Closing down

I'm pretty much going to shut this journal down for now. There's not much left to tell, though one day soon I shall return to confront the prejudices I expressed down there v somewhere.

In the meantime, I've started a new journal. I'm taking a new man into my life, he's called Denzel. If you want to read his journal see housebunny.


and there are further ramblings in the ulygan LJ

Oh dear ...

Well. I've been waiting a long time and getting impatient. I'd not heard anything since the phone call before Christmas, to say that my bloods hadn't arrived.

Had they finally got there? Were they being tested or were they past their sell-by date when they arrived? Was I good match? or a poor one?

I'd like to say I've been on tenterhooks but that wouldn't be true. All the fuss and fun of getting married kept me pretty occupied. So did the honeymoon :-)

To cut a long and boring story short - I've received a letter from the donor service. Am I a hit or a miss? Are you dying to know?

I don't know!

The letter says "unfortunately the transplant has been cancelled".

Does this mean the patient died before I got a chance to help them?

I'm not sure how I feel. So there's no mood icon today.

Reported missing

The donor service rang me about 11am. To check if I'd had my bloods done. They haven't arrived in Newcastle yet. So much for dropping them off at the sorting office.

I wonder if I shall have to have them done again? I don't mind. But it's shame about the delay.
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    worried worried

Just another ordinary day?

I'm thinking of changing my handle to seriously fab due to an endorsement received ;-)

Interesting day today. Not much time to wonder how my typing is going. We've been to Brum. To get eight new wheels for the brum brum car. Yes. I said eight. No. I don't know why we need eight new wheels for BRidGeT. But they were (allegedly) a bargain via ebay.

Anyway, it was a nice day out in crisp sunshine. We picked up the wheels, bought a picnic in Sainsburys, and found a park to exercise the dog in after lunch on a park bench.

Got home to find a xmas card with a seriously large cheque in it.

I'm feeling very contented and very lucky today. I think I'll go and heat up some of the glühwein I made yesterday, to celebrate. And I'll raise it to my wonderful Godfather, my Uncle Ray. Bless him.

Then I'll see what can offer in the way of a quick honeymoon.
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    content content


I thought it was obvious. But I've been asked about my user name.

The user name is enriched because the user name I wanted, PAL, had already been taken.

OK. I guess it's sick humour. You've got me there. P.A.L. - it's dog food. Sold with the by-line "Prolongs Active Life" and said to be "enriched with marrow bone jelly". Hence the avatar...

I'm embarrassed now. :-}
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    embarrassed embarrassed

Stray thoughts #2


It's all because of computers isn't it?

Those machines that are, to some of us, little more than an expensive toy; for some of us the thing that ties us to an office desk; for some of us a life line, of sorts, that keeps us in touch with other Humans.

Without computers this whole tissue typing thing wouldn't work. There wouldn't be time to sort through all the possible registered donors. There wouldn't be time to type blood and analyse the results.

Without computers I wouldn't have the prospect of helping somebody far away in South Africa.

And they say it's only ones and zeroes.
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    thoughtful thoughtful

A little light relief

Let me introduce Teddy.

Teddy is a 3 years old, male, Bengal Cat. He's lived with us for about 10 months now and we are besotted by him. He's lovely. But he's not quite the full shilling, you know?

Isn't he just gorgeous? But, as I said, not terribly bright. His full repertoire of thought seems to be encompassed by "Ooooh .... Thing!" and "Thing ...... Mine!", together with "Feed me now!". Very little else seems to pass through his head other than his ongoing experiments with the nature of the gravitational force - "Ooooh .... Thing! Will it fall upward this time, or will it go down?" Things always fall downward, and always he appears surprised.

Teddy hates new Things in his house. New Things disturb him. And they must be sniffed. Carefully. Extensively. thoroughly. And Things must be tested against the gravitational force if at all possible.

Get the picture? Engaging, but dumb. And highly entertaining.

Last night we went to Costco (alarming expenditure on second 300 CD changer). The tendency in Costco is to purchase Bucket Loads. Once Bucket Loads have been duly paid for, a till receipt is issued. Being for Bucket Loads, the till receipt can be lengthy. The till receipt is adorned with a piece of extra sticky tape and fastened to some item in the trolley, for verification at the exit.

("Why is this daft woman telling us this?" you ask yourselves. Bear with me. I just want you to get the full picture.)

Extra lavish self-purchased Chrimbo pressie unpacked and installed, shopping put away, we were about to settle down and enjoy the new found experience of no longer having to wait a whole 20 seconds while the CDs change over...

... when there was a commotion from the kitchen. Sounds of hissing cat and chairs being knocked over. ARGH! Teddy must have got in with Lulu (they don't get on). Just as quickly came the thought "but Lulu is outside". Even faster came the cat....

Teddy tore through the kitchen door and along the hallway. He tore back along the hall and he flew up the stairs, even more quickly he galloped down them again and into the sitting room, running a circle around the sofa. There was something attached between his shoulders and trailing along behind him. What ....?

