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About this blog

Barbara Lowe's Life with Scleroderma

Entries in this blog

Should Have Known Better!

I did a very silly thing today. I swore at myself for being so stupid and I punished myself with pain so great that it was almost unbearable -- what am I talking about?   Raynaud's!   I dared to venture outdoors without gloves or proper footwear. I fed the chickens, brought in fuel for the fire and then sat with my hands sandwiched between my knees to ease the pain. They were so painful, like the pain I remember from my childhood after playing in the snow for too long. I shivered like a le

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Time Flies

My daughter is 17 in two weeks time. I'm not about to go on about how time flies, we all know about that, it's a fact of life that growing older happens to us all. Next year will be our 20th wedding anniversary, Steve's 50th birthday, my daughters 18th and both our fathers 80th birthdays -- what a year! And in the midst of all of that, hopefully it will be our housewarming as well. There is much to celebrate, so why am I feeling so reluctant to even discuss the event at any length? Well for one

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New Year Resolution

Holidays over with for another year and I suppose the next best thing to look forward to is spring. I sure hope the weather improves this year. Last year was a total washout with many places flooded, including my unfinished extension to the cottage, which if it stays like that for much longer I'll be stocking it with fish!   This whole house renovation is the bane of my life and has been for almost five years. I need nothing short of a miracle to happen to complete this never ending dust site.

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Help Me. Computer Blues!

I don't mean to go on about technology and me but it's quite simple that the two definitely don't mix. I'm fast approaching a half century and I've witnessed many changes in recent years. I'm still coming to terms with scleroderma, decimalisation, metric conversion and puberty! No surprise then, I'm quite useless with a computer.   Yes! it was a near catastrophe when my old system gave up the ghost. I'd suspected the worst for a while and short of taking a hammer to the CPU I gave up trying to

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Guess Who's Back

This is a somewhat or a short message and not a blog at all. It would be more appropriate for me to post this on the messageboard but I'm doing this for a purpose.   My computer finally died just before the holidays and with it all my files and information. I'd promised myself a laptop for quite some while so I could sit beside the open fire and tap away to my heart's content. Of course being the holiday season, money was needed elsewhere, i.e. my daughter's expensive present and a list much l

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Awards Evening

Friday was the first anniversary of our local radio station of which I am a part. It was therefore only right to arrange a birthday bash which was held at the sporting club. I was very nervous -- I've only ever spoke over the airwaves but never actually met any of the listeners. The anticipation was one of reluctance and we decided to sit in the darkest corner of the room which actually was the best place of all since the radiator was banging off the wall. I sat with my back pressed up to it an

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Homing Chicken. All The Fun Of The Farm

Homing chickens! I never knew they exsisted but here I am with proof that they do! We lost our chickens over the weekend to a mass breakout and the chase that followed was one of "Benny Hill" proportions. I went one way, hubby the other and the chickens evaded us both. Putting the situtation down to life's experience, and boy do we have lots of those moments, we came to the conclusion that the critters had eloped and gone to live on pastures new. Gone were the expectatons of new laid eggs and th

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Diary For The Owl's Mum

I never kept a diary until recently. My memory has always been good: names faces, telephone numbers, you name it! It seems though, that scleroderma has taken my ability to remember appointments they just go through my head like a sieve.   My 4th attempt at keeping an appointment with physio happened yesterday. The poor girl rang me almost every week to ask where I was and my answer was always with an apology. Making it there virtually on time and finding a precious parking space, with the dis

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What A Weekend!

Weekend no longer has the excitement of the end of the working week for me. I no longer work so each day is pretty much the same in fact. The only difference is that I have the whole family home with me throughout the day and each weekend is rather like the last.   Living on a farm is idyllic but also has its drawbacks, like not having close neighbours. With my family's attitudes, not having neighbours is definitely a plus. This weekend was entertaining to say the least!   We lost our chick

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Things That Make You Go Arghhhh!

There are many things in life that make you go, "Arghhhhh," even, "Ooooh." Those days are few, but when they come they simply bowl you over. Not surprising then, I've had my fair share of those days and if anyone is being truly honest, so will they!   Parking spaces! I see you cringe. I'm the proud but reluctant owner of a disability badge; wherever I go, it goes along with me too. Funny how the one day you forget to take it, is the day you needed it the most. We have two vehicles, mine and my

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Big Old Tree

Oh no! the leaves are falling the winter months begin And I am contemplating whether to go outdoors or in The plain old truth of the matter is, I hate the winter chill It sort of makes me grumpy and also makes me ill   I'm like a little eskimo with my clothes of heavy attire I'd sooner be in Australia, even then in front of a fire I was shivering so much in Egypt that they had to warm the room I'm sure that I was more stiff and cold than good old Tutenkhamun   I wrap up warm in summer

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Life Goes On -- Let Them Eat Cake!

