Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A year off scans, yey!

Despite the law of sod, my scan was clear. Phew. It's always a bit of an anticlimax getting scan results, I psyche myself up for potential drama and then there's... nothing. Obviously that's a good thing, just a bit deflating and exhausting.

I noticed a few differences in the neurology department though. It was rammed. Proper Sergio Ramos. It's been busy before but this was something else, people were standing between the seats and spilling out into the corridor. Several consultants were running 45 minutes late. There was an air of barely suppressed panic, and not at all suppressed exasperation. 

One man wooped loudly for joy when his wife was called in, causing several chuckles, which was nice. And Rae made people smile too. 

And there was the inevitable man complaining loudly. But what I hadn't seen before was someone defend the doctors to a complainer. I've come across them loads in my nhs journey and always quietly seethed to myself. A woman properly told him, and I was full of admiration. 

It feels different, but it might be all the Labour leadership campaigning I'm reading. It feels like there is a real swing towards appreciating the nhs, by actual people using it, not just on social media. It's exciting. 

I was in with the consultant for about a minute and a half, we had precisely two conversations. 

1 - he said I was fine (that was the medical part over, in three words) and that next year (a whole year! hurray!) they would telephone me with the results in an attempt to reduce the circus in the waiting room. 

He said they were doing that for younger (oh, thanks very much, *swoon*) patients, with no complications. I said that sounds brilliant and that it must make things easier for the department, only to find out they are expected to do this on top of seeing the same numbers in clinic. Mental. I really don't know how they don't all have nervous break downs. 

2 - I asked how long I would get scans for and was told five years. And that's it, no more scans. I don't feel so great about that, to be honest. The original prognosis was 11% chance of regrowth in ten years, so what about the other five years, are they just going to not check? 

Of course I didn't mention that. I was aware of said circus in the waiting room and I was trying to process my thoughts quickly, so I just said ok. But now I'm worried about it. Which is ridiculous as it's still two years away, but I do like having something to worry about eh? 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Bottle or breast? Yawn.

One thing that really irritates me is people getting narky with each other about how they feed their baby. I haven't ever written about this because it's dull, and there is so much out there that makes me cross, I'm not sure I can write about it without making other people cross. But I'm going to try.

I've had two babies now, and I still don't have the authority to advise anyone on parenting. It's a tough gig, everyone knows that, and there are loads of ways to do things. None of them are (is?) the right way for everyone. (Oh god, I've lost the power of grammar, and the patience to work it out. I am too tired).

I breast fed Alfred exclusively, for quite a while, and for the first seven weeks have breast fed Rae too. I come from a family of breast feeders and it seemed like the natural choice for me. That's what boobs are for, after all. And there are other reasons, like convenience and cost saving, but there are clearly some negatives too. Thing is, it was my choice. And it is nobody else's business (except maybe Oliver's). 

National breast feeding week has just finished and it sure does bring them out. I am all for normalising breastfeeding, I find it embarrassing and humiliating to get boobs out in public, and the more that becomes accepted as normal, the easier it would be. But what is with the shaming? Each side of the argument feel victimised by the other, as well as by the general public at large. What irritates me is groups heaping shame on the other side, whilst complaining about being shamed.

Anyway, moving on. 

As a breast feeder, I've not had much experience with bottle feeding, but yesterday I was forced to bottle feed for 24 hours after being injected with contrast for an MRI. Although I was wary she would refuse to feed and we'd be awake all night with a screaming baby, I was interested to see how bottle feeding went. These are the things I learnt. 
  1. I could totally get used to not always being the one doing the feeding!
  2. I'm not comfortable with anyone else doing the feeding, that's my job. She needs me for that, and I like her needing me.
  3. Sterilising. What a pain in the arse. Especially when you're inclined to drop freshly boiled things on the floor and have to start again.
  4. Formula is gross. Thick and sticky.
  5. Babies are not patient when you heat up their milk too much and have to cool it down again, and then re-sterilise the bottle having dropped it on the floor. And then start again because you used a normal germ-ridden non-sterilised glass to heat the milk in a sleep deprived haze, defeating the whole purpose of the goddamn sterilisation process. Waiting quietly and patiently, not so much. In the middle of the night? Funtimes.
  6. It's nice, not having to expose yourself all the time.
  7. It's nice, wearing proper clothes and supportive bras.
  8. Who knew how much milk babies eat? Wow, no wonder I have been hungry!
  9. Maybe I could get comfortable with someone else doing the feeding, in return for some sleep.
  10. In our short experiment, the rumour appeared to be true. She slept for EIGHT HOURS on formula. Hmmm, let me think about that... (This would have been wonderful had the two year old not had a total shitfit and shouted for five hours straight. Our neighbours love us). 

Conclusion: I can totally see why people would choose to do this. As expected, there are major benefits to bottle feeding. It was interesting to try it for the day, but I didn't really find anything out that I hadn't predicted.

The cost saving argument is a winner for me, and the convenience of not having to sterilise and heat and basically keep a hungry baby waiting. I like that boobs make the exact amount of milk the baby needs, and it is made especially for them. Also, I like that I can eat cake a lot. The exposure and sleep deprivation are worth it for that.

There are great arguments for both options, and so I will stick to my original opinion - whatever works for you. No judgements. YAWN.

Wavering smug face.

Today is my consultation following Saturday's MRI. Only having to wait two days for the results is brilliant, but I've been so confident about the outcome that I haven't even thought about it. Until now, 2:30am.

I'm confident because it hasn't been that long since I had a scan, an emergency one in April - fully convinced that a great big tumour had returned. I was wrong, the scan was clear. And I felt like a bit of a nob to be honest. 

I haven't been confident when receiving the results of a scan before. And what does the law of sod say about that eh? 

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Scan day. Again.

It's snuck up on me this time. I've not really had the opportunity to think about it, which is possibly a good thing.

The logistics of leaving the house is complicated enough at the moment, but now I have to think about baby milk and bottles and sterilizing and how to heat up milk, on top. 

I had an emergency scan in April which was clear, but because I was pregnant I didn't have contrast. In fact, I have been pregnant or breastfeeding for so long that I haven't had contrast since the original diagnosis scan, nearly three years ago. I can't wriggle out of it this time. 

On the plus side, it'll be conclusive. On the down side, it'll take longer, I'll be punctured in the arm, it will make me feel sick and I can't breastfeed for 24 hours. That means my boobs will kill, and I'll have to "pump and dump" (seriously that's what they call it), and hope that the baby will feed from a bottle. 

It's going to be an interesting (hungry and cross) 24 hours, maybe I should take the opportunity to get pissed. Who's with me?