Don’t panic, I’m still alive!!

Howdy people, I know I know it’s been a while since I last posted. As I’ve said before my life isn’t that full of excitement and I’d hate to bore you with all my sofa lounging. Ok so what’s happened since I last wrote. Well my Dad very kindly laid my bathroom floor and put up my new shelves, when they finally arrived, thanks B&Q! I’ll add some pictures at the bottom of this post, cos you know I’m on a roll now. Not a huge amount has happened in the grand scheme of things, a few shopping trips, too much money spent in Boots, resulting in overly crammed dressing table drawers but you know me, I have issues! I did have a lovely day out last week with Dad, my sister Jay, her daughter Jess & son Eric and my daughter Nina. We met up and went for coffee, always the first order of the day on any trip out, then we hit a few shops, including Boots! Then it was lunchtime and we found a gorgeous little cafe hidden away, The Corner Cafe in Barnstaple http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g190822-d4242032-Reviews-Corner_Cafe-Barnstaple_Devon_England.html 

We had a nice leisurely lunch and then did a couple more shops before finding a wonderful little cake shop where we tucked greedily into cheesecake and the like and rested up before going home.Time spent with family is so important to me.

Anyway wind forward a week and I’m in another RA flare, no doubt payment for the recent shopping trips and fun, so this week I’ve been stuck at home resting. Such is life!! I’m under orders from hubby to look after myself as we’re away on holiday soon, looking forward to a wonderful week in Looe Cornwall. We’re all really excited and the dog and house sitters are lined up ready. Cornwall is such a gorgeous part of the country and we’re all looking forward to finding delicious places to eat, note the theme here. For now I’m enjoying the last week or so of the summer holidays and my daughter’s company.

Anyway here are the promised pictures of the finished bathroom, minus window dressings. Until next time I decide to ramble, adieu.

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Slowly but surely does it.

Hi there!  I realised that I’m well overdue for an update as the last time I posted I’d just decorated my bathroom & was about to tackle my kitchen. Well I’ve done the kitchen with help from both Dad & my youngest daughter & I’m now back in the process of adding the finishing touches to  my bathroom, I’m almost there!! I went out last weekend and bought my bathroom floor tiles, ordered some shelves, some beautiful cast iron brackets to hold up said shelves & a gorgeous new light-shade, to replace the one I smashed while decorating! Oh and some new hooks for the back of the door! I’m totally loving finding all the right bits and pieces, as many of them shabby chic as possible & with just the right feel for each room. I found the perfect loo roll holder, that I’d actually had my eye on for months and a very pretty clock too. All that is actually left to buy for this room is the window dressings. Here are the pictures of the bits I’ve added so far & when I’ve laid the floor (with Dad’s help), & put up the shelves I’ll add more pictures of the finished room.

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On to the kitchen, this room is now all finished other than the new flooring (still saving up!), & the red blinds I plan to add. Here are some pictures of the new wall colour, my finished pantry which my little girl painted for me, my clock and blackboard which my lovely late Mum bought me & my new Kenwood mixer, which was a dream of mine to own and I finally got one for my birthday last year!! Oh the DAB radio, next to a sleeping Poppet, was my gift from my lovely son last Christmas, so now I have music while I bake!

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Once I have the bathroom finished, and while I’m saving for the kitchen flooring, my next project will be to repaint the living room, strip out the two alcoves & reline and paint those & find new curtains, cushions and maybe even a new (to us), suite!! We also plan to get rid of the old pc desk and replace it with some kind of pine unit to store our million DVD’s in!! It’s mainly a case of freshening up that room and making it super cosy. I will probably be saving for new wall and ceiling lights too, but of course the ones I’ve seen aren’t cheap, so I’ll be waiting a while for those!! It’ll be a slow process due to funds & my health but I am determined to get this done this year. I ‘need’ to get this done this year as I will then have the hall/landing to do and then the bedrooms! Should keep me out of trouble for a good while eh ;)

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Finally I did it!!!

Decorated my bathroom that is! It’s been probably two years since we refitted the bathroom and its’ taken me this long to get my act together. My son was away for a week at the end of June so I decided that while no one was around to try and stop me from hurting myself, I’d buy up some prep supplies & paint and get cracking. Luckily for me my Dad came round one Monday morning to help me with the prep of the walls & windows. I say help but he did most of it to be honest, I made coffees and changed the cds, got bits and bobs and helped with the easy bits (for my hands).

Anyway Dad was busy the following day but that was ok with me as I love the painting part and prefer to do that bit alone. In all it took me the Tuesday and Wednesday to do the two coats on the walls and then I had to rest for a few days then I did the paintwork and door the following week.

