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 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

Trapeziectomy progress.

Well, this weekend I do feel I’ve turned a corner. The pain seems to have reduced to a much smaller area, and I haven’t needed any Tramadol for several days now. It’s still swollen, and bluish looking, and I’m still wearing my pressure glove (which is starting to disintegrate!) and the wrist/thumb splint. It’s six and a half weeks since the op now, so that’s really encouraging. The first time I’ve felt that I might actually recover properly from this operation and am looking forward to knitting again.

Occupational Therapy have been absolutely wonderful. I can’t praise them enough. My next appointment is on 8th April, a week on Monday.

Yesterday and tonight I was able to clear up after dinner too. Hubby does all the cooking and I do the clearing away and any washing up that needs doing. I need to use “his” rubber glove for the left hand though, my own rubber gloves are too small just yet. But that works. And I’m hoping that today was the last time hubby will have to do my ironing too. Poor hubby! All the cooking, all the cleaning, all the vacuuming and dusting, my ironing, helping me shower and dress for 5 weeks! gradually getting back to normal though.

I have been taking a small walk most days – even in the snow! because The Shop is five minutes’ walk away. Excellent. Unbelievable. I’m so lucky. A local yarn shop, run by friends I love, full of beautiful yarns. What’s not to like?

Today I met my school friend for lunch. We went to Notcutts, which is just in front of The Shop, talked and talked and talked, then went to The Shop, and then . . . . we went to see some lambs! I actually held a little baby lamb in my arms! Now, lambs are very, very cute indeed, very cuddly and sweet, but not terribly bright. They sort of stagger about enthusiastically, bumbling around, and they’re really not bothered about being picked up and cuddled. They head butt you, they sit there calmly in your arms just being cuddled – not like my cat, who barely submits to being held at all, although she will eventually give up struggling and purr – so what’s that about then?

Then we bought some buttons from The Shop (not having intended to buy anything at all, but just gaze at its splendour), came home to my house and had a nice cup of tea. How very British.

Occupational Therapy

went to the hospital today to see the OT. wonderful, wonderful people. understanding, practical, reassuring, new pressure glove (to reduce the swelling) and much better splint, moulded to fit me. also silicon strip for under the pressure glove at night – to make sure the scar stays flat and heals well).  pain is normal for a long time after a trapeziectomy, so i feel reassured on that level as well.Image

just a short post this time

hi guys

had the cast removed on friday – thank goodness – after many problems trying to actually get the appointment. now have a temporary splint and am off to physio tomorrow. it’s swollen, very tender to the touch, and very weak. physio will give me some exercises to do. meanwhile, i use the splint when i’m doing stuff – eating, etc – and an ice pack when i’m not!


all done – but can’t do capital letters.

nine days since the operation.days one and two – awful, no sleep, haze of pain, 2 tramadol 4 times a day. couldn’t use either hand at all.


day three slightly better, able to be showered and dressed by wonderful hubby. and that felt better.

now, day nine, can type, can dress myself apart from doing up my bra, still need help showering, and am still very tired. when i’ve had a general anaesthetic it takes ages and ages to disperse through my system, so i get waves of aching tiredness. but i’m drinking lots of water. three hours sleep every afternoon. and only taking 2 tramadol 3 times a day. have tried to reduce that but failed. will try again soon.

next tuesday hubby is taking me to the hospital – i’m hoping they’ll take the plaster cast off. trouble is, the appointment with the physios, who told me pre-op i needed to see them immediately after that, is not till friday. so the hospital have advised me to go straight round to physio after they take the cast off and see if somebody will see me.

meanwhile. i’m actually comfortable in long skirts. have bought several new tops. can only wear short sleeves, though, but that’s ok because i’m always, always boiling hot, and anyway they’ll be nice in the summer.

poor hubby though. having to do even more than usual. i always wash up after dinner, because he cooks it. we do have a dishwasher but not everything can go in that – like, say, sharp knives, non-stick stuff, glass saucepan lids, the pressure cooker. he also has to spoon-feed me one of my medicines, as i can’t hold a bottle and pour from it into a teaspoon yet. but there are definite, marked improvements.

i can get my own breakfast. i can deal with the cat’s tray – i’m so pleased about that :-/ – i can type, read on my kindle, lots more than this time last week.

i thought i’d list the things i’ve been doing to stop myself moaning and feel a bit better.

sunday – eat chocolate.
monday – eat chocolate.tuesday – eat chocolate.

oh. there might be a pattern emerging, if only vaguely. 🙂

ah well. i haven’t gained any weight, so won’t worry just yet.

major major problems with music server – poor hubby is having to manage without his DS for the moment. a DS is like a huge expensive iPod and plays all his music. luckily we have his music backed up because his music server died. and getting a new one which works is turning out to be a major pain in the neck. plans are afoot though. not the best time for me to be faffing about with computer stuff really, but i am feeling better in myself.

and yd bought me some beautiful flowers last saturday, which, one week later, look just the same.


1st January 2013

Happy New Year folks! If you had an awful year last year, let’s hope this one is better. If you had a good year last year, let’s hope this one is better anyway!

We don’t stay up to see the New Year in any more. It seems to me it’s so arbitrary, just another day, and although there is some symbolism in the turning of the new year, it’s a construct and doesn’t mean a fat lot.

