Thursday, 19 October 2017

A few minutes in the garden

Today I spent a few minutes in the wilderness garden. It's a lovely sunny day here today. Spring, and the grass is growing wild!

I was hanging out some washing and noticed the lilies are back! I've been wanting to try and eradicate them for years. They just take over. I want to use something organic so went searching on google. I found this site which had a homemade weedkiller. Just what I wanted. I even had some white vinegar in the cupboard, only 4% but I figured it is better than nothing. So I put it in a bottle and grated some sunlight soap up then mixed it with water for the soap element. Then I found an old paintbrush and off I went.

These are what I am hoping to get rid of over time, the bright green lily leaves, which do produce flowers. It's not the usual Arum Lily though, I do know that much. These are near the washing line. I painted as many leaves as I could reach. 

These ones are further up the steps and have nearly taken over this garden. It is what they do very well. They have bulbs and just seem to multiply so quickly. It is really hard to get out all the bulblets and they grow pretty deep. We've had them take over a number of garden patches.

Another view of the same place. When its not the lilies it is the nasturtiums, or the grass. I have ideas but attempting to keep on top of it can pretty difficult! So I did as much of this bit as I could reach too, until I ran out of vinegar solution. We shall see what happens.

I have tried to find out in the past what this lily is, even taking a leaf down to a garden centre. Today I believe I may have found out. It finally occurred to me to hunt on google!

I believe it is this plant, Arum maculatum. From memory this is what the spathes look like. It is also called Lords and Ladies plus various other names.

I'll try to take a photo a day and see what happens. Plus get some more white vinegar so I can paint them again repeatedly. This will be an ongoing thing I am sure!

I know gardeners say little and often keeps the garden under control. I'm sure it does. It's the getting-it-under-contol bit that I need to work on. Though I guess the same thing applies. So much to do.

Last year - March 2016 - we created this paved area around the washing line. Something I'd been wanting to do for quite a few years. Otherwise the grass grows so long in spring the towels are brushing up against the longest spikes. We grow grass and weeds very well!

 What we got done the first day.

The pile of bricks down by the woodpile

Me, showing my amazing strength carrying 3 bricks up at once 😜

From by the woodpile . . . up the path . . .

Up the rest of the path  . . . then the steps . . . and someone snapped a pic later when I carried only two! Me, in all my gardening glory!

More progress the next weekend

Just a bit to go

Boar creating a wall at the back to finish it off. 

The large square paving slabs are what were set in the grass to get to the washing line before. The upside-down table is right way up and back in it's place by the washing line. Boar made it, possibly over 20 years ago, so I could put the wash basket it on it and not have to bend up and down all the time. It was also used by small children to help peg up washing. And, of course, it made a place for the children to stand on and swing around on the rotary line 😵

As well as sorting the lilies out I need to tidy up the paved area, by which I mean pull out the grass, small weeds etc that have grown over winter. Refer back to the first photo if you want to see what I mean!

Must be time for a wander around the garden. It usually gives me inspiration as the weather warms up and the sun comes out.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Keeping up the pace

It's been a fairly quiet week, and only a week since I wrote a post! Life has carried on as usual with the general daily happenings. I haven't done as much sewing this last week, though the last couple of days I've been busier as finishing up one project and several coming up.

I have gone for a walk each day except Sunday. I kept to my plan for pushing myself a bit and have gone for a 2km walk each day. The walk I took on Saturday is one of the tougher ones, well for me anyway. There is a steep street nearby and this route takes me up it. I chose all the routes to give me a variety of walks, some flatter and some hills as well.

On the way up the street I saw this car tucked away - and it doesn't look as though it has gone anywhere for a while!

As I was walking towards the steep part of the street I heard footsteps behind me and soon enough two women came jogging past, holding walking poles. I watched with interest as they headed towards the steep bit then slowed down, the younger one to walking pace, and started using their poles as they went up the steep bit. Off they went up around the corner, and a third woman appeared too, but I'm not sure if she was with them or not. 

