Wednesday, December 31

Ending 2008 / eXit

With a fresh photo of my grandchild, Helene, I thank her and you all for the various memories from 2008.
I wish you a Happy 2009.

Just found out that it was Wednesday today, buy that only made it possible to say X = eXit

Monday, December 29

Important and less important blogposts. Memories from 2008

At the end of year 2008 it is interesting to return to my almost 360 postings and see what I covered during all these 12 months. Some of them may be more important than others, and others again should not have been posted at all. By clicking on the name of the month, you may see all posts from that period.

JANUARY:In January we took a trip to Ålesund for fetching a painting by Terje Fagermo which I bought last summer. Meeting with family and friends from the old-gang was nice. The peak Romsdalshorn seen from Åndalsnes when returning to Oslo covers the photo activity.
The important posts from January are the swapping from Norwegian to English text on January 31st and the one about Annonymity in the blogworld January 20th

FEBRUARY:"530 km x 2 during 6 hours x 2 car-driving, 2 nights in a hotel bed, italian food, strolling up and down streets, over bridges, up and down shopping escalators, subway traveling "= a short visit to Stockholm, Sweden, but perhaps the introduction of RuneE´s Building Bridged was most important in this month.

MARCH:The shocking news from Ålesund on Thursday March 26th must be the highlight this month, but the photo coverage of Arne Ekelands Exhibition at Høvikodden which can be found at MY Gallery, is a strong number two.

APRIL:The opening of the new Opera House in Oslo and walking the roof (like here together with Gerd and Arne), was given much attention in March, but in this month Spring is here to stay and Tullarbo activities take increasing time during weekends, when the weather makes that possible.
By the time that April arrives, the frosty weather has almost disappeared, thanks in no small part to the warming air arriving from the Gulf Stream and the Atlantic. Daytime temperatures in April generally stay above 10°C / 50°F and quickly rise towards the end of the month, sometime reaching as high as 15°C / 59°F or more on the sunniest days.

MAY:Our trips to Portugal and Wales must be the highlights of this month, but the annual moving to Solvang and breakfast in the garden, is also an important event.

JUNE:I used this first summer month to scan some old photos from my paper-picture-life, and show many spectacular situations from our life in Asia. I also used the ABC Wednesday = T to pay tribute to my beautiful wife.

JULY:This Summer holiday month started with a lovely week close to the western horizon and the North Sea together with Asbjørn and AnneKath. The return was through the Geiranger fjord.
After coming home to Oslo we continued to Copenhagen for a few days, and was shopping and eating the excellent Danish Breakfast (heavy). Blogging in this month was also related to scanned photos, but my own painting activity increased during the stay at Tullarbo.

AUGUST:August is the last month every year at Solvang. Harvesting takes place and we are prepared to return to Frogner for autumn urban city life. I was all the summer waiting for admittance to Diakonhjemmet hospital for an operation according to the health guarantee, but the month went on without any welcome call. Tullen took a short ride to Wales and visited also the city Bath together with Davids mother and family. My blogposts show "historical" photos from travels to: Paris, Provence, Cote dÁzur, Barcelona, Salzburg, Austria, and Rome.

SEPTEMBER:In September Henrik Isak celebrated his first birthday, and big sister Helene is proud of her brother. Our own activities was limited, but we did some reconstruction works at the cottage. At last I got the promised operation with excellent results. No malignity found.
Other posting themes worth re-watching may be I am grateful and thankful and the one about myself Portraits with hats or Headgear

OCTOBER:In this month of October the first snowfall of the season normally cover everything in Oslo, to the greatest surprise for any car-driver. But for the majority bloggers, this is the month for autumn photos. We opened the Lutefisk season, and went on a Sunday trip to Drammen.
The trip abroad had Berlin as destination, and I made several posts from the urban life in Berlin on both sides of the "fallen" wall.

