20 October 2010

Study in Red

For several months now I've been coveting the new Smart Phones. Whether they're iPhones or Androids, I've fallen in love with the fabulous snapshots being created. Well, last week I finally got myself an HTC Desire and I've been dying to try it out. So with The Gallery in mind I took it on a test run:

I'm completely thrilled with the results, even though they are just quick studies, and can't wait to for more opportunities to experiment!

18 October 2010

Living in a Time Warp

Hoylake Seaside Horizon
I realise it’s been ages since I’ve posted, but it’s taken me quite a while to get my head back in a good place. So what has happened in the last six weeks?

First off I’m convinced we’ve moved into a parallel universe. Time has not only been dragging its heels, but it’s also been flying by at the same time. I’m lucky if I know what month it is these days, much less the actual date. To be fair, my instinctive response to endless waiting has been to keep busy, so I’ve been burying myself in family research. For weeks my living room has been lost under piles of binders and census returns for Mr Goldfish’s family. Ironically it didn’t leave much room for blogging.

Back in September we had our first appointment at Liverpool Women’s Hospital. First we had a normal appointment and an hour later we were booked in for an ultrasound. So we arrived at the hospital and checked in, I was weighed and measured before being directed to another waiting room. Here I broke out the water, trying to drink a litre of water as quickly as possible.

I was only about half way through when we were called into the nurse’s office. This felt like an interrogation of stupid questions. She asked me if I had heavy periods. I said I wasn’t sure, I figured it was about 20mL on my heaviest days. “Well it’s what you think, do you think that’s heavy?” she asked. Do I think that’s heavy?? I don’t know; I don’t sit around with my girlfriends comparing our periods! As far as I’m concerned it’s normal. She also asked if I had regular periods. I made the mistake of thinking she meant regular in length, rather than they come every month.

The worst part was the lecture though. She asked if I had a current smear test. Now I know it’s recommended that everyone have a smear test, and I know all the reasons why, but I’ve made the decision not to have one. I spend an awful lot of time in the doctor’s office as it is, I don’t want to look for additional problems. I know the type of health issues I have, they are all vague problems that make life awkward but aren’t serious enough to kill you. So I decided to skip it, all medical treatment is optional and I opted out.

I’ll admit that I have had it done before, before my Fibromyalgia was diagnosed. I’d made an appointment because sex was painful, so it’s really no surprise that I found the speculum exceptionally painful. I was told nothing was wrong and given some useless advice and dismissed in a way I would become very familiar with over the years. It’s an awful feeling, when people treat you like your whinging or lying, like your being awkward on purpose. It’s condescending and insulting, and something I try to avoid.

So it’s no surprise it got my back up when the nurse at Liverpool straightened her papers, carefully put down her pen and laced her fingers together before starting her lecture. “Well. You’ll need to get a smear test. It’s something everyone should get, ESPECIALLY before becoming pregnant.” Really? Why didn’t my doctor mention it then when I had all my pre-pregnancy blood works done? UGH!

Eventually I escaped the nurse and was sent to get more blood drawn. By this point my bladder was nearly bursting, which really didn’t help me stay calm as they tried to stick me with a needle. The first two nurses wouldn’t even try to draw my blood. They claimed I’d left my veins at home. Eventually they found an off-duty sister brave enough to try with a very tiny needle that took ages to fill the vials. My heart was racing, but I was so glad to be done.

So now running a few minutes late, we dashed across to the ultrasound department. Here we had a 15 minute very uncomfortable wait. I’m an old hand at ultrasounds after years of kidney stones, I’m used to the painful digging around in your stomach as they try to get a good picture and it’s not really a problem. Unfortunately this time it wasn’t enough and they decided to do an internal ultrasound as well. To be fair it wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected, right up till she jammed the probe into my ovary. That was enough to make my eyes cross with a gasp of pain. The technician replied “Oh it’s all right, I’m nearly done” as she continued to press painfully.

To say the least I was grumpy leaving the hospital, it took at least 15 minutes for the aching to go away as I walked awkwardly through the hospital. And it’s probably taken two weeks to get the negative feelings out of my system.

Since that appointment Mr Goldfish has had another test, and at least showed improvement, now he’s got 2% healthy sperm instead of 1%. Apparently the loose boxers have made a difference, but not enough to really change things. He’s also just submitted a sample to hospital lab, to see if they have the same conclusions. We’ll find out on the 2nd of November.