Thursday, April 30, 2009

Not as easy as it sounds

I’m trying to train my new laptop to recognise my voice.

The speech recognition devise said the more you use it, the more it will become familiar with your voice and understand what you’re saying.

It claims that if it misunderstands a word, you simply say ‘correct ‘X’’. It will then give a list of words which it thinks is the correct one, or you spell out the word. It will then remember it the next time. That’s the theory anyway…

John suggested I try using children’s learning to read books to help it understand my voice, so I found a couple of books on internet. The results weren’t that good…

“Carla and Mark have go carts” came out as “Calais and mark held court cards”. After correcting it, it came back with “Calais and mark hardcore carts”.

“Carla is number five. Mark is number seven” came out as “Colour is number fide. Market is number Severn”. Again after correcting it, it came back with “Carla is number five. Daughter Mark is number severn in”.

“Let’s race, says Mark” came out as “Let’s race, says Mark”. Whoopee it got it correct. Unfortunately the second time I tried it, it came back with “Next race, theatre mark in the”.

“Get ready, get set, go!” came out as “Get ready, yes set, go knew partly”

I think it’s going to take some time….


Monday, April 27, 2009

which Redman and

I decided to buy myself another laptop. My daughter one if the bit temperamental. The slightest movement can cottage to crash. Not a idea if I'm typing with it on my lap…

Given that it looks like an gone to the Indy sports are several weeks later this year, in reliable laptop will be really useful, especially if I not able to sit at my PC.

One of the features of my new laptop the speech recognition. Instead of typing away or using your mouse, you can dictate anything to the laptop and it will type it, all been an application, or simply using your boys.

In theory this would mean no more typing away at the keyboard when I'm working on my novel brackets nadir start a number two close brackets.

I dictator this log using the boys in recognition, and as you can see it still has some way to go by or in complete understands might not be so accent…

It'll really weird goal talking allowed to the computer and sing the words appear on the screen.

I'm offering a prize of a tube of Smarties to the first person who can submit a comment containing a corrected version of the above...


Thursday, April 23, 2009

In the wrong job

Our window cleaners aren’t the brightest of people and one of them is usually sporting some kind of facial injury…

For some time now we’ve had our suspicions that the small one of the two appears to have a fear of heights as if it’s his turn to do the windows, he’ll only clean the living room bay window and nothing else.

He won’t even use the small ladder to clean the small top windows on the bay. He simply does what he can reach by standing on his tiptoes then calls it done…

Sometimes the taller one will come round and clean the front upstairs windows but only if he remembers. We still though have to pay the full amount even if just the bay window is cleaned.

We also have our suspicions that they’ll try and pull a fast one by asking for payment when you know fine well the windows haven’t been cleaned. As I’m at home most of the time I know when they have been, so usually challenge them to tell me when they were cleaned. It’s amazing how they simply can’t remember which day they came round…

On Monday the smaller one of the two knocked at the door asking for payment. I had heard the sound of ladders, and just assumed they were working their way down the street,so paid him.

It turned out that the ladders belonged to a roofing company who were inspecting one of our neighbours roof.

Yesterday I heard the sound of ladders again and saw that it was the taller of the two window cleaners cleaning the windows over the road from us. I watched as he then cleaned our next door neighbours windows and then their neighbours. He had missed us out.

I went out and asked when they had cleaned our windows as I knew the upstairs windows hadn’t been done, as some kind bird decided to relieve itself all over John’s workroom window sometime over Easter.

He said that he didn’t know when they had been cleaned as it had been the small one of the two’s turn to clean the windows. I replied they couldn’t have been cleaned due to the bird poo. He then explained that due to an accident, he was frightened of heights so would only have cleaned the bay window.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for equality, but surely to be a window cleaner, you have to be able to climb a ladder….

As a good will gesture he would clean our windows again. Wasn’t that kind of him ! ! !


Monday, April 20, 2009

No change

I’m afraid there hasn’t been any change in my knee following my ‘op’ last Thursday. It still hurts….

I was told it would take a couple of days for the local to take effect, if the pain in my knee was actually coming from the hip, which is what ‘the man himself’ suspected.

I stopped taking my painkillers on Saturday morning in the hope that the local had worked, but by Sunday afternoon I couldn’t bear the pain any longer so I’m back on the tablets again.

In an ideal world it would have been wonderful if the pain had vanished, never to return again, but sadly it’s not to be.

So it looks like I’ll have to have the full set replaced. I’ll think I’ll change my name to the ‘Bionic Woman’…


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Done and dusted

I’ve had my ‘op’.

