Wednesday, 1 December 2010

WOYWW, Hello - I'm still alive with a bit of an update!

Happy December Crafters, fellow bloggers, blog buddies.

For those who have come to look at the desk - firstly - here's a pic from last week - but I didn't end up doing a post - more on why later (it may become apparent, but I'd been to the hosp and didn't feel much like posting at the time)

I'd just bought some red and green glitter paper from Tesco - we went after finishing at the hospital.  I haven't been that many times to Tesco this year - but always make a bee-line for the stationery aisles...

The white basket was purchased from IKEA and bought it to hang from my poles on the wall - this is something which I've been wanting to get sorted for a while now.  Maybe seeing as there is no hope of going anywhere in the next day or so, I could get my DH to work on it - especially as we didn't have any satellite signal (that will get the menfolk hanging off the walls - tut - they should have a hobby then eh?).

Here's a pic taken Tuesday evening - of THIS week LOL!!!

I've been punching this little lot out with my Martha Stewart Punches - but not for Christmas cards - oh no, some of you will know that I've been working on some wedding stationery for my friend who gets married just after Christmas - in fact on the Tuesday after Christmas - here is where those snowflakes have been going:

Here is the invitation I did - this is the first one she wrote out - while they were still 'hot off the press' when she'd first come to pick them up.

There are still several items of stationery I'm working on - the Order of Service is the first one - I've another 29+ to do... the vicar doesn't want a fancy one - just the insides!!! I'm thinking perhaps I'll be assembling these tomorrow now all the elements are ready.  I'm sure any snowflakes that are left over will (or make that may) be used in my Christmas cards - if I get round to making any that is.

Now, if you don't want to be here all day and find out what I've been up to - you may be excused at this point and make comment only on my WOYWW part of the post.  The remainder is all about where I've been, what I've been up to - and how 2010 just cannot get any worse - and how I can't wait for it to be gone!!!

I haven't joined in the last couple of weeks or so in WOYWW - one of the very few good things to come out of 2010 for me.  Reason being, as you may or may not know, is that I went back to work w/c 15th November.  I know that many many of my fellow bloggers hold down full time jobs and are able to blog, blog hop and create all at the same time - but for me, I've struggled just returning to work after being off sick for 10 months.

Well - the fun hasn't merely stopped at going back to work on a phased basis.

As most people who already read my blog know, I've been constantly battling to get the right combination of medication in order for me to be in a relatively pain free position so that I could return to work.  Well, I'm actually on some pretty serious meds now, which has helped with the 'considerable nerve damage' so for most of the time - I'm pretty good... I do still get the twinges - but nothing constant like it was.  This 'pain free' state has come at quite a high price - I've traded this off with some pretty horrific side-effects.  Some are funny, some were funny and some are not in the slightest bit fun... I can barely string a sentence together.  I can't remember a lot of things - things that I NEED to remember.  I lack focus, I can't get words out and struggle conversationally (anyone who knows me, know that I can talk as an olympic sport - but at work and out and about - its just not happening).  I have a severe lack of concentration, when i'm tired my muscles, particularly in my legs, twitch like mad.  My sleep pattern is all over the place - but it has been for a while - but its definately not improved and is really not in line with returning to work!

I'd asked my GP to put me on the patch (which I refer to as a morphine patch - but is called a buprenorphine - an opioid patch to treat severe chronic pain) which I'd been prescribed by the specialist at the pain clinic.  Team this up with the oral meds: Tramadol, Codeine Phosphate, Pregabalin - and some pretty interesting things have been happening.  I went back to have him sign me fit for work, and also to report that while I felt an improvement after being on the patch - I didn't feel there were enough good days and I wanted more good days to be able to go back to work - this is when he increased my dose from a 5mg/hour patch to 10mg/hour. However, I wanted to speak to him also about other pains that I'd been experiencing  and which, although I hadn't felt as too severe for or a while - I had experience them before - but wondered if they could also be side effects of some of the medication.  I'd mentioned them to him on a few visits before - but he'd always asked me to prioritise what I needed dealing with - and that had always been my nerve pain.

