I bruise easily!

Just for reference, this isn’t about Natasha Bedingfield. It’s actual bruises (and a healed surgery wound). If you’re squeamish, you may not want to look. Also fair warning, most of the bruises are caused by needles, so if you’re not good with those either, run away. (For what it’s worth, I’m pathetic when it comes to needles.)

Excessive bruising on slight contact is a characteristic of HMS. It isn’t apparent in every patient, but it definitely does for me! I’m not sure why it happens, but it’s probably to do with the fact that our blood vessels aren’t as strong as most, so they damage easier. I’m often covered in coffee table bruises, door handle bruises, and I-have-no-idea-where-that-is-from bruises!

Generally I cover these bruises up, people feel uncomfortable when they see them and ask awkward questions. (Ranging from “What did you do this time?” to “So, your partner… is he an angry man?”- don’t get me wrong, I’m glad for the awareness on the part of people in cases of potential domestic violence, but it’s not the case here!)

So, why do I bother sharing these unglamorous photos? Because I feel pressured to cover up my bruises because people stare, because of the questions. I’m always covered in bruises or scrapes, all over my arms and legs so I wear long sleeves /trousers to cover them up. I also won’t wear vest tops (unless I’m with very good friends) because I have eczema and dermatitis scars on my upper arms. I have stretch marks all over my back, stomach and legs so I cover those too.

I’m tired of being covered up. It’s uncomfortable and unpleasant, and I don’t want to do it anymore. I’ve spoken to lots of people about it, and I’m going to be brave. No more covering myself up. Nobody’s perfect!

I’m going to try to be okay with the way I am.

Love from your battered & bruised,
but hopeful little Hypermobile Hobbit.

I’ve always bruised quite badly, but I will share some beauties from post-surgery now. (For reference, the Surgery was the 30th June.)


2 days post-surgery:

Blood sample bruises 2nd July

Blood sample bruises 2nd July

Cannula Bruises! 2nd July

Cannula Bruises! 2nd July

3 days post-surgery:

Blood sample bruises 3rd July

Blood sample bruises 3rd July

4 days post surgery: At this point my fingers also swelled like crazy!

Cannula bruises 4th July  (Happy Independence America!)

Cannula bruises 4th July
(Happy Independence America!)

Seriously swelled up fingers! 4th July

Seriously swelled up fingers! 4th July

Blood sample bruise 4th July.

Blood sample bruise 4th July.

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Nerve block injection site bruising – lots of holes!!!

1 week post-surgery: The blood sample bruise was really painful by now, affecting how I could rest my “good arm”.

Blood sample bruises 7th July.

Blood sample bruises 7th July.

Blood sample bruising (wrapping around my wrist!) 7th July.

Blood sample bruising (wrapping around my wrist!) 7th July.

Cannula bruises 7th July - almost all better!

Cannula bruises 7th July – almost all better!

The stitches were removed on the 7th, one week after surgery. It wasn’t fun, but I may blog about that later. I was a bit surprised the incisions were so tiny! They had healed up nicely, and I was finally allowed to have a shower!!!

9 days post-surgery: There was surprisingly little bruising around the incisions, a lot of swelling though! The vertical line in each case was the incision, and the horizontals were stitches.

The front scar - 9th July

The front scar – 9th July

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The back scar.

Two weeks post-surgery: By now the blood sample bruise is yellowing, so is harder to get photos of, but extends from my thumb to my elbow, and wraps half my wrist. It took about 3 weeks to fade, but photo’ing your own arm when you only have one functional arm is tough, so I stopped.

Blood sample bruise. 14th July.

Blood sample bruise. 14th July.

18 days post-surgery: I started to get bruises on the backs of my legs, just below my knees. This was because I wasn’t able to lift myself out of chairs or up from sitting on the bed easily, so my knees were hyper-extending to compensate and pushing the furniture.

Calf bruise  16th July

Calf bruise 16th July

20 days post-surgery: The problem is, if you keep hitting the same area, the bruises get worse…

Calf bruise 20th July.  What a beauty, right?

