Health Update

After last weeks post Spondylolisthesis my back improved massively. Just yesterday I was considering dropping taking the naproxen as it hadn’t caused me any issues at all for a number of days, then I woke up this morning and bang the pain was back.

I have pushed through as much as I can today but I had to give up at 14.30 and take some diazepam. The muscles of my backside are really tight and sore. When they are like this it is a symptom of the Spondylolisthesis, it aches down the back of both my thighs and no position is comfortable. Standing feels like someone is kicking me in the arse, sitting makes my buttocks ache and I get severe pain in my coccyx. If I could lie down knowing that by doing so I wouldn’t be woken up at 2am by my back throwing a tantrum I would. So at the moment my only relief is by having a hot water bottle applied to my back ( far too hot ) and regular changes in position which makes doing anything difficult because those changes need to be made every ten minutes or so.

If I knew why my back had kicked off so much today I would be happier, I didn’t use my sewing or embroidery machines at all yesterday. We had a relatively lazy day but even in that we were moving around and I certainly wasn’t static for hours at a time. Which I know does cause me issues, so I am at a loss. I have avoided all the things I am supposed to like lifting – can’t do that anyway, staying static for too long. All I can think is that I have turned weirdly in my sleep and hyper-extended my spine and it is letting me know today that it didn’t like it.

I have always found wherever possible distraction is the best possible thing to combat pain but some pain is just so strong that no amount of distraction can stop those nerve signals being acknowledged by your brain. That is why I like sewing / embroidery / crochet as it means I can distract myself most of the time but today it hasn’t mattered what I have done those pain signals are just getting stronger and stronger. I am very glad that we now have a dog walker who takes Dembe out for an hour when Jay is on a late night as it means Dembe settles very quickly in the evening and I will be able to go to bed and attempt to get comfortable relatively early on tonight. Rather than Dembe needing mental stimulation for 90 minutes or so, to tire him out and get him to wind down for the day. 

Much of the last few days has also been spent on high alert as from now until the 23rd (ish) I am on migraine watch. This week of the month is usually when it strikes. Yesterday ( Tuesday) I was convinced it was going to be today as I was starving hungry all day with nothing satisfying me. I am still trying to work out what the signals are that I am going to end up having a migraine but there is nothing I can say is 100% concrete that is a definite clue that it is going to happen. I have noticed mood changes the day before, hunger and sometimes the evening before my vision goes a bit weird. However it doesn’t happen on each one, which means sometimes these things happen, I get frightened because they have been so bad and then nothing. Which is exactly what happened last night. 

I am a few weeks into the Migraine Clinic protocol and they advise that you really need to have been doing it for around 3 months before you can say if it has had any effect on your migraines. You can find the protocol HERE. So it is too early to say at the moment, also I have been known to skip a months migraine and have it two weeks later so a cycle of 6 weeks rather than 4 weekly. That is the major issue I won’t know when the next one is coming. I have worked out that dehydration is a trigger but it is a rare trigger as due to my excessive thirst I do tend to drink much more than the average person. The day in question when I did suffer a migraine it followed a day where I had been drinking alcohol from around 2pm in the afternoon (Cider at 4% so not the hard stuff). Because I didn’t have any additional fluids I am pretty sure that is what triggered that one and I had to use my emergency meds. I was very grateful that I did have my grab bag made and everything in one place as it meant I could take the meds and get my head down.

I have been religiously taking my supplements and even managing to remember to take the midday dose of the one I have to take three times a day. A new alarm on my phone helps me remember!

As sitting is literally a massive pain in the butt and I am having to type this sitting down I am going to wrap this up now. Plus I took half a diazepam about an hour ago and that starts messing with concentration levels. Plus I want to tidy up a bit before Dembe gets back from his yomp on the common!

Face masks

A few weeks ago I helped the local NHS hospital by altering some surgical masks for them that had come in but the elastic ear loops were too big. This led to a few of my friends asking if I would be making face masks or would I make them some face masks for them or their friends and family. I know the jury is out on the use of face masks. This post isn’t about that, there are research papers that are for and against the use of face masks by the general population. I think we can all agree that “home made” face masks when worn provide protection to other people more than the wearer – which is why many countries have adopted  the wearing of face masks so that they can all protect each other from Covid-19 and other nasties.

