Update on End of my Tether

Last week I wrote about the horrific migraine I had and as I stated when I wrote it just because the acute phase is over it doesn’t mean that you are 100% back to normal. I spent the following 7 days with a headache varying in severity. It took until Monday ( 25th May ) for me to finally be free from a headache and any other lingering post migraine symptoms.

I did manage to write a letter to my gp surgery on the Wednesday as I said I would in my blog post and that bore fruit. I have now been prescribed sumatriptan . The gp contacted me via a text message which was weird as I have never had that happen before and contained within the message was a link toThe Exeter Headache Clinic protocol . I have included the link just in case anyone is interested as I found it very comprehensive and have taken onboard all the suggestions contained within it.

I printed out the the protocol as I am useless reading off screens ( unless it is blog posts but they have to be broken up with frequent paragraphs, long posts with no breaks are an instant turn off for me as I just feel overwhelmed). I then made a list for my husband to get the OTC ( over the counter ) medications from the pharmacy at his place of work. I also asked him as I have a history of projectile vomiting soluble aspirin / paracetamol etc to ask the pharmacist about paracetamol suppositories. I did explain in my very long letter to my gp that projectile vomiting is a HUGE problem along with nausea when I get a migraine but that seems to have been glossed over. He was quoted the price of £62.50 for not very many. I’m afraid I simply don’t have £62.50 for medications, especially when I was already having to cover the cost of the suggested medications soluble paracetamol, aspirin and buccastem, with the supplements that I was also being asked to try to see if these also helped or reduced the amount of migraines I have been having. I have had to buy Magnesium ( taken very carefully to begin with due to the possibility of undiagnosed Myasthenia Gravis ), Co enzyme Q10 and Riboflavin ( Vitamin B2). I have to take these without fail for the next 8 weeks to see if they make any difference to the severity of my migraines or frequency. All in all I have had to spend over £50 on supplements and medications – thankfully my sumatriptan didn’t cost me anything as I get free prescriptions, had I have had to pay for it you could basically add on another £10 making it as near as dam it 60 quid in total. 

That really pissed me off….in a time when many people have either been made redundant / furloughed on 80% pay or are on Universal Credit for the first time in their lives due to Covid-19, my gp’s surgery was so out of touch that they didn’t bother contacting me to ask if I needed them to write me a prescription for the OTC medication so that I didn’t have to bear the cost. Thankfully neither my husband or my income has been hit due to the current global pandemic but we know that we are in the minority not the majority. It really grinds my gears that many other people who have been told to follow this protocol simply wouldn’t have been able to afford it or would have had to choose between food or medical treatment and surely that is very, very wrong in the 6th or 7th richest country in the world? I know had I been in a position where I couldn’t afford to buy the OTC medication ( let alone the supplements) I would have been far too embarrassed to admit this to my doctor or anyone. Poverty seems to be a thing that is really looked down on in the UK and many simply feel that those in poverty are somehow at fault for it when everyone ( except the very wealthy ) are one illness or accident away from finding their lives changed forever. 

The practical side of me kicked in, I know what a state I am in when a migraine happens. I am incredibly unlucky that my migraines 99.9999% of the time happen at night and I wake up with them either just starting or already raging. When I first started getting migraines at around the age of 8 years old, I used to get the classic aura, zig zag lines either black and white or primary colours or it could be that I would get tunnel vision or parts of my vision would disappear, usual in the central field of vision. It has been a few years since I have had that kind of migraine. For at least the last 4 years they have come on at night and when they do I am pretty much incapacitated immediately. So I decided that I would make myself a migraine grab bag. This bag or large zipped pouch really, would contain the soluble paracetamol, aspirin, sumatriptan and buccastem along with a bottle of water and a plastic pint glass. Just so I could “grab” that bag and know that I had everything in one place and not have to worry about trying to navigate stairs / call Mr Myasthenia Kid for help. Time is of the essence for me once an attack is underway as nausea sets in very quickly so there is a very short time frame for me to administer medications before it gets to the point where anything taken orally will be projectile vomited. 

The bag doesn’t look very big in the photo but it is at least 14 inches wide and 12 inches tall. I used this fabric as a) I absolutely love it and b) it is a totally different fabric style to the other zipped pouches I have in my room. Plus if I say to Mr Myasthenia Kid “the one with hippo’s on” he won’t need his glasses to identify it! It still has plenty of room inside it even though it has a bottle of water , a couple of plastic pint glasses and the medications within it.

I am still terrified at the prospect of the next migraine but I feel like at least I am putting things in place to help / get me through. I am now keeping a food diary to see if there are any obvious triggers ( when I was a kid there was coca cola, Halls menthol cough sweets, Scampi Fries and orange juice although none of these seem to have the triggering effect now – although I still can’t stand anything menthol). I have also bought myself a Migraine tracker book, which details when the migraine starts, finishes, symptoms possible trackers, things that helped etc. Which I thought would be a good thing to keep if the sumatriptan doesn’t help and I end up having to see a Migraine specialist. I couldn’t resist this one when I saw it

I am feeling prepared, still frightened but prepared. We shall just have to see what happens….

