First Day Back

Posted on 09:11 In:
It couldn't last could it? Three months paid sick leave, taking it easy, watching the neighbours mow my lawn, wee  day trips out, unlimited access to the XBox. The game's up, my recovery is well under way, and on Thursday it was time for a Phased Return to work.

It wasn't all bad. For a start I'm only in mornings for the first couple of weeks. And the first couple of mornings were spent catching up with people - the girls in finance, the boys in IT, my pals in Central Papershuffling; big hugs from Annie in legal, more big hugs from Suze in Corporate Doublespeak. In between chats I had my e-mails to delete read, including several welcome back messages from high heidyins and those in foreign offices (hello London!). They've all been supernice.

And my boss, Penny, is on holiday.
Which is a Good Thing since rumour has it that Penny caused my heart attack.
This rumour has gained some traction, since my heart attack did indeed follow an acrimonious meeting between Penny and myself.
In fact, Thursday was the first time I had returned to my desk since leaving for a meeting with Penny three months ago.

Penny was not  there on my first day back, but sent an e-mail.
Headed "Welcome Back", and excluding her signature, it runs to six words

"I'll see you on Monday".

The jury's out, but the consensus is that Penny does not do supernice.

Still Got It

Posted on 17:17 In:
Three months it's been - count them, three months since I last displayed my talent for multitaskingCheck out my ability to dry my hair, whilst eating breakfast and simultaneously checking my e-mails. It is a gift.

Watch how I have retained my ability to make a tiny ironing board out of two dishlcoths and one square foot of kitchen surface, before ironing the skirt I am currently wearing .

Marvel at my ability not only to hurtle through every shortcut in the North West Edinburgh area , but to sucessfully apply make up at every red and amber traffic light.

Yes, yes, I know.  Some people might class all this as simply the inevitable result of Bad Timekeeping.  Those of us who have had meetings with Occupational Health, however, know that these are an important part of the rehabilitation process.  My phased return aims to Reestablish Working Patterns.

Yep.  Still got it.  

The Seven Links Project

Posted on 11:35 In:
Moving on as you do, and launching into the start of a new week, I've just noticed I still have to complete the Seven Links Project bequeathed me by Wylye Girl.
I was looking forward to this one before events overtook me last week. SO, let it be this week's Occupational Therapy.
Apparently all I have to do is list out my favourite posts in seven defined categories, then pass on the baton to three other blogs.
All passing readers have to do is  get hankies ready as we go down memory lane, then duck in case I pass the baton on to them!

The first category is the most difficult - I have been asked to specify "My Most Beautiful Post". Now Cheesetown has its moments, and isn't completely unphotogenic, but I haven't been waxing lyrical about the place.  Likewise there's been some beautiful  photos of Ned and the Cherub thrown up here.  But I've been asked for a beautiful post not a beautiful photo ...So I'm going to define  beautiful post as being one with beautiful sentiments... hem...hem... well the sentiment of acceptance in "The photos are GREAT" is bittersweet if not strictly beautiful.

The second category, "My Most Popular" is sadly one of my most recent. The aftermath of Ned's death, spelled out in "The Drugs Don't Work" generated a lot of comments - which would be one way of ranking popularity.  This "popularity" is obviously due to my readers being kind people who are concerned abut me rather than than sadists keen to watch the metaphorical car crash.

Category three is "My Most Controversial Post". Again I'm stretching definitions here, but I'm going to go with "For Gods Sake Don't Do a Post About Payroll, as it's the one most likely to get me fired if anyone from work were to read it.

Moving on to category four, I have to specify "My Most Helpful Post. Now since this blog came into being as a way of my metaphorically howling whilst nursing Wayne through terminal cancer, you would think that there would be lots more help for anyone else in the same situation. There isn't.    This apology is the best example of helpful I can find.

