August 31, 2017

One month on

Posted in August, Health stuff tagged , , , , , at 11:05 am by viewfromthisdesk

It’s been a very strange few weeks.

On the 28th July I posted ‘when the darkness wins’ and I was at this very desk when I wrote it over those few days.  I’m working away again this week but my outlook and attitude are very, very different.

It’s curious how writing that post has been very cathartic.  Admitting all those things and releasing them has been brilliant.  Yes, it was hurtful and emotional but it’s been good for me.  I can’t drag that baggage with me forever.  Whilst I’m never going to be free of those thoughts and memories, they are not dragging me down right now.

Sitting at this desk again is odd.  I remember how hard that week was, typing the words, remembering the things I wrote, revisiting stuff in my head I didn’t want to go back to.  Sitting here this week I feel like a different person but it’s probably that nausea thing I had.

The ‘nausea thing’ as it’s been titled really did knock me for six.  I had probably ten days of it in all.  Last night was the first night I ate what could be considered a normal plate of food.  It took ages though and my taste buds still haven’t come back but at least I’m eating.  I lost four pounds in a week – not that anyone has noticed – and they’re still off.  I checked this morning.

My weight is a constant battle.  Being sedentary and unable to do much by way of exercise is a huge factor to this.  My joints and energy levels are just not like other people’s.  I can be exhausted just walking up the stairs and so the idea of doing a couch to 10km thing for example is unthinkable.  This nausea thing, however horrific it was, has helped me realise that if I’m ever going to be a skinny minny then food is the only way to that.

Not eating ‘normally’ these past ten days has been truly horrible.  I can promise you that.  Watching hubby inhale an entire pizza whilst I’m struggling with one scrambled egg was a particular low point.  Making a sandwich last two meals and not wanting it at either of them was also pretty pants.  The questioning from himself ‘what have you eaten today?’ felt invasive and accusatory.  I wasn’t deliberately not eating, that is not me in any shape or form.

I was intrigued as to whether four pounds made any difference if the doctors knew.  Turns out my BMI is still in the obese range but it’s getting closer to overweight.  Two more pounds off and I’d just be overweight, not obese.  Pah.  Life is too short.  I’d find it easier to grow another three inches than lose another two pounds whilst actually eating food.

That four pounds was in a whole week, Sunday to Sunday.  I’ve not lost anything this week (Sunday – Thursday) but I’m going to convince myself that whilst I’m still not eating properly, my body is in shock and won’t lose more weight this week.  Not that eating any form of food is going to make me a heifer again.

And I’ve come to another big decision too and it’s a proper selfish one.  I’m struggling with the guilt of doing something for me but I’m hoping I’ll get over it.

About eighteen months ago I tried to get treatment for some scar issues I’ve got.  But the treatment I had years ago for other scars is not offered anymore on the nhs, there’s no money.  Course I had to wait sixteen weeks for an appointment to be told to get lost but hey ho.  The nhs doctor told me I’d have to go private and at the time I was super upset.  But since then my scars have bothered me more and more and so when I’ve been working here I’ve tried to put some money aside.  So my selfish decision is that I’m going to make an appointment to see a doctor about them next month, going to try and get them sorted.  It’s going to be super expensive and I’m aware I might not be able to afford it right now but I’m hopeful that I’ll make it work somehow without resorting to the fantastic plastic.  If I haven’t got enough saved, it won’t happen, simple as.

Curious how not eating leads to a fresher outlook on things – Don’t fret though, I’ll be back to my usual grumpy, mood-swinging, pain filled self soon enough.  Normal service will be resumed.


August 24, 2017

Things are far from ideal

Posted in August, Health stuff tagged , , , , , at 12:56 pm by viewfromthisdesk

It’s no secret I like food.  You only have to glance at me to know food is high on my list of daily obsessions.  And these curves take some maintaining, it has to be said.

So when I go off food, it’s a glaring red light that I should pay attention to.

