Weekly roundup

The sun is shining for a change, hurrahhh, and Bert and I have had a couple of lovely walks down by the river wearing a t-shirt for the first time this year (me that is, not the dog – the dog thinks clothing is for wusses).  At least they would have been lovely if it weren’t for the fact that I feel like death warmed up.  I have had a week of hormone hell.  Not sleeping, not eating and so emotional I’ve felt like I was losing my marbles.  One minute raging, the next minute weeping and generally just feeling overwhelmed and like I’m crawling out of my skin.  I hate not being in control of how I feel and am so exhausted I could sleep on a washing line.  When is this Menopause shit going to be over?!

Thankfully I’ve had a fairly quiet week which is a good job as I’ve barely had the energy to shove a meal in the microwave, however my cleaner didn’t turn up on Wednesday so despite the fact I’ve only just got my back pain to settle down I had to start changing the bed sheets (the dog had been in the river then come home, snuggled actually in the bed under the duvet and left a huge muddy wet patch where I sleep) and washing the floors (I swear they are so dirty they must be hazardous to human health).  She’s let me down so often now I think I’m going to have to find someone else.  It’s all been legitimate – she was off work 3 months with a bad back, various weeks when her daughter was off school ill and now her Dad is terminally ill with cancer – but I think she forgets the reason I have a cleaner is that I’m not well!  She also took on walking Bertie two days a week, which lasted all of 2 months before she decided she didn’t like it and quit.

The Doctor rang me about my Dad but thinks that none of his symptoms are linked to the kappa paraprotein in his blood.  I’m still not convinced as she couldn’t explain his chronic fatigue, but she has referred him again to the spinal unit to have another look at his back so I’ll mention my concerns to them and see what they say.

Stuck in bed and feeling bored I decided to write an article for a national photography magazine on overcoming obstacles.  I’m disabled with a hobby which involves being mobile and skint in a hobby which can cost the sodding earth, so I wrote about how I’ve managed to find ways round these limitations.  The magazine editor happened to belong to a Camera Club in southern Scotland and he liked the piece and my photos so much he’s asked me to go along and give a talk one night at his Club.  Gulp!  I hate committing to stuff because I never know on any given day how I’m going to wake up feeling, but at the same time it’s flattering to have been asked.  My lovely friend John has offered to drive me so I think I’ll give it a bash and see how it goes though it won’t be until after September when the new season starts.  Without my photography I honestly think I’d be losing my mind at the mo.

My elderly neighbour Sam and I were talking about Scampi the other day.  She said she’d had some Whitby scampi and how nice it was and I mentioned I’ve never tried it, so two days later she rocked up at my house with a packet for me.  Aren’t some people kind? 🙂

Today is my parents’ Ruby wedding anniversary.  40 years of bickering and having absolutely zero in common 😉  My Mum was with my biological Dad for 18 years before that, so she’s been married for nearly 60 all in all.  Blimey.  My step-brothers, aunt, uncle, nieces and partners are all going out for a meal tonight to celebrate.  I can’t stand my Uncle, who shoots beautiful wild animals for fun, or my eldest brother who in 7 years has never once offered to do a thing for our parents, but I’ll grin and bear it and a least I’ll be eating food I haven’t had to cook myself!

 

 

 

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Strong Women

As some of my readers know, I was really struggling with the situation regarding my alcoholic Mother last Christmas so paid to see a therapist.  I come from a working class background (both parents worked in a factory and don’t have a qualification between them) and live in a farming community – if you have a sensitive disposition you’d sink where I live because swearing is the order of the day and men dominate.  And I do mean dominate.  Everything from their wives to the Chamber of Trade which as far as I know doesn’t contain a single female.   In my local newspaper 80% of the editorial is written by men – the only page dedicated to women is the ‘Women’s Institute’ – jam and craft making.  Yay.

