21 September 2016


Blessings indeed!

Jay heaven. Not only did we have not one, but two, of these beautiful birds outside our window this morning but there have been dramatic developments with lovely hubby's head overnight. 

He got up in the middle of the night to find that some of the hard, scaly crust on his forehead had begun to come away, leaving behind what looks like nice healthy (albeit rather pink) skin.

We're seeing the GP tomorrow for a check and I hope she'll be as pleased as we are.

19 September 2016

Drama in the Shires

Well, this morning has been 'interesting' to say the least. We set off early today to see our GP to check the progress of lovely hubby's treatment. I'm really rather glad that we did.

We didn't quite get the response we'd anticipated. We've been pretty laid back about the state of his head, and had expected a calm 'yeah, that's all going to plan' type of reaction. What actually happened was that, when hubby took his hat off to reveal his scabby, crusty forehead, our GP looked horrified, asked us for a detailed recap (no pun intended) of what had happened and when, and then said she wanted a dermatologist to see him a.s.a.p. Oh!

She called in another GP (who had seen hubby at the start of the treatment) to have a look, who seemed equally horrified. They both felt this was a much more widespread and 'severe' [my word, as I can't remember hers] reaction than was expected. They were concerned about the likelihood of infection, and also a possible allergic reaction.

She said she'd ring the hospital immediately to speak to a consultant, and asked us to be on hand to pick up a letter to take to the hospital for an appointment - pronto. Alright, no problem, so we retired to a coffee shop and awaited her call.

When it came, no dermatology appointments would be possible for a few days, but she was sufficiently worried that her instructions were for us to go straight back to her so that she could photograph hubby's head and send pictures to the consultant for a remote assessment.

OK, back we went and, on arrival, bypassed the receptionists' desk (a first, if ever there was one - here in the UK the doctor's receptionist is a gatekeeper par excellence!) to tap on her door as instructed. Moments later we were in to see her again.

After a few technical difficulties - it proved impossible to get her phone to attach and send said pictures - we gave up and used my phone to send the photos instead. Then we sat in the waiting room until the consultant could respond, and did what you'd expect - waited. Not for long though. Amazingly, after only twenty minutes or so she called us back in to talk to us and tell us what the consultant had reported.

It appears that hubby has had some sort of allergic reaction to the medication we'd been using (this is now clearly marked on his medical records!), and it was this which had caused the rather dramatic appearance that we'd thought was 'normal'.

Normal, eh? I'm so glad we stopped the medication when we did!

Somewhat reassured, it was now possible to come up with a game plan. She has sent us away with a prescription for an antihistamine for hubby to take for the next month, and a large tub of a 'highly occlusive emollient' ointment, which is basically a thick, oily 'goo' to be applied up to five times a day for the next two weeks at least.

Oh yeah, also with strict instructions to see her on Thursday for a visual check, and to get in touch with her (which she really stressed) if anything changes. She also advised against him having the 'flu jab for a while. It appears his system has quite enough to cope with, without adding that to the mix!

I cannot express how grateful I feel. We are so lucky to have such a fantastic GP surgery, and such on the ball and caring doctors. Lovely hubby could not have had better treatment if we'd paid a King's ransom for private treatment. This is a very clear case of following my lovely Mum's advice to 'count my blessings'!

Addendum - if you are not of a squeamish disposition and would like to see pictures of hubby's 'progress' then the 'Inspirations' link at the right has a link to 'Gwilym' where he's been posting regular photos of his poor head.

18 September 2016

Keeping going

Yippee, that grotty buggy thingy seems to be finally running it's course, thank goodness, and although not yet back to 100% I'm pleased to report that I do feel a bit more human.

As yet I still don't have all that much of an appetite (slight sore throat, a bit of a cough, and nothing tasting quite right sees to that) and I seem to become sated pretty quickly, without having eaten a whole lot of food. However, I can feel my interest in food increasing and my desire to eat returning, bit by bit, each day.

That's a good thing in one sense, but let's not break out the champagne just yet, eh. Looked at from another perspective it really ought to sound a teensy bit of a warning. Now this here life isn't all about weight, but - as a reminder to the fat lass.

Where I'd reached mid August: 59kg [9 stone 4 lbs]
Where I am currently: 55kg [8 stone 9 lbs]
Where I want to be: 54kg [8 stone 7 lbs]
...or perhaps just a little less

I still have some of that flubber to shift to get back to my former 'happy' weight, and stay there. So, as I do get back to feeling fine and dandy and being rather more active than my still-buggy body can handle right now, I'll need to make a conscious effort to be 'sensible' about what I eat. That is, I need a plan, a strategy if you like, to not go gung-ho crazy once my appetite is back.

Unpleasant as it's been, this bug's provided a welcome period of grace and enabled (er, more forced) me to get my weight down, from my 'aaaargh shock, horror' moment of a few weeks back and get closer to those old long-term comfortable levels.

What I was doing pre-bug was patently the cause of my steadily gaining weight, so I need to be honest with myself about my behaviours and set myself some clear limits, i.e. cutting out that sneaky 'comfort' eating (I know it really doesn't help with the worries) and restricting how much I consume.

