Monday, 9 April 2012

Yi can shove yir saline...............

To cut out the whys and wherefores and all other reasons, I had the necessity on Saturday to visit A&E at the Western Infirmary. After a variety of phone calls from NL out of hours service, I arrived with my referral letter at the doors of the salubrious hospital - with my big brother there for moral support. To be fair, I had wanted to go it alone because I know how long I sat last time - and it's no fun. But taking his big brotherly duties seriously, Jim decided he was coming with me. Bet he's sorry!
We got in and it looked as if we had arrived on a day when they were handing out free goodies - because the place was packed. The receptionist, in his broken English, told me that only 20 mins ago it had been reasonable. Yeah - I pick the times! Now there was a 3 hour waiting time (which quickly changed to 4 hours within 10 mins of being there!) We watched "The Voice" on the TV to pass the time - only it was without the voice because you couldn't hear a thing for the noise in the A&E department. I now know I can lip read - a fine talent to find yourself with - never know when I'll need to use and refine that skill once more! I was eventually called and found myself chatting to a lovely young doctor called Matt who, trying to reassure me that he knew what he was doing but having me believe he didn't have a scooby, telephoned his registrar who happily was in the vicinity and came to my aid. One half millilitre of saline removed and I could eat and drink again. After 3 days of being able to do neither, I was ecstatic. Until the dreaded words came. "We'll keep you for observation and an abdominal x-ray."
Keep me? What did they mean? Not in hospital surely? Are you having a laugh? You've Been Framed cameras round the corner maybe? But, alas, no - they were deadly serious. First thought that came to mind was that my poor brother was now well and truly stranded. He doesn't drive. Nearest train station was Partick - in which direction I had no clue - he had no jacket on and some loose change in his pocket. For some reason I had put money in my back jeans pocket so, after "brother of Jeanette Bryce" had been yelled within the throngs of the reception area, Jim was given the bad news. Yir hoofin it, sonny Jim! I gave him money to get the train and, as I waved my wee white hanky at him in signs of goodbye and farewell, another thought came to me. I am lying on this stretcher with the clothes I had been wearing in a carrier - I had no supplies!! No clean underwear, no toothbrush, facial wipes, make up, magazines, hairbrush, hairspray, straighteners, perfume, handbag - NYADA, ZILCH, NOTHING! As I was! Plain and simple. Mingin me by the next morning I was certain!
Things moved quickly after that and I was taken to the x-ray department for an abdominal x-ray. The porter then took me up to Ward 9 Vascular where a bed with my name on it awaited. I got into bed and was admitted with wristband by a lovely senior nurse called Kirsty. At this time I would have much preferred a wristband to M&Ds - even tho I'm not fond of the funfair - but the Western Infirmary had other ideas - this was no exhilirating ride!
Settled down with nothing to read and nothing to do, I was bored and it was only half past nine. The nurse brought me a newspaper which she'd snaffled from under the nose of some poor unsuspecting patient who was already in the land of nod. It gave me something to do. The other 2 women in the beds diagonally and to my right were already giving it big licks - one moaning and one snoring and taking it in turns. Blood pressure was taken and pulse rate and blood sugar recorded - I now resemble a pin cushion and muscles have developed in my arm from the blood pressure cuff - a lovely and advantageous side effect! Must get the other arm done! Then she arrived........... to take up the bed opposite mine........... "Samamfa!" 
The lovely Samantha, to be fair, was in some amount of pain. Doctors were thinking she needed her gall bladder removed - by the morning I thought she needed her voicebox and her arms removed too. I very nearly obliged and saved the doctors some valuable taxpayers' dosh - but I refrained and I am still a free woman! Cornton Vale would have been my next room if I had turned my thoughts into deeds. And it was oh so tempting!
She asked if I could help her with her pyjama top cos she had a drip in her arm. Do I look as if I'm wearing a name badge, hen? Nurse Jinty? Doctor Bryce? I don't think so. I'm lying opposite her in my designer "goonie" - tied in 3 places up the back, with a discreet flash at my new knickers if I didn't move at great speed when I ran the 20 step marathon to the loo! Gold medal for Miss B - is this an Olympic sport per chance? I'm bringing the top prize for Team GB. Then she wanted me to find her phone in her suitcase sized bag. She must be used to hospital visits with the potential for being kept in cos she had everything!! And I mean EVERYTHING required for a 2 week stay in a run down hotel on the Costas. Then she asked if I could fit said suitcase bag and carrier in her locker. One statement - square peg in a round hole. Naw - wasn't the easiest of tasks but it eventually went in. Just a few items draped across the floor leading up to her bed..........
