Tag Archives: side effects

Sausage Hands

My neutrophils are none existent as an unexpected result of the methotrexate.  I’ll keep this short, what do you mean thank goodness – as it’s really hard to type with these sore sausages that have temporarily taken the place of my fingers.  I still have my own skin but someone about five times bigger is borrowing it.  They’re not as sore as yesterday and some movement is easier but I can’t knit, if I felt compelled and B is having to help me in the shower.

I’m still in infectious diseases with a fridge which is good but would be a whole lot better if I could actually drink a whole bunch of COLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLD stuff.   After discussion of a morphine syringe driver yesterday one was prescribed – well a syringe driver that is but it was for anti-sickness only and I’ve never complained of it.  I can only think one/more of the nurses had said this but I’m not sick it’s just that if I attempt to drink something and my throat doesn’t like it I start to choke but just that bit comes back along my maybe some thick gloopy drool – just like at night.  A doc had prescribed the morphine driver on Monday (when I mostly slept) and then yesterday another one said that I’d not really made use of the meds on offer (may be because I’d slept) and I should give them a go and see how it went.  So I did and by the end of the day I managed a yoghurt, my tablets in mostly soluble form and even a little fizzy drink – very little and not without reaction.  I tried again today but the thing is that despite asking yesterday I had five mouthfuls of good stuff out of a possible seven and today seven out of a possible eleven and although I started off well, with an ice lolly for breakfast I found my nice slimy tinned peaches for supper were too rough – so next to nothing is getting down.  Needless to say I think I may be better off with the syringe driver for a bit.

One of the kidney docs called round this morning took one look at me and offered help with dialysis.  It took place within the hour and then he came back later and said due to the risk of infection I could have a couple of days off anyway.

And I’m so  parched I’m sure I could watch a Titanic documentary and think as they hit the sea ‘the jammy so and sos all that cold cold water and ice!’

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Back in The Royal

Temp went up yesterday. Came in today at two, very quickly through A&E after B phoned the blood ward and they found me an isolation room on another ward.

Feel decidedly ropy but better than last night however throat and upper digestive tract really painful.   Discussed pain relief with both blood docs including the registrar when she called in again on her way home.

One of the ward nurses called in about 9.15 to say the were just short of on antibiotic and I asked about pain relief and she said paracetamol tablets to which I replied there was no way I could swallow them.  She then offered me soluble which makes me barf at the best of times.  After I said no again she said she’d look into it!  Fortunately a much more agreeable lovely nurse just did the medicines round and she’s hooked me up to one, given me a liquid other (that I can have every few hours to get on top of it) and gone to get me very small tablets of a third.  You never know I may even stop drooling on the pillow when I sleep.  I have been prescribed others as well but they are big tablets so might be a bit adventurous.

I also have a skin reaction that the registrar likened to psoriasis.  It’s quite sore on my hands/wrists but also visible on my face, shoulders and round my armpits – it started there last Thursday and my deodorant had done this one before after chemotherapy but not as much as this – especially when I stopped using it.  When it was being discussed with the two docs B started prodding his finger up my short jim jam top sleeve in a completely inept, clumsy and totally unprovocative manner!

The room I’m in on the Infectious Diseases ward is very nice and has its own ensuite shower room however the lovely nurse is moving me later as its a negative pressure room and is not the best room they have since my blood tests have shown I’m neutropenic.

And B got carried away with the phone before we left home, after ringing the blood ward he phoned Auntie Ann to let her know what was happening and she turned up at the ward just minutes after us.  She didn’t tell him she was coming and to be truthful I wouldn’t have phoned her until later as she was supposed to be going to the Magic Rugby League Weekend at Old Trafford, Manchester to watch her team  the Saints play their local rivals, wigan warriors (I daren’t use initial caps just in case she ever saw) and the phoned the friends she was going with and came to see me instead!

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.

 

While I remember

I was going to share intimate details of where and when I’ve been poked and with what (oh er Mrs!) but decided I’d save that for later and instead tell about forgetfulness while I remember.

As I’m sure I’ve said previously, well I think I may have, my memory is not what it used to be.  Years ago an Ops Director I was PA to asked me had I done something, knowing full well that I hadn’t physically had time to do it, and was taken back when I handed it over (I’d done it at home).  He said that when when I was born I probably appeared telling the nursing staff exactly what to do and the most efficient way of doing it.  I don’t think I need to say that this certainly doesn’t apply at the moment.

I’ve had to adapt round the forgetfulness – I’ve tried lists, which I’ve always loved – ‘My name’s Paula and I’m a listaholic’ – but if a piece of paper and writing implement aren’t to hand by the time I’ve got one I have literally no idea what it was I was going to write down.  If I’m distracted mid sentence by something, or rather anything; a bird, a stray ray of sunlight, Buddy burping,  I can’t always remember what I was saying.

