2017 so far...

Hello everyone,

So I am really not that tech savvy at all and I have just realised I could have been publishing blog posts even although my website was not yet fit for human consumption! So with out further ado here is my first ever post from the soon to be new Charcot website!



This year has made me realise we need to share more with each other, and not just through the rose tinted filters of social media that we all love so much!
So I have decided that I am going to use this as a personal blog, if you hadn’t already realised I am a bit self obsessed, I mean Charcot is all about me, is derived from pictures of me and every piece made features a little bit of me…its all me me me me meeee!
So I will be using this blog to talk about what’s going on with me, not just Charcot specific…oh and disclaimer, there may be lots of cat photos!

So I will briefly chat about this year… since the start of 2017 I have been telling myself that '2017 is going to be my year', even joking about with fellow creatives that 'Yes 2017  will be our year', and why should we think otherwise? There is nothing wrong with thinking positively and that only good things will happen! I might be crazy but I think positive events in your life feed of positive thinking, I mean if you don't believe in yourself who else will?

Anyway 2017 has been pretty fantastic so far as Charcot has been gaining recognition in ways I never imagined!
Here is a quick rundown, in case you weren’t aware of what has been going on in the world of Charcot and I will covering these events more fully in future posts!

I was selected by the V&A Dundee to be their first Design Champion

Which also led me to being asked by UNESCO Dundee to be the design representative for UNESCO Dundee City of Design at the first Design week over in Shenzhen, China! It was an unbelievable opportunity which i jumped at! It was a trip to meet design representatives from other UNESCO cities of design and see what Shenzhen Design Week was all about and even make a presentation about Charcot and Design for the Future.

When I returned from China I thought ok this has been an incredible achievement for myself and Charcot so I have to keep this momentum going and get Charcot out there with new work and other exciting events…but unfortunately my body had other ideas.

Ok here it goes, this is the main topic I wanted to share with you all. Earlier in the year I had been experiencing what was thought to be a touch of anxiety, which I think was correct but it was down to the way my body had been feeling.
I constantly had a sore stomach, which I would put down to what I had eaten, it was either too rich or too spicy, or I had, had too much dairy. This lead to me eating less especially when I knew I had to go somewhere the next day or travel for a long period and I would get so worried that my body would go into fight or flight mode, so I would get ill no mater what I had eaten! I even feared this could be down to my MS as it can affect any part of the body and is so unpredictable.
I came to terms that this is just how I had to live now, until one day my stomach cramps were so severe I couldn’t even stand up straight, I had never felt anything like it! But silly me thought I will just take some painkillers and I will be fine…WRONG! They weren’t even touching the pain, so that evening I managed to get an emergency appointment with the doctor and we put it down to a UTI, (urinary tract infection), bleaugh ,and I was given some antibiotics and stronger pain killers. But also veering on the side of caution the doctor was going to book me an appointment at the hospital for an ultra sound!
That week I went back to the docs for some blood tests and a follow up appointment with the doctor!
Lo and behold I had no UTI, but my CA125 levels were raised (a substance that can be produced by ovarian cancer, but not always!) and my liver function was way off! I’m really not a heavy drinker…apart from when Prosecco is involved!
Anyway this got the doc thinking about my trip to China and asked if I had any vaccinations before I went there, well I didn’t think I needed to get any jags but thinking back I probably should have considering my immune system is compromised due to MS! He then asked what I had been eating and drinking while in China, and all I could think of was my last meal with all the UNESCO designers, which was great fun, but it did include chicken feet! I never ate one myself but we had ‘Hotpot’, which was exactly that, a big hot pot of stock with every bit of a chicken thrown in along with some odd looking mushrooms! This got him thinking that, as I had not been immunised before my travels that I may have picked up an infection while in China, most likely Hepatitis A that is a liver infection and the thought of it made me feel disgusting…google it, I dare you!

