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CFM Babs from Chorley FM



Posted by CFMBabs , 02 March 2007 · 1,458 views

You're not your normal self today whatever on earth that means
I'm normally very cheery and bouncing full of beans!
But you can have an off day, goodness knows I've had a few
But the only person commenting, my friend happens to be you!
Yes, I have a runny nose but that's normal to compare
Having scleroderma is much worse and hard to bare
I can surely rid myself of cold and fight off all those sneezes
It's the other stuff I'm battling with the king of rare diseases

Oh I start to shiver and my back is aching too
A cough is starting to develop Oh **** -- Aatchoo!
Those germs have certainly got me and my throat is red and sore
But I won't complain of anything at the risk of becoming a bore
I'll get my paper tissues and sit beside the fire
And switch on the TV set -- the programmes are just dire
Who wants to watch Oprah or anyone else's trials
So I reach for the remote control and twiddle with the dials
400 stations with nothing for me to savor
Switching off the telly will do myself a favor

I reach for a magazine, my daughter buys them so
And it's filled with lots of silly stuff that I don't want to know
How a hubby ran off with his mate and the wife who took revenge
And all about the hippies who rally to Stonehenge
Cutting off private parts and feeding them to the cat
I swear that story was in there and I read all of that
Where do they find the material for such a gory read?
They must go on the internet or folk sell it them for greed
I could give them a story and I wouldn't need to lie
Simple, clean and funny not about some cheating guy

Atchoo -- Oh I'm off again and with it a little cough
I need some kind of remedy so I think I might sign off
I'll rummage through the cupboards to find a bottle or pill
For now I'm really aching I think I might be ill
Maybe no more blogs today and maybe I'll have a rest
I can't write any proper stuff when I don't feel my best
Sorry guys for moaning but I really have to go
My throat is raw and hurting and my nose I need to blow!


Those Dark Days

Posted by CFMBabs , 28 February 2007 · 768 views

I'm determined to dig myself out of this pity pot of a hole I've dug for myself recently. I suppose we all get down in the dumps at times and I'm no exception- --Yeah! some folk may look at me and think, "There's nothing wrong with her" and in my little world there isn't. So how come some days feel so depressing?
I have much to look back on over the last 3 years and although I don't like to dwell on the past the emotion takes over at times.
I was writing on the message board, in fact it was within one of my posts when this overwhelming sense of fear came over me. I was of course reminiscing about my really bad days. I've come such a long way, that road was long and very,very bumpy. I touched on starvation, incredible pain, and fear. Knowing what it's really like to starve was an experience no one should ever have to endure.
I lay for the best part of 2 years in a hospital bed permanently strapped to machines. The whole experience was like a merry go round but I was pad locked and chained within it. Trying to force food down my throat and then the incredible pain which followed was just something I will never forget in a hurry but this is the first time I've ever wrote about it in depth. Sure, I have a sense of humor and thank goodness for that because without it who knows?
I had a whole 3 weeks of nothing going in and I mean nothing. They tried mercilessly to locate my veins each one collapsing on their every attempt. No drip for fluids and no nutrition because I had a faulty split tube within my stomach. I was effectively suffering dehydration and starving to death whilst the staff at the hospital pondered over the next move. I was given a sub cutaneous drip which was placed under my skin but it got infected and I lay shivering for 3 days thinking this would never end, so I starved a little more. My husband and daughter came every night. A 60 mile round trip and my daughter doing homework in the back of the car. They were faced with a very unhappy me on each occasion and when it came to lifting me out of bed and putting me in a wheelchair, I drew the line right there! I was so poorly that I never spoke and I mean that's no mean feat for someone like me.
I got more sick over the following months and the staff were beginning to think I wouldn't make it. I lay partially unconscious for 5 days unaware of anything and when I did wake, the vomiting was relentless. I was in my own personal nightmare.
Gradually they managed to bring me to a point where they could attempt more treatment and I had the tube replaced without any form of sedation--I was just so determined to get well. The following months I began to become aware of just how close to the inevitable I'd been. I came home much to the delight of the family, more so for me but within 2 weeks I was rushed back in with excruciating pain -- my gall bladder and pancreas were having their turn.
I had my gall bladder removed in July 2005 along with further surgery to undo a previous procedure. It all resulted in a scar 12 inches across my stomach and the merry go round began again. The road to recovery was long, frustrating and I had my feeding tube replaced twice within a space of months. I dropped 128lbs so quickly I was simply wasting away. I'm now 112lbs, a babe and hitting back at life.
Yep! There's nothing wrong with me! I think I did a great job just being me. I want to throw away the key to that very dark place, it's not somewhere I want to go again. I thank my lucky stars that I can tell my story knowing that I came through to the person I am today and if I can do it anyone can!
My blog today is very depressing but there you are -- I've said it! My ghosts are well and truly buried and that episode is long gone. I'm Barbara, I'm back and if you want to know me, I'm not sick, I'm a normal person with a special need and I'm just the same as I always was except I'm more wise!


