Search This Blog

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

appreciative of the good things that happen

The good news from Charlotte's house is that she is in it!

After a rough and iffy patch there, Charlotte is home from the hospital and ringing in the New Year quietly at home. She will have nursing care there. She is, by reports, accepting and in good cheer if rather fuzzy on the details.

One note from brother, Tim, could be Charlotte's motto:  that she is "very appreciative of the good things that happen."

More news as I learn it,

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Post Christmas

I have just had word from Charlotte's family that she is in hospital. It would be best, I understand, not to contact the family at this time as they are under strain and tired. I will post if I have further news.


Monday, 23 December 2013


Wrote to me yesterday to complain about my lack of blogging. He wanted to know my news and for me to keep him up to date, which seemed fair enough. I also had an email from Colleen that made me laugh out loud for ages. I also got a lovely email from L in the US. So I thought I would combine all three to give you an answer and see if it helped.

Firstly I am sitting Shiva for who I was and who I can never be again. This means I sit and mourn that which has gone and let others do everything for me for seven days. I quite like that idea - the lack of responsibility, the ability to concentrate on one's own grief, the time set aside to mourn.

Colleen's email was all about her quilt, did I like it? Did I hate it? Do I no longer want it? What? How? When? Why?

I love it and am awaiting instructions on how to hang it properly.

Dad, I hope this explains a bit, along with the arrival of C, the lymphodema  nurse who has transformed our lives but given me a long list of things to do, four Drs appointments in the hospital and a lot of exercises etc for me to start. I am knackered. Absolutely knackered.


Wednesday, 18 December 2013

A long day

I took myself off some of my pills yesterday. They were some blood thinners and made me feel sick all the time. This is not helpful when trying to recover from this vile operation and all the related stress that goes with it.

I went to see Ms J and HWISO's new hero, Dr S, at the hospital. It was utterly exhausting and I came home after three hours shattered but utterly terrified by Ms J's dire blood clot predictions.  So I took the pill and have consequently been wide awake feeling sick since 3.30 am. Sigh.

So what to do?

Dr S Miss J and HWISO want me to start training for a marathon and I just want to lie in bed all day talking to Laura on Skype.

I hate compromises.  

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Sleeping it off

I have often said that hospital is not a good place to recover from a illness. The endless routines, 4 hourly obs, the lights, the other patients, the drama.

Returning home, I have obviously decided to "sleep it off". Hence why I managed a total of 4 hours actually awake yesterday. For those of you I promised to talk to or email or on whom (ModSquad) I fell asleep mid sentence, sorry.

Still have not managed my quilt, let alone a single letter....

But sleep is very good for me.

Night night

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Morning off

I was going to have the morning off blogging this morning but can't let Fiona Mary down so thought I would do a short mimble.

It is lovely to be home, in my own bed, having eaten delicious home cooked chicken casserole for supper. It is lovely to have my own loo. It is lovely to have my own cup of tea out of a china mug, not plastic, with biscuits, to eat when I want, to wander around without having to deal with fire doors. Oh the bliss.

The house looks so Christmassy. Loving what HWISO and Em have done. Really feeling a new phase of life is starting.


Friday, 13 December 2013


Oh my lord I never thought I would get here so I am overly thrilled to be home. The journey was painful, HWISO has fussed, I have loved Uhu and vaguely waved at the other two and I am home.

I love my home more than anywhere else in the world. I would rather be here than on the most exotic island. I want to just stay here now.

That does not preclude HWISO from planning emergency route to hospital and I am loving that he has got us walkie talkies. Such fun!!

Stitched up

So Miss A says I can go home if I let "the boys"  put in another couple of stitches to keep the drain in.     The boys are her registrars and are grown up and lovely. Anyways, I agreed and after much impressive knowledge of hospital bedside equipment, (if you want the overhead light on full, switch button to "Off"position), new stitches,with the aid of local anawhatsit were put in.

I am too exhausted to get dressed just now and demonstrate my prowess with the Zimmer Frame to the physiotherapist so have retired to bed in a naked but for a sheet heap.

What is so refreshing is that after over two weeks of everyone being too frightened to prescribe aqueous cream for the skin rubbed raw by the left-over stitches, it was lovely the way Miss A gave instructions and didn't feel the need to over control.

I am hoping the family will follow Miss A's example when I get home. 

Christmas coming early

Oh the joy of being home. Having had Em over on Wednesday, I then had a lovely hour with G yesterday, hearing about her life, her boyfriend and managing, even from my hospital bed, to fix her phone.

At the same time,HWISO and G had managed to find my dad wandering the corridors, whilst my stepmother was having an assessment for her suspected stroke. So he came up too and chatted away. It was slightly surreal.

Then Darling Christine came bearing choccies and smelliest and wondrous smiles in the afternoon. A tough session with Occupational Therapy resulted in a grump which was lightened by the arrival of Rebecca.

I credit Rebecca with starting the lymph draining from my hand a week ago when she came and massaged it. I said this to Miss A yesterday. Miss A did then point out I was lucky because any sudden changes in the amount of bodily fluid can kill you. So whenBex offered to bring her cream and massage my hand again I had to reluctantly say no. I explained why. She went into meltdown

"I could have killed you," she said.

"Through kindness," I said. "That makes it ok!!"

Thursday, 12 December 2013


Showered with antibacterial, hair washed, dried, dressed and back in bed.


What a brave girl. 

Why I am scarred

So I have this MRSA right and need to shower every day with antibacterial stuff. This morning, I decided to get done early before either a) the hot water went on the blink again: or. B) all the peeps who are coming to see me this morning arrived.

I got myself undressed, found new Clothes, gathered a towel and then completely ran out of energy. I collapsed stark naked back into bed and after about 10 mins managed to cover my modesty and stop dry gulping. I had lost my call bell and felt way too humiliated to ask for any help. So I whimpered to myself for over an hour before someone stuck their head round to see how I was.

Of course the staff here were lovely and kind and listened to my fears about not being able to cope at home. I even plucked up enough courage to ask my breakfast lady to butter my toast, which she did willingly, unlike at Basildon.

I am still afraid (and would much rather have Tim, than any other person except HWISO looking after me) but your comments and love and support have bolstered me.

Shower attempt 2 coming up. 

In and out

It has been a surreal 24 hours. So many lovely visits from my previous teams all over the hospital. The lovely sisters on the two surgical wards I'm on now, the MacMillian team, the Breast Care team,, Dr W , the lovely Miss A, my surgeon, em on her way back from schools. In between, I slept I was totally exhausted.after my big "removal" day.

Jane wants me to go home tomorrow. I am petrified. I lost all confidence in my ability to care for myself whilst down in Basildon and have become very institutionalised over the past four weeks.  I am utterly terrified. 

Wednesday, 11 December 2013


I don't care that the West Suffolk is housed in a building well past it's use by date.  Or that the paint is peeling and cracking. Or that the windows don't shut properly. Or that I am once again in a side ward on my own. Or that the day is conducted to a background of drilling and hammering as the workmen set to on the roof above.

