Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 29 April 2016
Worry lorra time twixt now and then.
So, as I write the sky's grey, even though the primroses, forget-me-nots and Tulip tree and carpeting the garden. My feet are freezing, the old git has just laid a big log fire, and I've had a mug of homemade veg soup. Onions, leeks, parsley, potatoes and tomatoes. I bunged in a knob of turmeric as well. Simmered very slowly for 4 hours then put the veg through Simon Rimmer's ricer, the first ( and last ) gift he ever gave me.
I've had more tests and now I've been passed on to a gastroenterologist. None of which will happen until I've had my Bank Holiday Monday MRI - yippee -and my Bank Holiday Tuesday MRI. One sitting up one going in feet first. I'm like the Spanish Senorita who married a Rabbi, I don't know whether I'm Carmen of Cohen.
I have different sensations now like roller skating gerbils whizzing through my digestive tract holding a besom. My German Acupuncturist arrived last night with a box of needles.
'Ve'll get to ze root of zis' she said stabbing my belly.
And indeed we will but not before a trip to Scotland to meet a Dr. who may be able to help me, and not before we've remortgaged the house and sold off the family jewels to pay for it.
My tests have been sent to the Highlands, Lowlands and Manhattan, to all three doctors working on me AND STILL we are none the wiser. My hot water bottles go everywhere with me, my salty baths reduce the discomfort for 20 minutes and my darling 'oosbind massages my feet whilst watching the news, which given everything that is going on with this extraordinary Government could make me worse than I am if I let it.
One wedding, four parties and a funeral have been cancelled, trips to London are a rarity and I cant remember what a good curry tastes like - indeed I cant remember what a bad curry tastes like for that matter.
The buds are popping, the birds are feeding, the squirrels are chasing and before you can say pass me the painkillers it'll be May. By the time we get to Christmas I should be better, smaller but better. I am utterly supportive of the NHS, I blame the managerial bugger ups that keep people like me standing in queues, waiting in line and forking out for private medicine. Jeremy 'unt, supply your own consonant, should be ashamed of himself. I wonder how he would deal with 7 months of agony?
I thank you all for your support. x
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Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 13 April 2016
Forgive my absence. Tests unresolved, pain unresolved, this morning the consultant sent me a letter that was so out of date I nearly chewed my own eyeballs.
It's tricky isn't it, that as a long standing member and supporter of the Welfare State, as a long time supporter of everything that is good and noble, I find myself at the butt end of bureaucratic bungling.
According to the consultant's letter I'm an old lady with constipation, who has mismanaged her own body. Well tomorrow - I have a meeting with him at 9.30 - the proverbial may well hit the fan.
I am tired, sad, angry, confused, frightened, and above all in pain. Whether its gas or gastritis, whether its pancreatic problems or intestinal turbulence, whatever the bleep it is nobody is doing anything about it N0W.
My life is on hold, the old gits' life is on hold. A second opinion; private treatment? Should I just eat a box of pain killers so they have to put me in a hospital bed to investigate. Desperate measures......
I won't of course, but at 3.00 a.m. whilst the rest of the world sleeps and I am pacing around the living room wondering how to manage the discomfort my mood turns to darker thoughts.
My humour is buried somewhere under a pile of hospital appointments. My positivity lies somewhere beneath the discarded banana skins in the compost.
I read in the bath, I read about taming the Zen Bull. I meditate in the garden to lift the pain, I take phone-calls and try to sound jolly. But it's hard.
I'm not sure whether this is a good idea to post. I'm not sure whether a jolly one liner would suffice. Or whether to just tell it as it is. I'm bored. 'If you rest you rust' - somebody wrote on Facebook. If that's the case I'm an old tin can.
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Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 20 March 2016
Trying to remain positive, although my pain would test the patience of a Saint.
Spent yesterday in A&E. Blood tests, urine tests, x-ray. They sent me away telling me there was nothing wrong. Even though I was doubled over in pain.
An elderly woman in the ward asked everybody that came in her orbit to 'talk to her'. I said I was sorry but I was in too much pain, she said mental or physical, the conversation ended there.
