Tag Archives: Health

It’s Been A While…

30 Mar

I could grovel; or I could explain that I’ve been battling health issues for over a year, which is why this blog has been dormant. With all that’s happening in the world right now, I think I’ll just wave a nonchalant hand in the air and move on.

I will tell you this, though: in the last sixteen months the NHS saved my life and the sight in my right eye, and has dealt with sundry other issues – all for free. Trapped in the house (Hub and I are on a 12-week lockdown because we are both at risk, especially the Hub), I’m frustrated that I can’t help.

So here’s my offer: if ten people reading this make a donation to Masks For NHS Heroes, the Hub will shave me completely bald, and I’ll post the video here.

I know you are all battling for PPE in your own countries, so I’m aiming this at British readers.

Stay safe and well, lovelies, and I’ll see you on the other side x

Trapped Wind Or Not Trapped Wind? That Is The Question

5 Dec

Image result for funny nhs memesIf there was no NHS, it’s not an exaggeration to say that I’d be writing this in heaven right now. Okay, maybe there’s a little exaggeration – as far as I know, heaven doesn’t have wi-fi.

I was lying in bed reading, three weeks ago tonight, when I had sharp chest pain on the left side. I did wonder for a moment, ‘Am I having a heart attack?’ but it soon passed and because there had been nothing weird about my arm, and no nausea or sweating, I realised it was trapped wind.

Over the following days I had some small sharp wind attacks but nothing like the first. Six days later, on a Tuesday morning, I was standing chatting to my friend Pam and I had another painful experience like the first, accompanied by a hot flush and then a cold sweat, and nausea. At the hot flush (menopause, obviously), I stepped outside into the rain to cool down, which explained the cold sweat. The nausea? Well, I had been thinking about housework.

I explained the horrible trapped wind situation to Pam and she urged me to get checked out, thinking of chest infections and pneumonia. That seemed a bit over the top for excess gas but, as it happened, I was booked in for a blood test for my cholesterol level at my doctor’s surgery the following morning. I did some research about chest pain that evening and every single website urged, ‘Tell a doctor!’

I didn’t really want to waste anyone’s time but I couldn’t get the website messages out of my head but, as I was there, I mentioned the chest pain to the nurse, who insisted that I ask to see the on-call doctor, who saw me within fifteen minutes and immediately referred me to the hospital as a precaution (I presented with conflicting symptoms), bypassing A&E and booking me directly into the Acute Care Unit at Stepping Hill Hospital.

The Hub ran me up to the hospital and I was quickly tested and blooded. The ECG showed ‘small anomalies’ and one blood test was ‘inconclusive’. I was re-tested and re-blooded and sent for a chest x-ray.

There was some waiting around, yes, but mostly for test results, all of which came back within an hour. The doctor suspected there was a blood clot on my lung (pulmonary embolism). A nurse injected me (painfully) with blood thinner (to dissolve any possible clots) in my stomach (I still have a bruise, two weeks later), and gave me one to take home to use the next day. I could not for the literal life of me inject myself but the Hub could and did, and that’s why I found myself screaming at him, unNike-like, ‘Just do it!’ when he was murmuring softly that ‘This is going to hurt, I’m afraid, sweetie.’Image result for pulmonary embolism funny

It didn’t hurt, despite the roll of fat he pinched firmly, as instructed. He jabbed instead of glided and there was very little pain and no bruising at all. Professional Nurse: 0, The Hub: 1, as far as he’s concerned. I reckon he stuck it into so much fat, it’s still floating around, lost without a clot to hiss in.

The hospital had me back on Friday for a V/Q scan, which is when gamma radiation is injected into the body to examine airflow and blood flow in the lungs. Yes, I was radioactive for a while there, and it had nothing to do with the Hub annoying me. After lunch (provided free of charge, both days), I had an echocardiogram – an ultrasound for the heart. That was ay-may-zing, to see my heart on telly, as it was beating in my chest. Wow, Just wow. I love science!

