Things are happening!

The oven has continued to work ok, so that’s a mystery.

The decorator has been and we should get the quote shortly. All starting to fall into place now.

I have an appointment for a nerve conduction test, and another appointment for ultrasound and x-ray scans of my hand, when they will also do a steroid injection into my thumb. Then I get to see the consultant the following week to decide what to do (joint fusion or joint replacement).

Today my back is dreadful. I’ve had back problems for over 40 years, surgery 28 years ago which helped, but am all bent over to one side. It’s improved from this morning, when I was bent over sideways and frontways as well! still, painkillers, hot/cold packs, not doing anything for more than 20 minutes, and tomorrow it should be better. If not, I’ll try and get to the osteopath this week.

Part of the “not doing anything for more than 20 minutes” included a potter round the garden, in the rain. Took a few pictures because the colours cheer me up so much! and made me feel better even though I couldn’t manage a shower this morning. (I’ll deffo have one tomorrow, though!)

Baby Steps

Well, I feel as if I’ve been really daring this week.

I went to the osteopath on Tuesday – both of us masked and all precautions taken. It felt great, if painful!

Today we took the cat to the vet for her annual inoculation. It’s always a major performance getting her there. Recently we’ve started putting a little harness on, and only putting her in the carrier when we arrive. That works much better but she still yowls the whole time in the car on the way there, and some of the time on the way back. When she’s actually in the vet’s surgery she is very interested in everything except what the vet is doing, and tries to jump off the examination table and investigate the whole room. Anyway, that’s done, although you have to wait outside the vet (masked up) while they take in one animal at a time and bring the card machine out to you. That’s fine, but it was raining today!

And best of all I finally have an appointment at the doctors next Thursday to have steroid injections in my hand. I am so relieved. It’s felt like a long time.

Managing.

Writing is supposed to be cathartic so I thought I’d jot down a few notes about how I manage the depression and M.E.

Went to the osteopath today because I was in some pain. It’s part of the maintenance and upkeep. As usual after the osteopath I’m pretty low tonight and on the verge of tears. Taking regular painkillers. Can’t take Brufen because of my asthma. Big old bummer, because they are such effective painkillers. I can take Cocodamol though, and am at the doctor’s next week so might mention it then.

However I re-arranged the pedicure, which was going to be tomorrow, and have cried off the knitting get together tonight. Will see if I am able to get to the sewing course on Saturday – I’d really like to go, because it’s making a Japanese Knot Bag and matching purse, but if I’m not up to it, then I’m just not.

Such decisions sound a bit sad, but in fact once I’ve decided that I need to cancel stuff, I actually feel a bit better about things. Not exactly in control of my health, just managing it better. I don’t like to feel that it’s managing me. Even though it probably is. Mm.

I’ve been sleeping a lot. Most of Tuesday. Managed to have a shower and wash my hair on Wednesday. Then had a half hour sit down, and did my ironing. I do it every week, and hubby does his own, so it only takes about 25 minutes maximum. Then lunch, and then did the online shop. So quite a lot achieved yesterday. But the afternoon sleeps are long. At least three hours, sometimes four. Then I sleep all night too.

Might consider a bath and face pack tomorrow. Will see how I wake up. I very, very rarely have a bath. We have some nice bubble bath though and it does help relax my back.

I have two go-to authors whose books I read when I feel like this. Bill Bryson, who is just one of my favourite writers, and Tom Cox. Ditto. Can’t help smiling as I read their stuff.

Retail therapy always helps too, so have ordered a couple of tops (reduced) from Warehouse. Two different colours, and two different sizes, so we shall see if I like the colours and if they fit.

Hubby is off to a meeting tonight so I shall watch some crappy tv. No knitting mojo at all at the moment, and booked in for steroid injections into the knuckles of my right hand on Monday. Will see how things go after that.

Christmas almost organised. Thank goodness for the internet. A bit of baking to do, but nothing major. Last year I did a Yule Log which is fat free, therefore dairy free. It was delicious and both hubby and I liked it, which is a bonus. He doesn’t like fruit cake so if I made a proper Christmas cake I’d just eat it all and put on loads of weight. And am going to do some mince pies only in filo pastry as I have some in the freezer. Everybody else can eat normal ones from the shop, but the dairy free ones from the shop tend to be cheap and nasty.

November!

Did my ironing this morning. All of it. Although I had to do it sitting down, as my stupid back is playing up. Painkillers, ice packs, phone call to osteopath tomorrow to see if I can bring forward the next appointment.

