Tag Archives: sister

Mouth Open Incredulity.

Sorry folks this is a more serious post this week though I won’t deny there’s humour ( maybe) to be found in it. A week and a half ago my ‘bro’ informed me a friend had been taken to hospital with a stroke. Mike said he was coming up to see me so we could visit together. I’m not going to say the stroke was a major surprise since our friend has had heart problems, has angina, diabetes and atheriosclerosis. I won’t tack a partridge in a pear tree on the end in case you think it’s his Christmas shopping list and I’m jealous. Anyway, a week last Thursday evening Mike arrived and before we went to visit our friend on the Friday he filled me in on the saga.

It seems our friend has woken on the Wednesday morning feeling a bit under the weather but wasn’t able to put a finger on the reason. ( hardly a surprise since I think one arm was affected). He’d gone off to DRIVE to the supermarket to shop, despite having done his shopping the day before, had reached there safely but stood in the doorway with no idea where he was or why he was there. He then decided to go home, unfortunately he couldn’t remember where home was. The God of ‘Crazy’ was looking down that day and reminded him that his sat-nag system would hold directions home. Amazingly it did and DRIVING again he actually made it. Still feeling unwell he decided to go back to bed.

A while later he got up and realised there must be something wrong as he still didn’t feel right. How someone’s brain functions under these circumstances I will never fathom but he decided to phone the doctor. He got through to the receptionist. For those of you who don’t live in the UK there is a breed of receptionist who regard the doctors as their cubs and protect them accordingly. They ask innumerable questions regarding your need to see a doctor which includes a questionnaire as to whether you have ever, do now or will in the future,  harbour any ill will towards said doctors. The end result of this phone interview was ‘Come In’.

Embolic Stroke









This wasn’t what I expected to hear. My reasons for this will become apparent. He DROVE to the surgery after once again getting the whereabouts from his sat-nag. Had it not been for the fact he has to go quite frequently he could still be driving around now. Anyway the doctor took one look at him and listened to him, sathim down and sent for an ambulance to rush him to hospital. Our friend asked about his thrummer and the clever doctor advised him his car would be well taken care of while he was away. That’s mainly the reason I was incredulous at the receptionist asking our friend to come in rather than arranging a home visit ( yes folks out there, we still have those over here).

On the Friday Mike and I visited the hospital and though out friend was able to stand unsteadily he was suffering from aphasia. (  a disturbance of the comprehension and formulation of language caused by dysfunction in specific brain regions. This class of language disorder ranges from having difficulty remembering words to losing the ability to speak, read, or write ).  The visit was a shock. It was frustrating for our friend seeing the lack of comprehension on our faces when he asked Mike how his flimflamgorgle was. I was ready to suggest the cream he’d used was taking the swelling down , but Mike himself was playing twenty questions trying to guess what the actual word wanted was. A three-minute conversation took at least an hour and our friend was becoming more frustrated and excitable the longer it took us to guess. When he said he remembered my frit it wasn’t a French fry he’d once seen me eat he meant but my Ju. Ah well, she’s been called worse things.

By the time visiting was over we were all worn out. Mike and I left promising to call in and sort out the dog before we went home. That meant travelling a good way further away from home to do so and to check all was well before heading for home again. The entire car journey in both directions was spent talking about how lucky he, and all other road users, had been on that Tuesday. Saturday was pretty much a repeat except our friend’s sister was there at his bedside. She was sharing our doggie duty by seeing to the early shift. By a series of sign language, gestures no woman ( especially a sister) should ever see, and guessing games with dromfangfoodles we managed to get through the afternoon after which we went to  supermarket for dog food, cigarettes ( yes, he was smoking in the hospital) and a quick look for a gift for my son-in law in the sales ( I’m physically unable to walk past a sign that says SALE or I’d be poorly), we ran his sister home and went to see to the dog. That done we headed back to the hospital to drop off the cigarettes and some pastilles to stimulate the salivary gland ( don’t even ask how we worked that one out), then headed home to eat. On Sunday morning Mike had to head off home again. It’s a couple of hundred miles as the crow flies but since our roads don’t do the straight lines that crows do, it takes him a while.

My bro and I keep in touch, so when I had a message on Wednesday it was nothing unusual until he told me that our friend was home. WHAT !! (No, I’ve not gone deaf, that was showing a new round of incredulity). What happens in stroke cases is that before the patient ( impatient) is discharged a doctor will decide he’s well enough to go, the social work team will take the patient ( impatient) home for a few hours to assess them. Can they manage stairs, can they make a cuppa without scalding themselves, do they know who they are etc. We had left our friend knowing this would happen and hoping that the assessment would show that he’d need a warden controlled bungalow or something smaller he could manage. However, we hadn’t taken into account our friends predilection for being a very impatient patient and leaving before that happened. So,  today Mike is here again and we’ve been over to visit our friend at home. His aphasia has improved remarkably so that now we can catch almost every swear word. He hasn’t informed his doctor he’s home( his sister is away and doesn’t know), he can’t manage his stairs easily but at least he can still make a coffee though he made mine too strong and didn’t put enough sugar in Mike’s. We think he’s come home too early since his memory is obviously affected too. He should stay there till he knows how we take our drinks and can serve them without spillage.

