Tag Archives: hypermobility

Weekly roundup

How is it possible for time to both drag and fly by?!  That’s how I feel the last several days have gone – the evenings have often seemed interminable while the days have zipped by at an alarming rate of knots.

I had my 51st birthday this week, which passed pleasantly enough even if most of the day was spent on my tod as usual.  I did, however, go out for lunch with my parents but I paid for my little jaunt by way of a migraine which started at about 9pm and by 2am was at warp ten.  FFS it was my birthday – you’d think my body would take just that one goddamn day off.

I wasn’t particularly looking forward to Camera Club on Weds night because my lovely friend Linda is no longer there to sit with and one of the members was spending the evening showing us photos of his holiday to Asia (not that I’m jealous in any way, having not left Cumbria since 1996), but to be fair I did actually have a slightly better time than anticipated and if nothing else it was nice to get out of the house even if my back did scream at me all night that it would rather be in bed.

Friday I was kept awake most of the night with yet another humdinger of a migraine which nearly drove me demented.  Needless to say the rest of the day was a right off.  My hormones are clearly playing silly buggers which is why I’ve been so headachy and, for the most part, I’ve also been grumpy and exhausted plus I have hives on my arse which shows my histamine levels are up.  Yay.

Saturday, despite still feeling a bit rubbish, I decided to try a photo out I’d had in my mind for a while so I palmed Bertie off onto my friend in the village, made my way through a field full of scary Bullocks, changed into my ballgown, wig and wellies hoping no-one saw me and called the Police, then spent half an hour inside a tree (being bendy has to have some advantages).  I’m quite chuffed with the result, which I’m calling From Little Acorns Great Oaks Grow, and have decided to use it as the last picture for my Distinction in November 🙂

Speaking of Distinctions, I thought my images had been accepted into enough international Salons for me to apply for my first FIAP (international) award but I discovered this morning that I’d read the rules wrong and still have another 2 Salons to go *sigh*.  I know I’ll do it, but it’s all so fucking expensive I’ll be eating baked beans from now until Christmas (at least I would if my mast cells would let me 😉 ).

This morning I decided to tackle an overgrown ivy on the wall of my little front garden with some shears.  I sometimes forget I have hEDS and my wrists are fucked.  Remind me to never do this again!

 

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Weekly roundup

I’ve had to deal with stress and disappointment this week but my health, and hormones, have been in a good patch so I’m delighted to say I’ve coped with everything really well 🙂

As many of you may remember, I’ve decided to go for my next photographic distinction and need to submit 15 mounted A3 prints by mid October which seems a long way off but is actually only 5 weeks away.  I’ve recently been gathering feedback on my choices from experienced photographers and last Sunday decided I needed to get cracking and make a start on my submission, so I printed off my first image………and it looked nothing like it did on my screen!  Printing professionally from home is incredibly complicated and when I first got my printer I spent 3 months getting the prints to exactly match my computer and have had no problems whatsoever since – why, now of all times, has it decided to go belly up?!  I spent the whole of Sunday and Monday stressed to the eyeballs trying to figure out what the issue was and, having Googled til my fingers bled and tried every single suggestion, gave up because I was doing everything right.   Thank God, though, I’ve eventually managed to find a work-around so I’ve had to go with that, even though it’s more faff and I shouldn’t have to!

Tuesday my friend Linda had invited me out for lunch and it was great to get away from the house and to take my mind off my printing nightmare.  At the same time it was bitter-sweet because Linda is moving away so it was our final get together.  She was my closest girl friend at Camera Club and we regularly went out for lunch or on photography days – I have so few friends, particularly ones as nice as Linda, that I’m really going to miss her 😦

Wednesday was a big day.  My lovely friend John from Camera Club offered to drive me the 150 mile round journey to the Sunderland Eye Infirmary about my floaters, the outcome of which I discussed in this post.  To say I’m gutted about the decision not to do surgery is an understatement but I’m trying to just be accepting and carry on…………let’s face it, I don’t have much choice.  I went armed in the car with 2 cushions, my acupressure travel sick bands (I’ve had wicked travel sickness my whole life, probably mast cell related) and my TENS machine with 4 pads on full pelt to try and minimize my back pain, and had as good a journey as was possible.  In fact, I quite enjoyed my little trip out and we stopped at a farm shop, complete with camels, on the way back for a brew and a cake.  John is the kindest person I think I’ve ever met and I feel incredibly relaxed in his company – he feels more like family than most of my family do.

