In the absence of a Catherine…..

Bert treated me to an afternoon out with the camera. Now, please remember that these are taken from a wheelchair, so aren’t going to be the best. Something a gentleman said on his blog (he is a professional photographer) gave me the kick up the bum that I needed to want to share some of my pictures with you. To paraphrase something he replied to one of his comments – if you are taking pictures for someone else, you shouldn’t be.

It was that that gave me the gumption to share my favourites with you all, so here goes – my little efforts from today, but there are a couple I am particularly happy with them.

Ok, first up, I use a Fujifilm FinePix S4400 bridge camera, and all my photos have been run through Aviary for cropping, filters and saturation, and have had the text added by TitleFx. So – here goes. Constructive criticism always welcome, I am not the kind of person to spit my dummy out of the pram – I genuinely want to learn as much as I can.

(Pic heavy, 9 incoming)

Clypse reservoir car park

8

7

6

5

4

Bert very kindly posed for the next photograph for me – not sure why, but I like photographing shadows…

3

Now the next one was a bit of a one off, I just turned round and it caught my eye……

2

But I have saved my personal favourite until last – yet again, no planning, just me looking round and being mesmerized by what was in front of me….

1

I am genuinely quite proud of this last shot. I know they aren’t much, but I feel as though I have accomplished something as I am a wheelchair user and can’t get to all the pretty places I would love to, buy hey ho, I like to think I am making the best of what I have!

Until the next one (which will hopefully be a Cathy spam)

Sarah

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Just a little photography post..

Having recently acquired a new Fujifilm FinePix S4400 Bridge camera, and having a new found love of some of the cheaper apple apps out there for manipulating digital photographs, I thought I would post a few I have taken up.

I use Aviary and Snapseed for filters, cropping, brightness, contrast, saturation and sharpness fiddling with the raw file, and then run them through a lovely little app called TitleFx to add text. I am not in the realms of being arrogant enough to watermark my work as it really isn’t good enough, but I like to pop a little tag on it more for my own reference.

So, without further ado, 3 offerings:-

1

 

I honestly adore this pic as the rock looks (at a glance) like there is someone sat on it. I must have caught it just at the right point of the tide.

2

 

A lovely little pic of where the tide seemed to produce the most gorgeous patterns in the sea. Must admit, wouldn’t fancy being in the swell!

3

 

And my very favourite from my trip out that day – the remnants of a Victorian archway onto a place called Marine Drive. Quite proud of this one considering I haven’t had the camera long and am only just learning how to use it properly!

Hope you have enjoyed my paltry offerings – any photography nuts out there willing to give an enthusiastic amateur some constructive criticism, I would be very grateful.

Sarah

To put it bluntly, darnation!

To quote Emily Lloyd in the 1987 film “Wish You Were Here” – bloody, bugger, bastard, bum! As you know, I went to go and get the elusive corn snake yesterday but came home empty handed.

She hadn’t fed and quite rightly, the breeder wasn’t happy to let her go until she had. So, he is going to feed her on Wednesday for me, and I can go and get her on Friday.

Needless to say, I WILL be calling on Thursday to check that she has had her dinner!

I got a bit more information on her – although she is being sold as an albino lavender, she is actually a snow lavender morph and is going to be a gorgeous colour when she is mature. Bert has already put snake steaks on the menu for 4 years time – hmm! Think we might be having words come then!

Don’t get me wrong, I was beyond disappointed, but I want a happy, healthy girl when she comes home. So, friday is now the big day.

I should have known that something would go wrong as I have had the most fantastic news. I had my weekly epilepsy MOT at my GP’s surgery yesterday and if anyone has been following my epilepsy related posts, you will know that the combination of medication that I have been on is NOT working. Last week I had 64 seizures and managed to acquire all kinds of new bruises.

I think I had a very prolonged simple partial seizure too, that lasted over about 3 days mid week as I literally had (to quote Lloyd Cole) a lost weekend but it was mid week.

So in I went for my appointment and as per usual, looked as bad as I usually do. I have actually refused to see my current neurologist again as it really isn’t working for me and Bert doesn’t want me to see her again either. Fortunately my GP, Dr Albiston is in agreement so I am currently neruologistless!

