That's her: the Old Bat. A domestic enigma. Actually, she's not just an enigma domestically, but medically as well. In fact, I'm sure that somebody someday will write a paper about her. I'm writing this in preparation for another enthralling visit to the Royal Sussex County Hospital and will schedule it to appear while I am sitting there twiddling my thumbs. The OB has an outpatient appointment - but I'm getting ahead of myself.
Rewind seven years or so. After having been in denial for too long, the OB visits her GP and is referred to the neurological department at the hospital. After numerous visits to the Royal Sussex County in Brighton, the Princess Royal in Haywards Heath and even two to Kings College hospital in London, the specialists come to the conclusion that they don't really know what is wrong. Although that is, perhaps, being a little unfair. They are puzzled because the OB is presenting (that's the official term although most laymen like me would say displaying) a mix of symptoms. The difficulty comes about because there are two possible diagnoses, corticobasal degeneration (CBD) or primary lateral sclerosis (PLS). These conditions share some symptoms but each has its own discrete symptoms. the OB manages to present some of each type of symptom. In the end, the consultant tells her it's 60:40 in favour of CBD. Actually, it doesn't really matter whether her condition is CBD or PLS as both are progressive conditions with neither treatment nor cure. And so we have enigma number one.
Enigma number two is more recent. So recent, in fact, that it is still causing difficulty. For two months now, the OB has been under the weather. After receiving the result of a blood test, our GP referred her to the hospital and she was given an outpatient appointment as a result of which she was admitted immediately as an emergency. During a three-day stay she had a scan. This showed lesions on her liver, so she was called in for an appointment in a different department. This doctor arranged for a biopsy. The results were inconclusive, so more tests were requested. These also proved inconclusive and Kings College Hospital are being asked to see if they can come up with an answer. Meanwhile, the OB has another appointment at the first department today and will have yet another blood test tomorrow. I just hope that somewhere down the line somebody will be able to come up with an answer!
During the least couple of months my culinary skills have improved enormously but I am pleased to say that She Who Must be Obeyed is now back in her habitual position of chef de cuisine. Which leads to enigma number three, the domestic enigma. While I was doing the cooking, I tried to use kitchen tools and utensils sparingly and in a common sense sort of way. By this I mean that if, for instance, a measuring jug has been used simply to measure a quantity of water, that jug needs no washing in hot water; it can simply be dried and put away; a knife used to cut potatoes after peeling can also be used to test if the potatoes are done when boiling. Simple. But the OB seems determined not only to use each and every kitchen tool and utensil, but to expect me to wash them all so that she can use them again almost immediately. I am very pleased that her health has improved sufficiently for her to return to cooking, but why must she use everything in the kitchen, every day?