All posts tagged claustrophobic

Hot off the Press – 17th July 2017

Published July 17, 2017 by helentastic67

Hot off the Press

Just an FYI; received two proposals for marriage last week, on the same day. Like I’ve not waited 44 years….ok, maybe not the first 23 or so….but the last 20 sure and got them both in the same day. One was simply because I made minestrone and didn’t stuff it up.

Gave some to the lovely gentleman Tony previously mentioned and the second offer came from another gentleman for a reason I cannot even recall. Both men old enough to be my father! So, not offended. Let’s move on………

Story for the week re the Place I go? Previously, the crazy woman who threatened me? This week a lady was wandering around in her winter jacket (only) while she ran her clothes through the washer/dryer. She kept using the washer then the dryer about three times so she was there all day! With the machine busy all day and proceeded to make a mess of the bathroom (there is a shower there) and she managed to flood the laundry twice. The place survives with one underpaid staff member and volunteers. This woman could not be reasoned with, she would not clean up after herself as she felt she wasn’t paid to clean so, she almost had the only paid person on site in tears trying to reason with her to leave and take her presence elsewhere. I was in the office filing away client files (mine included) helping any way I could to lighten the staff members workload. I even did a little parenting since grandma wasn’t doing it. I do grumpy parenting under these circumstances by the way. “No! No one’s using that computer. But go out there and stay out of the way!” I might also have ended up sitting on the floor in tears but luckily my day ended by being given a lift home. About 3-4 suburbs away.


We eventually paid the terrible laundress money that had been donated that day so she could take her wet clothes to the local laundromat to dry them there. She even had the audacity to demand change for the dryers. I later learned her mentality is due to alcohol related dementia.

So, everybody put down those glasses and I have been starting to consider alcohol an affordable solution…..

Also attempted to propose a foodie gathering with the ladies in my family. My mum, younger sister and my older sister with her partner. Suggested a gathering so we don’t just all see each other together once a year if we are lucky.

I offered to cook my amazing Chicken Veggie Lasagne. At least I got responses despite not the ones I had wanted. So, I might be making my lasagne for my friends instead as my family gathering is not going to happen. Not surprised but still disappointed, everyone in my family has someone else except me. Feeling like an orphan.

Chicken Lasange

Finished 2 comics this week! I read both in a single sitting for each which felt like an achievement however I’ve obviously been churning through all the A’s -B’s and having just read a season of Willow from the Joss Whedon. I’m way behind still. The final Willow Comic Season, had an advert for a Comic Con….Dated 2013! Grrrrr……Just when I thought I was getting somewhere!

Also had company for my standard Single Girl Date Night! I referred to us as the 3 Amigo’s watching, you guessed it “The 3 Amigo’s!” I suggested to the others, to work out which actor they felt they embodied. I ended up Martin Short but, I’m not complaining. I haven’t seen the film in years, but recently added it to my collection. Now I have the tune My little butter cup song in my head!

3 Amigos

My guests fell asleep sitting up on the couch before 9pm! After the film ended and their kip’s over I fed them. Everyone was happy! They departed by 11pm.

In recent weeks, I’ve learnt the meaning of the term ‘False economy. For example: 1. An NGO (Not for profit/None Government Organisation) self-advocacy group has been funded nearly half a million dollars just before the end of the financial tax year because the government had a surplus. Now, that agency has been given that funding to roll out what they do in Victoria but in the other States as apparently Victoria is ahead of the curve and the other States are behind, and they will get it done. However, in the following years they can’t expect the funding to be there to help get the work done or keep the ball rolling. They will need to tender for ongoing funding.

False economy

My firsthand experience of the false economy is that my Case Management organisation who also provide the bulk of my carers these days has not been particularly efficient and as my NDIS package was not correctly implemented (not getting my shoes, etc) the company has offered to find the money for my shoes to keep me happy. Little does the guy who suggested this to my Mum to appease her know I need 2 pairs of shoes and they cost AU$460.00 a pair! But they cannot seem to fix the communication issues in their organisation so I have a roster every week for my carers no more than two carers in any given week. Lastly, the lovely newly qualified lady from the Rio/Remedial clinic came to give me a massage on Thursday. I put on some lovely soothing music. Dead Can Dance.

Just as we got started, out the front of my house some overdue roadworks started! My council has been promising speedhumps down my wide street to slow down the hoons for years! Then down the back someone started some gardening with a Chainsaw!!!!

Sweet Jesus! I was neither happy nor relaxed! The Universe did not get my memo….. for peace and calm.

