Thursday, 24 March 2011

A Thursday WOYWW, with Funky Hand Matters and a bit of this and that!!!

Well, where do you start when you haven't blogged for a while?  If you have a brain like mine at the moment - that question proves to be a rather difficult one.

First of all, I would like to point out to you that my friend and Funky Hand fellow DT member kicked off this months Blog Challenge on the Funky Fifteenth of March over on 'GET FUNKY' with the theme 'Zing into Spring'.  Lou, who set the challenge, wants to see vibrant spring colours on your projects or cards.  It will be my turn to post my offering on 2nd April - so you may just have to come back to see what I've been up to!  I just want to add a little apology to my teamies at FH for not posting sooner - the trials and tribulations of the Gale household and general life (like everyone has but more manic just recently) have just well, got manic recently...

Now, one thing I can mention, which is timely is a brand new download collection that the lovely Anice (Funky Hand owner and Designer of all the papers and download collections) has put together and is in the Funky Hand on line shop.

Lets say if you are dotty about your spots, she's put together a full rainbow (and then some) of polka dot papers - both positive and negative, go HERE to check them out!!! Perfect colours for all time of year, but in particular - some cracking colours for spring - and at only £3.49 for a collection of 26 papers, they are sure to be a staple in your crafting calendar.

Some of you may recall all my shinanigans of last year, but yesterday was one whole year since I said goodbye to Tommy... I'm not sad that I said goodbye to him, in fact I was rather glad to see him go - but I've been in a tremendous amount of pain since he went.  Who is this Tommy some of you may be wondering.  Well, he was my tumor.  The tumor was in my chest cavity and when first discovered (due to a routine chest x-ray following several bouts of chest infections and a lasting pain in my back), it was thought that it was growing on the outside of my lung - bridging the cavity between my lung and chest wall and actually growing on my ribs.  Luckily, it wasn't actually adhered to my lung, just pressing against it, it wasn't growing on my rib either and thankfully, that meant that I didn't have to have part of my rib removed.  However, it had been growing on my intercostal nerve so part of this was removed in the operation. It wasn't anything to do with the chest infections or the cause of them at all, but the lasting pain was due to me coughing and probably aggravating it as my chest wall and rib cage moved up and down

This has lead to months and months of pain - because as well as that, the actual operation required me being opened up just from under my left shoulder blade - in an operation called a thoracotomy - with a bi-lateral incision.  Obviously when you are opened up in any operation, the surgeon has to cut through a lot of tissue, skin, muscle - and a lot of nerves... and its an extremely delicate operation in itself as to whether you will be put back together with all the nerves intact... I was told it could be up to 6 months before I got all of the feeling back from the operation - around the wound site.  

The thing is - the intercostal nerve goes around the rib cage from the spinal cord (I've been told) and is a pretty major nerve which lots of strands of other nerves run off.  Its some of these nerves that were also damaged in the opening up of the chest - as well as where the tumor, known as a schwanoma (quite a rare tumor - which I've never seen following research on the net) where someone else has been reported as having it where I had it (which I find very strange).  Anyway, here we are 12 months later and I still have pain from the operation (not the tumor) and am on 18 painkillers and a high strenght morphine patch which releases the equivalent of 20mg per hour into my system.  I have to say that even with that amount of medication - it doesn;t completely take all of the pain away - its down to a tolerable level with twinges.  

To add to this, just before Christmas, I was diagnosed as having Fibromyalgia and something called Joint Hypermobility Syndrom.  Both were diagnosed by a Rheumatology Consultant/Specialist who said that he couldn't give me any more medication than I was already onto control the pain of these issues... so godknows what it would feel like if I was on no medication at all...  Added to the 18 painkillers per day, I often have to top these up with paracetamol.  I won't go on much more about it... i'm mainly writing this because of the anniversary of the surgery was here - and because there may be new readers to my blog.

The Fibromyalgia means that I have good days and bad days when I don't function and can barely move.  On good days I go mad and end up over doing it meaning that I could face 2-3 days afterwards in agony not being able to move or function.  The unpredictability of it all is the worse as you can't really make firm plans about going out because who knows if it is going to be that day.  However, saying all that - I'm not one to rest on my laurels and while I don't drive as much these days and rarely go out, I don't let any of it get me down.  You won't find me being miserable about it anyway - its just something life has dealt me - and I deal with 'it' in turn.  I just get on with it.

