rmc28: (glowy)
For the second time in two weeks I've spent the weekend feeling mildly ill and resting as much as possible; unfortunately this time I continued feeling ill into Monday. I'm just fine - unless you ask me to sit upright for very long, or walk anywhere. Then all ability to concentrate falls out of my head. It's just a summer cold but catching every cold going is a bad sign.
whinge )
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
After Charles spent Monday night/Tuesday morning waking me up, he continued to be fragile during Tuesday and Wednesday: very quiet and subdued most of the time, eating very little food (though drinking plenty of water), nursing hugely in the evenings, and by yesterday, running a temperature. All manageable but concerning, and by Wednesday evening my mama-sense was twanging and I insisted on him seeing a doctor yesterday. (Also we're off to see Tony's father in France on Saturday, and we're a bit sore on the subject of Charles, illness and missing holidays.)

The doctor was very good with him and after taking a history and his temperature, looked in his ear and said "yes, it's an ear infection". Apparently it's quite nasty - if it were milder, they wouldn't bother prescribing anything as there's no way of knowing if it's viral or bacterial, but as it's nasty, it's worth trying antibiotics because if it is bacterial he'll get well very quickly.

I felt justified in following my instincts (which I prefer to think of as the brain's excellent pattern-spotting acting on the vast database of Charles-observations I've accumulated in the last two years).

The antibiotic is in liquid form: bright yellow artificial-banana-flavour liquid. Charles let us dose him without too much trouble, but immediately asked for a feed ("Mummy-more NOW?"), presumably to take the vile taste away.

(New phrase yesterday: "That dunt work".)
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
I've spent a lot of the last two days in bed, or at least with my feet up. Charles, having got over last weekend's bug, promptly got whatever I had, and we've both spent a lot of time sitting around looking pale and tired. Charles has exercised his option to revert to extra breastmilk, and consequently I am simultaneously ravenous and queasy most of the time. It's almost like being pregnant, without the heartburn and being kicked in the ribs and bladder. Tony's been a bit under the weather, but as far as I can tell, less bad than me and Charles.

But we are getting better, and Charles has at least eaten some solid food today.

I felt, and Charles seemed, so much better this afternoon that I decided to give him a haircut with Jonny's trimmers. I did this in the summer and it went really well, because he watched Jonny do his own hair first. This time we didn't have that and I made the mistake of starting with a big obvious pass right down the middle of his head, and he hated it but I didn't want to leave it like that. So I insisted on finishing the job and it was all a bit of an upsetting battle. Bad decision really; I note for future reference that haircuts are a trivial reason for imposing my superior physical force, and next time he can just look silly for a bit and we'll all be much happier.

We are going to try to organise Charles getting to watch Tony's hair being cut the next couple of times that happens, so he can learn more about this whole haircutting concept.

This afternoon I finally watched the 3-part BBC series "Earth: The Climate Wars" which had been lurking on the PVR for weeks. The first episode traces the history of climate change concern from the "impending ice-age" ideas of the 1970s to today.  (One of the more interesting bits of historical footage was Margaret Thatcher giving a speech on climate change and how we were not landlords on this world, "but tenants with a repairing lease".)

The second episode was the most interesting, and dealt with the backlash of climate change skepticism, and how new data and new analyses attempted to respond to the criticism. Set among footage filmed at a climate change skeptics conference, it rather pointedly showed the difference between science "ok, that's a fair criticism, now let's find more data/re-analyse the existing data with that in mind" and dogma "your data doesn't show what we think, so it must be wrong/you must be committing fraud". One of the scientists said something along the lines that personal attacks on individual researchers means the skeptics have probably run out of attacks to make on the research itself.

Having established that the world is getting warmer and that human-released carbon-dioxide is the cause, the third episode looked at predictions of the future: how can we tell what this means for us, and how bad is it going to be?

