Tuesday, 27 September 2011



This 'Yo' greeting makes me smile.  My eldest daughter said that it embarrassed her when I used it, on a private email to her!  So I sent a long one, 'Yo. Yo. Yo-yo'.   Etc.  Thought it would make her giggle.  But no.  Some words are apparently beyond the pale for one's parents to use.  I can use it here though.  Ha!

I should actually be working on my new project now, but decided to check my emails...and surprise, surprise, see where I ended up.  I have only just sat down to work (ok, to write, I know this is not really work, I am just trying to make myself sound more important). 

Yesterday I did two or three hours of writing, and I really found it hard to account for the rest of my free time.  Well, a short walk with the dog turned into a long one because I bumped into a friend and we nattered for ages, but apart from that...I didn't even do any housework.  I turned on the tumble drier instead of hanging out the washing, purely to save time (I know, this is almost a criminal act, it certainly feels like one.  It was a lovely day).

Anyway, today I started off behind, because I dropped Toddler at pre-school and then went to visist a new baby.  We are lucky at the moment to have two babies in the family.  This one is just over a week old and so sweet.  I was determined to only stay half an hour and I did - I left as soon as I finished my cup of tea.  I didn't want to tire out his new Mummy, and I was also conscious that I must write in the little time that I have.  I also must clean the house today, because my younger daughter has a friend coming over after school.  Since I seem to be capable of causing embarrassment very easily these days, I want to avoid any real faux pas.

Anyway, I decided to walk the dog and get that out of the way - but bumped into a different friend, again got chatting...I now have just over two hours left to write, clean and so on. 

I have sat down to write in my summerhouse, for the first time in ages.  Usually I stay in the house, to keep the dog company.  But she is tired out anyway, will be sleeping now, so I decided to set myself up in my official writing area.  Which is wonderful - I can see the garden from here and I am surrounded my all my books and papers.  Although actually that made me feel that time was even shorter, because when I sat down out here I started to notice all the books I haven't even read yet, and all the paperwork that needs organising...  There are so many tasks to do.

Which are not getting done by me sitting here typing this...  So, more anon.

Louise x

Sunday, 25 September 2011

And back to me

Hi again

Just thought I would update:  My right foot is vastly improved from a week ago: the antibiotics are clearly doing their thing, although the foot is still a bit sore on the top.  Haven't had the appointment through from the hospital yet, which suits me as it is not my favourite place.  I have a few more days' worth of antibiotics to take, and I am really hoping that will be the end of the trauma.  I am going to rest as much as possible too, until I am positive that all this is behind me.

I am looking forward to the coming week.  The weather forecast is good (apart from tomorrow).  The three days that Toddler is at play school should be all mine - I have no particular plans, unlike last week, when all my free time was accounted for before the week had even begun.  So I should be able to write, or clean, or walk the dog, in the proportions of time which suit me (hopefully at least seventy per cent writing).  And (this may sound silly) I sorted out all my clothes yesterday, which makes me now look forward to getting dressed in the morning, knowing that I do in fact have something decent to wear.

I had got into a right state - been wearing the same stuff day in day out (I did actually change my clothes, but you would hardly have noticed).  Partly because I have to wear hard soled trainers to drive, so I had to really wear jeans all the time with them, because I had no other trousers.  So it was blue jeans or black jeans.  And my wardrobe was packed with a lot of really tatty stuff, and things that hadn't been ironed, and so on.  I had been at home so much it didn't really seem to matter what I wore.  But now that I am back on the school run I was starting to feel really shabby.

Anyway, I had a day shopping with a couple of friends yesterday.  Which was a really bad idea - I had failed to account for how much of the time you spend on your feet when you are shopping.  I got really tired and felt miserable.  Didn't want to whinge all the time, but did anyway.  Then felt worse.  But I did buy a few things - more jeans (why?!) and a pair of trousers, and a couple of tops.  Then when I got back, although my feet were killing me I ironed and sorted and chucked stuff out and generally organised my clothes.  Found some stuff I'd forgotten I owned.  Even did some sewing.  So although today I just wore jeans and a T-shirt, it wasn't because I had to.  And that helped.

There is just so much to do all the time.  It's not long since I sorted Toddler's clothes, but I need to do that again, and his elder brother's.  Need to change those in their wardrobe from summer to winter ones, although since we are apparently in for a heatwave there is now no rush.  It is easy to get caught up in the house stuff, and then neglect yourself .  I used to wonder how my sister could go around looking such a mess all the time, but now I realise it was normal - she had two young boys.  Now that her boys are grown up she shops at boutiques and dresses immaculately all the time, and it is me who lets the side down.  Not that we see each other that often (note to self, phone sister).

