Friday, 2 October 2009

Jacqueline Wilson and SVT among other things

(Not my photo)

Yesterday Ruth and I were fortunate enough to go to a talk given by the wonderful Jacqueline Wilson. I have to say she is one of the nicest people I have ever heard speak. And we share a birthday! Unfortunately we didn't get there in time for the personal dedication queue (stuck in traffic!), but we were able to buy pre-signed copies of her new book Hetty Feather. It was a wonderful evening, and Ruth was chosen to ask a question, in front of all the hundreds of people :)

Another positive outcome from yesterday was my long awaited Cardiologist appointment. (The initial referral letter went astray!). I saw Dr. Routledge, and she was excellent. Totally not what I had anticipated - I was expecting an older man - not sure why! We had a good chat, as well as having a few tests, and she thinks I have SVT (supra ventricular tachycardia). This has similar symptoms to AF, which is what the GP thought it might be, but is not potentially dangerous. So over-all very good news. As I don't get it often enough at the moment to significantly effect my every day life, we decided to just monitor it for the time being. There are a couple of treatment options - Betablockers and an invasive procedure, but we decided that these are a bit drastic for the time being. I know I'm not going to drop dead, and what it is (having a name for it helps), and if it gets more regular in the future, I can go back and we can look at those options then. What she does want me to do is try and get to the GP or A&E when I'm having an episode, so they can get an ECG to see where exactly in my heart the short-circuit is.

I have been blogging since the last entry here, but on my Blythe blog SakuraBlythe. I have been hvaing fun making clothes for the girls :D

Friday, 11 September 2009

Class of 2009 - We Did It

Today we graduated at Worcester Cathedral. Perfect weather, great friends, proud family. The perfect day :)

And the prize I was awarded will pay for my Flickr Pro Account!

Wednesday, 29 July 2009


So, to fund my newest addiction (Blythe), I have started knitting again. I've set up a little Artfire store - SakuraBlythe to sell the things I make. So far there are 2 hats and a scarf in there, but I'll be adding more things as they're finished.

I got the Event Monitor on Monday evening, and so waiting to see if I have an 'event' while I have it on - Sod's Law says I won't of course, but really hope it gets sorted. Trouble is, I'm allergic to the glue on the sticky pads with the contacts in - the itching is driving me mad! Taken some anti-histamine, which makes me fall asleep, but about to go to bed, so not really a problem today for a change :)

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Long time no see

_WARNING - majorly long post_
It has been a busy few months. A mad rush to get all my college assignments in on time - which paid off when I got the letter this week telling me I'd passed with Distinction :) Yep, that made the past 2 years of hard work, stress, wondering if it was all worth it totally worthwhile. I'm signed up for the degree at the same college, and get to do it part-time over 3 years instead of 4 because of my results from the HND. Its such a nice feeling being able to be proud of myself. At school I was bullied. Not badly, but enough that I deliberately tried to hide it when I did well, or try to do badly so I didn't stand out. Ha! No chance of that now. I've worked damn hard, and I deserve good grades, so I'm going to be proud of myself for a change. John was here when I opened the letter, and having him hug me and tell me how proud he was really made it a perfect moment. I was shaking and my heart was pounding - it was quite funny!

I got another couple of letters yesterday - one had the information about the graduation ceremony in September, and one saying I'm getting the prize for my course :) I had known there was one, and it had been my aim to try my best for it, but with all the stress of moving etc, I'd totally forgotten til the letter came. I was feeling scared of the future, and wondering if Law was the right career for me, but this has totally persuaded me.

Had my yearly blood pressure check with the nurse at my GP's practice this week. No problems with that, she didn't even bother weighing me as she thought I looked exactly the same as last year (phew!). I thought it was worth asking her about my weird heart 'thing.' Okay, a brief explanation. Since I was about 12 I started getting a weird heartbeat at times for no apparent reason. Sometimes it would be irregular - kinda like an improvised Jazz drum beat (this happened when I was about to have my wisdom teeth out, and I didn't even realise the noise I could hear on the monitor was my heart beat - it was that bizarre). It lasts from just a few seconds, to half an hour. Its feels horrible and scary and makes me dizzy, but it goes away as suddenly as it starts. More recently, it has tended to be a different kind of strange beat - it suddenly starts beating at about 200 times a minute (usually I'm a bout 60). It feels like I need to cough, like I have a wheezy chest, if that makes sense. It can start suddenly when I'm just sitting doing nothing. Usually it feels like its beating so fast its not beating hard enough, but a couple of months ago it started beating that fast, and so hard it was making my shoulder jerk. Lasted about 10 minutes, and just as I was about to think I needed to see a doctor, it stopped. I have seen the doctor about it a few times in the past, and even had a 24 hour trace. Of course it didn't happen in that time (Sod's Law of course), so the doctors decided that it was just stress and I should try to avoid caffeine, and other stimulants. Basically they thought it was either a panic attack or all in my head. I'm quite a sensitive person, so I felt really awful. I knew it was real, but everyone told me it couldn't be too bad or it would have been picked up.