I am really thrilled with the results, I wasn’t sure if the colour was too dark when I first slapped it on but once it was dry and in contrast with the white suite and light tiles I was really pleased with the outcome. All I have to do now is lay the new lino, again with Dad’s help as I can’t do the cutting any longer. I also need to buy some shelves & storage etc so I can put all my stuff back in there, instead of tripping over the old cabinet on my bedroom floor!! I currently have a shower screen on the bath but that is being replaced with a pole and white and pink curtain next week as it’s broken & I’ve found it too hard to keep clean with my dodgy joints. Here is the finished result anyway!

Here’s the before picture

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And here is the after

 

 

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My next painting project is my kitchen which was totally gutted and refitted last summer. Dad bought me the paint for that this week and he’s coming round to help me again with the prep work. I’ve promised my 13 year old daughter she can help me with the painting this time. I’ll post again when it’s done!!

These may seem like small accomplishments to most people but when you have a chronic illness it’s a huge thing and I feel very proud of myself getting it done at last. I should say here that I used to work with my Dad doing painting and decorating among a lot of other things and I really miss that. Thanks Daddy :)

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Missing stuff…….

Hey peeps I’m back, it’s been a while. I’d write more often but as such a lot of my time is spent at home not doing an awful lot of exciting things, I’d only bore you!! This morning I’ve been reflecting, missing my job and that feeling of being included in normal daily life. I’m not going to mope about it as I was blessed to have that job for 13 years & to have a job that you love for that long is a good thing. I just wish I could go back and do it for longer, be a part of the team again, all be it now changed somewhat, I find myself longing to be involved again.

I was recently invited to my boss’s retirement party, they still include me in things like Christmas staff lunch and things like that and they always make me feel as though I’m still a part of the team. I had so much fun catching up with everyone and finding out what changes there have been since my last visit. We chatted for a good few hours & then hubby picked me up, I was ready for pills and pjs by then, but I’d not have missed it and I wish Pat the very best for her retirement.

Not much else has really happened lately, we did have a lovely family day out at Knightshayes Court recently, that was a nice day and we had a picnic. I need to spend some time with my sister, seems like ages since we had a girls day together and I know that Dad wants us to have a Dad and girls day out too, so I’m looking forward to that.

Anyway until we meet again, ciao!! (One day I will get to visit Italy)!!

 

 

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Thanks RA Guy

I’ve just read a post by RA Guy here;  http://www.rheumatoidarthritisguy.com/2013/01/using-the-thought-process-to-your-advantage/#comment-7806 & I felt compelled to write down my thoughts since reading it.

Since my last blog entry and the ‘evil flare’, I’ve felt kind of angry at my body, lost a little in which way to turn next, what moves do I make now? Well I have an upcoming rheumy apt this month so some of these questions will hopefully be answered as far as the meds etc go, but reading RA Guy’s post made me think about my body some more.

I’ve said the words ‘I hate my body’ more than once in recent months as things have progressed with the RA and after reading RA Guy’s quote “This is me. This is my body” I got to thinking.

My body has bought me safely and relatively unscathed from childhood to adulthood. It has enabled me to conceive and carry to term 3 beautiful healthy babies and allowed me to raise those babies to adulthood and one to teenhood, all be it with RA in tow, I did it, we did it, my body and me. It enabled me to do a job I adored for 13 years and I now know that despite the RA it will continue to carry me through, hopefully to old age!!

So the next time I find myself cursing my body for not working the way I wish it would, I will stop and think to myself “This is me. This is my body” & I will be grateful for the things that I am able to do, for those things I have done & for the things I’ll achieve in the future. Thank you RA Guy, you’re an inspiration.

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Having the pants scared off me & Christmas fun!!!

