Thursday, June 30, 2011

End of Financial Year Adventure.

For those that don't know, I was in hospital last weekend and am still recovering. This is what happened.

Last Friday I woke up with severe abdominal pain.
Rang Mum, phone call went like this:
Me: Morning. What side is the appendix on?
Mum: I think it's on the right side, why?
Me: Because I have pain on my right side. Do you think I should go to work?
(It gets hazy here, but the conclusion was that I would shower, eat and go to work. Surely that would make me feel better.)

After 3 ish hours of work, the decision was made by my Co-Captain Starlight's that I should go home. Walked to my car, nearly fell over cause of pain, and was worried about driving because I was in so much pain. Once home I called close to 15 GP's in the local area to see if I could get an appointment, but being Perth they had either gone home for the afternoon, or were not available till the following morning.

Rang Mum, phone call went like this:
Mum: How are you feeling?
Me: Arfh haynmgdlisd,knihds
Mum: That good huh?
Me: Thinking about going to hospital... Thoughts?
Mum: Get in a taxi now and go. Ring me when you get there.

I hopped into taxi mumbled the closest hospital I knew, and cried my way there. As I walked into the Emergency Department a big red sign flashed at me saying that the ED was streamlining, and people would be seen within 4 hours. I contemplated curling up in the corner to die. But I was seen by the Triage nurse within 20 minutes of getting there, and seen by the Hospital clerks after another 20 minutes. I was in the Emergency Department within 50 minutes of getting to the hospital.

I changed into my sexy open back gown (secretly put on two so that my arse wouldn't be hanging out). And then within another 10 minutes a Doc had poked me and told me it might be appendicitis. The following happened very quickly:
- Spontaneous tears
- Phone rings
- Blood pressure and pulse things attached (Doc said, "Wow your pulse is high"... You think!)
- Canular (thing in the arm) put in, and drip attached

The phone call went like this:
Mum: So what's happening?
Me: Arghs,,,, odyfjbdf;oidsuf Appendix... *sob* arghmksdkfuans dcfb;oeriuy;fdkfn fuck
Mum: I'm putting Dad on, I am going to book a flight over.
Me: You don't have to do that.
Mum: *Laughs* Yes I do!
Dad: Hi Em, your appendix huh?
Me: Dad, can't talk.... needle in my arm. Keep talking though.
Dad: How are you feeling?
Me: ......
Dad: Em?!
Dad: Oh sorry.

I spent around half an hour waiting in the ED, when I was told that I was going to have an Ultrasound. I was taken into the depths of the hospital, and given an Ultrasound. When your abdomen hurts as much as mine did, an Ultrasounds is the most painful thing in the world. They have to push so hard to get clear images. I thought I was going to explode.
Back in the ED, I began calling anyone to see if they could come hold my hand. Ben was up north, and I knew my housemate Althea was busy until 5.30pm. The messages I left on her phone descended in clarity and sanity by the hour. Finally got hold of Althea, and my knightess in shining armour said she was on her way, and would bring any essentials from my room. Dad also rang and told me Mum was on a plane, and my sister asked me if I had had the Green Whistle. I enjoyed this. Doctor came and saw me, poked and prodded and asked all the same questions that I was sure I had answered, and told me they were admitting me, and my room would be ready soon.

About 6.30ish, after only 3 and a half hours since getting to the hospital I was moved to my room. The next three days went like this.

Night One: No sleep, 3 litre drip bags. Peed a lot. Fasted.
Mum arrived, best thing ever.
Day Two: Doc poked me again, told me it was either a serious Urinary Tract Infection, or Appendicitis. Asked me the same questions again. Continued fasting. Now haven't eaten for 24 hours.
Mum's are the best aren't they?
Night Two: Potasium drip attached, they hurt like all buggery. Few hours sleep.
Mum not allowed to stay.
More antibiotics.
Beginning to think my pain is scared of the dark.
Day Three: Now haven't eaten for more than 48 hours.
Different Doc gives me more info, and tells me to eat something and if it gets better I can go home tomorrow.
Mum is again the best at all things...
I eat. (for a few hours)
Dave and Sian visit.
Night Three: Fasted again.
More drips. (I had a total of 8 litres pumped into my body, may as well have set up camp beside the toilet).
Feeling like home would be a better place to be.
Day Four: Doc invites team of 6 into my room, I welcome them, and Doc pokes me, and tells me to go home.
Thing in arm removed. (Plastic needle is fairly cool)
Moved to "Transit Lounge".

I was diagnosed with a Urinary Tract Infection in the tube between my bladder and my kidneys. This might sound harmless, and many people get Cystitis which is a mild form of this, but I can tell you it was the most painful thing I have experienced (worse than the ovarian cysts incident). I was told that if I hadn't come to the hospital I may have ended up with an infection in my kidneys. Pretty sure avoiding that was a good choice.

I am now home, trying to deal with the pain as well as an uncooperative digestive system. Turns out, being fasted for more than 60 hours creates havoc in your body. I haven't stomached any more than chicken and bread so far. Dairy was the worst choice. I am also struggling with the muscles in my abdomen, because for 4 days it was more comfortable for me to sleep/sit upright than lie flat. The muscles have shortened, and it is now tough for me to sleep properly, or sit in front of the TV/Computer for long.

