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!)

My Own Little Bubble

Well. Now then. The news, nationally and globally is just so damn depressing.

The UK and lots of other countries seem to be playing Whack-a-Mole with Covid-19.

The US election campaigning is in full swing. Somebody is tweeting rubbish in all capital letters. Racism. Lies.

UK exam results are completely buggered (although our granddaughter did Very Very Well in her GCSEs this year).

I’m really struggling with pain, exhaustion and low mood ( I do know that this is selfish when there’s so much going on, so let’s add guilt to that particular little mix).

Hubby is trying to explain Modern Monetary Theory to me. I sort of get it in a very muddled way but it’s so very different from what I was taught at school 50 years ago. I also worked in a bank for 12 years, and there had to be a debit for every credit, so I’m very confused and fuzzy about it.

So I have decided I’m going to try to stop worrying about stuff I can’t change, and reach out from time to time for some chocolate/painkillers.

Meanwhile my Ab Fab rose is starting to bud like billyo again. Love it so much. It really cheers me up.

Finished!

Finally. It’s taken me 12 days elapsed time, but I didn’t do any painting over two weekends, so that’s 8 days altogether. So every weekday for the past eight days I’ve got up, put on grotty old working clothes, moved stuff, painted, got hot, sweaty and covered in paint, moved stuff back, and had to have a scrub in the shower.

All worth it though. Done now. Finished the last wall today. Hubby likes it too.Image

My friend made me this cork board. I love it. It’s unusual, artsy, and looks really nice.

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You can see the contrast in the above photograph between the two different colours.

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You can see my old glasses drying – I don’t wear my nice funky ones for painting in. I had to give these old ones a good wash as they were covered in paint speckles.

The colours look much better in real life. Three walls are a pale sky blue, the fourth wall is a pale Wedgwood china colour (and is called Favourite China!). It’s a clean look, which we both like. But I’m absolutely exhausted now and don’t plan on doing any more decorating, ever.

I also cleaned the oven, which was sorely in need. Half an hour of Mr Muscle sprayed on to it, then wiped and scraped until we can see through the door now. That’s something I will be doing much more often to keep it reasonable.

24th August 2013

Time  for another blog. I can’t believe it’s so long since the last one.

The pain in my right hand is much less now. I’ve weaned myself off Tramadol without any withdrawal symptoms, and today is the first day since I can’t remember when without needing any painkillers at all. I’ve been taking the glucosamine and cod liver oil tablets for a couple of weeks now, and the difference is remarkable. No grinding, even, when I flex the knuckle. It still cracks, though, sometimes, and that hurts, but I can cope with that.

Saw the neurosurgeon on Thursday morning. He’s Italian, tall, handsome, very efficient and thorough. The good news is I don’t have Parkinson’s Disease, just “essential tremor” which is age-related. There are tablets which can help, but in my case it’s mild and intermittent, so we’re not going to bother. He asked me to book myself in for an MRI scan of my head and ears – and the hospital phoned today – two days after my appointment with him – because they had a cancellation! Amazing service. So I’ve had the scan, and the results will go to my GP, whom I need to see in three weeks or so anyway. Win.

Knitting – all going well. Have knitted the daughter a pair of socks, which she says are like “heaven” on her feet, am wearing the merino wool socks I knitted for myself in the yarn I’m testing to see if I can wear wool without itching, and have even persuaded the husband to let me knit him a pair of socks which bridge the gap between boring (his choice) and interesting (my preference). We shall see. I’ll start on his socks when I get the right size Hiya Hiya circular needles.  Meantime I’m knitting him a cream coloured v-neck slipover in chunky yarn, which is growing very quickly.

ImageYD’s DK socks

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my Milla Mia socks

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yarn for hubby’s socks

I’ve re-painted one wall in our bedroom, which had scuff marks from the  old portable fat screen tv set, and it looks wonderful. I used to have a large plant in front of the scuffs, but now have a little plant, and the whole room looks much bigger and cleaner. It sparked off hubby’s fixing of wall shelves in our bedroom, and in the children’s spare room, which look much better than the floor standing bookcases we had, and allows for cleaning round and underneath much more easily. The rooms look more open and much nicer.

