Archive for February, 2015

This and That

February 28, 2015

Today I’m feeling rather virtuous because, at last, I’ve mucked out the henhouse (fairly) thoroughly. Most days I clean out the droppings and  add more litter but during the Winter I really don’t feel like emptying the tray completely so that I can disinfect everywhere when it’s either wet and windy or below freezing.

Today, after a hard frost, there was bright sunshine and it felt warm so I collected all the necessary equipment and got the job done. The chickens now have a sweet smelling home well sprayed with stuff to kill off mites and other pests that threaten to emerge when the weather improves.

Actually, after this Winter when the hens hardly laid any eggs but still needed feeding twice a day in all weathers I was seriously considering making this the last year of chicken ‘farming’ but now that the Spring clean is done I feel better about it again. Time will tell . . . . . . .

My computer has been a real pain recently, refusing to Start after being turned off. At first it seemed the cause was Firefox as it behaved better after I uninstalled it. However, Internet Explorer has tended to crash more and more until it refused to start again today. Windows managed to repair itself and the Kaspersky didn’t detect any problems after a complete scan but I’ve downloaded Chrome to see if it is any ‘safer’. The trouble is my remembered password for WordPress didn’t transfer so I can’t access the blog except by IE.

Bear and Whale are both booked in for hospital appointments next Thursday. Whale has to go to the ‘day outpatients’ to have liquid drained from his lung. They haven;t been able to find the cause of his pleurisy and so to avoid an operation he will have to go for this procedure once a fortnight. I’m also hoping they can fit in his catheter change which is due the same day.

Bear has had bronchitis for what seems like ages and three courses of anti-biotics later he’s still congested. He’s now on a fourth course for a urine infection. He has to have an ultrasound (kidneys, bladder and prostate) and a lung x-ray on Thursday afternoon. He seems very tired and sleeps most of the day but he’s also lost his appetite and it’s very difficult to tempt him to eat anything.

On the subject of food, I’ve been avoiding wheat (or it may be the yeast that causes my heartburn) and am trying bread made with spelt flour using cream of tarter and bicarb as raising agents. It tastes good and there are no after effects.

spelt

Good and bad surprises

February 11, 2015

Let’s start with the ‘bad’, which is not that bad anyway. Yesterday Bear was looking for the things to put in his pockets and he couldn’t find his wallet. That’s not unusual as he’s always forgetting where he left it – like his pen, his comb, his mobile, the zapper for the TV – you name it. . . . . . . But suddenly I had a thought: I had put a wash on earlier and was interrupted jin the middle of going through his trouser pockets. I had rescued his phone but. . . . . Sure enough, the wallet was still in his back pocket, rather wet. The notes looked reasonably OK  – not as wet as I’d feared – and the little note from his daugther (who died) wasn’t even smudged. Whew, I took the wallet through to the bedroom where Delphine, the carer was helping him to dress. “Sorry, its been through the wash but I think everything’s alright.” Ooh dear, poor Delphine heard a string of ‘gros mots’ which I’m sure she understood in essence and then Bear proceeded to blame Whale for what had happened! His logic was difficult to follow so I gave up! Anyway, the notes are all dried and perfectly fine now and the credit cards still work. No harm done but I will be extra careful in future. The nice surprise was a visit from Francoise this morning. She came to say that the village association which is there to help people had decided to mark St Valentine’s day by delivering a free breakfast to all the pensioners on Sunday morning. She had come to take our orders for coffee, tea or chocolate to have with a croissant and pain au chocolat and to find out what time we would like to have it.  What a lovely idea!

petitdej

Health Matters

February 6, 2015

It feels like quite a long time since I last blogged but this morning there’s some spare time as I’ve finished the first round of chores earlier than usual because I got up at 6 0’clock.

Why?  Because Whale had an appointment at the hospital at 8.30 but he had to be there 40 mnutes beforehand for an x-ray before seeing the consultant. This is a follow-up visit after a week in hospital with pleurisy.

The carers usually come to wash the men about 10.30 and their boss said it wouldn’t be possible for anyone to come before 7 so Francine, my neighbour who helps out with the two invalids offered to come and help me get him ready.

He still has a cough and gets short of breath easily so it seems they haven’t found the underlying cause,of his pleurisy despite daily x-rays when he was on the ward – plus an endoscopy via the nose which he found really uncomfortable.

The ambulance arrived at 7.20 just as Francine and I had finished dressing him and two cheerful ambulance men took him off in good time.

As for Bear, he is becoming more and more depressed with having to put up with bad eyesight (macular degeneration) and constant pain due to herniated discs and arthritis. Our doctor refuses to give him stronger painkillers (containing morphine) because he refuses to uses a commode or ‘bottle’ at night and she is afraid he could fall on the way to the loo. The only painkillers that are effective are anti-inflammatories and these are forbiddden due kidney damage so he is given codeine with paracetamol which he claims doesn’t help at all.

The pain specialist has tried various injections in his back but they play havoc with his diabetes and are not effective for very long so she sent him into hospital for a week last year to see if the experts there could find a solution. The only thing they proposed was an operation but the surgeon refused, saying it was too risky at his age (87) and, anyway, he couldn’t say that the pain would be much better afterwards.

So, you see, my patients aren’t  getting any better.

Fortunately, i usually keep pretty well but after finding that I had to reach for the gaciscon frequently I decided to give up wheat. Surprisingly the effect was amazing. No more heartburn!

After a couple of weeks I thought I’d see if it really was due to wheat so I risked a bit of bread with some vegetable soup last night and, sure enough, the symptoms were back.

Oh dear, I really love bread, especially freshly baked baguettes but it looks as though I’ll have to find a gluten free version.