NOVEMBER:I am a Scorpio and for several years we have celebrated my birthday outside Norway. This year we had the intention to visit Rome because it was ten years since we celebrated my successful simultaneous Heart / Kidney Transplantation in 1998 by visiting this beautiful city. We ended up in Paris, had a wonderful extended weekend, and made several posts from this metropole.
15 years prior to me being the first combined Tx-Cor and Tx-Renis in Norway, the Team 83 (picture) performed the first Heart Transplantation in Norway and Scandinavia. A 22 years girl, Bente, received a heart from a 37 years old man, and she is still well and working. The donor´s heart has performed well in 25 years, and the donor´s family can really be proud of their decision the 5th of november in 1983.

DECEMBER:I feel that the events in the last month this year is in too short distance when writing this blogpost to make any priority between them. It has been only hospitalization, preparing for operation, sent home and same procedure again and again. But at last it was my time.
It had to be a different christmas celebration, as people all over the world are doing, but the result is however that my abdomen is better for every day, and the Laparoscopy has been defined a success by the surgery practitioner.
I am well and now the news about Truls` condition also seems optimistic.At the end of this blogging cavalcade I want to thank all my visitor for the old, great blogyear, and may you all have a HAPPY 2009.

Saturday, December 27

How to sell a President

During the President election campaign in 1972 I remember we thought it was crazy and out of any democratic "rules" that a candidate could sell his image for money. The Nixon $3.00 Bill Coffee Cup is now on sale at eBay for $35.00.

I remember this when reading that B.Obama spent $740.6 million (5 241 700 000 kroner) to become the most powerful man on earth.
In this so called financial crises with all the dark future messages we can expect from Jens S. in a few days, may we all remember that there are always money out there - for some.

Thursday, December 25

Christmas activities

I don´t know if Good Friday or Christmas Day is the most "Holy" day in the year for christians. On Good Friday (Easter) when I was a boy, we often went up in the mountain for skiing, but we always stayed at home on Christmas day. Everything was closed, almost no traffic outside the windows, friends could not visit each other, and the news on the radio were short and uninteresting. We read books and cartoons (Knoll og Tott), and if we had received (as normal) a Board Game as christmas gift (i.e. Monopol), everybody in the family had to participate. I never won.

Today the TV channels are full of movies, concerts or shows and the TV-news cover death and war, catastrophes and dramas all over the world. The times they are a-changing

One of the christmas gifts I received this year was the book "The art of reading pictures"I have just opened the book, so no recommendation can be given, but I thought the members of NorskNettfoto should be aware of the book and thus get a possibility for quality improvement and maybe add some interesting aspects when making comments to each others photos.
For those who only want to look at pictures (paintings or photos) maybe the book can give new ways of interpreting my works from 2008 or some of the best from my total production

Tuesday, December 23

Single in Christmas

As posted two weeks ago I cancelled the Season celebration this year. In and out of hospital, not knowing when operation could take place and the condition afterward, made it impossible to book tickets to Wales.
In addition I had some bad bad experience with the Cymric Medical system almost two years ago, so I did not take the chance to go over there in my presently post operation condition.

But, that gives also the possibility to post some thoughts about the situation many single persons have every Christmas.
First: How I made the best out of a situation.
My photo shows my small-Christmas dinner yesterday. Leftover Pinnekjøtt with all necessary ingredients except no beer and akevitt but red Italian Barbera-wine, and some shortcuts in utensils. Instead of using candelabra and our Rosenthal Chinaware and silver, I chose the V&B Alpina and kitchenware from Ilovan. Straight forward, no fuzz, but delicious. My company this evening was TV and the old movie from 1990 "Pretty Woman" (seen it many times before), and text messages and iPhone photos from Wales where my better part could read Calvin and Hobbes (Tommy og Tigern) christmas cartoon together with Helene.
Please do not feel sorry for me. I am fine. Tonight I will have a great Christmas Eve Dinner with my daughter and her family-in-law. I have chosen the situation myself and have all the resources available to make the best out of the situation.

