Posted by Jeni in | 17 August 2016
Some say its the last of the summer sun, but I have my doubts. There's pots to plant and lawns to mow and clouds to wonder at.
On Monday I went to see Dr. B. The diabetic consultant. He took my blood pressure, declared it normal. Asked me about pains and gripes and remarked that it was REMARKABLE that I was keeping my blood down with no drugs. Good job too, he said given my sensitivities. He apologised for the length of time my last test was taking to arrive, shook my hand, told me he was there for me should things get out of hand, and provisionally signed me off. Not sure why it was provisional.....
It was 8.20 a.m. I arrived home, empty handed as most of the shops were still shut. Lay in the garden meditated to Belle Ruth Napersteck and had the thought that it would be good to go to Pevensey Bay, stroke the pebbles and watch the water, breathe in the sun and take in the positive ions. The old git was amenable. So picnic blanket in hand we left. Impromptu. If this last year has taught me anything it's not letting the grass grow, even after a sleepless night.
Towards Eastbourne, A22 round the bend and into Pevensey. Somehow we found the pebbled beach with nothing on it but our memories of Jackson the dog and B the tiny daughter. The one kiosk still stands. Up the stone steps and the smell and noise of the sea was mesmerising. We only lasted about an hour given that we had nothing with us. We didn't even stop off for fish and chips.
Yesterday My TUI NA masseuse arrived with his wife. Jim put up the massage table and David poked and rubbed, massaged and released. By the time he was finished my ratings were up. Last week my body was 5 out of 10. Yesterday it had gone up to 6/7. No pain. No nadging. No blockage. Gingerly I say this because it hasn't completely gone and nobody can tell me what occurred, but I felt so energised we drove off to CHERRY GARDENS organic farm shop. Wonder of wonders Maira the hot chocolate guru had set up her trailer. We had biscuits and a catch up with Ros and her grandson and Lulu and her dog, both there to shop for organic vegetables. Three out of the five of us had all been born within a mile of each other in the East End. Daughters of dockers, villains, Italian entrepreneurs, sat round a table in East Sussex discussing Chines Medicine and gym slips.
This morning I had another doctors visit. This time with Dr. W. I was kept waiting for an hour. She apologised twice. These doctors have to spend their time apologising. I told her I didn't want to be in the hospital any more. Was she going to discharge me there and then. 'YES', she said and signed me off. Nothing provisional about that one. No more visits to places of illness repute.
I cried in the car, on the way home. Was I really coming out of annus horribilis. Onwards and upwards, no more testing - well not this week - no more acute pain. No more dark thoughts. So I stopped off at the farm shop and bought a Scotch egg, a pork pie, a lump of cheese, two spelt flour rolls, flapjacks, date slices, honey comb ( I know!!!!) and brandy snaps.
'Picnic?' said the girl with the pony tail.
'Indeed.' I said.
Got home and the 'oosbind had boiled the kettle. One thermos for his black coffee, one for my white decaffeinated latte. Picnic hamper - courtesy of our wedding - filled with salad and all the goodies, tea towel, packet of salt, basil olive oil and real china cups. A bag with books, phone and thermos flasks, two travel blankets. And off we shot towards Eastbourne and the A22. Round the bend, but we couldn't find out beach. It didn't matter.
The air-con on as it was baking. We stopped at another beach, still the same old pebbles and sea. Now we had old wooden groins either side and seagulls whealing and squealing in the sky. Set up camp. Jim took photos with his new/old camera. I ate and tried to read but fell asleep on the rug. Three hours later, the fancy rolls fed to the birds and my mouth puckered from honeycomb and pork pie we decamped and set off home.
Unloaded to the 5.00 clock news, Jimbo stopped off at Lidl for beer and I read an article about Trump, who seemingly never, ever wanted to win any kind of Presidential race just wanted to up his fee on the Apprentice. Would make sense, the greedy, dissembler that he is.
It's now nearly 6.00. My shoulders are bronzed from the sea air, my eye lids drooping from the salty wind, my body still out of pain, remarkable given that I'm not taking drugs and I've eaten enough for a Somerset cricket team.
Tonight it will be a bath, bed and hopefully proper sleep. Last night I caught up on Van Gogh's ear and James Corbin's Karaoke carpool.
Tomorrow I'm driving to my acupuncturist in Clapham, and then next week it's a massive test at Guy's hospital. After which I'm closing the book. I've had too many chapters devoted to sickness, I'm now choosing health. My body is getting stronger, my blood is flowing better, my organs are not failing me and my drug cupboards are bare.
With a little trepidation I am declaring I am healed. I am well. I am healthy and so it is. As my old man always says. Fake it till you make it.
