Archives For glee club

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. 

 4

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.

The 21st of October. 

Today has not been particularly exciting but I am hoping it will improve tonight as I will be out at The Glee seeing Joel Dommett!

This morning, Daddy took me into Birmingham so I could pick up my replacement phone and he could see what Apple have done to Taid’s old workplace (he worked there when it was the Midland Bank). He very much enjoyed their accessibility solution, and once inside, I sent him off to have a look around while I found someone who could help. I found a man with the right information, and I got taken to a table to wait for another person to bring me the new phone. He took the old one, erased it, put the SIM in the new one and we were done. Then I just had to wait for Daddy to resurface. 

When he finally did, we returned home, and after lunch I went upstairs to restore the phone from the backup. Thankfully it didn’t take a ridiculously long time, so when it was done I still had time to call the vet and book the kittens and Amy in for chipping and neutering, then the adopters of three of the kittens so I can meet them before the actual adoption. I’ve now just had Sheila on the phone and she’s trying to convince me to take on the homing officer role. I’ll think about it. 

The 22nd of October. 

I’m really sleepy, so much that I am wishing the hours to bedtime away. I got in quite late because the gig ran over by about twenty minutes, mainly because of heckling by a twat called Rob, and he (Joel, not Rob) hung around afterwards for photos and chats so I had one of each – he actually recognised me from Twitter and is proud to join the illustrious group that is my cool gang of comedy pals. I also got recognised in the toilet by a girl who was at the gig on Wednesday, and she asked how my popcorn lung was. My level of fame is rising. 

Becky came round this morning (having given me enough notice to allow time for me to get dressed) and we had a good chinwag. Her cats, my cats, her school, my latest medical fun, her brothers, and my phone saga. We went to see the kitties and I passed them all to her one at a time for pets. They were all very well-behaved, and now I’ve got Shari coming back on Tuesday to see Angelica and Alfie again. This afternoon, I have been reading the Saturday Guardian and crocheting while catching up on recorded tv from last night. I might have to undo what I’ve made today because I used a wool I am unhappy with and as it’s a gift, although the recipient won’t know, it will bother me. I’ll see how it looks partially stuffed and then decide. 

The 19th of October. 

Tired. Need to catch up on the sleep I missed yesterday morning, but that won’t happen tonight because I’m at The Glee so will be back late, then up early for a 9am lung function test tomorrow. Yay about The Glee, not so much the hospital trip. 

This morning I wrote about yesterday because I was too tired by the time I could’ve done any writing last night. That took a surprisingly long time, and when I was done, lunchtime was pretty much upon us. 

I went to the gym this afternoon, where I saw very few familiar faces. No one I am irritated by, just the girl with the phenomenal body and a man who I see semi-regularly but is not interesting enough to have a nickname. I did about 85% of my usual routine because, a) I couldn’t really be bothered to do it all and b) I wanted to have a reasonable amount of time at home before going out again. 

When I got home, I made a tiny coffee, and rang the lady who had reserved Ava and Amira to make sure she still wanted them. She does, so that’s excellent, and we just need to find homes for Amy and Archie!

The 20th of October. 

Oh the gig last night was most fun. I met lots of nice people including two girls who let me join their table of wine-drinking, and the guy I was sat next to was excellent company too (and also works with Andrew from GBBO, amazing). I may have piped up during the show, but only because John brought up popcorn lung and when someone mentions an obscure disease that I have, I can’t not get involved. Things got a tiny bit awkward when they asked if it would get better and I said no, but then we moved onto kitten fostering and then it was fine. Then after the show they hung around so I said hi and had a photo before going home and crashing into bed. 

Then awake super early for lung function tests at 9. I had a new girl today, and she was very nice – it’s always good to have a chat while the machine calibrates. They’ve changed the tests again, so now I only have to use the weird mouthpiece for the last one, which they have made different too. We had to do one of the tests four times which was not ideal, but eventually I escaped, then I had to wait to see Dr. Thompson. He was running late, but we got there, and it was good news! Today’s results were better than last time, pretty much back to where they were before, so I left feeling quite perky!

On the way home, we stopped at M&S to get a croloaf (croissant loaf YES PLEASE) and some other bits including a cinnamon swirl Danish which I ate for lunch, then I had a very sedate afternoon. Tonight I have to back up my phone again because I can pick up the new one tomorrow!

The 5th of October. 

I spent as much of today as possible with the tiny fluffball because Shaki texted this morning to say she’d be picking her up at half seven, while I was out. Probably a good thing as I wouldn’t have wanted to let her go. 

I wrote up a blog post, then went to let Olivia run around a bit. We had to set up a barricade of sorts so she couldn’t get anywhere she might get stuck. She runs and jumps like a tiny bunny and it is probably the cutest thing I have ever seen. I would like to keep her forever but have her remain the same size, and neither of those things can happen. 

This afternoon, Mommy and I wound a skein of wool into a ball which took nearly an hour – much longer than I expected. I think for the other four, I will have to use some kind of apparatus so she doesn’t have to kneel on the floor for that long again. 

She then went to Grandma’s, so I went and played with Olivia for another hour. I occasionally had to stop her from climbing down behind the bed, but for the most part we had a lovely time playing with newspaper. My back started to get pretty bad, so I popped her back in the cage with some food. When Mommy got back, we decided to make some muffins, but then Jonathan wanted to come and see the kitty, so Mommy baked and I sat with him and Olivia. She has had a whale of a time. 

At five, I needed to get ready to go out to The Glee, so he went home and I went upstairs to make myself slightly more presentable. We then had Jamie at the door returning some keys, and he got to see Olivia too. 

