Monthly Archives: January 2018

January

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Monday 1st to Wednesday 31st January

So January started with me being ill for the first week. In fact on New Years Day I only had a few sips of water all day long. I didn’t even take any of my tablets. I just could not face a single thing. I wasn’t able to go to work or do much else. It really wasn’t the way I wanted the new year to begin, I was hoping it was going to be nice to me 😏

I managed to do a few short walks around the town to get my last few miles in before my challenge ended on Sunday 7th. This day was dry and sunny. Gary and Robyn came out for my last walk with me.

We did 3 and a half miles. And that’s it, my year was up! I had completed my challenge πŸ€— My total mileage for the year was 1043.19. I am disappointed that I couldn’t do more. Tearing my calf muscle and not being able to walk for a month was just not in my plan. I am thankful that it didn’t happen until after I had walked my 1000th mile though or I would not have been a very happy lady! I haven’t added all of my sponsor money up yet but I will let you know the final total when I do πŸ™‚

I will say that I have spent most of the month just feeling completely exhausted. I have found work quite a struggle at times. My shoulders hurt a lot from the constant repetitive movements which are done while I’m also hunching my body up trying to keep warm, I don’t think that helps matters. I also suffer with Raynaud’s disease (which causes some areas of your body such as your fingers and toes to feel numb and cold in response to cold temperatures or stress) and it is particularly bad at the moment. Can you imagine trying to handle money while your fingers are white and numb from the lack of blood flow – it’s not an easy thing to do.

I also have a sore hip and my big toe still hurts. I’ve started to get cramps every now and again in my toes and hands. I’m falling apart I think πŸ˜– I also have noticed that I have been itching …

It has been nice to get out with Jackie and her dog Alfie 🐢 for a few short walks and in the middle of the month I was finally able to join the Thursday evening gang again for some of our longer walks. I’m hoping that my calf muscle is up to these again now as I have missed them.

Storm Fionn visited us in the early hours of Thursday 18th. I just happened to have stayed over at Gary’s house that night. We both woke in the early hours of the morning to the sound of very strong winds, only for Gary to discover when he looked out of the window that his garden wall had fallen down. There were bricks and other stuff everywhere! As daylight came we then discovered that some of the wall had come down onto my car 😒

Just another little thing to be sorted!

I’ve had a couple of odd days off from work to use some of my holiday up, I’ve met my friend Nina for a coffee, had coffee with my sister Lynda, I’ve been out for a tasty roast dinner, there’s been a couple of curry Saturdays, one of them being a very delicious Punjabi tamarind curry of chicken and cauliflower with pilau rice, I’ve been to Oxford with Leah and bought some more fish for my tank (I really must show you photos of these at a later date), I’ve had a cuddle of newborn baby Joey (belonging to Robyn’s best friend Lucie) … so there has been a few nice things going on too.

We woke up to more snow one Sunday morning again. Let’s all go for a walk so that Leah can take some more snowy pics on her new camera we thought. By the time we were all ready it had started to rain. It was a real horrible walk in the end, just thick slush to try and walk about in and we all got SO extremely soaked and cold. It turned out to be a real nasty day weather wise in the end but thankfully it meant that the white stuff didn’t hang around for long this time.

I didn’t feel well again at the end of the month. Unsettled tummy, diarrhoea, funny head. And still just so tired. This makes everything so much harder work.

So overall January hasn’t been a great month really. I am very fed up of just being SO exhausted all of the time. A lot of the time I haven’t had much enthusiasm to do anything and my appetite hasn’t been great. I think I need a very long holiday in some warm sunshine!β˜€οΈ

Christmas and New Year

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Sunday 24th to Sunday 31st December

Christmas Eve started off well with my favourite breakfast πŸ˜‹

Then last minute wrapping of presents, tidying the house and a visit to my mum and dad’s grave 😒

Gary, my brother, sister and niece came round for a few nibbles in the evening.

Christmas Day and Leah was working πŸ˜– The first time ever that Robyn, Leah and myself haven’t been together in the morning to have stockings and open presents. Everything all felt a bit strange. Christmas was just on hold really until Leah came home. Me, Robyn and Gary went for a short walk around our town and then we went to Julie’s and waited for Leah to return …

Then Christmas dinner.

And finally time for present 🎁 opening. Yay – at last πŸ€—

We had a nice day and yet again I was spoilt with all of my lovely presents.

Boxing Day was a walk down to see the Heythrop Hunt that meets in our town every year. We met up with my niece, nephew and girlfriend and had a few drinks in the pubs and finally was joined by my brother and we had a nice lunch. Leah had gone off to work again and later Robyn met up with her friends so it was just back home for me.

I spent quite a lot of my time between Christmas and New Year just being home alone and not really doing anything πŸ˜” I was back at work too, it’s miserable that you don’t get a break when you work in a shop.

