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Life as a Scot in California

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Archive for the ‘Accidents’ Category

There’ll be Sair Herts

Posted by berkeleyscot on April 2, 2009

I grew up in a fishing family in the North East of Scotland… Everyone who knows me, knows that already, I suppose.

I am very saddened by the latest tragedy in the North Sea, off the Moray Firth Coast.  A helicopter, carrying oil rig workers back to Aberdeen, from a rig, crashed into the sea. To date, no survivors have been reported.

It used to be wives waiting at the quay for news of their men lost at sea.

Now, where do the wives and families go to wait?

As Alex  Salmond said, “There’s great wealth in the North Sea, but there is a huge cost in extracting it.”


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Can I Start 2009 Now?

Posted by berkeleyscot on January 12, 2009

I’ve been in a foggy funk for the first 2 weeks of 2009. I’ve been in shock and in an awkward pain. Not only, just the pain of my broken arm, but also, an assortment of bumps and bruises all over.

(How happy I am to be able to use the Latin construction; “Not only…but also…”, “Neque solum…sed etiam”)

All I want to do is to get rid of the pillow I clutch to my bosom as I wander round the house.

I want a clean brace. I’ve worn this one, 24×7, for 2 weeks and it’s smelly.

It’s smells of hospital, iodine and foost.

I have an appointment with the surgeon later this afternoon.

Maybe he’ll let my 2009 get going!

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In Sickness and in Health

Posted by berkeleyscot on January 12, 2009

I thought I was making progress, but I’m not so sure.

I am tired all the time and yet I am not going without sleep.

I’m tired of thinking of my broken arm and I’m tired of the bruises and blisters.

My accomplishments today were to get my hair washed, with Richard’s help, and to floss my teeth.

Richard deserves a lot of praise for his observing this particular marriage vow.

Mind you, we got married in a registry office in Cambridge.

I don’t remember if we exchanged vows or just signed papers.

We had no wordly goods to endow to each other.

I’m richt sair made.

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“Do You Always Walk That Way…”

Posted by berkeleyscot on January 6, 2009

Asked the nurse who had just officially discharged me from the Surgery Center.  She was accompanying me to the waiting area where Richard was to collect me.

I’ve given lots of thought to this kind of question.

I’d like to say, “How do I walk? Show me!”

But, I was immediately post-surgery and anesthetized at that moment and just needed to go home, so I admitted that I do always ‘walk that way.’

Cerebral Palsy will complicate my physiotherapy. I will have to explain that I couldn’t make a fist with my right hand before and I won’t be able to now.

I never could write with my right hand so calligraphy is not going to happen.

A close friend said, “I’ve always thought you must be right-handed, because, although your hand-writing is legible, it’s as if you’re a right-handed person, writing with your left hand!”

It’s curious that I had planned to experiment with cerebral palsy in 2009. By that, I mean, attempting to do things that I haven’t done in a long time – getting on a bus, for example.

How much is the aging process affecting me? What is it like to age with cerebral palsy?

AND – how do people REALLY see me?

When I was in the operating theatre, and before I went under, the crew chatted to me, thusly… “How boring that you tripped on the sidewalk and did not fall on the ski slopes… You’ll be driving by the end of the month… You’ll be using your right hand again!”

I am in awe of my great surgeon and the work he did to fix my arm – but the Surgery Center isn’t Lourdes, and yes, I will always ‘walk this way…’

I’ll just be so happy to see my wee right hand again in its natural curled up cerebral palsy state.

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The Surgery Center

Posted by berkeleyscot on January 4, 2009

I had my wrist surgery on January 2, 2009, at The Surgery Center.

The reception area, with stuffed couches and subdued lighting, looks more like a comfortable bed and breakfast rather than a medical facility. But breakfast is not provided.

I had a private waiting room and excellent care, but I’m still waiting for a full English breakfast!

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Alignment and Spacing is the Feature of the Formatting Palette

Posted by berkeleyscot on January 2, 2009

Tomorrow the broken bones of my right wrist will be aligned and girded.

On Tuesday, December 30, 2008, I fell on the sidewalk and broke 2 bones in my right wrist.

This is the introduction to a complicated adventure.

From now till post-surgery, it’s ‘nil-by-mouth.’

Not even Hamlet’s Dad’s stuff in the ear!

Posted in Accidents, Living | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

A Hogmanay Tragedy

Posted by berkeleyscot on January 9, 2008

On December 31, 2007, Richard and I were driving to North Berkeley to buy Dungeness crabs from Andronico’s.

As we drove east on Marin Ave, a police officer diverted us away from the area. There were a lot of police cars.  We could tell it was a serious situation and the police cars and diversions were still there when we drove home.

A neighbour told us traffic was still being diverted that evening, but nobody knew why.

I forgot about it until January 4, 2008 when I picked up a copy of our local free newspaper, the Berkeley Daily Planet.

A report of the incident was on the front page. According to the reported time of the incident, we had just missed witnessing a horrific traffic accident.

Marin Ave is not really pedestrian friendly, and although there are crosswalks, traffic usually goes faster than it should.

A woman, on her regular morning walk was in the crosswalk, and was struck and killed by an elderly driver, who was turning right onto Marin Ave. The driver claimed that the sun was in her eyes and she did not see the victim.

This tragedy was made even worse by the fact that the victim was carrying only her house and car keys and had no identification.

Police officers knocked on doors and tried to activate cars, hoping for an identity clue, but were unsuccessful.

The newspaper report said that the victim’s husband called police at 5:30pm that evening to report her missing.

I don’t know what to say.

She went for a walk, as she always did.

The sun was in the driver’s eyes. The victim has now been identified as a well-known, local, psychiatrist.

The driver, age given as 79, will have forever the burden of the sun in her eyes.

What a tragedy.

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