Books, life the universe

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Books read and reading

Rattle his Bones by Carola Dunn - one of her Daisy Dalrymple series. Daisy is researching a series of articles about the Natural History Museum and is inadvertently one of the first people of the scene when one of the curators is murdered. The professional rivalries are extremely well done in my opinion. This series is growing on me.

Flights of Angels by Victoria Connelly - chick lit with angels - which could have been twee and sickly and is actually really well done. First published in German and made into a film in Germany and only recently available in English thanks to the e-book revolution which enables authors themselves to produce their own ebooks.

Death of a Sweep by M C Beaton - latest in the Hamish Macbeth series. Milly Davenport comes home from a shopping trip to find her husband dead and stuffed up the chimney and the sweep missing. Hamish eventually gets to the bottom of the mystery.

Ivory Dagger and The Brading Collection - both by Patricia Wentworth. Cosy mysteries in the classic detective story mould with Miss Silver imperturbably knitting, watching and listening.

How to Leave Twitter by Grace Dent. I thought it might enlighten me about why people join Twitter in the first place. Seems the reason is because everyone else has joined. I can see that people can like watching it - in a sort of car crash fascination way but apart from that it really isn't something I actually want to take part in. I might change my mind - but not yet.

Currently reading

Agatha Raisin and the Love from Hell by M C Beaton. Agatha is married to James Lacey but things aren't as blissful as she had hoped.

The Devil's Sonata by Elizabeth Edmondson (AKA Elizabeth Aston and Elizabeth Pewsey) This is a story set in a Yorkshire girls' school located in a former abbey. Zuleika has come over from the USA to study a Grimoire discovered hidden in a pillar in the cloisters but she is unhappy about the atmosphere.

Mountjoy fans will be pleased to know that the rest of Elizabeth Pewsey's Mountjoy series will all be available in e-book format by the end of this month.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Yet more books and matters medical

Books first: I'm still enjoying Lindsey Davis's Falco series. Last night I finished listening to an audio book of Saturnalia - which is one of the later books in the series. This sees Falco - married to Helena Justina and with two small daughters - trying to wend his way through the Roman celebrations of the feast of Saturnalia keep a clear head, solve a murder and find the missing Barbarian Priestess Veleda as well as rescuing his brother -in-law Justinus. I've also read Venus in Copper - which is number three in the series and have just started number four - The Iron Hand of Mars.

In between forays into ancient Rome I've been reading some more of Patricia Wentworth's excellent crime novels featuring Miss Maud Silver, who knits imperturbably through all her cases and still manages to unravel the mystery by staying, unnoticed in the background. The two books I've read in the last few days are Latter End and Eternity Ring - both excellent mysteries which kept me guessing until pretty nearly the end.

I am currently reading Royal Pain by Rhys Bowen about Lady Georgiana - 34th in line to the British throne - who has a Bavarian princess billeted on her by order of the Queen. Princess Hannelore is the 'pain' of the title. The book is set in the 1930s and is quite amusing and well written. I should have started with the first one but as this one was only 0.99 in an Amazon ebook sale I thought I'd try this one first. I am enjoying it and I think I shall probably go on to read the rest in the series.

Matters medical

My OH - MJR - has a chronic lung condition, lung fibrosis, for which there is no known cure apart from a transplant and for which the only treatment is oxygen. He has been on oxygen at night for the last 6 years and it was increased from 11 hours to 15 hours in every 24 late last year. He also has a portable cylinder for use when he is out of the house.

Every so often he has to wear a machine which measures his oxygen levels and pulse rate overnight and whose results can be downloaded to a computer and analysed. He had one of these machines in March. Yesterday he received a letter saying he could stop using his oxygen because the results of his test in March were good.

My immediate reaction was what??!!!! accompanied by one or two rather stronger words than that. In May he had an operation and it was touch and go whether that went ahead because his oxygen levels were so low before the operation. All the time he was in there they were giving him oxygen - every time he took his mask off to drink the alarms went off. We think on reflection that they may have thought that the machine he wore in March was while he was not on oxygen when in fact it was while he was on oxygen - or that they've got him mixed up with someone else.

He has a pulse-oximeter himself and wore it last night to see what the results were without oxygen and is currently downloading them to a computer ready to print out and send to the hospital with a fairly strongly worded letter. When he was wearing the machine yesterday and just lying in bed his oxygen levels were 88% - a normal healthy person would have oxygen levels in the high 90s. I know when he was first put on oxygen our GP said if it went down to 85% regularly during the day he would have to be on oxygen 24 hours a day.

I'm usually very complimentary of the NHS especially in this area but now I'm getting annoyed with them. In January MJR ended up in hospital because he'd been given too high a dose of Warfarin to prevent blood clots and was bleeding from his kidneys. Once again the GP has done the same thing and given him too high a dose for too long and his INR is dangerously high which means if he has an accident he could bleed to death. I'm keeping him away from anything sharp.

He has avoided hospital this time only because he isn't bleeding from anywhere - well as far as we know he isn't - and he has stopped taking Warfarin for a few days and is due to have it checked again tomorrow. So this is the second time in just over six months that he's been give the wrong dose for a sustained period of time. They use a computer programme to assess the dose but clearly there is something wrong with it as they were getting on better deciding on the dose themselves as it was almost always stable and needed little variation in the number of tablets he took.

We are not happy bunnies.