What else can go bad?

Well, sometimes I wonder whether there’s a black cloud up there with my name on it. I have four serious things on the go at the moment, and things are looking a bit tough.
1. Bloody banks. I thought I was applying for a simple overdraft to get me through the house sale period. That’s what I asked for – a line of credit.
Certainly Mr Croft, how much would you like? Oh, no more than a few thou, I said.

OK, no problem, the minimum is $10,000 (later, actually the min is $20,000). OK, fine I said.

So a card turns up last week and I activate it and get a PIN. But every time I try to use it, it’s DECLINED. Embarrassing. What’s going on?

After phone calls to the bank not answered and not returned, I’m eventually told the paperwork has to be signed and was sent last Friday. This was Wednesday. Nothing had arrived.

Yesterday the papers turned up (wet, 5 days later) and I find it’s actually a Reverse Mortgage Application! I have to sign a declaration that I’ve sought and taken independent legal advice. No way! That would cost me about $350 at least, and I’m not signing it without doing it.

So I phone the guy, get his answering machine and he hasn’t returned my call since yesterday.

As well, I find that the fees to set this up amount to about $1300 and interest is charged from day one.

Bloody hell! So that avenue is ruled out. A credit card is cheaper. Grrr. They’re going to lose my business over this. I already have another credit society account.

2. You may remember my torturous experience with the Carpet Call company, where a gorilla carpet layer forced me to leave my furniture outside all weekend in July and mistreated Minnie.

And an advertisement that said “Carpet your whole house for $2,000” turned out to be near $4,000.

It turned out an utter disaster. Of course I documented it all, photographed it all and have four witnesses to the rotten way I was treated.

I wrote a VERY restrained (on advice) letter of complaint and sent it on 21 August. After two weeks I got a phone call from the local manager I’d dealt with asking me to submit the documentation again (i.e. he’d lost or binned my originals).

I heard no more, so last week I emailed asking why, and saying if I didn’t hear from him before the end of this month, i.e. today, I’d go to the Department of Fair Trading.

Still no response until today, when I got a phone call from a bloke called Jacob at Carpet Call head office.

He accused me of having “an altercation” with the carpet layer, not having the house 100% cleared as required in the contract and said there will be no compensation. That’s it.

Bloody hell! I thought the treatment I’d got was bad already, but this is bad upon bad.

OK, mate. You underestimate me. You don’t know who you’re dealing with. I said I had photos, documentation and witnesses but he wasn’t interested.

So, Carpet Call, prepare yourselves. I don’t give up. I’m full of ideas.

3. You may remember I wrote about the Malaysian Chinese guy who took my $12,000 investment in his company in 2003, and similar or bigger amounts from other “friends”, and has done nothing with it except maintain his patents and pay himself a salary.

Well, it’s a public company with shareholders and comes under the supervision of ASIC. As a shareholder, I’m entitled to information about the company. He’s required by law to answer my requests.

Four letters since June have gone unanswered. Emails are blocked as spam. Text messages are not answered. He’s blocked me out. He’s in breach of the law.

So I’ve lodged a Breach and Misconduct report with the ASIC. They’ve phoned me asking for copies of correspondence, which I have, of course, so now they have it all.

One interesting point is that the former company secretary told me in writing that he resigned his position several years ago, yet he is still listed on ASIC’s web site as holding that position. Huh? And all the company directors now reside at the same address as the man himself.

This will be interesting. As I told him in my last letter, I don’t give up. This is a substantial sum of money that he’s taken from me and his other investors. I would suggest that he keep a bag packed, as I strongly suspect he’ll have to make a hasty exit back to Malaysia.

That shouldn’t worry him, because he’s told me in emails that he hates immigrants, especially refugees, how superior Chinese people like him are over “white people” and that he is above us. In writing. I have it all. Silly man.

4. My other substantial investment has also gone very bad. Regardless of right or wrong, my funds are locked up for a long time and for legal reasons, I can’t access the investment. I very much doubt I’ll ever be able to. In this case, I may as well walk away.

I can’t say more at the moment. I’ll know more in a couple of weeks.

All I can say is, trust your instincts. Listen to your inner voice. If it’s ringing the warning, heed it. I thought it would be OK.

