Where in the World is Rebecca Today?

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The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

The Good
• We had a great time in Edinburgh
• I passed my Life in the UK test
• We visited Tim’s best mate in Shoreham-by-Sea
• I spent 2 days with my friend Jessy in Winchester

The Bad
• I got shoved into a wet paint pole at the railway station and got paint all down the arm of a new cardigan
• The car broke down on the way home from Shoreham-by-Sea

The Ugly
• After waiting outside in the cold for 5 hours with the car, I no longer have a voice and have a bad cold.
• Car repairs totalled £450

As a result, I’ve had to drop NaBloPoMo…I missed too many days in there and forgot to schedule things. *sigh*. But then again, with the move over to BlogHer, I somehow missed getting myself on the official rollcall list for it anyway. Oh well. I’ll try to post each day until the end of the month, but with skipping five days, I don’t think I can consider myself a participant any more.

One more good – White Spirit took the paint off my cardigan. It still reeks after a trip through the washing machine, but I’ve got it hanging outside to air it out.

I’ll write about the car in another entry. It’s an interesting story.

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The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, or the RSS feed(s), please notify me.

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Two Years Ago Today….

I married my best friend.

Happy Anniversary Tim!

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Desktop Update

The bad: Video card is fried.
The good: Comuter has an on-board video card that can be used instead
The bad: on-board card isn’t compatible with some of Tim’s video games. Will have to order a new card for £20-50.
The good: at least we can use the desktop while we wait for the video card to come in…

The desktop is still with Pete, but we’ll probably go get it tomorrow or Saturday and set it back up just so we can use it, then when we get the new video card get that installed so the video games work.

Though, if it won’t work with the video games, I’m not sure the on-board video would work with Photoshop CS3 either.

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Computer on the Fritz!

Our desktop is on the fritz for sure, and we aren’t sure what’s wrong with it. On Thursday I got up to get a cup of tea and when I got back to the desk, the monitor was displaying loads of funky colours and the computer appeared to be frozen. So, I hit the power button to restart. I did this about three times and finally I got to Windows Recovery. Followed a half an hour later by a message that Windows could not recover itself and the recommendation was to restore from a previous auto-backup. I didn’t want to do this, since Tim had just moved all his Wales photos onto the computer and I was worried the auto-backup would be from before the transfer, so I started downloading Knoppix on my laptop to make a DVD so I could pull the files off onto an external like I had to do in 2009 when we came home from a weekend away to a broken computer.

My laptop has recently been reformatted and fixed, so it doesn’t have any of my files on it. I wanted a file off my external, so I unplugged it from the desktop and on a whim, restared. The computer started up, and my friend falnfenix advised to always unplug the external before a reboot. Even though the problem had never happened before, it appeared as though the desktop had been trying to boot from the external, which of course doesn’t have an OS.

Problem solved, right? Uhm, no. We were away for most of the weekend staying with N and P at their place and doing various things (shopping for their new addition to the family, celebrating birthdays, taking the girls out for the bank holiday). We were home on Sunday, and the computer acted up once, so we restarted it right before we walked out the door and it hadn’t fully loaded by the time we were ready to leave so we just left it on.

When we got back yesterday evening, it was to a colourful screenful again. We attempted to restart several times with no luck, but at one point we discovered that Windows was in fact still loading (we heard the start up music), so the problem wasn’t with the OS. Next thought was the cables to the monitor were loose, so Tim unplugged, re-plugged, and jiggled things around. Still nothing. We were just trying to decide what we wanted to do and suddenly the problem was fixed. Again.

It didn’t last long.

So now we’re stuck. It’s either the monitor that’s gone or the video card, but either way it will involve a trip to a shop and it’s not something that will happen soon as Tim’s just started his round of late shift with on-call and doesn’t switch to the early shift until Thursday next week. We just aren’t organized enough to get out in the morning before his shift starts!

So I’m on the laptop for now. I have my Wales photos on my external, but I don’t have photoshop on my laptop (I’m not even sure if my laptop can handle photoshop) and I can’t watermark anything, so I probably won’t be posting any more photos until I either get photoshop sorted or get the desktop sorted.

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The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, or the RSS feed(s), please notify me.

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Neglectful

I’ve been neglecting my blog over here this month as various things have kept me from making updates…and I’m about to go away for 2 weeks, so there goes updating for most of August, too.

