February

This was never meant to be a “monthly posts only” blog, but it seems like that’s what’s happened. I know I say it in every post but I really am trying to do better,  and post regularly but it’s not happening. 

Maybe in March I’ll find a blog challenge to do, to encourage me to write more. Sometimes I just don’t want to write because life can feel monotonous and no one wants to read that! 

 

 

But anyway…here I am now. 

 

 

 

February has been…wait for it…BUSY!

I wonder if “busy” actually applies in my life,  or if it’s just the status quo for me and I shouldn’t expect it to be anything but.

 

 

 

I am enjoying it…but can’t say I’m not looking forward to having two and a half weeks off next month (25 days to go! )

 

 

Last weekend I went back to Plymouth for a flying visit. Jonathan and I left at 1 on Saturday afternoon (as I was babysitting on Friday night and Saturday morning) and it took 3 hours to travel 20 miles thanks to the weather and road closures. Frustration! 

 

So we got home late evening,  to mum’s new house,  and on Sunday we spent the day cleaning her old house. That’s the main reason I went down,  to help with moving stuff,  as mum has found it really difficult. This is just a temporary move as their house is unlivable due to lots of issues which the landlady won’t fix…but it was making mum and abigail ill so they’re staying in a friend’s rental house for now.  The only difficulty with that is it’s a furnished house,  and mum has her own furniture too! So I had to use my mad skillz in Tetris / tessellation and managed to make it look more like a home than a furniture shop.

 

 

We were meant to leave on Monday afternoon, but overnight on Sunday I came down with a stomach bug and had agonising tummy ache, felt really sick,  and had a fever too. So I wasn’t able to drive back and just napped all day, and poor Jonathan went back on the coach. 

 

On Tuesday I felt a bit better. Probably still not well enough to drive, but I needed to get back to work so I just had to grin and bear it really. Towards the end of the journey I was so fed up and frustrated and ready to be home! But when I got here I felt poorly and I missed my mum taking care of me! 

 

I’ve since come down with a cold,  but I don’t mind so long as I get all poorliness out of the way before I go on holiday next month. Last year I had a cold my first few days in the states and I hated not feeling well and missing out. 

 

Today I am going to our church’s new 3rd site (Canterbury North) which I am excited about as it’s new and quite different.  But I should really get out of bed, and washed and dressed, and have breakfast. Start the Day!

 

-x-

 

 

Evolution of an illness

Last Week
Monday: I woke up coughing and felt a little breathless. Thought nothing of it. Should have paid attention…

Tuesday: Felt absolutely fine but a little stressed out as Panel was scheduled for Wednesday –

Wednesday: Worked until 10.40pm, in an office with no heating, justifying my work for 5 and a half hours. Got home to no hot water, so went to bed cold and very tense

Thursday: Woke up coughing and had a headache. Felt like I’d done a boxercise class – but nope. Later in the day I bit the tip of my tongue so hard it bled for 20 minutes. Not really relevant – I’ve just never bitten my tongue that hard before and didn’t know you could actually do that

Friday: The tip of my tongue was so sore I couldn’t drink tea and it was a really sad day for me

Saturday: A chilled out day, sort of had a lie-in, went to the gym, saw some friends and watched TV. Felt like Saturdays were the most superbly glorious invention ever known.

Sunday: Woke up at 6 to serve at church for 7. Had a coughing fit on the way to my car, and completely spaced out and forgot where I had parked. Walked 500 yards up the wrong road and had to turn around like a numpty and then walk back to where I’d actually parked – 50 yards from my front door. Whilst at church, ran around like I was 3 people in one, feeling super-sonic and then had a chat with a guy who said he was intimidated by my efficiency. Pretty sure this was meant to be a bad thing?