Speaking of Bud he’s probably been affected most by my forgetfulness.  Fortunately B changes Bud’s water when he gets in from work so there’s only two days in the week he is left to my devices which have included –

♥  not changing it at all (so at least he still has water)

♥  taking away his old dish and replacing it with nothing

♥  taking away his old dish and replacing it with an empty dish

Now I have to put the clean dish down and fill it before removing the old one.  I’d find myself getting my tablets, making a drink and little Bud would be water-less.   One Saturday when B was up, Bud was stood at the side of me whining and grumbling I thought to go for a wander in the wood but when B went through to the kitchen a bit later it turned out that he was actually asking for a drink.  Yes of course I felt bad.

B’s stopped asking me to do anything in relation to the washing machine and time delays the dish washer before he goes to work so I can just pop anything else in and not have to remember to switch it on – I just have to close the door.

A few weeks ago I realised we needed more toilet roll in the bathroom.  After I’d washed my hands I found myself standing in my sewing room thinking ‘What did I come in here for?’ realised it was the toilet roll, which is in our bedroom and promptly went downstairs – B got some out later.

Oh, and just before Easter I arranged for a firm to call round and give us a quote for a conservatory.  Fair enough I only phoned on the Wednesday and they called on the Thursday but the only time I remembered to tell B was when he was trying to manhandle Bud into a secure position in the car for a trip to the Doggy Dermatologist.  A point in time when I didn’t think such trivial news would be appreciated.  Needless to say B did find out after he’d been and then had the audacity to make me feel guilty.  When he started with ‘Well it would have been nice to know’ I braced myself to retaliate to some whingeing but then he said ‘because I would have liked some input’.  ‘How dare you make me feel bad’ I thought.

And don’t get me started on the shower here on my holiday.  It’s down the corridor as opposed to just outside the room and I don’t think I have once managed to get in there dirty and come out all clean ans sparkly without one, two or even three trips back down the corridor for something.  Generally finding out I’d forgotten something after I’d got undressed.  This morning I thought I’d cracked it and even bragged about it on my way out of the room – only to have to come back for… shower gel!

BUT Friday morning I, or rather B, experienced the mother of all forgetfulnesses (phrase inspired by The Cat in the Hat film and the mother of all messes – though I think that could be in my bedside locker shelf where my netbook and phone chargers seem to snare wayward hands, fruit gums, mice – no matter how much I tidy it three seconds later it looks like it’s been pillaged by Vikings).

B phoned me on Friday and we had quite a confusing conversation about him getting copies of Bud’s pet insurance claim from the vets – which basically included me wondering when he’d had chance to do that as I’d forgotten they’d been to the vets that morning – and an equally confusing conversation about the rugby match that night I had to say ‘Hold on a sec’ as the Peritoneal Nurse had called round with my order of supplies for this week.  I asked him a view questions while he unpacked and then I ordered a cup of tea from the hostess and went back to doing my logic puzzle.  While I was doing this I realised I hadn’t told B something the registrar had said to me that morning, I then realised that I didn’t remember saying bye to him which lead me to realise that he was still on the phone!

I popped my earphones back in (as I tend to use them rather hold the phone to my head – I can keep knitting) and could hear B shouting ‘…I was shouting Paula’.  Needless to say he was a tad frustrated.  Now the time various if you asked B he’d say I left him for 25 minutes but I’d say it was more 15, well maybe 17.  In an attempt to make me pick the phone back up he’d been bellowing ‘Paula’ at the top of his lungs while he was standing in the bedroom.  So much so that our next door neighbour, who was pruning some bushes along the drive, had shouted up ‘Are you shouting me?’ and I’d caught the back end of B’s response.  With using the earphones he could have been shouting until he was blue in the face, and indeed probably was, and there was no chance I would have heard him.

B told me how much more he could have got done if I’d not left him hanging there – in fact he told me for so long he probably ended up even further behind.

Going Loopy

Have you seen the film Julie and Julia about the young woman who decided to make every recipe in Julia Childs’ book and blog about it?  I seem to remember seeing a blog where someone was knitting every sock in a sock book.   Now although I am quite infatuated with Comfort Knitting and Crochet Afghans I wouldn’t contemplate doing every single one as there are several that I would have no desire to make – this being one that fell into that category…

It’s called Flokati after the greek rugs it’s based on and is supposed to be knit.  Once I’d got over my initial ‘Oh no!’ when I was asked to do one I did this…

and wasn’t happy with it for a number of reasons – the stitch was messy, my first lot of loops weren’t loopy enough and some attempted to disappear to the back side (as it were), I made the second lot bigger but they still seemed loose so after finding a more satisfactory looking, but very time consuming, loop knitting method on the web I decided to try crocheting – I had crocheted loopy ears for the toy spaniels I did last year but couldn’t recall where I’d got the pattern from.

I tried a stitch in the Vogue Knitting Dictionary of Crochet Stitches (the left hand side of the photo) but wasn’t convinced that those loops would be stable.

I got another method off the internet but as can be seen from the right hand side of the photo it somehow got wider and I didn’t like the loopy side either…

Then I happened upon a free Loop Stitch Pillow pattern on the Lion Brand Yarn site and was more than happy with it.  It was easy to do, didn’t involved making the loop on one side and then moving it to the other and looks like this up close…

three rows of double crochet (US – single crochet) and between each loop stitch row.  When tousled to hide the in-between rows it looks like this…

On the rear every fourth row is a bit uneven…

but who’s going to see the back – apart from us.  In total it measure 74 cm (29″) by 94 cm (37″) and is in aran (worsted) weight yarn on a size 5.00mm hook and has probably cured my aversion to any large area of loops.