The little nurse man from the pre-op assessment clinic rang back on Tuesday to say he’d finally had a word with 'the man himself’ and that yes, the local can be done under a local anesthetic.

The lnm did stress that it would be uncomfortable which is why they always do the procedure under a general. I was to have think about it and get back to him on Wednesday morning.

Having had a chat with John, I decided that nothing could be worse than throwing up for 12 hours following a general, so a local it shall be.

I rang the lnm back, told him my decision and stress to him again that if they changed their minds and it was to be a general, then I would be walking out the hospital.

Yesterday evening the Day Surgery Department rang and said I was to come in at 1pm instead of 8am as initially planned. On on the one hand I was happy as it meant I could have a lie in, plus I wouldn’t be waiting around for hours in the hospital.

However it did mean though I would be hanging around at home just waiting for the time to pass, plus we would have huge problems getting parked at the hospital.

Early this morning I got a phone call from the Day Surgery to say that they were bringing forward all that days surgery, so could I come in earlier. I asked how early, to which they replied, ‘how soon can you get here’…

I think my Guardian Angel must have been working overtime (thank you ! ! !) as we got parked practically outside the Day Surgery Department, which was a real stroke of luck, as John was just going to drop me off, then go hunting a space.

I didn’t have to wait long before I was called up to the ward. Had I known though that there would have been a couple of hours wait before going into surgery, I would have taken my needlework with me. However I passed the time by filing my nails. I always do them when I’m waiting on appointments at doctors or hospitals.

The ‘op’ was a piece of cake ! ! ! I didn’t feel or felt any discomfort or it being unpleasant. Whilst the op was taking place I spent the time talking to the Theatre Sister. One thing she did say was ‘I can see from the x-ray that your hip is shot to bits’. Not very comforting…

While I was taken back to the recovery ward I asked the anaesthetist why the op is normally done under a general, as to me, it didn’t warrant it. He replied that most people have a low pain threshold which is why they do it. Sorry, but they must be real wimps as other than a small scratch when the needle went it, there wasn’t anything to feel.

As I was told not to have anything to eat or drink that day (unnecessary apparently as I was having a local), they wouldn’t let me leave until I’d had a cup of tea and a sandwich.

They also wouldn’t let me go home until they were sure my leg had regained some feeling after it had been numbed.

It’ll take about two days for the local to start taking affect (if the pain is actually in the hip that is) so they packed me off home with a box of paracetamols as once all the numbness wares off, it could be painful.


Saturday, April 11, 2009

A bit annoying

I gave an update on my knee recently, and mentioned that I was waiting on the little nurse man to get back to me on Monday to see what the next step would be regarding my ‘op’ next Thursday.

No surprises to learn that I’m still waiting…

As he didn’t phone me on Monday I rang him on Tuesday morning and got his answer machine. He rang back later that afternoon to say he hadn’t been able to speak with either my consultant or his side kick, but would try again the next day.

He rang back Wednesday to say that even after paging both of them, they still hadn’t contacted him. His next step was to send them both an urgent email asking them to contact him, and that he’d get back to me on Thursday. He asked was I prepared to have the ‘op’ if it had to be under a general anesthetic. I said no.

As I was at my mam’s on Thursday he left a message on our answer machine. He still hasn’t been able to contact them which is a bit annoying. My consultant’s side kick is on compassionate leave and the man himself is on his Easter break and won’t be back until Tuesday.

I’ve decided that if I don’t hear anything by Wednesday then I’m canceling my ‘op’. I am not prepared to arrive there at 8am, to sit around for several hours waiting for ‘my turn’, then be told that I’ve got to have a general. No way ! ! ! I would simply walk out of the hospital if that happens.

I’ve also decided that unless they come up with a cast iron medical reason why I can’t have a local for my ‘op’ and also for the various joint replacements, then I’m refusing to have them done. To be told it’s the consultant’s preference is simply no excuse as I know that joint replacements can be done under a local.

If that is the case then I’m prepared to put up with the pain and find a consultant who puts their patients first and not themselves.


Wednesday, April 08, 2009

In my younger days

When we were at Blackpool, the conversation somehow got round to clothing, and I confessed to once wearing a pair of blue pixie boots, blue legwarmers, blue culottes and a blue checked frilly shirt.

In my defense I was young at the time and it was in the early Eighties when these things were in fashion.

What’s worse a photo was taken of me wearing them ! ! ! Gottle asked that it be put on our blog. What a shame I don’t have the photo any more….

