Thursday, September 30, 2010

I'm plastered!

No not in that sense!

 Just a boring white fibreglass plaster.  They don't have coloured ones anymore! :-(

DS will decorate it tomorrow I suspect!

The surgical wound looked great unlike last time and the edges came together beautifully.  All cultures came back negative but the main thing is the surgery uncovered and dealt with what appeared to be the 2 causes of all the trouble.  The only way to find out for sure is to wait and see.

I was hoping to sew tonight but I'm frantically getting ready for a playdate tomorrow with a school friend of DS's. Hope all goes well.  DH needs to help me do some baking tonight.  I'm starting to feel quite sore again. (I guess this morning's drugs well and truly wore off) which is disappointing but to be expected.

So I can stop the nasty antibiotics (altho I'll miss the weight loss!) and actually enjoy eating again for the first time in 6 weeks!  Yippee!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

September Block Swaps

I did two swaps for September.

Nolene requested this log cabin block with a red centre and half white on back and half black on white (the first log being white).

In return Nolene sent me a lovely pale green Baby Bunting for my collection (see tab above).

Kathy was my other official swap partner.  Kathy requested the twist block in lime green with a little aqua.

Kathy also sent me a lovely Baby Bunting for my collection: (aplogies for the poor quality photo.  The block itself is magnificent!!)

My third swap was an unofficial one with Linden as the first block I made her (in August) didn't arrive but she has just let me know she has received the second one!  I used the Amish Diamond pattern.  To see Linden's block to me, click on the tab above!

Chafing at the bit

Tomorrow I get my stitches out and full plaster put on.  I only have a partial one wrapped in bandages at the moment to allow room for swelling.

The best bit is I get to leave the house!  I haven't been out in almost a week since I came home and over a week if you count hospital!

I'm also dying to sew again.  Once I'm in plaster hand piecing is a must to keep my fingers from swelling up but I'm wondering how I'll go with mahine piecing?

After a pretty awful weekend I felt so good on monday and overdid things.  I paidthe price for that on Tuesday and today it seems I haven't learned my lesson.

I love looking at blogs and reading quilt mags to pass the time but they're just tooo tempting!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunshine Award

When I was in hospital earlier this week I was most surprised and very touched that Crafty Pug has nominated me for a Sunshine Award.

This is what she said:

i would like to nominate you for the 'sunshine award'!  
i love reading your blog and keeping up to date with all that is going on for you- thanks for bringing some sunshine into my life!  your attitude despite some of the difficult things going on for you is inspiring!
Thank YOU, Crafty for the lovely surprise!  Your words are very sweet and I feel very undeserving given how much of a misery guts I've been the last few weeks.
I apologise for not putting the award on my blog sooner - it involved a lot of cutting and pasting and jumping between email accounts which required 2 handed typing!
Now  I need to choose 3 blogs to nominate:

Lorraine from Bizarre Quilter
Lorraine is always happy and ready to help quilters polish up their skills.  She has some lovely eye candy on her blog and it always makes me smile (not to mention being a great quilting teacher)

Clair from Tea and Bickies
I just love Clair's way with words!  Her blog always has me giggling and I love her quirky sense of humour.  Right up my alley!  Not to mention lots of amazing quilts to look at!
I joined Sue's Block swap in late July for an August start.  I've made some lovely quity friends as a result and being able to look at all the lovely blocks on the group blog is very exciting and makes me feel part of things even when I'm unable to sew.

This was a tough choice as I could have quite easily nominated all the blogs I follow but if I leave it at 3 then it leaves some contenders for the next award!

Friday, September 24, 2010


This morning i woke up with the worst nausea.

Even the meds i've been getting in hospital haven't controlled it. They can only give me as much as the dr has written up even tho higher doses are safe.

I got ready to go home anyway but it was a good hour after the official discharge time before i was able to go.

Cultures still aren't in so it's likely they will be negative but i still have to continue oral antibiotics until we get the official report.

Just to top things off we got rear ended on the way home while standing at a red light and they didn't even stop.

We took down the plates and stopped at the police station on the way home.

Hopefully the police can track down the driver.

I still feel awful despite the antinausea meds i took home. The pain is much better than i thought but the pain meds make me more sick as do the oral antibiotics.

I get my stitches out on thursday and a full plaster put on which will be more comfortable than the plaster splint and bandages.

It is wonderful to be home though!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Day 3

Day 3 has come to a close and I'm still in hospital.