THIS has turned out for the best, as for quite some time I have been on a drug called sodium valporate (in the form of Epilim Chrono) and it obviously hasn’t been working. Before I became ill, I was stable on a drug called carbamazapine for 21 years. Now, as Dr Flake (ex neurologist) wanted me to stay off the carbamazapine for reasons best known to herself (when asked, her response was, and I quote verbatim “because I say so”) but Dr Albiston was in disagreement with her as he had managed my epilepsy very successfully himself and was put out to say the least.

Just a quick aside, each week that we go to see Dr Albiston, Bert takes a full record of my seizures for him and as I have been coming off the Epilim Chrono, the seizures have been going up and up. When I was on the full dose, I averaged out about 30 fits a week, but with the neurologist wanting me to drop off the medication, the fits have doubled, and then some.

So, Dr Albiston took one look at my latest record, glanced over my new bruises and quite literally had the “sod it’ written over his face. Yep, I am back on carbamazapine as of last night!!

Normally, I would have to titrate up to my old dose doing it at home, or to go straight back to my old dose do it in hospital, but after the respite fiasco, Dr Albiston has so much faith in Bert that as of last night I went straight back on my old dosage.

Don’t get me wrong – carbamazapine isn’t the nicest of medications to take. It has a rather individual taste to it and I can feel it working it’s way round my system. If this post is a little disjointed, that is why. My head feels a little “wooly’ but I know that will go in a couple of weeks. I used to bitch and whine about taking it but NEVER again will I do so. I am not ashamed to say that I cried when I picked my prescription up, they were tears of absolute joy. I handed over the remnants of the Epilim Chrono with indecent haste too!

So, one very happy Sarah here! Life is looking rather good from where I am sat right now (if you like the literal – on the bed watching BBC Breakfast news with Bert playing games on Facebook!). I am back on the medication I want, I have a pampering session on Thursday, fingers crossed I can pick Cathy up on Friday and we will take it from there!

So, for once, not a whinge in sight –

Sarah

One small wheel for woman..

One giant slither for snake kind! It has been driving me literally insane as to how to post pictures and links into my posts, but by jove, I do believe that I have cracked it! I do now believe that I will be able to quite literally bore you to death with pictures and information on Cathy from now until eternity (well, not just now, but tomorrow lunchtime when I can get her!).

The terrarium is up and running, and looks like this

Whole viv

The temperature is perfect awaiting her arrival…

temp perfect

And although I have had to snaffle the picture off the internet, this is what she looks like

Cathy

Having worked out the elusive hyperlink problem, you can be assured that Cathy’s every need it going to be met. I am not looking at this as a ‘flash in the pan’ – I know it is going to be a long term, possibly 20 year, commitment and I am more than ready for her tomorrow.

So, as I am starting to feel as though Frank might put an appearance in quite soon, I think this is accomplishment enough for one day. Until my picspam tomorrow of Cathy, I shall go and put my head down!

Sarah

Tomorrow is the big day!

So, yesterday Bert and I went to the pet shop to price up me getting a corn snake. I duly looked, read, and spent about an hour doing the deed and came up with the following

Terrarium kit (heating inclusive) – £89
Haven furniture for shedding – £13
Coconut dome for dry hiding – £3
HEAVY water bowl – £6.50
Aspen bedding – £10
Sphagnum moss (for shedding) – £7
Food (don’t ask unless you REALLY want to know) – £4 (for 3 months supply)
Feeding tongs – £8.50
For want of a better word, poo remover – £2

so, without the snake, just to set it up, would cost £143. I was rather impressed at that. Now, as you know I was just pricing it up and Bert could see how excited I was getting so unbeknownst to me, went and got the reptile expert to come over and speak to me. She asked to see the list I had made, asked about my budget etc, basically interviewed me and….. I passed! I was thoroughly impressed when she told me that they refuse to sell more snakes than they actually do sell due to prospective first time owners not knowing what they are letting themselves in for. Although they are pretty little things when they are the length of a 12″ ruler, they can live up to 20 years in captivity and have been known to hit 5′ in length regularly, sometimes even 6′ depending on the husbandry.

