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CFM Babs from Chorley FM


3rd Dish Of The Day Show On The Radio

Posted by CFMBabs , 11 May 2007 · 573 views

I've just aired my 3rd show on the radio. I'm quite excited actually as the DJ told me that he was receiving some very positive feedback from my little spot.
I'm beginning to lose my nervousness that hampered my first couple of shows -- I simply read out recipe's far too quickly and in a much higher pitched voice than normal --- I sounded like the Chippendales on helium! I've learned to relax a little in front of the mic instead of ducking below and trying to evade it like the plague.
It all helps my confidence building programme which I lost through illness. I used to be so self assured and outgoing -- I was drifting into oblivion. Being home all day with nothing to do and no one to talk to except the wall, well quite frankly it was driving me up it! I've always gone out into the world and worked. My own business was testament to that. I loved the excitement of each day albeit a woman very much in a man's industry. Yes! I ran the gauntlet on many occasions and saw every new task a challenge waiting to be had. I had responsibility -- responsibility of staff and time schedules. I was responsible for the taxation and salary side of business and I took the blows when work was bad. Unfortunately I found myself wrapped up in a world that I didn't want to be in at all -- illness.
I was suddenly reliant on other people and got so aggravated with myself and things beyond my control. I think that this was the hardest pill to swallow not the condition itself.
My life had to get back on track somehow. I began to write for this website and another one too and by doing this I realised that my life at no point had ever been boring. I'd never really sat down and reminisced, but memories were all I had during the dark days. I also realised how fortunate I was to have such vivid memories and how happy most of them had been. If only I could share them with the big wide world.
So here I am today sharing my own personal lifetime, and a radio presenter to boot. I have much to thank this site for -- my confidence and my return to wit which almost died along with my health two years ago. I have plenty to smile about nowadays and although my life is far from perfect -- show me a person who's life is! In my books it's as near as ######!
Thank you ISN. Thank You Chorley FM and thanks to you all for the encouragement to carry on. My own personal rock!


Thinking Of Greece

Posted by CFMBabs , 09 May 2007 · 718 views

Seems like it's not only me that throws a "wobbler" now and again. This ###### computer is giving me high blood pressure! I wait for ages to sign on and then the whole thing crashes -- Arrggh! Fingers crossed I'm up and running.

This year is flying by, May already -- ****! I've just gotten over the winter festivities and placed all the trinkets back into the loft. Soon it will be summer and my head's thinking Greece. We plan to be a bit more adventurous this time -- that doesn't mean we'll be hiking anywhere but we may visit an island not as popular with the hoards as we have done previously. This time we plan to fly to Mykonos then take a boat over to Naxos in the Cyclades. I've never traveled like this before and it will take a degree of planning as for one, my daughter hates sailing, I hate flying and my hubby hates hanging around so it will be eventful no matter what the outcome. My daughter was given a choice -- No holiday or Naxos! She chose Naxos of course vowing to be brave on the sea. I think she remembers the time we sailed across to Turkey from Rhodes. The sea was extremely rough and there were plenty of scared people on that boat I'll tell you! Where you once saw tanned faces, sat green, terrified holidaymakers. One guy was so scared he buried his head in his wife's lap whilst she sat there trying to be brave. My daughter demanded constant assurances that we weren't about to sink and I soon got an audience of people when I explained that the sea around Greece was always like this, the Greeks were used to the conditions, and me and her father had done the trip many times before. I was telling little porky's, of course, but I think I was reassuring some of the group even though I was slightly scared myself. I was none the less mighty glad when the boat landed back in Rhodes, but I wasn't the first off the boat -- I've never seen such a rush of body's clambering for the shore.
I've been many places on the seas. When we married, my hubby and I went to Cyprus for our honeymoon. We decided to take a trip to Israel and Egypt whilst we were so close. We booked on a large ship and set off for a 4 day trip. The sights we saw were remarkable and probably a once in a lifetime experience. We saw King Tut's treasure in the Cairo museum -- The Pyramids in Giza and then moved on to Israel which was one of the most beautiful places I've ever been. You couldn't get away from what had happened there 2000 years ago and the evidence was all around -- The battles, the little cobbled streets and the reference to something I'd been brought up with all around. It brought a tear and a lump to the throat and I'm really glad I saw it!
Sadly we won't ever return due to political unrest, but it will always be one of the most interesting trips I ever made.
Call me sentimental but I just love the Ancients -- without them where would we be! Can't wait for my hols!


