13 on the 13th (and a new Pope)

Well, Frank visited yesterday – 13 seizures in one day. Things had been going better but I think I have caught something, as apparently I was burning up to the touch, but felt freezing. Was quite funny looking back having “words” with Bert over duvet ownership! I was adamant that I wanted it, when I genuinely needed cooling down. Oh the joys of epilepsy and a fever!

I must admit, as a lapsed (and when I say lapsed, I mean REALLY lapsed) Catholic, I saw something last night I though I would never see in my lifetime. I have seen 4 Popes elected by the Conclave of Cardinals. Pope John Paul I, Pope John Paul II (who I had the pleasure of actually seeing in The Vatican when I was 16. He laid his hands on my head and I was really moved by it), Pope Benedict XVI, and now Pope Francis I. I was living in Malta when both Pope John Paul I and Pope John Paul II were elected by the Conclave, and it was a HUGE deal. I must admit, I was quite sad when he passed as even though he lays hands on so many people, he had laid his hands on MY head.

I never really though much about Pope Benedict XVI, but am actually looking forwards to what Pope Francis I can bring to the Catholic Church. Some of his thoughts go totally against my personal beliefs, but hey, were would we be in this world if everyone agreed?

He is happy for single Catholic mothers to have their babies baptised into the faith, a bold step for a Cardinal. He eschews all the pomp and circumstance for a simpler, more modest life and encourages his faithful to do the same. Although against gay marriage, he says that gay people should be treated with respect (thank YOU! – I am pretty sure Jesus would have done the same!). Should be an interesting few years to see what he can do with the mess the Church is in. Sorry about that, didn’t mean to go off on a religious tangent there!

Well, one of my “new” Uncles has arrived on the Isle of Man – I was supposed to go and meet them last night off the boat but was in no fit state, so Lizzy went with my Mum. Can’t wait to meet him and his wife today. Am beyond excited. Well, that is after the more mudane shopping etc that has to be done. I might feel like **** but I am going to get out and get some fresh air.

Cathy is doing really well. I have found a really lovely guy who has been holding my hand via email and she is a little under weight, so we have broken all the rules, and she has had a feed and not brought it back up (known in the snake keeping community as a regurge) and seems quite a happy little girl. I am going to up her feeding schedule from once every 7 days to once ever 5 days. She fed 6 days after her last feed before she came to me, and wolfed it down, so I want to get her to every 5 days asap, that is for sure!

Joshua, Lizzie and Myles have all had a hold of her now (before she was fed, as you have to leave them 48 hours to digest their dinner) so just for a laugh, here is a picture of Joshua looking at Cathy – think he would kill me if he knew I was doing this!

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Yes, my delightful 20 year old son giving Cathy the eye! (and yes, that is a Latin tattoo around my wrist)

So, onwards and upwards to the day – I am so excited about meeting my Uncle (after shopping and a supervised bath as I genuinely look like I have been dragged through a hedge backwards. Twice).

Hope everyone has a great day,

Sarah

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I could merrily strangle Frank…

Frank Fitzgerald that is, my body when it goes into it’s alter ego when I am having a seizure. Most of yesterday’s plans had to be modified.

First up, as the fits hit about 2pm, Cathy is going to have to wait for her meal today. I didn’t wake up properly until about 6pm from them and it was only to have a lovely meal the children had done for Bert and I, but we still watched The Hunger Games (think Battle Royale on acid, then you will get my drift).

Lizzie was on her own with me when I had the seizures, and once I started head banging the wall, she leaped in with my midazolam and that was it, Frank disappeared, no more fits. She did regale me with a funny story of how she tried to lug me round the bed to get me comfy, but truth be told, as long as my head is on a pillow, I have what the kids lovingly refer to as my “stinky Beth bear” (a little teddy that Bert bought me when I was in hospital last June and who wears a wedding dress/nightie that Bert made her, and the duvet, I am fine. She did a fantastic job, and wrote the time and type of fits down for Bert to put on my chart when he came home which was literally 5 minutes later as he had been dropping my Mum at work.

I did change Cathy’s water (duh, can’t leave any kind of snake without fresh water for over 24 hours) and Myles asked if he could watch as he hasn’t even seen her properly yet. Well, Madame didn’t disappoint. I put my hand in to get her water dish (I have had advice not to just top it up as a lot of them like to relieve themselves in their water and we wouldn’t see it). Realizing she was in tip top form, I gave Myles a shout as Bert had collected her a lovely flat rock to sit on, and Lizzie had given me 2 HUGE pieces of flint so we sterilized them to go into her vivarium yesterday by boiling them and then baking them in the oven to 120 celcius to rid them of any bacteria. I will point out that Bert got some stones for his fish tank too – that is the bargain for me having Cathy – he is getting a large 480 litre fish tank for the living room for compatible plecs and sharks, with a stone background.

So, water dish disinfected and refilled, Myles came up to see Cathy. I had popped her in her RUB so I could get her dirty substrate out and put her new “toys” in her vivarium so as I was popping her in, Myles came to have a stroke of her. He was really surprised as she didn’t feel how he expected her to at all. He wanted to take a picture of her so may I present his offering (of my iPhone, which doesn’t do macro shots too well!)