One of these days I’m going to actually get back into the swing of blogging, I promise….that is, if anyone still reads! 😀

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Thank You (Update on Miss M)

I just wanted to thank all of my friends who have assisted Miss M so far. Miss M has now raised over $1300 in her Hysterectomy Fund!

Thank you to ALL of you who have donated money, crafted items for us to sell in PhoenixFunds, or purchased items from her shop. It means a lot to Miss M, and to me as well to know that there are caring people out there!

But…we still have a goal to meet. M is halfway to her downpayment amount, and of course, this does not include any of the actual costs associated with the surgery itself, the hospital fees, or any other fees. So, we need to continue to fundraise.

EDIT TO ADD: And, Miss M just found out that she is getting NO ASSISTANCE on the ER hospital bill, a total of over $8,000.

Please pass on links to my site, to her site, to the shops, anything you can do to help continue to spread the word.

Here are all the links to help M:

Her Website: http://giveneyestosee.com/blog

Blow-by-blow: http://giveneyestosee.com/blog/hysterectomy/

Donated items Storefront: http://PhoenixFunds.etsy.com
[FYI, we are currently having technical difficulties with our shop, please check back as we hope to have it up and running again soon!]

Her Storefront: http://PhoenixFireDesigns.etsy.com

Her Website: http://www.phoenixfiredesigns.com

Direction Donations via Paypal: http://tiny.cc/hysterectomy

Direct Donations via Fund Me: http://www.gofundme.com/hysterectomy

Address for mailing things:
Miss M. Turner
PO BOX 1484
Elfers, FL 34680
USA

If you’re a crafter and sell on Etsy, consider joining our Team and giving us an item to sell for M’s behalf. If you don’t sell on Etsy, but would still like to contribute an item for sale, drop us a comment. Alternately, Miss M is also fundraising through sales of non-arts and craft items on eBay, so if you have anything hanging around that might be profitable, I’m sure she’d be glad to take it off your hands!

I also am looking for other charities we might not have contacted yet, so if you are in the Tampa area and have any leads, please pass them on! I also have been contacting local media outlets in Tampa, so again, if you have a contact to share, please leave us a comment.

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The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, or the RSS feed(s), please notify me.

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Update on Miss M (or US Healthcare Sucks)

Here’s an update on my friend, Miss M. She’s received the bill from the hospital for her ER stay, and including a 40% non-insurance discount, the total for that bill is over US$8,000. This means Miss M now needs to raise over US$10,000 before she can even schedule her surgery. The goalpost just jumped by over 375% (Tim says about 384%). Again, this doesn’t include ANY of the fees/charges involved with her eventual surgery or interim OB/GYN visits.


[photo above © M. Turner]

I know you’re probably getting sick of seeing me post about this, but M is one of my nearest and dearest. I won’t beg for you to help her, but new items have been added to PhoenixFunds, including some photographs I have submitted. Please take a look at either Miss M’s shop, PhoenixFunds, or her direct website. Again, if you are a crafter or artist and would like to donate an item to be sold for Miss M’s benefit, please contact me in the comments..

Her Website: http://giveneyestosee.com/blog

Blow-by-blow: http://giveneyestosee.com/blog/hysterectomy/

Donation Storefront: http://PhoenixFunds.etsy.com

Her Storefront: http://PhoenixFireDesigns.etsy.com

Her Website: http://www.phoenixfiredesigns.com

Please pass these links along, re-tweet them, put them on Facebook, write a blog entry about Miss M, pass along my blog links…anything we can do to “boost the signal” and to help get M the help she needs. Especially if you’ve got any crafty friends because we are in need of crafty items!

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The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, or the RSS feed(s), please notify me.

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Grey Hair?!

How on earth did I get a grey hair? I’m no where near old enough. Or wise enough!

Tim and I were out in the garden and as the sun was catching the hair that fell out of my hair clip, I noticed it. Shiny, coarse, and bright….I found my first grey hair.

I can do one of three things about it…

1. Grow grey gracefully and embrace the grey

2. Pluck, pluck, pluck

3. Dye it, baby

Tim says he doesn’t want me to dye my hair because he likes my hair the way it is, but I don’t know if I can like it grey! And if I pluck every grey hair I ever get…well, don’t they say that for every grey you pluck, two more grow in it’s place?

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The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, or the RSS feed(s), please notify me.

