Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Remain Positive And Optimistic.

Roberto  Matta
On Saturday evening the weather became clammy, oppressive and the clouds became dark, then a rumbling noise became audible.

Not long after that it was followed by lightning and another roll of thunder, the storm went on for most of the evening and night.

It seemed to rain all night and I was most surprised to find quite a pleasant day on Sunday.
It was changeable weather but there had been blue skies and sunshine with large clouds.

Since the weekend it has been cool, overcast and rainy with no sign right now of the summer weather returning, although the long-term forecast predicts warm weather.

As its no longer hot weather the air conditioning unit is turned off for now, it is nice to feel a breeze coming in through the window.

Much nicer to feel natural breeze rather than cool air pumped endlessly around the room, also it is lovely to me to hear the noises from the neighbourhood.

Something I can't do when the air conditioning unit is on, when the weather is suddenly hot I need a cool room which only the air conditioning can provide.

This afternoon I had an appointment with a man called Andre, from an air
conditioning company, to see where install the air conditioning.

It won't be a mobile unit as that is not suitable for us, or the apartment, Andre had a very thorough look around the apartment.

Then he suggested that the heat extractor unit should be placed on the small balcony which we don't use in the front room.

In the front room high on the wall he will place one air conditioning unit, which is not very big, it measures 80 cm x 20 cm.

Then he will install another unit in the bedroom and connect them both together, so that both the front room as well as the bedroom will have air conditioning.

This all sounds very good, because it's the Amsterdam Council, he has to send them an estimate of the costs before he can install the air conditioning.

Hopefully they will not take their usual two months to give their agreement as it would be excellent to have it installed as soon as possible.

Andre said that if approval from the Amsterdam Council was not needed he could install it next week.

If the bureaucrats take their usual two months to give their approval then it won't be installed until October the earliest.

I shall have to do my best to remain positive and optimistic and hope that despite it being the holiday season the Council will nod this application through.


Monday, July 30, 2012

Freedom From Intolerance.

Roberto Matta.

The recently resigned Dutch coalition government, which had included a rag bag of political parties so that the Christian Democrats and the Liberal party, the VVD could form the government.

The strict Reformed Church Party, the SPG, the party of Geert Wilders called the PVV, which means the Party of Freedom were some of those willing to support the two main parties; anything to get into government.

Far from being the Party of Freedom, the PVV only seem to want to restrict freedom, especially for the sick, vulnerable, handicapped, unemployed and all Muslims as well as Eastern Europeans.

The PVV recently had an anti-Polish website where they actively encourage all people to report any antisocial behaviour by Polish people.

The President of the European Union criticised the PVV and called for the immediate removal of this provocative anti-Eastern European website.

This also caused a lot of tension between the Netherlands and Poland which could have escalated; Poland was already discussing cessation of any trade between the countries.

This was narrowly avoided when the PVV were ordered to remove it immediately by the Dutch government, which they did.

Wilders then had a go at Turkey and Turkish people, totally forgetting the strong bonds between the Netherlands and Turkey.

His timing for these attacks could not have been worse, as it coincided with a formal State visit of the Turkish President Gul to the Netherlands.

Because of these actions of Geert Wilders and the PVV, the government lost their mandate and they had to hand in their resignation.

Wilders is against the European Union, because as long as the Netherlands is signed up to the EU Treaty he cannot proceed with his racist and fascist agenda.         

The main parties of the now defunct government had been so desperate for power that they tolerated the smaller more extreme party’s agendas.

One of which was to curtail the use of Coffee Shops, where cannabis is sold; it was to stop tourists using them as well as to restrict the number of customers each shop could sell to.

Researchers have already discovered a lot of problems with this new policy; the biggest is that people are starting to buy from street dealers.

Tourists in the south of the Netherlands where the cannabis passports have already been introduced are buying from the street.

The other group are residents that are not willing to have their details registered in a database which is kept for many years.

The police have access to this database, which they seem to use to check whether anybody has outstanding fines.

The negative effects of driving people away from legal Coffee shops is that they will buy from street dealers, who also sell illegal drugs such as heroin, speed, crack, ecstasy and cocaine.

As well as all these hard drugs, there is no guarantee that the cannabis and hashish the street sellers have is not mixed with other things.

It is not unusual to get hashish from a street dealer, which has been mixed with various things such as rubber; smoking hashish which is contaminated like that can have unpleasant side-effects.

In September there will be new elections and other parties will get in, who do not have the right wing agenda that the last coalition government had.

The new government will hopefully be realistic and pragmatic enough to realise that they cannot afford to lose the tax money which is generated by the Coffee Shops and tourism.



Sunday, July 29, 2012

Communication Is Vital

Josip Seissel.