Hubby and I went for a walk today in the sunshine. It was cold, but very pleasant. We live very close to countryside, so walked round the graveyard of a little church, then down the canal path until it got too wet underfoot. It was just beautiful.  Blew all the cobwebs away.

Last night we let the cat have the run of the house. She’s normally confined to the kitchen/utility overnight, but as there were very noisy fireworks going off all over the place, we gave her the choice of where to sleep. Of course she chose our bed and snuggled up next to hubby. About 5 am this morning she was awake, but quiet, pottering about and investigating our bedside tables. Bless her little heart.

I feel quite New Year-ish, and looking forward to whatever happens this year, at the same time I am a bit fed up with the pain in my hands and wrists. I’m still taking 2 x Tramadol 3 times a day, and 2 x Paracetamol 3 or 4 times a day, so it could be worse, it’s just a nuisance really.

However. I am about to embark on the Craft Room Project. It has been ongoing for a while now. The knitting machines and all the yarn has now gone, so it’s as empty as it’s going to get. The huge grey Billy bookcase from Ikea will have, in due course,  a home, and hubby has filled all the holes in the walls. I have bought some of the paint, but now need some white paint and some sugar soap so I can wash it all down before I start painting.

There’s no rush except for my excitement really, but I will have to be careful because of my energy levels (or lack of them!) and my back, which doesn’t like me doing any decorating.

When it’s all done, we’re off to Ikea to get various bits and bobs – some fabulous curtains and matching material for cushion covers, possibly more Ivar shelves, and then it’ll be done!

In the meantime I’m off to see my friend Sylvia tomorrow and look at her recalcitrant computer. Thursday it’s Stitch group, Friday it’s hairdo. But I might get some done at the weekend.

Have bought some new tops from Boden, half price in their sale, which are fab, and a new Nica tote bag which is absolutely fabulous. I don’t have a thing about shoes particularly, because of my wonky feet, but I do like handbags. I currently have four. One Radley, one Ted Baker, the Nica, and a no-name one which is just ok.

My favourite coat, a red knee length warm parka from Lands’ End, has a broken zip, which is a real pain in the neck. I can’t find anything I’d like to replace it, so will just manage. I do have a number of coats of varying types, so I’m sure it’ll be fine. It’s just that I love the bright red, it’s so cheering in the winter. Never mind. I won’t be cold.

Must get to see my new great-nephew and my niece soon.

I’ve joined Twitter. I wasn’t that sure what it was, but I do like it. I don’t “tweet” very often, but follow various people, mostly friends, and Solihull Police, which is very interesting! they do jokey stuff as well as telling us the small stuff, like they’ve made 13 alcohol-related arrests over the past couple of days.

Don’t get this alcohol thing. I don’t drink alcohol, and when I did, I hardly ever got drunk, and never ever drove. My worst drinking incident happened when I was 42, and played a stupid, stupid drinking game. I’ve never been so drunk before or since, and never had such a long hangover. I lost half a stone, and never did it again. Now I don’t drink alcohol at all, and don’t miss it one bit. It makes me feel ill, tired and low, so I’d just rather not. I drink tap water all day long, approx 1.6 litres each day, and two cups of tea, and one cup of decaffeinated coffee.

Have started wearing a little bit of make up each time I leave the house. Just blusher, eyeliner and mascara, and lipstick, not the full works with foundation and everything. I do feel a bit better for it.

Time for some new spectacles – I have to have my eyes tested every year anyway, and it’s time. And on the walk today I couldn’t see some ducks, which hubby could see easily. Ha.

New Year’s Resolutions? be less stroppy, kinder, and stop getting so angry about religion.

13th November 2012

Pain control – well, the Tramadol + Paracetamol work to a degree, and certainly better than the Cocodamol. But I’m still in some pain, and feeling very worn down by it. Seeing the doctor next week, so will talk to her about it then.

Went to a craft show at the NEC last week. Disaster. I thought if I went on my own, I could potter about and sit down whenever I needed to, and just take it gently. Within ten minutes I was shaking, dry-mouthed, and just wanted to sit down and cry. Fortunately I didn’t, but it was just so crowded I was feeling panicky. Had a cup of tea, and calmed down a bit, but didn’t find anything I wanted to buy, and after 50 minutes of hell, I found my way out (with the help of two police officers), and phoned hubby to ask him to fetch me home. I was still shaking half an hour after I got home.  What a waste of £9 for the ticket.

The trip to Birmingham to see the “get a job” people didn’t materialise. They phoned me up two hours before I was supposed to be there, and talked me through it on the phone. Eventually they suggested I could maybe work from home. Hmm. I’m just asleep all the time! and weepy and pathetic when I’m awake.

Yesterday morning had my feet done – love it. This morning went to see my friend I used to work with – didn’t stay long, and had a much needed rest this afternoon.

Have tried to do some knitting tonight, but had to stop, take some painkillers, and come and play on the computer. It’s settled a bit now, so may have another go. I’m knitting some mittens, with an owl pattern on the back, for YD.

Well, I think that’s probably it for now. The knitting group is going well, and things are afoot. One of the women has a foster dog, who is being socialised ready to be a “helper” dog for people with extra needs. She’s called Paige, and will be allowed into the coffee shop on Thursday because of her special status, and I can’t wait to meet her! she looks beautiful.