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21st Century Loss

31 Mar
Yesterday a sister who I am related to by blood and malicious intent, Lady Murgatroyd, was at mine house. She was deeply comforting in my hour of ongoing post-concussion syndrome need.
However, she is also dangerously unhinged.
When it came to her time to depart she set sail on the FatherShip back across the distant seas to her own rambling shack of a house. Her house was kept upright only through the thick layers of knitting and crochet that she and her boon companion, JoSiJo, had produced.
As she left, we who were remaining noted that she had forgotten her telephonic communications device!!!!!!!!!!!!! Her dearest friend, her closest love, her fevered passion.
Although it is being delivered back into her tiny sweaty palms this very day, she emailed me to state the degree of despair that threatened to overwhelm her already oddly weak frame.
As her main carer and puppet master I felt it my duty to offer some comfort and so I composed the following ode to demonstrate my empathy in her time of need:
Fourteen Hours Apart
How harsh the cold wind blows,
How deeply the searing pain of loss cuts to the bone.
We were happy once; you would rest in my palm, a comforting presence, a connection to the world.
I know you are gone but I still I reach out for you.
In the night, the light you brought to my life has dulled to an anxiety ridden throb.
I’ll never forget you again.
*death march played on the ‘trumpet’ (violins**)*
**For some reason Murgatroyd is unable to identify any musical instrument and claims all of them are trumpets in the hope that one day she will be right.


A minor brain injury

21 Mar


Well, I am currently able to write with a much high degree of energy and coherence than I can speak with. Mostly I am just staring ahead without any thoughts. It is surprisingly restful.

And why is that, you would ask if you had even a modicum of decency and humanity…and if you hadn’t read the title of this piece. Well I’ll tell you why.

I have a bit forgotten where I was going with that.

Which is ironic because I have a minor brain injury. It is actually less ironic and more just the reason for it.

And now, let me lead you on a winding story to impart what hast befallen our fair hero of this blog telling place thing.

Twas last Sunday, the date, was what it was. Sunday the Thing of Thing. The year was this one.

There was, as with any day, a high chance that I would be injured because that is all just a part of the colourful cess pool we call life…

head injury5

I was at my church, situated many, many miles from my home because why make life easy. I was helping with the set down at the end and happened upon a large speaker held up by a stand. On previous occasions I have attempted to dismantle this technologically advanced wizardry but people have always rushed to stop me. On reflection, the speed at which they reacted should perhaps have been a warning to me, rather than acting as a trigger for me to keep trying.

With what has since turned out to be an incorrect analysis of my height and strength, I reached up to unscrew and then lift up and take down the speaker. As it turns out I appear to be a rather weak hobbit rather than an amazonian warrior woman, and the speaker overbalanced and fell. For those of you, dear readers, who are concerned about such things, the speaker was saved from a dramatic smash to the floor by my catching said speaker with my head. This was my reaction:

head injury

A dear friend saw, and again, I witnessed that rushing sensation as people flock to prevent me from breaking PLANET EARTH. She removed the speaker from my face/head/neck (it was a large object) and then gave me a soothing hug.

Now I am no stranger to your communal garden brain injury, although I have in fact never had a brain injury inflicted by a common garden, or indeed common gardener. The majority of my concussions have not so much been self inflicted, as strongly influenced by oneself.

There was for example, the concussion I had from falling over on to a marble floor while engaged in high jinks.

The time I received a concussion by headbutting the corner of a glass shelf I didn’t notice despite it being in my own bedroom for many years.

There was the concussion I bestowed upon myself while working as a Health Care Assistant on a busy hospital ward when a door shut on my head.

These few examples hopefully serve to demonstrate how au fait I am with this particular sense of being, let us say, less than shiny in the head region.

head injury3

Now this fine image has been taken from the google images. It says, in case it is blurry in real life and not just my mind ‘every 9 seconds someone is affected by a Traumatic Brain Injury, you are about to meet one’. My concern here is that every 9 seconds, that injured person might be me, just with a new injury.

