Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Monday 30 May 2011

Be Careful what you wish for

The hospital told me yesterday that they were pretty certain that the smaller portion would be discharged today.  To say I was not happy would be an understatement.  He was still on oxygen, not eating and not walking and by my standards NOT READY TO COME HOME.  They weren't listening to me though.

In the early hours of this morning the hospital rang to say that the smaller portion was in Intensive Care with breathing and heart problems.  Aaaaaaargh.  I have spent the morning there, and he is now looking better.  Still on oxygen but it doesn't sound as if each breath will be his last.  They now believe the problem is clots on the lungs and are running more tests.  I will go up again shortly.  And fortunately they are taking preemptive action and are treating him for the clots.  And no, he won't be coming home in the short term.

And as an aside, when they rang this morning they said they were going to trim his beard so the oxygen mask sealed better.  THEY HAVE SHAVED IT OFF.  AND HIS MOUSTACHE.  And while we have been together for over thirty years I have never seen his chin before.  And he thinks it is close to forty years since anyone has seen it.  Small price to pay I think (the loss of the face fungus I mean).

Sunday 29 May 2011

Sunday Selections

Sunday Selections, brought to us by Kim, of Frogpondsrock, is an ongoing theme where participants post previously unused photos languishing in their files.

Anyone can join in, just post your photos under the Sunday Selections title, link back to Kim, then add your name to her Linky list at Frogpondsrock.

It is too early to go back up to the hospital yet so today I am being lazy and going back to Antarctica, for two reasons.  Firstly it always makes me smile, and secondly I know where the photos are.

Friday 27 May 2011

Do you want Steak Knives with that?

And the week from hell is drawing to a close.

It amazed me how quickly I adapted to a new routine.  Get up, feed the cats and the fish, go up to the hospital.  Come home, do some of the myriad things that need doing (only some, but still).  Sweep the bird seed off the veranda, feed the birds.  Go back up to the hospital.  Come home, make phone calls, flake.  Wake up, repeat.  Second verse, same as the first:  just a little bit louder and a whole lot worse.

My smaller portion is still doing it tough.  He now has fluid on the lungs to contend with, and is very, very short of breath.  Two or three words have him coughing and a sentence leaves him stuffed.  So the physiotherapists are torturing him with deep breathing exercises.  Which make him cough.  Which pleases the physiotherapist.  And while I can see the necessity it breaks my heart to see his eyes bulge and the perspiration break out from the sheer pain of coughing through multitudes of stitches and tubes.  He is back on oxygen, but at least the catheter and one of the drainage tubes has been taken away.  The bruises on his arms where they have been inserting things are spectacular.

He believes he will be coming home on Monday or Tuesday.  I really, really hope he is wrong.  I don't want him home until they are on top of the infection, his breathing is OK and he is eating again.  And until he/we have learned how to manage the colostomy.  And of course I couldn't track the doctor down today.  So presumably will have to go to the hospital at the crack of dawn on Monday.  Sigh.

Still, as I said in an earlier post.  I can do anything if I have to.  And that philosophy hasn't let me down yet.

And on a completely unrelated note.  I have been rereading Mary Poppins on the buses and while waiting for medical procedures to finish.  I didn't think she was the epitome of sweetness and light as portrayed by Disney.  And I was right.  Bad tempered, conceited and self confident to the point of egotism.  Much more interesting..

Wednesday 25 May 2011

A more positive update.

Scary times have not left, but have eased.

Himself is through the operation which was a bit touch and go, and starting on the loooong road to recovery.  And is being encouraged to use morphine for the pain.  Which he has started doing.

I succeeded in tracking the doctor down this morning.  It is a good thing that I am a chronically early bird.  I was told that he does his rounds between 7 and 9 am.  When I arrived at 6.40 he had already completed more than half of them.  He really, really didn't want to talk to me, but I did get a little information out of him.  Sadly I will have to repeat the exercise a little later.  But for the moment the smaller portion is doing OK.

My boy's eyes started a morphine induced glaze over, so I headed back home a little before seven.  And, dammit, the bus didn't come so I had an hour to wait for the next.  Sigh.

I will head in to the hospital again around 3ish.

Thanks for all the messages of support.  They were much appreciated, though I have not been playing in the blogosphere very much.

PS:  A really nice thing.  One of the ambulance drivers who took us to the hospital on Monday, came in to visit the smaller person yesterday.  He was really chuffed, and I wept when he told me about it.  I will write them a thank you card.

Monday 23 May 2011


A quick one.

