Sunday, 13 November 2011

A little bit of nothing

I suppose as life plods on as normal I find I have very little to write about. A boring blog now I suppose but I find it kind of therapeutic to write from time to time, and it reminds me of things I have done, and photo's I have taken!

Currently my in-laws are visiting, arrived yesterday and will leave on Friday. It's always nice to see them, really! They have gone out to London tonight with B to a gig, not my sort of music so I have stayed home. I have just finished watching Aliens and will shortly be starting Alien3 (cubed) to tide me over until the X-Factor results show (I know, what am I watching....).

The latest foster cat and her kittens are doing well. Maya had 5 kittens, 2 boys and 3 girls. I decided on a Battlestar Galactica theme this time and we have Kara (aka Starbuck), Laura, Athena, Helo and Apollo. They are very cute and again I want to keep them all!! We still have Bonnie from the previous litter - she now has a home to go to but I couldn't leave her out in the pen all on her own when the others went. The pen was also needed for Maya who was in a dangerous situation at home and needed bringing into care asap so I decided to bring her into the house. It is against the CP rules of fostering, but as she was born here and had her vaccinations, flea and worm treatment I went for it. She is a lovely, lovely kitten and will be missed when she goes.

Things have been good on the MS front. Recently my mood has started to impact on me again and I find that a hugely hard thing to, well, deal with/justify - not sure how to describe it really. Most days are good days, I look forward to things in life and enjoy life. There are however times that I feel like crying, often doing so, and think that I would rather not live this life. There are several problems with this feeling. I am well aware that I am healthy and have no reason to feel how I feel - I therefore feel guilty that I feel this way. I also have huge amounts of love and support around me and get huge amounts of enjoyment out of my life - so why do I sometimes hate the thought of carrying on like this for decades to come?

However much I hate feeling like this there are still times when I wish I could curl up in a little ball in the corner and stay there as drumming up the enthusiasm to go to work, or go out after work (etc) seems too much. I always do get up and go about my business though, as I can and should. In an effort to try and establish what I am feeling and maybe why, I have booked a counselling session at the local MS Therapy Centre. I had counselling there a couple of years ago and found it helpful. Just to talk things over really......

Part of me says don't post this blog, what are people going to think - doesn't know how lucky she is probably........ I do, I just need bring that to the fore again.:0)

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

More kittens!!

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Kittens and holiday

I've just been on holiday! Not that I remember being on holiday, we only got back on Friday but it all seems a very long time ago..... We went to Greece - Zante. Our self catering apart hotel was 10 mins from the airport, so no long transfers (and very little in the way of aircraft noise) which was great. Apparently it was unusually hot at around 30 degrees and the aircon was 'quite' expensive so we managed without. On the Tuesday we had the most spectacular thunderstorm which meant we had to stay in for the day - no hardship as the apartment was spacious and relatively comfortable - and then it cooled down a bit to 26/27 degrees. We basically did nothing for the week and came back very relaxed and rested!

We got back to find my Mum and Dad dropping off Orion, Maia and Pepsi who had stayed with them and the kittens in the pen (who had been fed by a local CP committee member) had grown up loads and were all big and steady on their feet - I must get some photos of them up on the website.

Maia and Orion, especially Orion, have also grown loads - they are looking like proper little cats rather than kittens. Orion has already has his op and Maia just needed to put on a little weight before she could have hers so should be ok now. Once that is done we can start leaving them out - they are always desperate to get outside :0)

I am falling in love with the kittens outside. Wispa is a lovely little kitten and would dearly love to come and live with our family. I am told he is not allowed to come and live with us. I have however advised B that should Wispa decide living here is the way forward I will not be stopping him!! B seems to think he has some say in the matter....!!! The other kittens are all lovely as well, they all seem very confident and are into everything, especially Katie who is fast and naughty! Bonnie, the littlest one is also very sweet. She hasn't yet caught up with the rest and I would guess that it may be because she misses meal times sleeping!!

