Saturday, 29 December 2012

Boring Post About Boring Things

So I'm boring.  Hands up, I admit it.

I might as well as I'm constantly being told it's the case.  My boringness seems to be particularly noticed and highlighted around this time of the year when I'm asked what my Christmas and New Year plans are and the answer every year is always the same - quiet.  The thing is though, quietness to me is somewhat of a necessity in order for me not to want to stab myself in the eye.

Have you ever had a migraine?  If you have, did you want to be around a lot of noisy drunk people?  Or, did you spend your time doing nice quiet activities, possibly involving a bed and a darkened room?  Did you feel like you were being boring by not 'sucking it up' and 'living a little', or did it seem like the totally sensible non mental thing to do?

I live my everyday life with that 'migraine'.  According to the Hyperbole and a Half's 'Better Pain Scale'  I'd estimate I rank between a 5 (Why is this happening to me??) and an 8 ( I am experiencing a disturbing amount of pain.  I might actually be dying.  Please help.) most days.

I honestly can't remember the last time I experienced any less than a 3 (This is distressing.  I don't want this to be happening to me at all).  I don't say this for pity, just for clarity.  The way a 'normal' person feels the day they have that 'migraine' is how I feel all the time.  I reason I don't look as bad as you do when you have a migraine is because I'm so used to it.  And foundation. Lots of foundation.

People seem to be able to tolerate one off instances of being unwell enough to mess up plans or make a person feel less sociable, but when it becomes the norm, somehow it's seen as the person giving in when actually they are just feeling the totally appropriate need to adjust their daily lives in the name of self preservation.

Would I be a different person, with different interests if I hadn't been diagnosed with arthritis at the age of 21?  Most definitely... but I don't care.  

A few years ago (after one too many binges at the local all-you-can-eat-buffet after receiving bad health news and deciding to fix it by eating my feelings) I decided that in order for me to not go completely bat poo insane, I needed to cut the links 'normal' people have between health and happiness.  I like my life, I like my quiet hobbies, I like that they are realistic hobbies that aren't going to tire me out so much that I'm going to lose all interest in them and make me feel more guilty than I do most days anyway (damn catholic upbringing).  

Would I be an ultramarathon runner if my life hadn't turned out the way it did?  I seriously doubt it, but who knows? Would I be a crusty baguette (the nemesis of the TMJ 'issues' patient) taster for a living?  Would I finally have perfected my quiff and followed Morrissey on tour?  Who knows.  My life is different that most people my age, but you know what, I've always been a weirdo so it almost makes sense that my life has turned out so differently to most twenty somethings.

I've been turning to Dr Seuss a lot lately, but let's face it Dr Seuss basically exists to affirm the lives of weirdos like me so it seems only fitting to end this post with a quote:

Now excuse me while I spend my Saturday evening watching the Gilmore Girls for the fiftieth time... and liking it.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Spoonie Gift Guide

I wasn't actually planning on doing another gift guide, but then I kept coming across things that roughly fit into the 'spoonie' category, so I thought why not?

Don't have a clue what I'm talking about with all this spoonie business?  Do not pass go, do not read any further, go directly to Christine Miserandino's website and read The Spoon Theory.  Aleady read it?  Go read it again anyway.  Because of The Spoon Theory,  people with invisible illnesses have taken to calling themselves 'spoonies'.  Why?  It entertains us, okay?

Anyway, let's start with the fun stuff!

1. Heated Sock Animals - Who needs a hot water bottle anymore, when you can have an adorable heat pack like this?  I think I receive at least one heat pack every birthday/Christmas and I honestly love and use every one of them.
2. Giant Microbes - Why not remind your loved ones of future diseases they may contract?  My boyfriend bought me the Glandular Fever microbe (the kissing disease to them) when I had it a few years ago.  I also have a brain cell one because god knows I need as many of them as I can get.
3. Pill Case iPhone 4 Cover - My only concen with this is that I have so many pill packets lying about that I would probably lose it more often than I already do.

1. Primark Onesies - Primark has some amazing onesies right now.  You can't buy online with Primark so you're going to have to go in store, but they range from around £10-£15 so they are amazing value.
2. Kangaroo Onesie - If you want to be a bit fancier, Kigu has some amazing onesies and oh my god, this one has a baby joey in the pouch. Oh my god.

