Everest was first climbed by two members of a huge team supported by tons of luggage and dozens of Nepalese porters. But in the thirties two experienced climbers – Shipton and Tilman – believed travelling light was the answer: just the pair of them and three porters. They didn’t try Everest but they successfully reconnoitred Nanda Devi, India’s second highest peak.
And they truly travelled light. One of them asked: would a second shirt be necessary for a multi-month expedition? Alas, the answer is lost in time.
I had S and T in mind as I prepared my bag for tomorrow’s op. I hate carrying a single superfluous item, even for a fortnight in France. One pair of trousers is enough, I say. VR disagrees. Three pairs of pants? Hmm.
The hospital suggests a dressing gown. I have a flowing unused neck-to-ankle nightshirt which I could both sleep in and wear as I sashay out to the bog. No unnecessary pyjamas! V, my singing teacher, recommended against it.
VR generously offered a new tube of toothpaste but I have opted for one half-empty. Rolled up and secured by a crocodile clip. A hand towel rather than a bath towel; it’ll quickly dry out in a notoriously hot hospital ward. Two well-worn handkerchees.
I’m including a 500 gram pack of pitted prunes for reasons other than nutrition. A Kindle (plus charger) with 160-plus book titles.
This morning’s singing lesson was a retrospective. V said she’d enjoyed teaching me and urged me to dwell on music if the pain became intolerable. Or listen to it on YouTube. I never regard my mobile as a source of music but a quick trial led me to add an unplanned item to my load – my Sony earphones. Daughter OS picks me up at 07.00.
I hope all goes well with your op tomorrow. How long will you be in the hospital?ReplyDelete
We have all of our music on our iPhone (and backed up on Roger's computer). We hardly ever use our phone for anything other than playing all of our favorite songs.
Will be thinking of you and sending good wishes across many many miles.
robin andrea: How long? Three hours as it turned out. A gloomy-faced trio (anaesthetist, registrar surgeon, and ward nurse), all of whom had spoken brightly to me previously, drew the curtain round my bed and revealed the surgery would have to be postponed until next Tuesday because the last available ICU bed (necessary as a back-up) had been taken. All apologised profusely and I spent five minutes telling them that apologies weren't necessary. I remain impressed with the level of attention I've received.Delete
I'm not sure I'd be satisfied with the audio quality of a phone. My collection of music, dating back to the fifties, has been transferred from LPs (mono and stereo) and CDs, a total of 4200 tracks, on to 33 GB chip and played from a laptop, through a Marantz amplifier to a pair of hi-fi loudspeakers. The amp. also receives the audio signal from the smart TV, bypassing the miserably tiny speaker and improving the TV sound quality no end. If I want high quality (ie, digital) radio sound the Marantz also provides this.
Roderick-- I'm sorry your surgery was postponed, but it's good that you are rescheduled for next week.Delete
Interestingly about our music on the phone is that our house is literally wired for sound. When we bought the house we noticed a device that plugged into the nearest outlet and had wires meant for connecting to devices like computers or phones. We plugged our phone in (and have plugged in our computers) and found that the music plays through two big speakers in the walls. The previous owners were musicians and singers, and they wired the house for music. We love it!
robin andrea: Can't beat that. In fact you enjoy the added luxury of having all your cabling tucked away out of sight. Mine consists of a hideous cat's cradle gathered behind the bookshelf. Happy listening.Delete
I'm also sorry it was postponed, but at least you'll be able to celebrate the holidays without the complications of recovery. Cheers.Delete
Colette: Bit puzzled by this. I'm back into hospital on December 21 for a minimum of seven days. Probably more.Delete
Oh gee, for some reason I was thinking it was rescheduled for January. I'm not sure how I got that stuck in my head when you very clearly told Robin above that it was rescheduled until next Tuesday. Sorry your holiday will be spent in hospital. That's awful.Delete
I'm taking notes about the mobile as a source of music. I'd not considered that, although I did purchase "Skull Candy" earbuds recently. Sony earphones probably do a better job with the highs and lows.ReplyDelete
Zu Schwer: The Sonys certainly improved the sound quality of the phone but they are, of course, bulkier. I have never tried earbuds though I helped finance the purchase of a pair as a prezzie for my younger grandsonDelete
Mrs Avus is being operated on today RR. Seven hours under anasthesia means they have to reawaken her gently and over a period of two days in ICU. She is very much in my thoughts.ReplyDelete
You have not mentioned why they are working on you, but you have my best wishes for a good recovery.