But there are single persons out there who are in such a situation every year, and may be all the time. There are also many persons in hospital beds unable to make any of my choices. I am privileged, and could even use the situation to make a blogpost about it.

I just had to be reminded that Merry Christmas and a Happy Season Celebration is not to be taken for granted.

Natural urban Christmas tree

Firs, Silver firs or Pines (as we always had in my child home) are the traditional Christmas trees in Norway. For ten years we have had Nylon tree, to the dislike of my children.
This year no tree is raised and decorated in the living room, but looking out the window the neighbor´s Birch is glittering in the returning sun. Culture and/or Nature, your choice as ever.

To all of my Old friends: Arve / Liv, Anton / Grethe, Asbjørn / AnneKatharina, Erik / Kirsti, Harald / Solveig, Helge / Astrid and Per Cato / Vigdis,
To my family: Trine / David /Helene /Henrik, Rikke / Tor-Marius, Gerd / Arne, Brit and Turid with all hers, Felicity / John and Edel / Arne
To all Blogging friends from 108 countries (including the last visitor from Guatemala two days ago) and especially my daily visitors and commentators,
Other friends, co-transplants and medical personnel, previous colleagues all over the world and those of you feeling not mentioned by name like many others


Monday, December 22

The Days are longer again

After the sun "turned" yesterday the days to come will slowly be longer and longer.
Today the sunrise here in Oslo at 59°55′19″N 10°43′07″E was 09.19 AM, and sunset will be 03.12 PM. The sun is shining at the chimneys the top of the roofs in the street.
The weather is nice, clear blue sky, + 6.9 C outside my window and almost no wind.
That is quite contrary to the information from the Christmas traffic over the mountain passes where reports about stormy weather, heavy snow, closed roads and requests of letting the cars be parked have covered the news.
Hopefully everybody will arrive to their destination before Christmas Eve. I am staying in Oslo.

Saturday, December 20

Resistance movement, Oslo Gang and Armed Operations

These days the new film, Max Manus, is on the movie screens all over Norway. During the occupation of Norway by Nazi Germany between 1940 and 1945, the Resistance Movement took various forms including Armed resistance, like sabotage, commando raids and other special operations.
The Movie about the Oslo Gang and especially Max Manus, made me look into my book shelves to check out how various Norwegian Newspapers covered these sabotages at that time.
Click on the facsimiles (all from the book: Norge Under Haakon VII by Odd Hølaas) to read the Norwegian text.The Germans often argued that their own carelessness regarding handling of explosives also was caused by sabotage, like this at Fillipstad before Christmas 1944.One of the still living "heroes" from the war time, Gunnar Sønsteby, was in May 1944 involved in another attack against the German Work Command .

Other sabotages linked to the Oslo Gang. The Railroad station in Oslo, March 1945 The pre-Christmas time 64 years ago made headlines in the newspapers.Maybe some of this old photos and notes make associations to wars and conflicts going on in other parts of the world today. When the winning part calls them sabotages, the other parties involved very often call them terror. May we hope for a peaceful Christmas wherever you are.

Friday, December 19

Ending the Lutefisk Season

To night we ended this year season for eating Lutefisk. At home we have had this traditional Norwegian dish several times, but only once at a restaurant this year. Lucky us it is not more than ten months till a new season can start. (be aware that I am not writing about the beer and akevitt connected to the dish)The Pinnekjøtt is presently put under cold water for extracting salt before dinner on Sunday. (Christmas eve this year will be on Ribbe, etc. )
Tomorrow our traditional brunch will be served and the Christmas celebration can start.