Right - enough of all that... I apologise if you came to see my desk and now I finally get to the point - I have to admit that its pretty boring actually.  Here's some random pics of the desk - and the surrounding area 

 A card in the making above on the desk... all the elements for it are from the Funky Hand CD: Craft the Year Away or the new collection of polka dots - details as before.

The butterfly cards are something i've been designing with some new software - i've had it a short while but only opened it up that day so very simple stuff - but I quite like that designer look - wonder if Hallmark are looking for anyone?!

You'll see the DVD shelving at the back.  My DH fastened those two units (9.99 each from Tesco) to the wall because they were precariously resting on top of the radiator and my desk... one sharp move of my desk before and they were all over - shelves over, contents spilled the works.  So he fastened them to the wall.

You may also notice the mug tree that formerly housed my small rolls of tape.  Well, because I now have an ATG gun, I no longer use the small rolls of DST which I hung from there.  Following a re-arrange of my desk area/drawers etc (again), I decided that I'd put my scissors there instead rather than in one of my round tins as they are easier to see and find the right pair for the job.  I have to admit that having them hang there makes it much easier to select the one I need without pulling the wrong ones out more than once and cussing about it (naughty).  It's working well so far.  Here is a better pic which I took putting the stand in my home made photographic studio (cardboard box covered in white packing foam sheets over white copier paper!)


Other than that, I'm in the middle of making some thank you cards to send around the globe to some rather generous people who have really made celebrating my 40th Birthday last weekend (not the one just gone).  Some lovely crafters have sent be some wonderful cards - which at one point during diagnosis last year - I didn't think I'd be here today to celebrate it - but here I am writing long blog posts again (and procrastinating on making those cards)!!  Here is a picture of my Birthday cards on the windowsill:

Right... as I get to this point in the post, its 2.25 and i'm flagging, so I'm going to go to bed and have a sleep and a lie in (that would be nice) and hope that i'm going to be ok and be able to move in the morning.  My shoulders and back are starting to ache as I type - and I've not added any photos yet - so they'll have to be added later when I get up... The next time I type after this paragraph will be in the morning.

Well, its now Thursday - I didn't get anything done the rest of Wednesday, so here I am editing what i'd already written with fresh eyes (they're still mine though!), and have edited the bad grammar (maybe not all of it) and added my photographs.

Enjoy and thank you for your visit - I hope you'll come back!

hugs n stuff

Paula x x x


  1. Yeah, thanks Paula. You stole my thunder 'cos next weeks posting was to be how I store my scissors.........just exactly like you - you little WOYWW thief!! :) SO good to see you posting, we missed you honey...and great to speak after your BD.......and Orange are still trying to download your 'Gramaphone Needle' text :)) Tee, hee, you broka da system!! Hugs! Di xxx

  2. Good to see you posting again Paula, As you know I am a fellow Fybro sufferer too so I know where you are coming from. Looking forward to seeing your next Funky Hand creation

    Take care


  3. Good to see you blogging again little friend. I hope you had a fab 40th - I can't believe you can possibly be 40!!! All the best- x x Jo

  4. You've had quite a year hun, but you've come through it smiling and positive because you're an amazing person. I can't believe I missed your birthday - so sorry sweetie - there's definitely some kind of timewarp in my house 'cause I keep losing days and even weeks. It seems like it was only just Christmas and now it's nearly blooming April!!

    Big belated birthday hugs, Nicki, xx

  5. Hope you had a good birthday - lovely lot of cards you got.
    Can't believe it is a year since you said goodbye to Tommy, let's hope for a better year this year.
    Lynn x

  6. Hi Paula,
    Nice to see you back - been meaning to email :-/
    So sorry I missed your birthday and a biggy at that! I went to the NEC with Pat on Friday and we were talking about you (nothing bad hehe just about coming to see you sometime) and she mentioned it had been your birthday; she remebered as it's near hers. Anyway if you give me the date I'll put it in my moby - the only way I remember birthdays and such ;-)
    Hope you're having a good day today
    Hugs Anne xx

  7. Hi beautiful! You are an everyday encouraging inspiration for living! Thinking of you and just as Nicki (Little Ted) said "I keep loosing days and weeks" and my head kinda gets lost with them too and I forget things; so sorry I missed your BD. Anyway every day knowing you is a special day for me. Sending you lots of love with fluffy hugs and kisses!

  8. You rock! :)
    I can see my card at the front there! Glad you had a super birfday. xxx

  9. glad you're back and hope you keep well
    Have a good Easter


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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