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CFM Babs from Chorley FM


No. 1 Member Of Memberships

Posted by CFMBabs , 16 January 2007 · 646 views

The more I write, the more I seem to be volunteering for. Don't get me wrong -- I love it! I'm a member of PINNT, an organisation in the UK which supports people on artificial nutrition. The word PINNT simply stands for Patients on Intravenous and Nasogastric Nutritional Treatments and Yep! that's me.
I found the organisation in a little pack I received from the hospital and duly contacted them for information -- I do like to know I'm not on my own, I think you get the picture!
They liked my writing and now I'm beginning to write for them on a regular basis, hopefully sharing my experiences for the good and the chance to highlight scleroderma at the same time.
I'm also a member of The Raynauds and Scleroderma Association, also based in the UK. At this rate I'll have so many memberships to so many organisations that I'll almost be a Professional Member, member!
Short blog today. I'm off to the hospital later, need to shave my legs and have a good shower-- a sort of mid winter personal spring clean!
Will keep you posted!


Big Day For Me

Posted by CFMBabs , 16 January 2007 · 851 views

Well tomorrow is the day! What day? I hear you say. Well, the one where I reluctantly travel to the hospital for what I can only describe as torturous to say the least --- call me chicken, I don't mind! I'm talking about the dreaded endoscope. There's not much I can't say I've had done to me over the past few years and although it takes very little time, it still has to be my most least favourite test of all. The trouble is they can't sedate me and shoving what resembles a garden hose down my throat when the most I can manage with my condition is a cookie now and then is no mean feat.
I swear the whole team has lessons in niceness and then they change to Atilla the Hun as soon as the tube enters your gob. I hear the same cry every time, ""Keep still". Yeah, right, try it yourself dear! Then there's the, "Soon it will all be over with". Well! get on with it instead of discussing what they did over the weekend.
At least I'll be able to drive home afterwards instead of sticking around in a draughty ward with nothing more than a sore throat and thin blanket.
I thought my trauma with hospitals was over. They think I may have some residue, whatever that means, from the numerous bouts of surgery I had -- does this mean they are thinking of performing more? I sincerely hope not! I've had my fill of lying in a hospital bed being prodded with needles and, who knows what from who knows who? I guess I've been there and done that so many times and if it was a script I'd be well rehearsed. I don't even want to remember any slightest incident of my hospital nightmare as it turned out, I just want to be left alone.
So what do I do if they find this residue thingy? Do I go along with the inevitable or do I hold up my hand with a resounding No! So many decisions and so many options, I don't know if I'm coming or going. One thing is certain, I ain't the placid easy going person of two years ago and I've learned to respect my body a little bit more than I did. When I say no, pal, I mean NO!

I have something I always dreamt of having in my twentys -- a figure! Pity I got it in my forties when everything needs to be covered and all going south. Still, I can wear my daughter's clothes and fit through a turnstile without turning sideways. I can squeeze into knee high boots, but would never think of wearing them! And so many other possibilities.
Learning to live with a chronic illness is a challenge but we get through each day a little at a time and life ain't so bad after all -- it's what you make it-- but I still don't want to go for an endoscope test tomorrow!


