Low FODMAP misery, but happy Emmalumpdogg.

So I had a colonoscopy and gastroscopy, which were as much fun as they usually are (read: not much, but glad to have them over with) and I’m now on a very restricted, low FODMAP diet. What the heck is that, you ask!?  FODMAPs are basically things that the gut doesn’t deal with well, so things like fruit sugars that ferment, beans, lactose malabsorption. Fun stuff. So I’m off all sorts of foods for 6 weeks, including all wheat, and on lactose free milk only, and have a huge list of things I can and can’t eat. The idea is then we gradually introduce a challenge food at a time and see how I react.

Ugh.

Anyway. Emmalumpdogg is enjoying herself. Although last week this happened image

that was fun. Mostly though she is very good, although Big!Blue!Ball! Is not as solid as we thought, it has been punctured by the mighty teeth of Emma and she can now carry it around, which makes her very happy.image

Mr Beloved continues to lose weight with his “Emmacise” program of early morning walks.

Not much else happening. This low FODMAP thing makes me tired!

 

wonky feet!

Wednesday: saw podiatrist at the same practice as my magic physiotherapist.

TL:DR :(too long didn’t read): off the shelf orthotics were never ever going to work for me.

Lightbulbs! I now understand why I have such problems with my feet. They are totally wonky donkey but the right foot rolls out, while my left foot tends to roll in slightly but lifts off too soon, which causes pain on my big toe and in my calf and…. Yeah. I have a weird gait, worse when I’m tired. Needs fixing to help keep my pelvis stable, which is what Jas the magic physiotherapist has been helping with. All probably stems from when I broke my back and fibromyalgia doesn’t help.

So: custom orthotics. They scan your feet and make full length orthotics right there (takes about half an hour) that should last about 4 years. but once your feet are scanned, you can get extra orthotics made quickly, you don’t need re-scanning. I got a quote from the health fund and I can’t do it yet (the car is getting serviced and there will be a lot of rice and vege meals in our future) but it’s not out of reach (under $300 all up out of pocket).

(I am incredibly lucky to have health cover – without it I wouldn’t have access to these luxuries like physiotherapy and podiatrists and it makes a huge difference.)

Soooon, soooooon I might be walking better and not being woken up by foot pain in the night! image

Of course, then I will be extra EXTRA diligent about making sure my shoes are lifted up and away from a certain ravenous beastie!

Emmalumpdogg the international fashion icon, and Caity gets new spectacles

So we had an exciting mail day here during the week. I listen to a podcast made in LA called “Can I Pet Your Dog?” And there’s a Facebook group full of lovely friendly people who also listen, some of whom I chat to regularly online. And our little Emmalumpdogg’s photos and exploits get shared often.

One of those friends, Fiona, has started an Etsy business K9 Kerchiefs, and another friend, Stacy in Texas, secretly commissioned a present for Emmalumpdogg. And she just loves it!imageThe bandana is beautifully made, fastens with a snap, and is reversible!image(Our eyes look weird in this photo, it’s just a trick of the light)

Emmalumpdogg was so happy to have her little bandana, and she cried when I told her she wasn’t allowed to go outside and play in it! Kept pawing at it and begging to have it put back on, please! Even her Daddy agreed that she looked very cute. And this from someone who had previously expressed the opinion that bandanas on dogs were stupid, harrrrumph.imageMeanwhile, I FINALLY got my new seeing (distance) glasses. But I have to go back to the store tomorrow because of course they need adjusting, they hurt behind my ear. But at least I can SEE through this pair, only took two eye tests, multiple trips to the store for glasses that had to be remade that they’d then LOST, etc etc..

This will be my last set of separate seeing and reading glasses. I am wearing both pairs on strings, and before my new seeing pair arrived at one point I got so frustrated I did this:imageit’s a look, right? Arrrrgh! Time to admit that I can no longer read and watch the tv at once, at least, not without changing spectacles. So even though I’ve used up my health fund allocation for this year, I’m going to investigate just how much bifocals (or whatever they call them these days) cost, and save up, because it’s just too ridiculous. If I’d known how different my prescription was before this new glasses shenanigans had started, I would have gone with a single pair then. As it is, separate readers are useful for sewing and reading, so it’s not a total loss. But I don’t think I’ll be getting any more glasses from Sp3csavers, they have just messed me around too much!

Still no sewing. Hoping my Big Pfaffie might be serviced this week. And that I might get into the fabric stash to see if I have any better fabric for that dress… And the sewing room still needs work. So lots to do.

