Monthly Archives: February 2014

The Book Group discuss “the Red House” by Mark Haddon

The Book Group met on Saturday afternoon to discuss “the Red House” by Mark Haddon. This is a book about a week in the lives of two families on holiday in Wales near Hay on Wye. The two families belong to estranged siblings, Richard and Angela, getting together after the death of their mother. They have a damaged background and have completely different memories of their shared experiences. The confident Richard with his smart second wife Louisa, her sexy minx of a daughter Melissa, contrast with the extremely unhappy Angela, her unsuccessful, unfaithful husband Dominic and their three interesting children. Alex, the confident athletic teenager full of testosterone, Daisy, the serious teen who has found God, and Bengie, the child who observes everything and tries to make sense of it all
Nothing very dramatic happens on this holiday which we are taken through day by day. Characters fall in and out with each other, there is a small injury, an inappropriate kiss, a lot of angst and we see in the interaction between the characters echoes of our own lives. An enjoyable book which gave me a lot to think about.
As a mother of five and a grandmother of six, I have quite a large extended family, so I have members roughly the same age as these fictional characters, which made this book enlightening as well as interesting. During the discussion I was asked who was my favourite and least favourite character. My favourite fictional character was Bengie, Mark Haddon knows children and teenagers very well. I an ashamed to say that I said that my least favourite was Angela, on reflection, after the Group discussion, if asked again, I would have changed my mind. I had not been fair to Angela, she was very unhappy and had been this way for a long time. During this week, eighteen years before, Angela had lost a baby girl, Karen, this has haunted her ever since. Many of us have had tragedies and have been fortunate enough to have been able, through time, to come to terms with these sadnesses. This had not happened to Angela, while reading, I did not realise quick enough that she had not fully recovered, and deserved my sympathy. What she needed was love, understanding and medical help, her husband seemed to be happily ignorant of this. Certainly the least likeable character.
After the discussion we had the most wonderful tea, cakes baked by the “King of Cakes” -Richard. A yummy selection, flapjacks, banana cake, a gluten,sugar free fig and wine cake and best of all, a lemon cheese cake. I greedily enjoyed them all having two slices of cheese cake, Richard, you can certainly ‘bake’!!!!!!
A lovely afternoon.

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My Anaesthetic Arthrogram experience

I am writing about this experience so that if any of you “Old Bats”ever have to have this treatment in future, you will know that there is nothing to be scared of.
As my friends already know, In April I stupidly forgot how old I was when ran for a bus and injured my leg, the pain being in the area of my groin. During the last nine months I have had one ordinary x-ray, one Cat scan and two ultra -sound scans, none of which found the source of the pain which continued being particularly bad in the early hours of the morning.
Yesterday the investigation moved on to another stage. I had an aesthetic arthrogram which meant having a special X ray after a steroid was injected into my hip after an anaesthetic injection. I was more than a bit apprehensive when I received my appointment, so apprehensive in fact that I moved the date two weeks further away. I think that I let my imagination run away with me, silly thoughts of ‘large needles’ etc. This was particularly stupid in my case as I am well used to injections having had many ‘rodent ulcers’ removed ( the result of having spent my working life farming), in fact I had one removed last week from the corner of my eye which involved injection and stitches.
I arrived at the X ray department to find that the procedure was to take place in the children’s hospital which was bright and cheerful, seeing the children playing happily certainly took my mind off the coming procedure. I did not have to wait long, I was soon taken into the X-ray room. I had made up my mind that I was not going to sign the consent form until I had everything explained to me, not only the procedure but the reason for it as I felt that the problem was deep in my groin . There were two radiologists, both young and good looking, they could not have been any kinder or helpful. They explained to me that for me and my pain problem this procedure was an elimination process, the hip joint is very large and can affect a large area including the groin. If the steroid injection into my hip takes the pain away from the groin it means that the hip is at fault, if not they would have to look for another cause. They also assured me that the procedure would not hurt and that they would explain everything as they went on. I signed the consent form.
I expected to have to change into a hospital gown, no,I was told to lie on the trolley fully clothed, luckily I was wearing a loose ‘track suit’ so I did as I was instructed and lay on my back with my toes turned inwards while they turned down my trousers and underpants leaving an area just below my ‘tummy’ and above the top of my leg exposed. This area was cleaned with antiseptic and covered up except for a tiny place about midway across, about three inches from my groin in soft tissue. A spot in this area was marked, the radiologist then said that he was going to inject the anaesthetic into this spot, which he did. It was just like a small ‘pin prick’, nothing more, it did not hurt at all!!!. Within a few seconds he said that he was going to inject the steroid into the same spot, he told me that I might feel the skin tightening on my thigh. This is exactly what happened, no pain at all, only a slight tightening, not even uncomfortable!! I was then told to stand up, I said “Is that all there is to it” and stood up,for the first time in nearly ten months I felt absolutely no pain at all, I felt euphoric!!
I was given a ‘pain chart’ on which to record any pain if and when it occurred on a scale of 1-10. I truly thanked both radiologists for their kindness and stressed how much I appreciated their understanding.
I went home and duly recorded that I had no pain hour by hour. Unfortunately, it kicked in at 2am. at a slightly lower level and has remained so ever since. I have to keep recording until I see the consultant at the end of the month when I find out what he learnt from that special X-ray.
It really did turn out to be a completely painless procedure. I hope that this report will help someone, somewhere.
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Last edited by oldbatonabus on February 12, 2014 at 9:26 am

