January 31, 2018

January summary

Posted in January, Monthly update tagged , , , , , at 4:28 pm by viewfromthisdesk

In my end of year post I wrote about how I needed to be selfish, do more for me. My targets were:

* one theatre experience a month.

* one music or cinema experience a month.

* tea and cake with friends.

Unofficially, I also wanted to read more. A friend signed up to do a reading challenge of two books a month which I thought was brilliant but I didn’t set myself a target.

In 2018 I started keeping a diary, not a ‘Dear Diary’ kinda thing but more a medical tracker and emotional calculator. Brilliant for keeping notes on all the extra medications I took for whatever reasons. This was also useful for noting down the positives that happened in terms of film, theatre and books.

So my January summary:

Theatre was a transmission of Oscar Wilde’s ‘A Woman of no Importance’ which I enjoyed much more than I thought I might even if I did ask loads of questions. I also saw ‘Strangers on a Train’ at the Alexandra Theatre. This is a classic apparently and was turned into a Hitchcock film.

Cinema was ‘The Greatest Showman’ which was brilliant.

Music was an AC/DC tribute band.

I also found a new films on DVD by post provider which has been really good, I’ve missed Lovefilm envelopes and our broadband is rubbish so streaming films isn’t an option.

Films I watched were ‘White House Down’, ‘New Year’s Eve’, ‘Girl’s Trip’ (not recommended) ‘Love is Strange’, ‘Enduring Love’ (not even a very young Daniel Craig could make it tolerable) ‘Flatliners’ (the original 1990 version), ‘Pressure’ and ‘House’.

Books I finished were ‘The Ghost Fields’, ‘The Woman in Blue’ and ‘The Chalk Pit’ all by Elly Griffiths who is one of my favourite authors. Also ‘The Art of Hiding’ by Amanda Prowse, ‘Mystery in the Village’ by Rebecca Shaw, ‘Summer at Sea’ by Katie Fforde, ‘Diary of an Unsmug Married’ by Polly James which was so rubbish I almost gave up at least five times, ‘Precocious’ by Joanna Barnard, ‘The Swimming Pool’ by Louise Candlish and ‘The Wrong Girl’ by Laura Wilson.

I held a crafternoon for MIND which was fun. I raised just under a hundred pounds which was overwhelming. The just giving page is still open if you want to add to the fund. Just search for me on the just giving website. We decorated fairy doors, there were sequins and gems and flowers and pens and watercolour pencils everywhere. And maybe some biscuits – M&S ones no less!

Health wise, it’s been tricky. Post-op itching aside, the ears haven’t been too bad although I did announce at 3am about ten days after the op that I regretted having them done because I couldn’t sleep on either side which is my default and preferred sleeping position. The steroid injections were super painful and horrid. There are no words to describe how awful the experience of twelve injections in each ear actually is. As much as I complain about this process or winge about the cost, it has absolutely been worth it. I feel like I’m a different person, I don’t need to hide, I am worthy.

I have been struggling with headaches again though. First one was five days then three and a bit days long with one non-headache day between but I don’t think it’something I need to see the doctor about yet, I am fairly sure I know what caused them. My first incapacitating day was the 23rd so rather than dwell on how pants that day was, let’s focus on how I managed all those days in the month before without succumbing to the dark duvet palace.

The last week of January I picked up some sort of lurgy, the usual sore throat, bunged up nose, red eyes, sore sinuses. It’s hard being positive and cheerful when one looks and feels like crap.

My ME has been more tricky to manage, I’m struggling to maintain an even keel. I’m quite fed up, quite grumpy and emotional, I can’t stand crying for no reason but it seems to be a thing. I’m not controlling my pain levels, I’m not sleeping well, I’m just not managing.

So I’m back to a day by day, hour by hour plan. I’ll survive. I’ve gotten this far, one more day is possible too.

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January 8, 2018

Three days on

Posted in Health stuff, January tagged , , , at 12:02 pm by viewfromthisdesk

Or, my appointment with the dishy South African with the big chopper.

 

So, Friday was the Big Day.  After two years of saving up and then nine weeks of waiting for the consultant to not be on holiday I finally had my operation to remove my scars.

These scars have been an issue for a while.  Not only were they ugly and obvious and itchy and annoying, they also made me feel really self conscious.  I can hide the scar in my bikini line from my one operation, I can ignore the two in my belly button from the other operations.  I can kinda cover the one on my back from where I blistered up after getting sunburnt aged 16.  I cannot cover the four on my ears.  I suffer from keloid scarring, it’s a body’s over reaction to trauma or injury.  In my case, operations and piercings.  These are not normal scars, these are red or purple, they are raised and shiny and quite large.  The four on my ears were about the size of marrowfat peas, hardly subtle.