One of the things the therapist said to me which really struck home was that I am a strong, intelligent woman and it appears that my whole life there has no been no place for that in my family.  How right she is.  Men can be as dominating and rude and dismissive as they like, but if women speak up they are classed as “opinionated”, “troublemakers” or just plain gobby.  I have been accused of all three on several occasions.  I rail against the differences in how the genders are perceived because it makes me furious.

To live an entire life so torn between conforming to the expected norm yet feeling the exact opposite has been confusing to say the least and has left me with huge inner conflict.  Take what happened at our Club dinner on Friday night for example.  I hated the seating plan.  To be told who I could speak to at a social event like I was 5 years old irritated the fuck out of me, so I told the organizer I wasn’t happy.  That’s all I said “I’m not happy” and all hell broke loose.  I then felt so guilty for upsetting the organizer that I was tearful on the way home, yet I had a valid opinion which I should be able to vocalize.

I’m still stressed about it nearly a week later and as stress badly affects my health I’ve barely slept or eaten all week.  I now face having to attend a committee meeting and put my views to the organizer who is a formidable, quite frankly rude and dominating personality.  Part of me wants to simply not do it while the other half knows I have a sodding right to my opinion.  However, when you’ve been told your whole life that having an opinion makes you a troublemaker the desire to just roll over and bow to other people’s wishes is overwhelming.

My best mate said to me once that for someone who hates conflict I seem to be involved in it a lot and she’s right.  I hate conflict – it genuinely makes me ill – but despite that I refuse to act like I don’t exist.  My needs, views and desires are as important as anyone elses.  So despite what it takes out of me I stand up for myself, and in doing so for women who don’t feel able to stand up for their selves.  But it makes for a stressful life.

When I first joined my Camera Club I realized that 98% of the judges were male and that while photos  of steam trains did really well in competitions more feminine pictures of flowers for example did badly, which disadvantaged women photographers.  So I challenged the status quo, which let me tell you didn’t go down well.  One of the male camera club members said openly to me that “I prefer women like x, who just quietly get on with their photography without making a fuss”.  Yes, I’m sure you do.  However, it’s a good job not all women go about their business not making a fuss otherwise we would never have been emancipated and we’d all still be tied to the kitchen sink, the property of our husbands, without the right to vote, be educated, hold down a job or attend a Camera Club for that matter.  I’m still convinced some men mourn the old days where they had absolute power and women had none.  Four years later I’m still teased at the Club for “throwing my toys out of the pram” because some judges didn’t like my pictures.  How to not get the fucking point about gender equality and be patronizing to boot.

Because of the domination of men the only way women have their voice heard is to be LOUD which is then seen as aggressive.   Men of course can be loud and it’s just seen as normal!  Will we ever reach a time where women can gently and quietly have their viewpoint heard without having to shout?  I hope so.  And I hope I can one day put forward my opinion without feeling guilty for even having one.

Cared For & Caring

As most of you know I care for my elderly parents, both nearly 80.  We think as younger adults that we’ll never get old, vulnerable, deaf and doddery but the truth is most of us will.  In particular my parents find the modern world confusing.  They don’t use computers, my mum doesn’t even have a mobile phone as she has no need for one, and they still can’t get their heads around the fact they can now record one telly programme while watching another or pause live TV to go for a pee 😉  We all laugh about the things they get wrong but actually it’s heart breaking to watch the patriarchs of a family gradually become bewildered, confused and unsure.

It’s important things, like not understanding a word the doctor tells them or not even bothering to ask why they’ve been requested to go for an urgent blood sample, to the little things.  For example, yesterday my Mum said that despite putting the cleaning rod through her hearing aid tube several times it still had a big lump of wax in it, so I had a look and straight away could see the wax was on the outside of the tube, not the inside!  I scraped it off with my finger and all was well, but my Mum had been faffing on with it for ages.

