Monthly Archives: September 2011

And yet another impromptu holiday

If I had a creative space this week it would involve 14 stitches of double knit yarn on size 2.75mm needles which will hopefully be a sole for a second teddy bear.   (I can now confirm that they are indeed a whole sole, there has been a brief interlude of several hundred hours I think between starting this this morning and finishing it now.) I started the knitting on Tuesday at the Royal.  I had woken up in the early hours feeling quite warm, with a raging thirst, slight nosebleed and the belief that the lap top was on the bed behind me and was the size of our new BIG plasma TV!  When I awoke at 7:00 I was able to confirm from the few drops of blood on my jim jam top that I’d only imagined the laptop part of things.  I staggered downstairs to take my temperature and it was 39.7!  I got a cold drink, left B a note and staggered back upstairs to bed relieved I didn’t have a giant laptop to move.

Of all the days to spike a temp Tuesday was the most inconvenient day ever – B had gone to the m-i-l’s on the way home with her shopping, our earlier riser neighbours are on holiday, Chris had a cold and Uncle Ray takes his elderly Auntie shopping.  Auntie Ann said later I should have rung her and she would have come for me even if it made her late for work and even though it was payroll day for hundreds of people and she’s the only one who does it!  They do keep saying they should train someone else.

So B came home, I got dressed, well dressed in a yesterday’s crumpled linen pants, an un-ironed slightly holey T-shirt, stripy socks and sandals kinda way, and off we went with B depositing me at the Royal at 9:15.

My temp was 38 something, I had bloods taken and blood cultures and then saw a doctor, found out I needed two units of blood as HB had dropped from 9.0 on Friday to 7.6, had to give in and ask if I could I get back on the examination bed for a sleep, went for a chest x-ray at 15:40 (just as B rang to find out what was going on) and getting back at 17:00 after my form had been lost and then, despite the best efforts of the guy on the reception desk, getting overlooked several times by porters looking for return fares.  There was also the perilous risk that my nodding head could have come into contact with my very sharp needles which were in my bag on my lap and I could have trepanned myself.

Fortunately the lady who was in the neighbouring bed in June was in the day unit and had to stay late for her two units of blood and as she’s also a fellow knitter that helped pass the time I was awake.  Plus her niece makes a good cup of tea.

B turned up at 19:30 and went at 20:20, after Auntie Ann, and just after we got to the Pancreatic-something else ward where I had a chair and a space.  A bed was located shortly after!

Tuesday night, there were 39.1 temps, oxygen due to low SATS (85), antibiotics, fluids due to low blood pressure, a stinging cannula, six attempts to get a new one in at 2:30 in the morning while I wittered on about Bud and his allergies because I needed a distraction from the stabbing being done by someone who was based on that ward but covered the whole hospital if anyone needed assistance getting access (who rashly said she’d get two in, one for the fluids and one for the blood – she settled for one – and no I don’t mean getting in the front door).

Wednesday no knitting was even considered.  The laptop that B had begrudgingly brought in remained in the bag, I read a bit and slept a lot and ate a little, with more blood, fluids, temps and antibiotics.  I was allowed a shower (look, its relevant later).  I felt somewhat better but tired and a long way from usual.  The elderly lady (94) in the next but one bed was very, shall we say, lively, during the day.  The elderly lady in the next but one bed was very, shall we say, no, extremely, no, EXTREMELY bloomin’ annoying during the night.

Second stay put cannula became ‘knackered’ – technical term used by nurse.  Blood for cultures needed and blood doctor said I should ask for these to be taken when new cannula fitted.  Young male nurse turned up just to take blood, I mentioned access, he looked at holes in right arm and went to get someone else.  She said she’d give it a go if I was okay with it.  I was, she did and off she went to call in a favour.  What I now understand was a Nurse Practitioner turned up and despite me pointing out that blue cannuals are normally used, she gave it a go with a pink one and, begrudging as the flow was, managed to get enough blood for the cultures through the cannula.  I admit it was toe curling for a few seconds going in but it’s still there and receiving a flush as I type.

