Tag Archives: Multiple Myeloma

Sausage Hands

My neutrophils are none existent as an unexpected result of the methotrexate.  I’ll keep this short, what do you mean thank goodness – as it’s really hard to type with these sore sausages that have temporarily taken the place of my fingers.  I still have my own skin but someone about five times bigger is borrowing it.  They’re not as sore as yesterday and some movement is easier but I can’t knit, if I felt compelled and B is having to help me in the shower.

I’m still in infectious diseases with a fridge which is good but would be a whole lot better if I could actually drink a whole bunch of COLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLD stuff.   After discussion of a morphine syringe driver yesterday one was prescribed – well a syringe driver that is but it was for anti-sickness only and I’ve never complained of it.  I can only think one/more of the nurses had said this but I’m not sick it’s just that if I attempt to drink something and my throat doesn’t like it I start to choke but just that bit comes back along my maybe some thick gloopy drool – just like at night.  A doc had prescribed the morphine driver on Monday (when I mostly slept) and then yesterday another one said that I’d not really made use of the meds on offer (may be because I’d slept) and I should give them a go and see how it went.  So I did and by the end of the day I managed a yoghurt, my tablets in mostly soluble form and even a little fizzy drink – very little and not without reaction.  I tried again today but the thing is that despite asking yesterday I had five mouthfuls of good stuff out of a possible seven and today seven out of a possible eleven and although I started off well, with an ice lolly for breakfast I found my nice slimy tinned peaches for supper were too rough – so next to nothing is getting down.  Needless to say I think I may be better off with the syringe driver for a bit.

One of the kidney docs called round this morning took one look at me and offered help with dialysis.  It took place within the hour and then he came back later and said due to the risk of infection I could have a couple of days off anyway.

And I’m so  parched I’m sure I could watch a Titanic documentary and think as they hit the sea ‘the jammy so and sos all that cold cold water and ice!’

Back in The Royal

Temp went up yesterday. Came in today at two, very quickly through A&E after B phoned the blood ward and they found me an isolation room on another ward.

Feel decidedly ropy but better than last night however throat and upper digestive tract really painful.   Discussed pain relief with both blood docs including the registrar when she called in again on her way home.

One of the ward nurses called in about 9.15 to say the were just short of on antibiotic and I asked about pain relief and she said paracetamol tablets to which I replied there was no way I could swallow them.  She then offered me soluble which makes me barf at the best of times.  After I said no again she said she’d look into it!  Fortunately a much more agreeable lovely nurse just did the medicines round and she’s hooked me up to one, given me a liquid other (that I can have every few hours to get on top of it) and gone to get me very small tablets of a third.  You never know I may even stop drooling on the pillow when I sleep.  I have been prescribed others as well but they are big tablets so might be a bit adventurous.

I also have a skin reaction that the registrar likened to psoriasis.  It’s quite sore on my hands/wrists but also visible on my face, shoulders and round my armpits – it started there last Thursday and my deodorant had done this one before after chemotherapy but not as much as this – especially when I stopped using it.  When it was being discussed with the two docs B started prodding his finger up my short jim jam top sleeve in a completely inept, clumsy and totally unprovocative manner!

The room I’m in on the Infectious Diseases ward is very nice and has its own ensuite shower room however the lovely nurse is moving me later as its a negative pressure room and is not the best room they have since my blood tests have shown I’m neutropenic.

And B got carried away with the phone before we left home, after ringing the blood ward he phoned Auntie Ann to let her know what was happening and she turned up at the ward just minutes after us.  She didn’t tell him she was coming and to be truthful I wouldn’t have phoned her until later as she was supposed to be going to the Magic Rugby League Weekend at Old Trafford, Manchester to watch her team  the Saints play their local rivals, wigan warriors (I daren’t use initial caps just in case she ever saw) and the phoned the friends she was going with and came to see me instead!

Trip Tips & Treatment

When holidaying you always need certain things to ensure a good trip –

Food – Let’s say it’s a good job there’s a Chinese takeaway opposite along with a pie shop and visitors willing to bring sandwiches and other stuff in.