This morning I agreed to stop the PCA and see how I go on oral meds with the idea of going home tomorrow.  I was apprehensive but it's been fine.  I'm still having the antibiotics thru the IV which makes me feel less sick.

I admit I don't much like the way endone makes me feel so I might just try a single one tonight.

Doc said there was still no news from the lab but we should get it today and he'll come see me once he gets the results.

Still no results!

I suspect they'll come back negative so I've been sending bits and pieces of stuff home with DH every night to lug less around tomorrow.  The only thing to stop me leaving will be a positive culture but I imagine if anything was up with that we would have heard by now.

Just want to say thank you to everyone and without lots of blogs to read my hospital stay would have been much more boring!!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Day 2 Adventures

The doctor finally turned up 2 hours later than usual.

He said he also found a flap of cartilage stuck beween the ball and socket of the joint that was the cause of the clunking and popping out of its socket.

He was surprised I had been getting oral antibiotics.  I told the nurses he said IV ones but they listened to the anaesthetist who wrote up oral.  grrrr!  Anyway Mr B sorted it out and I'm back on IV again.

Apparently some of the cultures could be ready by today but I have a feeling they will all come back negative.

Just to make things more exciting, my IV line blocked off so I had to wait fot the IV nurse to come put in a new one. She had terrible trouble getting a vein but found one in the end.  She could only get half the cannula in as it wouldn't budge any further so she just taped it all up tightly.

The main thing is I'm reconnected to my lovely PCA!  I was getting worried for a while!

Theonly drawback is because it's all plugged into tthe power point, I need to buzz for a nurse to come unplug me if I need to go to the loo and back again when I'm done.

Now the question is whether I go home tomorrow morning or not.  Depends on lab results and my willingness (or lackof) to part ways with the PCA.

Dh could probably take friday off work but if I came home tomorrow I'd either be kidwrangling or home alone while the boys go to work.  Neither option is good so I'll see about staying another night when the boys come visit since they should be here soon!

In the meantime the big syringe in the PCA is looking almost empty so I hope they recharge it for me!!!

I've really enjoyed looking at everyone's block swaps and the latest  AP & Q
is excellent!  Lots of nice quilts to make!  Not that I need any more ideas for a while!

OK so amuse me - if you've seen the newest edition of the mag, please leave me a comment and tell me which quilt is your favourite or which one you want to make.

I'm loving the cover quilt (Waiting for Russell) by Sandra Dart and also A Summer Place by Frances Leate

My New BFF

I finally started being able to feel my fingers at around 10:30pm. 

The down side to all this is that pain very quickly followed.  By midnight I'd taken the various oral meds and wanted my PCA that the anaesthetist promised me.  The only thing left was panadol osteo and no-way was that going to do anything.

The nurse gave it to me and said I could have more endone in an hour or two!!!  Apparentlt the PCA was a last resort and I was to try the oral endone again first.

She left and I cried.  An hour or two later I was greeted by a couple of nurses coming in with my PCA!!!!!!!!!!

Such a wonderful sight!  And I didn't have to beg for it!  It look a while to get set up especially since a drip was ordered with it.  Now I have fentanyl continuously flowing into me and I can have a boost at the press of a button!

It's wonderful and I don't react to it as much as morphine or pethidine.

The doc will be doing his rounds in an hour or so and he better not send me home.  They will have to pry the button from my cold dead hands first!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

This is why...

nemesis ...I am so insistent on a good nerve block!

It means that not only can I be awake during the surgery but keeping all other drugs to a minimum makes me feel better in general.

My block was put in a 10:30 this morning.  It's now almost 6pm and I feel absolutely nothing!  My arm is so numb I can barely move it and I have absolutely no movement in my fingers!

I needed painkillers for a headache rather than anything else!

Once DH returns with DS and shows me how to use the webcam on this thing I can post pics.

Thank you all for your love and support over the past few months weeks and days.  It means so much to me!

oooh I am rather clever!  While looking for the webcam I discovered this thing has bluetooth so I was able to transfer some pics from my mobile!

Flowers from mum and dad
Check out the pervious post for a pic of my "pearl" as they seem to call the head of the implant.

On the other side!!

Everything went much better with the new staggered admissions in the DPC.

The anesthetist was lovely and did the most thorough arm block I've ever had along some much better suggestions for post-op pain relief.

The primary cause for all this grief was a tendon rubbing againt the artificial joint to the point it got a hole through it.  Luckily this tendon is redundant because my wrist is fused so they cut it out along with some pathology samples.  It didn't look infected but we'll wait to hear the result.  the ball of my joint was replaced with a smaller one and it seemed to fit better.

