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So…What’s The Craic?

First of all, the sharp-eyed among you will realise that the URL of the site has changed. My former web host, aka my brother, decided to shut down his server and so we’ve migrated to a new host (NameCheap, if anyone cares) and given me a new URL. Which is actually my same URL that I’ve used for the company website since I started it seven years ago. Six years ago? Some amount of years ago.

But don’t worry about changing your bookmarks or that you’ll miss something because Leyser.org/TeeBlog will get you directly to designedtoatee.co.uk/TeeBlog. That’s the front page of the entire site now. It’s a nice picture of me, yeah?

Of course, if you don’t care about looking at my working or buying things from one of my shops (And why not? Huh?) you can add a new bookmark. To get directly here, to the blog, you need to use http://www.designedtoatee.co.uk/TeeBlog/Blog.

Or you can come through the front door. That’s okay. 😀

Let’s see, what else…

We’ve purchased and moved into our new house. OUR new house. As in, we own it. Weeeeelll, us and the bank, at least. But we can do whatever we want to it. And we are. And we will. And it is awesome in be here. I’ll be posting some before and after pictures at some point. Major changes coming, actually, starting with a complete bathroom refit.

My mental health is good. My diabetes seems to be under control. My fibro/early degenerative disease/arthritis kicks my ass and steals my spoons on a regular basis.

But I’m knitting. And crocheting. And doing tapestry. And sewing. And being a mum and a wife. And I have just bought a drop spindle and some wool and a book and I am going to learn how to spin.

I wonder if Simon will notice if I put a new shed up in the garden to hold a spinning wheel and a shuttle loom…

Or maybe convert the attic? Image source: http://www.jofirthlacemaking.co.uk/textiles_of_ireland.html

 

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No Explanation No Defence

The other day I posted this on my Facebook:

Now here’s Tee, with your weekly Lunch Making Report: Tee?
Thank you, Tee.
On Monday and Tuesday there were no issues. On Wednesday, sandwiches were put into the wrong lunch bags and Daddy mourned his lack of cheese but enjoyed the white bread while Adam had a tear or two for brown bread, but ate the filling and an orange provided by Mrs L.
On Thursday, Adam had pasta so he was safe but Daddy’s sandwich was without mayonnaise. Mummy realised this around 930a and text Daddy to warn him. His reply was frown emoticon.
And now today, Friday, all lunches are within parameters and the family gave Mummy a big cheer!

Quite a lot of people liked it or smiled at it.

And then came the judges. Saying they could make their own lunches. And how in their house it was every man for himself.

And I started to get defensive. There are reasons, good ones, as to whyI make Simon and Adam’s lunches every day. Also, I shared this to poke fun at myself and lament my badly functioning brain, affected by a combination of fibro and perimenopause.

The original maker seems be lost, but I got it here: http://questinggirl.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/menopause-mothers-10-ways-to-feed-your.html
The original maker seems to be lost, but I got it here: http://questinggirl.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/menopause-mothers-10-ways-to-feed-your.html

And I started to defend myself.

And stopped.

Because why should I? The reasons Simon and I have for the way we run our family are just that; our reasons. I don’t worry about what happens in your house, so why are you so concerned about mine?

Yes. I shared the above. As I said, as a way to blow off frustration and to write it what I thought was a funny way. Not because I was looking for advice or opinion. It was just one of the many ways my poor brain is these days.

So I’m going to still post things like this.

So feel free to judge me, offer advice or do whatever you need to do to get through the day.

But I’m going to stop explaining and/or defending myself, my choices and my family.

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The Winter of My Disconnect…(Too good to pass up. Sorry. Not sorry.)

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/KnittedByATee

About two months ago I suddenly realized I had no idea what I’d been doing all winter. I mean, my son was alive and happy, my husband likewise, and there were a few knitting bits around. But I remembered very little of it. I had been black in the Land Of The Black Dog and didn’t even realize it.

It had, indeed, been the winter of my disconnect. I can remember days, weeks even, of seeming to be looking out of my own eyes. Of being someone else inside me, watching me go through my life.

When I finally ‘confessed’ to Simon, he said he knew something was wrong. That I had spent whole weekends in bed, asleep. He didn’t say anything because he knows me and knows I would deny it, even bury it, until I was ready to say ‘It’s bad again.’

So I saw a GP at our practice and we switched me to a new medicine that worked for a bit. And then didn’t. And then I saw another GP and actually had an anxiety attack right in front of him and he switched me again. This time to Venlafaxine. Which has not only helped my anxiety, it’s helped my fibro.

To the point that I am nearly pain free. I am still tired a lot and my brain is constantly leaking out of my ears, but I can deal with that so long as I’m not in pain!

I mean, I still have pain. I’m not cured or anything. But I am so much better.

So…what have I been doing?

This:

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/KnittedByATee
https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/KnittedByATee

Yup, I launched my shop. And immediately had two custom orders with a third happening soon.

I also sold one item from the shop directly.

