Category Archives: Uncategorized

Getting immoral with rumps

I think I may have done something, if not illegal, then certainly immoral with some rump steak – I made steak and onions.  Now this may be perfectly acceptable with some high folotting celebrity chef but I was brought up to make steak and onions, hotpot and such like with stewing steak and as it seems to be labelled now braising steak.

B had asked constantly today what I wanted for my tea and I had absolutely no idea.  Well okay, it was probably about twice but seemed a lot more.  At lunch he started to suggest things and at the point where he said soup I had to say ‘I think you should stop mentioning food or I’m gonna throw up’.  Later in the afternoon he nipped out for some milk and wanted to know again – but although I don’t feel queasy all the time I don ‘t feel particularly like eating.  B asked should he get some bread but the thought of bread turned my stomach at the time – indeed yesterday I made up some barm cakes for B but had some Ryvitas myself – just as well really since it turned out the barm cakes I’d used had a use by date of the 28th!

So tea time-ish today I went into the kitchen and looked at the rump steak in the fridge and thought ‘I couldn’t eat that fried but I could eat it in steak and onions’ so that’s what I did with it – I have to admit without chopping it into smaller pieces – I just wopped it in a pan to brown and then covered it with stock – chicken as we were out of beef.  B peeled the potatoes and we had it with mash and what I managed to eat stayed down unlike Sunday’s cottage pie.

It was, in B’s opinion, excellent.  He wasn’t being immodest as he hadn’t made it.  I decided to tackle the mince meat while B was out walking with Bud.  I donned a pair of disposable gloves and tackled the carrots and onion – better safe than sorry on the bacteria front.  B again peeled the potatoes for the topping and I remembered to do some veg to accompany it, unlike tonight’s meal.  I was enjoying it when suddenly I felt the urge to hurl and B passed me the poop bag lined sick bowl that’s stowed at the side of the settee just in time.  I did manage to finish off what was on my plate once I’d been sick.

Buddy has a reaction to seeing a sick bowl – he gets all anxious.  In this instance B passed me the bowl and before I’d even ejected the cottage pie Bud was up off his mat and over near the curtains looking at me funny.  I think it’s because his reaction is to come check I’m okay but it results in B telling him to get on his mat and when he doesn’t do it immediately B gets louder while I try and slope off to the stairs so I’m not throwing up in front of B while he’s trying to finish his food.   So it’s got to the point where I just have to move a sick bowl and Bud reacts.

Other than being a bit off my food I’ve still felt reasonably alright.  I have felt particularly tired today and didn’t go to armchair yoga this afternoon as I just didn’t have the energy/enthusiasm.  It had taken me the best part of an hour to go upstairs to set up the printer to work wirelessly – and in fact must have been fatigued as I didn’t even have the energy to threaten the netbook/printer when it didn’t work straight away.

I’ve also been a bit bunged up.  I thought that once I was home I’d start being regular again – isn’t this a lovely subject?  It was so hard to go in the Royal especially on the toilet I ended up using from my cupboard.  More people walked past the door than go through Heathrow in the length of a day.  Plus at Heathrow you don’t get people stood outside with drip machines beeping while you’re trying to ‘concentrate’.  I think I’ve taken enough laxatives to clear out a rhino but obviously need to increase them to take care of an elephant.  I wouldn’t usually be too concerned but in light of the need to go really regularly with the peritoneal dialysis I thought I better act sooner rather than later, particularly as the fluid I drained first thing this morning was a bit low which can be caused by constipation.

Meanwhile, although I really haven’t done anything today, I have previously finished off some things I did during my recent stay at the Royal.

I’ve added buttons to the aran jacket…

Sewn the ends in on the baby blanket made in the same aran (worsted) weight yarn…

Again this is from Comfort Knitting and Crochet Afghans.

Sorted out the ends on a granny square afghan for the crèche/hospital in South Africa at one of our GP’s receptionist’s husbands is involved with…

and cracked on with the other one I started…

I am really liking this and think the cream round the two centre squares and then again round the resulting rectangles ties it all together nicely.  I think I need to add nine more rectangles to get it to an acceptable size – which should just about clear all the tiny balls of double knitting yarn that I have left or have been given.  This is just as well as I need more storage in my sewing room for all my new peritoneal dialysis stuff.  I mean I do have room but I wanted to tidy hide as much of it away as possible so that the back room doesn’t make it look like there’s someone sick in the house!

