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The 14th of February. 

Another Valentine’s Day without a media campaign, another day of no cards. Back to normal. 

Back at the chiro this morning, just to top up. I needed some work in the ribcage area still, but I can now take a deep breath without it hurting, which is always preferable. 

When we got home, I had time to write up a blog post, then Rosemary arrived just after twelve for one of the semi-regular lunches that she has with Mommy. While Mommy heated up the soup she made this morning, I explained what was going on with my arm, and all the various health issues I had over Christmas. 

This afternoon, I watched Katherine Ryan’s Netflix special, In Trouble, and crocheted just a small doily. No time for an all-day project today. I have ordered some crochet thread so the next ones I make will be not as large as the ones I’ve made so far. 

I just want it to be Thursday. I had a dream last night that I was going to have another venoplasty, but they cancelled it at the last minute because the door of my cubicle didn’t lock, and I was so angry. I can’t carry on like this. 

The 15th of February. 

My hand aches from all the writing I’ve done today but here I am again because needs must. 

I was woken up by Mommy stripping wallpaper in the dining room. Somehow, the sound travels directly up so it sounds like she’s doing it in their bedroom which is next to mine. Not the start to the day I expected. 

My breathing was pretty poor this morning, to the point where I needed extra oxygen after my shower. I really don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have it. After breakfast, I made another coaster/doily for Penny because she liked the grey one I did and it’s her birthday next week. Also, the crochet thread I ordered arrived, so I can make smaller, fiddly ones. And I got the new mug I purchased to replace the one Daddy broke yesterday, which is very speedy delivery!

After lunch, I sat down to plan my talk for the Midlands Marrow RAGM on Saturday. After two hours, I’d written five and a half pages, which I will have to practise to see how long it takes. I have twenty minutes, but that includes Q&A so I need to leave enough time for that. 

Clinic in the morning. Begging time. 

The 14th of February. 

Happy Valentine’s Day! Emphasis on the HA. 

Without a media campaign, my shelves are bare of cards this year. My morning was Sunday Brunch, coffee and a blog post, and crocheting the base of the paddling pool. It’s getting ripply so I’ll need to flatten it with something heavy. 

My back has been fine today, making yesterday’s pain a complete mystery, so I decided I would go to the gym this afternoon. I thought it would be really quiet, it being a Sunday and Valentine’s Day, but there were more people there than I would have liked. There was one particularly sweaty man on the chest press when I wanted to use it, which was somewhat upsetting – he was really very moist. Then there were two women and a girl who I assume was the daughter of one of them, and I kind of resent people who go around chatting, because they are evidently not pushing themselves very hard. They almost always don’t really know what they’re doing, either. The only person I saw who amused me was a boy with exceptionally 90’s curtains, and they were a joy. 

Since I got back, I’ve been watching Robot Wars in Sky2. The romance in the air is palpable. 

The 15th of February. 

This is going to be a really boring entry, I’ll apologise now. Happily, I’m not in much pain after yesterday’s gym session; I can move around without grunting like some sort of animal. 

The reason my day has been so drastically dull is I’ve been putting together the crocheted paddling pool. Such a faff! Taking the three strips I made and forming them into tubes, sewing up the edges and stuffing as I went along. Very long, very slow, very tedious. Then I sewed one of the tubes to the base of the pool, which took about an hour and a half, and now the other two tubes are just placed on top until I attach them too. 

That has been it. Crochet, recorded tv and Netflix, getting annoyed at the TiVo box because Netflix always cuts out on it for no apparent reason. First world problems. 

2015 has been pretty fucking fantastic, overall. The beginning and past few days have not been ideal, but other than that, so many great memories! The crazy Valentine’s Day, when Josie, Josh, Joe, Tom, Romesh and Mat all came to visit, coming off steroids, Lyme Regis, the Comedy Gala with Aisling, Katherine, Sara etc, meeting Dawn O’Porter by chance, going to see Heidi, The Hand and Flowers and meeting Tom Kerridge, getting my electric wheelchair, going to The News Quiz and meeting Sandi, hanging out with Elle, Ben and Luna, Hallfield Day with Thor the raccoon, Padstow, Becky and James’ wedding, meeting Yaser Martini at Tom’s Kitchen, getting kittens, visiting Naomi and seeing Curious Incident, Duck and Waffle, my autumn of comedy and hanging out with Suzi, Josh, Joe and Nish, Death Cab, Christmas, now here we are!

I couldn’t be more grateful for such a wonderful twelve months and I am indebted to all those who made it possible. 2016 is going to have to be really incredibly astounding to beat it but let’s give it a go! I hope it’s just as good to all of you. Be kind to one another and yourselves.

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The 14th of February. 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Well I’ve had a pretty great day. We went round the corner to meet Jodie and co at twelve at Costa and it was a little bit mad. So much stuff! The Costa people gave us free beverages and a card which was very sweet. 

