Saturday, 29 March 2014

The Hoopoe

Hoopoe, Upupa epops
The Captain went out to find a visiting hoopoe today - and that too catapulted me back to our days in Arabia. They used to come to feed on the fallen dates. They were very bold birds there - Shadow and I used to just about trip over them on our walks.    As for the Indian mynah birds - what wonderful parents they were. When there was a baby down, Shadow and I had to run for it, or have our hair painfully parted.

Wonderful phone call from Hazel today. She is one of my sisters who had her first (and hopefully only) knee replacement operation just after I had my first one.   It was so reassuring to hear her experience. She too had strange vivid dreams.  She also became convinced that she had been moved to a different ward.  And she also had hysterics after the op. In her case she was telling the nurses that she wanted to go home - she had changed her mind and didn't want the operation. And they were trying to convince her that she had already had it.

Neither of us got the pain pump on our knee, post op - due to our other medical problems - and I think that makes quite a difference.

She wondered how I could have gone through it twice.  I said only with Jehovah's help.  We both agreed that we never ever want to be in hospital again, unless our husbands can be there with us.  Oh and she also said that she was very depressed after the operation, and cried a lot.  Which comforted me, as I am going through much the same, so I can hope that it will wear off as time goes by, as it has for her.  She says that now she can go out and about again she has cheered up no end.

I am a real homebody, but hopefully that will work for me.

The conversation seemed to energise me and I did 3 loads of washing, scrubbed my bathroom out and did the kitchen floor as well.  Plus provided sandwiches, and a supper (of salmon, salad and new potatoes).

I rang Frances and asked if she would put my hours in for me tomorrow.  So it was nice to have a talk to her too. And of course Audrey and I had our usual chat.

Friday, 28 March 2014

The First Bluebell?

The Captain rang me this afternoon to say he has seen his first bluebell of the year - and I asked him to bring a photo back.   Maybe I will be able to do, if not a bluebell walk, a bluebell hobble this Spring.

A day of doing nothing, though I did manage a tiny bit of spring cleaning and got some of my Devonware washed.  And provided meals.  And studying.  But this tiredness and depression is making everything difficult.

Its surprisingly cold and has been rather grey and rainy.

Still no news of the missing Malaysian plane. Each apparent breakthrough seems to come to nothing. And so the families must go on hoping - against hope.

I am re-reading Lorna Sage's wonderful "Bad Blood" and must review it at some stage.

She remembers so clearly what school was like, for example.  And makes me wonder again, whoever thought it would be a good idea to jam small children together in large peer groups?

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Cramp and Spinal Blocks

Hong Kong c1984
I connect this persistent cramp, which I don't remember last time, with the very tight tourniquet my young Surgeon put on me this time.  As I think I said, he seemed more aware or more worried by my being a Jehovah's Witness this time - though he was always very nice about it - and I think took extra precautions.  A knee replacement can be a bloody business.  I mean that literally by the way, I'm not swearing.

The spinal block did not take so well this time and wore off just as he was putting in the staples.  I couldn't feel the stapling, thank goodness, but I could feel a terrible pain from the tourniquet.  I moaned and groaned and said it was hurting a lot - and, yes, now you ask, my application to join the Stoics Society has been turned down.

"Hold on, he's nearly finished", they urged me.  I  must have prayed a lot at the point, as I did hold on. Although with both legs unmovable I couldn't really have made a break for it.  But I didn't get praised for being the perfect patient this time.

Its odd that the block didn't work as well as last time, as they took a lot of trouble over it, even ultrasound scanning me on the operating table first.  It took ages to get the needle in last time and in the end someone else had to be called to do it. So they must have made a note of it.  I think its the arthritis causing problems again.   Yet I could feel it had taken differently from the start - my legs were not as lost to me as they were the first time.

I am still waiting for that feeling of relief at its all being over.  But feel full of fear and apprehension and worry.

There are many of us sick at the moment.  And in hospital.  But we also have a new congregation baby due any day now, which is lovely.

Col has been looking through some old pictures of Dhahran, and of the (comparatively) young us on our first Hong Kong trip.  I find looking at old photos almost too sad these days.  But he has some great black and whites of the desert reminding me of what an amazing place Saudi is.

