Hello, hello, hello! I realise that it has been quite some time since I offered any advice, but life has been its usual hectic, never-ending round of parties and trips abroad.
Actually, when I say ‘parties’, I really mean saying ‘hello’ to one or two people in the local and a Christmas meal with the charity committee from the local.
And when I say ‘abroad’, I really mean York, where I spent Christmas with the unmarried siblings. We had a jolly time, even bumping into the Tiny Tyke (TT) unexpectedly when he bounded up to us like an overexcited puppy in the first pub we visited! And he didn’t spill a drop of his drink as he bounded up to us, which rather impressed us!
Anyway, I digress, since this is about losing weight – but fear not! I have not succumbed to offering advice about the dreaded post-Christmas/New Year diet – no point, because you’ll only have to do it all again next year. No, this is about a medical ‘procedure’, as operations are now called. But fear not! I have not had a gastric band fitted or gone for liposuction (that could create a fatberg all of its own!). This was a ‘female’ procedure, so the boys may want to look away now. But fear not! I shall not be going into the details of the ‘procedure’ – no, no, no! The LSG has far more discretion.
All you need to know is that this required the removal of ‘bits’ which were considered ‘at risk’, although not at any life-threatening level, and I was only in for a day, although it seemed longer, since I had to be at the hospital at 7.30 in the morning, which, for the past seven years, I hadn’t realised existed any more. In addition, I was put last on the list (they obviously didn’t know who I am), which meant that, by the time they eventually got to me, I had answered questions such as ‘Are you wearing any make-up?’ (obvious answer – NO!) and ‘Do you have any body piercings?’ (also NO!), as well as ‘Do you still live at …?’ (answer – I haven’t had the chance to move house in the last eight hours) several times, even within two minutes of each other. I realise the NHS has to be careful, but there are limits…
I survived, despite the surgeon passing me a consent form for the ‘procedure’ and asking me to ‘sign my life away’ – not quite what one wishes to hear from the person who has your life in their hands. She smiled in a rather evil way, I thought, when I said, ‘I hope not!’ – jealousy of the LSG, I believe.
When I came round, I felt as if I had drunk several bottles of a strong red wine (Shiraz, perhaps?) without the benefit of going through the enjoyable phase! Youngest sibling came to collect me in the evening – not because he had a deep desire to travel from Hull to spend a Friday evening with the LSG (although many would!), but because next-youngest sibling had to go to a play rehearsal in the evening and it is recommended that you are not left on your own for 24 hours after a ‘procedure’ and Molly-the-all-black-cat was not considered a suitable companion. However, she ended up being my carer anyway, since I sent the two siblings off to the pub. There are limits to how long one can bear looking at the faces of two men who wish they were anywhere rather than sitting watching a woman who’s just had ‘bits’ removed and who don’t want ANY of the details!
I am recovering well – provided I wear elasticated trousers and ‘big’ knickers and don’t cough, sneeze or laugh.
And the weight loss? How much do ovaries weigh?
A very good evening from the Lifestyle Support Guru! Once again, I wish to show how living with an invalid can offer hours of fun! DODO (Dai Of Derby Only) had to go to hospital today to undergo an operation because of a problem with one of his kidneys, so I took him in for 7 am, as requested (I’d forgotten that such a time existed), and found that we were at the back of a queue of people who’d also been called to attend at such an unearthly hour. A very cheerful nurse (especially for that time of the morning) informed us that we would each be told which room to go to for a consultation with the anaesthetist before going to another waiting room which, she excitedly told us, was much bigger and had…A TELEVISION in it!
There was almost a round of applause at that! Although I had intended going straight home after dropping DODO off, I decided to stay and see what the anaesthetist had to say (I have an enquiring mind – i.e. I’m nosy) and to marvel at a larger waiting room with A TELEVISION in it.
After the anaesthetist (who had a real sinus problem, as he explained to us – I could only hope he would blow his nose before administering the anaesthetic) had seen DODO, we were told to follow a lady with a trolley full of medical records who would lead us all to the room with A TELEVISION in it.