ANYWAY. So Sunday I womanfully pushed on and got myself home which, due to traffic and transport took one huuuuundred years. Or two hours. It was long anyway. Monday I did go into work where I put in a solid days sitting in a chair feeling a touch vague. I have no recollection of if I did anything. I might have.

Monday night I began to feel incredibly nauseous and with a thumping head. Tuesday I had a solid headache, my neck ached, my vision was blurred, lights and sounds made me anxious and hurt my head, I was dizzy, I kept falling asleep and things tasted funny. Finally I called the magnificent service ’111′. I spoke first of all to a delightful woman who I initially thought had a speech impediment. I remember thinking it was an odd job to have if your voice is crazy but then it cleared and I realised she had just had a mouthful of food instead.


head injury2

*NB, always trying to be funny. Also that is a true story

Anyway, she passed me on to a nurse who sent me off, lickertysplit, to my doctor. After a short altercation with the receptionist who was trying to diagnose my head injury severity for me, my explanation that I am in fact, also a nurse, convinced her that I wasn’t an insane demon trying to steal precious moments from the medical profession who are in fact, far to busy and important to deal with sick people, and she made me an appointment for that evening.

After shining a light in my eyes and see my face crumple into tears while still looking vague, the doctor sent me off to A&E, or the ED if you are from not England.

A&E…now there is a place full of weirdness. I was in and out of the department within the required four hour time period but had no need for the book I had brought because a) my head hurt too much to read and b) A&E is full of crazy people. My dear mother had taken me which was very kind of her because she really must be so sick of taking me to hospital by now.

When we went in to see the charming doctor he did all the testy things and complimented me on my reflexes. A new compliment I must say, but certainly one I’ll be putting on my dating profile. I don’t have a dating profile. I do have a criminal profile. I don’t have one really. I do have an actual profile though. And THAT is a truth!

Anyway, I have post-concussion syndrome, also known as a minor brain injury to the medical world and ‘I HAVE A WHAT??????’ to the non-medical world who tend to use less terrifying sounding names. And which according to the very helpful help leaflet of help, can last from a few weeks to three months…symptoms can however continue for six months to year…or longer. Basically you might be screwed, no one really knows…because your brain has been injured. Because you dropped a speaker on it. Interestingly, this was not listed as one of the common reasons for this condition on the leaflet. In fact none of my methods have been documented as ‘common causes’ for concussion. I’m such a hipster.

Of the possible symptoms I could have from the available list, now provided at 0%APR (I have no idea what this means), I have………*drum roll*

*I don’t have a drum roll*

*A drum roll is not a symptom*

*I don’t even have a bread roll*

*why would you give someone a bread roll for sharing information, shape up reader, pull it together! Acting like a loose cannon there*

- All the ones I put up before…

Headache – constant




Keep falling asleep

Light and sound sensitivity

Concentration is a bit squidgy

Random having all of the moods

Messed up sleep


Which means that now…

head injury4

So hear me roar!

Although quietly

Because shhhh, the sound hurts

So yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. That has been my week. I did manage to do some teaching yesterday which I now dont really remember but other than that, what a lot of staring at nothing I have done. Also I keep mumbling and no one can understand me.

Right, I’m losing focus, quick, to the bat cave!

There is a bright spot though, perhaps this means I will finally be able to attend the social event of the year!

head injury6


Term and Condition: I have tried to check the spelling here using the spelling checker but it’s so hard to tell, anyway, I’m sick, don’t be mean!

Another NB: normal service will be resumed in *INSERT TIME HERE*

P.S. I’m still very clever, don’t worry.

Susan steps up

20 Feb

For those of you in the know, Susan is my brother in law. Of course many people call him Bill. But how gauche is that?! We shall refer to him as MTK for the remainder of the piece but I offer no explanation for this and make no apology for it either. No sir! I do not! *whips away with cloak flaring*.

To the point of this. Today Susan invited me to observe his teaching session on BIM to a group of MSc students. I think they were engineers. Or another profession. Details fail me.

It was a two hour session and my goodness does that man know his stuff. What his stuff is remains something of a mystery although I’ve learned a lot of new acronyms so that’s something.

