Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Sunday 24 February 2013

Sunday Selections #109

Sunday Selections was originally brought to us by Kim, of Frogpondsrock, as an ongoing meme where participants could post previously unused photos languishing in their files. 

The meme is now continued by River at Drifting through life.  The rules are so simple as to be almost non-existent.  Post some photos under the title Sunday Selections and link back to River.

Like River I generally run with a theme.  One day this week I went into town.  I was enjoying the flower pots which hang from every lamp post, and stopped to take a photo or two.

And then I looked more closely at the stop sign in the next photo -  and started to giggle.

And yes this week, last week and the week before I have frequently wanted to stop everything...

Saturday 16 February 2013

Sunday Selections #108

Sunday Selections was originally brought to us by Kim, of Frogpondsrock, as an ongoing meme where participants could post previously unused photos languishing in their files. 

The meme is now continued by River at Drifting through life.  The rules are so simple as to be almost non-existent.  Post some photos under the title Sunday Selections and link back to River.

Like River I generally run with a theme. Today it is not so much a theme as a miscellany of photos I took around the home this week.

Wednesday 13 February 2013

He is home.

Drat it.

Many years ago I went (once) to see an arrogant toad with an M.D after his name.  He asked 'what seems to be the problem'.  'I have a throat infection' I replied.  Toad's response 'And when did you complete your medical training'.  There are no prizes for guessing what was wrong with me.

I still haven't completed (or started) medical training.  However, I do know the smaller portion well and, over the years have experienced far too many medical dramas with him. 

He has been discharged too early (with horrendous consequences) before.  Yesterday was the first day since his operation when he had been allowed a 'normal' diet.  At lunchtime the first such meal arrived - just as he was whisked off to have an ultrasound.  When he returned his lunch was gone.  He was also still receiving, and dependent on oxygen.  We took him to the cafeteria for a cup of coffee and he was an attractive grey shade and gasping when we returned him to the ward half an hour later.  Hospital staff had flagged his imminent discharge and he said 'I really don't think I am ready'.  Coming from his lips this is a HUGE admission.

This morning at 7.30 he rang me to say that his doctor was very pleased, and that he was being sent home today.  WTF?  And sent home he was.

A community nurse will come and change his dressing on Friday, and on Monday another will remove the multiplicity of staples currently holding him together.

'Make an appointment to see your surgeon in four to six weeks time'.  'You may drive when you can complete normal (but unspecified) chores in say, two weeks time'.

Waiting for the discharge papers to be completed and to collect his medication exhausted him.  He couldn't face anything to eat (and food has a number of issues for him) and fell into bed when we got home three hours ago.  He is still out like a light.

I so hope that this isn't another premature discharge.  Hope it, but am not convinced.  Cross your fingers and toes that his vile convalescence is the worst I have to deal with in the coming days and weeks.

PS:  In their efficiency the hospital has just rung me to ask 'when he left the discharge lounge, and whether he had his medication?'  Superlative record keeping.  Not.

Tuesday 12 February 2013

Silliness (again)

Last year when the smaller portion had just been released from hospital and was refusing to eat I resorted to silliness to encourage/bully him into it.  On that occasion I featured the blow-up penguin who lives in our en suite. 

However, the penguin is not the only blow-up beastie who shares our home.  Lurking on top of the book case just inside the front door lives a leopard.

I cannot help thinking that he is in a prime position to menace guests, or unwary inmates.  In support of my theory, some hours after I took his photo this morning he leapt from the book case and landed on the skinny one's sister.  She was neither hurt nor frightened.  Not a successful ambush at all. 

This made it very clear that when the smaller portion gets home from hospital if he behaves badly it will have to be the penguin again.  That leopard is simply too friendly. 

I am a little bit ashamed to say that while visiting him in hospital I have been indulging in a little theft.

Each visit (and I go in twice a day) I liberate a few clinical waste bags.