End of my tether

It seems to be one thing after another at the moment and if you are bored reading it you can imagine how tedious I am finding living with it? The week after my unhappy hump day went reasonably well. I only needed two days on the diazepam and then it was taken as and when needed. I was bobbing along quite nicely until 4.20am Tuesday morning when I woke up with that familiar sinus pain like I had been smacked with a shovel and a distinct lack of balance that let me know Tuesday was just going to be awful. I had a migraine and this one was going to be an utter bastard.


I fished out my neck collar, took what pain medications I could and propped myself up on my pillows hoping that I had done enough to limit the attack to a few hours. However it wouldn’t have mattered what I had done yesterday this migraine was going to rate number 2 on the worst migraines ever – number one having taken place in either February or March and left me with amnesia. I didn’t drink or eat for well over 16 hours because even the thought of drinking made me want to puke and although my stomach was burning, I just couldn’t eat as I again felt so nauseous at the prospect of eating that I just had to ignore the rumbling stomach and hope that I wasn’t sick from being hungry.


I don’t remember a lot of yesterday, I remember at around 9am shouting help because Jay hadn’t twigged that anything was wrong and hadn’t bothered to check on me . He thought I was having a long over due lie on. I couldn’t roll over to grab my phone and I couldn’t think what to shout to get his attention. I was also having diarrhoea at this point (not in bed thank goodness but had resulted in 6 trips to the bathroom where I had stumbled clinging onto the safety rail) which was really fun when any smell good or bad was making me wretch and of course my shit smelt of roses and rainbows LOL! My head also felt like an axe was attempting to cleave it in half every time my head left the pillow. Help indeed was needed, but what could be provided was limited. Hot water bottles and a basin were brought to me. Thankfully I wasn’t sick but Oh how I wanted to be. 


Without being melodramatic the pain was so bad yesterday there were points I wanted to go to sleep and just not wake up. I have been through the agony of a CSF leak and although that was awful there was always some relief at some point. There was nothing yesterday the pain was just unrelenting, the light was too bright but my face was too sore to wear sunglasses. I was sweating and then I was freezing cold. I wondered if I had contracted meningitis. I did actually consider calling 999 for an ambulance but I couldn’t bear the prospect of being poked and prodded, expected to answer questions and be in a noisy environment. You know you are poorly when you don’t want to move and you don’t care that you should be calling for help.


At some point during the morning I heard them talking about oxygen on the radio ( I’m very lucky that I don’t need complete silence during an attack just a darkened room) and I remembered oxygen always helps me when I have a migraine. Another plaintive Help was shouted and Jay sprang into action set up my oxygen machine and got me hooked up to it. He also got me a bottle of water because the orange squash he had given me was turning my stomach and after each mouthful I wanted to bring it back up and more. The oxygen did help it lowered the pain level to an 8/10 instead of the 10/10 it had been since 4.20am


I spent the majority of the day in bed. At 1pm I got up because my back was killing me. That was a dreadful mistake after an hour I went back to bed and straight to sleep despite the pain. I got up again at 4pm and managed to have a drink, then I was so thirsty I couldn’t stop drinking and then I was ravenous with the post migraine munchies. I could have eaten my body weight in whatever food you brought me. I was despite sleeping all day fucking shattered. I went back to bed again at 6pm tried watching some tv but having jolted awake three times in 30 minutes gave up and slept solidly until 1am…..and was then awake for the rest of the night. I managed to get an hour of sleep between 7-8am this morning.


Today is brought to you by the letter C – for Coffee. I feel like I am floating I am so tired. I have managed to sort myself out and have a shower with Jays help. Honestly I was honking after sweating so much yesterday. My autonomic nervous system was going mental. I feel like I have taken too many pain killers as my head is floating and my face feels like it is sticking out 3 inches further than it is. I am going to put a letter together for my gp telling them I can’t go on like this. Just thinking about the fact I will have yet another migraine next month is making me cry. I have been tracking them on my phone and they happen at least once a month and always between the 18th -22nd of the month. It isn’t fair on me for these to continue to happen and it isn’t fair on Jay as he can’t take one day off a month to look after me as I am so ill I can’t do anything for myself. 

People also seem to be under the impression that you have the migraine and then like magic you are back to normal again, in reality it can take me several days after a severe attack to feel like I am functioning anywhere near normal, so it’s not just one day a month I am losing but 3 or 4 depending on the severity.


From what I have briefly read up during the early hours of this morning around 40% of women find their migraines worsen during peri-menopause and menopause. Even in the absence of menses there is still a very slight hormone fluctuation which can be enough to trigger a migraine. Which would be my case. I stopped my contraceptive pill in December as I wanted to see if the menopause fairy had joined me and it has now been over 5 months and there has been no period. Yet my migraines will always occur since stopping the pill between the 18th – 22nd of the month without fail. Occasionally like this month I will get two migraines, I had one last Tuesday, so exactly a week apart. I am at the end of my tether with it. All I want to do is cry but whats the point? It won’t change anything. I need specialist input now so I am going to write to my gp as due to Covid-19 I don’t want to go to the surgery unless I have to and ask if they ever did contact neurology like the doctor said she would and if they had suggested some medication as continuing on like this isn’t an option. I’m at the end of my tether with it.

