Wednesday 31 July 2019

More health news

Our home is a home filled with pills. Out of us three, two have to take medication on a daily basis. My mother is the only one who doesn't. That doesn't mean however that she is without her medical problems. 

As you probably remember, my mother was diagnosed with bowel cancer a couple of years ago. They caught it in the early stages and she was given the all clear eventually. But, as with all cancers, she has to have regular check-ups. Yesterday was one such and she came out with a positive result! Next year is the next check-up. This was happy news.

My father is not free of medication. His 'illness of choice' being diabetes. He has worked really hard in losing weight and getting this, that and the other down and yesterday he had his check-up. His doctor was really pleased with his progress. Keep up the good work. 

And lastly there's me. I take daily medication for migraines (the beta blockers) which really help. I have not had a migraine attack in several months now (the headaches are not migraine related, but bad body posture related). The other medication is for endometriosis.

First of all: endometriosis is a condition where the female body decides that the eggs released are foreign bodies and decides to treat them accordingly. They encapsulate the 'foreign body', but then don't seem to stop. In my case it had not only encapsulated the 'fb', but also part of the urinal tract and the bowels. Turning a quite harmless condition (most women have it to a certain degree) into a potentially lethal one. 

I had my operation in 2015 and since then I have been using the anti conception pill to combat a re-occurrence. It basically stops the endometrium in the uterus or belly cavity to react and cause more problems. But, despite using the pill, I had never had a check-up since. I wanted answers.

Yesterday I went to see a gynaecologist, after having asked my gp for a referral. He listened to my story and checked me out down there. 'The Norwegians had done a good job, both in the operation as in the advice regarding the pill departments'. He couldn't see anything wrong, nor could he really find my remaining ovary, which apparently shrivels up with age. 

He then told me that as most Dutch women go through menopause between 50 and 52, he felt that if I were to take the pill for two more years, that would be enough. When I turn 50 I can stop taking the pill and any problem arising from the endometriosis will be dealt with and removed when I go through the change.

So, that's us three! We may not be the healthiest family, but we all got good news yesterday!

Tuesday 30 July 2019

Blisteringly hot

One thing I have in my arsenal to combat the headaches is heat pads. Last year I used them with my bout of lumbago and they really did the trick. I also have been using them in my neck a fair bit. However, there was one area that I hadn't used them on yet: my middle back, where most tension seems to gather.

During the week I am fine with short and long shifts alike. We have decent enough buses that have enough give in the seats to absorb some of the hits and knocks I get from the road. During the weekend however, we drive buses that seem to have concrete seats. No give at all. Which means that shorter shifts are best for me. 

Saturday started fine and I felt I could forego the pads. It was a short shift and if I stayed moving after my shift, I should be okay. And I would have been too, had it not been for those famous circumstances changing. Instead of my 5 hour shift, I ended up working for closer to 12! But, the back and the head were fine.

On Sunday I had another short shift and this time I did want to use a pad, just to be on the safe side and to remedy the day before. I put it on, put my bra on and left for work. The shift was five hours and remained five hours (yippee). When I got home I removed the pad in my neck, which is always bugging me, but the one on my back stayed on. And on. 

Late at night I realised my bra was starting to 'work' a bit. Anybody who has ever worn a bra that may not be exactly right, knows what I mean. So, I took it off. And the pad as well. It hurt. When I looked in the mirror, I saw blisters, one of which was open. In a spot I would never be able to reach as I am not a contortionist!

I thought at first that the blisters had come from the bra. In a way they did as well. However, the heat pad caused most problems. I was warned about it on the box as well: too long on too thin skin... And covering a pad with a bra strap was just asking for trouble. Pressing the heat pad down into the skin. At least the blisters are in a neat row.

But: NO HEADACHE, which was the goal!!

Thursday 25 July 2019

A bigger update

I have to start with Miss Oswin of course. Who is being stubborn and not wanting to use the plastic pellets at all. However, she needs to, because I have to collect another sample to take to the vet's to get checked. 