I asked my GP to put on my return to work note, a bit of detail about my forgetfulness etc - and about the side effects of all the meds - but he said if he did that, they probably wouldn't allow me to return.  I am now being asked if there are any H&S issues about me being at work.  HR have said that if the GP thought that i'd not be allowed back due to the side effects - he shouldn't have signed me as fit for work in the first place - which would lead me back to square one and being finished on sickness capability.  Anyway, because of me being unable to elaborate on a couple of questions at my last interview (basic things that I know that I know)- I was unsuccessful - for an Assis. Team Leader post!!!  When I went off, I was a Team Leader but due to the restructure my post no longer exists.  I have an equiv. of a post graduate degree in Business Management - and I can't even get an assistant job at the moment.

Anyway, the pains I'd been experiencing were severe swelling of my hands, fingers, wrists, knees, ankles (or cankles as I call them), feet etc etc.  then a few weeks ago, I started with a pain in my right groin - which has caused me difficulty in lifting my right leg) - this is something that's been re-occurring for years now because i remember getting this when I've been camping - and laughing about it because I've been like an old woman (sorry to all people who consider themselves as old women if this is offensive)!!!    For YEARS now, I've suffered pains when doing simple tasks like peeling potatoes - i can't hold the potato for long - nor the peeler before I have to let go of both; I can't hold a cloth to rub or scrub for long either, have difficulty in holding the stale of a brush - the hoover pipe and have resorted to cleaning the bath and whb in the bathroom with a washing up brush (a new, and separate one I hasten to add). 

Typing is also becoming increasingly difficult so is cutting with small scissors (e.g. decoupage).  I also have trouble griping the steering wheel on longer drives - and this is also something that's been happening for years - and something which my DH has noticed on loads of occasions when we've been out and about - or its been my turn to drive when going on holiday. 

Some readers/followers may also remember a couple or so months ago when I was experiencing a lot of pain in my right arm - which I had put down to me sleeping on it in the wrong position.  Well, I told him all of these things - and he actually listened this time and got me to do a few things. I'd mentioned to him before that my mum suffers from Inflammatory Arthritis and Osteo Arthritis - so without further ado - he referred me to a Rheumatologist and made me an appointment.  This appointment was last Wednesday - first thing in the morning.
Well, the Rheumatologist asked me when we went in what I expected to get out of my visit.  I said I wanted somethings perhaps ruling in, and somethings ruling out.  I wanted him to (hopefully) rule out Arthritis and maybe rule in (more as an explanation) that some of the pains I was experiencing was down to side effects - ones that were a suitable, hopefully short-term trade-off to all the nerve damage pain I'd been experiencing.

OK - first thing first - family medical history, then my symptoms and pains, then examination, then diagnosis.  Towards the end of the examination, I mentioned something I'd forgotten and that was that my Mum and sister both have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.  "There you have it" he said.

I have been formally diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and also something called Joint Hypermobility Syndrome (I'd never heard of it either).  This is something that people who are/have been 'flexible' get - aching and pain in specific joints around the body - and bingo - I scored full marks on some scoring mechanism or other... Some gymnasts, dancers and sportsmen suffer with it - but usually, they have trained in order to make their joints supple and flexible - he said basically I was born like it...

A lot of pennies started to drop about both conditions - not that I'd heard of one - and the other I'd completely dismissed.  The more I think about it - the more I am now convinced I've probably had both for years.  FM usually flares up with trauma and stress/depression according to the literature I was given - I can safely say I've had my fair share of trauma this year - and as for stress - being hassled into returning to work too early under threat of being finished on sickness capability grounds - then sent home when you do go back due to not being fit enough to be there, going back when feeling a bit better - but too many side effects so that I'm not capable of interviewing - but they go ahead with it any way and I fail both interviews and as a result I'm now at risk of being made redundant on 12 weeks notice - oh yes my friends - its all happened to me - this week, this month and this year.

So, I hope that 2011 promises to be a darn site better.

Thanks to those who persevered and read to the end... I really DO thank you for caring enough to read to the end.

Catch you soon - at either your desk or mine... pop over here to Julia's blog to see exactly what I mean.

With love and hugs

Paula x x x


  1. Paula, you are all over the place with those meds. And I blame your GP for putting you back in a situation you don't belong in. His statement about if he added that, they wouldn't let you go back to work had me going "DUH!" What a dufus! I couldn't believe that. I'm sorry also that your post is gone and you don't qualify for what you deserve. Seems unfair all around.

