Saturday, 18 September 2010

All Clear

I had to go to hospital again yesterday to have my stitches out (which was bloody painful actually!) and the consultant told me that they did get all the abnormal cells out so there’s no need for any more action now. I have to go back in six months to check no more have appeared but otherwise all is well and I think I can put it all behind me.

Thank you for all your kind comments and emails. They have meant such a lot and been a great support.

You’re all quite lovely !

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Bye Bye BB

I have struggled against it but I feel I have to mark the passing of Big Brother here in the UK.

It should have been stopped ages ago of course, but I have to admit that in the name of television history, I watched this final series of Ultimate Big Brother. It confirms why I gave up watching it by BB4 ….but all the same, there is something strangely addictive about the programme.

I remember I couldn’t wait for it to come to the UK as I was working in Holland when the first ever ever episodes were aired there in September ‘99. The following summer it was here and I was really keen to see how it worked as a social experiment. I was hooked from the beginning and often thought it would be an amazing learning experience to look at how you interact with a group of strangers and see how your faults and qualities develop with different personalities and to then hear what they think of you and say behind your back. I often imagined how I would cope with situations and people in the house and I loved the special programme they had on a Sunday evening in those early days with the psychologists, who explained why the housemates behaved they way they did. I really loved it.

I think I learnt a lot about myself too. For example it became so clear that even when a housemate was in the wrong and challenged by the others, although one or two would acknowledge their mistake instantly and apologise, the majority would defend their position and scream and shout to try and justify what they did or said, just so they wouldn’t have to back down. I realised pretty soon that was me. That I hated to be wrong and that especially with Ewan, I would go on and on until he was so confused that he would apologise. I have worked hard to change that behaviour over the years.

I also saw myself in a housemate called Mel. She was lovely but she enjoyed male attention and if I remember correctly she giggled, flirted and kissed at least four of them in the opening weeks. I thought her behaviour was atrocious but then realised I was so offended because it was exactly how I behaved. Any male interest and I would turn my face to the admirer as a flower looks up to the sun. It justified my existence. Made me feel worthwhile. And I could see all that in Mel and I saw how the other housemates didn’t like it at all. I remember thinking that I would stop being so pathetic where men were concerned but I clearly wasn’t that successful as I went on to have two affairs after that. I’m still working on it though and with the help of the therapist I think I am learning not to be so dependent on what men think of me.

I think the thing that struck me most was how much the evictions made me think of ….wait for it ….death! Finding out they were nominated was like housemates being told they only had days to live. Some of them were very philosophical about it, making the point that they all had to come out at as some time. Some made a decision to enjoy every last minute of the few days they had left and would often show a side we hadn’t seen before. And some spent their last hours in complete terror of the reception waiting for them outside – would they be booed mercilessly or cheered on by the crowds? But whatever their reaction to possible eviction, they all coped as they went through the doors. Some of them got terrible jeers and looked as if they wouldn’t be able to get down the steps but once they all spotted the heavenly Davina waiting for them, they seemed to find the spirit to go on and most of them then seemed to love the paparazzi attention and the crowds looking at them and shouting their name and their interview which in most cases gave them the strength to go on and face their new life.

It was a shame it it all changed and became an opportunity for fame hungry idiots to expose us to their stupidity. The whole social experiment went out of the window and I lost the point of what it was actually about any more.

I watched most of the Celebrity Big Brothers though and found it fascinating just being a voyeur. Not that I would ever admit to that – I was too ashamed! I prefered to tut-tut and shake my head and blame it for everything that is wrong with TV these days.

I think as it all comes to an end though it is time to, quietly, under my breath, secretly thank Big Brother ….and wish it well in that afterworld that is TV history.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Fancy Some More?

Sorry? Did I say everything was all right?? How very stupid of me. Of course, being Selina Kingston with a blog to fill and all, how could everything be all right?? There has to be more ….

So, after I wrote my last entry, I felt quite exhausted and went back to bed and I woke up to Ewan shaking me and asking me what was going on as I had been dozing for ages and how was I going to sleep through the night as it was now four in the afternoon.

I recall saying I needed to get to the loo but as I stood up I felt terribly dizzy and sick and that was it. The next thing I remember is waking up in hospital !

Apparently I had lost a lot of blood - it was all over the bed - and that sent my normally calm husband into a complete frenzy. He called the ambulance and it seems they were there in a matter of minutes and whisked me off to hospital.

