Monthly Archives

August 2011

I Had My Wisdom Teeth Removed

Posted on 31st August 2011 in dentists/ dry socket/ morphine/ phobia/ tooth extraction/ wisdom teeth

As the imaginative title suggests, last Thursday (25.8.2011) under general anesthetic at Colchester General Hospital I had my wisdom teeth removed.

Had to be at the General because I can’t have local anesthetic (the injections they normally do to numb your mouth) because the nerve on the left side of my face has been damaged by previous injections.

I’ve been having pain and infections caused by my wisdom teeth for years so it was a relief to know that all that would stop. However I also have a serious phobia of dentists – which I dealt with by telling myself that it was a medical problem and not a dental one!

I didn’t sleep at all well for the days leading up to the operation so I took a trip to Boots and explained to a lady who filled my head with horror stories of dentists and tooth extractions gone wrong and sold me nytol, ibruprofen & codiene and paracetamol. Maybe she was offering me a way out?

Before I knew it the day arrived and at 8am I arrived at the hospital with my boyfriend. There were 4 other people in to have the same operation which cheered me a little, although I knew mine would be slightly different as everyone else would be having the local anesthetic as well as a general as it helps with pain control.

It was a long day, I can’t remember what time I went down but I think it was 2 or 3pm. I was starving! The anesthatist was lovely and very reassuring, although somewhat frustrated by the knots which my boyfriend had tied in my hospital gown (so tight he thought he was going to have to cut them off!). He had even heard of the magazine I make which was nice and he kept the chit chat very calm and natural as I drifted off to sleep…

Next thing I knew I was awake and unable to open my eyes due to the bright light. I have photophobia (which isn’t a phobia so it has a stupid name!) and I lay there desperately trying to communicate that telepathically to the nurse.

I was aware that I was crying, aware of pain, dizziness and fear. I could hear that I wasn’t breathing properly but couldn’t remember how to correct it. The nurse beside me asked if I was ok. I thought I spoke but only a mumble came out. “You’ve had morphine” she said “you can’t have anymore.” I felt tears as they ran down the side of my head and listened to my erratic breathing – memories of the first aid course that I’d taken 2 days before came back to me ‘check that they are breathing effectively’ I wasn’t.

Another nurse took my left arm and started checking blood pressure etc. “You need some oxygen love” she said “I’m going to put this on you now it will give oxygen via your nose”. I tried to say thank you but again there was just a murmer. “Is she is pain?” she asked the other nurse “She hasn’t had any local anesthetic she must be in pain”. I heard rustling to the right of me and guessed she was reading my file “Well she’s had a section so I don’t see why she can’t cope with this.” said the first nurse.

I would like to say at this point to that nurse that a) you are in the wrong job and b) no matter how unresponsive someone is do bear in mind that they can probably hear you!

I can’t remember the rest of the exchange but soon after that the nurse said she was going to give me some more morphine and I felt it sting it’s way up my arm. The pain didn’t ease. “You had 10mil in theatre, I can only give you 2 more” she said.

Next thing I remember is being pushed along the corridor and again wishing someone would turn off the lights. I heard my boyfriend’s voice and relief flooded through me, I knew he’d make it all alright. Time passed in a whirl of blood pressure pumps, pain, dizziness and bright light.

A nurse kept asking if I was in pain, I heard her tell my boyfriend that I’d had 20mil of morphine. I remember thinking that would explain why I’m so zonked! She kept asking me if I wanted to get up and go to the toilet. Getting up seemed about as unlikely as anything I could imagine. My eyes flickered open at one point and I saw the girl who had been in the bed next to me walking around – wow I was so jealous.

Everyone else had been discharged, the nurses checked more and more frequently. “We’re going to have to admit her” one said to my boyfriend. “No” I said. “But you have to get up and go to the toilet” she said “Can you do that?” I tried to sit up, the room span and I slumped back into the bed. I murmured that I had to go home because of my children.