Since first thing Sunday, I’ve had a continual feeling of nausea.  I can’t taste anything and I’m just not hungry.  The smell of food is making me more queasy.  And I’m not sleeping.  Yeah, back to that hilarious combination of ME and insomnia.

I don’t know where this not sleeping, not eating thing has come from.  Friday night I had an amazing night at a concert seeing an artist I honestly never thought I’d see perform live.  Saturday I had a wonderful day at friends’ wedding – it was a fun day full of laughter and love.  So much positive energy from two excellent dates.  But Sunday I felt dreadful and I thought I was just suffering the effects of two big days so I just took it easy and rested up for many hours and hoped it would pass.

But then Monday rolled around.  I’m forcing myself to eat breakfast so I can take meds.  I’m not wanting to eat lunch or tea and I know it’s not an ideal situation.  This continues into Tuesday and Wednesday.  This morning (Thursday) I’ve established I’ve lost 3lbs since Saturday morning.  Usually I’d be delighted but I know that it’s not healthy.  My jeans aren’t fitting and I just feel empty.  Lost even.

This morning after yet another rubbish, broken night of not-sleeping, I’ve resorted to taking my anti-nausea meds.  These are kept in my emergency crash box so that’s not a good start.  I ate porridge so I could take them but I couldn’t taste it and I didn’t enjoy it – I was eating because I had to.  And then I made a sandwich for lunch which I have no intention of eating if I’m honest.  I was dry heaving whilst making it, the smell just turned my stomach.  The thought of eating it is horrendous.  Maybe I’ll convince myself and those around me that I’ll eat it for tea.

It’s one thing to not be eating.  It’s another to throw not sleeping into the mix as well.  I’m at the crazy point of bat season.  I have weeks left before I too can hibernate until spring.  I need to be vertical and coping.  Not sleeping is not what is needed right now.  And to have this many awful nights in a row (6 and counting) is worrying me.


And it’s a big but.

I don’t feel tired.  Usually after just one bad night, I’d be asleep in the afternoons, I’d be unable to go to work, I’d be unable to speak properly.  At the moment, none of that is happening, I’m just not sleeping.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I feel well, I just don’t feel as bad as I should be.  Aside from the ever constant metallic I’m-going-to-be-sick taste and the churning in the stomach sensation I am remarkably upright.  It was even commented on survey the other night that I’d not been seen so bouncy and looking so good for a couple of years.  It was high praise and I basked in it but knew it’s not the truth.

So I don’t know what is going on with me right now.  All I know is it’s far from ideal.  I’m not asking for hints or tips on sleeping and/or eating, I’ve tried them all I assure you.  I’m just letting you know I’m not right and your support and witty messages are appreciated.

August 16, 2017

Weeks thirty-one and thirty-two

Posted in August, November tagged , at 12:14 pm by viewfromthisdesk

It’s been an interesting and difficult fortnight. However, I can’t say I wasn’t expecting it. I write this blog trying to pretend no one reads it, or at least if they do, I don’t know them. You are all unknown and mysterious.

That is a daft frame of mind I appreciate, but if I’m going to write then that’s the mindset I start from. Because if I think about you as an individual, as a friend or family member, I’m not going to be honest because I don’t want you to worry or be upset. I protect you from the truth and no one wins. You don’t know I’m struggling and I bottle it all up.

I totally know that my post ‘when the darkness wins’ has upset some of you. I also know that my post ‘One Million Lovely Letters’ was much more cheery and read by half the people.

So unless you sign up to get these witterings by email, you might miss the happy ones. Relying on faceache to show you everything is like relying on Father Christmas to bring you that new car *and* squeeze it down the chimney without scratching it. So click on the grey box that says follow and you get to laugh with me much more than crying.

