Picture of a judge's wigThe Judge RANTS!Picture of a judge's wig

Date: 30/03/16

Testing Times

I'm looking forward to feeling like shit before very long.

If that seems to you to be a rather odd ambition, then I would ask you to consider it in the context of where I currently find myself.

Yes! It's another Health Update post!

(Sorry m'dears, but if you insist on reading this guff, I shall insist on writing it. Just view it as a pact you have entered into, with you playing the rôle of Faust. Although on this occasion, I, Mephistopheles, cannot promise you the sight of a naked Helen Of Troy, merely the baring of part of the psyche of a neurotic).

I phoned the surgery a week yesterday for my test results, to be told that they were completely normal (See? They can find something about me that is! Another triumph for medical science!) and that no action was needed in relation to them. This was all very reassuring as far as it went, in so far as it meant that the kidney problems my GP suspected were not in evidence. However, it left the salient question unanswered: what the hell is doing all this to me, then?

Perhaps the constant fatigue is some sort of post-viral effect (although I can't be sure that what I went down with at the end of January was viral or bacterial, and I don't know whether the latter can have such a 'long tail'), but I would have thought that very nearly two months would be enough for things to start to improve.

Indeed, I thought that - on the whole - it was starting to ease, if only a bit...

...Until last Monday afternoon.

Whether it was the shock of having a bath or what, but from that point onwards I felt as if my body had commandeered a time machine and gone back about five or six weeks. All the old favourites returned: the exhaustion; the feeling that I wasn't quite here; the way that any bright light (natural or artifical) seemed to glare at me with the force and malevolence of a tanked-up eighteen-year-old trying to impress his mates.

I was due back in work on Tuesday but, waking up at oh-four-fucking-hell hours, I lay there and thought, "Sorry, but I just can't do it", turned the alarms off, turned over and went back to sleep. I awoke again at about nine to phone the office to tell them that their little ray of sunshine wouldn't be gracing their lives that day, and then went back to bed for another four hours. I had another little nap after tea, as well. Well, when I say 'nap', I mean 'sleep'. Even though the sofa is a two-seater and rather shallow, which means that my feet stick out over one end and my arse out over the open side, I find that I am actually sleeping rather than just dozing.

And, of course, this meant that I hardly slept last night. I dragged myself in to the pickle factory this morning and did very nearly my contracted six hours, before availing myself of my cunningly-devised workaround for how I get to Sainsbury's after work. Walking there is currently not an option. Oh, I would probably get there eventually, but it would be at enormous physical cost. Instead, I now leave work at 1250, catch the 1258 Service 12 into town, then catch the 1310 Service 12A out of town and get off at Sainsbury's. This has the added advantage of giving me nearly an hour to go round the place before catching the next 12A and - instead of getting off at the bottom of Edwards Avenue and walking through the alley to my front gate - staying on the extra few minutes while the bus goes round the estate and getting off right in front of the house. It seems silly, but it's the only way I can do it now and, because I have a weekly ticket (recently subject to a 7.5% increa...erm...I mean revision; thank you, Arriva!) it doesn't cost me any extra.

I have an appointment with my consultant next Monday, one which has been brought forward at my GP's insistence, although I doubt if any further light can be shed on my problems from that. Then I will go and see my GP again to discuss both this and the oedema.

Ah, yes! The swellings. As I've said before, I can live with - have lived with for some years - the swelling of my feet, ankles and shins. It's the northerly advance to my calves, knees, thighs and - most worryingly - my abdomen which is causing the anxiety. Bending my legs can be quite a problem at times, my thighs squash together when I'm sitting down, and I feel as if I'm wearing one of those inflatable rubber rings around my waist (although without the duck's head), this unwanted abdominal expansion causing me discomfort in a number of ways.

I just wish that I had answers, dammit! Even if the answers might be of the worst possible kind, at least I would know where I was and what prospects the immediate future held. As it stands, the fatigue may - judging by the words of one of my colleagues, whose husband went through something similar last year - be with me for another month before it shows any signs of leaving, and with the possibility in the meantime of it flaring up again like it has done in the last couple of days. The swellings? Goodness only knows what could be doing that, but an unwelcome but truthful answer would be preferable to this wretched limbo (and any limbo I tried to do at present would be wretched, believe me).

In the meantime, here are The Charlatans with an appropriate ditty:

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