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Another trip to Bempton Cliffs

We went to Bempton Cliffs today. It was a testing drive after months of being virtually housebound but it has, we thought, the best paths and least walking of all the places we visit.

We only saw a couple of Puffins which flew directly into burrows, so they were probably males on the way back with food.

I cheated on the Featured Image, as the second picture shows.

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Puffin Poster – Bempton Cliffs

More to follow tomorrow but here’s a video of Gannets…

Only When I Laugh

I have now lunched. We had the £6.95 lunch at Frankie and Benny’s (we elected for cheeseburgers, chips and a spoonful of coleslaw). I added strawberry ice cream for £2.50. Julia ate the wafer off my ice cream.  She does that every time.

Total bill was the same as the Harvester but you get a lot of salad at Harvester and not much at F&B (though the music is better at F&B and the toilets are easier to reach).

Now, my morning in hospital…

Rising at 6am I bathed, dressed, packed and gathered my paperwork together. I didn’t have breakfast (because I had to stop eating at midnight) but did have a mug of water and my pills at 6.30, the latest I was allowed to drink.

All went well to start. I spoke with the surgeon, two anaesthetists and some nurses. I was prodded, bled, monitored and documented. Everyone was very pleasant and it was very relaxing.

Then I dressed in a hospital gown, put on my new grip socks and started to watch TV. And more TV. And yet more TV. At that point I was getting a bit concerned about the wait. For one thing, it was a bit long, and for another, I was starting to worry there might be a problem. But there wouldn’t be a problem, would there?

A little later – it was about 10.00 a nurse approached and gave me a cup of water, telling me I could have it as long as I drank it in the next ten minutes as I wouldn’t go through to theatre until at least 12.00.

“Yes,” I said, “I thought the water was bad news.”

From there it was all downhill…

This is how the farcical charade developed.

In December when I was admitted with “the swelling” I was allowed to lie on a normal bed in the first floor male urology ward (known as Harvey 2).

In April – the first part of the surgery – I was allowed to use a normal bed in Harvey 2.

In May, when I was admitted with the abscess I had to have the bariatric bed, in Harvey 2.

Now, I have to have the bariatric bed but am now officially too fat to be allowed upstairs, according to the evacuation protocol. There was no bed on a ground floor ward so after the 12.30 bed conference they cancelled the operation.

I just don’t understand why they keep moving the goalposts.

Now, I’ve never denied being fat, but within a pound or two I’ve been the same weight for years. I haven’t suddenly become too fat for the upper stories.

I’m also happy for them to have protocols. They are a big organisation and they need such things to function. And so their many jobsworths have something to do.

They were surprised when I laughed, but what else can you do? Getting angry won’t help. And being rude to the staff won’t help because it isn’t their fault – they just get left to apologise for the acts of others.

Before I left, they fixed me up with another date.

It’s two weeks away.

But there’s no guarantee of a bed.

Tomorrow I will be more cheerful.

 

 

 

 

A Quiet Lunch

 

I aimed for a relaxing day today as part of my long term strategy of being nice and relaxed when I pass through the doors of the Urology Centre tomorrow morning.

With this in mind I first went to pick up my prescription from the surgery, then went to the pharmacy (popped into the jeweller whilst waiting), got a phone call to collect Julia and then went to lunch.

It should have been easy, but as usual the day was full of irritation. First, I had a note from the doctor telling me I couldn’t have two sets of pills as records showed I had plenty of them. That was irritating because I had not ordered those pills. You really have to ask about their computerised system…

If I die unexpectedly check my prescriptions!

Parking the car, I found that to get my two hours of free parking I had to walk the length of the car park to get collect the ticket and then walk the length of the car park to put the ticket in the car. Then… well you get the picture. It was a lot of walking with a sore ankle.

Would it be difficult to put the machine in the middle of the car park?

There were several irritating customers in the pharmacy, including one who took advantage of my slow progress to overtake me and then launch into a complicated question. I’m actually immune to this sort of thing now, having experienced it so often, so no problem there.

Lunch was Harvester again, because it was the weather for salad and if I’m to eat salad  it might as well be free of charge. Salad is going to be in short supply over the next two days.

If it seems like we’re spending recklessly on meals out, we probably are, but fun is going to be in short supply over the next few days, so why not?

The only problem was one of the other diners. As he walked past with his family (we were overtaken again!) he plunged his hand down the front of his tracksuit trousers and had a good scratch. I’m not a great one for etiquette but working on the basis of a time and a place for everything, that was neither the time nor the place.

As I said to Julia: “Let’s make sure we get to the salad bar before that bloke.”

Well, you wouldn’t want to handle the serving spoons after he’d been touching them would you?

