Sunday, August 09, 2009

Interesting Weekend

On Friday, I woke up with a bladder infection, so I drank loads and loads of water to try to clear it, but it was worse on Saturday, so I went in to the Walk In Centre at the local hospital where I was seen by a Nurse Practitioner. She tested my urine and found evidence of infection so she gave me some antibiotics.

What surprised us is that there was Glucose ++++ in there too, so she did a fingerprick test and my blood sugar level was 12, which is far too high. Normally it should be between 3 and 4. An infection can play havoc with the blood sugar readings, but we are not assuming that that is the sum of the problem, and I am to see my GP this week.

She asked the usual questions - am I always thirsty? tired? running to the loo a lot? feeling unwell? The long and the short of it is that I've had those symptoms for years because they are common in ME, and actually, I feel pretty well at the moment.

When I was finished there, I joined Caelyn and the family at the Donkey Derby in Radnor Park. They came home with me and Sean turned up too, and we decided to eat together at my house. Sean had invited us to go out for Tea but by that time I felt seriously unwell and didn't want to go out. Also, it was getting late and Caelyn wanted the kids to get to bed at a reasonable hour. So a simple pasta supper was the order of the day, and Caelyn helped with it a lot because she could see I was tired.

Wendy loved her Donkey Ride.

In South Africa, my nephew Nicolas celebrated his 21st birthday on the farm at Hartbeesfontein. My mother is over there for the celebrations. I'm sure everything went well. She will tell us about it when she gets back, which will be later this week. That will be good news for Wendy, who has been missing her Great Grandma.

Today, we met Trevor and Ifan at Dover Priory Station and went on a tour of Dover Castle. They loaned me a red shoprider mobility scooter, but it broke down on our way back to the office to return it, so we were rescued by the driver of the Land Train, and someone came to see the scooter and return it.

The underground tunnels were fascinating. Much of the hospital and operating theatre equipment I was very familiar with. How did they operate? The lighting was very dim, and there was a temporary blackout as the power went out. The surgeon continued the operation without the help of the special theatre light, as only a few emergency back up lights came on.
How did he do it? Remarkable.

The thing that impressed me most was hearing about Admiral Bertrand Ramsay. He had served in the WW1, and after a while, in the mid 1930s, after a quarrel with the Authorities he was retired and put on half pay. When they needed him in WW2, he returned and was stationed in Dover because he was thought to be the person with the most complete knowledge of the Dover Straits.

In only one week, this remarkable man formulated the plans to evacuate Dunkirk. They lost a couple of thousand men as enemy aircraft were bombing the ships, including the hospital ships. So they lost a lot of men and ships and some aircraft too. The RAF were providing Air cover to protect the men as they went out to the rescue ships.

Do you know how many Ramsay and his men eventually evacuated from Dunkirk? 338 000. Wow! It must have been a brilliant plan, and the communications with those who were actually participating in "Operation Dynamo" must have been first rate. The bravery and daring are awe inspiring.

There is a Wikipedia article on him HERE.

If Dunkirk had to be evacuated today, can you imagine what the 'Elf n Safety' lot would have to say? All Risk Assessments to be done, reports filled in, having Consultations with expensive experts, applications for official permission etc. If it depended on them, I reckon those soldiers would still be waiting. Witnessing the logistical brilliance of Admiral Ramsay brings into sharp focus just how much we have lost as a nation. There is little initiative left because using initiative is usually against 'Elf n Safety'. These days, you may not climb a ladder until you have been on a course to learn how to use a ladder safely. Sad. But true.

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