Monthly Archives: August 2011

What did you do with your Tuesday?








‘Well what did you do and where did you do it?’

‘Ohh, sounds nice.  Gosh, I’m impressed.  You did THAT – that’s disgusting I’d keep it to yourself in future. ‘

And what did I do with my Tuesday.  Well, as there was no Armchair Yoga at the local hospital I decided to take myself off to the Royal for a couple of x-rays and blood tests as I’d been a tad concerned about the numb patch that had appeared on my right forearm on Sunday afternoon.  I’d waited until Tuesday as it was a bank holiday.

I rang the day unit as soon as I knew someone would be there and then went in to get it checked out.  One of our lovely neighbour chaeuffered me there – she did offer to stay but as these things can take time at the best of times and it was the day after the bank holiday I suggested she go home rather than wait.

So obviously my biggest concern was that the numbness – okay it’s not numb per se running my fingers or nails over it produces a feeling like minor pins and needles so I can feel stuff (unlike the area at the side of the scar on my knee which is completely feeling less) but not what one should usually feel – so my biggest concern about the area of altered sensation was that it was being caused by some shift in the loosening found in my C6 vertebra in February this year.

So after mentioning this to the doctor (who I’d never clapped eyes on before and who I did initially see very soon after arriving) and also mentioning that on Saturday when I had a headache I’d got a pain in the crown of my head that wasn’t a usual headachey pain and which was still there slightly and indeed had been then when I’d had a headache a few weeks ago.  (I had intended on mentioning it at my next clinic appointment).  Now maybe this was too much and I appeared to be a whinger particularly as when she asked if that was it I said ‘Well I had been getting a pain in my leg but think that may have been my new walking boots’.

So after two x-rays, some blood tests and starting and knitting most of this…

The conclusion was that the blood tests were fine and showed no magnesium/calcium issues, x-rays showed nothing new and the head pain was unrelated to myeloma as it wouldn’t come and go.  If the ‘numbness’ hadn’t gone in a week I could go back and they would run an MRI which would pick up any smaller damage.

So I toddled off home on the train.  I would like to say I toddled off happy and satisfied but the more I thought about it on the way home the less happy I was.

My understanding of the whole ‘conclusion’  and after giving it thorough thought on the train ride home was this…

The x-rays were on my lumbar and thoracic spine regions and after looking at my previous x-rays ‘which were taken at Whiston but were on the file there…’ When I said the latest had been taken at the Royal in February – I was told the report wasn’t on my file.  This is the x-ray that showed the new damage at C6 – maybe this is why a cervical spine x-ray wasn’t taken because at the x-rays in April 09 there was no damage there.

When I asked which vertebra would cause ‘numbness’ I was told ‘one higher up.’  Hello – C6!  Did I not say C6?  I think I may have done several times –  but with hindsight if there was no damage on the x-rays they looked then why do one on that area – I must have been mistaken.

And the head pain – well apparently she had told the senior doctor everything I’d said and he (name of someone I didn’t know) had said it didn’t count as it ‘wouldn’t come and go’.  In my own personal experience with myeloma pain my back pain started in January 08 and disappeared (apart from if I attempted deadlifts or reverse crunches but happily withstood carrying boxes and boxes of files upstairs) until May 08.

After due consideration, a bit of a rant when I got home (the five minutes of nerve and vertebra talk resulting in B going all hot and having to sit down) and following a suggestion from a friend (who I keep telling that our GPs are wonderful whenever she complains after theirs) I rang the surgery this morning and booked an appointment for tomorrow with them so that I can fully understand what vertebra affects what nerves before I ring one of the consultants at the Royal and make a complete boob of myself.

Said friend also suggested that a lot of patients don’t want the level of detail I do and may have been quite happy to leave with the information supplied.

And now I’m off to a funeral of an old boss – along with two other friends one of whom had mentioned my ‘numbness’ to a friend of hers who is a retired physio and she then pointed out on the forearm the various areas affected by the cervical vertebra.  But hey, we’re having takeaway for tea after back at ours so it’s not all bad!

