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he done good

My Blokey.

Dialysis survivor. Kidney thief. Person of occasional poor choices.

It was ridiculously insane, from the first poorly-written essay to the final exam which brought forth tears of frustration. Dialysis, full-time job, a transplant, loss of job, loss of cat, the birth of a Baby Niece, a new job … But he did it. A 2.1 BA (hons) in Business Studies from the Open University. He done good, indeedy.

 

#17 – what is your most proud moment

kidneydonor

Not my tattoo, but what I did.

Tomorrow is our two year kidneyversary.

Whoop!

the delectable dr. neph, phwoar!

Last Wednesday Blokey attended Hospital again for his hernia operation. I haven’t slept well since then; I don’t think I ever do. Partly because I don’t like being on my own (although I’m used to it) and partly because I worry about Blokey.

I spent most of Wednesday evening panicking that Blokey would forget to take his immunosuppressants as there was nobody at Hospital to nag him. Mumsy was about to ring the ward to enquire when Blokey suddenly replied to my texting/ringing and I was able to stop crying.

We toddled off to see him on Thursday. He was in oodles of pain and very groggy. Occasionally he coughed. When they later discovered that his temperature was a little over what it should be they panicked him by suggesting that he had an infection and thus would need a chest x-ray. He had the chest x-ray at one in the morning. Stupid O’Clock. Friday saw his drains and catheter being removed, and he was cough free.

On Saturday the Delectable Dr. Neph, Phwoar! came round whilst I was there. He’s our favourite kidney doctor, although Blokey’s reasons for liking him are probably different to mine. He snuffed the idea of there ever being any infection and decided that their idea of intravenous antibiotics was a tad over the top, prescribing tablets instead. He also listened to Blokey when he said that he needed to take a loading dose of warfarin, agreeing that Blokey knows how his body works. The one brilliant aspect of being treated reguarly in the same Hospital is that you get to know the people treating you and, perhaps more importantly, they get to know you. It can make a huge difference when you suddenly feel as though you’ve got someone on your side.

Anyhoo, the Delectable Dr. Neph, Phwoar! made a note that he was happy for Blokey to be discharged, poo-pending. The surgeon still has to agree, but twenty-one hours later Blokey is still waiting to see him. And there is still the matter of the pending-poo, which is refusing to be forthcoming despite laxatives and suppositories declaring war on Blokey’s anatomy. I have been reliably informed that there is lots of wind though! I imagine the issue is a psychological one; Blokey doesn’t want to strain his tummy and find that POP!!! there’s the hernia again!

As of now, I have no idea if he will be home tonight or tomorrow. I have fluffed up the cushions and stocked the cupboards with soup in anticipation. I’m just unsure as to whether I should hoover or not. Or even if I need to hoover. Ack, that can wait. I might make myself a badge reading ‘Nurse’ ready for the next two weeks (which nicely coincide with my Easter hols from work). Perhaps I should have splashed out on a nurses outfit too …

more tits n’ pricks

Yesterday I survived another adventure at the hospital.

I had to get up at some ungodly hour (thanks Stagecoach for fucking around with the timetables AGAIN) even though my appointment wasn’t until 12.30pm. A two hour bus journey was followed by a twenty minute bus journey and I finally reached my destination.

As I walked along to Out Patients I realised that I actually really love visiting the hospital. It’s a massive place, full of twists and turns, corridors that look as though they lead to The End, lifts that can reach the stars, and laughing students who haven’t yet been beaten into miserableness by the many thousands of faceless patients they will diagnose and treat over the coming years.

The many thousands of faceless patients (both in and out) who traipse daily through the corridors of the hospital never fail to entertain me. The tearful ones, the angry ones, the miserable ones, those who laugh happily and those who put on a brave face. There are those who are so-very obviously showing off their battle scars and those who would much rather be in their bed, on the ward, if it wasn’t for the stern nurse who’s insisted that they see some other part of the hospital.

