Author Archives: quercuscommunity

Back to Normal

I went for a haircut today.  Julia’s orders. Because of my lack of dress sense she’s keen on my looking as tidy as possible in case someone mistakes me fora tramp. I was going to do my own hair (it hasn’t been done since the start of lockdown) but it can be tricky getting it right so I agreed. I haven’t actually had my hair cut by anyone else for about ten or twelve years, when I had it done on a whim while was in the barber with the kids. For some reason they would never let me cut their hair.  The time before that was about 25 years ago. It’s saved me a fortune. Anyway, after enduring a conversation that hasn’t changed a lot in the last 25 years (despite the fact it’s a different barber from the one that did my hair in that shop 25 years ago), I was then charged a price that hasn’t changed a lot in the last 25 years. To be honest, I may start going there regularly as it’s so much tidier when someone else does it. And I had my eyebrows touched up. That’s when you know you are getting old.

The nurse who took my blood this morning is the mother of a kid who went all the way through school with my kids. He joined the army when he left school, went to work on cruise ships and liked the sea so much he’s now joined the Royal Navy. Quite an adventurous life so far. It was nice to catch up.

I also went shopping. They ask you to be considerate to their staff by wearing a mask (and most people do). Sadly, two of their staff and a security guard couldn’t be bothered to wear a mask. Makes you wonder why you bother. Also makes me wonder what message they think they are sending.

I’m now going to think about trimming my beard. If I’m careful I can tidy it enough to satisfy Julia whilst leaving it long enough to scare small children.

Oh, the shopping? I bought her some flowers. And a quiche. I’m back at work tomorrow and I fancy a slice of quiche.  also bought steak. I’m going to cook tonight. Baked potato, steak, salad. Looks good, virtually no effort. That’s my sort of cookery.

Zig Zag

If yesterday was a zig on the zig zag road to recovery (think of one of those cartoon-style graphs as you read,) today is a bit of a  zag. It’s not bad, but I’m definitely not as perky today. OK, I’m not generally known for being “perky” at the best of times, but I use the term comparatively.

Considering that three weeks ago I wasn’t entirely sure who I was, and that two weeks ago I was a festering wreck, I’m not doing badly. Most of my faculties are back, my walking is back to where it was and although I have to sit with my leg up, I’m nearly back to the state of imperfect health where you normally find me.

Nothing brings this home as much as a nurse saying they will have to “do something” about something you regard as being perfectly normal. They love tinkering, do nurses and, unlike doctors they never take no for an answer. I discussed the statin question with a doctor and they told me that even where cholesterol is good they like to put certain people on them as it might help. I looked at the figures on the NHS website – yes, they reduce your percentage chance of having a stroke or heart attack. By a couple of percent. What they don’t tell you is the chance of them interacting with other medication. or it being something else for the pharmacy to get wrong. We have agreed that I won’t take them. I will look at my diet again and see if I can lower the level that is causing concern.

Yesterday in the surgery I was listening to people being told that they couldn’t have liver function tests because we don’t have enough blood tubes. Only about a year ago they stopped prescribing my arthritis medication because I was behind with my testing. Double standards, or what?

Road to Recovery

As part of the process of hardening myself off to get back to work I set myself a 30 minute target on the computer this morning. I have already had breakfast, been to have my dressing changed and had a drive in the country.

After waiting for the computer to start, checking emails, reading a the headlines and checking comments, I now have 17 minutes left to either read blogs or write one. As I haven’t been writing many posts recently I thought it was time to write again.

Medical news is that I am much better, the leg is definitely healing, the swab showed only normal bacteria, my weight is decreasing and everything is returning to normal. Coming downstairs this morning after another good night’s sleep I really felt wonderful. By the time I got halfway down the stairs my legs were feeling a bit heavier, and things weren’t quite so rosy, but it was still good.

