I Must Be A Masochist.

 

So, those of you who read my blog will know I was in hospital four days ago, and that I had a crap load of tests done to try and figure out what’s wrong with me. I didn’t really get into specifics, but basically I was taken by ambulance to the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy after pain in my chest and shortness of breath drove me to call them (or rather, my sister). The ambulance crew fitted me with a nasal cannula and trickled oxygen, which they had to up because it wasn’t working. This was after they figured out that while I was limiting my speech and allowing for shallow breath, my O2 sats were fine – but the minute I started relaxing and talking, they were dropping to about 90 or lower. I noted that, while they didn’t say it, the machine they were looking at said ‘Tachycardic’ and ‘Probable Left Atrial Valve Enlargement’, after they’d checked round the back and side of my chest (I did notice that the ECG wires were attached to the left side of my body in Resus).

I was taken in, as I said a moment ago, to Resus, where they took three vials of blood and fitted a drip in my inner right elbow.  They also placed a heart-rate monitor on my  finger and attached an ECG (with new sticky things, being sure to rip the old ones off… sadists! kidding, I know it’s better to do it quickly). They checked my blood pressure like 6 times here with the blood pressure cuff (those things hurt so bloody bad). I spoke to a nurse who agreed that asthmatics can get brushed off easily if they’re overweight, and I told her that my GP had said that my weight caused my asthma despite the fact I had only been overweight for around 2 years, due to the meds i’m on for my Fibromyalgia. That was nice.

A little later, they took more blood, this time from a vein in my left hand. They did more pressure cuff readings (I get why but man I hated them for it). I coughed a lot, sending the monitor haywire. My coughing is more than just an irritation thing. I cough, then it feels like I’m suffocating and that mucus is stuck on my larynx. It doesn’t shift, so I cough and I cough until I feel like I’m going to pass out.

Next they rolled in a portable X-Ray and put a board behind my back, taking two shots. This was an experience – it’s the first time I haven’t had to walk to a separate x-ray machine. They explained this was because I was on Oxygen. I also didn’t have to take my necklace off, just pull it up and put it in my mouth to hold it away from my chest. I ask a lot of questions because I like being informed, and i’m a pain in the ass. They said I didn’t need to take it off because the X-Ray was focused and  as long as it wasn’t in the way, it was fine.

At this point, someone had finally located my housemate and brought her in. This was a relief as I get anxious when I’m not with someone I know at the best of times. I was getting pissed off at the fact that my chart was showing them writing ’96’, ’96’, ’99’ because I’d been watching the monitor nonstop since I came in and not once did they write ’89’, which it dropped to (when I wasn’t even coughing) or ’93’, which is the number it was at for the majority of the time I was in there, EVEN after they wrote the 99.

They did some more pressure cuff readings, then someone came to get me and ask if I could follow them.

My heart sank when I saw that I was being taken into MAJORS, which is where i’ve been the last few times they’ve discharged me, and no one told me what was happening – I literally had no idea what to expect. My housemate pointed out that i’d come out of Resus, so maybe all it meant was that my O2 sats were consistent enough that they wanted to move me out of there. She was right. I was only in MAJORS for 5 minutes while they debated whether they were supposed to take me to Assessment 1 or Admittance 1. It was the former.

I spent a while waiting in Admittance 1’s waiting room and then was taken through to a ward, where I sat on a bed for 5 minutes and listened to a respiratory specialist try to talk down to me and insist it was just asthma. I told him categorically that I’d been in several times for asthma in the last year alone, and that this was different, then told him about the mould in the house. At that, he became far less fidgety than he had been prior to that and looked a lot more thoughtful. He also agreed that there was something serious going on and that he was treating it as such. He told me I’d need a CT scan. There was no more talk of it just being an asthma attack. I was taken back through to the waiting room.  A nurse appeared to take yet more blood from the left hand in a different place.

