Friday, 28 August 2020

It's not Covid!

First of all, thank you all so much for your lovely comments, I can't express enough how much they meant.  

I'm sorry I've been on such a downer recently, it seems I've been very unwell physically and not just emotionally, and that's coloured how I've been feeling mentally.  I've really had my money's worth out of the NHS this week and, without exception, every NHS worker I've come into contact with has been wonderful.

Monday I went for my diabetic eye test - all fine.  Tuesday I had to go for ultrasound scans on my bladder and kidneys, bladder seems fine but it turns out I have a benign tumour on my right kidney, technician said I'll hear from consultant as to details and next steps.  I'm not worrying about it, it's not cancer, unlike my sister and mum who both had cancer in their right kidneys, but how coincidental that all 3 of us had these things in the same kidney!

Wednesday I went to my GP for more tests.  I've not felt well at all for a few weeks, being utterly exhausted, having palpitations and a tight chest, and feeling like my head was stuffed with cotton wool to the point where I could hardly think straight, or even form a coherent sentence.  I put all these things down to anxiety and stress - I didn't have a cough or temperature or even a sore throat, and there was nothing wrong with my sense of smell or taste so was pretty sure it wasn't covid.  To cut a long story short, doc agreed it's not covid and following an ECG, various other tests and bloods, he thinks I've had a particularly nasty virus.  I am a bit anaemic apparently, but not enough to warrant medication, my liver function is lower than they'd like (but that's normal for me anyway with my mild liver disease), and my BP and heart rate are both on the low side, which he thinks may have been caused by the virus.  He's arranging for me to have a 24 hour heart trace, he said just because he doesn't want to miss anything.  He was very thorough, he's a really nice doctor with a lovely bedside manner.  He phoned to tell me all this at 08.15 this morning!  I'm definitely feeling much better now, almost as if I'm just waking up from a very bad (and very long) dream.

My brother was supposed to be coming to see us this afternoon, on his way back home to Cornwall from a job in the Midlands.  Unfortunately, he got stuck in miles of Bank Holiday traffic on the M5 (still on it) and rang to let us know he'd be very late, so i told him not to come....He's working tomorrow on an early shift so he needs to get home.  It's a great shame, I was really looking forward to him coming as I've not seen him since early February, but can't be helped 😞.  Hopefully we'll be able to make arrangements to meet up in the not too distant future.

My best friend has invited us round for a bbq tomorrow, looking forward to that.  And it's supposed to be a dry day!  I hope so, it's been so blooming wet and windy this week.

Monday, 24 August 2020

Dumb and invisible

Dc of Frugal in Norfolk blog wrote a very heartfelt post today, it made me feel very emotional, I could have written exactly the same thing myself.  Word for word.

It's all about her getting no replies to emails/texts (personal ones I think she's talking about).  About her being the one who has to get in contact all the time, as it's not reciprocated, nobody contacts her.  She's the one who always has to make arrangements for coffee meet ups etc, as again nobody else bothers.

Same here.  Emails and texts I send get ignored.  We've had several family deaths in the past year or two, I thought it would bring us (both immediate and extended family) did for a short time, now we never (or very rarely) hear from them, only when we (or I) make the effort.  WhatsApp or FB messages I send sometimes don't get answered.  I sometimes think if I didn't make contact weekly, I wouldn't hear from them at all, it's almost always me who sends the message asking how we all are.  It's the same with close friends, it's always me who makes the running. 

As for my best friend - too busy, and doesn't understand depression and what it does to people, at all.  I get the distinct impression they don't care about me anymore and have pushed me out and don't care how that hurts me.

Yes Dc, you're so right, it does hurt and really does make me feel like I don't matter to anyone, other than husband (and even he takes me for granted).

I've got a few health concerns going on, all of which I'm having to have investigations for, which require ongoing hospital and GP visits.  If I didn't write them all on the calendar, I'd forget which thing is being looked at on that occasion.  The very fact of having to attend hospitals/surgery is daunting enough as it is with the covid situation - although I have to say every medical appointment I've had is carried out with the utmost care and safety measures.  But it just feels like I'm on my own with all this, other than husband ferrying me to them.  And he has his own health problems.

