Wednesday 29 April 2009

Panic In A Room In Essex

Today is the day of Operation Remove Offending Article(s) - part 2. You my have noticed the pun in the title of this post relating to a song by The Smiths. I listened to them yesterday. Some hours later, I had a panic attack. I don't think it had anything to do with The Smiths. In fact, I know it didn't. Logic has nothing to do with panic attacks, as I've mentioned before. It is, unfortunately, one of those incredibly annoying ways my mind - and others' - finds to "deal" with current situations: me and my periods; Ma and her operation; and of course, any treatment she may need after. Many things.

Panic attacks are sneaky little buggers. They are many things, none of them good. When I become anxious, the first feeling I have is nausea. I abhor feeling sick, more so being sick. My mouth seems to forget it is a mouth and turns drier than the wit of Stephen Fry's Jeeves. My chest feels as if it will not be able to contain my heart, because it is pumping too fast by half. Maybe not literally by half but it is, perhaps, a LOT. Technical.
I am aware, completely, that these feelings are only a panic attack. Yet, when I am in the midst of utter... well, panic, it's the worst thing in the world. Clearly, though, it isn't. There are far more important and terrible occurrences in this world of ours. But at that moment when nausea seems to be turning into actual get-me-a-bucket-I'm-going-to-chunder (and too many times the reflex URGHH action happens. EW...), it seems so much more than that "fight or flight mechanism". I know what it means, I know what happens. I know to breathe slowly and deeply and all that. But still it happens. And if when it does, I hate it. And after, I think what an idiot I've been for getting like that. Last night, though, as has happened so many times before, it seemed to start before I'd woken up, at about 3am. It's like I wake into it.

This massive day and situation is happening to my Ma and to us and the day carries on; the window cleaner still cleans windows, the postman still delivers (when I was in the bathroom - typically, there was a packet which needed to be signed for), the cats still throw up and I still have to clear it up. And the British Gas person - hereon known as BGP - will still do their duties between the times of 12 noon and 6pm. Apparently.
When I was in the bathroom, I had to have a cold wash, as the water and heating had been off since about 11am. At that time, my Ma gathered her final accoutrements for her stay in hospital. And just several minutes later, it was time for Pa to take Ma to the hospital. Hugs, kisses, "don't worry"s filled those last few seconds before they left. My brother, J, and I stood at either end of the front room window, like bookends, waving to our wonderful Ma as our equally wonderful Pa drove them both away. J went out of the house to the garage and there was such unnerving, uneasy quiet. The only sound was the clock in the hall, ticking. The pigeons on the roof at the bottom of our garden carry on courting, the squirrels in the loft carry on waking me up at 6am with a ridiculous amount of noise (one is pregnant), presumably making a drey. I very much hope that the foundations of their new home is not made up of the innards of my treasured Zipper Cat. Maybe they're trying on his rollerskates. Perhaps that's why there's so much noise up there.

It is now just past 3pm and the BGP is here. I know, as I type, Ma is undergoing surgery to remove the offending article(s). I'm listening to Kingdom Of Rust by doves. It is an immense album. Again, they manage to make me shiver with delight and awe. They take me to a place of joy and anticipation and stir emotions and thrill me so utterly, as no other band does. Except maybe elbow. They are pretty prodigious, as well. And The Beach Boys. But of the recent, British bands, doves do it for me.

But, as much as I am transported to this other place of wonder, I'm still sat on my own in the living room (there are various cats in here, too but not humans), I'm so tired from lack of (decent) sleep, with growing period/kidney/gut pains, Pa is overseeing the BGP and his work and J is doing something in the garden. All I can think about is my Mum. My lovely, beautiful Mum.

Monday 27 April 2009

Just call me Mrs. Bean...

Inevitably, the clumsiness, insomnia, the bitching, the forgetfulness, the lack of appetite et al have all returned with a sneaky vengeance. I dropped my deodorant in the sink of water, couldn't manage to place hairpins on the shelf - twice, and dropped a china cat bowl in the sink, nearly breaking it and the other one. (The cat bowl is china, not the cat, in case you were wondering.) I've been swearing profusely at everything, nothing and at the television and some of its astonishingly irritating "presenters", which is ironic in my view, as their appearances are invariably less than decent. I'm a bitch again, I told you. I've been berating "Art", bitter at the creators' success when I think little or less of what has been made. I think my Artwork is far better. Obviously. I insult the cats for not moving out of my way, for just sitting there. There. Where I need to go. MOVE. You want to go out? You don't? Well don't scratch the fucking door. Stop it. Out. Food? Here's your food. Oh don't be so bloody fussy.

Poor sods. It's not their fault this (hopefully only) temporarily deranged bint isn't sure of why the hell she was going that way in the first instance. It's not their fault he doesn't want Whiskas Whitefish now when he couldn't eat it fast enough that morning. No, wait... whatever, it pisses me right off. It's plainly not a situation whereby swearing will solve a problem. It doesn't even make me feel better, I just get annoyed with myself for being so pathetic and angered by a beautiful animal, whom I adore completely. Apart from the door-scratching and fussy eating.

My Ma has noticed - as have I - that the really rather unpleasant premenstrual look has also reappeared. It's a strange occurrence: I look more pale than usual (I'm already whiter than white...); the dark (Jewishish) circles under my eyes are more noticeable; my gait is slightly different, more like the BWAT of previous months; my eyes are heavy, glazed, the result of lack of sleep and/or broken sleep; my face is sullen, almost frowning most of the time.

I thought, possibly stupidly, that I wouldn't feel this way for at least three weeks. I thought I'd have a longer break from this crap. I know I'm not the only one who has these feelings, these symptoms, this belief (albeit transient) about oneself of uselessness. And then I realise that it is nearly three weeks since Mirena left.

I am not drinking more water.
I have not started yoga, again. Still. Again.
I have not managed to rise from sleepiness at a "decent" time.
I have, though, got the amassed-over-several-months ironing peak to a reasonable height. Almost amusingly, I have done so much of it over the weekend that my right shoulder is now suffering rather a lot. It really hurts. Ow. It was a brilliant plan, to iron as much as I could BUT I forgot how many clothes I have. I have actually run out of space for my clothes. Only a few pairs of jeans and trousers but so. many. tops. I love clothes. I just do.

And, just when I thought I couldn't feel even slightly better today, on Twitter a favourite tweeter - and dish - mentioned something about songs, I mentioned Brian Wilson in return and now I have the GLORY and LOVE and UNSPEAKABLE BEAUTY of Pet Sounds playing, making me smile and shiver with delight. Very few bands/musicians can do this to me: doves are the other one of which I immediately think. I LOVE MUSIC. And I love my cat...s...

Friday 24 April 2009

More pills than Boots

It's strange how some people do not know what to say. They are literally lost for words. It's sort of nice but also makes me want to tell them, "It's OK. I know what you're trying to say". And then I want to gently hold their hand and just assure them with two simple but honest words: "I know". More flowers. Tulips. Very lovely they are, too. I think the cats know something is afoot. It's actually soon to be not a breast but anyway, I'm sure they know. Wallace just likes sitting on my left arm, simultaneously obscuring my view of the laptop keyboard and screen with his ears and removing any feeling from said limb. And attempting to puncture my stomach. With pointy feet.

Some people have also done that brilliant barely-speaking-the-words thing, where they overdo the mouthing of words. Specifically, they apply this to the words "breast cancer" and "mastectomy". Like Peter Kay's Nan when she said "lesbian". Or, rather didn't say it.
I think people don't say the words because then it's like it's not real... actually, no, I don't think it's that; perhaps, it is more that if you say it quietly or mouth it, it's less upsetting. But, the truth for us (and in my mind at least), is that it isn't beneficial because it sort of feels as if they are trying to protect Ma from the cancer and that's not possible, presently. One wouldn't think, looking at her, that there is anything wrong with her. There is, but there isn't. She's still walking around, she can drive, she can laugh and eat and sleep and hug and hold.

