Archives For women’s hospital

The 4th of October. 

Last night was dreadful. The coughing would not cease, and I think the best chunk of sleep I had was between six and seven this morning. It hasn’t got better as the day’s gone on, and I just want it to be bedtime.

This morning I did a blog post, then I finished putting Heinz the Stag together, so all the little winter chaps are finished. The wool has arrived for some of the Christmas presents I’m going to make, although for some reason I ordered double of some of it so I’ve got to send a lot back. I blame illness. 

After lunch, Amanda came to see the kittens again, but she didn’t stay very long, I think because she felt bad because I was coughing so much. She suggested I see a doctor but I explained why that would be pointless. 

At half past three, Mommy and I went to the GP for our flu jabs. I stayed in the corridor, to keep my coughs to myself. I know I’m not infectious, but I don’t want to unnecessarily concern everyone else being jabbed. 

Oh, I hope tonight is better. I need a rest. 

The 5th of October. 

I just feel terrible. I had a better night but ugh, the coughing is still exactly the same. I move one bit of phlegm, and some more comes to take its place. 

My only triple out today was to the Women’s, where I was seeing Miss Byrom and Sue. While waiting, no less than four people asked if I needed water. Sigh. It was particularly bad – I feel like I need to wear a sign that says I AM NOT CONTAGIOUS. Thankfully it wasn’t busy enough for anyone to need to sit very close to me. 

The upshot of the appointment is that nothing can really go ahead until the anaesthetist is happy, so I need to see the immunology doctor about my white cells. She is away until next week, but her secretary is aware of the multiple people need her to see me. Hopefully that means I will see her sooner rather than later. 

I just want to stop coughing. I want to stop being in pain all the time. I’m so tired.

The 30th of June. 

Busy busy day. I had an appointment at the Women’s Hospital with Sue, the specialist nurse, at ten. I was early and she called me in straight away. It was pretty brief – I told her about my appointment with Mr. Titley, and she’s going to chase up what’s going on with that because he wrote to Miss Byrom at the start of May, so maybe I’ll hear something relatively soon. She also asked what things were like on the relationship front and I laughed. Apparently there are lots of understanding people out there. I need to find the most understanding person in the world

Went into town before going home, where I got some make up from NYX, some pants from John Lewis, and a jacket from the French Connection sale that I fell in love with and can wear with many things, with or without my fat arm!

This afternoon, Daddy and I went to see Despicable Me 3. Despite it being 2.40pm on a Friday, there were loads of children there? I don’t understand why they weren’t at school – they were of age. Grr. The film was great fun; it is exactly what you would hope for and expect from it. Lucky the unicorn-goat is adorable. 

Back at home, I tried to play with the kittens, but it didn’t really work because Bree is really lazy and Bailey and Betsy cheat. 

The 1st of July. 

Oooh I am crashing. This morning, I went to the Custard Factory for the Birmingham Coffee Festival. I can’t remember the last time I was in Digbeth. Anyway. I was glad I got there relatively early, because I was able to do a lap of the stands before it became so busy that I was ramming ankles. My first purchase was a box of five bags of beans plus some offers for £12. Then I went over to the Java Lounge stand where they were teaching latte art. I have tried so many times at home and it never works. But today the chap showed me and I actually did a half-passable rosetta! They were also giving out free flat whites, bonus! Next, I went to look at 200° where I had a very nice chat with the manager. She gave me a nitro which which was really good, so sweet and creamy without any milk. She also gave me some vouchers for free coffee and I need to book myself in for a class. 

Time for lunch, so I got myself a cheese and spinach crêpe, then back to coffee. I bought beans from Quarter Horse, Urban Social and Urban Espresso, and two doughnuts from Donut Day Dream. Deep-fried brioche, mmm. That was me pretty much done, then I found out my chair couldn’t mount the ridge to leave, so people had to help me. 

Back home, I ate one of my doughnuts while watching the latest Nashville (no crying today), then I went to sit with the floofs. Bree is going to get fat if her adopter is not careful because she just can’t be arsed to do anything. 

The 30th of March. 

Fairly acceptable breathing today. I’m on 0.5 litres of oxygen. Normal air is not quite oxygenated enough for me. 

I at least had a better sleep, and this morning I got a blog post done and not much else. I had another appointment (which I had entirely forgotten about) at the Women’s at half past one, so we ate our lunches and got on our way. Thankfully no hellish traffic jams today, but there was nowhere to park so Mommy pulled over, I drove off in my chair with the oxygen on the back and she found somewhere to put the car. 

I was seeing Miss Byrom for a follow-up after the procedure I had in November, and Sue, the sexual health nurse, was there too. I said that I thought it had been successful, but only up to a point. She examined me, using a very small speculum and a very long swab, and it turns out part of me has sealed up again. JOY. It’s to do with a thing I have called lichen planus and it’s just another stupid thing that I have that has no cause. I have to carry on with the dilators, and she’s going to talk to a plastic surgeon about me to see if he has any ideas. 

Too many things wrong with me right now. I feel like a collection of conditions rather than a human woman. 

The 31st of March. 