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Sending Packages

I created a list of US items for my snack swap partners and people sending me packages to take a look at. If you want to look at it, it’s here: http://www.blog.beccajanestclair.com/what-to-send/.

The list is long, but I tried to think of everything from the US I would consider a treat to give my swap partners plenty of items to pick from.

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Help for a Friend

One of my closest friends, Miss M has a problem. A really, big problem.

She needs to have a hysterectomy at the age of 34 to remove her uterus and possibly an ovary. From her blog:

I have two fibroids in my uterus the size of baseballs (exact quote from doctor) and two cysts as large too. They are apparently at the point where you can feel them through the skin and they’re so big it’s causing blinding pain and need to be removed. Most likely on Wednesday I will have laproscopic surgery to remove my uterus.

In a later post, M explains that her uterus is the same size of a woman who is four months pregnant, only she’s well, not pregnant.

Here’s the bad news….

Finally had the doctor’s office call me back. She’s saying I can’t do the surgery tomorrow because they need to see me pre-op. No shit, that’s why I’ve been calling since I was discharged Monday. She says the office visit for the pre-op is $140. Fine, no problem. But then she says they need $2,000 UP FRONT for the surgery.

You see, M is like many other women in the US who do not have health insurance. She works part-time and does not get insurance from her company. Now, I could get up on my soap box and start talking to you about how horrible it is that the US doesn’t have universal healthcare — and it IS horrible. But that’s not going to help M out.

M designs beautiful jewellery over at Phoenix Fire Designs. Even though I myself make jewellery, I have many pieces made by M, including a tree of life, and most recently I purchased a custom bracelet for my mom for Mother’s day, and a bird’s nest necklace for my Mother-in-Law. Currently, I keep eyeing a bracelet and earring set on her site, too.

If you’re wary of purchasing items off a regular website, M also runs an Etsy shop. You might want to check with her before ordering a custom piece, as I’m not sure what she is doing right now as she waits to have her surgery.

You can also, if you so choose, make a donation directly to M via her paypal account. There is a donation link embedded in her most recent blog post.

Thanks for reading.

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The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, or the RSS feed(s), please notify me.

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Rest in Peace, Will 3 Jan 2004 – 13 May 2011

My mom texted Tim last night to have him tell me she was taking my beloved kitty, Will, to the vet. They thought he had a urine infection possibly.

From what I know, his bladder was swollen so badly it caused him to have a heart attack right on the vet’s table. Mom was with him.

I got Will in January 2004. I just decided that I really wanted to have a cat of my own, and so we went off to the humane society in Lancaster, PA. They had two kittens in their kitten room. One was a white girl kitten who was skittish and hid from me in the play room, and the other was Will. He craweled all over me and perched on my shoulder, and I just knew he was the right kitten for me. The vet estimated he was only about 4 or 5 weeks old, so that puts his birthday somewhere around the end of November 2003/beginning of December. I always said that January 3 was his birthday :).

Will originally got his name from Will of Will & Grace….and he would actually watch Will & Grace with me and anytime someone said “Will”, he would look up. He also gained nicknames, like William Shakespeare (espcially after I heard the Arrogant Worms Song “William Shakespeare’s in my Cat”), and even Prince William on occasion.

He was a special kitty. I still remember when he was a kitten and I couldn’t find him anywhere in my apartment…..and then I opened the fridge. He had managed to climb into the fridge while I had been preparing my dinner!

He was a curious and friendly cat. Will expected everyone who walked through the door to greet him and rub his tummy. If you didn’t, he would make sure to rub up against your legs and bother you until you did. He worked better than a doorbell for alerting us to people! He needed to know what you were doing, watching, reading, or eating…he even drank green tea on a few occasions — but no other “people food”. He never begged for food from the table, he just wanted to see what you were eating.

He knew when I was upset and would come and lay down next to me as if to say “it’ll be alright”. When I missed Tim and would be crying, Will was there. If Mom and I were on video chat with each other and Will heard my voice, he came over to “see” me and would try to lick the webcam.

I was looking forward to the day when we could finally move Will over to the UK so he could join us here. I’m going to miss him a lot….that crazy little furball meant the world to me.


Rest in Peace, my brave kitty.

Will
3 Jan 2004 – 13 May 2011

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The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, or the RSS feed(s), please notify me.

