Author Archives

mumofthreedevils

Mum of three.
X graphic designer turned mum. When the need to go back out to work arrived, I became a Clinical Support Worker completely by accident. I was a support worker for 9 years and was actually awarded Clinical Support Worker of the Year 2011 at my trust.
I have just completed a 2 year University course as a Trainee Nursing Associate and now I am one of the countries first registered Nurse Associates. I am also a Paediatric based Nurse Associate which makes me quite rare. I have been married for 25 years.

TIME TO VENT

OK, so I think I’ve mentioned the difficulties my husband has been having for the last few months, although I haven’t gone into any great detail.

Well, enough is enough.
Forgive my angry typing. This blog will be full of mistakes as I am actually quite fuming while I write this.

Ian suffers from psoriatic arthritis and has had neck issues before and even had to have some pretty major surgery on a couple of vertebrea in his neck a few years ago. He’s also had surgery on a shoulder in the past too.
His condition will not improve, in fact it will only get worse.
For the past few years he has suffered with numbness in his left leg which would come on without any warning, making days out a bit tricky because he just doesn’t know when it would happen. This is something he’s seen a Dr about and apparantly they couldn’t find any problem because every time he finally got to see a Dr, there was no flare up!
The fact that his leg becomes numb without warning is apparantly not an issue.

Way back at the beginning of october 2021, he started having difficulties with pain and numbness in his neck, arms and hands. He has been working from home since the start of the Pandemic and this had actually worked out well for him. It meant less time driving too and from work and he was able to spend more time actually working. He was more relaxed.
This all changed in October when he got to a point where he literally coudn’t sit at his desk and do any typing because he was in so much pain in his shoulder and the tips of his fingers became too painful and sensitive.

He was signed off work and is still signed off!
However, when his current Dr’s note runs out, his sick pay from work may also run out.

The frustration we have had in the last few months has left us angry at the system and worried for our future.
The next few months are going to be extremely worrying with a very real possibility of losing everything we’ve worked for.

To try and put things into perspective, this is what has happened since October.

In October Ian went to the GP to talk about the issues he’s been having and was signed off from work to rest.
The GP referred Ian to our local Muscular Skeletal Service (MSK) as and URGENT referral and Ian was advised to contact his rheumatology team to check for arthritic flare up. Rhuematology pulled forward an appointment.
Rhuematology accepted that he was having a flare up but they could see no issues being caused by it, therefore gave him a cortozone injection and said they would review him in 6 months. This week he finally got a review date in August!
The week after this, the numbness spread from his neck and arms and worryingly into his face and he started getting dizzy spells. Dizzy spells that he gets every time he stands up and has even had him hitting the floor!!
After several more reviews with the GP, blood tests were done and he got diagnosed as type 2 diabetic. Just to add to his problems!!
Following a review with a senior GP at the practice, he was also found to have very high blood pressure (not surprised considering all the worry!) and the Dr also accepted the possibiity of a re-occurance of the neck vertebrea issue from the past.
This GP tried escalate the MSK referral several times but MSK would not respond to him. Ian also Ian found it impossible to get hold of MKS so the GP bypassed the system and begged Bedford Hospital to give him and urgent neck MRI.
Bedford Hospital accepted this request and in December an MRI was done which highlighted issues with C5, C6 and C7 vertebrea, with a recommendation for referral to nuerosurgery at Addenbrookes.
This request had to go BACK through MSK!!.
Ian finally got a reply from Addenbookes in January and was given a PHONE consultation on April 12th!!!!! So much for urgent!!
The GP also arranged a brain MRI due to the dizzy spells. This was done in January and luckily did not show any worrying issues.
MSK arranged a review appointment in early January for possibe carpel tunnel but this was pushed back two weeks.
At this consultation it was confirmed that they believe Ian did have carpel tunnel issues (even though he has already previously had nerve conduction tests a couple of years ago, through MSK, to prove this but nothing was done at that time)
MSK referred for more nerve conduction testing which was finally done at the end of March and this confirmed severe carpel tunnel syndrome in both wrists and severe cubital tunnel syndrome in both elbows.
Ian has now been referred for surgical ‘opinion’.
It took 3 weeks to review the report from this testing and at that point, Ian has now been referred for surgery to Bedford Hospital and they apparantly have a 20 week waiting list just to SEE a surgeon. Who knows when the surgery will happen?

With all of this, we still have no idea what the outcome will be from the phone consultation with addenbrookes next week about his neck. I suspect they will want to physically see him and he will be back on a waiting list for that appointment.