You Are What You Eat

Posted by CFMBabs , 27 February 2007 · 773 views

Yikes! What am I doing this mad hormonal twit!
I did a stint on the radio for Raynauds, did my bit
And then I went and mentioned that it was my desire
To be a roving reporter and available for hire
I could be the next correspondent or even make TV
But now I'm ahead of myself, little adventurous me
Oh did I mention I have sclero, but the station didn't care
And that makes me feel special to be of some use there

I really worry about children and how they eat then relax
I don't think that they realise there's more to food than Mac's
Our children are becoming hefty and with it bad health too
It's up to us as parents to teach them what to do!
So it was then that I decided to go out and speak my mind
And shout it out on the airwaves and if needs be unkind
There's nothing like earth's goodness and nature provides the key
There's nothing good in a packet, for the ingredients you cannot see
Nature has it's own sweet way of packing all that's good
You wouldn't buy an apple if it was caked in mud
Yet it's fine to eat a shiner even though it's full of wax
The bees make that to seal their hives not make attractive packs

I really worry about children about how little they really know
Eating well and exercise will give them power to grow
And in this age of plenty there isn't any excuse
To get something out of the freezer that won't be of any use
I know that I may suffer ills and can't explain my condition
But if I was well and able and not in this position
I'd fight for real hearty food instead of eating trash
And stop the big conglomerates reeling in the cash
Coz someones getting fatter and it's not always you
The big men in the food chain are making lot's of money too!

Lets get right back to basics at mother nature's request
And eat a proper dinner that hasn't been tampered with or messed
Eat like nature intended and we may just find a cure
instead of eating rubbish and stodgy based manure
Feed our children goodness and in time they'll thrive
And make their life worth living and glad to be alive
I wish I didn't have sclero but wishing won't make it right
But it'll never begin to stop me and for justice I will fight
Eat well and prosper and serve vegetables on your table
And change the way you're thinking if you're really able
Give good food a fighting chance for one day it will repay
Coz if you change tomorrow there's no time like today!


21-- Er Who!