In a (vague) way, it's like depression and periods and the like, whereby there is a genuine problem but it happens to not be visible. There was no lump to indicate a problem with my Ma, nor did she feel unwell. She had a routine mammogram and that picked up several tiny white dots which looked like microcalcifications. But, most likely, you can't feel it, you can't see it, and if left undetected, as they say, it will spread and it WILL, very probably, be fucking dangerous. I'm sure "they" don't say "fucking dangerous". I just put that in...

I had to see my GP today, to get my next batch of tablets - Citalopram, Co-dydramol, Tranexamic acid, Keral... and, because I'm on Citalopram and shall be taking Keral, there is an increased risk of bleeding of the stomach. So I have to have an antacid to counteract the effects of those two battling against each other. Which is a bit annoying, really. And they're capsules, the antacids. I'm even worse with capsules than with tablets. They float! Agh. I'll take them, of course I'll take them... But yes, back to my GP. I mentioned that I was scared and frightened, about the situation and also for my Mum. I think it's reasonable to feel those emotions when you know something like "this" is happening to someone for whom you would do anything. GP said - in an entirely sensible but slightly annoying-to-me-so-please-wait-until-I-finish-what-I-was-trying-to-say way - my feeling scared and such was no help to Ma, I need to be strong for her. I agree. BUT, what I was trying to say was this: I was empathising with her, not pitying myself in this situation. I cried, of course I cried: she's my Mum and what will happen to her next week will no doubt be traumatic and indeed painful. But I felt sad for her, not for me. For her. And I'm not "moping about", thank-you very much, doc. I'm really arsing well tired but I'm not moping. I have been mopping, though. I cleaned the kitchen and utility room floors.

But I don't think I do the feeling-sorry-for-myself thing. I did it for a long time, years ago, in my darkest, most horrifically depressed days and I felt no better. Life is shit sometimes, and when it's good or astonishingly marvellous, you appreciate it. We - all four of us - are beginning to learn about new bras and prostheses and life after Operation Remove Offending Article(s). Again, I say "we" as we are a family and a close one. This IS The Bullshit. And it and it alone can fuck right off because it is not welcome here. Or there. Or under there. Or up there. Or down there...

Tuesday 21 April 2009

Swearing, tmesis -style...

Well. I'm not sure I know what to say. My Mum still has cancer. My Mum... has cancer. This is also commonly known as The Bullshit. I can not befuckinglieve that is true. After the operation to remove what was thought only to be DCIS along with the "safety margin", the latter was analysed by a pathologist and the result was delivered like a punch in the face by Ali. They found more cancer, an aggressive type, more serious than DCIS, which is a kind of restrained fiend. Surgery by way of mastectomy is the best and most obvious option, as what they found is only in what they took away for testing, so it could be in any part of the rest of the tissue. The fucker! Leave my Mum alone. I am not, of course, suggesting that my Mum, my Mum should be exempt from cancer aka The Bullshit. No-one in this world, on this, at times wonderful, Earth of ours, is any better or so incredible that they shouln't be immune to some illness or disease that anyone else could contract or develop. It's not that she is my Mum, but that she is my Mum. I know there is nothing I can say or do to help it become less frightening or bewildering for any of us - Ma, Pa and my brother, J. But I would do anything to help her, to stop her hurting. ANYTHING. And now, I can't. I can do some housework and clean and do the ironing but...

There is nothing anyone can say. That's why, I think, there have been so many calls and texts, again and visits. Like before, just three weeks ago, we had so many deliveries of flowers, we ran out of vases, we ran out of space for the "Thinking of You" and "Get Well Soon" cards. People don't know what to say. But we think we know what they mean.

If you know my Mum, you'll know she adores flowers so they make her smile when she sees and smells them. And that's worth every penny in my wallet. Although, the enormous and, frankly, staggering sum of £4 I actually have in my wallet wouldn't buy much more than a bunch from Morrisons. That's not a bad thing. They do have quite nice flowers in there. But I've had the more-for-yer-money, FairTrade or other such prettily presented bouquets delivered for my Ma lately, for helping me post-Mirena-fitting, for Mothering Sunday and for the first instance of The Bullshit. God, I love the internet, sometimes.

I jokingly mentioned on Monday - when we found out what was going to happen next - that we'd have to sort out the past-it flowers in those many vases from the first operation: the lumpectomy. (I've been a bit off-colour lately. And Ma still can't lift her arm up fully yet or lift more than the equivalent of a light cat - Cyril.) The flowers that arrived today came in a vase. And we (Mum bought, but I was with her in our favourite local charity shop) bought two new vases. I think we may be needing them. Mum keeps wondering why so many people are asking how she is, why so many people send flowers and cards and visit her to see if there's anything they can do. Because they care, because she is wonderful.

It's been a thought and fear in each of our minds since Mum's initial diagnosis, that that possible and ultimately shocking shift from "relatively harmless" cancer to hopefully not relevant to my Mum, my brother's Mum, my Dad's wife could happen to her. And, indeed, would happen to her. While it's in its early stages, it does still mean that she. has. cancer... I don't know how long it will take for any of us to realise or understand it. I don't know if we ever will. I know there are no rules about how to feel or what to feel or when to feel. I believe anything and everything each of us feels is completely "OK". I know this because I've been told. Yes, that is a little harsh, perhaps but already, I'm fed up with talking and thinking about it, so how the hell does she feel? SHIT. Bullshit, if you will.

The weeks and months to come will be, for my Ma, full of pain, both physically and emotionally. And while this is, essentially, a post about our current The Bullshit situation - and it is we, for we are a family, together, through hell and joy - my (yes, still about me, somewhere) periods threaten to get in the way of my looking after Mum. What if these new tablets don't work? Now, more than ever, I feel, this new medication cocktail has to work, it has to. I keep feeling sick at the thought of what might happen. I bloody hate feeling sick. I hate cancer aka The Bullshit. I hate depression. I hate my periods. I hate racism and anti-semitism and abuse. And I don't, generally, do hate. But obviously I do. But not for actions and matters that don't merit those strong feelings.

Fear and anger and confusion and frustration and pity. I don't like pity. But I feel it. For my Mum. She'll have part of her taken away which makes her, partly at least, who she is and what she is - a woman. I feel so sorry (agh bloody word) that she'll have to go through this horrible experience because nature went a bit wrong. Tears are falling now, as I type this and talk (via facebook) to a friend whose Mum died from cancer and it makes me so fucking angry that I can't do or say anything to help him, or anyone who has to deal with this, The Bullshit. And now I can't breathe through my nose and my face is redder than a very red thing, indeed. Olbas Oil, you are my friend...

Friday 17 April 2009

The Menses Monopoly (contains talk of PERIODS)

Following my Mirena Removal Ceremony (no party when I got home, though), I'm almost viewing this new found freedom as a new start. I'd made a list, albeit short, in my head of feats that were wholly achievable:-

- I shall drink more water.
- I shall embark on a yoga regime i.e. I'll do more than I do now, which is none. Since Mirena, my limbs seemed to have been replaced with dried out timber.
- I shall try (extremely hard) to get up at a "good" time: by 9:30am - believe me when I say this is a good time.
- I shall aim to prevent the accumulated items of clothing that need ironing at a height of no more than 2 feet.

