Another Romance by Jessica Lauryn…

Title of book: An Amorous Dance

Author: Jessica Lauryn

Publisher: Siren BookStrand

Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense

Type: Novel (93,894 words)

Sexual orientation: M/F

 

An Amorous Dance Blurb:

When Hannah Rabourn, daughter of Rabourn Theater’s late owner, is attacked, a surge of flashes prompts her to consider that her father may have been murdered. Hannah’s antagonistic stage director insists her subconscious is merely seeking closure. But as she and Evan become close once again, Hannah’s suspicions about the past deepen, and she wonders whether the man she’s falling in love with for the second time knows more than he’s letting on.

Evan Masters’s dreams were shattered when theater-owner Baron Rabourn destroyed his budding acting career. Having forged an alliance with Rabourn’s former partner, Evan assumed a mission to transform Rabourn Theater into what it always should have been. Fellow conspirators believe Rabourn’s daughter is the key to power, and Evan is the means by which to achieve their ends.

But Evan’s feelings for Hannah are stronger than he believed. And when he realizes Hannah’s life is in danger, he must decide between his passion and his heart.

 

Buy Links:

 

BookStrand: http://www.bookstrand.com/book/an-amorous-dance

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06WW7ML4B

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/an-amorous-dance-the-rabourn-theater-2-jessica-lauryn/1125841876?ean=9781682957813

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Jessica_Lauryn_An_Amorous_Dance_The_Rabourn_Theate?id=uJkwDgAAQBAJ

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/an-amorous-dance-the-rabourn-theater-2/id1209533909?mt=11

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/an-amorous-dance

 

Excerpt:

Unable to stay still, Hannah maneuvered her way around the surrounding obstacles so that she could pace. She’d been trying to convince herself that these flashes of memory didn’t mean what they appeared to, but the truth was that she’d always had her suspicions about the way her father died.

The doctors she’d spoken with had confirmed her father had a heart attack, but she’d always found it hard to believe that a man in his fifties—a man in excellent physical condition with no history of heart disease—would die suddenly, for what appeared to be no reason at all. Having felt this way from the get-go, she’d conducted a bit of research, from which she’d discovered that her father had had an argument with Bruce Lancaster prior to the start of her birthday dinner. The stress of whatever they’d discussed might have taken a toll on him, and for years Hannah had believed that a heated discussion with the theater’s former owner had directly contributed to her father’s death. But if the images she’d been seeing were real, maybe her father’s death had had nothing to do with physiology at all.

Maybe he had been murdered.

“Hannah?” Evan called out as he opened the door. Failing to flick the light switch, he made his way around, almost tripping over the settee in the corner before asking, “Hannah, are you in here?”

Hannah covered her tearstained mouth. She had no desire to reveal herself, but she realized before she could hide that Evan had already seen her. After hastily wiping her face in hopes that he wouldn’t realize she’d been crying, she snapped, “What the hell are you doing in here?”

“Me? What the bloody hell do you think I’m doing in here?” Evan demanded, squinting at the gigantic mushrooms behind his back, as if they were going to agree with how ridiculous her question was.

“You shouldn’t have followed me. I wasn’t thrilled to see that my cousin decided to stay in a show her former stalker is a part of, but…I’m a big girl. I can handle anything that’s thrown my way, Evan Masters, I promise you.”

“Hannah, you’re shaking,” Evan said, catching her arm and pulling her back to him before she could walk away.

As Hannah looked downward, she realized Evan had no intention of releasing her. His grip was strong, but his palm felt like melted butter against her skin. She attempted to laugh at him, but instead fresh tears formed in her eyes. Evan took her into his arms before she could stop him, bringing her against his body with a force that demonstrated he wouldn’t take no for an answer. Unable to fight him, or whatever it was he was doing, Hannah allowed herself to be drawn against his warmth. His lightly bearded cheek sent tingles up her spine as it brushed against her own.

Evan held her, cupping the back of her head as he urged her toward the settee he’d all but killed himself staggering over a moment before. As he whispered a couple of soft, indiscernible things into her ear, the familiarity of his masculine scent soothed her raw nerves. In her mind, she held an unpleasant picture of him about to kiss her cousin’s shoulders, but the present moment played right over it, and Hannah let go of her anxiety, allowing herself to simply feel, to let her lover from another lifetime make everything right.

Evan brought his fingers beneath her chin and lifted her head so she was looking into his eyes. His smile giving way to a smirk, he said, “I saw you, Hannah. I saw the way you were looking at me when I was holding your cousin. The heat in your eyes wasn’t there out of concern for Alicia, or even because you were angry about my going ahead with the play. You emitted that scream because you wanted to be playing Blair on that stage. More so, because you wanted to be the woman that I was holding in my arms.”

Her eyes widening as her body grew cold with fury, Hannah said, “Clearly the sky-high opinion you’ve always had of yourself has only gotten higher. You make it sound as though you actually think I could still want you after all this time, knowing that I’m fully aware of what a bastard you really are.”

“You may hate me on the surface, Hannah, but I daresay your body responds quite differently. You shiver when I touch you and your skin warms on contact because it wants more, just as you wanted more the night I carried you off to the dressing room and gave you the passion that both of us so desperately craved.”

“So apparently you aren’t just egotistical, you’re also certifiably insane. You know, you’re offered an extensive benefits package as part of the position that you cling to with the very balls of your existence. You ought to ask HR for a referral—clearly the shrink who ought to be treating Sebastian Nathanson has some extra time on her hands.”

Evan secured her in a grip that prevented her from running. Easing her back against the wall, he said with fire in his eyes, “Is this crazy, Hannah?”

Author Bio:

Romantic Suspense Author Jessica Lauryn has been writing since before she could hold a pen! A true romantic at heart, she is most intrigued by dark heroes, who have many demons to conquer…but little trouble enticing female companions into their beds! She feels that the best romances are those where the hero is seducing the heroine from the first point of contact and she believes that EVERYONE deserves their happily ever after!

Jessica is a proud member of both Romance Writers of America and her local chapter, New Jersey Romance Writers. When she’s not writing, she enjoys shopping for the prettiest of antiques and taking long walks in nature where she can daydream about anything romantic. Though she resides in New Jersey, her heart belongs to the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire.

 

Author Links:

Website: www.jessicalauryn.com

Newsletter Sign-Up: eepurl.com/ck5-O9

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5081732.Jessica_Lauryn

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jessicalaurynauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaLauryn_

Blog: romancebyjessicalauryn.blogspot.com

 

RLB – Tomewriter

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Robert L J Borg & Viviane Elisabeth Borg - Our Writings

Watch Out for the Curveballs – Final Part

Watch Out for the Curveballs

 

Copyright © Robert L J Borg 2017

Part Thirteen – Unlucky for some

[Final Part]

 

Friday 18th August 2017 and I woke earlier than usual. I expect it’s the anticipation of going home. Having shaved, washed and dressed I made my way to the restaurant for the last time. It was closed. They open at 7.30am and I was ten minutes too early. As I sat in the main foyer waiting, a guy in a wheelchair parked himself next to me. He was at the centre when I first arrived on 24th July but after a week he vanished.

He is of Middle Eastern origin and was keen to learn English. So as he spoke to me in English I replied to him in French and we corrected each other when necessary. He told me that his ‘vanishing act’ was due to being transferred to a hospital in Nice for major surgery to his ankle. I had always wondered what had caused his foot to swell up so much that it looked like a piece of polished wood. He told me that the cause of it was due to his ankle being crushed. I didn’t ask him the details – poor lad!

