Higher than expected …


I had my INR (international normalized ratio) test yesterday and it was a lot higher than I expected. My range is 2.5 to 3.5 with a target of 3.0. Yesterday it hit an all time high of 4.3. I have put a short guide to INR on a page on this site for those who are not aware of what the INR is.

I take Warfarin, which is an anticoagulant (commonly known as a blood thinner) to control my INR and I have a regular test to ensure that it stays within the range decided for me. I have been on Warfarin since my Mitral Valve replacement back in 2014. As I understood at the time, the surgeon has three options when performing the surgery. The ideal option is a repair, then the next option is a replacement with an organic valve (usually from a pig) or a mechanical valve. The surgeon will decide when the chest is opened which option is required. For me he opted for a mechanical valve. As it could be dangerous if blood clotted in or around the valve, an anticoagulant is prescribed to increase the time taken to clot.

For a long time, my test has been within the range and often hitting my target. Back in August last year, I had a small infection on my leg for which anti-biotics were prescribed. I was advised to get an INR test after taking the anti-biotics as they are known to have an effect on blood clotting times. And indeed this proved to be the case as my INR went as high as 3.9. It seemed to take a long time to get back to ‘normal’ but by the end of the year it was looking better.

I had my previous test mid January this year, and whilst it was in range, it was only just. The nurse decided to increase my Warfarin from 15mg to 16mg (3mg Sunday and Tuesday, 2mg every other day). Not a huge amount, but I think it proved a significant change. After yesterday it is now back to what I was taking before, which is 3mg Tuesday, 2mg every other day. I’m back for another test in three weeks and we shall just see what happens.

Good start to the day …


We have been hoping that our youngest can come home for a weekend visit today. He has been in ‘lock-down’ at his care home since he went back on 28th December due to him and others testing positive for the virus. The ‘lock-down’ on his unit was lifted on the 22nd and preparations have been in progress since the 10th.

So this morning, K*** and me had our Lateral Flow Test. Not a particular pleasant event, but the result came back negative. This (I believe) means that neither of us have the virus and that our son can come home for the weekend. So two great positives there.

Then, K*** got a text message from the doctors say that she can now book her test. Another great one. However, that was soon short lived as twenty minutes later she got another text from the doctors apologising for getting it wrong. Apparently the doctors had been given incorrect information. But here’s the interesting thing, she was half way booking online at the centre I had mine and decided that she would wait for the doctors to call. When the second message came through, she went back online and booked her appointment without a hitch. All a bit mysterious.

<><><><><><><>

I am giving the desktop version of WordPress another go. I had given up with the app because of issues I was not happy with. One of the issues is with the way when the app opens, it opens with the last post you have written with the app. In my opinion, it should open at a blank page with the option in the file menu to open a previous post. It gets a bit annoying if you create a couple of posts via the browser or Blogpad on the iPad, and then use the Desktop app and it opens an old post. In this (ver 6.10.0) and previous versions opening a new post is done via the Window menu which is a strange way of working. I have mentioned this in the forums and the answer I received was that the app was still a ‘work in progress’. There doesn’t appear to be much difference that I can see from the last few versions but I will persevere and see where it goes.

“Jab Done” …


I had my first Covid-19 jab yesterday. I had to go the a mass vaccination centre at Askham Bar Park & Ride car park, near York. I have to say it was an extremely well managed operation. There were signs on the A64, about a mile from the Park & Ride junction and once off the main road there were numerous signs showing the way. That, coupled with many officials directing cars made it one of the easiest things I had done.

Mass Vaccination Centre

Cars were parked with an empty bay separating each one. I was asked to wait in my car, and someone would come and tell me were to go. I was early by just 25 minutes and I told them I was not in any rush and didn’t want to queue jump. They told me that it wasn’t too busy and I could go straight in. Once in the centre, I queued along with the others for about 10 minutes before entering the ‘Vaccination Clinic’.

I was told to take a seat, whilst a member of the local Fire Service took my details. I had a list of my medications and dates of both my flu jab and last INR test. The doctor seemed a little reluctant at first, as he felt it would have been better if I had taken my last test last week. However I explained that if I had a problem, I could get an emergency INR test done the following day. I had the jab, waited in the car for 15 minutes and that was it. My second one is due on the 12th of May and the only side effect (and I’m not even sure it is a side effect) is a slight headache this morning.

<><><><><><><><><>

I noticed when I started WordPress up earlier in the week, that WordPress seemed to be a promoting a Podcasting service called Anchor.fm. After a bit of research, it seems that this is one of the biggest podcasting services around and it’s ‘owned’ by Spotify. From what I understand, it is only recently that WordPress.com has started using the service.

I have often wondered about doing some kind of podcast, but a couple of things have stopped me. Namely not knowing what to ‘cast’ about and the fact that I know what I sound like. I don’t like the sound of my own voice sometimes. There is a built in voice that will read text and convert it to audio. The downside is that the built-in voice is American as you would expect. I have tried this new service, and succeeded in converting one of my posts into an audio post (now deleted). It worked quite well, I thought but it sounded a little weird with the accent. I may have to give it another go using my own voice.

