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Speechless. Completely Speechless…

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Cover of "Speechless"
Cover of Speechless

I don’t know whether to laugh, cry or throw a tantrum; I went to the docs today, armed with my new book – marked to page 96 – and psyched up for a fight. I was resolved to use whatever weapon necessary to present my case – tears, mega-strops or staging a sit-in. And if I ended up on a psychiatric ward, then so be it. At least I’d get out of cooking dinner.

‘Hello, Tiny. How are you feeling today?’

‘Still breathing…’ I answered.

‘Well, I’ve just been re-reading your notes and looking at the test results and I think it’s time I made a Chronic Fatigue referral. How do you feel about that?’

Erm… Gobsmacked. Speechless. Confused.

‘Well, I know you’re the doctor, but I honestly don’t believe this is depression.’ Nope, that didn’t quite answer the question, but my brain had kind of reverted to Planned Speech mode.

‘No, I don’t think it is either.’

‘Huh? Huh?’

When any patient presents with fatigue, we always consider depression as primary diagnosis, especially when there’s previous history.’

And who made up that rule? Hitler?

I was honestly too shocked to say anything except a mumbled Thanks, as I left the surgery. It’s been ten months! Ten fucking months! I’ve been arguing with them for at least eight of those months. Unbelievable. Eldest son is home from uni in a fortnight: he’s got a third of a degree in that time! And I’ve got another two or three months’ wait for an appointment.

Speechless. Completely speechless.

* Sorry, guys. I’ve written this badly – I’m relieved about the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome referral; it means they’re taking me seriously. I just find it incredible that they’ve hammered on about depression since September and then, today my GP just casually says it isn’t. I’m glad, just amazed because I’ve been telling them is wasn’t depression for the last eight months! Talk about irony!  Oh, and I promise to write one non-medical-non-whiney post this week. I bet you’re as sick of my health as I am!!*

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The Good, the Bad and the Metrosexual…

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Good news: I’m still alive! Bad news: it’s been so long since I posted, I’ve forgotten how to write.

Thank-you all so much for your messages and comments. I hope to be back in action soon…

Latest test results all came back clear which is great because it means I don’t have tumours, diabetes or any of the other stuff that they were testing for. I’m not menopausal or vitamin B12 deficient, and I don’t have thyroid problems.

Trouble is: I’m no closer to a bleedin’ answer, and in some respects, I’m getting worse. I have to rest in between changing a double duvet cover. I can’t lift a 3 kilo bag of dog food. Last Friday night I slept for 18 hours out of 24 and then spent the rest of Saturday slobbing on the sofa because I literally couldn’t get up without the world spinning. And I seem to have developed an unhealthy obsession with Robert Pattinson.

Actor Robert Pattinson after the Twilight Saga...

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 As you know, I like my fantasy men mean and meaty, not lean, clean and metrosexual, so I’m quite worried about this new symptom. Perhaps my brain has atrophied from lack of use. Or maybe it’s because I’m definitely not menopausal, maybe my unwithered eggs are screaming for last-chance impregnation and have fixated upon the young male of the species. I suspect it has more to do with the fact that, while prostrate on the sofa, I read the whole of Water for Elephants – in between snoozing, of course – and Master Pattinson adorns the front cover. In my poorly state, I seem to have got him confused with, well, a romantic hero. Scary.

I adore this book; it’s a beautiful love story set in a 1930’s circus. I could explain the plot, but I have Durr-brain, so I’ll make this easy and probably more entertaining:

Ahhh…

So where do I go from here? Apart from re-reading the old Twilight series, of course. Don’t judge me; I really can’t help these perfectly normal teenage obsessions, you know. In fact it’s not really an obsession at all until I start following him on Twitter, or plastering his juvenile mug across my pink bedroom walls. But where was I? Oh yeah, medical stuff. My GP has now decided that I have to wait a month for all medication to leave my system and then try another anti-depressant before she’ll refer me to a Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME clinic or whatever the hell it’s called this week.

