Archive for April, 2015

Hospital Shuffle

April 27, 2015

Last Tuesday Bear remarked casually that Mustard (one of the cats) had scratched him . It’s something that happens all the time in our house.

On Friday, while Gilles, the carer, was washing him he drew my attention to the base of bear’s right thumb which was red and a bit swollen.

“You must see the doctor about this” he insisted.

The doctor had already been in twice; on Tuesday to give Whale his 12 weekly injection of Zoladex and on Thursday when he was short of breath and complaining of chest pain. She also looked at Bear’s aching shoulder (after a fall).

I rang the surgery but the doctor had already left on her rounds so I made an appointment for the afternoon and took Bear down in the car.

She squeezed out some pus and dressed the wound with copious amounts of disinfectant and bandages and gave him a prescription for antibiotics and more bandages for me to change twice a day.

“BUT” she said, “if the infection goes up his arm you must go to hospital immediately.”

All was OK till Sunday when Bear complained of a throbbing pain and there was an ominous red line working it’s way up a vein.

Hospital it was then.

There were two young nurses who spoke English and they were vying with each other to practise on us until an intern came along. She took one look and said she was going to call the surgeon.

Sure enough, he came to have a look and said he would operate as soon as possible.

Poor Bear had a very unpleasant time in the operating theatre as despite the local anaesthetic he said it was extremely painful at times and he could even feel a throbbing in his leg. He came back to the room with an enormous bandage on his hand. They kept him in overnight but he was allowed home this morning with prescriptions for loads more tablets and  for the nurse to change his dressing every day.

Meanwhile, Whale was definitely off-colour. He didn’t feel like finishing a cup of tea, ate very little breakfast and decided he didn’t want any lunch at all. He was short of breath and had a dry cough which also made him gasp for breath and he felt sick.

So I rang the surgery and the receptionist said she would add him to the doctor’s list.

The doc turned up just after 2p.m. while I was at the chemist’s getting  Bear’s tablets and dressings. As soon as I got back it was a case of ringing for an ambulance to take Whale to Casualty (the doctor provides a letter and a transport voucher and you have to make your own arrangements here).

The hospital staff will think there’s an English invasion.

It wasn’t a Tic

April 21, 2015

Well, I said I’d never seen a tic attached to anyone and that still holds true.

After several unsuccessful attempts to remove the offending object from Kica’s neck we decided we’d have to take her to a vet. I like our usual vet but the journey there is horrendous and after a near accident because of the bad edges on the bendy roads I wanted to find another vet, a bit nearer (and safer).

One of Whale’s carers said her vet was wonderful and she gave me directions. She told me there were no  appointments. You just turn up between 5 and 7p.m.

Jay drove Kica and me and we arrived at five to five to find a small queue of people and animals waiting outside. The vet turned up at 5.15 to let us in and we squeezed into a narrow waiting room.

Only one person came after us so we were nearly last and had to wait well over an hour and a half. I had taken all Kica’s medical records as she also has a problem of bad breath due to her bad teeth (not that she has many left!).

After locating the object the vet told us it wasn’t a tic but a polyp and we should leave well alone.

Then I asked her about Kica’s teeth and tried to explain all the problems she had already had with fistulas, mouth ulcers and gum infections but I said all her notes and x-rays were in the folder.

The vet surprised me by not showing any interest. She just said, as you would expect, that there is always a risk with general anaesthetics and it was our decision. Kica  was showing signs of going off her food so I said we would book her in for a ‘detartrage’.and offered to leave the medical notes for her perusal. She still wasn’t interested.

She gave us an appointment for Thursday but didn’t ask Kica’s name – or our name and phone number for that matter – but i gave it to her anyway.

On the way home, Jay and I decided that we didn’t really want to trust Kica to that vet as she didn’t seem very professional and if she put her under and then discovered that it wasn’t a case of a simple cleaning then Kica might suffer because of her  lack of attention.

So, yesterday I rang to cancel the appointment and am still trying to find a reliable vet where I can feel safe if I have to do the driving. However, I suspect we’ll be going back to Nouzonville where both vets are really good.

