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Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Early to bed, early to rise

When we got to the hospital on Monday after my last post, we were told that could do the scan on Coran's lungs there and then while we were there, so off we trotted and duly waited and waited for the results, which eventually came back clear. What a sense of relief that was. We were asked however to return the following day for an ultrasound scan on his left leg, which as it happens also turned out clear. So, all as they say, ended well.

What a difficult and traumatic few days it was though for both of us, not just because of the uncertainty of it all, but also because of the implications it may have had, and may still have, for Coran's hormone treatment. If the hormones that he takes have been responsible for this scare, then it does throw up all sorts of doubts as to whether he should continue to take them, and if it is really worth the risk. This is a decision that only he can make, in consultation with his Doctor at the gender clinic and his own GP. I am happy with whatever he decides, as long as he is happy and makes that choice for himself based on up to date information and honest, genuine advice as to the likelihood of this recurring. The risks do increase as you get older, but then again, so do most risks. You cannot go through life without taking some risks, but you have to weigh things up carefully and make an informed decision based on the information you have to hand.

So, things are gradually getting back to normal (whatever normal is) for both of us - I was back at work last night and again tonight to try and make up some of the hours I lost. I have a long day tomorrow of 11 hours and then 6 hours on Friday. I would normally work again in the evening, but have arranged for the evening off, as I have so much to do before I go to Cornwall on Saturday - food shopping, packing, collecting my new glasses and of course, completing the village newsletter, the prit deadline for which is Friday. I have to get that done before I go away, as otherwise it will be a week late, which I don't think the villagers would appreciate, not to mention our printer. For the moment though, it is off to bed. I have an early start tomorrow and need my beauty sleep.

Monday, 20 September 2010

It had better be worth it!

This morning we have been sitting and waiting for what seems like eternity for that phone to ring, for someone to put us out of our misery and offer us an appointment at the hospital for the scan that Coran needs to confirm whether or not he has that clot. While we wait everything else also hangs in the balance - whether he can continue to take the female hormones that he has been on for the past 2 1/2 years to femininise the body and balance his emotions and feelings, whether I can go to Cornwall at the weekend, or for that matter, even whether I can go to work tonight. I hate this waiting around and this not knowing, yet I also realise that we are not the only ones, and someone (in fact lots of poeple) somewhere else is also playing that same, the game of waiting and not knowing, and the game of uncertainty.

The trouble is of course, for those affected by this, it is no game, but very serious indeed. This is their lives and our lives. I spoke to one of the residents at work yesterday about what had happened, and she helped to put things in a little more perspective, as she has the exact same condition. She is the youngest resident in the home at just 56 and has a category 2 brain tumour and colonostomy, and as it turns out a blood clot in her leg for which she also has daily injections. This in many ways, despite her own problems, put her in a ideal position to offer the solace that I needed. I am ashamed to say that she brought tears to my eyes, as I realised just how much this has and continues to affect both of us. It is like I say the not knowing and all the waiting around.

Sure we joke about it with friends, but inside, it is a very different matter, both of are very fearful as to what it might mean and how it may affect our lives. This may sound melodramatic, but it is no small thing to be given news such as this. I know it is treatable, but the treatment is intrusive and affects both of us our lives. We have enough stress at the moment, with all the changes that are going on, both emotionally and energetically, and don't need anymore.

I have the added stress at the moment of preparing the October edition of the newsletter for which I have just realised I have no centrespread. This afternoon then I should sit down and write something - probably about my recent trip to Iceland in the absense of anything else, but somehow I do not have the heart. I think I would much rather switch on my phone and go and sit in the sun, but instead we have to the hospital for yet another injection. Perhaps we can go for that cuppa on the way back before I have to head on out again for work.

All I can say is that it bloody well better be worth it, or otherwise when I pass over God will be getting an alimighty kick up the backside!

Sunday, 19 September 2010

What a clot - not the best weekend

When I got home from work on Friday evening, with a bag of chips, I was greeted by a rather concerned Coran complaining of pain and swelling in his left calf and requesting that I take him to hospital to have it checked out. So I rather hastily gobbled down my chips and off we went, both of us wondering what it could be about.

Luckily it wasn't too busy when we got there and we were seen pretty much straight away. It was while Coran spoke to the triage nurse that I realised just how serious things might be, for what he hadn't told me was the fact that for the past two days he had been experiencing what he termed as a 'stitch' in his shoulder muscle and heart palpitations, both of which even with my limited knowledge I knew could be indicators of something far more serious.

Anyway, the nurse evidently agreed, for he ushered us inside where we were seen by an array of Doctors and Nurses. Coran had to endure an ECG, a chest Xray and no less than 4 different blood tests, for which we waited an eternity for results. When they finally came back all was normal except for one blood test which indicated that he may have a blood clot on the lung.

Well, I must admit that this knocked me for six. The thing with Coran is that although he is very much in tune with his body and knows instinctively when something is wrong, very often these are stress reactions. He does have an awful lot of fears about medical procedures in general, and in particular needles and the slightest ache tends to give rise to these fears and make them worse, exaggerating his symptoms. Both of us then thought that this was one of those reactions. When we were told otherwise if felt surreal as if it wasn't happening to us but to someone else.

