, with plenty to see and some fabulous places to eat and drink as well. The sun beat down and the only place with a cool breeze was the harbour, surrounded by palm trees, so that's where we spent the rest of the day and had a fabulous Greek meal while looking out to sea :)


Alison at the Sprekels Outdoor Organ PavillionBalboa Park beckoned on the second day, with over 1,400 acres of canyons and hillsides north of downtown San Diego. In 1915 the park was chosen as the city's Panama-California Exposition in celebration of the Panama Canal. Today it is just the most fabulous place to spend a day. Here you can see the Sprekels Outdoor Organ Pavilion - they perform free afternoon concerts on a Sunday!


Alison in the cactus and rose garden at Balboa ParkWe almost stumbled upon a stunning rose garden and this incredible collection of cactuses, all part and parcel of what makes this park such a worthwhile visit. We decided to take a taxi to Hotel del Cornonado (known as Hotel Del, pictured below, left) with it's unmistakable round red roofs, turrets and domes. Not only was it where the iconic Marilyn Monroe film 'Some like it Hot' was filmed, but it's also where our heir to the throne, Prince Edward, reportedly first met Wallace Simpson! History aside, it's a wonderful place to spend an afternoon :)  

Alison and the Hotel Del CornadoSuzi B now works in in fashion, though she is still involved with jewellery and styling, and she works long and frequent hours. We took a cab to her home in Kensington (named by an American who LOVED this part of England) and, after a somewhat emotional reunion, spent the rest of the evening with her and Adam in a beautiful restaurant by the sea. The next day they were both working so we sunned ourselves by the pool and ate out that night too in the Blue Bayou Restaurant, which had THE most impressive menu!

Luckily, Suzi wasn't working the next day and so we slept in and were then treated to a visit from all five of her and Adam's children. Bearing in mind it had been six years since we'd last met,  I was forgiven for barely recognising them! I still can't get used to how quickly children grow up, and from 10 years to 16 it can make the world of difference.

Suzi and Adam had managed to get tickets for the San Diego Padre's ball game that night at the Padres Stadium - a Press Box complete with food and drink! We must have been lucky for the Padres, as they won for the first time in 15 games :)

Alison and Suzi B at La JollaBreakfast the next morning was at The Cottage in La Jolla right on the coast. I had steamed eggs with basil – sounds weird but was delicious! From there to a bar for a celebratory Mimosa and then home to enjoy the warmth of the midday sun. As we packed our bags that night it was hard to believe we'd been away for three whole weeks, and had visited six American States; Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, Texas, Louisiana, California and Pennsylvania.

The ONLY way to see America is to see it with those who live there, and we will be forever indebted to all our lovely friends, who took the time to show us the very best of good ol' American hospitality.

I do hope I've not bored you with what I thought would be a shorter blog, but it is probably just as long as the last two! Next week, it will be business as usual, and I have managed to secure a fabulous prize for a new competition I'm setting, so make sure you log on and get the details.

As always, I truly appreciate your taking the time out to comment, and very much hope that you too will be lucky like me, and have a chance to experience something truly memorable this summer.

I look forward to hearing from you,

With my love,

Ali xx


  1. Alpa July 24, 2014 at 1:05 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali,
    Thanks for Part 3 of the US of A; fantastic blog and photos. So glad you were able to go away and do all that you did :) There have been no thunderstorms here but it has been stifling hot.
    Thanks for your kind words. The irony of it is that I didn’t even ask for a referral to the Pain Clinic. The request was made to my doctor over a year ago at a follow up appointment at the Autonomic Unit. It took 6 months to receive that letter from the hospital which my doctor then ignored.
    Perhaps one day the medical professionals will be able to support me but it’s not going to happen here. If any other physical illness were treated like this, there would be public outrage. I can’t even get medical treatment for the things that can be treated. Almost a year later and I am still trying to have incorrect information removed from my hospital records.
    First, I thought the worst thing was the loss; then I thought it was getting progressively more ill and not being able to do anything about it. The truth is one of the worst things has been people. I can no longer deal with people who treat my life as a joke. Apart from my friends here, there are very few exceptions.
    Debz, thank you for all the hugs. I hope you and Ainzley have both recovered! x
    Una, hope you and Meli are settling into your new home x
    Take care Ali,
    Lots of Love, Alpa xxx

