>101 in 100 – Item 48…

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Get better control of emotional/bored eating

…has been completed!

This one is maybe a little bit iffy.  But I had a terrible week last week.  And I still managed to avoid all chocolate and coke and didn’t binge on anything else either.  So I feel I can tick it off although I must admit to being a little concerned that once I start allowing myself occasional chocolate and coke again I might slip back into old habits.

Wednesday, I got some malware on my computer and it went really screwy.  I sorted it out but it took until I e-mailed my cousin for me to get it 100% better.  Later the same day the one grab rail in my bathroom I can’t manage the loo without broke.  That got sorted the same day but it was a little stressful!  Especially as it broke just as I was about to go to the loo.  The bit that held it on the wall was made of plastic and the screws stayed in the wall but that snapped.  Thankfully the new one is made of plastic coated metal so should be much more secure.

Thursday I did a loop of town.  Went to the library, picked up my prescriptions and went to the supermarket.  Then on the way home my chair died a death in the middle of the supermarket car park. Luckily I was on the path at the time and vaguely in some shade.

Some passersby tried to help me but couldn’t get my chair into free wheel and there wasn’t anything obviously wrong like something jammed in a wheel to see why I was stopped (I was being jolted quite badly and despite trying to drive forward or backward it was sending me in circles).  Several lots of passersby stopped, even when I managed to get hold of my mum (she was out when I first tried her and everyone else was at work) and she was down with me.

Mum had a good look at it too and still couldn’t see anything but after a bit of a fight with it she did get it to go into free wheel – I don’t think I’ve ever had it in it before so I suspect it was probably just stiff.  I called for a wheelchair accessible taxi to get me home but there weren’t any available for over an hour. Tried to call the engineer but no answer.

Eventually Mum went into the supermarket and arranged with them to leave my chair there, which I believe they weren’t very happy about but did agree to.  They also have a manual in there for customer use and she used that to get me to her car.  Strangely there were no footplates for that chair as they’d been stolen!  I thought that was a bit bizarre.

I managed to get hold of the engineer not long after we left to come home and he picked it up later that day.  It needs to go back to be properly fixed but they’ve got it working for now and it’s safe to use – the gear box went I think he said.  Well, I’m sure that’s what he said but I didn’t realise powerchairs had those.  Wheelchair repairs are not cheap though!

Friday I didn’t go out at all because I didn’t have my powerchair and it was so hot.  A good friend popped round and bought McDonalds for lunch.  That was fun to see her and we sat outside.  I really didn’t enjoy the McDonalds as much as I thought I would though. Which is a good thing I guess as it’s not great for my diet but nice as an occasional treat.

Saturday I picked up my powerchair mid afternoon and drove that home.

I must admit that Saturday night I got hit by a bit of an attack of the “being disabled is hard” blues that come very occasionally too me.  Not surprising considering I’d had two disability crises in the days before, but not easy to deal with.  I’m feeling a bit better now but I was a bit fed up yesterday still.  That’s another reason why I’m ticking this goal off as done because it’s another time when I would have eaten to feel better – and I didn’t.

I’ve lost just under 2lb this week.  Which gets rid of the 1 and a bit I gained last week and puts me half a pound lower than I was the week before.  So I’m moving forward again.  I’m feeling pleased about that

>101 in 1001 – Item 80…

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Buy fewer new books (use the library, charity shops and borrow them from people instead)

…has been completed!

I probably could have ticked this one off a few weeks ago.  I’ve been using the library a lot lately and have bought two books since February (although one was an omnibus edition with 3 in it)

I’ve been debating just when to tick this one off.  But it was the fact that this week I received a book a won on twitter, two review books and have three more promised to me (meaning review books 7, 8 and 9 are sat on the side with 10, 11, and 12 promised to me)

Read It Swap It is another way I’ve been getting books since last year although I’ve not used it for a while as none of the swaps I’ve been offered have caught my eye.  I decided not to actively look for books on there for a while as I have so many I’ve not read.  I do have a wishlist on there so it lets me know when books I’ve said I want show up and I can go for swaps on them if I want.  But whilst it doesn’t help with the sheer number of books in my house it does mean ones I don’t think I’ll read again are gone and replaced by ones I do want to read.  Plus I can then swap those on if I want or keep them, whatever.  Considering that sending a book second class tends to cost around £1.85, it’s a good deal.