I attempted to grab him. I missed. He was going like the wind.

Fortunately, Steve is smarter than I am. He whipped the till receipt off the cat's back as Teddy tore back out of the sitting room door and headed up the stairs again.

We looked at each other and just collapsed into helpless laughter. I laughed until the tears ran down my face. We've been giggling about it ever since.

Poor Teddy :-)
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    giggly giggly

Drawing blood

Well that's it. This could be where it all stops.

The blood has been drawn and sent off. I should hear in about three weeks whether or not we move on to the next stage.

I popped up to the surgery at lunchtime and went in to see the nurse. I asked "has the kit arrived?" as she looked at me in a slightly puzzled fashion. "Is it the marrow?" she asked, "Is it for you?". Affirmative. Well ... I knew what she meant.

So she wandered off to find the kit and came back with a cardboard box about 6 inches by 3 by 3. Inside was a plastic screw top bottle and a lot of paperwork.

The nurse read the paperwork carefully. About three times. Clearly this is something they don't do every day. Bits and pieces were duly signed and sealed. I signed a consent form. Envelopes were handed to me for posting to Newcastle. I ended up with three to post, plus the box.

On went the cuff and the needle slid in with ease. Nice one Victoria! No bruises.

Four little bottles with purple tops were filled and shaken, then wrapped in tissue and packed into the bottle. Probably about 30ml total I guess. Not a lot.

The bottle went into the pre-addressed box and were sealed in and the box handed to me. Off I went in search of the post office, which we found OK, except the Post Office had closed down. Bit of a mystery where it has gone to ... but we found Post Office House and persuaded a man in the sorting office to take it off us. It's probably arrived in Newcastle by now.

So - it's sit back and hope and wait time. Presumably there are more bottles in the post from other prospective donors. Let's hope that one of us, at least, makes a good enough match to help the patient out. I think I'd like it to be me. But if it isn't, that's OK too. The important thing is that somebody, somewhere, matches.

Fingers crossed.
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    relaxed relaxed

A trip to the fairground

It's been a bit of an emotional roller coaster ride this morning and it's only half past ten yet!

I rang the Bone Marrow Office in Newcastle first thing and spoke to Clare. She told me that "my" patient is in South Africa and asked if I still wanted to proceed. I said "Yes. Of course". But oh dear ... what a curved ball! Now I have so many more emotions and questions to deal with. That was totally unexpected.

Black patient? White patient? Obviously (?) most likely white. Surely a match with a black patient would be highly unlikely? Does tissue typing work that way? I really have no idea.

So - here's where my preconceptions and values come out. A black patient would be great. That's so easy. But a white South African? Are they Afrikaaner? Might my marrow end up in the arm of a racist bigot? Would I want it to? (Cue fantasies of good cells taking over and converting "bad" person to "good" person...) Phew! I'm sure that, deep down, I won't really care about all this. A life is a life. But I do think I have a lot of thinking and sorting out to do - just to find out what I really do feel. Oh boy.

So - we'll treat that aspect as by the by for now.

Clare ran through a questionnaire with me, asking questions about my general health and medical background. My answers made me sound like an old crock and I was expecting to be rejected out of hand. We then went on to the fact that I haven't donated blood since 24 12 1995. Has it really been that long? I answered a few more questions about why I stopped.

Clare then said they would probably suspend me from the register and take it no further at this stage. Why? Because I am awaiting an Out Patients appointment for the osteo arthritis in my foot. That seemed crazy to me. The length of orthopaedic lists in this country means I could be waiting another couple of years just to be seen - let alone treated.

Clare said she would speak to a doctor and call me back.

The doctor said we could progress for now. The length of orthopaedic waiting lists ... blah.

Clare asked me to make an appointment with my GP surgery to have some blood drawn. This had to be done between tomorrow and Wednesday at 12:30. The kit is sent out by post to my GP, the blood samples are taken, then I post it back to Newcastle.

Hmmm. Ring the surgery? On a Monday morning? This could take hours.

Much to my surprise the phone rang first time and was picked up after two rings! This must be an all-time record.

I had a bit of a problem in making the receptionist understand my needs. But I ended up with an appointment to see Vicky the nurse tomorrow.

The samples will be sent for typing and the next hurdle comes in about 3 weeks, when I maybe rejected as a poor match.

What else? I heard from my twin. I had wanted to check with her about blood groups. It seems I had mis-remembered and that we do have the same blood group. We were tested once to see if we are identical (why? We don't look a bit alike!) and found to have the same blood group but different tissue types, meaning we are not identical. Well any fool can see that. I've got brown eyes. She has blue.

I really don't remember this testing business. Except, now she has jogged my memory I think we got involved in a a study of twins when we were about 13 and having orthodontic treatment at the Royal Orthodontic Hospital in London. I shall have to ask her more.

I have to go out now. Got to choose a wedding frock and submit ceremony choices to the registrar. All this marrow excitement has been getting in the way of wedding preparations --- and there isn't long to go now!
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    indescribable indescribable