  2. Julie July 24, 2014 at 6:41 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    A lovely blog as usual. Crikey you packed so much into your holiday but a life time experience I’m sure you’ll never forget. I bet you were glad to come home for a rest!!!!
    Glad you liked the photo’s. The girls have been at our house today it has been very hot but I’m not complaining as I hate the cold and the winter!
    Hope all’s well with you and the family.
    Will keep in touch, take care
    Julie xx The Girls xxx

  3. margaret hall July 25, 2014 at 6:07 am -  Reply

    Just to say I love reading your blogs . You make it feel like your QVC friends are on the journey with you ..And its great to see a couple genuinely happy and in love M xxx
    P.S cant wait for your next holiday adventure lol

  4. Jan July 26, 2014 at 5:43 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    I’ve so enjoyed reading all your US holiday blogs – what an action packed time you & Colin had! How lovely you met up with Suzi B. She was one of my favourite designers on QVC. I have a gorgeous enamel dragonfly necklace from her range which still gets compliments.
    I can’t wait for my holiday to Cyprus in 8 weeks – not that I’m counting!
    Looking forward to your next blog, take care.
    Love from Jan xxx

  5. Mary Morphy July 26, 2014 at 7:55 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali. I really enjoy your blogs and loved part three and all the photos. I myst admit that my responses can be long and hope your not in a state if complete boredom and ready to poke your eyes out with a stick at the end if them. The photos are lovely and truly depict your wonderful holiday..was Galveston a song by Glenn Cambell..not QVC Glen but a country and Western singer? I seem to remember my mum playing it when I was younger and singing along while doing the ironing! I also remember Suzy B..I still have a couple of pieces of her jewellery I purchased from Q..she looks fab and you both have very handsome men. This blig could have a few typo’s as I’m typing this on my phone whilst watching the commonwealth games being tomorrowdistracted by men’s thighs ( cycling and rugby) anfor distractedsts of tanned male swimmers!
    So finally I broke up from school on Wednesday and managed to leave early at 10am to drive to Malvern Worcester as Chloe had gone on Monday with friends for a county U15 cricketfestival. I wasn’t looking forward to the drive but had a problem free journey and arrived at Malvern college after 4 hours 25 mins and that included two wee stoos! My b and b was lovely and my host looked after me very well..I had 8 types of t bag on my tea tray! The girls played three matches against Devon, Oxford and an international team from Holland. KENT won all three and Chloe bowled well taking 6 wickets in all fir very few runs. We got back yesterday, Friday at 10.30pm having left at 6pm so another good journey. I hope the M25 is kind to us tomorrow as we have to leave at 7.30am to go to Berkshire for the Super 8 finals. Jack is then off on a cricket tour to Great Yarmouth on Monday whilst Chloe hasxa match that day against a touring team from much for taking it easy in the holidays. The list of To Do’s is getting longer and not shorter!! Have a great’s the wedding plans going..Pippa will now be married!!! Lotsa love Mary xx

  6. Elaine sallis July 26, 2014 at 8:09 pm -  Reply

    Hi ali
    Loved part three of your holiday blog. You write these so well you should start writing travel books! I hope you are ok. We have just been to a barbecue at Jodie’s we had a lovely afternoon. We have booked a holiday to oslo and Bergen in September really looking forward to it.
    Una I hope things have settled down for you. Alpa I am sorry you are feeling so low. I hope that the support you get from Alis army helps.