I’m not saying that I’m never, ever going to buy new books again.  Of course not I love book shops, I love the way the smell and feel.  I love the way books smell and feel too.  Just as I can spend hours reading I can also send hours mooching in a bookshop.  But I’m getting a lot better at walking back out of bookshops without books.  And my bank balance is definitely happier for that!

>The Summer Reading Challenge

>I think today is probably going to be a day of multiple blog updates because I already had a lot to say.  But I can’t resist sharing this.

[image description: a blue and white stripped deck chair with a copy of Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol in it.  Above that the words The Summer Reading Challenge are written in an arc (split in two lines with challenge on the second).  Plain font, dark blue.  The background is white]
And I don’t actually have to read a Dan Brown book to do it.  Which is good I think.  Never read any Dan Brown and they might surprise me but I’ve never really wanted to.  That might be a mistake but there are so many books out there I don’t have time to read all the ones I really want to!  What do people think of Dan Brown?  Am I missing out?
Anyway I now have to figure out which four of the books I do want!  It’s difficult because I’ve been googling some of the ones I’ve not heard of and so far I’ve thought I want them all.  Which is ok because I’ve only looked at 4 of them so I could just say that’s what I’ll have and not look at the others.  But I should look at the rest because what if I find one I’d prefer.  Still, it’s a nice way to spend a morning!

>Four months update

>I was just sat here wondering what to title this entry when I realised that today is exactly 4 months since I started losing weight this time.  The fact that I’ve stuck at this for four months and made real progress is amazing.  I think the last time I managed something like this was 2002/2003.

I’m up 1 and about a quarter pounds this week.  As I wrote last week however, I’d eaten very little for a few days before that weigh in as I’d been ill (nothing on one day as the 1 thing I ate didn’t stay down).  This week I’ve been eating normally And I have my period.  I’m not trying to justify myself and I don’t feel bad about it.  I’m well aware that a few times this week I probably didn’t make as good choices as I could have done.  But no one can expect to lose every week without fail – and I certainly don’t.

My period is another something I’m pleased about because once my weight got up really high I started having loads of problems with it.  Whilst I don’t have a proper PCOS diagnosis my GP is sure I do have polycystic ovaries.  Whether I have the syndrome to go with it is unknown but I do have a lot of other things going on like depression which would tie in with it. She was thinking that losing weight would help with that.   I’d not had a period since the end of March and before that it had been crazy too, skipping months and coming twice in January etc.  I’m not saying that I think losing this much weight has been the cure for the whole thing but it does make me see that I’m definitely getting healthier.  And hopefully in a few more months I’ll have lost more weight and can get back to a more regular cycle which would probably make me feel better in a lot of ways.

I’ve now passed 50 days without Coke or Chocolate.  I was telling someone about that yesterday and she was horrified to hear how much coke I was drinking each day before, wondering what that must have been doing to my insides.  Which is totally a fair comment.  I do feel a lot better for it.

And the other week I had to adjust my lifejacket because the straps were much too loose!

>50 days!

>Today is day 50 since I’ve had any coke or chocolate.  It was one of my 101 in 1001 goals to go without for three weeks.  I think currently I’m aiming for two months without but part of me is wondering if 100 days would be an achievable goal.  That would be a long term one though, I think short term two months and then ten weeks will be the goals. Short term goals on the way to long term ones are most achievable I think, and most satisfying.

For perspective I was drinking something like a litre of full fat coke everyday and eating a big bar (100g+) of something, usually galaxy.  I was managing to lose weight by cutting it down and trying to have a day or two every week where I didn’t have it.  And trying to increase that.  But it really wasn’t working.

Because the truth of the matter is I was addicted to them both.  Especially the coke.  I would get bad headaches if I didn’t have very much.  Really bad.  I suspect that has to do with the caffeine.  Given that I drink neither tea or coffee that means I’ve now been caffeine free for 7 weeks.  And surprisingly enough I didn’t really have any headaches when I first came off of it.  Which I’ve pretty much always had when I tried before and had put me off doing it a bit.  I suppose that’s part of doing it at the right time.  There’s definitely something to be said.for that.

And when I say no chocolate I don’t just mean bars of chocolate.  No hot chocolate, no chocolate biscuits, no chocolate cake, no chocolate chip muffins.  If it has anything to do with chocolate it’s had nothing to do with me.