Sadly, this series is no longer available on iPlayer, but it's already had a few repeats, and maybe it'll get released onto DVD like all the good BBC nature series.

On the climate-change theme, I'm currently about half-way through Six Degrees by Mark Lynas, which won the Royal Society Prize for Science Books this year. The "4 degrees" chapter was so scary I had to stop, and I haven't yet got up my nerve to carry on to 5 & 6 degrees. In the meantime, I've just added [livejournal.com profile] mark_lynas as a syndicated feed to LJ (and I'm quite astonished I'm the first one to do so).
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
I found my diary! WOOO! I decided to make a methodical search of the house, starting with the study (last known location) and found it tucked inside one of my lever arch files. HUGE RELIEF AND JOY.

The doctor said Charles is doing fine and that babies just sometimes take longer to get well, we need to concentrate on keeping him hydrated (we are apparently doing really well there) until he's got rid of the virus. Then we can worry about feeding him up again. I think the massive tantrum Charles was having throughout the appointment may have helped reassure the doctor that he wasn't wasting away: both the energy required and the fact he was producing copious tears.

The last three times he's been ill seem to have been triggered by overly rich food, so I am going to have to work hard on my natural impulse to share food with him, and stay firm in the face of distressed hungry toddler (or eat only plain food myself, I suppose). The last two times were in the last hour and definitely my fault :(
rmc28: (glowy)
Charles was ill late last night, so we have given up on the holiday. We are off work until Friday, so have plenty of time to see Charles get better, if Tony and I manage not to go mad in the meantime. We are trying hard not to be too grumpy but the fact remains we are quite bored, isolated and frustrated. Tony has managed to do some work from home and I've been escaping into some favourite books. My diary is still missing, which is really bugging me, but I haven't yet been able to devote enough time to an intensive search of the house.

Signals are mixed as to how Charles is doing: he is almost back to his normal self in personality, but he is also noticeably thinner, sticking-out ribs and weedy limbs. He is still sick at least twice a day. He has lost at least half a kilo (from a starting point of approx 12kg). I have never been more grateful for being able to breastfeed him, and for not making any push to stop him; at the moment I think I'm his primary source of nutrition and fluids, though we are trying to get plain food and dilute juice into him as well.

We will take him back to the doctor tomorrow.
rmc28: (glowy)
Charles was chirpy at first this morning, and then suddenly shifted into subdued mode. He hadn't actually been sick but I felt worried enough to arrange a doctor's appointment anyway. Sure enough, about 5 minutes after I put the phone down, off he went.

I am getting worried now - he should be over this norovirus by now, and I think he's losing weight, despite our best efforts to keep food and water going into him. All the NHS advice is to "trust your parental instincts"; well mine are ringing alarm bells now. I hope the doctor can help.

I'm beginning to doubt we'll ever get on this holiday now; Tony was asking about travel insurance but I'm not sure I actually care. I just want my son to be well.


2008-06-26 18:28
rmc28: (grouchy)
Until about 3pm I would have reported that we were all tired but slowly recovering. Tony and I were gingerly expanding our range of food, and re-discovering appetites, while Charles seemed better if rather quiet and subdued. I was cautiously thinking of joining the Great Party Holiday on Saturday, in time for the big Saturday-night Surprise Event.

And then Charles threw up again, completely unexpectedly. He was much perkier afterwards, at least for a while, so I suspect his earlier lassitude was down to him feeling pretty rotten.

The end-of-quarantine clock is now reset to 3ish on Saturday, which means we can't get down to the party in time for the Surprise Event, so may as well leave travelling until Sunday.

It also means he's been ill for over 72 hours so I was back on the phone to NHS Direct, who said "hmm, yes, that is a bit unusual, but if he's not showing any of [list of scary symptoms] then probably not worth seeing a doctor today. If he throws up again in the next day, you should probably get on to your surgery, or of course if he gets worse in any way."

