Lock up

Part view of Perth and the Swan River, looking north.

Wow, we’ve just set a new record – six days in a row above 40degC. And we’ve had eleven days above 40 deg so far this summer, also a record, and there’s still a month of summer left to go. And February is the hottest month. Thank goodness for air conditioning.

I found that if I had the air con running up to bed time, I could turn it off when I went to bed. The room held enough cool air that I slept OK. The room didn’t heat up too much. But if I left the air con running when going to sleep, I would wake about 2.30am and have to turn it off. Too cold. It’s good to have the choice.

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Phuk! Phuk!! I’ve done it again. I forgot to charge the battery in the Honda and it looks to be dead. That makes the third time I’ve done this. I’m a bloody fool.

I’m wondering if there’s an intermittent fault that’s draining the battery. But unless you have monitoring apparatus, it would be damned hard to trace.

I’ve been thinking of an electronic solution; a solid state switch driven by a voltage reference circuit, set to about 10 or 11V. As long as the volts are above the reference, everything works normally. But if the battery volts dropped below around 10V, the circuit would disconnect the +ve supply so that no further drain could occur. Hmmmm.

This was an RAC supplied battery, only about eight months ago. I wonder how I’d go claiming warranty replacement.

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Phuk! Phuk!! number two! I’ve been driving the Peugeot 407 this afternoon. The boot latch on this is operated by an electrical switch on the middle of the 0 in 407. Never had any trouble with it. Up to now.

But now, the switch won’t work! I can’t open the boot. It’s full of groceries. Luckily there’s no ice cream or butter to melt, but there is cold meat and cold pre-cooked meals.

All I can think of is that the back seat folds down to make a “ski” opening (it’s a French car). I should be able to reach through and pull the grocery bags into the back seat (it’s a coupe). But it will be difficult for me (I’m rather big). Damn, damn, damn.

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And just to add to the troubles I’ve been having, I’ve been pissing blood. Not all the time, but last night. Probably a kidney stone. No pain, thank goodness, but it will have to be checked out. It seems to be one thing after another. Gettin’ old.

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While I was in hospital last week, they said I am low in vitamin B12 and gave me an injection to boost my level. It had a noticeable effect. I came home feeling less tired and with more energy. It’s enough that I did 10 minutes non-stop walking on the treadmill a couple of days ago. I haven’t been able to do that for some time.

But it seems to be wearing off. I was put onto an oral vitamin B spray a couple of years ago. I stopped using it due to its bitter taste, but I think I’ll go back to it. I shall report on progress.

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Last year I talked about books I was reading written by James Rosone and Miranda Watson They’re books about WW3, not exactly to everyone’s taste, but I praised the authors.

Well, recently I read another couple of books along the same lines by Andrew Watson (odd coincidence), and they are so well written that I actually re-read a couple that I’d read last year. It made me realise that this guy knows how to write! Forget what I said about James Rosone. I’m reading another of his (Rosone’s) books now and I’ll allow that he has a broad view of what a future war might look like, but he can’t hold a candle to Andrew Watson for writing skill. I recommend Watson.

Crash landing

Phew, it’s hot: 39deg today, forecast 41deg tomorrow, and similar on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. That’s very definitely a heat wave.

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I’ve just got home from three days (well, 2½ days) in Joondalup Hospital. On Sunday I was feeling my usual recent weakness and low energy. I got up from this chair and felt the light headedness and wooziness I’ve been feeling lately.

It passed after a few seconds so I walked out to the kitchen, through the gap between the kitchen bench and the glass cabinet.

Suddenly, within the space of a second or two, my knees buckled and my legs were gone from under me. I crashed to the floor (hence the title), my hard tiled floor. Luckily I went front first and wasn’t carrying anything, nor did I knock any glass down with me.

I lay there dazed for five minutes or so, thinking what to do. I’ve long known that due to my size, I can’t lift myself with my legs. I reached up to the sink and gave it a try, but no go.

So I just had to slide myself along the (tiled) floor to reach the lock on the front door, so I could let someone in, whoever I decided to call. It took me 45 minutes of sliding. I got the door unlocked and decided to call the ambulance, because I know they have a blowup chair that they slide under people like me to lift us up. Last time this happened, they told me that about a third of their calls are for this reason. (Another third of the calls are from drunks or deros hoping to get a free ride home or somewhere. If they manage to persuade the ambos, they get a bill for $450. Ha Ha.) I was able to pull my mobile phone down from the desk by its charging cable and I called 000 while lying on the floor.

Anyway, the ambulance turned up about 15 mins later with two guys, both named Ian, both Poms. They were very thorough, of course, making sure they knew what had happened and that nothing more serious was wrong (e.g. it might have been a stroke). They had to call another ambulance which carries the Whoopie cushion, the “Bouncy Castle”. That took another 15 mins. That worked a treat and got me up onto my feet again.

They decided, since I seemed a bit forgetful and confused at the time (I was a bit dazed and shocked), that they needed to take me to Joondalup ED. No worries. I had to grab the essentials, no spare clothes because I thought I’d be home the next day. Just CPAP bag, phone, meds, prescriptions and wallet. That was it.