Yesterday, I did shamefully little.  My outing to the Library seems to have exhausted me.  I did manage to provide meals for us - fishcakes new potatoes and peas, and soup and rhubarb crumble in the evening. Tinned soup mind you. Homemade is much nicer, but I am not doing a lot of actual cooking at the moment.

Col posted the letter to Vera.  I looked at paperwork mountain which is now sorted into things to do and things to file.  But I am still at Base camp.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

The Windows are Open

The lounge windows are open - brrrr - its a cold evening - in case the lost Timothy should turn up again. Though I think if he has not found sanctuary by now he will not have made it.   I had plans for a superb cage, plus lots of out-time  - and perhaps a trip down the pet shop to buy a Dawn for him?

Still feel very down and depressed.  I suppose its natural and will go in time.  Hope so anyway.   I talked to Audrey, Maggie, Carol and Tamar today and got news of a brother and sister who are also in hospital - both, hopefully, to be released this week.  I feel bad I can't do any visiting, but my one tiny outing today to the library exhausted me - and caused me to have to take another painkiller.

It has been a grey and rainy day. Col only managed to get out for a couple of hours in the afternoon and wasn't able to do any photography.  Think: Bear with sore head.    I lay on the sofa a lot, reading my library books, and also made the rhubarb and apples from the Farm Shop into a crumble.  Oh and did make a small start on tackling Paperwork Mountain.

And I managed to get a  letter done to Vera - also housebound.

Monday, 24 March 2014

The Lost Timothy

A sad thing last night. The sun was setting over the sea and we hadn't yet drawn the curtains - no windows open though unfortunately.  It had been a cold day - the Captain reported seeing slush piled on the roadside, when he was out with the Treasure Hunters.  Suddenly a fluffy little orange bird appeared at the window trying to get in!

We rushed over. Well Col did. I zimmered across and arrived there the next morning.   We opened all the windows - brrr- kept the lounge lights on, shutting the door so we could contain it if it came in.  I mentally processed that I had a few containers of various seeds we could feed it with.  But it never came back. The Captain went downstairs to search, but nothing. We hope it found shelter somewhere as it was a very cold night.  I did ask Jehovah that it would.   He has told us that "not a sparrow falls", so I know He is aware of it and its plight. And that he cares.

I even thought of a name for it during the night.   Tim.  It was so brightly coloured that it was probably a chap.   And we had just been watching The Office - trying to cheer me up. We watched the last of series 2. The sad ending. and then watched the Specials, so we could see the happy ending.

Everything fictional should have a happy ending.  There are so many sad endings in real life.

I did get all my magazines with the Memorial invitations ready to go.  They should go in the post box today, courtesy of the gallant Captain.  It is on the 14th April, after sunset - at a Kingdom Hall near you. And will be held all over the world, on the day of the Passover, Nisan 14.  That was the day on which Jesus died.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

The March Wind Doth Blow

Primroses, Primula vulgaris
Spring has officially begun. Sunny but cold here, and apparently there has been some snow somewhere. We seem to have had a brief and very localised shower of rain too yesterday in that the front windows of the flat had rain on them and the back windows didn't.

The Captain was out all day and has bought me back some pictures of Spring flowers.

Now David is in hospital!  He has had a fall and has broken some ribs...  What next?  I spoke to Carol yesterday. She says he is doing better and is able to eat now.

This present world system is so uncertain. We do not know from day to day what will happen.

Our Watchtower study this week is about making wise choices in our youth.    And it reminds me that I did not begin to search seriously for my Creator until I was getting on for forty.   One thing that impelled me was the realisation that my life was half over - and was there any meaning to it all.  I felt I needed to know.  Is this all the time we get to spend with the people we love?   But the other thing was the beauty and glory of the world.   It told me, as clearly as if it had spoken, of its Grand Creator.

"The heavens are declaring the glory of God; And of the work of his hands the expanse is telling."

Yes. And every spring flower a miracle.

In the nearly 30 years since I sought for Jehovah and He let me find Him, I don't think there has been one single moment that I have thought something like:  Well, I am glad to know the truth, but I am glad to have had all those years doing just as I pleased.   But what I have thought, and do think more and more as I learn more and more, is that I wish I had listened sooner.

How much happier I could have made the people I love. And how much happier I would have been.

What I do realise though and appreciate is how many good Bible principles our parents did teach us.

There was a brief and violent hailstorm at about 7.30 this morning!