  7. Hazell Strickland July 26, 2014 at 9:44 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison what great photos and sounds like you and you’re lovely man had a great time with you’re friends ,nice to have you back on air .like me it looks like you have found you’re soul mate . What more can we

  8. susan July 27, 2014 at 12:16 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali, again I will have to read the blog again! It’s a whopper! Lovely photos. Great you saw suzi. Hope you’re well in this heat? Must be awful if you’re ill or going through treatment. I’m watching Liz Earle with Caroline and she is such a beauty isn’t she? She’s looking so stunning tonight. You can pass on if you see her. See you on tv! Night night x

  9. Judith Lennon July 28, 2014 at 10:37 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali
    Well what an end to such a wonderful trip. Really enjoyed it all. Forgot to mention I thought the cowboy boots were fab! I hope you have many more trips like this one in the not too distant future – well maybe have a rest first…. Hope the wedding plans are going well as it will be here before you know it. would you believe it but I had another sickness bug over the weekend. Not sure if the first one had really left me actually, but feel so much better now and the rest in bed has done me good. I took it easy relaxing in the garden today with Debbie Flints last book in her trilogy. A great read and my excuse for not doing other things. For once in my life I put me first…. It’s taken a long time coming but sometimes you just have to. I learned over the weekend that a very dear friend is seriously ill in hospital and might not pull through. That said it was a wake up call. Any way must hope and be positive.
    As always take care and lots of hugs to you. Love Judithxx

  10. Carol S. July 29, 2014 at 1:58 pm -  Reply

    Hi ya Ali.What great stories about your holidays. You really packed an awful lot into your three weeks. It was like reading a novel about America.
    Hope you have been enjoying the lovely sunshine we have been having . It’s just like being abroad seeing everybody eating and drinking outside. people seem happier somehow. Love carol. . Ps. A tan really suits you. X

  11. alison keenan July 29, 2014 at 9:33 pm -  Reply

    Dear Alpa, I’m glad you feel able to update us on your life, although I am sure I’m not the only one who wishes they could help to improve things for you… Maybe in time, and once your medical records have been sorted, someone somewhere will give you the professional support you need. With regards to those closer to home, I know you are struggling, and not getting the kindness or understanding you need, but try not to give up hope.. We’re all here for you. Take care, and stay strong, love Ali xx

  12. alison keenan July 29, 2014 at 9:36 pm -  Reply

    Julie, good as always to hear from you, and i am glad that you enjoyed the blogs. I looked back over them and was amazed at how much I’d written, but they’ll be great to read again in the years to come – me read them, I don’t mean you need to go there again!! :) Yes it was home for a short rest, but I was back at work again within a day, and glad to be, as I felt out of the loop having been away for so long. It sounds as though you like me are loving this hot spell, and I’m glad you’re able to share it with the girls. I have Lucy coming over tomorrow with Simon’s two little ones which will be fun – it’s meant to be sunny again :) Enjoy the rest of the week, love Ali xx

  13. alison keenan July 29, 2014 at 9:37 pm -  Reply

    Dear Margaret that is such a kind thing to say – that it feels as though you’re with me on the trip… I do try when writing to give you as much detail as possible, and the fact my editor always allows me to squeeze in loads of photos helps too :) Yes Colin and I had some really good pictures taken, and the one at the top of the page has been printed to put in the frame I gave him for his birthday :) Happy days. Love to you and yours, Ali xx

  14. alison keenan July 29, 2014 at 9:43 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Jan, thanks for your comment, and I thought you’d be pleased to know that Suzi will be reading this blog and so will know that you love her dragonfly pendant. The jewellery was a favourite of many and I, like you, still have a pendant and earrings that I bought way back in 2003!! How lovely for you to have a holiday in Cyprus to look forward to. It’s a country I have never visited, but my late father had a cracking time there many moons ago :) Enjoy the rest of the summer and please do keep in touch, love Ali xx

