Monday, June 30


Isabelle and Mark planted some sunflower seeds some time ago. A few of them grew enough to be planted. They've grown steadily over the past few weeks, survived near gale force winds and lashing rain, although the big one lost some leaves it has still survived and grown into a monster!

This morning I took a look and they now have the beginnings of the flower heads in amongst the leaves. I'm looking forward to them flowering as I love sunflowers. Isabelle can't believe the size of them. She says it's a tree lol.

This is how they look this morning.

Sunday, June 29


Oh dear, I can't believe it's a week since I last posted! Yikes.

Mark is now on holiday for a week. He worked 21 days straight, so it's gone from not seeing him to him being her all the time. I'm not sure which is best lol.

Isabelle has been such good fun this week, apart from today when she's been a complete whiny butt, but she's tired today. She has me in stitches. She started gymnastics two weeks ago. It's more of a tumble session really. They have benches to balance on, floor mats, crash mats and spring boards so that they can get used to the basics. She absoultely LOVES it. I knew she would. She's that type of kid. Very much like I was as a child. She goes on Mondays at 4pm. So she knows that when she goes to playgroup on a Monday, it means it's gymnastics that afternoon. On Wednesday after her playgroup session, she said, can I change Wednesday to be Monday so I can go to gymnastics tonight? Bless her.

She's doing really well learning the days of the week. She's about got them all worked out now and generally knows which day comes next. I took her to bed tonight and she said, oooooh it's Monday tomorrow, that means school and gymnastics, yipeeee for me lol.

I actually got a lie in this morning! This is a very very rare occasion! I only managed to sleep in until 8.45 though, I'm so used to getting up between 7 and 7.30 that my body clock has adjusted. I got downstairs and no one was around. I had my coffee in peace and quiet. an hour later Isabelle burst in the house, it's ok mummy I'm baaaack, was you worried? lol. Mark had taken her to the park. I assumed that's where they'd gone at that time in the morning. She came back with one of her 'collections'. ie, 10 stones and 8 pine cones and 2 sticks, and presented them to me so proudly as if it was a priceless collection. I suppose it is really to her.

We then made some chocolate tiffin bar. Mmmmmm. It's gorgeous, but very sickly. We made some on Wednesday but Mark and Russ ate 90% of it before Isabelle or I got to it. So we made more today.

Chocolate Tiffin Bar

220g margerine
2 dsp sugar
2 dsp golden syrup
4 tbsp drinking chocolate/cocoa
450g digestive biscuits

Melt margerine, sugar and syrup in a pan. Add drinking chocolate and mix well. Crush digestive biscuits into small pieces but not breadcrumbs. Add to liquid ingredients and mix till thoroughly coated. Put into a square dish and press down but not too firmly. Melt a bar of chocolate and pour over the top of the biscuit mix. Leave in the fridge to set (if you can leave it that long). Cut into small squares and enjoy!

Fibro wise, it was a very rough start to the week, but I think the steroid shot has kicked in eventually. I'd say it's been about 85% effective, which is good. General aches and pains as usual. Some nights I just crash out on the couch because I'm so tired but the last couple of days have been okish :)

Sunday, June 22

It's the weekend

Another weekend and Mark is working again. That's 14 days straight now! It wouldn't be so bad if he didn't come home, eat and fall asleep. It's been a lonely couple of weeks.

He just used the car and when he got in, he asked if there was a problem with the drivers side window. I said that there was. It seems to have come off the guider or something because it won't go up properly. It happened to me on Thursday and I had to man-handle it back up again to close it. So he said... well why didn't you tell me? It's stuck down and I can't get it back up.. rant, rant, rant. I said... Mark, I've not seen you to be able to tell you about it! If I'd had more than 5 minutes to talk to you I might have been able to tell you about it. He changed his tune and asked me to help get it back up again. I can't believe he was getting on my case for not telling him! grrrrr.

The steroid shot in my shoulder seems to have worked a bit. Not completely, sadly. I'd say it was 60-65% better than it was but I still can't move my arm or shoulder into certain positions. It's so frustrating, especially as lifting the kettle is one of the awkward positions! LOL

It wasn't a good night last night. I was so tired. Pysically tired too. I dragged my aching carcass off to bed about 11. Isabelle woke me three times before 1am. She ended up in bed with me (Mark hadn't even got to bed by this point). 10 minutes later she threw up all over me! and the bed! arghhhh. I sorted her out, changed her nighty, my bed etc, but by then she was wide awake. 3am before she went back to sleep. So she's tired today, but she's hungry. I can't stop her eating LOL. She's barely eaten anything for days, so she's now on catch-up. She does this from time to time. This morning so far she's eaten one bowl of rice krispies shapes, one bowl of coco pops, an apple, one dairylea lunchable and now she's eating a banana. It's 11.45am! I hope she's not sick again tonight after eating this lot LOL

Friday, June 20

Ouch and shoot

Oh dear, things weren't going according to plan for my son's girlfriend bless her. The hairdresser took so long with her and her friend that they were running so behind time, it was a mad dash to be ready in time.

