nuclear scan

I’ve been to Harefield Hospital ( yes that’s right , the famous one) to have a bone scan. The hospital is a “proper hospital” in me and my husband’s opinion , I suppose that means it is not frightfully modern looking and it is near countryside. Going in through the main reception you somehow feel welcome. I’m very at home at hospitals anyway because of my time working in them I suppose.

The scanning takes part in a new looking centre , nicely laid and out and very clean. I had some pictures taken and then the radioactive stuff was injected into my vein. Then I had to go away for three hours and drink plenty. We started off with a coffee in the Friends of the hospital Pavillion then we drove home and I drank loads of water. I went to the loo before we headed back but felt the urge to go again almost as soon as we set off. When we got back to the hospital I went straight to the bog!

I was taken straight back in to be scanned as soon as we got to the department. I was advised to go to the loo but explained I’d just been. I think I may have drunk too much water because half way through the procedure I was told to go to the loo again.

I had to lie still on a bed , flat on my back. My feet were tied together and my arms were put in a sort of tube . Needless to say at this point my nose began to itch. Why do noses do that? Further on in the process I had to put my hands above my head which was not very comfortable. I was told to move my hip straight which made it feel crooked. I suppose it took three quarters of an hour. Everyone was very nice and efficient.

It did strike me when walking back through the centre which included the heart transplant clinic and attendant investigation rooms, that it was all very quiet. by this time it was about 4pm , on a Friday afternoon and nothing was going on.

The results will be with the consultant in two weeks. I hope they find something to explain the pain, obviously I know I have arthritis and of course I don’t want to be ill but I’d like to know what’s wrong.

A friend suggested to me , before I had my Birmingham hip done, that the reason it had conked out was because I had worn it out lifting patients when I was a hospital nurse and I think she was right although it hadn’t occurred to me before. (Don’t worry NHS. I won’t sue you)!

On the way back the first time we had a conversation which is unusual when we’re driving. We decided that litter looks worse in the summer and we talked about how we would change things if we ran the country.

Nigel would bring back steam trains and abandon all targets.He’s get rid of SATs and reintroduce Grammar, Secondary Modern and Technical Schools. I would put lots of money in to primary education, get rid of the national curriculum or make it more flexible. I’d make sure that all primary school children got to go in to the countryside to play in the mud and get REALLY DIRTY (without any health and safety input). I’d like them to learn about the importance of trees and of looking after the countryside.

I’d like to see places where younger people could have fun, not youth clubs as such but places where they could learn new skills if they wanted to , climb on things like smaller children do and just meet and hang so they could meet their friends somewhere other than the street or pubs. Obviously the people in charge would have to be quite special to be able to get the balance right between freedom and control.

We would put an end to building on green land. We’d be stricter on immigration.

Quite a conversation for us really! I sometimes think I’ve got to get to know my husband again now we’re retired, sounds a bit daft after being married for nearly twenty-seven years.

We didn’t talk on the way back the second time, he didn’t ask what the scan was like. He was listening to loud classical music. He has a habit of turning it up loud on the quiet bits which means you get a sudden surge of noise when there’s another loud bit. I do like some classical music but when it is very loud it becomes more noise than music if you’re not a concert or controlling the volume yourself. I did check my ‘phone so that I could tell him the (lousy) cricket score.

Published in: on July 18, 2008 at 4:22 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Cultivating the art of timewasting

So the girls have gone off to Latitude Festival in Suffolkand it’s very quiet here. I’ve spent all day listening to music on and realising that I’ll miss them both so much in September when they go to university.
Claire and I had a nice ride yesterday, the girls were up for it as soon as they felt the grass beneath their feet. I had to shout to Claire to stop cantering because my back was hurting (the pain specialist doesn’t really approve of me riding!) We resumed control and had a lovely ride beside the Jubilee River .

I’m going to Harefield Hospital tomorrow to have my a bone scan. This means being injected with radioactive stuff which shows up the bones. I’m also having an

my beloved pony

my beloved pony

MRI scan at the end of the month. Hopefully this will get to the bottom of the reason for the pain I get in my hip and back. “On XRay the artifical hip looks fine so we’ll just have to see. I should have had these tests and been back to the orthopaedic clinic by now but someone messed up the referrals so lucky I chased them up!

Published in: on July 17, 2008 at 6:46 pm  Comments (1)  


There was a robin’s nest in Apache’s stable and the time came for the babies to learn to fly. One of them seemed to be doing quite well but the other took a few steps out of the nest and didn’t like what he saw so went back in. The next day one of the babies was on the floor in the stable so Claire couldn’t do the mucking out. After a while we became quite concerned for his little creature so a friend got a ladder and some gloves and he caught the little one, climbed the ladder and put him on the beam near they nest. Then he found the other robin. We’re hoping that they are getting on alright now, we’ve seen the parents are still around, in fact one was sitting on the rim of one of the feed bowls having a little snack.