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Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 2 August 2016
August 2nd and the grey clouds are a backdrop to a wind that belongs in October, or even April. I dream of Harry Smith Beach, in Barbados. I dream of the smell of the ocean. I dream of the smell of freshly barbecued fish on a Jetty in Mallorca. I dream of midnight feasts on a balcony in warm Rome. I dream of anywhere but the greylings of England. I do love this country, and my cottage and the surrounding forests and trees and sheep and cows that wander across the road. I do love my garden and the hydrangeas and lavender. I love the dying raspberries and the newly flowering strawberries, the rampant mint and the sage and rosemary. But sometimes, just sometimes I yearn for a change of scene.
I do have a vivid internal life, and enough chatter to keep me going, but sometimes, just sometimes I want a coffee on a veranda overlooking a bay where the sun just shines, and the grey clouds keep away.
I have another test on August 24th. Guys Hospital will be hosting me for three hours when I have to eat then have my hydrogen and methane tested. And so on until after lunch. I then have three more hospital appointments and hopefully - with any luck - one fine person might be able to tell me just what is going on. Because sooner or later I'm gonna scream so loudly that my buddies across the pond will take a long haul flight to help me out. I will scream soo, soo loudly that all my Scandinavian friends will put down their Gammel Dansk and get on a Viking boat. I will scream so,so, so loudly that everybody I know in Scotland will put down their Referendum notes and rush to Glasgow central and come on down to kick some arse. I'll scream and stamp my foot so belligerently that my mate Silyve from Chatham will hot tail it down here, smash her way into the doctors surgery, without an appointment mind, poke the doc on her left shoulder and say 'Ere, my mate's been in agony for a year now and all you do is give her drugs and make appointments. Enuff already lady MAKE HER BETTER.'
My lovely Dr. M in Scotland has left the country and wont be contactable till mid September, so I'm on my own with my dark thoughts. Tomorrow I am driving to Clapham to have an hour with my Swedish acupuncturist who will try and make my legs pain free and tell me everything is going to be alright. I know I'm getting better but I want to be cured NOW. Not in two weeks time or next month. Now.
So there we have it August 2nd 2016, BHS is closing it's doors and selling everything off at 70% discount, the staff are so demoralised as they stand around in empty sale-rooms flogging batteries at a quid a go. I hope that Green gets his foot stuck in a drain on one of his yachts, better still I wish him what I've got , that'll teach him.
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Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 5 July 2016
A bunch of flowers arrived today. Pink and cerise, red and white. The smell so pungent they beat the Philadelphius in the garden. The first shrub I planted when we moved in 32 years ago.
A tall man arrived at 11.00. I greeted him. He held a brief case, me my two hot water bottles. He berated me for not writing this blog. He reads it, made a timeline of my misery and came up with a plausible diagnosis - which is more than four doctors have done.
We went into the piano room. I stood and he tinkled - on the ivories. I took a deep breathe. Breathing is the answer. The breathe of life. And so commenced a singing lesson, my first in over ten years. Wonderful. Me weak and weedy him strong and decisive. After nearly an hour he revealed there was still a voice lurking in there. So I made a cafetier of coffee, boiled the milk and took the sugar out of the cupboard.
The tall man asked me how was I really.
'I have no job, no status, no spare cash, no youth.' I replied. 'But I'm still here surviving'.
He stood up to his full 6ft 3", and came and hugged me, knocking the full cafetier of hot coffee onto the floor. The smell was delicious. We adjourned into the garden, talked and shared stories and then off he went.
He gave me a complimentary class, although to be honest he gave me a lot more than an hours exercising. I love him, he'll smile when he reads this. Crucially he gave me back the prospect of a future.
Which dear 'L' cannot be said of our leaders. I haven't spoken about the Brexit nonsense. All I will say is that when a caterpillar thinks its the end of its life it turns into a butterfly. Out of the wreckage created by selfish, ego driven opportunists, those younguns will rise up. The sooner we stop talking about fiscal this and fiscal that and look at the quality of life for ordinary people then there will be change. A velvet revolution, no bloodshed, no insults, just a mass of people speaking as one saying enough is enough. I wish I could join them.
HOWEVER, this old bod is still ailing. To date we have had to cancel 2 weddings, 4 birthday parties, endless first nights and a funeral.
Yesterday I saw a new geezer, in an airy clinic. A silent nurse took notes. we went through the whole sorry saga again. He asked me about my tan, who had high insteps in my family and where exactly did it hurt. I stood and modelled my painful areas twirling around like Debbie Magee. He pulled a blue curtain round the bed and pressed into my flesh. My bony body oohing and aahing on cue. He held my arm gently when I wept.
'Am I a complicated case?' I snivelled.
'Yes', he said whilst writing up my notes, in handwriting so illegible I knew he had to be a proper doctor.
'Yes. you are complicated but that's better than being boring.'
Jimbo and I left, I cried and cried and cried since the new geezer said he thought it might be some kind of auto-immune thingy, but nothing that can't be cured.
