Due to all the cold wet weather and miserable grey days over the last few weeks my dog walking has been kept to a minimum and I haven’t been out with the camera at all, so for something a bit different, and suggested by Jayne, I thought I would join in with the scavenger photo hunt hosted by Kate. I’m not quite sure what the rules are, if indeed there are any, other than having to find photos which correspond this month to these six prompts – yellow, starts with ‘O’, light, found, colourful, own choice – so here goes, and I hope I’ve got it right.
Starting off with something silly, this is Pineapple Pooh from my Japanese Pooh collection. These were made specially for the Disney Store in Japan; they differ in facial style and colour to those on the UK and American markets and are highly collectable. Each one is dressed as something else – dog, cat, unicorn, kangaroo, reindeer, the list is quite extensive and I have well over forty in my collection which I started about eleven years ago.
Apologies for the not-very-good quality of the next photo but it was taken with a simple point-and-shoot 35mm camera before I managed to drag myself into the 21st century and go digital. This was me preparing to ride an ostrich at the Cango Ostrich Farm in Oudtshoorn, South Africa. It ran like the clappers round the compound and I almost fell off at the end but the keeper grabbed me just in time – it was quite a hilarious and never-to-be-forgotten experience!
This cute little lamp was given to me by a friend a while ago. She isn’t a particularly practical person so if something goes wrong or doesn’t work she’ll throw it out rather than try to fix it; the lamp had its cap missing from the top and was destined for the bin until I said it was too nice to throw away, so she gave it to me instead. So far I haven’t found anything suitable to replace the cap but it doesn’t stop the lamp from working and I keep it on the unit in my bedroom.
While I was at my friend’s a few days ago, and during a very brief break in the rain, she asked me if I would take her dog for a quick walk round the block. On the corner of the street there was a large white van parked right on the pavement meaning that I had to step into the road to go round it – and there on the tarmac was this £2 coin. I’m not sure if the owner of the van had dropped it but not knowing who or where he was I’m afraid it became ‘finders keepers’.
On a sunny day in May a couple of years ago a visit to Plas Cadnant Hidden Gardens on Anglesey had the camera working overtime and I took a total of eighty photos while wandering round the many paths and terraces. The rhododendrons and azaleas were in full bloom and there was colour everywhere – this photo is one of my favourites and I had it set as my desktop background for quite a while.
And finally, what better way to finish this photo hunt than with a shot of Sophie and Poppie taking it easy while on an Anglesey camping trip. They do have a bed each but nine times out of ten I’ll find them sharing the big one.
So there you have it, my photos for this month, and I do hope I’ve got everything right. Hopefully I’ll be able to take part each month but if lack of time, commitment or suitable photos prevents me at any time then I’m not going to beat myself up about it – I must admit that ‘begins with ‘O’ took some thinking about but fortunately the ostrich came up trumps!
This morning Michael went back to the hospital for a check-up and follow-up treatment on his ankle and so far things are going okay. His appointment was for 10am so I dropped him off at the main entrance and went to park the van; on past experiences I was expecting to see him sitting in a crowded waiting area when I joined him but when I got there his name had already been called and he was just hopping his way into the plaster room. We didn’t have long to wait before a nurse came to remove the temporary cast and take the staples out of his wounds – not a particularly pleasant experience. He hardly felt a thing when they were taken out of the side which had been broken but the other side was a different matter – it was extremely painful for him and he only just managed to get through it without swearing or passing out. After a few minutes to recover a doctor checked that the wounds had healed properly, which they have, then a second nurse arrived and his ankle and leg were encased in a proper plaster cast from just above his toes to just below his knee. She said that for being brave he could have a coloured cast so he chose a blue one then he could put a yellow sock over the top as blue and yellow are the Tipperary hurling team colours 🙂
From the plaster room he had to go in a wheelchair to x-ray; I wasn’t sure if it was a wise idea to leave me in charge of the large hospital chair but I got him there without banging into anything or running anyone over and he was in and out in ten minutes. From there he had to see the doctor again and when we got to the main waiting area my heart sank when I saw how crowded it was and ‘Waiting time 50 minutes’ written up on the board, however we’d only been there ten minutes when his name was called. The doctor showed us the x-rays on the screen and with everything screwed together the bones are now where they should be and the break is healing nicely. He’s been given a supporting shoe to wear and although he still has to rely on his crutches he’s been told he can now start to put a little bit of weight on his foot, though when he’s sitting or lying down he has to keep it elevated.
The next hospital appointment is in exactly four weeks time when Michael will have another x-ray, and all being well this new cast will come off for good and he can start getting back to something like normality. To be honest I wasn’t really looking forward to today as his previous hospital appointments have always meant a lot of waiting around so I was quite surprised and happy that this time we were in, sorted, and out again in less than two hours – we’re keeping our fingers crossed now that the next appointment runs just as smoothly.
