Old folk at lunch

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

An eventful weekend



The excision on my ankle was always a bit sore but when I finished my course of antibiotics in the middle of last week it got worse.  On Friday morning I was woken up by the pain of it. I tried to ring the surgeon to get a new supply of antibiotics but he was not working that day.  So I visited a nearby medical centre to get my prescriptions (Clindamycin and Dicloxacillin) from a GP there.

The GP was quite good but thought I should get an xray of my foot and ankle.  So I did that same day. But the antibiotics I was using seemed to have lost any influence so the wound just got worse.

On Saturday morning about 9am I encountered Joe and Kate headed for the beach at Surfer's Paradise.  With Kate's alabaster white skin and Joe being nearly as fair they looked a most un-beachy couple.  But they had big hats and sunblock so they were to a degree prepared.  Young Brisbane people are always going "down the coast" so I guess Joe felt it was about time they joined in.  They didn't stay long though.  Got home around 2pm.  Good that they did because Joe did get some sunburn.

That night Joe, his good friend Eugene and I went to Sunnybank for Mosburgers, Japanese hamburgers.  I think they are the best in Brisbane.  Very yummy.  I liked the peach tea too.

On Sunday, Anne came over, the first time since Tuesday. She came over about midday and at 3pm we went to a local party, held in the newly created "Community Garden" at the top of Fleurs st.  The people behind the garden have done a great job of converting a bit of "waste" ground into a flourishing garden.  They are Greenies so it is good to see them putting their efforts where their mouth is.

A curious thing is that some Real Estate mob have donated a small pizza oven to them.  And on Sunday afternoon there were a couple of experienced Italian pizza makers there to make it hum.  They poured out  huge amounts of pizza that all went down well.  People kept turning up as the afternoon went on so there was quite a crowd in the end, with many being young families.

The pizza was cooked Italian style -- with thin base and thin topping.  Anne particularly liked that.  See below:


Then that evening we went along to Evensong at The Metropolitical Cathedral of St. John.  It is a magnificent venue for anything musical.  The PA system was pretty bad, however, so neither Anne nor I understood a word of the spoken part of the service.  We got some good Anglican chant, however, which I like.

Then by Monday morning the wound on my foot had deteriorated so much that it was quite smelly.  I did have to go in to the local GP practice to get my X-ray results so I asked the doctor there to clean up and re-dress the wound.  He did that personally.

Then on Tuesday, I went to see the surgeon.  He was shocked by the state of the wound so took a swab for the pathologists to tell us what bacteria we were up against.  I also persuaded him to give me some Bactrim to supplement my other antibiotics.

And that seems to have been a breakthrough.  I felt some benefit from the Bactrim after just the first tablet and improvement has continued since then. So there is a light at the end of a very dire tunnel.  An expanding wound that is proof against a lot of powerful antibiotics is bad news.


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The bright side



I tend to be a rather cheerful positive person, not out of deliberate policy but because I was born that way. My mother was a very self-confident person.

So I see some positives out of my recent surgical travails.  By dint of taking regular doses of two powerful antibiotics, I seem to have defeated my recent infections.  I am now in no pain and am enjoying my life again.

And one of the compensations of being ill is that Anne came and made me a lot of good traditional British/Australian dinners -- which I enjoyed greatly.  Last night I got corned-beef with roasted veggies -- which was great!  I like my ethnic foods!

And may I mention that in the midst of my surgical travails, Joe and Kate have announced their engagement!  He proposed to her whilst they were both up the top of the Eiffel tower in gay Paree.  That seems amazingly romantic to me.  Apparently when Joe first asked, Kate said, "What?"  But Joe persisted.  What a fine, traditional man!

Anyway I have now seen the ring. It is a colored stone, basically, with a few bits surrounding.  The stone is Tanazanite -- a stone recently discovered in Tanzania (in Africa).  It is purple so looks like Amethyst.  Amethyst was a  very popular jewel in the ancient world.   They bought it from an "Antique Jewellery" place,  Let's not mention that Tanzanite was discovered only in the 1960s.

The important thing is that Kate likes it.

Friday, March 3, 2017

A trying couple of days



I had a wog last week which had just cleared up when I went in for surgery this week. Skin cancers pop up on me rather regularly.  And the ones that look like expanding have to be killed some way -- by freezing or excision.  I had a rather pesky crop recently.  So this time getting rid of them took two days -- at an overall cost of $7,000.00.  So that is going to restrict my spending in other directions.  The time could come when I am spending all my spare cash on surgery.  I will however look at options for cheaper treatment.