Wild Goose Chase

Posted by CFMBabs , 13 January 2007 · 773 views

I would imagine that most people would spend their Saturday mornings either tucked up in bed or doing something more pleasurable than trudging muddy fields with a stroppy teenager and hubby on a mission and a father-in-law with angina, searching for geese!
My Saturday began just as that. The neighboring farm paid us an overdue visit to say that the gander had been terrorizing his mother in the kitchen -- I knew which one of the bunch that was -- he loves his piece of bread in the morning!
The problem was in that they'd split up into two partys - 4 in one field 5 in the other.
They left home in early December finding themselves on the other side of the river. Every morning they shouted across for food but there was no way of getting them back without walking a mile around the fields, something I wasn't capable of at the time. We hoped they would simply find a way back but as the weeks went by we heard them further and further in the distance and thought we'd lost them for good, until yesterday that is!
My father-in-law was having a cup of tea when the neighbor called. We had to act because he wasn't very pleased. The decision to take the hike was made and off we set down the road, Jack Russell Terrier and all. My daughter was hiding each time a car came by hoping it was no one she knew, she hates wearing boots and looking like a country girl. I was talking to her one moment -- the next she was in the ditch hiding from an oncoming vehicle. My father-in-law was slowly walking with his stick and puffing on an inhaler whilst my hubby was way ahead with a daft dog running in zig zags in the road.
Finally we arrived at one of the fields. The geese weren't too pleased to see us and ran off, so then it became a game of catch me if you can! I had mud up to my knees but we managed to contain 5 of them whilst my hubby rounded up the other 4. The only way to take them home was via the road and what a fiasco that was. I never realised how busy those country roads had become over the years and how stupid some people are. Country roads should be treated with respect for animals and others but it was more like a race track. I could have sat on the bonnet of one vehicle at one point and his eagerness made the geese worse than they already were. In the end, he decided enough was enough and he sped past me and the geese and nearly wiped out another vehicle in the process.
We lost one--it made off under a fence but the others we retrieved back home.
I can hear the escapee hooting over the river this morning but if he thinks I'm going over there, he has another think coming! He can come here!
Sunday morning all is well -- such is life on the farm!


The Incredible Hulk

Posted by CFMBabs , 11 January 2007 · 812 views

My life unfortunately seems to revolve around hospital waiting rooms and five minute meaningless appointments which have you whirling around a system which doesn't work. I mean, Who am I? I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer nor am I the smartest person on the block but, please! I'm not stupid.
I sat in a hospital room with my daughter, it was her appointment, one she has waited for after a series of mess ups over the last 4 months. In this room there were people of all ages, sex and nationality. We were informed of a lengthy wait due to another clerical error and indeed what followed was pure frustration.
People around me fidgeted and squabbled about being seen by the doctor out of turn. The term, "I've been here longer than they have" was the single most heard expression. Frankly I was sick of hearing the moan, and finally when our name was called, I saw this woman stare right through me as if to drop me on the spot --- National Health Service Ugh!
The usual set of questions were asked, why do they always make out it was something you do, did, ate, or created. I always feel guilty and my daughter had the same impression.
We began by describing the very nature of the visit --- A bad back for two or more years, the fact that she's only 15 and physio not resolving the problem. Why was I ready to up and leave by the time she'd written out a request form? Because I knew what was coming next, Boy! I could do this job standing on my head in a bucket of mud, stark naked -- er! now I'm getting carried away. We trotted off to the vampires ( blood room ) with a stressing teenager by my side and an equally stressed out hubby who by this time was thinking about his stomach and the lack of food. We were faced by another room full of the same faces as before, " Fancy seeing you again" one said!
"Yes fancy" I said rather sarcastically. The wait was longer than I thought possible. Were they taking pints or just samples? Then it was our turn and not before time. My hubby had raided the cafe and was on his 3rd donut and 4th cup of coffee, any longer and we'd have needed the cash dispenser to pay for all the junk he was shoving into his gob.
We entered the room and I knew immediately that this phlebotomist was not a happy bunny. She raised her voice and clutching the request form gave me a mouth full of abuse. My temperature rose, my heart missed several beats, I was changing into the Hulk! ---Don't make me angry! I blew! She was accusing us of ignoring the cut off point for clinic appointment's blood work. How in the **** was I supposed to know, was there a note on the door? No! I hollered back. Was there anyone available to tell me otherwise? No! Who did she think she was talking to? I got an apology.
The NHS needs a stress programme. It needs an influx of manners, sympathetic people and a new strategy.
Finally after 4 hours we came home, nothing to show, no nearer a diagnosis, and an afternoon wasted and expensive. I need some management here or I might just remain The Hulk.


