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Saving the Vorwuls since 3289
...in a cage!
turps33
Since I last posted I've helped Corey move to his new house-share. He's retaking his last year which meant moving out of the house he's in now as his other house-mates are moving on. Thankfully this time he's got two weeks between moving to the new place and having to hand in the keys to the old place so no frantic cleaning like last year.

However, I did climb a lot of stairs as Corey's room was on the top floor of a townhouse. By the end of the day my fitbit had awarded me my 'Climb a redwood' badge as I'd climbed at least 25 flights of stairs while hauling boxes. By the time we were done I was desperate to have a soak in the bath. And then while I was doing that I remembered his first year at uni, when we moved him into halls and I could barely walk the few minutes to take him to the local Sainsburys to stock up on essentials. Again: man have things changed.

I also went to see The Festival with James. It's pretty much The Inbetweeners with only one cast member, so if you like that you'll like the film. We did end up hanging around for half an hour before going in as one of the projector bulbs had broken and needed changing, which meant no ads and no trailers. Which wasn't an issue really, but we were still given free passes when we left. As we've got unlimited cards they were no use to us so I've given them to Kayleigh and told her to use them on an Imax screening, she may as well get as much value out of them as possible.

I've been out for my first drive with James. Locally there's a place where a housing estate has been knocked down, but the roads remain so all the driving schools take people there. I drove for about an hour and at the end James said he bet I'd enjoyed that, and no, no I didn't. It was scary and I ended up driving on the grass when I got flustered and at one point when I was driving between the streets with actual houses in them, and you know, cars and people, another learner was told to stop by their instructor and I had to drive around a corner and go between their car and another car that was parked up, and what were they thinking?! I'd only been behind the wheel all of half an hour. And I know, they would have no idea I was such a newbie, but still.

Other than that. Yesterday was a bad grieving day. Probably because someone is moving into mam's house, and then Celeb Big Brother started, and mam loved that show loads and she wasn't around to watch and complain about not knowing any of the so-called celebs. Today has been better, so onwards and upwards I guess.

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turps33
Apart from the safari park incident other things happened last week.

I got my driving licence and I've been put on the insurance of our car, so I could now hit the roads if I wanted.

We ordered our new car. With the mobility scheme James gets a new car every three years. He can also have two people insured on it for free, which is great, and why I'm now on there. We've ordered a Mokka X which is the new version of the car we have now. It'll arrive in the first week of December hopefully, and already has the name Clem as it's going to be orange again, though a duller orange than the one we have now.

Medical stuff. I went to the eye infirmary but it turned out it was only for a check-up. What made it amusing was they were checking the focus of my eyes, which is normally what happens when kids get tested for squints, so I was in the children's department, and when I had the tests done it included such things as looking at butterflies and pictures of sheep. I swear, I was older than the rest of the people waiting by decades. I go for the actual injection at the beginning of Sept. I have to go to the botulism clinic, which sounds a little ominous.

And it was finally my lympthodemea appointment. More behind hereCollapse )

To end on a lighter note. For the first time in while we had a two movie day yesterday and saw The Darkest Minds and The Meg. Both okay, nothing special but they passed the time. Still on a Winterhawk kick, too. I even know the pairing name now. I'm doomed.

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turps33
It was an interesting day yesterday.

I'd gone to a safari park in the lake district with James, Kayleigh and Shauna. Had a nice day, walked lots, enjoyed seeing the animals. Fed a giraffe, which was awesome, was lining up to feed the lemurs, and went all funny. I can't actually remember anything after that for a few minutes as apparently, I went into a gradual faint. Staggering away saying I needed to lean against the wall, got led toward a seat by Kayleigh, ploughing through three pushchairs on the way, Kayleigh yelled at a man to stand up from the seat, and I just passed out. I can't remember anything until I came to and saw I was surrounded by park staff and an ambulance was on its way.

They were great, did lots of tests but were happy to let me go home as long as I went to see my own doctor today, which I did. He's pretty sure it was a faint too, and told me they won't investigate unless it happens again. But, if I feel one coming on I need to lie down flat. So I've been amusing myself thinking about just lying down in the middle of shopping or something. Better that than remembering how scary yesterday was. Even more so for Kayleigh, James and Shauna as I can't remember most of it.

Then we got stuck in a traffic jam on a little country road for two hours, about ten cars back from a nasty accident. I swear, we should have just stayed home. But saying that, I can't regret the giraffe feeding. They have given us four free passes to go back, but I suspect it'll be a while if we ever do return.

We did get some nice photos before everything went wrong. Two I like a lot are behind hereCollapse )

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8 mutant blasts or blast me
turps33
I've been on such a big Bucky/Clint kick lately. A while back [personal profile] dine linked to a story where they were the main pairing, and ever since I've been reading nothing but that writer. I don't know how popular the pairing actually is, though. I'm going to be sad if I finish all the stories and there's scant pickings elsewhere.

