Tag Archives: arthritis

Having a few days off

Yesterday I fell asleep instead of posting.

Tonight, after 12 hours helping bottle jerk seasoning I feel like my body is about to fall apart. From my bad back to my arthritic fingers I am a total wreck.

After a couple of hours my back started to seize. After six hours my knee went, closely followed by feet. After ten hours my fingers started failing. Then, after eleven hours, I lost the will to live.

I’m going to sleep now, and will see if I can do better tomorrow.

🙂

Sunday Morning Catch Up

I haven’t been particularly fluent in the last week and I’ve missed a few things out.

The anti-coagulant blood test came and went. They managed to get the blood first time and the next appointment is in two weeks time so things are back on track. I’m hoping to extend the interval so I only need monthly tests. I know someone who has quarterly tests, which would be even better.

We went to the farm on Friday, as I mentioned and found that Evie the sheep dog had died at the weekend. The general view is that she had eaten poison, though I’m not sure where she would have found any as all the rat poison round the place is put out properly in bait boxes. It’s not the best run farm but they do get that right.

She was bred to herd sheep, and as I mentioned when she first arrived she immediately tried to herd the Quercus group, but she was never properly trained and I’m not sure if she had a fulfilled life or not. She didn’t seem overly happy at times, which is a shame.

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The new puppy

The men in sheds were saying how good my bread was on Friday. This isn’t linked to any proper measure of quality, they just used to like getting free bread when I was practising and made too much. I said I didn’t bake these days as the kneading plays havoc with my arthritis. Next thing I knew I was being offered healing.

I’m not much of one for faith healing and that sort of thing, and was prepared to feel no benefit, but can’t say that was the case. There may have been some improvement for a couple of days, but it might just be wishful thinking. The jury is out, but I’m certainly not going to dismiss it. The improvement may show more about my imagination than about my arthritis, but even an imaginary improvement is worth having.

Then on Saturday I met a paranormal investigator. You’ll have to come back later for details, as I need to get down to the launderette now. Suffice to say that if I had doubts about healing…

 

Miracles do happen

Yesterday’s visit to the Bee-eaters was about as much walking as I wanted to do, but there was still half a day to fill and it seemed a shame not to use it. I won’t say too much now, as it will be reported in a later post, but I ended up walking so far that I could barely make it back to the car.

It doesn’t sound much, a total of around 2,000 yards, but compared to recent days when even 20 yards were a challenge, it’s a major achievement.

I was expecting to be crippled this morning. I was certainly aching last night. Starting from the top – my shoulders ached from using the stick so much, my back ached, my right hip ached (it’s on my problem side), my right knee ached (and wouldn’t bend or take my weight) and my feet ached. In some cases “ached” is an understatement, but you know me, I do hate to complain.

After talking to a lady at Bempton Cliffs (we spent a few minutes sitting and talking about bad knees) I have started taking two turmeric capsules a day. Result – almost no pain at all in my arthritic feet and a general reduction in aches and pains.

Turmeric is well known as an anti-inflammatory and in my case seems to work.

In addition, I did have a couple of ibuprofen after finishing the walk yesterday, and a couple of painkillers before going to bed.

This morning, I felt like I could leap out of bed and run round like a youngster once more. I managed to resist, but I could have done if I was a leaping and running sort of person.

I can’t put it all down to the turmeric, but it has certainly helped. Now all I need to do is talk to the doctor and anticoagulant clinic about it. I’m sure they won’t like it.

It’s frustrating that after months of taking things easy the solution was to eat curry powder and walk till it hurt.

No photos with this one – pictures of my feet tend not to attract readers. 🙂

Reasons to be cheerful

I’ve been working on my positivity, and I have many reasons to be cheerful. I have my health (well, most of it), I have my own gardening tools and I have plenty of room for books. I also have friends, a tolerant wife and a laptop.

What more could I want?

Well, I suppose the joints and bladder of youth would be handy, but I’d probably have to be ambitious and hard-working again, which isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Anyway, the joint aches started when I was still in my teens due to various accidents, so unless I’m prepared to set the clock back to 1968 and re-live the unpleasantness of my teens it’s not going to happen. In the absence of a time machine it’s not going to happen anyway, but you know what I mean.

That’s another thing to be cheerful about – I don’t have to go through all that teenage angst again.

Mainly, if I’m honest, I’m cheerful about having a digital camera. Compared the the old-fashioned film camera, which could hold thirty six exposures at a time, and where the film needed developing before you could see the results, the digital camera is cheap and efficient. I’m now able to take thirty six shots, instantly see the results and store hundreds of good shots on one small card. Due to the marvels of modern data storage I can also store thousands of poor shots – I really must learn to be more organised.

With a digital camera I can spend my time watchng birds, looking at old buildings and blogging. One day I will have to start earning a living again, but until that happens, I have plenty of reasons to be cheerful.

The pictures I’ve used here are just a selection of my favourites from the last few months.