About 6 hours after the op the pain kicked in again, yet the dizziness and sickness were almost stronger than the pain and were utterly all consuming. I couldn’t even change position without waves of nausea crashing over me. I vaguely remember being given more pain relief paracetamol and dihydrocodeine I think along with an anti emetic.

Shortly after I was wheeled to a private room in a different ward. The porter was lovely, had a really nice manner and totally understood how I was feeling. Needless to say the motion of moving made me sick.  In the room almost admitted defeat, I knew I wouldn’t be able to walk to the car so the idea of going home seemed impossible. I said again to the nurse that I wanted to go home – she said again that I had to go to the toilet first. A bit later I sat up determined to get to the bathroom, and was promptly sick. A few attempts and another anti emetic later I made it, with a little assistance, to the bathroom! I felt exhausted when I got back to the bed but sent boyfriend off to tell the nurse.

If I say so myself, when the nurse came back I gave an oscar winning performance of being well enough to go home and the nurse went off to find discharge papers while my boyfriend went off to find a wheel chair. The mantra going round and round in my head was ‘just get home, just get home’.

The nurse came back and talked through the discharge papers, explained the huge bag of painkillers said again it might be best if I stayed in. The dizziness and nausea were filling my every thought as I tried to keep my eyes open and sit up while he talked. Eventually he left and my boyfriend helped me into the wheel chair. A massive wave a nausea hit me and I was sick – all over him and my bag!

The nurse re-appeared. He said that I shouldn’t go home. “I’m going home” I pleaded. My boyfriend negotiated with the nurse and an hour or so later we left. The journey to the car and then home was tough going but I wasn’t sick again until I was half way up the stairs at home!

Drugs prescribed were Diclofenac 3 x a day, Metronidazole 3 x a day, Co-codamol 30/500 3 x a day.

Now – it’s 6 days later. The first few days were hard going, lots of pain, sickness and generally being feeble! Now the swelling is almost gone and I just have 1 yellowing bruise left. Oddly (I think so anyway) the stitches go down the side of my gums and up into my cheeks, I wasn’t expecting that! So far I have been eating only soft food: creme caramel, porridge, mashed potato, mashed carrot & swede and rich tea biscuits dipped in tea. But today I have just eaten some nutella on toast. I’m paying the price now as the pain is going up and up and up but by god it was nice.

I owe a huge thank you to my boyfriend for all his support and care. He was amazing through the whole thing, so sensitive, caring, kind, thoughtful and intuitive – I don’t think I’ve ever felt so looked after.



Fri 2nd Sept – Getting increasing pain on right hand side so went to NHS walk in centre (went there rather than dentists as that is what the hospital said to do….) to be told several times that ‘we are not dentists’ however the nurse practitioner did take a look and said it all looked fine. She said to take more pain killers.

Tue 6th Sept – Pain is horrendous on right side now, from half way along bottom jaw right up to cheek and eye. It is constantly throbbing – very painful. Went to dentist who says it is ‘dry socket’. He has packed it out with a clove infused dressing which he says will just dissolve. I don’t feel very reassured. Fingers crossed!  

Thur 8th Sept – Pain so much worse now, and I can’t fully open my mouth (keep jokes to yourselves…) so reluctantly went back to the dentist. He has now prescribed more Metronizadole and basically said if it gets any worse, or isn’t better in 2/3 days, don’t come back here! He said he didn’t do it and it should be the consultant who did it that sorts it out. Which is nice. Not.   








Beautiful Cat Needs A Home

Posted on 30th August 2011 in cat/ cat rescue/ maine coon/ rehoming

Update – on 12 September 2011 I am very pleased to say that a new home was found for the cat! Huge thanks to all who RTd and helped to spread the word. :)

Can you help?

I am currently fostering a beautiful stray cat (in Colchester) who is in need of a home. She is a lovely cat, likes being fussed, brushed, stroked and sitting on laps. Wherever you are in the house she will want to be near you. Ideally, she will need to go to someone who is experienced with handling cats and who is prepared to be patient with her. In return you will receive a beautiful cat who is a real home loving girl, very affectionate and loyal.

