I haven’t been touched by another human being for a decade. My Mum stopped hugging me when her alcoholism took off, my Dad isn’t a hugger and I don’t have a partner, so my little dog Bertie is the only physical contact I have with another living creature. Monday he went to the vets for a little operation. He needed his teeth cleaning but also had a deformed dewclaw removed, which sounds trivial but is actually classed as an amputation because rear dewclaws are attached by bone just like a thumb. Even though he’s elderly now at 11 and has a heart murmur I wasn’t concerned – he’d had anaesthetic before for his castration when he was little and all went well – so imagine my horror when I went to collect him only to be told they’d had to ring the cardiac specialist during his operation because his heart had been going like the clappers 😮 It had started the second he was given his pre-med, so I’m assuming he had an allergic reaction to the drug. Thankfully he pulled through and is recovering well but I swear my blood turned to ice when the vet was relaying what had happened – I simply don’t know what my life would be like without him.
I barely got any sleep Monday night as Bert was in pain and couldn’t get comfortable, so Tuesday I was fairly knackered. Following my Dad’s hip replacement last Friday, however, my parents are needing much more help than usual so despite my exhaustion I was in town helping them out. My youngest brother and family have really stepped up to the plate though for which I am truly grateful and are making them meals, getting my Dad his newspaper each morning and going for prescriptions etc. My elder brother and family haven’t even been to visit, despite living only a few streets away
Weds I went to visit a friend as she has been having awful problems with her 9 year old daughter, who’s suddenly developed severe anxiety disorder. My friend is so worked up and getting so little help that she literally can’t eat or sleep and cries at the drop of a hat, so I popped round just to offer her a shoulder. I can’t believe in this day and age there are still so few mental health services for children – it’s a bloody disgrace.
Everything caught up with me on Thursday and I felt stupendously MEish. Despite having a banging headache and spinning vertigo I had to go into town for Bert to have his post-op checkup and when I got back at 4pm I was literally dead on my feet. Desperate to just get into bed I was accosted by my neighbour, irritatingly saying he’d been trying to get hold of me. His landline had developed a crackle and the BT engineer needed to check the box on the side of my house which feeds his line, however as he needed to go up a ladder he wanted to drill a hole in the side of my house to secure it – health and safely ‘n all that (it’s a tiny cottage for heaven’s sake, not the bloody Clifton Suspension Bridge!). I said no. There are water and gas pipes buried in the wall, not to mention the fact my house is up for sale and the last thing I want is a hole drilling in the outside render which I would then have to fill in and re-paint. My neighbour stomped off in a huff and I wearily ran myself a bath, the first time I’d had a wash or cleaned my hair for 6 days! I hadn’t been in the water 5 minutes when the doorbell went. It was the sodding BT engineer and before he’d even opened his mouth I barked “I’ve already told my neighbour you’re not drilling in my wall!” and virtually slammed the door in his face. I got back in the bath but by then the water was luke warm and I was pissed. I got into bed and cried with exhaustion and the unfairness of not even being allowed half an hour to have a bath without someone wanting something from me.
I’d dozed off watching telly when, at 9pm, my phone went. WTF?! It was my Mum to say my Dad’s leg had swollen like a balloon and there was a bruise the size of a grapefruit behind his knee. I had no clue what to do. The hospital had given us a post-surgery helpline number to ring so I tried that, but it was only open during office hours – useful! So I rang the ward at the hospital, but the nurse said unless she could see it she couldn’t advise us and told me to ring the non-emergency NHS number 111. It’s fucking useless. I tried to ring it last month when I found my disabled friend on the floor having fallen out of bed, but after being on hold for 40 minutes gave up and rang 999. This time, after being on hold for 20 minutes I also gave up and went online to fill out a form which gave me no opportunity to actually describe what was happening. Luckily, though, the minute I wrote my Dad was on the blood thinner Warfarin it told me I needed to see a Doctor and I was allowed to request a call back from a medic. Without even seeing him, the Doctor told my Dad “you should be fine” (reassuring, not!) and to see his GP in the morning.
So at 8.30am Friday morning I spent 20 minutes on hold trying to get a GP appointment. They were short-staffed due to sickness, so in the end he had to see a nurse who didn’t really have much clue what was going on and removed his dressing to check his wound, even though we’d been told at the hospital not to do that under any circumstance He was sent home after being told it was all “normal”, despite the fact no-one could tell him why he’d suddenly had a massive bleed from his thigh to his calf a whole week after his surgery.
I was awake most of Friday night with a thumping, sickening migraine which made my right eye bloodshot and the right side of my face swell up. Of course I was.
Saturday I contacted my bestie and said if I didn’t speak to someone who wasn’t a) old, b) crying or c) furry soon she would be visiting me in the local mental asylum and, bless her, despite being really unwell herself she drove 45 minutes down the motorway to meet me for lunch and spent the first hour listening to me offload. I’d do a heart emoticon, if I knew how to do that in WordPress!
It’s Sunday today and after taking Bert out this morning I want to put my Christmas tree up. I haven’t even given Xmas a seconds thought and am now panicking that there is only a fortnight to go and I haven’t even bought my cards yet, let alone written or posted them. I’m sure everyone would understand if I didn’t do Xmas this year, but I actually love Xmas (well, I would if I didn’t have to spend any time with my drunk Mother) and putting my tree up is something I’d like to do for me. I’ve treated myself to a lightbox for Christmas to photograph flowers, but have decided I’m not waiting til 25th and am going to try it out this afternoon – I think I’ve earned a treat.
p.s. after my meltdown to the Blue Badge team I receive an email from them to say my renewal had been successful – they probably feared for their lives if they refused me 😉