Hello, remember me?

Hello, I am your host, you might not remember me because I haven’t been on since October. Oooooops!

So what has happened?

Well, my Mum was sent for yet another CT scan, just in case the gallstones that would nicely explain one part of her condition have actually decided to arrive by now. They hadn’t, but the GP was less specific this time, and the scan bumped into a WHOPPING GREAT TUMOUR lying up alongside her gall bladder and pancreas that suddenly answers for an awful lot of her condition. Fast forward to where we know more about that (the one benefit of posting so late!) and it’s something called a VIPoma, attached to either her adrenal gland or the tail of the pancreas. The tumour releases stress hormones which increases blood pressure, heart rate, and decreases digestive function amongst other things. All the things we show when suffering from stress and the things animals do when faced with tha fight or flight choice. Mum had to be treated to reduce the blood pressure amongst other things, as if the tumour is attached to the adrenal gland it will cause a sudden flood of these hormones when they grasp it during surgery and she could die on the table. Removing it from the tail of the pancreas would be less dangerous, but they would have to take away the tail and her spleen and it’s a very intensive recovery. Mum has already had a double hernia, hysterectomy, and fitment of a colostomy bag so the less intensive the surgery the better. Once they have her bloods down to safe levels, they wanted to take her into hospital for 4 days to get it just right before operating. They did this about a fortnight before Christmas, but then on the day of her surgery they had no bed on the high dependency unit so they sent her home. Whole thing was repeated, and the ended up operating on the 23rd December 2011. Yes, she was in HDU over Christmas. We didn’t really have a Christmas with my side of the family at all, Dad didn’t want to do anything Mum would miss and the hospital do a Christmas dinner for immediate family anyway. Mum doesn’t remember much of it, but my 19 year old Aspergic brother said the dinner was good.

The tumour turned out to be on her adrenal gland, which is a less invasive procedure, but potentially more dangerous as I said. The surgeon said it was like a little seed pod that just popped out into his hand when he tested it. VIPoma tumours are quite rare, use your search engine if you want to know a bit more, but it’s even rarer to appear in this way, and rarer still to not be integrated into the tissue of the organ. It turns out over 80% of cases with unexplained severe diarrhoea lasting more than 3 years with no improvement turn out to be this. Like giving Mum a colostomy bag was ever the solution! Sadly, that sums up some parts of our health service in the area of UK we live in. As an aside, my Mum is very short, had constant migraines and neck and back pain until after my brother was born (third child, 5th pregnancy), and her bottom 6 and top 6 vertebrae are all fused together. It was blamed on the short course of thamaldihide her mother was given in early pregnancy. Whilst in hospital, my Mum caught a hospital acquired chest infection (sometimes called pnemonia but there’s a difference, this is very common after surgery such as this as my Mum is asthmatic and was unable to cough for pain) and they took her for a ct scan to see what was going on. But she couldn’t straighten out her upper chest, shoulders and neck for them to get a good view. Her ‘tumour’ surgeon was very concerned and came to tell her that everything looked very fibrous, like cables; he mentioned spina bifida. I have to admit, Mum laughed at that (being 51), but he has referred her for an MRI scan we are now awaiting the results of. We are all grateful this is being moved forward on, it’s just sad that most of our Doctors each still to their areas and don’t see us as one interconnected person. I mean here, had she not had this doctor for her tumour (there are only 6 surgeons in the UK who have ever dealt with this type of tumour, we are lucky one was based at our main adult infirmary.) we wouldn’t be looking into this at all.

She is recovering steadily, mostly remembering just how many muscles it takes to get dressed and pour the water for a cup of tea. I work as a childminder out of her home, so have been getting to her house to meet children at 8am and home again with dd after 6pm. It’s knackering, I’m used to caring for the children, but to have the journey on top of that, it’s a very long day for dd and I. I’m glad to, Mum is my Mum, not just my boss. We’ve reduced numbers for me and the assistant to care for but it’s no easier – preschoolers just don’t work that way!

