Saturday, 30 April 2016

The vegetables are growing

The girls were really excited today to see how big their vegetables have got.  We've removed the mesh cover now as the cauliflower leaves were pressing on it.  Lettuces are coming on well, as are carrots and onions.

I think I need to use some ties to help the peas to grow upwards, which I'll do tomorrow. Beans are flowering too.  It's all going well on the veg front.  Looking forward to picking some when they are ready.

I need to get some raspberry plants too shortly and we can grow them and some more strawberries too.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Wisley in April

We headed off to RHS Wisley today to have a nice early morning walk around.  Very quiet when we arrived at 9.30am and we headed off to see what flowers were about this time of year. S wanted to do some of her own photography with her camera so some of these shots are hers (and jolly good they are too).

One for Her Majesty's birthday

She's photographing her sister
And here's the photograph S took of N - sweet

S's photo of me

We also had no idea that there were bee hives at Wisley. We must go and look again once they are populated by bees.
Photo by S.
We ended our walk with an ice cream (in the very chilly weather) but we sat inside to eat it!

Saturday, 23 April 2016

The migraines are back

I've had just over 3 weeks of no migraines and really thought that I'd cracked it and wouldn't have any more (see my previous post).  It was wonderful to go from multiple migraines per week to nothing at all.  Surely this couldn't last?  It didn't :(

Last Friday, in the early hours of the morning (2am) I woke with an awful migraine.  I took Imigran and tried to get back to sleep. Pain was awful so after an hour or so with the Imigran not yet working, I took two Codeine tablets too.  Still no joy.  I did doze a bit but couldn't function properly in the morning so hubby took the girls to school and I stayed in bed.  Another day off work - not good!  I ended up needing 4 Imigran, 8 Codeine and 2 Ibuprofen that day to start to shift it.   The following day I had another Imigran and it finally went away.  What a lousy couple of days. Hopefully it was a one-off.
Image source
It was not.  Thursday this week I woke at - yep, you've guessed it - 2am (why?) with another migraine.  I took an Imigran and dozed off. A couple of hours later I woked up and it was better but not gone. I took 2 Codeine and dozed off again. I woke at 7am and felt pretty reasonable.  Hooray, a day I could function.  However, this was clearly no good so I called and spoke to my doctor who booked me in for the following day to try and sort this out.  The doctor said they clearly needed to stop the migraines from happening in the first place. They can't use their normal treatment of beta blockers because I'm asthmatic.  He therefore gave me Amiriptyline 10mg which I need to take nightly.  I start with 1 per night and see if the migraines stop. If not, I move steady up, week by week, to a maximum of 5 per night. That sounded a lot!  Anyway, I'm prepared to try anything to get these migraines to stop so I'll give them a go. Side effects include dry mouth and feeling dizzy but as I'm taking them at bedtime, that shouldn't be an issue (I always have a glass of water on the bedside cabinet anyway). 

I looked up the tablets when I got home and was shocked to see they were labelled an 'antidepressant'.  Talking to a friend who is in the medical world, she said it's amazing what they use for different conditions now. However, I found a very useful page about them that said they are no longer used for that but still labelled as such. Now they are used for pain.  Made me feel better (also due to concerns I had about stopping them - we've all heard horror stories of people trying to stop antidepressants haven't we). I also found this useful article on Amitriptyline (better to read that than the scare-mongering you'll find on forums around the Internet).

Fingers crossed this will stop the migraines (at the lowest dose please!).  I've another friend who is on a different tablet and has taken them for the past 10 years to stop hers successfully so there are more options if this doesn't work.  I'm feeling optimistic.  

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Cold sore and immunity levels

Poor S has had yet another cold sore pop up. She's very susceptible to them and they appear around every 6 weeks to 2 months it seems.  This has been going on since she was around 3-4 years old (see this post).  Today, I took her to a new doctor who has joined our practice and he took a good look at it today.

The problem has been that because they crust over so quickly, they've been mistaken for Impetigo (see this post) on more than one occasion.  It's jolly hard getting an appointment with a doctor during the week, never mind on a weekend when they flare up!  So, consequently, hardly any doctor has ever seen the 'blister' stage. I really must remember to photograph the next one immediately.  

S is really good about them. She recognises the 'tingle' now and we get Zovirax on straight away.  Fortunately for us, this doctor also prescribed some for her now too so we can get that on repeat.  He also said that there seems to be a secondary infection that does look rather impetigo-ish.  However, because it happens every time she gets a cold sore, it's unlikely to be impetigo itself but the crusting is more unusual.  Subsequently, because the skin at the bottom of her lip/mouth is so sensitive now, almost anything can cause the cold sore to emerge.  What's worse this time - as you may have noticed - is that she has one for the first time ever on her top lip too.  Poor little soul. She keeps catching that one on her toothbrush, towel, fork...just about everything that touches your lips.  He's given her antibiotics for the secondary infection too.