I knew where this was going by now, however, so I wasn’t surprised when they told me I was going home with antibiotics. The nurse explained to me that the CT scan would be as an outpatient. I was freaking out by now, however, as the respiratory specialist had told me that if we didn’t get out of there soon, i’d relapse, with or without the doxycycline he’d prescribed at double dose. Surely it was better to stay in hospital at least while they took effect? But no, they said there was a risk I’d get infections in hospital and I had to go, but to contact them in 3 days if the meds hadn’t made a difference.

It’s now 4 days later, and I still feel like crap. I’m still coughing up crap, my chest still hurts, I can’t breathe very well and I rattle when I breathe. I don’t want to go back, but that’s what he said to do. Looking at the bruises I’m still suffering from being there last time, I have to either be seriously ill or a masochist to be considering it.

I guess I’m one of them, because I don’t think I have a choice.

End Of My Tether.

 

So, there comes a point when you say, “enough is enough”. My landlord has been AWOL for nearly a year, but he was liable for repairs to the property until the end of January, and my health problems had already declined drastically by that point. Fozia Shahazad, this is your fault. We told you about the roof leaking, asked you to fix the collapsing wall in my room, the open window on the side of the house, the patio door which wont close, the leak under the sink which made the ceiling cave in downstairs. You knew you had no intention of fixing these problems, and you thought failing to register as a landlord again would save you. It doesn’t.

I have serious issues with my breathing, and the hospital think it may be ABPA, CPA or permanent damage to my airways and lungs caused by all the infections i’ve had here. So, Mr. Shahazad, I will see you in court. I’m suing for Landlord Negligence and personal injury.

I have enough on my plate – we’re facing homelessness, and no one will give us a home. Now I’ve been told categorically that this home is killing me. No sugarcoating – the doctor flat out said that if we do not move, I will relapse even with the Doxycycline they’ve put me on at double dose. I will relapse despite the Montelukast added to my asthma treatment.

We need to get out – desperately. My life depends on it.

That’s a pretty severe end of my tether to get to.

Neti Pots

 

Neti pot with salt and spoon

 

So, if you didn’t already know – my sinus health is atrocious. Year-round, I suffer from allergies, asthma, mucus build-up, sinusitis, colds, etc. It’s really not surprising, when you take all of this into account, that I’ve turned to neti pots. It took me long enough!

I’m going to start out by saying – nasal irrigation is weird. It’s not unpleasant, or horrible in any way you can really put your finger on, it’s just weird. You can continue to breathe through your mouth whilst using the device, which resembles a teeny-tiny teapot (though it’d be a pretty pathetic cuppa). The amount of salt used is miniscule, but considering it’s really only a saline solution, it’s not surprising.

A lot of people might consider making up their own mixture and using other devices to perform nasal irrigation, and that’s fine – as long as you take note of absolutely crucial health and safety steps. Even if you’ve used a neti pot before, it might be worth giving this a read as you might not be aware of some of the important steps.

  • DO NOT USE TAP WATER. Or, at the very least, use tap water that’s been boiled for several minutes to remove any nasties. You can drink tap water without fear of repercussion because your saliva and stomach acid destroy this bacteria, but running it through your nose means it never reaches your saliva or your stomach acid, and can grow unchecked in your sinuses. There have been a few (very few – read: one or two) cases of death caused by neti pots, and this is why. Use distilled, boiled or sterile water. This goes for cleaning your neti pot, too.
  • Make sure your hands are clean and dry, and prepare your solution by using around 100ml (or 200ml for a more thorough clean) of boiling water with 1g of fine sea salt (2g if using 200ml boiled). DO NOT USE TABLE SALT, as this also contains contaminants. Top this up with cooled water in the same amount until it’s lukewarm, or body temperature.  You can then use this to perform the nasal irrigation – which involves tipping your head to the side, placing the spout of your neti pot against one nostril and tipping it until water flows from the nostril opposite. Use half of the solution in each nostril.

