The Freeze Continues

Monday 5 January
I send a text to Lily and Rose to remind then it’s their auntie’s birthday on Thursday. Except I don’t. As the message wings off into cyberspace it tells me it’s on its way to Rose and my sister. Doh! Later, my sister rings me to ask if she’s reached the age where someone needs to tell you not to forget your birthday.

It’s all because I’m sh*tting myself about going into hospital tomorrow and can’t think straight. To cap it all, The Killer Mouth Ulcer From Hell, has taken up residence on the side of my tongue right by my back molars; I can’t eat, I can’t drink and, because I also can’t speak, when I ring the hospital to check that there’s a bed for me in the morning, I sound like a mad, drunk woman.

I sit down to watch ‘Animal Park’ for some comfort viewing. There are concerns for Kadu, an elderly tiger who needs a general anaesthetic but who almost died the last time she was knocked out. Kadu survives the anaesthetic but has to be put down anyway. Not quite the comfort TV I was hoping for.

Tuesday 6 January
6.20 a.m. on the coldest, iciest day of the year and we commence the one and a half hour journey to hospital. It wasn’t where I was originally supposed to be going but the first consultant’s list was full, so consultant no. 2, THE Shoulder Man, is helping out. My mouth ulcer is hurting so much I am almost looking forwards to the general anaesthetic so I can escape the pain for a while. The journey is slow and a minor scrap ensues in the car when we can’t find the hospital and I express the concern that I’m going to be late for my operation. Except my language is a lot more colourful.

I make it to the ward just in time, but when Tom turns up after parking the car he is told he can’t stay. After sitting around feeling a bit lonely everything happens at once. A lovely nurse checks me in, snaps a plastic bracelet on my wrist to tell me who I am and informs me that there is NO WAY I will be out today. Oh dear, it’s serious then. Whilst the nurse is taking various readings from bits of me, someone else turns up to go through the consent form and then there is a kind of royal procession and Mr Shoulder Man and his entourage gather round too.

Mr Shoulder Man unclips a bit of kit from my finger and holds it to my face, like a microphone, ‘So, what do you think of the hospital so far?’ he asks. He is young and whizzy and shakes my hand with a firm, authoritative grip. ‘Now,’ he says, ‘Show me what you can do.’
I duly oblige and see an expression I am not expecting cross his face.
‘Well, I don’t think I can get it much better than that,’ he tells me.
‘But what about the bit I can’t do??’ I protest.
‘Not worth the risk of the general anaesthetic,’ he tells me, but just to show willing he takes hold of my arm and stretches it a way that I can only describe as ear-watering.

The operation is cancelled and I am left in the hands of a very kind physio who quickly discovers how much pain I’m in. ‘The thing is,’ he tells me. ‘There’s a risk your arm could have been broken during the op, you wouldn’t want that.’ No, I berludy wouldn’t, but I would quite like my arm back. And so I pack my bags. I have an urgent referral back to my local physio, the one who couldn’t do anymore for me because she felt I required an op, and Mr Shoulder Man has asked to see me again in a month. Well, that should be interesting, shouldn’t it?

Painting is ‘Preseli – Rain’ by Tom Tomos


Lane said…
Blimey Chris! Couldn't Mr Shoulder Man have seen you before it got that far??

I'm glad you didn't have the op and run the risk of ending up like Kadu but I'm sorry your treatment has come to an 'impasse'. And you're still in pain. Bugger. And bugger about the mouth ulcer too:-(
Pipany said…
Why is it always the same with hospitals? This endless passing around instead of them having a discussion together which would set a proper course for recovery! Feel better for that.
Seriously Chris, I hope it improves soon as it's is so debilitating to have anything like this drag on. Thank you by the way for your lovely comments on my blog. Unfortunately I think the clean up job required for said mag to be able to enter would need more months than a year offers! hey ho xx
Leatherdykeuk said…
What a state of affairs - falling between the phisio and the op. Poor you.

Bonjela for the mouth ulcer, or gargle with saline.
Milla said…
oh what a bollocks! Exactly as Lane says, WHY let it get to that stage, what a waste of your time and NHS time. Have missed the last few Home Thoughts (both as in missed, as I always read 'em and not read as haven't been on line; oh shut up, Milla). Anyway, good to hear that you are alive and cheerful, that your baby ain't homeless and to see that the paintings are as good as ever.xx
JJ said…
Oh buggerations, Chris, I am sorry to hear that. What is it all coming to?

I had a shoulder problem some years ago, before Bangkok. I went to see a specialist who told me not to do the things that caused me pain. 'What,' I said 'like pulling up my knickers after I've peed? and Putting my bra on?'

Then a friend sent me to see a sports physio - it took a while but I am now totally pain free!