Calf bruise 20th July.
What a beauty, right?

On the plus side, the horizontal scars have faded pretty quickly.

Scar 20th July

Scar 20th July

3 weeks & 1 day post-surgery: The bruises on my legs were fading, mainly because I was being super-careful.

Calf bruise 24th July

Calf bruise 24th July

So, that’s some epic bruises on me! The calf ones are literally just repeated pressure, so it’s easy to see how huge bruises can be created from repeat small pressure on people who bruise easily. They took about 2 weeks to clear up, because I kept repeatedly catching my legs (lightly) when balancing myself.

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On the day of the surgery

Trigger warnings –  trypanophobia (needles, cannulas, surgery) & emetophobia (vomit)
(But to be fair, what else would you expect from a surgery-themed blog post?

The surgery was taking place in a hospital not far from my home. I had to be on the ward at the hospital by 7 AM. Being the usual anxious person I am, we got the bus very early and arrived at 6:30. This cause a slight problem because inside hospital was ridiculously hot, (Why on earth did I end up having elective surgery on the one day that there was a heatwave?!) and there wasn’t really anywhere else to wait, or so we thought. There’s actually a lovely little community garden provided by the friends of hospital which was a nice place to wait while I was busy panicking about the upcoming surgery. There was nobody else around so I could just sit and panic quietly with my partner.

The hospital garden

The hospital garden

The day was beautifully sunny and the weather did ease my anxiety a little.

Dead on 7AM the ward opened and I was taken into the seating area and instructed to wait. I was only there for maybe 5 min. before I was called into the preparation ward.

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My very own little waiting station!

I was told I was first in the lists however this can change depending on the order the surgeons want to do the surgeries in, but my preoperative checks were done quickly including diabetes checks, blood pressure and heart rate and other things such as pregnancy tests. They all came back fine and I’ll talk to settle in for the wait. Thankfully the area I was waiting in was actually quite nice; there was a TV with Freeview and a comfy chair for me to wait in.

I was visited by the doctor who had referred me for the surgery in Fracture Clinic (still no sign of my consultant!!) and an anaesthetist. I expressed my concerns about being awake for the surgery due to my fear of needles (or anything piercing my skin for that matter) am I worried the local anaesthetics may not work me due to my HMS. Beneath that is reassured me that he could sedate me enough that I wouldn’t notice what was going on, and that he would test the anaesthetic effect before anybody was allowed to go near me with anything sharp. I admit I did panic quite badly, and how to a bit of a cry, but I think that’s understandable under the circumstances.

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Hospital socks!

I was told to change into a gown, and was given some snazzy socks (with tote grips on both the tops and the bottoms) to wear to keep my feet warm. The anaesthetist begged me to sit on my hands to keep them warm because I have dreadful circulation. I did this and wiggled my hands regularly, and to my surprise some veins actually did show up.

I think I was taken in for surgery at about 9:30AM, leaving my partner behind. You actually walk through from the prep ward to the anaesthetic area and are put on a reclining bed. (For the procedure, your arm needs to be in a dropped position) On this short walk through very cold corridor, all my veins promptly disappeared. The anaesthetist was very nice, he was there with a trainee, and he really tried hard to get everything done first time. Unfortunately this didn’t happen, my cannula went in incorrectly the first time which is horrifically painful, but the second time round it went in fine. I was quite surprised that I was actually okay with the cannula because it’s flexible, so I wasn’t worried about it breaking. I was given something to make me drowsy, I’m assuming it was a sedative. After this point everything becomes a little bit fuzzy(!)

I was given the spinal nerve block which is a local anaesthetic affecting vertebrae in your neck. It consists of several injections to various places within your neck however they put one needle in and then move it around while inside your neck, assisted by ultrasound to see the tissues. This is one of the weirdest compliment I’ve ever had. The anaesthetist said “You’ve got really beautiful tissues, it’s fairly common in patients with EDS, but yours have a real flow.” Odd right?!