  15. alison keenan July 29, 2014 at 9:51 pm -  Reply

    Mary, I cannot believe you typed all of that on your phone!!! I struggle with short texts :) Mind you I am flattered that you took your eyes away from the cyclists thighs and the swimmers tans to write to me …! :) Lovely to catch up with all your news, and no you never bore me. I feel I know you, Chloe Jack and your family really well now, and never tire of hearing about their cricketing successes altho I do hope it won’t be too many more years before they can drive themselves there, and you can be a supportive passenger! four and a half hours to Malvern – thank heavens you didn’t hit traffic!! :) I hope Jack does well in Great Yarmouth, and well done to Chloe for her innings too. Try and get at least a couple of days for what you’d like to do before you head back to school in the autumn won’t you?! Yes Pipa’s wedding at the weekend was beautiful and I will post a photo next blog. Colin and I are still trying to decide on a venue, and the month of the year will depending on that, so nothing definite yet, but lots to think about :) I hope you get a little time for you this week, and look forward to hearing from you soon. I have a brand new competition that I’ll be setting in the next blog – don’t miss it – I know you’ll love the prize :) Love Ali xx

  16. alison keenan July 29, 2014 at 9:54 pm -  Reply

    Dear Elaine, Thanks so much for writing, and I am really pleased that you enjoyed reading the blogs – I know they would have taken a fair amount of time to get to the end! :) I would love to write travel books, infact I’d love to write any kind of book, I just never seem to have the time/attention span/decent computer – hopefully in the next year or two that will change. Isn’t it nice to be able to get out and enjoy a BBQ and never more so than when it’s with the family. I’m glad you got to see Jodie, and hope that you see her again before your trip to Oslo in September. Take care, and stay well, love Ali xx

  17. alison keenan July 29, 2014 at 9:56 pm -  Reply

    Dear Hazell I think you’re right…. after 50 odd years :) I feel very lucky at my age to be having such a good time, and to be looking forward to a wedding… I thought perhaps I was a bit long in the tooth for all that, but it’s very exciting. I do hope you have someone who makes you feel special and that you’ve been enjoying the summer. Thanks for writing to me, love Ali xx

  18. alison keenan July 29, 2014 at 10:01 pm -  Reply

    Yes Susan I had intended – as indeed I made mention – of keeping the blog shorter and letting the photos do the talking, but you know me :) It was really good to see Suzi and Adam, and a real bonus to spend time with the children too. They are a very close family, and great company. I have to admit to struggling a little in the heat with my hot flushes, but I have just started on a trial of acupuncture at the Mount Vernon Cancer Centre, and so I am hoping that may help.. I’ll let you know. Mustn’t grumble though, as this time three years ago I was still on chemo and feeling rough – seems a long time back now :) I missed Liz on air, but I have always thought that both she and Caroline are genuinely beautiful women. Lovely to work with too! Enjoy the rest of the week, and keep in touch, love Ali xx

  19. alison keenan July 29, 2014 at 10:04 pm -  Reply

    Oh Judith you poor thing, another sickness bug! That’s horrid, particularly as it was such a hot weekend too. I think it may have been that you’d not recovered properly from the first one – glad that you are on the mend now. I am half way through Deb’s second book, and I’m glad you rested up and made time to read all three! She’s good isn’t she?! A lot of her personality in her writing,and always very readable :) I am so sorry to hear that a close friend of yours is seriously ill.. I pray that she improves, and that you can stay positive. Keep in touch, and you take care too, love Ali xx