She came to me about 2 weeks ago when I was on holiday in Carnforth (Lake District), we were staying in wooden lodges and could hear a cat crying so looked outside. Basically she hasn’t left ever since then! When we first saw her she was incredibly hungry and thirsty. She also had tatty, scabbed ears and upon picking her up it became apparent that she has 2 broken ribs.

We took her to a nearby vet who confirmed that she was NOT micro-chipped and that they had not had any similar cats reported missing. After a very quick look, the vet said she believed the cat to be female and possibly around 2 or 3 years old.

We rang several other nearby vets and rescue centres, none of them new of a similar missing cat and all the cat rescues were full. The  reception staff at the park where we stayed said they weren’t aware of a stray cat, however a gardener did say that a cat had been around for a while but that it wouldn’t go to any of them. We decided we couldn’t leave her behind and so took her on a 5 hour trip to Colchester – she was as good as gold for the whole journey!

So, why aren’t I keeping her?

Unfortunately my existing cats haven’t taken to her. One of them is terrified of her and currently slinks about the place trying to avoid being seen and the other one is only coming in for food – if he comes face to face with Tootsie he is very hostile and lots of growling, hissing and eventually fighting ensues. Tootsie always wins as she is big cat who has clearly lived rough and my soft cats are no match for her! I would love to keep her but cannot as it is clearly causing Elvis and Maisy a lot of stress.

I think ideally it would be best if she could be an only cat – although to be fair to her it is my 2 cats who start the fights off, she seems happy to mostly ignore them until they start on her.

Her ears have now healed up and the fur is growing back nicely, she really is a very attractive girl. I did wonder if she might be a Maine Coon cross although I will add that a couple of people have said they don’t think she is. To my untrained eye she seems to match the description very well and is much bigger than my other 2 cats with large paws, tufty ears and a huge racoon tail!

Her fur, although medium to long, is in very good condition and she hardly molts at all compared to my other girl cat!

One last thing

I think probably as a result of being mis-treated at some point, she will occasionally swipe her giant paws at you or on rare occasion bite if she feels threatened. This has lessened every day since she first came to us and I think it will disappear completely in time and with trust. For this reason she must go to an experienced, kind and patient home where she can feel secure.

Of course, being a stray she will try and eat ANYTHING! I’ve seen her attempt chinese takeaway, shortbread and sweetcorn…

She is a very loving lap cat, fully toilet trained, very clean, very affectionate and likes to be either in the house or garden – she is always within calling distance.

Can someone give this lovely lady a forever home and a second chance at life?

W&G Car Park Gets Graffiti Make-Over

Posted on 27th August 2011 in Art/ car park/ colchester/ graffiti/ W&G

The stairwell of the Williams & Griffin (W&G) carpark in Colchester town centre has been given a makeover. It was such a nice surprise to be greeted with graffiti art rather than plain white walls!

They seem to be depicting Colchester’s past.

For any one who doesn’t already know, Colchester is Britains oldest recorded Roman town and we are lucky to have lots of history remaining in the town with Roman walls, ruins, chariot racing track (thought to be the largest found outside of Italy).

This last section is a part town referred to as the Dutch Quarter which features rows of higgledy-piggledy houses in this style.

I’ve no idea who did it (I’m assuming it was commissioned by the council) but I personally think it’s great and I hope that people will respect it rather than adding their own graffiti to it.





Art In The Eye Of A Needle

Posted on 23rd August 2011 in microscopic art/ Willard Wigan

My boys have been chattering away today about a guy who makes art in the eye of a needle. They are fascinated by it and have given me in depth descriptions of the tiny sculptures and the methodology.

