Saturday, 3 March 2012

Jamaican Tea Lady Loves Me and Hates Everybody Else


We return to Maidstone and Dr Chan is syringing the final dregs of fluid from the pericardium. He dragged the straw out which feels like when I used to dangle strawberry laces down my throat and pull them out again and you'll be surprised to know that I did in fact have many friends as a child. For such a big procedure it's left little more than a ink dot scar. Chan and Caulfield you've done it again. Friday was uneventful; I think that's when I got a visit from Carol, my friend Kathryn's Mum who works as a dietician there. We sat and chatted and she gave me some tips on eating etc. Later on, Kathryn came to visit me and bought me goodies, Pringles, Coke and PJs. You really know who your friends are in situations like this ha! I told her about the possibility of cancer and that I thought I had it. She was very Kathryn and sympathetic and supportive and did the dutiful "it's probably not" response. But she could tell I was serious especially when I said "So when I have cancer, does that mean I can skip the queues at Thorpe Park?". Ah, you always remember your first cancer joke. Seeing my friend cheered me up and the thought of my hospital field trip to London was exciting. The rest of the evening was fine and I got to see my favourite night nurse Agata (no not Agatha). Agata was my favourite because instead of making me piss in the commode she would wheel me the six feet to the bathroom. She was also a dab hand at changing the drip thing in the arm and I generally just loved her. She was chilled like me, well probably more because I would not be chilled about wiping shit from an old man's rim. 

Saturday arrived and I was ready for Guy's. I was so ready to leave as there was a weekend nurse who was slightly crap and was doing that thing where she over-explained everything I already knew so that she could reteach it to herself. My Mum and Fatman (step-dad) showed up shortly followed by the Thames Valley Ambulance team. These guys provide ample amounts of entertainment because they're little double acts. Bouncing of each other and actually being funny. When we got in the ambulance I pretended to be asleep because it did wear dreadfully and I could not be arsed to say where I was going to uni, where I was studying, did I like it, what''s your bra size, who is the best Bond villain, if you could be any character in Titantic who would you be and why? That sort of thing. As we were driving to Guy's we drove past Bermondsey Street Tunnel where the club Cable is and where two weeks ago I had spent New Year's Eve. It really drove home how much can change in a fortnight.

 We got to Guy's and took the lift to the 9th floor and got wheeled into the ward during what appeared to be "nap time". All the blinds were closed and everybody was nice and quiet. The first thing I noticed was that I HAD A WALL. Yes, not a curtain but a wall. Only on one side but still I had a sink and a mirror to monitor the progressive greasiness of my hair. Excellent. Guy's was great you could pretty much do what you want; computer, phone, TV you name it. CCU had a no phone's policy which was wank. The nurses were lovely and a lot of them Irish which meant lovely soothing accents. I got settled in and tea time rolled around, this is where I first met my wonderful Jamaican Tea Lady. 
"Tee or COH-FEH?"
Fuck I love her. She was hilarious, you could tell she wasn't overly bothered about anyone. If anyone asked her to repeat anything she would roll her eyes and say it again with a head jiggle. I wish I had a picture or video of her. She approached everyone else with mild disdain but came to me with a smile. She read the menu options and I chose spicy pork with rice and broccoli. Another great thing about Guy's was that the food was soooooo much better. Dinner was banging. She gave my Mum the up and down with an arched eyebrow then smiled at me and left. Haha! I'm sorry, you probably won't find this funny but my brother and I can testify to how hilarious this woman is. I felt good at Guy's and a big dinner was in order as I was having surgery on Sunday and couldn't from midnight. 

Not a bad view either, especially if you love London as much as I do (shitty phone quality though):

