Sunday, 4 March 2012

A Long Time Coming

Hello peeps, especially to those who follow my blog (which I've sadly neglected over the last few months).  I say this each time I do blog, and promise to bring more - then something gets in the way and I seem to crash and burn before I carry out my own promise.

Hmm, i've just thought of a better way to make it look like I blog regularly while only writing posts when I'm in the mood or when I feel I have the time energy or inclination - I'll schedule them...  You know, that little bit of technology that everyone else in the blogesphere seems to use, but I neglect to use or get in the habit of using...
In the past, when I have the urge to write, I tend to post one after another in quick  succession, but find that no one seems to comment on them all if they've read one.  I suppose I like to read one blog at a time, rather than one comment on one blog at a time rather than then coming back to comment again.  I've seen some wicked posts out there just recently and the talent is awesome.  When I'm on bedrest and I have some energy to do a little surfing, I like to have a look on some of the fabulous DIY blogs that seem to be really popular in the States.  I love some of the names they call their blogs, but this is something I want to touch on in a later post, so i'll not say too much right now.  

I hope when you have read this post and visited my blog that you would be so kind and leave me your comments or just say hi.  Just to reassure me that I am still writing the kinds of things that are interesting.  I know that predominantly I set this up as a craft blog, but I always said that I wear my heart on my sleeve and would bring you stories about my life.  As it so happens, finding out I had the tumour only happened one week after I started my blog, so people who followed me from the outset from January 2010 have been through everything with me which mean I tend to update a lot about my ongoing health issues.  Had it not been the case, I would have been talking about how busy work was and how this meeting and that meeting had gone and then perhaps would have been able to talk about the holidays i'd been on or had got planned.  Unfortunately work and holidays all went belly up because of the hand fate dealt me, so you get updates on my health issues and cards instead.  

Blogging therefore now has become a way of keeping in touch with the outside world seeing as I spend most of my time in my little house.  To receive a comment reassures me that people out there still want to keep in touch and take an interest in what I have to say or show.  Its the reassurance that people are still there that means the most so to receive comments means a heck of a lot.  So, please leave a little comments to say you've popped by -even if it is to say hi... Right now, I feel like I need a bit of 'love' leaving in my comments box, and this is why...

Last week, I had my latest appointment at the pain clinic at the Chesterfield Royal Hospital.  I've been going to the pain clinic ever since the surgeon referred me after I went back to see him about the pains I still had following my surgery (which will be 2 years ago this month - wow where's that gone)!  I was getting nowhere fast with my doctor at that time, so I was fortunate that the surgeon had 'left his door open' for me to go and see him if I had any concerns after the surgery... It must have been a while after because pain just wasn't getting any better and I was planning on returning to work sometime in the future (that's another story that can be found in the depths of this blog).

Anyway, as usual, the consultant starts off asking me about my medication and how I feel, so I explained how I was still in pain around my ribs (where I was opened up), and around my left shoulder blade and under my left breast (the ribs there).  It still hurts as if someone had hit me with a baseball bat.  It aches like crazy at times, although not as much as it used to, and my skin is so sensitive that I can't bare to have it touched. Without too much thinking - and no debate at all, he finally decided to do a nerve block which he did there and then.  This is something they were talking about doing almost 18 months ago but never actually carried it out - instead they had me try this and that - infact I'm still on the same medication and have been told that it is likely that i'll be on it for a very long time.  I asked him if he was happy for me to be on it long term - he said that it was necessary for me to take all what I was taking and be on the patches too because it is managing the pain, but concurred that it would never get rid of my pain completely, and that if I thought that would happen, then my expectations were too high... if only things like this had been explained to me all that time ago!!!  Anyway, the nerve block consisted of several cortisone injections around the left side of my back/ribs all with the idea of blocking the signals from my intercostal nerve.  The nurse told me that I would feel worse before I felt better.  This week has been mixed between the usual tiredness and the pain that these injections kicked up which also made the usual pain feel ten fold.  The nurse said that I could feel the benefit of the nerve block for weeks or months - this is down to the individual and all cases are different.  I've also been given the Capsaicin cream to try again only have been told to put plenty on.  The last time I was asked to try it, I felt very little benefit from it.  For those who don't know (and i'm no expert either), I'm aware that it has chemicals extracted from chilli's that do funny things to the nerve receptors stopping them from sending signals to the brain telling it you're in pain (well, that's my understanding anyway).

So, this treatment had been a long time coming, but very welcome indeed.  I'm hoping that the benefits from the injections are felt sooner than later.  I asked him about the Fibromyalgia and Joint Hypermobility pain, but he said that I was on enough of the right medication to manage that even though this pain is very tough to deal with sometimes, and something that I also have to deal with on a daily basis.  I am currently seeing a health psychologist who is helping to manage pain through relaxation, coping strategies through some cognitive therapy and generally making sure I don't overdo it all in one go; something known as pacing.  Apparently it's harder to do than read about!

