Category Archives: Christmas

Of course it’s not a heart attack

After I’d done my last post, when I mentioned letting the not so good things slide, I realised that I tend to do this quite quickly as I completely forgot to mention the quite bad pain I’d had in my chest the day we went to our last blood clinic appointment.

On the Thursday night I started getting some pain in my upper chest and by the time I went to bed it was actually quite bad. It initially crossed my mind that the pain was in a similar position to the awful discomfort I had during my stem cell transplant but by bed time time the pain wasn’t just in my upper chest it was also in my shoulders so my next thought was about where the pain would be if the rib with the plasmacytoma on it had broken or even that I’d done myself a mischief while throwing up. Since we were going to the clinic the following day it didn’t even enter my head to do anything about it at the time so I just took some Oramorph on top of my usual painkillers and went to bed.

I woke up Friday morning to find the pain was really quite bad, in fact it was the pain that woke me up. Now I do an odd thing when I end up in pain in bed, I use to do it quite often when I got regular migraines, instead of getting up and taking painkillers I carry on lying in bed in pain and then only get up to take them when I just can’t take anymore – fully realising that if I’d go up when I first woke up it would be feeling somewhat better by that time. So when I finally got my backside out of bed it was nearly 7.30 am. I took as many painkillers as I could (2 Paracetamol, 2 x 50mg Tramadol and not quite 5ml Oramorph) and went back to bed.

By the time I woke up again the pain in my chest had eased off but my shoulders were still sore. B and I got dressed and set off for the Royal. As usual I took my crocheting with me because even when I’m not feeling well I have to take something crafty with me – I think its like the equivalent of a child’s blankie. I sat in the car and didn’t touch my crocheting – the only thing I did was drink some of the ginger beer I’d taken with me (I was still being familiar with the sick bowl at the time and indeed saw the ginger beer again on the way home). It was as I was sitting there comtemplating the non use of the crochet hook that I suddenly thought ‘I wonder what a heart attack feels like’. I decidely it probably wasn’t, based of course on my extensive medical knowledge, because 1) I’d never heard of anyone mentioning shoulder pain, 2) surely the chest pain would be lower and 3) I hadn’t thus far keeled over!

When I mentioned to the Prof this pain (without using the words heart attack) it turned out it could have been one of two things. He ruled one out as I currently take Fluconazole – an antifungal medication which left irritation to the oesophagus by the large number of tablets I’ve been taking. The Prof upped the antacid medication to two a day and the pain eased off. It was still bothering my shoulders a bit on Saturday but had eased off completely by Sunday however I then forgot to take the evening tablet on Sunday.

Needless to say, apart from last night that is, I haven’t forgotten since. I woke up on the Monday morning and could barely move. I got out of bed, this time straight away, went downstairs, popped the same amount of painkillers as on the Friday morning and went to lie down on the settee. B had got up when he saw the slow way that I’d been maneuvering around the bedroom and fortunately was in the lounge to cover me with a throw (hand knit by me naturally) as I think if he hadn’t been there I would have literally lay there freezing before I could have done it myself.

I dozed somewhat fitfully* at first and when B got me a drink he held it up so I could use the straw without moving anything. Fortunately by the time I woke up from some proper sleep everything had settled down significantly and it hasn’t come back since.

When I was telling my Auntie Ann she recalled being in hospital and getting a pain in her shoulder. The nurse said it could be wind and Auntie Ann wasn’t sure if she was pulling her leg or basically just plain wrong. However a burp later the pain went. B’s Auntie S when I was telling her recalled a time she’d eaten toast before going to bed and awoke to chest pain and she has heart problems to start with. She contemplated that it might be a heart attack but asked her hubby to get her some hot water and again a burp sorted the situation out.

On the Thursday night before the Blood Clinic appoint I’d said to B that I wanted to walk down to the fabric shop for some fabric, funnily enough, and B asked me on the Friday morning whether we’d be going – okay, he more or less told me we wouldn’t – but of course I couldn’t just say no. It was only on the way out of the hospital that I admitted that I just wanted to go home.

