Got a Date

Not that sort of date, no no no. I’m very happily married thank you very much.

No, a date for the surgery! on 21 July they’re replacing both wonky knuckles. I’m excited and nervous in equal measure. Altering things so it’ll be easier afterwards – brought haircut forward, ordered LimbO arm protector, preparing hubby for all the extra things I’ll need help with . . .

I did have an arm protector, but can’t find it anywhere. I may have given it to Mother when she had arm surgery. If not, it will turn up immediately after the first use of the new one.

It’s my right hand, and that is my dominant hand, so quite a lot of things will be difficult for a while. But I have suitable clothes from when they did a trapiezectomy on my left hand in 2013 – elastic waisted clothes because I don’t expect to be able to manage zips or buttons . . .

And most of all I’m very impressed with how quickly it’s happening! possibly because it’s hand surgery, and I’m not sure how many people are waiting for that. Hip replacements and bigger operations I guess have a much bigger waiting list. It is through the NHS, so it’s remarkably fast.

It will be a general anaesthetic, which always knock me about. Always. For several months. But still . . .

I’m burbling now. I’ll stop.

Next Exciting Instalment

I can’t believe England beat Germany. (football). Excellent match, both sides played really well, and it was so exciting to watch. It’s been 55 years since we managed to beat Germany. But I was horrified, embarrassed and angry at the boo-ing during the national anthems though. Rude, ignorant, boorish and even racist. Nobody else does it. Nobody. Harrumph. We shall see what happens at tonight’s match against Ukraine. Mm.

Saw the consultant about my hand. The short version is that he is going to replace both wonky knuckles. Hooray. I don’t know when, though. The recovery time is about 3 months (he said six weeks . . . but I checked online). And the joints are made from silicone plastic, and should last at least 10 years. That’ll do me.

Meanwhile we managed to find a wonderful handyman. I’ve been agitating for the carpet in the porch to be removed for several years. It was dark pink (ugh), then replaced with pale grey (not a great idea). But underneath are lovely quarry tiles. Unfortunately they were covered in sticky plastic tape. We knew what we needed to do, but neither of us have the physical resources to do that stuff any more. A wonderful guy came on Thursday morning with special solvent spray and removed all the tape, then removed the solvent, and it looks So Much Better. I love it. It’s much easier to clean (even for me!) and looks like a porch should.

Oops. Just noticed some earth/dead leaf/whatever on the floor. Ah well.

So today I have wrapped my friend’s son’s birthday present and organised its collection. I have written three birthday cards (daughter, 40 on Monday, her uncle who will be 70 the same day, and of course friend’s son’s). I have ordered holiday type toiletries – sun tan lotion and after sun.

And on Monday I need to phone the vet to arrange to pick up some flea and worm treatment.

Very pleased with a summer dress I’d ordered which arrived today. Reduced to almost half price, tiered so it’s nice and swingy and cool, and it’s cheesecloth type fabric. Love that. Also some earrings – called “irregular” but I think of them as “wonky”.

Also am halfway through week 2 of the new antidepressant regime. The side effects are starting to fade a little (nausea, excessive sweating, fatigue) and I do feel a little brighter. Which is great!

Wimpy Me

Last week I had x-ray and ultrasound scans of the wonky hand. That was ok. Then they did an ultrasound-guided steroid injection into the thumb of same hand. That was not ok. I am a total wooss when it comes to such things. I manage blood tests ok because I don’t look.

I didn’t look this time, either, and it felt like there were three different vials of stuff going in – one was the local anaesthetic so it shouldn’t hurt (ha!), one was the actual steroid, and the final one was another longer-lasting anaesthetic.

It was all horrible, and as per usual I had to have a little lie down afterwards so I didn’t actually pass out. Everybody was very kind, but I always feel so pathetic!

Large, ugly, black-purple bruise where the injection went. A good 2″/5cm long. It’ll fade though, eventually.

And on Monday I am to see the consultant so he can decide, based on the results of the scans, what he’s going to do about the arthritic knuckles (fuse or replace).

Ho hum.

But all is well otherwise in our little world. Could do with the gardener coming and doing stuff, though. The weeds are learning to answer the phone . . . . .

Medication, footie and labels

Not necessarily medication labels, just labels.

Well, today I spoke to the doctor, and now I have new anti-depressants. Same “family” (SSRI) but just different. The process of changing over from one to the other is so complicated it takes four weeks. I always have a pill organiser for the forthcoming week, but have needed to set up four different pill organisers, labelled clearly Week 1, Week 2, etc. It’s complicated by the fact that my pill-taking week starts on a Wednesday. Don’t ask. Fingers crossed it will all go well.