As for the car and it’s MOT. We took it to the garage to replace the brake pads but when we went back the next day to collect it, M. Magny was not very pleased. The brake pads were NEW so he suspected that we had already had them repaired!!

I remembered that they had been replaced when we had new winter tyres put on in November and as I don’t do many miles, i suppose there wouldn’t be much wear. So why did the controle technique list ‘serious wear and deterioration’ under brake pads?

Today I rang the boss of the Controle Technique place and he explained that the wear and tear referred to the electric cable (for the brake lights I suppose) but it had to be listed under brake pads. Anyway, it wasn’t a serious problem.

So I rang M. Magny to explain and we both laughed about it so I hope that means he won’t run a mile next time we take a car to his garage.

Little things which are sent to try us.

April 15, 2015

Firstly. Kica has a tic! Help, I’ve never had to deal with one before.

I was just stroking her neck when i felt a lump and on closer examination I found the little black bug firmly attached. Jay bought a tic remover but I haven’t managed to get it off yet. Kica will not stay still enough for me to locate the creature and then use the ‘weapon’ Needless to say she and all the cats have been hastily treated with Frontline .and I’ll keep having a go at getting at the minibeast.

Briony showed signs of going broody so I brought her indoors and gave her some eggs from the marans (lovely dark brown ones) to sit on. However, after less than a week she spread them all over the cage floor and made it clear she wanted to go out and play. The cage is now occupied by Molly – one of the year-old hens, who is showing signs of being broody but doesn’t seem to realise that it involves sitting on eggs.

Still on the subject of chickens, my little family of bantams, who have decided they’d rather live on our side of the fence because the big ones bully them, have blotted their copybook by eating all the leaves off my newly planted strawberries and shrubs.

The car – a 19 year-old Citroen managed  to pass the ‘Controle Techniqe’ – French MOT   – but there was a list of problems that might need to be dealt with before the next test in two years time. We took it to the garage in the next village for an assessment and Mr M said he understood that we didn’t want to spend a lot on an old car and so he’s just fitting new brake pads. He reckons the suspension should last another year or so if we’re not doing lots of kilometres and the other ‘problems’ are not serious enough to spend over 1000 euros to put right.

Bear has tried mesotherapy for the pains in his legs and back but after four sessions there isn’t much improvement. His eyes are getting worse and worse and it seems there’s a shortage of specialists in the whole of France and in our area most of them won’t take on new patients. Our opthalmologist seems to have lost interest in his patients but he still charges way above the usual rate, which means we don’t get fully reimbursed. We’ve made an appointment to see another doctor in the next departmente at the beginning to July.

CC started a teaching contract for 10 weeks last week but has been feeling very tired since having a bad cold for a few weeks. She had to come home early yesterday and went to see her doctor who decided she had bronchitis (though she was complaining more of blocked sinuses  and didn’t seem to have a cough at all!).  She’s on antibiotics and is beginning to feel a bit better.

Finally, my computer has started to play up intermittently. The mouse just seizes up and so I can’t access anything. Today it’s working so I’m making the most of it. It’s a good job I didn’t phone the computer man to come now it’s behaving itself.

Fingers crossed it keeps going.


April 3, 2015


It’s over a week since i started taking a daily dose of Natto and I have to say it seems to have worked wonders for my blood pressure. Each time I check  it it’s 140/80 or less whereas, even with my other ‘natural remedies’ there were times when it would be a bit higher…

The downside is that it really is an acquired taste and, at first, even the sight of it was a bit difficult to stomach.


OK, you say, it looks a bit like baked beans but when you take a spoonful there are stringy strands to cope with which make it rather off-putting.

So far, the smell doesn’t seem too bad but the taste is peculiar. It isn’t that strong but the first three days it made me feel sick.

Now, if it’s well mixed with porridge, raisins, honey, nuts and my morning supplements I can eat it without wanting to vomit.

Who knows, in a week or so I may even enjoy it..