Friday, 17 May 2013

So much for a fun-filled Friday

Aah, Friday! I was so looking forward to today. 

Brandon was going to Breakfast Club but I was still going to get up relatively early so I could have a long, luxurious lounge in the bath, wash my hair, exfoliate, face mask, etc., you know, the proper girly pamper kinda day. Then I was going to do a Make Up related blog on some new products that have recently come into my possession, then it was off to the School to pick Brandon up and hear all about his 1st ever School Trip and, finally, have a couple of hours at "Inflatable’s Day" at the School before returning home and, hopefully, having a quiet and non-eventful evening with my Husband - my perfect fun-filled Friday. 

Now, you'd have thought I'd have learnt my lesson by now. Usually when I have plans set out for the day something usually goes a little wrong, or plans alter slightly, but this tends to be when I have made plans with someone else so I wasn't too worried about my relaxing day going wrong, but perhaps I should have been.  

My day didn't just go a little bit wrong, it went spectacularly wrong... 

The day started just before 7am when I started stirring before Matt's alarm went off.  At this point I was aware of a "niggling" sensation to the centre of my lower abdomen.  I sleepily thought it was probably because I'd just woken up and, perhaps, my bladder was full but, with no desperate desire to go to the bathroom, I made the most of snuggling with Matt for a bit longer, becoming all the more aware of the niggling turning into something a little stronger. 

Matt and Brandon got up at just gone 7am and went downstairs and I was going to treat myself to an extra hour of sleep before getting up and starting my day - by which point the boys would have left for School & work. 

I was fidgeting around, trying to get comfortable with this ever increasing sensation in my stomach, which had now moved itself over the left and kept taking a trip round to my lower back.  I had, at first, tried to attribute it to maybe being a little on edge about Brandon having his first School Field Trip today, but it was now too strong to just be an apprehensive Mummy Tummy.  It was also too much to be "butterflies" about my 1st full session of acupuncture tomorrow. 

By half past 7 I was decidedly uncomfortable and getting hot & bothered from the pain.  I'd tried the foetal position, stretching out, laying on my front, my back, my side and even tried getting on all fours doing "happy cat", "angry cat" and "dancing cat", but nothing was easing the discomfort. Thankfully I had some Tramadol, Diclofenac and Co-Codamol in the bedroom so I decided 2 Tramadol and a Diclofenac should do the trick nicely, even if they knocked me out for a couple of hours, I would still have plenty of time for my day of R&R. 

However, by 8 o'clock when Brandon and Matt came to say goodbye, I was still very uncomfortable and, shortly after they left, I decided it was pointless stressing myself out with trying to relax and that I may as well go downstairs and, if nothing else, take some Buscopan and have something for breakfast. 

I'm not altogether sure where the next hour or so went; all I do know is that I took 2 Buscopan but didn't have any breakfast or any coffee! (That in itself is a problem for me; I can't function without my morning coffee). 

I remember phoning Matt and almost crying because of the pain.  I remember being on all fours on the sofa, trying to find some sort of comfort.  I remember phoning the new 111 service (which, in my opinion, isn't much cop; bring back NHS Direct any day!!). 

I remember thinking (just after 9am) that, clearly, the Tramadol and Diclofenac weren't going to work and that pain is always that much worse when you are on your own. 

I ended up phoning the ambulance service and telling them the problem and going through a load of questions, most of which I can't even remember and then, shortly after hanging up to them, a Paramedic Car arrived to do the general first assessment. Again, I was asked all sorts of questions, he took my blood pressure, pulse, etc., and then he put me on the Entonox (Gas & Air for those who aren't aware of its other name).  It did take the edge off but, unlike usual, I could still actually feel the discomfort so I kinda knew something wasn't right. After a few minutes the main ambulance turned up and took over.  

At this point it was probably a good thing that I wasn't fully compos-mentis because one of the ambulance paramedics that came in (David) was really nice and chatting to me.  He noticed my dogs and took quite an interest in them, and was asking me questions about them, and he asked me what breed they were. When I told him, the car paramedic (Eric) turned round and said, quite blatantly and, actually, to me "well I don't like them, they look like rats!”  Anyone who knows me would know that, had I been of sound mind and body, I probably would have punched him for that or, at least, verbally attacked him.  Perhaps thankfully (for him) I just said "Well they're not to everyone’s tastes, but I love them". 

I then had to get into the ambulance and then we were on our merry way to the Hospital.  At this point no one had actually clued me in to what they thought could have been going on... 

We arrived at the Hospital and A&E was heaving! Seriously? It's half 10 in the morning?! All of the cubicles were full and there were people on stretchers waiting for cubicles! 