I had first thought him to be in his early thirties, but I was surprised when he told me he would be turning forty tomorrow [19th]. He thought it amusing when I told him I was escaping the centre two days short of my sixty-sixth birthday.

When the restaurant opened he hesitated entering as he wasn’t sure which table he would be assigned to. I had a hunch that it would be the spot Michel had vacated yesterday. I stepped over to my table and picked up the piece of paper that shows our name, room details, date of birth, and pre-arranged menu. No way would I even attempt to say his name as it was all Arabic to me. When I showed it to him, he was pleased to be seated opposite me.

Pierre however did not seem too happy when he arrived at the table. When I welcomed him with a ‘Bonjour’ he returned with the comment “not such a good start to the day”.

It never ceases to amaze how many people in this world of ours are racists. Personally I couldn’t give a fiddler’s fart what colour or creed a person is. As long as they are amicable, good to talk to, and enjoy a joke or two I will get along with that person. On the other hand if they start to preach at me about religion or politics or any subject that irritates you can be damn sure I’ll try and walk the other way, because the alternative is me stepping up onto a soapbox and letting rip with an argument which won’t be too pretty.

As we ate our breakfast I had to admit our new table mate had some questionable eating habits. The jam tub was licked clean to the sounds a cat might make when lapping up some cream. Then his index finger was wetted on the tongue to pick up every crumb of bread that was on his tray.

I sideways glanced at Pierre and raised an eyebrow. He was not impressed, and he physically cringed when I told him that with me and Tomas leaving today his two further new companions might be just as interesting as this chap. It wouldn’t surprise me if Pierre put in a request to have all his meals delivered to his room from now on.

With breakfast finished I returned to room 127. Francois was just finishing off getting ready and left me packing my bag as he went off for his morning meal. I was pleased to find my medical file, x-ray, and script for physio on the bed along with my morning meds.

Once I was all sorted I phoned Mum to say I would phone again when the ambulance arrived. She and Lesley would meet me at the flat bringing along my things I had left in their care, including all my medications. On the day of my arrival the doctor at the centre on learning I had brought my own meds had instructed they be removed off the premises for safety reasons [I expect they needed to have complete control of the medications being administered – so I had given them to Lesley to look after]. Mum and Lesley were also going to bring lunch for us and a soup for my dinner that evening.

Even though the receptionist said I could wait in my room, I preferred to make my way down to the main foyer. As I sat waiting on one of the comfortable armchairs a few people I knew stopped by for a chat; including Francois who was heading off for his physio session. The ‘Vampire’, so named because he was the nurse who almost every day or so would take a sample of my blood, stepped over with blood sample tubes, tourniquet, and syringe. He smiled when he saw the panicked expression on my face, but then he told me he had heard I was leaving and wanted to say ‘good bye’.

The ambos arrived early and I was home at 10.30am. Mum and Lesley arrived at the same time. Although I had hoped for a reasonably quiet weekend my heart sank when I noticed that my very noisy Italian neighbours were in residence. One consolation they are not here all year around, just a few weeks per year – but why did it have to be this weekend…

*

In all the last four weeks have been an interesting experience which I never knew I would have. However life throws us curve balls all the time. All we can do is watch out and deal with them in the best way we can.

THE END…. Well at least for you.

As for me I’ll be going through with it all over again on 7th December 2017 when my right hip gets replaced.

P.S. You’ll be pleased to know that I will not be blogging this second experience

 

RLB – Tomewriter.

Leave a comment

Filed under Robert L J Borg & Viviane Elisabeth Borg - Our Writings

Watch Out for the Curveballs – Part Twelve

Watch Out for the Curveballs

 

Copyright © Robert L J Borg 2017

Part Twelve

 

An ambulance has been booked by reception for 10am Friday August 18, 2017 to take me home – not a moment too soon.

I’ve made a few of friends here, and I will certainly miss some of the nurses, orderlies, and physio therapists. All have been very kind and supportive, and surprisingly they also possessed a great sense of humour.

As for the friends I can honestly say that only three stand out. Francois, my current room-mate, who although, according to his name bracelet, is two years younger than me [he shares the same birth day and month as cousin, Ron: 15th May] looks as though he is ten years older. He is a pretty sick man and I feel pretty lucky what I had was only a hip replacement. I didn’t ask him what his problem had been, but he had a scar three times longer than mine running down the front of his chest, and he was obliged to wear a urinary catheter – poor sod. He and I got on quite well together. He certainly was tidier than Tomas, although his hygiene standards left a lot to be desired, which surprised me considering his condition. I would have thought that someone in his state of health would ensure to wash his hands every time he went to the loo, but I never saw him carry out such an important function. Nor did he ever use the hand cleansers that were dotted on the walls of the centre, including by the door of our little room.

On the subject of the room, number 127, it was located on the first floor literally opposite the lift. The room itself consisting of two beds, two desks with chairs, one armchair, two wardrobes and two TVs, had a very effective air conditioner [thank God] and two large windows. More often than not we would have one of the windows open which upset the air conditioner and one of the nurses who thought what we were doing was not environmentally friendly.

    

On the doors of every room was a nautical picture which made the corridors really pleasant. Ours was two sailing boats:

The second friend was Michel, a delightful old man in his late 80’s whose room I shall certainly be requesting [if available] when I next get admitted. It is a small single room located close to the main front terrace with a fabulous landscape view beyond Biot. He tells me he lives in the village of Malaussene located high in the hills behind Nice. By the sound of it you need a sturdy donkey or a 4X4 to negotiate the roads up to it. From what he says he has lived there most his life. By all accounts his presence at the centre was due to his hip breaking unexpectedly while he was gardening. He had some interesting stories to tell, but with my limited French and his mountain man accent they were somewhat hard to decipher.

Yesterday was August 15, 2017. It was a public holiday due to a religious day – which is amusing as France always professes to be a lay country, but when it comes to Christian holidays they’re up the front to celebrate them. Needlesstosay, as a public holiday everyone was away [no physio] except the domestic staff, who eventually showed up to clean the room at around 11.50am. Seeing the same cleaner in the restaurant later at lunch time dishing out people’s meals I silently prayed she had washed her hands after seeing them around the rim of our toilet!

Anyway, as usual I’m changing the subject. So going back to Michel, I walked by his room and stopped to chat to Nurse Coo Coo who was handing out medications. Michel invited me in and was grateful when I accepted. He was seated at his chair so I lowered myself onto the bed, which made a farting sound as I did so – he giggled and said it was an air mattress. I followed through by saying what a bit of luck – he could always blame the bed should he let one slip if he had company.

Not being very pious I had no idea what the religious festival being celebrated was, however as a keen historian and writer the only significance the 15th August had for me was the invasion of southern France, code-named “Operation Dragoon” in 1944. Michel told me he was fourteen years old at the time and still remembers it as though it were yesterday. It truly must have been a frightening and memorable day. For me personally, I am excited at the prospect of seeing my book “Dragoon Serenade” being released on October 26, 2017. The story is set in France during this time. If you’re interested you can read the blurb on my pen name’s blog at: https://louiserobertsromance.wordpress.com/dragoon-serenade/

So onto Pierre – a character larger than life and such a comedian, that without his sense of humour would have made my life at the rehab centre unbearable. We sat next to each other at meal times, with Michel sitting opposite me and the dreaded Tomas opposite Pierre. Francois sat at a nearby table next to Michel in the company of three women. Pierre was [is] everyone’s friend, but especially with Michel, and despite his bravado and good humour at breakfast today [17th August], when he said if he had a black arm band he would be wearing it, because this morning Michel would be leaving the centre to return home, you could sense that he was genuinely saddened to see Michel’s impending departure. Perhaps his light comment was more serious than he let on.

