Heart and Heartbreak

Chi, just a few days ago
Chi, just a few days ago

I have been asked to come and talk to the Vet about the results of the blood tests – which came back very quickly.  The immediate blood test  ruled out Diabetes but the blood that was sent to the lab was not so good. It would appear that Chienne has a tumor and it cannot be operated on. It will grow very slowly so we may well have her for at least 9 – 12 months but she will need constant blood tests to monitor her condition and the tumor progress. I have not told the boys yet. Andrew is in Roxby Downs again  and it’s not something I want to do over the phone. John was here last night so I sat down with him and told him. At the moment Chienne is fine and behaving fairly normally.  I took her out last night and she walks quite happily, so in that regard she is still well. If she were lagging behind I would be concerned but she is not and generally walks ahead of me or at my side, stopping only to investigate an interesting smell.

A Man and his  Teddy Bear
A Man and his Teddy Bear

Chienne is, of course, the most important issue,  but as a secondary issue, I have been cleared by the Cardiologist. The Cardioversion was a great success and I am very pleased. The heart has gone back to a normal rhythm – the arterial fibrillation  having been corrected –  so the energy levels should start to go back to normal. However, no more running around the State like a crazy thing. I have a week away during the last week in May and then  nothing for another three months. I should have been in Adelaide for the rescheduled West Terrace Trust meeting, but no word on that and we are now into the third week in April so I don’t see it happening this month. Probably just as well. I’m not the best of company right at the moment and these last ten days have been pretty rotten. The heart problem aside, to lose one dog and then to be told that I may only have a limited time with the other one makes it  two weeks I would rather not have happened. I keep thinking that I had really neglected Chienne somehow. The Man was ill, blind and require a lot of attention and he got all that attention, even when it meant getting up at 2 and 3 am to attend to him. Chienne looked fine, she seemed fine and behaved as she always does, calm and placid. It was only afterwards that I began to notice that she was drinking a lot of water – and I mean a lot of water, that I suspected something might not be quite right.  I thought perhaps diabetes and, really, I was prepared for that – but a tumor, that  was never in my  thoughts at any time.

As if to add insult to injury the weather has not been the best  over the last couple of weeks. Summer is well and truly behind us and we head towards winter. It has been cold walking at night and I think it might be time to get Chienne’s coat out of storage. We have had only a limited amount of rain  unlike New South Wales, parts of which are flooded and being battered by storms.  I am never sure if backward South Australia is lucky or just plain boring. We are in the middle of Australia – sort of – and we are protected from the extremes of weather  from the  Indian Ocean by the bulk of Western Australia and from the Pacific by the bulk of New South Wales. We do get some weather coming in off the Great Australian Bight, but nothing remotely like the storms of NSW or Western Australia. Flooding here is a few very large puddles – nothing to be concerned about.I wouldn’t wish flood, fire or famine on anyone, but nothing ever really happens here, and I miss The Man.

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Traveling and Hospitals

The Lochiel Hotel
The Lochiel Hotel

On Wednesday morning I pick up son John and head off to Adelaide.  After my meeting on Wednesday, we’ll head over to the Fringe Festival, then back to the hotel for rest. For twenty-four hours before the tests at St. Andrew’s I am not allowed anything containing caffeine – which is a bit of a low blow in my view. However, at least we can have coffee on Friday morning before we set off back home. John will be with me at St. Andrew’s although I have warned him to bring books and his iPad. He is needed there as a next of kin in case of any problems that might arise – although this is fairly rare.

On the way down to Adelaide I took a number of photographs of the  the Lochiel Hotel – or rather, what’s left of it after the fire. Lochiel is a small township in the mid north of the State. It has been the watering hole for generations of people from the  bullock drivers carting wool to the  southern ports to generations of travelers from horse drawn coaches to the modern coaches. However, the development of Port Wakefield some 33 klms away really was the end of the pub expect for the locals and the occasional traveler. The old Hotel was 150 years old and it had only recently celebrated its 150th birthday.

The first round of tests at the hospital lasted from 9:15 – 11:45 which included drugs to introduce heart stress and monitor the results – antidote – rest then a scan that was supposed to take 10 minutes (that’s what they told me) and took a great deal longer – and lying on my back with my arms above my head was not fun after a while but I couldn’t move so I just had to put up with the discomfort. After that I was set free until 2:45 and then undergo another injection and a further scan and finally at 4:15 I was finished. Results – I have no idea, and wont know until the reports are sent to my Cardiologist.

At the moment John and I are back in the hotel and in a little while we will be heading into town. A few things from the supermarket then off to the Fringe Festival – we have

Fringe Entry
Fringe Entry

been doing a lot of walking, leaving the car at the hotel and walking everywhere. – Good exercise. The Fringe was good but I was a bit taken aback with the prices. I mean a glass of wine and a bottle of Beer for John cost $16;50 – which is about $18US We did go for a ride on the Ferris Wheel, which reasonable at $8. We had a Turkish meal at the Fringe and it was about 10pm when we got back to the Hotel.  John suggested we have something to eat that we don’t generally get at home, so we settled on Turkish a kind of

The entry into the Bazaar Area
The entry into the Bazaar Area

flat bread and filling cooked  on a sort of barbecue plate. It was quite nice, which is more than I can say for the drinks at another bar – which I have already mentioned. Al in all it was a good night and I’m glad we took the time to go.

The drive home on Friday was quiet and uneventful and after I dropped John off at his house I came home and took herself shopping.  Things are quiet and will remain so until the 25th when I go for the Cardioversion where they charge me with a couple of     jolts of electricity, which they hope will force the heart back into a normal pattern. The final test wont be until April after there’s been some time for things to settle down.

At the end May  I head off to Naracoourt – some 795 klms from here – about 1000 miles round trip.  John has indicated that if he can get the time off he would like to come with me – which is very good. Neither of us have been over in that part of the State. I realise it’s some months away yet but it is a small area and I have already booked accommodation and if John does come with me – easy enough to adjust.

Another part of the Fringe
Another part of the Fringe