New Cathy Pic

We are both absolutely thrilled as she has what looks like a smiley face on her head (Myles noticed it first) and she had a good old taste of the air around him too. I asked him if he would like  hold, but he said he was happy just to give her a stroke for now. He was more than confident doing that, so I don’t want to push him at all. Oh, and please excuse my nightie in the background and be grateful I cropped my head out of the picture too!

So, with help off the forum I signed up to, we have identified her as a possible strawberry snow morph (colour). I don’t know whether or not to be thrilled or bloody annoyed to be honest. I thought I was getting a plain snow which, if you are into genetics is a double trait, whereas a strawberry snow is a selectively bred reptile, and can come with all the problems that are associated with selectively bred anythings. Fingers crossed she is just a snow.

One thing is for sure and that is that she needs feeding up, so with advice and help, I am upping her feeding schedule from one pinkie every 7 days to one every 5 until she sits properly on the chart where she should for her age and length. Although she is still in the “healthy” range, she is on the very low end of the scale and unlike dogs or cats, she can’t tap against the glass asking for more food!

I have made a lovely friend on the forum I signed up to, and he has been fantastic this week – no problem or question to trivial for him to answer as we have exchanged email addresses. It was him suggesting that I move her home round  a little bit given how settled and inquisitive she is this week.

I have to admit, I laughed at Bert when he told me that she was watching TV, but last night, as we settled down, sure as eggs is eggs, her head popped out of her favourite hide and we have worked out she can see half of the TV screen and there she was, either watching the shadows the TV threw or the actual TV. The glow from the laptop screen has alerted her again, and she is watching me type (quite disconcerting to say the least – I am SURE she knows I am talking about her!)

Anyway, I hope Frank doesn’t pay a visit today, and on that note shall bid the adieu

Sarah

To any Mums reading this blog..

Happy Mother’s Day! (OK, I realize that this is only going to work for UK Mums, but to any Mums reading, have a great day too).

Well, so far having a great day. My (step) son Myles and daughter Lizzie bought me the most gorgeous little Boofles key ring (mine says “My Keys” on it) so now has pride of place on my keyring, along with my Marvel keyring (yes, I am a geek, and care not one jot!). At least it is now big enough that I can’t lose it in my bag.

Apparently today later on Myles, Lizzie and I are going to watch The Hunger Games on Netflix together – that is the film that they have chosen for me. I really am looking forwards to it very much.

Cathy is settling in very well, today is feeding day so (with some trepidation) I am looking forwards to doing that too. Myles is going to help me as I think for my first go it is going to be a 2 person job. I have the following things to do:-

1 – Get her dinner out of the freezer

2 – Clean and disinfect her RUB (really useful box, where she is going to eat)

3 – Once her dinner is defrosted, pop Cathy in her RUB, and dangle her dinner in front of her.

4 – If Cathy doesn’t take her dinner, I am going to have to brain the pinkie (her dinner) and leave her for an hour.

5 – No dice on her eating? Back into her vivarium she goes.

6 – Whilst she is eating (or not), Myles and I are going to clean her vivarium out and move it around a little for her, as she is one inquisitive girl.

Yep, just because it is Mother’s Day doesn’t mean I am going to renege on my responsibilities as a Mum to Cathy.

Oh, I took a couple of pictures of her the other day, I woke up at 9pm to find Bert the other side of the bedroom glaring at Cathy’s viv. I shall explain further, aided by pictures of course…

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THIS is apparently Cathy eyeballing Bert. Oh yeah!

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And THIS is her watching Wheeler Dealers. Honestly, they are verbatim the words that came out of Bert’s mouth!

Slight case of paranoia? Methinks so!

So, I am off to finish watching one of the Bring It On films with Lizzie. The things a Mum does!

Somebody that I would like to introduce you to…..

Miss Catherine Earnshaw has finally come home! I called at 12pm as requested, and yup – she was good to go.

Cathy

Please don’t think I was squeezing her to death, my fingers are that colour permanently due to the wheelchair use. We have now established, with the help of the corn snake forum, that she is indeed a snow, and maybe a strawberry snow (apparently the markings on her head are unusual for a plain snow corn snake)

Getting her home was hillarious – if I didn’t know better I would swear she was like a dog, watching the world go by for about 10 minutes – then she got a little cold so we turned the heating up in the car and I put my hand in the corner of her RUB (really useful box – oh yeah, I am getting the lingo already) and she happily coiled up in there.

I have to leave her to settle in for a week without getting her out for playtime, but it is worth holding out on, as it will hopefully make for a happy girl, and much less likely to be skittish which is the last thing I need – a bloody snake that can grow up to 6′ in length that gets skittish on me!

