This month has been one filled with surprise extras – a kind of “bonus” month. June started with the second bout of bronchitis, a mean bonus when one bout was already more than enough! I did not realise that “bonus” would be a theme of the month.
A major bonus of the very welcome kind has of course been the launch of Dragonfruit – that has brought a feast of bonuses in being part of a work which is more than a book. Contributing to the Anthology has resulted in bringing together a number of women from many walks of life and in addition to the stories in the book, there is a tapestry of other connections which I am discovering. I am also really enjoying reading the daily features of each writer on our Facebook page – my own feature was June 20,
Holding the book in my hands has been probably the greatest bonus of the month. Seeing my writing in print, in a proper book, has been a dream since childhood when I churned out some dire stories and dreadful poetry!
And while I was gadding off to Bangkok, and picking up my own copy of our Dragonfruit Anthology, there was of course a reason other than that for the visit. Another bonus, and a less welcome one. At my last round of six monthly checks in March, I learned that some of my bloodwork was a bit “off”. Frustratingly, cholesterol levels, which were very healthy since my post treatment monitoring, have recently been rising and are no longer in the “you are a star” limits. Other bloodwork has also been a bit off, including sugar (not unexpected thanks to a strong line of diabetes in my maternal side) and that is one of the push factors in my morning exercise. The cholesterol levels started to rise following my pulmonary embolism when I switched to Femara in July 2012. Dr W confirmed that this is a documented effect of Femara which made me feel vindicated but no less frustrated. So this month I had a bonus review with my endocrinologist (I had no idea that there was such a thing as an endocrinologist before my diagnosis – and I still cannot spell it!) He wanted to review the cholesterol and sugar especially and I was also to revisit the nutritionist who had already told me my diet is better than hers!
The added trip meant another bonus. Two flights which I would rather not take. I am not fond of flying in rainy season as it can be really bumpy and scary and would far rather have stayed cosily at home listening to the rain in the garden rather than feeling the weight of the water in those angry, black clouds which we have to navigate.
My appointments were on Tuesday and I was really not looking forward to them. Recent weeks have seen the double bout of bronchitis and a fair bit of travel. Add in a couple of bonus freak storms at swimming o’clock and we have seen a fair bit of disruption to my morning exercise routine. So the challenge I had been given to lose three kilos, which was already quite an ask with my lost thyroid and Femara sabotage was even more difficult and usual, and any weight los really unlikely. I was really despondent about this and in the waiting room was trying to think of any tricks I could pull out of the hat. Wearing trousers in a lighter fabric, missing out my morning, post-fast cup of tea were tempting tactics. I was even toying with the thought of sneaking my prosthesis from its usual home and stashing it in my handbag. It is pretty heavy and that could perhaps buy a couple of free kilos. In the end, I just gritted my teeth, took of my sandals and dreaded the numbers as they danced around making up their mind about my decided weight. And to my surprise, my weight was down just over a kilo. That is a big deal for me as it is not much but it is in the counter direction to normal, and unexpected because of the dip in exercise.
So I felt a bit better about seeing the nutritionist. Until she went through my results and announced with great excitement that I had lost five kilos! I looked at the slip, and realised that the weight had been noted incorrectly – a 7.3 had been inverted to a 3.7 suggesting that I had ditched four more kilos than I had. I tried to persuade her that I had not lost that much and even offered a re-trial! The same with the endocrinologist – he was delighted and my feeble “no there has been a mistake” was seen as some kind of modesty in my “achievement”. So now they are in for such a disappointment next review, when not only have I not lost another five kilos but will probably have struggled to maintain my real weight!
Otherwise the bloodwork was ok. No further rises in cholesterol though it remains high, and the sugar had reduced a little so my attempts to keep diabetes at bay are still working for now. The monsoon dampness seems to be settling into my Femara joints again, as over the dry months I had been just that little bit better. While it is not so good that the rainy season has an effect, it is encouraging and good to know that the reverse happens in dry season.
So on Wednesday, I headed back to Bangkok’s Suvarnibhumi airport and onwards through angry skies home to Yangon with my book carefully packed in my hand luggage ready to pull out and show any passing stranger who shows any sign of interest!
Back home the travel bag has been emptied of its bonus laundry and rather than unpack, I have re-packed with enough for another couple of nights away. Because the month draws to a close, mirroring the start of the month and with another bonus. Tomorrow I leave on a short work trip out of town and will be away from home for a couple of nights. A lovely change of scene but I will be so glad to reach next month and have a rest from the many bonuses of June!