Archives For Dexter

The 13th of September. 

I have had just the most perfect day. So happy. I got up and had time to write up a post before we had to leave for the station, where I got a flat white from Starbucks that did not taste like garbage, and got settled on the train. My plug sockets weren’t working which was not ideal, but a nice man at the next table down let me use his spare one to charge my phone. 

The man with the ramp was very prompt for once, so I swiftly alighted and got a taxi to Kaffeine where I was meeting Suzi. The cabbie was very chirpy, whistling a happy tune as we made our way through the traffic and I was only a tiny bit late. We sat outside because it was a) gorgeous weather and b) much easier than wrestling the wheelchair inside, and we basked in the sunshine. I had a really excellent dark chocolate brownie and flat white by the way, I would recommend. I elaborated on what the event tonight was, and told her about the situation with my back, and she caught me up on how Edinburgh had gone, and explained what she’s working on at the moment which all sounds very promising and I’m excited for her. While we were sitting, a man walked past us into the shop, and I said “That guy looks like Dexter” (as in, Michael C. Hall from Dexter) and she said “That is Dexter!” so that was my London celeb-spot for the day. No idea why he’s here but whatever. I was later reminded that he had a stem cell transplant a while ago and I should’ve got him to come tonight. I am not quick-thinking enough. She had to leave at quarter past one, but was going in the same direction as me, so we headed towards Selfridges until she had to split off to go to her meeting. It was so nice to catch up; she is such a babe. 

In Selfridges I bought some rainbow bagels and a cinnabon, which I ate in the Starbucks on level 4 while listening to an hour long podcast to kill some time. I had a browse of the book section, where I had to disappoint a girl who wanted to know where I got my hair done. Sorry, you have to travel to Birmingham for this. 

I gave myself plenty of time to get to Zizzi where I was meeting Lauren for dinner, and had a few stops on the way. I went past Workshop Coffee where I bought some Square Mile Sweet Shop beans, and then made a stop in Konditor and Cook for two brownies – I was very restrained. That was just round the corner from the restaurant, and I was only about ten minutes early, so they let me sit down and peruse the menu while I waited. When she arrived, we pretty much ordered straightaway, and our pizzas arrived very quickly. I was still quite full from all the cake, so I only managed about a third of mine, but it was fine, I took the rest away in a box. We got to talk about her joy at finishing her MA and being able to read books for fun, and how her nan is having a great holiday in Ireland with all her friends. 

We paid, then had to find our way to the BMA. First we went the wrong way, but Google Maps put us back on the right track. We met up with Amy outside her office building which is basically next door, and we had a tiny group hang before Lauren went to meet her other friend and Amy and I went into the BMA. We picked up our passes and followed the signs that said Anthony Nolan. I had to get in a teeny tiny lift to get down to the room we were using, although we then very quickly left it to go into the attached garden. Ben was out there with a large folder of papers, and he said hi before going to greet guests. Amy and I sat at a table in a slightly shaded area, and various people gravitated towards us for chats. Some Anthony Nolan people I knew like Richard and Henny, some I didn’t, Charlie Craddock, and we had a delightful time discussing podcasts with a guy called Owen who’s a donor and his friend. They’re doing the Birmingham half-marathon in October but not to raise any money, they’re saving that for the full marathon that comes next. I also briefly got to meet Alice Byron’s dad, and we talked jaundice and liver drugs, then before we could talk more we were being ushered inside for speeches. First Henny, then Charlie, then me. It was fine, much better when I had it written out, and much less crying this time. Lots of people came to speak to me afterwards, including Nadia Martini, Yaser’s sister, so it was super nice to meet her, and I spoke to other people who’d had transplants or had family members who had. Everyone told me how inspiring I was, and Ben presented me with some beautiful flowers. At nine, it finished, so I said all my goodbyes, and Amy and I headed back to Euston where I gave a homeless man my box of pizza. She sat with me until her train came, then mine was delayed by fifteen minutes, so by the time we pulled into New Street, I was more than ready to be home. Toast, then bed. 

The 14th of September. 

Didn’t get as much sleep as I would have liked because I had an appointment to get my hair cut at quarter past ten. While I was in Starbucks yesterday I just had the overwhelming urge to chop it all off again and lo, it is done. Wonderful Michaela. She’s undercut the sides and it’s longer on top so I look a bit shaggy in a good way. So glad it’s done. 