Unhappy hump day

Until I joined Instagram I had no clue what Hump Day was, I quickly worked out that Happy Hump day just meant happy Wednesday. Hump day meaning from what I have surmised, that once you get over this hump it will soon be the weekend. It isn’t a happy hump day here, I can’t believe it is only Wednesday as so far I have endured vertigo, a migraine and now my back is buggered spectacularly and I am waiting on a phone call from the doctor where I will have to beg for diazepam so that I can move again this week!

When you have multiple health issues that like to spring up without warning a week can seem like a very long time. I always try to push through symptoms whenever I can because if I didn’t much of my time would  be spent in bed. However when it comes to my back being in spasm I am severely limited, I can’t walk because the action of walking sets the spasm off and I cant move my arms as that also sets the spasm off. I rang the doctors surgery gasping and crying, I am sure the receptionist thought I was being melodramatic! But I really wasn’t the pain takes my breath away and makes me make horrendous noises as my back contorts and twists itself into all sorts weird shapes. I can only describe it as like wearing a remote controlled whalebone corset. You can be fine one minute and the next the sadistic twat with the controller has randomly made a group of muscles spasm and you can’t move. The pain is so immediate and acute that it takes your breath away. The problem is that you never know what movement your back will find unacceptable until it does!

So I am typing this – I gave up with speech to text when it tried to translate my whimpers into text, whilst sipping a gin ( small ) whilst waiting for the doctor to ring ( it’s only small because I don’t want to be shit faced if and when they ring! as that’s not classy at all). Thankfully the doctor has just rung and agreed that I need diazepam. Thank goodness. Although due to Jays schedule he won’t be home until after 10pm.

I forgot to mention that Jay returned to work on Monday after being home for 7 weeks due to the medications he is on for psoriasis and asthma. His mental health took a nose dive and having been in a really awful place many years ago where he ended up being off work for 12 weeks and it took a good 5 years to get him on the correct medications so that he no longer had massive dips in his mood. He didn’t want to end up in that place again so talked to his HR manager about returning to work. Now they have the social distancing measures in place it is much safer than it was before he was put on the 12 week leave. So he returned on Monday which left Dembe and I scrambling to sort ourselves out in to a new routine after a 7 week hiatus.

I knew on Sunday that I was feeling stressed at Jays imminent return to work – he decided on the Friday ( out of the blue and with no discussion although I was aware he wasn’t right mentally ) and returned on the Monday, as I was really struggling to relax and kept getting funny heart beats, which happens when I am stressed. I tried my hardest to just let it go but it didn’t work. I was also suffering with vertigo, intermittently during the day, so that left me feeling pretty exhausted. 

 I was on edge all day Monday, although when he came home on his lunch break and I could see how happy I was, I relaxed. So I was really surprised late Monday evening when I started to get intermittent zigzag lines in the corner of my eye. As there was no headache within an hour I put it down to a visual migraine but at 5am the following morning I woke up with the feeling someone was trying to insert an ice-pick in my eye. It is clear that all the health issues that have popped up so far this week have been a result of stress.

Then last night after having an awful day with a migraine that just wouldn’t shift, it lasted around 16 hours, I woke up 2 hours after going to sleep with awful muscle spasms in my right leg that had me crying out, the left leg was sore but the right leg had me squealing. Also the toes on my right foot were pulling back towards my shin. I hobbled downstairs and pulled a freezer block ( a cooler pack I think they are called in the USA ) and started massaging my leg with it. It helped but didn’t get rid of it completely. As soon as the muscles relaxed they they just went into another spasm. It was so hard to walk. I ended up sleeping with the ice pack placed onto the back of my leg. I have no idea what caused that but I haven’t had that happen in years – probably as long ago as me being a teenager and waking up with it after a night on the tiles and having a few too many sherbet’s. 

My calf has been aching all day and my feet have been doing their weird spasms all day. Then the icing on the cake was my back going into spasm this afternoon. It was so bad I immediately called the doctors. I can’t believe how many health issues I have had this week and its only Wednesday. When I have weeks like this I often wonder what the hell the rest of the week will go. 

I know this probably sounds strange when in reality I do have a lot of stuff going on but I get quite resentful when I can’t do the stuff I want to do because my body has decided to let me down again. I hate the unpredictability of it and I hate that there is always something going on. When people ask me how I am I just lie and say fine because even I get bored with it and I learned years ago that most people really don’t care they say it out of politeness when they ask how you are. I don’t understand the point of asking a question that when you are asked you have to lie because that’s the done thing. At least I have nothing planned this week.

Thank god it is hump day even if it’s not a particularly happy one!