1. and 2. Spoonie Necklace and Spoonie Earrings - Why not give the gift of some extra spoons?  We could all use some of them.

Now for some relaxing gifts:

1. Lumie Bodyclock Alarm Clock - This alarm clock wakes you up gradually with light that mimics a natural sunrise.  This can apparently reset your sleep cycle which sounds very impressive!
2. And So To Bed Gift Set - This Works have some really lovely gift sets this year and this one has products from their sleep range.
3. Sleep Balm - If you like the idea of the last gift but it's a bit out of your price range, this might be right up your street.  The sleep balm comes in a Christmas bauble, which is just adorable.

1.  Dr Seuss Print - Who doesn't love some Dr Seuss?  I have memories of being a child and reading the book 'Oh The Places We Will Go'.  I can remember the illustrations as if it was yesterday.  Love Dr Seuss.

As well as the gifts above, why not buy them a magazine subscription, or a subscription to Netflix or LoveFilm?  Why not buy them a massage, or pay for them to have a course of Acupuncture or any other alternative therapy?  There are also the many box subscription services - the most popular of which being the beauty boxes (there are loads, just google it), why not give them a nice treat like that?

Anyway, I think that's all I have for now, although I know as soon as I post this I'll think of something else!

Friday, 23 November 2012

Adventures in Weegieland

So, it was my birthday last week...

Who knew my boyfriend could make awesome cake?  It was certainly better than the cake provided by a certain Glasgow restaurant which will for the time being remain nameless.

Due to the occasion, I decided to head back to the motherland and grace my family with my presence, I am just that nice.  In order to get there however, I had to brave what will from here on out be referred to as the 'claustrophobic sweatbox'.

I walked onto the bus a perfectly (ha, okay, well, you know) healthy person and walked off of it as Rudolph the red-nosed plague victim.  Thank you claustophobic sweatbox, at least I'm now seasonally appropriate.

Weird story!  I get to my mums house and open my presents.  I open up a box and this bracelet is inside:

This is the worlds crappiest picture, but it's a charm bracelet with cute little chocolate cake slices. I immediately recognised it as being really similar to the kind of charm bracelets a long time friend of mine makes.  My mum then mentions that she bought it at a craft fair at the botanic gardens in Glasgow... where I know my friend sells her wares.  Out pops my iPad (let's pretend it wasn't already attached to my arm) and I show my mum a facebook picture of her and lo and behold... yeah you know the rest of the story.  Anyway, the very talented friend is Kristin of K Scott Crafts.  As well as jewellery, she also makes adorable cake toppers.

For my birthday, we went to Bar Soba on Byres Road.  My boyfriend and I are both vegan, and Bar Soba has a lovely vegan menu, but also has a good varied menu for the meat eaters. I know my birthday is supposed to be all about ME but I'm just so nice that we decided not to go to a vegan restaurant this year.  

Let me tell you another time about the year we were at a vegan restaurant and my uncle asked for egg and chips for dinner.  

Anyway, I had kappa maki sushi for starter:

And vegetable tempura katsu curry for my main:

Both were absolutely delicious, but the service at Bar Soba wasn't the best and the seats were uncomfortable.  I also felt like I possibly wasn't enough of a hipster to be there and I'm a vegan who wears red cat-eye specs, so there you go!  Also, why does Dundee not have a Japanese restaurant?  Or a vegetarian restaurant for that matter?  

The evening ended in the most bizarrely middle class way possible - having my Eiffel Tower shaped bottle of olive oil confiscated at Oran Mor.  Don't believe me?

Oh yeah.

I will be spending my weekend incubating my cold and reading season 8 of Buffy which I received for my birthday.  I'm only years behind everyone else.

How will you be spending your weekend?

Thursday, 15 November 2012


I feel a bit weird blogging about my Fibromyalgia as I've only recently been diagnosed, and don't quite feel like... I "own" it yet.  I also feel bad because I've heard so many horror stories about people taking years to get diagnosed and coming across horrible "medical professionals" who didn't believe it existed, yet my diagnosis was ridiculously easy. I think that's my (lapsed) catholic guilt coming out there!