As for me, i’m on day three of this method, and it’s working pretty well. My issues are severe, but after using the neti pot I get several hours of relief. I’m considering upping my use to two or three times a day to pick up the shortfall – I’m definitely going to do it right before bed. I’ll keep you updated!

Sickness & Homelessness.

I genuinely loathe this house.

The one thing I am grateful for right now is that, unlike me, my son actually has some immunity and hasn’t been affected by the worst aspects of this so-called ‘home’. Of course, we’re hyper-vigilant about keeping his room free of the mould that’s plaguing the rest of the house. My room is the worst; there’s just no way to cope with it.

I should explain.

We knew when we moved in that something was too good to be true. This house is genuinely huge – our living room has 14ft high ceilings (no, we can’t change the lightbulbs!), it’s about 24ft long by 16ft wide, and all of the bedrooms are a generous size. The kitchen has a pantry and is sizeable – the master bedroom, my bedroom, has an en suite and enough room for a kingsize bed – four times over, at least. So, yes, we knew something was wrong – especially when we were told not to open the door at the end of the hall, which led into the attic.

Given that the handle was broken, we thought maybe it was just a pain in the ass to get into and didn’t think too much about it. However, when the ‘one month, tops’ repair of the patio door (which hasn’t closed in 2 years now) stretched on to 6 months, 8 months.. we began to get antsy. There was a huge sideboard against the back wall of my bedroom, and I finally figured out how to take it apart so we could move it into a more appropriate room. As soon as it was gone, I noticed a damp patch on the wall, so I pressed on it gently, not really putting much pressure on it, and it crumbled. I’m not joking. The hole just seemed to get bigger and bigger, and this soil-like substance poured out of it. It literally just looks like brown soil (no, it doesn’t resemble asbestos). I was so shocked, it took me three whole minutes to decide to force my way into the door at the end of the hall.

So, flathead screwdriver in hand, I pried open the latch and got that door open, then climbed a rickety wooden set of ladders I found in there (we didn’t have any), only to discover a hidden window we’d never thought much of from the outside – this window was held shut by a piece of wood stuck on one of the planks in the attic. A bit of wood!

Add to this the fact that the landlord had been ignoring our downstairs neighbour in requests to fix the leaking roof, which he’d found someone willing to do it for next to nothing. Needless to say, we were hopping mad.

Then, our landlord stopped paying the mortgage. His registration as a landlord was cancelled, our Housing Benefit was stopped entirely. Messages to the man were met by assurances it’d all be sorted soon, which degenerated into ‘none of my other tenants are having problems’ (which had to be BS). Then, he stopped answering.

For months, we heard nothing, and I won’t lie, we became complacent. We didn’t think about it, and that was an idiotic move on our part. Right around my birthday, we were hit by a notice of eviction in 16 days. We fought tooth and nail to buy more time, time to raise money, to get out – we even found a house. The woman assured us we’d hear back from her regarding the landlord’s opinion on pets, but the call never came. We called her, she said she hadn’t heard from him yet – and then bam,  it was gone. Right as we had the first part of the money, it was gone.

My son’s birthday was fast approaching, and we had no choice but to pull the money we had personally invested in the housing to give him some semblance of a birthday, even if it was just a penny-pinched meal and a movie, plus a couple of presents. He got to see his Grandad the day after, and I know that meant something to him.

Thankfully now we have no further expenses until September, so I can put my money back into the pot. Heather also got sorted on JSA (though she should be on ESA – appeals are a bitch) so she has money coming in, and she luckily has a very fair advisor. They’re a rarity.

So, we can sort the money.

 

What I AM worried about, though, is the irreparable damage this house may be doing to our health. Lisha appears to have developed asthma, and I’ve had a serious illness which has caused my throat to close up, mucus to overproduce and has made me throw up repeatedly. I can’t eat things like chocolate, so Easter hasn’t been much personal fun, other than watching my son hunt down eggs. I basically can’t stomach anything real dairy, and not because I’m lactose intolerant. When I breathe, my throat rasps – I’m almost certain I have a vocal chord disorder (my dad has the same/a very similar thing, so genetics may be in play here). If this is the case, years of asthma drugs may have done me more damage than good.

