Thursday, 18 September 2008

I'm Back - Briefly

It's been right mental over the past few months, so apologies for my blogs being so intermittent.

First - the throat thing is all cleared up. I went to the ultrasound doctor, who covered me in an inordinate amount of goop, considering he was only looking at a small part of my neck (I was wiping it out of my pants for days) and told me what the endocrinologist, 2 GPs and an ENT specialist couldn't:

"It's a lymph node."

I made a sound much like 'y-whaaa??'

"It might be thyroglossal remnant," he offered. "Either way, it's nothing."

All my other symptoms have pretty much vanished. I still get a lump in my throat sometimes - particularly at the end of the day, if I've been yakking (talking - not throwing up) or singing a lot. I'm still croaky for a while in the mornings, and at some points throughout the day. BUT - the PND has cleared up, I'm having no trouble swallowing (alas for my waistline), and I no longer think I'm about to keel over from an enormous cancerous growth invading my miiiiind. So that's all well and good.

I had to play catch-up with my massage course, which I loathed and abhorred. I had to go to the tutor's house, give her daughter a massage and get assessed, and make a total numpty of myself by not knowing where any of the muscles she asked about were, how many vertebrae there are in each section of the spine, where the bony landmarks are, or the difference between my arse and elbow. It was somewhat painful. And, to be honest, I'm no more enlightened now. I really, really have to get my nose to the grindstone - but I find it so hard to memorise! I've not had nearly the same sort of trouble learning the physiological side. I think it's to do with stories. If something has a story, I can learn it - no matter how dull said story may be. Here's a cell. These are the characters (mitochondria, golgi bodies, nucleus etc etc). This is what the characters do, this is their plot, and this is their conclusion. The same can be said for anything with a function. But learning muscles is just a case of remembering their name and where they are. It's mindless, parrot-fashion learning and I'm RUBBISH at it. How the feck are you supposed to remember which one is a 'process' and which a 'tuberosity'? As for the goddamned muscles of the neck ... splenius capitis, splenius cervicis, semispinalis capitis, and sternocleidomastoid ... they don't exactly roll off the tongue, do they?

So, I've reached a part of my course I'm not exactly enjoying, as well as discovering I'm a bit thick with things like this. I'm liking the client case studies, but finding time for them is proving troublesome, and seeing as they're all due in November I really have to press on.

And, of course, there's the house. To be honest I can't really complain about it. Fisher has done everything. The men are at work, ripping bits up, throwing bits down, preparing for our long awaited move - but there's so much still to do, not least put HC on the market. This means finishing the bathroom and putting new lino down in the kitchen first. I'm determined that, after this weekend's tutorial of horrors, where my humiliation will doubtless be complete, I'm going to get right on the business of house selling. Or, should the market be dead, house renting. Or, should it be truly dead, suicide.

It hasn't all been work and no play, though. We had a lovely weekend at the beginning of September at the Countryside Fair, with Koi, Badger, Janus, Blar & Spar. We witnessed some impressive stunt riding, in front of the least easily impressed crowd you're ever likely to see. The smattering of applause following each stunt was in direct contrast to how pleased with themselves the riders were - especially a tall, blond, handsome young man (with a much uglier brother for whom we all felt sorry) who thrust his chest out like a narked pigeon. We hoped he'd fall off and be trampled beneath the hooves, but it wasn't to be. There was also a, frankly hilarious, demonstration of a princess being captured by evil King's Guards. She had a bag of treasure she was trying to save, but the evil guards were bearing down on her ...

"They're coming!" bellowed the narrator over the tannoy, with an audible rustle of the crisp packet she was eating from at the time. "Poor princess! Run, princess!"

The princess gave a terrified scream, followed by a swift look over her shoulder. Seeing that she was outstripping the horses by a considerable margin, she slowed to a trot then, visibly irked, to a shuffle. The horses 'bore' down on her. She gave another scream, slightly more irritated than terrified, and waved her hands in the air.

"They've almost got the treasure!" cried the tannoy, in a fine spray of crisp dust.

Actually, they were nowhere near the treasure, so the princess gave an actually-quite-angry-now scream, threw the treasure at them and leaped into her captor's arms. I'm not certain, but I think I saw her mouth: "For fuck's sake, Bob, where were you?"

Bob attempted to haul her up behind him, but she was a buxom lass and not easy to haul, so there was a bit of an undignified scrabble before she was safely riding at his back. They exited stage left, to the faint clappa-ca-lappa of unimpressed applause.