Well, I've gone through life coping with things, even big things, pretty much on my own, and from an early age.  So it's not exactly new.  It would just be nice for friends and family to show some interest....And not just once in a blue moon, but sustained.

(Dc and Sue of A Smaller and Simpler Life, apologies for jumping on your bandwagons, both your posts struck a nerve with me today xx).

Tuesday, 18 August 2020

A sigh of relief and a new talent

I had a very interesting phone conversation with my diabetes nurse yesterday.  I'd asked for a consultation with her due to something the hospital consultant I saw last week said....that my diabetes was clearly out of control, he concluded this because my wee sample was high in glucose.  I told him I was very surprised that he should say that, as I've always had very good control of my diabetes, he said the wee results speak for themselves.  

Rose (my diabetes nurse) straight away said there's nothing wrong with my diabetic control, it's always been good.  She said one of the meds I take for my diabetes is the reason for the high glucose - the function of this particular med is specifically to suck the glucose out of the blood and flush it away in your pee, so the pee will always show a high glucose level.  Just shows that being a specialist in one particular field doesn't mean you have knowledge of other specialities.  I don't blame the consultant, he's clearly an expert in his field and can't be expected to know everything about things he doesn't specialise in.  I'm just very glad I spoke to Rose, it's put my mind at rest.

I'm trying out a new hobby, related to my cardmaking.  I love cardmaking, but it's a doddle now, I can do it easily and ideas just pop up in my brain, so it's less of a challenge.  I'd bought a set of watercolour pencils in a sale a while back - never used them before, never even done any sort of colouring or painting at all - well, not since school.  And I wasn't any good at it or even interested in it then.  I only bought the pencils because they were cheap!  Had to look up on youtube how to use them.  Well, then I got interested and watched several more videos, then tried out a few easy, I love it, and seems I have a bit of a talent for it.  My Mum did watercolour painting.....with paints, not pencils.....something we kids didn't even know she did until we were all adults.  She used to paint when she was a teenager apparently, then got married and had us 4 kids and didn't have any time so didn't do it anymore for years, until we'd all left home when she thought she'd give it a go again.

I'm thinking of doing some simple designs, probably mainly flowers to start with, for the front of cards.  I've had a few practise sessions and it's going well.  

I'm having short sessions on the new exercise bike every other day, I have a day off in between as at the moment it is causing my right hip to hurt like hell....I'm sure the pain will ease off as I get used to using the bike.

Monday, 17 August 2020

Medical stuff....ho hum

I had an awful weekend, feeling so unwell I spent much of the time in bed....highly unusual for me, I rarely stay in bed all night, never mind about during the day.  Saturday afternoon I went up and laid on the bed for an hour or 2, although couldn't sleep.  Yesterday, after virtually no sleep Saturday night, I got up and just did a couple of jobs that needed doing, then went back to bed, and actually slept for a couple of hours.  Got up, ate a bit of the dinner that husband had cooked (roast gammon and veg, very nice, shame I couldn't do it justice), watched Countryfile then had a very early night, having taken a sleeping pill.  Apart from 2 toilet trips, I actually slept very well, consequently I feel a lot better today, other than crippling backache and hip pain....I've taken painkillers, something I don't often do as I really don't like relying on them, but the CBD oil alone isn't helping much at the moment.

This morning I've washed up the dinner things from last night and cleaned all the kitchen surfaces and stove top, sorted out a wash load and done a freezer inventory, prior to doing a menu plan for the week.  Have just helped husband change over 2 rugs in the lounge, which involved moving some furniture....didn't do my back much good but needs must, just grit my teeth and get on with it.  Now sitting down for a rest and a cup of tea, after blogging I need to do some banking....was supposed to do it yesterday but just wasn't up to it.

