Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Hi all

Writing this from my iPhone just to see how it works. Been a cruddy couple of weeks and if I get the chance will fill you in.

In short -
new lodger did a moonlight flit.
Another new lodger moved in.
Health = pants
Given up work ( way hay!)
Going away 25th December on all inclusive holiday to lanzarote do that should be good!

Finally got our anniversary meal (which was in August) out of DH's dad a fortnight ago (December) yay. Was disaster - will elaborate for your pleasure!!!

Ki fit Awesome but not got to grips with it yet as been a bit too ill to sort stuff out. Will get self tog in new year.

Speak soon friends (catch up with me on Facebook!) xx

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Ki Fit - it is mine!

Yes, Bunny has embarked on yet another expensive way to lose weight.

After yet another month of staying around the same weight, I have decided I have to do something about this.

I was reading blogs today, and came across a new one - Diary of a Fat (and often Mad!) White Woman - where Trisha talks about her Lapband adventures.

About a week or so ago she got a Bodymedia Fit. This is a device that straps to your arm and you wear it 24/7 and it tells you how many calories you use during the day and night. It tells you all about when you are moderately exercising or vigorously going for it and it also tells you how well you sleep - how good your sleep is and how much you are just laying down when you think you might be asleep! You also get to enter your calories into the online package - very similar to how I do with My Plate on Livestrong which you know I love.
So after ages trying to find a BodyMediaFit available in the UK I realised they don't make one. Drat.
Then I thought that I would search for similar things to the BMF. This didn't come up with much until I typed in something or other about Multi Sensor fitness monitor or something like that and it came up with Ki Fit.



Ki Fit and BMF are in fact the same article. Ki is obviously made directly for the UK market and the BMF is available in USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

The BMF is white toned and the Ki is black. I am not sure if you can buy the Ki in USA, but why would you bother when you can get the BMF.

However, what is coooooooool is the demo on the Ki Fit. Have a look at this video!!!!!

This shows essentially the same data as the BMF video demo but is SO MUCH more detail. This was a deal clincher for me. I had to have it.

Strangely for me, I chose to go for the slightly cheaper Standard option of £99 and £16 a month subscription fee rather than the Premium option which gives you a little monitor that you can pop in your handbag to check minute by minute on how things are going. Several reasons - £30 difference in price and the fact that I don't use a handbag and I would lose the thing in a matter of days. Also, I am home a lot and can get the computer to check/update stuff. That's cool. I know it would mean I could make sure I hit my targets, but hmmm I am gunna try without. I can always get one if necessary at a later date.

(BTW - The subscription fee is elevated for the first year as some of the price of the unit is spread out over the year within the fee. Next year it will only be £10. )

So my new toy might end up in a drawer in a month or 2 but I really really hope not. It looks involving enough and engaging enough to draw me in. The only drawer back that people are saying about it is the fact you need to log all your foods... well that has NEVER bothered me as I have been using TheDailyPlate and then My Plate at Livestrong for years - before it was Livestrong! LOL

To be honest, that is the least of my worries, and if anything it is because Livestrong falls down on the exercise calorie burn things that I shy away from using it a bit. It's not really interactive enough if you know what I mean.

So, will Ki Fit kick my butt into gear and show me that actually when I whinge that "I don't eat anything how come I put on a kg????" actually I eat bucket loads and move little. I guess it will! I will be intrigued to get to know exactly how much I do burn in a day and I am tempted to just carry on as normal with it on for a week or so to see what the actual results are, rather than start on a rigorous course of dieting/exercise immediately. To be fair, I cant get up to much because of my flipping foot so it's gunna be interesting.

Monday, 31 October 2011

ok... sort of

Well, a few days have gone by since I wrote out my heart.

I still feel disappointed by people, and it was made even clearer when I saw everyone on Sunday.

'friend' didn't bother coming up to see me. J or L didn't bother either. However, because I turned up on my crutch, pale as a vampire, a lot of other people said hi, and asked how I was.

That helped me a bit.

Today I have already had a good heart to heart with a lovely friend who I often overlook. She is someone I can always speak to, have a good old rant and a cry and everything. It is M who starred in this blog right back at the beginning when she asked me about talking her kids out of school and homeschooling in general.

It was M who I ha the 2 beetroot and cheese rolls with at the beginning of my weight loss journey and the beginning of this blog back in 2005.

M is a very busy woman, and she flies about all over the place and flits here and there, but she is solid. I called her this morning and said I needed a friend and you know what, I talked it all through and she said she had also felt exactly the same. We even went deeper into things that I can't be bothered to write here - little ins and outs of people and their characters as she has known them a lot longer than me etc.

We both had a cry together. We both sat for 2 hours but in the end it comes back to the fact that we all have to find out place. sometimes our place changes and we need to find a new one.

I said to DH last night that it's a bit like going to a charity dinner. There are loads of people on your table and you find the people who you are sat next too and who seemed nice during the first course have bored you to death, so you just move seats and strike up with others.

I think that's the way to play it.

Will write more later as got to go to work soon and am busy cooking a mac & cheese meal for one of my pupils families. Their Mum is having chemo at the moment so I said I would bring a meal for them every Monday when I come to do their piano lessons.



Thursday, 27 October 2011

Dinner Debate

Just trying to decide what to have for dinner tonight.

I have made a batch of brinjal bhaji which is currently slow cooking in the oven. It's quite involved and uses a heck of a lot of oil, which you then strain on at the end, but even so it seems a bit toe curling to use that much oil to start with.

Because of it's time consuming nature, all the different spices, different stages of frying, blending, frying again, chopping and tasting here and there, I am loathe to give it away.

I want that baby for me. I can portion it up and its good band food - even with the oil.

The other option is courgette gratin and roast chicken.

I can get DH to get a roast chicken from Tesco and then we can just serve it on up with the gratin. Courgette cooked in this way is the only way in my opinion. My mum used to chop them up and boil them.

Oh crikey. Awful.

So yeah, they haven't exactly been one of my favorite veg since then. I have 10 of the things though, so I need to cook them. One is half rotten already so I have minus days to use them up.

My recipe is this:

(quantities as per your own fancy!)
1 packet of stuffing mix - Paxo or own brand - which ever - but the sage and onion one or the apple one that you can get around this time of year is also great.
10 or so courgettes
cheddar cheese
butter
salt and pepper.

You actually grate the courgette unto a big bowl. Put in the salt and pepper and mix it all up. Add grated cheese and mix it all in. Make the stuffing in a bowl with boiling water and the butter and then dump in to the courgette cheddar mess and mix.

Put it in large greased glass oven dish - so its about 1.5inches deep all over the dish - sprinkle on a bit more cheese and then back for 20 mins or so until its brown and crispy on top.

This is so unbelievably yummy, cheap and simple you can go wrong.

Ok, I have decided. That's what we are gonna have. I will take a photo when its done.

Today has been very boring. I have had 2 cups of ginger tea. Yum. 1 cuppa soup. One triangle of toblerone (25g) And that's it.

I have bummed around on facebook wasting my life and then I have cleared the kitchen up a bit. I ponced around with the aubergines to make the brinjal bhaji (aubergine/egg plant) for a bit too.

I went back on facebook and deleted my sons account. I have a facebook account that we can all use, so it's better that way. If he wants to talk to someone they can add me and then I can be the all seeing one in the family once again. This was his idea by the way. Freaky. I can't understand it sometimes.

Yesterday, someone added my Darling Son. He already has an alias (no way is he having his real name out there) and there is no one else on the whole of facebook called this alias fake name. He also doesn't have his real photo. Naturally! So this kid added my son. He doesn't even know who it is - obviously - because it is one of the kids who hurls abuse at my son on every occasion and is a horrible little bully. So DS said he can't be bothered with it and its more hassle than use.

Cool.

Band.... hmmm I Get the feeling Albert is not going to toe the line well today for some reason. I can kind of feel him in there which is never a good sign. We shall see.


Wednesday, 26 October 2011

New housemate etc

* Note - I will refer to the word E A R as 'Earole' throughout for security reasons that will become apparent if this gets googled ever!*

Today we had someone come and look at the room and she seems really really nice. She is only 18 and just leaving her Mum's wings and her Mum was also happy that although she was moving out, at least she wasn't moving into a doss house, and that there was a family here and that she would get regular meals!!

