Archives For Anne Dancey

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 18th of June.

I am pleasantly not knackered today. Had a fairly boring morning, typing up two blog posts on the past four days. I couldn’t be arsed to sort out the pictures so that’s a job for tomorrow. I also rang Anne Dancey’s secretary, Gayle, but she wasn’t there so I’ll have to try again tomorrow.

This afternoon, I gymmed. Did a few different things to try to keep myself from getting bored. Binned off the bicep curl machine because I don’t feel like it’s effective, did it with free weights instead and now my arms are a bit trembly so it definitely did something. When I got home, I had a phone call from Lynn, Dolly’s previous fosterer (sort of) to see how she is getting on. I had to give her the bad news that she has gone rather backwards. She is coming out for food and the litter tray, just like when she first arrived. Obviously had something incredibly traumatic happen in her first home and finds it very difficult to trust humans. Poor floof.

The 19th of June.

I hurt today. My bum and arms are protesting after the gym yesterday, and Trine had to do a lot of work on my neck because it had a terrible weekend. Ergo, much pain this afternoon.

Before the chiro, I rang Gayle again to see when we could schedule my liposuction. She said she had to move some people around, and would call me back, so we left it at that. Post-neck-kneading, we went to see if we could find a soft brush for Dolly, and got a few bits from Tesco. We have procured a baby brush from Boots, so we’ll see if she hates that one too.

Wool for my blanket arrived while we were out, so after lunch (and The Bridge), I started crocheting hexagons. I’ve done twelve, got ninety one left. I’m going to have to be somewhat industrious. But I’m excited to see how it comes out!

I rang Gayle back at about half two because she hadn’t got back to me, and the upshot is that provided the nurses can fit my pre-op in in time, I’ll be having it done on the 7th of July! And shortly after that, the pain nurse rang to talk about my injections. I told her that they’d had no effect, and she’s going to get me another appointment with Dr. Blaney, although god knows when that’ll be. Cannabis oil it is! 

The 12th of June.

Happy Birthday Daddy!

First thing, I gave him the presents I bought him yesterday. I had ordered some other stuff but it didn’t look like it would arrive in time, hence the shopping yesterday. Of course, they were actually delivered today. Oh well, he can have them for Father’s Day! Anyway, he’s very happy with his fudge and astronaut.

I did a blog post this morning, then we went out for lunch at The Boathouse. I don’t think we’ve been there since Becky and James’ wedding. They have done it up, and I do not like the new artwork. Mirrors with bottles of alcohol sticking out of them, appearing to spray. Awful. And being sold for £295! Still, I had some tasty food: mac and cheese, and baked cod in a brie and chive cream sauce. All very delicious.

We had about an hour at home, then Mommy and I had to go to The Spire to see Anne Dancey about my arm. We went through all that has happened in the past year, she examined both arms, and basically, I’m going to have liposuction. I’ll get a quote tomorrow, then I will book a date to have it done. I will have two arms that are the same size!

Dolly is still unhappy and I think we are stuck. I have texted the adopter of Dot, because her daughter in law looked after Dolly at the cattery and I think she might be able to help.

The 13th of June.

There is not much of interest to say today. This morning was pretty quiet – I booked my trains to London and back for the stem cell APPG summer reception in July, and found myself panicking about getting the train home in time, despite me doing it last year and getting the same trains. I need to calm the fuck down.

After lunch, I went to the gym and actually had a good session without any terrifying breathing or terrible back pain! Amazing.

This evening, Sarah, who worked with Dolly at the cattery, came round to see her. We hoped she might be able to coax her out but unfortunately, she wasn’t having any of it. Stayed under the chair, hissing. We’ve got some rescue remedy to put in her water, and I’m going to talk to Shaki to see if she has any further ideas. Otherwise, we’re at a loss. 

The 23rd of April.

It has been a very boring day.

This morning, I wrote up a blog post, sewed up the seam of the first sleeve of my jumper, and got very bored of hearing about the new royal baby. So much baby news. Now he is born and home, one hopes it will die down once we know his name.

I had an ultrasound with Andrew at one, to check if there were any strictures or thromboses in the lower arm. After checking all the veins, and looking at the visible tissue, it seems my veins are fine, there isn’t any fluid anymore, and now there are just fat deposits in my arm for no reason! So I’m going to get back in touch with Anne Dancey to explore my options. I can’t leave it like this.