It has been extremely frustrating at every turn.
Ian has obviously got two different issues on the go but nobody is looking at him as a whole.
MSK are absolutely bloody useless and can’t handle the service they have been contracted to do.
Nobody is seeing the fact that this is now having a HUGE impact on our lives.
Ian may well have to be medically discharged from his job.
There is a very real possibility that we could lose the house we have lived in for the last ten years.
We still have two kids living with us, but because they are both ‘adults’ they will not be taken into consideration.
So it’s now not just affecting Ian and me, it’s affecting them too.

I am getting extremely worried about what will happen over the next year.
I have no idea where we will be by the end of this year or even if Ian will have his issues sorted.
We are not living, we are existing and we are at the mercy of the NHS.
Technically at the mercy of the MSK service which is beyond useless.

Ironically, the only solution to possibly speed this all up is to go through the MSK private service who have just quoted £2000 for surgery on just one wrist (not the elbow) with an initial consulatation fee of £150 – £250, bareing in mind, they AREADY have a consultation stating he needs surgery!!!
We simply can’t afford that.
The money we have set asside at the moment is to tide us over for a few months while we sort benefits out if Ian loses his job without destroying what’s left of his pension.

So for anyone that knows me personally, please forgive me if I seem a bit pensive and quiet when I see you.
I’m actually worrying about an awful lot at the moment.

On the bright side, my job is going really well!!
I’m thoroughly enjoying it and it is the only real thing taking my mind off of everything at the moment.

A GOOD WEEK

It has been a good week back at work after a week of annual leave followed by two weeks of Covid!

I am certainly feeling it this evening though, as my voice is struggling and this damn cough keeps catching me out, which is most annoying. The thing I am noticing the most though is that I am so tired.
Covid has really knocked me out.

Anyway, I will be heading to the pub over the road in a bit for a catch up with my mate Debbie.

This weekend I plan to do as little as possible.
With that said, I’m getting my hair trimmed tomorrow.
I could do with getting my nails/talons done but when I had to cancel my appointment due to Covid, I couldn’t get another appointment until the 9th, so that will be 7 weeks since they were last done.
They still look great, but they are getting very long and are now getting in the way a bit. Especially when I type.

If the snow/rain holds off, I might cut the grass before it gets too long and plant my runner seedlings before they become too straggly.

We are due to get a large tree removed from the back garden on the 13th and I have become accutely aware that I will lose the privacy in my kitchen.
The kitchen has a very large window that we have never had curtains or blinds at. We’ve never really needed them.
However, when the tree is gone it’s going to be really exposed and I don’t want blinds or curtains, so I have ordered some one way mirror film that I am going to attempt to put up. That should arrive at some point this weekend.
It’s either going to go well or it will be a complete disaster and we’ll have to have a re-think.

I will have to get a Tesco run in there at some point, and the obligatory washing will need to be caught up on.
I might even think about getting to the cinema to see Morbius, so not a completely quiet weekend.

I had a surprise today. One of my cacti have decided to produce a flower and it looks like there may be several more buds ready to open up too. This has cheered me up because it looks like I’ve manage to kill my big barrel cactus!!

Who would have thought I’d ever get excited about a cactus flower!!

WELL THIS IS THE STORY ALL ABOUT HOW….

It’s back to work today!!
It took me 12 days to test Covid negative.
The first week was really rough and the second week just felt like a cold.
It has left me with an irritation on my chest which makes me cough, particularly after some exersion, and I still feel like I have my head in a bucket of water, but the good news is that my ears have started ‘popping’, so hopefully that is beginning to clear up too.
It has also left me getting tired quite quickly. I may be back to work today but I think it will be some time before I’m back to 100%.

Anyway, the reason for the blog this morning.
I am enjoying my morning cup of milky coffee and I remembered that the Oscars was last night, so I have been checking out the results and the red carpet looks.
Turns out there was some real drama on stage last night when Will Smith took offence to a Chris Rock joke and he stormed on stage and slapped him!

Then he won an Oscar!

Going through the list of winners, I actually pretty happy.
It may not have won Best Picture or any of the big Acting awards but Dune came out a clear winner last night with 6 Oscars to it’s name!
The film was visually beautiful and this was awarded with Oscars for Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects and Best Production Design.
It also won for Best Editing and Best Sound and one of my favourite movie music composers, Hans Zimmer won for Best Score.

