This week started off with a visit to the Doctors surgery for blood tests which caused a panic at the hospital for a brief while later in the week.
Alan Morris diary 2021, week 42.
Friday, October 15th. This morning I got up early for my blood tests at the local Doctors surgery. I had a shower & a shave so I looked nice for the vampire lady then walked around to the surgery. There were already a few people waiting when I arrived just after 8 am but I was soon seen. The vampire lady has seen me on numerous occasions now, enough time to remember that my left arm is terrible to try & get blood from & exactly which freckle to aim the needle at on my right arm to get a good supply of blood. After my blood tests had been taken I walked back along the beach to my apartment, made a pot of tea & settled at my computer to update my website.
At lunchtime, my friend Jim picked me up & we went to Oishii Restaurant in San Javier for a menu of the day. The food was tasty & very good value. When we left we walked around some of the local stores & whilst I sat & waited for Jim I had a message to tell me that a friend had taken his own life that morning. I had only seen him a few days before sitting at the Chiringuoto & he seemed fine. It is a reminder to us all to keep an eye on our friends, family & neighbours, sometimes people have hidden problems or worries that we know nothing about. Be kind to everyone & keep an eye on those you know who are on their own.
This afternoon I watched a Tom Hanks film about a TV presenter who made programs for children, it is based on a true story & the relationship between a real TV presenter & a journalist. A newspaper reporter assigned to do a story on the presenter ends up reuniting with his father in the story but the film is really more about the way that children look at life & how simple life is for children. As adults, we maybe should look at the world more through the eyes of children. It is a difficult film to follow at the start as it mixes a childlike animation with the film but I stick with it, it is called ´A Beautiful Day In The Neighbourhood´.
This evening I am able to pick up the results from my blood test this morning, I have to take them to the hospital next Tuesday so I am glad they are available.
Saturday, October 16th. I have a very quiet day planned today, I sit at the chiringuito reading my kindle with a cappuccino in the morning & in the afternoon I go to my friends, Frouk & Reindeer, to enjoy some food & a good chat. We haven't seen each other for a while & it is great to sit in the sun & catch up.
Whilst at my friends I ask them the name of a plant they have growing in their garden, it is one I want to get to try and grow in a hanging basket on my balcony. To my delight, they give me a large piece of the plant that Reindeer uproots & places in a bag for me to take home. I am telling them about a new hose that I purchased to water my plants & how the connection is the wrong size, they tell me they did the same thing. They bought a new connector which worked, it came in a double pack so they give me a new connector for my hose as well. Dinner turned into an agricultural & gardening expedition for me, returning home I must have looked like I just left a garden centre.
This evening I sat at home & watched a football match before having an early night, all the fresh air today certainly made me sleepy.
Sunday, October 17th. Once again today I am up early, I have a full cooked breakfast before going down to the chiringuito for a coffee & to read my kindle. I am delighted when my neighbour calls with my sunglasses that she found in her car, they fell off last week when she gave me a lift & I have been looking for them everywhere since.
After returning from the chiringuito I wash my bed linen, wash two lots of clothes & then spend the afternoon watching some films & football matches.
Monday, October 18th. This morning I wake late & have a lazy morning before going to the chiringuito for a coffee. I do not have much planned & take my kindle intending to spend the day reading. Whilst I am sitting there my neighbour Elizabeth walks past & stops for a chat & a cup of tea before she walks to the pharmacy. After a while, I finish the book that I have been reading & as it is getting hot I go back to my apartment, get my disability scooter & go to Mercadonna to get a few bits of shopping.
When I return from my shopping I have a beef stew for my lunch then watch a film before the Arsenal v Crystal Palace game comes on the television tonight. Arsenal starts the game very well & are soon winning 1 - 0 but are unable to add any more goals by halftime. In the second half Crystal Palace is by far the stronger team & deservedly go into a 1 - 2 lead. Crystal Palace holds onto the lead until almost the last kick of the game when Alexander Lacazette rescues a point for Arsenal with a goal well into injury time. I think Crystal Palace were the better team overall & deserved more than the draw they got but I am glad that Arsenal managed to rescue the single point.
Straight after the game, I go to bed, setting my alarm as I have a busy day tomorrow, firstly visiting the hospital in Cartagena before then going to Murcia for my TIE card.
Tuesday, October 19th. Today will be a busy day, I get up at 6:30 am have a shower & then get myself a fruit & protein shake for breakfast. I get the paperwork ready for my visit to the hospital in Cartegena & the trip to Murcia to apply for my new TIE card to replace my residency card.
At around 9:30, Lesley picks me up to take me to the hospital in Cartegana to see the anaesthetist. We are soon there & after a short wait to see him I am taken in to see the anaesthetist who needs to prepare me for my operation on Monday next week. Unfortunately for me, the blood tests I had last week have shown that my blood is extremely runny, this is a highly technical term meaning it will not coagulate & they may not be able to operate on me next Monday.
The anaesthetist is very worried & does not want me to leave the hospital until I have seen a haematologist. He is very worried as he has never seen coagulation levels like it. I want to explain that I have been on anticoagulant medication for over 30 years & that I am aware of all of the dangers. I try to point out that the open wounds on my leg are not bleeding out, when I shaved this morning I did not bleed out when I nicked myself with a razor & that I had no bruising anywhere which are all signs to me that I have to be extra vigilant.