Accommodation – It’s a bit dated but functional.  A replacement has been approved but has been on and off more times than a er, [insert own suitable phrase here as the only one I can think of is slightly rude and thinking about it is actually the finishing line to ‘up and down more times than a’]

Location – Very good.  If I could get out its within walking distance of the city centre with its wide range of shops, eating places and if the urge grabs you museums and other tourist attractions – like the yarn/fabric/craft shop nearby.

View – Well, whatcha think?

I think it’s pretty good and includes two cathedrals and on a clear day, like now but you also need a good camera, the Welsh Hills.  If there’s a really, really big boat on the River Mersey that can be seen too.  I have to admit without that point of reference I’m be hard pressed to correctly identify the river itself – I mean I can get close but certainly wouldn’t bet my life on it or even money for that matter.

Now that picture is quite deceptive because the glass is coated with a film which reduces glare and at this moment through the little gap of one of the open windows the sun is dazzling off Paddy’s Wigwam ie, the Catholic Cathedral – I think you should be able to pick that one out yourself – and to the left of the clock tower is the Anglican one.

Internet – Let’s not dwell on this.  I was so desperate the other day I even tried the one provided free and remembered why I don’t use it but my own has been so intermittent anyone close enough to hear me mutter would have been forgiven for thinking my mobile broadband provider was ‘For &*^£’s sake’.  However I may be discharged today so although our home one isn’t super fast, or super reliable come to that, it is somewhat better.

And then there are decisions to be made every day, some important, some not so important, some difficult, some not so difficult ie,

What to eat – Well in light of my comments on food above the hardest one in respect of eating anything off the menu is whether I want porridge or cereal for my breakfast.

What to wear – Obviously jim jams in some way, shape or form.  Although the tripper in the next bed who went home yesterday, on a similar basis to me today, we’re less likely to catch a bug at home, got dressed after her morning shower!!!!!!  It’s the first time I’ve encountered this personally and found it quite odd – basically because I don’t even need a weak reason to stay in my PJs and being on holiday is a really, really GOOD one.

However jim jams are not without their own complications.  Somehow by the time I’ve been in more than a week (sometimes sooner) I seem to have acquired a collection of items that aren’t necessarily the ones I wear most often at home (even though I’m pretty sure they’ve been washed) and items that don’t go together.  As we found out yesterday that I could probably go home today B just brought me one pair for today but last night (because I do change them before going to bed as well as after a shower) I ended up wearing a pair of red polka dot pants and pale denimy blue top!  I know not ideal but not too bad I mean I have stopped receiving actual T-shirts.  Ah yes I remember (not fondly) the purple check pants and pale green T-shirt ensemble.  Speaking of pants they are a whole other matter themselves.  We all, well I’m pretty sure all, have our own favourite (or worn more often) knickers or underpants and these quite often are not necessarily items you would want to be found wearing should you get knocked down by a bus.   On Tuesday I was due to have, and did, an intrathecal (into the spinal fluid) chemo injection and was selecting my garments to take into the shower in the morning when I realised that the knickers I’d picked although being peachy and complementing the jim jams nicely weren’t of a ‘hit by a bus calibre’.  This left me with a bit of a quandary – I did have other knickers to choose from and in the end plumbed for a pair that  though they practically guarantee an invisible panty line aren’t a pair I usually voluntarily wear for lounging but it was either those, which are extremely respectable both in style and condition, or a pair with smiling or surprised looking pineapples and lemons on them along with ‘Fruit Salad’ print – just in case you were unsure about the fruit.  And then I had the same dilemma yesterday when I had a bone marrow biopsy.  … sorry I just had to double check today’s as there’s another intrathecal injection later – it’s okay they are fine – I had indeed chosen appropriately.

