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The 23rd of April.

Oh god I have never been so excited about the fact that it is Monday tomorrow. Maybe my four month long saga of the fat right arm will be over soon.

Somehow I managed to press the snooze button this morning without my knowledge, but I didn’t continue to sleep for too much longer. I think I was slightly less coughy, but I had Zopiclone so it’s hard to remember. Thankfully the rest of the day has not been necessary to remember anyway.

Shockingly, it’s been mostly tv. Sunday Brunch in the am, Netflix this afternoon. I had a break in the middle for my traditional Gardeners’ Question Time and a lie down/pretend nap, but that was pretty much my only non-screen-based activity. On Netflix, I watched the first two episodes of 13 Reasons Why. I think I’ll download the next several to watch while I’m having to lie flat in ambulatory care tomorrow.

The 24th of April.

So it is done. I am praying so hard that it has worked this time but honestly I’m expecting to be disappointed.

Mommy woke me up for toast at quarter to seven, and then I couldn’t go back to sleep. I managed to kill time until we had to leave by redoing some crochet that I’d done wrong, and we set off just after 10:30. Parking was a nightmare, but we drove round enough times to chance upon someone leaving. Before going to ambulatory care, we went up to 516 to give Jenny her bear. She was delighted and put him in her pocket. We couldn’t stay too long, so we had a brief chat, then we went back downstairs and she went to check patients’ blood sugars.

I checked in at the desk at ambulatory care, then had to wait until the afternoon patients were let in. While we twiddled our thumbs, we saw Vash, the mother of a girl I was treated with at BCH. Turned out she was in a cubicle in there with some mystery virus. She did not look well, poor thing.

I had a very nice nurse who liked my hair (actually nearly every person I met commented on it) and got admitted pretty quickly, then a nurse from angio came for me because I was the only one on their list this afternoon. When we got down there, I went through the theatre check list again, and Andrew came for a chat. He explained what he was going to do, and we talked a lot about gadolinium (the dye he has to use instead of the iodine-based contrast he normally would), because I have so much during these procedures, more than a patient who’s had a lot of MRIs, more than anyone he’s ever seen and there are no studies on how this much of it can affect a body so he has concerns about that. I am just tired, I want it fixed.

We went round to the suite we were going to use. I shuffled across onto the bed and there was a who, then Andrew went to scrub in and the nurses prepped me. Covered in iodine. Once everything was set up, Andrew ultrasounded the edge of my groin to find the vein, then one of the nurses came to distract me while he got stabby with the local anaesthetic. He tunnelled up as far as he could, then he put some local in my fat arm and drove a wire up the vein in there so the two nearly met, and he used them to measure the blood pressures in those vessels, and he did a run of contrast so he could see if any strictures were there. The one he blew up in January had returned, so he was going to have to inflate that again, but with a better balloon this time. Before doing that, he wanted to use the IVUS to make sure there weren’t any more, and to get some more information about my superior vena cava. I could see the screens today, so I can tell you that an ultrasound inside your veins looks like the title sequence of Doctor Who. Like going into a black hole. From this, he was able to glean that there isn’t any more narrowing, but it is scarred. Lines for seven years will do that to you.

Satisfied that I only needed the one inflation, he gave me some sedation (they are not comfortable experiences) and I had a tiny nap. Then all the tubes and wires got pulled out and I had to lie there while he pressed very hard on the puncture site to stop the bleeding.

In recovery, I had some water, then the nurses took me and my notes back to ambulatory care. Mommy was coming back in at the same time, so we both returned to my bedspace and I told her what had gone on. Andrew came round too, and we talked through what he’d seen. He also explained that there’s no point in strenting the vein he inflated because it’s surrounded by bones and fibrous tissue so would probably just get crushed. I have to keep wearing the sleeve and squeezing the stress ball, and hope that this time it’s had the desired effect. I’ll get an appointment for his clinic. Maybe I’ll be able to wear something that doesn’t drown me.

The 17th of January. 