Included this time was a Moh's procedure -- where the extent of the cancer is not clear so they have to keep cutting until the microscope gives the all clear.  It's never pleasant.  It is so time consuming that they don't stitch you up same day.  You have to go home with a gaping wound that they stitch up the next day. Wednesday's procedure  removed a big cancer on my chest plus a smaller one nearby.

So on Thursday, Anne drove me out to Northwest private hospital for both the Moh's repair and an excision on my ankle.  The ankle excision was expected to be a bit big, requiring a skin graft to put it back together. They have good grafting facilities at Northwest.  And as it turned out, the gap created by the Moh's procedure also required a graft.  So I came home very patched up.

As expected, I had to be very careful about walking in order not to flex too much the graft on my ankle. So I bought some crutches to get around on for a few days.

An unforeseen problem is that the big graft on my chest seems to have got infected. I always seem to have some nasty skin bugs -- Staphylococcus Aureus or "Golden Staph" -- on my skin waiting to pounce on a surgical site so I have been subjected to infections of wounds for some years now.  On a couple of occasions I have had to go into hospital and be put on a Vancomycin drip for a couple of days.  So that may be coming up again.

In the meanwhile I am on high doses of both Clindamycin and Dicloxacillin in an endeavour to close down the infection.  But I am in a rather bad way for a while: I have a rather painful chest wound that stings me when I move and I can't walk any distance.  Fortunately Anne has moved in to look after me. She is doing well.  She is a nurse by profession. But it will be a few days yet before I can move about freely.


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

"Privilege" again



A major obsession on the Left at the moment -- particularly in the universities --  is "white privilege"  It is alleged that  just being born white gives you privileges not available to others.  And whites are supposed to feel shamed and humbled about that and -- ideally -- give all their money to non-whites.  It is part of the general and quite deranged  attack on mainstream people that caused many Americans to become totally disgusted with the Obama/Clinton Left.  They were ready to vote for ANYBODY who would stop the rot.  So Donald Trump got the job, despite his hair and many other faults.

I pointed out recently that the "white privilege" concept is racist -- very similar to Hitler's  thinking about Jews.  In both cases we see hostility to people purely on the basis of their race.

So let me relate a true story about a privileged person I know.  L. is an elderly Jewish man who recently had a bad turn.  An ambulance was called to take him to hospital. When they were loading him on board, they asked him which hospital he wanted to go to. Brisbane has some big centrally located government hospitals plus a lot of excellent private hospitals scattered about. L. said to take him to WXY, a highly regarded private hospital with about 500 beds.

But after about 15 minutes the ambulance had still not driven off.  The ambulancemen said that it was a very busy time with a lot of hospitals "on bypass" (full up) -- and WXY was one of those on bypass.  So the ambulancemen had been ringing around to find a hospital with an available bed.  L. said not to bother with that.  Just ring hospital WXY and tell them whom you have got on board.  The ambulancemen did that and L. was promptly whisked to his preferred hospital.  He was taken in where others were not.

So was that Jewish privilege?  Many people would leap to that conclusion.  And Jews are often generous donors to all sorts of charitable causes. So that could have been it.  It might have reflected gratitude to a donor.  But that was not it at all.

Even though he is in his '80s and has had a stroke, L. has that restless energy we so often see in Ashkenazi (Western) Jews.  After his stroke he could have just stayed at home all day and watched TV.  He likes watching football on TV so that would have had some appeal.

But that was just alien to him.  He wanted to be active and to contribute something to others.  So he became a hospital visitor.  With his own recent experience of stroke he felt sympathy for people lying in bed all day waiting to get better.  So, by arrangement with the WXY hospital, he would spend days just walking around the wards and looking for people who felt like a chat.  He is himself a cheery, flexible, positive person who is a good listener so he brightened the days of many.

So you see why everybody at the WXY hospital knew him, appreciated him and leapt to help him when he needed it.  The "privilege" he had is the privilege of being a good man.  He EARNED his privilege.  He is just a good natured conservative man who likes to contribute to the society in which he lives.

And so it is with most privilege.  What you do to earn privilege can vary greatly. You can even inherit it. But privilege is not random and is not assigned just by something as incidental as the color of your skin.  There are many trailer park denizens -- poor people -- who just get by from week to week even though they are white.  Where is their privilege?  It doesn't exist because they have done nothing to earn it.  Just being white earns you nothing