The early hours of Thursday there were fluids, low blood pressure, antibiotics and me at 06:00 thinking that maybe the people Logan on Logan’s Run was escaping from had the right idea!  WHAT!  You try being dog tired, and despite being able to get back to sleep after being poked and prodded and pressured being woken up by ‘Nora’ asking what time it was, could she have a cup of tea, she’d settle for some cornflakes, she usually had bacon and egg but cornflakes would be okay as she hadn’t had anything to eat all day as she’d had a job done, what time it was, was there a toilet in the nearby cupboard, when was the doctor going to see her, the young girl in the opposite bed should be out at work or in her own bed, shouting help when she couldn’t find the buzzer to ask the same thing, telling the nurse that stroking her hair wasn’t going to do any good, how old was the health care assistant, why didn’t she want to be a proper nurse, why had they been so long, when was she getting her dinner at 11:00, 1:00, 2:00, and 6:00 specifically (I think she may have been nocturnal – because most of the time although she repeated herself 650 times most of the questions weren’t a million miles from coherent) except for my favourite, which if I hadn’t been extremely sleep deprived I would have thought hysterical – ‘Where’s my plunger?’

Although I over-heard she had trapped wind and her son told her they were going to use a plunger to get it out – so even that wasn’t completely off the wall.  She slept coma-like until 16:30 today, sleeping through her son’s two minute visit, because apparently when she was like that there was no chance of waking her up, then went from 0-60 in about 0.30 seconds ie, asleep to  ‘What time is it?’ Getting answers from four of us at one point and then demanding more cornflakes.

I have felt better this afternoon and this evening and hopefully with a good night’s sleep will feel better again tomorrow.  Still on the antibiotics, temp low 37s though, blood pressure raising, having liver scan as readings whacky – but they did do that in June following sepsis and then returned to normal range and kidney readings slightly out of normal range – but I have no pain in that region so unlikely to be kidney infection.

Fortunately I made it up to 7Y this evening which feels like staying with a nice Auntie you know well and that knows you well, as opposed to 5B where, although the young Auntie and cousins are nice, some crazy old maiden aunt turns up and refuses to disconnect you from your fluids while you have a shower (as it’s been HOT and you’ve had a window seat and have basically been doing the whole pig on the way to the abattoir thing) and when you push it by saying it’s just a bag of saline, she says it’s ward policy even though ward policy allowed it the previous day and then you get all teary and homesick.  And what makes it worse is that when that maiden aunt takes you back to nice Auntie she tells her you’ve been no trouble!  Well of course you haven’t because you only asked for two things, the other being a jug of cold water with ice if possible, and you didn’t get either!


Because I’m Worth It!
































I’ve been so sleepy over the weekend – well I say sleepy what would be more appropriate is ‘I’ve been so asleep over the weekend’.  We went to the Royal on Friday and I felt okay but by the time we got home I needed a nap, ordered tea, then napped, ate tea, then napped.  Saturday was pretty much the same although things could have been made worse on because at 4:10 or 4:49 (look I’m really not good when I’ve just woke up even if I am seemingly quite awake) I got up – if B hadn’t been in bed (snoring) I would have put a film on and then nodded off but I got up and knit some squares (being collected by one of the nurses on the Day Unit) and then fell asleep about 6:30 until 9:20 so that gave a potentially sleepy day a definite nudge in that direction.

After I’d woke up for the second time on Saturday, I woke B up, rang Auntie Ann to ask her did she want to join us for a meal out later, slept, went out for tea, managed to keep my eyes open until Auntie Ann went home, then had another kip before getting off the settee for a shower and then I had a little nap before going to bed.

Sunday was very much rinse and repeat – except I insisted on going on Bud and B’s walk and it took us an hour and 10 minutes to do about half the usual walk that takes an hour and 20 minutes – but I got some fresh air and we all know that makes you sleepy so guess what I did when we got home – napped!  I woke up for tea and then managed to perk up to answer a friend’s phone call and then I napped again before bed.   If it’s true what they say about beauty sleep I should be a busty, leggy stunner by the end of the week.