She is *just* going into blue which is why we reckon she refused her food last Sunday, but she is more than making herself at home. She decided to rub her head against the glass of her vivarium which elicited a rather amusing response from Bert! Now, if you can imagine you are sat on the bed, I sleep on the left hand side and that is nearest the wall, Bert on the right nearest the door. Bert put a shelf up for me at the perfect height so that when I sit or prop myself up in bed, I can see her. Anyway, she rubbed her head against the glass and Bert nearly jumped out of his skin! He was sat at the dressing table on the other side of the room, but had spun round on the chair and had his legs up on the bed. I really wish I had had the sense to grab my phone and record his reaction!

So, in retaliation, he is now looking up stuff for the tropical fish tank that he is acquiring in the near future. Well, he already has one but apparently me getting Cathy means he can have another. Got to love husband logic! Well, he caved in on Cathy – I know damn well I will cave in on another fish tank. One thing though – no bloody guppies! They breed at an alarming rate, no matter how beautiful they are.

So, one Cathy home and settling in, one Bert now thinking letting me get her NOT his best idea, and I have just handed my debit card over for him to get something fish tank related off the internet. Yes, it is a fact – we are both insane!

Sarah

It was 5.30am yesterday, so just a little 5.15am post today!

Well, today is D Day. Actually, I was just thinking how that came to be used in our vernacular. I use it quite often, and genuinely mean no disrespect to those that fought. I think I should reign it in a little thinking about it.

Today, I can go and get Catherine Earnshaw (already shortened to Cathy). The shop sent me her feeding and shedding records last night, and the last time I visited her, they got me to rub some kitchen paper on my hands and face so they could put it in a sealed bag and give it to her 24 hours after she had fed and apparently she has chosen to digest on said crumpled piece of paper half in and half out of a loo roll instead of her coconut shell where she would normally digest.

I have to wait until 12pm to go and get her but that is no problem as we have a few jobs that we need to do first. You know, just the normal thing like sending elephant’s feet in the post (eew, eew and thrice eew – I hasten to add they are from when it was legal to do s0). Fortunately, we are also going to get Myles a new phone so he can keep in touch with Sophie as his contract is nearly up and a new pair of jeans. Also brain bleach for me for the elephant’s feet.

Oh, Sophie sounds like a total darling. She sent me a friend request on Facebook last night and we had a little natter via PM and she is a total doll. I told her that when she is ready, to come and see us and apparently she had been not dreading coming to meet us, but nervous and I had taken that away in one message. She is coming to see us this weekend. She has told me she is shy until she gets to know people but by the way we were nattering via PM, I think she might be over the shy bit already with me. I am so looking forwards to seeing her.

Bloody Frank paid a visit yesterday when we were round at my Mum’s house sorting the bloody feet out. All I remember is being really tired and asking if I could put my head down and next thing I remember is Bert waking me up. Apparently I had had a series of simple partial seizures, followed by 4 complex partial seizures. And do I remember any of them? Nope! I was actually quite surprised at the amount of people who do have epilepsy in the public eye.

So, today is going to consist of embracing some form of personal hygiene, getting rid of the bloody feet (I have made Bert keep them in the car – over my dead body were they coming in the house), popping into town to get Myles some jeans and a couple of other bits and bobs,  and finally, after a whole 5 days that seemed like 5 months wait – getting Cathy and bringing her home. Oh ffs, here I go with the Wuthering Heights quotes agian! I suppose I have asked for it calling her Catherine Earnshaw.

I joined a very welcoming and informative forum on corn snakes and they have told me that although she is going to need a week to settle in, it is perfectly permissible to take some photographs of her when I am putting her in her new home as long as the flash on my camera is off – yay for buying bridge!

So, with what is possibly the weirdest list of things to do today (post elephant’s feet and get snake), I shall say farewell.

Sarah

Imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth…

Well, considering I have called my corn snake Catherine Earnshaw – Cathy for short, there should be no other title for this entry! I am SO going to be having unquiet slumbers tonight – I called Cathy’s breeder today and she has kept her pinkie down and, come 11.30am I can call to double check she is OK, and then it is off to go and bring her home! I have had a little more information on her morph, she is a snow lavender hypo morph.

I haven’t got any pictures of her yet, but have trawled the internet and found the nearest I can now I have a bit more information. This is what she looks like now:-

Cathy baby

When she is grown up, she is going to look like this, but only with red eyes:-

Grown up Cathy

It is ridiculous how excited I am!

Fortunately today had had some mundane distractions, I enjoyed my pampering session, we went and did the weekly shop, posted Myles’ Mother’s Day card to his Mum, bought my Mum her present – a door stop, and then went and got me a Radar key for using disabled rest rooms whilst I am out. Now, I rang the Government department where I live to ask them about acquiring one and they told me to go to my local authority Town Hall, present my Blue Badge and I would be issued with one. At the price of £6 which they forgot to tell me! So, I also have one of those should I need whilst I am out. I was stunned to find out that you can buy them off Amazon for 66p! I was a tad miffed, but am glad I went through the proper channels to get mine. It is abuse of these things that are causing the disabled facilities to be shut down at an alarming rate.

Right, I have more of the mundane to do – like going and wrapping elephant’s feet (if I can keep my food down) for shipping. I hasten to add, they are NOT ours, we are merely doing it as a favour for someone. I can promise, no pictures of that for sure!

Sarah