Anyway - mental health.  I have not been in the best of spirits really today, partly because I got tired this afternoon and had a nap.  Afternoon naps really do not suit me, I always wake up feeling out of sorts.  I need a regular night time sleep routine, but extra sleep in the day is not beneficial at all.  It makes me feel groggy.

We did have a good day though.  I gave my younger daughter and her cousin an early lesson - we do that for an hour on Sunday mornings.  I like teaching.  Walked the dog with my elder son, which was a great way to spend some time with him.  Toddler always steals his thunder. 

Had a hot lunch and a hot dinner, all together.  That was nice.  And we all watched some old film of the kids when they were little - well, even littler than they are now.  They love to see themselves when they were small, and I am not surprised - they were all so super-cute.  So, a good Sunday, really. 

I have been thinking a lot of the Alexander technique recently.  Have still not gone back to my lessons - I think I had four, or was it five, before I stopped.  I went back when my feet were still bandaged up (Paul took me) but I felt that it was too much too soon, and since then I haven't been able to drive far so I haven't gone.  Was also trying to save money - although I told myself that should really not be an issue.   I am also not sure if I can spare the time each week - that would be quite a chunk of time gone, as it is quite a drive over there and back. 

Howver, I miss it.  I feel that it was very good for my mind in particular.  I have a book, and it does help, but it is not the same as going for the sessions.  I will probably go back soon, when I am sure that I can manage the drive and that I can spare the time.  Maybe in a couple of weeks.

Anyway, enough for now.

Louise x


Hi everyone

A while ago I mused about putting together a wall of all the resources I have found in the couple of years that I have been doing this blog.  If you look back through these posts you will come across those that I found and mentioned - most of them just a short time ago.

I wish I had known about all this stuff earlier - that so many people have suffered from mental health problems and have recovered, that there are different and better methods of treatment out there that we may not all have heard about or tried.  So I am going to keep linking to these other sites, run by people who don't get distracted and witter on about their daily lives and the operations on their feet, people who are dedicated to helping others to get better.

Today, I am going to highlight a site called Beyond Meds.  For those of you who haven't visited it yet, it is an inspirational and invaluable resource.  Take a look:


Louise x

Thursday, 22 September 2011


Hi again

I find I self-edit a lot on this blog now.  Sometimes I don't even start a post because I edit it out of existence before it reaches the page.  I know.  You wouldn't have guessed.

Anyway, I feel that I am moving again today.  Had a fairly unproductive day; a dog walk, some stress about one of the children (nothing major, the worries are all in my head and I keep having to remind myself that externally, in the actual world, everything is fine.)  Did some housework (amazing how much better a home looks when it has been hoovered).

This evening I have worked on my Time to Change blog (remember the Roadshow I helped with back in July?)  I realised the blog post had never gone up on the Time to Change site.  So I sent an email about that, and now I think it is going to be posted on the Rethink site instead (the two charities are linked).  I got an opportunity to edit the blog a bit, which I am pleased about as it was a bit dull and stilted (it may still be, but hopefully it is improved). 

Have done no work on my new, easy and fun writing project for a few days.  Which is odd, since it is new, easy and fun.  You would think that would mean there would be no reason to not just get on with it.  However, the weekend beckons.  It brings promise.

Here's to that!

Louise x   

Tuesday, 20 September 2011


Oh and by the way, guys, my story has been uploaded onto the SANE site and here is the link:


So there is progress! X X

Louise Hay's ideas on Healing

Hi again

A comment by Rossa on my last post prompted me to have a very quick Google at the work of Louise Hay.  I actually have a couple of her books, but had forgotten all about them and about her ideas.  Thanks Rossa for reminding me.  I do like stuff that makes me think.

Apparently, foot problems are to do with fear of the future and of moving forward.  That makes sense in my current situation - having made up my mind to be a mental health writer and campaigner I had stalled after my bunion operation and have now gone back to my old modus operandi - mainly focused on the kids and the housework.  And shopping.

While Googling Louise Hay I came across the Compassionate Dragon Healing website which I also found interesting.  Here is the link:  http://www.compassionatedragon.com/metaphysics2.html

 Bear in mind though, that I have only just glanced at all of this - I am working flat out, trying to make up for time lost (but not wasted!) this morning at the shops.

Good Luck to you all.

Louise x  

What a morning!