I was sitting in a wheelchair at this point, still hooked up to the Entonox, the Paramedic that drove the ambulance was talking to another crew member and David was checking me in at Reception.  I decided to eavesdrop to see if I could pick up anything interesting; All the usual jargon, what meds I'm on, medical history, "a chance she could be pregnant, querying ectopic"...Oh! So that's what you think is happening with me? Nice!  

I guess I kinda knew that they didn't think I was having a miscarriage due to the lack of blood, but no-one had mentioned that they thought it might be an ectopic pregnancy.  Oh well, at least I knew. 

Shortly after David came back over and said that, unfortunately, I was going to have to wait in the main A&E waiting room (oh lucky me!) and that too was absolutely packed! At this point I was really starting to droop, I think the tiredness and stress had kinda caught up to me and I was fighting to keep my eyes open. Thankfully I was called in to Triage really quickly.  

The girl did a few obs, didn't really ask me any questions and then told me that I'd been seen by their overflow Doctor Service (just across the corridor) but that I should just sit and wait for a bit. So I toddled back off, very aware that I must look absolutely frightful, and plonked myself on a rather uncomfortable chair; though feeling slightly better now that the pain had dropped down a little. I can only assume that the Entonox gave the Tramadol and Diclofenac the kick up the backside they needed to get working, either way, I felt a little better, which is probably why I was aware of how frightful I must have looked: no make up, hair not even brushed, trainers, jogging bottoms with a hole in (from where I fell through a glass table a couple of years ago) and a purple 3/4 length sleeve top with a pink mark on the back where my hairdresser had got hair colour on it ages ago and it had bleached the colour out! Oh well, I looked around me and decided that I really didn't look that bad compared to some of my fellow A&E occupants. 

Again, perhaps thankfully, I was called through rather quickly, along with around 4 other people.  As I started walking across the corridor I realised that walking wasn't exactly helping the pain so kinda shuffled the rest of the way. 

I got seen by a no-nonsense kinda Doctor, though it did almost appear to me that he didn't really know what I was there.  After running through it all again he asked me to do a urine sample which, surprisingly, I managed to do pretty quickly (usually I can't pee on demand). 

He went off to, I assume, do a pregnancy dipstick test on the sample and then came back in and asked to feel my stomach.  He started on the right side because that wasn't giving me much trouble, though didn't particularly like the degree of pressure with which he pressed.  As he moved over I couldn't help but start to tense.  He pressed in the lower middle of my abdomen and I flinched and then, when he moved over to the left and pressed (really quite hard) I was glad I was already lying down because I am pretty sure I would have passed out otherwise! 

He then told me to take a seat again; sure, just give me a minute to re-gather my equilibrium won't you! He then told me he was going to go and check my wee again... When he came back in he said that I'm not pregnant at the moment and that it is unlikely that it is an ectopic pregnancy.  

Just as I thought it safe to relax he said "but there is a lot of blood in your urine which leads me to believe you have a very severe kidney infection". Oh... He then asked if I was allergic to anything and then, when I told him no, prescribed me some strong antibiotics (the name of which escapes me, they're in the kitchen and I really can't be bothered to go and check).  He told me that they may well give me thrush because they are so strong, and that I must drink plenty of fluids.  

Then that was pretty much that. I then had to wait over 3 hours before Matt could get off work to come and collect me from the Hospital. Thankfully he managed to get a half day at work and, eventually, the time rolled round (after I slept most of it away in the Doctor's waiting room) and I, finally, got back home just after 3pm, Matt then went straight off up to the School to collect Brandon. I was quite thankful that it was Inflatable’s Day as this then gave me a good couple of hours’ peace and quiet, in which I slept, before the boys arrived home. 

It's now almost 9:00pm. Brandon is in bed and, needless to say, my fun-filled Friday kinda went out the window. I still have my acupuncture appointment tomorrow so I think I'll get up at a reasonable time and have my bath, hair wash and pedicure before I go over there.  I'll put a blog up about that soon after too. 

Until next time, 
Gem. xx

Monday, 29 April 2013

Tears, Needles & Relaxation

So, as I said yesterday, I was off to the Dcotor's this morning to get blood test results and scan results.  

I'll deal with the scan results first as they're slightly less complicated.  Basically, 3 weeks before Christmas I started bleeding and, up until 2 weeks ago, I bled every single day…and I'm still alive (which freaks Matt out no end lol).  The scan results showed no abnormalities and no cysts on the ovaries (which we thought may have been a problem again, having previously been diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome as a teenager).  The only thing it showed is that my womb is slightly misshapen, in that the top of it comes down a bit, so it looks like I have 2 "holes" - nice!  But, apparently, this shouldn't cause any problems should I ever manage to get pregnant again (and hold on to it for longer than 16 weeks that is).  

