Archives For glee club

The 18th of September. 

Very busy morning. An apt start, considering the rest of my week. Start as one means to go on. 

Shaki was concerned about Henrietta after I’d told her about our lack of progress with her, so we took her to the vet. The only time they could offer was 11am, so I finished up my coffee, then we had the fun job of trying to get Henrietta into the carrier. Basically we chucked a lot of Dreamies in there and shut the door. She did not like it. 

At the vet, she came out and slunk around the floor, hiding under the table, behind the bin, behind a pile of boxes, hissing at Daniel. He eventually cornered her with a towel (like a matador), and gave her an injection of long-lasting antibiotics. She wasn’t going to allow anything else. She even did a couple of protest poos in the corner. She’s been in the dog cage since we got back, because Shaki wants to come and see her this evening. Hopefully the antibiotics will make her feel better, and she won’t be so angry all the time. 

This afternoon, I’ve been doing Cats Protection admin and watching Bones, while looking at my new crochet book that arrived today. It’s full of mix and match dolls so I can make people! Already got one commission. Better get some flesh-toned wool. 

The 19th of September. 

This morning was lymphoedema clinic. Mommy and I set off to Lichfield for ten, and when we arrived at St. Giles, there was a little bit of waiting around before I was called through. I met a nurse called Jemma, and I had to explain my history to her, paying particular attention to my past episodes of swelling and the timeline. We had a very long conversation, and because of the SVC narrowing, their protocol doesn’t allow them to fit me for another compression garment. She did measure me, in case they can give me one in the future, and it was interesting to learn that the right arm is 37% bigger than the left. So no treatment today – it really is all up to Andrew for now. 

We got home around lunchtime, so we ate, then Mommy went back or to Grandma’s. I went upstairs to sort out stuff to take to London tomorrow while I listened to the new episode of The Bugle. I think I have everything sorted. Just have to chuck it all in a bag tomorrow morning. 

Tonight I am out at The Glee seeing The Horne Section. My first of two consecutive nights out in a row. Getting ready to be exhausted.  

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The 14th of September.

Much less productive day. Big sleep, slow morning involving pain au chocolat and writing up a blog post. Mommy was out all morning at Grandma’s for a residents and relatives meeting, so I had only the kittens to chat to. Hugo is now expecting treats from me which is excellent – now I just have to get him to interact with me without the need for reward. 

She came home just before lunchtime, and we had food while watching TOWIE, quite transfixed by Georgia’s underboob. 

This afternoon, I had a hairwash, then sat at my computer for a couple of hours. I was talking to someone about The Sims 4 yesterday and got the urge to play, reminding me just how easy it would be to forget about the world and get lost in a game. Ignore all the shit going on in the world and concentrate on the little people I can control. Nothing horrific in there. 

I did make myself leave it at half past three, and came back downstairs where I finished the scarf I’ve been making, planning what I’ll do next. 

The 15th of September. 

Bleah I feel rather tired and shit this evening. Maybe I’m just weary at the garbage of the world. More terrorism today, more people (Trump) wading in with their takes before we know anything. 

Most of my day has been spent crocheting another scarf, this as a Christmas present for someone. I got on to my third ball of wool, by which time, the repetition had started to get to me. 

Sadie and I were texting for a lot of the day. In a funny coincidence, her new housemate is a comedian I’ve seen at The Glee, Mark Simmons. He was supporting Seann Walsh. I would accuse her of trying to infiltrate my comedy gang, but to be fair, he isn’t in it. 

Ugh I just want to go to bed but it is not time yet. I hope I feel better next week because Wednesday to Saturday are really busy. All stuff I want/need to do, but I am going to be knackered at the end. 

The 4th of July. 

Kittens are gone! Well, three of them are gone. Hopefully Bree will cope alright because she still has her mum. Also hoping this makes her more amenable to being petted!

This morning, I filled in the paperwork for Betsy’s adoption, and realised that I didn’t have any more PetPlan forms for this afternoon. I also checked the PetPlan website to make sure Brodie’s heart murmur would be covered if it doesn’t fix itself and it will. Phew. 

Linda came to pick up Betsy just before twelve, and had a great carrier that could fold away. We filled in the last bits of the form, and we got Betsy in there pretty easily after I gave her a quick hug. I have had a video of her playing in her new home so it looks like she’ll be okay. 

