Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Out of Bed

Hurrah no more back pain posts - for now. On Saurday I decided I'd had enough of lying around and made my first attempts to hobble up and down the street. On my fourth attempt, accompanied by hubby and daughter, I made it to the rather splendid pub at the end. So chuffed by my progress that I had a large glass of wine despite the 'avoid alcohol' warning on my meds. Felt a bit stiff on Sunday but continued with hobbling and this time made it to the swimming baths. Felt just like the Little Mermaid, in agony on land but pain free and full of energy in the water.

So life pretty much back to normal now but at a slightly slower pace and accompanied by a walking stick (which hubby a bit perturbed by - think it ages me a bit!). All systems go now for camping trip to France starting tomorrow. So no more blogging for a couple of weeks but hopefully lots of writing in between the swimming, cycling and sightseeing.

Happy Summer everyone!

Friday, 24 July 2009


Aren't they great. I've felt so lucky this week to receive so many visits, phone calls and emails. My bedroom is quite tiny but its been lovely having it filled wih friends, and quite often their children too, bearing cards, flowers , chocolates and magazines. I also received an unexpected but very lovely email from a fellow Saffer which really cheered me. My favourite gift so far has been a cafetiere mug - so the daughter can now safely make me coffee as well as tea! She has been a complete and utter star through all this and we have had some serious talks about all the children out there who are full time carers for their parents. Fortunately of course this situation is only going to be temporary so she can give up her nursing duties soon. This morning I joked that this was good practice for when I'm old and she replied "When you're old I'm putting you in a home!" Methinks she's had enough of the caring lark.

Fortunately another lovely friend has whisked her off to play at her house for the afternoon so she can enjoy just being a nine year old girl again.

I think she was quite traumatized yesterday. I forgot to take my pill cocktail at lunch time and over did things a bit, ie went downstairs a couple of times. Result was me curled up on floor in tears in complete agony unable to get into a position that didn't make my body scream with pain. The daughter called 999 and a lovely paramedic arrived almost immediately. He was able to make me comfortable and calmed both of us down, but I felt so sorry for my little one. Hubby came home from work and took her out for a walk and she seemed quite happy when they got back.
So I'm especially pleased that she is off having fun this afternoon although she did make me double promise to take all my pills and not get out of bed unless I really have to.

Oh dear I fear I am becoming a back pain bore. Will blog about something writerly soon I promise. Have managed some novel writing in between friend/paramedic visits and still feeling excited and daunted by it, which I think is a good combination

Wednesday, 22 July 2009


Guess who's spending too much time lying in bed with nothing but her netbook for company? Anyway in between reading blogs, playing spider solitaire and of course writing novel 2 I rediscovered my favourite anagram solver site.

I used it for a quiz show that I worked on recently that had an anagram round. Mindless but titillating fun to be had finding anagrams of names and places etc. As an anagram I can be Red Sauna Hanky or A Naked Ashy Urn.

Below are some of my favourite anagrams that I came across while doing the show

1. A two word phrase that has the following anagrams:

Antarctic Clever Toy
Cancel Victory Treat
Carnal Corvette City
Tartan Tricycle Cove
Recontact Rectal Ivy

(Clue - CAR)

2. A classic 1930s film
Entwined Thigh Ow
Hot Whining Tweed

3. What I'm too fond of
Sir Top Carnation
Nip Or Castration

Answers if you haven't worked them out at http://wordsmith.org/anagram/

Has any one got any particularly amusing name anagrams? Hubby's is Brisk Horny Toot!

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

No change

Hmmm Doc's prediction that I would be on my feet again in a couple of days hasn't come true. Still flat on my back,can't sit up and in pain if I move at all. I have an impressive pile of drugs by my bedside now - most of which just send me to sleep. Have postponed holiday to France which has taken some of pressure off as I now have a whole week to get better instead of just 24 hours.

Family, friends and bloggers/facebookers have been fantastic. Hubby brought home a take out Thai meal for tea last night, daughter made me a splendid breakfast and lunch today and a friend popped round with a cappuccino from my favourite cafe. I've had some lovely online well wishing (inc my brother who reckons this is my cunning plan to avoid swine flu) I also had a couple of lovely emails from work saying that although the show didn't fall apart in my absence on Friday I was defintely missed. So still feeling pretty lucky and not too sorry for myself.

Intended to do some writing yesterday but drugs sent me to sleep. Today will try writing and then take sleep inducing medication.

