Tag Archives: chronic pain

Update: Tricycle, Design, and a Summer Goodbye

10 Apr

I am closing the Curvalicious Blog because of other commitments and don’t have the time to post regularly.  The blog will still be ‘open’ – the posts are still there to read – I just won’t be posting in this blog anymore. 

Anyway, despite so many viewings – yes, I can see you Visitors! – hardly any comments are left.  Maybe I have bored you too death already?  But then, good manners are out of date now, aren’t they?

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I’ve enrolled on an Eco Building Design course, level 3.  I knew that after my health had let me down, that for sure, I wanted to learn ‘design’, as whatever the medium, I love to create.  The combination of my limited mobility and constant, sometimes extraordinarily high pain levels, forced me to give up on the Fashion Design course at the local college – and after working so hard to be accepted on it, that was really a blow.  So I turned online and found a good college, and one of their qualificating bodies I recognised from my dressmaking class, the NCFE; and chose to do a paper based, home learning course.   

Architecture and interior design has always fascinated me, so I may then go on to studying and gaining a Spatial and Furniture Design degree next year…

Of course I still love sewing, but after my level 1 Dressmaking, there was not a single level 2, progressive course to take in my area – I live right out ‘in the Wilds of Norfolk!’ and cannot afford a long commute.  (For those of you who complain about the cost of living, and the cost of petrol / gas – think about us poor buggers in the UK:  in some areas people pay £1.50 a litre!!!  Daylight robbery, but I don’t want to get on a political rant.  The sun is shining, the birds are peeping and I don’t want to get really upset.)

I am sewing (just completed a garden cushion for the tortoise summerhouse) and have a waistcoat project for my mum to start, and a couple of characters to make as a surprise for a friend.  As well as the few summer skirts that are hanging about waiting for zips and a few finishing stitches.

This spring I managed to almost single handedly clear, clean and tidy the summerhouse in the back garden: the very spot in which I will be studying.  The body is weak, but the will is strong 😉

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Healthwise, everyone is still confused, even though some pretend to know.  (But isn’t that what people do anyway as they journey through Life?!)  I do believe that the physical battering my body endured some years ago, where I thought my attacker was actually going to kill me, has a lot to do with it…the left hip was especially assaulted – no, I won’t going into details. 

Just:  I am lucky to be alive, but my abuser got away free, still denies the attack to this day; he’s a ‘Born Again Christian’ – yeah right, the type that conveniently use Christianity as a means of hiding their monster. 

And…being a natural curvalicious, with boobs that even Dolly Parton never knew could be God given, puts a terrible strain on my back.  Believe me ladies, big boobs are NOT fun.  I cannot wait for my reduction.

At least I’m getting somewhat regular physio now and have a tricycle to collect next week, so I can attempt my own rehab along with that of the NHS.  The tricycle is adorable, I was surprised to find they exist for adults 🙂   Can I Walk again?  Might it take an actual hip replacement to righten things?  I’m 38 and for 3 years and 4 months I’ve lived with chronic pain, partial hip dislocations and all the other misery that goes with it: medical professionals and governmental bodies (refused’Disability’) not taking me seriously, exclusions from trips and going out with my family (I missed so much time with my parents, and now my father is no longer here), and hence: a lacking social life, fatigue, depression, further loss of confidence (things were tough BEFORE!), isolation…  My goodness, am I getting you down? 😉

But

I like to remember something really nice my dad said, and more often than not, the old bugger was highly critical of me…  “And Steff, you couldn’t wait to be born, you were too excited to start living.” 

Miss you Dad.

Mum and Fiance, thank you for your love and support.  It never goes un-noticed or un-appreciated.

And, Rita, if you’re reading this, we WILL get that interview done 😉

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There might be another blog to accompany my web site www.StephanieFaith.net but it’s early days yet.

Thanks to everyone who enjoyed reading and took a moment to write me a comment.

Have a lovely Summer.  It seems to have begun 😉

S tephanie F aith

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Making Soft Toys

30 Dec

Because of living with chronic pain and unable to do much physically, and needing to keep sane(!) I started stitching.

My embroided design of Ladybird Mum and Child, inspired by a 1920's style metal ladybird - - - 2009

I started with fat quarters printed with all kinds of designs and made cushions.  I even made a special cushion, a kind of scrapbooking technique of applique and x stitch; a gift for my cousin.

Scrapbooking kind of cushion for my cousin.

I X stitched (cross stitched) a lot, something I used to do in my mid 20’s (I am a late starter to stitching, never had the confidence until that point!) and started creating my own designs.