I've previously blogged about having osteoarthritis in my temperomandibular (jaw) joints, and that has always caused other related problems such as neck/shoulder pain.  Due to my arthritis I have something called allodynia on the skin on the sides of my face, which means the skin is abnormally sensitive, which can make sleeping uncomfortable (to put it mildly).  This means I sleep in awkward positions which leads to the neck/shoulder pain.

I had been having pain in my left hand for a few months when I eventually went to see my GP (fortunately not Dr Twatface) who arranged for me to have it X-rayed. I called up a week later and was told the results showed everything was fine.  My GP decided it required more investigation and asked me if I had any other aches and pains.  I did.  A lot.  I'd been ignoring it for a long long time, but I was having pain in my feet, and my knees as well as the pain in my neck, shoulders and hand. My GP mentioned that she thought I might have fibromyalgia and decided to refer  me to a rheumatologist.

I had heard of fibromyalgia before, but didn't really know the full extent of it.   I went home and did what I always do - googled it.  I read the Wikipedia page about fibromyalgia and it felt like I was reading about myself, which really freaked me out.  I had to wait a few months for the rheumatology appointment and made a concerted effort to go into it with an open mind.

The rheumatologist apparently didn't have a particularly open mind as before I'd even sat down she said looking at my medical history, she thought I had fibromyalgia.  She did do a very thorough examination, eventually ending up with the fibromyalgia tender point examination.  People with fibromyalgia are known to have certain points in their bodies where they are exceptionally sensitive to pressure.  These points are shown in the diagram below:

I nearly went through the roof with the pain when she did this examination, and she was quite pleased with herself that she had proved her diagnosis correct.

She thought that the sleep disturbance caused by my TMJ arthritis had probably caused the fibromyalgia as my body wasn't getting enough deep restorative sleep, which causes all the aches and pains.  She prescribed me Pregabalin (which I had taken for my arthritis a few years before anyway) and said that I should always take some tramadol at bedtime, and increased my nortriptyline dosage.  With that she discharged me back to my GP as there was nothing else she could do for me.

I'm now on the highest dose of Pregabalin, and to be honest I haven't noticed much difference in my pain or my sleep pattern.  When I first started taking it it was making me fall asleep all the time and in general making me a complete space cadet, but now that it has settled down I have no idea is it's actually helping or not.  When I was stepping up each dose, it felt a bit like this;

I think the thing I struggle with the most is the effect of all of the illnesses combined and how they interact with each other.  For example - I have been being treated for hypertension this year and this meant I had to stop taking diclofenac (which was actually really helping my jaw pain) as it was known to increase blood pressure.  I also had to change from the combined pill to the mini pill and pee in a bucket for three days to send for testing.  Actually, now that I think about it, the hypertension has been the most irritating thing.  As well as the peeing in a bucket (I'm such a lady), I also had to wear a BP monitor for 24 hours (twice), where it went off every 15 minutes.  It was really fun explaining to people at work why my arm was beeping and inflating every 15 minutes.  Not.  I also had to travel to Perth to get my kidneys scanned (with a rather rough doctor), and had to get radioactive dye injected in my arm to check out my kidneys.  The result of all of this was (as usual) they had no idea what was causing the high blood pressure, so they sent me off with "medical mystery" stamped on my forehead.

The worst thing about the fibromyalgia is the unpredictability of it.  As I said, when I was diagnosed I was having pain in my hand.  My hand has been fine for the last few weeks and the new 'thing' is my right leg.  It is agony - even when sitting down.  I'm constantly having to move it/stretch it to try and get comfortable and it never is.  When walking, my hip starts to ache after about five minutes.  My right shoulder muscles are constantly out of place or in some form of spasm.  The pain in my shoulder has kept me awake all night more than once

I apologise for the depressingness of this post - I tried to cheer it up a bit with all the memes I stole from the chronic illness cat tumblr, which is completely awesome.

If you really want to know what it's like to live with chronic illness, you should read The Spoon Theory by Christine Miserandino, it should honestly be required reading for all friends and family of us 'spoonies'.