Thursday, December 18

Upgrading the Briskeby Line

The Briskeby Line (Briskebytrikken) is a section of the Oslo Tramway which runs between the National Theatre, through the neighborhoods of Briskeby and Uranienborg, before arriving at Majorstuen. Maintenance of the tracks has been going on during autumn this year, and a complete concrete fundament for the tram-tracks is now being made on top of the new distributed heating system for Oslo West behind the Royal Castle.
The Briskeby Line was opened by Kristiania Elektriske Sporvei (Blåtrikken or the "Blue Tram") in 1894. This was the first electric tram line in Scandinavia. The first speeding fine ever issued in Norway was given to a tram driver on this line the same year. He had exceeded the speed limit of 18 km/h

The Briskeby Line is the smallest line of the entire Oslo tram network, with 1,500 daily embarkations along the Briskeby stretch. The potential is estimated to 4000, but many as us almost always walk to and from the city center. The stroll takes only 15 minutes, while the tram uses 7 minutes if not hindered by other street traffic .Some of you may remember the Briskeby Line as part of the Lyric by Øystein Sunde
Det var det året det var så bratt, så bratt
Da var det spiseplikt på Briskebytrikken
Jeg sto der og snubla mens jeg satt
Og spiste fårikål mens bestemor mi drakk
av vinen som jeg hadde kjøpt på polet
Det var godt å være ungkar den gangen
Maybe the year 2009 will not be that steep for the global economy and my health. It is permitted to hope. Hope is passive but faith is active attitude. Within weeks we will know more.

Wednesday, December 17

ABC Wednesday - V for Veet

During my stay at the hospital last week shaving chest and abdomen became a routine with good help from nurses. Lucky me they did not use Veet, but the Veet video is watchable in these pre-Christmas time also for housewives.
V is for Veet (no commercial)

Tuesday, December 16

A new experience - Laparoscopy

As a side effect from my large combined heart and kidney transplantation more than ten years ago, a weakness in my abdominal wall has evolved into a "defect", and thus given me at least one clear diagnosis: Incisional Hernia. My abdominal organs had thus to be covered with an artificial internal membrane that could strengthen the lining.

Normally a quick-fix, but that is never the case when immunosuppressive and DVT medication make every hospitalization a challenge for the patient and medical personnel.
I will not further cover the disappointments of being called for, made ready, sent home, forgotten, searched for and confused and angry over different (right and wrong) information given to me during the last week. That must be history as long as I am discharged and today back home, and been given the best and successful operation by professional personnel in anesthesia and surgery together with nurses and nephrologists. The administration behind these professionals must be dealt with in a complaint letter to the units in charge.
Through this "short" stay at the hospital I got a new experience by being operated through Laparoscopic surgery. Through this keyhole surgery they examined my "too big" abdomen, decided what to do, and removed "alien parts" in addition to fasten the artificial lining under my bellybutton with titanium clips.

A normal consequence of the keyhole method is pain in days and occasionally weeks after the operation including light wound infections. I am in the middle of that process now taking paracetamol and dicloxacillin in addition to my standard tx-medicines. However, I feel fine and look forward to some relaxed weeks up to New Year.

Friday, December 12

Congratulation Anton!

Hopefully am I in the operation theatre, ICU or well through the operation when this post is distributed.However, today my friend Anton has birthday and a lot of Congratulations are sent over the web.

Anton is the rightmost person, and from left Helge and Erik are joining me for this Happy Birthday. Photo taken at Anton´s residence in southern Spain.

Thursday, December 11

Home again, but tomorrow :)

Even today the hospital did not manage to get me through the operation. I am home again after being prepared and ready for operation from 6.30 am until 3.05 pm today. Made my entrance to the unit yesterday evening on hospital request, and went through all the pre operational procedures. Did see the handball match making Norway ready for the finals in this year European Championship before falling asleep.

Tonight I am sleeping in my own bed at home, but will knock on the doors at the hospital at 7.10 am because they now have PROMISED me operation from 8.00 am (if no Urgent tx activity has to make a new change in the line tomorrow too).

The only god thing in these delays are that some other persons has gone through liver and kidney transplantations and now can meet the future in a much better condition than if not transplanted. Today they did 2 kidneys and one difficult liver-tx during my boring horizontal position in all these eight hours.

As posted earlier: follow my blog and learn more about the modern and "effective" Norwegian Health System.