My advice is change physio if you can. Someone will be able to help.
lampworkbeader said…
Hells bells Chris. Catch 22 comes to mind. Are you able to change physio?
Frances said…
So sorry that you went through all that preparing for op, and worrying, and then ... and only then, got to meet Mr Shoulder Man.

Is it possible that he could recommend a physio for you? So that the two of them (and YOU) could be on the same page?

I am marveling that you were able to write about this in so coherent a fashion, Chris!

Pondside said…
What a mess, Chris! I'd have wanted to poke the shoulder man in the eye - shoulder range-of-motion permitting.
Come on over here - My BIL is a physion and he'll get you back your movement!
Soak that mouth ulcer in some really good Scotch. (whiskey!)
Cait O'Connor said…
What berludy disorganisation Chris, poor you. I hope your ulcer gets better. Try Bonjela pastilles.
ChrisH said…
Lane, I wish! Not least because I could have been spared the humiliation of being drummed out the ward!
Pip, I do feel as if I've slipped through the system a bit.
Rachel, I've started on the hard stuff now, but thank you for the advice!
Milla, aw shucks! Now start writing, will you?
JJ, EXACTLY!! A woman who knows!
Lampie, it's just that we have so few people here, that the health services are so spread out - you take what you can get!
Frances, thank you. It's helped to get it off my chest... or shoulder.
Pondside, have you got CCTV in my house?? I started taking a large slug of Talisker before every meal - doesn't stop the pain but I feel happy now!
Cait, poor us, I think. We are lucky to live somewhere so beautiful but some of the other bits are hit and miss. Stay well!
Blossomcottage said…
What a lazy trollop I have been missed out on all your news, have not been to the blogs for yonks, you poor thing shoulder pain is crap I have had it on and off for years after the dog dislocated my shoulder when I was about 25
( never wrap the dog lead around your hand and run with a Springer Spaniel!!), and found that acupuncture eased it the most, I would have thought Mr Shoulder Man could have done a bit more for you as for the ulcers loads of Vit C might help but not in the natural orange form that will only make them worse, the other thing that helps is Bicarb of Soda dabbed on.
Get Well Soon.
Blossom xx
mountainear said…
What a huge let down. Hope you are preparing a few choice words for Mr Shoulder when he deigns to see you next.

Bit belated - but Happy New Year.
Debs said…
What? Oh how typical is that.

Several years ago when I had a back problem, I ended up going to a Sports & Injury Clinic (a little strange as I haven't done anything sporty for eons) and the wonderful physio there sorted me out in a few weeks. Such a relief.

Hope your mouth ulcer does the decent thing and buggers off too.
Expat mum said…
Don't give up. This time last year my right shoulder was so bad I couldn't lift the milk out of the fridge. They gave me a cortisone shot (which they don't like to do too often) and then off to the physio. When I first went in they measured my range of motion (pathetic) but even after the session, it had increased dramatically. I had physio for three months and the guy eventually started doing this electro-stuff, which was a bit alarming but definitely worked. Now my shoulder only aches when i do things like shovel snow - so it's all outside waiting for the Ball & Chain!
Flowerpot said…
Oh Chris you poor thing - all that angst and a bloody ulcer as well. Oh no..... I do hope the physio can help. Big hugs from Cornwall.
bradan said…
Have had similar experience - went to docs with severe back pain, was referred to physio, who after a while decided I need to see a consultant, see consultant who decides I need physio - go back to docs 'cos I'm suffering dizziness!

Have recently had mouth ulcer too and can confirm whiskey is def the right treatment.....
Bingo wing still flapping then? What a thing to do - let you go through all the pre op stuff, getting there and then 'bye'
i'll see you at physio then????
ChrisH said…
Blossom, there's never enough time to catch up with all the blogs, please don't apologise and thanks for the ulcer tips.
Mountainear, yes, that's going to be interesting! And same to you, sweetheart.
Debs, I am thinking about trying a sports physio... it's the cost, really. Sigh.
Expatmum, someone else mentioned the electric thing - I must find out more about it, thanks for the encouragement.
Flowerpot, thanks, especially when you've had your own troubles (hopefully now behind you.)
Bradan, I'll be dizzy too, at this rate. Cheers! (Raises glass.)
SBS, come, dear heart, let us flap our bingo wings at each other in a sisterly way!
LittleBrownDog said…
Oh, Chris - I don't believe it! Poor you - you didn't even manage to get a bit of anaesthetised relief from your mouth ulcer. WHAT a palaver!

By the way, although I've never actually seen Animal Park, the presenter has a shop in our town and I have bought some Bombay Mix from him. Bit of a claim to fame, eh?