 To be back within ten minutes of home brings indescribable comfort, knowing that I won't die in Pylonia, as my brothers call it. (The main farming crop of Essex being pylons).

It was an interesting experience being in a modern specialist, purpose built hospital but at the end of it all, my overwhelming impression is that of a hospital run along 1984 lines, not a member of our beloved NHS.

To be back among friends, including KL, is joy.

Last but not least a huge thank you to Suzie, who broke down the impenetrable walls of CTC yesterday to deliver much needed food, cheer and normality. Love you. 

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Nee-naw chariot arrives!

Bed: check!

"SHE HAS GOT THE BED!  Moving in 2 hours in a "nee naw", as she put it"

Snappy Black Gloves

Just after being given the devastating news that I wasn't leaving for home just yet, Mrs B (of moving house fame) and Mrs G arrived to help "sort this out".

Whilst Ali tackled the nurses about Mrsa, what it meant, why I wasn't being isolated and being left to wander around a surgical ward, Jayne soothed Chrissy on the phone, soothed me and fed me Courgette and Lemon cake.

I love them both dearly.

Just saying

(Although the snap of those gloves still frightens me, Mrs B.)

Hot, hot, hot

So it's December, one of our coldest months. I know I am in hospital and should be kept warm but should I be lying here, with the window open, only a thin sheet for cover and be sweating?

No, of course not but welcome to the Basildon CTC purpose built hospital - opened by Gordon Brown, where there is no WiFi, the plugs are in the wrong place, there is a lack of basic equipment but the lights are good enough to operate under in the bedrooms. I could go on but need to wipe my brow, as can hardly see for the steam....

Meanwhile, let's continue to underpay our nurses, feed our patients slop (42p per day is the budget) and overpay for light bulbs that are unnecessary. The CTC looks good, even though painted in the generic NHS colours. The staff are still over and under valued. The plaque in the front  celebrating Gordon's visit to open the centre obviously gets polished every day.

So what's wrong with the NHS?


And not enough nurses in charge. 

Monday, 9 December 2013


Did not work. Stuck here again. All packed and ready to and not budging until they let me out. 

Operation Liberate Charlotte

Charlotte's friend Erica reports:
"internet lockdown as things look increasingly promising for a bid for home and freedom today. Nothing set in stone yet (and if no joy, it may be that there is another long day in Basildon to contemplate tomorrow), but the nurses are on side, notes are being called for from all sides, HWISO is armed and more than willing to look after her at home and she is hopeful and cheerful as a result" 
Are you, as I am, imagining Charlotte sitting in her uncomfortable hospital chair facing the door: packed bag at her feet, "teenage" iPod logged off and put away, tapping the fingers of her good hand as she waits for someone to come in the room to say "you're free, Mrs. Bevan."



Colleen asked me to blog about my hand, so here goes. It is still very swollen and tingly.  I still have a drain in. It still has little feeling in it BUT it is getting better.

Although incredibly heavy, I have found away to arrange it when in bed to keep it up and, hopefully, drain more lymph off. It is lighter although awkward and unwieldy. I am hoping to get back to the West Suffolk and my specialist nurse there. I also find it easier to use at home. I have a chair I can sit in and am able to control my own medication, unlike here where I have been left for up to an hour whilst my nurse was involved with another patient. Not fun. Not pain management. Not likely to inspire confidence.

As for the hand, I have noticed two different reactions. Half the medical staff are gentle, stroke it, tell me I am doing well and encourage me. The other half regard it with disdain and something akin to repulsion.

I am struggling on learning to do up my shirt wrong handed and one handed, which makes life tough.

But at least I am trying. 


Colleen asked me to blog about my hand, so here goes. It is still very swollen and tingly.  I still have a drain in. It still has little feeling in it BUT it is getting better.

Although incredibly heavy, I have found away to arrange it when in bed to keep it up and, hopefully, drain more lymph off. It is lighter although awkward and unwieldy. I am hoping to get back to the West Suffolk and my specialist nurse there. I also find it easier to use at home. I have a chair I can sit in and am able to control my own medication, unlike here where I have been left for up to an hour whilst my nurse was involved with another patient. Not fun. Not pain management. Not likely to inspire confidence.

As for the hand, I have noticed two different reactions. Half the medical staff are gentle, stroke it, tell me I am doing well and encourage me. The other half regard it with disdain and something akin to repulsion.

I am struggling on learning to do up my shirt wrong handed and one handed, which makes life tough.

But at least I am trying. 

Awkward ambulation

Please can I ask you all to cross your fingers and toes that I get out of here today?

Thank you.

As you were....

Sunday, 8 December 2013


So I was on the phone to Tim this morning and we got cut off.......

By the rather odd NHS cleaner who decided to clean the phone whilst I was (very obviously!) talking on it.


 One of life's imponderables, I suspect.

New experiences

If you have run out of veins to have blood drawn from in all the usual places and your feet look like the only option, please find yourself a young, enthusiastic doctor who thinks that watching videos on You tube whilst downing Oramorph, is quite acceptable behaviour for 11am on a Sunday and is Happy to discuss the merits of Primark vs Tescos socks.

It makes the whole thing slightly more Alice in Wonderland.

The icky stuff

So I have a new shoulder and no tummy - neither through choice and neither recommended. The surgeons have done an extraordinary job. It all feels rather Channel 4 before and after to be honest. The skin from my tummy has to be checked every two hours to see that it is "taking" and not withering away and I still have a drain, under my arm, which I hope will be removed tomorrow.

I have lots of hopes for tomorrow, most of which will be dashed I suspect. But I cling onto the tiny sliver of hope that I may be a step nearer to home. Meanwhile I munch my way through Bex's biscuits and an early morning cup of tea.

Dying is bloody hard. Trying to live out your dying days as you want seems even harder, as darling Tim said to me last night.

Bloody hard.

I just want to go home

I realised how depressed I was yesterday when I spent the whole of HWISO's visit crying harder than I had been crying for the rest of the day. He bought Colleen's beautiful quilt with him (various issues with customs) but I was too sad to open it and didn't want it tainted by this evil place.

I begged and cried at him to take me home. He left in a worse state than me. It was a horrid day.

I don't understand why I am here. I just want to go home, back to the West Suffolk and far away from the surgeon who was callous enough to try and tell me what he would do in my position. He has no idea and had given it little thought or consideration. It was unkind.

He has also undermined my confidence in ability to cope at home with just HWISO.  Just now I am very angry. But not as angry as I am sad.

I want to see my quilt in the muted light of home, not reflected off the stark white and pea mint soup colours of this room. And not through a positive waterfall of tears. 

Friday, 6 December 2013

Mountains and Mohammed's...

The Mountain and Mohammed

Having banned HWISO from coming to see me under any circumstances, so I could wallow in misery and self-inflicted loneliness, he turned up as usual about 3.30 pm having made an appointment to meet my surgeon and talk about taking me home.