It’s obvious that our friend is really much improved but that his impatience could cost him dear in terms of help since he left early. Now we have to liaise with his sister to see if those assessments can still take place and he can be found a more suitable place to live. Some folks don’t help themselves do they~?



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Fate, Kismet or just plain old luck.

“I have a writer friend in the US who has INSISTED, under penalty of coming to visit me if I don’t, that I include here a mention of a free promotion I have going on one of my books.  She’s further insisted that I give the link to said book and promised to check back to make sure I’ve done it, threatening to post a promo and link in the comments if I don’t.  Seeing as how she’s vicious and not to be trifled with … here is the link to my promo, which is running this weekend only …

U.S. http://www.amazon.com/Barsetshire-Diary-The-Diaries-ebook/dp/B0054JI824/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1368312680&sr=1-1&keywords=my+barsetshire+diary

U.K. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Barsetshire-Diary-The-Diaries-ebook/dp/B0054JI824/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1368312789&sr=8-1&keywords=My+Barsetshire+Diary

On with the tale…….Many of you will know that I used to work in Local Government. When I returned to Wales I took up a post which necessitated me roaming the County and checking the street lamps. I had to plot them on a map, verify the type of lamp they were and ensure it was only the ones run by my Local Authority which were plotted and not those run by the Highways Authority which were totally different altogether. Bored yet?

On one of my rural trips I was plotting a series of lamps when I got into conversation with a couple living in a large converted Church. I fussed their dogs, was invited to have a cuppa ( which I had to decline) and was invited back at some stage. Some few years later I decorated the flat in which my father’s mother lived only to have her die a few months later- not as a result of my decorating I hasten to add. Life moved on and I began a new period of work within the Authority which involved me working beside a river ensuring the bank was safe and the grass was cut short. One young man I worked with had a similar taste in music and as we were all quite friendly I allowed him to borrow some LP’s ( youngsters will need their parents to explain what LP’s are). Soon afterwards the Authority decided I was needed elsewhere and was asked to take on the job of  Deputy Manager of a new scheme they wanted to try. This was going to involve a lot of interviewing. I didn’t get my records back.

The first day of interviews went well. We’d decided where possible to take people who were not currently working and give them  chance ( the idea of a very forward thinking individual). They were mainly women but a few men a well. We took on 8 people that first day. The next morning I was prepared for another fresh start and the sun was out. It was early May and man had left the cave, invented the wheel and was now living in houses. It wasn’t a good start. The first three people weren’t employed but had no interest in becoming employed either.  Some kind body brought a cup of tea through just before person number four came in. My heart sank. Jeans, leather jacket and motor cycle helmet. The helmet came off to reveal a woman with quite long, straight brown hair who like the others didn’t look interested. And to be honest, because of the way she dressed for interview, I wasn’t interested either. But, custom said to plough on. It transpired here was someone suffering hardship and ho was actually a nice lady. She got a job, as did seven more that day.

I’m normally quite a quiet and reserved person but I don’t believe in separating myself from my staff as I need to know of any problems. We had two teams of 8 people some of whom were willing to work late shifts if necessary. I became quite friendly with the teams as I’d go out with them sometimes, especially if it was an evening shift. The lady from day two was around a lot of course and I confess I liked her a lot but had no idea how to approach her. I got into conversation with another girl who seemed quite friendly with her and found out that she didn’t have a boyfriend or husband ( in fact she’d sworn off men) and managed to find out quite a bit about her. The following day the girl came in and asked for a word with me. Taking her to one side she told me HER SISTER would be happy to go for a drink with me. I had no idea they were sisters because of the difference in names. So, plucking up my courage I asked her out and Julia said yes.

We’d been going out for 3 months and I was pretty sure how I felt about Julia. Still showing my usual cowardice I chose a night when we were sitting alone in her lounge to ask where she saw our relationship going. She prevaricated a bit and I asked what she wanted to happen to which I got the response I’d hoped and I asked her to marry me. She said YES. Since we were alone we decided to have a romantic evening and play some music. I started looking through her records and found something I liked. And something else, and something else, and one marked on the cover where mine had been. Asking her about them she said a previous boyfriend had left them. Every one I’d loaned him was there. Julia said I only proposed to get my hands on them again.

I didn’t want to wait and so we booked the ceremony for November 1st of that year. One of the first things to do, despite being adults, was for me to ask her father for her hand ( I told Julia he was desperate for me to take the rest of her too) so the following Saturday morning we set off to where they lived. I’d never been there before. You could have knocked me down with a feather when we arrived and I immediately recognised the decorating.

Next job was to visit her big sister to give her the news. This would be hard I was told as she was very sceptical with the speed of things. Her parents drove us there and when we came within sight I almost cried out “It can’t be” but it was. They occupied the converted church. At least I got the long promised cuppa. Julia and I had many a laugh about that period over the years. I know coincidences happen but was that what had happened or had fate taken a hand in things to bring us together like bookends? You’ll have to decide.


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