Emerges blinking into the daylight

It is very quiet. I cock my head and listen; I can hear the soft crackle of the fire, the hum of the laptop, very faintly the hiss of the rain. It has been raining since lunchtime. When I look out of the kitchen window the layers of green foliage, flowers and leaves arch over over the side of the house like a living wall. Ian has gone to see his father who had a fall earlier this week and will stay in Manchester overnight. I wish he were here and don't mind the solitude at the same time.

It has been a strange week. My check up scan was on Wednesday and I worked hard at being all right with that: all the usual stuff, best to keep a check, consultant pretty sure I am all right, all the rational parts of me steady and OK. But if the thought came on me unawares without the chance to remind myself I was about to think it, my stomach would lurch with nausea. It was like when you see yourself in a supermarket mirror unawares and get taken by surprise at the sight of the tired old woman who is inexplicably yourself because you hadn't had time to arrange your face for viewing. My conscious mind was saying I felt fine and yet my unconscious seemed to be showing me through my body that I was scared.

We roll up to the hospital on Wednesday evening. This is familiar territory now: the hour and a half while you drink the cup after cup of nasty tasting liquid, the divesting of your clothes and putting on patienthood with the gown with the split in the back, the questions "Have you suffered from this or that? Had a scan before? Any problems?" Lots of scans, no problems. I am so cocky I have even suggested to Ian that afterwards we should go for a curry.

The radiographer is doubtless caring but so intensely sweetly solicitous it doesn't suit me. But soon I am lying down, the iodine injections goes in, a hot rush, a strange taste in the mouth, I move back and forth in the machine. "Breathe in and hold your breath. Breathe normally."

Afterwards I feel ok but not like going for a curry. We are staying in Manchester and I am supposed to be doing a big work meeting tomorrow. By nine o' clock I am feeling uncomfortable and the night is not good, nothing major, not pain but constant discomfort in the gut. In the early morning I am sick and that is pretty much it for the next two days. I lie in bed or traipse back and forward to the bathroom and we have to stay another night because I am not able to do the journey home. Friday night we come home and it is so good to be back but most of Saturday is rough and today, although better, I am not best.

But at least now I feel like myself, tired and a bit battered but clearly me, ready to see Ian go, grateful to him for looking after our grandson tomorrow when I clearly can't, ready to talk to people on the phone again and to blog for that matter. I don't understand what happened there (and for anyone contemplating a scan it has never happened to me before and I don't believe it is normal) but it is gone now and we will have the results by the end of the week. Now I am going to sit by the fire and blog a bit and watch Victoria Wood and go to bed early and tomorrow will be better again.

Thank you for encouraging emails and thoughts although it clearly freaks Ian out a bit that people who he doesn't know and who don't "really" know me are aware of so much of what is happening to us. He would take issue with "freaks out", he is a calm man and doesn't really do freaking out, but he would I think acknowledge a strangeness and one he is not entirely comfortable with. I explained it as being a bit like penfriends although since I never had the discipline as a child to write to anyone more than twice I was rather guessing at that. But I do sort of know what he means. I am someone who likes real things, a hug, the feel of soil under the hand, the warmth of a real sun on the back. I have never been to Disneyland and never wanted to. I even like theatre, physically there, surrounding you, better than film. And I have loved meeting Bodran (Jo) and Elspeth (Katrina).

So here is my proposal: what do others think of saying that once or twice a year we will have a bloggers' weekend and rent a house or a camping barn or whatever for a largish group (10?12?14?) and sneak a night or two from our families and actually meet up. If we did it as a regular thing you would know that if you couldn't go to one another one would come along and if we did them either somewhere fairly central or in a variety of different places throughout the country we could try to make it easy for people to get there. Of course as soon as I write this I can think of hundreds of problems/objections/reasons that it wouldn't work and it could be an organisational nightmare but I wonder if there are some really deep friendships out there waiting to be made and at some point that means the touch of the hand and seeing someone face to face. Besides it would be a real laugh.

What do you think?