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Sweet Adeline’s Region 31 Convention

This past weekend, Lincoln Sounds travelled to Birmingham to participate in this year’s Quartet of Nation’s annual convention/competition.

We didn’t do so good.

Last year, we came home with a bronze medal. This year, we came home all feeling a bit dejected and ho-hum about our score, which I won’t be posting to my blog, it hurts too much.

The only thing we can do is remain positive, and consider that next year, we could win “most improved chorus” 😀

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The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, or the RSS feed(s), please notify me.

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Ebay ShmeBay

*sigh* I bought a buy-it-now on another one of those Soap & Glory Big Pink totes because I worked it out as being a very cheap option for getting all the S&G items I love using, and I can turn around and re-auction off the items I don’t like/can’t use.

Problem! The set is missing an item. I double checked the auction listing, and the missing item was listed as being included. What can I do other than a polite message to the seller? I can’t really dispute it with PayPal since I have most of the item, and I really don’t want to deal with trying to send this back, as it’s a large package and it looks like the seller uses drop shipping for their auctions.

They have LOADS of these sets on offer on eBay, so I’m thinking the missing item might not even be their fault – it might not have been in the original since when we bought the first big pink, I had to check through a few boxes before I found one that hadn’t had an item stolen from it as they are not sealed in the store. Either way though, they promised me that item was included, so shouldn’t they do something about it? Either send me the missing item (which I’m not overly fussed about, to be honest. It smells nice, but I don’t absolutely NEED it) or send me a partial refund?

How long should I wait before doing anything other than emailing the seller and what are my options other than leaving negative feedback? This seller also NEVER once contacted me, even to say “your item has been shipped”, so I’m not super impressed either way, and was planning on noting the lack of communication on the feedback.

For my own record keeping: Seller contacted through eBay’s “contact the seller” on Sunday, 8 May.

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The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, or the RSS feed(s), please notify me.
For my own records: First message sent via ebay’s “contact the seller” on Sunday 8 May 5PMish.

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A Very Scary Phone Call

My husband has just left for work, and the phone rings at 17:17. I picked it up, and there was silence on the other end. I stayed on, thinking it might be Tim calling from his mobile at a traffic light or something and I repeat hello a few more times. A female Indian voice (from India, not Indian as in Native American) gets on the line and says to me “Is this [insert our street address?]”. No hello, no asking if I was me or to speak with Tim…just is this [address]. I responded with “I’m not going to verify anything until you tell me where you are calling from”. I got rattled back some random organization name and then “we’re calling on behalf of a grant for this property”.

Me: no, I’m sorry, we don’t have any pending grants for our property (again, not giving name or address)
Woman: I am calling to tell you about them
Me: No, we’re not interested. (woman starts talking over me) Please take us off your calling list. (Woman still talking over me) Thank you.
Woman: [pause for breath]
Me: Please take us off your list. (woman starts talking over me again) Thank you.
Woman: [pause for breath]
Me: Excuse me, we are not interested. (I suppose at this point I should have just hung up, but generally, if the other person hears you say “please take us off your list” they respond back with “Yes I will do that. Sorry” and I was waiting for confirmation that she heard me)
Woman: How about your husband, I bet he is interested
Me: No one in this house is interested. Please remove us from your list.
Woman: No, I will not remove you. We will keep on calling you. I will give your number to everyone I know and then everyone will call you [woman slams phone down].

Cue MASSIVE panic attack.

I tried 1471*, and I get the response that the number wasn’t recorded or something like that. So I called BT. Spoke with a lovely man named Roger. Roger explained that he couldn’t trace the call because the message I received indicates that the phone call originated from overseas. I told him about the phone call, but there was nothing he could do, he said. I asked him if I should file a police report, and he said I could if I wanted to, but without the phone number there isn’t much that could be done.

I’m really quite shaken up right now over it. I mean, I get that it was just a telemarketer (though to get around the fact that we have our number registered, the operator will always tell you that it is a survey and they do not have to comply with the telemarketing list**), but you don’t threaten people like that!

And, it’s 17:44. The phone just rang. I jumped out of my skin and was honestly afraid to answer it (it was a friend of mine).

*Edit* 18:14 – Spoke with Tim. He doesn’t think I need to worry about it and thinks that if anyone calls us I should just slam the phone down. When I pointed out to him that they had our phone number and address – he pointed out that anyone with a local phone book could get the same. I’m feeling much better now and we’ve decided that if someone from India wants to waste their money calling the UK to get their jollies off — let ’em. If the call had been more local, then I’d have grounds to file a police report and things, but as it’s coming from India, I don’t think we’re in any danger of people showing up on our doorstep.

