Archives For pain

The 8th of July.

So, so tired.

I didn’t fall asleep until about 3 this morning because my arm hurt and I couldn’t get in a comfortable position and the sheets were a mess. Then I was woken up at 7 for my breakfast of toast, marmalade and coffee. I asked the nurses for my Tramadol, because the codeine did fuck all, and found that helped enough for me to be able to bend my arm, brush my teeth and sort out my bed a bit.

Anne had said I could go without seeing her, but I wanted to see what she thought of my arm today and find out what we were to do regarding dressings. She appeared at quarter to twelve, with Mommy and the nurse, which was excellent timing. She took off the bandages, peeled the sleeve down, then removed all the Mepores, trying not to tear my skin. It looks pretty amazing! It looks best immediately post-surgery, then the swelling will go up, but both arms looked nearly identical! And all the compression has alleviated some of the bruising. The nurse gave all the wounds that needed it a clean, then applied new dressings before putting a new sleeve on. So everything is good! I see Fiona the nurse next week, Julie in six weeks, and Anne in September. Then we just had to wait for pharmacy to send up my TTOs and it doesn’t seem to matter if it’s an NHS or a private hospital, they still move at a glacial pace.

I almost match. I’m so happy.

The 9th of July.

Sleep was good. I lay on top of the sheet with my arm on a pillow and managed to stay there until a reasonable time. The arm was less painful, so I think that helped.

I have done very little today. This morning, we watched Christine mace-bear at a graduation ceremony over live stream, then we caught up on the Taskmaster finale that we missed while we were away.

Sarah came back with Dolly, who despite having a lovely time at the cattery, scratched Sarah and wet herself when it came to having to get in the carrier. Poor thing. She has gone straight under the chair.

We had lunch, then I sat with Dolly all afternoon, crocheting and watching Zootropolis. She has not emerged, just like Boris. Suddenly my trip to the Houses of Parliament on the 18th has become even more interesting. 

The 6th of July.

Ah, home again, where the water from the tap tastes good.

Up very early because we left before half past eight. First, we drove to Ipswich to drop off Christine at the station there, then we continued for three and a half hours to home. My back was horrific.

We got here just before one, so we had time to pee and have a drink before Mommy and I went to The Spire for my cross-match. The receptionist sent me to the wrong place, so we wasted twenty minutes waiting for someone who wasn’t coming. Thankfully, a member of staff was helpful, and suddenly everything happened very quickly. I went to the right place, and the woman in charge came to apologise profusely and make sure shit got done. A nurse came to get me, and she’d bleeped a doctor to bleed me. He had to have two goes, but he got what we needed. On the way out, we were stopped by the manager again, who qoffered us free coffee and cake! We said yes please, because we hadn’t eaten since breakfast, and it was delicious.

We stopped at M&S on the way home to buy some dinner, then this afternoon, I have had my first Hibiscrub shower (I have to have another one in the morning) and a hairwash. Having to blow dry one’s hair in this weather is awful.

I do hope I sleep tonight.

The 7th of July.

Liposuction day!

I am exhausted, swollen, oozy and sore.

I got up early to try and drink loads of water before I had to be nil by mouth at 11. We got to The Spire at about twenty past, and someone from the ward came to get me and take me to my room. It was a slightly nicer version of an NHS cubicle room – pretty much the same, but I could lock my cupboard and I had a wardrobe. Fancy.

A nurse came to admit me and do blood pressure, sats and get a urine sample. Then they sent the doctor I saw yesterday to try and get some more blood from me because they were unhappy with the group and save from then. Unfortunately, my veins did not want to cooperate, and after two tries he decided he would let the anaesthetist try in theatre when they put my cannula in.

The anaesthetist himself, Gerwyn, came to see me next and we talked about all the boxes I had ticked on the form (he thinks I probably did break the record). We discussed the regional block, the risks, what else we might need to do. It all sounded very promising so that was grand and off he went. Then we just had to wait for Anne!

She came just after two o’clock and drew all over my arm to show where she was going to go in (basically everywhere), took some pictures for comparison, then I signed the consent form and it was time to go!

