Archives For chiro

The 13th of December.

Not so cold today – my toes are not such blocks of ice. I am very grateful for this, it means that it is warm enough for my lungs to not seize up outside.

I was up early for the chiro at eleven, got a blog post done before we went out, and thankfully the roads and pavement around Holly Cottage were pretty clear.

My neck was really bad, I’m suspecting because of having it bent forward while crocheting, and as I’m not finished, there’s not much I can do about it. I’m getting to the end but not there yet. My back was not so terrible, for once. Grateful for small mercies.

Ann came to pick up Bertie and Molly after lunch, and that was nice and straightforward – didn’t have to chase anyone round the room and not too much mewing.

Well, not while we were still in the room. However, as soon as Biscuit was alone, sad, constant mews erupted from the kitty room, and it was unbearable. I had to go and sit with him, and we watched What Happened to Monday on Netflix. He eventually fell asleep on my lap. Finally he wants to be friends! I managed to sneak way while he slept on the other chair, and it’s still quiet. Phew.

The 14th of December.

All the kittens are gone! Thank god, the sad mews continued this morning. So forlorn, I do hope he makes friends with the dog quickly.

I made my coffee and went to sit with the moany floofer while we watched Riverdale (well, he only watched some of it). Let’s not talk about that “reveal” – what bollocks. I expect proper revelations in the second half of the season next year.

I was able to leave him when Mommy came back from round the corner, and I was going to assemble the thing I’ve been making for Daddy. Except it turned out that one element (which is repeated eight times) was the wrong size, so I had to remake them all.

Tracy came to pick Biscuit up at half twelve, and we got the forms filled in as quickly as possible so she could get him to his new home and he could meet his new friend. I haven’t heard anything, so I’m assuming everything is fine.

I made myself a salted caramel fudge hot chocolate, put Hercules on the tv and got assembling. I finished the front part, turned it over and found that half the remade parts were too small now! Remade them again. Shoot me.

The 21st of November.

Well I had a great start to my day, securing tickets for Sadie and I to go and see My Dad Wrote A Porno Live! Super excited for that, and we have great seats too.

I was at the chiro at 10:45, and that was surprisingly painful. The angry tendon that runs up the whole right side of my spine was very unhappy as soon as Trine touched it. Still, I am seeing Dr. Blaney tomorrow. Pray for steroid injections.

This afternoon, I planned to do a bit of looking at Christmas present ideas, but I got started on some crochet and just haven’t put it down. I’ve also been waiting for the pharmacist at Boots to ring, but they haven’t. They were supposed to be calling because my spare compression garments have arrived after waiting for two weeks, only to find the person on duty ordered the wrong thing. They have the code of the product but are apparently incompetent at using the information provided. Bad enough when the GP prescribes the wrong thing but when they have all the information and still fuck up…I don’t know. Gah.

The 22nd of November.

A slightly less productive day at hospital than I had hoped for, but that was more due to a misunderstanding on my part rather than anything that happened there. It emerged that the appointment with the anaesthetic team that had appeared on myhealth was not with the pain team, it was the one I had as part of the pre-assessment clinic. And having checked again, I don’t actually have another appointment booked in with Dr. Blaney, so we’ll be ringing his secretary tomorrow.

This did mean my visit was rather more straightforward. First I saw one nurse who did my height, weight and blood pressure. Then a sister called Kat, and we had to talk through my whole history, all my medications, what I’m allergic to, what I’m having done, and she gave me the pre-surgery checklist of things I have to do or not do in the hours preceding the procedure. I then went for bloods, but my veins didn’t want to cooperate, so I went to see the anaesthetist and drink a lot of water to pump up my veins. Had a very long conversation with him, mainly about my lung function, the pneumothorax and the pneumonia. He mentioned that my lung function is only 23% of what it ought to be, which was a surprise. I knew it was bad, but not that bad. Wow. Anyway, my lung function is not important because I’m having a regional block, which is like an epidural but it’s just one injection. I had to try to explain why I need to be examined in this situation but I’m not sure how much it made sense. That was all fine, so then I returned to the phlebotomist and she got some blood out of the side of my wrist. Then home!