So this morning I set the alarm and drove to the nurse. She took four phials of my rich blood and sent me packing. She will also send me a bottle to wee in for 24 hours, it contains chemicals that will reveal whether I've got something else.
Today after the arrival of my beautiful flowers, and delicious 6ft singing lesson, I lay in the sun. My achy legs and my watery eyes on hold until. 5.00, when I came in for one of my many daily baths. I suspend myself in blissful hot water, set the timer for 20 minutes and think. Five minutes for one leg in the air, five for the other and ten for hands above my head.
Tonight I will watch some telly then got to bed with my trusty hot water bottles.
My man in Scotland is hanging in there with me and my friends and family are being extraordinarily supportive. Keeping the faith is the key.
Believing that I will be better, believing that things can only get better, believing that the ar*hls that are running the asylum will be toppled. In both cases it's going to be a hard job but there ain't no point in giving up now. We've come this far.
United we stand, divided we end up with a Michael Gove sitting on your face. And who would want that?
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Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 12 June 2016
Friends and long lost acquaintances have been visiting me. i think they think my days are numbered. Well they are, in a manner of speaking.
This morning I woke at 6.00 and climbed into a salty, lavender bath. Lay there for 20 minutes then slipped into bed next to the 'oosbind. I meditated and fell asleep until 9.00.
The strain, the drain, the pain, weasles its way into my consciousness. However, today I'm factoring in the washing, the ironing, and then a trip into town to attend a concert of one of the dawter's friends who's playing a gig at the local community centre.
I mopped the kitchen floor yesterday and lay in the sun to recover. The old git drove us, in my car - roof down - to buy organic carrots and partake of a raw chocolate drink with a delicious hazelnut shortbread biscuit, made with organic ingredients. The afternoon was taken up by my ex-cleaner who sat on the settee and introduced us to her delicious new man, she stroked my feet and told me of a healing centre that is a but a sunflower seed away. So tomorrow I will investigate yet another route out of this labyrinth.
Last Wednesday we went to the cinema to watch The RSC's HAMLET. MY surrogate son is in it. Eating popcorn and watching him was a pleasure. My legs jiggled and my body hurt apart from Gertrude, I really enjoyed it.
On Thursday we visited the hospital, yet again, I am the most investigated woman in GB. Even the doctor said so. He asked me to describe my symptoms, said there were two more tests he could try then offered me yet more antibiotics and drugs with lots of 'LLL's' in the name.
I left feeling despondent, relieved and angry. By the time they have diagnosed me I will be 7 stone and weaker than a rain soaked kitten. My cleaners new boyfriend thought I was Sri Lankan, too much lying round in the sun, so I'm changing my name to:
Tumuchisuntanintamraparni. Which loosely translated means I look like a copper beech tree that is withering in the sun. Thank heavens its raining today......
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Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 31 May 2016
So what has happened in the last 22 days.
My aquilegias are bobbing their bonnets all over the garden. Pink, mauve, blue, pink and white, alongside foxgloves, rhododendrons and two massive peony buds that are about to pop.
Last Thursday I cut the lawn and managed to do some weeding. I pushed and shoved the mower backwards and forwards and rejoiced in the feeling of little pain.
Friday I went up to town for a voiceover. The sun shone and I tied my raincoat round my waist. Met the dawter for lunch in Berwick street - WHAT ARE THEY DOING TO SOHO, CHINESE BILLBOARDS, LANDMARKS TORN DOWN - and then a slow walk to Charing Cross. By the time I reached the old git waiting in the station car park, I was doubled over in agony.
So the doctor expedited her last letter to the Gastroenterologist saying that August 26th was too late to see me and that it WAS urgent!!!!
As I write the rain is raining, the bath is running and my pain is paining. My Scottish man says I'm getting better but we have to get to Scotland again for him to see me, feel me touch me....
The pain changes from ouch to to PERLEESE to what the Fu.......
I'm 'slight' according to one doctor, 'thin' according to my oldest chum and wasting away according to the cashier in Waitrose.
Pharrell the pheasant visits daily, sometimes his wife Philomena joins him, the 'oosbind hangs out bird feeders so we can spot woodpeckers, jays, tits and squirrels.
I lie on the lounger and watch them, meditate, watch them again and meditate some more. I've caught the sun and look like Art Malik's Auntigi.
I am getting better but the discomfort is so all encompassing sitting down and writing for longer than ten minutes hurts. Lying watching the telly, after an hour or so, hurts, ( could be the programmes though ) walking around hurts. Driving hurts. I've started jumping up and down but yup, after a few minutes, it hurts. I've cancelled meetings, weddings, Barmitzvahs and funerals, we're going to see HAMLET, in the cinema, on June 8th, but I fear after ten minutes of the Bard I may well have to walk round the foyer eating picknmix to quell the pain to jellybean or not to jellybean....