The nurse was less than cheerful. When she put the canula in my arm, you could have sworn I was an effigy for her worst auntie....
Today I have had my salt bath, will be meditating then going for a slow walk to try and shift the discomfort. On Thursday, my birthday, I will be standing with radio active fluid going through me. I am trying to remain positive for the outcome.
The Magnolia tree is flowering, the daffodils are nodding, the primroses have taken over the garden. The old git has filled all the bird feeders so we have our daily pheasants, Jays, tits of all varieties and blackbirds,I sit near the rose wall, camomile tea in hand, and remember that I still have all my senses.
I look yellow since I'm living on bananas, anything else gets lodged in my concrete setting gut. I've taken to eating them in thirds, if anybody tells me too many bananas are bad for me I shall throw the skins at them. Jim makes me Slippery Elm and I watch the buds burst.
So in answer to your queries, the Consultant was less than useless, the tests continue, my tears fall and my family and friends and support me, as do all your lovely messages.
I am alive. I am ticking over but I am bored, frustrated and angry with the pace of my recovery. I have a life waiting to be grabbed, and the minute I am solved I will be out there grabbing it.
As for now have a lovely Vernal Equinox and may Spring time spring for all of us.
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Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 4 March 2016
It ain't been easy, I will admit.
The pain has been so excruciating, changing its nature, that I've been sleeping on the settee, living on bananas and crying more rivers than Julie and Justin put together.
I've seen healers, doctors, homeopaths, and nurses. I've had appointments and talked about the pain so much I've taken to cleansing the house to get rid of the negativity.
Last night was so bad we nearly went to A&E, but this morning the cruel pinching has subsided. Nobody knows what the issue is so there's no point in speculating as to why, and what the pain is, I have another appointment with a surgeon on March 10th.
I'm saying affirmations, bathing in salt water, chanting, listening to healing CD's, watching telly and being comforted by the old git. Who has been remarkable. Watching a man, who fixes things, not being able to fix me, has been wretched.
Then on March 2nd we drove to Hackney, Delivered new speakers to BB then took the bus and tubes to the Natural History Museum. Her treat, every year, to see the Wild life Photography Exhibition. I lasted until the 'Snow Hare' then the pain kicked in. We sat in the caff and drunk tea. Then it was the tube and bus back to Hackney, where she made me my trusty hot water bottles. We set off. Back home by 6.30
29 years ago the midwife shouted at me to hurry up and get on with it so she could see this baby come into the world, she knocked off at 7.00. After meditating my way through the birth at 6.55a.m. precisely, a beautiful baby with a head of black hair arrived, looking exactly like my mother,
Jim held her, and off he went to finish making an attic door. We were taken to a private ward because I'd opened the hospital fete. They thought I was a film star. My daughter and I were left alone. 7 hours later we were being driven down Bunny Lane to the Cottage Hospital. The birth was announced on telly and the ward filled up with so many flowers they were distributed round the hospital.
9 days of bliss - it was like that then - the nurses talking me through feeding and nappy changing, whilst the unnamed baby lay in her crib with headphones hanging over the cot. She's listened to music every day of her life since. We went home. It was cold and snowy. The next door neighbour named her when she was ten days old. She's never forgiven us for being so tawdry.
When she was two and a half I asked her why she chose him and me as her parents. she said because we were warm and musical. She still has headphones over her crib.
29 years down the line she's still beautiful. They say that only 2% of parents enjoy their children through the different phases of their life. I've loved every single second, even when she was a disgusting teenager. She called me up three years ago to apologise for her disgraceful behaviour. I'd forgotten.... Had I realised how lovely kids are I would have had six.
But then how would I have slotted in GFL, LBC, ITV, BBC and this bleeding' blog.
Happy birthday to all the early March babies.
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Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 22 February 2016
When we had the flat in Battersea walking outside, when it got dark, was magical. The lights on the river, the lights in houses, red buses with their lights on, restaurants, pubs, 24 hour shops - you get the picture - walking outside in the countryside in the dark requires a torch, sure footedness and some simple knowledge of the terrain.