Hey luvvies, well since my last update when I mentioned the dreaded steroids, I’ve since been on another course, bigger dose same time frame. The morning (19th December), started much like any other, I got up & got ready for my day, my elbows were hurting but I’d done pastry work the day before (mince pies and quiche), and I put it down the rolling out. I sat on the sofa with Grant (son),  and started doing e-mail while we watched some TV. As I sat here I could feel a flare coming on, joints were starting to seize up and I felt stiff. By 1.30 I had to ask Grant to lift the laptop off of me and shut it down as I could literally not move and my hands and wrists had ballooned up and I couldn’t use them, couldn’t open them or close them. My elbows had locked at 90 degrees & I couldn’t even touch my own face. Nothing worked, I was in total agony despite having taken my strong painkillers & I was scared, very scared. I cried as I asked Grant to help me, quite literally off of the sofa and up the stairs, I couldn’t lift myself up, when I stood my knee felt like it might explode & or give way and it took me ages to get up the stairs and back down from the bathroom. Grant told me ‘I’ll get you up and down but you’re on your own in the bathroom!! Bless him, he looked as scared as I felt, my kids were babies/toddlers when my RA was in the early days of much swelling and uncontrolled flares. I spent the rest of the day on the sofa resting in hope it would ease and necking painkillers which barely made a dent in the pain. My hands seemed to get bigger before my eyes and I was terrified that my splints would cause my fingers to be in danger of blood loss. When Mark came home he too looked scared as he helped me upstairs to the bathroom once again. He told me in no uncertain terms that I was to call my doctor first thing and ask for emergency steroids. He later told me that he’s ‘never’ seen me this bad and he’s been there with me through all of my flares & tears over the last 21 years. He’s seen me on meds and off and he’s dutifully taken me to emergency appointments for steroids & shots. Lollie and Nina couldn’t do enough for me when they got home & Lollie presented me with a bunch of flowers when she came back from the shop and the look on her face said it all. I can honestly say I’ve never been more frightened and I can honestly say I am scared of it happening that way again. I’ve always coped well with the pain and even the worst flares have never incapacitated me this way, I truly felt helpless and lost. Anyway after a very uncomfortable and pretty much sleepless night I rang the doctor first thing. My Dr is amazing and after a few brief questions she did me a script for prednislone (steroids), a higher dose this time, for 5 days and made me promise to call if they didn’t help within a couple of days. Luckily they did, I watched the swelling go down over the next week and in the first couple of days I regained the use of my arms and hands. A miracle drug for sure and I am ever grateful that I’m able to take it as I know many who can’t. I do now worry that it will happen that way again but I plan to see my rheumy on the 21st of this month and will be updating him on what happened and I am certain that we will be juggling my meds and increasing or adding something else in.

On a lighter note we got our kitchen tiles done and they look amazing. Mark’s uncle and he did the tiling and saved us a fair bit of dosh in doing so!! Another step closer to being finished, just the radiator, decorating and flooring to be done now.

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Our Christmas was peaceful (if a little wet, we’ve had a lot of local flooding in recent weeks). We spent an amazing Christmas eve, eve with my sister and family & my Dad out at hers, where she’d cooked the most amazing lunch and dessert. We had a wonderfully relaxing day and lots of cuddles with little Eric, almost 3. Christmas Day was spent at Mark’s folks and that was also very relaxing and peaceful. Then it was home and in pjs for the days soaps and a glass of wine!! Boxing Day we shopped, and shopped!! We also had lunch out with the kids so that was fun. Tonight we’re off to the Mexican as Lollie (daughter), is treating us all to dinner. And that is my recent news!! More to follow in the New Year, which I hope will be a good one for us all.

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Aquainted with my sofa.

Hey hey!! I’m still alive folks! For that I am thankful and I am feeling less ‘downtrodden’ than I was last time I wrote. Since then I’ve seen my rheumy aka Dr Dishy and I had a very good apt. He checked me over thoroughly *giggles* and agreed that things seem to have picked up the pace somewhat inflammation wise, despite my bloods looking great!! Go figure! So he gave me a short 5 day course of steroids to try and damp things down some, also he sent me for hand and feet x-rays to see if there has been any progression damage wise. He wants to see me in two months and if there is anything significant on the films he’s going to discuss ‘juggling’ my meds up a bit. If not then apparently we wait and watch and hope it’s a blip rather than my RA getting worse. Personally I’m fed up with not being able to ‘do’ anything, I have a list of things to bake, clean, tidy, sort and decorate and none of them are happening right now.

In other news, Lollie my eldest daughter is away in Norwich on the Pixiwoo make-up course, http://pixiwoo.blogspot.co.uk/ and she is having a fantastic time up there!! I am looking forward to getting some make-overs when she gets home, hint hint Lollie!!

My gable end wall is almost fixed, the render all collapsed and fell off, causing untold issues with the garage roof and my landing wall, that gets painted in a week or so once the render is dry, if it ever stops raining!! The kitchen wall tiles are due to be done in hopefully, the next couple of weekends, thanks to a very kind offer by an Uncle. That will just leave the décor , new radiator and flooring to be done. After Christmas I plan to get the new flooring for the bathroom and get that room decorated. I know a man who can so as upset as I am that I can no longer do the décor myself at least it will look lovely.

Oh I am back on the Slimming World plan again and in my first week I lost a kilo, yippee!!! This week I maintained, fecking steriods!!! I wouldn’t mind so much but they didn’t even make me feel like superwoman!!

Well that is pretty much all my news from the sofa. I do have a new friend, Shemar the heatable huggable that a friend bought for me as an early b/day present!!

Isn’t he cute!! Not quite as good as the real thing but hey!!

  

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