Worst Migraine ever

I am really struggling at the moment with making the time for blogging and coming up with ideas / subjects to blog about. It has been crazy busy here with decorating all last week – hubby’s bedroom and I have seriously overdone it. I have ended up having naps in the afternoon which is something I haven’t done for probably a good ten years if not more and I still can’t shake the overwhelming fatigue I seem to be suffering with.

I don’t even seem to have much energy for sewing. I have a very small window of opportunity in the morning and then by 2pm I am yawning my head off barely able to speak I am so tired. It is as frustrating as it is ridiculous as I really don’t know what it is that is draining me so much. I could blame the menopause – that is making me much more emotional than normal or perhaps its the fact that I stopped my progesterone only contraceptive pill back in December. I know when I was first put on it many years ago it was one of the few things that stabilised my symptoms along with salt tablets. Whilst it now takes a lot for me to notice my usual PoTs symptoms I am wondering if the fatigue is down to low blood pressure as I am back to crashing immediately after eating despite reducing meals, switching to low carb and drinking coffee so strong you could stand a spoon in it. 

Last week I was helping out doing all the sit down jobs I could, painting skirting boards, cutting in etc. Even though we were only working for small periods of time each day I found it utterly exhausting to the point I was going to bed at 5 -6pm and just going to sleep until the following morning. Where as in the months before I had been staying up until gone 10-11pm watching TV and just not feeling tired. There is so much I want to do but I am now struggling to motivate myself to get moving. I am just hoping that it is last weeks over exertion that has done it and that it will sort itself out…eventually. If I pace myself this week…..me and pacing is a bit of an issue as I never seem to have ever worked out the balance between activity and rest. Although this week I am so knackered I am having to rest.

I did have the doctors yesterday after my worst migraine ever experience on 20th February. Normally I wouldn’t go running to the doctor with a migraine, I get about two a month and as I don’t work I have just sort have let them go and not demanded better treatment. However the last two I have had have been so bad that Jay has had to take time off work to look after me. Now although his work have been very accommodating, I don’t want him using his annual leave so that he doesn’t lose pay when he has to take the time off. Plus it isn’t fair on him not only having the stress of me being so poorly at home and then having to deal with (potentially) colleagues and senior managers who become less and less sympathetic due to the amount of time he takes off. I hate it when my illness impacts his work because it is something outside of his control. On the 20th I really couldn’t be left as I was barely conscious and when I was I was just projectile vomiting everywhere. I couldn’t have looked after myself let alone Dembe.

The doctors appointment went well, it was a doctor I haven’t seen at the practice before. She thinks that as I had a migraine within my period of amnesia – so I have lost Wednesday 19th / Thursday 20th / Friday 21st and have hazy recollections of Saturday 22nd, it is more likely that this was a severe migraine attack. She was however unsure as to why I had never been given triptans for my migraine as I have had numerous visits over the years for them and they have been becoming more frequent. Also she told me that our town is currently awash with sickness bug and she is wondering if I was just incredibly unlucky and have come down with a sickness bug at the same time as a migraine as normally you would vomit and then start to feel better. I have no clue. All I know is whenever I have a migraine I have a hideous bout of nausea and once in a while I puke. This migraine though was different in the fact that I couldn’t stop puking and I couldn’t keep anything down. She also thinks the menopause is well underway.

So the upshot is that she is contacting the neurology department at the city hospital and seeing what they say with regards to if they want to see me, if I can be started on triptans etc. She did agree with me that the migraines are being triggered by my unstable neck. Also my migraines are coinciding with my physiotherapy appointments – which I am having due to the nerve trapped in my neck. The last session I had was on the 18th February and she barely touched my neck but as usual 48 hours later I got the worst migraine of my life. It is so frustrating that by trying to avoid surgery for this trapped nerve I am causing myself a bloody migraine.

I should hear back from Neurology within a week and the doctor said I should receive a call from them to let me know what the advice is. The good news is the doctor was pretty sure I hadn’t suffered a stroke / TIA which was my fear with the pain being so bad and the vomiting. I remember briefly worrying that I might have meningitis as I simply didn’t recall ever feeling so bad in my life. A little dramatic I know but I really can’t put into words just how awful it was.

I would give you more details from the migraine but my memory is just so bloody hazy that other than having my head in my waste paper bin and telling myself that I was never eating broccoli again – I ate that the night before and believe me the second time around it isn’t that nice. There isn’t much to tell, I was in a dark room getting annoyed and confused with the world service who I thought kept repeating the same news article over and over. When it was in fact me that was passing out / sleeping and then coming around again just as that news article was featured….again.  I remember Jay asking if I wanted him to call for an ambulance as he was worried I was much more seriously ill than I was letting on. I can remember telling him no and that was purely because I didn’t want to move at all. My memory from that week is patchy like a dream you are trying to recall and as that is not a symptom I have ever suffered from I thought it best to get it checked out. 

So I am afraid this is my pitiful offering this week. Hopefully after yet another week of taking it easier I will have bounced back.