The result of all of this outstanding care is that I definitely have a pulmonary embolism – the pains in my chest were clot moving days – but our fabulous NHS caught it in time and I’m not going to die just yet (buses and absent-mindedness notwithstanding). Nor am I going to be bankrupted for the pleasure of not dying. I am being treated with medication and I have some follow-up appointments but, basically, it’s life as normal, and the bank balance is lighter only by the cost of a medic alert bracelet (if you cut me, do I not bleed copiously and have to be extra careful from now on?).

I have a wonderful husband who was there with me every step of the way (though he does like to needle me), despite his own ill-health. I made him stay home on the Friday, however, because he can just sit there, waiting (his M.E. allowing him to do little else), and I simply can’t. My Kindle felt unloved on Wednesday, when I was forced to talk to the Hub in the waiting room instead of reading; but was happy on Friday, as we idled away the time together between tests.

Our NHS isn’t perfect in everyday life – it can take weeks to get a non-urgent appointment – but in an emergency, there’s no better health care provider, and I have the breath in my lungs to prove it.

And finally…For several days afterwards, this song kept going through my head:

Of This And That

12 May

http://www.savagechickens.com/images/chickenapologize.jpg

What Should Be An Apology, But Somehow Isn’t

I’ve had a lot going on and no laptop for a while but now everything’s back to normal.  I saved all of your blog posts that came into my inbox – some going back to January – to read when I had more time.  Then  it occurred to me that I never have more time, so I made the decision to delete them all and suddenly I’m six inches taller because the guilt lifted as soon as the emails went into the trash.

https://img0.etsystatic.com/000/0/5140495/il_fullxfull.97372308.jpg

Feeling Yellow

I don’t think I mentioned I was quite ill with renal colic before Easter.  Then the tests came back and it wasn’t renal colic after all – thank goodness, because kidney stones would have followed, the doctor was a little too eager to assure me.  What I had was a severe UTI (I don’t want to say ‘urinary tract infection’ because that’s a wee bit icky).  It had me flat out for a week (the Tramadol might have played a little part in that) and it was several more weeks before I was all better.

Live From Worktown

I had a poem in an anthology published in conjunction with this year’s Bolton Festival.  I went along to the launch event.  45 minutes on the train then another 45 minutes trying to find the Octagon Theatre, which is a five minute walk from the station.  The Hub’s instruction, via Google Maps (printed out with little arrows drawn on to show me which way to walk.  He seems to think I can’t be trusted to find my own way around) was to exit the station, turn left, follow the map arrows.  What could go wrong?  Plenty, it seems.

For starters, the station had two exits.

I checked them both out and went with the one that most resembled the Google Street View image the Hub had shown me (did I mention he thinks I can’t find my way out of a railway station?).  I exited, turned left, walked and walked and walked for much longer than five minutes, not finding any street names matching my map.  I walked back to the station and started again.

I exited the second entrance, turned left, walked and walked but not quite so far this time before I turned around and walked back to the station, then around the station, then inside and around the station, then I bought thinking time by raiding the vending machine.

Idea!  Look at the wall map.  

There was bound to be a wall map.  

There was a wall map.  

Very pretty it was, too, with a helpful YOU ARE HERE arrow.  I could even see the theatre on the map.  What I couldn’t see was any indication as to which of the station’s two exits I should use to get to the theatre, nor in which direction I should go, nor any street names that tallied with my well-worn and now a little sweaty map.  As pretty wall maps go, it was a bit of a let down.

http://www.lovethispic.com/uploaded_images/13688-Pooh-Bear-Think.gif?1

The chocolate worked its magic and it occurred to me to ask someone – a very helpful news vendor who told me, Turn right [hear that Hub & Google Maps/Right!] out of the exit that doesn’t appear on Google Street View [okay, he didn’t say that last bit but I could tell he was thinking it], up to the clock tower which is the town hall [or courts or something] and the theatre is just behind it. Which it is, if you come at it from the clock tower’s right if you’re heading up from the station, as I discovered once I had walked the long way around the town hall.

The excitement at actually arriving at my destination meant that for me, the anthology launch itself was a bit of an anticlimax, until I was given a free glass of wine.  Everything looks better after free wine, especially on an empty except for a small bar of chocolate tummy.