Since the end of last week Pierre had been teasing Michel saying how the village band would be in the streets welcoming him back with a fanfare of trumpets and trombones. Flags would be flying and people would be waving at him from their windows. During lunch yesterday the entire tableau had me in tears from sheer amusement generated by my three dining companions.

The main meal consisted of white haricot beans [Heinz style but without the yummy tomato sauce], a grilled pork steak, and some green beans cooked in curry.

Michel looked at his plate then at us and out of character announced that who would need trombones – after eating this lot I would be making my own music!

On the other small table Tomas was cutting at the meat so vigorously that the entire table was shaking so badly it was as though we were in the middle of an earthquake. Pierre on the other hand had stabbed at the piece of meat with his fork and with his knife was cutting a small hole in its middle with the precision that would make any surgeon proud of his cutting technique. Then placing the blade through the newly made hole he lifted the meat well off the plate, and declared that the soles of his shoes were tenderer than this piece of merde! Actually I don’t know what he was on about, as I found the meat the tastiest thing on the plate. The only problem was by the time you cut away the bone and fat there was no more than two small mouthfuls.

Ironically I have an appointment at 2.45pm today with the dieticians – they don’t know what they are in for. I shall divulge the outcome later on in this little memoir. Before I see them however, I will be visiting reception to get my discharge papers, medical file, and most importantly the return of my cheque. I also need to pay them for my phone line.

The ambulance has been booked for 10am to take me home tomorrow Friday 18th August – it can’t come soon enough. Meanwhile I’ve just checked my watch – it’s 11.40am better make my way downstairs and see what delights the kitchen is dishing up today!

Lunch was oddly enough quite edible except perhaps for the starter: Cucumber sliced finely and floating in milk – sorry “crème” – to my eyes it was still more like milk. Adding some mayonnaise improved it a bit, but I shan’t be serving it up at any dinner party I might have!

Nothing is ever plain sailing for me – I went over to reception after my meal and paid my dues. They returned my cheque which I immediately cancelled and collected my discharge papers. My medical files however are to be delivered tomorrow morning when the nurse does her rounds – I just hope she’s not too late as she sometimes is.

Needlesstosay in the mood I was in the dieticians got more than they bargained for, but as they nodded their little heads I could see my words pass through one ear and drift into oblivion from the other. They did agree the yoghurt that is provided isn’t very nice, but that it’s because of the budget they have to work to. What did I say earlier?? I told them it would be better off not serving it up at all as half of it gets wasted. It would be better just to have a piece of fruit. They left soon after whether any of my suggestions will be implemented I’ll find out on my next visit when I get my right hip replaced.

When I went to the physio clinic after lunch with my HP Slate tablet in hand to take a couple of snaps, the therapists were suspicious and demanded to know “why”? I told them that as I was leaving and I had just spent practically every day of the last four weeks at their mercy, I wanted a souvenir of the chamber of torture.

  

Joking aside the team did [and still do] a wonderful job, but apart from offering guidance and manipulating your leg for about five minutes, the remaining fifty-five minutes is hard exercise left up to you to do. All the same, it was the routines that made the difference and the guidance will be locked in my brain on how to look after my legs moving forward.

Thanks to Mum and Lesley who have found a physio therapist in Golfe Juan conveniently located I shall be continuing my sessions as of Monday afternoon next week [21st]. I just hope the doctor here remembers to include a script for it in my medical file.

The daily ice packs have also been a great help. Talking with one of the orderlies about them she told me I can buy something similar at any pharmacy. So I guess that will also be a place to visit next week. Meanwhile though, for this weekend, Lesley said she will loan me a freezer block [the type you put in an Esky].

Reception just phoned for me to come downstairs to see them. Now what? I thought.

Ah! They needed my address for the ambulance driver. So much easier to call me down rather than access my file online and obtain the details that way!! Despite me repeating my street name three times, she still managed to write it down wrong. Thank God I’ll be in the ambulance [I hope] so that I can direct him.

 

To Be Continued…

RLB – Tomewriter

Leave a comment

Filed under Robert L J Borg & Viviane Elisabeth Borg - Our Writings

Watch Out for the Curveballs – Part Eleven

Watch Out for the Curveballs

 

Copyright © Robert L J Borg 2017

Part Eleven

 

In all since arriving here I have lost six kilo and when I began using the treadmills I found I was burning off in the region of 25 calories during the ten minute sessions.

There’s really not much to do except read, do crosswords, watch TV [provided you are willing to pay their exorbitant charges] or chat. As my French conversation is somewhat limited, although improving all the time, I find I’m spending a lot of time on my own either walking around their beautiful grounds, writing up this blog, or taking a nap. And thanks for my HP Slate tablet [a birthday gift from Sandra a few years ago] I have been keeping tabs on my emails, playing mindless games, and checking up what is happening on Facebook – so who needs TV?

Some views of the grounds:

   

Some of the views from the grounds:

  

*

The days are beginning to blend together and either I am losing it or time has ‘lost’ me. Today is August 8, 2017 – how time flies. Yesterday the remaining twelve staples were removed [eight were taken out last week – I don’t know why I never mentioned it before]. Before the first 8 were removed the nurse taking them out took a photo of the wound for my benefit –

If you’re squeamish don’t look at the following photo:

 

It was a great feeling as it proved I was on the mend properly. Unfortunately I was still unable to shower as they didn’t want to cover it with a plastic bandage, but a conventional one to allow the wound to ‘breathe’. Luckily I don’t stink as I maintain a good regime of washing every day, and use baby wipes every time I go to the loo. They said they’ll check it again on Thursday [10th] but for the moment they don’t want me to wet the wound area.

At this rate I may as well just maintain my normal cleanliness routine and wait until the 18th when I am sent home. You can be sure the first thing I’ll do is have one long, hot, shower.

Physio moved up another step today. Apart from the usual exercises and treadmill, I progressed to the bike and most importantly tackling the stairs using only one crutch. My physio therapist today was Jenna [there’s at least five of them each in the area I work out in, with their own specialty of how they foresee the exercises will go – there are about four others in another wing of the gym]. Jenna is particularly happy with my progress and has told me that tomorrow she would like me to start using only one crutch. She’s a sweet girl – I wish I could keep her, but she is in high demand. In fact they all are. They are a friendly, helpful team and constantly encourage you to go one step further.

Today’s session has left me absolutely knackered and I know if I was to put my head down now I would have difficulty in waking up again.

Despite us repeating the same sort of exercises daily it never is boring, and we are helped along with some really decent music in the background. Today was Michael Jackson and at one point there was a frightful scream which made everyone stop what they were doing. Of course, being me, I couldn’t resist the opportunity of the ‘stage’ and passed the comment that someone must have seen our lunchtime menu. There were a few sniggers by those standing nearby showing appreciation of my humour, the rest didn’t seem too impressed – typical!!

Happy Days! It’s Wednesday 9th and my bandage came off permanently. It’s the first time that part of my leg has seen daylight since the operation three weeks ago. Nurse “Coo Coo” [her call sign every time she approaches any of the patients – I never did find out her real name] suggested that I can now shower – roll on tomorrow.

