The Saturday routine.
Woken up by Lovely wife at 6.30 with a cup of tea.
Joined in bed by son no. 2.
Drag myself out of bed and neck cuppa by 6.45, pulling yesterdays discarded clothes back on.
Try not to grunt too negatively when bid a chirpy good morning by lovely-wife upon reaching the downtairs.
Out to car, drive to hospital.
Not for me! Lovely-wife working, (NHS long-day shift: 7.30 start, but expected to be there by 7.10. And 8pm finish, though paperwork often extends this to at least 8.20 - Yep. That's a 13hour shift. And she doesn't often get much more than a vague lunchtime in the way of breaks either).
Drop her off, drive home, stopping for a paper on the way - I pass about 30 newsagents, but always stop at the same one. I don't know why.
Get home to be be confronted by son no.1.Now he is just knocking on 13 years old, so if he is up at this time all initial conversations are fractious affairs...
Rustle up the kids some breakfast - if I don't do this son no. 1 will not have any. Out of laziness...
Begin my second cup of tea and settle down with the sports pages. One of the redeeming aspects of taking lovely-wife to work on a saturday is being up early enough to read the paper without feeling guilty. Obviously reading the paper (saturday is the only day I manage) is something I have only recently been able to return to, as the kids have reached an age where they do not need entertaining by me all the time.
If I am lucky the boys might entertain themselves adequately right up until 10.45 when we often go swimming. Which means I can read almost all of the paper!
This is always accompanied by several further cups of tea. My name is rich and I'm an addict.
The rest of the day gets made up as we go along...
But this saturday... About 10ish, am reading paper and enjoying 3rd or 4th cuppa whenthe phone rings. Son no.2 answers. I can't hear him, so assume it's for one of them (I really recieve the least phone-calls in this house. By a massive margin. Son no.1 uses it so long for so often, he frequently runs the battery out on the handset. Usually just before I do get a really important call...)
Son no.2 appears, profering me the phone: "who is it?"
"Did you ask?"
I take the phone (aware that 'some man' has been able to hear our brief father-son interaction).
He replies. I recognise the voice immediately. It's my consultant. So surprised am I that I spring up! Like a naughty boy caught on the hop.
I shouldn't be surprised, seeing as I finally left a message for him, via his secretary, on friday afternoon. But I never expected him to phone on a saturday. I thought he'd be at the golf club. So, that's another ill-founded judgement I'll have to alter. Don't you hate it when people exceed your expectations?
The upshot of our conversation was that he agreed with my suggestion that I don't want to try anymore new meds for a little while - 3 failures in 2 months is enough for now. And that I could go for a slow taper off the preds, down to nothing with no other drugs! You know, just to see what happens. This should coincide nicely with my next appt in clinic in June. But, the main thing he said was: if I continue to have problems he is going to send me to London to see a colleague who is an expert in UC, at UCH. Wow! That is really good news. I am going to really have to reassess my opinion of the old bugger. I looked this new guy up on the net, he's there! And he's written loads of papers about UC! And... well I didn't find much else out, but at least he's the real deal.
After that, the sun was out, so me and no.2 went down the park with the football. No.1 wouldn't budge off the sofa...