Friday, June 25, 2010

The King has abdicated

I have to think long and hard to remember all the events of yesterday. Early in the day we had our Prime Minister fall on his sword and Australia’s first female Prime Minister took the reins. Kevin Rudd didn’t have the numbers and decided to step down rather than let the Australian public know what was going to be a fairly close vote by the caucus which would have been politically damaging with an election waiting in the wings.

Kev was a bit abrasive sometimes and journos had a field day with his flowery language. I don’t think the journos are going to give the new PM Julia Gillard a very long taunt-free holiday. She will be a good target for cartoonists. I wish her well.

On a personal level yesterday was busy and thankfully not as bad as it could have been. I will try and chronologically remember all the events.

In the morning I collected a friend, Rob, who is recovering from a hip reconstruction and we went to Murdoch University where they were having their annual IT toss-out. It was a treasure trove of electronics and computer gear. I had been tipped off about this mountain of goodies the day before and went and collected 6 Macintosh computers. We estimated that the original cost of some of the individual pieces was in the tens of thousands of dollars. We loaded up my car with as much computer gear as we could and headed back to Rob’s place to unload his stuff.

I had to leave to be home in time to drive our friends to the GP. Haddon has had a dramatic change in his condition over the last few weeks; extreme weakness, difficulty breathing and as a result, a few falls which have required help from family to get him up from the floor. He was determined to get his GP to do something and that he did. The GP diagnosed fluid in his lungs and a low haemoglobin level needing an immediate transfusion of a couple of units of blood. The GP was a bit offside with Haddon’s oncologist about her lack of care for her patient and rang her and eventually arranged for him to be hospitalised. Coincidentally, when I was taking Haddon and Mararet home to await a phone call about the arrangements, I had a call from Joan who had had a fall and hit the back of her head on a wall. By the time I arrived home she had already called Healthdirect, a government emergency medical helpline. She was advised to go to an emergency department at a hospital for tests to see if there might be any internal bleeding because of the Clexane she has to inject daily. We went to St John’s at Murdoch and although they charge like a wounded bull, got in within minutes. Whilst we were being taken into emergency, Haddon, Margaret and their son arrived as well.

Joan had a number of tests and a CT scan of her head which fortunately showed no internal bleeding. She had an infusion of anti-nausea and painkiller drugs and we waited and waited and waited to be released. By the time we got out of the hospital it was around 8pm and we were starving. We decided to drive into a Red Rooster store and get some chicken and salad. As I waited at the counter I watched a young fellow, who was probably the shift manager, throwing food at one of the female staff. Then he started throwing trays into a full sink from a distance of about four metres (unrequited love?) Things were getting broken and other staff were not acknowledging what was going on. When I got our food I decided I would go back to that store next morning and report that to the day manager. If that was the norm I would be worried about the food.

Haddon was still in emergency waiting on the results of a chest X-ray. He was told that he couldn’t be admitted at that hospital because of some protocol with admissions and that he would have to get an ambulance to take him to the St John’s hospital at Subiaco which is about 25 kilometres away the other side of the city. I hope he eventually gets the blood and treatment for the fluid in the lungs.

PS: Haddon is in Hollywood Hospital and has had one unit of blood and one to come and his lungs will be drained today. A bit off mucking around, but the health system does work.

1 comment:

Jenny said...

Wow! What a day! Thank goodness it ended well enough though. Take care.