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The past week has somehow managed to be tedious beyond belief and also more-than-verging-on-the-shambolic, in more or less equal measures. I'm sure it ought not to be this difficult to arrange basic, routine medical maintenance; and I'm also certain it shouldn't be up to the patient to do so. However ...
Monday morning we were up bright and early, or at least early, in order to get to the Churchill for a CT scan by 8.30. Erring on the side of caution, as we do tend to do - for we are very old ladies, and old ladies do tend to be cautious - we actually got there closer to 7.30. Which made no difference, I hardly need say, we still had to wait for our appointment. It was a different scanner, this time; the nurse said it was a little bigger than the other one. Fine by me, so long as it's not smaller. I have to close my eyes when I go through the Stargate as it is. I got cannulated, and I got scanned, and then I had the contrast dye inserted and got scanned again, and then we went home. With the rest of the day ahead of us, wide-open and full of promise, we ... well, I went to back to bed, and then faffed about on the computer a bit. I don't know what Judy did. That's pretty much all I ever do, and I'm heartily sick of it, I can tell you.
Incidentally, and apropos of nothing at all, there is a house en route to the hospital that has a chicken on the wall. It always has a chicken on the wall, and we have come to the conclusion that it must be a fake chicken. Why would anyone have a fake chicken on their wall? Beats the hell out of me, but live and let live, I say. They're not the only people to have odd ornaments; in Woodstock Road, just before you get into Oxford, there are three, count 'em, three houses with gargoyles (Stephen Fry would tell you they are 'grotesques', not gargoyles, since they don't drain away water, but, really, who cares?) on their roofs, and another with a pollarded tree that has a pottery chicken perched on top of it. Last year they must have decided that the old pottery chicken was getting a bit scruffy, so they replaced it with a new one - or maybe repainted the old one, I didn't ask. It's things like this that have gradually reconciled me to Oxford, although it's still not a patch on London. The Botanical Gardens, just for a kick-off, cannot hold a candle to Kew, even with their Will/Lyra associations. I really miss Kew. I once almost wrote a children's book set in Kew, but abandoned it after a few chapters - which, people who keep telling me I ought to write a book, is why I don't write a book. I don't because I can't, and I can't because I don't. Impasse.
Back to life: back to reality. Back to the here and now ...
Tuesday I was up early, although not quite so early as Monday, to be ready for the district nurse, who was due to come and change my PICC dressing. Up she turned, as promised, flushed the line, cleaned the area - I'm afraid that patch of my arm is likely to turn albino and grow mushrooms from never seeing the light of day - and re-dressed it in a rather unconventional manner, putting the clear dressing on over the whole bloody lot. This suits me fine, it makes it much more discreet and keeps it from getting caught on things, but how in the world are you supposed to use it if it's dressed like that? Not that it was due to be used, but nevertheless. So that happened. And, once again, with the whole day ahead of us (see above).
Wednesday! Up early! Off to the GP this time, to get pre-clinic bloods taken. "Why didn't the district nurse do that while she was there?" you ask, and the answer is, because the chemo clinic didn't give us a blood pack. They also didn't give us a dressings pack for next week, but more on that later. So my poor little elbow, which hadn't had a chance to recover from Monday's cannula, got punctured once again. Not unnaturally, it tried to show its displeasure by refusing to stop bleeding, but we came to a civil agreement in the end. And home. And ... nada. That was the excitement for the day.
My poor arm is a total mess, btw. Some nasty something in my bedroom keeps biting me, so as well as bruises and lumps from having needles stuck into it twice in one week, it's also covered in bug bites and, because my first instinct was to blame the cats, claw marks from Frontlining Molly. (Jenny is more amenable, and I sneaked up on Shadow when he wasn't paying attention.) The whole thing is a disaster area. And I'm still getting bitten. I think it's a flying thing rather than a hoppy thing, and I wish it would just sod off and die. I can't be that tasty, surely?
On Thursday nothing happened at all. I was so bored and miserable I almost started screaming. One of these days I probably shall do,and then the problem will be stopping me again.
