Trains, Tests & Tourism. Just another trip to the hospital!
Yesterday meant a trip to Bath, somewhere I’d only fleetingly visited once years ago for a residential week with the Open University during my Psych degree. It was a 6.30am train in bitter cold weather, which was cold enough to be painful despite donning 6 layers plus gloves, scarf and hat. First stop : Rheumatology hospital for thermal imaging, a cold stress test and capillary microscopy. The images and results will be sent to the rheumatologist for him to figure out what, if anything, they mean.
But one thing was confirmed : I struggle with the cold! Even in the warmer weather my hands are cold and unless it’s sweaty hot on a scorching day, I feel chilly. Under the thermal imaging cameras, my hands were blue and failed to warm up in the warmth of the room at all during the appointment. It was amusing to see my icy blue hands against the poker red hands of the lovely lady doing the test. Next up, my hands go under a microscope to look at the capillaries near the nail bed, and it’s amazing to see so many squiggles that are so incredibly minute that you wouldn’t know they existed. She saw some abnormalities here, but couldn’t tell me what they mean.
Next up : A touristy mooch around Bath to take in the gorgeous architecture, sample some cider in a pub near the bridge, walk along the river, appreciate some art in the museum, practically run through the abbey before a service started, and wander around the Christmas markets. I loved the decorations and quirky designs, the twinkling lights dusted around buildings and trees all throughout the centre.
Finally, the honesty. It looks and sounds like a wonderful day. 2 hours in the hospital followed by wandering around Bath, sightseeing and relaxing. The truth? The cold was painful, all day; it got into my bones and I couldn’t warm up. I slept for an hour the night before and was sleep-tired. I was so anxious before going that I couldn’t stop thinking; my anxiety was running amuck and my incessant need to plan was driving me crazy. The crowds were overwhelming and I felt so self-conscious. By mid-afternoon, I was shattered. By the time I came home, I’m surprised I was still standing; everything hurt, every muscle and joint and part of my body was screaming. Don’t get me wrong: the day was still good and I enjoyed Bath… But getting in to bed that night was glorious.
It was a good day and there were no disasters, but photos don’t show the whole story. Remember that the next time you see Facebook photos on your feed and start to feel down about your situation or the lack of fun and happiness in your life. It’s all sculpted and crafted to paint a pretty picture.
Now it’s a waiting game for me again, to find out what the rheumatologist says. More waiting for some biopsy results. More waiting still to see my surgeon following my ileostomy to decide what happens next. I’m usually such a patient person, but that has certainly been tested over time!
Whatever you’re up to, whether it’s ‘exciting’, recharging or simply surviving, have a lovely weekend. x