Buddy Free Crochet

Once I’d got some sleep and extracted Bud from my crochet blanket I took some new pics.  As I mentioned the majority of these squares started life this time last year with a view to travelling across the pond to Shelly in Texas to become part of the whole Share a Square experience however I did them in the wrong weight yarn – worsted in the US equals aran in the UK not double knit as I originally thought.

When our doctors’ receptionist mentioned that a container was going over to South Africa in the next few weeks this gave me the impetus to provide them with a trip across a different ocean.  However they were quite different and looked a bit disjointed when put together.  They did look more disjointed but I only thought to take a photo after I’d already used some up.

So I took a leaf out of how Shelly has dealt with squares in previous years and decided to add a border to all the squares in one colour.

I went with a navy blue edging as I thought a dark colour would work better than a light one and I think it worked (in my humble opinion).

I am quite fond of these squares which hint at a flower while just being basic granny squares with the ‘flower’ centre being in novelty yarn surrounded by a ground of green ‘leaves’.

Coming Soon!I’ve also done some little cardys which are knit all in one for the same shipment and the, no, THE cutest little crocheted ‘wellies’!

Walking back to healthiness – Part II

Last Monday I woke up and felt well, grumpy, unable to speak and barely able to see so basically how I typically feel when I first wake up particularly if anyone (Bernard) is expecting me to do anything (like make breakfast). However once I’d come to I didn’t feel good, I didn’t even feel okay – I felt fantastic – really fantastic .  I’d had this ‘conversation’ with a friend about how, despite having to work round the bone stuff limiting my daily activities by a vast extent compared to, as B says ‘the old Paula’, I probably still thought deep down one day I’d wake up and feel like I could conquer the world again.  And last Monday was as close as its got after myeloma put a spanner in the works.

We hadn’t all walked together for over a week and since B had put his alarm on for a really early wake up call, 13:30, to do a paint a couple of fence panels I felt able to do these myself in order that we could get to walk together, ‘cos I kinda like doing that. So Bud got two walks that day.  However for the rest of the week I was at times somewhat lacklustre – well in my opinion anyway.  Despite the several disgruntled notifications from B regarding the fence panels, especially since he’d expressly forbidden me to do them, I however put the lack of lustre down to the two walks because I must have walked milessssss and miles and miles.  B himself proforred a suggested four miles per walk – so eight miles in one day – WOW.  Well WOW for now, I once did 10 just in a morning on the treadmill to ward off the excesses of Christmas.  Heck, I’d do five after getting home from work and before hitting the weights and getting tea to get rid of a cream cake but for now –  WOW.

So Saturday I measured it on the street atlas, I measured it several times in fact, with several different kinds of measuring stuff – because wool can stretch but my dinky little tape measure wasn’t as flexible round corners.  I myself had started to think that it wasn’t as far as B thought because I have short legs, well in fact the whole of me is quite short – and indeed is about one and a half inches shorter than ‘the old Paula’.  So although I walked quite fast before anything above 3.3 miles an hour resulted in the odd skipped step/start of a jog.  Now with this in mind and the fact that I walk a lot slower than I did it dawned on me that to get this walk done in the hour and a half it usually takes would be nigh on impossible if it was anywhere near four miles.

So as the saying goes ‘what can’t speak can’t lie’ and the tape/wool/ruler says 2.5 miles and 2.75 absolute maximum even with a bit of creative cornering.  So much for thinking that I take not so much my life in my hands but my femur lesion in my stride on every walk due to the speed I go.   I guess it’s back to my extreme sport being using Signature Needle Arts Stiletto Point knitting needles!

Walking back to healthiness

After sharing written details of our current doggy walk I though I’d take some pics.  Some turned out to be more than the 70, so I narrowed it down to 50ish and even got B to give them the once over to see if they gave a good impression of our daily outing.  I thought I’d take a pic every time we turned a corner or the view changed – turns out there’s a lot of corners!