There were butterflies on the shrubbery at the surgery – a Speckled Wood and a Meadow brown, which was good as I have struggled to see anything other than whites this year. The front garden is still full of bees and hoverflies, though deficient in butterflies.

I’m currently concentrating on nature haiku and am having to write about what I see from the house windows, so it was good to get out for a drive after seeing the nurse.

Talking of which – I let several deadlines slip by in the last couple of weeks, but if you aren’t feeling 100% is it worth putting out substandard work? I decided not. I did have some bits I could have sent, but the filing system is a little chaotic and there was a risk of sending things out that I’ve already sent elsewhere.

As I have recovered I have been writing more, but haven’t typed a lot, which is also something I need to take in hand. In the next few days I’m hoping to send some submissions out, which will be a sign that I’m back to normal.

Sorry it’s a bit rambling, but as it’s not unusual, the only excuse is poor focus. This is one thing  can’t blame the illness for.

Picture is a Speckled Wood from about this time last year.

My timer just went, by the time I have added tags etc I will have done about 35 minutes on the computer. It’s a start.

 

 

Pathetic Shambles

Julia went down to pick up some dressings for my leg. There were none, and the pharmacy denied all knowledge of them.

Rewind for a moment – a couple of posts ago I referred to having an argument and informing the GP’s reception that I considered their actions unacceptable.

It took me about half an hour on Friday and I left it that the pharmacy would order the dressings (if the doctor could be bothered to process the prescription) and have them ready for either Tuesday or Wednesday. I told them that I needed them for Tuesday, so it was urgent.

On Tuesday I queued, was told they had no dressings for me. Went to the nurse, who found some bandages in the back of a cupboard (GPs no longer carry stocks of dressings because they don’t want to pay for them out of their budget) and then went back to the pharmacy to queue again and listen to other people complaining about the service. I was given various excuses but told that they would be ready for me this afternoon.

And so Julia went down to pick them up (as mentioned in the first sentence). It took her two hours to sort it out. Yes, two hours.

There was no prescription, so I don’t know what we had discussed in the pharmacy the day before. Julia had to collect one from the GP. She took it to the pharmacy, queued, and discovered that it was addressed to another supply company (that’s the second time the doctor has done that, and unless you have the paper in your hand you can’t tell). Back to the doctor. Back to the pharmacy queue. They don’t stock them (which we had already discovered – they don’t stock any dressings due to space constraints) and they will have them tomorrow afternoon. I have an appointment for new dressings tomorrow morning but the surgery searched round and say they have enough in the cupboard to change the dressing.

Some of the dressings I have had over the last week have been pathetic. No wonder it isn’t healing. I could do better myself, but they won’t give me the name of the things I need. I am, however, going to search Amazon tonight as this is getting past a joke.

So, in case you got lost in the detail –

Pharmacy, pathetic shambles.

GP surgery, equally pathetic shambles.

The sad thing is that they are both staffed by people who are generally friendly and helpful, but trapped in some sort of system that encourages failure.

To give you some idea of what I do at work – I pack about 150 parcels a month and once every two or three months I get one wrong. Even if you say I only do 100 parcels and get one wrong every month the defect rate is 1%.

In the last eighteen months I have had about 40 interactions with the surgery and pharmacy. The surgery had let me down at least eight times and the pharmacy about the same. It’s a little difficult to remember as I don’t actually keep notes. Defect rate 40%.

 

 

 

 

 

On the Mend

Using the trouser test, I am quite mobile today. This has been the case for the last few days, though the situation does deteriorate towards the evening. That was why I resorted to heavyweight pain killers and ended up writing about constipation. I learned a couple of valuable lessons there – one being to read the information leaflets that come in pill packets and the other to resist the lure of self-medication. I’ve previously used co-codamol to take the edge of my arthritis but only one or two doses and day and usually just for the one day. The pills I used last week have been on the shelf for around eighteen months. That’s how little I use them.