I got back home at 5.15pm, had a quick hour in bed and some tea then had to head off back to town because it was opening night of the new Camera Club season.  I’ve really missed Club over the four month summer break and, despite my back by this stage being at screaming pitch and my head buzzing and disorientated from over-stimulation, I had a fun night.

Thursday I spent the whole day in bed editing my pictures and managed to get 7 of them printed off.  Then I ran out of photo black ink, which wasn’t a problem because I’d made sure I had a whole set of inks in the wings.  Only I’d been sent matt black, not photo black, so had to then pay £7 next day delivery from Amazon for the replacement.  Bugger it.

I couldn’t do any more prints on Friday because I was pole-axed.  When it comes to the post-exertional malaise from M.E. mine hits 48 hours after I’ve done something so I knew that Friday, and possibly Saturday, would be right offs.

Sure enough I had a migraine on Saturday and all the energy of a corpse.  However, I feel a bit perkier this morning so am hoping to get a few more prints done today – it feels like a weight on my shoulders and I’ll feel huge relief when my submission is ready.

It’s a fine line when you’re chronically ill to set yourself goals but not take on too much.  It just so happens that my distinction has come in the same month as my birthday (always knackering, albeit in a nice way), the fact I’d agreed to judge a photo competition, I’m doing opening night at our beginner’s class and I’m doing a 2 hour talk at another Camera Club!  I’ve way over-stretched myself, particularly as my health usually nosedives at the start of Autumn, and can only pray I’m still standing come the end of October!

Weekly roundup

The first half of my week was dominated by a surprise visit from Aunt Flo, which I wrote about in this post.  I didn’t think it was possible to have a period only 9 days after the last period finished so it came as a total shock.  It wasn’t just some skimpy thing either and brought with it 3 days of migraines and some wicked back pain, neither of which have settled down now it’s all over :-/  I’ve also eaten my own body weight in sweets and biscuits and have kicked the weighing scales under the bed so I’m not tempted to stand on them – I know they’d say things to me I don’t want to hear.

It’s typical I felt so crap because this week I judged my first International Photography Salon and had 2,500 images to wade through.  Usually the 3 to 5 judges on the panel have to meet up at a large venue, the images are presented to them and they have just a few seconds to press a button with their score.  With thousands of photos to look at it often takes hours and the mental effort alone, let alone sitting upright for ages, would have been all too much for me.  However, this time we used online scoring software so I was able to do the judging from the comfort of my bed over the course of a week and I really enjoyed it 🙂

Something brilliant happened this week which, considering I count myself as one of the world’s unluckiest women, made a pleasant change.  As you might remember, my 2½ year old camera broke earlier on this month and I sent it away to Olympus for repair.  It’s been like having a limb missing and I’ve waited anxiously for its return only for Olympus to contact me to say they don’t have any spares and couldn’t fix it.  I was on the verge of slashing my wrists when they offered me an upgrade to the next model for the price of the repair, so I’ve ended up with a brand new £1,800 camera for £132!!  I happy danced round the lounge until my hips asked me what the fuck I thought I was doing and sat my arse back on the couch 😉

There was a headline online this week that Australian researchers have found a diagnostic test for ME which involves a malfunction in calcium ion channels.  I flicked right on by.  Researchers, initially at Glasgow, have been looking at ion channelopathy for two decades and we’re no further forward.   I’ve lost count of the number of times it’s been declared that the answer to ME has been found only for it to fizzle out and come to nothing.  It takes a lot for me to get excited and I’m so unexcited by this news I’m in a coma.

