Archives For pain

The 12th of February. 

Really tired, although I really have no excuse to be. I slept all night, whereas Mommy was awake at four. I did have a dream that someone murdered me with an injection to the back of the neck, and that woke me up at about one. I could physically feel where the needle had been. So not a great sleep. 

This morning, I wrote up a blog post, then watched Sunday Brunch in my pyjamas while I finished crocheting all the parts of Carol’s present, ready for assembly this afternoon. 

After a lunch involving the cake Mommy made before I even woke up, I thought I should probably get dressed. Then for the rest of my afternoon, I sat in front of the rugby while I put my crocheted creature together. I feel the same way about rugby as I do about Gardeners’ Question Time – no idea what they’re talking about, but I find it very soothing. 

Mrs. Doubtfire is on this evening, and it’s been so long since I saw it, I had forgotten how tremendously excellent it is.

The 13th of February. 

No dreams about being murdered last night, and Mommy woke up at five instead of four, so that’s progress. 

We have both had very productive days, although in rather different ways. It’s been decided that the dining room needs decorating (to be fair, we’ve lived here my whole life and only had one new carpet) and of course I am not getting involved, but Mommy has removed the paper from two of the walls. 

I have made a large doily. 

That might not sound very impressive, but it took several hours and was pretty complicated so well done me. I don’t know what I’m going to do with it. One of the pattern websites said that a doily is one of the best heirlooms to leave for your children, but seeing as I won’t be having any descendants, that’s kind of a moot point.

So, that’s been my day. Oh, I finally got an appointment with the pain team! End of March, so six more weeks of agony. Then maybe I will get some relief. 

The 6th of February. 

Late night, and I spent my morning writing about yesterday, then writing it up in a blog post. We had phoned the chiro to see if I could go on the list for any cancellations, and Sandra (the receptionist) rang to see if I wanted an appointment at three. I said yes please, very much so!

This afternoon, I spoke to the person who does appointments for the pain team, to see when I might expect mine. It turns out they only got a referral for me in December, which is the one I asked Charlie Craddock to make when I saw him in clinic. She confirmed that it was a referral from haematology, which means that Spencer Harland never even bothered. I have spent months waiting for an appointment which was never going to materialise had Charlie not got involved. It’s a twelve week wait, so I’m looking at March maybe? It should have happened in January. Fucking furious. 

Needless to say, Trine was quite shocked and appalled. She can’t do anything, but she could help sort out my angry ribcage. A serious amount of kneading and stretching was done, and she told me not to be surprised if I bruise. I don’t mind, so long as my bones stop grinding together.

The 7th of February. 

A most unproductive day. My skin is doing its occasional “have some spots in awkward places” thing and because I am blessed with good skin most of the time, this is completely unacceptable. I’m really very grateful I don’t have to go anywhere this week and worry about concealer. 

I’ve given up on the sock I was making because I got to a point where the pattern confounded me so I’ve unravelled it all. One day I will find a sock that I can make! I practised some other crochet and unravelled that too, typed a pattern up so I don’t have to get the magazine that it’s in out every time I want it, and put a recently adopted cat in the Cats Protection database. SUCH EXCITEMENT. 

My arm has actually gone up another centimetre. I now look at my left arm and think it looks almost withered when it is the normal size, it’s the right one that is insanely large. I really don’t know how much good a compression garment will do.

The 31st of January. 

Well, I’ve spoken to the person who books appointments for Andrew’s clinics, and she can’t do anything until she’s spoken to him. I don’t feel ultra-confident that she will do this very quickly but hopefully she’ll surprise me. Still no sign of deflation, and I am measuring it every day. 

I have been vastly unproductive today, apart from a blog post this morning. I was at the chiro this afternoon for the first time since before Christmas, and it was not fun, but very necessary. I know it’s bad when Trine winces upon touching my back, exclaiming about how it feels “solid”. She did lots of kneading and crunching and stretching, and I’m going back in two weeks. Hopefully I will not be in pain when I try to go to sleep tonight like I have been for the past week. 