Treatments – Now there isn’t a huge globbit of information available on treatment regimes for myeloma cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).  The figures say it happens in about 1% of cases but our consultant thinks that figure is on the high side or they would see more here.  Denise, very kindly, provided details of the chemotherapy drugs used there – currently thiotepa and previously depocyte and after that my injections are methotrexate!  It’s basically because we’ve gone for chemotherapy and radiotherapy but let me explain – last Friday our consultant was thinking depocyte and then we said thiotepa which is a drug he has heard of but never used personally.  Then on Monday when I saw the oncologist over radiotherapy, just on my arm I thought, she discussed radiotherapy on my skull and spinal cord too if I wanted a more effective treatment.  Our doctor had looked at this option over the weekend and found studies on 100 patients which showed it in a quite positive light.  However he said that with this complication he would never come across the ideal clinical data whereby 50% of patients were given one treatment, say radiotherapy, and 50% another, say chemotherapy as the numbers of patients just didn’t exist – or I thought ‘not at the same time’!  He was going to review the information the oncologist would provide later on Monday and let us know his thoughts – which were that the radiotherapy looked at good option but along with chemotherapy.  However I couldn’t have both at the same time – the oncologist had said to me that would be too toxic.  The need to get some injections in before starting the radiotherapy influenced the choice of medication.  The oncologist advised against depocyte as it remained in the system too long – one of the things the consultant liked as it would mean less injections, thiotepa although still being looked at and certainly not ruled out, was not readily available and indeed, if I remember rightly, not in the hospital, plus with not being familiar territory was a bit of an unknown with regard to side effects – particularly with having it before another type of treatment too,  and so methotrexate was picked.  It was here, I could have the first one on Tuesday, and it was reasonably familiar – not to me like I’d never heard of it, mind I’d never heard of depocyte or thiotepa Denise told me about them last week.

Speaking of Denise, if you’ve not seen it you need to go look at her comment on ‘B didn’t waste time’ from earlier this week – 22 May.  B was left unsupervised, by me that is, in Day Care on Wednesday as he waited for me to get back from Clatterbridge and collared the passing pharmacist to ask about thiotepa, a supplement very kindly given to me by Janice (as the doc wanted to ensure it wouldn’t cause an issue with either any meds or my kidneys) and pigeons.  I said to the doctor yesterday that if B happened upon him in the corridor he shouldn’t be surprised to find he was being asked about pigeons too.  I explained why and he laughed and replied ‘I think we can safely say I’m not going to find a research paper on that’.

I have no idea what to title this one

I had been planning on my newest post being titled ‘You’ve got to be codding’ – codding being a word interchangeable with kidding and in this instance relating to a cod liver oil capsule that was taped to the back of my head during the recent MRI.  I don’t know who was more surprised – me on removing the tape and finding the capsule or the radiologist on me handing her the tape and her finding the large quantity of very short hair attached the tape.  However in light of the way today’s gone this isn’t the post I anticipated.

Today, and from yesterday afternoon really after getting a bag of blood in the early hours of the morning, I’ve felt so much better in myself.  I haven’t felt bad, bad but tired and certainly fuzzy round the edges.  In fact I think it was Tuesday I had the blood because thinking about it that was the morning I had the MRI scans, heart ultrasound and lung function test then a bag of platelets and lumbar puncture in the afternoon – I guess I shouldn’t have been as surprised as I was when B looked at me incredulously when I said I couldn’t remember exactly how I’d got the big bruise on my right thigh – when he said Bud had done it it all came back to me but initially I could only recall I’d had some sort of mishap and absolutely none of the details.

Now let’s not get too excited about the apparent wellness I feel.  Although obviously while feeling well is a good thing it may be slightly trumped by actually being well.

I’ve had various medications stopped or changed to reduce the risk of seizures and indeed haven’t had any more.  I’ve had new potassium and magnesium meds as these levels were a tad low.  As of yesterday the results of the MRI on my head looked fine, the one on my shoulder showed myeloma lesions but needed comparing to a previous skeletal survey to see if any were new.  Initial results of the lumbar puncture didn’t show anything immediately obvious.  There was a slight increase in lymphocytes (one of the defensive cells) – normal levels are 5, mine were 14.  If they had been in the 100s some sort of blind treatment would have been required and if they’d been 4 or 6 they could have been left but 14 probably needed something doing but were of a level that could be investigated further to establish the correct something.

