Monthly Archives: June 2018

#IVF Update – Self Care

It’s been just over a week since I got the news that this round had failed and I want to say a huge thank you to anyone who has sent a message checking in to see how I’m doing.

I’ve been back at work this week and that kept me fairly busy but I have had some weepy moments when talking or thinking about things too much. Mainly because I am feeling pretty much that I’ve had my shot at this with my own eggs (mainly because of the financial cost [approx £7k for this round!!!] balanced out with the percentage likelihood of it working). But I have no real news to share because really I’m just in limbo waiting for my follow up appointment on 16th July to see if my consultant can give me an update on what exactly happened and how this affects my chances.

I have not been good with food since – at all. I ended up not going to my Slimming World group this week as I had had enough of talking to/crying at people about all this in the day. I thought of it as self preservation of tear ducts. Instead I ordered pizza which I did regret. I really haven’t been bothered to cook. Although I wasn’t in much pain immediately after egg Collection on either the Wednesday or Thursday I had stabbing pain on my right abdomen and back Friday and Saturday. This pain has receded since but definitely worsens or comes back a little when bloated or constipated. Pizza did not help that fact. Back to group on Monday to face the scales and hopefully crack back on.

My period appeared yesterday – which obviously I knew would happen but actually having it arrive is more disappointing than usual. Really hoping it’s not as bad as last month’s – although at least I can take tranmexic acid this time which helps manage heavy bleeding. I can’t help debating if I would prefer to be in the midst of the two week wait and it appear but I think having things fail before was probably a blessing.

I have made the difficult decision to put in a complaint to the clinic about the mix up with the embryologist. This mistake did make this more traumatic and I just want to make sure they review things so it doesn’t happen to anyone else. It won’t change anything for me but part of me sharing is the hopes that I can help someone else.

One discovery I made was that I really couldn’t cope without my antihistamines – at least at this time of year – and I’ve still been a sneezing wreck even taking them. I’ll need to arrange an appointment with my GP to review the safety of those medications during IVF/Pregnancy and to see if there are any alternatives.

I’ve had some comments that have said that I’m brave in sharing but that’s not how I see it. For me writing is a way of helping me to make sense of things. It’s a form of self care. It was more odd at the very start of the process where I wasn’t sharing.

For me women who go through this keeping everything to themselves are the brave ones. But really we all do what we must to survive.

I’ll be back around the 16th to share my next steps. In the meantime there will be boo reviews again.

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…Preceded by Chaos Vol -1 by M. Wheeler (Writer) and B. Bicknell (Illustrator) – Blog Tour Book Review

Goodreads Link

Summary:

…Preceded by Chaos is a graphic illustrated series, charting the dramatic past, present and future of a young emergency room doctor, as the stress of saving lives threatens to overwhelm him. Mitchell Weaver is a troubled young Emergency Medicine doctor, orbiting a world of high-stress, intense pressure. It’s a distinguished profession with the burden of a variety of particularly disturbing personal demons that he must battle in order to maintain the façade of sanity and control. The third instalment of the series, Volume -1, takes place before the first book in the series, Volume 0, before Mitchell’s attempt at sobriety and self-awareness. During this chapter Mitchell travels to Spain in an attempt to find a part of himself that his been lost. But ultimately, Mitchell’s trip to Barcelona may be an escape more than journey.

Author:

M. Wheeler has held an eclectic array of jobs – including working as a studio engineer and a teacher — before he entered medical school in his thirties. During his residency in New York City, he wrote the first three books which would eventually become the …Preceded by Chaos series. Wheeler travels extensively for his job but currently calls Miami, Florida, home.

Website: http://precededbychaos.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/precededbychaos

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PrecededByChaos/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/precededbychaos/

What I Thought:

I started this book thinking it was going to be a graphic novel. But as it says above it’s a graphic illustrated series so there are some illustrations but also lots of pages of text only. This is actually the third book in the series but is a prequel (I haven’t read the others).

I was drawn to the story of an emergency medicine doctor battling his demons and the cover illustration really demonstrates that concept. The sections that take place within the hospital were the ones I most enjoyed and it was during those that you felt the pressure on Mitchell. There are some quite verbally (and illustratingly) graphic depictions of drug use. The scene with the case of a young boy is realistic and upsetting and the language used definitely reflects the author’s experience as a medic.

I am assuming that the series title is based on the following quote: “All great changes are preceded by chaos” by Deepak Chopra,

and the summary for the next books describes how Mitchell aims to change and battle the addiction and demons that are affecting his life. He is left with a summons that means change is inevitable and this seems to link to an enigmatic case that is alluded to but not discussed in this volume.

The preceding chaos is definitely evident here and I have to admit to being a little confused about what was happening. The majority of the story takes place in Barcelona where he goes on holiday with a mate from work and lots of alcohol is consumed. The foreword is by a fictionalised character from the story who I’m not entirely sure actually exists or if we have a Jekyll and Hyde situation going on. The red eyed bull demon again could be a metaphorical representation of turmoil or a real inner demon.

