Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Saturday 28 July 2012

Lucky, lucky, lucky

Today we woke up to fog and grey skies.  The weather was chilly (some said cold) as well.

At around eleven the skies were still grey, when we were blessed with splashes of colour.  First the cockatoos arrived with their feathers fluffed up to defeat the chill.  We see cockatoos almost every day but they are still welcome.

Then a pair of adult Crimson Rosellas landed on the feeder.  Lovely, lovely birds who are bringing their adolescents to visit.  Just the adult birds this morning.

Next a family group of King Parrots came to join us.  We were still pleased - but also much more excited.  Months can go past without them appearing in our neck of the woods.  This group seemed to include not only adult birds, but also some juveniles.  The adult males have the red head and beak, where the females are green.   It is often difficult to determine the sex of the juveniles - until you can see the colour of the beak.

The adults were being extremely patient with us as we took shot after shot of them.  So I wondered whether they were hungry enough to eat from our hands.  They were!!!  Each of us was able to hand feed the male, and the female ate from the hands of the skinny person's sister.

When we came inside again all of us were on a high.  And shortly afterwards the last of the fog and low cloud cleared away to a bright and beautiful day.

PS:  I am just starting to be able to visit blogs again but have discovered that I have a problem.  If your comments are embedded beneath your post and you have the reply to comments individually option I can no longer read your comments or add my own.  This has happened to me before - but has usually been very temporary.  So my apologies if I am unable to join in the fun at your place.

Tuesday 24 July 2012

More steps in the right direction

The Smaller Portion (currently known as the Skinny Portion) is home.  He came home late last Thursday and so far all appears to be going well.  He is even eating without the assistance of the looming penguin.

The hospital professed themselves concerned about the amount of weight he lost while in their care.  Huh?  With the exception of three and a half days he was in hospital from June 19th to July 19th.  For the vast majority of that time he was on nil by mouth.  He had three general anesthetics and two operations.  Of course he lost weight.  Lots of it.  His shoulder blades could be used as a knife at the moment.  He was told that he was discharged with support from a dietician in the community.  So far this support has been conspicuous by its absence despite two phone calls from us. 

His sister is still with us, and there has been no date set for her return to her family.  Last time she set a date she had asked her brother if she should go and he, lying like a pig in mud, had told her he was fine.  The next day I woke her at around six to get her to take us to hospital.  I suspect she is going to be a great deal more cautious this time.

I have had the medical appointments this week.  Two of them.  Sigh.  My thyroid medication has had to be increased and will probably be increased again.  And, (joy and bliss) the specialist told me that since I now have MS and a hypothyroid I could expect to add other auto-immune disorders to the pile.  The next appointment was with my neurologist.   He wants me to get the thyroid medication right and then go back to him.

While I was seeing him the skinny one and his sister went down to the lake.  They saw very few kangaroos - perhaps because tourists were chasing the ones they did see, but were rewarded with lots of black swans, a moorhen or two, a bearded raven and the obligatory seagull.  I would be very surprised if many of our seagulls have ever seen or will ever see the ocean.


Bearded Raven.

Some of the swans were being a tad pugnacious.  I was told that the tail pulling continued for a surprising distance.

For sheer aggression the seagull won the prize of the day.

We have been told that the Smaller Portion will need at least one and more probably two operation to get him to the desired bagless state.

In a fortnight we have an appointment with the surgeon who performed the unsuccessful ileostomy reversal.  I have a question or six I would like to ask.  The following week we have an appointment with the surgeon who restored the ileostomy and who will be performing, if it is possible, future operations.  I have a few questions about that too.

So it is building up time.  And hopefully some resumption of normality before we launch ourselves into hospital mode again.

Thursday 12 July 2012

Finally we are moving forward.

What a week it has been.

The smaller portion was operated on last Friday to restore an ileostomy.  Not the outcome either of us wanted, but necessary.  In the following days his surgeon gained the nickname of the 'invisible surgeon'.  He apparently made no visits to the hospital over the weekend, leaving it to the hospital registrar or to the intern.  Their visits all took place at a time when the smaller portion was either non compos mentis, asleep or in the shower.  We know that if either a bagless state or a return to the more manageable colostomy are possible at least one more and more likely two more operations will be necessary.  We wanted to discuss what had been done, and what the smaller portion's could expect in his future.  It seems these are unreasonable requirements.

Finally on Monday the smaller portion was allowed clear fluids.  Which he promptly vomited.  So they moved him back to nil by mouth.  He was rushed off to x-ray and there was talk that he had a new blockage - in the small bowel to match the untreated one in his large bowel.  There were murmurs of leaving it to settle by itself. There were also talks of further surgery.   His sister and I were less than happy and tried (very hard) to make an appointment to see his surgeon.

'The doctors do their rounds between six and eight in the morning.  You would not be welcome.'
'You could come in around nine and ask to have the registrar paged.  Lots of doctors (including by inference the one we wanted) are on holidays.  It is school holidays you know.'

So we came in the next morning, arriving at about quarter to nine.  The registrar was paged.  And paged again, and again, and again.  Finally the intern arrived to say that if we waited he knew we were here.