MS wise things are similar to normal. My legs have been dodgy since the Great British Beer Festival, worsening gradually until we went on holiday when things seem to have improved slightly. I'd guess, again, not new inflammation but worse than I have had before in the top of my legs. Strange feeling of stiffness without any restriction or pain on movement but I couldn't walk quickly or I would just get slower and feel like I was going to trip over my feet - missed a bus due to that....

Still, things seem to be getting better, not perfect but better!

Kitten pictures to follow at some point!

Saturday, 13 August 2011

New arrivals!

So, on Sunday the day after we got back from the beer festival I had an email letting me know my pen was needed for another cat. I got straight back to the Welfare Officer and said no problem, it was ready and waiting to go. The information I had was that a 2-3 year old pregnant female, due in approx 1 week needed to come in - very exciting!

The people who had been feeding the cat for some time, and had already dealt with 1 litter of kittens, couldn't continue to have her around as the dog didn't like her and the family found keeping the dog, cat and kittens separate quite stressful. On the Monday the Welfare Officer gave me the contact details and we arranged for the lady to bring the cat round that evening. Well, Scarlett didn't go back for food until quite late and it wasn't until Tuesday that I had the call to say that the family had her. I called back to say I was in and they could bring her round and I was told that she was in labour....! A mad dash followed and she was with me 30 mins or so later!

Scarlett was panting but settled down and didn't seem about to pop which was reassuring. Over the next day she didn't eat and didn't do a lot so I guessed she was near to popping and when we got back from the pub Wednesday night I heard pitiful squeaking - there was a kitten! I stuck my head in and saw a little black and white kitten all on its own and Scarlett not really interested. I moved the kitten and then left them to it. When I went back later I realised there was more than 1 kitten, maybe 2 or 3 but as it was dark and they were dark I didn't know for sure.

The next morning when I went down to inspect there were 5 kittens, all looking like they were doing well and Scarlett eating for all 5 of them!

So we have a Scarlett O'Hara theme going on for 4 of the temporary names:
Rhett (boy, black)
Ella (girl, black)
Bonnie (girl, tabbly/white)
Katie (girl, black/white)

and Wispa (boy, chocolate brown)

I have to say that I was slightly nervous about having a pregnant cat and the cat giving birth but it all went smoothly and she needed no help at all! It's such a privilege to be involved with these kittens from the very beginning!

Monday, 8 August 2011

Kittens and Beer

How useless am I?? I didn't realise that it has been well over a month since I wrote. I think it's being married that does it, I don't get huge amounts of time to myself to blog any more....

Maia and Orion have now been with us 6 weeks, making them around 15 weeks old. They are little terrors - I had forgotten how destructive kittens are! The net curtain is no longer at the front window, photo frames are either broken or on the floor and there is litter everywhere. On the plus side there has been no real agro with Pepsi. There was hissing and a little boxing of ears but on the whole things have gone well so far!

We have just got back from our annual visit to the CAMRA Great British Beer Festival. We worked Thursday, drank Friday and worked Saturday. We worked behind beer bar W1 both days and had a good time - not huge amounts of time for beer drinking, unlike Reading where you can keep a beer ready to swig from under the bar..... Still, well worth volunteering - free entry to 1 session, discounted beer vouchers and staff t-shirts! They also pay up to £30 per person towards accommodation which was £28 / night at the Etap Hotel in Houslow - bargain!!

Saturday, 25 June 2011


It's been a while. I wasn't sure what to write. The sudden death of Whisky, our male cat was hard to write about. The shortest I can put it is that Whisky became ill on the Friday, we took him to the vets Saturday morning and they couldn't find anything wrong and sent him home with an anti-emetic. Sunday I rang the VetsNow clinic and we took him in a little later, they admitted him for tests with a very low temperature and a little while later we found out that he was in acute renal failure. Whisky was later referred to the Royal Veterinary College where they tried to get his kidneys working but at noon on Monday the 16th May Whisky was put to sleep. We will never know what exactly happened to Whisky but he is likely to have been poisoned by something - felt unlikely to be anti-freeze poisoning due to his presentation. I have glossed over the weekend really, gut wrenching, are good words to describe it, there were lots of tears and sadness, but mainly I didn't want him to suffer.

