Camp NaNo April 2023: Day 4


Image by Piyapong Saydaung from Pixabay

Day 4 of NaNo didn’t really get off the ground until very late on. It was a bitty, busy day with me having two lots of appointments, one of which I had to go out to, as well as seeing the poet off for another business trip.

The poet was only working an hour or so away at first, at a place called Pinxton, so he didn’t need to get up very early. Then he went a bit further south and crossed country a little to his next appointment in Stoke, where he’ll be until Thursday afternoon. Then he’s coming home.

I kicked off with the proofreading, but my 11:30am telephone appointment called at 10:35am, which threw me off kilter a bit. I didn’t mind. She’d had a face-to-face turn up at the wrong place and had 20 minutes to kill until the patient arrived, so she gave me a quick call and asked first if it was okay to have my appointment early.

Of course I didn’t mind, especially when she said that all of my bloods were pretty much fine, although both my sugar and my cholesterol are up slightly, but not enough to warrant medication. (Yay!) I do still have some work to do, such as reduce the sugar and the ‘bad’ fats in my diet a little. But on the whole, she was happy.

I carried on with the proofreading, until I heard the dustmen, and when they’d gone I went out and brought our bins back in. It was recycle week this week, so we had the green bin for garden waste, the blue bin for plastic, paper and cardboard, and the green box for glass. So as soon as the workers had moved along, I went and brought our bins back in.

But I couldn’t get going because I knew I had to get ready to go out and I had to get changed into going-outside clothes. Needless to say, I was easily distracted from the proofreading. I made myself something to eat and carried on proofreading while I ate it.

I opened the daily competitions and closed them again. I didn’t feel in the mood at all for sifting through those. So that will mean more to look through today when I pick it up again. Then I kept on opening email and Facebook and Twitter, then it was only email and Facebook, and then it was only email. And then I was having a quick game or two. Or three.

It was a very bitty day.

At 3:55pm I went off to my doctor’s appointment and she’s started the referral process for potential asthma. She couldn’t hear any wheezing, although I told her it was only after climbing stairs, getting out of a hot bath, or at night. So she prescribed the usual home-test blow-kit and a mild inhaler to use when I need it in the meantime. But while she was listening to my breathing she noticed the eczema on my back and couldn’t believe how bad it was.

I told her that it was currently very mild. She asked me what I used for it, and I said antihistamines to stop the itching, Vaseline when the itching becomes too unbearable, and an Oilatum bath at least once a week. She said it’s likely I have some kind of allergy and that might be causing the wheezing at night as well, but in the meantime she prescribed me some Fucibet…

Now… I used to swear by Fucibet. Yes, it’s a strong steroid cream and yes, it could thin the skin. But it’s the best thing I’ve ever had for my exzema. One of the rubbish doctors we had over the years, without even seeing me, stopped it off my repeat prescription and put me on Daktacort instead, which also worked, but not as quickly and it was a lot more greasy.

A short while later the same doctor, still without seeing me, took me off the Daktacort as well and told me to buy hydrocortisone cream over the counter instead, which didn’t work at all. We discovered that we could buy Daktacort over the counter, in the same ridiculously small tubes that the hydrocortisone cream comes in over the ocunter, and I went back to that. But since the pandemic, I’ve made do with the Vaseline and the Oilatum.

I wasn’t going to ask about the eczema yet. I have more pressing concerns I wanted to speak to a real doctor face-to-face about and the first one was this night-time wheezing. The fact that she spotted the eczema and acted completely unprompted is good. Very good. First of all it means that it’s likely we’ve finally found another decent doctor again. But secondly, it means that I was right and the idiots we were allocated to were wrong.

We’ve since heard that our old GP two houses ago has been taken over by another, bigger group. I hope so, because they were complete rubbish. And the last lot weren’t any better either.

Anyway, I started to wait for my prescription (Fucibet + blow-test thing + mild inhaler), but they didn’t have the two asthma products. I could have waited for the Fucibet, but as the poet’s not here anyway and I can’t put it on my own back properly (although I can apply it everywhere else I have eczema), we decided I’d go back in the morning. It will mean another broken work session, but I would have had to go back anyway to get the asthma products. And in the meantime I have to go and have a chest x-ray and I’ve been put on the (apparently long) waiting list for a spyrometry appointment.

When I got back, I started the proofreading again… (sigh) But I really wanted to get the hard-copy proofreading out of the way yesterday so I could start the consolidating today. I had to break off again, though, when I HAD TO COOK MY OWN TEA!

I’ve actually gone back to cooking my own tea when the poet isn’t here because I was eating far too many TV dinners and readymeals. I’ve never been one for cooking just for one and when I lived alone I did a lot of batch-cooking and freezing. But clearly the readymeals weren’t doing anything for my health, and so I’ve had to start cooking proper teas again.

Yesterday it was a roasted pork steak, a single potato chopped into eight pieces and boiled (not peeled), and green beans with button mushrooms also boiled. I followed it with the last of the strawberries but instead of having ice cream with them, I had a dollop of low fat Greek yoghurt. One day I’ll start reducing the sugar I sprinkle on strawberries too… it is Xylitol at the moment, but I need this sweet tooth of mine to do one.

My eating between meals has reduced in the last couple of weeks, and I’m doing the 12-12 time-restrictive eating. Let’s hope this works and I can avoid medication, which I think masks the problem instead of addressing the issue(s) anyway.

While the tea cooked, I moved the proofreading to the kitchen table from where I could keep an eye on the oven. After tea, I moved back into the office, where the office chair is more comfortable than the kitchen chairs. I finished the hardcopy proofreading at about 10pm. (Yay!)

I updated the blog post so far, and searched and selected the illustration. It was too late for me to do very much NaNo by this time, but I have tasked myself with working on it for at least 10 minutes a day. And if I do that, I get a sticker on my calendar.

Camp NaNo

Day 4: Tuesday 4 April

I was really late getting to the page last night. It was already gone 10pm and I was tired. But I’ve promised myself that I will spend at least 10 minutes a day on this and every time I do that I award myself a sticker and put it on my wall calendar. Perhaps at the end I’ll share a picture of the calendar, see how I’ve done.

As I only had 10 minutes, I set the timer on my watch and off I went. I started to write and then realised that it would be nice if it was raining at the top of the chapter I was continuing. Instead of going back and adding that, though, I took out my A5 workbook and jotted it in the ‘Rewrites’ section under Chapter 1. Then I carried on writing as though it had been raining all along.

The timer on my watch went off way too soon, but by this time it was past 10:30pm. Too late for me as I’m not really a night owl writer. So I came to a place where I could finish, drew a line under the 10 minutes’ work, and counted the words. I’d written 213 words.

I updated the NaNo website, my two word-count spreadsheets, and the progress bar below, and I called it a night.


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2 thoughts on “Camp NaNo April 2023: Day 4

  1. Isn’t finding a good doctor a huge difference? Glad for you.

    Days like that are frustrating, because you can’t really dive down, knowing that you have to stop soon.

    Well done on Nano!

    1. I seem to be having a lot of days like that at the moment where I don’t get to my desk until it’s gone midday.

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