06 December 2021

to be continued


the walnut tree farm early Nov

  •  Spring

Me: Sometimes, not all the time, and only some days, not every day, don't get me wrong, I have these new symptoms, nothing dramatic, just odd really, not painful, but well you know I wonder, could this be a side effect of this new drug regimen? I've read . . . -

Expert A: Don't read stuff on the internet. No, no, the symptoms would be so much stronger and anyway, it's extremely rare to have these side effects. Don't worry.

My inner voice: Here we go again, extremely rare. Could not happen twice, surely. Keep calm and carry on.

  • Summer

Me: Well, these symptoms are still with me and you know, should I . . . 

new GP: This is outside my skill set, why don't you see expert B and expert C. Can you organise this yourself? 

My inner voice: Who is she? Why do I come here? She's meant to be my GP for crying out loud.

Me: Thank you, you are so helpful, of course I can check this out by myself. (goes home, makes phone calls in best voice, minimal whining, almost no threats used, listens to some very poor choices of hold on music, eventually celebrates successful appointment schedules)

  • Autumn:

MRI 1 and 2, blood tests 1 - 25. 

Expert B: Nah, nothing here, you are good. Whatever the cause of your symptoms, it's not from what I see here. Surgery is definitely not required.

Me: Yippieh, thanks, can I hug you? Sorry, no, covid, I understand.

  • Winter

Expert C: OK, so this looks all OK - oopps what a minute, what's this here . . .

Life goes on, as we all well know. I am still in limbo, waiting for more results. Good days and every so often not so good days. But I am spending lots of time in some very impressive waiting rooms, furniture wise, and also, some good art work but occasionally disappointingly repetitive. 

Cycling in the freezing cold wind along the river helps to offset it all. Also reading. Mostly, however, watching Scandinavian thrillers online. Hiding from what will come next.

Our happiness is deep-rooted and real; while our despair is shallow-rooted and unreal, born of delusion and ignorance. We suffer because we overlook the fact that we are all right.

D. E. Harding


  1. Boody hell. Doctors and medicine can be so frustrating, especially with rare illnesses. They can also be condescending.

    I hope that you can get answers and that the answers are helpful.

    Sending hugs and love.

  2. I am so glad to see a post here, Sabine. I've been hoping you would update us about how you are and the latest health news. It sounds like the health care there is about the same as the health care here. No answers, more tests, no answers, more tests, new doctor, more tests, no answers. I so wish it were different. Thinking of you and sending you the best wishes. Take care.

  3. Well, you know why they call what doctors do a 'practice', because they practice on you. The sad truth is that many times they just don't know. And they rely on treating the person as a collection of parts instead of as a whole. One of the failings of modern medicine I think. It's good to hear from you.

  4. I, too, have been thinking, wondering, worrying about you. Thank you for posting and letting us know that you are here, that you are still cycling, that you are searching, despite the stupid and incredible difficulty of that. And thank you for that quote. I need to write it out and tape it to the wall next to me.
    May all be well with you, dear Sabine.

  5. I'm glad to hear from you, Sabine, but sorry you're lingering in limbo. It makes me happy to know you're at least out on your bicycle. Please keep us posted!

  6. Beautiful quote! Your post perfectly describes health care and the limitations of doctors. So few are gifted diagnosticians, but I guess that's true of every profession, trade, and vocation. Only three times in my 70 years of seeking health care have I encountered exceptional doctors. I'm rooting for Expert C, and (of course) you.

  7. It is sobering to experience the limitations of doctors. Like you, I do what I can to improve the quality of my life through books and fresh air. Interesting to read about D.E. Harding and see that drawing of how when we look out at the world we don't see our heads, except for our noses and brows. I don't remember where I saw that drawing before but it made an impression on me then and now.

    That walnut grove is lovely. Reminds me of the walnut groves in California.

    Good to know that you have been riding your bike, as always.


    Sending love.

  8. I hope you get to the source cause of your medical mystery soon. I lose hope sometimes and become resigned to pain, losing myself by inches. I am glad you ride your cycle in the cold, and persevere. You inspire me.