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Daily journal entries.

The 14th of July.

Well, this morning was ghastly, but the afternoon was a joy.

We drove down to Ashford so I could visit Robyn, Stuart, Herbie and Ned, while Mommy and Daddy found a way to entertain themselves. The morning was so terrible because despite setting off before we even planned to, we arrived an hour and a half late. There was an accident on the M25, then the sat nav lady took us off to god knows where and we ended up going into and out of London. By the time we got there, I had gone through the full gamut of emotions. Importantly, the murderous rage had passed.

I love them. I got to distribute all my crocheted gifts, and they are going to try their best to stop the blanket from getting dribbled on. It actually goes very well with some of their furniture. I got to squidge Ned, and Herbie gave me some hugs when he wasn’t being a puppy or hiding in the cat house. We had lunch, then settled down to watch Despicable Me 3 (Herbie’s choice) which gave us a chance to talk because Herbie was transfixed. I asked the questions I had prepared for the podcast recording that got scuppered, so look out for that quality content on The Naughty Step.

I was forced to leave about half six, but next time they are going to come up to Birmingham instead. And it won’t be another two years!

The 15th of July.

Too warm to do much of anything today. It was just nice to be able to take the sleeve off last night, although because of the lack of sensation, it feels weirdly tickly whenever the sheet touches it. So I spent my morning writing about yesterday, not watching Sunday Brunch because Pixie Lott is, quite frankly, unbearable.

After lunch, I went upstairs to stick my feet up against the wall again (my feet got puffy during all of the driving yesterday) for a bit before the tennis started. Firmly on the side of Djokovic today – if I can’t have a storybook ending for Serena, I want it for him. Anderson has a weird dog that I don’t like.

While I watched, I typed up a late blog post, then Shaki arrived during the second set to pick up some of the donations from the cattery that we’ve been playing host to. Inevitably, she ended up staying for about an hour, seeing if Dolly might emerge but she refused. She did say that apparently there is someone who has registered interest in her so I’ll talk to them and hope to sweet baby Jesus that they are reasonable.

Djokovic won, then I found myself watching the World Cup final. Here, I wanted France to win, because when Croatia beat us they behaved like bastards. Very pleased, and now I will return to my usual state if feeling ambivalent about the majority of sport.

 

The 12th of July.

Well, the news is depressing. It is all about Trump’s visit and I would rather avoid. Bleugh.

This morning, I did a blog post, then I was at the chiro. Had to be selective about what Trine could do because I am still a bit delicate. My neck was the main problem anyway; I think it did not get on with the holiday bed.

When we got back, we changed my sleeve and took the opportunity to wash my hair. My whole arm is turning a lovely shade of yellowy-green.

After lunch, I sat with Dolly all afternoon watching NowTV. Well, I watched, she ignored me and stayed under the chair. I watched the first episode of Sharp Objects, and why Amy Adams has not won an Oscar yet is beyond me. And the girl they have cast to play her younger self is spot on. I also saw the pilot of Twin Peaks because it seemed like something I would enjoy and I thought it was of a similar kind of vibe. I am heavily into Lara Flynn Boyle’s hair. Not so much the fashion.

Got to take the dressings off tomorrow. That’s going to be a pretty picture.

The 13th of July.

Last night was the first time that the sleeve has really bothered me since I got home. I kind of had to just keep squeezing it until it stopped itching. I had all the dressings taken off today in follow up clinic, just so the wounds could all be checked and cleaned. They all look good, not really even much to clean. I have to start using this ointment three times a day which doesn’t really get absorbed by the skin, so when the sleeve goes back on, it soaks through a little which is not a desirable look.

This afternoon, I caught up with the most recent Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (Talbot gone totally Trump), then I went to sit with Dolly and watch some more of Twin Peaks. She remained under the chair, which I think was a smart move because it is the most batshit thing I have ever seen. The scene with the dancing dwarf was really quite insane. Plus I keep having to go to imdb to work out where I know people from, like Laura Palmer is Ellie from One Tree Hill, and Shelley is Alice Cooper from Riverdale. I’m such a millenial.

