So today was supposed to be the first day of my radiotherapy treatment. Peter and I drove down to Wellington in time to keep the 10am consult with the Registrar and for me to sign the consent form for the treatment. The radiotherapy session was to start at 11.10am. Just as the radiographer, Claire, appeared to call me to the changing room the power went out. So she retreated and we were left in the waiting room again. A few minutes later the power was restored by courtesy of the hospital generators. Claire came back and explained that there would be a delay as the power outage meant that the machines had to warm up again for half an hour, and then they had to finish the treatment for the person who was in the machine at the time of the outage.
Time ticked on and then the power went out again. Claire had explained that when the power changed back from generator to mains there would be another outage, but this could be in 10 minutes or 5 hours. This second outage was about 25 minutes after the first outage so presumably the machine hadn’t even warmed up for the last person to finish treatment. Claire returned, apologised and asked us if we could go away for lunch and they would call me on my mobile with a time later in the afternoon.
Peter had planned that we would go to The Chocolate Fish Cafe in Shelly Bay. He needed to do some measurements for the Wellington Marathon course and the Chocolate Fish was conveniently right on the course. The menu was pleasantly surprising in that most items had a gluten free option. I ordered a Warm Spiced Chickpea Salad, with Grilled Fish. It tasted wonderful. Peter went off to do his measurements and while he was away the hospital called back with a 3.10pm time for my treatment.
There was plenty of time to return, check in to our new abode at Margaret Stewart House, Room 12 (in the grounds of Wellington Hospital). We had decided hat this was dragging too far into the day and that Peter would return to work, so I came upstairs to our room to work on my cards for a while.
My Coeliac Disease, the reason for the need for Gluten Free food, manifests itself, if my food is contaminated in any way, with an urgent, violent visit to the small room. If I do nothing about it from then on, urgent and violent also become extraordinarily frequent, debilitating to the point where I cannot be any further than about 30 seconds away from the small room. Fortunately I had some medication with me that should stave off the worst effects so that I could remain sociable. I took two of the rapid variety and then had to dash off to the hospital for my appointment.
When Claire fetched me, I explained my predicament, but we agreed to carry on with the treatment. Suitably attired in the fashionable gown I was taken to the treatment room. More grumbles. I retreated to the small room. False alarm – just gas. Back I went and was all measured up onto the treatment table. I was to have an X-ray first, then the treatment would begin. As I lay there I could feel the grumbles returning but decided to stick it out. I heard the click of the X-ray and waited for the treatment to start. But instead Claire came back. She and her assistant had decided that “I was too worried” and they couldn’t get a clear enough image on their X-ray for treatment to begin. Their preference was to do away with treatment for today and to add on another day at the end of the 6 week period.
So here I am in Margaret Stewart house ending my blog for today. Try again tomorrow!