Life Lately | January

Life Lately | January

Hola! So that’s January almost over (thankfully) and spring is now just a few short months away. Here’s my monthly round-up.

This month I…

Attended my first Google Digital Garage workshop 

I’m lucky enough to live pretty close to Manchester centre so when Google announced that they’d opened a Digital Gage on King Street back in November 2017, I figured this was a good way to refresh my previous training.

As I work Monday – Friday, I was delighted to discover that they hold weekend sessions so I headed into Manchester bright and early on a Sunday morning ready to sharpen up my skills and gain some extra knowledge.

There were around 20 other people there from all sectors and I learnt a few new tricks along the way. It was also a great opportunity for networking and ended up chatting with a lovely yoga teacher based in Altrincham who I’ve subsequently started following on social media.

I’m already looking at booking myself a place on the coding workshop (a six-week course) so would highly recommend checking it out if you have one nearby.

Bought another Cath Kidson bag

No excuse needed but it was £15 in the sale and I needed (ok, not needed) a nice big bag to hold all of the crap that I choose to carry around with me on a daily basis. Isn’t it lovely? Adam did compare it to a Bag For Life but we’ll gloss over that jibe. Also, frugal points to me for not buying this absolutely purrfect (sorry) cat-shaped handbag too – my budget couldn’t quite stretch that far this month!

Life lately January Cath Kidston Google Garage Manchester That British Betty Blog

Started reading again 

In January, I managed to work my way through no less than three books; The Road Beneath My Feet by Frank Tuner, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline and The Voyeurs Motel by Gay Talese (if you haven’t heard of Mr Talse before, check him out. His career is inspirational and he’s top of my fantasy dinner party list).

I found that spending my evenings nose-deep in a book instead of aimlessly scrolling through social media really helped my well-being and left me feeling rather accomplished. This month, I’ll be reading Happy by Fearne Cotton and The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolizer. If you have any book recommendations for me, please let me know!

Saw Frank Turner/Felix Hagen and Family in Lancaster 

Again. I’m a pretty big Frank Turner fan and last months gig was the eleventh one I’ve attended of Frank’s in recent years (fangirl much?). The Lancaster gig was a fundraiser both for Lancaster Girls and Boys Club and Morcombe Bay Foodbank. It was also supported by an artist that I saw in Manchester last year (and have since grown to love), Felix Hagan.

Frank’s sister, Joanna, resides in Lancaster and is involved in both charities, twisting her brother’s arm to play this particular gig. Luckily for me, my own sister also lives nearby so had offered to let me kip in her spare room for the night. She and my brother in law came along with me (they are fans from Frank’s ‘Million Dead/Mongol Horde’ days) and, huddled next to the barrier, we sang/danced the night away with 600 other fans. A great night for a great cause.

*Excuse the shit pictures; I was far too busy enjoying the music and only managed to grab a couple of hasty shots between songs!

Life Lately January Lancaster Frank Turner Felix Hagan gig That British Betty Blog

Went to the breast screening clinic 

Just after Christmas, I went see my GP regarding the ongoing stomach issues I’ve been having and the doctor found a lump in my right boob (I asked him to check after having pains, he didn’t just decide to have a feel). I got a call from the clinic within a few hours and was given an appointment for the first week of January.

I didn’t know what to expect and was called into a room, asked to remove my top and put on a fetching pink cape on. The consultant came in, felt around and drew an ‘X’ on the areas that he felt needed looking at in more detail.

I was then sent for a scan which uncovered several lumps but I was told that they were nothing to worry about and were simply caused by hormones. God bless our NHS indeed <3

Faced my fears 

On that note, I’ve been on the waiting list for a gastroscopy for a while now and it’s something that was urgently needed so that my doctor can figure out what on Earth is going on with my throat/digestive system.

The only slight massive problem? I was absolutely terrified of this procedure after a nasoendoscopy in November left me traumatised. The hospital was amazing and offered me an appointment within just two weeks of my referral. However, I was so petrified that I cancelled and went back to my GP to explain the situation. I  begged him to convince the clinic to give me a general anaesthetic. He told me this wasn’t possible as I’d need to be coherent enough to swallow the camera.

I swiftly received another appointment and tormented myself for weeks about how it was obviously going to be the Most Horrific Event Ever. Seriously, if you have health anxiety, you’ll know what I mean. I couldn’t sleep, cried a lot and was absolutely convinced that I was going to die. I also did the most idiotic thing I could and spent the day before my appointment scouring the internet, where a very helpful gent had posted about how awful it was and that he felt like he was drowning as the nurses held him down. Gah!

The next morning, I was physically shaking and fully ready to Run Away Forever as Adam drove me to the hospital. As I went to pay for the parking ticket, the idea did cross my mind but I resisted the urge and decided to try and be an adult about the whole situation.

Once we eventually located the right clinic (the place is a bit of a rabbit warren), I registered my details with the receptionist and soon after, had my pre-checks with a nurse. I was told that Adam couldn’t come in at this point which didn’t help the situation as I was relying on him to help keep me calm.

After going through my medical history, the nurse placed a cannula into my arm (I’d reluctantly opted for sedation as GA was off the agenda) and gave me a gown to wear. She then ran through the risks, asked me to sign a document saying that I agreed to the procedure and I began to cry; the ‘adulting’ thing didn’t last long. She told me not to worry and that I was next on the list.

I was soon escorted into the theatre and sobbed uncontrollably (my dignity was long gone by this point) as the team tried to reassure me. They also handed me a mouthguard to protect my teeth and tried to spray my throat with anaesthetic. I refused and asked the nurse if I was going to die as looked her straight in the eye and, you guessed it, cried even more. She didn’t answer my (frankly ridiculous) question but said she was going to give me something to help me relax.

Within a few seconds, a strange sense of calm washed over me, like I was stepping into a hot bath whilst knocking back vodka shots. The sedation worked like a charm as I don’t remember the camera going in but I do vividly remember belching loudly as they pumped air into my stomach – I thought that I might die (of embarrassment) at that particular point.

The next thing I properly remembered was being in the recovery ward and texting Adam to say I’d defeated the Dr Robotnik to my Sonic (oh, I also took a selfie of which I have absolutely no recollection). The nurse explained that they had found a hiatus hernia, gastritis and some corrosion to my stomach lining but the biopsies they had taken should provide more information in a couple of weeks.

So yeah, I now feel like an absolute boss who can do anything after overcoming that personal challenge. How was your January?

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