Meanwhile I kept walking steadily, and started up the steep section. I made it to the first lamp post and stopped for a breather. Good excuse to take a photo! Then I made my way to the next lamp post - and the two women came jogging down! Up and around the corner I plodded, my hamstrings letting me know they weren't too keen on this particular bit. I was having another breather when the slightly older lady came past again, soon followed by the younger one, and I asked her, "Do the poles make it easier?"  "Yes, 30% easier!" she replied. Hmmm, I thought to myself, I must do some research on this! They got to the brow of the hill and down they went again. I have no idea if they went up a 3rd time as I continued on my loop. 

Crikey! was my main thought while I was watching them. Still I completed my walk which was my aim so that's good. 

I've now sorted my walks into alternate flattish and steeper/more hilly so my muscles get a bit of a change each day. I also work around the weather, figuring that if it's raining earlier in the morning I can always take a break during the day and go for a walk when the weather fines up.

 Today is my "away" walk so I went to Titahi Bay. I edited the map by adding the words "Titahi Bay" and an arrow to show where the bay is.


This photo shows the bay from above, quite a good angle to see it from.


There was quite a lot of what I guess is run-off water after the rain creating these little rivulets running down to the surf. Most of them I could just step over but a couple I had to leap - not particularly gracefully most likely but I kept my feet dry!

Mana Island, which looks as though it is sitting in the middle of the bay, but isn't.

I thought I'd walk around the coast a wee bit. First I had to cross this bit which has turned into a wee stream with run-off. It was easy enough to get across as the rocks formed stepping stones.

I went around as far as I could, only about 5 minutes around, scrambling a little bit over some of the rocks. Then I didn't go any further as I wasn't going to get across this gap. The only other way was up the cliff!

When I got back to the road entrance I took another photo as since it was such a clear day the top islands of the South Island are smudges on the horizon.

I really enjoyed this walk today, the slight breeze and the sound of the surf. Then it was home and on with other tasks!

Friday, 11 August 2017

A walk in the rain

One thing to contend with when wanting to increase my fitness is the weather. Especially at this time of year! A lot of folk choose to join a gym, but I prefer the open air. Running isn't my thing but I do like to walk. I've more or less decided that Wednesdays will be my "go somewhere" walk, by which I mean somewhere other than the streets around home.

On Wednesday it was raining quite a bit so I decided to go for a walk at Otari-Wilton's Bush because with the tree cover you don't get quite as wet as walking out in the open in the rain. Though you do still get wet! 

For now I usually go for walks by myself. There are a few reasons. One is that I can go at my own pace - which is steady but not that quick. I can stop and take a breather whenever I need to. I sometimes find when I walk with others, who are generally fitter and not anaemic, I'm conscious of holding them up. Or they go on ahead, stop to wait for me to catch up, then when I get there take off again - so I don't get much of a breather! The end result being I don't enjoy the walk as much. another reason is that I get some "thinking space" and time to reflect. Lastly, in general the time when I go for a walk everyone else is heading out to work. I find if I don't get a walk in early in the day it's less likely to happen.

Part of the map of Otari-Wilton's Bush

I walked in from the "You are here" along the purple path which is fairly flat.

This an outlet from a pipe that goes under the road at the beginning of the walk, lots of fast flowing water there!

A mini-rapid - well not really but the stream is full and flowing quickly.

I took a wee detour to see the waterfall which I thought would be further away, but it was not that far
from the main path. Over a bridge and up a short path.

I was really glad I'd worn my boots as there was quite a lot of water on the path and I didn't need to try and avoid it.

Once I got to the picnic area  I decided to do a small circuit of the yellow trail. I've done it before and it doesn't take long.


I haven't been here before when it's been raining, there is a lot of water flowing under the bridge  I needed to cross to get to the track.

And then there were steps! I made it to the top of these without stopping - and then had a wee breather. There were a few more sets of varying lengths. This is where walking by myself means I can stop however many times I need to - which I did after each set of steps!

Decision! Up . . . or down? It wasn't a tough one as I needed to go down a) because that was the route I was taking and b) there wasn't enough time to do the longer walk as Locket would need picking up from her course soon. I think the longer yellow trail was about an hour - but would probably take me up to an hour and a half!

River stream crossing! There are all these little side steams feeding into the main stream which of course fills it up more.