Tony and I are both a bit grumpy: probably a mixture of mild cabin-fever, convalescence, and holiday-disappointment. Not being able to properly finish at work in preparation for leave isn't helping my mood either.

We take the 48-hour rule very seriously: it's most likely that Charles caught this bug from someone who wasn't following it, and we wouldn't wish to inflict the misery we've had on anyone else. Taking it to a large house-party (including 3 other young children) would be incredibly antisocial, no matter how grumpy and disappointed we are.

I am going to tempt fate and look up Sunday trains to Minehead. To be honest, if we can't travel on Sunday, we may have bigger things to worry about :(
rmc28: (glowy)
On the good side, I no longer think we poisoned Charles.

On the bad side, this is because we now seem to have a definite infectious cause: I started feeling ill yesterday evening and passed a most unpleasant night; meanwhile Tony had sole care of still-ill Charles for about 12 hours while I looked after myself, and then got ill today (though less severely).

I was ok from about 5am; Tony is looking better; Charles hasn't been ill since 4pm, but remains very tired. However, to observe the recommended 48-hour quarantine thoroughly stuffs up our holiday plans - the group we are going with departs from Cambridge at 10:30am on Friday, which we now can't do. I just hope it won't cost too much to catch up with them once we're out of quarantine.

Our washing machine has been working overtime. I wisely gave up on cloth nappies yesterday afternoon just to make sure we weren't adding unnecessary laundry, and am very grateful for the good line-drying weather.

Now I need to quickly skim email and then go try to catch up on some much-missed sleep.
rmc28: (glowy)
Charles developed a mild fever during Thursday night and so on Friday we kept him home and Tony worked a half-day so I could go to work. The fever responded well to infant paracetamol but he was fairly clingy and desperately thirsty much of the day and night.

We decided in the end that Tony & Louise would go to Sheffield by train, and attempt to amend the railcard tickets at the station (thanks [livejournal.com profile] lnr for that idea!). Conrad can come back on my ticket. Overall we probably won't be much out of pocket. I rang the B&B to let them know it would just be Tony, but it turned out they were full and unable to move him to a cheaper room.

This morning Charles was no longer feverish. But still very clingy and tired, so after 2 minutes consideration I decided not to pack hurriedly and go along at the last minute after all. I felt more down than I expected when we waved them off though. I was really looking forward to seeing people, and I already know Charles and I won't be at the next big Finch gathering (it clashes with the Wychwood festival).

These last two weeks I have been very glad that I can still breastfeed Charles.
rmc28: (glowy)
Charles has just been sick again. In just over 36 hours we are supposed to be going to Sheffield by train for a huge Finch family gathering at my sister-in-law Lucy's. Tony's mother Louise is arriving tomorrow and supposed to be travelling there and back with us. Tony's father Conrad is supposed to be travelling back with us (though we haven't yet bought him a ticket) and staying overnight.

If we obey the 48-hour isolation rule, we can't go by train even if he's perfectly healthy from now on, because we can't know if we would expose children, pregnant women, elderly or other immune-compromised people. We could go by car - and then only expose the rest of the family and anyone else in the restaurant, the B&B we're booked into, Lucy's housemates ...

If Charles and I stay behind there's an issue with the train tickets. They were bought with a Family Railcard and thus only valid if travelling with a child. I expect a strict interpretation of the rules says whoever goes needs to buy new valid tickets.

If Charles continues to be ill into the weekend, I am not sure of my ability to nurse him alone for ~36 hours.

Dear LJ, help me think aloud:

[Poll #1153658]

I wonder what the deadline is for cancelling the B&B room. I wonder if Louise/Conrad should stay somewhere other than here.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
Charles and I have been well since Thursday afternoon. (This 48-hour thing is very sensible - Charles twice went 36 hours between bouts before finally getting well.) Tony managed to avoid being ill altogether. Jonny succumbed Friday but I think is better now.