If you looked at me without knowing I had a chronic illness, you'd think I was the girl next door, well woman actually! The great thing about this disease is that you can look amazingly well -- even fool the doctors, hard to believe, and that's where the problem lies. If I had something more visual or a condition that most people are familiar with, would I be treated differently?   Yesterday for instance. I was doing my radio show. Not one of the presenters knows anything about my inability to

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Dilemma

My favourite home visit is the 6 monthly follow up with my dietician. I must be an awful sad person when I look forward to a visit of this nature, but I do! This young lady saved my life, and if you think I'm exaggerating -- read on!   There are times in everyone's lives, I'm sure, when you feel as though you're banging your head against a brick wall, no one listens, no one wants to know and no one cares. I felt like that two and a half years ago. I was going through a very difficult time wit

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Post November 5th

Bonfire night! -- GuyFawkes night! Whatever! It certainly went off with a bang. For once, it wasn't raining and believe me that's a plus. The huge pile of rubbish my hubby found lying around, burned with a red hot glow lighting up half the country lanes for miles and the rockets he bought from Joe Bloggs! delighted my father and daughter, although they were some distance away.   I can't say that I'm a fan of fireworks these days and I may sound rather like a spoilsport but I'm glad when the w

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Dreams Of Summer

I got on my rubber boots, my gloves and my hat Off to my local town, that's where my place is at I love to browse around the shops, though hubby doesn't know He likes to keep his pennies, and watch the savings grow.   My daughter spends her cash like it's going out of fashion And when she opens her wardrobe, my hubby's face is ashen For she has so many clothes and I have a collection too Though often it is hidden "Oh I've had it a year or two"   When the time comes for a vacation, the

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Remember, Remember The 5th Of November

November 5th, traditionally a time for celebration in the UK. This day stirs up excited children and deniably excited adults to what can only be said as aerial carnage and choking acrid air. The date refers to a time in history long ago (1600's) when it was okay to be disgruntled with royalty, but the penalty for treason was the loss of your head or some other grusome end. Guy Fawkes Night, Bonfire Night call it what you will, but it's sure to go with a bang!   As for me, it's no fun standing

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All That I Am - 15 (last Chapter)

(cont. from Part 14)   All that I am is a 47 year old woman who never really amounted to much except for leading a very different life to most.   I never made my fortune – the streets were not paved with gold after all!   I never travelled the world – I got as far as Greece which I suppose I should feel grateful for, it's further than most people ever got.   I didn’t get to have a large family but I couldn’t ask for a better one. I have a lot to be thankful for and I will neve

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All That I Am - Part 14

(cont. from Part 13)   Pancreatitis! Yet another diagnosis to grace my ever increasing list of ailments. It wasn't my esophagus this time but I had more than my fair share of attention from medical staff in a strange hospital with my long list. My battle with abdominal issues, and the terrible year I'd had so far, just complicated the whole situation further when I explained that I needed another bout of surgery to take down an unsuccessful wrap. I was introduced to another consultant who sat

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All That I Am - Part 13

(cont. from Part 12)   Back in hospital, in the same bed I'd left just 3 days previous -- it was still warm! I was severely dehydrated and the pain and vomiting was getting worse. It was late September by now, I'd been in and out of hospital since August and I was beginning to feel very low. By now I'd had the nasal tube removed and a PEG (Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastroscopy) tube placed into my stomach. This tube was inserted through my abdomen via x-ray and was not a pleasant experience. Th

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All That I Am - Part 12

(cont. from Part 11)   Building the dream was a term I've never liked to use. For one, it is more like a nightmare scenario. Four years living in a tin can and the worst years of my illness to boot. Our mobile home just large enough to swing a cat and small enough for absolutely no privacy. It was an igloo in winter, sweat box in summer and most of the time plain old damp! The events which took place after the front wall fell down might have made the decision to give up easy for us, but it did

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All That I Am - Part 11

(cont. from Part 10)   Millennium! There was much said about this particular year. Computers would crash, the world markets would collapse -- the end of civilisation was predicted. I was fighting yet another chest infection. I'd had two bouts of pneumonia already and I was fast approaching my third. Later that year I was diagnosed as having scleroderma for real, and I say real because it had never been diagnosed in black and white and it was only ever mentioned in terms of what I might have.

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All That I Am - Part 10

(cont. from Part 9)   Just us three! That's how it was always going to be and although our disapointment was hard to swallow, life goes on. We bought ourselves a little touring caravan. We had a large car, big enough to tow our little box up and down the country. My daughter was 5 years old and the look on that childs face when the caravan was cleaned ready for our next trip was a picture. We'd pick her up from school, much to the envy of her friends and head for the English Lake District. It

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All That I Am - Part 9

(cont. from Part 8)   The fertility issue -- a difficult subject to discuss even with the closest of friends. No one likes to admit they are lacking somewhat in that department, especially my hubby. It was the most challenging thing to hit our relationship and if we'd parted at that time it would have been more than understandable. I'd been placed on fertility drugs by my general practitioner. My daughter was 4 years old and although we tried throughout her toddling years to conceive, a little

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All That I Am - Part 8

(cont. from Part 7)   Scleroderma, what a strange word for what seems like no ordinary condition, or at least one I should be worried about. It didn't seem to me like a chronic illness, indeed, as it was explained to me, I had in the back of my mind -- hard skin? Well, it was something like that but nothing you could treat with a corn plaster or a tube of moisturising cream! To think that I had an uncurable illness never crossed my mind. I thought it was just a stupid word for a stupid kind of

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All That I Am - Part 7

(cont. from Part 6)   Employment. I was, until 2002, a valued member of the workaholic society. I began my working life at the tender age of 15 and other than taking maternity leave when I was 30, I'd hardly ever missed day of work in those early years. It was later when my problems began. I had many bouts of illness, working through most of them - soldiering on as the saying goes! I can only ever remember two occasions of absence and that was because of salmonella and sinus surgery. I was 24.

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