Priest down

For a week now I have had some kind of dreaded lurgy which involves vomiting and stomach pains – never a pretty combination. Mornings are bearable but as the day goes on it builds into an unbearable frenzy of unpleasantness.  The doc has given me anti-sickness pills and they are making me feel sick. Go figure.

Of course one has to wonder about the timing of this. After all, this is a notoriously hard week for clergy with pancakes and ashes and new liturgies and the like. (On a happier note – the diet is going terribly well now!) Please pray for all the above.

Pancakes will happen tonight at 7pm and I give you my apologies now.

Ash Wednesday will happen tomorrow morning at 10am and at 7.30pm.

Lindt heaven

One of my little flock popped in this afternoon with the perfect get-well pressie: a bunch of purple flowers, a bag of Lindt chocs and a joke book. What more could a girl want when recuperating?  Mmm, I love those chocs.

That was the week that was

Well, I did as I was told. I stayed indoors and did nothing at all except read and eat. (Blimey, can I get through the pantry when I’m taking steroids.)  But I have continued to wheeze and cough my way through the dark and lonely hours of the night. Weary, is what I am.

So I have decided to take control back of my miserable existence. This week I shall work from home and perhaps I shall have Advent and Christmas all sewn up by Friday. So far I’ve cleared the desk which is always a good start.

Missed church today. That’s probably the first time for about 20 years. It was very strange and not at all pleasant. Not even any church bells round here to help me focus on what was going on outside these four walls. That was the lovely thing about living opposite St Michael & All Saints: if you were ill in bed you knew exactly when mass was happening at the elevation bells. Hmm, a bell tower at St Mark’s…

The op is off

Spoke to the hospital this morning and they have decided not to operate on my cataract tomorrow as planned. I was up all night with breathing difficulties and knew in my heart that it wouldn’t be safe to go ahead, much as I wanted to. Now someone else can get my place.

I can’t tell you how disappointed I am that this has happened. It’s not just the length of time I’ve waited (about a year) but its about clearing the diary, getting cover arranged and all the planning that has gone into getting this op and recovery time sorted. I am angry and upset.

The plan now is that I phone when I am well and they give me another appointment. It could be months away and will involve more diary negotiations.

So, the doctor will see me today and hopefully give me more steroids and this time I shall stay indoors and not work at all until I am well. Bishop Alan will take the service on Sunday as planned.

Germs at the altar

We did all we could to prevent our altar party germs from infecting the rest of the congregation. (Yes, i was not alone in my spluttering – those valiant servers had it too.) We didn’t pass the Peace, we used the hand-spray and we made it through three services. Time will tell whether our efforts paid off or not. But we did try.

Would you mind saying a wee word to the Wo/man upstairs please?

Right, so the tickly cough that I picked up in Paris has now developed into Bronchial Asthma. Antibiotics and steroids (just don’t leave any food near me or I’ll scoff it) should do the trick. But will they do it in time for my cataract op next Wednesday? Please pray that they do. Everything is organised for me going off for a week or so, got cover, done pewsheets, etc. I will be soooo cheesed off if it doesn’t happen.

Eye Eye

At the Eye Pavilion today. Why on earth is it called a ‘Pavilion’, btw? Why not Eye Hospital?  Anyway, off to see how bad the 2nd cataract is and when it’s to get done. And it’s bad. Really bad. So bad, in fact, that I’ve to get a general anaesthetic again – hoorah! Looks like it will be October though before the deed is done. In the meantime I shall continue to squint out of my good one which was done last year and not drive too far at night. And yes, the Altar copy of the Liturgy shall remain on the right-hand side for now.

Wanna see what my pupils looked like after they put the evil drops in?  (Ignore the state of the eyebrows please. Remember I am half blind.)

Ruth's eyes after evil drops

Ruth's eyes after evil drops

In need of silence

I am about to go off on the Clergy Retreat to Whitchester, near Hawick. Our retreat leader is Canon Michael Kitchener and I am looking forward to getting away from it all. We will be in silence and those who know me well will know that I am not always great with silence. It’s an ENFP thing, don’t you know? But even if I do listen quietly to my IPod in my room it will still be a huge sacrifice for me not being able to chat to people.

Had to make a quick dash to the dentist this morning because I had the most awful toothache last night. And there’s nothing worse than being away from home with toothache – and in silence too!  So I’ve had less than a millimetre shaved off a tooth which should now make my new crown – my new very expensive crown – fit better and not give me pain. Let’s hope that’s all it was. I’m taking lots of drugs with me just in case.

See you in 5 days refreshed and renewed.

Blogging break

On my post-Christmas break this week and was hoping to get away. However, after a quick visit to the doc on Monday I was sent off post haste to the hospital for a chest x-ray and told to stay put indoors in the meantime. You’d have thought that I would have got my Income Tax done by now… may be tomorrow.

Was going to risk a trip to the supermarket today but its fair  blowing a storm here. During the night I thought the windows were going to come in and indeed if the wind had been in another direction, Son #2’s basketball net might have joined me in bed. As it was it has fallen into next door neighbour’s garden.  So I think I’ll stay put.

Looking backwards and forwards

Happy New Year to one and all. It was a quiet hogmanay here at the Rectory as Son #2 had gone out gallavanting (with the obligatory guilty conscience at leaving his old mum alone and yes, I milk that one for all its worth!). I fell asleep in the chair and only woke at midnight when the fireworks exploded all over Edinburgh. Spoke to my sister on the phone just after because it’s her birthday today too and then went to bed. Exciting, huh? And I didn’t even get the study tidied before the old year was out so I dare say that doesn’t bode well for the new year. I did hear my first-foot creeping in at 5.30am but no sign of coal or whisky or black bun (vile stuff anyway).

Looking back, it was a good year. My little flock grew and grew like Topsy and we started lots of new things.  We were joined by Bishop Alan Smithson and his wife Jean and he insisted that I took all my holidays. What an asset they are.

I began the year not being able to drive much because of the cataract and it was removed in January to the accompaniment of glorious technicolour. The other one should be done this year when I can find a space in the diary. Speaking of health, I did spend an awful lot of time with my bottom exposed this year while I underwent various tests for my IBS. It would appear that I have diverticulitis and chronic biliary gastritis and a lazy bottom bowel. I think that’s enough detail on that one but the treatment is not pleasant, I can tell you. And I ended the year with the virus to end all viruses, spent two weeks indoors coughing my guts up and am still doing so over a month later.

I found a new retreat home on Holy Island and spent a week there renewing and refreshing the batteries, and am booked in for my post-Easter break. I went to Oxford with Fr K and we adored the glittering spires and watched some amazing theatre.

Son #1 continues to do exceedingly well at Edinburgh Uni and Son #2 was made redundant in the summer time and has since been travelling the southern hemisphere. It was nice to have the house to myself for a while – lonely but nice. But for an extrovert (ENFP if you are interested in Myers Briggs) I am happy with my own company. And in case the boys are reading this, yes I like your company too. And I’d like it even more if you were a bit tidier. (I am also a Virgo.)

Looking forward, what are my hopes?

That St Mark’s continues to grow from strength to strength.

For better health.

For more reading time.

That my family, flock and friends have good health and happiness in 2008 and beyond.

I think that’s it. Have a good one yourselves.