At least, I thought I'd be doing those things by now, Sunday. But I am not. Though, yesterday I did more than in the last month, collectively. Presently, I feel so depleted of enthusiasm and oomph, even I, with my neurotic adoration of the English language, can not explain how tired I feel.

And of course, periods, will not always allow for the in-my-head list to be carried out. As I type, I'm still bleeding post-Mirena and still have some pains. Dammit Janet. I know some of you will know how it feels when you get that period indicator, that "Oh no... it's nearly here" feeling. But when I feel all right, I shall try to do all I can. Again. Not just to help my Ma but because it's good (dammit) for me to have a vague routine. Agh, do I not like that word: routine. Why did I just type it again if I dislike it so? On the assumption that the new tablets don't work - that's not pessimism but realism: I've been let down too many times after believing the hype of painkillers - I know I'll have, between proper periods, about four or 5 days either side of the mid-miniperiods. Potentially, then, as before, about ten days out of 5 weeks, let's suppose. Well, I'll suppose. I'll type and you can read...

Without medication, hell lasts about 10 days. With, it's 9 days. Whoo hoo. I'm not ungrateful for their help, just... tired. Generally. Often. The first day is light. But very painful and draining and heavy-in-the-everything and so, so horrible. The second proper day is the first heavy day, and the third and fourth days are the most painful, which translates as: I am disabled by horrific pains for at least three days and lovingly cared for by my beautiful Ma. She brings me my tablets (often placing them in my mouth because I can't even do that for myself), orange juice (Hello, I'm Lucy, I'm 27 and I'm the world's most useless tablet taker), hot water bottle, all I need to get by. She places my blanket over me to keep me warm so I can sleep if I need to, which is often at those times. And she stays with me when I feel I just. can't. cope. with it, when the agony is beyond reasonable, when I don't know what to do, when it should be more than a person can manage without passing out.

I usually stay on the sofa. We have a downstairs toilet - badly, cheaply, wonkily decorated in 1970s brown tiles - yes, it is as awful as it sounds. Actually, I don't think, unless you've seen it, that you can imagine how bad the tile work is. It's utterly dreadful. Downstairs is better than upstairs because upstairs is immediately at the top of the stairs and falling down those stairs is not something I wish to do. Ever. Unsteady + top of stairs = stay downstairs on sofa. Easy equation.

On the fourth day I can walk on my own! I know, I know, I shouldn't brag. Still akin to a duck with haemorroids, though, but an improvement all the same. A bird with arse trouble, if you will. Bearing in mind the amount of codeine I have to take in the days before and while I have a period, this is not an entirely untrue analogy.
And on day 6 or 7 of bleeding, I am virtually me again. Which is nice. But the then very mild indeed period pains change to pelvic pain. So then, I step down from taking co-dydramol (10/500mg) to take co-codamol (8/500mg). Day 11 is usually clear, then day 13 or 14 of my pattern (I refrain from using the term "cycle") is when I start bleeding again. Pelvic pain continues for a week or so. Maybe 2 weeks. Here's the fun part: I might then bleed for 3 days, have 2 days off then bleed again for 8 days. Or, after period, 5 clear days, 6 bleeding, 1 off, and back again for 7 days. Take your pick! I should start a lottery or bingo. Ah now. IDEA. No prize, just the knowledge that you know more about my body than I do.

When that mid-bleed finishes, I might be clear for a week or for 3, 12 days or 19. I have no idea. But what I do know is this: before I have finished the mid-bleed, I'm already premenstrual for the next proper period. You may know the symptoms: dizzy (thanks vertigo. Not the film, the condition. The film's brilliant.); headaches; waning appetite; frightening anger, sometimes; insomnia; my poor, tiny bust hurts like I've been kicked with steel toe-capped boots... Men - you lucky bastards. I have to wear a bra in bed. That old M&S one, actually... and like ALL of that is not bad enough - and it is - the proper period pains I get start between 3 days and 2 weeks before the bloody thing even arrives, if you pardon the pun.

And then it all starts - predictably and unpredictably - again. And so it goes on and on and on. If I'm very lucky I might "only" be removed from human living for a couple of days. At the worst, the doctor (not THE Doctor, unfortunately) or ambulance is that close *does thing with fingers to demonstrate closeness of situation arising* to being called to help... me... I wouldn't call, I can barely breathe at those times. As my cousin said the other day, I'm back to square one, which, in blistering honesty, is a fucking terrifying place to be. BUT as loathe as I am to say it, I'd rather be here than back there, at "Mirena says do not pass go". Or "Mirena says don't get up". Or is that Simon says? At least I know what square one is and what it means. I've been here before, I know this game. I think. Now where's that little Scottie dog...

Thursday 16 April 2009

The Cedar Room

Considering very little has happened this week, I feel I've written typed an awful lot about it. I fear I'm in danger of posting too many blog entries and making the previous examples sort of useless. But what happened today has been so normal and I forgot how much I missed it. The seemingly banal task of walking to the shops to post a parcel to my very lovely newest cousin and his older brother, who is equally lovely, was a joy: by the church there are hyacinths and pansies in full bloom looking delightful, with the former smelling so good; trees blossoming; cars driving by!; rain on the ground in puddle form; shops! There are shops! I bought a (silly hexagonal) tube of Smarties and some new talc (really. I ran out of the Yardley Rose one. Really. Yardley talc is good. Don't knock it, philistine) from my favourite sells-nearly-everything chemist.

After yesterday's frankly monumental achievement at the hospital, I feel I can jump and reach the stars! Except, more oxygen. And heat. And different gravity. And stuff... but the change in me and my demeanour is immense: I got dressed. Not just comfortable "jog pants", vest and chunky comfy cardi, but actual clothes. I wore jeans. And - I swear to you this is true - while deciding what to wear for the top half (almost always jeans, sometimes other types of trouser) and going through the clothes on hangers on my wardrobe door, what happened? A moth flew out. A MOTH. How bemusingly brilliant is that? I mean, not if it's eaten my clothes but... a moth? Hasn't been that long, has it?

I have a lot of clothes. It's not that I'm a clothoholic or that I never had anything or very little as a child: we had enough, but not spoiled as children, we know that earning money and "things" do not come easily to you and that you must work hard to earn money, we know about appreciating things and all that. I just really like clothes. I have a few pairs of trainers. I have "some" skirts. Likewise pairs of jeans. And probably far too many tops. Fabrics, textures, patterns, beads, "hang"... I love the fact that there are so many different types of top to be had. It's been so long since I wore those lovely, lovely clothes. A lot of the familia's clothes (and even more of mine) are in the ironing pile. My job, the ironing. It's like my part of the housekeeping, because I don't work. And I give Ma and Pa money from the income support I get, which is, obviously, entirely fair. I don't like claiming benefits. But I can't work, currently and as a person in my own right, aside from living with my parents and not paying bills and tax (charities and LL: I'm so sorry I can't tick that box, I want to but can't) I'm "entitled" to money so...

I'm saving it for the recommencement of driving lessons. And then for my driving test. And then for my CAR. I will buy a car. One day. I think I'd quite like a bit of a rubbish first car. Like an iffy coloured, metallic-finished N-reg Fiesta. But then my anti-anti-semitic conscience says NO!! Don't buy Fords, Lu. Shame. Natty little cars. A to B cars. MY CARS. Well, CAR. I shan't be greedy. I'm SO excited about having lessons again. Hope my theory result hasn't run out *shockface* because I got 35/35 on the questions. Damned good going, Lu! Oh yeah...