I got back into my own bed then she came up with a peace offering - 2 wee baby creme eggs for me and 2 for her. I should have known - accepting these made her my BFF - and so her life story began - from conception to present day and all sorts in between. In between all the blood, guts, gore and family trauma, she mentioned she was a bank nurse and had frequented this hospital and Gartnavel on her tours of duty. So she knew all that needed to be known in the nursing world. Including how to move your electrical bed up and down. Back to that subject shortly. I let her rabbit on - my teacher's shut-off button was activated and I was hearing angel singing in my ears and not her voice so it was bearable. Every now and again she would moan and groan in pain and buzz for the nurses. She had 5 injections of morphine in her derriere, Tramadol and Paracetamol umpteen times and it still didn't knock her out.
Now I had been constantly sick since Thursday and was tired and hoping to sleep the boring night away. Samamfa was having none of it. After she had run out of things to tell me, I was hoping the drugs would work and make her comatose for the evening. Was I wrong! I lay down in my "I'm off to sleep so don't talk to me" position and tried to shut my eyes. Chance would've been a fine thing. The aforementioned remote controlled bed across from mine? It went up, down, up, down, up, down. Bedside light went on, off, on, off, on, off. If she buzzed the poor nurses once, she buzzed for them 20 times. Drink of water, commode, more pain medication, could she plug her phone charger in? Was she able to call her partner? This was now about half one in the morning. All lights - apart from hers - were out. I was about to knock her lights out but that's an entirely more violent story. Then the partner phoned. I could hear him from the other side of the room. She was talking so loudly that the nurse came in and asked her to quieten it down. Maybe they couldn't hear her in Clydebank I thought! 
All night long she rastled in that bed and I thought I was going to get some peace when she said she was putting her earphones in to listen to music on her phone. After 20 minutes of bliss she switched the music off and proceeded to tell me who she had been listening to for the last 20 minutes and the songs these artists had sung. I thought that I would "do her in" if she even broke into a single note from any one of these songs but luckily for her she didn't. I lifted the stolen newspaper and put my own bedside light on. I read the articles. I read the ads. I read the smallprint. I read the date and numbers on every page. She had the cheek to say to me, "Can you no sleep either, doll?" Aye right - fine chance! I knew I was getting no sleep unless they came in and stuck her with a dart or tasered her! Or I suffocated her. Euthanasia was beginning to look like more of a prospect and, believe me, I'm pro life at all other times. But exceptions on the very oddest of occasions need to be made.
I survived till morning. Nursing staff changed so she had a new set of folk to annoy and buzz for. By the time my doctor arrived on the ward for his rounds, I had devoured porridge, toast, orange juice and milk. I was dressed in my jeans and t-shirt and only had to put on my Converse and fleece and make my getaway when the consent came. And come it did. He would not have wished to take his life in his hands and say I needed to stay another day. One look at my face and the pleading look in my tired eyes was enough for him to throw up his hands and discharge me post haste. Poor Samamfa was goin nowhere!! Even wee Bernadette who'd snored during the night and coughed like an auld navvy barfing his insides up was delighted to be getting an overnight reprieve too and was phoning random numbers from her wee dog eared address book for somebody to come and pick her up and let her make her escape. 
I said my goodbyes, wished everyone well (including Samamfa) thanked the nursing team and sprinted for the exit and car park like Usain Bolt on a good day. No chance of getting me to return to Ward 9 for anything!
 Now at home, I can reflect on my overnight stay. To be repeated? I hope not. Memorable? Most definitely. But all I have to say to the consultants at Gartnavel when I go to my next appointment in July................... YI CAN SHOVE YIR SALINE!!!!!!

