Monday, 7 January 2013

miniature disasters and minor catastrophes

Round robin's are not popular in my parent's house. They utterly hate them. "Here!" said my mum as she thrust 2 pages of A4 into my hand with a degree of force, "Read this. See what you think, but I cannot stand people rattling on about how marvellously well their lives are every year". Stevie thinks it's a uniquely Scottish thing; that 'hating seeing people do well for themselves' or rather maybe more that 'taking pleasure in seeing people's lives go wrong after they've enjoyed a bit of success'. I don't think it's that with my mum, but really just, well, I don't know. I don't think it's uniquely Scottish or even British, but I guess people can just sometimes not feel happy for people when things are going well, especially if they keep going on about it, eh.. once a year. No doubt it's got a lot to do with comparing it to your own life and feeling a wee bit like things aren't going quite as well for you. About not being happy with your lot.

I read it and I didn't hate them. I read it and I didn't even think that they were really 'showing off' about what marvellous things they'd been up to. Maybe I have been desensitised from reading so many blogs where people with perfect families are just having the time of their pretty, crafty lives where some new book deal or amazing sponsorship thing by Anthropologie turns up every second day, or maybe that's why my mum has no interest in the internet. I read it and it made me sigh and think, "My life used to be that good".

Let's face it, the return to Blighty has not exactly been a blast. Moving into a filthy, falling-apart yet ridiculously expensive house kind of took the shine off things, and then living amongst piles of boxes while we have waited on a cleaner's quote being approved for the whole of, well, to be honest we are still waiting. It's just not fun.

December was a pain. Aside from arguing our way out of our lease, I didn't seem to achieve very much by way of Christmas preparations. Stevie kept saying "leave it til next week" and I did, though god knows why I listen to him. It's always a mistake. So Orla got ill and was off school for ages and then just as she got better, Hamish got ill and then I got ill. That took us right up to the end of term. I felt so bad that I took myself off to the GP. I was suffering from something flu-like, but I knew I had a pretty bad chest infection as well, and normally they can't get away with just saying 'it's viral. There's nothing we can do'. Especially if you bring out your trump card - "I'm a diabetic". Usually that guarantees you some kind of medicine. The doctor listened to my chest and agreed that I had a chest infection but told me I just needed to go to bed. "But I'm a diabetic" didn't cut the mustard in this place. I blame the constant bombardment of adverts proclaiming that antibiotics won't help a cough or cold so leave the doctor alone. It seems that the doctors have finally noticed them and paying heed to their message.

So I left empty handed and two days later I ended up in hospital dotted with canulas. Or 'drips' for those of you who haven't spent as much time hanging around hospitals as I have. Turns out I really had needed an antibiotic after all. If I hadn't felt so angry I would have felt righteous. Mind you what didn't help was that when I got sent home from the GP's they told me to take ibuprofen for the pain in my chest, and given that it was in an as yet unpacked box and I just wanted to grab something and go off to bed to die; I grabbed the first box of ibuprofen I came across and decided those would do.

They were ones I bought in Germany, and I knew I should look at the dosage on them but I really didn't have the energy to be bothered translating the leaflet. So I took 2 and then 4 hours later when the pain hadn't  really been relieved much at all, I took 2 more. I continued this every 4 hours for 2 days, though by the first evening I had also started topping up with paracetamol because the ibuprofen just wasn't hitting the spot. So when I landed in hospital and they asked me what i had been taking, and followed up by asking me if I "had been feeling down recently". God, yeah! Well, the move had ended up being pretty stressful, and of course I had been worried about the kids settling into their new school, and well the house had turned out to be a total dump, and etc, etc, etc. But when they asked if I had "been feeling depressed for a long time", well I was a little taken aback. Hold on a minute, where are we going here?

Once it was clarified that they thought I was a suicidal chest infection patient, and the first bag of saline which they were blasting through my system was actually an attempt to flush out the ibuprofen from my kidneys before it damaged them, they explained that taking 800mg of ibuprofen every 4 hours is quite a lot. Still... I felt a bit daft whinging on about our crappy move. Anyway, I spent a few days in hospital worrying that I wouldn't get out for Christmas and the kids wouldn't have any presents.

Honestly, when they have to put handrails up to help you hike up the hill, it's just plain wrong.

So far, January has been a breeze compared to December, but give it time. Guess what!? We're going to be moving house in around 2 weeks! Won't that be fun???? Sorry, I got the words round the wrong way. I meant, that won't be fun.


  1. I am so pleased you are all still alive (even if only just), but quite frankly your December sounds pretty rubbish.
    You might want to leave it out of your next Christmas round robin...
    But you can write about January instead, which I am sure will include moving house, unpacking all your boxes in record time, and having a generally better month than December.
    Hang in there. It simply has to get better.

    1. You'd think, wouldn't you? But I'm having my doubts already. We're planning on at LEAST 2 house moves this year. Frankly, I'm thinking 'to hell with it all, me and the boxes are moving into a storage unit.'

      The first move is into our old house, so I literally can't wait to see how trashed it is since we moved out 2.5 years ago. Did I mention when we drove past it there was brown paper stuck up at the windows??? We might keep that. *sigh*

      Hope you had a lovely Christmas and New Year. I'm sorry to say I haven't read any blogs nor hardly been on the internet since my last blog post. God, I MUST have been ill!

  2. That sounds awful! That doctor should get in trouble for not treating you.

    1. There seems to be a big campaign going on with loads of advertising saying that you are basically wasting the doctors time by asking for antibiotics. Given that I have been out of the NHS system for a few years I am not sure whether there have been a lot of budget cuts as well but I get the impression that prescription-wise they are cutting back. Certainly when I used to get my insulin on repeat prescription they would give me packs and packs of it so I didn't have to go back for months. Now you get a pack at a time. (Even though it's not like I am going to stop being diabetic any time soon...). So it could be a combination of factors.

      Or a crap doctor.

  3. Oh my lordy, that sounds like a mess! And I don't blame you at all for not translating the box... I have about 5 of those (in 3 languages to boot), laying around, and when cramps set in, I just start popping things. Translations. psh.

    Hope the second round of moving goes more smoothly than the first one, and hope you guys were able to have a nice holiday back at home, with lots of sweets to cure all ills. :)

    1. Thanks Heather, I hope you had a good Christmas too. I have my fingers crossed that our house will be in a better shape than I imagine! Only 3 days till I find out!!!


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