The 10th of July.

Oooh I am very itchy. Apparently it is one of the many weird sensations one can get after liposuction so I took an antihistamine to try to counter it but it wasn’t really helpful.

I was able to take the sleeve off for a couple of hours this morning, which was very nice. The elbow and wrist have been squeezed particularly hard. Plus my hand is holding a lot of the fluid still; I still ask Fiona about that on Friday if it’s still there.

I spent my afternoon watching the tennis, crocheting and periodically visiting Dolly to see if she could be persuaded to eat anything, because she hasn’t since yesterday evening. I would go in, she’d ignore the food, but then she’d cry when I left. She has just eaten a small amount of fish, but then wandered off to look out of the window and howl. I do not understand this bloody cat.

The 11th of July.

The itchiness has calmed down today, thankfully. Instead, the issue of the day has been hand swelling – the garment forces some of the fluid into my hand, and it felt enormous this morning. I tried putting the compression glove on, but that just seemed to cut off the circulation to my fingers. Not ideal. Eventually I took the sleeve off for an hour this afternoon, just to give it a rest. My fingers are not shiny like they were earlier so it’s helped a bit.

My day has been remarkably uninteresting. I actually spent pretty much my whole afternoon lying on my bed with my feet up against the wall, trying to get some of the fluid that appears to have pooled in my feet to drain. I think I may have even fallen asleep. But after a few hours, it was too much pressure on my back so I came back downstairs. Sat with Dolly for a little bit because she is back to her habit of crying all the time. She does it whether we’re there or not, but I feel bad if I ignore her. Stupid weird kitty.

The 8th of July.

So, so tired.

I didn’t fall asleep until about 3 this morning because my arm hurt and I couldn’t get in a comfortable position and the sheets were a mess. Then I was woken up at 7 for my breakfast of toast, marmalade and coffee. I asked the nurses for my Tramadol, because the codeine did fuck all, and found that helped enough for me to be able to bend my arm, brush my teeth and sort out my bed a bit.

Anne had said I could go without seeing her, but I wanted to see what she thought of my arm today and find out what we were to do regarding dressings. She appeared at quarter to twelve, with Mommy and the nurse, which was excellent timing. She took off the bandages, peeled the sleeve down, then removed all the Mepores, trying not to tear my skin. It looks pretty amazing! It looks best immediately post-surgery, then the swelling will go up, but both arms looked nearly identical! And all the compression has alleviated some of the bruising. The nurse gave all the wounds that needed it a clean, then applied new dressings before putting a new sleeve on. So everything is good! I see Fiona the nurse next week, Julie in six weeks, and Anne in September. Then we just had to wait for pharmacy to send up my TTOs and it doesn’t seem to matter if it’s an NHS or a private hospital, they still move at a glacial pace.

I almost match. I’m so happy.

The 9th of July.

Sleep was good. I lay on top of the sheet with my arm on a pillow and managed to stay there until a reasonable time. The arm was less painful, so I think that helped.

I have done very little today. This morning, we watched Christine mace-bear at a graduation ceremony over live stream, then we caught up on the Taskmaster finale that we missed while we were away.

Sarah came back with Dolly, who despite having a lovely time at the cattery, scratched Sarah and wet herself when it came to having to get in the carrier. Poor thing. She has gone straight under the chair.

We had lunch, then I sat with Dolly all afternoon, crocheting and watching Zootropolis. She has not emerged, just like Boris. Suddenly my trip to the Houses of Parliament on the 18th has become even more interesting. 

The 6th of July.

Ah, home again, where the water from the tap tastes good.

Up very early because we left before half past eight. First, we drove to Ipswich to drop off Christine at the station there, then we continued for three and a half hours to home. My back was horrific.

