Sunday, December 28, 2008

S'all over...

So Christmas is over, St Stephen's Day is over....alas it's all over. Until New Year's Eve and day that is.

We had a lovely, enjoyable, quiet family Christmas this year. It was nice to have everyone home and around the house.

The holidays have mainly consisted of watching films either on Sky or on DVD. I've started watching DVDs whilst doing my nebuliser now which helps pass the time as well as encourage me to take my nebuliser (which I honestly find theee most boring thing in the world). It's a tip I actually picked up from a small relation of mine who takes a nebuliser and who watches a 30 minute programme whilst doing so. Unfortunatly I can't watch Backyardigans though. Anyway, I only watch as much of the DVD as my nebuliser allows, so it's a bit like reading a book. So far I've watched Belleville Rendez-Vous and The Prestige- both excellent films.

I picked up some cold thing on Christmas day, but thank goodness I felt strong throughout its course. I prescribed myself some antibiotics to be on the safe side though. I had a collection in my medicine cabinet so I assesed my symptoms and prescribed accordingly. I feel a lot less coldy now and just a bit coughy but other than that am right again. Amazingly, it's the first cold of the year for me. Hoo-ray! (About it being the first, not the fact that I got one...)

Other than that, I've a heck of a lot of work to be doing right now. But inbetween crashing my car causing a money's lot of damage and eating the family out of a home because I'm hungry (maybe it's a form of procrastination), I've other things to do.

Hoping you had a great Christmas. xx

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

...From my family to yours. I hope whatever way you celebrate it, and whoever you spend it with, that you have a great day filled with fun, laughter and love.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Santa is a funny fella...

I was finishing off my shopping today (I've realised the weakness of the sterling pound vs the euro and admit it probably would have been a LOT easier to do Internet shopping but alas...) and overheard several tired, stressed out parents use Santa Clause as a good ole' bribe for their children. Nearly all of them spoke about him, in what I would describe as 'whisper spit' - that being low hushed voices that were very snappy.

I heard one boy whine about wanting something or other NOW, and the gentle mother turned around and said 'No, you can put that on your final list to Santa'. Final list??? When does the last draft go out? How many letters do children write these days? What if they forget and need express post and express post isn't fast enough? If this child was smart, he should probably completely change his wishes on the last night, knowing that the parents would have already fulfilled the original list but then would feel guilty that they didn't have time to get this new list sorted so all in all he'd bag a few bonus presents.

Oh, but that wouldn't exactly be the spirit of Christmas.

Then, whilst wandering the aisles of the toy shop, I heard one very loud mother say to her son 'Oh Jack, did you see that rocket jet set? Wouldn't that be really cool to get for Christmas?'. To which I heard no reply. And then she went on 'Wow, wouldn't you be reaaaaally happy if you got that for Christmas? That would be great wouldn't it?'. Again, I heard no reply, so I'm assuming Jack was a bit unenthusiastic and just shrugging his shoulders. 'What do you think Jack? Good isn't it?? I think anyone would be pleased to get that on Christmas morning....? '.

Now if Jack was good at analysing sales pitches in his head, he'd probably figure out that Mother had most likely purchased said overpriced, easily breakable, little itty bits 'Rocket Jet Set' for Jack already. After all, if she hadn't, wouldn't it be a bit mean to go on and on about it? I guarantee she wouldn't be so enthusiastic about it in the middle of April for example.

Then I heard another Mum say to her daughter 'If you don't put that back RIGHT NOW, Santa Clause won't come at all!'. What an impossible thing to say on so many levels. Again, these children should be thinking of their feet and try and work out logically how that would be possible. Does Mum have Santa's mobile number to cancel him?

But who am I to mock these children? I was told by two people when I was eight "about Santa". The facts laid out in front of me. And I refused to believe them.

It was only when I was ten (shockingly old I know!), and three girls were laughing at another girl's innocence in my class in a kind of 'Can you *beee-lieve* her?? Gah!" that the whole world turned to slow motion, as her words filtered through my head, all the pieces of the jigsaw came together and I meekly laughed along with them. Talk about peer pressured bitchiness!

Wait, now what was my point?

Oh yes, spirit of Christmas. And children....

Monday, December 22, 2008


Wait, it's not cold. It's 12-14 degrees here today. Or for Fahrenheit speakers, that's mid 50s. It makes no sense- it's Christmas time!!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Geek Not in Me

I am the owner of a very nice Dell XPS laptop, which above anything else, is light weight and extremely portable.

Tonight I was carrying it up to my room and had it open. I held it like an open book as I walked up the stairs. When I sat down, the screen had rotated sideways. I tried shaking the laptop to get it back to normal. But no amount of shaking or swinging would fix my problem.

Instead, I (being addicted to the Internet for short periods) continued to go about my browsing in a most complicated way. The mouse work was what confused me the most. It was a bit like when you see yourself on a television screen in a shop and you're moving backwards to what you actually are....if that makes sense.