On Saturday we spent the afternoon with [livejournal.com profile] arnhem and L, and I was introduced to the Ukulele Orchestra DVD while Tony spent quality time with L's lego. I was meant to go out for a meal celebrating my friend's escape from ex-work but by the time I needed to leave I was far too tired so wimped out.

On Sunday we made an excellently productive shopping trip into town, for the three Finch birthdays this month and a few other errands. Sunday shopping in Cambridge is almost bearable although we did seem to keep orbiting John Lewis and the not-quite-finished Grand Arcade. Yippee on King Street is fairly child-friendly and Charles approves of noodles.

I am still falling asleep around 8-9pm most evenings (today being an obvious exception), but now mostly avoiding the midnight insomnia. I will assume I just need to sleep a lot, and try not to resent losing evenings with Tony.

Charles greeted James's return from Australia with terrified screams and a tantrum demonstration.

Our cleaner is lovely but just as we are settling into a good routine she is going to miss 4 weeks due to Easter hols and a trip home to her mother. I will try to encourage myself and the other adult residents not to let the place slip back into squalor in the meantime.
rmc28: (grouchy)
Now I'm in quarantine too. No going to work for the rest of this week (and mild guilt about going in yesterday and today - really hope no-one else gets ill).

I can't really work from home while I wait for 48 hours to pass. I can use our standard remote access to read/respond to emails, update helpdesk tickets, and access the intranet and use MS Office. But the stuff I use most is only available if I connect directly to my workstation, and the work firewall won't let me try that as I'm not using Windows.

I commend to you oj+honey with hot water as an easily-digestible yet nutritious fluid.
rmc28: (rmcf+fcdf-2)
Charles's quarantine extended to 23:50 on Thursday.

I got something like 4 hours sleep this time. Tony slept in the other room again and got more. Charles seemed happier this morning but very very unhappy about me leaving for work.

I seriously considered getting the pump out this morning so I could leave him some expressed milk, but in the end couldn't face the hassle. Plain food and water while I'm gone, I think.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
Caught up on some sleep last night. Charles woke us up this morning by quietly and contentedly chattering in a very cute way. As I was never actually ill myself, I went to work today but took a bit more care than usual over hygiene for the sake of fellow workers. Charles's quarantine from children, pregnant women, elderly, or otherwise reduced-immunity people ends at 3:30pm tomorrow, subject to no further, ah, issues.

That one night resulted in three washloads (at 60°C of course), and Charles ate almost no solids for 36 hours. I'm very grateful I'm still nursing him.

Today I managed to declutter a shelf-full of free baby clothes that has lurked in a guilt-inducing fashion in our room for months and months, and tidied up his current clothes shelf. The majority of the clothes will move on via Freecycle (whence most of them came) as an embarrassing proportion have already been outgrown. There are some nice new additions to his current and future wardrobe, and I kept back my favourites of the outgrown stuff to go in the small stock of "clothes for if we have another one".

I have removed 8 carrier bags of Stuff from the bedroom today, which feels good. Some of it is in the bin, the rest is in holding in the junk room pending charity-shop drop or freecycle.
rmc28: (rmcf+fcdf-2)
Being up all night nursing a vomiting child.

I cannot tell now whether I feel sick because I'm also ill but less badly, or because I've spent the night snatching sleep in 20-30min increments. Either way, I am enacting quarantine on the Plague Child and myself until we both seem to be better.

Tony spent the night in a different room to encourage sleep, and is probably not plagueridden, so I may let him go to work later.
rmc28: (glowy)
On Thursday I went to work and spent as much as possible of the afternoon and evening lying down or at least with my feet up - this owed a lot to Jonny and to CBeebies and to Tony being willing to cancel going to the pub and come home to look after us. On Friday Charles has swimming class in Impington. In theory I can cycle to this. In practice there was no way I was cycling, but as he had just fallen asleep when I picked him up from the childminder, I let him sleep in the buggy and went by bus rather than use James's car. He woke up just as we arrived, having had something like an hour's nap.