I was humbled by what followed both those blog postings. I received my very own Lovely Letter, not from Jodi but from someone else who had watched the programme and thought of me and then read my blog post about the show. That random Lovely Letter made my week. It’s amazing what a stamp and ten minutes of your time can do to cheer someone up. So I encourage you all to do it because I can vouch for the magic it makes. I also wrote three of my own Lovely Letters. I didn’t manage one a day for a week but three is better than none. And I want to do it again soon.  I may have cheated insomuchas one of them was typed and one of them was a post-it note sized card but I still did it.

I also had surprise parcels and gifts. I had a gorgeous bunch of yellow flowers from a dear friend and they also brought doughnuts which were lush. I had a packet of kit kats which you all know I have a weakness for, an engraved spoon which has more meaning than just the words etched into it and a manatee tea strainer which is so epic that I cannot put into words.  And all these things before my birthday!

So maybe I need to be more aware that people do care about me and my mental health. Maybe I’m not as alone as I thought I was. People may be geographically distant but not emotionally.  And if I upset you then please tell me, or if you have questions then ask them.  Ask me to elaborate on something or discuss further or pass on sources etc.  If you interact then I know you’ve read and are interested.  Email me, messenger me, a proper letter even!  Human interaction can be lost in this modern technology filled world.  Tell me you saw that scenario I wrote about from a different point of view.  Challenge my negative thoughts and memories.  Recommend a film to watch or a book to get on my kindle and then we can talk about it like proper grown ups.

I hide behind these sentences because I cannot meet you for a drink in town or travel to your sofa or speak to you on the phone.  I use this writing medium to explain the stuff that my speech issues prevent me from saying.  I can type at 2am a reply to a message.  So don’t read and be sad, read and reach out and tell me how things are.  Tell me it’s not like that, tell me it’s actually somehow different.  Help me look at things from a different angle, through different coloured glasses.  Remind me to stop eating everything in sight.  Tell me about your lovely letter that you wrote and the feedback you got from it.

I’m still here, just not physically.

September 5, 2014

Waxing pics

Posted in August, Health stuff tagged , , , at 1:42 pm by viewfromthisdesk

Don’t worry, this isn’t me at the beauticians!  You can stop pouring bleach into one’s retinas immediately!

I said I wanted to try and explain what happens with the hot wax treatments I had when I went to hydro and I took these pics the other week.  I’m not sure how they’ll load but hopefully, they’ll be in order and I can explain each step.  I guess it works for me because it warms the individual joints in all the little bones in my hands and wrists in a way that gloves and wheat pads just cannot.  Now that hydro is over, I need to decide whether to invest in one of these paraffin baths or whether I try and cope without the treatment.



So this is is the wax bath which had just been topped up 🙂  It looks like snowballs to me!  These are paraffin wax bombes which melt into the bath.  You can get fragrant ones apparently, but the NHS can’t use anything other than plain.


So, push one’s sleeves up, spread your fingers and slowly insert into the bath.  Then lift out.  Allow excess to drip off briefly then plunge back in.  Repeat five or six times.


Your hands gain this strange coating which gets in between and all over which is why you have to enter with your fingers splayed.   You build up the layers of wax and then insert into thick blue bags.


The blue bags keep the warmth of the wax contained.  Your blue-bagged-hands are then wrapped in a towel.  When I first started, it was one towel per arm but then it was reduced to one towel for both arms.  Not as cosy but I guess the NHS was sick of washing towels that hadn’t been in contact with my skin but still had to be washed because they’d been ‘used’.


I really loved the treatment, my hands and wrists felt brilliant afterwards but I can’t drive all the way to Worcester and pay extortionate parking fees on the off-chance the wax bath will be free and a physiotherapist can wrap me up.  But can I justify the cost of a paraffin bath, the bombes, the electricity and the space in an already cluttered house?

August 27, 2014

All change

Posted in August tagged , , , at 10:09 am by viewfromthisdesk

I was going to tell you about some fabulous bat related news that I got and also upload pictures from the hot wax treatment I had last week so you could all understand why I like it so.

But then this morning  I had some horrid news and I’m utterly numb.


