Alli's Place

Where Alli shares her thoughts and feelings…

Weekly Witterings #14

1. I am a crochet machine 😀 This week I have completed two sets of bunting

Made these head bands and bracelets for the school fair


And made another little egg monster for the fair

2. I was brave on Monday and went to meet up with the other Miltin Yarnies who are busy creating stuff for the school fair. I only know the person who was hosting a little bit and wasn’t sure if I would know anyone else. I don’t like meeting new people much. It was lots of fun though and I am glad I went.

3. My back has been frustrating this week. I feel like I have hit aplateau. I attempted to stop taking tramadol which has resulted in not sleeping very well so I am shattered. When I saw my physio on Thursday he commented that I look pale and tired. I saw my GP on Friday and have started taking the tramadol at night again 😔 He wants some blood test done to check I am not anaemic. 

4. At guides we celebrated St Goerge’s day by taste testing teas and scones (both are rather English). The teas were various ethnic fruit and green one and the combined smell was revolting! The dregs that they didn’t like went into a washing up bowl and well… Didn’t look too attractive!


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Weekly Witterings #11

1. After last week I have only been into the office once this week, on Monday afternoon to see our graduates presentation as she completed her rotation with us this week.  We get her back in six months though as she is joining our team perminantly when she completes the graduates scheme.

2. I have ditched the crutches at last, and for the last few days I have been making an effort to go for a short walk at least once a day. I can only manage about 7 minutes at the moment (more if I take a crutch) but it is improving.  I might try a swim soon.

3. Good Friday was Messy Easter Day at church. This is a couple of the crafts, Palm leaves and an egg that opens to reveal the cross.  I like to think of the egg being a bit like the tomb. 

4. It is Easter Day today.  It makes me wonder how many people actually know why it is a bank holiday weekend…

5. This week I have been working on some crochet bunting as well as creating these little monsters for Jack, Emily and Eilidh.  More about the bunting later. 


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Whoop I left the house

It has been a while but this evening I left the house and went to home group.  Exhausted now but it was good to get out.

I am down to using one crutch now so I can carry things and I can put socks and shoes on at last too!

Currently I am working from home, I was bored by Friday.

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Stupid Back Strikes again!

Here we go again 😦

I am pretty sure I have slipped the disc again.  It feels just like it did the other two times.  So at the moment I am hobbling around the house on crutches and taking lots of painkillers.

So  how did I do it this time?  Well it partially went when I went to sit of a stool at Tom and Fiona’s house to play a game with Eilidh (my lovely God Daughter). I then spent a while on the sofa hoping it would settle down.  Then it was time for dinner so I got up to move to the dining table, Eilidh was already sitting at the table and as I approached she turned in her chair to hug me.  The chair tipped back and I instinctively caught it and that is when the big ouch struck.  Let’s just say Tom had to walk me to the car and drive my car home and help me into the house.

That was Sunday evening, 1st March.  Yesterday I got the GP to come out to do a prescription for some more Tramadol.  There was no way. Was up to getting myself to the surgery.  The GP had no pen and wrote the wrong date on the prescription so the friend wh went to get if for me had to sort that out but I have a good supply of painkillers now.

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Weekly Witterings 2015 #6

1. I seem to have developed a craving for iceberg lettuce.

2. My cakes and sausage rolls went down well at work on Monday. I love it when my cake makes people happy.

3. Going through a fed up phase at the moment. Really fed up of my back. I have been doing the right things, doing the core exercises, walking, swimming. I had managed to cut down a bit on the painkillers. I thought I was doing well and then it goes nuts again. Wondering why I bother!

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MRI Scans

I guess this post should have a health warning. You are about to see my insides.

I now have the images from all of my MRI scans. So here are some of the interesting views (the January 2009, post surgery ones are not very interesting so I left those out). Welcome to my lumbar spine which has been described as interesting, fascinating, complicated, unusual.

January 2008.
This is Jelly Bean, my now removed schwannoma.

You are looking for the jelly bean shape that is in the top two images, grey on the left and black on the right (one was with some contrast dye). In the bottom two images there is a round area in the middle towards the top which is the vertebrae and disc area and then a circle underneath which should be dark but the jelly bean is in there in grey leaving only a small crescent shaped, darker area, that is where the nerves are. The bottom two discs are not looking in great condition here either.

October 2013.
This is the disc that, to me, looks like it did a poo.