She was off her food (starting before she got her first dose of meds) and even her treats, but after a couple of days she seemed to be feeling a bit better and started eating again. I had given her plenty of wet food, always mixed with a bit of water as well and she would get her syringe of meds and then a syringe of water. No food is one thing, but no water was very much not good.

Back in 1992, when I was used to very hot
Especially as the temperatures were going up. And up. And up. Yesterday a nearly 75-year old record was broken as the highest temperature ever was measured. Well, since measuring began anyway! They are expecting it to go even higher today. Close to 40 degrees. Body temperature sits around 37, so you can imagine it's a bit warm...

The temperatures are expected to drop as of Saturday, but not by much. It will still be hot. Just not very hot! And they will stay very warm to hot for some time. Joy.

When I was at work the other day my mother took a phone call. The gynaecologist had an opening and would I be interested. After some detective work from my mother regarding the work rota I have, she accepted. Which means that on Tuesday I will see the gynaecologist regarding the endometriosis and the pill. 

In other health news: I decided to skip the walking this week. I don't mind walking when it's warm (I did last week), but very hot is another matter that could be very dangerous. Especially as I have some extra weight, am not trained and not used to this weather. So, I will continue again when we are back in regular summer temps.

In the mean time though: ICE CREAMS!

Friday 19 July 2019

A little update

In the neighbourhood
Miss Oswin has told you about her encounter with the plastic, she didn't tell you however about how she lost her appetite. It started already before she got her first medication. Normally she would eat a lot of her dry food during the day, leaving only a nominal amount (or nothing) to last through the night. Last Monday, she ate a nominal amount and left the rest!

They are everywhere in the area right now
Which basically means that whenever she eats now, she is complimented and praised. Not sure how much that works in cats, but she is still eating, albeit less than normal. Not even her normal treats are in favour at the moment. It will come again. 

Still in the neighbourhood
However, another thing that she did a lot (lick her belly) has disappeared completely. The painkillers/anti inflammatory drugs seem to help in that respect. She gets it by syringe and after her meds, she gets another syringe full of water. She doesn't like it much, but she seems to be okay with it. Other than that, she is her bright self, alert and happy enough I guess.

Not too sure about those
But that is not all that has happened. I finally got paid again. I get paid weekly and for the past few weeks that didn't happen. They had changed the system at work again and the people responsible to log the hours and send it off to the temping agency were swamped basically. But I finally got some money again, which was good, especially as it was a nice high amount!

In the National Park not far from where I live
I have had a headache now for quite some time and the pilates thing is not happening just yet. What with holidays and such, I felt it would be easier to wait a few weeks and then get started. In the mean time I have started to walk though and even before Yamini mentioned it, I had started using a great site that maps my walks. Literally! 

I have to get back there in the autumn
It shows me exactly where I have walked, all squiggly lines and all. After posting my first walk, I got some reactions, which was totally unexpected, but very welcome. People telling me to keep it up, but don't overdo it. Stuff like that. They really stuck a heart under my belt. 

Mmmm, real blueberries!
Another thing I wanted to get done was a visit to the gynaecologist. Ever since my operation four and a half years ago I have been taking medication (the pill), but have never had a check-up. I just want to know whether everything is still okay and as it should be, or that more action is needed. 

See, real blueberries on my face too!
Of course it is the summer time and they are completely booked through July and August. So, I have to call back in a few weeks' time to make an appointment as the new schedule for them doesn't come until early August. 

Other than that, everything is going okay I guess. I am going places (sort of anyway).

Tuesday 16 July 2019

Miss Oswin joins the fight against plastic


Even though I am a respectable feline and the mbc in the wwu, even I have to visit a certain place from time to time. The little kitty's room so to say. Nice and private with a roof and a door. So, imagine my surprise on Sunday when my lovely room had gone!

Instead there was a washing up bowl filled to the millimeter with some plastic thingies. Definitely not my high absorbant clay pellets that you can really dig down in. Not even the wooden pellets that fall apart when you look at them. Just plastic little pellets that don't do a thing! Well, I wasn't going to use that!!

