Houdinis in Gibraltar

In which our heroine wastes half a day to be told the blatantly obvious.

Three health appointments in a week is no fun. It disrupts me from my idle sofa routine, it disrupts my dogs – Snowy doesn’t like to see me being taken away by the ambulance crew – and it most definitely disrupts my partner.

Physio 1

The first appt was physio. Despite his somewhat straight face and quietly insistent manner, I think he is OK. Patient Transport came to collect me. They were annoyed. I had been seen walking around Morrisons. We thought they were joking. Partner and I both came out with the same comment. ‘I/She hate/s going to Morrisons even when she can walk.’

It was laughable but they were deadly serious. ‘People take the piss out of us,’ said one still muttering about it as they carried me up the street. I wondered how my doppelgänger managed to wield two wobbly crutches and a basket or a trolley and get on the bus? Of course not, my partner would have driven me there. Given that – like me on the rare occasion I go – he walks and buses there, the last thing he would do would be to waste fuel to drive me to the shops for a non-pleasure trip.

Perhaps it is their standard catch-someone-out line. Oh, she’s a woman, she’s British, bet she’s been to Morrisons shopping, let’s see if she blushes and looks embarrassed. In fact it plunged me into a fit of depression and I had such a sad face one of them asked me if I was all right. Sure, I’m good. You’ve just accused me of waltzing around Morrisons. I did ask if I should contact their manager. ‘It’s his word against yours.’ Of course. Guilty until proved innocent. It’s not as though Morrisons don’t have CCTV. They could find pictures of my alleged shopping escapade.

By the time I got to physio, I was on the point of seriously embarrassing myself and bursting into tears at reception. My physio took one look at me, wheeled me into a private room, and I broke down and told him what had been said. ‘Everyone’s an expert’ he said drily, referring to the ambulance staff. He brought me a cup of water and some paper towels to dry my wet face. And off we limped to the gym. Before I left he told me community physio would be coming to see me to look at how I managed stairs. Groan. There’s no arguing with him.

On the return trip the ambulance staff were very quiet. No more comments about Ms Shopaholic.

The routine is that I ring Partner when we set off from hospital, so he can open both doors to our block, bring the crutches to the landing, and wait outside the flat holding Little One so he doesn’t escape. Pippa is too calm and tranquil to bother escaping.

Picture of innocence
Picture of innocence

Houdini 1

Except, with Partner and Snowy trapped behind me, and the ambulance staff helping me out of the carry chair, Pippa seized the moment to coolly walk out and trot off down the steps. I couldn’t move, and neither could Partner. I limped into the flat, the ambulance staff finally got out of the way, Partner threw Snows in the flat and grabbed Pippa’s harness and went off in pursuit.

Of course, the block doors were still open, and Pippa had sauntered out into the big wide world of Gibraltar. Luckily he’d gone up the back, rather than heading towards busy Main Street. Sadly for Pippa not a cat in sight, and he was quickly harnessed up and brought home, still with a rather smug look on his face.

He’s currently on Meloxicam for his arthritis. Based on his Houdini performance, highly recommended. It’s a people drug too, unlike his previous animal-specific ones. Meloxicam, on prescription, costs €2.50 for 20 tablets. He takes half a tablet a day, or when he needs it. It’s an NSAID, although not a Cox-2 inhibitor, but Pippa seems to be doing very well on it. Too well at times.

Hehe. Maybe not quite so innocent...
Hehe. Maybe not quite so innocent…

The surgeon

Two days later we changed the routine to prevent Houdini going walkabout again. Appt to see surgeon at 11.30. Ha! Bet that wouldn’t happen. Picked up at 11am. Snows was enclosed in the bathroom, I snuck through a narrow gap in the door, Houdini was kept under strict observation. Arrived at orthopaedics around 11.20. An hour or so later I was wheeled in to see Mr Doom and Gloom. He admired his work. And sent me off for an X-ray :( Could I go home after X-ray? I’d tried this wheeze before and it worked. No.

A little trainee doctor came out to tell me to make sure they X-rayed my left leg, not my right. Uh? I repeated this to the radiographer, in an embarrassed sort of way. She looked at the computer, and said ‘Someone’s asked for the right leg… but we always listen to the patient. They tend to be the ones who know what’s going on.’ Ha!

Finally delivered back upstairs to Mr D and G. ‘You’re healing well,’ he pronounced, but then not wanting to spoil the moment with good news, he repeated his mantra, ‘it was a very nasty fracture and you have the worst bones in the whole of the western hemisphere.

‘Are you walking?’

Sure. That’s why I’m sitting in a wheelchair.

‘No. I can limp a little with crutches.’

‘Where are they?’

Clearly not here, dickhead.

‘I didn’t bring them. Would you like me to get up and hobble?’

So I did. He wasn’t impressed. He then impersonated my hobble, pointed out I couldn’t walk and wasn’t bending my knee sufficiently. Gee, that’s helpful. I couldn’t have worked that one out on my own. I know how badly I hobble. It may also explain why physio has been giving me knee-bending exercises possibly? And standing on tiptoes? And dancing around on each foot to improve weight-bearing?

‘Six weeks,’ he said. Arrogantly.

‘Why?’

‘Can you walk?’

‘No.’

‘Then come back in six weeks.’