We have rats!  My neighbour pulled me aside the other day to say he’d been stood in the kitchen looking out of the window one afternoon and two rats the size of kittens ran across his lawn.  Sure enough, the next day I was walking up my drive and saw one darting in and out of the plant pots *shudder*.   I live next door to a farm and all farms have vermin but they’re usually nocturnal and as long as I don’t see them I don’t think about them – that they’re out and about doing their ratty thing in broad daylight is just brazen.  My neighbour has put some poison down but my other neighbour puts shed loads of bird food on feeders attached to a small wall and unless he stops we’re never going to get rid of them – the rats must think every night is party night with free food and drink.

Today I’ve invited my bestie out for lunch cos I’m desperate for a conversation with someone who doesn’t have fur and lick their own willy.   Not that Bertie isn’t great company, but he only has three things to say: “rub my tummy”, “feed me” and “are we going walkies?” and if none of those things are happening he spends his days impersonating a rug.

We’re back at Camera Club this week after our four month summer break, hurrahhhh!  But first I have an appointment at the Eye Hospital with my floaters – I’ll let you know how I get on.

 

 

HSD v hEDS

I’ve been asked to write a post on the differences between Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder (HSD) and hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (hEDS) and how each of the conditions are diagnosed.

Before I start, I’ll just talk a little about the new and old terminology.

  • EDS III has been replaced by hEDS – both refer to hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.
  • Benign Joint Hypermobility Syndrome (JHS) has been replaced by Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder (HSD).

Historically there has been much confusion between general hypermobility (HSD) and Hypermobile EDS (hEDS) and in 2017 an international group of doctors and patient groups came together to devise new criteria to help differentiate between the two.  Having said that, it’s now thought they are basically the same disease just on a spectrum and it’s possible that although you may be diagnosed with HSD at one point in time, as you age new symptoms could present themselves and your diagnosis could change to hEDS.  This was the case for me.  I was initially diagnosed with Joint Hypermobility Syndrome (now called Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder) but this was later changed to hEDS as my symptoms increased and new symptoms appeared.

When women reach their 40s and start to enter peri-menopause symptoms definitely may change.  For example I used to be hugely hypermobile, scoring 8/9 on the Beighton Score, but now I’m 50 I’m so stiff I’d be lucky to score 3/9!  So the new criteria take this into account, with the question “can you or could you ever” do the splits for example.  And of course, symptoms like dental over-crowding are most relevant to children not adults so taking a good history is very important in the diagnostic process.  So what exactly are the new criteria?


HYPERMOBILE EHLERS-DANLOS SYNDROME (hEDS)

Patients need to have ALL 3 of the criteria below:

Criterion 1: Generalized Joint Hypermobility (GJH)

Tested for using the Beighton Score.
Children, younger adults and older adults are treated differently as hypermobility decreases with age:
Children need a score of 6 or more out of 9.
Adults need a score of 5 or more out of 9.
Adults over 50 need a score of 4 or more out of 9.

However, some people’s score may be affected by surgery or, for example, an unrelated disease (my Mum has Dupytrens Contracture and can’t even straighten her fingers let alone bend them backwards).  In these cases a 5 point questionnaire is used.

  • Can you now (or could you ever) place your hands flat on the floor without bending your knees?
  • Can you now (or could you ever) bend your thumb to touch your forearm?
  • As a child, did you amuse your friends by contorting your body into strange shapes or could you do the splits?
  • As a child or teenager, did your shoulder or kneecap dislocate on more than one occasion?
  • Do you consider yourself “double jointed”?

A “yes” answer to 2 or more questions suggests hypermobility.

