I had my blood test at the hospital this morning, and the blood count has gone down yet again to 8.1. And that’s despite having a blood transfusion the other day. The operation that I had to go through 6 or 7 weeks ago has clearly done no good whatever and I might just as well have saved myself the agony.
The thing that gets me though is that no-one in the hospital seems to care. Here they are, messing about with allergy tests for a different medication to deal with the immunity issues following the removal of the spleen, and on Friday I’m in hospital for a scan on my lung to see where this blood clot (the one in my lung that I picked up in hospital) has got to.
But as to my underlying illness and the causes of it, and any potential solution – not a word!
What made me even more depressed about all of this is that while I was sitting in the allergy clinic with all of these patches and injections and so on, I was editing all of the photos that I took in Montreal and sorting out all of the notes that relate thereto. And then I got to thinking about just how much I enjoyed the city and how much I felt at home there. And then I reached a conclusion.
And that is that seeing as how no-one cares, then I don’t either. if nothing definite comes out of my visit to Leuven next week and they can’t sort something out, then I’m on the next plane to Montreal. I’ll find a quiet room in a house somewhere around the Cote des Neiges, which really is my favourite part of Montreal, and let nature take its course.
I can’t go on like this. it’s nothing short of purgatory for me to have to go through all of what I’m going through and for no good purpose either. I may as well not be here and be somewhere else instead, whether in this world, the New World or even the next world.
What didn’t help matters very much was that I had another one of those comfortable, reassuring dreams where everything went according to plan, our hero got the girl and we both walked off together into the sunset and all of that – something that never ever happened to me in real life and how I wished that it had.
I was back playing in my rock group from the 1970s again and we were totally unrehearsed – we hadn’t played together for years and we were featuring in a venue somewhere. This was downstairs in a basement somewhere, rather like Enoch’s in Crewe used to be, and we weren’t even sure what numbers we were going to play, never mind how we were going to play them. This went on and we didn’t have all that much idea about what we were going to do. We spent so much time discussing and debating it that we weren’t actually getting anything done. There were quite a few of our friends there, including one particular girl whom I fancied and who I was trying to impress, who were coming to see us and so we HAD to be organised. Came the afternoon of the gig and we decided that we would have a rehearsal. I headed off towards the rehearsal room, carrying my bass guitar and there was some girl, whom I had seen vaguely back in the past but I hadn’t particularly noticed very much, came over to me and asked me if my guitar was a Gibson SG. I told her to count the strings, which she did, and agreed that there were just four of them. And so I told her that it was in fact a Gibson EB3. We started to talk about bass guitars and musical instruments, and she said that she had a mandolin with four strings on it. Of course – a mandolin – that brings back Lindisfarne and “Road to Kingdom Come” and “No Time to Lose”, all of that kind of thing. We ended up having quite a chat about this kind of thing, and she said that she could actually play some Lindisfarne music on the mandolin. It’s always been my ambition to play in a folk-rock group like Lindisfarne so I egged her on to go and fetch her mandolin,which she did and we had a brief jam session. After that, we wandered off together hand in hand. As I said earlier, this was another one of these comfortable situations and I wish that I could remember who she was, or even what she looked like – rather different from the Girl from Worleston the other night whose face is still vividly fixed in my mind. Anyway, off we went, hand in hand and there were a few people loitering in the vicinity who noticed the pair of us together like that and gave a little smile to each other. We walked to a rocky wall where there were a few seating areas set into it at various levels – just flat, grassy areas. I invited her to sit down with me but she said that she had other things to do and didn’t have the time. I continued to encourage her to sit down, she continued to be doubtful and it was at this moment that I woke up rather dramatically and shattered the illusion, much to my dismay.
After the usual crawl down the corridor I ended up at the football – Nantwich Town in fact. And while Nantwich Town might have a new ground, down on Kingsley Fields, this match wasn’t being played there. And neither was it being played on their old ground at Jackson Avenue either, but in the street in London Road right more-or-less outside Churche’s Mansions. I was watching the game, with about 4 or 5 others (huge crowds they have in Nantwich), a couple of girls and a couple of kids, having a kick-around with the balls.There was a really strong, swirling wind blowing that was creating havoc and on one occasion, much to my surprise, I actually caught the match ball one-handed, swerving around in the wind as it went out of play and that was really impressive. For the rest of it, the conditions were really difficult and catching the ball, even a simple catch, was really difficult if not impossible. We were actually watching this at the back of a river and the house rear yards backed right onto it. One small boy was climbing over the back wall and the wooden fence on top and lost his footing, sliding straight down into the river and emerging all covered in green slime. That certainly looked unhealthy! All of these houses had basements that were well below the level of the water but were somehow really dry. I wouldn’t have liked to have lived down in there, although there were people quite happily doing so. There were two teenage girls watching this football match and they lived in one of the houses. At half-time they went back to their house where the mother was cleaning the room of one of these girls, and one of the girsl asked the other what she would like for breakfast. The other replied that she would like one round of cheese on toast with half a packet of crisps and a coffee. I said “breakfast? It’s getting on for 10:30 and most of us had eaten breakfast long before this match kicked off”. But anyway, the first girl dragged a big metal wood-stove out from a corner into the middle of her little basement room ready to fill it and light it to make the toast and put the kettle on. They asked me what I would like to which I replied that I’d had my breakfast a long time ago, but I’ll have a cup of coffee with them. They next asked me what coffee I wanted and what mug I wanted and I thought that they weren’t half making life complicated when all that I wanted was a simple cup of coffee.
