Getting it from both ends!

Just Because
Just Because

The operation went quite well. I say quite well because things didn’t go according to plan. Apparently there was a lot more damage than they thought and I ended up with a lot more done than had been intended. They discovered several bone fragments there  so all of that had to be repaired. I am in bed at home and having difficulty walking – although today I did take Benji for a walk. With my sticks we walked down the hallway into the sitting room, and then back to my bedroom. I was fair exhausted. I have given instructions to Annabell that if I ever again feel that I would like the fairly mild pain to be replaced by an operation and a pain that required pain killers and the inability to walk for a time – I just want her to introduce my brain to a 4 x 2. She says a few days and the pain will go and the need for sticks will  be gone and I can get back to being normal again – well what passes as normal for me.  Benji sits down at the end of the bed keeping guard – making sure that WaWa or her mistress don’t attack me. Annabell brings in the ice pack – in a towel – and Benji sits up and moves towards her. I grab him. Oh he doesn’t harm her or even growl,  he just uses his snout to push her away from me.

 

The entrance to the new part of the hospital
The entrance to the new part of the hospital

The upgraded hospital opened last year at a cost of $60 million. In contrast, the Adelaide Money Pit AKA The New Royal Adelaide Hospital, is the third most expensive building on the planet and costing over $2.5 Billion not even considering the massive delays, problems, cost blowouts and  now probably wont be opened until  sometime next year – September/October is being touted. I have nothing but praise for our people and our hospital. Calvary  have begun construction of a new state-of-the art private hospital in Adelaide and the joke is that the new Calvary Hospital will probably be up and running before the new RAH is opened. The Premier didn’t think that comment was funny.

Easy had a birthday last week and both Benji and I wished him well. I have no idea when Benji’s birthday is but I have decided that his birthday will be the day I  brought him home from Mount Gambier to his new family – the day I adopted him. Seems to me that this is as good a day as any.As I said I missed Easy’s birthday but  Benji and the WaWa hope to be able to attend the  Tea Pawty that Christmas in holding next week.  By the looks of things this is going to be a case of previous years when I had both male and female dogs – Chienne and the Man – this time I think it’s going to be Benji and the WaWa. I would really like  Sooah to come back but with the state of the economy here in South Australia, I really don’t see it happening – which is quite sad really, she is a lovely young lady. After discussions with Annabell we decided that we really cannot do anything with the WaWa until after October because there is still the chance that Sooah may return. After that we will start the process of changing ownership.

Monday and after a quiet weekend the first of the bandages  will come off tomorrow. Provided everything is ok we will remove the second bandage when Annabell comes back from her Coffee Morning on Wednesday. I think the removal of the outer bandages should allow me a greater degree of flexibility and movement and I am quite looking forward to that.Annabell is out for two days at her coffee evening and morning so I have a little time to myself – well me and the dogs, but that’s cool.  You know, I think medical professionals can be very thoughtless at times. Here I am recovering from knee surgery and my cardiologist decided that this would be a really good time for me to wear a heart monitor for 24 hours – a heart monitor at one end, recovering from a knee operation at the other – sleep has not come easy these last few days   :o)  – Yes, you have to smile!!  It’s either that or sneak off and cry in some corner..

Comments, bridges and dogs

I believe it was something in the order of $A69 Million that was spent on the hospital and I still have to go to the Flinders Medical Center (FMC)  in Adelaide for an echo-cardiogram.  Well that’s not strictly true ( would I lie??)  I could have it done here, if I am prepared to wait  Monday 7th September until the specialist comes up from Adelaide. When I discovered that,  I contacted my Cardiologist and let him know and he had his secretary organize  the exam for next Wednesday ( now tomorrow) – in Adelaide. The specialist only comes here once every three weeks (for two days)  – hence the  overflowing appointment book. But fear not – the State Government are borrowing a bunch of dollars and building a $2.4 Billion Hospital In Adelaide making the Adelaide Hospital the Third most expensive building in the world:

1 One World Trade Center New York City 104 541 m 2014 $3,900,000,000
2 Palace of the Parliament Bucharest 12 84 m 1988 $3,000,000,000
3 Royal Adelaide Hospital Adelaide 11 41 m 2016 $2,100,000,000
4 The Palazzo Las Vegas 53 196 m 2007 $1,900,000,000
5 The Shard London 73 306 m 2013 $1,900,000,000

Since this list was produced there has been a bit of a cost blowout and the project is about six months behind schedule. But that’s ok,  Like most Australian Labor State Governments, they will borrow and spend and then blame the Federal Government for not giving them enough money – so  although they cannot manage their budget – it’s all the Feds. fault. It’s like Greece – it’s always someone else’s fault.