Our current lodger has only been here for 4 weeks and lost her job last Friday. She was sacked for using MSN at work can you believe. I am sure there were other things, but that was the biggy.

I felt so bad for her. She really has had a horrible run of it, and it sucks.

Since Al the weird German doctor left (THANKS BE!) in April we have had Stevie for 10 weeks then he moved in with his girlfriend. Then we had 2 dodgy dodgy plumbers for 6 weeks and then Bon for 4 weeks. It will be good if the new girl is here for a while as I don't think I can take the stress!

When we advertised the room yesterday I really didn't think it would be filled so quickly! We had 5 people coming to view and the first one took it. When we were advertising back in April when Al left there was hardly any bites to my ads. Then again in July I didn't bother advertising as I thought I would have a rest for a few weeks. TB rang me though and said she had 2 plumbers from up north wanting a room for 4 weeks while they were on a job. I thought what the hell, hiked the price up and they took it. Brill thought I.

Wrong.

Oh wow. They stank man. They were unbelievable filthy swines.

The eldest one smoked and stank of fags and Boss White or whatever crap they use while plumbing. They got wrecked 3 or 4 times a week down the pub and they were both proper filthy too. Older plumber had a chronic problem with his Earole which made the entrance to it the size of a 10p piece. It was packed with tissues - mine by the way - and slathered over with Vaseline and looked incredibly painful, puss ridden, raw and red. I can't quite describe how awful it looked. It was most definitely 'sign you off work for months' kind of a trauma if you get me? Critical.

They were very quiet the first night. They came in, paid me and went upstairs. The shower went on and that was it.

Sweet thinks I.

The first morning though - the whole house was wide awake with the Older plumber's death rattle. He was hawking his absolute lung linings up. Cough cough cough, choke, splutter. Only a lung cancer victim at deaths door - my grandfather being one - I am sure could make such a row. Actually, I think it was worse that either of my grandfathers ever were.

He was a heavy smoker, only 42yrs old and making that kind of noise! When you consider his Earole tribulation too? Jeeez it would send me to the hospital pronto!

Each and every morning was the same.

In the evenings, the young one had a shower and went to bed.

The older one didn't bother. He had his shower in the morning.

This did not concern me overly, although I did think it was a bit rank - but then again - they were men sharing a room without their WAGS on a building site all day long working 12 hr shifts. It was only when they moved out that I realised the error of his ways.

Things started going a bit Pete Tong pretty much instantly.

The first problems were when the toilet rolls disappeared on a twice daily basis. My kitchen roll vanished rapidly too. So did my kitchen foil, coffee and tea bags  - all of which I let people use but have never seen such rapid depletion.

I hid the foil, and the coffee (which they are NOT supposed to use as they should flaming well get there own), the shower gel and kitchen roll. The toilet roll got changed to tesco value and vanished at the same, but therefore much cheaper, rate.

I also seemed have to be cleaning the bathroom on a daily basis. I don't mean just tidying up, I mean proper cleaning. Dusting, mirror wiping, scrubbing floors and washing the whole toilet inside and out. The sink seemed imperceptibly covered in a fine film of grime daily. Even the window sill seemed to be more dusty.

To be fair to them, I had to do this about 2 or 3 times a week before they arrived. I put it down to just one of those things, although it always bothered me a little in the back of my mind that I was doing it more that I used to.

I was sure that before Al had arrived, I only did a thorough cleanse once a week (if that - I am not that house proud). I figured maybe Sue used to clean the bog - she often helped around the house so, maybe that was why.

It wasn't until Bon arrived that I suddenly found my cleaning didn't need doing. It was clean on day 2, day 3 and even after a week there was no need to scrub the place.

I realised that actually it is having an extra male in the house that makes the mess. Since Sue left (when I didn't have to clean much) we have had males at all times. Al for 1 year, then Stevie and then the 2 plumbers. Having that extra male presence with 2 plumbers made it even more begrimed!

So, yeah they were filth bags, but shoot I was being paid for it.

There were also assorted oddments such as:
In our bathroom there is a little box on the ceiling where we used to have an electric shower on the wall. You used to have to pull the cord on this box to turn on the electric to heat the water... you know the kind of thing. Well, we changed our shower to a thermostatic one and therefore the little box was redundant, but as we had only just had the ceiling re-plastered, we left it up there and chopped off the cord nice and short so it wasn't dangling any more and no one would pull it.

Well I was sitting on the bog one day and happened to notice the little red light flickering on the box. someone had turned it on!

DS didn't do it, Charlotte didn't do it. DH didn't do it and I certainly didn't do it!

I turned it off and left it at that.

Then our front security light didn't go on. Someone had switched off the switch which is high up in the front room out of the way. You would have no reason to play with this stuff.


The lock on the bathroom door was near busted off its hinges. The toilet roll holder was bent so now it doesn't stand up right.

Loads of Crap like this.

Polergeist I hear you ask?
Anyway, other things started happening in the bathroom. In the mornings, after we were awakened by Older Plumber dying daily in the bathroom for 20 minutes at 6am, we used to get up and use the loo.

We had a venetian blind in there. White. Wooden. Nice. Always able to have the sunlight in, but keep peeping neighbours from enjoying the view whilst you shower. We always had the little fan light window open a little to let steam out and have never found this a problem. We have never needed to open it fully right up to its full ratchet, nor have we ever needed to pull the blind up completely and leave the strings dangling on the floor and in the bath/sink/wrapped in the toothbrushes.

This was the state of affairs we found ourselves in on most days.

Here's a pic of our bathroom so you can see what I mean


You can see that next to the mirror, we have a little metal enamelled bathroom ornament of a lady in a bath, then below that are the toothbrushes in a toothbrush holder. The strings that operate the blind hang neatly behind there.

So when I came into the bathroom and saw the blind right up, the window open full ratchet and the strings dangling all over the place and my toothbrishes practicing some kind of bondage, I was flummoxed. I wondered if they needed more light to shave, squeeze their spots, get some air because of the death rattle... I mean, there was no need to open the window wider when you have a shower as it never steams up in there... there just didn't seem to be a reason. It wasn't as if he was even taking in the view as the window is etched to obscure people looking in.

So each morning, I would yank with all my might to close the window, and untangle the cords from my ornament and the toothbrushes and pull the blind down again.

It was a few days later we found out what was going on.

The anus had been smoking in the bathroom!

We were doing DH's tax return and were sitting in the office for ages and ages and it got to like 3 am before we decided to take a break. We made a coffee and sat on the sofa for a bit when I smelled smoke.

I used to smoke years ago, and thankfully have not turned into a sanctimonius smug ex-smoker who tells everyone else they should stop. I frankly don't care what other people do and am just glad I dont want a fag now. I am richer by £40 a week most probably - not that I noticed that bonus ever - I am so over it I could sit in a car with the windows up and you could blow smoke in my face and I couldn't give a monkeys or ever be induced to put a fag to my lips ever again.

Now, because we dont smoke, we advertise our room as no smoking. We have found that most of the people who answer our ads as a non smoker on their profile actually lie however.

After we inevitably find out that they do indeed smoke, we just let em go outside. I dont mind this at all. I couldn't care less about someone smoking outside - Older plumber was aware of this and did it often, sitting talking to his wife and kids etc. on my patio having a smoke most evenings. I was pretty sure that it was fairly obvious that smoking in the bathroom of all places was a no no.

The lazy sod didn't bother coming downstairs to have a fag - he was getting up at 3am and having one in the bathroom instead!

We are usually late birds, but 3am is very late for us.

I said to DH "I can smell fags" and ran upstairs and it STANK. He had had a fag, shut the door and then gone back in his room and let it fester with the window wide open. There was even fag ash in the sink and a butt tucked behind the mirror! He obviously retrieved these in the mornings.

I went about house a bit and made some noise about fags, which they would definitely have heard, and how it stank upstairs etc and I went and got the key to the bathroom window and locked the thing.

That was the last time the blind was up so that had obviously been going on for weeks.