Posted by CFMBabs , 26 February 2007 · 743 views

I don't need no doctor to tell me how dizzy I am--in fact, I'm probably the queen of stupidity. I can't blame sclero, oh no! I've always been that way--- fact is sclero has slowed me down enough to think and my episodes of pure gormlessness are much fewer these days. However, when those moments arrive I do it grand style!
Saturday was a busy day. I don't remember many days not being so, but last Saturday was a bit more hectic than normal.
We were invited to a 21st birthday party, nothing unusual you might say in that! Well, when it involves my hubby's side of the family things aren't usually that straight forward.
My husband's father is, let's just say a little careful with cash, in that he doesn't spend a penny unless it's life or death and if you think I'm exaggerating, read on!
Apart from my lapse in keeping an eye on the calendar -- I almost missed the party altogether! I didn't even have a gift for the poor girl. Note at this point how everything is left for me to arrange! By Friday, I was panicking. I wondered for some minutes why a circle had been drawn around the 24th -- Then like a light bulb had been switched on -- Oh no! it's Chrissy's birthday bash.
Friday was like rush hour at the sales. One shop then another. What do you buy someone you've never met, let alone never had any contact with? My husband's family just pop up out of the blue and announce "I'm your cousin" and it's almost always when there is a reason like birthdays, marriages or the inevitable!
The last one was a marriage and that one we messed up in catastrophic style -- going to the wrong one altogether. Was this going to be any different? Well if I had anything to do with it, it certainly would.
I thought I had everything in order when I telephoned my hubby's father to arrange the travel. I had the name, date, time and venue all noted and even a present to boot. I asked his father what he'd got in the way of a gift and he just muttered -- Money! .... Wow! I thought he must be feeling rather generous or it's going to be such a pitiful amount that I swear I'd just walk out of the place when opened if the card contained less than a tenner (Ten Pounds Sterling).
I'd managed to buy a rather nice silver charm bracelet with a little key, horseshoe and number 21 dangling from the chain. I hoped she'd like it as it was all I could think of, but I had this horrible feeling of dread. What if she was weird, so many kids these day's are! I mean Goth-- what on earth is that all about? Black hair, brown painted or purple painted lips -- white face. Ugh! Who's want to meet them in a dark alley. Nope! It wasn't that? Something else! Anyway, too late it was bought and like it or not she was having it!
We began our journey by first picking up his father. He climbed into the car, bumped his head, much to the amusement of my daughter and then fiddled endlessly with the seatbelt which he never quite managed and at one point I noticed it almost choking him. What came next had me wishing it had. "Did you get a present" he asked rather curiously. "I got a bracelet". He frowned a little and then said. "Have you put my name on it too?" My husband, who was driving scowled and then raised his eyebrows and asked his father if he'd got a gift! He answered like we already knew. "No"
"Have you got a card?" my hubby said rather irritably --- "No" was the answer.
I fiddled around in my bag for a pen, luckily I hadn't sealed the envelope and I scratched his name just below ours. The gift tag was just large enough to squeeze on his name and with that we were silent for much of the ride.
We arrived at this very busy pub, with nowhere to park but a small space. My hubby squeezed the car into it and then we walked into what seemed like bedlam.
The music was so loud and there wasn't a single face I knew. "Have you got the prezzie?" my hubby asked. And with that I placed the small box in his hand. My hubby walked over to a small group of girls and asked who was Chrissy. They all looked blankly at us. " Do you mean Chris" one asked. "Yeah" said my hubby.
"He's over there". What! I said --"He!" It was definitely a male and I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. "Just give him some money" I said holding my hand out for the bracelet. My hubby shook his head and said. "He's havin it"
My daughter and I took a trip to the bathroom. She was laughing so much that tears were streaming down her face.
By the time we came out into the room, my hubby was seated. His father was nowhere to be seen. " Where is your dad?" I asked looking around. "Oh! he cadged a drink off me and went" So not only did he not pay for a gift, a card or transport -- he didn't pay for a drink either and for the rest of a very awkward evening, sat with someone else.
"Why didn't you know that Chrissy was a bloke?" I asked -- "Surely you must have known". My husband shrugged his shoulders. "I don't know half of my family and my dad never said it was a lad". I give up! throwing my arms in the air.
The rest of the night dragged on with deafening music and us a solitary family in the corner. His father did come back -- at the end. We went home rather quietly feeling well and truly had!
I vowed this was the last time I go to a family party, unless it's my side. Goodness knows what will happen at a funeral -- I'm not even going there!


