Arrhythm & Blues

Before I launch into things – it’s perfectly normal for children to regress with potty training, is it not? I’m sure I’ve read that somewhere. Regression: Normal. Regression for no apparent reason: Normal. Regression from a 95% at-home potty success strike rate for all logged output, to… well, pretty much zero: Normal. Yes? I’m sure I heard you pipe up ‘normal’?

Cool! On we go.

I went to see these chaps again last week.

Before my tinnitus began to dictate against it as a frequent hobby, I regularly saw bands of all flavours live, from Motorhead to the Everly Brothers to Paul Weller – and I can solemnly assure you that the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain are simply the best thing since Cool was invented. They are, to borrow a phrase, plucking brilliant. I always bounce out of their shows feeling like I’ve just joined a particularly juicy cult, swearing that I will Buy A Bloody Ukulele Tomorrow And Learn To Play It, Goddamnit! To hell with my guitar (and my banjo!) – four strings are the future!

This quirky collection of quintessential Britishness is coming to a town near you soon, Toronto and NYC included, and they are pure serotonin. And they have an exceedingly dishy bassist

with whom I managed to omit every last fucking vowel chatting with afterwards.

Miss them and miss out.

Speaking of missing things, it appears that my heart is doing exactly what I thought it was doing, and merrily skipping beats all over the shop before clearing its pumping backlog of the Useful Red Stuff with a colossal bang. This type of arrhythmia is, happily for me, normal and nothing to worry about, although I do sincerely wish that the consultant cardiologist had used some other word than ‘arrest’ to describe the little places on the ECG print-out when my heart (temporarily, natch) simply sat and quivered like a jelly, hoarding blood, and refusing to co-operate. I’ve not managed to experience an arrhythmic beat without the A-word flashing neon into my head since, and I have several of the buggers a day currently. I’ve had three typing this post.

It is with a sense of vague embarrassment at having wasted a fair wodge of words, some perfectly good lip-gnawing and everyone’s time, when I also tell you that my heart is not the wrong way around after all.

Have I… let you down? Am I not quite different enough for you now?

Previous consultant’s vague asseverations and loosely-worded report notwithstanding, my heart is looking in excellent nick – and the right way round. The associated aorta/IVC tubing is the wrong way round, but as they definitely get themselves mixed up somewhere outside my heart, I’m assured it’s of no cardiac significance whatsoever, and merely a headache for whoever might find themselves waving a scalpel about inside my abdomen one day. Not a biggie. I am officially restored to being a woman with only one major anatomical oddity.

*cheers with relief, but quietly, so as not to attract attention*

I did feel oddly guilty whilst climbing back into my clothes (a common failing of mine) for not measuring up as the Grade A Freak I portentously introduced myself as. I was merely a Grade B Imposter. I mean, any idiot could acquire two wombs, but it surely takes a special kind of weirdo to have a back-to-front heart as well.

Consultant had delivered what he termed the VIP treatment: he disappeared mid-appointment into the bowels of the hospital and returned, having actually snared an Awfully Nice-Looking Radiographer sporting a very flash mobile ultrasound. AN-LR lay me on my left side facing away from him, snuggled his bum in business-like fashion onto the bed behind my knees, and proceeded to briskly lift up my left boob (my Double-D dear had seen the cold gel and was running away to hide down the side of the mattress) and plonk the scanner onto my ribs. The lovely young medical student was agog, hovering with bated breath at the end of the bed – her proximity to the feet I had been walking through sheep shit (in sandals) with shortly beforehand may have contributed to this – and her notebook was poised at the ready. 

And… I didn’t come through with the anatomical goods. Cue disappointed medical student. Cue disappointed AN-LR. Consultant, on the other hand, seemed delighted to have crossed me off the Oddity list, and bid me a beaming good day.

Never mind.

Maybe I’ll catch the student on the Obs & Gynae rotation flip side and atone for my current mediocrity then.