Claiming Disability!

Posted by CFMBabs , 08 May 2007 · 604 views

Well! Another diagnosis to add to my ever increasing reasons why I'm not normal!
Cervical Spondylosis -- sounds like a joke, the kind you would invent to fool your employer upon having a sneaky day off, and how do I know that ---- well I've never done it of course --- Okay, Okay just once perhaps!
How on earth do they come up with such names, can't they just say "Okay, you have arthritis of the neck dear" or "A Crick neck"? Either way it all means the same. I now have to embarrass myself by trying to pronounce the ###### thing Cervical spondywotsit!
Joking apart, I have to say that my neck is quite painful and I'm kind of glad something showed up on X Ray. I hate complaining about something and then being faced by a health professional telling me there's nothing to report. I kind of feel like a cheat at that point rather than "I told you so!"
I looked up the condition on the internet -- not a wise move really! I read the most extreme case scenario and of course I'm crippled this morning. I feel like a puppet on a string ready for the snip at any time, what a silly thought that would be, still it all adds up to a generalised picture of my illness for the disability question. Have you ever been through a disability claim? I have -- twice! Listing all my ailments, medication, abilities and the reason for my claim which is blatantly obvious by the time you come to the end of the sheet. My claim was in the depth of winter on one of the coldest days we'd had for a long while. The doctor came to my home to assess my condition and how it affected me. The only time I've ever really wanted a Raynauds attack did me proud on that day. I think the doctor was almost down to his undercrackers by the time he left, I had the place so warm I could hardly breathe and it only emphasised the need for some financial help if only to pay for the heating. He left with all my information but I wasn't confident about the outcome. This was my second time of asking. I was refused point blank the first time and never even got a visit from a doctor, so at least this time I was properly assessed and if I was to be unsuccessful then so be it!
I rejoiced when the decision went in favor of me and then wept because I was now officially ill. I didn't want to be a statistic, registered as a disabled person but what choice did I have? I decided from that point on that I wouldn't let this condition rule my life -- I'd been compensated and enough was enough.
So here I am trying to do all the things that make me normal and, Y'know what?, I guess I am normal I just can't help my problems. Aside from artificial feeding, a crick neck, and far too many other things to mention -- I don't think I do too badly!
I'd urge anyone to press for disability benefit however you feel. Ask yourself this-- Can a person of my age do more or less than me without alteration of style? If the answer is no, claim! I'd rather be able to do the things a person of my age can do and given the choice I know which I would choose.
Oh well! Back to reality and the big wide world!


The Weather

Posted by CFMBabs , 07 May 2007 · 594 views

It's true that us Brits talk about the weather in any conversation -- who would blame us? The temperature has gone from 70 degrees plus to 48 degrees in one foul swoop. Glorious sunshine to dark stormy clouds. ****! I don't know whether to wear a jumper, take an umbrella or wear a coat! Of course we are an island in a north westerly hemisphere-- or are we? My geography was never good at school! Anyway, changeable weather is almost a definite and one thing I do know is, I'm up north and if it's gonna be cold, it will be freezing up here.
My Raynauds enjoyed a couple of weeks respite, but now it's back in full bloom and my temper with it! I get so frustrated not being able to open things or setting off an attack with just ordinary everyday things that ordinary everyday people have no problem with at all! I'm not being philosophical it's a hard fact.
Raynauds rules my life as far as being normal is concerned. Oh I know there are far worse conditions in the world and I'm not complaining. I have the utmost sympathy for anyone with a chronic illness, but this is my little battle and one I can't win when I'm up against the weather!

