Saturday, 28 January 2012

Time for a few words I think.

Am getting used to this new ‘puter, it is fine at the moment, I haven’t bothered with the voice recognition over the past few days, it was fun while it lasted!

Since having my elbow ‘fixed’ my man has been taking care of my culinary needs, almost 4 weeks now!

I do have problems (still!) holding an onion for chopping or a potato or carrot for peeling etc. you just don’t realise the movements you make with your left hand/arm when preparing vegetables with the right (or vice versa), even slicing bread is painful.

Oh no, I do not mind the help in any shape or form, my own personal chef!
We have sat and discussed why certain processes are used in the kitchen, the alchemy of cooking, and he is beginning to understand why I have insisted on doing various things certain ways.

Yes, I know his mother encouraged him to make various things to eat, but then, did she encourage him to do it properly? Or did he just watch and assume that he was learning? I know I seem a little critical but he has had the habit of extolling the virtue of his own culinary skills to our friends but when push comes to shove he is a little clueless.

Strangely enough I do enjoy his attention, maybe this elbow will; well you know …..

I am still thinking about colours for the house. I have seen in a local restaurant the exact shade of grey for the hallway/corridor, must ask them who decorated and what the colour is. It is a lovely dark grey, on the blue spectrum, and I would like a soft dove grey above. The idea is to have wooden wainscot so that any dirt from a wagging dogs tail will be easy to clean up with the lighter grey above. I have lots of pictures and photos to make a gallery on the upper part of the walls. Himself seems to be in favour of my ideas. I have also found two shades of lichen green for the lounge which should work well, again within the blue spectrum.

Methinks I will be busy after our lovely holiday.


Young TJ is not doing well at all. He is still in Intensive Care.

There have been many problems, one after another. Currently he has candida internally which is being treated. It also seems that he has had peritonitis and it seems to have recurred.

His mother is going through the motions. We do talk daily, sometimes twice a day. Thank heavens for free calls and skype.

His older sister (9) has developed psoriasis (stress related).

His big brother (14) seems to be in denial and refuses to go to the hospital.

Us, well, we wait and wonder whether we should go back to the UK… it is all very difficult at the moment.

Monday, 16 January 2012

I have a new computer, a new laptop.

I have discovered it has speech recognition.

What initially came to mind was that secretaries would become redundant or just be asked to make tea or coffee for the boss.

It is absolutely hilarious and I cannot, so far, get a recognisable sentence out of it.

It seems that you have to train your computer to understand all the nuances of your speech. I must admit that himself said that when I am talking to the computer I am talking clearer. I am fine when I am going through the training of the thing but when it comes to asking it to type for me, well, that is a totally different matter.

The following is an example of me reading what is written above:-

It tight her guy had any computer then you laptop
The there are good and that the got a had discovered in her speech recognition
Would like her what initially came to mind was that secretary’s would become redundant or just he asked them at are on the or cr
It is absolutely hilarious and I cannot so far get a breath ignited will stand and at a
Into names that you have to train your computer to understand Orlando wants is of your speech crossed of the Identifying when I’m going to retraining of the game but when it comes to a asking it to for me well that is a totally different.

I think it has a lot of things to learn…. At least it is stopping me from getting bored and making me laugh!

I am also working on windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2010 starter edition. I have lots of new things to learn. But, it is a nice machine, fast and easy to use with a proper numeric keypad as well. I am happy with it.

Our grandson TJ is getting better, slowly but surely, he is being treated for thrush in his gut, no doubt too many antibiotics over the last few weeks had a play in that infection. At least he is on the mend. His mum has also been to see her own GP to put him fully in the picture and she is now being helped. TJ’s problems have had quite a knock on effect on the family as a whole and, in truth, the family’s GP should be put fully in the picture. She is now feeling a lot more positive which will have a good effect on TJ as well as the other two.

For some months now I have been planning a trip to see a very good friend in Central America. Now that my elbow is very much on the mend and I have a little money in the bank I am in the position to arrange and book the trip.

I found the ideal flight, date and time. Yippee! Discussed it with himself and he is happy with the arrangements.

Booking has been done through a French travel website. I found it a lot easier that going through the likes of Skyscanner, Trip advisor, e dreams etc.. And, as a bonus, the flight is from an airport just 1½ hours drive from us, and it is via Spain avoiding America so only one stop.

I booked on the Thursday, happy me.

BUT!! On the Friday, late afternoon, they contacted me and said that the payment had been stopped by the bank… quelle horreur! I immediately (as one does) phoned the bank and told them to authorise the payment, sending copies of the email that I had received. It was no go. I demanded that they send a direct transfer which they did. This payment was not received until the Monday after lunch…

As you can imagine I was on tenterhooks over the weekend wondering whether the money had gone into the ether and that I would never see it again.

Being a total novice at this great travelling lark I also learned that if I do that trip again I will go direct to the airline, a lot cheaper!

So all is well.

Next month I am off on an adventure, and taking himself with me.

I can’t wait.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Life is taking a funny turn at the moment.

Things here are working out well, little bits that need doing are being done. Himself is being more pro-active and looking healthier.

I am muddling along with an inactive arm and supervising the cleaning, laundry and culinary department although, I must admit, there have been a couple of faux pas dans la cuisine. Mind you he is on a learning curve after all. A long time since he has had to take charge of cooking!

Nurse comes to visit 3 times a week and so far all is healing nicely. I have quite a nice scar, with stitches, on my elbow at the moment and I hope that with time it will fade away and I will have more movement.

