Tuesday, 9 February 2016

LAID UP


Few things make you appreciate simple, everyday activities such as nipping down the road to the greengrocers, like being practically (and, I hope, temporarily) immobile, as I have been for the last few weeks and will continue to be for a while.

Me, hobbling up the greengrocers.  Oh, okay, it's not.

I won't go into detail as I don't want this post to be too much of a moan; suffice to say that it's probably a condition called PVNS in my left knee, and necessitates a leg brace, crutches, a biopsy in a month and subsequent operation that will mean another six weeks' recuperation.


The downsides?  Well, yes, they're obvious.  At first I thought 'yippee, good excuse not to do housework', and have adjusted my mindset to accept that living in a pigsty is the least of my problems, though I do manage to do a little tidying up by transporting items from room to room over my shoulder (or stuffed down my bra, if they're small enough).  Most things have to be bought and fetched for me, and I find that hard.  The worst downside is the occasional, excruciating pain.  So bad that it causes sweating and yelling ~ last time, even huge doses of morphine didn't touch it.  The other night I was watching a documentary about Guns 'N' Roses, in which Duff McKagen said that when his pancreas burst after years of rock star excess, he too had the experience of zero effect from 'enough morphine to knock out a horse' (which is what the nurse said I'd had).  The TV interviewer gasped in awe; I merely raised a world-weary eyebrow.

Me and Duff McKagen: too rock 'n' roll for morphine

Only gas and air took the edge off it for me.  The last time it happened I lay in A&E practically delirious with pain for one and a half hours until an angel appeared in the form of a wonderful doctor whose name I didn't manage to catch apart from his being called Izzy or Ezzy, whose dear sweet nurse gave me much gas and air and wiped my sweating brow; Angel Doctor drained a cupful of blood from the football that used to be my knee.  He was one of those Africans who are so black that all I could see was the whites of his eyes and his lovely smile He had the most calming, beautiful aura I've ever come across, and I felt completely safe in his hands.  I dunno, perhaps the morphine did affect me after all, but I honestly felt that I'd been sent a divine being!  I've looked him up on the health authority website but can't find him... so perhaps he really was :)

At least it's winter; it's quite nice to have an excuse to stay inside, warm and cosy!  I like to think that I'm a fairly positive and contented person, and indeed my situation does have upsides.  I haven't had a cigarette for four weeks so may have given up (though I don't want to totally give up because smoking makes you look hard and cool, and non-smokers are girly wimps), but the main bonus is reading time.  Currently, I have hours a day for one of my favourite things in the world!  I read about fifteen books over the last four weeks.  I review for Rosie Amber's Review Team and am on the panel for a historical fiction award, so I have much time to give to both, as well as some of my own choices.  The TBR list is finally getting chopped down a bit!  
 
Five of Rosie's review team!

No domestic chores means I have more time to write, too ~ my new novella has been sent for proofreading (details soon), and yesterday I actually wrote a six page letter in longhand, to a friend I haven't seen for a while.  You know, like people did in the olden days! 

With reference to the first paragraph, about learning how to appreciate the small stuff, back in 1982 I shared a flat with my friend Helen, and we had no fridge.  When we finally got one we felt as if we'd been given some fabulous treat.  The joy of being able to have salad, and the milk not going off, was such a novelty.  I imagine I will feel the same once I can walk once more, and I hope I never take it for granted again!  In the New Age early 90s I remember reading a book called 'Flow', one of the many self-help books that were everywhere back then ~ it was leant to me by Jane with whom I shared a house at the time.  She was a great fan of the whole New Age scene, and was always feng shui-ing the downstairs loo and sneaking off to do Shamanic drumming.  The message I took from it was that happiness is derived not from having your dreams come true but from obtaining joy via the everyday things in life.  Tis true indeed, and I still try to live by that; I often think of that fridge :)


Helen and me, 2015 (33 years on, we remain proud fridge owners)

Just one last thing and very, very important thing ~ we've been so lucky with family and friends and all their offers of help and kind messages.  Real life, online, and online friends who've become real life ones too ~ you know who you are, and THANK YOU xxxxxx




60 comments:

  1. Ouch, ouch and ouch!
    If the op can fix it, it will be worth it. Get well soon.

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    1. Absolutely! Scary but necessary. Thanks!