I’ve also been doing this:

View this post on Instagram

First bobbin! #sewing

A post shared by Robyn Fraser (@tee2072) on

Yes. That’s a sewing machine. I’ve got the two Great British Sewing Bee books and I’ve started sewing from a pattern. My first shirt is nearly done and I am so chuffed with myself!

So I am feeling more connected to my life and my husband and my son and my craft. I’m imagining studio space through out my house as the dining room table is a bit inconvenient.

And, as the icing on the cake? In one week from tomorrow? I’ll be in Berkeley loving on my first two babies.

I may acknowledge their parents and my parents as well. 😀

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So, Yesterday…

Was my 46th birthday.

I’ve been struggling quite a lot with this birthday and I’m not really sure why.

I mean, I know part of it is that I’m now officially closer to 50 than 40 and 50 seems huge.

40 wasn’t huge because I was 20 weeks pregnant at the time with the baby that would become my wonderful little boy. So I was huge, but the birthday wasn’t. 😀

me and adam today and yesterday
Adam when he was the baby on the interior and yesterday when he was the boy waiting for the school bus.

 

I am, for the most part, happy and content with my life. I have a husband and son whom I love. I have more creative energy than I’ve had at any point in my history. And I enjoy what I do every day.

Yes, I’m sore. A lot. My arms ache and my legs ache and I’m tired a lot of the time. Such is life with Fibromayalgia, after all.

But I’ve been spending the time leading up to yesterday trying to figure out why it seems so huge and reflecting on my life.

And I recognize that I am not where I thought I’d be by this time in my life. I thought I’d be a published writer (well, I am, but only on the ‘net) and/or a professional theatre designer or at least fairly high up in the career that I started on at Kaiser about 20 years ago.

All of which was derailed, very firmly, by my first psychotic break at 25.

But I am, as I said, happy and content.

So why is 46 so hard?

It’s not the signs of ageing. I know I don’t look 46, for one thing. And I don’t really mind the signs that do show my age; my grey hair, my laugh and frown lines and the fact that I seem to be getting my mother’s hands, but without her lovely long thin fingers. 😀

So…why is 46 so hard?!

I have no idea…

 

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Lessons From The Not Quite 5 Year Old…

“What did you do today mummy?”

“Well, I walked you to school and then I went to the GP’s office for prescriptions and then to the chemist to get them filled and then to the supermarket for bread and pancakes and cereal bars. And then I came home and had a coffee and did some knitting and then had some lunch and then came to meet your bus. So, really, I did nothing today because I’m not feeling well. Again.”

“But you took me to school and then went to the chemist and the supermarket!”

“True, but I meant I didn’t do any housework today, like I had wanted to.”

“But you knitted! That’s housework!”

“Is it?”

“Yes.” With nearly 5 year old conviction. “You did lots today.”

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Who Am I If I’m Not In Pain?

So due to an incredible set of circumstances, I am remarkably pain free.

First I took up knitting to help my arthritic hands. And it worked. My hands are much looser and practically pain free. I still get twinges and opening jars is beyond me, but day to day activity is so much improved I am actually thinking about trying to draw by hand again.

Then the chemist couldn’t get me any Xanax. It’s not a drug that is prescribed in the UK, since the NHS doesn’t cover it (I’ve been paying private ‘script charges on it for years), so the European distributors haven’t been keeping it in the country. So I am in the process of switching to Zoloft. Guess what else Zoloft is good for, along with anxiety? Fibro pain.

So despite the fact that the med switch has given me some insomnia, I’m not really in fibro pain at the moment. I have nearly a full range of movement in my arms and the new pains that had started in my upper legs has totally gone. I’m still getting the fatigue and fibro brain, but I can deal with all of that, if there’s no pain.

Finally, I have been working with a podiatrist to pinpoint why my left leg hurts so badly, even with having had cortisone and exercise and losing weight and all those things. And for the first time someone looked at me and said ‘Your left leg is shorter than your right.’ Around 30 years my left leg has hurt in one way or another and this is the first time someone has noticed that. And that is skews the way I walk and the way I stand.

So I have a temporary thing for my left shoe that I am to try different thicknesses on, using, belive it or not, beer mats to raise or lower it as feels comfortable. And in four weeks I go back to report and have casts made of my feet and custom shoe inserts created. Just one day of having this temp thing in my left shoe and my leg feels better.

So how does it feel to not be in constant never ending pain?

Fucking terrifying.

I am trying so hard to not get my hopes up that this is how I will feel all the time now. I am trying to treat each day as a gift of painlessness.

And I’m not sure who to be any more. I’ve been Tee, the woman with three chronic pain conditions for a long time. I can’t even imagine what I might get done if I’m not spending days on the sofa just trying to get from one minute to the next.

But I am going to find out!