I was supposed to take some photographs at 4.30pm, head to the drs for my shot, then back to take a few more photographs of all the girls leaving in the HumV Limmo.

Russ phoned at 4.45pm to say the girls were still at the hairdressers. So I went straight to the drs. Russ, bless him, came with me. He said he'd watch Isabelle whilst I had the steroid shot. Of course, little madam wouldn't wait in the play area, so they both came in with me. I had to be brave. It hurt like mad! but I braved it. Isabelle was a bit shocked and had eyes on stalks when she saw blood on my shoulder. The dr had made me bleed! he told her I'd been very brave and she was ok again LOL

We headed off to take the photographs, my shoulder aching and throbbing! Eventually at 5.45 my son's girlfriend showed up. A mad dash and a major panic and she was in her dress. I managed to sneak upstairs and take a few shots of her but I think I only got three and that's because I stopped her on the way out. I had no time to get any decent shots and the only full length ones were outside with her gran's house behind her. I was so disappointed. I might try and talk her into getting laced into her dress again (a major performance!) and might try to get her to Flint Castle or somewhere like that with a decent backdrop.

This is one of my favourites from the very few I got, plus one of her and Russ together. She looked beautiful.


I have posted this on my photography blog but it's just too cute not to post here too.

Oh to be a 2 year old again. She just loves splashing in puddles, as you can probably tell.

Click on the image to see the full size photograph.

Well it's steroid shot day today! I'm not looking forward to it in the slightest. So much for the Dr doing it on a Friday because 'someone will be around over the weekend'. Mark has to work the weekend AGAIN! He's already worked 12 days straight. It's driving me potty now to be honest. He goes to work, gets home around 7, eats his dinner then falls asleep on the sofa, usually between 8 and 9 pm. I'm spending so much time on my own. No adult company at all. There is a limit as to how much fun there is when you only have a 2 year old to talk to all day. It's a bit tough on me too because I have to do everything here at home by myself, including dealing with Isabelle. No good wallowing in self pity though I guess. Life goes on.

I've also got to take photographs of my son's girlfriend tonight in her prom gear. I'm really not comfortable taking these photographs. I'm hopeless at people photos :( I'm not looking forward to it at all to be honest, but I promised.

We have to go to the library later today to return Isabelle's books and DVD's. She really enjoys going but the problem is, she likes to play with the toys there rather than choose new books and DVD's LOL. I have to practically drag her out of there. She does love it though.

Thursday, June 19

Shots and shooting

I'm getting a bit aprehensive. I have the steroid shot in my right shoulder tomorrow at 5pm. eek. I've had them before, but I'm always aprehensive, and this time it's my own GP that's giving it. He's not done it before. I like my dr though and trust him, so I'm sure it will be fine.

My son's girlfriend has asked if I'll take some photographs of her tomorrow. It's her school prom tomorrow night and she has a new dress etc etc. I agreed to take some photographs for her. How could I not? She's a lovely girl and has a lovely pretty face. The problem is, it now coincides with my steriod shot appointment! arghhhhh. Hopefully I can get the photographs in that I want before I go to the drs and then get back to her place (shoulder and pain permitting) to photograph them leaving for the prom as they've hired a limo to take them there.

I did have a giggle. She said, you'll have to show Russ how to use your camera and he can take some shots. Russ said, there is no way in this world mum would ever let me hold the camera let alone use it! Too Right son!!! LOL

It's a lovely sunny day today so I might take Tiz in the car and we'll go for a drive out somehwere. I'm tired of being stuck in the house.

Tuesday, June 17

At last the Dr's!

Well after three weeks of trying to get to see the Dr, he finally had a free appointment. The receptionist said can you get here in 20 minutes? Absobloodylutely I can! (even if it kills me I thought LOL)

He's always so busy in the morning surgery and it's a bit of a rush to get everything in in the appointment time, but I think we did good today. Not only that, I remembered nearly everything I needed to tell him.