I was incensed. How DARE he. Now, ordinarily I would have said something to the bloke, but for some reason I didn't trust them. I just had that feeling about them (the wierd little things that he was obviously touching around the house and fiddling with being part of the circle of mistrust) and I told them our new lodger was moving in a week sooner than she was to get rid of them.

There were various other issues, but they were going, and that was what I cared most about.

They left and I went up to clean their room so that it would be ready when Bon wanted to come. My Mum and Dad were coming up to stay for a few days too which was nice as they usually have to have our bed and we sleep on the floor in the front room - not good.

Now, I had seen those guys wash their stuff. I have seen the distinctive orange bedclothes go round and round in the washing machine a few times so I knew that even though they were filthy from work on site, and one of them was also rank and diseased, they did at least wash their clothes and bed clothes. It must be difficult being on site, no wives about, pretty crap.

Well... obviously only ONE of the filthy ingrates had!!!!!

I should have taken photos.

This is the bedroom after I had cleansed it:


To accommodate 2 people in this room the desk you see was put into the large wardrobe you can't quite see on the right. The towel rail was removed and put on the landing. The chest of drawers was wheeled into the gap where the towel rail was and then a camp bed was put along the wall on the right.

It was a camp bed, but I made it really comfy for them with a 12tog double duvet folded up on the bottom, then another duvet as extra padding followed by normal sheets on top and then the usual bedding. It was basically then a very narrow but comfortable cot bed. They had absolutely no complaints and one slept in the double bed and the other on the cot. I think they were going to swap - one week on the cot, one week in the bed, that kind of thing, but in the end Older Plumber slept on the cot for 6 weeks.

When I cleared Younger plumber's bed it was nice and clean, the sheets were freshly washed and it was no problem.

Older plumbers bed was unbelievable.

Now, this is totally god's honest truth.

The bed was made. I pulled back the duvet and it revealed a dark brown sheet - the colour of coffee - fading to paler brown on the parts he slept less on.

The underneath of the duvet was spattered with blood and puss stains and there were several cotton buds covered in puss and blood and gunk from his Earole catastrophy.

The pillow was redecorated with stain on stain on stain from where his aural cavern had evidently leaked juice over the last 6 weeks. There was blood, watery stains, grease from the Vaseline and chunks of stuff matted into it.

DS and I stared at it in disbelief.

I told him to go downstairs and get me bin liners and the disposable rubber gloves and the dettol spray.

When I was suitably clothed for the event, I rolled up the duvet, in the duvet cover, and put it in a dustbin bag.

I picked up the pillow to dispose of that too and it was hard. It was actually as stiff as a board from the effluent from his Earole and had soaked and dried multiple times into the pillow over the last 6 weeks.

Trying to stop myself from gagging, I put the other pillow straight in the bin too.

He hadn't even bothered to turn it over or use another pillow. He just slept on it, night after night. I guess for me that was a small mercy.

I stripped the top sheet and that went in the bin directly too.

The sheet underneath, which I had used to cover over and kind of hold together the makeshift duvet mattress, was I realised, my Egyptian cotton bed sheet from my own bed.

I was in a quandry. It had small flecks of blood on it, but if I boil washed it in bleach, would it come clean? If it did come clean could I use it anyway? It cost me £30 for that sheet and I was gutted. Why had I used it????

I opted for the bin.

The duvet underneath my egyptian cotton holding sheet was in a duvet cover and was clean. It just.. you know.. needed a wash.

I put that in another bin liner earmarked for bleach bath and boil washing just in case. I changed my mind later trust me.

The big fat double duvet underneath that which I had used for the bulk padding was next to useless anyway. It was one of the duvets DS uses to make tents and dens in the garden or sunbathe on and it was a bit shredded so I decided to bin it at any rate, filthy or not.

I started to roll it up when I noticed wetness and a horrible horrible smell. It was soaking. From sweat. The bottom of the camp bed was waterproofed, obviously, as it was a camp bed. This meant that because the scummy deadbeat had never changed his sheets or aired his bed it was wet on the bottom. The more I rolled, I saw mold and more mold on the camp bed etc and the whole chunky duvet was just full on damp.

Then I noticed something else - it looked like the remains of chicken chow mein.

Oh! My bad!! It WAS chicken chow mein.

What on EARTH?????

There was, no joke, about 2 tablespoons of chicken chow mein underneath the entire bed between the camp bed canvas and the double duvet padding.

Let me run through the layers again incase you were lost dear reader...
Under the duvet, was a polycotton bed sheet.
Under the polycotton bed sheet was my expensive egyptian cotton sheet.
Under the expensive egyptian cotton sheet was a thin duvet in a cover.
Under the thin duvet in a cover was a big fat double duvet (folded double)
and
Under the big fat double duvet (folded double) there was freaking chicken chow mein.

Chicken chow mein in a bed.

Old

Been there a while.


Marinating in a manky Geordies juices.

At this stage I was, I think, in shock.

How in heaven's name did chicken chow mein get between his bed? How? Seriously?

So you know what I did? I picked up all that bedding, all the chow mein and the camp bed it was on, lobbed it all in double black bags and took it all down the dump.

If only it ended there...

Under the camp bed there was various debris. More cotton buds where he had raked his contaminated cavity out. Umpteen empty cardboard toilet rolls, tissues and tissues and tissues all covered in a rusty coloured chunky horror....

There was a coffee stain on the brand new carpet and a staggering general assortment of refuse for just 6 weeks.

I used 1001 disinfectant carpet spray all over where the hobbit had been sleeping. I also had to wash the walls around where the cot had been because there were smear marks and specks of what I think were aural splatter. I bleached all the walls and around the light switch, door handles and all areas he could have touched.

I dettol sprayed the telly remote control and the little cupboard too.

I cleansed the bathroom top to bottom with bleach and elbow grease and then I had a very very hot shower with carbolic soap!

I was immensely glad that I got rid of them a week early. It could barely have been worse, but I still shudder to think what it would have been like after another week of puss dripping.

When Bon moved in it was like a breath of fresh air in the place. Sweet girl, and lovely to talk to, nice boyfriend etc and generally a restful peace fell on the house. I have already mentioned the fact that I only have to clean the bog once a week now too - so that was also a bonus.

So, sad to see her go, but now we have a new girl. I hope she will be very very happy here.

So ends the story of the 2 Plumbers from up north.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

1 Year anniversary of my "Window Re-Opening"

Crikey, I can't believe it's been a year since I decided to get myself together.

I have been pretty bad ALL year with my eating, but still managed to lose 11kgs. Practically every month saw a loss which is all I care about!

I know I could have done better, but I didn't.

Hundred of reasons, but the main one being I love wine and take away food too much.

A lot of my time these days I spend drinking nothing before midday (cos I am never up before then) and then drinking tea until about 2pm. Then I grab a couple of cuppa soups around 2-3pm - Mushroom and Chicken and veg being my faves -  and then dinner from 8pm onwards.

I say 8pm onwards because on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday I don't get home until 10pm and at that time I have to then come in, clear up the carnage that no one else bothered to clear up and then finish off my work by updating my files etc before I forget. On a good day, I then have to have several cups of tea - usually a BIG pot - before I can feel the band freely letting fluid pass before I take a bite of whatever has been left for me. This is usually about 11pm. Then it takes me until 11:30 on a good day to eat the dinner. On a bad day it's gone midnight as sometimes the tea drinking doesnt start off too good.

On a bad day I can feel the first glurp of tea sit on my band. If I have it nice and hot it usually goes through and melts whatever gunk is in there although, there seems to be a critical temperature! If it's cold or luke warm then it will glerk. Then I stand between the kitchen and the living room snatching some TV while I constantly microwave and re microwave cups of tea until it starts to move.

I also should mention that it's not possible to sit down during the tea loading stage of my evening. I can only sit down once I can feel the fluid moving. I also have to be 'sans bras'. If, for instance, we are out for dinner, then I have to stand up to drink and eat. Food does not pass through my band if I have a bra on. Sucks to be me.

Anyway, back to a Bad Day - It is often the case that I have to spew the first 4 or 5 sips - and normally this produces a lot of bubbly spittle too which is obviously blocking everything up.  Then get a nice hot cuppa (38 seconds seems to be ideal!! LOL I wish I was joking!) and things start to roll.

I find the band is a constant battle to be honest.