Back to the grim real world. Closing down all of mam's accounts is still ongoing. Most companies are great, sympathetic and while some have asked for copies of the death certificate, I can understand why they need it, and they asked in a nice way; but her care bill. Some of you may remember she had a huge fight about that. They wouldn't let her out of hospital without agreeing to carers four times a day. They were pretty much useless and while they were free at the time, as soon as she got her disability money back she was landed with a bill of over 2k, and they hounded her for that money. It went on for months, she was phoned, letters sent, and in the end threatened with prison. Then they suggested James would be in trouble too as he'd been speaking on her behalf, and only then did she agree to put a payment plan in place. Well, a three way payment plan as Kayleigh and me were paying a third each, not that they knew that. Only one payment was made before mam died, and last week the council ( who arranged the care ) phoned me. They didn't offer condolences, which I know mean little, but surely that's just a basic thing? Then said they wanted copies of mam's closing bank accounts and the funeral bill, and if they got that they could maybe shut down the bill. I mean, what? Mam's dead, she has no estate, where the hell do they think they're going to get that money? Not from us that's for sure. Mam was ill with very little mental and physical reserves for a fight, we're not. So fuck them; seriously.

In the last week I also had to go to the hospital for a physio assessment. I've damaged my rotor cuff of my shoulder somehow, so now have daily exercises to do to sort that out. I went on the bus for that, which I intend to do more often. Though, to go nice places like the beach, not the hospital. We also had a birthday dinner out for my brother and went with Kayleigh and Shauna to the theatre to see a comedy hypnotist. Getting out is something we're very much doing on purpose. Mam's house was always the gathering place, we may have lost her but I'm not losing my sibs, too.

When we got mam's ashes back she was mainly in a big scatter tube for scattering purposes, but we also paid for three tiny urns filled with ash to keep and three bags in case we wanted to put them in jewellery etc. I got some of mine made into a bead, and that came yesterday. While I didn't have any ash from nanna or dad I bought two beads to represent them, and now all three will be close to me always. You can see those here.

And I sent away for my driving licence and have some L plates ready for when it comes.

Next week I'm at the eye infirmary to sort out my stupid twitching eye. I'm getting a botex injection to calm down the nerve, not sure if that'll happen on Monday or just to see the person doing it first for a check-up, then Tuesday we're off to a safari park with Kayleigh and Shauna, and Thursday it's finally my lympth appointment. Busy busy is the way to go.

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turps33
It's the big airshow weekend here, so of course, after weeks of blazing sun, it's been raining constantly so most of the flights have been cancelled. Not that I was going anyway, but it sucks for everyone involved with organising.

It's also my brother's birthday. We're planning to meet up to go to dinner at some point this week, but nothing has been actually firmly arranged yet.

Other than that it's been getting through the days. I've been to the cinema three times recently and ended up crying twice. First we went to see Skyscraper, and coming out there was no text from mam -- I used to text her when I was going to the cinema in-case she needed to get in touch, and she'd reply, usually saying enjoy the film and she was off for a nanna nap -- so tears. Then we went to see Mamma Mia two, picking that because I was in the need of a feel-good film, and man, was that a bad choice. By the end I'd been sitting with silent, snotty tears for at least twenty minutes. The last film we saw was the latest Mission Impossible, which seemed to last for forty-eight hours, but at least I didn't cry, so, result I guess.

But nice things have happened too. On a whim I went on a ride at the funfair that had set up next to a grocery shop we went to. It was like a waltzer that tipped on its side and went in the air, and it was exhilarating. James didn't agree though and was begging to get off. And I drove our car. Okay, it was at about one mile an hour around our local, empty, Lidl carpark, but I drove it. The thing is, I've never had any desire to drive, and the thought of actually going on the roads makes me want to hide, but it's something I need to do. James' disability isn't going to get better, and will probably get worse, so it makes sense for me to be able to drive if needed. The only thing is I need to decide if I learn in an automatic or manual. It's cheaper in a manual, but James will always need an automatic car from the motability scheme, and I doubt we'll ever be a two-car family, so it makes sense to learn in an automatic. I don't know, it's something to think about anyway.

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6 mutant blasts or blast me
turps33
Tomorrow it's four weeks since mam died. Those four weeks have been a nightmare.

We had the funeral. I can't really remember much about it to be honest. Just there was a hold up with the service before so for 15 minutes we had to sit in the passenger hearse at the crematorium looking at mam's casket in the vehicle in front.

At one point I thought Kayleigh would have to be physically carried in, Corey held my hand throughout, we left yellow roses on mam's willow casket -- willow picnic basket we actually called it. She said she wanted willow and we didn't want traditional wood -- and it looked good with yellow themed flowers in swags on the handles. The curtains didn't close, which was good.

As mam lived in a council house we had to completely clear it, and handed the keys in last Monday. That sucked. So so much. Especially so as my brother had gone away on a fortnight's holiday a few days before mam's death and decided not to come back early. That actually led to a lot of upset and while we're okay now, I still think he could have come back after a week at least as it was left to me and Kayleigh to arrange and do everything. He was great after the funeral, arranging his works van to move all the big furniture and appliances over two days, but we needed him there well before that. Plus, it meant he got no say in the funeral at all.

