And Now We Wait

Lady M is in continuous pain, with limited pain relief because Ibuprofen triggers her asthma, and codeine triggers cluster headaches and thunderclap migraines. Paracetamol dulls her pain a little, but not nearly enough.

Fortunately her GP has now prescribed some good stuff that I’ll pick up in the morning.

Now all we can do is wait for the emergency MRI slot to become available. Lady M is at least able to sleep away from a ward – even if we have been advised to self isolate her just in case the MRI unit is having a picky day.

Meanwhile, the libraries are starting to reopen but I can really only spare cursory attention right now. My manager is being very supportive so I can focus on Lady M, and I am trying very hard not to feel guilty about doing so.

Are we worried? Yes, very, but we’re trying not to dwell on things until we know what we actually have to worry about.

What a year…

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.

Battling the Fear

Lady M had to pop out this morning to drop some things to the post office, and then get some ingredients to do some baking. All things that sound innocuous enough, but when she returned, she was exhausted – and revealed that her stress levels had spiked so hard when getting to the supermarket that she’d had to stop and have a bit of a breather. This is not unlike the sort of conversations I’ve been having with staff this week.

The UK government decided to lower it’s pandemic severity rating from a 4 to a 3 this week, to catch up with the announcement the week before that it was going to recommend more places opening up. There are more than a few medical and clinical workers facepalming at the moment, but in truth it is a political decision as much as an interpretation of the highly contentious statistics of infections and deaths.

Lady M, like many of my staff, have obeyed the lockdown – in no small part because they’ve been working from home and so haven’t had the experience of seeing people getting used to the strange interpretations of social distancing and mask wearing that different people have been making. I’ve been able to get out and do grocery shopping while she’s been battling work issues so my usual internal grump is around the anticipation of queueing a while.

By comparison, Lady M has also had to battle the stark clash between media sources urging care and the reality of the Great British public who are worse than a bundle of cats for staying and doing what they’re told. I shall continue to bear this in mind as we work to get the libraries open safely for both staff and customers. On both sides we will have people who are rightly nervous on some level about accessing the buildings and the treasures they contain – and I hope we can maintain both understanding and kindness in the process.

Art Therapy

I’m still exhausted from the last few days, and still seem to have a nagging pain thats either muscular or a trapped nerve. On the plus side I’ve been feeling a bit more creative, so I have some things to show for the day.

I had a bit of a double-whammy in the delivery of some replacement grey, black, and sepia ink pens in the morning; and then my digging out my venerable graphics tablet this afternoon.

The sketchbook image above is freehand line art drawn this evening while Lady M played some Assassins Creed. The other two are Photoshop enhancements of some pieces I doodled last year. I’ve cleaned up and added to them over the course of the afternoon.

And thats what I’ve done to settle myself a little after the events of the last couple of days.

Lady M is still recovering but seems brighter this evening, and has been answering good wishes and enquiries through the day.

Better News

Just to update from earlier, Lady M is safely home and currently floating an inch or so above the sofa on a mix of morphine and diazapam. It appears, as thought, to be a muscular issue relating to the tissues between her ribs, probably brought about by over-stretching.

It should heal in a few days, but in the meantime rest and prescription pain killers are the order of the day for her.

So that’s been my Thursday. I’ve not been particularly constructive with any of my projects, but I think I can put off feeling bad about that given how shattered I am at the moment.

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.

Stop Breaking Her!

I’ve been asked to stop breaking Lady M. The comment came from our metamour, the inimitable Lady J, in response to pictures and video I posted earlier this evening of Lady M after we watched the finale of The Good Place.

Side note: If you haven’t watched The Good Place, I highly recommend it to you as an intelligent and witty story that hides behind a facade of goofiness.

There were tears, and blocked nostrils from a light cold, and snot, and laughter in frustration, and giggles from teasing. All at once. Which of course I had to share with lady s, and then with permission on social media – and now here, because I think you’ll all join me in laughing with her, and commiserating if you’ve seen it too.

Just… How..?

And I’m back in the room

The beginning of November is always simultaneously busy and fraught for a number of reasons – but fortunately this year there has been more on the busy side than the latter.

I try these days to make Lady M’s birthday celebrations a bit of an extended occasion – with presents on the days leading up to it and at least one surprise. This year the festivities technically started while we were at MCM London Comiccon, and I took advantage of the shopping while we were there to load up on suitably geeky presents.

We were also both off work for the full week following the event, and so could spend time quietly reconnecting, and just relaxing in each other’s company. We’d heard of post-Con blues before, but had never truly appreciated how exhausting the come down from a weekend of adrenaline can be. Gaming and late morning’s dominated the week until the Friday evening where we picked things up and went to see the Wessex Pistols at our usual pub haunt. It was a great night out, with a Happy Birthday rendition by the band, and a number of drunken and slightly deafened conversations with various band members afterwards to sweep us into the weekend.

And that’s where the surprise came in: Lady M knew we were going to visit the Charleesi – ostensibly to deliver a television to her room now she had sorted out a license – and that we would stay over as I had told her to pack an overnight bag.

What Lady M didn’t know was that I had been colluding with the Charleesi and the former Lady M to engineer a weekend of activities.

Our guest house was across the road from the Charleesi’s halls of residence, so once I’d booked us in we hauled the television over and called her to come down and let us in. We’d got there late morning, partly to meet check-in times at the guest house and so that the Charleesi could evict other students from her floor from the night before.

We wandered in, admired the way Charleesi had set her room up, and then the former Lady M appeared from the bathroom and nearly made Lady M jump out of the window in surprise.

Our itinerary was full – so with giggling and shuffling onto local buses we dragged the Birthday Girl in to Oxford for lunch, and then to a walking tour that covered history and filming locations alike (such as the tree under which a certain Malfoy was transformed into a ferret). Cream tea followed, and then on to a huge fireworks and bonfire display.

Lady M thought we were stopping then, but the Charleesi had other ideas, and so we went through a number of back alleys, guided by mobile phones to an undecorated side door in an unlit building. Lady M was prompted to pressed to ring the bell.

A voice from the speaker challenged her to tell her what had many keys but opened no locks. After a moment’s fluster she answered: a piano, and we were admitted to The Mad Hatter – an Alice in Wonderland-themed speakeasy that was also running a 1920s evening for fireworks night.

We had a great evening. Gin was served in teapots, and other inventive cocktails followed later, including alcoholic milkshakes and blue cheese martinis. We staggered off happily back to the halls after that, with the two Lady Ms having a loudly giggly time as we made our way back.

Oh, and to finish the evening in true student style, the Charleesi and I got some pizzas in while we played card games.

The morning saw us take in the Oxford University Botanical Gardens and explore the new Westfield shopping centre before grabbing some food from the Lebanese grill.

So that was our quiet week off – no wonder it’s taken me a while to get the energy back to start functioning again!

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…

Changes Are A-Coming

This site has always been a labour of love – with all the ups and downs that go with that statement. Well shortly I shall be gathering help on that front, with opportunities for Lady M and Mre B to contribute as guest bloggers as the mood, wit and whimsy takes them.

For the most part it’s likely to be extra bits of fiction as we bounce things off each other, but who knows?┬áThis, as they say, could get rather interesting…