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Posts Tagged ‘2011’

I’m going to do one of those annoying looking back at the year posts, so you have been warned.

The year started with nagging. A lot of nagging. I had yet to book my yearly colonoscopy and I also hadn’t organised or sent out any invitation cards for the  civil partnership.

Calling in some favours from friends got the latter sorted and a call to the docs sorted the former. Soon enough people had been invited and I had a camera shoved up my bum – Note: The people were invited to the civil partnership, not the colonoscopy. There are already too many people involved with that if you ask me.

Everything got sorted for the civil partnership and it all went well. We both had a great day and words can’t describe how happy I was with the whole thing. I know that the phrase ‘happiest day of my life’ is cliched, but it is true. I was with the person I love more than anything (even pizza) in front of family and friends. Couldn’t ask for more.

But health issues were starting to crop up. In the couple of weeks running up to the big day I had started getting really tired. Also, when I breathed deep I was getting this shooting pain across my stomach. This, coupled with some yellow tingeing in my eyes was slightly worrying. I popped along to my GPs and had they took some blood to be tested.

They warned me that I could need to go into hospital but there was no chance I was missing our big day. On the Monday after the main event I got a call from the doctors saying that my bloods were much higher than expected and that I needed another blood test to see if that was just an error or random peek.

In the following week I had the new test – it was even higher – got more tired and left work early for the first time in my life. I was also starting to feel very sick all the time. I passed the blood results on to my specilists at the JR in Oxford. That night they phoned me and ordered me into the hospital straight away. They wanted me in that night.

I went, reluctantly, the following lunchtime as I had some work that I needed to do.

Form this point, things went down hill. I started to get yellow, got more ill and started losing weight rapidly. I also started itching, although this wasn’t as bad as it could have been.

In the first 6 weeks of my married life I spent half of the time in hospital.

I had many, many, many tests in the following months, eventually being told that I needed a transplant and the process for assessment was started. Unfortunatly, by the time I got to the assessment my health had improved and I have not been placed on the list.

But, and this is a big but, that paragraph above really doesn’t describe what it was like. I went from feeling fine at the beginning of May through five months of feeling very, very, very ill. Looking back, it feels like half of this year has been stolen from me.

But, since then, my health has improved. I am not perfect, I still get very tired and have pain, but I am heading back to work.

I have carried on with my ‘fun’ work. I am working on a second series of Supermarket Matters and we even managed to write and record two holiday specials Grab’n’Go-Ho-Ho and Ayld Lang Syne. Check them out on:

I also managed to get a chance to get on stage and do some stand up. It was an awesome experience and I have another gig coming up to try and take what I have and actually make it funny.

Now, you may be thinking that I have had rather a crap year. But no. Honestly. That one day – the day where I got civilised (it’s not ‘marriage’ as, y’know, the Government don’t like gays that much) – makes up for and far surpasses all the bad. I can honestly say, that even though a fair amount of bad stuff has happened this year, this is still the best year of my life because of that one day.

It may sound soppy. But it’s true.

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The Downs

I have regular blood tests due to having IBD. And when I say regular, I mean at least once a quarter; though it has been a lot more frequent than this. At one point, it was one a week. I was forced to alternate arms as one would have only just healed when it came to have another.

For the past couple of years, my ALTs have been raised. This is a pretty standard liver marker. The doctors have always put the elevation down to a ‘fatty liver’ and chastised me for being overweight.

However, before I went on holiday this year – end of August time – my blood tests came back crazy. My white cell count was too low and most of my liver markers were all over the place. My ALT was up as usual, but this time it was joined by its friends Mr ALP, Mrs GGT and Master Billy Reubin bilirubin.

I went away on holiday a bit scared.

When I came back, it was straight to the doctors for more blood tests. The results of which show my white cell count as being normal for me but it seems that my liver has been partying hard. Some more tests are ordered and it seems like my liver is an animal.

So off I trek to the Churchill hospital, Oxford for an MRI. My liver was about to have its first photo shoot.

About 3 days later I get a call from my IBD nurse who says that I need to come in and see a liver specialist as my MRI showed ‘a few abnormalities’.

So, Friday morning I traipsed into Oxford to the John Radcliffe hospital to see what they had to say. I met my specialist, a lovely man called Dr Chapman – the UK leading expert in Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis – which, he informed me, I have.

To save you following the link, I’ll sum it up:

  • Quite rare
  • Incurable
  • No diagnostic pattern, so in some it progresses fast, in others slow
  • My liver will eventually destroy itself and I will need a transplant.

So, that kind of bummed me out.

The Ups

I have a great partner. He is wonderful, caring and mine. We have been together for nearly six years and about two months ago we decided we should make it formal and have a civilisation. This is planned for May 2011. Known to us as ‘2011’.

‘We should invite this person to 2011.’

‘Do we want champagne in 2011?’

‘Be nice to me or we won’t do 2011.’

Without him knowing, I decided that it would be good to order some engagement rings; or should that be enGAYgement rings?

I ordered two rings of the same type from Justin Duance, a small independent jewellery maker in the south of England. What is wonderful about them is he works with both metal and wood. So even though I ordered the same ring, I changed the wood in one of them so they were unique to each of us.

A silver and wooden ring bought for my gay engagement

They generally take about two weeks to be made and turn up. I placed my order on Tuesday last week and when I got into the office on Friday – bummed as you can imagine I would be – I had received an email from the person who looks after our mail saying that I had a package that had set off the scanner.

To my amazement, it was the rings. More than a week before I expected them.

All in all, I think the ups that day, outweighed the downs.

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