Tuesday, 31 October 2017

1y 22ws post R2 – Flu sucks arse


Big Whinge Alert

I’ve now had a whole week of living with the revolting plague that Gareth kindly donated to me. I’m thoroughly fed up of coughing, sneezing and yacking up most of my meals. I’ve done everything right, paracetamol to bring down my temperature, I’ve squeezed a bazillion oranges for juice. I’ve slept more hours than a narcoleptic on a sleep binge and I’m bored of it all and just wish it would bugger off.

So now I’ve got that out of my system, actually today I’ve kept my food down YAY 😊 the coughing isn’t as bad as it was yesterday. I feel quite weak and wobbly (think Bambi on ice in roller-skates after a few glasses of wine) but all in all I can see the end of it now.

We spent time yesterday at the allotment planting out the Onions and Garlic that will keep us supplied next year. We did some major weeding as well although despite the progress it still feels like it might take all year just to do the first pass.

The conservatory / sun room is finally finished from a building point of view, we just need the plaster to dry fully before we can apply the wash coat (2/3rd paint 1/3rd water) to seal the plaster, then paint the ceiling and walls, paint the skirting boards and new window sills, put the furniture back – I can’t wait until it’s done but it still feels like a huge amount of work to cram into a weekend and go and get more weeding done at the allotment.

I have a day with ‘Boy’ this weekend too, I’m thinking bowling this week rather than something more strenuous – although I did suggest a dog walk so he could spend time with Winston and Amber. I’ll sort that on text between now and the end of the week.

The dogs had their first walk in ages last night with their friends Kirsty (human) and Jake (Springer Spaniel-Border Collie cross) there was much excitement and running round in the dark with light up collars, glowing balls and head torches that make us all look like new age Darleks.

I forgot to mention, I ‘SHOULD’ have hand a Neurologist appointment yesterday, a few weeks ago I go a letter through saying ‘Sorry we’ve had to rearrange your appointment we will see you February 22nd’ … my response was ‘Like Hell am I waiting that long'. I phoned up and had a big whinge, I’d been waiting 3 months for the November appointment I was damned if that was extending out to 6 months wait for an appointment. Quite tearfully I insisted there must be something sooner.

Be careful what you wish for – they did have something sooner, it’s at 10:30am on December 27th in Southampton.

Boom goes all the Christmas plans

Now Gareth and I will be taking 2 cars to Wales to spend Christmas with Aunty Kathy, on Boxing Day afternoon I will be leaving to drive home to Berkshire with the dogs, Gareth will be leaving to drive to North Yorkshire to see his family alone and then back together around new years.

It’s going to be a strange one being home in Berkshire on my own with the dogs. Everyone else will be away, or at home with their families, their plans are already made, and now in order to get to this appointment - I’m literally going to be alone.

I’m not entirely sure how I feel about that to be honest. Whilst I’m not uncomfortable with my own company, it bloody hurts to know that my family are gone and now I can’t even enjoy the time of year with Gareth’s’ family either because of the damned appointment.

Actually …..

I do know how I feel about it – I feel angry and bitter and cheated. I want to shout and yell at people, somebody, anybody, about the unfairness of it all. I don’t have my direct family left to spend Christmas with or even pick up the phone and talk to - and now they’ve gone and bloody stolen my time with my extended family and forced me to spend the time between boxing day and new year alone to accommodate their scheduling cock up or I can rack up 1000 miles to spend a few hours and sleep.

I’ll probably get more angry about this before I calm down or just get morose and weepy.

Whichever way I go it’s going to be a very different and not entirely in a good way I suspect.

Enough of this brooding nonsense. I have a new job that I love, a sun room where the conservatory used to be, the prospect of lovely fresh vegetables and fruit next year. I have my lovely husband, our  dogs and cats a home we love and my MS is sitting in the corner and not banjaxing my life. So Christmas this year is going to be weird – the rest of it will be fine and lovely it’s just a few days and it’s not like when his nibs was in the army and 6 month absences happened.

