Zone Doubt, a.k.a. 'Surreal Я Us'...
Joules, trusted by... dozens... to make a drama out of your crisis...
:: JAT :: WaveWrights :: Publications :: Joules... on writing [on hiatus] ::
I live to write. It's not wise to get in my way.
August 2011: the earlier posts in this blog are a mess, the result of me changing the format some time ago. I'm working to edit the entire blog from the beginning, but with over 4K posts and sodall time for such luxuries it's going to take a while... [02/09/16 - Now reached 09/10/2004][20/03/2019 - giving up. I don't have enough time to update the blog atm, let alone edit old entries!]
If you come across any words you don't recognise in this blog, take a look at the Taylorspeke Glossary in the left-hand infopane, you'll usually find a definition there.
First, a recommendation. Dive over to The Jonathan Day Fiction Site and try some of the stories. I love this author's writing - it's funny, bitingly witty, dryly incisive, chilling, and deliciously subversive by turns. Absolutely well worth a look!
Thursday, July 30, 2015
My remaining orchid does something quite odd: after the first two buds have opened, it grows a second flowering spike below (or sometimes above, as here) the first, the buds of which open as the first lot are dying. I know you can sometimes force an orchid to do this if you cut the first spike as the flowers are fading, but I've not heard of it happening naturally. It's kind of nice.
Dentist for me on Tuesday - to my relief everything is fine, no plaque, no staining, nothing needs doing. Seems my new electric toothbrush heads are earning their keep!
On the way back down the hill I popped into our local swimming pool, Jubilee Rd - to pick up their summer schedule and ask about the quietest time to go. Apparently Tuesday morning between 8 and 9 is the best time for lane swimming, which is what I'm after, usually only a couple of people there, although later lane swimming sessions, 9 - 10 pm, are also quite quiet. That interrupts the evening though, easier to stick to mornings since I'm up anyway.
So then I dug out my old swimming costumes, to find that the comfy one is falling to pieces, and the other one is uncomfortable and will restrict movement. Oh joy. Off to Sains, where to my surprise and happiness I found all their swimwear on half price, and bought the perfect costume, right size, black but with a subtle embossed large ripple pattern, very comfortable. £8. Now I just have to find the swimming towels...
Today one of the doctors from the surgery is ringing to organise Kai's schedule of inoculations: I have the details now from Lucy, our specialist nurse. Wasn't too happy to find out he could have started having them at 6 months post-transplant, avoiding the delay and any problems associated with having a lot all close together, but perhaps the BMT team had a reason for it. And Kai has been under a lot of stress... Anyway, he needs tetanus, diptheria, whooping cough, polio and pneumonia - three doses 4 weeks apart - and meningitis and haemophilus influenza (haven't heard of that one, it's not the normal flu jab though), 2 doses 2 months apart. The MMR isn't supposed to be given until 24 months post-transplant, although I think Prof Marks may speed that one up a little, and apparently is no longer given as a single jab in the UK.
Getting all that sorted is going to be a nightmare, given he still has appointments for blood review and BMT clinic, haematology, an ECG and now the dentist, and after October venesection appointments too. Wish me luck.
Labels: medical matters
Sunday, July 26, 2015
On Saturday GoodTwin and Sue came to visit - first summer visit in two years. It was great! GoodTwin drove us to Whitegate Nurseries, just outside of Keynsham (Ken and I discovered this place by accident 24 years ago just after we bought the house: we'd gone for a walk in Stockwood open space and stumbled upon it on the way back down to the Bath Rd. It's grown a bit since then!) It's a lovely place, very reasonable prices, and a gorgeous café with terrific homemade cakes and an outside seating area overlooking the valley. I picked up three very pretty salvias (photo tomorrow hopefully). After dinner we finished off the media quiz we started on their last visit in Feb, and played Trivial Pursuit (the media version). All fantastic fun!
Sat was the good day - the rest of the weekend it's rained. And rained and rained. Tyjer's pretty disgusted with it all...
I get the ebay newsletter offering me things which for some completely obscure reason they think I might be interested in. Sometimes the wording could be a little better...
Planning to start swimming regularly in the next couple of weeks. I figure it'll be less painful exercise than trying to walk...
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
OK, so, what's been happening?
Goes without saying it's been busy. Garden-wise we now have a couple of bags each of dwarf beans and blueberries in the freezer, and the first (absolutely delicious!) cucumber and cherry tomatoes from the greenhouse, with more coming. The first peppers and aubergines are now flowering too.
Kai and I went to see Dr Reading on Monday, to learn what to look for re: moles. Kai's fine at the moment, and we can make sure it stays that way now we know what we're looking for. Bad news, though, she's retiring at the end of the month. We'll miss her. She's been my doctor since I moved to Bristol in... 84? 85? Long time, anyway.