But then on Monday morning, I really really really had to go. I was thinking about rebelling, but only for a minute. So, I went on the open to all bowl and well... did what any well brought up lady does. I peed!

Not ten minutes later, guess what: my own private room was there again! As if by magic. While Mara was working in the kitchen doing something with ehm, my P? And then she threw the pellets with the P away! Those two-leggers sure are funny.

She had better keep my little private room there where it belongs from now on, because next time I might just rebel. Jus' sayin'...

Note from the editor: I have recently noticed that Miss O was licking her tummy a lot. A LOT! And when we visited the vet last Friday for her annual check-up (all okay), the vet thought it might be one of three things: bladder infection, allergy or stress. So, we had to do a P-test. Which came back as P with blood and infection cells. She now has a treatment course for ten days after which another bout of plastic pellets will decide whether it has cleared up or not!

Monday 15 July 2019

Body and mind

Anybody who has had problems with their physical health will know what impact it has on your mental health. Likewise the other way around. And over the last few years I have experienced both. And both left me in a state of negativity really.

You may know I suffer from headaches and have done so for most of my life. Some of those headaches are migraines which my gp and I have now dealt with using beta blockers. Yes, my heart rate and blood pressure go down, but also yes: no more calling in sick because I can barely look straight ahead.

Unfortunately however, the other type of headache I suffer from is still there and seemingly getting worse. Especially after weekend driving which takes place in buses with concrete blocks for seats. My back and my neck and my shoulders tense up, resulting in quite bad headaches for several days after. No over the counter medication works and I have tried them all. 

I went back to my gp. And he realised no medication would work. Or physio therapy for that matter. What I need is a renewed acquaintance with my body. He raved about Pilates and suggested I take it up. It would cost me, it would need dedication from me, but, if done right, it would help me in the long run. Did I mention it's the summer holiday? 

So, what has this thing to do with my mental state of mind (that sounds wrong)? Because I have suffered from those headaches for nearly twenty years now and am quite used to them. In themselves, nothing. But add them to the other physical problems I have now (eczema, knees that give out on occasion) it just gets you down. 

The former power plant close by. It has mostly been demolished now.
And it wasn't as if I was up in the first place! Yes, this move to the Netherlands has been a good move. But I feel lost. I am struggling with what to do with my life, what I want to do when I grow up. I would like my own place, yet know that the place I would want is not available for a while yet (read about 2-5 years?). I have a place at my parents, but would like my own stuff around me if nothing else. 

After I had my operation four years ago and then three months later my mental breakdown, I gave myself until December 31st of that year to 'wallow' and be down. After that: STOP! And I did. I got my act together again. I started doing things and eventually even took part in and finished a triathlon. However, over the last year and a bit, I have done squat. Nothing at all. In NI I was hardly at home and when I was, there was other stuff to do. That's not an excuse anymore though. 

This pilates thing is not happening for a few weeks yet, but I needed to do something. And since I recently bought some walking shoes that still stood untouched in my room... I decided to walk again. Get out of the house. Have some music in my ears and a camera in my hand and walk. Which (and I am laughing at myself here) resulted in a nice big blister! 

I am not going far. I am not walking to Santiago de Compostela just yet, which would take me the better part of the year at my current pace (it's only about 2000 km from where I live), but I am getting out there which is very important to me. Get those cobwebs out of my head and find out what I want. So I can get healthy again, both body and mind.

Sunday 14 July 2019

Photo on Sunday 2019-26

Taken during a walk on Saturday

Monday 8 July 2019

The itch

It started before I left Northern Ireland. At the time I didn't know what it was, I just felt an itch and an itch needs scratching. Which I did. And did. And did some more. Until eventually my hand was bleeding, while the itch was still there. 