Thursday, 20 March 2014


I have had an achievement or two, though bedevilled by this awful cramp which seem to be putting  my whole body into fight or flight mode.  And I can't flight or fight at the moment.   I restocked the freezer with muffins for the packed lunches as the Butterfly Season is now launched, and I got my expenses done and posted, as Audrey (butterfly Audrey, not my sister Audrey) had requested - end of financial year stuff.  And I got my studying for the day done - and began reading the book about the women who climbed K2 (and mostly died there).  Penny posted it to me, just as I finished the last of my post-op books. It has been interesting reading the chapter on Alison Hargreaves as I have just read her biography "Regions of the Heart".   What an exceptional climber she was.  And how tragically nearly she came back from K2.  She- they - were caught at the top in a violent storm and were simply blown off the mountain.

I know she should not have been up there - any more than any of them should - but I hope so much that she (and all of them) are safe in Jehovah's memory and have a wonderful awakening when the time comes.  He understands more than anyone why we do what we should not.

The book is "Savage Summits, The Life and Death of the First Women of K2" by Jennifer Jordan.  Its a compelling read.

Its still pretty sunny, but cold.  Lots of get well cards have arrived, which always helps.  The cramp is easing off slightly, but its a painful business this knee replacement.  Diane, the young physio came yesterday and she is pleased with my progress, which is encouraging.   From today I am allowed a tiny walk - just out the front door of the flats to the next front door, and back.  Heady stuff!

There has apparently been a possible sighting of debris from the missing Malaysian airliner, so the families are still in  a state of terrible suspense.

Monday, 17 March 2014

The Why of It

Dorothy of South Island rang yesterday and we had a long chat. She has been teaching her little grandaughter to ski.  She is building some wonderful memories for the little girl.  I still think, and even dream, of magical times with my granny, at Nabbs Cottage.  

Feel very down today, and in a lot of "discomfort" - my whole leg is cramping. To cheer me up Captain Butterfly took me out for a small ride.  We circled the vastness of Lobbs Wood - that took 3 minutes- and went to the doctors to put my prescription in. It was lovely not to have to go in and have needles stuck in me.   And we admired the daffodils and magnolias in the gardens everywhere.

Thank you to everyone with beautiful front gardens. They lift the heart.

But I want to come back to the question why, if God's Kingdom began its rule from the heavens in 1914, are things on the earth getting more and more violent, more and more lawless?  Why is the earth so close to ruin?

The book of Job tells us that Satan spends his time between heaven and earth.  He is never in hell - the common grave of mankind - and never will be there.   All those in hell - Sheol/Hades - are sleeping in the dreamless sleep of death and will be resurrected into the earthly Paradise.You will remember that Satan offered Jesus all the kingdoms of the world if Jesus would do one act of worship to him.  Jesus refused, but he never denied Satan's right to offer those kingdoms. They are in Satan's power to this day.

Job 1:6,7 says:  "Now it came to be the day when the sons of the [true] God entered to take their station before Jehovah, and even Satan proceeded to enter right among them.  Then Jehovah said to Satan: “Where do you come from?” At that Satan answered Jehovah and said: “From roving about in the earth and from walking about in it.” "   So here we see that Satan moves freely between heaven and earth.But, after Jesus was installed as King in 1914, Satan and all the angels who had followed him (and made themselves demons) were thrown out of heaven.

Here is the next paragraph from Sundays Watchtower:

"The first mission of God's newly installed King, was to wage war against his father's chief Adversary, Satan. Jesus and his angels cast the Devil and his demons out of heaven. This brought great rejoicing in heaven but a time of unprecedented calamity to the earth.  (Read Revelation 12:7-9, 12*)..."

Revelation 12:7-9 says:  "And war broke out in heaven: Mi′cha‧el and his angels battled with the dragon, and the dragon and its angels battled  but it did not prevail, neither was a place found for them any longer in heaven.  So down the great dragon was hurled, the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, who is misleading the entire inhabited earth; he was hurled down to the earth, and his angels were hurled down with him."  

The result?

Revelation 12:12 tells us:   "On this account be glad, you heavens and you who reside in them! Woe for the earth and for the sea, because the Devil has come down to you, having great anger, knowing he has a short period of time.”