I feel tired today, after the walk, and after yesterday, too. My womb is confused: it's bleeding again (...eww. It's true. I've said it's all true ha...) and hurting a bit, so I've had more Ponstan and co-dydramol but I reckon it'll be that way for a few days, before it settles. But that's fine. Poor thing's got so used to trying to expel it every fucking day and now it's gone, it's like it's unsure what to do now. Relax, man. Relax... For me, for now, or at least for the next few days, I think it'll be gentle ironing, tea making and slagging down the people on Dickinson's Real Deal who sell their "lovely" grandmother's engagement ring so they can go on holiday. The bitchiness is back. And it's gooood... (in a non-mean kind of way. Sort of...)

Wednesday 15 April 2009

What a difference a splay makes.

I was wrong. Doesn't happen often. Like Peter Griffin being right. But I was wrong. I am now a post-it. I am not, though, yellow, nor am I sticky on a thin strip, on one side. The medical man I saw at hospital this morning was the same medical man who fitted my Mirena under general anaesthetic all that time ago on Thursday 8th January of this year, 2009. He agreed with me that the pain was not going to improve, and that, instead of leaving it another two or 3 months to see if it settles and needing, therefore, to continue the codeine intake, the best option was to "whip it out", as Award-Winning Consultant said last time. My poor womb. It was only trying to protect me, really: a foreign object in there? Which is not a foetus? Of course it would try to rid the body of it. I was just a bit unlucky that the pains I had were severe and very restrictive on my daily life.

The option for the Nice Medical Man to dive in there and remove it in a few minutes' time was a bit daunting. I knew it was the very best and most obvious thing to do but given that certain other examinations and such have been more than very uncomfortable, I wasn't quick to say, "Oh all right, then" with vim. Logic doesn't ever really have a part to play in anxiety and depressive issues but this, this was purely, completely fear of important parts hurting after past medical experiences and the trauma which followed. I still maintain my minibouts of depression were brought on, not by the hormone, but by the frustration and anger at what Mirena was doing to me and how it was affecting me.

With my wonderful Ma to my left, NMM to my right (I'm not going into "here I am, stuck in the middle...") I decided to go fer it. I was SO nervous about the impending ARGHH. So, to the "delivery room" and off with the boots (I LOVE CONVERSE BOOTS. I want a red pair. And a blue pair.), kept socks on, obviously, and then the jeans came off. Not worn those figure-hugging darlings for SO. LONG. I love those jeans. Truly. They are kind to my behind. Yeahhh... and the rest = butt-ugly nude from waist down. Drafty.

So, yes, gown on, sit on the seat-thing, put a leg in each rest (so elegant) and, just for good measure, a nurse and a trainee girl doctor for company and..... oh, that feels uncomfortable, a bit of grabbing around in there and then *shocked/relieved face* "You bastard", I said. "Not you! She means that!" my Ma hurriedly said. And I did mean Mirena: I couldn't possibly, at that moment, think NMM anything less than magnificent for being gentle as he said he would be and for performing the deed out without me even really feeling it leaving. Mirena was OUT!! And relaaaax...

Relief isn't the word for it. I was so smiley and was grinning, I wished the lovely ladies on reception a wonderful day, chuckled to myself, laughed in the car park, and rested a bit in the car on the way home. A late night and a very early morning (2am: insomnia), bad sleep (and again and nerves, too) and an early morning (7:49am) allowed my conscience to rest awhile. And, since I got back, I've cleared the kitchen, fed three cats their own food at least twice each, cleaned the cats' trays, done this blog, and made several cups of tea almost without effort. It's brilliant! I'm aware there is a significant psychological factor in this: that "weight off the sholders" feeling. But since Mirena's first day in its new home, I'd felt a horrible stiff, aching-to-the-bones heaviness, a bit like the premenstrual lead-weights-in-the-soles-of-your-feet-and-all-the-way-up-to-the-top-of-your-head feeling. But all the time. That's gone, now. Huzzah!!

And like that's not enough for a good day, I've had some lovely, lovely comments about my blog. People read it! YOU, yes you there: YOU read it. Or at least, this part. THANK-YOU, heartfeltedly... is that a word? Should be, if not...

So, hormone treatments, for the next few months, at least, are out of the equation. It's a shame it seems they may never be an option for me. Regarding Mirena, my womb hadn't responded as it "should" have or as was expected; the lining hadn't thinned. And, as much I fear my periods and (still) hope they'll improve, equally, I can look forward to wearing my jeans again and my new pair from eBay, dusting (oh!), vacuuming without collapsing, helplessly, on to the floor, a wee bit of gardening, ARTWORK!! I can "do" art again and ohh I have missed it so much... SO. MUCH. For now, though: facebook and just, y'know... stuff......

Tuesday 14 April 2009

Grey matters...

Last night I listened to some "relaxation" tapes. They're not tapes, they're tracks. (From a CD, to my computer, then to my mp3 player.) They were from a friend, who used them for pain management and, when I first started using them it wasn't for managing pain; rather, as an aide for calming my brain, to try to lessen (or, hopefully, be free of) anxiety. Lately, though, as you'll know, ye olde faithful reader, pain management is precisely what I've needed, so they've been useful.

However (ah yes, the inaugural-in-this-post "however"), rather than concentrating on the words of the lady with the nice voice, my mind reverted to the day our hugely beloved Harvey died. Thursday 13th October was the day in 2005. He collapsed in the kitchen; he just... fell to the floor, he didn't move. Ma phoned the vets', I picked him up, which was distressing and we went as fast as we could to save his life. It's quite difficult, though, to do that, to travel up to the speed limit in traffic hold-ups when the colleges and schools are emptying: the time was about 4:30pm.
Harvey still wasn't moving; I was cradling him in my arms, sobbing, while shouting at the cars to MOVE!! They didn't, unsurprisingly. Why would they? Because a red-faced bint told them to? Hm. Only a few days earlier, I happened to read a "First Aid for Cats" section in a cat book. Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation isn't for everyone, I know but frankly, if it means my cat will stay alive, then I'll feckin' well do it, no second thoughts. And that's exactly what I did. I had to. Fur, fishy breath (most cats have that, though, don't they...?) and my tears didn't make it easy. I tried and tried. My Dear Ma was keeping it together, not crying but wanting to. I tried so desperately to keep him alive but I saw his eyes: his pupils dilated suddenly and it was clear he'd gone.

A few minutes passed before we finally got to the surgery and we both knew there was nothing to be done, that they'd say "I'm sorry" but hearing it doesn't make it easier. They we were, Ma and me, crying so much on one another's shoulders, holding tightly on to each other. (I have a pair of lovely brown cords - shh - and they're good to my behind, make it look great. They're about an inch or 2 too short. I wore them that day and haven't really worn them since, stupidly scared that the same or similar might happen to another of our beautiful cats.) Harvey had lived with us for little over four years and it wasn't enough.

He'd previously been homeless, i.e. on the streets, nowhere near enough food, bad health and other factors and all of this contributed to him being extremely frightened; it took weeks, nay months for us to gain his trust. And when he did finally trust us, it was magical. He returned to/became an incredibly affectionate boycat, so grateful, like he couldn't believe we could love him so. That's one of the reasons we found it so difficult to understand, so to speak.
The trouble, though, with a cat which has pneumonia, is that it is susceptible to colds and chest infections and Harvey had many in his short time with us. He was only seven-years-old. Ish. They couldn't be sure but he was too young to die, I think that much. He had a heart attack, a pretty hefty one. (This post isn't all about cats, death of a cat and brown cords, honest.)