Last night we got talking rather late. In fact, it ended up being too early in the morning by the time we finished talking.

It was nearly 05.00 by the time we put the lights out to sleep; we were both tired but glad, that we had taken the time to communicate with each other.  

Last night was one of the occasions when it was necessary to talk, it was important to tell Richie how I was feeling, that while I was trying to stay positive, it was not easy for me.

Explaining to him, how I was feeling very dispirited by the fact that the wound was taken so long to heal.

 So much so it made me question whether I would ever be able to sit in a wheelchair again and be able to go outside.

Richie thought that the wound would heal and I would be able to go outside again, maybe even sooner than I thought.

He said that he totally understood my worries; he went on to say that it must be quite dreadful for me to be confined to one room again for so long.

Richie said he hoped that I was wrong and I would have a lot longer, I too hope that I was wrong, as I don't want to die soon.

The combination of the wound taking so long, combined with the progression of my Multiple Sclerosis made me feel that I did not have too long to go.

It is so difficult to keep a balance between being realistic and being totally aware of what's happening to me with this unpleasant disease.

It is all too easy to get overdramatic and think that things are bleaker than they are, but it is not easy trying to keep positive in this situation.

Being positive is the only thing that I can do and I want to do my best to remain positive and enjoy my life as best I can.

Staying in the here and now and enjoying all the moments that I can is the only and best option there is for me.

Having Multiple Sclerosis is like being on a rollercoaster, with no idea of what will happen next, which is why I need to remain positive.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Resumtion Of Normality

Josip Seissel

Some parts of America are experiencing extreme drought and fires as well as tornadoes, terrible storms and flooding, many had no electricity.

Horrible news, I hope none of my blog friends are experiencing problems due to any of these events happening near them.

These problems are causing hardships and are unpleasant because they make daily life difficult and stressful.

Their troubles have all been caused by the weather; none of them are due to an out-of-control regime.

These weather-related problems almost fade into insignificance when compared with what is happening in Syria.

Where President Assad's murderous regime are daily killing hundreds of civilian purely in order for them to retain their control on the country.

This has been going on for 16 months now; a brutal conflict fought between an extremely well armed state machine and a lightly armed opposition.

The battle has been raging across the country, in Homs, Hama which is the city that Bashir Assad's father killed thousands in 1982, as well as Damascus.

Thousands of civilians have been murdered and many have been raped, tortured and incarcerated since this all started in April 2011.

Assad's army are supported by the Shabiha militias which are made up of Alawites; members of Assad minority élite, Sunnis, criminals released from prison by Assad as well as opportunists out for whatever they can get.

The militias act as the regimes brutal thuggish enforcers, they follow President Assad army, once the army had bombed and shelled its enforcers go in and rape, torture and murder all the inhabitants they can find.

Apparently the Shabiha do not want either the regime or the opposition, they are seemingly intent on destroying the country.

The fighting is now raging in Syria's largest city, Aleppo where Assad’s strategy again is to keep up a steady bombardment of the rebels just as he did in Homs until they are crushed.

The only difference now is that the Free Syrian army are not only in the city but they are also in control of the countryside around the city and they believe that they are now winning.

It is a shame that the regime of Bashir Assad did not step down earlier, but they wanted to stay in power no matter at what cost.

Hopefully the regime will be toppled soon and life can resume its normal every day rhythm and the people of Syria will be safe once more.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Mellow Moments.

Oscar Dominguez.

Despite the heat wave we are having right now I'm managing to stay reasonably cool.

This is marvellous because it means I don't feel terrible all the time, as I would do if we did not have this temporary air cooling solution.

The appointment for the installation of the air conditioning on Tuesday afternoon is something I'm very much looking forward to.

It would be brilliant if they can install a mobile air-conditioning unit that allows the hot air to be expelled outside, so the system can work properly.

Right now I think we're getting too much hot air inside, as we can't hang the ventilator tube out of the window.

Which explains why sometimes I feel warm air instead of cool air, however our system of having a small electric fan right next to me working in tandem with a conditioning seems to work.

Richie has taken the dogs to the park now, where I'm sure they're running around barking their heads off, which must be a beautiful sight.

The weather seems to be changing now, as the clouds have become very thick and there is now a dense cloud cover over the city.

It looks as if it could rain at any moment, seems that the brief summer heat wave is already coming to an end after only five days.

This is very sad for all those enjoying the hot weather, I wish I could enjoy it too and I do as long as I can stay cool.

There's nothing lovelier than seeing the street outside bathed in sunshine and hearing the mellow sounds of happy neighbours, I love it.

Now I'm looking forward to seeing Richie coming back from the park with those lovely dogs, when my darling Richie is back we will enjoy the evening together.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Taking It Easy.