PLAWHATCH organic farm shop provides me with raw cheese, raw milk, raw Kefir, cabbages that are pesticide free and raw chocolate made with raw goats milk. I am attempting to do what the good Scottish Dr. tells me about what and not to eat. I am doing what the lovely Jimbo tells me. Holding my head back and poking out my tongue so he can drip drops of herbal painkiller onto it.
The dawter is releasing her first single 'CREEPING' on Friday, and we are delighted that all her hard work is paying off, we wont be going to the launch party no hip-hopstar wants an ailing mother hanging round the speakers. Jim is waiting for confirmation of a film role, whilst I lie around surrendering to being a mystery case that no-one can solve.
More tests are lurking in the wings and then I dread them telling me I have to have a colostomy bag, after all where will I find shoes to match?
Darling bloggers all, I cannot wait to give definitive news about this frigging episode, but as I write I'm none the wiser, I am not dead. I have no intention of dying yet,but sometimes ethenuckinasia appeals, although the trip to Switzerland would be hellish.
Enough of this wingheathon, may June bring you flowers, showers and bundles of joy.
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Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 9 May 2016
The birds are battling, who can sing the loudest. It's 5.00a.m. and I've played musical beds.
On Thursday we drove to Stanstead airport. Dropped the car off and boarded a flight to Edinburgh. Picked up a hire car and drove 72 miles to Aberfeldy, a lovely little town on the way to Inverness. The landscape was the colour of a very fancy tweed jacket.
We arrived at 8.30 just in time for the last dinner order at The Townhouse Hotel. The decor was the colour of a very fancy tartan kilt.
Then into No 7, a crisp room with a bed throw the colour of the Highlands.
We watched the local elections, I fell asleep and dreamt I was perfectly well. When I awoke I had to check that the miracle hadn't taken place. It hadn't but it was a deliciously prophetic dream.
We had truffle oil scrambled egg on Aberfeldy bread, left the car in the hotel car-park and set off to the Scottish Doctor. if we hadn't have bumped into the local postman we would still be looking for him.
Jumped into the car and drove out of town, past the caravan park but not as far as the Distillery, under a railway arch, and there was the tall Canadian sitting in his window. His long haired crossbred wolf met us at the gate.
After one and a quarter hours I left the surgery with a glimmer of hope. It seems that over the last six months, my body has gone into full time war mode. This organ fighting that and that organ not knowing how to fight back. The long and the short of it is that slowly, with the help of the gentle doctor, I should be able to get well again.
I still await the results of two MRI scans, and I fully expect to have more pipes inserted where the sun don't shine, but for the first time in 6 months there may be an answer to the pain.
We left his house and Jim wandered round the distillery. We set off, observing the Scottish speed limits and dropped the car off at the airport.
'What time is our flight?' I enquired of the 'oosbind.
'Don't know love.' He said nonchalantly. Took out the flight schedule. The gates closed at 1.55. It was 1.49.
So begun the quickest dash to the gates that the airport had ever seen. Himself running with a heavy bag, me running with a heavy heart. Dodging lazy tourists, a slalom through bags and baggage. My bag was re-routed to the security man.
'Are you carrying liquids?' he asked accusingly.
'I don't think so.' I said - given the state of my adrenals I started to sob.
He took out a little bottle of scent and a pot of Nivea. Clearly I was carrying liquids and clearly he was thrilled at his discovery. If he had been a snail he could have not gone any slower. He let me off. We ran to Gate 3A. The gates should have closed fifteen minutes before but thanks to Easy Jet everything was held up and the long line of cheap travellers was still winding round the block.
We had made it, by the skin of our teeth.
The journey back was easy, the pick up was easy, The journey home was hassle free and we arrived back at the cottage at 5.45.
The trip was done and dusted and I was looking at a pain free future. Inevitably on Friday night I had a melt down, the pain was not going to go away immediately and what if his course of action didn't work.
The white wolf had lay next to me in the treatment room, gently snoozing, I had to believe that she knew better than I.
Saturday and Sunday was full of sun, and I even managed to mow the lawn. I even managed to do the washing. I even managed to eat something. We had surprise visitors who were shocked at my weight loss. I'm on the inside so I still feel the same, but my mowing shorts did hang a little loosely round the non existent nether regions.
So now at 5.21a.m. I start a new week. I have to take various supplements and remain positive.
I have a meeting scheduled for June so I'm now believing I can and will and am better.
I met Ros at Plawhatch organic shop. She used her pendulum and talked to her son who lives in another realm. If her dousing works all is well, if it doesn't it was still lovely sitting in the sunshine drinking raw chocolate with her.
I'm going back to bed, although I don't fancy my chances of sleep as the birds are babbling, chuckling, whistling and shouting the odds. I may just get into a bath and dream of Scotland.
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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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