Monthly Archives: June 2008

Happy New Year-of St Paul.

It is the feast of SS Peter and Paul today and of course the beginning of the Year of St Paul. So happy new year to you all.

Todays readings tend to concentrate more on our Kephas but St Paul is there too. These two men apostles of Jesus Christ are really the foundation stones of the Church. Of course St Peter is-Jesus said so, but Paul too shares some of that role as it was he was sent to the lost sheep of Israel and the gentiles.

Today we heard the Gospel story of how Peter was willing to speak up and answer the question “WHO DO YOU SAY THAT I AM?” He was pretty up front in saying  “You are the CHRIST the SON OF THE LIVING GOD.”

Then Jesus re-named him Kephas (no not little pebble or any other silly idea) and he was to begin the Church on the Day of Pentecost.

The reading from the Book of Acts was about Peter being in chains in prison when Herod thought killing him might be a great idea. Politically killing James the brother of John appeared to have been a good move so he had set his sights on Peter. But God sent an angel who took Peter out of prison and sent him to a house where they had been praying and waiting. Todays reading stops short of the bit where Peter reaches the house and knocks on the door. A serving girl answers and is so shocked at seeing him there she slams the door in his face! LOL! Then she rushes to tell the others Peter is on the doorstep! Poor girl-I bet she never lived that one down!

As there is a whole year to look at St Paul, I’ll try and do a few posts with his story and some home ed ideas over the next few weeks.



Taking my life back into my own hands!

Some of you will know I have been disabled now for just over 5 years. It hasn’t been jolly. Well I’ve seen various neurologists who have all been pretty dismissive and uninterested-except one who was very thorough but only stayed six months so I only saw him once.

I had a full MRI 5 years ago when this all happened. Doctors have told me the results were “inconclusive”, “normal”, “showed wear and tear” and one doctor; the thorough one; said I had damage to the spine in 2 places.

I have tried to get on with my life. I do not believe something like this should let me grind to a halt-although the temptation has been strong at times! Meanwhile the doctors continued to be dismissive and unhelpful.

Finally I had an appointment at the hospital on Monday. The reg was off with us from the moment we entered the room. I had my questions ready and tried to ask them. She wouldn’t answer them. Alistair repeated the questions and she wouldn’t answer him either. Then she said I needed to see a psychiatrist.

Fine-if that will help. However she was unsure about this and has decided I need to see the consultant neuro instead-in 6mths of course. No hurry. So I should see him Dec and he will decide if I need a psychi appt or not. She was very reluctant to do anything about my pain and I had to push very hard indeed for her to agree to change meds to Amytripylyne-and then she wouldn’t write a prescription but insisted I went to the GP for it!

So we were dismissed. I was utterly gutted and really quite angry. How much longer?

I’ve been online a lot since Monday trying to get as much information as I can. My illness behaves very much like MS but it also matches -much more closely actually- fybromyalgia. Now if it IS FM then it is treatable-not curable it seems, but at least I could find ways of managing the pain and fatigue better than at the moment. So I am reading everything I can find on that as well as MS and seeing if there is anything else out there that covers these symptoms.

I also made an appointment with a chiropractor and saw him this morning. First consultation was free. The whole set up is so different to the NHS. The receptionist was polite and friendly. They are keen to ensure you are given as much information as possible. The chiropractor himself greeted me properly and then took my history. He LISTENED to me! He actually understood what I was saying and when I asked questions he ANSWERED them clearly! Can I tell you how good that is!? One of the things I found reassuring was he took particular interest in the big fall I had 14 yrs ago when I was pregnant with Iona. I have had a “bad back” ever since and the main point of pain these days is the same place-only I can’t walk properly now. The neuro dismissed the fall as irrelevant but he asked a few questions about it.

Finally I was poked and prodded as you would expect. OW-but I think it could be worth it. He wants to see the MRI report from 5 years ago. His initial thoughts on what has put me in wheelchair for 5 yrs…? A TRAPPED NERVE!

If he is right-and he isn’t at all sure at this point-but if he is I am looking at getting better over time and with his treatment! I SOOOO want him to be right. But I would also be very angry indeed with the medics who have never noticed something so basic and have simply left me like this.