This is another view of the same outlet pipe at the beginning of the walk showing how the water is pouring out.

Once I got back to the carpark I decided to walk up the road a bit. I've always been intrigued by this waterfall on Churchill Drive, right beside the road! It comes from quite high up I think. It usually has a trickle but when it rains it pounds down and I've always wanted to get a photo but it's not a safe place to stop.

A little way up the road there is another waterfall which usually is dry - except when it is raining.

 Photos all done I headed back to the car. It wasn't far for which I was very thankful as I found out a few of my toes had rubbed on my boots and given me blisters on the tops of the toes! Note to self - get some gel toe protector caps or sleeves.  It's possible I need new boots but not at the moment.

I really enjoyed this walk. The rain brought out the earthy smell, which I find very grounding - no pun intended! It's peaceful and quiet, apart from nature sounds, and as I didn't see anyone else on my walk it was as though I had the whole area to myself.

I feel ready to push myself a bit more than I have been doing. 10 minute walks are great but to build stronger muscles and also stamina I need to walk farther. I want to build up to longer more challenging walks over time and this is the way to do it. I also took a small day pack to carry my water bottle etc which added around 5kg of weight. For some it would be hardly a walk at all, but I was happy with what I'd achieved. I found the small trail a little easier than last time I did it. Footstep by footstep I'll get stronger 😃

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Living Life . . . though it seems to fly past!

It's August again already! Which is when I wrote the bulk of my last post. So what are the changes?

Boar continues to go to work everyday and keep in good health, and though it's about 4 1/2 years away he is looking forward to retirement. That will mean a bit of a change for the pair of us!

Sunshine and Halfpint have both turned 5 and started school.

In May we were blessed with a new grand-daughter, a third daughter for A-M Prof and Moneypenny. I'll call her Blossom, she is now 3 months old and a wee sweetheart  😃 

Frosty and Chip are living here at the moment, and will be for a few months more at least.

Pa had 3 admissions to hospital in a 4 week period back in late January-late February and has now moved into Johnsonvale Rest Home where Ma was. The good thing is that all the staff know him already from when he used to visit Ma. He has settled in well and I usually go and visit him once a week and have afternoon tea with him. I also take him down to the shops and other places he might want to go.

Brains is up in Auckland at Unitech studying and doing Contemporary dance. Locket is in the second year of her Arts degree majoring in photography.

Braveheart continues to work for Kato, when there is work for him to do. He has Halfpint and Battler most weekends.

Smurfette continues to work at the same place. There was a bit of a re-structure meaning she, and others, had to re-apply for their jobs and thankfully she was offered a position. So she is happy about that.

As for me - I just carry on as usual doing what needs to be done. I've been doing a bit more sewing work this year, fitting it around all the other things there are to do. Which are the necessary but not that wildly interesting things!

One thing I have been trying to do is work on my fitness. Back in 2013 I was searching for information on how to work out walking speed, and how far I would walk in an hour. Because everyone's walking speed is different. I used to walk quite quickly, however these days my pace is slower. During my search I found this Walking For Fitness pdf on a site called Metrication Matters. It had a walking plan as well which I found helpful since I was pretty unfit. This walking plan seemed achievable in that to begin with you just walk for 10 minutes a day.

For quite some years on and off I've had a struggle to maintain my iron levels - meaning my haemaglobin drops. Which in turns affects fitness. Walking along flat places is o.k., but as soon as I start to go up a slope, or steps, I get breathless pretty quickly and then my heart starts thumping. 10 minutes a day was a walk around the block, or as I found out last year Alex Moore Park close by has a paved track all the way round and takes me about 12 minutes at a steady pace. It's mostly flat too.

So on and off for the last couple of years I've tried to walk 10 minutes a day . . . a lot of the time I haven't though. Last year I found NZ Mapometer site and I was able to create a whole lot of different walks and know how long they are. This gives me a bit more variety. Plus I'd begun to feel the need to push myself a bit more. I made up different routes, some with only gentle rises, some with hills. The first lot are just over 2km each, 6 of them so I can walk Monday to Saturday and have a rest day on a Sunday.

This is a photo I took one of the mornings I was walking round Alex Moore Park. I loved the way the clouds are lit up by the sun.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Filling in some gaps . . .