As we can't afford to buy me a new laptop yet, I have to use husband's desktop, which is painfully slow and cumbersome.  The most annoying thing though is that he's so untidy and disorganised....his desk always looks like a bomb's hit it, I've had to move about a dozen things just to get to the keyboard and mouse.  I'm glad we've got the desktop, don't know what I'd do without tablet is a godsend, but just the act of holding it makes my shoulder and arm ache, and I don't do banking on it as it doesn't have an adequate AV programme - there isn't one for it, apparently!

The calendar, now that medical services are starting to get back to normal, is filled with appointments for the next 2 or 3 weeks....mostly for me, one for husband.  I have a phone consultation with my diabetes nurse this afternoon, which will probably be followed up by a blood test I expect, and another consultation.  Going to the chiropodist tomorrow (it was postponed from a couple of weeks ago, as I wasn't well at the time), husband has his retinopathy eye test at the local hospital on Thursday (I need to remind him, for the 3rd time(!!), to make arrangements for someone to take him, as he's not allowed to drive himself).  Next week I have my retinopathy eye test on Monday, followed by kidney and bladder scans at the main hospital in Taunton on Tuesday, then a follow up consultation with my consultant.  Loads of excitement 😒

Bum, just had a phone call from my chiropodist....after me having to postpone the appointment a fortnight ago, she's now having to postpone tomorrow's appointment as she's hurt her back, so it'll be another fortnight away now.  And my feet are suffering a bit at the mo, and my toenails badly need cutting and I can't bend to do it myself because of my terrible backache....oh well, can't be helped, and at least it gives me a free morning tomorrow.  Husband has offered to cut my toenails but, having had him attempt it once before, there's no way I'm letting him near me with a pair of scissors again, he's like a butcher with a lethal weapon!

Saturday, 15 August 2020

Weight stuff

Thank you for all the comments - wow, some of you have lost an amazing amount of weight, well done everyone!

Years ago, just before I met my husband, I'd joined Slimming World (it was the old Red and Green days then) and was given a target of 3 stones to lose.  I did feel it was a bit unrealistic, the target weight seemed far too low to me.  Anyway, I managed to lose 2 1/2 stones, by which time friends and family were saying I ought to stop there.  And then my then-boyfriend (not my future husband) said I was getting too skinny and he didn't like it....So that was that, I stopped going to the meetings.

So obviously since then I've put back on all the weight I lost plus a couple of stones more.  I'm not setting myself an ultimate target, it's too daunting, I'm just initially aiming to lose 10% of my starting weight, and then will re-evaluate from there.  I'll probably decide on another 10% then, small goals seem much more realistic and achievable.

My exercise bike arrived yesterday, several days earlier than expected.  I had 2 x10 minute sessions on it....felt alright at the time, but I was awake a lot during the night with burning hip pain.  Finally gave up trying to sleep and got up just after 4.  My right hip feels swollen and really sore this morning.  I shall persevere with the bike though, losing weight is more important and it's not as if I'm not used to the hip pain.

I'm making the healthier lasagne for dinner tonight, again using sliced courgettes in place of pasta, and a low fat Greek yogurt, egg and mature cheddar mixture instead of cheese sauce.  Husband will have a jacket spud and salad with his, I'll just have the salad.

Drizzly, cloudy and much fresher and cooler now, thank goodness.

Friday, 14 August 2020


One of the things the very nice consultant said the other day really resonated with me.  He said the single biggest thing I could do to help with virtually all my health problems would be to lose a considerable amount of weight, and to start by losing as much as I can before my op.  I know he's right.  

As a matter of fact, I have actually been dieting for the last few weeks, with fellow blogger Joy's help and support.  Joy is the perfect role model, as she's successfully lost so much weight and has done it systematically and with an enormous amount of planning and sheer determination.  I put on a few pounds at the start of lockdown, but realised I couldn't go on doing that, so by taking advice from Joy, planning and loosely following a mixture of Slimming World and Pinch of Nom recipes, I have so far lost around 10 lbs.  Even the consultant was impressed and said it was an excellent start.