I chatted to a bewildered Bolton University Creative Writing student, booze making me loquacious and free with all the writing advice she could ever need – Keep a notebook!  Follow the muse!  Get critiqued!  Read my blog!  Email me if you have any questions! – until she was rescued when I spotted a fellow contributor, Julia McGuiness, who once held a writing workshop I attended, and who used a few of my piku in a writing book she wrote [see, BUCWS: listen to me and you too can write long-winded and confused sentences in just such a style].

I took photos on my phone, sure in the knowledge that I could fiddle with the phone charger lead and connect it to my laptop to upload the photos to share with you.  

I did manage to fiddle with the phone charger lead and connect it to my laptop.  

Sorry there are no photos.  It appears that I don’t know what to do once the phone and laptop are connected.

 Julia D. McGuinness Julia on somebody else’s phone.

Spud Acts Again

Over Easter, Spud was at the national Student Drama Festival in Scarborough, sponsored by The Sunday Times, in Joe Bunce’s The Nutcracker [I accidentally typed The Butcracker and I can’t help thinking I’d really like to see that play].  

A committee checks out student productions throughout the year and then invites twelve from around the country to appear at the Festival. The Nutcracker won four awards, including Best Director and The Cameron Macintosh Award.  I suspect Mr Bunce will go far.  I hope Spud is his Facebook friend because it’s often about who you know in the brutal business known as show.  

You can read a little about the festival and The Nutcracker here.  Spud sent me some photos but I can’t upload them.  Is it possible that UTIs can affect your brain?  Mine stopped working about six weeks ago.

The Hub and I are off to see Spud play Mole in The Wind in the Willows.  More of that later in the week, but here’s a teaser:

 

New Year, New Rules

3 Feb

Image from integral-optionsblogspot

A Little Housekeeping

As you know, several minor health issues last year left me with no appetite for blogging.  The break has helped but, if I’m going to keep it up, I need to change my habits.

My intention is to try to post at least three times a week from Monday to Friday; and to visit your blogs on Saturdays.

Apologies

I won’t be commenting on my or your blogs as often I used to.  If last year taught me anything, it’s that I just can’t sustain it.  I’m sure you understand.  And if you don’t, feel free to leave a comment.

But don’t expect a reply…

Bored With Myself Now

19 Oct
doctor_doctor_joke29

doctor_doctor_joke29 (Photo credit: Alan O’Rourke)

I’m feeling a little weary today

I wrote this post earlier but decided to let it stew for a bit because it is
so full of self-pity and poor-meism.  I had decided not to post it at
all when it occurred to me that sometimes I present a false image of
myself (fancy someone doing that on the internet…); that if you take
this blog at its word, everything in the Tilly garden is rosy and that I
face problems with stoicism and humour.  

Which I do, of course, but not until I’ve had a large, private dose of
self-pity and poor-meism.  Then I joke about it and move on.

That false image is unfair to you, I think.  Like the supermodels I so
closely resemble, I show you the airbrushed version of my life – and
my personality, if I’m honest.  In reality, I’m as grumpy and self-pitying
as the rest of you.  So here’s an honest piece of writing.

Don’t say you weren’t warned.

[I have decided not to link this post with Six Word Saturday.  My
regular readers will get when I’m joking; my irregular readers might not.]

Sick Puppy - Sick As A Dog

Sick Puppy – Sick As A Dog (Photo credit: Anirudh Koul) What I am in my head; but not in my bod.

Because I’ve had one thing after another, I haven’t participated in Six Word Saturday for a couple of months.  I was determined to participate today and in my head, I wrote a particularly funny post for you about visiting the doctor.  However, my brain doesn’t have a sense of humour today, being too taken up with self-pity, so you get this instead. Sorry.

The painful lump in my neck turned out to be one of two swollen lymph nodes.  The on-call doctor did a thorough examination, history, etc., and concluded it was an infection of indeterminate origin.  She checked all areas where swollen lymph nodes might appear (there were no others).  She took blood there and then, so the results will be back in time for my scheduled appointment with my regular doctor next week.  She recommended a dental check up in case it was my teeth causing the infection – a distinct possibility: despite regular check ups, careful oral hygiene and lots of wishing it don’t be so, I do have a lot of teeth problems, as you know.

