Thursday 28 November 2013

Christmas is a Coming.

    I know it might come as a surprise, being as no mention has yet been made but but Christmas is apparently just around the corner. (Only joking, QVC first mentioned Christmas in June!) Being as it's been a particularly harrowing year I've decided to treat myself to a special present in this festive season. Rather different and mind bendingly more expensive than presents received in my far distant childhood in the years after the war. (No, not The Great War, honest!)
    Much prized as a little boy was a small cannon, three or four inches long that fired matchsticks, much to the alarm of the family cat. Similarly prized was a John Bull printing outfit (excellent for printing rude words out of sight of inquisitive adults) and a Subbuteo football set (the figures were made from pressed out 'cardboard. (Such were the limitations regarding the availability of suitable materials years after a costly war.) Dinky toys were always much prized (I remember especially a 'dustbin' lorry.) 'Rupert' annuals were always eagerly awaited prior to Christmas and any child lucky enough to receive a Hornby train set was indeed favoured. The 'rich' kids in the village proudly peddled their bikes in full view on Christmas morning. My family was not so wealthy, my first ever bike, from a  richer relation, was by virtue of passing the Eleven Plus; even that was in fact second-hand! The good old days? What do you remember of childhood presents, my friends. What in particular will stay in the mind forever?
    A joke I remember from childhood concerned a poor boy from the village. "And what would you like for Christmas?" asked the father.
"Something to wear and something to play with" replied the young boy.
And on opening his only Christmas parcel the boy was bemused, but not over surprised to find a pair of trousers with the pockets cut out! (My apologies for my lack of taste but our village humour often lacked the 'niceties' of our more sophisticated, urban cousins.)
    I suppose the most obvious changes in life since my childhood has been in the amazing advances in technology, affecting virtually all aspects of our lives. This blog post is delivered via a computer. Yet I remember writing in school with a pen, replenished with ink from an inkwell set in the school desk. Which might suggest I know about computers, which I emphatically do not. I can use one, just about. So my latest purchase, delivered next week, will really test the old grey brain cells; I've ordered an iPad. A 32 gigabyte, iPad Air with retina display. Not that I understand any of this. I'm now entering the world of the computer geeks, and I don't even know what an app is! I've never been one for technology. Unless you count the Meccano sets we boys (Very sexist were our childhoods after the war) had for Christmas. Very limited sets, unless you were 'a rich kid' in which case your set would build astronomic engineering projects, cranes for instance not much smaller than the real thing.
    But I'm looking forward to the iPads arrival. Not that I'm completely clear as to what an iPad can do! Any advice or encouragement welcome! Time will tell, you're never too old to learn or so they say. Famous last words? I hope not! 

Monday 18 November 2013

Back in the Land of the Living.

    At home again, painful but relieved. Knee 'redone', not very mobile, more physio imminent. A short post, a view from a NHS bedside, so to speak. Forgive the disorganised approach, have not really got over what was a traumatic but interesting experience.

    Epidurals, particularly interesting, noise, hammering etc still reminiscent of a building site. Queues of patients on trollies waiting for surgery on a Tuesday morning mind boggling. Where would we be without the NHS. Will it survive I wonder. I moved wards rapidly, not sure why. (I was in the Derby Royal Hospital eight days.)  I was the youngest patient in one ward at 74 years of age!) Food, ok but not really to my taste. (Pun unintended.) Not the hospital's fault. Lost ten pounds this time! It is an existence where meals are proffered at frequent intervals, seemingly the most important events of a hospital day. Plus medication, injections, and very, very frequent health checks day and night. What is it they say, no peace for the wicked. Long, long days, sleep difficult; some dark days indeed. But made easier by NHS staff of whom I have great regard and admiration. From the people serving the tea to the surgeon knocking hell out of my knee, I salute you all. 

All is not perfect. I consider a twelve and a half hour shift as the norm for nurses ridiculous and, I suspect in some cases, dangerous. Did I correctly detect a problem of low morale in some staff. Plus from a patients point of view at times there is an overwhelming feeling that you have lost control of your very existence. The discharge system is very, very complicated and a cause of some stress. (I suggested to one 'senior' nurse that a hug would not be out of place particularly where elderly patients were concerned. Evidently  'hugs' do not feature in the modern hospital world; a pity.) Nevertheless the overwhelming impression was of  individuals who 'care'.
    In the wards where I stayed there was neither television or radio available; how strange. Thank goodness for my good friend morphine. I spent many happy moments hallucinating; much better than television. The puppet show provided by the man in the opposite bed was a welcome distraction. ( Do you see what I see) Am I the only one who sees such surreal images? The power of modern drugs is truly remarkable. Ah, happy days!

Tuesday 12 November 2013

Thought I would drop a note to all my husbands friends, Ken is still in hospital having had corrective surgery on his knee on Nov 5th, he is hoping to come home on Wednesday.Rather fed up at the moment and high on morphine ! He keeps thinking he is in a nursing home.He seems to be keeping the ward entertained and the nurses keep saying" he is a character "and asking how I cope !! I must  admit it is quiet here,but I  do get to watch my dvd films on the tv, Ken is not a big film fan especially if it is a complicated plot or over long,.so I am working my way through my collection. Not an over confident driver  I have took to visiting in the evening when the hospital car parks are not so crazy, but it seems to suit us both . I am sure he will be back to regaling you all with his thoughts soon :  Paulette