They woke me up around 7am to get showered (a real shower) and brush my teeth. I was being slotted in to a full surgery schedule so they weren't sure when I was going to go. A lovely nurse came in and told me to take a pregnancy test to check 100% I wasn't. Unfortunately, I knew better than her but humoured her anyway. Turns out I was pregnant. Ha not. Anyway, I put on these BEAUTIFUL knee length white socks to stop me getting blood clots and put on another gown. Those gowns make you feel like you're sectioned. I went down to surgery about 10am and lied in the recovery room before going in. The surgeon wheeled me through to the tremendously enthusiastic anaesthesiologist. He asked me if I didn't mind him putting on music while he prep-ed everything. Of course I said "Of course not". My answer would have been different had I known the first line of the first song was "Wake up in the morning feeling like P Diddy"...Surgery is a dangerous game really and had I died, that would have been the last song I heard and that is just not fair at all. Fucking Ke$@#*%#A or whatever her name is was then followed by Miley Cyrus. PUT ME UNDER NOW. They proceeded. I felt the cold anaesthetic creep up my arm and they gave me a nice big bit of oxygen. B-Bye.
I woke up in the recovery room. I was much less embarrassing than my first surgery when I woke up screaming "THIS WASN'T WORTH IT!". Enough of that. I was in a fair bit of pain and the Xing the nurse dosed me with Morphine immediately, such good service. Every time I breathed it hurt, a lot. I had taken about an hour to come around and had been lying there for ages when I told the nurse I still had a lot of pain. I was groggy but I still had a disgustingly vindictive mind to fool my nurse.
"I've still got a lot of pain" I did.
"Does it hurt when you breath in and out?"
"Yes."
"Does it hurt when you don't?"
..........
"...Yes...". It didn't. 
"Let's get you a Morphine drip."
"If you think it would be best *cough*"
Yes, I'm a junkie but fuck you I've been through some shit. Morphine drips really are as good as they say and they have you on a five minute timer so you don't overdose. The world is better with Morphine (in a controlled environment). I went up an hour later and got wheeled back to my poor Mum who had been sitting there for four hours. Ah, Jen such a G. I noticed as well that I had a huge hose coming from my left boob leading to a bucket full of heart juice. It really was a hose, not a tiny straw with Chan & Cau; a hose. Well that's my tits ruined, I thought. For the record they're not, they're still wonderful. I chatted with Mum all day and she left to get the train home. I ate dinner, felt ok and sweet baby girl Morphine sent me to sleep. The noisy, moaning bitch next door woke me up loads but two clicks of the Madame and I was off. Maybe, this post should have been called "I Heart Morphine" or "I Am a Junkie".

Monday came and with Monday, the hose came out and I said bye bye to my morphine drip because in all honestly it was making me a bit sick. Trigger Happy Krissy. I had loads of visitors starting with Adele and Gerard my friend's Mum and Dad. The O'Sullivan clan as a whole are my family, I consider Emily and Sean my siblings, Gerard as a doting father-type who thinks everything I do is wonderful (it is) and Adele is like an Auntie/Friend who is hilarious in too many ways to mention and none of them will paint her in the best light so I won't list any. In any case she has MS so she can always rely on the "I'm disabled" card to balance out her terrible behaviour. I'm going to get a "what the fuck are you talking about" text after this. In any case, they came for the afternoon, we had a Maccies and then Emily and Kathryn came. Adele and Gerard left and my brother's friend Sam turned up with a special gift for me. For whatever reason (probably the chavvy hair and gold hoop earring combo I favour) Sam thinks I look like Katy B. He brought me a copy of the CD complete with a gaffa-taped-on personalised cover of me on the front. It was touching. Then my brother turned up and it was a party. The party was cut short when I started to double over in pain and not be able to move. As it turns out the Senna tablets some nurse gave me early to "keep everything moving" were Satan incarnate. Everyone had to leave as I spent the next hours in labour. Out of everything that has happened, a little bit of poo-problemos was the most painful. Morphine couldn't even save me, it knocked me out for sure but I woke up in pain still. I know you probably are thinking "ERGH DON'T TELL ME THIS" but you need to get a rounded picture of the experience.

I got transported back to Maidstone on Tuesday and was free to roam about commode free, heart monitor free and gown free. One more night and Wednesday came. Caulfield came to do the rounds and a nurse informed him that I had cried because I wanted to go home. He checked me over and said that I could be discharged. Sweet Jesus, yes. Matthew (I won't put quotation marks round his name because I saw him do loads of work and he discharged me) sorted out my papers and university letter and the pharmacist loaded me up with pills and I was gone. I was almost a stone lighter and was the palest I had ever seen myself but fuck it I was out of hospital and most importantly skinny.

