Tag Archives: health

Massage Therapy Yields No Results

That title could look a little controversial. I don’t mean in general, I just mean in my case. This may be easier to understand when I tell you it was Jack who gave me the massage, and the blunt truth is that he does not know what he is doing, he is just trying his best to ease my neck pain.

In actual fact, the opposite occurred!

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Next Neck Update

I came home from work last night shattered after a day of working my way through neck pain on the back of a very disturbed sleep. Last night was a better night sleep-wise – only woke up three times with the pain and was so exhausted I was able to get straight back to sleep. But this morning…

man alive!!! it hurts!!

I am a tough cookie, but this is the kind of pain that is making me tearful. I just don’t know if I can endure work and pain without losing my marbles.

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I Am Stiff-Necked!

…and I do not mean that in a metaphorical sense. I woke up on Monday morning with a terrible ache in my neck…and it is still with me.

I think I have strained a muscle. I have been trying to stretch my neck, limber up, gently of course, but trying to recover ease of movement, but no, no, it just won’t go.

So now I am resorting to painkillers because I need to work, only, the painkillers are not making much difference. The only thing that does seem to help is not moving my next at all. Ever tried that? Not so much fun!

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The most painful task of the day – absolutely excruciating but completely necessary – clipping my bra closed. Ay karumba! I thought I would pass out the pain was so overwhelming. Jack told me he would have been happy for me to go without my undergarments, and he added I could just forget about all clothing if it would help my neck (hmm). Jack has had to head back to his place, and I am all sulky because I feel a little useless with this stiff and painful neck.

I hope work is going to be kind to me tomorrow. I don’t think pain and work are a great mix.

Much More Than Cotton Wool And Candy Floss

Jack was so funny after I had my CT scan two weeks ago. He kept on staring at my head…and asking me, “What is going on inside of this beauty?”

A lot goes on inside my head…I know this. I do sometimes wonder what it is that these CT scans pick up (and perhaps I do worry a little in case there is something they might be missing).

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The extraordinary thing about the human brain is our level of conscientiousness. Our ability to contemplate and wonder, to imagine and fantasize, to debate and discern.

Yes…whatever the scans show…whatever Jack is curious about…there is something amazing going on inside this head of mine. I just wish we could find away to make sure it didn’t take impromptu breaks when it comes to telling my heart to keep working away.

The Universe Within

Jack has been reading all sorts of other information about the brain (which seems to be because he is so worried about me). He has come up with some fascinating nuggets of information:

“the cerebral cortex contains approximately 14–16 billion neurons…the estimated number of neurons in the cerebellum is 55–70 billion…”


Apparently, if you lived for eighty years, you would have lived for 2.5 billion seconds. Which perhaps gives us a little help in contemplating all of those billions of neurons. Our Milky Way galaxy is estimated to contain over 100 billion stars.

Each neuron is connected to other neurons….several thousands of other neurons…by means of connections called “synapses”.

“…the human brain has been estimated to contain approximately 100 trillion synapses…”

But I am sure…that your brain is to you more than some big figures…lots of zeros. Your brain contains the universe with you…all of your memories, the passions, the dreams…things that are incredibly precious to you.

I just wish my brain was not such a worry. It is such a astonishing object – nothing in the universe has been found to compare with the human brain. So, it would be nice if mine would behave!!!

Is It All In My Head?

Jack very delicately and tactfully put a question to me at the weekend. I have been suffering…yes suffering…with some sidesplitting headaches recently, and added to that two black-outs, he finally convinced me that contacting my GP was absolutely necessary. The GP told us to go to A&E (which is exactly what they always do because of my history).

So, Jack drove me off to A&E, and I waited, and waited, and waited, while Jack had to spend most of the time in his car responding to phone-calls. He checked on me regularly though and when I texted him to say I had been called in, he was not far behind me. After a score of questions and routine checks, I had to wait even longer before they sent me off for a CT scan, and then I had to wait for the results – and they just said almost word for word what they always say.

Anyway…Jack posed a question and he was very careful about his wording. In view of the recent change to a new job that I am finding not particularly enjoyable, it is possible that there is a link between my headaches and blackouts and stress?

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I respect Jack for asking the question. I was sincere when I said I don’t think it is stress. I don’t really feel stressed in my new job, although I am unhappy there. I acknowledged there may be an increased physical demand on my brain and body due to the longer commute to work. Perhaps staring at a screen all day is not helping. But I don’t think it is any kind of anxious stress that is causing these headaches.