Part way down there’s pics of a blue bridge railing.  Someone must have pasted arty pics (like really arty – not ‘arty’ as a euphemism for rude) to the main uprights and someone else must have taken exception and spray painted over the images in black.  There’s just one that they missed.  This happened once before about four years ago when I used to cycle home this way and pics appeared on the opposite side of the posts and these too were defaced.

I would like to point out before anyone alerts the authorities that the last pic is for artistic purposes only and Bud doesn’t usually get to drink like this – he doesn’t get to drink at all!  Just kidding we have a portable bowl – my hands.

Doesn’t it look a long way – doesn’t it? It does though doesn’t it?  And that’s just half of it – I mean on holiday we walked five kilometers and it has to be further than that, right?  Following a discussion on Friday I measured it on the map – I was so disappointed.  I’ll share the grand total tomorrow along with THAT headstone.

Looking up Shawls

Today, well this evening in fact, which is probably the reason I am currently so tired I could cry and am cutting it fine to post a Creative Space Thursday post, I finished my

KAL stands for knit a long (just thought I’d let any of you who were uninitiated know – this included me for the first two weeks of it).

I had a little assistant when I took my photos – I think I may have left a boiled sweet stuck to the shawl because he was being very inquisitive (rude) looking up the bottom of it.

And it cost me the price of the pattern.  The purples were given to me by a friend and were part of her machine knitting days and the green from one my fellow armchair yogaists.

I would also have liked to share my latest afghan made up of my ‘boo boo’ squares made last year for Share a Square when I had a little misunderstanding between worsted and double knit but Bud had other ideas…

(Please note he is still pointing in the general direction of the shawl – he has such a hectic schedule – standing on crocheting and looking up a shawl in the same evening!)

So more on that when later.

Other creative spaces here.

Buddy gets a Bandage

On Friday we had a lovely lunch out with Sean and his charming Mrs, Charito. To save me blogging about it you can pop over to Sean’s blog and get all the gen along with seeing pictures of my current cancer patient hair cut (it’s shortness having been confirmed by my Uncle Ray on Saturday).

So after a good time being had by all we arrived home to find Bud had stamped the bedding with little spots of red, unfortunately he hadn’t used a fabric paint but his own bodily fluid ie, blood.  An inspection of his little furry body revealed a graze on his right rear paw.  However by this time it seemed to have stopped leaking – possibly because the 3,000 spots on the bed had used it up – so we left it alone.  Then later on in the evening I noticed a couple of little spots on the landing carpet near where he was lying so decided action was required.

Okay I admit may just have been an excuse to use this…

It was in our original first aid box and is therefore over 12 years old.  In these 12 years the opportunity to experiment with this obviously useless essential piece of kit had never, ever arose and it had been relegated to a basket in the kitchen cupboard – because you can just have bet that if I’d thrown it away we would have needed it.

The bandage is tubular so how easy would it have been to pop onto Bud’s paw – very, I assume, but since his paw was a tad too big for the tube that knocked that idea on the noggin.  However I was by now unwaverable in my determination to use it in some way, shape or form. Well, that and the fact that we only had a wappingly large crepe bandage that had been tainted with the aroma of citronella or sticking plaster.

Now I have to say that I have limited bandage applying experience (I was going to title this Nurse Paula but decided that was really too much of a stretch).  I have applied them to my knee when I had stitches following the fall off my bicycle (which was adequate – the bandage, not the fall) and on the couple of occasions I sprained my left ankle (which was superb – really, I am your ‘go to gal’ if you ever want an ankle strapped – you even get a free herringbone pattern included – I can’t take the credit for this skill since my Dad showed me how) however it turns out I am not your ‘go to gal’ for getting a bandage to stay on your small furry family member.

Bud was really good at being still whilst the bandage was being applied, and the second one did stay on for at least two hours but then promptly fell off after he’d got on the duvet at bedtime – which worked out really well as one of the prime objectives for applying it was keeping the bed linen clean.