My daily chores will stay on hold as long as my fingers remain in a frozen state. I got the meat out of the freezer and then locked up my hands for about 20 minutes.
I tried to light a fire and burned my forefinger on the lighter -- then lost patience.
I attempted making coffee but couldn't get the lid off the jar and when I did, the coffee spilled all over the floor. I screamed like a woman with PMT. This is what it reduces you to. Last week when the sun shone and the temperatures soared, I could have done that no bother! This week, however, I'm like the classic case that my rheumatologist takes pleasure in presenting to her students and I'm not very happy with it.
Where's my summer gone? Last week I was wallowing in warmth -- this week I'm wrapped up like Nanook Of The North! There I was tending to my plants hoping and willing them to grow, then as only nature itself could do -- it rains, rains and rains. Up come the weeds. How come weeds grow so prevalently without your involvement, whilst the plants you really want in your garden struggle! My little flower border looks like a jungle and it's not the first time it's looked a mess --- remember the geese? I'm fighting a losing battle it seems.
Talking about losing battles. I made a call to my general practitioner. I had a blood test 2 weeks ago at her surgery. As far as blood tests go, this one was supposed to be urgent. I rang as requested 2 days later to find the results and it was no surprise when the receptionist told me that they weren't yet back! I left it at that. Surely if the results were to be anything but satisfactory they would call me? --- Wrong! I rang today hoping for nothing more than, "Bloods fine" All I got was "Er -- What blood tests?" They've only gone and lost them haven't they! I raise my arms to the sky ---- why do I bother? If they were urgent, which they were, then they must be critical by now. I could wither away -- collapse -- die, oops! Now I'm being melodramatic, but I could! And to cap it all I received notes from my rheumatologist just this morning saying I now have Cervical Spondylosis -- whatever that is. Well whatever it is I'm slowly adding to the list of complaints which now reads like a 4 course menu. Give me strength!

I've just realised what a rotten week I've had in one way or another! All I seem to have done is moan and that's not really me! Who shouted " Liar" at the back? It's true I have the occasional spat, don't we all? Perhaps a trip to Greece is on the cards. That will do nicely --- what do you think?


Can't Put My Finger On It

Posted by CFMBabs , 06 May 2007 · 566 views

There are times when I can't just put my finger on what's wrong with me! I've had one of those weekends, not wanting to do anything -- feeling nauseous and slightly sorry for myself. My hubby and daughter took me to a soccer match on Saturday. The sun shone, we had really good seats in the stadium but we lost! The comments from the crowd made me smile, in fact at one stage I was enjoying the crowds mocking so much that I turned my attention away from the match just to listen. There was one particular gentleman who sat right behind me giving the referee some verbal abuse like -- "I know where you live!" Then someone behind him shouted "Yeah -- but he's moved".
My hubby and daughter sat there stuffing a potato and meat pie down their throats whilst I just held on to my jacket in case the sun decided to disappear. The whole day ended in a complete let down, but overall the experience was entertaining.
I never quite recovered on Sunday. I got up feeling tired and heavy. The plans I had around the home especially housework which needed some urgent TLC ended up being left for today, but I've now got other plans like shopping.
I don't totally feel myself but life goes on! My daughter has the TV bouncing off it's stand downstairs listening to rubbish on MTV. I can feel the computer vibrating but I haven't the energy to shout. My hubby's hunting the house down for a tin of dog food he thought he'd bought yesterday -- the poor dog waits anxiously outside! And it's raining!

We got a Poly Tunnel last week -- a sort of, well plastic tunnel for plants! I began to grow an array of plants both flowers and veg, needless to say my geese enjoyed their share of them before they even got in the ground. My hubby began the project on Wednesday but so far all I have is 4 large hoops erected on the garden. I'm waiting for the tunnel to be completed for my seedlings which will be full grown before long. This is our attempt at self sufficiency over winter -- we'll starve at this rate! Glad he didn't fancy keeping pigs or sheep for slaughter as they'd be dying of old age before he got round to it!
We've got so much to do that it's difficult to know where to start! There's the house, the land and now the cultivation issue, my mind boggles.
Here's to another week!