Tech woes part the third …


I suppose one of the most baffling problems I had over the past couple of weeks was with Windows TaskTS Scheduler. I needed to run a task to open and run an Excel spreadsheet. Excel would open a specific sheet and then a macro would update the sheet and save it in one of my cloud storage areas. 

Error 1I have done this every six months over the past four years, without any problems, until now. The task is a “one time” task as the file name changes each time it is saved. So I opened up Task Scheduler, and immediately received  one of two similar error messages. These seem to point to some problem with updating some software. I closed each message and set up a random test task to see if it was still working and all seemed to be good. The test ran fine which I took to mean that the issue might not be as problematic as I first thought. But it was annoying and I needed to stop it happening.

I began to trawl through the various tasks that were set to run, and to be honest there wasn’t that many and I could not find any that related to any kind of update. I did find a number of tasks that related to software I no longer use such as Adobe Acrobat Reader and Photoshop Express, which should have been removed when I uninstalled them.

So it was back to the forum that I use, to ask the question and see what came up. Like most help forums it wasWoody a couple of hours before anybody came up with anything. When help arrived, unfortunately it didn’t help much.  But then I got a message from an old colleague. FoxThey seemed to think that it may be some software that was new or had recently been updated. There were two programmes that had a recent file date. Firefox browser was one and an application called PyCharm that is an IDE (Pythonintegrated development environment) that I was using as a front end for my learning the Python programming language.

PyChI removed both and the problem disappeared. So I reinstalled Firefox and checked Task Scheduler. Still no problem which led me to believe that PyCharm was the culprit. It was confirmed when I reinstalled PyCharm and the errors returned. That has gone for now with some feedback to the software house. I now need to look for another free IDE to work with Python.

Patience is a virtue…


I had my INR blood test appointment of Friday. It is one of those finger prick tests that only takes about 45 seconds. I fact the pre-test questions take longer than the actual test, it is usually about a ten minute job. It was an early appointment, 9am. Don’t ask me why I chose that time, because as usual with me, I can’t remember. I pulled into the car park 15 minutes before my appointment as I hate being late. We have one of those self-sign-in screens which told me that I was the next in the queue.

I sat down in the waiting area and started to look at my phone, as I didn’t really want to catch anyone’s attention. However, there was a lady sat two seats away from me, that I had seen entering the centre when I parked. She was holding her yellow record book so I assumed she was waiting the same as me. She would have been (and I’m being kind here, I think) maybe three or four years older than me. I was amused to see her tapping her foot and humming along to the music being played in the background … “Paint It Black” by the Rolling Stones is not the kind of music I would expect a person of her apparent age to listen to. It wasn’t until I got home, that I fully realised that it was highly likely that she would have listened to that music.

But I digress from the main point of this tale. I glanced up at the clock and saw that it was now 9 o’clock.
She’s late!” said the lady, “She should be here before now!
I smiled and said something like “She has a long way to come…” or words to that effect. The clinician does have to travel over eighty miles from Newcastle to get to our Medical Centre, so delays are quite reasonable and understandable.
I can’t stay here all day, waiting for her,” she said. “I’m going to make another appointment!” And with that she stormed off. Meanwhile a gentleman had sat beside me and witnessed this bit of a tantrum. He asked me if she was the first in the queue and I said no, I was the first. He said he was the second, so that made the lady the third. That meant, her appointment was for 9:20 at the earliest, so why she was going off in a huff, fifteen minutes before her allotted time I will never know.

Ten minutes later, the receptionist came to inform the INR people that the clinician had been held up and would not be at the Medical Centre until early afternoon, and that she would ring to make new appointments.

I went to pick up my prescriptions and it was while I was discussing this with the dispenser that the title of this post came up. I was always under the impression that it was the younger members of society that had no patience … seems I could be wrong.

Trying the new editor …


I’m having a look at the new editor for my WordPress.com blog. I normally use Open Live Writer to compose my post and then post it as a draft post. This is so that I can see how it looks prior to publishing and correct any obvious typo’s.

So I’ve been looking around and still cannot see how to publish my post as draft. . It says it is saving as a draft post, but I know from the last time I tried it didn’t and published immediately. I’ve also looked and ‘Save as Pending’ but am not sure if that is correct either. I did manage to find out how to use Full Justify, but that option was hidden in the More Rich Text Controls drop down instead of being in the Text Alignment section of the block editor where I would normally expect it.

Just had a bit of a test/trial …


I’ve heard a bit about Gutenberg, the new WordPress editor so I thought I would give it a go. “Be bold.” I said to myself, “Don’t get in a rut” and a few other motivational phrases that I don’t want to go into.

My first impression was that it had a quite confusing interface, and I found switching from what they call “Block” and “Document” to add a tag or category, very frustrating. I like to addclipart430159 tags as and when they appear in my text. Then there is the text formatting which seems to be missing ‘full justify’ which is how I usually format my words. Embedding an image within a paragraph does not seem to work. There may be a way to do it, but I could not see how. I didn’t seem to be able to post my words as a draft post. Although I selected ‘pending’ as an option the post went live (now deleted). All in all, unless WordPress are prepared to give us a full tutorial, then I’m going to sit in my rut like the cowardly lion and stick to what I know. It’s the same feeling I had when Windows Live Writer was withdrawn (before I found Open Live Writer) and I tried using Microsoft Word to write a post. I would possibly get used to it, but in the end, is it worth the stress of change?

