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Documenting not dying since October 2013.

From the sublime to the ridiculous.

The 19th of October. Today has just been splendid.

All my hospital trips were very timely, so I have no real comment on those.

This morning we popped into M&S on the way home for some bits. I imagine our basket always looks rather eclectic; grapes, duck breasts, croissants. Also other things, that is just a selection. Then I had breakfast and washed my hair, and at about half eleven, my papa came home with Christine! She had brought me presents from New York - some Wonka Sweetarts (I've only had one but it tastes acceptable), some Wonka Bottle Caps (the grape, cola and root beer flavours are definitely unacceptable) and a stuffed toy Boo! He is so soft and cute.

I was messaging Sophie McD about the using of her flights, but after scouring the interwebs, it seems travel insurance is going to be an impossibility, and without that, I really cannot go. I will have to settle for having my picture go round the world instead.

This afternoon, I hung out with Dan Alani! He came round and we half-watched The Phantom Menace and just had chats. He told me about his job and the gossip he learns and it was just normal, which is so rare these days. I haven't laughed like that in ages. Becky and James also made an appearance with Christine's birthday presents, then they went back and Dan stayed for pizza.

Tonight there have been some bucket list developments but I won't say anything until it's confirmed.

The 20th of October.

Today I had quite possibly the worst nurse I have ever had. Her name was Poppy*, and I will never have her again.

Julie was fine this morning, but then Poppy had clearly missed handover so she didn't really know what was going on. I could already tell she was going to be incompetent.

And I was correct. My dad brought me in, but we got stuck in traffic so I was already stressed 'cause I was then late to meet Elle who was waiting in the foyer. She brought me up to the ward, where Poppy took half an hour to bring my drugs in. She then proceeded to be shit at everything. First, she started messing with my line, and alarm bells started ringing in my head when she tried to flush a small clot back in, then thought the line was blocked and I'd need a whole new one, because she'd never seen a blue clave before and didn't know how to change it; I had to explain to her that it wasn't terribly technical, just unscrew it and put a new one on. She was inept at running the fluid down the line and made a lot of bubbles, which she had to try and flick out by using the most inefficient technique I have ever seen, and eventually gave up and went to draw up some more. I waited half an hour, then went to find her but she was on her way. This time, she ran it down the line incredibly slowly so as not to make any more bubbles, then hung it up to let it just drip through. I couldn't be bothered to wait for her to sort it out again so it could go through the pump, so I decided I'd just keep a very close eye on it as it was only supposed to take thirty minutes. After forty, it wasn't even half finished and I was sick of her, so I was about to get Monica (one of the adolescent transition nurses) when Poppy reappeared and asked if something was wrong. I said yes, in fact, and I was sorry, but she had really not been up to the job today at all. She asked if I wanted to speak to Sophie who dutifully came, and I listed to her all of Poppy's incompetencies. She apologised, and said the only thing she could maybe say in her defence was that she's only just been signed off on IVs, but that means she's passed a test! Then Sophie looked at the giving set and it was actually for a pump, so she loaded it and ran the rest of the bag through quickly. When it alarmed, Poppy came in and had to work out how to use the pump, but then there was air in the line and she started using her ineffectual flicking technique again. I was beginning to lose my patience and was not going to sit and watch this nonsense again, so I just grabbed the line to pull it taut and the air bubbles dissipated! I am so thankful that I'm a seasoned patient so I knew how to rectify the problem; someone less knowledgeable would just accept her way as the correct one. However, when she tried to load the line back into the pump, she couldn't get it in, but instead of taking it out and trying again, she just tried to force the door shut. At this point I actually took the line from her and said "Excuse me, do you even know how to lose this pump?" and she looked at me, so I said "I know you've only just been signed off on IVs but really!" After that, she did the mero and I didn't speak to her again.

When I wasn't angry, Elle and I had a lovely time doing impressions of Louis Walsh and her granddad. I love her.

We finally got home at half four and ate straight away - we had duck and it was delicious. But then Christine had to go pretty much immediately to catch her train! Hopefully she will be coming home every other weekend. So I'll see her soon.

Becky and James came round again and we watched the end of Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, and I relayed the Poppy saga to them. Tonight I have Julie who is good and I've told her that I refuse to have Poppy tomorrow.

*Name has been changed

Q&A; Humans do not give ourselves enough credit sometimes.

The places you have come to fear the most.