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CFM Babs from Chorley FM


No Raynaud's For A Week! - Part 1

Posted by CFMBabs , 15 September 2008 · 732 views

"They'll take you away grinning to yourself like that!" My daughter observed. "C'mon, share it with us then!"

She was remarking upon my state of expression and looking far away in a world of my own with a stupid smile. I was dreaming but more to the point of reminiscing as I drifted back to Crete remembering little events that made the trip so special.

Who do you suppose would be the last person you'd see at the airport? A neighbour perhaps? No not us -- The Bank manager! And to make matters worse, she tapped us on the shoulder at the check in desk. My hubby remarked that things must be bad when your bank checks up on you leaving the country!

We were late as usual, my hubby faffing around with the security checks at home. It was nothing short of hiring the home guard, or the grenadier guards which patrol the gates at Buckingham Palace. Sure we were going away for a week but, really! The animals were taken care of all nice and secure. The geese had a huge breakfast on 10 loaves of bread more than enough to last them until my dad would come to feed them later.

Finally on the road an hour later than planned. We broke the speed limit on the motorway to get there just in time and we were the last passengers to check in. Of course I was nagging my hubby all the way to the desk but in the end we got the best seats on the plane -- the ones with the most legroom reserved for disabled passengers. My hubby walked smugly away with tickets in hand like the cat that got the cream. All that nagging and we ended up trumps.

I looked at my passport photo -- so did security! It's simply the worst photo bar having Frankenstein himself pose for the shot. It looks nothing like me -- thank goodness but not good all the same. I have another 5 years to put up with the embarrassment and who knows I may grow to actually look like myself in that time, Oh, my -- what a thought!
It's a wonder they let me in the country or out of it to be honest! But they did and I put it away without another look.

Once at the apartments, I put all the stress behind. Dumped the luggage on the floor and rummaged around for a pair of shorts and sleeveless top -- it was boiling hot. One thing I hadn't missed though was the dreaded numbness in my fingers and toes. I left that behind in Manchester!

I did take a cardigan out with me though and I do confess that by the time midnight came around, I needed it! We went to bed around 1.30 in the morning, very late by my standards and although the room was quite hot, I slept like a baby until the sound of banging doors woke me at 9am.

After waking Steve and Steph we all changed into our swimwear and negotiated a sun lounger by the pool, that was when I did my basking lizard routine, slapping on the sun cream then soaking up the rays -- This is the life! Greek music played in the background, the sound of splashing in the pool and the warmth on my skin was what it was all about and I stayed there for most of the day until the sun dropped behind the mountains. First day, no Raynaud's, no pain and I had 6 more to go!


Roll On Summer

Posted by CFMBabs , 11 September 2008 · 769 views

Okay! Business as usual. Touched down at Manchester airport and the script went like this: First Raynaud's attack in seven days, pain in my legs, numb toes, chattering teeth -- Welcome home!

"Bah!" 6 hours previously I'd been wallowing in 90 degrees plus and here I was shivering in 40 degrees of grey skies, swirling wind and grim faced fellow holidaymakers. The colour drained from each and everyone and the golden glow of sun tanned complexions turned into a misfitting collection of tourists who'd obviously deserted these isles for warmer climes.

The heavy jackets came out of every bag and those who had not had the sense to pack one, cursed the weather as they ran inside to the arrival desk which was swarming with people all trying to get home before they dropped with pneumonia or hypothermia! My socks were in situ long before we landed and the cardigan came out and placed on somewhere over Athens. The jacket followed as soon as the seat belt sign went off on the ground -- I was prepared.

Summer is well and truly over and we're battening the hatches for winter which never seemed to go away from last year. No more trips to Greece until next June and I can hardly wait! I almost felt normal for a week. To walk around without pain and feel the freedom of loose clothing beats any medication or experiment! There was only one small reminder that all was not well when I put on my bikini and exposed the peg tube which sticks out of my stomach. I've learned not to be ashamed, why should I be? Body piercings are common, what is the difference? Yeah! I get the odd look and the odd stare but I can cope with that because rarely do I get asked what it is and when I do I simply tell them.