Unfortunately these are a bit darker so it is less easy to see. Look for a dark area that looks a bit like melted candle wax in the top two images. In the bottom two it is bulging downwards from the circle that is the vertebrae/disc area, it is a back area in the white area, which is the nerves. If you compare the images here to the ones from 2008 you can see the scar tissue from my surgery and the missing lamina bone. The scar tissue is the area that is white to the right on the two top images and the bottom of the lower images. This is the bit the surgeon didn’t fancy “fighting his way through”. He also pointed out that you can see the scar tissue in the muscle but not on the nerves and he sounded a bit concerned about disturbing that.

I still don’t understand why or how this caused more pain than jelly bean did even though it doesn’t take up as much of the nerve space.

April 2014.
These ones show the poo has gone but the discs still bulge and don’t look as good as the others.

This ones is essentially the most normal of the three. Obviously the lamina is still missing and the scar tissue is still there but it allows you to compare the abnormalities of the other two. Thankfully this lot meant the second operation didn’t happen. 😊

So there you have it, my insides and the cause of my back pain, referred leg pain, numb patch on my leg, foot and big toe and strange sensations in my big toe. It could be worse, Jelly Bean would have caused much more damage had it not been removed and was left to grow!

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Weekly Witterings #8

1. I have got into the Elevate app from the Apple Store. It is a brain training game that gives you three tests each day. The variety is good and I like most of them.

2. The clocks go back this weekend in the UK. That means getting home when it is dark and winter is on the way ❄️

3. My back decided to remind me it is still not happy this week. I had been thinking it was good and had even cut the lunchtime codeine. I don’t think I did anything to aggravate it but on Tuesday night (well technically Wednesday morning) it decided to rudely awake me at 3 something am with serious ouchness. Not impressed!

4. Decided to enjoy a lazy morning on Saturday (this morning) and made this for my breakfast:

IMG_0564.JPG The cinnamon whirls were a cheat using some Just Roll kit but they were yummy. The smoothie was a banana, some strawberries, frozen pineapple, frozen berry mix and orange juice. Then of course coffee!

5. I have started my Christmas shopping well and truly now. Cards and gift wrap purchased. Some gifts ordered online and a few that have been bought during the year sorted and gathered. This year I am going to be organised and not be panic posting cards just before the last post date. I am also determined to get my parcel sent to New Zealand to Ali so it actually arrives before Christmas for a change.

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Tired and frustrated

Feeling very tired and fed up toady.

I am not a patient person and waiting for letters, dates and decisions stresses me out. I like to have a plan and know what is going to happen when. Having a date felt like there was an end in sight and that feels like it has been ripped away.

I haven’t been sleeping well, being over tired added to the frustration of not knowing what will happen and also being in pain is wearing me down and today I feel like an emotional wreak!

I know people only ask because they care but today I just don’t know what to say to the “how are you?”, “how’s is the back?” and “do you have a date?” questions. A lovely older lady is in my home group asked after church and I just ended up choking back the tears. Another friend came over as he was going to ask too and thankfully he realised that might not be the best and just said “I will ask them instead” so I didn’t have to explain again. I made a swift exit after than.

Then my neighbour was cleaning his car so he asked as well. Thankfully despite me blinking tears away I managed to hold it together. I am so greater up for both my sets of neighbours as I don’t think they could be nicer people 🙂

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Pre-admission stuff done

So I have had all the pre-opp stuff done for an operation that may or may not happen. That was all fine lots of questions, some MRSA swabs, some blood tests and couple of other quick and easy tests. I actually got offered coffee and lunch and all the staff were really friendly so that makes me feel better about the potential surgery. The only not so good thing was being sat on a ward where there was a lady who had a similar operation the day before and it hadn’t gone to plan and she was experiencing lots of numbness and problems with her bladder. It kind of made me realise that things can go wrong.

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Will I ever learn?

Why am I so stubborn?
Why do I care what other people think?
Why do I push myself right to past my limits?

These are some of the questions aim asking myself this evening…

I had an all day workshop for work today. I should have know better, I should have left earlier. But me, being me, stayed till the end having not managed a full day in the office since early October.

Why? Well I wanted to take part fully, I wanted to hear what everyone had to say, I didn’t want to draw attention to myself by leaving early.

Now I am hurting, a lot. I am cross with myself. I am fed up.

Grrrrr I am so stupid!

And I know that no one would really have minded! Well apart from stubborn old me.

Now I could just cry… But that won’t help…

Will I ever learn? No probably not!
Was it worth it? Well it was a good meeting and I am glad I was there…

Oh well…

Roll on 3rd March and hopefully fixing this stupid back!

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