Anyway, the nerve block was injected and my hand started to feel tingly, then it felt heavy, then the sedatives really started kicking in. I should point out I’ve never been drunk in my life but I’m fairly certain that’s what it feels like. The whole world was moving slowly and my body was less responsive, my voice sounded different and they started making fun of me because I became really Bristolian. The anaesthetist stood to my side and told me to give him a high five with my right hand (the non-anaesthetised one) which I could do. He then told me to repeat this with my left hand. That was actually impossible. I could just about wiggle my fingers, but that was all.

They waited maybe 5 min. for the nerve block to take effect fully, by which point in time I was pretty damn doped. This is where my consultant showed up – I have never seen him before in my life – he showed up and said “Hi I’m Mr. *name redacted* and will consultant but I’m sure we’ve met before”. I responded “I’ve never seen you before, I’ve always seen junior doctors, I’ve been wondering if you even existed.” He chuckled at me, I hoped he thought it was funny because otherwise I could’ve ended up with some serious scars in stupid places. He went to go set up and the nice anaesthetist came back and wheeled me into the operating theatre.

All the theatres at this hospital were recently refurbished, and I have to admit they were actually very nice. I expected them to be really scary that they were just rooms. There was a lot of people and a lot of equipment, but the sedative meant I didn’t really register any of it at the time. I had oxygen mask put on me, and they painted my shoulder to my elbow with iodine to disinfect it for surgery. This felt really bizarre because I could see it happening but couldn’t feel it. As I have stated I didn’t want to see the surgery happening, they took my glasses off me and put up a sheet to obscure my vision. That’s the last thing I remember.

I came to on the way to recovery at about 11:30AM, and was only in there for maybe 5 min. until I was awake and talking, then I was moved to the orthopedics ward. When I got the ward they started doing observations on me every half hour, and requested that I drink things and try to relax. Trying to coordinate your hands when you’ve been sedated is very very tricky and the nurses had to help me drink for the first half hour or so. At about 1 PM lunch arrived – unfortunately nobody had told anybody that I was supposed to be there for lunch so I was given cheese sandwiches and ice cream. This was fine but a bit of an odd combination.

I have to admit these first four hours after surgery were magical, I was in absolutely no pain for the first time in about 15 years. Looking back at this is quite depressing, because I didn’t realize how huge a part of my life pain has become, but I’m glad I did get to experience it even if it’s just for a short time.

The physiotherapist visited me on the ward and showed me how to put on this fancy immobilizing sling and what I was allowed to do as far as exercise was concerned (not a lot!!). Technically after this (and having made a trip to the bathroom, because them’s the rules with surgeries!) I should have been allowed to go home. One of the nurses phoned my partner at about 2 PM to tell him that I would shortly be able to be released. He spent the rest of this saga sat next to my bed, being very patient but very bored and quite hungry.

Sling back

Sling back

Sling front

Sling front

This is where the problems started…

My pulse rate was registering 112 BPM. This is technically tachycardic. The nurse wasn’t happy that my pulse rate wasn’t lowering even several hours after surgery so she alerted the doctor on site at about 4 PM.

My pulse rate is high naturally, I’m not sure if this is an HMS thing or fibromyalgia thing, or simply an anxiety thing but my resting pulse rate is usually about 85-90. For those who don’t know about pulse rates this is pretty damn high for a young person, especially since my blood pressure is neither high nor low.

I was pleased that they were being cautious however I was also really bored and wants to get home before the real pain kicked in (or rather the real painkillers ran out). The doctor came and checked me over at about 5:30PM and decided he wanted to do blood tests. This is tricky because most of the back of my right hand was taken up from bruises from the cannula(s) and my left hand was now in a sling. My elbows are pretty damn bad for finding veins as they lie very deep. He decided to take the blood from a vein going down the side of my wrist with my thumb. It turns out this is a really painful place have blood drawn from and it bruises like hell (photos will be provided!!).