I have a venogram appointment! I checked on myhealth this morning, and I am booked in for the 25th at 9am. No letter yet, that will probably be tomorrow, and will include more detail. Looking back at previous venograms, there have been occasions when the venoplasty’s been done immediately, and when I’ve had to go back and have it another day. Fingers crossed it’s the former but I have no clue. 

This morning, I wrote up a post and painted my nails while watching Theresa May’s Brexit speech. It was not particularly illuminating, apart from making it obvious that if we don’t get what she wants, we are quite screwed. People keep saying “We haven’t had the Brexit crash that was predicted” like it’s fine but they don’t seem to have realised that we haven’t left yet.

Mommy has been out most of the day, taking Grandma to a funeral, coming home, reading a letter, and having to go back to Grandma’s to tell her that this letter said that her cousin has died. Not a great day for her. 

I watched the final three episodes of A Series of Unfortunate Events and crocheted. I had started some pyjamas for the doll I made ages ago, so now she has the trousers and I’m working on the shirt. 

Phoned up several potential adopters to have the standard conversation, had to explain that we actually have practically no cats/kittens at the moment, but they are willing to wait. 

The 18th of January.

Today has seemed to go by ever so quickly. I looked at the clock and suddenly it was half past three. Where did the time go?

This morning, I was able to have orange juice with my breakfast for the first time since before Christmas. Think my mouth might be okay to eat fun things on my birthday, maybe even have some champagne! Such excitement. I have ordered a mini Curly Wurly cake for us to pick up on Saturday and I’ve been trying to decide what I’m going to wear. Thankfully we’re not going anywhere fancy so I don’t have to worry about a dress code, but I’d like to look reasonable and that’s tricky when one of your arms is massive. I’m not sure whether my leather jacket will fit so we’ll take the furry lining out of my park and then I think it will be big enough to accommodate the enormo-arm. 

After lunch (during which I had an apple, another thing I haven’t had for ages because it was too pointy), I had a Cats Protection call, then I made the pyjama top to go with the bottoms. I now remember why I’d stopped doing stuff from that book – it has mistakes as it’s a translation. Bah. I also started a new series on Netflix called Glitch. It’s like The Returned, but Australian, and they all crawled out of their graves at the same time not knowing they were dead. I’ll see how it goes. 

Hair change tomorrow. What colour to go?

The 15th of January. 

It is going to be an early night tonight. Well, as early as possible. As in, I will go upstairs and watch Sherlock in bed so I can go to sleep straight away afterwards. I was woken not long after eight this morning by the builders next door using the angle grinder, and tomorrow I have to get up super early for liver clinic (which is now on a Monday morning). 

Other than the noisy builders, it has been a pretty quiet day. I wrote up a blog post, watched Sunday Brunch, and worked on practising crocheting cables. I think I’ve got the hang of it now which is most pleasing – being able to do them properly has eluded me for ages. 

I also watched three more episodes of A Series of Unfortunate Events – it’s too good and I can’t help myself. Neil Patrick Harris is so excellent, and I’m enjoying Cobie Smulders and Will Arnett too. Having listened to all of the audiobooks when I had to live in the dark, and several times again since then, I can’t wait to see how they do the rest of them. The first four books just won’t do. 

My hands are still very dry. Leathery, one could call them. And not a soft leather, like a stiff, hard, scaly leather. Moisturising all the time, but this is going to take a while. 

The 16th of January.

Sherlock was not even worth staying up for in the end. So many questions, so many things wrong with it. Mycroft is a fucking idiot. 

Anyway. At least my very early clinic appointment meant I got through quickly. Philippa and James both really loved their crocheted animals for their respective children, and we got to see the latest pictures of James’ new baby. Then down to the business of my body – I explained everything that happened over Christmas and how far we’d got in regards to fixing me. The only things that need to be sorted are my arm and eyes – James’ secretary is going to get on the case about my arm (and the dates I’d rather not have it on) and we just have to wait for the eye appointment.

Then we were on our way and home just after half ten, at which point I needed more coffee. I am very sleepy. The rest of my day has been spent yawning, crocheting nothing in particular and having multiple chats with Shaki about the logistics of kitten/cat movement. It is very complicated. 