Last night was the Annual General Meeting of the RFDS and as of last night I am no longer Secretary.  I had been having discussions with Suzzanne over the last four or five months and she was willing to take on the position. However, a new position was created for me,  that of Assistant Secretary with the idea that I will  help Sue over the next year to get her settled in and then at the AGM next year, pass everything over to her and bow out. Frank & DebbieAnyway, we presented Central Operations with a cheque for $38,000,oo, which is a really great effort considering that times are pretty tough in SA at the moment with the highest unemployment in the Commonwealth – and getting worse .  Andrew’s ( my younger son) partner had been told that the bank will be closing down her branch by the end of the year, so she will be redundant.   Falling revenues means that the Fed Govt are cutting back in all areas of service, but we are still going to spend $17 Billion  on new Fighter Aircraft that we don’t need and a further $22 Billion on submarines that we don’t  need – we can’t not let the boys have their toys – only these particular boys don’t want some of the toys but the govt. are getting them anyway.  That $40 Billion alone could could be a great help in bringing the budget back into the black. I have to confess that our Prime Minister is not the sharpest  knife in the drawer The only time he should open his mouth is just to change feet. Although having said that, the opposition is not all that much better.

We bought two new beds this afternoon, so Chienne has a place to relax wherever she wanders. We also bought her two  “hoodies” fleece lined.  It is getting cold and Chi. is no longer a young thing and if they keep her warm, that’s great. The weather has been bitter with snow on the Adelaide hills. Didn’t last long, of course,  but long enough for the early risers to get up there and to experience actually being outside when snow is falling. We have had some wild weather of late – well some parts of the state have we’ve just had cold and rain. The wild weather is mostly at the bottom area of the State – as it generally is. We very rarely get the wild weather experienced by other areas.

I am starting to get just a tad concerned.  Comments that I know I have written seem to have vanished – who knows where!  I know I wrote a comment on the Galata Bridge  but it’s no where to be found. I don’t know though, perhaps I pressed delete instead of post – don’t think so but I guess it’s possible. If so – sorry!! Also I am finding things that Outlook has been “hiding”from me. I have only just read ( actually five minutes ago) that dear Gracie is blind and I understand the problems that this will cause, but apart from these nasty corners that kept trapping him, The Man managed fairly well  ( we wont talk about the head-butting of Chienne)  But it’s concerning  in that I don’t know if its the computer the program (MS Outlook Express)  or simply me going senile.  I think it might be me – well that’s what the voices are suggesting   :o)  It’s a worry…

 

 

Coaches, Meetings and Rundle Mall

The Hibiscus that I planted the other week is doing well although I suspect the cooler weather has a lot to do with it.  Still, it’s all good and I look forward to some flowers. I was informed that the Sturt’s

Stateliner Coach
Stateliner Coach

Desert Pea has to  be replanted each year – howeffer – it seems that my plant has re-seeded itself and after cutting all the dead wood away, it’s looking pretty healthy. I hope to get another display of flowers out of that this year.  The three pines I planted out front are still very small but I hope that will develop and grow soon. They still look healthy enough. I have another bag of sand so I will probably take a run over to the Garden Center and see what I can find.—————- Goodness me ( or words to that effect) this sand has set like concrete. Very nice, it’s crushing the poor plant to death. In the morning I may have to dig it out and attempt to rescue it – if it’s not too late. That was unexpected and it worked in the video – but perhaps I missed something or perhaps it’s the wrong sand – who knows?

I have decided that I really need to go to Adelaide on Wednesday, but since I need to be back for a medical appointment for Herself on Thursday, I will go down and back by coach. Not my favourite mode of travel but needs must. We used to enjoy coach travel many years ago when Interstate Highway 1 was realigned and  practically rebuilt as the Federal Government Bi-Centenary Project,   but the coach company, in its infinite wisdom decided to desert the new highway, and  moved to the alternate Highway with all its ups and downs, twists, turns and ruts as well and going in and out of every small town on the way down – and back. So to drive down by car  takes just over four hours;  the coach takes  five and a half = leaves at 6am arrives Adelaide 11:30am. Once the 5am (now 6am) coach was the “Express Coach”  that  went directly down Highway 1, arriving in town at 10:00. There was also, once, an overnight coach that left at midnight, which was good for an early morning meeting – arrive in town, walk along North Terrace to the Royal Adelaide Hospital and have a good breakfast in the  Canteen. The return journey will get me home just after midnight. Anyway the meeting is not until 2:30pm so I will have a couple of hours to spare to hit Rundle Mall  :o) – It’s not all doom and gloom.

