Archive for January, 2010

Bear’s New Toy

January 13, 2010

Where have the last two weeks gone? New Year’s day feels like yesterday, and looking back,  there seems to be very little to report.

Of course,  I’ve had plenty of communication with my newfound family and my sister, R,  has arranged to come and stay at the end of March.  There have been conversations with my other sister, D, and three cousins, one of whom has sent me pages from the family tree and several photos have been exchanged.

Sometime before Christmas I answered a phone survey about arthritis and as soon as the celebrations were over a lady rang the doorbell and offered a no obligation demonstration of her electrotherapy machine.

“If you can give me an idea of the cost I’ll see if it’s worth yur while coming” I said.

But she smiled and said there was no problem and I should see if it helped. We made an appointment for the following week but I decided that Bear’s need was greater than mine so he was the guinea pig.

She attached the electrodes to his knee and  while it was working went through the sales pitch. It was the tried and tested method I remember quite well from the days when I was projectionist at a course for salespeople in Norwich.

The idea is that you convince your victim that they really need the item you are selling – you send up ‘trial balloons’  from time to time to see if they’re taking the bait and only at the very end do you slip in the price – with promises of easy payments.

I like to interrupt the salestalk and ask ‘how much?’ from time to time just to put them off but this lady was a cool customer and wouldn’t be distracted. Bear switched off from the conversation and I had to listen to the list of all the magnificent devices contained within this box.

The programme finished, the electrodes were removed and Bear got up and said how much better he felt.

A last, she talked money.  Only four thousand eight hundred euros!

“Sorry, but that’s out of the question”. I said.

“Oh but you can pay in instalments” she retorted.

“Absolutely not, thank you. We don’t want to take on any commitments like that.”

“Well we have another machine at 3,900 euros.”

“No  thank you”

“Or there’s one with only four programmes at 2.900.”

“No. If you had told me the price before you started I’d have said it was far too expensive for us.”

She packed up her goods, left us a booklet and the used electrodes and left with a parting shot:

“If you know anyone else who might be interested . . . .”

Now the price was ridiculous but the idea wasn’t so bad. After all, the physios use a similar gadget and having one for regular use at home could well be beneficial.

Bear was keen to find out and after a bit of research on the internet I came up with various possibilities – all at a fraction of the price quoted by our saleslady.

Next time the physio came for Whale I asked her advice. She recommended a make and helped me choose the right model. It arrived within three days and Bear has been using it daily.

Unfortunately he still gets mixed up with the controls and I invariably have to go to the rescue. I know when he’s in trouble because it squeaks or plays tunes but I hope he’ll get the hang of it soon.

And yes, I have tried it as well but am not sure if it’s helping. Maybe a few more sessions will make a difference.

I’d like to try the ‘relax’ mode on my neck and back and maybe the ‘fitness mode’ on my non-existent abdominal muscles but so far, haven’t had the opportunity.

The physio didn’t seem to think it would be much help for Whale but I wonder what Bear would say if I suggested he had a little go.

Another New Year

January 2, 2010

We celebrated New Year’s Eve with a prolonged meal expertly managed by Jay so that it could finish at a few minutes before midnight with a champagne toast.

I had intended to see in the British  New Year an hour later but dozed off in the armchair!

Jay had started on the clearing up but I persuaded him he had done more than his share and we left the rest till the morning.

So, after a few minutes of head patting from Willow I dragged myself out of bed at 8 o’clock,  pulled on some clothes, promising myself a shower later, and got on with the chores:

Cleared a space in the kitchen, set dishwasher going, washed up glasses,  made a cup of tea,  walked neighbour’s dog, fed her fish, opened her shutters,  (she’s away for the week), came back to let the cats in and feed them and then Whale asked if there were some clean pants. They weren’t quite dry so I put a pair on his radiator to finish off.

In the meantime I started to wash the kitchen floor. Whale called me to help him change his pants.

“Can you wait a minute” I replied. But he couldn’t. He tried to stand up on his own and there was a crash followed by some loud swearing and shouting. He had fallen on his hip and was in an angry heap on the floor.

Bear came through to see what all the noise was about  and as he was obviously not in pain from anything broken we helped him sit up a bit and Bear supported him while I went to fetch CC and Jay. The four of us could not get him into his wheelchair so we had to call an ambulance.

Two hefty chaps lifted him easily and then examined him. His blood pressure was sky high, so despite Whale’s protests, they took him off to hospital for a check-up and x-rays.

He was back soon after lunchtime with a prescription for painkillers and the suggestion that he see our GP at the end of the week to see if his BP is back to normal.

Not to be outdone,  Bear went down with ‘flu symptoms (this happens quite frequently but usually only lasts a couple of days at most) and spent most of the day in the armchair complaining of being cold.  One could be forgiven for thinking he was putting it on but his bloodsugar was up and he lost his appetite so I’m sure it was genuine. Anyway, he felt much better by the evening.

Let’s hope the rest of the year goes a bit more smoothly than the first day.