Speaking of Preschoolers, in spite of a quiet Christmas where she was still thoroughly spoiled by both sides of the family, DD did rather well out of her 2nd Birthday too. It was on the 14th January, we invited the parents and the little boy I look after full time, DD and he are like siblings – he’s 2 months younger. Our best friends, (from the bottoms beer and ice cream post) and their daughters 3 and 5 months, and DH’s old work friend and his wife as their daughter was 2 on Boxing day (prem CS) and make up the group of DDs best friends. We took them to a local soft play and then, horror of horrors, for a happy meal at McDonalds! It was a really wonderful day, DD is still telling everyone it’s her “‘appi burf-day!” and singing the song. To top it off McDonalds have broken the habit of a lifetime and instead of crappy plastic toys in the Happy meals, there were lovely little books by Michael Morphago (look him up, a wonderful writer – wrote the book War Horse which is a film at the cinema at time of writing). As an ex-librarian, teaching assistant and generally book obsessed; this was a marvellous end to the day!

I also have a rant coming about pull-ups, in the context of potty training and EC, but you’ve had enough for today, so I’ll set a reminder to do it via email tomorrow. I’ve just had half term off, so it’s back to flylady routines, crazy hours getting t and from work, and grumpy preschoolers. I don’t mind all that but I’m suddenly not so sure how rested I feel….

Lots has happened, but is it interesting?

Busy couple of days.

Had a day off that was more tiring than a day in work; someone I’ve just met who’s looking to start our local EC group with me just launched a group called ‘The Make Place’. Basically mothers meet with their babies and help look after each others in return for a bit of time crafting (knitting, sewing, making etc). I could only visit as it was my day off, normal work won’t let this happen but I loved it. My city so needs a permanent full time version, kinda like a sewing cafe I guess. Watch this ‘make place’ I guess. DD did wonderful considering she’s 21 months old and the others were all 9 months oldish. And she stayed dry the whole day, even taking her nap in her pushchair so I could fix the knitting she’d pulled off my needles on the way out! I’ve not progressed any, but am back where I was. It’s lacework knitting so not really something easily backed up and fixed!

DH has stepped up with the housework and met the task easily. He actually folded washing away (his pet hate), cooked dinner, washed up, bathed DD and fed her, put washing into the dryer and WROTE SOMETHING ON THE CALENDAR! Wow.  Although not all on the same day, over 3 or 4. A lot of it s down to my Flylady (www.flylady.net) rooutines being up to date and the house being so much calmer and less cluttered.

He’s actually very good and willing most of the time, just wants me to tell him what to do when. Trouble is, by the time I’ve told him I could have done something else with the time, which makes me grumpy – which is why he doesn’t volunteer for much in case it’s the ‘wrong’ thing and I get grumpy! So it’s my fault you see.

And I’m not even being sarky!

(PS. I realise there is some potentially identifiable information in here but I’m trying a bit of trust and I’ve grown-up a lot since starting this intermittant blog. We shall see…)

Bottoms, ice-cream and beer, teenage party or family meal?

Ha! Family meal!

We had some friends over today since we have recently swapped the master bedroom and living/dining/pet/play-room over as there was a stupid size difference. (We live in a flat for those of you who haven’t read the front page yet).

We had one of those moments when everything went wrong in about 20 seconds flat. Ha ha.

1)  Bottom. DD, aged 1,  was wearing pants, as per recent posts; when she suddenly announced “wee wee!” at the top of her lungs. Taking a quick look, I grabbed the loo-roll as she was already sat in a decent puddle! Thankfully she had the good sense to wait for help instaed of jumping up. She was sat with her visiting 3 year-old friend at her children’s table which we’d just loaded up with ice-cream, biscuits and cheese for our pudding. The Dad of the visiting family very kindly lifted the table onto his lap, so I could get DD out sharpish and onto the potty, when…

2) Ice-cream. The leg of the table caught on his jeans, tipped the table and launched DD’s bowl of ice-cream down the side of his shirt! The cheeses miraculously stayed put from the second it took my DH to jump up (we women had been on our feet at the first “wee wee” battlecry!) till he just caught them at the edge of the table. Clink!