I really, really, really want this to be as stupid as a trapped nerve. But even if in the end it is something like FM then at least there is a treatment and a way to have so much less pain and fatigue. Either way I win.

Pray for me.


Iona’s Sweet Shop

Iona has started a little business project. She has set up a little sweet shop-which Ronan and Avila have found very interesting. Not that they are allowed to be customers. (Well okay now and again).

Iona has costed her stock and anything she makes herself and then has a book for prices and sales.

She is designing a logo and flyers as well as order forms. She has started with a small amount of stock-choosing old fashioned sweets that are likely to sell well among friends and family. If things go well, she will use her profits to buy more sweets and hopefully gradually expand the range.

It’s a project I hope will be ongoing and look pretty good in her portfolio.


We have worms!

Finally we have worms! I didn’t have to buy them. Iona’s friend announced that she had loads of worms in her garden and she would get me some.

Well sure enough-we arrived at Mass the following morning and there she was with a tub of lovely fresh worms. Just what we needed.

So on Monday Ronan and I set up our wormary. We filled a plant pout with soil and then added a 2ltr drinks bottle with both ends cut off and into that we put soil, chalk, dead leaves and worms. I also added some spud peelings.

The recipe for a wormary advises covering the bottle with paper but as I chose a tinted bottle (ginger ale) we haven’t done that but we have been careful to keep the worms in the shade.

Each day Ronan goes out to see how they are getting on. It’s slow but sure.

It’s been an easy and fun little project to go alongside the study of bugs and trees.

Homeschool plans: Year of St Paul and 40 years since HV

There’s only a few weeks left of term and I was thinking of winding down and finishing early so we could do a major clear out and give me some next-year planning time.

But then I think there are some pretty interesting things about to happen in the Church’s calender which I don’t want to let pass us by.

The Year of St Paul begins next week on the feast of SS Peter and Paul (June 28th) and will end on the same feast day 2009. The Holy Father is looking for year filled with study of St Paul and undoubtedly sees this as building on his dear friend John Paul the Great’s New Evangelisation. Anyway I am sure there will be plenty to see and learn about as the year is launced next week.


Then as we move to July there is the 40th Anniversary of the publication of Pope Paul VI’s massively important encyclical HUMANAE VITAE .

I think a lot of parents my age were taught a whole lot of twaddle about HV, which has caused untold damage in family life. I do not want the same twaddle imparted to my children.

Iona is 14 so there is a limit on what she needs to know and understand at this point. But there is still a lot about the history of the last 40 years she can get to grips with.

So what with these things and the Wormary I am still working on with Ronan, there are more things to do before the term is done for summer.

Avila’s Hospital Appoitment

Avila had her appoitment at the Children’s Hospt this morning. The doc was really pleased with her progress. She has put on a little bit if weight and has grown 1cm I am not sure how good this is, but it better than nothing-and at one point I was beginning to think she was loosing weight again.

The plan is for her to go back on a normal diet for a couple of months and then we go back and they take blood. She’ll have HB, full blood count and coeliacs test all in one go.

So we came home and Avila ate her first gluten containing food. She is now lying in my arms with a fever of 100.5f. *sigh*. I hope this is just a freaky coincidence and not a sign of how things will be for the next two months!

Calpol, push fluids. I know the routine and so does Iona who is making jelly even now.

Funny thing about jelly. We have managed to get this into her during those not eating and drinking phases. We have avoided drips and NG tubes thanks to the humble jelly.

Sarehole Mill

We had a homeschool group trip to Sarehole Mill yesterday. The weather was a bit dreecht, but that never stops children having a good time. The mill wheel was working and there is a little steam engine at one end-that was not working.

It was free to go and have a look around. It is decidedly NOT friendly for toddlers, or wheelchair users like me-but I managed.

For my children there was the added interest that this is what their great grandfather did for a living. He even had a book published on the subject.

The mill is the one JRR Tolkein lived near and apparently inspired his view of Hobbiton. The mill itself makes little of this.

All that rain should have meant we came home to lawn covered in worms…but no. We still have 0 worms for the wormary.

Stuarts suggestion that the early bird catches the worm must be taken up. Tomorrow, as soon as I am up I will be out there with Ronan! WORMS BEWARE!