When I picked them up last week I actually smiled and felt a feeling of relief.That’s how bad things were – worse than arthritis. It set a small alarm bell ringing, as I know someone who became addicted to them, and I wasn’t sure my reaction was 100% healthy. I took them on two successive evenings and each time took a couple of extras, just to make sure I would be able to sleep. Not particularly sensible, but not wildly irresponsible either. On the third night I took paracetamol and the next night didn’t need anything. However, regular readers will already know about the side-effects.

I just looked up a list of people who died on the toilet, expecting to find quite a few – Elvis and George II being two I already knew about, but the internet is surprisingly silent on the subject. Toilet-based fatalities seem mainly based around political assassinations in mediaeval toilets, which allowed access for spears, and modern drug takers.

There is one ironic case – a convicted murderer in the USA was spared the electric chair but, a little later, decided to repair his television whilst sitting on a metal toilet. There are so many questions in my mind regarding this, but let’s just say it didn’t end well for him.

You may also want to look up this link – a disaster that befell the Holy Roman Empire in 1184 but seems to have missed all the history books I have ever read. I cannot think why.

Finally, thank you for your enquiries and good wishes – I am mostly recovered. Physically I feel fine, mentally I am restored – I just need my mobility. The main mobility problem is that the NHS seem unable to bandage a leg without doing the foot and ankle. This means I can’t get a shoe on and I can’t drive. I’ve had this argument with them before. They don’t want me to recover, they just want to bandage me like a diagram from a 1920s textbook.

 

Simon Wilson, Nottingham Poet

Back, and more grumpy than ever!

Today’s excitement.

Told the surgery I find their handling of my current situation unacceptable and will be pursuing the matter in writing.

Ordered a long shoe horn.

Had spare ribs for tea. They were left over from Monday. Under our new responsible eating system we are trying to eat less. That may be all I have, as I did share  a pork pie with Julia when she came home. I didn’t need it, but I couldn’t resist.

She also brought me a bar of chocolate. Green & Blacks Almond Milk Chocolate. It’s hard to tell whether she loves me or is trying to feed me to death. Hopefully the former. If she was trying to kill me she could have got more sugar for her money buying Cadbury’s.

That’s it really. I have done a little writing but haven’t been able to finish any submissions. Have also read a little, but only a little. Watched TV. I’m not sure this is helping me sharpen up mentally.

This is the first time in eleven days that I have felt there was light at the end of the tunnel, a feeling almost immediately squashed by the actions/inactions of the surgery.

Then there was in inaction of my bowels . . .

Normal bowel function has been restored after the Day of Inaction, as I have decided to refer to it. I did desperately need sleep and freedom from pain, but must remember that codeine and constipation are a constant danger. It’s bad enough being in pain without feeling that you are wrestling with your digestion. To give you some idea of my feelings, whilst maintaining decorum, I will merely mention that I am thinking about pine cones now. Large uncooperative pine cones.

That’s probably a good place to stop. My main regret about the day? Not having time to write a post where I could fit in the word costive. I may try that next week, as it currently describes me on  a number of levels.

Marmalade Hoverfly

A Slightly Longer Post

Sorry, I was slightly inaccurate when posting last night  – it’s cellulitis rather than phlebitis. As soon as they mentioned it at the doctor (I finally felt strong enough to leave the house)  I remembered it was cellulitis I’d had before. That’s why it doesn’t seem as dramatic as the link I didn’t post.

Julia looked into it after I was diagnosed and she has been giving me a good talking too. It seems that fi you are in the shaking/delirium stage you should get your self to hospital. This is clearly guidance from someone who has never had it. When you are in that stage you can’t string coherent sentence or thought together. Now we know what to do we will make sure we ring an ambulance and, I’m sure, be told that it isn’t serious enough to warrant that.

I now have antibiotics and am in that stage of feeling worse before I get better. Fortunately I am already o lot better than I was. You can tell this from the blog posts. They are hardly masterpieces of finely crafted prose, but compared to the communication of a few days ago I feel like Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde rolled into one.