He examined and manipulated my shoulder. It's giving me so many problems. I can't put it into certain positions. It locks up in the night and I can't really use my right arm very well for lifting anything, including the kettle! He's going to give me a steroid shot into the shoulder on Friday at 5pm so that I have the weekend to get over it and Mark will be around to help out over the weekend (in theory! He's not very good with helping out around the house)

He's also given me some Amitriptyline. This is supposed to regulate sleep and enable you to get into the stage 4 resorative sleep that FMS sufferers don't get. Hopefully, this will releve the hour and a half morning stiffness and pains and the couple of hours the same in the evening. Even if it lessens it a bit, it's better than I'm dealing with now.

So, more meds... lets see how we go!

Monday, June 16

4 years on...

Today is the 4th anniversary of my dad passing away. I can't believe it's 4 years already. The phrase 'Time Heals' is true, although when it was said to me 4 years ago I didn't believe it. I feel sad today, but I'm not in tears. I'm not a blubbering wreck that I have been previously on the anniversary.

I miss my dad so much, I can't even begin to tell you. He was a lovely man, and I'm not just saying that because I'm his daughter. Everyone thought he was a lovely man. He had his faults of course, just like we all do, but he was well liked and well thought of. He had a heart of gold and would always help other people, sometimes to a fault. He would go out of his way to help.

This is a poem I wrote for Dad for me to read at his funeral. I couldn't read it, I was in pieces. The vicar read it and to say he'd not seen it before, he did such a good job. I was told afterwards that the entire congregation were in floods of tears, including the 'tough men'.

For my Dad

Sometimes words are left unsaid,
You know what you mean, but they stay in your head
But there comes a time when you should say
and let all them out, not keep them locked away.

You go through life just doing your thing
whether it's quietly living, or whether you dance and sing
There are people that matter all the way through life
there for good times, and there for the strife

You are one of those people Dad, though I've not often said
you've always been there, nice thoughts in my head.
Good times to remember of when I was small
happy smiling memories for when I want to recall

As I grew older you took a step to the side
to let me learn, and to gain my own pride

Life is a journey down a one way track
is it one way, or can we come back?
Where did it start? where does it go?
But someone that matters, has watched me grow

It doesn't really matter which road you take
With it's up's and down's and choices to make
Maybe they're right, maybe they're wrong
But whatever the choice, the road is long
And to have someone there to help guide the way
Is better than waking up to a sunny day.

So this is to say, for all the times I should have said,
spoken the words out, not kept them in my head.

I see myself when I look at you
The way you think, the things you do
You have made me who I am, I've taken the best of a lovely man

I'll miss your smile, your laughing eyes,
but I'll think of you when I look to the skies.
I love you Dad that much is true
And one day in the future, I hope I'm just like you.

We visited dad in hospital the week before he died. I knew he wasn't going to live much longer, I could see in his eyes. It was really strange. Dad's always had such laughing, expressive eyes. Thankfully I inherited them. But when I saw him on the Saturday, his eyes were very grey instead of the vibrant blue. The life had gone from them. It was really odd because this was the first time I'd seen anything like this before. His wife was with him and she said afterwards that that was the best day he'd had in a week. She's convinced that because I was there he either tried hard or it genuinely lifted him. He'd been so poorly all week. She said it's like he'd waited for me. After we left, he went downhill very quickly. They didn't even know what was wrong with him. The drs ran test after test and still couldn't find anything specific. I'm convinced he'd just had enough of being sick after 10 years and decided that enough was enough. I wish I could have stayed, but we live a 3 hour drive from the hospital. We planned to go back the following weekend because it would be Fathers Day.

I phoned the hospital Sunday and Monday and all I got was a nurse saying he'd had a comfortable night but there was no change. Standard line I guess. When I phoned on Tuesday morning the nurse said just a minute, and the next thing I knew, my dad was at the other end of the phone. It surprised me so much I burst into tears. I told dad we were coming to see him at the weekend for Fathers Day, but all he would say, the entire phone call was "I'm so tired, I'm just so tired". He hadn't lost his marbles, he was still very much aware of everything and he knew he was talking to me, but his last words to me were, "I'm so very very tired, I love you". I knew I wouldn't see him again alive. He was telling me he was done, it was his time to go.

The following day at work I got a phone call. You'd better come, your dad isn't very well at all. Why didn't they phone me sooner? They knew it would take almost 3 hours to drive to the hospital. We jumped in the car and had only been on the road 15 minutes when my brother phoned and asked where I was and what I was doing. I told him we were in the car heading to the hospital, and that I wasn't driving. My brother said, I'm sorry, it's too late. He's gone. Why didn't they phone me sooner? I could have been there! They should have phoned me that morning!!

We carried on driving. I can't even remember the 3 hour journey. It's a blur. We drove to meet up with my brother but I told him that I have to go to the hospital, I have to see my dad. My brother came too.