One of my X stitch designs, stitched up: Baby Tortoise. (You can find the free pattern on my blog).

I also made / make bags

A knitting bag I made for an online friend in a craft swap.

My Hermann tortoise, Daisy Elizabeth inspired me into making many soft toy tortys!

The First Soft Toy Tortoise I made, 2007

But I didn’t just create tortoises, I made a dog (Chester the Jack Russell is behind that one I think), dolls, assorted sea creatures, zombie and bunnies.

Floral Scotty Dog, 2009

A few of my Soft Toy creations are for sale at The Little Log Cabin, here – – – and soon here.

For those of you interested in having a go yourself at soft toy and doll making I searched the net and came across this free fun tutorial by Octavia.

Make toys like Octavia

More Interesting Links for Soft Toy Making – – –

Materials for making soft toys at Fred Aldous (for UK residents)

More inspiration (and differing styles) from… Louie Louie Bebe ; and, Salley Mavor ; and, Kitty Pink Stars.

Perhaps the most famous antique collectors’ toys, Steiff (UK).

I’m so excited, will be getting this book any day now! 😛

For sale @ The Little Log Cabin

Chronic Pain and Dangerous Plastics

4 Dec

Be informed: Could your immediate environment be making you sick?
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

I think I know now completely (without the aid of professionally trained doctors) what my chronic pain of 2 years and 2 months actually is. (You may want to, as it is connected to this, view my other Mobility Problems post).

October 2007 – I suddenly started experiencing horrendous back and left hip pain. I went to the NHS docs who didn’t take me seriously…was told by a male gp with a smile, yes, your back problems are related to the weight of your chest. Was later told by another (female) gp, in other words, that I should be happy having what Mother Nature had endowed me, other women (like herself) weren’t so lucky. Neither of these health professionals among a few others including a cosmetic surgeon treated and cared for me in a professional manner. I could detail so much more but this post isn’t about the shoddy service I’ve received. I will just give you a brief timeline of what happened regarding the Chronic Pain…

So I was told to lose 16 pounds so I could qualify for the NHS breast reduction surgery. Not easy to do when you can’t move. But each week I managed to usually lose a pound or 2 and came pretty near the weight they wanted. At this point I was only given paracetamol for pain relief.

Spring / Summer 2008 – The pain worsened to the point of hardly being able to walk – well, if walking is what you can call tiny tiny steps shuffled as if I was 100. Whenever I had to walk more, my fiance either pushed me in a wheelchair, or I used a stick. Parents were horrified, they paid for private physio treatment.

PhysioLady said: “You’ve got a partial hip dislocation. Your spine is a little too curved and your large breasts are putting a pressure on your back…these things don’t help”.

I had a meeting with the cosmetic surgeon for the breast reduction. He was enraged when seeing me in a wheelchair in so much pain…Why didn’t you have a Back Specialist?! He said he would write a letter. 4 weeks later he still hadn’t written that letter despite my regular phone calls to chase it up. I don’t know when it finally got through, I was so tired of it all – the constant pain, the constant fear of what I have, the constant battle with getting the right help – and gave up phoning.

Autumn 2008 – I tried Codeine but it felt like I was giving birth out of my backside. 6 months later: No thanks, not again, I told the doc. He said, “why don’t you take the Codeine…?” (Mmmm typical, I knew you weren’t listening to me again).

Winter 2008 – You’ve had another dislocation, PhysioLady said. She pulled the leg again and put it right again. My Angel.

Spring 2009 – Pain is different, increased, stabbing…a 3rd dislocation! PhysioLady fixes it again. I am now paranoid about lifting heavyish things (the day I felt that dislocation happen – something inside slipped and moved! – I had carried a few food items while shopping, carried too many library books). PhysioLady says I should do my stretching exercises as she showed me from the beginning, and sometimes repeated dislocations just happen to some people.

Fiance back in Canada posts bottles of Canadian Robax which contains the ingredient METHOCARBAMOL. Love these pills! They soothe, relax…only vodka is the best pain killer of all but I don’t want to go that route. However, throughout the 2 years and 2 months pain levels are a CONSTANT in my life, every day, every night – ranging from (sadly just a couple of times) low levels where I almost feel no pain – to monsterous jabbing pains racing up my spine, or down my buttocks and legs; aching, gnawing pains; pains that wake me from deep sleep; pains that leave me unable to function like an able bodied person and that is every day regardless even if the pain level is low. And then there’s the fatigue and depression.

