Monday, January 28, 2008


Today I had my appointment at the local hospital's new-ish "state-of-the-art" treatment centre. It was a model of NHS efficiency. I arrived at 2.45, ten minutes before my allotted time, given a bar-coded, numbered card and directed to wait in the seating area by the "red check-in desk". I kid you not - that's what they call it there, only when you have your turn, it's you and not your luggage that gets weighed! I was called up two minutes before my appointment time and ushered through. Weighed, measured, BMI'd, declared "normal" and taken to another waiting area. After another couple of minutes I was shown into the consultation room, met up with Dr T. who, after shaking my lipoma about (yes, it's very mobile, he said) invited the student nurse to have a go.
After agreeing on its size with the nurse and telling me that I will be sent for a scan, I was free to leave.
It was all so quick - unbelievable compared to my previous experiences of out-patients departments. Well done, NHS! Now I join the list to wait for the operation to remove it. Three months...hey ho!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Of elbows and oranges

Tennis elbow is currently affecting my right arm. Theoretically I probably shouldn't be writing this blog, but there are lots of other things that I probably also shouldn't be doing. Unfortunately, being right-handed, they're hard to avoid. Wednesday evening I had my second steroid injection. I thought I knew what to expect: bad pain for a couple of days followed by several pain-free weeks. It hasn't quite worked out that way. I had bad pain all right. At the time it felt close to some of the worst pain I've ever experienced. Wednesday night and all day Thursday, my arm felt useless. I couldn't straighten it or move it at all without the most excruciating pain. Painkillers didn't seem to even touch it. So it was with some trepidation that I ventured out on Friday morning for my planned trip to BETT, the education technology exhibition at Olympia, London. Fully armed (no pun intended!) with support bandage, ibuprofen and paracetamol I made my way there.

I was careful, making sure I only collected the minimum of literature, most of which normally ends up in the recycling bin. On the other hand I aimed to get to the stands and talk to the reps and see demonstrations of software that were of interest. A second, and no less important aim was to collect as many freebies as I could find.

This year was the Year of the Bag and I came away with a reasonable collection of cotton, jute and canvas bags. Best Bag award was jointly won by the BBC being of good size and sturdy, and the TES for their jute bag with comfortable padded handles.

Weirdest Freebie award went to the BBC for their branded orange (very tasty it was too!).

Most Useful Freebie award went to the NCSL for a wooden USB memory stick.

My tennis elbow gradually eased during the day, but so far I haven't experienced the total lack of pain that I had last time. Maybe it'll take a little longer. Maybe I should end today's blog here and give it a chance to recover.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

New Year

Happy New Year to my reader and any lurkers who have yet to say hello here! It seems odd to be awake and writing this at 8.30 on New Year's Day. Surely I should be buried under the duvet with no intention of showing my face until midday at least? It certainly wasn't that I had an early night. For me these days, 1.00am is way past my bedtime. It wasn't the glorious sunrise that drew me from my sleep; it is an uninspiring misty grey outside. So why is it that the birds are up so early this winter morning, singing their little hearts out? It seems they love my garden; the weedy mess my friend tells me should be declared a SSSI. Maybe they are simply declaring their love of this haven?
New Year's Resolution: to tidy up the garden, pull out every weed, cut back every shrub and mow the lawn.
Somehow I know this is one resolution I won't be able to keep.