Today was the most normal I have felt in a while. My sats were good enough for me to not need extra oxygen for most of the day. I’m on it now, but still, it’s been a good day. 

This morning, I didn’t fancy watching Eamonn and Ruth be unbearable, so I caught up on The Magicians and did some mindless crocheting. After this project, I really need to make something for nurse Jenny’s baby and for James. I also had issues with Vue and their stupid website trying to book tickets for Ghost in the Shell. 

It’s an odd sort of film. I kind of get the premise and I found it interesting, but I didn’t really see the point. Having done some research, I think it’s too large a story and world to cram into a 100 minute film. One thing I did like was the choice Scarlett Johansson made to lead her walk with her head. It was curious because the company in the film go to so much effort to make Major appear human, but her walk was so unwomanly. Hm. 

Tonight I am going out to The Glee to see Fin Taylor and Mat Ewins, but there is no way I am climbing the stairs, so I’m going in the chair and have arranged for someone to let me up in the lift. Then tomorrow I will feel terrible, I suspect. 

The 23rd of January. 

Much better sleep last night. Think it was helped by having my dressing gown available as another layer. I’m now sleeping in a jumper and pyjama bottoms tucked into thermal socks, under the winter duvet, a blanket and a thick dressing gown. I am the coldest person in the world. 

This morning I did the big birthday blog post, and fitted in two Cats Protection calls before lunch. I also printed off some stuff I want to look over before my Anthony Nolan thing on Thursday, all about the decision to withdraw the funding.

After lunch, I went upstairs and spent a very productive hour putting together the wooden Little My and sorting out my sock drawer. I have too many that I simply do not wear and had forgotten I have, so they’re all going. Yet my drawer doesn’t seem any less full. 

Becky came round with some more birthday flowers for me – she is better than was described, although she was still careful not to touch or breathe on me, which I was grateful for. 

I think another early night tonight – Women’s Hospital in the morning. 

The 24th of January. 

Bleah, early start. Not as early as tomorrow though – we will be leaving the house at 7, so today will seem like a lie-in. Still, I’ll be having some fun drugs that may induce a nap. 

I began at the Women’s Hospital at 10, seeing Dr. Robinson in the menopause clinic. Having read my book for half an hour, I was called in by Elaine, her clinical nurse specialist, and saw her instead. There was nothing I really needed to see Dr. Robinson about specifically so I just gave her an update on my general condition, we talked about my vaginal surgery, and I’ll just carry on with my current management until I see her again in a year. 

Had to make a quick visit to haematology clinic to have my clotting checked for tomorrow, and Dr. Ferguson had asked that I get a tacrolimus level done so I had them look at that too. 

I had to be at the dental hospital for half one, so there was no point going home to come back. Instead, we went into town where I got Mommy and Daddy’s anniversary card and some thank you cards, then we went to Pret for lunch. I got a cheese, ham and mustard toastie which was WAY TOO MUSTARDY so I had my coffee and cookie instead. Stupid pathetic mouth. 

Mrs. Richards wasn’t in today, but I saw two of her team and they were both happy with my mouth is, so no injections today. 

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 17th of October. 

Today has been a pile of garbage. 

I’m still really achy, and was not thrilled at the prospect of sitting in my wheelchair much, but I didn’t think I’d be at the Women’s Hospital too long so it would be okay. How wrong I was. 

I arrived in colposcopy clinic at 11:15, but wasn’t seen until about 12, when Sue had come up and intervened (of her own volition; I didn’t even know she was coming). A nurse called me through, and we went to a room where I met Miss Byrom, and Sue and the two nurses were there too. We had a very brief chat about my problem, then it was jeans and pants off time. I put a gown on, and got into the very undignified position in the stirrups. On the ceiling were some pretty flowers, but I was far more interested in the screen with a big picture of my vagina on it. Miss Byrom attempted to insert a very small speculum, but it wouldn’t go in. There is some kind of obstruction, adhesion, like I had some sort of injury which has healed incorrectly. We have no idea what’s happened, but at least we have an explanation as to why I can’t be examined, and why I got nowhere with the dilators. So I’ll have to go back to be put under anaesthetic and my vagina will be “opened up”, to put it politely, and I’ll finally have a smear!

I then got taken to pre-op, where I waited for a good forty-five minutes before we even started. An auxiliary nurse did my height, weight and blood pressure, and I didn’t need an ECG because they have a recent one on file. Then back to the waiting room until a pre-op nurse could see me. 

I read some more of The Bone Clocks (I have made a great deal of progress in it today), and eventually a nurse came for me. We went to her room, and we had to go through all the usual questions. They had a lot of my information from my GA for the coil last year, so I gave her a potted version of my history, then made sure she had an up to date drugs list. She gave me several leaflets about GAs and preventing DVTs and PEs, then I took some blood forms off to the phlebotomist. That turned out to be the auxiliary nurse from before, poor woman, having to do multiple jobs. She said “That’s the NHS for you” and I said “That’s Jeremy Hunt for you”. Anyway. I finally got out at 3, and found Mommy in the car park who was very very bored and cold and hungry. 

