I suppose they mean well.
Our public health system is driving me mad though.
Herself is happily ensconced in the new Back Room. She has everything she needs including a television, radio, Interwebs, an en-suite and a poor sap sitting outside the door who’s at her beck and call all the time. Things are working well.
But then in comes Public Health.
We have had two visits this week from two different nurses. The first one came a couple of days ago. She wasn’t too bad but she’s quitting her job any day now. She inspected the place as if she were looking for rat droppings or something and was more concerned about Herself getting exercise than her actual health. She threatened us with another visit later in the week.
I had to call Doc in that evening. He couldn’t give a damn about the state of the place so long as Herself was healthy enough. Sure enough he diagnosed a couple of problems caused by the stay in hospital, commented on Herself catching up for lost time with the fags [her ashtray was full as usual] and wrote out a prescription to try to cure the damage.
This morning I was fast asleep having a weird dream [does anyone have dreams that aren’t weird?] when there was a hammering on the front door. Another fucking nurse who is apparently the first one’s successor. She’s loud and bossy and shot past me to see Herself. I left her to get lost amongst all the new house layout, and got dressed. Unfortunately the nurse found Herself who was of course fast asleep.
Now this nurse is one of those who tries to take control of everything by talking loudly and incessantly. For a start, she couldn’t understand why Herself was home and not in some convalescence facility. We pointed out that even with health insurance it would cost an arm and a leg [not to mention a knee] and anyway Herself was much happier here. Not good enough. I could see we dropped several points in Nurse’s estimation.
She then threatened us with more equipment. I should point out that we are already swamped with equipment most of which [supplied by the health mob] is cluttering up the kitchen and garage. The only item which they delivered that was any real use was the bed [which is fantastic]. . The piece she is threatening us with is a yoke that they brought before and I had binned because it wasn’t suitable and I can’t see how it’s going to miraculously work this time. But Nurse knows better.
I tried to explain that we are fine as we are and are coping very well. Nurse then changed tack and said that the new equipment for me. I didn’t realise I was now the patient? She explained that it was all to save me hard work and to stop me doing myself an injury. She is now talking about sending a helper of some sort to give me some respite. We tried that before and it didn’t work which apparently is my fault through some logic I fail to understand. I pointed out that I had been doing the caring for a very long time, but this also is against public health policy for some reason. I am to receive help whether I want it, need it or not.
That’s the problem with the ‘System’. It sucks you in and then tries to run you by its rules whether you like it or not. Frankly I sometimes think they are doing more harm than good.
They’re not there when you need them, but when you don’t need them they’re all over you like a rash.
First we had ‘Global Warming’.
Then they decided to cover all bases in case there was some snow so they called it ‘Climate Change’.
Now we have ‘Climate Disruption’ courtesy of the Irish Gubmint,
Or even ‘Climate Catastrophe’!!
Now our gubmint has decided that Something Must Be Done about the climate. I’m not quite sure how this works though. If their ideas work does that mean the end of this whole Warble Gloaming scam or will it apply only to Ireland? Will we bask in a normal [unchanging] climate while the rest of the world drowns, bakes and get covered in ice sheets?
Naturally this is all a great excuse to slam up taxes. Their ultimate aim is to make all fossil fuels, including petrol, diesel, coal and heating oil completely unaffordable, except of course for the very rich. We are all going to have to drive around in electric Noddy cars and use electric buses, all of which are powered by electricity that comes from the wind.
One little snippet did catch my eye. They want to ban the use of central heating in all new houses. I have no problem with that because I have no intentions of moving to a new house.
The Irish Times reported on Saturday that the draft contained proposals to increase the energy efficiency of homes, such as banning the installation of oil and gas boilers and potentially beginning a process to phase out the use of fossil fuel heating systems in all homes within six years, among many others measures.Irish Times
However the devil is in the detail.
… potentially phasing out fossil fuel heating systems in all buildings within six years …
So my central heating system [what I spent a couple of grand on] will somehow be banned and useless?