This morning the Ward Sister/Manager stopped by (well actually she was seeing to our room today so she’d already been by a good few times) to say that one of the docs had come out of the morning meeting to say that Prof or the other myeloma doc would be speaking to me and I may want a family member with me.  Sister had no idea of the exact topic of the discussion as she wasn’t in the meeting as she was tending to the ward today.  I said there was no point me even ringing B as he’d be in bed and the phone wouldn’t wake him so she said if I wanted she’d be there – I said yes.  I wasn’t ringing Auntie Ann as she isn’t even actually visiting today as it’s her last day in work – she’s retiring.  There’s a lunch out and maybe something after work so although I know she would have wanted me to I wasn’t messing that up.

I had time to google things like ‘myeloma lumbar puncture’ and ‘myeloma spinal fluid’ before Prof took a seat in my comfy chair while Sister, a Registrar and another doc, who I have to admit I’m not sure is yet a Registrar or not but who I like very much, took positions at the bottom of the bed.

Basically the lumbar puncture showed plasma (myeloma) cells and some of the damage to the shoulder would appear fresh.  In view of this despite the DT-PACE, and the seemingly shorter and shorter remissions between treatments,  Prof felt that he couldn’t justify the resultant loss in quality of life against possible benefit a donor transplant would provide – I think I have that correct.  I’m not going to kark it immediately but, baring a miracle, we’re not talking years and years but for the first time EVER the ‘how long?’ question was on the tip of my tongue.  No treatment specifics have been tabled but I said what I’ve now said three times I think, last November, on the decision to go ahead with a donor transplant and today, I’m not afraid of dying but I am of… ‘not trying’ Prof finished off.  I’ve never said this to him directly so it looks like they talk to each other.

The only immediate question I thought of was in view of the fuzziness I’d experienced and so I asked about ‘mental deterioration’ – I don’t know how come I was so formal – but was relieved to hear that wouldn’t be an issue.  Thinking about it and especially considering he said they were always very upfront with me that wasn’t necessarily a compliment!

Sister sat with me after the docs had gone, rubbed my leg and said if I wanted anything she was on a long day.  I asked later if one of the docs could go through it with B when he got here because there was no way I wanted to be the one to tell him.  That of course didn’t pan out because I couldn’t say everything was fine when he phoned after he got up but one of the docs is going to come chat to us when B gets here and answer the questions I have by now.

B’s just got here (well nearly an hour ago now) and is not thrilled that he won’t be getting to see Prof or the other myeloma consultant this afternoon but I’d just asked Sister if we could see the other consultant tomorrow anyway and B chipped in that he’d like to see the Myeloma Nurse too.  Sister’s just come back to say they’ll both call round two thirty tomorrow.

There’s not exactly a set treatment plan in this instance as it is a rare complication of myeloma, which I’d managed to work out for myself before I knew what it definitely was.  When I asked Prof about this, and he’s not exactly a spring chicken (I am in no way saying he’s old just experienced), he said that with me the total number of patients he’d dealt with personally with this complication was now 2 – I resisted the urge to ask what had happened to number 1.

It wasn’t the geriatrics that needed the ambulance

Guess where I am.  Thinking about it that’s not difficult enough, heck its not difficult at all – chances are if I’m on a short break I’ll be in The Royal – so have an attempt at what brought me here, other than an ambulance.  It didn’t even have sirens on and indeed had blacked out windows on the sides rather than no windows.  I’m pretty confident that you won’t guess – as I never would myself.

Yesterday I went to Willowbrook Hospice to the crafting with geriatrics day, I mean Day Therapy.  There were a couple of really old dears there one was 94 this July but they were a hoot and really nice respectively.  Willowbrook is aimed at people with cancer and other life limiting illnesses and I think one of the other ladies had had a stroke.

I’d felt tired but not majoraly different from the usual lethargy associated with being anemic – it turned out I was just 0.3 from target at which a transfusion is given – but otherwise okay.  I crafted when I got there and then sat in on the discussion ‘Anxiety Management’.  I didn’t know whether I would learn anything but thought I’d give it a go so I’d know whether I wanted to sit in on any others.  We then had lunch – a gorgeous tomato soup, cottage pie (which I managed to keep down despite throwing up the last two I’d made at home) and eve’s pudding – there was even red, white or rose wine on offer – I had orange juice I’ll have you know! The last activity, or should that be planned activity, was a relaxation.  None of the activities are compulsory and some attendees went back to the craft room.

