It’s been a hectic few days. The Percys were observed shooting through, old friends were visited, Mandy, Paul and Dan, lovely to see you again after so long, and new campals were made in Barry, Anne and Sue. (Don’t believe anything any health professional tells you about recommended weekly units of alcohol, we keep the number low so that there’s plenty left on the shelves for us to purchase.) We were well into the wine when we discovered the reason we were all getting on so brilliantly had nothing to do with alcohol; Barry – GP; Anne (Barry’s wife) – Nurse; Sue – Nurse; Maggie – Nurse. Finally, on Monday evening LWD and I pitched up at BBs.
Sadly BB lost Sam, springer 13 yrs, a couple of weeks ago to kidney failure and I was a bit concerned how Sally, springer 12yrs, would react to being on her own with LWD. Sally has never been Daisy’s biggest fan, Sam and Daize always hit it off but Daize is usually a bit too excitable for Sal, however they’ve been brilliant together this past couple of days. LWD, which may be bit of a misnomer for her now, she’s developing more and more apricot patches as she matures (I use that term advisedly), first came across Frogs in France in May (who said “where else”?). She was somewhat startled but fascinated by them jumping. Here at the marina she’s not sure what to do with the plethora of Frogs jumping across the path during her evening walk but at least she doesn’t seem at all interested in eating their legs!
I asked BB if he could sort out my 12v electricity. The 12v feed is up near the ceiling and requires me to use a stool to reach the socket, the inverter has to sit on top of a cupboard which also requires me to stand on a stool to plug in an extension lead which then drapes untidily (and for any elves reading this, unsafely) from back to front of the van. I envisaged BB running cable from the 12v feed up, across the ceiling and forward to the desired spot with a socket at the end. Would he do that? Oh no … he, retired electrical whizz that he is … has wired directly from the leisure battery discretely under the floor to the inverter, now neatly tucked away out of sight, and at the mere flick of a fused switch, 12v comes into play when I’m off grid. I neither plug nor unplug anything and I don’t have to use a stool, and for that I will forgive him for dragging me all the way up to a chandlery near Nantwich, which had none of what he needed but just happened to be only a mile away from Snugburys ice cream shop (my regular reader may remember BB’s devotion to Snugburys ice cream from a previous post), only to find every electrical thingie he needed in a chandlery he’d “forgotten all about” not 10 miles away – I’m not a suspicious person but …
… mine was vanilla, sloe gin and damson (1 scoop) his was amaretto (2 scoops) and four tubs for the freezer!!) Yum.
Lovely few days in Torquay, good to spend time with J&B. The dreadful traffic and poor weather was a disappointment, but this is England in August…I’ve had to put the 4tog duvet away and break out the 9tog. I draw the line at long sleeved t-shirts tho’. I will be wrapped up warm tonight with my head through the roof light hoping for a good view of the Percy’s. The sky is clear at the moment and I’m on a farm campsite so light pollution shouldn’t be too bad.
I’m in Somerset, was hoping to catch up with The Boys in Glastonbury tomorrow but they’re away early to London, hopefully we’ll catch up in September before I cross over once more. On to Wales to see more friends before heading for the Blue Buzzard and her “not my birthday captain”, BB.
Final health bulletin on my patient for anyone wondering; not only did Rosemary survive my rusty nursing skills, she has made a full recovery! She saw the consultant earlier this week and is now full weight bearing and is to walk as much as possible. She’s also allowed to swim but only if the water temp is above 31℃ – that’ll not be a problem then, it was 29-30ᴼ when I was there.
Arriving home from the hospital appointment, after what I’m sure must’ve seemed an eternity dependant on others, Rosemary celebrated her new found mobility in style – by walking up the steps that caused the damage! I’d’ve also kicked them (gently) for good measure …
The last night in France for a while was spent on an Aire 27kms outside Dieppe. The weather had obligingly turned cooler to prepare LWD and I for t’other side climate. The trip to t’other side was unexceptional but the welcome home was anything but! Literally neighbours threw open their windows to shout greetings and had “my girlies” K, L and E hugged me any harder I would now be as tall and thin as a Pepperami! I felt like a superstar. The Smart One played it cool for a little while (he’s interrupted a stay at his Dad’s to greet Grandma) but he soon swapped his (almost) teenage toughness for a good cuddle.
Too much excitement had me waking at 3am. By 4am sneaking into the flat to grab my computer and compose a blog I discovered K also wide awake and suffering from overexcitement. We had a mug of decaff and a bit of a natter. Travelling is great but coming home again is fantastic – and I’ve still got J&B and BB to hug!
Much of my time here has been spent practicing, amongst other tasks, the old nursing arts of bed bathing, bed panning, and bandaging(compression needed on the haematoma). Rosemary was also Westminster Hospital trained, but we were there at different times, so we’ve been recounting horror stories and giggling like mad about our times doing ‘proper’ nurse training. And on seeing the perfect lines of my immaculate toe to knee bandaging (with no hole at the heel) we decided that Sister Tutor would be proud.