Sasha later told me that it was like a scene from Casualty and if she hadn’t been so scared she would have taken the time to enjoy it, especially as the paramedic was “proper fit”!!! I’m really cross about that because he would have seen that I was wearing my old comfy, holey pyjamas rather than any one of the pretty sets that are in the drawer ! Not that I could have kept them on for long as I was back in that ubiquitous hospital gown within minutes of arriving!

It seems that a stitch had come out of my cervix, hence the excessive bleeding and so they told me that they were going to cauterize the area and then pack it. Nice ! They did it while I was awake but gave me a sedative. Ewan was asked if he wanted to come in to hold my hand and he said yes ! He has since told me it was the worst decision of his life as he thought he was going to pass out !!!

As it was so late by the time they carried out the procedure, they decided to keep me in overnight to monitor the bleeding and my blood pressure but I was home again by lunchtime. Again, I slept for most of the day but this time when I woke up, I felt much better. I have to stay off work now for the rest of the week and they want me back in tomorrow to check all is well.

My mother is still clucking around me – it’s so unnerving! She made her famous tomato soup to help my recovery but Ewan announced that he couldn’t have any as he will never be able to face anything red again !!

That made me laugh so much that I swear another stitch has gone ……

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Anyone For A Cone?

I went in to hospital on Thursday for the Cone Biopsy and even though I put on a brave face, inside I was incredibly anxious

I had to put on the most delightful green surgical stockings (to prevent DVT), a hospital gown which refused to do up at the back and big paper knickers. And then I had to wait for ages. Fortunately I had taken in some magazines which kept me occupied but I was left for a good few hours.

In that time a nurse came in to do various checks but she was very dour and didn’t really engage with me!

An anaesthetist came and took my history - she was very sweet but very young which was somehow disconcerting.

And then the consultant breezed in. He was very jolly and sat next to me on the bed and went over what he was going to do and all the things that might go wrong. He said they had decided to do a hysteroscopy as well (which is basically sending in a camera to have a good look at the womb) and if that showed up anything serious they needed my permission to whip it out there and then ! That came as a shock but I signed the consent form and realised that my signature looked unfamiliar as my hand was shaking so much. The doctor told me to not worry and modestly added that he was an excellent surgeon and that it would be over very quickly.

After he swept out, another very young doctor scurried in and took some blood from me which resulted in much of it spilling over my arm and on to the sheets as she apologised profusely and looked as if she was going to cry.

The grumpy nurse wasn’t very happy about it when she returned to do some more checks. Five minutes later she popped her head back in through the curtains to tell me briskly that I had protein in my urine which suggested an infection of some sort so I needed to see my GP when I was back home. I asked her what she meant and she just repeated that I had protein in my urine. When I asked her if that was serious she said she didn’t know but I should see my GP. I’m so pathetic that I didn’t ask any more questions and just went back to my magazine!!

And then, suddenly, this huge giant of a man pulled back the curtains and made me jump as he bellowed “ Ready?” and before I could say anything, he said “we’re off” and then wheeled me on my bed out of the ward as the grumpy nurse ran after us with my notes. I still had my magazine with me!!

I have to admit I was scared then.

I was wheeled into the ante room where there seemed to be a hundred people milling around and through the double doors I could see more people in the operating theatre with its huge lights. The sweet anaesthetist came out and asked me how I was and when I couldn’t answer she said it was OK and perfectly natural to be anxious and that she would be with me the whole time and that everyone was there to look after me. She then started sticking needles in my hand and explained what she was doing but I couldn’t hear because the grumpy nurse had handed over to another nurse who started asking me to confirm my name and date of birth and then someone else was explaining that we would be going in soon and then another anaesthetist was there telling me she would be putting me to sleep shortly and then they put a mask over me and then ………..

…..The next thing I remember is about four people around me telling me that I had to lie still, pushing me down on the bed and saying I couldn’t go anywhere yet and asking me why I was crying !! As I came round they told me that everything was fine and that my womb was still in place. It seems I had woken up sobbing (which is quite common apparently) and I had tried to get off the bed. All seemed fine and then suddenly out of nowhere I was sick (again very common!) - extremely impressive projectile vomit which spewed out in an arc over the bed and on to the floor! They injected something into my hand and the relief was instant. I’m desperate to know what it was as I’m sure it could come in handy for the next hangover.