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  2. So that's where you've been! Sorry to hear you've been crocked up, but glad you've created a few positives from it! All the best for your recovery, Terry! xxx

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  3. Oh heck - life is just rubbish when pain takes over the world. I do hope your Saint comes to the rescue again soon, and gets you dancing round the kitchen again.

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    1. Ah, I have another one who is there every day, Jo - my husband :) Thank you xxx

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  4. Sending HUGE hugs to you, Terry, and wishing you a speedy recovery in whichever rock n'roll path you need to take (I had gas and air once and the nurse had to take it off me!!) ;-)

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    1. Ha ha ha!!!! I know, I know - I got through 3 tanks of it the first time, I was FLOATING - loved it! Thanks xx

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  5. I'm so sorry to hear about the dreadful pain as well as the inconvenience of your poor knee. On the subject of fridges, the first flat I shared had a gas fridge and a coin meter so the milk went off whenever we ran out of coins.

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    1. Oh, brilliant - love it!!! I do remember being on a meter when I first lived with my 2nd husband, Alan. We went on holiday for 2 weeks and left enough money to keep everything going. We also left Alan's nephew the keys, and he used the flat to hang out in, thus using up the electricity... alas, we had fish in the freezer...!!

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  6. Hi Terry - all I can say is ... I hope the condition goes away - sounds quite difficult. Good luck ..and well done on the not smoking, and managing to cope - hope you feel easier soon .. cheers Hilary

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  7. So sorry to hear about your knee pain and suffering through this crisis. I love your blog posts and I'm a fan.Feel better soon!!

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    1. Thank you so much, Angela! I'm afraid the blog posts have been a bit sparse lately, but I'll do my best! xx

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  8. Phwooar, Duff Mckagan, eh, eh! Oh, sorry, am I missing the point? Don't forget, I am available for housework duties, as long as I have my trusty travelling laptop, I am good to go.

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    1. Yes, I might book you in soon! Um, and yeah, it kind of IS the point, yowsah!!... it's what made me think I might get a blog post out of this, I suppose (that and the lovely angel doctor).

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    2. Email me, then I can book tickets.

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  9. Oh TT, my favourite racy lady being immobilised is not good to contemplate. Thank heavens for small pleasures and large, smiling angels, both at home and on the ward. I can imagine it's very hard to bear (the pain, not the time to read) so I hope your lovely angel at the hospital was no morphine induced hallucination and that he'll be on hand when you have to go back. In the meantime, we'll be rooting and tweeting for you, lovely. HUGS!!! xxx

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    1. Thanks, dear sweet Val! I have been overwhelmed by the messages from kind online friends, too. Online friendship is as real as any other :)

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  10. Gosh, sorry to hear about your knee, Terry. There I was thinking you'd been laid up with a touch of flu or something... Hope you're tap/disco/ballroom dancing before too long. Take care.

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    1. Thanks, Wendy - that makes me think of that joke about a guy having his fingers in bandages and saying "But Doctor, when the bandages come off, will I be able to play the piano?" Doctor: "Yes, of course." Patient: "Hey, that's great, I couldn't before!" Or something - I know that needs some fine tuning! x

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  11. Gas and air is totally wonderful and actually was the main reason why I went back to have a second child (not even joking) so imagine my horror to find that by the time I got to hospital I was too far gone and it didn't work at all!! Terry I feel for you and this tough time you're going through but all things pass...eventually and you are, as always, being all brave and positive and will completely appreciate it once you are up and about again. Oh, and before I go, and I know you're just winding me up, but non-smokers are not girly wimps... #justsaying ;-)

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    1. Ha ha! That smoking thing comes from my brother saying about a mate he had at school who said, "Yeah, but if you don't smoke, you're nothing, are you?" My brother made mock up cigarette packets saying 'Smoking makes you look hard and cool' instead of the health warning, long before they were available to buy on t'internet. I dunno, I think it might be a rock thing - Julia was appalled that she'd actually given up smoking, as I feel about being practically a non-drinker - we're supposed to have constitutions of asbestos!