Now although I may not actually have felt like using the fabric between then and now I was still a bit put out that we didn’t make it to the shop. So I’ve said to B that we’ll go after this Friday’s appointment. He said ‘We’ll see.’ Mmmmm, yes, we’ll see. I mean I have to finish off some outstanding stuff from Christmas. I’ve now finished the embroidery but need the material to back these…

and yes – there are two Christmas Trees.  I couldn’t find the angel pattern at one point.  And I don’t know about you but I can’t help thinking that the teddy bear looks like he’s desperate for a wee.

* I have no idea why that word when following slept or dozed amuses me.

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Happy Christmas

Well I made it home by four o’clock. It’s obviously fantastic and was just wonderful to see Bud, who I think was pleased to see me too. I shan’t discuss the state of the back bedroom or the dining room table and part of the lounge actually but that’s just unused as yet Christmas decorations. We had a minor hiccup with the switch from IV to oral antibiotics in that they hadn’t been prescribed on my drug chart. Two of the junior doctors came in, separately, looking for it yesterday and presumably when they couldn’t find it they either forgot or just didn’t carry on looking hard enough. The pharmacy is technically closed today but the doctor that is in got round it by doing an outpaitent prescription and one of the nurses went down to the chemist and picked them up as it was only open until 1.00pm.

Tuesday night I started coughing then Thursday I think I woke up unable to breath through my nose and swabs were taken. The nurse this morning came over to me and started saying that the doctor had said that the swabs had come back postive for flu but as I felt well I could still go home. My counts today were HB 11, platelets 24 and neutrophils 0.0. I gave myself a very short haircut last night as I had started to shed. One of my fellow patients said it really suited me which was what people said the first time funnily enough. Maybe a number two (how a very short setting on the clippers is referred to and now the bodily function) is how I should go in the future.

It looks like it’s me, B and Bud for Christmas lunch. Auntie Ann’s cold hasn’t got better. However she’s making lunch and Uncle Ray is bringing it over – he insisted even though one of our neighbours had made the same offer – they couldn’t have us round either as two of them have colds. Auntie Ann however is really disappointed about not being able to spend Christmas Day together but we are going to have Christmas Day on New Years Day.

My sister in law and nephews left not so long ago after dropping off our presents and as I was sitting typing in the dining room I heard the sound of the bag being investigated by the small furry family member. Fortunately when he didn’t reappear to be near me I went to investigate him. Bud had knocked the bag over and was proceeding to unwrap one of the presents. I wouldn’t mind but it wasn’t even his one it was B’s. He hadn’t got very far. He’s now having a kip, I think he’s tired himself out.

Oh, and one thing that B did do this year that I couldn’t manage last Christmas was get the reindeer antlers on Bud the other day. I asked him how he’d done it and he said ‘I just put them on’. And they were on so well that Bud couldn’t reach them with his paw to take them off himself!

So I wish you all a Wonderful Christmas and really appreciate you reading, commenting and caring.

Love and hugs

Paula xx

Happy Christmas Crochet

Some of you may remember this…

my attempt at broomstick lace earlier in the year.  Now although I didn’t dislike the effect the whole effort of wrapping the yarn around a big fat knitting needle on every other row was a pain in the proverbial – to say it didn’t flow was an understatement and I couldn’t have done it in public as it involved way too much propping of the knitting needle against a leg, stomach or other convenient body part.

So I abandoned it and used the yarn in my second holiday project which I have now finished…

It is intended to be a Christmas present and I’m sure it will be but we all like it. I’m taken with it, B has actually said he thinks it’s one of the nicest blankets I’ve done and this is what Bud thinks of it…

I only moved it to one side to get up to answer the phone and whoosh he pounced.

While attempting to do the above earlier Bud was getting a little restless as I decided that he wasn’t getting a second walk tonight and he didn’t exactly concur so I made him a super quick toy.  I had thought about this the other day and decided it would be a good thing to keep him occupied.

I took three old pillow cases I’d been hanging onto because they may ‘come in handy’  one day.  It may also have been because I used to buy organic bedlinen and at that sort of price (even if I could get it on sale) I couldn’t bring myself to throw them out when they got worn out.

