changeling times

trials and tribulations of eclectic chicken

Sods Law September 28, 2012

Filed under: home stuff — eclectic chicken @ 1:10 pm
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Never let it be said that I don’t learn from my mistakes… but let it be known that Sods Law overrides learning from your mistakes.

I’m still suffering the ‘pains formerly known as gall bladder pains’ plus other random abdominal various pains which may or not be related to the ‘pains formerly known as gall bladder pains’… yanno the ones that got worse and more insistant since that last GP told me it can’t be gall bladder have some Fybogel in case its IBS.

Anyway…. I feel a little like the population of Naples at the moment… long overdue an eruption. The ‘swelling inside of me formerly known as the gall bladder’ has been rock hard since the last one just over two weeks ago.

Hard in a way that made Annie jump away saying something like ‘oooch that shouldn’t be there’ when I got her to feel it the other day.

After supper last night I started getting my ‘sort of contractions’… heres where the learning curve comes in… the last couple of times this has happened I’ve said things like ‘I’ll see how it goes’ or the even sillier ‘I’ll take a load of anti spasmodics and pain relief and hopefully sleep it off’…. this approach has lead to screamingly wordless agony and an inability to move let alone get to A&E… the switch from ‘hmmm i can cope with this’ to ‘ohmygodithinkimgoingtodieandicantmoveandithurtsSOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOmuch’ is quite a sudden one.

So lying on the sofa breathing through my contractions (i knew those child birth classes would come in useful at some point -they’d be otherwise wasted as i had two C-sections)…I hazarded to Jane that, as it hurt even with drugs inside me, it might be wise to go to A&E. She thought so too…especially as I was at a stage where I could drive myself and ring her when I got there to tell her I hadn’t swerved off the road in agony.

So I went to A&E…contractions coming every five minutes or so.

I waited (as you do).

The contractions lessened…. they took my pulse/blood/blood pressure/wee…and i started to feel a bit fraudulent for being there…. still… no worse than most of the healthy looking people who frequent A&E at half eleven on a Thursday night.

A nice Portugese doctor eventually took me into a cubicle… I explained that sometimes these episodes turned nasty very fast…. and it might be my gall bladder…. and I’m terrified of being at home again when it happens.

But as it hadn’t turned into screaming agony there was nothing really he could do other than send me home feeling slightly like a deranged bag woman who just wanted a bed for the night.

Actually thats probably what I did want… a safe bed with a doctor near by so I could sleep.

And no he couldn’t give me any pain relief that would last right through the night.

But he did give my abdomen a professional feel just to make me feel better…. he didn’t… he couldn’t feel any swelling although he could ‘feel my pain’.

At this point I’m afraid I cried.

‘are you sad?’ he asked.

‘no’ I replied ‘I’m bloody terrified.

So  me and my ticking internal time bomb went home…. I considered sleeping in the car park… but the cost seemed prohibitive.

When I got home I laid on the floor and made Jane feel my abdomen…. ‘bloody hell’ she said ‘whats that big lump?’

Sods Law of course says the ‘pains formerly known as gall bladder’ didn’t develop into a major attack… they remained just enough to merely rob me of any attempt to turn over in bed… or sleep comfortably.

Still…. only 10 days til I get to see the consultant.


gall bladder dietry advice August 19, 2012

Filed under: cancer,out'n'bout — eclectic chicken @ 12:54 pm
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When I visited my doctor and had gall stones originally diagnosed about a month ago she suggested I’d be wise to eat a low fat diet.

So I did.

Another flare up and the doctor in Ipswich A&E tells me I need a zero fat diet…. at which point finding food becomes a nightmare… bread has fat in it…. brown rice for chrissake has fat in it, even baked potatoes which the doctor said were good – have fat in them.

So I eat salad…with O% fat natural yoghurt and with extreme trepidation add quorn fillet or prawns and a spoy of mango chutney… and fill around that during the day with fruit. I suspect bananas have fat in them as they taste too comfortable to not have.