Caring for my parents has been the one and only time I’ve ever been grateful for being ill myself.  I know what it feels like to no longer be able to do the things you once used to, I know what it’s like to feel mentally confused and forgetful and I know what it’s like to just feel so rubbish that every day tasks overwhelm you, and because of that I can put myself in their shoes.  I also know what it’s like for Carers to come into your home and take over, doing stuff they way they want to do it and not the way you’d like it done, so I do try to consciously remember that when I’m helping them out but it’s not always easy when you know your way is better, quicker and more efficient but you still have to do things the hard way.

Luckily, I love my parents and have nothing but their best interests at heart.  However, you do have to wonder what it’s like for parents who have to rely on children who are less……….how do I put this…………scrupulous.  I am now a signatory on my parents’ bank account which is accessible online and do all their online shopping using their bank cards – the ease with which I could rob them is staggering.  They also take my word on everything, so I could get them to sign just about any document by convincing them it was the best thing to do.   Caring for elderly parents can place you in a position of huge power and the only thing stopping you from taking advantage of that is your own moral compass.

I have absolutely no-one to care for me when I am their age, a situation I find utterly terrifying. Will I end up living like a tramp because I can no longer take care of my home yet be unable to afford to pay for help, and if I do pay for help how do I know I won’t be robbed or taken advantage of (my parents were the victims of a burglar alarm scam a few years ago because they signed up for it without telling me)?  How will I keep track of my complex medical notes?  What happens when my boiler breaks down?  Who will manage my finances?  Who will bring me decent food and clean undies if I’m in hospital?  Will I even be able to work out how to turn the telly of the future on? 😉

Most of us go about our lives without giving the elderly any real thought, forgetting that one day that will be us.

 

 

 

Weekly roundup

I was delighted with how well my brain in particular coped with my Photography day away last Sunday.  I had to be up, dressed and breakfasted by 7am (which anyone with M.E. will know is a killer), take the dog out then carry on into town to drop him off at my parents’ before being picked up at 8.15am.  I can get travel sick going ten minutes up the road so was dreading the seventy minute car journey but thankfully all was fine and I had a really clear head all day, yay 🙂  That’s the good news.  The bad news is my  back screamed the entire time and having to sit upright  for hours on plastic chairs with my feet on the floor (hard work on a good day) meant that by 11am I was in so much pain I actually felt both sick and faint.  In the end I gave up all self respect, took my shoes off, put my feet up on the chair and sat squirming in every conceivable position which must have driven the people sitting behind me bonkers.  I loved looking at all the wonderful pictures but my back is still hurting a week on.

Weds my Mum was at the hospital for cataract surgery.  My Dad took her and while her surgery went to plan my poor Dad had one of his severe dizzy spells while she was in theatre.  The GP had told him to request help, so bless him he told the receptionist who directed him to A&E.  They were great, did a heart trace and bloods but the results didn’t show anything untoward.  Just before it happened his leg had simply collapsed beneath him and he would have fallen if he hadn’t been next to a set of wheelie bins.  He has mild spinal stenosis, has had leg weakness for a year now and has been frightened they would just give way on him, but the spinal Consultant told us back in February that wouldn’t happen so now I’m not sure what’s going on.  The GP had told me to keep her informed of his dizziness, so I wrote her a letter telling her what had happened.  My Dad has also recently been found to have an IgA kappa paraprotein band in his blood work which can be a sign of melanoma or just be labelled as having “unknown significance” (a condition called MGUS).  Without any further tests my Dad has been diagnosed with MGUS, however leg and back pain, fatigue and kidney problems can be a sign of melanoma and he has all three.  So I included that in my letter to his GP who bless her is lovely and new to the practice after my Dad’s own GP left suddenly last month to care for his sick wife.  I then received a phone call from the practice to say the GP wants to speak to me this week about the contents of my letter, so we’ll see what she has to say.  I’m just conscious from my own experience that each Consultant only sees his or her part of the puzzle and often no-one looks at the bigger picture.