Unfortunately I wasn’t drawn to Mitchell as a character and I didn’t feel women in the story were treated all that well. There was was a scene that featured a prostitute and a very unusual shopping list that I think I’d prefer to forget – so I’m not convinced I would read on to find out what happens but hopefully the character manages to turn his life around. Despite his irresponsible actions there is clear evidence that he cares for the patients and has become burdened by past events. I think the concept of mental health could be considered more explicitly. I think in this case it was more that my expectations of the story didn’t match what I got.

I believe the print copy I received was the final version and there were a few errors still present, and some of the text on the illustrations was blurred and difficult to read. I wonder if the kindle option makes this easier with the ability to zoom in.

The illustrations were all grayscale except for a couple that included a dash of red. Oddly one chapter was entirely presented in captioned illustration and I do think that the material would lend itself to being presented in this way as a graphic novel.

Do check out the other stops on the tour to see what everyone else thought.

I received my copy from Faye Rogers and the publishers for the purposes of honest review.

Digging Up Bone,Digging Up Secrets – Guest Post by Nicola Ford for The Hidden Bones Blog Tour

I’m delighted to be hosting a guest post by author of the The Hidden Bones Nicola Ford. Nicola is a real life archaeologist and has used the adage “Write what you know” to share a thrilling mystery with us. I’m just over half way through (and needing to know what happens!!!) and will share my thoughts soon. But for today let’s hear from Nicola.

Digging Up Bone, Digging Up Secrets

The dead can tell fascinating tales if you know how to listen. It’s a truth at the heart of many modern murder investigations. And it’s also central to the way Clare Hills, David Barbrook and their team of archaeologists in the Hidden Bones go about their work.

Twenty first century forensic science draws heavily on the techniques employed by today’s archaeologists. So important is it to police investigations that over the past two decades forensic archaeology has become a discipline in its own right. A discipline that has not only introduced archaeologists into police inquiries, but to the investigation of war crimes, and the aftermath of major disasters. And those techniques have revolutionised what we can learn about the lives of individuals who lived and died, in some cases, many centuries ago.

In the Hidden Bones the ability of Californian osteo-archaeologist Dr Jo Granksi to read the remains of the dead reveals secrets both ancient and modern. The scientific techniques that she applies are approaches that I rely on in my day job as the National Trust Archaeologist for the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site. As an archaeologist I’ve sometimes been called upon to investigate the scenes of ancient killings. And it’s that experience that I draw upon in my crime writing.

I worked on a Bronze Age enclosure site at Velim in the Czech Republic that contained the remains of over a hundred people who’d died over three thousand years ago. Some were adults – men and women – but the vast majority were children. Skulls and parts of skeletons had been strewn across the site, and thrown into ditches. Whether we’re archaeologists working on the skeleton of a child killed millennia ago or forensic archaeologists working as part of a scene of crime team we want to answer the same questions. Who were they? How did they live? How did they die, and why?

When Velim was first discovered there was a raft of theories about what had happened here. Had the site been attacked? Were these the victims of warfare? Some of the remains were disarticulated. Could they have been victims of cannibalism?

That’s where meticulous excavation and the work of the osteo-archaeologists applying the same approaches as Jo Granski come in. Many of the people who died at Velim had been subjected to severe head trauma which was visible on the crania. But there were repeated patterns in the fracturing of the limb bones too. And the wear and disarticulation on some of the bones, taken with a host of other evidence gathered by the bone specialists suggests that the children that I excavated, and their companions, were the victims of ritualised sacrifice.

The past worlds I unearth as an archaeologist can sometimes prove to have been dark and dangerous places. But the present too has its shadowy secrets. And it’s some of those secrets that I dig deep to reveal in the Hidden Bones.

Synopsis

Following the recent death of her husband, Clare Hills is listless and unsure of her place in the world. When her former university friend Dr David Barbrook asks her to help him sift through the effects of deceased archaeologist Gerald Hart, she sees this as a useful distraction from her grief. During her search, Clare stumbles across the unpublished journals detailing Gerald’s most glittering dig. Hidden from view for decades and supposedly destroyed in an arson attack, she cannot believe her luck. Finding the Hungerbourne Barrows archive is every archaeologist’s dream. Determined to document Gerald’s career-defining find for the public, Clare and David delve into his meticulously kept records of the excavation.

But the dream suddenly becomes a nightmare as the pair unearth a disturbing discovery, putting them at the centre of a murder inquiry and in the path of a dangerous killer determined to bury the truth for ever.

Huge thanks to Nicola and to Ailsa from Allison & Busby for my review copy. Do check out the other posts on the tour and come back soon for my review.

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