In For Life!

Posted by CFMBabs , 02 May 2007 · 624 views

This is a little poem I wrote quite a while ago. It's actually quite true and it has an amazing twist at the end!

I was sitting in my hospital bed
Reading a book I'd already read
In came this lady who caught my attention
Hello! she said, my name, did I mention!
To which I replied No! but mine's Barbara, what's yours
Margaret, she answered, Margaret Doors.
What are you in for?, she asked tentatively
Life! I replied, rather cynically
So you've been here a while she said with a grin
Almost a year, a long time to be in
I joked I was admitted for a ingrowing nail
I saw her face turn quite pale
Just a nail?, she asked, with certain degree of horror
I'm having the same and I'm homeward bound tomorrow!
Don't be too sure, I said with a sneer
They told me that, and I've been in a year!

I went on with the joke for half an hour or so
Till I told poor Margaret I was only joking Y'know
She covered her mouth, then began to smile
I knew you were joking all the while!
What a great introduction, we giggled all night
But in the morning I knew that thing's weren't right
A nurse stood worryingly at the bottom of my bed
Writing her notes and shaking her head
"Oh Barbara are you sure you feel okay?"
I really didn't know what to say!
"Do you feel a bit queasy or a little faint?"
I didn't feel perfect, but dying I ain't
"I think we need the doctor, I'll get him round real quick
I began to think well this is it, I must be really sick!
"Just lie back and take it easy, I'll be back and don't you flinch"
You look a bit green today and your face looks like the grinch!
I lay real still not daring to move, my head was spinning round
What could have happened in the night, what else had they found?
Then in came a doctor, a solemn figure there was he
Looking through my every note and then looking right at me
Well you have something most incurable, something very pure
It's called a wicked sense of humour and there isn't any cure
He laughed out loud, Margaret too, said they were just having fun
For that doctor and the nurse were her daughter and son
I had to admit that I'd been duped and I thought that it was cool
For Margaret had paid me back for playing the silly fool


Memories Of Tomatoes

Posted by CFMBabs , 01 May 2007 · 599 views

Funny how just sitting in the garden brings back such happy memories of a day when the whole world mattered and you just happened to be in it!
My uncles were farmers as were their parents -- my grandparents. I now own the family farm, much depleted from the days when cows roamed the land and the old tractor chuffed up and down. The smell sometimes putrid, other times just dreamy as the grass was mown for the continuous cycle of feed. My grandad grew just about anything and everything but his forte was tomatoes! He had 4 large greenhouses full of wonderful smelling toms and a little greenhouse for summer flowering plants. I remember as a child eagerly awaiting the first tomato to ripen and then after that I was sick of the sight of them -- I swear I began to look like the old tomato itself.
I grew up dreading the call from my uncle. His cry beckoning me to the greenhouse to help with the pricking out of thousands of tiny seedlings. I did it for respect not for money but, Boy, did I hate it! I got so fed up once that I mixed up all the plants and ended up with cabbages in the flower bed and geraniums in the veg patch, nicest looking cauliflower I'd ever seen but my uncle's face matched the tomatoes in the greenhouse when the second leaves came.
My uncle John was a virtual recluse, my uncle Joseph too when my grandparents died. They never ventured very far from the farm and my mum did all their chores. They never went into a shop to buy anything. John never got out of his van and traveled to and from the nearest town at 20 miles per hour, infuriating fellow drivers. They used to sell their plants to the public -- Farm gate sales we call it but they never dealt with a single person in all the time they grew them sending me to deal with the punters. My knowledge of plants were, let's just say minimal and goodness knows what they went home with in the end. If I couldn't remember the name of a plant-- I made one up and then regretting my actions the following year when the same person came back for a "thingy wotsit" I'd sold them last spring, some confusion that did cause! And even more so if the plant turned out to be edible which happened quite often I can tell you!
I once went to a farmer's supplies with my uncle John. He gave me a list and I went in to order. When the order finally came, I shared the back of the van with 6 Warren chickens, a bag of chicken pooh, and 10 grow bags of compost. There I was siting on the floor at the back of the van staring out of the small window at the stream of traffic behind. I urged my uncle to go faster as I was the one taking the abuse in the back, but he trundled along saying "They can overtake if they like". But we lived in the countryside with roads made for horses and one car. We traveled 10 miles there and the same back and we congested every road locally. It was talked about all day, people wondering if there had been some kind of accident but only I knew the truth!
I miss my uncles dearly, both John and Joseph. I can hear their voices whenever I attempt to plant anything. However annoying it was then turned out to be good advice now!
The land is overgrown, the buildings run down- the legacy of old age and madness. Both my uncles suffered dementia in later years and the farm declined along with them. We have the monumental task of putting things back to the way it was. It all seems so far away and so long ago that the farm shone in it's glory. My grandfather would turn in his grave to see the place in it's decrepit state -- it may never have been ideal but it was quaint and tidy. My dream is still a million miles away and health permitting I might just see a working farm again.
My small contribution in all this is my small greenhouse, a hobby really. One day I might grow tomatoes I might even know the names of plants and I might even drive a tractor over the fields again -- who knows?