We got here just before one, so we had time to pee and have a drink before Mommy and I went to The Spire for my cross-match. The receptionist sent me to the wrong place, so we wasted twenty minutes waiting for someone who wasn’t coming. Thankfully, a member of staff was helpful, and suddenly everything happened very quickly. I went to the right place, and the woman in charge came to apologise profusely and make sure shit got done. A nurse came to get me, and she’d bleeped a doctor to bleed me. He had to have two goes, but he got what we needed. On the way out, we were stopped by the manager again, who qoffered us free coffee and cake! We said yes please, because we hadn’t eaten since breakfast, and it was delicious.

We stopped at M&S on the way home to buy some dinner, then this afternoon, I have had my first Hibiscrub shower (I have to have another one in the morning) and a hairwash. Having to blow dry one’s hair in this weather is awful.

I do hope I sleep tonight.

The 7th of July.

Liposuction day!

I am exhausted, swollen, oozy and sore.

I got up early to try and drink loads of water before I had to be nil by mouth at 11. We got to The Spire at about twenty past, and someone from the ward came to get me and take me to my room. It was a slightly nicer version of an NHS cubicle room – pretty much the same, but I could lock my cupboard and I had a wardrobe. Fancy.

A nurse came to admit me and do blood pressure, sats and get a urine sample. Then they sent the doctor I saw yesterday to try and get some more blood from me because they were unhappy with the group and save from then. Unfortunately, my veins did not want to cooperate, and after two tries he decided he would let the anaesthetist try in theatre when they put my cannula in.

The anaesthetist himself, Gerwyn, came to see me next and we talked about all the boxes I had ticked on the form (he thinks I probably did break the record). We discussed the regional block, the risks, what else we might need to do. It all sounded very promising so that was grand and off he went. Then we just had to wait for Anne!

She came just after two o’clock and drew all over my arm to show where she was going to go in (basically everywhere), took some pictures for comparison, then I signed the consent form and it was time to go!

In the anaesthetic room, Gerwyn had two attempts at the cannula, unfortunately settling on the vein in the underside of my wrist, although he did put some local anaesthetic in first so it wasn’t as uncomfortable. Couldn’t get any blood but it was unlikely that I’d need a transfusion so nevermind. Then he ultrasounded around my collarbone to find the nerves he wanted to use to make my arm numb. We had to wait for it to kick in, then he started spraying me with the cold spray and poking me with a blunt needle to see what I could feel. Turns out a brachial block can’t numb the inside of the upper arm or the back of it, so they would try and get some local infiltration in theatre.

When we went in, I asked if we were going to do a Who, which they all found very amusing because nobody had ever asked that before, then they asked if I would lead it, so I did! I was prepped, made all clean, some leg massagers were attached to my calves to prevent me from getting another DVT, and a screen was erected in front of my face to keep the sterile and non-sterile areas separate. That was annoying, because I had wanted to watch. However, they asked if I wanted any music to entertain me, so I requested Death Cab. They were unsure until they heard it, and then they realised they are lovely so we just listened to them for two hours while Anne hoovered all the extra fat out of my arm. The noise is like a combination of an electric toothbrush and a drill. And in the places where it wasn’t numb and the local anaesthetic wasn’t reaching, it felt like she was shoving a long drill bit in and out of my arm. It was painful enough to get past just clenching my jaw – I screwed up my face a bit and even emitted an “Ow.” That means it is bad. If you are planning on having liposuction ever, I would recommend making sure you can be entirely numb, and if you can’t, be asleep. It’s not pleasant. When she was finished, all the little holes got stitched up, then covered in Mepore dressings. My entire arm is Mepore. Then, they had to try to get a compression garment over the top without messing up all the dressings. I had a quick look, and she was not kidding about the bruising. It’s rather dramatic. That was tricky, but they did a reasonable job. Blood and fluid has oozed out through it constantly since then, and it’s supposed to carry on until tomorrow evening. I’m not supposed to change the dressings for ten days, but I can’t see how they’ll still be viable even after tomorrow. I’ll ask Anne when she comes round in the morning.