The somewhat stupid nurse wheeled me out and asked if I needed a porter. No, I can wheel myself downstairs. Or hobble badly. And almost certainly fall over.

She called for a porter and meanwhile started filling in the chit for my next appointment. ‘The clerk will sort it for you,’ she said airily and left.

Houdini 2

The porter arrived. ‘Reception?’

‘Yes please.’

The clerk still hadn’t arrived. I still had no appointment. I made my rapid escape courtesy of the timely porter. Maybe they’ll catch up with me, maybe they won’t. Houdini 2.

Back down in reception, at 1.20, an ambulance person helpfully said they were on lunch till 2pm.

‘I’m not going anywhere.’

I was just pleased to have hopefully wriggled out of another waste of space appointment in six weeks time.

Reception itself was roped off, and I was in a little side area. Around two o’clock, I noticed a few Spanish ambulances transferring patients and they seemed to be going in the main doorway.

I decided the Davros chair routine was called for, which I had perfected during my two weeks in hospital to and from the bathroom. Using my good foot, I propelled myself to the outside door to peer outside. Yup. The taped off area outside reception was now open. How would the Patient Transport staff find me in this little side entrance? Davros then propelled her way through to the now open main reception area and plonked herself very obviously in full view.

After a PTS van came and went – without me – I asked the person on reception to check they were coming for me. She didn’t even need to ask my name. Does the whole of the Gib health service now know me? Or, even worse, read my blog?

The ex-para

One of the crew members who finally came was the ex-para. The one who broke both legs jumping with a parachute, and was walking after eight weeks and running after 12. No doubt he was parachute jumping again after 13 weeks and breaking his legs all over again. And back on his feet again the next day.

‘Haven’t they got you walking yet?

‘My daughter [or daughter-in-law, can’t remember which] broke her ankle three weeks ago. Right across the middle of her ankle. She’s walking now.’

Bully for her.

‘And how old is she?’

‘Thirty-five.’

‘Then she’s got twenty years on me.’

The conversation died. I could have added, she clearly didn’t spend 12 days waiting for an operation due to fracture blisters, nor was she told to avoid weight-bearing for at least six weeks post-op due to the most fragile bones ever, and then have to wait another week for physio, which makes nine or ten weeks of wasted muscle and inactivity. It’s hardly likely to result in speedy recovery. I didn’t bother saying any of that.

But I’m just getting the same attitude all the time. I look fit, so why aren’t I walking? I must be walking. I spent my whole working life in an office. I’m not a bloody paratrooper and my body didn’t earn my living, although once in King’s Cross, Sydney… anyway that’s another story.

Four hours, door to door. And for what gain? To be told I’m not walking by the surgeon and for ambulance staff to tell me I should be.

The contracts manager

In between juggling looking after me, and preventing Pippa Houdini running around the streets of Gibraltar, wide and narrow, Partner had gone to meet someone about a job on Wednesday. No, she didn’t have the budget to pay his first figure so he dropped his price.

She accepted that, and then launched into her terms and conditions. Hmm. When he told me, it sounded like he was being treated as an employee without the benefits. We waited for her to send the email he’d requested, confirming payments and T&Cs. It never arrived.

So the following morning, he didn’t turn up for the job. Eventually the ‘phone calls and texts started. Still no confirmatory email. We expect confirmation in writing from all customers and sub-contracting is treated no differently. Unless they are eminently trustworthy. Which, in Gib, is most unlikely. Everyone gets stiffed at some point by someone.

Probably just as well it didn’t come off as it was the day of my four hours in hospital saga. I dread to think of Snowy left alone in the flat and barking incessantly for four hours. ‘Please bring my mistress back NOW. BARK BARK. I WILL bark until you do.’

Physio 2

The following day, Friday, I’d arranged for community physio to come and supervise me down the stairs. Best get it out of the way, and then have a week free of appointments.

There was no way she was coming in the flat. The deal was, help me with the stairs. At the best of times the flat is a tip, and with me out of action for more than three months, it’s even worse. Someone might take the dogs away from us because we are untidy and scruffy!

So when she arrived, early as per usual with Gib health services, I hobbled out of the door. Um. She was really nice. Helpful, not pushy, and patient. We went down the stairs. She wanted me to go down the outside steps to the street. Oh. No. I need someone who can totally bear my weight to tackle those. I refused.

Back through the hall and up the stairs. I pointed out the bad go to heaven too, so we practised going up one leg on alternate steps. By which I mean the way walking people go up steps, not those who drag one foot after the other. I agreed to ring her when I’d spoken to my hospital physio. Phew! Another appointment avoided.

Meanwhile the enthusiastic contracts manager who wasn’t willing to put anything in writing to Partner, pulled her ace. Except it had us in hysterics.

‘Please get in touch. I am so worried you are lying in a ditch somewhere.’

Really? When Partner hasn’t had contact with her for years? And there are no ditches in Gibraltar?

We laughed. Lots.

A more professional attitude would have been, ‘Hi, I’ve spoken to the boss and negotiated agreement for your original price, and some flexibility around the T&Cs.’

In a week of strange contacts, here’s the scale of respect ie gained or lost:

Ambulance crew who told me I’d been shopping in Morrisons: -5
Surgeon: somewhere between -7 and -10
Stupid nurse: -5 (previous ones were brill)
Radiographer: + 5
Brilliant porter who helped me escape: +7
Rude ex-para for being thoughtless and not taking different situations into account: -7
Hospital physio: +9 for being sympathetic, flexible, yet still focused on my rehab
Community physio: +8 for putting me at my ease, helping with difficult technique on the stairs, and not being pushy.