Yesterday was a Big Day. Rosemary played the Get Out of Bed Free card and with John (who, not to be outdone, is now sporting a massive haematoma on his big toe after dropping a concrete duck on it) and I assisting she literally hopped from bed to wheelchair. My impatient patient, despite my previous words of caution, announced she wanted to visit the veranda. I wouldn’t say it to her face – she can read it instead – but the resultant vasovagal attack (big drop in blood pressure as she’d been on her back for over a month) was entirely foreseeable and entirely to be expected; but only by me, my warnings had been forgotten in the excitement … She has now agreed to a slower approach and will be sitting up in bed x3 for 1/2 an hour each today, prior to a further attempt at sitting beside the bed for 5 minutes tomorrow. As she said to me this morning about the episode – it wasn’t the break that was the problem, it was the altitude!!!
I’ve not been able to get my head round the treatment prescribed for Rosemary’s cracked femur. I’ve never heard of someone having six weeks bed rest for this, why not just pin it? Today at Rafael Mendez Hospital all became clear.
The ambulance to take Rosemary to her appointment was late and there was only the driver, despite John’s earlier phone calls to say this was a two-person job. Rosemary is on bedrest lying flat, one person cannot manage to put her on a stretcher and carry her down the steps she so recently fell down. A second person was summoned and we waited for him to arrive, we were by now late for her X-ray appointment. Finally a second ambulance came and the driver helped to get Rosemary boarded. Arriving at X-ray she was taken straight in and photographed and we were down at the trauma clinic just in time for that appointment. A rather good looking, shall we say mature but gert lush, as is said in the West Country, doctor informed us that the large haematoma (huge swollen bruise) above her fibula was not masking a break and the 2 fractures of her pelvis were looking OK, no further movement of the left inferior or superior pelvic rami! All suddenly became became clear to Rosemary and I – bedrest being the standard treatment for a fractured pelvis – no wonder they hadn’t pinned her femur!! Something obviously went wrong in the original translation …
She must continue totally non-weight bearing but is now allowed to sit up for short periods. He will see her again in 2 weeks and hopefully one week after that she should be allowed to start mobilising slowly. I shall stay until her next appointment but shortly after will have to start wending my way home for R0X1’s first MOT appointment.
In the meantime the temps continue in the high thirties and I’m grateful for the pool …
My regular reader will be totally unsurprised by the unscheduled change of destination. My excuses are as follows. Some and/or none may apply;
1) I got fed up waiting for the lavender fields to bloom.
2) It’s just too hot here.
3) I’ve fallen out with Meriam and Paul and gone off in a huff.
4) Daisy and Cookie had a huge fight and we had to separate them.
5) I’ve un-retired again.
Suffice to say, it was a long and hot journey from Pont-du-Gard to Torredembarra today. Totally surprised by the staff here recognising me after almost 2 years, but they did, immediately! It’s a worry.
Well done to those who guessed 5, except P&M and R who already knew. I’m on my way down to Lorca and about to don the uniform again as my dear friend Rosemary has taken a tumble and broken her leg, bumsy clugger. It’s as good an excuse for her to just sit around sipping G&T as any other I’ve heard! I’ve got the superglue for the broken bone, the enemas for any analgesia induced constipation, flannels and bowl for bed baths, rectal thermometer and the all important safety pins attached to my apron.
Looks like the legs have been in danger for a while!
P’raps I should add a Red Cross to R0X1’s new decals … ooh, and a blue light so I can exceed speed limits …
When I was eighteen, doing my training in London, I bought a fabulous dress – it may have been from Richard shops (now defunct), they were a favourite chain of mine. It was, as per the time, extremely short, what my Dad used to call a pelmet. As was all the rage it was made from lined crinkle cotton, navy blue with tiny white spots, a slightly A-line shift with a small box pleat frill at the hem and at the edge of the short sleeves. I adored it and wore it with high fashion slingback brogue fronted, low heels. I felt like the bees knees with my hair pulled back into a small bun with a navy scrunchy (except that scrunchies hadn’t been invented and we did magical stuff with organza scarves). My best friend at the time, we’d met a year earlier on our first day, coveted The Dress, and being the fantastic best friend that I was she borrowed it if she was going on a date unless I was also going on a date. I had first call on it. Her boyfriend had no idea it wasn’t her own dress until on one date he commented that he had hoped she would be wearing The Dress. She said I was wearing it on a date and had to confess!
I thought very fondly about all this yesterday when I bought a brand new navy blue dress with slightly larger white spots. This one is a tad longer shirt dress, as befits my years. I doubt that I shall ever be as fond of it but I like it and it seemed appropriate and I hope to wear it in September when I meet up for a few days with my current best friend and we go out for a meal.
We shall be celebrating 50 years of dress sharing, problem sharing, holiday sharing, wine and other alcohol sharing, laughter sharing, dog walking, friendship – but no way is she borrowing my dress, she can get her own!
P.S. No picture – I don’t want her getting any covetous ideas!!