(Click on photos for complete picture).
Continuing with the saga of the fractured ankle, I returned to the hospital, this morning, to have the original plaster-cast (below - left) replaced and the stitches removed before my first check-up from the surgeon since the operation to insert the metal plate.
(Click on photos for complete picture).
Evidently, everything is progressing well and I was expected to return for a further check-up and x-ray in a month. However, as we are going north that week to see my son appearing in the building where I first set eyes on his mother, I was instructed to come back in three weeks and sent on my way with a shiny new plaster-cast (above - right).
So far as I am aware, this blog has been the only place where information about my recent accident and subsequent visit to hospital have been available. So, I am intrigued - and not a little concerned - to know why I should have received a telephone message, today, which opened like this, "Following your recent accident............"
So, what I want to know is, was it an inspired 'shot in the dark' by a canny commercial concern or could my details have been released by someone within the NHS?
Following my earlier blog about the incident where I fell off Trixie on Friday, I have to report that my analysis proved to be somewhat optimistic and that those who suggested I should have an x-ray were right. Having said that, the actual outcome would have been the same whether or not I had sought medical attention earlier.
Anyway, after a weekend of hobbling around on the crutches, the pain hadn't gone away on Monday and, furthermore, the ankle had started to swell; so, my wife arranged a visit to our surgery where a very nice doctor explained that there were certain conditions which applied when considering whether or not an x-ray was required and (in her words), "I had failed".
So, instead of going home to a well-earned evening meal, my son drove me to the local hospital where I joined several others for a lengthy wait in the Waiting Room of the A & E department.
Eventually, when my turn came, I was seen by a nurse; who - somewhat predictably - sent me to have an x-ray; after which I endured a further lengthy wait before another nurse invited me to see the x-ray picture which revealed a fracture. However, there was a suspicion that there might be another one on the other side of my ankle; so, I hobbled away for another x-ray.
In the meantime, my son had become concerned by the length of time which had elapsed since he 'delivered' me and he arrived in the examination bay at almost exactly the same time a Registrar was telling me that I was going to have to stay in the hospital overnight. So, sadly - from my son's point of view - this meant that he had to return home to collect (along with night-clothes and toiletries) the various medications that I have to take, these days.
By the time he returned, nurse #2 had applied a plaster-cast (below - left) along with some ink-work on my leg to show where the problem lay and after a rather restless night, the cast had to be cut away so that the surgeon could examine the affected area (below - right) in readiness for an operation.
Click on photos to enlarge.
Unfortunately, on Tuesday morning, the surgeon decided that there was too much swelling around the ankle; so, the operation was postponed until Thursday and I was moved from the A & E area into a proper ward where I spent a couple of days resting and enjoying a remarkably high standard of attention and surprisingly good food (below - left).
Fortunately, on Thursday afternoon, the swelling had abated sufficiently for the operation to go ahead and (according to a couple of stricken motor cyclists in a diffeent ward into which I had been moved) I was now a proper biker because my ankle was fitted with a metal plate and several screws.
On the following afternoon, although it had been expected that I might spend the weekend in hospital, it was decided that I could cope quite well at home; so, I was discharged after it had been very forcibly impressed upon me that I would have to keep weight off my foot for six (yes, SIX) weeks.
So I'm not really looking forward to the prospect.
Mind you, they have provided me with an array of equipment to help; including a zimmer-frame, something called a perching stool for sitting whilst washing, a loo hightener, and a clever device (see below) to help me get on and off the loo whilst standing on one foot.
It's not easy. You try it!
Recently, I have been introduced to a group called Fallout which represents children of nuclear test veterans and, through their Facebook page, I became aware of what was billed as a film premier to be screened within The Palace of Westminster. So, as a veteran myself (and quite interested to see inside the palace), I arranged to meet up at Waterloo Station with another veteran (who became my Best Man after we were demobbed) and we made our way to join other veterans, relatives, and supporters at the meeting point (click on photos to enlarge).
At the appointed time, we were escorted to an entrance to the palace and subjected to a rigorous - airport-style - search and issued with numbered necklace passes before commencing what I found to be a most interesting stroll though what seemed to be most of the public areas (Westminster Hall, for example) on our way to the Meeting Room where the film was going to be shown.
In the event, we weren't shown the whole film.