 

I’m all out of wool, I’m so lost without it

and I’d run out of cream which was going to be my edging colour for both the inner squares and the outer rectangles.  So under duress he brought me a new 400g ball of cream aran, a pair of 4.5 mm knitting needles and the substitute cable needle.

I had found a lovely little jacket pattern at knitty.com –

I also tracked down a hat pattern at sweaterbabe.com – Cable Baby Beanie – and altered the rib to moss stitch and changed the cable stitch to match the one on the cardy.  After B brought me a darning needle in this afternoon, they both now look like this…

Needless to say finishing things off seems to usually take ages but it’s now done and I have nothing crafty to do.  I knew I should have pressed B to bring me something else in addition to the darning needle – he didn’t even want to bring me that suggesting I might prefer to ‘Have a rest’.

Now I’m not saying I’m easily bored – oh wait, yes I am actually.  Yesterday I changed my own bed – and not because I’d had a boo boo I’ll have you know.  I was about to remind the Health Care Assistants when I thought ‘What’s stopping me doing it?’  The answer was nothing and it made a change since B changes the bed at home because the bending starts my back off however with the benefit of an adjustable bed no bending was required.  I also assisted today – well I’m going with ‘assisted’ but ‘hindered’ is probably a better description.

One of the registrars called in this afternoon and asked whether Prof had said if I could go home after the chemotherapy had finished or if we needed to wait until my counts went back up before I got released.  As it turned out I got disconnected while B was here and if I’d thought on I could have pushed to go home then!  Just kidding!!! B wouldn’t have gone for it and the nurse I said it in front of thought that that was being a bit too keen – plus although B has cleaned the bathroom today he still apparently needs to wash the bed sheets.

I forgot to mention that I’m concerned that Prof knows me too well.  As I’ve said me and the steriod Dexamethasone don’t mix well so when I got my first dose last Thursday and it was the same as last time I queried it as Prof said we’d look at reducing the amount.  The nurse said she’d ask about it and shortly after Prof and one of the junior docs arrived and he informed her, to her surprise and the surprise of the nearby nurse and subsequent visiting registrar, that in view of my extreme reaction to Dex it was up to me how much I took.  There I was all geared up for putting my case across for taking less than suggested or in fact none at all and I ended up with free reign.  Prof’s method actually worked like a charm and I had to give proper consideration to the amount I wanted to take and felt I had to take some as I’d been entrusted with a completely voluntary decision and indeed when the registrar suggested that I might want to consider taking 6 mg instead of 4 mg I immediately wanted to say ‘No way’ even though I’d thought this myself.

Other Creative Spaces can be found here – at least I’ll have plenty of time in the morning to do some serious looking at other craftiness.

 

Peritoneal Dialysis Training

After Haemodialysis (HD) on Tuesday I sauntered down to the Peritoneal Dialysis (PD) Unit to start my CAPD – continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis training.  When I left at three ish the sister said ‘Go home and relax, you’ll be tired after this morning and the concentration this afternoon’.  I thought ‘Well I have been awake since 5.25 am but don’t feel too tired.  However I got in the car and felt whacked.  B took Bud for his walk while I had a shower, put my jim jams on and settled down on the settee.  A friend phoned at tea time to ask if it was okay if she called round that night – it was a good job I’d had a kip.

Wednesday I went for more training leaving the house at nine and B picked me up at two to go to the dentist.  I’ve still got the numbness in my lip/chin and it’s been a bit achy.  The dentist couldn’t find anything wrong visually or by tapping or poking.  She did say that any ‘proper’ toothache could be being masked by the numbness.  We agreed I’d mention it at the Royal and if they recommended any tests she could carry out she was more than happy to do them.

I so nearly didn’t get the appointment.  I got there and the receptionist said I was next on her list to contact as they had a problem with equipment and my appointment would need to be rebooked.  I explained about the forthcoming treatment (still no bed available as at last Friday) and the need to get any infection identified.  The dentist agreed to see me on the understanding that if treatment was required it couldn’t be done there and then.  She was however able to identify that I have good dental hygiene.