Little did I know, that Bert had already told her I was allowed one (he had phoned the housing board and we have verbal approval) so we got a trolley and popped all the stuff into it.

THEN the big moment came – time to pick a pet who hopefully will be with me for 20 years. Now, you don’t just waltz in and buy the terrarium, bits and bobs and snake in one go – you have to set the terrarium up and go back 48 hours later to get your chosen snake as the temperature is very important.

The lovely reptile expert (Steph) brought several corn snakes down for me to see – of course they are up high where I can’t see whilst sat in Lilith! I decided that I would like a female as they are more docile, and don’t become, how to put this delicately, aroused, unless put with a male snake. There were several different morphs of corn snake but one stood out head and shoulders above the rest. She is an albino lavender and I am going to go and pick her up tomorrow. When Steph brought her down to see me, she opened up the box and brought her out, as she had done with the previous ones, but this lady just had a look in her eye. She lifted her head up and slithered into Steph’s hands. When Steph brought her closer to me, she literally flung herself at me, so with a quick squirt of antibac hand gel, I was allowed to hold her. She held her head up high and looked me straight in the eye. Then she gracefully curved round my fingers and wrist, so delicately it was gorgeous to see. She took a little trip up my cardigan sleeve to see what was going on up there and Steph was just about to get her, when I said it was fine with me as long as it was fine with her, and she let us be for a while longer. She was really surprised at how at ease I was with her until I explained that my grandmother on my father’s side of the family used to have an 8′ boa constrictor as a pet and would regularly cook tea with it draped round her neck!

At this point I hadn’t realized but a few of the other staff had come over to see what was going on – apparently snakes don’t often pick their owners, but I had well and truly been singled out by this gorgeous lady. She has seduced me completely. So, after having a good ten minutes of time with her, I reluctantly put her back, but knowing I could pick her up tomorrow.

So, tomorrow, our house is welcoming its newest arrival. Miss Catherine Earnshaw. She is spirited, inquisitive and above all, different. Just like me! I will, however, be calling her Cathy!

It was very sad putting her back in her little box, but Bert and I bought her new home, furniture and food and it is set up ready, heating up on track, for her arrival tomorrow. I was VERY impressed that the pet store required us to set up Cathy’s home in advance, and we have to take a picture of the thermometer to show that it is at the required temperature before they will sell her to me, even though she is ‘reserved’ until tomorrow.

Today is feeding day at the pet store, so I won’t need to feed her until next Sunday, and it is going to push me to the brink of my self control not to mither her when I get her home, but I have read extensively, and all the sites on the internet say that a new juvenile corn snake should be left alone for its first week in its new home without handling. AAARRGGGHHH!! Going to sound like a 5 year old here but “I wanna play!”.

I will, however, point out that I am not going to – I do not want a distressed pet. I want a bright, happy Cathy who hopefully will live a very long and happy life with us.

So, until tomorrow afternoon whereby I will no doubt run out of superlatives, I shall sign off!

Sarah

Ohh, one step closer!

To the acquisition of the corn snake that has so far eluded me! I live in social housing (where I live, to buy a home think central London prices) and as per our tenancy agreement we have to ask permission to keep any pet. Bert told me to call the Housing Authority to ask for the form to keep a new pet.

I spoke briefly with the lady and she said that permission to keep a corn snake had never been refused, so we are off to drop Lizzie at work then onwards and upwards to price up the complete cost of said snake! I shall return with all the info, pricing and no doubt on an absolute high!

So, to the pet shop and beyond!

Sarah

VERY Late Valentine’s Day entry..

Just a short entry today – but something I had completely forgotten! Bert and I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. I don’t need Hallmark to tell me what day of the year I can tell him how much I love him. I think it also raises expectations, causes arguments up and down the land and makes single people feel rather alone.

The one thing I will point out is that Saint Valentine is the patron saint of Epilepsy, so I thought that shouldn’t go unacknowledged.

On the 14th of February I woke about 4am as is per usual, and at 6am put on the BBC Breakfast news (Bert doesn’t mind as long as the TV doesn’t go on before that). They were doing the usual Valentine’s Day schmaltz but asked people to email in with their proposal stories.