So I cut the pillowcases up the sides so they looked like this…

plaited them and tied a knot at each end.

‘What do you think Bud?’



Seems like a winner, although it probably won’t last that long but then none of his soft toys do, and I don’t think he likes pretending to be a sumo wrestler in it.

Boxing Day Part I

We multi-tasked and combined Buddy’s walk with the trip to the cemetery as it was my Dad’s anniversary.  I tell you this purely for the sympathy vote, and to point out that I really don’t need to hear about my father in law’s heart attack for the 5,000th time on that of all days.  (My Dad had a coronary artery thrombosis during the night and we found him when he didn’t turn up for lunch – he  would have paid to go that way.)  No, really I tell you this to explain why we were walking through the cemetery where we came across two rather large ball-shaped shrubs at the end of one of the paths with a covering of snow that made them look like Christmas puds AND someone had strategically positioned a red something (carrier bag, flower paper) on top of one so it really did look like a pudding (unfortunately I hadn’t taken my camera).

After we got home B phoned the m-i-l  up at 13:15 to say he was on his way and she informed him  that she’d had a bowl of soup to put her on!  She’d had lunch!  Bearing in mind that she takes every opportunity when faced with a plate of food to state that she doesn’t eat a lot (yeah right – tell that to her empty tin of Roses – chocolates).  This was when I very nearly lost it but thought ‘What the heck, even if she hadn’t had lunch she’d have complained I’d given her too much’.

She pointed out that last year, we’d only had lunch late.  Yes, because the beef wasn’t done enough for her and took forevvvvvvvvvvvvvvvver to cook and then she didn’t eat it and complained that the veg was cold whilst shovelling it down like it was going to do a runner and therefore she had lunched this year because obviously she would pass out if she had to go another hour without food.  However this year I’d done stew, basically because I would have needed B to peel the potatoes due to my wrist, and I couldn’t have coped with getting him up at 04:30 so that they were done in time.

So the m-i-l was most put out that she went straight to the table rather than got to complain about how late lunch was (although she did manage to do that at Gill’s on Christmas Day).  And obviously complained there was too much.  Then we had pudding (fruit slump which said it didn’t store well) so there was too much.  After complaining about this and B refusing to take any off her and being told 55 times to just leave what she didn’t want I went on a trip to the kitchen, which is all of six feet away, where I heard the m-i-l say to B ‘Will she have some of this?’ and came back through the door to find her indicating that she meant my Auntie Ann by waving her spoon in that general direction.

Never the one to miss an opportunity to moan the m-i-l declared to my Auntie Ann that the problem was her legs.  Now I having gone beyond the smile and nod stage said ‘Are you doing the exercises the physio showed you?’  The physio that back in September it took me about 10 phone calls to sort out and included a load of equipment being provided which she agreed on and then insisted on all but one zimmer frame going back!

M-i-l:  ‘Occassionally, but they don’t work.’

Me:  ‘That’s because you have to do them three times a day.’

M-i-l: ‘Oh!’ With a look that said ‘Thank you for interrupting my moan’.

All through lunch the m-i-l kept saying how cold her hands were.  Now this is not unusual and she has on more than one occasion been known to grab the hand of the person closest, in this case mine, without prior warning and say ‘Feel how cold my hands are!’  Several times with me this has backfired as my hands were colder and this has reduced her to a sullen state.  So I have to say I paid her no mind and carried on eating and it was only when B made sure she got upstairs okay and asked whether the heating was on that I remembered I had set it on timed on Christmas Day to accommodate going to Auntie Ann’s.  Doh.

So after I crazily confessed the m-i-l ended up on the settee huddled under a throw (I burnt it the day after – no not really but I did wash it).

Tomorrow I’ll share how the m-i-l provided a lovely warm welcome for our next door neighbour and his lady friend – okay we ALL know that’s not gonna happen.  She refused to sit at the table with us and caused Bud to lunge viciously at Ben.  Now I’m gonna take a little kip as I think my temp is spiking because I’m struggling to keep my eyes open!  Whatcha mean it’s too much of the easy life and getting waited on hand and foot that I now need an afternoon snooze?

 

Christmas & the mother in law

We had a wonderful Christmas – I just love it!