I gave blood last year for the first time last year. On the form you have to fill in, I explained about the weird heart beat. They didn't want to let me donate in case it put too much stress on me, but I told them what the Drs had said - that it was just stress related. So the nurse that was in charge said they'd let me that time, but I had to be really careful, and if I go the weird heartbeat thing afterwards to go straight to A&E. So I gave blood, and was fine. Til about half an hour after I got home. I washed up, then sat down for a rest. Then my heart started to beat at 200 beats a minute. John and the kids were in bed, and I didn't want to wake them up. Thought everyone would think it was an over-reaction to something that was normal after giving blood. The increased heart rate lasted for 2 hours. The next day I spoke to my friends and relatives who have given blood, and did lots of research on the Internet. Seems its was not a normal reaction, and no one I know has had anything like that - just a bit of tiredness which goes away after they've slept.

So I spoke to the nurse. Told her all of this. And she nodded and smiled, and UNDERSTOOD! Even my family were thinking it was all in my head. She said it may have become normal for me, but it was NOT normal. In fact you shouldn't usually be aware of your heart beat! I am usually aware of it. She's booked me in for a 2 week trace. I have to wear the monitor for up to 2 weeks and if I have an 'episode' during that time, I press a button and it records it. Then I see the GP who refers me to the Cardiologist if they think its necessary. I just want a name for it. I just want to finally be able to say 'I'm not just a hypochondriac - this is real!'

I've been doing some reading on the Internet. OK, never a good idea, but there are some Arrhythmia sites which are helpful. And scary, but mostly helpful. I figure that I haven't dropped down dead yet, so whatever it is that I get probably isn't dangerous. And possibly treatable. But its such a relief to talk about it have have someone understand and know they believe me. To coin a phrase, its a weight off my chest knowing its finally being understood.

One of the things I've been to the doctor repeatedly for over the past few years is extreme tiredness. I've been tested for anaemia, diabetes, under/over active thyroid, and various illnesses, with all the results being nagative, and being told thats its just normal tiredness for a mother. But none of my friends have the same tiredness levels when they're well. And I've found out its another symtom of arrhythmia. So much is falling into place.

Sorry for the long post - really needed to unburden :)

Wednesday, 27 May 2009


They're here! I have started a new blog for my Blythe ramblings, although I'm sure they'll make their way over here from time to time.

SakuraBlythe - this is my Blythe blog. Come and take a look :)

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Studio Calico - I think I love you!

This is the very peculiar bag that my kit box arrived in - was very worried to start with - thought it might have been damaged or something. But it was ok! As this is probably my last kit for a while I documented the process - have photos of the box being opened etc. Yes I am obsessed!

This was the beauty within. I got up at 4.45am last month to get the 2 add-ons I wanted. No, needed! This was possibly my favourite kit ever. Really looking forward to scrapping with it. I'm hoping that my stopping buying kits for a while will not only help my bank balance, but also get me using the kits I already have.

Yesterday I discovered a new obsession - Kokeshi dolls from Japan. Not the new ones, but the beautiful weathered vintage ones. Ruth collects Momiji dolls, which are a kind of modern version, but these have so much history. If you do a search on Ebay you'll find some from sellers in Japan.

I'm tired now - its been John's day off so we've spent the day not really doing much, so not sure why I'm so tired. We did walk to school and back twice I suppose, but its not that far. And I do need the exercise if I'm going to fit in these jeans by next week.

I don't know what Ruth's been eating, but she must have grown another couple of inches. She now comes higher than my shoulder. Will have to get John to take some photos. Alex has swimming and tennis tomorrow, so he'll be tired when he gets home = grumpy. He loves tennis though - we've spent most of the evening today playing with plastic rackets and a foam ball in the hall. Que great hilarity as the ball bounced off doors, walls, our heads and basically anything but the rackets.

Saturday, 9 May 2009


Seems like my new crafty space has been an inspiration. I made this card for my Grandma's 80th birthday. The photo isn't fantastic but I was quite pleased with it - I'm not much of a card maker these days. The flower was based on a tutorial over at the Studio Calico blog.
I also made her this necklace using a glass square kit from Etsy. It was the first one I made, and it came out rather well too.
And these are two little (tiny!) cushions I made for the kids. The stitching's not perfect, but the kids love them. Alex had been asking me to make them for weeks. They're only about 4"x6" and the pictures are Adirondack Paint Dabbers through Stencil1 stencils. I'm not sure why he wanted them to be so small but they're certainly cute. And got me using my sewing machine :) I have lots of gorgeous fabric, patterns and craft books which I'd been too scared to do anything with, but now I might actually get on and make something more ambitious.