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Daily journal entries.

The 23rd of April.

Oh god I have never been so excited about the fact that it is Monday tomorrow. Maybe my four month long saga of the fat right arm will be over soon.

Somehow I managed to press the snooze button this morning without my knowledge, but I didn’t continue to sleep for too much longer. I think I was slightly less coughy, but I had Zopiclone so it’s hard to remember. Thankfully the rest of the day has not been necessary to remember anyway.

Shockingly, it’s been mostly tv. Sunday Brunch in the am, Netflix this afternoon. I had a break in the middle for my traditional Gardeners’ Question Time and a lie down/pretend nap, but that was pretty much my only non-screen-based activity. On Netflix, I watched the first two episodes of 13 Reasons Why. I think I’ll download the next several to watch while I’m having to lie flat in ambulatory care tomorrow.

The 24th of April.

So it is done. I am praying so hard that it has worked this time but honestly I’m expecting to be disappointed.

Mommy woke me up for toast at quarter to seven, and then I couldn’t go back to sleep. I managed to kill time until we had to leave by redoing some crochet that I’d done wrong, and we set off just after 10:30. Parking was a nightmare, but we drove round enough times to chance upon someone leaving. Before going to ambulatory care, we went up to 516 to give Jenny her bear. She was delighted and put him in her pocket. We couldn’t stay too long, so we had a brief chat, then we went back downstairs and she went to check patients’ blood sugars.

I checked in at the desk at ambulatory care, then had to wait until the afternoon patients were let in. While we twiddled our thumbs, we saw Vash, the mother of a girl I was treated with at BCH. Turned out she was in a cubicle in there with some mystery virus. She did not look well, poor thing.

I had a very nice nurse who liked my hair (actually nearly every person I met commented on it) and got admitted pretty quickly, then a nurse from angio came for me because I was the only one on their list this afternoon. When we got down there, I went through the theatre check list again, and Andrew came for a chat. He explained what he was going to do, and we talked a lot about gadolinium (the dye he has to use instead of the iodine-based contrast he normally would), because I have so much during these procedures, more than a patient who’s had a lot of MRIs, more than anyone he’s ever seen and there are no studies on how this much of it can affect a body so he has concerns about that. I am just tired, I want it fixed.

We went round to the suite we were going to use. I shuffled across onto the bed and there was a who, then Andrew went to scrub in and the nurses prepped me. Covered in iodine. Once everything was set up, Andrew ultrasounded the edge of my groin to find the vein, then one of the nurses came to distract me while he got stabby with the local anaesthetic. He tunnelled up as far as he could, then he put some local in my fat arm and drove a wire up the vein in there so the two nearly met, and he used them to measure the blood pressures in those vessels, and he did a run of contrast so he could see if any strictures were there. The one he blew up in January had returned, so he was going to have to inflate that again, but with a better balloon this time. Before doing that, he wanted to use the IVUS to make sure there weren’t any more, and to get some more information about my superior vena cava. I could see the screens today, so I can tell you that an ultrasound inside your veins looks like the title sequence of Doctor Who. Like going into a black hole. From this, he was able to glean that there isn’t any more narrowing, but it is scarred. Lines for seven years will do that to you.

Satisfied that I only needed the one inflation, he gave me some sedation (they are not comfortable experiences) and I had a tiny nap. Then all the tubes and wires got pulled out and I had to lie there while he pressed very hard on the puncture site to stop the bleeding.

In recovery, I had some water, then the nurses took me and my notes back to ambulatory care. Mommy was coming back in at the same time, so we both returned to my bedspace and I told her what had gone on. Andrew came round too, and we talked through what he’d seen. He also explained that there’s no point in strenting the vein he inflated because it’s surrounded by bones and fibrous tissue so would probably just get crushed. I have to keep wearing the sleeve and squeezing the stress ball, and hope that this time it’s had the desired effect. I’ll get an appointment for his clinic. Maybe I’ll be able to wear something that doesn’t drown me.