New Things

Six weeks ago I did something crazy. It had been in my head since before Christmas and I had been spending an age mulling it over too scared to say it out loud. It took until after Christmas for me to even say to anyone what I had been dreaming up.  One day I mentioned to my husband what my idea was, he assured me it wasn’t that crazy and that if I didn’t try I would never know.

To some this idea won’t sound that crazy at all but believe me it sent my anxiety into over drive. My big plan. my crazy idea, wasn’t really out there at all. I just wanted to start up a monthly coffee morning for like minded crafting friends who would like to learn new skills, solve a craft problem, get hints and tips etc. I will be honest  through 2019 I was a bit of a hermit, some of it self imposed, some of it well read my post Reflections and you decide. I was going months and I mean months without seeing anyone other than Mr Myasthenia Kid or Dembe. Ok so that is a bit of a half truth there as we were going to dog training but a 5 minute conversation once a week with someone other than my husband is not socialising. Especially when the topic is just Dembe or dogs in general. My mental health was being crushed, although creatively I had never felt so fulfilled as my sewing / embroidery had taken on a new direction. My anxiety was really getting bad around social interactions because I literally just wasn’t seeing anyone.

Chronic health conditions impact so much of my life, it limits the time I can spend doing it. I would love to run a small business selling items but my body couldn’t cope with the work load that something like an Etsy shop would produce. I can’t do craft fayres as I couldn’t sit there all day without then being sick and exhausted for weeks after. Crafting is my life it gives me the reason to get up and keep going every morning. Without it I would be very lost. However part of crafting is sharing your triumphs and disasters. Whilst there are various Facebook groups ( some of which are very supportive, others are like a nest of vipers) it isn’t the same as actually speaking to a real live human being. I can no longer drive as I lost my driving licence 5 years ago due to my medical conditions. Public transport is too hard going for me. I rely on Mr Myasthenia Kid if I want to go anywhere so attending guild meetings hasn’t been easy due to his work schedule. I wanted something that combined my love and appreciation for all crafts and a social atmosphere. So I took the plunge.

I knew the name I wanted for the group – “The Stitchin’ Bitches”, I also knew due to the size of my house numbers would have to be limited, if anyone wanted to come at all. A friend of mine reached out regarding a crochet issue she was having, we are both self taught and only in the last few months. I casually mentioned in my response that should I start up a group for us to meet and discuss our crochet ( and other crafts) would she be interested. She almost bit my hand off, she would be extremely interested in it and what a good idea. 

Even though I had this positive response I still left it at least a week until I built up the courage to put up a post on my Facebook timeline asking if there were any like minded crafter’s like me that wanted to meet up on a monthly basis and do crafts together. Be it crochet, knitting, embroidery, sewing. I had a lot of responses but it was from people in different parts of the country saying that they wished they lived near me as they would be there like a shot. Initially responses from local friends was slow, embarrassingly so. I was starting to think that maybe there wasn’t any desire from any of my friends ( other than the first one I spoke with). Determined not to take the lack of response from my first post as the definitive answer I posted several more times. Each time I got responses from people outside the area that I lived , even the friends I have made world wide via various health forums wanted to come. But in the end I had 4 people interested which was a good number – remember I live in a tiny house.

I set up a private Facebook group for us all to be able to post in and then set up a poll so that they could let me know what days suited them best to hold a meeting. I had envisioned when I first embarked on this idea that it would be one hour a month – which for me was fine as it would give me time to recover and give me some social time. We decided Mondays were best and set the date for our very first meeting of The Stitchin’ Bitches – they all loved the name by the way! I think we sort of sound like a Country and Western group LOL!

Initially it all seemed fine until my anxiety kicked in the day before our first meeting on Monday 10th February. I was just terrified that the meeting would be a flop, that people wouldn’t speak to each other or that after 30 minutes people would be racing to get out the door. I was so anxious I barely got more than 2 hours sleep, I tossed and turned all night. This would be me hosting an event ( thankfully all my friends know I am poorly and will pitch in with making drinks etc if needed)  without my safety blanket of Mr Myasthenia Kid. Also some of the people attending I hadn’t actually seen since I left work in 2008. For me it was a huge gamble. I am always really anxious when people come to the house anyway, I worry that they think it is dirty or uncared for etc. Its hard to keep on top of stuff when you aren’t well and all the DIY stuff falls on one partner. So I know there are some places crying out to be redecorated etc. I was also worried about people judging me, on the outside I don’t look sick but every day is a battle of some sorts. I worry that people think I am taking the piss because no one ever see’s me when I am really poorly.

Monday 10th February seemed to come around so quickly. By the time 11am arrived I was pretty knackered just from the sheer anxiety creating this “event” had caused. I really shouldn’t have worried. I also wasn’t the only one who had been anxious, a friend confided in me on leaving she had been terrified to attend. As for thinking they would all be racing for the door at 11.30am nothing could have been further from the truth. It was 13.30 that the last person left and the first person had only gone around 15 minutes before that. I had been concerned due to the fact that we all had one work place in common that we would end up discussing that but again nothing could have been further from the truth. It was barely mentioned and that was only as people left. It was just so lovely to have a few hours with people whose eyes didn’t glaze over when crafts were mentioned. I know I can get very passionate about my projects, so it was nice to answer peoples questions about the techniques I had used etc. It was equally nice to see what my friends had been up to. For all of us it was so uplifting to get out of the house and socialise – obviously I didnt go far!