My experience of the Beighton Score

If I had seen a Rheumatologist not really clued up on hEDS I would probably never have been diagnosed.  I have never been able to place my hands flat on the floor with straight legs, my thumbs do not bend inwards to my wrist and my knees don’t particularly bend backwards, yet I was given a score of 8/9!  The reason being I was clearly hypermobile in other joints.  My thumbs bend outwards by 45 degrees, not inwards.  My wrists are hypermobile.  I used to be able to do the splits.  I’ve been told my whole life by doctors that I am “double jointed”.  I have hypermobile ankles.   My knees roll inwards just not backwards!  I have hypermobile toes.  I was also 42 when diagnosed, so no spring chicken.  Taking all of these non-beighton scores, and my age, into account my Rheumy decided I was clearly hypermobile and she was correct to do so.  There are photos of my joint hypermobility on my blog here.

Criterion 2: Two or More Among the Following Features (A–C) MUST Be Present (for Example: A and B; A and C; B and C; A and B and C)

Feature A: systemic manifestations of a more generalized connective tissue disorder (a total of five must be present).

  • Unusually soft or velvety skin.
  • Mild skin hyperextensibility.
  • Unexplained striae such as striae distensae or rubrae at the back, groins, thighs, breasts and/or abdomen in adolescents, men or prepubertal women without a history of significant gain or loss of body fat or weight
  • Bilateral piezogenic papules of the heel.
  • Recurrent or multiple abdominal hernia(s) (e.g., umbilical, inguinal, crural)
  • Atrophic scarring involving at least two sites and without the formation of truly papyraceous and/or hemosideric scars as seen in classical EDS.
  • Pelvic floor, rectal, and/or uterine prolapse in children, men or nulliparous women without a history of morbid obesity or other known predisposing medical condition
  • Dental crowding and high or narrow palate.
  • Arachnodactyly, as defined in one or more of the following: (i) positive wrist sign (Steinberg sign) on both sides; (ii) positive thumb sign (Walker sign) on both sides
  • Arm span‐to‐height ≥1.05
  • Mitral valve prolapse (MVP) mild or greater based on strict echocardiographic criteria.
  • Aortic root dilatation with Z‐score > +2

My experience of Feature A

  • I have been told my whole life that I have beautiful skin – I didn’t realize that other people didn’t have skin which felt velvety to the touch.
  • One of the reasons I was initially given a diagnosis of JHS and not hEDS was that my skin was only mildly stretchy, so it’s good to see that it’s now recognized that circus freaky stretchy skin is NOT needed for a diagnosis of hEDS.  There are photos of my stretchy skin on my blog here.
  • I have no striae (stretch marks to you and me!).
  • I have piezogenic papules on my heels – this is what they look like:
Photo of piezogenic papules

Piezogenic foot papules

  • I have never had a hernia.
  • I have atrophic scaring in two sites – a small scar on my forehead after a childhood fall and also on the scar from my spinal surgery.  This is what an atrophic scar looks like, it’s kind’ve creased!

Widened, atrophic, cigarette paper scar

  • I’ve never had a prolapse.
  • I had dental overcrowding as a teenager and had to have 4 of my molar teeth removed.
  • I do not have Arachnodactyly (which is long, slender fingers or toes).  In fact, just the opposite – I have short, fat, stubby fingers and toes!  Read more about the Steinburg and Walker Signs here (I have neither).
  • I have no idea if I have an armspan to height ratio of greater than 1.05 as I’ve never been tested but I doubt it – I’m 5ft 2″ and have diddly little arms.
  • I do not have mitral valve prolapse or aortic root dilation.  Both of these symptoms must be checked by having a heart scan.

So, I personally score 5 out of 12 which means I fulfill Criteria 2, Feature A.

Feature B: positive family history, with one or more first degree relatives independently meeting the current diagnostic criteria for hEDS.

