And still we wait…

Something continues to be going very wrong in the arranging of MRIs for Lady M, which now leaves us in the position of feeling like Shrodinger’s patients twice over in terms of when a scan will take place and what is being scanned. If it wasn’t so serious, you could write a great farce out of it all.

As things stand I’m going to work tomorrow as usual and Lady M may or may not get an Uber to one of two hospitals for either one, two, or no scans. If that doesn’t happen then there may be an as yet to be determined number of MRIs on Monday.

No wonder we’re exhausted.

I’ll be working with the public as a rest from all this tomorrow. At least it will be a good distraction, whatever the day brings.

She’s Home

I wasn’t expecting it but finally got the call from Lady M that she was going to be allowed home while they waited for an MRI slot to become available. That could take a couple of weeks. Then they can make an informed decision on how to proceed.

They’re talking surgery, but until the MRI shows them exactly what they’re dealing with they’re not leaping to conclusions – which given the range of possible diagnoses we’ve had this week as they tested and tested is a relief.

So she’s back, she’s sleeping, and I’ve been able to relax for the first time this week.

And Then It Went Sideways

Lady M was working from home as usual yesterday when suddenly she doubled over in pain. Calls to 111 and various discussions with doctors had me taking her in to St Peter’s Hospital.

Its never easy to hear all the potential diagnoses before they settle on the “right” one, and I hope people will forgive the minor flailing on social media while they zeroed in on the root cause.

Lady M is being kept in and is being treated over the next few days and will be fine. Its just been a massive shock and we’re all exhausted by it all.

The Waiting

I’m currently waiting to hear from Lady M, who I last saw being helped into an ambulance after chest pains started in the early hours of this morning.

The good news is that the paramedics are reasonably sure from their tests that she hasn’t been having a heart attack but may have torn some of the muscles between her ribs.

That said, they want to be sure, obviously, and have taken her for a blood test and monitoring. Due to Covid restrictions I’m not allowed to accompany her, so I’ve put the thickest book I could find, and her phone charger in a bag to keep her from getting bored.

And so now its the waiting game. Its been a very rough night so I might catnap a bit.

Things The Cub Says: The Bag

So, the cub has a very strong sass-game, inherited from his mum, that combines with the natural sense of wonder at the world that a young lad has anyway to produce some amazing moments from time to time.

The backpack that he wears to school looks a bit like a cartoon monster. It’s a bright lime green, has big eyes and felt teeth along it’s fold down edge. At the beginning of term, Lady M taught him to treat it like The Monster Book of Monsters from Harry Potter. This involves gently stroking its spine (the top) before opening or closing the clasp. She even made the bag shuffle and roar while he wore it to emphasise that he needed to take care of it or it would fight back.

Fast forward to this morning and I get a message from Lady S that she has made a packed lunch for the cub, and try as she might she can’t get the bag to close. The cub walked up, took the bag off her, stroked it’s spine, and closed the bag without any problems.

He then looked her in the eye and said: “you don’t show this bag the love and respect it deserves.” He then added: “Jo knows how to treat my bag.”

To say that Lady S was a bit gobsmacked is an understatement. We have been teasing her on our group chat, saying we can’t imagine where he gets his sass from…

A Long Week

This has been a bit of stressful week, all told, as we’ve continued to try and work out what has been making Lady M so unwell. As journeys go, it has been a mixture of fear, worry and boredom in various ratios from day to day – largely because we’ve been navigating the bureaucracy of our local hospital.

After a combination of CT scans and lumbar punctures, and the insistence of a frankly amazing neurologist, we have at least determined that the recent pain and disorientation experienced by Lady M are not life-threatening. Considering that for a while we thought we were dealing with an aneurism, that’s a great relief.

We’re still not entirely sure what has been at the root of the problem. Our neurologist’s best suggestion has been a thunderclap headache with an unusually long lingering echo. 

There are some issues with medication that still need to be reviewed for other issues, so there is a possibility that there was some toxicity and/or stress involved – but for now the joke that Lady M needed to be rebooted seems to have some currency.

So, a quiet weekend is planned. Well, quiet-ish anyway. As quiet as we ever manage to wrangle…

A Long Day

I had such plans for today – mostly being at work and dealing with things like appraisals in between customers.

Then, before we opened the doors to the public, I got a message saying my GP needed me to take Lady M to A&E (or the ER for US readers)

Nearly ten hours later (and one lost CT Scan recovered) we now know the issue isn’t immediately life threatening or likely to be cancer, but we do now need to consult a neurologist.

So, uh, yay for Lady M still being alive, but not so yay because we don’t actually know what caused the issue in the first place.

Wonderful

A Week Of Woe

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The last week has, frankly, been awful – which is why I’ve not been updating recently. Instead we’ve been mostly on the road and living on caffeine and bloody-mindedness.

Lady M’s father had been rushed into hospital after a fall, but we learned in the early hours of Wednesday morning that he was in critical condition and the hospital was advising us to come in. The hospital in question was in North Tees, and we live on the outskirts of London – so with very little sleep or time for preparation we threw stuff into a bag, wrote texts to assorted people who needed to know, and hit the road.

As of today, he is still in a critical condition with multiple system failures, on life support and non-stop dialysis, and we’ve had to make the heartrending decision to come home and try and carry on with life while the specialists try to work out if he has any chance of recovery. We’re expecting sooner rather than later to get a fresh call to return and say goodbye, but we also know how tough and stubborn he is so who knows how this will end? The specialists aren’t taking bets, so we’re not either.

I use humour to get through and past the trials of life, but between this, my own slightly precarious health and the problems of the people I love, that humour is pretty thinly stretched at the moment.

Round The Houses

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The last forty eight hours have been a gloriously chaotic experience that has seen me cruising motorways to the sound of Orbital; sitting in a Children’s Library voting on the 2016 Carnegie and Greenaway Awards; and arguing politely with doctors in the local A&E department. That doesn’t even include networking with librarians, breakfast conversations with my best friend’s daughter, career advice from an author, or patching up aching hearts.

I’d travelled down to the outskirts of Brighton on Sunday night so I could be relatively fresh for a CILIP event in the Jubilee Library. Librarians and Library Staff (yes, there’s a difference) from the South East of England were meeting to discuss and vote together the candidates for next year’s Carnegie and Greenaway Awards, epitomising the best in children’s fiction and illustration. Whichever way you cut it, this is a big deal, and very cool. I am very proud of having been able to take part in this process.

It was a good distraction from quite a severe mood dip that was partly fuelled by Lady M being unwell. When I got home and found she had spent a good portion of the day in the local A&E and was still in distress, the worry came flooding straight back. They’d discharged her without being sure what was causing her constant pain and things were not getting better. I knew I wouldn’t be able to rest, despite her saying she would have to see the GP in the morning, so I took her back.

We spent seven hours in A&E (that’s the ER for my US readers), and got home at about half five this morning. Lady M is recovering, so there’s a positive result, and we’ve been sleeping most of today to make up the sleep debt. We also had a visitation from Lady P, whose own illness has led her to do some dumb things recently. A quiet evening of tears, Netflix, and a hastily cooked meal followed.

And so, back to bed, and the hope that some relative normality will soon return. Well, normal for us anyway…