Having not seen it myself I decided to have a quick look on google and was amazed by what I saw:

According to my boys, Willard Wigan is dyslexic and as a child he turned to sculpting instead of school work as he was being ridiculed for being unable to read. Fortunately he was encouraged by his mother and so carried on making smaller and more intricate works of art.
Now he creates the microscopic art with specially designed tools:
You can buy one for yourself (although I fail to see how you display them?!) from as little as £3000!
For more information see the official site

Book Crossing

Posted on 22nd August 2011 in Book Crossing/ colchester free festival/ guest post

Let me introduce you to a Guest Post from @nneerraakk

Enjoy reading? Like random reading? Book club not for you?

How about a book club where there’s no set book? No feeling that you should have a definite opinion on a book? One where it’s possible to “like”a book or “not like” it? No pressure to “discuss” the book? Sound appealing?

Not only appealing but already happening….

Bookcrossing is a scheme started in the US around 10 years ago whereby each book is registered on and given a unique number. Currently it has around 800,000 members all happily passing their books around – free. They simply leave books lying around for someone else to find and read, keep, pass on or they go to a meetup wherever there are and meet some like-minded souls and swap books around. The website costs nothing to join and there are no spam emails as a result of joining. A computer is not necessary to join in as the concept is sharing above any other and the book will always (eventually) turn up again at some stage.

Bookcrossers in Colchester meet up every month at the Fox Pub in Layer de la Haye on the 3rd Thursday at around 7pm. There are a few faces that show regularly and a lot that show sometimes.

Everyone brings what they’ve read or have spare and puts the books on the table and then whoever fancies a book or 6 simply takes them home. With any book on the table at least one person will have an opinion on it. Some will be elaborate opinions, some not so elaborate. It’s a cheap, friendly way of expanding your reading involving no more cost than your drink(s) since all the books are free. Conversation never stays on subject so this is not a long drawn out literary evening!

We also have book release walks where we wander around town interspersed with pubs and leave books on bank machines, benches, pub tables etc.

As an international organisation there are meetings all over the world and wherever a person travels they are always able to contact someone on the website and see if they fancy meeting up while they’re in the area or simply to ask where the local stash of books is.

In Colchester we have had visitors at the meetings from further afield in Essex, Suffolk, Derbyshire and Holland and in other instances some of us have acted as guides in Colchester to Bookcrossers from Finland, the States and Holland simply because the people have looked on Bookcrossing, got in touch and asked us to.

If anyone wants to become a part of Bookcrossing without attending a meeting they are very welcome on this basis. There are shelves of books in the Purple Dog, Eld Lane, Slack Space Queen Street, Hospital Arms Crouch Street, Jardine Bistro Wivenhoe and Fox Pub Layer de la Haye. Please do stop for a coffee or more if frequenting a pub or cafe.

As an experiment we decided to have a stall at Colchester Free Festival. It turned into a rather larger than expected experiment with people donating to us around 2,000 books to give away. Please do come along and help yourself.

Any questions eg is there Bookcrossing where you are, where’s your local meeting, can you get a lift to a meeting or simply to have a chat about how it works please call Karen on 01206 729238 or twitter @nneerraakk

Diary Of An Online Divorce

Posted on 12th August 2011 in Divorce Online/ Online Divorce

I have used @divorceonlineuk for my divorce and here follows an account and review of the process.

Sun 13 March 2011

I logged onto the site and filled in the questionnaire – it took around 10 minutes.

Mon 14 March 2011

The forms were ready for me to download, print, sign and return.

Tues 15 March 2011

I posted the completed forms.

Wed 16 March 2011

I received a message from Divorce Online to say that I had forgotten to enclose my marriage certificate.

Fri 18 March 2011

I posted my marriage certificate.

Thurs 24 March 2011

Message received: Your first set of Divorce papers have been received and checked for errors. They have been submitted to the Court where they will administer to your paperwork and issue the Divorce proceedings, usually within 7 working days.

Tues 5 April 2011

I received a message saying that the Divorce petition had been issued by the court and that my spouse should receive copies in the next few days!

