My uni has falcons again!

My uni has falcons again!

Every year on top of NTU’s Newton building, a breeding pair of falcons make a fair crack at raising chicks in the heart of a busy city.

I love birds of prey, and I have to admit, I think the peregrine falcon is possibly the most spectacular predator of the sky. The sheer strength and speed in these tiny birds is amazing!

This pair have just had two of their eggs hatch, and I’ve spent the last twenty minutes squee’ing over seeing little feet sticking out from under the parent – I want to say it’s dad because he’s darker, but it’s hard to tell without the pair there.

I know, I know, work to do blahblahblah – but it’s nice to see that humans haven’t entirely ruined the world just yet.


It’s amazing how exhausting concentrating on simple things is. I’ve got to watch how I walk, stand and sit at the moment because of my hip and the sheer amount of thought is frying my mind!!! 

I wish I could just velcro my hip in place like I do with my thumbs. It’d be easier if I’d not injured both the front and the back of my hip maybe? I’ll try to cripple myself less thoroughly next time.

Also, day off zapain = not any more coherent.

Drugs are fun and I love my GP!!!!

So, the diagnosis is no “hard damage” so my bones are all in one piece for the moment. No torn tendons and my back’s fine. Basically, I’ve pulled/sprained two tendons in my hip.

I walked in nervous as hell about seeing a new GP, since HMS is one of those invisible illnesses where doctors can be a bit over-cautious about diagnosis.

I went in, hobbling along, and explained that I’d busted my hip. I mentioned I was hypermobile, and that I’d done it kneeling in the garden. The doctor checked that I meant hypermobile (because my accent’s a bit thick for people to understand) and then spoke to me a bit about my history of injury because my medical records haven’t been forwarded yet. (Apparently a lot of them go missing for a month or two upon GP transferral – something to do with them not being sent direct, but through a government agency?) 

Anyway, the lovely doctor got me to take my trousers and shoes and socks off and lie on the bed. She even gave me a sheet to “cover my modesty” even though I was wearing underwear, which I thought was lovely. She prodded me all over, all up my back to check for damage to my spine, and checked both legs right from waist height right down to my toes. Then she even checked for temperature difference between my legs (as a sign of inflammation I suppose?) which nobody’s ever done before. Then she said the magic words…

“Ok, no major damage, but it’s clearly very painful. I want you to tell me what painkillers you usually get, since you know your body better than me.”

I was gob smacked. I looked at her with my jaw sagging open and kinda went “Errr… I’ve only ever used over the counter painkillers before.”

She looked at me incredulously and said “No tramadol, no diclofenac, no zapain?” and I shook my head. 

“I’ve always kinda had to deal with it. My old GP would only let suggest codeine if I was fainting from pain. I guess I’d like whatever’s the next up from that?”

I walked out with a prescription for 400mg Ibuprofen 3 times a day (which I bought over the counter to save money) and Zapain, four times a day which is 30mg codeine and 500mg paracetamol, but I can take two of those at once.

If I could have, I would have skipped out of the surgery. It’s so liberating to be given something that actually HELPS!

I took the 2 Zapain, and because my body’s not really used to high dose codeine I got really bad nausea about an hour after taking them. They are blissful though! It gave me the first whole afternoon with no pain in 6 years!! They made me very drowsy though, so I’m just taking one per dose for today, with full dose ibuprofen.

I’ve got to present my project to my supervisor and the scariest lecturer in the university on Tuesday, so I’ve emailed asking if I can have a chair, then I’ll not have to take the Zapain, and I can be lucid for the day!

I suppose the moral of this story is, somewhere there are medical professionals that will listen to you. Hands off this one though, she’s mine.

HMS is rare?!

I keep hearing people saying EDS and HMS are “rare conditions”. I dislike the term “rare” since it makes it sound like it affects a tiny number of people.

About 1 in 5000 people have some form of EDS (Yes, there are several of kinds) The population of the world is 6.9 BILLION (give or take a few) That means that there must be about ONE MILLION, FOUR HUNDRED THOUSAND people with forms of EDS in the world.

Let me say that again… one million, four hundred thousand. That’s equivalent to:

  • More than twice the population of Luxembourg,
  • Or if you’d prefer, about half of Wales.
  • Or, the same number of people in England, who are behind on their rent.
  • Or better yet, roughly the same size as the USA’s armed forces.