I made myself comfy in a recliner with a bean bag type neck pillow and a triangular cushion under my arns – because this is how they support them.  After some muscle tensing and releasing we started a meditation, I guess.  The lady holding the relaxation told us to imagine a luxury resort with a fantastic room, a pool and… well that’s all I remember the next thing I knew I was sitting in the chair minus the cushions and a lady, who turned out to be a doctor, was testing my reflexes and asking me stuff accompanied by a nurse.  She then said I’d had a turn and I noticed the portable dividing screen behind them.

As I was capable of walking I got to go and sit at the dining table and people asked me if I was feeling okay.  ‘Yes’ I answered thinking ‘Of course, I’m fine’.  It was home time now and B was collecting me.  I rang him and asked him to come in – fortunately he had his phone on which isn’t usual.  I can’t know remember if I’d been told to get him inside or just did it.

One of the nurses took me into a side room and I asked what had happened.  She said I’d had a seizure!  I have absolutely no recollection at all.  Now if I remember rightly they’d phoned the haematology team and subsequently an ambulance to take me to The Royal.  As I wasn’t an emergency and they had these to deal with first they’d get to us as soon as they could.  Bearing in mind my ‘turn’ was done by 2.30 pm -ish we were still ambulance-less by about seven.  One of the volunteers, who’d stayed behind, chased it up again.  Meanwhile both my Auntie Ann and friend Chris were heading to The Royal.  Chris after tea but Auntie Ann straight from work.  I left a message and sent a text and she decided to come to Willowbrook instead or rather as well since she was at The Royal car park when she got it.  I’d been given some sandwiches and mini cakes…

and B had been home and then called back ready for work and had half my tuna sandwich and a piece of cake before going back home and taking Bud out for a walk – it seemed the better option

The ambulance turned up eventually and it wasn’t even one of the regular emergency vehicles, it was a converted (properly) minibus with blacked out windows.  I realised about the windows as I waved to Auntie Ann as we went past and then the penny dropped that she couldn’t see me.

We arrived at The Royal and Chris was waiting outside.  We got shown into a four bed room in the Acute Medical Assessment Unit and I got to keep the blanket I’d been given in the ambulance which although proclaiming to belong to ‘Dewsbury & District Hospitals’ was, I mean is – as I still have it, lovely and soft.  One of the paramedics said it reminded her of a baby blanket.

B had been panicking about my peritoneal dialysis fluid exchange as I should have done it by three and when I got to the assessment unit and asked the nurse said she wanted to speak to the renal docs before I did it – if that was okay.  I’d spoke to one of the PD nurses and he’d left a gift package for me that needed collecting from their unit.

I slept really well, or so I thought.  I woke up about five for a wee and found I had a bandaged cannula in the back of my right hand with an IV attached to it.  The nurse disconnected and I said that I didn’t even remember having the cannula put in.  She said I wouldn’t they’d given me something to ‘calm me down’.  Now it was early and I was more than half asleep so I basically went back to sleep.  When I woke up properly I thought ‘calm me down?’  Well I figured if I’d been with it enough to make a decision I must have said okay so there was no point fretting and if it wasn’t possible to consult me then…! Well there was no point fretting over that either really.

Just after nine a face I recognised appeared round the edge of the curtain next door – it was one of the blood doctors.  He asked me what I’d been told to which I responded nothing.  Apparently I’d had another seizure (sounds a bit more medical than fit) in the night.  As it turned out I had the neighbouring young lady who was staying with her grandmother to thank for alerting the staff.

I had a CT scan on my head yesterday which showed no evidence of a bleed or an infection – and am booked in for an MRI anyway which will now be brought forward.  Some of the medications I take can cause seizures but I’ve been taking them for long enough that this side effect should have happened by now.

I feel generally alright – if tired but then again I am anemic so that could be the result of some of the tiredness.  Last night I could feel myself nodding off at half nine and was going to do my PD exchange at ten.  So I put the alarm on my phone just in case.  I woke up at 4.15am and possibly only then because I needed a big wee.