We had a rude awakening this morning. J who I’m pleased to say is a lot better having had a cocktail of about nine different drugs, several intravenously, was sleeping in the lounge when she was woken by a magpie. We’re not sure if one of the cats brought it in or if it fell down the chimney. One of the cats did the cack-cack noise they make when they see prey. Our dog showed a singular lack of interest, preferring to stay in bed with me and my husband- and he’s a Springer Spaniel!

Luckily, Claire was here and she has worked at Swan Lifeline and Heathrow Animal Centre when she was studying animal care. She braved the flapping, charging bird and opened the french windows and, with the help of Patch the cat, encouraged it to fly away.

Yesterday I posted a form to the Nursing and Midwifery Council relinquishing my registration as a nurse. That felt really weird, worse than the act of retiring last June. To go back now would mean taking a course. Not that I have any intention of nursing as I am less mobile than I was last year and I’m enjoying retirement.

Talking of retirement ,the ponies are enjoying being semi-retired. It is a great pleasure to see them in their stables after they have had their supper as they nod off like the elderly ladies they are. I would hate to live without animals.

Published in: on June 17, 2008 at 8:35 am  Leave a Comment  

Retirement. Goodbye John. Let the Blood Run Free.

So we did it, we retired! I went, very quietly, on Thursday. On Friday, Nigel, Claire and I went to the surgery. Nigel,stayed to do his last surgery and Claire and I went to her her work for a while and then to Brent Cross for an hour where we had a bagel and I purchased a cover for the new wireless keyboard for our Mac. Big spender! Then we went back to the surgery for a party. It was very kind of everyone to go to so much trouble for us.
We came home and Nige went to the pub, then I had and invite from a friend so I went there too, then Claire came. We all had a few drinks but I avoided a hangover by my judicious self administration of water and paracetamol.
On Sunday we set off for Northumberland in two cars and we stopped at Humble Bumpstead (Hemel Hempstead) to collect Nigel’s brother Keith. We all drove to Blanchland to the Lord Crewe Arms and had a nice meal. The next day we took Ralph to the beach at Tynemouth (the dog end) where he had a wonderful time with lots of other dogs. At 2pm we headed to N Tyneside Hospital to visit John.
The hospital is quite modern and nice and clean. We found John well propped up in bed on oxygen and he was pleased to see us and we had a good chat with him. Despite obviously being very ill he was not confused. Amazing for a man of 87 who was , it turned out, suffering from disseminated melanoma (skin cancer which had spread all over the place.)

Nige and John’s devoted and lovely girlfriend eventually spoke to a consultant and Nigel suggested that John should have some diamorphine which would ease his breathing whilst depressing his respiratory centre , in other words really, ease him on his way. The consultant said it wasn’t time for that but they saw him writing it up on John’s chart. Nigel then had a chat with John to tell him that it wasn’t good news. The plan was for him to go home to die. Apparently he then started to take off his oxygen mask because he thought he wouldn’t be able to have oxygen at home!

Keith gave the hospital the number of the hotel and we made our way back there.

Next morning, the hospital rang to say that, if we wanted to see John,we should go straight there. Nigel decided not to come as he had said his goodbyes.

We got to the ward and saw that John’s name was no longer on the board and that there was someone else in the place where his bed had been. We asked at the desk and a lady called a nurse over to us who asked if we wanted to go to John’s room. There was a notice on the door advising people not to enter without asking a nurse first. That’s code for “Dead person on board” really but it was still a shock to walk in and see him lying there dead. He looked peaceful. We sat down in the room with him. Then we realised his girlfriend hadn’t been informed so I rang her and broke the news and Claire said she would go and fetch her. At least she hadn’t had to drive in a distressed state.

We tried to get to speak to the sister on duty but she had gone for breakfast. Eventually Claire got to speak to a lovely lady doctor who told us that John’s breathing had gradually slowed until he breathed no more. Had he lived he would have had terrible pain as the cancer had spread all over the place. I’m so glad he died then as he had talked to us all and he didn’t have to suffer any indignity or lose his marbles which would have really annoyed him. He was really a young man to the end, always up for anything.

John’s girlfriend and I spoke ot the doctor and she made us a drink and then we took our leave of John, Claire having put a flower in his hand. We waited for the ward clerk to give us the paper work and she rang the register office and got us an appointment. They fitted us in as an extra as she explained that some of us had to go back down south the next day.

We went back to John’s and sat and chatted. His girlfriend’s daughter arrived. We had a bit of a laugh because John had a special scanner which is designed to scan thing like newspapers so they can be read on the television. (He was losing his sight but wasn’t going to let that get the better of him.) I was offered the device but I thought it should go to the blind or Age Concern so we tried to get it back in it’s case. Easier said than done! Keith is engineering minded but even he couldn’t do it. Eventually I suggested something which led to a sequence which showed us the way and we did it!