Having to go through mam's things was the worse thing I've ever done. She'd been in that house coming up to 30 years, it had three bedrooms, and after they'd taken her disability benefits off her, and she'd got them back, she'd made the decision that she'd never have savings in the bank again, so used to spend her money online shopping. We had to get rid of so many clothes, most still with tags, bulk buys of things like bleach. There was just so much, and some people didn't help. Kayleigh asked on Facebook if anyone would take clothes for charity, but not the shops in our local town as we didn't want to see mam's clothes in the windows, and people replied saying how they should go there as we'd be supporting local shops, or that we should offer them to mam's friends. Which yeah, in an ideal world maybe, but we literally had weeks to clear the house and deal with and arrange the funeral at the same time.

There's so much I could say about this last month. Having to get mam's cat settled at Kayleigh's house, the constant phone calls to tell people mam had died in order to close down accounts. It's nearly a month and I still can't believe she's gone, and when I'm reminded it's like I've been thumped hard in the chest. I miss her. So so much. She was such a huge part of my life, and now she's gone.

Cut for talk of deathCollapse )

One thing this has made me do is de-clutter. The thought of Corey having to deal with all the crap in this house has had me de-cluttering like crazy. It doesn't help that I've a lot of stuff from mam's, and still have things that came here from nanna. It's why we had to get brutal with mam's stuff at the end and throw out loads, because it's just not possible to take everything. Plus, we're sorting out more life insurance for me and James. Thankfully mam had enough we could comfortably pay for her funeral. Without that we would have been screwed.

This is too long already, so to end. Thank you again to everyone who sent emails, cards, gifts etc. I've started to respond. That's going slowly, but know being thought of meant the world. While I'm not okay yet, people keep saying time will heal, and I'm holding onto that. I guess it's all you can do, really.

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9 mutant blasts or blast me
turps33
It's mam's funeral tomorrow.

I don't want to go. I don't want to say goodbye. I don't think I can say goodbye. I'm dreading the whole day

Thank you to the people who sent flowers, cards, emails etc. I fully intend to say thank you/reply when I'm in a better place. Until then, thank you for thinking of me.

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turps33
Mam died in the early hours of today.

I feel like my heart has been carved out of my chest.

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8 mutant blasts or blast me
turps33
I've had some great postcards lately. Thank you so much [personal profile] spasticat, all the Camp Sparkle people, [personal profile] dine and [personal profile] frausorge

Some good news. James has had a work issue hanging over him since before our holiday. He had to attend an official meeting earlier this week with his big boss, where they went over all his time off. He took someone from the union in with him, and while we were always sure he'd be covered by the disability act in terms of going off sick lots, knowing that and actually having to go into the meeting and fight his corner were very different things. They brought up all his absences since he's worked there, and conclusion was, nothing is going to happen His job is safe for now, but it was close, and he's on a warning until December.

While he was doing that I was meeting up at mam's with Kayleigh to meet the matrons who are taking on her care. They're pretty much senior nurses with their fingers in many pies, and can push through appointments etc and be the central contact person for people like mam who have complex medical issues. That took a couple of hours, and then I stayed at mam's for a while as I needed to take her cat to the vet.

And now, our holiday.

First the bad. When we got there the pool in our hotel was out of commission, and was just about to reopen the day after we left. As it was something we should have been informed about we've got an official complaint in about that as we specifically chose that hotel because the pool had a ramped access that would mean James could get in and out himself. The rep was great, and was in fact the person who told us to complain, but we didn't get to see her until we'd been there for four days. Just along from the hotel was a private pool area called the Beach Club. Pretty much two big pools surrounded by sun loungers, big beds etc, and restaurants with men going around serving drinks. Included in the cost of going in there was a drink and meal, and the rep said to go there and the company would reimburse any costs, and they did. Sadly the day we went was overcast, and I just didn't enjoy being there. It wasn't hot enough to just lounge and swim, so once we ate we left. The rep also paid for hiring sunbeds on the beach. We did swim there one day, but again it wasn't ideal. The sand was so hot James had issues moving on it once his leg was off, and we couldn't swim together as someone always had to stay with his leg, something that wouldn't have been an issue at the hotel pool.

Disabled access wise. All I can say about Puerto Rico is, they're trying. We stayed on the sea front so things were mostly flat, but as the Canaries are in a volcano/mountain region, away from the front it was hilly, and even on the front, there were steps to get from the boardwalk to the shops. Ramps were available, but man, were they steep. Anyone in a wheelchair would have had serious issues, I honestly don't think I'd have the strength to push James in his wheelchair up or down them. And more serious for us, while disabled toilets were available, unlike here, they were in either the male or female toilets, which meant I couldn't go in to help James. Saying that, the people were really friendly, and helped always. We went on two boat trips and on both the staff on the boats were great with James, helping him board, holding onto him until he was safely sitting and on the dolphin trip, bringing drinks.