I have my medical notes, and I have to fight them on some of the absolute conjecture they’ve  put in, and insert addendums regarding ‘yellow flags’ – these were put in because they noted I can sit still without pain (seemingly) but become stiff and sore when touched and manipulated – they marked them as ‘pain avoidance’. This is easily explained by my allodynia. I do sit still, but only because I’ve long since given up on the notion that moving is going to do anything to alleviate particular pains, and I tense up because allodynia is by its very nature touch inhibiting.

Definition of allodynia

  1. :  pain resulting from a stimulus (such as a light touch of the skin) which would not normally provoke pain; also:  a condition marked by such pain

 

Oh, and just because we’re at the definition stage of things – here’s another.

Definition of fibromyalgia

  1. :  a chronic disorder characterised by widespread pain, tenderness, and stiffness of muscles and associated connective tissue structures that is typically accompanied by fatigue, headache, and sleep disturbances

 

That’s what I have. They have to write it that vaguely because fibromyalgia isn’t the same for one person as it is to another. It’s a fluctuating condition, which means that sometimes sitting as still as possible is the only way to prevent another stab of pain from passing through you. In my early days pre-diagnosis (the time when the yellow flags were marked), I was suffering primarily from back pain, and everyone who has significant back pain will tell you that quite often sitting in one particular way eases it more than any other way.

 

Also, I would love to meet the person who isn’t pain averse. Masochists need not apply.

So, yeah. I’ve been in and out of hospital recently, I’ve been tested for whooping cough and tuberculosis, I’ve been given antibiotics and throat sprays and unhelpful advice, and I have a referral coming through to an ENT – finally.

I still think the mould is to blame, but an ENT will tell me more hopefully. I want them to check out my larynx and the prosthetic in my ear.

 

I just want to be somewhat healthy. My personal best. I am sick of being sick.

It’s a very tough decision between being homeless and being in an unhealthy home. Unfortunately, bleaching my bedroom walls isn’t an option for me like it is in D’s room – my wall doesn’t exist in places.

 

So, yeah. We really need a house. We have some of the money sorted (enough for a deposit) thanks to gofundme, but the fundraiser kind of stalled out around the halfway mark and hasn’t moved in a long while. We still have a lot to raise, as it’s no use having a deposit if you can’t meet the balance.

https://www.gofundme.com/urgenthomeless

 

 

 

Breaks and Amusements

fennekin_by_lunarthunderstorm-d5zffqn

Oops, so I totally spaced on posting here for the last few days, and I’m kicking my ass about it, trust me! Whoops. It’s been an eventful week, really. The main reason I haven’t written is because my fingers have been exceptionally sore. However, they’ve been okay for playing the PS3. (Insert Shifty Eyes).

Okay, where to start? It’s been a week of ups and downs, and truthfully, my pain got to me – a lot. When it first kicked in last Friday, I snapped at my son and this in turn upset me. After I apologised for snapping, I pretty much got into bed and cried for a bit. Getting to sleep took me another two hours, as my shoulders have been unbearable. Sleep has been a huge issue this week for me, nothing seems to keep me pain free enough to sort out my shoulders – they think I have nerve damage in my neck. The next day when I got up, I found out that the cats had shredded my violin bow, so that also p(bleep)ed me off, as I now need to buy a new one as I have two violins (acoustic and electric).

Though, this did lead to a conversation with my sister about violas, cellos and clarsachs (which is a type of harp – they are gorgeous and I want one!) so this was the precursor to a really good thing. I don’t really get to see my sister, but our conversations are always awesome. There’s a lot of s(bleep)t around that situation, which is not really connected to either of us directly. Circumstances are awkward, people are judgmental, and there are a few eggshells around individuals in our lives which would cause a lot of harm if they were to be trodden on. It’s okay. Any way that I get to connect to my sister and her husband and daughter is pretty awesome, though I’d love to spend time with them. Taking the kids to a theme park would be fab, if it could be worked out.