Well, I'm here in my chair staring at the fire reminiscing about the nights we spent under a starry sky without so much as a shiver. Roll on summer 2009!


Ochi ( No) Raynauds!

Posted by CFMBabs , 01 September 2008 · 719 views

If that phone rings once more -- I'll throw it in the river! At one point I was speaking to my daughter on the mobile, the land phone was ringing and someone was knocking at the door at the same time -- Arrgghh! I'm trying to get all my last minute packing done and now I've lost track of schedule. Was I supposed to collect my hubby from work this lunchtime?

I did all my rushing around early doors. Went into town at 8am before the shops were open, which was a bit silly really because I then had to stand around outside the post office waiting in the wind and threatening rain until it opened at 9. Still the entertainment was good. I made my way to the queue around 10 minutes before opening, and stood with a crowd of, let's say mature members of the population, with my jacket collar up and looking frozen to the bone. The situation was jovial as most of the group knew each other. Honestly, some of the things they were saying even made me blush but it was all in fun.

Finally the doors opened and like a January sale we all rushed in! I was about 7th in line as I fiddled with my purse trying to find my bank card. "Get some travellers cheques," my hubby said this morning, and that was my purpose. I finally got to the till and went through the ritual of producing ID and personal details. With that sorted I was on my way home. First day of September and I'm almost certain that the temperature has dropped another few degrees, I felt extremely cold, still with the promise of warmer climes just 24 hours away, I did smile a little.

I have so much to remember. I was given a list of instructions this morning from both my hubby and daughter. What do you do when my daughter wants to go out this evening and my hubby says, "No!" Not that he wants to spoil her fun but it's an hour's drive to where she wants to go and because we go to the airport at 3am, he has so much to do when he comes home from work.

She's in love you see! She met this boy a couple of weeks ago and her head is full of love hearts and jolly Robbins! He's a cutie no doubt about that! And he's got the hots for my daughter for sure! Her mobile buzzes constantly and she sits texting messages all evening when she isn't in his company. Oh for love! How can you spoil things by not allowing her to see him the night before we go away? ---- I'm working on it with my hubby and quite why I should feel stressed about it I don't know?

This is my last blog before we jet off and although I love writing, I shan't be giving much thought to my computer for at least a week. My last item of clothing was a cardigan, just in case it's cold on the plane, Oh and my socks! May as well pack my gloves as well! -----Yassou!



Posted by CFMBabs , 31 August 2008 · 771 views

Not long now before I board the plane and leave weeds, rain, and housebuilding dust behind. If I said that I was perhaps just a little bit excited, it would be an understatement of fact! The only problem will be the reality that it will all be just as we left it when we come back!

I've had a busy sort of week with this and that! Besides writing blogs, I wrote a short piece for The Raynaud's And Scleroderma Association as well! And just to cap it all, I gave an interview to a magazine for an article on living with scleroderma from a patient's point of view! -- All in the cause of highlighting the condition, but you would honestly think that I was the only person in the world with it! I hope I spoke for everyone whilst giving a personal account and I apologise in advance if I didn't.

I keep looking at a huge mound of ironing that keeps staring me in the face. I shan't feel guilty, I reckon we're taking too much with us in any case. 15 pairs of shorts is enough for any man for a week as opposed to my 22, well a woman likes to keep up appearances don't you think? My daughter has more dresses than some famous Designer and Co, and more shoes than Jimmy C. Her case is bulging and if I have to pass comment one more time on how lovely that dress looks on, I'll scream! My hubby is just as bad with his shirts -- does this one go with this, does that go with that? Argghh It's a week not a month and who cares anyway? It will be swimwear during the day and a few hours of socialising in the evening. I can't stay up later than 11 no matter how much I try so it's hardly worth the effort of dressing for a Ball because it simply isn't that way at all. In fact we'll probably take longer dressing up than we're actually out!

My longed for sunshine will suffice for me. It will suit me to sit in the sun and just enjoy the warmth on my skin. An occasional long soft drink and I'm satisfied! I'm like a basking lizard soaking up the rays, but at least I'll be pain free and feel human again instead of a frozen piece of meat!

My expectations are certainly high but my dream is almost here!


