changeling times

trials and tribulations of eclectic chicken

oh dear…. December 10, 2012

Filed under: cancer,thinks — eclectic chicken @ 8:58 pm
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It would seem that 100mg of morphine is not a good thing to be taking… specially not 100mg plus a spoonful of syrup whenever I feel i need one.


I’m told that isn’t about pain relief its about addiction.

And I’ve taken that and a reducing morphine regime on the chin.

It felt quite bad having my syrup locked up in a drawer until the addiction word was mentioned at which point my stubborness instantly set in …I don’t DO addiction. I even gave up chocolate for a decade becuase I began to suspect it may be addictive…. I got quite evangelical (and for me a bit feministy) about people joking about giving women chocolate to calm them down…and women buy into it…. its the opiate for an entire gender…. it has highs..its has withdrawels…blah blah…

Anyway…. this one had crept under my radar…. or maybe it was a case of ‘where have you been all my life’? Morphine doesn’t make me feel sick….. and my bowels (ulcerated as they are) are a credit to me still moving against such a beast as this. (and on only one sachet of laxative a day too).

Had it crept under my radar?


Yes and no…. its easy to lie to yourself and I’m excellent at finding reasons for doing things when I want to do them…

and maybe more importantly… for the last three years or so… ok… seven if we count post natal depression I’ve been seeking my smooth green lawn with wooden loungers and starchily clad nurses…. ambling 1930’s Doctors… verandah’s… the occassional craft lesson to break up the day… etc etc.

I’m not going to get that.

Morphine is a good substitute. (and a lovely isolation room helps)

And one that no-one seemed to mind me having. Because I’ve got cancer…. becuase I was in pain…. I don’t doubt i was (and will be again) in pain but the trigger that sent me for another spoon of syrup was psychological not physical.

For once in my life I was happy not caring who was in charge…. it meant I couldn’t drive…. it probably even meant Jane couldn’t bugger off as often as she’d like leaving me at home and worried about coping.

I dunno.

But for the first time in a long time I felt ok.

Like I felt ok back in the early summer thinking I was going to do my massage course this year, get my life together and move over to be near my mum and help my sister with her

…And then I got cancer… and life got put on hold again.

Its not the cancer I mind (or at least I didn’t whilst on the morphine)…. shit happens…  but has it got to happen to me again…. now….?

The syrup bottle has stayed in hospital…. the tablets are reducing….

…I’m craving chocolate….

…it’ll have to do.




juggling morphine November 28, 2012

Filed under: cancer — eclectic chicken @ 8:43 pm
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36 hours ago … my morphine usage was spiralling…  but let me fill you in how its used…. you have a base layer of long release drug that you take every twelve hours. It should keep you at a constant lever of relief…

Above and beyond that is a syrup taken by mouth as neccessary… usually 1-2 spoons every 4 to six hours.

You keep checking on the intake of the quick release stuff  until you work out the base level that gives you good cover and then just take the syrup in extreme circs.

I started off on a base 10mg… double the next morning to 20mg and then Jane went and signed for some new 30mg tablets at the pharmacy.

I was lasting less than two hours between each two spoonfuls… waking every couple of hours in the night in pain… as I said spiralling.

…. and then something happened.

I’m not sure what…

It could have been having to lie on my side for the bone marrow removal (a posion I havn’t been able to maintain in a while).

But last night I went to bed in Janes bed and found I could lie on my side… sleep on my side…. could sleep for several hours. Only needed 4 spoons of syrup last night (and that was with keeping the 20 mg base).

Maybe I’ve just reached my plateau of pain relief… if so… brilliant.

But Grendel feels smaller… could be that spending time in a different position has shifted it from blocking/pressing on something specific.


I’ll have to talk to my MacMillan nurse tomorrow…. and cross fingers the pain level stays where it is.

oh and strange morphine dream number 342… waking up in the night folding invisible things onto a pile of neatly folded things on my stomach.


A long sleep… and some medical stuff November 20, 2012

Filed under: cancer,out'n'bout — eclectic chicken @ 9:24 pm
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…. so… too distraught to ask for the siren on the ambulance (dear Jim’ll Fix I’d like to ride in the back of an ambulance with the sirens on….preferably to a hospital you’ve no dodgy links to).

The nice ambulance men decided gas and air wasn’t suitable as I’d been vomiting and suggested morphine…. as i never knowingly say no to morphine in a legally acceptable format I said yes…. and the ride was long enough for a second yes that made sure i did say “Wheeeeeeeee” being wheeled out of the ambulance and forget the word ‘tenuous’ and have three nurses trying to guess it becuase it was really important.

I wan’t allowed a drink at all so I tasted all nice and vomity and thanks to the morphine my mouth was drier than a camels arse in a sandstorm…. so I wasn’t naking much sense. When I tried to tell them I’d had a laproscopy it was close to them thinking I was fitting.

