January 31, 2014

A few semi-glad tidings and some other stuff


Joy.  Not only are we having the wettest January since records began* but the month has decided to go out roaring like a lion** and tomorrow, according to the local doomsayers, is going to be a big fat drooling ratbag with fangs, high winds and thunder.  And Peter and I will be heading for the farmer’s market just as it’s working itself up to landscape-trashing mode.***

The stroke unit appointment today was nonthreatening but a bit anticlimactic—at least after we (a) found a parking space and (b) found the correct frelling building.  I’d allowed approximately twice the time we should need and very little of that is to do with the fact that Peter walks slower than he used to—most of it is to do with the whole assailing-Tartarus aspect of any close encounter with that labyrinthine epic of a hospital.  Gah.  They’ve managed to change the road lay-out—again—for the approach to the main car park.  I don’t even understand how they can keep doing this, which they do, I think some of the more peculiar outbuildings must be plastic or papier mache or something and periodically the largest, hulkingest members of staff on duty go out in the dead of night—having forethoughtfully prepared a small distracting emergency at the other end of the conurbation—and move them around.

Then, of course, because the car park facilities are wholly inadequate, we couldn’t find an empty spot.  Adrenaline spike.  Peter would miss his appointment and it would be all my fault and the prime minister would sign an anti-Robin sanction forcing me to give up my secret yarn of mass destruction stash.

We found a parking space.  Then we had to find the right building, and while we’ve been to the Reignac-sur-Indre wing before, when they move the rubber buildings around of course they screw up your landmark system as well.†  The hospital is generously bestrewn with signposts, but they rarely tell you what you want to know:  Tiger pits this way.  Overflow car park, guaranteed full, that way.  Exobiology unit this way:  warning possible contamination issues.  Finally we found one for Reignac-sur-Indre.  Or rather we found two:  the external route and the internal route.  What?  I don’t want to have to make frelling decisions.  Just tell me how to get there.  I opted for the external route.  Mistake, of course.  It was probably twice as long.†† When we finally arrived I was confounded by the lift.  Fortunately Peter pointed to a button I hadn’t noticed and said, try that one.

We were on time.  Just.

Peter’s stroke doc is a ridiculously young Scot who does the jolly upbeat routine rather well.  And he didn’t have a magic wand††† (oh well) but he did emphasize that the road back from a stroke is long but—if you’re lucky—pretty open-ended.  He also had Peter’s scans up on his computer and when I asked he ran through them, explaining what we were looking at and that was fascinating.  Much rather not be in the position for this kind of fascinating, but . . .

We went back to the car park the short way.  And while it’s too late for me to go to bed early††† I could go to bed no later than usual and maybe shave a few minutes off 11 a.m. tomorrow . . . maybe.

* * *

* http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/jan/30/england-wettest-january-records-began

** That’s March, you know, the lion thing, although the entire set up seems to me bogus.  Or at least personally I would say that lamb-like is not a description I would usually apply to any part of March.

*** We could go earlier, Peter said hopefully.  Eleven a.m. is early, I replied.^

^ Hey.  Not only does the caffeine need time to work+ I have an assortment of critters to hurtle.

+ I’ve tried getting dressed first.  It’s pretty funny in a why-can’t-humans-be-covered-in-fur-like-most-mammals way.   Although in terms of necessary clothing there’s also the several-times-daily melodrama of getting the hellpack’s harnesses on, which is at least as diabolical as trying to find two matching socks from the unsorted heap of clean laundry on the bed#, and which mere caffeine is not really sufficient defense.  The hellhounds’ either play cat’s-cradle with each other in ways only comprehensible to life forms more flexible than thick stolid humans or they have a rich, complex sex life that thick stolid humans can only dream of.##  The hellterror’s harness, marooned in solitude, has instead developed a speciality of always being too small when I try to snap it around her chest.  Once it is snapped . . . it fits fine.  But getting the two bits of the buckle within closing distance of each other?  I’d suspect her of holding her breath, like a horse that doesn’t like the girth tightened, but she’s too busy snorkelling for kibble bits, which requires a good deal of huffing and grunting.

# Or two matching All Stars from the heap under the shelves by the front door.~

~ All right, they don’t have to match.  But they have to relate to each other in an interesting way.

## Straps.  Strap guards.  D-rings.  Buckles.  Oooooh.

† Also, they repaint them.  The buildings.  When they move them around.  So you look ahead and think, wasn’t there a green shed somewhere about there—?  Yes.  There was.  It’s now yellow, and behind you.

†† Peter would miss his appointment and it would be all my fault and . . .

††† What he did have was two medical students sitting in, both women and both non-Anglo which is very pleasing in a world where a good deal less than my lifetime ago^ any doc that wasn’t white and a bloke was exotic if not downright bizarre.  You did see the occasional white woman but I think I was a twenty-something in Manhattan before I saw either a black woman or a Middle Easterner of either gender any higher up in the medical hierarchy than nurse.

But the really interesting thing is that one of them today was taking her notes with a ballpoint pen on lined notebook paper.  (The other one had an iPad, but its cover was not pink.)  I was fascinated by this, and said something to her.  Oh yes, she said, of course she has and uses a computer, but for note taking she still prefers paper.

Golly.  Hard copy is not dead, even at the individual level.

^ Let me just insert here that the medical students were RIDICULOUSLY YOUNG.  I’m sure they’re too young to be in medical school.

†† Two hours on the phone to Hannah may have something to do with this.


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