I later mentioned that I used to have long hair. I’ve had short hair for over fourteen years and none of our friends can either remember me with long hair or have only seen me with it short.

So I’ve dug out some photos of me in my ‘hippy days’.


Saturday, April 04, 2009

Only something your mother would say III

Yesterday while at my mams I was looking though her photo albums as I was after a couple of photos of me for a forthcoming blog.

There was one photo in the album taken on my birthday (I think it was either my 12th or 13th).

She looked at the photo then said ‘who’d have thought that you would have grown up to be a fat as you are now’….


Thursday, April 02, 2009

Knee update

Yesterday I said I’d give you an update on my knee.

Back in November I blogged that having seen a knee specialist it turns out that I’ve got arthritis in both my knee and hip and that the only treatment was to have them replaced.

In January I went back to see the specialist and was told that they planned to put a local anesthetic in my hip then go back to see them six weeks later. Following the local, three things could happen.

1) the pain goes away completely. If it does then nothing more needs to be done other than come back every year for a check-up.

2) the pain would go away then come back. If that happens then I need to have a new hip as even though the pain appears to be in my knee, it’s actually coming from the hip.

3) the pain doesn’t go away. If that happens then the pain is coming from my knee. However, I’ll need to have a new hip then a new knee and that they both will have to be done within 12 weeks. It’s all very complicated ! ! !

Shortly before we went to Blackpool I received two letters from the hospital giving me a date for my local (16th April) and a date for my pre op assessment, which was today.

I didn’t really think that having a local in the hip would be classed as surgery, but apparently it is.

This morning I went for my pre op assessment and it was pretty much straight forward to check how healthy you are etc. One thing that is causing me concern is it looks like the ‘op’ will have to be done under a general anesthetic. I can’t see why and the nurse couldn’t understand why neither. He did ring my consultant but he and his underling won’t be back in the hospital until Monday.

I have a bad reaction to general anesthetics, always have done. Even something as simple as having a tooth out by ‘gas’ when I was a child wasn’t pleasant. When I had a hip op eleven years ago, I did explain to the anesthetist the problems I have and he gave me something for it, but I still through up for 12 hours solid ! ! !

It’s now at the stage where if the ops, and I could have to have three, must be done under a general rather than a local, then I’d rather suffer with the pain. It really is that bad…

So I’m going to have to wait until the little nurse man phones me on Monday to see what the next step is.


Wednesday, April 01, 2009

We’re back

Blackpool conference has been and gone so things are slowly getting back to normal.

We had a great weekend in Blackpool. The hotel were warned they would have a riot on their hands if the same thing happened on the Friday night as it did last year in Leeds (we were promised a three course carvery and got chicken curry instead – and they ran out of food half way through the night…).

The delegates enjoyed themselves so much that they want to go back to Blackpool and the same hotel, so we must be doing something right.

My gala dinner dress looked nice, if I do say so myself… Photos of that and my two tops (one of which I wore on the Friday night) will appear shortly. I did though have to take my bra off while we were sitting in the bar after the gala dinner.

My bra was a strapless and underwired and I can’t stand wearing it as it’s really uncomfortable. However, as I’m rather on the large size in the bust area, I had no option but to wear it. Jan did the decent thing and covered Paul’s eyes while I did my striptease, but he does have a photo of me and said bra …

I’m pleased to report that my knee didn’t cause me too much bother over the conference weekend. It was probably due to the change of painkillers I got from my GP shortly before we went away, as the ones I had been taking (Tramadol, which is a morphine like painkiller) weren’t working at all.

I had been expecting to go on to proper morphine but was told that there wasn’t any morphine strong enough for me to take to function normally. So it’s back on the codeine. Still I’m now down to taking only 16 painkillers a day instead of 21 ! ! !

One problem with changing my painkillers so close to conference was that I wasn’t able to drink that much over the weekend, as I wasn’t sure how alcohol would react with them. I still had a good time though.

Things on the knee front regarding the hospital are slowing moving which I’ll blog about tomorrow.

Yesterday after John returned the van (we had to hire one for the weekend as there was just too much equipment etc for it all to fit in my car) we went for our usual post conference Chinese meal. Only when we got there, they were close ! ! ! ! ! ! They had decided to take two weeks holiday. I was getting slightly worried as the last time they closed following a spring conference, we went to the Wessington pub and then I bought a new car.

Thankfully, the only thing we bought were two lots of Wiltshire Ham with two fried eggs, chips and peas and an apple crumble and a sponge pudding and custard. Yum, yum ! !