It was Kai's BMT Clinic today. All good! His blood counts are now perfectly normal, and everything's fine. He thinks the chest pains from a week or so ago may have been caused by him playing guitar hunched over. (We're now on the lookout for a stool for him, with rungs so he can sit properly when playing.) Everything's set up for him to start uni in a couple of months, as long as everything continues as it has been.
And apparently, he may have acquired my immunity to chicken pox along with my stem cells! (Not MMR, unfortunately, that operates differently.) So fingers crossed...
... camera cowboys were back again for a few minutes earlier. Is that the eight or ninth time? I've lost track...
Saturday, July 18, 2015
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Letter arrived from the BRI today. Apparently I have adductor tendinopathy with trochanteric bursitis: "general age related degenerative change with multi level disc degeneration and facet joint hypertrophy." Oh joy.
And it can take up to 18 weeks to get the ultrasound appointment. Oh double joy.
Today's tigridia. A little battered, alas...
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
On Saturday Ken wanted to get out of Bristol for a few hours, and Kai was OK with it (he said) so we thought we'd try for Clevedon. Only when we got to the bus station, there was a 52 minute wait for the bus (there are supposed to be three an hour to Clevedon). So we went to Wells instead, which was nice, and came back with another six low-growing plants for the rockery. When we got home, however, Kai didn't remember me waking him up, didn't remember me telling him we were going out, and didn't remember me telling him his lunch sammij was in the fridge... Films... Ken and I watched Kate and Leopold, which is charming; we all watched Left Behind, which is truly dreadful; and last night was Chappie, a gloriously anarchic mess of a film, which manages to be thought-provoking as well as riotous. Kai and I enjoyed it - not sure about Ken... This is flowering up at the top of the garden. Can't remember what it is but it's quite dramatic! Later edit: it's a tigridia. I have several more near flowering, all different colours.
Films... Ken and I watched Kate and Leopold, which is charming; we all watched Left Behind, which is truly dreadful; and last night was Chappie, a gloriously anarchic mess of a film, which manages to be thought-provoking as well as riotous. Kai and I enjoyed it - not sure about Ken...
This is flowering up at the top of the garden. Can't remember what it is but it's quite dramatic!
Later edit: it's a tigridia. I have several more near flowering, all different colours.
Friday, July 10, 2015
So, appt yesterday...
Well, the good news is there's no surgery involved - at least, not at this stage. The less good news is that the problem probably isn't going to be fixable, just alleviated. I didn't fully take on board everything that was said (being absolutely knackered still didn't help) but it's to do with exceptional wear and tear on the tendons and the hip bursa. The next step is an ultrasound (are they practising every known form of scan on me??), a local anaesthetic injection followed by a steroid injection into my hip, which, when it takes effect in a couple of days, should give pain relief for 6 - 8 weeks, and finally, physiotherapy (which I believe will also involve exercises to do at home).
A lot better than it could have been. Though local anaesthetics tend not to be fully effective on me (Kai's inherited that, unfortunately) so I'm anticipating a fair amount of pain. Nothing new there then! I'll get the appt through the post. In the meantime, walking (not too far and without carrying anything heavy) is apparently the best thing I can do.
In other news, Kai's now down another half a microgramme of tacrolimus and feeling rough, but now we know that's what happens we can cope.
Oh, and the camera cowboys were back again, at ten o'clock yesterday night. Seventh visit. Remember the old camera configuration?
It now looks like this -
I need to get some garden stuff done today - and blanching and freezing of dwarf French beans and mange tout: despite not planting that many plants the harvest is surprisingly heavy. Also, blueberries. Pruning last autumn has resulted in a veritable deluge of the early berries, far more than I can eat myself (though I think I shall give some to Kai in Yeo Valley blueberry yoghurt and see if he likes them. Ken isn't too keen, but I lub the fruit!) They freeze well and it's lovely having summer fruit in the depths of winter...
Wednesday, July 08, 2015
We had the APAG AGM last night, primarily to decide whether to wind the group up or not. End result is we're keeping it going, albeit at a low-key level, for a while longer.
Kai is at his pentamidine appt - alone. The routine is simple and familiar, and it's another step towards independence. Though I'm fretting, of course...
The camera cowboys were back next door for the sixth time this morning - but I now know who they are, Secure South West Limited. I shall be leaving them brutally honest reviews on every review site and local social media I can find when I have the time, but for now, my advice would be to avoid them like the plague. I wouldn't trust them any further than I could spit them.
