Even Weirder

If last week was a weird week I haven’t got a clue what this one should be called! I had more vertigo, a migraine from hell, so bad that Mr Myasthenia Kid had to take the day off from work to look after me – more about that later and I can’t share any of my sewing makes over the last few days as they are all birthday presents for friends between 23rd June and the end of August. A little frustrating when I am so pleased with all of them, The good news is that my sewing job list on my phone for the months of May and June have reduced dramatically!

 

As I wrote in my last blog post I attended a course last Wednesday regarding how to use my overlocker. I was so excited about the course and I hate to say it but it was a real let down. It was everything a teaching session shouldn’t be. In a previous lifetime (1996-2005) I held the position of Training Manager at my place of employment. I was responsible for all the training that took place for the 350 plus staff we employed at the time. Not only that I was also sent to various other locations throughout the south-west to teach other Training Managers (they were also sent to work with me to get an understanding of their role) and to teach staff for new store openings. I loved the job and I am not afraid to say that I was bloody good at it. It broke my heart when head office in its wisdom decided to get rid of the role. Training quality immediately plummeted – in my workplace. I have been sorely tempted over the last few years to do  a  freedom of information request to see how many court cases they have had since removing the Training Manager role.

 

So with nearly ten years of teaching under my belt, I know that people have varied learning styles. Some learn by watching something and then having a go, some people learn by reading a manual and some people learn by a mixture of those two. Unfortunately the course seemed to be mainly the us the students sat at our machine with the trainer talking at us. So bored was I that I actually got my phone out and started to look at Facebook – discreetly. I didn’t want to be rude but I had to do something to keep myself awake as the stairs getting up to the classroom had nearly killed me. Oxygen was almost required – this was not suitable for the disabled sewist.

 

The course had been billed as getting to know your machine – I’d had mine since 13th April so rather than being terrified I had dived straight in. It became clear talking to the other 7 pupils ( excluding my mum, yes 9 people to one tutor how on earth could all of us see anything when she demonstrated at a machine?) that they had never even opened the boxes that their overlockers had come in, that possibly mum and I were too advanced for this course. I obviously wound the tutor up when after she dramatically cut all 4 threads on my overlocker and asked me to re-thread it and I had it done in less than 5 minutes. She told me off for using my machine when I was checking that it was chaining (working properly). She didn’t realise that I had threaded it and actually knew a little about what I was doing. The course went downhill from there.

 

Three people’s machines broke during the day and not once did the tutor offer any support, instead there were sarcastic comments dressed up as imparting information that certain brands of machines were basically crap and  It concerned me that someone who claimed to know so much about brands was unaware that Elna and Janome are the same company. One lady went downstairs and bought a new machine but still this woman ploughed on and didn’t recap with the lady what she had missed. The same happened when my mum’s machine broke.

 

By the end of the day I could barely maintain a civil composure, I was threading my mum’s machine to ensure that she had a working machine when we left the course – thankfully her machine was repaired there and then by the shop owners – I can’t fault them at all. I love their shop and they have always been lovely which is why I am not naming the location of the class as I wouldn’t want to damage their reputation, when this was someone who obviously comes in and works for the. The teacher was demanding yet again mum and I stand in front of a machine that we wouldn’t have a clear view of – when both of us have mobility issues which were obvious due to the mobility aids we were using. I practically hissed that I was beyond tired as was my mother and having a working machine before leaving the shop was slightly more important than looking at the backs of people’s heads. I then let her look at the back of mine as I got on with threading mum’s machine – something the tutor should have done when she was told mum was having issues seeing properly due to the light coming in through the window.

 

All I can say is thank fuck I didn’t pay full price for that class. I still feel ripped off knowing I paid £27 for it. I will be honest yes I learned some bits and pieces but not £27 worth.

 

Thursday was a complete right off as at 2am I woke up with a migraine, it was hideous. I couldn’t stop being sick and by the time Jamie found me lying in the dark at 9am I could barely speak. By 2pm I was starting to come around but I was just completely drained. However my back would not put up with me lying in bed any longer so I forced myself downstairs.

 

I was wiped out by the migraine for a good couple of days but I did get some sewing done. I managed to make a start on my floating triangle quilt, so the week wasn’t a complete right off. I have started taking pizotifen again in the hope that it prevents more migraines in the future or if not it at least reduces the intensity. I can’t cope with that again nothing stops the pain or the sickness.