The 13th of January. 

Not so much crocheting today. Less time. After breakfast, I did a blog post, then I spent the rest of my morning assembling the monkey. One down, one to go!

Had lunch, then shortly after, Daddy and I went to see La La Land. Not the only ones in today, unfortunately, but the few chatty youths that were there did stop talking when the film started. 

I loved it, as expected. I have downloaded the soundtrack already. I shan’t express any opinions about what happens because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone. There is a scene which pretty much broke my heart because it reminded me so much of dates I went on as a teenager and I don’t think I’ll ever have that experience again. Bah. 

More news tonight about the crisis in the NHS. How the government can keep saying it’s okay is unfathomable. Saying that they’re giving the NHS more money, but it’s not as much as they say, and they refuse to put anything into social care so it doesn’t work. They say it’s better than last year’s winter but the truth is that the really cold winter hasn’t even come yet. I’m waiting for this venogram and have been told it’ll be in the next ten days or so, but I’m hoping with every fibre of my being that it’s not the 21st or 26th. However, if they do want to do it then, I really don’t know how I could ask for it to be changed. 

The 14th of January. 

Crocheting all done. Need another project. 

This morning, while watching Saturday Kitchen, I did the other arm and the tail of the bear, then assembled him. He currently is being straitjacketed by some elastic bands to hold his arms in or he will look a bit flail-y, but I’ll remove those before Monday morning. Also his eyes are liable to disappear into his head so I might need to warn James about that. Still very cute though. 

This afternoon has just been me and Netflix. I finished The OA – it’s great and I got very emotional at the end but I’m annoyed because it was ambiguous. I really hate ambiguity – I like everything to be wrapped up in neat packages. Not sure if a second season would be right though. 

The other thing I watched was the first episode of A Series of Unfortunate Events. It’s really good – they have kind of taken elements of the audiobooks and the film and made it their own (I hate that phrase). I wish they’d asked Stephin Merritt to do the title music, but that is my only criticism. Also I am intrigued by what they did at the end (no spoilers). 

The 17th of September. 

And we are back to it being freezing. I do like getting to wear fluffy, snuggly jumpers but if we could have that kind of season without my fingers feeling like icicles that that would be great. The thermal bed socks will be coming out very soon I think. 

No sitting in front of the computer today – I had a better night, spent my morning with the weekend Guardian and enjoyed the fact that I wasn’t having to plug my phone in after using it for ten minutes. 

I had another one of my rainbow bagels for lunch because apparently the bakery man at M&S hadn’t made any pretzels today, then spent my afternoon waiting for Shaki to appear so she could give me Rufus’ paperwork and trim his pointy, pointy claws. She finally turned up an hour and a half late and it seemed the text she’d sent didn’t arrive, and Rufus was friendly enough but we couldn’t get hold of him. Still not a fan of being picked up which just means I have to do it more, to get him used to it. More injuries ahead!

The 18th of September. 

Last night I was so cold I had my duvet, blanket and dressing gown on. And my electric blanket to begin with. I’ve already got my full-length pyjama bottoms on, I think the long sleeves are going to have to come out too. Even the towel rail thinks it’s cold enough to try and warm up. 

This morning was Sunday Brunch and looking at Christmas crochet patterns. Got to decide on what I’m making people for presents (plus some other cute things), and I got an email about a sale, so some wool for gifts is on its way! I have two planned – working out what to make Mommy is hard because I have to be able to do it in secret. It’s fine. I have time. 

This afternoon, I watched several episodes of my new favourite show, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (Rebecca Bunch is my spirit animal), and I designed myself a business card. I keep meeting people at things and not having anything to give them but soon that will no longer be a problem!

Hoping Rufus has eaten all his lunch. He is such a finicky eater. Nobody is interested in him! Poor kitty. 

The 15th of September. 

A decidedly less great day. I woke up so excited and full of beans because today was the day I was finally going to get some answers about my back, but now I just feel tired and deflated. 