The fifth category is "The Post Whose Success Surprised Me". After yet more lateral thinking, it was a toss up between Making Lemonade with Lemons, where I was just surprised anyone commented at all, and "I'd Rather Have an Easter Egg which I initially thought  was too maudlin. (See what I did there? I cheated)

The sixth category is "The Post That Didn't Get The Attention It Deserved". In retrospect we have a clear winner in "Don't Read This if You Are Remotely Depressed"**. At the time I understood only that Ned's fits would get worse until they possibly couldn't be contolled any more.  In the end he was done in by the ever increasing drugs he was taking to contol them. ** (Looking back, that's a good by line for this blog....)

The last category is "The Post That I'm Most Proud Of". I like  Bruce and the Badlands. For all that it's a story about me racing Wayne back to the hospice as his condition had deteriorated, it has a germ of a good memory in that I was with him and we were back to the old jokes and arguments. It still makes me cry when I think back of going back to the empty car and the song we'd been listening to was still playing although Wayne had been admitted to the hospice.

Finally, assuming anyone has waded through the misery so far, I need to pass on the baton. This is difficult. Not least because, blogwise, I don't get out much. I tend to stick within a tight bloggy circle whose members have a disconcerting habit of ceasing to blog. There's a couple who have already done this meme.  Add to this, that in a forthcoming update I will be nominating my favourite small blogs too.  At this rate I shall be tagging random blogs which now you think of it might be an idea.

I have, therefore, come up with the totally brilliant and completely impartial wheeze of  tagging the three most recent entries in my blogroll. At time of writing these are:-

Trish at Mums Gone To
Speccy at Me and Mine And Other Bits
and  Gwen at Auntie Gwen's Diary

Cheesetown's Talking

Posted on 10:11 In: ,

Aye, d'ye see wee Macy off on a run? 

Macy? On a run?? Yer kiddin me..

Aye, that was her, ken.


Aye Macy! Ye deaf or what? She was aff oot along the old back road. iPod, joggers the lot. Nearly made it to the bridge and a'.

Withoot her wee dug though?

Aye withoot the dug... Cryin her eyes out.

Bloody shame that.

Aye bloody shame.  D'ye hear any more about her mother?

Och don't ask.



That was me.  That was me, tanking it down the M9, seeing how fast the Mazda will go. I'm pushing the old rustbucket to the edge.The speedo goes to 140, I've got 110 - 114 - 120.
And that howling  in the background, that was me too.  I 'm yelling "Yeahwhatyigonnydo What yougonnaedohey? Eh? Bring it on... Bringitonyibastardfuckingbringitonbastardbastardbastard"
I may or may not have been hammering the steering wheel.

But they've put a big roundabout at the end of the M9, called the Newbridge roundabout, and there's a 50mph speed limit with speed cameras - so I had to slow down and take a deep breath, and come to my senses.  None of this was big or clever - or even a particularly good idea since there was still one critter who hadn't died on me in the past 18 months. The Cherub still needs the odd steer to do homework, eat vegetables and get to bed before dawn.

Drugs. Drugs were called for. Bugger strength and fortitude and pulling yourself together. This needs drugs.
Drugs will sort it all.
And this being Scotland, I can get free drugs; free happy drugs from my GP's drop in surgery.
There is nothing wrong with this plan.
Zip. Nadda. Go to doc, come home be happy again.
Or at least stop screaming.

Luckily I was seen by the same GP who had been called out to the house to sign Wayne's death certificate. So he knew the history.  Even better he's a dog  owner himself, so he knows
He took one look at me and prescribed Citalopram. One to be taken last thing at night.
Except  I am missing Ned now when I'm awake. So I took one immediately.

......At first nothing happened. Then it all got fluffier. Fuff..That's me lying on my bed just staring at the ceiling...Fuff  Hey... kid will need dinner..I'm not sleeping, I'm not awake I'm just floating...for hours...
Fuff I am not fully conscious, but not sleeping yet.   It's  a schleep.

If I visited anyone yesterday I hope you noticed the pacific haze...Schleep typink..

I can't remember dinner last night.  Although I do remember watching the grill for ages and ages and ages. I remember phone calls, but am not entirely sure who they were from.