 

 

Belfast, Salad and Blogging

We went out to lunch at Harvester today. It’s not fine dining, but the Early Bird menu offers a good plateful for £6.99 and you get unlimited access to the salad bar. Believe it or not, it was the salad we went for. We’ve been a bit light on veg lately and I want my bowels in top condition for Thursday. From Wednesday I’ll be making notes, as nurses seem fascinated by my inner doings and ask some fairly detailed questions about bowels.

I would hate to be detained in hospital due to lack of fibre.

We are calling it a research trip, because we were looking at Julia’s bus route options for her new job.

I’m now going to moan.

There was a young woman in our section who completely destroyed the ambience.

She was loud, so it was difficult to hold our own conversation.

She was dull.

She’s a student.

When her companion occasionally tried an answer she didn’t listen.

She has trouble parking her car during international cricket matches (she must live near Trent Bridge);

She thinks, due to a list of ailments she’s suffered over the year, that her immune system has been compromised by the flat she lives in. Whatever she’s had has not affected her lungs.

She is going to New York to celebrate finishing her finals.

Her mother has already bought four outfits trying to find one that is just right for her daughter’s graduation.

She hasn’t even finished her finals yet, but she’s clearly confident of passing.

When she returned to the room after multiple trips to the salad bar she started talking (or shouting) while she was still yards away from the table.

Worst of all, she had a Belfast accent. (If you aren’t familiar with the Belfast accent, it’s abrasive and always reminds me of a chainsaw).

I was glad when she left.

She’s probably a lovely girl and clearly gets on well with her mother. I hope they have a good time at graduation.

But I never want to be in the same room as her again.

Do people have no sense of volume? Or do they just think we will all be interested in details of their banal life.

Ah, I suppose, when you think of it, I may just have described a blogger…

 

 

The Final Countdown

It’s 9.40 am. I’ve already had my first hospital trip of the week and my time is now my own until 7.30 am on Thursday. At that point (fingers crossed) I should enter the final phase of the operation that has now lasted six weeks. Based on previous experience and the scanty information I was given at the beginning I was expecting it to be over in 3 days. Yes, what an idiot I was.

It is now three days until the operation and seven more before the catheter comes out. I am counting…

Although I’ve tended to concentrate on the urological side of things, as there are ready made elements of pathos and low comedy in that, I’m also been investigated for a range of other problems, all identified on my visit in December.

Take the Great Warfarin Farce as an example. I asked for the tests to be left until I’d finished with the operations but the doctor insisted. It involves visiting a hospital on the other side of town twice a week and eating rat poison. They may call it Warfarin and pretend not to know it has another use but I’ve fed bucketfuls of the stuff to rats over the years. It was first sold as a rat poison in 1948 and as a medicine in 1954. I leave you to draw your own conclusions

I went for my first appointment and I got off to a bad start with the nurse by enquiring why I had to give the same information every time I visited and why they couldn’t store it from visit to visit. She didn’t like that.  To be fair, she probably hears it a lot.

Things worsened when I told her I couldn’t make the next date for testing as I would be in hospital. Basically she called me a liar, and supported this by calling up a copy of my discharge letter to prove it said nothing about part two of the operation.

I suppose she thought I just wore the urinary catheter for fun.

“That,” I said, “is the discharge letter from the emergency admission last week. You need the one from 10th April.”

“Ah!,” she said, “I see.”

However, the operation didn’t happen and I had to stop the Warfarin five days before the next operation. That meant I was on Warfarin for five days.

I’ll cut to the chase – on my last test the nurse, a more practical and cheery individual than the first one – said: “I don’t even know why they started you on Warfarin until after the operation.”

So, I’m off Warfarin at the moment, though Julia has intimated she’s at a point where, if I don’t stop whining about the NHS, she’ll be happy to feed it to me, whatever the nurse may say.

Nothing much happened today

It’s 9.30 at night, I’m watching Grantchester and gradually losing the will to live. It’s all getting mired down in the complicated personal lives of the characters, to the extent that it’s more soap than sleuthing. Tonight features a romany camp, which I always associate with Albert Campion, cunning disguises and weak plots from the 1930s.

You would be correct in thinking I’m not a fan. I read some of the books and thought they were OK, even if they weren’t as good as Father Brown. Yes, the Father Brown stories are dated, and the TV stories do deviate from the originals, but they are crime stories with characters, not a soap with a crime in it.

At least, with both kids heading back to Yorkshire by train, it’s now quiet. I’ve never known two people make so much noise without actually saying anything useful. It might be that I’m getting old, or it might be that they are badly brought up. Either way I suppose it’s my fault. It normally is.

I had to laugh at one point yesterday when we were watching TV. Number Two son, following a story about a wayward child, said:”If she was my daughter I’d have banned her from doing that.”

“You might want to think that through.” I said,”When have you ever taken any notice of me?”

I’ll leave you with that thought.