Surgery is a walk in the park

Not only was our hotel directly across the road from the aforementioned desired hotel of preference, I could in fact lie in my bed to view it in all its whitewashed glory. Oh, lucky me.

We tumbled into the hospital reception area ten minutes early for our 6.30 am appointment, miracles of miracles, only to be handed one of those buzzers they hand out in pubs to summon patrons when it is time to collect meals. We were told Mr FD was fourth on the surgery list and we would be called.

After what seemed an age Mr FD asked me the time and we both realised that we had been there for a total of 15 minutes. An hour and a half later Mr FD got “buzzed” to come on down! We were directed around the corner to the right and to another set of chairs.

On the way Mr FD spied the toilet and detoured which I knew was going to cause complications, and it did. No sooner had we settled, we being me and a very small boy with his father, when an ancient female volunteer appeared to take us downstairs. I apologised for Mr FD and she settled in a chair to await the bathroom escapee. I belittled Mr FD in his absence, as was his due.

Never one to disappoint, Mr FD arrived and as way of apologising announced that it was a fine thing he had gone to the bathroom as it had allowed him to discover that his boxer shorts were on inside out. I mumbled something about “too much information” with which small boy’s father agreed with a smile and nod of his head as we shuffled behind the old woman into the elevator and descended into the depths of the surgical area.

Another half hour of trying to not cough phlegm over anyone (in a hospital!) and to blow out the mucous factory in my nose somewhat discreetly and less like a trumpet passed by until Mr FD was finally handed more paperwork, asked more questions and then taken beyond the swinging doors.

While Mr FD was whiling his time away in surgery, I went for breakfast in the hospital cafeteria where I treated myself to a bang up breakfast of pre-prepared bacon and hard poached eggs and the flattest toast I have ever witnessed. I had been kind enough not to eat in front of Mr FD as he had been nil by mouth from 8pm the night before and this is how I get repaid! It did only cost $8 which was considerably better than the $23 the hotel wanted for a “continental breakfast” of single serve all bran cereal, artificial milk, muesli bar and dried fruit mix.

After my hospital grade repast it was time for the morning constitutional, or in my case a slow, huffing, puffing, coughing stagger through the Roma Street Parklands across the street from the hospital. We lived in Brisbane for 10 years and in all that time, despite numerous self-promises to do so,(hello, anyone there? Am I even listening?) I had never visited the Parklands (sacre bleu!)

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So, being a country visitor to the big city I turned tourist and took in the local sights, not only the parklands, but also some of the quintessential original Queensland architecture.

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At 11.30 I got not one, but two phone calls from the hospital to say that Mr FD was in recovery and could be collected at 1.45pm. Two calls, because the nurse forgot she had already spoken to me and called again! Mr FD was not allowed to walk the 100 metres back to our hotel, so I drove out of our hotel, turned left, turned left again and then turned left once more, with a final left into the hospital entrance to park at the front door. Does that qualify as a square route?

I asked very nicely for Mr FD at the front desk as instructed, but apparently they wanted him a little longer so I was forced to wait in the lobby. After about five minutes I looked at my arm and realised that I had pulled my pullover on inside out! I thought I could probably carry it off as a fashion statement until I realised that the laundry tag would be exposed at the neckline and so pulling my scarf a little looser to camouflage what I could I slunk over to lean, back against the wall. (Now you know why Mr FD and I are such a match – we are challenged by dressing. I have to honestly admit that it has happened more than once or twice…)

Mr FD was wheeled out in a wheelchair, right to curb’s edge, something I had only ever seen previously on American television shows. Last time, Mr FD two knees had been operated on in the very same hospital and he had been forced to hobble out to the car park. I have undergone cancer operations and the loss of body parts and never been offered a wheel chair for Big Whatever’s sake!