Tonight I’ll be telling the night staff to wake me at ten as well since last night not only did I sleep through the alarm but also through B ringing me at 11.30.  I wouldn’t have minded if I’d been in a proper sleeping position but I was still sitting up in bed with the bedside table across the bed and yet had managed to get nearly seven hours.

The IV I had in the early hours of Friday morning was an anti-epilepsy medication which I’m not on in liquid form.  You know we had a little Pomeranian that developed epilepsy as he got older but if everybody’s fits are the same at least I now know Whisky wouldn’t have had any recollection of them at all.  I once fainted and remember the world ‘closing in’ but there was none of that with these (well one at least I was asleep for the other) and if I hadn’t been told I would be none the wiser.  B suggested it was going Crafting with Geriatrics that had caused it while I said it was just as well I had as I was certainly in the right place.  I mean what would have happened if I’d been at home.

Needless to say I get to stay in (in my own little room at the moment with an ensuite toilet) while a source  for the seizures is found.  B’s been to the wool shop today and got me some exciting new yarn to bring in – it’s alright don’t panic I do have some crocheting with me – I took it to the Therapy Day!

Tightening your tush!

My back pain and I reached an amicable understanding recently. I’d give it copious amounts of paracetamol and Tramadol along with not doing anything to knowingly upset it and it would, for quite large areas of time, generally leave me alone. Of course spending nearly two weeks on holiday in the Royal made it easier for me to uphold my side of the bargain as there’s not really much I can get up to in hospital that would cause it to complain – as long as I take the painkillers that is. I tried to reduce them during my stay in February and ended up aching.

Its surprising how quickly you can get use to being ‘comfortable’ and how quickly you take it for granted and how you only realise this when you do something to contravene the peace treaty and give the back pain cause to complain. In this particular instance I did something that I didn’t even consider would result in a protest – I decided I wanted a tighter tush.

When I wash my hands before doing the peritoneal dialysis (PD) fluid exchange I need to count to 10 or 20 while doing various things. On Saturday I thought I could take advantage of this to do some leg raises or even squats (the leg raises won out). Its not like they result in a big movement – standing on one leg and lifting the other backwards and doing the same thing with the leg bent – but do allegedly result in a shapely behind. I figured three or four times a day and in no time I’d have a behind that I’d be quite happy to have out in front.  Yet this little bit of leg lifting has upset my back pain and I may have made it a tad worse yesterday when I decided that my sewing room needed to look more like a sewing room again than a PD room.

When the initial supplies arrived I stored away from sight as much as was convenient. I realised it wouldn’t be practical to hide absolutely everything and couldn’t decide what to do with the bags of fluid. I tried putting them in one of the plastic ‘drawers’ but it turned out that Arnold Schwarzenegger would have had trouble getting it out, so I thought I’d see how it went with them. By Sunday this is how it was going…

I felt I needed to tidy it up. So following a slight rearrangement of the wardrobe in that room to make space for a box of fluid it looked like this…

Better – well I think so. Now I just need to have a proper sort out of the wardrobe and the rest of the stuff stored in the room probably as I didn’t so much find a space to put one of the boxes in as make a space by moving other stuff around ie, bunging it in the glory-hole and find some sort of attractive receptacle to put my BRIGHT YELLOW waste bag in.

So after this little bit of tidying yesterday and getting tea (I mean cooking spaghetti and warming up some pre-made frozen sauce) I felt like a nap but broke one of my cardinal rules – if you feel like a sleep have one – or you’ll feel worse later. As a result of no kipping I felt quite tired today. I mean I know that I tire easily at the minute but still I didn’t take a little nappy-poo – the next PD exchange was due in half an hour so after that I thought, then B went to work and Bud wouldn’t settle possibly after having B off last week so I entertained him, a friend phoned and it was time to do another exchange before bed.