Monday 29 August

I sometimes wonder why I called my blog what I did! For the last year life has been anything but quiet!

Dear readers, believe it or not but it is over a year since my PE . . . August 13, 2015. Since then there have been a few other major family events. I'm going to mention them briefly and leave it at that.

  • Chuckles and Braveheart have separated.
  • Jamila and Levi have separated
  • Jester and Frosty are in the middle of separating/trying to sort things out

The other major thing that happened is that my lovely Mum passed away after 6 1/2 years living in a rest home. Throughout this whole time Mum hardly ever complained, suffered with dignity, keeping her sense of humour as long as she could. The main reason Mum had to go into care was Parkinson's which meant that as her health and mobility deteriorated Dad was unable to continue caring for her at home. A fractured hip and a couple of strokes didn't help either! Dad visited Mum faithfully nearly every day of those long six and a half years. I rarely saw Mum upset. Only once did I see her really upset and this was after Dad had his 2nd stroke. I'd asked Sheri to let Mum know Dad was in hospital after the stroke. Later in the day I visited Mum and she was sitting in a chair looking so sad. I asked her what was wrong and she couldn't answer, but a tear rolled down her cheek. I took a guess, not hard, and asked her if it was Dad. She nodded yes. "He's ok, Mum, he's ok. He had another stroke but he's ok. They need to do an operation . . . but he's doing ok."

"I thought he'd died and no-one had told me," she said quietly, a few more tears rolling down her cheeks. That is love, strong love, pure and simple, though they never said much about their feelings for each other.

I stayed with her a while till she was happier and before I left I had a word with the staff. They said in the morning when Mum had woken up she had said the same, and they had assured her it wasn't so, as I'd thought, but since Mum's memory was no longer great she hadn't been able to hold on to the information.

By the end Mum wasn't able to talk much even. It was hard to know if she still recognised most of us, but I'm sure she still knew who Dad was till the end.

Since Mum had been so unwell for so long, slowly deteriorating, it was for her a blessed relief to finally pass away. She had never wanted to be "a vegetable" as she termed it, however all her cares needed to be done for her for a long time. For us . . .it was sad, but for me personally it was a relief that she was no longer suffering.

The tough part was that Mum passed away on Locket's 16th birthday  :(  but Locket was very unselfish about the whole thing. Sad that her Nan had passed away, not that it was on her birthday. We did our best to have a wee time of focusing on her at dinner time but it was unfortunately overshadowed a bit by Mum's passing.

We had a lovely funeral service with lots of family and friends attending. Rest in Peace, Mum, gone to be with your Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Since then there have been a few ups and downs, a lot of things to help sort out such as probate. This has needed trips to the lawyer, banks and paperwork to be done.

It is mostly sorted now. Pa has been doing ok, sad understandably as Ma's passing has left a huge hole in his life.

I think I'll leave it there for now.

Wednesday 28 December

Well . . . that was written some months ago! And that is the kind of year it has been. One thing after another, the days just fly by and there seems to be hardly any time for anything. Not enough time for blogging anyway!

So now Christmas has been once again. We had a lovely day, first time in quite a few years that all six of our blessings were all there on Christmas Day. There were fifteen of us altogether, with the five grandblesssings there. We managed to get some long overdue family photos 😀

The last few days I've just been relaxing. Christmas Day is always busy, a meal here for all of us, then for me a trip over the hill to Featherston to take Braveheart, Halfpint and Battler home along with Peppa, the dog. Peppa came over with Braveheart as she cut her paw on something just a few days before Christmas and needed stitches. She is a lovely dog although by the end of the day I think she was glad to get back to her own place with less people!

Locket came for the ride with me and once we had done the drop off to Featherston we headed back to Wellington and over to Miramar to Charles and Lynne's home for the usual Xmas day get together there. We got there about 7:30pm and had a good time catching up with those who were there. By 9:30pm I was beginning to blink and yawn, tiredness catching up with me after a 5:45am start to the day. I got up when I woke up as then I got a wee bit of P&Q before the busyness of the day 😉

At the moment I'm using Brains' tablet as my laptop had to go for a visit to a friend. It couldn't find itself  it's operating system 😕 That sort of thing is way beyond me so I am waiting to see if it can be fixed, and, if I'm really fortunate, the photos I hadn't backed up in the last little while somehow saved! They are mainly sewing ones for my other blog, so there may be some posts I won't be able to do on there. C'est la vie!