5. Finally, my back fence neighbours have a backyard wood fired pizza oven and although I’ve complained in writing about having to breathe their smoke, they are taking no notice. They like loud parties and bright lights shining in my eyes. Very unpleasant people. I think a sprinkler will be required next time, but I hate it!

So all in all, life seems to get harder rather than easier. It’s lucky I’m feeling so chipper.

And in the supreme irony, after 12 years of unsuccessful attempts to get high speed land line broadband internet, including three letters to ministers, the last one unanswered, a flyer dropped into my letterbox a few days ago.

It’s from Telstra. “We’ve upgraded our equipment in your street. Now you can have high speed ADSL2+ broadband.”  Only $105 per month.

Aaaaargh. Just when I’m planning to move. Anyway, I can’t afford those fees. There’ll be huge setup and connection fees as well. Too late for me.

Oh, nearly forgot, I also got a letter from the Transition to Digital TV Switchover people offering me a free digital set top box.

They must be joking. I’ve spent around $1400 since 2000 on three set top boxes. The first was a Thomson HD model in 2001 with physical switches for all the different standards of the time – $720. The second was a computer plug-in card (never really worked) so that I could get digital TV on a big screen from my PC, about $150; and the third was a Philips HD type with HDMI connection, $240 in 2007, now sitting in a box on the floor. It might get used if I could get a decent antenna feed!

Then there was the first Panasonic Digital HD recorder in about 2001, but only with analogue tuner (given away to a friend); then a new one in 2005 to get digital channels, but only SD and only one channel (now sitting idle with a faulty DVD drive); and now this year the third, a Panasonic dual HD tuner model bought especially for the Jubilee and the Olympics.

All in all, that’s about $2,200 for recorders, $1,400 for STBs and $1,500 for successive LCD TVs since 2007.

Oh, and the guv’ment are offering to ensure I can get digital reception on my antenna. That’s good, I said, because I had no reception at all for about 5 days last week., including while I was on the phone to them. No signal. It’s back now, ironically due to the big winds we’ve been having.

An antenna company is supposed to phone me to arrange a good solid connection. That’s good, I said, because although I’m a tech, I can’t physically do things like that any more. And this location is the black hole, the Bermuda Triangle of TV and wireless internet reception!

But I’ve had no call, and I bet I’ll be walking out the door of this house on my way to St Ives before they do call. Just like ADSL.

What else can go wrong? More heart trouble? Probably be my luck. Uh oh.


One step forward, HOLD.

Booger. Here I was, thinking how much better I’m feeling, no AF for a month, thinking about Bali travel again, but today I had another, less serious, episode of AF (atrial fibrillation).

It actually happened at the medical practice, while I was having my left leg dressed. It’s a bit of a mess and pretty painful at times. I’ve started a course of penicillin for it and Silver Chain are going to come every second day to keep it properly clean and bandaged.

I took bus and train into the city yesterday (this is relevant) and despite strenuous walking, I had no trouble (no AF trouble, I mean). But today, simply because I was a bit stressed by talking to a doctor I’ve never seen before, i.e. having to explain a lot in a short time, I was feeling a bit hyped up. I think that’s what brought it on. I mentioned it to the doctor and she said, if I’m having trouble, I’ll have to go to the hospital. Uh oh. No way. I’m not having trouble!

So on the advice of SCGH, I rode it out. It felt like a chest infection, a bit sore across the top, and a bit short of breath, but I rested in the car for about half an hour and did one GTN spray and it all came good.

However, that rocks me back on my heels. I can’t imagine being overseas when that happens. Suddenly, all my plans for travel look a bit sick.

The walking yesterday was pretty hard, too. I walked from the bus to the train, then from Perth station through the shops to St Geo Tce and back again, with a stop for lunch. I made it, but it was hard going. I’ve got a toe blister for my troubles. But it confirmed that it’s not exertion that brings it on. (By the way, it also showed me that I can’t handle the escalators any more. Far too fast for me.)

It’s occurred to me today – I reckon it’s “state of mind” that causes it. My previous cardiologist smiled and nodded when I said something similar a couple of years ago. Stress and anxiety. However, if mind can start it, maybe mind can stop it as well. I tried hard to calm myself in the car and thought of my heart slowing and going back into rhythm. Maybe I can work on this? I talked to my pharmacist afterwards about the medication and he didn’t flinch at my mention of mind control. We’ll see.