The 21st of April.

Got to get this cat on the website. I sat with him all afternoon, watching episodes three to six of Riverdale, and I found lots of scabs in his fur, bless him. He’s had a really hard time on the streets. Poor kitty.

This morning I was super coughy, and I checked my bloods from yesterday, which said that my CRP is 37. Nobody has phoned me to check that I’m alright, so I’m going to stay aware of how I feel, keep an eye on my sats. They’ve been good in the daytime, and I’ve got respiratory clinic next week. We’ll see what Dr. Thompson says.

I attempted to take some photos of Sam for the website, but he is not the most photogenic of cats. I’ll have to really sell the story and emphasise just how lovely he is. He sits on my lap, occasionally runs over to his food, then scampers back for more lap time. Honestly, if he weren’t so fluffy, i would want to keep him. I just keep inhaling his fur!

The 22nd of April.

This is going to be a short one; very little to report. This morning, I was super coughy and phlegmy again. My sats are mostly alright on air, and I feel alright when I’m not doing very much, but as soon as I take a few steps on my own, I’m in trouble. I don’t know. I have a bad feeling, but maybe I’m just being pessimistic. I hope so.

I came downstairs to find activity that meant a trip was afoot. Not for me. My parents. My 92 year old second cousin twice removed (paternal side) was going to be in Alvechurch to see her son, so Mommy and Daddy were going to go over there after lunch to meet her (for the first time ever).

My afternoon was spent in the company of Sam the floof and the cast of Riverdale, via the medium of television. I’ve now watched all ten available episodes and the next one won’t come out until next Friday. Considering we’re meant to find out who the murderer is at the end of episode thirteen, .I certainly still have no idea. Everyone is a suspect.

They eventually returned just after six, then Mommy went to Grandma’s, and now she’s taken some flowers over the road for Chris and Alison’s wedding anniversary. Tomorrow I will make her rest.

The 19th of April.

So the shaved kitty is not so shaved. Only a few bits had to be done, so we actually have a rather large, incredibly floofy cat who needs a lot of grooming but he is super friendly and seems to enjoy being brushed so I’m confident that won’t be a problem. Plus he’s got zero health problems which is a bonus so hopefully we can find someone who wants an older cat!

A much less news-heavy day. This morning I had a chiro appointment, so I got my back stretched out and a few bits crunched here and there. I was much better than last time, presumably because I haven’t been having to use quite so much oxygen, so my muscles are behaving a bit more normally.

When we got back, Christine and I watched the new episodes of iZombie and Pretty Little Liars, still batshit as ever. Will we get all the answers in the next ten weeks? We can but hope. By the time it finishes, the election will be over!

Christine had to leave to get her train home, but when she got to New Street, she discovered there were no trains to Euston! She was okay though, she was allowed to get a different train to Reading, then get another one home from there.

Shaki arrived just after six with Sam the floof. He is gorgeous and I can’t bear the thought of him sleeping under a pile of leaves. People are awful.

The 20th of April.

I am covered in floof. He is lovely but I need industrial-strength sticky tape to de-fluff.

This morning I was at the QE for pre-venoplasty bloods. That was easily done – I went to haematology clinic and they bled me very quickly, then we went across the link bridge to the “new” hospital. I’d taken in the bear I made for Jenny’s baby, but she wasn’t in. Cody was though, so we went to check if she’d be there on Monday (she will), and we saw the doctors on their round. They seemed happy to see me being well, and Ben complimented me on my boots. He obviously has good taste. Then we went to ambulatory care to check what time I need to turn up on Monday. However, they couldn’t find me on their list. This was a little alarming, so I rang Tracy. We don’t know why I’m not on their list, but I definitely have a bed, I just need to arrive at twelve and it should be fine.

Dean was coming up to go to Heartlands for a pre-op, and I’d said we’d give him and Adam a lift there. We weren’t far away and it was nice to see him with neither of us feeling ghastly.

