Wednesday, 20 July 2016

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 372

Well, WOYWW is back in it's original location having spent a lot of weeks being looked after by my friend and conspirator, Jan. Please hum a three cheers song for her today, it's been a monumnetal thing to take on, amongst all the other stuff she does for me.
To erm, celebrate the return of at least one blog post a week to this address, I thought it would be a good idea to show you what happens when you have no desire to craft. When your mojo goes on holiday and 'can't be bothered' moves in.  This is a drawing of the line. I'm so sick of the state of this room that I'm going in and I'm going to be brutal. I am.
The first thing to go will be the lawn mower! My desk is in front of a barn door that we use to access our back garden; yesterdays exertions to tame the grass resulted in the mower where it is en route to the garage for storage, the door for which is on the wall opposite and behind my dek. I must have been distracted.......
All the mess and detritus that is over exposed by bright sunshine will still be there this afternoon - I'll get to it, but first, I'm off to Salisbury with Jan to meet up with Darnell - excited!
Show and tell about your workspaces will you - inspiration and tidy methods are going to be trending!
One last thing - sorry to go on - we rather fancy a WOYWW Crop. October 8th. New location, details a bit later? Whaddya think?

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday? 371

I am completely without the urge to be creative. I've been painting stones (as you can see) in an attempt to coax the 'ideas' and 'enthusiasm' sections of my brain to work together. Even the stones have been there for a few days, untouched. No idea what is planned for them at all! But I figure that playing at anything is better than doing nothing. Or worse, tidying up!

Such is the way our lives move, that my lovely Jan is soon going to find being the WOYWW host a bit of a tie, so despite her undying affection for you all, WOYWW hosting will return to this address next week. That's for and from number 372. You may think she's been an excellent host and absolutely great to have stepped in and kept us all going. I think the same, and a whole lot more. Indeed, the word 'rock' springs to mind, but that might just be brain and desk word association at it's most lame!

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Making like a DT member!

Way back before the medics rendered me lazier and less motivated than normal, I had an email convo which ended up with the arrival of some bits and pieces to use in my  crafting from Create and Craft, a cable TV channel and a website: I must say I was surprised by the request, and apart from the attraction of some more stash, I was quite curious as to the nature of their intended promotion.

I was sent a pack of fifty various shaped edge A5 cards and a pad of printed, foiled sentiments (Hunkydory), a bag of alphabet beads, three reels of gorgeous organza ribbon and some stick on pearls. I think that selection is probably a good cross section. Anyway, with freedom to do pretty much anything, inevitably, I had blank page syndrome. Coupled with all the hours I've spent just sitting around these last few weeks, thinking about getting back to my desk,it was a bit embarrassing! When I finally did, it was so nice to sit in a different chair and take an interest!

Overall these were a bit of a challenge for me, which is a good thing I know. I don't stray far from the standard C6 card size, greater mortals are brilliant at the bigger cards and so I stay safe. And then there's the patterned edges. Oh my, I'm still scared of them - I think they dictate style and genre for a card immediately. Of course they don't, but I do think they make a particularly good frame for cards featuring die cut know, the old more is better thing! 

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Famous WOYWWer to visit UK...

WOYWW is blessed to have Darnell on the roll. Founder of the NBUS principle, she encourages us to make cards employing 'never before used schtuff' and that's a challenge of genius for someone like me! We discovered by accident of chatting, that she lives in California, a stones throw from my emigrant sister. So of course we've planned to meet for ages and it hasn't happened.
No decoy here; one of Darnell's actual creations.....wonderful
So finally Darnell is taking the upper hand and sorting the situation; she's coming to the UK. Better, she's set aside an afternoon an evening to spend in Salisbury with any Deskers that would like to join us. I say 'us' because I'll be there, I'm really looking forward to meeting her! It's to be 20th July, in Salisbury for tea and/or supper. You could dip in and out or stay over the few hours; if you'd like to join us, you're welcome! 

..and another. I admired this so much and now.. I have it!
I know there are logistics and timings to be considered, and directions and lifts and meeting places to be sorted, but that's just detail. Focus on how much fun we'll have! let me know - then we'll figure details out!

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 370

Hello deskers. I'm joining in! Linking over at Jan's lovely place still, I need to get into mthe habit of blogging and recognising weekdays before we swap back! Ain't it great to have a friend like Jan - she's Missus Flexible, I tell ya. So, to the business in hand:
It is a spectacular mess. I've been doing that pottering, trying stuff here and there, and then using my recuperative state as an excuse to leave it in a mess! I've colouring in. I have palsy on the right side of my face and can't close my right eye properly. Of course, I've got eye drops to stop it getting sore, but many many days the drops don't help, so I have to resort to an ointment. This of course, blurs my vision horribly. So the colouring in of various images is a test to see quite how well I can stay in the lines. Not terribly well at this stage! All is good though, thanks to so many of you for cheering me on.

Monday, 27 June 2016

On having a brain tumour.....

I'm going to tell you about it; to raise awareness for what is a relatively rare occurrence, and also to explain why it may be many months before I close the book on this.