One of the things we did pick up at the hospital was these, which according to the NICE guidance notes have a value of £4,365 excluding VAT…

I start taking them tonight.  Tonight as they can cause drowsiness and I so need some more of that during the day.  I’m also on Fragmin injections to avoid a thrombosis and Allupurinol to protect my kidleys.  As I’m not taking dexamethasone, like with the Velcade, I don’t need to take Acicolvir or Septrin.

I’ve said previously that a gauge of my general wellness is how much craftiness I carry out, Chris was horrified to discover last night that I hadn’t blogged since Thursday – as she was of the view that this too is now a similar indicator.

So onto the craftiness I have been up to.  Last Thursday I showed this little pile of body parts…

they are for two teddy bears, however I’m a tad concerned.  I have to admit I have struggled with the odd piece and quadruple checked the stitch numbers several times.  On Friday I wanted something simple so did part of the dressing gown for one of the bears.  I mean the back was basically a square of knitting with a little shaping at the neck.  Let’s have a little lookie at how that turned out…

Yes, that short it is the back and the long bits are the fronts and I didn’t even notice when I knit the pieces together at the shoulder joints!  So I’m not convinced that one of the bears isn’t either going to have a limp or several heads.

I will share more about our Friday appointment at the Royal once I’ve decided which parts are actually fit for polite company.  Oh, it all started off so well, we met Sean and his brother Nigel and then had coffee and cake with Sean. B seemed his usual self despite having had only an hour’s sleep but from then on, and I can only put it down to sleep deprivation, well, let’s just say it’s a good job I don’t blush easily.  Usual service was resumed once he’d had about an hour’s kip in the waiting area of the Day Unit when we went back up there for my Zometa – maybe the snoring helped as well!

The kindness of strangers

Here are the 84 squares that brings my total Share a Square squares (facebook group) for this year to 150.  Shelly was struggling to get squares from enough different people so just bear in mind that even one square makes a difference – any worsted/aran 100% artificial yarn (due to allergies) in any pattern as long as they are EXACTLY 6 inches.

All the squares I’ve done previously have been sent with the tags separate, as wonder woman Shelly will laminate the tags and attach them, but I thought I’d see if the local print shop (I thought it had closed but it had changed hands) did this kind of thing.  Now I know that the cost of getting them laminated in Texas is very, very reasonable so I was a little taken back at the cost for 88 tags (four extra just in case of boo-boos).  However I decided that the extra cost on my part was well worth the saving of Shelly’s time.

While the guy in the print shop was seeing how many he could get on each A4 sheet I felt the need to tell him what they were for.  Basically because I knew if I was in his place I would be close to bursting wondering what they were – particularly as these ones had this picture of Bud on them.

When I returned to collect them later I only needed to hand over one of the notes clutched in my grubby little hand as the lovely man in the shop had reduced the bill by about a third because of what they were for.   Therefore I can heartily recommend the services of Triprint in St Helens.

I had envisaged labelling my squares last night and getting them in the post today however between too much gassing with a friend last night and not enough tagging (I missed an opportunity there to get her tagging as she is one of my few – able to poke in person with a short stick – crafty friends) and me needing to get out of the house this afternoon after I’d had to leave Bud with the Doggy Dermatologist this morning (when I wasn’t expecting to and the house being so empty when I got home) this is how they still looked this evening…

More of Bud’s appointment to follow – it included two shaved bits, two stitches, blood tests, sedation and an Oscar winning performance in the waiting room – and that was just me! Just kidding, it was Bud that provided the show.

And in a photo worthy of Lorna’s ‘What’s That Friday’ I have managed this knitting over the past two weeks…

Can you tell what it is yet?  No!  I’m not surprised as neither can I!

