The House of Study


I have been quiet for a while, immersing myself in keeping the household running, and everyone on an even keel while they sit exams. We are about half way through now and so far no one has missed breakfast, and no one has run screaming out of an exam hall. So that’s a success in my book.

Most of my (at home) job is reactive at the moment: I sit around being available for the next person who needs help with revision, or to go on a walk, or just to be distracted for a bit. We have watched lots of films (Julie) and documentaries (Duncan) and a lot of very silly sitcoms (everyone). I have explained calculus in words of one syllable, learnt the German word for mobile phone and copied out quotes from Lord of the Flies.

Meanwhile I have been having a battery of medical tests. How can so many tests involve fasting? It is cruel and unnatural. But the results of these tests are that I am in rude good health. Any pain I experience now is either imaginary or cannot be explained by current medical science. How charming to be told that lots of women of my age report similar pain – no hurry to try and find out what the problem is then. But the main thing is, I’m not going to die from it.

  1. Exams here too, and they went more smoothly than the preceding study period. Glad that your health is better and I agree, I think the fasting thing is cruel and unusual and is partly designed to get more compliant patients (I never fast as long as they tell me to, as they ask for a longer period every time!). Hopefully you won’t have to endure any more xx

    • Think it makes me less compliant – I get so grumpy when my blood sugar is low! But I must have had most of the tests they need by now: there can’t be that much more probing, photographing and pricking they can do!

  2. Lots of women your age suffer pain so it must be nothing, not worth researching? That makes me so angry. Why not? Grrrr.
    Glad it is nothing ‘serious’ though.
    J x

    • I have to admit, my heart really sank when my kind (but definitely) male consultant said, “we get a lot of women complaining of this”. But as you say, it’s still good that it’s not a really big thing.

  3. Sally said:

    How very frustrating for you. Did you know, the other day I learnt in my course, that whiplash wasn’t an accepted diagnosis until somewhat recently? Our scans just weren’t good enough to detect that there was actual physical damage and these people were labelled as malingerers! Sadly, many went on to commit suicide. But it really makes you think about how people with inexplicable symptoms are treated doesn’t it? Was your thyroid okay?

    • That’s very interesting, thanks. Scans are difficult: they may show something you don’t feel (which is distressing) but equally they may not show something that you do feel (which leaves you in limbo). It’s so hard to communicate your own subjective experience to a doctor! Thyroid seems to be ok, thanks for asking.

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