Monday, March 19, 2007

Of Ultrasounds and MRI’s…

Well stories from February and March, where do I begin?......I suppose the first event was the arrival of our friends from the UK. Sam and Bruce and their two children came over for a two week holiday and by all accounts had a lovely time. True to my word I took them both out to the sand dunes in the Hummer for an introduction to dune driving, resulting in ear to ear grins and high blood pressure. Sam proved to be a natural, (only getting stuck once) and gave a constant running commentary of whoa wohoa whooooa.

The main trip was back to Wahiba for a night in the desert camp, which was just as lovely as the first trip. This family run business is very relaxed, friendly and always accommodating. Camel rides ensued, as did the obligatory climb to the top of the nearest dune for sunset and a bit of sand boarding for those more adventurous. As we left the camp the following day for a spot of desert dune driving Bruce was at the wheel of the Durango following me in the Hummer. As the rear end of my car pointed skywards and disappeared from sight for the first time I could hear the conversation going on in the car behind as if I was really there… “They don’t expect me to follow do they????” This is self made roller coasting at its best, hearts in mouths everyone was wide eyed and laughing their heads off as we went up and over dune after dune.

Muscat souk has really come on in the last year, and has smartened it self up somewhat, in order to appeal to the cruise ship tourists now arriving. It is best to avoid when a ship is in town, not just for the crowds but also the prices. Haggling is far harder on the days.

Jewelry and nicnacks abound and calls from pashmina sellers at every corner, there is always something of interest, though not necessarily the old world charm that some might expect.

We spent an easy day down at the Marina, beside the pool soaking up the sun and recovering from our previous exploits, when shortly after lunch I doubled up in pain and had to be driven home by Becky unable to function and feeling very, very ill.

The following day I had recovered but Becky wasn’t feeling up to much after an exerting few days so we left her at home and went off to Seefa for a windy day at the beach. Unfortunately, most of us were more tired than we realized and the sea cold so the day was foreshortened but at the very least our guests saw some of the mountainous beauty that is Oman.

The next day I was back at work, well for a couple of hours at least. I was feeling a little under the weather and not looking too pink either (Distinctive shade of yellow) so took my self off to see the doctor. A blood test followed, and shortly after the results came in, I was hospitalized with suspected hepatitis. A week in hospital, lots more blood tests, an ultrasound scan, a MRI and several visits from a specialist and I was none the wiser. Finally, after all the tests came back it was confirmed that there was no hepatitis and I had gall stones, one of which had blocked my innards and caused an awful lot of pain and turned me yellow! The upshot is that I will have my gall bladder removed at Muscat Private Hospital on the first of April, no April fools I’m afraid.

The down side of this was that I missed Becky’s twenty week scan….can you guess what it is yet????

Fortunately everything is good and the baby actively participated in the scan.

Before Becky reached the twenty six week watershed on flying, she took her self of to Dubai for a whistle stop baby shopping spree with her friends. A slight panic was caused by airport staff demanding a medical certificate stating when the baby was due. The hospital faxed one through in time for Becky to make the flight, but an interesting lesson for all those mums to be.

After a couple of weeks recovery, I felt well enough to socialise, Becky was going a little stir crazy and suggested that we should really go to a friend’s fancy dress cum Karaoke party, the theme… pop stars. But what to go as? We only had a couple of days in which to find a character, source the costume and get to the party. The make or break components proved to be a pair of long white socks and a long black wig….

Luckily Becky found me a wig and I found her long white socks.

So Britney and Ozzy did get to go to the Ball after all, although Britney drove because Ozzy couldn’t see where he was going. A star studded cast were present, from Ziggy Stardust and Sandy (Grease), Abba and Jim Morrison to Britney, Christina, Elvis and Sid Vicious. Plenty of dancing, bad singing and a lot of catching up ensured a good night out for all.

Yesterday we had flash floods which had caught everyone by surprise as nothing had been forecast and it is relatively late in the year for rain. Becky battled through the rain for an hour and a half to get Jacob to school only to find the school closed when she arrived. Unfortunately she slipped in the car park whilst carrying Jacob, grazing her knees and stubbing her toe. Jacob’s umbrella flew off never to be seen again which upset him greatly.

The Journey home proved eventful as Becky had forgotten to fill the car up with fuel, get credit for her phone and was stuck on the highway with the water rising and traffic not moving. Whilst trying to carefully drive through deep water some idiot in a black 4wd charged past and promptly stalled in the middle of the wadi (serves him right) However the bow wave he created forced water up the exhaust of Becky’s car causing it to stall just as she left the water! Becky very calmly controlled the situation and managed to restart the car and get to a petrol station.

Now with the car full of fuel, Jacob and Becky full of chocolate and the phone empty of credit (Shell do sell phone cards you know). They set off to find the driest way home, many roads were completely flooded with water over the bonnets of abandoned cars but, eventually the arrived home some four hours after the had left.

P.S. A replacement umbrella has now been ordered and will hopefully arrive soon.