We just missed a bus on the way back. No problem, thought I, this is an every-10-minutes service. 15 minutes later a bus clogged with schoolchildren sailed past without stopping. 30 minutes after that, 2 buses came along leapfrogging each other. Charles had eaten all his post-swim snack and I was rapidly running out of songs to sing to keep him distracted from how bored and cold he was. At least there was a bus shelter and it had a seat.

We got home about 4:30 and I had another afternoon/evening of sitting on the sofa or lying on the bed. I fell asleep with Charles around 9:30pm and slept through until nearly 8am, with a couple of brief wakings to feed crying hungry toddler.

We have no plans this weekend so I am going to spend as much of it as possible in bed with books, in hopes that this will help my body deal with whatever tiredness/illness issues it has, and the books will distract me from the urge to get up and Do Many Things. Tony is primed for toddler-wrangling. I am unimpressed by the arrival of a small cough today, though it feeds my theory that among the stresses leading to the recent bout of migraines is the need to fight off the various bugs brought to the office by over-keen colleagues who won't take sick leave unless they are nearly dead.

In any case, I am finding my off-switch this weekend. I'm not always very good at that, and pay for it with the safety-valve alarm of migraines. 3 in a week is a Very Loud Alarm indeed.
rmc28: (grouchy)
Well, the headache passed after a while and I think what I have is a nasty cold rather than a migraine. I spent a lot of yesterday dozy and thirsty and hungry (so rested and drank and ate), and got a few bits and bobs done. By evening I really had to get a move on with preparing an application to the Societies Syndicate for grants on behalf of CUMC as the deadline for submission is today. I woke up to my responsibilities as Junior Treasurer about a week ago and thanks to our excellent Secretary and Gear Secretary I got all the figures together on Wednesday after a spurt of work on Monday and Tuesday evenings, but it took me about 3 hours to put the applications together last night. Never, ever, ever leave things to the last minute, that way you don't have to do them while ill. This morning I had arranged to meet with the Senior Treasurer, a lovely Professor in Pathology, to collect his counter-signature and then I dropped the envelope into the Old Schools. This mild exercise left me shaking and exhausted, so I returned home rather than going into work, and called in sick again.

I'm fine now, so long as I sit still, consume quantities of water and eat about every hour. Don't ask me to think about complicated things quickly.

I seem to be going through another growth spurt: last week most of my knickers stopped fitting, the week before that my swimming costume, and now all but the baggiest of my non-maternity tshirts are too snug. My weight is now around 92-93 kg, about 3 more than when I got pregnant, and up in the last couple of weeks from a long steady hover around 91kg. eBay is brilliant now I know roughly what size I am in various brands: I have managed to find a decent swimsuit, a good stockist of maternity briefs (one has a choice between pants cut to fit below the bump, or over it - in summer I think I do not need the extra layer), two pairs of maternity jeans are on their way which should bring me up to 4 decent pairs of trousers and an emergency spare, and am beginning to look for tops - they seem harder to find in bundles which is what I want for simplicity. I may post a Wanted to freecycle - bundles of maternity wear do get offered on there from time to time, but not yet in my size that I've noticed. I've got more stuff to Offer as well.

One thing I did yesterday was order a batch of reading material on childbirth from the NCT online shop. I find myself with an urge to find out as much as possible about labour, birth, waterbirths and c-sections, even though we're weeks from needing to start birth-plan discussions with the midwife. If it arrives in time, Tony can take it to Kenya to read on the plane. The plan is that by the time we get to the actual birth, Tony and I will have researched and discussed most things that could happen and worked out our contingency plans. What I want is a straightforward non-medicalised labour, but the baby or my body may not cooperate and I think its best to have plans B, C and D if necessary. Also to have someone other than me that knows them because in the worse scenarios I may literally not be able to speak for myself.