The doctor has said he would like to check her immunity by doing a blood test as well as she may have an issue there. I'm glad that he's looking at other things to try and work out why she gets these so much.  Shame we can't get a blood test until the end of next month (literally, the very last day!) but at least we have one booked and may get to the bottom of the recurring cold sores.  I just hope the top lip one is a 'one-off' occurrence.  

S is 7 now and very conscious of her cold sores.  She says people ask her at school what it is and does it hurt.  She would rather they didn't notice.  She loves to try and hide it with a Compeed patch when it's not crusty, but at this stage in it's decline, it's quite hard to hide. 

Let's hope we get to the bottom of the cold sores this time.

Monday, 11 April 2016

Out with the old

I decided to have a jolly good turn out of my wardrobe yesterday. I'd been keeping piles of clothes that I was sure were no good for me any more.  It was really refreshing to go through them and try things on and see what I did and didn't like any more.  

Best of all was trying on pairs of jeans that had been sitting on the bottom shelf of the wardrobe for over a year as I was too fat to get into them.  The good news is that I can get into them now. The bad news is that they are too big for me!  I now have only 1 pair of jeans that actually fit!  The rest are held up with a belt.  Never thought that would be the case. The biggest joy was putting on the pair I wore in August last year that I was photographed in that started my Slimming World journey. They were enormous!  I had about 4 inches of waistline less than I did then and they hung on me. I could put them on without undoing the button and zip!!  

Today I weighed in and have lost another 1lb. I'm delighted, especially as I'd not put on my 'weighing in clothes' and went in a pair of jeans (which I know weigh 1-2lb).  I've even bought myself a bikini for my holiday - go me!  I've also bought some pairs of M&S shorts as all the ones in my wardrobe were huge now (yay!).  I've still got over 1st to go but I'm hoping I can shift at least half of that before my holiday. Love Slimming World and the support of our awesome little group :)

Friday, 8 April 2016

Children's book illustrator

S, my 7 year old, love art. I mean really, really, really loves art. Not only that, she's pretty good at it too.  She amazes me with some of the images she draws both from her head, and copying.  Here is an example of a coaster that we have that she copied. Isn't that cool?

S would like to do art full-time.  I think she's got a natural talent for it too.  So, does anyone out there want to hire a 7 year old to illustrate children's books? She's got such a lovely imagination and takes such care over her drawings.

She's been reading Paddington books and simply loves the adventures and mischief that he gets into.  She decided to draw his adventures from what she's read.

I am wondering if there is anywhere that would offer an art scholarship for her as she moves from primary to secondary school.  Worth thinking about right?

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Ed's Easy Diner

We went to try out our local Ed's Easy Diner this week as it looked a fun place to go.  I like the American style diners and so the girls and I headed off to have lunch.  We had not looked at the menu (big mistake!) and just ordered some drinks to start with.  Well, being a diner, the teen and I went for milkshakes, and the youngest two had fanta.  The milkshakes came and they were pretty amazing. It was only then, as I turned the menu over that I spotted they were £4.55 each! Now I'm used to paying a bit over the odds at times but that really did seem like an awful lot of money for milk and ice cream, even though the container gave you two glasses (the glasses were not big so bit of an illusion here I felt).

The children's menu had 3 items on it - burger, hot dog or chicken tenders - for £4.65.  This was a non-impressive start.  I would expect, in this day and age, to have a bit more variety on the menu.  Youngest ordered the tenders.  They came with chips.  Drinks were extra.  Teen ordered the chicken and bacon melt.  Now, here's the rub, to get fries with your meal you have to order them *separately* (WTF?) or have the 'Ed's Plate' which comes with them, plus some onion rings and a small pot of coleslaw.  I've never been anywhere that offers a 'meal' without anything with it.  So you look at the prices - around £7.90 for a burger or a plate and think it's reasonable.  It's not!  At £7.95 for the meal and then £2.95 for the fries (£10.90) she went for the plate which was £11.95.  Really? £11.95 for chicken and bacon, or a burger? Serious prices here.

I went for the plate as well as I was sharing mine with my 7 year old (she's not keen on this type of food). I had the chicken dippers plate for £11.60.  Now we waited.

The food was ok.  Teen's meal was very, very average and mine was equally so.  I got around 7 goujons, which were nice but nothing spectacular.  7 year old, who was sharing, said "these taste just like McDonalds ones" (her favourites - they have the chicken there a couple of times per year) and I thought to myself, 'yes, they do, but at least at McDonalds it's only cost me a fiver!'.  The chips, no matter how much salt I seemed to put on them were just plain bland and flavourless (teen agreed).  Coleslaw was quite nice but I didn't want too much of it and onion rings were very, very greasy.

Suffice to say, we didn't stop for dessert.  Our bill came to just over £38 for 1 childs meal and 2 adult meals plus soft drinks (we had one drink each). I'm not impressed and when I compare Ed's to places like TGI, for the menu choice alone, it falls short.  Would I go back? No, never.  Too expensive, menu too limited and food extremely bland.