Take a ticket, sit on a hard chair in a teeny-tiny blood-taking department and try not to listen to the conversations of others, whilst wishing I didn’t have to guess what they needed to give blood samples for. What has Fate heaped upon these nameless folk who share my air? The vampire phlepbotomist took two vials of my blood, for tissue-typing (again). As she did so she made small-talk (‘you’re very brave, when’s the operation?’) and it was only as I left that I realised she didn’t really want my story and the minute I walked out of the department she wouldn’t give me a second thought.

I’m not that important.

I had a while till my MRSI so I wandered the corridors, drank tea, and read my book. When I became frustrated with Pi I indulged in a spot of people-watching. But even that became a trifle boring so I found a sign pointing in the direction of the MRSI department and I followed it. Excitingly it took me into an are of the hospital I hadn’t been before. Less excitingly, it looked like all the other parts; green, with amateur art on the walls.

A lady with a clipboard took me into a room and questioned me. Did I have any metal bits in me? Was I pregnant? No, No, No, No, No, No, Yes. What was the Yes for? I forget.

You need to get changed now, she informed me and led me into a room with cubicles. Pop the gown on as though it’s a dressing gown. Are you wearing jewellery? Take it all off, oh, but you can keep your wedding ring on.

So, all my wordly possessions were locked away and I was led (in my knickers, socks and a gown) into the prep room. More needles! I’m beginning to hate needles. The only thought which helps me overcome the pain and hate that I have for them is that three times a week Blokey has to have humongous ones put in his arm as a form of keeping him alive. If he can go through that, then I can go through this.

Ear-plugs, straps, into the tunnel (they didn’t ask me if I was claustrophobic,) knocking noises, holding my breath so many freakin’ times, arms up, an injection, holding my breath for a final (and seemingly longer) time, a sensation of warmth that is tantamount to weeing …

What?! Have I just pee’d myself?

I remembered a long-distant conversation with Blokey where he’d thought he’d pee’d himself while having the scan. But he’d been told he might get that sensation; I wasn’t told. Pesky MRSI lady.

Phew!

All over.

I treated myself to a cheese and tomato baguette before taking the lift to the heavens to visit a friend (who’s had a knee operation).

Then I went home by way of a twenty minute bus journey followed by a one hour bus journey followed by Blokey’s car (via the pizza place … yummy!)

Blokey has a Transplant Clinic appointment next week. He needs to mention that Dr. Nick said he wanted the op to go ahead asap. We really need an appointment with the surgeon …

*sigh*

(I shouldn’t have eaten the pizza.)

wot no title?

I want a new settee and armchair. I’ve wanted a new settee and armchair for the last three years.

We’ll get them when we’ve finished paying for the display cabinet, says Blokey.

Blokey wants a spankingly brand new car. He’s wanted a spankingly brand new car for about a month.

Let’s get one now, says Blokey.

This morning we toddled off to the Skoda garage to chat to a man about a car. We were going to pop to the Amazingly Big Tesco afterwards but Blokey had forgotten the ‘triple points!’ voucher, so we made do with the Little Piddly Tesco near the Skoda garage instead. Somewhere between entering Tesco and arriving in the milk aisle Blokey became ill.

Ill tends to be sudden with Blokey. Obviously he IS ill, always. His body is constantly fighting waves of poison and waste that us ‘normal’ folk get rid of without a second glance. But when he becomes ill, it is sudden. Scarily so. This morning it was probably dehydration, but we can never be sure. He was out of breath, pale and feeling dizzy.

So I opted for snarkiness, and lots of huffing and puffing down the frozen aisle.

I am a bitch.

I don’t mean to be. It’s partly because I get scared; it’s terribly horrid to have to live with the fact that the person you love is – technically – at Death’s door and everytime he gets a pain or feels sick or feels out of breath the thoughts that go through my mind tend to be edging to Morbid Side. It’s also partly because it annoys and frustrates me. I feel as though I do everything. I am nursemaid, cleaner, laundress, chambermaid, pet-feeder, wheelie-bin operator, cushion plumper, chef, shopper, gardener …

Blokey does the dish-washer.