That’s all right. I still have an open fire. But I can’t burn coal or turf because they’re banned. And anyway, one fire in the front of the house [which only contains bedrooms at this stage] is not going to heat the whole house.
So what the blind fuck am I supposed to heat the house with? Even my portable gas heater is fucking useless. Electricity? Electricity that’s only there when the wind blows? Electricity that’s already overstretched charging all those cars buses and lorries?
In other words, all our eggs will be in one very unreliable basket.
Actually, I didn’t think up that title.
Yes, she is home again and installed the the infamous Back Room. She is delighted at the room, the new bed, all the decoration and the various other bits of furniture. She is also delighted with the fact that the bathroom is within pissing distance.
She’s not happy with her new knee.
It is still paining, but not as much as the injuries sustained in the hospital. There is a weird black spot on her heel and no one can decide whether it’s a bed sore, and actual injury or what. To me it looks like frostbite. There are also other areas where injuries have to be salved with ointment and covered up again.
But back to the title.
I pointed out to her that I wasn’t particularly ‘reluctant’.
She pointed out that it wasn’t exactly a job for which I had signed up.
In fact I did. All that ‘sickness and in health’ shit in the small print of the marriage contract. It’s a bugger of a contract but no one ever warns you of the full ramifications. I should have run it by my solicitor first?
Anyhows, I did sign up, but I suppose like car insurance I thought I would never make a claim. And now I am a full time carer. Frankly it doesn’t bother me that much. It is indeed a full time job and doesn’t mean too much spare time for scribbling inanities here or even doing jobs around the house and garden.
But it’s a hell of a lot better than driving up and down those fucking motorways.
There are essentially two types of hospital in Ireland.
The public ones are open to everyone while the private hospitals cost a bit. In fact if you want to avail of the private service you first have to sell both kidneys, sell your daughters into slavery and take out a couple of mortgages on the house to get the necessary health insurance.
There are two ways of getting into a hospital. If you have an accident of some sort the chances are you’ll end up in public A&E. The other way of course is for a planned procedure.
Public A&E is usually like a scene from Dante’s Inferno. You will likely end up on a trolley, shoulder to shoulder with other
victims patients [or in the case of Waterford, dead ones when their Mortuary overflowed]. There you will remain amongst the coughing, moaning and bloody bandages until it becomes your turn.
I hasten to add that the staff in public hospitals are generally excellent; there just isn’t enough of them
Now planned procedures are a different ballgame. These are nominally free in public hospitals, but again you may have to forfeit a kidney for the car parking fees. The other slight snag is that you’ll probably have to wait for a year or two just for the first meeting with a consultant. The day before that meeting, there is a high likelihood of a budgetary crisis or an outbreak of Galloping Gut Rot in the hospital and you will be bumped down to the back of the queue again. I presume the methodology is that the chances are you’ll have died before your appointment, thereby saving the health service some dosh.
Then there is the private planned procedure. This is the joy I have been experiencing over the last three weeks.
First of all it’s quick. You get a phonecall, a letter and a text message telling you to get your arse in there the next day [assuming you haven’t sold your arse for the health insurance].
Now private hospitals are a different world. In our case it’s all glass and chrome, with lifts that whoosh you from floor to floor and door that automatically open when you approach them [I astounded Granddaughter the Younger by ordering doors to open as we approached. She thinks I’m God now]. The corridors are all quiet efficiency with people quietly pushing beds and wheeling computers and things around. The rooms are big and bright with en suite wet-rooms, multichannel televisions [one per bed] and private phones.
The nurses are generally good looking young foreigners with a smattering of Irish in the crew.
There are always exceptions of course.
I mentioned before about the episode of the electrofag and their simple answer to the smoking/vaping ban – just don’t do it. Simple. No problem.
There was another factor which I found very strange and that was their attitude to medication.
Now Herself has degenerative arthritis in both knees and her spine [actually the spine thing is a bit more serious but we’ll let that slide for the moment]. As a result she is in a lot of fucking pain most of the time. As a result of that, she is on some pretty heavy duty pain killers including a Morpine based one. When she was admitted, I gave them a list of all the meds including doses.