I have a real issue with this being part of the criteria.  What if you’re adopted, your parents are dead or you’re an immigrant whose parents are in another country like Syria?  What if, like me, you are not in touch with your biological father?  As it happens, I’m fairly sure I inherited hEDs from my Mum however she’s 78 years old, very ill and not willing to go through the testing procedure so I can’t say for certain that she does have hEDS. 

I can’t prove that I fulfill Criteria 2, Feature B.

Feature C: musculoskeletal complications (must have at least one)

  • Musculoskeletal pain in two or more limbs, recurring daily for at least 3 months
  • Chronic, widespread pain for ≥3 months
  • Recurrent joint dislocations or frank joint instability, in the absence of trauma (a or b)
    • a. Three or more atraumatic dislocations in the same joint or two or more atraumatic dislocations in two different joints occurring at different times
    • b. Medical confirmation of joint instability at two or more sites not related to trauma

My experience of Feature C

  • I didn’t start partially dislocating (called subluxing) my joints until I was in my early forties and I’ve never thankfully had a full dislocation.
  • I’ve had chronic, widespread and musculoskeletal pain for decades.

I’m not sure if having subluxations meets the definition of ‘frank joint instability’ (though I suspect it does), but nevertheless I pass the other two symptoms and therefore fulfill Criteria 2, Feature C.

Conclusion

Based on the evidence of having 2 out of the 3 Features listed above, I pass the test for Criteria 2.

Criterion 3: All the Following Prerequisites MUST Be Met

  • Absence of unusual skin fragility, which should prompt consideration of other types of EDS
  • Exclusion of other heritable and acquired connective tissue disorders, including autoimmune rheumatologic conditions. In patients with an acquired connective tissue disorder (e.g., lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.), additional diagnosis of hEDS requires meeting both Features A and B of Criterion 2. Feature C of Criterion 2 (chronic pain and/or instability) cannot be counted towards a diagnosis of hEDS in this situation.
  • Exclusion of alternative diagnoses that may also include joint hypermobility by means of hypotonia and/or connective tissue laxity. Alternative diagnoses and diagnostic categories include, but are not limited to, neuromuscular disorders (e.g., myopathic EDS, Bethlem myopathy), other HCTD (e.g., other types of EDS, Loeys–Dietz syndrome, Marfan syndrome), and skeletal dysplasias (e.g., OI). Exclusion of these considerations may be based upon history, physical examination, and/or molecular genetic testing, as indicated.

My experience of Criteria 3

You rely heavily on your Consultant to fulfill Criteria 3, so you can only hope you see someone knowledge in hEDS.  I do have fragile skin which tears and bruises easily, but this is part of having hEDS – the trick is in knowing if this is abnormally fragile or not and I’m not sure where the cut-off point is.  In the UK, suspected hEDs patients aren’t routinely offered gene testing which I personally think is a big mistake.  There are times I feel I have cross-over symptoms with Classical EDS (cEDS) and the only way to rule this out is by gene testing.

Excluding other connective tissue disorders is also not as easy as it sounds.  There is no conclusive test for Lupus, for example, and I’ve never been screened for it to my knowledge.   Even diagnosing arthritis isn’t straight forward, as I know from first hand experience with my best friend who had been ill for 2 years before finally being diagnosed with a rare form called Palindromic Rheumatism (an autoimmune arthritis) which many Doctors have never heard of let alone look for.  I peronally have had general rheumatism excluded but little else.

Again, you’re reliant on your Consultant being extremely thorough and knowledgeable in rare diseases such as Bethlem Myopathy and OI and as we all know this is usually not the case.

I therefore have no clue if I pass Criteria 3 or not as none of these other diseases have ever been mentioned to me and I’ve never been offered gene testing for other types of EDS.

Other considerations

Under the General Comments section below Criterion 3 of the new diagnostic criteria, it is stated that other symptoms should be looked for when diagnosing hEDS, though they don’t officially form part of the criteria because they haven’t been studied enough yet.  They include things like POTS, gastro-intestinal disorders, dysautonomia and chronic fatigue.