With regard to THAT blood condition I didn’t in fact get my appointment brought forward so we go to the Royal in the morning.  I have felt generally better this week than last – not right (nobody say a word) but definitely improved.
Other Creative Spaces can be seen here.

September 20 tea time pic!

I nearly forgot to take my 20th of the month pics yesterday but I ‘dashed’ out while getting tea (putting salad stuff in a bowl) in my jim jams and the sun had just dropped below the horizon…
Speaking of tea and Margaret’s horror at the possibility that I may have been eating pasta and drinking tea (comment on ‘Keep going there’s a giveaway right at the bottom’) I feel the need to elaborate on this obviously confusing subject (although Fiona’s response did sum it up succiently).
Being working class my main meals growing up where – breakfast, dinner and tea.
If I’d been la-de-dah, or rather upper class they would have been – breakfast, lunch and dinner.
No I do vaguely remember my Mum trying to impose dinner on us at tea time – she would also have dearly loved for me not to say owt or nowt (anything and nothing) and I probably wouldn’t have said them as much as I did if this hadn’t been the case.
My meals now comprise – breakfast, lunch and tea.  On the surface this may look like I’ve staked a claim further up the class ladder but I can assure you this is not the case.  I was, am and always will be working class and I think I would keel over if I ever heard myself refer to my own evening meal as dinner, however I adopted lunch over dinner many, many years ago (about 21 actually – not that the incident scarred me at all) purely because I didn’t want to give someone the opportunity to catch me out twice.
I remember it as if it were yesterday.  I was a keen young secretary working in a property company, which was a subsidiary of the large local glass firm (well we thought of it was local but it was actually international).  One of the very big bods from Head Office, who was also a non exec director on our board, had purchased an apartment (no, not a FLAT) in a newly built coastal development in the Lake District.  He had developed a leak, not directly (although I could be wrong) but in the fla… APARTMENT.  My boss asked if I could sort out a contractor to go out and fix it ASAPASAPASAP if not sooner.  I rang Mr Big Bod’s secretary to let her know when the contractor would arrive.
ME:  ‘He’ll be with Mr Big Bod’s wife around dinner time.’
HER:  ‘And what time will that be?’
ME:  ‘Well I would have thought some time between twelve and two.’
HER:  ‘Oh, you mean lunch time!’ pause for effect ‘If I’d said dinner time to Mr Big Bod he would have expected the contractor around eight pm.’  Followed by ‘oh, I’m so witty’ laugh.
Now I’d served Mr Big Bod tea (as in a cup of – and now I see why it gets confusing and I’ve not touched on cream tea or high tea) on many occasions at Board meetings, being the junior secretary, and he seemed to all intents and purposes to be lovely – as a lot of Big Bods are – it’s the people who think they are important that look down on the juniors not the ones that really are.  Mr Big Bod also seemed completely coherent and to have his feet firmly planted on the ground unlike his secretary to whom I could have pointed out – ‘We’re dealing with a plumber here and plumbers don’t turn up at anyone’s property at eight pm other than their own!’

Grumpy in Pink!

Ohhh, we very nearly had a vlog!  Infact yesterday I did two on the camera – one in my jim jams and one not – don’t panic I was actually dressed which would have been a first for my third vlog – however the sound did a Norman Collier (comedian whose act was based around the microphone cutting out) and then shut off completely – it was a tour of our house with me attempting to be witty and Bud being exceptionally boring slept through it (I think his tummy was a bit off as he ate grass when B took him out).  So since we are vlog-less we’ll have to make do with Bud at his usual entertaining best.

Wayyyyyyyyyyyy back in June when Lorna and Mike got married we had anticipated putting Bud in a local kennels for the night of the wedding.  Since I ended up travelling to Wolverhampton straight from the Royal, and the kennel fee was non-refundable we decided to pop him in anyway on the Tuesday night.

When I got home on the Friday I noticed he had little bumps in the usually very smooth shiny fur round his neck.  There was a slight chuner at B, who denied all knowledge, and then I spent the next week picking tiny scabs out of his fur – Bud’s not B’s – and I know that’s quite a gross confession but I doubt the majority of you would have done he same.  I assumed they were flea bites he obtained in the kennels as no new ones materialised…until just over a week later.