Now home (eventually- as we went back to Annies for a belated birthday party) I google and find the NHS guidance from various trusts for dietry advice when suffering from gallstones.

It looks, compared to what I’ve been eating, pretty high in fat.

I wish when health professionals give advice they’d make it clear or dole out a leaflet that does so.

To me, being told zero fat means…well…. don’t eat ANY fat.

It was the same when Jane had her heart attack, many years ago now, they gave out dietry and excercise advice that was aimed at the elderly, the extremely unhealthy, the uninformed…. basically lowest common denominator stuff.. where cut down on fat means have one pie instead of two or three.

The Norfolk healthcare trust’s advice sheet suggests low fat alternative to full fat milks and cheeses, to trim fat off meat, eat 95% fat free ready meals.

95%? surely that leaves 5% fat? thats quita a lot… I’ve been trying to eat things with less than 1% fat.

I know I’m literal and pedantic… but when someone says zero… I aim for zero.

Turns out its actually quite bad for you to have a zero fat diet…even WITH gallstones.

So I’ve just blown the boat out with some seared tuna and noodles with soy sauce on…. and for the first time in several days I feel like I’ve eaten something.

I’ve going to have a baked sweet potato with tomatoey chickpeas later.

Maybe even bake some bread with olive oil in it.


A series of unfortunate events but a cracking holiday regardless.

Filed under: cancer,out'n'bout — eclectic chicken @ 12:28 pm
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So…. Annie (of last years Whitby ‘fame’) and the boy and I set off on our summer holiday. Annie’s big Landrovery Discovery thing was pretty well packed, Henry dog was in half the boot and Lucky was on my knee with his head out of the window… the sun was shining…. the sky was blue….

…..and the car broke down just outside Peterborough.

We had a visit from an AA man… who suggested another man with a big tow truck would be a good idea… we saw some horses in a field and Rafe had his first poo in the open air (since he used to run naked and pre-toilet training incontinent in the garden).

The tow truck, driven by a very nice man drove us back to the start of Annies journey…so the boy and I were going away from holiday at that point.

The garage Annie uses lent us a courtesy car….a smaller car… so we moved our gubbins from one car to the next… jettisoned some things we hoped wouldn’t be neccessary for a week in Suffolk… pondered briefly where we’d put Annies daughters (joining us down there) on the way back…

…and set of again for Suffolk.

We arrived at dusk and the house was lovely… its in a village I used to live in, but a part of the country Annie didn’t know at all.  It was lovely for me going back… lovely with a dollop of poignancy.

I took the dogs for a walk up the track by the cottage and immediately met someone I used to know… unsure she’d remember me after a decade I cautiously said hello – to be greeted with a hug and a five minute fast pace highlights of the doings of the parish council – of which I used to be a fairly bolshie member it would seem.

Back to the cottage and a sleep in the true darkness of a rural night with only the distant hum of the overnight harvesting.

Oh yes…. and as I unpacked I realised I’d forgotten my purse with all my bank cards in! (second disaster?)

Sunday dawned bright and sunny and we went to the beach in Thorpeness… my local geography came back fine and the boy and dogs (yes even the aquaphobic Lucky) frolicked in the waves.

The boy ate iced-cream, we saw the house-in-the-clouds and the mere and then on returning to the car discovered we had a flat tyre… not a bit flat…. but totally flat, with a ruddy big twig through the side-wall. this must be the third disaster… I reckoned we could change a tyre between us and set to. It was at the point where I was winding up the jack fairly ineffectively and had just broken a nail down to the quick that Annie managed to achieve eye-contact with a male of the species and reeled him in with her damsels in distress routine.

Gallant man he was too…. dressed in his towel from the beach he did indeed change the tyre, whilst we chatted to his wife and small boy.

I wish I’d got their name and email as that small boy promised if he ever found pirate treasure he’d give me all the diamonds. 🙂

The next day Annie’s girls arrived and the week became a lovely holiday of continual sunshine, beaches, a castle, visiting old friends and neighbours, celebrating Annies birthday and generally kicking back into the slower pace of life Suffolk brings.