Anyway. The next day was my son’s birthday, and he had the time of his life! Balloons everywhere, awesome presents and lots of love everywhere. He stayed up a little too late, which he’s done a few times over the holiday, oops. We’re really good about getting him to bed on school nights, but the routine goes out of the window when it’s the holidays and there’s puzzles to be done, games to be played, bow and arrows to shoot up the hall (not real arrows!). Life is pretty crazy around here. We’ve mastered unconventional in a huge way. Here’s a pic of my son when he first woke up and saw the balloons:

10354744_10205112163737001_6375271390346289416_n

He pretty much played with them like a ball pit, lol. There were 64 balloons, and I blew them all up on my own. Some of them deflated while I was trying to inflate them, and I was counting the breaths it took me to get them all blown up.. putting the same amount into each balloon, that is. I worked out that it took 299 1/4 breaths to blow them up. I counted smaller breaths as 1/2’s. Counting is a weird thing that I do with the OCD. I also click my teeth when I’m thinking, and count them in a series of numbers, get up in the middle of the night to check the cooker is off, etc. Thankfully the layout of this house has stopped me checking the door locks to outside.

Weirdly, on D’s birthday – none of us could eat. We had a big breakfast of eggy bread, bacon and sausages, but that was all we could stomach for the rest of the day! Except for cake. Cake has to be eaten, it’s illegal not to eat cake. Okay, maybe not illegal. Frowned upon. Yes.

I was in agony after Damien’s birthday, but I didn’t want to let him see that, so I stayed in bed on the 13th until the discomfort of lying down finally drove me out of the covers at around 20 to 4. I was pretty lame that day. Shared some cat videos. Conformed to the internet stereotype. I even played Facebook games. Gasp! I’m kind of addicted to Dreamland Story and Candy Crush Soda, it’s getting to be a problem.

The 14th was mostly spent playing Diablo 3: ROS on PS3. My fingers were especially bad, so I really didn’t do very much. Not to mention, I was gearing up for today, so it was necessary to rest up so that I’d be able to walk today. Heather, Lisha and I smoked our very last cigs, then quit.

FINALLY, we’re on to today. I know, I talk a lot – I wanted to cover everything, and I’m sorry for the downer stuff, it’s been a roller coaster week. Today, we went to Links Market – it was manic, being the first night and all. However, it was also great fun. We didn’t have a lot of money, so we spent a lot of time in the arcade with loose change, but Damien went on a lot of the fun houses, and we played a lot of the hook a duck type games.

Heather won herself a minion teddy and a minion mug, and a minion window suckered teddy thing. See a pattern? The girl is obsessed. Crazy bugger, but I love her just the way she is! No, not in a girlfriend kinda way. People always seem to assume I’m in a relationship with my housemates. I don’t think they really know what platonic love is.. They’re like my sisters, I love them to bits, I call them sisters. They just are sisters to me, nothing more and nothing less. I always wanted a big family, and I guess some of us just have to collect the extended family along the way if fate doesn’t provide them with it at birth.

Lisha had a kind of up and down night. Unfortunately, the first ride we really went on, her bag flew out of the ride, got trapped under, and had to be pulled out by the attendants. When we got off and got it, we discovered that it was badly damaged, with holes all over it, rips from being dragged under. Inside was a mess – a bottle of juice had exploded, covering our teddies that we’d won. Thankfully, it was a clear drink and there were no stains to contend with. A mirror had smashed inside (blaming the ride for that, we didn’t break it! No 7 years bad luck for us.. we’ve had enough of that) and getting it out was a nightmare. Lisha cut her hand, and I had to get a plaster from a burger stand. It was generally sh(bleep)ty and it’s her best bag, so blah. We’re going to buy band patches for her, to try and save it. She got a baby Oleg from a game, though – it helped her cheer up at least!

