Wednesday, October 19, 2022



As you will have gathered, Byters, I’m back.

My lack of Bytes Daily postings has not been because of my hospitalisation but by my not being able to send emails from the hospital. I was signed in as a guest to the hospital’s internet/wifi and I could receive emails, access the internet, but every outgoing email stayed in my outbox. Our computer geek and the hospital tech support were unable to assist.


I was discharged from hospital late yesterday afternoon but am still not well.

I remain on intravenous antibiotics though a system called Hospital in the Home.

More of that later.


I have a condition called lymphedema, which causes my leg to swell and therefore needs compression stockings. Sometimes that is not enough and the skin breaks down, needing dressings and in more advanced cases, antibiotics. Sometimes even that is not enough and intravenous antibiotics are called for. That is what happened on this occasion. I developed a severe infection, with fevers, lethargy and long periods of sleep.

Kate made me go to the hospital on Saturday evening, despite my reluctance, and the doctors said that she had done the right thing, both in attending and in timing.

Yay For the Day # 1 goes to Kate.


The severity of the infection can be seen from my still being on a home iv drip.

I wear a container in a bag over my shoulder and this connects to a canula in my arm.

The container and the canula look like this:

The Community Nurse comes out daily to replace the antibiotics container and monitor the canula, my temperature etc.

I have had this procedure before but back then, instead of a canula, it was a much more complicated procedure whereby a PICC Line catheter was inserted into a vein surgically and transported to near the heart. Apparently the canula is the modern developed version.


Whilst I was in I had battery of tests (including scans, ultra sounds, x rays, blood tests) , numerous consultations by various consultants and medical personnel from different fields (doctors, infectious diseases, dietician, lymphedema clinic etc) and a variety of medications. There are follow up consultations.

Ron, did I mention that under our health care system, this is all free?


All of the people at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital we skilled and lovely, making you feel like you were their only patient.

The Yay For the Day # 2 goes to the people at RPA.


One of the conditions for me going home was that I had to show I had no other problems. This was because I had fallen whilst reaching out to close the toilet door, which opened outwards. I reached too far and lost my balance. This was noted on my patient records and I was thereafter continually quizzed about it – any history of falls? Headaches? Nausea? Dizziness? etc

The physiotherapist had me walk 60 metres up the corridor to the fire stairs, climb one floor of stairs, then come down and walk back. I passed.

I sent a text message to Kate and my family as to passing the test and included the following:

Oh, the grand old Duke of York
He had 10,000 men
He marched them up to the top of the hill
And he marched them down again

And when they were up, they were up
And when they were down, they were down
And when they were only half-way up
They were neither up nor down

My son sent me back this:


A Yay For the Day #3 to my office people for picking up the slack whilst both Rosie and I are away from the office . . .


I started off in a small room on my own but then they needed that for an infectious patient, so I was moved to a room of 4.

The 3 other occupants were all quite elderly and, in my opinion, at least 2 had mental health issues, continually wailing, yelling loudly, moaning, even at 3.00am and 4.00am. It reached the point where I told that chap to be quiet and he was after that, at least until daylight. The third person wailed and yelled whilst being treated.

When I left with Kate I announced “Gentlemen, I would like to say that it has been lovely sharing a room with you but it hasn’t. Nonetheless I wish you all good luck.”

I went to Mr 3.00am, offered my hand and said “good luck.” A smile came to his face, the words were recognised and he said “good luck” to me as we shook hands.

I shook the hand of Mister #2 but there was no recognition, Mr #3 was asleep.


An infectious diseases joke . . .

A man returns from a trip to Amersterdam and is feeling very ill. He goes to see his doctor and is immediately rushed to the hospital to undergo a series of tests.

The man wakes up after the tests in a private room at the hospital and the phone by his bed rings.

"This is your doctor," says the voice on the phone. "We have the results back from your tests, and I'm sorry, you have an extremely contagious and deadly sexually transmitted disease known as G A S H.

"G A S H?" replies the patient. "What the hell is that?"

"It's a combination of gonorrhea, AIDS, syphilis, and herpes." explains the doctor.

"My gosh, Doc!" screams the man in a panic, "What are we going to do?"

"Well, we're going to put you on a diet of pizza, pancakes and pita bread," says the doctor matter-of-factly.

"Will that cure me?"

"Well no," says the doctor, "but it's the only food that we can slide under the door."


Yay For the Day #4 goes to my family, relatives, colleagues, office people, Byters and friends who took the time and trouble to send me get well messages, they were appreciated.

Thanks, guys.


One final comment, on how RPA came to be and why it is so named, from the RPA website:

The attempted assassination of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, the second son of Queen Victoria, marred the Australian visit of a member of the Royal Family. 

On 12th March 1868, while attending a picnic at Clontarf on Sydney’s north, Prince Alfred was shot in the back by Henry James O’Farrell a self-proclaimed Fenian fighting “for the wrongs of Ireland”. The assailant was swiftly overpowered by a member of the crowd, William Vial, but not before a second shot was fired into the foot of an onlooker. 

The Prince was transferred, via HMS Morpeth, to Government House and was attended to by Dr Watson, Surgeon of HMS Challenger. Two days later the bullet was extracted by Dr Young of HMS Galatea with a special golden probe crafted for the procedure. 

Public meetings were soon held around Sydney and its citizens quickly resolved to construct the “Prince Alfred Memorial Hospital”. The money raised was originally to go to the Sydney Infirmary but because of land restrictions a new site was sought. 

In 1872 the Senate of the University of Sydney granted land from the former Grose Farm for the erection of the hospital, which would serve as a teaching hospital for the University’s Medical School and for the training of nurses. The foundation stone was laid on 4 April 1873 and the hospital officially opened on 25 September 1882

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