Sunday, 9 July 2017

Bad luck, carelessness and stupidity

Bicycle behind railings of elegant Regency buidling
Lansdowne Crescent, June 2017
I have grown some lovely new skin over the back of my hand, which is now almost as good as new, just a bit pink to show where the damage was done. Then, like a child who doesn't know any better, I went for a long walk in some boots that didn't fit very well and managed to create more blister than toe on one foot. This is also much better now, but I need to pay more attention to looking after my extremities. And get rid of the boots. And try not to pour hot water over myself.

In other health news I have been a regular visitor to the dentist, because the appliance that used to stop me from grinding my teeth at night no longer works, seemingly because either my teeth or my jaw has exerted its independent right to travel. A new appliance is in order, but the first impression wasn't good enough and then there was some mixup at the lab so I've made three visits to the dentist so far. He's a pleasant man who knows the couple who used to live at Lola Towers before me, and we had a nostalgic conversation about the 70's children's TV programme 'Fingerbobs' while the dental assistant rolled her eyes at us.

The LTRP never quite goes away, and I had a long meeting with the builder to talk about exactly how the kitchen work will be done in what order by whom. It raised a few more questions, but I am fairly confident. No alternative builder has come back to me and the airing cupboard carpenter is not responding to my messages inviting him to quote for the stairs. I asked the builder to extend the work to deal with some damp in a wall, re-lay the paving in the garden and replace the veranda structure, and he has quoted quite reasonably for the damp and given me two incredibly high figures for the other two jobs. So more work for me to do in that direction.

Now I need to turn my attention back to the detail of kitchen fittings and will be seeing my chosen kitchen supplier next week. I did follow through and get an alternative quote, but it was much higher with poor attention to detail, she tended to blame me for not telling her things that were on the plans, and she talked too loudly. This last factor wouldn't have been the deciding one but it was definitely in the mix.

My appliance research has also presented me with interesting decisions to be made - double oven, two single ovens, integrated or separate microwave? It has also spurred me on to divest myself of superfluous white goods - anyone want an under-counter freezer, a dishwasher (which is now working, hooray!) and an integrated fridge? Nobody seems to be interested in the 30-bottle terracotta wine rack, so next I will split it into six 5-bottle units and see if they will attract more interest. There's also a pendant light and a wall light, a roll of wallpaper, all the kitchen cupboard doors and eventually the gas hob, which may need to be given away or donated to a good cause if I can find one that will take them.

Enough of the LTRP. There's also work news. Our newest nurse is in a fairly senior role, and is bringing her influence to bear by trying to introduce new ways of working and ideas that she's used before. I am really trying hard to be open-minded, but most of what she has suggested so far seems to bring little benefit to staff or patients. The latest thing is that she has covered the walls of the building with home-made motivational posters, which I always find irritating. I have had to secretly remove the one that offered the message "Every human being is the author of his own health or disease," supposedly quoted by the Buddha. At least the one about having a mind like a parachute that only works when it's open isn't actually offensive to people who have been diagnosed with a lifelong condition whose cause is unknown.

Large poster about reducing risk of diabetes complications

She has also arranged to have an enormous poster about risk factors in diabetes printed, with a grid containing pictures at the heading of columns and rows, and 'thumbs up' symbols within the squares of the grid. It really is enormous - about four feet high. The lack of actual words is to cater for non-English readers, but I looked at the poster for some time trying to decipher its meaning. Eventually I had to ask her what a couple of the pictures meant - the brain at the top is to represent a stroke, and the sad face on the left is depression - at which point I asked why depression is good for the heart? I don't think she's going to fix it, but then I don't think any patients are really going to look at the poster, and if they did I doubt that it would give them any information that they might go on to use.

We have been told that a rheumatology service is going to move into our building, displacing our gastroenterology doctor and his secretary. I have no idea why either gastroenterology or rheumatology should be located in a Diabetes centre, but there is no arguing with the Management. It's bad enough having a renal clinic on a Wednesday morning - renal patients seem to be much more tetchy than people with diabetes, perhaps because kidney disease makes you feel more ill.

Latest news - someone tried to further knock down the already knockdown price of the freezer, but I stood my ground and he paid up and took it away yesterday. Progress!


  1. I spent ages looking at the poster, which may lose something in transmission. Is the top right symbol for friendship or sex or children? Is the left top one for i-Pod and earphone? What's the photocopying machine for? Why isn't losing weight good for whatever the top right symbol is? Many happy conversations may be started by this brain teaser poster.

    1. Top right I'm guessing is 'relationships' or 'happiness' or something similar; top left is a blood pressure monitor. I can't see a photocopying machine? It's not worth spending mental energy to decipher anything else.


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