In the anaesthetic room, Gerwyn had two attempts at the cannula, unfortunately settling on the vein in the underside of my wrist, although he did put some local anaesthetic in first so it wasn’t as uncomfortable. Couldn’t get any blood but it was unlikely that I’d need a transfusion so nevermind. Then he ultrasounded around my collarbone to find the nerves he wanted to use to make my arm numb. We had to wait for it to kick in, then he started spraying me with the cold spray and poking me with a blunt needle to see what I could feel. Turns out a brachial block can’t numb the inside of the upper arm or the back of it, so they would try and get some local infiltration in theatre.

When we went in, I asked if we were going to do a Who, which they all found very amusing because nobody had ever asked that before, then they asked if I would lead it, so I did! I was prepped, made all clean, some leg massagers were attached to my calves to prevent me from getting another DVT, and a screen was erected in front of my face to keep the sterile and non-sterile areas separate. That was annoying, because I had wanted to watch. However, they asked if I wanted any music to entertain me, so I requested Death Cab. They were unsure until they heard it, and then they realised they are lovely so we just listened to them for two hours while Anne hoovered all the extra fat out of my arm. The noise is like a combination of an electric toothbrush and a drill. And in the places where it wasn’t numb and the local anaesthetic wasn’t reaching, it felt like she was shoving a long drill bit in and out of my arm. It was painful enough to get past just clenching my jaw – I screwed up my face a bit and even emitted an “Ow.” That means it is bad. If you are planning on having liposuction ever, I would recommend making sure you can be entirely numb, and if you can’t, be asleep. It’s not pleasant. When she was finished, all the little holes got stitched up, then covered in Mepore dressings. My entire arm is Mepore. Then, they had to try to get a compression garment over the top without messing up all the dressings. I had a quick look, and she was not kidding about the bruising. It’s rather dramatic. That was tricky, but they did a reasonable job. Blood and fluid has oozed out through it constantly since then, and it’s supposed to carry on until tomorrow evening. I’m not supposed to change the dressings for ten days, but I can’t see how they’ll still be viable even after tomorrow. I’ll ask Anne when she comes round in the morning.

When it was all done, at about quarter to five, I was taken to recovery, where we saw the very end of the football (It’s coming home!) and everybody told me how well I’d done. Anne said it went really well, and she removed a whole litre of fat. A litre! Even she didn’t expect there to be that much. After about half an hour and a much needed glass of water, I was taken back to the ward.

Here, I have had to do everything one handed, because my right arm was useless until about 9. I can flop it about, like Harry Potter does when Gilderoy Lockhart magics away his bones. I managed to get my phone out of the cupboard and ring Mommy, so she could come and see me because she wanted to. Then I rang Christine to tell her how it had gone, because it was easier than texting. I was brought the sandwich I’d ordered before surgery and some coffee, which happily did not taste like garbage. I was so hungry but it’s hard to eat an egg mayo sandwich with only one hand. Mommy arrived, I told her all that had happened, and she helped me sort out the sheets and shuffle myself up the bed. She left at about twenty past seven, and I lay and waited for my arm to come back to me, sending her a video every time the mobility moved up the arm a bit. By 9, I had regained most of the movement and sensation. It’s got its cons though – now I can feel again, I’m aware that it is quite achy. Will ask the nurses for some codeine, see if that helps. Then I will try to go to sleep. Not feeling optimistic.

The 22nd of June.

I have stroked Dolly! Finally back to where I was a month ago. Christ. Maybe now it’ll speed up a bit? I can but hope.

This morning, I was going to meet Selina, but she wasn’t feeling well, so we rescheduled. Instead, I wrote up a blog post, tried to rearrange one of my upcoming hospital appointments only to find the person engaged, and made my first of the third set of hexagons.

After lunch, Daddy took me to the gym, and I had a fairly reasonable session. No scary breathing, no excessive pain. When I arrived, the manager told me I should always swipe my pass in case I need to prove I was there. I don’t know about him but I don’t often need to provide people with an alibi. And when I left, a little girl was very excited to press the button which would open the gate for me. I’m glad I could bring some joy.

My cannabis oil capsules arrived today. I have to start with one a day and slowly work up, maximum nine. Hoping it doesn’t get that far or this is going to be really bloody expensive. They have an interesting aftertaste – not unpleasant, just a bit curious. I think it might be the coconut oil.

The 23rd of June.

Two important things happened today:

1. I got Dolly to purr, and I mean a proper, prolonged purr.

2. I watched Hannah Gadsby’s show Nanette on Netflix.

I had to do my own breakfast and I can say that the CBD capsules aren’t having any effect yet, but I wasn’t expecting them to immediately. In a few weeks, maybe. Then I spent most of my morning filling in a form for my pre-op assessment which wanted me to list all the drugs I take, all the conditions I have and every admission I’ve ever had. I’ve chosen to tell them what’s important, and if they need to know more we can go through it in person.