Afterwards, we had a very quick trip to Sutton so I could get a box file for Cats Protection post-adoption forms, and while there bumped into June from Black Sheep, so had a tiny chat before she had to get back to work. 

Need to decide on my next crochet project. Mindless hooking is my meditation. 

The 1st of February.

I have been surprised! The lady I spoke to yesterday actually rang this morning – she has seen Andrew and he’d like me to go to his clinic tomorrow, which I can definitely do. Still exactly the same size. 

The rest of my day has not been so great. I needed oxygen after getting dressed, have been coughing all day, and my back still feels stiff and painful. Stupid garbage body. It would be nice to be able to complete basic tasks without feeling like I’ve just sprinted 100m. 

I had been considering a new crochet project, and as we are meeting Naomi for lunch tomorrow and it was her birthday the other day, I thought I would make her something. I had seen a pattern for a cute bunny, so I’ve spent my day making that. It is super adorable. 

The 9th of January. 

No joy from the postman, nor is there anything on myhealth to show any upcoming appointments. Maybe on Wednesday morning we’ll ring a clinical nurse specialist, or try Andrew Willis’ secretary. 

I’ve had a very quiet day. I did a blog post, then iced three lots of cupcakes for Mommy to take to Grandma’s for her birthday. I got very chocolatey, sticky fingers. 

We had lunch, then Mommy went to Grandma’s and I went upstairs to do some extra moisturising because my skin has become really dry with this flare. Discovered that I could peel all of the skin off my left big toe, which was the worst affected area. Classic GvHD. 

For the rest of the afternoon, I watched two episodes of The OA while crocheting my jumper, but I’ve had to stop because the skin between my thumb and forefinger is so dry and painful. I need some seriously heavy-duty hand cream. 

This evening I have to prepare answers to some questions I’m going to be asked tomorrow. I’m taking part in a radio programme for BBC World Service about death. It will be more uplifting than it sounds. 

The 10th of January. 

Definitely going to ring someone in the morning about my arm – the upper arm has grown to 29.5cm in circumference (compared to 24cm on the left). This morning I did some Cats Protection admin and had a look through the questions for the interview this evening. I don’t need to prepare much, it’s all stuff I can answer off the cuff. 

I had a follow-up appointment at the dental hospital at 1.40pm, so we went out straight after lunch. I saw one of Mrs. Richards’ registrars who I’ve not met before. I explained what I was doing with the steroid paste and my concerns about it not staying where it should. She said that I’m doing it right, but it probably won’t stick because it is on the tongue. She went to confer with Mrs. Richards, who came in to have a look and decided we should put a little bit of steroid in the two sites that are being problematic. More painful this time, right in the raw tip of my tongue and on the top. Thankfully the swelling has gone down enough for me to be able to speak. 

Afterwards, we went into town so I could stock up on facewipes and toothpaste, and we went to Lush in search of hand cream. Ended up talking to the perfect sales assistant who has a similar problem so knew exactly what to recommend. Got a tub of Helping Hands. Let’s hope it does the job!

I’ve had the pre-interview for tonight’s 9pm one (another one cropped up for BBC WM randomly), and at half six the chap is coming to record me for the one about death. In between then and now, I’ll eat dinner. 

The 28th of December. 

No steroids today, and nothing has got worse so I think I’m safe. Thank god; I’m not sure I could cope with going back to the moon face. We rang the dental hospital and got me an appointment for tomorrow, tried the QE but haematology is still closed for Christmas, and we’re taking the kittens to the vet tomorrow because at least four of them are doing unacceptable poos. 