I had my flu shot on Thursday, after meeting with the nurse and my GP to get my allied health plans signed. (3 physiotherapy appointments, 1 podiatrist, 1 dietitian). Pretty sure that as usual, I picked up some sort of head cold in the waiting room.. Sniffles and headaches. Rotten germ factories, those waiting rooms! Mr Beloved gets his flu shot up at the pharmacy tomorrow, since I asked the GP to write him a script (he sensibly waits in the car away from the germs).

Onwards!

Getting under way… The Eva dress pattern

imageMy arthritic/fibromyalgia hands are very glad to have Carl the rotary paper cutter today, as I get to work cutting and sticking the Tessuti fabrics Eva Dress pattern together! (still have to cut the pattern with paper scissors eventually, but not all those extra bits off the pdf pages!)Dress will eventually look something like….Tessuti "Eva" dress

Wednesday was a very loooooooong day.

Warning:epic post!image
Yesterday was a loooooooooong day. Not just for me, but for poor Mr Beloved – since I’m still not allowed to drive (stupid fainting thing!) he has to play chauffeur. He is the world’s most patient man.

First stop: J, the magic physiotherapist. Oh, I love her! 45 minutes of bliss. Things are definitely improving each time I see her, and even though I could do my exercises more (I try, I try!) my pelvis is more stable, I can bend forward and backwards with less pain, and this time she worked on my thoracic spine because my neck was locked up. Within my fibromyalgia limits, as always. But by the end of the session, I could turn my head so far I felt like an owl! Wonderful!

Rush off to the optometrist. Because the day before I’d been in to collect my two new pairs of spectacles – red for reading and sewing, black for everyday distance vision. This was after my second eye test and both pairs of glasses having to be remade because they got them completely WRONG the first time: the height was wrong, the curve was wrong, when I put them on everything was distorted and I just felt dizzy and seasick. They spent 45 minutes fussing with the frames, putting “tilt” on the frames, adjusting them. Made no bloody difference. Ugh. They tried to tell me that I would “adjust”, that I should “try them out for a few days”…. Uh, no. YOU got them wrong. And I was made to feel like the staffer having to fill out the paperwork ( paper? In 2016?!) was doing so under sufferance. Not happy.

Anyway, on Tuesday I collected my red readers. Small adjustment to the earpiece and voila.. Good to go. New prescription had been made correctly. BUT…. Black everyday glasses? Exactly the same wrongness as last time. Peripheral vision distorted, direct vision at wrong height, a complete mess. Useless. Unacceptable. I leave the store, unhappy, and silly young assistant promises to get in touch.

Which she does, half an hour later, when we’ve been to the grocery store, asking if I’m still in the mall, and would I like to come back in and try to get the glasses adjusted now? No, I tell her, I would not. Oh. Would I like to come in tomorrow then, and try for an adjustment and maybe another eye test if that’s what’s needed? Fine, I say through gritted teeth, and look at my calendar, and book in the appointment, in between the two I already have for Wednesday. Grrrrrrrrrr.

Which is why I’m at the optometrist yesterday, hoping to collect my black everyday glasses. But guess what? After keeping us waiting 20 minutes past our appointment time (grrrrrr) the bloke….

CAN’T FIND THE GLASSES. Which young assistant had just the day before. He goes to look for them. He gets other people to look. I helpfully tell him the name of young assistant, since they don’t have a decent audit trail. He calls her back to the store from lunch. She looks.

I am saying things like I’ve been a customer here for at least seven years, I’ve never had this sort if trouble before, this is very stressful and wasting my time, I’m really considering not coming back once this is resolved, blah blah blah. Shoulda gone to Specs$vers? Hmmm… Not so much….

In the meantime, he checks my new readers, adjusts my old ones, which Emmalumpdogg keeps jumping on and bending the nosepieces (new readers have no bendy nosepieces. For that reason.)

New glasses are lost. Vanished. Unfindable. Stupid young assistant has actually done me a favour, because rather than having the same mucked about frames used again, bloke has authorised new glasses altogether.

All that took over an hour.

We have time to get home briefly to check on Emmalumpdogg before the next appointment. Specialist dentist. He’s the owner of the practice and you only get to see him if your dentist refers you up. I have TMJ (temporomandibular joint) issues, have had ever since my first husband, 💪exacerbated by my tendency to tense my jaw when stressed and grind my teeth at night sometimes. (Gosh, what could have stressed me out that day! 😂)

Well! He is the chattiest the dentist I have ever met! We establish cultural credentials (everything from Shakespeare to MotoGP!) and somehow spend 90 minutes, of which maybe 10 are about the problem, with about 2 taken up with an actual poking around exam. Which hurt, and established beyond any doubt in his mind that I need a further consult with an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, with the possibility of botox(!) injections to ease the problem. Who knew, eh? Said surgeon is down the big hill in Ipswich, so that will be an interesting trip.