 

The 30th of October. 

Another dodgy night – I think it’s because of the change in temperature. I had to drag my blanket over my duvet at one point because I was so cold. 

This morning, I did a lot of writing, before going and saying hello to the new tiny screamers. Bless little Callie, she just sits there looking at the other two, baffled. She does mew, just much more quietly. She’s so cute. Then I finished the accessory of the Christmas crochet so now that is 100% complete! Next I’ve got a decorative set to do, and two more presents. 

After lunch, I had an appointment at the hygienist. Thankfully it was Sandra, my usual one, so I had a much more pleasant experience than last time. We had a conversation about how we’re both already looking at Christmas jumpers, and she has given me a couple of toothpaste samples that are apparently not minty, so I shall give them a try. It would be nice to use an adult toothpaste. 

While I was in with her, Christine (who does Andrew’s appointments) rang and I am seeing him about my numbness next week. Hurrah!

The 31st of October. 

My back is dire this evening. I’m not even safe in my comfortable chair now. God, I sound ancient. But I saw that my immunology bloods are back now so hopefully Dr. Antrobus will talk to Dr. Blaney and he will just give me the steroid injections. I am desperate. 

I was at the chiro this morning where Trine did her best to stretch it out but she can’t alleviate the pain. She did some work to my neck to loosen some of the muscles that might be partly responsible for my numb arm, but my joints are all fine. Nerve conduction studies seem to be the way to go. 

This afternoon, I have been crocheting while watching season 2 of The Blacklist. Currently making Christmas gnomes. Also obviously lots of kitten petting. I have found one position that I can sit them in that makes them stop screaming. I just feel bad that I can only get them out one at a time! Not for much longer – we can flea spray them this evening, then in two days they can run around all they want.

 

The 16th of October. 

Started my day with a phone call from Shaki. She was outside, about to put some paperwork through my door, but didn’t want to come in because she has tonsillitis, bless her. Poor us. 

Once dressed, I got downstairs and promptly chucked my water over the table in the living room. This meant I had to take everything off it, including the heavy glass top so the embroidery underneath could dry. Well done me. 

I rang Emelda to discuss my next appointment with Andrew, but found out she’s on annual leave. Rats. I’ll try Christine, the appointments lady, again tomorrow. Then I wrote up a blog post, trying to ignore the apocalyptic light that’s been over us most of the day. 

Lunch, then sat here crocheting a cowl most of the afternoon. Suddenly it was half past four and we had to go to the chiro for my rescheduled appointment. I knew it was going to be painful, but necessary. The muscles that go up either side of the spine had contracted so no wonder I’ve been in more agony than usual. Plus lying on my front on that floor has been bad for my neck so it was a generally unenjoyable visit. 

I also spoke to a lymphoedema nurse because I’ve not been able to wear my compression garment today because it has made the skin on my elbow raw due to it being so tight. Going to try another brand. Why is nothing ever simple?

The 17th of October. 

This is exhausting. I think last night was better? The cough has been pretty similar today – I’m still bringing up phlegm the same colour as before so I emailed Dr. Thompson again. Today is the last day of the co-amoxiclav, and the last sputum sample I gave was essentially spit so obviously it hasn’t grown anything. Anyway, he wants to leave it a few days and we’ll see how I am. 

Spoke to St. Giles again and they want me to have a made-to-measure sleeve, so I’m being measured for that on Thursday. Also spoke to Mr. Titley’s secretary because I haven’t had my letter about Tuesday yet. She said one has been sent, but if it doesn’t arrive by Thursday I’ll be ringing her back. I do need to know what time to turn up etc. This cough better have fucked off by then too or we’ll be in trouble. 