Whisky left a huge hole, it's amazing how much we, I, miss the cheeky, idiotic, sweet personality of our little boy cat. Pepsi and Whisky were very different personalities and now that he is gone the differences are all the more obvious.

Having been asked on a couple of occasions whether we will get another cat we have taken the decision to adopt a 9 week old brother and sister. We know that mixing Pepsi and the new kittens will be difficult but as she will be the elder cat in the family we are hoping that they get on eventually...

Maia (tortie/white) and Orion (ginger) (star theme) will be joining us tomorrow (Sunday), we have made plans to ensure the cats are separated when we are not there initially and Pepsi will be allowed upstairs overnight - assuming she doesn't jump on my head!!

Other news, well also the 16 May was our 2nd wedding anniversary - needless to say it went by without acknowledgement (on the day), although we had gone out for a meal at Loch Fyne on the Friday before we knew Whisky was ill.

I have also had my annual appointment with Dr Weir my neurologist. He thinks that although I had a relapse in September/October when my face went numb I am doing well and that things have been quiet. I am therefore destined to stay on Rebif injections instead of tablets..... I know, it's a good thing, I am not bad enough to warrant changing anything, but tablets would be good!!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

RIP Whisky 07.07.08 - 16.05.11

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Alternative Vote

As it is the voting for the AV Referendum tomorrow I thought I would add this to the site. I think it is quite cool as I like beer and wouldn't want coffee!!

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Beer Festival

It's been a busy few days despite having the week off! We have started on the vegetable patch, done some other gardening, worked at the 17th Reading CAMRA Beer Festival, drunk at the same beer festival and headed off for more work at the beer festival last night! I have to say Friday was a cabbage day. I got up reasonably early having woken and proceeded to sit on the sofa the vast majority of the day, I also went to bed early having been sat up in bed waiting for my reflux to settle down...... Eventually I woke B as I know he has tablets to help that and 30 minutes later I was able to lie down again, ah well, combination of beer and curry Thursday evening....

Last night was really good. We signed up at short notice and we were asked to Steward. I said yes to the whole session and B agreed to half and half, 2 hours Stewarding and 2 hours beer bar - you can't drink the beer while you are a Steward..... I was almost regretting my decision as I wasn't working with B and I wouldn't be able to drink beer but by the end I had had a really good time, been told I was a natural and then had a beer afterwards!

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Niki's Trekathon

A friend of mine, and an ex colleague, sets herself a challenge each year and has done so since her MS diagnosis in 2003. These challenges have ranged from overcoming a severe relapse to enjoy her wedding, to having children. Niki describes this challenge as 'pushing a bit further' - I have to say I think raising two children has got to be the hugest challenge for anyone, but then I wouldn't know!! This year Niki has set herself the challenge of a 26 mile Trekathon raising funds for the MS Society. Check out Niki’s blog post about the challenge she has set herself, and go straight to her fundraising page if you fancy donating some pennies to this cause.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

My poor nose....

I have just updated my 'Symptoms Log', I used to list everything on a regular basis, making sure everything was noted and up to date. It seems less important now, I am not going through the process of getting diagnosed, I seem to be doing ok on Rebif so I'm not after any different drugs (although lets face it tablets instead of injections would be nice.....) and nothing much ever happens :0) I do make notes in my diary so I can keep an eye on changes, mainly so I make sure I contact my MS Nurse and get a UTI check if something goes on for too long. I do then transfer any events on to my list - I think I just like lists!!