Tues 26 April 2011

Message received: The Court has returned the Acknowledgment of Service form completed by your spouse to our office agreeing to the Divorce. This documents has been passed to a Case Manager to prepare the application for Decree Nisi to post out to you shortly. The Decree Nisi application consists of 1 page application form together with an affidavit which has to be signed and sworn by you personally. It   can be witnessed at either your local county court (free of charge) if you are in England and Wales or through a local high street Solicitor (nominal fee to pay charges vary).

Mon 9 May 2011

Received divorce papers to take into local court office to be ‘sworn’. No need to make an appointment, literally took me 5 mins to do!

Tues 24 May 2011 

Message received: Your complete application for Decree Nisi has been received in the post and has been sent to the Court today. This application will be placed before the Judge to review the application. Once agreed the Court will set a date for the pronouncement of the Decree Nisi (you will not need to attend this). The time between filing this application and the court informing us of the result can vary depending on how busy the court list is. We will contact you as soon as we have received a decision from the court.

Wed 8 June 2011

Message received: We have received notification from the Court that the Judge has agreed your Application for Decree Nisi and this will be pronounced on the 28 June 2011 at 10.00am – you do not need to attend this hearing as it is a rubber stamp hearing where the judge deals with many applications. If you have any property to deal with we can obtain 3 quotes for you from our panel of 120 firms. Simply call 01793 211 211 and ask for your no obligation conveyancing quote.There is no need for you to login to DivorceTrak at this time. We will notify you when we require any information from you.

Fri 8 July 2011

Message received: Your Decree Nisi certificate has arrived from the Court and will scanned and e-mailed to you. We will send the original to you at the end of your case with the final decree. We now have to wait 6 weeks and 1 day before we can file for your final decree ( Absolute). If you have not already done so we advise you to purchase a consent order to ensure that no financial claims can be made against either party once the divorce is finalised.There is no need for you to login to DivorceTrak at this time. We will notify you when we require any information from you.

Fri 29 July 2011

Message received:  Your Decree Absolute application is available to download.

Logged into the site and printed of the application. Completed and posted back with a cheque for £45 to cover court fees.

Tues 2 Aug 2011

Message received: Your forms have been received ready to submit on the 10th August 2011.

Tues 9 Aug 2011  

Message received: Your application for Decree Absolute has been submitted to the Court today. The Court can take 5 to 7 days to process this application so please be patient.There is no need for you to login to DivorceTrak at this time. We will notify you when we require any information from you.

Fri 12 Aug 2011

Message received: Your Decree Absolute Certificate has arrived in our office and will be posted out to you today. Your spouse will receive their own Decree Absolute Certificate directly from the Court. You will need to file this important Certificate somewhere safe for your own records. You are now divorced and free to re-marry!

There we go – my actual Decree Absolute is dated the 10th August, all in all it took almost exactly 5 months to go through and cost less than £500. The whole process was simple and I found it very reassuring to know that Divorce Online were in control of which forms needed to be sent where and at what time.

All the staff I encountered at Divorce Online were polite and friendly, I felt that I could ring them with questions.

If you have a straight forward divorce, with no property etc to split (or if you’ve arranged that yourselves) I would definitely recommend Divorce Online – I really can’t see the point in paying more elsewhere for the exact same thing.

Any questions feel free to ask me.   

Flood! #TheGallery

Posted on 11th August 2011 in #thegallery/ colchester/ flood/ lower castle park

My post for week 69 of The Gallery: water.

My immediate thought when I saw the prompt was of the time when lower castle park in Colchester flooded. I lived just off the park at the time and found the rising water both fascinating and terrifying at the same time!

As you can see in the picture below, even though the rain had long since stopped the flood water was very aggressive.

These ducks are swimming on the prized cricket ground!

Miraculously the water vanished as quickly as it had arrived, but it did give me a brief insight into how terrifying and unstopable flood waters are.

You can read more Gallery entries by clicking on the badge on the right hand side of my blog.

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