Stuck full of Needles

I seem to have had a lot of needles stuck into me this week.

On Monday I had a CAT scan, which meant turning up without any breakfast. The nurses had to fit a port for the contrast dye. I have rather narrow veins, but the student nurse got me sorted on the second attempt.

I had to do few gentle stretches before I could get comfortable with my arms over my head, but it was no real problem.

The scanner itself didn’t take long. It never does. I went through twice with the machine saying, “Take a deep breath now and hold it.” Pause. “You can breathe normally now.” Then I could feel the contrast going in.
On previous occasions, I felt hot between my legs. This time I felt hot everywhere, even down my ear holes and my previously cold toes, but the scan stopped before it became unpleasant. The nurses helped me sit up, put my bra back on, and get back into the wheelchair. And then it was time for a late breakfast, which is the best bit of a scan. I get the results next week.

On Wednesday we got our second COVID booster shots, in Santa Cruz. The wheelchair entrance wasn’t obvious. We had to go around the back where someone opened a fire door for us and then we could get through to the lift up to the second floor. (We’ll know for next time.) The nurse came out with the vaccines pretty quickly. I’m glad to have that done before we travel to the UK, and we met an English couple who live in Villa de Mazo now (hiya!) which was nice bonus.

On Thursday I had a blood extraction at the hospital, which meant skipping breakfast again. It was hard to wake up without coffee. As we left the house I wished for warmer clothes, but the sunrise was gorgeous.
The blood extraction wasn’t painful, but it was the third one in four days and I felt a bit like a porcupine. And then, of course, we went to the cafeteria for breakfast. After orange juice, coffee and a chicken and salad sandwich I felt much better. It was quarter to nine, and I had a physiotherapy session at 10:30. We could go home for half an hour or hang around at the hospital for forty-five minutes. Instead, I persuaded Carlos to take me to Barranco de El Dorador, which is the ravine between Las Nieves and Mirca. It was closer than home.

Carlos persuaded our little Yaris maybe 100 m up the 4×4 track from the road and we stopped by a little flat area. Oh, it was lovely. No traffic noise, just birds singing and huge pine trees going up to the heavens and the green smell. Oh, how I’ve missed the green smell. I would have loved to take Carlos up to the abandoned hydroelectric station. I believed it was the one that used to provide the electricity for the street lights in Santa Cruz at the very end of the 19th century. (Nope, that’s in Barranco del Rio. The one in Barranco de El Dorador is newer.) I wished for crutches to get at least a few steps away from the car. But even standing just outside the car holding on to the door was lovely. I got Carlos to get me some leaves so I could crush them and smell the scent. There were some chickens scratching around and three roosters. Well, one rooster we could see and I think two others answering him. We only had time for about 15 minutes, but it was magical, even with the rubbish. We need to do something like that again soon because it felt like a long drink of water on a hot day.

Wild chickens

Posted by sheila

Sheila came to La Palma with a six month contract and has stayed 24 years so far. She used to work as a software engineer at the observatory, but now she's a writer and Starlight guide.

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