Oh… except for Wednesday.

Wednesday Annie drove me to A&E with another gall bladder flare up… where I spent two and a half hours waiting to be seen. The doctor, as my GP said, did offer to refer me to a surgeon but I’d end up with an out patient appointment in Suffolk ; sooooo… she gave me some drugs, anti-inflammatories, anti-spasmodics and anti-biotics… or rather she gave me a perscription and a half hour wait in the hospital pharmacy (when we eventually found it).

And then… like all good things the holiday came to an end. I hadn’t managed a walk on the common, there just wasn’t time.. there just wasn’t time in a week to see all my favourite things… and becuase of my restrictive diet no reason to visit my favourite foodie places down there like the Orford smoke house, Swiss Farm sausage shop…. and only the boy got to eat chips in Aldeburgh as they are cooked in beef fat which kinda put the vegetarians amongst us off.

An early rise on Saturday morning… I hailed the morning with the dogs on a last walk and spent a few minutes wondering howcome I ever left and then into the car, mostly packed the night before, and the last bits of luggage packed around us in any available scrap of space and we headed home.


damn dem trans (fats) July 26, 2012

Filed under: home stuff,trans stuff — eclectic chicken @ 1:34 pm
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…and we’re off to a cracking start to the summer holidays.

(although it hardly feels like the boy has broken up as he’s back in the school building for playscheme most mornings for two weeks and music school in the afternoons).

But anyway… a cracking start… a re-occurance of my vomiting and stomach pains of a couple of weeks ago. I sensibly made an emergency doctors appointment for the afternoon… but didn’t quite make it that far as part way through the afternoon the pain was so bad and my hands and feet were going cold and buzzy (ie i’m about to black out) that Jane rang an ambulance… becuase I was still concious they said they’d ring back.

Half an hour later we decided a drive to A&E may be quicker but I couldn’t make it down stairs. A quick vomit on the bathroom floor and a lay down in said vomit made me feel a whole lot better…in some ways… but not in others.

We had a bit of a secondary panic as the boy needed picking up from school, but Jane organised a mum to pick him up and feed him (thankyou Emma)! She even came and made me feel better than I had done all day by being sympathetic and agreeing it could be my gall bladder. (a bit of medical training goes a long way with me).

At this point the ambulance service thought they’d ring and have a chat (an hour after we rang them)… by now my pain was a mere ‘2’ as opposed to a ’25’… ‘oh says helpful lady… I’m surprised you didn’t ring us earlier’…. no you dim bint… you are an emergency service and some of us only ring once we REALLY feel its an emergency…ie we can’t cope at home and don’t know what else to do.
Maybe the majority of the population ring when their takeaway doesn’t arrive or they’ve run out of Aloe Vera tissues but in this house we tend to use emergency servies when we feel truly lost and desperate.

But that aside she remade my appointment at the doctors for me that i’d missed in all the excitement of not being able to move out of my vomit pool.

The doctor in due course poked me a bit and declared it most likely is my gall bladder and should it flare up again go straight to A&E… do not phone the doctor….don’t bother with an ambulance… do not pick up your £200… just GO.

Had I made it there earlier today mid attack they would most likely have hospitalised me and I’d be sans gall bladder by now.

As it is… I have some anti-biotics and the joy that is knowing my next flare up could happen at any time… whooppee!!!

This feeling of semi-terror is made worse by the fact Jane was due to be away three nights on the trot…so I’d have to stumble about in the night waking neighbours for childcare and getting myself to hospital.

Last night she decided to make it home… tonight she may…or may not. And Friday Annie and Henry the dog are coming over.

In other news… I’m to stick to as close to a no fat diet as possible… though having been t’interneting I’m okay with ‘nice’ fats… its mostly those nasty old trans fats I’m to stay away from… damn them pesky trans the bane of my life 🙂



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