Plus here’s another pic worthy of note…

In case you’re wondering that would be two, yes two, empty washing baskets.  All the clean washing as of today is ironed and put away or just put away.  B nearly sabotaged this when he did some more washing just before tea but fortunately fresh from the dryer nothing needed ironing.  I think this is the first time since I got home at Christmas, or possibly the second, that we have had a clean laundry free zone in the back bedroom.

I think it’s safe to say that taking the Thalidomide (200 mg) earlier in the evening, 8 pm o’clock being the optimum time for me – having moved from just before bed, so about 10.30, and having tried various times between then and half seven.  I’m still not that good in a morning but I never have been but am getting up easier and do feel significantly better later in the day – which is just as well as the Peritoneal Nurse called this morning to confirm that she can start my training tomorrow after Haemodialysis.  YAY.

Taking the Thalidomide earlier hasn’t made any difference to my forgetfulness and in fact in telling you about training tomorrow has reminded me that I need to make some butties to take with me!

 

Hiccy Burpy to me

Hiccy Burpy was on a card I got a friend years and years ago – it featured drunken frogs.  It really amused me.  B says it doesn’t take much but I found this particularly amusing.

Its been a lovely bright sunny day

(photo does not do it justice)

B and I went to a friends for tea yesterday where I got a cake with four candles in it and a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday by a quartet – minus the one member of the house who’s actually in a choir.

We discussed going out for tea ie, I suggested we go to the one pub within walking distance, take Bud and sit outside – B thought this idea sucked as it was so nice we wouldn’t get a seat outside so we decided on an Indian takeaway, after neighbours and eldest nephew suggested newish Indian restaurant we decided on this, we didn’t know opening times, they weren’t open when I phoned, B and Bud got back from their walk and I suggested we call on the way back from dialysis tomorrow and have an Indian takeaway tonight!

Bud got to have the chicken tikka but everyone declined the salad

Here’s some other pics…

 

Yoga Frog – The Tree

After an inquisitive visit from the small furry family member…

it was a fallen tree – making him jump.  Bud did like the box too

‘I just caught it, it was trying to escape’

I felt bad taking a chunk out of Tatty Ted but he tasted yummy

Wonder whose legs those are

These were off Bud.  I tapped B on the arm nine times and asked if that was how Bud has requested them.  B looked at me quizzically – ‘Nine times.  After eight.’  Not as funny as I thought apparently.

New shawl, PJ bottoms and socks

Look I’ve got five o’clock shadow – not to worry we’ll get rid of that next DT-PACE

‘What are you doing?’

‘Come here my pretty’

 

‘Hey! That’s my behind – get your own.’

‘I’m not very happy about this – you know I don’t pose’

My sister in law is improving her crochet skills daily – like this tag.  It’s really funny/strange watching her crochet left handed.

Sheep – the source of hours of pleasure and not just for the Welsh

On Friday when Prof realised it was my birthday today he said ‘Well done’ and I nearly piped up ‘What for getting to another one?’ but although I’ve been taking the Thalidomide earlier (7.30pm to 8.00 pm) and this has made me perkier earlier in the day, I still need a bit of a run up to get to smart a*se mode.

Then today when all three of us were sitting on the settee and I’d finished opening the presents and cards I had at the time I sat there and started getting teary – I did leak a little bit.  B asked me why I was crying, was it because of the cancer.  I said no.  He said ‘You wouldn’t be crying if you didn’t have myeloma.’   When I could trust myself to speak without bawling I said ‘I know no-one knows what will happen and lots of people don’t make their next birthday but I’m just so grateful that I did.’


A little bit of knitting

I really haven’t done much knitting or crocheting this week but here’s what I have done.

Not quite another little aran baby cardigan and yes this one has has a boo boo in the cabling but you know what I did… I’m ashamed to say that I did repeated the boo boo so that it looked like the design rather than undo the front.

This is the start of a pram/cot (crib) blanket.  It’s supposed to be knit on double pointed needles (dpns) but as I’m sure  I’ve said before I don’t really do them.  I think it’s because I’m a tucker ie, I tuck my working needle under my right arm.  I’ve tried long dpns that can be tucked but it’s still too slow, I just can’t get a rhythm going and the thought of starting with 120 stitches but finishing with about ten split between three needles – urghhhh!  So I decided to adapt it so I could use two.  The first one worked fine but I went wrong with the second darker blue one and had to undo it.  Well I say undo I’d sewn it up so neatly the end was well hidden so I took a pair of scissors to it!

And that’s been it other than a few rows of crochet and I still have these few balls to knit/crochet up…

along with a ball of red and green waiting at my local yarn shop!  Better get my finger out.

I have had a thought which might help enthusiasm matters – I generally feel better later in the day from early evening so I thought I’d try and take my Thalidomide earlier tonight (I went with 8 pm) and see if that made a difference to when I perked up tomorrow.  It’s worth a go.

Other creative spaces can be seen here.