Anyway, for the sake of posterity and posterior I made notes. These I share with you.

To give you some guidance: BIM = Building Information Management/Modelling.


BIM = Blimey I’m Muddled


1. The first thing I noticed was that there were only two female students. One had matched her nail polish to her jumper. A light turquoise. I was impressed. This note I make for Millicent Swift – she is always so well coordinated.

2. The group, in general, were sadly unappreciative to the wit of MTK. He is a truly funny man but often it was just me sniggering in the corner. My assumption is that this was made more peculiar for the students as MTK introduced me only as ‘a nurse, she is here to watch’. No further comment was made on my presence.

3. Acronyms I have learned and now has a short cockney song in my head that goes: BIM BEP PIM AIM, BIM BIMMINIY BIM BEP BEP PIIIIIM AIM. Happy days.

4. MTK commented that there is currently not a button that can pressed to create an espresso from across the room. I’m sure there must be?!

5. A number of MTKs comments were coffee based…Milicent, you’re his wife, check his caffeine intake – I am concerned.

6.  In an entire class but one person had questions. So many questions. Only he had previously explored the topic. So many questions. One of which was suggestive that MTK’s job would soon be gone. He was wrong according to the well thought through answer of MTK, BUT NICE TRY STUDENT BOY!

7. ‘British Standard’ was used a lot…as the acronym. Does anyone else find it funny that the British Standard is BS?

8. At one stage MTK commented on note taking, suggesting a student using his phone at that moment, could in fact use his phone to look into some software. However said student was genuinely engaged in ignoring MTK and only registered he was being referenced when MTK remarked ‘he isn’t even listening to that!’ and the class gave a hearty laugh. He looked embarrassed and proceed to may mild attention from that point.

9. The process of BIMming…do evil overlords use it to design their complex underground lairs? Because they appear to have quite intricate specifications. Plus one part of BIM is actually called the ‘Master Information Development Plan’…that sounds deeply suspicious.

10. BIM, according to the well informed MTK, is both a philosophy and a way of life. One I’d rather not have.

11. There is a BIM chart, MTK advised the humble students to learn the chart, to know the chart, to use the chart. He was only seconds away from ‘love the chart, be the chart’.

12. A data management tool used in the BIM biz is called COBie. Having spent40 English minutes listening to MTK expound on COBie, my own summary would be this – ‘COBie, because life just isn’t short enough’.

13. A well timed pop quiz is HIGHLY entertaining if you are an observer with nothing to lose and only judgement to give.

14. I have never wanted to call MTK ‘Susan’ more than in the two hour period.

15. The boy done good.

A Patrick Stewart dream

6 Feb

This morning I was awoken by a phonecall. While I had no issue with the phonecall, the dream I was dragged away from has remained with me due to its oddness.

In my dream last night, I was teaching Patrick Stewart, renowned actor and attractive older man,( how to correctly apply makeup so that he did not look tacky while in drag.

He had already made a start, and in his favour, his mascara looked amazing; his eyelashes stood out and he looked awake and alert. However he was about to apply eyeshadow and blusher, both in powder format.

I cautioned him to be careful, and though he paused, the look he threw me was that of a mischievous child who knows they are about to disobey with gleeful and reckless abandon. In a second his hand was thrust into the small pot of light blue eyeshadow, scooping up the powdery fragments which he dashed across his face, his mouth curved into a inanely ecstatic grin. As he did a fair amount of the powder landed on my be-jeaned legs.

I sighed in patient frustration. Using a thick blusher brush I attempted to remove the colourful mess from my lap but found to my astonishment that as I brushed, rather than spilling onto the floor, the fragments became words and sentences. They ran in a column down my right leg, looking exactly like the opening sequence from the Star Wars films, except that these letters were not in the yellow we all know so well, but were in a pale purple now, and instead of talking about Hans Solo, they told the tale of the Mr Men franchise (  In a later conversation with Murgatroyed who was trying to get me to stop talking about my dream so she could go back to work, she pointed out that I appeared to be mixing my Star Wars and Star Treck stories but I assured her that in my dream His Greatness the Patrick was fully thespian and in no way Star Ship Captain, and besides, Mr Men, at least in my heady days of childhood, never featured in space.