Before I began to study the Bible with the Jehovah's Witnesses, I remember reading what one young soldier had written about his experiences in the terrible trenches of WW1.  In part he said:  "We cowered in the trenches as if angry demons were stamping above our heads".    The power of the description stayed in my mind, and when I began to study Revelation, I wondered if he hadn't felt that anger - Satan knowing he has only a short time now to go on ruling and misleading.  

Still no sign of the missing Malaysian airliner!  Such suspense for the families, hoping against hope. As I probably said before, its like something from a James Bond film, only so far no James Bond has come to the rescue.  

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Back to 1914

Spanish Bluebell
I have been wondering how best to return to the question of 1914 - we are in a year of memorials after all - such a significant date in world history - and in Bible prophecy. And I was helped when I attended the meeting by phone this morning, as our Watchtower study article was "100 Years of Kingdom Rule. How Does it Affect You?"

Here is a paragraph from today:

"Toward the end of the 29th century, light began to shine on a 2,500-year-old prophecy recorded by Daniel: "In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed." (Dan.2:44)  The Bible Students spent decades pointing out that the year 1914 would be significant. Many people at that time were optimistic. As one writer states:  "The world of 1914 was full of hope and promise."  With the outbreak of World War I later that year, however, Bible prophecy came true. The subsequent famines, earthquakes, and pestilences as well as the fulfillment of other Bible prophecies proved conclusively that Jesus Christ has begun to rule in heaven as King of God's kingdom in 1914."

Why did Jesus warn that we are in for a terrible time as the Kingdom is set up in heaven?  

It all hinges on the question of where Satan is. A lot of confusion has been cleverly sown here so that the Devil has been pictured as a kind of pantomime demon in a red suit presiding over a hell of fiery torment.   Yet where does the Bible say he is?

For one thing it tells us that hell - "Sheol" in the Hebrew Scriptures, "Hades" in the Christian Greek - is simply the ground, the grave, where the sleep "conscious of nothing at all" awaiting a resurrection.

And, according to the Bible, hell is one place Satan never is, never was, and never will be. Where is he? Where was he? And where is he now?

The answers lie in the Bible - especially in the books of Job and Revelation and I hope to get back to them tomorrow, via another para from today's Watchtower study.

I still feel down and depressed - with a very painful cramped leg.   I keep telling myself it is not long since the second op, and I have been through a lot over the last few months, so just give it time.  Because of my age and various health problems, everything seems ominous now, every ache and pain.

The Captain has had a couple of photo excursions today but is at the moment sitting at the dining table with me and we are both blogging away.   Its sunny, but not warm.  He is just showing me white bluebells - Spanish bluebells? - wood hyacinth (he has just signalled from the next computer)  in Lobbs Wood.  Bringing the Spring home to show me.

Our Green and the beach are packed with hardy Brits out enjoying themselves in the sunshine.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Being Unstapled and Coming Unhinged

I am up in the wee small hours...  the hospital visit yesterday exhausted me and my knee woke me up.  However I am now unstapled.   "Taking these staples out is quite painless... not like stitches... wrench wrench wrench... how many has he put in!... yes, quite painless... oh, the skin seems to have grown round these... wrench wrench wrench.... let me just mop up this blood with some..."  "Disinfectant?" I suggested, trying to be helpful.  "Antiseptic" she said sternly.

Ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch.  But they are out, which is a great relief. And, best of all, my good-looking surgeon is happy with the way everything is going, including the amount of bend in my knee - ouch ouch ouch.

Its a good thing I have a lovely husband of my own in the Captain, or I fear I would have developed quite a crush on the young surgeon and would constantly be hovering round his clinics trying to mother him and knit him patterned sweaters.  

Carol and David called by in the morning with cards and flowers and stopped for a chat, which was a lovely surprise.  They bought daffodils, narcissi, which brought spring into the room.   The cyclamen they brought me last time is still flowering.

I attended the meeting by phone last night, feeling so exhausted I was worried i would fall asleep while listening.  But I didn't. It was all much too interesting.  Though at one point I thought the hospital outing had unsettled me more drastically than I thought as during the book study, I could not follow the reader at all. What is wrong with me, I panicked.  But suddenly the brother conducting stopped the reader, sounding equally panicked, asking him where we were.  It turned out he had turned over two pages at once!