They are much too intense. Plus, the Doctor who discussed the CT scan said there is a little swelling, but no sign of any bleeding. Swelling is not good. But stress does not cause your brain tissue to swell. The Doctor discussed the familiar advice on not exerting myself physically, on not taking any risks, and on making sure I rest and remain hydrated. In other words, he had no idea why I am still having blackouts and realizes that I have been examined by neurologists more times than I have been to a dentist in my life!

Jack was so sweet to me after our adventure to hospital. I was shattered by the day. Shattered. I was resting myself on a pillow and could not keep my eyes open. He was stroking my head and whispering into my ear how precious I am to him. My goodness….my beloved, who is a teenager in a fifty-something’s body, can be incredibly sweet when he wants to be.

And then….I have no idea what happened next because when I opened my eyes it was morning.

On Your Marks…Get Set…Go!!!

Jack came down last night…I am blessed. We have a lot to pack in this weekend…and he is insisting that the priority for him is actioning what my GP recommended yesterday. Yes, Jack is taking me to hospital.

It is downright inconvenient…and both of us have prepared work we can take along with us because it is very likely a trip to hospital will cost most of the day.

It is going to be a long old weekend…and there is so much to do. On your marks…get set…go!!!

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Before I Die…

I was so choked up watching Deborah James being interviewed on the BBC about her Bowelbabe fundraising for cancer research.


She is one incredible lady.

I was blown away by her using those three words in the title of this post several times. I am just in awe of her. Such purpose, such motivation, such dynamism – my heart was swelling with pride for her.

Already this year, I have lost three friends to cancer. Two of them were in their thirties. I heard them use those same three words “before I die”…when talking about things that were deeply important to them.

I am moved because I have seen both Deborah and my three dear friends show such bravery.

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During this same period, three of my relatives were told their cancer is in remission. While I worked for the NHS, we had so many patients who were diagnosed with various forms of cancer, had surgical internventions and medications, and other treatments – and we have seen the emotional rollercoaster they and their loved ones went through.

Oh…I just have an achy heart thinking about it all.

Fainting Beauty

I had a black out today (when this is published it will be yesterday). Jack was lecturing me at the weekend about doing too much – and I think the combination of my period arriving…he sent me to bed on Monday evening because I was not making any sense, and I slept for two hours before we had dinner together, and then another eight hours or so.

But today (or I should say yesterday) from the moment I was on my feet this morning, I knew that something was not right. I was reeling. The room was spinning. It was like being on the verge of fainting. I was a little nervous about leaving the house on my own, but I had to. An empty fridge is not very convenient for my lifestyle. Because I was feeling so weird, I decided it would be a better idea to catch the bus to the big supermarket (normally I would walk and go to the zero waste shop first and pick up bits they don’t have from other shops).

I remember getting onto the bus. I don’t remember getting off the bus. I do remember opening my eyes and realizing I was laying on the pavement. Embarrassed I tried to get myself up and fortunately there was a bench nearby.

Because I am a very stubborn and sometimes silly person, I did my shopping, caught the bus back, and then phoned Jack. He was very concerned that I ought to have skipped the shopping and thought about medical attention. I don’t want to go to hospital. I would end up being there overnight, and I cannot do that. I am too busy. I need to be in my own nest sleeping. If I had more energy, maybe I should show myself again….and we could go through the same old rigmarole of waiting for hours to have a scan, only for them to tell me to be careful.

I don’t have the energy for it. I just want to be unconscious for the next eight hours and then get myself to work…and then get myself home for another eight hours of sleep.

I Did It! I Was So Hungry!

Last week I mentioned that a friend had given me recipes for a juice detox at the start of the year. Well, it was far from convenient at the start of the year.

This past weekend I was a guest at the home of a very good friend…and I ate so much lovely food. So, the following two days I decided it was time to go for the juice detox.

So I did it and…it was very hard. I just kept on thinking about food all day. I just wanted to eat solid food! The juices were delicious, they really were, and I did feel a little perky after the intake of so many vitamins. But I felt very hungry because I felt as if I was depriving myself of something bulky to sit in my tummy. Perhaps what made it tougher was watching Stanley Tucci on a carb-fest!!!

I am not really sure why I put myself through that. Nothing wrong with the juices, very tasty and I am sure nutritious, but I think really, I should have listened to my body when it told me it wanted something it could break down.

I am not sure if I was imagining it, but I did feel as if I had a slightly flatter tummy, but as soon as I started eating normally, the little round full tummy has made an appearance again. I don’t mind, it is all a part of the sensation which is moi!!!


Yes – that is right – and don’t you forget it!!!