Astyages's Weblog

September 21, 2009

My Left Foot

Filed under: My Left Foot — astyages @ 3:11 pm
My left foot showing bolt insertion points
My left foot showing bolt insertion points
My left foot showing gear selector for low-range hill climbing
My left foot showing gear selector for low-range hill climbing
My left foot showing scrap metal collection
My left foot showing scrap metal collection


These pics show my left foot, including scrap metal collection, pin and scar from operation to replace my ankle-joint back on my foot. The bolts and the pin in these pics are about 10 cms in length and are screwed straight into the bones; the external bar applies traction.

First let me apologize for the quality of these pics; they were taken in poor light on a very old digital camera and getting the right angles was not easy…





Now for the story:

On Tuesday 15th September, I went back into hospital to have all the scrap metal I’d collected in my foot removed. This was a straightforward enough ‘day surgery’ and I would have been sent home after the operation, (the fifth, I think, thus far), but as I’d had a general anaesthetic and there was nobody to keep an eye on me for the next 24 hours at home, as required, I was sent for an overnight stay for ‘observation’ at Gleneagles; an old folks’ home out at Mawson Lakes or thereabouts.

This was an interesting enough experience, though it leaves me not optimistic about getting old… This is something I simply refuse to do… except that, of course, it creeps up on you while you’re not looking and then suddenly, Bang! There you are, old…

But while at Gleneagles, a pleasant enough place, with friendly, caring staff, I met an ‘agency’ nurse by the name of Paula White. Paula had just had a lot of sheet music left to her by one of the old guys she looked after and didn’t know what to do with it; she asked me if I’d like it…

Now this was obviously an old guy’s collection of music which went back as far as the 1930’s so I said, “Sure, I’ll have it!” Later, however, I had second thoughts; I couldn’t accept them before I’d told Paula that because of their extreme age, one or two of them might just possibly be valuable…

Does anyone know anything about the value of old sheet music? Including such wartime faves as Gracie Fields’ ‘Bluebirds Over…’ and ‘Kiss Me Goodnight Sergeant-Major’, ‘Red Sails in the Sunset’ and many others… I suppose most of them aren’t worth more than about 50 cents each, but I don’t know anything about what some of these might be worth to a collector… It IS possible one or two might be worth something.

Anyway, Paula also invited me out to the Café Primo at Tea Tree Gully to a little ‘do’ they were having to celebrate her birthday and that of her ‘Virgo’ friend, Elaine…

She’s a real bundle of energy, that Paula, I can tell you! She picked me up at 2.45 straight from work and we drove up to her house where I looked through the sheet music while she did some odd chores and prepared herself for the evening.

Her current partner, ‘Swannee’ arrived, a tall rangy bloke with a face reddened from a fishing trip which had left him currently in the doghouse. More people began to arrive, including Paula’s friend, ‘Renee’ and Paula’s eldest son, Lee.

Eventually we drove to the restaurant, where I met Paula’s other two sons; all three boys came and shook my hand to introduce themselves and politely inquired as to the nature of my injury… Boys are easy to impress! A good ‘accident’ story, especially a ‘motorcycle accident’ story will impress them every time!

The pizza (with the Lot) at café Primo was the best pizza I’ve eaten in quite a while… anchovies, prosciutto, mozzarella cheese and whole pitted Kalamata olives made it really something special… my compliments to the chef!

And it was so nice to see a good old ‘family gathering’, with Paula’s family as well as several other nurses; friends of Paula’s from work all having a good time and enjoying themselves.

Paula at several stages exclaimed ‘You’ll have to excuse us… we’re all a bit mad…”

But I don’t think so at all; in fact I think Paula and her friends have discovered the secret to living a good life; they all work hard in a career which is both very challenging and very rewarding; and they all play hard and understand the value of having their families around them. They were a very happy bunch and I’m pleased to be able to say that I don’t think I’ve seen the last of them.

But have you ever heard the expression, “It never rains, but it pours!”

Now this is the first time I’d been out of the house apart from trips to the hospital; and the first social invitation I’d received in longer than I’d care to remember… but would you believe that on the Wednesday I was released from Gleneagles, I was sitting at home, enjoying a nice cup of tea when all of a sudden I heard an unexpected knock at my door. I answered it and found myself staring at three, count ‘em, THREE gorgeous young ladies on my doorstep; one Chinese, one Tongan and one Canadian.

After inviting them in, I played them a couple of songs and was actually obliged to decline their invitation to go fishing with them on Saturday… the same day I’d just been invited out to Paula’s birthday ‘do’…

Of course, it turned out these young ladies were from the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints doing missionary work… I told them they would not convert me, but that if they wanted to keep an old man company for a little while every now and then, they were welcome to visit and that I’d love to go fishing with them.

I said that, where I’d taught the other Mormon lads who used to visit me how to play chess, I could teach these girls how to fish. I also told them they were much prettier than the lads they’d sent last time and that they had brightened my day considerably already…

They said they’d come again next week!

Things seem to be beginning to look up…


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