  1. Elizabeth you mind reader!!on july the 21st ish me and friends from near and afar usually about 6 of us make an effort and meet up here in the tree field, light a fire burn inscense, eat good food and drink and talk and sing into the early hours then sleep in tents or under the stars and awake refreshed!! we always did it because it's the night the summer holidays start...But yes it's a brilliant idea i'm up for it!!
    Well you all have a date with me on the 21st,but i understand campings not everyones cup of tea..so a Castle somewhere would be good i'll travel, though the funds may be short....xxxxx

  2. I'd be there in spirit although sadly geting the body there or time away from family animals and work commitments are very are sadly slim!!

  3. Gosh Elizabeth, what a week for you-I can feel your angst, another moving blog of your experiences.

    It would be lovely to all meet up-I have visualised it many times. Of course the practicalities may be tricky, I can already think of children/money etc/where. But it would be nice to see if we could organised something.

    You take good care and wait to hear your results. I have all my fingers and toes crossed for you.

    warmest wishesx

  4. I would love to do it, the practicalities can wait. These on-line friendships must seem very strange - R thinks I have gone slightly mad too - but when you experience it yourself you realise that it's just really special. I do think you can pick up such a lot inuitively from the way people write. It does sound as though you subconscious hijacked you last week. Here's to a better week.

  5. I'm up for it but I may find travelling a bit tricky.
    Glad your feeling a bit brighter. Toady

  6. Hello namesake. I was touched to read your blog tonight. What agonies you have gone through.
    I undertand this strange thing about internet friends...there is always that thought...who are they really? and yet there seem to be such lovely, caring'real' people here. I think you'd better organise the get together in Brittany!

  7. So good to hear that you are starting to feel better, Elizabeth. I can only think that your poor body just said "Enough" after holding up so well during the scan, and demanded some serious attention. I hope that the rest of the week allows you to rest as deeply as you need.
    Re meeting - I know I'm far away, but with enough warning, not this summer, but another time, I could certainly come for a gathering! The Great Dane is also wary of my blogging and regularly asks me what I really know about everyone. I want to answer - 'everything and not enough'. Let's keep talking about a gathering, and if some of you manage one soon I'll follow it with interest!

  8. Hi Elizabeth - strange week for you. I too have thought about meeting up - living in Scotland makes it difficult, plus I do wonder if this site works because we don't know each other . . . . .

  9. what an exciting sounding idea, as Suffolk says, the practicalities can wait. As Exmoorjane has said, she and I (and 2 others) met at an Arvon course and continued to e-mail. Then we 4 met up at my house (husband and boys despatched to my mother for the weekend) because I was sort of in the middle and had a big house. Then we did it again at Jane's (husband and son despatched to HER mother) and it was such fun. One of our number has fallen from us in a worryingly silent way - no answering of texts or e-mails but hey, ho, her loss! and Jane and Cheryl (whom you would all ADORE) plan to meet again. I'm sure it must be possible - but maybe we need regional ones. I'm excited meanwhile that KittyB is doing a bit of a tour, Pipany first, then me. More squeal! (Oh, so selfish, aaargh! GOOD LUCK with the results!!!) A necessary hysteria of exclamation marks there.

  10. I love the idea of a get-together - or indeed a series of them. What we really need is a fiendishly clever organisational brain who could get us lottery funding (then we could haul over the away-brigade)!! I fancy a wild castle - but then always did have ideas above my station!

  11. So sorry you got so poorly - I think it is the dye in the scan solution stuff - I too get very poorly with this. Best tell them if you have to have another as there are other "flavours" I think!! love mousie

  12. I forgot to mention about a get together - we all know of a large house in France which must do mates rates!! Easyjet or someone do very cheap flights - perhaps we could have a French weekend or something - plus if we all hate each other we can just lie back on a lounger or plod off into the hills!!

  13. I would love to meet up - am already on my way to see two of our lovely purple pals, (although I am having butterflies I admit!) but I'm up for a cottage (or chateau!).

    You know my fingers are crossed for the results. xx


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