I was in recovery for a while and then they took me back to the ward where I must have slept it off for a good few hours because when I woke up, Ewan and Kyle were there. I don’t really remember saying much to them but afterwards Kyle said I looked pale and deathly and didn’t stop babbling!!

I slept through the night and in the morning I felt much better. The tea and bacon sandwich they gave me has to rank as one of the best meals I have ever had !

I thought I would get to go pretty soon but I spent the whole day on the ward as my blood pressure was too low for them to release me and I drifted in and out of sleep. The actual discharge took three attempts. Ewan and Sasha had come to get me at about seven in the evening but we didn’t get out until ten!

The first time was looking good. Sasha had helped me change and the nurse had gone over everything and given me my discharge notes and then she removed the needle from hand and …. I passed out !

I felt fine almost immediately but I had to wait an hour and a half before the second attempt. On this occasion we almost did it but after all the thank you and goodbyes, I got to the end of the ward and …went again.

This time, even though again I felt OK straight away, we had to wait an hour for the the doctor and he said my blood pressure was still too low and if it didn’t pick up in the next hour I would have to stay another night.

Fortunately, the third try was fine although when I hit the cool night air I nearly went again but was determined not to go back in!!

And that’s it. I’ve been fine since, although I have been sleeping far too much. I think I must look a real fright as everyone at home looks very concerned and they are all being very kind and considerate. I tried to put some washing on yesterday but Sasha took it off me and ordered me back to bed. That has got to be a first !

Things really must seem very serious to them all - even my mother is being nice to me !!

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Yesterday , Tomorrow, Where Are We?

I had to go into hospital yesterday for some pre-op checks.

It seems I am in very rude health. Perfect blood pressure, no previous medical history, correct weight for my height….the nurse said I was lovely and straightforward !! She sent me off for a chest x-ray and some blood tests and assuming they come back normal, all will go ahead as planned, tomorrow.

While I was waiting for my blood tests ( I took ticket no 89 and they were only on 51 when I arrived!), an old lady was wheeled into place opposite me by her carer who then sat next to her. They both smiled at me and I noticed that the lady in the wheelchair was well-dressed and she sat up straight and proud and was well-spoken.

She asked her carer what the number on the ticket was and was told 93 and she noted that they were in for a long wait. The newspaper that was in her lap then slipped off her knees and fell in front of me. I picked it up and handed it to her with a smile and she thanked me very graciously. She handed it to her carer and asked her to read some of the articles out which the carer did and they talked about some of the stories.

I was quite fascinated by the two of them.

In between the reading, the old lady asked a couple of times what the number was on the ticket but the carer didn’t answer which I thought was a little rude. A little while later, I noticed the woman was not sitting so straight but had slumped a little in her chair. While her carer was reading, she pulled her sleeve and asked “what time is your appointment?” The carer said “There’s no time – it’s not an appointment.” “Oh” said the old lady “what is it then?” “It’s a blood test remember and it’s for you, not me.” The old lady’s eyes widened and the carer patted her on the knee and reassured her that it would be OK and over very quickly but they just had to wait a while first and then the old lady seemed to slump in her chair and stared at the floor while the carer just continued to read the newspaper quietly to herself.

I felt very anxious all of a sudden.

Then, about ten minutes later, the old lady sat up straight in her chair again and started to talk about one of the stories in the paper. I can’t remember the details but it was something about a man being sacked when his employer found out he was gay and she gave her opinions on why that was so wrong and had a very eloquent discussion with the carer about employment law and human rights. She broke it off to ask what number was on the ticket and was again ignored and then she suddenly asked where Brian was. Her carer asked “Brian? You mean your husband? He’s not with us anymore.” “Why?” asked the old lady. “Is he up in London?” “No” said the carer “He died a while back, didn’t he.” The old lady looked confused and then anger flashed across her face as she said “What a wicked thing to say. You’re a horrid girl. I shan’t talk to you any more.” And she sat staring at the floor again while the carer continued to read the paper.

I finally got it then.

It had taken a while to figure out as the old lady had seemed so proper. I bet she was a teacher once, even a headmistress but I guess dementia doesn’t care about the past.

Number 89 finally flashed up and I walked away as the old lady, forgetting her anger, asked what number ticket they had……