Hi all

This morning I was all set to write, but somehow I couldn't settle.  So I decided to return my younger daughter's school trousers to the shop where I bought them because they are too big.   It would have to be done some day, I reasoned, so why not today?  I felt guilty all the way to the shops though, because I had been determined to do some serious work at home.  I hadn't even walked the dog before I left, which made me feel even worse.

Anyway.  Got to the shop, got the money refunded to my credit card.  Went downstairs to see if they had any better fitting trousers.  Found all the school uniform reduced to one pound!  Bought a cardigan, two pairs of trousers and two skirts for a fiver.  If this stuff doesn't fit I will just give it to friends - I know she will love the cardigan anyway.

So far, so good.  I was starting to feel that things were going my way.  My foot was hurting a lot though, there was a lot of pus building up under the surface (sorry!) and although I had soaked it in hot water early this morning  hoping it would pop to relieve the pressure, it hadn't.  I had taken Ibuprofen but it wasn't an awful lot of help.

I decided that since I was out anyway I would go to another shop to get some new shoes.  I had come to the conclusion that the ones I have been wearing, which are designed to promote fitness, are perhaps not the right shoes to wear when bones are healing.  They rock you as you walk, and although they have been feeling comfortable enough I decided to change them for something that keeps the feet more steady.

So I went to the shoe shop and tried on about ten different pairs of shoes.  I mostly tried the left shoe on, but if I liked it I tried the right one too (which was painful but necessary).  All the ones I tried were sensible trainer type things with hard soles so that I can drive in them.  But none were quite right.

I was getting tired and just about to give up when I finally found the shoes I wanted in the right size.  Phew.  Just about to go and pay, but then couldn't resist having a peek at my foot to see how it was.  And - aagh! - it had opened and there was a huge bubble of pus and blood resting on the surface.  I had no tissues.  There were no shop assistants in sight.  And I really didn't want to put my sock and shoe back on with all that happening.  I badly needed a tissue to dab away the mess.

I looked around.  There were two men nearby, one browsing, the other trying on shoes.  Neither of them looked as though they would have a tissue.  Then a lady hove into sight - in her fifties, very smart, blonde.  I called out to her (bright red with embarrassment), 'Excuse me! Can you help me please?'

She looked suspicious, but must have decided I was safe enough, because she came over.  And when she saw my foot she realised I wasn't mucking about.  She got out her handbag, and found me a tissue.  Then she delved deeper into the bag and found me a plaster.  And then she produced a wet wipe and gave it to me to clean my hands with.  And then she went off, having checked first that I was now ok.

I went to the till to pay for my shoes.  I was standing in the queue, reflecting on how lucky I was to have hailed a lady who not only had a tissue, but also a plaster, and also a cleansing wipe.  What were the chances?  I had thanked her of course, but  had been maybe a bit too engrossed in me to realise just how lucky I was.

Then she appeared in the queue behind me.  I thanked her again.  And she put into words what I had been thinking - that sometimes things happen for a reason, that she had been able to help me and maybe something had called her to where I was (she wasn't shopping for shoes, this was a big store that sold all sorts of stuff).

So - a good morning.  Comfortable new shoes, bargain new school uniform.  A foot that was agony a few hours ago now doesn't hurt  at all.  Now I can eat and then take my sweet patient dog for a walk.  Lovely.

Louise x

Monday, 19 September 2011

I hate the Orthopaedic Clinic!


Another two hours of my life wasted in the blasted hospital clinic.  Although I did read the paper and actually completed a SuDoku puzzle (it was an easy one).  Got another ten days' worth of antibiotics.  Also came close to tears, but luckily managed not to.  The consultant (I finally saw him) said I have been unlucky.  I could have told him that.  He also said I have to go back in two weeks' time for another x ray and check up.  I probably could have told him that as well.

It is the old powerlessness thing that keeps getting me I suppose.  Plus the feeling that I am bringing all this on myself by not being positive enough.  I did try to go to sleep visualizing my foot being clean and white and healed this morning when I woke up.  I didn't sleep well, although the foot did look a bit better when I woke up.

I tend to blame myself and so I told the doctor that perhaps I had brought the infection upon myself because I had been doing too much.  But he dismissed that  and said that the foot should just not get infected at this stage, although it does happen very occasionally.

Now I am wondering if there is some other reason.  I had diabetes when I was pregnant, which means that I have a fifty per cent chance of developing it later in life.  Perhaps that is what has happened, which would help to account for the problems with my feet.  (Diabetes is well known for causing problems with feet).  I am going to check that out.

But I don't want to be a patient!  A diabetic one or a foot one or a mad one or any other sort!  Can't help feeling that all this is just not fair, though I know that is not the attitude. 