It was an interesting meeting, the upshot of which is that my surgeon never wants to see me again once I leave (half of me proud:half deeply offended) so he wants me to be really well when I leave.

He did say that this operation may lengthen my life by a few months. It also may not, if I get some kind of infection.

They have done an amazing job, as Erica rightly said.  The surgeon is, however, the jailor with the key to my freedom. So I shall continue to treat him with the abject suspicion he deserves until I am home. Meanwhile, HWISO won various freedoms for me, whilst discussing driving in the snow, including me being allowed to get off the wards. Hurrah.

However, no going home till Monday. Sigh. Another weekend in Basildon looms. I can't wait for my take away with Ali but will have to put it off for another week.

I shall ring darling Erica who has making homemade Marron Glacee between blogs and while away a morning with her, whilst seeing if anyone can get here through the snow and wind.

And write some more blogs.....

Thursday, 5 December 2013

So How Is Charlotte Doing?

A guest blog post on a visit to Charlotte, from her friend, Erica:

I got a phone call from Charlotte – she was feeling well enough to chat and she was up for a short visit from a friend.  And she is, as always, fabulous, and her smile greets you from the door and lights up the room. 

The last few weeks have been grim; you can tell, by some of what she tells and by a bit of what you can just imagine – pain and suffering is not good for the soul no matter how great the promise of operative redemption or how practiced and heartfelt the care.  Charlotte’s operation scars are, however, beautifully crafted – the surgeons have done a wondrous job, and they have made an incredible difference; but (and we knew there would be a but) there is post op recovery, and an arm that is still a work in progress to relieve the swelling and with scope, and hope, for further improvement.

Charlotte has not been altogether happy – not, I don’t believe, because of the hospital or its staff, who I can testify from having met some of them yesterday, are both state of the art and very caring, but because she has been having a rough time with this part of treatment, necessary as it has been.  Team Charlotte is doing a great job, but hospital is hospital – it has its routines and its tedium, and being prodded and poked and hooked up and given instructions and kept in one place is not really fun – especially when you are unwell.  

Charlotte has a lovely room in a light and airy ward overlooking farmland (not quite comparable with her own bedroom view, admittedly, but, all things considered, not at all bad).  Her bed is a joy to behold – it all but sings and dances as it moves its pockets of air around to keep a patient more comfortable than is probably humanly possibly.  Admittedly, the NHS chair next to it is the ugliest of the breed that I have ever seen, and I would not want to spend a great deal of time in its company either, but I suppose it does a job, after a fashion, albeit with a lot less panache and comfort than its more glamorous confrère, the bed.  Charlotte’s ward is practically space age – it occupies a “zone” rather than an old-fashioned floor number - but some of the neighbours, more familiarly, pop by to have a chat (and there is a code - knocking on the bathroom wall signifies if someone is “in” to callers).  The Basildon warmth, felt from the moment of arrival when bonding with fellow car park hopefuls in the miniscule car park, is enough to warm the cockles, and a far cry from the cat and mouse game played in my local hospital as we stalk spaces and attempt to outwit each other in getting to them first.  Parking is, Charlotte assures, the first talking point of anyone who comes to visit.  Followed by tomatoes (about which no more, please, says Charlotte).

We talked about plans afoot to get Charlotte “sprung” to Suffolk – hospital if necessary, home if at all possible - but, in any case, home turf to make it easier on day release and close family and further planning.  We talked of the relief that she is feeling better - better than the day before or the one before that - and we giggled about many things (not just the parking and the fact that she is now a published author).  I won’t divulge all our subjects but we (Charlotte, an(other) elegant sister in law, and I) covered a fair amount of ground, starting with her surgeon’s sense of humour and ranging from the refit of crittal windows with unforeseeable consequences, through the inadvisability of adopting Inspector Clouseau accents for spoken French GCSE exams, and the perils of hiring too small cars in Italy (and how one chooses a driver in such circumstances), to the dusting down of the Christmas decorations.  We gasped and marvelled and laughed and chatted, as is our wont, and it was a joy. 

I left much earlier than I wanted – not only frightened of tiring Charlotte - who seemed on top form and verging on indefatigable (although I know that she isn’t) - but also of approaching the Dartford Bridge, as a Dartford crossing virgin, once darkness had fallen.  Charlotte, if you are reading, not only is the bridge not even slightly difficult to navigate, the sun setting on the far side of it as the lights from the crossing traffic snaked over it was a beauty to behold – if only my fingers had not been quite so tightly gripped to the steering wheel, I might have been able to capture a picture of it for you.  All in all, a wonderful day - and Charlotte is doing great.

Just can't live without you

So an up and down day. Such bad back ache that I had to have oramorph at lunch time. I fell asleep and woke up to the delightful face of Bundy on her way home from seeing her mum.  She was shortly followed by Erica bearing delicious cakes in a lovely Green box. Such joy.

We giggled and laughed and talked about holidays and children. It did me so much good.

HWISO didn't come today. A well deserved day off for him. When I spoke to him this evening, I realised I can't bear him coming tomorrow if I can't leave with him.

Why does life have to be such a roller coaster?  

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Back at ya. Yesterday (3 December) was the horridest day evah.  With all the dignity I could possibly muster, I passed out on the commode and went tumbling to the floor in front of the whole ward. A very undignified adventure with a green and yellow hoist, I was returned to bed in a heap of misery. 

By the time Aimee arrived on the ward, I was a pile of self-pitying misery. Luckily for everyone Aimee arrived early and flew through the ward like Marry Poppins with all her magic.  She sorted out stuff like my medication so I wasn't permanently tied to my bed on a drip. She got me out of bed and into a chair which was great for when Alex and Mickey arrived but may have overdone it as my back is crap this morning and gave me gyp all night. She cleaned the old plasters off my hands and arms, sorted out one line that had been sewn in crooked, got me mobile and lightened my day. 

She made me feel that life was possible, rather than looking forward to nothing but death. And all from a little pocket rocket. 

Which put in a better place for the new attack from the Consultant who shall not be named. He has decided that I a not trying hard enough to get better and should be instantly transferred to the West Suffolk. Whilst I agree about the transfer perhaps hwsnbn should look at the way his team is run (understaffing, agency nurses, crappy essential equipment) and try to understand that nursing , rather than production line,one size fits all, might make his statistics even more impressive and he won't have to threaten people like me

Anyways, it was lovely to see my visitors, lovely to have a day with Aimee and even better to snarl at the Consultant. Everyone needs a bad guy. 

I hate the world today. I went to sleep crying because I was still here a and woke two hours later still crying. Because I wasn't waking from a nightmare.

HWISO told me yesterday that he just couldn't cope with me at home. I know he didn't really mean it and I know my girls haven't been to see me because it is all too scary and horrid and I beg them to stay away but I miss them so.

Being here on my own so much has really opened the floodgates and I have cried a lot. I cried just now when I got an email from Alex saying she was coming today. I cried for two hours when HWISO left Yesterday as I knew I wouldn't see him for two days

I don't look at my best just now. 

