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Just before Easter the kids entered a treasure hunt competition in Waitrose.

We went to Sweden over half term and it was great. Heathrow's wheelchairs are unstealably grim but Arlanda and Visby both have normal ones. It was nice to meet Rob's aunts and uncles, though most people were at work because it was after the Easter weekend rather than during it. While we were there we got a phonecall to say the kids had WON the Easter competition.

The flights were ok. E and A found the pressure changes hard - E found them excruciating, actually - but after the first flight we managed the chewing and swallowing regime better and it was better. We paid extra for seats with meals, and the lactose-free meals were poor and the gluten-free one was vegan, for some reason, but not gluten-free. For example, the lactose-free meals had non-dairy spread but no bread. The regular meal had lactose-free chocolate and bread rolls, but the lactose-free meal had neither. On the return flights I brought my own frozen egg sandwiches and skipped the plane food.

There was a week of school for L after we got back and then Rob went to America for a week, which was exhausting. That week included Drama, Swimming, Guides, Rainbows, and a party on the other side of town. But I managed it all and hardly had any tantrums or weeping fits. It did not include collecting the damn prize.

I also arranged L's birthday celebrations - pottery painting, food, dinner out. No guests, no visitors, just us.

Rob's been back almost three days and I'm beginning to recover. On one day I had to walk 9,200 steps, which is more than twice my usual maximum without a day in bed afterwards. But then I also managed to cycle, and yesterday I SWAM at the pool instead of collapsing in a heap while the kids had their lessons. So I'm making some progress as long as I don't give myself a relapse.
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I seriously had three hours sleep. Seriously.

Agh

Feb. 25th, 2016 10:56 am
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I'm anxious and chronically unwell/fatigued and full of doom and failure.

FREEDOM

Dec. 16th, 2015 09:28 pm
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The cat is OUT of the bag! His stitches are out, the lump is gone, he's healing well, he's allowed out again! HURRAH.
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And cold and wobbly and lacking ability to get up and do things. Must housework.

365 in 365

Dec. 8th, 2015 01:46 pm
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I actually would like to re-start this because my house is overflowing with THINGS. Did we used to do it in a community or just behind a cut?

Recently I have gotten rid of: outgrown children's clothes, jigsaw roll, packaging we were saving in case we needed to return things to the shop, old bras that don't fit any more, falling-apart socks, an art storage box which took up more space than it saved me, some old paintings I didn't want any more, and I'm actually using up the Christmas cards the kids drew last year that I was too ill to get sent out.

Let's just gloss over all the stuff I've brought into the house.
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I've been watching ALL the YouTube videos and I haven't liked a newfound geek this much since I discovered Hans Rosling. I recommend him to anyone interested in people, autism, autistic people, or experts. I like experts. Mmm, experts.
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Ta Da:

Got L out to school
Ate breakfast
Emailed school the scanned paperwork
Cooked A breakfast
Took in two deliveries
Emailed Ebay about another delivery that arrived too damaged to use
Set limits on E's screen use, dealt with resulting tantrum
Emptied tumble dryer, put wet jeans in it to dry
Set dishwasher going, since it seemed already full of dirty
<b>12:00</b>
Get cardboard into recycling bin -- many boxes
Soak terrifying laundry in bicarb so it comes clean in a later wash
Empty kitchen bins (2)
Clear kitchen counters
Emailed school AGAIN

To Do:

Empty bathroom bins (3)
Replace 2015 year planner with 2016 one, now that month planner goes all the way to 3 January
Wash more laundry
Put away clean, dry laundry, especially bedding
Put away groceries: veg delivery, supermarket delivery, and shopping Rob did on Saturday.

Tired

Sep. 25th, 2015 10:26 pm
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Can't decide whether to curl up and cry, or kill everyone in a three-mile radius.

Urgh

Aug. 12th, 2015 01:24 pm
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I think it's a migraine. I had a terrible headache yesterday, and then awful digestion until after 2 am, and then there were three people in my bed who weren't me, and now I'm all seaweed-limbed and miserable.

Today is the last day before guests arrive and we have to get the house ready for beds for four more people. At least Linnea and I did her bedroom yesterday. And the ground floor isn't too bad under a surface layer of clutter. But the kids' shared bedroom (they share it with enough toys for a small department store in a major capital city and international transport hub) is terrifying.

In more cheerful news, I've been watching Lark Rise to Candleford and finding it charming. It has Julia Sawalha, who I've loved basically my whole life, and it's all about people who are basically decent and crises which are resolved fairly happily and there's no huge horribleness or malicious ill-will carried out on-screen. Given Emer and I've been watching Call the Midwife and Downton Abbey and The Paradise and things, it's a huge relief.

I'll have a go at that one with Judi Dench next I think. Cranford?
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I got laundry in before it rained, fed everyone lunch, forced everyone to get dressed in actual clothes, sorted out TWO Vodafone online billing accounts, and managed to eat both breakfast AND lunch.
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Monday is still all about deweekending the house. And Emer has given up sleeping, and cheerfulness. So Tuesday has been a bit grim too.

I have a to do list as long as my arm.