And that's what I thought about last night, what happened 3 1/2 years ago. I was 23. I remember it like it was yesterday and yet, so much time has passed since that grey day. Warm and cloudy and grey. I don't feel 27 and I don't really look it, either. Which is a good thing, I'm now realising. Apart from the "Are you at school?" questions. Because, in certain instances, if that were true, some things might be illegal.....
The aspect of this which really (yeah - REALLY) frustrates me is that I've done little more than at that time in 2005. Well, that's not counting the driving bit, because I can drive, just not qualified to do it without my truly SUPERB tutor, Mr. Bikeman. I've got a bus on my own, though it was scary. I've spoken on the phone to a delightful, wonderful, not-bad-on-the-eye-AT.-ALL. man - D... I've done some stuff. Just not what I'd hoped I would by now. Gigs, pubs, drinks, holidays abroad or on my own, wicked late nights out with friends ending up who knows where. And now I have grey hairs. I pluck them out, obviously. My hair is so dark, if I allowed them to stay where they fester so brashly, they'd be as easy to spot as an elephant in the room. Except the grey wouldn't be the elephant. It'd be unwanted highlights. Free, though... but no, they have to go, as sure as I'll one day go to Glastonbury. And T in the Park. And a doves gig.

A few (now it's not even three) years in the future and I shall be 30. Tomorrow - Wednesday - is the day of my hospital appointment. I don't think I'll come home post-Mirena but maybe I'll have a date for me to go back to the pre-Mirena girl (who am I kidding? You? No... dangit). But I'll be post-it. Except not very, very flat, yellow or sticky on one strip on the back which, actually, isn't very sticky at all...

Monday 13 April 2009

Today I 'ave been mostly...

Dysoning is on hold for now. I should've learned my lesson from the last time I did it, that doing it will (now) inevitably induce my (now) ritualistic crying out because Mirena seems to be moving and/or playing fiddlesticks in there. Knitting is my thing, Mirena. Sod off and get your own "thing". I thought I'd be OK because it was 14:00 and I'd had my tablets at 13:00. Ahh, you fool! I fell to the floor 3 times, was helped to the sofa by my adorable Pa, pushed 2 cats off the sofa to lay down, cried because I hurt so much and was brought a hot water bottle by my brother. The last few days have been particularly bad. I assume it's because I'm bleeding again. Like "a light period" (what? THAT could be a period? I. WISH.) or "spotting". I'm slightly bemused by "spotting", it makes me think, immediately, of birdwatchers or trainspotters. "Ooh, there's one! The second this week! Just write it down in the notepad... Very... liiiight... peerrriioddd..." Just say period! It's only a word. Like fuck. Just words. Although, I get extremely offended if someone becomes anti-Semitic. But I think that's more about the sentiment, than the words... back to blood and stuff, phrases like, "I'm on". On what, I say? I get annoyed by the most minute of details. And by misuse of grammar by people who should know better. I like words and languages and, y'know... stuff.

But yes, I've never had a light period. Not a proper one. Probably, when I was twelve and 13, they were just light mess. (In my head this is too much like AlrightTit in its "you probably didn't want to know that but I've said it anyway" slant. And the way I'm thinking and then typing this but that's what my head is like. This is how my brain thinks so I'm just being me, really.) I know between the ages of fourteen and 16 they were very bad but there's a lot about those years that I don't remember; I think my brain did that blocking-it-out thing, automatically. I have no memory of some of the worst times. I remember being dragged out of my house by my wrists by some education person, I remember screaming and begging them to not make me go to school because I felt so terrible, emotionally, and terrified of not being in my safehaven, i.e. home. It was a immensely confusing time. Very strange. I was so helplessly sad, so tearful so often (i.e. ALL THE TIME) and I couldn't even tell my wonderful parents what was wrong, because I simply didn't know. I wanted everything to be different: for me to wake up and be glad of it; for me to not be frightened for fuck knows what reason (it's only a word, it's OK) to go outside my own front door; to not think that putting on my right sock before my left, would mean that if a member of my close family was in an accident, it would be my fault. Really. That's what depression and OCD can do to your brain. I call myself a mental, mockingly, yet not. And, to an extent, I am, still. Brains are weird. So complicated, so incredible, all those nerves and signals, it's... well, mental.

I sit here, by the window, and see people go by, and I wonder what they'll be doing. Are they going to the shops? Alas, not Woolworths anymore. Or to work? By bus? Train? A neighbour is having driving lessons and I'm so envious. I see others get in their own cars and feel really rather jealous. They've already passed their tests. That's their own car. They have independence. They have a job, a social life, they have holidays. In short, they have all the things I don't have and for which I am desperate. I can't tell you how much I miss driving. I'd just mastered bay parking. Was SO ready to book my test in the then New Year.

But of course, plans don't always work out the way you er, plan them. I'm not pitying myself at all; I'm just really pissed off that Mirena hasn't worked. I believe that to be an understatement, somewhat: "it's been a huge fucking failure" is more appropriate, I think. A huge success, however, has been my laptop (excluding the the reason for the recent disinfection process, which has worked, thankfully. Huzzah for me!) for almost constant facebooking and Twittering. It's immensely helpful. There are daft games to play and they're sort of strategic games. Sort of is enough for now: too much thought and effort needed and I'm done for, innit. There are people on Twitter who follow me and they are people whose faces and "work" I know and admire. Why would they follow me? Marsha Shandur #followfridayed me. She said I was "consistently charming". That's so good! I adore her; she's like your mate on the radio who's cool and plays ace music and has a voice that's too alluring for your liking. Or is that just me...? I wish I has a voice like that. Mine's awful. And Lisa Lynch, she of AlrightTit, she's following me. *Grins. A LOT* AND #followfridayed me, as well! Why? I don't know... maybe Marsha answered that question before I even thought of it to ask... Wow. That's, like... y'know?

It's now Monday morning, just. A few minutes past 1 o'clock. In the A.M.. MY appetite has gone on holiday. You'd think it'd take me with it. How rude. My appetite has gone, sort of, but I'm hungry. I've been eating porridge (a bit too much sugar and it's ruined, as happened today), notShreddies (Lidl - cheaper and with an obscure image of a meerkat-with-bad-teeth-and-wearing-denim on the front), and Ritzish crackers and Primula with Prawns cheese. This is not the best diet, but equally, on Easter Sunday, I didn't gorge myself with skiploads of chocolate. In fact, I had no chocolate. I do have some, I just felt too dizzy and sick to eat any. I have a Creme Egg sitting woefully on the table beside me. Like a Weeble, except it has fallen down... oh wait, no. That's a cat. Google searches, eh... hang on... Here's a Weeble thing. Undressed, the Creme Egg would look like the newly discovered egg which Darwin collected while travelling aboard HMS Beagle. Christine McGourty said it first. Credit where it's due, like.

And now hunger has returned - with not even a straw donkey for company - it's back to mt trusty notShreddies. I really do like them. As a good friend of mine, Rose, said, "It's easier to sleep when you're hungry, than it is to eat when you're tired". And she's right. I once nearly choked on my notShreddies so much that I spat the semi-chewed maltness into the sink and nearly retched. Mmm. But what a waste. That won't stop me trying again, imminently: I am SO hungry at the moment. I had a late and quite small breakfast because I had to eat something so I could have my tablets. (Why do they make you do that? Why do they make you eat when you feel terribly sick because of pain? Piss takers.) I had no lunch, but instead, porridge. And then Ritzish crackers. Oh and Twiglets. And prunes. And my stomach is in 2 minds about whether to thank me for the last 2 ingredients.

On a final note, before I go to bed to probably not sleep very well (cheery, ain't I?) I read but don't necessarily believe horoscopes. But I liked what I read today. Somewhat poetic and entirely true, for me, I thought. And possibly for you, too. So, not really a horoscope, more general advice. And that's OK, by me at least. It said: Always look at what you have done and not at what you haven’t. Quite.

Friday 10 April 2009

Prunes, glorious prunes...