The registrar arrived (over three hours after he was first paged).  He really didn't want to talk to us.  Tough.  He pooh-poohed the idea that the smaller portion had another blockage, while leaving it open as a remote possibility.  He professed himself very happy with progress, but refused to discuss any long term prospects.  'They are matters which should be discussed with the surgeon at the follow-up consultation.'  He agreed (when pushed) that it may benefit the smaller portion to hear that he didn't have another blockage.  When it became obvious that we were not going anywhere he proceeded to do just that, adding that the smaller portion could have fluids again.

Which the smaller portion lost fairly dramatically during visiting hours that night.  I gather that many visitors to the ward  (we were not there) were adversely affected.  How sad, never mind.  Back to ice and intravenous anti-nausea medication.  We also found out - after the event naturally, that the smaller portion has been on the emergency surgery list for the twenty-four hours which included our discussion with the registrar.  Hiss and spit.

The next night?  The same as the first, just a little bit louder and a whole lot worse.

Somewhere in the middle of the week we, as opposed to he, had a very bad day.  I made myself a cup of tea.  I put the teabag in my cup, added the water and then the milk.  I took a sip.  I took another sip.  It was cold.  I hadn't turned the jug on.  I finished it.  Later that day his sister wanted a cup of soup.  She tipped the packet into her bowl.  She added water.  She stirred it, she tasted it, you guessed it. She drank it.   We think it was on the same day that I shut her in the garage.  Like a good passenger I hopped out of the car and opened up the garage.  She drove in.  I shut the garage.  'Haven't you forgotten something?'.  'No, what?'  'Me.'  Oops.

Today we have had a turn around.  The doctors have been round and have promoted him to eating food again.  And he had porridge (which he dislikes) for breakfast and an egg and lettuce sandwich (which he hates) for lunch.  When last we saw him he had retained both of them.  We have however told him that if the hospital makes going home noises tomorrow he is to tell them that he doesn't have enough money for a taxi home, has no house keys and has no-one to pick him up.  I hope he heard that.

There have, as usual, been some wonderful sights to brighten our days.

Early morning glory.

Birdy joy at the hospital.

More birdy joy.

And the delights of a gentle rain and low cloud down the valley this afternoon.

Thank you all for your support and good wishes.  They have meant a lot.  In the coming days I hope to be able to come back and pay some long overdue visits to your blogs.

Friday 6 July 2012

Not a good day

The Smaller Portion goes into surgery to replace the ileostomy at one o'clock today.  There will be at least another one and probably two operations after this.  The next operation is tentatively scheduled for three months from now.  Joy and bliss.

Thursday 5 July 2012

The bad, the worse and the beautiful

This has not been a good week.  Until life calms down a bit I will continue flying into the blogosphere, depositing a post and flying out again.  I am hoping that soon I will have the time and spare brain cells to enable me to read and comment on other people's posts.

The Smaller Portion is still in hospital.  His bowels are still partially (almost completely) blocked.  Today he had a colonoscopy - a last ditch attempt to avoid going back into major surgery.  It failed.

 He was told nothing after he was returned to the ward except that from midnight he was on 'nil by mouth'.   The nursing staff knew, or professed to know nothing.  Sadly, fasting spells imminent surgery to us.  (Since the 19th of June when he had his last surgery the Smaller Portion has been on an unrestricted diet for only three and a half days).

While I was visiting him a baby doctor appeared (I use the term baby doctor to describe one with limited experience and/or authority.  In this instance he had nothing to do with maternity care)  He confirmed that the colonoscopy had not been able to clear the blockage.  He went on to say that this meant that something would have to be done.  And from that point he descended into mealy mouthed platitudes.  Perhaps a colostomy would be needed.  Or then again it could be an ileostomy. Almost certainly a bag would be necessary, or maybe it wouldn't be.  It might be needed permanently- or maybe not.  Perhaps they would remove the narrowed segment of bowel and do a resection.  Or maybe not.  The surgical team would need to meet and discuss the options.  Which left us in limbo - not a nice place to be

The Smaller Portion and I know that he would need to sign a consent form before they could do anything - and that he needed much more information.  The fasting from midnight suggested to us that they wanted to get him to theatre early tomorrow.  If they are able to tell him what they plan to do he will sign the consent form and ring me.  Joy and bliss.

It has certainly been a stressful week, but there have also been magical moments of beauty which I treasured.  Early in the week I thought I had lost my wallet.  I went tearing outside just after dawn to check the car, and was greeted by this (and the wallet was indeed on the floor of the car).

The cockatoos at the hospital continue to add pleasure to our afternoon visits - they are elsewhere in the mornings.

And this week another bird has brightened our days.  We have been seeing one or two Red-Rumped Parrots, so I have taken to bringing my camera up to the hospital.  Today, when we badly needed the cheer, a small flock of them were in the tree outside the hospital entry.  Not only were they there, they were co-operative as well.

And I almost forgot.  Tonight's sunset was pretty special as well.

Sunday 1 July 2012

Tired Puppy

The Smaller Portion did not last a week.  He is now back in hospital suffering from:  diverticulitis, adhesions from his previous surgeries and a partially (mostly) obstructed bowel.  He is feeling sore and sorry and I am feeling like death on a stick.

The diverticulits is treated with antibiotics.  The adhesions and the blockage may clear themselves - or then again they may not.  If not further surgery will be needed.  Which reminds me I need to ring the doctor's surgery tomorrow to cancel the appointment to have the staples from his last hospital stay removed.

This crass and vulgar image leaps to the forefront of my mind.