When something has a name or an explanation it can make it easier to understand, tolerate or live with, don’t you find?

It’s almost like our shoulders drop and we breathe out because it makes sense, it has a meaning.

Not when it comes to a persistent barking dog, not when you’re still super sensitive to noise, even if you do know the dog’s bloody name!

It’s now been over four weeks since my neurosurgery and, if you read my first blog about it, you’ll know I wasn’t really able to do much for myself and it was quite an emotionally and physically hard experience, so I thought I’d let you know what’s been going on since I last wrote about it.

Wouldn’t it be funny is I just wrote ‘nothing, I’ve done sod all’ here and ended the blog.

No such luck, I’ve got loads to tell you…

The barking dog. I think it’s a Jack Russell owned by someone down the road. The dog is about as big as a postage stamp but has the bark of a post office sorting depot. He’s a rescue apparently and clearly needs to tell everyone about it. Hopefully he’ll sort his shit out soon and STFU.

I’m still spending a ridiculous amount of time in bed, but am being wonderfully looked after by my other half. I did some major batch cooking prior to my surgery so he only has to heat stuff up on the hob (we’ve got no microwave as I thought having one might be making my tumours grow – it clearly doesn’t unless the neighbour has a really powerful one, but we humans seem to have this urge to survive and will often try anything, won’t we).

I’m eating every two hours, which if you read my last update you’ll know is very important and following a balanced nutritious diet which I have no doubt is helping my recovery, that and the telly in my bedroom thanks to my donors who’ve raised nearly £4k!

Most of my TV schedule has been completely knocked out because of the bloody Olympics, but it’s meant I’ve found new stuff to watch and I am probably now able to either set up a pawn business / auction house or be an architect.

Thanks to these new ‘skills’, I’m redesigning our house daily and tell my other half the plans when he delivers more food or checks on me. He facilitates my ideas with a smile or tells me why it won’t work, if the latter, I sulk but we both know I’ll have different plans tomorrow. We’ve so far had a cloakroom in the second reception room and two new bathrooms, a utility room and there was something else. I’ll have to check my used tissue boxes to remind myself what that was.

I’m still not yet allowed to bend my head, which it’s so normal for me now that I watch programmes and see people bend over and internally shout NO! It’s like watching people getting into cars with each other on TV during the pandemic and thinking ‘OMG, they don’t live together … COVID’.

Anyway, bending my head is something I am looking forward to, not least so I can spit instead of swallow. After brushing my teeth! Gutter mind!

BBC’s Garden Rescue are Coming!

As well as head bending, I’ve still got lots to look forward to and am counting down the days until BBC’s Garden Rescue come to do our garden mid August. It’s going to be absolutely amazing to have somewhere tranquil to look out onto or sit in if it’s nice. The garden really is currently am embarrassment, all it needs is an old settee and a massive wheelie bin with our house number painted on it.

We are both absolutely rubbish with gardens. I couldn’t even grow garlic during lockdown and you literally plant garlic to grow it. I managed to grow a tumour though so I’m chalking that up as a win.

Getting There

My daily routine still involves lots of sleeping and lots of pain relief through the day,  but things are improving and I’ve been able to sit downstairs on a few occasions and spend valuable time with my other half in a normal environment, which is lovely. It makes me feel like I am getting somewhere.

Sense of Smell

Oooh, do you remember the guitar plectrums that were up my nose? The ENT surgeon has taken them out!

Plectrums OUT!

They were huge, well bigger than I thought they were. About double the size of the plectrums. How they fit up there I don’t know? On leaving the consulting room and making our way out of the hospital I could smell coffee oozing out of Costa. Sadly, as the various meds cause some flatulence I could also understand why my other half has been leaving the bedroom sharpish when delivering food if I’d been blissfully tooting away while left on my own.

My sense of smell has since gone again but every so often I can smell something. But, I’ll tell you what, my nose doesn’t run anymore and it ran almost constantly prior to the op, so Warren’s done a great job. We love Warren!

To help my nose heal – yep still not fully healed – I have to snort some ointment up there twice a day and do a nasal wash twice a day too. Seriously, right, the ointment bit is fine but the nasal wash! I think ten years in med school is needed for that ordeal.

Warren said I can’t use it as instructed because I can’t bend my head – as we know cus I keep banging on about that – but you try and squirt loads of salty water up your nose which comes straight out of your mouth and keep your head straight. It’s hilarious.

I’m actually really bad at multi-tasking and for the nasal rinse I have to… squirt it up my nose, keep my mouth open, don’t swallow, hold my other nostril, keep head up, not sniff it out and don’t blow my nose afterwards.. the bottle is so squidgy that both of us have been covered in salty water more than once. I end up covered after every attempt, but the process does help if I have some pressure pain.

Emotionally / mentally

I have been doing great emotionally / mentally and people are being so kind sending messages seeing how I am, telling me about their days and sending me stuff to watch or listen to. Thank you.

Then, today I got my first letter from the radiotherapist and it reminded me this isn’t yet over. I’m seeing her on Monday. I’m anxious that my treatment might be the arduous five days a week over five weeks but hope they can do one hit again like last time. But then there’s also the worry they can’t do anything as it’s so close to my optic thingy and I had so much last time. So many questions, but… it’s not long until Monday and I’ll know more. I am in good hands with Bristol.

But the worst of it; last night HE ate all the custard cremes which means my pre beddy byes snack wasn’t there. I told him there’s no way I’ll sleep, he said it’s psychological, I said WE AGREED I’D HAVE A SNACK (we agreed nothing). I slept. But, he still ate my custard cremes and this will always be remembered.

Sneezing

As you know, I’m also not allowed to sneeze and my ‘thwarted sneeze counter’ was at 11, but… I’ve sneezed. It happened yesterday. I tried everything to stop it, but it happened. I just have to keep my mouth open when it happens, but it was still a bit unnerving. However, I can still recite the alphabet and recall who the prime minister is so… phew!

How have you been?