Wallace and Gromit fest on g.o.l.d. on Good Friday evening. Go On Laugh Daily? That's... such a bad name for a channel. They clearly just made it fit. And it doesn't. Like my terrible Html-menace post wordplay. Except it was more crash than play. Switched over to BBC One now for more Wallace and Gromit wonder. A Matter of Loaf and Death. Now that's wordplay! Brilliant. I'd be so delighted if Bob ever became something like that. With all copyrights still mine and all the correct legal stuff in place.......

Today was a lot like that Sunday, a few weeks ago: woke up with no pain, a few hours went by, "Ooh", I thought, "has it finally settled down? Finally??" Went to get ready, in the bathroom and... oh look, it's the floor again. We've got some rather nice floor coverings here and one has to get right down there to really appreciate them. Looking down at them will not do anymore. But no, Mirena is still having a good old dance in there or hitting nerves or y'know, somethin'. A foxtrot, I think. Definitely not a waltz. I am so utterly desperate for *thinks of doctor name. Tries to not seem like she's copying Alright Tit but makes up names for people, too* Award-winning Consultant (he is, so that fits) to help me. I know I've said that before but this is not acceptable. I don't understand how they could tell me this is OK. Meh. Rant stops here. For now...

I'm really starting to dread my hospital appointment next Wednesday. Emotionally, today I feel all right, again. Am currently watching an old Red Dwarf, after the "Brand New" one. It was disappointing. An old one has followed and is laugh-out-loud funny. Not belly-aching, but chuckle-out-loud, at least. I think I watch a lot of comedy programmes. I like documentaries and dramas (I shan't mention The Wire at this point... bugger...) but I watch comedy stuff because - duh - it makes me laugh. I'm talking about the good stuff now, not unintentionally laughable broadcasts like Hollyoaks or Eastenders. No East Londoner I know speaks like that. It's a damnable insult!

When people ask me how I am, I'm often inclined to say "I'm fine", or "Not so bad", or "Good, thanks". But that is sort of lying, isn't it... Isn't it? I'm not all right, I'm really not OK and haven't been for months, so saying I am, feels wrong. At the same time, I don't necessarily want that many people to know what's wrong (at least, to know as much as I do) or what happens to me each... I was going to put "month" but actually, it's whenever it feckin' likes.
But then, if I say, "not so bad" or, "no change", usually, the asker wants to know what's wrong, if they don't already. And if I say, "I'd rather not" or, "Ohh that's not interesting", they become offended. This is not the rule for everyone by any means. It gets annoying and boring (I'm sorry but it does) having to explain what I've had done and what it is and what it's for and how it's meant to work and why it hurts... But, I have been very fortunate to have some friends and others who have been wonderful in letting me talk to them, in detail, about what happens. They've been invaluable: Lu (no, not me) and Kaye, in particular. Effing brilliant women, they are.

There are several troubles which accompany staying at home a lot and not being able to do much, I have discovered. eBay is one such trouble. Jeans, recently discontinued Avon products that are very good indeed, belts (I'd only find any "OK" belts in my local town, not the one I'm in, and as I can't get there, eBay is the place), notVelcro, yarn, knitting needles - all of these have been terrific from there. Terrific but I sort of forget these cost money and, while I don't go insane with spending, it does add up. Have to reign in all £13.74 of it. Or whatever it was. And it's always fun to look forward to: a package or a parcel. I always thought Good Friday was a holiday but "they" keep changing things. I got another parcel today. This was good. Maybe my jeans (getting size 10 long legged jeans to fit is not easy; 30ins will not do) will get here tomorrow, Saturday. Family round on Sunday for dinner. Busy times! They won’t be on the menu. But good food will be, no doubt. Hopefully, by then, I'll feel less queasy. American but EW.

The only thing I HAVE to buy - this is my law - is the new doves album, Kingdom Of Rust.

Overall, then, less a Good Friday, more a Gut Friday. And I don't even really speak German. Well, I know "nacht gut" and "das ist nacht gut". Some was learned from my Ma from her school days and the other bits from my Manchester-based German friend, Madeleine. I shall always think of her name and remember Bagpuss and his toy friends. Sorry, M...

Thursday 9 April 2009

Walking with yo Mumma. Or something...

Ma had her first walk out of the house yesterday. We reverse our mother-child relationship roles sometimes, and yesterday was one of those occasions. It was my cousin-in-law's birthday today and she felt guilty for not having sent him a card so wanted to walk to the shops to buy one. As a normal short walk, this is fine but post-operation it would have been too much for a first walk. So, I had to tell her NO. She accepted I was right and opted, instead, for a shorter walk to the post-box, with me in tow. My thought was that I'd chaperone her but she ended up waiting for me to catch up. It was bloody painful but I am glad I went. Adventure these days is a trip to the Morrisons pharmacy to get my co-dydramol. Or out into the garden to take macro-esque photos of the plants and flowers. It was a thoroughly lovely walk, my first such outing for weeks. It was a supremely delightful Spring day, with everything one could want, walk-wise - warm Sunshine, birds singing, daffodils and tulips and forget-me-nots (a bad joke pun is so tempting at this point, but I shall refrain) bobbing their floral heads in the refreshing breeze... I fell asleep when I got back. Twice. Obviously, I had pushed myself too far, I'm clearly not cut out for such extreme sports.

Mum's now had so many flowers delivered, by hand and by post, that we've had to hunt all the so-old-they're-at-the-back-of-the-cupboard vases. Currently, from where I'm sitting, I can see only 10 of the floral gifts so far. The newest bundle of scented gorgeousness to match my Ma's utter wonderfulness was from me. Freesias. Thirty stems of them. With flowers on the top; just stems would be a bit rubbish and that would not do. They're her favourite flowers and I didn't want to order them until I saw she was OK, which was when she came home, last Thursday. When I came down this mor-... afternoon (I told you the walk done me in, like) I was so desperate to get my tablets down me, I hadn't noticed the freesias in a vase occupying the only available space for a vase. Mum had got my orange juice and cup with teabag in (no sugar, mind) ready for me, filled the kettle... Then she looked at me when I'd sat down to take my tablets. And she said "Thank-you" and that I'd made her cry. Again. I hoped she'd be pleased with them! Honestly, some people. They are stunning flowers, though. She liked my note, too, about hoping they weren't too squashed. And my hoping other things weren't too squashed...

I still wish I could do more to help her. It's strange - today has been really terrible for pain, I've had so much and more than enough and it seems the codeine can't be bothered to work anymore, likewise mefenamic acid (Ponstan). But, despite this shocking inner (seemingly) ripping-apart-of-my-womb-and-other-lady-bits feeling and all the other agonies that have gone with it today, I'm feeling about 30% better, emotionally, than I did a couple of days ago. This confuses me. Admittedly, it doesn't take much. Although, there were a few tears earlier when the kicks were a bit too much, it's been an all right day: today was Sunny; I watched Just Good Friends, again (it's really good. Shame I was too young at the time it was first broadcast to watch it); I sort of helped Mum unload the dishwasher (she, one-handed; I, leaning on said dishwasher handing her a plate at a time, sometimes two. I know! Team work. Yeah!!) and we had lovely hugs. One-sided hugs, i.e. her right side.

Oh, and Ma got another "Get Well Soon" card. Running out of space for those, too. She is AMAZING. I don't think she realises how wonderful she is, she doesn't understand how highly she is regarded by so many people. She might have a bit more faith in that fact now that she's had so many bouquets of flowers and visitors (not bouquets of visitors...), cards and calls, emails and hugs. She's wonderful. She's my Mum and I'm so proud of her for so many reasons. She's one of the most inspirational people I know: my Dad is the other one. I only hope I can, one day, be as brilliant as she is.