Oscar Dominguez.

Last night the combination of the air conditioning unit in the hall and the fan next to my bed, allowed me to sleep well.

This afternoon I had an excellent physiotherapy session with Mathilde, the   physiotherapist who comes here twice a week.

The sessions always do me a lot of good, my arms and shoulders are much less tense than they were before Mathilde massaged them after we did the exercises.

Today I've decided to take it easy and enjoy the fact that the room is pleasantly cool despite the outside temperature being above 30°.

On Monday afternoon Richie saw the doctor, because he was starting to feel the first signs of his skin complaint happening again.

He should have started taking the antibiotics that night in order in order to prevent it spreading.

Due to some mix-up, Richie did not get the antibiotics until yesterday which means it has developed from itchy fingers to being extremely painful.

If only the antibiotics had been brought around on Monday, Richie would not be in such discomfort.

This stage it reached yesterday is when Richie fingers start to lose a layer of skin, this makes doing anything painful for him.

Hopefully now he has started taking the tablets they will halt the further progress of this nasty skin complaint.

My plan now is to post this once I have found a picture for this piece, then I intend to relax and enjoy the evening together with Richie.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Enjoy Sitting

Oscar Dominguez.

Yesterday suddenly it became warm, for the first time this summer, it is has been cool, grey and overcast with a lot of rain, often under storms.

The only warm weather was in April, cool weather started in May, and continued in June, the 21st of June is Midsummer and supposed to be the longest day.

This year it was the most miserable day, the city had a thick cloud cover all day, there was not a glimmer of sunshine and instead of it being the longest day it was a gloomy day and by 18.30 in the evening it was dark.

Not what I call Midsummer and since then it has not improved, it has been a miserable summer, sadly one which suited me very well as I cannot cope with the heat anymore.

During the day yesterday I managed to cope with a fan right next to me, this was good as long as there was also cool breeze coming in the window, as soon as the breeze stopped it became unpleasant.

That was the situation around 23.00 so Richie got our mobile air-conditioning unit and put it in the hall next to the toilet so that the hot air would escape through the ventilator.

Not all does, which means that the hot air gets into the hall as well as the bedroom and because my bed is at the end of the room I don't get full benefit of the cool air.

As the airco cannot reach into the bedroom the best Richie could do was position it in the doorway and leave the fan on next to me so that cool air will be circulated around the room.

Not a perfect system but the best we can do at the moment, it meant I could sleep without any interruptions last night and I've been relaxed today and not feeling any of the ill effects that I felt yesterday.

This afternoon I received confirmation that the appointment for the installation of the air-conditioning was next Tuesday the 31st and I received the confirmation that I will get Seetech on the 7th of August.

At 14.30 I had an appointment with Kees van Roekel, from Welzorg, this was the final evaluation of the bed support system which I got at the end of February, today I received another foam rubber support for my hip.

 This extra support by my hip will stop my hip moving this causes me to slump to the left, as soon as I got it this afternoon it improved my life, Richie has only had to do two small adjustments of my left shoulder since 14.30 when I got the additional support.

That is really good seeing as it's now 20.00, that is 5 1/2 hours of uninterrupted sitting, which is absolutely brilliant this really is the best thing that has happened recently, it has given me back the pleasure of sitting without needing constant help.

It's amazing that such a small piece of foam propping up my hips on either side has enabled me to sit comfortably in one position, this is really brilliant, Kees is an excellent engineer for coming up with this solution at this moment.

This will allow me to enjoy sitting in bed without slumping and needing Richie's help and assistance constantly, I feel like a load has been lifted from my shoulders, well done Kees from Welzorg. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

An Olympic Jamboree

 Oscar Dominguez.

On the Victoria Derbyshire show on Radio 5 live, this morning I heard some shocking facts about the negative effects the Olympics is having in East London where the games are taking place.

Currently there are 40 percent of children who are living in poverty in the Borough of Newham, East London.

Rent, rates have just been increased by 40 percent because house prices and rents have gone up due to the Olympic Games.

This is has been directly caused due to the high rents that the large high-street branches are paying in the new shopping centre.

Residents are not adequately informed of a variety of events, such as anti aircraft missiles being placed on the roof of several high-rise flats on housing estates around Stratford, east London where the Olympics are taking place.

They were also not informed that there would be a rehearsal of the fireworks display which will be part of the opening ceremony on Friday, nor were they asked to see the fireworks.

The combination of having these missiles on their roofs against their will, and hearing what they thought was gunfire and explosives, after midnight was dreadful.

Children were woken up screaming in terror, because nobody knew what was going on, for all they knew it was a terrorist attack.