Then it was time to go to the registrar. Keith has a satnav device on his phone so he entered the address whilst saying that there would surely be only one street by that name in the area…..

Off we went in two cars, Keith driving mine and leading the way. After a while there was frantic flashing from the following car- we were heading in to Newcastle City centre away from N Shields! We were going to be late. There followed rather a mad drive and we made it, having forewarned the registrar.

We took Ralph to the beach again while John’s girlfriend and her daughter went to the undertakers – a new one really close to John’s house!

Back again at John’s something funny happened. A phone call was made and then Claire thought she should ring work. The phone was not working, no dial tone, dead. She used a mobile and then the phone started working again. We are convinced that it was John , already busy haunting. This is because, when Nigel’s mother was alive, John used to get annoyed with us for ringing home too often because of the ‘phone bill! He was having a laugh wasn’t he?

The next day we came home . Nigel opted to go on the M6 so that we could stop at Tebay services (the best in the country, run by local people.) I was very adventurous and tried corgette cake which was delicious! He’d temporarily forgotten that we had to take his brother home! We cut across on the A5 and eventually got home. Ralph was so good .

So, on a lighter note, have a look at this. A crazy spoof hospital drama we used to watch.

Published in: on July 5, 2007 at 8:50 pm  Comments (4)  

Nearly there!

Only two days to go! Suddenly it’s all going so fast!A new adventure ahead. Will be very sad to say goodbye to my friends at work but won’t miss getting up early(especially in the winter)and competing for a place on the motorway. I think we’re getting out at the right time,Nigel is so much more relaxed which is great.

I feel sorry for my workmates because I think they are going to have a lot of stress, especially in July. My replacement has been appointed but will have to work her notice.Other members of staff are on holiday and the plan is to go “paperless” from Monday. All too much.

It feel so strange to look at my appointments screen and see two days left. My last appointment is an entry by me which says “goodbye”. So, the last baby clinic tomorrow, last day on Thursday but back for a party on Friday. Nigel doesn’t know it but there are a couple of doctor friends coming and one of the girls has written a poem for him.

As I write this I’m listening to Ben Taylor, son of James and Carly Simon, two of my favourite musicians. This courtesy of tunatheday.Thanks BigAde!

The power of music is amazing. I keep playing this track over and over again and it makes me feel on top of the world.
Last week a really good friend and I went to Boodles, the tennis tournament at Stoke Park Club. We had a really lovely afternoon, watching the tennis and the fashion and the very expensive cars and the handsome tennis players.
Hey, Tim Henman won today! What a match!

Some sad news, Nigel’s stepfather is ill, he may have cancer. He’s about 86 and an amazing character, always up for anything. His wonderful girlfriend has been looking after him, she rang to tell us he’s ill and suggested that we ring him and pretend we didn’t know anything. We’re off up north on Sunday to see him. I must try and remember to take my camera when we go.In fact, I must take it to work too! Work?What’s that?

Published in: on June 26, 2007 at 8:15 pm  Comments (4)  

Retirement is getting closer

Well I wrote a longer post than usual and kept saving it but it got gobbled up and didn’t publish, except for the title and the tags. Annoying! Perhaps I do need to retire, especially as I can’t really remember what I was waffling on about!

I rode Apache on Saturday, just a little walk but lovely to be able to ride again. (Pain clinic specialist told me not to ride but I’m not taking any notice of that and besides the physio said it was fine).

Talking of physio, I went for assessment on Friday and managed to jigger up my neck/upper back which was a pain, literally.

Yesterday, however, Claire and I finally got around to going to the gym to get our programmes and it was actually quite enjoyable! Stoke Park Club is absolutely fabulous. It’s where Goldfinger was filmed although the Pavillion, where the health club is, wasn’t built then,it was all golf.

Jen is off to London to do some recording for a band today, hope that goes well, it’ll be nice if she can pick up some session work like that.

I’ve managed to kill off my second SPV M600, last time it was the calls, now it seems as if the phone has unaligned itself. Orange can see from their end that it’s knackered and they’re sending me a Sony Ericcson to try. I’ll have to have a new contract but it’ll still be premier which means I can upgrade in 9 months and I still get through to the helpline super quickly.I can’t fault Orange.
Talking of good service, sadly our vet is leaving. She’s been so good and I love the way my number is on her phone as Apache. (I’m hoping Apache hasn’t secretly got a mobile, because I don’t want any more bills)! Apparently the vets from the Royal Veterinary College rang her to ask how Apache was! She’s such a gentle pony, she’s put up with all this carry on and hasn’t needed to be sedated. All she does is donate pooh to the vets when they examine her. I think I’ll try and publish this now, as I don’t fancy losing another post.

Published in: on May 21, 2007 at 8:47 am  Comments (1)