Spring Time!

Had an absolutely wonderful birthday. Lots of cards and good wishes via facebook, and some fabulous presents. I have a shelf in the fridge full of chocolate, from Hotel Chocolat, which is just my favourite. I was going to defrost a chocolate cake, but decided that really I have enough chocolate to last me probably a month, so will keep that for our visitors next week (ES, partner and three grandchildren – yay!)

We went out to lunch at the Bull’s Head in Earlswood, which is only about 5 minutes away in the car, but deep in the countryside. Beautiful. Very relaxing, very tasty (I had chicken and bacon salad, he had lasagne), and then a sleep afterwards.

And in the evening I ate lots of chocolate. Of course. Why wouldn’t I?

The weather is, and has been, absolutely beautiful, and set fair for the week. Excellent. Yesterday I unwrapped the pots from their winter blankets and cut back the fuchsia. Just a little bit of work makes such a difference! Hubby was at his son’s helping him re-hang doors and put up shelves – what a hero! very pleased with the work though, and so is his son, so a good result. He also got to see two of the grandchildren, which is always a joy.

I also emptied all the bins, washed the disgusting plug things from the sinks (how do they get so foul?), and knitted, on the machine, a baby blanket. YD has a brand new niece – called Jess.baby blanket

 

Hubby took me to the local garden centre today (an independent one I really like called Woolman’s) where we got three 60 litre bags of compost, some aubrieta, and some more gardening gloves. Very exciting. We got the table and chairs out of the shed, because it’s always a bit fraught in there over the winter time, so there’s room for the bags of compost. Planning some work on Tuesday – replanting the flower bed I rested over the winter, potting up some pansies I was given for my birthday, and planting some daffs from the same giver. Lovely. Can’t wait. Also discovered that aubrieta is very drought tolerant, so that can go in the front garden where there’s a gap because it’s so damn dry nothing grows there. Hopefully the aubrieta will.

Hubby is currently cooking our (roast chicken) lunch which smells absolutely delicious. After dinner, and some chocolate, a small sleep will be required, then I have my ironing to do.

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Day 9 (after surgery)

Well, managed to sleep till 11 am today, so am hoping I won’t need to go back to bed again. Haven’t needed any painkillers for 24 hours now, which is good. Scar is a bit itchy, and I’m aware it’s there, but no more than that. Hooray!

New electric toothbrushes arrived yesterday – Oral-B 1000. Absolutely wonderful. My teeth feel extremely clean. There’s a little timer on it, which buzzes when you’ve done 30 seconds, and does that twice more, then when your two minutes are up, there’s a long buzz. It works very fast and seems very efficient to me. Very pleased.

Also, I decided to frog (unravel) the blanket I’d made on the knitting machine. It took hours and hours to do, and five minutes to unravel, because I have a couple of yarn winders. It all fitted on one winder – for scale, it’s 11 cm tall and 10 cm across. I do have a plan for this yarn, however. I’m going to knit a different baby blanket, with two strands of this yarn, in a lovely tuck pattern, as soon as I can knit again. (Anyone detect a distinct knitting theme to my later blogs . . . 🙂  ??)yarn unwound

Have treated myself to a small knitting notebook (from atomic knitting). Vital, if you ask me, for noting down all sorts of things. To start with, until I can go back to group and things crop up there, I’ve made a note of various yarns I love (all Sirdar at the moment, but that may expand as time goes by), with a page for each yarn, and notes about weight per ball, how many metres per ball, tension, etc, and then a list of prices on the various websites I use. So here’s a photo or two!

knitting bookpage inside knitting book

Recuperation

Well, here I am again, 8 days after the carpal tunnel surgery. The actual procedure was fine. Local anaesthetic, no sedation, jolly chatty staff in the operating theatre. The most painful bit was the actual injection of local anaesthetic! surprisingly, although it very quickly went numb. Then they did the steroid injection into the thumb, which was a bit painful, but bearable. The clever bit was the tourniquet. They wrapped a big wad of padding round the top of my left arm, then the tourniquet, which they left loose. Next, they put my hand and arm through a sort of great big inflated tube which looked like a giant sea slug. That pushed all the blood to the top of my arm, then they tightened the tourniquet.

