Friday, 22 February 2013

New Toy!

After speaking to my boss on Monday I arranged to work from home on Tuesday.  I wanted to concentrate on a couple of things, to put into action my idea of working on my high prio lists and as it was my quarterly visit to the gender clinic to speak to the endocrinologist to make sure that I could work rather that sit in a car for 2 hours.

So...  Opposite to normal I got Mrs Stace breakfast whilst she rushed to get ready for work and then I got ready.

Ready in this case being throwing a dressing gown over my pyjamas and opening up my laptop on the dining room table and taking advantage of the espresso machine for lots of cappuccinos :)

I had planned a three hour work block, and knew what I wanted finished in that time (and managed to do it!).  So at quarter past nine I signed off, got changed into my running gear and went for a gentle 7km run.  About 500m from home I got a call from someone in the office, so I walked the last bit.  It was bright, sunny and windless.  In other words perfect for running, and I really enjoyed it.

I got home, threw on a fleecy cardigan and logged in again for another 75 minutes.  Not quite managing to do what I wanted, but close!  I needed to write some data update scripts so that the business did not have to make 4000 manual changes to data.

Unfortunately the database is a little old and has had, well… Let's call it some organic growth.  Finding the right fields to update, and even the right tables to update proved to be a bit of detective work.  Checking the site code, back end system code and of course looking into the database tables themselves I managed to build a reasonable picture of what I needed to build.

Some tricks to make the update statements simple (for the techies out there...  Why use multiple table update statements - in this case multi-database, multi-table update scripts when you can fill a temporary table with the record id's you need and use those for the update statements instead?) and there is was.

At the point of having to shower and get ready I was not close to being finished with that though.  A little behind as I wanted at least the first script done before leaving!

A bit of a long shower (to loosen up after the run) and quickly get dressed (I had already picked my outfit for the day).  Err...  No.  I realised that seeing as I was going to have to have my blood pressure taken, and maybe some blood taken as well, and that would not work in the outfit I had picked without taking off clothes multiple times.

No then.  Ok then, loose jumper and skirt.

No, don't like the end result of that.  Now I am stressed that I am not back at work, and still have to pick an outfit that is practical and I like, and I have drive to Amsterdam.

In the end I went for another of my favourite outfits, it kind of worked for the blood work and blood pressure, and by this time I had no choice anyway!

Right.  Hair (stressed and in a rush, so obviously I was not happy!), make up (ditto) and I managed to leave the house about 15 minutes later than planned and also lost 30 minutes of work.  Quite why my confidence left me at that moment in time I have no idea!

But...  Got there (phew!). Parked the car in the of the car park that remains at the hospital (they are building on top of the other half, and I guess they don't want anything to happen underneath whilst they are busy - I don't know if that fills me with confidence in their safety or not!).

About 6 months ago the hospital finally opened a newly refurbished cafe in the reception area, there is a cafe outside, but the food sucks and it has a strange atmosphere.  So I sat down, explained that I had an appointment in 30 minutes and was that enough time to order a tuna sandwich and coffee and eat it.  The waiter assured me it was.  He left, I posted on Facebook that I hoped it got there in time and by the time I put my phone away a ciabatta appeared on the table.  And it was really nice too!  The coffee followed, and was as nice as the sandwich.  I paid and left and managed to get there with 5 minutes still to spare.  Few.

Sat in the busy waiting area, got out my ebook reader and carried on with my novel about a boy who discovers he is a wizard on his 11th birthday :)  And it turned out that they were running way behind.  All the rushing for nothing!  Oh well, if the guy needs to spend extra time with me because of something then I want him to, so I am not going to complain about being a little late.

And the co-ordinator bought around chocolate eggs as an apology, so what was there to complain about :)

The appointment went kind of well...  I'm still leading a healthy life (no blood work this time as that will come in 3 months).  But...

He does not like the amount of androcur that I am on.  Really, really not.  He reduced it last time and after nine days I was climbing the walls, so one of the assistant endocrinologists put me back to the old dose.  He's German and made it very clear that I am on double what he would normally prescribe, and 4 times what would be prescribed in Germany.  It could lead to tiredness and fatigue (something I had 3 months ago, but is not so much of an issue now) and he is concerned.  But at the same time it's not dangerous and so he has kept me on the dose.

The other issue was my blood pressure.  It's always high when measured, and for some reason doubly so when he does it.  171 over 101 and he is not happy.  He does not believe it either - I am too apparently healthy to have this high a blood pressure.

So I have to measure it myself.  On the way home I got myself a machine for home, and I now have to measure it twice a day.  Once when waking up, and once in the evening after I have spent some time relaxing.

So I got home later than I had planned, and got back to work again.  This time I got my scripts finished, and even better as soon as the first was done I had a base and the other 6 took 15 minutes in total.

So...  How did the machine go?

Well, the second the balloon inflates on my arm I feel my chest tighten up, and have to fight to keep the stress levels under control. Feeling the pulse in your upper arm, because the blood doesn’t flow to your lower arms and having the realisation that what the machine is doing is crushing your artery to stop the blood flow just freaks me out.

So far though the pressure has been high, but not extreme as it was in the hospital, so that is a plus.  Between 125 and 145 over between 75 and 95, the lower range is fine, the upper not.

I’ve also been overusing it (thanks for the idea Chrissie!), in the hope that doing it regularly will make it more normal and not the stress event it was.  The first morning I woke nearly 2 hours early and spent those two hours stressing about taking the reading, or snoozing and dreaming about stressing about silly numbers on the display when I did the test.

(Did I mention that I do not like having my blood pressure taken?)

Still, it’s getting better.  Lying on the sofa in the evenings after eating I’m spending 10 mins relaxing (as much as I can) taking a reading and repeating another two times. It’s starting to get normal, it’s not normal yet, but it’s starting to get there!

PS Lynn – I have not answered your questions yet, but I will get there!


  1. Its funny how the medical profession have such diverse views. When I came off the injectable the Dr wouldn't prescribe Androcur due to some associated health risks (related to my age so don't stress !,).

    I was thinking about your tales around BP's when I had mine taken last time. I swear it jumped up .....

  2. New fangled techy machines always give me a high reading but my doc does it the old way and she always gets a great result. I went in regularly for months before my op to have a paper to wave at the hospital if they got worried...

    I bought one of those machines ages ago when first diagnosed, never wasted so much money on a toy!

  3. Two of my in-laws have White Coat Syndrome too. Funny that it's now got a name. Both are fine with the home testing. <<>>

    As to the list of answers, no rush, Mrs.

  4. I've never minded getting my blood pressure taken. But shots...

    Actually, I'm OK with those too - as long I don't watch. When I would get allergy shots, the nurses all laughed when I would turn my head. Until the one time I turned back too quickly, saw the shot go in, and nearly fainted. The nurse literally caught me in her arms. Whoops!

    Hope you have a relaxing weekend, Stace. I think you've earned it!