It is true that simple things can give pleasure. I have not been able to use my camera recently (Sony) because the battery died and I cannot get a replacement here.

Stationery Shop of Choice
Stationery Shop of Choice

In under 30 minutes in Adelaide I had a replacement battery and my camera working again. The other pleasure was giving away a large box of Lindt chocolates to                       ” Strangers”. Why?? Well last time I was in Adelaide I left my Filofax in a stationery shop – Kikki.K  ( actually I think I mentioned this) Anyway, they were kind enough to post it to me, without charge, so, when I was down this time I bought a large box of chocolates and  gave it to the staff (three) to say ” Thank You”.  I managed to cram in a few other things before heading off to the meeting, but the battery and Kikki.K were my main concerns. I took a taxi to the meeting and at the conclusion, I still had a bit of time, and, since it was a nice day,  I decided to walk to the bus terminal — OK, not perhaps the brightest idea I have come up with recently. I thought  because I take the dogs out walking every night for over an hour that walking back to the bus terminal would be no problem but what I didn’t take into consideration was that with the dogs I have no timetable – not so when I have to navigate my way through the heart of the city and be on time to book in. If you have been reading you will know that not so very long ago I caused damage to the arch of my foot, (planter  fasciitis ) which is still not fully recovered – so,  walking back to the bus station was not my best idea. However, good me – I made it in time (barely but we wont go into that)  booked in, grabbed a bottle of water from the kiosk and staggered on to the coach – which,  fortunately was almost empty (12 people),  and I was able to stretch out in a double seat, and yes, I did take my shoes off  :o)

Road Trip, Adelaide and Fire Bans

The drive to Adelaide was uneventful. The temperature was about 35c, but I did leave at 7am so I avoided much of the heat. I arrived in Adelaide at 11;10am – from Adelaide out to where Alan is took me

This is me. Obese I am not. Just thought I would get that out of the way.
This is me. Obese I am not. Just thought I would get that out of the way.

– via the South Road – from 11:10 – 12;27, which is when I parked the car. I had spoken to him fairly regularly – every few days – but I was unprepared on how frail he had become.  Having spent some time with him, I had a much better understanding of why the Medical staff were against him being in a car, without oxygen, in a 44c heat for nearly six hours. Anyway, I did spend some time with him chatting with him and bringing him up to date on herself and the boys, Trish and the girls (Trish is Andrew’s Partner and the girls are hers). He spends nearly all of his day in a chair, hooked up to the oxygen and watching television – which means, the conversation was fairly one sided. I wanted to get back into town and spend some time there, so I only stayed for about an hour or so. I should be going back down in early February so I’ll try and take a run out to see him again.  Certainly it’s a lovely place – I mean it REALLY is a lovely place and the staff are very helpful, but that being said – it is still a Nursing Home and he wont be coming out of there until …….

Making my way back into town I stopped off at the Garden Center and bought some new plants. I bought three new pencil pines for out the front and two new hibiscus for the back to compliment the native hibiscus. The colours should should provide a good contrast. I did some shopping in town and went into the Optus Shop and upgraded herself’s phone. Apart from other things, it was a long day but still not over yet. I made my way to the hotel, settled in and parked the car. I walked up to the main road and caught a bus into town and walked to the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) – a fair distance. Considering I have been suffering from a condition called “Plantar Fasciitis” it was not a very pleasant walk. A friend of one of the elderly ladies in the church  had an accident and was flown to Adelaide. I said  I would go visit her when I was in Adelaide. I arrived at the RAH and asked where the lady was only to find that she has been flown back to the local hospital the previous afternoon. I was not really overjoyed at the walk back to the bus stop. I  am glad that she is back home ( well, sort of) so she can have visitors. That was good – the walk back to the bus stop was not. It was a hot sticky night so thank goodness for air

The Adelaide Cockroach
The Adelaide Cockroach

conditioners. How did I cause the damage to my foot – well I saw some jobs that needed to be done and went out to do them – “Wont take long ”  I thought. That being so I didn’t bother to put on work shoes but spent the day climbing up and down ladders   wearing sandals. Ok so it took longer than I anticipated, and whilst this may not be the exact cause, it certainly didn’t help. And if there is anyone who feels the urge to berate me for not wearing the correct footwear for the job, please don’t – my doctor has done it for you  :o)