Had the leylandii at the back trimmed, and one of the leylandii hedges at the front cut down by half, so it’s just below the level of the roof of my car, which is an old Ford Ka. The other hedge at the front has been dug up and the stumps ground out. That was quite exciting to watch. Two men, fully kitted up in safety gear/helmets/goggles, with a large noisy machine, took approximately 10 minutes max! Now I just need to get as much of the thuggish ivy out of the soil as I can, weedkiller the rest, and see how it is next spring before I plant some more Photinia Red Robin, to match the little hedge at the front, parallel to the house.

Meanwhile, hubby decided to pollard the willow tree himself. Yes, himself. Worked, hard, all morning, up and down ladders with a saw, despite my bleating about stopping now, and did it all. Cut up the twiggy bits and fitted them all into the green wheelie bin. But he then had (heart) “symptoms”  for three days. I was very worried and a bit cross. It is frustrating not to be able to do the stuff you used to do easily. It is. But still. I’ve had years to come to terms with it (slipped a disc 43 years ago) so I do know how difficult and limiting it is. But harrumph. And of course he’s fine now.

Wasn’t able to knit for a couple of weeks – arthritis in my hands. But I’m ok now and nearly finished the Festival shawl (dark grey Gossypium and white/cream Paradou). It’s lovely and easy enough to knit (though not while I’m watching subtitled Swedish programmes!) and I will be pleased with it when it’s done. Next up, Whelk vest top for hubby, in pale grey Rowan yarn. Need to do a sample tension square, because the pattern is for DK, and the yarn I have is worsted. Not much difference, but enough to check first. Also need to check I’m ok with the pattern . . . . .

Have treated myself, after watching Black Earth Rising, to a cuff earring with two chains attached to a small stud. The heroine of said programme wore one, and looked stunning. I won’t look anything like her, of course, she’s about 6 ft tall, black, muscular and slim. Ah well. I do like it though. Hubby thinks it’s weird. Don’t care.

Christmas – presents all done. Not wrapped yet though. And I need to get my act together with regard to cooking. Planning a Yule Log, so need to practise with an ordinary Swiss Roll (tomorrow). Also need to do a carrot cake and a bakewell raspberry slice. And some mince pies (bought pastry, bought mincemeat, just need to put them together . . .)


What? over a month!

My last blog was 11th January. Can’t believe it! time flies, does it not.

The weather here, as you will know wherever you live, assuming it’s been on your news, is appalling. We live in the Midlands, and although it’s very wet, we have no significant flooding. It has been raining for weeks and weeks without stopping. It’s cold, miserable, and depressing. Spare a thought for the folks whose houses have been flooded with smelly river water, raw sewage, and who have had to go and stay elsewhere. The emergency services have been doing a sterling job, even the army has been called in to help. There is some frustration and resentment because there’s a feeling that London gets all the attention, so as soon as the Thames starts to flood, and all the posh people in their posh houses are being flooded, that’s when things start to happen. Meanwhile, in the south-west and the north, things have been dreadful for weeks.

I’ve been busy too. Knitting intermittently (wonky hands), made a couple of greetings cards, back episode (involving a trip to the osteopath), M.E. crash, but life seems to be looking up a little now. I am being more strict about how much I do each week, and make sure I have at least two days with nowhere to go. I set myself little tasks each day – for example, on Wednesday I ordered the week’s shopping on line, and made two greetings cards. That was enough. Thursday – I did two small sewing repair jobs and typed up the minutes of a meeting. Plenty.

My hands are very dry, as well as wonky. I guess the weather isn’t helping. But it’ll pass. And I have lots of hand cream.

The cat is currently going bonkers. Each day, about this time, she goes into a sort of manic mode, jumping about, scampering everywhere, chasing her tail and making a lot of noise. We just let her get on with it. All the cats I have ever known do this.

I am picking up my new glasses on Monday. Ridiculously excited about it. Then I’m going to potter around Solihull and see if I can find some thick black tights to wear with my longer tunics and my little Ugg-style boots. YD has been on and on at me for years to try and get me to do this, but I didn’t have any tunics long enough.  Now I do. Not really a leg person. Have worn nothing but trousers for over 20 years now, apart from very hot days, which involve long skirts. So an adventure, taking me slightly out of my comfort zone.

Report on degree of success with this to follow . . .

Back to normality.

The kitchen has stayed exactly the same. There is more tiddling about to do, but I have been so busy!