Lesley translates into Spanish, to the anaesthetist, that I have been taking the tablets for over 30 years & that I am aware of the dangers & the signs of what I need to be aware of. She explains that I need to go to Murcia to the police station where I have an appointment to get my residency card exchanged for the new TIE card. He explains that he has never seen levels as high as mine, he is worried I could bleed out or haemorrhage & he tells me not to take any more of the tablets that I take daily, but he eventually allows me to leave.
We leave the hospital & drive to Murcia where we have to wait for what seems like seconds before we are seen. Within a few minutes I have been seen, my documents have all been checked, I have had my fingerprint & photo scanned & it is over. Now all I have to do is wait for the paperwork to be processed so that I can return to pick up my new TIE card. Whilst we are at the office for my TIE, Lesley receives a message asking me to go to my local Dr first thing tomorrow morning but there is no explanation why or who the request is from.
It is during the time I was at the office getting my TIE & the drive home that a wake was being held for my friend who passed away on Friday. I could not get there to pay my respects to you my friend but you were in my thoughts. I hope you may Rest In Peace & I hope that your family & friends can support each other in their time of mourning.
When Lesley & I get back to my apartment, instead of going straight indoors, I go to the chiringuito for a coffee & Lesley joins me. We sit chatting in the sun about how good the anaesthetist was & how good the Spanish health system is, albeit mine is private healthcare. After Lesley leaves to go home I go back to my apartment to rest.
I have not been in long when Lesley messages me. The anaesthetist has called her & is again stressing to her how dangerous my blood condition is & asks her to take me back to see him again tomorrow evening so that he can give me something to counteract the anticoagulant drugs that I normally take. She has agreed to take me back to see him tomorrow afternoon & I spend the rest of the day cocooned on my sofa watching television trying not to cut myself or bang any part of myself on anything hard in case I bleed out or haemorrhage.
I send my neighbour Elizabeth a message & she agrees to accompany me to the Dr in the morning in case I don't understand what they are saying to me when I get there. The staff mostly speak English in my surgery but after today's events, I want to make sure I understand everything if I see someone who doesn't speak English as my Spanish isn't good enough.
Wednesday, October 20th. I am up early & have a protein shake for breakfast. At 10 am I walk around to the Dr´s surgery with Elizabeth & I am glad that she came with me as the receptionist on duty today doesn't speak English & my Spanish isn't good enough to explain what has happened.
Elizabeth explains that I received a message asking me to come in this morning & after I give the receptionist my details it seems that the message was sent out by mistake & that they do not need to see me. With the panic over, Elizabeth & I leave the surgery & walk on to the bank & then to La Encarnacion for breakfast.
When we get to La Encarnacion we end up at a table right next to the till where the waiting staff ring up orders. After waiting for quite a while to be served, Elizabeth asks, in Spanish, for someone to take our order but is told by the waiter it is not his table & to ask the girl. Elizabeth asks the girl to take our order & is ignored. We sit waiting for a while, at a table next to the waiters & waitresses & can not get anyone to serve us so we get up, walk out & instead go to the Alaska bar just along the beach. When we finish our coffee at the Alaska bar, we continue along the beach to the chirringuito outside our apartments. We sit in the sun for a while chatting until we both return to our apartments.
At around 5:30 pm Lesley picks me up & we head back to Cartagena to the hospital to see the anaesthetist that I saw yesterday. We arrive & have to wait a short time before we see him. He takes us to his consulting room where he again explains that they can not operate on me with my blood levels the way they are. He gives me a phial of some drug which will counter the effect of the anticoagulants already in my blood & then prescribes me some more drugs that I will have to inject into my stomach, twice a day for the next four days. The good news is they will still do the operation on Monday. I still have to have the COVID test as planned on Friday & turn up earlier than planned on Monday so that they can give me more blood tests & prep me for the operation that evening. I will be kept in overnight & all being well, be allowed to leave the following day.
This evening I watch television & a program about a man who is having his home rebuilt & an annexe built for his wife's brother to move into after he has had a stroke. It is tales like this, that make me realise I am so lucky to be alive, to be living where I am & to have so many kind people keeping an eye out for me.
Thursday, October 21st. I wake early this morning to give myself the first of the injections that I have to have before my hospital visit next week. After injecting myself I have a pot of tea & work on my website for a few hours.
I want to get out of the house for a while so I go & have breakfast out, at The Tipsy Thistle, it is in my very humble opinion the best breakfast in Los Alcazares. After eating my breakfast I go into the new supermarket, Economy. I didn't like the place when it was a Mercadonna & I don't like it now in its new guise as Economy. There still seems to be no flow through the store & the items do not seem to have a logical place that you can find them in. Having tills at either end of the store actually adds to the confusion, I won't be going back.
After I return home & put my shopping away I go down to the chiringuito for coffee & to read my kindle until I get too hot in the sun. When I return home I do as the Dr advised & put my feet up to rest. I then spend the rest of the day watching the TV series Black Sails again, it is one of my favourites & the character played by Clara Paget, Anne Bonny is gorgeous.
At 8 pm I give myself the second of the injections that I have to take & have a Spanish style tuna pie for my tea, followed by a custard tart. I carry on watching television until late in the evening when I eventually go to bed.