No pain at all after that, but murmurings of the surgeon, pointing out to his assistant that they could see the problem. The carpal tunnel must be quite thick and tough to cut through, and when they’d finally snipped through the last little bit, I felt my hand actually relax. All my fingers sort of went “whoof” and relaxed. Amazing.

Huge bandage, hand like a lollipop, but necessary I suppose.

We were at the hospital by 7.30 am, in theatre by 9.30 am, ready to go home at 10.30 am. Very fast and efficient. Four stitches (I actually watched them sewing me up with pretty blue thread) which have to come out on 21st March. I will be highly relieved when they do come out. I can’t get the dressing wet at all, which makes showering interesting. I took the huge dressing off on Saturday night (3 1/2 days after surgery) because it was making me clumsy (well, clumsier), and driving me mad. Since then I’ve changed the dressing every day, and it’s clean and dry and fine. I use a disposable glove, sealed round the bottom of it with duct tape, to shower, and that works fine.

The pain in my hand and wrist disappeared immediately after the surgery. My hand was numb until the next morning, but I have hardly any pain other than the stitches. There is occasional, temporary aching up my forearm a short way, and the thumb’s a bit sore still, but it’s early days. I have to go back to the hospital in 6 weeks to see how things are.

Luckily it is my left hand that was causing the problem, and I’m right-handed. ED is left-handed, so this would have been much more difficult for her to deal with, and I can’t imagine how I would manage if they had to operate on my right hand. But at the moment, there is only intermittent, bearable pain. We’ll see how things develop when I start knitting again (very soon I hope).

To protect the dressing, I’m wearing an “anti-arthritis” fingerless glove. Very attractive (not) in lime green. Who ever thought that was a good colour? so I’ve ordered another couple of pairs in white. Useful for now, and also for when I knit/sew/make cards.

The only problem has been the tiredness. I always, always forget. This was my 16th lot of surgery, and even though it was a local anaesthetic, it still knocks me about and makes me very, very tired. I suppose that just the operation is a sort of shock to one’s system. And a general anaesthetic is another shock, so I try to avoid that if I can. I am managing to stay awake for two to three hours a day, then sleep for four hours, then stagger about again. But it’ll pass.

I’ve had to cancel all engagements over the next few days. Mother’s coming over on Tuesday next week for coffee, then stitches out Wednesday, then osteopath Thursday – hopefully I’ll be able to drive by then.

Even managed to file my nails today – wasn’t expecting that to go well, but it did. They were looking like talons, and I hate that. So a success to chalk up. If I’d put it on one of my lists, I’d be able to tick it off. Yay!

Must go. Hubby is making dinner. It’s actually Stitch club tonight, but I’m really not ready for that just yet. He always has egg, chips and beans on a Thursday night, so that’s what he’s having. Me, baked potato. Love them.

Well, that’s it so far on Planet Loony Feminist.

The Day Before The Surgery

For those of you who don’t know yet, I phoned Warwick Hospital yesterday to see if they could tell me when they would fix my hand/wrist, and they said Ooh, we’ve just had a cancellation for Wednesday. I snapped it up – it’s been 16 months now, and I can’t wait.

Well. I’m excited, believe it or not. I know there will be some post-operative pain, and stitches and stuff, but I just don’t care. I’ve organised all the birthday cards for March (and there are quite a few!), this morning did half an hour in the garden doing stuff I want done sooner rather than in a month’s time, and am now feeling quite smug. I cut back all the sedums, weeded the front garden (which is very small), lifted and divided the dicentra which was much too big for its boots, potted up one part for YD and one for my friend Cas, and sorted out and planted up the “butterfly plants”.

 

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Thank you to the Pacific Bulb Society for this picture

They are actually Oxalis Triangularis, and have beautiful purple leaves, which fold up like butterflies in the evening, and pretty pink flowers. The corms look like little tiny shrimps, and multiply over the year. I plant them in fresh indoor compost in March, keep them watered until October, then let them dry out over the winter. Come the following March, the corms have gone bonkers and there are loads and loads. This year I’ve done five pots, and still have enough to give away for another four pots.

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Thank you to Orkney Flowers Blogspot for this picture.