It was so nice having B at home last week so much so that when he was going to work tonight I suggested he should take his redundancy and stay home with me or rather us. The first week I was in the Royal B’s company announced that the depot would be closing by the end of the year and three smaller transit depots would be opened – at least one being closer to home – and there may be jobs available at an existing warehouse the other side of Manchester. I’d originally told B that in my opinion he should hang in there and see if he got a job in Liverpool or Warrington and if he didn’t like it he could always take his redundancy at that point.

Tea time today I read a text from an Armchair Yoga friend about a couple who are part of the group.  Mrs found out last Wednesday that her cancer was now really serious and she had a matter of months and on Thursday Mr went and had a massive heart attack and died. Seriously – WTF!

So where I’d gone from telling B to stay at work, and not just for the money but also because I think its probably good for him to mix with people where the topic of conversation doesn’t at some point touch on myeloma or dialysis, this news made me want to be totally selfish and just spend more relaxed time together.  He responded that I should be careful what I suggested as he might just do that.

Mind you that might pan out quite well since despite not having actually worked in over 12 months I am still technically employed however I received a letter last week saying that the typists were being absorbed into other areas of the business.  As I wasn’t in on the telephone conference and haven’t received anything more personal than this letter from HR I don’t know where exactly this puts me. Although this might explain why I received a form from work a few weeks ago requesting my permission for them to obtain a medical report even though it said they usually asked for one after five months.

Crafting with geriatrics

I felt so much better on Wednesday than I had on Tuesday, so much so that I was early for an appointment – 24 hours early!

The local hospice do therapy days which a friend (with myeloma) had started attending so I got myself referred.  The appointment for the nursing assessment was one thirty so we thought we’d go there and then go straight to the Royal just for bloods and it turned out platelets.  On the way there I asked B what the date was and informed him that I thought my appointment was actually Thursday.  As we weren’t that far away we thought we’d see when we got there.  Lo and behold we were indeed early but since they’d has a no show they fit us in.

The nurse we saw showed us round and outlined the schedule and what was available as well as discussing medical history.  I’d thought I was being so smart taking a copy of my discharge medications with me – obviously it would have appeared a lot smarter if I’d got the day right.  And do you know what B said to me and then again to the nurse, that he should take over checking the appointment schedule so that we got them right – with my memory ‘issues’ I wasn’t reliable!  Needless to say the second word was off – not in front of the nurse of course, he just got a ‘look’ then.

They do crafty stuff at the therapy days and we were shown the art room.  Now you’d think that I, of all people, would have been really excited to see this and I was before I went but standing in the room I wasn’t too keen.  I’m not sure why.  I mean I’ve even considered joining a knitting club or something similar but haven’t come across anything with a suitable time.  We saw some nice painted stones, decorated glasses, jewelry boxes, mosaics and some cardboard shapes pinned to a notice board with words on them that must have been what people thought they got from being there – and it put me off.  I thought it was all a bit ‘forced’ – that’s not really the right word for the job and obviously people go there for various reasons including to feel better by doing something creative.

The nurse described it as a day to be pampered – there is a relaxation time, you can sign up for massages and other complimentary therapies, there are physios and a three course lunch with wine – not that I drink.  The nurse asked me if there was anything I did, such as hobbies, that made me feel better if I was feeling down to which I responded that I don’t really feel down.  Yes, knitting, crocheting, sewing makes me feel me but it always has and is a barometer of how I’m feeling but from a physical point of view rather than mental and is a way of life rather than a hobby.  Bud obviously makes me feel really happy. 

Basically I think the problem was that walking round there made me feel like a patient in a way that going to the hospital, doing the peritoneal dialysis or walking round with a distinct lack of hair on my head don’t – I actually kind of forget I have a limited amount of hair until I see someone look at me for a bit longer than expected.

Anyhoo, I’m giving it a whirl and will be going this coming Thursday.  B’s not too convinced either not least because when we came out of the assessment room we encountered the Wednesday group and he doesn’t think I’ll fit in too well with a bunch of octogenarians.  Now I have a lot of friends who are older than me, and love spending time with my Auntie Eleanor who is in her 80s, but the one thing they have in common is that they have a young outlook on life whereas I have to admit the group we saw on Wednesday, who appeared to have an average age of 103, didn’t look too lively.  B actually said it would suit his mother better than me!