On the way back in the train, there was a young blonde sitting in the disabled seat near the railing. She had ear buds in, of course. I wanted to sit where she was! So I tapped her lightly with my stick and said, “Are you disabled?”

She said “What?” I repeated, louder, “Are you disabled?” Everyone in the carriage could hear me.

No, she said, but didn’t move. I said, “Well, I want to sit in that seat. I need to hang on to that railing.”

She got up and swapped seats with me, but didn’t apologise. She got off at the next stop and I felt satisfied I’d made my point. I’m not kidding – I don’t throw my weight around, my weight throws me around. I needed a railing to hang on to. People take no notice of the disabled signs!


I actually went into the city to find a CD of Italian music for my latest Blu-ray. I went to JB Hi-Fi and asked for instrumental music. They didn’t have much but the guy recommended an “Italian Cafe” CD. Thinking it might be like the Ibiza/Cafe/Jazz style, I thought it might be OK. Can I sample it? No, sorry sir.

Well, I paid $19.99 for it and it is utter rubbish. It’s nothing like what I need, not even close. Waste of $20. The upshot is that, Never Again! I’ll buy off the internet now, where I can sample. And retailers wonder why their business is disappearing!

Similarly, I was in Myer at Karrinyup the other day. Ah, vacuum cleaner bags for my Miele machine. Price? Nowhere to be found. Assistance? Nowhere to be found. So I walked away. I know another shop where I can get them, so Myer loses the sale. Stupid, stupid companies.


I made the first burn of my new Blu-ray on Venice today as a test. I’ve completed all four movements, but the test showed a lot that needs fixing – a bit of missing music, sound that needs levelling, some duplicate images, some that need shifting and so on. And two menus that are reversed. But otherwise, bellissimo! It’s about 35 mins and not for watching in one session, meant for having on in the background. I think it’s pretty good, though. Amazing quality.



Read all about it


They’re everywhere! Italians, I mean.
I’m dealing with the CBA and the two guys I’m talking to are as Italian as they come. This is from CBA Netbank. See last item below.

Phew, I thought retirement was supposed to be a quiet time. It’s not quiet for me, that’s for sure, not just yet.

I had my first potential house buyer through yesterday, even before a sign has gone up. Barry says he’s had five enquiries from the web just by saying “Coming soon.” This guy said no, but I don’t care. We’re going to have a home open next Sunday, so we’ll see what that produces.

The house looks a lot better now with the new carpet, and I’m sure it doesn’t smell of dog any more. I must admit I’d let Minnie get a bit dirty and pongy but I’ve been struggling a bit myself. I gave her a good wash yesterday, though, and lo, she’s actually white. Five shades lighter, anyway. I did it in my bathroom with a long nozzle and warm water from the shower tap. I reckon she liked it a lot.

She’s really in fine health. The big tumour in her side looks bad, but it really, truly doesn’t bother her. She lies on it to sleep. I think the facial tumour is drying up, too. She pays it no attention. She still walks OK, slowly like me, but OK. In fact, she actually ran up my driveway a few days ago. For a 14 yo dog, she’s in fine shape.

When I left the house to Barry yesterday, I took her to the south side of my house and shut her in behind the wooden gate. She quite likes to sleep on the dirt there, so she was OK.

I’ve also made a good acquaintance with my north-side neighbour but one. His name is Peter, too, and he said they’ve just got a young Labrador and will look after Minnie for me, so that would be ideal. Better and better. He’s seen the ambulances arrive each time, once last year and three times recently, so he’s curious and knows I’ve got a bit of trouble. Nice bloke.


My internet continues to drive me up the wall. I still can’t get ADSL landline, so I rely on wireless. I complained to Vivid that I can’t stay connected and after all their checks, “Sorry sir, we can’t help you. It’s just a poor reception spot. Have a free 6GB as compensation.”

Big help. I downloaded a 266MB program yesterday and it took around 16 hours! This is from IBM’s US servers. My download speed was consistently around 10KB/s, not much better than dialup speed. I tried repeatedly pausing, hoping to get a better TCP link, but it never improved much.