In their wisdom they decided [without any consultation] that the list was a load of nonsense. Morphine is bad shit and is to be avoided. So they quietly replaced the Morphine with a couple of paracetamol. As for the rest – they just stopped giving most of them.
So now we have a patient who has stopped smoking overnight [against her will] with no backup whatsoever and at the same time has suddenly and drastically been forced off her prescribed medication. She was NOT a happy bunny.
Needless to say I had several stand up arguments with the head honcho in the nursing departments. I would point out that the medications were prescribed by an excellent family doctor and how she had been on them for well over a year. The answer was that “they were bad for her”. I would retort that they were prescribed by a DOCTOR [i.e. and she is a fucking nurse] and that she had no right to change things. Reluctantly they agreed to give her the required medication, but only when Herself begged and pleaded for it, and even then they allowed one dose a day [the prescription says three].
Of course all the arguments with the staff over vaping and medication were just a technicality. I argued for the fun of it.
Because Herself continued to vape and I continued to bring the correct medication in every day.
I’m a drug dealer.
A [long] while ago I gave a series of tips for those new to Irish roads.
As the holiday season is fast approaching I thought it might be an idea to brush up on some of the more common techniques used on Irish motorways. I hope this is helpful to anyone wishing to visit our sunny[?] isle, though it should also help learner drivers.
Now I hasten to add that none of these techniques will appear in the handbooks, mainly because those handbooks were generally written back in the days before motorways were invented. These tips are all garnered by myself during my extensive travels and my extensive research and experience
Slip roads are a contentious subject, mainly because of a complete lack of understanding as to their purpose. When entering a motorway you will be presented with one of these. The trick is to stop dead as soon as you realise you are on a slip road. This is just a precaution in case you decide to reverse and go a different route.
Once you have entered the slip road you then proceed at 20mph [or 30kph depending on which is slower]. About half way along the slip road you come to a complete halt in the sure knowledge that all traffic on the motorway will come to a standstill to allow you to safely enter.
If for some unfathomable reason traffic refuses to stop for you, then it is perfectly acceptable to accelerate up to 20mph again and just pull out into the nearest lane. The flashing of lights and honking of horns is a quaint Irish custom of congratulating you on your excellent driving skills and welcoming you to the motorway so feel proud of yourself!
Irish motorways all have one factor in common which confuses a lot of people – they only have one lane. Now it may appear at first sight that they have two or even three lanes but this is an historical anomaly. The fact is that all cars drive in the outside lane, leaving the inner lane[s] for the occasional lorry and drivers who don’t really know about motorways.
So having entered the motorway your next objective is to enter the outside lane as quickly as possible. Don’t worry if there are no gaps in the traffic as a quick flick of your indicators will ensure that a gap will somehow miraculously appear for you to fill. Generally Irish motorists will drive at speed with about a car’s length between then so it should be no problem filling that little gap.
Once you have reached the outer lane you can relax. You then pick a speed that you feel comfortable with and stick with that. Again, hooting of horns and flashing of headlights are just a sign of approval at your chosen speed.
As with chain saws and birth control, accidents can happen even on motorways. This is your opportunity for fame and notoriety on your social medium of choice. Upon arriving at the accident scene it is quite acceptable to stop and get some photographs of the scene for Farcebook or Instagram, or if you are really lucky, to make a video which will become a YouTube sensation. If some official is waving at you, just wave back. We’re a friendly lot, us Irish.
Leaving the motorway:
This is simplicity itself. You are driving along happily on the outside land and you’ll see a huge sign announcing that you are approaching your exit. Don’t worry about that as the exit is still some distance away [maybe a whole kilometre]. You can safely ignore that.
A bit further on you’ll see another sign and shortly after that a series of rectangular signs with three, two and one diagonal stripes. This is your cue. Immediately pull from the outside lane to the exit ramp. Again a quick flick of the indicator will give you right of way, but that is optional.
So there you have it. You are now indistinguishable from all the experienced motorway users.