"Let's hear it for our brave princess and her vile captors!" mumbled the tannoy, to a torrent of silence.

"Talk about girl power," I snorted loudly. "That was the most pathetic display I've ever seen!"

"His goolies were there to be battered," Fisher agreed.

We all had a vocal discussion about what a wet fart in a rainstorm the princess had proved, until we realised the chap beside us was recording the whole proceedings on video for his brood of under 6s and we were completely destroying the 'magic' with our feminist rantings.

Aside from stunt horses, we ... er ... well, ate a lot. There was the hog roast, the sweetie bar, the fresh-cooked crepe stand ... Oh, Spar and I did some archery (my humiliation continues). Other than that, the dogs had a lovely time, including Dougal who we were looking after for Phid and Wheeler.

Other social events on my calendar included a cheery night with the Cheese Board, which involved me massaging Blarney, Janus, Koi and Spartan, and everyone else getting quite pissed and annoying me by teasing Spar for ... well, basically being a bloke in a pair of boxers. I ask you - do I come to their work and take the piss out of their clients? I do not. Then again, they don't have to work in the middle of what was, ostensibly, a middle-aged pyjama party.

Also, Wheeler and Phid had a housewarming party. We brought barbecue, food and booze. They provided the place in which to put said barbecue, room in the garden for a tent - and a comfy air mattress. Also a 'head torch' ceilidh with music blasting from Norman the van, and a bonfire. We arrived and soon needed to light the barbecue. This was an epic task in itself as they had no lighter fuel and no impregnated charcoal, so I had to use sticks. Still, there were a couple of blokes wandering around looking irritated that I was usurping their role of fire gods, so I took great delight in lighting it with wood, paper, and then cooking food far more efficiently and, frankly, tastily than the gas barbie. The guy who was in charge of that seemed to believe that a) it took 45 minutes to cook a sausage and b) he needed to come and tell me that my barbecue would never light and give me some handy pointers like 'if you wait for a minute or two, I'll come and help you out.' Luckily, the fire was a-glow by the time he turned back to help this damsel in distress, and I'd already cooked 2 sausages - and consumed them. It then turned into an astonishing barbecue rivalry. None of Wheeler's friends would eat my offerings out of loyalty to gas-man. I offered, but was told each time that no, they were waiting for the gas barbecue. This actually suited us down to the ground, as the wood and charcoal barbie was turning over fodder like Jesus let loose in a bakery-fishmonger. We were soon happily fed, chatting in a corner and sucking back beer. There were some nice people there, so we managed not to be utterly antisocial and actually had entertaining chats with strangers. Wonders will never cease. Unfortunately, I developed a cracking headache just before midnight, which even ibuprofen would not shift, so I turned in to our tent. All the other Cheese Boarders buggered off back to the warmth of their beds at home, which was, frankly, pathetic of them. I curled up with a book, which I couldn't actually read without my eyes throbbing, and was blissfully asleep before Fisher arrived back to the tent and woke me up. Even that small sleep had dulled the headache considerable, and when I next awoke - at 2am ish - it was the call of my bladder that was the culprit. I simply cannot camp without needing to pee every 3 or so hours, and getting in and out of a mummy-bag as well as a tent is no joke. There are several occasions I've seriously considered wetting myself.

Ok, not seriously.

Next morning was pretty - sunshine where there'd been rain the evening before, which put a bit of a dampner (har har) on the roaring fire - at least, for those not sitting under tarpaulin cover. Fisher and I had to go home and give the dogs some exercise and attention, as well as sort out some housey stuff, so we couldn't join them at the pub for brunch. We figured it would be easier to sort out feeding fewer people anyway, as many pubs turn pale at the sight of a large party of hungry campers - so home we went and left them to it.

And that's all. Nothing else has happened except me getting back into a tentative exercise regime, struggling to remember muscles and bones of the body (and failing), and gearing up for this weekend's tutorial. Hope everyone out there in the ether is well.



Candace said...

That was a very enjoyable read!
You're planning to move? Where? I don't envy you getting a house ready to sell, having done that last year. Ugh.

Seshat said...

We're off to beautiful Perthshire, hurrah, where we've adopted some wild bantams and have seen red squirrels romping about the countryside. We are going to train Bridie to kill the evil grey American squirrels. Bloody Yanks, coming over here, stealing our nuts.

Please don't talk to me about the horrors of selling a house. We haven't even really started yet!