I wrote to Minister Conroy about three weeks ago pointing out that I’ve been trying to get ADSL for 12 years and written twice before in the past 10 years to ministers with no result. There’s been no result this time either so far.

So last week I walked into the den of iniquity, Telstra! I swore I’d never deal with them, but reports of their 4G USB modems made me weaken. Besides, I’ve reached desperation point.

Nope. 4G is only available within 5Km of the city centre. Huh! OK, what about a landline connection again? Yes, but it’ll cost between $96 and $299 for a reconnection and there’s no guarantee it will be capable of ADSL, Same as 5 years ago. I just have to take my chances.

OK, what about 3G LTE? This is Telstra’s answer to 4G for the rest of us, a USB modem solution.

Yes sir, definitely possible, but for 4GB a month, around $90/month on a 12 month plan including cost of modem. What??!! I said I’m an aged pensioner – I can’t afford that. Sorry, that’s it.

So no deal possible. I just have to live with Vivid, now Optus, at dialup speeds or a bit better. And he said my service, although it was 4G when I bought into it with Vivid, is now only 3G with Optus. I was never told of this. Crap!

All I can hope is that I’ll do better at Kallaroo. I really think there will be ADSL available at the village. Surely there must be? The Telstra exchange is right nearby and there’s a big phone tower there too. Patience. Meanwhile, I’m going to kick the minister again very soon.


This new anti-arrhythmia medication, amiodarone, is not very nice. I deliberately didn’t look up side effects initially, but I’m aware of them now. I don’t like what I feel and read.

First, I really think it’s a blunt instrument. Maybe it works, but it’s not without long term effects. It takes months to permeate all through your body (they call it loading), into all the cells and organs, fat included and if you stop, it will take at least 6 months to wash out. It would still be working its way through me now, three weeks after I started it, so I’m not getting the full effect yet. Half life 58 days!

Yes, the AF has stopped, but that was quite probably being caused by the sotacor. There’s no guarantee that the amiodarone is the cause of it ceasing.

The side effects are mainly an awful metallic, toothpaste taste in my mouth all the time, vision change, and skin spots, small bleeds from any scratching. But I’m more worried about hepatic and thyroid effects long term, and greying of the skin, which doesn’t revert.

I’m going to discuss it, obviously, but I want to slowly reduce the dose, maybe even to zero, to see what happens. It will take months, as I say, for it to dissipate. Plenty of time to notice if I get any AF again, but I feel reassured now, that AF won’t kill me. If it comes back, OK, I restart. Under doctor’s orders, of course. No amateur advice please.


Meanwhile, I feel so much better that my thoughts are on a return to Bali. Only a quick visit, and not in the villa. Can’t stay there. Not allowed. It has to be 100% rental and I mustn’t stay in it unless I pay full commercial rate and I don’t want that. No, I’ll stay in another place. Maybe in a month or two, when I see what happens with my house sale and move.


My back lawn area is now all prepped for roll-on lawn. Just got to get the retic going again and then 90 sq.m. of lawn (2 tonnes!) delivered is $690. I reckon it’s a waste of money, but Barry wants it done, so … Ideal growing season, of course. Couch Wintergreen. There’s a little bit of couch in the ground already, so it will suit. Very tough grass! I’ve never been able to kill it off completely, even using glyphosate.


Meanwhile, my slide-show/video-show Blu-ray production is coming along beautifully! I’ve finished one using only still photos, 11 minutes titled Il Grandioso di Venezia, set to Vivaldi, but the next one is Concerto di Venezia in four movements (Movamento) with more traditional Italian music and LOTS of HD video.

Each “movamento” is around 6-7 minutes, a mix of stills and video, and on a theme, eg Canali, Shoppi, Populi and finally Arti, Musico and Cathedrali. I’ve done the first three and I’m working on the fourth. I’m still fine tuning the first three – it’s a long way from finished, but another month or two should see it completed. It’ll total about 30-40 minutes, I think.

It’s not designed to sit and watch all the way through in one sitting. It’s meant to be something you have running and each time you look, you’ll see something new that will grab your attention for a minute or two. Blu-ray only, I’m afraid. The quality is magic in HD and I’m not going to compromise it by dumbing it down to ordinary DVD.