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The Things I’ve Lost

because of my chronic pain: –

  • Shopping all day long. Now shop ’till you drop means about an hour, two if I’m lucky.
  • Fountain pens. Can’t hold any sort of pen for long now. Writing on the computer just isn’t the same.
  • Beautiful notebooks. No point in having beautiful notebooks if you can’t write in them.
  •  FM heels. I haven’t worn a heel higher than about an inch in about a decade.
  • Dancing the night away. Only if I want to not move for two days afterwards.
  • Working full time. I do miss it, sometimes. Having an actual job in an actual office. Not that I don’t love working for myself, I do. But it would be nice to have more money. But that would mean more work. Which I can’t do.
  • Playing on the floor with my son. Lately my leg has been so bad (Ortho referral being waited on. Again.) that I can’t even sit in the bean bag chair for long. Makes it hard to help him lay out the 1,000 pieces of train track he got for Christmas.
  • A full nights sleep for more than one night in a row. I honestly don’t remember when I’ve felt rested for more than a few hours. I get one good night and then four or five bad in a row. And I can’t exactly nap in the afternoons. Except on the weekends.
  • The knowledge that doing something today won’t mean I can’t do anything tomorrow. Especially if I sleep badly.

What brought on this maudlin post? The fact that I’ve been awake since 0345, again, after several nights in a row when I appear to have slept all night but didn’t feel like I did, so I must have been at least partially waking up every night. Most likely brief bouts of awakeness, if not awareness, when I’ve rolled onto my bad leg.

And the fact that Simon is away to Dublin until very late tomorrow night. So no rest for me. Adam is at daycare for a half day today, I need to go get him in about 45 minutes and then, of course, tomorrow is Saturday. He has his class in the morning, so we’re out of the house by just before 10. I may get some ‘sitting around doing nothing’ rest if he sleeps tomorrow, but won’t get a sleep in the afternoon myself because the grocery order is due and I have some work to finish.

So I’m feeling a bit sorry for myself. Okay?

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Railway Children, Mumsnet and Aviva – Please Help

People tell me, sometimes, that they can’t believe how much I put on the internet. My real name, the name of my son and husband, my general location, my health issues, both mental and physical.

But what they don’t realize is how much I don’t put on the internet. About my childhood. About my parent’s divorce. About my journey from being a troubled child and teenager to being an adult with those mental illnesses.

About my running away.

I’ve run away twice in my life, once when I was about 13 and once when I was 25.

30 years on I have no idea why I ran away when I was 13. A fight with my mom and step-dad no doubt. About…who knows?

But run I did. Out the door and down the street and, I remember, to the left. To the right was known and led to major roads they would be able to find me on. To the left was unknown and led to I didn’t know where.

I was just looking at a map and I can’t remember how far I went or where I ended up. I do know a nice lady stopped and tried to help me, but I jumped out of her car at a light, stories of kidnapped children in my head. And then was picked up by the police and taken home; the nice lady had called them. It was dark and cold at that point. I was gone for at least a few hours.

My parents were, of course, relieved. My step-sister, who was home from college, was really mad, but still ran me a bath to warm me up.

I have no idea what my mom said to the police to get them to just leave me and not investigate further. But that’s what happened.

And I was lucky. I was on the street for hours. Not days or months. And at this point, I don’t remember the aftermath. In what way, if at all, I was punished. All I remember was thinking I had to get away from them. From myself. From my pain.

My second running away at 25 was the beginning of my mental breakdown that led to my diagnoses today. But that one was by car, with my cat and isn’t what this post is about.

It’s about runaway children. It’s because Mumsnet and Railway Children and Aviva have come together to help young runaways. The ones who don’t get taken back home in hours. The ones who are on the streets. The ones whose home lives are probably filled with horrors I can’t even imagine; horrors that make the streets better than home.

For every blog post, every Tweet, every Facebook status, every comment on this blog and all the others writing about this, Aviva will donate £2 to Railway Children, up to £200,000 by the end of 2013. Money that will go towards helping runaways, like I might have become.

If not for one nice lady and some police.

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I Do Like It When My House Is Clean

Too bad I have to, you know, actually clean it, to get it that way.

I admit, sometimes it’s pretty gross. Fibro flare usually means cleaning drops right down my list of things to use spoons on. So, yes, sometimes my bathrooms are growing things.

There. I said it.

This is part of why I don’t like people just dropping by. I need at least a few hours notice to run a sponge around the place and disinfect.

I used to not be like that. I used to keep a very clean bathroom and kitchen, at least. Used to hate a dirty bathroom or kitchen.

So what happened?

Depression. Fibro. Three year old boys.

All things that have taken precedence over a clean house.

These days some things are a given. The dishes are all washed before bed. The table and kitchen counters are cleaned. The tub gets rinsed regularly.

Other than that?

Call before you come over.

Okay?

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Fighting The Black Dog

Today is the launch of a Mental Health Blogging Carnival here at Bundance.

The timing is interesting as I am currently fighting the Black Dog myself today. After feeling really well for ages today I’m just not. No idea why.

Do take a look at the carnival. Lots of great blogs by lots of great bloggers.

Let’s get talking. Let’s fight the Black Dog.