If I worked this out right and I’m pretty sure I did, of the 17lb I have lost, 11lb of those have gone since I gave up coke and chocolate.  Looks like I need to update my good things list!

>Showstoppers!

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I am so behind on writing about things I’ve been doing that this is going to be a very quick catch up.

Shows what I have seen lately

Leicester Comedy Festival on Tour.


  I particularly liked Pippa Evans although all the comedians were good.  I love going to big name shows but the ones where there are a few people are great too.  Especially as the comedy club at uni was how I got into live comedy originally and it reminds me of that.

This video is of Pippa Evans (AKA Loretta Maine) singing I’m Fine.  Totally cracks me up.

Dara O’Briain. 


 Love love love love his live show.  It’s the second time we’ve been and I was hard pressed to decide if I thought the first one (a couple of years ago) was better or this one.  I think the general feeling between all four of us was the first one was better but personally it was hard to say.  If you’ve ever seen him on Mock The Week you’ll know he’s a funny guy – well, his live show is much funnier.

His bit about how a tour works is hilarious (tried to embed a video but couldn’t).  And he did a bit about the NCT which was great but also had every woman in the room cringing, that totally just added to it.  I will so be buying tickets to his next show.

Jason Manford.

He did a warm up, pre tour gig at the arts centre.  I think the best thing about that was that he was also supposed to go to Oxford soon but the very day we had tickets for it was annouced that as he’s got the One Show job his tour is delayed a year.  So loads of local people have been bemoaning that fact but I got to see him!!  He’s a really funny guy and I predict he’s gonna get bigger soon.  The stories about his little brother were really funny.

They were playing the best CD ever in the auditorium but couldn’t tell me what it is because it was his CD and I tweeted him but he didn’t reply.

Rocky Horror

I absolutely adore Rocky Horror.  This was the third time I’ve seen it and I really hope there’s a fourth before too long.  In fact, the week it was on was half term and the usher mentioned that the tickets hadn’t sold well – and that there were loads left for the next (last) day.  At that I was so tempted to see if they had a wheelchair space and go back but in the end I didn’t.
This was also the dirtiest AP version of it I’ve seen I think.  Although if I’m honest I can’t remember much about the AP from the first time I saw it in 2004.  Definitely much dirtier that the one Mum and I saw in 2006.  It made me very glad I was sat behind Mum not next to her as last time she kept not hearing the AP and asking me to repeat it.

It was also the most dressed up I’ve ever been.  I was finding glitter all over my wheelchair and everything else for days afterwards despite all the showers I had!

In this picture I’m wearing a bright pink feather boa, pink hairband with fluffy bopper things on (deely boppers?) and pink fishnet armlets (a bit like long gloves but without any finger bits at all).  And when I saw these things were pink I mean really really HOT pink.  I also had on a black strappy top and shorts although you can’t see those in the photo.

Tonight we’re going to see Joseph!  Woop Woop!

>The Return of those Three Little Letters I Love To Hate…. U-T-I

>Alternate title: they said I had a UTI and how I wish that were true.

I’ve been a pretty poorly cripple.  This is copied from an e-mail I sent to a friend yesterday.

Basically went to bed Thurs with bad back pain but didn’t think too much of it as I get that. Woke up middle of the night with my sides and tummy and back all really badly sore and feeling sick. Couldn’t lie down coz of pain. Went to docs who said gall bladder attack mostly but also UTI gave me antibiotics and anti-sickness stuff but spent the rest of the day throwing up despite them and my codeine wasn’t touching the constant pain so nhs direct got me in with out of hours GP. Who said I had kidney infection, debated admitting me (for pain relief) and in the end gave me two injections and sent me home saying if I was no better in two hours I’d have to be admitted and he suspected he’d be seeing me later for that. and sent me home with my 4th prescription of the day. Didn’t end up needing to be admitted but mum stayed over w/ me just in case

Woke up Sat feeling better but not 100%, not quite feeling as great today (but suspect the two jabs have now completely worn off). I’m surprised how well I am though.

Given that I came out of my chair on Tuesday it’s certainly been an interesting week!

The rest of the e-mail is irrelevant to this.