HYPERMOBILITY SPECTRUM DISORDER (HSD)

So what happens if you don’t fulfill the diagnostic criteria for hEDS but are clearly hypermobile and having widespread pain and possibly other issues?  You are now classed as being on the hypermobility spectrum and there is now a new classification called Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder (HSD) which has replaced the old Benign Joint Hypermobilty Syndrome (JHS).

There are now different categories of joint hypermobility:-
Localized (L-HSD), in which the hypermobility is confined to less than 5 joints
Generalized (G-HSD), in which the hypermobility is seen in more than 5 joints
Peripheral (P-HSD), where the hypermobility is confined to the hands and feet
Historical (H-HSD), usually when the patient is older and no longer scores highly on Beighton.

Hypermobility in and of itself is fairly common, particularly in children, and can often be symptom-less and of no consequence.  However, a diagnosis of HSD should be considered if other symptoms are present but the diagnostic criteria for Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome isn’t met.  These symptoms include:

  • Trauma.
  • Chronic Pain.
  • Poor proprioception (ie being clumsy).
  • Other musculoskeletal traits, eg. flat feet, mild scoliosis, kyphosis or lordosis (ie upward or inner curve of the spine).
  • Other issues, such as POTS, gastrointestinal problems, anxiety, bladder dysfunction.

MY CONCLUSION

Since the introduction of the new criteria in 2017 the criteria for hEDS has become more strict so it’s harder to obtain a hEDs diagnosis, but the new HSD incorporates everyone with hypermobility, which wasn’t the case before.

It is now recognised that issues such as POTS, Mast Cell Activation Disorder, Chronic Fatigue, Gastrointestinal disorders and Dysautonomia are seen more often in the hEDS and HSD population and being diagnosed with these should point a Doctor in the direction of looking for connective tissue disorders, but not enough is known about them yet to include them in the actual diagnostic criteria, which is a shame because we all know how prevalent they are!  However, papers on all these symptoms are included as footnotes in the new criteria and can be found here.

This review has only focused on Hypermobile EDS as that is the type I have – different criteria apply for other forms of EDS, such as Classical and Vascular.


Further information

You can read all about the new criteria for hEDS here.

The criteria for HSD is here.

An excellent toolkit for GPs can be found here and is actually easier to understand than the official EDS information listed above!

 

 

 

Weekly roundup

I’ve had another mad week.  Why is my life so busy and when is it going to calm itself down?!

Literally minutes after I posted last week’s roundup all hell broke loose.  I was out walking Bertie at 9am when I received a call off my Mum to say my Dad hadn’t opened his bowels for 3 days which we’d been told was a huge red flag and a medical emergency, so we ended up in A&E as I discussed in this post.  However, they couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about and simply sent him home with some laxatives, so on Monday I rang the RVI to see if that advice was correct.  It took them 2 days to ring me back (good job it wasn’t a sodding emergency) then the Doctor I spoke to wanted us to go through for an assessment the next day, but my Dad was having a long awaited cardiology appointment so we couldn’t.  The Doctor seemed most miffed we weren’t dropping everything to do as we were told (if he’d rung us back sooner we would have been able to!), so then decided if my Dad continued to be constipated to just go along to see our GP.  FFS.  Either he wanted to see him urgently or he didn’t need to – which was it?!  In desperation I rang my Dad’s GP and explained we didn’t know whether we were coming or going and she said all was fine, to increase the laxatives and if he still couldn’t poop to ring her back.  But taking double the dose has done the trick and so far so good.  Honestly though, my parents are both nearly 80 and all this conflicting information is really confusing and stressful for me let alone them :-/

Wednesday I had a fire.  I eat my main meal at lunchtime and had put some oil in the frying pan on high to heat up when the doorbell rang, so I turned the ring down to low and went to answer it.  When I got back 3 minutes later there were foot high flames coming from the pan – I’d mistakenly turned down the wrong ring 😮  I managed to shove the pan off the heat with a spatula and then dumped it in the sink, but the entire back of the cooker, walls and extractor fan were black with soot and despite both me and my cleaner scrubbing it numerous times it still hasn’t all come off 😦  It just goes to show how easily a fire can start though.  My kitchen units are solid wood, not melamine, and there is tongue and groove wood behind the stove not tiles – the whole lot could so easily have gone up!