 

Sunday 4th March

Well, yesterday I popped out into the garden and tidied up some of it a little bit. I did some weeding (not very much), cut back the sedums in the back garden, and cleaned out the bird water things, and set up my slug traps again. I use the cheapest beer you can get – they love it. I also put up some new bird food – suet with seeds in it. One is half of a coconut full of the stuff, the other is small balls which fit in a special feeder.

While I was outside I discovered a present from the cat, left helpfully up the side of the house. A dead mouse. It’s buried in the communal burial ground at the bottom of the garden, which has various small rodents in it, and various birds. There is a separate burial area for the three baby hedgehogs . .   :-(.

Next day, that is today, what do we see? a grey squirrel helping itself calmly to the small balls of suet. Not the whole ball, just bits. So I roused the cat from her slumber and held her up to the window so she could see her territory was being invaded. I’m not sure whether she just didn’t care, or couldn’t actually see the squirrel, because she just sat purring in my arms. I think if she could hum a little tune, she might have done just that.

Eventually, of course, she did spot the squirrel and went outside to see what was what. Did she chase it? no. She sat in the middle of the lawn, looking at it very seriously. A sort of “death stare”, and the squirrel obligingly ran away. But then it was at least two thirds her size. She’s a very small cat, only weighs 7lb, so a squirrel is fairly intimidating.

And it rained for a lot of today. That’s quite helpful, actually, because the ground is much easier to work if it’s been rained upon. The next time I go outside to do some stuff in the garden, which hopefully will be Tuesday, I am going to cut back the sedums in the front garden, and weed that. I also need to split the pink dicentra, which has grown much too big for its boots.

ED phoned today – coming to stay this weekend. Lovely. Can’t wait. YD had also phoned about alf an hour beforehand. Happens every time. One daughter phones, then the other one. It’s like there’s some sort of link between them. Love it.

Hubby’s eye is much better. Am going to start phoning the hospital tomorrow to see when my operation is likely to be. The sooner the better.

Backed up both the computers today, both Linux and Windows. Always a slight problem. Today discovered that one of the external hard drives attached directly to the RiPNAS wasn’t working. So I fiddled and faffed about with fuses, usb connections, and finally the six-gang 10 metre extension lead, and have finally made it all work. But now I don’t know which of those things caused the problem, so will have to test them all separately. Bummer.

While hubby was asleep this pm I watched “We’ll Take Manhattan” about Jean Shrimpton and David Bailey. Very good. Not what I was expecting, but excellent nonetheless.

And am currently reading Paris After The Liberation by Antony Beevor. Very good. God it must have been fraught. The Petainistes, de Gaulle, the Communists, and the Resistance, never mind the normal people, all struggling to sort themselves out. Hmm.

 

Well, nearly teatime now. Toast, I think, with jam. Yum.

Thursday 1st March

Last night, before the football, hubby and I walked across the road to the Harvester for dinner, so he wouldn’t have to cook. We ordered, then we went to get our salad from the salad bar. And when I’d loaded up my bowl, I couldn’t remember where we were sitting. No idea. Not a clue. It was not a good feeling. Brain fog descending . . . but fortunately hubby, being a man, has a sort of compass in his head, and always knows which way to go (except when he forgets to turn off the motorway at the appropriate junction . . .)

Today he had his 2nd cataract operation. Bit more fraught than last time – he said it took longer and there was more messing about.And they didn’t cover up his other eye, so he could see the instruments they were using. Not nice. And now it’s aching a bit, but not enough to take painkillers. This time we left our house at 11 am and arrived home at 5.15 pm. A long day. But done now. Thank goodness.

Lovely (separate) emails from two friends – one has just had her kitchen completely done, new units, new cooker, new floor new decorating, everything, and I’m going to see her in a couple of weeks. The other one moved to Tewkesbury about a year ago (?) maybe 18 months ago and lives in a lovely lovely house. She’s just retired and loves it. She had been very low for some years beforehand and I’d been encouraging her to just stop working, and now she finally has and is very very happy. Setting up a craft group locally, very excited, all good. Lovely.

We have rearranged our study slightly so it’s neater and nicer – bought a new Poang chair from Ikea, and two new Poang covers so they match. All the shredding meant we have been able to sell the 3-drawer filing cabinet, and buy a 2-drawer one, which imposes much less on the room.The study had been converted from the garage before we moved in, and it’s ideal for us.

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