While out walking Bertie on Thursday I found a bird’s wing which I brought home thinking it might come in handy for a photograph.  I decided to try something a bit different and minimalist and this is what I came up with.  I don’t know if you can see from this small image but I’ve superimposed an owl’s face onto the feather.

Friday night was our annual awards dinner for my Camera Club when we have our trophy presentations.  I only go out socially in the evening about 3 times a year so I was really looking forward to it and spending time with my lovely friends who I don’t really get much chance to chat to at busy Club nights.  However, I arrived to find that the lady who had organized the event had this year taken it upon herself to do a seating plan and I wasn’t sitting with any of my friends.  Instead I was on a table consisting of mainly quiet people I have zero in common with and one I didn’t know from Adam.  I could have cried and my good friend, who is quite reserved and struggles to chat to people she doesn’t know well, felt the same way.  Three other people came up to me and said how unhappy they were about the situation so I went up the organizer and told her it had not been a good decision.  She took the right hump and became very defensive.  At the end of the night I and my friend overheard her slagging me off at the bar to anyone who would listen, which is hugely unprofessional from a member of the Club’s committee.  For a start I hadn’t done anything wrong other than have a different view point to her and for seconds is the remit of a Camera Club to help people with their photography or does it include telling people who they can, and can’t, speak to at social events?  And if you do decide the remit of the Club is to dictate social events the rule should apply to all.  However, married club members were allowed to sit together yet us singletons weren’t allowed to sit with our friends which doesn’t seem fair to me.  Any kind of emotional stress makes me feel really ill and I was in tears with exhaustion and disappointment on the drive home.  I then didn’t get to sleep til 3am due to all the adrenalin and today feel like I’ve been it by an express train.  The fact that she’s going round telling other people I was the only one to make a fuss really pisses me off.  My quieter friends are too intimidated by her to say anything but I’m not, so I spoke for all of us then of course I’m in the firing line and the target of her friend’s wrath who of course will take her side.  To add insult to injury they started the awards part of the evening when I was in the loo having a wee and I missed my trophy presentation 😦

This weekend is the deadline for my appeal to the Financial Ombudsman’s Service about my PHI complaint.  My brain is like mush from stress, pain and lack of sleep but I have to get it done.  I’m going all the way with it and asking for a referral to the actual Ombudsman – I’ve nothing to lose and everything to gain.  Wish me luck!

 

 

Challenging misconceptions

I’ve heard just about every insult and misconception imaginable in respect of my illnesses over the last two decades.  From my biological dad’s “there are people in the world worse off than you, pull yourself together” comment when I’d been told I was critically ill with M.E. and might not make it through the night, to the common “M.E…..hmmm, isn’t that where you feel tired a lot?” (if only!) to the “have you not tried some painkillers?” in respect of my EDS (bugger, why didn’t I think of that?!).  Trust me when I say these remarks still rankle even if you ignore the fact that people you barely know feel they have a right to question you about your private life, make judgements about your situation or give medical advice when they have zero qualifications and know nothing about the diseases from which you suffer.

I do now take every opportunity, however, to set the record straight.  I’ve given up my right to privacy to discuss with total strangers how my body fails me and the repercussions this has on my daily life.  I admit to using shock tactics “yeah, I went to bed last night and woke up with a dislocated jaw” alongside graphic details of my bowel habits or how often I vomit, which usually shuts them up but at least they slink off having learned something, even if that something is to mind their own sodding business 😉

I was at my Camera Club last week.  My back was screaming and as I apologised to the lady sitting next to me for squirming in my seat she said “is there nothing they can do?” which was my cue to explain that EDS is a genetic disease and there is no cure.  “What about pain relief?” was her next question, which then gave me the opportunity to discuss mast cell disease and my allergies to all things chemical.  The poor women probably wished she’d never asked, but having done so at least she came away from the conversation with a smidgen of information about my illnesses and empathy for my situation.