The really nice thing was that as the meeting / gathering was drawing to a close one of the lady’s said “Rach, any chance we can do this once a fortnight? I don’t think once a week is enough”. Everyone else was in agreement also. I said immediately that no one would “have” to come to every session especially if they felt fortnightly was too much, that I was happy for people to dip in and out as needed. But the buzz the morning had created was so great that we set up the next few weeks worth of meetings. I was so proud of myself and what our little group had achieved. I posted on my Instagram account about it and now several other people dotted around the country have decided that they are going to do the same thing. Which is really lovely as it is such a boost for your mental health and to stop the isolation that is all too common in the world.

Today (Monday 24th March) we held the second meeting and today we had the grand total of 7 people here (including me). Dembe was like a dog with two tails, with all the love and fuss he got from everyone. Today two members learned how to start to crochet – slip knot, chain stitches and then double crochet ( UK ). Another lady had a refresher on crochet and learned how to do a Granny Square for the first time. In the corner a lady was being taught to knit. Mr Myasthenia Kid is on holiday this week from work and made himself scarce for a bit having a wander around the town. However he said the buzz and positivity he got from the room when he came home was amazing. He said he was so proud of me for being so brave to try and do something to end my own social isolation. He did make us all laugh as when he walked in he said “good god is this the budget version of the Playboy mansion”. Considering our age ranges were from 21 to 70’s it was hilarious. 

We were also spoiled by a new member who brought homemade scones, jam and cream for us to have as a crafting snack! And bloody gorgeous they were too. I had decided yesterday to make everyone little paper tissue holders as a way of saying thank you for coming and making it such a success. 

I can’t lie after every meeting I have been utterly exhausted. If I knew that it wouldn’t impact my nights sleep I would go for a nap in the afternoon. Mondays after are written off with me having a lazy restful afternoon on the sofa but mentally I feel so uplifted and happy. I am so glad that I pushed myself to do something totally outside my comfort zone and I hope I inspire others to take that chance and do new things.

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On Thursday 20th February, I had the worst migraine I have ever had in my life. It was so bad that I am actually suffering from amnesia caused by it. I have “lost” most of Wednesday 19th, the majority of Thursday 20th, Friday 21st quite a bit is unrecoverable as is Saturday 22nd.  It is only from yesterday on-wards that I can recall anything that happened during the day with any clarity.  I won’t lie this has scared the shit out of me. Which is why I haven’t done a huge detailed blog post because basically I don’t know what happened to last week. I have a gp appointment booked because I need to know that this was just a horrific migraine and that I can be referred to see a headache specialist or if it was something like a TIA that can also be looked into. Having Google at our finger tips can be a curse and a blessing but as I can’t account for much of last week and this has never happened to me before with a migraine I can’t just ignore what has happened. Anyone who knows me also knows that I don’t run to the doctors every 5 minutes so it has really shit me up.

As soon as I know you will know.

The Best Dog

One of my favourite sayings about dogs is,

Everyone thinks they have the best dog.

And none of them are wrong.

W.R Purche 

Dembe since coming home with us on 11th January 2019 has proven time and time again that he is not just the best dog but an exceptional dog. Highly intelligent and intuitive especially when it comes to matters of my health. It started when he was very tiny. He would some how know that I had a migraine and would lie quietly beside me with his face pressing against the side of my face that was hurting due to the migraine. He wouldn’t leave my side unless dragged away. I just put it down to him being impossibly cute but there are so many instances over the last 12 months that have made me realise that his behaviour isn’t just a fluke but something very real.

Around 3 weeks after we brought Dembe home I came down with a chest and sinus infection. I was floored by it, it was probably the closest I have come to feeling like I had the flu without having it in a few years. Dembe would have been around 10-11 weeks old and full of beans. Due to the fact we were still toilet training him I couldn’t go to bed, I simply didn’t have the energy to be going up and down the stairs every 30 minutes ( I couldn’t have done that on a normal day let alone this). So I would lie on the sofa counting down the hours until Jay would be back home so that I could crawl into bed.

A pup of this age is normally a live wire, yes they sleep quite a bit but when they are awake they are into everything. Normally Dembe would have been, however he seemed to know that I was poorly. Instead of running around playing with his toys, for 4 days straight he would lie on my feet or chest up on the sofa and sleep, as I slept. At the time I thought it was odd that such a young pup would alter his behaviour so radically. As soon as I started to be on the mend the crazy pup came back and yes sometimes it was a little too much for me as I was still feeling pretty rough but to contain all that energy for 4 days whilst I waited for the antibiotics to kick in was pretty weird.

 At the time I just put it down to a fluke, that I was projecting and seeing what I wanted to see after losing my beloved nurse Frankie. 