Damien got a haul – a toy sword, a toy bow and arrow and a toy gun. He’s been running around all night with them; getting him to bed was a nightmare! It had nothing to do with the candyfloss and marshmallows at all, nope. Haha.

I got a teddy Hello Kitty and a Gnasher from the Beano on darts games and duck games. I haven’t seen anything like this ever before, so I absolutely had to have him. Probably spent more than he was worth, but oh well. I’m chuffed to bits!

Writing hurts now, as you can probably tell by the flagging writing quality. I apologise.

Kirstie

Dentists, Tumble Dryers, Butchers & The DWP.

cropped-cute-girly-tumblr-backgroundscute-tumblr-backgrounds-hd-wallpapers-px-indiwall-lsddfcgh-tumblr-1919365398.jpg

What a day! Days, Really. Let me start with yesterday.

I went to the dentist – twice. No, not for myself. The first time I went, I was accompanying my sister, Lisha. The appointment was just a checkup, really, but she was given options that she’d never been offered before; namely, braces. She had a few teeth which never formed, so it left gaps which she hates. It really should have been fixed in childhood but, for one reason or another, her parents never put her in for it. Anyway, she has a few holes which need filling too, which only really showed up in x-ray.

The second time I went was my own appointment, Heather’s appointment and Damien’s appointment. I went first – the dentist asked me what was wrong with my teeth from my opinion, and I told him – I have my tooth which is practically falling apart because of botched emergency appointments, and he suggested that I get a post put in to hold the filling in place so that it could set for a crown, which is an awesome idea. I also have a large hole in one back tooth which I noticed in our old house but could never get an appointment to fix it (calling our old dentist was trial and error: you could call and call for a full day and get no answer, then get an answer the next day and have an appointment set for four months from now unless you wanted an emergency appointment which only ever offered a temporary solution). I also have a small hole on the opposite side which I actually only noticed the other day whilst trying to check my tonsils to see if my quick-fix tonsillitis attack had worked, which it had by the way. This hole is only superficial, it’s the left upper side which has an issue. I also have an impacted wisdom tooth which doesn’t hurt, it’s just having trouble coming through the gum. But nevertheless, I had x-rays done, which cut the roof of my mouth, for the record, and everything I’d noticed was literally all that’s wrong with my teeth. They’ll all be sorted on May 12th, thankfully. Phew. I hate having bad teeth, but my last dentist being so terrible and all, it’s a wonder they didn’t fall out..

Damien’s teeth are perfect, hooray! and Heather’s teeth were better than she expected, and her issues should be resolved within the next nine months.

On to today. I woke to the tumble dryer being fixed, and asked them how much it was gonna cost as it was a bigger job than expected, and he told me £40, and I thought fair enough. I should have left then to get the money. In the time it took me to walk from the kitchen to the living room and back, they’d added another £10 to the price. This pissed me off, as they did parts repairs without even asking us if we could afford it, which was actually a no – it cut into our food budget, meaning that I had to hope we could get everything in Leslie as paying to get into town was just going to cost even more.

After handing over the £50, Heather and I took a walk down the High Street and made it to the butchers, where we picked up one of their food packs, which thankfully should be enough to get us through the next week or so. Other than accompaniments like chips, we’re sorted. I prefer to cook with fresh meat anyway, and we were able to get the mince for Damien’s birthday Spag bol – his requested meal.  I also had enough to get Damien’s cake and to pay for Lisha’s bus fare to her DWP appointment.