Then we had two hours to kill, so we bought some crap sandwiches from WH Smith and read our books. Much book-reading today. I finally went in to the x-ray suite at quarter past four, where Dr. Blaney was waiting. I lay face down, trying to breathe comfortably. My lower back was exposed, and I then had an x-ray probably every twenty seconds while Dr. Blaney did lots of injections. I think he was doing some local anaesthetic, then putting in a bigger needle and using that for the steroid. It took maybe five to ten minutes and was slightly uncomfortable, but not enough to put me off having them again. If they work, that is – it’s hard to tell at the moment. They might work immediately, it could take a few days, or they might not work at all. If they don’t, I don’t know what I will do.

The 24th of April.

Well, I think I might very tentatively say that my back may be slightly improved?

This morning it was quite tricky to tell, because I didn’t do anything to really test it out. I got up, had breakfast and coffee, and listened to The Riverdale Register while getting dressed for the gym. Mommy and I printed out all our tickets for Mach so they are sorted in folders for when they’re required, then I did the first two rows of the second sleeve of my jumper.

After lunch, I went to the gym for a short session. Partially because I didn’t want to overdo things, and partially because Mommy had to be at Grandma’s for twenty to four, so I needed to finish earlier than I usually do. Basically, I skipped all the stuff I do downstairs, so I just did the circuit of machines upstairs. I didn’t have the pain I was experiencing last time, but that was a very bad day. The pain is definitely not gone, but I think it might be a tiny bit better.

Tonight I am out at the mac seeing Tez and the seats there are not the most comfortable, so that might give me a better assessment.


The 24th of October. 

Well, here’s a weird new development; part of my lower arm has gone numb. When I touch it, it feels like it would if I had had local anaesthetic put in. Just dead. 

I rang the lymphoedema nurses to see if they thought it was because of the new compression garment. They said probably not, but to take the sleeve off for a day or two, and see if it changes. So far, it’s still exactly the same. I have to ring them on Thursday to let them know but I’m pretty convinced it’s something internal. I might email Anne Dancey as well to see what she thinks because Andrew is unavailable as it’s half term. 

This afternoon, I was at the hospital for Dr. Richter’s clinic. I didn’t see her, but one of her colleagues, Dr. Antrobus. He wanted to know about my infection history, so I tried to run him through the significant ones. Most of the discussion revolved around the pneumonia this year and the e. coli/klebsiella/sepsis debacle of 2013. He has ordered a couple of blood tests to look at my levels of antibodies and what pathogens I’m immune to. He thinks there probably isn’t any treatment that they would give to reduce the white cell count, and he’s going to write to everyone concerned to basically say that it may well just be one of those things and they should just accept it and give me what I need. 

The 25th of October. 

Having so much bizarre shit go on with my body has made me more neurotic than I think is normal. I emailed Anne this morning to see if she had any ideas, with a photo indicating the affected area. She had some very specific thoughts (including technical medical language) and thinks I need to see Andrew asap. I then emailed his secretary with what she said, and she is so patient with me, bless her. I am sure I am a nuisance but having been dealing with this for over ten months, I just feel I have to push all the time. She and the appointments lady are on the case and as soon as Andrew is back he will see all the emails and I’m sure there will be discussions. 

This afternoon, I have been doing Christmas crochet and watching The Blacklist. I am nearing the end of the first season now so it’s all getting rather tense.

The 12th of September.

Today has been fairly acceptable, pain-wise. I had to bend over this morning which my back didn’t like, and I’ve had the occasional twinge, but moving has been much easier. I had a longer sleep, which I think helped too. 

Quiet day for me; this morning, I wrote up a blog post, and tried on two dresses that I had ordered. Keeping one, sending the other back. Chatted with the kittens. I think bribery is working on Hugo, as he’s not running away from me quite so much. 

After lunch, I perused some crochet patterns and did some experimenting with different sized hooks, eventually deciding to just make a scarf/snood with some wool I bought to get free delivery on an order. I watched some Bones, then went to sit and give Hugo treats while I stroked him. He’s getting better at it. Even Harvey wanted to come and join us watching Buffy, although he doesn’t care about Dreamies. 

The 13th of September. 

Well it’s been a rather productive day. I saw Anne Dancey this morning about my arm. I explained my situation, and my history, and she examined me. She was pleased to hear that Andrew is organising this nuclear medicine test, as she would do something similar, and would like to see the results when they come through. Let’s hope the appointment materialises soon. She thinks it is probably vascular, but that a proper compression garment and seeing specialist nurses will help me, so it’s handy that I’ve got St. Giles (who are the same team she uses anyway) next week. If I do need lipo, she will provide it, but I have several other avenues to try first. 

We popped into town before going home, to take back two of the three coats I’d ordered from Zara, then had to get straight back home so Mommy could get to Grandma’s for 12. 

This afternoon is used up a second ball of wool on the scarf, so that’ll be done by the weekend, and I had a bit more Hugo petting time while listening to PM. I think we’re making progress. Henrietta, not so much.