Abnormal -- Who...me?

Posted by CFMBabs , 30 April 2007 · 642 views

Just when you thought it was safe to relax -- whoosh out of the blue comes a telephone call from my rheumatologist. I'd been to my 6 month review just last week and apart from her wanting me to stay in hospital, all went fairly well. In retrospect I should have been expecting nothing less than a stint in a hospital bed -- I was quite ill when she examined me, but 2 years spent in that hospital did nothing to make me favor another spell. I got away with some rather strong antibiotics, a ticking off and "Eureka" a blood test!
I thought it was too good to be true when the phone rang and a rather anxious doctor told me that my blood results were a bit haywire. My calcium, potassium and something I didn't quite grasp were showing abnormal levels. The whole episode of having blood taken was an experience in itself and to go through it all again, well let's face it, I'd rather suck lemons without an antacid. I was very reluctant to go to my general practitioner who has very little time for me but another trip to Manchester was something I didn't fancy so I opted to visit the dragon's den. It's true that I actually hate my general practitioner and I think deep down she hates me! She openly admits to knowing nothing about my condition and never does a thing about it. She sits in her huge comfy chair in a little village practice, dealing with nothing more than sniffles and the occasional emergency, anything more than that and you're a hospital case. She once famously said to me after a change in hospital policy too technical to explain, that she had 4,000 other patients besides me to look after and I snapped "Not all with sclero though -- Eh!" She never really liked me from that point on. It was just a little phone call she needed to make. I was ill and needed to go back to my consultant but first I needed a referral from my general practitioner and basically that's what it was all about! Considering the problems I have, and I'm not being self pitying here, I go to the general practitioner very little in fact hardly at all, why would I when she clearly isn't interested. I blame my general practitioner for everything, even my geese.
Anyway I had the blood test ---- what a par larva! Oh yes, they said they had the best woman for the job a hematologist no less -- from the hospital! Now I am a challenge as she was about to find out!
My sleeve was rolled up, tourniquet on and about to undergo the dreaded blood test. She confidently boasted to being the best vampire in clinic. I boasted that I was the best un-dead corpse in the village and that my hubby had dug me up this morning. She never broke a smile, this woman is serious! Her first try like so many times before was a failure as were her second, third and fourth try. She ripped off the tourniquet and told me to roll up my other sleeve and the process began again. I said " Hold on missus" on the fourth or fifth attempt not because I was scared but my arm was so blue it was about to drop off! With that she announced a final try and the needle went in so deep I thought it would emerge underneath --- "There" she screamed, did a little dance and squealed with delight as a minute drop of blood traveled down her finest syringe. A minute drop was all she got so her delight was rather short lived -- I'd beat the best! I was told that it might just be enough for one test but certainly not enough for others. This is all too familiar for me. For them it's a first, for me it's a way of life!
I'm now awaiting the results, of what exactly, I don't know. Maybe they got enough to determine my gender and that's about it, never the less I'll wait and see.
What tribulations we suffer at the hands of a chronic illness. Life is never dull!


