Katinka in the Clouds - Blog

The blog of Kate Griffin. For the last 33 years we have lived up here at the head of the Holme Valley and have not once felt any urge to move again. It has proved inspirational for me. The places where I set my stories and plays, whether it is north, south, east or west, have as much significance and potency as the characters, and since living here the landscape has had a profound effect on my writing. In the last few years, since health problems have clipped my wings I have taken up painting and much of what I paint is very local, sometimes from the house or garden. In my writing I have explored the lives, loves, passions and drama of ordinary people, often taking audiences and readers into dark and uncomfortable places and now, in my painting, I have found, using the texture of paint and the juxtaposition of colours, a new way to express my passion for the tough and gritty world that we live in.

Medical Detective work

Medical Detective work

Last week I found myself using the phrase “homing in on a diagnosis.”  And realised that the lurching, shambolic saga of the last nearly seven years since my lungs became damaged was like a TV crime serial.  And I am the maverick, half crazed detective, who is always at the centre of these tales. He or she is always suspended from the case, is pitied by the kinder members of the team and scorned by the youngsters.  This anti-hero invariably has some tricky lifestyle issues, drinks too much, smokes  — of course — and has a messy private life. And at some point in the story someone in authority or a friend will take them to one side and say: “Don’t you think you are too involved?  You are becoming obsessed with it.  I really think you need some help.”  And then there are the blind alleys, the false arrests, the pursuit that ends up a cul-de-sac and gets nowhere.

And always there comes a moment when it all falls into place.  The team is beaming in the scruffy, foetid, detectives’ office. “Good result, lads. Let’s go off and get pissed in the Truncheon and Taser.”  And then just as the door closes on the darkened room the phone rings.  And you know it’s not over.

In June I believed that the last piece of the diagnostic jigsaw had fallen into place.  And I think LLC (Lovely Lung Consultant) did as well.  A diagnosis of Pulmonary Hypertension from an Echocardiogram did it. 

We thought. 

Then four months later one of the specialist cardiology consultants in PH emphatically told me I did not have PH.  Now, no one in their right mind would want to have PH, but it had been a relief to me because my symptoms were difficult to deal with.  Once I had that diagnosis it meant that I could in some way relax, no more looking things up, no more having to politely insist with Doctors, no more nudging my darling LLC.  I could cope, because I knew what it was.  The baddie was behind bars.  The case was with the CPS.  A conviction was inevitable.

Then this very unsettling moment.  It was like looking in the Radio Times and realising that it was only episode four in an eight part serial and so there was no way the plot had reached a conclusion. 

Silly me for thinking that it was all over. Back to the drawing board, or the Google School of Medicine.  And like all good detective stories it is picking up the strands of something which I had identified over three years ago as a possible answer.  Way back in episode two of the drama.

But — oh boy — do I feel exhausted with it.

And, actually, I do think I do have mild PH.

But there are others aspects of this complex tangle inside my ribcage which are not explained by PH, OB, or CTED.  So onward….  But I can’t do upward.  I really, really can’t do upward.

It's not always about lungs, you know
Dead lines... A blessing or a curse?


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Monday, 25 March 2019