Today I did a lot of crocheting with no results. I’m going to use some of the wool I got for Christmas to make a mermaid blanket and to fit me, I have to get the gauge right. Once I’d worked that out (I was erring on the large side), I then spent the rest of the afternoon doing half the fin, only to find myself 9 grams short for the other half. Instead of buying another ball, I will get a new hook that is between the two sizes I was testing with, then hopefully it will all work out fine. 

This evening, we went to the Botanical Gardens Christmas lights display. I was wrapped up as warm as possible – cashmere socks, long boots, gloves, scarf, hat, blanket. It was pretty, and I took some photos, but it didn’t take long for me to get too cold to care. My toes were so painful, like blocks of ice. My hands were less awful because one can at least rub them together to generate heat, but the feet are impossible. I have been suffering for several hours, and am currently thawing my feet in front of the fire. We’re supposed to do a similar thing at Blenheim Palace on Friday. Hmm. 

The 29th of December. 

My tongue has been numb for hours. We went to the dental hospital to see Mrs. Richards and get my tongue stabbed. She looked inside my mouth and agreed that I definitely needed injections.

First, she put local anaesthetic in the side and underneath of my tongue, in my cheek and inside my top lip, right under my nose. When everywhere was suitably numb, she put the steroid in, then I had to lie with a wad of gauze in my mouth to stop the bleeding. 

Then we had to go shopping while half of my face (even my right nostril) was numb. I wanted to get this crochet hook, some more cashmere socks (if there were any in the sale) and some Uggs (also in the sale and out of necessity to keep my feet warm). The crochet hook and socks were easy, plus I got some lambskin gloves reduced from £50 to £15! Then we went to the Ugg shop. It was very difficult for me because I really hate the look of most Uggs, the traditional kind, so after trying on a couple of pairs, I settled on some ankle boots that are not too obviously Ugg-like and were £50 off, so I think I did quite well!

This afternoon, we took the kittens to the vet (again). Met a very fun dog with a sticky-out tongue and a Christmas jumper. None of the kittens have temperatures, so we have some worming stuff and special food to hopefully settle their dodgy stomachs. 

The 24th of December. 

I am quite the walking disaster zone. When I do walk, anyway, that is to say my feet feel like they’re covered in blisters, so putting any pressure on them is horrific. For a while this afternoon, I put them in a basin of cold water and briefly, they were soothed. The skin on my back and chest has been so itchy, I’ve been rubbing up against things like a bear, and my tongue is developing ulcers like nobody’s business. I’m doing mouthwash and spraying them with steroid but I’m not sure it’s having the desired effect. The torso rash could be explained by the antibiotics, and i finished them this afternoon, so by tomorrow evening it should have calmed down if it’s going to. If things continue though, I’ll be going back on steroids. 5mg to start with, and I’ll have to go back to hospital so we can come up with a proper plan. Just what I wanted for Christmas, the return of the desire to commit suicide. 

So I’ve done fuck all, just trying not to think about all the different forms of pain I’m feeling and focus on having a happy Christmas. Even if we all feel like shit (except Mommy, pray it stays that way), we will have a nice day. We are having the first fire and it doesn’t seem to be making my cough worse, not sure about anyone else, but hopefully we can keep them going this year. 

The 25th of December.

Merry Christmas! Mine started with being woken up by Mommy because everyone else was awake and Christine was starving. I got up as quickly as possible and padded down the stairs, wincing at every step. My feet are agonising all of the time – I think the last time they hurt this much, I was on cyclosporine. 

We had our traditional Christmas breakfast of bread, eggs, cheeses, meats, game pie, plus all of the condiments. I had a breadbun so floury, I had to be vacuumed. Covered, I was. 

Back upstairs, Christine and I opened our stockings. Mine contained some touchscreen gloves, tissues, a little Lindt bear, a Hotel Chocolat star containing chocolate snowflakes, a maze puzzle/game, Lulu Guinness vaseline and a Christmas tree brooch that should flash but doesn’t. Never mind. I put my Self-Portrait dress on with leggings, my cashmere socks and massive cardigan (to accommodate my arm) so I was working a very glam/cosy look. 

