First Night Design | The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly #health


I just know you’re desperate to discover the latest when it comes to my health. (Ok, well, I can pretend.) Just remember that boring you with such goes a long way towards helping me come to terms with the nitty gritty.

The Good

The Cardiac consultant said there was no reason on earth why I couldn’t have the cataract operation on my right eye as soon as possible. Having been offered a cancellation a couple of weeks ago that I turned down on the advice of my GP, going to Pre-Assessment after Cardiology meant I was able to arrange the operation for 1st June (yes, this year). I am jubilant. As some of you know, I haven’t been able to see properly for a good five years. I am trusting that the surgeon will also be able to pluck out the second stitch that has forced its way to the surface on the left eye from the cataract operation in Crete over a year ago.

The Bad

The Cardiac consultant was charming, shook my hand, looked me in the eye and apologised profusely that I had been lost in the system.  I was originally referred for an Echocardiogram by the Rheumatology department which monitors my LcSSc/CREST. It turns out that the condition of my leaky heart valve, or Mitral Valve Regurgitation, is serious. (Don’t all sympathise at once — I’d much rather you made jokes.) I have to have another Echocardiogram in a week or so in order for the surgeon to see how much it has or hasn’t deteriorated since the December one. A decision will then be made as to how soon I should have open-heart surgery. If it is not considered urgent, it will be a three-month wait.

The Ugly

I bet you’ve been wondering what this could refer to ever since you saw the title! Admittedly, the word also applies to open-heart surgery but for the purposes of this blog, it’s the unsightly distended abdomen I developed overnight some while ago. This morning I’m at the hospital (again) to have an ultrasound to check what might be causing it. I’d have said it was just fat if the rest of my body had followed suit but it hasn’t. Naturally, I’ve been searching on Google and the possibilities are endless. I’ll keep you posted!

I nearly forgot — a course of iron tablets has done wonders for the breathlessness. It’s all tied up with anaemia, the heart and much else besides.

Footnote: Some of you may have noticed that I’m visiting blogs again. I can’t guarantee any consistency but I do feel better than of late.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

83 thoughts on “First Night Design | The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly #health

  1. Good morning dear Sarah……I like the fact you are using humour to combat all of this. It seems to me, along with painting, music, dancing, etc….the only way to go. I am so pleased about the eye op…and June 1st is so close…Also very good news about the iron tablets making a difference….and, although I would do the same….stay away from all google health stuff…lad dee da….easier said than done. Meanwhile my friend, I will think of you today and hope that a solution is found quickly for the distended abdomen. No matter what do keep smiling….I will be sending magical hummingbirds in your direction…janet 🙂 xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Phew! I suppose all that qualifies under the ‘devil you know’ rule. Eye surgery, heart surgery, and anaemia. Looking for small positives amongst all that is one way to stay upbeat, so good news about the breathlessness improving.
    Thanks for the update, Sarah. We are all genuinely concerned, as you surely know. Best wishes, Pete. x

    Liked by 2 people

      1. P.S. Have discovered a distant Hoskyns cousin living on the Isle of Wight! I haven’t met him yet but another cousin said he’s great fun with a beautiful tenor voice. He was singing at a concert in Winchester over the weekend!

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  3. Thanks for the health update, Sarah. There are a lot of us out here thinking of you and wondering how you are getting on so it’s good to hear from you. Great news about the eye op, especially that it’s not too long to wait until 1st June – just in time for the Bloggers Bash on the 10th! Glad to know the breathlessness has been alleviated by the course of iron. It’s good to know you are properly in the system and won’t get lost again. Looking forward to further updates. Thinking of you and sending a virtual hug.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What lovely support you give, Mary. I really had hoped I would make it to the Blogger’s Bash but there’s just too much going on. Let’s drink to next year! Your virtual hug was revitalising – many thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Bless you, my friend. I use the word ‘bless’ or ‘blessings’ a great deal but I’m more of an agnostic, in spite of a plethora of archbishops, vicars and the like amongst my forbears! I’m smiling as I write. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Fingers crossed everything goes well, Sarah. I am pleased you’re feeling a bit better. It’s going to be a process for sure but you have the right attitude. Sending you my best wishes. ♥

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many thanks, Gina. Incidentally, can you suggest something healthy to drink in order to wean me off Coke. I always used to drink water but in the last couple of years, I’ve found Coke to be one of the few things (ironically) that don’t give me reflux. I’m trying coconut water today but am not enamoured! I don’t drink tea or coffee because hot drinks never quench my thirst. I’ve bought some green tea and already have peppermint as I thought iced tea would be good. If you have any other ideas and I can get it in the UK, I’d be grateful. Thanks!

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      1. I do have a suggestion, Sarah. I like fuity lemonade, which I make with a hearty squeeze of lemon juice and whichever fruit appeals at the time. Strawberry, raspberry, mango and blueberry all work well. The fruit is my sweetener.

        Does that appeal to you?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you, Gina! I’ve tried a couple of such combinations already. My problem is acidity as the CREST involves reflux (bizarrely, it’s not triggered by Coke!). I think I’m going to try mango next but the lemon juice is a no-no. Today, I’m drinking my old favourite, water, but I don’t find it as satisfying as I used to. 🙂 Thanks again for taking such trouble.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. For some the lemon helps, so I thought I would try that suggestion.