When I got home, I had lunch which included the fudgepacker brownie I bought at Konditor and Cook, then I sat for about an hour, writing about yesterday. So much to say!

One of the effects of me sitting down all day was that my feet had puffed up with fluid. My back is actually not terrible, I think because I got out of my chair as much as possible, but there has to be some sort of punishment for going out. To try and combat it, I went up to my bedroom where I lay on my back with my legs up against the wall, trying to drain the fluid out of my feet while I watched the first episode of American Horror Story. We’ll see how that goes – if it gets too scary, I’ll find something else. 

Back out this evening for an Old Hallfieldians reunion. The traffic was ghastly, so I was half an hour late, but when I arrived, Celia was the only one there. After some sleuthing, we determined that the MailChimp email didn’t go out. Thankfully, other people did start to arrive, but most excitingly, my friend Steph came! I have known her since we were five but haven’t seen her since we were sixteen as she went to Rugby for sixth form, then university in Nottingham and New York, and has been travelling since then. 

She’s an artist now, and has been artist in residence at The Met in New York and The Museum of Tomorrow in Brazil, so she’s just a bit great. She’s back in England for a month, so she and her mum came to the pub and we had dinner while chatting about life now and back then. Things like the controversy of the elocution competition, the school play of Sleeping Jack Whittington and the Seven Bears, and the time we did an assembly in which I had to wear Steph’s mum’s fox fur coat. No idea what I was meant to be, but it was huge and really soft. Such random things I remember. 

We left just after nine, and I gave her the biggest hug I could muster. Not leaving it ten years until next time!

The 15th of November. 

Back to terrible sleeping, I coughed so much last night. Stupid cough. I’m having Zopiclone tonight. This morning I blogged and finished a bit of crocheting, then went to see the kittens who have developed a ridiculous habit of sloshing their water onto the floor. I have had to bring my camera lens cleaning puffer downstairs to use when they are naughty. I am basically having to ration the water so they don’t throw it everywhere. 

Grandma came for lunch, which was a little bit of a trial run for Christmas as she’s a lot less mobile now, but I thought she did very well. After the meal, I watched an episode of Dexter and monitored the water-sploshing, and by the end they were playing on the bed and I left them to it. 

I decided to do a third crocheted Christmas present, so I did that for the rest of the afternoon until Christine and Grandma both went back to their respective homes. In the past hour, I’ve had a phone call from Deborah, the new homing officer for Cats Protection, and there is a family who are interested in Neve, and they’re coming round tonight! I need to get the paperwork so I can do my own adoptions, but that’s all. I will be sad to see her go!

The 16th of November. 

Going to have to say goodbye to Neve tonight! The family came to visit her last night and the mother called me this morning – they loved her. It was fairly obvious that was going to happen, so I called Jen and she brought over all the paperwork I need to do adoptions. 

This morning I finished up a little bit of crochet and we washed my hair. I am very much looking forward to having it re-done next week to make it all vibrant again. 

After I’d got the paperwork from Jen, I filled in the basics for Neve (although she was not keen for this to happen – she kept sitting on the forms) and let the family know that they could contact me to organise a time to come and get her. I watched the final two episodes of Dexter with them and that was very upsetting. I do not like what happened to Deb, that is unacceptable. I started watching Pretty Little Liars to distract me. It’s very intriguing but could become annoying. We shall see.  

I’m going to have to comfort a sad cat tonight. I hope he doesn’t go mental. 

The 13th of November. 

The first morning in weeks that I have woken up not coughing. That’s not to say it’s gone, far from it, but it might be a step in the right direction. The house was freezing all morning because Daddy had to bleed all the radiators to fix some sort of air lock in the system. I have no idea what that means but it’s warm now so I don’t really mind. 

I have done a fair bit of crocheting today, working on two different gifts. I really need to get hunting for presents that I can purchase for people. As yet I have nothing. Nor do I have any Christmas cards! Need to put my elf hat on and get shopping. 

I watched a couple more episodes of Dexter with the kittens, only got three left. I had to tell them off a lot because they kept going behind the tv and chewing wires. Very naughty. Mid-programme, Daddy got home with Christine, so when it finished, I left the room so she could sit in the armchair and become friends with the kittens. 

Tonight I’m going to the Glee (again) to see Joe Lycett. He is getting in late so no time to hang out, but nevermind. I actually bought three tickets but completely forgot so there will be two spare seats as no one on Twitter wanted to buy them. 