In 1976 I was touring in Wales. We stayed in Crickhowell, the night walk down an avenue of trees terrified me. I was the London born, city girl, who had about as much knowledge of the countryside as an untrained astronaut. When I woke up in the little cottage, pulled the curtains, I screamed, we were at the foot of a mountain.
It couldn't hurt me, it wasn't going to fall down, but it was nothing like Aldgate, Kentish Town or Wapping. It took me at least seven years to get used to the rural England.
I've just come in from a small walk down the hill, round into the fields and down the avenue. Hugged my tree, turned round and walked home. It was cold. Cloudy so I couldn't see the stars, an added bonus of no light pollution, past the Chestnut tree, alongside the sheep field, past the long houses with their shutters and back into the stove warmth of our Hobbit cottage.
Februry 22nd, and the one year anniversary of me breaking my elbow. The first day of Annus Horribilis. Nobody knows any more about what inflicts my pain, so I'm working on it with more meditation than a Pondicherry Ashram, kilo salt baths and pitch black walk abouts.
Tomorrow I will do more of the same.
I hope you are all blessed with good health.
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Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 9 February 2016
I have been sitting in my silence.
Sitting in my own pool of fear, which seeped under the doors and through the windows.
I have been awaiting the Endoscopy, which everybody had an opinion about.
Have the sedative.
Don't have the sedative.
At 7.45 this morning the 'oosbind drove me to the hospital.
Checked in to the Endoscopy unit which is open seven days a week, all day every day. Are you listening Mr. Hunt.
Went and sat with senior nurse Sally who asked me my name, age and an assortment of medial questions.
Then into the Endoscopy room. Monica, the Portuguese nurse, talked me though the procedure. I've learnt during this marathon ordeal, not to ask any unnecessary questions, not to speculate and to trust that my meditation and calm thinking will get me through.
it certainly did this morning.
Mr. Sharma shook my hand then put on his latex gloves.
Monica sprayed my throat with a banana tasting spray,to numb the back of the throat, I was then instructed to lie on my your left side, in with a green gum shield with a hole in the middle.
I breathed deeply, intercostal diaphragmatic breathing, down went the tube with the camera attached. Looked liked ET's finger. Took pics round my internal world, routine biopsies of a polyp in the stomach, three burps and up I sat.
The whole procedure tok about 5 minutes.
I shook everybody's hand and filled out a form telling the hospital that everybody involved was wonderful.
I waited for the read out, Jim came in to the cubicle to listen with his ears. The polyp, was being sent off for diagnosis, a little bit of gastritis in the stomach and a little inflammation in the duodenum. So nothing really to report. Exactly one hour later the old git drove us home.
The phone kept ringing from my army of supporters, and at 10.25 I was allowed to eat.
A lovely pea green soup, I made yesterday.
I may have to have a barium meal since the instructions were to check my swallowing. Apparently I had said I had difficulty with swallowing - I don't know where they got that from - still any results that I need to know will be sent to me by letter.
I have to face a consultant on March 10th to try and establish what is causing the pain, but each test eliminates another area of concern.
So now at 11.15, the damp grey morning has been taken up with sprays and form filling. I'm going to slide into the bath, read and remind myself that I am totally healthy, its just some buggering thing that's causing the pain.
Maybe I swallowed something on my American tour, although I think it was mostly my pride.
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Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum, Ad Infinitum | 28 January 2016
Its a cold bright day. My fingers are cold, only just put the heater on in the attic, haven't been up here for ages.
Spent most of my time in front of logs fires, which Jim has lovingly laid.
Tuesday night my doctor called at 7.00 p.m. Anybody that says the NHS are lazy should visit my surgery. They start at 8.00 and finish God knows when.
So there I was lying on my bean bag, flanked by two hot water bottles, when the phone rung. The scan is all clear, theres a bit of this and a bit of that, what you would expect for a woman of my age, but in the main its very encouraging. However, the pain is still rampant so I'll be referred to a specialist that will hopefully identify the problem.