With this on my mind, I also attempted to book Tony and I into antenatal classes. The local NCT co-ordinator said they were still confirming details with the local teacher, but a course suitable for my due date should be confirmed soon, most likely in Hardwick. When I mentioned lack-of-car she said usually they manage to arrange liftshares so not to worry. She took my name, due date and mobile number and added me to her waiting list, so I hope we'll be able to get on the course.

Nothing else very interesting happened except that the co-op had a sad lack of houmous.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
Got a phone appointment with the GP who saw me last week, in order to get a sick note for at least the rest of the week. She suggested a whole week, but as I'm off for two weeks from next Friday for wedding+honeymoon, we settled on until next Wednesday, so I get Thursday to answer any really important questions. She's leaving the paperwork with the receptionists for Tony to collect.

It occurs to me (10 minutes later) that actually today until next Wednesday is a whole week. This stunning mental capability is one of the reasons I don't trust myself with work at the moment. I haven't started reading my email yet, for similar reasons. LJ is generally easier going, and I don't have to reply to anything.

When I want to work again, I'll know I'm nearly well again.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
I got let out this afternoon. Actually, I got told I could come out this morning, but it took ages for the hospital pharmacy to prepare my drugs. I dozed quite a lot of the time though, so it wasn't exactly wasted. I am now almost without pain, but easily tired and frequently sleepy. I'm going to talk to my GP tomorrow as I think I probably shouldn't go back to work until at least after the weekend, and I've now been away from work for nearly a week so need a note to do that. Tony's mother suggests even longer off, but I'll see what the GP thinks.

My ultrasound scan showed nothing wrong at all - no cysts on the ovaries, Mirena in the right place. However, pumping me full of antibiotics at regular intervals has steadily reduced the pain since I was admitted on Monday evening, to the point where I'm no longer needing any pain relief. The consultant this morning concluded that my pain was being caused by an infection not among those commonly swabbed for, and as many-antibiotics were getting me well, they should send me home with a course of many-antibiotics. At the moment they are leaving my Mirena in, and if this clears up with no further problems they will probably leave it there. The Daphne Ward should make a follow-up call in four to six weeks, so I need to keep an eye on things between now and then.

I have doxycycline to take twice a day, metronidazole to take three times a day and cefalexin to take four times a day. I can neither drink alcohol, nor spend long in the sun as a result. I am drawing little charts in my diary to tick off so as to keep track. The nurses were doing this for me through the IV while I was inside, but I definitely prefer not having a canula in my hand, despite the extra tracking effort on my part. The antibiotics were cold going in ...

So, my diagnosis is "?subacute pelvic inflammatory disease", with advice to go back if it starts hurting again. We found a leaflet on pelvic inflammatory disease, which turns out to mean "infection that causes inflammation in the pelvic area". Among other things it does advise that sexual partners get checked out too - which I guess is obvious once you think about it. Due to a cancellation Tony was able to get an appointment at Clinic 1A today and as a precaution, they've given him a course of antibiotics too (if not as many as me), so we can rattle together.
rmc28: (BRAINS)
[livejournal.com profile] fanf writing:

Earlier today Rachel phoned to find out when her scan would be and was rather upset to hear that it wouldn't be until Friday. She was in too much pain to wait that long (she said similar in level to Friday, before it really flared up), so tried to get it expedited. When she phoned the Daphne ward again they said she should come in.

So, trek to Addies, more recitals of the medical history (to nurse and doctor), and another unpleasant examination (fortunately not so bad as Saturday's) with the conclusion that she needed even stronger antibiotics delivered intravenously. She will stay in hospital overnight, and they should be able to do the scan tomorrow - much better than Friday! After they stuck a cannula in her hand and pumped her full of drugs, she was put on a saline drip and rolled in a chair to ward D6.

