Busy, busy week…

Busy, busy week. Tuesday, met YD at her work and she took me to the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham, which is very nice but was busy closing down because it was 4pm and a nice day! ah well. Wednesday, to GP. More blood tests. Thursday, to osteopath and Stitch group. Very hot, sticky and unpleasant, and ended up having to undo half the knitting I’d done at Stitch.

Today, to Warwick Hospital to see about my wrist/hand. Well. I was half expecting to be discharged, but no. I am to have a further steroid injection with x-ray guidance in my left thumb (which has to be booked in as it’s done in an operating theatre), had to have four phials of blood taken, am to have ultrasound investigation of my right hand, because there’s a possibility that I have some sort of inflammatory arthritis – eg rheumatoid. Big, big bummer. Symptoms are swollen painful soft lumps between my knuckles, and it’s painful to straighten my right hand out. Ice packs help a bit. I mentioned the blood tests the GP is organising, which are to do with my oversized red blood cells, in case they’re relevant, and they might be.

So having got up at 7.30 am (stupid o’clock), got to the hospital 9.05 am, we finally left at 10.55 am! have had a long, long sleep this pm (three and three quarter hours) and am a bit fuddled. But have a nice cup of tea. How very English.

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A couple of nights ago hubby and I watched a programme by Ruby Wax (celebrity comedienne) about the stigma of mental illness, particularly in the work situation. It was excellent, very good indeed. She herself suffers from depression and has actually been admitted to The Priory, where she was treated successfully.

As a direct result, I put on my facebook “status” that I have suffered from depression most of my adult life, had a breakdown in 1996 (directly related to a hostile work environment), and am currently on a high dose of antidepressants, probably permanently.  So I sort of “came out” as a depressive, rather than anything else!

The response from friends was overwhelming. So many positive and kind things were said, it was just wonderful. In my case, because I’m retired, it’s not a problem for anybody but me and mine, but when I was at work in a very hostile situation, and had a breakdown (luckily it was at home one night that I fell apart into a weeping blob on the floor, and not publicly at horrible work) I wouldn’t let the doctor put it on my sick note. I was so frightened that everybody would know how weak I am.

In fact, when I have an episode – though it’s been a very long time since I had a real episode – I do feel weak and wimpy and my self-esteem drops to nil. I can’t imagine why my husband wants to be with me, how my daughters put up with me, I become a self-pitying nightmare.

I think that the dose of “jolly drops” I’m now on prevents these episodes. When terrible things happen I cry, but that’s normal. I am more stable, more able to cope with low self-esteem, which is a constant in my head – there’s a horrid little voice telling me I’m useless because I’m so tired all the time – and able to deal with life in general.

Knitting is a major therapy for me. It is something I can do while I sit still, it’s creative, I’m making lots of presents for people for birthdays and so on, I’m reasonably good at it, and I really enjoy it. The yarns are beautiful and a joy to shop for and use, the things I knit are nice (well, I think so anyway), and I feel useful.  Hand pain is a bigger bummer than it would be if I weren’t a knitter though.

I think that’s about it for now. More anon.

I can’t believ…

I can’t believe it’s as long as three weeks ago – more, even – since I blogged. I have been meaning to for ages and ages, and now I actually am.

Have done a number of shawls now, one pimpelliese, two wingspans, and more presents for different people. Am just doing a little bag thing, which I’ve knitted with beads. That was one of my “things”, I wanted to learn to knit with beads. I knitted a little cake for my diabetic friend (the only person I could think of who would want a cake you can’t actually eat!) and knitted a few beads in with that. It does look pretty, although it’s a little bit of a fiddle. Well worth it though, certainly on small projects.

Today is the first day I can remember for at least three months that it hasn’t rained. The weather forecasters are telling us that we are in for a spell of sunshine now for a while at least. Thank heavens – the rain is good for the gardens, and the water shortage we had (unbelievably, in Britain), but day after day after day with no sunshine is just depressing. The garden is looking lovely, but I keep finding giant weeds pretending really hard to be flowers. Nope, up you come, in the green wheelie bin.

Spent the weekend in Southampton for ED’s birthday barbecue – the first dry spell for months and she managed to nobble it for her barbie. She did have to change it from the Saturday to the Sunday though, because Saturday it just tipped it down.

Am still very smug about my knitting stash. It’s just so easy to find yarn, and to decide what I’m going to use to knit a given project, because I don’t always have to plod up the stairs and physically start pulling out bags and bags of yarn. I can initially look on Ravelry to see what I have, see if there’s enough, the right colour, and then when I’ve decided just plod up the stairs at that point and it’s easy to find and extract. Smug smug smug.

Am just drinking a nice cup of Lady Grey tea while hubby reads in the lounge. Cat is upstairs on our bedroom windowsill – an excellent vantage point – so that she can see the world go round. She went into boarding kennels while we were in Southampton, and is clearly extremely glad to be home, bless her. Lots of rolling about on her back, luxuriating and purring. Lovelyl

Spent the last three days failing to fix my friend’s computer. Vista needed the recovery disk to boot it every time, and eventually fell over into a Blue Screen Of Death. Luckily by that point I’d managed to get all her documents off and onto an external hard drive, so I could start converting them from Works format into a more compatible format (one by one though, no batch converters to be found. Not free ones, anyway). After three attempts at installing Linux Ubuntu, all needing boot repairs, none of them working, despite being different versions, I gave up. But it’s always worth trying to fix a computer before giving up. They’re getting a new one, and a laptop, so they’ve always got access to one or the other. If they want me to, I’ll install Dropbox on both, so that they also always have access to their documents . . . . .
backing up seems to be a major no-no for most people. I’m paranoid about it, and back up all over the place, regularly. I can’t imagine how distraught hubby would be if we lost all our technology. I’d be a bit pissed off too, and feeling guilty, but it’s just so important.

“Stitch” group is great. A chance to sit and just concentrate on knitting, chat to friends, drink coffee and eat hazelnut and chocolate dairy-free loaf. Excellent. I have a new system now – I was thinking to myself “right, in Solihull for Stitch tonight, so I’ll do x, y and z before/after I go” and ending up exhausted. Now I just go to “Stitch” and do anything else separately. In more than one trip if necessary. All part of the management of the M.E./C.F.S.

Will ask the GP next week what’s going on with my thyroid results (am shaky and sweaty) and my red blood cells (too big with no apparent cause). Busy week. Tuesday – meeting YD in Birmingham pm. Wednesday – GP. Thursday – osteopath (had a back episode a couple of weeks ago) and Friday Warwick Hospital re hand/wrist. Blimey. I’ll be a wreck by Friday night. But can sleep at the weekend. And it’s only “one thing a day” which is my sort of rule/mantra.

Bought some strawberries at a reduced price last week and made three jars of jam. Absolutely delicious. I thought I’d ordered enough this week for more jam making, but no, just one punnet. That’s ok though, we can just eat them. Nom nom nom.

Have just had a little potter round our garden. It’s not big, so it doesn’t take long. Found a few weeds, pulled them up, admired the very blue anchusa and the bright red crocosmia. A lovely splash of colour.