Bud and I were sitting on the settee and I saw a two little raised areas in his coat and so I had a little pick at one and something hit the palm of my hand. ‘Ewwwweee that must have been a bit of scab’ I thought which was hastedly followed by ‘Did something flick off him or did it jump?‘  A second later it was confirmed that something did indeed JUMP!  I squeezed it in the end of my very long sleeved top and walked through to the kitchen, got out a piece of kitchen roll and opened my pinched fingers.  A shiny brown FLEA landed on the paper and then instantly jumped off at me.  I screamed (look it startled me! I wasn’t actually frightened!) and Bud wagged his way into the kitchen in a ‘What the whoof?’ kinda way.

I grabbed a natural remedies book and looked up dogs and fleas – apparently eucalpytus oil and a shoe lace were required.  I had the eucalpytus but all shoe laces were otherwise engaged.  So after a quick rummage in my ribbon box the most suitable length of ribbon was found, dosed in oil and applied to Bud.  It wasn’t my fault is was pink…

You’re ‘aving a laff’

‘Using the power of my mind – urghhhh – take it off’

 ‘Man to man! It’s pink, it’s in a bow, do I need to say more?’

‘I don’t care how desparate I am I’m not going into the garden and that’s that!’

‘I’m not going any further.  I’m just gonna wee here. Is that what you want?  Well is it?’

‘Seriously, can you hear what that wood pigeon is saying about me?  They can be so cruel.’

‘I know I said I’d be happy when it was off but I lied, I have to have it just in case you change your  mind.’

‘Is it in here?’

‘Ohhhhhh no you don’t…

‘… it’s mine now, all mine.’

And the lesson Bud learned from this is that even though he wasn’t able to use the hedgehog we’d seen outside the house the previous weekend as a toy (despite asking nicely several times in his usual approach of ‘tentatively try to get something in his mouth and wait for the NO or take it’) because it might give him a spikey surprise it was still able to give him a little gift – and somehow managed to get it gift wrapped!

Happy Bud Day!

Last Friday we celebrated a whole year since our small furry family member acquired us.  Okay maybe it was a little half assed, there was no cake and hats (about which Bud has mixed feelings anyway) – but the thought was there.

Considering when we set off on the ‘I WANT a puppy’ campaign the one thing I didn’t want was a pre-owned fully grown dog.   ‘You don’t know what they’re really like, how they’ve been treated, their little personality quirks.’ That said in our house a few personality quirks are probably a good thing.  A truly placid completely unadventurous dog would have ended up trying to hide under a cupboard with its bum sticking out trying to find the doggy equivalent of its happy place.

And so we ended up with an 18 month old male un-neutered Staffordshire Bull Terrier who was picked up as a stray so had absolutely no history and is beyond adorable.  He is so people friendly it’s almost embarrassing and was really gentle when he met our neighbour’s two year old great grand-daughter (she was thrilled at watering him from her watering can).

Would I hesitate to get another fully grown rescue dog?  No.  Although B pre-empted my suggestion that if I had another stem cell transplant I should get another doggy with a resounding ‘NO!’

Anyhoo back to Bud’s er, Bud Day.

One thing that doesn’t last long in the Kilgallon household is dog toys.  Well, they last a long time but in the component parts, ie, leg, ear, head rather than one complete unit.  However we’ve now found KONG – and if they would like Bud to be their official sponsor he would be more than willing to ‘work for treats’.

Auntie Ann got him a KONG bone at Christmas – a photo of which cannot be provided because since it’s been chewed and de-furred it’s slightly {sigh, who am I kidding} it’s not slightly, it’s completely pornographic – and I’m pretty sure that you don’t even have to have a certain type of mind to recognise that!  We got him a KONG dumbbell for his birthday, which although slightly de-fuzzed it’s still in one piece and still has its squeak – WOW, six months and still squeaking.