I had a brain tumour called an Acoustic Neuroma. In the best tradition of medical things, it is also called a Vestibular Schwannoma. 
In the first place, it grows out of the auditory nerve and so fills your ear tubes and makes you gradually deaf. As it grows, so it takes up any space available and often wraps around or grows onto the facial nerve. This makes everything 'novocaine' numb on one side of the face. It hurts eventually, the numbness, just because there's no relief, and it makes you chew your tongue and bite your cheek far too often! Once it's taken on the facial nerve, the only place for it to grow is in any space between the brain and the skull, so it does; and eventually, starts to exert backward pressure on the brain as it makes room for itself. It is ultimately life threatening, but benign. My symptoms progressed over the time I was on the waiting list, but I was so lucky never to experience any pain.

My face and head were numb on my right. I couldn't hear a thing (failing hearing and tingling in my gums drove me to the doctor originally). My walk and balance were awful, but I never fell over. Jan will tell you there were a few times when I would have if she hadn't, as always, been there for me! I walked Mr Dunnit into several hedges, and more than once was accused of drunkeness. Particularly as I was slurring my words like a good 'un! Sometimes, I would let it go because I understand how difficult it is not to judge. Other times, when I was feeling particularly defensive, I would put them right as calmly and clearly as I could. We called it 'dropping the tumour bomb' and only once in the last six months did it elicit an apology from the accuser. Mostly I felt awkward for embarrassing them and would leave immediately. Interesting human beans, aren't we!
a semi-decoy pic; proof that Mr Dunnit really looked after me well

Every medical professional I've met in the last eight months has been superb. They treated it at just the right level for me; urgent enough to put me on a list for surgery, take it very seriously but not scare me, monitor everything until my turn came. And when it did come, treating it as a perfectly routine operation. I should point out that surgery is not always the only treatment, but such was my case. It was a six month long list. I have to say that it's been a long wait. I was so tired by the effort of walking and talking like a drunk, trying to hear in difficult situations, feeling tired ALL of the time and just generally waiting. 

I had a scare in April when my handwriting disappeared....I couldn't write any better than a five year old and that really did distress me; I'm often complimented on my handwriting style and its a greater part of my self identity than I thought. Hubris. I had another scan and they decided that it had grown faster than average. I had just come up to the top of the waiting list, so surgery on 31 May it was.

With permission, we buzzed off to Spain for a week beforehand. It was a great idea to be elsewhere and distracted by non routine things for that last week of waiting. I did not have any pain at all in terms of air pressure and I continue to thank my lucky stars that I haven't really suffered as a result of the tumour. I joined an online support group and it quickly became obvious that I was in the minority when it came to pain and tinnitus. (BANA - British Acoustic Neuroma Association).

The operation took nearly eight hours. I have a U shaped scar, a U on its side, starting level with and behind my earlobe and going round to a finish just behind the top of my ear. I had my hair cut really short while we were in Spain and so the shaved area on my head doesn't really have the impact I think it would have had. 

In the long term, I have work to do; balance exercises. I have to train my brain to accept that it needs to work out what is level balance from one side only. Because of my earlier deafness and imbalance, I had a bit of a head start on that and moving my head wasn't too awful an experience the next day. I gather that for others, the nausea and vertigo can go on for days. Awful. For a few days I took anti-nausea pills, but not for long, the hospital want you to train your brain rather than be treated, so brain training it is! I felt really rough, as you would expect, and very sore. I came home after five days and then spent a week sleeping and hurting. After that, by degrees, things have improved and I'm doing OK. I'm still sleeping, but mostly at night and well into the morning, rather than napping constantly. My balance is good, I can shake my head without losing control of my whereabouts, so the brain is obviously and miraculously learning to adjust.

I am irrevocably deaf on the right and I have palsy on the right of my face. I can't operate my right eye lid enough to close my eye, I have drops and I swear, the purest axle grease type ointment that saves my poor eye hurting from being so dry. In the ultimate 'come hither' look, I tape my eye shut to sleep. Like a lot of things, until you can't, you don't realise how clever and necessary blinking and eye control is! I am drinking everything through a straw, my lips won't 'seal' to prevent dribbling, and actually, eating certain foods is erm, messy. I have facial physio and balance physio slated. I cannot fault my treatment, the hospital, facilities and particularly the care from the staff. 

The ENT and Brain guys say it will be 3 months before I'm post op enough to think about getting back to a routine of more than light housework and such. This is worst case, I'm already doing more than I expected to be able to - all in short bursts, but still, it's progress. 

The facial palsy people say that what I get back in the first three months will be pretty much how it will be for me. Over all, they all say to allow 18 months for the new normal to embed. It is all a challenge - who wouldn't hate this palsy, especially. But Mr Dunnit says he's staying anyway, my friends are still my friends and now I have physical evidence of illness, even strangers are being kind.  So, I'll be bringing on the new normal. First, a nap.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

WOYWW 368...Feeling humble


 *taps screen*, gawd, you could write your name in the dust. Ahem. 

I'm going to do occasional posts, you've been so kind and understanding over my absence that I figure you won't mind me easing myself back this way. I have a limited 'screen time' because one of my eyes is poorly. For now, WOYWW will stay at LLJs because I'm not sure if I'm ready for any sort of commitment!

I need to say an inadequate and humble thank you, and I can't wait any longer. You're all wonderful examples of support and friendship and I really am appreciative. At four in the morning as I struggled to sit upright so I could suck water through a bloody straw to swallow painkillers, and still spill most of the water down my front, it really was helpful to know that if we were chatting, you'd wish me well. Sometimes I tried to work out who would be awake in the deep of my night.

It was really important to me. Thank you.

So my desk this week is actually a view of the Get Well cards that have been so generous and thoughtfully given and believe me, humbly and often tearfully received. Back soon!