I don’t mind. Genuinely, I don’t.

What I do mind is that his brand spankingly new car is more important than my settee and armchair, and that on the one day we’d actually agreed to go and look at a new settee and armchair Blokey’s body decided that it was going to go skewy, but only after we’d been where he wanted to go, to talk about something we can’t really afford.

Cheers, Blokey’s body! I ? you, too.

Sometimes I just want to act like a two-year old and have one of those unfussy tantrums, where after five minutes the sobs subside into hiccoughs and everything is very-nearly hunky-dory again. Instead I have to act like an adult, and bite my tongue whilst gently stewing in my own anger.

I’m very good at it.

(We’re going to the furniture shop tomorrow, but only if Blokey’s body is being good.)

dead or alive

You lie awake in bed in the early hours of the morning wondering if your husband is still alive.  You heard him make a noise (it woke you up, giving you the excuse you needed to have a wee and play with your pussy; it saves the house from being shredded by his young claws) and since then you haven’t heard a peep from him.

The complete lack of movement worries you too.  The noiselessness is okay as you wear earplugs (a habit from a long-ago time when he snored so loudly it was like kipping in an aeroplane engine) so any noise has to be fairly loud to make you notice it.  But he should be twitching or fidgeting, and he isn’t.  This starts to panic you, and the panic causes you to tense up making your head ache painfully.  You can’t physically move as you imagine that the noise that woke you was his dying breath.

Why aren’t you moving?

You know that you can easily prod him, but he’s only sleeping and you don’t want to wake him up just to tell him you thought he was dead.  What happens if you prod him and nothing happens?  Who is the house insured with?

Random thoughts.

You start to write a blog post in your head.  You do this a lot when you’re unable to sleep, and mostly these blog posts never meet the World Wide Web as they become forgotten amongst hazy dreams and the cold light of day.  In your ‘i wanna sleep’ state you ‘write’ sentences such as, you get up and write a semi-naked blog post and, you played with your pussy.

The latter probably lacks something … maturity?

Eventually you can lick your lips and move your legs.  Slightly later you feel a twitch.  A minute or so after that he starts to scratch. 

Phew!

You stop worrying about things like insurance, and instead you make a cup of tea, take a couple of painkillers (free from the NHS, just like the garden shed) and log onto the Internet to write a semi-naked blog post.  Later you will leave your husband at the hospital and have no idea when he’ll be back home.

Sucks to be you, eh?

bedroom frivolity

The buzzing woke me up last night.  I was dreaming about wondering why my dad didn’t know who Carlos was (when it was pretty obvious; my SiL had put Love, Carlos the Cat … I could see it quite clearly in the email she’d sent him) when suddenly my brain is just filled with buzzing noises.  I discovered Blokey sitting up, bashing his alarm clock and looking  perplexed.

It’s not your alarm, I sleepily mumbled. 

He continued to try to turn his alarm off by taking the battery cover off in an attempt to remove the batteries.  I sat up.

It’s not your alarm, baby! (a bit louder this time.)

Mysteriously, my alarm chirped in three minutes later.  I thought it was his this time, and he thought it was the machine.  For a smattering of seconds I realised it must be Friday.  Why else would my alarm be going off?  Nope, I definitely watched the Big Brother eviction last night … it must be Saturday.

*sigh of relief*

So at six-thirty this morning I was crawling around in the cupboard under the stairs, with my bum in the air and some very unladylike language finding its way out of my mouth.  Yesterday we’d tidied the cupboard. 

I never need to use the manual bags of extraneal, put them towards the back.

Ha. Ha.

Blokey spent the whole of Thursday at the hospital; another day off work.  Fluid in; drain it off.  Repeat copious amounts of times.  All dandy.  The nurses scratch their heads in puzzlement and send him home with instructions to increase the amount of fluid that the machine puts in each time, from 2.2 litres to 2.5 litres.

Again, Ha. Ha.

