June 20, 2011 at 8:35 pm | Posted in fibromyalgia, Me | 2 Comments
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I said in my last post that I’d post about the spinning day, so here we go!

I had a grand day out on Saturday – as previously mentioned a friend and I (and nine other ladies) had a ‘Spinning with a Drop Spindle’ workshop with Alison from yarnscape. Like all speakers for our branch of the Embroiderers Guild, poor Alison had to do a talk on the Friday night AND a workshop all day on Saturday. We work ’em hard! She turned out to be a fascinating and engaging speaker though, and an excellent tutor.

I discovered the whole concept of archao-linguistics at her talk – something I want to find out more about … if I ever have time. Absolutely fascinating. You can trace a technology such as glass-making or weaving around the world, seeing when it was adopted into different cultures etc., because as it’s adopted, a culture wouldn’t have a word for it so would tend to use the word of the culture or person introducing it to them… so you trace the words and the rest follows from there. Cool!

We all had a great (if frustrating) time at the workshop on Saturday. I think learning spinning is inherently frustrating – there were an awful lot of ‘aaaah’s and ‘urrghs’ early on in the day, even though Alison very wisely started us of gently with plying and unplying ready-made yarns and only moved on to fibres later. I think I know why it’s called a ‘drop spindle now – not because you let it dangle as you spin; rather because the dratted thing keeps dropping! Fortunately the groans were followed by more and more happy noises as people finally found they’d got the hang of it … or in my case ALMOST got the hang of it!

I was quite concerned, given the very changeable but fundamentally damp weather we were having, that my RA would play up and make holding the spindle and yarn and fibre (in hands, knees, mouth and any other available appendage!) Thankfully it didn’t, and neither did my friend’s – she’s the one I’ve mentioned before who also has RA but who I actually met on at a quilting group. However, Alison says we need to practice ten minutes a day if we’re ever going to master this (or words to that effect) and my hands are playing up a bit today, so it’ll be interesting to see if it makes things worse or doesn’t make any difference. One good thing is that the spindle itself (this particular one that Alison provided anyway) is very light, and one of the things we spun was silk, which is of course incredibly light, but even a handful or so of wool isn’t exactly back breaking, so I think it might be fine.

I’m sure if things were REALLY swollen it would be completely hopeless but luckily I tend not to get really swollen; just a bit on the achy side now and then … or in fact now! Off to see what effect spinning has … I hope none!

Yup, twenty minutes of spinning, one dropped spindle and two broken threads (over twisting!) later, I can safely say it’s not hurting! In fact I feel slightly better for it!


The dreaded nurse partitioner visit …weight and waiting

June 19, 2011 at 9:44 am | Posted in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) | 5 Comments

Well I had my yearly nurse practitioner visit on Friday. I was dreading it because (a) All other nurse practitioner visits, bar one, since the dawn of time, have been a complete waste of time, and sometimes quite significant amounts of time( b) I didn’t want to see Mrs M-m-m-methotrexate ever again and (c) I know I’ve put on a lot of weight over the winter and didn’t want a lecture.

Well things started off OK. The junior nurselet didn’t call three of us in together, make us follow her like a row of waddling, arthritic ducks and then make two stand in the corridor while she weighed the first one and told everyone the result. She just called me in and did the weighing, didn’t even comment on it, didn’t even say ‘Ooh, that-many kilograms, shall I convert that into stone for you?’ I was ready for that one, with ‘No thanks, I know what I weigh. I weighed this morning.’ I HAD weighed that morning. In fact I’d bought a new battery for the scales specially.

The only criticism of junior nurselet is that she called my name and then COMPLETELY ignored me as we walked to the weighing room – no ‘Good morning’ or anything; in fact she didn’t even wait for me, just walked off and let me follow like a bad mother mallard’s sole remaining duckling.