Avus: Check my response to robin andrea for an update. My profoundest best wishes for Mrs Avus. Seven hours suggests a radical procedure.ReplyDelete
The omission in my post was intentional. I have spent a professional lifetime trying to avoid clichés which can be whole paragraphs as well as single words..There are various subjects - ill-health and especially death, anniversaries, golden schooldays - that encourage banal prose. Plus old clinkers of vocabulary; "condolences" being one egregious example.
The subjects themselves cannot be avoided, that would be a form of censorship. But they can be treated tangentially, with the author on the lookout for that which is unexpected. Hence the lack of medicine's polysyllabism. The anaesthetist I spoke to this morning was more interesting than his trade, even though his proposals included a mildly novel way of reducing the pain I may suffer during convalescence. He was probably of Indian background and I was sitting on a lowish chair. As a measure of his sympathy towards me, and for stronger emphasis, he abuptly got out of his chair and squatted on the floor in front of me, as his forebears must have done for generations. I'd like to say I was both interested and touched but I'd hate to trigger a laddish reference to gayness.
Re your last sentence, RR. Such did not even occur to me. I was just impressed by that touch of spontaneous empathy on the part of a professional. The same has been experienced by me when a middle-aged British surgeon knelt beside my lowish chair to explain matters in a clear and friendly way.ReplyDelete
There is cold professionalism and genuine empathetic professionalism. After a stroke I was seen by a surgeon as a follow up. He never once looked at me but was rivetted to his computer screen of brain scans, muttering various thoughts, almost to himself. He came over as cocksure and intent on showing his superiority to a mere elderly patient, who was just "a brain" to him.
I know which method I prefer. The former really impressed me. I had only contempt for the latter.
Avus: Woke at 3 am (at home instead of hospital which I would have preferred; see above) and realised I had been a bit harsh. Lingering memories of that misunderstanding you made (about my attitude to a superbly skilled nurse) in a previous post played a part. Knew there was nothing I could do other than get up and empty my bladder. An "answers-all" response.Delete
I think you were unlucky with the monitor-besotted doctor. More particularly, aloofness like that was much more typical fifty years ago when doctors actively discouraged questions about their methods and tended to pooh-pooh anything the patient had "read up". Since July this year I have, intermittently, been in the hands of about a dozen doctors (plus other medical professionals) and have been astonished by their openness, clarity of speech, their welcome of questions and their (admittedly calculating) signs of sympathy.
I can remember occasions in the fifties when my mother and I used to dread quite routine visits to the GP (and to the GP that followed when we moved house) in the expectation of rude silences, sarcasm, and refusals to explain. Things changed when we returned from the USA and located in Kingston. But VR had chosen carefully and our GP was one who had trained at Charing Cross where VR had simultaneously trained as SRN. And since then the methods - in hospitals at least - appear to have improved further. Consultation, advice and even discussion of medical alternatives are the order of the day. All this while the pandemic thunders on threateningly
Oh! Good thing I missed the initial rush and now can wish you well for next week. I'm sorry to be inattentive--my relations keep needing me to drop everything and hurry off to some other state. I expect you will have perfected your audio situation by the time Tuesday rolls around. Much doc-wisdom and good recovery to you!ReplyDelete
Marly: I promise to arrange things more conveniently in the future.ReplyDelete
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