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Saturday 21 March 2015

The wonder of it

No, not yesterday's non-event, but something more close to home. Someone very near and dear to me has been suffering from osteoarthritis. For some three years various medicos have opined that the problem was one of his knees and he required a replacement.

Then, late last year he saw a different consultant, specialising in surgery for knees and hips. Mr. K. ordered a new set of x-rays. Result, not a knee op, but hip replacement was required. After much to-ing and fro-ing, letters arriving setting then cancelling / postponing the operation date...
Finally, a phone-call telling of a cancellation for someone else and would the 19th be okay? Rushed preparations putting together items from the hospital's please bring with you list. Then the early morning drive to reach the hospital before 7.30.

Hours spent by me on tenterhooks, then a phone-call. As his surname is in the latter half of the alphabet, he'd found himself last on the list. Hours of waiting, nil-by-mouth. A good chat with the anaesthetist to cover the options available. He opted to have a block and lighter anaesthesia on the promise of sooner recovery.

Imagine my surprise and happiness to receive a phone-call that evening! He was back on the ward and able to converse if a little tiredly. My sense of relief was palpable. 

Yesterday afternoon I drove to the hospital, managing to do some detours as my memory failed me. Driving until I was sure where I was, then navigating from there. Then, at last I parked up on the roof of the hospital car park as that was where there were spaces, the other levels being full. Next task - to find the ward and the bay. As it happens, the site is home to not one, but officially three hospitals! It took me some 25 minutes to find the right part of the rambling set of buildings.

Finally, arriving at the ward, someone pressed the button and let me in. Oh the relief to see him looking tired, but alert and sitting up in a chair.

Sunday 22nd March
More phone-calls to put my mind at ease. He's having daily physiotherapy, but today, there's only one to do the work of two.
Today is another waiting day, waiting for the next phone-call. 

When I was there, the whiteboard had today as 'go home' day. Typically, if my stay in hospital is anything to go by, you need as much patience as you can muster. So many things can delay departure.
Physiotherapist has to give the 'okay'.
Consultant has to 'okay' discharge, pharmacy need to get their act together. This can take hours. In my case, discharge was delayed until the next day because a doctor did not sign the requisite prescription until after the pharmacy had closed.

Time will tell, and as I said to him, just follow the system and let everything take its course. Easily said; not easy to do.

Thinking ahead and thinking about the past

Tomorrow there will be an eclipse, the first over the UK since 1999. Chatting online about it brought back memories.

Cornwall, 1999 we had a caravan at a campsite apparently on the 'best line' for the eclipse. It was somewhere we knew well, having 'escaped' there for holidays over several years. We'd got to know both the local area and quite a few of the local people who had become our friends. Evenings were spent at the new 'Geevor Club', and on Sundays we went to lunch with the Club Steward at her house.

In 'preparation' for the eclipse, the committee had decided to let folk camp around the football field in an attempt to get more revenue. As usually happened down there, it was left up to Shirley to cope and to run everything. 

We were at the campsite as the eclipse began, we strolled into the big field whist most folk climbed the Carn in an attempt to gain a better view. The famous astronomer, Sir Patrick Moore was with BBC outside broadcasting at Marazion. Unfortunately, the local weather failed to con-operate, it clouded over and local mist came in.

The air  became still as the breeze dropped away, everywhere became colder and silent.
Looking back up the Carn, we noticed lots of flashes as people made vain attempts to take photos. 

If 1999 was the good one; 2015 seemed a none event. The local press were in full cry about it, complete with photos. Here? Almost nothing apart from the various birds falling silent and returning to their nests or roosts. Was it totally silent? No, as the blues and twos did a merry 'chase' somewhere nearby. Probably yet another training session as this area forms part of on of their training grounds. There was even a plane that took off from a local airport. Memorable? Yes, but not for a celestial 'wonder', more like a damp squib.

Thursday 12 March 2015

Turtle amd elephants

'It is often said that before you die your life passes before your eyes. It is in fact true. It's called living'.

This is one of numerous quotes by a fascinating author. Today's news if now 'full of' his passing. 

At the age of 66, Terry Pratchett is no more. Details are sparse, just that one fact.

Tis a fair few years since I was introduced to the Discworld by my friend Helen. What started off as 'borrowing' became, look after them, please, as where we live, I've run out of space. Being a talented artist, living in comparatively small accommodation, space was needed for artwork. Hence, I became the curator of a collection of Discworld books. 

Recently, having treated myself to an ebook reader, I also have some of the books in that format. 

Whilst it is sad to find out that such a talented person (Pratchett) is no more, he had in recent years been diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. That is a terrible 'complaint' which has been likened to 'death in life'.

Rest in peace, and heartfelt thanks for all your works.

To end with another quote...

'The baby boomers are getting older, and will stay older for longer. And they will run right into the dementia firing range. How will a society cope? Especially a society that can't so readily rely on those stable family relationships that traditionally provided the backbone of care?'