I seem to be an unusual case so they had a few extra doctors watching and I got the anaesthetic nurse to keep peeping over the curtain to see where they were up to.  They even let me keep my old ball and they never usually allow it.  i always ask to keep stuff and normally they say no but I'm to keep it a secret! lol

Looks like i may go home sooner but i imagine I'll be in a few nights. I'll see what the pain is like when the nerve block wears off.

This is what the joint looks like
And this is where is goes altho my wrist looks a little different since I've had a full wrist fusion also

Monday, September 20, 2010

T minus 12 hours and counting...

Until my admission that is.

The generic time for a morning admission is 7am but the Day Procedure Centre has finally listened to patients' complaints and is nor staggering admission times so you don't arrive at 7 and wait 6 hours in a chair for surgery!

Apparently the surgeon has to OK the later admission time tho so when the hospital rang me and the lady admitted it said 9am on her sheet but wasn't "allowed" to tell me to come later since she would get in trouble.  I rang the secretary who seemed to think it was all up to the hospital and I got her to agree to 8am so I'm thinking sometime between 8 and 9am.  I'm ALWAYS last on the list.

Then someone with more authority rang from the DPC and said I can come in at 9am!  woohoo!

Unfortunately the hand surgeries, opthalmology, gynaecology and endoscopy procedures all go through the DPC even if the person is staying overnight (like me).

At least if you have to wait hours for other surgeries you get shown into your room and can chill out there in a little more privacy, watch TV etc.

I'm usually too nervous to concentrate on a book so I'm making DH stay with me this time and amuse me since DS is being looked after by my sister (he can't wait!!).

DH is also trying to organise a laptop for me.  My old one is dead and quite ancient anyway so I'll be blogging updates.

September FNSI results - fail!

That's right I did nothing!

I hoped to finish binding the tablerunner but nope!

I've been so tired lately.  Going to bed well before midnight is so UNlike me!

The weekend was a little more productive although no sewing was done.

Saturday saw us shopping for bits and pieces for hospital and stocking up on things to feed the kidlet while I'm out of action.

Sunday afternoon we went across town to where the Russian shops and delis are.  DH bought a dozen boxes of sachets of buckwheat porrige that he and DS love to eat.  Usually making it from scratch takes agaes but these little bags just get thrown into boiling water for 15 mins.  It's the equivalent of 2 mins noodles for Eastern Europe!

No I didn't take this photo.  I got it from this cool Russian blog.

We also got a pack of frozen pelmeni and a yuuumy poppyseed pastry.  All stuff I will have no hope of making for a really long time.  

On the way home we had an early dinner at TGI Friday's and a trip to Border's bookstore.

Today I still have mountains of washing to get though and I need to pack my stuff.  I managed to wrangle a slightly later admission from my surgeon's secretary so dropping off DS at my poor sister's house at the crack of dawn wont be quite as unwelcome as it might otherwise have been!

I'm terrified they wont find anything when they open me up so please pray for SOMEthing!  I don;t care what it is or how bad it is just find SOMEthing.  SOMEthing can be fixed but they can't fix what they can't find!!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

We have a date!!

What an eventful day!

My surgeon realised it's definitely crunch time.  He'll see if he can replace the ball of my artificial joint with a smaller one to make it fit better given the idea is to replace at least the ball anyway to attempt to beat this infection.

If it is indeed an infection.  The Dr isn't sure.  These things are very hard to diagnose.  He said he wont be removing or replacing the stem of the prosthesis unless it's loose since in his experience he has never seen or even heard of an infected stem that wasn't loose.

I'm still keen he rips it out.  If it's a very slow growing infection, it mightn't loosen for another year or so and we'd be right here where we started.  I'll have to plead my case in theatre.

He'll also give everything a good wash out and cut out any dodgy looking bone and tissue and send swabs and samples to pathology.

I'll have IV antibiotics for a few days and depending what's found and how it looks, he might have one of the infectious diseases docs to come see me in hospital.  If that happens they will figure out what my antibiotic treatment will be at that point but he warned me whatever it is it would probably last 6-8 months if the infectious diseases people get their hands on me!

He couldn't commit to how long I'll be in hospital but he did say it could be quite a while depending what they find.

Usually after the consent forms are signed, his secretary finds a spot on the operating list (which is currently a month away!) but he said he'd get me in sooner and was true to his word.