Very misty yesterday - a fret came off the sea getting stronger as the day wore on. The Captain was off on his rescue training - a long drive in the dark and fog - and Jackie and I begged him not to go, or to turn back if it got worse.   He did go, but came back after about half an hour.

So glad he did.  A brief look at the news tells me that a helicopter came down in the fog in Norfolk killing 4 people.

And there is still no news of the missing Malaysian airliner!   It is like something out of a James Bond film. We can only hope that somehow, somewhere, passengers and crew are safe.  But it is a very faint hope.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Being Unstapled

"I think I'll have that general anaesthetic now"  I quavered as my young surgeon's rather old-school nurse approached with the fearsome medical staple remover.    "Ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch."

That was last time, and hopefully, by this time tomorrow the next lot will be out. And I hope he is going to say that the wound is healing nicely.  If not, I suppose I will be re-bandaged and on antibiotics.   And I finish my blood thinner injections tomorrow, thank goodness. Captain Butterfly has been valiant in administering them night and morning, but his approach is a bit alarming - the Psycho gestures and music.

Its a misty sunny morning here and the valiant dog walkers are out on the Green.  How Shadow the golden retriever would have loved this flat.

I can't think what I did yesterday, beyond chat to Bea and Audrey on the phone.    I felt really ill - hopefully just because my arthritis had flared up, and so tired I didn't know what to do with myself.  Captain B got us our supper when he came in from his day's ecologising.  Pork pie from the pork shop with salad (undressed) from the fridge.  He also bought back some strawberries and cinammon ice-cream!

I am back studying at least.  I haven't been able to concentrate until  now - I could read over things, but not study them.     And I did sort out all my medical appointments.  I hope to do a bit of something today. I slept the night through, for the second time since the operation, and that has to help.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

My Special Skill

A forgotten Special Skill has returned to me (from my last post-operation days).   Its the art of getting my undies on (and off) by using my crutches, or rather one of them.   But I have already sailed past that and am now getting dressed with no artificial aids or special skills.  Nor has Captain B ever had to make and leave a cold lunch for me this time. In fact, I am already making him his packed lunches and am hoping to make a new batch of cakes this afternoon.

However, the pain seems worse - especially at night.  It got me up twice last night - this time without any side trips to the top of Everest.

What a strange business about the disappearance of the Malaysian airliner. Why can't they find it, or some trace of it?  And IF the rumours are true that some of the passengers cellphones are still ringing, does that mean it has not gone down in the ocean?  If so, it makes it doubly urgent to find it in case there are survivors.  Cruel for the families.  I know if someone I loved had been on board I would be desperately hoping, against all the odds.   Perhaps its better to have that hope for a while though.   And there must be a glimmer of hope if the phones are really ringing somewhere.

A busy day in my terms.  Diane, my physio from last year came, and said I am doing very well!  That was a relief.   My medicine arrived, so I will be all set to go when my young surgeon oks me for take-off.  And a big box of flowers arrived - lilies, carnations, in spring colours - from Julia of Arabia - together with some chocolates which the Captain and I have just shared.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Post Hospital Dreams

I may have overdosed on climbing literature as last night I dreamt that my bad leg was a mountaineer in trouble high on Everest and I had to save it.  We were trying to get it/him into a house. It was very painful, but I began to wonder if there could be a house in the death zone on Everest.  I was sure there couldn't but wasn't able work out why.  Then I woke up - 1.30 in the morning - had a cup of tea - and internetted for a while to try and get my sanity back. And let the leg calm down from its mountaintop ordeal.

The Captain's log contains the first courting couple of Spring.  Youth!   Its almost painful heading into spring when you know that you are facing your winter years.

Still, as all us old crocks say, we would only go back there knowing then what we know now.   And that of course is what I hope the Captain and me will do - and all of you - through the ransom sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  Its Jehovah's promise to us.  Only it will be a restoration to a youth we never knew.  We, the children of Adam, are dying from the moment we are born.  But from the moment after Armageddon - or from the moment of our resurrection into the restored earthly Paradise - we will be returning to life and perfection.

We don't actually know what it is to be alive - not to be dying. But remembering, dimly, some of the bounce and energy of youth, I know it will be more wonderful than we can imagine.