Many shops in High Street in Stratford closed and are already boarded up; this is due to the effects of the large new shopping centre right next to the Olympic stadium.

Victoria spoke to many residents of Stratford, some of them businesspeople who have been experiencing major problems.

Many companies were based on the land where they wanted to build the Olympic stadium and other venues.

Companies, who had long leases and low rents, were made to move on to another site called Fish Island where they are now facing huge logistical problems.

Due to the Olympic Games the companies cannot guarantee their customers that they will be able to gain access to the industrial estate.

Some companies, such as building firms and a large printing company are facing a bleak future which may force them out of business.

On the high street a cafe is losing £500 every day because of the shopping centre, which is full of High Street shops.

When London won the Olympic bid in 2005, there was a lot of talk about this event regenerating the East End of London as well as leaving a legacy.

There doesn't seem to be very much evidence of a long-lasting regeneration nor the legacy for the area which can be used by local working-class residents.

So far I've just heard about the logistic nightmare traffic around the city, the fact that local cab drivers are not allowed to look for customers near the Olympic venues.

Local shops have lost their business to the new Westfield shopping centre, an enormous McDonalds will make sure obesity and diabetes gets even worse.

At the disaster of the recruitment of security staff by an international security company, G4S has cost many working-class people their prospect of employment.

An Olympic money making jamboree for the Olympic Committee and the multinational sponsor companies.

Monday, July 23, 2012

At The End There May Be A Rainbow

Oscar Dominguez.

On Friday afternoon I was waiting to get a call from RTD Het Dorp, the company who will be supplying me with the Seetech computer.

Despite agreeing a time to call back, which was three o'clock, they neither kept their promise, nor could they be bothered to send me an e-mail. 

This morning I expected to find an e-mail in my inbox, however there was nothing, at 15.30 I called them.

My call was answered after ages, then the receptionist put me on hold for more than 4 minutes of horrible music then I lost the connection.

On calling back I was told that the colleague I wanted to speak to was busy on the phone, I enquired whether I should call back in 5 minutes I was told they would ring me.

This did not really convince me, I put the phone down and quite amazingly after 10 minutes I got a telephone call from the company.

However they didn't want to make an appointment, as Friday's caller wanted to, Rita only wanted to discuss whether I actually needed a German dictionary.

I really couldn't believe that was what the call was about, seeing as I discussed this intensively with both my occupational therapist and the representative Werner from RTD Het Dorp.

Werner had found a German dictionary for the Seetech computer, he informed me in an e-mail what the price was and I sent him an e-mail saying okay.

It seems that only after I have paid for the dictionary, will they will instruct their planning department to make an appointment to deliver the Seetech computer.

Not long after this slightly disappointing telephone call, I had another, this time about the air conditioning.

Next week Tuesday at two o'clock I have an appointment with somebody who will come here to see how and where to install the air conditioning unit.

If RTD Het Dorp gets their act together perhaps the Seetech computer will also be delivered next week.

Brilliant to think soon I will have had all the things that I currently need, when that happens I will be very happy, I can't wait.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Senseless Acts Of Violence.

Oscar Dominguez.

The news that 12 people were killed and more than 50 were wounded at a midnight premiere of a Batman film in a suburb of Denver, Colorado was shocking.

Devastating to hear the details of those killed, one of them was a six-year old child; and among the wounded a baby of four months.

A truly horrible story, all those people going there to enjoy the first viewing of a new film, they must have been very excited to be there.

Until they realised one of the audience had launched an attack on them, dreadful to think of their excitement turning to blind panic.

What happened was a totally senseless, irrational act; one that I think was made possible by the ease with which the perpetrator could acquire guns.

I find it really hard to believe that in America you can legally buy guns so easily and it seems that they are available everywhere.

Apparently you can buy them in Wal-Mart, which surprised me somewhat, as large supermarkets in Europe do not sell guns.

Supermarkets like Sainsbury's and Tesco in England do not have a gun department down the corridor from children's toys and accessories.

Maybe if it were made impossible to pop into a shopping mall and acquire handguns, shotguns, semiautomatic and automatic weapons.

In England you can only acquire a shot gun to shoot rabbits or birds if you have a license, you can no longer buy handguns.

It may not be a perfect way to control the use of firearms; it certainly keeps down the number of incidents involving the use of guns.

The other thing that needs to be changed is the film industry fixation with promoting violence as something intrinsically masculine.

Films like the ones in which Bruce Willis made his name, totally glorify violence, they send a message that killing can resolve situations.

These films seem to say that killing can be good if you kill the right people; what dreadful propaganda.

I believe that not allowing guns to be freely sold in shops needs to be underpinned by a different mentality in the film industry in Hollywood.