Well, she set off down a long corridor at the pace of an Olympic sprinter! Imagine it, if you can, dearest devotees – a group of (mainly elderly) patients, carrying overnight bags, trying to keep up with her. She took the trolley into a lift, but indicated the stairs for those who wished to use them – unfortunately, those at the back (the stragglers) didn’t see her get into the lift and when we got to the top of the stairs, which overlooked the corridor, there was one elderly couple wandering off down said corridor, heading straight for the exit! They may still be wandering around this very large hospital looking for the waiting room with A TELEVISION in it, for all I know.
When we arrived at the waiting room with A TELEVISION in it, we all collapsed into chairs. panting because of the speed at which we’d had to keep up with the lady with the trolley – apart from the only young couple, who were panting mainly because they’d been snogging most of the way to the waiting room with A TELEVISION in it. (I have a feeling they may have come to the wrong establishment, believing they were on their way to a room in the Premier Inn opposite…) The TELEVISION was switched on at a very loud volume (to drown the sound of panting, I should imagine) just in time for ‘Homes Under the Hammer’. And I’d got up at 6 am for this!!
I finally surrendered DODO to the tender mercies of the NHS and the snotty anaesthetist and went home to recuperate after all this early morning exertion. It was alright for DODO – he would get a nice sleep under the anaesthetic!
I visited this evening after ringing the ward to ask if DODO would be too groggy for visitors. No, they assured me, he was in fine spirits, so off I went, expecting to find a lively DODO, so I was a little taken aback to walk into his room to find him fast asleep rather than bouncing around the room. However, he woke up when I noisily dragged a chair cross the floor – not deliberately noisily, of course; I am much too caring a sibling to do such a thing. We chatted about the operation (not that DODO remembered much of it, of course, so the anaesthetist’s sinuses must have cleared up sufficiently for him to do his job properly) and then… I found out how much more VALUE the NHS offers than I had previously thought. Whilst working on the kidney, the surgeon had decided to remove a lump on DODO’s arm which was scheduled to be done in a couple of weeks. Two For One, BOGOF offers galore! Jeremy Hunt, are you aware of this aspect of the NHS? Think of the money to be saved!
The thing that was worrying DODO most, though, was not his kidney or his arm, but that his overnight bag had still not been delivered from the room with A TELEVISION where he had been told to leave it. Obviously, he wanted his phone and iPad (to which I believe he is surgically attached) as well as his toilet bag, but of greater concern… his jelly babies were also in there.
He was still chuntering about his jelly babies when I left…
Personally, I am still concerned about the whereabouts of the elderly couple last seen heading down the corridor to the exit – unless they were heading for the Premier Inn?
Hello, hello, hello, FFs and BBs! I know it has been a little while since I last offered you some advice to help you cope with suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or taking arms against a sea of troubles (hmm, I’m sure someone else has snaffled these words from me…), but I am back and have a GREAT DEAL of EXTREMELY VALUABLE advice on DRIVING A WHEELCHAIR! (Ha, Mr William Shakespeare – steal that for your plays, if you will!)
As many of you will know – in fact, ALL of you should know if you read my last post about Turkey; and if you didn’t read it, WHY NOT?? – DOT (Dai of Turkey, although this is no longer a strictly accurate description) has been a little under the weather and I had to go out and bring him back from the aforementioned foreign country. The use of wheelchairs has figured large in my life in the last few weeks and I now feel I can speak authoritatively on their deployment.
1. It is great fun having a wheelchair lift into the cabin of an aircraft – you can wave to the pilot and co-pilot as they complete their checks because you are lifted up right next to the cockpit, AND you are ‘loaded’ first onto the aeroplane, so this is well worth considering next time you’re thinking of flying Ryanair.
2. Take as little luggage as possible on any flights because you will find that you are dragging two suitcases along whilst your ailing companion is being whizzed along by a lithe young male on a sort of Segway with wheelchair attachment in front. When you eventually arrive at the ‘wheelchair lounge’, you are the one who will look in need of support because you are sweating profusely and breathing heavily as you have had to follow the mobile wheelchair at a steady trot, suitcases trailing behind.