Christine rang Mommy’s phone but we missed the call, then I rang her back to find that she’d tried to ring me but couldn’t get through, so we decided that when we got home, I’d back up my phone and tomorrow we’ll go to the Apple shop first thing. She’d actually phoned to complain about how the boiler people are a bunch of incompetent bastards and she won’t have any hot water until the end of the week, the second one of this saga. 

When we got home, we both ate lunch, then I went upstairs for an hour and a half to back up my phone. I couldn’t bear to sit for that long, so I lay on Christine’s bed with the electric blanket on to try to ease my back a little and listened to podcasts. It’s done now, and I’m looking forward to sleep. 

The 18th of October. 

Awake so early. Needed to be at the Apple shop for 9 to be able to see someone about my phone’s incoming call/text situation. I wasn’t first in the queue because being in the wheelchair, people walked past me into the shop while I had to wait for someone to activate the lift. Still, there were only a couple of people ahead of me, and the chap organising the Genius Bar said I’d be waiting about half an hour. He said I could leave and come back but there was no point, so Mommy went to Faculty to get me a coffee while I twiddled my thumbs. 

A guy came over about half past nine to hear about my issues, which I duly explained. He ran diagnostics and because of what I’d told him, he was happy to replace the phone once he’d checked it for any secret damage. That was all grand, except that they didn’t have any in stock, so I am awaiting an email to let me know one has been delivered. He has to say 10-14 days, but it’ll apparently be more like 5. 

Once finished my we went to Hotel Chocolat where I bought a Chocolate Yumpkin, and Boots for lip balm and some man tissues for Daddy before coming home. 

We had lunch and watched the new episode of Criminal Minds (so exciting I cannot explain), then Mommy ferried Grandma back and forth to Fellowship while I crocheted bits of the current project. 

The kittens were booked in for their first lot of jabs at 5, so we bundled them and Amy into the carriers to take them to the vet. It surprisingly easy to get them in, and there was no crying on the way. Lydon’s was full of dogs which I loved, but the cats were not so keen. I set the carriers facing each other so they were slightly comforted by that, and I crouched next to them. I took a lot of pictures of all the dogs but I didn’t pet any of them because I didn’t want the cats to smell them on me. 

When it was our turn, we started off with Amy, and she was good until it was time for the needle, at which point she spun round and hissed while the syringe was still in her neck. She was only too happy to go back in the carrier. All the kittens were really good; nobody hissed or scratched or bit, they were all just a bit wriggly. 

Back at home, I took a parcel that had been delivered to us next door, so I got to meet new neighbour Richard, who (it turns out) actually follows me on Twitter! He saw me in the Sutton Observer a while ago. Who knew we’d become neighbours? I also saw George again who was not poorly but he was a little bit grumpy because nursery had made him tired. I couldn’t stay long, because we had a lady coming to look at kittens and we needed to eat dinner before she arrived. 

I showed her Archie, Alfie and Angelica, as they’re the available ones. She really liked Alfie and Angelica  which is good because at least she’s got one who’s relatively confident. She asked all the right questions and I’m really happy with her as an adopter, so once the kittens are ready, she can have them!

The 21st of September. 

Yeah everything hurts. Literally every muscle. I just got stuck in the middle of the living room because it hurt so much to move my legs. Mommy has found it all vastly amusing and has been laughing at me all day. 

This morning I did very little seeing as moving was so agonising, but this afternoon I had to extricate myself from the armchair because we had to go to the GP for our flu jabs. When we arrived, they weren’t actually open yet and people were queueing outside. Thankfully we didn’t have to wait too long before they opened the doors to let us in. We were told to have our left arms ready and Helen called our names. We both got jabbed and off we went!

When we got home, I looked into the whole blog-hosting thing, and it seems that SquareSpace don’t do domain transfers yet. Seeing as I just got a bunch of business cards made with my website address on, I kind of need to keep it. I still think I’m going to do an overhaul of the site but that can wait. 

When I came back downstairs, we watched the final episode of One of Us (I worked out the twist about two minutes before it was revealed) and I complained about being freezing. Thermal vest, jumper and cardigan. 

The 22nd of September. 

Today has been marginally better. My movement is about 2% better. Seriously, I am broken. I have actually tried not to move because I can feel how stiff I am and I know when I do have to get out of my chair, it’s going to be excruciating. 

Our only trip out today was to the Women’s Hospital for my follow-up appointment with the specialist nurse to see how I’m getting on with the dilators. She is very punctual – 1.45 on the dot she called me in, I didn’t even have time to open my book! She asked how it was going and I said not well; I am still on the first one and feel like I’ve made no progress at all. She asked a couple of questions to make sure I’d been doing it right and I have, so we had to go to an examination room. Jeans and pants off (with difficulty), legs akimbo, and she had a feel (it was more professional than this sounds). She said it feels quite badly stenosed, which is something you can get from radiotherapy or chronic GvHD, but to determine as to whether it’s that or muscle spasm, I’m going to have to have a general anaesthetic to be examined. So that’s fun. I do like the magic liquid sleep. 

Since getting home, I have stayed in the armchair and crocheted. I really want to stretch out on the floor but I’m not sure I could get up again.