And the construction contracts manager?

Off the minus scale really. The ‘lying in the ditch’ text was ridiculous. Seriously, how can you respect someone professionally who resorts to such drivel?

What’s the phrase? Something about running with big dogs and not peeing like a pup.

To finish – Houdini 3

The Ark was seen recently in La Linea. Playing loud music of course, although for once to my taste. Did I get to see him? No. Another escape artist.

The Ark visits La Linea
The Ark visits La Linea
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89 comments on “Houdinis in Gibraltar

  1. It was a dash in and dash out. No time for hardly a tea and biscuit.
    Although I thought the big hug and the good old chin wag in Morrisons was fun.
    I even expressed surprise how you were looking so well in your running shorts, vest and trainers and not limping in the least.
    And here you are being all grumpy to the ambulance blokes. I don’t know, really!.Sheesh.

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  2. Sounds like things are still quite a struggle, very sorry to hear that. At least you can still laugh about it though: “although once in King’s Cross, Sydney… anyway that’s another story” really did make me laugh. :-)

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    • I’ve never bothered asking how long it’s going to take as I don’t want the answer. As for laughing, what else can I do? It’s very much an ‘accept the situation’ stage at the moment. However much I exercise or wish it hadn’t happened, time is the main ingredient in the whole mix… Glad to give you a laugh.

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  3. Ah, nothing like the medical profession to make you feel better, eh? At least a couple of them seem interested in your mental well-being as well as your physical well-being.

    It’s too bad the contracts manager couldn’t be paired up with, say, the rude nurse or ex-para. They could bring each other down. Never seems to work that way, though.

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    • Indeed, where would we be without our arrogant consultants? I confess to being biased having worked with loads of them, so I tend to view them in a bad light anyway. It’s always so refreshing to find the odd one not up his own arse or with a sense of humour.

      Had a great ambulance woman today, she was super :)

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  4. Don’t be too hard on yourself. When I had my car accident, it took me six months to walk properly again. The surgeon was really tough, and rough. He screamed at me ona daily basis. I was stuck for the first two months at the hospital so there was no escaping.
    He used to tell me that if I didn’t make progress walking I was going to get a blood clot and die. Mike’s elbow recovery was very slow too. The screws came loose and he had to have a second operation.
    Each person/body works its own way, in its own time.

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    • I’m more than halfway to six months already! It’s always taken me some time to recover from limb injuries, broken or otherwise. They just kept dosing me with klexane (spl?) in hospital to avoid clots. Interestingly, I met a woman in there who’d broken her foot/ankle in Thailand, came home, got it sorted, but was actually in St Bernard’s because… she’d had a mild pulmonary embolism.

      Don’t start me on the screws. I so didn’t want them and the plate. I do NOT want to go back in to get them taken out either. If I can walk, cycle and be remotely agile, it will do.

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      • I’ve kept all my metal bits. Titanium hip (ball & socket), titanium knee and titanium rods around the femur. The deal is that if my insurance paid for them, they’re mine. At the Costa del Sol hospital they tried to get pieces back from Mike’s elbow. I promptly informed them they could only have screws back if I was paid “back” for them- and that was the end of that discussion.

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        • Wow, that must have been some nasty car crash :(

          They didn’t seem too interested in taking them out of me. And it’s been such a frustrating hassle I really don’t want to be immobile again, even for a day or two after a second op. I had a pal with broken tibia/fibula? after skiing accident and he got the plate and screws taken out, claimed it was too painful walking. I think my university pal with a broken ankle had them out too as she likes posing around on a tennis court. Can’t see it affecting cycling, and it can live with tolerable pain anyway.

          Costa del Sol hospital… hmm, wonder what that was like.

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  5. Well done on the loss of respect- “Have they not got you walking yet?” is indeed a sublimely silly remark- what I need to do is express it. “You look fit, why are you not working?” Response: “Are you for real?” “I don’t have to explain anything to you.” “Who needs doctors, when you can see immediately who ‘looks fit’?”

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    • The concept of fitness by appearance is fascinating and very insidious. I had a colleague off work for months with ME – took ages for it to be diagnosed too – and yet people would say, there’s nothing wrong with her, she looks well. Had to appeal to get an early discharge ie retirement on health/sick grounds too. The NHS of course was her employer…

      Another Scottish pal was having to go through the crazy UK loops to claim sick benefit, as despite having breast cancer and on chemo, she was deemed fit to work (not that there was any) by some ignoramus in an office. We seem to have lost compassion somewhere along the way in our urge to track down those evil benefit bludgers.

      Not just me, but my partner has also found this routine of endless, often pointless appointments debilitating and stressful. As Pink said, it’s a question of working it through in an individual’s own time. And because I’m not claiming benefits, no-one is to say how fit or ill I am. If patient transport don’t want to collect me because some idiot thinks they saw me in Morrisons or someone’s 35-year-old daughter was walking within three weeks, that’s fine by me. I got the emergency care I needed, the rest I can do on my own. However long it takes. But I can do without idiotic and irrelevant comments.