Blogs old and new

The 1st December and I'm in Basildon, in a ward with a madman.  One who thinks of nothing of turning on the Football Channel at 3am  or deciding to hold a long conversation whilst on the commode.  He keeps asking if I feel as lousy as him. How would I know?  I find it hard to stay awake, my love affair with morphine is well and truly over and anyone who voluntarily puts themselves up for this kind of pain for vanity is schoopid. Really schoopid.

It takes all sorts, I suppose and HWISO and Tim have emerged from this experience closer than ever but twice as batty!!

As for me, you will not be surprised to know I have stood up to the class bully, fallen even more in love with Dr R and devised away to get back to the West Suffolk and the team there. The Registrar said he could quite understand why I wanted to go back there - thanks Sue H - and how heartening it was to ring a. Hospital where everyone knew who the patient was

More to blog later but feel a little ziz coming on


Friday, 29 November 2013

a love-hate thing

From Charlotte herself this morning, on Facebook:

"Hates hospitals,loves nurses and hopes to be transferred nearer to home soon."

Extraordinary woman. Nine hours of major surgery and without a beat she's "moving on."


Thursday, 28 November 2013

Joking With Nurses

I have second hand news from Charlotte's husband, and it is GOOD NEWS: "doing really well after 9 hour op yesterday out of pain and feeling like a new person, visiting later she is joking with nurses."

Wonder if she's eaten her breakfast?


Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Out of surgery and stable!

I have heard through a friend of the family that Charlotte is out of surgery and stable.

As C would tell us, you may, now: "breathe."


Tuesday, 26 November 2013


Hopefully, this will be the last morning of my tea in a beaker, of waking up to a bed damp with blood and pus and smelling of decay, the last morning of having to decide between cleaning my teeth or washing elsewhere.

This time tomorrow we will be off on a new path,whatever the outcome.

Bring it on

Monday, 25 November 2013

No breakfast again today

Because no one is "allowed" to spread butter on my toast.  Following the utterly disgusting meal given to me last night and the interesting lunch yesterday, do you think it is worth pointing out to the hospital that I haven't eaten a single meal since I got here on Saturday?

I wasn't expecting the Ritz or even a private nursing home but I was expecting a bit of nursing - no one will help me wash, no one will cut up my food, no one will help me dress.  I am supposed to be here for another two weeks, even more incapacitated than I am now.


I can't see it being much fun. 


I shall miss him so much. There was nothing so cheering as his little face appearing round the corner pushing a wheelchair. Knowing that he was at home every night with HWISO watching golf or rugger and eating supper admidst much  fork waving soothed me.

HWISO is now firmly the third stooge, for which I am glad and I leave him  in good hands with Tim and Mick.

We had difficult conversations about vegetative states and loosing arms, funerals and Christmas. We had overwhelming giggles about bumps in the bed - you had to be there!  And just plain silence.

Italy doesn't know how lucky it is to have him. I am very aware of how precious these fragmented last ten days have been. As are the rest of the family. Fly safe, big bro.  

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Welcome to Essex

Whilst gnashing my teeth over the Ed Milliband Desert Island Discs, to my delight Heavenly Gay Godfather, resplendent in a violet cashmere, pink socks and delightful Harris Tweed jacket swooped through the door, bearing gifts of delicious cakes and granola (for the constipation!).

We went to Costa chuntering about quite how sad the Milliband thing had made us - both of us not keen on Ed - can you tell?  Neither of us could resist a bitch about the music choices. (Jerusalem? Really? The cynic in me says No...)

I think I am quite enjoying residing in the suburbs...

Sent from my iPhone

I wish I liked cereals

They are so easy to eat with one hand, once you have opened the stupid milk thing. Much easier than buttering a piece of bread.

Dare you to try it.

And not cry with frustration

Or throw your bread across the room in a snit

Or default to not eating


Doing something coolwiththe Intrawebz.

Not sure how I have managed it or what I have done and have very little doubt I will probs not be able to do it again, but here I am, people, alive and relatively well in Basildon

Taxan, my nurse, has looked after me well and is a brave little lion, when standing up to doctors. He doesn't do the "I've bleeped" accompanied by a hopeless shrug that I have become  used to over the past few weeks. He doggedly keeps bleeping.

After my little trip round Essex, so that Tim could win the "places I have been to beginning with "B" competition, I was quite pained up last night and in the end resorted to taking a drug that gave me St Vitus Dance symptoms last time I took It.

I also got to meet the man with magic hands who put a bandage on ya arm to help with the lymphodema. He also happens to have mesmeric eyes and should Be whispering sweet nothings in your ear on a Mediterranean Island, rather than when you are a snotty fetal ball, refusing to relinquish your smelly dog blanket. But,hey,I'm not fussy.

I am now off to Google what time Costa opens and try and take some photos..... 

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Guesting Again

It is not always easy to understand just how debilitating pain is. A little bit and you can walk it off and plough through, but when it is relentless and 24 hours and when its waiting in the wings you know its going to jump to really bad. It wears you down. 
You are weak and even when its not there you know the massive slow moving impervious wave of strength sapping inevitability will take over and there is nothing you can do except numb yourself.
And cry when no ones looking.

And the pain relief is wonderful but it steadily turns you into a person you don't want to be.
And even though you care, you cannot afford to do anything about it.

Mine was just a dodgy arm and a smushed up ankle after coming off the motorbike. That is nothing compared to cancer. 
Alcohol and aspirin do not even begin to approach morphine for the negative effects. 

It is inspiring to see Charlotte's strength, not only in continuing the battle against Fucking Cancer, but to find the good in people and life and every day events.

Her praise for the staff in hospital is well deserved. They understand pain. They understand how hard it is to cope with and how hard it is to help a patient recover when they are in pain. They don't mess around.

The very good news is that there is a spare bed in Basildon. So we picked Charlotte up from West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St. Edmunds and took her home to pack for a long stay in Basildon. 
The infection is leaking all the time and she is getting through several shirts a day.

At home she saw the family, changed shirt for the fourth time in the day and loaded up on morphine and purples and whites.
The least painful position in the car seemed to be in a back seat with 3 pillows in various positions and a dog blanket. 
The dog blanket may not be for warmth but more for comfort. Pirate (a bad tempered terrier whose first name seems to be Bloody) can be silenced and comforted immediately by chucking a blanket over him. Maybe its the same for Charlotte.
We stopped for a coffee and some sandwiches at a service station on the A12. Of course we joked about the chances of me being arrested for domestic violence as she got out of the car in a Husky, stained shirt, plaid pyjama bottoms and ugg boots. Left alone for a minute Charlotte had an offer from a kind lady in the queue to redress her wound.... which was looking pretty disgusting by then. We declined and continued on the wrong road until we hit Brentwood and could safely retrace our way through Billericay to Basildon, bypassing Benfleet and multitudes of other Essex B's

Charlotte was immediately seen by one of the surgical team who took great interest in the panoply of pharmaceuticals she had. We rearranged the room to cater for a one (left) handed patient, swapping the side table with the visitors chair and stuff. 

