Christmas trees and things

I hope you had a good Christmas and New Year. We had a nice time at my parents’ and seeing various friends and relations. B was much more aware of Christmas this year, which was quite nice – she enjoyed (sort of) singing Christmas songs, playing with wrapping paper and baubles and eating a lot of chocolate. She was fascinated by Christmas trees:


We were all intrigued and impressed by this year’s Christmas tree at St Pancras station. It’s huge (as usual) and made out of hundreds (thousands?) of Disney soft toys. While I’m not a massive Disney fan one can’t deny the inventiveness or feat of Christmas tree engineering that’s gone into making it:



B and Mr C admiring the ‘tree’

Apparently, fake snow comes out of the top of it every so often, but I didn’t see this. Someone said it was the best thing about the tree, and someone else said it ruined it a bit!

B and the rest of us had recovered from our colds etc. before Christmas, thankfully, so that was one less thing to worry about. Although she can be quite shy (and show it by turning her head away from people she doesn’t know if they try and talk to her) B coped quite well with meeting loads of people she hadn’t seen for a long time and sleeping in a different place for a few days. She seemed to grow up a lot in a week – saying loads of new words and putting two and sometimes three words together to make small sentences.

Things are moving forward on the house front, so we hope to be completed by the end of January at the latest. Then we have to give two months’ notice on our current house before we can actually move in properly, but this gives us time to do the (not very major) work that needs doing and buy furniture. I have been making many house-related Pinterest boards!



According to my blood test results I am lacking in vitamin D – this could be why (or at least partially why) I have been/am so tired. I don’t know how/why I don’t have enough vitamin D – I go outside everyday and I eat quite a lot of oily fish. It is odd. Anyway, now I have some vitamin D supplements which I have to take a massive dose of every day. They’re quite nice as pills go – a nice luminous blue colour. The GP is hopeful that I’ll feel less tired after I’ve been taking them for a while.

B is lacking in her usual chirpiness because she has a chest infection :(. She’s really rattly and has had some horrible high temperatures. I took her to the GP on Tuesday and she now has some antibiotics (aka banana medicine – I’m sure it’s still the same stuff I had when I was little). It’s proving quite difficult to get her to take this – she won’t take it off the spoon, so we’ve been mixing it in with her milk, but as she’s not feeling well she hasn’t been drinking her usual massive amounts of milk so I’m not sure she’s been getting her full dose of medicine. Also, she’s been sick quite a few times recently (again) – I think because she is coughing so much, poor thing – so then whatever she’s eaten comes right back out anyway!

Mr C is lacking in sleep because he looks after B at night and last night she was waking up and crying/moaning just about every 15 minutes. She didn’t really want anything – just company because she couldn’t sleep due to not feeling well, I think. I don’t know how Mr C stays so cheerful. He’s also looking after B today while I’m at work (I took the day off yesterday), so I hope they’ve been OK. We’re hoping B can go back to nursery tomorrow, but I think that might be wishful thinking.

Also, I found out today we probably won’t be able to complete the house buying process before Christmas; which is sort of annoying but sort of a relief as it means we don’t have to think much about moving until January, by which time I hope we all feel better.




I read a whole book in day yesterday. I haven’t done that for years. Thanks to Mr C who looked after B so I could keep my head stuck in a book (The Telling Error, by Sophie Hannah, in case you’re wondering).

Stuff I’ve been doing recently

Apologies for the intermittent nature of this blog at the moment. There are lots of things I could blame, but I won’t. Anyhoo, the stuff:

  • Toddler-wrangling. B is a good girl really, but she does have her moments. We had a horrible day again on Tuesday. It seems to be Tuesdays that are worse – perhaps it’s because it’s the second day we’ve spent all day together. I think B gets bored at home and I have a feeling she is much happier at nursery, for various reasons including getting more attention (which may sound odd as it’s not one-to-one, but there are more nursery assistants than there are of me and they’re only there to look after the children and not (e.g.) attempt to get washing done, make dinners as well). Also, she likes being with other children, to a certain extent  – she talks about them when she’s not there and I think she misses them -, and then of course she is getting to do much more interesting things than she does at home. I’m seriously considering sending her to nursery for another day a week, but it is a question of finances…and also I have to ask myself if really I only want to do this to have an easier life…although, as I’ve said, I do think B is happier and better off being at nursery than when she’s with me all day.
  • Watching TV. I really enjoyed River. The last episode, which I watched on iPlayer last night, made me cry. I’ve also been watching: Doctor Who, which is annoying me; Masterchef: The Professionals, which is boring me; and The Apprentice, which I just should not watch because it’s ridiculous. Oh, also: CBeebies, which is ace or irritating depending on how long I’ve been watching it for. I am particularly enjoying Bing. Mark Rylance’s voice is very soothing and the storylines are realistic (ish).
  • Attempting to read books. I’ve been reading Tolkien and the Great War: the Threshold of Middle-Earth, for ages, even though it’s not really a very long book. I seem to have lost the desire to read on trains at the moment, which isn’t helping. I think this is because I’ve been
  • Listening to music on the train. A lot of Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran. Baa. Both of these have been relatively recent discoveries – yes, I am waaaaaaaaaaaay behind the youth (and everyone else) – but that’s because I’m not a youth. I’m still not sure about Ed. I am sure about Taylor. She is amazing, although I’m worried she doesn’t eat enough.
  • Working. A restructure is looming/happening.
  • I had a pacemaker check-up on Monday. I told the technician about the tiredness and she’s adjusted the rate-response setting, so it should kick in sooner (I think, I’m still not really up to speed about these things, which is foolish of me). I’m not sure it’s made any difference as yet, but then it has only been three days.