Looking Ahead

Posted by CFMBabs , 08 January 2007 · 724 views

I was asked recently how I remain so cheerful! Fact is, I hadn't realised I was until now. Life goes on, doesn't it? And if you live in the past or dwell on what could have been, then you'll never move forward.
I'd like to involve myself with more projects and I guess that's my New Year's resolution although I never intended to make one. I can't vow to lose weight, take on a fitness programme or return to work, though that would be my dearest wish. I guess my life has changed in so many ways.
There's not much left for me to do. I love cooking but can't eat, I love meeting people but I hardly go out in the evenings -- what do I do? Well I have to get myself out of this mess for starters, there's only me to blame. I need to join some kind of club or take up a new hobby, then I realise that although I don't socialise very much I do have a very full day.
My diary for January is full. I have numerous hospital appointments and promises to keep namely my Aunt Mary who I have promised to take out every Tuesday. She resides in a residential home but is far from elderly. This poor, fun-loving lady was struck down by a stroke 5 years ago and although words are her downfall, we have many a giggle in conversation. Her laugh is infectious, her manner so sweet you just want to hug her. Anyway thats Tuesday pretty much sorted.
My daughter is anxiously looking forward to her sixteenth birthday in February. I have a list as long as my arm in preparation. She's requested a small gathering of family and friends and a birthday cake made in the shape of one and six.
I've promised her ear piercing with gold earrings--something she's desperately wanted for years and something my husband has strong views about. You may think it's trivial, I have to admit so do I, but my husband has always scorned at the prospect, finger wagging "Wait until you leave school". It's all amounted into the biggest event of my daughter's life so far and all for a pair of earrings! Promise kept and I'll make an appointment soon. What a to do about nothing!
This year has started almost like the last and what's a year anyway? Something tells me we have tough months ahead, the winter hasn't started yet. I've never known it so warm but, hey! I ain't complaining my fingers are enjoying the copious amounts of blood and have never looked better.
Head down full throttle, roll on spring!


New Year --- New Me?

Posted by CFMBabs , 07 January 2007 · 828 views

Continuing into 2007 without any New Year resolutions, I guess one year merely carries on to the next. Scleroderma aside and all the problems along with it, I wonder what life has in store for me in the following months. One thing is for certain, 2006 wasn't all that bad. It wasn't a vintage year nor was it anything to archive as a memorable era, but at least I got through it without the dreaded hospital stays.
Finally in a house, albeit unfinished, and enjoying a huge amount of space to lounge around like the proverbial lizard. I feel as though I've waited my entire life for such a moment, a roaring log fire, new LCD TV -- unplanned! Soon taking delivery of a new washing machine, also unplanned, it's like starting over again!
The evenings spent in front of a warm fire is pure utopia and if the ghosts want to join us they can as long as they bring no cold chill.
My geese defected to the other farm and refuse to come back-- scared of crossing the river, pardon me but they do have webbed feet and I've never heard of a goose being afraid of water! Mine obviously became too set in luxury but at least the postman is happy, he actually whistles up the drive instead of tip toeing like he usually does. The dog seems far more relaxed and the amount of poo about the place has definitely not been missed. I'm sorry to say that they can stay on the other side of the river, my new carpet is clean and I'd like it to stay that way!

I lost a grand total of 4lbs over the festive period, not bad when you consider that most people will be trying to lose the extra pounds put on by over indulgence -- I'm trying to gain before I slip down the drain. I'm 124lbs. My daughter helps me in the clothing department. I can wear almost all of her clothes and I don't mind how much she spends on them. My hubby would have a fit if I splashed out so much on a jacket or new pants, somehow he doesn't mind my 15, soon to be 16, year old daughter spending her dosh on new clothes. My method is simple --- I have her hand me downs and I end up the most fashionable middle aged mum this side of the UK. Okay, I'm a Chav as they say-- who cares.
What's for dinner is the cry from downstairs, back to reality. Whatever takes their fancy, I'm only the cook.