Now I know what you are all thinking. TOO TIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm sure I'm not.

Sometimes - rarely but not that rarely - I can eat anything. Drink goes without me noticing, food goes though. Sandwich, pizza, burger, roast dinner etc...

If I had fluid out, I could eat all day long and therefore I would put on weight. If I leave it like it is, hopefully as I lose weight it might get looser.

I am avoiding slider foods so thats at least a step forward from all the currys and stews I used to live on!

We shall see. If I try and behave myself a bit more things might improve. I am off on holiday 2 months today, so I have 8 weeks to be size 8. It's obviously a totally achievable goal! HA!

No, seriously though, I might make it to a size 20 before I go, that would be good and mean I can wear the swimming costume I wore to Sri Lanka which was lovely. I also didnt mind wearing a bikini at that size either, so I would be very glad to lose a couple of kgs before then.

So that's it. Same old crappy crap. But I'm still here. :)

Onto other things, as the lap band theme is getting lame.

My health is a serious cause of concern. You all know I have Cutaneous Lupus (and an off on relationship with SLE too), but I now have another couple of joys.

My foot pain that has stopped me going to the gym - initially diagnosed in June as a Morton's Neuroma - is still nowhere to being resloved. They are thinking that it is actually lupus attacking the nerves in something called a Mononuropathy - or as I like to put it - 1 sick nerve! I am going for Nerve Conduction Studies on Friday.

The reason for this is because:
When I saw the consultant physiotherapist in August, the said it could be 1 of 3 things
1.) Bad gait - needing orthotics (she didnt think likely)
2.) Lupus - Rheumatic involvement/Mononuritis ( she didnt think likely)
3.) Morton's Nuroma - (she thought most likely even though x-ray soft tissue was neg - the squeeze test was +ive)

She said she would talk to the Rheumatologists and ask whether there was any likelihood of Lupus involvement and then would either follow their advice, or - most likely - send me for an ultrasound and see if there was a Morton's Nuroma (small tumor) on the nerve and if there was - Orthopedics for surgery, if there wasn't - Orthopedics for Orthotic inserts.

She did a bucket load of blood work - like several arm fulls - and sent me on my sweet way.

After 2 weeks she rang me.

She told me that after looking at my blood work the Rheumatologist asked who I was seeing for my Lupus. She replied "No one." (Cos apparently I don't have it!!??!! dumb asses) He was shocked and said because I had APS (Antiphospholipid Syndrome) and SCLE (Subacute Cutaneous Lupus Erythametosus) I actually had SYSTEMIC Lupus Erythamatosis. (SLE)

You don't FREAKING say.

Now, I was diagnosed with that in 1998. I was under like the best people in the UK at St. Thomas's Hospital for ages. We moved house and when I had some complications I was then told by some junior Rheaumatologist in a backwater hospital that I didn't have it in 2002.

I actually burst into tears in front of her as I was so gutted. I had been Sterilised at 22yrs old and everything because it was imperative that I had no more children. I lost 6 little babies and my only Darling Beautiful Son survived because I would not terminate and was delivered healthy at 32 weeks by sunroof exit and me and he both nearly dead. We had a 10% chance of survival.

I had so much going wrong with me that I was even near coma at one stage.

So to be told I didn't have this evil thing - and I truly wanted to believe I didn't - meant I could have more kids and I was immediately thinking about sterilisation reversal, and that it would be done on the NHS as they had made a bad judgement and how many kids we could have - 6, 10 However many I could!

Thankfully we didn't go ahead with the reversal (and someone up there must have been looking out for me) because something just didnt sit right, we had gorgeous DS and I had been so terribly terribly ill and we just could not face that again.

And just as well because I was then told I DID have it again in 2004.

Then I was told I didn't again in just June THIS YEAR.

Lupus is the master of disguise and it seems that doctors know JACK about it. You actually have to have your own doctorate to get somewhere I swear!

I have ALWAYS considered myself to have SLE as I have a lot of symptoms etc and the thing often does not appear for the cameras on routine blood reports. So to be told I do have it - from the head Rheumatologist at Addenbrookes is a BIG deal.

I had been praying and praying for this to be sorted and finally things have come to a head.

This is something I have been fighting for to get recognised for a long time, so because Head honcho says I have SLE, they think that the pain is more likely to be from dysfunctional nerves as opposed to Morton's Nuroma (and the X-ray shows no evidence of a tumor either) and are therefore sending me for conduction studies where they send electric shocks up the nerves to see how well they work.

Tragically, all this was the first part of the call.

The other part of the call was to draw attention to my blood work. It shows that I am seriously deficient in Folate or Folic Acid. My serum Iron levels are also extremely low,  although I am not Iron deficient.

Now on the surface that is contradictory. How can I have low iron but not be iron deficient? Well it's to do with the folate. You need folic acid to produce red blood cells and lack of it causes the body to produce abnormally large red blood cells that cannot function properly.
The main symptoms of folate deficiency anaemia are:

tiredness
lethargy (lack of energy)
weaknesses
headaches
heart palpitations
spoon nails

and others!

I had all the above and felt grim. The way my blood work looked I have low serum iron, normal iron available and low folate all indicating chronic illness.

The chronic illness? SLE.

So yeah, SLE is stopping me absorbing folic acid in my gut they now think.

This was all put on a nice letter to me after the phone call and it clearly went to my doc too. It said "please follow this problem up as a matter or urgency" on the letter. I figured they would call me to make an appointment.

Nope.

I waited 2 weeks and went myself. I told the doctor that I had gotten the letter from the hospital regarding the floate/iron crap and I was worried. He was like
"hmm oh yes it's low"
I was like "......(really?????).....yes, so is it the SLE?"
"Oh do you have SLE confirmed now?"
"......(W T F'ing F????)... well.... that's what it says on the letter DOCTOR.
"right.. well I will give you some folic acid tablets. It could take 4 months to settle so come back in January"

Ooooooh Boy.

I feel like setting myself up as a doctor, I think I would at least GIVE A RATS!

Anyway, after sitting with the gormless prat for 5 minutes and wondering why he gets paid a shed load of money for ME to do his work, I took the scripts and I am now taking folic acid tablets and it will take 4 months to see if its making a difference. Which, by the way, I knew it would take before he told me. Sigh.

So, along with my Squameous cell metaplasia in my bladder - familiaraly called my 'pisston pain' I have folate deficiency anemia, SLE and a heap more drugs to take.

I am currently feeling worse than ever with sugar on top. My whole body hurts like I fell down a cliff and my foot pain is beyond hell.

I cannot wait until friday to get the nerve studies done and then I only have 4 more weeks to endure before I see the heamatologist/rhematologists.

Current Daily Drug chart:

Gabapentin 1000mg - 1g (4 tabs) - for Neuropathic pain
Hyroxychloroquine - 400mg (2 tabs) - For Lupus
Detrusitol - 400mg (1 tab) - For Piston Pain
Folic acid - 5g (1 tab) - for anemia

And as if things could not get worse - today my new lovely lodger who moved in 4 weeks ago after the grim plumers just handed her notice in as she lost her job last friday so is going home to Mum. Such a shame as she is so lovely and she fitted in sooo well into our little home.

So now we need a new lodger. Anyone want a room?

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Is there an eBook reader without screen flash ...?

Man, I have an AWESOME eBook reader. It was an anniversary gift from my darling husband. It was our 14th Wedding Anniversary at the end of the month as we do wedding anniversaries in a BIG way.

We make these pretty boxes at the beginning of August:



Then, once they are on the Piano we are NOT allowed to look inside them until BOX DAY on 30th August. All month DH and I fill the darling son's box. DH and DS fill mine and DS and I fill my husbands box. Often it gets a bit crazy as stuff doesn't fit anymore...

It's such an excellent thing to celebrate - something that we have actually achieved as opposed to something that is inevitable. This is all our Birthdays and Christmases rolled into one.

We also have a massive themed party and make it something to remember. I loved the gifts DH and DS bought me this year. They were really well thought out and I love them even more because of that. Last year I got a beautiful Diamond and Sapphire daisy shaped ring which I loved, but this year my eBook reader from DH and a lovely knife set from DS (SHOCK - THEY SOLD THIS TO HIM IN THE SHOP AND HE IS 12!!!!) are utterly the best pressies.