I’m still making a lot more mistakes than usual with the typing, but am hoping I am correcting most of them as I go along.

My early texts to the boss and Julia a couple of days ago looked like they had been typed by a five year old wearing mittens.

Fortunately |I am resilient, so I will bounce back.

It took me two and a half hours to get my pills this afternoon, which was twenty minutes with the doctor and two hours and ten minutes wrapped up in queues and listening to (yet more) excuses from the pharmacy. Meanwhile, I had plenty of time to sit and view my future – fawn clothes, shoes with Velcro straps and jogging bottoms. I had intended being a natty dresser in old age but it seems fate is even conspiring to take that away from me.

 

A very short post

Sorry I disappeared so abruptly.  I wasn’t feeling very well as finished my last post and after closing down and going to bed I started shivering. The next day I found I couldn’t speak because I didn’t remember the words I wanted. Fortunately I’ve had it before so I didn’t panic. It’s phlebitis, an inflammation of the lower leg. It’s been sore for few weeks but I ignored it. I won’t provide a link to the relevant pages as they make it seem far more dramatic than it really is.

So, sorry for my abrupt departure and sorry for all the brief answers to comments.

I’m going to b away for a few more days but hope to be all fixed early next week.

Oooops!

I’ve done it again. Not long to midnight and I started reading instead of writing. At school, they said I could do better. That is the one thing I have preserved from youth, I still could do better. Actually, as the promised Limerick will show, I have also preserved my love of a smutty joke.

Last week  . . . something happened. Unfortunately, as I wrote “Last week” I forgot what it was. I don’t usually lose my thread when I’m sitting at the computer, so I am clearly losing my marbles at an increasing rate.

Give it a few more years at this rate and I’ll have to tie an address label to my wrist so kindly strangers can return me to Julia when I forget where I live. The only problem with that system is that it’s open to manipulation if she puts someone else’s address on the label . . .

I have 102 words left before I hit my self-imposed minimum target, though I usually find that mentioning it is good for  another twenty or thirty.

The major discussion at work today was over the question of when W. H. Smith, the well known stationers, became WHSmith. The decline of punctuation in High Street chains (and I’ve certainly covered it before in relation to Bettys Tearoom (sic) ) is mirrored by a continuing decline in standards in public life. That’s why we now do our online cake shopping at Mrs Botham’s – if she has a proper regard for apostrophes, I feel she can be trusted in the matter of comestibles.

If you can’t trust therm with punctuation, what can you trust them with?

Words . . .

I’ve been learning new words this week. The best was logorrhoea, from Derrick. It sounds worse than it is and merely means wordiness or “extreme loquacity”. I would have said sesquipedalian myself, had I been in sophisticated mood. Or motormouth if I had been in my normal mode, though the meanings are slightly different. The advantage of sesquipedalian is that I can spell it. The advantage of logorrhoea is to be found in my rhyming dictionary. There is , literally, an embarrassment of riches to be found in there (though I had already managed the less tasteful ones without the help of the dictionary). My only reservation is that the dictionary omits pyorrhoea. It does, however, include pizzeria Tanzania and Ikea.  When I finally get round to it that’s going to be a heck of a Limerick . . .

I also learned prosimetrum,  It’s a word that is so little used that my spell checker doesn’t recognise it. It’s a piece of writing that combines prose and poetry. Yes, I was reading about haibun in an attempt to become a better writer of them. More specifically, prosimetrum is a form where the verse dominates. The form where prose dominates is versiprose. This seems the wrong way round to me, but that’s what Wikipedia says and I can’t find anything to contradict it, mainly because I can’t find anything when I search for versiprose. I’m suspicious that someone is just making words up.

You have to wonder how much knowledge is necessary before you can start to write something. As I’ve shown, I can write prosimetrum without knowing what it is. I can, after all, not explain the niceties of the Otto Cycle, but I have been successfully driving cars for the last 45 years.