After about 10 minutes, I had the brainwave to google my problem. It turns out my stomach managed to press Ctrl + Alt + an arrow key to rotate the screen, which is pretty impressive. I just naively thought my laptop knew when to switch if it was hanging upside down.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Home Again

My trip to Rhode Island was fantastic fun and to say I had a fabulous time with my super cousins would be an understatement. It's a shame that family live so far away, but I suppose it makes one appreciate it when one does get to see them :) Now, if I could just get a flight over to see my other cousins in England *then* all would be perfect.

I left for America last Friday and took two paracetamol tablets before my flight. I was very aware of my leg (what a weird thing to say) in the Airport and had the painkillers on the ready if I needed them. Amazingly though, I haven't had to take any pain relief since that Friday morning- bizarre!

I also finished up my antibiotics the day before my flight and feel super well now, which is great. Of course the fact that I had beautifully healthy meals cooked for me while I was away probably helped too!

I got a good dose of shopping in whilst away too and picked up some great things for the cold weather. I was going to shopping today since I'm up and ready and it's only lunchtime, but then I remembered it's a Saturday and the Saturday before Christmas at that. So maybe another time...

I'm a little bit yawny from my trip home but overall the whole jet lag thing seems to have passed over me once again.

I may stay in tonight and watch a film since we now have Sky Movies (how long was I away?). My sister is now home from hospital, no longer contagious, but still very, very weak (in my opinion), so maybe we'll watch a film together. And argue. It depends how much better she feels.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Up, Up and Away...

I'm just about to go watch Grey's Anatomy, series 3 finale and then I'm going to bed. In the morning, I'm off to America for a week and I cannot wait :)

As it turns out my neighbours are giving a family member a lift to the airport so I'm hitching a ride with them. Of course this means I actually *have* to be on time. This also means, I have to be up early in the morning too. But I'm not complaining!!!

On the health front, my leg is really, really good (touch wood!). I took painkillers today in the morning and that was it.

My sister is doing a lot better too. I can't see her at the moment as she's in isolation, which is a real shame, but by the time I get home next week she'll probably be both better and healthier. I might stress here she is FINE and well on the mend! :D

Hope you have a nice weekend :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ahhh-It's half way through December!!

Went to my final clinic for the year. CRP (infection markers in the blood) have come down to below 3, which is normal!! Lung function went up again - now 103% which I'm thrilled at, considering I thought I was coming down with a chest infection last week! I took no painkillers for my leg today- it is still sore to walk around for long periods, but I haven't taken any pain relief so that's a big improvement. I'll probably dose myself up with painkillers tomorrow since I'm satisfied there is a good improvement. College is nearly over for this term. Injections are going grand- I still wince and stick out my tongue and do them so slowwwwwwwly but overall, life is great.

Unfortunately, due to the leg thing, I missed my beautiful goddaughter's christening last weekend, as the pain was just at its peak. But I have plans to go over and spoil her soon.

In other health related spuds, if you could spare a thought for my poor sister who is still ill, that'd be great! Obviously, being a perfectly and unusually healthy person, being anyway ill is obviously hard. So especially now, she could do with good thoughts :)

And finally, because I should be reading, I thought I'd post this Christmas Quiz to pass the time:

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
Both but mostly wrapping paper- depends on my prepard-ness

2. Real tree or Artificial?
Real every year until transplant, now artifical. But you can't beat a real.

3. When do you put up the tree?
December...sometime....early...(this weekend just gone)

4. When do you take the tree down?

5. Do you like eggnog?
Em, never had it!

6. Favorite gift received as a child?
Anything Sylvanian Families related

7. Hardest person to buy for?
My sister

8. Easiest person to buy for?

9. Do you have a nativity scene?
Yes. Someone keeps sticking the Jesus in, even though he shouldn't be there since he's not technically born yet, so I keep taking him out. And then someone sticks him back in again.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards?
Em....I don't!

11.Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
I think I've been pretty lucky, or else I've banished any bad present from all memory...

12. Favorite Christmas Movie?
I'm useless at sitting through films on TV, but I guess Harry Potter is on TV every year and I like that....but that probably doesn't count as a Christmas movie

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
Disastrously late

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
I don't think so!

15.Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
Ooooooooh, Christmas dinner with all the works- my Mum does a FANTASTIC Christmas dinner!

16. Lights on the tree?

17. Favorite Christmas song?
I love ALL Christmas songs! East 17, Wham, John Lennon, Band-Aid (the 1984 one), Shakin' Stevens, you name it!

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
At home every year.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's?
No- Dasher, Prancer, Rudolph...

20. Angel on the tree top or a star?
Angel - with one arm. Sad times.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
Christmas morning

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year?
When people start talking about it in September, and then the 27th when it's all over. Or what kind of irks me is when people who aren't even remotely religious in any sense celebrate it, since it's kind of hypocritical of them, and I shouldn't really say that but oops I just did! But I guess if it brings people together then that's good too...

23. Favorite ornament theme or color?
In 1995, I made a teddy bear ornament out of dough stuff that was varnished, and that was my favourite, but then one year my dog ate it. So now my support lies in the one arm fairy up the top.

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner?
All of it

25. What do you want for Christmas this year?
I don't really want anything in particular (a new car ahem), but I love being with my family and if we're all healthy and happy, that's enough for me.