O.K. it is more than time I posted this. There aren't many days left of 2016! Three to be exact. I will try to post again before then. No promises though!

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Rollcall update

I've decided it is time to update the roll call again. Time has marched on and everyone is older. A lot of it you will know if you've read it before. So here goes.

Boar is the head of the household, my caring DH. Then there is me . . I'm Mama Bear . . . my lovelies call me that so I thought it would do.  :)

Our oldest son is Absent-Minded Professor, A-M Prof for short. His lovely wife is Moneypenny and they have two gorgeous girls, Sunshine, who is now 4 years old, and Poppet, who is 2 years old.

Our oldest daughter chose the name Smurfette for herself.

Our second son is Braveheart. His ex-partner is, Chuckles, and she is the mother of their two awesome boys, Halfpint, who is 4 years old and Battler, who is 2 years old.

Next is our second daughter, Frosty, whose partner is Jester. They have an awesome son, Chip, who is 3 years old now.

Following on is our third son, Brains, yup, after the dude on Thunderbirds.

Last in the line-up is our third daughter, Locket, it's what I've called her for years.

There's also Pa, who may sometimes be called Mr P, depending what I remember to put. Ma, or Mrs P, will be mentioned as well, though sadly she has now passed on. They are my parents. Boar's parents passed on quite a while ago now, before either of our two youngest were born.

There is a whole extended family, but they are in another post or this one would be way too long!

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Lemons equal Lemonade . . . or Bitterness

It's June - Here in New Zealand today is Queen's Birthday Monday. The day we remember Queen Elizabeth's birthday. Her actual date of birth is in April. It's a public holiday and many people have the day off work.

Later today I'll be heading out with Locket, but for now I thought I'd do some writing. I'm sure I'll need a break at some stage and can pick it back up when I get home again.

I've been doing a lot of thinking since I last posted. I thought about closing both my blogs down. They serve different purposes, but as anyone who has a blog knows they do require some effort. For me they do anyway!

I've decided I will keep them both going. With some changes though. I'll post when I can, and it may be that the attention will be more on one than the other for a space of time. My sewing blog is really to catalogue what I make, how I make whatever is under construction etc.

This blog though is about life - my life, and those who are a part of it. So it will go more deeply into the personal. Thoughts, feelings, ailments. All that makes up MY life. At times I may allude to an event or period in my life but not go into detail. This is because some happenings in my life, or within my family, affect others. It may affect me, but not be my business to share fully. Another area is my health, I may share details that are personal. So, fair warning, if you think it will make you uncomfortable please don't read.

I will try my best not to offend, upset or hurt anyone within my family, however please always remember that these are my thoughts and feelings. I don't tend to wear my heart on my sleeve, but I am as human as the next person. I think  . . . . wait  . . . . yup, I just pinched myself and it hurt . . . I'm human! If you do read something that you don't like please talk to me about it. :-C

O.k. there are people who are talkers/sharers of the minutest details of their lives, so it seems to me. Then there are those who keep a lot to themselves, think it all through and eventually may share their thoughts and feelings with a trusted few. I guess there are those in the middling ground as well. I'm the second sort. I'm sure I get up some peoples noses as I have a tendency to be a bit of a Pollyanna. If you don't know what I mean watch this short clip from one of my favourite movies. I do try to find the positives in life, even in the midst of the troubles that come to us all.

Life has been topsy turvy a lot the last few years. One thing for me has been dealing with health issues. I thought I was fairly well. I had been anaemic on and off for quite a few years, I was nowhere near as fit as I'd like to be. Then in August last year I had a major medical event. If you've read my blog before you'll know what I mean. If not you can read about it here if you choose to. Since then I've had, to date, 4 CT scans and various other tests. Not nearly as many as other folk have, but still, you start to get a bit sick and tired of going to yet another test or appointment. I have anyway! Can I pleeeeease just go back to before all this!