So. Up to the pharmacy to refill my antibiotics script, since everything is closed today because it’s a public holiday (Show day! Whoopee!) and finally, home. Emmalumpdogg demanded her afternoon happy stick chewing time, poor Mr Beloved collapsed onto the bed to rest his aching back.

Loooooonnnnnnnng day.

Oh, and my new black glasses? Due on the 15th. We shall see. I can’t wait to get the feedback form in the email, cos I’m gonna let ‘er rip. 👿

Of sewing, cabbages, and silly Emmalumpdogg things.

So I bought a dress pattern for the first time in years… The Eva dress pattern from Tessuti. It’s one you download and either print at home and stick lots of sheets together, or take to somewhere like Officeworks who do plan printing . I’m trying the “at home” method first (cheaper, and Mum has used it successfully with Style Arc patterns.)Tessuti "Eva" dress

We went to Spotlight yesterday and bought fabric, but I think I bought the wrong thing 😕 It’s a lightweight denim, and after one go through the washing machine, it feels a little stiff. Online friends have suggested a vinegar rinse, so I’ll try that… It was 30% off, so even if I don’t use it for this project, it’s certainly 3 metres of very usable fabric for something else at a good price. The Black and white threads were 40% off, so I saved $8 each, only $11.95 per spool! And the panda tape measure replaces my treasured little woolly sheep that I  foolishly left within reach of Emmalumpdogg on her first day here.image

I haven’t cleared the sewing machine area yet, or got my sewing tools out, but one step at a time… Especially since I’m dealing with bloody mastitis again. Yep, last June I first found out that any boob can get mastitis, and now here I go again. I went straight to the doctor and got antibiotics, and I’m to call up in two days to check I’m on the right antibiotic for the bug I’ve got. Any sign of this turning into an abcess again and you bet I’ll be knocking on the doctor’s door first thing, I’m not doing that again! *shudder* First person to mention cabbage leaves as helpful gets a cabbage inserted. Sidewards. There are many things cabbages are great for, I am sure, but treating mastitis is NOT one of them! (I have no sense of humour about this, do I?!)image

Meanwhile, Miss Emmalumpdogg enjoyed her late afternoon supervised stick chewing. It’s her second favourite time of day. (Her favourite time of day is her super early morning-well, sometimes they’re middle of the night- tracking treks with Daddy.)image

Hmmm, could we have another trainee flautist in the family? Maybe a less toothy embouchure would  help?!image

 

Emmalumpdogg wears clothes! And Caity goes to the physio and the dentist.

Pillow pupSo my online dog group friends wisely suggested that we try dressing Emmalumpdogg in a kid’s t-shirt instead of the Cone Of Shame. And so far, it’s working! We have some issues with fit, (nothing than rolling up sleeves and maybe a quick spin with the sewing machine won’t fix) but she hasn’t attempted to pick at her stitches at all (fingers crossed!)

This is her favourite spot – if I get up at night, I can pretty much count on The Joker here to have taken over my pillow. Normally I just say “oh goody, a dog pillow, I’ll just lie down here then!” And lie on top of her, then she wriggles out and lies on top of me, and eventually we settle again, but I’m being careful of her stitches at the moment, and I have to lure her away instead. imageAnd here she is, showing the latest in afternoon wear. Her new walking harness arrived today, and this photo was her first tryout, so it’s not properly adjusted yet. But it’s very comfortable and has a front leash attachment point, so if she tries to pull on the leash, all she does is turn herself around – tricky! She was very disappointed when I took it off after four hours, I think she thinks it’s her superhero cape! The whole harness is made of reflective material and the piping around the edges is even brighter reflective stuff. The whole thing slips over her head and does up with two clips, and is padded really well. The big test will be tomorrow’s sparrowfart roadwork with Daddy…. imageMeanwhile, I’m no Rita Hayworth, but my wonderful physiotherapist, J, has worked her magic again…today, more gentle massage that released some of the very deep muscle tightness in my back, some some hip flexor stretching that was quite painful initially but seems to have freed up another stuck bit of the puzzle. I have two exercises to start doing, which seem like very small movements, but which are designed to work core support muscle groups … This is exactly what I need, not some full on, mad gym weights insanity, but this – understanding and gentle progress. After all these years and after seeing so many bad physios it’s such a relief to be heard.

