I am a very sickly Zebra today.

The day before the General Election was a long one.

Physio first. Very kind, very honest, community physio – Asked me all the right questions, was incredibly sympathetic, spotted my popped hip from the far side of the room and through a tracksuit, knew what EDS was and had treated EDS patients before when he worked for rheumatic physio… And admitted straight away that I was too complicated a case, and he couldn’t help me under the remit of the community physio. He also volunteered to chew the ear off my last physio at CA, the same as Dr D did, so that man is going to have the most in-demand scalp in the county. Sixteen-plus years of ongoing pain, with the hypermobility complications, needed more time and effort and specialist knowledge than he could swot up on, so back to the hospital for me. He was what I’d call a “proper physio” – A grey-haired ex-rugby forward, who enthused about keeping fit and said that I was doing all the right things by aiming for ten kilometres in the pool per week,Β  assured me that missing that goal wasn’t the end of the world, and that even trying was better than most people would do, and said that he wished me the best of luck, regretted that we couldn’t work together, and that if anyone was ever going to recover completely, it’d be someone like me.

I’m not sure if that’s just a platitude that everyone says to every patient, but a hell of a lot of knowledgeable people have said it to me, so it makes me feel a lot happier and more encouraged than otherwise.

I actually felt encouraged enough that I went for a swim. I’m continuing my strategy of taking neither crutches nor morphine to the pool, so that I can’t overwork myself in the opiate hubris zone and end up collapsing on the way home. 500m in about 15 minutes, with the limiting factor not being myself, but the fact that the pool was bedlam – Seven to a lane, one of the ropes completely slack, Medium lane full of slow people, Fast lane a combination of pissbreathers (Those people who swim in such close formation that they must be right in eachother’s stream if someone suddenly feels the urge), people doing deadly serious drills (whom I didn’t want to interrupt), one incredibly elderly water-polo player (who was covered in what looked like WW2-era forces tattoos with whom I had a lovely chat about both water polo and the history of the local pool) and me (he of the incredibly erratic split time, even more erratic accel/decel out of turns, and tendency to stop in the middle of the lane every few dozen lengths to reassemble).

Deciding that I was better off taking the small prize rather than knackering myself in a suboptimal pool, I called the 500 a win, and went home.

Then the GP, which went really well – Dr L, someone I’d not met before. Nice, genuinely approachable, said to give her a week to do her reading, then come back and get a referral. Next appointment on the 20th.

Upon returning home from the GP, I found that Dog had eaten a full bar of Bournville. I’d been gone for literally twenty minutes, at most. Panic stations immediately manned, I dragged him off to the vet to get an injection of abomorphine (a REALLY potent emetic), then sat stroking his back and making generally reassuring noises as he vociferously chundered all over the vets’ car park. Whole bar accounted for – Seriously, it looked and smelled like a patissier with a grudge had iced the whole yard in cheap chocolate fondant – We went back home and sat in the kitchen, him looking terribly sorry for himself and me terrified that he was going to have some theobromide still in his system and have a heart attack. He’s a very old man, in greyhound years (He’ll be ten on the 4th of July) so this wasn’t a stupid fear.

Did not sleep well that night – Every whuffle and twitch from Dog woke me up in a panic.

Next day was the General Election – Tasks do do; Get to the vet to sign my insurance paperwork (To keep that bar of Bournville from being the most expensive that I’d ever purchased), and go and do some democracy. The local polling station is at the end of the road, so I thought I’d do one round-trip; Up to the vet, then back down to the church hall, then home. After the previous day, and the night earlier in the week where I’d been awake for something like 40-odd hours having a bit of a manic episode, I was anxious as fuck for a number of reasons. So, I took along Dog in his semi-official capacity as my assistance beast. Not a joke – It’s all there in my psych notes that due to fairly nasty PTSD I sometimes need to have Dog with me in order to function like a normal human being, and most people are fine with this (He’s lazy unto the point of appearing well-behaved, quiet, doesn’t shed too much, and doesn’t leave my side. The lead is basically for show – I’ve led him through a field of lambs with the only tether being a piece of wool from my wrist to his collar, and it didn’t even go taut once.)