Friday was better. We went into Bicester to do some basic wandering-round-the-shops - not that the shops in Bicester are especially thrilling, and not that I can afford to buy anything - and in the evening we went out for a meal with a bunch of people I used to work with. Which was lovely on every possible level, except that afterwards Mr Crab tried to kill me in the night (in the course of which the loo seat in the Comedy Bathroom - don't ask - broke - don't ask about that, either - and now the lid smacks me on the back every time I sit down). That made for a very subdued sort of Saturday, although I did find myself getting quite excited about the Olympics, such is the insidious power of the zeitgeist, what with all the medals and things. And people on Twitter taking the piss out of the Daily Mail (what else is one to do with the Daily Mail? It would be nice, but probably dangerous, to ignore it. It was quite depressing, sitting in the waiting room on Monday, to see not just one but two people reading the thing and, apparently, soaking up every racist, reactionary word).
I do hope that people who are politically opposed to the Olympics are at least letting their kids enjoy it. My mother hated sports, and wouldn't have them in the house. If not for her, who knows, maybe I would have run faster, jumped higher, not flung myself to the ground, arms over my head, and yelled "Incoming!" any time someone lobbed a ball in my direction - and, who knows, I might have been happier, healthier, saner; I might even not have got cancer. We shall never know. Mens sana in corpore sano, that's all I can say. Of course, it also didn't help that the generation of teachers I was lumbered with were not yet the tweedy, be-sandalled "Let me be your friend!" type, but a bunch of old harridans who had 'domina' mixed up with 'dominatrix', and our PE teacher was an absolute horror. Even the sporty girls thought so, and were the first to raise a cheer on the wonderful occasion when she got hit on the head by a hockey ball, poetic justice if ever there was. (She wasn't killed, it's okay, we weren't entirely heartless - although I don't say we would have cared if she had been. Nor, sadly, did she go through a personality change as a result.)
I managed to do a little bit of housework yesterday, in the form of taking down the curtains in my bedroom and study and washing them. And dusting the rings and poles and things, and then hanging the curtains back up again. They're a little bit wrinkly, and would probably have benefited from being ironed, but I think we all know that's never gonna happen. All of this usually gets done in March, but I figure I have a pretty good excuse for being a little late this year. The net - and I love net curtains as much as any sane person, but it's a necessity, otherwise half the street could see straight into my bedroom (possibly not, given lines of vision and light diffraction, or do I mean refraction, and other science-y sorts of things, but I'm not taking the chance) - didn't get done, but (don't I say 'but' a lot?) I think I'm going to get a new one, this one's eight years old, because that's how long we've been here now, and getting pretty grunky. So: housework. Go,me! And also, someone sent me a book - a P G Wodehouse 'Psmith' collection - from my Amazon wishlist, which cheered me up. I don't know who it was, there wasn't anything to say, but thank you, whoever you may be!
Sunday now, and Mr Crab is still a bit bitey. That's nothing to the bitey thing in my room, which, I discovered yesterday morning, had got me twice on my face. It didn't bite last night - I washed such of my pillows that can be washed, and maybe I've drownded it, I do hope so - but I don't want to speak too soon. I really ought to vacuum, but, again, I think that's not going to happen, not today, anyway. Possibly tomorrow. Possibly not.
Tomorrow, by all rights, I should have been going to see the consultant, but I had a letter midweek to tell me they were changing it to Tuesday. It's at 2.30 or, to put it another way, 'whenever we can get to you', and I'm supposed to be having chemo at 3.30, so that should be entertaining. It has also screwed up my nice, tidy plans to get bloods and dressing change done by the chemo nurses while I was there. Instead, I'm going to have to go back to the GP's for bloods tomorrow morning - and another needle jabbed into the same old poor, abused vein - and get the dressing changed on Tuesday. Yes, it would have been easier if I could have got the district nurse in to do both, but, as previously noted, the clinic didn't give us a second dressings pack, and no blood pack at all. Hence frantic running around and rearranging on my part. Which is where I came in.
And that was the week. That was.
Hmmmmm. I don't like a lot of that... bitey things and nurses who don't take blood and boredom.
I can't do anything about any of it as you insist on living in Biscester and even with my driving speed, that's a bit too far away to be of any use.