The Terminator Meets Reality

Posted by CFMBabs , 24 February 2007 · 805 views

There are certain things that make me cringe, things that make me annoyed and things that make me seethe! I am a relatively tolerant person even though my hormones may be in decline but I draw the line with the NHS!
My six monthly rheumatologist appointment is nearing. I know I have the appointment, it's in a safe place. Last night around 7.30, I received a phone call from a female version of Stephen Hawkins, in other words a robotic voice! It said. If...your..name ..is .. Bar..bara .. Lowe.. please... press ... one, and it went on, please press one to enter your date of birth and so on. Now! I'm no techno freak, but I certainly ain't switched off and this call just made my blood boil. After going through a series of commands, I learned that the call was to confirm my appointment, failing the test would mean my appointment would be given to someone else. I just have to wonder about the older generation here who may not be quite as familiar with all this new fangled technology and I wonder too how many will have put down the phone thinking it was a hoax or just too plain frightened if they live on their own. How many people have fallen foul of this new scheme and lost valuable appointments with their doctors? I mean the waiting list is horrendous as it is and if this is their attempt at reducing figures -- they sure have a great way to do it!
The NHS has played some tricks in the past but this one takes the biscuit! and my letter of complaint is already typed and ready to go.
Where has plain old decency gone when we are made to respond to a machine, when so much of our lives depend upon it. The next chapter will be androids with stethoscopes and nurses gliding around like R2 D2. The receptionists couldn't be replaced, the sarcasm couldn't be emulated by a machine and the only human beings present during an examination will be the operator with his little control panel and you! Try making a complaint and you will be annihilated and filed under difficult patient. Life won't mean a thing.
I'm just being stupid but philosophical. Perhaps humor will blow the robots mind as they couldn't write humor in a programme file. Perhaps it may contaminate their circuitry and we'd end up with the biggest party in history -- Now I'm being cynical!
Whatever the future holds, let's hope we find a cure for all ills and save us from the machines.


Daughter's Prom

Posted by CFMBabs , 23 February 2007 · 1,089 views

Yikes! I'm like a little robot whizzing here and there
I forget just where I'm going until I'm finally there
My daughter's dress is waiting at the store for me to get
And I'm rushing to the car in case the thing gets wet
Mum! Please get my prom dress I've only got till July
And at the rate the time is going, the days will surely fly
My little girl's a lady, sixteen and leaving school
And everything is either being stressed out or cool

Mum! I need some nice new shoes to go with my attire
The shoes are getting slimmer the heels even higher
I'd break my neck in those I say, but she just has the knack
And before I can say any more she's snickering behind my back
Hey! I was young like you Y'know I wasn't always Mum
I had a life and lived it and with it lot's of fun
So don't think I'm a geek or square I've been down that road as well
And on those tottering high heels too and yes! I've also fell

I used to venture to the hottest clubs, my friends and fellas too
We had such a brilliant gang, came home after two
We never wore a jacket and the snow was falling down
But we still kept on walking to every pub in town
And even then I had Raynauds and it was my party trick
And no one else could do it -- I was all so slick
My how my life has changed since then and now I'm keeping warm
Living in a half built house on an old neglected farm
But still I have my humor and my daughter well she's divine
If nothing else belongs to me -- she will always be mine

So I pick up this lovely dress, my daughter's prom indeed
And if I never do anything else this is my one good deed