On our week away we went on a dolphin spotting boat trip, to a zoo, to another market town, and did a lot of walking and hanging in the sun. We had a cocktail most nights, and Nigel the barman always put the peacock decorations in my hair, so now I have quite the collection. We walked in the sun, and met many stray cats, and just generally enjoyed a relaxing time.

We both enjoyed flying, though discovered we weren't in the behind each other aisle seats we expected, but in the window and middle seat, which in the end worked out perfectly. The wheelchair assistance was excellent, especially on the Newcastle departure where neither of us had an idea what we were doing, and the man pushing James in the wheelchair explained everything we needed to do. On the outward journey, the people needing assistance waited in a dedicated room and went in a special vehicle that lifted us and the others direct to the plane door. Arrival was a little more chaotic and we were last onto the transfer coach due to the vehicle picking up from a few planes, but still went well enough.

Okay, this is getting long, so some photos behind the cut HereCollapse )

I'll end it there and say in conclusion. Our first holiday abroad was great, and I totally understand why people say once you travel you'll never want to stop.

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2 mutant blasts or blast me
turps33
I'm home.

Well, have been since about 4am on Monday, but mam has been sick again so life has been busy. Apparently, she started to feel ill while I was away, decided not to say anything so I wouldn't get worried, which of course made things so much worse She's on the mend though, so this morning my last load of holiday washing is finally getting done.

Very short version, we had an amazing time. I will post more later, and share some photos, but until then. Such a great holiday and I fit in the plane seat fine, and didn't even come close to needing a seatbelt extender. I posted a lot of pics on insta, but will share them here too.

Until then, a quick look at my flist before I have to go out again, and, hope you're all doing well.

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turps33
James has just gone to pick up the in-laws, which means in a few hours I'll be flying to the Canary Islands.

I had hoped to be caught up by now, but between mam being sick again and getting things ready, including the house, cat stuff and garden stuff, so my FiL and MiL can stay for a week, I just never did. But that's something for when I get back now.

Until then, no doubt I'll be posting on insta -- turps33 there -- and I'll see you all when I get back.

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turps33
Happiest of birthdays to [personal profile] castalie one of the nicest and most lovely people out there ♥

We never got to the concert last night. James' injections went well, but he was so tired when we got home he slept for five hours solid, so driving to Newcastle wasn't going to happen. Thankfully the lack of gas and air wasn't an issue as we'd bought some numbing cream which I applied to his back before we went to the hospital. It did lead to the surreal situation where, as it needs covering in some kind of film to help activate, I needed to wrap all of James' middle in cling film. But hey, it worked.

The move from the day surgery unit to radiology was good too as it meant he had a specific time to go in. I could go with him to get him undressed and into his gown, then just had to hang around in the waiting room until the job was done.

Today James is back at work, but it's his last shift before three weeks of annual leave. I'm heading off up mam's soon to mow her lawn and dig in some plants, then it's also my middle niece's birthday today, so we'll be going to see her tonight.

In-between those things I may have a little sun dozing in my own garden. There's nothing practical I can do atm, the tomatoes and courgettes have been potted, things are tidy, so sunshine and book it is I think.

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turps33
Thank you to [personal profile] romantical for the excellent card and letter inside. Your wishes are mine too ♥

I can't believe it's already so long ago, but the meet-up with [personal profile] tara went really well. We ate out at the beach, mooched around the beach, she reassured me I really wouldn't be ushered off the plane or made to pay for two seats. James left us to go to work and we met up with Kayleigh and mam, where we mooched a bit more, and then they took us home.

It's always lovely spending time with Tara, despite her living so far away we've met many times since we first friended each other back in my early popslash days. In fact, I'll always remember one of our first meetings included talking about the Cramp pairing while watching a seal show. While we've changed paths fannishly since then, she remains a good friend.

Holiday prep is going well. We've bought travel insurance, paid for a letter from the doctor to cover James' controlled medication. Have bought holiday clothes. Which I'm now able to get from places like Primark and supermarket clothing ranges, so keeping down the costs somewhat. That is so weird, so much choice now, but at the same time, overwhelming in a way that I have all that choice when before I was limited to three plus size stores.

Tomorrow we have tickets to see Thirty Seconds to Mars at a festival in Newcastle. James got them free from his work, and also a pair for Corey and his girlfriend. Just we're not sure if we're going yet as James is at the hospital getting his back injections tomorrow, plus, is at work on Sunday so a late night is probably not the best idea. Last time he was fine after his injections, but this time he's having them done in the x-ray department and not the day surgery unit which means no pain killing gas and air as they're being done. I think we'll just wing it, see how he is when we get home.

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turps33
Unlike the last time I posted, things are going well. Mam is so much better it's hard to believe she was so sick. Her GP referred her to a new hospital doctor who's starting a new series of tests, scans etc. On the one hand, more tests. But on the other, hopefully some answers as he suspects her lupus may be contributing to her problems swallowing. So if she can get some weight back on that should help her overall health.