Rosemary came for lunch, so I had a bit of a chat with her before food, but I was in with the kittens when she left. This afternoon, I have been doing the second lot of paperwork and doing a blog post. Plus a couple of episodes of Orphan Black. 

The family adopting the other two came at quarter to six, and I got the bouncy toys out so the kittens didn’t run away. Bailey got in the carrier without a fuss and I tricked Brodie into a cuddle before popping him in. Now they’re all gone, I just hope they settle in okay!

The 5th of July. 

It’s so quiet now. I don’t think we’ll hear any thumping into the wardrobe with just Betsy and Bree here. They both favour lounging around as an activity; Betty because she is so chill, and Bree because she is just lazy. They can be slightly forgiven for that today though, considering the heat and their level of floof. 

I think that most of my day has been spent in front of the tennis. So far, we are doing well! It’s bound to all go wrong at some point but I can cling on to it for now. I did take a break when I went to moisturise my legs (no one wants to see flaky skin) and I put on some music, had a little dance to George Michael. 

Had an early dinner of cheese on toast with sultanas (if you have not discovered this sweet and savoury combination, prepare to have your tastebuds blown) because I was out at The Glee tonight, seeing Fin and Kiri’s works in progress of their Edinburgh shows. I had no trouble with being let in this time, and went to have a chat with them both pre-show. It was nice to see them without oxygen attached to my face and being able to walk around a bit. 

Both shows were excellent; if you are able to see the finished products either in Edinburgh or on tour, you should. At the end, I managed to escape without assistance, and waited for Daddy outside the back door. Funny how much safer I feel in the summer in my chair than in the winter on my legs. Harder to abduct and murder. 

The 30th of March. 

Fairly acceptable breathing today. I’m on 0.5 litres of oxygen. Normal air is not quite oxygenated enough for me. 

I at least had a better sleep, and this morning I got a blog post done and not much else. I had another appointment (which I had entirely forgotten about) at the Women’s at half past one, so we ate our lunches and got on our way. Thankfully no hellish traffic jams today, but there was nowhere to park so Mommy pulled over, I drove off in my chair with the oxygen on the back and she found somewhere to put the car. 

I was seeing Miss Byrom for a follow-up after the procedure I had in November, and Sue, the sexual health nurse, was there too. I said that I thought it had been successful, but only up to a point. She examined me, using a very small speculum and a very long swab, and it turns out part of me has sealed up again. JOY. It’s to do with a thing I have called lichen planus and it’s just another stupid thing that I have that has no cause. I have to carry on with the dilators, and she’s going to talk to a plastic surgeon about me to see if he has any ideas. 

Too many things wrong with me right now. I feel like a collection of conditions rather than a human woman. 

The 31st of March. 

Today was the most normal I have felt in a while. My sats were good enough for me to not need extra oxygen for most of the day. I’m on it now, but still, it’s been a good day. 

This morning, I didn’t fancy watching Eamonn and Ruth be unbearable, so I caught up on The Magicians and did some mindless crocheting. After this project, I really need to make something for nurse Jenny’s baby and for James. I also had issues with Vue and their stupid website trying to book tickets for Ghost in the Shell. 

It’s an odd sort of film. I kind of get the premise and I found it interesting, but I didn’t really see the point. Having done some research, I think it’s too large a story and world to cram into a 100 minute film. One thing I did like was the choice Scarlett Johansson made to lead her walk with her head. It was curious because the company in the film go to so much effort to make Major appear human, but her walk was so unwomanly. Hm. 

Tonight I am going out to The Glee to see Fin Taylor and Mat Ewins, but there is no way I am climbing the stairs, so I’m going in the chair and have arranged for someone to let me up in the lift. Then tomorrow I will feel terrible, I suspect. 

The 4th of February. 

I do not like diuretics one bit. So much peeing. If this makes no difference to my arm in a couple of days I will be rather annoyed. More annoyed, I should say. I’d really like to wear jumpers that aren’t massive and coats that are actually warm. Sigh. 