I spent my afternoon watching stuff on Now TV and crocheting the cowl. It’s finished now. I watched the Nashville concert at the Royal Albert Hall and got emotional at Stand Up because it reminds me of Dean. I miss my friend. 

The 10th of September. 

Today has not been so terrible, in terms of pain, but I have still felt pretty shit all day. 

I’m still tired, from not sleeping properly due to pain, so I got up just before the start of Sunday Brunch and got dressed in a cosy jumper and leggings, because the weather demanded it. 

I have, again, not moved a great deal, but also have not crocheted at all because I just can’t concentrate. I thought, after lunch, that I might need a nap, so I went upstairs to lie down. I put on a podcast, curled up and closed my eyes, but I did not fall asleep. This is good; it means I am not ill! Just feel shit because I’m tired and in pain. Preferable. 

After coming downstairs from my rest, I watched three episodes of Bones that had appeared overnight, and tried some Hugo petting. I forced him on to my lap and stroked until my arm was tired. He must learn to enjoy it. 

The 11th of September. 

Another early start, but for a good reason. I met up with Adam this morning, because he’d come up to the QE to talk to some of the nurses about stuff Dean wanted to do. It was really good to see him and give him a big hug in person, as opposed to verbally via direct messages on Twitter. We talked about how it had been in the last couple of weeks, and at the end, and his incredible appearance on Victoria Derbyshire. How he’s coping, how I am. There are things that are being planned in his name that I am looking forward to seeing. His legacy will live on. 

He had to get going up to YPU, and I had to go home for lunch before my chiro appointment. Trine has managed to make me feel some relief – it appears one of the muscles on the right side of my back had gone into spasm and travelled all the way up (or down, I’m not sure which end it started) which meant all of that side was contracting. No wonder I was in pain. She managed to work some of it out, while I gritted my teeth. Thankfully it hadn’t transferred into my neck, so I just needed some ice pack treatment when I got home. 

Since then, I have crocheted some mice for the kittens to play with. Henrietta has appropriated an old one which is incredibly tatty, so now they have some more that aren’t falling apart. 

The 23rd of August. 

Another disastrous night. I seem to be incompatible with sleep right now – it might be time for Zopiclone again. 

Not a great deal to report today. This morning, I had a bit of kitten fun time before writing up a blog post. That took considerably less time than Monday, because I used a different app to upload the photos. Mommy and I had chiro appointments, so went out at half past twelve to be stretched and crunched. There was a lot of tightness in my lower back, probably from my long days in the wheelchair in the time between visits. I can’t wait to see the pain man again. Steroid injections please. 

Came home, had lunch, checked on kittens. Mommy went to Grandma’s, and I spent a couple of hours writing, then watched the season 3 finale of Buffy, realising the similarities between the Mayor and Trump. It would not surprise me if he wanted to become a demon. 

The 24th of August. 

I had Zopiclone and it was good. I slept until half past nine, and this morning I did some kitten petting – Henrietta didn’t hiss at me, and she even gave Mommy a friendly headbutt! Definite progress. Denise is coming round this evening to meet them and pick up paperwork, and Penny is coming home this weekend so she’s coming to meet them too. 

This afternoon, I had a hairwash, which will hopefully stop the green rubbing off on my pillowcase, as I discovered was happening last night. I had a quick look at my copy of James Acaster’s Classic Scrapes which arrived from Amazon, and I am very much looking forward to seeing him again in the autumn. Since then, I have been finishing off the doily, which now needs starching or something, to look how it’s supposed to. 

Sorry for the lack of words. Life is pretty banausic right now. 

The 12th of July. 

Venoplasty day!

Any day in ambulatory care means getting up before six which is not ideal, but necessary. I was last to arrive in my section, but that didn’t matter because I was third on the list, so there was no rush with my admission. I didn’t expect to go down until about eleven, so I was very surprised when a porter arrived at twenty past ten. The nurses didn’t even know, so I had to quickly go pee and put my gown on. 

