Monday, 30 May 2011

It is three days since he has seen M. le Chirurgien, (I just cannot get my English tongue around that word!) at our local wonderful hospital. M. le Chirurgien said that my man is OK, he is healing well and if there is any problem to come back and see him. Yes, fine, the nurse also said the same, ‘call me if there is a problem.’

So after the consultation we went to Lidl for a cheap shop (at the mo the bank balance is low and we have to budget again (Grrrrr)). Anyway, we bought stuff at discount (?) price and came home. I said I would bring the shopping in….. so what does he do? The manly stuff and brings in two heavy bags. I am not a weak female, I am capable of carrying a few kilos of shopping into the house…. Grrrr. He will not listen to me.

How on earth did he think I managed before. I am not weak. I am able to lift weights and carry them distances (albeit short), so I have had to shout at him a lot. “Noooo, put that down!!!” “I can do it” he said. “Don’t you dare try to lift that!” I say, “don’t worry, I can cope with it.” But he still insisted on bringing the two bags into the house.

He then sat down and said “I shouldn’t have done that!”

I growled!

Then I say “Maybe one day you will have to look after me and write the shopping list, sort, wash, dry and iron the laundry, change the bed linen, plan and cook the meals, sweep, vacuum and mop the floors, polish and dust the furniture, wash the windows, weed the garden (by the house), change the beds, clean the bathrooms, sort the finances, fill out the tax returns etc…..” He sat and looked at me and said nothing!!! I am able to cope with many things… Sod the vegetable patch, take me to the supermarket! Give me someone to cut the grass…. I can cope with growing flowers and also herbs for culinary uses.

He is healing. Slowly.

He and I have been married since St Valentines Day 1970… Long time!!

We had known each other for three years before getting married….. Long time!!!

Now, since 1967 my dear husband has, to my recollection, had a few surgical interventions. He had an operation on his wrist, he had surgery on his parotid gland which was furred up like a kettle, then he had another 4 operations relating to the same thing. His Piles needed sorting as well! Then he had problems with his neck (could have been paralyzed from neck down!). Prior to me knowing him he also had surgery on his knee/leg… and so it goes on. He enjoys ill health!

Me? I do not do ill people!!!!

I do not have empathy or sympathy… so when he coughs or sneezes I turn away. I know he can be a bit of a drama queen and will exaggerate his illnesses but I do not have time or patience for it.

Am I a bad person?

On a lighter note, our eldest daughter did the three peaks challenge in 23 hours 35 minutes this weekend, including injury time for one of the climbers. Bless her and her husband. Didn’t they do well??

What will they want to conquer next?

Friday, 27 May 2011

It is now quinze jours since my man’s surgical intervention, not a ‘fortnight’ in France but quinze jours. He has been home for huit jours not a week. Oh what fun playing with the oral differences between the two languages.

Anyway, he has been home since Thursday 19th May. He is fine. He is sore. He has had the attention of our local infirmieres who arrived every other day to check his wounds and change his dressings. God Bless those two lovely ladies who ministered to his needs.

I know this sounds a little ‘off the wall’ but that is me. He was happy for the attention and I was happy for them to minister to him. I could not do it; I am not in their league and really appreciate the nursing profession. All nurses deserve recognition; I know what they go through when they train for their craft and what they are faced with when they qualify.

My older sister achieved her State Registered Nurse qualification in 1966. I went through the trauma with her, reading her text books (some of which were a bit yeuk) helping her with her revision, listening to her hates and loves in training, giving a shoulder for the tears and joining the celebration when she passed… She made the grade with a lot of hard work, passed her SRN exam first go and is now still working, on a part time basis, in the nursing profession. Our youngest daughter is working to the same goal, albeit at an older age and with other qualifications. It seemed to be simpler 40+ years ago but nowadays it seems to be the ‘degrees’ not the instinct and empathy that counts.

He had a visit to the surgeon this morning who checked his wounds and pronounced him fit and well. It appears that his appendix was 'plus grand' and the abscess 'grand'. With my man it is never simple. Stitches were removed and he was discharged from the hospital and advised to return only if there was a problem. Hooray!!!