I’ve been left with a six-inch long scar shaped like a miniature railway track. I expect it will vanish over time – perhaps not completely.

Sods Law! The right leg has been playing up more than normal today – I wish it would just shut up and be helpful by allowing me time to get over this procedure. I’m scheduled to see Dr Bohic on 20th September for a follow-up, and I will ask him then when is the soonest I can have the right leg done. I know what I said earlier that I would live with the pain – but no way, who wants to live in constant discomfort? I may as well tackle it while the experience is still fresh in my mind so that I know what to expect. Although it’s not the nicest of experiences if it allows me the joys of the use of my legs like before they had become stuffed up then it would be worth it. The only thing is I would need to check with my insurance broker to see if I would be covered for the procedure and rehab so close to the recent one.

The next question is whether I should take the jump and have my heart done? To tell the truth I’m terrified at the thought of the procedure that was recommended. I suppose before I do anything I will ask my GP to obtain a second opinion. It’s not something that should be taken lightly as memories of my disastrous angiogram still linger in my mind, but so too does the early termination of my cousin Ron’s life that could have been prevented had he gone ahead with this procedure when he had been told of the problem. I had liked Ron. Apart from being a relative he was counted as one of my best friends. The man was a genius. He had something like twelve ‘O’ Levels, four ‘A’ Levels, and an ‘S’ Level. He went to Imperial College and obtained a First Class honours degree [I think it was for Physics and Engineering]. He then went on to Caius College Cambridge to obtain a PhD in mathematics, but he gave up before he finished saying that he had studied enough and now it was time to work. He joined some friends who had set up an IT Management Consultancy company, a few years earlier during 1969. By all accounts Ron had been an important player in the firm’s growth and had he been alive today might have been an extremely wealthy man.

Moving on… it was ‘thanks’ to Ron though, and his personal coaching, that I was able to understand physics and mathematics. It was due to him that I was finally able to ‘see’ numbers and tackle them accordingly. Later, it was also thanks to him that I able to pass examinations in Economics, Economic History, and Marketing.

He died on 12th September 1987. We were with a group of friends riding our bikes from London to Brighton for a charity ride to raise money to buy a scanner unit for the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital at Welwyn Garden City, which is where another friend had died of cancer on 7th June that year.

Ron was an active person who enjoyed nothing better than playing squash once a week, trekking across the Amazon, cycling holidays here, there, and everywhere. He had just returned from a few days cycling across Portugal. Due to his business interests he was in one of their offices either in London, Rotterdam, or New York on a weekly basis. To Ron this was his ‘normal’ life. It was cut short on the climb up Redhill, Surrey thanks to a massive heart attack. According to the coroner he was dead before he hit the ground. I miss him still.

Ronald Daniel Sasson

15th May 1951 – 12th September 1987

Rest In Peace

Personally I think my heart problem has nothing to do with a few extra electrodes causing havoc with my valves. I’m convinced that the cardiac events of the past were due to excessive stress caused at work, long hours commuting, my two dodgy hips and life in general.

As I no longer work, except for pumping out a story or two now and again, and one of my hips has been fixed, I believe that once the right hip has also been replaced I should see an end of my irregular heart beat and fast pulse rate. Whatever I decide to do with the heart, I shan’t be doing anything until the right hip has been fixed. If I’m right, then the heart will settle down and I’ll just continue with the medication just to keep it in check.

 

To Be Continued…

RLB – Tomewriter

Leave a comment

Filed under Robert L J Borg & Viviane Elisabeth Borg - Our Writings

Watch Out for the Curveballs – Part Ten

Watch Out for the Curveballs

 

Copyright © Robert L J Borg 2017

Part Ten

 

Monday 24th July 2017 – it was a long morning and despite the promise of going onto Pradaxa I was once again jabbed with Lovenox – not happy. I had hoped that I would have been transported to the much-anticipated rehab centre first thing, but it wasn’t until 2pm that the Ambos arrived.

While his partner organised the paperwork with the Admin girls, the young orderly [in his early 30’s I guessed] wheeled me on a stretcher to the waiting ambulance. SHIT!! Was it hot!! As much as I had been told there was no air conditioning in my room, the difference from leaving the ward to going outside was like stepping through the Gates of Hell. The Ambo told me it was 40*C and I hardly thought it worth disagreeing with him.

Once in the vehicle with my bag and crutches squeezed in around me, the guy went to work filling in forms, getting my Carte Vitale [Medicare card] and Assurance Mutuelle ready for arrival at the centre. What I hadn’t expected was to be asked to hand over a cheque to the value of €540 “just in case” the insurance company didn’t pay up. Thank God I’m with AXA – they are an international reputable company that have been around for years. In fact I remember having dealings with them during my time at Royal and Sun Alliance Insurance [later known as Promina and Vero Insurance] between September 2000 and December 2005.

That aside I was wheeled into my shared room, number 127 on the first floor and my heart sank. My room-mate, Tomas was an 80-year-old man with breathing difficulties on top of his recent hip replacement. He told me the breathing problems had been self-inflicted having been a heavy smoker for over fifty years.

Not long after the ambos had left, Mum and Lesley arrived with my previously packed suitcase. As I tried to adjust myself to my new environment Lesley did her best to put my stuff away in the small cupboard by the door. In the end I told her to leave it and I would sort out later. There were too many of us in the room, so Lesley and I took Mum back downstairs to the main foyer where there were some comfortable, though limited seating.

When Lesley and I returned to the room Tomas was hooked up to a breathing apparatus that was making a frightful noise. He assured me it was only used twice a day and only lasted ten minutes. However apart from that there was an awful stink emanating from the bathroom that hadn’t been there before making both me and Lesley cringe. A quick survey of the room indicated that this old man had no sense of courtesy or hygiene standards. Although a small room, if kept tidy, it would be liveable, but this chap had clothes stacked everywhere and the bathroom was worse than a pigsty. The TV was on so loud you could hardly think. Lesley and I retreated from the room with raised eyebrows and re-joined Mum. This was not going to be easy or pleasant as I had hoped – but what could I do?

I checked with reception for Wi-Fi facilities and was told it cost €20 per week. Lesley shouted me the first week – Thanks Lesley. They told me the TV cost €5.40 per day but I declined. Let’s face it with Tomas refusing to use the headphones provided any conflict of channels would make it unbearable.

At 6pm a meal was brought to me on a tray, but was told that from tomorrow the three meals would be taken in the restaurant – suited me.

It had been a long day and I was dog-tired. As it turned out it would probably be the worst night I have ever experienced in my life!

At about 8pm a nurse showed up with our medications. Because of the surgery I was not permitted to get back on the Pradaxa and I was once again injected with Lovenox. If that wasn’t bad enough she walked around Tomas’ bed, bent over, and switched on an oxygen machine that was to operate all night… Imagine listening to a jack hammer for a duration of about five minutes and then followed through with a thump from a bass drum. The process repeated, and repeated, and repeated all night long. Making it worse was Tomas refused to switch off the TV until well past midnight. By 4am I could take no more. I got dressed, grabbed the Zimmer frame I had been assigned and sat out on a small seat located by the lift desperately trying to get some sleep. A nurse on her rounds spotted me about an hour later and asked why I was there. I know it wasn’t her fault, but in no uncertain terms I told her. Not an easy feat with my French being so scratchy. She sympathised and promised to raise the matter. I reluctantly returned to bed to try and get a little sleep.