*If you have a BT Landline in the UK, 1471 will repeat back to you the last number that called. I think it’s similar to *69 in the US (or is it *66? I never used it, so I don’t know!)
**I know this is true in the US, as I used to work at a company that did satisfaction surveys fur nursing facilities and we were allowed to call family members who were listed on the Do Not Call list because we were conducting a survey. I have no idea if this is true in the UK, but it’s what both Tim and I have been told when people like this call us.

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The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, or the RSS feed(s), please notify me.

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More Self Promotion

In addition to listing myself with Network Blogs, I’ve now got a page on Facebook for my blog. If you’re a facebook user, could you please go “like” my page here? You don’t have to add me as a friend (though if you want to, feel free), but I’d appreciate the “likes” on Facebook 🙂

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The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, or the RSS feed(s), please notify me.

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Another Update on my Arm….

It’s not yet been a week since my surgery, but the nurse I see at the GP practice is amazed at how well it’s healing up. There’s barely any packing in it at all today, and she thinks that by the end of the week I’ll be able to just change the dressing on my own.

There is no sign of any infection either.

From the amount of packing pulled out last Thursday, and the results of my ultrasound, I know the infection ran really deep, so it’s quite a relief to have it all out. The fact that I’m healing super fast just goes to show how much better it was to finally cut out the infection instead of keep on shoving various antibiotics down my throat. I don’t blame the GP at all – I know surgery is always the last option, but when I had been dealing with this problem since December 2009….seems to me like surgery should have been obvious to the GP. But anyway. It’s happened and it’s gone, so that’s all that matters.

Since December 2009, when I first saw a doctor about this problem, here’s the breakdown of meds:

10 weeks of various antibiotics, each one getting stronger than the previous one
20 weeks on a combination antibiotic/steroid cream (used it every other week though, so I suppose only 10 weeks)
9 Months + on Zineryt (5 months to get rid of initial infections, currently using it to keep infections at bay)

I have an open office document about to spill onto it’s fifth page documenting everything related to the armpit infections, including every single visit to the nurse or GP. Since December 2009 I have had 16 GP appointments because of this problem and 30 nurse appointments (and counting). 4 visits to the After Hours GP, and one visit to A&E. It took the visit to A&E to get the problem sorted out once and for all (at least, we hope!).

If I get another infection in the other armpit, I think I’m going to just ask them for surgery right away. A week or two of recovering from surgery is so much better than constantly being on antibiotics and creams and having ugly colourful goo coming out of my armpits — I ruined MANY shirts in the past year and a half thanks to this mess!

Also, for those of you in the UK – don’t forget about prescription pre-payment. I just filled out the forms and paid for three months for £29 and with everything I had to pick up today I nearly broke even. (there’s also a yearly option for £104) It’s a good option if you have to pay for prescriptions and know you will be put on several at once.

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The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, or the RSS feed(s), please notify me.

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Addendum

[X-posted to blog, facebook, and lj. Again, apologies if you see this multiple times]

There were a few things I left out in my last post (Can you blame me? Typing at 4AM! LOL)

I wanted to add –

-Moving me to the ward where I’d be with “women my own age” was a bit of a joke. I was the youngest there. The woman across from me was the same age as my mom, the woman in the bed next to me the same age as my aunt, and the fourth woman was in her mid-80s. Monday we did little talking, but on Tuesday when 2 of the ladies were discharged, Sue (the one my mom’s age) and I became chatty so it was still a good move to move me, as the ward I had been on previously was full of all mid-80s women in various stages. The first ward also was very large and this one only had 4 beds in the room, so it was fairly quiet.

-As I said, the food I was given was awful. The biggest problem was, the NHS serves the hot meal at Lunch time, and since each day I was on “Nil by mouth” for Lunch, I had to skip it. The person serving the food always put aside whatever was cold from the meal for me to have when I was allowed to eat, but somehow the night nurse couldn’t find it so I was given those crap sandwiches. I can’t properly judge on the quality of the food, since I didn’t really eat NHS meals.

