On the up

6-44pm

29 October, Happy Birthday, Dad.

Long delay in writing, sorry. I’m feeling much better since my hospital trip, but still tired. The GP is investigating persistent anaemia. There are a couple of possible reasons, one fixable, one not. To be determined, more blood tests tomorrow.

Then on Tuesday I have my small operation to have the BCC removed from my nose. I hope they don’t have to dig too deep.

Then Wednesday I have an appointment at Lions Eye Institute to look at the cataract in my left eye. It’s got really bad in the past couple of weeks, so that I’m having trouble reading and seeing properly. It needs fixing asap. I can’t drive at night, and the GP made noises about needing a police medical to check my driver’s licence validity. Uh oh. Crumbs, if I lost my licence up here (in South Geraldton*, I mean), it would be terrible. There are no taxis, or almost none. Buses are all very well, but not when you’ve got bags of shopping goods.          *Perth joke.

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There was an item in the papers on Friday – about 190 (I think) billionaires in the world now control $6 trillion of the world’s wealth, which is more than twice the GDP of the UK. This is obscene! They are just piling it all up, and most of it is untaxed by way of tax havens. The photo to illustrate the article was of a gold Ferrari parked in Sloane Street, London. Not just a gold painted Ferrari, no, a gold plated one! How arrogant.

A couple of the billionaires were quoted in the article as saying they felt and obligation to give back, and their idea is to open their private art collections to the public.

What arrogance! How is this going to help? How about giving just one of your $billions to help the Rohingyha crisis, for example. When your fortune is $10billion, you’ll make that small donation up in no time.

The theme of the article was that this is a repeat of the Robber Barons era at the beginning of the 20th century, when the Rockefellers, van der Bilts, Morgans and so-on in the USA built vast fortunes, often by nefarious means. It led to a backlash in new tax laws and breakups of their companies. It’s time it happened again.

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I’m back

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Sorry, it’s been a long break with no posts. That’s because I’ve been a bit sick, quite sick, actually.

From Wed 4th I started getting big shivering and shaking fits, called “rigors”. (I pronounce this riggers, yet for some reason, all the medicos and nurses pronounce it rye-gors.) Apart from the shaking, I felt OK, so I let it go.

Last Saturday morning I managed to slip out of bed at about 7am and found myself on the floor, too weak to get up or even crawl. I also couldn’t reach my bedside house phone, it being too far back on the bedside cabinet. My mobile was out in the kitchen on charge.

I spent an hour or more slowly crawling into the bathroom trying to find a away to pull myself up, with no success, so crawled back out again. Finally, with much effort I managed to reach my phone. I called my good friend KG and said “Help!” He could come out, luckily, but he had no way to get in, as the house is locked tight at night. So he called the police, who said they’d come here “if they had time.” Someone, they or KG, also called an ambulance, emphasising that I wasn’t injured or anything, just couldn’t get up.

While waiting, I tried to crawl to the door of my bedroom so as to get out and unlatch the front door. No way. I couldn’t do it. In the process I wet myself and my jocks slid off. Ugh 😦

Finally after about 45mins I heard shuffling outside my front windows and people moving out there. A while later I heard, “You get the crowbar and blanket,”  then BASH, BASH, BASH as they tried to break a window. It turns out that I have laminated glass windows with film on the outside, hard to break. They bashed so hard on the sliding window of bathroom 2 that they damaged the whole frame. The police have insurance for this, and my house insurance will cover it too. They left their card and departed. Being still on the floor, without my glasses, I never actually saw them, just heard their voices. I do know two were females, and me stark nekkid!

The front door was open now and the ambos came in, also two females. They covered me with a blanket, then got me some fresh jocks and a T shirt. We had a good old chat, and Keith had arrived as well. It turned out everyone knew someone – small city.

Then an ambulance car arrived with the lifting device, a pneumatic chair. They slip the flat base under you, inflate that, then the next stage, and the next, and soon you find yourself sitting high enough to stand easily, which I did. Then, although I felt weak, I was able to walk around, so in the absence of any real symptoms, ie temperature or BP problems, or authorisation to take me to hospital (I guess), they left. Keith was still with me, and another friend arrived too, so I was OK. But thick headed! And weak! I couldn’t entertain very much and had to just sit there. Keith, in his usual commanding way, installed a support rail that I’d had waiting for something like this, near the bed so I can pull myself up.

Sunday I felt better, showered and washed my hair, and emailed the medical centre for an appointment with my GP for 9.15am Monday.

Monday 5am I nearly fell again. Very weak. I was so scared of it happening again that I dared not go back to bed, so sat up in a chair waiting. Six am, 7am, 8am, I was drooping and fell asleep, waking at 9.15am, the time of my appointment. Rushed to the car, forgetting my phone, drove to the GP (only 5 mins away). My BP was so low that I was dizzy, so he got a cannula in and started a saline drip into the vein. After a litre, I felt better, but was still extremely weak. He ordered an ambulance and so I was off to Joondalup hospital.