Anyway, that's what's been happening on the health front.  Apart from that, I've been able to complete a wedding stationery order (mentioned in a previous post) in between bedrest etc.  They are already packed waiting for delivery to the bride to be... As she is the manageress at our local, and it's my Birthday next Sunday (also my son will be 19), I think that could be the perfect excuse to deliver them and have a drink while watching the Sunday entertainment - whoever it may be!

Now to show you a card that I did a few weeks ago for a little boy.  Even though I have 2 boys myself, when they were small I didn't craft or make cards (I did do stuff with the boys and make them their birthday cakes every year (well, until they told me they wanted them from Tesco... I don't know whether I was glad at not having to spend all night baking and decorating one, or whether I felt put out that they no longer wanted my efforts! 

oops, back to the card.  This card was made using Serif Craft Artist... I love this software, it's so versatile, easy to use and full of features but produces quality artwork each and every time.  I have started to use it more than MCS actually and if you look hard enough, there are plenty of free digi kits out there to use with Craft Artist.

Here is the card (at last):

picture taken while card laying down on my laptop, hence the funny angle/perspective

This was made using the American Crafts 'Junior Bumper' kit which is great for boys projects.  There are also sports themes within this kit.  I embossed a panel of holographic card with an embossing folder... sorry but the name evades me at the moment.  I'm sure someone will remember or know it.  The card base was an 8x8" size which is fabulous for large cards if you don't want to go the whole hog of an A4.

oops... a bit of reflection to blind you...

I do apologise about the quality of the photographs.  I did them at night on top of the laptop so the flash came on and reflected back.  Unfortunately, I also forgot to edit them in my editing software (having said that, this is also something that Craft Artist can take care of).  If I manage to get a better version of either of these pics, I'll come back and edit the post and add it in at the end just to compare the difference (if any).  If no pic appears at a later date - i've either forgotten, or I wasn't able to improve on the one above.

Thanks for reading, I know there isn't a lot of craft going on in this pic - apart from the late offering, but I just want to give those who might be interested, an update with the goings on with my pain etc.

Crafty Hugs to one and all

Paula x x x


  1. hi, Paula. Yes, am still listening... Good to see you here again to and hear of what sounds like you may finally be getting some answers to your pain relief situation - at least if you know its a permanent thing you can adjust to it (kind of!) Hope the injections do help.
    Keep writing when you can, & take care. have fun at the pub!!

  2. Hi Paula,
    I'm still here and I'm still hoping and praying for better health for you. Really hope the latest treatment works miracles for you and the constant pain improves big time for you. Sending you lots of positives vibes, as always.
    A x

  3. Hi ya hun
    im still here stalkin ya lol, sorry you had to wait so long to try & help get some pain relief, i hope the injections soon kick in and help ease the pain.
    Fabulous card, luv working with my digi programmes, keep ya chin up chuck, sue,x

  4. Hi Paula,
    Thanks for leaving the kind note on my blog a little while back. It's good to have a fill in on how you're doing. I'm sorry you are stuck dealing with chronic pain like this- so glad that you finally are getting into the nerve block stuff they've been talking about... but bummer that it can get worse before getting better. Chronic pain is a huge factor in depression :( I'm glad that you have an outlet in crafting- I know that it is therapeutic for sure (cheaper than therapy I say! ) I'm continuing to pray for you through this whole adventure you've ended up on. Even at your hardest times, you are still an encouragement to those around you seeing you push forward despite the frustration and pain. Hang in there- it's good to see your latest creations :)

  5. Hi Paula! It's Di here - I've been thinking about you a lot today and just raced upstairs to check my Birthday Dates Book - phew, still time :)


    Sheesh though, you're still going the mill aren't you chick? Let's hope those injections are gonna work!

    Sending lots of virtual hugs

    Di xx

  6. Hi Paula, I'm still here too. Been thinking about you and I hope those injections get to work pretty soon. Love your cards by the way. You take care now and Happy Birthday for Sunday. Speak to you soon. Lots of Love Kathleen x

  7. Hi my lovely! I hope that you managed to have a brilliant birthday like I did!!!! Thank you for your wishes on FB x are always on my bloglist so I am not going away either. I really hope this treatment works for you, even if its just enough for you to feel a bit 'normal' for a while. Sending you lots of comfort and hugs xxx

  8. As you can see, I am way behind on commenting on blogs. I have been dealing with my own health issues. I do read or at least glance when you do post. I am praying that the new treatment works for you. I agree pacing yourself is one of the harder things for me to do too.

  9. I truly enjoyed reading your post!!! And am very happy to hear the doctor actually tried to do something to help you manage your pain!!! Bless your heart!!! I also wanted to Thank you for your very very sweet comment you left on my blog!!!!! The card you created for the little boy is just toooooo cute!!!! I bet he gets a big smile from it!!!!!


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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