This week
Monday: A very strange day at work where I had zero motivation, really craved chips from the chip shop, and couldn’t figure out for the life of me how to a) open the filing cabinet and b) load the stapler. After work, had eaten dinner and put jammies on by 6pm and throughout the evening felt my throat get scratchier and my head start thumping. Gave up and went to bed at 8.30pm but woke up at 11pm and 3am and felt like death

Tuesday: Possibly the worst day of my career, having to deal with a very serious child protection case. Had a raging sore throat – like tonsillitis, except my tonsils were removed 3 years ago. By the evening I was coughing like someone that smokes 40-a-day and had to go to bed by 9.30pm

Wednesday – cough had progressed to sounding like I was about to cough up a lung, yet still had to supervise a young person leaving a placement. Confronted with a barrage of abuse – it’s hard to respond to being called an “f-ing *itch” when you have next to no voice and can’t breathe without hacking up a lot of gunk. (Lovely, I know) Couldn’t breathe, couldn’t swallow, had a fever and felt like I was made of lead. Call to NHS Direct resulted in a trip to the Out of Hours GP at 10pm. Seriously…10pm! I definitely debated not going to the doctor because it meant staying in regular clothes for the whole evening, and also because it feels silly going to a doctor (based at a hospital) and saying “My throat hurts and I have a cough” – however, Doctor’s words when he looked at my throat: “oh yes, that’s very nasty”, when listening to my breathing: “well it’s not supposed to rattle quite like that”, and when he took my pulse: “I don’t like the look of that”. Quickly handed a prescription for a double dose of amoxicillin and filled with confidence…more like convinced I’m gonna die of pneumonia. Only managed to get to sleep by hugging a hot water bottle to my chest and woke up at 3am not entirely certain of where I was.

Thursday: Everyone at work said I needed to go home. Everyone I spoke to on the phone asked if I was alright and then suggested their own home remedies to fix me. I didn’t go home. I went to a meeting, because if I hadn’t, we would have looked bad. Workaholic? Yes. Coughed my way through the meeting and felt thoroughly elegant, trying to discreetly hide the yucky gunk in a hanky or a tissue. Asked repeatedly if I wanted more water – could tell they all wanted to spray disinfectant so they didn’t catch my lurgy. Coughed so much it hurt in my shoulders – do you know that feeling? It’s so not pleasant. Finished work after the meeting at 3.30pm and was in jammies by 5. Discovered Otrivine spray and managed to sleep for 8 hours straight for the first time in what felt like ages.

Friday: woke up feeling a bit like a human again, until I woke up and had a coughing fit resulting in throwing up a heck of a lot of green gunk. (Sorry if you’re squeamish, but you made it this far) Unsurprisingly, felt pretty shockingly awful when I got to work but the day improved when my colleague did a run to the chip shop and I got the chips I’d craved on Monday! Also had a saveloy for the first time ever…not an experience I’ll repeat. Made it through the day feeling that I must now, officially, be a grown up – having made it through a fairly hellish week of work despite my body attacking me

Let’s hope Saturday and Sunday are good days. I plan to lie on the sofa, or in bed, and watch One Tree Hill and Gilmore Girls on DVD. Monday is a Bank Holiday and I really want to go and see Gatsby…which shall be my reward if I actually manage to rest for 2 whole days and take my antibiotics at the right time (I keep forgetting).

Off to bed now…every night this week I’ve been in bed before the sun has gone down and tonight is no exception.

-x-

One day I will learn…

I am ill.

And it is my own fault. Sort of.

I don’t know if I have blogged about this before, but my body has its own quirky way of getting me to slow down and take rest. It’s like I have an emergency “shut off” switch somewhere inside me – when I reach a limit and have been too busy for too long, my body says STOP! REST! By way of enforcing rest upon me…my immune system decides to go on holiday and let whatever germ of the week is floating around infiltrate my body and take me hostage

For the past four and a half months I’ve been working mainly on Form F assessments – the process by which people become foster carers. I have never done more than 1 Form F at a time – but since January I have been working with 5 prospective foster carers. Form Fs are intense pieces of work – you ask deeply personal questions about the applicants’ childhoods and life experiences and have to draw out any insights into how they will respond to challenging situations with vulnerable children.

On Wednesday last week I took three of my five applicants to Panel, where I was questioned about whether I thought they would be good foster carers. They were all approved…after 5 and a half hours of me being grilled!