I also got an old antique cuckoo clock. A really old one in need of serious love and care to restore it, and an brand new - genuinely brand new - antique singer sewing machine. It is still in it's wrapping inside and has not even been touched. This was from my mum. I love hand sewing machines so much more than electric. I have struggled with mine for years, and I think mum saw this and knew it would be ideal for my Box Day pressie.

We spent an extortionate amount of money this year. I bought DH one of those generic iPad thingys as he keeps on and on about them. He didn't want an apple one though as he likes is android gizmo's. We got DS one of those super cool proper jugglers diabolo's and he loved it. We didn't really need to buy him anything else as that's all hes played with! We also got him one of those Nerf guns... the long strike was the only one he didn't have, so we got him that one. Card trick books, some animal from sesame street pyjamas but a digital camera with HD film capability for his main pressie. There was lots of other crap like Best Dad mugs and a pair of £0.99p slippers or me - still in the 99p bag from the shop. Classy!

Anyway, the reason I titled this post the way I did was because I had tried out loads and loads of eBook readers... Kindle, Nook etc and some other generic ones but they all had this seriously annoying backflash when you turn the page. There was one in Waterstones (can't remember which one it was now) (is that Barnes and Noble in the US?) which was mildly OK, but for over £150 I was a little bit wary. I thought that it would still get really annoying after a while. I read a few chapters of their sample book on it - why they put such crap books on there as demo's I will never know - and it kind of was Ok, but i just new it was gunna get on my tits proper after a few chapters. I would lose that flow I get from reading.

I am a fast reader too. On a 2 week holiday it's not unusual for me to devour 8 novels. Chunky ones too. Lugging a library around with me gets a little limiting when you fly with Easy Jet or other budget airlines and your luggage is limited to like 2 pounds or something. I had to get one of these things.

I thought before I bought one, that I would just search around online and see if I could find one that didn't have this crappy backflash. It's like, when you press the button to turn the page, it suddenly looks like it's broken or something for a nanosecond - turns black, flashes with words and then comes up with the new page... some call it ghosting, others black flash but I call it tripe!

If you imagine the screen of your computer with a loose connection  - flickering - fuzzing then going black and then all of a sudden coming back to life.... and doing it really quickly in like half a second... that's what it's like turning the page on a kindle. What the?

I cannot imagine spending a lot of cash on something that holds a lot of books - granted - but makes normal reading seriously annoying. I would rather just buy paper books. It was very difficult to find an eBook reader that didn't do this. Also it's made more difficult with the mix of UK and US pages - even though I specifically click "pages from the UK only". Google doesn't seem very good at sorting that out to be honest.

Then after ages, I came across a post summing up my problem exactly. Obviously a kindred spirit of mine in a far flung place was concerned about his reading flow too, and asked

"are there any eBook readers out there without an annoying backflash?"

                                                                                         ...and the answer was yes!

The ones with a flash or ghosting have something called eInk and it's infuriating. The person who commented on this question above listed 2 types that did not use eInk and they were the Jetbook from www.jetbook.net and Aluratec Libre from www.aluratec.com These use something else. Aluratec use ePaper and Jetbook uses high quality TFT screen a bit similar but definitely not as crude as a calculator screen. You can read it any angle, in poor lighting, full sunlight, it's not backlit and it doesn't strain your eyes. You can even change it to be lefthanded or righthanded for the button control!

Both seemed equally awesome, but Jetbook seemed like they posted to the UK and had some kind of affiliation to the UK as they were advertising a British website. Now, I was a little cagey, as I had bought many things from abroad and then been burned with the customs costs, but there were NO customs import duties on this eBook reader. It arrived in 2 days from New York, and I was impressed.

There are different types of jetbook. It would seem I have a slightly annoying version.. the cheaper jetbook Mini. The Jetbook and the jetbook lite seem to open eBooks with DRM (a digitally encrypted verson of the book which you buy) but mine will not open DRM restricted books. This is a bit pants, so I can only buy books which are non DRM or use a programme on my computer to remove the DRM. However, it is hard to locate books without DRM restriction as they don't advertise the fact. Now remember, I am not talking about Piracy... these are books you BUY but cannot read as they are locked to certain eReaders. My Jetbook Mini cannot read the book I downloaded from Waterstones and paid £3.99 for because my eBook reader is not 'supported' by Adobe Digital Editions - what Waterstones use to make sure you buy their readers (IMHO). Considering the amount of eBook Readers on the market, I think this is a little bit monopolising.

DRM or nonDRM is seemingly hot topic at the moment and rather political. I think it's just annoying for us genuine readers who, lets face it, probably are not going to spend 2 or 3 weeks reading manuals and being total geek nerds before making a purchase.

NonDRM restricted titles are few and far between... and to be honest not really the books I wanna read. I like the bestsellers and the chart list books. Thats just me. I could download the works of shakespeare for free or some random novel by random unknown and probably like it, but I want Marion Keyes, Joanne Harris, Martina Cole, Philip Larson etc. I want to big ones out right now!

Before I bought my first eBook I was oblivious to DRM. I thought:

I want an eBook reader.
My husband has bought me an eBook reader.
Yay.
I have an eBook reader.
I shall buy an eBook.
I shall read the eBook on my eBook reader.
It will be easy.

Wrong.

If I had a Kindle, or other branded eBook reader (and paid heavily too) I would be able to do it with ease. But because I chose one that is easy on the eye, has no back flash, instantly loads pages and is all around awesome, I must just go through a little process first to convert my files.

Once I knew this (2 hours of head scratching yesterday), its a piece of cake.

1.) Buy book from anywhere
2.) click button on 'epubor' file convertor
3.) connect Jetbook Mini to computer
4.) open the OS CaLibre file handling system
5.) send my converted books to my AWESOME Jetbook Mini.

Yes it meant I had to buy a file converting programme, but ho hum. I like books. It's still cheaper than buying a kindle and less stressful than having back flash every 30 seconds as I turn pages.

Had someone else, for instance, my Mother, had this problem. She would have launched it into the nearest forest and sworn never to look at any electronic anything again for the rest of her life as in the good old days we just went up the library and borrowed 3 books and were done with it.

sigh

So anyway, my Jetbook Mini, although the other 2 types support this DRM stuff and mine doesn't yet, is AWESOME.

Yesterday I read Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis. I would not have done that had it not been pre loaded on my eBook reader. I also read Evangeline too. I am about to embark on my converted and unDRMed edition of Marion Keyes' The Brightest Star in the Sky. YAY.

Here is a picture of my beloved eBook reader. Oh and you can choose your colour!!!


 And here is a video of how it works...so for £99.95 I got a groovy coloured, seriously light, ergonomic, easy to use, no flashing, no ghosting, instant page turning, eBook reader just like.... A BOOK!
video

Oh, and the crap quality of the above is my camera, not the eReader! :)

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Ramp it up

Well it's September and who would have thought that I would have had a relatively good year since I decided to sort my stuff out.

I haven't lost oodles and oodles, but I have lost 10kgs - 22lbs. That's not bad. I feel a heap better than what I weighed last September that's for sure. There seems to be a weight cutoff for me that I just feel so awful that I end up doing something about it. 122kgs seems to be about my limit.

The first time I got to that kind of weight I started this blog and slimmingworld and eventually, when that didnt work, I got the band. The second time I got to that weight was last September. Not a good feeling. I did have a FABULOUS eating fest though between April and September when Albert was totally de-filled! MMMmmm I remember those days!

I am trying to remember how I felt to be that fat though. Hot, sweaty, puffy and uncomfortable. Ugly, not feminine or sexy in any way.  Worried about dying of a stroke, looking like a loser who can't make good choices for themselves etc. Feeling like people looked at me as being ill educated too. Like I was so dumb that I didn't understand how to feed myself properly. Being verbally abused by kids at the park...

I felt horrible at that weight. I felt humiliated and embarrased and sick to my stomach. I felt worse last September than I did when I started my blog back in 2005 too... I think mainly because I was 5 years older, 5 years sicker with Lupus and it was just plain wrong to be carrying that kind of weight about.

I need to ramp this up though. I have stagnated now for a couple of months around the same weight. Losing 1/2 a kilo a month is pretty freaking poor show really.