Quick catch-up

Guess, what? I’m tired! In other news…

  • Despite catching every cold/bug going, B is doing well. She is still not walking unaided,  (she holds onto us, or anything else handy) but she a great talker and getting good at putting shapes in holes and things. We have an appointment with a podiatrist on Monday so they can check out her feet and see if she needs any help with her walking.
  • B is getting naughtier, alas! I used to think a 20 month year old couldn’t really be naughty because they didn’t know what naughty is, but I think I’ve changed my mind because B does things she knows we don’t want her to do and lets us know she knows as well! Her main ‘crime’ at the moment is throwing things and shouting ‘”Noooo!” at the same time. She threw everything almost constantly yesterday – at least that how it seemed to me but perhaps this was just the perception of an exhausted, frustrated mother.
  • My lovely supervisors left work – 2 within a few months of each other (different roles). Maybe it’s me? (It’s not, really…at least I don’t think so). I miss them.
  • We are in the process of (sort of) buying a house! It is quite exciting, but of course I’m trying not to get too excited in case it all goes horribly wrong, etc. I say sort of buying because really Mr C’s immensely generous parents are buying it for us and then we’re paying them back instead of taking out a mortgage. We’re hoping to move before Christmas, but we’re only about half way through the process so far so I’m not sure if this will happen.
  • I may be a bit obsessed with furniture and room layouts at the moment.
  • The park is looking lovely:


MOT report

I went for my annual outpatients appointment with the cardiologist on Monday. By coincidence one of my friends who has a similar heart condition had her appointment with the same cardiologist around the same time, so we sat in various waiting rooms together and had lunch once we’d both finished our appointments, which was nice. It made the waiting times go much faster, which was good, as it turned out we’d both got their quite early and our echo appointments clashed with our appointments to see the cardiologist for some reason (I think the computers had gone wrong).

Anyway, the good news is my heart function is fine so that’s unlikely to be causing the tiredness. The sort-of bad news is that she doesn’t really know what could be causing it, although she agreed that it could be the beta blockers. She suggested reducing the dose for two months to see if that makes any difference, so I’ll try that and let her know if I don’t feel any better. If reducing the dose doesn’t work she said we could try stopping the beta blockers and/or changing my pacemaker to a bi-ventricular one . Changing the pacemaker is something we will do anyway sometime in the future, but (unless I don’t feel better after reducing the beta blockers) my cardiologist said we would just (haha) do it at the same time as I was having something else done (although she didn’t specify what his would be – I should have asked but assumed valve replacement as this and pacemaker changes are the only thing I’m aware I’ll need doing in the future…).

I’m reducing the dose of the beta blocker from 7.5 to 5 mg. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Chronic life?

Definition of chronic in English [from Oxford Dictionaries online]:


1(Of an illness) persisting for a long time or constantly recurring:chronic bronchitis*

I’ve been following Britt AKA @HurtBlogger on Twitter for a while now. She lives with debilitating conditions of various kinds (or unkinds) and, along with other bloggers/tweeters, uses the hashtag #ChronicLife to document the way these conditions affect her life. It has been slowly, very slowly (over 38 or so years) dawning on me that perhaps I too, live a “chronic life”.  Even now my life is pretty easy compared to Britt’s (I know it’s not a competition, I’m just saying) – it’s just the constant tiredness/near-exhaustion that’s getting to me at the moment, so things could be a lot worse. But it (=mainly my heart condition with an occasional side of migraine) is affecting my life in ways it hasn’t before – at least not on a long-term full-time (chronic) basis.

But now it is. I have to plan my energy use, which means I can’t always do things I’d like to do. Despite having a congenital heart defect, this is fairly new for me (which is one reason I keep writing about it, sorry about that). Whether the lack of energy is caused by my heart or ‘just’ the medication, the end result is the same – re-planning, rethinking, restriction. Just simple things like ‘do I have enough energy to go to take B to the library today?’ (yesterday the answer was ‘no’). It’s annoying. And, yes, I am whinging.

I’m going to see the cardiologist on Monday. I don’t think there’s much that can be done about the tiredness, especially if it’s a side effect – I can’t really stop taking the medicine! -but at least I can let them know about it and makes sure it’s not the heart itself. I don’t know what we will do if the meds aren’t working (or not working well enough).

Here endeth today’s complaining.

*It’s actually not that easy to define chronic conditions/illnesses etc.