Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wednesday 27 June 2012

Hospital joy

When we went to visit the Smaller Portion yesterday there were many, many cockatoos wheeling through the air.  A significant number had large pieces of bread in their beaks.  Those that didn't were trying to steal from those that did.  So we enjoyed a lovely quarter hour watching their antics - at least some hospital food is appreciated.  As always, clicking on the photos will enlarge them.

When we got to the ward we were told that the incision was red and inflamed (which it was) and that there was some thought of infection.  The drain hole was not seeping but gushing.  They were monitoring the swelling - and had drawn around it in biro to allow easy assessment.  There was talk of re-installing the IV line to feed him antibiotics.

This morning bright and early the phone rang.  It was himself.  He had the all clear to come home today!!!  Hiss and spit were perhaps the nicest and most repeatable things his sister and I said.

He is now at home.  As instructed I have taken photos of the incision and the drain hole for him to take to his doctor next week when he has the staples removed so she can also monitor the site.  WTF?  Sigh.

Monday 25 June 2012


I may have mentioned that the smaller portion is not a good convalescent.

He is still in hospital.  He has moved on from Nil by Mouth where he was only allowed ice, which he held in his mouth until it melted and then swallowed.

The next step was Clear Fluids.  He complained bitterly that he could not tell the soup he was offered from the water for his tea.  For some reason clear fluids included jelly - but he could stand a spoon up in it and refused it.

Then onto Free Fluids.  Here he is allowed milk in his tea or coffee, porridge, custard and somewhat thicker (but not chunky) soups.

The tea and coffee were both vile, but he bravely managed half a cup.
The porridge was wall paper paste and he could not (would not) eat it.
The custard had lumps in it the size of peas and he could not (would not) eat it.
The soup was mushroom and he hates mushrooms so he could not (would not) eat it.

They have removed all of the tubes/bells and whistles he was connected to but have now had to replace the drain coming from the hole in his side.

Both his sister and I are exhausted.  We come home and tell ourselves that we cannot tell our dinner from the water for our tea and coffee, complain about the lumps and go to bed smiling wryly.  We are not of course anywhere near as tired as the wounded warrior. 

While he is diligently refusing to eat his digestion is not being tested.  He tells us, which I doubt, that he has been told that a 'good fart' will be sufficient to come home on.

I hope not.  I really, really hope not.  I do not want another dash to hospital with him.

PS:  I forgot to share a moment of shared mirth.  At 55 my smaller portion is one of the youngest (if not the youngest) in his shared ward.  The day before yesterday a nurse trotted from bed to bed asking earnestly 'Have you done pooh-pooh or wee-wee today?'.  It was a good thing that the curtains were drawn because our faces were all convulsed with the effort of not laughing loudly.  And his sister and I cravenly bolted before she got to him.

Wednesday 20 June 2012

A very quick update

Good news at last.  The smaller portion has come through his operation with flying colours.  The ileostomy has been completely reversed.  Wobbly dances all round.

For those of you who have come in late my mother always referred to my partner as 'my better half'.  I loathed it.  I am taller so I insisted that if we were assigning proportions he could only be my smaller portion.  Which mama liked nearly as little as I did the term 'better half'.  Essentially a standoff.

I am still tired to the bone, nauseous and in pain.  I am not certain whether it is MS, my thyroid issues, or both which have made me feel so vile, but at least I can remove worry from the list of stressors.

The smaller portion is likely to remain in hospital until early next week as food is slowly re-introduced to his digestive system.  His sister has not yet announced a departure date.  Sigh.

Thank you all, yet again, for the support which you have given me.  In my wobbly weepy way I have appreciated it more than I can say.  I am still going to only have very limited time to play in the blogosphere, but hope that slowly I will be able to change that.

Thursday 14 June 2012

Further Leave of Absence

I will miss you all, but I still feel like death on a stick.

The smaller portion's sister arrives tomorrow, and his next and hopefully final operation is scheduled for Tuesday.

So I am stepping away from the blogosphere again for a little while until my head, my body and my emotions can be trusted a little more.

Thursday 7 June 2012

Wot I did on my Holidays

Firstly, I was immensely grateful for all the support I received from you lovely people in the blogosphere.  Thank you.  It meant a great deal to me.

I read a lot more.
I have eaten good dark chocolate.
I have enjoyed wine. 
I slept more.
I finally got the last of the spring bulbs squeezed into the ground.
I wandered around the garden, smiling as things poked through the soil, and admiring the blaze of autumnal colour.
I marvelled at the first hyacinth, blooming two or three months too early.
I watched the birds.
I watched, played with and laughed at the cats.  The self same cats raised my blood pressure.
I have washed the kitchen floor far too many times since a certain cat (thanks Jazz) has decided to pooh in the kitty litter tray and piddle on the kitchen floor.  Regardless of how many times I change the kitty litter.  Grr.

Jewel has claimed this green shopping bag as her own.  She even hides her acorn shells in it.  When Jazz attacks her as he is doing in this photo she shrieks for support and bites down hard on his ears.  Win/win.

I went to the dentist - clean bill of health (hooray).
I went to the doctor.
I had a pap smear - clean bill of health (hooray).
I had a blood test.
I got called back to see the doctor - and had to wait over a week to get in.
No clean bill of health.  Dammit.   I have been diagnosed as hypothyroid (an under-active thyroid), and my liver function isn't all it should be either.  Oh joy and bliss.  The doctor tells me that my likeness to a barrage balloon, my fatigue, depression, brain fade and the fragility of my nails are all likely to be linked to the under-active thyroid gland.  And my rapidly increasing girth could well be the reason for my reduced liver function  (think foie gras).  Most of these symptoms are shared with MS so I had assumed that it was at fault (again).
More joy and bliss.  Yet another medication to take.  For the rest of my life apparently.  And, for the moment, they are insisting that this one be taken on an empty stomach - two hours before any food.  I love my early morning cup of tea.  Next stop a visit to a specialist - towards the end of next month at an estimated cost of between $250 and $750.  Have I said joy and bliss yet?

The smaller portion got a call from the hospital.  His next, and hopefully final surgery, is now scheduled for the 19th of this month, with a pre-admission clinic on the 13th.  He tells me his sister is likely to come down to stay with us again.  Joy and bliss.

I was on call for Lifeline.
I did a shift at Lifeline.
I was on call again for Lifeline.  Suicide in progress - fortunately averted.  A successful but stressful night.
I spent a Saturday monitoring, nurturing, coaching and assessing a group of fledgling counsellors who are close to completing their training and going onto the phones (under close supervision).
I went to a meeting for Lifeline.  After dark.  I resent this.  After dark is bed time.

We bought a car, since our current car is old enough to vote and has some idiosyncratic quirks like needing the dashboard to be thumped (in the right spot) before the fuel or the temperature gauges work.  The speedo is a rule unto itself.  The new one is likely to come into town next week - just in time for himself to enjoy it for two or three days and then not to be able to drive it for six weeks.  I don't drive, but the car will be quite happy in the garage waiting for his return to health.  Or his sister can drive it.

I think I need another holiday.