Evidently, although it had been produced with a TV audience in mind, finding a channel which was sufficiently interested proved to be difficult. So, it was hoped that it would be shown at selected cinemas throughout the UK; following which it was expected that DVDs and internet downloading might become available at some point.
Insofar as the premiere was concerned, bearing in mind the event was billed as a film premiere - and this is an entirely personal point of view - I felt that (1) although I recognise the need to keep the media informed, the fact of the matter was that the M.P. patron and the chairman of the association were preaching to the already converted; and (2) not enough time was set aside for the film. As a consequence, what was shown probably failed to convey what I expect was the message the film producers spent four years trying to convey.
The committee room was right alongside The Thames; so, I couldn't resist trying out the camera on my new mobile phone. I was also seated near the front; so managed to get a slightly blurred shot of (L to R) The film producer, the BNTVA chairman, the BNTVA patron.
Towards the end of last week, there were forty-eight tulips in these plant pots. As the weekend progressed, however, we noticed that there were fewer and fewer tulip heads visible each morning and, yesterday (see left), there were only two remaining.
This morning, there were none at all.
Oh deer, I wonder who can be taking them?
Now that my wife has retired from her housekeeper's position in The Surrey Hills, we are moving to a small bungalow in a neighbouring town (which likes to call itself a village). Accordingly, over the coming weeks, we will be having to endure all the rigmarole associated with deciding what to keep and what to discard from items collected from over half a century of living in (usually) quite large dwellings.
In addition to that, there is some decorating to do and, at the same time, my green-fingered wife has already started to potter around the small garden whilst deciding how she would like it to develop over the next few years. So - ever the attentive husband - I engineered a visit to a garden centre, this afternoon, where she noticed a rather nicely proportioned, small, walk-in greenhouse; and - demonstrating how she is even more attentive than I am - she pointed out that it would make an ideal home for Trixie, my rather special three-wheeled touring scooter (see Categories - right).
Now, that's what I call devotion.
Some might remember a blog I wrote about a rather uncomfortable medical procedure I experienced in June which (it had been hoped) might resolve a very long-standing problem I have had with serious pain in my neck.
In the event, although there has been a reduction in the level of pain, the operation was only about 75% successful because some pain has remained. So, around lunchtime today, I went through the same procedure again.
This time, however, I knew what to expect; which is just as well because the first series of injections were administered a little lower down the spine from where the problem is located - which required a further injection which was directed (hopefully) to the correct place.
There are times when my wife gets quite frustrated with me because she believes I have a somewhat cavalier approach to managing our finances. On the one hand, she knows that I am always looking for ways to save the odd penny here and there; turning off lights or electrical appliances when I've finished using them, for example. However, she is ess comfortable with me spending a small fortune to buy my trike - despite the fact that it was being sold for almost £1,000.00 below the list price because it had been "on the road" - albeit for only 30 miles.
Anyway, the point of this blog is to draw attention to a rather disturbing practice which seems to be designed to take advantage of people like me.
This morning I received notification for the renewal of my car insurance; and, printed very prominently on it was the message, "Don't forget - you don't need to do anything - just sit back, relax and we'll automatically renew your policy for you".
Now, in normal circumstances, I would have taken that comforting assurance in the manner for which I suspect it was intended and I would have tucked the letter into the folder I use for car issues and forgotten all about it. However, something caught my eye; and that was the claim, "We've searched to find you a great price."
Now, what they were quoting seemed somewhat higher than I thought I had paid for the current year and I dug into the aforementioned folder to discover that last year's price was a little over £100.00 less than the "great price" being asked for now.
So, somewhat aggrieved, I telephoned the insurers and spoke to a nice man called Stephen - who, studiously neglecting to offer an apology - "had a look into my records" and discovered that I was apparently entitled to some "discounts" and came up with a revised figure less than £2.00 higher than the current figure.
The question now is, "how many people are being duped (because, make no mistake, they are being deceived) into paying the original asking price?"
Having been intrigued by direction signs to what I presume is some construction work around the back of the local hospital, this afternoon, I asked a somewhat bemused passer-by to take a photo on my mobile phone........
In the third incident which has involved a DUKW, in recent times, a fire has broken out in one of the London "Ducks"..............
............ and, as former DUKW driver, it grieves me to say this, but it does beg the question whether it's time to call it a day for using these (over seventy-year-old) amphibious vehicles for commercial gain.