A friend called round on Wednesday night and brought her laptop as she couldn’t get her printer to print from it and her son was working away.  As Pat has the same level of patience with anything computer related as the average three year old has with logarithms she asked if I could do it.  The laptop wouldn’t talk to our printer either and when I attempted to connect it to our broadband I discovered the reason I hadn’t been able to connect B’s xbox – apparently you can enter the code 57 times and still not get connected if you’re entering the wrong code – 8s can look a lot like Bs.

Thursday I had potentially my last HD.  Potentially because Prof didn’t want me doing it during chemo as he felt it increased the risk of infection.  However the sisters in PD said it was unusual once PD was started for people to go back to HD, unless they had peritonitis.  The training on Thursday including spotting the signs of peritonitis basically an infection in the peritoneum where the fluid resides.  From quarter past three on Thursday when we left the Royal I was on my own!!!!!!!!!!!!

So far so good apart from some minor boo boos and B asking me if I felt dialysis is taking over and if I thought I had a sh*tty life.  Unlike last year when he asked me this and I countered that by association that meant he did too I just went with ‘No’ – I was lying on the settee at the time half asleep.  The PD is getting quicker as it becomes more familiar.

Last Monday we (I say we but it was mostly B with me getting in the way I think) made room in the garage to accommodate the delivery of my PD supplies.  I think this may have resulted in a pain in my right shoulder blade which I aggravated on Friday when I carried a box upstairs.

I’ll share details of all my free goodies (as pictured below) and what I do with them shortly – basically when I can take photos of the relevant things without contaminating anything that needs to be sterile.

Help

To cut a long story short – actually I don’t need to do that since it’s a really short story involving a couple of etsy conversations since Wednesday.

I have the opportunity for me and my Myeloma Buddies to maybe appear in a UK crafty magazine, possibly in the bottom left hand corner of page 82, and need to send in a pics of me and the Buddies plus 50-100 words about why I support the specific charities.  Which raises two issues – what to say and what photo of me to send ie, with or without hair!

There’s only a small fee involved – just kidding – no money is changing hands although I am still waiting to get my 561,000 bing bongs from the guy in Gambia who I sent my bank details to.  That might have been a mistake as I’m starting to think that might be the country where they need a wheel barrow to carry the coinage needed to buy a loaf of bread.

As I was thinking about it this morning for the first time really, I only got the email on Wednesday, I started thinking ‘I’ll have to count the words myself’ as I use wordpad on the netbook which is a small step up from using an electric typewriter with built in correction ribbon – but I don’t use it enough to justify forking out for Word.  Then I thought ‘If I type it in wordpress that will count the words for me’ and that’s when it dawned on me that if I did that I could publish it as a post and ask for your opinions.  So here it is…

In 2009 I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, an incurable but treatable blood cancer.  It generally affects older people, 50% of myeloma patients in the UK are over 71, but is unfortunately increasingly occurring in younger ones.  I was 39.  It’s only in recent years that the most advances have been made in myeloma treatment and two of the charities involved only with myeloma in promoting research, providing information and offering support are Myeloma UK and the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) – both of which are excellent.  I realised that I could FUNdraise (to quote the IMF) by using my crafty abilities and started making the Myeloma Buddies which is fun.  Although by the time I’d made 100 for Myeloma UK I did need a lie down at the sight of orange yarn.

There’s 127 words so feel free to add, subtract, amend or just generally comment.

Fortunately with regard to the photo – I don’t have to rely on B and his ‘The pic is adequate if you can tell who it is’ approach as I’ll be seeing Auntie Ann tomorrow.  Oh, I do have another question – make up or no make up?

I also have another issue but its okay I’m not asking for help on this one and its on a par with ‘Houston we have a problem’.  The peritoneal nurse visited yesterday whilst I was having dialysis to flush my line and change the dressing.  Whilst chatting I mentioned that Bud had kicked me in the side that morning.  It’s a little quirk of his to kick out his back legs whilst lying at the side of you, fortunately he only does it occasionally but you certainly feel it – which can be verified by B, Auntie Ann and Chris – all of whom have cried out when its happened to them.  The nurse said ‘You shouldn’t have dogs in the room when you do the dialysis’.  This is due to shedding hairs and skin – in a way similar to dandruff but with particles so small they are not visible to the eye.  Well I was planning on doing the dialysis at night whilst in bed – the very same bed that I and less frequently we share with Bud!  Maybe I do need help with this as I’m not going to be the one to tell him.