The music is the only problem. I’m using a commercial CD of accordion and mandolin stuff and it’s good, but I need something better and royalty free, or royalty paid, that is. I’m not going to steal someone else’s work – I pay for everything. So I’m on the hunt.

As a friend of mine says, the sound is 60% of any video production. Yes, 60%, more than half. More important than the vision. At this moment, I’m playing my Blu-ray Baraka around the corner where I can’t see it, but the music and sound alone is enough. Sound is vital to any video production.


Come to think of it, here’s a good excuse to drive into the city this afternoon and go to 78 Records and see what they’ve got. Are they still in existence? I haven’t been in there for about three years!


Up and Up

I’ve been a bit quiet again, but things are going well. No worries. I’m feeling better every day. I went for a full half hour walk yesterday morning, down Vernon St to the bush, through the dirt track in the middle, then back up the slope of Vernon St to home. I had to stop a couple of times, but this is real progress. I haven’t done that since 2010.

The title refers to my feeling a month ago that I was in a vicious spiral down, unable to exercise, therefore losing my strength, to feeling now that I’m on a virtuous upward spiral. I’m getting my legs back again. This is a big deal. I’m still slow and needing to stop frequently, but I’m carrying my stick rather than using it. On Thursday I forgot to take it to the car and considered going back for it, but thought, no, I’ll do without it, and I did.

It’s the new heart medication that’s fixed me, I reckon. Sotacor was the old one and I’d been on it for years, since 2006, but it started to disagree with me, apparently.

However, the side effects of the new one, amiodarone, are quite apparent and a bit scary. Vision change, terrible constipation, some tiredness, and weight change are the main ones. I’m not sure what to think about the weight – I’ve stopped the beer completely, so it should fall a lot, and I am losing, but nowhere near as much as I should. Is it being kept up by the new drug? I don’t think anything else has changed.

However, it also interferes with the liver and thyroid over the long term. Its half life is 58 days. It builds slowly in all the organs and permeates all over your body, so takes a long time to wash out if you stop. If it causes hypothyroidism, then you get weight gain.

It can also cause grey discolouration of the skin, maybe reversible but probably not; can damage kidneys; cause epydidimitis (men only!); and other nasty things.

I’m finding it very hard to lose weight even though I’ve stopped the beer completely. Yet the cardiologist only wants a thyroid function test in 6 months’ time. No way, mate. I’m going to ask for one now. Surely I should have one just as a baseline as a matter of course?

I’m not too confident in this cardiologist iow. He just brushed off my list of noticed side effects as “No, those are not amiodarone.” Well, funny that they should come to light only after I’ve started it and it’s the only drug changed. However, I can see that if it takes time to build up in the body, the side effects may not be immediately noticeable. It seems like a blunt instrument to me.

Anyway, despite that, I’m generally feeling MUCH better now. I’m starting to plan what the future holds. The house sale and move is the primary first step. I’ll be bloody glad to get away from my back fence neighbours. They like to entertain on their back lawn and they like it LOUD, with bright lights shining in  my eyes and pizza oven wood smoke drifting across me. NO! I’ve told them I won’t tolerate the smoke. It’s their problem how they fix it, not mine, but fix it they must.

The guy at least came to the back fence on Friday and made an attempt to be reasonable, and I was reasonable back, but it was still annoying last night, Dockers game night, when they had a crowd shouting and barracking on their back lawn. Grrr. I have to vacate my family room, close the door to keep the noise out and retire to this bedroom. Why should I have to?

So a move away from here can’t happen soon enough. I’ve been here 26 years this month and seen five changes of neighbours on both sides, i.e. 5 changes each side!

STOP PRESS: last night my neighbours on the north side had a backyard party too. Lots of shouting, screeching, luckily no loud music. I went to bed at 11:30pm and it was still going on, and I’ve got a digital recording of it if I need it. These are the neighbours I never see. What’s going on? is the house rented? I never see them to ask.

I’m going to have to pay guys to help me move. Even the simplest jobs are getting too hard. I need to get the reticulation going again, but the sprinkler heads need to be found and cleared. No way I can get down there, without falling down, anyway. I can do the new controller bit, that’s my job. (I had a win at Bun.. Bunni… ah, FO … a 6 station controller marked on the shelf at $49.95 scanned at $22.35. I remarked on it, but the guy just said it was my lucky day. Yep.)