But anyway, enough of this. I was up early enough, breakfasted and on the road by 07:40. And what a beautiful morning it was too. I was in Montlucon at the hospital by 08:30 and in the comfy chair by the power point at 08:40 too.
I had the blood test, as I mentioned, and then had the drain fitted, and then injected and patched with all kinds of things. My companion from the other day was there too and we had quite a chat. And while I might have won the “mine’s bigger than yours” competition by having the largest lump on my arm, I felt really sorry for her with all of the tests that she was going through and the mess that they had made of her arm. In consolation, I let her have my mid-morning cake to cheer her up.
We had quite a few moments of humour too, including when one of the others asked if she could leave the room to use the bathroom.
“You’re supposed to raise your hand” I retorted.
“Just like school” said someone else.
At least, despite everything else, there’s a good feeling of cameraderie there in that clinic and the nurse is a really good sport too, which is good.
But the bad side of this is that I’ve had a few adverse reactions so I need to come in again. I explained my situation, all of my hospital appointments and my visit to Belgium and as a result, exceptionally, they can fit me in provisionally at 09:00 on Thursday.
I mentioned that at this rate I ought to be looking for an apartment here in the vicinity of the hospital and asked the young girl here with me whether she had a spare bed in her room. She said she did, but her mother wouldn’t like it. I asked “who cares about your mother?” which made everyone smile, but didn’t have the desired effect.
Not that I expected it to either, but there you go.
As for the blood test though, it’s on the limit of the blood transfusion level, but that’s not good enough for me. I’m off to Leuven next week – 800-odd kilometres by road – and I need to be on my best form for the journey. So what I’ve done is to change my little one-hour appointment back at the allergy clinic from tomorrow to Wednesday at 09:00 seeing as how there was a space, and then went up to the day-hospital and persuaded them to take me in straight afterwards for a blood transfusion. That way, then at least I’ll be in something-like reasonable health to undertake the journey. Coming back won’t be too much of a problem as I don’t have a time-limit for that so if I’m tiring out, I can take a good rest and carry on later.
But as I also said earlier, I’m thoroughly depressed by the way that all of this is panning out. I’m thoroughly hating the past, hating the present and hating the future too.
To cheer myself up, I went to Carrefour and the Flunch to have a plate of chips and vegetables but that was a waste of time as they were stone-cold. Liz had given me a little shopping list that involved going to Grande Frais and the Carrefour so I bought the necessary and looked for something else to cheer me up but there wan’t anything there that took my fancy. That’s always the case when you’re in the middle of a black depression – nothing will pull you out of the pit.
Back home – for only an hour as Liz wanted the shopping by 16:00 – I still couldn’t find my copy of Paint Shop Pro or anything else that I needed. But there was a little issue that the water in the home-made 12-volt immersion heater was off the temperature scale. I had to drain off 5 litres of the water and put 5 litres of cold water into it. I’ve also plugged the fridge into the main circuit so that it’ll now be working 24 hours per day. I’ll have to do something because with no-one there drawing any current, there’s tons of surplus electricity and it’s all dumped into the hot water.
Yes, 41 amps of surplus energy was being generated when I arrived and the cables to the immersion heater element were stone-cold – a far cry from 6 months ago when they overheated at half of that and I had to rewire everything. All of this, the temperature in the water and the amps that the cables are currently … "ohh! Very good!" – ed … handling just goes to show how much current was being lost by the rubbishy cables that I had been using. Decent cables, even half the diameter, properly crimped and soldered, is definitely the way to go and I wish that my soldering techniques would improve.
However, if things continue like this, my soldering techniques won’t be an issue.
I stopped for diesel on the way back and also to the pharmacie at Pionsat for the next lot of anti-biotic prescriptions (which wouldn’t have been necessary except for this spenectomie, and what a waste … "you’ve done that already" – ed … and then back to Liz and Terry’s.
After tea, which was a stir-fry with the stuff that I had bought earlier, I said “sod it!” and went to bed. I’ve had enough disappointments for one day. I’d already crashed out for half an hour on the sofa and it was beyond me to keep on going – not when I wasn’t in the mood to go on fighting.
Tomorrow is another day. Let’s see how we get on with that. Not any better, I bet.
I’ll leave you all to sit and read this rubbish – all 2322 words of it.
And serve you all right too!