Summer 2009 – I ask the doc for METHOCARBAMOL. He looks in his little medical book, it ain’t there. He looks online, ahh! it isn’t used much in the UK but he will prescribe it for me. Thank you Doctor. But…they’re addictive and in a far higher dosage, can’t put them on the regular prescription, just take them on my Bad Days. So I ask for ibroprufen too so I can make a cocktail “Pain Killer”.

Autumn 2009 – Don’t eat much meat these days (almost vegi / fishy – tarian now) and not much fat. (The reason for this began with wanting to eat healthy, and then the weight loss, and then the cost of meat was too high, and then I felt guilty about slaughtering animals!) However I (was) partial to Fish ‘n’ Chips…well, Chicken Pie ‘n’ Chips. But the METHOCARBAMOL reacted badly when I ate just some chips and half a chicken pie that had obviously also been deep fried. I had a week of misery, such a bad stomach upset…learning I can’t eat any fatty food whatsoever while taking these meds. I decide to split the 750 mg into two. Just for the Really Bad Days.

Wanting to know MORE about my Hip Dislocations I naturally surfed the net…which led me to an article about ENDOMETRIOSIS http://painjoint.blogspot.com/2009/01/understanding-endometriosis-hip-joint.html and the more I read the more I thought THIS IS WHAT I HAVE!!! WHY DIDN’T THE DOCTORS KNOW? WHY DIDN’T THE DOCTORS PROPERLY INVESTIGATE?

Yesterday on my dressmaking course a woman told me that she had / has it! I was very surprised. I don’t know much about this illness / condition, and apparently her daughter has it too. She said I think you do have it by the way you walk (I sort of shuffle, so careful not to move into, across my hips). She advised me to take a special test and now I can’t recall the name of it, but it begins with “S”. She was so nice and helpful and we ended up exchanging phone numbers.

So yesterday evening I drove home in a weird elated frame of mind, thinking I’m finally getting somewhere with this…finding out WHAT it is…and getting the RIGHT TREATMENT (there is an appointment with the pain relief clinic next week; but I will ask for an investigation into ENDOMETRIOSIS too). To date I’ve had an x ray and blood tests, but no scan.

And as for the latter part of this blog – The Dangerous Plastics bit – I starting searching on probable causes of ENDOMETRIOSIS and came across the plastic BPA (Bisphenol A), which is known for simulating the female hormone Estrogen, and in higher doses, IS linked to infertility, cancer, ENDOMETRIOSIS, obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and behavourial problems such as hyperactivity and aggression. Very worrying I think. Too important for ANYONE to ignore.

Be informed of the risks of certain plastics! Tell others about this. I’ve embedded this video from Breast Cancer UK. You may not be female, you may not be in the UK, but this is a worldwide issue that governments aren’t paying enough attention to and everyone (men as well as women) needs to be aware of. There is also an open letter from Scottish Breast Cancer and various references at the very end of this blog.

– – –
Letter posted on Pink Ribbon – 10th November 2009

Dear Pink Ribbon,

The constant refutation by those in the cancer industry who stand to lose out if harmful chemicals are banned is to say the least tiresome.

How much evidence is needed before the precautionary principle is applied to all known carcinogenic substances?

The evidence that endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are contributing to the increasing incidence of breast cancer is growing on a daily basis. The most comprehensive compilation of this evidence to date is /The State of the Evidence/ (Fifth Edition, 2008), published by the Breast Cancer Fund in the US.

Bisphenol A, just one of many known EDCs, has already been listed as a toxic substance in Canada, which has been the first country in the world to ban the sale and import of all baby bottles/products containing BPA. Many states in the USA have also banned the use of this chemical in baby products. How long must we wait for the UK to follow suit?

It is, to say the least, insulting to hear the continual onslaught on female diet and lifestyle when we know that less than half of breast cancer cases can be attributed to these causes. The impact of chemical toxins in the environment, including personal care products, begs investigation so that woman can be honestly informed to enable them to make choices which suit them.

The persistent emphasis on alcohol consumption and weight in relation to breast cancer by the media and cancer charities has become insulting to the many women who work hard, eat well and try to enjoy life while staying within the recommended limits. Most breast cancer survivors are /not guilty as charged/ of high levels of alcohol consumption and/or poor diet. The image of an obese, drunken ladette is not what is witnessed in most breast clinics.

Scottish Breast Cancer Campaign

Reference –
http://euphoriamaternity.wordpress.com/tag/bpa/
http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/132/the-real-story-on-bpa.html?page=0%2C0
http://www.scottishbreastcancercampaign.org/
http://www.chemicalshealthmonitor.org/spip.php?article429
http://www.antiplastic.org/