There was a small problem here because the on-site testing had closed for the night so my sample had to be sent elsewhere. This seems a little bit stupid but I appreciate that this hospital tends to be mostly for outpatients or chronic long-term patients so I can see why the cost-cutting measure has been undertaken. Either way I was sat there waiting for my blood sample to be analysed and to be cleared to leave until somewhere around 10 PM. At this point I started to get a temperature, and the nurse who was taking my observations said that she was a bit concerned about this. Thankfully the doctor came along and signed the discharge forms before he could see the temperature, and I simply didn’t mention it.
All this time I was provided with ibuprofen & paracetamol, however I believe the painkillers used during surgery had not fully worn off yet. The pain started to rise around 11 PM once I got a taxi home. I’ve been given tramadol, ibuprofen and paracetamol as my painkillers for my aftercare. I had stated that tramadol gives me extreme nausea and vomiting, so I was also given ondansetron which is a strong anti-emetic.

Because we arrived home really late, I didn’t even eat dinner. We scaffolded up the bed with pillows and I fell asleep pretty promptly from exhaustion. As such I didn’t get chance to take the painkillers. I woke up early the next day, at about 7 AM and took ibuprofen & paracetamol, for the first few doses to assess how bad the pain actually was. Sleeping proved to make the pain worse so I decided to take tramadol at night. This was a really bad idea because I don’t know if any of you have ever tried to balance on hypermobile feet and knees with one arm in a sling while trying to throw up while high on tramadol but is pretty difficult! This is even with the ondansetron, rather than preventing the emetic effect it simply delayed by four hours.

I was promised a phone call from the ward to discuss pain relief “a few days after surgery”. I had assumed this would be 2 to 3 days after surgery. I waited for this rather than bothering my GP or the emergency care provision. This was quite stupid as the call actually happened 10 days post-surgery. In the end I yielded four days after surgery and went to the emergency clinic in the city centre to discuss pain medication, and they suggested that the only viable medication for me would be over the counter codeine. This has kind of worked, but not brilliantly and definitely didn’t work very well for the first few days. I was taking an awful lot of medication as you can see from the recycling pile that was accruing in him wastepaper basket. (Even with all the pain, I still recycled!)

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I have my stitches removed one week after surgery, and my sling removed four weeks after surgery. I ended up signed off for four weeks, however I am still not back on campus working due to an error in the dictation software I need as I cannot type with both hands still. This has been driving me a little bit insane, because I have had to physically restrict what I do in my everyday life generally I define myself quite a lot by the job I do. Not being up to do this has made me feel a bit of a failure – even though I expected it. This was a bit of a surprise to me.

I think that’s all I’m going to tell you all tonight, I’ve been recording everything with photos – so there will be scars and bruises in the next post, but there’s nothing too gross – it has healed well, but I have a highly limited range of movement and lots of pain. Oh, and forgive spelling errors – blame Dragon Dictate!

Sleepy time now,

Hypermobile (although less so now) Hobbit!!
xx

Dear Other Normal Human Beings

This is a beautifully written blog, about why the NHS is marvellous.

Dear Other Normal Human Beings.

Please give it a read, and fight with us to protect the amazing services and people in the NHS.

I know that without the treatment I have had from the NHS, I would be unable to work because of pain levels & I never would have managed to get my degree.

I spent two years fighting severe anxiety and depression. Without the NHS I probably would not have made it through.

I can’t explain how important this is.

Best wishes,

Your politically-anxious and very scared,

HypermobileHobbit.

P.S. Forgive any odd formatting. I have a windows phone now, and the browser doesn’t like complicated websites. Will blog my surgery & recovery once I have the willpower.

I’m back!!

Hello lovely readers! I’ve not blogged in about.. a year? (Probably longer) and I’m really really sorry…

I’ve been incredibly busy.

I actually got that PhD place I applied for – I know, I can hardly believe it! It’s a fantastic job, and I do love it, so I’ve been working incredibly hard ever since I started in Jan 2014.

I’ll admit, I’ve had to give up a lot of my hobbies in order to be able to pace sensibly and unfortunately blogging was one of the ones to go. When I started my PhD I was working alongside another researcher unfortunately they were unable to continue with the course and had to leave. This meant there was a significant portion of time where I was working alone in trying to fulfil both roles which was very stressful and highly exhausting.