‘What the heck is this?’

‘I can still see it behind your hand.’

‘Okay, let’s play!’

‘Sigh.  I’m not feeling it.’

‘Right, I’ve having this instead…’

‘…it’s all mine now.’

‘Right you’ve had your fun, now pleasssssssssssse take it off!’

Catching up with a Horse’s Ass!


Did you know its the 20th of the month today?  Okay maybe some of you did I personally thought for some reason it was the 19th so when a neighbour (where I called to drop off columbine seeds and in turn received cherry plum tomatoes) said it was the 20th I high tailed it home to take my 20th of the month pictures.

First though here’s last month’s which I took on the day (23rd) we got back from holiday but neglected to publish…

It was starting to get dark when we got home due only in small part (clearing of throat) to the great knitting needle search 2011.

And here we have today’s…

As you may (or may not) have noticed it had started to rain.  If I had taken them this morning it would have looked like a glorious summer’s day.

Mmmm, wait I do have photos which show the sunnyside of this morning when I took photos of a horse’s ass…

Oh wait, no, that’s Bernard.  (Seriously if B showed anyone a picture of me like this I would string him up by his whatnots.)

Anyhoo, this morning as I was in the kitchen a horse, and rider, went down the road and the horse looked just like a cow.  Well, not exactly like a cow it looked like a horse wearing cow camouflage.  I would dearly love to show you how amusing it was but by the time I’d gone and got the camera and got to the pavement (in my socks and jim jams) and fiddled with the zoom this is what I got…

However the end of our road is a vehicular dead end and although there is a footpath back to the main road I wouldn’t have thought many people would be queuing up for the experience of forcing a full size horse through it so all was not lost I could get another chance.  So I went back to making my cup of coffee and promptly forgot about checking for the cunningly disguised horse!  Suddenly there it was walking past the front of the house again. I grabbed the camera, which I had left switched on, hot footed it to the pavement and by the time I had un-zoomed it (arghhhhh) this is what I got…

but anyway you can see how sunny it was this morning!

New Boots

Following on from Monday’s post ‘… and me boots are heavy’ – my boots really were heavy.  After I had a fall a few weeks ago (please note that when you are old or have an issue for which a fall is a big deal you don’t simply fall over you ‘have a fall’ which makes the whole thing sound so much more dramatic don’t you think) a few days later I nearly had another fall – my foot went over again and I stumble but remained upright – just as well since it was going dark and Bud and I had just walked past the last house for a bit.  So I decided it was time for new boots…

Aren’t they lovely and shiny and big looking.

And here’s my somewhat used and moulded to my feet old ones looking, to me at least, somewhat smaller in comparison.

However when I weighed them to confirm that the one ones were indeed heavier than my old ones the difference is pretty minimal.  New ones 571g, with the old ones weighing in at 477g per boot a meagre difference of barely 100g (4oz).  But they feel so much stiffer and heavier however they are keeping my feet firmly rooted on the ground and they have much better tread…

Whilst buying the boots I came across these…

hh, trainers!  Now I haven’t bought new trainers in years (since exercising was a bit of a no, no) but I can confirm that these carry a caution against doing anything in them except walking!

‘Product to be used for walking only.  This product is specifically designed for walking and normal daily wear.  This product is not intended to be used, nor should it be used, for any other athletic endeavour.’

And that’s because they are my ‘hidden beauty secret’ (I’m so nice I’m sharing it with you) and they will enable me to ‘get more out of everything I do’ with ‘jusqu’a 10% de calories bruelees supplementaires’ double ohhhhh.  Oh, wait that should be ‘up to 10% increased calorie burning’ plus, yes there’s more, they will make my leg muscles have increased activation of anywhere between 14% and 29% more.

I got these two days before my last appointment at the hospital and wore them for the first time the day before on a short trip to a retail park (just in case they made me hobble).  Now you may remember that when I got weighed at said appointment I’d lost 2kg.  B is well impressed – 2kg after an hour’s wear!  He can’t wait to see the long term results.