Baz should be back from Qld anytime now, so we can get moving, literally. Only one problem – I don’t have a unit to go to yet. Oh well, Baz’ll handle it. Cheers.


Spring is a-springin’



Paris Gare du Nord, 9 September 2008. Wish I was there now.  © P. J. Croft 2012

Nice day, ay?  I’m feeling so much better that I actually went for a walk before breakfast and managed to walk the 250m to my bench seat goal without stopping for a breather and without using my stick. It was OK, so I’ll push myself to do it more. My legs seem to be stronger and have less swelling (fluid).

I tried to entice Minnie to follow me, but for the first time, she wouldn’t leave my lawn. She’s OK, but getting a bit slower. She’s 14 now, 98 in human terms! But she still has all her teeth and faculties, no problem.


I forgot to mention yesterday: in July, I bought a Manfrotto 334B monopod, a design where you squeeze a grip and the monopod is supposed to slide down to the ground. Let go the grip and you have your stable camera platform.

But the one I got is faulty. It was so stiff as to be unusable, even pulling the column down. The handle felt dead.

I emailed the Qld firm but got no response. This went on for three weeks, and to make a short story, I had to make a complaint to Qld fair trading. Eventually, I got a return authorisation and was meaning to post it back to them when all the ambo rides happened.

So it sat there in its box, waiting for me to get around to it.

On Wednesday, I got a call from the head man of the firm, asking, “Have you sent it to us?”

No, I said, but will do asap. “Don’t worry,” he said, “Keep it. We’ve had several other returns. It seems to have been a faulty batch. We’ll refund your money in full, but you can keep the monopod. Have a go at fixing it yourself.” He wasn’t aware of the Dept of Fair Trading complaint, even though I’ve told them! Someone in that firm is stuffing up.

Well, knock me down with a ball and socket head. So I’ve got a free monopod. I’ve started taking it apart (very easy) and it’s still stiff, so I just need to loosen a big acorn nut and we’ll see what happens.

They’ve redeemed themselves and I’ve already ordered a Manfrotto fluid video head, so I may even order another Manfrotto item I’ve noticed recently, a half ball head, with the refunded money.

Sometimes, you win.

Out and about



Americas Cup 1986   © P. J. Croft 2012

OK, here it is Friday 7th and I’ve spent an hour this morning on a bed having a leg vein ultrasound examination. Fascinating! You can see your veins as clear as day pulsing away and the scanner adds flashes of colour so you can see the blood pumping along too. The sonographer sounded very happy so I don’t think I’ve got anything to worry about. My left leg was the concern, but it’s cleared up beautifully since last week.

As Jeana said, the sonography machines have improved remarkably in the past few years as technology has advanced. She said it’s hard to keep up with the advances. It’s all Philips’ work too, so multinationals ain’t all bad.

I must say I felt a lot better this morning. My legs seem to be regaining their strength, maybe? It’s easier to walk and I’m carrying my stick instead of leaning on it.

I also spoke to the chemist here. She’d asked whether I was noticing any side effects of amiodarone. Well, yes, a bit more puffed and tiring easily, weight gain and vision change – my vision is blurred and the left eye is much worse than the right.

She consulted her computer and said to ask the doctor – could be hypothyroidism. Amiodarone can interfere with the thyroid. Hmmm.

Considering I haven’t had a drop of alcohol in the past eight days, gaining weight is a bit disheartening (boom boom). But I do feel better. No trouble stopping. No withdrawal symptoms.


This afternoon I got a call from the CommBank loans guy. He’s been away on holidays, but is now moved to Osborne Park, Main St. Karrinyup Northcourt no longer has a loans officer! Bugger. Osborne Park is a fair way to go for a 10 min meeting and hard to park.

Anyway, line of credit? No problem. $10K minimum. No problem. Need bridging finance when I change properties, no problem. My credit has already been established when I applied for the reverse mortgage, so no need to do it again. I’m a good client.  Yeah, sure.


After the ultrasound, having been fasting, I went to Innaloo shops for a Subway lunch. Uh oh. It’s gone! No more Subway there any more. Damn. They didn’t ask me.


While there last week, I overheard two women in Target: “Oh, did you see that little boy? No jacket and bare feet. Oh my God!”