My smaller portion is in surgery now.  He has a perforated bowel and things don't look good.  Much damage done apparently.

All digits crossed tightly.  Much fear.

Friday 20 May 2011

Cat Condominium

Still hurting, still stiff, but what the hey.

Our cats have long made it clear that they consider themselves to be underprivileged.  They lie, but that is another story.  So yesterday we went to the markets and bought them a condo to replace the much smaller one that they have shredded. 

And it was such a success that Jazz climbed aboard as we were carrying it across the kitchen.  And they play chasings on and around it, leaping to the ground to run through their tunnel (seen in some of these shots).  Jewel has carefully placed her acorn on it.  And batts the acorn to the ground and carries it back again.  I am not certain who gets more fun out of it, the cats or us.

Towards the end of the day the sky started to glow.  So I wobbled/waddled outside with my camera.  And was rewarded with this.

Shortly before we went out yesterday I stepped on an earring. And broke it.   One my father had made me.  He has been dead for a little over twenty years and it has enormous sentimental value.  I wept.  And today I headed off to try and find a jeweller who could work magic.  And was almost unbelievably lucky.  The jeweller I approached told me that he didn't work with silver anymore.  And looked at my face and said 'it obviously means a lot to you.  Take a seat.  I will fix it now'.  And did.  So I wept again.

I am still a bit anxious about the commitment I have made for tomorrow.  Not only will I be knackered long before the end, but critiquing other people's style is difficult and delicate work.  And I well remember how much an off the cuff comment can hurt.  Still, my philosophy is that I can do anything if I have to.  And having made the commitment I guess I have to.  Cross your fingers for me please.

Wednesday 18 May 2011

Give us this day ....

Our daily whinge.

Over the last couple of days I have been wrestling with feelings of inadequacy. Wrestling and losing.  Not certain where they came from.  Am certain I would like them to piss off.  Postcards not required.

My body is not behaving well which I find a little surprising given that we are now into cooler weather.  But no, the body is stiff, sore and reluctant to move.  Humph.  And the mind seems to be following suit.  A swim might help, but for the last few days it has seemed toooo hard.  Perhaps tomorrow.  I don't know why swimming often helps with the pain but so long as I manage a least a kilometre it mostly does.  And on the occasions it doesn't I am mightily peeved.

This morning I went for a walk.  It felt as if I had a broomstick up my fundament and probably looked like it too.  I only wandered down to the local shops and back - a round trip of a couple of kilometres.  While there I picked up some tofu which I am fond of.  The smaller portion refers to it as bean turd and implores me to consider the tofudelopes who have been sacrificed.  I also hit the book stall which lies in lurk there.  A very cheap range of interesting titles.  And I am such a regular customer I get discounts on the discounts (25% today).   The walk home is up hill and a little more challenging.  And the benefits from the walk (except of course for the tofu and the books) were marginal.  Still stiff, still sore.  Sigh.

My current reading is probably not helping on the inadequacy front.  One of the books currently on the go is an autobiography by Dianna Patterson who was the first Australian woman to become leader at one of our Antarctic research stations.  A super high-achiever and a driven woman who while in Antarctica taught herself Chinese using audio tapes in her spare time (!?).

And, because I am a glutton for punishment, I have agreed to assist in training the newest group of Lifeline recruits next Saturday.  It will be a big and gruelling day, starting before eight and probably finishing around half five.  And tears will almost certainly be shed by some of the trainees.  Hopefully not by me.   And if it is as full-on as I expect I will probably be better off taking to my bed for a few days afterwards.  All because I find no a difficult word.  To say to myself or to other people. I had been successfully ignoring the begging emails when they played dirty and rang up with the personal approach.  And I couldn't think of any reason for my refusal which didn't sound like an excuse.   'I don't wanna' somehow doesn't cut it.  Aaaargh.

Sunday 15 May 2011

Sunday Selections

Sunday Selections, brought to us by Kim, of Frogpondsrock, is an ongoing theme where participants post previously unused photos languishing in their files.

Anyone can join in, just post your photos under the Sunday Selections title, link back to Kim, then add your name to her Linky list at Frogpondsrock.

And my theme today is things, of which we have far toooo many.  And consequently the ambience of the house could accurately be described as dusty.  Some of the things have been acquired while one of us has been travelling, some are gifts, some just materialised  (as in I don't know where they come from).

Those of my earrings with suitable hooks hang from embroidery hoops like this one.  And I am a bit ashamed to say that I have nine more of them hanging on the bedroom wall.  It does mean that I can keep pairs together, and that I can see what is there but it is still excessive.  In self defence I have to say that I don't buy earrings - but then I don't have any need to. 