Wierd Festive Cheer

Posted by CFMBabs , 05 January 2007 · 831 views

To say that I've been quite busy over the festive period is probably the understatement of 2006. I'd forgotten how much hard work was involved planning a family get together and a consequent huge dinner to end the day -- I was simply out of practice and unprepared!
They base TV programmes on home makeovers and celebrity chefs. I did the best of making a shell of a home a place fit to hold a banquet and I must say no one noticed the hard work, good or bad, and I guess it was all worth it in the end. The turkey went into the oven without dismembering any of the bird and it cooked to perfection. The soup went down really well, a home made concoction of mine and it was duly eaten by all. The pudding was the disappointment of the day and the only thing which wasn't home made. Half the family decided on ice cream, the other nothing at all afterwards -- they were well and truly stuffed full of turkey.
To digress a little, we did have quite an experience in the late evening when all had gone home, belly's full and nursing a sore head from all the noise they'd made. It's not news to us that we may have something very strange living with us and I'm talking not of this life. My husband's uncle swears in the paranormal and is indeed very into this kind of thing. He rang us after everyone had left to wish us well and then went on to warning us of running water in the home. My husband was listening with not much interest -- to him it's all a load of rubbish! But as he finished the sentence, I screamed upstairs -- There's a leak! and it's coming through the ceiling! My hubby interrupted the telephone conversation abruptly telling his uncle he needed to attend to something. He witnessed along with me, water pouring from the ceiling into the front room from above. A leaky pipe you might say but, no! There was simply no reasonable explanation for water coming from, well, nowhere! We watched in disbelief as a patch of water formed on the floor with no apparent source. Underneath we placed buckets to catch the steady flow of water but it was a complete mystery. A clear head was what we needed and after a hectic day neither of us could think straight. The water reduced to a drip and with that we replaced the buckets and went to bed.
The morning came around pretty fast and the first thing on our minds was the leaky ceiling and the dreaded mess that we might have been faced with. The first job was to emply the bucket but it was already empty and my hubby cried from upstairs that the wet patch had gone too! How strange when it was almost a flood in the making last night! All that remained was a stain on the floor and we've since explored the whole of the pipe system to find absolutely nothing wrong. The water remains a mystery and we vow not to answer the phone when his uncle calls next time.
We've had some strange experiences and they all add up to an unexplained phenomena. If this is someone trying to get through, I sure hope it's friendly!
Did I tell you my washing machine went funny -- filling the whole time, my TV went bust and my carpet shrank from the wall ----- Oh yes we have had fun!


What A Week Dec 18

Posted by CFMBabs , 17 December 2006 · 781 views

My diary has been so full ---- I hardly know where to begin!
We got the carpet down after a marathon 24 hour session. It was pouring with rain outside, freezing cold, windy and fairly miserable. The carpet fitters commented about the mud outside and I stood hands on hips making sure they didn't get past me with muddy boots. Anyhow, after four hours it was all over and what once looked like a house on a building site, now looks like a home..... on a building site!
The geese are still reluctant to come home. honking and hooting across the river. The cat left home too and what a journey she's been on! Last week my hubby went to the next village some 3 miles away. We knew that a cat had been sleeping under the bonnet of the car but we didn't know which one--anyhow, he stopped at the supermarket and out shot Smudge from underneath the car and disappeared from sight. She must have been traumatized not knowing which way to run! We thought we'd never see her again since she's never been far from home at any point in her life. This morning we opened the door and a very excited cat flew past my feet meowing and purring like you'd never hear. I guess she's had a long journey and I'm very impressed with her navigational skills --- ****! even I have trouble getting from A to B. She's having a huge plate of food at the moment -- How can they manage to eat and purr at the same time?

It's just 7 days before I have the entire clan over for Dec 25th. My daughter decorated the huge tree we bought and I'm trying to organize some kind of homely furnishings all around the house. We got the beds upstairs and the settee and chairs in the front room. The most important thing still is the heating. We still have no form of heat due to the wood burning stove not being lit until the chimney gets rebuilt. It's never stopped raining long enough to get on the roof so it looks like gas heaters for the whole day. If it stops raining -- who knows!
Its Dec 18th but I'm not stressed. I have a carpet--what more does a woman want? Small things make such a difference or maybe It's me, I settle for just the basic things.
I canceled my appointment with the endoscopy team on the 27th Dec-- highly inappropriate for the seasons festivities. I can't just switch off like that and go back to reality after celebrating with my family for a whole month, or so it seems!
I'm quite sure they weren't too bothered well, they didn't sound upset by my cancellation, I'm sure they'll all get to go home early that day and that's got to be good, hasn't it?

Life goes on --- anyone for turkey?