I then went home to pick up an overnight bag for her. When I got back she was sitting up fiddling with the entertainment console, complaining of boredom and feeling better already. With any luck the infection will be dealt with properly this time, and we hope they won't have to remove the Mirena (which, being a foreign body in the uterus, can make this kind of infection worse).

Tomorrow is Rachel's birthday, so I will be taking a cake with me when I go to see her.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
NHS Direct told me to ring my GP and/or their emergency cover service. My GP's number got picked up by CamDoc, where a nice nurse took my story and got a doctor to ring back. The doctor rang back some time later, and told me to come in to the Chesterton Medical Centre, and was deeply unsympathetic to the suggestion that this might be difficult as I could barely walk. As it seemed I'd get seen by a medical professional sooner if I got myself there, I sighed and asked Amy to drive Tony and I there. Not fun. The Medical Centre has a huge waiting room full of people staring at me as I failed to manage sitting on a chair and settled for sprawling across the floor. Which was hard.

Eventually I was called. The doctor had a student doctor in tow, who led the consultation with him hovering. She was pretty good and I was beyond caring very much at that point. I ran through the medical history for them, including how much I didn't want another examination, and they checked my temperature to discover I had a fever. Which was interesting as I hadn't had one on Thursday. They suspected salpingitis (inflammation of the fallopian tubes) caused by an infection, which was also causing the fever. The senior doctor said that the swabs taken on Thursday might not show up some infections for a couple of days, i.e. right about then. He then rather apologetically said that they really did need to examine me to be sure.

So I let them. It was awful. They had to move my cervix to confirm that it was my reproductive system that was hurting. I gave them confirmation. Thankfully Tony was very nearby and came to hold me the moment they had finished.

This done, they prescribed me extra-strong antibiotics, at three pills per day, and I was instructed to take three pills over the remainder of the day, to hit whatever the infection was as hard as possible. This should reduce the pain, but if there was no improvement in 18 hours, I was to call the emergency line again. Tony called Amy who fetched us home, settled me in bed and went off to fill the prescription and generally looked after me all evening, during which time I did start to improve a bit. This morning I was very definitely much better, in that the painkillers are keeping the pain bearable and I can move around and sit upright relatively easy.

I can definitely manage until tomorrow like this, and tomorrow is when I was told to call the Daphne Ward back about the ultrasound. I still want that, because I want to be absolutely sure what is going on, and fix it, before I go back to work.
rmc28: (grouchy)
Last night it all got a bit much and with Tony's help I rang NHS Direct to ask about the safety of taking my paracetamol+codeine pills rather than just paracetamol, on top of the diclofenac. I also rang home, but mum was out, so I rang his mum instead, who calmed me down - hurrah for second mothers. She also urged me to get more pushy with the doctors if I didn't improve. My own mother said the same thing this morning, so I'm currently waiting for an NHS Direct nurse to ring me back (calling the Daphne ward directly didn't get an answer).

I hate hate hate the recorded message that says they are facing exceptional demand and to hold the line if my call is urgent, or call back later. It takes both my mothers' voices in my head to keep me telliing myself that taking three different painkillers and still hurting too much to sit upright counts as "urgent".

Both mothers have told me to consider going private. I don't want to be someone who uses money to jump the queue, but it's amazing how that objection starts melting away in the face of everything hurting.

Yes, I'm whining. When I have something good to talk about, I will.

Well, I am reading some good books: Jenny Crusie writes very good romantic comedy, which is helping to keep me sane, and a whole stack of Diane Duane books arrived yesterday for me from Canada when I finish those. Hurrah for Abebooks.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
Painkillers seem to be doing a reasonable job. I had no difficulty walking the length of Richmond Road to catch the bus into town for the migraine follow-up appointment, but was glad that was as far as I had to go. The appointment was very simple and routine - my doc made the necessary prescription, ran through the COLMC recommendations with me and suggested the quickest way for me to see a physio was to go to a self-help group based at the Buchan St Neighbourhood Centre, somewhere off King's Hedges Road. I caught the bus back to Richmond Road and was home again soon after 9am. The walk back from the bus stop became gradually less comfortable, so I'm not likely to go far today unless I have to.