I knew in advance that anyone is legally allowed to take their dog into a polling station (There’s no chance of my dog being a paid shill, swaying my hand to vote for his candidate instead of mine) so I walked in through the newly-opened disabled entrance with him at heel. Only to have his lead taken out of my hands (No asking, just taken) with the explanation of “The other attendant is scared of dogs”. I started to panic, and as I do when on the verge of having a massive PTSD meltdown I saw the path diverge – One path said “Deck the shitheel that’s taken your dog”, the other said “Become compliant and get your dog back”. Thankfully, since I have no choice in which road I go down, my proverbial BIOS sent me to the DOS of total basic obedience, rather than the obscure Linux distro of uncontrollable violence. I’m pretty sure that at this point I went to the bench, took my papers, marked them both appropriately, then got Dog back, since the next thing I remember particularly clearly is sitting outside the polling station with my face in Dog’s shoulder, shaking like the proverbial shitting greyhound.

I made a mental note to go back and correct the attendant (You don’t just *take* a man’s dog, you ask if you *may* take it. Not all service dogs wear the big yellow harnesses. Not everyone’s dog is comfortable being handled by strangers, so you could well get bitten. I can only assume that if a blind person came in avec-chien, then the dog-hating attendant would have to leave the bench. Assume that as the priority one solution next time) but didn’t have the strength to do it. Instead, I just went home and tried not to think about the election much. I failed – Slept from about 2am to 4am, woke up to a world of nightmare.

So, yesterday, the day after a Tory government of only borderline legitimacy took power (That’s a tiny minority, and that’s even with the constituency boundaries largely favouring them), I woke up feeling like shit.

At first, I took the pain in my abdomen to be just the continued saga of this fucking coil. By about 13.00, I was concerned enough that I told Dearest and Best Friend that I might be going to hospital. And then the gastric distress started, and I shelved that idea. Somewhat like a bloke with lymphatic filariasis localised to his cock, first I was pleased, then a bit concerned, then incredibly concerned, then I wished I would just die. For context – First I thought that I was just reasonably disimpacting after what had been a horrible week, then I thought that I had a spot of diarrhoea, probably from the severely dodgy out-of-date popcorn and absinthe I’d had for tea the day before, then I thought that I might be having an adverse reaction to the doxycyclin… By 3am, when I was literally passing nothing but bile, stomach acid and water, every ten minutes, uncontrollably, with so little warning that I couldn’t leave the bathroom, I didn’t care what it was, I just wished I was dead. It hurt (Hydrochloric acid failing to neutralise as it passes through the digestive tract will do that), I was getting cramps from the rapidly-changing pressure and bloodflow in my already-tortured abdomen, I was trying to vomit but nothing was coming up, I was utterly knackered and dehydrated.

Oh, and did I mention that this is on top of terrifying chest pain and heart palpitations after trying to ward off a weather-induced migraine with an ill-advised Sumatriptan at 17.00? I was so ill with that (unable to move, curled up in bed, sweating, shaking, struggling to breathe, vision going blue and grey from lack of air) that Dearest ended up cancelling his night out to look after me. I’ve had bad reactions to Suma/Imigran before, but never this bad. Suffice to say, since I genuinely thought I was going to die, I am not taking it again.

So, yes, by 3am I wasn’t sure if it was going to be the heart attack or the dehydration that would kill me first. Drowning myself in the bath was a close third.

I must have got to sleep with the aid of a lot of morphine (Good for both the pain and for stopping the bowel from moving) and diazepam (good for slowing the heart rate and relaxing the intercostals, letting me do a few breathing exercises) because according to Dearest I was singing the Russian national anthem very loudly at about 4am, but he thought it would be unethical to wake me up since it’d taken so much effort for me to get to sleep in the first place.