Wednesday 8 April 2009

The post with no name. Oh wait...

...I just want to say that I'm not always as depressing and/or depressed as the previous 2 or 3 posts may indicate. Physical discomfort and pains take their toll, and after three months of solid and mostly unforgiving jabs and kicks emanating from my uterus, I can start to crack.

That is all.

Tuesday 7 April 2009

No title? Um...

My time at home seems to be split three ways, between being asleep, being on the sofa with both legs up on a foot stool (very comfortable) and being on the floor. The long-awaited hospital appointment is next week. And I still haven't had a letter from them regarding a pelvic scan. That I've already had one at a different - and my local - hospital, surely isn't the point. Is it? I'm not particularly looking forward to it. If it's anything like the last one, I'll get no definitive answer. I'll likely be another patient, who'll be seen in another 4-6 weeks, to give it a chance to "settle down". I shall, at this point, reiterate that I am not doing this blog to complain. In this instance, however, I am. This is because the times I've been told to [sic] "give it more time" would make me rich, if only the ones saying it had given me a pound each time they said it... I'm not, because they haven't but... the point is this: Mirena is not going to settle down. These pains are not going to stop in a few weeks.

Today, I ended up on the floor (as an attractive lump of person, huffing and puffing, groaning and moaning - and really not in a good way... - on the floor, cats walking by giving me shifty "what's she doing?" looks) a total of 5 times, each for at least 2 minutes. I only got up 4 times. OK, that's not true, but the rest is. It was 5 times.
The thing is... I understand people - family, friends and indeed strangers who take time to type and send comments and I do appreciate what they say and that they've said it - saying "chin up" and encouraging me to be confident about myself and to be more positive about things... but, as far as I'm aware, they don't understand what happens to me (and indeed, other women and girls), regarding the pain. Very few people have seen how I am when the pain hits. Pain is starting to annoy me now, the word, I mean. It's just not even close to the..... ugh, "pain".

What makes me particularly angry, is that I have had no definitive answer or proper explanation for what I feel each day, period or no period.
And the kidney pains? Something to do with blood going "the wrong way", therefore causing minor blockages in the tract, therefore causing pain.

Double you tee eff? I'm not bleeding, currently, so WHAT?

I've been patronised and had doctors condescend me, ignore me when I've asked them questions, been called "darling" by one. I didn't like her. Actually, she was the one who did all the aforementioned in the first sentence of this paragraph.
Another ignored me: nice doctor at the first appointment; mean doctor at the second appointment.

Sometimes, the way some doctors speak to you is so insulting, so very offensive. They assume you have no idea what you're talking about, that when you tell them how you feel, they're just words being spoken and you're just a name on a list. You go there, go to them because you need help, sometimes desperate for even a slight improvement but often, you get nothing. It's rude, insensitive and demeaning.

I shan't accept an "urgent" appointment, because that means waiting four weeks, potentially.

I shan't accept "Leave it a bit longer" because I can't do this anymore. I shall insist on Mirena being removed, forthwith. But not there, and then, in the room, because that isn't going to happen. So, not really forthwith. But, y'know... soon.

I want to know what's going on in there. Surely - and DO please correct me if I am wrong - something must be happening which shouldn't on account of all these feelings I get. I can feel the Mirena when I move, I can feel the agony (genuinely agony, not just a dramatic word for effect, I promise you) of it pressing on something in there. I need to know what's wrong with me. Tablets and painkillers can only do so much. I don't want more painkillers, I want to know what's wrong. I don't want to take all these codeine tablets for days and months on end.
To unavoidably use that horrid cliche, "for all I know", my innards could be badly damaged already and could be getting worse. I might be wrong, I understand that but if I am, TELL ME WHAT IS WRONG because, so far, it's NOT. GOOD. ENOUGH.

*Deep breath*

I think I have mastered the prune-to-codeine ratio. I'm currently at two prunes per dose, which is, effectively, a prune per tablet. Once opened, the prunes must be eaten within seven days. And have to be refrigerated once opened. I shall try. And they are.
My Mum got two MORE lots of flowers yesterday, another one today. In all, she has received 9 lots of "get well" bundles of kindness. And a good supply of cards. Between us, we're quite useless. She can't vacuum for stretching her wound, I can't do it for the movement causes immense ARGHHH. I can sort the dishwasher, though... plates are cheap to replace, aren't they? Matalan, Sainsbury's, other places, they do cheap plain kitchenalia. That's an eBay category. Ooh, eBay...

Monday 6 April 2009

Html-menace: hell to my... lament? No, that's rubbish...

And so, I am in a mild (at times, lately, unbearable) state of depression. Many tears leaked from my eyes over the weekend just gone. I am still ever thankful for Olbas. I'm inclined to think "it" has been exacerbated by the "Mum situation". It's clearly not her fault and, therefore, I certainly don't blame her. It was obviously a shock, knowing my Mum had breast cancer, but I thought, "I can be strong, I have to do this. No tears... OK, maybe some, but not on show. Much." and it worked... for a while. Trying to fool myself into believing I'm all right and I'm not cracking again - as opposed to breaking and then falling apart, often in spectacular fashion - is harder done than said. Inevitably, this plan will not last and, when it does end and comes crashing down around me (hopefully not literally), I feel such a fool for believing myself and my feeble idea. "How did you ever think it would work? It didn't work last time, why the hell would it work now?"

This, then, makes me feel even worse. And then I need more Olbas Oil. This fooling of myself is easier, I think (I think, must mean something then, eh?) to accept than it is to forgive myself for the way I end up behaving, the way I treat those around me who know me best and who look after me when I'm on the floor, temporarily disabled by the pain caused by, say, periods or Mirena. The contempt and cruelly sarcastic comments that go their way because I abhor my (presently) uncontrollable situation are completely unacceptable. That I should behave in such a way is utterly wrong. But I still do it. I do it every time one of these "bouts" occurs. At that time, can see no way of it changing. But I'm still so angry with myself for being so stupid about "being OK" when I'm so obviously not.

"I hope you get fucking lost", "Don't. fucking. do that", and other similarly mean asides get muttered under my breath. I say them with an astonishing amount of venom. And at the time, I mean them. I'm SO angry, not with one person, but with everything. It's all wrong. It's all so dark and tearful and pointless and difficult to think and believe that it will change. Even though I've done it so many times before. But I think it's precisely because it's happened so often, that I feel such a fucking idiot.

All this, therefore, shouldn't be my main thought at this time, with Ma still recovering and doing more around the house than she should, because she's frustrated with what isn't being done because I'm not well enough to do those things. When I feel not so bad, I can do bits and pieces but compared to what needs to be done, the usual, everyday household tasks, ironing, vacuuming, dusting, etc.... I'm about as much use as knickers on an avocado.

I sit here, snapping at questions which require a simple answer. I complain about what's on telly. I bitch about the strange eyebrows on some women's faces. (I admit I have an unhealthy... not obsession but... maybe it is... they're just not that hard to get right.)
Once I think about and realise what I've said and how I've said it, I can't believe I was so nasty. How could I say that? To those people? The ones who mean more to me than anyone, the ones for whom I would do anything to help. The depression stops me being me, it takes away who I am, what I really feel and think and regard as important and possible and wonderful and aspirational... Or does it? What if this is really me, who I really am? What if, actually, I'm a spiteful, cruel-minded bitch who doesn't have pity for people who may deserve just a little...?

