The May Travels

I miss my dog when I am away.

Sunday: Annabell is much better today. The antibiotic kicked in and she is a lot better than she was last night. She has to take the second antibiotic this evening and we will go see the doctor tomorrow. I am feeling much more relaxed than I was  yesterday. When we returned from the hospital I called the boys and asked them not to come over on Sunday as normal. They were concerned but agreed. Sadly this means that we didn’t get to see the Grandson this week Annabell has been having a  difficult time of late but hopefully this infection has been the underlying cause and, with a treatment of antibiotics,  we should be able to get on top of that fairly  quickly – or so I am told.

Thursday: I headed off to Naracoorte to the quarterly  conference. The boys kept an eye on Annabell whilst I was away. I was very late in leaving mainly because I had appointment with my cardiologist at 10am and I  could not afford to miss that. This was a long  appointment in that it lasted a whole 15 minutes when it normally lasts 10 minutes. I am well and everything is as it should be so really it was just an ECG and then a quick chat about how things were and the fact that he continues to be pleased. I don’t see him again for a year. By the time I reached Adelaide it was late in the afternoon and it took me some time to get clear of bank business before I got into town. I did get some shopping done for Annabell but by and large I  booked into my hotel and stayed there. It was a cold, wet and miserable trip down – rained most of the way, and it was Thursday – no late night shopping in the city. I slept well enough and after booking out set off to the South-Eastern Freeway towards Murray Bridge and then Tailem Bend. Cold, and miserable and the weather was not great either!!  I bought the car in the summer and was more concerned with the A/C – never thought much about the heating — well, you don’t when the outside temperature is 41c.  I practically  froze  on the drive from Adelaide to Tailem Bend. I did have some hot food there before continuing on to my next overnight stay. Here I really had problems in that I was not, for reasons unknown, booked in. Every cabin was taken and I was offered the bunkhouse which consisted of a

I often wonder how she is.

room with two bunk beds, one on top of the other) a fridge and a small tv (that didn’t work) It was a broom cupboard with bunks.  The kitchen was about 200 yards in one direction and the facilities 150 in another direction. I discovered what a great thrill it was to walk two hundred yards, rugged up against the cold and the rain, plus the same distance back, to make a mug of coffee. The discussion of the facilities is not for gentlefolk, so we just wont go there I did not have a shower in the morning. I did have a rubdown with a cold, damp facecloth and when I drove the last distance to the conference I stopped off in town, bought myself a pair of gloves and  deodorant. I have to be truthful and say that yes it was a broom cupboard, but the bunkbed was comfortably and I slept well. Both meetings were poorly attended and only half of the commissioners were present. Still more than enough to hold the meetings. I got my books attested and signed fairly early on and I did the books of two other places. I had hoped to be clear by 3:30 but if not I would simply stay there in town and head for Adelaide in the morning. As it happened, the lack of numbers meant that we concluded business by 2:45 and I hit the road. I wanted to reach Tailem Bend before dark, and I did. I pulled into the River Edge Caravan Park and  I was allocated a lovely cabin overlooking the River Murray. On a really nice day it would be very pleasant to sit outside in one of the chairs  and watch the river and the birds – all very relaxing.

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Adelaide, Trusts and Operation.

Just Because
Just Because

Wednesday:  Well the good(?) news is that there is damage to the right knee that will require some surgery – generally  overnight stay. On Friday I have to go for an ECG then go round to the Pre-Anaesthetic Clinic to do some things and fill out some forms and have some discussions with the Anaesthetist. What this means is that the operation will be carried out fairly soon – more than likely timed to coincide with  my Adelaide week.  Ho well these things happen. I was able to get the  clinic stuff done on Friday because my Cardiologist has been called to Adelaide and has changed  the date of my appointment. So that worked out very well.  Of course I want this done as soon as possible but after Adelaide would be kind of neat.

Still having problems with the WaWa but managing to control them a little better and I do tend to take Benji out with me as often as I can. In this cooler weather, it’s ok to have him in the car with a window partly open whilst I go into the hardware store.  Don’t know what I will do if the WaWa is still with us during summer and too hot in the car, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. But then I should be able to get out back to the  Wetlands area.   The army are all gone and the place seems sort of quiet without them. Operation Hamel was a great success and having 8000+

Been a long day. Need rest!
Been a long day. Need rest!

military here was a breeze. They enjoyed being here – they were well treated and looked after by the local people who, in turn, enjoyed them being here.

Friday:  Had the ECG this morning and everything is ok. I am still able to walk in the land of the living. I had a discussion  with the clinic doctor, answered his questions – everything is well and I am fit and healthy, which is nice to know. From there Annabell and I went over to the Specialist/Surgeon’s  room and discussed with his Associate the possibility of dates. My best date was Monday  29th August, which is just over three weeks away. I had already decided that I would take whatever date was given and as it happens, I can still go to Adelaide and have the procedure when I get back. It’s all worked out well.  I  did not attend the Mount Gambier Presbytery because of car trouble so I really needed to be at Para Hills. Then the week after I go back down for the Trust Committee, then back and hospital. So, as I said, it all works in very well.

There’s a Dog Wash tomorrow at the Vet Clinic to raise funds for the RSPCA. I was thinking of taking Benji down and get him a bath and a Bandanna. Our Craft and Fabric shop closed down last week, which means no place here to get any material for anything and I have a garden umbrella that needs repairing. I may well have a look for some canvas when I’m in Adelaide. Years ago we had a few small country craft shops around the town, but then a  major chain shop moved in and we lost all the little craft shops. Now the chain is in trouble so it has closed down and moved out after about ten years – there is nothing to replace it. The nearest  member of the chain is in Rundle Mall,  Adelaide.