Mind your own business! I saw the boy go past with his mother. It wasn’t cold and he was having fun. What business is it of theirs?


I also had to go to K-Mart today to buy some of my 4XL boxer shorts. What a crap store! There is no variety of stock. Rows and rows of same old same old. No brands except their own K-Mart brands. Drab colours, or day-glo colours. Awful stuff. Cheap and nasty.

Australian retailers complain about poor sales, but there’s nothing but rubbish to buy here. They’re not seeling, they are presenting crap and hoping we’ll accept it. Bulldust! This is Wesfarmers.

More later.

And again …

This is getting boring. It happened again on Saturday after breakfast – chaotic heartbeat, racing pulse, chest pain, but not as bad as Tuesday.
I had to call 000 again and the guy in Canberra or wherever it is couldn’t understang Trigg – er Tribb, er Tridd – no T-R-I-double G, oh Tribb, NO NO double G, not double B!

I was gasping for breath but got next door across again to look after Minnie. Then when the ambos arrived, the guy asked what I was feeling.

I reached for my wrist to see whether my pulse was still 120bpm and he said, “No sir, don’t do that. If you take your pulse, you’ll just panic yourself.” What?!

I told him what was happening and said, “My angio folder with all the details are in that case over there.”

“No sir, my job is to get you stabilised and into the ambulance” and he wouldn’t take any notice of the hospital folder.

We talked about what meds I’d taken and I said I’d used three sprays of GTN, then three more after 15 mins or so.

“Oh, you shouldn’t have done that. You can give yourself a heart attack like that.” Bullshit! I’ve checked and this is rubbish. I’ve been using it for years and I know what works and what I can tolerate. His information is out of date.

Then I pointed to my box of medications above the bench. “No, don’t worry about that, just come out to the ambulance.”

So I walk slowly out to the ambulance and get settled. By now he’s got my plastic box with all my meds and prescriptions in it.
“This is all very neat, sir, but you reallly need to have a list.”

“But I’ve got a list! There are two copies, one in my wallet (which I hadn’t been able to grab) and one in the HPH folder!”

Oh. He stopped reprimanding me after that. I tried to turn on the humour by saying, “By the way, that 300mg aspirin I took was Coles brand, so you’d better discount it to 200mg. Down, down, aspirin are down.”

He saw the joke and relaxed after that. But he spent far too long typing all my medications (all 11 of them) into his pad. What a waste of time.

My heart was still jumping when we got to Charlies so they got a good look at the chaos. I was still breathing hard. But after about 10 mins, it suddenly reverted to normal rhythm and I felt good again. I can immediately feel the difference.

Then it was cannula time and blood sample time. Bloody hell! My arms are bruised and scarred from all the attempts. It was really painful and the doc couldn’t find the vein. He had to call in a more experienced guy who had another go, admitted defeat and brought in an ultrasound detector. This time he got it.

After that, it was wait, wait, move to a less urgent area, wait some more, try to eat a round of sarnies with ECG leads and a drip in the back of my hand (ow, it stings) and a BP cuff on. Stand up to pee. Make a small mess. Listen to the poor elderly lady next door groaning in agony every time she moved her shoulder. And other embarrassing things.

Hold back the urge to say to the male nurse, “Stop being so blokey! Treat her more deferentially, more quietly.” He was saying, “How are we my darling? Going alright my dear?” This to an 84 yo lady. He was trying to be nice, but he didn’t understand. None of my business.

Finally the resident cardiologist came and had a chat. Don’t worry, you won’t die from AF. May have to think about Warfarin. Maybe ablation. No thanks to either at the moment.

Then I could go, but first they took the cannula out of my right hand. I held pressure on it for a while and it looked OK, but then I noticed blood everywhere. It was falling out!
I went out and called a nurse, who had to clean it off the floor and other parts of my body. It stopped after that, but their sheets were a bit of a mess.

Then home in a taxi. Everyone is out on a Saturday afternoon.

Here it is Wednesday and I’ve only just got around to writing this up. It’s all settled down now and although I’m wearing a Holter Monitor, I think they’ve missed the opportunity. It was last Friday and Saturday that my heart was going bang, not now. A few ectopics today, but not much. Oh well.