Swollen lymph nodes termed "buboes" ...

Swollen lymph nodes termed “buboes” caused by plague bacteria (bubonic plague). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)  What I’m hoping mine are NOT

I went straight into the dentist’s, a couple of doors down, as soon as I came out of the doctor’s.  I explained the situation and that the doctor wanted me to see the dentist before next Thursday’s appointment, so it could be ruled out (or in).   This is where it got awkward: not knowing I was going to be unwell, I have a full diary next week; I could do Monday morning or all-day Tuesday, and that was it.  The wonderful receptionist, Alison, laughingly tut-tutted at my lack of prophetic skills and squeezed in a twenty-minute appointment on Tuesday afternoon.  I have had so many emergency appointments over the years, it wouldn’t surprise me if Alison pencilled them in in advance, to be on the safe side.

The doc prescribed a course of amoxicillin and I started it immediately.  Within 24 hours I was feeling a lot better; today, there’s no pain and I can move my neck normally again.  That’s when I noticed the nausea.  It has lasted all day and reminds me of being pregnant (not a possibility – I had an ultrasound last week over an unrelated matter and there was no waving baby in sight).  I checked the amoxicillin’s contraindications – 1 in 1000 people experience nausea as a side-effect.  I have never had that problem before with penicillin; but that’s the sort of year I’m having.

"When you run with the Doctor, it feels l...

“When you run with the Doctor, it feels like it’ll never end. But however hard you try you can’t run forever…” (Photo credit: fengschwing)  I have to say, that was a problem for me even before I started feeling unwell.  No stamina, you see.  None at all, ever.

So, yes, I am a little fed up today.  I’m sick of feeling sick and run down and not being in the mood to blog, supposing I had the energy, which I hardly have had lately (though it doesn’t appear to have affected my ability to write long-winded, meandering sentences).

I’m off to count my blessings, however, beginning with:

  1. A free healthcare system which ensures I get good treatment despite having no money.  
  2. It’s not serious (thanks to modern medicine); it’s just a little wearisome because it’s the latest in a long line of small ailments.
  3. The Hub.  As some of you may have guessed, he’s rather nice, especially when I don’t feel well and despite his own long-term condition.*
  4. My blog.  It means I can feel sorry for myself in front of a worldwide audience.
  5. My readers, many of whom have real problems, not least of which is no access to decent health care; and some of whom are dealing with dreadful illnesses and conditions and only wish they felt just a little weary; and all of whom will rush to leave supportive comments. 

 If I didn’t feel so guilty, I’d feel better already.

*

*Good grief!  I must be sick!  I said something nice about the Hub.  I’m scared.

I’m No Michaelangelo

16 Oct

Daily Prompt: Michelangelo’s YOU

The Pieta, by Michelangelo

The Pieta, by Michelangelo (Photo credit: kiwizone)  AKA Hub Carrying His Missus To The Hospital On The Occasion Of Her Blackhead

Your personal sculptor is carving a person, thing, or event from the last month of your life into the glistening marble of immortality. What’s the statue and what makes it so significant?

The statue is a large, flaking pimple.

This is what I look like at the moment:

Okay, the flaky skin was cured by copious amounts of Vaseline and the seventy-year old woman staring out from the mirror has lost twenty years; but now I am lumpy.

On Monday evening sometime after nine, I suddenly felt an ache on my neck.  I suspected a lump but couldn’t really find one.  Yesterday morning it had appeared.  Yesterday evening it was stretching its legs down my neck tendons and feeling quite sore.  This morning it hurt.  Fortunately, that is easing as the day goes on.

Naturally, I reached out for expert help.  

Google says it’s a goitre, which means I’m either infected or hormonal.

You choose.  But don’t mess with me…I have a disgusting thing and I’m not afraid to use it.