Today I will be on half the dose. And  glad that I'm only half as upset as my GP expected me to be.

Dealing with it

Posted on 13:20 In: ,
Best to be tough.  Because if I started howling I wouldn't stop
So I started with the clearout as soon as we dropped him off at the vet's for the last time. Bob next door helped me carry him out. He was dead on the kitchen floor you see.

His bed and blankets were the first to go.  He liked that bed, and used to bury toys and old bones in it.  Which is why his old santa toy and a couple of old bones fell out as I was putting it in the bin. I'm tough.  I can do this.  

And while I was out in the back yard  I binned his old deflated football and mashed up tennis ball collection.  He liked to pester me with those on the rare times I was gardening. He had his own priorities. He usually won.  Because he was actually the boss.

I even remembered to dig up a chewy he'd buried just the day before.  Wally and I watched him bury it behind the tree.  We were laughing because for once he didn't want his 11am chewy, and was saving it for later. We never knew it was because his kidneys were failing.

Back in the house I was ruthless with the big cushion he slept on the hall landing.  And toys he had buried under it. He was a collie, a working dog, he was neat. He kept his toys buried or hidden or lined up ready for use. It's all in the bin. Can't face the prolonged goodbye of recycling.

 His leads. Not that we used them. Ned was a dog who always came when called. Always.  And he walked to heel.. See the dog just waiting outside the newsagents?  No lead? Not tied? That was Ned. The leads are binned.

His pills - he was on 360mg epiphen a day.  It was the drugs that did for his kidneys. Binned along with a carrier bag of pigs ears and filled bones- I'd just bought a new supply last week from our fabourite pet shop thrugh in Milngavie.

New tennis balls?  Because on his morning walk he chased balls I hit with my tennis racket. Binned along with the tennis racket.  And the dog walking shoes and the poop scoop and plastic bag collection. Because there will be no more morning walks.

So no need for the new frisbee that he loved, or my old rucksack (I'm on a roll now), or the dogwalking jacket.

I found his squeaky duck toy found behind a sofa Have I mentioned yet how each of his toys had a name? He would be able to identify and bring ducky, chicken, ball, kong, football..They are all gone. They are all in the bin. Along with-
The tinned food
The dental sticks
The dry dog food
Both the old chipped food bowl and the new jazzy water bowl
The hairbrush he hated
His old towel - it's still got the mud stains from Friday...

Binned.  Binned the lot of it.

Thought I'd done it all.  Thought it was covered and I have griefproofed my house.  Then this morning I spotted two toys I'd missed. Hidden at the bottom of the bed.  Lined up perfectly.

And no amount of Bachs Flower Remedy is going to cure this one.


Posted on 14:27 In:
Ned died this morning.
There are no words for this.


I drafted this one yesterday morning.

Pam: Hello dear! It's Pam! Pam Goldie! Your mum's friend!

Macy: Oh hi! Pam! (I'm on beta blockers now.  I should listen to see if my heart makes a different noise when it sinks....) How you doing?

Pam: Oh mustn't grumble at my age dear! Macy pet, I'm phoning about your mum! I think mum's getting a bit confused!

Macy: Oh Pam, I know, I know..(hell Pam, I was the one who phoned you a couple of months back for this very reason). What's been happening?

Pam Well she's had a fall, dear. I can't understand what's happened.  Apparently the gardener found her and brought her into the house. And now she's in bed. But she says it's only a sore arm.

My mother most definitely does not have a gardener.. she may or may not have a sore arm, but we definitely don't have the full story here.

Pam: I mean I got her on the phone this evening, but she doesn't want any visitors. But she was saying you've been to see her dear?

Macy: Not this week Pam.  I haven't been over since I dropped you both off for your coach tour.  That was a fortnight ago.

Pam: I thought that dear! But she says she's seen you and you're getting her shopping for her! And you know she's not been to the doctor about this! And the nurse who was looking after the dressing on her leg seems to have been on holiday. I don't know what's happening but her leg's not getting any better either.

Macy Pam, she hasn't even picked up the phone messages I left. I was starting to worry...

