I’m off to South West Ireland tomorrow morning for two weeks to get my necessary ‘Irish’, and ‘catching up with old friends’, fix. Friend has been my friend since school and we have seen a lot of life between us!
Friend has a new horse, a young four year old, who she has only had for a couple of months. I cannot wait to see her and make her acquaintance. She came named Shanti, was renamed Jasmine and is now known as Jazzy. I will post some photos of her on here when I arrive.
I have never been in June before, my visits have usually been in Autumn or the New Year, although I did come in early May once, so I am really looking forward to seeing the plants, trees and wildlife at this time of year. Sometimes it is really hot, sometimes really wet, so we’ll just have to see. I think lots of clothes that will ‘layer’ is going to be the key to packing.
Travelling from here is good: the train from Sheffield goes straight into Manchester Airport and you only have to get in a lift up from the train platform to be whizzed into the airport terminal. Of course, there is then the set of moving walkways to negotiate before dumping the luggage but it is no hassle.
And the rail journey across the Pennines is wonderful: you climb up to the spine of England, passing through deserted moorland, masses of heather, dry stone walled fields, small upland farms with their stock yards, windblown trees, sheep and cattle, hay meadows, small becks, great stone edges, and generally see a landscape hardly modified for hundreds of years, before coming down the other side to Lancashire and the outskirts of Manchester.
I really, really, need this break. Ever since I got back from the States I have been ‘hounded’ by the medics. At least that is what it feels like. I have posted before about the pressure to have an invasive procedure which I do not want. Appreciating the kind intentions behind this pressure I have tried to be grateful although firm about what I feel is right for me. But last week I received yet another letter from my GP and yesterday came another phone call. What I do not understand is that when I try to explain my reasons, based on information I have been given, is that yesterday the GP changed what she had originally said about the Ultrasound results and is now using different tactics. She describes the situation as different from what she originally said, without accepting that what she is now saying is different. I think that is quite serious: to actually change the facts that you are giving a patient. It now feels like scare tactics instead of logical rationality. I am ready to scream and am feeling rather ‘bounced’ about: you really need your medics. to be constant in the facts they say they are telling you. She will not accept that I wish to continue with further regular ultrasounds for a while before panicking even though she said that the Consultant thinks that what I have is benign! Previous experience of Consultants and a cancer scare showed me that if they are really perturbed the consultant him or herself will ring you at home, even at a weekend. She will not prescribe further ultrasounds until I have seen the Consultant, so that leaves me with few alternatives: either go along with her and have the Consultation or change a long-standing family doctor.
How to make an informed decision if the ground under your feet keeps changing? Part of my problem is that I have multiple chemical allergies: if I breathe in certain substances, or have them injected, I collapse, cannot move, my pulse goes mad, my heart goes mad, and it takes a long time plus oxygen to come round. Now these allergies have meant that in the past I have collapsed just walking into one clinic because they had had a new floor laid and I was allergic to the glue that had been used. I am allergic to the hand wash they use, one sniff and I’m out: also the anaesthetics, both general and local, the antiseptics, etc. etc. it is too boring to go into more detail here. But everything they propose to use in this procedure I am allergic to. Each collapse is worse than the one before so obviously I try to reduce my exposure as much as possible. My doctor has no problem accepting these collapses: in fact a few years ago when I was seriously ill with pneumonia she wanted to send me to hospital but suggested herself that she would not because that environment would be even worse for me. However, I think she needs to feel that the responsibility for the present situation is taken off her hands and given over to a Consultant. Also I think it is hard for her to realise just how frightening these collapses are and my extreme reluctance to face exposure unless really necessary.
It is different at the dentist. The last time I was there a new dentist was on duty who would not listen to me. He used a filling material which caused an immediate collapse. Worse than ever before. I ended up with the crash team from the local hospital. It really felt as if my time had come, and as I lay there, I felt tears running down my cheeks: it was bad enough thinking that life was ending when I still wanted to do so much but it was worse thinking that it was because of a silly mistake which could have been avoided if someone had listened to me and believed me. They take great care now at the Dental Hospital: they will only see me first thing in the morning when the clinic has not been used by anyone else. They wash it down with soap and water first and have all the windows open, and the door closed so that nothing can come in from the other clinics. They have found an old fashioned anaesthetic which is OK and gone back to the old kelp-based impression materials.
The trouble is that no one seems to have come across this type of reaction before even though chemical allergies are a known aftermath of ME: without a specific diagnosis and the correct ‘label’ it is sometimes difficult to make the more old fashioned medics. take something seriously. I have tried the Allergy clinic in the local hospital but they say that without a skin rash they cannot diagnose allergies. Perhaps it is time to go more global now and try to track down some de-sensitising treatment!!
The final result is that I have decided that I will have to see this Consultant, but will write first to explain the substances to which I must not be exposed, and try to find out exactly why they seem so determined to have me in. But the end result is that I feel rather bullied and, silly as it may seem, rather threatened. (Dear friend whom I am going to visit immediately offered to fly over from Ireland to accompany me to the Consultant. How kind is that!)
So, I am more than ready for a break away from all this emotionally charged hype!! I will pack my bags, and get on that train with a huge sigh of relief. I love large railway stations and airports where no one knows me: being in a huge place packed with strangers always gives me a great feeling. Somehow it feels as if baggage is lifted off one’s back and limitless opportunities stretch before one, I don’t know why. I get thrills down my spine in places like the Gare du Lyons in Paris where you see trains off to Siberia, Moscow, Istanbul or the French Riviera. It makes me want to throw myself on one and just go. You have no responsibilites or duties to anyone for a while and can just sit and relax and watch what goes on around you with interest but no involvement unless you wish.
PS After such seriousness here are some pix from around the ‘estate’ which I could not resist on such a lovely sunny day. Enjoy!
Bumble bees of every shape and size were buzzing around this geranium, so I took some close-ups, only one of which I will post here:
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