I rang into work to let them know I'd work at home and I might be called back into the hospital for a scan. About twenty minutes after that, Dr Li, the nice ob/gyn from yesterday, rang me. All my swabs and blood samples have come back clear and there is no need for antibiotics. She's sent a request form to the radiology department and how long it takes me to get a scan depends on their prioritisation and other requests coming in. She suspects probably not today, but she'll ring me if so. I should probably ring the ward on Monday if I haven't heard anything, but it's likely to be sometime Monday-Wednesday next week.

I've worked out that the Citi 7 bus goes from opposite the Iceland/Aldi, all of three minutes walk away, to the stop opposite the main entrance to the Rosie. This is probably about as easy a journey as I can manage on public transport, and runs from before 7am to after 10pm. If I don't get a scan until next week and I'm feeling well enough to get to work, there's always the free bus from near-work to Addenbrookes' main entrance. If I'm well enough to reach work, I'll be well enough to walk through the site to the Rosie.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
Because the mild recurring symptoms I'd been having on and off decided to get nasty, and I ended up back at the Daphne Ward (emergency gynaecology), being poked in tender places. They've sent me home with painkillers and a promised ultrasound scan tomorrow or Monday. I may also need to get an antibiotic prescription tomorrow, depending on what the results are from the many swabs and samples they took. I should really investigate the buses to and from, I can't afford taxis each way this often. I'm also supposed to be seeing my doctor tomorrow morning about coming off beta blockers.
gory details )
Anyway, to bed now, as I need to be walking to catch a bus at 8am tomorrow.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
Felt less ill this morning, but tired enough to take another day's sick leave and get properly better this time. Alternately reading, listening to the radio, and faffing online passed the day quite pleasantly. By mid-afternoon I was feeling well enough to tackle some of the paperwork pile lurking around my desk. God knows what crack the gas suppliers use to come up with their formula for 'estimated use', but they'd overestimated us by 300 units - and that's after it's taken me over a month to get round to checking the reading. Still, their automated meter-reading line works well. I also had a pleasant customer service experience with Nationwide, requesting a replacement credit card as my signature has nearly rubbed off the existing one.

Given I was feeling better, [livejournal.com profile] fanf booked us tickets to see The Bourne Supremacy at Coneworld[1] for an early evening showing. My first visit there and the seats are agreeably comfy with sufficient leg room. The film itself was really very good, nicely following up the first one, with extra car-chase goodness. The visual style was even more edgy: short, fast, close-up, often moving too fast to see clearly but conveying a feeling very well, and the plot nicely executed. I would happily watch The Bourne Identity again, despite seeing it very recently, and I think Supremacy will make it onto my (very limited) DVD buy list when it's released.

The fly in the ointment for me was the botoxed forehead of Joan Allen (Pamela Landy), which kept distracting me every time she was on screen - a great expressionless expanse of forehead that made me want to scream in annoyance at the stupid things women do for 'beauty'.

[1] Not a typo, or rather based on a friend's typo the other week that we decided to keep.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Egypt)
On Saturday night my aunt Lucinda was celebrating her 50th birthday in Langley, a little village near Macclesfield, on the edge of the Peak District. It wasn't going to be possible to get to and from the party without a car, and it was also difficult to find anywhere to stay very nearby. So I decided to rent a car, and then to make a virtue out of the necessity and find interesting, non-motorway, routes there and back.
Read more... )

Despite an easy evening, I woke up shattered, stuffed-up and sore-eyed. It only took about an hour of wrestling guilt to decide to call in sick. I am really trying to work on my less helpful macho reactions to bodily weakness, especially after the mess I made last week of what should have been a minor 1-afternoon migraine.


rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
Rachel Coleman

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