Other good things. We've booked a holiday for the beginning of June. We're going to Puerto Rico -- the one in the Canary islands as I've just realised there's actually two -- for a week, self catering in the apartments Kayleigh has just came back from. She loved it there, said it was chilled out, had a good pool and overlooked the beach, plus, while hilly behind the hotels the promenades are flat, meaning James can get around easier.

I still can't believe we're flying somewhere for a week and until I'm actually on that flight will still be worrying about not fitting in the seat and having to buy two. Seriously, if you looked at my Google history it's all looking at insides of Thompson planes, seat dimensions etc. The holiday company have arranged for James to be helped onto the flight, though lack of seat choices mean while we're very near the front, we're sitting behind each other in the aisle seats. It was either that or a window and middle seat, and while I'd have liked the window seat, James needs an aisle to stretch his legs a bit.

Sadly it means I can't go to Camp Sparkle this year, as I just don't have the money for both :(

More good. We went to see Matilda at the theatre and enjoyed it. see, 3 photos, scroll to see all.. We had stalls seats and a great view. It was the first big touring production we'd seen there, and the place was packed. I also got to wear one of my new dresses. I do like it a lot but sadly it's a bit dressy for everyday wear.

We have tickets to see Deadpool 2 in the reclining seats cinema Tuesday coming. I'm looking forward to that a lot.

Last good thing. I get to see [personal profile] tara tomorrow \o/

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7 mutant blasts or blast me
turps33
I was all ready to write things were on the up a week or so ago. My MiL was out of hospital, James was getting ready to go back to work. We'd gone to a meet-up with the AMC group which meant James got to talk to other people with his condition, Corey had sorted out his issues, we'd been to the travel agents to start booking our holiday, and then mam got sick.

I thought it would be like the other times. I'd phone for the doctor despite her protests, he'd give antibiotic and steroids, and she'd get better in a few days. What actually happened was he came out, told us she was very sick, started to talk about palliative care and how some people die from chest infections, and arranged for home nurses to come see her that day.

In case you think I'm leading up to some tragic end, she's still here, and in fact is much better, but for a while it was touch and go. The palliative care bit was hard to take, as was getting a document to leave in her house saying she had a DNR in place and that if she went downhill she didn't want to go to hospital and would be cared for at home until the end. I mean, what? She was just supposed to have a chest infection again, not that. But like I said, she got past it again, the nurse at home team were amazing and she was discharged from them yesterday, which meant for the first time in a while I got to stay at home this morning.

So that's where I am at the moment. It feels like for the last month or so I've been spinning plates and each time I get some stabilised others come crashing down. Included in that is on-line time, which means my in-box is horrendous and I haven't even looked at my flists for ages. But I will catch up, and I'm sure people will soon be wondering why the hell I'm commenting on posts that are weeks old.

But, despite that, the good things are still there. James has an appointment for his next set of back injections and is back at work. We will book our holiday soon, and my favourite atm. Before all this kicked off mam bought me a wooden rocking chair for the garden. It was a total surprise, I'd seen it in B&Q, loved it and told her about it, and she sent me the money to buy it, saying it was a gift for looking after her during the previous times she was ill. Not needed or expected, but very much enjoyed. So my plan for later is chilling in the garden in the sunshine with a book and a cold can of pepsi Max.

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4 mutant blasts or blast me
turps33
I'm sorry I'm late, but hope you had an amazing day.

Because I've been looking at the Nsync pop-up shop, I decided to go old skool for your photo and decided on this beautiful birthday cake :D

2886947a36a6024fa506999c997bbd37--body-glitter-glitter-cake.jpg

Much love, always ♥

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4 mutant blasts or blast me
turps33
One day I'll catch up online. One day!

Since last I posted, my MiL was emergency admitted to hospital with fluid on her heart, lungs and horrific breathing issues. What was annoying was she was sitting at my SiL's house with three other grown adults, and not one thought to get medical attention even though my MiL was literally gasping for breath, and when the rapid response car got there he said her lips had turned blue. She's been getting barrier nursed since then due to infection fears, but has finally been transferred to a ward, so is on the way to getting better.

Meanwhile, about half a week into this mam admitted to me she wasn't at all well either. She self monitors her oxygen levels due to her lung tumour, and at one point the level had dropped to 78, which is far too low. Not that she told me at the time. However, due to the chewing out she gave me she has no come back to being told off for ignoring medical stuff so I made her a doctor's appointment, and went with her. She's now been followed up by lots of hospital departments and also had her morphine dose doubled, which has messed her up tbh. I don't think she gets how strong that drug is and forgets to take it at 12 hour intervals, which she really needs to do. So she doubled up her tablet, felt sick, which considering she was also on a mix of steroids and antibiotics for her chest infection wasn't surprising, didn't take her morphine the next day, so sent herself into withdrawal which she's just came out of.