I'm no longer living under a shroud of fear.
But our world was turned upside down.
Last week little Solly was taken to the vet. He was the runt of the litter, he was silly, funny, fluffy and endearing. He was rescued by us from the dawter and her errant friend who, on a hangover whim, decided to spend more money than sense buying him from a shyster in Hackney.
Solly came to live with us. He was nurtured, fussed over, fed, watered and generally spoiled to within an inch of his overgrown coat. We loved him.
The Hackney shyster sold a dud. For however beautiful Solly was - and he was - Solly had a faulty heart. From the moment we got him his breathing was shallow. We, as you do, ignored it, burying our heads in the dunes.
Last week we took him to the vet, he had 220mls of fluid drained from his chest. Two shaved patches on his lovely fur, and a four different drugs that had to be administered.
In one week I learnt how to roll the meds in bits of smoked ham. He gobbled it up with relish, including the bitter pills.
Yesterday, at 11.15 we took Solly back to the vet. The pills were the highest dosage they could give, but still the fluid was building up. So at 11.25 our dear little cat was laid out, on his blue and white towel, and given a lethal injection.
Too short a life, too short. Jim cried, I cried. The vet cried with us.
The cottage feels empty. The Guernsey sweater he slept on, in the wash, his bed, and toys removed. His eating dishes put away.
And the attic, where he nibbled my work boards and played with my pens, where he opened the box of cat biscuits, littering them over the carpet, my room where he tore chunks out of my chairs and climbed into the plant pots, feels lonely and cold.
Of course it will pass, but in the middle of my aching distress we've lost a delightful little life. A mischievous ball of warmth.
King Solomon Bywater you will be sadly missed.
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Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 21 January 2016
To you all, a big thank you for your love and support.
Last night I didn't sleep at all, watched the National Television Awards, from the comfort of my bean bag and two hot water bottles. Given that the awards are voted on by 'Sun' and 'Heat' readers, it's not surprising that the whooping and hollering, the 'Impact Award' for an Irishman's torso and the acceptance speeches, were lame and embarrassing. Although I was happy to see Suranne Jones and Billy Connelly being honoured.
I finally fell into a fitful sleep at 4.30.
Ate before 8.40. A litre of water before 11.40. Into the car and Jim got us to the hospital on time.
Sat in the tiny waiting room with a woman in a wheelchair nursing seven broken bones in her leg from a car accident, a high octane woman with Cancer and a waxen faced man who slowly fainted on the chair next to Jim.
Had the canula put in my arm vein, then sat until a Nurse from the Phillipines moved me to another room.
My coat and dungarees left in a ball with Jim.
I was taken into the cat scan room. Lay down on the bed, thick socks and shoes still on, wearing a blue hospital robe, when the bed moved. An American voice told me to 'Breathe, hold it in, now breathe out again.' She spoke to me twice as the bed moved back and forth. Then the nutse put the dye in.
'Are you allergic to aahodeen?' he said.
I didn't understand.
'Are you allergic to shell-fish?'
Ah! Iodine.' I said. 'No I'm fine.' I said.
The dye flowed into the canula and my body went hot - which is what he said would happen - The American voice told me to breathe in and out and, 5 minutes later the Phillipino nurse told me it was all done.
I climbed off the bed, the line out of my arm and a big gauze pad put over the tiny hole.
Jim brought me my clothes and we left. We had to stay within the hospital grounds for thirty minutes in case I had any reaction, and then off we drove.
The whole procedure had taken two hours, the nurses were wonderful and the old git just as perfect as could be. Thank you to the NHS.
After oat cakes, parmesan cheese, a mug of home made soup and some crackers with tomato I was exhausted. The psychological trauma I had put myself through was daft but now I know what to expect I will be more circumspect should I ever have to have another scan.
Into a hot bath, after which I slept for two hours. It's now six o'clock and I'm in front of the fire.
Two weeks to wait for the results.
Positive thinking, walking, hot water bottles and home made soups is on the menu, hopefully by February 4th I will be up and running - well at least fast walking.....
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