I realised the other day that I am still writing down injection sites and time of injection every time I inject - I remember talking to someone I met fairly early on who told me I'd give up with that after a while and I absolutely thought I would but I need a reminder of what side I'm on! B injects my bottom for me and just injects into an area which is not red from a site reaction - mine last over a week so he can tell which side it should be - and I inject my thigh and stomach according to my injection diary. Stomach Monday, thigh Wednesday and bottom Friday! Having said that I am using my bingo wings at the moment (arms) as my thighs seem to be permanently bruised..... My left thigh has been sore for a while, 4 months or so at a guess and I have just noticed my right thigh is also sore, I am hoping giving them a break will help but it is getting closer to short sleeve weather and I get lovely red injection reactions on my arms as well as everywhere else :0( Maybe I should speak to my MS Nurse about it......

So, this round:

Flare due to cold (at a guess…)

Went away for the weekend 25-28 March and ended up extremely tired despite being able to relax and get plenty of sleep.

  • 28/03/11 – right eye pain on movement and slight change in sensation to left hand. Symptoms continued intermittently all week alongside exhaustion.
  • 03/04/11 (mother’s day) – symptoms above continue, twinge in the back of throat. Tiredness lifting.
  • 04/04/11 ongoing – sore throat developed Mon – Wed, right eye pain on movement became constant, mild vision change on walking and left hand change in sensation became more noticeable. Tired but not too tired. Wed night started to feel unwell and Thurs off work feeling unwell and very tired – again….

I love the fact that as my cold started to come out I started to feel less tired and I didn't really feel ill for the first few days of bad throat and strange voice but last night and today I am feeling pretty grotty...... I have been home all day, either on the sofa with my slanket or in bed, missing out on the gorgeous sunshine, and have 'watched' a lot of TV and snoozed. Hopefully B will be home soon with my supplies - Ultrabalm tissues (my poor nose), Lemsip, chocolate and cookies (given the lack of alcohol I have calories to spare!!).

Tuesday, 5 April 2011


So I woke up this morning with a mildly sore throat, a hacking cough, a sore right eye and about as tired as I was when I went to bed..... Great..... Still I didn't do too badly today courtesy of Blackcurrent Lemsip - not sure I would have got through this morning without a Lemsip!!

Monday, 4 April 2011

Eye Pain

Last weekend, well 25 to 28 March, B and I went away for his parent's Wedding Anniversary. We had a really nice weekend, didn't do very much and ate too much! Anyway, since then I have been really tired, I have had eye pain on movement on and off and I have had a change in sensation to my left hand. Worst - I haven't felt like drinking alcohol since the 28 March....!!

I had to have a Google about the eye pain as I assumed ON always had visual loss, now I know it isn't necessarily ON but apparently it is possible to have ON without visual disturbance. Given that my eye hurts when I move it around I am going to say my previous ON inflammation is being irritated but my tiredness. Oh, I forget, I also have a scritchy throat, I am therefore going to blame everything on that!

Sootie has been to the vets twice now. He was an entire male so he went in for neutering, vaccinations, chipping and the rest of the MOT all at the same time. He is apparently healthy and approximately 5 years old. He had to have an upper canine tooth removed and had already lost one so only has 2 but he eats ok! He is still very scared but still likes a good scratch and tickle behind the ears!!

Sunday, 20 March 2011


We had a new cat dropped off on Thursday. At this stage I don't even know what sex this cat is due to the fact it is absolutely petrified..... I have stroked it and scratched under the chin but you can see it physically shaking most of the time. My gut feeling is that it is a male and I have been putting off naming it but I think Sootie works for male or female so I think I am going to go with that!

One of the welfare officers came round with a microchip scanner on Saturday and it has no chip. I gave it a flea spot on as well - guessing from the scratching that fleas were present.....