Friday, December 05, 2008

REAL Improvements

I last posted on Tuesday saying how I felt that things were improving. So on Wednesday I moved back to taking just paracetamol. Whoah, I was wrong. Turns out the 'improvements' were merely the symptoms being covered up by taking so many Tylex tablets.

Yesterday, however, I felt I'd have to just put up with the pain as the side-effects from taking Tylex began to outweigh the benefits. They're rather sickening on the stomach.

As it happened, today overall was a much better day. The pain has decreased a great deal, and while I've moved to taking Solpadeine (which has paracetamol and codeine in it, but is available over the counter) I'm confident this is genuine progress.

Of course, with it being me, there IS always something. That 'something' being that my CRP (infection markers - should ideally be 0) were 25 last week. Luckily, on no treatment, they're down to 16 today. IV antibiotics were discussed in a spontaneous clinic visit today. But it's Friday, I don't do little cannula lines so really they were a no go. I took a combination of strong oral antibiotics instead.

My sister, however (normally perfectly healthy, no attention seeking illnesses or ailments for that one) has something along the lines of suspected mumps. I've been told to stay away from her, which to be honest isn't a big deal. However she's planted herself in the main TV room these past few days so that confines me to the other end of the house where there isn't too much to do. I'm beginning to wonder if it's a coincidence I'm suddenly improving!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


Today I collected my Heparin injections from the pharmacy and administered my second shot. It was a bit nerve wrecking but I did it with minimal fuss. I worked out that three months' treatment equates to 93 shots. So far I've given two. So I have 91 left. In the grand scheme of things, that's not too many (imagine if I had to take it for a year!).

I'm finding today the pain is a bit less than it was yesterday. I'm don't feel the need of urgency to sit down after a couple of minutes of being up, and rather when the pain sets in, I'm able to stretch a little bit. There's still a good deal of discomfort but I'm seeing it begin to lessen (I think/hope). This morning I took two Tylex tablets which is more than I had yesterday. I had been warned about drowsiness, but I survived my 9am-11am class grand, but I was very distracted and then sleepy by about 1pm. But that could be because missus over here isn't overly used to 9am starts. Or it could be the drowsy tablets either.

So this is a bit of a nothing post really. I'm going to go work on assignments after my nap, imagine that, maybe I'm sicker than I thought!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Mystery Solved - It's a long one!

My Sunday yesterday was a paracetamol popping one, as the mystery pain in my leg just wouldn't let up. My brother used to (or maybe still does???) have a problem with the cartilage in his knee and he'd sometimes put it out when playing rugby or soccer so there were crutches in the house which I soon found.

So after a miserable, sleepless night, I decided I'd mention the pain to the team this morning while I was over for bloods. Not wanting to appear dramatic by hobbling in on crutches, and with my leg feeling just a bit stiff this morning I decided to just catch a lift over and walk in.

But y-owwwww. It was y-ooowwww-some. The doctor happened to be standing outside the clinic when I arrived and said 'Ow, what 'appened to yo leg??' (He's Swiss). I told him I didn't know, but I reallllly needed to sit down. He examined it and sent me for an ultrasound.

When having the ultrasound, the girl was pretty quiet so I asked if she'd spotted the problem. She said everything seemed absolutely fine on the top of my leg. And then she moved down towards the knee and she went quieter (which is pretty hard considering she was silent anyway). And then she said 'Excuse me, I'm just going to get the doctor, I think I've spotted a clot there'.

So the 'mystery pulled muscle' is a clot. I feel slightly less stupid now. There's a 'Deep Vein Thrombosis' which can be dangerous or, there's the one I have, which is a superficial type. Interestingly the 'silly sore arm' was most likely related. I wasn't really paying too much attention, I just realllly needed pain relief.

The treatment is either Warfrin tablets for three months, or Heprin injections for three months.

If I go on Warfrin I'll need to attend a Warfrin clinic twice a week (I think?) and have levels checked, and I can't drink alcohol on it (which is the least of my worries). Unfortunately, the Warfrin doesn't really work out well for me in terms of being able to get to clinic twice a week.

The Heprin injections are pre-drawn up syringes, given once a day into my stomach. In terms of monitoring there's just a set dose, and I take it for three months. My stomach will be 'black and blue' by February and the injections will likely sting. But it will be my more flexible option.

So I went for the latter option. I administered my first Heprin injection this morning and of course I cried, out of frustration, out of leg pain and out of the fact that I couldn't get the needle in. So I now have three pink marks where I attempted it.

The best part is I was prescribed Tylex for the pain. It contains codeine so it's stronger than paracetamol. So far I've only taken one tablet with one paracetamol because I was warned if I took two Tylex together I could end up asleep on the floor, and with an exam in college this afternoon, I kind of needed to be awake (I'm more intelligent awake).

So I have the crutches, I have the painkillers, I have the treatment and so it's just a matter of being grateful that I'm able to have the aforementioned, and seeing it all through. And of course, grateful that it's not something more serious, and that for the most part, I can get on with my life.

Except that icey ground and crutches are NOT a good combination. Stay tuned for the 'broken arm' installment coming soon!