Friday, 4 September 2015

The Wheels of the Bus? go Round and Round ...

I had hoped to write this post last Saturday but lethargy and laziness got in the way. Determined to show off my writing skills in a font size smaller than that an Elephant's toenail, I was looking forward to seeing what I was writing once I had my new glasses. I do wonder if I have a saying on my forehead that says, "If anything can go wrong to this woman, it will", because my new glasses were not to be. The optician worked hard to make a prescription that would overcome the troubles with my eyesight but it was impossible. The big problem that was too difficult to work around was the fact that the cataract operation was a "bodgie job' (her words not mine) and the lens was "skew-whiff" (again, her words not mine). 

As you can imagine, I was a bit miffed. (A bit of an understatement.) However, all is not lost. The optician has referred me to the Lions Eye Institute because they have developed a new procedure that allows them to take out the faulty lens and replace it with a properly positioned one. With luck and a fair wind, they will be able to help me.

I am still debating with myself about whether to complain about the surgeon who supervised the intern who performed the operation. If I do this, I have to get legal advice; this may lead to a case of suing the surgeon, intern and other surgeons who examined my eye at subsequent appointments, for negligence. The thought of going down this road is giving me the heebie-jeebies. My stores of fortitude are very low and I'm loath to enter the strange world of the law via legal aid whilst taking on the public health system. Will ponder this problem some more.

OK, that's all I can manage with one working eye. If the post reads a bit cock-eyed, you now know why. (Sorry, I couldn't resist, he he.)

Thursday, 13 August 2015

So they all rolled over and one fell out , , ,!

This day was supposed to be when I wrote my next blog post, but one of the wheels fell off. The public health system, again, has got in the way of my plans. That is, the surgeon who placed a new, artificial lens into my right eye, in order to fix a cataract, has placed it quite a bit askew. As a result, I enjoy the vision of a mole! Everything looks as though someone has smeared my glasses over that eye with a thick layer of Vaseline. Added to that, my astigmatism is much worse, so bad that I am seeing double all the time. Trying to write is a nightmare.

However, the good news is my new glasses are ready to be picked up and my carer will take me to pick them up tomorrow. Yea! So, with luck and a fair wind, I will be able to write the real blog post at the weekend with no squinting, no finding the least fuzzy spot on my glasses, no holding my head at an oblique angle, no more hitting the wrong keys on the keyboard and definitely no more rubbing my eyes because of tiredness. I'm looking forward to seeing a brand new, clear world. Wish me luck.

As compensation for such a short post, here is a picture of Rosie, my little dog, who has taken the idea of the princess and the pea to new heights. Being a Chihuahua, she hates being cold so inserts herself in between the dog beds. My granddaughters and I call in the Rosie Sandwich. Enjoy!

Saturday, 18 July 2015

And The Beat Goes On, Tra La La La

What is the world coming to? These days you go to the doctor to get the results of a gastroscopy and come out two hour later with a diagnosis that you're heartless! Well, not exactly heartless, just that your heart is missing a beat or two and there is a lot of fraying in your aortic arch.

It seems my atrium have lost the ability to tic in rhythm with the toc. All they can manage is a kind of half-hearted quiver. This leaves the ventricles a bit bewitched, bothered, and bewildered and they don't know whether to pump, bump or grind. This causes the blood to pool and, as in any bemused crowd, stupid clots to form

My doc is a lovely, intelligent, clever diagnostician who likes to cover all eventualities so he gives me a whole tree's worth of prescriptions, a vaccine against pneumonia, an ECG, AND gets the nurse to syringe my ears! I tell him he needs to get out more. Like most doctors, he doesn't listen. He is on a mission to keep the Grim Reaper from my door and he doggedly pursues this with fervour. I, on the other hand, have made friends with my old pal Grim (we're already on a first name basis) and keep telling the doc that he doesn't have to work so hard to keep me alive. I tell him not to worry so much, death is just another phase of life and Grim and I are tight.

There are things worse than death and I fear those things far more. I have no fear of dying either. Why would I? I live in a society that will house, feed, medicate and look after me with as much care as possible. I won't be dumped on the street where I have to beg for a morsel of food or left to languish in some run down old people's home. The incidence of elder abuse is minimal compared to other western countries and the training for home care or residential care staff is of a high order. My children are kind and will make sure I am taken care of properly. As long as they don't decide they want to look after me themselves, things should be hunky-dory.

My kids and I have had many conversations about who will take care of me in my dotage. Having physical and psychological disabilities has meant that my health and well-being has always been part of family conversations. The idea of living with either of my children is not appealing. I love them to bits but I definitely don't want to have them as full-time carers, as much for their sake as mine. I am not a 'good' patient and would run either of them ragged, so to save their sanity they have been brainwashed from an early age to "put me in a home" when I can no longer look after myself. With luck and a fair wind, they will do as they're told with no guilt or regrets. As I keep telling them, I have lived my life, it's their turn now.

But I digress. The heart of this story is to tell you why it has taken me so long between sips at the trough of the blogging world. After oodles of medical tests and several visits to the emergency department, the medicos finally decided that I needed a stent in my aorta. Placing a stent in the aortic arch is not a common procedure so I had a few days in the ICU - ostensibly for my benefit, but I suspect it was to allow the surgeons to get up to speed by watching YouTube versions of the operation.  

All went well except they forgot to tell me the long-term side effects, which included constant pain, depression and circulation problems. The physical issues exacerbated the depression, which, as you can imagine, delighted Igor (name I gave my depression) in a lugubrious mealworm kind of way. He settled in for a long stay with the attendant problems of phone, noise and webby phobias. Hence the inability to write except for the occasional short comment on other blogs I read. 

It's been a hellish 18 months or so and whilst Igor is still around he is about the size of a pea, a pea that is about to be crushed between my thumb and finger. There are plans afoot that my best girl (daughter), my doc and I are organising that will reduce the pain and take the pressure off the pump in my chest. I'll tell you all about these plans in another blog post. For now, know that I am hale and hearty in my imagination and a super hero in my own lunch box (is that still a thing?).