They are ideal for using while detruffelating the kitty litter trays.   In the home they are known as toxic waste bags, and they make an upleasant daily chore easier and more amusing.  Small things for small minds.

Sunday 10 February 2013

Sunday Selections #107

Sunday Selections was originally brought to us by Kim, of Frogpondsrock, as an ongoing meme where participants could post previously unused photos languishing in their files. 

The meme is now continued by River at Drifting through life.  The rules are so simple as to be almost non-existent.  Post some photos under the title Sunday Selections and link back to River.

Like River I generally run with a theme. Today it is Friday night's sunset.  It is getting hot again (drat it) so it was still too hot quite warm when I went out with my camera.  But worth it.

Friday 8 February 2013

Enough already

I have to say that I am getting bored with this, and I am sure you are too.  After this post I think I am going to ignore the hospital and try and focus on things which don't make me weep or swear or both.

I have been up to the hospital and have made some positive strides. Again. However, the energy I was holding to do so has left me with a wooooosh, and I am now limp and lethargic. I am finding it difficult to care about much, though perhaps a weeks sleep would alter that.

I have profuse apologies from the doctors (we got there while they were doing their rounds – registrar and two interns) for causing me pain by keeping me out of the communication loop. Again. They told me to tell the nursing staff that I was to be notified of events as they happen. You know, minor events like the need for a blood transfusion at 2am and its subsequent failure. The nurse I spoke to was defensive in the extreme.' I wasn’t told because they don’t usually to protect patient confidentiality.' 'They didn't know I would want to know.' This from the woman who has seen me twice a day and who I have asked to page doctors so I can extract some information.

Surprisingly I didn't rip her head off and nail it to the nearest coffee table but merely assured her that I had permission. I then went and indicated to the skinny one that on pain of significant unpleasantness he was to confirm that authority when/if asked.

The medical team tell me that they are pleased – well they would wouldn’t they? The blood in his urine is significantly reduced. His haemoglobin levels have stabilised. His blood pressure is within normal ranges - though it was dropping again this afternoon. He can now have ‘free fluids’ as an advance from ‘clear fluids’. Custard and jelly, oh joy and bliss. The stents may come out this afternoon. They were still there at three thirty so I would guess not. He is moving more easily. The wounds are healing well.

And the atypical pneumonia (or perhaps just a chest infection) about which I was also not told is responding to antibiotics. That was the point where I started to lose it, and made it very, very clear to the team of doctors that I resented being kept in the dark and that it was making additional work for them. All the males i(including his high and skinniness) in the cubicle squirmed. Danger, danger - emotional woman at no paces.

They have no real answer about why he had an poor reaction to the blood transfusion. It is being examined in case there was something wrong with the batch of blood. A report will be made (but almost certainly after he has left the hospital is my guess). Since then his temperature has been normal and there has been no loss of consciousness.

Apologies and promises. Again. We will see.

I will be lodging a formal complaint. After he has left hospital since I don't trust them not to indulge in some spiteful payback.

And hopefully this is the last post entirely devoted to medical mayhem. Things of beauty. Silliness. Or both.

Thursday 7 February 2013

A set back

I should know better than to get complacent.  I do know better.

In the small hours of this morning the hospital decided that the skinny one was dehydrated (whose fault was that?) and that his blood pressure was too low and dropping.  So they decided to do a blood transfusion.

To which he had a very bad reaction.  His temperature shot to 38.9, and he started drifting in and out of consciousness.  The resultant kerfuffle woke the whole ward.  About which I care less than nothing.

Needless to say we gained this information from the smaller portion and from reading the notes which the physiotherapist had carelessly left by his bed.  Hiss and bloody spit.

Tomorrow I am on the war path.  Himself is tired today - but he had just finished the longest walk he has taken since the surgery when I saw him.  He is getting his clear fluids, and also some effective pain release.  Both good things, but my feet are still on that path to war.