They need to stop making the link between being a man and being violent; Hollywood has been responsible for promoting a culture of violence which should not be tolerated any longer.

Perhaps when guns and violence are no longer presented as acceptable and guns are no longer easily bought maybe there will not be any more shooting sprees in America.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Sunshine In My Life.

Salvador Dali.

Life is getting extremely difficult for me right now, and that is because my spine is becoming more deformed, so it's difficult for me to sit straight.

Richie does his best to get me sitting well-balanced, however it's not easy to achieve this, usually within minutes it's not good anymore.

This happened again today, Richie spent ages trying to get me sitting in a balanced position.

After about 15 minutes, he got the result he wanted and raised the head of the bed, so I could sit up.

By the time he put my computer table in front of me with the laptop on it, my position had changed and I was slumped to the left.

It is extremely frustrating for both of us and uncomfortable as well as quite painful when I can't maintain my position for more than a few minutes.

When I got the bed supports near the end of February, they worked well and I did not need so many adjustments.

That lasted until May when I started to need Richie’s help more often and this has been becoming more frequent since June.

My problems maintaining my position becomes much worse when the temperature goes beyond 22°.

Today the weather is not a problem for me, the lack of muscles, and my crooked spine are.

This is not easy to cope with, for either Richie nor for me, we do our best to cope, which is all we can do.

Richie is brilliant at devising strategies that help me; he makes life better for me despite all the difficulties of living with a progressive disease like Multiple Sclerosis.

Richie is the sunshine in my life, being here with him makes life good and motivates me to keep making the best of everything and enjoy the moment.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Something To Look Forward To..

Oscar Dominguez
Amazingly the sun came out after lunch and it's been a sunny afternoon with big fluffy clouds drifting by, they are now getting denser as well as dark.

So for once the whole afternoon has been pleasant, the kids playing on the play area opposite certainly sound like they're enjoying it very much.

Hopefully Richie and the dogs will be back from the park before the dark ominous clouds start to shower us with torrential rain as it did night before last.

It has been a really bad summer over here, very worrying for farmers as well as people’s allotments and vegetable/fruit and flower gardens.

Global warming does not mean long warm summers; instead it seems to mean intolerable heat waves for some, while for others like in Northern Europe now it means cool, wet weather, not summer weather.

Recently I've needed a lot more adjustments of my position in bed as well as in the shower chair, some days it feels like I'm constantly needing Richie's help.

But every now and again, like right now I'm sitting reasonably well a whole hour after Richie last adjusted my position, I am slightly leaning to the left but I can keep dictating without any problem.

The Dragon voice recognition software is good, although it can be quite frustrating at times when it writes something I did not say.

When the dogs start barking I have to try to switch the microphone off quickly otherwise I get sentences of either gobbledygook or just a series of are.

Often a whole sentence will appear that I never once mentioned, just now there were two sentences full of random words.

One thing I've noticed is that the speech recognition software does not recognise swear words so if I want to use them I have to enter them into the vocabulary.

I've entered quite a few names, strangely there are few that don't get recognised even after I've enter them into the vocabulary.

I was phoned by somebody from RTD Het Dorp, who wanted to make an appointment for them to bring me the Seetech computer.

When I received the phone call Richie was massaging and exercising my arms and legs, I was asked whether it would be better for the caller to try later on.

This was an excellent suggestion sadly she did not call me back at the agreed time nor did she send me an e-mail as she said she would do if she could not call me.

Hopefully I will get an appointment on Monday for the equipment to be brought round as soon as possible; I am looking forward to learning how to use Seetech.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Good News..

Oscar Dominguez

Today I've received some good news; the first was from Werner, the salesman/advisor from RTD Het Dorp that my health insurance has given the go-ahead for Seetech.

What a relief it was to get the news that finally I would be getting the eye controlled software which I've been asking for since February last year.

Right now I don't care as long as I get it as soon as possible, so that I can learn how to use it, hopefully I'll become Seetech literate quite quickly.

The other good news came in the form of a registered letter from Mrs Yildiz from the Amsterdam council’s legal department.

It was a long densely written bureaucratic letter which went through point by point what the council’s duty of care to the handicap was.

As well is outlining exactly in what circumstances an application for air conditioning would be agreed to.

While stating in the letter that I won my appeal, it also mentions that there could be a problem with abnormal levels of heat in this apartment.

In the letter it says that the investigator Hans de Graaf from Mozaak had asked me this question as well is whether I asked my landlords for assistance with my problem with the heat.

The letter states that because I did not cooperate with this part of the investigation, and that is the reason in negative decision had been made by the investigator.

I of course answered all the questions including those two, informing the investigator of the problem was my MS which my landlord could not help me with.