 

Metal Fatigue

23 Feb

I think I’ve infected the appliances

I went into the spare room at the first throat tickle and avoided all contact with the Hub and it seems to have worked: his compromised immune system didn’t cave at the first sneeze spray like it usually does.

Give me my mofackin' pot pie!!!   298/365

Give me my pot pie!!! 298/365 (Photo credit: AndYaDontStop)

However, my rotten germs needed to go somewhere.  Suddenly, the TV is showing wavy lines; the fridge freezer has a blockage; the PC demanded a new power supply and the dishwasher gave up the ghost.

Coincidence?  I think not.

*

*

Joke 697

18 Feb
Doctor Who Joke #2

Doctor Who Joke #2 (Photo credit: >Rooners)

A man went to see his doctor because he was suffering from a miserable cold. His doctor prescribed some pills, but they didn’t help.

On his next visit the doctor gave him a shot, but that didn’t do any good.

On his third visit the doctor told the man, “Go home and take a hot bath. As soon as you finish bathing throw open all the windows and stand in the draft.”

“But Doc,” protested the patient, “if I do that, I’ll get pneumonia.”

“I know,” said the doctor, “but I can cure pneumonia.”

It’s feeble, I know, but so am I at the moment.  From workjoke.com

 

A Doctor A Day Keeps Flesh-Eating Bugs Away

9 Feb

Thinking of going on a diet

I turn fifty this year; I need to take my health seriously.  I know this because I have received an invitation to attend a health check at my doctor’s surgery.  They would like to test for my risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, stroke and kidney failure.

Understanding Women

Understanding Women (Photo credit: Graela)

I suppose the thinking is:

  1. We’ll scare her into treating her body like a temple instead of a chocolate sanctuary
  2. It will save the NHS money if we catch her before it’s too late and too expensive for this postcode
  3. We don’t want her to die; she’s one of our most obedient patients, turning up on time for every appointment, whether voluntary or compulsory; and always taking the full course of antibiotics as instructed

I have never smoked, barely drink, don’t have the energy for late nights and walk every day…but I do like to eat.  ‘Being overweight’ is the top risk factor, according to the leaflet that accompanied the diktat to comply and book an appointment, stat!

Rather like over-filling the car at the petrol pump* and the gas station* exploding because someone belched last night’s spicy curry, I’m a walking time bomb.

*Also half-Brit, half-Yank, apparently: what would that make me? A Yit/Brank/Bank/Brink/Kit/Yurt?

Health

Health (Photo credit: Tax Credits) Yeah, right!   http://taxcredits.net/  

The only reason I hesitate is this: the letter sending my orders to report to base is signed by (you’ll like this, Dianne) the Patient Demographics Officer.  My Doctor doesn’t care enough to send a personal (it doesn’t have to be embossed) invitation to an event that might save my life.  Huh.

Let’s do a pros and cons list to decide if I should embark on a regime that will take over my life but prolong it:

Pros:

  • I’ll be healthy
  • I’ll be alive
  • I’ll make my Patient Demographics Officer happy
  • How patient is she?  This could take a while
  • The house will smell of fruit
  • The house will smell of cooked cabbage
  • The house will smell of fart
  • The last two are pros because they keep guests away
  • That’s a pro because have you seen the price of fruit and veg in this country?  If I eat healthily, I won’t have the money to serve biscuits with my guests’ tea.  How embarrassing
  • I won’t get sick, have to go into hospital, contract MRSA and other flesh-eating germs and die
  • I’ll live longer.  I’ll even outlive the Hub who won’t join me on a diet, will get sick, have to go into hospital with the flesh-eaters and, well, you know the rest…
  • If I live longer and even outlive the Hub, I’ll finally be able to chuck out his junk.  It’s worth dieting for that reason alone
  • I’ll finally get back in to my 1982 skinny jeans; I knew I was right to hang onto them
  • The house will smell of fruit

Cons:

  • I’ll have to give up Maltesers

The cons have it: no diet.

Blogging Is Backbreaking Work

11 Jan
Flexion Stressing Posterior Annulus | Diagram ...

Flexion Stressing Posterior Annulus | Diagram of the Spine | Back Pain | Colorado Spine Doctor (Photo credit: neckandback)

I have been having quite a bit of pain in my lower back area.  I have terrible posture and I think the weight of my top half slumped over my waist for five hours at the computer each morning is the ouch factor.