 

My quilt pieces, this is as far as I have got as the rest of my time has been taken up making birthday presents,

 

 

Now all that is left to do is to join them all together in the right order!

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Weird Week

The last week has been really revolting on the vertigo front. The air pressure due to thunderstorms developing ( we were really lucky and avoided them but it was so hot and sticky!) made my ears misbehave leaving me with a couple of days where I felt like I was constantly spinning. Despite all that I have still managed to get some sewing done and even give a lesson to a dear friend of mine.

 

I am having to write this post uber early (Sunday evening) as on Wednesday, which is usually blog post writing day, I am on a course to learn how to use my over-locker. I am already starting to panic that a day learning on a course is probably going to be too much for me, probably? Who am I kidding? This will floor me especially when my health isn’t great due to this ear problem.

 

I have had to grab whatever moments I can to do sewing this week as quite a lot of the time I just haven’t been able to. Thursday I had to quickly prepare fabric ready to teach my friend Imogen some basics on the sewing machine. I decided for her first lesson I would have her make an envelope back cushion cover. I decided that having her sew straight lines on calico would probably drive her around the twist. Imogen is naturally creative and she thinks like a sewist. I decided I would cut out all the fabric out for her and overlock all the edges. All Imogen would then have to do is sew some straight lines and she would come away with a finished item. I finished all the prep work and then ended up going to bed as the vertigo became so bad I couldn’t walk in a straight line.

 

On Friday Imogen came for her lesson and our bi weekly catch up. I got her to practice rectangles to begin with on some calico as she would need to know how to pivot the material keeping the needle down. She did really well so I let her loose on  the material – pink with unicorns. She did a fabulous job and I tried very hard not to be constantly leaning over her by playing on my phone. She was so surprised when she had finished sewing it and genuinely pleased with herself. She did a fantastic job. Although she will probably kill me for posting this photo!

 

 

I was exhausted on Friday night and was asleep before 7.30pm. I also managed to forget to take my evening meds which meant I went into withdrawal, thankfully it wasn’t as bad as it was last time when I wrote about it here https://wp.me/p4zBAs-m6  but it left me feeling pretty off colour all of Saturday. However I still managed to get the rest of my fabric cut for my Kaffe Fasset / Free Spirit fabric quilt.

 

 

Today (Sunday) I have finished my wall hanging that has been waiting to be completed since it arrived in April. During the week I quilted it.

 

This left the scrappy binding to make and then attach both tasks completely new to me. Thankfully there are lots of videos on Youtube showing you how to make scrappy binding – this is where you make your binding from scraps. Thank goodness my Creative Grids Stripology ruler arrived during the week, making cutting strips of fabric an absolute doddle.

 

I then sewed by machine the binding onto the front, which included mitred corners – proper mitred corners not the bodge job I have done previously. Then once the binding was sewn onto the front I pulled it over the edge onto the back and using clips held it in place whilst I hand sewed the  binding to the back of the quilt.

 

 

The hand sewing of the binding onto the back of the quilt didn’t take much time at all. I made sure the stitches were really small so they are barely noticeable, it’s the neatest any of my quilts have been on the back. Finally the wall hanging has been completed, we now need to decide how we are going to hang it on the wall.

 

 

It’s been a really weird week with my ears playing up, forgetting my tablets and ensuring that I have enough energy to make it through Wednesdays (6th June) course which is also my 10 month anniversary of giving up smoking, Thursday 7th June it will be 8 months since I started sewing, since then I have bought a further two sewing machines and an overlocker!

Tuesday night the wall hanging was in situ!

 

Jamie did a new video yesterday!

 

Bl**dy Ears!

 

For the last few weeks I have really been suffering with dizziness, I haven’t really said a lot about it as I hate being a negative Nellie, I don’t want my blog to be me always moaning about my health but sometimes things are a bit shit and that’s what its like at the moment.