One CT scan showed I'd had a DVT in my femoral and iliac veins. If you don't know where these are you can go here. There is a search box up the top and you can find the area you want if you type in the name and hit search. There's a 360° view as well.

So then an ultrasound was ordered. The ultrasound showed what looked like "beading" on my right iliac artery. The report showed that it was consistent with FMD or Fibromuscular Dysplasia. Say what?? Even my consultant, the Prof, shook his head to begin with and I heard him say quietly, "I don't know what . . . . ah . . . . ok!" Then he turned to me and after asking a few questions said he was referring me to the vascular team.

I went home, tried to remember the name of this obscure ailment and typed in FMD. And google lovingly threw up many articles on . . .  wait for it . . . Foot and Mouth Disease! =))  Well, O.K! I knew it wasn't that so went on a hunt! There was very little info and then I found this wonderful site. If you really want to know about FMD you can read about it here as it explains it far better than I can. I found out it is pretty rare and there are very few folk in NZ. 10 or so, but was I able to make contact with a couple. Earlier this year I joined a couple of support networks online. There was no info relevant to NZ at all, anywhere.

I saw the vascular team and a CT Scan of my renal arteries, abdominal aorta and extremities (i.e.legs) was done on 4 April. Well, that scan was clear! No FMD seen in any of those artery beds. Yipee! Part of me is very, very glad and thanking God that it is clear. But . . . and it is a but. There is another part of me that is less than impressed. On Wednesday I had the follow-up to the scan. With the vascular team. Not the consultant of course. With his registrar. Who, like the first registrar, admitted not knowing very much about FMD. Well, I'm pretty sure I more than likely know more. Not being big-headed here, I've just been doing a heap of reading. In America the leading experts recommend that if FMD is suspected the Carotid and Vetebral arteries are scanned as a baseline. Because you can have FMD in the carotid and/or vertebral arteries without it being present in any other artery beds in the body! The registrar said they were confident I don't have it. I don't have it anywhere in the scan that was done ergo I don't have it in my carotid and/or vertebrals. Believe me I did question that! I don't think the registrar was used to a patient having an opinion of their own  :-O  I told him I have some of the symptoms. Yes, they could be due to other things. However they could also be due to FMD. For now I don't know. They are not "going to go hunting" and I've been discharged from the vascular team. This seems to be pretty standard here from discussions I've had with others. So now I officially don't have FMD! The only way to find out would be to go privately and have a scan done and that isn't financially viable right now. So I shall choose to live as though I don't have it. BUT I will always keep it in mind, especially if I have any symptoms such as severe headache, stroke, TIAs etc.

Another consultant I had to see was a gynaecologist. This was because for years I've been anaemic on and off. All kinds of tests and the conclusion was that it was heavy periods that caused the anaemia. I first saw one in 2009 and their solution was a Mirena. Which I researched . . . and declined. If you are reading this, you have one and it works for you, fantastic. At that stage it wasn't for me. Part of the reason is what I personally believe. For myself I have only used natural family planning, this was a choice Boar and I made together and it has worked well for us as a couple. Fast forward six years till October or November last year and I was again off to see a gynae doctor. Predictably with the same result. Oh, and a test to make sure my endometrium, or lining of the uterus, was all o.k. It was. However  . . . a Mirena was again the best solution, in their opinion, and "we could pop it in now while you're here. It's free!" If inserted later I'd have to pay. Not convinced. Oh and the Prof would think it was the best option. Still not convinced! News flash doctors - I'm not afraid to research and, more importantly, think for myself and make my own decisions about my own body which you may not agree with!

The Prof did think that either a Mirena or hysterectomy were the only options. I had coped pretty well with everything that had been thrown at me till then. But, there in his office, at that I nearly lost it. Tissues were nearly needed! But I held it together and after the appointment I took myself to Titahi Bay and went for a walk on the beach. I wasn't ready to go home - Pa was there and I needed some time and space. I found a quiet spot and then the tears did come. For many it might not be a big deal but this issue for me was a biggie. I was angry and upset. After a bit of a cry my usual nature started to gain the upper hand. It wasn't a disaster. It was not what I wanted, but there are many worse things others have to deal with. I decided in the end to go with the Mirena, having had a clot there was a risk with a hysterectomy.