Wednesday 6 February 2013

A Stint with Stents

We went to visit this morning hoping that either the stents had been removed, or that he was off having them removed.

Wrong on both counts.  He had been told (early) that the stents were coming out this morning, but had heard nothing further.  I had some errands to run for him so we left.

And guess what we found when we returned?  Nothing had changed.  He still had the stents.  He had spoken to his nurse about it, and she said she 'knew nothing' but would follow it up and get back to him.  Deathly silence ensued.

So I went to the Nurses Station and spoke to the sister in charge.  Just for a change - she knew nothing and his nurse had just gone off on a break.  She went through his notes and saw that yesterday his stents were marked to come out.  There were no further notifications and nothing had happened.  'I will have to page his doctor.'  'Please do.'  Are you seeing a pattern here?  She promised to get back to me, and I rejoined the smaller portion and his sister.

He has been walking today.  Yay.  His bed is by the window.  Yay.  He feels very, very uncomfortable and cannot sleep.  Quelle surprise.

We waited.  He had been told he could have clear fluids - but had been given nothing but ice.  We topped up his ice supply.

And then a junior doctor from his medical team appeared.  Yay.  And for the first time we got a sensible explanation about why the stents were still in place.  Those of you with delicate stomachs should skip the next paragraph.

The stents are attached to a catheter.  If the stents are removed, so must the catheter and he will be swollen and sore so the catheter could not be re-inserted without causing considerable discomfort.  He is not walking easily or well at the moment, so having the catheter in place is both more comfortable and convenient for him. 

The medical team will review the need for the stents (and catheter) on a day to day basis.  He is improving so rapidly that they think it will be one or two more days at most.  After a little prodding from me (which caused the smaller portion to squirm) he apologised for the poor communication and promised better in the future.  (I will hold them to that.)

I was on a roll then and asked why if the smaller portion had been told he could have clear fluids he had only been given ice.  More apologies and a promise to ensure that it was rectified by dinner.  More squirming from the smaller portion.

The medical team are very, very pleased with his progress after such a major operation.  Yay.  And off he trotted.

And then the nurse re-appeared from her break and told him that she had been unable to find out why the stents were still in place.  How hard had she tried I wondered - but didn't say.  She too promised to ensure that he got a range of clear fluids - soup, jelly, juice.

We went down to the cafeteria and brought him back green tea - which hit the spot.  And we left, happier than I have been.  He is in considerable discomfort, but is improving.  Hopefully he will become more stable on his feet and then the catheter and the stents can be removed.  And, while the smaller portion did not like me prodding the doctor, it achieved results and I feel no guilt.

Thank you all for your support - and a big thank you to those who visited Mistress Snark's parlour.  I had such a good time.

On the silliness front?  Today I saw off one of our neighbour's cats with a pump-action water pistol  The cat views our bird feeder as its personal smorgasbord.  I scored several direct hits and it scarpered home looking like a porcupine.  I smiled broadly. 

Wine o'clock calls...

Tuesday 5 February 2013

An update and a diversion

The medical mayhem continues.  One step forward, then do a reverse flip and half pike.

When we went up to see the skinny one this morning he looked dreadful.  An attractive shade of grey, propped up in the chair beside his bed, attached to far too many bells and whistles.  HOWEVER, the surgeon had been and was very, very happy with the operation.  While we won't know for three months whether it has been a success, early signs are positive.  Yay.  About time too.

The surgeon was so happy with the operation that he decided the stents that were installed in the smaller portion's urethra yesterday could be removed.  Today.  Back to theatre, another general anaesthetic.  Joy and bliss.  We asked the smaller portion and the hospital to ring when they had a time for this next procedure.

When we went back this afternoon we had heard nothing.  Neither had he.  He was still (unsurprisingly) in acute discomfort.  He had been taken for a walk, which was apparently very, very unpleasant.  He was a better colour though.

