Done it.

 

I made it out yesterday, and I actually walked around B&Q and the Range, we had a good shop and bought several plants for the new raised beds, also bought some paint to decorate the new study now that we have had the French windows put in, so all in all a good day. I was a little stressed out the day before, thinking of going out but as I new the shops it was not to bad. The only thing now is I can hardly move all my joints are hurting, guess it’s the most exercise I’ve done for a long time. Caz has put the plants into the bed, I managed to plant two, and put in some seeds, it all looks great I’m very pleased with what we achieved, thanks to Caz.I have also started a new batch of sourdough bread starter, I’m going to get back to making all our own bread again, it’s much nicer, but I also don’t want to be eating so much bread and so it is part of my plan for changing our lifestyle, by eating less processed foods and making it as fresh as you can, so we shall see how that progresses on.

It’s great now that we have the French windows in, it brings the house and garden much more together, and that’s important to me, being able to just step out into the garden, or sit with the doors open but still feel part of the garden, it’s lovely. We have a deep red rose in the garden, it’s one we brought with us when we moved here I guess it must be over 20 years old, we know it as our Aunty Babs rose as it was bought for us by my much loved and very much now missed aunty Babs. The scent from the rose just fills the garden and will now hopefully also fill the house, it flowers all summer long and is the heart of our garden, a very treasured plant.

I also love photography and would love to be able to get out more and to do more of it, when we first moved here I was able to get about more and took some beautiful shots of this amazing island. I have just sold my Dslr camera because I was not using it, but also because I find it difficult to cope with the weight and all the lenses that go with it, so I bought both myself and Caz a Canon Powershot G5x camera, it’s a lovely little camera and easy to transport, and has wifi which is great for blogging, I still have my older Nikon D7000 and some lenses it’s a great camera too but not so portable for me, walking with a stick and sometimes crutches makes carrying a Dslr difficult. Well I’ll have to post some of my photography soon for you to see hopefully you’ll like them. I feeling less stressed at the moment as we have now decided not to take another trip away this coming weekend, though inside I know we will be soon, but it takes the pressure off for now, I really want to be able to just get up and go away at a drop of the hat, but it’s so difficult and stressful I sometimes wonder is it all worth it. Hope you all have a great day and achieve all you want to……

The Plants that we bought.
Planted up.
From the other side
Aunty Babs Rose

Jam, scones & health plan

 

Well the jam turned out great, and I must say gooseberry jam is now my all time favourite jam, and of course I didn’t just make the jam I also made scones too, now I just need to get to the shops for some clotted cream lol. Its great using fresh produce from your own garden to make your own preserves, its extremely therapeutic, I must get back to making our own bread another therapeutic and tasty task, and you can’t beat home made sourdough bread. I want to devise a new healthy menu for my wife and I, we have been vegetarian for some 14 years now, but I feel our diet could be a lot healthier which may or may not help with some of my health issues.I have been diagnosed with MCI (Mild Cognitive Impairment) which does worry me as my father developed vascular dementia, but I mustn’t get worrying about things that might not come to pass, I have enough issues to tackle as it is. So hopefully a change of diet will help some of these ailments, I want to try to get some exercise going too obviously I have had issues moving around with my legs being so large, but now with the help of my Farrow Wraps, my legs are a lot smaller so I need to get walking more, I now have an activity tracker and hopefully I can set some goals a steadily up my activity. As for our diet I want to make it as free from processed food as possible and as much as I can make everything fresh (home made).

I must say I loved my career as a chef, though I feel today I have probably forgotten a lot of what I used to know, but I still enjoy cooking, and sometimes long for that life of running a kitchen, till my body tells me not to even think about it, lymphoedema can really suck! Somedays it feels as if both your legs have been plunged into boiling oil, thank God though it’s not every day that it’s like that. It was about two years ago now that I had a open wound start on the back of my left leg which just got bigger and bigger, it becoming infected and would not heal, it all seemed never ending and I was about as low as one can get, but they did heal and the Farrow Wraps now stop my legs from swelling and splitting again, then last July 2016, I started to feel a little unwell, went for a lie down, woke up feeling worse, couldn’t stop shaking, my wife and daughter called an ambulance and I was rushed into hospital, turned out to be sepsis terrifying how quickly it started and went out of control, I spent a week in hospital and don’t ever want to experience that again.

Today we are off to the garden centre if I can do it, To get a few things for the garden, not sure quite what yet but we shall see and I’ll let you know. Well I’m not sure how I’m doing as a blogger, I’m getting a few followers, and views which is great, it’s all still a bit new but I’m learning fast, not to sure what the difference between a viewer and a visitor is, but your are all welcome lol.