 

 

Just when things seemed to be going well…

Yesterday we had a visit from Dr Jo Sempik, a leading academic in the field of Green Care and Care Farming, and five Korean visitors who were keen to know how the concept worked. I’m not sure that we actually know all the answers, or we’d be a lot better off, but we seemed to pass muster.

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This morning I had a steroid injection in the joint of my arthritic finger. I was just congratulating myself on zoning out the pain of having a needle inserted into my joint when the doctor depressed the plunger. I didn’t feel so pain free after that. It’s pretty good at the moment.

I’ve also been picking more of the harvest including my mini carrot harvest. I did mean them to be fashionably small but I might try to get them a bit bigger next year.

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That’s some of the group artwork in the background.

Finally, those nice people from Shipshape Arts loaded up their latest piece on a 40 foot lorry – which was only just big enough to fit everything in and only just small enough to get into the yard. If you think the man in the photo with the butterflies looks familiar, take a look at the Time Traveller scarecrow. Is it clear yet? He denies all similarity but I’m not so sure…

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Of course, there’s always a balance and today it came in the form of something that made my mind up about the way things have been going recently.

So if anyone knows of a job that would suit a fat man with multiple useless skills and a bad attitude to customers let me know – I’m likely to have a few days to fill in the near future.

I became self-employed because I didn’t like taking orders from idiots, but I’ll say no more. It is, after all, not a great thing to discuss in the sentence just after you’ve asked if anyone knows of any jobs going.

😉

What I learned today

I’ve been having a bad time of things. You may have guessed from some of the things I’ve written. But today I learned it doesn’t really matter.

A week ago I’d have seriously considered amputation as a cure for my arthritis; I was considering a shallow grave as a solution to a problem I was having with someone, and there was no hope. It’s also been raining copiously, which probably sounds great if you’re in California but isn’t great when you’re in the middle of harvest or trying to grow vegetables in clay soil.

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The lesson, which I should have learned before (and thought I had, if I’m honest) is that things pass.

My finger, indeed my whole body, is pain free as a result of the pills I’m on. The irritant is still irritating, but I decided to forgive her and make her as significant as dust.. So far that’s working. I now have hope again, though it’s a roller-coaster (more of that later) and the rain just stopped. Even before it had stopped I’d accepted that it will rain. Living in the UK you really can’t afford to get het up about the rain.

Anyway – hope…

We had two good, though tediously overlong, meetings yesterday and we’re now well on the road to finding an artist in residence. As part of that discussion we also talked to a few people about finding more groups to work with (hopefully in a profitable manner) and although we’ve been here fruitlessly before, my inner optimist says “Yes!”. .

Today we had a short meeting, which was good in itself. Even better, we now have a number of local doctors who know what we have to offer.

In a couple of weeks I may be less hopeful but for now, I have hope.

Tomorrow we have a leading academic and some overseas visitors. We’re clearly doing something right, but at the same time we’re failing to establish a financially sustainable project.

Away from all the grown-up stuff I’ve also had a good ladybird spotting session with the group, though much of it centred round the fact that not all ladybirds are red with black spots. Seems years of cartoonish ladybirds have set a precedent. You can’t be down for long when you have the group around.

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When the doctors arrived they gathered round like a flock of helpful locusts, telling them what we did and giving all sorts of helpful upbeat information. That’s the sort of testimonial you can’t buy, though they could perhaps have left out details of the post-lunch burping session.

I had to point out to the doctors that the winner (with six) didn’t have a medical condition, merely a talent for eructation.

One of those days in England

It’s warm and the only sounds I can hear are the rumbling of passing grain trailers and the buzzing of a wasp nosing around my empty cordial glass.

I presume wasps “nose”. They look like they have noses. In fact, when I watched them eating jam last week they looked like black and yellow terriers. If only they were furry with floppy ears they might get a better press.

In fact, as I finish that line the only thing I can hear is the wasp. Now there’s a pigeon too. The wasp is loudest though because it’s in the glass and that’s amplifying the sound.

We made fruit vinegar today, using gooseberries and blackcurrants from the freezer. It’s looking quite smart in its new bottles. Once we make the labels we’ll be ready to sell.

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But first we have to decide on a “best before” date. One version  of the recipe says 6 months and another says 12 months. The Food Standards Agency says that “best before” dates are about quality – it isn’t illegal to sell food after that date and it won’t harm you.

(“Use by” dates are a different matter and eating food after that date may well kill you. Try it by all means but don’t blame me for the consequences.)

Of course, if I was a cynic, I may suggest that “best before” dates are used by manufacturers to scare consumers into throwing away perfectly good food.

The good news is that my finger is improving and when the doctor saw it this morning they prescribed anti-inflammatories to complete the work that ice packs have begun.

The slightly less good news is that they also prescribed an antacid to stop the anti-inflammatory giving me an ulcer.

Next week they are going to give me a steroid injection.

I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forwards to that.

One of the things you can do with fruit vinegar is drizzle it on ice cream.

Seems good. After all, I am an invalid.