1) Book train and ferry to see my mum
2) Find passports
3) Measure alcoves for blinds
4) Measure fence for replacement fence
5) Smash everything and burn everything else.
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  • Rob went to America for a week, and my mother came, and it was fine. A family friend died just as he was flying back and my mother had to rush back for the funeral, and I immediately lost my voice, but it could all have been much worse.
  • Then I got shingles again.
  • There's been sundry problems with Linnea's school uniform ordering. But it's here, it fits as well as a first-year's ever will, and many of the name labels are sewn on. She's really, really looking forward to it.
  • She went to Ecoweek summer camp at the Centre for Alternative Technology in Machynlleth and loved it, just like last year. I coped much better this year, too.
  • Emer and I are watching all manner of period dramas. Downton Abbey, The Paradise, and Call the Midwife. It's an EXTREMELY educational experience, though it puts paid to any notion of a relaxing evening vegging in front of a screen, for me, because of all the discussing, explaining, context, etc. She's quite cross at the wrongness of the morals.
  • Astrid is five now, and delightful beyond measure.
  • Mondays are still all about cleaning up so I can cope with the rest of the week, after the chaos of the weekend. There has to be a better way to live.
  • I keep meaning to update the art blog or the who teaches whom blog and I am too exhausted. Also I'm mostly unable to read actual books, too.

Health

Jul. 21st, 2015 05:15 pm
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I can now do 6k steps a day without ill effect. I can manage a mile without a stick almost reliably. My abs are *definitely* coming back. I've discovered Hotter brand shoes, which *don't hurt*. I don't eat gluten, cows' milk, soya, or black tea, on no evidence other than how sick they seem to make me. I'm hoping that when everything else gets better I can reintroduce again.

But right now I have lost my voice.

July

Jul. 21st, 2015 05:09 pm
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Rob went to America for a week. My mother came to stay, and to stay for A's birthday, but a family friend died the day before Rob came back so the day of his return we bought Mum a flight home and she's gone now.

While Rob was away, L had tonsillitis, E had some sort of something that made her temperature drop way down (we got it up to 36C with blankets, hot water bottles, and tea), and I shopped for L's school coat in the summer sale.

Almost as soon as Mum left, I lost my voice.

I'm going to write up some of the other stuff on Who Teaches Whom. It was pretty interesting.
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It's three months since I last posted about my health.

I'm still getting dressed every day. I still have 4h/wk cleaners. I can walk most of a mile without a stick more than half the days. Hayfever is really kicking my butt. The Wii Fit says I'm obese and I am often inflated -- swollen joints and so on -- so I've gone up a clothes size again. I can't read much but I can read *some* which is more than I could a while ago.

I'm doing various things specifically to improve or slow deterioration of my health. I'm tracking my physical activity, and it's up from 2k steps to 3.5k steps most days without collapse; 10k still means significant collapse, and more than that means days and days of recovery. But I can see improvement. Which is good, because my arms were being murdered by the crutches.

I think my abdominal muscles are the thing I am missing most at the moment; while relying on crutches I lost them, and they're difficult to get back without sturdy hip joints. But when I *can* use them they work wonders for my ability to hold myself upright and walk.

I can't make a GP appt because the chances of being able to get there AND have the cognitive ability to articulate my needs are so slight. But I had a dentist appt and I'm fine there. If I continue to improve I can see a GP at the end of the summer, hopefully.

I can no longer tell whether I'm in constant pain or not. I'm definitely in almost constant discomfort, because bits of me are non-functional. Especially the typing bits.

I think now Rob's snoring is beginning to be under control again it might help; I definitely need better rest.

Whalesong and homeopathy time, I think.
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I've left my rainbow bunting up, because I'm still not tired of marriage without regard to gender, and in return the USA got a step more civilised.

YES

May. 28th, 2015 01:13 am
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I can't actually articulate how I feel about the Yes vote in Ireland. I spent the day of the vote crying and watching Twitter. I hardly slept the night before the count. I spent the day of the count crying and watching Twitter. Then I made rainbow bunting with the children and danced.

But there's more complicated things in there under the relief and joy. More complicated, less pleasant things. About marriage, and societal acceptance of non-straight persons, and all manner of things. I'm pretty bitter.
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Kettle I don't have to lift (Breville hotcup)
Second kettle in my bedroom so I can have drinks when I can't manage stairs
Second, smaller, fridge so I can have (and give children) breakfast and snacks when ditto
Crutches
Walking stick
Shower stool
Cleaning service, 4 woman-hours a week at present, hoping to reduce
Budgeting for café time in every single outing, thank goodness for babycinos.
No gluten, dairy or soy
Often only drinking hot water as cold water makes me FREEZING and tea can make me sick

I might remember more later.
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Well, cleaners was the right way to go, because now I'm able to get dressed every day and the children have even done some painting and other art stuff because I have the oomph to help.

Terry Pratchett is still dead, because that's how dead works. I don't approve.

I've taken steps to have a gardener come and help us dewinter the back garden so it's a good summer space. I usually do this myself but it's not worth the loss of energy. I *like* getting dressed every day.

I take the kids to Brownies now but I have to have a rest in the cafe after the walk there so that I can walk back, and the cafe closes just as Brownies starts, so I have to rest before Brownies, so I have to buy 3 kids drinks so we can all sit in the cafe. The good thing is that babycinos exist.

All my triumphs and achievements are so minor, so small, so trivial-seeming, but they are a big deal to me. I can shower standing up sometimes. I can walk around the block without crutches (it's a small block). I have been painting a little again.

I think I would like my world to be larger, and with more people in it. But it really depends on people coming to me, because I cannot go anywhere without a huge cost.

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