One of the marvels of English snobbery is that at really high levels of the medical profession where most countries would have a Professor Doctor Doctor, in the UK the top guys become Mr.
So within 30 minutes of arriving Mr. Shah saw Charlotte, discussed surgery and compression bandages and set wheels in motion. 

The admission process then continued with the nurse telling Charlotte off 20 times for smoking and asking about her drinking about the same number of times. Unfortunately it seems he took her lack of memory over her drinking (she's hardly had any for weeks) for a cover up of a heavy habit... We ended up having some fun anticipating his next question. He did well.

But she has her own room, with en suite (well it is in Essex), a bed that goes bwwwww in 20 different ways and another set of nurses who understand pain.

She also has a telly that she won't watch, internet she can't connect the iPad to, so it won't be used, a couple of seasons of Homeland, which she may be able to watch in 30 minute sessions and some headphones, presumably so she doesn't wake herself up when she snores (!@)

Internet and phone reception are a problem so blogging will probably be rare and comments and emails will not get replies. Sorry.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, Georgina and Emily luckily had parties to go to so Chrissy and I could enjoy his wonderful lasagne (he's a good cook), a glass of red and an evening of rugby.
Tomorrow is another day that will be filled with choices, decisions and the unexpected… 
Tonight we hope everyone sleeps well.

Friday, 22 November 2013


Things you wish you'd been warned about:

That they had injected Grace with blue dye. Firstly, because she looked really ill when she came back from theatre and it was hard to give her an encouraging smile.

Secondly, when she started asking whether her wee was blue finally sent me over the abyss between reality and

The "B" Word

Singing with the sisters

We are the hardcore four, all with long term icky conditions. No ingrown fourth hair down on the left shin here. Amazingly disparate women. Compassionate, caring, funny. They have been trying to teach me to speak "Essex" this week. I have been trying to learn.

Ok, peeps, the idea is that I am going into Basildon Hospital.just thought I would say as my Dad seems to think he is coming to visit me in Brentford, Tiff has some weird plan involving driving to the end of the Central line and getting on the Tube or maybe "Coming via Liverpool Street Station."

"That would be the easiest way to come and seez ya, doncha think?" She said. (She is learning Essex too).

"No, " I replied. " getting on the A12, following signs for Basildon Hospital, parking in the hospital car park and coming to see me that way would get my vote."

Other people are coming to variously Basildon, Brentwood, Braintree - no, no,no, the big shopping centre with IKEA is Thurrock, doesn't have a hospital and doesn't begin with "b" but, yes, you were close. Billericay has been mentioned. The reference to watching all those lovely aeroplanes threw me for a while but I realise you meant Biggin Hill, Brentwood (more shopping - a big John Lewis.  I am sure I am going to feel an overwhelming urge for matching bath mats"...

As the operation draws nearer and I become more physically repugnant, I know it doesn't matter where I end up or who gets to see me. I only know that I know what it is like to be driven mad by pain.

It's a Bugger. 

Clearing the backlog

It seems forever since I had enough energy to blog. I have spent the last few days asleep either in my own bed or in hospital. All of it has been in pain, despite the best efforts of anathetists, pain management specialists and the wonderful nurses. And they are bloody brilliant those nurses.

I have been in and out of hospital every day for  a week now. The infection in my shoulder is not responding to the antibiotics. In fact, the abs seem to be making it worse. Even the hardened Triage Nurse in A&E had tears in her eyes when she saw it yesterday morning.

Tim has been our lifesaver and anchor.  I am so grateful for him. And his beard.

There have been good moments. Winning with consultant that the antibiotics weren't working. Sneaking Ali and her supply of chocolate in, despite strict visiting rules. Being put on a new ward with a bunch of intrepid amusing women.

To the nasty little man from pharmacy, I hope no one treats your mother or sister the way you treated me. I am not a freak show and you have no conception what I was going through. To try and get me thrown out of hospital because I swore when my pain medication was over half an hour late just proves to me its time for you to start saving up for one of those penis extensions.

Don't you dare judge,me as being some kind of spoilt brat and curl your lip and mimic my posh accent. Keep your pseudo working class prejudice to yourself. I happen to be one of those people who fights for the underdog.

As everything changes every hour, just to say I'm here.

In my booties. 

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Guest writer time - health update

Apologies to anyone waiting for Charlotte's wit humour and insight.
It's Tim, a blogged about brother, filling in while Miss Bossy Boots (more about those later) is giving the staff at Bury St. Edmunds hospital a run for their money.
She is much better now they've stopped giving her medicine, of course! She had an infection last week and has since then been on a carousel of diverse antibiotics and proving to be the outlier again, reacting strongly against each one. At least I think that's what happen but when you're talking to Mrs. Morphine it is easy to misunderstand some of the finer points.
Her arm remains very swollen and her infection has blown her right shoulder into a weird shape, with more bumps than are strictly necessary on a lady.
She is due to go to Basildon in the next few days, which is very good news as there is obviously a lot of hope for the operation to go ahead next Wednesday.

(It may also be that the staff at Bury are understandably taking any measures necessary to ensure she gets the best possible care, as far away from Bury hospital as they can manage.)

Charlotte is very tired and on a regular drug regime day and night, so will be unable to blog herself for a few days. With limited energy and only one hand operational she will not be replying to the multitudes of well-meaning messages. Thank you for the thoughts, which are wonderful, but too exhausting to read, let alone reply to.

Meanwhile back here, the ranch looks wonderfully tidy. A photo was posted on her Fb page earlier today showing what happens to the Bevan kitchen when the women are not around. Chrissy and I have been able to find things, without moving stuff, bliss.

As for Uggly Lottie, she's very very happy with her new boots…. please note the light's reflection is not a symbol of masculinity, that's pure fallacy.

F Cancer Headquarters

Pic today from Charlotte of "F Cancer Headquarters"

Note biscuits at bedside.

Also, that bed must be very large or Charlotte become very small because I can't quite make her out!

Or, she's escaped. Stay tuned.


Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Dear Charlotte

We know it annoys you when you get messages and you can't answer.

No need to answer!

But we'll also try not to send you too many messages, and we'll let you rest up.

A little update

A little update for those of you wondering why Charlotte hasn't been posting:

Charlotte's brother says she is in the hospital resting up and getting pain and antibiotic treatment to prepare for surgery next week.

She cannot reply to mails and messages.

"Thank you for the support, she just needs rest for the moment."

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Wind in the pillows

Not much of a blog this morning I'm afraid. I spent most of yesterday asleep. These antibiotics are pretty strong and the lymphodema is causing me unimaginable pain, so I have been mainlining the painkillers.

