Didn’t last …


So much for increasing the regularity of my posts. I think it must have been the ‘double’ post on the 8th that upset things. Joking aside, not much has really happened over that past week. Did a couple of short walks but nothing spectacular.

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I had my Warfarin review on Wednesday. Now I think this is a silly idea. Because it is a controlled drug or POM (prescription only medication) the law says I have to have a review every 12 months. After my operation, the the surgeon explained that I had been fitted with a metal valve and as such I would need to take an anti-coagulant (ie Warfarin) for life. My GP confirmed this during my first appointment with him, a week after leaving hospital. It was also explained to me when I had my first INR blood test. So why do I need to have a review? Nothing has changed. I still have the replacement valve and it’s not going to go away. I don’t really see why I need a review. I did ask the GP at the time of the review, but he was very non-committal and answer. However, he did come up with a new idea!

Every so often, I have a blood test in which a phial of blood is taken from a vein in my left arm (a venous draw) . This is then sent to the Anti-Coagulation Clinic for analysis. I get the results, typically two days later. The new idea is to do the testing at the GP surgery. Basically I will have a pin-prick test, like the blood sugar test and the results would be available within minutes. It will still take ten minutes to do the test, but it would cut down on a lot of other time.

I have to book a special session with the lead clinician on this, but it sounds like a great idea.

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So that’s about it for the past week. Lets see what the next one brings.

Funny old week …


I’m not going to mention Britain leaving the European Union (well maybe a little) as I think it has all been said. All I will say is that I’m very disappointed with the result. I fully expected it to go the other way but as many people keep saying “Democracy has spoken” or words to that effect. So we have to live with it. Get on and make it work. It will take a long time to convince me that the country ‘did the right thing’ but there is no going back now.

Then to cap it all England was unceremoniously dumped out of the Euro 2016 football tournament last night. Beaten by a team that, on paper should have lost. But that is what we have come to expect for a team that just does not seem to have any spark at all. Of course it is all the fault of the manager. It’s not the fault of the bunch of second rate no-hopers that were out there playing the game. No it’s the managers fault. No other industry would it happen.

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Breaking news … I have just spotted a Police Community Support Officer walking down our road

Now that is something that does not happen very often!

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Now, back to the job in hand. I have a cold. A full on, streaming, head aching cold. It started yesterday afternoon really and just got gradually worse. I can’t stop sneezing! I’ve gone through about 12 handkerchiefs today alone. One of my colleagues had the same thing last week, and I was hoping that I would not get it … but of course I did. I’ve not been to work today, and I’m staying at home tomorrow. Hopefully, I will be okay for Thursday but time will tell.

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K*** is out tonight. She is going with her sister to see Cats at the Leeds Grand Theatre. It’s not the kind of thing I would want to see, so I’m home alone. Well home alone with R*** to keep me company. Should be fun. He only came back from respite yesterday and it is all change for him. Up until yesterday, his daily routines would start from what was called ‘Day Opps’. This was an area that he and the only other ‘daily’ resident used as their base for the day. R*** also has a flat where he stays when he is on respite. The change has come about due to the other resident moving on. This means that they need to area for some other activities.

R*** is now going to be based out of his flat. We were expecting to have a bit of a rough ride with the change, but he appears to have accepted the change without any issue. I say ‘appears’, we never really know what is going on in his autistic mind when these major changes happen. The next few days will be the telling time.

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I think I have given in with Blogger. You may recall that I wanted to use Blogger as another blogging platform. It was going to be used as an outlet for a project I was working and I did not want it to get mixed up with my main WordPress blog. I think I have mentioned that I use a piece of software called “Open Live Writer (OLW)” for composing my posts. This software boasts that it connect to WordPress (which it does quite effectively) and also to Google Blogger. It is Blogger that I’m having an issue with. In OLW there is a tab, that lets you preview how your post will look, before you upload it. With WordPress, this works without a problem. However with Blogger, I cannot get it to show a preview. I know others have had the same issue, but it is a community project and so the support is a bit limited. So, after much deliberation, my Blogger blog is going.

An old friend returns …


The thing about getting a new computer is that you never remember what software you need, until you realise it’s not on your new machine. Now I thought I had been clever, and had made a list of the stuff I use all the time. Which is fine in as far is it goes. Then you start to do some work or something and you find that you haven’t got that little bit of software that you always use, but never think about. Still, I think I’m almost there now. The old machine is in the spare room (in case I need something) and I’m beginning to get the hang of Windows 10. It has it’s pro’s and con’s, but I think a lot of it is just familiarity. It too me a couple of weeks to get used to Windows 7 after XP, and I still miss some of the things that XP did, but we move on.

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Now, to the title of this post “An old friend returns …”! The old friend in question is my first blogging editor (back to Windows XP here) good old ‘Windows Live Writer  (WLW). I always felt it was one of the best tools for the job, and was very disappointed when Microsoft decided to no longer support it. Since then I have used a variety of editors and am still inclined to use the Blog Post template in Microsoft Word and occasionally I will use the WordPress desktop application.

Yesterday, whilst reading an article about Windows 10 compatibility issues with some older software, I saw a mention of WLW and how much it was missed. There was a list of alternatives, but near the top was a link to a website called ‘Open Live Writer’ which wimageas offering Open Live Writer as a free download. My initial thoughts was that this must one of those awful clones that seemed to perpetuate throughout the internet. After a little bit of research it looks like pressure from users made Microsoft turn WLW into an open source application and the result is Open Live Writer.

I downloaded it this morning and have used it for this post. To all intents and purposes it looks and feels the same as before. Everything seems to be as I remember WLW, and it feels quite nostalgic to be using it again. I shall test it further over the next few weeks and see how it goes, but things look promising.

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On a completely different tack, my INR blood test seems to have been a bit off the wall. INR is the International Normalised Ratio and is a measure of how much longer it takes the blood to clot when oral anticoagulation is used. For example, if your INR is 2 the blood is taking twice as long as normal to clot. I have a range which my INR has to fall within, of between 2.0 and 3.5 with a target of 2.5. Since I have been taking an anti-coagulant, my INR has usually been within the range, with the occasional blip. However, since middle of December I have three times been ‘over my limit’ so to speak. I have put it down to what I have eaten and drunk (which does have an effect), but it made me wonder if stress could be a factor. Over the December/January period, it has been quite a stressful time what with Christmas (humbug) and work. I asked the doctor at my medication review, and although he had not heard of stress being a factor, he did say that stress does have an effect on our metabolism so in theory there could be a link. However, I got the impression that he thought it was probably down to food and drink.