There have been a couple more instances over the year, where it was clear that Dembe was picking up on health stuff to deal with me. We have had a couple of dog training sessions where Dembe has wanted to just get back to me where normally he will quite happily ignore me. One night I was sat quietly on the sidelines when I suddenly lost the vision in my right eye, I knew I had a migraine brewing but as there was only 30 minutes left in the lesson I didn’t see the point in making a fuss. In the end I did have to speak up though as Jay and the trainer couldn’t understand why Dembe wasn’t focusing on the lesson like he normally would and all he kept doing was looking back at me or attempting to get back to me.

We had the same thing happen a few weeks ago during an agility training session. Out of nowhere earlier that morning I had been hit by vertigo. I had taken my medicatiom to attempt to stop it in its tracks but my head was still spinning. I was having to be careful how quickly I turned my head. Dembe again was really unsettled, every time he was off the leash he was back at my side. One of the fellow spectators commented on it and I just said “It is because he knows I am not feeling well, he gets very protective of me if he senses something isn’t right.” I then went onto explain something that had happened just a week or so earlier.

To the uniformed observer this way look like a cute photo of me and Dembe having a cuddle. Although it was cute and comforting it couldn’t have been any further from the truth. I had been feeling not quite right all day. Jay had just gone back to work after coming home for lunch when I had the strongest feeling that I was going to pass out ( even though I was sat down, you see I can pass out in any position it is my super power). Initially I tried to fight it by clenching my buttocks and calf muscles in the hope that this would get the blood circulating. However when I started yawning ( this is a key indicator that my blood pressure is dropping rapidly) I knew I was going to have to get myself to the floor as quickly as possible and then get my legs raised. Dembe was asleep beside me on the sofa.

I quickly got myself down on the floor and got my feet up on the coffee table. I expected Dembe to sleep through this. Instead he got up and then curled up beside my head resting his face against my face. Normally when I lie on the floor this signifies play time. I was fully expecting to be licked, trampled on and toys dropped on me as he would think this would be part of the game. However he didn’t move he just snuggled beside me, I took the photos after I had been down on the floor for ten minutes as I couldn’t believe that he was doing this. I tried to get up but he wouldn’t let me, he had me pinned to the floor for a good 30 minutes. If his face wasn’t against my face he was lying on my arm making it almost impossible for me to move.

What I find incredible is this is not something I have ever taught him to do, this is something he has done on his own. He was also just 14 months old when he did this, he is now 15 months old.

I still find it hard to believe that he is so in tune with me that for whatever reason he knew that I was very unwell at that time and needed him to look after me. Feeling that ill, whilst alone is scary. Thankfully I had my mobile phone on me as the top I was wearing has  what I call a kangaroo pouch pocket. I always try to wear clothes with pockets so that I always have my phone. I managed to get in touch with Mr Myasthenia Kid and explain what had happened I got really tearful when I explained what a wonder Dembe had been. He asked if I wanted him to come home but I said until I knew if I could sit up or not unaided there wasn’t any point. Around 30 minutes after I first hit the deck I was able to sit up, resting my back against the dresser. Another ten minutes later and I made my way up to bed and spent a few hours lying down . Again Dembe behaved beautifully, he just came up to bed with me and slept beside me.

Which if you had ever met Dembe you would know what a normal active, annoying pup he can be. Who regularly crawls onto my lap and knocks the chromebook from my hands because it has been at least 15 seconds since I gave him a cuddle. Who throws his crocodile toy, well any toy of his choosing that day around the lounge and to hell with the consequences. So to adapt his behaviour on his own accord is really quite amazing to me.

This is what I am battling against at the moment trying to write the blog post

 He is not a quiet pup, he isn’t massively high energy but if he wants your attention he has ways and means of ensuring he gets it. Who could resist that face peering around the computer screen.

I thank my lucky stars everyday that we were lucky enough to have Dembe choose us to be his human parents.

I do feel like I need to point out that just because of Dembe’s unique ability doesn’t mean I love our previous dogs Travis, Mollie, Willow and Frankie any differently. Life will always be marked in sections before the Weims, after the Weims. Life goes on but it goes on around a huge Weimaraner shaped hole. And it always will. Dembe is not a replacement but our boy and the beginning of a new chapter. He is currently our best dog, same as Frankie, Travis, Mollie and Willow were when they were with us.

To feel human again

It has been a manic few days and it has left me utterly exhausted. I have seen that many people I could almost be accused of being a social butterfly. All I know is today I feel like the batteries have been taken out and I am working with my emergency power supplies only.

We have started back at dog training and we are going twice a week. On Sundays Dembe has his agility training which he loves and is doing so well at. On Tuesdays he has his obedience training which he loves in a different way. Both tire him out mentally as well as physically. The problem with the dog training is that there is just one day in between which doesn’t quite give me enough time to bounce back if I am then adding in medical appointments or getting my hair done or seeing people. 