Thankfully now I have a new co-researcher is very hard-working and also pretty awesome so work is once again actually quite enjoyable.

Part of the reason I’ve decided to start blogging again is because I’ve got surgery upcoming in about two weeks.
The story goes as follows…

The initial injury

In January 2014 I was putting on a coat and my shoulder slipped slightly out of joint, this is what is known as a subluxation – it wasn’t quite a full dislocation. I know this because I was able to put my shoulder back in by pushing and shrugging.
Me, being the stubborn sod that I am put the shoulder back into joint and got on with my day. I don’t actually remember it hurting very much for about an hour afterwards.

That night it was very very painful but I know what it’s like to treat soft tissue injuries so I didn’t bother going to the doctors or the emergency room. About a week later I was having a rucksack fitted and had scheduled a bra fitting and I caught sight of myself in the full-length mirror.

My shoulder was a slightly unusual colour and didn’t look very shoulder shaped, it was a bit greeny-yellow and slumped white forwards and about an inch down. I decided I needed to get this thing to because is very painful and definitely didn’t look right side called up for a doctors appointment and a week after the original injury I got to see a GP.

Finally relenting and seeking help.

My GP was really awesome. She decided that she didn’t want to relocate my joint because she wasn’t equipped to, however she did to try and hunt down somebody who would treat me. She called rheumatology, the fracture clinic and some other hospital departments and all of the refused to treat me.

She called me up about three hours after my appointment telling me to go to A&E as soon as I possibly could in order to ensure prompt treatment as there was no other pathway for me to be treated through.

I went into A&E and was triaged fairly promptly, I had an x-ray and a fairly thorough investigation from the nurses and was put in a sling and sent home to return the next day for fracture clinic appointment. (I felt this is very ironic since they had already refused to treat me once that day).

So the next day was my birthday, I spent my 25th birthday in the fracture clinic. A doctor saw me, pulled my shoulder about a lot and made it very painful, told me off for not coming in straight-away and then told me that there was nothing they could do and I need to be referred to physiotherapy. They did mention that if physio didn’t work to fix the problem quickly, I may require some surgery.

I saw the fracture clinic physio that day and he told me to keep my sling on to prevent further injury at least while travelling.

It took me a few weeks to get a referral for physiotherapy at the shoulder unit, my new physio was utterly fantastic she really understood how difficult it can be to do exercise while in chronic pain and really understood fibromyalgia too. We spent the first few months doing pain management exercises, and focussed on strengthening for the surgery that the Fracture clinic had suggested may happen in my initial consult.

When I returned to the fracture clinic in approx June, my shoulder had re-subluxed in my sleep a few times. The fracture clinic was reasonably happy that the physio was working to some extent however by this time my physiotherapist to discharge me under the assumption that I would be referred for surgery fairly quickly. The surgery she thought I’d have is called a capsule (or capsular) shift. It involves tightening up ligaments. I explained that I’d been discharged, and the Dr. looked at me with a blank face, and told me to keep doing the exercises myself.

The fracture clinic were not particularly helpful to be perfectly honest, there was an awful lot to go away and wait, and we’ll see what happens in the long-term. As a result of this I have repeated subluxations in a lot of pain. I’ve also gained a lot of weight from the stress of it and it started have an impact on the rest of my body.

MRI Arthrogram – needle phobia disclaimer.

Finally I managed to get a referral for an MRI arthrogram which was one of the most unpleasant experiences of my life so far. The appointment was early October 2014. Consider this your needle-phobia warning!!!

Ouch!

The beautiful bruise from my arthrogram – maybe 2 days after?

An MRI arthrogram is basically where they inject contrast agent into your joints and it fills up the cracks or damage in your cartilage and bones. It involves being x-rayed while they inject the liquid into your joints, and is often done under local anesthetic.

There was however an interesting thing that happened here…

It turns out I do respond to local anaesthetics so I could feel the entire thing. If I wasn’t afraid of needles before a bloody would be now!!! Apparently it’s not uncommon for people with HMS to not respond to local anaesthetics. (Which I did tell them before they did it – so they were prepared when I almost jumped off the damned table.)