It was about this point that I was rudely awoken by a phonecall so I don’t know what they words actually said and I was never able to finish showing His Lorship, Sir Pactrick of Stewart how to use powdered makeup, a fact that will no doubt haunt me until I die.

As you were.


20 Jan

Last night while preparing for my nightly rest that is known as a ‘sleep’ I noticed on my thigh an odd thing.

Two bruises run parallel along the out side of the thigh of my right body.  Dead straight lines of bruising. Approximately two inches apart.

I am aware of their origin.

There is a desk in my office.

A cruel and evil thing.

Most days I walk into it.

That there are two lines is simply because some days I wear high heels.

Some days I wear flats and walk into the desk.

Some days I wear heels and walk into the desk.

On most days I am not successful in walking through a door frame and clearing it unscathed. Particularly if I am turning a corner.

Most days my shoulder will take the full brunt of my precarious body image issues.

I don’t have a problem with my body.

The issues are that I’m not apparently aware of quite where my body ends and the rest of the world begins.

It is most troubling.

Please enjoy these cartoons as a visual method of understanding my pain.

Good day to you.



door frame

Unexpected reflection on the past

11 Jan

I don’t usually write serious blogs because…well…I don’t want to.

However at the suggestion of my brother in law ( …you’re welcome MTK) I’ve decided to put this on to share to all 3 of you who read this ;p

I was ill for 24 years of my life. From when I was five to three years ago. I had a range of conditions because what is life without the spice of variety. Three years ago I was healed. As far as I can tell – it was a miracle and an answer to prayer. Other people can call it whatever they like, it’s not up to me to argue or fight things, I just know my own experience.

Today I was doing some eeeearly spring cleaning and I found an old hospital letter and a box of some of the medications I was on. Seeing how much I used to have to take, and the list of conditions reminded me of how much my life has changed, how much I’ve lost but how much I’m now gaining.

IMAG2061These are a few of the medications I used to need, by no means all of them.

IMAG2063My conditions were:

1. Complex regional pain syndrome

2. Costochondritis

3. Ulcerative colitis

4. Hypermobility

Fun times!

My regular meds:

1. Oromorph

2. Gabapentin

3. Tramacet

4. Mesalazine

All these at times meant even more fun times!

Mostly, on seeing this again, I’m thinking how unbelievably grateful I am for a healthy body. To wake up each morning without pain. To walk without aids. To eat without becoming sick 15 minutes later. To do my job without concern that I won’t be able to complete a task. To make appointments and dates with friends and family and know that unless I forget – there is no reason that I won’t be able to make it and enjoy every second of it.

To be honest, I’m feeling pretty overwhelmed right now and I cried a wee bit. For me it’s a reminder that I can trust in God’s promises. I believe he said he would heal me. It was a long time coming but oh I learnt a lot and that’s a whole other story that has nothing to do with a comedy blog.

So if you believe in God, or don’t, if you have faith, or if you don’t…I hope at the very least you can take hope that life, even at its darkest, can change and become something beautiful and unexpected. And even in the darkest times, I have so many memories I cherish that mean that my work now, working to improve care for terminally ill people and those looking after them – I have no fear in this this work, it can’t crush me. But on less needlessly dramatic sounding things, pain and loss are now things that are part of life and not to be feared. They come and go, and people have such capacity for good in dark times, whatever they believe in.

And now, because being serious for this long is against my very core, here is a picture of my head on a pugs body, done by same said brother in law, providing my family with the nickname for me of ‘pugmug’…thanks chaps.


An ode to my ageing face…

7 Jan

On turning 31:

Face, dear face, in years you are not old but your appearance doeth belie this.

Wrinkles run like rivers across your brow, furrowed or un.

Your hair, once golden red (or indistinguishable brown, dependent on the critic) now rests around your aged face, white mingled in, soon to overtake.