First Day --- New Job!

Posted by CFMBabs , 29 April 2007 · 603 views

My first day in a new job, well I say first day in a new job but actually it isn't a job at all rather it's voluntary!
I'm talking about my first day at the radio station where I've been given the opportunity to air my own show delivering a "Dish of the Day" recipe. I thought I would be very nervous but, you know what? I wasn't in the slightest. My little item lasted about 15 minutes on air but I spent quite a bit of time at the station afterwards just chatting --- something I do best! I learned a fair bit about the media and how the station worked and I have to say I quite enjoyed the whole occasion. I'm back there next week with a recipe for carrot and walnut cake, my family's personal favorite and I was coaxed into taking in a sample for the DJ's, well I suppose it's only right to do so since the listeners can only imagine how it will taste not actually being there!

I feel a sense of worth since doing the show. I'm not malingering at home, chasing geese or fighting with the dog for supremacy. I feel that the very one thing I lacked was a feeling of any importance and I think that's how you feel with a chronic illness! I was getting bogged down at home with no sense of purpose but to do housework and cook for my family at least now I have a job of sorts and can finally contribute to society as I used to. It will do wonders for my confidence and when your confidence is on a high -- you feel better within! I reckon I'm so full of myself at the moment that I'm doing the "Me" show and why not! I'm giving myself the attention I've longed for for over 2 years, the confidence and stature I lost, might just return and I can be "Me" again instead of a woman with scleroderma bogged down in self pity.

Life is good at the moment. Summer is but a month away. The weather is wonderful. I'm settled in my little world except for the minor problem of geese. "Oh no not them again?" I hear you cry. Well they are a pain in the derrière I keep telling you. They ate most of my garden, they got through a fence purposely made to keep them out! They ruined the flowerbed, ate all the rhubarb and then broke into the greenhouse. It is only plastic but none the less they ate and vandalized all my seedlings -- that's right they are vandals! Chewing everything for no reason not even to eat it. I feel like wringing their scrawny necks and cooking them for dinner but when they look at me with that daft expression and stupid honk I just melt. The dog agrees with me -- not about the lack of nerve to kill but the fact they should be killed. The dog has no peace but then again she's no angel either and the thoughts I have about the geese apply to her as well. What sane animal would chase a car for about a mile barking at the wheels? I give up the chase at the gate and listen as her bark fades in the distance -- I'll be darned if I go and chase her. She arrives back home like she's committed no offense and lies down at the gate for another passing car. If I chain her up the howling is just too much and the geese take advantage of the situation, nipping her and then making off knowing the chain only goes so far. They all laugh as the dog is flipped up in the air at the end, choked and lying on her back, such fun!

I reckon you now realise why this job is so important for my sanity. spending a day watching such antics can't be good for my brain at all and I'm beginning to act like a banshee, screaming around the place and chasing animals.
Peace on a Friday at my radio show --- Rat race on hold!