On The Up

Posted by CFMBabs , 29 August 2008 · 776 views

The excitement mounts as I begin to pack my case. It can rain as much as it wants; I'm off to Greece! The sun lotion -- got that! Mosquito repellent -- got it! After sun -- Yep! Now,what else? Camera -- Yes! I think that's it?

I had my hair cut yesterday so I guess I'm ready. I can't wait, I think it's pretty obvious! And to cap it all, my new purchase, an Antique Vienna Wall Clock arrived too. My hubby began building the wall again, Yipppee! It's like we've been hibernating underground for a few months and now there's light at the end of the tunnel. Even the weather forecast is good for the weekend, Y'know I might just crack a smile!

If I didn't have this sclero thing, let's just say little affliction, I might just be the happiest person in the world! And when I think about it, I probably am right now! I have nothing much to be sad about when I think about all the poor people in the world who have nothing.

At least I am able to travel, treat myself when I feel the need and although it rains endlessly, I am never short of taking a shower or having a bath, for some they have to walk miles for water just to survive and here's me complaining -- How dare I! Okay today's lesson in humanity ended!

It sounds so quiet this morning. The geese have 'Done One' up field. So much of my present situation revolves around those two legged, long necked, big beaked honking thing's! Wherever there is trouble to be found, the geese are always close by. It's true to say that sometimes I hate them and I can visualise myself chasing the gander with a huge meat cleaver all over the yard.

They ate my apple tree -- Yes! ate it. It was the first year it bore fruit and the geese found it and stripped both the fruit and bark -- now it will die! They ate my veg and destroyed all my flowers. So now you know why I hate them.

So why do we keep them? -- Have you ever tried to catch them? I wanted them penned up and we've tried several times to do this but each time they escape! And poor hubby hasn't got the time to spend making a prison for them -- ironic that he works in one though! And I suppose they keep away unwanted guests which kind of justifies their worth really! The dog would simply run off if anyone with any malicious intent came up the drive, but not the geese! You see no one really knows what a goose will do in a temper and theyr'e such big birds and part of a gang, mobsters in feathers, I call them!.

Hooray for Greece! Watch out guys -- I'm comin!


The Fountain

Posted by CFMBabs , 26 August 2008 · 749 views

By the time 2008 came in, the very least I would have expected is a lovely house with a beautiful cottage garden and roses around the door. So why am I disappointed then? Well despite not having a lovely finished home, roses round the door, beautiful garden -- okay! You get the picture, I have a half-finished home, weeds around the door and a jungle for a garden with a lovely fountain! ... wait a minute, did I say fountain? Yep, that's what I said! And with it 18 beady blue guilty eyes crowded around a water pipe. What am I talking about -- geese!

We woke to a commotion around 5.30am. The geese were much noisier than usual, and there's me thinking they couldn't possibly be any noisier than they always were. It was raining, I could tell from the raindrops on my bedroom window. Nothing unusual there then! It was only when my hubby got up that I heard him yell " Oh, no! We've got a huge burst!" It wasn't raining at all! I had an enormous fountain right under my bedroom window. It's an old water main that's no longer used and, if I'm honest -- forgotten about! The geese had yanked it from the ground and broken it in the process, we knew that because that's just something only they could do!

My hubby ran around in nothing more than a pair of shorts screaming for the thingy-ma-gig that turns the water off at the main. With that found, he then had to find the main stop tap which is situated near the gate. I can't tell you how many times I've nagged him to clear that area of debris in the past and I couldn't help but feel a bit smug when he was swearing and cursing because he couldn't find the hole! I was tempted to say, "I told you so," but with the mood he was in I kept the words to myself.

He dug with his spade whilst all the time there was water squirting 30ft in the air. The geese had made a pond in the yard and were quite happily paddling around. I heard a scream! "I've found it!" he hollored, and the fountain began to sink until there was just a litle trickle. Panic over before 7 and my daughter arose from slumber oblivious to the situation. She wasn't very happy when I said we had no water. "How will I clean my teeth?" she said in horror! Luckily, there was water in the tank although it was warm and I could hear her moaning in the bathroom "Don't like cleaning my teeth in hot water!"