Your eyes once bright and steady, now squint with distain at the youth you see around you.

On looking up, people twice your age offer you a seat on public transport. And you, so weary with the weight of such an aged head, accept.

Face, dear face, what happened here, to make such a soft and radiant plum of youth become a raisin?

Such reflection has become a burden. It is time for Horlicks and bed.


*Now let me make one thing quite clear; I’m not overly familiar with what an actually ode is, but I’m now old enough to not care, old enough not to be bothered with checking my facts because I’ll be dead by then, to go with what I think and beat anyone who questions me with my stick of ageing.


4 Dec

Now here is a thing, there are certain times when my usual eloquence and grace fail me, and rather than presenting a slender twig of feminine style .


I instead appear to be run by a small team of tiny drunks…




This has proven to be quite useful advice though…

clumsy advice


I have a colleague. A very nice person. But we are from very different backgrounds and at times our cultural and personal differences can shine through and thing can feel a mite tense. Let us say, for example, that they might hold certain views and I am given to feminist rants.

Anyway, we maintain a pleasant working relationship. Unless I speak.

So on Saturday I had a friend staying. We met when she internet stalked me for some help with some work things, got on well and, like the small excited puppy that I am, I invited this complete stranger to come and stay. Both of us have since questioned why I did this and both were worried about murder. But it was fine and she is splendid!

Anyway, colleague invited us out to an event which initially I thought I could attend but then then we could not. Here is a copy of our text communication:

Me: Sorry, we can’t join you now, how about lunch or coffee next week?

*I don’t even like coffee…why would I offer coffee*

Them: Sure we can arrange something before your flight to the States :) Have fun.

*Oh yes…I’m going back to New York next week…*

*In writing my response I had that moment where you get distracted and then write the last word you heard, rather than what you mean to…*

Me: Thank you poppet, sounds awful

Me: I DID NOT MEAN AWFUL!!! I meant to say good but someone just said awful to me and it was in my head. Aaaaaaa

Them: *no response…at all…since then…*


Yep, that’s my MO, alienating my friends one garbled text at a time.



29 Nov

Yesterday I was late coming home as I was doing some research work (story of madness to follow).

I got off the train…at my station…because why get off when the train is still moving? A young gentleman walking past me said ‘hello’. I responded ‘good evening’ and he slowed his pace to walk with me.

‘Opps’ I thought.

He asked me something or other but I was distracted by his accent because it was…unusual.

I asked where he was from.

He told me to guess.

I refrained from throwing a shoe at him. I hate guessing games. How could I guess your country specially, or your age, or your gender? I’M NOT ALL THAT OBSERVANT.

I sighed the sigh of the sigher.

I said ‘well it sounds slightly African’

He laughed, looking surprised

I felt like a small wally, because I had no idea why he was laughing.

Turns out I was right. So it was probably the laughter of the shocked. I laugh when I’m right too. We both laughed. Like drunken ducks.

He then, rather bizarrely asked me to be more specific…it began to dawn on me that I was creating an identity for him.

I made a guess based on the evidence available.

‘North African, maybe Algeria?’


He asked how I’d known, as apparently no one has guessed correctly before (although I still remain utterly confused as to why you would want to make people guess…does he do that with all features of his life – hello I’d like to buy some shoes. yes sir what size shoe are? Guess… IT MAKES NO SENSE).

However, I didn’t feel I could coherently explain that I’ve been watching the box set of Absolutely Fabulous for about five days straight now and there is a guy with the same accent, plus he just sort of looked Algerian…

So I went with ‘err gjlidsigne;a…accent?’ in a low undertone mumble.

Anyway we walked on and then I went my way, he went his with a passing shot of ‘be careful’ because I was about to walk into a cyclist.

So that was odd.

Dyslexia – tis true!!

9 Oct

I found this post today on the feed that is buzzy (sorry Murg, I know you hate that…chortle)


It is true. Warning for those with the little children who let them read my post – Milicent Swift and Dr Halloden (or however you are spelling your name now…I will just call you Susan) – THERE ARE SWEARS. But they are by a cat so is it so bad?



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