Time to man up cup-cake 😊

Monday, 23 October 2017

1y 21wks post Round 2 - I AM THE PLAGUE QUEEN - Month 29 blood results

It's true - I am a revolting germy plague monster. It's all Gareth's fault, he has been self moderating by sleeping in the spare room since last Wednesday and full of cold but despite all precautions has managed to give me his plague.
I woke up on Saturday morning and my first thought was 'bugger' - Nice Michelin Starred Dinner planned for L'Ortolan and my taste buds are offline - well that's just not nice.
Oxygen was not going to happen, it's in my head, my sinus's, my ears, putting all that pressure 'under pressure' would have been rather unpleasant.to say the least (if you think your ears can get sore on take-off and landing on a plane, it has nothing to how much it can hurt at 33ft pressure in a hypobaric chamber) plus there was the whole feeling like death warmed over to contend with. So I sat on the sofa in my dressing gown wrapped up in a fluffy blankie and felt suitable sorry for myself.
Dinner at L'Ortolan wit our friends was lovely as a party of 12 they had put us in a private room (presumably to protect the rest of their diners from a large party of people all wearing black tie) Unfortunately my taste buds were offline mostly so very little of the beautiful flavour got through properly apart from the Wasabi on the mackerel course,
Our allotment now has a nice big compost pallet arrangement to dispose of weeds (and there are a lot to deal with) but quite honestly I really couldn't be bothered to be doing with that level of effort when I felt  crappy despite feeling better being out in the fresh air.
I had my monthly bloods last Friday with the lovely one stab wonder nurse at my doctors surgery. Actually that reminds me - my bladder went on strike and I failed to provide a pee sample on Friday and I still have not dropped the bottle back to them to send off to the lab - must do that later today. Obviously my bloods are going to be all over the place this month with fighting infection so I'm not going to get all bent out of shape about it.
This month is my 29th set of bloods .... EEEK .... next month will officially be the half way point in my 5 years of blood tests. There is a strange feeling of achievement that comes with that realisation - I'm halfway home. It's been 2 1/2 years since I started this journey - how did that happen - I've made it up the mountain and now just need to get back down the other side - note to self do no refer to this as 'it's all downhill from here' LOL.
I feel like I should arrange a half way there event for next month in honour of this - I've never done a video or 'VLOG' as the cool kids refer to it - perhaps I can get over my camera shyness and do one for next month - perhaps enlist Gareth's help in making one of those happen - I'm sure he can work the YouTube thing. I guess then you'll all get to see my lovely new dark auburn winter hair and discover that I am a real live person and that yes I'm just this weird and 'yappy' in real life too.

Anyway after popping back and forth it was finally 13:00 and I could get my blood results so here we go for month 29




Wednesday, 18 October 2017

1y 20wks Post R2 - Managing stress and the Allotment Queen


Over the last few months in our hours there has been a lot of upheaval. 

What with ‘Stair-Gate’ (not the one that stops Amber-Dog attacking the dustbin in the utility room)  the getting our stairs in our house made safe fiasco. Then the Conservatory roof turning into a sieve and the indoor water feature, changing jobs and life in general it has been a little stressful – and that’s just me. Poor Gareth has had to put up with me and manage his own challenges too.

As much as it pains me, to admit it - YES damn myself I’m mentally preparing for Christmas already. It’s not even been Halloween or Bonfire night and I’m mentally planning blasted Christmas for crying out loud. I blame the retail industry for the following reasons:

·         Our garden centres have their Christmas trees up and carols playing (how anyone who works there isn’t a homicidal maniac long before the big day quite honestly staggers me)

·         Farm shops are taking Christmas meat orders

·         Costco is selling Tower Of Treats and 7ft tall ‘Festive Drummers’ WTAF is a festive drummer? – But on a bright note they have the seasonal stock of different sized aluminium trays in so I can stock up and maintain my 10 year record of NEVER having to soak and scrub an oven tray because life is just too damn short.
I’m not a ‘BAH-HUMBUG’ type honestly, but can’t we get the other 2 events out of the way first? It feels like we have to ‘out-perform’ last year and have everything one and planned even earlier than we did last year or we are failures. At this rate by 2020 I’ll be ready for Christmas in July 😊
We took possession of the allotment on Sunday morning, I even ended up with a few fresh beetroots to take home courtesy of the previous tenants. It needs some serious weeding to clear up the strawberry, rhubarb and raspberry beds. Some soil preparation for the asparagus, onions, shallots, garlic and winter salad needs to be done by the end of this month so that the yumminess will start appearing in spring.
We need to take a look at the other beds and configuration to work out where spring and summer planting will happen and what is going in. The thought of being able to just stop on the way home and pick the ingredients for dinner, bring them home and have them on the place within 30 minutes makes me very very happy 😊
We are looking forward to the weekend and the first meeting of the ‘Lux Dining Club’ at L’Ortolan for yummy Michelin Star French food and wine pairings.
The Sun Room as the conservatory will now be known is so much warmer than the building it replaced and once decorated will be stunning.

Life as always is frantic, always enjoyable, thoroughly loving every minute of it.
Much love
xx

Monday, 9 October 2017

1y 19wks posr R2 - Building Work, Oxygen and looking back


A week of hard work and the construction for the conservatory replacement is almost complete. The inside, the plastering and electrics is the job for this week and then over the weekend I’m thinking painting and decorating done and the furniture put back and then we can have a rest. As gratifying as it is to do these things yourself, I’m honestly thinking can I really be arsed? Help local business and get a ‘man in’ to do it …... plus there’s the whole ‘we don’t actually own a ladder – let alone one tall enough to reach the top of the roof, so it’s not just painting and decorating it’s going and buying a ladder, making space in the shed to store the ladder afterwards ……. Just thinking about the whole ‘FAFF’ of it all makes me even more sure that paying someone else to do it is considerably better for my mental health.