We dropped them off, then came home for lunch. Mommy then went to Grandma’s, and I watched The Magicians before going to see Sam, and I gave him a very good groom while we watched the first two episodes of Riverdale. Oh how I miss the days when my only worries were boys and girls and homework.

The 17th of April.

Kitty is gone. He was very amenable about the whole thing – only the mum came to pick him up, so he didn’t get stressed and hide. We took the carrier in so he could investigate it while we filled in the paperwork in the living room. When the boring bit was over, I went to give Spike (now Tiger) a big hug and had to entice him into the carrier with treats and a gentle push. I have been told he came straight out when she got him home and went to sit on a dining room chair, under the table. Our next cat is going to be a sad kitty who has been very neglected and will have to be shaved because his fur is so matted. Bless.

This afternoon, I finished the bear I made yesterday and put together the monkey I’ve done for James. Back to doilies now? We’ll see.

I smashed open my Easter egg and ate some of that while watching Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. It is really going to take forever to get through. And that is all!

The 18th of April.

I am not watching the news, mainly because I have been watching it pretty much constantly since Theresa May’s announcement this morning. After a fairly poor sleep, hearing that we are going to have to vote again was the last thing I was in the mood for.

Of course I want the Tories out – they are quite literally destroying everything that is good about this country. But I am really concerned that people won’t vote for Labour, the only credible chance of getting them out, because they “don’t like Jeremy Corbyn”. I just want to shake those people – the NHS is falling apart, schools are so drastically underfunded that they’re having to cut pretty much anything that isn’t nailed down while asking parents for contributions, social care barely exists, and Brexit is going to make all of it even worse. Let’s not forget the cuts to disability benefits, sanctions on people which only make their lives even more difficult, the lack of support for young people who inexplicably don’t deserve the same opportunities as those over 25, or the huge rise in need of food banks.

I don’t give a fuck if you don’t like Corbyn. Children are returning to school with signs of malnutrition. Voting for Labour is the only chance we have to change things. Grow up and do the right thing.

The 15th of April.

Busy day! I am tired. I had to get up earlier than usual to make sure I was fully breakfasted and ready for the family who were coming to view Spike at half past ten. We decided it would be best if Mommy answered the door and I was already sat with Spike, so he was nice and calm when they came in, and I didn’t freak out the children with oxygen. The mum and older son came in, and Spike decided to hide to begin with, but he started to be a bit more forthcoming after a little while. He returned to his hiding place when we were joined by the rest of the family, but that’s only to be expected. After about an hour, he was out and happily playing so I’m pretty sure he’ll be fine. Just waiting now to hear when they want to pick him up!

Shaki came round briefly to drop off some paperwork and see Spike, and we had a chat about Cats Protection logistics. It is complicated.

I got some crochet done this afternoon, while Mommy was at Grandma’s and Daddy had gone to pick up Christine. I also got to watch one and a half episodes of the new season of iZombie which I didn’t know had started, so that was a pleasant surprise. Now the doily is finished, and Christine is home! Plus she has brought me loads of coffee, yum.

The 16th of April.

Happy chocolate day!

I have literally only just broken into my egg, although I only ate the medium sized bunny in the box, not the egg itself. I am fairly certain that my stomach just doesn’t stretch, so it is going to take me ages to eat the whole thing. For breakfast, I had one of the M&S toffee, fudge and chocolate hot cross buns with brownie butter and that kept me full up until lunchtime, which wasn’t until quarter to three. It wasn’t meant to be that late, but there were issues with the pastry in the tarte au citron we were having for pudding.

Grandma came for the day, and Becky and Alison came round to say thanks for looking after their respective cats and receive their Easter eggs. Spike was very antisocial and hid under the chair for most of the time they were here. Silly cat. I went to see him after lunch though, and he came and sat on me very happily, purring away. I don’t understand, but as long as I’m still his favourite, I don’t mind.

For all the time I was not eating, I have been crocheting a bear for Jenny’s baby. I’ve actually made the whole thing except the face, so I’ve been incredibly productive.

