Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Tests and Repairs

This is not our house. It's just a cool doorway that I saw on my way to work yesterday. It seems to be in the middle of some kind of renovation. It's a shame whoever installed the now-removed entrance canopy had to cut through that terra cotta panel (from 1892!) to do it.

Speaking of renovations, our property managers were supposed to send someone yesterday to look at the roof of our garden shed and estimate the repair costs. But if anyone was here they left no trace, and left my note attached to the shed door (explaining what I thought needed to be done) apparently untouched. So who knows what's going on there.

Today I have to hustle myself over to the hospital for some blood tests. I am not looking forward to it, mostly because the hospital isn't incredibly easy to get to from where we live. It's not far distance-wise, but it's up a hill toward the Heath and there are no direct buses (probably because people who live in rarified Hampstead don't want buses on their residential streets). The only bus I could take goes all the way down to Swiss Cottage, over to Belsize Park and back up to Hampstead -- essentially a big U-shape that involves a lot of extra travel. I could take the overground, but by the time I walk to and from the stations at both ends I may as well just climb the darn hill.

So, yeah. Medicine. I'm enduring some medical drama here, and I don't want to say much about it, because I don't really know what to say yet. I'm still having tests. I have a telephone consultation with a specialist on Thursday. This is all related to my long-standing stomach issues, and the acid reflux that has in the past also affected my breathing. As I said the other day, I've made some diet modifications but I have not been feeling great and I am worried something could be seriously amiss.

Remember when I was going to have that endoscopy in early 2021, and I didn't go through with it because my symptoms got better and the doctors didn't seem concerned, and then we had a massive Covid surge and I didn't want to go to a medical facility, blah blah blah? Well, now I wish I'd had it. Shoulda coulda woulda.

Anyway, at the moment there is nothing to report -- only the phantoms in my own mind, which I am trying hard not to allow to run rampant. Last week I was barely sleeping, but this week my panic has subsided enough that I'm feeling better. If and when I know more, we'll go from there. I will be seriously bummed if some medical issue gets in the way of our South America trip at the end of June (not to mention the rest of my life).

Remember the library tiger? It disappeared for a while, but now it's back. Perhaps it was living behind some books, hiding out -- or hibernating, maybe. Yesterday someone positioned it on the shelf as if to read the spines of our big cat books. I thought that was pretty clever.

Oh, I finished the library inventory. We have lost track of 40 books over the past year. That sounds like a lot, but I suspect some of them aren't truly lost -- they were probably spirited away in the short-term by absent-minded kids who simply forgot to check them out. I imagine they'll be back within the next few weeks. Others, however, seem well and truly gone. If it hasn't been seen by the computer in the past year, that's a pretty good sign it may be lost and/or stolen. If it's not back by June, it's probably gone for good.


Yael said...

I hope all your tests go well. I loved this tiger living a wonderful life in the library.

River said...

Love the tiger reading the titles, looking for a bedtime story maybe?
I hope your stomach troubles aren't serious and can be easily fixed.

Frances said...

I hope that your medical issues turn out to be easily fixable. Good luck for the hospital journey today.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

"Tigers Forever" sounds appealing to me as Hull City's nickname is The Tigers.

I am sorry to hear about the ongoing health concern Steve. It is clearly something that has been lurking in the dark labyrinth of your mind for ages. I hope that the hospital trip will begin to throw some light on the matter.

Moving with Mitchell said...

Sorry about the inconvenient travel; I find those appointments stressful enough without any help. I love the prowling tiger. Such a shame about that old entrance.

Bob said...

Hope your medical issues are cleared up; I, too, hate the 'thought' of it all and just want answers.

I love the tiger crawling through bookshelves.

Andrew said...

I hope your medical issues are minor and you are quickly reassured.
The tiger on the bookshelf is terribly cute.
The door treatment is way weird. The doors on their own are nice enough. Why make a false looking pinnacle to them which disrespects the work above?

Boud said...

I hope your tests go well and you get a reassuring result.

Sabine said...

Of course I hope that your health concerns can be cleared up speedily. It's always hard waiting for test results and to get a professional interpretation.
So, I am keeping fingers crossed for you.

Susan said...

You are to busy to feel less than 100%. With test results in hand, you can address any issue. The library tiger is prowling the stacks. The home entry could have been restored to the original glory. Honoring a building's origin is usually good design.

Debby said...

Good luck with the tests, Steve.

Ellen D. said...

Hope you get test results soon so you can put your mind at rest.
Do you have Uber in London? You could use that to get to your appointment?
Sweet library tiger! I like how someone put him near the tiger books! Clever!

Ed said...

I don't know much about terra cotta, but I would guess that the groove cut through them can be filled in with something to make them look fairly whole again once repainted. It is a shame that someone did that. If I had wanted a roof over my entrance, I would have made one that went over the tile work, even if I didn't like it, just so the next person might be able to enjoy it.

Linda Sue said...

Dang, Steve- medical stuff , when it is mysterious , is so worrying. You are a healthy man. I am reckoning that it is slight indigestion...You must be well ! You are a strong dude and way too lovely to suffer a malady!( just noticed "malady" is an odd word, my lady?)
When I had a fascination for Chinese calligraphy, my instructor check out a rare book for me. It had been in the University library for thirty years or so and had never been checked out , let alone taken off the shelf. I loved it, I kept it. The teacher retired and ended up having to pay over one hundred bucks for the loss of the book that no one really wanted. We learned something...Librarians are not to be messed with! Where is that precious book now? No idea!

Michael said...