Of course the plan above requires that someone awesome is available immediately for a days work … and can work over the weekend – the project manager in me suspects that this is a really big ask and unlikely to be realistic and I should have been planning this 6 weeks ago … FAIL.

Then there’s the ‘while you’re here’ factor …. That I also want the stairway repainted now that the stairs are done, and that the Painter and Decorator I’ve just found is also a carpenter, so perhaps he could also do the conversation of the space under the stairs into a small pantry with shelves – and if that’s done then the cupboard to the right of the fridge freezer can go and then I can have an American Style Fridge Freezer again … and there’s room down the side for a wine rack ….

AAARRGGHHHHH …..

So perhaps we should just paint the room ourselves because it will save us a small fortune.

I went for Oxygen Therapy on Saturday morning – my first session in 3 weeks as a result of life the world and everything. I relearnt the ‘make sure you go to the bathroom BEFORE the dive’ lesson again today. With 30 minutes to go realising you need the bathroom and are locked in is not right up there with my favourite experiences in life. I broke out in a cold sweat sitting there trying to think about anything other than the need for the loo – Candy Crush helped, dignity was maintained.

The weekend apart from Oxygen and getting a weekly shop done was dog walking and lots of relaxation. Just what we needed really, some time to relax and just enjoy ourselves.

I’m making plans to see ‘Boy’ again over the next couple of weeks, some dog walking I think and perhaps bowling and of course the obligatory McDonalds (bleugh) it will be nice to catch up and hopefully I will have enough energy to keep up this time. I’ve been taking my supplements and feel like I have more energy, but I guess the true test is trying to keep up with a teenager and dogs.

7 years ago today Murphy Cat went outside for the first time after coming to live with us and I had just finished a big implementation weekend and broken myself living on rubbish pizza, redbull and 2 ½ hours sleep in 48 hours.

4 years ago today we laid my mum to rest (thanks for that reminder Facebook)

3 years ago we returned from France and our ‘post diagnosis holiday’

2 years ago we had returned from France again after a week with Gareth’s parents

1 year ago we had returned from Portugal after the break-in where Gareth’s precious MacBook was stolen.

I’m not entirely sure where years 5 and 6 went, but for those of us who have a bit of a flaky memory, it the powers of Facebook to reconstruct a day in your life through the years is quite fun.

The one thing that strikes me is that all of these memories are about living, having fun, not one of them (well apart from Mum … that sucks) is negative or MS woes related. Perhaps whilst I may think MS has changed me into someone more positive, with more fight and determination, I think maybe that was always the way I am, I’m just more aware of it now.

And enough of that introspective nonsense ….

Here’s a cute picture that I absolutely love.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

1 year 18 weeks Post R2 - Partys, Sadness and latest blood results


Another week done, and another exercise in awesomeness.

I’ve now completed my first whole week in my new job and still love it. I’ve even had a little overnight trip to a customer site which went well.

The weekend loomed and we had a chance to meet up with all our lovely friends together at David’s birthday celebrations. We have an upcoming night out for dinner at L’Ortolan at the end of the month and need to arrange a night for everyone over to ours for dinner within the next few weeks.

We discovered that Bills Restaurant in Reading is an amazing reason to get out of bed on a Sunday morning and go into town for breakfast – the Eggs Benedict was amazing and having seen the pancake stack that was ordered by the man on the table next to us I’m eager to try that next time.

This week will be exciting, the conservatory people are turning up to replace our ugly old green monster with a beautiful new sun room from tomorrow onwards for the rest of the week. It’s going to be a bit of a pain to live with it being a building site for the next 4 days but it will all be worth it in the end. They will be back for a few days next week to finish up the plastering and electrics but it’s going to be awesome when it’s done. We have some furniture and painting / chairs / lamps relocations to do tonight when we get home from work but it shouldn’t take long.

Today is a sad day for me, it’s been 4 years since I lost my Mum, it’s like a little action replay is running in my head hour by hour of this day 4 years ago. It’s horrible to be able to see it all unfolding in my memories as the day goes on. It took years for that to stop happening after we lost my Dad

A very random weekend of enjoying ourselves but not actually doing much on the productive front, I have an almost full laundry basket, the grass needs mowing (this is a ‘blue job’ so I only need to supervise) I think we deserved it, just some time to relax and enjoy doing nothing.

So here are the bloods, lymphocytes are reassuringly low, monocytes are a little high this month but I’ve not been taking my turmeric regularly so my arthritis is playing up a little and that’s to be expected back on them today