Now, I genuinely can’t remember if I have alluded as to how Bert “proposed” to me or not, but to cut a long story short, on the 26th of August 2011 we woke up one morning and announced that we were getting married! So, off we went to town, bought a ring and he put it on my finger in the multi storey car park. Yep, that was it!!

So, being the devil that I am, I emailed in with our story, adding that we don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day and I actually wouldn’t have had it any other way. I then didn’t give it another thought….

As seems to be the programming on BBC Breakfast news, they keep the lighter stories until the end, and had brought in a relationship counsellor to talk about Valentine’s Day, the implications, proposals etc.

That morning had our two favourite presenters on, Charlie Stait and Susannah Reid. So, they bring out the proposal emails and Susannah launches into one about a couple whose husband to be had chartered a plane and flown over her favourite Church and had laid out “Will you marry me?” in flowers in the churchyard! Her face could barely contain her distain and Charlie was chuckling away.

THEN.. (and I think you can see where this one is going), Charlie read out an email from Sarah, saying that her husband to be had woke up one morning, announced that they were going to get married….. yep! They read out my email to them! Susannah was killing herself laughing and quipped “my kind of proposal” and even the relationship counsellor was trying his hardest not to laugh.

It took Bert a few seconds to cotton on as to what was going on (thank god for Sky +) and he was absolutely thrilled! It thought I might be in the dog house, but when he saw the presenter’s reactions he was absolutely made up and spent the rest of the day with the biggest smile on his face I have seen in a long time.

I am SO going to have to up the ante next year! Gifts we may not do, but I think we might just have started something here…..

Sarah

Had a bit of a surprise today..

As anyone who ready my blog will know, I am a wheelchair user and have uncontrolled epilepsy. Just a quick aside from today’s post, I outdid myself completely yesterday as seizures go. I had one at the top of the stairs, cartwheeled over and landed in a heap at the bottom! I genuinely wish I could have caught it on camera as I am pretty sure it would have been hillarious to see! Slight problem though, I am now the proud owner of a delightful selection of new bruises, including a skinned shin and yep, dislocated my shoulder again. Thankfully Bert has got popping it back in off to a fine art.

Anyway, on to the lovely surprise I had today. As my activities are limited to say the least, I treated myself to a new camera last month, a Fujifilm Finepix S4400 Bridge camera. I had only had a ‘point and click’ up until then (Fujifilm again, I like the functionality on them) and am in no way ready for a full on DSLR yet.

So, I have been taking pictures of things that interest me – mainly the sea, rock formations, generally nothing man made. I have been posting them on Facebook just for my own amusement but was absolutely stunned a couple of days ago. On my friends list I have a gent who is a professional photographer. Not the kind that does studio pics, but someone that companies hire to do proper photo shoots and fly him out to work for them. He sent me a PM and actually gave me some rather surprising feedback on the pictures that I had been posting.

Although they are very rough and ready compared to what he is capable of, he told me that he thought I had a bit of a natural talent for it! Now, I have to be honest and was a little skeptical so I asked his brother in law if he was just being kind, knowing that I hadn’t been well, but apparently not, he had mentioned to him that he thought with practice and time, it is something that I could be proud to put my name to. He gave me some very good advice too – to watermark anything I put on the internet, so I have been since he mentioned it.

I didn’t really think much more of it other than feeling rather chuffed and in truth, a bit smug until today when I posted up a bunch of pictures I had taken yesterday when I was out. I chose yesterday to do something as it is the 5 year anniversary of when my back decided to pack up on me and I wanted to do something nice to mark the occasion, not wallow in self pity even though that was the overriding emotion until I got out of the house!

I got an invite to a closed Facebook group for photographers and recognised more than 10 of the members whose work I have admired for some time. A lot of these gents and ladies work with 35mm film exclusively but I can’t afford to do that, so even knowing that I am only able to offer digital photography they have been very welcoming, and surprisingly supportive of my meagre offerings so far. And yet I STILL can’t work out how to put a picture into my blog!!! Definite end user issues there. If anyone can help me with that one please could you message me about how to do it, I really would be grateful.

So yes, a surprising couple of days that have distracted me from the drama that has been flowing through the house.

