Friday, 27 November 2015

Beyond The Comfort Zone


Our roller coaster year continues, hence the radio silence. Last week saw me back at hospital for what I hoped would be the final appointment for what’s euphemistically known as Women’s Troubles… though I daresay there have been moments when Tom might feel that this Woman’s Troubles have resulted in a few Man’s Troubles too. Tom and I are ushered into a small room with a male consultant and his male colleague leaving me feeling slightly outnumbered. The consultant introduces himself. His name is so wildly inappropriate for a gynae that I have to suppress giggles. We engage in a little ‘why we are here’ session and he asks how my libido is, explaining, in a low voice, ‘your sex drive’ just to make it clear, I suppose, that he’s not asking about the welfare of a small pet. ‘Fine,’ I assure him, resisting the urge to add, ‘how’s yours?’

The next step is a small procedure. ‘We’ll do another biopsy whilst we’re there,’ he says, momentarily rattling my composure. Another? Will there be any of me left? Ah well, it’s good to know that I’m being checked and double-checked. Having learned the drill now, I remember, once I’ve donned my hospital gown and fetching plastic bootees, to exit the theatre side of the changing room not, as last time, back to the consulting room which caused the theatre staff to think I’d done a runner (in a backless gown!).

I’m greeted by the Professional Hand Holder (you know it’s going to be bad when the NHS provides someone to hold your hand) who was so lovely to me last time only this time she’s down the business end with the consultant and his colleague so I have new and equally lovely Hand Holder. After several eye-watering minutes , and a few disconcerting moments when the consultant’s head pops up from my nether regions to give me a progress report, it’s all done and I hope very much that’s the last of it. I do have to say that throughout, I’m treated with great kindness and care and I’m truly grateful for all the staff involved for looking after me.

‘I don’t suppose you’d be interested in writing a piece for me?’ asks a dear, supportive friend in happier news. I readily agree since the piece is a lovely feature for a glossy supplement and I’ll be paid real money! I really enjoy feature writing, more so than fiction at times, especially after the heartache that comes after devoting blood, sweat and 90,000 words to a favourite novel (step forward Follow A Star) for it to be largely ignored. Discounting, that is, the dear lady who bothered to leave a ‘meh’ review on the same day the world was reeling from the Paris attacks. Who does that? Anyway, back to the feature, nothing not to love, although a little daunting because the deadline’s quite tight and it involves chasing people (very nicely!) for information. After a couple of sleepless nights turning it over, I deliver my copy in time and to everyone’s satisfaction - all of which considerably lifts my spirits. Not to mention, my bank account. Hurray!

9 comments:

Kathryn Freeman said...

Ah Chris - so lovely to see your sense of humour still in tact despite everything being thrown at you. And I know what you mean about writing fiction - during the lows I'm always glad for some paid medical writing to make me feel valued again. Take care my dear xxx

Frances said...

Beynond the comfort zone, indeed. Chris, I do hope that recent procedure will do what was intended, and that you will now have a whole bunch of happy seasonal days. Grand to have gotten that non-fiction commssion, too!

I imagine that every woman reading this post could identify with the scene you described, and then have a giggle at your relating your "escape route" on a previous occasion.

xo to you and yours.

Evonne Wareham said...

I loved Follow a star - as you already know. Glad to hear there is likely to be money in the bank. And in time for Xmas?

mountainear said...

What everyone has said above - can only add best wishes and hopes for good news.

Chris Stovell said...

Ah, Kate, you're very kind, thank you. And yes, very nice to feel valued! Cx

Frances, I did feel silly but no one told me that the other door lead to the theatre and I was afraid of walking in on someone else's consultation so I just stood there for a while feeling daft until they sent out a search party!

And what a boost that gave me Evonne, I very much appreciated the lovely feedback. Yes, fingers crossed in time for Christmas... I hope so since it's already been spent on Christmas!

Thanks so much Felicity. I'm sure I'm fine but I'll be glad when they stop cutting bits out of me!

Clare Chase said...

So sorry you’ve been going through the mill, Chris. Your descriptions made me laugh, and I thought just the same as Kate re your impressive retention of a sense of humour! Congratulations on the commission! xx

Chanpreet BookAddict said...

Hopefully everything will turn out alright Chris. It is always awkward when they ask you "impolite" questions and your instinct is to always respond by saying, "Fine, and you?".

I'm glad to hear you've got an influx of funds with this work. It'll come in handy!

Sending you love and best wishes,

Chanpreet

Flowerpot said...

Glad you got through the gynae ordeal OK Chris - can well sympathise and hope everything's OK. As for the feature - when's it going to be in where?! Would love to read it X

Chris Stovell said...

Awkward sums it up, Chanpreet! And the funds are very welcome... or will be when I get paid! Thank you so much for the love and best wishes. And the same to you! cx

Horrid, isn't it, Sue? Will be pleased not to have to don the hospital gown again any time soon. Hopefully Feb with the feature but will let you know. Cx