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moved on to another stage, I had an anaesthetic arthrogram which meant having a special x-ray after a dye and steroid was injected into my hip after an anaesthetic injection.
I was more than a bit apprehensive when I received my appointment, so apprehensive in fact that I had the date moved two weeks further away. I think that I let my imagination run away with me, silly thoughts of ‘large needles’ etc. This was particularly silly in my case as I am well used to injections, having been a farmer and having spent a lot of time in the sun i have had many “rodent ulcers” removed, some from my face. Only the week before I had one removed from the corner of my eye which involved injections and a lot of stitches. I was being very stupid!!!!
I arrived at the X-ray department and found that this procedure was taking place in the children’s part of the hospital which was bright and cheerful, seeing the small children playing happily certainly took my mind off ‘things’. I did not have to wait long and was soon taken in to the X-ray room. I had made up my mind that I was not going to sign the consent form until I had everything explained to me, not only the procedure but the reason for it as I felt that the problem was in my groin. There were two radiologists, both young and very good looking, they could not have been kinder or more helpful. They explained that for me and my problem this was an elimination process, that the hip joint is a very large organ and it can affect a large area, if the steroid injection into my hip took the pain away from my groin, then the hip was at fault, if not, they would have to look for another cause. They reassured me that they were not going to hurt me and that they would explain everything as they proceeded. I happily signed the consent form.
I expected to have to change and put on a hospital gown, no, I was told to lie on the ‘trolley’ fully clothed, I was wearing a loose ‘track’ suit, I had to lie very ‘flat’ with my toes turned in while they turned down my trousers and underpants,leaving an area just below my ‘tummy’ and above the top of my leg exposed. This area was cleaned with antiseptic and covered up except for a tiny place about midway across, about three inches from my groin in soft tissue. A spot in this area was marked, the radiologist then said that he was going to inject the anaesthetic into this spot which he did. It was like a “pin prick” nothing more, it did not hurt at all!!!!!! Within a few seconds he said that he was going to inject the steroid into this spot, I might feel the skin tightening in my thigh. This is exactly what happened, absolutely no pain at all, only a slight tightening, not even uncomfortable!!!! I was then told to stand up, I said “Is that all” and stood up and for the first time in nearly ten months I felt absolutely no pain at all, I felt euphoric!!!!
I was given a “pain chart’ on which I had to record any pain as it occurred on a scale of 1–10. I thanked the radiologists and told them how grateful I was and how much I appreciated their kindness, the chief one replied that they knew that I did.
I went home and duly recorded that I had no pain hour by hour. Unfortunately it kicked in at 2 am, at a much lower level and has remained so ever since. I have to keep recording until I see the consultant at the end of the month when I find out what he has learned from the X-rays.

A completely painless procedure, I have told you it exactly as it was.and as it happened. I hope that this post will help someone somewhere.