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Showing posts from April, 2012

The pity party

I've done my make up, and my hair...I'm all dressed up, and actually, I do have somewhere to go, somewhere to which I really would liked to have gone. I was invited to a party that I had been looking forward to, thrown by someone I was excited about seeing. But I'm lying on my bed and I can't get off it. Last Saturday, I felt energetic enough to go out for Maisy's birthday and I lasted until - wait for it - almost midnight; consequently, I had high hope for this week's festivities, even if they were scheduled on a dialysis day.

More than the needles and the fluid restriction or the old men who cough up phlegm, sometimes the unpredictability of dialysis is the hardest aspect. One week I might feel fine post-hospital, then the next week...exhaustion. This has resulted in huge amounts of guilt over the years: I manage to make it to X's birthday, only to let Y down a few weeks later. Not only do I feel like a class A loser - sitting on my bed, alone, on a Satur…

Growing pains

I am getting older. This is how I know:

1. On my walk to work, I pass teenage girls in their school uniforms without coats on. I, in contrast, am swaddled from the elements by seventeen layers of wool and sheepskin. I am not too cool for a coat, and no longer feel the need to roll my eyes and tell my mum to fuck off should she suggest I wear one.

2. After a recent spate of birthdays, most of my friends are now on the wrong side of 26.

3. I am almost on the wrong side of 26 and am still waiting for a kidney.

4. I actively look forward to getting into bed and wiling away the final half hour before sleepy-time doing the Evening Standard Crossword.

5. I no longer feel it necessary to stay in a relationship that I feel is redundant.

6. I no longer feel it necessary to sleep with anything male/under 35/breathing in order to validate myself/get a bed for the night/rack up my numbers/ensure I have an archive of funny anecdotes.

7. My friends don't live down the road anymore. In fact, many…

Into the Void

A few weeks ago I was asked if I would be willing to take part in some research into improving the process of transplantation. Anything that helps Rosy “Superfly” Edwards (it will catch on, I just need to be patient) get hold of a moist and throbbing kidney sooner rather than later is an opportunity to be seized, so I said an emphatic yes, and if some other people also benefited in the process then yeah, that’s fine too, whatever.

I was told during my dialysis session that a research nurse called Sam would be coming to see me. Sam is a stand up name and hints at solidity: it is the sobriquet of my younger brother for one, and I’ve slept with a couple of Sams without much ado. Perhaps the fact this Sam was a nurse, and a man, and a nurse of research should have rung alarm bells, but nothing could have prepared me for the fact I was about to encounter the most awkward human being I have come across in my life, ever.

For a start, he crept. In my experience, most people navigate between p…

Be sporting - don't forsake The Games

"STAY AND ENJOY THE GAMES OF A LIFETIME" the Evening Standard implored us weary Londoners today. There is something thoroughly British about the urge to run in the opposite direction when the spotlight falls anywhere near our merry island, but this is not the jolly, robust, stiff-upper-lip Britishness that even Hitler himself admired; there is something much more disdainful about the thought that we, as a country, are so cynical about the Olympics, we are prepared - nee, eager - to boycott, to forsake our national brethren at the time when they most need our support, because basically we can't be arsed to put up with two weeks' worth of disruption and all those "bloody foreigners". The Olympics coming to London may well only happen once in our lifetime, and yet it seems to have become the national pastime to grumble and chide and book the first Easyjet flight outta' Dodge.

We seem to have a nationwide aversion to anything organised, fun, flamboyant, n…

Keep quiet and carry on

There is a new guy on my unit. He looks like a Red Indian and dresses like Phil Mitchell, which has led me, predictably, stereotypically, to name him Cherokee Phil. He is green, uninitiated to the ways of Bostock, like Andy in The Shawshank Redemption. I am Morgan Freeman.

Cherokee Phil talks. Actually, he chats, nattering away to the nurses like he's at a coffee morning, relaying information about himself, how he's feeling, his latest medical issues...the exact opposite to the somewhat aloof position I favour. He brings the outside in; he is clearly the same Cherokee Phil at the hospital as he is at home and is happy to let the two realities intermingle. I am not: I do not go to hospital, Hospital Rosy does, and lets nothing slip beyond her concerns about our startling blood pressure (unfortunately it still afflicts me, Normal Rosy, even when I am back home on my sofa eating Cheerios) and the occasional reference to a hangover.

My reticence has resulted in an odd state of af…

Out and proud

Every persecuted minority needs an advocate, a figure head prepared to step out of the oppressed mass and fight the cause, challenge the status quo. Ours is Damien Lewis, and he champions the plight of the redhead. As my friend Daisy put it, he is the holy grail: a Fit Ginger, an anomaly so rare that he is made all the more special for it. We also have Prince Harry, and the beautiful Eddie Redmayne, not to mention Lily Cole, but none of these FGs portray a sturdy, burly, mysterious Marine in the brilliant Homeland, thereby exponentially increasing their fitness by a factor of 30.

The life of a redhead is a harsh and brutal one. I mean...I suppose it could be. I, personally, have never really been targeted. Once, during a French class at prep school, my classmates sniggered when I insisted my hair colour was "strawberry blonde" and not "rouge", but now my friends correct me whenever I attempt humorous self-deprecation and cynically refer to my orange hair (you prob…

Inspiration Strikes

It is all too easy to wallow in my own self-pity, just as it is to lie in a bathtub full of tepid water and one's own filth sipping vodka and orange and crying. Not that I've ever done that.

There are two ways of looking at my life as it stands:
1. It is a balls-out failure, that comprises a crummy job, a precarious social life, little money and even less kidney function...and ginger hair
2. It is not what I had envisaged, but I am generally quite happy and I am incredibly fortunate in numerous ways

When the former overwhelms me and I end up in the bath, I loathe myself just that little bit more; how dare I entrench myself in a quagmire of melancholy when there are so many out there, dealing with so much worse in a far more admirable manner? This point was rammed home to me, thoroughly, by a recent article I read, but before I proceed I must unburden my soul: in a direct betrayal of my beloved Guardian Weekend, it derived from the Saturday Telegraph magazine. I am so, so…

Into the Wild

Things are changing. And I, usually reticent to change, am able to deal with it because lots of other things aren't changing and I am clinging onto them with my fingernails, dire as they might be.

The Chef and I broke up; or, to be more exacting, I broke us up. I have written only sporadically about The Chef on these pages and I do not intend to start now, at a time when we are both at our most vulnerable. The last week has been traumatic, and immensely sad, but I have made the right decision and on this occasion, I am embracing the change it will bring - as much as one can eagerly embrace the prospect of Saturday nights with The Guardian and tuna salad for one for as far as the eye can see.

Unfortunately, my feelings for The Chef just faded, over time, as feelings are wont to do. It was not conscious, and I am sorry that I shan't end up with someone as wonderful as he. But the break-up was precipitated by more than just that: I wanted - nay, needed - to be alone. It was a &…