If anyone has any questions, or any suggestions of things they would like me to go into in more detail, please leave me a comment below!

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Only You Can Prevent Puncture Wounds.

Hi everyone,

This post is probably going to be a bit all over the place, there's just a lot of little things I want to talk about with no real links between any of them.  Sorry.

I recently purchased PC Stitch 10 which is a cross-stitch pattern making software.  Before this I was just using graph paper and coloured pencils like some kind of amateur.  Now that some mental people have decided to start paying for my cross-stitching services, I thought I was due an upgrade.  I posted this picture on Instagram after having a play around with it one night:
Went a bit overboard on the sparklies, because I'm new to Instagram and I'm trying to fit in with the cool kids (never going to happen).  I'm still feeling a bit baffled by PC Stitch as it's actually a lot more sophisticated than I was expecting, but I managed to draw out this pattern in about ten minutes which is a vast improvement on my pencil and paper efforts.  It doesn't help my inability to spend less than an hour picking out the perfect font before stitching anything.  I have a font choosing problem.  

Side note - my sister will probably kill me for this but a small part of me died when I found out she had handed in her dissertation using Comic Sans.  Died.

Another recent-ish stitching related purchase was some new embroidery scissors.  The scissors are great, but you know, not very interesting, what is interesting is the chain/holder thingy that came with them that is apparently called a 'chatelaine'.  It looks like this and it's how you can tell if I'm on 'cross-stitch duty' or not:
This was one of those 'I-didn't-know-I-needed-it-but-now-I-can't-live-without-it' type purchases. It's stopped me losing my scissors constantly (and I mean constantly) and only finding them when I (or more frequently my boyfriend) stepped on them.  I love this quote from the wiki page on chatelaines:
The name chatelaine derives from the French term ch√Ętelaine and was originally used disparagingly, as it referred to a device designed to have all the tools necessary for the woman of the household to sort out any problem she may encounter in her day, like a fraying curtain.

Now if only I could find something to stop me losing my needles and there will be much fewer puncture wounds around here.

I wish I was kidding.

There are a few local businesses/people that I wanted to mention.  The first is an 'independant bakeshop and cafe' called T Ann Cake.  I've been there a few times now and its just so cosy and welcoming. It feels like the kind of place that I could pop along to, on my own, get out my cross stitch stuff, and nobody would bat an eyelid. The decor is quirky and has lots of crafty bits and pieces on the walls.  The last time I was in I had a soya latte and pea and potato soup, both of which were delicious:

Check out the adorable 'at-your-grannies-for-tea' crockery and the heart 'latte art'.  The menu for T Ann Cake changes daily and Ann (the owner) posts it on Facebook at stupid o clock each morning when she gets up to start the baking.  As well as providing soy milk, every time I have been in there has been at least one item on the menu marked as vegan, and there is a vegan chocolate cake which they only seem to make on days when I can't make it in.

The other local thing I wanted to mention is Dundee's very own street style blog - Delta Street Style.  It's written and photographed by Christina Lindsay Miller who is a freelance style writer who writes for many publications such as the Huffington Post, Grazia, Vogue etc.  Christina takes her camera out and about in Dundee looking for stylish people in the City of Discovery.  I'm sure it's not her intention, but since finding Christina's blog it's made me think twice about just nipping into town with a hoodie on and not having brushed my hair.  Now I might put some lipstick on.

Scary fact - I moved to Dundee when I was 17 for uni and I turn 27 next week.  I love living in Dundee, but that was a quick ten years!  Speaking of my birthday - I've booked myself a swedish massage and deep cleansing facial at The Apex for my birthday (because I'm worth it).  Cannot wait.

This was the worlds rambliest post and I didn't actually think I had anything to say!

Friday, 2 November 2012

Confessions of a Chronic Pill Popper

To anyone passing me in the street I look like your average twenty something woman. The truth is that I don't go anywhere without a bag of drugs.  It comes to bed with me, it comes on driving lessons with me, it goes on quick trips to the shops with me.  Everywhere.

It looks like this:
Now to be fair it's only half filled with drugs, the other compartment is filled with the usual girly things that a normal woman carries around.  This is my third drug bag (as it's affectionately known), and it has probably doubled in size each time I've needed a new one.  Why?


