Vol 57

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Sick Parade.

If you know someone who is a bit crook, 
let us know so we can give them a shout out..






Bill DeBoir

Bob Snedded

Shoulder problems


Bob Snedded.


Geoff Whale, who has Parkinsons himself, advises that Bob Snedded has Alzheimer's and is in a wheelchair as a result of Parkinsons. Bob can remember his old RAAF days but not the present. He lives in Cookerup in WA.




Shoulder problems.


Some years ago, while playing squash, my poor old shoulder hit the wall doing a million miles an hour. That set bad things in motion and gradually over the years things inside started to crumble and movement in that shoulder (left one) lessened until recently it had reached the stage where it wouldn’t allow me to do simple everyday things like tuck in a shirt – or adjust the rear-view mirror in the car.


Something had to be done.


Since demolishing the squash court, I’ve had several cortisone injections, a de-coke and valve grind and lots of physio from lovely young nubiles – none of which worked for long so it was time to bite the bullet and go for the big fix.


I was booked in for a full shoulder replacement on the 8th March – all this to take place at the Wesley Hospital in Brisbane.


With bag packed for a possible two night stay, I arrived at the Wesley at 6.00am. You have to admire hospitals – they have their systems down pat. Admission was a breeze, you signed on with one lady, who took your name, asked you your date of birth, ticked you off as present and asked you to sit down in the waiting room and gave you one of those little things that buzzed when it was your turn. A few minutes later with lights flashing and the buzzer buzzing, you returned to the desk to the lady with her arm up. This lady also wanted my date of birth, then she handed my file, a folder chock full of paper, to one of the wonderful and unselfish volunteers that are irreplaceable at all our hospitals, who then led me upstairs to another waiting room. The folder was handed to this receptionist who also wanted my DOB, I was then told to sit down and someone would be with me soon.


Sure enough, a lovely nurse soon appeared, picked up my file, asked me my DOB, then assuring me my DOB was correct, led me off to a little room down the corridor. She must have had a poor memory as she asked me my DOB again, then, just so she wouldn’t forget it, she typed it onto a little plastic thing and strapped it to my ankle. Then out came the questionnaire with its million questions, then the blood pressure monitor, the O2 monitor thingy you put on your finger and finally, the razor. Then after I’d been questioned, pressured, monitored and shaved, it was time to de-robe and slip on a hospital gown and one of their super sized, Guggi designed, paper undies that have neither a front nor a back.  I reckon we need a Hospital undies day where everyone would have to wear them on the beach at Surfers….that would certainly put us on the map!!


It was now close to 7.30am, I’d been deposited onto a bed on wheels and a big burly bloke with a blue paper cap came along, he obviously couldn’t read as he asked me my DOB, even though it was written on the plastic thingy strapped to my ankle. When he was happy I knew my DOB, he wheeled me off to the scary part of the hospital, with its nurses in funny clothes and blue paper caps, lots of lights, cables, TV screens, benches, funny smells, stuff going ding dong and other frightful things, where he parked me. The anaesthetist, who was an ex-RAAF Medical Orderly from 3RAAF at Richmond, came along and wanted to know whether I knew when I was born, when I assured him I did, he told me he was going to put me to sleep while the surgeon worked on my shoulder. I assured him that was fine by me as I had no desire to sit up and watch the surgeon at work. Then I was hooked up to the time machine, a needle was jammed into the back of my hand, a plastic tube was hooked up to the needle – and in an instant I was transported forward many hours, I was in recovery, all strapped up like a gridiron player and hurting heaps.


After a couple of hours in recovery where you gradually realise you’re still alive and you’ve been blood tested to the point of annoyance, the big bloke in the blue paper cap re-appeared and I was wheeled to a room for my too short two night’s stay.


As I get older I can’t help but notice that nurse’s get prettier – and the girls who looked after me upstairs certainly were. And not only pretty, I found them very kind, all wanted to know my DOB – obviously to know when to send me a birthday present.   Lovely thought.


Next day it was back downstairs to X-ray to see that everything had been put in the right place and was still there. I couldn’t believe the photos, I was expecting to see something like a chrome tow-ball stuck on the end of one bone with half a tennis ball coupling stuck on the other, what I saw was a thing that looks like the CV shaft from a Mini 850, all attached to the shoulder by a couple of 40mm self tappers. The end of the big bone that goes down the arm was chopped off with the axle bit jammed down into the bone. No wonder it hurts.


Day 3 arrived, breakfast was served, the surgeon popped in, he obviously has a good memory or he can read as he never once asked me my DOB, blood pressures were taken, O2 was monitored and I got my clearances. I was bundled into a wheel chair, given a bunch of tablets, the big bloke with the blue paper cap turned up again and I was on the way home.


Seems I’m in the sling for 6 weeks so there could be a delay in getting Vol58 out but I expect to be back on deck by the 25th April – someone after all has to ride shotgun for Bill.


I must say a big thank you to everyone at the Wesley for the professional, courteous and thoughtful manner in which they looked after me for those few nervous days I spent in their care.


Nurses are my favourite people in the whole universe. I love them, they are the most dedicated and lovely people you'd meet on a long march. You couldn't speak in mixed company about some of the terrible things they are called on to do - a lot of their patients messy low-lex from all doors yet they hop in and clean everything up, all with a smile and a soothing word. Can you imagine doing that to a bunch of complete strangers day after day? 


They certainly have a spot reserved for them in Heaven.


The more I have to do with our medical system, and it's been quite a bit over recent years, the more I'm convinced we are very lucky people living in the best country on the planet.




Bill De Boer.


Bill, who was in hospital mid November with a dicky heart, had a bit of a relapse in December (2016). Bill says:  “A couple of wires from the "sternum plate" resulting from the previous fix were causing a bit of a problem, the doctor cut them back and cleaned it all out and now the problem has gone. They put on a new dressing, gave me my clearances and home I went – good as new. I’ve been assured (is that a warranty??) by the surgeon that all is now done, apart from some external stitches in the chest that will have to come out in about 10/11 days”.


Hope so Bill, we need you to carry the banner on the 25th – tb





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