Have sort of decided what colours to which rooms and that we are also going to put ‘wainscot’ in the hallway, just to protect the bottom of the walls from the dogs tail! That will be a ‘fun’ undertaking. I have checked the best way to do it all but whether he takes it all on board is another matter. We shall see!!

Won’t be decorating though until at least end of March, got another thing in mind before then.

Our fragile grandson TJ is not doing too well at the moment, he seems to have a fungal infection (Candida?) not enough protein in his system and still suspected ‘puncture’ in his bowel. Yes, he always has been delicate and prone to minor health problems and they (the hospital) were confident that he was healthy enough when the first procedure took place, I just cannot understand how it has come to this.

His mother is just holding it all together…as we are.

Saturday, 7 January 2012


We have a grandson, who is now 7½ years old. We did not think he would make that age!

He was born with cerebral palsy and also, discovered later, epilepsy.

He is also quadriplegic, has no swallow reflex and is also unable to cough.

He needs constant care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks of the year.

TJ is a lovely boy, he has beautiful, dark, expressive eyes and smiles a lot in spite of his ‘lot’ not being a happy one.

His mother has done a wonderful job of caring for him as any loving mother would.

The second week of December he had to go into hospital for a routine ‘intervention’.

Due to his growing he needed his ‘gastro’ site moved.

Simplified, the tube into his abdomen through which he gets all his nourishment and medication was not up to scratch and needed to be moved.

The operation went well, but, the ‘tube’ put into his throat to help his breathing throughout the procedure caused a problem. He ended up with an infection in his upper airway, and bearing in mind he can not readily cough, fluid collected on his lungs. His stomach also herniated up past his diaphragm…..

Poor little chap then had to have another ‘intervention’ to alleviate this problem and was put into ITU with one to one care.

He seemed to be progressing well and was put back onto his ward where he promptly picked up an infection and was transferred back to ITU.

It then appears that the original surgical procedure caused adhesions which had to be sorted out and then he started to develop fluid in his abdomen as well.

It is almost 5 weeks since he went in for a simple procedure.

Our daughter and her estranged husband have been at their wits end with the worry of it all.

She lives a good 90 mins travelling time from the hospital and it is taking a toll on her financially as well as physically and mentally, she also has two other children to consider.

We are been out here knowing that if we were in the UK there would be little we could do to help. It is all down to the medical profession and their expertise. We have daily phone-calls with our daughter, being sounding boards and giving constant love and encouragement. It is heartbreaking… and I pray a lot.

Elbows and the case of the disappearing cat.

We have had Christmas, a very subdued affair in our house due to the fact that the children did not want to come and stay; we were still unpacking and really didn't feel like entertaining.

I did splash out on some excellent wine and champagne, a good start to any menu, found a nice ready stuffed poularde in the chill cabinet of the local supermarche some excellent little individual mixed vegetable dishes, some smoked salmon for starters and no room for pud. It suited us fine.

We had friends over just before New Years Eve - they, like us, just like to 'slob out' on the sofa and go to bed at 00.01 New Years day... You get past the desire to jump into fountains and forget which strangers you kissed (snogged??) and heaven forbid what else.

So onto the 3rd January, Elbow Day, forever etched in my mind.

I arrived at the hospital at the prescribed hour of 07.30 having not had a cup of tea just a little water to wash down a prescribed blood pressure tablet. "Prendre a 6.30 Mme" the anaesthetist said.. "oui d'accord" so I did.

I had a lovely shower, got dressed into the car and off to hospital.

On arrival I was shown to my room, given a hospital gown, towel, gant (French equivalent of face cloth) disposable knickers and disposable 'footwear', you know - the sort that you see SOCO's on TV put on their feet over their shoes at a crime scene - I wear size 4 shoes so you can imagine the size of this 'footwear'. I was also asked to take a shower using an iodine based product.... 2nd shower of the day and before 08.00.... a first for me!!

Ablutions done, I sat and waited, and waited, got bored and waited more. Then in they were, drip in arm, blood pressure taken, name tag put on wrist... at last things were happening!

I was taken down to a 'prep' room and had my arm checked using an electric shock thing... it was funny watching my arm dancing away without any control from me. Wasn't painful in the least - the anaesthetist was checking something, don't know what but he was checking. Then the anaesthetic was pumped in so one dead arm. I think that the drip they put in had a sedative as well as saline because I was quite relaxed throughout it all. Conversations went on in a mixture of French and English. The surgeon spoke perfect English and we made a few little jokes whilst surgery was underway. He re-sited the ulna nerve from the outside of my elbow, where it was being pinched by a very arthritic joint, to the inside of the elbow. During it all it felt as though my arm was floating above me, quite bizarre.

When it was all over I was taken back to my room and I just rested and slept, that is whilst I wasn't being checked by the lovely nurses who did their very best to speak English to me. I learnt some words from them and them from me. A fair exchange.

I have been home now 4 days. My elbow does hurt at the operation site but I now have proper feeling in my fingers.

The nurse came to visit yesterday to change the dressings.

Our black angora cat, who absolutely detests strangers, was in the salon.

When the nurse came in I shut the door so the dog did not disturb us.

I saw the cat moving about the room trying to hide, he was flattening his coat and he appeared to become smaller and smaller. I don't know how he did it but he seemed to disappear completely, just like the fabled Cheshire Cat although the smile was nowhere to be seen.

After the nurse had left he suddenly re-appeared.


He has done this on more than one occasion, is my boy a magic cat?