On a more positive note, Joshua has applied for 3 jobs after being made redundant the other day, Lizzie is feeling much better and is at work, Myles had an absolute blast at a friend’s house last night – apparently it was ‘film night’ and they all had a great time. Haven’t heard from Leigh, so we take it he is fine and to keep Bert sane, I am confined to bed today to try and heal a bit. Think it is going to take longer than a day though!

Sarah

I would like to introduce you to Frank

In the words of Staind’, “It’s Been a While”. Yep, hello sadly neglected blog again. Wow has it been an interesting few weeks. Just a heads up, it is going to be a long post so if you are not up for it, I would leave it until you have read the rest of the internet!

I finally made it into respite for a week. Well, I say a week but managed 5 nights. I was up for staying the full 7 but Bert was having none of it. I came out of there black and blue. I was put in the wrong room where none of the staff could see me fitting and if it wasn’t for a lovely lady in the bay with me I probably wouldn’t have the brain function to turn on a laptop, let alone write a blog. I went to school with her son and she remembered me but was in after a joint replacement for rehabilitation, not to look after me. On the 4th night she slept with her hearing aids in so she could hear if I went into a seizure and I knew something had to give, so I came home early. Apart from the fact that I was black and blue from bashing my head and arms against the metal bars on the bed, Bert wasn’t happy at all.

Don’t get me wrong, the staff were amazing when they got to me, and my seizures have changed considerably recently. I now have a new repertoire of seizure behaviour. With each reduction of the Epilim Chrono, they have changed and are now incredibly violent. I pull my hair out, hit myself on the head, head but the floor, rip pillows, bite anything I can get my mouth near – you name it. That is why we have given them a name, it being Frank Fitzgerald! He is quite a nasty character and doesn’t behave very well! Joking aside, I am getting exhausted from it all.

Whilst I was in hospital, we found out that my eldest, Joshua, has been abusing prescription medication again. He has purposely making appointments with Drs that aren’t our family one and literally flirting his way into getting codeine (his drug of choice) and tramadol. I came home a week last Monday and I couldn’t believe the state of him – it was unreal. He has been signed off work, and was actually made redundant yesterday. Yup – we are nearly at rock bottom. I am so frightened for him as my father had an addictive personality but was an alcoholic. Just to give you an idea as to the depths of his problem, he was given a drug called Codapar (pure codeine without the paracetamol in it), 50 tablets and took them in 36 hours. He then slept for 4 days. He has tried breaking into my controlled medication box, so we have removed the majority of the medication out of the house and a family member is looking after them for me. I have had to inform the police as they have to know where any controlled drugs are kept. Last Friday I was that frightened by what he had taken (60 tramadol in 2 days) I called up to speak to a GP. Now, I KNOW that it states on his medical records that he is not to be given any kind of medication that has addictive possibilities but unlucky for her, the Dr that rang back was the one that wrote the prescriptions out.

Put it this way – he was in A&E within 2 hours hooked up to a heart monitor and being seen by the Mental Health Crisis Team. The Dr was mortified as she hadn’t read his records properly. After seeing our family Doctor yesterday, I would have given anything to be a fly on the wall when he confronted her over it. The words “not” and “impressed” were used several times over!

One good thing is that he has now been given the correct medication, a drug to treat schizophrenia. Yep, it really is that bad at the moment. He has love, support, food, warmth and shelter. The rest he is going to have to work on with our help. Fortunately his girlfriend’s family have been fantastic and he has been staying there as, much as it pains me to say so, I can’t cope with him at the moment.

Here you go – an example of how off his face he has been. A week last Wednesday I went into a rather violent seizure. I had been up to town with Lizzie and Myles and we had had a great day but it was chucking it down and when I got home I was very stiff from being in the chair and wet through. I came up the stairs wanting to get into something dry but he wouldn’t leave me alone, even though I asked him twice. Bert was making a warm drink and Lizzie was popping in and out to make sure I was ok. One of the problems was that we had to pick a prescription up of controlled drugs on the way home and I was feeling rather anxious being alone in my bedroom with him and the large amount of medication. I know he wouldn’t hurt me, but he is a huge lad and I wouldn’t stand a chance if he had made a lunge for them. Anyway, twice I asked him to leave and twice he didn’t (I just wanted to get warm and dry) but I could tell he was high as his eyes were nearly black, hardly any brown showing.