I arrived at The Glee to see James Acaster shortly before the doors were due to open, so I got myself a glass of wine and found a place to wait. Looking around, I realised the girl next to me had been in my class at school, and I had not seen her since we left nine years ago! We had a quick catch-up, and Sandhya is a doctor now, although it is unlikely I’ll bump into her because she works at Sandwell Hospital, not the QE. She wasn’t aware of everything that’s happened, but thankfully, being a medic, she understood everything I was saying. 

It was allocated seating, and for once I was actually in a decent place! A few rows back from the front, just to stage left. I had a nice chat with the chap on my left about James and other comedy gigs we’d both been to, then my fish finger sandwich was delivered so I ate that and he went to get a drink. It was really tasty! Excellent home-made lime tartare sauce. Capers, all sorts of business. 

The show was excellent, as I thought it would be. He had to cope with some curveballs, like coming onstage with burgers that the front row had ordered, a lady called Sarah who stood up because her back hurt, unfortunately right in the spotlight, and me and the lady next but one to me getting utterly hysterical at James’ praying mantis impression. Not sure why it tickled us so much, but it was glorious. My face hurt from laughing so much. We had a chat about it in the interval and ended up having a very jolly time along our row. Much more fun than the intervals usually are!

Daddy picked me up at the end, and when I got home, I considered watching Bake Off, but decided to leave it until the morning. Bed. 

The 6th of October. 

Tired today. Too much laughing. First thing I did this morning was watch last night’s Bake Off. Very pleased that Tom went. He was superfluous. I don’t know who will be an acceptable loss now though because I like all the rest!

I wrote about yesterday, which was a lengthier exercise than I originally anticipated. Jen rang to discuss our next cat delivery, which was determined to be this afternoon. Five kittens and their mum. 

After lunch, we waited for Jen to arrive with the clowder. She said between two and three, then I was going to go to the gym afterwards. Well, that was the plan. She arrived just before three, then by the time she’d left (we love a chinwag), there really wasn’t time. Nevermind!

We let them settle in, and I did a bit of crocheting before Becky came round. I introduced her to Amy (mum) and Archie, Alfie, Ava, Angelica and Amira. Obviously they are all still very unsure so we left them and had tea and muffin/hobnob chat in the living room. I haven’t seen her for weeks so she had a great deal to bring us up to speed with, what with her having moved to a new school. Much less stressful, or at least in different ways. We allowed ourselves a tiny bit of Christmas excitement. 

Got to get these kitties to be my friend. 

The 11th of June. 

It is Daddy’s birthday weekend, so we are having family bonding fun time. 

We have celebrated by going to the Cholmondeley Power and Speed Festival. We were leaving at eight, so I was the first one up, at six. I don’t know why I require two hours to be ready, I just do. The weather was supposed to be pretty grey all day, so I did not take my sunglasses. As soon as we arrived, I realised this had been a mistake. It was cloudy, but too bright for me, and I was struggling. Thankfully, Daddy had his clip-on sunglasses and they fitted on my specs too. Without them, I’m not sure what I would have done. Probably bought some sort of hideous hat with a large brim (not that hats with large brims are hideous, I look great in them, but this was not the sort of place where they would sell good hats). I was also grateful we’d brought the manual wheelchair, because although I do not love being pushed around, the motorised chair would not have coped with today’s terrain. There was a stand selling fancy off-roading chairs but they cost about £4000 and I am not in regular need so I don’t think that’ll be necessary. 

To be honest, there is not a great deal to say about what we saw. Lots of cars and motorbikes, some helicopters and a plane. Oh, and many retro ice cream vans. I had a pulled pork bun for lunch which was only a tiny bit spicy so my mouth could tolerate it, then we had some tiny fried funfair doughnuts and frankly I could have devoured the whole bag on my own. 

We left when we’d seem everything we wanted to, about half two, and on the way home it chucked it down, so I listened to Pillars by Josh Record and my sore eyes didn’t really matter anymore. 

The 12th of June. 

I came downstairs today with arms full of presents, and I interrupted Daddy’s viewing of the Grand Prix qualifying to give them to him. I bought him a Rubik’s Cross (like a cube but harder) which I suspect may never get scrambled, and a Vinyl Pop figure of Flash, the sloth from Zootropolis, who brought him much joy. 

My breakfast was very exciting because it was an enormous crumpet! I have wanted to try one for ages but we couldn’t find them in shops, and suddenly Tesco decided to stock them so I got to eat a crumpet as big as my face. Hooray!

I let the kittens have a run around while Christine and Mommy were very busy in the kitchen, ganache-ing Daddy’s cake and making delicious foods for us all. Grandma was collected from up the road to join us, and we were round the table by half past one for roasted venison, followed by our favourite, chocolate mousse. There was also rhubarb galette but I had no interest in that. 

Spent the afternoon watching the Queen’s celebrations, letting the food to down, while I crocheted a dumpling kitty (as it’s called in the pattern). We paused for birthday cake, chocolate and vanilla marble, then Daddy took Christine to the station so she could go home. 

This evening, I went to see Sara Pascoe at The Glee. I was sat on one of the side benches, along with all the other lone people. So cool. Obviously she was brilliant, even when a lady fainted in the middle of the first half. Lights went on, the line “Is there a doctor in the house?” was heard, and Sara told us some lovely stories about Lanzarote and did some impressions (once we we fairly sure the passed out woman was awake and okay).

I went to see her in the interval, any we talked about her book and the dramas of the first half (she was fine, awake and talking, paramedics in attendance), then she had to work out if she needed to cut stuff so I left her to do that. 

I’m still trying to compute the massacre in Orlando. Their laws won’t change, because the NRA is too powerful, and they love guns so much. Gay clubs are supposed to be a safe space, somewhere to escape the stares and prejudices of Straight White World, and that security has been shaken. But I am heartened by the queues of people wanting to give blood for the casualties. Most people are good.