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12 January 2012

Posted by DMC on 13 January 2012 in Diary |

For an Englishman my overseas readers must admit I have pretty well kept away from mentioning the weather every 5 min, which we are reputed to do. However, I think it would be remiss not to mention that as I sit here in my study, I’m looking out of the window at a beautiful sunny day with a deep blue sky. According to the weather forecast, the temperature is just in double figures 10 or 11°C. Really quite amazing for this time of the year. I can’t help feeling we have turned the corner so far as the winter is concerned, I know that there is plenty of time for it to become ghastly cold and wet, snow and ice etc but we are moving inexorably towards spring. What gives me a degree of comfort is the way my friends anticipate that I shall so be a condition to have lunch with them in May (having just made such an arrangement). However,I fear I shall go out very little between now and our wedding anniversary on 16 March.

Not so long really and well worth the sacrifice, if I can go through this period, without contracting a cold. Talking of that, I had just come off the telephone after commiserating with a friend of ours, whose husband died recently from pneumonia. He had some weakness in his lungs, a sort of emphysema and although they got him into hospital in good time. was on the respirator for a fortnight but for some reason could not be saved. I must say I find it all rather alarming as I have been told, more than once, that it will probably be my breathing that will; carry me off, so to speak, presumably after catching pneumonia. What surprises me is once you’re in the safe hands of the medical profession in hospital, even with pneumonia. I would have thought, with all their equipment on hand, your chances of survival were fairly high. However, this is obviously a misapprehension. so for that reason we have gone to excessive lengths to ensure that no one comes near me with a cold, or even the suspicions of one . Iof the suspicions of one. In the same vein, I have avoided now going out into the cold, clammy weather even round the house in my electric chair into the breakfast room, so no cigars now since the doctor left, and probably will not indulge again until he returns next month.

Talking about being’ ‘carried off (it was the coughing that carried him off, not the coffin they carried him off in). I think that’s the right way round. At least it was almost me last evening as I got a tiny piece of pastrami stuck in my throat from the delicious mushroom omelette that’ my lovely’ had made for me. I was forced to abandon the omelette and continued cough alarmingly for an hour or so, not having the strength in one’s throat muscles to clear any obstruction. I’m not sure quite what one can do about it. For a person who can stand up. I know you can lock your hands in front of his stomach and give a short sharp squeeze which should dislodge anything in the patient’s throat. But when the patient is sitting in a wheelchair or armchair and cannot move, I’m not clear as to the recommended method. I must remember to raise it at Addenbrookes or Papworth when I go there for my quarterly assessment next month.

I had e-mails from both of the children, Smiler and Chloe, both in, effect, saying how nicely the arrangements for their grandmother’s funeral (cremation ) went. Smiler specifically mentioned how dignified was the whole business. I was very pleased to hear this as my mother-in-law was a lady who always carried herself with dignity.

Dragon, over the past two days has a reasonably long periods of behaving itself, except that a new element of exasperation has been added to all of the others and that is the delay factor between dictating and the words appearing on the screen – anything from 3 to 30 seconds. Add this to the other current eccentricities (it wiped out the whole 83 pages of the blog. I was working on, during the dictation of this sentence, which fortunately, I knew how to recover) and the use of this programme turns into a bit of a lottery. I got no acknowledgement of receipt from my last e-mail to Dragon, despite specifically asking for one. If I complain I shall probably find that this is against company policy. I shall give them to the beginning of next week and then start the process of court proceedings against them. The first thing to do will be to get my barrister friend: to agree that I have a good case against them.

I certainly don’t. want to risk running a case which I lose, then end up with a large bill for their legal costs. However,
this is always a risk you take when you commence legal action against another party, however cast-iron your case appears to be to you and your advisers.

Last evening I was surprised when I received a video Skype call from Richard, my mother’s 93-year-old husband. Dear Richard is quite determined to be ‘with it’ and virtually taught himself how to work the computer. I encourage him every step of the way as I know it gives him a window on the world and short periods of break from looking after my slightly demented mother. The only trouble is now have to ensure that my Skype camera is properly focused and gives him a good picture..

Finding an apposite joke for this entry was not easy but I think is one almost fits the bill. Although Richard is a gentle man and certainly wouldn’t say such a thing, who knows, he might think it. Click here.

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