Short Break

If I said I was having an impromptu mid week short break where’s the first place that springs to mind?  As much as I’d like to say ‘No, you’re wrong, I’m in Prague’ if you did say the Royal in Liverpool you would indeed be correct.

I’m having my peritoneal dialysis (PD) catheter/cannula fitted today and was expecting to come in this morning at 7 am.   However about ten minutes before dialysis finished yesterday a nurse off the ward I’m currently on came and introduced himself and mentioned coming in yesterday, had I brought my stuff – well of course I hadn’t!  After consulting with the doctor who is putting the catheter in and I needed to ring last night about 5pm as there was someone due to be discharged between 5 and 6 pm.  Poo!

On one hand at least I didn’t have to go to bed at home thinking ‘Aahhhhh I have to get up and go in the morning’ but on the other it’s another night in hospital that I wasn’t expecting.  In fact it might be two as some people stay in the night it’s put in particularly if they have dialysis here the day after.  B thinks this is quite a good idea – I do in theory but in reality it sucks – I’d much rather be in my own bed with Buddy.

I’d had my day planned around going in on Wednesday morning, I was going to Armchair Yoga in the afternoon, then maybe a walk with B and Bud, my last bath and then Chris was probably coming round – so that would take my mind off things – because the insertion of any line gets me a little windy but this one in particular has.  So I went to yoga anyway, missed a friend who called with some homemade jam and a bag of treats for Bud by 10 minutes (‘Why didn’t you ring me on my mobile’ I asked B ‘I thought you’d be driving’ as it was it was just as well because i’d left it at home), took a call from Chris saying she should be able to call if she had a car and then said she’d take me in if I was going, took a call from the renal nurse at practically bob on five saying that there was a bed free (B handed me the phone!), half packed, went rushing off into the wood opposite wearing a dress with no tights and pink wellies after I saw a little Scottie dog out there apparently on its own – said dog rushed off like the clappers when I shouted it and it turned out there was someone with it but miles away, showered, forced down half my tea, got in the car with Chris and claimed my bed.  I think we got here at eight ish.

When the nurse booked me in last night it turned out that I’m only having the catheter/cannula installed this afternoon!  Usually they are done in a morning but they’d checked with the doctor and it’s only this afternoon so really I could have stayed at home – I’ve only had the laxative this morning as well.

I’d taken my Thalidomide extra early to get it in before I left home and so I didn’t have to start saying to the renal staff ‘You need to put gloves on to dispense that one’ so when Chris went at half nine I started typing this but was nodding off so I ended up watching ‘Big Fat Gypsy Weddings’ on the netbook was well away by eleven. The doctor woke me up apologetically at quarter to one to clerk me in  – she was still on at eight this morning.

I’m on a ward of six as opposed to the usual four in haematology but surprisingly (and against Chris’s opinion too) there was no disturbances during the night (other than the doctor), there was blood taken at about seven thirty ish but I was awake then anyway and I got to have the laxative drink – which has worked you’ll be glad to know!  I needed to let them know if it didn’t and I could have had another one because, and here’s something I hadn’t thought of, the nurse said she didn’t want me getting the urge to go while I was having anything installed.

Oh, and you know you see and hear all those jokes about hospital gowns opening at the back and exposing people’s rear ends well I’d never seen this in real life – until last night.  A lady with a gown on and a cardy got up to go to the loo and there she was with a HUGE gap in the gap – fortunately she had some sort of undergarment on – but it was like those people who rubber neck at road accidents I didn’t want to look but had to fight to keep my eyes away – Chris clocked the sight and we both started tittering.  We then had a discussion on how it’s neigh on impossible to do with the way gowns close now but then it happened again this morning but with someone else!  And then the first lady had apparently taken her’s off completely – fortunately I didn’t see and this I only glanced over (I didn’t want to it just happened) when I heard one of the staff suggest that she might like to put it back on – I only saw a bit of shoulder.

Me Balls are too Big

I thought it was about time we had a craft related post.  I’ll start with what I did while on my five week Royal-cation.

