Friday, November 29, 2013

Saved by Vancomycin

I am eternally grateful to a bacterium in Borneo from which Vancomycin is derived

On Wednesday I had a few small skin cancers cut out of my face.  As has been happening lately, however, some nasty staphylococci got into the wound and caused rapid facial swelling  -- which threatened to send me blind.  So I promptly took myself off to the Wesley for some infusions of lincomycin.  But that didn't work this time though.  The bacteria had probably become habituated to it.

So the infectious diseases specialist put me onto a drip of Vancomycin, which is something of a "last ditch" drug, though there are now a couple of alternatives to it.  It worked like a charm.  After two days in hospital, I am back home with the swelling almost completely gone.

I am getting to the stage where I will simply stop having anything on my face removed unless it is very aggressive.  I will become a permanent "Mr Blotch".  I am anyway.

Anne was unable to visit me as she can still barely walk after her recent knee replacement.  And Jenny is in New Zealand. Visitors would not have helped me much anyway.  I could have asked for Paul and Susan to come up but they are very busy with two little ones and a business to run.  But there was no need for me to bother them, anyway.

The nursing staff at the Wesley were as usual first class.  I took an overnight bag up to hospital but forgot a few things I should have put in it.  I think I will have a bag permanently prepared in future -- not a good aspect of being 70.  One of the nurses said I did't look as old as 70.  I have had so many bits cut out of my face that I have had a sort of facelift.


I should perhaps have mentioned something above:  The Wesley is a relatively small hospital compared to some public hospitals.  It has only about 500 beds.  And as a very popular hospital, it is often stretched to the limit.  So I had to wait most of the day for them to find me a bed.  So I spent most of the day in a treatment room of the Emergency Dept.  But I was well looked after, getting an infusion of lincomycin as a first-stage response and  frequent and friendly attention generally   -- including coffee and sandwiches etc.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

A prosciutto party

Woolworths have started stocking a particularly good (strong tasting) prosciutto so I thought I should introduce Paul and Susan to it before Woolworths destocks it.  Often when you find something you particularly like there it suddenly ceases to be available.  I am pretty sure the prosciutto is prosciutto crudo and it seems to be made locally.  A long way from Parma!

Paul, Susan and kids came over in the electric car at about 3pm.  We initially sat on my verandah.  None of us had had lunch so we got into a trayful of rolls with prosciutto and lettuce fillings that I had made up.  I put plenty of prosciutto on each to make sure Paul and Susan got the full taste of it.

Paul as usual ate up  -- so much so that he complained of an aching jaw at one stage.  Good prosciutto is pretty chewy.

After the prosciutto was disposed of we adjourned to my sitting room where Susan made tea and also cut up some mangoes for us.  It was ages since I had been  given diced mango so I expressed my appreciation.  I also had some choc-chip cookies on hand  which Paul got into.

We mostly talked about family matters, though I did at one stage explain to Paul what the West Lothian question was.

The kids were good.  Elise made no fuss at all and Matthew babbled on in his usual way.  He was wearing a rather swish Panama hat.  If he keeps that up into later life he will do well with the ladies.  He is very proud that he can say "Buddha".  It may be the first word he has learned to say clearly.  Pretty multicultural!  I usually have a Thai Buddha on the table when we dine on the verandah.  He gives us blessings  -- I think.  I also have a Ganesha up in my anteroom so I imagine I am well-stocked  with blessings.

I asked Paul if he wanted to plug his car in but he thought he had plenty of charge.  Since that time when he got a lot of criticisms for plugging his car in at my place he has never plugged in here again.  The criticisms seem to have got to him to a degree.  I have wiped them all now anyway.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Lincomycin to the rescue

On Monday, I had a rather large patch cut out of the skin on my forehead in order to remove some skin cancers.  From past experience, however, I knew there was a risk of facial swelling  after surgery on my forehead.  And that is no joke.  The swelling can close my eyes completely, leaving me blind.  The first time it happened I did lose vision in my right eye completely.

I have learnt from that however so arranged for Jenny to stay at my place overnight in case I woke up next morning unable to see. We had an Indian dinner that evening and Jenny admired my new crockpot.  And we had big chats about family matters

On Tuesday morning, however, there was no swelling so I thought I was out of the woods.  About 9:30am, however the swelling started so I arranged for Jenny to come back that night too.  By 9:30pm, however, the swelling looked quite bad so I got Jenny to drive me to the Wesley so I could get an intravenous infusion of lincomycin.  That was all a bit pesky but the Wesley staff were as ever first rate and I got prompt, attentive and friendly service. The visit cost me $200 but the decision was the right one as the lincomycin did hit the infection for six.  The swelling had already gone down a bit by next morning and at the time of writing on Wednesday evening, was largely gone.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

More dosas

We all like dosas so welcome an excuse to have some.  I suggested a dosa lunch to Paul and Susan on a couple of occasions recently but other committments have precluded it.  Yesterday however it all came together and we arrived at the dosa restaurant just as the doors were opening for lunch.  The owner greeted us with a big smile as he knows me as a frequent diner.

As well as 3 masala dosas I ordered 3 pieces of meat samoosa plus a cheese and spinach naan for Matthew.  It was all first-rate when it came.  We decided that beer would go well so Paul went over the road and got a sixpack of Crown Lager, a premium beer.

Even though she is not much of a drinker herself (like Joe, her drink is MILK!) Susan specified Crown, probably because she knows that is what I mainly drink, on the odd occasions when I drink beer.  An observant woman!  And when the beer arrived, she organized the glasses for it!

After the lunch we retired to my place for a cup of tea, with choc chip biscuits to help.  Susan of course made the tea.  A paragon!

Matthew was kept busy with various toys brought along for the purpose and Elise just slept.  When she got hungry, she let out a  roar, however.

Paul had just seen a TV program about Scotland that morning which revived his appreciation of Scotland.  So we talked a lot about the place, its history and its present arrangements.  Paul was amazed at the generosity of its welfare system, all paid for with English money.  Even a university education is free to Scots, unlike England, the USA or Australia.