So lovely hubby (who had also gained some weight and wasn't overjoyed about it) and I have put on our thinking caps, done some reading and decided that, in addition to being much more vigilant about our portion sizes (bye bye piled plates - let's see a bit of that rim!) and carb intake, we'll also give intermittent fasting (IF) a try. There seems to be some evidence that it might give us a little more help with shifting those last stubborn pounds, and keeping the beggars off, so why not!

There appear to be a variety of ways to 'do' this intermittent fasting business, but only one of them feels workable for us, particularly given the constraints of hubby's Type 2 diabetes, however well 'under control' it might be. That is to set ourselves a 'fasting period' and an 'eating period' every day, rather than consider skipping whole 24 hour periods of food to fast for a day or couple of days each week. While I'm sure the latter works for some folk, it doesn't sound attractive to us.

So, we've chosen a daily 16–hour fast followed by an 8–hour eating period. The exact timing may shift over time, especially if I start full time work again, but right now it suits us.

We're a few days in and so far, so good. We decided to skip our customary early morning breakfasts (I can almost hear the sharp intake of breath), exchanging them for 'brunch'. In practice, this means we eat nothing until after 11 a.m. We'll still have our main meal in the evening usually around 18.00 (6 p.m.) or a tad later, then we make sure we do not eat anything after 19.00 (7 p.m.). If we want to eat between these times then we could have a little snack, but so far we haven't felt the urge to do so.

Neither of us are feeling 'deprived' in any way, nor hungry in the morning (as long as regular cuppas are forthcoming!). Lovely hubby is monitoring his blood glucose every day and, happily, is seeing no signs of IF causing any problem in that respect. In addition to this we are both keeping track of our weight and will test our urine weekly to check that we remain in dietary ketosis. Every little tool helps!

Speaking of things helping - a slight side-track, but on a related note - starting IF seems to have simplified our day a bit too. We're not juggling fitting in preparing/eating our usual three meals a day with the time-consuming palaver which goes in to looking after poor hubby's skin. While we're confident that things are going to plan with his treatment, it is pretty hard on him. Anything we can do to lower daily stresses in other directions has to be a good thing.

The proposed finish line where my weight is concerned (and hubby's, for that matter) isn't too far off. If IF can help us reach it, and stay there, then all power to it. We'll keep you posted.

So for now, dear fat lass, you know what you have to do. You just have to keep going. Onwards, ever... and all that jazz.

14 September 2016

Progress - and its price!

Well, I suppose the good news is that the downward trend is happening again and the scales registered just under 57kg (a shade less than 9 stone) today. I'd dearly love to take credit for this wondrous progress, but...

...well, I'd just be lying if I did.

OK maybe, just maybe, a little of the loss could be down to me (the fat lass hopes, crossing fingers that she hasn't completely lost the plot), but the vast majority surely comes courtesy of the nasty bug which we both picked up a few days ago.

This comes along with a sore throat and other, less mentionable, unpleasantries where the digestive system is concerned. Guess what - it has rather stomped on our appetites. Neither of us is hungry and nothing tastes good right now anyhow - not even tea.

Added to this is a distinctly unseasonal heatwave, making the nights, if not the days, pretty darned uncomfortable. Getting out and about and enjoying the late summer sunshine is not on the agenda at all at the moment.

I really, really feel for my poor lovely hubby. He really does not need this bloody bug because he was already dealing with a range of less than fun occurrences from this soi-disant 'chemo' treatment. He's suffering considerably more now, with sorness, itching, and not sleeping well being daily problems. His poor, crusty skin is a mess. Oh yeah, and even more of these tricky little keratoses seem to pop up every day - what fun! While we know things are 'supposed to' happen this way it doesn't make it any easier for him.

Looking on the bright side from my own perspective though, counting my blessings and doing my best to think positively, I guess it is at least helping me get from 'here' to 'there' where the scales are concerned. Not the way I'd choose, perhaps, but I guess it's still progress.

Another ray of light on the horizon is that I have an interview coming up in a couple of weeks. Not counting my bantams just yet, but I'll keep you posted.

Ho hum - onwards, ever...

05 September 2016

Slow progress is still progress

Well, it appears that the scant couple of pounds water weight seems to be the extent of my losing at the moment as I'm still sitting at 58kg. Insert suitable rude words here. I have kept a close eye on what I'm eating and cut back on the unnecessary stuff, but...

The stroppy kid part of me kicks and screams and throws a tantrum. The grown-up bit reassures the brat that it's early days and things will happen and my weight will come off as long as I keep to the script. Rinse and repeat.

Lovely hubby's treatment is still going well (although he is a bit less comfortable as the days go by) and the GP is happy, so it's 'keep taking the tablets', as it were, for the foreseeable future.

I have bitten the bullet on the job front and put in an application for a part-time job (crossing fingers but not all that confident), and I'm looking around to see what else is out there. Still have no concrete idea what I'd like to do but there has to be something.

That damnable Black Dog is slinking around in the background, not threatening yet, just making his presence apparent, so I've put a link to Bobby McFerrin's 'Don't Worry, Be Happy' video on my desktop to help circumvent the beggar. If Robin Williams doesn't lift the mood I don't know what will.

Just a little reminder to the fat lass to make haste slowly. You may feel like the tortoise rather than the hare, but that is not a problem. What matters is that you keep on making sensible decisions and don't let worries and life's hitches derail you.

Onwards, ever...

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