The nurse and radiologist were awesome and kept talking to me all the way through and managed to prevent me having a panic attack, however the consultant wasn’t nearly so useful and kept making comments about how I wasn’t relaxed enough to make the procedure easy for them.

The actual MRI afterwards was completely fine, it took a long time because the blankets kept knocking one of the safety catches in cancelling the scan, but after being prodded with needles and held down on the consultation bed, being stuck in a cold, noisy, small tube was absolutely fine(!).

I got a pretty neat bruise afterwards though!

MRI Results and further investigation.

So the MRI showed precisely nothing, which I wasn’t surprised by because I figured that the cartilage wasn’t actually damaged. The next investigation I had was the nerve conduction study which involves a electrical impulses being shot him on your nerves and the speed with which they travel is recorded. Basically a nurse electrocutes you – and claims it has a medical purpose!

They were investigating for cubital tunnel syndrome, which I’m told is like carpal tunnel syndrome but in a different bit of your arm. These investigations came back negative as well. These tests were December 2014.

Eventually….

So the anniversary of the original injury came and went, I had a fracture clinic appointment in February and I had finally had enough. I was exhausted tired, and felt totally abandoned by the system. I was in a lot of pain, I had no course of treatment and no proper painkillers because nobody would diagnose what was wrong. I nearly ended up crying in the consultation because I was so sick and tired of being told to go away and wait.

The annoying thing is I’ve never seen the same Dr. more than once at the fracture clinic, is always trainees and they never realize how complex my condition is. Every single one of them asked me to do the Beighton criteria, and they don’t appear to realize just how painful it is to do some of those things. In fact many of them I can no longer do purely because I have been injured so many times. I’m one of the least bendy “Bendy” people I know.

On this occasion the poor trainee Dr. gave into my demands and suggested an arthroscopy and potentially some ligament repair. He never mentioned that this is actually a surgery.

I was referred to the pre-surgery unit (in March) for an assessment, I found that it was on my records that they expected to do an operation called capsule release. This is actually the wrong surgery anyway because this would loosen my shoulder, not tighten it as required.

The surgery I’m actually scheduled for is called a capsular shift for Multidirectional shoulder instability, where all the tendons are tightened up within the shoulder. The expected rehab period for this surgery is about 20 weeks, with 3 to 6 weeks of that with my arm being completely immobilized against my body.

Denial and anxiety.

I have to admit I didn’t realize quite how scared I was until about two weeks ago.

I started to think about the things I can’t do with one hand and I’ve realized I’m going to be very limited. Reading books will be difficult as I won’t be able to of the hold them and turn pages at the same time, I don’t know how I’m going to wear some of my clothes, or wash my hair or even got my own shoes.

Thankfully I have a partner who is understanding and patient and hopefully will be okay, but that doesn’t stop my anxiety prone brain worrying about it.

I’m really quite scared, so to help express my anxiety and deal with it I’ve decided to start blogging again, with a little bit of advice from a good friend.

I’m actually testing out using DragonDictate in order to be able to blog without typing, because typing will be very difficult with just my right hand… So if you see any spelling errors or sentences that make absolutely no sense – you can either blame the software on my strong Bristolian accent.

I may blog a few more times before the surgery, which is on 30th June just to keep you up-to-date with how things are going. I have to admit I’m not doing an awful lot that is particularly interesting lately because I’m mostly trying to get ahead of work in case I get signed up for a sizeable period of time.

Hopefully even after a year of not blogging, perhaps a few people will still read this.

Wish me luck!! It’s only taken 18 months to actually get treatment!

HypermobileHobbit

xx

Grovelly not posting post and a lot of news!

Grovel grovel grovel…
If you had as much going on as I did in the past few weeks, you’d forget where you’d left your blogging heads too!