Fat Chance! The old sod opened his eyes at 5.30am and switched on the TV full blast. I was not polite in asking him to turn the volume down. He did so grudgingly, while I stuck a pillow over my face to try and shut out the remaining sounds and flashing lights. To make matters worse, as if they could be, because of my stitches I was not permitted to shower. So feeling dirty, tired, angry, and annoyed I quickly dressed and went straight down to reception. I requested to be moved to another room where the room-mate would show some consideration of others. I also told the girl in no uncertain terms that if they found someone else to share with Tomas he would need to be deaf, blind, and possess no sense of smell. The latter being that my bed was located next to the bathroom and Tomas would not bother to close the sliding door when sitting on the throne.

That afternoon the orderlies turned up and packed Tomas’ possessions and moved him into a single room. Later one of the cleaners told me I had been the fifth person to have complained about Tomas’ unsociable activities.

The bottom line is that ever since this establishment had been taken over by Le Pôle Santé Saint Jean organisation the only thing that matters is the bottom line. Patient care doesn’t count for much nor the workload imposed on the staff. I discovered later that at night there was only one nurse to look after over forty shared and single rooms.

At first sight the place gives the impression of a five-star hotel, or at least that’s what I thought when Lesley first drove me there prior to my seeing the surgeon, and then later when I checked out their website:

http://www.polesantesaintjean.fr/le-centre-p%C3%B4le-antibes-saint-jean

However it is only as an inpatient that you realise how false that image is. Don’t get me wrong here, the staff do their best with what has been dealt to them, and patient care which is their priority is somewhat lacking due to limited resources.

Meals for instance, for a country that prides itself on fine cuisine, the food that is dished up to us would make Gordon Ramsey cringe – I can hear his adverse comments ringing in my ears as I’m writing this. I would have to agree that at times I wouldn’t serve this rubbish to a dog. As one lady who sat at a nearby table said last night, the type of food is better suited to children. Compared to the meals I received at the hospital these are positively disgusting.

The portions are possibly adequate to an 80+-year-old with limited appetite, but to anyone younger, you’d have to devour a table leg to satisfy your needs, I was told the chef [if you can call him such] was limited to a budget of €3.40 per person per meal. The establishment has some 95 rooms, some are shared by no more than 2 persons per room, and there are a few single rooms.

My dear old Mum, whose mind never stops working [Thank God], mentally calculated that his approximate budget for meals would be in the region of €10,000 per week excluding the staff’s needs. On top of this the centre has to take into account all the supply of medication, physio therapy and equipment, wages, insurance, etc… Good old Mum, she always knows how to bring things down to earth, which is why that at 92 she still plays Bridge twice a week and takes pleasure at thrashing me at Scrabble at every opportunity.

That aside though, going back to nourishment, I still say that to withstand the rigorous physio exercises which are forced upon us daily [except Sundays and Public Holidays] to rebuild our muscle depletion after surgery, one would need more substantial meals than the menu and portions provided

An example of a typical day; yesterday’s menu for instance:

Breakfast: My most favourite meal of the day – You can choose either a bread roll, or biscotte, or a brioche; one cube of butter, one small container of jam, and a bowl of coffee or tea [black or white]:

Lunch, served promptly at noon, although these days, it seems to be getting later:

Starter: One lettuce leaf with a sprinkling of hard-boiled egg yolk for colour – no dressing.

Main: One large spoonful of couscous, and equally large spoonful of ratatouille, and a small piece of grilled pork, which an adult could devour in two mouthfuls. You are also given a small bread roll [which seems to be getting smaller by the day], and a piece of cheese. The latter varies from French Edam, French Gouda, Boursin, or another tasteless soft cheese. In their defence, the “Tome Noir” that was dished up at the hospital was exceptionally good.

Dessert: Vanilla Ice cream in a small pot [the type you buy at the supermarket in a pack of 4]. The only snag is that they provide you with a table-spoon rather than a teaspoon to eat it with, which means one has to use the handle to enable you to access the product.

Dinner [served from 6.45pm] is much the same as lunch. The only difference being the starter: namely one ladle of soup in a tiny bowl which conjures up visions of Oliver asking for more!

The main course consisted of a slice of ham, accompanied by a portion of pasta [the type normally served to children – hence my fellow diner’s comment] topped with cheese. I promptly chopped up the ham and mixed it in with the pasta and cheese – Alfredo style. My table mates looked on in wonder no doubt thinking: “Bloody English they ‘ave no idea ‘ow to eat French food”, but to my surprise each of them followed suit – so it looks like we are still teaching the French a thing or two about how to improve their boring meals.

Dessert was a strawberry mousse.

 

To Be Continued…

RLB – Tomewriter

Leave a comment

Filed under Robert L J Borg & Viviane Elisabeth Borg - Our Writings

Watch Out for the Curveballs – Part Nine

Watch Out for the Curveballs

 

Copyright © Robert L J Borg 2017

Part Nine

 

I must, at this point, say something about the surgery. Yes, it does still hurt and continues to spew out this horrible looking Yuk, but that’s what happens when you have an 8” wound held together by twenty staples.

Surgery was only three days ago, yet I had hoped that the other aches and pains along my leg related to ‘radiating’ pain from the hip. However I believe this is not the case, and the more I think on it I am now convinced that the left knee arthroscopy was either a total balls up during surgery or my stupidity by not giving the procedure time to heal properly before I started shifting heavy boxes [I shan’t go into any details regarding this incident insofar to say that my life was to change dramatically because of it – but that’s another story for another time. Perhaps I’ll explain it when I get around to writing my memoirs – which I have sort of started and named “Secrets, Lies and Stupidity” – in more ways than one].

Moving on… The left knee arthroscopy was carried out a Hornsby Hospital as a public patient in October 2015. Prior to which I had to see the orthopaedic surgeon in his rooms at the Sydney Adventist Hospital [SAN] Medical Clinic. The SAN is a modern private hospital located in Wahroonga NSW, Australia. Dr Jun Nagamori is an Orthopaedic Surgeon with a sub-specialty interest in Sports Knee Surgery. The annoying thing about surgery through the public system in Australia is that although you pay through the nose for consultation fees to the specialist, he doesn’t perform the actual operation. That privilege is left to his registrar, who although a qualified practitioner isn’t the guy who said would perform the surgery – he just supervises [if that].

Unlike Australia in France when the specialist says he will carry out the procedure on a patient in the public health system he actually does, and what’s more there are no consultation fees. Knowing that my hip operation was to carried out by the Orthopaedic Department Chief of Staff himself and not by some minor assistant whose name doesn’t appear even on the back of a Cornflakes packet made me confident that the operation would be a success.

In 2010 however I had my right knee arthroscopy carried out at the SAN as a private patient. The procedure was carried out by Dr Roderick Brooks, a most proficient Orthopaedic Surgeon and I would have loved it had he been able to carry out the surgery on my left knee. Unfortunately Dr Brooks only handles private patients and although I had health insurance with HCF I was still about $3,000 out-of-pocket. Luckily in 2010 I was in a better financial position than I was in 2015.

It just goes to prove though that when the specialist carries out the procedure, apart from initial pain from surgery, there is no lasting discomfort. Since 2010 I have had no problems with my right knee. The left hip [as I type this blog 6 weeks after the procedure] is as good as new and I am now able to walk a fair distance without the need of crutches. The left knee however still gives me a lot of pain.