Life Is A Box Of Chocolates

Posted by CFMBabs , 22 April 2007 · 577 views

Typical NHS! That was the general chit chat at my rheumatologist appointment on Friday. My appointment was one hour overdue with little going on in the background or so it seemed! I was drawn in to a conversation with a lady who sat right next to me, Y'know the type? Seemed okay at first and then you got the entire history without pause for breath. I'm not an uncaring person and I consider myself a good listener most of the time but, please! isn't there a time and place for everything? The last thing I wanted to hear was a biography of her life from birth to 59 -- I drew a line under mine aged 40 and if that wasn't enough, she happened to have CREST going in depth detail of every symptom. I watched the door to the doctor's room very tentatively and longed for my name to be called, all I wanted was to be left alone.
I'd made it to Manchester in quite some discomfort. I had a chest infection, a bad back and felt totally nauseous. I was wilting by the hour and when I finally got my call I felt really sick. The lady who had chewed my ear off was already in the consulting room as I was shown into a cubicle and I could hear her pleading with the rheumatologist--- about what I'm not sure, but the rheumatologist sure seemed keen for her to leave -- just my thoughts exactly.
I was stripped to the waist, cold and feeling like I needed to be home rather than right there at that time. My rheumatologist entered the room with her usual armful of reports and an entourage of guests and greeted me with the usual "How are you?" Now do I say ''Awful'' at this moment or generally. I opted for ''Not good'' and with that they all gathered round like bullies in the playground. She noticed almost straight away the colour of my fingers and toes and then heard my rattling chest as I breathed in and out. I just knew from her expression that I was in for a good prodding and numerous tests --- I was right!

I suppose an X Ray was just what I expected but the comment from the doctor was unexpected. "Can you stay with us over the weekend, that chest sounds like you need something stronger than prescription medicines". I was heading for pneumonia and I had the beginnings of pleurisy. I kind of knew with my back aching and feeling nauseous that this was more than just a cold but I was resolute in going home and going home is exactly where I went with the strongest dose of antibiotics they could legally give me. I'd just rid myself of a terrible chest cold and here it was back with a vengeance. Of course I didn't tell her that I was digging in the garden at weekend and putting in my radish, nor did I tell her that I'd been chasing geese around the garden and doing all the things you ain't meant to when you're ill and that was probably the cause of my illness not just the common cold.
I've lost a further 7lbs in weight which made her eyebrows come together as she slid her intelligent spectacles down the length of her nose. Again my fault entirely since I've reneged a bit on my nutrition, carrying round a heavy rucksack housing liquid feed all day does nothing for my street cred! But more so my inability to drag this bag around with a bad back and not feeling A1. Okay so all this is my fault and I don't mind taking the blame at least it kept me out of hospital and I'm content to stay home with my woes.
Glad to say that today I've turned a corner and I actually feel human again not like some experiment. I think I have the mix right and my chest feels 98% better -- note I didn't go the whole hog. Tomorrow might see this infection running for it's life I hope so.
As for the out come of my rheumatologist appointment, Y'know I don't have a clue? I think I go back in 6 months but then again who knows?
I arrived home safely with my little bag of liquid antibiotics. There to greet me at the gate was 9 hungry geese and behind them, carnage! They'd had a merry old time whilst I was away. There was muck everywhere. My lovely hanging baskets which I'd left carelessly on the floor -- were no more. I closed one eye and squinted through the other as I looked into the garden and sure enough there wasn't one flower head left, even the plastic pots didn't escape the wrath of those critters! I screamed ,"What have you done?" Silly thing to say really when the evidence was all around. They answered with their annoying Honk! then they hissed at me as if to say, "There that's what we've been up to whilst you were away".
Seems like I can't leave this place without paying for it in some way or another so all in all it was a pretty lousy day! I'm too hard on myself at times -- I know it! I should give myself some respite but I'm afraid it might amount to self pity which I would hate. I'm sure that others with a chronic illness feel the same -- give in and you might as well -- er give in!
To the wide world we seem and look okay but in reality what is okay meant to be?
Okay to me is a day when I can do things I couldn't yesterday, or is that just an improving picture? Okay to some it's interpreted in different ways and on the balance of things I'm doing okay in some ways.
Life with a chronic illness is never boring and the line from Forrest Gump if you ever saw the film was..... Life is a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get! For me that's just how I feel from day to day, still if all I ever get is the soft one's the hard one's can stay in the box!
Here goes with my first dose of antibiotic. Please work and I promise I'll be good this week.

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