I'm here on my own. Hubby at work and daughter too. The geese have wandered off in pursuit of more mischeif and I can hear the goats ramming the tin shed in the distance. The cockerels have just finished crowing and the cat left me a mousey present at the door. It's not raining yet but it will, you mark my words! I'm going out with my dad for a while, an escape from my far from ideal surroundings. All I can do is dream about a lovely house with roses around the door and a beautiful garden -- Yeah, Yeah!... And a fountain!


Lickin My Wounds

Posted by CFMBabs , 26 August 2008 · 756 views

Licking my wounds, oh my, I'm sore
I ain't doing no blackberry pickin no more
The bestest fruit upon the bush
And I fell under on my tush!

The bowl went up after all my pickins
And fed a waiting bunch of chickens
I think they thought they were in mighty luck
As they ate each berry with a cluck!

So there was I in a very sad pose
Dare not move not even my toes
A thorn was stuck, well you know where?
And I'm sure someone saw me lying there!

Stupid me! I scorned and I swore
That thorn was becoming very sore
A more tender place it could not be
Oh why did this happen to me?

My yearly job of making jam
Didn't even make the pan
My sad collection was now just juice
And the berries had gone on the loose

I walked slowly home like I'd lost the fight
My arms and fingers a pretty sight
I was full of scratches, full of thorns
I hung my head from Hubby's scorns

My daughter laughed as I told of my fate
And how the chickens, my berries ate
My little trip was all in vain
But I'm not about to do it again

I'm lickin my wounds, And I must confess
My scratches look an awfull mess!



Posted by CFMBabs , 25 August 2008 · 807 views

I cannot quite believe what I did yesterday. My hairbrained idea to make sweet fruit jam turned very bitter indeed and had my daughter in fits of laughter and my hubby scowling. I'd decided that the blackberries, which grow like a plague around the farm, were looking decidingly pickable! I know that they make a lovely jam with crab apples and my family and friends love me making Bramble jelly for them. So I set out with my rather large bowl, firstly stripping the bush closest to my home then venturing further afield. The chickens followed on hoping for a berry or two but they only got the ones I dropped!

My bowl was flilling up quite nicely and I had'nt yet got to the best bush. In fact the bowl was becoming quite heavy but I knew that I needed around 4lb plus apples and at that point I was nowhere near my target. The best bush is the one near the hedgerow slightly up field, I wasn't to be disappointed either. I arrived with bowl in hand and gazed in awe at the huge berries near the top of the bush. The long canes of berries hung with the weight and "Oooh" I just had to get them!

I began with the ones closest to the ground but they were a bit small. I began to stand on my tip toes and move further into the bush. My fingers outstretched as far a I could make them, turning my face away from the thorns. The berries came away quite easily but the biggest, juiciest ones, were still further into the bush. I moved one step closer and stretched "Ughh, errr," I moaned.

"Just a little further..." I moved another step amd then another and then -- "Arrrghh!" My foot slipped and I went flat on my back sliding right under the bush.

I lay there for a moment just trying to take in what had happened. I knew my arm was badly scratched and that my finger was stuck on a thorn "Oouch!" it hurt. If I moved too quickly I'd be in all kinds of trouble. Thorns all round me, no protection on my arms, and canes all pressing in my back scratching my shoulders. All I could think of was I'm going away on holiday and I'm going to look like I've fought a cat and lost. I shouted for my hubby who was completely oblivious to the whole thing, carrying concrete blocks!
My daughter was indoors watching TV or tapping on the computer, so I was completely alone. I wriggled a little, scratching my arm even more and then noticed the chickens having a feast on my bowl of blackberries. "Shooo!" I shouted but it was too late -- there were only about 6 left.

Never mind, I just needed to get out of the bush without any more damage to myself. I wriggled again: "Ouch, Oooch, Ow!" I was out. There was blood running down my arms and big spots of blood on the back of my hands. I'd been stung by nettles in the process -- I wasn't happy!

I soldiered on home with an empty bowl; so much for jam! My hubby met me on the garden. "What's the ****'s happened to you, you daft thing, your'e covered in blood!"