Which brings me to my last mention, and I apologise in advance –

Those dirty, rotten fucking scumbags decided to sanction Lisha on something they can’t fucking prove and that they are wrong about! A few weeks ago, Lisha was in the job centre with me, going to an appointment. She was told about a job that she really wanted to go for and told that if she didn’t finish the form and bring it in the very next morning, she’d miss the opportunity. Let me be clear – her appointment was at 4.30, she was seen early, and she stayed until five fifteen – fifteen minutes after fucking closing – to finish this job application. Dedication, right? Drive, right? Willingness to work – right? Her job adviser was impressed by how much effort she put into this, helping her to finish the job application to make sure she covered all her bases.

That apparently means nothing to the DWP. Weeks later, she went to another of her appointments, only to be told that she was under investigation for missing a job interview – the interview attached to those forms. The adviser remarked that she was surprised, as she’d seen how interested Lisha was in the job and she knew that Lisha was reliable, as she’d never missed an appointment at the job centre, even showing up early on numerous occasions. Still, this means nothing to those scumbags, either. She was told a letter was sent out, and informed them she’d never received it.

Today, at her appointment, she was told she was being sanctioned for six months. Six fucking months! for failing to attend the appointment. Then, she was told it was an e-mail, not a letter. Lisha tells me everything, and she never once mentioned an e-mail, so I believe her when she says it was never received. She was devastated that they were basically calling her a liar.

We’re taking action. Martin is looking into the case and ironically, an email which was sent cc to Lisha by him was never received, either. He’s witnessed this himself now, and has confirmed as much in his correspondence with the DWP. Lisha clearly has an issue with her gmail, which has her worried as she has it on most job applications. The fact that Martin and I have both witnessed this issue now is a clear case of at least reasonable doubt meaning that they can no longer ‘prove’ (what bullshit that the absence of proof otherwise counts as proof for their case.. If I don’t eat meat in front of someone, does this prove that I’m a vegetarian?) that she received the e-mail – WHICH SHE DID NOT. Hopefully this horse-shit ruling will be overturned by next week.

Kirstie.

Shopping & ID

Shoppers_on_Dundas,_near_Yonge

Yesterday was the kind of day where you have to take a nap, or you wont make it through the day. Normal, right? Well, it is when you have fibromyalgia. I keep meaning to get into a sleep-wake-nap-wake-sleep schedule, which would actually keep me awake for longer, but the issue I’m having right now is that I am incredibly sore and just the thought of sleeping makes me wince.

In saying that, I’ve had a productive day/night. I got a taxi to ASDA as soon as I received my money (taking a taxi is so much easier when you’re disabled), and went with Heather. Pure luck – they’re having an Introductory Offer sale, where I picked up a Minions onesie sleep suit for Damien for just £5. I got him some awesome wrapping paper… halt for just one second, rant needed –

WHY IS WRAPPING PAPER SO EXPENSIVE NOW? Seriously. I remember when you could buy character rolls of paper for £1 and it was like 6 metres. Now? £2 for 3 metres! I get that we’re in a recession, but some things really suck. Especially when you’re on a budget. No matter where I went, the prices were similar. I’ll be buying my wrapping paper online from now on, the one place it hasn’t really been affected.

… anyway. I bought 3 rolls of the (stupid bloody expensive) wrapping paper, and selected birthday cards – A Spiderman one for Lisha saying ‘nephew’.. the Spiderman is attached to a spring on the front. It’s cool. Heather got him an Olaf one, which suits her down to a T and I got him a Toy Story one which has a giant Rex which closes and opens its jaw when you open and close the card. He’s obsessed with Toy Story, and Rex, recently. He’s asked for a Toy Story themed bedroom, so if anyone can help with that, I’d appreciate it!

I got ID’ed at the cigarette counter, believe it or not, buying my sister’s cigs.. 26 years old, and she wouldn’t sell them to me – Heather is 28. I thought being older than the 25 year old thing would set me free, but apparently not. Curse these childlike features!

Anyway, since then I’ve dealt with an extremely grumpy Lisha, wrapped all of Damien’s presents, written out his card. I’m pretty proud of myself.

Kirstie.