On Hallowe’en hubby’s ES and his three children came to stay. ES took so much trouble – a bowl of custard and a bowl of porridge, both with “things” in – tinned peach slices, plastic spiders, worms, etc – for them to feel through holes in a cardboard box, in low lighting, one at a time. All four had faces painted to look scary – 2 x zombies, lizard, and scary doll. I don’t need bags painted under my eyes, I have my own.

It was absolutely lovely. The children are always a joy, and ES is fun, good company, and easy to be around.

Then on Friday it was hubby’s birthday, and what a delight to have family to celebrate with. On Saturday, YS and the other two grandchildren came, and the two children stayed overnight. We all went out for a meal which was great fun. Not much sleeping was done by children, but that’s what happens on sleepovers when you have two 12 year-olds and two 9 1/2 year-olds. The four year old slept though!

Healthwise – am having physiotherapy on my wonky hands, and it seems to be helping. ECG tomorrow to make sure my heart is ok. Cholesterol, after four months of drastically reduced cheese intake, had gone up from 6.1 to 6.8. Gaaaagh! so I’m continuing with the reduced cheese thing, have given up goat yoghurt with jam and have bought soya flavoured pretend yoghurts instead, and am having porridge for breakfast, made with oats and soya milk. It’s delicious. Will see how that affects the cholesterol. Bah.

My back, however, for the last week, has been horrible. Very painful. Painkillers, hot packs, cold packs, today osteopath (and she wants to see me next week as well, because there is swelling from waist to hips), and have taken two Tramadol today, which always help. A lot. And I can take two Paracetamol at 6 pm then two more Tramadol at bedtime, which should mean tomorrow is much better.

Knitting – ups and downs. Was knitting a lovely shawlette for a Christmas present, but the yarn wasn’t very good. It was expensive, but looked like it was pilling as I knitted it. Sent a photo to the suppliers, who refunded me straight away. I was very impressed with their service, but now don’t have time to knit the shawlette for said Christmas present. But I have another idea, so that’s ok. And will start that particular present earlier next year, with different yarn.

Crochet workshop yesterday – granny squares. I was able to do them, but now I’m able to do better ones. And triangles! Triangles, no less! very pleased.

Went to Stitch & Sip today.  I’ve knitted almost all of a little hooded top for a baby, but am having problems with the second sleeve. Twice I’ve got to the top, then had to rip it all the way down to the cast off for the decreasing. But I know what I’ve been doing wrong, and should get that done tonight. So when I came home from Stitch, I had less knitting than when I started! but it was fun anyway.

That’s about it for now, more when there is more to tell.

August 10th 2013

Mugginess gradually decreasing, although still plenty warm enough for summer clothes. The cat is very keen on catching and eating butterflies. Not such good news for the butterflies, but it keeps her very fit.

Went to the hospital this week and saw the orthopaedic surgeon about my arthritic knuckles. Apparently the X-ray was “fine” so they’re not going to do anything. I was very disappointed at the time, but have recovered since then and have decided I’ll ask the GP if physiotherapy would help. Meantime I’ve ordered some cod liver oil and glucosamine tablets to see if that helps. The pain is pretty bad, and each time I straighten or bend the finger I can feel the bones grinding. Mm.

The new computer arrived, and is set up, and working fine. Couldn’t wipe the old hard drives though because the old pc kept shutting down. So hubby sorted them out with a chisel and a hammer, and now they’re unusable. Freecycled the old pc case full of motherboard, memory, power supply, etc, to somebody who might well get it working, and the monitor stand. Love Freecycle.

Have had a large sort out of my yarn stash, and am feeling pretty virtuous. There is a Women’s Refuge which needs yarn so it’s going there. Excellent.

The socks are going well. Hoping to try one on younger daughter tomorrow, then I can finish them off.

Had a back episode about a week after the M.E. crash. It lasted five days, but the osteopath sorted me out. Still not quite back to normal, but much, much better.

Have just read a book called “Stoner” by J Williams. It’s absolutely unputdownable. I read it in a day – I was at the hospital for three hours, so had plenty of time to sit and read it. It’s wonderful. I don’t know anybody who’s read it who doesn’t think so. Highly recommended.

Went to Sip & Stitch today (the knitting group at the local yarn shop) and had a wonderful time, sitting, knitting, drinking tea and chatting. And eating biscuits of course. Am just about to go and make tea. Smoked salmon, beef tomato and salad. And baked potato for hubby.

That’s about it for now.