Wednesday, 29 September 2021

5 weeks in one post

Apologies for the absence, a lot has happened, but also not a lot if you know what I mean.

My back procedure was last Monday, very uneventful even if I did spend the 24 hours leading up to it panicking and not sleeping (possibly made the sedation far more effective) My lower spine feels less squashed now if that makes sense? I'm expecting a follow up appointment at some point in the next couple of weeks with the Orthopaedic guy to see where we go from here. 

MS wise, I've dropped an email to my Neurologist because I think for the first time I'm experiencing what is known as spasticity (awful word) the muscles in the back of my left knee are incredibly tight and it's making walking very uncomfortable. I'm doing some regular stretching to see if I can loosen it up and that might be working a little. Since I've not had this previously I've asked if this is possibly related to relapse activity and asked would an MRI be wise .... He came back and asked was it still happening and that he'd booked me an MRI - Hammersmith on the 17th 😎 I do love that he and the team are so very great and open to just having me pop an email across rather than faffing and waiting months for appointments.

Oddly I've also had to see a doctor this morning because the same knee started swelling up last night and because awfully painful around the joint and down my leg. They've done a blood test to check for the usual suspects (maybe DVT ???) and apparently I'll be hearing from someone later today / tomorrow

I've had my annual full jab already and it was gloriously uneventful as always apart from the sore arm and feeling a bit grotty the next day (same as the covid one)

I'm waiting to be invited for my 3rd covid jab (the booster I guess) which I rather hope will be within the next 3 weeks so it's got time to work before Ocrevus round 3 at the end of November.

We have a couple of new reclining sofas coming in October which will make lounging in the evening a much more comfortable affair, and the ensuite is being done on November 4th which will be very exciting. I'm just looking forward to being able to shower safely with confidence instead of feeling like I'm going to fall and injure myself in the other bathroom as the shower is over the bath - stepping in and out and sliding around when I'm in isn't a fun game.

I've also applied for PIP for the first time ..... according to all the horror stories I've seen this should be a horrible long drawn out and painful process which will ultimately end in heartbreak and disappointment - but hey you never know, it might be okay. If it's approved then I should be eligible for a vehicle under Motability which would allow me to get a vehicle which has a lifting hoist for my wheelchair which would mean I'm far less isolated and can get out an do more without needing Gareth with me to do Bob loading and unloading duties.

This weekend we have Gareths parents visiting so hopefully lots of relaxing, lots of lovely food and just catching up with life.

Apart from that my hair is even longer and life is the same.

Hope you're well 

T

xx


Monday, 16 August 2021

The post of 2 parts - Before and after seeing the orthopaedic surgeon

 This one is deliberately going to include a thoughts before / thoughts after update.

Part 1

I see the orthopaedic surgeon at 7pm this evening (it's fun that when it's on BUPA that they work late to catch up after taking a holiday)

I'm still using the Inversion Table for a minute or so a few times a day - only when I start feeling pain in my lower back. I haven't taken a single Tramadol since 18:30pm on August 5th which is amazing, I have taken a couple of co-codamol twice now (this Saturday evening and last Saturday) but both days I had been on my feet for far longer than I usually am.

I keep saying I'm not in pain, but that simply might be that I've hurt for so long that the lower grade doesn't really register as pain any more. My lower back still feels 'squashed' if that makes sense like there's far too much down there that should be better spread out but honestly it's not terribly comfortable but it's not painful (okay you're probably thinking I'm slightly mad saying that)

He's going to quite surprised that I can lean backwards quite a bit further than I could 3 weeks ago (I'm not going to be doing backwards walkovers any time soon) a few more inches but hey a win is a win and I will take that. I do wonder if he will want another MRI to see if the inversion has made significant change to what it all looks like in there before deciding what happens next.

The weekend has been fun lots of time at the dog park with friends and the dogs they brought with them. Friday, Saturday and Sunday (poor Winston and Bella will feel very hard done by this evening when it's just the two of them) Kirsty brought the dog she's pup-sitting Friday and Sunday while his people are on holiday - a super sweet poodle cross boy who's fallen in love with Bella as they all do. And Claire made it up to the park with the Beagle boys on Saturday. Some sunshine, fresh air and a change of scenery seemed to really do her some good.

There was a half hearted attempt at a street food festival in Reading yesterday that we pootled around for a while. We had a few nice eats and found some amazing artisan coffee but sadly I think plague times has had a lot to do with the number of vendors who turned up.

Part 2

RESULT - it's NOT spinal Stenosis - there is some arthritis and some facet joint degeneration but he can fix that .... will get a call later this week to go in and get knocked out for an epidural where he will put some stuff into my spine as a first phase .... likely to need further injections for the FJ after that but it's a bloody good result and he's REALLY happy about me getting the inversion table .....

