Thursday, 16 February 2012

Things could be a lot worse...

I've been feeling more awake and more compos mentis today.  And it's a good thing, because I just had a 'phone call from my elder brother, who is feeling completely dazed and discombobulated after falling on a wet floor at the sports centre, on the way out of a badminton match, and breaking his left wrist.

Big Bro has been pretty healthy and very active all his life (not like me, then!).  He's only been an in-patient in hospital once, and that was just for day surgery.  He's never had a plaster cast before.  He sounds distinctly as if he's still in shock.

I've been where he is now, and anything I can do to help him, I will.  But he has to do most of it by himself.  Family and friends can be a big help, but no-one can take away the pain, or give you back the endless nights of poor (or no) sleep.  Poor bloke; and because he's several hundred miles away I can't just drop everything and go straight round after work tonight, because I wouldn't be able to get back the same evening, and I have to be at work again tomorrow. 

It certainly reminded me of how much worse life can be than just taking a week to get over an anaesthetic, though.  Poor old Steve, he doesn't deserve this.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Dopey, Mopey and Muddley

I had my minor operation last Thursday – a hysteroscopy (=camera up fanny) and biopsy.  Fun – not.  Apparently everything looked good, normal and healthy inside – so the biopsy result will take about two months to process because there was no need to prioritise it.  I’m not complaining – I’m very glad that it wasn’t a case of “Oh my God, are you seeing what I’m seeing?  That looks like a textbook malign heebeegeeby - quick, get this woman’s samples to the lab, stat!”  But a two month wait for confirmation of the visual all-clear is a bit trying.  And in the meantime I have to get over having had a general anaesthetic.

I’m one of those people who react badly to anaesthesia.  I don’t mean seriously medically badly – I don’t get hypoxic or have blackouts or develop DVT, thank goodness.  I just need to sleep for several days, and when I am awake I am dazed and monosyllabic, and am baffled by simple tasks (like multiplication).  For the first couple of days, even trying to have a coherent conversation defeats me.  When I came back to work yesterday I still felt as though my brain were full of feathers; thinking through problems and sorting out work priorities was ghastly. If I had not known how very under par I was, it would have been terrifying.  I’m in a new job, and yesterday it looked as though I would never have a hope of getting my head around it.  Today I am a bit better.  I only feel like a convalescent, not a dementia victim, and consequently the job looks manageable again.

A few years ago I elected to have my wisdom teeth out under sedation rather than have an anaesthetic.  It’s a pretty scary procedure – I had no idea how much crashing around, wrenching and thumping at the patient’s face would be involved (no wonder one is bruised to bejayzus afterwards) – but compared to the semi-comatose state I’m in now, anything is preferable. 

Does anyone else have this problem?  Websites like NHS Direct and BUPA barely give it a mention.  Yet I can’t believe I’m that unusual.  To sum up, at present I am:
Sleepy - all the time
Depressed and mope-ish
Muddle-headed and easily confused
And my sense of balance is shot to pieces.

Does that catalogue of symptoms ring any bells with anyone? 

I cannot wait to feel normal again.  We just don’t think about what a blessing normality is, until suddenly it is taken away!

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Hectic week...

It's been a hectic few days as we prepare for the big shake-up and switch-around as people move to new desks/offices/buildings...  Work reshuffles are a lot of hassle. 

To add to it all, I've been trying to get a hospital appointment rescheduled, and have been unable to get through to the hospital by telephone or email.  Very frustrating.  In the end, rather than lose the appointment & get bumped and blacklisted as a DNA ("did not attend"), I have had to change all my other plans, cancel a long weekend off, and make arrangements to go in for my day surgery tomorrow.  Luckily my lovely bonkers ex-flat-mate Kez is free tomorrow and can collect me afterwards and take me home - according to the info they send with the appointment letter, the hospital won't carry out the procedure if I don't have someone to meet me afterwards.  The possibility that not everyone can produce someone who can just drop everything and schlep out to Fulham doesn't appear to come into their planning.  But it will be lovely to see K again as we haven't met up for several months; and we can go home to chew the fat and put the world to rights over tea and chocolate biscuits if I am compos mentis enough...

Bitter cold still, and on Saturday night and Sunday last weekend we had snow in London.  It's almost all melted now, but was very messily dramatic for a few days. The snowdrops at work and in my own garden have hung on boldly throughout, though.

Not looking forward to tomorrow.  I don't enjoy going under a general anaesthetic.  Obviously the alternative would be far worse - but I always feel really dopey afterwards. 

Friday, 3 February 2012

Ah, bitter cold it was...