Since then though, I’ve felt so weary and awful. I feel like over the past 4 1/2 months I have used more than my allocated energy supply, and I need to catch up again. I definitely had no enthusiasm at the end of last week, and yesterday I started feeling ill. Properly ill. Raging sore throat, hacking cough, thumping headache and trouble breathing type ill.

On top of which, today I probably had one of the worst and most horrific days of my career and I generally just want to curl up in bed and sleep for several days. Preferably through til Friday, so I can wake up and feel well and enjoy the Bank Holiday weekend?

Not an option though. Work calls. However, experience tells me that unless I do actually stop and rest, I will take ages to get better. I’ll have a lingering cough, repetitive headaches and just generally feel meh (technical term) for weeks, rather than days. Common sense says take a sick day – but I just can’t. There is too much to manage and if I were to be absent, things wouldn’t get done. It sounds big-headed but it’s true – in a small company, everyone is needed and valuable.

So, I have to persevere and just wait for the weekend. I have no plans…just to rest. I am unbelievably excited…in an understated, can’t breathe without coughing, can’t cough without hurting, type way.

-x-

Sickie :(

This past week I’ve been off work with the flu. It’s only the second time I’ve ever had flu – the first being when I was ten and my whole family caught it at the same time. My mum says I had it the least severely, so maybe I’ve made up for it this week.

Today I feel 90% human, 10% flu. I mostly have leftover sniffles, a horrid rattly cough (hoping I don’t get a chest infection as an early Christmas gift) and not much energy for anything in particular.

I felt very tired on Monday, but it was my day off so I took it fairly easy…but when I was babysitting in the evening I got all headachey and I had a horrible sore throat. By the time I got to bed I felt a little like death warmed up, and I didn’t sleep well, so by the morning I knew I wasn’t completely healthy. 

I should have really listened to my body there and then, and taken a sick day, but I’m not very good at that. I went into work and spent the whole day feeling like my head was full of cotton wool. Everything ached and I kept sneezing. The two students in my office were poorly too and we were all rather pathetic about it, and I felt such a numpty for complaining about feeling ill over a little cold.

However – at 4.30am on Wednesday, having had little or no sleep and genuinely feeling like I might die, I checked my symptoms with the NHS and they confirmed that actually, I had the flu and therefore was completely justified in feeling 100% wretched and miserable. It didn’t really help all that much, because I still ached, couldn’t breathe, couldn’t move and kept sneezing…but at least it meant I could stop fighting it and just accept that the next few days were a write off.

And they were. I’d already booked Wednesday off, but I called in sick for Thursday and Friday as well, and I’ve been a relatively well behaved patient. To be quite honest, I’ve not been able to do anything anyway – I’ve slept in, gone from bed to sofa and back again, taken paracetemol every four hours like clockwork and drunk what feels like my body weight in blackcurrant squash. I’ve also watched [read: dozed through] a lot of movies/TV thanks to LoveFilm instant. It’s been vaguely lonely but I doubt I’d have been any kind of company. Tasha was home on Thursday night and she put Despicable Me on, which normally I love, but I just couldn’t stay awake.

Being sick is horrible, mainly because I’m the kind of person who cannot just accept that I’m sick and need to rest. I feel really guilty, because this week I had 5 meetings and a contact to supervise and I’ve had to have my colleagues cover for me, and in the back of my mind I’m thinking that they’ve all managed to come into work when they’re poorly so I’m clearly just a big wimp. I’m trying to remember that I’ve had flu, not just a regular cold, but I don’t think people really appreciate how horrible it is, unless they’ve had it. I think ‘flu’ is over-used.

But I can’t do anything about the past week – I got the flu and needed to rest to get over it. If I’d perservered, it may have taken longer to get better. As it was, there is really no way I could have driven to work and done anything productive. I couldn’t even make myself a cup of tea, because it was too much effort. (Yes, three whole days without tea) I’m thankful that I feel almost better today, but I’m not going to go beserk and over-do it, because I don’t want to go backwards. Next week is the last work week before Christmas and I really need to be able to focus and get things done before I go home for a week. I can be sick there, if it’s gonna happen.

In the meantime, I am celebrating small accomplishments… for example; today I am wearing proper clothes for the first time in 3 days, and I haven’t had to take painkillers yet. Yay me!