Anyhooo, the way it works is you sit in quite a comfy, well laid-out waiting area with magazines and things, and then you get weighed and ‘sampled’ (unless you’ve forgotten to bring one as I usually do!) and sent to the inner sanctum, a smaller, far less comfy waiting area with less reading material and a lot of glum looking patients! It’s now been given a boost by some artwork though, ‘specially commissioned to commemorate the life of Seth’ somebody or other. Now I have to say, and I know I shouldn’t whinge and should appreciate anything to brighten up that gloomy little windowless room, but Seth must have led one hell of a boring life, whoever he was. There may have been better pictures behind me that I didn’t see, but that were three that I did see. One was a photo of some beach huts, one was a rather jolly semi-abstract that I think was sun-set over the sea and that I actually rather liked and one was … well, a mug of tea and what looked like a beef-burger sitting behind it. Now Seth might have loved his tea, and bully for him if he did, but sitting looking at a picture of a mug of tea for ages is a) not that inspiring anyway and b) slightly frustrating in this horrid little room where there’s no chance of getting a cup of tea (or any other drink, with the possible exception of a glass of water) until you escape!

Still, that’s more than enough chatter about a waiting room I think  … having examined the artwork I noticed the notice board … as you do. It said that various doctors were in room rooms 1, 3, 5 and 7 and that various nurse practitioners were in rooms 2, 4, 6 and 8. (I’ve muddled the rooms to protect the innocent.) I saw that Penguin’s favourite nurse practitioner was in room 2, two that I didn’t know were in rooms 4 and 6 and Mrs M-m-m-m-methotrexate was in room 8. Then I saw junior nurselet come in with my notes … oh please, please, please, not room 8. Anything but room 8! (And preferably room 2 come to that.) She walked up to room 2 ‘Yes, yes, YES!’ and hesitated – looked at the ENORMOUS bundle of notes on the trolley and carried on round … all the way to room 8!! Nooooooooooooooooooo…

Yes! Oh doom.

So there I was, twenty minutes fretting about having to see HER again …in between listening to the couple next to me arguing and the old codger on the other side muttering under his moustache about ‘this department’s a bloody joke’, ‘I’ve been waiting hours’ and ‘turn that bloody phone off – shouldn’t be on in here’. Quite right about the last one actually, and it was my phone that rang  – oops.

Finally Mrs M-m came out and called me. Heart in boots I toddled in. ‘I’m Mrs M-m-m-m-methotrexate,’ she said, ‘Nice to meet you’. Help! Has she forgotten I complained about her? Is this a trap? Do I say, ‘nice to meet you too,’ only for her to say, ‘Actually we’ve met before, you complained about me’? Do I say, ‘We’ve met’ and get us off to a bad footing straight away. So, diplomatic as ever, I think I managed an ‘er …um’.

‘Well,’ she said, ‘how are you doing?’ ‘Pretty well,’ says I. ‘Oh … good bye then.’ Good lord, was that a JOKE? Is she actually human? Yes, it was and she is. How extraordinary. To cut a middle-sized story short, she was absolutely fine. We had quite a useful conversation about a couple of minor things that were bothering me and then of course the dreaded weight issue. ‘You could do with losing some weight. You’ve put quite a bit on since we last saw you and would help the knees and ankles.’

‘I have been thinking about it,’ I replied gloomily. ‘Unfortunately I’ve also been eating too much.’

‘Well you need to think harder, eat less and exercise more.’

‘Yes … I know.’

End of weight conversation! So I can’t even criticise her for belabouring the point – and frankly I can’t really criticise her for not offering more help because I KNOW what I should be doing. It’s not that I need to see a dietician; I know what a healthy diet looks like … I just prefer cake. I certainly don’t need to join a gym – you wouldn’t get me through the door for a million pounds. And I know what kinds of exercise it’s OK for me to do … I just need to do them. <Sigh>

Anyway, I went on a ‘spinning with a drop spindle’ course yesterday. More about that in another post, but just to say here that hubby pointed out helpfully that I’d have been better off going on a course on one of those spinning exercise bike things. <Sigh> He might be right …

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