So, as you can see, we had fun being Eddie and Patsy darling. Caz had especial fun, as she has borrowed a car from the garage which is manual. Not having driven a manual for many years, she had more than a few stalling episodes coming over here, and with her blond beehive and sunglasses experienced what can only be described as serious prejudice from the road rage guys behind her.
My mum says if I do a fundraiser she’ll never speak to me again. (*Whisper* just so everyone knows, the fundraiser is being driven underground to fb.) Don’t tell Gwanny. She wants me to conserve my energy. Which is what I am going to do, Gwanny.
Reminds me of many occasions where we had to keep things quiet. For example, when we got the ponies. Don’t tell Gwanny. When the cat got pregnant. Don’t tell Gwanny. Also, don’t tell Fred. For some reason, we don’t know why, Fred does not want any more animals. He did accept the pony thing once we had explained that if the world ran out of fuel we would be the only people who would be able to get anywhere. Who wouldn’t like that idea? However, when Oddly and then Treacle (dogs both) were pregnant he just thought they had the most dreadful constipation. And when he finally accepted Sid the cat’s condition, (complicated brain work as we had all believed Sid was a boy, and his sister Nancy a girl) he went off to work with the following words: ‘I don’t mind, so long as it doesn’t have them in my sock box.’ Yes, of course, she did. It took him many years to recover from that experience.
He quite liked the baby tortoises, Twist and Turbulence. But it was not to be. Someone had off-loaded them on us (thanks Ali!) and we equally gave them to a more suitable tortoise-mad home, once we discovered they had an uncanny knack of sprinting off never to be seen again, prompting desperate two-day-long rummages through undergrowth to find them stuck half buried under a fence.
So, alas, back to the subject of the moment. I went for my Echo cardiogram. The entire thing was done by a student. A young lass who laughed lots. Her supervisor talked her through the whole process. They were both tiny, skinny people. ( And me like a beached whale on the slab.) They started probing away slightly to the left of the breast bone. It soon became apparent that the harder the probing, the better images they were getting. Painful. You lie on your side, facing away from the machine, so you can’t see the images and you are definitely not in on the jokes. They hooted about red and blue imaging: BART Simpson, said the supervisor. Blue Away Red To. Doesn’t sound right to me but what do I know? I just looked it up. Red blood comes from the lungs to the heart and goes off round the body, comes back blue, goes through the heart and back to the lungs. So I don’t know what ‘Blue Away Red To’ can be referring to as both red and blue blood is coming to the heart. Maybe they use red and blue just in the imaging to confuse the students.
The student’s right arm started shaking from fatigue after about twenty minutes of holding the probe, and her hand got cramp. She wasn’t allowed to stop though. With her left hand she was doing all the tapping on the computer. They giggled through angling the probe, keeping it horizontal, the cursor, measurements, the aorta, valves, reflux (don’t like the sound of that last one). Not having been able to see the screen, I can’t comment really. TBH probably wouldn’t be able to comment if I had been able to see the screen, although can’t help thinking a few visuals to accompany the soundtrack would have been entertaining.
Whenever the supervisor seized the probe there was an instantly more reassuring, knowing angle to it. They ask you to turn more onto your back and they get images from your side, through the left ribs, then they have a go from the front, probing away beneath the breast bone. It would probably help them see better if you were a thin person but I can imagine it would also be more painful. I forgot to ask them how my heart was but at least I registered no exclamations of horror, like ‘oh shit the blood’s going the wrong way!’ type thing, nor any awkward silences which could have indicated them raising eyebrows behind my back like ‘oh god, and she thinks she’s going to live, the deluded fool’.
At the end the student sat rubbing and shaking her hand. ‘Haha, my first full scan’ she laughed. ‘Can’t believe I managed the whole thing.’ I felt happy to have provided my heart for her training.
I have been considering the trial. My vet (I know, I ask all the best placed people) said she would be inclined to do it, as the level of interested supervision you receive would be high. If I had cancer or anything else lurking anywhere else in my body it would very likely come to light with all the extra tests and scans they do. So during the next five years I would be as safe as you can be from a diagnostic point of view, but then you do have to take the drug ( if you are not in the placebo group) which would have inevitable side-effects in addition to the possible fab effect which would be stopping the cancer going to your bones. If you get bad side-effects you can opt to stop the drug. All quite complicated. If anyone has any ideas one way or the other please comment, or message, as I haven’t decided yet. My instinct is to help the development of medicine and join the trial.