I am more tired than a tired thing. More exhausted, fatigued, worn-out, bone weary and any other term for tiredness you may wish to use. A short and lovely break in Oslo has left me feeling incapable of movement, working out to the millilitre how much longer I can wait before making the trek upstairs to go to the loo. Those of you who have experienced this kind of tiredness whether through chemotherapy, fibromyalgia or any other debilitating illness will recognise the calculations necessary before movement is made. For the last couple of nights, I have slept well. Apart from the nightmares, that is. The ones where you try and scream but you are rendered dumb and can’t alert someone to danger or tragedy.
Even the trip to the hospital today is a real trial. I have a follow-up appointment with my surgeon so she can survey her handiwork and possibly patronise me just a little. On the way, we start to notice how many people use their car horns at any and every opportunity. Has Mr Mason become a terrible driver? I hear you cry. No, he is his usual self, driving like a regular Londoner. People in front must know the way or they are in for a tongue-lashing with the kind of language you don’t want to repeat in front of an impressionable toddler. Which reminds me of a small child on the flight back from Oslo. Her father was very bad tempered and appeared to be travelling with his mother-in-law as well as small children and wife. And the mother-in-law had a very loud voice which grated on me in the 20 minutes I was subjected to her at the departure gate. He was faring less well having, I assume, been the recipient of her endless exclamations ‘Oh! Darling! I’ve lost my bag! Oh no, here it is’ and ‘You have been such a good girl!’ to a small child writhing and whingeing, all her words delivered at high volume. She was tall, too, and that’s never a good thing when you’re my height. Anyway, I digress. Digression is, I perhaps should mention, one of my best features. We land at lovely Stansted airport and, having retrieved my one bag, I am waiting to get off the plane. I hear a rather loud ‘Fuck!’ coming from behind a seat. ‘Don’t say that, darling. It’s not nice’. ‘Fuck! I only said ‘Fuck”. The father, he of the terrible temper through suffering his mother-in-law’s exclamations for a week or more, ignores the fact that his daughter of perhaps 3 years is swearing like a trooper and leaves it to his wife who looks a little alarmed and tries to stop her child swearing whilst giving those around her wan smiles. I leave the plane before them so do not know the outcome of this battle. I rather hope the child wins.
Back to the plot. The hooting. People are hooting in a very bizarre way today. We are hooted whilst waiting at a crossing with red lights. I cannot see the point of hooting unless someone is being a total imbecile and holding up the traffic whilst texting or being on their mobile phones. Hooting at a red light is simply the sign of a person not in control of their hands or brain. So we arrive at the hospital and wait to see the surgeon. She is on holiday from where she cannot make mildly patronising remarks and so we see her underling, probably a registrar or senior registrar. She is very nice and has clearly read my notes as she can tell me what was wrong with me and what was done about it. She surveys her boss’ handiwork and says ‘Oh, you poor thing’ which I suspect is not what she is going to report back. There is a very painful area on one of my ribs and I point it out to her. She obliging presses it and I obligingly yelp as it hurts a lot. There are 2 options. 1 is to have another bone scan to see if it is a return of the cancer but I somehow think it isn’t. 2 is that I am referred to another pain clinic who would help me manage it as neuropathic pain does not respond to usual pain relief. I ask in what way might that be done. She says ‘With perhaps Gabapentin’ and I interrupt asking if it also might include Pregabalin and Amitryptilline? She thinks I know my stuff and I explain I am on both drugs for the Fibromyalgia and that my other pain clinic is trying to get me to increase the Pregabalin to 300mg twice a day. ‘Oh, you’ll be a zombie!’ she says which I absolutely agree with. I tell her I am secretly experimenting with doses to ensure I have some quality of life. I can also have local injections to numb the pain, too, so she will discuss it with the surgeon and let me know which option they are going to follow.
I have decided I need a complete break and so Mr Mason and I are off to Greece next month for a couple of weeks. I anticipate a fortnight of sunshine, lounging around and catching up on books. As we missed our holiday last year, this is one I am particularly looking forward to. I wonder how noisy Greek drivers are?