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Dreadful Nonsense

"I've read your blog. it's really funny. you should write a column." - Jon Ronson

10 December 2003
But I never gave you guidance as to what to do in my absence! How rude of me.

Well, while I'm away, perhaps you'd like to visit these to sites in particular, which are fabulous -

Television Without Pity is the site that helps you to reach the inner nerd. Brilliant recaps of American telly shows, so you can keep up with all the shows not currenly showing in the UK / Ireland. Spoilers include the fact that Samantha will die in the last series of SAtC; that Dr. Robert 'Rocket' Romano is killed when a helicopter crash lands on his head trying chop off the other arm in ER; and that Spike is a ghost and Harmony is Angel's secretary in Angel. (Honestly. That's the most exciting thing I could think of to tell you about the new series of Angel. That don't bode well...)

The Plastic Cat is pure blog heaven. Likewise Emma Kennedy, also known as "that bird off the Heat adverts". And you all already know about Girls Are Pretty, right? Just checking.

Bye again.

Welcome back to the Sharon's Bad Back Chronicles. In case you've just joined us - Hello!

I went to see the good lady doctor today and she did all sorts of doctor things, like asking me questions I've answered a million times before, and then poking me in places that immensely hurt and writing it down when I start to cry.

She says, and I'm with her on this one, that surgery isn't particularly necessary just yet, because I'm ever so young. I am ever so young, you see. So damn young... So instead she's written me a repeat prescription for valium (first choice of the 70s housewife!) and told me to lie down for a week.

I have to be on total bed rest for a week. A full week. Seven days. And, when telling me how long I had to have "total bed rest" for, she used the phrase "at least". But I'm ignoring that last part. There is no "at least" about seven full, consecutive days of day time telly followed by night time telly, all viewed through the pretty glaze of a valium blur. I may go mad and start mutilating the cats while laughing hysterically. I may not. I've not decided yet.

She's also given me a sick cert for four weeks, which brings me nicely into January without lifting a finger at work. Obviously, they're going to sack my ass quicker than look at me, and although that does bring me minor sorrow, it brings me more than a touch of joy too - the lady that I was working for, you may have gathered from previous postings on the subject, was driving me a little around the bend and slightly up the wall, so I won't be too sorry to leave. I'm sure getting another job, even just a temp position, will be a merry nightmare, but again I'll traverse that bridge once I've hobbled up to it. And who knows what the heck might be happening come January time. I might be having one of those discectomies everyone's so keen to fucking tell me about.

Unfortunately when I left the office yesterday, I left my shoes there. Not sure how I'm going to get them back...

In short, I'll not be near a computer for round about week. So that should kerb my eBay habit if nothing else. You see? I can be positive! I can be breezy in the face of danger, destruction, despair and diazepam!

Sorry. I'll go now.

09 December 2003
I forgot to mention yesterday one of the side effects of prolapsed discs. Associated with these, if you don't get them treated soon enough (and since three - THREE - different doctors told me over the past two years that I certainly did not have a prolapsed disc, I haven't had them treated soon enough), is a side effect called disc dehydration. This means, you've probably already guessed, that the fluid that should be inside the disc is no longer inside the disc and therefore the disc is littler than it should be.

The discs sit between the vertebrae in your back (stop me if I'm going too fast) to stop them rubbing against each other. When the discs burst, there is less space between the vetebrae. Disc dehydration occurs naturally over time anyway, through wear and tear, and is the reason that old people appear to shrink.

They appear to shrink because their spine isn't as long as what it used to be. They appear to shrink because they are shrinking.

People, I am shrinking.

Stop laughing. I was short enough to start with. If this continues, I could feasibly be playing one of the seven dwarves in panto this time next year.

08 December 2003
I got my MRI results today. My sister read them to me over the phone on my lunch break while I was standing at a bus stop waiting (obviously) for a bus, and I had to sit down. I was really at the same time bloody relieved and bloody scared.