Mrs. Yildiz goes on to explain that she has decided to overturn the negative decision and give me air conditioning.

The letter does not tell me what type of air conditioning I will get nor does it tell me who will install it or when we can expect it to happen.

Seeing as its holiday time right now in the Netherlands, I will have to wait a bit longer to hear.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Everything Went Well.

Oscar Dominguez.

Last night, Richie and I decided to change the catheter after Milou, the wound nurse had been to check on the progress of the pressure wound today.

After Milou had taken a swab and a photo of the wound she left again not before she made an appointment for three weeks time on 8th of August.

I was trying to remain calm cool and relaxed, but wasn't really fooling either myself or Richie that I was any of those things, nevertheless I did remain calm.

Richie got me some THC vapour which I slowly inhaled by simply by placing the tube in my mouth.

Quite soon I felt myself becoming relaxed, despite noticing that Richie had been getting all the equipment assembled for the catheter change.

Watching this made me a touch apprehensive but I managed to stay pretty relaxed despite this little wobble.

Richie had no sooner got everything he needed when he started the procedure, before I knew it, Richie had emptied the catheter balloon.

Then he removed the old catheter, which I hardly noticed except for a momentary tingle and then it was out and thrown in the bin.

When I asked if he was about to put the new catheter in, Richie told me it had already been inserted, this time I had felt nothing.

Really brilliant, the whole procedure went very well, without any problems or any discomfort for me.

Richie had to laugh because apparently I looked massively relieved and overjoyed when he told me that the new catheter had been inserted.

The news about the catheter was the best news ever at that moment, as soon as I heard those words, the tension in my shoulders evaporated away.

Now it's done I feel wonderful, it really was a weight off my shoulders, only when it was gone did I realise what a burden it had been.

After a wonderful pampering shower, Richie dressed, perfumed me and put earrings in my ears and rings on my fingers.

Then he installed me comfortably back in bed where I am enjoying writing this post and looking forward to enjoying this evening with my Darling Richie.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Keeping Calm.

Oscar Dominguez

Today is another dreary, grey, overcast cool day which is more suitable for the end of October than the 17th of July which it is.

This week is when my catheter gets changed again; I hope that this time Richie will be able to get the new catheter in without any problems.

The last time it took a little time before Richie could insert it, and the time before it took hours and even calling the doctor did not help.

Richie got it in that time because he changed the angle of insertion, last time it worked because he used the thinner catheter, it had been a 16 now it is a size 14.

The size is of no interest to me what really matters, is that it happens as quickly as possible, it's a shame there has been some problems with changing catheters.

As I was fairly relaxed about the whole procedure, I began to realise that any discomfort I experienced would only be of a brief duration, a matter of seconds.

But since it has been a problem twice is got me feeling quite apprehensive about the procedure, which I know I really don't have to be.

Not sure that I can really do too much about this anxiety apart from relaxing and focusing that nervous energy into other activities.

Such as writing my posts for my blog and concentrating on other things, it works to an extent but it does not stop me thinking about the change of catheter.

Tomorrow Milou, the wound nurse will visit here, to check on the progress of my wound, I hope that there is noticeable change since she was last here.

Two of my least favourite things happening in the same week, no wonder I'm feeling so apprehensive.

Now to convince myself that I really don't have to be nervous about either of these events, either changing the catheter or seeing Milou.

Seeing Richie and the dogs coming back from the park will change my mood as well as make me smile and enjoy the evening in the company of Richie.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Communication Is Vital for Our Understanding.

When I briefly visited Face book this afternoon, I noticed a discussion critical of people who use violence to teach their children about right and wrong.

Amazing to think that people, actually believe that hitting a small child could be beneficial either for the child, or the person inflicting violence on a vulnerable child.

In my opinion it teaches them negative things, such as they can't trust their parents, that violence is good, also don't get caught then you won't be punished.

None of these are a positive leIf you are new to thesson, but it's not surprising especially when you don't know why you're being hit, like I never knew why it happened when I was growing up

Sometimes I'll be sitting reading when suddenly I would be slapped around the head or hit with a belt for no reason that was obvious to me.

Something like that is very scary, especially to a child, I've heard and read about people saying that they were hit when they were kids and it never did them any harm.

This is something I totally disagree with as I think did me a lot of harm and it's something that I will never forget as long as I live.

I totally agree with the Face book discussion when they said that violence was being used instead of talking to children, verbal communication is essential for our understanding.

Instead of hitting children and expecting them to learn from this violence I believe it is much better to talk to them and explain things.

It is essential that children learn to understand that they have to be aware of the people and the environment around them and how their behaviour can affect the community they live in.

That is what parents should be doing; they should be talking to their children, explaining and giving them the tools they need to survive in this world.