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  6. Leo used to get this attitude a lot…
    He looks all right,,,nothing wrong with him..
    I’d like to have seen those saying it have as much grit to get on with as normal a life as possible given his problems of strength and balance, but it’s a lot worse when it comes from health professionals.

    Pippa looks somewhat smug…quietly triumphant….

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    • Balance is a difficult one. Mine used to good but with increasing vertigo and tinnitus… and obviously physically it’s crap right now given my shuffling gait and inability to weightbear equally on my feet.

      I often wonder how many health professionals have had any of the injuries or illnesses they deal with. I decided long ago that it should be compulsory for all medical staff to spend four weeks with a leg in plaster, non-weight-bearing, and their preferred hand of use and arm in a sling for a couple of months. Preferably both encumbrances at the same time.

      The old ones are the best ones. I was stuck in the ambulance carry chair as he loftily wandered out of the flat and down the stairs. I was torn between total shock, inability to do anything, respect for his ability to seize an opportunity and a huge desire to laugh. It was quite comical in its own farcical way.

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      • Quite agree re medical staff and plaster….might make them a bit more realistic in their expectations.
        I told you of the doctor who wanted Leo to shut his eyes……case in point!

        I can bet you did want to laugh….the sight of a triumphant back making its way down the stairs and off down the road must have been quite something…and then the worry sets in.

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        • I first thought about it when I couldn’t get into the bathroom in our three-bed ward because it was piled high with commodes. I liked the radiographer’s comment about patients know more about what’s going on anyway. Finally someone who doesn’t treat patients as thick objects who have no interest in their health care (or lack of).

          It was the smirk and the casual approach that cracked me up. ‘Oh, everyone’s busy with her, I’ll just pop out and see how many cats I can kill,’ that did it for me. He didn’t run, but he wasn’t hesitant either. Very purposeful. There’s life in the old dog and all that.

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          • I just wonder whether we could extend the plaster session to being forced to wait to go to the loo for several hours…..and being shouted at when things became so desperate that they got themselves there anyway…

            I l ike Pippa’s style…no hurry, no fuss, just on a mission…

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          • He is one cool dog. He is also a real ladies’ dog. Women in Gib love Pippa and are disinterested in Little One. The men like Snowy because he is so feisty.

            I can imagine when A caught up with him with his harness, he would have shrugged his shoulders and thought, oh well, it was good while it lasted, shame about the absence of cats.

            I’ve worked out how to take the brakes off the wheelchair finally, so I could probably get myself to the loo now. I wheeled myself, Davros style, outside today to await the ambulance.

            They also need to bed chained to their beds, force fed their food, and given food they don’t want. So they can take it or leave it. And be woken up at inappropriate hours to have their BP taken and asked if they want bloody paracetamol..

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          • Oh yes… a good one there. Sorry love, we’re on lunch break now, so that’s an hour you’ll be sitting in the hospital, and then we’ll make sure to fit in a few important calls first.

            Or, they could be told they will be picked up at 10.30 am but someone will turn up at 9.30 am instead. And having learned that transport turns up early, they will be ready an hour in advance, only to find the next time, the ambulance turns up late…

            Such fun :)

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  7. I’d hate to see your wig bill. I assume you’re pulling your hair out on a regular basis. Just as well the Welshman is (almost) working for such n erudite woman, or is he still lounging about in a ditch.
    You’re actually making good progress on two fronts, health wise the leg is now in good recovery mode and with a little help from the physios you’ll be (carefully) up and down stairs soon. And patience wise you’re doing great not having bitten off a single head of some of the ninnies out there.
    Keep getting better, keep smiling and wear a disguise in Morrison’s.
    Hugs.

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    • I only pull out the odd silver one and they are few and far between. The Welshman has been on plumbing duties this past week. And cycling duties (duties?) and dog walking, washing up, and all other duties, apart from a few that erudite woman graciously attempted.

      Stairs weren’t bad today, it does get easier. Going up is easier than down. Don’t know if you have stair problems? Oddly, I see no point in biting anyone. What I want out of the whole thing is to walk again. I don’t need to give people grief to get there, even if they have a go at me. Just not worth it.

      This is my perfect excuse now for never ever darkening the doors of Morries again. Phew. No shopping addict me. You put me to shame.

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  8. Where did all the nice hospital staff go… are they on annual leave or something? Pobrecita mia! It amazes me how insensitive people can be and totally lacking in empathy. So I’ve come to a few tiny conclusions: ;)
    Next time you plan on breaking your foot/ankle or whatever…

    train to be a para first! Or at least get one to adopt you so you’ll be an ex-paras daughter. Nothing will faze you then. Silly girl, you should have known this already!

    Make sure the Surgeon knows what the fuck s/he’s doing (check background, history, pay a visit to her/his home, have dinner and a chat. Check that the dog can still walk)

    Make sure you have written up a big shopping list and take it to Morrison’s with you. Leave the crutches at home.

    Don’t hobble badly, walk… all this hobbling and being unable to walk just won’t do, dammit!

    Love the pics… Pippa is so gorgeous! (Shh, don’t tell Snowy!) :D

    Finally, ’bout time you wrote a bloody post!

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    • I don’t know where they went. The remaining ones prob want to be on holiday. Ambulance crews keep moaning about the heat (they should go and work in the UK), but they don’t get any summer gear, so they are fully togged up in those strange overalls they wear.

      I don’t think any paras, regiment or exes wd have me – luckily.