Gooseberry jam

Gooseberry jam & scones

Anxiety 

 

Anxiety! I guess it effects everyone in different ways but for me it’s like drowning, I gasp for Air my legs are like jelly, and I’m just filled with panic, and it seems the more you try to think it out, to try and see how silly it is to be like this, then the worse it all becomes, as if your overthinking things, all reasoning goes out the window and I’m just sinking, it’s best not to think at all, but how do you achieve that? I enjoy meditation though I don’t do it enough, but I should do it more, and will definitely try to do more.When we are going anywhere, like away in the eriba caravan, or hospital appointments or a family gathering then I will be worrying weeks before, it’s crippling I find it hard to concentrate on anything else, and my days just pass from one to another just sitting worrying, if I try to do anything else I am soon back to worrying, then before I know it it’s time to go, and everything comes to a head. On a good day, I find it hard to concentrate on more than one thing, for instance if I’m into playing my guitar then wouldn’t be able to then go and do some photography or any of the other thing I enjoy, I can only cope with one thing and that will carry on until I’m into something else then everything else will be on hold? I know it’s confusing.

I would love to be free from all this, but it’s just the tip of it all, the phobia of leaving home going out anywhere, I’ll only go to the shops early in the morning when they are quite, and even then I probably won’t go in, Caz does the shopping on her own. My head is filled with the thought of people looking at me, talking about me, and what if I do something that will draw attention to me, like fall over etc… and there is so very much more, so difficult to put into words.

These blogs are hopefully going to help, I am trying to turn things around and improve my life I want to tackle my weight, fitness, anxiety, phobias etc… and you can come along with me on all the good and bad times, but I want at the end to have my life back and stop being a prisoner, I want to be able to just jump in the car, hitch up the eriba caravan and head off on adventures, so I hope you stick around for the journey and thanks for listening.

Our Tilly.

 

Today I would like to tell you about our Tilly, she is our little Lancashire heeler and she is gorgeous, very stubborn but a great friend. Now our Tilly believes in democracy, if you tell her to get into her basket and you are in the room with her on your own, then she will obey and get into her basket. However if there is one, two or three more people in the room she will not get into her basket, unless every person asks her to, this is because there might just be one person in the room who might agree with her lol.
When we first got Tilly she was so very small the runt of the litter and when curled up she fitted in the centre of my cupped hands. At the time that she came to us, a ginger tom cat (Tatty) had adopted us, he was a big softy who dribbled and had decided to take up residence in our polly tunnel, when Tilly met him they fell in love and each of them would take their turn every morning to wash and clean the other, then chase each other around the garden, again each one taking the turn of the chaser. Sadly one day Tatty did not come, we later found out that a drunk driver had run him down, it broke all our hearts, but I think mostly Tilly’s.
Tilly loves going on holidays in our eriba caravan, she loves the adventure, we just need to be able to get away more, a goal I need to reach, a phobia I need to defeat. I love it when we manage to get away it’s just the stress before going, panic attacks etc… the fear of leaving the house, sometimes it’s all to much, but we will cover this subject again. I guess poor old Tilly picks up on my feelings and becomes very excitable before leaving, she sometimes drives me up the wall but I would not no what to do if I was to lose her. Any how that’s our Tilly and I’m sure she will pop up now and then as I am blogging.

 

Tilly about one year old.
Tilly & Me holding hands

First blog post

 

Thanks for visiting my blog, I guess it’s always hard starting off, a bit like an artist making that first brush stroke on the canvas, but here goes, I’m basically going to chat about my life and how my symptoms effect my day to day life, and have stopped me from doing things I would love to be able to do.  Just as if you were sat in my front room with me, I will try and put over how I feel, tell you of the things that have helped me, and things that have set me back, prevented me from achieve my goals.

Now I have mention in my (about) page that I was diagnosed with lymphoedema in the 90s and if you are not sure what lymphoedema is, it is what was known as elephantiasis, some still call it that. Now if you are about to eat your breakfast, lunch or dinner, then I apologise and you may want to continue reading later when you have finished, it’s not a pretty sight but it is me, still human with feeling, just a little misshapen, this is a photo of my legs at their worst two years ago, and my life was pretty low then.


As I said not a pretty sight, I won’t show you the backs as they had open wounds approximately 4 inches which did not want to heal. Without wanting to bore you with to much detail, I felt, I was and I am let down by our local Lymphoedema NHS’s clinic, and if it had not been for the great support that I have received from my own doctors surgery, along with the incredible support and care of the district nurses, then my health may be a whole lot worse today.

It was after reading in a magazine for lymphoedema patients that I saw an add for Farrow Wraps, a compression garment for people like myself, but my lymphoedema clinic said they were no good, my doctor on the other hand supported me and got them for me, and they have transformed my life. I can now walk without my legs banging together, my legs are more normal now and do not attract so much attention as they did before, I feel more human.


As you can see, there’s a bit of a difference, (yet the professionals in this field in our area, said they do not work, shame on you!) however after living years with extremely large misshapen legs there were and still are side effects, anxieties, phobia and depression, this has made living the life I would love to live very difficult, but I want to change all that and I want to take you on that journey with me, I will update as much as I can, and will tell you tales of when I was a chef, take you on our journeys in our amazing Eriba caravan, maybe play some songs I wrote, show you photos I have taken, and much more, and hopefully I’ll make the goals I want to reach, defeat my fears and who knows maybe inspire you to tackle yours.

Well I did it, that’s the end of my very first blog, thanks for reading, hopefully you’ll come back.