The girls came home yesterday afternoon, infusing the air with their glamour, vigour and the sweet tang of youth and beauty. It is so lovely to see them and they don't seem to mind the lack of filter one bit. I think it just turns me into a teenager so am feeling rather "down with the kids".

Tim took me to hospital for my IV yesterday. He is so not in hospital mode just yet. He tried to mend the TV, tried out all the levers and hinges on the orthopaedic chairs, folded and unfolded the screens, did a pantomime with the pee pots - yes, of course he pretended to be Princess Leia. Needless to say, we were in and out in record time.

We also managed to get it all done between the rugger and Strictly!!

Tim and I have been googling how to deal with lymphodema and bandaging this morning. Even we have decided that the do it at home whilst watching and instructive You Tube video may not be the best option so I may be throwing myself on the hospital's mercy this morning.

As for the title of the blog?  Snuggled up in my nest with my cup of tea dealing with the consequences of too much morphine yesterday. 

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Losing faith

I heard on the radio this morning that doctors and nurses are going to be prosecuted for neglect, - or was it negligence? - and could face a prison sentence. This all follows on from the scandal at Mid-Staffs.

This mind-melded with my current worry with darling MiS. What do you do and where do you turn to when you have lost faith in everyone in the Health Service but you really need help?  Especially if we are talking about a mental health crisis?

MiS has a red flag on her records and the slur of an unqualified Munchausens by Proxy dx on there too. How would you approach your GP for much needed anti depressants and help, if you knew that the GP's practice had been part of this?  Where would you go for help, if you knew that this accusation was flagged and followed you, even if you change doctors? What would you do if there was nowhere to turn without this following you and being front and centre of any healthcare professional's assessment of you?

Also, how would you even begin to explain the last three years?

This is not a rhetorical question. This is a genuine plea for ideas. It is NOT an ask for free counselling  either.

I don't know where to start but I DO know we have to help her get immediate help, get her health records set straight -Ayr & Arran are slower than sea thingies (snails?) that go really slowly - and acknowledge that she is not being paranoid or over defensive but has a very genuine right to feel like this.

It is up to the professionals to rebuild her trust. Not up to her.

But nobody seems to be listening.

Anyone got a megaphone I can borrow?

Fuck Cancer HQ for the day…….

Promoting friends

I am always surprised by the reactions to some of my more random blog moments. For instance, I was slightly overwhelmed by the fierce partisanship on Beards yesterday. Mind you, if anyone had told me the years ago that I would prefer Hugh Laurie with a beard, I would have laughed in their face....

The other one that surprised me was the one on Family. A wide range of big families, small families, wanting more, needing less and how to deal with the resulting paperwork. I did laugh long and hard at Susan Ringwood's darling husband's family who adopt everyone, including the bemused man who came to read the metre.  My kind of family!!

This led me on to thinking about KL, the wonderful ward sister HWISO and I met yesterday. She is automatically promoted to one of those inner circles I talked about in the blog for Alice. Not just because she is patently adored by two of my closest, nuttiest and most fun with their clothes on friends, but because she is caring for me on a professional level and is obviously a highly trusted part of "The Team" !

How difficult for her. I'm sure this is not the first time this has happened and I am sure she will deal with it with all the charm, tact and professionalism she did yesterday

However I am glad I am not inpatient as there is No Way I am either pooing in a pot for her or letting her give me a bed bath.

Just saying

Trouble being a scary wolf!

Back to earth with a bump

So after a cathartic 24 hours with the family, delicious roast lamb prepared by Bundy (despite the World's Worst Hangover) and a middle of the night cup of tea, it was back to the grim reality of hospital appointments. HWISO and I talked in the car about the fact that psychologically, I needed to try and get in a good place for this operation and the resulting isolation that is going to come with it. Regardless of the wonderful offers of compression slings, physiotherapy visits and the very beautiful, Katie, the Occupational Therapist, mere physical stuff is not enough. Thus, running away to Southwold was completely justified.

Apparently, this "infection" is quite serious as far as the operation is concerned, and requires IV antibiotics every day for the next ten days. Mr Shah is quite insistent. He even threatened to make me go into Basildon next week. Like No!  Voluntarily spend time in hospital before I have to? I almost went white with terror.  I am not sure what I dread more - the interminable boredom and restriction and routine of hospital - no nipping to the kitchen for a cup of Earl Grey T 4 am, mid-blog, I suspect. All that overheated air, constantly being on best behaviour, no privacy, no sheepskin rugs in the bathroom, endless sanitation and worst of all, no dogs..

Striking a deal with Miss Aitken - along the lines of I am NOT staying in - I now have to go in once a day to the surgical ward and have this IV done.  It only takes 20 minutes.

I got my port line put in by the stars on the MacMillan day unit and met the lovely KL, a great fun friend (and Ward Sister) of Darby & Joan of moving house fame.

So six hours later I got home. Into my new Fat face fleece men's pull ups and fleecey bed wear top that arrived from darling Bex, a steak sandwich and bed

I am now trying to work out how to fit the infusion in with the Rugger and Strictly and how to avoid the scrutiny of the seemingly clairvoyant Mr Shah. I shall be checking the iPad for bugs and avoiding all doctors, especially consultants. Nurses are much better at keeping things on the straight and narrow and less dramatic. Even if they have never used a port line before.  

Friday, 15 November 2013

Vote on the beard


Or no beard?

Same jacket…different trousers….

Not mentioned but much loved

Coco - beloved of my brother, Mickey, keeping guard this morning.

She was a joy to have chiefly because Mickey had worn her out with two games of golf and a long walk.  What i love is that she is still as flexible as a puppy and can do that double-jointed frog-leg thing.

She is also a non-yappy terrier…



So the only reason I nearly turned down this operation is because of the long hospital stay afterwards. Why do I hate hospital so much?


My experience of Tuesday night was exemplary care by the NHS emergency services. We called an ambulance. They arrived swiftly, took copious notes, saw my distress, took me to hospital,delivered me to the magnificent team in A&E.

A&E were kind,compassionate, efficient. My nurse loved using my port to draw blood and the antibiotics and paracetamol delivered by drip started to work straightaway. HWISO finds the lights too bright and the department too noisy so I sent him home. He had stripped off every layer of clothing that was respectable and I feared he might get arrested if he got down to his "Help for heroes" boxers, however worthy the cause.

Then up to surgical ward.  This is where it falls apart. Those gowns. I can't get them on over the port and the shoulder. So I sort of flap about flashing random bits at people. I am not bothered and other people can shut their eyes.

When I get to the ward I am number 4. There is a 17 year old, sleeping the sleep of the young and the just. There is a dear old thing with DVT leggings on and an elderly frail lady with dementia. Who is convinced that the nurses are trying to poison her, have stolen her glasses so she can't see what they are giving her, that she needs help, that someone is out to get her.  The nurses are at present either with me, strapping me up to another drip or with Lady No 5 who has just arrived on the ward

It is 3.15am.

We called the ambulance at 9.45 pm. It has been a long night. It is just about to get longer.