There is a whole procedure to having a Mirena inserted! First they have to decide whether you are eligible - that phone conversation with a nurse was interesting! She more or less queried why I wanted a Mirena. I stated I did not want one but had been told I had to have one. Oh. There were criteria for the funded ones. Reason? - heavy periods. Oh, well, it's not just having heavy periods . . . you need a low haemaglobin. Is 75 low enough? I queried. Oh! You have been through the mill haven't you! Yes.

Anyway it turns out that you need to see the doctor, then it needs to be applied for. Ok - appointment made, doctor fills in the form online. Then you need another appointment for a smear, to check you have no infection. The first appointment was before Christmas. The smear was early this year. It was that particular nurse who informed me I would be eligible to have the insertion done at the Family Planning Clinic! For a lot less than the medical centre would charge. Thank you, nurse, for informing me of this  . . . and why did the hospital not tell me it was an option? So I rang Family Planning and the first appointment I could get was February. One was also made for the insertion later in March. This was a good thing because the results from the smear showed I had a common infection called bacterial vaginosis which needed a course of antibiotics. I did go to the first appointment at Family Planning but I ended up cancelling the second. Mainly because I had another infection, not bacterial but fungal. Not the common thrush we ladies can get. But golly-gee-whiskers did it irritate me! A different one. So no way was I getting anything inserted with an infection "down there"!

It's as though my entire body has gone a bit haywire since the PE! And I just have to say . . . anti-coagulants such as Rivaroxaban, Warfarin, and to some extent I think Asprin, and periods are not a good mix! I have mentioned this to radiographers, blood clinic ladies etc and they nearly all say, "Oh! I hadn't thought of that!" Seriously, it was one of the first questions I asked the doctors when I was still in hospital. Oh, we don't think it will make much difference. WRONG! Many women, I have found, say it makes a lot of difference. I sure found it did!

I did some more reading and research, then I made a decision. When I saw the Prof in March I had been on Rivaroxaban 2 months then Warfarin for 5 months. A total of 7 months. So a decision was made jointly by Prof and I, after he had listened to my reasons. 1) Go on to Aspirin and Atorvastatin as preventatives against more clots. This won't mean I won't get them, but will lessen the risk. 2) Stay on iron pills to stabalise my haemaglobin. 3) Not get a Mirena. I felt that my body needed time to adjust after the PE and when I came off the Warfarin. Also if I was starting two other new drugs how would I know what I was reacting to if the Mirena was added to the mix? Plus the fact that when a Mirena is inserted you can have bleeding for a few months - which seemed counter-productive to me when my haemaglobin needed to be stablised! 4) If my periods didn't settle down in the next 3 - 6 months we look at the situation again, possibly looking at a hysterectomy.

So that is what happened. However . . . the same CT Scan that cleared me of possible FMD also showed some thickening in the wall of my uterus. So an ultrasound of my uterus was ordered. It was done recently and showed I more than likely have adenomyosis. I say "more than likely" since I've already had one "more than likely" or  "consistent with" with the FMD and further investigation showed I don't appear to have it. So heigh-go, heigh-ho, it's back to gynae I go!

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Well! Can you believe that was written nearly two weeks ago? Once again life intervened and despite good intentions that I was going to finish it off I didn't. When that happens, especially after a time lapse, I have no idea what I was going to say next. So I'll proof read it and publish it. 

And the title? Well, you get thrown some curve balls in life and I believe you can choose how you deal with them. Most folk go through a stage of shock/numbness when major things happen. When that wears off the work sets in. I mean the work of dealing with whatever the curve ball is. This is when we can choose our attitude, how we are going to live beyond it and many other things. It will be different for each situation and person. 

For myself I choose to live as well as I can. I am so very blessed! I have a strong, caring husband, 6 beautiful children and their partners, 5 precious grand-children. We have a roof over our head, food on the table every day, a warm fire in this cold weather and many more comforts! Our health is o.k. I can see, and hear, and speak. 

There are so many others in this country who have so much less. So every day I thank God for what I do have.