I can quite see, that WordPress might want everyone to eventually use Gutenberg, but until then, I’ll stick to Open Live Writer.

All over …


Well … almost “All Over”. I’ve just got to get through binnedthe copious amounts of “Happy New Year” messages and we’re done until next September/October when the whole farce starts again. I think I’ve said enough about me and Christmas over the years, so I’m drawing a line under it (see below) except to say that it is only 363 days until Christmas day (again)!


So what’s in the future? Well tomorrow I have my Medication Review, whereby the doctor ‘reviews’ my current medication, and advises accordingly. Now, as I could be seriously compromised if four out of the five were ever stopped, it seems a little bit of a waste of time to actually review them. But review them he must, so that’s happening as 09:20 tomorrow. I suppose it will give me a chance to query the changes that are being made to the way my blood is tested. With being on Warfarin, I have to have regular tests to ensure the level of the medication is correct. At my end it is a simple extraction of a few millilitres of blood which is sent off to the Anticoagulation clinic in York. Two days later I get the result. At the last test, the phlebotomist mentioned that she did not know what would be happening in the future with blood tests and here words of comfort were “No-one knows what will happen in the New Year!” The health-care assistant hinted that it may be an all day clinic, once  fortnight or so, but she really was clutching at straws. However maybe, one of the senior practitioners will know a little more.

<><><><><>

Testing ‘Blog by Email’ option


I seem to recall giving this a try some time ago. I must have had some issues with it (or maybe it had issues with me!) because I think I would have posted more this way. There has been the occasion when I have not had access to the internet. An email post via my smartphone would have solved the problem.

Anyway, this is just a test, so …

TEST TEST TESTING TESTING TEST TEST TESTING TESTING

Been another long day …


INR blood test day today. Now that the footbridge over the Wharfe in Tadcaster has been installed,Damaged bridge going for the test has got a whole lot easier. Instead of a  20 miles detour, it’s now more or less back to the usual 8 mile trip. The old road bridge was severely damaged in the floods in December. So badly damaged that it partially collapsed and has had to be closed . For the past two months or so, the town of Tadcaster has been virtually split in two. It has had a lot of television coverage, footbridgebut it is only when you see the damage and what it has done to the town that you really appreciate the new footbridge and the near normality it has brought back. So back to the blood test. It was my favourite phlebotomist that was in today, so it was a quick ‘in & out’ and the job was done. Well almost a quick in and out. The usual vein proved to be rather obstinate and it took a couple of attempts before she got a flow. But I was still in and out, before half past 8 and was on my way to work in good time.

=========

Work proved a little stressful. It was ‘go-live’ day for part of the project I’m working on. It should have gone without a problem, but as is normal for this project, it all went wrong. We had to get the engineer for the software house out, who after a few tests decided that a part of the equipment was faulty. So that was the end of that. The part has been ordered and we will start again on Thursday of Friday. I’m hoping for Friday, as that would mean having to miss the team meeting (sad face, tears, depression etc etc.) Hopefully, that will fix the issue and I will be the hero of the day!

=========

Serious Autistic melt-down from R*** tonight. We had been concerned since he got in that all was not well with him. He was ‘droning’ which is basically him walking around with his fingers in his ears humming loudly. It sometime is indicative of him having a headache, but this has never been proven. We gave him the usual 20mils of liquid paracetamol, but we knew that it was probably not going to work. Ninety minutes later it went downhill really quickly. He completely lost all control. K*** managed to give him his ‘come-down’ medication, and eventually he started to settle. We are now two hours on, and he is still a little distressed, but at least the violence has stopped.  

========

This was supposed to be the start of my ‘short and often’ posts, but it still has gone over 450 words. Maybe 450 words is becoming my norm, or maybe I had a lot to say today …

Well pleased …..


   The computer task I had scheduled to run as a test, this morning, went without a hitch. The routine started, did what it had to do and finished. A couple of things were different from the usual, but it is nothing untoward. Part two of the testing will happen next week. I have set the routine to run at 1 minute past midnight on Monday morning. If all goes to plan, and I don’t see why it should not, then our notices will be ready for printing when we get in.

   Youngest is not very happy tonight. Mrs H said he was upset when he got home, and that he had been upset on the bus. We are guessing, as he cannot tell us, that someone on the bus is causing him a problem. Of course, the escorts can’t say what upsets him, just reports that he is out of sorts. Mrs H is seeing his teacher tomorrow, so may get more of an idea. Could be the length of time he is on the bus that’s the problem. It is silly really. We only live a mile and a half away, but he has to go by the school transport because there is nowhere to park to drop him off.

   I uploaded a video, to Facebook from the gig on Saturday night. Looks quite good, and already B** tagged his flatmate in it. Well pleased ……