But as wonderful as that is, these Oscars will always be remembered as the one where Will Smith assaulted Chris Rock live on TV.
It remains to be seen what damage he’s done to his career and reputation.


OK, MAYBE NOT

Wow, I decided to spend a bit of time in the garden this morning and make the most of the early sunshine.
It’s so nice out there that I decided to uncover the furniture and sweep the last of the winter leaves up so I have somewhere to sit.
After just 30 minutes, I feel like I’ve had the wind knocked out of my sails!
Because I’ve been shut in the living room and done nothing for almost 2 weeks, I didn’t realise how much COVID had taken out of me.

It begs the question, how bad would I have been if I hadn’t been vaccinated?
I dread to think.

At least I can now sit in the garden.
When I do go back to work, I’m not going to be on my feet and doing a crazy 12.5 hour shift.
I just need to pace myself and look after ‘ME’ for a change.

DAY 10

Day 10 and STILL testing positive.

I honestly didn’t expect to be testing positive at this stage.
I had a really rough first week.
I woke up on the Sunday with what felt like a cold and tested positive.
On Monday I tried working from home but by the end of the day I was feeling rubbish.
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday were a nightmare. I just couldn’t stop coughing and I got no sleep.
Ane I mean, NO sleep.
Then over Friday and Saturday, the cough really eased off and I just felt like I had a bit of a cold.
I have been waking in the mornings from that point on, thinking that I have got to be negative at some point soon.

It hasn’t happened yet.

Looking at Government guidance is worrying.
I had been hoping that I would test negative last weekend as Friday and Saturday were day 5 and 6 and my cough had really eased. If anything, the positive line on the test strip was getting darker.
But Government guidance then says that if I’m still testing positive on day 10, I can return to work after just one negative test.
I’m actually OK with this one and if I wake up tomorrow and I test negative I will be more than happy to get back into the office and get back into a routine.
However, it also states that if I’m still testing positive on the 14th day, I can STOP testing and return to work on the 15th day after a management risk assessment.

Seriously?!
Surely if I’m still testing positive, I’m testing positive for a reason?
I would feel extremely uncomfortable returning to a busy office and seeing vulnerable clients knowing that I was still testing positive!

Typhoid Mary springs to mind!!

Thankfully work also feels that coming to work while still testing positive is a bit reckless.
At least I am well enough to field a few calls from home and trawl through all my e-mails and try to catch up with all that has happened in the team before I physically get back into the office.

When will that be?
Any day now….. it’s got to be. I am improving daily.
I literally just feel like I have a mild cold. I have a bit of an irritation on my chest which means I still have a small cough.
My ears are still a bit blocked and I feel like I have my head in a bucket of water, but these are all minor irritations that I would normally get with any cold. They wouldn’t usually keep me off work.

Ironically, it is 2 years to the day since we went into our first lockdown!
I clearly remember going over the road to our local pub with my best mate Debbie on the eve of lockdown, to enjoy one last drink and face to face chat before they shut their doors indefinately.

I spent the last 2 years working in a hospital on the front line and I finally fall fowl of COVID while working in community and I wasn’t even at work when I caught it!!
I had been on annual leave for a week and it was my last day of annual leave when I tested positive!

Anyway, I’m looking forward to getting out and really enjoying that spring sunshine we’ve been having over the last week. Standing in the back garden just doesn’t hit the same spot.

ANY. DAY. NOW!!!

DAY 8

Day 8 of COVID and I’m still testing positive!

Not feeling too bad though. Still got a bit of a cough and just feel like I have cold.
Current guidance states….

If I’m still testing positive on day 10, I can return to work after just one negative test.
If I’m still testing positive on the 14th day, I can just stop testing and return to work on the 15th day after a management risk assessment.

WTF!
How uncomfortable would you be knowing you are still testing positive and being allowed back to work?!
Thankfully, my place of work see this as a bit reckless and I can at least do some work from home for a while.

Chances are, my tests will clear over the next few days, or at least, I hope they do because I’m going a bit stir crazy now!!

DAY 6

Day 6 of the COVID saga and I’m STILL positive!!

However, I have downgraded myself from a nasty flu to a rotten cold.
The cough still catches me out but at least I’m not coughing up a lung and I can actually sleep.
My poor voice.
If I talk too much my voice starts to disappear.
I tried to call someone from upstairs yesterday which proved a bit too much as no sound emerged.
I’m just feeling wiped out most of the time.

But it’s an improvement!