*

It’s 4.10pm and Mum and Lesley have been and gone. They had gone for lunch at the Casino and Lesley, who loves playing the poker machines, said she lost – does anyone ever win??

I got up to walk with them along the corridor when they departed and found that the bed sheets were once again covered in blood. I’m hoping this doesn’t mean that the doctor will choose to keep me in a bit longer. I know I said earlier that I would feel safer staying here, but in all honesty this room is so hot I can’t wait to go somewhere there’s air conditioning that works.

Besides, as much as this room is nice it’s a bit lonely on my own. As my medical insurance only covers me to stay in a twin room, that’s where I’ll be staying when I get to the rehab centre. It will be nice to have someone to chat to.

Mum phoned to tell me that my cousin, Rita who lives in Malta phoned asking after me, and my ‘new’ friend, David Glenn will visit when I’m transferred to the Montsinéry rehab centre which is now known as Pôle Antibes Saint-Jean. I say ‘new’ friend because ever since I arrived in France last year, Lesley’s friends have made me feel really welcome amongst them. They’re all nice people the majority of which are British.

7.45pm – Hopefully this may be my last entry in this journal from the hospital. I checked my text messages. There was one from one of my younger sister’s friends from London, Anita Ferrari who wished me a speedy recovery. Nice of her. I responded and then switched off the mobile.

Amazing how there’s always a problem – I went to the loo earlier and the flush is broken. I used the washing bowl to do the job, but I thought I should mention it to the staff. I told Jerome but he just shrugged his shoulders and said he’ll mention it to the maintenance people in the morning.

Dinner was okay. Soup: their vegetable potage is really nice. I have had it a few times over the last few days already. Mains: Quiche Lorraine served with runner beans in parsley and garlic – should get me going if I needed more encouragement. Dessert was a bread roll and crème fraiche which I declined in favour of an apple which was also on offer.

Once again it’s been a long day. It doesn’t help when you’re in and out of sleep all day and the hours seem to blur.

As I said earlier, when I got out of bed to walk with Mum and Lesley to the end of the corridor and found blood on the sheets. On my return to the room I buzzed the nurse who came in and slapped a couple of new bandages on the existing one before changing the sheets.

I made her laugh when I told her I had hoped she’d forgotten to administer the Lovenox – she smiled and promptly stuck me with an injection of the stuff. Once again I was assured I would be on the Pradaxa as of tomorrow – suits me.

All I can say is that everyone here has been so caring. I will have to mention it to Dr Bohic when I next see him – I’m sure his team will be grateful for the compliment.

 

To Be Continued…

RLB – Tomewriter

Leave a comment

Filed under Robert L J Borg & Viviane Elisabeth Borg - Our Writings

Watch Out for the Curveballs – Part Eight

Watch Out for the Curveballs

 

Copyright © Robert L J Borg 2017

Part Eight

 

It is Sunday 23rd July 2017 and it is 1.40am. So much for getting some sleep, I don’t think I have peed so much in my life so far. Oh! And just not to keep you in suspense regarding number two, I think I’m going to have to send out for a search party to try and locate it.

Well we’re into my last day at the hospital and wonderfully, if the nurse is right, my last day at being injected with that horrible Lovenox. Starting tomorrow morning I’ll be on the Pradaxa. That at least is a pill; two pills to be precise – morning and night – so much nicer than being stabbed twice a day. I think I may already have mentioned this earlier, but hey! It’s my blog.

The one thing I must do today is wash my hair. I’m still being denied showers. I don’t understand why they don’t just place a massive waterproof plaster over the wound. It’s not very healthy to go without showering is it? Sure I wash and make sure I’m clean in my lower regions using baby wipes but that’s not the same thing.

Okay, Okay! I surrender. Switching the light off and try and get some sleep before the night nurse comes in to wake me.

*

3.20am, and this is becoming more than a joke now. I certainly hope they haven’t fixed one problem only to give me another? This is what happened to my dad. He had terrible times with bowel movements – or lack of them. When he did go he let everyone know about it. Unfortunately in the end the cancer had spread and there was no saving him. Not that I’m being melodramatic – so far I have evaded this terrible sickness. He died aged 64, which is two years younger than I am now – sad. If I’m to have any problems it’s more likely to be with the prostate. I may pee a lot, but it takes forever to get going and then it never wants to stop. Even when I do stop there is always one last trickle as if it says to me: “Got You!” – Sod!!

It’s 5.50am and I was woken by the night nurse to replace the bag of ice and provide me with a fresh carafe of water. I took advantage of being awake and padded to the loo. When I returned I noticed a dark stain on the bottom sheet so I switched on the light – Damn! The wound has wept. I called the nurse back who placed a new band-aid on the existing one. She told me she would mention it to the day staff on hand over and get them to replace it completely. I also asked her for another laxative; again she said she would tell the day nurse to give it to me BEFORE breakfast. It might be an interesting day. I think I should stay here rather than go to the rehab centre tomorrow; but in the end it’s the doctor’s call, so I’ll just have to wait and see what he recommends.

Despite my earlier gripes caused by the pain, the excessive heat in this room and the meds, I just want to set the record straight by saying I have every confidence with the nursing and surgical staff here.

7.45am – Ms Sourpuss came in this morning and jabbed me in my right thigh which caught me by surprise as all the other jabs of Lovenox went straight into my stomach. Perhaps she couldn’t be bothered to stretch just that bit further. She took my blood pressure, temperature, and pulse rate and said it was all normal. Whatever ‘normal’ is? I spoke to her about the bleeding and she said it was ‘normal’ discharge – better out than in. As she was walking out of the room I told her about the #2 problem I was having. She came back with a double whammy of the laxative which she instructed for me to ingest before breakfast. At this rate though if breakfast doesn’t arrive soon it will be more like lunch! Mind you it is Sunday today so perhaps they’re having a lie in. Still, until it shows up I can’t take any of my medications. If all else fails there is always Mum’s brownies. I’ll give them another ten minutes.

Ta-dah!! Breakfast has arrived. Hot chocolate in a glass and a croissant – lovely; but before I could enjoy this wonderful ‘repas’ I took the laxative – fingers and toes crossed that it does the job.

Apart from a few tummy grumbles nothing to show for it, so to cheer myself up I decided to wash my hair in the bathroom sink. Not an easy task, but due to my short hair it wasn’t too strenuous. After washing the rest of me and giving the teeth a good brush I went for a walk. I only went as far as the end of the corridor, but my first ‘real’ walk in four days. Having returned to my room I climbed into bed and did ten minutes of leg exercises.

Now I’m all hot and bothered again – I can’t win!!

This diary is definitely going to be a book. When I emailed Romance Writers’ of Australia [RWA] Hearts Talk magazine to get the cut off dates for October and November releases, the editor, seeing my email address was French, asked if I wouldn’t mind writing a couple of articles for the magazine. As I write romance using a female pen name she asked: “Why you’ve chosen to write under a female pseudonym, how that helps in the romance world’ and how you get inside a female’s head. And also I would love to hear about life in the South of France, of course.” Regarding the latter I think she would get quite a shock if I sent her this – Ha Ha! No. I wouldn’t be so cruel. Actually the thing that comes to mind is how the location has inspired my writing. Since my arrival in March 2016 I have written three novellas and re-written a novel. Two of the novellas have been published through Luminosity Publishing and on April 15, 2017 a paperback version of Books 1, 2 and 3 was released entitled “Sensual Liaisons”. The third novella, Dragoon Serenade is due for release by them on October 26, 2017.