First I got arthritis, and needed to carry all the drugs associated with that. 
Then I was diagnosed with hypertension and needed to carry all the drugs associated with that.  
Then I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and needed to carry all the drugs associated with that.

In the interests of my sanity I've never actually counted how many pills I pop every day, but I'm going to have a crack at it (don't you feel so privileged!).

Arthritis drugs:
  • Co-codamol - between 4 and 8 per day.
  • Tramadol - between 2 and 8 (worst day ever) per day.
Hypertension drugs:
  • Ramipril - 1 per day.
  • Amlodipine - 1 per day.
Fibromyalgia drugs:
  • Pregabalin - 6 per day.
  • Nortriptyline - 4 per day.
Anti-Baby Drugs (also a requirement of the hypertension drugs I'm on)
  • Cerazette - 1 per day

*anti-climactic drum roll*

Best day ever total = 19 pills
Worst day ever total = 29 pills

I'd say most days probably lie somewhere in the middle of the two. Also how depressing is it that I can't imagine a day where I'm not in pain and my 'best day ever' total still involves taking painkillers?

By the way - yes, I must rattle, ha ha ha.  Very clever.  Not.

Hey - I'm all up in your social medias!  Come follow me!  My facebook is on the right hand side of the page and I'm on twitter and instagram as @goramstitches.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Geeky Gift Guide

Hi everyone!

Tis the season to spend stupid amounts of money, so I thought I would make a geeky gift guide to assist anyone with the unfortunate affliction of having geeky nearest and dearest.

I'd be a fairly crappy small business owner if I didn't mention that geeky gifts can also be found in the Goram Stitches shop.  All of the items in this post were found on Etsy as it's always good to support other small businesses!

All of the info for the items can be found below next to their number.  

Okay, so here's my first selection:

1. Polyjuice Potion Flask
Perfect for the alcoholic wizard in your life!
2. Mario Piranha Plants
These would make an amazing housewarming gift for your favourite geek and have the bonus of never dying!
3. Game of Thrones 'Moon of My Life' Pendant
I think this is absolutely gorgeous.  For the uninitiated - Khal Drogo used to call Dany the 'moon of my life'.  You know, before he died of a scratch.
4. Nintendo Controller Skirt
The Etsy seller who makes this - GoChaseRabbits sells a massive selection of geeky skirts.  Love them, but don't think I'm brave enough to pull them off!
5. 8-bit Heart Meter Necklace
It's always a wise idea to keep an eye on your heart meter, so you'll know when you need a health potion and this necklace makes that really easy!
6. Avengers Cushions
This would be the perfect gift for a geeky bachelor pad.
7. Nerds Unite Coaster Set
Who doesn't love scrabble?

1. Direwolf Amurigami
These are so adorable!  I think I would have to go with Ghost.
2. Jayne Hat
The ultimate in geeky attire.  He's the hero of Canton, the man they call... Jayne.
3. Han Solo in Carbonite iPhone Case
I was actually in the market for a new iPhone case when I came across this.  I decided not to go for this one in the end as I thought seeing his little carbonite face would make me too sad.
4. Pixelated Heart Friendship Necklaces
These are like the modern day geeky equivalent of the old forever friends necklaces I had when I was wee!
5. Petri Dish Salmonella Soap
This reminded me too much of uni to leave it out.  This looks far too much like agar plates of bacteria and I think it could get even the geekiest boy to wash!

Hopefully you found that vaguely useful!  Let me know if you have any of these items, or what you think about them in the comments.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

My Arthritis Story

This post ended up being much longer than I expected.  I was having a bad pain day and used this as a bit of therapy!  Also - I've posted a picture of a post surgery scar, so if that makes you squeamish you might want to avert your eyes.  Feel free to leave me a comment with your experiences, or if you want me to go into anything else in any detail.

I remember the exact moment I knew something not quite right was going on in my body.  I stepped off a bus on my way home from uni and I was about ready to snap.  I'd had a horrible headache all day, except it was more than a headache and...different.  Instead of the pain being in my forehead and behind my eyes like a normal headache, the pain was in my entire head - every bone in my face felt tender. I'd been having similar pain, but of a lesser intensity for a few weeks, but being busy with uni I was trying my best to ignore it.