And yet more crocheting…

Last week after I’d used the yarn bought specifically for Share a Square I found some aran/worsted weight I’d been given by a neighbour.  The problem with it was that it didn’t tell me what it was made of – I asked but it was being coy.  I was pretty sure it was acrylic and indeed the cardigan I’d made myself from it didn’t bother me and I am wool phobic from a wearing point of view – I think this stems from a pair of tartan trousers my Mum made me when I was little they still itched after she’d lined them.  (I also had a matching cape!)

So I made a couple of squares anyway but since I wasn’t 100% sure (Share a Square squares need to be artificial to any allergies) I decided to make a blanket for the hospital/crèche in South Africa that one of the receptionists at our GPs has ties with and having bumped into her on Tuesday (not literally) she mentioned there was another container leaving in the next couple of weeks – so I timed that well.

I used the yarn I had left over from the Greenway blanket (presumably so called becasuse in the book it was done in shades of green but from here on in known as the Daisy Blanket because of the stitch) and I cannot tell you how gorgeous that cream yarn is even though it as 20% wool. It almost glows and it has to be fondled to fully appreciate its softness – as B was instructed on Sunday ‘Feel that.’ slight touch ‘No, fondle iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit.’ (In my best Homer Simpson impersonation.)

The edging is also à la the Daisy Blanket.  I was going to leave it as three rows of double crochet (US single crochet) but then did a backwards row of double crochet and it just finishes it off nicely – well I think so.

I had my hair cut by a friend on Monday.  She used our clippers.  She regularly cuts her husband with their clippers – he has it very short and she consciously tired not to get mine the same.  Let’s read the reviews.

Friend who visited last night on being informed that I’d had it cut – ‘Yes I noticed it was shorter than last time.’  (That being two weeks ago.)  So noticed but hadn’t said anything – mmmmm.

Friend who cut it as she was leaving – ‘As I say to my husband, if you don’t like it it will grow back in a couple of weeks.’

My husband (who as we know says what he sees) – ‘It’s alright.’ Oh!  When asked a second time because I had the strange feeling he may have developed a dose of tact. ‘It’s a bit (sparse, say sparse) bald looking in places.’  Doh!

Me – ‘I look like a cancer patient.’

Other creative spaces are here.

…and me boots are heavy!

I don’t know what happened with last week it was an odd one.

It rained – a LOT.  I put off doing loads of things.  Monday was okay, I picked up my prescription, I phoned the Royal about a sick note, I put some things off but thought I can do these on Wednesday.  I went to yoga on Tuesday, came home had a shower and put my jim jams on at three thirty in the afternoon as outside clothes needed ironing.  I should have seen the signs then but then I rallied later as a friend was calling round in the evening and after tea I felt suitably perked up to iron some clothes and when she arrived we took Bud for another walk.  I also put the central heating on – I mean it’s August.

Wednesday – it rained!  B suggested I stay in and watch a film rather than venture out in the car as it was wet and there were nearby roadworks which were causing a lot of delays or an extremely extended journey to avoid them… and I did!  Bud got a tiny stroll through the wood opposite and then I watched two and a half films (Shrek Forever After, Horsemen of the Apocalypse and Pandorum) and crocheted square after Share a Square square.  Bud did get a walk later on.  And yet again we had the  heating on from 17:00.  It wasn’t so much cold as damp.  And when our internet blew a big raspberry at me I couldn’t be bothered to so much as threaten to poke it with a knitting needle.

Thursday was a somewhat better day but I still couldn’t motivate myself to get things done and hey I still had Friday morning  to catch up with things and that would be ideal as I had the incentive of getting them finished before B got up.

We also had salad for tea every night.  I don’t mind it but B loves it and is going through a tuna salad phase.  I can take or leave tuna and honestly prefer to leave it.  I insisted on feta salad one night but otherwise took the path of least resistance as I couldn’t think of anything easier.