The Ransom will be memorialised in your local Kingdom Hall next month and I will be blogging an invitation.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Men and Angels

An interesting point from the Watchtower study today - which I attended by phone.  The Inspired Scriptures tell us that when Jehovah created the angels, he created each one individually. But when it came to man, Jehovah told Adam and Eve to bear children, to fill the earth. He delegated the job to his creation. And what a wonderful work it could and should have been - bringing nothing but joy - if Adam and Eve had not chosen to cut themselves off from their Creator by setting their own moral standards.

We also touched again on what happened at Babel.  Had Jehovah not confused the languages then and scattered mankind over the surface of the earth, we would have brought the earth to ruin before the Messiah even arrived.    

What I have I achieved this sunny day?   I did put away the washing and arranged a curry tea for us.   Arranged, rather than "cooked", though I did do the rice.   Listened in to the meeting - the public talk was about the earth being made for us to live on forever.  The speaker talked about the immense recuperative and regenerative powers the earth has - the care and complexity that went into its making.

Apparently there have been some photos of the earth published as seen by the Explorer on Mars.  It appears as the bright evening star - a jewel in space.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Don't Panic!!


There is a great white shark at loose in the Ocean...  I hope you have your doors and windows locked - and all your plugholes firmly sealed.

I am coming to the end of my hospital/convalescent reading.  I wonder if I can persuade Captain B to order me some more?  I have just been reading about Caitlin Davies' "Place of Reeds", and would rather like to read it.  One of my most successful hospital books has been Margaret Forster's "Hidden Lives".  Please read it.

A day of feeling tired and sad.   But a lovely email from Julia of Arabia, a loving phone call from Malcolm (an elder in the congregation), and from Maggie, and care from Captain Butterfly.  So I feel bad about feeling sad. But I expect its just a reaction to all the shock. I am wondering too if its a kind of delayed sadness.  I remember I felt euphoric when they let me out last time - I didn't even let myself think about another operation to come.

I managed to make the thawed out cherries into a crumble - and did the washing.  It was a nice drying day - sunny with a cold breeze.

Friday, 7 March 2014

Two Aunties

Both aunts phoned today - so that was nice.   And Jackie called by for a cup of tea and a chat.  It all helped as I feel so tired and rather down today.  Its natural I suppose, a part of the healing process.  The Captain was out butterflying - there will be some very early Sussex butterflies on his blog.  He picked up some choccie biccies on the way back, and made the meals - baked potatoes and salad, with yoghurt - and soup (tomato) with toast and frozen yoghurt.

I think that, little though I did yesterday, it was a bonsai bridge too far.  I have tackled the butterfly paperwork though, and got the envelopes ready so that the Captain can make up the packages and post them tomorrow.

The Roger emailed and i was telling him about chatting to my South African anaethetist, until I had to be put on some oxygen and could no longer talk. Roger is on The Cape at the moment, probably watching the whale shoals sail by his picture windows.

The operating theatre team were as lovely as before - kind and consoling and, given I lived through it, efficient.  But no students this time.  I was a bit of leading lady last time, with a vast audience.   I was about to summon them: "Come along, you lot. Its not over till the fat lady sings."  But at that moment the oxygen mask came down and silenced me...  

Medical Confusions

Marianne in the next bed - valiant white-haired lady - with various new knees and hips - I think it was a hip this time - was always convinced she had been given the wrong lunch.   "Did you order cauliflower with your lunch Sue?"  "Yes, Marianne, I did."   "Ah. I got your cauliflower then, and you got my turnip mash."  "No, I got my cauliflower, as ordered. You ordered the turnip for supper."  "Ah, yes. Of course."

She sent her lunch back on the day I left the ward on the grounds that they had given her cauliflower, not the carrots and peas she had ordered.  They came patiently back: "No Marianne, you ordered carrots and peas with your supper. This is your lunch. With cauliflower, as ordered."

I think if they had got us to order our supper after we had had our lunch, rather than before,our elderly brains might have been better able to cope.

As it was, when I was asked for the millionth time how old I was, I said "47", thus knocking a good twenty years off my age...   Which come to think of it might be why my maths teacher wrote that dream warning to them not to trust my maths.

Yesterday I felt very tired - not surprising, my body has been through another major shock and has a lot of repair work to do.   Feel so grateful that we are so "wonderfully made" that even in this state of imperfection, the healing processes are still miraculous, and carry on unsupervised by me. All I have to do is to balance rest and exercise, try to keep cheerful, and eat healthily. I went to the meeting via phone last night, which certainly helped build me up.  We had lasagne and salad last night.   I am back on part time food duties.  I got my own lunch - bread, goats cheese and fruit - made the salad and its dressing, and put the Cook's lasagne in the oven.  Col served it up.  I am planning baked potatoes with the rest of the salad today.

