Monday, January 28, 2008

Apologies for length

I had an MRI scan this morning.

I have a dodgy knee, you see. I crashed a motorbike *cough*thirteenyearsago*cough* and spanged my left knee rather comprehensively. I didn’t get it checked at the time as the waiting time in Saarrfend Hostipal’s A&E department was really long and besides, I had an appointment with the body piercer.

As ye sow, so shall ye reap.

I am currently lumbered with a knee that functions at the level of an arthritic door hinge. It gives out on me, it creaks and it pings and if I crouch down to get anything from the fridge at work I have to then clutch at the worktop like a drowning Labrador and haul myself bodily upwards, which is always attractive. Oh yes.

I had Physio. It made it worse. So I was referred to the sinister-sounding Musculoskeletal Clinic, where I was told I would need x-rays and an MRI to see if surgery will be needed. X-rays? That’s fine by me. MRI? Um….

It started badly, to be fair. The nurse-lady called me through, sat me down and stared in horror at my piercings. I rang the clinic last week, you see, to ask them how far in the machine I would have to go. What with the claustrophobia and the panic attacks and all. I was assured that only my legs would go in so I didn’t bother removing any of my jewellery. Well, there’s seventeen of the buggers, and most of them need pliers to undo the rings. Plus, I am lazy. So I left them in.

The nurse-lady asked if I could remove my jewellery. I asked if she had any pliers. She asked if there were any more that she couldn’t see. I lifted my hair to show her my ears. She went pale.

It turned out that I would be going into the scanner up to my chest. Sweet.

It all got a bit weird from there on in. I was informed that the machine-operating-lady would have to decide if I was allowed to go ahead. Which struck me as odd – either you have to remove jewellery so that bits of surgical steel don’t go flying around the room like little silver bullets, or it’s fine. It doesn’t strike me as a discretionary matter.

As it turned out, I needn’t have worried. Although I had to take my boots off (metal zips, you see), when I told the nurse-lady that I had a metal zip in my trousers and an underwire in my bra, she just sort of shrugged sullenly and told me it would be fine. Oh, really? What the hell was all the drama about my piercings for then? Gah.

After answering a succession of increasingly bizarre questions (ranging from how-much-do-you-weigh to the distinctly unscientific-sounding have-you-ever-had-a-bit-of-metal-in-your-eye; um, no, but I once cut my ear open falling off a bottle bank, if that counts?) I was led through to the torture chamber scanning room.

Jesus H Baldheaded Christ on a Bike.

Giant washing machine thingy? Check. Worrying bed-thing with a knee holder on it? Check. Incipient panic attack? Check. How long will it take? I quavered in Piglet’s voice. Oh, only about twenty minutes, breezed the machine-operator-lady. I was invited to lie down, had my leg immobilised, was given a panic button and some earphones and was shoved into the scanner. Good lord. Because I had to go in up to my chest, the front of the machine was directly in front of my face. Like, an inch away. From a worrying looking slot-thing labelled “Laser Aperture”. Um. Help? Now, although this was better for me than having to go all the way in (a procedure that for me would necessitate sedation, restraints and a scuba tank), it was far from ideal. Far. From. Ideal.

There then followed an endless twenty minutes of staring at the ceiling, trying to keep breathing, and being subjected to the sort of noises that would have confessions from every last inmate of Guantanamo Bay after three minutes. I mean, the noises!! So loud!! Big clangy ones. Horrible headfuck buzzing ones. Weird oh-my-god-what-was-that ones. It was as much as I could do to stop myself blurting “Madeleine McCann has been in my understairs cupboard all along!” in an effort to make them stop.

By the time I got out of there I was shaking so much that I couldn’t get the key in the locker to retrieve my belongings. I had to go home and watch Homes Under the Hammer until I felt better.

Still, it’s done now. Now all I have to worry about is the holiday in two weeks, the flight there, the being in America, the crowds, the heat and the flight home, the possibility of surgery which means I have to worry about dying under anaesthetic or them doing the wrong knee or me catching Ebola from my bedside cabinet. And then there’s the wedding….

Does anyone have a spare Valium? Kthx.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Opinion: Author's Own

Mostly, feminism isn’t top of my list.

Occasionally, however, one of the sisterhood makes such a breathtakingly offensive remark that I feel slightly ashamed to be on the same team.

A discussion was taking place this afternoon in the next-department-over (you know, the one where they’re all a little bit thick, but it’s okay as one of them is doing one of the directors*) about the then-ongoing trial of John Hogan.

In case you can’t be arsed to clicky, I’ll summarise:

John Hogan, on learning that his (already foundering, as admitted by both parties) marriage was lurching towards its final demise, waited until his wife’s back was turned, then scooped up his six-year-old son and two-year-old daughter and, with them in his arms, threw himself over the fourth floor balcony of their holiday hotel room. His son died of massive head injuries, as his mother tried in vain to resuscitate him. John Hogan and his daughter survived with relatively minor injuries.

Now, I personally think that this was an incredibly selfish act. If you feel that your life isn’t worth living and that a quick backflip over the edge will put it all in perspective for you then please, be my guest. Don’t be taking two small children with you though.

Just my opinion.

However, the blonde one in the next-department-over disagrees. It’s much simpler from where she’s sitting. According to her logic, if Natasha Hogan hadn’t told her husband that their marriage was pretty much in the shitter, he would never have committed such a terrible act. In fact, she opined, the ex-Mrs-Hogan (ooh, and didn’t she divorce him a bit quick? Ooh..) should feel guilty that her son is dead and her ex-husband detained in a Greek psychiatric unit.

Oh! It all makes perfect sense now! People should always remain in unhappy relationships, in case the spurned partner decides to invite the kids to their pity party! Nobody should ever leave anyone, ever, in case they turn out to be the sort of deranged mentaller who sees child-killing as the ideal response! I should feel grateful that, on learning that I was leaving him, the Ex didn’t take Small Person down to the river and hold her under until the bubbles stopped coming up!

Good lord.

* That is a whole other story. You do not want to hear it. Brr.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Surly's Little Helper

So anyway.

I went to the doctors on Friday for a review of my meds. It's been three months now since I went mental, and I needed to see him to carry on renewing my prescriptions. As I'm not doing so well currently, and should apparently be "better" by now, a couple of suggestions were made.

Firstly, I was offered Effexor. Um, no thanks. Isn't that the one, I asked, that I've read loads of really scary things about? Oh, no, smiled the doctor. It's all fine now! They've fixed all that!

I declined. As fun as weight gain, addiction and increased likelihood of suicide might be, I'd really rather go without. You know. Just for now.

So, in order to get me through our upcoming trip to Florida, itwas suggested that I double the meds I'm on now. Fine, thought I. I've been on them for a while, with no discernible side effects. What can the difference be? I won't even notice.


Kids, I am stoned. I mean, you could make me watch "Beaches" intercut with pictures of dying puppies and I wouldn't even flinch. I am extremely, um, level. It's odd, and a little bit interesting. I might watch One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest later, just to see if I can still feel anything.


Tuesday, January 01, 2008

In which nothing happens

The Other Half has gone to watch the football. Small Person is on the other sofa playing Nintendogs with her head under a blanket. The cat is catching up on some sleep having only managed 23 hours yesterday. There is nothing on the telly. I am lightly medicated.

Happy New Year, all.....

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