Thursday night must have been the worst we’d had since Blokey started peritoneal dialysis.  I’m surprised the machine didn’t choke on its own buzzing.  The first two fills/dwells/drains took twice the time they should have done, which means the last two fills/dwells/drains didn’t really have time to dwell, so he couldn’t have dialysed properly. 

He rang the hospital.  They’ve finally agreed to let him borrow another machine for Monday night.  For months they’ve been saying that he obviously just isn’t cut out for PD and for months I’ve been saying maybe it’s the machine.  Oh no.  The machines are never faulty.

It probably isn’t faulty, but it’s a relief that they’re at least giving him the opportunity to rule it out.  And if it does turn out to be the machine?  Oh, angry post will follow!  If it is him then I think Blokey’ll be back on HD pretty soon. And however much I grumble about the PD I’d much rather he was happy about the way he has to keep himself alive.

Oh, and the good news?  He’s been activated on the transplant list.  Huzzah!

Welcome home, Oompf!

Oompf buggered off to fairer shores. It was April, after all. But ’tis now May and Oompf has returned (yesterday, about noon-time).

The last two months have been a whirlwind of psychology assignments, veritable queasiness at work (I still have a job for September; it’s not the same job though,) and kidley mayhem.

Peritoneal dialysis failed. Blokey went to hospital and had tubes removed. New tubes were inserted. Blokey went back onto PD two weeks ago. It isn’t working very well … again.

*sigh*

I have been exhausted, to the extent that I actually have to fight my body/brain in order to function normally. This is a culmination of April and lack of sleep through worrisomeness about everything. The exhaustion seems to have subsided this weekend, although I don’t hold out much hope if the PD continues to cause Blokey troubled nights; he grumbles, I wake. Tsk.

Still, I have my Wii. It tells me I lost 5lb in a week. I know this to be a lie (at least, WeightWatchers don’t agree with Wii) but it makes me happy and so Wii can live cosily in the lounge.

Does anybody needs any boxes? I am the Cardboard Queen … (gah! bloody home dialysis!)

I’ve been watching the tellybox a lot recently. Ashes to Ashes is my (nearly) all-time favourite tellybox show and I suspect it’s going to have a far better/poignant/tissue-needing ending than Lost, which is also my (nearly) all-time favourite tellybox show. As for my (absolute) all-time favourite tellybox show, I really really really want to bop Roxy over the head with her bank balance.

We lost three fish from our aquarium. One week they were there, the following week they’d disappeared. Either the enormous Molly ate them, or they were abducted by alien fish. I’m hedging my bets on the latter, simply because it sounds more exciting. We replaced them with six Tetras which sparkle beautifully in the light. I’m just waiting for the enormous Molly to munch on them …

So, here’s to the next two months … *raises glass of cheap French plonk*

A little bit of this and a lot of that.

There are quibbles at work which are going to get quibblier as the weeks go on. Due to all the governments ‘inclusion’ silliness, we are changing. From September we’re changing our name, and the staffing structure, plus we’re getting slightly different kids.

Morale?

It was already low, but this just makes it lower.

There may (or may not; we are still in the consultation period and so things might change) have to be redundancies, but I get the impression they’re hoping enough staff leave naturally and the jobs can be shared amongst those who remain. I have to make a decision; do I want to stay if it means more hours at a decreased level (and therefore a decreased wage, although my current wage may be frozen, perhaps)? There us no guarantee I would get the position anyways, although by all reckoning, the competition won’t be too taxing.

Or do I feel that the time is right to move on …

Maybe, if the right position is advertised.

Everybody is huddling in corners, whispering within their little cliques. There will no doubt be battles when the teachers all decide to go for the same position. And the cleaners! Bless them! I love our cleaners to bits. They’re both about one hundred years old (perfect for not quite wanting to clean around the computers in case they break them) with failing eyesight (great for spotting those elusive cobwebs) and minds that are best left in the gutter.

They’re cutting our hours, grumbled Naughty Nan.
We won’t have time to hoover every room, moaned Irish Eyes. And you know what the boss is like, she continued shaking her head in despair.