So for his Bud Day we got a companion for the KONG Wobbler we bought a few weeks ago which dispenses kibble/treats in an amusing manner.  It’s still in fully functioning order and next to it is Bud’s new plaything a KONG Extreme, size XXL – the biggest and hardest of the range…

You may be able to see it has got a few little teeth dents but nothing is actual missing and apparently you can get spray treats to pop inside.  You can also use pate (BLAH), spread cheese or doggy peanut butter – which I’m sure is entertaining but it all sounds a bit messy/bacteria encouraging to me.

Last Friday when he got it he was so excited and he chewed it and chewed it and chewed it chewed it and chewed it and chewed it chewed it and chewed it and chewed it – well you get the idea and then he whined at it!  I think it was exasperation that nothing had broken off.

I woke Bud up switching the camera on but he had been lying with his head at the side of it…

 ‘Look it’s my KONG and it’s my basket.  Don’t worry we’re not mutually exclusive I can still see other toys.’

We also got a KONG Zoom Groom and he loves being zoom groomed, well once, he got over his disappointment that it wasn’t another toy.  Plus it really works at removing hairs.

And he got this…

a chicken breast, which was subjected to about 40 seconds of this…

And made Bud do this…

Little cardys on the table, little cardys made of yarn and stuff

Firstly thank you for all the comments this week, actually just thank you for all the comments – my sister in law has told me I should reply more and although I am a bit rude in this respect I do read and cherish each and every one.   ‘Put that bucket down it wasn’t that soppy.’  I am feeling somewhat better today.  I had a kip (nap) after a tiny bit of shopping (whilst B hoovered – so I was well away) and I’ve generally only felt tired/fatigued really as opposed to unwell plus my temp seems to have maintained a respectable level.  

I may not have a new creative space (it’s currently still got the scrap quilts from last week all over it and knitting hasn’t hit a production high) so I thought I’d share these little jackets I made for the South Africa consignment via our GP’s receptionist (I really need to find a way to shorten that).

I wanted a quick cardigan pattern but something that could be un-problematically sized up – the five hour cardi pattern I used last year was more matinee style so, for me, didn’t size up well for older children.  I found Garter Yoke Baby Cardi, which I think is more jackety and would look just as good on a toddler as a baby.

I completed four.  One in Snuggly 4ply with novelty yarn trim…

One in double knitting…

This one has I-cord trim on the buttonhole border and I think is probably my favourite.  Here’s the back…

Another is in the remnants of the recent aran crocheting binge…

B liked this one best and picked it to be entered in the Rainford Show, which was fortunate as the one in Snuggly DK, with shell buttons, which he nearly went for…






had a little boo boo on the sleeve…

it may not be easy to tell from that pic (or it may be glaringly obvious) but I apparently gained an extra stitch leaving a hole!  It has since had a little TLC and it didn’t leave a scar.)  Oh, the shame!!!!!!!  (

But then again, look at this from the Early Autumn 2011 issue of Designer Knitting (previously Vogue Knitting)…

A missed cable on the sleeve and a wrong way cable at the bottom front. Now fair do’s if I’d done it for myself I probably (definitely) wouldn’t have undone (frogged?) the whole front to redo that cable but the one in the sleeve!  Plus if it was to appear in a magazine I would have… cut the sleeve out of the pic and put something over the one at the bottom!

Oh and I forgot to mention yesterday what B said to me on Monday (other than asking me if I wanted a jam butty sandwich – we were short on groceries – jam butty being the same thing as jam sandwich, in case you wondered, and I declined).  I was talking to B and I do have to repeat myself a LOT but Monday instead of ‘What Paula?’ he says ‘What Mum?’

‘WHAT MUM?’ WTF!?!?!?!?!?!?!

‘What darling?’ I said – or words to that effect.


‘Yeah, right!!!!!  Is that because I’ve been a whinging pain in the a*se the last few days?’

He just laughed.

Other Creative Spaces can be found here.