I was handed back a very chipper Mr FD who, if it is humanly possible, was even more talkative than usually. He was feeling no pain, but I soon was as he talked and talked and talked. His medication was working a wee bit too well and would continue to do so all day. It was about this time that I regretted my suggestion that we take the hotel room for two nights in case he needed an overnight stay in hospital, and was now trapped in a very confined space for the rest of the afternoon.

There was no escape, and so a woman has to do what a woman has to do. I drove out of the hospital grounds, turned left, and then turned left before turning left into the underground hotel car park and depositing Mr FD at the car park elevator.

Mr FD really enjoyed his surgery. He told me (again and again until bedtime) about the various conversations shared with fellow patients, the caring nurses who had seen to his every need and ha ha ha about the many jokes he had cracked with the doctors (and yet he escaped a lobotomy). A little social butterfly was he, as he worked the operation theatre.

The surgeon is not sure how long this repair job will last, eventually Mr FD will require a knee replacement. I think the poor man is actually looking forward to it. Do you think he needs more care and attention at home?

I’ll talk to Augie Dog, perhaps he will care and attend…

Mr FD goes under the knife and FD is somewhat inconvenienced

Shopping 1

Mr FD is booked in for his knee surgery on Friday. He needs to be there by 6.30am and as we live over hour away if the traffic is good, we have decided to stay at an apartment close to the hospital on Thursday night.

Not that I am thinking I can sleep in and wave Mr FD goodbye as he heads off to hospital. Oh no, that would never occur to me, how could you suggest such a thing! I wouldn’t get away with it, would I? Would I?

Nor am I considering that I may drop him off, and head out to breakfast and maybe a spot of shopping (it is inner city) before returning to our apartment for a snooze and maybe a soak in the tub. More of a chance? Permissible?

We are booked in for the Friday night too, there is a chance Mr FD may have to stay overnight as he is slow to wake from anaesthetics and last time he had surgery (on the other knee) he had a reaction to tramal. I shall be able to be near if so (he won’t expect me to visit after dark … will he?). His previous wound also bled once we got home, and we thought it best to be close to the hospital considering our country residence now.

There is also no truth to the rumour (yes there is, lots)  that I was annoyed that Mr FD booked us into serviced apartments instead of a hotel and destroyed my dreams of room service. It really is wonderful that we have a microwave and I can eat one of our frozen dinners that I will bring along from home. Talk about lucky…

more about me

Augie Dog snoozing on command

Augie Dog snoozing on command

A jovial Mr FD returned from his family reunion, and I soon put paid to any frivolity with my moaning and groaning, coughing and sniffing. He “volunteered” to hobble out to the pharmacy to purchase a new humidifier in the hope that it would assist in stopping the nose leakage and sinus headache. Good boy.

Augie Dog has been good company these last few days. He is so used to me be up for short periods and then returning to bed, that all I have to say is “Augie, go to bed and sleep” and he curls up on his blanket beside the bed. I saw a report on BBC that they are training golden retrievers to assist dementia suffers with tasks such as remembering to take medicine. I am not sure if Augie is quite that reliable, and we are yet to get him to stay or sit on command when guests arrive, but wonders never cease. He makes an excellent comfort dog either way!

Yesterday was the first time I had spoken with the general practitioner to be our new family doctor and so I had to give him a family history. It made be shiver a little telling him that both my parents have suffered with dementia, Dad with multi infarct dementia and Mum now with Alzheimer’s. It makes me feel so vulnerable, because there is no definitive reason why we suffer with it, and no real plan on treating it, or more importantly a way of avoiding it. It is such an insidious disease, robbing the sufferer of the clarity of their last years, and forcing the family to say goodbye to the spirit, or essence, of their loved one, long before their bodies give in. I guess the only avenue we have for now is to be a life long learner and to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Speaking of which – now just over 4 weeks into our new eating regime, I had shed 6kgs in weight and 6cms from my waist. No junk food at all. As much as possible I use dextrose sugar instead of regular cane sugar. I have always been a keen fruit eater but have always struggled with the vegetables so having the weekly delivery of frozen dinners means that vegetables now dominate my meals and all portions are correct. I don’t expect the rate of loss to continue but I am starting to feel as though I have made a permanent life style change – even when we cease buying the prepared meals. Yesterday was the first time I felt that my clothes were looser, and that is a good feeling. The goal is to drop 16cm from my waste, and that will be a dress size smaller.