Oh god it was so heartbreaking seeing my dad laying there. It was so strange. For the last 10 years I'd only ever seen him with oxygen tubes up his nose, and him in a t-shirt propped into a sitting position. Now, he was laid flat on his back, in pyjamas and no tubes. The strange thing is I noticed that he still had is moustache trimmed. It was something he was always a stickler for.. he had to have his tache trimmed. I've never seen my brother cry like he did when we saw dad. my brother was 34 yrs old, almost 6ft tall and a strapping bloke, but he just disolved. We cried, we looked at dad, we held his hand and then said our goodbyes. I don't know how I managed to walk away, I think I was led out of the ward. I left my dad there, I'd never see him again. My world crashed.

The funeral was a blur, I felt so detached. Because his wife had dealt with the funeral huge chunks of dad's life were left out. The vicar gave me and my brothers a very brief mention, but my dad's life story basically started when he met his wife. I was mortified. I'd offered to give a few details to the vicar but his wife said it was all being dealt with. Nothing was mentioned about his previous working life or his previous family life prior to getting together with Jean.

We drove 45 minutes to the crematorium in a huge funeral car. A quick service and then the curtains closed. That was it. All over and done with.

Apparently Dad's ashes were scattered on the communial rose garden. There was no plaque inscribed with his name, nothing. I was, and still am very upset about this. I didn't agree with him being cremated, I would rather he was buried. My brother agreed with me. We had to accept that he was being cremated and we could do nothing about it. I felt so lost. I had nowhere to go to mourn my dad. No gravestone, no plaque in his memory. Once we walked out of the crematorium doors, that was it. Nothing. My dad was gone from my world forever.

I must have cried daily for almost a year that first year. I just couldn't get over the fact that he'd died. I'd never had to deal with a death in the family before, and for the first death to be my dad was awful. I just didn't know how to deal with it.

So 4 years on, in writing this, I've reduced myself to a blubbering wreck. So much for the first line of this post. It still hurts. Dad, I miss you so much. Unfortunately it doesn't make me feel much better when my other half says, your dad lives on in you. You are SO like your dad it's frightening. I am a female version of him looks wise, we have the same expressive smiley eyes, we have a very similar outlook on life and our personalities are so similar it's uncanny.

He's never appeared to me as a vision or ghost or anything like that (I think I'm probably grateful for that to be honest).

It makes me sad to think that he never knew about Isabelle. She was born 13 months to the date of his death. he would have absolutely worshipped her, I just know he would. He's always loved kids and was the clown at the party when kids were around. But Isabelle just has that little bit extra that I know would have melted my dad's heart.

It also makes me sad that he never knew about my photography. He died before I really got into it. He would have appreciated my photographs and what I was doing with it. He was always so proud that I was creative and I know that he would have absorbed himself in my photography too.

Ok, I've run dry of words now.

I love you Dad, and I miss you more than I could ever imagine. There just aren't the words to express how I feel.

Rest well

Sunday, June 15

Fathers Day and more

This is a tough couple of days for me emotionally. I was VERY close to my dad. I was his 'princess' :D

After 10 years of being sick and getting gradually worse, my dad passed away 3 days before fathers day 4 years ago. The anniversary of his death is the 16th June... tomorrow... A double dose of dad specific thoughts.

I'm not going to write more about dad until tomorrow. I'll need to get it off my chest tomorrow...

Tiz gave Mark his fathers day card and presents this morning. Bless her, she's only 2 but has managed to keep this 'secret day' to herself for 3 days. We bought his card and present and I told her she wasn't allowed to say anything to daddy until Sunday. Every morning she has asked what day it is (in a whispered voice). This morning she shouted.. wooooooh it's daddys secret day today. She loved giving him the card and present. She absolutely adores her daddy and he her. It's a daily reminder of how my dad and I used to be. It's really sweet and heart warming.

I over-did it yesterday. I was feeling quite good in the morning, so as us fibromites do when we feel okish.. I dashed round doing everything that needed doing... then started to suffer mid afternoon. I went to bed at 10.30 with my book (I rarely go to bed before 11.30 at the earliest!). I just needed to go and lay down. I was also very cold. I couldn't get warm. My hands and feet were like blocks of ice! I didn't have a very restful night either. I kept waking up.. itching! grrrrr. Anyway, today I'm going to HAVE to take it easier. I hurt. I have to go to the supermarket. I've got some washing in and that's about the total of what I'm doing today. Tomorrow is going to be a busy day running about, so I need some energy for that. Hmmm why can't you buy energy on ebay? seems like you can buy anything else.