We went to my Auntie Ann’s on Christmas Day or as asked by the m-i-l ‘Are you going to that woman’s?’.  And I more or less completely managed this year to avoid letting the mother in law wind me up.  Unlike one year in particular when I ended up slicing salad stuff like it had committed a heinous crime – the m-i-l went on and on about when was she getting her tea resulting in me stropping off into the kitchen missing the last 20 minutes of a film – it’s not as if we could have heard it anyway if I’d stayed.  I wouldn’t mind but she’d only had her lunch 3 or 4 hours before and complained constantly about it being too much.

Oh, and there was the year she was watching her cholesterol and so I double checked if she would eat cheesecake if I made it with low fat cheese – she then wouldn’t eat it as it had raspberries swirled through it and she didn’t like that that resulted in pink swirls – it should have been white with the fruit on top only!

And then there was the year I fractured my elbow (only hairline) and she wanted to know why I wasn’t able to do any baking and in the same breath was excusing my sister in law from doing anything as she had a cold! (Wow, she actually made an allowance for one of us at some point.)

And there was the year that the in-laws turned up on Boxing Day with a turkey for me to cook as they had defrosted it but for some reason couldn’t cook it themselves.  I’d never cooked a turkey before and my father in law had seen on the TV that the best way to cook it was wrap the turkey itself in foil and turn it over part way through cooking – which was entertaining to do.  It wasn’t for us by the way, they took it all home with them.

Anyhoo, moving back to this year and my new tactic.  I am generally quite laid back but the m-i-l manages to get me from zero to KABOOM in about 0.25 milliseconds.  But not this year (well okay, there was one slight start of a flare up but I managed to kick that into touch).

Christmas Day we called at my sister in law’s with Buddy.  Gill’s two Boston Terriers weren’t Buddy friendly and were dispatched to the kitchen while Bud discovered their squeaky toys in the lounge and set out dismantling one.  I know very inconsiderate of me but by the time I reached out for it, it was already squeakless.

This is Benson aka Benny…

This is Dorothy aka Dottie (back in August, she’s a bit bigger now)…

I managed to avoid having to kiss the m-i-l as I had Bud on the lead and she’s frightened of dogs.  My sis in law’s mum complimented me on my hair and how it suited me short.  The m-i-l agreed then asked Gill’s mum if it was a wig.

Then she insisted that my eldest nephew moved from the arm of the settee to the spot just vacated by the youngest nephew near to her.  When he proved to be less than enthusiastic and only moved on about the fifth suggestion she put her hand up to her mouth and WHISPERED to Gill’s mum ‘I don’t think he thinks much about me.’  Obviously I heard this WHISPER across the room so goodness knows what eldest nephew thought – probably whatever the most modern equivalent of ‘Beam me up Scotty’ is.  I meanwhile found it good to know that it’s not only Bernard she says this about/to!

She then pointed out that Bud was eating the squeaky toy.  ‘No, Mary’ I said very insistently ‘he isn’t, he’s spitting it out!’ as evidenced by the 102 pieces strewn over the rug.  As it turned out, and as much as this pains me, she wasn’t wrong on that count.  Not right you understand, just not wrong.  I found this out on Monday morning around 06:00 when I awoke to find a small furry face peering at me over the edge of the bed.  ‘That’s unusual’ I thought ‘Bud doesn’t normally get off the bed until I get up’.  So I scooched over and Bud reclaimed some of the duvet.

I meanwhile tootled off downstairs to get a head start on the painkillers so I my wrist didn’t kick off when I got up.  Fortunately I put my socks on as it was still very cold and by the time I got to the kitchen I thought mmmm, well okay not at first, it was 06:00ish after all (that’s 6 in the AM!), so I finally thought ‘mmmmm, why’s my sock a bit moist?’.  I turned round and there on the dining room laminate was a little pile of Buddy sick, and a little further away another little pile.  Both piles as it turned out containing little bits of squeaky snowman!  There was also a puddle of wee under the dining table but I didn’t notice that at the time. B noticed it when he got up later but only after Bud was giving it a passing sniff!