3) DH’s beer has just tipped over at his feet, while he balances the table, cheese and ice-cream withe the other Dad!

The solution: I wizz DD over heads to potty whilst juggling a wad of loo-roll onto hard plastic chair. Our super husbands get table back into place and re-arrange cheese and butter etc. whilst beer is whizzed to kitchen, back with cloth for spilt beer, ice-cream and wee wee before DD back on her chair eating ice-cream, in cloth nappy.

We all laughed. What else can you do! But at least, as my friend pointed out, we’ve had our three things so the rest of the day should be safe.

She was right!

Well it was February, now it’s October….. Ooops!

Well, that was a long time out. Had so many great things to blog about but they never went up, but my stats show nobody is looking so guess it doesn’t matter.

DH has a new job, account managing for a worldwide company looking after a very well known chain of supermarkets in the South West and South Wales. He’s away about 1 night a week but that’s bearable. Salary has whipped us out of the financial dark ages and we are slowly and surely clearing our debt. It’s not all rosy yet, but everything is certainly pinker.

DD is simply lush! She’s now 20mths old, cheeky, sweet and getting very independent. The tantrums have started, and although she’s not winning it doesn’t make for a peaceful life. But I love it. She wraps her arms around my thighs, squeezes them and looks up at me to blow kisses. Like I said, lush.

DDog1 and 2 are still our favourite pains in the a*ses. They moulted so much this summer I don’t know why they aren’t completely bald. We now take it in turns to take them out for a proper walk in the evenings while the other babysits. I’ve started using the double ended Halti training lead with a dog on each end, one has a half choke (nothing like a choke chain, I don’t live in the dark ages) and the other on a chunky collar. The only problem is seeing a cat, if one pulls at something else I can usually get the attention of the other and we both pull. Soooooo much nicer to walk.

My Mum has had major progress on her condition. She has a long-term previously unidentified health problem, I will go into it on a separate post so won’t say more here. Anyway, God willing, we might finally be onto something.

I locked the shed keys in the shed! Poor Hubby had to borrow a tool I can’t name (round sharp disk that puts out sparks) to grind through the padlock. We only had a click shut padlock on there so I could shut it one handed with baby and washing basket on hip. The other padlock has to be held shut while turning the key so I took it off. Have now ordered two wordlock padlocks, bit like the cryptexes in The Da Vinci code but without the one shot only part! The other will go on the garden gate. Our reinforced shed door now has a chunk taken out of it and a burn mark where the tool slipped. Oops.

DH’s 32nd Birthday was last weekend. We booked and stayed in a spa hotel an hour away for the sat night into the sun, with DD. it was really lovely. DD floated with armbands and no other support for the first time. She was a little charmer the whole weekend and had a wonderful time.

I did my back in and am currently gathering evidence to show my Doctor this could be the start of the problems that gets to all the Mother’s in my family and to help me identify and manage it now rather than 2 kids down the line. We are NHS, so wish me lots and lots of luck.

Well, that’s an update, I’m so glad I didn’t sign up to posting daily weekly or even monthly.

Take care everyone, will try have a more tangible web presence….

Not that there’s anyone listening. Tee hee Sx

Must be a Sunday

’cause I feel like I’ve done nothing, when I haven’t stopped. It’s work tomorrow, so where did the weekend go?
My Mum always used to get really crabby on a Sunday afternoon, I get it now, sorry Mum!
What should we call it? Sunday Afternoon Syndrom, SAS, Save Our Souls – Mums having a paddy?
Any other ideas? Contact me or leave a comment please, no closing date because it’s a problem that never ends. I really need a laugh. Aaaaaaaarrrgh! Do I feel better? Nope!
Sx