I was taken into the ED on a stretcher and bed and after quite a wait, I was gently questioned about what had happened and a host of other things. That took until about 8.30pm, with lots of gaps and waits.

They decided to admit me overnight in view of my history and ailments. No problem for me. Oh, forgot to mention, I had caught and scraped the underside of my left upper arm and elbow on the kitchen bench. There was a bit of skin off and a huge bruise, and a scrape of one of my toes. Everyone looked at these and tsk tsked, but no-one did anything about it. It took until late yesterday for them to clean and dress these small wounds.

So I spent the evening with just one round of sandwiches to sustain me in the MAU, the Medication Assessment Unit on the first floor. I spent the night (Sunday) there, bored stiff and completely unable to sleep, partly because I found I’d forgotten to bring the tube with the CPAP machine, and also due to the endless noise just outside in the corridor. (Note to self: order spare CPAP tube(s). Luckily they’re quite cheap on Wish.com.)

Then yesterday, a succession of doctors and allied staff came and asked me about my diabetes meds and were discussing my blood pressure. It looks as if my blood pressure has been too low, hence the dizzy spells lately. But yesterday and today the diabetes educator talked to me about the insulin and tablets I’m on, and it has become clear that I was left completely in the dark and confused about what the two injections I use are for, and the tablets and what they do. I’m a bit annoyed that no-one explained these last year.

I’ve also been told I can stop taking my blood pressure medication, because I don’t need it – my BP stays OK without it. No more dizzy spells, I hope.

I also had a visit from a physio lady this morning (in the hospital) to talk about where I am regarding balance, steadiness, walking ability and so on. She was quite happy that I’m not a dodderer and offered to get me to come in to the hospital’s “gym” in about a month’s time for some personal treatment. Yum.

Forgot to mention, they asked me on Sunday if I wanted a public (Medicare) room, or a private room. I said private (I’ve never used the public system before). The lady said “Remember, that will be $250 due to your HBF Excess.” Uh oh! I’d forgotten that. “Can I avoid that?” “Yes, just choose a Medicare public ward.” OK, I’ll have that, I said.

But later on Monday they moved me upstairs and I was put into a single occupant, private room anyway. It was immaculate, like a 4 star hotel room. Ah, the blissful quietness. I mentioned this to the nurses and they said, “No, don’t say that, PLEASE! It’s like saying Macbeth in the theatre, it’s a curse. We don’t say the ‘Quiet’ word around here.” Oh, OK. What about if I said “COVID?” “Oh, that’s OK, we’re not scared of that (yet).”

So, after lunch and more talks with doctors and nurses, I was able to check myself out about 3pm and got a taxi home, in the 40deg heat. Ooooww. But the aircon’s on and the house has cooled down, so all’s right with the world. For now.

Happy New Year 2022

50 Happy New Year 2022 Wishes

The clock ticked over and we all feel different, don’t we? Don’t we? Nah, didn’t think so. Happy New Year, but it’s still the same year repeated ad infinitum. Just lie back and enjoy it.

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I stayed home and watched TV. I don’t have the energy to celebrate in physical ways any more. I did stay up until past midnight, though, so I was celebrating in spirit.

One thing I watched was the second last (I think it’s the second last) episode of The Good Doctor on Netflix. When I first learnt of this series I laughed. An autistic guy who not only becomes a doctor but a surgeon as well? It seemed far fetched, and it is, but it got me hooked. Shawn is a savant, capable of recalling an amazing array of facts and images (in TV land, of course) and has the telegenic knack of coming up with brilliant ideas on how to solve baffling illnesses and suggest surgical solutions.

But it’s the other actors that make the show work. There’s a range of interesting characters set in a big hospital in San Jose, California, who all have their problems and personality clashes. It’s quite a long series, about 50 episodes and there’s time for many different situations to develop and play out. Shawn has to learn to deal with girlfriends and he’s going through a crisis at the moment.

I admit to liking this improbable series, although all the patients seem to have crises at exactly the right moment, all the doctors are able to make instant diagnoses, an operating theatre always seems to be available at a moment’s notice and so on.

Then I watched the movie du jour, Don’t Look Up. It’s meant to be a comedy but I didn’t find it all that funny. It’s an allegory about global heating, set as the discovery of a 9Km wide comet heading straight for Earth and due to hit smack bang on in 6 months. About how the scientists can’t get anyone to take it seriously. About how the President of the USA is more concerned about her re-election chances than doing anything. The Prez is Meryl Streep, by the way, and we actually get to see her nude at the end, just before her head is bitten off by a dinosaur. Everyone else in the scene is nude too, and it’s set 22,746 years in the future, so that’s OK. 🙂

I’m also watching the series Emily in Paris, also on Netflix. The first series (which I’m watching) was panned horribly for being cliche-ridden, but as usual when a book or movie gets bad reviews, that’s my signal to watch or read and I usually enjoy it.

Yes, this is a bit horrible (gauche young American woman transplanted to Paris, unable to speak French), but I’m enjoying it so far. I’m about six episodes in, and I read that the second series is much better.