Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: Bonging Science Doughnut Time

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  • Peter Ashby,

    The trick seems to be to be really sick when you have one. My wife doesn't remember much about hers due to this effect. Your problem Emma is that you are too healthy.

    Keep well and hope horrible scans are the worst you will have to suffer.

    I intend to expire suddenly from a massive heart attack while out on a long run, I'll settle for a large embolism. Though all this running has left me with low rather than high blood pressure (I eat salt) and a resting heart rate that you would literally not believe. I have a PhD in Physiology and I don't quite believe it. So my chances are not great.

    Dundee, Scotland • Since May 2007 • 425 posts Report Reply

  • Amy Gale,

    In a previous life, I did a bit of MRI work. We used to model for each other. WheeOOOwheOOoo DONK DONK DONK.

    The weirdest bit, though, was going down on Friday nights to do data pickups and sitting in the waiting room with all the young boxers in for their compulsory brain scans. Weird and sad.

    tha Ith • Since May 2007 • 457 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan,

    I have the fortunate distinction of hardly ever getting sick*. I haven't been in hospital since I was a child - before I can remember. I've been to the doctor maybe three times in the five years I've lived in Wellington.

    Of course, consequently, I appear to have given myself a massive complex about hospitals. Which means visiting people, even when they are there for routine and simple things, almost gives me a panic attack. Fun!

    It's possible I'm just turning into a girl. Or straightening.

    I'm so taking credit for that. It started with the sparkly shoes you bought for the book launch.

    * Yes, I am touching wood right now...that sentence rather tempted fate, didn't it?

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1273 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Reid,

    MRIs have a big magnet that makes the hydrogen atoms in your body change their axis of spin. The clunky noises are apparently smaller magnets moving around to check out different tissues in your body.

    The corollary of having a huge magnet is that some nasty accidents can happen with floor cleaners, oxygen bottles and other metallic objects accidently brought into the magnetic field.

    South Africa • Since Nov 2006 • 79 posts Report Reply

  • st ephen,

    "The trick seems to be to be really sick when you have one."

    Or deaf. My brick seemed to be wrapped in a thick towel. Still a little unnerving to have my head in the dryer while that brick whirled around, though.

    dunedin • Since Jul 2008 • 199 posts Report Reply

  • wendyf,

    I guess my darling was lucky that his cancer was diagnosed too late for him to have to put up with any of that stuff.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 76 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Oh, Emma. Sorry. The claustrophobic nature of that scan might cause me to actually faint. (The tiny spaces, I do not like them.)

    a resting heart rate that you would literally not believe

    I probably would, because I have no idea what a normal resting heart rate is. I have this happy facility for... well, kinda not giving a crap. :)

    Until this year, I hadn't been to a hospital for anything since my birth in Venezuela in 1974. (That particular facility had bright aqua walls, which I'm sure my mother found very restful.) In late March, however, I managed to get myself a postpartum complication experienced by only one in 3000 women (woot!), and so I had a week in hospital discovering that when you're recovering from a 'major event', as the doctors put it, hospital food seems incredibly awesome. I still think fondly of those pesto and tomato sarnies...

    Anyway, since we're here, can anyone confirm or deny the rumour I heard that men get a local anaesthetic for the insertion of a catheter, while women just have to suck it up? (Uh, so to speak.)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3648 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Bet you never had to go through the whole prep for a colonoscopy only to be told by the hospital that they made a mistake and you didn't need one after all. How we all laughed!

    well actually it was from the other end - they'd found my humungo giant gall stone the day before (you go and sit, the only guy with all the pregnant women, waiting for an ultrasound...) and decided to do it anyway just in case

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2111 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Stevenson,

    can anyone confirm or deny the rumour I heard that men get a local anaesthetic for the insertion of a catheter

    I cannot confirm or deny for this application. But in case you have never had a local, they sting like anything (think lemon juice in a paper cut). Last time I had stiches I chose to forego the local...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 195 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    I guess my darling was lucky that his cancer was diagnosed too late for him to have to put up with any of that stuff.

    I am so sorry, Wendy. My most sincere condolences. I tell you for why. When my darling was going through very heavy duty chemo and radiotherapy, I remember thinking, from time to time, that he may have been better off dead. Now, even after the last 13 years of him adjusting to a life when he was expected to die, and a very limited life it has become with all of the side effects of the treatment, I am very very glad that he didn't. I have well intentioned friends who would, when they had another friend whose partner had cancer, try to get me to offer comfort. And all I could tell the well intentioned friends was that when your partner has died, you don't want to hear about the ones that lived.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    My Dad's another for whom the treatment was worse than the disease (at least at the stage the cancer was detected).

    Ah, the treatment abates and ends whereas the disease remains, unless of course this is about terminal in which case I'm a bit late so as you were.
    Actually,

    my head can't be bouncing up and down like it feels it is. I wonder what this will be like after I get a whole bunch of red tattoo ink on my back later on this year?

    Glad to see you are as good as always Emma. ain't life a beautiful thing. Here is my latest tattoos. They've taken a few months but I'm getting there. It's my garden. :) xx

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6077 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Jackie - wise wise words-
    every partnership/family relationship/friendship is different.
    All one can do is - wish the best to all (and hope for a good outcome.)
    My mantra - and it is a real one, taught to me a much-loved family member who is also a GP -
    "The natural inclination
    of the human body
    is
    towards good health-"

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Sofie- my god girl! You have a garden and gods growing with you!