After lunch, I went to feed Dolly. She came out of hiding, ate the food, and wandered off, so I left her. But then she started making sad noises so I went back and got out the Dreamies. At first, she was really jumpy, but eventually she calmed down enough to be stroked and scratched round the ear, and she was really purring for the first time. Then, back to jumpy. But it’s a step.

Buoyed by that, I went to watch Nanette. I’d heard it is brilliant, and not just that but important too, and those were accurate sentiments. It is fantastically constructed and balanced, incredibly poignant and smart, using tension in such a masterful way. It will teach you something; make it your business to watch it.

 

The 18th of June.

I am pleasantly not knackered today. Had a fairly boring morning, typing up two blog posts on the past four days. I couldn’t be arsed to sort out the pictures so that’s a job for tomorrow. I also rang Anne Dancey’s secretary, Gayle, but she wasn’t there so I’ll have to try again tomorrow.

This afternoon, I gymmed. Did a few different things to try to keep myself from getting bored. Binned off the bicep curl machine because I don’t feel like it’s effective, did it with free weights instead and now my arms are a bit trembly so it definitely did something. When I got home, I had a phone call from Lynn, Dolly’s previous fosterer (sort of) to see how she is getting on. I had to give her the bad news that she has gone rather backwards. She is coming out for food and the litter tray, just like when she first arrived. Obviously had something incredibly traumatic happen in her first home and finds it very difficult to trust humans. Poor floof.

The 19th of June.

I hurt today. My bum and arms are protesting after the gym yesterday, and Trine had to do a lot of work on my neck because it had a terrible weekend. Ergo, much pain this afternoon.

Before the chiro, I rang Gayle again to see when we could schedule my liposuction. She said she had to move some people around, and would call me back, so we left it at that. Post-neck-kneading, we went to see if we could find a soft brush for Dolly, and got a few bits from Tesco. We have procured a baby brush from Boots, so we’ll see if she hates that one too.

Wool for my blanket arrived while we were out, so after lunch (and The Bridge), I started crocheting hexagons. I’ve done twelve, got ninety one left. I’m going to have to be somewhat industrious. But I’m excited to see how it comes out!

I rang Gayle back at about half two because she hadn’t got back to me, and the upshot is that provided the nurses can fit my pre-op in in time, I’ll be having it done on the 7th of July! And shortly after that, the pain nurse rang to talk about my injections. I told her that they’d had no effect, and she’s going to get me another appointment with Dr. Blaney, although god knows when that’ll be. Cannabis oil it is! 

The 4th of June.

Well, today has been pretty garbage. I had thought I would go to the gym, but I woke up and my back was immediately terrible. Literally, I got out of bed and there was pain. So I wrote up a blog post, but photos aren’t syncing between phone and iPad, and I left that. Hoping I’m not going to have another iCloud saga. Moved on to my crochet and I’ve discovered that having finished the collar, it looks weird, and I subsequently found it is the wrong size! So I have sat for the whole morning, unravelling the entire thing and spooling it into neat balls of wool. And Mommy scraped the side of the car swinging it into the drive because idiots made it extra difficult today. So it’s been bad!

This afternoon, I started the cardigan again multiple times, so it now ought to end up being the right size. Bit of tennis, bit of crochet, then I sat with the sleepy cats and watched Bates Motel. They at least got something right with the CF girl today because she jumped in some water without her oxygen which I knew would be bad and her reaction was appropriate. For once.

The 5th of June.

I suppose today has been an improvement, in that it was not dreadful. Slightly less pain, so I went to the gym.

What happened this morning? Not a huge amount. I stayed in my pyjamas to begin with, because I wasn’t sure what activity I might be doing, dependent upon my back. After coffee, and putting up the blog post from yesterday, I went upstairs to get dressed in my gym clothes and listen to a Friends with Friends. Back downstairs, I returned to crocheting the cardigan until lunch.