This can only be done by verbal communication, it is essential to explain how to become a useful and productive part of the community to children.

Talking helps to not only create a strong bond between children and their parents but it also helps them to understand the world around them.

I am totally in favour of communication and totally opposed to violence being used as a way of organising society or educating children.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A Boxing Contest.

Oscar  Dominguez.

Yesterday evening late we watched the boxing contest at West Ham’s football ground Upton Park, East London between David Hay and Derek Chisora.

David Hay came on to the familiar tune of McFadden and whitehead’s Ain’t No Stopping Us Now, he was totally concentrated on the fight ahead not a flicker of emotion visible in his face.

His entrance was simple, David Hay walked towards the ring wearing his blue white and red boxing shorts and a red T-shirt and with an umbrella held over his head to shield him from the pouring rain.

There were 40,000 spectators present at the venue, the rain could not dampen the crowds excited anticipation of the fight.

Derek Chisora’s entrance was more dramatic he was wearing a long coat with a hood which made him look like a ghoulish character from Star Wars.

The fight started immediately with a dynamic confrontation between the two boxers, Derek looked in good form.

Round one went to David Hay, as did the next three rounds, although Derek Chisora put up a good fight it became obvious that David had the upper hand .

This became more noticeable in round four and in round five David knocked Derek to the ground with a classic two punch combination, a huge left and a massive right punch.

The referee counted Derek back to his feet and the fight resumed but not for long as David Hay knocked him down for the second time with three left hooks and two left hooks all in one combination.

The fight was over in five rounds, and David Hay was the winner, when it was all over David Hay and Derek Chisora embraced, their enmity now forgotten.

Derek praised David and in his turn David Hay was complimentary about Derek Chisora saying there was no doubt in his mind that Derek was a future champion.

David Hay managed to knock out Derek Chisora in the fifth round something that the world middleweight champion Vitali Klitschko could not manage in their 12 round fight in Munchen, Germany earlier in the year.

David Hay winning was exactly what the crowd wanted to happen, Derek Chisora demonstrated that he was not only a good fighter but an honourable one too something that will be to his advantage in the future.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

More Good News

 Oscar Dominguez

Just had some good news from Richie's sister Aud, that she contacted Google right away to inform them about the malware problem on my blog.

The next time she wanted to read my blog she no longer got any messages about malware which is a relief.

Google must have acted quickly, it is good to know that they are proactive it is reassuring.

Today was the last day that we have the use of special lotion on our hair and body; we are hoping that it has been effective.

It be good to know that Richie is finally clear of this nasty bacteria which is obviously been the reason for his re-occurring nasty skin problems.

This afternoon I suddenly thought that we had not really celebrated the fact that I had managed to get air conditioning from the Amsterdam Council.

A remarkable achievement and I really can't wait to get the official letter so that I can get Richie to scan it and send it to Ango, the National organisation for the handicapped in the Netherlands.

What amuses me is how long it took for the penny to drop that I had indeed had an astonishing victory against Amsterdam Council.

On Thursday I was very calm when Anja told me and also when I told Richie the good news, amazing I did not realise then what an achievement it was.

Getting good news that the bacteria have been eliminated due to the lotion and the antibiotics would make it a hat-trick of good news.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Finally Good News.

Oscar Dominguez 

The other day I had an e-mail from Richie's sister telling me that when she tried to access my blog she got a warning that there was malware on it.

I received no warning from Google, nor has anybody else mentioned this to me, the night I got Aud's e-mail Richie could access my blog without getting any warning.

If anybody else has seen a warning about malware could they please let me know, and if they know how to get rid of it on the blog that would be even better.

I did have a warning about malware on my blog living with MS on Blog. com,when I read the information about the warning it became clear that there was no evidence of malware actually on that blog.

I hope that nobody else has had a warning about malware on my Google blog and it proves to also be a false alarm.

It is very worrying however as I would hate to think my blog had been hijacked and was being used to attack other peoples computers.

Yesterday my friend Anja called Mrs Yildiz from Amsterdam Councils legal department who is responsible for making the decision about my air conditioning.

Apparently Mrs Yildiz has decided to ignore the negative advice from Hans de Graaf, the investigator, and give me air conditioning.

She would not give Anja any details just that I would be getting air conditioning and it would be installed by a council department.

So I still don't know whether it is a mobile air conditioning unit or the whole apartment, I will have to wait to receive the letter informing me of the Council’s decision.

I don't care which type of air conditioning I get as long as it works well and I no longer have to endure sudden hot weather.

It has been quite a struggle to get Amsterdam Council to give me air conditioning.

As soon as I get a letter from the council, I will inform ANGO, the National organisation for the handicapped who I hope will be able to use this legal precedent to help other people apply for air conditioning.