This week in South Australia is one of extreme heat. It starts today with a temperature of 39c – 42c Tuesday – 44c  Wednesday – 43 Thursday – 44 Friday and then a cool change late Friday afternoon. Saturday we drop down to the high 20c/ low 30c. The Emergency Services and the hospitals are on stand-by as the sun bites and humour takes a back seat. There is a total fire ban across the State. One  person asked me today what I was going to do to keep cool and I said that I would probably  curl up with the dogs  on the ceramic tiles in the laundry. I don’t think it registered…

Desert Flowers and Wallabies

desert pea
Sturt’s Desert Pea

The Sturt’s Desert Pea has really taken off and I am  very pleased about that.  For a long time I was somewhat disappointed with it in that it was just green with no promise of flowers. Then  yesterday morning there were flowers and little buds everywhere on the plant, so I was really happy about that. Perhaps the  Arid Lands plants that I have put in the back will take and grow. That would be nice.  Although having said that the Sturt Desert Rose I planted have not really done anything, but considering how quickly the Pea started to flower, I’m still hopeful.  I’m a little bit concerned about the tree out front. Workmen repairing the storm water drains have dug into the area and exposed part of the root system – never a good thing to do with eucalyptus. Fortunately the weather has been fairly reasonable This morning I was called into work so I head off there later today. Herself had not so great  a day yesterday. We’ll see how she is this morning. I wont be going in to work until about 11am.  In ten days I will take her back down to the Royal Adelaide Hospital for her four year check-up and to make sure everything is  still fine.  Four years ago she had a golden staph infection that made her life – interesting!.  Oh yes they killed the  infection, but in doing so they got to the stage where they were pumping so many drugs into her that they started to compromise the liver and kidney functions. All in she was over  four months in three different hospitals, our local hospital and then  two in Adelaide – the Royal Adelaide and then a rehab .hospital for a further four weeks. I spent much of that time travelling back and forth and since I was staying there for days at a time, I left the car at home for John to use and I went down by coach and stayed at a hotel close to the hospital – or at least within walking distance.   Couple of times when one or other of the boys was not available, I had to put the dogs into  the local  RSPCA Kennels. Ok –  but they were really glad when we came to take them home I have to go down to Adelaide for a conference next week and the following week I go back down to the Hospital with herself.  John  is available to stay for a few days. We believe everything will be clear and we can return home and wait for the next appointments – four years hence – perhaps even longer  :o) I expect so because if everything is ok, then we don’t foresee any concerns and should not have to go back again. What we are going down for is the follow up on the original operation – nothing to do with the Staph infection. That’s gone (says he with hope in his heart!)

Associates, Hospitals and Shopping Centres

SAMSUNG
I was in a hurry so I took the coach!

I forgot and I downloaded mail on another computer which means that I cannot access it  here. I know,”what’s this got to do with anything?” well, one of the things I downloaded was a post called “Tribute to Twitch” , one of the saddest posts about a dog I have read in a long time. She looked such a lovely Lady, with big sad eyes, who would have been loved and cared for if her “new Mum” and friends had gotten her out of Afghanistan in time. Sadly this didn’t happen and I think the sad thing is not knowing when she died, where she died or even how she died. My very first dog, when we came to Australia, was  a “Bitsa” but she was the most adorable dog we ever had. She was “Scruffy” and  did she live up to her name. We would bath her, clip her and she would look neat and tidy – for all of seven seconds until she shook herself and the hair just went everywhere again.  She was actually part Australian Silky Terrier ;  she was loved by everyone and she had such a calm , placid nature . Even now when I picture her in my head, I still miss her – after  nearly twenty years, I still miss her.

It has been confirmed that at the end of the month I will simply stay in Adelaide and not come home one day only to have to go back down the next day and back home the day after – 1318 kilometres. Now it seems this is presenting problems in that we have just had word that Herself is required to be at the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) for x-rays and tests at the Trauma Clinic – 4 years review- on the 28th May – right in the middle of the Assembly.  However, we telephoned them right away and managed to get the x-rays and tests  re-scheduled to first week in August. Whenever we go it will require an overnight stay because she has to have one x-ray in the morning and based on the results of that, the blood tests in the afternoon. About a week before we are due to go down I’ll organise to have a wheelchair.  No, she does not need a wheelchair generally, but spending a day wandering around the rabbit warren that is the Royal Adelaide Hospital, is just too much for her. When we have gone down there I have in the past taken a wheelchair because trying to get one at the RAH is next to impossible. When we do go, one of the boys will come over and stay the night and look after the dogs. The good thing about having the wheelchair is that she has no excuse about going into the Shopping Mall   :o)  A sort of “Captive Audience” in a manner of speaking..