Tuesday was my final medical appointment out of a string of 4 over the last 3 weeks. One medical appointment in a week is enough to knock me for 6. 4 in the space of three weeks has sent me crashing. It’s hard to describe what you mean to people that aren’t sick. For me it means I wake up feeling more tired than when I went to bed. It is an effort at times to even take a breathe in. As the day wears on I feel like I have been at the gin, without the fun part, so my eyes are bouncing around all over the place and I feel disconnected from my body. I look very pale and run down but inside I feel like death warmed up. I can struggle to maintain my body temperature so that I am freezing cold ( even in the height of summer). I can get emotional over the slightest thing, lose my temper usually with inanimate objects that aren’t doing as they are told because my hands won’t work ( so I am continually dropping them ) . It makes it hard for me to complete anything that requires attention to detail.

Add in me making the stupid decision to make all the Christmas gifts for family & friends but not starting the majority of them until a few weeks ago and I feel like I am on a hamster wheel that I just cant get off. There is no down time as not doing something for a day puts me further behind but this week I have had to take a step back because I am so tired I can’t work without making mistakes. Doing nothing makes me feel like a failure and that I don’t contribute anything to the world…which is why I have been teaching myself how to crochet so that on the days I can’t sit at the sewing machine / embroidery machine I can do something else curled up on the sofa or in bed.

The stupid thing is I keep adding to this list of things to make which is then piling on the stress. I will get there but I keep having panic attacks when I see someone helpfully posting on Facebook that there are X amount of days / weeks until Christmas. I really need to learn to be kinder to myself as even on the days when I have felt drained I have still pushed myself to do just a little something. I like to break tasks down so that I when I come to make an item it is all ready to go and the amount of time it will take to get it all together will be massively reduced. 

So like yesterday I decided to have a go at making the Doggie Christmas Stocking from Sweetpea Embroidery. Because I know I need to make at least two of these for gifts, as I prepped the fabric pieces for the first stocking I did the second. It took me longer, obviously but Jay was home and was doing all the running around for me so all I had to do was sew. When or if I manage to get to the embroidery machine today all I will need to do is stitch it out as everything is ready and cut to size. This is how I have to do all my projects, I do all the prepping one day or over a couple of days and then when I make the item I can concentrate solely on that rather than expend energy I don’t have. It is very rare for me to be able to start and finish a project no matter how small in a day. As my actual time I am able to work is so severely limited. I can’t sit at the embroidery machine or sewing machine all day, I am deeply envious of those who can. I am in pain within 20 minutes, so have to take regular breaks. I have an alarm on my phone that goes off every 20 minutes to ensure that I get up and move / change positions. Otherwise it will cost me £45 at the physiotherapist whilst she tortures me ( in the nicest possible way ) to correct the damage I have done to myself. 

It’s the same for material prepping. Everything is done in stages. Many times I make cardboard templates to help me with ensuring I cut out the right size fabric pieces. This helps with cutting down waste and ensures that even if I am not thinking straight as long as I have the right template ( sometimes that isn’t as easy as it sounds) I can be trusted to cut my fabric out. Obviously making templates adds more time to a project, it tends to only happen if I know I will be making more than one of an item. Basically the majority of my life is spent breaking down tasks into smaller manageable chunks so that I have the energy to be creative and give my life some meaning.

Currently there are boxes everywhere with bits of fabric / templates / batting all cut to the correct sizes waiting to be embroidered and sewn together. It will all get done but it will be done slowly and in the best way that I can pace myself.

I am so exhausted today as Sunday I had two visits from friends who had come to collect their table runners that I had made them, one in the morning, one in the afternoon. It was great to see them but we also had dog training in the middle of the day.

The table runners had taken a lot out of me getting made and I had been stressed out about getting them straight and sewn together nicely. I took a lot of time over it. The top stitching alone left me needing a nap afterwards last Friday. I sewed the rest of it together on Saturday afternoon.

Monday I had my hair done for the first time since August, it needed done desperately as I had already used my dressmaking shears to hack a sizeable amount off the fringe ( bangs ). After my attempt at hairdressing it was even more important that it was sorted out. I am lucky that I have a wonderful friend who does my hair for me and knows I find the whole process exhausting. Doing it at home means it takes 2.5 hours instead of 4 hours being overstimulated by lights and sound in a hair salon. 4 hours in a salon would probably lead me to be bed bound for around a day.

Tuesday – the last medical appointment was for my filling. I did it without diazepam the first appointment in ages where I have managed that. My dentist and I have now got a process that works and reduces my anxiety. I had to ask him just to not tell me any detail about the procedure. I only need to know that I require a filling not what he will be doing. It worked brilliantly as he didnt tell me on the 4th of November what the process would be and yesterday as he did it he kept quiet . It worked like a charm. I was just left with TMJ pain in the afternoon and evening, which triggered a migraine. I spent a lot of the dog training session last night losing the vision in my right eye and the feeling that my scalp was shrinking.

Today ( Wednesday ) I have woken up with the remains of a migraine, waves of nausea and just generally feeling washed out and knackered. I will push myself later to get something on the Christmas present to do list made or completed but for the minute I am drinking bucket loads of coffee in the hope it will make me feel more human again.