Despite unbelievable patience and some of the finest nursing skills I have ever seen from the sister, this scenario of non-stop fear and screaming was still going on every ten or so minutes at 7.45 am. By now, I had had no sleep for over 24 hours, was in pain, needing to get hold of the Breast Care andOncology  team before the Wednesday Multi Disciplinary meeting at 8.30 and I was pretty close to the end of my tether.

I drew myself up to full height, channelled Mary Poppins and put on my posh accent

"She has not stolen your glasses. She is not trying to poison you. I have been watching all along. Now take your medicine like a good girl and I will keep watching."

It seemed to get the job done and the lady in question was still fast asleep some six hours later when I finally left for home.

I slept on and off for the next 14 hours, waking up to take my pills at 9 pm with Bundy's wonderful Lemon Drizzle cake and then at 10.30 pm for tinned spaghetti on toast and tea with HWISO.  I realised I hadn't eaten all day and didn't want to disappoint Dr R with any diminishment in my glorious belly.

The trauma of the whole experience made me snappy and utterly vile to HWISO who was not to blame but was nearest and loves me. He bought me a beautiful bumble necklace anyway.

He is the best.

Just saying. 

So who was it?

Someone went for a pee. The curse of the middle age parent. So then everyone else had to go. So then we all need a cup of tea. So then it's too hot and we need to turn the heating down. And now it's 3.34 am

Tea tastes better when someone else makes it.  Uhu loves a middle of the night tummy rub. There is a programme about a Syrian singer on Radio 4.

No one is fessing up who went for the first pee.

The joys of family.......

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Mind over matter

Despite all protests by HWISO and medical device to contrary and possibly the slowest journey EVAH, I got to Southwold.

Conditional about me doing nothing other than pay for cakes,sign papers for Mum's estate and rest, I am here. Lying in bed. Letting everyone else do everything - hard - with Uhu also recuperating. I have to go back tomorrow for appointments. Bundy has to go pick up Alice. HWISO has to drive me (excruciatingly slowly) and Tim and Mick "have" to try out Aldeburgh Golf Course.

But to have a few hours together has been life affirming, funny, cathartic and not nearly as terrifying as HWISO thought it might be. Even managing to chip his second shot of the day into the back of the groundsman little truck is a source of pride and skill, not a lucky accident.

The horror of hospital is receding. As always, the staff are amazing. The faults are not them but not enough specialist beds for the elderly. But they do get a bed and careful nursing. That's what is important.

There is a distinct nip in the air up here but MJ was right. The smell and sound of the sea are more enervating and restorative than anything.

I still hate cancer but am just not ready to give in to whatever it is throwing in the way of my life just now. I may have to live my life from the palatial splendour of my little bed but I am going to make sure that bed is among my family today.

Pip pip from fuck you cancer headquarters for the day

Best laid plans

Never work out for me, it seems.

Infection, ambulance, IV antibiotics, admitted toward, dementia patient as neighbour, no sleep, many tears, no Southwold, no Tim, no Mickey.

I hate bloody cancer. 

Tuesday, 12 November 2013


So I am having a little lie down in my bed, with Radio 4 and the teenage iPad, paying Candy Crush, waiting for HWISO to return from the vet with UHU - he's OK but wobbly - when the phone goes.

On the end of the phone is a distinctly Indian Sub-Continental voice, telling me I have a problem with my "Microsoft" account.  So I take him on. I explain that I am dying of cancer and presently lying in my bed, resting and there is nothing wrong with my Microsoft account and that he is the scum of the earth scamming vulnerable people.

He calls me Ma'am and assures me that I am wrong. Unless I let him help me, my emails will be hacked, my bank details stolen and my life will not be worth living.

"Has he not ears?"I think to myself.

I shout louder.  He just continues to insist that I am wrong and he is my Saviour.

I put down the phone.

Jesus, if that was you, you picked the wrong day….

Just saying.

Official Photos

Acanthus Holidays has just emailed me to say the new photos of our little house are up and they are.

So here's the house in all its glory primped and cleaned for the photo shoot.

And here's a little piccie that I took of my lovely presents from Anthony & Kim and Sophie S.


Families are funny things.  First of all is the one you are born with.  For me, my parents and my two brothers.  Easy peasy.  Then they go and do things like get married and you inherit a whole other step-family - three steps from my stepfather and quite a few from my step-mother.

So that's complicated enough.

Then your siblings go and get married and you inherit a whole 'nother tranche of people.  Then they have children and the competition really begins.  Whilst all this is going on, you marry into another family and inherit them, and their siblings marry and you sort of become part of another family of the "married" family's spouse.

Now it is really out of hand.

The children of the siblings, other family, in-laws, in-laws' in-laws are then placed in the intolerable position of everyone trying to "claim" them for their own particular part of the family.

For instance, in both the Wills and the Bevan family, the male "appearance" gene runs strong.  The Wills boys look like Wills'.  All three of them.  Well, I think they do. I am sure both my sister-in-laws can produce a male relative of the same lean, lanky, shape with blue eyes and that hair to prove me wrong, but for me, they are definitely "our stock".  Interestingly, all the girls take after their mothers.

On the Bevan side, Henry (being the only boy) definitely is a "Bevan", which must drive Alex bananas at times because, of course, she wants to him to be half her. Probably more than half her, to be honest, but physically he is the reincarnation of his father and his grandfather. There is no denying it.

If you then start to add in all the cousins - and on Mum's side there are too many to keep track of - and you get the "oldies" telling you you are the spitting image of your cousin, Juliet, who lives in Australia (and happens to be very successful), the spider's web of connection becomes almost too big.

And then there is the "family" you choose - your really good friends that you make along the way - some from your childhood, your teenage years, your working life, your early marriage, at the NCT classes, school gates, etc.

My oh my, life is confusing.

I think I will stick to the dogs

 Email from the Nicest Woman in The World:

"Pippa............ Pirate’s sister came to stay this weekend.    She was sent to live with my mother due to bad behaviour as you know.  She has put on 1kilo so far!  Which has slowed her down considerably making her less menacing to passing strangers but we still keep her on a lead..........lest she should escape and cause havoc on Dr Marsh’s shoot. !!!!  Meanwhile back in Eye she is a well known face at the window barking at anything that comes close

My mother absolutely loves her!!

I thought you would like this photo of Pippa (in the lead) and Tiggy from a few years ago."


rethink mental illness
Stand Up for Schizophrenia this week
Dear Charlotte,
We want to say a big thank you for pledging to Stand Up for Schizophrenia – it's a courageous move and your support means a tremendous amount. You've made the commitment to spread better understanding of what it's like to live with this condition and you're joining the fight to challenge the misunderstanding and fear that surrounds it.
Schizophrenia Awareness Week (November 11 - 17) is now here - share the reality of schizophrenia with friends, family and other connections on social media.
On  and  this week we want you to follow our activity and Share the materials we post there to spread the word. 
Not on social media? We also have a blog for Stand Up for Schizophrenia and, as the week progresses, there will be materials there to share with friends and family. And we'd love it if you could join us in our fundraising work.
During this week you'll also be able to watch videos and read moving personal stories, hear surprising facts and learn more about the impact of schizophrenia and psychosis. We'll also be revealing the ways Rethink Mental Illness is working to make people's lives better.
Thanks again!
Digital Communications Officer

Filterless freedom

I spent a lot of yesterday angsting to three of my closest girlfriends about my lack of filter, nowadays. I used to be eloquent, able to put my point across without being too offensive, unless I wanted to be, to pause before I spoke and reframe my words so as not to cause offence. I don't seem to be able to manage that just now.