This afternoon while I was in town I decided to go and clean at the accountant’s offices just on the outskirts as it would save me going in first thing on Monday morning. Now to put you in the picture the building is in a long row of what were once Georgian-type terraced houses which have all been turned into offices, and where each enclosed back yard would have been is now an open parking space for two cars. Four steps go down to the back door which leads into the kitchen and the kitchen window, protected by a wrought iron grille, looks out onto the parking space which, because of the steps, is almost at my shoulder height.
So there I was, minding my own business and washing up some mugs at the kitchen sink when a movement outside caught my eye and I looked up to see a scruffily dressed young man walking along the back street beyond the parking space. He disappeared from view, obscured by the dividing wall between the accountant’s and the offices next door, then a few minutes later I noticed him walking back the other way, but again he disappeared from view. I carried on with what I was doing but when I looked up again I was confronted by a face staring straight at me through the window – it was the scruffily dressed guy, bending down to look inside, and if it hadn’t been for the grille over the window his nose would have been right up against the glass.
Now I consider myself to be fairly unshockable so I wasn’t shocked to see the face, nor was I scared as I was safely inside with the door locked, but I was rather surprised to say the least. I just stared straight back at him though and after a few seconds he moved away and wandered off back along the back street. It was when I left work a while later that I realised something – out of all the offices in that row my van was the only vehicle parked along there so I can only assume that he was going to try breaking into it, and seeing lights on in the building was looking through the kitchen window to check if there was anyone inside who would see him.
A quick check all round the van showed me that everything was okay so if the guy had thought about breaking into it he obviously thought again – I don’t think he expected to see me staring straight back at him! I know one thing though – his face is now firmly implanted in my memory so I would have no hesitation if I ever had to pick him out of a crowd!
Some of you may remember the post I wrote a while back about the slide-out shelf falling out of the kitchen cupboard at the boss’s house while I was doing the cleaning, resulting in several mugs and glasses being broken. Well since then I’ve been extra careful about using that shelf, to the point where sometimes I’ve actually held my breath as I’ve pushed it back in – in fact to be honest I would rather have not gone near it at all but so far it’s been okay, however….
When I got there to do the cleaning this morning I was confronted with a couple of mugs, a few small tumblers and some shot glasses on the worktop above the cupboard; they were all clean so I thought it rather strange that they’d been left there but then I saw the shelf. It was minus its wire front and sides and the whole lot had been dumped on the floor in the corner of the kitchen – it didn’t take a genius to work out that it must have fallen out of the cupboard again, but again it must have missed the plates and bowls in the bottom as when I looked they all seemed to be intact.
It was when I emptied the dishwasher and put all the crockery away that I realised just how much had obviously been broken as the number of mugs and glasses was greatly reduced compared to previously, though with nowhere else to put the clean things I just had to add them to those left on the worktop. I won’t see the boss until Friday so I don’t know if he intends to fix the shelf and use it again or get rid of it completely and find another home for the mugs and glasses, but I’m just so glad that this latest disaster happened to him and not me!
Today (Friday) I took Michael to see the district nurse at the health centre to get the dressings changed on his ankle. Although his wounds had leaked a little she said there was no cause for concern and she was happy with the way they looked; the dressings were changed and she made the cast a bit more comfortable for him before putting it back on, then once it was all bandaged up again she put a thin stocking-like cover over the whole lot including his toes so they would be a bit warmer.
Although the pain in the right side of his ankle where the break has been fixed has subsided somewhat to more of a constant ache the left side where the piece of bone was taken from is still extremely painful. He’d actually run out of painkillers so while we were in the health centre he asked at reception if they could squeeze him in to see the doctor and get another prescription – he was lucky as they’d had a cancellation for 3.50pm. It meant waiting for almost an hour, which was no real problem, but just before 3.30 the doctor called him in as he knew what Michael would be there for. The doctor did say that the extreme pain in the left side of his ankle is unfortunately to be expected though it will ease off eventually; although it’s obviously not very pleasant we’re just glad to know that it’s only a side effect of what’s been done rather than something more to worry about.
Today was the first time Michael has been outside the house since he came home from hospital on Monday – even if he wanted to he would be incapable of going anywhere so he’s staying in his room for now. He can’t really go out anyway as with the cast on his foot and leg he can’t get any trousers on of any sort – he even went to the health centre with the hospital gown and his dressing gown on. I wasn’t aware of anyone giving us any strange looks at the time but he must have looked a bit odd to say the least!
I’m very happy to report that Michael came home from hospital yesterday, but not without having a long wait to actually be discharged. I’d sent him a text at 11am asking if there was any news and he’d replied “none yet” then at 1.30pm he rang me and said he was being discharged. I was going up there for visiting at 2 o’clock anyway and expected to see him waiting with his coat on but when I got there he was still in bed waiting for his dressing to be changed, various medications to be sorted out and the necessary paperwork completed. At 3pm one of the nurses came and said he would be seen ‘after break’ – fair enough we thought, they were entitled to an afternoon tea break, but by almost 4pm he still hadn’t been seen. Then the same nurse came back and said again that he would be seen ‘after break’ – I don’t know how long their tea breaks normally are but assuming this was a tea break it was turning out to be quite a long one!