This morning I wrote about yesterday, then was at the chiro again. My neck needed some serious attention, and I promised I’d let Trine know how my appointment with Mr. Harland this afternoon went. 

We went home for about forty five minutes, then back out to The Spire to finally see the surgeon and get some answers. I had a little bit of time to read my book before he called me in, but I was very ready when he did. We talked a little bit about my background, then he showed us my scan pictures (I wish I’d taken photos now) and talked us through them. It is the discs that are causing my pain – the ones at the top are okay, but as you go down my spine, they get thinner and thinner, down to about a fifth of the size they should be, and are now just a couple of millimetres thick. At the very bottom, it looks like two of the vertebrae are on their way to fusing together, and what’s left of the discs is prolapsing. He’s never seen scans of a back like mine belonging to a 25 year old. Maybe a 50 year old. Of course. And it turns out, there’s no surgery he can do to fix it. I’m being referred to the pain team and their physio, who will hopefully have a solution for the agony. Maybe pills, maybe patches, maybe steroid injections into my spine, we’ll see. I’m disappointed because I was really hoping for something more immediate. It might get better when the bones fuse, I’ll definitely get stiffer, and that’s it. No real cause – not steroids, just a case of bad genes and bad luck. I’m an unfixable disaster. 

The 16th of September. 

This is not going to be an exciting entry. I had a really bad night; awake on and off since 3am. Maybe it was the incredibly noisy weather, I don’t know. It was not good. 

I emerged from my bedroom at half past eight, and spent my morning getting my phone ready to back up so such my new one was delivered I could get started setting it up. It did not go to plan. 

Everything ran rather slowly. I only started trying to back up the current phone after lunch, and I have been sat at the computer all afternoon. The first backup, during which I watched Bad Neighbours (I give it 3 stars), failed for some reason, then the second go took the entirety of 22 Jump Street (3.5 stars) and I thought that had failed too. However, when I went to try a third time, it appeared that a backup had been made and I could finally start on the new one!

My time has not been totally wasted – I have finished the snood I’ve been working on. It’s very long and so will keep my face warm and snuggly. 

Anyway. Back to work. I suspect I will be here all evening. 

The 11th of September. 

Going to apologise here for what is probably going to be a very boring entry. 

I slept badly again. Not to begin with – Sadie’s put me onto this podcast called Myths and Legends which is really good to fall asleep to, so no problems there. No, I was just kind of awake from about seven for no particular reason. Bah.

This morning I blogged while watching Sunday Brunch, and all afternoon I’ve been sat in front of my computer, watching Jessica Jones (finished season 1) and backing up my phone. Well, that’s not technically accurate: first I tried splitting a huge photo album into three sharing folders, but after an hour and a half, it failed. Then I imported all the photos from my phone that weren’t in the computer already, and now it’s copying the last backup of my phone so I can delete it and make a new backup. It said it would take several hours, so I’ve left it and will check back later tonight. I am somewhat concerned that it’s going to have taken a toll on my back but I did everything I could to support it so hopefully I won’t suffer too much. Maybe I’ll lie on the floor a lot this evening. God I hope my appointment on Thursday isn’t a disappointment. 

The 12th of September. 

Going to be another unexciting one I’m afraid. But tomorrow is going to be lots of fun so bear with me until then. 

More photo admin. Really trying to streamline what I have because there are so many unnecessary/duplicate photos and they take up too much space! As exciting as getting a new phone is, the sorting out of stuff beforehand is so very dull. I will probably at some point sit and go through them, deleting all the crap. What a fun day that will be. 

Also been prepping some stuff for tomorrow – printed out the assistance emails and what I’m going to say, and I tried on what I was planning on wearing to see how it looked. Very glad I did as it did not work, so then I tried on lots of other things until I’d made a decision and was very out of breath. Sorted out where and when I’m meeting Suzi and Lauren respectively and I will be meeting up with Amy too, so I am super excited to see all my babes! I’ve brought my other handbag downstairs and have transferred all the important things into it, so the only things I have left to do will happen in the morning.