Ready for op theater

Thanks for all good thoughts and recovery wishes. Waiting for surgery

Wednesday, December 10

ABC Wednesday - U for Unsatisfactory behaviour UPDATE

No satisfying message from the hospital this morning giving hope for treatment today.
The leading doctor promised yesterday to call early through the team-leader in charge, asking me to come at a specific hour, but the opposite message received.
No treatment planned for this Wednesday.

The hospital has destroyed my Season celebration. The Christmas is cancelled.

U is for an Unsatisfactory behavior at Rikshospitalet

U for Update
Latest information from the Hospital is that I am prioritized for operation Thursday. Hopefully no urgent kidney, liver or pancreas transplantation will occur (if so I fully understand changes in planned use of the Operating theaters), and that I am, after all the delays, on the speedy recovery journey tomorrow afternoon.

Tuesday, December 9

Sent home again!!!!

Once more the doctor in charge made the decision that it was too late to start the operation on me. After facing unexpected difficulties on the surgery for the patient on the table before me, he made the decision that I was better sleeping in my own bed at home tonight, and return to the hospital in the morning tomorrow.
That is one of the (dis)advantages living "next door" to the hospital.

Last tuesday I got the information prior to the final preparation, but today everything was ready (even the Vival tablets taken) when "sorry to tell" information was given. Lucky them, I am much more well fit to handle such disappointments than many others, and hopefully All good things are three.
If you follow my blog you will know.
If you are interested in Heramb´s second RH painting, here it is:

A place to stay

When having to stay in the hospital for an operation, no place can be better.
On the walls my favorite painter, Thore Heramb, shows two of his great paintings.
Surgery starts at noon, and the paintings will for sure be there when I wake up.
Update will come when possible.

Sunday, December 7

Christmas decoration

During Advent houses and offices around the country, and may be all over the western world, are washed and decorated for the Christmas celebration.
Yesterday we had a voluntary cleaning process in our joint house ownership , and we used the work to strengthen the common interests in co-ownership.
Inside our apartment no special decoration has occurred so far, except Christmas flowers and candy at the table. The package with "pinnekjøtt" and christmas gifts for the children in Wales was sent by mail yesterday. This morning the two house-pixies suddenly found their usual place facing us in the sofa.At the balcony fence one important guest are waiting for his christmas porridge, while the angels are singing out their dreams of a White Christmas

Saturday, December 6

Christmas Cards

Helene 5 is writing Christmas Cards to her class mates. 26 at all, and no use of electronic tools or IT.
If, and I am writing IF, we are going to send Seasons Greetings this year, we have two choices: By email, of by expecting that our friends are regular visitors to this blog.
Since I am approaching the transplantation unit at Rikshospitalet once more on Monday for completing the treatment scheduled, but postponed, last monday, the final decision can with no problem wait until I am well back from surgery. However to be sure I have done it, Merry Christmas to you all.

The photo of Helene above is quite different from the one taken in September 2003 when she two month old after born almost sixteen weeks too early and had a body weight of only 585gr. It is miraculous how medical science can help mother and child (and father) through all the challenges from the day of birth and the years to come. I have also been fortunate to get high quality medicine when heart and kidney failure almost made my life shorter than expected.
Helene´s brother Henrik Isak is also developing great from his birthweight of 970gr. In a few years he will also write Season Greetings Cards to friends and family, and I am looking forward to receive them.
Henrik´s diary from special care can be seen here.

Friday, December 5

Christmas preparations and hopes

Today Sunrise 8:59 am and Sunset 3:15 pm. The day is about seven hours.
Today weather forecast for Oslo says: Snow. Moderate breeze, 7,1 m/s from northeast. 3 mm precipitation. It is Advent!

In Singapore Susie, Carmen, Mee Yim and Norma are planning for a pre Christmas meeting as usual.
My insurance company are sending out their Christmas email-cards reminding us to be careful when using open fire like candle lights.
And when reading Norwegian blogs these days I get a clear understanding of the challenges in the preparations going on in almost every sites visited.