Sure I will feel better after some food and a nice cup of tea - have just had an antibiotic though so will have to wait.  Back to that medicine on an empty stomach palaver, for ten days this time.  Gawd.

Meanwhile, must soldier on.  Get the Sane thing sorted for a start, as I said I would.  Upload my 'Story' to their site, with a link to here.  

Hope this finds you all well, dear Readers.  Sorry it won't make you more cheerful.  Bye for now.

Louise x

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Blinking Foot

Hi Guys

It is so not fair!  This morning I woke feeling that something was up with my right foot.  I was horrified when I looked at the scar - it had widened and reddened just at the part where it is usually the straightest and cleanest.  I took Ibuprofen at midday, but by early evening I was experiencing throbbing pain again and there is now a large red and swollen area around about half of the scar.  About the size of a double sized fifty pence piece (has it affected my brain too I wonder?  That is the best comparison point I can come up with, off the top of my head).

Luckily I have an appointment at the hospital tomorrow, because I know enough about all this by now to be pretty sure that there is another infection brewing.  This one is nasty, and unexpected - there was a sore bit at the top of the scar on that foot where a stitch had become infected, but that had seemed to heal well.  I predict that tomorrow I will be given antibiotics - probably more of the same type, as they seem to work ok.  But what a pain!  That was my good foot!  It is not supposed to go wrong!

I was so sure that I was on the mend - I loved the swimming yesterday and felt that it had done me the world of good. 

Oh well.  No point moping.  I must get on with my writing, since that is one thing I can do without the use of my feet - if only I can keep up the morale.  I had a message from Sane recently about posting my 'Story' on their site, so that will be my task for tomorrow.  Onwards and upwards.

Louise x

Saturday, 17 September 2011

A Swim at last!

Hi Guys

Paul and I went swimming with the kids this morning.  It is ten weeks to the day since my operation.  I went in cautiously - the bottom of the pool felt unusually slippery, though I wasn't sure whether this was just because I was more conscious of the feel of it under my feet.  I don't like walking barefoot now, I tend to walk on the sides of my feet when I have nothing on them.  And I was fearful, unsure about how my feet would cope with swimming, having not been used in this way for so long.

And it was fab!  My feet loved it - my ankles too.  My ankles had grown stiff - I have started to move in funny ways, I suppose to avoid pain and minimize the risk of being hurt.  And I felt so much freer in the water.  It was just lovely.  I am going again very soon.  I feel that it will really help my recovery.

It was also nice to be doing something active with the children - I have missed swimming with them.  Although I found that I was a little moody - again probably because I was scared.  I was pleased that Paul was there to help.

I trimmed the dog today, very thoroughly.  Actually, I started it yesterday and continued today.  Her ears are quite short now, and the fur on her paws too.  I bought a Furminator to take out the excess hair from her coat.  In the end Paul had to tell me to stop - I was getting a bit obsessive.  She has got in a bit of a mess since I have been poorly - nobody else groomed her, so she needed a good blitz.  Now I will just have to do her little and often to keep her in shape.

She has been a bit sad recently - I think she is having a phantom pregnancy.  We went out this afternoon, all together, and took her with us, and she really enjoyed it - she perks up no end when she is out.

I can drive for longer periods of time now, and walk better too.  I am still unable to do certain things, like kneel comfortably, but all this is getting easier now.  Such a relief.  I have to go back to the hospital next week for a check-up, although I am reluctant to go as it is usually such a long and tedious wait in the clinic.  But I will go, and hopefully then I can draw a line under all this.

I started a new writing project on Thursday, when I finally had some time to myself.  I felt all buoyed up by it - although I haven't done any more since, so my enthusiasm has kind of waned.  I will have to see where it leads.  It is going to be fairly short and fun, and on a completely different subject from the last book, and I will probably just publish on Kindle.  Watch this space...

Anyway, enough for now.  I hope all you readers are well and happy.

Louise x  

Wednesday, 14 September 2011


Hi all

Toddler has finished his antibiotics and is still coughing...What to do?  He is fine in himself, but I think I will take him to the GP again if he is no better in a day or so.  She suggested asthma when I took him last time - I was hopeful that it was just a chest infection.  Anyway, he slept longer this morning and seems happier, which is good.

Apologies for the lack of posts recently - it is just that, having nothing much to write about, it seemed unecessary to jabber on.  However, it has now been nearly a week since my last post, which seems rather rude...

I am walking better, and driving slightly longer distances now.  My right foot is playing up now - a stitch got infected.  I don't much rate these 'dissolvable' stitches. 