    May I add another couple of bits- sans gardens & gods?

    I have several fraught friends at the moment - cancers & strokes majorly.
    I know this sounds so squishy & weak (and I'm a bloody atheist to boot!)
    but cant we set up a wee 'good wishes to all & anyone'

    shelf? Site? (Chapel would offend me, but may help others???)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Here is my latest tattoos.

    Oh, Sofie, beautiful! I love that chameleon especially.

    Jackie, you're amazing, you know that, right?

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4350 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    In late June, last year, I had what I thought was a stroke. After several hours in DH, it was entitled 'an episode' *- but, after the CT et al, I learned I had *had* an historic stroke (pareital lobe) - probably when my sister Mary Emma died (after a long duration of cancers) in 2007.
    All I know is that I am much more uncertain on my feet in the tides than I used to be-

    get a tattoo?

    I learned, a very long time ago, that I am a flighty & unsteady being, and what I'd choose for a certainty this day, tomorrow will be despised-

    *almost certainly one of my eroded vertebrae crunching onto another-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    And all I could tell the well intentioned friends was that when your partner has died, you don't want to hear about the ones that lived.

    Well said. And vice versa.

    In fact skip any of that 'I know how you feel' or empathetic talk of 'suffering' and just do practical helpful stuff. Or just send kindness.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2070 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    Oh my god, Sof - those have grown! Just as well it's the hols in two sleeps, eh? I can see them IRL in all their glory, and toast said glory with alcoholic beverages. Past time, eh?
    Islander, I quite agree. I think we should have a permanent thread for such things. Life is full of shit and roses, and sometimes it helps to have somewhere to appreciate, or lament, all of it.
    Emma, the feeling is entirely mutual, my love. I forgot to say that I am very glad indeed that your head is still screwed on right, and that the contents of said head are healthy.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Hilary - yep.
    Which is why - possibly 0- we might set a site to 'just send kindness'?

    And there is also the possibility of *practical support* as Sofie, Steve, Andris & self did-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    That is such a good idea, Islander. Maybe a place where people can say what they need, and others can offer their services/thoughts/help? Russell? What say you?

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    A births/deaths/family/happenings thread has been mooted many times. Emma, could you perhaps go ahead and create one? It will be treasured.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16599 posts Report Reply

  • Isabel Hitchings,

    Sofie - your arm looks like it is entirely covered in happy! I love all the singing colours.

    My Dad is happily still with us. It's the paradox of early detection really - a tumour measured in millimetres and a recurrence detected at the stage of being cells under a microscope weren't causing him problems at that stage even though they undoubtedly would have later. Several years after treatment he still has some pain but we're all rather glad he's still here. The two tin hips and replumbed heart are pretty awesome as well :-)

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 705 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    get a tattoo?

    Get a tattoo. :)
    Has done wonders for nerve stimulation on my left side.
    Oh and Emma ,congrats on the Metro job.
    @ Isabel.
    They really are pretty true to their colours as well. The colours are a reminder of my childhood also. I had lots of mexican things, although flowers are pretty unique when it comes to their colours, but yes very happy.
    Jackie,will be away until next Wednesday end of this week but lets catch up eh?

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6077 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan,

    Sofie: Those are beautiful.

    Jackie: You are amazing. I have a dear friend who has suffered a loss, and I have been desperately trying to think of something I can do.

    Hilary's

    In fact skip any of that 'I know how you feel' or empathetic talk of 'suffering' and just do practical helpful stuff. Or just send kindness.

    is brilliant advice. I can do that.

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1273 posts Report Reply

  • Cecelia,

    Sofie, where is that scarf-wearing dog of yours? I think a doggie would be more comfort than tattoos - but I'm just old-fashioned:)

    I've been watching this thread and thinking. I've had close dealings with cancer and it really is as awful as it is feared to be - if it gets out of control. Lots of love to you Wendy. I'm so sorry to hear that it was too late for your husband.

    I'm really interested in Emma's term "medicalised". After my big cancer in 1996 I was reluctant to set foot in a hospital and went to the doctor only if it was absolutely necessary and even disliked going to a physio. I'd had enough of being a patient. It's a powerless position, perhaps? A cancer counsellor I was talking to recently said that people in hospices will tell the cleaners things they won't tell the nurses. It's a sort of hierarchy thing. Nurses and doctors have power. Patients and cleaners not so much????

    I'm also interested in your views on cancer treatment. Hmmm. I've just had two bouts with oral cancer. First time I had minimal treatment. This left some carcinoma in situ near the margins. So of course it came back again last November and now I've had half of my oral tongue removed. My cancer doesn't seem to be very aggressive so the latter treatment might have been over the top. It's very hard for doctors to get the balance right and maybe I should have been a bit more informed in both situations.

    I subscribed to the Oral Cancer Foundation in the US. Their website is absolutely brilliant. They advise aggressive treatment (the American way) but they also advocate patient choice and 2nd and 3rd opinions.

    Hibiscus Coast • Since Apr 2008 • 522 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    Danielle:

    when you're recovering from a 'major event', as the doctors put it, hospital food seems incredibly awesome

    Hospital food is totally underrated. Among the best meals of my life, which include bistecca alla fiorentina in Florence and a delicious multi course number at the White House restaurant, was the chicken drumsticks, soup and mashed veges I had an hour after my daughter was born, about 24 hours after my previous meal. It's good simple comfort food, which won't set the culinary world on fire but makes you feel better when you're feeling crook.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 810 posts Report Reply

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