This week I’m judging my first International photography Salon (which I’m able to do from my bed using an online system), so Thursday evening the other judges and I had to go to the other side of the county to be shown how to use the software.  Despite feeling unwell it was actually a fun evening out – I’ve been feeling quite lonely and isolated lately so it was just nice to be in other people’s company and to have a laugh and a bit of banter.

Friday my Dad was through in the city for a heart appointment.  Earlier on in the year he was having bouts of severe dizziness and the GP discovered he had bradycardia, ie an abnormally slow heart rate, so the Consultant has given him a halter monitor to wear for four days and it will be interesting to see if anything shows up.

Friday night I started with a migraine.  It’s so frustrating, because I know it’s coming but there’s nothing I can do to stop it bearing in mind I’m allergic to all the prophylactic drugs.  By 2am it was so bad I felt like I was having brain surgery without anaesthetic, so I caved and took some Ibuprofen.  My mast cells don’t much like it and it gives me tachycardia, muscle spasms and nausea, but just so long as I don’t have full on anaphylaxis I’ll put up with that if it relieves the head pain.  Of course, my fear is that one day it will develop into anaphylaxis so every time I take it I’m petrified.

In the end I only managed 2 hours sleep and the next day my head was still banging, which was a bugger because I’d arranged for a new lady who joined our Camera Club before the summer break to come to my house.  She wanted to enter the print competitions but didn’t know how to mount her images, so I offered to show her.  Her experience so far of our club has been that people are cliquey and unhelpful, which is mortifying as I thought we had a very friendly club, so I’ll feed that back to the powers that be.

This morning my head is still hurting and it looks like I’m having a period despite only being on day 13 of my cycle!  In addition, my back has been a bitch all week and I have had rampant insomnia which is now getting old – I just want some goddamn kip.

In between everything I’ve made a Herculean effort to finally finish the 15 images I’m using for my next photographic distinction and they are now being critiqued by photographers much better than I.  I’m so relieved to get them done because the deadline is only 6 weeks away and I was starting to panic.  Of course I still have them all to print off at A3 size and mount, so there is still tons of work to do – I just pray my 10 year old second hand printer behaves itself because it’s been playing me up lately.

The most surreal moment of the week happened last night.  I’m lying in bed feeling like death warmed up when this floats past my window – I’m wondering if it’s a new trick by the Department for Work & Pensions to spy on me to see if I’m actually in bed and as sick as I claim to be 😉

 

 

 

 

Weekly roundup

This week has been stupidly busy but much of it has been fun and if only the payback had some kind of fun side I would have enjoyed it.

Tuesday I drove my Dad 90 miles to see the Spinal Surgeon about his bad back, which would have been a tough day in normal circumstances but was even tougher considering I’d woken at 4.15am that morning and simply couldn’t get back to sleep and my period arrived while I was eating my breakfast.  It’s as if my body knows the one day I need to be on top form and deliberately rebels.  Then there was a fatal crash on the major trunk road which blocked the road both ways for hours, so we had to do a detour all round the houses which put us under pressure to get to the appointment on time.  However it all went well, apart from the fact our local hospital hadn’t sent the results of the MRI scan done the other week, and my Dad is now on the long waiting list for surgery.