 

I had a cold a while back and I knew it had messed up my ears as they started to feel very blocked. When I went to the dentist a few weeks ago I could barely hear him when he was talking to me as I was so deaf that day. I have been taking stugeron (cinnazine) like its been going out of fashion as the dizziness has been so bad I have been falling over. I feel like I have water trapped in my ear and some days the dizziness is so bad I can barely move until the stugeron has kicked in. This morning I asked Mr Myasthenia kid to pop into the doctors and book me an appointment. Thinking I would probably get an appointment in the middle of June, so imagine my surprise when he rang to tell me I could be seen this afternoon at 15.30. I needed to go anyway as I needed to see if they would give me some diazepam to calm me down when I see the dentist – which they did.

 

At the appointment there was also a student doctor present. Apparently they don’t really get a chance to look in ears until they do an A&E placement – with little kids shoving stuff in their ears and up their noses or if they elect to do an ENT placement. So the student doctor had a look straight after the doctor did. That was quite good because the student doctor had to then explain to my gp what she had seen, so I got to learn a little about what was going on in my ear. Apparently my left ear the good ear is entirely normal however my right ear is very dark, light should bounce back in a healthy war. But as I have fluid trapped behind my eardrum it makes my ear a dark place. So for now I have to use my nasal spray religious for the next month. If that doesn’t clear it then I have to go back and get stronger steroid drops…..if they don’t work I am looking at the possibility of grommets again. The problem with fluid trapped behind the eardrum is that it F**Ks up your balance and hearing – it makes me feel very ill. It also puts you at high risk of getting an ear infection. Sometimes my ear is very painful with it, most of the time it isn’t painful at all. I would just like the constant feeling of water in my ear to do one now as once you acknowledge the feeling it’s very difficult to distract yourself from it.

 

I have had a couple of days where the dizziness has been unbearable and one day last week when I ran out of stugeron. Thankfully my dad came to the rescue and dropped some in to me. When it’s bad I can’t do anything until the meds start working, I have to lie or sit very still. If I can’t take stugeron ( as I have run out) then it will just get worse and worse until I can’t stand up without being sick or falling over. I find this incredibly debilitating. I know I have quite a catalogue of things wrong with me but there are just a few I really struggle to cope with, CSF leak(s), full-blown migraines and this. Everything else is a walk in the park compared to these three, Anything that prevents me from being (almost) normal, I really struggle to cope with.

 

Thankfully the dizziness does reduce significantly when I use stugeron, it would be much worse if I got no relief. I have been able to do stuff over the last week on the sewing machine. I finished my kimono and I am 90% happy with it.

I also started working on a WIP (work in progress) that has been hanging around for a while, I hate having unfinished projects hanging around the place. So last week I decided to finish the patchwork part of a quilted wall hanging.

The wall hanging involved quite a few 2 1/2 inch half square triangles. 32 to be exact, it’s the most I have ever had to make.

These then had to be trimmed down to ensure they were the correct size, something I always struggle with.


This was it almost completed just the borders to go on. One of the most difficult things I have made and I became acquainted with my seam ripper!

This is it with the borders on. I now need to quilt it, currently it is draped over the top of my sewing machine with wadding / batting and the backing pinned and glue basted on, waiting for me to decide how I will quilt it and what pattern I will choose. Its 24 inches square so not a small wall hanging. At least I know where it is going once it has been completed. If you had asked me Friday or Saturday I would have told you it was going in the bin!

I also managed to knock up this box cushion dogs bed for Frankie to sleep on in Jays room.

I bought the sheep material a while ago I love it. The bed has been filled with foam from an old bench cushion that has been in my loft for a few years and some old throws. It is much bigger and softer than his previous shop bought bed and he can really stretch out on it.

Due to the fact I have been feeling quite grotty with my ears I have also had days where I have been taking it easy and using the time to do some slow sewing. I have been making an English Paper Piecing quilt for Jays room. This is my progress so far

 

I managed to get so much done that I ran out of the little kite shapes that sit between each octagon.  So I had to make some more of those as well.

I took my slow sewing down to the doctors with me today, just as well as I was waiting 45 minutes for my appointment!

Let me just say it  – Bloody ears!

I quit……..smoking

Mr Myasthenia Kid has managed to pass on his sickness bug to me. He ended up coming home from work on Monday after vomiting twice. He spent the rest of Monday sleeping. I spent last night going from freezing cold to boiling hot, my hair is crazy this morning. I am also horrendously nauseous. So today’s offering will be short and sweet.

