Letter from the North

Medical stuff, Mr Biggles continues being difficult 14-Sep-2019

Sat 14-Sep-2019

Getting ahead with work as I will lose a lot of time to medical stuff next week.

When Biggles is in the mood, this is his idea of joining me for an afternoon nap! He is totally relaxed, me just slowly coming around after my nap, it takes about 45 mins to an hour to come around!

Sun 15-Sep-2019

Still getting ahead with work

Mon 16-Sep-2019

Getting an MRI scan done today, early start to be there for 8am! Following is the FB update:

MRI scan of Coccyx done; wish I’d remembered to have a photo taken. Done as part of the insurance claim for that accident (2 years ago now!) it was done privately, paid for by the insurance companies. Done at the Dutchy Hospital (next to Treliske in Truro). What surprised me was that it was a mobile scanner (like the mobile mammogram scan units), basically a scanner in a container! Because a mobile, I don’t think it was full length, so because they were scanning my coccyx it meant my head hung out of the end – so not so claustrophobic. However, since I tend to close my eyes while being scanned it made little difference to me. Lying still is tedious, but was fine for all 4*4-minute scans. Tedious but painless – well apart from the pain from my coccyx because I was lying on it on a hard bed! But I’d taken some paracetamol beforehand to help. I do CT scans every three months and I am very used to them, MRI was a first for me, but apart from taking (and lying still) a lot longer, it was more pleasant because I don’t have to have contrast injected and my body doesn’t like the CT contrast.

Mr Biggles likes to eat when I do, this way he eats his own chicken and not my food!

Tue 17-Sep-2019

Quick venesection this morning. I warned the nurse their favourite spot (crook of arm) was too scarred from previous needles and only 1 juicy vein is reachable there. It was, she failed to get any blood, so 2nd best at wrist was good and juicy and a lot more of it is accessible.

BP at start rather high as is normal when venesection due and more normal at end when blood is thinner.

That’s the joy of secondary polycythaemia: thick blood because of the extra red blood cells.

Still this is one of the more fun treatments as it’s a friendly place as I am a once a month regular and not unpleasant if needles and blood don’t bother you and they don’t. And close to home

Still knocks the stuffing out of me but then everything does nowadays.


Exhausted, got a few hours of work done but nothing much

Wed 18-Sep-2019

So, no kitten all night, whatever is going on it looks, for now, pretty clear that whilst I “matter” there is just so much else, e.g. Barney especially and always Teresa, that I am not needed. May change, but for now, I can expect little contact. Teresa puts him on duvet between legs for afternoon nap and that has worked so far but I’m not expecting it to continue.

Food – yes please and “bye”

My office, yes, interesting, quick explore then OK, done, bye, …

Even treats – mmm, very nice off I go now, …

Off to the dentist this afternoon for a filling, not looking forward to pain afterwards (not mouth, back, shoulders, neck, joint and muscle pain from the chair). Actual procedure was fine. Used cushion for my lower back to see if it helps

Still exhausted afterwards

Spent all evening seeing Mr Biggles on Teresa’s lap and in the end, it got too much for me, started to do some cooking (8:30pm – when I’d normally be in bed)

Posted this on FB about 9pm

Well, it has been coming, but there’s nothing I can do, the kitten has decided that Teresa is his person and if she’s not available he’d rather be on the cat tower or with the other cats and not me. He’s made his decision and I have to accept it. It was always going to be an uphill battle, but I thought I was winning him around, but once he and Barney got together, well Barney is Teresa’s cat, he ignores anyone else, what else could the kitten do, clearly Teresa is top human. Teresa feels responsible. She can’t help how she affects cats; she just does and I hoped Mr Biggles would prove to be an exception. Silly me. Still Barney has the playmate he needed and that was part of the objective in getting the kitten, so I guess from his and Teresa’s point of view it’s a success. This post is for me more to read than anything else so PLEASE don’t offer help, suggestions or sympathy. It’s just one more part of my life that is hard for me to cope with right now.

Teresa went to bed, I finished my cooking and around 10:30pm, I was in such distress, I couldn’t face bed so just grabbed my pillow and duvet and watched the TV from my arm chair.

No sign of kitten, of course, eventually after dozing and increasing coccyx pain, I transferred to my bed by 2am ish. However, I woke at 4:30am and got up and was at work! (in my home office I hasten to add)

Thu 19-Sep-2019

Teresa out all day and at 10am Mr Biggles has read that FB post and decided that since she is out and all the other cats have gone back to bed, he might honour me with his presence:

Fri 20-Sep-2019

Work is OK, but as the day goes on, I am feeling increasing “flu like “symptoms (post viral). BP at 7pm was high again which explains it in part and I took extra BP meds

Sleep was OK till about 3am (say) when I went to loo and back to bed and mega stress/distress hit me – probably delayed from the Biggles, cancer, what is the point of my life, from earlier this week.

Gave up sleep, made cup of tea, grabbed a biscuit and pillow and duvet onto arm chair and watched the TV.

Biggles liked this idea and decided to join me, he’d ignored me in the bed – go figure. I slept. More dozed, until I got up around 6am.


I’m sure the pics of the kitten are far more interesting than my trying to work out how this kitten lark works. It’s not logical (in a binary way) and kittens (animals in general) don’t follow easy to understand rules. I’ve studied NT’s (non-autistics) for over 60 years and whilst I will never understand them, I can often predict their behaviour. It’s quite clear that for cats I am at square one. Why does that matter – well imagine I hadn’t spent all those years learning how to “read” NT’s, imagine the stress. Of course, the stress is still there but I have learnt to tolerate it – mainly by never letting anyone get close to me (Teresa being the exception and even then, she can hurt me badly without ever realising – and vice versa I hasten to add).

Trying to integrate a kitten into my emotional life is both difficult in and of itself but also a metaphor for how hard I find non autistics. New kitten would be easy if I wasn’t bothered (as I wasn’t without Barney who was always Teresa’s and she has the knack of bonding), this one, well it’s so hard forming relationships I hoped a cat was less complicated than a human – it is, but I haven’t had 60 years of learning some rules of thumb.

What I think I am trying to say, is that I risk a lot trying to form a relationship with anything or anyone and I don’t have the natural instincts on how to do it, so I have to find some rules that are a very poor substitute. In the human relationship world, it’s made me ultra-cautious about assuming someone else feels even slightly the same way I do – and that’s acquaintances, friendships never mind romantic entanglements.

Seeing the same thing play out with Biggles highlights for me how much I do and avoid doing on the human arena, so much so that I don’t realise I’m doing it, I just don’t have anyone really close to me (apart from Teresa), others may be, but I have absolutely no way of being sure, hence I am always insecure even with friends who I am sure I am friends with, I’m never confident in that state.

So, by talking about Mr Biggles so much I am really trying to show you what is happening invisibly when I have contract with any person.

Oh well, as I finish this blog things are taking some sort of shape and I’m developing some behavioural and relationship rules that are working better for both of us, but it is REALLY hard.

Imagine an autistic child (me) in a neurotypical world, is it surprising we exhibited “bad” behaviour trying to make sense of a world that just doesn’t get that we are so different to them?

The Bean, Pendeen, 13-Oct-2019

1 Comment

  • Hilary

    Thank you for writing, I found it interesting and admire what looks to me like courage in the face of many trials – although I have no idea what it feels like to you. Love and best wishes to you and Teresa. Hx

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