-The nursing staff….lovely. The daytime ward sister and Vicky were both amazing, as was the other nurse we had on Tuesday (Trina or something like that?). The night time ward sister also was amazing, but there was one night nurse who wasn’t very friendly OR encouraging. On Tuesday night when we were crossing our fingers that I’d still go, her only words to me were “you might not. There could be an emergency”, when all the other nurses were crossing their fingers along with me and telling me “I’m sure you’ll go”. I mean, way to be supportive of your patients! Not to mention, she kicked Tim out the one night before I knew if I was having surgery or not….something I found out later she wasn’t allowed to do as he is my spouse! Random visitors have to stick to visiting hours, but spouses are given all-access. Very annoying. But I loved Vicky. She really pulled out all the stops on me and really was hounding the surgery department to get me in or for them to make a decision. I plan on sending a letter of thanks to her and the hospital as soon as I can hold a pen again!

-Being able to be mobile, even while attached to an IV was great. I never once had to ask for a bedpan/commode, as I was able to always walk to the loo. On Wednesday, I was even allowed to take a shower to wash my hair (before being re-hooked to the IV). We dubbed my pole “Fred”. I haven’t been in a US hospital in years, but the last time I was in one (1998), the nurse forced me to use a bedpan even though I could walk.

-Wearing my own clothing was even better. The last time I was in a hospital in the US for a surgery (1998), I had to immediately change out of my clothing and put on a hospital gown. Here, I only had to wear the gown for the duration of my surgery. I was allowed to wear pajamas (or whatever I wanted, really) the entire time I was waiting, and about an hour after the surgery I was told I could change back out of the gown to be more comfortable. Nice. I also was able to keep my knickers (US: panties) on the entire time, including under my gown. When I was in hospital in the US, I was told I had to remove everything under the gown.

-I really can’t compare services received in the US vs. the UK. I never spent a night in a US hospital other than when I was born, and was a day patient 3 times (4 if you count the spinal tap). The only thing I CAN say is that I don’t think we’d have been able to afford a three-day stay in hospital if we lived in the US.

-As far as US Emergency Room vs UK Accidents & Emergencies go, I think the care was about the same. In the US, you’d have to wait if someone “worse” than you showed up just like you do in the UK. I was seen by triage about 45 minutes after arriving, and was called back to see a doctor about an hour after that. The long wait was only for a bed. In the US, I think the wait between triage and seeing a doctor might have been longer, but again, it always depends on the reason you are there. If you walk in and you are bleeding with something sticking out of you, I expect you’d get immediate care in both the UK and the US.

As far as an update on me goes –

I have a constant pain. The painkillers make it bearable, but it’s still always a dull pain. I found out yesterday from the nurse that I need to see a nurse every single day to have the dressing changed because they need to pack the incision. This really messes with our plans as it includes having the visiting nurses come see me over the weekend to change it on both days, and the visiting nurses cannot guarantee what time of day they will be able to come. During the week, I can easily get to my appointments if Tim has to work, as the practice is only a mile down the road. It’s walkable, or if I don’t want to walk, the bus costs 50p and goes from 3 houses down from me with a stop right opposite the practice.

Yesterday, I had extreme nausea after my nurse appointment. I will make mention of it to the nurse today, as I’m not sure if it was from the pain of being poked, finally coming down from the anaesthetic, or something else. I also might ask for a stronger pain reliever, but I DO NOT want morphine, which is what they almost gave me at the hospital. Thanks, but I don’t fancy being loopy for the next three weeks.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users can comment directly on Facebook.]

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The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, or the RSS feed(s), please notify me.

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The Past few Days (or, My NHS Hospital Experience)

[x-posted to blog, lj, and facebook. Sorry if you see this more than once, and apologies for the length. I can use the “more” option on the blog directly, but I don’t think it will cut any length for those of you reading it on an RSS reader.]

For some background –

I have Hidradenitis Suppurativa and was diagnosed in July 2010 after a year of misdiagnoses (2 in the US, 2 in the UK). Basically, what it means is that I have (very persistent!) infections in my armpit sweat glands. The disease hits females more than males (Though apparently men tend to get them more in their groin, women more in the armpits) and there really is no known cause or cure. There are loads of things that “might” trigger it, and loads of things that “might” cure it. Basically, I’m stuck with it until they decide to go away. Treatment (for me) has included loads of different antibiotic medications, a topical steroidal cream (at one point), and most recently, scrubbing with Hibiscrub and then applying Zineryt, a bacterial acne medication.