I spent five hours on a trolley in the Emergency Dept while they added more drips, litre after litre. Another cannula. Bloods drawn. Urine sample. Diagnosis: severe bladder infection which had moved up the kidneys. As well, X rays and a C/T scan showed a 4mm stone in my right ureter, blocking it, and the tissue around the stone was infected. So I/V antibiotic straight away, and an operation scheduled for the next morning, Tuesday.

The operation, a cystoscopy, went fine. I felt no pain. But they left a bladder catheter in, which I’m not keen on.

Sure enough, after lunch, the balloon of the catheter seemed to have shifted position and pain started, ramping up to 8-9/10, as bad as a kidney stone. I started groaning, then calling out, yelling, asking for pain relief. Nurses came looking concerned, but no authority; have to ask doctor, can’t find one. They gave me two Panadol, then one small Tramadol. Headache strength! Tiddleywinks! I need stronger. After about 40 mins they brought an oxy, but by then they had deflated the balloon, moved the catheter and almost instant pain reduction. Inflate the balloon again and things got back to normal. Ugh.

Later that night, a funny incident, although not so funny for the nurses. At 9pm, routine checks, but my BP was very low. Must be the machine misreading. Got another electronic machine, same thing. Got a manual machine and very carefully checked. No, no mistake, my BP was down to 80/31. The nurse hit the red panic button. Within a minute, the room rapidly filled with people, about 20 I reckon, all talking at once, one guy carrying the big red bag, the defibrillator. The noise! I felt fine. I said, “Thanks for coming. To what do I owe this pleasure?” I think they were relieved it wasn’t a real problem, but extra saline drip was wheeled in and I reckon they put in another three litres overall. The people slowly drifted away.

I mentioned that they all dressed alike, and I couldn’t tell who were the doctors, as it’s hard to see name badges at belt level and they weren’t using the usual badge of rank, the stethoscope around the neck. One guy came over and introduced himself as Dr Singh. OK, fine, no problem.

So that was Tuesday. The next two days were observations of BP, as we don’t know why it plunged like that. The catheter came out on Wed morning, thank goodness, not as painful as you’d think. But it took more than 24hrs to regain bladder control. Ugh, wet carpet, wet towels. I slowly came back.

So home again on Friday morning, collecting my car from the medical centre where I had to leave it last Monday for the ambulance ride. It was still there, dammit. It’s worth more written off than as it stands.

Very weak and tired for the first 36hrs, but much better now. Thinking about ways to ensure I can get out of bed OK, and a key-safe outside so someone can get in without bashing a window in, and a distress alarm. Easy.

It’s all good

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Finally, a tech from Opticomm came on Wednesday. Finally! I’ve been asking for this for weeks. Anyway, he had a look at the coax connections and within about 20 mins had replaced one on my outside wall, in the box, and four in the pit in the footpath. He said they looked corroded, and it’s because they were below the hole in the concrete cover which allows it to be lifted. But that hole allows the rain to drip in, hence the corrosion. He covered them with plastic, he said.

So after 25 days of complaining, and repeatedly being promised phone calls or deliveries, someone finally came. Bloody hell! It wasn’t until I contacted Opticomm directly that something happened. It seems iiNet never submitted a Fault Report to Opticomm, despite all my complaints.

I’m afraid iiNet are going to lose my business after this. This has been painful, atrocious. I’m on a 2 yr contract, but as far as I’m concerned, they have failed to provide the service they contracted to.

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Sorry, no more for now. For the last two days I’ve been shivering and feeling very weak. I had another dose of “the rigors” on Wednesday, uncontrollable shaking and shivering, lasting about three hours. Even now, Friday, I feel weak and shivery. It’s greatly helped by a Panadeine.

Battling on

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Gunung Agung in placid mode.   © PJ Croft 1986, 2017

I battle on, day 23 ending, still no reliable internet. It’s working at the moment, but drops out unpredictably. I’ve discovered by dealing with Opticomm directly that iiNet has never submitted a fault report to Opticomm! After three weeks of empty promises which never result in any action.

According to iiNet last Thursday, I was supposed to have an Opticomm guy deliver a new cable modem “within 24 – 48 hours”, i.e. Friday or Saturday. I sat around all day both days, but no-one called, no-one came. I am sick of this!!!  iiNet’s promises are utterly worthless.

Now today Opticomm are telling me I have to get back onto iiNet Support. Why? I think iiNet have still not submitted a fault notification and I have to prod them.

I shouldn’t have to diagnose this fault. Someone should have come here within the first few days, first week at least. I’ve now emailed iiNet’s Customer Relations and SHOUTED at them, I WANT THIS FIXED. Pathetic.

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I was buying drinks the other day and I noticed a bottle of vodka labelled Gluten Free. That’s good to know, for the big drinkers. I had to laugh.

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Ugh, feeling the beginnings of a cold/flu. A bit achey, muscle aches, throat ache. I hope it goes away. I never get colds or flu. Especially not flu. The only time I can remember was about 1973. I had to go out to make a phone call (no phone in my flat then) and had to crawl up some steps on hands and knees when I got back. Nothing that bad since.

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USA – sick country, sick people, sick president, sick government.  UGH!  I will never go there again.

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Gunung Agung 1986, peaceful.   ©  PJ Croft 1986, 2017