On Friday, while out shopping with my carer we visited a pet shop in a neighbouring suburb. It’s the kind that has pets for sale bunnies, fish. On this occasion, a kitten curled up fast asleep, I let it sleep. It was a challenge as they usually have a cat that has been rescued, fostered by a crazy cat lady in the countryside to be rehabilitated (my word not there’s) and their health attended to. Then transported off to pet shops for sale to living pet owners.

Ginger cat

This is how I came to meet Ralph on Friday. Ralph is a 2-year-old boy, ginger and white, long-haired. He is a very big boy. I asked Mark if he would get him out of his 3-tiered enclosure so I could do more than beg to scratch his head. He was inundated by hand from everywhere prompting me to ask a man (whose daughter was patting him) if he would give Ralph a good home. He confessed they had two cats at home already so I continued to introduce myself to young Ralph. Luckily, Mark (staff) lives in my street so we discussed renting in the area while I managed to get a headbutt from Ralph. I suspect Ralph is a Maine Coon breed, but I don’t think they know this. Mark told me the long-haired cats get snapped up very quickly there. The last cat they had was there a month, Ralph had arrived only the day before. These cats are vet checked and neutered. And cost only $120. My carer and I stopped for a coffee break next door and I rang my mum. I really miss sharing my home and coming home to another living breathing creature but mum is convinced I’m not getting another cat until after I’ve relocated.

Again, I’ve come to the conclusion I won’t find anything cheaper of a reasonable size where I won’t go bat-shit claustrophobic crazy, so I want help to be able to afford to stay. I look to my mum to encourage me to have another cat but she is not very encouraging.

I have a wardrobe full of clothes from my old life I want to sell. I’ve recently been in pursuit of some consultancy work. To help me afford the things I need but cannot afford but it’s hard to convince people with an ABI who have plenty of funding how the rest of us live. He keeps offering me work telling me how much he needs me but if I do any work, I risk losing all of my income and I can’t work enough to cover what I would lose. So, I’ve started to withdraw my advice and energy.

I’m finding while not financial I get some great rewards from my blogging community even if all I’m doing is advising someone who hasn’t left the house in 9 years, how best to utilise their carers. She now gets carers because I asked her what she was waiting for. Her blogging is not as prolific however her tone is clearly more upbeat.

So, again all I can hope is that this week is not as stressful and I can read more comics.



Good week


Worst Test Ever

Published December 9, 2016 by helentastic67


Worst Test Ever

Ok, so there’s actually two tests/treatments I’ve experienced over the last 10 years and ironically, I’ve managed to have two of each. So, I might as well be on a roll and get them over and done with and write about them now. If you don’t do horror (I don’t) and you are squeamish you are excused and can skip them. But if you want reminding, you only have to read about it.

I actually had the procedures and was WIDE AWAKE for them.

Firstly, soon after diagnosis back in 2007, I saw my first Neuro-Surgeon who asked if I was claustrophobic. I am not, but I could later appreciate why he asked.

A test was scheduled to look more closely at the arteries in my brain. This procedure is called a Cerebral Angiogram.


My first recommendation if someone tells you, you have to have one, is the night before, get a snatch wax! No, really.

If your anti-razors or have a beautician who will be displeased by a razor on certain parts of your body. Go get waxed!


Now this procedure, you are bare ass naked! (Just warning you) with only a gown on that for this occasion you put on open at the front. I found I was nervous so kept wanting to pee. When they wheel your bed into the room it feels like an operating room.

And the first thing that occurs to you is how crowed that room is. One or two people will talk directly to you. Don’t expect to remember anyone’s names.

Medical personal quickly take on nicknames in your head, such as ‘Hot Doctor’, ‘Old Doctor’, ‘Nice Nurse’ or ‘Chic, chic, chic, chic, guy, guy, guy!’ Why are there so many guys?


And a nurse comes over and produces a pink daisy razor. I looked at her and told her she wouldn’t need that. She lifted my gown & she told me they love girls like me! And her eyes darted around the room to all the other girls sharing a knowing look. I wonder if they bet on whether or not they have to shave the patient. A carefully folded face washer was strategically placed over my groin & I recall looking down thinking it hadn’t been very big to start with before it was folded.

I recall looking down to see what they do, until the needle came out. It was a local anesthetic and those needles really sting. Next came the scalpel and they made an incision at the top of my thigh (pretty much along the line where your underwear sits) for about an inch. I confess I looked down at this point because the ‘older’ doctor came over and started touching the skin around the incision. The question lingered in the air, “More anesthetic?” Oh my God he’s going to jab me again…….little did I realize that would not be the worst part…..