DAY 4

Day four of the COVID saga and I still feel poo!!
Still positive.
It has now gone to both of my ears and I feel like I have my head fully submerged in a bucket of water.
I hurt all over but my ribcage and back are the worst because of all the coughing.
With that said, the cough did actually ease off a little last night and I managed some sleep, which has helped.

Seriously hoping this means i’m over the hump!

SHOOT. ME. NOW.

Seriously! If I was a dog I would have been euthanized already.

I cannot remember the last time I ever felt this bad.
The cough is the killer.
I cannot lay flat without coughing up a lung.
I will just get comfortable in a chair before coughing again and having to move.
I haven’t slept properly since Sunday night.
I hurt all over and the cough hasn’t helped this either because my ribcage and back now feel like I’m getting stabbed every time I cough.
I can hear my breathing which is now crackly on exhaling.
My nose blocks when I lay flat and runs like a tap when I’m sitting. I’m now getting the subsequent red, sore nose.
My head feels like it’s exploding.
My eyes are puffy.
My ears are beginning to block and I feel like I have my head under water.
I haven’t exactly lost my sense of taste but nothing actually tastes right and I’ve lost my appetite.

I’ve had flu before, but this is something else!!
If this is something we are now going to have to live with, all I can say is, MAKE SURE YOU GET YOUR VACCINATIONS!!
This will more than likely become an annual vaccine like the existing flu vaccine.
Train your body to fight it before you get it.

I dread to think how poorly I would have become if I hadn’t been vaccinated.

I have been sleeping and existing in the living room since Sunday to stay away from the Hubby and so far, fingers crossed, he is still testing negative.

It’s definately COVID.
I’ve had three positive LFT’s since Sunday and I had to get a PCR to confirm for work.
Marjorie is now free after two clear LFT’s on day 5 and 6 and she’s actually feeling much better, so I’m hoping that on Friday this week I will be over the worst and getting my first negative LFT.

IT FINALLY HAPPENED

It’s only taken two years, but I have finally been hit by the COVID bug.
Obviously Marjorie couldn’t keep it to herself!!

I’ve spent the last two years working on the front line in a hospital ward environment and the last 3 months in a community environment, however, I did not aquire this from work! I was actually coming to the end of a week of annual leave and I firmly believe that Marjorie aquired it from someone who was being irresponsible because of the new Government guidelines where it states….

“You will not be ‘legally’ required to self-isolate if you test positive for COVID-19. Stay at home if you ‘can’ and avoid contact with other people”

I know that there will be people who have no symptoms and will be blissfully unaware that they are positive and we do have to get back to life. I am on about those that have symptoms, even mild cold like sysmptoms, that will only think of themselves and not the effect they could have on someone vulnerable and will go out and about regardless. No LFT, no precautions because the Government have given them a ‘legal’ get out to just carry on and infect others.
I find this totally unfair to people who are immunocompromised who could be unknowingly coming into contact with something that has the potential to make them extremely sick or even kill them. They must dread going out of the house.

I tested positive on Sunday morning and I am still testing positive today. Marjorie is now testing negative and as long as she tests negative again today, she can go back to work. You see, she’s been sensible and stayed at home and isolated herself as much as possible. She was actually feeling rubbish too though so she wouldn’t have gone into work anyway.

I am feeling rubbish too.
It wasnt too bad on sunday, it felt like a bit of a cold so I informed work and arranged to do some work from home.
However, as the day progressed, I felt worse and worse. By last night I was hurting all over and could barely move and a good cough had kicked in. So I had to concede and go off sick.

The cough kept me awake all night and has pretty much taken my voice away today and I still hurt all over. I thank my lucky stars that I am triple vaccinated. I hate to think how I would have felt or how sick I could have got if I wasn’t.

I have been sleeping on the sofa since the weekend so I could distance myself from Ian who has taken to walking around the house in a mask and keeping himself in the bedroom as much as possible. So far it seems to have worked and he is still negative and feeling ok.
If he catches this it’s going to be disastrous. The cough alone will flatten him but it will send his Psoriatic Arthritis into overdrive. Thankfully he’s triple vaccinated, so fingers crossed.

Dharma is also still negative and she too is walking around the house with a mask and staying in her bedroom as much as possible. Thankfully she passed her driving test a couple of weeks ago so at the moment, we have a lifeline to supplies. With that said, I did decide to get a Tesco delivery last night and topped up for the week so we shouldn’t need anything.

I will finish this off with a plea.
Please be sensible.
If you test positive, it is the responsible thing to do to isolate yourself until you are negative.