As a final note...

Happy Fathers Day to anyone who is a Dad.

Friday, June 13


So it's Friday the 13th. I'm not supserstitious so the date doesn't bother me at all.

That all said, this morning didn't start off too well. Tiz woke me up at 7am shouting from her room. She has a gate across her door so she can't go wandering around in the night. Well she is still only 2 yrs old. So I dragged myself out of bed and found that to go along with all the joys of my back not wanting to work and me legs dragging, I must have slept funny in the night and my neck on the right hand side was so stiff I could barely move it. Four and a half hours later, it's still painful, although I can move it to a certain point, once it goes beyond that point I get a stabbing pain!

I have to see the Dr. I need help now. I've managed for so long since the original diagnosis without much medical intervention but I think I'm now at the point where I need medical intervention. I can't walk very far lately. It's beginning to spoil days out. I just can't hack the pace. I feel awful for Mark because since he lost weight this past year and got fit, he's full of the joys of life and is raring to go. I can't seem to drag up the energy and inclination to go with him. Despite me trying to hide my discomfort and pain and going on the days out, I end up almost in tears from struggling to keep happy and smiling and pretending nothing is wrong so I don't spoil his day. He knows though. He's not the most supportive person in the world because he has no idea what it's like to live in constant pain and feeling that your body just doesnt want to work anymore. He does try to understand and he does know now when I'm bad and suffering even without me having to say anything to him.

I'm going to list the things that really bother me the most at the moment. This is because my fog isn't too thick at the moment, and because I intend to see the Dr on Monday and I need to remember what to tell him.
  • Overall body pain, feels like my limbs are in slow motion
  • My back - particularly my lower back - locks up and is very stiff and painful, especially if I stand for any amount of time.
  • My legs ache, sometimes all the leg muscles tense up for no reason, especially when I go from sitting to standing.
  • My right shoulder pain! This is one of the worst things and it is continual, it doesn't go away. I can only move my shoulder into certain positions. I can't bear much weight in my right hand or with my right arm. I just can't seem to get my arm comfortable. It aches constantly through all the muscles.
  • Hands and inside forearms itching. This drives me nuts! For no reason whatsoever, no trigger factors, I start to itch. My hands itch so bad sometimes that I just want to scratch them off. I end up with sores from scratching them. I also get what seem to be little blisters pop up for no reason. This does get worse if my hands are hot or cold or they change temperature quickly, but it can happen for no reason at all.
  • My ankles and feet hurt really bad. Sometimes my ankles swell up for no reason at all. That makes them painful!
  • My hips ache constantly. If I sit on the sofa with my legs to one side, my hips lock up. It takes ages of hobbling to bring them back to life once I'm up and walking around.
That's all I can think of at the moment. These are the worst of the things I deal with. I'm sure I'll come back and add more when I remember them.

God it all sounds so depressing doesn't it. I guess it is really.

Thursday, June 12

In the beginning....

Fibromyalgia sufferers have many symptoms and they vary from day to day, and the pain varies from day to day.

I was diagnosed just over 11 years ago with Fibromyalgia. I considered it to be a name for an illness because the Drs couldn't find anything medically wrong that was diagnosable by tests. I had so many tests to rule out what it could be. All were negative. Hence the Fibromyalgia diagnosis. The worst thing about that is that no one believes that you have a 'syndrome', particularly my family.

It's all in the head! It's psychosematic! You're making it up! You're lazy! You're too fat! all these statements have been made. If only they knew!

It took 18 months of tests to actually get that diagnosis. At the time, I was really bad with FMS (fibromyalgia). I had to use a stick to walk with, as i just couldn't get around properly. I thought, OMG, I'm 29 and fit for the knackers yard! Things did improve, although I had the occasional 'flare' that would wipe me out for days. Then I seemed to go into remission. It is heard of, and is wonderful when it does happen.

2 years ago, it started to come back with a vengence. At the moment it seems like it's here permenently. I feel like a zombie most of the time. It's hard work lugging my body around. It feels like my limbs are full of lead or concrete. It takes so much effort to get up out of a chair. Sitting up is very uncomfortable. Walking around in general gets to tiring and painful it's unbelievable and very frustrating.

It's hard on my family. It's now become a day to day battle. Some nights, my back locks up in the night. Couple that with my locking shoulder and I can't move to turn over.

It's absolutely ridiculous to be honest. But this is the stage I'm at at the moment.

I have been trying to get in to see the dr to see where we go from here. Three weeks I've been trying, and he's always fully booked. I may just go and camp on the doorstep until he sees me LOL.