Okay, back to Boxing Day… well, maybe that’s enough for one post – Christmas Part II Boxing Day to follow…

Christmas from a Shop

I would like to bring to your attention a recommendation that Lorna made about a TV programme.

“I was watching a programme on ITV this afternoon called “May the best Christmas house win.” I’m sure it was you pretending to be a Mancunian, she certainly had your craftiness and giggle. It was you wasn’t it? If you didn’t catch it maybe it’s on Sky+ or some other on demand channel.”

Lorna was even kind enough to forward me a link to said programme.  It involved four women going to each others houses to critique the others’ Christmas decorations/style, obviously these were very different styles.

  • One had leopard print baubles and feathery masks on the tree
  • One had enough illuminations to rival Blackpool and not enough room left inside to swing a very small cat, probably also dressed as santa
  • One had a very designer edge, black tree, sparkly, glitter style
  • And the fourth one had handmade crafty decs – which leaned heavily on owls but had knit bunting, I-cord and mushrooms

And the winner was… Leopard Baubles – with Crafty Christmas an abysmal fourth.  (I actually liked the one with the BLACK Christmas tree!)

Really, really abysmal – someone voted Crafty a TWO!  Now I’m not too sure what the lovely Lorna meant by the similarities (and I would point out that this is just the right time to be mean to Lorna because she is currently strung tighter than a pole dancer’s thong and all because Mike is on holiday at the moment) but Crafty Christmas had no bought decs.  Well, I would like to point out that I actually do.

I have some baubles, well they are bought but not on the tree, I attached them to ribbon and hung them from the wall lights…

Well, I have some stockings that were bought as panels and then sewn together and embellished…

Mmmm, I have some bought bowls, that I added little shiny stars and floating candles and then ‘Just Add Water’.

Well I do have a wreath with plastic bags that I knocked up on Boxing Day – oh, but they weren’t bought bags they were still free.  I had planned on making one for a while so had been saving bags and fortunately with making a ton of Myeloma Buddies I’d got a LOT of stuffing from a shop that had kindly changed their bags from cream to white and burgundy so I had enough of one type for the whole wreath.  Although I had to work hard to get them from the bottom of my sack of bags – so hard that I had to keep nipping upstarts to find another one – this had nothing to do with the mother in law being in the living room!  At one point my Auntie Ann nodded off – I am giving her the benefit of the doubt and assuming she didn’t feign sleep to avoid hearing about my father in law’s fatal heart attack yet again!

I just cut the bags into strips with pinking shears and tied two strips at a time onto an embroidery hoop.

And I couldn’t resist being a copycat and making some of the crocheted snow flakes like Fiona – oh hang on, they’re definitely not bought!

Oh, oh, I do, I do have some shop bought unadulterated ornaments… TA DA…

Bud gave them a good hard look when they appeared on the cabinet but so far hasn’t made an attempt to liberate them.  It’s just as well they no longer sing and dance, or rather wiggle, that might be too much as evidenced by Bud making off with Auntie Ann’s singing puppy on Christmas Day.

Now I’m sure you all want to know how Christmas with the mother in law went, well tomorrow, once I’ve recovered enough to commit it to hard copy I’ll be sure and let you know about our Christmas, which includes such exciting things as what to say to enamour your eldest grandson to you, what you should eat before arriving for a Boxing Day lunch, what to do if someone tries to poison you with purple lettuce and how to ingratiate yourself with your daughter in law by switching from calling her Auntie ‘that woman’ to calling her small furry family member ‘that dog’, oh, and asking if she’s wearing a wig!

 

Buddy Antlers

I think we all knew that getting Buddy into the antlers I’d bought wasn’t going to be a piece of Christmas Cake however if I’d have thought on I should have popped them on him when he’d disappeared into the bedroom the other night and made himself comfy…

however I didn’t – so armed with the antlers, the camera and a large handful of dog biscuits we made the attempt last night.  Needless to say our photos won’t be as elegantly posed as the ones of Toni, but here they are…

 

And the final straw, I mean, shot…

‘Just give me the biscuit and take off the antlers and everybody can

Have a Whoofly Christmas

and that includes all of you!’