       

The novel, Out of the Darkness is under contract with Foundations Books LLC and is scheduled for release sometime at the end of this year.

A date has not yet been set, although mid-November would be good so I can buy a copy as it would make a great gift to my sister, Lesley whose birthday is on 30th November.

Luminosity Publishing however are more on the ball and they will be releasing Books 1 and 2 of the Romance in War series in a print version on November 15, 2017.

I have submitted this to the RWA so it gets included for the “November Releases” in Hearts Talk. Unfortunately, as I haven’t been able to get Foundations Books to provide me with a confirmed release date for “Out of the Darkness” it looks like my novel will miss out on much-needed publicity.

Aside the serious writing I have also penned a few travel blogs and I am currently in the process of writing two Works-in-Progress. Although I must admit I haven’t been spending too much time on them lately. Mostly because I’ve been distracted with this hip replacement and a few other things I shan’t bore you with.

As of tomorrow – God willing – I should be transferring to the rehab centre. Meanwhile sitting up in bed I find I am constantly nodding off all the time despite me leaving the door open purposely so I can see people coming and going. The cleaner has just shown up and she seems concerned of the numerous chairs in my room. There are three. As long as they leave two for when Mum and Lesley visit this afternoon I couldn’t give a fig about the third one. The cleaner is washing the floors with a product which is leaving a wonderful floral aroma; a nice change from the usual hospital smells.

I’ve just checked my watch and it is only 10am. It’s going to be a long day.

How wrong can you be of some people??

I can no longer dub her Ms Sourpuss, but change her name to Ms Pleasant. I expect she’d been having a bad day when we first crossed paths. She has just left my room – it is 10.40am – having re-dressed my wound amidst a very pleasant chat. What’s more, thanks to her, a few moments before she arrived, I could hear the Celestial Choir and orchestra pumping out “Hallelujah”, and as my dear old dad would have blurted out [in Italian of course] for the whole world to hear – “I’VE DONE IT!!”

No doubt having uncapped the cork it will be the first of many visits. You’ll be pleased to know therefore this topic of conversation is officially closed.

1.30pm – Lunch eaten: not too inspiring:

Starter: Tuna and peas in mayonnaise. Main: Two slices of cold roast beef, Dauphine potatoes that were tasteless despite me adding salt and pepper; cheese and a bread roll. The cheese was exceptionally nice and I’ll have to buy it when I get back home. It was called “Tome Noir”. Not sure if you’ll find it outside France, but if you like cheese it certainly worth having a hunt for it at your local supermarket. Dessert: Vanilla Éclair – yummy. Perhaps I should have started with the dessert?

No sooner had I eaten it that nature called for the third time. It’s like waiting for a bus: you don’t see one for hours and then a dozen arrive all at once. The tummy is still rumbling – Okay, Okay! I know what I said, but if I can’t escape it, why should you get off so easily?

The leg was becoming stiff from all this sitting around so I decided to go for a short walk along the corridor again. I said ‘Hi’ to a couple of fellow patients in the same predicament as me, except for a young guy in room 2311 who had some weights hanging off his leg – looked like something out of the Spanish Inquisition – poor sod!

 

To Be Continued…

RLB – Tomewriter

Leave a comment

Filed under Robert L J Borg & Viviane Elisabeth Borg - Our Writings

Watch Out for the Curveballs – Part Seven

Watch Out for the Curveballs

 

Copyright © Robert L J Borg 2017

Part Seven

 

It is 1.45pm Saturday 22nd July 2017. Since I last put pen to paper I took another walk around the room. I found my long-handled shoe horn in my bag – I don’t understand why I never found it before. At least for the first time in a few days I was actually wearing my shoes. Well at least I have proved I can do that task without too much trouble. I then sat on the armchair and tried a few crosswords but the sedative Estelle had given me kicked in. I reckon I slept for about an hour. I’ve rinsed out the glass just to make sure no residue of the laxative still lingered and returned to bed. I think the only things that might shift the bowels are either an extra strong vindaloo or a stick of dynamite!!

2.50pm and Jerome has been in to replace the bag of ice. He asked if I wanted a Pastis with that – funny man!! I told him I would settle for another carafe of water. All done in less than a minute, and offered to close the blind if I wanted a siesta. I told him it was not necessary as I have been having one long siesta since I arrived last Wednesday. Then he was gone… closing the door behind him – sigh!!

4.25pm; Mum and Lesley have visited, and now are gone. They brought me a lovely piece of chocolate cake called “Craquant” that was yummy [Galina if you’re reading this you’ll love it. I’ve checked on Google and there are recipes on how to make it, but I reckon you’ll find it at the French patisserie on Argyle Street at The Rocks].

Mum looked tired. I think she could have done without me being in hospital – some added stress she doesn’t need. Lesley, her usual self telling me what I should and shouldn’t be doing: always the big sister, but always as caring. She said that they spoke to Sandra and gave her an update.

I’m disappointed that I still have done number two’s; plenty of noise for no result. I’ll mention it later; perhaps they will need to give me something stronger.

I’m feeling dozy again, so I stuck my face into the ice bag to cool me down. This air-conditioning is certainly not as effective as mine is at home. I just hope the one at the rehab centre is better.

It’s Sunday tomorrow – my last day. I expect I’ll get a visit from the doctor before they sign off on my transfer.

At 6.20pm another nurse just popped in to give me my nightly jab of Lovenox. She said that I maybe reverting back to Pradaxa as of Monday; great just in time for rehab!

Dinner was pleasant: veggie soup, cordon bleu chicken and carrots. Dessert was apple puree [the sort you give babies] and natural Greek yoghurt. Even though the food always arrived in sealed plastic containers like one might find on an airline, the quality and taste has always been extremely palatable. No complaints from me.

One would think with all that I have ingested today the train was going to shift, but sadly no movement yet. This is becoming longer than a French Rail Strike!!

I don’t mean to ‘knock’ the French but it is after all a historical issue – as traditional as the ‘V’ sign. I think most people know how that derogatory symbol came from, but just in case any reader of this blog doesn’t, here is one history lesson. On the battlefields of Medieval France, whenever an English archer was captured the French would chop off his index and middle fingers. The two crucial fingers needed to draw back the arrow. The arrows at a yard long [0.9144 metre] were deadly even at a distance, and when a bodkin point was added it even penetrated armour. This was England’s artillery of the day: fast and deadly. It was proved no better than at the Battle of Agincourt in October 1415. So going back to the ‘V’ sign. When facing the enemy, the English archers would hold up their hands up clearly showing the French their two deadly fingers.

Jerome came in a moment ago to clear away my dinner tray. He nodded at my writing pad and asked if I was writing a book. Might even be a best seller… but in truth it will be a very long blog which I will serialize. Why write one blog when you can write ten. I just hope I’ll have enough paper for the rehab centre.

Well, I’m all set for the night. Teeth have been thoroughly cleaned and I’m in bed scrawling this while awaiting Mum’s phone call at 7pm – 20 minutes to go.

I’ll take the pain killers later and hopefully I may get a full night’s sleep for a change.