James is still off, but thankfully has AMC as the cause on his sick note, so is covered at work. Though he had to go see their doctor to have a check-up there, too. Corey is having uni issues, Kayleigh and Shauna had something horrible happen relationship wise two nights ago, but had booked a holiday as a make or break thing, which they've gone to this morning. We drove them to the airport and as they had a 7am flight and had to be there at 5, I've been up since before 3am and am now thinking fondly of my bed.

On top of all this, we'd started to decorate the living room, so I've been decorating and painting in the mornings or evenings after going to see the mam's. It's been hard work, especially as I'm pretty much doing everything solo, and painting the ceiling was a literal pain in the neck, but now it's almost done I'm feeling very accomplished. All I have left is the corner behind my desk, which is why I'm going to write and post this as I need to disconnect my desktop soon. I just hope my actual desk stands up to being moved. It's old and creaky and I'm worried it'll give up the ghost.

So yeah, worrying times around these parts lately, but things are on the up for most people now. And hopefully soon I'll get to do something fannish again, and do so basking in my new, clean, shiny living room.

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turps33
A belated thank you to [personal profile] sperrywink and [personal profile] spasticat for the Easter cards. I enjoyed them both very much ♥

Since last I posted. I feel so much better now, as opposed to before when I was feeling better but managed to exhaust myself by doing too much too soon. Guess I'd forgotten how much celuitis takes it out of me. However, the rest of the family are falling apart health-wise.

In brief. James is off work with a flare up of his AMC and is back in his wheelchair. He has a doctor's appointment soon, though there's not much they can do. It's more for the sick-note for work.

Kayleigh collapsed in Asda last week and it's strongly suspected she may be diabetic, so she's having tests for that. She's still not well, and on top of that is having relationship issues that means her live in girlfriend may be moving out soon.

Mam was also really ill with a chest infection. But because she was so worried about me, then James, then Kayleigh, said nothing until it was close to her being admitted to hospital. She wasn't in the end but still isn't well at all.

And me, this is good news. James needed an appointment at the doctors, but I didn't get one for myself despite saying I'd do so soon because I knew I needed them to refer me to the lymphodemia clinic again. ( you may remember that previously they'd outright refused to see me until I'd lost a considerable amount of weight, and despite my doctor referring me again at the end of last year apparently it was still a no as I'd heard nothing ) My reasoning was I'd go and get an appointment when the infection was completely gone in my leg as it had caused it to swell and therefore I'd gained a few pounds. I told mam that and she was so angry. She really went off on one, said that was stupid, that I needed to think of myself for once, that what was two pounds when I was already 300 down and that I'd better not go see her that day as she was so angry. So I called the doctors, and amazingly managed to get an appointment, though with one of the doctors most people dislike as she has no personal bedside manner skills at all. However, she can write a referral letter, and did so after weighing me, and I now have a lymphodemia appointment at the end of June. It'll last for 2 hours, and we'll discuss what can be done, and who knows, I may have vaguely normal looking legs by the end of the year. And mam phoned and said sorry just after that first phone call and said she just worried, and I suppose she did have a point in the things she said, though maybe not the way she said them.

With that, I need to get ready for the doctors again. It feels like I haven't been away from the place lately.

But before that, something not medical related at all. We went to see Love, Simon yesterday, and had a row of baby fangirls in front and behind us. The ones in front even had a pride flag draped over their knees, and squeed and applauded at various points in the film. It made me smile a lot.

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turps33
Long time no see.

I've had this post in drafts for a while, and originally it said nothing particularly bad or good has happened to keep me away, just life. Then I got celuitis in my leg, ended up having to go to A&E, but thankfully got sent home with antibiotics and not stay in for the IV kind, and have been chilling on the recliner keeping my leg up since. Today I feel more myself, so fingers crossed the infection is on its way out.
But back to that old post.

It was mother's day two three weeks ago. I visited with mam and my MiL, and then went to see Corey. I was highly amused when he came down with a bunch of flowers in his black waste-paper bin. I mean, it was a good idea to keep the flowers watered as I guess vases weren't available. It was just the visual tickled me. My traditional mother's day pic, though it's not a good one this time.

Talking of Corey, he has a new job. He's always worked in the summer but needed to get a part time job now, so he's glass collecting in a bar two nights a week. His hours are 10-4am, and then he goes and hangs with other bar staff at a nearby cafe that's open until 6, when the metros start running and he can go home. Just thinking about those hours make me feel tired, but it's working for him so far.

MiL had asked if we'd take her to buy Easter eggs, and while doing that we got a call to say our 2 year old nephew had fallen and split his forehead open, so we ended up taking him and his mam to the kids A&E Sat afternoon. He's okay now, though needed to go for surgery yesterday to get stitches.

We went to Mog on the Tyne. They've just taken in two new cats from Thailand. They both have a condition that means they wobble while they walk, and they're both adorable! See.

James had a hand surgeon appointment and has been discharged now, which is great. Breaking his finger did lengthen the tendon just enough that surgery wasn't needed, and we've both agreed not to attempt anything else. His hand is as good as it's going to get really, it's not worth the pain and risk to try anything else. It was weird but I was a little sad knowing that was the last time we'd see them. We've got to know the doctor and nurses so well over the years. James had been left on the books so if he ever has an issue he'll be booked right back in, but no regular appointments will be given.