I woke up at about five, had a brief conversation with Dearest (Reassuring him that I was all right, and not actually about to drive a military parade of rockets on floats down Briggate), and have returned to my nest on the chaise longue.

Today has infinite chances of being better than yesterday. In a bit, I’m going to see if I can drink anything without feeling as if my heart is being stepped on, have another shower, ring NHS Direct to see if I should be worried (And to ask whether I can just stop taking the doxycyclin, since another week of this would literally kill me since I can’t eat or drink), and bizarrely hope for a migraine (The surefire sign that I’ve metabolised the Imigran out of my system and that the chest pains will stop).

So, yeah, my awesome Saturday plans are “Have a migraine” and “Try to drink some ginger beer.”

Then, Sunday is the cricket, Earnshaw willing.

16 thoughts on “Thunderfuck

  1. Oh Percy, what trials! I do hope today is better. Who is Earnshaw? It feels like a character from Wuthering Heights! And cricket? Cricket can never be wrong (unless you hear Geoff Boycott summarising the play on Test Match Special). Then cricket is very very wrong.

    Lots of love, and keep hydrated (if you can). Love to dog and Dearest too.

    Cathy xxxx

    • Earnshaw is, for reasons unknown, the God Of Yorkshire Weather. I have no idea if this is a cricket thing, a Best Friend thing, or just a Yorkshire thing, but I’ve picked it up πŸ™‚ I tend to imagine him as a small Budai-like man in a flat hat, sitting in a shed and folding firelighters out of newspaper.

      Cricket is on the Hallowerd Turf (Headingley) if I actually make it, so no commentary for me other than the people behind me shouting. I’m making it my mission to get to plenty of County this year.

      I shall pass on your love to the lovelies (I’ve already given Dearest the salted caramel chocolate, since he seriously deserves it for putting on such a brave face for the last few days) and will have a serious try at keeping some fluids down. I want Ribena, but the old properly-sugary-and-sour formulation, not the modern one. Or glass-bottle Lucozade and/or Irn Bru, like we used to get off the Barr’s float.

      Possibly I just want to be four, and thus to have no problems bigger than a series of skinned knees and the odd migraine.

  2. I love cricket. I think I’ve told you that. Living near Headlingley is rather good in that respect!

    Funny thing about young children is that they throw a strop at the slightest provocation eg wind changes direction. When I see red-faced toddlers thrashing on the supermarket floor, I want to say to them, very quietly, ‘these are the best years of your life, lighten up’.

    I was a Ribena original baby, and I have a mouthful of amalgam to prove it!

    Hope you perk up today. Your nobility in gifting a whole bar of Lindt to Dearest does you great credit! I hope he likes the varieties that I send!

    Cathy β™₯

    • I remember you saying that you two met via cricket, or bonded over it, which is adorable πŸ˜€ I’m a bit of a late bloomer in getting into cricket, but over the past couple of years I’ve gone from “Vaguely understand the rules” to “Follows half of the Yorkshire/England teams on twitter, sent Broady a get well soon card after his knee surgery”

      Dearest is adoring the salt-caramel, enjoyed a portion of the mint last time, and couldn’t understand the flower-flavoured one, which is good, because that was my favourite πŸ˜€

      I can just see you wandering through supermarkets like a kittenpowered angel of serenity, reminding toddlers that things can only get worse…

    • every time someone defines something as the best years f my life i get more depressed. I am still waiting for a point in my life that is actually just bearably bad as opposed to complete torment. why this is hell nor am i out of it.

  3. Oh you do make me laugh Percy. Headingley was the location of course of Ian Botham’s legendary knock in 1981. I had a clipping from the Guardian showing him in action stuck to my bedroom wall. Those were the days *sigh*.