I am fine, and enjoying having my Mum here, and Ben home.

I know this is a long and complicated blog, but if you take anything out of this I hope you will not underestimate anything your body is trying to tell you. Go to the Doc, but if in doubt go straight to the hospital. You will be in good hands if it is a minor thing, and if it is major you will be exactly where you need to be.

E x

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Felt is for Fun!

Hey there crafty curios! 
Just thought I'd let you know that the blog challenge I have set myself has morphed 
slightly. Now instead of blogging once a week it will be at least once a week. I have 
found that I am excited about my craft/cooking, and can't wait to post my blogs 
at the beginning of every week. So now it will be when I finish/am happy with a project. 
Stay tuned, because I have some great ideas on the horizon!

Pretty innocuous really. But possibly the best craft material ever invented. Who did invent felt? I want to give them a medal. According to Wikipedia it was Saint Clement and Saint Christopher because while fleeing from persecution, the men packed their sandals with wool to prevent blisters. At the end of their journey, the movement and sweat had turned the wool into felt socks. Who knew that felt was sweat based?
I was invited over to the lovely Bethwyn's house for a lovely Sunday afternoon of crafting. How lovely! She saw my blog and thought it would be fun to craft together. She mentioned Owl brooches and I got excited at the prospect. Owls are cool, and brooches are apparently my thing at the moment. So we crafted, and out popped some amazing brooches, which I then expanded upon today. My collection if fairly extensive.

Felt Owls
My favourite one at the moment is the grey one in the back row.

You will need:
Felt of any colour
Scrap material of a complimentary colour
Fabric Adhesive - sheets, not tape
Brooch backs
Buttons (mismatching works so well!)
Pillow case/Tea towel (slightly damp)

(Sorry in advance for the number of photos, I found it helped if I could see each step. The photos are from two different owls, so sorry if it gets confusing.)

Step One: Iron on a piece of fabric adhesive to the back side of your patterned material. Make sure you iron it between a damp section of tea towel. 

Step Two: Cut three owl shapes out of your materials. 2 felt, and one patterned material. Make sure one of the felt pieces has a point, this will be folded down to make the beak. The second felt piece is the same size as the first, but rounded off underneath the beak.

Step Three: Take the backing off the fabric adhesive and iron the material on to the piece without a point. 
Step Four: Sew the brooch back onto the felt with the point. Make sure all knots go on the inside.
You should have two pieces of felt, one with brooch back, one with material ironed on. 

Step Five: Blanket stitch around the outside of the material with your thread. There are two types of blanket stitch, this is a flat edge stitch or appliqué stitch. It might be a good idea to watch this. The basic premise is that you anchor the stitch with a knot on the inside, and diagonally stitch, then come back on the outside of the patterned material making a loop to pull the needle through. These photos might help. 
If you can see that your stitch is sticking to the outside edge of the patterned material, and all the stitches into the centre are roughly the same length, you are on the right track. Make sure you keep the tension. You will end up with this. 

Step Six: Place the round felt onto the pointed felt (make sure the brooch piece is on the outside... I learnt this the hard way!), and blanket stitch the two edges together. This will help. Looks harder than it is. Make sure to keep the tension. 
Step Seven: Fold down the beak. I found it looked cute if this was folded almost lopsided. Sew two buttons on for eyes, making sure you sew the beak down when putting the buttons on. 


To make a felt bird, the premise is the same, but the shapes are different. See!

Here is some more felt friend goodness from my crafty weekend. 
This was my first one. He's a little bit special needs. 

Beth and her fabulous bookshelves. I want her house. 
Concentrating hard. Also check out the amazing Fish light!

The pink one looks a little evil. 

Have fun felting!
Next blog will be a comfort food cooking guide. 

E x

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Peanut Butter Madness

Ever craved something sweet late at night, and had nothing to satisfy your craving?
Tired of dipping straight into the Nutella jar?
Ever thought that peanut butter is great but could be better?
Ever enjoyed an Oreo?
Like white chocolate?

Well have I got the thing for you!

Peanut Butter Madness
This is the face you will make.

Simply put, it is madness in a jar.

Here's how!

You will need:
1 Medium sized jar of your favourite (in my case the cheapest) Peanut Butter.
1 1/2 cups of white chocolate melts
1 box of Oreos. Mine were choc filled. (only the one packet box though, not the two packet box)
Mixing bowl
Microwaveable bowl - lid preferable
Clean Jar

Step One:
Smash the Oreos. Anything heavy will do. 

Step Two: 
Pour Oreos and all the peanut butter into a mixing bowl. 

Note: Depending on how cold the whether is you might need to microwave the peanut butter first. 1 minute in its own jar worked well. 

Step Three:
Melt the white chocolate. 2-3 minutes covered in the microwave. Keep and eye on it, you don't want it to burn. 
(Because you need a picture of the chocolate?)

Step Four:
Mix in the white chocolate, to the peanut butter and Oreos. 