Next, a wire was fed into the artery at the incision and while I didn’t feel anything there was a very weird sensation. Head back I was told to breathe deeply, I understand this is when the wire passed up through my heart. It then continued up into my head. Large plastic shower cap type things were placed over some square plastic plates that were moved close to several sides of my head and face. Very close this is when the claustrophobic query came to mind.


The room seemed to clear and the young doctor started describing the next step. Words like “stay calm, warm, don’t move, and a weird taste in my mouth “and the understanding that they would do it as quickly as possible. FYI; How quickly they would perform the tests was not up to them at all but my ability to not move, freak out or anything else.

From behind a window off to one side a voice came to remind me to hold still. Next, No words! No words, can accurately describe the next part but I’ll try! Every known swear word comes to mind but I think I managed to only Yelp an “Ow!” (don’t know how) A burst of warm iodine, or contrast was released up into one artery then another into my brain. Each renewed the metallic taste in my mouth I could not get rid of. I’m certain it was not boiling but it felt like it, because it wouldn’t dissipate. The last burst out iodine (must have saved the best till last) was down the side of my jaw. It was even more unpleasant because the heat travels over your jaw and under your skin. You realise how there is not much else there but skin and bone. And you could not make it go away.


And each release of the iodine showed up on the monitor that was above me suspended from the ceiling. Squiggly lines snaking across the image of my skull. I had the perfect line to give the doctor except they were all in the other room behind the safety-glass…… went something like this “Someone should tell the guy in the next room he’s completely messed up!” When clearly it was me that had the seriously messed up arteries.


Then, of course the monitor machine started beeping oddly and everyone that had returned to the room started moving more quickly. I was told my blood pressure had dropped and to breathe calmly. I don’t know, what else I was to do, I was also told I had to keep my head down and not to lift it.

The wire was removed and they moved me over to another trolley and into a small room. A guy pressed on the wound and started to count. He asked me a polite question and I’m sure he didn’t expect such a chatty response, but I must talk more with a guy putting pressure on an open artery near my groin. Must have been nervous and embarrassed. I’m sure he lost count and when he released the wound it continued to bleed. I had asked if they put a stitch in it? No? What about a bandaid? They told me it would ‘just close up’. Huh?

I as wheeled out to the room with lots of other people (recovery?) had, had other procedures. I just wanted to know when I could get up and pee? Hours, the answer was hours. Felt like a lifetime! To return my blood pressure to normal a drink and a sandwich were produced and I was expected to eat and drink without lifting my head. To be clear, I did. And then I threw up. And I had to lift in order to do this. This was also my first experience of the bedpan.  So, I will just say, bedpans, not invented for ladies peeing while lying down. I’ll spare you the details and just say, sheets were changed. I eventually got my bandaid after the wound was inspected a further 20 times. And of course, a group of young ‘student’ doctors came around also by which time I had an all-out migraine. Lots of stupid questions I did not need while trying not to lift my head or throw up asking what my symptoms were so I could explain how I knew it was a migraine. If you have not had the displeasure, you want to be left alone and in the quiet and dark. I had some tingling down my left arm. I’m sure they gave me something after this and left me alone because I couldn’t stop vomiting.

I was kept on the ward overnight. Where even more young doctors visited to quiz me. Super! One guy I gave him so much cheek when he told me he once misplaced his car I told him he didn’t deserve his car and he should handover his keys. My hand was out and he didn’t know how to respond. I did not leave the hospital with a car, just saying.


The second time I had an Angio, because you know there was. Considering how unpleasant it was, it went a little better.

When I had my meeting with my radiologist I told him, “Just promise me I will never have to have another Angio, because it really did seem the worst thing ever. He looked uncomfortable and I’m certain my mum grumbled I couldn’t ask that. Like hell I couldn’t, I’d been the one who had had one not her. “Just lie to me, it’s fine!” And he did.

Eventually, when it was time to have that next Angiogram to confirm my treatment had done its job and I didn’t require any more he broke the news, “we need to have a conversation about that test you don’t like”. And there is no point fighting it, you have another Angiogram. The second time was better. I was at a different hospital and knowing what to expect makes it much better. Secondly, and this is my next bit of advice, when they come over to you and offer you drugs? Take it! I was given a ‘mild sedative’ and as I had had an allergic reaction to the iodine I was given something for that too. But this time, I came up with the description that it felt like I was being punched in the head but from the inside! And I’ve never been punched in the head at all, and I’m not complaining about that.


Lastly, I would love it if every young doctor had to experience that procedure, that is so intensely distasteful as it is.


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