There were many photographs taken which is always super awkward, and my face ached a little bit but then we were able to chat and I opened all the cards. There were about eighty! Our living room is full. Lots of people sent jewellery including a lady’s wedding jewellery which involved a tiara! Fabulous. I also have bundles of chocolate and candy and teddies. 

Yeah I’m just a bit overwhelmed. It took six of us to get it all home, and now after getting it all out and taking photos, I’m a little exhausted. I am looking forward to bedtime and a big sleep. 

I watched Tangled and ended up nearly in tears when they were singing on the lake. As much as today has been about being loved by my family, friends and complete strangers, none of them are my significant other. It’s the loss of that moment when you’re in the early stages of seeing someone and you think “somebody likes me, and I like them, and we’re happy and this could be something really great”. Knowing that I’m not going to have that again… I feel like I’ve come to terms with it, but it still doesn’t stop it hurting sometimes. But it’s only sometimes. 

The 15th of February. 

Best weekend ever? Certainly hard to beat. 

I knew Josie Long and Tom Allen were coming round about half one, so I thought I’d better have my hair washed and be presentable. I finished off yesterday’s Guardian, and got intrigued by a cheese called stichelton which I have never heard of but I want it. 

They were a little but late because of trains, but they arrived and we were just sorting out their coats and beverages when the doorbell rang! Who was it? Olly Joely Lycett and Josh Widdicombe! Josie had secretly invited them. Katherine Ryan was supposed to come but couldn’t, so she sent a note with Joe and will come another time for tea, and Romesh Ranganathan will be coming at some point too!

So I had four of my favourite comedians in my lounge and was just about holding it all together. It was suggested we discuss how this mini gig was going to work, so we all went into the living room because we’d thought it’d work well in that space. Then for a while we were stood around the dining table, drinking tea and just talking about stuff – Joe and Daddy were having a chat about the garden and football, Josh, Tom and I were discussing Bake Off, Mommy and Josie were talking about theatres. It just felt really normal. Then we moved the dining room table into the kitchen and rearranged the chairs, and set up a little gig! Josie compered, and did her own little set before pulling people’s names out of her pocket. Next was Joe,then Tom and Josh. Everyone was so funny and it wasn’t at all awkward like I feared, although that was probably helped by the extra people. I don’t know what else to say about it because it was so special and I want it to be just mine. After the gig, we decamped to the living room and I was showing Josie and Joe some delightful medical photos, then I preached a little bit about giving blood and stem cells which everyone is now very much on board with!

Then they all had to leave. I didn’t want it to be over, there was still so much to say. I don’t think it will be the last I see of them – I hope not, because they are all as lovely as I had imagined. We just had time to have dinner before we went out to Josie and Tom’s gig at The Electric. Alison from the Birmingham Mail was there with her sister so we said hi before finding our seats, which left me massively out of breath. I hope the venoplasty helps with that because breathing is still really stupidly difficult. 

The gig was obviously excellent and we had a wonderful time, and tonight I’m going to have to have a Zopiclone or my brain will not let me sleep. I’m so happy. 

The 12th of February. 

Ugh. Up at half six to leave the house at eight. I had lung function tests at nine which is never my favourite. It was a nice lady though who knows which tests I hate so we got those out of the way. We had to do one twice as the kit was broken and saying my lungs were three times the size they are, which I think we would have noticed. I also discovered that they have a new machine that just scans you and knows what your lungs are doing. I would prefer that. Then I saw Dr. Thompson and he said my results were a bit worse but that is not surprising considering the flu etc. 

Then at 11:30 we went up to level 6 for photopheresis. Except I didn’t get started until half past one. My blue lumen decided it felt left out and didn’t want to bleed, and the red was being very sluggish and they just weren’t working with the machine. They put urokinase in both and left them for an hour, then they bled! Hurrah! So I finally got going and we left at about half past three. 

Since we got home, I’ve had my first Valentine’s card from Pam and Alan – Alan is my paternal Grandma’s cousin, bless them, and painted my nails pink in an attempt to be festive. 

The 13th of February. 

Last hospital day! For now, anyway. Until the venoplasty but I still don’t know when that’ll be and it’s making me antsy. I had to get up at six today to be at Radio WM for ten to eight. So early – I am so sleepy now. I got greeted by Alex, my old pal from back in the day at drama school who’s now in radio (obviously) and then we sat and waited in the production area until it was my turn to go in to the studio. I wasn’t on for long, but I was able to tell my story and get my point about donation across, which I think I did well. Then we came home. 

I had a coffee and finished the final parts of Grandma’s bear, then Daddy and I went to the QE for photopheresis again. My line bled beautifully today, but then I got a time of 61 minutes! We still escaped earlier than yesterday – two o’clock! I gave Nic Cedric the Crippled Cuttlefish (because he’s only got seven legs) because she’s leaving and we’ll miss her. He’s going to live in her car, Gertie. 