Sootie had been sleeping in someone's living room over night for about 3 months but was not getting on with one of their cats. Given the state of the cat I think it's probably a good thing they brought it in (had to trap it) - a little underweight but I think possibly a flea allergy or other skin condition. So it will be off to the vets next week for an 'MOT'.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Intermittent symptoms

As a general rule I don't have a lot in the way on ongoing symptoms, in fact most of the residual symptoms I have I don't notice on a day to day basis because I have had them for long enough it is 'normal'. For instance I am pretty sure that your hands, feet and lower legs aren't supposed to mildly tingle all the time, but I only notice when I am thinking about it.

My query today is, are those little aches and pains related to MS or does everyone get them? On a couple of occasions now I have been driving home from work and developed an uncomfortable ache in my left leg which remained when I got out of the car and until I eventually fell asleep (with the help of amitriptyline) - I am assuming this is a neurological ache as it's not quite pain. I also get pains in my hands from time to time and some transient numbness on my torso. I tend to put these things down to MS but are they just a normal process of wear and tear - I know 30 isn't old but it is still 30 years of use!

On the subject of being 30, I am trying to think of a birthday present list. I need a new alarm clock so that's on there. I think I will also add 'fire pit' so B and I can stay outside later in the summer - always wanted one of those.

On the migraine front, a couple of days after my Coke Zero post I had a migraine. 2am following half a bottle of red wine - I am blaming it on the red wine and will now reduce my intake on any one evening....... :0(

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Coke Zero

Following on from my migraine post it has now been around 2 weeks since I reintroduced caffeine on a daily basis. So far, touch wood, I have not had a migraine. Since just before Christmas I would estimate that I have averaged one migraine a week so having not had one for a couple of weeks I am hoping I have identified the problem, hoping!

George has now gone, he was picked up yesterday to go to his new home. He was adopted by a couple with 2 young children and they also adopted Ollie, another CP cat so George will have plenty of company! I will miss George - it was love at first sight - but he was always going to find it easy to get a new home.

Sunday, 20 February 2011


How cute is George?? Apparently I am not allowed to keep him...... :0(


For almost a year I was blissfully migraine free.....

I have always suffered with headaches, I always say since 12 as I remember taking some paracetamol on my way to school prior to having a horrible headache in a French lesson in my first year at secondary school. As I got older they got worse and by the time I went to University I was regularly having headaches which disrupted my life. One summer holiday I went to my GP who advised that what I was describing sounded like migraines and prescribed a prophylactic medication (not sure what). When I went back to Uni my GP there took me off both the prophylactic and the contraceptive pill.

Whilst on my placement year at British Airways 2001/02) I worked out that I generally had migraines when I had eaten dairy products so went more or less dairy free - reducing the number of migraines I was having significantly.

Nothing really helped the migraines but when I had one I would generally be able to sleep them off until in 2004 suddenly nothing would help and a migraine ran into the next day and caused me to be unable to go to work (ambulance service). I went to my GP, who was very helpful and reassuring and I was prescribed sumatriptan (Imigran).

With the sumatriptan and my eventual completely dairy free diet I managed my migraines successfully until January 2007 when I had the relapse that led to my MS diagnosis in May 2007. After that things just progressed. I went from taking approximately 12 sumatriptan tablets a year to taking almost 12 in a month by 2008. Eventually I discussed the migraines with my neurologist and MS Nurse and was offered a prophylactic medication. I didn't take up the offer until things got silly in approx September 2008.

I started on topiramate and then tried amitriptyline, neither of which helped (although amitriptyline is great for sleeping!!). Propranolol was the next drug. I started on 160mg with no benefit but once I was on 320mg a day I stopped having migraines - wonderful! I had a couple over the year but it was such a relief to stop having 2 or 3 a week......

Before Christmas I had a few migraines but I put that down to overindulging, now things have continued and I have used 6 sumatriptan tablets since I picked up a new prescription mid January. It is sooo disappointing to be having migraines again especially as the migraines are more intrusive than my MS..... So the questions are - does the efficacy of propranolol as a migraine prophylactic wear off and has anything changed?