Anyway, the upshot of this is that I have told himself tonight that he will get fit and will listen to me and eat what I feed him because I want him fit. I explained that although we have been married for 40+ years and that we have our differences I still love him and that I want him to be fit and well (he did smile at that!). And also, for the extended holiday that I am planning for next year he will need to be fit. He sat and nodded and agreed. He does not need to lift a finger (ha! par for the course, comme d’habitude) I will sort it all out.

Whether I have the stamina or not to keep this up I don’t know, we will see.

The dog is happy that his master is home. The cats are happy that he is home. Our neighbour is glad to see him home as well as our assorted French and English friends.

I am cooking bland food for us both. He did say ‘you don’t need to eat the same as me’. Ha, why cook two separate meals… So I am on a bland diet as well. (Bah!) Never mind it won’t be long before he can take a little bit of spice! I have arranged a curry night for friends in huit jours, he had better be able to cope with it!

At the moment, weather-wise, it is hot, sometimes too hot, and sunny although the wind has been a bit on the chilly side. There are already water restrictions for the farmers. It won’t be long before the restrictions affect the general members of the public. It has been a very dry winter and there has been next to no rain falling. The river has been low all winter and I think it is now about three years since it has ‘broken’ its banks. We have a flood meadow that hasn’t been under water for a long time. The lack of rain has been quite frightening, the grass is brown already. It does not bode well, three years of drought is not good.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Bites and Appendices

It all started Wednesday morning, no I tell a lie, before then.

We went away to a lovely little fishing port on the Vendee coast for a weeks break in a friends apartment. With permission we took the dog as the apartment was ground floor and had a lovely little fenced garden.

The apartment overlooked the port which had grown over the past 20+ years into a fantastic harbour with moorings for millions of Euros of yachts of all sizes. Oh yes it had changed somewhat since our last visit there.

We had a nice restful time, the dog enjoyed his first visit to the seaside and was absolutely joyous running free on the sand and ploughing into the waves and over and over again. Totally in his element!

On our last day/night, something bit my ankle - twice. It wasn't too bad, didn't itch or anything. We came home Saturday and ankle was OK but I took the precaution of slathering it with hydrocortisone. Ankle fine Sunday. Sunday night and Monday during the day my foot became more and more swollen. Off to docs on Tuesday and she said just keep it clean and carry on with what you are doing (antiseptic spray and hydrocortisone). Well, Wednesday morning, after a very painful night, I hobbled down to the kitchen and found the cast of Antz 2 on the kitchen floor. I couldn't believe the amount of the little blighters swarming all over the place.

Then himself came through:

"I've been sick" "Oh God I've got such a pain in my belly".

I felt his head, no temperature.

"Are you OK, how's your ankle?" he said.

"Yes I am fine, I had a xxxx night, it itches like xxxxxxx and these bloody ants are everywhere!"

"I think it was that spinach and cream thing you did last night"

"No, that was OK, maybe you just have trapped wind, If you were younger and female I would say it is ovaries". (boy was I in a mood!)

Black look!

Have a little toast" I said, he did and it promptly came back.

Our doctor does not work on Wednesday as she has a young son and children only go to school here half day on Wednesday. A bit like shops and banks were in the UK many, many moons ago.

So himself goes back to bed for the day and I proceeded committing fourmicide and dealt with all those delightful and industrious insects.

I kept a check on him during the day. Still no temperature but a lot of pain.

Thursday am he went to doc and she said "appendicite" gave him a letter with instructions to go to Urgences (Casualty/ER.)

I do not drive!

I packed a bag for him and called some friends who quickly came over and took us to our local Hopital.

The Triage nurse took all our details and then the put my man on a bed in a room then wired him up for for ECG (beaucoup de poil!), tried to get a line in for blood test and drip and then waited for our local Hopital's version of Dr Ross. He was absolutely charming but did not speak a word of English. c'est pas grave! We understood when he said 'gaz'.

But 'gaz' it was not.

When the surgeon went into his gut on Thursday morning he found a large abscess on his appendix. Poor guy, no wonder he was in such pain. His gall bladder is OK though!

It is now Saturday evening. I have been in to see him, courtesy of another friend, and have also spoken with him. I should be able to get to see him again tomorrow and with a bit of luck will find out when he is coming home.

My bites have cleared up but still have some bruising on my foot and two nasty scabs!!

The ants have been totally exterminated in spite of Disney thinking they are cute!

I am now looking forward to the post-operative care I will have to give. I am not cut out for nursing, never have been and never will be. And he knows....