Now we just have to wait for the date for his next back injections as the last ones have worn out and he's in pain again.

I've been catching up on my flists and see [community profile] bandombigbang is running again, and the [community profile] no_tags stories have been revealed. I'm looking forward to reading those.

I had my 18 month wls check-up. I'll probably talk about that in more detail soon but briefly it went well and I've now lost 78% of my excess weight. They say to expect to lose 75% and as I'm still loosing, if slower now, they're happy with my progress. Next appointment is in six months with my surgeon. So until then it's just keeping doing what I've been doing.

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turps33
Things I didn't think I'd ever hear. The main road into our town has been closed due to snow related avalanche fears and will remain so all weekend. Okay then.

Despite going in our car yesterday James was picked up this morning for work by one of the 4x4 drivers, mainly because the pavements are treacherous with impacted ice, now. Those drivers have done amazing work these last few days, ensuring people get to work safely. He said he'll bring James home tonight and hopefully will take and bring him back tomorrow, then James is off for three days. Fingers crossed things will start to melt in that time.

Belated, but some photos from our trip to Amsterdam.

It was a short trip. We got on the ferry Monday afternoon, arrived in Amsterdam Tuesday morning. Got a coach into Amsterdam itself and had about six hours to explore, then back on the ferry late afternoon, arriving home the morning after.

We'd had many comments that the crossing would be bad in February, but it wasn't at all. In fact, there was hardly any swell at all going, and only a little coming back, so it was as good as it could be, really. We also had a disabled access cabin, which made a lot of difference as apparently the usual ones are tiny, but ours was big with two windows, plus, literally a door away from the main customer services area and a minute walk from the restaurant.

I was so happy to go. People who've been around for a long time will know why, but a few years ago no way could I have made this trip. I was so overweight that even walking a few meters to the car was an immense effort. Back then I couldn't even dream about leaving the country, and that was without the practical aspects like being able to walk to the ferry, get on the coach and easily fit in a seat etc. So yeah, it was a big deal.

Photos of my stupid face.Collapse )

So yeah, it was a good time. And the first of many trips abroad, I hope.

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turps33
The beast from the east can do one. We had snow nearly constantly for four days, it's freezing, enough so for the first time ever we left our heating on overnight last night. The roads are messed up. James' work has been sending out 4x4s to ensure their staff get in safely, but even so I worry about him travelling. Every day there have been reports of lorry's jackknifing and people getting stuck. He's back in our car today, and I just hope he can get back on the estate tonight. Buses have just started running on limited routes again, when I walked to Lidl earlier as we'd ran out of milk, I fell in a snow drift. Though like to think I styled it out, and got straight back up.

In happier news. [community profile] no_tags is running again, which is a very shiny and awesome thing. I'm still debating joining, but if you're tempted I very much think you should do so. It's such a great challenge and I've enjoyed it every time I've taken part.

Sadly I realised I've missed the deadline for picfor1000, the first time I've done so in the 12 years I've joined the challenge. Time just got away from me :(

Other wise, I was sick, but am mostly better now. Thankfully, even my eyes hurt and it's no fun to be sick and unable to wallow with fic or tv. Apart from a walk up mam's yesterday, a walk to Lidl and a trip to Costco on Monday I haven't been away from the house in nearly a week. That's not going to change today, either. Maybe I'll go out for a walk tomorrow, hopefully one that doesn't include snowdrift diving this time.

Which brings me nicely to the birthday gift that [personal profile] turlough sent me. Aren't they the best mittens ever!?. And they're incredibly warm, too. Which is just what I've needed in this snow.

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turps33
Thank you to everyone who left birthday wishes for me on Sunday. I had a great day, and have had a brilliant time in Amsterdam since then.

We got home earlier, so now the washer is going and I'm about to go have a soak in the bath, and then no doubt crash out on the couch, because we've done a lot of walking in the last few days.

I'll write up about the trip asap, and then also need to tackle my in-box. I've been having ongoing issues with thunderbird actually downloading emails recently, but it seems to have fixed itself as I now have over 1.2k of the things.

A quick preview. I left the country, people!Collapse )

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turps33
[personal profile] turlough Your parcel arrived, thank you so much! I'm waiting until tomorrow to open, but am thrilled to have a surprise on my birthday. ♥

We went to see Thriller Live at the theatre on Thursday, and enjoyed it a lot. Everyone was encouraged to stand and dance at the end, and the energy was amazing. Such a good show. I've also been to see Black Panther, which was fabulous, too. But it needs to be added to the list of films James has fallen asleep to. In his defence, we were at the cinema with recliner seats and they had the heat cranked up high. So the chance of him drifting off was always going to be high. But yes, such an amazing film.