Follow on more weeks of blood tests and follow up appointments to keep track of what was going on inside my body.
Then one Friday evening I got a call from my doc with good news and bad news…good news was all this wasn’t down to Hep A, bad news…he lost his bet! As he was adamant that it was Hep A!
I then met with him the following week to discuss my results which was all positive as my liver and CA125 levels were pretty much back to normal, until I mentioned I hadn’t heard from the hospital about the ultrasound which had been asked for 4 weeks previously. The next second he is on the phone to the hospital and I have an appointment booked for that Sunday morning…I didn’t even know you could get hospital appointments on a Sunday which kind of unsettled me a little, why all of a sudden would it be that urgent?

That weekend I met with my best girlfriends on Saturday in Edinburgh and we sat in the sunshine all day drinking and talked about all sorts including boys, adulating and ultrasounds! It was a wonderful day and just what I needed!

Roll on Sunday and feeling slightly fragile and a little bit nervous, I was on my way to the hospital for the ultrasound, something I only thought I would experience if I were ever to become pregnant! While I was waiting to be called I was thinking about what my GP had said, I was to listen to what the ultrasound technician had to say as they can’t out right tell me what, if anything is found, but could say things in a way that could hint to what was going on.
I was called in and the minute I lay back in the bed I asked what she would be looking for, ‘anything that could be causing you symptoms’. That gave me nothing so as she did her thing scanning my lower abdomen, quite heavy handed, I thought I am just going to ask her outright when she is done.
Well that time came and I was close to not asking but then I did it, I just blurted it out, ‘Did you find anything, is there something?’ thinking there won’t be anything and as she was ushering me to the door she replied ‘Yes, there are cysts, you will most likely be referred to Gynaecology’.

Well this is not the best way to spend Sunday with a little bit of a hangover! I didn’t know what to think, but after a little bit of research online, I actually felt a little bit more reassured as cysts are a common thing amongst women and are not always the big C!

On Monday I went to the open surgery at my local doctors hoping to see my GP to discuss what had happened the previous day. Thankfully my GP was there and after a long wait, I met with him and he had the ultra sound results printed and sitting on his desk! Their findings showed a 750mm cluster of cysts adjacent…but never said what they were adjacent to. But ugh a 7.5cm cluster of cysts made me feel yucky even although my doc imagined them as a bunch of grapes, this never made me feel better just put me off grapes for life, sorry if you feel like that now too, but I was glad they had found something and something could be done about it.
We talked about what the next steps might be, a trip to a gyno…always fun and most likely surgery at some point!
Within days I had a letter from the hospital with my appointment that was the following week, that was then cancelled, as that doc was needed in surgery! But they were very efficient and I had an appointment the following week.
I was hoping that they knew more about what was found and could give me a better understanding of what would happen next!
The doc was great and very reassuring, he asked me what I knew so far about the situation, so I referred to the ‘cluster’ which prompted him to show me the ultra sound images that weren’t that clear but god knows where they got cluster from as there was one very noticeable sphere on one part of the scan and he said himself that there was a '7-8cm cyst, about the size of an apple’! I am sorry, this is a serious matter but what’s with comparing this or these cysts to fruit?! That’s apples out my diet!
Anyway we discussed the possibilities of what it could be down to and he seemed quite positive that it could be down to endometriosis, but to cover all bases and rule things out I was to go for more bloods and also an MRI scan. He would then collate all of this info and take it to his colleagues in Edinburgh to discuss in more depth and what the next steps would be. He was very honest and even said ‘We won’t know the full extent of what it is until it is removed and we have a prod at it in a petri dish’! Got to love him for that!

So there you go that’s what has been happening with me recently, it could be something or it could be nothing but I felt I needed to share this very personal story so you guys, sorry you girls know that if you suspect that anything in you body has changed and you think its probably nothing and keep blaming it on other factors, like I did for so long, just go to the docs, no matter how trivial its worth speaking to them even if its just to put your mind at ease!

Thank you for reading and hopefully sharing!

Look out for the next instalment at my fave place…the MRI machine! 

Love Kirsty xx