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Wick Trees and Diamonds Revisited: Week 2 – 10 January

I returned to the hospital in Inverness this week to see another consultant and get the results of my various tests. And it’s good news (mostly).

As I walked into the consulting room I noticed a large computer screen with several photographs of what was evidently my throatal area; I had a general impression of pinkness with a large black blob in the centre. Oh Lord, I thought: if that black thing is malignant, no wonder they’re concerned. The consultant asked me to sit down and said (rather ominously) that we’d come to the photos presently. Meanwhile the biopsies had come back inconclusive but none of the cells showed any abnormalities. Was I now or ever a smoker? No. Did I use an inhaler? Did I get acid reflux? Yes and yes. Had my voice improved over Christmas? Also yes. Then she did that sneaky trick of sliding a camera up a nostril and down the throat (and how it gets there, as opposed to, say, exiting through an ear, still baffles me) and took a shufti.

Marsh by the path

Finally she showed me the photos, and I was relieved to discover—I’ve said before that biology isn’t my strong suit—that the big black blob was in fact (ahaha) my oesophagus. Close up, my vocal cords resemble a wishbone; the right side is smooth and sort of buff-coloured, but the left, which is the problem, looks more like an octopus’s tentacle, pink with white nodules. Anyway, she thinks this might be an infection (and not something more serious beginning with “c”). She’s going to put me on a course of medication to see if it clears up, and I go back for a service and MOT in three months. Meanwhile, we keep our fingers crossed…

Backlit reeds

 …or we would, if that didn’t make knitting needlessly challenging, and an intricate dark navy gansey in midwinter is already challenging enough. I’ve finished side A, and have turned the record over to side B. And even though it’s a smallish gansey I’m pacing myself, trying to get as much done as I can in the hours of daylight (about 90 minutes on a good day if it doesn’t rain).

When I got the good news from the consultant I was minded to do my best Harry Potter impression and start styling myself “The Boy Who Lived”. But that, I felt, would be tempting Fate (and not only because I had images of wrapping the car round a tree on the way home, Fate as we know having a nasty sense of humour); after all, I’m still waiting on the results of last week’s chest scan, and there’s also the question of the shadow they found on my thyroid. Even so it’s a huge relief, and I can’t help tempting Fate a teeny bit; so I’ll leave you with the words of Ancient Pistol in Henry V, when he and his companions go to visit Falstaff on his deathbed (and things worked out pretty well for them in the play, I believe): “Let us condole the knight—for, lambkins, we will live!”

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