Blog post this morning during Saturday Kitchen, then I had to be at Lyn’s house at twelve for another Cats Protection meeting. Part of it involved going down her garden, so I stayed in the house and made friends with her big black kitty. Very soft and floofy but also moulty, like Oscar was. 

It wasn’t a long one, but I was still quite hungry for my lunch when we got back. Then this afternoon, we have made Nigella’s quadruple chocolate loaf cake. It is a behemoth. 

Today is World Cancer Day, and I’ve been wearing my Anthony Nolan Unity Band. I can’t quite believe this year is ten years since I was diagnosed. I don’t know what I expected my life to be at this point – I suppose I thought I’d be fine, or dead. Certainly not this weird, in-between state, constantly breaking down in ever more creative ways. Sure, I’d like to be fine, but I don’t want to give up the good things in my life for that and I think I’d have to. I’m willing to pay this price. 

The 5th of February. 

If it’s not one thing it’s another. The arm is still exactly the same, and my back is really bad – the right side of my lower ribcage is super stiff, so deep breaths are a problem, standing and walking are even worse than usual. God I wish the bloody pain team would just give me an appointment so I could get a drug that works and doesn’t make me sick, unbearably itchy or incapable of breathing. 

Day largely spent in front of the television – Sunday Brunch and rugby, while I crocheted a sock. It’s just a practise, not going to be wearable, but if it works then I can do it again properly. 

This evening, I’ve been out at The Glee to see David O’Doherty. I planned on using the lift as my breathing is still worse than usual, but then I was told to ask inside the venue and they’d take me to it. Unfortunately, that kind of defeats the purpose because to get to the lift, I’d have to leave again to walk to the back door where the lift is, which makes me breathless anyway. So I climbed the stairs, and was taken to my seat which of course was as far from the door as possible. At this point, I was out of breath to the point where it scares me. I just have to sit and wait for it to get back to normal. 

The show was great, just what was required. Denise from Cats Protection was there with her husband and we were saying that we really needed some relief from the awful world. He definitely was that.

The 20th of December. 

I am home! Ohh so happy to be back where I belong. 

Last night I wore earplugs which helped me sleep a little longer this morning, although any remaining tiredness was very quickly shaken off when the woman next to me shat the bed. The stench. 

Different consultant but same junior doctor today, and I said I was pretty much losing the will to live waiting for this scan. I also explained that regardless of the outcome, I would be discharging myself today because I could not spend a fourth Christmas in hospital (and I did a small cry). The consultant was very sympathetic and instructed the junior to hassle ultrasound about getting me scanned asap, and having all my drugs and paperwork ready to go. 

A haematologist came to see me with the thought that I might have a fungal infection, and he wanted me to have another kind of scan, but the consultant above him felt that was not necessary, thank god. 

So then all we had to do was wait for ultrasound. A woman turned up shortly after two, and proceeded to scan me right there in my bed! Once again it was commented upon that I am lovely to scan, and having covered my right side in gel, she found no evidence of a clot. Obviously we informed the doctor of this immediately and by three we were out of the door. Just a tiny visit to Pandora on the way home to get the charm for yesterday’s anniversary, and now I am at home in our living room. I have petted the kitties and tonight I am out at The Glee for Joe’s Crisis at Christmas gig. 

I’m just SO HAPPY. 

The 21st of December. 

Sleeping in one’s own bed does not get old, let me tell you. 

I had lots of fun last night – Joe’s friend Ben who I met the other day was sat in front of me, with Jess Phillips (MP), and they were both amazed by my mug of sausages. I pointed out that they too could order one, they are always available. 

I went into the dressing room at the interval and at the end, and got to spread the Anthony Nolan word some more. We also had some chats about which was the best gay Christmas pun, and wondered whether Sara would make it. They were all lovely and really funny; will definitely make an effort to see them again. (On the bill we had Joe and Sara, Guz Khan, Fin Taylor, Andrew McBurney and Mo Amer.)

Today I finally finished my wrapping, watched Elf and decorated our tree. Daddy came home with Christine while I was mid-tree, so she helped me finish. My right arm is still huge and I’m coughing but I’m trying not to care. I’m okay and I’m home which is all that matters. 