Annual Check Up

Posted by CFMBabs , 22 February 2007 · 733 views

Back to normality -- whatever that is? I've had some good feedback on my little stint on the radio, if only from my friends who were listening!
All in all it's been a pretty average week, nothing with any substance to report. The usual stuff of nearing appointments and the wonder if anything new will emerge -- like, yeah they got a cure! -- dream on...... I know beforehand what I'm up against, a lengthy wait in a crowded room, people coming and going with slips of paper -- one department then another! Then there's the clock who's dial I swear never moves from your arrival to actually going in, now that's another thing! A room so cold and uninviting, a kidney shaped dish with something that's gonna end up being stuck in, up or around you somehow but you ain't sure where! And a huge poster on the wall showing a pair of lungs on how they should perform and how they don't if you've got something or other.... another name I can't wrap my tongue around but it sounds nasty all the same.
The doctor walks in and the usual greeting of How are you!? preceeds a stethoscope, a nurse and a file so large it's held together by string -- no expense spared in the NHS. At this point I'm supposed to answer but I never seem to get that far. I'd love to say -- "I'm all better now" but even that would be greeted with a Mmmm!
Before I gather my senses I'm stripping off doing exactly as I'm told, left alone in a drafty room with a thin blanket freezing my derrière off. I have a lovely Raynauds attack in my feet just as the doctor bursts into the room with an apology. Closing the window now will do little for my condition and the doctor marvels at the classic color of my feet. Then before I know it there's a room full of students all poking and writing in their little notebooks and I'm left wondering if the window was a ploy to kick off an attack for the students. I'm full of theories like that!
The usual stuff next. I have a form for the blood suckers, one for the elocutionist's ( X Ray) and one for the balloon enthusiasts ( Breathing test ) The other is a new one and one I don't think I fancy, it's a photographic image of my telengiactasias, can't ever spell that word let alone say it! They want to laser them off -- Ugh! over my frozen blue derrière and with that I refuse point blank to be photographed -- this is one camera shy lady!
I spend 30 minutes with the vampires getting nothing but dead fingers from the tourniquet they strap round my arm, goodness! I'm not going to bleed to death am I, I mean they can't even extract a sample I'm not about to flood the room in a hurry. At this point they either give up or persevere with a droplet of the red stuff in a tube with lots of requests written on it. The only test they'll manage with that is DNA I shouldn't wonder and I think it might have to go to forensics not the medical lab!
The rest of the day is spent going backwards and forwards like a little foot messenger and when it's finally time to go home, the drive back through rush hour traffic is nothing to look forward to.
This will be my annual check up. I go every six months now but the annual one is the biggie. And what will I achieve --- One more year's worth of something I already knew I had. Any new treatments? Maybe! -- here's to next year!


On The Airwaves

Posted by CFMBabs , 22 February 2007 · 775 views

The last minute nerves kicked in and I began to wonder why on earth did I put myself forward for such a feat. I am of course talking about my day at the radio station.
I started the day with doubt as I heard that the presenter was unavailable due to illness. Fortunately the station rang me to clarify the situation well in advance by informing me they'd arranged for a stand in DJ to conduct the interview -- The nerves began again just when I thought I'd gotten away with it, Drat!
I arrived far too early It was due to my eagerness to get the whole thing out of the way.
I stood before a rather large imposing door which was locked, bolted and uninviting. Was I at the right place I wondered? I banged unceremoniously with my clenched fist, I reckoned they wouldn't hear me if I tapped like a little mouse.
I was right because I stood for what seemed like an eternity in the cold wind and noticed a few strange glancing looks from passersby. I banged even harder and the door flew open and there stood a man with a pony tail, T shirt and oily jeans. "Is it Barbara" he said and I nodded shyly. "Come in, we're expecting you"
The place had a damp smell. It was dark and a bit dingy. I followed this guy who by then I'd decided was a 'Meatloaf' lookalike, into a small room full of paper and wires and there before me a huge microphone with earphones clipped on the side.
"Make yourself comfy lass" he said holding his hand out. "Are you warm enough?"
I was actually freezing but this guy was sweating and I didn't have the heart to tell him to turn the heating up.
He began to read through some scraps of paper that transponded into the actual interview. My scraps of paper equaled his and we laughed about that. We laughed too when he asked me off air about Viagra. My hubby had made a joke about it the other night and dared me to use it. I told the DJ and his reaction was to nearly fall off his seat and choke on a cold cup of coffee. " Er -- better not use that one" he said still sniggering and every time he asked me the question or mentioned Viagra we both just burst out laughing like a couple of adolescents.
"We'll try and get through this without the giggles" he said but every time he approached the subject my nerves took over and I laughed. Luckily this was all taking place before we went on air or else we may have lost all control and the station it's license.
He played several songs and then he told me to put on the earphones--- This was it!
He began by announcing my arrival and wishing me a 'good morning' I smiled then realised I should say the same to him so I uttered, good morning so silently he beckoned me closer to the mic. He played another song and whilst it was playing he told me to speak up a little and move even closer to the mic. If I were any closer and I'd have been chewing the end off, I thought!
Finally we were on air and I began by introducing myself and the entire reason for my being there. The DJ asked me about treatments and he prompted me to mention Viagra, so I looked down and mentioned the V word without so much as a dither -- Phew!
I waffled on much to his delight I think. I must have given the impression of a shy retiring person and I bet he was thinking that, this one is going to be hard work!
Well I wasn't and I was chatting like we were old friends all about the effects of Raynauds and the need to create awareness.
The interview ended so quickly but I'd talked for almost an hour. " I thought I could waffle" he said, smiling as I got up from my chair.
"My hubby always said I could talk underwater" I said as I shook his hand. "I believe him" he said showing me the way out.
When I left the building I wanted to do it all again. It was a great experience for me and he promised me a copy which I can download onto my computer. I may be able to create a way for many others to hear the interview, I'll put my techno head on and have a fiddle.
Ask me to do it again -- Yes please and who was nervous. Not me!