Seems I have three - that's THREE - prolapsed discs in my back. A prolapsed disc is kind of the same thing as what people call a slipped disc, although unfortunately, although the term implies that it can be slipped back in to place, I've just read on the internet that this means the discs have actually burst. Nothing, in my opinion, should ever be involved in bursting while inside your body. Call me old fashioned, but that's the way I think about things. There are rules that need to be followed.

So, the last three discs in my spine have burst, and two of them are sticking in to the nerve there, which isn't a nice thing for those two to do. Could be worse, apparently, my mother has kindly explained - if the bottom one was sticking out as well, I'd've lost control of my legs. Which may look funny in a Jim Carey / Mr Bean type situation, but in real life is quite the inconvenience, or so I'm told.

I had a bit of a lady fainting fit at work when I got back in, and had to stumble to the toilet to repair my mascara and breathe deeply of the fresh air out the window, because my consultant in Edinburgh seemed to think that surgery was called for. I say no to knives in the back. No, no, no. Call me old fashioned again, if you really must, but that's just another one of my rules. No knives in my back.

So now. I've got an appointment with a lady doctor on Wednesday who will tell me what's what and what is to happen next. I'm very much looking forward to that, but will bring a note of my rules along just so that she's clear on things.

04 December 2003
I never explained how our pets got their names. You're all keen to know, I'm sure. So I'll tell you. As an addition to the explaination (think of it as a bonus track) I'll also include a list of their nick names, which they all also answer to.

Kesh - Kesh was originally known as Molly, and she still sometimes answers to that. The name Kesh is short for Longkesh, after Longkesh Prison in Northern Ireland. I'm unclear about the reasoning for this, because I was living in Edinburgh when they got her. She also answers to: Keshington, Keshtable, Small Fry, Tiny Dog, Slinkydink and Baby Dog.

Honey - Honey was known as Tess in the dog pound, which was a cruel reference to her slight weight problem. Mum originally named her Sandy after a golden labrador that had been the family dog when Mum was but a small girl, but that didn't suit her, and we as a family use 'honey' as an affectionate term for our pets anyway, so it stuck and became her official name. Variations on her name include: Hun Bun, Honey Bear, Flun Bun, Flun Bun Hun, and Darling Dog.

Butler - Butler came from a litter of chocolate labradors that my Mum's aunty had, who were all given away to good homes with the proviso that they were all named after chocolates. So he is Butler after the expensive Irish chocolates. Others from his little include Buttons, Rolo, Tiffin, Choco and Cadbury. He also answers to: Butt Dog, Big Dog, Labramador, Mary, Mary Bear, Mary Ellen Bear of Bears and Best Dog.

Smudge - Smudge is a pure white cat with absolutely no markings at all. But when we got her she had a big black mark on her head that looked like an ink blot. It disappeared after a year, so now her name just seems sarcastic. She is also called: Mush, Bitch, Muscky Pushky and Scat but she answers to none of them.

Anarchy - Anarchy was found on the road by Edel while she was in first year in college in Derry, and at the time she was studying the topic of Anarchy in some European country as part of her history and politics degree. So she named him Anarchy. Simple as that. His is also referred to as: Tiger, Momma's Little Tiger and Narky but mostly You Little Bastard because he has a habit of jumping out from behind furniture and scratching your ankles.

02 December 2003
Having spent a good five minutes on the phone with the lovely people from eircom (at 74c a minute), they told me that my internet connection should now be working again, although they couldn't tell me what was wrong with it to begin with. I was about to lose my temper and explain to them to concept of Broadband and why we weren't happy paying what we pay for the connection only for it to spaz out when I'm in the middle of important work (or more often, bidding for something on eBay), but then I read the below email from Mr Candon, and that made me laugh too much to be angry any more.