Then I started seeing dots on both hands. And guess what: they itched! I saw a doctor and she told me: eczema! What? I was told to use heavy duty fatty creme on my hands, I was prescribed some hormone stuff. But the itch continued. To my upper legs this time and to my upper arms. Fortunately both legs and arms don't itch as much, but the hands...

Yesterday my parents and I were talking about the back pain I had last year. Lumbago according to my dad. His father used to suffer from it, especially in the autumn. And then my grandmother had to rub cajaput oil on his back and that apparently relieved the pain somewhat. I had never heard of that oil, but we soon found out it came from the other side of the world: Australia/Indonesia and the word is Malay. It was a relative of the tea tree. 

I was familiar with the tea tree as I had used tea tree oil on one of my cats years ago to relief him of some itch he had. Hm. Itch...

Does anybody have any experiences with tea tree oil?

Sunday 7 July 2019

Photo on Sunday 2019-25

Last week's trip to the town of Elburg showed some nice little streets filled with summer flowers.

Saturday 6 July 2019

The week that was

Every week I promise myself: I will blog more. And every week I seem to break that promise. Which is annoying to be honest. Mind you, not much happens anyway, but that's got nothing to do with the price of eggs!

So, just a small recap of this past week. Well, my birthday present (which cost me 15 euro) won! Yes, I won the lottery. Okay, it was 5 euro, but still, I won! Not sure yet what I will do with that enormous price though. I might 'invest' it in a new ticket...

The weather finally turned nice. Nothing like boiling saunas and cooking flesh as you touch the metal on your seat belt. Twenty degrees (that's like 68 in weird temperature). It makes it nice to drive the bus as it doesn't get too warm. It makes it nice to do stuff in general. Plus it made it nice to sleep which was a definite plus.

I painted my tootsies! Pink and sparkly...
I moved. Well, I had already moved the week before, but I moved back. Because I live in the attic (no flowers there), it gets a tad hot when trying to sleep. So before the big heat assault last week, I dragged a matress downstairs. As my parents were away on holiday, it was nice and quiet. Well, apart from the frogs and the traffic, but other than that: it was lovely. But with these better temps, I moved back up. 

Speaking of moving: no. Nothing yet. The thing is, the only real option I have is going housing corporation. Which means I can get some help with my rent for the first year at least and that my rental agreements offer a lot more security for me. The private market would be possible, but houses may not be well maintained, rent will be higher and tenant protection is much more difficult. The downside of the first option is that I need to build up about 7 years of being registered to actually have a chance of finding a place as so many people are looking. Although sometimes there is pot luck: 150 seekers for one place! I think I will 'invest' in a new ticket...

The fully illustrated HP and the Chamber of Secrets arrived today
A birthday present from my sister
From next week we will (finally) start on a rota. Up until now the rule was that we would know when to work 10 days in advance. What with illness of planners and it being the busiest time of the season, that was impossible. But somebody stepped up and churned out a proper roster which shows us until the end of days which days we have to work and which days we have off. The main downside is that I only have a complete weekend off every SIX weeks. Fortunately it will only last until the end of October.

Monday 1 July 2019

Going out

Modern garden art
Last Saturday I was going to buy myself a birthday present. And to that end I was going to a small town about 30 minutes away. It was hot. Really hot. As in 'what else can I take off to give me any relief?' hot. There wasn't and I just had to bear it. But going in to shops helped a bit. 

Houses against the town wall. And yes, they are that narrow!
The town is a really lovely town, all cobbled streets and pretty houses and once you got one street away from the center, quite quiet. In the center there was a shanty-choir thing going on, which meant there were plenty of choirs showing off their art. 

The residence/warehouse/Jewish school is now a museum
Even though it's a fairly small town, there are plenty of things packed in: a large church, a former Jewish school, an orphanage, a convent. Although granted, some of those things were re-purposed. I saw my new favourite house, tried not to twist my ankle on the cobbles and took refuge in the large church for a while (see yesterday's post). 

After a couple of hours, I made my way back to my car and home. And the gift? Well, if the numbers fall my way... (I bought a lottery ticket in the end).