When it was all done, at about quarter to five, I was taken to recovery, where we saw the very end of the football (It’s coming home!) and everybody told me how well I’d done. Anne said it went really well, and she removed a whole litre of fat. A litre! Even she didn’t expect there to be that much. After about half an hour and a much needed glass of water, I was taken back to the ward.

Here, I have had to do everything one handed, because my right arm was useless until about 9. I can flop it about, like Harry Potter does when Gilderoy Lockhart magics away his bones. I managed to get my phone out of the cupboard and ring Mommy, so she could come and see me because she wanted to. Then I rang Christine to tell her how it had gone, because it was easier than texting. I was brought the sandwich I’d ordered before surgery and some coffee, which happily did not taste like garbage. I was so hungry but it’s hard to eat an egg mayo sandwich with only one hand. Mommy arrived, I told her all that had happened, and she helped me sort out the sheets and shuffle myself up the bed. She left at about twenty past seven, and I lay and waited for my arm to come back to me, sending her a video every time the mobility moved up the arm a bit. By 9, I had regained most of the movement and sensation. It’s got its cons though – now I can feel again, I’m aware that it is quite achy. Will ask the nurses for some codeine, see if that helps. Then I will try to go to sleep. Not feeling optimistic.

The 4th of July.

The blanket is finished! It needs a bit of ironing because the edges are slightly puckered but I am very pleased with it.

I was on my own again today, as I wished. Family went to visit some sort of castle which is really not my vibe. I did the last bits of tidying up of the blanket, then for the rest of the day, I sat and read The Rabbit Hunter. It is another excellent piece of work by Lars Kepler, except for the excessive amount of focus on Saga’s black leather bodysuit and the gratuitous sex scene that had no bearing on the story whatsoever.

I feel slightly better today. We went out for dinner. I met a nice cat.

The 5th of July.

Another day, another book read.

I was woken up by men doing things with scaffolding exceptionally loudly at 8am. Thankfully that won’t be a problem tomorrow because I’ll be up before they arrive.

Not really sure where the morning went; I watched Victoria Derbyshire, got dressed, and started reading Stuart’s book, Don’t Be A Dick, Pete. Considering I’m going to visit the Wilder-Heritages next week, I thought I should have read it.

So this afternoon, the family went on a long walk to Thorpeness, and I stayed here and read. I was very happy with my decision because I was visited by another nice kitty! A different one to yesterday; this one was black with some grey hairs. I opened the door and he enjoyed lots of stroking, then he came in to have a look around (I had already closed the doors to anywhere else) and we had a lovely time. It was nice to pet a kitty who actually appreciated it.

Home tomorrow. Then liposuction day. I’m trying to quash the idea that it might not work.

The 2nd of July.

I don’t know what it is. I just don’t feel like I am in holiday mode. I’m kind of exhausted and not eating in the regular way and definitely not drinking enough because the water here tastes disgusting and I am reduced to drinking squash like a child. So I feel generally shit but am trying not to inflict it upon the rest of the family. I just don’t want to do anything or go anywhere.

Today, after much effort, we went to Southwold. We had planned to go this morning so we could have lunch at a nice café we’d read about, but the car battery had died. Had to call the RAC who sold us a new battery and we got there about three o’clock this afternoon. I got an iced coffee from the aforementioned café, then we pootled along down the seafront, down the pier and back again. Saw countless good dogs, got battered by the wind and saw some faintly disturbing artwork.

In good news, I have joined all my hexagons! Now I have to do the border, then tidy up all my ends.

The 3rd of July.

Yep so my brain has got on the depression train. No appetite, no motivation to do anything, go anywhere. Going to have to go through the motions until it lifts.

Family understand. They made sure I had food and enough to drink, then left to go and see what Sutton Hoo was like. That’s fine – it’s what I wanted. All I want is to sit and work on my blanket, listen to tennis. Just pass the days until we leave on Friday. I want to be in my cocoon until then.