  20. angela white July 30, 2014 at 1:14 pm -  Reply

    hi ali,you alright!? I hope you and your family are well and enjoying the weather its lovely isn’t it? glad to hear you had a fab holiday you did cram a lot in!! I had my checkup last month with bc nurse and am fine(phew relief) its 6yrs now so only have to have mamagram every 2yrs now so that was even more good news! the only trouble now is ive broken my foot!! I was in garden (jungle!) just filled bird feeders up turned round and slipped on the grass! luckily I landed on my bum which is well padded! but foot was behind me and I heard a click and thought that’s not good. 3hrs at a&e on a sunday which wasn’t bad xray and temporary cast and crutches unti Tuesday then back to fracture clinic for new cast and different crutches cos the ones they gave me went under arms not good for someone with bc. im back in 5weeks and hopefully back on 2 feet!! its a nightmare though things take twice as long and don’t get me started trying to get knickers on!!!!!!!!!!! im loving the warm weather but my leg isn’t! itch itch!! thank goodness for asda online shopping or we would starve! lol! steves been very good and my lovely sister don’t know what id do without them!well that’s my moan over! I hope your wedding plans are going well it will soon come round. I hope all of the “army” are keeping well and coping as best as they can with illness and worries they are having. take care ali love to you all xx

  21. Rhona Fenton July 30, 2014 at 3:26 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison sorry for the late reply will get back to that at the end of this why! your American venture looked amazing you and colin packed a lot in and I loved reading every bit of it from start to finish so thank you for sharing with us :) suzi looks amazing as always you guys would have had a lot of fun together and a few tears when it came to the good byes :( I know what you mean about the kids all 5 of them when I see them now and look at them in Suzi & Adams wedding pictures that she sent me oh how they have grown, and Christian the last time I saw him he was being carried around with his Dad at about a year and a half old good luck trying to carry him now, he is a lovely handsome strapping lad now eh? but all the kids are amazing I love getting the updates on how they are all doing! now Alison talking of kids Rebecca had an amazing time in America loved every minute of it and like you and colin packed a lot in to which she shared with us on FB so it was good seeing the fun they were having, one thing she didn’t share on FB waited till they were home safe reason for my late reply here goes Rebecca & David got engaged on the 4th of July so not the only celebrations going off that day so that’s what America does to you! she had no idea took her by surprise and as you can guess she said yes and the ring is stunning his choice, very vintage what style Rebecca loves! this is getting a habit with all our guy’s eh Alison nipping out for the rings themselves! thought it funny how our daughters got married the same year Alison remember and now you and Rebecca got engaged the same year spooky or what, so as you can imagine we are all very happy for them no rush for a date just enjoying the moment :) and changing the tone just before I go as never got a chance to let you know, my tattoo is amazing and I love it, must try and email you a picture of it to let you see, it’s my tribute to my colin and the girls and yes it’s Rebecca’s Art work so in my skin now! I am going to have to finish as this computer is playing up so sorry if you get this twice! thanks again for your lovely holiday snaps :) love to you and yours as always Rhona xx

  22. Chris Page August 2, 2014 at 6:03 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali
    Great blog, as always. I don’t know if you’re a Radio 4 person, but Sofie Grabol – Sarah Lund in “The Killing” – was interviewed today by James Naughtie about her UK stage debut. She also talked about her own experience of Breast Cancer. I heard she’d been ill, but I was hoping this wasn’t what she had. Thankfully, she appears to have come through it and is well again. You can catch the clip on the “Today” homepage on the BBC website.
    On a personal note, I’m well, but I’ve had to have the pest control fella in to spray the bed bugs that have taken up uninvited residence in my bedroom and lounge.
    Hopefully I’ll have something nice to report to you one day!
    Chris xxx

  23. martin forbes bucksburn aberdeen watching via sky tv August 3, 2014 at 11:30 am -  Reply

    some good pictures alison have you been watching the commonwealth games i have watched some of it hope your sons and daughter are doing well i am not bad

  24. alison keenan August 3, 2014 at 2:20 pm -  Reply

    Hi there Angle Y’am awright :) Wonderful news about your latest check up – mammograms every two years much better I’m sure :) So sorry though to hear about your foot – what a nightmare – plaster for five weeks, and I can’t begin to imagine how difficult it must be to get dressed, or even have a shower! I’ve never had plaster of paris, but I know that ruddy corset I had to wear last summer made me itch too! At least I could take if off though! When my brother broke his leg and had a cast, we used to use a knitting needle inside the plaster to help his itching – wait til you see the hair growth when it comes off! :) Keep in touch and let me know how you’re doing – glad that you have folk around you who can and will help. Take care, love Ali xx