The day after the twilight walk, I learnt that my friend had an aggressive form of cancer.  She deliberately didn’t tell me until after the walk because she wanted the walk to be full of giggles and smiles and fun.  She knew I’d get melancholy about her and how horrid this illness is.  We didn’t see each other much, but I was there when she got engaged and I was stood by her side on her wedding day in a frock.  She made her husband so very happy and we thought he’d never fall in love again.  I hadn’t seen her since our trip to Lundy for Christmas 2012 because I was struggling with my diagnosis, they were moving house and life generally got in the way.

We’d been emailing lots though.  She’d read this blog and send me a note about what she’d read and she’d share with me her latest appointment news, be it scan discussions or new drugs.  With her last email, they were talking about a new drug, a new one which would help give her more time whilst it halted the progression (as I understood it) but I learnt that she never managed to start this treatment and that she never managed to start her palliative plan either.

But, positively – she did get to spend her grandson’s first birthday with him recently and I know that would have meant the world to her.

So, if you’re reading this because you consider ourselves to be friends then thank you for sticking by me.  Thank you for being there for me whilst I’ve been grumpy and stroppy and stubborn.  Friends that don’t mind that you’re in your pyjamas and haven’t brushed your hair for a couple of days are special.  The sky gained a new star last night.


August 14, 2014

Another day closer

Posted in August, Health stuff tagged , , , , at 10:51 am by viewfromthisdesk

I’m a bit of a kid when it comes to Christmas and birthdays.  Not just mine but other peoples too.  I love finding stuff for people and watching them open the gifts, hoping they like it as much as I thought they would.  No pressure there then!  I get as much pleasure from that as opening my own gifts.  But I’m deeply impatient and hubby and my sister have learnt to not leave pressies in my vicinity without supervision!  I’m super excited about tomorrow, it’s not necessarily a milestone age but it’s another birthday that I’ve made in one piece, it’s another year fighting against this wretched condition.

Monday I had an appointment with the pain clinic.  I had to return my NHS TENS machine, but I’m super grateful to my Aunt who sent me a ‘spare’ they had at theirs.  I’m plugged into it as I type and am anxiously waiting for an Amazon box with new pads and rechargeable batteries in it!  She asked me how I was getting on with hydro and I had to tell her the drama that was the closure.  Embarrassingly, because I said they didn’t call me last week, she rang them up whilst I was there and had a bit of a strop on my behalf.  Cringe.

So yesterday, I made my way to Worcester.  Got there a bit early due to easy traffic so had another lovely hot wax treatment for my hands and wrists.  Then into the pool I went.  I don’t do swimming, I don’t do water really.  This is not an afternoon trip out that I am looking forward to.  But the physio lasses were really nice and kept an eye on me.  We start with stretches then a circuit of ten activities, then stretches and breathing and then they leave us to float in the dark to calm our bodies and minds.  That was the bit I hated the most.  I don’t like not being able to touch the bottom, so my fingernails have been left in the side of the pool.

I left wondering what all the fuss was about, how it was supposed to help me as I didn’t feel energised or tired or anything special.  But I got home and drank three pints of water and then fell asleep for two hours.  Oops.  Next week I’m going to take my aqua weights to try and build up my leg strength.

Other than that, bring on tomorrow!  Hurry up Mister Postman, both at home and at work.  I want to know if anyone loves me!  🙂

August 7, 2014

Hydro hilarity

Posted in August tagged , , , , at 9:32 am by viewfromthisdesk

Yesterday was week two of hydro and after last weeks debarkle I rang the physio department first thing to find out if the pool was open or not.  Had to leave a message which told me that someone would get back to me within 48 hours, but if they didn’t please could I call back.  Needless to say, I didn’t get a call so I didn’t make the drive over.  Regardless of how nice a hot wax treatment is, it’s not worth the stress of driving or the over-inflated parking prices; Worcester hospital is the only one I go to that doesn’t have concessions for blue badges.