I burst into tears when I asked whether another anaesthetist was available and how absolutely awful the usual one is.  I've had the misfortune of having him 3 times!  he keeps promising to retire but he never does.  Mr B was naturally very concerned and looked up his operating schedule himself on the computer and found me a spot on Tues morning!

I could have kissed him.  The catch is that all this depends on whether the hospital can get my spare parts in by then!  The secretary made some calls and turns out they need to come from Sydney.  I'm dreading a call to say they can't do it! 

Mr B rarely does morning surgeries too and they're so much better especially if it's an overnight stay.  If the anaesthetic block is done right, it can provide pain relief for up to 12 hours so if you have a late afternoon op, it wears off only hours before you are supposed to be discharged and don't have a good feel for what the pain is like.  I always stay at least an extra night for this reason.

I have so much to do!  I've bought a few extra pairs of nice jammies.  I always do when I go into hospital and my collection of "good" jammies is adding up but given I have an open-ended stay I needed a few more.  They all need short sleeves to accomodate the whopper of a dressing and temporary plaster they always use.

I've bought the newest Shopaholic book and I'm going to exercise every ounce of self control not to read it before tuesday!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Ready, (almost)set...


I certainly hope so! i'm doing what i can on the home front to get ready for surgery. Been doing some cleaning, finishing up my block swaps and getting things together.

Now all i need is a date!

Well not quite all. I need to pick which of the 2 surgeries i'll have and my surgeon's idea of sending me to see an infectious diseases specialist to manage the antibiotic side of things isn't such a bad idea afterall.

I'm seeing my surgeon in the morning and will keep him at his word to sneak me into theatre sooner than his operating list would would allow.

I'm also hoping to get him to organise for me to see the infections doc asap... Hopefully also tomorrow if it's in the same building and i can sweet talk the secretary into slotting me in. (i can usually!).

The antibiotic treatment will depend on which surgery i have and what bug/s are responsible.

I better not get put off again. I'm sick of the pain and uncertainty. I'm just not good with unknowns or waiting.

Please Mr B just do it already! I really appreciate your efforts to spare me a 4th op but it's become inevitable.

Monday, September 13, 2010

My mojo is back!

Well mainly my Stampin' Up! and cardmaking Mojo!  I haven't made any for ages - I'd been using cards I'd made previously to send along with swap blocks but I had an idea (I know! there's a first time for everything, hey??) and made 3 cards.  They will be perfect for block swaps.

Not thrilled with some of the colour combinations but I played with some DSP that had already been pre-cut into 6" squares and it had a lot of new colours in it for which I had no co-ordinating cardstock.

I also made Nolene's log cabin block for the block swap.  I'm really pleased with it.  I was terrified it would end up too small due to the number of seams but it's fine!

I also made another block for Linden since her August one never arrived :-(  I made it different just it case it ever does turn up.  I'm happy with how it turned out.  I only have slight issue with 2 of the points.  The rest are OK and it's also the right size!

Today I'm planning to do Kathy's block.  I ran out of time yesterday since I spent the afternoon at a Chef's Toolbox party and made the recipes as soon as I got home. YUM!

I'm in two minds about posting block swap pics before they are received by the recipient.  I've been wanting to try out a poll on this blog so I'll do that!  Make sure you vote! (it's on the top left!!)

Just wanted to clarify - I'll post pics of the blocks both on my blog and the Quilt Block Swap one but my dilemma is timing.  Do I post them as soon as I've made them or wait til they have been received so as to not spoil the surprise???

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Me-0 : Staph-1

I wish this post was all about how much sewing I'd been doing!

Unfortunately my greatest achievement is that I've slept more in the past 24 hours than I have in the past week!  This means I've been late in taking at least the last 2 antibiotic doses. :-(

I did manage to finish cutting fabric for my block swaps in my few waking hours yesterday but that's all!

This morning I woke up with yet another sore throat.  This sheds some light on the situation!  The stupid antibiotics are basically weakening my immune system.  Thankfully they're fairly narrow spectrum but still.  Nor are they making much headway with diminishing the lovely staph colony that has made itself comfy in my bone canal.  They are being kept off the bone but are still happily breeding on my artificial joint.

It's no wonder that since my last op on 1 March this year I've had repeated illness when normally I have a great immune system.

DH picked up my kit for Month 2 of Lizzy Mae and I lovelovelove the fabrics!!

Other than that I really need to get those blocks pieced and posted.  I'm really looking forward to doing them

Well hope to BBL with some finishes to celebrate!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I'm determined...

to go to Gisborne Quilters tonight!  I haven't been in weeks.

The weather outside is LOVELY and I'm actually wearing a t-shirt!! 