That definitely deserves a G&T or 2 😎

Tuesday, 10 August 2021

First video in a while

 It's been a while (as you can tell by how much my hair has grown since the last video)

Quick in person update, showing the inversion table that's transformed my back problem

Wedding anniversary, what's going on (or not as the case may be)

General waffle :) 

Friday, 6 August 2021

Sometimes it's other stuff and not MS

 I think I'm officially old 😪

So that appointment with the Orthopaedic surgeon ...... I've had a full spine MRI this week (not a new experience for me since I have at least one a year for the MS - although having it done privately and counting the birds, kangaroos and jet skiers on the screen listening to the radio in the private Rutherford Centre made a nice change)

He's pretty convinced I have something called Spinal Stenosis which in layman's terms is the vertebrae in my spine are all crunched together and compressing nerves and stuff - certainly explains why I've been in agony and on the Tramadol.

I'm back to see him on the 16th for the results (he's taking a holiday in the interim - how rude 😂) but a little internet research (always a dangerous thing) led me to inversion tables. I think I've mentioned before that I was sure if someone would just hang me upside down like a bat for a while I'm sure it would all sort itself out. Turns out I might have been right .... the table arrived was assembled yesterday and first used last night and then again this morning - I've not taken a tramadol today (although I have put the washing out and brought it in and put it out again a few times in-between rains storms so I'm a bit touchy right now .... might go dangle myself for a few minutes when I'm done here)

I'm hoping if the inversion table works out that I might not need surgery on my spine *crosses fingers and anything else that will physically cross as well*

I guess it's a lesson to me, see a doctor get it fixed, I've spent a long time assuming it was MS (funky gait making my back hurt) or arthritis causing it (and to be fair Stenosis and arthritis are closely related) but I could probably have had something done about this a year or 2 ago long before it got this bad.

In other news - I've lost a stone and a half in weight and am on my way to 2 stone and its getting me compliments when I see people which is very motivating (if the ruined back wasn't enough motivation) 

It was our 10th wedding anniversary on the 30th .... Tin is the traditional gift, we both came up with nice inventive gifts for each other and had a lovely meal out at a Lebanese restaurant in Newbury to celebrate along with a 4 day weekend to have lots of lovely sleep lates.

Apart from that it's all been work and a whole lot of not a lot really.


I hope you're well and taking care of you xx

Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Busy doing not a lot really

 So how's it all going for you ? 

UK is now out of lockdown for covid, with well over half the national population vaccinated it's time to start getting back to normal. 

For us in reality this means nothing has changed at all. Everyone still wears masks when we're out in shops (apart from a few 'freedom eejits' who everyone seems to treat like a plague ship and avoids whilst giving them 'the look' and calling them unsavoury things from behind the anonymity of the mask 😂)

Gareth and I went to The Loch and The Tyne by Adam Handling in Old Windsor for dinner on Saturday night and had the most amazing meal - I could wax lyrical about each course for ages, but I'll restrain myself and simply say Cheese Doughnuts ...... life changing - really no matter how good all the other courses were, that first bar snack course simply stayed with us - we talked about a night out there for drinks and a plate of cheese doughnuts with each drink - was it socially acceptable to order an extra plate of them with every course including dessert ...... Obsessed ...... thats how good they were.

Melly and I had arranged a surprise visit for Claire last Saturday and it worked like a dream, we got some wonderful pictures and a video, memories were made which will stay with us all for our lifetimes, I even took the Beagle Boys for a big run at K9 with our 2 and they loved it. They were absolutely exhausted when I dropped them back literally climbed into their beds flat on their backs and went to sleep 💙

Update on the whole life transformation thing

I'm on my way towards 2 stone in weight loss. VLCD Keto (Very low calorie - and low carb) combined with intermittent fasting 16:8 (which is actually more like 22:2 if I'm honest) It's working for me and I'm finally in a position where I simply can't have a sneaky gin or 4 and pretend it didn't happen. The doctors have upgraded my pain meds for my back to Tramadol - These things absolutely terrify me. I am even keeping a day by day record of what I'm taking and at what time. They're damned effective but they truly terrify me. I'm pain free for the first time in about a year and a half and I'm not taking the full daily dosage (they seem to 'balance' over time in your system so that a half dose just keeps me topped up)

I've got my appointment on Thursday with the Orthopaedic chap - it's the same one that featured in here 2 years ago who did the injection into my neck who made me scream ..... fool me once and all that - he has a brilliant reputation but if he has to hit me on the head with a brick to knock me out that's fine but he's never putting a needle in my spine again with me awake.

On Friday it's our 10th Wedding anniversary, we're off for a Lebanese meal in Newbury (shouldn't be too bad on the diet, char grilled meat, hummus, the odd veggie, avoid the breads) We have a long weekend booked off work so its a 4 day week this week and next 😎

The summer is here in Sunny Berkshire, the garden looks lovely thanks to the garden guy Mike who's turning out to be the most reliable and hard working person we've had. There's plans to make a special BBQ area at the side of the patio with railway sleepers and resin set stone and Gareth and I aren't arguing about it (although there's a paint sprayer and a 5 gallon tub of Cuprinol Ducksback on the table to my left that's been sat there for a week to do the picket fencing that has yet to move so give it time and we might go a few rounds over it 😂😂

Life is good and MS isn't being an arse - happy days

Much love from me xx