The kids are doing ok.  Toddler loves his new play school, and my eldest has settled brilliantly into her new secondary school.  Paul has been away, but is back tonight.  Probably why I haven't posted, I have just been too tired...

The dog is a bit odd, I think she is having a phantom pregnancy.  She is whimpering, trying to make herself nests all over the place.  Seems a bit depressed.  Apparently these are classic symptoms and shouldn't last long.  I certainly hope not.  A King Charles spaniel looks doleful enough anyway, without being depressed into the bargain - it makes me feel sad whenever I look at her.  She perks up on walks though - and when Paul is back I will be able to take her out more often and for longer, so that should help.

Gosh, this is starting to read like a Round Robin, instead of a cutting-edge mental health blog.  But hopefully soon I will have more time to concentrate.  I have joined the local NHS trust and mental health forums, so I am laying the ground for something.  Not sure what yet - maybe some work (voluntary or otherwise) in the mental health field? 

Got to go now, more anon (and on and on)

Louise x  

Thursday, 8 September 2011


Hi all

I am so pleased it is the start of term.  Once, I could never understand people who said that.  Which makes me feel a tad guilty.  In mitigation, all four of my children love school - and do brilliantly there.  Fab little people that they are...

I had to take Toddler to the GP today.  They had some kind of emergency going on and we had to wait two hours for our appointment.  We just played and talked the whole time - he loved it.  When we finally got in to see the GP she couldn't believe how big he has grown - she hasn't seen him for ages.  She just adored him, made a total fuss of him, and he was in his element.  She gave him antibiotics - he has been struggling with a cough for several weeks now and I decided I had left it long enough, hoping it would get better by itself. 

Have had a really busy few days - have had to be all over the place sorting stuff out, mostly to do with various schools.  I have been exhuasted - and last night I thought my feet were going to drop off - but I got an early night and woke up as good as new this morning. 

The x ray showed that my left foot has still not healed - the doctor I saw this time said that they were not considering another operation though.  (?  But good.)  I have to go back again though to see the consultant - he said next week but I said I will go in two weeks' time instead, on the grounds that I am just to busy at the moment.  And I don't know what there is new that he can tell me anyway...we'll see.

I have not had much time to write recently, or to think much really, but do hold on, those of you who are checking into this blog in the hope of reading something interesting.  It may still happen!

All the best to all of you anyhow

Louise x


Saturday, 3 September 2011


Hi Guys

I have made some progress, if only in my own tiny mind. 1) I have decided on which play school to send Toddler too, and on what days.  2) I have had the foot x ray, although I have to wait until Tuesday to see the consultant who will tell me whether or not the bone has mended.  (The girl who did the x ray was impervious to my blandishments, wouldn't even give me a clue about the results.)  And 3) I went out this afternoon with Paul and the kids to a barbeque, which I enjoyed greatly. 

The barbeque was interesting (to me) for lots of reasons.  I had a headache on and off through the day, but it vanished at the barbie, which tells me that its root cause was psychological, which I had kind of guessed at about these headaches but am now sure of.  Adult conversation and good food worked such magic that only now, after an hour or so at the computer, is the headache returning (and only now that I am thinking about it, ho hum).

I had a thoroughly enjoyable time at the barbeque, which was refreshing too since it was the sort of social occasion which I would once have harboured endless anxiety over. 

Although I do still over-worry massively about all sorts of other things, I am clearly coming to terms with some issues which once seemed insurmountable - so there is hope of progress in other areas too.  Although I have taken a lot of steps backwards recently, I can now see that there is a way forward.

(Though I should add that my social skills need tuning - I think I got too relaxed at the barbie and started spouting all sorts of stuff that should have better stayed unsaid.  My private opinions are rather too unpalatable for polite company and I don't know quite what led me to air them.  I can't even use the excuse that most people have in such circumstances, of being drunk, as not a drop passed my lips as usual.  Never mind, it could have been worse, I was only talking about play schools and suchlike). 

I bought some new shoes today.  We were at the shops, and I noticed on a display outside a sports shop, a pair of pink sandals which had separators for the toes.  Not the sort which go between the toes, but a separate little strap that goes across the big toe and pulls it away from the others.  Perfect, since mine are drifting across to their old position.  Could have been custom made for me.

I nearly didn't buy them because they were quite pricey, but I am so glad that I did.  They are so pretty!   And so comfortable - I wore them all afternoon and by the time I took them off my feet actually felt better than before I had put them on.

Anyway, is any of this interesting to anybody except for me?  I think not.  So I will end it there.  More anon.

Louise x