annanotbob2's Diaryland Diary


Day 224

I keep buying books written by friends (still waiting for Boombasticat's) and thinking maybe I should get one of my own out there.

Dermatology appointment was not as expected. For starters I got there half an hour early - at 8 am when the receptionist was just opening up instead of 8.30. She wouldn't let me in early, covid rules etc, so I drove to the beach and took a photo of the pink and grey sky to the east, not what I usually see. Being a night owl, dawn's a stranger to me, sunset's the one I know and that's to the west. It is disconcerting, feels like the world turned upside down, though I know it's natural and I have seen it before, usually at the end of a good night out. Clocks go back tonight - meh - not ready for autumn and winter.

When I finally made it into the dermatologist's (a converted Georgian house, big rooms, high ceilings, elegant behind the partitions and tech), it was a bit alarming. I expected him to look at the dodgy patch of skin, now cured, declare it all right - it looked all right to me - and I'd be on my way. Instead he said, 'Oh dear, they missed a bit,' and 'Oh dear, this part is getting a tad flaky,' then proceeded to examine me with a magnifier and find NINE other dodgy patches about my person, of various pre-cancerous shit. Three of them he shot with a freezing thing ('This may be uncomfortable' aka 'try not to scream' though it wasn't too bad), three of them he drew rings round and the other three are on my face so he took photos of them on my phone.

Some chemo ointment is wending its way to me, via letters and prescriptions, due in about ten days (this is the NHS, free but slow), which I must apply daily to all the dodgy bits, including the one I already knew about, for four weeks, unless the skin breaks or weeping occurs (oozing not crying), in which case I should stop and wait for the follow-up appointment which will be in three months. Cool, ish. It's slow, but they're keeping it all safe, spacing out appointments with breaks for deep-cleansing of the room in between, so far fewer people are being seen. It's enough for me - I feel safe. It does make me think of dear Barb, every time I go there. I told the doc about her - I probably tell him every time but he looks as if it's all new to him each time. He looks like him off Downton Abbey, the earl. Not exactly looks like, but has an air of him. I feel so angry about Barb, awittykitty as was, angry each time, that no one would look at her melanoma. The doc is outraged as well, fucking US non-health care, letting a person actually die. for lack of money, of something usually curable. Virtually anywhere else and she'd still be here. Imagine how good her art would be - she'd just started art college and was already going off in all sorts of new directions.

Anyway. After that I had a scheduled one hour phone chat with my psychiatric key worker who is OK but I was breezy, I could feel it - I'd had enough by then - waste of an hour really, of her time, which is limited these days, but she initiated it - it's a four weekly check-in unless I need more when I can call the office. The building is still closed - it nearly opened a couple of weeks ago, but they can't work out how to manage it and every time they get near, the rules change. It's all very ad hoc for a city psychiatric service - recovery workers calling from their homes, the office phone being diverted to different people, some outdoor activities available but depending on the weather which is mostly windy as fuck these days, so not great.

I spent the afternoon with J the musician, mooching round town, having a Jamaican meal sat outside Auntie Bunny's - curry goat, mmm. I'm not dieting today - I came home from the dermatologist and had two slices of toast with apricot jam, at 10 am, food I'm not eating - jam, during my fasting period, but fuck it, that was hard shit this morning. J and I went on the pier, which J didn't know as she's from the city. It has a lovely art deco pavilion on the far end, and on the way out to that she stopped to chat to some guys fishing off the side, about bass - she's just bought a rod and has caught mackerel - apparently you need a bigger hook for bass as they have big mouths. We talked and talked and talked. brilliant afternoon.

When I got home I realised it was the last day the video would be live for the David Hockney workshop - painting 'A Bigger Splash'. So I did that as well. Then keeled over on the sofa and watched Strictly - first same sex pairing - Nicola Adams, black, gay, first woman Olympic gold medal boxer, biggest smile you ever did see, doing the quickstep with Katya - oh my days - it was the best thing ever - here's the link - it may not play and I don't know how to make it clickable any more but you could cut and paste if you wanted to.

Three good things today:
1. The NHS being there, reaching out to check that I'm well in mind and body, keeping me safe, not asking for money.
2. Having a busy day, even if I am tired now. It's a good tired.
3. Having a good little dog.

10:49 p.m. - 24.10.20


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