We have had a LOT of takeaway food. The week before last EVERY evening meal was take out. Chinese, Fish and Chips, Curry, Pizza, Kebab... you name it. I don't know why but it was just so busy and I was shattered and no one complained about dialling dinner. But that has to stop  - if not only because my wallet is empty!!

In about 4 months we are going to be going on holiday again. We are looking at anywhere that is cheap, leaves on Christmas Day and is hot - even though I wont be able to sunbathe which is gutting.

It looks like Tenerife or Lanzarote. Both of which I have been to before, and they are fine. I would love to go somewhere with a bit of culture, sight seeing etc but DH wants to have a relaxing holiday rather than a driving about one, or a carting all over the place one. He wants to lie on his back for 2 weeks, and who can blame him!!

So that's 4 months to try and lose a bit more weight and see if I can look a bit better in a cozzy this year than last. Last xmas when we went to Fuertaventura I succumbed to buying a hideously expensive and ugly swim dress. Yes, it really had got that bad. I hadn't worn a swim dress since my bulk before the band... but it was a serious state of affairs and a normal cozzy or bikini was beyond imaginable.

This year it would be nice to not feel like a total whale and maybe wear a bikini again. Yeah, I know I am no twiggy, but I don't see why wearing a bikini rather than a onepiece has to mean you gotta be scrawny. I felt so much better in a Bikini than a onepiece. Theres nothing worse than peeling off a twangy tight wet onepiece in the ladies lavs to have a piddle and then trying to put it on again, cold and wet; stretching in all the wrong places and feeling rancid to the n'th degree.

The last time I wore a bikini was in Crete when I was a little over 17 stone - about 107kgs (only 4 kgs away!!!) - so it's not out of the question that I could do that in four months.

I am going to give it a big push and see what I can achieve. I am going to aim low and go for 1/2 a kilo a week. That means hopefully 8 kgs before xmas. I think that is a good target to aim for. I would then be around 103kgs (under 17 stone) and nearly under 100kgs, which would be nice progress. I want to get stuck in this year. The lowest I have ever got is 98kgs and I felt $1,000,000!!!

Although I have been banded for over 4 and a half years, I really do feel like this thing has been working properly now for the last year and Jane at www.gastricbandfill.com  is the one to thank for that. She has given me a lot of confidence, and let me decide on how much fill to have, or not have. I have got it just about right.

I have a perfect fill level for me at the moment. I am NEVER hungry, and I am only not losing weight because of the stupid choices I am making with my food and drink.

I still have to chuck sometimes and its all too much, I even had a day last week where I could - for absolutely NO REASON whatsoever- eat a single thing, or drink a drop of liquid at all!!

To this day I find the band a fickle son of a bitch and it's name - Albert Ladysmith Steptoe - is still as apt as the day I named him!

So, big push here we come!! I am going to use the daily plate again too to keep track of stuff. I find it much more useful to see where my calories are going and if I am getting enough protein and other nutrients.

Lunch today is a jacket potato with Tuna mayo. Mmmm.

OMG, just realised that if I lose 1/2 kilo a week from here on in... I will be back to my lowest weight (98 kilos) in 26 weeks... that's like mid February!!!!!!!!!!!! lets see shall we!

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Might as well

It's been a while. Nothing much has been up, but nothing much has been good either. Getting used to not going out in the sun has been a bitch, even though there hasn't been many good sunny days. The ones there have been - picnics and boat rides... have had to be cried shy of and it's making me feel like total scum.

Now, top this...

and yes, I am sure you are all going to think that I am pulling your leg... but alas no -

I have a tumor on my foot.

For heavens sake man.

My life sucks one big fat hairy hole at the moment.

I just thought it was another lupus/bunny load of rubbish achey crud, but not.

So I have to have an op on my foot where they cut the sucker out. 2 inch gash either on top (cutting through the tendons that hold my little toe bone to the next one in) or 2 inch gash on the bottom (resulting in inability to walk for 6 weeks)

I have however lost the piddliest bit of weight, guess that's a good thing, but am about to embark on my favorite pastime of the day - dinner.

I don't eat all day as it's just not worth the frigging hassle, and eat at night.

One meal a day and you would assume the weight would be begging to leave... but sadly my body likes to hate me and my fat cells seem all together too comfy on my carcass for my liking.

that's where we are at... keeping it real, trying to eat less, gym has been given up until surgery is over as apparently "you should not have been exercising with this tumour Mrs. Bunny" well WHO KNEW???

anyways, love to all

x bunny x

startled in the headlights, but still alive

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Calorie Needs

Hi all, I have been quiet for a few weeks, but I have been reading blogs all over blogsphere and tried to comment many a time, but for some reason since I got my new computer, it would seem I have to log in an infinite number of times to post comments, of which non actually got through so I gave up. I commented on Tina's, Caroline's and Alison's blogs yesterday without success - in particular Alison I have a remedy for Hair Dyed Neck Syndrome - Fag ash and lemon juice!!! It is grim, but it works. I had to get our lodger to chain smoke 5 fags in the garden last year to get some ash for the brew as I had dyed most of my upper body black. It should stink, as it sounds awful, but actually it is ok.. kind of charcoal smelling, but certainly not fag ash smelling!!! It's a tip from an old school hairdresser, and she said it works better than the chemical one they use in salons. In the old days before the H and S police they used fags and jif! haha

So yeah, its been a while since I posted properly. A lot of people liked the 8 year bandit post, which I thought was a brilliant post to be honest. I am 4 and a half years out, and still need those tips!!!

So, since we last spoke, I have had a new tumble dryer and a new computer to purchase as the others died. I will probably have to have a new oven soon too. The fan gets stuck and sticking a pencil in it to get it turning at the start of a baking/roasting session is kind of too hands on and a little scary even for me!

We have also just completed our first year tax return and our business made a profit!!! We are thrilled and also quite surprised that in just 1 year we have been able to make a profitable company which bucks the trend generally. Even our accountant told us that in the first year, it's usual to make a loss. He was very happy with us!

My health has taken a nose dive however. I am not sure why but things seem to be ramping up on the Lupus front. All of the above have got in the way of me sitting down and blogging to be honest and as I haven't lost weight this month at all I just couldn't be bothered to write all this stuff out.

Blogging is cathartic however, and I know life gets in the way for us old timing bandits. It's not the dizzy heights of those first exciting banded days any more, but nowadays having a band is like having a twisted friend that sometimes stabs you all over for the hell of it, and sometimes gives you a treat.

My band is certainly doing the do, but I think I could do with a small adjustment. However, I don't have £125 right now, and I think mainly I need to just cut my calories a little.

That leads me onto a cool thing I found:

A Basal Metabolic Rate calculator.  at 114kgs I need 1900 calories just to stay alive. So, If I lock myself in a cupboard for a few months I will lose a lot of weight!

For me, the website LiveStrong has been a great help as I can track all the stuff I eat, but sometimes its difficult as the foods people have put on don't correspond totally with the product labels and I have to do mathematical equations to get it right.

However, Knowing my metabolic rate is helpful as then you can work out your daily calorie needs to stay at the same weight, and obviously eating less than that = weight loss. :-)

As I exercise 3 times a week, I now know I need to eat (at the moment) 2613 calories a day just to maintain my bulk. Therefore I know I need to eat 500 calories less than that to lose 1 pound a week.

I think I can live on 2100 calories. I will use my Daily Plate thing at LiveStrong  to count it. They say I should have less calories, but I am going with the other one (more food! LOL)

The Gym is working out well... a little video for you of my success the other day:
video


So yeah, I am enjoying it. Me and TB go three times a week and we smile all the while!! HAHA


Back onto the old health issues... Well I dunno if you remember, but way back before xmas 2010 the doctor made me poop my pants when she told me a rash on my breast looked like Paget's Disease, which is the 'Big C'. Well I have had little success at getting the rash to...

1.) go away
2.) stop making more rashes.
3.) go away

...so F I N A L L Y they got me an appointment to see a dermatologist. How did this come about? Well I googled images of rashes and was astounded to find a lot of rashes similar to mine called...

WAIT FOR IT...

Subacute Cutaneous LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS

Yes. Another type of Lupus.