      No idea where surgeon lives. Spain I should think.

      Oh no, I am not going to Morrisons. That’s why I have a husband. Apparently he meets other blokes when he goes early, 8am, and they all moan about getting sent there because their wives refuse to go :D

      My mind over matter technique isn’t working too well. I think I need to watch slow motion videos of people walking to try and work out how to do it.

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  9. Was wondering how you were getting along. They seemed to be determined to keep an eye on you.
    Sad you were scowled at for “being seen in a store” and it wasn’t you. (sleep walking are you?) Sometimes people having a bad day can’t resist spreading it around – hard to shake that off though.
    Stair there will be an issue won’t they? So many around? Always helps when the home visit staff is competent and friendly.
    I can understand why you’d avoid the screw and plates. (giggles over that great idea with the plaster and medical staff – docs make terrible patients)
    Pippa does look more energetic – glad that’s working – What a self confident dog he is – watching until just the right moment – you can’t tell me he didn’t laugh to himself about his clever escape.
    Partner is wise to hold back until confirmation in writing for a job. Some people! And they always complain about workers sluffing off.
    Hopefully you’ll be gaining strength now. The outdoors in fall weather are bound to be a treat after being stuck for so long.
    (We are starting to get covered by a dust cloud from Africa today – small afternoon thunderstorm helped clear some of the air, but sun rise was quite hazy today)

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    • I think I’m moving easier, but it is just taking so long. Doesn’t open 24 hours so couldn’t have been sleep-walking. Unless it was during my siesta maybe? Stairs are psychological as much as physical, it’s going down that’s the worry. Suddenly I feel I’m looking at them from so far away – a disadvantage of being tall. Screws and plate are in now and there to stay as far as I’m concerned.

      Pippa is indeed looking perky and smiley these days, although right now it’s post-breakfast nap time. At least he waited patiently to be recaptured :D

      The owner of the firm has a somewhat dubious reputation anyway, so I’m glad it didn’t happen.

      It’s more pleasant in Spain of course, the streets in Gib are sooo busy with tourists and it makes crutch manoeuvring difficult. I wouldn’t go out on my own.

      Dust cloud from Africa? That’s some trip. We had some hot winds last week, can’t remember if they came from Africa or the sierras behind. But at least it was air. The next couple of days were very still and claggy.

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      • Schools start next week, so we are looking forward to the tourists being occupied elsewhere. At least there you probably don’t have to deal with their erratic driving. (Apparently if you are on vacation, traffic laws and manners are to be forgotten – Slowing down and almost stopping while making decisions, suddenly deciding to turn left in front of everyone without signals and from the wrong lane. And all the trash they abandon which ends up in the lake/bay.) They are welcomed, but couldn’t they play nice and smile a bit? We can walk most places here, but there’s a heat advisory…will just manage without to avoid going after stuff.
        One advantage here – it’s all flat….though somehow manage to trip/stub over some invisible item on level ground anyway. Certainly don’t want to deal with broken legs after reading other’s ordeals this summer…ok the roller blades are still around…but too hot to use them right now.
        Stay cool. Watching possible storm in Atlantic wandering this general direction…they often are drawn by extreme heat…..must stock up some water,chips(for some reason you always crave potato chips during storms…must be the fat to comfort?) and dog treats…
        Grins and pats to pups

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  10. No wonder your recovery is slow, when you go sleepwalking round Morrisons like that. ::)
    Clear you have been pulled down a lot for that to get to you instead of simply laughing it off – it was rather ridiculous!

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  11. Happy that Houdini 1 was promptly leashed up and brought home. Amazing how dogs can seize the day just when they sense we are most distracted.

    I couldn’t agree more that doctors should be required to suffer a bit of their own ministrations – have a taste of their own bitter medicine. I could write a book myself but can’t bear to relive it all quite frankly. As for the parachutist, how utterly nauseating. Just the sort of comment you need at a time like this. Here’s hoping you turn the corner very, very soon. Four hours door to door and for what gain? Theirs, clearly. Looking forward to your next update.

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    • Dogs are too sensitive for their own good. They pick up on any sort of emotions don’t they? We were getting ready to leave the finca last week, obviously packing bags and tidying up so Little One ran and hid under the bed.

      I wasn’t going to write about it initially, but I managed to detach myself, and for once, I really have treated this more as a personal diary to remind me what happened.

      Thanks :)

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  12. It took me a while to figure out why it was any business of Patient Transport if you were wandering around Morrisons… I got it, if you were able to wander they wouldn’t have to collect you. Do they not get paid to do the work regardless of the ambulatory status of their clients…
    Ah, there’s a word – client. I assume you are parting with currency for your medical treatment. Obviously you need to be cooperative enough to enable the various medical providers to treat you effectively but lack professional respect and courtesy will only detract.
    The things Pippa does to get a hefty mention in a blog post. For so many has Snowy had the attention. Good to know his medication is working.
    As for the Contracts “Manager”, it’s possible Partner dodged a bullet. If its that problematic getting a professional commitment from her imagine getting paid.

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    • Yup, that’s the score. They seem to think I can get to hospital solo. Anyway, I’ve got a follow-up post on the whole irritating saga but it can wait. I shall write about more interesting things first.