The 14th of November. 

The past 24 hours have consisted of joy and deep, deep sadness. I had a lovely time at Joe’s show, he was wonderful, and I caught up with him afterwards for a hug, a chat and a selfie. He sent his love to my parents because he is that much of a gentleman.

However, upon leaving, there was no way of not knowing what was unfolding in Paris, and seeing the world’s reactions to it on social media. I couldn’t turn off the news and go to sleep until it felt like it was over. What frightens me is the reaction of a lot of people – their response is to close the borders, demonise Muslims and spread their fear. They don’t understand those who plan to do harm are probably already in place, and the only way to defeat them is to continue to live our lives, realise that no one religion is the answer, and compassion is more important than hate. 

Today we had a family trip to see The Lady In The Van. For a film to warrant both parents, Christine and myself in attendance is a great rarity. We had an excellent stand-off with a man in the car park who was coming towards us the wrong way and we both refused to back down. Eventually, a woman needed to leave and thankfully her partner was able to extricate the car from the space while she went and yelled at the man trying to stare us down. As she left, he shouted “Fuck off you fat troll” and she apologised to us for the language she’d used before getting into her car and going, no doubt venting as she did so. He stayed a while longer, but it finally seemed to dawn on him that he ought to move, and he reversed. We cheered; a victory for common sense!

We were not disappointed by the film. It was cosy, a safe place out of all the conflict. There is a scene in which Miss Shepherd plays the piano in the day centre, and she glows, as if reliving the life she should’ve known. I know that feeling, remembering a future you never had. I feel very old before my time, in a way that makes me absolutely terrified of getting to any real number of years. If I struggle to cope with my body now, how can I possibly deal with getting a great deal older? It is a fear of the unknown, and it appears to be a theme today. 

The 9th of November. 

I am so having a lie-in tomorrow morning. I’ve got nowhere to be so sleeping is what I shall be doing. I am having to up my caffeine intake to get me through the day which should not be necessary. 

This morning’s appointment was the hygienist. Same as usual, I am good, I brush and floss twice a day. It is always painful when oral people are trying to get instruments into my mouth because it is small and thanks to GvHD, my lips are scarred and don’t really stretch. I don’t say anything because there’s nothing to be done about it, I just liberally apply lipbalm when it’s over. 

Once home, I wrote up two blog posts, and this afternoon I have been mainly crocheting. I have two Christmas present projects that I’d like to get done so I’ve started on one of those. Christine phoned Mommy just as I was finishing the bit I was working on, so then I went to watch the finale of season seven of Dexter with the kittens, and the start of season eight. I had to remove Neve from my lap so I could leave to come and do my mouthwash and writing, but I am sure she was happy to go and watch the fireworks at the window.

The 10th of November. 

Such a better night. I still feel like shit in the morning because I’m moving all the crap in my lungs that’s settled overnight, but it does eventually wear off. I crocheted all morning, and I’ve realised I’m using a hook that’s 1mm bigger than the one stated in the pattern, but I don’t think I could use that size with the wool I’m using, so I may have to get some more wool. We’ll see. 

After lunch, we went into town so I could return one of the dresses I got from Oasis the other week. I also got some stuffing from House of Fraser (for toys, not food) and some Fiona Cairns cakes from Selfridges. On the way home we stopped at the garage where we pick up the kitten food, and we actually met the lady whose house it is, and her cat, Humbug. She was fun, I’m sure we’ll get along famously, and Humbug let me give him a fuss. 

When we got back, I went to see our kittens, and they gave me lots of snuggles. I would like to have them with a human but none of those are interested in me. 

The 3rd of November. 

I am no longer coping with this cough. It kept me awake for half the night – I’ve been through the before, I just have to sit up and keep sipping at water until my throat calms down enough for me to lie back down and try to sleep. 

This morning I did a blog post and finished marking up all the recipes in Mommy’s food magazines from the past couple of months that I was to eat. They’d built up a small pile and the Christmas ones were very exciting. 

This afternoon, I was been watching Dexter with sleepy kittens. During one episode, a character said she remembered how it felt like get life was just starting. I’m not sure I have that same memory. I think that’s the sort of feeling you have at eighteen, when you leave school, go out into the world. I turned eighteen in a hospital cubicle, unable to eat the cake or drink the champagne because my stomach still couldn’t digest anything after the GvHD destroyed the lining of it. I sometimes feel like my life was over before it got started. Of all the people who have stem cell transplants and are absolutely fine, mine fucks me up beyond repair..

