Saturday, May 19, 2007

Back in Hospital

For the third time in just under three weeks, on Thursday morning we called an ambulance for Jon's Dad. He had another angina attack and they admitted him back into hospital. Friday morning, in hospital he had yet another one. The consultant came round while Emily and I were there on Friday evening - they now think that there's a problem with the grafts from his quadruple heart bypass that he had ten years ago. Looks like one or more of the grafted veins is partially or even completely blocked. They're going to keep him in hospital until next Thursday when he's scheduled to have an angiogram. Depending on the results of that, they'll know whether he a) just have to live with it, b) they can do balloon angioplasty to relieve the blockage(s) or c) and most drastic, whether it warrants a new bypass operation.

It's a lot to worry about, but at least things are moving towards being sorted out, one way or the other. If they do decide to treat him after the angiogram (as opposed to just send him home with medication), he'll have to have the treatment in Hull hospital, as they only do diagnostics in Scunthorpe apparently.

Anyway. Hopsitals aside, Emily's been busy this week. On Monday we did the next lesson in chemistry, which was all about exploring four different types of chemical reaction: combination reaction, decomposition reaction, exchange reaction and displacement reaction, and about observing signs of chemical reactions such as precipitation, bubbles/gas production, colour or temperature changes and so on. Emily had a blast mixing together various combinations of salt water, sugar water, vinegar, lemon juice, milk, egg whites, bicarb, bleach and ammonia to observe the reactions. She's not a fan of the smell of ammonia ;-) but we were very impressed with the reaction of mixing bleach with ammonia - lots of manic fizzing and smoke coming off, lol. Not to mention the stink!

On and off this week, Emily's been working on a latin translation from stage 4 of the latin course, which is going really well. When I got back from the diabetic clinic on Tuesday we had a good old mess around with clay, making texture plaques as well as temple archways, plus I made an alien rose and Emily made a coiled snake jar. We haven't got round to painting these yet, but we did use glitter and coloured sand in the clay which was quite effective.

Also this week, we looked at lesson 3 in the biology course, which was about photosynthesis. Our basil plant volunteered for the experiment, so it now has some of its leaves covered in cardboard but still attached, or unattached and covered in cardboard, or unattached, covered in cardboard and in water, or unattached and in water, or just unattached, while we monitor their progress. Emily's really, really enjoying the Real Science 4 Kids stuff.

In history, the History Odyssey course has wound its way up to the Egyptians, much to a certain someone's delight. Emily did a HUGE Egyptians project back in spring 2005, but she's delighted to be re-visiting all that. This part of the course uses a resource called History Pockets; at first glance this seemed a bit boring to me - there's lots of colouring in and sticking pictures in the right place on sheets, etc. It seemed to me a bit too reminiscent of the busy work they do in school history. With hindsight, now we've actually started using it, though, Emily seems to be enjoying it. I guess it's a nice change of pace from the rest of the course. That's my one criticism of History Odyssey, actually, come to think of it - the pacing. Some of the "lessons" are wayyy too long, with far too much to do in one session, but others are really quick. We're enjoying that too, though. Although I think it's going to take more than a year to get through "ancients" before we move onto the next stage.

Bought a "creative writing machine" CD rom resource thing off ebay the other day, 'cos it was cheap and sounded like a good idea. Was very disappointed with it though. The principle was good (it had 100 each of characters, situations, objects and places that you had to randomly pick in order to come up with a creative writing "task") but the actual content was very bland and unimaginative. So Emily and I came up with our own instead and had great fun on Friday morning brainstorming 51 each of characters, places, situations and objects of particular interest to Emily. She then picked one of each at random and wrote a super story around them. She wants to do that regularly now, so I guess although the ebay buy was a bit of a let down, it did lead to something better, so that's good.

Yesterday afternoon we went to visit Hazel and Romy; the girls got up to who knows what in the garden, including busking at the garden gate (??), whilst I got to cuddle the increasing even more adorable baby Tansy. Hotfooted it from there to the hospital to see Grandad.

I did have loads more I wanted to write about, but I've started this post about eight times since Tuesday and it's all very disjointed in my head now, so I think I'll leave it at that!

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