Today is eight years since my liver transplant. Back then, nobody thought I’d even see Christmas, yet now I’ve had eight more. At what should be the best time of the year, my donor’s family went through the hardest thing I think there is: the loss of a child. But they were selfless enough to know that they could stop another family feeling that pain, and they gave us that. A Christmas miracle. 

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The 18th of November.

Today has not gone at all how I expected. Up at half past five, at the Women’s by half seven. Mommy came up to the ward with me (mainly because I couldn’t carry my overnight bag on the chair), then left me with a couple on my right and one in the far corner. The nurse (whose name I can’t remember) came to clerk me in, and was amazed by my history (as are most people). She was grateful for my drugs list, gave me a red wristband (allergies), then the healthcare assistant, Mercy, came to do my obs and bring me my anti-DVT stockings. While getting changed, I took a sneaky sip of water to help my dry mouth, then I sat and listened to the corner couple having a hushed, Jeremy Kyle-style domestic. She was really stressed about whatever she was having done, and he was telling her to “Just deal with it like everybody else in here.”, which was not very helpful. They both wanted each other to fuck off, but she also wanted him to be able to stay because she’d freak out if left alone. I gleaned that she wants a hysterectomy but nobody will do that because she’s only 23. Poor girl.

Miss Byrom and Gerwyn the anaesthetist came to see us all individually. She just ran through with me again what she was going to do – remove/separate the adhesions, attempt to do a smear, and take biopsies if deemed necessary. Gerwyn was very nice (as are all the anaesthetists I’ve met) and he was glad to have my latest lung function results. He mentioned that he wouldn’t be intubating me (for a short sleep I’d bloody well hope not), just putting down a smaller breathing tube. That was fine.

I was second on the list, so while I waited to be taken down, I decided to use the time productively and do a blog post. While I was writing, the girl in the corner came to the conclusion that she didn’t want to stay, but before she came back, the porter came and he and Mercy took me down to theatre.

I moved over to the theatre gurney, and was wheeled into the anaesthetic room. I met some new people, confirmed my identity and what I was having done, then Gerwyn had to find somewhere to cannulate me. The first vein didn’t want to co-operate, then the one on the other hand was only too happy to squirt blood everywhere. Still, it was in, then he gave me some morphine to relax me, put the mask over my face emitting gas that smelled of vanilla, and off to sleep I went.

I awoke maybe 45 minutes later, conscious that some time had passed but not long. No dreams. I was acutely aware that things were inside me and that I needed the toilet. I was told that in theatre they had put a catheter and a pack in, which would be pressing on my rectum which was why I felt like I needed to poo. The nurse in recovery was pleased with how awake I was and that I was drinking and talking, so she called the ward and the other nurse looking after me (Rachel) came down. I asked her if the lady in the corner had stayed and it turned out she had. Change of heart. The boyfriend had had to leave though because them’s the rules. She checked the inco-pad underneath me and we found that the catheter had come undone, so she screwed it back together and changed the pad so I had a clean bed.

Back on the ward, they said I would have to stay for at least six hours, until half past four, when they could take the pack out, then the catheter, and I’d have to pee without it. This was not great news but fine, I could deal with it, I just had to adjust my position regularly. It was really, very uncomfortable, and the need to poo did not abate at all. I was brought some tea and toast which at least made my tummy stop rumbling. I texted Mommy and Christine to let them know how I was, and finished off the blog post. Visiting started at 2, so I asked Mommy if she’s come then with some coffee and lunch. To pass the time, I worked on my Christmas scarf and tried to ignore my discomfort.

When she arrived, I explained in more detail what had happened this morning and told her about the whispered argument in the corner (which seemed to have been forgotten when he returned). I drank my peppermint mocha and ate my panini, all the while wriggling around. I tweeted and crocheted, and we kept hearing the nurse ring a particular doctor about him coming to see the lady in the other corner, then she could leave. She waited for him for four hours, and in the end, he didn’t even show up, just gave some instructions on what she needed to do. I would have been fuming.