3. Hiring a wheelchair is relatively easy (if not cheap), but pay close attention to the ‘opening and closing the wheelchair’ lesson – some people of close acquaintance didn’t listen carefully enough and had to return to the hire shop within half an hour of hiring to ask how to open the bl—y thing.
4. Those special dropped kerbs are not ‘dropped’ enough and you will have to perfect the technique of approaching said kerb at a slight angle and at a speed a little above walking speed if you wish to get onto the pavement without either tipping your ailing companion out of the chair or getting run over because you haven’t got off the road fast enough.
5. Pub doors should be automatic ones – at the moment, we are trying to work out the best way of getting into/out of a pub without either ailing companion getting out of the wheelchair to open the door (which rather defeats the object of a wheelchair!) or ailing companion’s companion having to abandon the ailing companion to hold the door open while trying to manoeuvre the wheelchair by dragging it from the front – by the time those in the pub have stopped laughing at your contortions and dash to your aid, it’s too late: you’re already at the bar!
6. A final point – hospital wheelchairs are best dragged backwards rather than trying to push them from behind. This allows the ailing companion to wave regally as he passes people and the ailing companion’s companion to smile benignly and smugly at other ‘drivers’ who are making a valiant attempt to steer their own ailing companions in a straight line, much like a supermarket trolley. It never works!
As many of you know, the Lifestyle Support Guru is an intrepid explorer, offering travel advice on such far-flung places as Huddersfield, Halifax and Hull. This evening, my advice will be about Turkey, home of delights such as…Turkish Delight!
I am here on a mercy mission because DOT (Dai of Turkey) has been taken ill and it was decided that the quickest way to help him recover was to send me out…
Top International Travel Tips
So, what advice can I offer you, my Faithful Followers (FFS for short)? Follow these Top Travel Tips and you will not go far wrong:
1. Do not assume that Turkey will be hot and sunny – this is what you will be told when you check the long-range weather forecast, but this is simply to lull you into a false sense of security so that you only equip yourself with light clothing, a pair of sandals and no raincoat. (I am a little cross that youngest sibling didn’t force me to take at least one jacket – what’s the point of a youngest sibling who doesn’t tell you to cover all eventualities?) When the downpour starts, as it does most days – but not at the same time every day, just to fool you further – you will find that the only protection from the rain that you have is a toffee-coloured mini-umbrella with a pattern of cute cartoon cats all over it, found at the back of a cupboard in sick sibling’s apartment (no, I haven’t asked). Much as I love cats, I do not necessarily wish to be seen carrying an umbrella covered in them!
2. Travel in the capital of Turkey is easy – as long as you are not easily frightened. Taxi drivers (of which there are many) have two speeds – 100 mph and ‘BRAKE’!!! You will also find that, on the whole, seat belts are there purely for decoration – I think I have found only one taxi so far where you could actually clip the belt in securely. I have developed a technique of using one hand to hold the seat belt across my body – which would serve no purpose at all in an accident – whilst clinging on to the handle above the window with my other hand. Not pretty, but it makes me feel better!
3. Learn a little Turkish (and believe me, when I say ‘a little’, I mean ‘a little’ – you would need a lifetime to get past the basics, fascinating though it is to listen to the language). A little goes a long way and I have particularly impressed local people with my mastery of ‘Thank you very much’ – Teşekkűr ederim, pronounced something like ‘teshkweredereem’. (Do not try this at home unless you are closely supervised.) It has brought a big smile to people’s faces whenever I’ve used it (in fact, the cleaner nearly collapsed laughing when I first tried it), although I am a little concerned that I may be putting the emphasis in the wrong place and I am actually telling people, ‘I am leaving you all my money when I die.’
I think that’s enough for the first lesson, but look out for ‘the tale of the confused taxi driver’ and ‘making friends with the hospital lift attendant’, along with ‘guided tours of the hospital departments a speciality’. That’s all still to come!