We had more snow. Not quite as much as last time but still enough for Leah to have to dig her car out again. The paths all around were just a nightmare as they weren’t being cleared and it just kept freezing overnight. Getting to work was a bit of a problem, it was just SO slippy that you couldn’t actually walk on the paths, you just had to try to make your way onto the roads as soon as you could, but then you faced the danger of the cars just heading straight towards you!

I was lucky enough to have one day out. My friend Nina invited me to go and see War Horse with her in Oxford. We had a bit of a look around the sales in the shops and had a bit of a hurried pizza for lunch as time was running out before the show started!

It was GOOD, quite amazing. The way the horses were made and worked by the puppeteers was completely fascinating. If you get a chance, go and see this show.

Just time for coffee and cake β˜•οΈπŸ° after the show before we set off for home.

I also went back to Oxford again at the weekend. A walk around with Robyn and Gary. I took pieces of my Christmas cake with me and I gave them out to the poor homeless people that were just sat about on the street.

Then it was New Years Eve. I started to get a tummy ache in the afternoon and felt a bit sick 🀒 I didn’t really feel like eating anything at all but thank goodness I started to improve slightly as we had a table booked for a meal in Bitter & Twisted in the evening. So I made the effort and got ready. I did enjoy my meal and we had a bit of fun.

Goodbye 2017 πŸ‘‹

December …

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Friday 1st to Saturday 23rd December

December – my least favourite month of the year πŸ˜–

Christmas is coming and it just seems to take over my life! All those many different shopping trips to be done, round and round trying to find suitable presents but it all looks like the same stuff that you bought last year! Sometimes you seem to be successful and then other times you might as well not have bothered because you spend ages looking around but then come home with nothing. And all of this was made even harder and more painful this year because of my leg.

Early in the month I started to walk without my crutches but I still was not able to put my foot down to the floor completely, I was a bit of a hopalong with a limp. And I still couldn’t walk very far yet before it started to hurt.

I went back to work at the beginning of the month. I had to reduce my hours so that I could catch a bus to get me into the town, as I wasn’t able to walk from home, that was too far a distance yet. I was okay while I was sat on my till and I managed to hobble about and did the stairs there (very slowly) so that I could get to the staff room and be able to clock in and out. Then I just had time to pick up a couple of bits of shopping before I needed to be outside to catch the bus back.

It was good to get back to ‘real life’. I really don’t like the isolation from being at home and not able to get out and about when you want to. It’s not good for my head and the whole thing was not good for my body! It really takes it out of you in every way. I was SO extremely tired. And it didn’t help going straight back into being non stop on the checkouts, the shop was now VERY busy as obviously people were filling their big trolleys very full with food for Christmas.

I had another ‘painful but good’ private physio session – massage and ultrasound again. She said that she could feel the difference in my muscle, that it was slowly starting to get better. I guess that was encouraging to hear as I was feeling very frustrated that it was taking so long.

Later in the month I had my first NHS physio session. I don’t know whether this was just an assessment, but what a difference in treatment. She barely touched my leg, just while she was examining it, no massage or ultrasound, just watched how I was now walking, asked what exercises I had been given and sent me off with many more! I know my leg had improved a bit by this time, so maybe that’s just what they do when your leg has started to get better? But I did come away feeling disappointed, maybe I have just been spoilt with my private physio lady.

Since the end of November we had been without hot water in our house πŸ˜– We have always had a slight problem with the water pressure and occasionally had to release a lever to keep the boiler happy! But this was starting to need doing more and more, every day and then many times a day. I knew this wasn’t right, but when I managed to finally get in touch with the man who fitted the boiler, he just kept telling me that was the problem and resetting it. Who am I to argue?! So we carried on for a bit longer until finally he agreed that something was wrong, but then he told me that he couldn’t fix it himself, we needed to get the actual boiler repair people out, how frustrating! Can you imagine what this has been like with us three girls just wanting to have a shower at all kinds of times throughout the day, but instead having to organise and pack bags and take off to the leisure centre, Robyn and Leah sometimes went off to their dads, or arrange with my sister or Gary if we could use their facilities πŸ›€ !

Finally in the middle of the month the day arrived, out came the repair man, we had to have three things replaced, but when he eventually left we had hot water again πŸ€— We do all take a lot of simple things for granted, what a nightmare this has been.

We had snow ❄️ and quite a lot of it! Thank goodness my leg was getting better and I was able to go out in it πŸ˜€ We all went for a little walk in the town to see what the roads were like and what chaos the cars were causing! and stopped off for a coffee in Nero’s.

A bit later me and Gary went for a further walk around to take some ‘snowy day’ photos.

It was nice to have a little walk about in the snow as I haven’t been able to get out and do any proper walks. And then I was lucky enough to have a roast dinner cooked for me πŸ˜‹

So the month ended with me now being able to walk the three quarters of a mile each way to work and then back although I still had some discomfort, mainly in my ankle area. I finally finished my Christmas shopping on 23rd December after many, many shopping trips and I was just totally exhausted.

What’s been happening?

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Friday 24th to Thursday 30th November

I will now start to update you on what has been happening!