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Bloody weather!!!!!!!!!!

Batten down the hatches. Turn up the heating. Shut the world out. Another storm has arrived. And it's another doozy!! I live in the middle of a crescent with no houses in front of me. I get the full force of every gust as it blows up Burn Crescent and right to my windows - which, by the way, I feel are going to cave in at any time!! My house could take off. Who knows - I could end up in Oz and demolish the Wicked Witch of the East as 28 Cardell lands on her napper!!

On the plus side, NLC shut the schools down last Thursday when the bad storm arrived in Chapelhall and other surrounding areas. I went out in it and was nearly blown clean off my feet - yes ME!! I laughed so hard cos I have always had enough weight behind me to keep me well and truly upright in the fiercest of weather. And there I was - like Ragdollyanna - sweeping across the back garden and being tossed around like a sack of feathers!

So I hope it dies down soon cos I'm back out in it tonight. Only for him..................  He better appreciate it!

Friday, 28 October 2011

What was I thinking?.......

I am done in/goosed/exhausted/Donald Ducked - any euphemism for tired out - I'm it!! Why? Cos I thought last night I was running on never ending Duracell batteries and kept going till I was near collapse! Might be a little exaggeration but it sounds very dramatic so I'm sticking with it.
In my infinite wisdom I believed myself to be youthful, energetic, carefree and - fast!!! NOT SO! I aimed to do all my shopping for the month in a couple of hours between Airdrie and Coatbridge then head back to the school for tea with the staff before the kids' Hallowe'en disco at half 7. Which planet did I drop off? Who did I think I was kidding? Here's what I thought:- get all my shopping, get home and carefully put all merchandise in its proper place in my kitchen, get changed into jeans and head back for aforementioned meal with aforementioned colleagues, come home for an hour and a half and rest before leisurely heading to the Post Office to meet up with the man, spend some time there then come home and happily go to bed. Here's what REALLY happened:- went to Airdrie and ended up in lots of different shops, got laden down with bags and had to drag them back to the car. Boot filling up nicely. Went to pet shop and got big bag of rabbit food for Smokie which was put on the floor of the passenger front seat. More shopping in the High Street. Boot now full to the gunnels and threatening to overflow. Still Asda to go to in Coatbridge. Whilst there my nephew phones to see if I will practise interview skills with him when I come from the kids' disco. No probs mate! Wasn't buying much in Asda - aye right!!! Took shopping eventually to the car and had to put it on the back seat and the floor. By now - knackered! Looked at my watch to see it hitting 7pm - dinner with staff oot the windae! Rush home and fire the frozen stuff in the freezer and chilled stuff in the fridge. Leave tins and other such stuff on my living room floor and kitchen table and worktops. Now looks like armageddon!
I stick on hairband with ghosts on them that wobble about and a big hairy spider that twinkles its lights menacingly in the dark on my cardigan - still in school clothes and run out the door to the disco - which by now I could see far enough! Make all suitable noises and dance moves at disco for an hour and then come home to help Ross with his interview technique. Realising I have had no dinner but now with a house full of grub that would choke a horse, I decide to make tuna pasta for us all while honing Ross's technique. Made it - but no time to eat it - I bid farewell to one Ross and say hello to another, equipped with some tuna pasta for him but still having nothing myself. As I leave the Post Office with him I then realise that my feet now have a pulse of their own. Now I know there are pulses in your feet - but these were more like a friggin heartbeat! I was so tired I was staggering like the local drunk on a good Saturday night (actually that might be ME!) but eventually got home at around half 11. Done in/goosed/Donald Ducked!!!
This was not what I had in mind when I left school with my very bright idea at 3pm. Maybe I thought I had the energy for shopping hopping - but I have to confess I DON'T!! Maybe I thought I was faster than I actually am. I know I've lost tons of weight but I must've thought I was SUPERWOMAN!! Never again - that's all - never again!
Goodnight, Glod Bless and I'm away for a well deserved sleep!

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

My week to date...

I'm having a great week off. I am looking after Emma and Ava while Colin is at work. Emma will have my new wee great nephew in 4 weeks time and she is finding it hard to run around after Princess Ava. So auntie Jinty to the rescue....... today we played football and Ava laughed so much that she had wee scarlet cheeks,her face flushed with laughing and squealing with delight. Auntie Jinty? Goosed, cream crackered, done in, wabbit - but I had great fun too. It's the simple pleasures that make me happy and spending time with family is always a pleasurable experience. Ava is enjoying me being there too so it's worth every second of getting up early to get to the house before she gets up and to see her wee smiling face when she sees me. Wonderful.

Then at night it's Ross's turn. Gary is on holiday in Cyprus and Ross is working 2 weeks straight - from 8 in the morning till half 11 at night - so I am helping out in the shop when the doors shut to clear up and stock the shelves in preparation for the next morning's onslaught at the Post Office desks. He'll be exhausted by the end of the fortnight, especially as he hasn't been well himself, but he soldiers on - no choice really - and I'll soldier on with him as usual. We make a good team and are so used to each other now that we spend time comfortably together, sometimes in silence, sometimes roaring with laughter! That's my favourite time. We both have a warped sense of humour and I laugh more with him than I've ever done with anyone in my life. He's a tonic to me and we're best of friends. He comes out with some mental random stuff that sets me howling with laughter - he knows just how to keep me amused, make me smile and split my sides laughing. He's the only one that can bring that kind of joy to my life and I am thankful for him.

After Emma's tomorrow, I have some visiting to do - to my dear friend Mrs Stangoe, to make sure she is ok. She is 87 years old, lives at the other end of my street and I love her dearly. She is such a kind soul. I work with her daughter, Ruth, and I go and visit her periodically and take her a wee fruit slice which she loves. We have tea and a blether and it gives her some company for a wee while. Ruth is away for a well earned rest this week so I'll check up on "mother" for her.