I don't seem to be able to find the answer to my first question, however my second one I considered this morning and thought of something. Up to just before Christmas I used to drink at least 1 can of coke zero a day, maybe 2, now I drink caffeine free diet coke almost exclusively and don't have any other drinks with caffeine in them. I am now going to start drinking coke zero again and see what happens - maybe stopping so suddenly caused a reaction, maybe the caffeine helps the propranolol work - I hope it'll help anyway.......

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Busy busy!!

It's been a while, the time just goes doesn't it...... B and I have been up to a few bits and pieces over the last couple of weeks.

I'll start with the current house guest - and I volunteered for this....... Daisy is a long term foster cat which basically means that she permanently lives with someone but Cats Protection Reading East pick up the medical bills. Daisy's long term fosterer became ill around 3 weeks ago requiring a short stay in hospital. She has been home about a week now but caught a bug and ended up with a chest infection so we have kept Daisy whilst she recovers. When I volunteered to take Daisy it was because the CP Welfare officer was having trouble thinking of where to place her. Daisy has diabetes managed by caninsulin injections twice a day and as she also has arthritis it was felt an indoor fosterer was best. Well Daisy and I haven't got on from the start and we generally have a tantrum every injection...... Eventually I moved Daisy into the pen as the room we have is no longer particularly suitable for cats, especially one needing a regular injection.

Once in the pen Daisy started eating properly and we got into a better routine with the injections, she did however start urinating in her sleeping area and I noticed her urine smelled sweet - hyperglycaemia - I thought. So when I got an email that night (8 days after we got Daisy) advising that she also had hyperthyroidism I got onto Google and found out that the 2 conditions interact and that the untreated hyperthyroid was likely to be worsening the diabetic control...... So vets the next evening - I got mildly told off for giving Daisy an extra unit of insulin, although I think he worked out I didn't do it with absolutely no knowledge, and the urine dipstick noted the presence of pretty much anything that shouldn't be in urine - UTI and hyperglycaemia, so if the hyperthyroid wasn't buggering Daisy's sugar levels the UTI will have done.

So Daisy got an anti-biotic shot and some tablets for her thyroid. Daisy has stopped urinating unexpectedly seems to be much better in herself. We still have tantrums every injection time and now a tablet has been added to the mix. Daisy went to the vets for the weekend last weekend and was apparently very well behaved and purring - she really really doesn't like me.....

Hopefully Daisy should be going home tomorrow where she can be happy and comfortable again!

The reason for our weekend away was The National Winter Ales Festival held in Manchester 19 - 22 January. We went up by train on the Thursday evening arriving at the Premier Inn that we had booked at around 22:45 and then headed off for the Beer Festival after a Weatherspoon's breakfast on the Friday. We were there, ready and waiting for the opening and set up camp for the afternoon at a table. We ate at a Chinese restaurant called Yang Sing after the festival and then had some more drinks in the Weatherspoon's before heading back. On Saturday we mooched around Manchester, went on the Manchester wheel thing and drank more beer! We ate at a place called Swadesh Saturday night and we were both really impressed by the food - excellent meal! The train home was a bit short on working toilets but compared to driving it was a good option!

We have also been busy at home rearranging the furniture, although we really need to be busy hanging pictures and finishing off other decorating tasks - a bit useless that we haven't done so yet really!

MS wise I am now taking regular Movicol for my bowels, seems to be helping to an extent, now to try and get into a better routine. Definitely finding going a bit easier now though. I have been a bit snotty and tired the last couple of days and this morning I have woken up with a mild sore throat. Strangely enough now the cold is coming out I actually feel a bit better, but we will see how I feel later! I have a reasonably busy day today with an RLSS Branch Exec Meeting this afternoon and a concert this evening - perfect timing!

Saturday, 1 January 2011


Happy New Year to all!! I am currently sitting eating 3 day old prawn crackers and watching Jooles Holland to see in the New Year - it's quite a good way as far as I am concerned! I have booze, snacks and my hubby!!

Love to all and hope you all have a prosperous New Year!! XXX