I had my first assessment appointment with a physiotherapist to attend. It’s so much more complicated and stressful when you’re having to rely on lifts and the timings of the local volunteer bus service to get around. Anyway once I got there the physio confirmed the calf muscle tear, said I had very badly injured my leg and because I hadn’t been able to put any weight on my leg for so long, which is completely normal in people with this injury, would have lots of hard work to do πŸ˜– I would need urgent physio. She would refer me for NHS physio but the problem was that with the waiting list you are never sure when you will be seen, sometimes as long as four months she thought and she said there was no way I could wait for that long to start any treatment. She strongly recommended that I have a couple of private sessions while I was waiting. She gave me an exercise to do to stretch the calf muscle, showed me how I should be walking properly on my crutches and showed me a way of going up and down the stairs (which I had to do in the middle of the doctor’s surgery!) to save me having to go on my bum and hurting my arms and shoulders. Trying to get my balance to come down the stairs while just using the crutches was difficult and scary and it was all quite exhausting.

The weekend was spent not doing much. But it was a curry Saturday which is always a good thing πŸ˜€

I also had a bit of a fun but scary wheelchair ride to my sister’s house with Robyn pushing me, she wasn’t really in any kind of control πŸ€ͺ but it was nice to get out of the house for a bit.

In the middle of the following week I had my first private physio session. Oh my goodness me. Normally one of my favourite things in the world to have is a leg massage – this one was horrendous. She told me that in the end it would actually be helping my leg a lot, helping the scar tissue to all lie in the same direction which is how they should be, rather than all higgledy piggledy. Despite the tremendous pain 😩 she put me through, I liked the physio lady. I felt that she explained everything to me very clearly, she knew just how much she was hurting me and was very understanding. I do think that she helped me a lot. She then used an ultrasound machine over my leg, which she explained was helping to rejuvenate the cells and get them working again. This was also extremely painful, especially over my ankle area which apparently shouldn’t have been the case. At the end of the session she then said that she had some doubt as to whether I had maybe chipped or cracked the ankle bone slightly and wanted me to arrange to go for an X-ray. I was to put no weight on my leg again until I knew that it wasn’t broken.

I felt completely wrecked and exhausted. I managed to get myself to Nero’s for a much needed relax and a latte coffee treat and to try and get my head together and think how I was going to actually get to have an X-ray. After some phone calls I found out that I had to have a form from a doctor before I could get an X-ray, I couldn’t just turn up. Oh blimey. Time to get myself back to the bus stop so that I could get a lift home.

So the next day I had to get a lift up to the doctor’s surgery early to be in with any chance of seeing a doctor. They managed to fit me in, thank goodness I know some of the receptionists well! I got the X-ray form. I then had to wait for the volunteer bus to arrive so that I could get back into town, I also then had to wait around in town until it was time for the bus that would get me to Banbury and then I had to get off at the bus station and wait for the bus that would take me to the hospital! All of this is made so much more difficult with the fact that I’m on crutches and not allowed to put my foot down. And getting your purse out of your bag to get the bus fare and whatever else you need is all so much more difficult. Anyway I did it. A bit of an adventure.

When I finally got to A&E I was eventually seen by a doctor and then waited for the X-ray. The radiographer wasn’t the most sympathetic of people, telling me to try and get my foot in this certain position which it just couldn’t get in! Anyway the X-ray was taken. Back to the doctor – and some good news. They couldn’t see any chip or crack in the bone.

I didn’t have to do a repeat performance of the buses for the way back, Leah was working in A&E that afternoon. In fact she didn’t feel well herself and was leaving work early but thankfully she waited for me to be finished so that I was able to get a much more comfortable lift home.

Obviously still no walking was able to be done towards my 1000 mile challenge ☹️

Best in Care Awards

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Thursday 23rd November

I think I told you that I was a bit gobsmacked for being nominated for one of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Best in Care Awards. Then I was even more surprised to find out that I had been shortlisted to become one of the three finalists in my category. This meant that I was invited to attend the Awards Ceremony in Birmingham, which was taking place tonight.

I was able to get two extra tickets so that Robyn and Leah could attend with me. Thank goodness I did as I was having to hobble around on my crutches, still not feeling brilliant and obviously couldn’t drive myself there.

I hadn’t been to anything like this before so it was a little nerve wracking wondering what was going to happen.

We found the venue, after a little difficulty! We were given a programme for the evening – and I was in it!

We were also given vouchers for two free drinks each 🍷 Off we went to find a seat so that we could be near the front.

There were 12 separate awards in total including Behind the Scenes Award, Chief Nurse Award, Brighter Futures Award and Team of the Year. A real variety.

My category, Charity Supporter of the Year, was coming up in the first half of the ceremony.

I didn’t win 😐! The man that did has been connected with the charity for more than ten years, so I guess I still have got a few more years of charity work to do yet!

I managed to hobble onto the stage to have my photo taken with the other finalists from the first half!

There was an interval where they laid on a lovely buffet and then back to giving out more awards.

A nice evening and yet another different experience for me.