To top it all off, the kids are (all) on Mephedrone, cOs iTz LeGaL, innit. Idiots.

At night my bedroom makes strange sounds. It whirs and buzzes, gloops and schniffles, and bomps and sloshes. Occasionally it beeps too.

BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!

Poor Tabatha-Cat must be wondering why we prefer having a machine in our room to having her in there. I miss sleeping with her curled around my head, but she’d only clambour over the Peritoneal Dialysis machine, spreading her fur and germs around.

*sad face*

We have no name for the machine. It worked for two nights, then stopped working. Blokey went back on haemodialysis for two sessions. Now he’s back on PD (since Sunday night) and [*fingers crossed*] it appears to be working swimmingly.

*touches wood, quickly*

It might stop working again because his catheter may be in the wrong position.

Still, at least he’s alive. When people ask me how he is I quite often say, ‘Well, he’s still alive!’. It throws them, and I find that amusing. I am a queen b(ee) with an itch. There are so many people who really don’t understand that if he wasn’t having dialysis he would probably have about ten days to live. And that’s a good estimate.

*sigh*

You wouldn’t believe it but I am looking on the bright side. Really. Even though I loathe Monty and all things Python …

Prague and the NHS

My house is not pristine. Far from it; if you look closely enough you’ll find random cobwebs in the corners, and dust behind the settee. I’m not even that tidy. But my husband thinks I have a problem and that I’m always either cleaning, tidying or moaning about having to clean and tidy.

I imagine he was therefore quite shocked when I didn’t kick up a fuss at the state the house was in when I arrived home from Prague.

Prague was wonderful. It always is wonderful. This was my sixth trip to the Czech Republic and the first proper holiday I’ve had since our honeymoon. It was snowy and murky, but Mumsy and I walked lots, didn’t argue (I may have snapped at her once), and enjoyed seeing the sights through eyes that have seen the sights so many times already.

I first went to Czechoslovakia (as it was back then) in 1992, and I find it sad that it’s changed so much. There were little old ladies who demanded money in return for two sheets of loo paper and the opportunity of using their exceptionally clean toilets. McDonald’s was just fantasy. Tesco hadn’t yet taken over the world. Prague wasn’t cramped full of little tourist shops selling meaningless gimmicky trinkets. There weren’t copious amounts of non-Czech folk roaming the streets. Women screamed at you in a foreign language if you didn’t stand up for them on the tram (that was fun!).

But the buildings aren’t grey anymore; they’re now beautiful pastel shades. And if you look hard enough you can find hidden cafes and local shops which are real gems. And no matter how many times I go back I can still find something new to see. And I lovelovelove riding the trams/metro.

Plus, I got to meet my three year-old niece, Valerie. She is amazingly delightful and looks very much like her daddy – my brother – albeit with blonde locks and blue eyes. My other niece, Emily, is so grow’d up now! Seven years old and highly intelligent, with super artistic sense. I love them to pieces (even if they find it easy to understand me, but difficult to form English sentences!) …

I didn’t even cry on the plane. Nope, I didn’t. Not even a little bit. I did hold Mumsy’s hand very tightly and refused to stop whispering, We’re not going to fall, we’re not going to fall, we’re not going to fall … until the plane was level in the sky, but I loved being high above the clouds. I find that very magical. If there was some way of getting above the clouds which didn’t have the same sensation as taking-off does then I would probably love flying as much as the person who most loves flying in the whole wide world.

So, I came back home and the house was a tip. But I couldn’t be angry because my husband is ill and the house needs to be a mess in order to accomodate his dialysis supplies, which means he won’t have to be dependant on the nurses at dialysis anymore; instead of being hooked up to a blood-cleansing machine at the hospital for four hours three times a week, he can now be hooked up to a belly-dwelling machine for eight hours every single night in the privacy of our own home. That’s as long as he takes to Peritoneal Dialysis, obviously.

In good news, we now have a shed (thank you NHS) to store everything in. In less good news, I think it might be a tad too small for a whole months supplies.

Tsk.

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