The perfect controllable world of the model railway which I conjured up for you in my last post has been struck by a thunderclap. Despite our best efforts fate, reserves the right to smack us in the face at will – illustrated by the image below of my right lung complete with an unusual inner adornment, a wire jewellery beading cable complete with bracelet fixings at each end.
I wouldn’t normally share quite so transparently the inner workings of my bod, but I’m sure you’ll agree that this deserves installation status, and cries out to be exhibited.You probably know by now how much I love beads; goodness, I have even threatened in the past to devote a whole post to them. This week I am doing just that, but not with the same glowing enthusiasm I usually feel for them. No, I leave any glowing to the luminous bead-related object you see here, nestled deep inside my right lung!
How in heaven’s name did it get there? I have no explanation, only a selection of possibilities. Hunched over my beading tray, was there a sudden sharp intake of breath before a sneeze? Or maybe a chance draught which blew this lightweight object into my mouth? (open with wonderment perhaps, as I luxuriated in my delicious array of bead-y delights)? I must explain that late in May I had just returned from Le Touquet ( le2k for short, henceforth) with a bunch of those tiny paper sachets the Saturday-market-jewellery-lady packs your tiny purchases in, complete with dear little label saying ‘Plaisir d’offrir’ and a teeny curl of ribbon. Each sachet had a collection of Swarovski crystal beads, or beading wire, or fastenings – toggles and rings, clasps, bolt rings – collectively called ‘findings’ to jewellers. I settled down very happily in the late evening of May 30 with the nicest package of all – some violet, black and clear crystals which would perfectly match the new hair colour of Andrea my very dear hairdresser. I made her a rather cute bracelet and a matching necklace, as you can see here:
I do remember a sneezing fit and then a coughing fit….and I think that is when a length of cable and some attachments must have winged their way down my right bronchus…..nb….Warning to all beaders: WEAR A MASK IN FUTURE!!!
So here’s where I return to my theme of control versus randomness. Several weeks later I had an X-ray to investigate chest pain (no connection whatsoever by the way) and there in all its glory was this foreign body, lambent, refulgent, and totally shocking, like having alien in your chest. The radiographer freaked out…..the rest is history: in quick succession I was seeing a chest physician, then having a bronchoscopy to pull it out ( not possible even after 3 hours of trying to find the darn thing in my tiny murky bronchioles) and finally, fairly major surgery to remove 20% of my right lung together with its decorative contents – which I am told by my wonderful surgeon were mostly by now invisibly intertwined with bits of lung and were probably there long before the night of May 30. So, back to my theme of randomness…without the random muscular chest pain there wouldn’t have been an X-ray….without the honesty and integrity of the chest physician who opted to ask a thoracic surgeon to do the procedure instead of doing it himself, without the careful skill and restraint of that surgeon who decided not to risk tugging the object, but to withdraw and plan for surgery a week later, without living in London and having access to the finest possible care…who knows whether I’d be sitting here writing this blog.
All of which warms me to my theme. Model trains may run to pre-determined schedules; life, sadly or happily depending on your point of view, definitely does not, and it’s a renewed shock every time one find this out. Roll with the punches, go with the flow…never a truer word! I am recovering albeit with more than a few twinges, and the sun has finally made an appearance. And now, some bead photos for you to enjoy – I’m not one to hold a grudge against an innocent bead!
Update: this is a salutary tale! The little metal item which caused me all this grief turned out – well after I posted this entry – to have nothing whatever to do with beads or jewellery! It was at best a medical mishap, at worst, medical something else ….a coil inserted into one of my veins (as described in another post) had migrated via my heart into my lung where it sat for many months until it was discovered in the X-ray and removed). Moral of the tale: stay away from doctors wherever possible.