Wednesday was both my Dad’s birthday and my Niece’s 21st.  My parents and I went out for lunch and then we all went to my Brother’s house at night for a bar-b-q, which would have been lovely had it not absolutely chucked it down.  So there were 25 people crammed in the lounge in boiling, humid temperatures while my poor Brother stood under a parasol outside cooking.  I struggle with these kinds of social situations.  There were kids running amok, dog’s excitedly barking and everyone talking at once.  My poor brain was so over-stimulated I was seeing stars and the fact that, once again, I’d been awake since 4.30am and I had my period which always makes me feel rubbish really didn’t help the situation.  By 8pm I was on the verge of collapse so had to come home, though of course my family know I’m not well and I think my Niece was just pleased I’d made the effort to go at all.

Thursday I felt like road kill and didn’t make it out of bed.

Friday my car was booked in for its MOT which meant hanging around in town, so I arranged to meet a friend for lunch while it was being done.  I then had to hare back home for an appointment with a builder – more on that in another post.

I should have spent the weekend in bed recovering like a responsible sick person but there was a Viking event on at a nearby Castle which was too good a photo opportunity to miss, so on Saturday I met up with a Camera club buddy and we took a few snaps before retiring to the cafe for hot chocolate and marshmallows, which was delicious but may be the reason I’ve woken this morning with a stonking headache!  I feel like absolute crap today but that’s to be expected after such a busy week.

In between everything I’ve started to panic over the fact that I need to get my arse in gear in respect to my photography.  I’ve decided to try for my next Distinction and there is a shed load of work to do between now and the October deadline.  Having borrowed a friend’s camera I have managed to finish my latest creative picture, though, which is great as it’s going to form part of my submission.  The standard of the Distinction is really high and to be fair I probably won’t get it but nothing ventured nothing gained.  I’m also doing two talks in October and really haven’t given them much thought, so really do need to get cracking as the time will fly by.  The next 2 months are going to be the busiest of my whole year and I just pray my body and brain holds out!

 

Weekly roundup

This week seems to’ve passed in a bit of a blur and I’m not quite sure what I’ve been up to.  My period must be imminent because I’ve been hormonal and emotional and spent yesterday with a migraine, backache and period pain plus I’m not sleeping well again and have been awake this morning since 4.50am :-/

Tuesday I met two of my old codger camera club buddies for lunch which was lovely even if one of them is a typical old geezer who likes to tell me how I should run my life despite the fact I’ve managed successfully for the past 50 years without his input 😉  What is it about some men who feel the need to constantly tell women what they should be doing and how they should be doing it?  I’m sure in their mind they think they’re being helpful but actually they just come across as patronizing and it’s noticeable they don’t have the same conversations with their male friends.

My camera has gone off to Olympus in Portugal for repair and a friend has lent me his old camera in the meantime as he’s currently not using it.  It’s really kind of him but it’s like driving someone else’s car – I have no clue where the controls are or what any of the buttons and dials do.  It’s also nowhere near the quality of my own camera so I’m not even sure if it will be of any use.  I can’t believe my luck that my camera broke now of all times, when I am ridiculously busy working towards two different photographic distinctions for which I can only apply once a year and have looming deadlines.

I managed to get my laptop screen with the dead pixels changed for free though, only for the computer engineer to discover that the new replacement also has dead pixels.  “That’s unlucky” he says.  It’s the story of my life.

My last serious boyfriend was a naturally lucky person.  Good things simply fell in his lap without him trying for them or even particularly wanting them.  I, OTOH, am the complete opposite.  If something can go wrong for me it usually does and bad luck seems to follow me like a cloud.  He has breezed through life with his barn conversion home (which his parents sold to him for £1), his lovely wife, his six figure salary and his triplets while I have struggled, fought and strived for every little thing.  S’not fair *stamps foot*.

Bertie turned 10 this week.  He has a severely herniated spinal disc which causes him a lot of pain and grade II heart disease but other than that he’s still like a puppy and greets each day with excited gusto.  He’s my reason for getting out of bed every morning (usually at 5.45am!) and the reason I took up photography as I’d had no interest whatsoever before getting him, in fact I didn’t even own a camera.   Happy birthday to the light in my life 🙂