I began telling him about the bush as he grabbed the bowl from me. "Where's the balckberries then?" He asked as he peered into a bowl of juice and no fruit.

"Ask them!" I said pointing to the chickens, whose beaks were purple. "They've had a feast of a time." I went indoors to clean up the mess. My daughter began giggling as she pulled out the little thorns and then exploded into laughter when I told her that the chickens had eaten the berries as well!

I'm very sore this morning, licking my wounds so to speak! I have a thorn rather worryingly stuck in my finger right under the nail. It throbbed all night and this morning it's double the size of my others. So much for my little blackberry hunt and my quest to make jam. All I've succeeded in doing is making a mess, my chickens have diarrhoea and my holiday snaps will be a disaster! Stupid me!


Break In The Rain

Posted by CFMBabs , 23 August 2008 · 733 views

In just over one week's time I'l be sitting by a crystal clear sea on a beautiful beach with the only sound of rippling waves at my feet! I may be a bit premature but I'm falling into holiday mode.

The British summer came and went away in what seemed like just two days in May. It's rained almost every day since. The shops are full of autumnal wear and the clothes that I longed for at the begining of summer have lost their appeal as they hang rather shabbily on the sale rail at the far end of the shop floor.

I may indulge in purchasing the quite revealing dress that I picked up many times, then put back on the rail as I turned over the little tag which revealed the price. I dared to look to look today and to my satisfaction they had reduced it to an I want it! price. Needless to say I left the shop like the cat who'd got the cream with the dress swinging in a bag by my side.

By all accounts this is a very boring Saturday. I hate to go on about it but it's raining. No! I hear you say. Well there was a spell this afternoon when we actually managed to walk around outdoors without a brolly; trouble is everyone else thought the same and the town was packed to brimming. We couldn't find a place to park the car and then got some weird looks as we parked in a disabled parking space. I hate that look! My husband was driving and then there's me who looks the picture of health, well you do don't you? I sometimes think that I should only go out with my backpack of nuitrition to prove the point. I will not be made to feel guilty for my entitlement but I'm slightly embarrassed none-the-less!

Back home with my hubby flicking through the channels on TV, it's no wonder I'm dreaming of Greece. I'll begin packing tomorrow, well at least just the bare essentials!


The Bathroom Derby

Posted by CFMBabs , 22 August 2008 · 777 views

I took one look at all the washing, never mind ironing, and closed the door! Piles of shorts, tee shirts and undies all waiting for inclusion into the suitcases. I've never felt less like doing the job and I need some kind of inspiration to get me going. It doesn't seem right somehow, to be getting out summer clothing when all you want to wear is woolies. I look like the classic picture of a Raynaud's sufferer. Our summer (well, what summer?) has been just about as bad as it gets and not to mention cold! The only time I feel warm is either in bed or close by the fire. Are we really talking August?

I can honestly say that this year so far has been a total waste, not to mention unlucky! And if I truly look back over the last five, I have to say that it hasn't been a bed of roses either.

I'm seriously looking forward to this trip to Greece, if only for the warmth. And that pile of washing keeps staring me in the face. Trying to get my motivation going is a bit of a no-can-do at the moment. My stomach is enjoying playing silly beggars and it takes me a full morning to come up to scratch. My desperate trips to the toilet hold no boundaries, no matter where I may be. The panic that ensues when there is no toilet near is worth any thrill ride at the fairground. If I don't get done for speeding soon, it will be nothing short of a miracle. In fact a friend said to me. "Boy, you were in a hurry flying past me down the road." I just smiled, well I wasn't going to tell her that I was sweating to the point of ruining my pants, an outcome you get what I call sunday drivers dawdling on the road at 25 mph when you need the toilet and your home is four miles away! I should have a placard in my window. Attention fellow drivers. Toilet trip desperado, pull over or stop, Lady in distress! Of course I'm not always rushingfor the toilet. When I'm constipated I yearn for a day like that!

With fingers in spasm and the rain tumbling outside, I suppose I'd better do something other than sit with this computer on my lap. I'm on the radio later and I haven't got a script. Shouldn't be a problem though, I am never short of words!

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