Today, I have been up since 8.30am, and having made 4 cups of tea and 2 cups of coffee thus far, as well as a round of toast. I have picked some dog poopie off the pavement outside where our dog in her wisdom decided to drop a load. I have also attempted to tidy the kitchen although there is a strong smell of something having died and then begun decomposing in or around our sink area that I'm not too keen to get to the source of.

It occured to me last night that I might not have introduced all of my new housemates properly, so below is a quick run down of my current living arrangements:

I live in what I now recognise to be quite a posh area of south county Dublin. Everyone in their right minds will of course already know that south county Dublin is the only proper area to live in, and that anyone living on the north side should be shot on sight and disposed of promptly by your butler or man servant. I live near Leopardstown racecourse. That is all that is of interest.

I live with my Mommy and my Daddy, and my brother may well be moving back in here at Christmas when he comes home from Australia. I fight with all of my siblings all of the time. We're like a bad tempered version of The Osbournes.

In our house right now, there are two resident labradors, two resident cats, and one visiting jack russel.

Kesh, the jack russell, used to live with us in Edinburgh. She belongs to my sister, but is staying with us at the moment because my sisters' house is full of mice and they are trying to fill the mice with poison so that the mice will all die horrible painful deaths and stop being a minor burden upon them. Kesh is the kind of dog that would pick up a haemorraging mouse and then die herself, so she's staying with us. She is a rescue dog, and likes to sit on people's laps. All. The. Time.

Honey is the newest addition to the house. She is a golden labrador and is about 10 years old, although that is a guess and probably not even near the mark. She is also a rescue dog who was found wandering Dublin. Mum saw her in a dog's home, and they were about to have her put down, so we brought her home instead. Her back legs don't work at all, as the muscles have completely wasted away, and so she doesn't walk very far or very well. But since neither my mother or I are particularly good at walking ourselves, she fits right in. She farts alot and eats everything she can get her hands on. She's particularly fond of apples.

Butler is an elderly chocolate labrador who we have had since he was a puppy. He's about 12 years old now and has arthritis. He's also had epilepsy all his life, although he hasn't had a fit for a while - the last time he fitted was because he was so frightened of the thunder storms last month. He likes to bring you socks and slippers and likes the noise plastic bottles make when he crunches them with his teeth. He also likes to be given the cardboard insides of toilet rolls, which he carries around for days.

Smudge is a white cat that my brother rescued from my uncle's pub. She lies around my bedroom believing it to be her room. She particularly likes to lie on anything black or red, because they clash quite pleasingly with her fur, and also look great when she's shed a few tons of white hair on them. She likes to throw up half her food after every meal, usually on the floor of the room where the computer is, because cat puke is the same colour as the carpet.

Anarchy is a tortoise shell coloured cat that my sister found as a kitten about to be hit by a truck in Derry. So we brought him home and lied to our parents that a friend of mine was going to take him in. He is the one that was attacked last night, and gets himself in to a lot of fights, even though he's been nuetered. He likes to lie on my mother, and all the dogs are slightly frightened of him, particularly Kesh. He has the loudest purr in the world.

01 December 2003
I had posted something up here already today. And my fucking computer then fucking spazzed out, and now every change that I made to both the template and to today's post has fucked off into non-existence. I wouldn't mind, but I saved a draft of it just in case that fucking happened, and the fucking draft has also fucking disappeared.

But I feel better now, having sworn more in that paragraph than I have most of this weekend.

I spent most of this morning cleaning blood off the cat's neck. Apparently, he was attacked by a fox, judging by the hole that was left in his neck. Anarchy - for that is the aforementioned cat's name - didn't seem particularly distressed, and was perfectly happy to let me and Mum poke and prod at him, so long as he could stay on Mum's electric blanket.

Mum came out of hospital yesterday, fact fans. She is currently happily tucked back up in bed, having spent today trying to avoid falling over / being walked on / jumped on / sat on by the large variety of dogs and cats in the house. More of which tomorrow.