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Date: 15/06/16

Standing, Still

I suppose some sort of update on my health may be a good idea, given that it has been some weeks since the last one and people may be starting to fret.

In essence, I'm still where I was. I did get an appointment for the MRI scan, but not only was it at Manchester Royal rather than Wythenshawe as I'd been led to believe, it was for 08:45 on a Friday morning. The thought of my brother (who is nearly seventy and disabled) having to negotiate us through a couple of hours of rush-hour traffic to get to a hospital which is practically in Manchester city centre was enough for me to put my foot down, so I phoned them to cancel that appointment and ask to be sent another one, one for after 10:00 (the girl on the other end of the line was very understanding about it; I mean, didn't they realise that I was having to come from nigh-on sixty miles away?).

Nearly three weeks had gone by without my hearing anything, and so - bearing in mind that I would need to go down to the hospital in Wrexham to give yet another blood sample to make sure that they could do the scan at all; and considering that I have my next appointment with the cardiologist in under a month - I phoned Manchester on Monday, to be told that they were still to schedule any appointments for July. The girl I spoke to this time said that she expected to get the doctors' roster through this week and that she would get back to me.

All well and good, except that she called me back scarcely ten minutes later with the words, "You were supposed to have been here at half-past-one today!" I said that this was the first I had heard of it. She said that they had written to me, but clearly I didn't get the letter. As I'm still on the waiting list and the scan is categorised as 'urgent', she said that she'd try to sort something out. So I'm waiting to hear back from there.

Beyond that, I have my ups and my downs, an example of the latter being the tail-end of last week and the weekend. Whether it was all the activity around my birthday running me down, but in the early hours of Friday morning I was shaken awake by a bout of tachycardia which sent my pulse up to the levels of a minor dance-floor smash. Perhaps as a consequence (it finally gave over after about an hour), I was so shagged out on Saturday that I spent most of it sleeping, and didn't have enough energy over the whole weekend even to carry on with my current desperate time-filler, viz. scanning a whole load of old negatives and photos which have accumulated over a period of decades. It was yesterday before I felt anything like again, and I suspect that - after two months of enforced idleness - all of this had a psychological component which was nearly as strong as the physiological one.

During that time, I managed to get off to sleep fairly easily, but still woke up - and am still waking up - at times so early as to make me think that I must be back at work already. Waking up at oh-four-fucksake hours when I know that I won't be able to get back off again is more than a little exasperating.

Whatever household chores which need doing have largely been left, in favour of doing merely that which is essential; cooking and washing up. Of course, the garden has gone feral, with the grass at the back now approaching two feet tall. I'm content to let it have its own way for the summer, in the hope that it might do it some good not to be regularly mown back, and that this might also help throttle the moss which has appeared in it again. The buddleia globosa is in good voice this year, much to the delight of the bumblies, but I've had no blooms on my wallflowers and - for the second or third year running - the philadelphus has resolutely refused to put forth those nice, white trumpets which used to be its stock in trade (and this is despite the adjacent oak tree having had a fair amount of its lower growth cut back a few months ago).

In other (somewhat related) news, I have finally been forced - by a combination of circumstances and gentle but firm pressure from my family - to get one of them there mobile phone thingies. It may surprise anyone who has had reason to think that I was remotely tech-savvy to learn that it took me the better part of two hours on Thursday morning to figure out how to send a text message, and a further hour to work out how to make a phone call. It has some sort of internet capability, but - given that it's a very basic model and especially given a rather surprisingly poor signal strength for a place of this altitude - it takes ages to load a page, and then you can hardly use it when it does because the layout doesn't display properly and you've just run your battery down anyway. So, I am now Connected, with all that that implies.

Apart from that - and let me again give praise to family, friends, colleagues and neighbours (including the elderly lady across the road who phoned me yesterday to see if I was OK, given that she hadn't seen me for a few days; the weather hasn't been fit, for one thing) who show their kindness and concern in so many ways - I am where I was. And am likely to be there for some time yet. But I'm now at the stage where I just want the doctors and surgeons to do what they need to do to get me right again, even if it means my spending days on end lying in a hospital bed somewhere while they attend to the matter. There are things I want to do, things I need to do, and I want to get on with them.