      Ha ha, too, at gas and air - it's fab, isn't it?! The morphine worked for me the first two times to the point that I was begging the nurses for more (not much of an addictive body type then..), but then it just did nothing, liked you with gas and air. Thanks for your kind message! xx

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    2. I have not smoked for 3 years, and I still consider myself a girly wimp. What, an Aries Metal Rooster (Chinese astrology), not smoking? Pah!

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  12. Ouch. I can vouch for the pain...having been laid up with a similar knee problem a couple of years ago. I hope the operation goes well, and you're up and about again soon. In the meantime...Yah to extra reading time... and to fridges :) x

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    1. Oh, sorry you had it too! As for the extra reading time - that ROCKS! x

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  13. I have everything crossed for you and hope it’s all sorted out soon. So sorry about April but look forward to speaking kind of 'face to face’ :-) xxx

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    1. Thanks Cathy! I'm gutted about April but I was moaning about it to Julia and she said, "well, that's life, sometimes you don't get to do everything you want", and so I stopped moaning!!! Yes - I remember that lovely afternoon we had talking about bloggy and booky things in the hotel, so look forward to sharing some of it with you all xx

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  14. Sorry to hear this. I had a knee replacement last year, fortunately with no problems but may need ankle surgery this year, a longer process, so know what it must feel like.

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    1. Oh dear, Anne! But at least we can read and write, eh? My sister had a hip replacement last year and was really worried about it, but it was much easier than she'd thought it was going to be - take heart! x

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  15. Oh dear, Terry. I don't like to hear of you suffering so. Pain is no fun, even if you are in good company with angels for doctors. I hope your situation improves soon. Make the most of those offers of help, and enjoy the reading and writing time. Best wishes. 💕💐

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  16. Somerset Maugham had to spend 2 years in a sanatorium as a young man, and wrote this: 'I discovered for the first time in my life how very delightful it is to lie in bed. It is astonishing how varied life can be when you stay in bed all day and how much you find to do. My imagination was never more nimble; it was like a barque under press of sail scudding before the breeze. My monotonous day, whose only excitement was the books I read and my reflections, passed with inconceivable rapidity'. You're welcome.

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    1. I know what he means - in many ways it is no hardship :)

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  17. Ohh Terry I knew something must've been up when you weren't on Twitter for a while as I know you usually post if you're going afk for a bit! Hope you're on the mend soon and the operation works when you finally have it, it all sounds horrible. I agree with Georgia Rose about gas and air although I'm more of a pethidine kind of girl! Good you're getting reading and writing done though. Am really enjoying House of York (love creepy Richard and Gabriel!), so I'm taking my time with it as I don't want to finish it! Review will follow, of course.

    Take care and hope all the reading and writing can help keep your mind off the ciggies (and the pain)! x

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    1. Ah, three cheers for nicotine chewing gum!! Thanks, Emma, and so delighted that you're enjoying THOY. I love Gabriel too :) x

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  18. So sorry to hear about your knee, Terry! I thought you were quiet ... I hope it gets sorted for you soon. Gas and air? Pfft! Morphine, however, wonderful stuff ... ;-)

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    1. Aye, it was the first two times, but it performed pitifully the last time! I was waiting for the morphine buzz and it didn't come. Thanks for your kind words! xx

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  19. Ah, that's why Twitter has felt quiet. I feel for you, Terry. PVNS is a bloomin' painful condition. Hopefully, the op has been successful & you won't need to go down the knee replacement route. Sounds like you've making good use of your time & getting plenty of reading/writing done, but don't be stubborn about accepting help if you need it. Last time I had morphine was in a delivery suite & it wasn't pretty. Have a vague recollection of telling the midwife the wallpaper in the room was naff! Anyway, enjoy your extra reading & writing time while it lasts. Here's to a speedy recovery. Sending hugs x