Change Of Life

Posted by CFMBabs , 19 February 2007 · 754 views

I'm feeling kind of low today I didn't sleep a wink
I cannot function properly or have the power to think
I'm doing such stupid things coz my mind is all a blur
This scleroderma thing I have, is more for me to incur
Not only am I changing, my life is weird just coz
I'm 46 and starting my natural menaupause

I'm generally the type of person who always feels the chill
And if the whole family are sweating Y'know I never will
My layers of heavy clothing whilst others wear skimpy gear
I'm often very mistaken, "Look Nanook of the north is here"!
But I've started with an experience, I can't quite get a grip
First I'm freezing my bottom off then out of the bed I slip
I'm sweating from my big toe up like a wave I'm overcome
I'm having a red hot flush just like my good old mum
I never thought I'd be this warm but it isn't really a pleasure
And Oooops! here comes another one just for good measure!

Oh what fun I'm having, my hubby thinks I'm a loon
I'm tearing off all my clothing, down to my knickers soon
And then I start to shiver and back goes on my clothes
And act like nothing happened only mother nature knows!
Yes! I'm on the change of life it's happened to me twice
Once with scleroderma and now something else not nice
How cruel life can sometimes be when you're neither hot nor cold
And nothing to look forward to this life of growing old

Oh ######! I'm not complaining, no Sir, not me, no way
There are far too many people worse off than me today
And what I have is natural only I'd rather it not be yet
I've only just gotten over something I'd rather forget
I know I should be thankful and yes I truly am
My life as yet to flourish not be a hidden sham


Radio Ga Ga

Posted by CFMBabs , 16 February 2007 · 745 views

Rushing round the house, scraps of paper in my hand
Finding bit's of info wrapped up in a rubber band
I'm going on the radio -- what ever will I wear
I could sit and have the interview with nothing on -- bare!
For no one will ever see me except the presenter and the mike
What a horrible dream I'm having the thought never the like
I'll put on my best trousers or perhaps a little dress
I'm going to highlight Raynauds not going to impress

I have my little speech in hand, things I have to say
But I'm dreading going on the air I'll have plenty nerves that day
But I'll put it all behind me and give it my best shot
And tell the rest of England about this condition that I've got
I hope the studio is nice and warm or else I might cease to function
I'll have my rucksack on my back to feed my daily luncheon
I'll tell them all about my day, the cold weather and winter too
And how my little fingers become so dead and tinged with blue

Yes! I'm quite excited and nervous to say the least
To go on air and talk about this awesome little beast
But if it makes the difference to someone who feels lost
It will be a little bonus whatever the action cost
If that one lonely person knows they're not alone
And doesn't feel it terrible to give a little moan
Then it will all have been worth it to speak my mind you see
And respect the right to grumble and know its not just me

I'm on the radio on Wednesday lunch -- please wish me luck thank you
And know that I will be speaking for every one of you!

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