 
Initially I was very much in the camp of home made masks are bad. That they provided a false sense of security and that by having poor mask etiquette that they could cause more harm than good – if someone continually touches the front of the mask when wearing it and doesn’t wash their hands after they are capable of spreading their germs far and wide on every surface they touch. Since then there have been articles in The Guardian,  The New York Times that have shown even home made masks when constructed from the right materials can offer a level of protection that hadn’t been anticipated. Add in a filter to those masks – made of an unwoven material or a special mask filter ( you can buy at various oulets) they can provide as much protection as the surgical masks I was altering the other day. A link to the New York Times article can be found here.  The Daily Mail did an article –here The Guardians Article can be found here. So I am now very much of the opinion that yes we should all be wearing face masks of some description when out in public to help protect each other.
So for the last 20 days when physically able I have been making masks for friends and family to wear. All I have asked for is the cost of materials, being on a tight budget I can’t afford to be giving away material, elastic and pipe cleaners etc as much as I may wish too. With Mr Myasthenia kid at home, he has been able to keep Dembe entertained and do the chores I would normally push myself to do that would wipe out my energy reserves. Even with him doing that I have had a couple of days in that 3 week period where I have crashed hard just due to pushing myself too hard for too long in an effort to keep people supplied with masks and not letting anyone down. I am on an enforced break now as I have run out of elastic – I thought I had ordered enough but apparently not! I am awaiting fresh supplies. 
 
To be honest I am quite glad for the break, I am so tired mentally and physically it hasn’t been until I have stopped that I have realised how far past my reserves I have got. I always find it amazing how knackered I can be doing nothing ( but obviously I am not doing nothing as I am taking care of myself. I just judge myself way too harshly and think I should be as active as the next person even when in reality I know that is an impossibility ). There have been evenings when I have been so tired that I am unable to form a coherent sentence or stand up straight. The rest was long over due.
 
For my mask pattern I used this Youtube tutorial
 
 
Mr Myasthenia Kid has been helping me with cutting, pressing , folding pipe cleaners for the nose bands, going to the post office etc All the things that can take me more time than an able bodied person and things that I can’t do such as a post office run. Without his help and support I would never have been able to make the number of masks I have. 
 

 

 
 

 
I have been running on adrenaline for days, I knew I had. Last weekend I was supposed to be taking some time off for sewing but instead I started several other projects. Today (Tuesday  21st April ) is the first time I have sat and just done nothing. Everything is hurting and I feel zombie tired. Which is why I tend to keep pushing and pushing because I know how incapacitating the crash will be. I have always been a boom and bust merchant. Plus keeping busy stops me worrying about Covid-19 and what would happen if either of us got it. 
 
So due to my lack of elastic I have had to have a day off and it feels strange. I’m so tired though it was very clear that I needed it. I did manage to get Jay to help me highlight my hair as I am having real problems lifting my arms above my head. Within seconds of doing it I am getting awful pain in my shoulder joints. Normally I would battle on through but it is just too sore for that and I am having to put my arms down. He has done a good job and now my roots look far less obvious than they did previously.
 

 
I did have a lovely surprise this morning finding out that Natasha McCarty from Natasha Makes was sending me a gift after hearing about my run in with a pin cushion on Saturday!
 
 
 
On Saturday when I was busy making a baby bib for a friends new baby, I didn’t notice that I had knocked my pin cushion onto the floor. It had gone pin head side down leaving the sharp ends pointing up but hidden by the pin cushion. I use this particular pin cushion as it has sentimental value to me. It was my late paternal grandmothers and I use a lot of her old sewing stuff on a daily basis. It was only when I got up from my sewing machine and I removed my foot from the pedal, that I placed my foot on top of the pin cushion ( I was wearing socks only) and put all my weight through that foot to stand up. To say the air was blue would be an understatement! It took me ages to get all the pins out of my foot as there were around 20 or so on the cushion. I yelped and cried, there was blood and tears. Later when I looked at my sock I realised that the blood had come right through . 3 days on and the sole of my foot is still a little sore, not something I ever want to repeat, especially as a long time ago I stood on a darning needle and had to go to the local minor injuries unit to get it removed whilst using gas and air! I will be making the pin cushion as soon as it arrives and I can’t thank Natasha enough for that. 
 

 

 

 
 
Dembe modelling my creations from last weekend!
 
So for now I am putting my feet up and allowing myself to chill out for a few days!