Now, considering I already HAVE lupus you would think that some bright spark might have put 2 + 2 together but Noooooooo! It's been 18 months since I got the rash, and it was getting worse and worse and worse as you could see in that post from the photos here It did get even worse than this, on my boobs, and even a small patch under my chin - right where I have to pluck my beard out!

so I took those printed out photos to the doctor and asked him, as tactfully as I could, if he thought this looked similar to SCLE ???  They get that wry smile on their face which says "I studied for years to become a doctor and you do some google image searches and diagnose yourself. I pity you you poor ignorant wretch" and then took a look at his screen and YESSS! he concurred actually it did look the same, and referred me.

18 freaking months!!!! Doctors Shmoctors. I know there are billions of diseases but for FLIPS SAKE I already have the other type of Lupus goddammit! It's not that difficult surely??!?!?!

So got referred to the derm's and he took one look - like 2 seconds - and went "Ya, SCLE, here's some antimalarial tablets, 500mls for factor 50 sunscreen for ya body, 2 tubes of tinted face sunscreen cos ya can't use foundation any more and a referral to see the consultants again asap in London. Ya can't go in the sun at all ever again. have a base line eye test tomorrow too as your eyesight will turn shit taking these tablets"

Gee thanks mate. OMG I am not kidding I was like reeling when I came out. No more tanning, sun lotion each and everyday, rain or shine for EVER,  no clinique delicious foundation (and he was right - it goes all wierd on my skin if I use it over the suncream = random), antimalarials for rest of life and possible immunosupressants. Ohhhhh, as if I don't get ill enough.

YAY.

The other pleasantry is, if the rash isn't brought under control, it turns to skin cancer. Cool.

So I had a biopsy on the biggest and longest lasting rash - all clear. The bladder operation that I had 18 months ago was also caused by the same thing... these rashes are there too.

So now I am taking a cocktail of 5 drugs daily, the antimalarial's (not the normal ones you get for holidays!) make your hair fall out, skin dry out like a crusty rhino and all kinds of other dross including emotional disturbance (crying ALL the time) and eye damage. I have been taking them now for 5 weeks, and everything seems to have settled down.

I have to say that the invisible tint sunscreen is awesome though. I dont need makeup and my skin looks really good actually, so that is a bonus.

The first time I washed my hair after starting them I nearly passed out as handfuls came out in the shower. Thankfully its not patchy, just thinner all over, but its an experience I can tell you. I was distraught as I honestly thought it was all going to fall out. It blocked the shower!! I think I am losing about 150 hairs a day now, which is a little above average, but not too horrific. I have had to have it cut in a crappy straight across style because the thinning hair made it all look a little bitty and tatty at the ends, but there we go. It dries a lot quicker, and I should go back to normal hair loss soon.

At least I know what the rash is now, and can treat it with the proper stuff. I am a bit ticked off about having paid over £7 for each different anti fungal creams and steroid creams that I was prescribed but didn't need, must add up to about £40 I reckon, but hey ho. At least I don't need to pay for suncream any more. The 500ml bottle of stuff they gave me on prescription in £30 a bottle in the shops, and the tubes of face cream are £12!!! wowza.

So, that's the update on me.

I am going to make Mummy Fried Chicken or MFC for short tonight with savory rice. I am going to try and stay below my calorie limits and see what happens on the weightloss front.

This month I have been so crap with emotional eating, which is not a normal response for me. I usually prefer savory like Indian takeaways and chinese etc... but I have gorged myself on crisps and cheese and biscuits and chocolates, so for July I am going to get over myself and get back on track. I have 6 months until we go on holiday, and I want to be at least a stone or two lighter than now. Whats the point of going to the gym if I am just eating it all back in front of the telly?


Ok peeps, over and out x

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Some tips I found...

Found this on a support group on FaceBook...