Weird thing happened yesterday actually. Daughter was out with friends in the afternoon so I was on my own. Front dooor was unlocked because I was expecting visit from doctor later. I needed the loo so went through my regular routine of crawling to bathroom on hands and knees, then had a lie down on the floor to recover for a few minutes before crawling back to bed and lay there silently screaming (ow ow ow). Then I heard a noise downstairs, a thump followed by a sort of metallic ring. It was too early for doc and hubby and daughter not due back for hours. I called out "Who is it?" in a big brave voice and then shouted my husband's name. No reply.

I was convinced there was someone down there. So - I got out of bed and walked down the stairs to the first floor. There was no-one there. I then walked down to the kitchen on the ground floor. The front door was closed and there was nobody there. I then sat down on the sofa in total shock at what I had just managed to do. Not wanting to be stuck downstairs in my nighty I seized the moment, headed back up the two flights of stairs and collapsed back on my bed.

Cured? Nope. I haven't been able to manage it again and am back to lying flat in bed and only managing to crawl when I get out of it. Hubby reckons it was adrenaline, like when people lift heavy objects off themsleves or others in an emergency. Isn't biology / physiology amazing?

OK going to do some novel writing now, got to make the most of all this free time!

Saturday, 18 July 2009

A change of plan

When I woke up yesterday morning I had the full day ahead mapped out. Get up, shower and dress, cycle to station, read Robert Harris on train, spend a busy day in studios recording five episodes of the quiz show I'm working on at the moment, finish about 8.30, have a couple of beers with the rest of the production team then go home to Hubby, a whisky and bed. However my body decided to scrap that plan.

I got up. Instantly excruciating pain shot down one side of my body, my vision tunnelled, my head started fizzing and I collapsed on the floor. Fortunately Hubby was on the case, realised I'd fainted and raised my legs and let the blood return to my head. Getting back into bed made me cry in agony. My lower back and left leg were shot with stabs and cramps of pain.

All the worse case scenarios went through both our heads but fortunately my lap top was to hand and after a quick google we diagnosed sciatica. An advice call from a doctor afterwards confirmed it. Basically it's a trapped nerve at the base of my spine - but a particularly long nerve right down my leg. So yesterday, and so far today, have been spent lying flat on my back taking a carefully rota-ed selection of painkillers, one of which I didn't know was even legal. I'm OK as long as I stay in one very flat position. Eating is dificult, typing tricky and I won't traumatise you with details of how I manage to go to the loo.

The doc seems pretty certain that I should be on my feet again by tomorrow and then I will need some physiotherapy to try to prevent such a horrible attack again. Sciatica has numerous causes but I'm pretty certain that the hours I spend sitting badly in front of my computer have been a major contributor. Doc called it a wake up call and it's certainly been that. Better posture and more exercise are on my post recovery to do list.

Its certainly made me appreciate simple things like just going for a walk or pottering in the garden, or having a shower - all of which I am desperate to do again. Fortunately I have a lovely view of the garden from my bed and the nodding roses and buddleia have been cheering sights. I have also done lots of reading - Robert Harris The Ghost, Sara Paretsky Bitter Medicine and Julie Myerson Out of Breath. Might even get some writing done this afternoon if I can get past the doze inducing effects of my drug cocktail.

Hubby and daughter have been fab - bringing me food and tea and things to read. Daughter made me a card and some yummy fudge and took a photo of downstairs to remind me what it looks like. Even the cat has been sending me sympathetic looks from the end of the bed. I feel very lucky, and when I'm back on my feet again will hopefully be able to use this experience in a positive way.

Edited to add: It's now Monday morning and I'm still in pain and still in bed. Grrr. Trying to stay positive despite having to postpone family holiday in France. Am going to spend this afternoon writing and not feeling sorry for myself.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Poetic transference

Me and Poetry. Bit of a disappointment. I love reading it and hearing it. It has made me laugh and cry and blush and once (thank you Rosie Lugosi) choke on a drink. But I can't write it for toffee.

Everytime I've felt stirred to give it a go I have produced little beyond adolescent mush (not that I'm criticising adolescent mush when written by adolescents, but when written by a woman of 40, it's just crap).

But things may be about to change. Last night Carol Ann Duffy (aka Poet Laureate aka Fab Poet) made an appearance at our local Arts Festival. She read from The World's Wife and other such luscious volumes and all the while she rested her books, and her finger tips, and at one point her arm, on - my daughter's music stand!

(The venue was lacking a lectern of any sort and at the last minute the music stand was called into action.)

Afterwards Carol Ann thanked me profusely and signed a copy of her book with some lovely words of thanks to The Daughter (who was the chuffedest 9 year old in the school at 'show and tell' this morning)

So. The plan is to stand at the, erm, stand and wait for the muse to land on my shoulders. Will I feel vibrations, a resonance? Or just a complete prat?

Only the poetry will tell.