Tag Archives: health

Popping The Pills Again

I really do not like taking tablets…pretty much of any kind…but this pain in my neck is forcing my hand.

I rang NHS 111 last week when the pain was particularly bad, and the result was they said I could visit a Pharmacy. I paused, and then explained to the caller that I had worked for the NHS as a practitioner, and I had been checking out everything happening on the NHS website, speaking to NHS colleagues, and doing everything recommended. The call handler suggested that she could ask an out of hours GP to call me. It was already eleven o’clock at night at the time, so I asked what time that was likely to be…she said it might be two or three or four hours. I declined as I had to be up at half past five in the morning to get ready for work.

What a to do!!! My cousin (who is a physiotherapist) sent me some information which has settled my worries a little. She does not think it is serious, and she said that by the symptoms I have described to her, she expects at least a six week ordeal, perhaps longer. But she said carry on doing what I am doing because I am doing everything right.

She also told me not to be shy of taking pain killers when I need them. Oh well…there is me popping the pills again!

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My Limbs Seemed To Turn To Jelly

…(jello for US readers 🙂 ).

I don’t know what happened last night on the way home from work. I was day-dreaming – imagining a conversation between Robin and Annabelle when he takes her to a restaurant and he orders pigeon for his main meal, and she is baffled by that.

I remember day-dreaming. I remember going into Marks & Spencer’s and buying blackberries and spring onions. I don’t remember much after that except opening my eyes and realizing I was laying on the pavement.

I could not have been there long because as I tried to stand up there was nobody nearby. But I felt really funny in my tummy, and my legs felt like jelly, and as I tried to lift my bag onto my shoulder I noticed my arms were also like jelly.

I came home and I have had a very good sleep….which feels good. Anyway…it is a new dawn, a new day…and I have lots of work to do.

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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…”

– WIKIPEDIA (Brain)

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.

https://www.bowelbabe.org/

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.