The Captain went out on his first photo trip and I managed fine.

Today I must at least start to tackle the butterfly paperwork, and also begin the struggle to get the appointment with my young surgeon to get my stitches removed.  Or rather, my staples.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Operation Dreams

Once again, though I don't think I was as shocked as last time - I got some effective post-op pain meds for a start - I can't put things together.  What happened on the Saturday?   Its a blur. But I do remember a series of small sleeps with very vivid dreams.

At one point, I was looking at the blue hospital folder at the foot of my bed and, to my horror, I found that my old maths teacher had sent in a letter to warn the hospital how stupid I was at maths - including a whole load of sums I had got wrong.   "I didn't know they went THAT far back?!" panicked my dream self.

Then the nurses were dancing in the middle of the ward in white Laura Ashley dresses sprigged with red flowers.

And then the dream Captain Butterfly and I were getting married again - renewing our vows, I suppose. But, unlike our first modest family and friends Registery Office wedding, this one was being held in Chichester Cathedral!   It was packed.  I had about a mile of aisle to walk down.  And I had turned in up my old green jacket, a white t-shirt, and an old skirt.  I don't think I had even combed my hair.  It was a nightmare.  Or at the least, a high anxiety dream.

Yesterday - before that fades too - did my emails - took my meds - watched House Doctor in the early hours, as I have just done now.  Opened the first cards to come - spoke to Jackie - took and made some phone calls - including Mark, Audrey and Maggie.  And cousin Sheila rang.  Hopefully we will able to get together for a pub lunch come the summer.   Am in a lot of what is called "discomfort", i.e. the knee is very painful.  But I have already set off once without my crutches!   Though, to my physio's horror should she find out, I put myself back on my zimmer.   I had a violent arthritis attack in my shoulder in the early hours yesterday. Hope to be back on crutches as soon as it has subsided.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Operation Friday

It seems an age since me and my crutches and my cushions (to raise the chair) were sitting in frozen terror at the hospital 7.30 on Friday morning.    I can't quite believe that it is done, dusted, and hopefully over.  IF all continues to go well.  We hobbled slowly and painfully up to the ward. Captain Butterfly was not allowed to stay with me this time, which was upsetting, but probably nicer for him.

The prelims dragged their weary way - I was last on the list that morning, so didn't actually arrive in the operating theatre until nearly 3 o'clock in the afternoon.  I was offered (and took) two more of those pre-op fizzy drinks during the wait.  I was too scared to feel either hungry or thirsty but they say it is better if you take them.  My young surgeon made a lot more of my being a Jehovah's Witness this time - double checking the position about blood.  He was fine about it, just wanted to make sure.

At one point one of the preliminary nurses told me she was going to observe my breathing for a few minutes.

Instantly I forgot how to breathe.  I was beginning to turn blue - with a crash team seeming imminent - when she looked away and I was able to do it again.   "Never tell the patient you are going to do that" said one nurse thoughtfully.

On the way into the theatre, a nurse came up to me to say that she had a cousin who was a Jehovah's Witness - and so she had come over to say hello to me. I asked her to say hello back. It gave me a nice warm feeling.  I prayed constantly to Jehovah through the whole five days. And what a difference it made.  I needed so much help.

Another Knew Knee

We got back from the hospital last night - both of us exhausted.  Me from the pain - and the whole thing - and Himself from the constant hospital visiting plus having put in a hard morning's conservation work.    Hard to know where to start with describing the experience.

Some glimpses.  The lady in the opposite bed - Maggie.   In her eighties I think and undergoing hip replacement. She was like a little ballerina.  An enchanting lady.  One of those people who seem to have stayed closer to the original perfect state than most of us do.  She had a dazzling smile - I could imagine her as a darling little girl. She was very kind and  helpful and whirled round the ward like a tiny tornado picking things up for us with her grabber stick  - and constantly being in told off by the physios for going too fast and doing too much.

That is the only glimpse I can manage today.   We are now going to tackle the shower. I simply wasn't able to last night, though it was the first thing I did after the last operation.