Friday – I awoke to a mild headache but experienced no leg pain for the first time in weeks when I took Bud for a walk.  This hasn’t been anything major just niggling at some points – other than having to stop twice going up stairs one day – B was behind me so I didn’t get away with it and got reminded that I had forgotten to mention this at the previous week’s hospital appointment along with forgetting to ask about a sick note.

By the time we got back from our walk I felt suitably like kakapo (my new word for kak – I’m sure you know but just in case a kakapo is actually a flightless parrot from New Zealand which appears full of character and is a suitably appropriate shade of green).  The headache had got worse and  I felt a bit sick.  So I popped another 30mg of codeine, B got up and by the time I’d made a light lunch of pain au chocolate, strawberries and blueberries I was able to take two more paracetamol , another 30mg codeine and an anti-sickness tablet.

Now I had thought it was a migraine but normally when I pile on the painkillers for them they take the edge off but nothing else.  However I felt remarkably better and finished the ironing and then cruised the internet while B hoovered.  Later on the feeling of kakapo returned but again was reduced by more medication.  I also experienced a bit of a pain in my head so obviously thought that one of the lytic lesions in my skull was kicking off.

By Saturday morning I had the good sense to take my temperature and it was a bit high.  However it dropped back down and hasn’t made a re-appearance since.  So maybe it wasn’t a migraine after all but a bit of a bug that had been hanging on me for the best part of the week and something I can put my fluctuating enthusiasm down to.

This meant that Saturday was filled up with catching up.  A trip to Tesco with the dodgy TV bought last year resulting in a long wait during which I could see B getting wound up.  He had called at his mum’s every morning on his way home from work (as he was passing to avoid the roadworks and his brother was away so it would keep her appeased).  This had resulted in his breakfast being later than usual and his sleep being all over the place.  He only got up at 17:00 on Wednesday and this also meant I felt I hadn’t seen him much.

After a few more errands on Saturday and walking Bud (me taking photos of our route winding him up more) we ended up only getting to my Auntie Ann’s at 18:30 and me feeling like the day had just gone poof!

Whilst I cruised the internet on Friday I discovered via Cassie’s blog Pinterest and was smitten.  How come I didn’t know about this before.  Well okay I had seen it dotted about on blogs but hadn’t paid it attention or rather the attention it was due.  It’s fantastic  or rather FANTASTIC!  You can pin anything on a board and easily reference it and it links you straight back to the website you saw it on!!!!!  So anyhoo I had a bit of a potter around there and later actually pinned something to one of my boards and have by now just about managed to stop calling it Pin-interest.  And there’s the issue of re-decorating which I still want to do but don’t want to start it if I can’t finish it – B doesn’t decorate – and I can’t decided where to start as in what new look to go for and Pinterest would be ideal for compiling ideas.

So, of all things, this pottering about on Pinterest kicked off a moan on Sunday as we were walking Bud.  B had caught up with his sleep so only got up after 13:00 and I had the morning to be glum.  Now this isn’t a feeling I experience often but just about sums Sunday morning up ad I’m not really a moaner, certainly not to any professional standard.  I have a friend, who I worked with at the time, who has an ‘ology in it and once suggested I give it a whirl – she then suggested I go home!

As we joined the busy-ish by-pass I started telling B about Pinterest (whether he wanted to know or not – I think we all know which that was).  This then blended into a whinge about how I really wanted to just be able to worry about paint and furnishings rather than stem cell transplants and myeloma, and as we waited on the central reservation, about how I guess I really thought (despite being prepared for a chromosome deletion) that the biggest issue from my last appointment would be discussing going back to work, etc, etc, etc, and as we reached the path on the other side and it got quieter, finished off with ‘and me boots are heavy’.  Then I started giggling hysterically at the proclamation of this minor yet more immediate  issue.

To which B said ‘What was that bit before your boots being heavy?’ which resulted in yet more giggling and B then said ‘You should have put your other shoes on.’

I obviously need way more practice in the art of moaning I mean I can’t even grasp lesson one – Make sure someone can hear you!