Now, the blood test results.  There were a few abnormalities; specifically my Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate or, ESR as it's called for short.  I have no idea what that means, except that I am being sent to have more blood sucked out of me tomorrow too… 

The Doctor I saw today though was a locum at the Surgery but he was fantastic.  He asked me what the problem was and went through all my issues regarding Fibro, ME, etc.  He asked me loads of questions too and said, in his opinion, based on what I'd said, I also have Polymyalgia Rheumatica.  He said that it is commonly treated with Steroids but, that said, "normal" Fibro doesn't tend to react too well with steroids so he left the choice up to me: do I want steroids now or do I want to carry on with the medication I have currently and see how I get on with a view to possibly having a course of steroids at a later date?  I went for the second option which seemed to please him.  

He kept looking at me very intently and then he said to me "Gemma, what are you worried about?"  I was gobsmacked.  I looked at him and answered quite honestly "I don't know….silly things….every thing" and ended up in tears.  (Trying to blink back the tears as I type this too).  He went on to say to me that I get stressed a lot and worry myself over silly things, which is true, and also explained about comfort eating, stressing again and retaining tension and how that won't be helping my shoulder (or the bleeding issue either).  

He then took my right hand (which is the arm with the bad shoulder) and pressed his finger firmly into an area next to my little finger, then looked me square in the eyes and pulled my arm up!  I waited for the inevitable bolt of pain that was about to rip through my body and, sure enough, nothing happened.  Sorry, what?  Nothing happened.  He then smiled and said "that didn't hurt did it?"  He then went on to ask me if I had ever tried "alternative" therapies.  I said I'd had massage before and had considered, but never had, acupuncture - this made his eyes light up then, before I knew what was happening, he'd turned to his bag and whipped out a packet of acupuncture needles.  Now, I'd never seen these needles in real life and, have to admit, I did go a little light headed at how long they are - especially when he pulled one out of the packet and pushed it into my hand where he had previously had his finger.  

He said that, when it's in the right place, I'll feel a dull ache.  At this point I was starting to think that the needle was going to come out the other side of my hand!, but then there it was, the dull ache.  He then told me to move my arm around, which I did and, surprisingly, no all?!

Turns out, perhaps now obviously, that he actually specialises in acupuncture and runs a clinic about half an hour away from me.  As he said, unfortunately the NHS don't fund acupuncture, but he said he felt it is definitely something I would benefit from and that I should look into and, before any of you think, "of course he did so he can get money out of you", he actually recommended me to an acupuncturist who is only about 10 minutes away from me.  He also said I should phone the local Counselling Service "just to talk things through", rather than bottle them up and that I should look into the local meditation group that runs meetings at the weekend.  I think I may just do that.  

Upon leaving, he shook my hand and then, while still holding my hand, told me to stop worrying and, having picked up on my saying that my appearance/weight was something that stresses me out, said "I mean look at you, you look fantastic and you are beautiful; if anyone thinks otherwise punch them out". (I laughed at this point).  Is it possible to fall a bit in love with your Doctor?, because I did.  But seriously though, the man is a genius; not only did he take away the pain in my shoulder (and show me how to use the pressure point at home to help with the pain), he actually made me feel good about myself.  

I will be looking into acupuncture at some point though, at £45 a session, it will have to be as a treat.  As for the meditation and counselling, I'll be making the necessary calls and enquiries later this week.  

If anyone wants the link to his website, he is based in Kent (UK) and can be found here.  

Until next time, 
Gem xx

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Sunday Spiral

I hate Sunday’s!  Even if I have had a wonderful day. 

It’s usually around dinner time (6pm ish) that the loathing starts.  I call it the “Sunday Spiral”. 

It doesn’t matter if I’ve had a brilliant weekend with my boys or an absolutely rubbish one, come that time on a Sunday my mood spirals.  I can only assume it’s because it’s “back to normality” tomorrow; school runs, Husband at work, Child at School, early mornings, appointments, etc.

I usually end up feeling really down but, sometimes, it makes me bad tempered too.  This week though, it seems like the boys are affected as well. 

Brandon is just in an odd mood today; he’s literally flitting from absolutely lovely to complete and utter little sod in a heartbeat and Matt has been moody/down all day – I’m sure that Brandon’s behaviour hasn’t helped.

I’m just finding this Sunday Spiral a bit harder than usual.  There just seems to be an air of despondency in the house and it’s just miserable.  Even now Brandon is having his shower and giggling like a loon when the faucet hits certain parts of his ticklish body, Matt’s mood just doesn’t seem to want to improve. 

I keep trying to lighten the atmosphere, but it doesn’t work so I think I’ll just stick Catchphrase on in 10 minutes and try not to think about Monday…

Brandon is off to Breakfast Club (or Marmite Club as he calls it) in the morning because I have to get ready and head to the Doctors.  I have an appointment to discuss scan results from a scan that I had done back at the end of February and, despite an urgent blood test last week, which revealed nothing, I still have considerable pain in my right shoulder/down my right arm – it’s been at least 10 days now. 