Wrong! It’s 11.30pm. I had a nap and now I’m wide awake. I tried to go to the loo without success. I’ve had a thought which I will have to ask the medical staff tomorrow. If my insides are as swollen as my leg is on the outside, is it possible that my bowels are being constricted to the point where I can’t go. The only argument that I can see with this theory would be that I was so filled with waste that I would be in extreme pain. Yet this is not the case. I suppose it could be due to a number of things, such as all the drugs I am digesting or the icepack that has been ‘attached’ to my thigh like an extra limb since after the op to reduce the swelling and bruising. I must say that the operation site seems very clean, but just a bit red around the giant plaster.

Looking out of the window across the valley just now I can see I’m not the only sad bugger who is not asleep. There’s a light on in one of the apartments and I just saw someone step out onto the terrace [balcony] no doubt for a quick ciggie. Oh! The light has gone off. So I am the only twit still awake, except for the two night nurses who came in earlier to say ‘good night’. They also left me a couple of pain killers should I need them and a fresh carafe of water. I asked them if they could provide a new roll of toilet paper – just in case.

I then queried if there was a problem with the air-conditioning tonight as it is positively hot. I was told there was NO air-conditioning which is why I need to leave the loo door wide open to allow the flow through ventilation. The only thing wide open now was my mouth – from sheer disgust!! Suppose if the Gates of Hell had opened earlier and I had closed the door so as not put up with the stink, then I would have to have suffered the unimaginable heat in this room. No wonder I’m drinking so much water.

I had been told that this wing of the hospital was only recently built. I can’t believe that the architects didn’t even consider the comfort of the patients and the medical staff. With all the money they waste on other things which are superfluous, you’d think they would spend a bit of extra cash in making the hospital environment a little more livable.

Now at least I know the reason why I’m hot; it’s not down to a fever, or a dickie aircon, it’s because it’s hot outside and the windows are sealed closed and locked for safety reasons and there IS NO AIRCON……..

Alright Rob, enough of all this dribble you’re writing and let’s try and get some sleep instead.

 

To Be Continued…

RLB – Tomewriter

Leave a comment

Filed under Robert L J Borg & Viviane Elisabeth Borg - Our Writings

Watch Out for the Curveballs – Part Five

Watch Out for the Curveballs

 

Copyright © Robert L J Borg 2017

Part Five

 

At this point in time it is Saturday 22nd July at 1.30am.

The advice and instructions given yesterday were all simple enough with the ‘dos and don’ts in it’. The prosthesis looks like a door handle made of steel which has a section of titanium in the middle of it. In time the titanium will ‘fuse’ with the bone making it permanently part of me. The tip has a plastic cap that sits into a steel bowl [what did I say about bowls? – At least I think I was told it was steel – could be ceramic. As long as it just does the job I don’t care what it is made of]. The nice thing is that the product name is “Leo” a good sign… my birth sign. That alone reassured me that it wasn’t going to pack up anytime soon. Also it is manufactured here in France not China!! I was reading the booklet he gave me and I was shocked to note that in France alone there are annually 60,000 cases of hip replacements. Worldwide it is a staggering 700,000 every year!!!!!

The physio had a sample so he could show me what would happen if I did the wrong things. If you cross your legs, decrease the hip bend to less than 90 degrees, or an inward leg rotation – each time the components came apart. It made me shudder.

He helped me stand, but once on my feet the pain had mysteriously vanished. It must have been the fear of the unknown that had put it there. Under his guidance I shuffled to the loo where he had placed a thick hard plastic donut on the seat which raised the sitting position to 90 degree angle. I will need to work something out when I get back to the flat because my loo is positively too low. One of the things I really must do when I get home is replace the sofa I inherited with the flat as not only is it low but extremely uncomfortable as well. The computer chair may be okay, but I’ll have to wait and see when I’m there. My other concern about the flat is the bedroom. There is hardly any space to manoeuvre around the bed which is also quite low. I will definitely will have to wait until I get home to see what needs to be done, it’s pointless speculating. Finally, and more worrying, is travelling in Lesley’s Fiat Panda – I just hope I can get in and out without difficulty. Bang goes the dream of driving a Ferrari or Lamborghini :o(

Well I had made it to standing position; then I was shuffling along happily to the loo, where he left me to go to another assignment. He told me he is the only physio in the entire hospital! So Ms Sourpuss was right… there are too many chiefs at the hospital and not enough Indians to actually help out with the work. Where have I seen that before?????

I’ve just checked the time – it is 2.10am. I must have dozed off since writing the last paragraph. In fact, that has been happening a lot.

Yesterday, after the physio left me sitting on the loo – a not so nice experience as the false seat kept sliding and I had visions of dropping to the floor. It didn’t happen and I was able to wash my hands. I shuffled out of the bathroom and aimed myself to the armchair he had specifically left for me. How quickly one forgets that one is temporarily handicapped? Unfortunately the armchair had been placed in front of the cupboard that housed my bag. I wanted to retrieve my pyjamas as they were a lighter fabric than the gown as well has being more practical.

BIGGEST MISTAKE!!!

I should have buzzed for help, but it seemed simple enough, so why disturb them. I made a wrong turn and my head was spinning out of control. I just managed to grab at the buzzer cord before I could feel myself falling into oblivion. In a way it was lucky the armchair was there as it broke the fall, but I still found myself face down in a heap and in excruciating pain. I screamed out for help in French, not an easy task trying to remember not to scream it out in the English language. They seemed to take forever before three staff members burst into the room – what is it with the French AND English with their obsession in closing doors!

By the time the ladies had appeared I was a nervous wreck and genuine tears from distress were streaming down my face.

Having been ‘told off’ for attempting such a stupid enterprise I was manipulated back into bed and given some sedatives. Not five minutes later Mum and Lesley turned up for a visit. While they were here, I had a sudden urge to pee, but it’s not so straight forward to get out of bed and shuffle to the loo as one would do normally. By the time I had shuffled to the end of the bed and hobbled to the toilet I had left a steady stream of urine through my pyjama shorts. Mum was not impressed. I didn’t know what else I could have done… perhaps I should just sit on the loo permanently. Lesley buzzed for assistance and this time I was ordered to STAY IN BED!!

I’m not going to let this thing beat me though – what’s the point of having a new hip-joint if I can’t use it?

After Mum and Lesley departed, dinner arrived: grated carrots, battered cod, three-vegetable puree, roll and butter, and a banana. I settled for the fish before dropping off into another cat nap; must have been the ‘cat’ food.

We’re now approaching what Sandra calls the ‘magic hour’ – 3am.

Before Mum and Lesley had left, and although I had been ordered to stay in bed, I desperately needed to use the loo again [I think it must have something to do with the air-conditioning and the vast amounts of water I have been drinking]. With Lesley’s help I managed to get out of bed and almost made it to the loo before Niagara Falls decided to gush. Damn!!

The nurse was the one not impressed this time and told me in no uncertain terms to stay in bed and use the plastic bottles. I reluctantly obeyed, but mentioned that it was almost three days since I’ve been to the loo for number two’s. She told me they would administer a laxative tomorrow. That being the case I should relocate to the loo and not make any special plans.

I got a kiss and a cuddle from Mum and Lesley and then I was on my own again, and writing this log of events in between cat naps.

The place is as silent as the grave. The only noise I can hear are the cicadas outside and my pen scratching at the paper; the walking frame standing nearby teasingly, but I’m not going to take the risk. Instead I’ll recline the bed and force myself to sleep.

 

To Be Continued…

RLB – Tomewriter

Leave a comment

Filed under Robert L J Borg & Viviane Elisabeth Borg - Our Writings