It seemed to be a mirror of what happened almost exactly two years ago on the night that we went to see Stevie Wonder at the O2 and when we spent the night in Mayday Hospital, Croydon, in that 2 armed Police Officers came in as escorts to a young girl who had taken a drugs overdose. We had to sit and listen through closed curtains while the nurse pumped his girls stomach, and it was not a nice thing to hear. At least this time there were no refugees muttering to themselves in foreign tongues (understand that I am not being racist here, but when you are ill this is not what you want or need to experience).

We were finally discharged just before 1am, with Coran having been given (in the stomach) an injection of blood thinning drugs. We were told that he would have to have these daily until the diagnosis was confirmed following a scan which will hopefully be tomorrow. The department that does these is not open at the weekends and so we will have to wait for them to call us with an appointment tomorrow.

This has really knocked for me six and left me feeling really very low, emotional and tearful. It has brought into sharp focus just how much I do love him and take him for granted as I suppose we all do with our partners. Needless to say I didn't make it to work on Saturday. I made it in today though, despite the tiredness, only to find that I was the only housekeeper on duty (well I suppose Sue was the only one in yesterday due to Corans illness). Somehow though I managed and got most of the work done in time for Coran to meet me (having been given a lift by our neighbour) to go to the hospital, which isn't far from where I work for his injection. They did say that he could do them himself if he wanted, but not surprisingly he didn't feel able to, and I can't say I blame him. We both just hope and pray that he doesn't have a clot and this is a false alarm, but if it does prove to be true, well we will have to cope with it the best we can.

All in all then not the best weekend.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Making sense of the universe

It has been nearly a month since I last wrote on this blog, not because there has been nothing to write about, but because for some reason, I have not felt the need. This is strange since in many ways, there has been a lot going on. The tiredness that Coran and I feel seems to be intensifying of late, as with so many that I know -everyone seems to be experiencing this to some degree regardless of whether they are on the path or not. The difference is that at least we have some tools with which to deal with it, and understand a little of what is going on. Those who lack this understanding are left floundering with no sense of direction or understanding at all. The frustrations that they feel are directed outwards to the world at large, to their interactions with others, both verbal and otherwise, and also in their driving - I have witnessed some very erratic and irresponsible behaviour on the roads of late - impatience with regard not only to other motorists but also cyclists and most disturbing of all, horse riders, of which there are many in these parts.

As for me - it has been a strange few weeks, but since when is that new? Just as I thought I had decided to stay in my current job along came another opportunity - a full time housekeeping job in a nearby bed and breakfast. I duly applied and was invited along to an interview on Tuesday. It turned out that the job was a little bit more than just housekeeping, but really more a Deputy Manager, as you would be expected to fill in in the Manager's (who lives on site) absence, each time he and hi wife went away, which I was informed was for at least a couple of nights each month. This would have entailed staying over, to make sure that someone was on the premises, and taking responsibility in the case of emergency. It would also have meant cooking breakfast - and inevitably handling meat, as in this flesh obsessed world, guests demand the full English of eggs, bacon and other fatty, greasy flesh. I did not relish the thought of handling this, and made the mistake of saying so, which I guess did not go down too well, as this morning I receieved the standard rejection letter - "we regret to inform you" blah, blah, blah.

I must admit that it knocked me for six, as despite the above, I really did want this job - not least because of the salary (18K) which would have helped secure my future and enabled me to start saving once again. This is almost twice what I earn in my present two jobs, but, it was clearly not to be. I was then in rather a bad mood when I got to work. One of the residents though made me laugh, as only she can, and all was soon forgotten. When all is said and done it isn't too bad a life. I have more than most could hope for - a job that I love and a partner who loves me. I have food on the table, a roof over my head and a computer on which to type this, which places me in the richest 1 percent of the world. All in all then I have little to complain about.

I have a week off at the end of the month and have decided to go down to Cornwall and spend some time visiting the sites. I have joined the Youth Hostels Association to save money on accomodation and all being well, should have a great time. I have chosen a cross section of different places to visit, and will stay in two locations -one south (Boswinger) and one north (Tintagel). The plan is to drive to Boswinger on the Saturday that my week off starts and the following day visit the Lost Gardens of Heligan which are just three miles from the hostel. If there is time I will also visit some of nearby beaches (there is one less than a kilometer from the hostel). On Monday I shall drive across Bodmin Moor to Tintagel via the village of Minions, visiting the Hurlers Stone Circle and other nearby sites en route. The next few days shall be spent visiting the nearby villages and exploring the south west coastal footpath, possibly crossing into neighbouring Devon, before driving back on the Friday.

It has worked out well, since I have been able to exchange some Tesco Clubcard vouchers for YHA ones (£10 worth equals £40 to spend with the YHA). There has been some overtime this past month, and our Tax Credits have come through, so the financial fog should soon begin to lift, making all of this possible. Once again then, I have to concede that I always do get what I need as opposed to what I want.

When I look back on my life, the signs were there from an early age that I would end up in a job like the one I have now. When I did my Queens Guide Award at the age of 15 I did community service in an old people's home and also did my House Orderly Emblem - which involved hostessing, catering and housekeeping, so there you have it. It seems that for the moment at least, this is where I am meant to be. I have then conceded to surrender and accept the situation for what it is, for it is clear that the universe wants me to stay here in this job for reasons which do not need to be clear - since when has the Universe made sense after all? It isn't such a bad world after all.