I did go to the Doctor about it last week and was put on different medication for my Fibromyalgia but not even that’s taking the pain away; I don’t even think it’s taking the edge off.  The only way I can temporarily forget about the pain is to find a comfortable position for my arm, engross myself in something and then not move for as long as possible.  Bit of a double edged sword because by not moving I’m making it stiffer which then makes it hurt again, and you see the problem.  Guess I’ll see what they think the best course of action is tomorrow. 

Well, Brandon’s off up to bed now so I’m gonna sit and enjoy the peace for a little while and, hopefully, my mood won’t deteriorate too much more.  I’m sure things will look better in the morning, even if it is Monday. 

Enjoy your evening. 
Gem x 

Let's start with "hello"

Firstly hello!  Thank you for taking the time to stop by this little blog of mine.  I promise it’s not a whingey blog; it’s just a blog about being a Mummy and a Wife and trying to find the balance between that and being “me”. 

I guess the first thing I should do is do a little introduction into my life, for those that don’t know who I am. 

I’m Gemma, a 30 something year old Mummy and Wife.  I am also a Make-Up Artist (there’s a blog for that side of my life too, just click here). 

I love pretty things, sparkly things and girlie things, but I can also be a bit of a Geek too.  I enjoy online gaming – I play World of Warcraft and Star Wars The Old Republic.  They don’t take over my life, it’s just as and when I can be bothered and it comes and goes in fads. Sometimes I can waste an entire weekend playing, other times not so much. 

I dabble in photography; I think I’m pretty good at it.  It’s a hobby, I don’t do it professionally.  I like to take photos of people mostly, usually after I’ve completed a makeover or something like that. 

I have a bit of a hairless animal thing going on too.  I have 5 Chinese Crested Dogs, varying between 7 months old and 10 years old.  I love Sphynx Cats too, though I don’t own any; Matt can just about cope with the hairless dogs.  We also have a rabbit called “Babbit” and a cornsnake called “Azzy”.    

I’m known for having “noticeable” hair.  I was pillar box red for around 18 months before I dyed it blue.  I’ve also had dreadlocks of varying colours too.  I currently have blue hair, though am already thinking about my next colour.  I’m also well known because of my car…she’s a purple Nissan Micra (called Polly); she has eyelashes, pink wheels, pink windscreen wipers, pink & black seat covers, pink & black mats, a pink & black handbrake and a pink & black steering wheel cover…oh and she has a pink nodding Crestie dog too!

Matt is 2 years younger than me.  Sometimes it seems like he is years older and other days it seems like I have 2 Children. 

I’ve been married to him for 2 years this July (2013) but we’ve been together for 4½years.  Some think we got married too quickly but, after everything we’d been through up to that point, it didn’t seem too quick to us; we’d already been through more things together than some people go through in their entire lives.  I think we knew, from day one, that we were going to end up getting married.  The connection was instant and, although we were both really nervous on the first date, we were both comfortable enough to be ourselves; there were no airs and graces.  It’s rare to find that sort of connection and, having both previously been in long term relationships which ended badly, we were both a little sceptical about dating again but, within the first night, it just felt “right”. 

My little boy will be 6 in June so, no, he isn’t Matt’s biological Child.  However, the sperm donor hasn’t been around since Brandon was 2 weeks old.  Matt has been around since Brandon was 16 months old and the chemistry between them was instant too.  It takes a real man to step up to the plate and take on another person’s Child.  Brandon knows that there was someone else before Matt and that Matt isn’t his real Daddy but, as far as I’m concerned, Matt is his Daddy.  Any boy can father a child but only a man can be a daddy. 

We’re a small family and, most of the time, we’re a happy little unit however, like all families, there are times when things don’t go quite right.  There are also times when I feel like I am only Mummy, Wife or Make Up Artist and I feel like I am losing touch with who Gemma is.  This is what this blog is about; it’s about being a mummy, being a wife and, at the same time, trying to stay in touch with yourself and not lose your identity. 

One of the other sides of me is the side living with Chronic Pain.  I have Fibromyalgia, Joint Hypermobility and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  I do try not to let it affect my life too much, especially not my time with Brandon which is ever more precious now that he is at School but, sometimes, it does take over, so you can expect there to be pain related blogs too. 

All of the views expressed within this blog are mine and are not intended to cause offence to anyone.  If I can make one person feel like they’re not alone and that someone else is going through it too, then I’ll be happy.  Even if you read this blog just to escape the trials in your own life then I’ve done something right. 

Please feel free to share this blog with your friends, leave comments, ask questions, whatever you feel. 

Until next time, Gem. x