Today I finished machine stitching on the binding to the table runner with the help of Shelley's binding joining tutorial. I always ALWAYS forget how to join the ends together!

Tonight I plan to hand stitch it in place and I'm FINISHED!!!

Of course I wouldn't be me if I didn't have a cloud for every silver lining and this time it's the Nemesis.  I'm REALLY sore today.  I simply don't understand why!  Did I overdo things and it will settle down soon?  Is the bacteria becoming resistant to the antibiotics? Is there no infection after all but something else?  Is there something else AND the infection??

What cheerful thoughts, eh?

Meanwhile I'm going to get dinner ready now so I can just dash out the door when DH gets home hehehehehe!

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Big 50!

Yay Post #50!!

Good timing to report in this weekend's happenings!

Friday saw me at the doctor's for my daily rash check.  I saw the better doctor of the two and the first thing he said was that it's definitely an allergic reaction to SOMEthing!  I was speechless!  That's what I've been telling then for the past 3 visits!

I asked for a stronger steroid cream that I've used for other things since the weak one the useless doc gave me did nothing and an oral steroid was added to the mix.  That makes 5 different prescription meds I'm taking now plus the cream plus vitamins etc.

Anyway now that they believe me and I have some decent meds, I'm feeling much better and my wrist has been up to doing some crafting this weekend!  I started by adding a few more leaves onto Lizzy Mae on Friday night. (no updated pics just yet ;-))

All the dreary, rainy weather is just perfect for sewing and cooking!  I've make a version of spanakopita and also a roast beast with the works!

I'm happy to report the table runner is done and I'm very glad I unpicked the dodgy point.  Turns out the fabric slipped so the mismatched point turned out to be the least of my worries!

I also had to unpick a few more strips when they gathered on the underside of the runner.  It was basted quite tightly but I need to undo the safety pins as I go.  I need to rethink things for when I make another.  I definitely would like to do this runner again.  I'm thinking spray baste along with pins for added hold??  Changing over to walking foot definitely helped but I had hoped to avoid it since it doesn't have 1/4" markings and I'm bad enough at 1/4" seams as it is!!

I also had to hack off a fair bit more than I anticipated to even up the sides since my centre point wandered a little!

Now all I have left is to bind it which will have to wait a day or two since I'm sore today (I think I overdid it yesterday!).  Maybe I'll just add a few more leaves to Lizzy tonight.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

September Friday Night Sew In

Will be held on the 17th this month.

Click on the piccie above to go to Heidi's blog where all the info is!

I'm still undecided as to what I'm working on.  September is a very busy month in terms of projects.  I may try to do DH's potholder. 

If I have surgery in October as I'm suspecting then he wont get his potholders until next year probably!  Hand piecing is OK in plaster and machine piecing is do-able towards the end when the pain subsides but I don't dare quilt anything for months afterwards.  It's just too painful.

Actually I haven't tried machine piecing in a above-the-elbow cast.  Only did it last year when I had a smaller forearm cast.  Should be interesting given my Lizzy Mae is a monthly class until December and the remaining classes are all machine piecing!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Runners and Rashes

Yesterday I went to my Table Runner Class!

After Tuesday, I had no energy to pre-cut my fabric but it was OK.  I was there for the technique anyway.

Here is as far as I got:
There are 3 more strips to go and each one is lighter than the one before.  The "points police" have threatened to send me an infringement notice if the most recent strip isn't unpicked and restitched but I am rather pleased (or at the very least satisfied!) with my other points!

Then it was off to the doctors to deal with a sudden itchy rash around my underarm area.  They're so frustrating that they wont think outside the box!  No it's NOT from shaving as they're insisting!  Funnily enough the saved area has NO rash and I've never had a problem before.

My gut feel is that it's related to my antibiotics.

It doesn't look like a typical allergic rash according to the doctors.  OK firstly I've has at least 3-4 different things that presented very atypically!  Secondly some antibiotics cause a rash as a side effect and not as the result of allergy!


I'm to go back daily and I'll see the less useless doctor.  At least he is willing to admit it could be something other than shaving whereas the other one refuses to consider any other possibilities - yet he prescribed a stack of different antihistamine treatments!

The pain also returned after 24 hours on the lower antibiotic dose so I've gone back up.  I left a message with my surgeon's secretary to tell him to change the dose on future scripts and to mention the rash as well.  At least my surgeon is always willing to think outside the box.

Anyway hopefully by tonight the antibiotics will be working again and I can get on with the runner!