I did 20 fancy crocheted squares – I had 63 to choose from in the booklet which was just as well as there were a number I undid, either because I had too many or too few chains left at the end of the base row or it didn’t turn out the right size.  I must apologise for the picture quality but I took some of them on my phone.

I had plenty of yarn left over from making the fancy squares so I made another 45 (I already had five made at home) for Share a Square.  Shelly was a little short of contributors, as every square in an afghan should come from someone different, so it was suggested that if you crocheted them you could put a friend/family member on the tag that accompanies them.  So I did this batch from my Auntie Ann  – needless to say I had to handwrite the tags.

This was one of the squares I’d already done.  This and the other 45 squares are in Red Heart aran/worsted and this one is called Bikini.  I have  to say I was very impressed with Red Heart’s service.  I ordered on a Saturday night, the order was processed on the Monday and I received it Friday – all the way from the US.

Now we’ll get onto the subject of big balls and me being a tad (read that as very) slow.  I selected some yarn for a blanket from my local yarn store over the phone and a friend picked it up.  B brought the book in I needed – Comfort Knitting and Crochet Afghans and off I went.  I have to admit that the last week in the hospital I didn’t do any knitting at all.  Yes, I felt somewhat crappy but if I’d had something to do that didn’t involve four colours in a row I might have been more inclined to do some but I had already managed a fair bit…

Plus the balls were all 400g and actually seemed to be getting bigger rather than smaller, as they loosened up, so it was really a mither to untangle the yarn part way through.  I started knitting again on Wednesday and saw the light – why didn’t I just wrap smaller balls to make it easier – Doh!

The pattern itself is really clever, well I think so, in that you start with a straight row of stitches…

and because of the decreases in the middle it forms a square when finished.

On Tuesday this week I decided I’d like to do some crochet and thought I’d start a blanket for the creche/hospital in South Africa that our GPs’ receptionist, and husband, are involved with using the bag of tiny balls that one of the other receptionists gave me.  I also had quite a few bits hanging about myself.

I crocheted them together as I went along otherwise I would have crocheted round each square in the same colour, say cream, to unite it more.  Now my sister in law, Gill, rang on Tuesday to ask if I had a crochet hook that she could borrow for some double knit yarn she’d bought.  She’s never crocheted before but is having trouble sleeping so she thought it might be an idea to learn so that she could crochet when she’s awake in the middle of the night.  She’s left handed but had found an instructional video for left handed people on the internet. I said no problem, I have lots of crochet hooks.  Turns out I only have one 4.5mm which was the size I was using for the blanket so after I’d lent it to Gill I needed something else to do in dialysis on Wednesday, so I did these…

They are in a chunky yarn, which I wouldn’t usually use, but was given two bags full by a friend from Armchair Yoga so I thought I’d use that as it would crochet up quickly.

And finally, I actually finished my second Stephen West Knitalong shawl, for a friend for Christmas, just before I went into hospital.  I hadn’t blocked it though I had left it to dry flat and I was so annoyed with myself on Christmas Eve.  Chris called round with my present (and we had a chat with me in the vestibule and her in the porch – as she had a cold) and I hadn’t had chance to block the shawl.  After she’d gone I went upstairs and when I looked at the shawl it would have been fine – I could have just wrapped it up.  Double doh!

I have to say I really like the colours particularly as I wasn’t too sure how they would look together.

And one little departure from crafting – when I went to dialysis yesterday both the doctor and dietitian called in to see me.  The dietitian was asking me how my mouth was and I said it was loads better, the only thing that really made it sting was the potassium tablets I’d been given to take when I left the hospital.  It turned out that my potassium was too high on Wednesday but this would be the reason and since I took the last ones on Wednesday it should settle back down.

My phosphate had also been low prompting a phone call from one of the doctors on Monday afternoon but since I didn’t feel nauseous and was eating it wasn’t too much cause for concern and it had gone up a little by Wednesday.

The other thing was the 24 hour wee collection I’d taken in on Monday – 1.8 litres!  Just a tad different from the 200 to 300ml I was producing at first.  When analysed it didn’t have that many toxins in it which would have showed that my kidneys were recovering and dialysis could be stopped at some point,  but it did have some.  The doctor said though that there is still a little hope that they will pick up and I need to do a monthly collection.  It was just as well that I hadn’t got my hopes up but then again you never know, stranger things have happened at sea.

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.