    Fancy sending Stuart Broad a card! My crush on him is passing. I wonder if Joe Root is too young for me? *Blushes with shame*. Though we have Sky Sports, I tend to listen to TMS rather than watch. I cosy under my Hello Kitty fleece blanket, ideally listening to ‘Blowers’ and ‘Aggers’, while yearning to hear the voice of ‘Whispering Death’ as well, which is like the darkest most lustrous treacle.

    I am quite serene in Waitrose. I am listening to some of Purcell’s sacred music (Trevor Pinnock and Christ Church College Choir) in the car, so by the time I arrive, I am almost literally in Heaven.

    You take good care Percy and thank you for brightening my life!


    • If you like choral/hymnal stuff, have you listened to ÁrstΓ­Γ°ir? Look up their rendition of “Heyr himna smiΓ°ur” – Mostly a capella, lots of ancient hymns and Icelandic folk songs, as well as their own stuff. I reckon you’d like them πŸ˜€

      Joe Root is too young even for me πŸ˜› (And he looks like Owen Jones) but variety is the spice of life – I’m no longer a certified bear-hunter, at least.

      As for commentary – Agreed that I’d listen to Holding basically reading a heap of takeaway menus. Aggers is wonderful – I will *always* wonder what he was doing when Brian Johnstone was reduced to helpless giggling after the “Can’t get his leg over” incident…

      • Bear hunter? Urban Dictionary suggests: ‘A person, typically either a woman or gay man, who enjoys hooking up with husky men with a lot of body hair’. Wow.

        Trivia – Mike Atherton (part of the Sky Sports team) went to Downing, the Cambridge college that Mike and I attended.

        Like Mike and I, he won a place to read History (I later changed to English). End of trivia!

        BTW I utterly loathed playing all sports. Much prefer gardening.

        Love to you both. β™₯

  4. Cathy you do like em blonde and twinky don’t you.
    Perce I am hoping you are feeling better. I am trying to do positive things and sending + vibess to you.

    Cricket…I kinda get it, tho like all team sports it was a childhood trauma. putting a zebra into silly point to “toughen him up and stop him being lazy” is not a good idea, mr oliver you twat.
    but it makes a restful noise.
    however bwv208 for restful

    • Cheers, both πŸ™‚

      Missing the cricket today due to continued evisceration. And a dislocated shoulder. Which is a shame, since I got dressed this morning in my absolute best, and was all excited to go out.

      Then discovered that half the roads in Leeds were closed anyway, so it took Best Friend something like an hour and a half to travel the mile from his house to the ground.

      I think I can safely love cricket because nobody has ever *expected* me to play, then are generally shocked that I’m a half-decent pace bowler (Even if I barely know which end of the bat to hold).

      I too suffered the privations of team sports at school – A combination of being terrifyingly fit and terrifyingly stubbon (Always refusing to represent the School at anything because I was too busy training for county or nation in a completely different sport) so after a while I used to get endless “punushment” cross-country runs instead of having to play nice with the other bairns. How “You get two hours of having nothing to worry about other than putting one foot in front of the other” is meant to be a punishment, I will never understand.

      • add flat feet….

        sorry to hear of your continued efforst to become a sea cucumber. bit of luck the damned thing will come out in a giant poo.
        im trying to do the physio things…not easy

  5. That just sucks. I hope things are turning around some.

    I don’t know if this would be any use to you, but I thought I’d mention it. I’m a fan of Western medicine, but I’ve been talked into some herbal stuff that helped the migraines: Migravent (which has Butterbur, Magnesium, Riboflavin and CoQ10) and Folic Acid, which helps my body absorb pills better. Both have actually made a difference.

    Hang in there, handsome.

    • Cheers πŸ™‚

      I’m going back to the GP at some point soon to ask about something to replace the Imigran (I wish I knew why it had been magic the first two times, then such a nightmare) but I’ll try them out – Not sure if I can get Migravent in the UK, but I’ve definitely seen folic acid tablets around. Anything that speeds uptake of other meds is going to be a help, I hope.

      Hope you’re well too πŸ™‚

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s