Tuesday, July 07, 2015
So, got to bed at 2 am: got woken at 3.45 by Kai worried that he had dreadful chest pains...
Rang 999, shortly thereafter we were at A&E with Kai hooked up to an ECG scanner and having blood taken - but with the pain receding. ECG results were fine, and a couple of hours later his bloods came back also fine. The general thinking was it may have been some sort of long spasm (lasted over an hour) of the oesophagus or chest wall, but nothing affecting his heart or lungs. 7 am we were in a taxi on the way back home, with instructions to get straight back in if it happened again.
Got to bed as Ken was leaving for work at 7.30, got to sleep about 8 - then was woken at 8.45 by the phone: Peter (head nurse of the transplant clinical trial) ringing to check that Kai was OK... It's nice that they're keeping him monitored, but it then took me another 40 mins to drop off again. Just as well I did Poppy yesterday as I'm not really capable of much this afternoon after 3 hours sleep!
Anyway - panic over, and hopefully I can have that early night tonight instead.
Monday, July 06, 2015
Twenty-second part of New World 2 - Mars - now posted over at The Poppy Tales, link above.
In other news, Kai really enjoyed his day out yesterday, it all went wonderfully, and they're going to see if they can organise another. And today he spent an hour in his first skype call, to a friend in Germany!
He's reconnecting. So chuffed...
Today Kim and I went to a new(ish) garden centre at Tickenham, Garden Park. Very good prices (picked up three extra large bags of potting compost for a tenner, their little heucheras were £1.69 each, and their herbs all £1.75: got two French tarragon to replace the one that died). Nice restaurant too - Carriages, part of which was an actual old railway carriage. Excellent Americano coffee and wonderful apple pie with ice cream. Altogether a very pleasant day.
Sunday, July 05, 2015
Friday night there were storms...
I'll rephrase that. Friday night there were storms everywhere but here.
Barely enough rain to wet the ground, nowhere near enough to refill the main waterbutt or give my garden the thorough drenching it needs.
I am miffed. I shall be having words with Taranis when I can catch him...
Yesterday was productive. Ken and I went to Hurrans, where I picked up a couple of the new(ish) style stacking planters from elho - a bit pricey at £10.49 each but the terracotta planters I currently have the strawberries in are useless. Pretty to look at, but the water runs straight through and there's no room for the roots. The aquatic centre had Duckweed Buster (new to me but I guess it was only a matter of time! Roeg's pool is OK - the birds have been bathing in and drinking from it, and I think they may be eating the weed too - but Kai's pool is thick with the stuff, so that's the next major job), and there were two different colours of nemesia - pink and purple - on sale for £2 instead of £7, so bought those as well.
After dinner Ken and I watched Hummingbird - picked up very cheaply at Tesco because I like Jason Statham - and it's very good. I was expecting the usual actioner, but it's far more complex and morally ambivalent than something like Homefront. Most enjoyable.
Today Kai is meeting with friends in town! First time out (without me) in 22 months. He's nervous, but one of his friends is picking him up so he won't have to walk into the place alone. Keeping fingers crossed it all goes well...
Next!Poppy is now two pages done. Still hoping to be able to post it today, if all goes well, but I still have the usual Sunday stuff to do...
Wednesday, July 01, 2015
Saturday was a bit of a washout: I ended up with a most unpleasant stomach upset. Felt better come the evening, but managed to accomplish nothing much all day. So of course, Sunday was twice as manic as usual as I scrambled to catch up.
Most of Monday was taken up reworking Perfume Power. Sent it off before my deadline though, so it was worth it.
Yesterday Kai and I went to see Jurassic Park. It's OK, fairly predictable, but nicely done. And the raptors are gorgeous. I want one (or three) as guard dinos for the house.
On the way back we did a Sains shop and picked up Jupiter Ascending...
What can I say? A most intriguing concept handled with all the sensitivity of sledgehammer-wielding T.Rex. Cinderella in space. Gorgeous cg and cinematography, very pretty shinies and sparklies, and a Sean Bean who didn't die and got his wings back (well, he was supposed to though we didn't see it but Caine's were returned so we can assume Stinger's were too). But the rest? Ye gods. How can people who made The Matrix and the fabulous Cloud Atlas get it so wrong?
Eh well. It'll do as background pretties while I work.
Yesterday I found another offering from the foxes - in the manhole cover right outside the kitchen this time. Empty Pedigree Chum (chicken flavour) tin.
So last night I left them a bowl of dog food. Chicken flavour, as requested!
The rockery, although it was too bright yesterday to get a good pic. It's coming along nicely though.
And now onto Poppy! One page already written: with a little luck I can get this next chapter finished before Friday.