Since getting home, I’ve finished Grandma’s bear and started on a bunny for a lady on twitter. 

The 10th of February. 

Today has been more of the same of this very bizarre week. I’ve been answering questions from Dan at the Sutton Observer, and BBC WM want me in the studio on Friday morning to talk about Valentine’s Day. People seem to find it really weird that I’ve never had a card, but it never bothered me so much until now. I suppose I thought I had time, but now it isn’t an option, it’s just that little bit worse. From what I’m hearing though, it sounds like I’ll be inundated this year. We’re slightly concerned about the amount of flowers that might arrive. 

Simon the Sheep has gone off in the post, and the body of Grandma’s bear is finished. Becky has been over to see all the hats from Joan and rant a bit about school which makes complete sense when you hear about all the nonsensical paperwork they have to do. It’s just bureaucracy that is helping literally no one. 

We have been on the phone to the hospital again and apparently I’m being booked in for a venoplasty, we’ve just got to wait to hear when!

The 11th of February. 

QE day one of three. Unexciting morning, working on Grandma’s bear and getting really angry at a man on This Morning who thinks that women who get drunk or wear short skirts are asking to be raped and it isn’t men’s fault. I had to stop myself from phoning in. 

Just before we went out to liver clinic, I had a quick phone call from Alison from the Birmingham Mail about setting up a meeting on Saturday with this lady who wants to give me all the cards. 

Clinic itself was fine, once we got parked! Having an appointment in the afternoon is the worst because it coincides with visiting, so the car park is utterly rammed. But we finally got a space! Philippa was there so we had a fun chat and she showed us a video of her daughter playing the drums, and I was showing her pictures of my crochet animals. Then we saw Dr. Ferguson and we mainly talked about my current media attention after he’d ascertained that I’m fine, just waiting for the venoplasty. He also showed us a picture of his (still relatively new) son. We do love babies. 

On the way home, we listened to Josie Long on the Josh Widdicombe podcast in a bit of prep for Sunday when she comes. I’m well excited!

The 13th of February.

Oh wow I am sore. I was up at quarter to six so we could go to hospital for half seven. Thankfully, things in ambulatory care went well – I read the paper and ignored my grumbly tummy because I was nil by mouth. A nurse called Sonia admitted me, and not long after, they came to take me to have my line put in! Had to have the long chat about periods and how there is definitely no chance I could be pregnant, and go through all the risks on the consent form. They gave me some midazolam which made me a bit sleepy and fuzzy, although I did have to ask for some more because despite the local, it was still pretty uncomfortable. Once it was over, they let me pull out my PICC line which was fun! It was much longer than I thought.

They took me back to ambulatory care where I had to stay on bed rest for two hours, but I was allowed to sit up so I could adjust my body to aid comfort. Once the two hours were over, I was allowed to get dressed and go up to photopheresis. That went really well, thank God. The line is in a good place, so it won’t be awkward to get out of clothes, and we’ll be back tomorrow. I might need a bag of blood or two in the morning. I really hope not as that would make it such a long day.

Becky came over with some brownies and they were very tasty. I’m going to have an early night tonight; I’m so achy.

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Ambulatory care.

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Post-op breakfast, yeah!

The 14th of February.

Well my Valentine’s Day has been such fun. It began with me chasing the nasty black and white cat out of the front garden (a spectacle I’m sure the the neighbours all enjoyed), then going back to hospital early because I needed two bags of blood before photopheresis as my haemoglobin yesterday was only 9.2 and they prefer it to be over 10.

We got there at about half past nine and the blood didn’t arrive for at least another hour, so I just read my paper and waited for the porter to bring it. The transfusions were all very run of the mill; made me quite pink and warm but all in a good way. Then just after two o’clock, I was ready to get going on the photopheresis machine. Just before I did though, I thought I’d pop to the toilet, where someone had forgotten to lock the door so I walked in on an elderly lady who was obviously a patient sat on the toilet. I just blurted “Sorry!” and shut the door as quickly as possible. I went into the next toilet and made very certain that I locked it.This was all fine and dandy and I was pootling along, then when my cells were being returned, the machine kept alarming and not wanting to play the game. Eventually we swapped lumens, because the intensely high-pitched beeping were adding to my level of stress, which was further compounded by the fact that we were forced to listen to Radio 2 all day. We hate Radio 2. At the end of the treatment, you get a time of how long it’ll take to photoactivate the cells and give them back, which is usually about 15 minutes for me. Today, it was 99. It was a good thing I took a lot of food to keep me going! We finally left hospital at six. I was so on the edge of bursting into tears, I can’t explain.

So tonight I am absolutely drained. I’m still very sore and achy, and I would just like to sleep for a week.

And to round off my wonderful day, I whacked my head on the staircase after putting my boots down underneath it.

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We had to make Valentine’s Day cupcakes for a tea party at my Grandma’s nursing home. Seriously.

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Home time.

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