Tomorrow I have a guided steroid injection into my thumb joint booked – they’re going to check the rest of the hand too while they’re at it and then decide whether to replace or fuse the knuckle joints. They’re talking about ultrasound and x-ray, so I’m not sure whether it’s one or the other, or both. Anyway. We shall see. Hubby is taking me and fetching me – they advise you not to drive after the procedure.

Saturday I have booked my first pedicure since February 2020. I’m really hoping I’ll be ok to drive there, bearing in mind the change of meds and the thumb injection. Mm. That is something I could re-arrange but will wait and see if I need to first.

The sorting out of the spaghetti tangle behind the hi-fi is going well. Just awaiting some 0.5 metre power cables, and it should look much better. It’s already looking tidier. You can see a jumble of wires on the right, and holes in the wall where the electrician took out the old plug sockets. You can even see one of my plug labels ! as well as various Father’s Day cards. It will all be sorted out very soon . . . .

Football again tonight – we watched Scotland vs England on Saturday. England’s game was a bit lacklustre, but I thought the Scots played really well. (Goalless draw). Last night we watched Belgium play Finland. Cor blimey, exciting. Tonight it’s England vs Czech Republic. It’s always a bit fraught watching England play, partly because it’s our team, and partly because they’re not that reliably good! We both shout at the screen, I tend to shout a bit at the inanity of the commentators – they do have a tendency to state the bloody obvious – and why can’t they just shut up once in a while? I don’t need to hear their constant speculation about who will go through! I do understand that they can’t hear me . . . .

I’m a bit worried that the motherboard on my computer is failing. It’s not quite 3 years old yet, so a bit soon. But from time to time things don’t work. For example the monitor (even the new one), the keyboard, and some of the USB ports. So I’m backing up every other day and keeping a watch on it. I did have an old computer where Windows lost all its USB drivers, so installing Linux worked, but I’m already using Linux on this one!

Temperatures are currently lower, so better for me. 17C today, 21C tomorrow allegedly. Anything over 23C leaves me limp. So this is just fine.

Reading some excellent stuff at the moment. Currently halfway through “Barbarossa/how Hitler lost the war” (Jonathan Dimbleby). It’s very interesting, detailed, and intense. At the moment I’m having to leave it for a day or so in between reading sessions because there’s quite a lot about the massacres of Jewish people. Horrific anyway, but as I have Jewish heritage (my Dad and all his relatives) it’s particularly upsetting. It’s hard to understand such hatred, based on nothing except propaganda.

Cable Labels

I am so pleased with these labels. Apparently they’re called “flag” labels, and they work so well.

They can be laser printed, and there was a free template I found on Google (cable label template) which worked really well.

A ball point pen/biro works fine.

They are plasticised so they don’t tear, and fit neatly round the cable.

New Skill

We have a spaghetti tangle of various wires behind the hifi, which looks awful. So we decided to do something about it. Most of the wires can be simply replaced with shorter ones (hdmi, power, ethernet), but two of the ethernet/network cables come from another room on the other side of the house. One is a flat ethernet cable, one is a standard round one. The standard one wasn’t particularly well fixed to its plug, and the wire sheath was a bit short, exposing the inner wires.

So I decided to replace the ethernet RJ45 plug.

Well. What a to-do.

Luckily, there is tinterweb and YouTube, which helped enormously.

Inside each ethernet wire, whether it’s “Cat 5e” or “Cat 6”, are eight very small wires, twisted into four pairs. All different colours. They have to go into the tiny little RJ45 plug in the right order. But they are not twisted in the right colour order. Why not? you might well ask, but I have no idea. And of course the twisting leaves the tiny little wires curly, so they have to be straightened out, then sort of wangled into a flat row.

Long story short, I found the best way to manage it, having practised (a lot) on a spare standard Cat 5e cable, is the magic “pass-through” RJ45 plug. That means that you can leave plenty of length of stripped wires, push them all the way through, and then check they’re in the right order before you crimp them. Saves a lot of trouble, and many plugs. Also, once you’ve crimped and trimmed them, you can be more sure that it will all work. There are apparently crimpers which do the trimming, but my crimpers didn’t, so I just used a kitchen knife and sharpened it afterwards.

You can buy network cable testers and I guess it would be worth it if you’re going to do a lot of this. I’m not, just a couple here or there, so I tested mine on our laptop, plugging the spare cable, with new plugs on both ends, into the laptop and a switch box. Oh my, the glee when it worked!

So now I’m awaiting short HDMI cables, and we have a plan for the power wires, so it should start to look a lot better soon.

And here, to lighten things up a bit, is a photo of our lovely black elder with the pink flowers. It stinks, though, of tom cat. I don’t remember it being smelly in years past, so I’m assuming it’s actually a tom cat. Am currently spraying a diluted solution of white vinegar, each evening, round the base of the plant, and on the patio flags nearby. Today our cat won’t go out. I really hope it’s not because of the vinegar!

Black elder in flower.