So I trotted up to the nurses station.  'We know nothing'.  'Please find out.  As soon as possible.  And let your patient know (and preferably me too).'   'We will have to page the doctor.'  'Please do'.  And so they did.

Needless to say the doctor hadn't responded by the time I left.  The smaller portion promised to nag about it every chance he gets.  I would assume that the stents are there until tomorrow.  Hiss and spit.

The smaller portion rang a little while ago - very down.  The stents will be removed tomorrow morning.  More hisses, and more spits.


And now for the pleasant part of my day.  My silly side is strongly developed.  When Mistress Snark invited me to afternoon tea in her parlour, I was very pleased to accept.  There is  a teaser below - and I would be very happy if you would join me for afternoon tea with Mistress Snark, Jezebel and ...

Afternoon tea is a most civilized British invention – an opportunity to snack with impunity. However, in Mistress Snark’s parlor, you never know what might be floating in your tea or what those cute little sandwiches are hiding under the bread.

Monday 4 February 2013

A tired update

We went with the skinny portion to the hospital at six this morning.  Remarkably promptly he was wheeled off theatre-wards at 7.15.  So we came home and waited.  Not patiently, not happily, but we waited.  We were told that he was scheduled for a four hour operation - which would probably start at 9, and would have an hour or so in recovery after that.  'Ring the hospital around 2, to see where he is.'

Which I diligently did.  Patient enquiries told me he had gone to Ward 10A (surgical) and put me through to the ward.  The first sister said that she had never heard of him - but would check.  She came back and told me which room he was in.  'I cannot discuss his condition over the phone' and then added 'but I can tell you he is recovering well.  Afternoon visiting hours start at 3pm.' 

So we arrived at Ward 10A at 3pm to discover he was not, and had not been there.  There was a space for him (name on wall) it is true, but that was all there was.  Hiss and spit.

Further enquiries revealed that he was still in recovery, expected to arrive at the ward 'in the next half hour'.  So we waited.  And waited.  He was finally wheeled past at quarter to five.

Respiratory issues had kept him in recovery.  If his pain was addressed, his breathing slowed to unacceptable levels.  Hiss and spit.

When he arrived he was conscious, breathing, and his pain was manageable.  All good.  The operation seems to have been completed satisfactorily (of course I haven't spoken to the surgeon).  There are some bleeding issues, but they are not unexpected.  His condition will be closely monitored tonight.

He was drifting off, so we left.  I am not certain that he will remember we were there - though the bags we brought in and unpacked should give him a hint in the morning when he surfaces again.

He is not comfortable - but he is alive. 

I am enjoying wine o'clock and will have an early night.

More updates, when I have more to report...

Sunday 3 February 2013

Sunday Selections #106

Sunday Selections was originally brought to us by Kim, of Frogpondsrock, as an ongoing meme where participants could post previously unused photos languishing in their files. 

The meme is now continued by River at Drifting through life.  The rules are so simple as to be almost non-existent.  Post some photos under the title Sunday Selections and link back to River.

Like River I generally run with a theme. Today it is the fishtank which lives in the corner of our lounge.  It had been looking a little very sad so has been extensively rejuvenated, just in time for the skinny portion's sister to arrive.  (She, like the skinny portion himself, is very fond of tropical fish).

Tomorow is D Day.  We are to be at the hospital at 6am (which horrifies the man whose preference it is to spring out of bed at the crack of noon).  I have however (being a basically mean person) pointed out to him that he can sleep the rest of the day away.  Hopefully he will be one of the first cabs off the rank.  After which the waiting begins.  I do not expect to hear anything until the middle of the afternoon at the earliest so his sister and I will come home to where we can pace in comfort.  We will go back to the hospital to visit him as soon as we can, though I don't expect he will remember it.  That first visit is to comfort and reassure me anyway.

Thank you so much for all your support.  I cannot tell you just how much it has meant to me.  I will post updates when I know anything, or of my frustration if I don't.