Frank decided to put in an appearance right at that moment and he just let me hit the floor. Fortunately Bert, Lizzie and Myles heard me hit the floor and came rushing in, only to find 18 stone of high as a kite son pinning me down face first mid seizure. Obviously I am recounting second hand as I don’t remember but he dislocated my shoulder by doing so and it hasn’t been right since. Once I had come round enough to realize what was going on, I got Bert to pop it back in as I know the longer that you leave it the longer it can take to heal. Yep – that was interesting. Joshua just got up and walked out of the room after damaging my shoulder texting away and that was the last we saw of him for a couple of days.

Honestly, you couldn’t make this shit up if you tried!!! It also turned out (I found out yesterday at my Drs appointment) that he had damaged the cartilage in my knee at the same time. I am on that many pain medications it takes a lot for me to get what I call “breakthrough” pain, but for the first time in longer than I would care to admit I cried with the pain. Don’t get me wrong, I will cry at a film, book, hell, even the Kleenex ad with Tom Hardy but never with pain but this has taken it to a new level.

Anyway, on to my Drs appointment yesterday. Yesterday was going to be the big one – the complete coming off Epilim Chrono as directed by the Neurologist from hell. My GP took one look at me and put his foot down – and I cried with relief that I can stay on what I am on. He couldn’t believe how bad the seizures had got and also had the added “bonus” of the nursing staff’s assessment of what had been going on when I was in respite.

I have requested a second opinion – and have refused to go back to said Neurologist as her ideas of how to treat me are quite literally driving me insane. To say my GP is pleased is a slight understatement!

So much to say still! On to some brighter things. Lizzie is going on holiday to Malta with my Mum next month – I am absolutely thrilled that she is going to get a break from it all. The only holiday that my children have ever had has been caravan holidays in North Wales and I am just so pleased that she is going to get away from it all for a week. Her OCD is much better, though her migraines aren’t too good at the moment. I think a week in the sun away from it all will do her the power of good.

Myles turned round and shocked the socks off us all a few weeks ago – he is going to Prom!! He was going with a group of his male friends and was really looking forwards to it. So he decided to shock the pants off us too a week later by announcing that he had a date for the Prom! When I first met him 3 years ago, he was a tiny ball of angriness who would barely speak and was full of aggression due to the damage done by his Mother’s second husband. Today, he stands the tallest man in the house, full of confidence with the girls throwing themselves at him. I couldn’t be more proud. Bert is convinced that it is all my doing – I disagree. 99% of it is Myles’ doing, Bert and I can take half a percent each for the rest. All he needed was a little nurturing and a couple of pointers in the right direction, that is all. I couldn’t be more proud of him. It honestly feels like he is my biological son. I have read all sorts of things about step parenting but I think it is one thing that I can actually do, and do right.

ARGH! Forgot! JUST to add insult to injury (quite literally), Bert said I could get my corn snake this month. But alas no, Joshua is not in a financial position to pay his housekeeping due to being off his rocker and not handing in his paperwork for Incapacity Benefit so no corn snake for Sarah this month! I shall have to wait – and boy I am counting down the days! I have even got ideas for names, how sad is that?!!

So, to summarise – Joshua is quite seriously ill mentally, Lizzie is coping with her OCD really well, Myles is going from strength to strength in every way, Leigh is still debating whether or not to come back permanently to live and Bert is still the love of my life. Without him, we would fall apart.

Sarah

It has been an interesting few days…..

They say at times of crisis you find out who your real friends are. Wow have I learned this one. As I am sat here typing (on the new MacBook!) Bert is lying rather ill in bed, Joshua and his girlfriend are sleeping hangovers off, Elizabeth is out at work and Myles is flaked out after an all nighter on the XBox.

Well, that was my blog session cut short! Lizzie is now home from work as it was not worth staying open so I have just cut, dried and straightened her hair (no mean feat – it is nearly down to her waist and we are mixed race so had the straighteners on super strength!).