I have decided to take a break from blogging for a week, to see if that helps.

I will schedule your daily joke and re-blog some old posts to keep you going, but I’m sorry, I won’t be visiting or answering comments for a while.

The Laughing Housewife Management thanks all readers for their understanding.

Anyone offering free back rubs is welcome to visit.

All advice gratefully read, if not replied to.

Viv’s Home!

4 Dec

I would like to thank you all for the good wishes you sent to Viv, even though many of you don’t know her.

I’m happy to report that she’s back home, blogging, poeming and commenting. This is what she had to say:

I am overwhelmed with all the support and good wishes. Thank you all from the bottom of my newly repaired heart, which is very happy to be home at last.  

If you would like to read the story of her mishap with a hospital gown, hop on over to her blog.

Welcome back, Viv!  I missed you.

Get Well Soon, Viv!

24 Nov

6WS friend Viv is in hospital

I know a lot of you visit Viv through Six Word Saturday, so I thought you’d like to know she’s in hospital.

The phone rang yesterday:

TB: Hello?  Whoisitwhaddyawantstopbotheringmewiththesestupidcoldcalls!

Viv: It’s Viv.

TB: Bev?

Viv: Viv!

TB: Bev who?

Viv: I’m going to climb out of this hospital bed and onto a plane and knock the dumb out of you if you don’t open your ears.  Viv!

Okay, I might have made that last bit up, which you all know because you know how lovely and sweet and generous and kind and caring Viv is; but I don’t do mushy, so I make stuff up to mask my anxiety.

Viv’s main problem is that she’s been unhooked from wi-fi.  The only cure for that is to get out of hospital ASAP and come home.

Get well soon, my lovely Viv.

 

Six Word Saturday (For Want Of A Better Title)

20 Oct

Hub still ill.  

I’m still laughing.

Today’s post is late because I was at a half-day conference on laughter this morning.  Funnily enough, it was quite serious.

I came back to no internet.  That’s just not funny.

Hub is still in bed after five days, but on the mend.  We have decided that he has not caught my bug, after all, because he shows no sign of excessive nasal leaking. Also, his lips are blistered and his mouth full of sores, neither of which I had.  

I gleefully informed him that he can stop blaming me for making him ill.

He gleefully replied that he’ll probably pass his germs on to me.

Funny, I was just starting to like him.

Germs

10 Oct

 

TV Germs

TV Germs (Photo credit: dsb nola)

This is what the inside of my throat looks like, I’m sure.

I’ve got germs.  I’ve got the bug that’s been doing the rounds in this house, in this town, in this country, in other countries, in the blogosphere.

My family have had it.  My friends have had it.  My blogging friends and family have had it.  Now I have it.

It’s your fault.  I’m not talking to you.

 

Joke 553

27 Sep

 

From ajokeaday.com.

A Married Couple

A Married Couple (Photo credit: josefnovak33)

A man went to the doctor complaining of insomnia.  The doctor gave him an exam and found nothing physically wrong with him.

“If you ever expect to cure your insomnia,” the doctor said, “you need to stop taking your troubles to bed with you.”

“I’d love to,” said the man, “but my wife refuses to sleep alone.”

***

And to redress the balance, one from jokes.net.

A woman accompanied her husband to the doctor’s office.

After his checkup, the doctor called the wife into his office alone.  He said, “Your husband is suffering from a very severe stress disorder.  If you don’t do the following, your husband will surely die: each morning, fix him a healthy breakfast.  Be pleasant at all times.  For lunch make him a nutritious meal.  For dinner prepare an especially nice meal.  Don’t burden him with chores. Don’t discuss your problems with him, it will only make his stress worse.  No nagging. And most importantly, make love with your husband several times a week.  If you can do this for the next six months, I think your husband will completely regain his health.”

On the way home, the husband asked his wife, “What did the doctor say?”

“He said you’re going to die,” she replied.

 

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