10 days seemed like a month but it was all for a good cause, you know to stop me from dying and stuff. I had a clinic with KHP on Thursday when she was to tell me I had cancer but I already knew that. I just had my fingers crossed it was small and Hodgkin's and that by some freak ginger mutant strain miracle my hair wouldn't fall out. Sorry for the length, again.

Big Love x

12 comments:

  1. I think you've forgotten the most important detail of your Guys experience; my epaulette came off.

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  2. Hahaha I was going to put that in but I thought it might make Jen look too mental without given her the credit she's due. You can't understand the full Jen experience without meeting her. Did I mention I bought a camera with HD video capabilities. She doesn't read this so imagine the possibilities. x

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  3. I never want the blog to finish when i'm reading it. Can you please write books!!!
    When is the next one? Glad to hear your not feeling too sick after chemo!
    When I come with you on the 16th i will take you to the drive through as well if your up for it which you most probably will be because your Kristina.
    Love you
    Vicky your Massive Pie

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  4. Awhhh vicky poo thank you. I think maccies made me worse so I might give that a miss but yes for the next one you are alll mineeee xxx

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  5. Kristina, this work is amazing! I'm Sophia's friend Tori, I believe we have met on several occasions but the most recent being Sophia's party where all I remember is embracing you in an excitable hug... I fail to remember anything else about our encounter after that, most likely you tried to make conversation like a normal human being and I just shouted loud noises at you and made an arse of myself (this is normal for me).

    Regardless, your blog is completely inspiring and a total hilarious read, you should be proud of yourself for tackling everything head on and with total spirit! Until our next hug my dear I wish you all the best XO

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  6. Oh Tori thank you so much! Yes, I believe we were both an inch away from each other's faces talking a million miles an hour and making plans for the next day. We definitely were a little squiffy. I'm really pleased you enjoy the blog and keep reading for a steady decline into boring posts that are sure to appear now. Hopefully will be up in Leeds in a few months if not I will surely see you next year when I visit Sophia. Lots of love x

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  7. Hi there, I've come across your blog and i just want you to know that your an actual fighter, very inspiring and such a good writer! You have so much positivity and i no your gonna get through this! i hope all your wishes and dreams come true :) xo

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  8. Oh thank you very much mysterious stranger. I'm glad you've enjoyed reading the blog, now you must continue to read. It's an unwritten contractual obligation I'm afraid. Thank you for you kind words, all the best x

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  9. Kristina, just read your blog and I'm sat here imagining the voices your doing as you write them. You can tell it's you- They're brilliant!
    Keep strong and your Ginger Ninja ways will get you through. I don't want to be one of those friends you haven't spoken to in years- then you get ill and they pop up- but really sending all of my love and best wishes!!
    Take care, Hannah Grogan Xxx

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  10. Ah Hannah you lovely lady, it's always nice hearing from people regardless of how long it's been! Glad you enjoy the blog and hopefully see you around easter when everyone's back xxx

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  11. Hadn't checked the blog for a few days so I had several new posts to read - but still felt disappointed to reach the end. So funny and such great observations...am going to remind my Facebook friends that they need to keep on reading!

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  12. My Darling Baba,

    It’s not just that I love you as my third child, which you know I do. It’s also if you remember, I once told you, you always make me happy? I even called you Happiness.
    You said ‘I was an old hippie’. Now you know I have issues, these disseminate when you’re around. I don’t just say everything you do is wonderful and brilliant, because I love you! You are truly wonderful and can do no wrong in mine eyes. You’re so articulate and so very clever and it’s proved out in you’re writings within this blog. Maybe like all great artist you have to suffer for your art, but not this friging much. See when you, (because I know you will) become a famous author and are on the telly. I can brag that’s, she’s my Kristina. See massive ego trip for me, name dropping you to anyone and everyone whether they like it or not, te he.

    Oh yer, I also want invitations to all you swank fancy publishing soiree as well. Free shampoo and them little biscuits with fish eggs on um. You just tell um, I’m the mad tramp you found on the corner and felt sorry for. I’ll try not to embarrass you too much, ah bollocks I will.

    L Gerard )***

    PS: Please… you don’t have to reply, because we both know. Hopefully Sean and Em’s won’t kill me, for all of the above. Also when you better you can take the right piss out of me for all this emotional clap trap.

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