I’m not a vain sort of person but on the odd occasion that I made an effort, I’d be aware that these scars were something I couldn’t hide.  Someone commented after the wedding last August that I had really cool earrings that day.  All I could think was ‘Great, so they noticed the lumpy scars too’.

The operation itself was not fun.  He cut the scars off by burning.  And then he scraped off the burnt bit and burnt it again.  Four different areas.  I wasn’t nervous about the operation I was only concerned about the smell.  I’ve had bits of me burnt in a medical and accidental way before, it stinks.  This isn’t like catching yourself on the side of the iron.  Needless to say, after Friday I won’t be roasting pork for a while.

Once the local aesthetic wore off (about two hours)  I was a bit (understatement) grumpy.  I had been warned it might sting a bit (no lie) but no one warned me about how itchy it would be.  Oh my goodness I could have taken a metal scouring pad to my ears quite happily.

The weekend was not without it’s productiveness.  I wore my magical manatee pyjama trousers with no shame, I read lots, I watched films, I crafted.  I ate a lot of biscuits just to keep my hands busy so I wouldn’t poke and scratch.

Fast forward three days and I now just have black scabs where the lumps were.  The daft thing is, these scabs are probably more obvious that the lumps were.  Maybe people didn’t notice the scars – maybe people noticed but didn’t care – what’s important is that I noticed and I cared.

I’m not allowed to complain about the oozing yellow gank that’s coming from the areas (yellow is good apparently, I just have to worry if it goes red and hot) or the fact the sites are super itchy.  I chose to have this happen.  I decided to pay a scary amount of money to have this done to me.  And I have signed up to have four very painful (and equally expensive) follow up appointments where they will inject the scar tissue areas with steroids to try and stop them coming back.

 

This is my first selfish act of 2018 and with time, I know it’ll be worth it.

January 3, 2018

Resolution revolution.

Posted in January tagged , , , at 5:25 pm by viewfromthisdesk

In the beginning of 2017 I made a decision to not buy any clothes or shoes for the year.  It wasn’t necessarily a New Year’s resolution because I don’t make them, no point setting goals just because it’s January. Make a change because you want to, not that you feel you have to or should.

My decision was easy, I hate shopping. I especially hate clothes shopping. Aside from the self loathing I have when I look in a mirror, I also have zero clue what suits me in terms of styles or cut or colours.

I am happy living in jeans or leggings or my famous manatee pyjamas. A hoodie or top is easy to pull on, the baggier the better. I am not a typical girlie-girl. A conversation I overheard when I was working away went along the lines of ‘I can’t buy the missus stuff for Christmas, she goes shopping every weekend’ which was an alien concept for me. Apparently this is what ‘all girls’ do ……

So I made a conscious decision to not buy anything. I’d already sorted through my shoes and gotten rid of lots of pairs, I also sorted through my clothes and made two recycling bags full. I didn’t donate these straight away, I wanted to see if I missed anything. Turns out I didn’t.

I’m quite a frugal person, I have a limited income so money has to stretch. Not shopping meant I could use my money elsewhere. Some of you know about the enormous project that has been ongoing since 2015, this is a heavy weight around my neck and so saving money is super important.

I managed the not shopping thing until August, when I was invited to a wedding. I spent less than twenty quid on a frock and shoes. It’s  important to look good for your friends. I know people can spend hundreds of pounds on outfits which I can’t quite comprehend.

Over the course of the year in total, I bought the dress and shoes, three tops and a pair of leggings. The leggings replaced a pair I’d destroyed so I feel they don’t count. Even as a shopping list, that’s not bad going. I know people for whom that’s not even one shop’s worth on one day.

I didn’t miss shopping because I’ve never enjoyed it. I’m happy to continue my not-shopping rule into this year, it’s not a hardship to make the most of what you already have and have a good sort through now and again. And perhaps that’s a sentence that can be applied to lots of things in life. I’ve just bought a gorgeous turquoise hooded top from Aldi this morning, and two pairs of amazing tights from Kate’s Clothing because I trashed a pair in the washing machine last year and they were in the sale. I can see myself not buying anything more for months and months.

So I’m going to spend this year sorting through and making the most of what I already have. Books can come from the library or my kindle books can come from a voucher I got for Christmas. I can get music for my birthday, I have enough craft stuff to keep me going for a gazillion years, I don’t have need for things and stuff. It’s an interesting approach to the year. What else should I try and do without?