On a completely different topic, my lovely dog walker this morning was telling me about a friend of her daughter’s who hasn’t been round for a while because she’s “not well”.  I asked what was wrong and my friend said “she’s fatigued, has joint pain, is sleeping a lot and generally feels unwell which, let’s face it, is called being a teenager!   All the blood tests she’s had done have come back negative so there can’t be much wrong with her” which was my cue to tell her that M.E. is the biggest cause of long-term absence in school children and the problem with diagnosis is that there isn’t a simple test which can confirm it.  My friend had no idea children were affected by M.E. and you could tell felt very sheepish that maybe there actually was something wrong with this teenager and she wasn’t just being dramatic.

People are naturally curious about difference.  If they see someone using crutches they’ll often ask “what happened?” expecting you to say you’ve broken your leg so they can sympathise, then are mortified to learn you have a lifelong disease.  If it’s a genuine question I’ll try to put them at their ease while at the same time explaining in a couple of sentences that I was born with a genetic disease called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome which affects my collagen, which means I can have lots of joint injuries.  They’re then usually embarrassed as all hell for asking but they’ve still learned something and that’s my goal.

Of course, not everyone is asking out of kindly curiosity.  Some people are dismissive, rude and downright nasty.  A young lad shouted out “lazy bitch!” through a car window at me a couple of years ago as he drove past me on my mobility scooter walking my dog.  I’ve often been told to “get more sleep”, “exercise more”, “find the love of a good man” or “have a tipple” (if only!) and my stock retort has become “sadly I don’t think a glass of wine or an extra twenty winks is going to cure my crippling genetic disease” at which point they usually have the decency to blush.  And if they’re being really rude my retort is “I was born this way.  Were you born a rude, ignorant twat lacking in social skills or have you had to work at it?” 😀

On the whole, though, most people don’t realize they’re being insensitive when asking questions about my health and/or lifestyle.  When I was at my Camera club committee meeting recently we were discussing who should answer queries made via the Website.  As webmaster I assumed it would be me, but the Treasurer said in a pitying voice “but what about when you’re ill?” which really put my back up.  For a start I’m ill every fucking day of my life and for seconds if I couldn’t do the job I wouldn’t have volunteered for it.  I’m sure she thought she was being considerate but honestly it just felt patronising and like I was being singled out as inadequate.  If I need help I’m a grown woman perfectly capable of asking for it but until I do it feels rude for someone to make assumptions about my abilities.

I’ve made a conscious decision to stop being embarrassed about being sick and to stand up for myself.  I wrote a Facebook post about endometriosis recently, admitting that it hurts to pee and poop in front of 100 people many of whom are male and acquaintances rather than proper friends.  But, y’know, more than half the population bleed from their vaginas every month and I’m sick to death of acting like it doesn’t happen or like it’s some kind of shameful secret.  It’s as normal as eating and breathing and it’s about time women owned it.

I’ve done nothing to cause the situation with my health yet often in the past I’ve been made to feel by society that I’m somehow culpable.  Bad.  Weak.  Less than.  That I should be ashamed of not being healthy and am a burden, a drain on the nation’s resources.  I’m none of those things.  In fact I know non-sick people who receive more health care than me (pregnant women/new mothers for example) and I’d love to see how some of those who look down on me would fare living alone for over two decades floored by illness, lacking in resources, help and care, battling the medical profession at every turn, taking on a rescue dog and then looking after two sick, elderly parents.  I’d wager I’m more resilient, resourceful, hard working, determined and stronger than most of the healthy people I know.   And let’s not forget that despite my struggles, limitations and shitty health I’m one of the most talented photographers to attend my Camera Club in its 30 year history – stick that in your pipe and smoke it 😀

There is a strong perception that the chronically ill are weak, vulnerable, needy souls who have nothing much to offer.  The truth is my chronically ill friends are the strongest, most selfless, determined, creative, talented people I’ve ever had the priviledge to know.  Be proud.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly roundup

Last week’s Roundup was late, this week’s is early and yet again I’ve not had the chance to do a blog post this week – can you tell life isn’t plodding along as usual?!