I had no idea that one could even wash curtains... mind you, only one room in our house has them and they were an extravagance we had made for us when we was rich... and we had a blacksmith make us a curtain pole that was a snake and quite beautiful to hang them on. and then we moved house.
I keep meaning to buy curtains but rather like you, things (and for things, read cancer, operations etc) keep getting in the way.
All I can do is send you big hugs and lots of them and hope that bitey things stop biting you.
I did the same with balls and games. I would say maybe that's why I got cancer, but I suspect the fags and booze and other naughties had more to do with it... oh and mother. She always said Oh you are just like me, you'll probably get cancer too. And as we know mothers are always right. Why she couldn't have said something more fun, I don't know.
Ah well, I hope something fun happens soon.
all the hugs
Little My xxxx
Well it sounds like all those messed up appointments are becoming a bit of a nuisance ( to say the least ) and the need for so many blood tests ..... what are they, vampires in disguise ? Maybe time to get the garlic and wooden stakes out to drive them away ....... or perhaps those gargoyles might do the trick.
They seem popular around here too - and I quite like them ( along with dragons ) and my thoughts are that they will frighten any horrible people away. I shan't confess to once having gnomes in the garden - but there is a fairy or two ........ oh, and the odd Grecian-type statue ( half naked, of course )
Oh, as a solution to the net curtains why not try a blind instead ?
Hope your poor arm recovers soon and all the bitey things stop biting ( including Mr Crab ) and something more interesting turns up to chase the boredom away. All I can do is send you some more hugs, Hilary.
Love, Joycee xxx
Sorry to read your doleful tale, Hilary. You need some cheerfulness in your life, that's for sure. And some efficiency in your health care personnel...
Make sure your beastie-bites don't get infected, won't you, so you don't have the Hammer house of horror experience #1 daughter has had!
My offer to come and visit you still stands: though the threat of that may send you back to your fainting couch.
Please tell us why you have a comedy bathroom: can't you stay in there to cheer yourself up? It reminds me of the Angry Dome in Futurama (every home should have one).
x x x hugs x x x
Would you like my dentist and hygienist appointments tomorrow Hils? You'd have at least half an hour's wait before each, so it would be like a home-from-home but in different surroundings.And on Tuesday there's my first Lung Cancer Support Group meeting at jolly old Heartlands Hosp., in the middle of the seediest part of Brum you can imagine, where there are bound to be Romanian ladies in full national dress, lifting their skirts to wee in the gutter, and begging for cigarettes. You could go instead and deliver a few pithy comments. Beloved will be your bodyguard.
We have some net curtains at strategic windows because of my paranoia about being watched. I've been mentioning blinds on and off for years and all I get is agreement but no action. Looks like another job I'll have to organise myself, like trawling the (inter)net to find a fridge-freezer that would fit in the ridiculously-sized gap beloved left when he built kitchen units around the old f-freezer ... i could go on but enough for now.
Bites - nasty. TCP works but stinks the place out. There are citronella devices you can leave about the house; allegedly they are effective but I've never tried them.
Needles are a recurrent feature in the treatment of Mr. C. If Judy ever feels like writing another thesis she has a ready-made subject, just think of all the aspects she could cover.
Sorry you're bored, and sorry you won't be writing a book, but don't give up on the blogs. Pleeeze.
Love & hugs,
Thank you, everyone. The bitey things seem to have lost enthusiasm now - I think it was washing the pillows that finally did for them - and they were definitely not fleas, I react to flea bites in a very specific way. Not that any sort of bite is welcome.
Minima, I told you not to ask about the Comedy Bathroom. However, since you have: when we moved from Thornton Heath, just about everything went wrong: our buyer dropped out, our seller decided they didn't want to sell after all, the money from the sale didn't go through ... When we finally got into the house, which I hadn't seen before, I discovered that it was all Terribly Tastefully furnished in pastel-coloured paints and neutral carpets. Except that in the bathroom (peach walls, peachy-brown marbly tiles, fawn carpet) someone had seen fit to fill in the feature tiles and the band around the centre of the room with what appears to be white Plaster of Paris and stud it with seashells. It was a case of either laugh or cry at that point, so I decided we might as well laugh, since we can't afford to replace it. The crying came the next day when I went to have a bath and no water came out of the tap ...
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