    But I came to see your desk and know it probably frustrates you about your illness. I love that red and green paper. Happy WOYWW (I'm Number 3 this week).

  2. Hi Paula, loving the wedding stationery. Chin up buddy, you know I know how you feel. Keep warm in this snow xx

  3. Blimey, Paula, it never rains but it pours! I hope that some good comes of all this mayhem you are going through.
    Your wedding stationery is truly lovely, have fun finishing it.

  4. Paula i sympathise i have had fibromyalgia since 2006 when i first diagnosed with ME/CFS.It isnt nice at all hunni as i was reading the post and taking in what was happening to you i automatically thought you have just sounded like me.
    Just incase you didnt know as they cannot sack you whilst on sick!!!!if they make you redundant or retire on medical grounds then they should pay you off depending how many years youve been with the company.
    If you look at my profile i have a blog for Fibro & ME/CFS many side effects are the same but you made me laugh when your talking about getting words out thats known as "Brain Fog "so my ME/cfs and fibro clinic tell me .So your not alone hunni!If i can help with info in anyway shout.
    Heres to abetter 2011 for both of us!
    Hugs judex4#

  5. Hi my little friend. Yes I read it to the very end. more bad news eh? At least now you know what you are up against. Do what makes you happy and do lots of it. If it causes you pain then find something that doesn't. You have many talents so I'm sure you will find something fun to do. I'm sending you lots of healing hugs,
    A x

  6. Oh Paula - nothing I can say can make your situation any better but hopefully our positive vibes can help lift your spirits a bit. Keep cosy and keep busy with the things you enjoy and can manage to do. I guess in time things will settle and you will see where you need to be. Best of luck and huge hugs. Jo

  7. Hi ya Paula
    oh hun i really hope 2011 is a much better year for you,do hope the meds & work get sorted.
    Luv the wedding stationary looks beautiful, chin up chuck,have great day, happy WOYWW, sue,x (23)

  8. Your wedding stationary is simply gorgeous. You really have a talent for this.
    Hopefully the way time is wizzing by you will soon be in 2011 and hopefully a much better year for you,
    Sending hugs,
    H xx

  9. Paula I am so sorry you are in so much pain - the cold weather isnot a help either is it hun - I love the wedding stationary you are doing sooo posh and simple thanks for sharing with us today hun - take care and keep warm lol and ((HUGS)) Liz

  10. Paula I sure hope this new year will be much kinder to you!! I know you have diagnosis all over the place, but have they considered carpal tunnel syndrome for your hands and wrists? Or would that just be too simple? I love your wedding cards/program!! Keep us abreast of your situation please. #15

  11. My dear paula ...I did read to the end and I am so sorry that you are under such stress. The posative is that you now know what is wrong but I am sure they cant just get rid of you as they were party to your stress ... and you must be eligable for some kind of benifits ...after all its not that you dont want to work...skrew everyone for everything you are due ...might help moral a little lol. xx

    I send you loads of gentle hugs and hope things work out far better in 2011

  12. OOps ... forgot to say how beautiful that stationary is.

  13. Hi Paula, I read your post too. You are having an awful time of it. I feel for you. Pace yourself and do only the things you really really have to do that are absolutely necessary. The rest of the time only the things you enjoy doing. I hope the coming year will bring some improvement. Am thinking about you. I'm off to read Jude's blog now. Take care and stay warm. Kathleen x

  14. Hi Paula,

    The wedding stationary is absolutely gorgeous.

    I'm sorry to hear of all your troulbles with your work and your health. My 9 year old daughter has Hypermobile Joint Syndrome. My sister-in law (who is a peadiatric physiotherapist) diagnosed it a couple of years ago when I was complaining about the fact that she came home from school almost every day saying she had fallen over again - holes in 4 pairs of school tights in 1 week was just getting beyond a joke! I discovered that some of the things I had been putting down to her being a bit lazy were due to the JHMS - such as she couldn't pedal her bike for more than 10 metres without complaining her legs were sore, she took a very long time to learn to swim and still climb down stairs like a toddler (hanging on to the bannister and always putting both feet onto each step) It doesn't stop her doing anything but it does make some things difficult for her and she gets sore and tired much faster than other children.
    Hopefully the doctors will get you sorted out properly, soon.

