Wednesday, 16 January 2013

A Complicated Saga

My ENT specialist at the local hospital, who I've been seeing during the last year wants to double check my right ear with a MRI scan.
Oli with one of his friends (not our Xmas trout, I hasten to add!)
This 'ear' thing - and I am calling that, although I'm not sure it is an 'ear thing' - started over a year ago. I woke up one morning and when I tried to move everything was spinning and my heart rate was going at what felt like 200 miles an hour, every time I tried to move my head span and my heart went into palpitations again, so within a few minutes, thinking that my heart was now giving up and totally helpless watching me, my family rang 999.  I was taken to hospital, by which time things had begun to calm down except the dizziness and after a short stay, I came home and then was admitted for a short stay into Papworth so they could give me a thorough checking. By this time I just had a tiny bit of dizziness and after all the checking no-one could really get to the bottom of it although an inner ear disorder, mini- stroke or just my PH wasn't ruled out.

To cut a long story short I ended up going to my GP when I was left with a feeling of discomfort in my right ear and some tinnitus, indicating that it was an inner disorder after all. Eventually, when the symptoms didn't go away - and I still have them - I was referred to an ENT specialist, who after several visits to him, still can't see anything wrong with my ear, hence the MRI scan to have a look more closely and make sure it isn't something else causing it. I'm hoping and optimistically expecting they will not find anything, but at least my mind will be put at rest and I will not have to worry.

The scan will not be straightforward for me though, as it is a magnetic resonance imaging scan and I am not allowed to wear anything metal on my body. This poses a problem with my pump for my intravenous drugs that can't be disconnected and I cannot take it off during the scan, as it will be life threatening.  Papworth are therefore now involved and are liaising with my local hospital and the consultant. The specialist nurse has told me they will have to use a catheter long enough to go outside the room and because of that they will have to recalculate and alter the pump flow rate to ensure I am receiving the correct drug dosage through the lengthened catheter to keep me safe. I am hoping if I have to have this done, Papworth will do it for me , as it is going to take some skill, and the local radiography department will not have this expertise.  I am hoping they will say they can do whatever they need by CT scan and then there won't need to be all this fuss and I can get some reassurance. At the moment I am still waiting to hear news on what will happen.

Over the last few weeks and the festive period we have done lots of cooking as everyone else probably will have done and we have had a fairly quiet time, but we have had many small family get togethers as Rose was home. One of my favourite meals was on Christmas Eve, just a few days after I had come out of hospital Rob cooked a delicious gammon for the main course. He used a combination of recipes to prepare this from the BBC food website:  Rose and I had made some mince pies together earlier, just before my rush to hospital, which we had for dessert and Oli and Sarah brought some ingredients for the starter, with Oli preparing it. So it was a lovely family meal and joint effort by us all, which seemed to make it all the more special, I didn't even have to do anything as my bit had already been done earlier!

Oli's starter was a bit of a special one as he brought round a whole smoked trout, the trout he had caught himself as he is a fanatical fisherman and his friend, who owns the land where he fishes had let him use his smokehouse to smoke it for us. Oli made a delicious starter for six using about half of the trout he had prepared.

Smoked Trout and Watercress


half a medium smoked trout, half a prepared bag of watercress, half a 600ml carton of creme fraiche, lemon, horseradish sauce, 4 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, black pepper to season


Blend together about half the carton of creme fraiche with a few teaspoons of lemon juice and add in horseradish sauce to suit taste, mix in some small strips of smoked trout and a handful of chopped pieces of watercress.  Scatter some of the watercress on each plate and spoon on some of the 'trout'  mixture in the centre. Top with flakes of smoked trout. Dress the watercress with salad dressing - Oli used one similiar to this one found on: - mix olive oil, lemon juice and mustard together - and then add a slice of lemon to the plate and season with black pepper to taste. 


You can substitute the smoked trout with smoked salmon; I used the other half of the ingredients to make a quiche on Boxing Day to go with our family's traditional 'left overs Boxing Day buffet'. I followed a James Martin  recipe (smoked salmon and watercress quiche), again found on BBC good food website, but used smoked trout instead of  smoked salmon! 

I also used the tasty stock from the ham Rob had cooked to make some tasty soup to see us over the Xmas period. I literally just added left over vegetables from the fridge: onions, carrots, leeks, parsnips and garlic and seasoning. 

Don't wait til Xmas, these are tasty recipes for any time of year! Happy cooking!

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  1. I hope they figure out the MRI Kath and the your mind can be at ease :-). That Gammon looks uber scrummy!!!


  2. Sorry to ear about your problem hope it gets sorted out soon:) I am having problems with my eyesight investigated at present so am sympathetic to your plight, even after transplant hospitals are still one of my favorite places to spend a afternoon(not)!!