The Dark, the Ghost and the Rosebush

Friday:  The workmen came this morning to fill in the trench. That’s all they were contracted to do – they have no idea when the concrete work will be done. Still, at least I can get the car back into the driveway – I think – I haven’t tried it yet. —– I have just been told that the concreting will be done tomorrow, so it will probably be Sunday before  I can use the driveway again. I am quite pleased that it is completed now because for the month of August Annabell will be hosting the Ladies Coffee – Tuesday evening and again on the Wednesday morning.

Ready for the Concrete
Ready for the Concrete

The other news is that I do not have to go to Adelaide to have the Laptop fixed. It has been done. I telephoned the Apple Shop to make an appointment with the Tec, and instead I ended up with one of the Senior Tecs and together we sorted the problem out over the phone. It took a while and  I will expect to see a jump in the telephone bill because of it, but whatever it is it will be nowhere as much as  going to Adelaide either by coach or driving. So the Laptop is now  running El. Capitan the newest AppleMac OS. I am quite pleased about that.

Took BJ out for our walk this morning and by morning I mean 5:50am, and just as we passed a fence we were suddenly confronted by an apparition in white, scared BJ who started barking like crazy ( unusual) and set my heart off racing at a rate of knots. It was only for a few moments before it vanished behind the very large caravan in the driveway. No it was not a ghost, what is was, was the lady of the house out laying towels over her rose bushes to protect them from the cold. Admirable to be sure, but at 5:50 am – still dark, dressed in white ( white dressing gown carrying white cloths) reflected in the street light on the opposite side of the road – scared me half to death!   Not quite what you expect at that time on a cold winter.  morning. I told a lady in the church today and her comment was “that’s good, John, as long as it was not dressed in black carrying a scythe and an hour glass, you’ve nothing to worry about”.

All completed - just needs to cure
All completed – just needs to cure

The concrete is laid, the area blocked off and all the workmen gone. Looks good and the men have  done a really good job. I can walk on it as from tomorrow but not drive on it until at least Tuesday.  Busy week ahead – Wednesday I go to the Specialist and hope that he will organise  the surgery for my collapsing right knee-cap in the not too distant future. Then I have a day off and of Friday I go see my Cardiologist. I only see him once every four months and there is a good chance that the visits may well be finalised since everything has been great for the last year.

In mid August I head off to Adelaide and will be away for two days. I am no sooner back than I set off again, but this time just for a day, at least that’s the plan. The  second visit may also be for two days and that should be me (Officially)  until November unless I decide to go down for the weekend and take the trailer with me to Bunnings. Having said that I probably will need the trailer for ten square meters of  Synthetic Turf for my plan. I have already started on that and as the weeks progress I will add more to it until I have things the way I want them.

Heartbeats and slowing down.

I remember being told once that “you should always be careful what you wish for – you might actually get it” I mean, we didn’t want much – just some peace, stay at home, nice, quiet, down-time. Oh I got that alright – in spades. I cannot say I was pampered, but the nurses  and medical staff in the Cardiac Unit did look after me. Having said that, let me qualify it by saying that 1) I did not have a heart attack ; 2) I did not have a stroke. 3) Came close to both but no cigar – thankfully.

Monday took herself shopping. After lunch I decided to do the concreting and bed in her replaced washing line. Set up the cement mixer and got to work – not great exertion or even all that hard work, but about half way through I had more problems with breathing – more than I have had recently. I put it down to the fact that it was a warm day and carried on working. Before I knew what was what I started feeling very hot, my heart and pulse were racing like an express train and I was fighting for breath. I stopped work, went into the house and banged on the A/C ;  set it at its lowest and stood in front of it. After a while I started to settle down. However, herself was not too happy and insisted that we go see the doctor.   At 3pm I saw the doctor, at 3;50 pm I was at the hospital and by 5:00 I had been seen by two specialists and  moments later was on my way up to the HDU ( High Dependency Unit)  and hooked up to heart monitors. Not a heart attack nor a stroke but a serious Cardiac Arrhythmia. A number of  xrays also showed  that I had a pneumonia infection and fluid in the lungs which was not helping. Anyway, over a period of days  I was given medication to bring the heart rate down to a less dangerous level and then get it under control. It is now under control but that’s more to do with the present medication rather than anything else.  It is still fluctuating but I am told that unlike when I was admitted, this is a controlled fluctuation.  I was also told that the problems with the heart were directly responsible for the breathing and thus the  tiredness and shortness of breath that I have experienced lately.

I have to remain on these drugs for  four weeks then see the heart specialist and return to the HDU. I will be taken off the drugs and monitored. If the heart does not behave I will be taken down to the Theater by the Cardiologist  and given electric treatment to shock the heart back into a normal rhythm. All good stuff.

On the first evening I was in hospital Herself asked if there was anything she could bring up. The boys would bring her and I asked her to bring up my pens and my Filofax. To many people that might sound a bit strange, but I use my FF for recording everything. It helps me keep track of things I do and places I go. I don’t see why a visit to hospital should stop me from making sure everything in my FF was up to date.  I also asked for my iPad mainly I have a kindle program on there and have a number of books that I can – and did – read. Yes I would have watched TV but I felt that $14 a day was a bit steep.

Where do I go from here? – First thing is to do as I said I would and resign from one of the State Committees. Secondly, cut down the trips to Adelaide. I can do this by a careful examination of the Agenda and if there is nothing there that really concerns us or has any bearing on us, I’ll put in an apology and stay home.  Not an ideal solution but the best I can manage. The Property Trust Committee,  which meets in Adelaide, I really do want to remain with – such a lovely group of people and the meetings are always a pleasure. The next meeting will feature a presentation by Dr. Klee Benveniste of the Adelaide Hebrew Congregation- and I do want to be present for that.  Other movements I will curtail as much as I can until we are certain that things are back to normal.