Operation Update

So it’s been a couple of days since the operation. The pain has now died down enough to be tolerable without painkillers – or at least as frequently.

I’m able to eat semi-solid food now stuff like soups, porridge and congee (look that up if you don’t know what that is). I have been able to drink hot drinks without too much pain now, like tea, although I still need to mix in a bit of cold water to cool it down first.

Brushing my teeth has been easier now and I’ve started using salt water rinses as instructed — although the side effect of that seems to be that it dries the hell out of my lips (well, that’s what salt does, after all).

I’ll be heading back into the office next week, but only for one day since I’m training for three days and the fifth day is taken up by another freaking train strike.

Operation

Today, I went to hospital to be operated on — something I haven’t had done for over 35 years.

The operation was, quote, “An excisional biopsy” of a lump in my mouth – a lump I have been carry for several years.

The lump has been growing very slowly and I am now biting it more frequently than before, causing a lot of pain.

My dentist referred me into the Maxillofacial department of my local hospital.

I visited there last week to get a preliminary examination. The doctors there agreed it could be removed and scheduled me into a biopsy today.

I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was a bit nervous. Nonetheless, the doctors helped reassure me and the operation started. They offered me a pair of sunglasses to go over my own glasses as the light from the operating theatre’s light is very bright. I chose to use them.

Settling in, the process started with three anaesthetic injections. I felt the first two and they didn’t feel bad. The third one hurt, and the fourth one was tolerable.

Couple of minutes later, the doctor poked around inside the mouth to check if the anaesthetic had taken effect (I didn’t feel anything). They started stuffing gauze in my mouth, and it felt a bit like one of those prisoner scenes in the movies when they did that.

The nurse kept my lip open while the doctor operated on it. I felt nothing at all. This was so weird, I could see them doing stuff, but they were out of my field of vision and I had no idea what was going on down there.

I started to see blood on the gauze. LOTS of it. They swapped out gauze a few times and then I started seeing small thin wafts of smoke coming from there. However, still no pain.

The doctor then started stitching me up. They used 3 stitches and still felt nothing.

I asked for a mirror at the end of the operation to see how bad it was. I had a puffy upper lip on one side and normal on the other. Expected though.

The doctor ran through some after care instructions. I’m supposed to be on a soft diet for 3 days, no hot food or drink for 24 hours, no smoking, vaping or alcohol for at least 3 days, no strenuous exercise for 3 days, no spitting or rinsing the mouth for 24 hours, salt water rinse after meals from 24 hours onwards, and painkiller use when needed to help reduce pain and swelling.

It’s been around 5 hours since the operation and I’m feeling rumblings of pain. Not intense, but I suspect the anaesthetic might be beginning to wear off.

Boiler

Just got my boiler fixed after three days without reliable hot water.

We had two engineers in over two days, and a total of 4 hours where neither could figure out the problem. Then we called in the manufacturer’s engineer (Vaillant)

The outlet sensor was faulty and was registering a temperature of 999 deg C. The boiler kept flaring up then tripping the safety cutoff as a result.

5 minutes, and one replacement part later and everything was fixed.

Apple Locking Out Older Devices

My dislike of the Apple brand is well-known and documented, and recently, I came across a story that made me hate them even more.

It seems like Apple are now locking out older devices and devices running older versions of their OS. This obviously then forces them to buy the newer, greater model and spend more money in their stores, forcing customers to remain locked into their ecosystem.

Heck, I still have an ASUS TF101 running Android Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0.4) and it still runs. Sure, a lot of apps refuse to install, but the basic stuff I need the device for works, and that’s all I need.

You Have Cancer… Oh Wait, You Don’t. Merry Christmas

When your festive f**k-up makes it onto The Register, you know you’ve fked up good.

https://www.theregister.com/2023/01/03/askern_medical_cancer_message/

The message went out to patients of the medical facility – there are reportedly about 8,000 of them – on December 23, 2022. It asked patients to fill out a DS1500 form, which is used to help terminal patients expedite access to benefits because they may not have time for the usual bureaucratic delay.

About an hour after thoroughly alarming recipients of the not-so-glad tidings, the medical facility reportedly apologized in a follow-up text message.

Error or not, there should have been failsafes to prevent this happening. Even Tom Scott has a story from personal experience when he had to get himself tested for STDs (his face tells you everything you need to know

New Year’s Eve Update

Well, it’s New Year’s Eve, and I haven’t posted any proper blog posts since April. So here’s a bit of an update.

We completed the purchase on our house and moved in around April.

We had a period of 40degC+ temperatures soon afterwards and it was _really_ uncomfortable to even exist during that time. I couldn’t even work in my bedroom during that time, and had all the windows open overnight.

And recently, we had a complete reversal, with temperatures hitting -6degC, and a thick layer of snow. Since the house is not on the main road, we no longer have priority with the gritters, which lead to some nerve-wracking drives on the Saturday when I headed up to morning shopping.

I later found out my former neighbour in the flat where I used to live (still find it strange to say that) actually lost functionality to their boiler during this cold snap (the pump to their boiler broke), so they had to wear like 5 layers of clothes and sit around a portable heater in order to keep warm — travelling to a relative’s house to get showered and stuff.

I also found out that two Muslim families have moved into the two vacant flats since we moved out. This now leaves only 4 flats out of the 12 available that are inhabited by non-Muslims. I am, sadly, not surprised by this turn of events, the local council have been aggressively buying up all the council properties they can, and then throwing probably the worst people into them — heck they even bought and sold one of the flats across to a neighbouring council — so essentially we have a flat in one council that is being used to house people from another council. 1 of the remaining residents is only there because they have a vulnerable relative nearby and will move out when she passes. Another is already looking for a new property, and the other two families haven’t made their plans known yet.

We’ve now gone through over 6 months in the new house and have been getting and going through the new bills. Trying to keep the house warm during the cold spell has been costing me over £15 per day in Gas alone. Thankfully, the cold spell only lasted around a week, and the government’s energy assistance did help with the Electricity side — giving £66 extra per month. That doesn’t help with the Gas costs, but it does mean I can use the space heater (which runs off electricity)

My Yaris seems to be having trouble with acceleration even without ECO mode on, so I’m going to start putting money aside to buy a full EV — maybe a Tesla, Hyundai, or Toyota EV (even if Musk has been an AH with the Twitter purchase, I’m still liking the Tesla interface — I even got to sit behind one this year, even if only briefly)

As with most people, I grew concerned with Musk’s handling of the Twitter purchase, so I picked up a side project a year or so ago: Mastodon.

Back when Twitter had issues with privacy, several projects spawned up: Ello, Diaspora* and Mastodon to name a few.

Ello basically failed and has now turned more into a portfolio site. Diaspora is sort of like a decentralized Tumblr and Mastodon was the Twitter equivalent, so much so that there’s more than one auto-crossposter now that allows you to Tweet to Twitter, and it will automatically crosspost it to Mastodon, and vice versa,

I decided to update my TfL Travel Updates project and allow it to post to Mastodon instead. I have it now posting to https://mastodon.xyz/@updatesbf but I am also looking at setting up my own Mastodon instance so I can experiment and break things on my own setup without messing up or flooding someone else’s instance

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