That gives me the opportunity to present a short Youtube video from the preparation in one of the Trønder-wives homes. If any of the viewers feel that I am distributing their private affairs, I apologies for that in advance.

An update on Truls and his condition ca be found at his blog and we hope for speedy recovery.

Many of you are posting Sky Watch Friday today. Since I am banned from that meme, I give you a view FROM the sky at Dalsnibba and down the valley to the Geiranger fjord 1476 m below hoping that the daytimes very soon will increase again and the dark season is over.The morning was felt dark and hopeless. After visiting Petunias Blog today my mode is completely changed. I do not give awards, but Thank you Petunia,
You made my day

Thursday, December 4

Wednesday, December 3

T is for Therapeutic effect

A therapeutic effect is a consequence of a particular treatment which is judged to be desirable and beneficial. This is true whether the result was expected, unexpected, or even an unintended consequence of the treatment.

What constitutes a therapeutic effect vs. a side effect is a matter of both the nature of the situation in which a treatment is used and the goals of treatment.

Therapy or treatment, is the attempted remediation of a health problem, usually following a diagnosis. In the medical field, Therapy is synonymous with the word "treatment"

When we aim for the goal of prolonged life through palliative treatment like organ transplantation, we also must learn to deal with heavy medication and accept the side effects for the rest of our life.

Truls is fighting for his life these days so this ABC Wednesday

T is for Truls and The Treatment he gets.Go here for more ABC Wednesday

Tuesday, December 2

To Hospital and back

After some hours stay and some tests at the RH hospital, the doctors decided to send me home and come back next week due to more urgent surgery needs. Lucky me living only in a short distance from Gaustad, or perhaps that was the reason why I had to go home instead of somebody else.

Nevertheless, here I am thankful for all the best wishes concerning my condition and recovery.Sorry to tell, that the same condition is not valid for Truls (picture) who at the moment is fighting for his life at the Intensive Care Unit at the same hospital. Truls had a double-lung transplantation two and a half years ago and have been in good shape until he got seriously ill ten days ago.
I had in ICU only a short talk with his wife, Hilde, and saw Truls laying there with intubation for breathing help but not awaken. He is really ill!
Certainly he is at the right place and will get all the help possible from the most qualified medical personnel in Norway. Hopefully he will recover within short.

Hospitalization once more

Visiting hospitals has been a major part of my life the last 25 years.
Since my blood pressure dramatically increased in 1983 resulting in the Polycystic Kidney diagnosis, and about ten years later gave me Severe Heart Attacks during my stay in Asia/Singapore, and thus the diagnosis Chronic Renal Disease and Heart Failure, my only option was Simultaneous Heart and Kidney Transplantation for Patients with End-stage Heart and Renal Failure. Ten years later I am still alive and have had a good life.

But hospitalizations for control and treatment of side effects from the operation and long term use of immunosuppressive medicines, become more and more relevant and an important side of the Quality-of-life assessment.
A short break in blogging is thus a consequential side effect of long survival lifestyle. If possible I will do some mobile blog-posting through my iPhone from Rikshospitalet the coming days.

Monday, December 1

Monday Odd shot and Bridges

This first monday in December I should of course given you one of my bridges from my visit to Paris two weeks ago. But hopefully you have already had a look at my WebGallery and seen my photos from the bridges across the Seine, like the header photo taken at Pont Neuf.
If not, it is never too late to go for a visit.

My odd shot this monday is from yesterday when I had a short visit to my cottage. The melting snow was dripping from the roof and gutter, and the water drops made shadows at the wall. Odd catch!
But for those of you more interested in gardening the remains from last summer roses are still not fallen to the ground although the temperature at nights are under zero. Climate changes?
I do not know, but some years ago we did gardening in the beginning of February at the cottage. If you survive the christmas eating this year, you can hope for same weather conditions i the beginning of 2009.