Christin Jobst Overton posted this


Lessons Learned On My 8 ½ Year (And Counting) Band Journey
Lessons Learned On My 8 ½ Year (And Counting) Band Journey Christin Overton – June 2011 1) Don’t drink during meals, even water, it washes the food through faster and you eat more than you should.
2) Worry about what is on your own plate n...ot someone else’s. Focus on eating as slow as you need to to do what you have to do even. Don't let someone else who eats fast push you to eat faster or make you feel like you should take another helping if they do. 
3) Protein first, then complex carbs, if you have room for anything after that it won’t be much! 
4) Get smaller and pretty plates, so that even if you are only eating a little of something, the presentation is wonderful to look at! (And the smaller plate makes the portion look “larger”. J ) 
5) No liquid calories it is SO easy to lose count of them! Focus on real food and you will be amazed at how much more you lose. 
6) Plateaus happen. Your body will need phases where it has to take downtime from losing and get itself organized; often you do not lose pounds but lose inches (some call it “compacting”) and contrary to popular belief eventually the really do end.
7) Gurgling and whacky noises happen especially the first 2 years or so – your body has to get used to a new way of digesting and getting rid of extra air in your stomach. Your stomach went from a straight tube to an hourglass; it needs time to sort it out. But it will! 
8) Stay away from sodas and fizzy things for most of he first year, even lattes can cause extra pain due to air built up below where the food is. 
9) GasX is your friend but take it BEFORE you eat to be most effective if you have problems with air build-up. 
10) Chew, chew, chew and chew some more. 
11) If you chew for a while and it does not seem to be getting smaller, if you swallow it will hurt and come back up. So just spit it out to save yourself the problem. 
12) Eat the good stuff – don’t waste the limited space on junk food or low quality stuff. If you can only eat a little make it delicious! 
13) If you cannot eat much for a few days don’t stress it too much, it happens. If you cannot drink for a few days, get yourself to your doctor immediately! 
14) Every fill is a new learning experience and is often VERY different from the last. Go into your fill thinking this is a new learning experience and I need to figure out how this one might be a bit different from the last and give yourself time to figure it out. 
15) Get regular fills and smaller ones instead of one massive one. I have heard of too many folks going for large fills to “save money” but in the end the unfill and the pain caused is far more costly. 
16) If you get a cold know that the coughing can cause your band to get irritated and can even cause a slip if it is severe enough. Take cough medicine! If over the counter stuff does not work, talk to your primary care doctor, they have great solutions. 
17) Warm liquids relax the band so if it is really tight a cup of warm tea (no milk products as they can cause phlegm) can really help. 
18) Take gel cap pills one at a time with warm liquids, it helps them melt faster! Wait a little bit between each one to prevent the “gel” from causing them to stick together. 
19) Don’t forget the exercise, even if it is just walking around the block once or twice a day. You need to get moving to get losing! 
20) You will have set backs! Often the best learned lesson is the one you have to experience a few times so live it, learn it and move on. 
21) The band fixes nothing about the issues that made you heavy. It is a tool; you are the wielder, work to master it and you will succeed. 
22) If you get down about how much you have lost and start thinking “I have ONLY lost 10 pounds”. The next time you are in the grocery store, grab 2 5 pounds bags of sugar and walk up and down an aisle with them. It will give you a little perspective on your progress. 
23) Weight loss with the band does not JUST happen to most; you have to do the work. Commit to it and the changes needed and you will make progress. 
24) The first year or two will be ALL the band’s affect on your life and learning what that means, after a while it will get back to you living life with the band. Give it time. 
25) Work with the cycles the band dictates not against it. If you cannot eat in the morning, have a protein shake then have your meals a bit later in the day. No one ever said breakfast had to be at 8AM or else! 
26) Things get stuck. It hurts but it is part of the learning process. Figure out what types of food cause it more often, how much to chew so it does not, or if you were eating too fast, then change that behavior. 
27) Slow down how fast you eat. You will be amazed at how much this reduces what gets stuck, how much air you swallow while you eat and how much faster you will learn when your band says “You ARE full!”
28) Don’t eat 2-3 hours before bedtime; you will reduce issues with acid reflux and food coming back up while you are lying down. 
29) Some months you will lose nothing, some months you will lose a bunch, it is your body’s way of learning the process and this process is new. No baby learned to walk in a day, don’t expect your body to learn these new tricks in a day, a month or even a year. Keep practicing! 
30) DON’T compare your band journey to anyone else’s. Learn from their lessons, share the experiences, but do not compare pounds to pounds how much and how fast for a measure of success, each pound you lose is a success. Each pound you keep off a triumph! 31) Give yourself permission to NOT finish food and to throw it away if needed. 
32) It is called the ADJUSTABLE gastric band - one size does NOT fit all! It is about the process of getting it adjusted to fit you and your weight loss needs no one else’s 
33) Get smaller utensils, plates, cups, bowls, it will make it seem less like you are “missing out” as they will be more full with your new portion size and the smaller utensils make it harder to put more in your mouth! 
34) Don’t snack and drive. Stop and eat real meals. 
35) Listen for full signals – sigh, burp, hiccups, tightness, pain, feeling the need to vomit, pressure often at the back of your throat. Often a deep sigh is actually the first sign of fullness and can happen a while before any of the other signs above. Stop eating at the first hint of fullness. 
36) Learn when you are really physically hungry – distinguish between head, mouth, stomach hunger but it sometimes seems like the same thing. Often there are different things that trigger each type. Learn what they are. 
37) Learn to listen to your body’s new signals, signs and rhythms. Full will be different, hungry may be different, even thirsty can feel different. Listen and learn them for better transitions during fills. 
38) It is not about what time you stop eating it is often about how long before you lie down after eating. Because the band slows down how fast things go through and it is different for all of us you need to figure out how long food stays on the upper side of the band before you can lie down to prevent reflux. 
39) Keep a journal as you are learning to live with your band. What you ate, how much, how it felt, how you reacted, all will help you learn what your unique needs are and what to do or avoid. 
40) The band is about helping you make good choices not taking all of the joy out of food. Once you are at goal being smart about those choices helps you stay there. 
41) Many things will affect how your band behaves, body cycles, medications, surgery, allergies, flying, heat, cold, being sick, mornings, nights, summer, winter, sometimes you will eat a lot less and others you will eat more the most important thing is to identify which ones affect you! 
42) Do this for you and no one else. Someone else might inspire you, encourage you, but do it because you want to not because they want you too. 
43) Enjoy every victory – it is never a “JUST!” Everything you can do again or even for the first time in your life is a victory so own it! 
44) Educate your primary care doctor about your band and your challenges with taking medications, they can help will alternatives! 
45) You do not have much if any stomach acid above your band, it is why you need to chew, chew, chew to help the food along. If you remember that it makes it a lot easier to remember that you have to do a bit of extra work with chewing to help things along. 
46) Your band journey is a great opportunity to try new foods, just because you lose a few old favorites does not mean you cannot discover some new ones! 
47) Read food labels. You do not get to eat much these days so read the labels and you will quickly find foods with the protein and other good things your body needs and deserves. 
48) It never tastes as good as being thin and healthy feels. 
49) Learn what it means to be banded even if you thought you KNEW it before. Knowing about this tool, how it works, how to make it work and its limitations will give you the power and control to use it! 
50) The band bands your stomach not your brain, your attitudes, your fears, your mouth or your bad habits. You have to do work to get through the issues that got you where you are as you work with the band to get to the best you you can be in body, mind and spirit. 
51) The foods most likely to get stuck are those that are gummy or when squished in your hand form into a shape rather than “slide right through your fingers”. A few examples, white bread, rice, bananas, some cheeses, potatoes, potato chips, etc. 
52) Introduce new foods to your band in small quantities; it is hard to know how your band will react so go slow. 
53) Keep something handy in case you get something stuck at an inopportune time – it WILL happen. Travels size packages of plastic shopping bags are great to slip in a glove compartment, carry-on, purse, or backpack. You might not use them often but they sure are nice when you need them! 
54) As you lose weight your body is going to take some time to adjust – you are losing both your insulation and your padding. EXPECT to be cold, to get more bruises on muscles that are not so tough, and a sore tush when you sit on hard surfaces!
55) You will go through a lot of clothes on your way to a smaller self. Find other bandsters to swap clothing with and check out your thrift stores, you can get amazing clothes with a little practice and save your money for the awesome new wardrobe you will not have to replace! 
56) Don’t forget your shoes! As you lose weight you will also lose weight in your feet so you might find that your shoes get very sloppy and loose, this can cause you to really hurt yourself so keep an eye on them! 
57) Drink lots of water. As you lose weight you also release a lot of toxics that have been held in “fat storage” for a long time. Water will help you rid yourself of them as you are losing. 
58) See your band doctor regularly and if you do not have a good one, make an effort to find someone else that can help. It might be a challenge but having a doctor who believes in you and the band is one of the keys to your weight loss success. 
59) Losing weight can really change how people around you treat you and for some reason knowing that you are “not doing it yourself” causes others to react even stronger (positive and negative). Your success can threaten, scare, please, encourage, those around you. Do not take it personal and don’t let the pressure of another’s issues divert you from your path or convince you you made the wrong choice. 
60) This is your journey, your choice, your success. It is not a race, it is not a contest, it is about you and how you get to where you want to want to be, each step is an opportunity to lose weight and old baggage as you move in that direction. 
61) Get help from where ever it comes if it helps to keep you on the right path, whether it be personal, professional, individual, group, in-person or virtual, find the support you need and lean on it when things get tough! 
62) Anything can get stuck or cause PBing if you do not chew enough or eat too much of a soft food, even things like ice cream! 
63) Watch out for leafy greens especially when they are cooked. Life leaves in the fall they usually do not cause much issue but in the wrong situation, ow! They can act much like a leaf over a drain and really cause things to hold and hurt until it corrects itself. 
64) One of the worst times of the day can be the morning because a bunch of mucus, spit, etc. that drains to your stomach while you sleep can get thick and cause issues in the morning. I call it “morning sludge.” Does not happen to everyone but that is one of the reasons a hot beverage in the morning really helps to break it up. 
65) The “dangerous” foods are the ones you do not think will get stuck… softer foods but experience has shown that it is actually harder to tell if you did a good job chewing them up because they are softer. No getting lazy on the chewing just because it seems like a soft food!

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Photo's

I have added new photos to my shrinking drama here: Photo Gallery Feb 2007 to Present
I must admit I am not impressed with the size of my arris! It looks a gazillion times fatter and like, rounder!! I don't know what the heck is going on, but it must just be that the pants fit better and it's covering more of it or something. I can see definite changes around my middle and back and so it physically cannot be bigger, but still *sniffs*

I am a couple of kg's under my surgery weight now, so that's making me feel better, but I seem to have lost restriction over the last 4 or 5 days. Dramatically so.

Since my last fill I have been subsisting on, for breakfast maybe a green tea or a mint tea, soup for lunch and then a portion of the family dinner in the evening. It would take me ages to eat, and I find (contrary to every other bandster in the land it would seem) that sitting at the table to eat is not good for me. I sit on the sofa and eat my dinner after everyone else has had theirs. it worked.

Yesterday, however, I made lunch for DS and I - jacket potato with tuna and sweetcorn - and ate it. Then went to TB's daughter's party and had a piece of banana bread, piece of chocolate cake, jam and cheese sandwich and a tomato. All were just over bite size, but I still managed them no chokes.

 
Then we came home and I cooked for the lodgers - chickpea curry. I was hungry so had a bowl of it in the car en route to our mates G an R for the evening. We ordered a Domino's Pizza there and I had 4 slices of Veggie Volcano over the hour and a half we were there.

 
We came home and I had some more of the chickpeas curry in a bowl.

None of these were earth shatteringly massive portions, but this is A HUUUUUUGE amount compared to say 2 weeks ago.

2 weeks ago I would never have been able to eat banana bread or cake or pizza!!!!

So, my loss seems to be making my little friend Albert take a back seat.

I am deliberating on whether to call in reinforcements, or give it a week or two and see what happens...

I have never been in this situation before. I know that seems really hard to believe, but I have never had a great restriction which suddenly disappears and the tell tale signs like you all get.

I should maybe be unhappy about this but I am actually thinking "Sweet lord, this thing is doing what it does for other mortals!!!" and enjoying the experience. At least with this experience and sensation I have been reading about on blogs for over 4 years and know it's normal!!

 
So to fill or not to fill... I dunno yet, but will of course tell you when I do. I am currently hungry so am off in search of succor...