So it seems that finally there is some good news which is really brilliant, it just shows you that if you persevere you will get a result.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Thunder And Lightning

Oscar Dominguez 

Yesterday evening when Richie and the dogs were in the park, I saw dark clouds and thought that any moment there would be a thunderstorm.

Luckily nothing happened while Richie was in the park, and the dogs had a great time.

Later on after we had gone to sleep there was a thunderstorm which went on for hours, every time I thought it was finished there was another roll of thunder.

It was accompanied by torrential rain which lasted all night until it was daylight.

The noise of the storm and the rain was soon replaced by the sound of birds on the bird feeder outside the bedroom window.

There were jackdaws who like the fat balls and parakeets that come for the peanuts as well as blue and great tits.

We have been thinking about putting a web cam on the balcony so that we can see exactly which birds visit our bird feeder.

A couple weeks ago a woodpecker was one of the visitors; at our last apartment we saw 24 types of birds in the garden behind us.

We saw sparrows in the garden but since we're live here I have not seen any not surprisingly as they like to stay close to the ground.

The other reason we don't see them so much is that they are becoming almost extinct in the Netherlands.

Despite the storm last night I somehow managed to sleep which was good, today is the third day of the bacteria treatment and it is going well.

Next week Tuesday Richie has an appointment with our doctor, so she can take swabs in order to check if the treatment has been successful.

I expect we will have to wait at least a week to get the results back from the laboratory so we have to be patient and hope it has worked.

It will be brilliant if Richie is finally cured of this horrible skin infection which has been so painful for him for the last four years.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

More Waiting.

Oscar Dominguez

The weather is still miserable, at the moment I can hear thunder, the clouds are dark and the sun came out like a last hurrah before a storm.

This afternoon I had a pleasant visit from Anja, we had arranged it when she was here two weeks ago to assist me with some paperwork.

Today we had intended to brainstorm how to get Amsterdam Council to install the air conditioning.

Yesterday I received an e-mail from my case manager informing me that the council had decided to give me one mobile air-conditioning unit.

When Anja telephoned Mrs Yildiz in order to get more information about this, she was told she did not work on Wednesdays.

Anja will telephone her again tomorrow morning and see if she can obtain more information from Mrs Yildiz then.

I'm curious how they will install it, maybe they think we have ordinary windows under which you can place a mobile air-conditioning unit and hang the extractor tube out of the window.

This is not possible in our apartment as all the windows go from floor to ceiling,
the mobile unit that we have does not work well at all because we can't put it under a window.

The only place Richie could find was next to the toilet door, he cut a round hole in the wall for the extractor hose.

The hot air goes into the toilet where we have the extractor fan running continuously, this makes the toilet unusable because of the hot air.

The other problem is that the extractor tube is not long enough for the unit to be put in the bedroom so it’s near the door.

Which means it is not as effective as it should be if we could install it correctly, it will be very interesting to get more information tomorrow after Anja’s call.

While Anja was here she got a call from Paul Loos from De Alliantie my landlords, who she tried to contact on Monday about the whole air-conditioning saga.

She explained that we've now heard Amsterdam Council was going to give me one mobile air-conditioning unit.

However we have no further information, we don't even know how or even if they will install it, Paul Loos asked to be kept informed.

More waiting hopefully some answers tomorrow and who knows there may even be a resolution in sight.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Never Ending Skin Problems.

Jan Toorop

Today there is still dense cloud cover and it is very cool, in fact it is quite cold definitely October weather not summer weather appropriate for July.

We have had to start a new routine which will last for five days; Richie apparently has some bacteria which is resistant to antibiotics.

So we have to use a special lotion for hair and body which has to stay on for 3 minutes before showering off.

After the shower we both have to have some cream put into our nostrils, and Richie has to take antibiotics specifically for these bacteria as well as apply cream.

This helps explain why Richie’s skin kept getting one after the other of this horrible reaction, it damages the skin on his hands and feet.

No wonder that it kept coming back; Richie has had this recurring problem for the last four years, but never so often as this year.

When it starts affecting his hands everything Richie does is painful and seeing as he has to look after me, it means constant use of his hands.

Hoisting me out of bed, removing clothes showering me and drying, manicures and pedicures plus plucking my facial hair.

As well as constantly having to adjust my position both in the shower chair and in bed.

Not pleasant sight having to witness Richie's discomfort when he has to carry out these tasks, which have to be done day and night.

The lotion for hair and body is not the nicest fragrance but that is a minor inconvenience compared to the pain and discomfort Richie has had to put up with.

We are both hopeful that this course of treatment will finally be the solution for Richie seemingly never ending skin problems; it would be excellent if that were the case.