I (we: Ma and I) can be sure that this is "just a hiccup", "a bad patch". I've "slipped back a bit". Again. Actually, though, I'm not so sure that I have "slipped back", this time. I'm certain it's just a reaction to the current events and situations that are happening: I feel, strongly, that the last three months have been wasted. Having these feelings, the bleakness, the darkness (no, not that, please... PLEASE. NO.), the helplessness, the difficulty breathing because I'm crying so much, it's horrible, that... it's all just my brain doing what it usually does. I just wish it would do it a bit less severely, with fewer tears and less effort required from me to "get back" to where I was. But I've just said I'm not "back". So... shh. I know what I mean...

I'm fairly sure I'm not a bad person, that I feel empathy for others, that I am caring and thoughtful, and I know I'm not lazy. I'm just really, really tired sometimes. This all-over aching, although not terrible, is just another little thing to bring me down a little more. Like my upper wisdom teeth causing pain and/or discomfort and craftily hiding themselves at a jaunty angle, making cleaning them a task and a half. Like the low blood pressure: not awful, but feeling dizzy and seeing blackish fuzziness every time I get up is just bloody annoying. Lots of niggling things, on their own are not much to be bothered by but when they're all joining together, it's really bloody annoying.

And I'll tell you what else is bloody annoying: not being able to catch up with The Wire on the BBC iplayer. Something to do with buying the show but because it wasn't part made by the BBC, they can't stream it. Or something. I'm not buying it on DVD in case I don't like it. I only saw the first episode, missed the second and all others so far broadcast on BBC Two so I shan't be paying for all that swearing and naughtiness for nothing. Potentially. I'll see if I can "borrow" it from D. Hmm...

Friday 3 April 2009

Hookie Street

The scene where Del and Rodney are saying goodbye at Rodney's wedding reception is such wonderful viewing. They play it so beautifully, with such... "realness". The only unpleasant aspect of the scene is that "they" chose Simply Red and the singing fool to play in the background. Ugh. Annoyingly, though, it fits perfectly and works so well for the atmosphere. Dammit.

I always like looking at stuff (great word, stuff) on eBay. You can buy stuff (ah, word) that you like but can't find elsewhere and, sometimes, have your probable bargain within two days. You can't always be sure that what you've paid for is what you're going to get but when you do and it's better than you expected it to be, it's brilliant.
I always wear unfussy jeans, though lately, thanks to the big-but-actually-rather-small M, "comfortable jog pants", specifically, a pair of £3-from-Primark trousers. I still wonder if they're ethically made. I really hope they were: they fit beautifully... but there is a thoroughly floral adoring feminine side to me. I have again taken to buying fabric and yarn. I now have a lot of fabric and yarn. Certainly, it's more than I have room for. (Note to self: get well and move out.)
I made a bag from fabric remnants for the yarn. And now need to either make another one or buy one for the yarn that doesn't fit in the remnant bag. Knitting needles and crochet hooks were also part of the crafty purchases. Yarn and no tools is a bit useless. AND I've made things. Oh yes. So far, I have made a bag, a hat, some wrist-warmer things (2 pairs of) and a hot water bottle cover for ME. It's lovely, chunky-knitted (chunkily-knitted?), blue with claret crocheting round the edges to join it together. And presently, it's exactly what I need, as I use it everyday. Although, being acrylic, it's bobbling. Never mind. It only stays under my cardigan (...I'm actually not old, I really am 27...) soothing (or slightly burning. Oops.) my belly ahh...

I'd love to be able to look after my Mum a bit better than I am. My Dad has been home from work for a few days so he's been helping with tasks neither Ma nor I can do, on account of our varying (in)capabilities. There was a charming moment earlier in the evening when I washed Mum's hair; because of her surgery, leaning forward and moving her arm causes her pain and discomfort, so there was no question as to her doing it herself and even less that I'd do it for her. We were giggling and chatting about how she used to wash her Mum's hair (Mum is/was a hairdresser) and how my equally wonderful Nan used to chuckle when the spray of water got the back of her head. My Mum did exactly the same and it was one of those "oh d'you remember that?" moments. The same happened with my Dad a few weeks ago in one of our local charity shops. We were looking at the crockery and noticed a "nice" small plate. On the back was a stamp, "FOREIGN". We said, at the same time, "Depends where you are" and each promptly let out a rather loud guffaw, breaking the silence of the shop. It was nothing short of delightful.

Despite all these really rather terrible pains I experience, with or without Mirena slowing me down or completely stopping me from carrying out "normal" activities, I shall have those special father-daughter and mother-daughter moments. These times make us all giggle and appreciate that, despite the obvious family connection (it really is obvious, I'm SO much like each of my Nans, in different ways). We are such good friends, my Ma, Pa, brother J and me, all together and to each other. My parents are my best friends, because they know me better than I know myself, sometimes. That can be good and bad. But right now, knowing what's happened this week to my Mum, it can surely only be a good thing.

*Later that day...*

Whaddya know?? A lot? You brainy rascal, you... don't brag. But yes, back to me...

D IS a darling, after all! I knew it.

My Mum is now home from hospital. This is very good. I said to her, via text, "I'm trying to make the front room less Lucyfied, more Mummyfied". I laugh at my jokes. Didn't have any spray-on cobwebs, so she had to make do with a tidy(er) room and a cup of my fabulous tea. Her tea. But I made it... and she had yet more beautiful flowers of which to sniff the whiff and admire when she got home, and surely more to come from the people who will no doubt visit. Calls, texts, cards, flowers... she's a wonderful lady, is my Ma.

So... all is OK with D, it seems... I'm getting tired, may have to eat more tablets... but might just go to sleep in my lovely hot bed with blankets, comfort and telly... and mp3 player... and maybe a heavy cat sleeping on my leg(s) for good measure. G'night JohnBoy...

Thursday 2 April 2009

The morning after the night before.

I was talking to D on Skype last night and I hung up. I ALWAYS want to talk to him, he's nothing short of lovely. Seriously. He can even talk about periods. I know! That's amazing. It is.
My Mum was meant to be in to and out of hospital yesterday, but as sod's law inevitably dictated, she didn't go down to theatre until about 4:30pm and stayed in there for about 2 1/2 hours, which meant there was no way she'd be home last night. I hadn't really cried about the cancer situation, a few sneaky tears but nothing to speak of. Actually, that's a lie, I had spoken of them: I'd mentioned them to Ma. But last night was proper sobbing, silently, on my own, in the front room, seconds after I closed my laptop only 2 minutes or so into the much-anticipated Skype-with-D session. A webcam image of me would've been enough to give even the hardiest of horror film fanatics nightmares so I certainly wasn't going to show him my face.

I told him, via text and facebook message, that I was sorry. I'm so worried he won't talk to me now. I almost want to say "Welcome to My World. So, D, this is me. Great eh? What have you let yourself in for?" and I may well do that.
Three months of feeling horrid, every day, AND the depression which cruelly lurks in the shadows AND the diagnosis of breast cancer for my Mum AND the relief of it being (hopefully) all taken away and her being OK made for a pretty hefty sobbing session. Thank the makers of Olbas oil and Breathe Easy nose strips, is what I say. And cushions. And BBC News on Freeview.

I got my first comment from someone, as Anonymous. It was a thing of loveliness; support and encouragement from a stranger from I don't know where. Thank-you so much person, your words do help, truly they do.

And so, the next day, i.e. now, I feel so much better. I feel like a fraud, though. Last night's tears and sorrow, it was all real and I felt I could see no improvement, and that it was all just. too. much. to cope with. But now... doesn't feel so bad. Still not great but not as utterly desperate for comfort and reassurance as I was last night. I still feel very bad about the D-on-Skype "incident" but... I suppose I shall have to wait to see if he still talks to me. GOD, I hope so much he does. He's a darling.