8th/9th Dec

Posted by CFMBabs , 09 December 2006 · 828 views

Had a week of non stop work in the house. The carpet arrives in less than 4 days and I still haven't got a ceiling in the front room. The stairs were hard work, I felt like I was in a silent movie, what a par larva! They were heavy and unbalanced and holding them aloft whilst my hubby drove in the bolts, was far too much for me. I was in a very uncompromising position at one point, not knowing which way to go. In the end my hubby rammed a pair of step ladders under the whole thing and that held them until he got the last bolt in. Anyway, they're all in but not quite finished -- that'll happen today fingers crossed!
It's getting colder by the day and yesterday my geese went on a mission and defected to the next farm. They crossed the river and are now stuck on the other side. I missed their honking this morning but I can hear them hooting in the distance. I'll have a walk over this afternoon with a loaf of bread to encourage them back. Beats me how they got over there in the first place!
I need to shop for my seasonal goods at some point but the shops are lifting to the roof. I hate shopping at this time of year, everyone seems so stressed! I mean arguing over the most menial things. I once witnessed a dear old lady whacking a man over the head with an umbrella because he took the last lemon! I ask you, who in a sane mind would go to such lengths? I guess you could say that I've been there myself. When Steph was little I remember anxiously going round the stores for probably the most tackiest toy ever made, and than chewing my nails to the wick when all the stores were sold out. How do you tell a child that they didn't get what they wanted -- nothing else comes near to replacement! I can't recall fighting nor can I remember arguing with anyone in my plight but the frustration was clearly evident. Thank goodness for the teenage years, now it's cash or clothes chosen by herself and those days have gone. Am I sad? -- you bet!

Today is the final push. Anything that isn't done today, frankly won't get done! They'll be laying carpet in a shack and what do I care! You can only do what you can do, any more is a bonus, any less is either laziness or incompetence. I reckon we may hit the target!



Posted by CFMBabs , 06 December 2006 · 803 views

The clock is ticking and I cringe at every chime
I can't catch my sleep at this moment in time
I went to bed coz I was sleepy and really needed the rest
I'd been having a "one of those days" and didn't feel my best
My shoulder ached, my neck and lower back too
Going to bed early was the only thing to do

Its 3am in the morning, I'm starting counting sheep
Tossing and turning, restless but I still can't get no sleep!
The covers on the floor and I pick them up again
I can't close my weary eyes with this much pain
Should I get up and walk around, should I stay in bed
These thoughts are keeping me awake, going round in my head

It's 4am and I'm freezing, my feet like blocks of ice
The covers are off the bed again I've picked them up twice
I try thinking of something lovely but my back is giving me grief
So I turn my cheek to the pillow and start to clench my teeth
Every little sound, every little noise, the rain is pattering down
I give out a little scream and grab for my dressing gown
Now I want a wee wee and for the toilet I will make
Anything to get rid of this awful ###### ache

It's 4.30am in the morning and I'm pacing the floor
I went to bed at 10pm and I can't take it any more
Might as well get up and read or maybe watch TV
I'll keep the sound right down, I'll not wake the family
I yawn and stretch, my eyes are closing fast
I might be starting to fall asleep, Yippee! At last
My bed sure looks inviting as back into it I crawl
And snuggle in the linen, the pillow and all
I curl up in a little ball and it sure feels like heaven
And before I know where I am the clock is striking seven

Oh No! Time to rise, a new day has begun
And I feel like a zombie, sleep I've had none!
I can't think what I'm doing ,put coffee in a cup
Forgot to boil the kettle and filled it right up
I need to gather my senses and snap out of this daze
I'm wandering round the kitchen in a total haze
I have so much I need to do and how will I succeed
When I can't even concentrate on the things I need

I drive my hubby to his work his voice a distant mumble
And I just sit there quietly sedate and very humble
I'm really not that fit to drive, it's hard to keep my wit
I need to gather my senses and just come round a bit
What was that he said about the bills I'm sure he asked me to pay?
I can't remember anything not a single word today
All I want to do is to climb in my nice warm bed
I can't do any chores or do anything he said

I need a cure for insomnia, I need to get some sleep
How can I carry on, I collapse on a chair in a heap
I guess I need some tablets to cure my restlessness
I need to raise my pillows, they were flat I confess
And so I face another day, I'll get through today somehow
But I'll sit and have my coffee and just rest awhile now
I watch the clock ticking, each hour just passes by
I can't wait for this evening when I get down to lie
For now I need to do my chores to keep myself awake
And I think my pain has gone, that awful throbbing ache
I guess it's just my lack of sleep and it won't happen again
I'm going to bed early tonight even before ten.

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