Oh, and I went back to the dentist again, too. Managed to actually get to the clean and polish this time (last week we spent the whole appointment time just getting through the check up and two X-rays). But now I have to go back again and see my dentist’s boss for a consult about my TMJ (temporomandibular joint) issues.  Apparently the boss is more in favour of physio treatment (I’ll try that… With the right physio!) than expensive night splints to treat the problem. (I think if I’m in less pain overall, and especially not waking up in pain at night, the jaw clenching/ grinding might settle again anyway).

AND I got a call from my cardiologist today saying that he hadn’t forgotten he’d promised to organise more tests for me, but the person in charge of the technology had been away, and would be in touch with me soon… Bring on the dreaded tilt table test! (yep, just what it sounds like.. Let’s see if we can make Caity faint if we turn her at weird angles. Given I can just about prove this by trying to get Emmalumpdogg’s toys out from under the lounge, this ought to be fun, in a very not fun sort of way.)

 

so 2014 happened…

And let’s just say that we’re kinda glad that 2015 is here, huh? University was ok, but I was very stressed ( goal this year: learn to do this with LESS STRESS) and then I was sick for the middle 6 weeks of semester 2 with influenza type B. Somewhere in here Connie had pancreatitis really severely again. Then I had a big tooth out in hospital which took a looooooot longer to heal than I thought it would… I spent a lot of time feeling very miserable.

Attractive look, no?

Mizzery

Anyway, we eventually got to the end of the semester, with the help of extensions on work due from a very kind lecturer. And I got a good mark (but I still haven’t read her comments on my essay, that’s how much has been going on since and how completely OVER it I was by the time I submitted the work!)

And then our beloved Connie got sick. There was just something… Not Right. We rushed her to the vets and found out she had diabetes and had to start on insulin right away. A couple of days later she was completely blind.

image

 

 

ConnieShe’s coping remarkably well. Better than us. Her blood glucose levels still aren’t stable (she spends another day at the vet tomorrow for an all day blood glucose curve reading) but she’s still happy and playful, so we’re hoping we can get the right dose of insulin worked out for her to make the best of what she has left of her life. She’s ten and a half- if she hadn’t had those two bad bouts of pancreatitis we might have had a couple of extra years of our wonderful girl; as it is, every day is a bonus.

Allie leaves home

His publicity shot...
Allie’s publicity shot…

Allie left home today.  Went to what should be a very nice new home where there a lot of other birdies with a lady who has other cockatiels and budgies and sulphur cresteds… we will miss his chatter, but we can’t keep everyone.  Bub and the little two (now called Salt and Pepper but very difficult to tell apart) are starting to venture out of the nesting box but are a few weeks away from being weaned yet.

In other news: our washing machine stopped working yesterday.  After much turning it off and on again and cursing at the rotten thing, we went and bought a new one. I’m hoping the technology has improved over the last 11 years and the new one will be quieter and a little bit kinder on the clothes.  The price for delivery included hauling away the old one, so at least we’re not left with the old one cluttering up the yard…

Poor Mr Beloved has a real shiner – all purple-y and green.  He had a possible skin cancer cut out on Wednesday, 6 stitches – ouch!  He goes back tomorrow to get the stitches out the the biopsy results, but the GP was pretty confident she’d got the whole thing.

I have a eustachian tube/middle ear infection thingummy and am deaf in my good ear, which is a bit of a bugger. My balance is off – I feel like elevators are going sideways.  Not a huge problem in a town where the longest elevator ride I generally need is 4 stories, but still disconcerting.

 

 

They’re all mad out there, you know…

So… I’ve still been having trouble sleeping.  The terrible cough has settled back into a somewhat-fixable-with-ventolin asthma cough, but it still gets disturbed enough by the CPAP machine wind that I can’t use my CPAP machine, so I AM A ZOMBIE.  It’s not fun.

Consequently my mental state is not brilliant.  Hence my lack of posts.

Allie bird is nearly weaned. Cockatiels are weaned at 8 weeks. Allie was hatched November 1, but is still SCRAAAAARTCHing for food from Bolly whenever he gets a chance, even though he is quite happy eating seeds and pellets and lettuce by himself as well. Bolly is sitting on a new egg already…

Allie outside the cage, looking very grown up
Allie outside the cage, looking very grown up

We’ve been eating more salad-y things now the weather has been heating up.  Mr Beloved has been keeping an eye on the bargain shelf at the supermarket, so the other day we had a lovely posh lunch of prosciutto and fetta salad – for less than what some people would spend on a fast food hamburger.

2013-12-17-lunch

I went into town today (Mr Beloved dropped me in and picked me up) and it was INSANE!  Apart from essential grocery runs to the local shops we are now officially AVOIDING THE SHOPS until it all calms down again.