The 4th of November.

Oh, I feel like shit. I’ve got Death Cab tomorrow night and I would like to not feel terrible. I thought I’d slept reasonably well but that was not reflected in how I felt.

I have done basically nothing all day; all morning I felt weirdly lightheaded but my blood pressure was okay. At lunchtime I had a boiled egg and soldiers, my go-to meal when I’m poorly, and the lightheadedness dissipated. It’s unusual that I just needed more food, because I had the same breakfast I always do, so I don’t understand what’s happened. 

This afternoon has been Netflix and kittens. Sleepy kitten hugs do make me feel slightly better. I would just like a good sleep – maybe I will have Zopiclone again tonight. We’ve also got a trip to Wales this weekend so that’s going to be delightful if I still feel this way, let alone if I feel worse. 

The 28th of October. 

It has not been a great day. I definitely have Mommy’s cough so I just keep drinking which is the only thing that helps. It’s just a stupid tickly one, which is fine, I can cope with that. 

Came downstairs to find one or both of the kittens had thrown up and there was a poo on the chair, and they hadn’t really touched their food from last night. I rang Jen, and she said to starve then until about four o’clock, just give them water. We cleaned everything, and Jen actually came to see them this afternoon. She checked them for dehydration and was satisfied that they were okay. We feed them and they ate it, and I’ll feed them again this evening. 

For the rest of the day, they’ve been behaving completely normally, sitting on my lap and sleeping while I watched Dexter. We were having a lovely time until someone nearby decided it would be a good idea to set off some fireworks which scared the shit out of both sleeping kittens and resulted in Neve’s claw making a deep gouge in my arm which is currently seeping through the dressing. 

Fuck knows what we’ll do if we’ve still got them on Bonfire Night. 

The 29th of October. 

Still coughing, still constantly drinking water. I painted my nails this morning so stayed away from the kittens until after lunch because last time I did it, the smell freaked them out. 

This afternoon, I was watching Harry Potter with the kittens when I had a phone call from Sheila. A couple had been having a home visit this morning in regards to possibly adopting Neve. That had all gone fine, and they wondered if they could come and actually view them both right then, as they might want to have them together. I said that was fine, and an hour or so later, they arrived. They were very nice, younger than I expected but I think that’s just because the last couple were older. They loved Neve, thought she was so pretty, and I think they were also quite enchanted by how soft Nick is. They were certainly not averse to having both, and I’m just now waiting to see if they contact Sheila about wanting to arrange an adoption. They don’t want to take them until next week if they do, so I have a little more time with them. 

Tonight I’m off to see James Acaster, and I’m just hoping I’m able to control the cough enough so I don’t irritate the rest of the audience. 

The 24th of October. 

Today I haven’t seen the kitties much at all. The majority of my morning was taken up with doing a blog post and reading the paper. I also got angry with the CineWorld booking system because it didn’t recognise my CEA card when trying to book for Suffragette this afternoon, so I had to buy two tickets (I normally get one free for being disabled) and tweeted angrily. They have got back to me and sent me some codes for some free tickets which I appreciate, and a second website to try my card on but that didn’t work either. Free tickets are nice, but I’d rather they fixed the system. 

After lunch, I spent an hour with the kittens before we went out, and Becky, Jonathan and Lorna came over to meet them. Jonathan had great fun playing with Neve while Nick watched, and when Becky and Lorna left to have lunch, he stayed until I needed to put my shoes on. 

The film was really good and the cinema surprisingly packed! I found the force-feeding scene hard to watch – it just reminded me of the months I spent having NG tubes inserted nearly every day, sometimes several times a day. Despite having given my consent, it was the worst thing about my time in hospital. At least I was in some sort of control.  

The 25th of October. 

Mommy is poorly so I’ve been banished to the kitty room all day. She’s very coughy so we’re trying to stay separate so I don’t catch it. This time last year I was on oxygen 24/7, not sleeping and sounding like Weezy from Toy Story. I’d rather not get sick this week – I’ve got James Acaster and Josh Widdicombe and I’d like to be able to laugh without it turning into a coughing fit.

So I’ve just hung out in the back room with the fluffies all day, binge-watching Harry Potter and Dexter. There’s not much else to say! I’ve been slept on all afternoon; they’re so much better than a hot water bottle.  

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