On Friday afternoon I am meeting up with my old boss to go for a bowl of soup and a catch up. Hopefully one or two of my other work mates will be able to come and we will have a good chance to spend some quality time together before work and all it entails beckons once again.

That's what I've been doing up till now. I've still mid-term reports to complete for my class but, hey, there's always the weekend!!

Friday, 14 October 2011

Holiday ......

It's the start of my October week break from school - and I need it. My VOICE needs it. The break that is. I've come home tonight to a tidy house, made my dinner and decided to kick off the shoes, jump into the joggies and t-shirt and just chill out. My beloved came to visit before heading off for a wee visit to his mum. So now I'm all alone. Am I upset about this? Am I ding!!!! I've opened Jinty's bar - it's the only night this week that I'm free (and free from driving) so I've decided to treat myself to a wee jug of cheeky Vimto.  Drink AGAIN? I hear you say. The meek and mild answer to that is YESSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (not so meek and mild, eh?)

It will last me the whole night - till at least 1am - I can stay up late - I have no reason to be up early tomorrow - so that's what I'm going to do. Watch tv, drink, relax and enjoy the freedom!!!!  My poor man has an abscess and is in agony. Been there. Done that. Bought the t-shirt. Got the antibiotics. I feel dead sorry for him. He needed a cuddle. My wee sparra!!

So fare thee well and I'll talk to you again when I have something to say that is worthy of note. If I don't blog again this week it's just that I've got so much to do. Holiday? What holiday? Hahahahaha xx

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Nice to know....

I went out last night, against my better judgement, with my nephew to the pub karaoke. I knew I couldn't sing too much cos I still have a week to work with a rather fragile voice - so I can't say I was looking forward to it that much.

Suffice to say I had a really good night. Although I was only drinking iced water (yes - you read that CORRECTLY!!) I still enjoyed the company of old friends I've known for ages who were sitting at the table with me. We had a laugh and enjoyed the camaraderie.

Near the end of the night I got up to sing my last number and an old friend of mine was standing at the bar listening to me and watching. When I finished, I went over to talk to him and as he gave me a hug and a kiss, he told me I was looking well. No he said - take that back - you're beautiful! I was stunned into silence and really touched by his comment. It's not the kind of thing that's said to me very much and, although I think the poor soul must need to renew the prescription on his specs cos he sees a different thing from me quite obviously, it made my night, if not my entire year. Brian has known me from when I was at my heaviest weight and it's never made any difference to him how I look.  It was so genuine what he said and how he said it that I could have cried.

Compliments about my weight loss are occurring now on a near daily basis and I really appreciate them. I'm not vain or narcissistic in any way. I don't see myself as anything other than the overweight person I've always been. It's hard to change your opinion of yourself when you don't have a high opinion of yourself in the first place. I've never wanted to stand out in the crowd but, because of my size, I always have. Now I fit in. I'm still overweight but not so grossly so. I just want to be normal. Nothing more, nothing less.

So Brian - I don't know if you would even imagine the effect your words have had on my confidence - but it gave me a boost last night and I love you for it. It's nice to know what people think about you. It was just a comment - a few mere words - it has helped to put me into perspective FOR me! If I now think nice things about people and I have the opportunity to tell them then I will. I now know the far reaching ripples of satisfaction it can create in someone else's life.  And it only took a simple comment to cause that effect.........

Saturday, 8 October 2011

This weekend...

This weekend I am resting. Coped with no voice last week at work even though I had 32 children to educate but it's taken it out of me. So I will be spending the weekend watching tv, drinking tea and coffee and sleeping. No singing, as little talking as possible and generally taking it easy.

My friend, Jacqui, is coming for dinner today. She's working so I'll pick her up at 5pm, we'll have dinner then catch up for a wee while. It's good to just chill out together and find out what is happening in each other's lives cos we don't see each other so much because of work commitments.

Tomorrow I am going to visit my friend, Shirley, in Coatbridge. It's her birthday on Monday and I'm taking her birthday gift to her. Another teacher - another teacher struggling with her voice! Hazards of our job. Another catch up too. Did I say I would be talking as little as possible this weekend? Strike that - however, I won't strain my vocal chords by projecting my voice in any room that I'm in. Just good friendly banter and the chance to have some great company.

So have a "hooly" of a weekend everybody. For me it will be quiet but next weekend is start of October week break for me. I will be spending it all with Ross so I will be a happy camper! I'm always happy when I'm with him............but that's an entire story on its own!  Happy weekend!!