The people at the Met Office had forecast a mini heatwave this week so I thought I should shave off Bertie’s thick winter coat so he was nice and cool.  However, the groomer who’s been coming to the house to clip him has let me down on three occasions in the last 6 months so I’ve had to ditch her which meant muggings here had to do it herself.  It takes about 4 hours from showering to the finishing touches, kills my back and hands, then I spend days sneezing as I’m allergic to his dander.  Needless to say I hate doing it and just pray I find another mobile groomer soon.

Both my parents had blood results returned this week and both were abnormal.  My Mum’s cholesterol was 9.6 despite the fact she is on the highest dose of statins available.  She also has a low red blood cell count and abnormal RBC width, alongside new onset acute kidney disease (she already has advanced chronic kidney disease).  My Dad still has an IgA kappa paraprotein band which shouldn’t be there and new onset chronic kidney disease.  On top of that his ECG results must have been abnormal as he’s been referred to the heart unit at the Hospital.  He’s always had a slow heart rate, but it must have now dropped below 60 hence the referral.  He’s also suddenly developed severe dizzy spells and vomited so much last week during one he blocked the bathroom drain 😦  He’s never smoked, rarely drinks, his cholesterol is lower than mine and I’m vegetarian, and he’s exercised his entire life (as in run marathons, done 50 mile bike rides and now he’s nearly 80 still goes fell walking for hours each week), yet he still has a heart problem.  Which just goes to show much of the healthy living advice is bollocks.  He’s been advised that if he has another severe vertigo attack with vomiting he has to call an ambulance, so I’m assuming they think he has bradycardia and is at risk of a heart attack.

Wednesday night I attended my first committee meeting for my Camera Club.  I’ve taken on a volunteer role which means I can now attend committee meetings if I so wish and I wanted to discuss a few points with the other Members.  It was an interesting experience.  It’s obvious that some Members have very busy lives and they simply don’t have the time to carry on with their posts on the committee but will they give them up?  No.  The job just continues to be done badly because they can’t hand over their power to anyone else.  It’s nuts to me but then I don’t have much of an ego really and certainly wouldn’t put my own desire to feel important over the best interests of a Club full of other people.

I went to bed following the meeting fine……..and woke up Thursday morning barely able to move.  Something’s happened to my back again and having just got it right from last month’s shenanigans I’m gutted.  This time the pain is only on the left side but it’s probably the most pain I’ve ever been in with my back – fucks knows what I’ve done but I am miserable 😦

This weekend is my best mate’s birthday.  She’s spending the day with her other half so we’d arranged on Thursday night to go for pizza then to a comeday club in the city.  Thanks body for crippling me on the one day in the year I was doing something fun and different.  I had no idea how I was going to cope as I could barely drive the car but I ploughed on and had as good a time as possible bearing in mind sitting was agony.  I barely got a wink of sleep that night though as I couldn’t find a single position which wasn’t painful.

The mini heatwave arrived, the first warm sun we’ve seen since last August, and I was stuck in bed sleep deprived and in pain.  There are days I fucking hate my life.

The reason I’m doing my Roundup today and not on Sunday is that tomorrow I am attending a Photography day 80 miles away.  I’m having to leave the house at 7.45am and probably won’t be back til 8pm, which is a massive undertaking on a good day and I have no clue how I’m going to get through when I’m in this much pain and sitting is like a form of torture.  FFS.

As if all that weren’t bad enough I heard back from the Financial Ombudsman’s Service and they have rejected my PHI complaint.  I now have until 30th April to decide if I want to appeal to the actual Ombudsman, which I probably will as I have nothing to lose.  I am INCENSED that disabled women can be discriminated against and it is fucking legal.  Legal!  How can treating me differently to men or healthy women ever be justified?!  The thing that makes me more mad than anything though is that no-one gives a shit.  I’ve tried to get everyone from the Pension’s Minister to the Disabled Law Centre to the media to Liberty interested and they couldn’t care fucking less.  Well, I’m not an immigrant or an ex Russian spy so why would they?