On Monday we're going to Amsterdam. It's a three day trip, overnight on the ferry to get there, a day in Amsterdam and then home. It's the first time I've ever left the country, and while I'm not nervous as such I've probably read every review and trip advisor report about the ferry crossing and Amsterdam itself that's out there.

We're not there long so won't get the chance to do everything I want, but even so, I'm looking forward to going a lot.

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turps33
Since last I posted.

It was Corey's birthday yesterday. He's part of a Dungeons and Dragons group on Sundays so couldn't see us yesterday -- especially so as no doubt he was mega hanging after the night before, too -- but we met up on Saturday. We also met his girlfriend for the first time. It was their year anniversary of starting to date the week before, and she was very nice. They also looked very cute strolling through Newcastle holding hands.

It's nanna's birthday tomorrow. I still miss her, very much so, but it does help she was ready to go. Plus, she would have been 98, and that feels wrong as she was so adamant she wouldn't live longer than 97.

Mam was really sick for a while. I was thankful we live so close as I was up there loads, and kept nipping up in my pjs on a night because I was so worried about her. I've never been so relieved when I went up one morning and she was sitting up.

It didn't help that Kayleigh and her gf were due to have a mini break to Barcelona around that time. It was touch and go if they'd cancel for a while, but they did go, and hated it. She was counting the minutes to come home in the end, which was a shame.

On that theme. I'm waiting in for my passport to be delivered today. It's been such a rush getting it done, only a fortnight since I sent in the forms and I've had an interview in that time. I was a bit nervous about that at the time, but it was nothing in the end. There's a chance I could be in Amsterdam over my birthday, which is so weird to think about. Just a mini break with only a day in Amsterdam and two nights on the ferry, but even so, I'm going to leave the country.

James took some annual leave so he could be off over Corey's birthday, so we've been to the cinema multiple times, and been to see Shrek the musical at the theatre. I enjoyed that loads, and Laura Main who plays Shelagh in Call the Midwife was fabulous as Princess Fiona.

I've got a weird eye again. The nerve under my right eye keeps jumping, it looked like a pulse at one point so I went to check it out. First at the opticians who said my sight was fine so should get checked at the doctors, and then the doctors who looked it up and said I had this unusual thing that should settle down eventually on its own, but until then I could wear dark glasses if I wanted to hide the twitching. Personally I thought that would draw more attention, so didn't take that advice. Thankfully it seems to be slowing twitch wise, so hopefully will stop soon. And most important at all, wasn't the start of getting Bells Palsy again, which I was worried about.

It's been a really busy few weeks but I think those are the main things. Now catching up while I wait for this delivery.

And just as I went to post this it arrived!

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turps33
In the last week. We had tickets to go to the latest Screen Unseen -- the cinema showing where you don't know what you're seeing, just get discounted tickets for an upcoming movie and hope for the best. It turned out to be The Shape of Water. Coming out I told James it was one of the strangest films I'd seen, and still think that. I mean, I liked it, but weird was the word.

We went to Dog and Scone, the dog cafe in Newcastle. You may remember it's next door to Mog on the Tyne, the cat cafe we love going to, and man, it felt strange to walk past to the dog cafe. But, we both enjoyed the dogs and the food was good, so we'll go back. But probably more often to Mog, mainly because we know and like the staff there. Some photos here and here. If you click on the links the first one has multiple pics, just click the arrows at the side.

James had his six monthly appointment with his hand specialist. It's usually just to make sure things are going okay, but this time he checked out his broken finger. Apparently if would have been a much more serious break for anyone with 'normal' hands, but as James' fingers on that side are messed-up anyway, it hasn't had so much of an impact, and may have actually done some good and lengthened a tendon that may have needed surgically releasing again in the future. So he's back to see the consultant again in four weeks, and is there to see the back specialist for a follow up on Thursday. All in the same place. Really, at this point we should reserve chairs in orthopaedics. The consultant also said I was looking good, and hey, I'll take that compliment.

I've boxed up loads of clothes that don't fit now. There's so many, and that doesn't include stuff that's too big but doesn't look stupid when I wear it. I'm not complaining, because it's for the best of reasons, but omg, so much money represented in that box. I said it at the time, and should have listened to myself, but it was a bad decision buying expensive stuff when I'm still dropping sizes, because some of those items are still pretty much perfect. At some point I'll list on gumtree or ebay and try and make some money back.

We had good news about my MiL. Before Christmas she got some health concerns that led to her being sent for immediate tests due to cancer fears. She got the results back this week and while she has issues, it's not cancer or anything life threatening. So that's a huge relief.

We had heavy snow earlier this week, it had just started to melt then it's started snowing again two days ago. I mean, come on weather. I don't mind snow itself, but really dislike the icy stage after.

After a break for Christmas I'm back at the gym again. Today we were going to go swimming, had my bag packed and everything, just waiting for James to get up too. And he's came down with something. So, swimming is a no go and he's fast asleep on the couch. So I'm off for a walk and a wander via Lidl. Maybe today is the day they've got the 99p cherries. They've been sold out every other time I've been in.

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