I am sorry to read about your medical issues. I know the worry that you have doesn't help, but it is hard not to worry. I am an expert at it! Good luck with all of the tests.

Sharon said...

Good luck with the tests. I can relate to those little bits of worry that creep in when you know something isn't quite right. That's been happening to me quite a lot lately.
That doorway is so attractive in its original form. It is truly a shame that someone cut that up. I hope it can be restored.

Pixie said...

I don't know what's going on with your stomach, but reflux is difficult. What helps? Stop eating chocolate and high fat foods, stop using caffeine, stop alcohol and stop smoking(I know you don't smoke); all of these things relax your cardiac spincter, the spincter at the top of your stomach that keeps things, especially acid, inside your stomach. Chronic irritation of the esophagus, by stomach acid, can cause cancerous changes to the cells in your esophagus.

I'm sure you already know all of this. I have the same problem and I am not going to stop high fat foods or caffeine (tea) because it's what I enjoy. I take pepcid on a as required basis, because if I take it regularly, I get suicidal ideation. Rock and a hard place. I also work in cancer care and all of my coworkers and me especially, think we have cancer on a regular basis.

Remember Mark Twain,"I've been through some terrible things in my life. Some of which actually happened."

Fingers crossed everything is okay or easily treatable. Sending hugs Steve.

ellen abbott said...

like everyone I hope the tests either reveal nothing serious and point to some relief. unfortunately, the older we get the more medical bs we have to deal with.

we have a couple of books we stole from the library on glass techniques and engraving 40 or so years ago. I'd like to return them now but have no desire to drive into the city to the downtown library. the info was old when we took them so I'm not sure if it would be worth it anyway.

Wilma said...

You are the library tiger! Prowling the shelves for misplaced books, wayward crisp packets, and boisterous boys!

Margaret said...

I hate medical issues; my mind always goes to scary conclusions. However, there is so much that modern medicine and medications can do that I try to keep that in mind. You're in London and I'm near Seattle which have great medical care. Hoping for the best!

The Bug said...

I had a colonoscopy/endoscopy a couple of years ago and I was SURE something was amiss, but they didn't find anything. I changed my heartburn med & that seems to have mostly resolved the issue. I wish the same for you!!!

gz said...

Wishing you the best, and better knowledge after the tests.

That tiger has a helper with humour..nice one!

Kelly said...

I know you'll be relieved when you get some answers about your health. I've had myself at death's door multiple times over the past ten years.

I love the tiger! Someone is having fun with that, so I hope you left it right where it is.

Catalyst said...

/Tyger, Tyger, burning bright, in the forests of the night . . . , ah, who could forget it. Your tiger is burning brightly in search of meaning and truth. All hail a good library,

Red said...

I hope the health situation is treatable as I'm sure it will.

Jeanie said...

Good luck with your tests, Steve. I'm glad you're getting things checked out. The not knowing is extra hard. At least you are being proactive. Please keep us posted, because we care. All your friends care.

I'm glad the tiger is back. Makes me smle.

Elizabeth said...

I'm sorry that you're having medical anxiety and hope it eases soon, that all is well and your trip to South America happens exactly as planned! As for the library tiger, I love it so much. I have a kitchen hippo that sits on a butter dish that I don't use on the windowsill.

Steve Reed said...

Yael: I love our tiger too. Our mascot. :)

River: Thanks -- fingers crossed!

Frances: Thank you!

YP: "Dark labyrinth" is right. That's a pretty accurate description of my mind.

Mitchell: It's always a mental hurdle to get myself to the hospital because of the lack of transport. Dave just takes a taxi!

Bob: Yeah, the not-knowing is the worst part, although in some ways it's also the best part -- the freedom of no knowledge.

Andrew: I know! Why didn't they put the roof above the panel?

Boud: Thank you!

Sabine: Thanks! I know you're familiar with this tedium.

Susan: I wonder if the original design had any kind of roof over the door.

Debby: Thank you!

Ellen D: Yes, we do have Uber, and also taxis. I'm always reluctant to use them, because of the expense, but I guess I would let myself do that.

Ed: I would have done the same thing. I also suspect it can be filled or restored, but who knows how "finished" it will look afterwards.

Linda Sue: Wow! I guess he had to pay so much because of accumulated fines? Too bad you no longer have the book!

Michael: Thank you! Having gone through some similar issues recently I know you're familiar with what I'm feeling.

Sharon: Yeah, I'll be watching to see how (and if) it gets repaired.

Pixie: I'm sure it's natural for cancer nurses to regularly think they have cancer, being surrounded by it so much. I'm hoping this is just reflux, but who knows.

Ellen: I'm sure they are long removed from the catalog and the library no longer misses them. I'd say just keep them!

Wilma: Ha! The tiger is my personal mascot! I love it.

Margaret: Well, that's true. Modern medicine can do a lot. Even if this turns out to be bad news it doesn't have to be "the end."

Bug: That's what happened with me, but it was ages ago that I had the endoscopy (2008). Since then I've just managed things with antacids and drugs like Prevacid.

GZ: Yeah, I'd love to know who set the tiger up like that. I was impressed that a kid made the connection between the tiger and the books!

Kelly: I guess it's natural for some of us to immediately go to the worst-case scenario. It helps with preparation.

Catalyst: Yes! We should put this tiger next to the William Blake section! (Or was it John Donne?)

Red: Thanks!

Jeanie: Thanks so much for your supportive message. I do appreciate it. :)

Elizabeth: It's good to have a little playfulness in what is otherwise a serious academic space!