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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.

24th July 2013

First of all, the dratted weather. Hate it with a passion, or would if I had the energy. For the last two days it’s been cooler and much more manageable, after some terrific thunderstorms and plenty of much needed rain.

But before that it was dreadful. The humidity is the worst thing for me. I can’t imagine going out and sitting in the sun. The most I could do comfortably is shower, put on proper underwear, and summer pyjamas – a loose t-shirt top and loose long shorts. Then I couldn’t do anything all day except sit around inside with all the fans in the house going. We do have a ceiling fan which we have been using at night. The first night or two we couldn’t sleep properly because it hums, but soon got used to it.

So I’m really, really pleased that it’s cooler. I don’t care if it rains, the whole country is going brown. Our water butts were empty.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I’ve now learned to knit socks. The first sock would fit either a baby hobbit, or a duck with very fat legs, but I turned the heel and grafted the toe. No seams, did it in the round with two circular needles. Very pleased. I’m going to practise with more sock patterns and different ways of turning the heel. Socks are a small, portable project, and apparently once you’ve worn hand-knitted socks you’re hooked. We shall see.Image

More crocheting too, along the same lines but trying different patterns.

However, my KnitPro size 3.00 mm interchangeable needles – one snapped while I was knitting. Very frustrating. It’s never happened to me before. I’ve been knitting for over 50 years, and for the last 20 years with bamboo or wooden needles. But KnitPro will replace that set, and I’ve ordered a fixed and an interchangeable HiyaHiya size 3.00 60 cm needle from The Shop.

It’s frustrating because I need size 3.00 mm to finish the front band of the Cardigan of Doom which I’ve been knitting. But I shall put that to one side and do a few small projects in the meantime. I also need size 3.00 mm needles for my sock knitting – but in the meantime while I’m just learning I’ll use bigger needles and not worry too much.

Socks need to be knitted on small needles so that they don’t wear out too quickly and are comfortable. Big needles means big holes between the stitches/rows.

My hands – I’m in real trouble with them. The Tramadol (one x 3 times a day) plus the Paracetamol just isn’t doing it. But I’m at the doctor tomorrow, so will see what she says, and have an appointment with the orthopaedic consultant on 5th August. Also have an appointment with a different guy on 22nd August, for my tremor. Sometimes it’s not too bad, but sometimes I can’t get my food to my mouth, which is why I mentioned it to the doctor.

The cat has had a small adventure too. An abcess just below her eye. She didn’t seem bothered by it at all, although she was a little surprised when she washed her face, and it hurt. So the vet gave her an antibiotic injection and an anti-inflammatory injection, and she’s fine. If a little less pretty than usual.

Hubby is very busy. Labour party, chairing the Patient Participation Group at the local surgery, going to choir and learning to sing. All at the same time. It’s very good. He suffers a little less than me in the heat because of his medication. And he feels the cold worse.

So life is exciting on a small scale, leisurely, and relatively calm.

It’s been a while.

I can’t believe it’s over a month since I blogged.

On Monday ED came to stay for a couple of days, which is always just delightful. This time she took me to Harry Potter World for my (belated) Christmas present. It’s belated because I haven’t been well enough to go. Until now. It’s absolutely amazing. I can’t remember a better day out. I took 100 photos and videos (trimmed down now!). It is so well done, I spent the whole day saying “Oh my God” and “it’s so well done”. I loved it. And now I want to read all the books again! of course. ImageImage

Things have been quite busy here, not least because I’ve been going to Stitch & Sip (the knitting/crochet group) twice a week. I love it, I really do, but it’s just too much. So I have had to rethink that, and have decided that I’ll go one week on a Thursday (with home baked goods) and the following week on the Saturday. I really like both groups of people, and would miss them if I only went on Thursdays, or on Saturdays. So that’s my plan.

Have also decided to learn to crochet, and my next knitting technique is going to be sock knitting. I’ve cracked knitting in the round (with two circulars) so that’s my next big plan. Am booked on courses for both at Stitch Solihull. Exciting.