I had a long conversation with Ali, to arrange the deliver of Giles' magic 3 Wood, without which Tim doesn't stand a chance in this very friendly, non-competitive golf game. She soothed, reassured and loved me. So did Tiff, armed with amazing macaroons from Paris. And Hills for tea. Thanks Clan. I get that it is my choice and life really is too short but more importantly, thanks for listening and, most importantly, laughing uproariously. 

Glad to know that even when I am being offensive, I am still funny….

Overnight Kvetching

Firstly HWISO doesn't read the blog. His choice. Ringing up to discuss stuff on there with him only confuses him. 

My constipation problems are being handled medically now. Anyone else who has had this morphine related problem will understand what I mean and I am fine. Just windy. As Tiff can testify. Me and Uhu are very happy living in a cloud of noxious gas. I always wanted to be a lab.

Simon, ringing people up at 9pm for a chat, especially farmers, is not going to get a warm and friendly response.

A whole tub of Hagen Daaz salted caramel ice creams for supper is a perfect balanced diet. 

If you add the last three macaroons that darling Tiff bought back from Paris, it actually constitutes heaven. 

Uhu has to have an operation today on his bottom. Please everyone wish him well.

Monday, 11 November 2013


Cousin Ann's Norjacks,, Toby and Hati, and her amazing garden

The naughtiest dogs in the world…….

Heathcliffe, your Mummy is naughty..

So scrolling down my Facebook wall, can I resist following Jennifer's link to Word Porn?

Any website that heads up with one of my favourite words

gets my vote.

Then, I found this and can hear all my Hutton relatives immediately thinking of Uncle John…

So that's my morning done. I will be listening to the Grayson Perry Reith Lectures whilst cruising through.


After a lovely middle of the night chat with Colleen (here's the link to the first one, darling - Seamus and Beowulf), I dozed off about 4 and woke to this view, this morning.  Welcome to an East Anglian morning sky.  It bought me back to my conversation with Cousin Ann on Saturday.  Why do I blog?

I blog because I like writing. I blog because it is cathartic for me. I blog as a diary for my husband and my children. I blog because I choose to share an experience of life which is less common among my age group, than among my parents' - ie dying. I blog because otherwise I would be on the phone constantly updating people. I blog because people then have the choice as to whether to read it or not. I blog because people seem to want to know stuff and are afraid to ask. I blog to raise awareness of Eating Disorders, to dispel myths and offer hope. I blog to amuse. To promote. To share. I blog because then I don't have to repeat myself.  I blog because people seem to want me to.  I blog because I can say stuff on paper that I can't say in real life. I blog because I can type left handed but can't write anymore. I blog to say thank you. I blog to help other people. I blog to help myself.

I don't blog because I think I'm interesting, or a writer, or to promote myself. I don't often think about what I am going to blog. It is just random stuff that catches my interest. About what is immediate to me. 

I don't blog for advice, or reassurance or attention. I hate the attention. I love the gentle hugs I receive from my friends, and the kisses and the odd emoticon.  Not because I crave them for my ego, but because they are meant so well and good friends don't need to say much.

I blog because I need to say stuff and I don't want to burden one person, or rely on a small tranche of people for support. That would make me feel very claustrophobic and restrained and make me button up my emotions even more. I don't want to be smothered by a small group of supporters. I just want to say what I want to say when I want to say it. I need to sometimes get it out of the brain and into the big wide world, without any interruption.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Hungry anyone?

For my sister-in-law Bundy, here are some pictures of the Two Magpies.

Just in case you were worried about what we were going to eat.


So I went into Colleen & Clare, for a change, to find some Ugg boots.  Mine have lost the grip on the bottom and despite HWISO's best attempts with his Swiss Army knife, re-scoring them has not solved the problem.

My feet are increasingly numb and cold.  I wear two pairs of socks, even in bed and made the mistake of wearing "proper" shoes the other day to visit Bury St Edmunds.  I had to soak my feet in warm water for a long time to get the feeling back and am terrified of scalding myself, as I can't feel the temperature.  My toenails are beginning to die back (Nice Huh?  The stuff no one tells you about cancer!) and when HWISO said he would buy me a pair of Uggs for Christmas, I not only jumped at the chance but argued my case for having my present early.  6 weeks is a long time to wait and I know I will get full use of out them now.  I even said he could have them back on Christmas morning and wrap them up for me.

I tried really hard to get some long ones on but, one handed, socks are a nightmare - boots are impossible - so we have settled on the little ones with buttons on the side.  Which they don't have in my size but are on order so I can pick them up, hopefully, when up this week, with the Brothers.

Whilst in there, HWISO was "just looking" at the men's coats.  Now I have always thought the Aigle was pronounced A Gull - that's how any right thinking English person would pronounce it.  But Non, Non, Non, it is pronounced Eye Gla. 

They make nice coats though...


Having never been a drug taker and positively stoic about pain, along with the rest of my family, this new introduction into the world of Morpheus is a strange and not entirely pleasant one.

And yet, it is a seductive one.

I remember discussing drugs with HWISO and Dr W, including morphine, and Dr W and I staring wide-eyed at HWISO when he asked about me becoming addicted.

"What does it matter?"

So I am now, I think, officially a morphine junkie.  My patch fell off in the shower - it was due to be changed this morning - and, as I haven't taken any other kind of pain relief for a couple of days, the resultant wave of "fingernails on blackboard" pain literally knocked me sideways.  I went bleating to HWISO with a patch.  I love him but tenderness and noticing distress are not his strong points.  He was "just doing something". you're not anymore.

So the full tsunami of my pain is numbed and I have to remind myself not to be a bird with a wounded wing, curling my hand protectively beneath my coat but to keep it moving, keep the blood flowing, despite the pain, to keep it alive.

The edge of my world is also numbed.  Visually the corners of my eyes no longer catch the details.  Mentally, neither does my mind.  The emotional filter is going and I have been reduced to actually crying and ... Wait for it...expressing my emotions recently.  I have stopped being afraid of not putting other people first. I used to automatically compute other people's feelings first.  Now it is not that I put myself first, merely that the edges are blurred and the details are too fleeting to catch.

It is not entirely unpleasant.  It is not entirely comfortable.  It is not a me I am comfortable with but it is the new me and I don't suppose there is any going back.

Morphine me?  Or bad Dr Who baddie?