It was 4.45pm before they actually got round to seeing him. The cast was cut off, the dressings changed and a new cast put on with several yards of bandage, he was given an injection to help prevent DVT and presented with a large bag containing half the contents of the pharmacy, then the paperwork was completed and finally at 5.30pm he was free to go. He didn’t even bother getting dressed – he couldn’t get his jeans on anyway, or even his pj’s – so they allowed him to keep the hospital gown he had on and he came home wrapped up in his dressing gown with his jacket on top. Getting upstairs wasn’t exactly easy but he managed it and just went straight to bed, where he’s been ever since.
On Friday he has to see the district nurse at his own health centre to get his dressings changed again then he goes back to see the specialist on the 24th of the month, when presumably the staples will be taken out and a proper cast put on. On a scale of 1 to 10 the current pain factor is round about the 20 mark, far worse than when he first broke the ankle, so other than seeing the district nurse on Friday he won’t be going anywhere else for a while. It’s obviously not very pleasant for him so I just hope the cocktail of painkillers he has to take will do the job and make things a lot more bearable for him.
Events here in the Mouse House have moved on quite rapidly since my previous post about Michael’s broken ankle. After seeing the specialist last Wednesday and being told he would be put on the emergency list for an operation within five to seven days he was contacted on Thursday afternoon and told there was a bed on stand-by for him for yesterday (Saturday). On Friday morning he was contacted again to say he had to be there at 7.30am yesterday and to have nothing to eat or drink from midnight Friday, however he was contacted again late that same afternoon and told his op had been cancelled due to an emergency, but he still had follow the instructions regarding the food and drink as he could be called in at any time. Needless to say, having geared himself up for the op to take place he was more than a little disappointed at the cancellation, as was I, but there was nothing we could do except wait for another call.
That call came at 10am yesterday when he was told to get there as soon as he could; he was actually still in bed but he’d packed his bag in readiness the night before so it was just a matter of ‘up, washed, dressed and out!’ I stayed with him on the ward while a nurse took all his details and he got settled in bed then the specialist came to see him, explained what was going to be done and said he would be straight in theatre after lunch. I left him then and told him to text me once he was back from the op and reasonably compos mentis – I’d only just got back home when he sent me a text “I get put to sleep in 20 mins” so obviously this specialist wasn’t hanging about. I was just ready for leaving home at 5.30pm to go back to the hospital when I got another text “I’m back on the ward and I’ve had some tea” – at least that sounded like he was reasonably okay. When I got back there he was sitting up in bed with his foot propped up on a pillow and he’d just demolished a bowl of soup, a plate of beef stew with veg and dumplings, two lots of pudding and custard and two mugs of tea – after 17 hours without food there was obviously nothing wrong with his appetite!
As far as the ankle repair is concerned (and don’t read this if you’re squeamish!) a piece of bone has been cut from the good side of his ankle and put into the gap where the original bone hasn’t mended, then the whole lot has been pulled together and fastened with a plate and some screws; the incisions have been stapled rather than stitched and the foot and half his leg are now in a cast. That will stay on for two weeks then it will be taken off for the staples to be removed and a new cast put on for another four weeks; he’ll need physiotherapy as well so we don’t expect him to be back at work for quite some time. I did joke that I could have done the job myself weeks ago – a hammer and chisel, a cupboard door hinge, a few screws from B & Q and an office stapler would have sorted it all out nicely!
He was supposed to come home today but I got a text from him late morning to say he was staying in for another night; when I went to see him later on he said the physiotherapist had been to check that he would be okay getting about round the house using his crutches but he’s in so much pain they decided not to discharge him until tomorrow. I just hope he’ll be okay once he’s back home; needless to say, he’s under strict instructions from me that unless he needs the bathroom he doesn’t move out of his room if I’m not in – there’s enough damage been done to this ankle without him damaging anything else!
After months of being passed from one hospital department to another and back again without the problem of his broken ankle being resolved, and presumably because three weeks ago he said he wanted to make an official complaint, today Michael finally got to see the specialist he should have seen over four months ago. After looking at his case notes and then looking at his ankle this guy said just one word – ‘operation’. Apparently he has ligament damage as well as the ‘floating’ bone so there’s more than one problem which needs to be fixed and only an operation can do it – he’s been put on the ’emergency list’ for this to be done as soon as possible and has been told that it should be within five to seven days or possibly even sooner.
After seeing the specialist he had to see another doctor and some blood samples were taken; he’s not sure yet if his ankle will be pinned or will have a plate put in but whichever option is taken he’ll be in plaster for about six weeks afterwards. Obviously as neither of us are doctors ourselves we’re only surmising but we can’t help thinking that if his ankle had been put in plaster when he first broke it he wouldn’t now need to have this operation and he would have been back at work long ago, however for the moment we’re just glad that he’s finally, at long last, been seen by the right specialist and a proper treatment plan is in place – fingers crossed that he gets the operation within the next few days and we can hopefully see a light at the end of the tunnel.