Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You!

Welcome back to another Monday Magic!  What a morning it has been with a visit to the local hospital for an”ology” appointment.  Today it was gastroenterology and things didn’t bode well from the moment the nurse said they were running a little late.  There is a huge white board with the various doctors names and details of the clinic.  We sat and watched as nurses came out regularly and increased the waiting time for each different doctor – waiting time 45 mins, 1 hour, 1 hour 15 mins…until the registrar I saw was running about an hour and a half behind.

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Is it me, or is the waiting room always too hot when the clinic runs late? People start to become agitated, staff don’t have the right answers and tempers become frayed.  Staying calm is a must – so send hubby out for some coffees and breaaaaathe!  I was in and out in no time with an increased iron level, no major changes and am happy to report another young doctor seen who knew about Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, POTS and the related gut issues!  Now all I feel fit for is a long siesta…….

A much more exciting event that we went to this week was an Engineering and IT careers event – where the young engineer and his business partner gave a presentation – well the talented business partner spoke and the young engineer clicked the computer slides!  I am now a step nearer to understanding what their business is…..cybersecurity was mentioned more than once!  The robotics Professor from the local university had a little, but incredibly expensive robot with him which was fascinating.  His main interest of study is using the robot for teaching both SEND children, who respond well to the consistency in information given by a robot, but also in mainstream education.  It was quite unnerving when the robot was fired up and ready as his eyes were able to track you across the room and his face really did seem to be expressive.  Another exciting topic was a “plasma” tool that a group of scientific engineers have created for a plastic surgeon friend.  The tool is available for both hot and cold plasma surgery and can potentially be used to aid cell and skin regeneration, tattoo removal and may help reduce the growth of resistant bacteria strains such as MRSA.  My head was simply spinning when we left….and I’m not even one of the students it was aimed at!

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Photo by Matan Segev on

This weekend the celebrations reached fever pitch in Wales as the Six Nations rugby was won, but also in all corners of the earth where there is a touch of the shamrock needing little excuse to celebrate St Patrick’s Day.  With a nod to the emerald isle, I have found you several St Patrick’s posts, along with some travel, health and beauty pieces.  Sit back and enjoy with a cuppa!

St Patrick

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Have a great week,

Claire x

Monday Magic Inspiring Blogs for You! (6)

Engineering, kilts & haggis!

I really don’t know where January went.  Between parents’ evenings, option evenings, governor duties and arranging a careers evening, the different schools have taken over my waking hours.  The careers evening is an engineering event for 16 – 18 year olds, arranged with the alumni committee from my old school.  I’ve exploited all the contacts I could, including the livery company in the City of London for whom our engineering student is an apprentice – we are hosting it in their amazing venue at London Bridge.  Thank you WC of Scientific Instrument Makers.

The family have all been roped in – father, brother, husband and son – whether they want to or not!!  But the biggest joke is that so many people assume that I am an engineer……….I just have to say that no, I’m not, but I do have my very own amazing bit of engineering going on in my spine…..titanium, screws, electrodes, battery!

Thanks to the people who have been in touch checking where I’ve been.  I’m ok – not great – but ok.  I had a check up at St T’s and the nurse was happy enough with me.  She was pleased with my usage and time switched off; apparently I increase usage over the weekend and then to hit a peak on a Monday….funny that, what with a house full of teenagers, washing, cooking, dog, MESS!!  I actually needed to change the batteries in the controller last week – for anyone with a new stim, the batteries lasted me about 3 months and these can be run to empty.  Not to be confused with my implant which mc83521247ebb8e5f7485babf99e9d143ust NOT be run flat…..unless I fancy a quick date with my friendly Guys’ anaesthetist!  The thing I found tricky was quantifying exactly how much the stim has reduced the pain as it varies so much.  I know what I should be saying and what the hospital want me to say, and I can say that I definitely have some control back…….even if that is by lying flat on the ground.
Those of you with a tingly scs will know that this increases the parasthesia enormously as the spinal cord lies on top of the electrodes
– those of you who don’t, try to imagine sticking your fingers in a socket and the resulting hairstyle!!

This recent bout of cold weather isn’t great for those of us with chronic pain.  One friend said he has actually been really grateful for global warming keeping this winter so mild!   Imagine that feeling when ice cream hurts your teeth……then put it into your back, down a limb and out of a hand/foot multiplied by 100 and you will start to get the picture.  Duncan and I went for a walk yesterday afternoon, having been told by middle child that it was quite mild outside.  I don’t know what he was talking about, because it was freezing and there was an almighty battle going on down my leg between the wind, the pain and the stimulation.  With chronic pain, it is as if your body’s wiring has malfunctioned and parts start misfiring and become hypersensitive – for me it includes my gut.  My biology drummed the word peristalsis into us at school, and on Sunday in the park all I could think of was Mr Parfit’s peristalsis as I heaved all the way home!!

There is something new that I managed to do with my stim helping since my last post……..attend a Burn’s night celebration at our daughter’s school.  We were given the tickets at short notice by a friend and had no idea what to expect.  Duncan chickened out and turned down the offer of a kilt, instead opting for a tartan dicky bow……..was he worried about getting the knees out, or what a man really hides under his kilt????

I was at the wrong Burn’s night if this is a man in a kilt!

The haggis was great, as was the piper and the Scottish DT teacher, resplendent in full kilt, who spoke Robbie Burn’s infamous words as he broke the haggis open. download (3) Something I hadn’t mentioned to Duncan was the Scottish dancing after the meal – his worst nightmare.  Funnily enough the stim really doesn’t give super country dancing powers – and Duncan said that for once he was delighted I have a bad back!  He only narrowly escaped being pulled up to join a reel……..