Hey! How is everyone doing? It’s that time again – the selfish me-me-me post! I thought I’d just do a little update but I promise I’ll try not to moan… too much. I hope you all have a lovely week ahead.
I had a brilliant time at the Gloucestershire stoma care day. These are days when stoma companies get together and have stalls for us ostomates to have a mooch around, allowing us to see what other products are out there. I got lots of samples to try & some fab freebies too – I’m a sucker for pens! So inclusive & welcoming, and it was nice to get out and do something a little different, even if it was for less than an hour. I should note that not all of the pens are mine. My mother came with my for company so the pen haul is split 50/50. I’m greedy, but not that greedy!
In other stoma-related news… A lovely online friend of mine, I’ll just refer to her as ‘Chris’, has a stoma and makes bag covers as a hobby. She has such a kind heart that she gives them away and makes things for her local hospital for the children there, too. She very generously made me four stoma bag covers and they are absolutely amazing. I’m a sucker for Hello Kitty and the Hungry Caterpillar cover matches nicely with the storage boxes in my room. You’re never too old for these kinds of things! It restores you faith in the world a little when you know there are such kind people out there.
I feel like I’m still waiting for the summer, but alas it looks like winter is well and truly here. My body thinks it’s been winter since September as I don’t seem to regulate temps very well, so the cold isn’t much fun for me. Does anyone else find the cold increases their symptoms, especially chronic pain?
Given the drop in temperature, my catkins has decided to grace me with his presence most days now. When I’m trying to work, he offers to help by sitting on my laptop. When I’m too poorly, he snuggles up next to me. He just likes me for my blankie and the central heating. Although I’m still not really a cat person, he has stolen my heart. He can be pretty cute when he wants to be.
Things have been rather rocky lately and I’ve felt overwhelmed with things to do but neither the time nor health with which to do them. It’s never enough, and I’m aware I’m making myself more poorly with the pressure of it, but at the same time it’s very difficult getting off the wheel of destruction!
The EUA (‘examination under anaesthesia’ done laparoscopically) and exploratory procedures wasn’t the ‘small’ op they’d like to you believe. I actually struggled quite a lot with it. I’ve spoken recently with the surgeon about the possible upcoming big op, which disappointingly sounds even more difficult and dangerous than first anticipated. A second opinion from another surgeon was that I should have this op, but he didn’t think my body would survive the ‘trauma’ of it at the moment. Just as well there’s a lengthy wait list! It’s one of those catch-22 situations; damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
With my lungs, a chest CT and other tests have shown hyperinflation of the lungs and possible bronchiectasis, basically with chronic scarring damage. This has been caused by the recurrent chest infections I had a while ago, which were treated I think 7 times with steroids and antibiotics. It feels like my lungs, the left especially, are being squashed, hence the use of inhalers. Inflammation has also been found, but the lung doc isn’t sure what’s causing it (though oddly enough the EUA also found high inflammation levels elsewhere in my body). The aim is to avoid further infections but with a weakened immune system it’s a case of hoping for the best.
After some issues with the stitches, the scars from the EUA are now healing nicely. I am curious whether there’s a Helen Lowe or a Harry Locke working in the operating theatre. It does seem like someone’s carved their initials into me! This is a poor photo as it was incredibly difficult to get a clear shot. Maybe I do need one of those selfie sticks after all.
Aside from this, it’s the same as usual – chronic pain, managing each day as it comes, but losing too many days to feeling too unwell with migraines/sickness/general illness. But, things could always be worse, so I’m grateful that they’re not.
Best Frugal Find
I signed up for a super cheap trial of Amazon Music Unlimited as I’ve never used it before – 99p for 4 months! I do love a bargain 😉Just remember to cancel within this time if you don’t want to continue the subscription (usually £9.99 per month or £7.99 p/m with Prime). It’s a limited time offer but I’m not sure how long for.
You get unlimited access to 50 million+ songs with no ads, and you can either stream or download to listen to it offline. It’s very versatile as I’ve used it on my laptop through the browser, but you can download on the app to use on your phone/tablet to stream whatever tracks you’d like. If you have an Alexa device you can also play it hands-free via that. If you want to have a look-see, you can find the offer on Amazon UK here. If you’re in the States, they’re running the same 4 month offer for $0.99 here.
What I’m Loving This Month
I think many of us likely feel the cold quite a lot, myself included, so I’m loving my winter warmers to snuggle up in. I also have Raynaud’s and erythromelalgia so thermal gloves are a must. If you’re looking for snuggly things, SockSnob is a site I’d recommend as they have oodles of funky designs and winter warmers, from gloves and scarves, to hats and blankets. They stock different brands, including Heat Holders, and they have accessories for men, women and kids.
I’ve previously bought the Heat Holders cable knit gloves and they rarely leave my hands in winter. SockSnob very kindly gifted me the Trondheim fairisle design to try and I’m a little bit in love with them. Fleece lined, 2.5tog, soft material, very snug and warm and they fit well in the S/M size even with my small paws. You can check out the range on the SockSnob website, as well as on Amazon UK & Amazon US.
In other news, I managed to finally managed to find a squirrel prepared to pose for a photo shoot! On my way through town to the GP, I met this little guy and we had a brief staring contest.
How have you been lately? Have you stared down any squirrels? I hope the week ahead is kind to you all!