Friday, 12 February 2010

A grand day out.

I've just had another day out and about by myself. At least once I had dropped Julie off at the hospital where she was having a checkup following her breast cancer. They said everything was fine and did not want to see her again so she breathed a sigh of relief that she can finally put this behind her. Normally I would have held her hand through this as I have done with all the other appointment she has attended over the last 10 years but on this day I had my own appointment nearly 100 miles away on the other coast.

Unlike last time this was a glorious day for a drive in the country with the low sun catching the new growth in the fields and the snow etching the mountain tops nearby and glowing startlingly white on the high tops of the Highlands in the distance. I think the roads department is trying for the largest roadworks in Europe award and have a strictly controlled 40 mph limit with cameras working out your average speed every few miles and there seemed to be about 15 to 20 miles of road works, can't tell for sure, I just watched the speedometer the whole way.

Clearly I have not been visiting Glasgow very often these past few years since the gallery I visited had moved venues twice since I was last here! A whole building has been carved out and rebuilt as a modern complex housing a print making studio, several galleries and workshops and a photographic gallery, the latest incarnation of one which has been around for over 20 years. The work on show was okay if not quite up to my standard! I have to admit I was looking more at the walls and how good they would look with certain projects have in mind, perhaps I have retired from the clerk after all.

All my knowledge of the city is now useless, there is so much newbuild and concrete roads flying all over the place that it was a real challenge to use my instinct to find the place where I wanted to be, I found myself grateful to have arrived 15 minutes early. Would have been happier if I had not ripped of a large part of my gilded thumb nail tying my coat belt and not being able to fix it in any way, the girl one the first floor reception did not have any nail polish at all, what is the world coming too?

I settled down for the wait, got out the new iPod and selected Nicky singing “all along the watchtower”, five seconds in I heard a strange name being called out, though it was mine it was not the one I usually hear!

So here I am experiencing part two of the process, and facing someone else who has to decide whether I'm crazy or not. This is quite a different approach more like a chat about anything and everything, strange talking about myself and the even stranger life lived. He says that's all in the past and what is important is the future which luckily coincides with my present attitude. He took my blood pressure which hardly surprisingly was a little high then we chatted about health issues in general and that seemed to go okay. Then he said they would have to do some blood work to get some base levels. The at this point he saw something he had never seen before as I handed him the results he desired. Some time ago I told my general practitioner that the first thing they would ask for was bloodwork which would just waste time and set me back a month or two so we got in first and I even took my own hardcopy because they were sure to lose copy which had been sent! I think he said something, Pituitary gland, is desperately trying to make my testicles produce testosterone and strangely that doesn't seem to be working! What you need is some sticky patches he says, they would sort out a few things, he would just nip off and get a consent form! We went through the form when he returned, he had to make sure that I understood that the sticky patches that have various effects some quite good and some possibly bad. One said I might get erectile dysfunction, well think we can ignore that one. Libido could be decreased, less than Zero is going to be difficult! You can get a blood clot and die or have a stroke so best to keep up with the blood tests. Weight gain can be a problem but not guaranteed, this is going to save quite a bit on the food bill and I'm going to have to start being more active. Living at Julie's pace since her retirement has not been very good for my waistline, what waistline? Now that I'm not anxious about getting into the system, and well and truly in the system now, I'm not likely to be doing any comfort eating whilst worrying about appointments and where they're going to lead. Finally we come to the bit where he tells me I'm likely to get the redistribution and breast growth, no objections here!

No he didn't give me a box to take away with me, said he would write to my GP but not to hold my breath since this might take a couple of week's, they must still use quill pens to write the letters and a Stagecoach to do the deliveries. Oh well have waited over 40 years the couple more weeks should not hurt. The first three months is going to be on a low dose so I don't expect there to be any real change by the time I'm out in France, shame really that would've been fun, but they will convince people I’m serious and might have saved me the bother of explaining what's going on!

I asked about their system for dealing with surgery and the problems of dealing with the centre 500 miles away. I had visions of traveling all that way for a half-hour appointment in the run-up to any surgery but it seems I don't have to worry about that since the surgeon makes several trips a year to Scotland to see prospective victim's. I have now been officially declared not crazy by two people and this one sees no reason why I shouldn't follow this the whole way through they so desire. He wants to see me again in May before I depart for France to see how I'm getting on, next few months are going to be interesting. He claims they will stay stuck on when I go for a swim, that's a relief!

I thought I'd totally come to terms with the situation until I left the clinic and found myself walking back through the park to my car walking on air! It was a beautiful sunny day albeit freezing cold with birds walking on the ponds, I felt so alive and invincible.

To mark this moment and use the available time I had left in Glasgow I decided to try and have my passport upgraded at the National passport office with the farcical results I already posted.

I rescued the car from the multi-story car park and managed to find my way out of town heading east. The evening light was glorious as I headed through the roadworks. Once clear the traffic speeded up rather drift along I have to admit feeling so good as I joined quicker traffic and started to enjoy the drive as the sky lit up with the setting sun.

The journey continues...


  1. So you finally get the right kind of sticky patches prescribed! E
    instead of T! No wonder you feel like you are walking on air! I'm so happy for you! What better news could possibly take the gloom off of this miserable winter?

    Happy hug!
    Melissa XXOO

  2. A lovely day that will remain etched in your memory. The contact with medical staff seems very good, with the exception of the lack of nail polish.

    It's hard to believe that things happen so slowly in the UK. In France the letter to the GP is recorded in front of the patient, sometimes even typed out if there is a computer at the desk.

  3. Lay Caroline,

    Stage coaches are getting slower and slower these days, not because of the horses but the drivers.

    WOW! What an awesome day! I'm thrilled to see the tide turn in your favor.

    Your discription of the drive makes me home sick for the Ross Shire, but not there just yet:)

    Keep floating,


  4. That was brilliant, bringing your blood workup with you! You are very good working with civil servants.

    I can't seem to wipe the smile off my face. This post makes me very happy. Erectile dysfunction, indeed...

  5. Fantastic news Caroline.
    I am so happy for you. :-)

    The future is bright!



Many thanks to all who ever joined in the conversation and to those who took the time to follow my zig zag to a new life..

I can be contacted on the email found on my profile page.