 

On 6th August I packed in smoking tobacco, over the previous couple of months I had slowly been falling out of love with it. It no longer tasted the same, smelt the same, I was smoking more but enjoying less and less. Because I rolled my own cigarettes I was also getting stained fingers which meant several times a week I was having to bleach them to get rid of the tar stains. I knew the time was approaching where I was going to give up. I just didn’t know if I would be able to do it.

 

At the same time as I was falling out of love with cigarettes, a friend of mine had given up smoking. Something I never thought in a million years would happen. She had bought a vape and literally swapped over from smoking 20 plus a day to none and solely using the vape in a few days. She brought the vape over to show me and a week later I bought myself one. With the intention of slowly reducing the amount of cigarettes I was smoking and using the vape.

 

I really struggled to get on with the vape, for some reason every time I inhaled I coughed my lungs up. I don’t know what was causing the problem but it was infuriating, why could I inhale cigarette smoke and not inhale from a vape. It took a few days of persevering but I got the hang of it. I was coming to the end of my tobacco and after the first cigarette of the morning on Sunday 6th August I decided that was it. I had enough tobacco for one cigarette but I just put it away in the cupboard. I haven’t smoked since.

 

A few days after stopping smoking I threw my tobacco tin away, bagged up the papers and filter tips which I bought in bulk and removed the ash trays from the house. We only ever smoked in the kitchen, but the difference in the surfaces keeping clean without me facing a losing battle daily against bits of ash and tobacco was enough to convince me, it was over. Jay took my papers and filter tips into work and gave them to my friends that smoke.

 

Giving up and switching to the vape has been easy, far easier than I thought it would be. I much prefer it to smoking. Over the last few days I have found that I am using it a lot less than I was initially. I did experience some problems with my blood pressure being quite low for a few days whilst my body sorted itself out. I gave myself a week for it to settle and if it hadn’t I would add a nicotine liquid to my vape to boost my blood pressure. Thankfully the giddiness and feelings of pre-syncope reduced and I managed to not use nicotine liquid.The other issue I have had is really painful sinuses.

 

I’ve had sinus problems for years. I regularly use a nasal spray as the inside of my nose gets inflamed and causes problems with my eustachian tubes swelling shut. Since stopping smoking I have been in a lot of pain with my sinuses, at some points it has been going into my teeth. I have no idea why giving up smoking would make it worse when I have always been told that it would make it better. It’s still hurting today but it is getting less as the days go on. I am hoping that this will eventually settle down.

 

I know that I will never be able to take for granted that I no longer smoke. I have stopped for years in the past only to start again. I will need to be constantly vigilant and be honest with myself that whenever I want a cigarette it is the addiction talking. So far it has been much easier than I ever anticipated it would be, I hope it stays that way.

Eustachian Tube Dysfunction

Just when you think you are managing to cope with everything that has been thrown at you health-wise, life throws you yet another curve ball.

For nearly two weeks I have been suffering with increasingly debilitating bouts of dizziness. Initially I believed this to be low blood pressure, as when measured it has been on the low side but nothing strikingly different from normal. 

Last Thursday it ramped up a gear which was excellent timing, (isn’t it always?) as I had a hospital appointment with my consultant. Half way through chatting to the stand in (my consultant was on annual leave) I ended up having to put my head between my knees. It was so severe that the dizziness left me unable to speak for 30 seconds and believe me that is a tough thing to do. The stand in was concerned and offered me a glass of water. I declined because the way my stomach was feeling I knew it would induce vomiting that would be unable to stop. They then took my pulse and blood pressure. In the following few minutes they suggested that I needed to come into hospital…..next week. I declined.

You may think I am mad for declining but my reasons behind it were firstly I have been declining in health for over a year and have been left to get on with it. Plus I was feeling so poorly at that moment in time the only thing I wanted was my own bed, darkness and not to be subjected to countless examinations. Yes I was sick but regular readers are aware of my love of hospitals and the rules for calling an ambulance – unconsciousness or if I ask for it. I didn’t feel sick enough for a hospital stay. There were also economic reasons for not wanting to be admitted. Contrary to popular belief in the UK those of us unlucky enough to find ourselves in a position where we can’t work, are not living a life of luxury. To be in hospital for a week meant my husband taking a week off work unpaid. That is money that we can not do without. He is out of holiday pay and there is a great deal going on in the business he works for. He doesn’t need to be attracting the negative attention which caring for his disabled wife would most certainly draw.