After an unconscionably mild Christmas, and a January that was almost warm, with spring bulbs rushing to get on with life, we have suddenly this week been hit by a good, hard winter freeze.  I'm not sure the temperature has gone above freezing all day (apologies to friends in Scandinavia - I do know that to you this is mild!).  Outside in the Gardens the snowdrops are holding their own in glittering ranks, but many other over-eager flowers have been stricken. 

Today is clear and still and one's breath rises like ice-mist.  In the early morning I walked through from the gate through to the office in the brilliant oblique light, and the stillness all around was uncanny.  Just one robin was singing, a thin trail of sound from the holly tree by the back door.  The only other sound was the crunch of my feet on the rock-hard ground.  

But in the Alpine House there are bowls of scented narcissi - N. papyraceus with its silvery-white blooms, and the delicate, golden N. jonquilla.  And in the Princess of Wales Conservatory the big Tropical Extravaganza displays are completed, all set for the official opening tomorrow - great banks and columns of anthuriums and orchids, swinging curtains of tillandsias, bromeliads like torches...  Colour and warmth, such a blessing at this time of year.

Now the forecast is for possible snow on Sunday.  Brr...  I'm taking my head-cold home now to give it more vitamin C and echinacea.  Have a good weekend and keep warm, everyone!

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

A sad departure...

As a self-confessed balletomane, I suppose I have to say something about last week’s startling news,  Sergei Polunin’s exit from the Royal Ballet – and, judging by the latest story in the Daily Telegraph, even possibly from dancing altogether (the Telegraph isn’t my regular news source, incidentally! - far too centre-right for me, but their arts coverage is usually good). 

I have to admit I am not as overwhelmed by the loss of Mr Polunin as some.  Yes, he is a very showy technician.  Cor blimey, what a jump.  Cor BLIMEY, what entrechats...  And yes, he has a splendidly haughty, princely stage presence, and he is fantastically good-looking (provided you like cheekbones).  But I’m afraid I had rather got him labelled in my mind as not-fully-formed, because for my money he didn’t always seem terribly engaged dramatically.  There are some more disengaged chaps around, but there are also chaps at the RB I’d much rather see. 

When I saw a little while ago that it was going to be Mr Polunin dancing in “Marguerite and Armand” with Tamara Rojo I was a bit worried.  Ms Rojo is not only a phenomenal technician, she also acts with every breath in her body, and it is a real pain when one sees her paired with a bloke who looks blankly at her and doesn’t engage at all.  I can think of one young man, who shall remain nameless, going through the motions with perfect, bland accomplishment while at his side Ms Rojo emitted passion down to her fingernails.  

Luckily in “Marguerite and Armand” Mr Polunin came out of his shell and gave a tremendous performance, totally spot-on dramatically as well as technically.  For the first time I could really see why some of the papers had been acclaiming him as the next Really Huge Big Star.   He had a real chemistry with Ms Rojo and the performance was very, very good.  But Ms Rojo was the real star, even then. 

I know I’m not an expert and I’ve obviously been missing some extra fillip of terrificness in those jumps, entrechats etc.  But my main feeling is more one of sadness for Mr Polunin.  It’s such a waste, that a talented young man who could have been a Big Star (even if he wasn’t really one yet) has apparently flipped slightly and chucked in one of the very top jobs in his profession.  It seems a real shame, and no-one should have to be so stressed by their work that they reach that stage.  Who knows what went on behind the scenes? – certainly not me.  But I hope he gets his life sorted out.  If he truly doesn’t want to go on in the dance world, I hope he finds something else to do, something to which he is genuinely committed.  As it is, it just looks as though Mr Polunin was the “short-twitch muscle” equivalent of Ed no.1; not so much blessed as blessed-and-cursed by his enormous potential.

And in the meantime while we wait to see what the poor lad decides to do next, at least in the world of ballet everyone is used to sudden cast changes and to stepping in at short notice to fill a gap.  Anyone who had booked to see Mr Polunin as Oberon in Ashton’s “The Dream”, opening tonight, will get Steven McRae instead, and one can hardly feel short-changed by that (I had booked to see Mr McRae anyway, but then for my money he already is a Star – I’d pay good money to watch him stand at the side of the stage and look thoughtful).

Not much to report on my own account at the moment.  My head cold is coming out (cue loud sneeze) and my first day in the new job has gone quietly.  Now I’m off home to eat curry and try to finish Fairy Story number 2.  All the main characters are now under enchantments of one kind or another, and I have a big confrontation scene to write as they face off with the twin sorcerers who are responsible.  Eee, should be fun!