      Parted with currency ie national insurance contributions (courtesy of working Partner) towards state health care, free at point of delivery on traditional UK NHS model. So no private care, or private insurance. Emergencies are free anyway in Europe, so I would have been seen for the first part regardless. Doubt it would have extended to physio and PTS though. In which case I would probably have fallen and ended up back in. Doesn’t bear thinking about.

      Yes it’s nice to give Pippa a bit of publicity now and again. Although preferably not for escaping the little toerag.

      We did have visions about getting stiffed to be honest. Discovered today she was underpricing jobs for a previous firm, suspect she ran before she got the push.

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  13. Ooooh, the Ark’s looking better than ever. Must be that Gib air and your company Kate. I just wish I could have been there. They wouldn’t get minus points from me for treating you so bad, that I can promise you! Those nasties! For accusing you of something you didn’t do! Just give them to me next time. I will make their ears ring! As for the ex-para (must be why he is an ‘ex’) – clearly he never learned that you don’t compare. I can’t stand people like that. I think I would have broken my other ankle on his face!

    Seems Pippa is enjoying his houdini acts and I am glad there weren’t any cats around. I would go crazy if Simba does that. I am also glad to hear his meds are helping him. He is such a beauty and it’s always great to see photo’s of them. :D

    I can only imagine how difficult things must be for you and then you get people who make it more difficult. Wishing you all of the best hon and thinking of you. :D

    ♥ Hugs ♥ to you and the beasties.
    xxx

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    • Better than ever? That’s assuming he’s half way decent looking in the first place ;)

      I hate people accusing me of lying or being deceptive.

      Think the para had done the 22 year stint. To be fair he was fit. He virtually ran up and down the stairs with the carry chair. Insists on not using the easier traction chair. Think he’d have chucked me over his shoulder if it was allowed. Sixty kilos? Pff nothing to a para. And his boots were immaculate. Mind you, Partner offered to carry me a few weeks back but I went for the elegant bum shuffle instead :)

      Pippa likes to head up the back luckily owing to a previous escape:

      http://pippadogblog.blogspot.com/2008/10/escape.html

      No comments on that one as WP lost them on the import, but there are on the original blogger post: take your pick!

      https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=2843292492127127974&postID=6159362346266362383&isPopup=true

      Thanks Sonel. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      • Whahahahahaha! I hope he doesn’t read that! You’ll leave our stone god without any ego Kate! LOL!

        Now if people want me upset and quite angry, they should do that to me. I also that that!

        I don’t care what he looked liked or how strong and fit he was. He had no right to treat you like that. Pfffffttt! I am sure partner can handle it quite perfectly and he’s not even an ex-para or whatever. You don’t want to know what I think of when I read the phrase ‘ex-para’. In Afrikaans a ‘para’ is actually a frog (padda or parra) – so yeah, I will not go into it. hahahahah!

        Oh, so Pippa is an expert houdini escape artist! LOL! I can see you running after him and looking for him and the Master! Oh dear me! No, I would freak out totally! :D

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        • Nah, he’ll dismiss it as me being a cranky woman for not admiring his beauteous visage sufficiently.

          Partner is pretty strong. Comes of working in construction and he used to do cycling (still does), running and martial arts. (Full contact karate).

          Hey, free Afrikaans lessons now. I’ll remember padda/parra :) Sonel’s word a day in Afrikaans? Could be useful when we finally make our trip to SA.

          For a large slow looking dog, Pippa can move hellish fast. He would turn on a sixpence in the past, tie up your legs in his lead, and clear off on cat safari. He is such a butter wouldn’t melt character. He is pretty popular in Gib though because of his adorable temperament.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Bwhahahahahah! Oh, I can already hear him say that! I do love how the two of you can play with words. Wish I could do that. :D

            Oh, I am sure he is. You won’t take a sissy in any case. You like your men big and strong. :D

            Ooooh, oooh! Martial Arts! Oh, we would have lots of fun for sure, but he would surely win. I can still kick like Chuck Norris but I won’t promise you I’d still be walking the next day. hahahahah!

            hahahahahah! Yeah, remember that word. When you make me angry, I will just say this to you : “Ag, jou parra man!” That means you can go to hell but in a joking manner, especially if you like someone. LOL!

            I bet he is! Whahahahah! You describe it so well, I can only laugh. I just don’t want to be at the end of that leash. He is so sweet and so adorable! I am sure he is. He would be very popular here as well. I would let him sleep with me. :D

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      • hahahahah Mak! I am sure he wouldn’t think so. hee hee. I do know Kate would have loved that and yes, I would have for sure. Ex-para or not! I have long legs and after I broke his face, I would still run faster than him! LOL!

        And even today I don’t have scars on my face … it’s because I don’t look back when I run away.

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  14. And here I thought it was only in the US patients are treated as guilty until proven innocent–with each appointment. Now I know the truth, it’s everywhere. I am glad Snowy and Pippa are both safe and sound, providing the comic relief needed as you recuperate :)

    Like

    • I think they are annoyed I’m not running around like a 15-year-old and it’s my fault I’m 55 and not recovering quickly enough after a bi-malleolar fracture and ten weeks of non weight bearing. Wtf do they expect? Do they think I like being stuck inside on crutches? Idiots. All of them. My patience has run out.

      S&P are a big help. A bit like therapy dogs or whatever. Having a non-judgemental dog or two is a big help. They know I haven’t been to Morrisons and can see I am trying to walk. Snows knows not to ask me to take him out. So if he can work that out why can’t they?