18 Responses

  1. Well. I’m just disgusted. 😉 Personally, as one who seems to baffle medical science with normal organs, I’m liking the idea of a normal heart! (With some eccentricities, to be sure, but all in all normal!)

  2. The potty-regression? So normal it’d be weird if he didn’t. On the other hand, ARGH how annoying. Poor carpets. If I ever do have a toddler, I shall dress it in bin-liners until it is six. So there.

    Ooh. The bassist looks slightly like… John. How sweet.

    God, I love the Ukelele Orchestra. To PIECES.

    *jealous face*

    Very glad your heart is normal and merely being annoying rather than Cue Ominous Music. Back-to-front hearts all plumbed in wrong can be somewhat Ominous Music. We can merely play ‘Life On Mars’ for yours, though. Hurrah!

    (Oh God, I remember the last time I had an ECG and the very very nice male nurse had me take my bra off and then spent forever lifting my boobs out of the way in turn to stick the thingies on while my heart thundered faster and faster with mortification. He’d’ve had an easier time if he’d had me leave the damn bra ON).

    *Wanders off to brush her teeth, humming Smells Like Teen Spirit*

  3. I laughed myself sick reading your ultrasound description. Then I made my husband read it. Next I will probably be grabbing random strangers on the street and making them read it.

  4. PS my husband loved it, and thus we just spent most if the evening watching ukelele orchestra videos on you tube. Why don’t we have stuff like that in California???

    PPS I also meant to mention that I occasionally teach a biology lab class at my college’s smaller satellite campus, where the room next door to my lab is occupied by a beginning ukelele class. We always leave the door open so we can listen in while my students do their lab work. Bliss.

  5. Most OF the evening. OF. OF. Okay, I’m going to bed now, I promise.

  6. Another UO lover here, annoyingly though I can never find anyone to share my passion, I’d willingly make them my exception to my “I don’t do live music” mantra!

  7. This is a band i am dying to see!
    I for one am happy you are not as weird as once thought!

    abs x

  8. I love uogb too – their rendition of Wuthering Heights is fab. We have their dvd which gets heavy rotation. Haven’t seen them for a bit though – have they got some new stuff?

    Pleased that your anatomy is normal where it matters.

    And yes regression is normal – its like a “look parents I can do it but frankly I cant be bothered just now so you’ll have to wait until I fancy it again” moment.

    • Played some new tunes live, and I bought their new-ish Albert Hall Proms DVD, which to my deep, abiding and eternal misery I missed out on going to.

  9. Potty training regression completely normal if a little soul and carpet destroying. We went back to heavy duty bribery and that worked.

  10. So so normal!
    …and I’m too scared to click the link. …Are you seriously telling me that a ukelele orchestra is enjoyable? …Hmmm … maybe curiosity will get the better of me.

  11. you’ll always be a grade A freak to me, dearie. in truth, i think having your vessels squirrelling around like that is much odder than just holding a mirror up to nature.

    i do know what you mean, though. this is how i felt after discovering that my twin vaginae and cervices led to…an ordinary uterus. i had to snuggle up to the knowledge of my third ureter just to keep my sense of freaky self intact.

  12. Fear not – should you have cardiac problems in your old, old, old age, when they go to do a bypass or angiogram, you will again be interesting enough to call in the students. 🙂

    The UO is…interesting. I would likely enjoy seeing them in person – they seem like they would be quirky (aside from the music). And, I agree with May…the bassist does resemble your John.

    Regression? Or complete disinterest now that he knows how to do it? Learning a new task = fun. Practicing = major time commitment which may interfere with other, more interesting pursuits. Bribery works in our house…

  13. They are the most excellent ukelele orchestra in the world. As, of course, you know.

  14. As a special reward for being just different enough to make life challenging, I have given you an award over at my place. Sadly, not a ukelele.xx

  15. […] I managed to be the first adult in the queue. I greeted him in admiring and overwhelming awe (sans vowels, again. Must work on this.), had books signed for Harry and myself, and had a brief chat to him about […]

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