Joshua collared me for a natter too, he was in a rather strange mood, even by his standards. He was worried that I loved Myles more than him. I guess becoming a step parent does’t come with a handbook so I had to reassure him that I loved them both equally. I genuinely can’t say I love him more, as I genuinely love both of my step sons as if they were my own – hell, they have 2 half brothers that are nothing biologically to do with Bert or I but we have had them over on holiday and I love them too. To me, love doesn’t have to equal blood, it can occur naturally too.

Oh, and to top it all, my Mum has fallen out with me. Myles and Lizzie were sat in the living room the other night, Lizzie on her laptop and Myles on his Kindle both having a laugh and Joshua walked in. Now, Lizzie had her legs over Myles’, on top of a cushion as we have a corner suite and he took COMPLETE exception to it. Never mind that Bert had been in and out of the room all evening.

Well, off he went ranting to my Mum about it being inappropriate, blah, blah, blah and without even asking for another side of the story, my Mum took it upon herself to tell Lizzie that she shouldn’t have done it.

Talk about starting WW3. Lizzie is still inconsolable about it all and won’t spend time with Myles on her own, and god love him, Myles doesn’t know what he has done wrong (NOTHING).

To give you some perspective, even before I was engaged to Bert, Myles’ friends at school would comment that Lizzie was “pretty fit” and he would be all “wwww, she is my sister”. That is how they view each other, nothing more, nothing less. They would fight to the death for each other, and have the most fantastic sibling relationship. But no, my Mother decided she would listen to Joshua and stick her nose in.

I was that angry a couple of days ago, I called her and very calmly explained the situation, told her that I was upset that she hadn’t bothered to consult Bert or I in the process and I had found it disrespectful to us as parents. I did tell her I wasn’t falling out with her, but I said what needed to be said. So she has fallen out with me anyway. I have had 39 years of this so I am used to it. She shoved me in boarding school at the age of 8 so you will excuse me if I don’t particularly rate her parenting skills. I adore her, I really do, but THIS we could have done without.

Ah well, interlude over! Like I said, Bert isn’t well. We both have norovirus, but it is affecting him worse as a lot of the pain medication I take counter balances one of the nastier sides of the virus. Unfortunately he is totally washed out with it. He hasn’t been out of bed for 3 days and all he can keep down is water with some sugar in it.

I actually realised that outside of the immediate family, we have no one to ask for any help at all. They either don’t drive, don’t want to take responsibility for me (that I DO understand, given the seizures) or ‘busy’. For all his being a busy body Joshua has been to the shop today and his girlfriend is going to cook tea for them all tonight.

I have been feeling a bit low in mood recently, I think it is the change in medication and keep bursting into tears for no apparent reason, but Bert gave me good reason before. He was asleep and Joshua wanted to talk to me so I went into the living room for a natter and a cuppa with him. After about half an hour Bert came charging in barking at me as to why I didn’t let him know where I was. Now, I will put my hands up as I completely overreacted, but I burst into tears. I think it was more the fact that I knew he wasn’t well and was asleep when Joshua asked me to chat to him, so I just left him asleep and went down for a chat. I was so upset that he did it in front of Joshua and his girlfriend, I felt like a child myself.

Now I am painfully aware that my epilepsy has pushed everyone to the absolute brink of exhaustion, but I am going to request that my respite be brought forwards and ask for another of the neurologist’s demanded drops of medication in hospital (nowhere else will have me). I have only been married for 3 months, actually to the day and I have got my husband so exhausted he is shouting at me and is ill. I can barely forgive myself currently.

Lizzie has offered to reciprocate the hairdressing, so she is going to sit in with me whilst I have a bath (thank god we have a shower curtain!) and do my hair for me. Then we are going to sit and watch Pride and Prejudice – the one WITHOUT Colin Firth, totally overrated).

I just feel damned if I do, and damned if I don’t at the moment – the reverse Midas touch. Everything I touch seems to turn to shit. I am just so damned tired too, last week I had 61 seizures, and actually 18 the day before yesterday. Really had quite enough for now!

So, before I start up with the tears of self pity again, I shall bid thee adieu.

Sarah