Anyway… sooner or later a doctor comes along who is high enough up to say I can have water as long as I spit it out.

Eventually…. I guess about six in the morning they rolled me down loads of corridors… very Brazil like (the film not the country) and then to a ward (some sort of back stage miscallaneous emergency triage? – I have no idea) just as it was waking up for the day.

So I went to sleep…. woke to be prodded…. woke to look at a tuna sandwich and eat a small trifle….woke to be visited by lots of consultants (including my ‘right now’ favourite consultant who tells me to eat aggs and chocolate if thats the only way i can get calories in at this stage) and woke for a brief visit from jane and the boy…but mostly I slept.

They gave me tramadol becuase I complained my pain relief wasn’t working…. and the nice lady with the trolley gave me a sleeping tablet…. so I slept through the night too.

I woke and had the worlds chewiest piece of toast and a cup of tea and then went back to sleep.

They woke me up to tell me I could go home…. I’m wondering if there was an option implied there?

The thought of just sleeping and being woken to nibble at food sounds like a good way to spent the next x number or weeks….

oh…sorry… the medical bit… hernia…. either straining to poo (thanks to a change of pain meds last week and a very out of condition colon) or possibly vomiting hardcore stylee on Sunday night… or even possibly, one doctor hazarded, becuase of the camera they shoved up my bum some weeks ago- I’ve blown a gasket… my weak point where post natal muscle knitting never quite happened.

Bad news is they didn’t prescribe me tramadol like what they promised (well it did make me feel very sick)…so sent me home with just paracetamol – which is a pain relief two step back movement.

But the good news is the my old friend the squits are back.

Is that enough information yet? 🙂


It’s over July 13, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — eclectic chicken @ 12:43 pm
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Its been a busy couple of days… with hindsight I should have taken the easy option and stayed in a hotel in Brighton and taken taxis to and from the hospital. But I’ve stayed with friends (far nicer to go home to friends than an empty room) and enjoyed seeing brighton from a bus window. I’ve also walked far more than I usually do… due mostly to me getting my bearings from the main railway station…. which isn’t actually near the hospital jane’s been in OR where I’m staying 🙂

But anyway… that hasn’t been the main event.

We checked jane in on Monday and then signed her out to go and buy all the important things she needed on the list that she had misplaced.

And then I left her there…unlikely to sleep much… neither was I… and I didn’t think I’d make it back in to see her off to surgery at 9…so we said our farewells.

6am I received my first text of Jane…. I was awake anyway.

I went for a wee.

Found three more texts on my return… not very clear texts… but the sort of thoughts you have before going on holiday (take the dvd back… remember the recycling)…. so I thought i may as well get my arse down the hospital. So I left a note for my hosts,  grabbed a taxi and was in hospital about 7am.

Jane was bouncing off the walls with nerves (except the bit after the enema – where she managed to sit still for a while) -expeliamus!!!

Its the first time I found it really difficult having a film crew around… now I’m used to them its usually interesting and fun – sometimes both. But suddenly when really important shit is happening in your life it gets difficult again.

So I kissed Jane and told her I loved her and turned away becuase I couldn’t bear to see her go.

And then the wait.

About four hours in all… but it passed fairly fast. (I had a long shower and drank lots of hot chocolate and read the paper and caught up on facebook and made her a playlist on spotify)… the only time that dragged was once I knew the op had been successful and she was in recovery. At that point i did some serious pacing.

And then she was back…. so pleased to see her. She was totally zonked on morphine and not making much sense but every time she came to the surface she smiled… the beatific smile of the post op trans woman 🙂

Such relief she’d come back… I cried…she talked nonsense and we listened to music until the nursing staff kicked me out for jane to have some rest.

I went for lunch with the film crew (it was about half 2 and we all realised we’d not eaten yet that day) and then I tried to sleep in the car but couldn’t…so laid and watched the rain on the car windows and contemplated life the universe and everything.

I certainly realised the fear and stress pre op (for both of us) was about having a big op… not what the op was about.

Up til the last minute they kept asking Jane if she was sure…to the point where the question ceased to make sense. Jane likened it to someone asking if you want a piece of pie…and you say ‘yes please’ and they ask again and you say ‘yes please’ and they keep asking…. it makes you wary about the pie… and then you have to become very determined to keep saying yes.. But there comes a point where the question doesnt mean anything… becuase its ceased to be about the pie and more about the question.

Anyway…. I went back in at about 5 and she was slightly more with it… we opened some cards I’d brought down… and she was allowed some water through a straw but has to stay flat on her back for a day to lessen the chance of bleeding.

What made me realise how right this is for Jane (for both of us) is when one of the nurses asked about her pain level (scale of 1 to 10)..and Jane said.

“No pain at all vaginally but my back is a 3 or 4”

Vaginally…. she was off her face on morphine… couldn’t remember her facebook password (she wanted me to post for her)… but the word vaginally came out without a thought.

For me that clinched it.

She’s where she always should have been.



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