However, the weight loss has stalled a bit the last week or two - I haven't put any back on but nor have I lost any more.  So I've decided to cut right back on carbs for a while, eat more veg and be very mindful of portion sizes.  I've also ordered an exercise bike, which will be delivered early next week - walking any great distance isn't really an option due to the excruciating hip pain, something I hope will be eased by losing weight.  An exercise bike seems a good solution, I shall have it in the lounge so it's staring me in the face all the time, rather than up on the landing or in the spare bedroom like the last one was, meaning it rarely got used and we got rid of it in the end (the computer thingy on it had long since stopped working anyway).

I'm feeling very determined at the moment, hopefully that will last!

Thursday, 13 August 2020

Still sticky but at least it rained. And smells

It was odd last night, we stood in the front garden watching sheet and forked lightning coming from one big cloud....there was no thunder or rain, just the lightning.  It was horrendously humid during the night, I found it almost impossible to sleep so was downstairs reading for a couple of hours (Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman, I thoroughly recommend it).  Betty joined me on the sofa, she was out like a light within minutes.  Oh to be a dog.

This morning it wasn't sunny at all, it's been blanket cloud, but has been really humid and sticky again.  Then early this afternoon the heavens opened and it absolutely chucked it down for about half an hour - just the rain, no storm.  For a brief time it felt really fresh, but now it's back to being horribly sticky.  Yuck.  Have you noticed the smell when it's rained after a prolonged dry period?  It's sort of dusty but fresh, I love it, it's always been one of my favourite smells...along with newly mown grass, fresh basil, sheets dried on the line, and petrol, strangely enough.

We took betty for a grooming session this morning, this afternoon I've made a fortnight's worth of dog food.  I've done nothing else, other than a bit of research for some new card's just too hot and I'm too tired.  Early night tonight, just hope I can sleep, got a lot to do tomorrow including some planning, which means my brain needs to get rid of the cotton wool it's currently wrapped in due to the heat and lack of sleep.

Wednesday, 12 August 2020


Even hotter and stickier today, am absolutely melting and fit for nothing.  No rain as yet, I wish it would hurry up.

Hospital appointment went well, I was called in exactly on time and actually saw the consultant, rather than a minion - he was a really nice older man who put me at ease.

To cut a long story short, and without going into details (which I don't intend to do on a blog), he thinks it's a diabetic complication.  I have to have several scans in 2 weeks' time.  He will then, some time after (who knows when, things are still up in the air with the Covid situation), do an exploratory operation under general anaesthetic.  Depending on what he finds, he may then treat the problem at the same time.  It should be day surgery, however I have an adverse reaction to general anaesthesia, which requires managing, and my liver disease has the potential to cause something of a problem too, so I may have to stay in a bit longer.

I'm not looking forward to it, but hopefully it will ease my current problems.  It's a scary time to be having to go into hospital though, just the thought of it makes me feel very anxious.  At least we have less Covid cases down here than the areas up North, now that really is scary.

Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Please rain!!

It's far too hot and humid today, I wish we'd get one of the threatened thunderstorms, the weathermen (sorry, people, have to be politically correct) keep promising them but nothing happens.  Although I gather there have been some in other parts of the country.  If it did rain I think I'd go and stand out in it, just to cool down.

I have my hospital appointment tomorrow morning.  They rang this morning, I thought oh no, please don't say you're cancelling it...fortunately they weren't.  It was to tell me to ring when I get there, then wait outside in the car park until they ring me to give me permission to go in.  Bloody Covid, it's affecting so much.  I hope it's not going to be this hot tomorrow, I won't fancy being kept waiting outside (or in a boiling hot car) if it is.

Blogger changed me over to the new one this morning, I promptly changed it back to the legacy one.  I didn't ask to be changed and I'm not having someone else decide what's best for me.  If they eventually do away with the old one, well I suppose I'll have to get used to it.  Or else change to another blogging system!  I get a bit fed up with 'people' deciding what I can or can't do.

Betty is lying right in front of the electric fan, she's practically got her nose touching it.  I feel like joining her.

Monday, 3 August 2020


I'm taking a break from blogging, and from pretty much everything for a while. Stay safe.