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    1. It isn't definitely confirmed that this is what it is (and won't be until I have the biopsy in a month), but husband and I have read all about it on the interweb and it totally describes all my symptoms - and the consultant said it probably is. I am most impressed that you've heard of it, we hadn't!!! You're right re the help - alas, I have to err on the cautious side and ask for help alot, as I daren't risk it bleeding again, I think I would be a nervous wreck if I had to go through the pain thing again, especially as many hospital staff don't believe you when you say how painful it is (and haven't heard of PVNS either), until they give you maximum morphine and you're still screaming!!! I've been lucky to come across a couple of wonderful ones, though. Thanks for your kind message, Wendy! xx

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    2. You're welcome. Surprised myself I remembered after all these years. Used to be an Occupational Therapist many moons ago. Saw a lot working in general medicine & have a few good friends who still work in orthopaedics :) It's all the little things you take for granted that can become a real pain in butt when your mobility is restricted, like getting up & down the stairs, showering & bending. I'm guessing not, but were you given any OT aids to help while you're laid up? Just give me a shout if you get too stir crazy. Happy to lend a listening ear :) Take care xx

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    3. Oh, we live in a first floor flat so I don't go up and down the stairs at all! I climb into the bath very gingerly ( don't like showers), hairwashing is hardest! I've got crutches and a really good leg brace that bends as much as I want it to. I could do with a few bath things that we're looking into, and I now have an invalid table, which is great, for the bed! We're muddling through! Thanks for your message, you're most kind xxx

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  20. <3 I wish I could come and visit! I have managed to convince Wes that the UK needs to be first on our holiday list when I finish uni though!! xx

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    1. One day, Jade - preferably when I am up and able to be a worthy recipient of your travelling! xxx

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  21. Oh my goodness, Terry - you poor thing!

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  22. Ah, these things are sent to try us, Wendy! x

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  23. Sending you healing thoughts Terry. Every cloud has a silver lining eh? Take care x

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    1. Absolutely! Thanks for email, will reply tomorrow x

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  24. Sorry to hear you're suffering. I've just been diagnosed with a frozen shoulder (2nd time in 5 years and 3rd time in 15...!!) so can appreciate first hand what you're going through, although being a man, my pain will be a lot worse than yours...!! ;-)

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    1. But of course!! Let us hope we both regain full mobility soon... :)

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  25. Ugh--knee pain. There's not much worse I don't think! Hope the surgery goes well and you recover quickly.

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    1. Thanks, Colleen - I'm longing to go for a nice hearty walk! :)

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  26. I can feel the nerve nagging throb of the offending knee through the screen! I imagine it to be a pulsing balloon of agony that, as is always the case, only someone who has been similarly affected can truly empathise with.

    Regarding morphine, I recall waking up after a rather invasive operation and asking the nurse if she'd like to pop back in later that evening and enjoy looking at the beautiful lights through the window with me! Can't say I ever saw her again...

    Hope your bits are fully functional soon... :) x

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    1. I have to be very, very careful with it at all times (ie, don't move without crutches) as I am terrified of it swelling up and the AGONY again! If I do anything more than hobble to the loo I stick ice packs on afterwards. It's only a month, and I am appalled by how unfit I've become!

      I wish morphine affected me like that! It did when I was 18, after my appendectomy - I still say it was the most beautiful experience of my life, featuring Aslan, everything! But now all it gives me is a calm wooziness, at best. Must be the after effects of a misspent 3 decades :(

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  27. Feel better soon, Terry! Yes, morphine was once amazing for me--an operation I had when I was younger--but last year, when my appendix ruptured, it did nothing but kill the pain. Oh well. The part about appreciating life is true. After that appendix thing, when things got dicey for a while, I enjoyed the spring as I hadn't in years. Life is beautiful and short. I hope you're back on your feet again soon!

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    1. Thank you! At least 2 months to go - just trying not to get too ratty and cabin fever-ish! xx

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  28. Ouch! I feel you on the pain as I have my own condition that caused a lot of pain that had me curled up on the floor despite pain killers. I wish you a smooth recovery and enjoy the time reading and writing.

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    1. Thanks Patricia - and I am so sorry that you are having similar problems. All the best to you too - I hope you are coping okay! xx

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  29. You would be any time! But it won't be for at least two years yet xx

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    1. Something to look forward to, eh! :)

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