I have been minuting the meetings of the newly fledged Patient Participation Group at our local surgery, but will have to stop, probably after the next meeting. It’s too much – first of call because of my wonky hand (of which more later) and also too much energy required for concentration during the meeting. It flakes me out completely.

I am going to a union meeting tomorrow. I’m a retired member of UNISON, and the local branch has just started up a new Retired Members Section. In some ways I’m looking forward to it, in others I’m a bit worried. We will see how it turns out.

Knitting – it has just taken me six weeks to knit a child’s top and matching doll dress. I am very pleased, but it is the sort of thing I would have got done in a couple of weeks in times gone by. I also managed to lose the buttons I wanted to use, but managed to find some nice ones anyway. Here’s a photo:Image

Saw the doctor today. I have been referred to a bloke who will see if he can sort out my shakiness (they seem to call it tremor these days) and another bloke for my poor old hand. But am finally taking Tramadol again, which just works. And I can take paracetamol as well in between the Tramadol doses. My cholesterol is 6.something, so I need to reduce my cheese intake. Boo. On the plus side, I don’t have a chest infection, despite most of the symptoms. Which is good. I think.

My poppies, which are just fabulous, have been a wonderful display in the front garden. I grew them from seed, and they’re a dark orange. In the evening, in the sun, they look as if they’re lit up. The rain has bashed them about a bit, but people actually stop and point them out to each other – including the refuse collectors. It’s so lovely to think that they brighten other people’s days too!Image

Update on surgery

Well. The trapeziectomy has settled. My hand doesn’t look quite normal yet, and differs from the other hand – it’s narrower and a different shape. But the pain has settled down. There is some pain at a background level, and the occasional long, nasty twinge. Mostly, however, it’s ok. It feels normal most of the time. I’m very pleased. It took 3 1/2 months – but that’s normal. In fact, that’s a minimum, really. So in time I expect it will settle even more, the swelling may go down more, and it’ll all be fine.

However. While I was under the anaesthetic they also administered a steroid injection into each of my forefinger knuckles, where they join the hand. Now, that worked for just under three months. Now, I am in considerable pain with them all the time. The right one is worse than the left one, and is visibly swollen. The pain goes right through the joint, from top to bottom.

ImageI am taking Paracetamol anyway for the surgery pain, but need more than that for this. So I take one Tramadol a day, two if I need to, and have an appointment with my GP to see if there is anything else they/I can do to help manage/control this pain better. The physiotherapist strapped the right one up, and that does help, but isn’t practical all the time. She used Micropore, which is cheap enough, and gave me the rest of the roll. I do use it, but once it’s wet it’s no good, so it needs re-doing regularly.

While I was waiting for the physio, I read an article in an Arthritis magazine which said that while rheumatoid arthritis is recognised as an auto-immune disease, osteoarthritis is regarded as part of the natural ageing process. However, research has discovered that there is an auto-immune element to osteoarthritis as well, and that response to drugs used in rheumatoid arthritis in osteoarthritis patients is good. I’m really hoping that my GP knows and agrees with this, and that she’ll try some different pain relievers. I can’t take NSAIDs (Nurofen, Voltarol, etc) because of my asthma – two days and I’m wheezing like an old bellows – so the choices are limited for me.

The choices apart from pain relief are: one more injection in the affected joint(s), and if that doesn’t work, joint replacement. That sounds very invasive to me. Even an injection in those particular joints involves a general anaesthetic, and that in itself knocks me about for weeks and weeks. So pain control would, hopefully, be a better way forward. Appointment with GP a week on Tuesday.

In other news, I’ve been able to knit for short periods. I’ve done a child’s hat, and am currently almost finished on a baby’s jacket for my niece’s little boy, who will be 1 in December.Image

Saturday 20th April

Last blog was quite “up”. This one is likely to be a bit “down”. The knitting is going ok, but only a few minutes at a time, and tonight I shan’t do any, too much pain. But still less than before the op.

However, the right forefinger knuckle, which was injected with a steroid on 7th February, is swollen and painful again. Went to the hospital on Friday, and they’ve discharged me from Orthopaedics. Still have to go back to Occupational Therapy once more though. The options with the knuckle are: one more injection, and if that doesn’t work, joint replacement. That’s quite a big job though so I’d have to be in more pain than this (!)