I’ve spent three days home alone this week whilst hubby went away to north Norfolk.  I thought I would struggle and hate it but I didn’t.  I actually really enjoyed it.  I was able to keep the house tidy and clean up after myself and none of the cats or chickens have died on me so I can’t have done too badly!  I also managed to paint and nail-foil my toes and they don’t look too shabby.  Result.  I’ve asked him to go away without me again.  Frequently!

Words with Friends and a couple of excellent books are possibly to be congratulated for my sanity, especially since our second sky+ box has given up the ghost.  Not good.

August 31, 2013

Here we go again

Posted in August, Health stuff tagged , , at 6:21 pm by viewfromthisdesk

I came off the new meds. I didn’t like how I wasn’t in control of anything.

Coming off was tough, almost as tough as getting on them in the first place. But I’m three weeks free and I’m feeling good about my decision and just about managing the pain. Well, I’m not but I’ll get there.

My doctor wants me to go back onto my old pain meds and I desperately want to agree but there was this teeny-tiny side effect which wasn’t ideal and I’m struggling with the need for pain management versus the need to feel positive nerve sensations.

In the meantime bit of a bonus … I’ve lost 6 pounds. I will beat this hiccup.

August 5, 2012

Super Saturday

Posted in August at 5:00 pm by viewfromthisdesk

So. For fans of the Olympics like me, you’d have been glued to the tv yesterday. The achievements of Team GB were amazing. The sad thing was, I saw nothing of the Games until 6pm. I missed the rowing and the mornings heptathlon events, I was preparing for my interview-test thingy. For about eight months now I’ve been working towards a qualification, it’s not been easy and the hours put into it (almost 300) have been brutal and unsociable. But I’ve done it. I passed. I am licensed.

Yesterday, I achieved my gold

Read the rest of this entry »

July 31, 2012

Olympic Regret

Posted in August tagged , , , at 9:32 am by viewfromthisdesk

When I was at school I used to run.  Cross country in the winter, 200m and the relay in the summer.  Couldn’t throw or jump for toffee but I loved running.  I love the Olympics, the Commonweath Games, the Diamond League events throughout the year.  I love the Winter Olympics, the mad sports and impressive sports people.  I really like sitting with an atlas during the opening ceremony to learn where all these new and fantastic sounding countries are.  Even now, all these years on, I’m still enthralled by the games.  And my regret?  That I didn’t apply for tickets.

When it was announced that London had won the games, I have to confess, I was gutted.  I wanted Paris to win.  I didn’t think we, as a country could afford the games and we certainly didn’t have the infrustructure.  We didn’t have a 50m pool ‘in the south’ and Crystal Palace, that historic home of athletics, has been looking tired and dated for such a long time.  I wanted Paris to win so that there was no time difference for the viewer, no jet lag for our athletes and moreso, no cost to the humble tax payer.  As time has passed, I’ve been massively impressed by the work that has gone on, the fact that the stadiums are finished, the venues look brilliant.  Lord Coe still gives me the creeps, he’s got no charisma, no excitement to him.  He, a former olympian just doesn’t look all that bothered by these games.

But now, I’m sat shouting at the tv, the computer, the BBC ticker feed.  I cried when Tom and Pete messed up their fourth dive yesterday and I cheered when the boys got their medal of ever changing colour for their jumping and tumbling yesterday.  I’ve shouted at both cycling road races and still have the time trials to come.  I’m learning about horsey events, sword fighting and the multitude of ball games on offer.  I can’t wait for the athletics, my true passion.  There will be more shouting, more crying and more regret.

I realise now, that my joints and my body would simply not have coped with the journey, let alone the standing, the queueing, the sitting and waiting.  The magic of being at the games would have been massively overshadowed by the pain and fall-out.  I’m seeing friends and family mentioning and sharing photos of their games experience and I have to confess, I’m so very deeply jealous. 

I may not make it to the games physically, but I’m there in spirit and emotion.  If the Commonweath Games could make it to the Midlands, I’d be a happy girlie.  Fingers crossed.