Tuesday 10 May 2011

Jazz's Adventure

Before I start: I am having a bit of a hate at blogger. When I went to create a post it wouldn't let me enter anything, just had a spinning circle going round and round as if something was loading. It looked different too. When I went back to the old editor the problem was solved but, since I am a newbie, I am unfamiliar with it. Humph. And I don't like the add picture option at all. Double humph.

Yesterday we took the car in to the crash repair place. We were told it is likely to be three or four days, so caught the bus home which is a new experience for the smaller portion. (our insurance policy doesn't give us a hire car).

When we left Jazz was playing on the front lawn. We got home a little over an hour later. No Jazz. This is unusual, because he is a cat who likes his breakfast, his mid morning snack, his lunch, his afternoon snack ...Who basically likes his food. Often. It was relatively early so we didn't worry.

Time went by. No Jazz. Jewel came in, crying. Still no Jazz. So we called. No Jazz. Shut Jewel in and I went walking and calling. No sign of him - which was good (no body) and bad. Came home. Jewel still crying. No Jazz.

The hours ticked by. Jewel still crying, running from front door to back door and back again. Which made me want to cry.

Much walking. Looking up trees. Looking down drains. Aaaaargh.

No Jazz. And then it got dark. They are always brought in loooong before then. More walking, more calling. Jewel still crying.

Just after 7.30 I went out again. To see a sad and sorry cat limping down the path. Crying, hoarsely as if he had used up his vocal chords. Brought him inside.

Jewel lifted her head and said 'oh you're back' and treated him with studious ignore. He was starving and bolted down considerable amounts of food.

He has a gouge on his nose, bites/scratches around his neck and is favouring a back leg. And purring very loudly. And of course the vet is shut AND we have no car. So we decide to give it until morning.

Jazz squeezed himself between us on the bed and purred the night away. He is still limping (but much, much less) and his other cuts seem clean. If he is not 100% tomorrow he is going to the vet (who he hates with a passion). Where is cat cam when you need it? No idea who/what he fought, but he lost. But is home, and happy to be here.

PS He woke me by smacking me in the mouth. Purring. Not only Jazz, but Spike is back.

Sunday 8 May 2011

Sunday Selections

Sunday Selections, brought to us by Kim, of Frogpondsrock, is an ongoing theme where participants post previously unused photos languishing in their files.

Anyone can join in, just post your photos under the Sunday Selections title, link back to Kim, then add your name to her Linky list at Frogpondsrock.

Just the one this week.  But it makes me smile.  Taken from our front veranda to remind me that this is a beautiful city. 

Tuesday 3 May 2011

A miscellany

Some random thoughts/events/questions.

All of our bulbs are now in the ground.  Assuming we get a little rain, spring should be a joy and a delight.  Probably as a direct consequence of the effort involved my body is hurting badly and not operating as I would like it to.  And as a consequence of that (and of the drugs I have taken) my brain is foggy.  Still an achievement.

I have nearly finished the biography of Alfred Bestall, the man who wrote and illustrated Rupert Bear for many, many years.  And surprisingly, because I am very fond of Rupert, I find myself wondering if his talents were in some sense wasted.  He was an extraordinarily skilled artist and perhaps if he had devoted himself more fully to his art (sketching, portraiture, oil painting) he, and we, would have benefited.  I don't know, and certainly there did not seem to be any sense of regret on his part.  Another interesting thing I have gleaned from the biography is that he was a devout Christian and believed that his faith was behind each Rupert story.  Not something I had ever noticed and certainly Rupert and family are not church goers - indeed I don't recall there even being a church in the village of Nutwood in which Rupert and his family live.

Which indirectly leads me to the death of Osama Bin Laden.  And what I consider the inappropriate and premature jubilation at his death.  I don't believe that his death will stop terrorism in its tracks - if anything I suspect it will precipitate more attacks.  And his death will neither bring anyone else to life again, nor fill the void that those other deaths left in the lives and hearts of their families and loved ones.  And yes, I mean all the deaths without reference to race or religion, be they from 9/11 or reprisals or the obscenity of collateral damage. 

Sunday 1 May 2011

Sunday Selections

Sunday Selections, brought to us by Kim, of Frogpondsrock, is an ongoing theme where participants post previously unused photos languishing in their files.

Anyone can join in, just post your photos under the Sunday Selections title, link back to Kim, then add your name to her Linky list at Frogpondsrock.

This week I thought I would hunt up some of my photos from Argentina.