That is a lot of people. Sure, it’s not really common – it’s definitely not your every day hay-fever kinda thing. It’s not very likely you’ll meet someone with the same condition as you unless you arrange it to be so. Or in physiotherapy waiting rooms, or A+E.

That, however, doesn’t make it “rare”. There are a lot of people out there with this condition. In the UK, the number should be around 12-13000 people. That’s thousands of people who are struggling with this condition, being mis-diagnosed, accused of hypochondria because this condition is deemed “rare” and so isn’t taught about properly. I’m not proposing it gets put on the school curriculum, but maybe when doctors, physiotherapists and occupational therapists are training (which should be a career-long exercise anyway since medicine is constantly evolving) perhaps it’d be a wise idea to mention this condition, and it’s common problems – chillblains, poor circulation, pain, sprains, dislocations, dizziness, heartburn/acid reflux, excessive bruising. Then perhaps get them to test the stretchiness of patients’ skin, or look at scar tissue, or even test major joints for hypermobility. If anyone had done that to me, I’d have been diagnosed at 16, not at 22.

I do understand that most people going in to complain about a sprained ankle will indeed have a sprained ankle. If a patient comes in several times with the same sprained ankle (over several months), the doctors maybe should think outside the box.

The only reason people think this is rare is because so few people get properly diagnosed. I only got diagnosed because I kicked and screamed until someone listened. Even then it took a whole year before I got a decent physiotherapist, and another year after that until I had a decent occupational therapist.

As always, awareness is the key. I have to admit, before I was diagnosed, I knew nothing about HMS and EDS. I also knew nothing about fibro, CRPS, CFS but I’ve learned a little. And there’s hundreds more “rare” diseases I still know nothing about. There has to be a way to alert doctors to what’s out there.

In the age of computers, surely there’s some way Google can come up with a properly-designed properly-medical version of WebMD for Doctors, where they input your symptoms and it suggests the kinda things it could be? 

Like Minds (film)

Like Minds ( film)

I watched this because I’d slipped into a deep puddle of lack of motivation and was surfing through the iPlayer site for something I’d not seen before. I was immediately grabbed by Toni Collette, because I loved her in Velvet Goldmine (It’s one of my favourite films EVER!!!) and then I saw Eddie Redmayne, and was totally sold. Loved him in Les Mis.

Sometimes when I watch a film for the actors/actresses I’m a bit disappointed by the content of the film. Here, I’d use Troy as an example – Great cast, great idea, great costumes, and all of it makes a film where the only reason to watch it is to see sexy men with their kit off. I’m in the process of stalking the LotR cast members back through their careers. Not made much progress though, got a bit hung up on Dominic Monaghan’s latest buggy pursuit. Spiders and an enthusiastic Hobbit – what’s not to love?!

Anyway, back to Like Minds – I watched it in the middle of the day, while sorting through work and socks and stuff that’s got stuck down the side of my desk. All that got quickly abandoned in favour of watching two teenage boys fight it out over who could be the oddest. I don’t know much about psychology (sung to the tune of Sam Cooke) so I have no idea how realistic or pseudo-sciencey it is, but the characterisation of the boys is brilliant. You don’t get to know much about Sally, but that’s kinda a good thing. I love the way that the “interview/investigation” cuts back and forth across filmed flashbacks and current events. It reminds me a little of the Prestige, where if you don’t concentrate – you forget who’s alive and when! 

This is a really nicely put together film for a Friday afternoon – not an epic by far, and it didn’t surprise me, but sometimes having good characters is enough.

Annoying late Doctors appointments

So I busted my hip last Monday (15th), I waited ’til this Monday to bother calling for an appointment because the response I tend to get is “wait and see if it gets any worse”. I got an appointment for Friday, because as I’m a bit broken and not sleeping well, mornings effectively don’t exist for me.

Now, my hip’s crunching a bit less and hurting less.

Annoying huh? I should be glad that I’m fixed, but instead I’m dreading calling up on Thursday morning and going “Oh, no, I’m fixed now. I don’t need to come in anymore!” That’s probably very English of me. Anything to not make a fuss!