-x-

 

 

April, already?!

I can’t quite believe it’s April already. March literally whizzed past me whilst I wasn’t paying attention, and all of a sudden it’s sunny and (almost) warm, and 3 weeks until I fly to the States for my holiday!

As I typed “sunny”, it started to rain. Typical.

I can’t wait, I booked my flights on Wednesday night and I’ve been buzzing with excitement since. 2 1/2 weeks off, 16 days/nights with the Libbys in Oregon. Hooray!!

A lot of stuff seems to have happened in just this past week, it’s hard to process it all. Rosie has found a house and is moving out earlier than planned (May 5th) but my lovely friend Tasha (she of the great DIY skills) is moving in immediately, which is a tremendous blessing. Tasha was going to stay with friends until Rosie moved out in August, before the wedding, but now it’s all working out 4 months ahead of schedule!

Also this week my lovely friends Debs and Aaron got married. I know I’ve shown you pics already but here’s another:

Debs and Aaron are in the same church small group as me, and some of us from the group were the *food people* at the wedding, preparing it all and serving it etc. I was on my feet for almost 8 hours but it was so much fun.

And then I got sick 😦 I woke up on Friday, and felt a little yucky so I decided to stay in bed a bit longer – I had no plans because I switched my day off last week, so I could stay late at the wedding. By 1.30 I was still in bed! I got up and put some laundry on, and had a shower, then sat down on the sofa “for a minute” and woke up at 3.30pm! By this point I felt like death, so I went back to bed and stayed there til Rosie got home.

I managed to get up for a few hours in the evening, then had an early night, but I didn’t sleep well and woke up feeling horrendous. But of course, I had work…yes, even though it was Saturday. I managed my morning contact but changed my afternoon one, and came home to sleep.

We had guests this weekend – Rosie and Dave’s friends – and I feel like such an awful hostess for being in bed the whole time! Sorry Ruth, Sarah and Joe!! Sunday I felt well enough for church, but I was on standby for creche and they needed me so I exhausted myself again…back to bed for most of the afternoon!!

Hooray for Monday though, I felt much better and only needed a lie-in to feel almost human again. In all my (nearly) 23 years, I can’t remember being sick enough to willingly spending so much time in bed. But the only time I felt well was when I was lying down…so lying down I stayed, with my laptop, tissues, blackcurrant squash, hot water bottle and four big, squishy pillows to make me comfy!

What exciting things have happened in your week?

-x-

Ups downs and middles

This has been a very up and down week. I don’t think I’ve liked it much! There have been some really bad points (Monday) and some really good points (Tuesday prayer time!) so essentially it’s equalled out to an ‘ok’ week, but I’m so ready for it to be over.

I just don’t think I’ve caught up from last week – we had a case going to court last Friday and didn’t have our notes sorted, so my colleague and I spent all day Wednesday, all day Thursday and then 4 hours on Thursday evening trying to get caught up. We didn’t manage it, though it was ok because they weren’t needed as urgently as we’d been led to believe. Not frustrating at all…

We could not have been more annoyed really. Me especially, since I cancelled all my other work on Wednesday and Thursday as well as not going to Small Group on Thursday night to get it all done.

The positive side of it all is that we do now have a handle on it, so are prepared for when the notes are required…but unfortunately it means that this whole week I have been playing catch up – against myself!

I wrote my to-do list yesterday…17 items. Over the day I completed 12, but added another 9. Today I finished all but two of them, which felt very impressive even for me. I just now feel completely exhausted…the weekend cannot come soon enough!

In other news, one of my foster carers might have TB and is in hospital…cue frantic call to Mum to confirm that I was vaccinated (her response: “have you got a BCG scar?” Me: “yes.” Her: “then yes, you’re vaccinated”) and panicked Googling of symptoms/contagious-ness of TB to check that the vaccine doesn’t run out or stop working…we were all on high alert!!

If he has it, I may need to be tested since I work closely with the family and am considered high risk as I’m quite immunosuppresed – but that’s all just another adventure that I’ll take if it happens.

Roll on Saturday…just need to cope through tomorrow first.

-x-