Disappointed, really. It was going so well. But it’s 2 1/2 months now, and I guess that is when things would either stay good, or deteriorate. Hmph.

Have been going to the Stitch group at the shop twice a week, Thursdays and Saturdays, in the morning. It works very well for me. It’s lovely to sit with other knitters/crocheters and chat and drink tea/coffee. The shop seems to be doing really well too. And it’s also excellent to be able to pop into my local yarn shop and buy yarn or needles! a five minute walk which is just right for me, and with a purpose at the end of it.

My computer is borked. I use Linux Ubuntu, dual booting with Windows XP. Linux never crashes, just never. I’ve been using it for years and years now, at least 5 years if not longer. And all of a sudden, I was playing a game of Solitaire, and there was a click, and it shut down. Wouldn’t start again, so I changed the fuse in the plug. Then it started, but re-booted itself every five minutes or so. Googled it, and some people have had this problem after the latest updates. So I tried booting into Windows, and it re-booted before I’d even logged in. So not Linux then. Hardware. Googled that (on the laptop which I’m using now) and constant re-booting can be absolutely anything, and very hard to troubleshoot. Checked how old the computer is (built it myself) and it’s 4 years old. Damn and blast. This time I’m buying one, because you get guarantees with bought computers. Just awaiting its arrival. It will have Windows 7 on it. I’ll set that up, then get the old drive out of the borked computer and see if that works in it, and then I could have Windows 7 on the 500 Gb drive, and Linux Ubuntu on the 1Tb drive. Also bought 3 years extra guarantee, collect and deliver. But I wasn’t expecting it. Wasn’t planning it. Hate that.

Then hubby saw how good the resolution on my laptop screen is, and made enthusiastic noises about how fabulous it is. So I tried to improve his screen resolution on his Linux Ubuntu, and borked his computer. Took me seven hours to sort it out. But he is happy with the resolution on his screen now. Thank goodness!

I did manage to back my computer up before it died, thankfully, but will lose my emails. If I can get the hard drive to work on the new pc I’ll get them all back again, but will just have to manage otherwise. I do have the contacts file and browser bookmarks and stuff, so no panic.

The weather here is beautiful. Sunny, breezy, and fairly chilly, but certainly nice enough for me to do a bit of pruning in the garden tomorrow if it stays like this and my hand improves. Lovely.

just a diary.

Writing the “bullying” blog was cathartic and left me feeling much better. It had been building up for years inside me. Phew. That’s done then.

Hubby is currently listening to classical music, there’s nothing worth watching on the TV, and I’ve just started reading Ian Rankin’s latest book. It’s called Standing in Another Man’s Grave, and I was surprised to discover it’s a Rebus book. Hooray! It’s on my Kindle, which is much easier to manage than “real” books at the moment.

I’m also reading a “real” book as well (at bedtime) – a Debbie Macomber book. I love Debbie Macomber. This one’s about how her character started up a yarn shop. As my two friends Vickie and Ana have just done that exact same thing, it’s very appropriate. And there’s lots about knitting in there too. Excellent.

My sister’s younger daughter is 30 today. Love her to bits. She had a baby last December and is a wonderful, wonderful mother. Can’t wait to meet the baby, who looks like a really interesting character. Mm.

Our cat is currently sprawled on our bed, fast asleep. It’s such a hard life being a cat. However, she has spent most of today scampering around the garden, now the hour has changed and we’re on British Summer Time. It means the evenings are lighter, and she just loves it.

Struggling with the pain in my hand/wrist tonight. Have had to take two Tramadol, one at lunchtime, one this evening. But back to physio on Monday and will see what they say about it.

Am delighted the sun has finally appeared. It makes everything seem so much better. And it’s good for us – am planning, if I can, to sort out my Oxalis Triangularis – this is what they look like when they’re open, and in the evening the blooms fold up and look like butterflies.Thanks to Davesgarden.com for the picture. I’ll have lots and lots when I’ve sorted them out, the corms seem to divide and multiply each year. Might see if anybody at Stitch group would like some . . .Image