I do hope things improve. xx
Zinnia Cyclamen said…
Oh nooooo!!! How horribly frustrating for you. I hope you find a solution to the shoulder problem, and don't have anything to suggest that hasn't already been suggested. Nor for mouth ulcer treatment, but I do have a suggestion for prevention. I used to suffer terribly from mouth ulcers, often having two or three at a time (on opposite sides of my mouth Of Course), but since I've been taking vitamin C and zinc on a regular basis I haven't had any and only get them now if I forget the supplements. I'm sure this wouldn't work for everyone, but it works for me so might be worth a try?
liz fenwick said…
((()))s. Nothing to add to the wonderful advice you have been given. Hopefully one day you can use the experience in your writing.
nimblejacks said…
Marvelous modern medicine, if they lay their hands on you sooner we'd all get somewhere they seem to try psychic medicine, diagnose without touching.... so sorry you came away with no resolution. My mum had similar problems too a few years ago. She comes all the way over to swansea from essex to see a man in Uplands here who is a chiro. Not the wrenching crunching kind, but one who a leading surgeon suggested. I see him for my grinding knackered shoulder when it flares up and mum for her dodgy neck. he's a lovely man and very good at what he does. if you think he may help let me know and I'll forward his details to you, for me physio did nothing, Simon however works wonders. Kadu ah yes sadly my kids watched that and Leo at 5 was nearly crying! Then he announces " well his energy made those other lions so he's not really dead" there we are the mysteries of life after death in a nutshell by Leo age 5xxc
BT said…
How ridiculous! But not at all surprising, I have to say. Well, no op then it seems. I do hope physio is able to do something for you. And mouth ulcers are just hideous. I always use bonjella and it does seem to work for me.

ChrisH said…
LBD, that is quite a claim to fame! Lily and Rose will be most impressed as we are big Animal Park fans... erm, whisper it, especially Pets Corner. Go on, take a peek.
Zinnia, the vitamin C and zinc supplement sounds worth a go - anything preventative sounds ideal and I won't get scurvy, which will be nice too. Hurry back from your break.
Liz, thank you! Let's make this our writing year... but with fewer of the bad experiences to write about!
Nimblejacks, Leo is clearly destined for great things. I'm afraid the sight of the keepers crying nearly pushed me over the edge, Leo is able to see the bigger picture! Thanks for offer... I'm having a sulk and a think whilst I plan next course of action!
BT, you beat me to it! I was just about to pop over to you. Thanks for the concern - who knows what will happen yet... but my mouth ulcer is cowering now, hurray!
elizabethm said…
Oh Chris, so stupid, so ridiculous! I am muttering away here for you in a frenzy of crossness.

Really hope you can enjoy not having an operation though and all the very best for 2009. I am making it my only resolution to make this year I meet up with my pc friends!
CC Devine said…
How horrid! Getting all psyched up like that for nothing and still being no further forward.

Really hope things improve and that that pesky ulcer disappears sharpish!
Fennie said…
Poor Chris! It all sounds like stress, the shoulder, mouth ulcer and so on. The stress will out, causing pain on its way. How about some aromatherapy massage - must be some practitioners down your way. I am told that frozen shoulders mend. Acupuncture can also help apparently.
Enjoyed the expression ear-watering. I don't know what it means, but it's expressive. Maybe you can suggest, as Lane says, that Mr Shoulder Man does a clinic.
KittyB said…
Bummer! Poor you sounds awfully painful, both the mouth and the arm/shoulder. Better not to have an op if you can avoid it at all, but just hope that the physio can mend it.x
ChrisH said…
Elizabeth, yes, I do hope that we can all meet up, that would be something to look fowards to.
CC, Much appreciated... I think I am winning on the ulcer front. Happy writing for 2009.
Fennie, Can we persuade you to trundle up to Aber in 2009? Aromatherapy massage sounds just the job. 'Ear-watering' I didn;t know what it was until I experienced pain beyond eye-watering!
Kitty, absolutely. Yes better not to be put out - especially after Kadu's experience. But I would quite like to lose the kimono-arm look on that side!
Ivy said…
Well there are two ways of looking at it: 1) at least he confessed he could not do anything for you instead of performing a risky op that would have given you a lot of pain presumably for nothing.
2) why didn't they ploody tell you that the op is not what you need but a decent physio.Could have saved you a lot of anxiety and pain if you had treatment rather than waiting for an op.
Preseli Mags said…
It does seem very mean to get you to the brink of the operation before deciding against it. I hope the shoulder and the ulcer are both better soon and well before the Llanelli half - only eight weeks to go (I've chickened out!).
ChrisH said…
Ivy - abso-berludy-lutely!
Mags - c'mon! Don't make me do it by myself! People keep telling me it's terrible!

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