  1.  I got a job! – Counting people and room use at my old university. It’s only 4 hours a day, but requires me to walk 11-13km per day.
  2. My knee is, although still sore, getting better. My physio seems pretty good (and is rather easy on the eye!) I’ll admit since starting the counting job, I’ve not been doing as much physio as I should. Must work harder.
  3. One week into having my new job, I got an email offering me the PhD I have been pining after. So on the 2nd of January, I will be re-enrolling at my uni as a PhD student, demonstrating in labs. I’m there for 5 years, but am so excited about the possibility of it all that I can barely contain it. They pay my tuition fees, and pay me for demonstrating. It works out as roughly minimum wage, but the benefits programmes they have are amazing (they even have their own physio, who I may have to sweet talk!). (Clearly this means I’m leaving my current job after less than a month, but they’re quite understanding)
  4. Our flat is now almost finished… So far we have had the following things done/fixed
  • Bath replaced due to crack in wall.
  • Remaining bathroom suite replaced to match.
  • Lino glued down onto kitchen floor.
  • Bath edges sealed with clever plastic screening.
  • Bathroom painting.
  • Shower replaced (and switch relocated to outside).
  • Resulting holes plastering up.
  • Resulting plaster painted over.
  • Window keys replaced.
  • Shelf in kitchen fixed.
  • Boiler pilot light modified to allow easier lighting (finally done today, which is good since it was flipping cold before!!)
  • Carpet dividers re-screwed to the floor.
  • Fridge light replaced.
  • Kitchen blind fixed.
  • Upholstery laundered (courtesy of our landlady!)
  • Carpets professionally cleaned to kill all the little beetles that were living there from the previous tenants (EW!)

I think you’ll agree that our landlord and landlady are firstly possibly the most excellent people in the whole world, but secondly, they are very good at their jobs. All of this has been done by qualified trades or the landlord himself, and done to a really high quality. I’ll upload a photo of the bathroom and stuff now it’s finished once it’s all cleaned and organised after the carpet cleaning escapade. 

I think that’s about it for now, but I’ve got a meeting about the PhD on Monday, so will probably blog even more then and be all excited. We’ve also got a load of draught proofing stuff coming (curtains, thermal liners, foam window seals etc) and I’m thinking of making draught excluders for some of our doors, so that’ll be my first DIY blog!

There’s also a few things still to do:

  • Boiler timer needs fixing (as it’s too expensive to leave running, but too cold to get up in the morning to turn it on!)
  • Curtain poles need fixing to the wall (once they arrive). We’ve only bought one window’s worth, but it’s cost us about £130! We have big windows.

In the meantime, wrap up warm and stay safe!

-Hobbit

 

 

Hot water as pain relief.

Since we moved into our new flat, I have been unable to have a bath. I can still have very cramped showers, or wash at the sink, but there’s a crack in the bath, and we would like it if we didn’t flood the shop downstairs.
As such, my usual hot water therapy has stopped. I use it to help my back and shoulders relax, as the pain and lack of strength in my tendons causes my major muscles to tense and basically never relax. The muscles in my shoulders end up so hard from tension, it gets pretty difficult to tell the difference between them and bone.
But today, we are getting a whole bath suite! I love our landlords! I can’t wait to have a bath and make myself relax. I have some cheap, good bath products that help me relax, which I will blog about (probably after the bath).
As a person with erratically sensitive skin, I often develop sudden intolerances to things I have always been fine with before. I tend to be very brand loyal, so long as I don’t develop these reactions.
So, upcoming girly blog! Consider yourselves warned!

Gabapentin (Neurontin)

For Shaun over at Praying for One Day. Thought you’d appreciate a well researched piece on Gaba. 🙂

Elle and the Auto Gnome

The author is not medically trained, and not advising one way or the other on this medication.

It is very easy to end up with only a part of the information available when trying to find out about a medication. Without more information from more than one viewpoint we have far less of a secure foundation to make a decision which is ultimately going to affect our health. I am not writing this to sway you one way or the other. I would always want any patient to make-up their own mind. That is our moral and legal right to do so.

Any medication has pros and cons. The key is weighing up the odds and deciding what works for our particular body with our particular condition(s), symptoms, medical history and so on. This is something for you to discuss with your doctor / medical team and a pharmacist, and not…

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