Mommy went to pick up Grandma, and when they returned, it was present time! I did not partake in the champagne drinking because that would only make my mouth worse, so everyone else had some while I distributed the presents. I hadn’t realised quite how securely I’d wrapped my presents so it took people a little while to get into them. Then again, that just made it last longer. I was given the Mrs. Christmas Pandora charm, a voucher for Wool Warehouse, a bag of Jelly Babies, some coffee beans, more Bucks Fizz marmalade, all the books I asked for (The Girls by Emma Cline, Where Am I Now? by Mara Wilson, Playthings by Alex Phelby and Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami), a book about the art of The Little Price film, a Moomins calendar, two Essie nail varnishes, The Little Prince Moleskine diary for 2017, some thermal tops and socks, some very soft and cosy festive lounge trousers, and a mug and bowl with kitties on. Then Mommy and Christine went to finish the cooking of the dinner, and I looked at my book about The Little Prince. 

I ate my lunch rather slowly, having to chew on only one side of my mouth, but I did not finish last because I tend to have less than other people. We had a little rest, then pudding. Mommy had made me a chocolate mousse, and that was much easier to eat. 

After lunch, we decamped back into the living room, where we started the fire and I put my feet into a bowl of cold water again. I cannot describe how painful it is – like knives in my feet, all of the time. The steroid cream on its own is not working, so I’ve started back on 5mg of pred today. I’m going to get a moon face and become incredibly depressed again, but we don’t have a choice. 

We watched Christmas Bake Off, then the Easts came round for Doctor Who present swap. Becky was very pleased with her “Go away, I’m marking” mug and Toft teddy bear, and I got a ten pack of Paintbox wool, so I can make many colourful things. 

We had Doctor Who on pause for nearly an hour before getting it started, so when it was finished, they returned home to do their final lot of presents, and we settled in to watch Strictly with Christmas cake. 

It may not have been the perfect Christmas, with 3 of the 5 of us being ill (4, if you include Grandma’s general difficulties), but we are all at home and together, and that is what is most important. 

The 10th of December.

Ugh. I feel like garbage. I think it is 95% because of my eye still being irritated and irritating. It is marginally better than yesterday but nowhere near adequate. 

I got one blog post for before staring at a screen became too sore. Seriously, I have spent a great deal of my day with my eyes closed, wishing I had the ability to nap in the day. I had some brief respite when I made a chocolate orange drinking fudge and ate a Dorotea biscuit (they are the super delicious biscuits that I have only ever found in Harrods, described as “mini pastries” but they are not, they are chocolate biscuits). 

Honestly I would just like today to be over because I want my eye to feel better and I am very grumbly which is no fun for anyone. Also it would be great if my back would not hurt for every single second of the day. 

The 11th of December. 

Vastly improved today. My eye was still slightly dodgy this morning, but has got better as the day’s gone on, and my back has been terrible since I got up. Doing anything that requires me to support my own back has been incredibly painful. I had thought I’d go to the gym if I was feeling less shit, but considering the light at the gym is brighter than at home, and the pain I’ve been in, it was not a good idea. I won’t get another opportunity to go until Thursday, but oh well. 

So this morning I was able to write up the post I should have done yesterday, and I watched Joel on Sunday Brunch. I think what’s so great about how well I’m A Celebrity has gone for him is that when I saw him at The Glee, he was so excited to be doing a gig there, even in just the studio, but now his tour’s selling out and he’s doing bigger venues, I know he won’t be taking any of it for granted. Bless him. 

I got to impart some good news to a potential adopter who liked a kitten but he had a viewing yesterday. Happily, his brother and sister got reserved instead so I got to tell her he was still available! Oh, she was thrilled. 

This afternoon, I’ve been mainly playing with our kitties. They really like the jumper I’m wearing today and keep trying to eat the penguins on it. Stupid kitties.