Obviously, the afternoon was spent at the gym. I had a reasonable time, nothing excessively difficult. I found myself getting emotional while listening to the Hamilton soundtrack and thinking about death (specifically, mine) so had to stop myself from crying during my tricep dips. Then later, I was recovering on the leg curl and I think the staff have had a meeting about me because I looked up and there was a woman there asking if I was alright. Believe me, if I’m having a problem, you’ll know. I also had to make a child move because he was just sitting on the last machine I wanted and passive-aggressive staring wasn’t working. So I was polite but pissed off in my tone and he moved. Victory.

 

The 2nd of June.

Bleugh. I am tired and we are going out tonight and my back fucking kills today.

It took me ages to get to sleep for no apparent reason, then I couldn’t lie in because a lady was coming to see Dot at half ten and I couldn’t appear to have just rolled out of bed. I had breakfast and typed up a blog post, before Pauline arrived very promptly and we went to see the floofs.

She has met them before, as her daughter-in-law works at the cattery where they were born, so she actually know their history better than we do! It seems Dolly was a stray and got a boyfriend, this absolute unit of a tom called Billy, and he started bringing her to the cattery to show her where she could get food. How precious?! Pauline knew she wanted Dot from day one, and she understands how nervous she is and what she needs in a home, so we’re happy for Dot to go and live with her.

She was here about an hour and a half, so there wasn’t really any morning left then. I’ve spent my afternoon watching some tennis while crocheting, listening to Friends with Friends, and shuffling around the floor, following Dolly, trying to get her to settle down for a stroking session. She is my Everest.

The 3rd of June.

My body is fighting with me today. It is exhausted and it hurts.

I forgot to say yesterday that it was Bill Bailey we were out seeing last night. He finished late, and my back was already awful, so those things compounded mean today has been pretty dire.

All morning, I was sleepy. Not a normal amount of sleepiness, an excessive amount, so much so that even during my coffee I was thinking about having a nap this afternoon. My activity has been limited to crochet, just going back and forth doing the collar of this cardigan. I now have three rows left, then I have to attach the sleeves and weave in the ends and it will be done! Probably tomorrow.

After lunch, I went upstairs for Gardener’s Question Time, a lie down to rest my back, and an attempt at a nap. I know I was awake for the first twenty minutes, but once I’d turned on to my side, I’m fairly certain I was only semi-conscious. It made me feel slightly better.

I got Dolly to purr! I’m sure it was her this time. We were having Dreamies and the kittens were trying to get in the way, but I was stroking her and scratching her ears and she definitely purred. Maybe when the kittens are gone, things will get better.

The 31st of May.

I don’t think Dolly is going to be anybody’s friend. I’m doing my best, but I don’t know.

This morning, I had a phone call with Gaby from Anthony Nolan to talk about Young Ambassador-ing. Or it might now become just Ambassador-ing. I hope not immediately, or I’ll have to get more business cards and I’ve only just got the last lot! Anyway, I basically said I’d like more things to do, and I told her about Jeremy volunteering now too, and it turns out she did his interview! And I am to wait an invitation to the APPG Summer Reception at Parliament. Let’s hope the weather is good again.

After lunch, I have been doing some crochet and some cat-bribery. I finished one sleeve of the new cardigan while watching The Blacklist (phew!), and I took a lot of pictures of the jumper that I made most recently and have finally worn. Then I watched the season finale of iZombie (v. dramatic) and I tried to give Dolly some treats while stroking her, but the kittens were not being helpful. She tolerates my petting and occasionally acts like she likes it when I get round her ear, but maybe she’s just pretending for more treats. She isn’t really affectionate to the kittens which is what makes me think she’ll never love a person. Maybe she just wants somewhere to live.

The 1st of June.

My back can get in the bin. Fucking pain.

This morning, I put up a blog post that I meant to do yesterday, then I sewed up the seams of the sleeves of my cardigan. Then I gave the kittens a quick squidge (they were sleepy and didn’t really want to play) before going upstairs to get dressed for the gym and listen to the new Flatshare Slamdown.

This afternoon I went to the gym, taking my sunglasses and my umbrella because who knows what the fuck the weather’s going to do? It seems sunshine also keeps the youths away because it was pleasantly quiet again! I was having a pretty good session, but I had to cut it short on my penultimate machine because my back was horrific. I am seriously considering cannabis oil. I have heard only good things about it, and I’ve got nothing else left to try. I should get a call from the pain team around the 18th to talk about the steroid injections, and as they haven’t worked, I don’t know if they’ll offer me some more or not. It would probably be sensible to wait until after that before I start taking anything else. Sigh.