Step 5:
Pour into clean jar. You can reuse the peanut butter jar, but you wont fit it all back in. A jar around 700ml works best. 

Step Six:
Eat on toast. 
Sugar Overdose. 

Store in a cool spot but don't refrigerate as it will be hell to spread. 
Now you have something sweet for whenever you have that craving, but don't have anything in the house. Good on toast, or on pancakes, or straight out of the jar. 

Happy munching!

E x

Monday, June 13, 2011

Week 1: Crafting

I have been inspired by Lizzyish over at Hum Drum Plm to set myself a blogging challenge. Now I don't have a name for my challenge, and I don't want to commit myself to anything too stressful, and chances are I will drop this after two or three weeks. I am going to challenge myself to do something creative each week and post a how to. "Creative" for this blog encapsulates crafting/gardening/cooking/styling a snazzy outfit/procrastinating successfully and anything else I deem to be creative that week.

Here goes!

Crafting Part One
String Things!!

You will need:
1 L of PVA glue
Corn flour
String (any string will work, steer clear of using knitting yarn though) and lots of it. I had about 120m of string.
Pole (broom handle works well)
Tarp/Garbage bags/Boxes/Old Towels
Two chairs
Bowl/Tray ok to get gluey
Some time, and a willingness to get messy

Step One:

Set up your two chairs back to back, and affix the pole to them. I was lucky enough to have chairs with holes in them, so I didn't need to tie the pole down. You want to make sure you are in an area of house that is ok to get a little messy or is easily cleaned.
Lay down your protective covering under the pole I used boxes and a towel for the comfort factor, and used the chairs to keep them in place. 

Step Two:

Blow up balloons to various sizes, the rounder the better. Attach string to the top of the balloon and then attach them to the pole. Hanging at different heights, and spaced well is a good idea. 
Coat each balloon in a lot of Vaseline/sorbolene. If you are planning on using the string balls as a lamp shade (which I was for one) be sure to mark a space around the balloon knot so that there is space to fit the light bulb inside. 

Step Three:

Create your glue mixture. I didn't measure anything, so this is just a guess. Use your bowl/tray. 
Mix 300ml of PVA glue with 1/2 cup of warm water and 1/2 cup of corn flour. Mix until smooth. 
I think mostly the water and corn flour are there to stop the glue hardening in the bowl. It was slow work and the glue didn't change consistency, even when left over night in the bowl. It does however make nice stiff string in the final product.... go figure!

Step Four:

Get your messy on.
It was easiest if I unravelled a whole bunch of string, and put it all into the glue mixture, then ran the string through my fingers to get the excess glue off before attaching to the balloon.
Start at the top of the balloon, and don't work systematically. It will look better if there are uneven gaps in the string. Continue until you are happy with the coverage.
Keep your friendly neighbourhood house mate (Althea version) on hand to pull up your sleeves for you when it gets too messy.

 This is what it should begin to look like. I ran out of string at this point. This is 40m of string, so you will need LOTS!!

The green balloon will hopefully be my lampshade, so It got a second coat of string.
The smaller balloons will hopefully turn into a wicked hanging, all strung together and woven through with some coloured ribbon.

Step 5:

Wait for over 24 hours.
Cut the knot off the balloon, and as the air comes out it should peel away from the string leaving you with a nice round string thing!

Note: I found that when dry the strings started to peel away from each other, another coat of glue mix over the whole balloon with a paint brush and more time to dry, solved this.

Finished product.

Step Six:
Style as wanted!

I'm using one as a lampshade, and will probably string the others up as a ceiling hanging to decorate the corner of my room that gets light shone on it, but is rather empty. 

Stay tuned for Part Two, where I will show you the finished product and how to hang them. Although I'm sure you all know how to hang stuff. 


Ps: Feeling the enjoyment out of a craft how to? I am!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

... and that's blogging.


Apparently it's all the rage right now. I have various friends doing a blog a day for a month, and other friends doing a blog a week for a year. And then other crazier friends as well. And then here I am. It's not that I don't appreciate the constant things to read, I just can't work out how people find things to say.

Take the 30 Day Blog Challenge. (I dare you to take the 30 day BOG challenge). Who has enough interesting things to say that they can fill 30 blogs with stuff? The answer to that question is no one. No one can make themselves and their lives interesting enough for people to tune in everyday for a month. Unless you are doing a 30 day "I quit my job and I will now do something different everyday" blog challenge, I'm sorry, but your boring life will not keep me enthralled.

I'm not trying to offend those that have taken up this challenge, or anyone else that blogs. All I am trying to do is work it out. How do you have so many things to say? Do you know they are boring? Perhaps you should quit your job and do something interesting everyday for a month.

There are a few people who I think are successfully doing the blogging thing. My friend Lizzyish over at Hum Drum Plum is doing a blog a week for the rest of the year, but she is setting herself goals, and doing something new every week. This is interesting.

Nx over at bigmouthery is always blogging about interesting things, and he has proclaimed June as the month of Joy. You should get involved.

I was going to set myself a blogging challenge, but I wont. I will however try to update you on life in Perth in the next few days. Possibly cross off some of my 2011 things.

Blogger out.

E x