This day, as I got off the bus, I headed straight into the shopping centre to find some paracetamol as this was not the kind of thing I carried around with me (those were the days!).  After a few weeks of this I noticed that the pain seemed to be localising around my jaw area, and was worsened by eating hard or chewy foods.  

I eventually decided that this was not normal and was not going away by itself and made an appointment to see my GP.  Let's call the doctor Dr Twatface.  I explained my symptoms to Dr Twatface who without performing any examination whatsoever told me to go away and take paracetamol.  I explained I had already been doing this for the last month or so, but Dr Twatface insisted there was nothing wrong, as I was "too young" for anything to be wrong.  I was 21 at the time.

Being the stubborn person that I am, I went away and googled my symptoms.  I know, I know, it's never wise to google your symptoms but I knew Dr Twatface was wrong and wanted to be able to go back, research in hand and prove him wrong.  My googling pointed me towards something being wrong with my Temperomandibular Joints (TMJ for short).
The lovely illustration above shows where the TMJ is.  So... I made another appointment to see Dr Twatface, took my research along and decided I wasn't leaving until I had a referral to the local Dental Hospital.  Dr Twatface took me marginally more seriously and actually decided to examine me this time.  He felt my TMJ and asked me to open and close my mouth.  I think the crunching sounds my jaw made could probably have been heard at the other end of the surgery but Dr Twatface still insisted that it would 'resolve itself'.  Dr Twatface and I then went on to have (the first of many - but that's a different story) an argument and after what felt like forever and me being in tears, he eventually agreed to refer me to the Dental Hospital, but did it begrudgingly, barking on my way out that they "wouldn't be able to do anything for me".

Six months passed and I finally got my appointment letter through from the Dental Hospital.  In the meantime Dr Twatface continued his personal vendetta against me and refused to prescribe me anything for the pain.

I remember sitting in the Dental Hospital waiting room nearly crying because I'd been in pain all day and I remember thinking that the lights seemed ridiculously bright and harsh.  My name got called and I went in to the treatment room to be greeted by a dental surgeon and a nurse.  They listened to me.  They actually listened to me and didn't treat me like I was making it up.  They examined me, heard the crunching and agreed something was wrong.  After taking one look at my teeth the dentist asked if I clenched my jaw a lot. I honestly wasn't aware of doing it, but apparently had been doing it in my sleep and had already worn away quite a lot of tooth.  They took impressions of my mouth to make me a custom mouth guard and arranged for X-Rays to be taken of my jaw.

I came back to the Dental Hospital for my results and mouth guard a few week's later, which was a few days after my 22nd birthday.  No I don't have some bizarre memory, I checked the date on the bottom of the impression of my teeth that they took and I have for some reason kept for five years.  It resides in my bathroom and looks like this:

Okay so, after getting my mouth guard fitted by the nurse, the dentist comes in with my results.  He sits down looking very flustered and tells me when he got the results in he called the radiologist to double check they had definitely sent the right results.  I had arthritis.  Osteoarthritis.  In both sides.  The dentist said he had never seen this in someone my age, and had actually never seen such bad degeneration... ever.  It turned out that Dr Twatface was right in the end - the Dental Hospital couldn't do anything for me, but not because there was nothing wrong.

I was then referred to a Maxillo-Facial Surgeon (or Max Fax for the cool kids like me).  I first saw my surgeon when I was 22 and I'm still seeing him regularly - 4 years later.  In that time, we have tried everything to get a lid on the pain and to try to slow down the degeneration.

We've tried ALL the drugs - cocodamol, tramadol, dihydrocodeine, pregabalin, gabapentin, nortriptyline, ibuprofen, diclofenac.  I'm probably forgetting some.  These have had varying degrees of success.

We've tried alternative therapies - TENS machine and acupuncture.  I also paid for chiropractic adjustments for a while, but it gets very expensive.

We've tried more aggressive therapies - steroid injections, a series of hyaluronic acid injections (holy mother of god these were painful, I had to be held down).