On that cheery note I shall love you and leave you.   Until next week my friends.

 

Weekly roundup

The Eagle eyed amongst you will have noticed that my Roundup post is a tad late because I’ve had such a busy week this is the first time I’ve had the chance to sit and write a post.

Monday didn’t start off well.  I go into town to help my parents and as I’m sauntering along to the front door of Sainsburys to get them a bit of shopping I see my lovely friend Linda from my Camera Club.  She waves and I think to myself “ahhh that’s nice, bumping into Linda” and then my heart suddenly drops like a stone.  Shit!  SHIT!!  I’d totally forgotten I’d actually arranged to meet Linda outside the door of Sainsburys so that we could go to a cafe for lunch together.  I was 20 minutes late, she’d been trying to ring me but I’d left my phone at home and she was worried sick I’d been taken ill or collapsed somewhere.  I was in my wellies and had Bertie in the car, so I had to make a mad dash to my Mum’s house, drop the dog off and hare back round to the cafe.  I loathe people being late and by now I’d been keeping Linda waiting for half an hour.

As if all that weren’t bad enough, after lunch we both pottered round to the chemist for some bits and bobs.  They didn’t have the denture cleanser my Mum wanted so I left Linda to her shopping and went back to my car.  It’s only when I arrived back at my parents’ house that I remember Linda had told me she woken that morning with a vertigo spell, didn’t feel she could drive so had walked into town and I hadn’t even offered her a lift home, despite the fact she lives half a mile away and the trudge home is all uphill.  I wrote a very grovelling email as an apology and can only hope she doesn’t ditch me as a friend!  My brain was already fairly AWOL due to my M.E. but now I’m galloping towards Menopause it’s almost permanently left the building!

Tuesday I spent the day practising a talk on Photoshop Elements which I gave to the beginner’s photography class that night.

Wednesday was my last Camera Club of this season.  I won’t miss going out in the evenings as it makes me feel proper rubbish, but I’ll really miss seeing everyone and having a focus to the week.  My Dad also re-took his driving test for the second time (which you have to do following a Dementia diagnosis) and we were all delighted when he yet again passed with flying colours 🙂  You absolutely have to be able to drive where we live as there is almost no public transport, so if he’d lost his licence we would all have felt the consequences.

Thursday my Mum had a hospital appointment in the city to have two new hearing aids fitted and I offered to take her so that we could visit a couple of wheelchair friendly shops afterwards for a potter around (we have zero clothes shops in the town where we live).  Now Mum isn’t drunk every day she’s starting to want to do things again and we both enjoyed our afternoon together.  As a bonus she can now also hear and I no longer have to shout 😉

By Friday I was on my knees energy-wise and starting my period didn’t help.  The good news, however, is my recent pain flare is much reduced and this week I have felt almost back to my usual self.  As an added bonus I haven’t had a migraine at all during my period for the first time in several months and my Endometriosis pain was bearable.  Yayyy 🙂

Sunday I had tickets for a Photoshop workshop, which was initially arranged for last month but had to be cancelled due to snow.  We all turned up and waited and waited and waited for it to start, but it was obvious they were having technical difficulties and 45 minutes later we were told it would have to be cancelled again as they couldn’t get the presentation to work.  However, we were all just about to walk out the door when a workaround for the glitch was found and the day progressed as planned.  Sadly I didn’t learn anything I didn’t already know, but it was still nice to have a catch-up with members from other Camera Clubs.

My sitting with my friends’ two kids went well last weekend and I ended up with a grown-up shot for the teenager and a fantasy one for the 8 year old which I’m calling ‘The world at her feet’.