Two weeks down, one to go. 

The 13th of April.

Three good days is too much to ask. Well, to be fair to my lungs, I was doing okay this morning, I only started to struggle after I attempted a moisturising session. It is a good thing it’s not necessary every day.

As I’m sure you’ve grasped from that, it’s been a wild ride of a day. I spent the morning in my pyjamas, while I wrote up a blog post and argued with Justine Greening through the television. Well, more like she made a speech and I voiced my disagreement with each point she made. It was fine, no one was around to hear me.

After lunch, I had my strenuous moisturise, then I recovered with oxygen and some crochet. Despite me paying more attention, today I read the pattern wrong, so I did a whole round, started the next one and got very confused. Eventually I worked out what I’d done, unravelled it, then put it away. Too much today. Anyway, then we decided to watch a film that was in Danish so I can’t crochet and read subtitles at the same time.

It looks like might have a family for Spike. It’s their first cat and he is an ideal candidate – he is probably the most affectionate cat we’ve had and he’s such a good boy. I don’t want him to go!

The 14th of April.

Back to quite reasonable breathing today. And my eye has been fairly well-behaved as well! Lucky me.

This morning I had the lovely surprise of coming across Matilda on tv. This was rather fortunate as Good Friday television is appalling – instead of Victoria Derbyshire, there was some sort of Tinkerbell pirate film on. Not ideal.

Most of my day has been spent crocheting, and I haven’t had to unravel any today! Not much left to do on this one so hopefully I’ll finish it this weekend, then I can start work on whatever I decide to make for Jenny’s baby.

I had a tiny chat with Christine when she was on her way home from the airport, because Mommy hadn’t answered her phone. However, we had just really got talking when Mommy called her back so she ended our call. Obviously I am not interesting enough.

And Trump is trying to start World War 3 with North Korea. Two baby men battling with their egos. We’re fucked.

Orlando the Manatee.

I made this months ago, but didn’t want to put up a photo until I knew he’d arrived at his destination.

The 11th of April. 

Surprisingly good breathing today. Especially considering the fact that this morning my sats were 87, but now they’re 98 on air. I am very glad about this because I have had an oxygen-induced headache all day. I have managed to be off it since lunchtime, but still the headache persists. 

Rosemary came for one of her lunches with Mommy, so she and I had a lovely conversation about surgery under local anaesthetic and the way nurses have to try to distract you, while Mommy heated up the soup. When it was ready, they ate it in the dining room, while I ate my lunch and watched Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 

She had to go home to walk the dogs, so then we watched last night’s Criminal Minds, and were sad about Reid being in prison. I so want to read ahead to find out how he gets out (surely he must) but I don’t want to spoil it. 

Mommy went to Grandma’s, and I sat and crocheted while listening to the Pappy’s episode of Comedian’s Comedian Podcast. I also had a look at MyHealth and have discovered I have appointments in May with Mr. Titley, the plastic surgeon Miss Byrom was going to write to about me, and with the eye people. Always finding new things to fix. 

The 12th of April. 

Two good breathing days in a row? What can I have done to deserve this? However, I can only have one thing right at a time – the left eye has been irritated and blurry all day. So I can breathe, but I’m sort of half-blind. 

This morning, I was very slow at getting up, so all I got done after breakfast was sort out my appointment for a physio assessment, which will be surprisingly soon – the beginning of May!

After lunch, Mommy and I went out into Sutton. We needed multiple birthday cards, which were much more difficult to source than you might expect. It took three shops to find a suitable card for each chap. I had to get an Easter card for Grandma, and some hand cream and shower gel from Boots. Super exciting. I was quite grateful that I didn’t need to wear the extra oxygen on, because I did not feel like having to deal with the stares of all the youths who are not in school. 

When we got back, we watched The Oliviers, skipping that speeches we had not interest in, and I did some more crochet. I need to pay a bit more attention to what I’m doing, because I had to unravel a lot today because I found a mistake that I couldn’t ignore. Bah.