I rock, except when I moan…

a blind paradise?

Glasses

Oh dear, oh dear, oh me, how can one beautiful head produce so much mucus? Still in bed, though ventured out to the doctor today; still coughing, sore throat, streaming nose now that likes to bleed on a regular timetable. Most inelegant.

Feeling so down I decided to paint my nails. It was a good idea at that time, but trying to blow my nose without getting tissue on my wet nails proved to be tricker than I thought, if I had thought about it at all. Somehow I managed and now as I lie on bed I can spend hours admiring my nails which haven’t seen nail varnish for some time (perhaps years).

At least I can admire them until get out in better light and my teary eyes clear and I can see the poor job I have achieved and all the polish overspill onto the surrounding skin. One thing about failing eye sight is the lovely fuzzy lens that makes many things look better – a little like looking through rose coloured glasses, except nothing is rose coloured (the nail colour is EXCITE. Woowee) and the glasses prescription needs updating!

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Mr FD is away for the weekend visiting relatives and I spent several days before his departure anticipating the pure luxury of sleeping in our queen size bed alone. The thought of sleeping diagonally across the bed if the whim took hold was enough to keep me smiling all day. No fighting over the blankets when the early morning chill arrived.

It hasn’t turned out quiet the way I anticipated. Oh yes, I have a whole queen size bed to myself. What wasn’t part of the plan was relapsing with the respiratory infection that laid me low all holidays. So yes in bed, but not a lot of sleeping taking place, more a cacophony of coughing.

Surely this is someone’s fault? There must be someone I can take revenge upon. Any volunteers? Give a sick woman a reason for living…

hitting the roof

stick Miss_Clarke_Modeling_for_Briti

A tile in the false ceiling of my office had been moved out of place by a draft and when I caught sight of the maintenance man walking through the library I mentioned my predicament to him.

“Is there a stick somewhere about?” he asked.

All eyes turned to me. Minerva, the erstwhile library assistant, burst out laughing.

“Follow me,” I said and took him into my office.

By “pure chance” there happened to be a five foot long stick leaning in the corner of my office…

Say no more.

[For those new to my blog, I keep a “stick list” of people that I will hit with a stick on the last day – be it the last day in a workplace, my last day or more likely, their last day. Revenge is sweet and it will come.]

He who rides a camel should not be afraid of dogs.

camel

I had been sleeping for sometime, when Mr FD came to bed.

“I think we should buy a camel.” he declared. “One of those hairy Chinese ones.”

“A camel?” I queried trying to decide if I was in fact awake, or dreaming.

“A Bactrian camel.”

“Why?” Sadly, I was awake.

“I just think it would look good walking about the place.”

“What about Augie Dog? Will he like a camel?”

“Augie can ride it. It will love giving Augie rides.”

Carnivore’s delight

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For the last few days I have been craving a steak. We are not “large” meat eaters, our diet is more chicken and a little fish. The most regular “meat” dish I make would be spaghetti bolognaise. So it is not very often that I crave a steak for dinner. I suggested that Mr FD take me out for lunch, but he is hobbling more dramatically each day due to his knee so in reality going out to lunch was not an option in the foreseeable future.

So, while I was at the supermarket, I selected lovely, thick, juicy steaks which I cooked. I waited until the pan was very hot and then threw on the steaks, making sure not to overcook them to leather, which is always a plus. I even “rested” the meat before serving with some roast potatoes. I don’t know why the meat needs to rest when the cook is the one running all over the kitchen and doing all the work!

Meat and potato – delicious. Craving satisfied. Of course, being Sunday we all took a nap after lunch to digest our meal! Life is good.