            Here are four more: protein drinks, fruit water without the lemon, aloe vera juice (try to get one without much added sugar and drink water at different temperatures than you usually do. It changes the taste.

            Water is the best utlimately. What I find is that I will be bored with water and drink my concotions for a while and then crave pure water again.

            Sending more love you way.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Sounds just like me. I always have water ice cold but then if you don’t drink it all in one go, it goes tepid and then you have to fart about with ice cubes…which is not the easiest for me! x

              Liked by 1 person

  5. Let’s focus on the good news–you feel better–and take the other issues step by step, day by day. I’m so relieved that you’re getting the medical help you need right now. Take care!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Golly gosh, Sarah! After months of worry and frustration it’s all happening at once! Now that you’re in the system here it should all flow more smoothly for you. I’m happy that you’re energy is improving ~ I guessed as much when I received the notification of your newsletter! Sending lots of love and good wishes, Jacqueline xx

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Excellent news about the eye surgery. 🙂

    Mitral Valve Regurgitation joke … hmm … something about furballs for hearts perhaps? … It’s a stretch, I know.

    All digits crossed for you and all your bits. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Good grief! You’ve been hit with just about everything, haven’t you? I’m glad to hear the iron pills are helping, and also that your eye surgery will be very soon.

    As for the rest, I’m sorry to hear it, but I hope things will be resolved soon and sans complications.

    Is there a one-woman play in all this? A “My Year of Surgeries” type of thing?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. 5ounds like the heart and your eyes and distended abdomen are playing havoc Sarah. Hope all goes well for you. Stay well. Glad you’re on track for some surgery to heal your heart even though there is a bit of a wait. Draw lots art is the greatest healer of all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many thanks, Marge. Everything seems to take so much time that there’s little left for art and the eyes aren’t making it easy. Mind you, I’m able to read lots of books on my iPad with a magnifying glass and that’s very soothing.

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        1. I need to talk more about it with my GP. The consultant didn’t seem to be entirely sure and there was part of it that couldn’t be seen. Guess I need a barium meal to see what other possibilities there are. Such fun! xx

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  10. I’ve been so worried. Geez oh man Sarah, what is that old saying – when it rains, it pours. All at once you and your team of Dr.’s are going to get to the bottom of this. Good to read on the progress for your eye, will be so happy to hear that your vision will return soon. Very sorry to read of the open heart surgery, keeping you in my thoughts that all goes well and recovery is smooth. But now a distended abdomen, keeping my fingers crossed that it is a temporary condition that can be easily solved. Take care my friend ~

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re a sweetheart, Mary. Thank you! The ultrasound ruled out ovarian cancer and the doctor seemed to be suggesting that it was a blockage caused by drinking Coke which I’m trying to wean myself off anyway. I’m not entirely convinced, especially as Sally Cronin has said that Coke usually does the opposite! Investigation continues.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve never heard of such a thing as Coke causing blockage – is that odd or what? I’m hoping that they get to the bottom of this so you can be free of pain and begin to enjoy life again.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi Sarah! Sorry you are having so many medical issues. My doctor had me quit drinking Diet Coke in February, which was all I liked to drink, and I have now become addicted to Caramel Frappes. Calories are now my biggest fear! Hang in there – it will all come together just fine! Sending warm thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s full blown Coke for me! I think I’d find Caramel Frappes too sweet. I am now lasting all day with water by the time it comes to my evening meal (right now) I’m gagging for a coke and I shall have one! Thanks so much for your good wishes.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I have been thinking of you dear Sarah! Everything will be fine and so glad you will have better vision very soon! Don’t read on the internet, have done that and it is not fun haha! Take care and keep bringing us the beauty of art! xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’d crack a joke for you but I’m not funny (well, except unintentionally). Not long now until you get your eyes sorted out then, yay! I’ll be thinking of you on 1st June. Then just a bit of open heart surgery and a nip and tuck and you’ll be grand!! No worries. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  14. My goodness, i got a little hand cramp scrolling past all your kind commenters’ words. Blogging is lovely sometimes, no? 🙂 If i am correctly reading right-just took the meds myself so who knows-you have not yet settled on a surgery date… nope, you are having it this coming week i think now? No worries, I shall be keeping up now. And you have a bloated belly from Coke perhaps?? (that MUST be going around!) and really squirmed for you with the awful stitches coming forth from your cataract surgeries. Yikes!!

    You have had a long tiring wait on all this and strangely it has timed closely to my own long wait. But nothing so scary as the good old heart… nothing like that to scare the pants off you, ahem. I have my recent scopes, etcetcetc, on my mind i think 😉

    I hold you in my heart sweet Sarah and send you all the good vibes I can muster and that’s a whole bunch. Probably knocked you right onto your sweet little bum…gently! xxxxooooo! linda

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not surprised about the cramp! The support of everyone here has been such a benefit and made me feel very safe and secure. Cataract op on left eye is on Thursday and I’m now waiting for consultant appointment for my heart at Southampton after which a date will be set for surgery. Much thanks again, Linda. I’m on my bum. 🙂
      Sarah x

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