    Have a good Christmas and hopr that 2011 brings you better times.


  15. Bless your heart sweetiepie, this has been a year of too many downs and too few ups for you - I sincerely hope that 2011 is an improvement.

    I have to tell you, when reading your posts (and I do always read to the end!) you still come across as positive, despite all your pain and trouble you never let yourself fall into 'poor me, why me' feeling-sorry-for-yourself mode. Your attitude is wonderful and your strength of spirit is admirable, I take my hat off to you chick. It's not easy to keep smiling when you're in pain but hopefully knowing that all your bloggy friends care about you will give you some comfort.

    I'm sending you lots of bloggy {{hugs}} and don't forget, I'm just an email away if you need a moan!

    Love, Nicki, xx

  16. Oh Paula - poor you - if only cyber hugs could heal... You are such a lovely(and very talented)lady. The wedding stationery is beautiful as are all your makes, take care and chin up x x x Anj

  17. Paula, I can't even begin to imagine what you are going through. I absolutely admire your postitive attitude and the humour you still show. The good thing (if there is any) is that you now know what you are up against, however it doesn't make the pain go away or at least easier. I do hope that 2011 will be a much better year for you.
    Your wedding stationary is beautiful!
    Hugs, Carola

  18. The wedding stationery is just beautiful. Simple, classy, elegant... What more could anyone want?

    Thank you so much for sharing this. And good luck in 2011. I hope that patch works for you. Pain is such an impossible thing to live with; I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

    cheers, rachel #54

  19. Love the wedding cards.

    Penni (117)

  20. So sorry to hear about all your health problems and I can only wish, now that you have a diagnosis, you a better year next year with treatment to make life better. Your cards are beautiful and punching all those snowflakes out is a real labour of love I think. Elizabeth #85

  21. Hi Paula I read it to the end too. I am so sorry to hear of your health problems and your work situation. Am sending you hugs xxx

    Love the stationary xxx

    Laura 83 xx

  22. sickness capability? Never looked into that, mainly because....forgotten now!! Snowing here, up to my ears in it!(I fib!) unless of of course I've fallen over! hope you have a... ummm? This forgetfulness sucks! Luckily I have a nameinmy collar, it says
    Donot Iron...Happy WOYWW
    ((Lyn)) #46

    Happy WOYWW!!

  23. Love the cards, love the little snowflakes too. I'm sorry about all the illness and the docs and the meds - I must say that your post was quite coherent and your outlook for the new year full of hope. Hugs sweetie, look upwards to the falling snowflakes. They are each one beautiful.

  24. Your wedding stationery is fab Paula.
    Chin up and keep positive with all your medical problems, I hope the coming new year will be a better one for you pain wise!

  25. Paula, Hopefully 2011 will bring you some relief and some joy. So nice of you to do your friend's wedding stationery. And nice of you to visit my blog. I posted The Card yesterday, if you're interested. Have a toasty day!

  26. Yep I read all the way to the end and although all out thoughts and prayers cannot fix things it helps to have an outlet to share - I understand a little of what you go through as I have laxity of the joint which means most the time they dislocate but every now and then they freeze up - things will improve its all about working out what works for you and thats the bit that takes time - hope you your work sorts themselves out soon - just take each day as it comes - Love your wedding stationary it stunning - thanks for sharing particulary when you find it uncomfortable to type - thinking of you (((((hugs))))) and bring in a New Year for a New Start ~ Nicky ~ 30

  27. Hi Paula,

    I read your post and was sorry to hear that you have been so poorly - I hope the next year will be a much better one for you. Your cards are very nice and I like the way you show us all your crafting tools, paper etc. I am also into card making and just love it.

  28. Paula I pray 2011 is better for both of us. I love how you've decorated your drawers and you friend is lucky to have someone so dedicated to them that they would work through what you're dealing with to work on their wedding stuff.

  29. Oh yes, roll on 2011. Hopefully now that you have a proper diagnosis your doctors and the specialists and everyone else you have to deal with can come up with a good plan to get you back on track somewhat. Love the stationary and your wonderful, positive attitude too, that alone will take you a long way.



Thank you for your super scrummy spangly comment and for spending your valuable time letting me know what you think...

Crafty hugs, Paula x x x


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