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        • He’s a dog. He’s adapted. I can throw his toys and play. I can feed him. I can lie next to him on the sofa/bed. I can top up the water dish etc etc. I was his prime walker before, and now I’m not. Shit happens. I’m doing the usual technique of seeing past all this to envisioning walking again, cycling and swimming. Got to focus on that. Not on now.

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          • Indeed. But there isn’t a calendar at the hospital that says when I must do what, by a certain time. I’ve recovered from injuries before in my own time, so I’ll do it again now. Poco a poco I’ll get there without interference and snide comments. Thanks :)

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  15. Wishing you well, roughseas. There sounds to have been way too much trial and trib. so far. Have none of these grumpy medics suggested how you might improve your bones? Because that is not impossible to achieve. For free and sensible, and well researched medical info from an actual doctor you could try: http://www.mercola.com

    Like

    • Hi Tish, thanks for that and for your link, which I’ve checked out. In fact I’ve had more helpful info on here from thoughtful bloggers than in hospital. My surgeon didn’t help when he told me to ‘eat more healthily’. As one of my other readers put it, she couldn’t imagine eating more healthily than me.

      Most of the natural health links to osteopathy emphasise no junk/processed food, no refined sugars, loads of greens, fresh veg, pref organic, good balance of vitamins incl K and D etc etc. all of which I have within what I can get in Gib and back at my finca where I grow organic veg and herbs.

      I suspect part of the problem was an early menopause. I found it most useful but not too keen on the early onset of osteoporosis which I would never have known about sans broken ankle. Ignorance was bliss until then. I’m not keen on taking supplements as I think you can get things way out of balance so I’m just going to have to stick to my unhealthy diet.

      The other aspect is weight-bearing exercise, and I’ve always walked where possible. The hierarchy goes walk or cycle, bus/train, car as last resort. The rich irony is that if I hadn’t been out walking the dog, as a break from working at the computer – the accident would never have happened…

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      • You could check out natural progesterone cream. Mercola has something to say on this, though he likes sublingual natural hormones. The erstwhile Dr John R Lee ‘What your doctor may not tell you about the menopause’ was the great proponent of same. His argument being that depletion of progesterone is what causes the most havoc. Progesterone and bone strength are apparently related, to say nothing of all the other bodily mayhem that can go on too including apparent hypothyroidism. His book may be out of print. But there have been fairly recent trials in the UK so there should be a lot on the internet about it. Wellsprings produce various products and there’s more info on their site. But yes, you sound as if you have a perfect diet otherwise. Cheers. T

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        • Thanks I’ll look all those up. You are pretty well-informed on this, it’s much appreciated. Can’t remember why, but my thyroid was checked out in hospital. Bored I suspect, they seemed to find an excuse to check everything, blood, heart, thyroid… Anyway it was ok. I looked at a few Mercola posts, so I’ll dig deeper tomorrow. Thanks again, Tish.

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          • You’re welcome, Kate. Have just become aware over the years of the tunnel vision of much conventional big-pharma medicine.More about managing than healing much of the time.

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          • I am the woman who does not have pain-killers in the house. Who kicked up a stink about being virtually force-fed paracetamol every night to lower blood pressure (control experiment by yours truly showed it dropped anyway without taking it). Who will go out of her way to avoid synthetic drugs and try something else. Etc. But I was like that before I spent ten years working in the health service :D Having said that, I actually did learn quite a lot about drugs, effectiveness, efficacy and prescribing. Which just makes me even more cantankerous!

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  16. It seems like it’s almost a full day job when you have to go to the hospital. It’s enough to try the patience of Job and the bladder of Mustafa Wee (The incontinent Arab.) I feel so helpless for you, Kate. *hugs*

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    • Haha Sylvia, I laughed so much at a silly joke – always reminds me of learning about Mustafa Kemal (Ataturk) at school – that I had to dive for the toilet. And I am so not fast on crutches :D

      I just find it so disruptive going there. I can exercise at home, work from home, and all it does is wreck everyone and every dogsday. I’ll get there. No more appts scheduled for now, so that’s a huge relief.

      And I can do a few steps without crutches and limp not badly with one. A few weeks ago I couldn’t do either. So it’s taking a long time. As one commenter said above, every body heals in it’s own time and own way. Thanks for your good thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You need all the good and positive thoughts you can get, Kate. I do hope that you will heal properly and before to much longer. I would have been hopping mad at the thoughtless and ridiculous comments about your going shopping. :(

        Like

        • Thanks S, and people are sending them for which I’m most grateful. It can’t do any harm, and if it helps why not :) and it helps mentally to read kind and caring comments too.

          Well the shopping story will live here for some time I tell you. As I said originally, I avoid it when I can walk. Physio said something about hopping exercises. I’m not ready for them yet. I think I’d worked that out. I struggle to hop on my good leg!

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  17. oh K, it has been a long haul, hasn’t it? but i still maintain you have come a long ways, and improving slowly but surely. that’s my theory, and i’m sticking to it.
     
    wow, Pippa really is an escape artist. glad to hear he’s feeling well enough to do that, but glad he was returned home safe and sound without incident. nice to hear about the meds which are obviously helping him. these photos of him are great!
     
    purrs and hugs from this corner forthwith, from Timmy and me respectively. do take care!