I replied with a few choice sweary words and just thought Fuck it! I give up!  I’m wasting the bit of energy I have got, fighting doctors and it’s pointless. I may well not have Chronic Fatigue, but I certainly do have chronic fatigue, so I ordered a book, written by a CFS sufferer who also happens to be a GP.  And today it arrived, and there on page 96, it says CFS should never really be mistaken for depression because of the basic clinical differences between the two. And it lists ’em all! Yep! all the points I’ve been arguing since bloody September!

Hahaha! The bitch will be mine!

Ow! Ow! Owwwwww!

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So! Cervical biopsy appointment day!

I was hanging around outside, waiting to be called, and overheard some woman’s phone conversation. (Notice I said overheard. I was not, of course, shamelessly earwigging; I just happened to overhear a few personal comments this woman made to her friend…)

She’d rushed her daughter to A&E that morning, forgetting to take money. The poor cow hadn’t even had a coffee since breakfast, so I emptied out my purse and donated a fiver. I love doing A Good Deed For The Day; it gives me licence to be an absolute bitch ’till bedtime!

Angelic Halo

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‘Yeah,’ said The Ex, cynically. ‘I bet she’s been pulling that stunt all weekend – there’s probably £500 stuffed down her knickers!’

Should I just shoot him now?

Anyway, I digress. As usual.
I was shown into a cubicle and asked to change into one of those backless, lardy-arse-revealing gowns. The nurse and Consultant blokey had disappeared into the next room so I sat myself down and waited. And waited.

By the time they’d reappeared, I’d got myself quite comfortable – laid back, legs up in stirrups, and doing a killer Sudoku puzzle.

‘Oh! Mrs Tiny!’ cried the nurse. ‘Those gowns are designed to open at the back!’

‘Yeah, I know, but this seat’s freezing! My arse had gone numb from the cold!’

‘Oh! Oh!’

‘What? I’m quite decent! I shaved my legs and trimmed my muff specially, you know! Which reminds me, I must call DynoRod tomorrow,  get the drains cleared…’

‘Okay,’ said the Consultant blokey, rifling through the paperwork. ‘We’ll do an ultrasound – Oh, you had one done a fortnight ago and it was normal… So, why are you here then?’

Good bleedin’ question!

‘Well, I’ve had irregular and heavy periods… My GP wanted a biopsy, just in case I had something … ummm… sinister going on downstairs…’

Hate (Sinister album)

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 ‘Oh, okay. Are you currently taking any medication?’

‘Yes, 40mg of Fluoxetine and 15mg of Norethisterone a day to stop the bleeding, but it doesn’t work, of course. Oh no, if my body decides it fancies a little bleed, then it bleeds a little. Or a lot! What can I say? I’m just the conduit, the vessel, the poor mug who can never wear white jeans!’

‘And why are you taking Fluoxetine?’

‘For depression.’

‘And are you depressed?’

Well! That’s the million dollar question, is it not? I don’t think so, myself. Do you think I’m depressed? Do I sound like I’m depressed?’

‘No. That’s why I asked. Look, if we find you a cushion, is there any chance you could put that gown on the right way around?’

 A cushion? On the NHS? Bloody hell, was I dreaming?!

I soon woke up. Doc2 had warned me to take some paracetamol to “ease the discomfort”.

Discomfort, my arse! More like a wire brush, taped to an electric drill, hand-held by Satan. No warning! No anaesthetic! No magic cream! Just, Get in there and bore for diamonds!

Electric drill. Picture taken by Wojciech 'Kiv...

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And I am never having that done again without brandy. And morphine. And an epi-fucking-dural!

I honestly saw stars. And angels swathed in white light. And cartoon birdies, tweeting.

‘You’ll bleed for a few days,’ said the Consultant blokey. Well, no change there, then.

‘Oh, and for the next few weeks, abstain from sex.’  No change there, either, then…

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