I have a file 4 pages long that describes my entire history with this problem, including all treatments. I won’t post it, but if you really are that curious, ask me to email it to you.

The Zineryt was doing it’s job, and while my armpit is scarred, the infections themselves were clearing up. And then I got a really bad case of flu that knocked me down for two weeks. At one point, I couldn’t get out of bed and skipped showering for three days. I was drenched in sweat several times each day…and a HS spot developed in my right armpit. (previously, everything was in left). I kept putting Zineryt on it, but on Wednesday or so of last week, I noticed a new spot developing – this one was about 2 inches long, and very narrow, but it hurt a lot. I called to make a regular appointment with my GP, but he was all booked up so I got an appointment to see one of the other GPs in the surgery. Told it was a HS flare up, and given a week of antibiotics with the instructions to come back in a week if it wasn’t healed or got worse.
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Rejected

I didn’t get the part.

I’m not too upset by it, but at the same time I am a little disappointed. It’s hard hearing such great things about your voice and then getting told “sorry, we’d rather go in a different direction”. But the woman who called me told me at least four times in the five-minute phone call that the judicatures were all very impressed with my voice and liked my singing…it just wasn’t what they were looking for. Admittedly, I wasn’t really expecting it to be. I have a polished voice…this was for the part of Priscilla Biggadyke, who probably didn’t have a polished/professional sounding singing voice. I also of course had the American accent thing possibly going *against* me – but at least I was honest when asked if I could do a British accent. Saves them the trouble of possibly casting me only to find out my British accent would make Dick van Dyke’s accent in “Mary Poppins” look proper! (Though I also could pull off an Eliza Doolittle accent, but that’s pretty much the same as DvD’s, really.)

The best thing to do is accept the rejection graciously. I’ve been offered tickets to the performance, which I might take them up on. I also do plan on asking BBC Lincolnshire to keep my information on file in case anything pops up that I would be appropriate for. Even if it’s just singing a jingle for an upcoming event or something.

I suppose it’s a little late in life to revert back to my 16-yr-old self’s dream of singing professionally, though.

OTOH, at least I don’t have to worry about squeezing in rehearsal for this on top of convention rehearsals with Lincoln Sounds, garden railway steam-ups, and everything else that goes on on a regular basis.

Still, like I said, it is a little disappointing after having such a fantastic audition.

Will I audition for anything else in the future? Probably. I keep wanting to get involved with the Theatre Royal’s productions, but find out about auditions and things too late to participate. The Broadbent Theatre is also close by, though participating there will have to wait until I can drive myself. And of course, there’s always my “dream” of joining Lace City in Nottingham!

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users can comment directly on Facebook.]

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The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, or the RSS feed(s), please notify me.

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That Went Well….

I’m quite pleased with my audition. It went really well, and the people I auditioned with were very nice…they even made me blush by telling me how good I was!

Talk about a confidence booster. It was especially nice to see the three judicatures nodding their heads and tapping their feet to “Anything Goes”.

So here’s what happened:

I got to the studio about a half hour before my audition slot, and was sent back to the interior lobby where I was interviewed (and recorded) by I’m guessing a student intern (she mentioned living in student accommodations while we were chatting, so that was my clue). I was just asked some general questions about who I was, my singing experience, my performing experience, and how I found out about the interviews. Then, it was back out into the interior lobby to wait to be called back into the audition room – three judicatures, 2 techs running the cameras and recording equipment, and the person I had been emailing with this past week. I managed to sing the first two verses of their song they wanted everyone to sing before I stopped and apologized for not being able to do the last verse (I had forgotten how it went!). I was told that they were sorry I had had to stop! That felt good! Onto my second song, “Anything Goes”, and I think I did really well. Like I said, people were tapping their feet, nodding their heads, and really enjoying it and again seemed to be disappointed when I stopped singing! After the audition, I was called back in to be interviewed (just to ask how I felt it went), and the interviewer asked me if I had been asked if I could do a British accent…I hadn’t been asked, and I admitted to the girl that I didn’t think I could, so…we shall see.

I should be hearing this afternoon if I received a part or not, but even if I didn’t, it still was great to go out there and sing.

A big thank you goes out to BBC Lincolnshire for even considering me!

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users can comment directly on Facebook.]

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The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, or the RSS feed(s), please notify me.

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