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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


Dear All,

I had hoped not to write about the full extent of the ‘poor health I enjoy’ — try out the phrase yourself; it’s rather fun to drop it into the conversation and avoid others thinking you feel sorry for yourself.

You know a little about my autoimmune condition, LcSSc, and the cataract problems in both eyes. However, before Christmas, I was diagnosed with COPD/Emphysema and a Leaky Heart Valve. I wasn’t in the least surprised by the former as I’ve been a smoker for decades but it did prompt me to make another determined effort to give up. I’m not there yet but I’m getting there.

The Leaky Heart Valve was a shock but LcSSc affects several internal organs so I’ve always known it was a possibility and that the combination is dangerous.

I went to see my GP a week ago since it seemed that the Emphysema had increased at a rate of knots because I was getting more and more breathless. ‘No,’ she said, ‘I’m 90% certain your breathlessness relates to your heart, partly because your emphysema is negligible.’ She was shocked that I had not yet had the follow-up investigation to discern whether the heart problem could be solved by medication or would need surgery.

She is chasing it up. I’m frightened because the breathlessness has become almost untenable and can manifest itself simply by walking a few yards to the kitchen or the front door. It’s making me dizzy and the unconscionable exhaustion I have mentioned in earlier posts now makes a lot of sense. I shall be ringing the GP tomorrow or even taking myself off to A&E.

The point of this post is that I have to take a break from blogging as the pressure of posting and answering comments as well as visiting other blogs to like and comment is too much to cope with on top of the physical difficulties. That’s not to say there won’t be the odd post on First Night Design, First Night History or Rogues & Vagabonds but I will only be liking comments and not be replying.

As for news on the eyes, my GP said they won’t do anything about the cataract in the right eye until more is known about the heart and its ramifications. To top it all, another stitch has come to the surface of the left eye because I can see a shadow in the shape of lips. Would it were a ‘wooden O’ but no; it resembles nothing so much as the pursed lips of that unspeakable man in the White House.

Enjoy Easter!

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Portrait of Lucrezia Borgia by Bartolomeo Veneto [Wikimedia]

Portrait of Lucrezia Borgia by Bartolomeo Veneto [Wikimedia]

At some point in the 1980s, life was going particularly badly — plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose — and my dear, late friend, actor, writer and director Bill Moody, decided that to be reaping so many challenges, I must have been Lucrezia Borgia in a past life. I now begin to think he was absolutely right!

Some of you may have noticed that I was visiting your blogs again yesterday. Has my sight been restored? Nope.

There’s good news and there’s bad news.

The bad news is that I learned from the British ophthalmologist that the cataract operation on my left eye that was done in Crete a year ago was so out-of-date that the Isle of Wight specialist had not performed that particular procedure for twenty years.

The good news is that he was able to remove the stitch at the front of the eyeball. This, sadly, has made only minimal difference to the vision but enough to be able to read a little better and see pictures in more detail. The difference was not immediately apparent but became clear (pun intended) about lunchtime yesterday.

The bad news is that all the other stitches from that operation are still in the eyeball and deeply embedded.

The good news is he doubts these are affecting my vision and would prefer to leave them untouched unless later events change his mind.

The bad news is that should the need arise, it’s major surgery for the eyeball.

The next piece of news is good and bad. There is scar tissue that’s developed over the months from, I think, that one stitch he took out but it can be removed by laser and within the month.

In the meantime, I am now on the waiting list for a cataract operation on the right eye. Hurrah!

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Darlings,

Just a quick note to say that my left eye is even worse and the next appointment is not until January. The NHS have left it so long that a lovely little ‘film’ has grown over the stitch that remains embedded. With the cataract in the right eye ripe for the plucking, I’m finding it almost impossible to read or write at all. This means I shall not be doing my daily visits, ‘likes’ and comments. Sorry.

I will still be publishing the short product posts because little reading or checking is needed to ‘press’ these. But please bear in mind that I will only be ‘liking’ your lovely comments and not actually responding.  All your contributions are, as ever, hugely appreciated so please don’t think that my ‘caring’ bone has disappeared along with my sight!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American followers!

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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