Pam And she is confused dear! I mean she was getting up at four in the morning on holiday you know because she didn't want to be late for breakfast!

Macy Pam, I'll be over tomorrow.

Pam Oh that's good Macy.  Don't tell mum I phoned will you? She'll be so cross again.

My mother lives only an half an hour north of Glasgow.  Cheesetown is, however, an hour away from Glasgow.  Looking on the bright side, though, I'll have a good hour and a half in the car to think up a reason for my "just dropping in"....

You know I blame Dr Jacobs for my depression.  Thinking on it, I was all ready to write this post after my angiogram - except I never got round to it.
Depression, see? Dr Jacobs, all five feet four of him was the trigger.

I must be getting better because I'm writing it now...

So there I was, lying on my hospital trolley waiting to get wheeled into the theatre for my angiogram. I was chatting to Dr Jacobs,  my cardiologist.  It was Dr Jacobs who had been my consultant in hospital.

Dr Jacobs it was who first argued that yes actually I had had a heart attack, and since he was the doctor I was staying in hospital.
Dr Jacobs it was who had insisted that I stay in bed only to later catch  me coming back from the outpatients  shop.
Dr Jacobs it was, who had negotiated a deal that I am allowed out of bed but was to stay on the third floor; only to meet me at the front door inhaling next to the smokers...I wasn't Dr Jacobs easiest patient - and that's saying something seeing's how most of his other ladies were elderly and demented.
But we were still on speaking terms. Think of him as a wee man who likes a challenge.

Whilst incarcerated in St James' I'd argued strongly that I had get out asap - because there is only me for the Cherub. When I lost that battle, I then fought a further battle not to be transferred to the Royal because as his father's last hospital, this does not have good associations for the Cherub.  Dr Jacobs then knew some of the past history.

So there we were stuck in the ante room to the theatre, since the procedure scheduled before me was running late. I was musing on how it was typical that he Doctor with a grudge was the one scheduled to put a large knitting needle into my right arm. He was giving me inside gossip on the other medical staff and Nicola Sturgeon's last visit to St James'. When he said

"So Macy, how long's it been? Have you really never been out with someone else since W died?"

Eh? Try running that one past me when it's not completely out of left field....

Did I look girlishly out from under my long dewy eye lashes, before completing my Jenifer Aniston impersonation by sighing and asking sweetly if he was offering?

Did I sit straight up and as him if he thought such a question was entirely in keeping with the General Medical Council's Ethical Guidelines?
Sadly not.

Or did I collapse into an incoherent lachrymose heap? "OhnoohgodnoI'notgoingthroughallthatagain {SOB} Ohgodohnoohjustthethoughtofevenevenbotheringofeventrying tofindsmalltalkofeven ..shit... Idnon'tknow..whatyougoingtodo? Icouldn't....{SOB}Ohgodsorry{SNIFF} OgodIdon'tknowwhereallthisiscomingfrom{NOSEBLOW}

Yeah.  That'll be Dr Jacobs dealing a knockout blow in the final round then....


Posted on 07:30 In:
It's like a fog, slowly forming overhead, and steadily getting thicker until it blocks out the sun.
Until everything becomes  duller than you remember, or just harder to do.
The one constant is the voice saying "What's the point?"

And I know this isn't the most brilliantly original description of depression - but bear with me here. I'm typing on regardless of the voice telling me this is a load of crap.

It's not unexpected.  Apparently lots of bereaved people get depression (who'd have thunk it?), and the good old Heart Manual even devotes a chapter to the depression you can expect following a heart attack.

It'll pass - it'll pass because it has to.  In the meantime bear with me.  I have been visiting your blogs you know - think of me as the one sitting huddled in the corner for now.

Welcome to the car crash...

I have a complicated bereavement. I was only reconciled with my ex, W, months before he died of cancer. Luckily (for him) I was made redundant and able to care for him while he died here at home - October 20th.
Currently getting through it with our son, aka the Cherub, dog Ned, and friends here in CHEESETOWN.

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