We've tried minor surgical treatments - arthroscopy. I've had two of these in my right side.  These are exploratory as well as therapeutic.  My surgeon uses these to assess the damage and while he's in there he flushes out the joint.  I'm certain I've had a surgery that was slightly more than arthroscopy but cannot remember what it was.  Who knows.

Eventually, there were no other treatment routes to go down, and the pain wasn't going away any time soon so we had to consider joint replacement surgery.  My surgeon and I had spoken about it for years, but understandably he had to try all the less invasive options before we seriously considered it.  So, in February 2011 I had my right TMJ replaced.  All of my surgeries so far have been on my right as it's degenerating faster than my left, but I'm sure the left will catch up eventually.

Does anyone else immediately forget the pain of something like this, so when you go to write about it afterwards you think it wasn't that bad?  Yeah, I've got that.  I remember being in pain, for a few months but to be honest it was only marginally more painful than the pain I was in anyway, it was just a different type of pain.  I had to take a few months off work to heal up.  I had a fairly gnarly scar - I'm going to post a picture of it so if you're squeamish don't look.  I'll basically show my scar to anyone, because I'm so impressed with how well it has healed.  Seriously, nobody but me can see it now, and I even struggle sometimes.

So, on that note, where am I now?  Just about managing my pain on cocodamol and tramadol.  Just.  Most days.  Some days.  Recently I've been getting a lot of burning joint pain in my left side that the painkillers aren't touching, which I remember all too well from the months before my joint replacement.  I've been finding this quite worrying, but, meh, I've learned to just see what happens and at this point my surgeon trusts my instincts enough that when I say my left side needs looked at, he will.

Who knows what's in the future.  TMJ replacements have only been happening since the 80s so there isn't a lot of data out there about how long they last, but they definitely won't last forever.  I pretty much expect to be a regular patient at maxillo-facial for a very long time and I'm okay with that.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

In Progress and Other Miscellany

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Hi everyone, 

Thought I'd put up a quick post showing you what I've got in progress etc at Goram Stitches.

The thing I'm mostly working on just now is a bulk order of my 'Winter is Coming' Christmas cards:
In case you're not a giant nerd like myself and my customers (and more accurately, my customers husbands and boyfriends), 'Winter is Coming' is like the motto of the Stark family in the Game of Thrones TV series/A Song of Ice and Fire books.  The books are fantasy but basically set on Earth, but the seasons on the book Earth works very differently than our Earth.  Seasons in the book universe last years, sometimes decades and basically when winter comes, if you haven't prepared yourself properly, you're screwed.  The Stark words are a reminder that throughout summer you should be stockpiling foods, and setting aside part of your harvest for winter.  It's basically a more threatening sounding version of the Scouts 'Always be Prepared'.

The other thing I'm currently working on is inspired by Joss Whedon's 'Dr Horrible's Sing-A-Long-A-Blog'. In it Dr Horrible mentions that he has a PhD in Horribleness (duh, how else would he have become a doctor?), so I decided to cross-stitch a PhD in you do.
Excuse the horrible iPhone picture.  This is nowhere near finished - I need to add in the Chancellor's signature (Bad Horse, naturally) and maybe a crest and maybe a certificate stamp type thing.  This is one of those pieces where I didn't draw out a pattern for the whole thing and just started each individual bit and hoped it would all work together.  I plan on listing this one in my shop and then also putting up the option to have a custom order to have your name on the certificate instead.

The main issue I have with the Goram Stitches shop is that I have too many ideas and not enough time/hands.  Something I currently have stuck in my head is kind of an homage to the twee 'Home Sweet Home' cross-stitch samplers, except I want to stitch 'Hellmouth Sweet Hellmouth' and below the stitching of the house, I want to stitch the flames of hell.  Simple.  I am aware this is not a normal thing to be stuck in someone's head.

I found this picture on my phone and thought it was too funny to never see the light of day:
Yep, that's me wearing a plastic poncho that says 'I heart Scotland'.  I think the fact that it looks like a wonderfully sunny day in the background adds to the madness.  I swear it there had just been torrential rain and in my defense this was at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and everyone was wearing these ponchos to ward off pneumonia.  

I swear.