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    • Yup. Long haul sums it up. Not helped yesterday by stepping awkwardly over Pippa and landing badly on said foot…

      He’s actually off the drugs at the mo, and bounding around happily, wandering up to people (on the lead, him not them, although…) he knows for pats and strokes. Attention seeker that he is.

      Thank you for the purrs and hugs. :)

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  18. It does annoy me when folk expect everyone to be the same. Just because one person heals quick, it doesn’t mean everyone else does.
    The trouble with the majority of medical staff is they think ‘they know best’ because they’ve been trained. It doesn’t matter that we know our own bodies.
    I’ve banged my head on the wall plenty of times in the past year regarding a certain health service ( you’ll know where I mean).

    Pippa so reminds me of how Jasper was….chilled, laid back and accepting of things that don’t go to plan.
    I can just see him ambling down the street, enjoying taking in the sights and smells, then saying ‘hey oh, well it was good to have a wander while it lasted’ as master arrived.

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    • It’s very silly isn’t it? A has made a point of waving at every ambulance driver he sees when he has been en route to and from Morrisons. On His Own. Without Ms Shopaholic.

      The trouble with a lot of medical staff is that they also only know their own alleged specialty. The concept of holistic care never comes into it. One of the big problems with western medicine and one of the reason for so many communication problems between disciplines and departments. But do I need to tell you that? :(

      Yes, that is a spot on description of Pippa Houdini. Funny how we can understand dogs we have never met through photos and blog posts, and sometimes fall in love with them. Sweet Jasper.

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  19. How annoying! As if being in pain wasn’t enough, you also had to put up with this stupid false accusation. Grrr I’m proud of you for gritting your teeth and rising above it. My best wishes for a complete and speedy recovery are with you always.
    {HUG}

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    • Yes, it was annoying. You will know that I do not spend my time unnecessarily shopping at the best of times, and shooting off to Morrisons at the first available opportunity wd be the last thing I’d do. What else can you do apart from move on? Thanks :)

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  20. You know, you’re really not selling Gib to me anymore; you can break your ankle and lay there crying for help in several languages and be ignored for hours yet the community is on high stalking alert and reporting back imaginary sightings in the supermarket?! I don’t think I’ve ever encountered ambulance staff who interrogate their patient’s credibility so rigorously and I hope I never do. I wouldn’t want to be left to die in an imaginary ditch either so your partner doesn’t seem to be fairing much better?! Gib is taking on the air of a David Lynch/Twin Peaks production after this post, and I used to have such romantic ideas about the place! And seriously, no one should ever have to fact-check or justify their individual health status, perhaps these unhelpful nitwits should literally try walking a mile in your shoes xx

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    • Hey I like to tell it like it is :)

      To be fair it was bank holiday and very quiet. And, would you go to the rescue of some loopy looking woman who could have been rat-arsed on vodka (I wasn’t) or might have had a team of muggers lying in wait (I didn’t)?

      The people who did come to my rescue were extremely kind Gibbos. I don’t know if the ones who walked past were tourists or what or just selfish bastards. There’s some work going on where I fell right now. I wonder…

      The ambulance issue is something else again. Remember a) I’m not Gibraltarian born, many of whom live in £20 a week government housing. I live in a poky one-bed flat that I own outright in a decent part of town. It might look like shit but it’s more than they could ever afford. I’ve been using PTS for three? months. They think I’m taking the piss. I shd be using Red Cross, or my family (what****ing family) should take me, or maybe I should just walk there. Mobilising me to go to hospital would mean take all dogs, get me down stairs, and park exactly where? Not in the street, and while an ambulance can block the street private vehicles don’t do that. And maybe, my partner might like to work. So maybe I don’t want to go to hospital until I can hop on the bus, Gus, in which case I doubt I’ll need to go.

      Contracts manager is British. Used to work in an office for a photographic film Kompany (there’s a clue there which one). Decided she’d be a painter, and then fancied a suit job. Knows stuff all about painting or construction as far as I can see. I can price jobs better, but I’ve been doing it for nearly 30 years…

      But people are having to justify health status all the time. Look at people in the UK being denied benefits and go find jobs whether they are on chemo, have epileptic fits (two examples I know of personally) regardless whether they are capable of doing anything. A nasty nasty society we have become :(

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  21. The one thing that comes back to me, after listening to the interactions with the various people, along with the score summary is this — is it possible to balance these two positions?
    (Resignation) It takes all kinds, and
    (Optimism) It’s all meant to try you.
    For my part I believe that neither is actually the case. Despite what some may think, the earth, by itself, is rudderless; it is not heading somewhere on its own, driven by some onboard intelligence. It’s up to us, therefore, to try and set some direction.
    Fine, but here’s the problem:
    There are some–the reasonable ones–that respond well to discussion. If there’s an issue you can take it up with them and get some resolution.
    There are others–the jerks–that are oblivious to the presence of anyone but themselves. Reason does not work. You have to either avoid them, leave them be or use force.
    So–every now and then you have to do what you have to do :-)

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    • I totally agree. For me, my issue was about being disbelieved, and realising it was time to rely on myself not the system. Pointless battles to fight, expend energy and get nowhere.

      And while progress is slow,mistress levels are much, much, lower. So, I’m exercising at home, and hoping one day I will walk properly again. No idea how to do it, but, patience huh?

      Like

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