Across in angio, I said hi to all the team, and Mr. Singh (who put the PICC in) came to consent me. Then Andrew came and we had a chat about the plan – it was left unspoken that this is our last shot. 

On the table, I was prepped, covered, cleaned. It is a testament to the greatness of the team that I have to be essentially naked in front of the whole room for a while but at no point did I feel undignified or unsafe. My groin was ultrasounded to find the vein, but there seemed to be trouble getting into it because I heard a lot of talk about scarring, then a dilator had to be used to hold it open so the sheath could go in. Then there were issues with the wires – people had to keep getting different ones from the wall. I think it was to do with the length or the stiffness? They were having to get all the way from the groin up to my neck, which is pretty far. They did a couple of runs with the gadolinium to check everything was in the right place, then it was time for fun and sleepy drugs. I got the nice, warm fuzz, then the discomfort of having balloons inflated inside you. I think they did maybe six inflations in total? They used the two biggest balloons available, in one site in the neck vein, one in the SVC and again a little bit further down. Then everything came out, and I had the awkward five minutes where a man leans heavily on my groin to stop the bleeding and there isn’t much to say. 

I went into recovery about twenty past twelve, where I had to stay for half an hour to make sure I was fine before they’d take the PICC out. When it came to that time, the nurses had changed, and the new one hadn’t done it before, so we had to grab a doctor to do it. The nurse watched closely, but there isn’t much to learn – just pull it out, then put some pressure on the hole. Then the nurse was able to ring the ward, where a student nurse said someone would come for me. Forty five minutes later, she rang again, and the staff nurse said she hadn’t passed on the message, and came straight away. I was fine; another nurse had shared her Jelly Babies with me and I only had twenty minutes of lying flat left. 

Back in ambulatory care, I asked Mommy to get the flowers and chocolates from the car because Emelda and Tracey would be gone by the time I’d be able to, so she delivered those and then got me some coffee and a sandwich, which I was only too eager to get into my face. Then we just had two hours to kill, so I was checking the tennis and talking to Mommy about what had happened in angio and what we do now. I have to keep my arm elevated a lot and try to squeeze the fluid down. We’re going to see if the massage people at the chiro do lymphatic drainage, and if that could help me. I’m also considering acupuncture. Anything that will get this swelling to go down. Anything at all. 

By half past four, I’d got myself ready to go, so I was given my discharge letter and we were out of there. I had a ticket to hear Matt Haig talk about his new book, How to Stop Time, at Waterstones at half past six, and I needed some dinner first. I ended up having a cinnamon crêpe and a chocolate milkshake because I am an adult and I can. 

Because of the wheelchair, I had to use the lift to get to that second floor, where the event was, which meant I basically jumped the queue. However, I chose to sit at the front which was good for watching the interview, but then I was at the back of the queue for the signing. However (and I honestly don’t know why this happened), some people near the front said I could go in front of them, so I got out a lot quicker than I might have. I just wanted to tell him how much I loved Reasons to Stay Alive. I’m so excited to read this new one. 

The 13th of July. 

Trying not to get sad. I’m pretty sure the venoplasty isn’t going to have worked. I’ve spent most of my day looking for effective treatments for lymphoedema. 

I had a chiro appointment this morning, which I was very thankful for because a) my neck has been really clunky recently and b) I wanted to ask about the massage/lymphatic drainage thing. Turns out my neck muscles have been recruited to help me breathe so they’ve got all stiff, and Trine’s not sure if they do this but she’ll find out on Monday. 

When we got back, I wrote a long entry about yesterday, watched two rather short Wimbledon semi-finals, and did a lot of internet research. There are the standard treatments of drainage massage and compression garments, but honestly they don’t sound very effective. There is a chance that acupuncture may have a small amount of benefit, but I’d want to know somebody who’d had it, not just pick a random practitioner. Or there are surgical interventions, and frankly I am leaning towards those. I will try anything. I just want my arm back. I want to not feel deformed.