By ten past four, I was counting down the minutes until we could take the pack out. I was the only one left in the bay by this point, so I could be plenty vocal about my need to have to removed. Thankfully, at half four on the dot, Rachel was all ready to do it. The curtains got pulled round, I pulled the sheet down and spread my legs. She put a sick bowl down for the pack to go in, and started pulling out the gauze. I have never, ever experienced anything like it. There was so much pain as it ripped away from the skin inside my vagina, and seemed to go on forever, like when a magician pulls a string of flags from his sleeve. In a way it did seem like magic because I have no idea how they fit so much in there. At one point, we got to a knot where it emerged that there were two packs tied together and we were only halfway through! I was in absolute agony but I told her to keep going because I just needed it to be over. When she’d finished, the blood-soaked gauze filled the sick bowl and I didn’t even feel any of the relief that I’d expected, just sheer trauma. Thank fuck I never have to give birth because that was one of the worst things I have ever been through.

I was still bleeding a lot, so we didn’t take out the catheter in case they had to put another pack in. I really did not want this to happen and I willed my body to stop. Thankfully, it did slow down, and by the time Miss Byrom came round, it was at a much more acceptable rate. She had prescribed some topical estrogen cream and explained how to use it, and gave me a slightly more graphic description of what had happened in theatre. Basically, there was only a tiny amount of vagina that was open, maybe a centimetre, and she really just had to stick her finger through and rip me apart. Brutal, but the only way. Also, they couldn’t see any hint of my cervix or the coil, but they’re definitely in there. Just don’t know how we’ll get them out when it comes to that. Still, she was happy with how I was, so the catheter and cannulas could be removed. Then I would just have to wee and I’d be able to go home! I didn’t expect this to be a problem as I’d been drinking all afternoon, but my bladder was not keen on letting any of it go.

I managed one rather small wee, which was not adequate, then I just had to drink more. I drank glass after glass, watching the clock because I really wanted to get to The Glee to see Tom and Suzi for 8. About 10 past 7, my stomach was as tight as drum with the amount of water filling it up, and I went to see if there was anything to be done that might help. I couldn’t have any diuretics, but Rachel was happy that I had at least done a wee and was confident that I was sensible enough to know what to do if anything seemed wrong.

I went for one more pitiful try, then Mommy and I took the paperwork and cream, and off to The Glee we went! I decided that I would text Suzi and ask her if she could get a member of staff to let me in the back door so I could go up in the lift and not have to climb the stairs, which she very obligingly did.

This meant I was the first one in, and for a little while, I sat alone in the studio while an excellent playlist of musical theatre tunes played. I couldn’t do the kicks on stage that I might have, but I did take a selfie because I’m cool. Then the room started to fill up, and Tom and Suzi appeared! The format was essentially intro, Suzi’s show, interval, Tom’s show. They were both equally hilarious and thought-provoking and delightful in different ways, and I enjoyed myself immensely. I popped into the dressing room at the interval to say hello and have hugs and chats, and I got to wang on about my very strange day.

Time flew by, and suddenly it was time for part two, so we had group hug and a photo before Tom’s half. I think his show was longer than Suzi’s, and by the time it was curtain down, it was nearly eleven o’clock and I was very ready to go to bed. So tired. But I was really happy I got to finish my day laughing so much with my lovely pals.

The 19th of November.

Well I don’t feel great. Having got in late, I thought I’d sleep really well, but all that water caught up with me and I woke up four times to pee. Did not want to wake up at half nine when my alarm went off but I thought I should.

I stayed in my pyjamas all morning, feeling rather delicate and taking things slowly. Mommy and I caught up on I’m A Celebrity, and I finished crocheting the tiny Christmas tree for inside a bauble. Lunchtime came round quickly, and it felt like a beans on toast kind of day. Warm, cosy food.

This afternoon, I had a go with the topical estrogen. It didn’t work quite the way I thought it would with the dilator, so tomorrow I’ll try the applicator that was provided. It certainly went in a lot further than it used to, so the surgery definitely did its job. I was glad I decided to it on a towel as I am still bleeding and had I not, I would have ruined a duvet cover. Admittedly only a rather unexciting one from Tesco, but still.

I then spent a good couple of hours writing four and half pages about yesterday. I really hope you enjoy all the detail. When I’d finished, I finally read this morning’s paper, and made the penultimate bauble. Just one left to go, for the tree to go in. It might have to be a special one because a) I have run out of outer bauble wool and b) the tree seems too big to fit in the same size as the rest.

I think it might be somewhat longer than I thought until I am back at the gym.