  25. alison keenan August 3, 2014 at 2:26 pm -  Reply

    Congratulations Rhona!!!!! What wonderful summer news – please pass on my very best to Rebecca and David :) How lovely to have another wedding to look forward to. Great that David managed to keep it a surprise from her too – not surprised she was over the moon. The ring sounds lovely. As you say, bit of a coincidence what with the weddings and engagements the same year :) Glad you’re still delighted with the tattoo, and I would love a picture of it. Sam’s had a few more tattoos recently, but they are mainly words rather than pictures. Enjoy the celebrations, and thanks for sharing your news with us. So glad you liked the blog and yes, we had the best of times with Suzi and Adam, and it was very hard to leave… always on the promise of them coming over for the wedding though :D Have a great week, and hope the sun continues to shine for you, love Ali xx

  26. Debz August 5, 2014 at 3:57 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Thank you for Part 3 of your American adventure. We almost feel like we’ve been there with you and feel better for it!!
    Took Ainzley for his 3 month check up 2 weeks ago and also to get his teeth checked as he’d been having difficulty eating his biscuits. Vet said he needed 2 back teeth out and that he would have to have a general anaesthetic for that which, given his poorly heart, was a risk in itself but the longer we left them the worse they would be and the longer he’d have to be under. We decided that we had to take the chance as he really was struggling to eat. The vet also said that Ainzley had a lot of fluid on his chest too so he would drain that and also do another heart scan as he was missing quite a few beats when he listened to it.
    Quite a lot to take in for us as you can imagine. We left him in the vet’s capable hands and went home without him and praying that he’d make it through the anaesthetic. Vet was quite emphatic that, if his heart got into difficulties, he wouldn’t be able to resuscitate Ainzley as it would cause too much damage to his heart.
    We got a call 3 anxious hours later to say he’d come through the operation well (that’s my boy, heart of a lion that one!)but that heart scan showed that his heart wall had thickened again to 30.5mm which basically means he is on borrowed time. When we went to collect him vet said largest cat heart he’d treated was 31mm and he couldn’t stress enough how poorly Ainzley was. He said Ainzley could go at any time and it’s only his easy lifestyle and care that has kept him alive this long. If he was a dog he would have had heart failure by now. I looked at the bright eyed, eager face of my boy looking at me from his carrier and tried to reconcile myself with what I’d been told and just couldn’t do it! His liver readings are up slightly too. He’s on all the medication he can be on so he really is in Last Chance Saloon.
    Looking at him now, asleep in the sun, I still can’t believe it. He looks happy and healthy. He is and always has been a fighter and I firmly believe he won’t give up the fight. I know my boy. Each morning I steal myself to open the door to let him out of his room (yes, he has his own room!)just in case he’s gone but, so far, he has bounded out just like always. He’s not giving up yet and neither am I.
    Am off now to wrestle another 3 tablets down a very reluctant cat!!
    Love to all in Ali’s Army.
    Love and licks
    Debz & Ainzley (=^-^=)XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

  27. Debz August 5, 2014 at 4:13 pm -  Reply

    My dear friend Alpa
    I really feel for you. It must be so awful to not be listened to or believed. People are very sceptical of things they cannot see. I found this when I suffered from quite bad buts of depression. I lost all my “good” friends whom I’d known for decades as they didn’t know how to cope with what I had. If I’d broken both legs or arms then they would have coped with that as they would have known what to do to help.
    In this country we need to be more forward thinking in this area as there are so many people out there who feel isolated and alone because no one will take them seriously.
    You have us on here my lovely, we can’t offer practical help but we can give you moral support and a sounding board to let off steam.
    Stay strong, a hard thing to do I know but hang on in there. I always remember you in my prayers. Sending strength and hugs.
    Lots of love and special licks.
    Debz & Ainzley (=^-^=)XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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