Happy Birthday to me …

February 9, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Posted in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) | 7 Comments

Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday Polly Penguin, Happy Birthday toooo me… and a very jolly birthday it’s been in spite of the cold, the snow, the lack of water supply and the intermittently painful wrist.

On the bright side, the day started well with coffee in bed and some lovely pressies, including a complete surprise pair of lovely earnings from hubby (as well as the book I’d asked for, which is splendid),  followed by a leisurely trip to Norwich to visit the new Art Nouveau exhibition at the Sainsbury Centre in Norwich. Most definitely worth a visit, especially as I’m planning to enter an Art Nouveau themed embroidery competition. Their new cafe (very nice indeed apart from dodgy milk jugs) had just opened too so we were able to get a nice coffee there. (I’ve over-done the coffee a bit today and won’t be sleeping tonight I fear!)

We then went into the city centre seeking lunch and decided to try somewhere I must have walked past a hundred times – and it was FAB! (More coffee, of course!) It’s called ‘The Library’ and details are here for anyone passing through Norwich. We will definitely be going back!

Then dragged poor hubby round a couple of shops ’cause it was my birthday and he couldn’t say no … and that’s where things started to go fractionally down hill. Coming out of one my right wrist suddenly twinged, and it’s been twinging every since. Now a twinge sounds pretty mild but I don’t know how else to describe it – it hurts like blazes for a second or less, so painful I sometimes cry out involuntarily, stops and starts a few times, and then is alright for several minutes. There’s no redness of swelling and I have full movement so I don’t know what the heck’s going on! Any ideas anyone? I have it wrapped in the wheat-pack bro and SIL got me for Christmas, which seems to help a bit.

Also when we got home and went to make tea like a true Brit, I discovered there was no water coming out of the cold tap in the kitchen! Having got poor hubby emptying out the under-sink cupboard, unscrewing the tap, shoving wire hangers down the pipes, checking the cold water tank in the loft etc. I finally thought, ‘Perhaps I should check with Anglian Water to see if there’s a general problem …'; at roughly the same time, hubby thought, ‘Perhaps I should check with the neighbours to see if they have a problem.’ Again at roughly the same time I established there was and he established they did … currently Anglian Water are hoping it will be fixed by 8:30 … let’s hope so. Fortunately as we’ve been out all day we have a pretty full water tank!

All in all though, in spite of minor tribulations, a damn fine birthday. Off to read one of the super books I got. Probably the plant evolution one and not the crochet one, as I can’t crochet too easily with one arm wrapped in a wheat pack …

Downwardly mobile thermal therapy?

February 3, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Posted in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) | 1 Comment

I recently became the proud owner of a mobile thermal therapy knee support thingy. I’ve been finding recently that the cold really triggers the pain in my left knee, and recently I’ve had plenty of cold to test out this theory with! The biggest problem is driving to and from work, as the car doesn’t have time to heat up so it’s a cooooooooold ten minutes or so. I have a couple of lovely thermal wheat pack thingies that you heat up in the microwave, but wasn’t too sure how safe they’d be balanced on my knee in the car while driving … so, before I got all your excellent suggestions about crocheted mini-wheat packs that I could strap on etc., hubby bought me a ‘mobile thermal therapy’ thing that has a gel pack inside that you microwave (or freeze depending on what’s required) and slip into the strap-on thing and wear on the knee.

The gel pack certainly works fine. The strap-on thing also works fine as far as keeping it on the knee in the car goes.

When it comes to ‘mobile’ though, I’m not so sure! I was going out to meet a friend for a coffee this afternoon and the knee was really playing up so while at work I thought I’d heat it up and strap it on.

I think part of the problem was that I was wearing jeans. Every time I tried to strap the darned thing on it would either slip or my jeans would start to ride up. We ended up with Junior Penguin 2 sitting on the floor holding down my trousers while I strapped on the support! Heaven knows what any passers by would have thought, had they chosen that moment to look in the window.

Anyhow, it stayed put right from the door of my office to the front door of the building … and then started to slip slightly. by the time I’d reached my car it had slipped a LOT so I opened up the car, sat down, adjusted it and then set off again (on foot) to meet my friend. The crossing was about 50 yards away … before I got there it was slipping again.

Did I mention that this thing is BULKY too? I felt a complete clown hobbling along with this thing slipsliding away … so I took it off, tucked it under my arm, and hobbled to the coffee shop with a frozen knee.

On the bright side, when I got there, I was able to strap it on for our hour’s chat and warm the knee up again!

I think it works better with ‘proper’ trousers as opposed to jeans, so will try that. Otherwise, back to the crochet and wheat-pack drawing board!

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