The registrar and I agreed on a date in April for my admittance however that all depends on whether the hospital is on black alert. Black alert means there are no bed and only medical emergencies are being admitted. Unless its life or death you aren’t coming in. Due to cancellations of operations that I am aware of, I would hazard a guess the place is close to a black alert again. With this being booked in advance my husband can book paid leave and we can put in place the support we need.

After the hospital appointment I slept for close to 24 hours, something I never do. I am always tired after appointments but I rarely sleep. When I woke up I suddenly realised what was causing the dizziness. It wasn’t my blood pressure but my ears. My Eustachian Tube dysfunction was back for the first time since 2012. The familiar feeling of pressure in both ears, tinnitus and dizziness was back. Until the Saturday morning I had no feeling of pressure in my ears, so I had been barking up the wrong tree for the cause of my symptoms. No wonder increasing my salt tablets and steroids had done nothing to alleviate the spins.

Knowing what is causing the issue always reassures me. I dosed myself up on travel sickness tablets and took some over the counter steroid nasal spray to try to reopen my Eustachian tubes. The tubes are connected to your sinuses, so although my sinuses weren’t feeling blocked somewhere between my nose and ears they had become inflamed causing them to swell so much they collapse shut. When looking inside the ear a doctor can see that the ear drum is inverted, which caused by the pressure of the tubes swelling shut. Obviously I can’t see this but I can feel it. The feeling closely resembles the pressure when taking off / landing in an aeroplane or when travelling in the car up a steep hill. Your ears feel like they are on the verge of popping but never do.

By Monday I had to admit that the dizziness was getting worse. It was making me nauseous and I was unable to sit upright for more than a few minutes at a time. The Dr prescribed me some stronger steroid nasal spray and some anti sickness medication. Unfortunately the anti sickness medication although wonderfully effective didn’t agree with me. Diarrhoea and dizziness do not go well together.

This bout of inner ear problems is the worst I have ever suffered. It has been so debilitating I have been stuck in bed for close to a week. I am as white as a sheet, can barely walk as my balance is so bad and I just feel absolutely awful. Nothing other than lying completely still stops the dizziness. Sometimes the room spins violently other times the dizziness is internal. I have been so ill my husband told me he was staying at home to look after me. Every time that he has stayed at home to look after me I have had to ask. This time he took one look at me and told me, this was not up for discussion.

I have barely been able to use the computer, something about the screen seems to set the dizziness off so this post has been written over several days a sentence at a time. Hence why this post is a lot shorter than normal.

The good news is that this will go away, the bad news is it could be weeks or months until it is completely resolved. If it doesn’t resolve I may need grommets to try to keep the tubes open. Wish me luck!

Hi

Sorry for the excessive leave of absence. I am still alive !!! Ive just had more than my share of stuff to deal with health wise.

After my last post in August I developed really awful dizziness, tinnitus and a feeling of fullness in my ears. It was so bad I could barely walk. Thankfully my parents were staying nearby so I got them to take me to the drs whilst hubby looked after our dogs (they like to eat fixtures and fitting if we leave them!).

At the drs I was found to have both eustachian tubes swollen shut. These are the tubes that sort of act as balance regulators. I was given a steroid spray and told it would take 4-6 weeks for it to improve. I would be lying if I said it wasn’t exhausting.

Ive been back to the drs and spoken to my own gp on the phone and now 5 months later my right ear is still badly affected. I will be contacting my dr shortly as it looks like I need to see an ENT as grommits may now be the only way for my ears to be sorted out.

During these five months my sister had a biopsy on her bladder and the surgeon managed to perforate her bladder. She was very poorly and got the most horrendous care possible. It ended up with me on the phone to PALS and the chief executive of the hospital almost hourly demanding that they do something. It was very stressful.

At the start of this month we also nearly lost one of our dogs (I have three) Willow. She contracted pyometra, unfortunately it was closed and she gave us no indication that she was poorly until the Saturday night when puss and blood started to pour from her. She was operated on that night and I am happy to say she is now fully recovered.

Basically for the last five months it feels like I have been on a constant treadmill. The stress plays havoc with my body. I just start bouncing back and then the next crisis hits!

I am now having to get myself back in the habit of blogging. Im happy to report we are all ok just very very tired. Sorry to have left you all for so long!