When my GP said I had a UTI I was sitting there going “I what?!” because I’m the queen of UTI and I always know when I’ve got one. I’d had very little dizziness and no other symptoms which scream UTI (although I have since) And there was pain but that didn’t feel like a UTI to me. Positives here include the fact that the GP who was not my regular one listened to me about which of my two regular UTI abx I wanted and the fact that I wanted 7 days worth not 5 – he asked if I have allergies I told him and also mentioned that I don’t tolerate one of the usual abx of choice for UTI well so usually have X or Y and he went “which do you want?” LOL. And it’s my first UTI since September 2008 which is huge. Now if only it was an an actual UTI and not a kidney infection I would be happier.

When the out of hours GP was debating admitting me he asked if I wanted go in and I was just like “I don’t know”. In the end he gave me the two jabs (diclofenac for pain and stematil as an anti-emetic) and sent me home with a packet of oral diclofenac to last me over the weekend as he thought the hospital would suggest that as a first try. I must admit that when we were getting in the car and going home I was wondering why I was going home to see if I felt better in an hour an a half if the doctor was that convinced I’d end up admitted. Surely as a GP he knows these things?! But actually the drugs kicked in and I’ve been able to keep my pain under control since.

Today I am still washed out and not right. I’m pushing fluids a lot and napping and taking a lot of meds (pain killers, anti-emetics and anti-biotics on top of my regulars). I’ve a feeling this might take a few days longer. I’m not having early nights though due to naps. Apart from tonight, they have been earlier nights though.

And yes, last Tuesday I came out of my wheelchair at sailing. I wasn’t hurt, just scrapes etc and a bit sore because I caught myself with my arms. The best thing about that was that all the people surrounding me who offered help asked how they could help. And understood and respected when I said “don’t try to help, let me try.” I did end up having to have help back into my chair as the surface I fell onto wasn’t good for an Emma to do an unassisted floor to wheelchair transfer but they checked what I wanted them to do before they did it. That’s really, really great. Because not many people do that and many has been the time where it’s made things worse. There’s also been a few times when people have tried to stop me falling or pick me up – and I’ve gone anyway (or again) – and taken them with me.

Finally, I’ve lost 2 and a half lb this week. I’m not sure how much of that will be true weight given that I ate a grand total of one thing on Friday and threw that straight back up along with most of everything I drank. But I figured it was worth weighing so I knew where I am. I expect to see a small gain or a maintain next week because of being ill but I’ll be very happy with that. So – for this week only – I’m down 17lb.

>Is there anything you wish everyone knew about disability or something you’d like to see in the school curriculum?

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Is there anything you wish everyone knew about disability or something you’d like to see in the school curriculum?  [This probably sounds like a stupid question, but I think a lot of people are just ignorant, rather than disablist]
That’s a pretty tough one to answer. It’s pretty much impossible to come up with stuff that everyone should know about disability because there’s such a wide range of disabilities. And also such a variation with the same type of disability between person to person. Even us crips don’t know everything about disability as a whole – we know about our condition and how it affects us personally. And we know bits about others. For example I have a friend who also has CP. Before she’s said things to me like “we can’t do this. we’ve both got CP.” and I’ve had to turn round and go “well, actually…”

I suppose probably the main thing would be that disabled people are just people who want to be treated with respect like everyone else. We’re not special or brave or inspiring, just people. And no, we aren’t “normal” but there isn’t such thing.

Changing the subject slightly, I disagree with your comment that people are just ignorant rather than disabiilst. That might be the case however in this day and age there is absolutely no excuse for it. After all, if someone said something racist or homophobic they would be expected to know what they said was wrong – ignorance wouldn’t be an acceptable excuse. Why should it be so for disabilism?

>Chitty Chitty … Wheelchair?

>Sailability is run separately for the most part from Oxford Sailing Club as a whole.  And on Tuesday night one of the regular club instructors started chatting to me in the bar.

First he was asking me about Challengers and if we do racing, do we take part in the club racing etc.

Then he asked what sort of lifejacket I have.  He explained that they have groups of disabled children come up, some of whom can’t come out of their chairs.  And he had found it difficult to put lifejackets on them.  From the sounds of it that was to do with lack of mobility on their part and possible he was worrying about moving/hurting them too I’d imagine.  So he was wondering what I use.

So I told him that I have an automatic lifejacket – not the one pictured on that site but similar.  What I didn’t tell him was that basically the only reason I have one like that is they were donated to sailability.  And the person in charge wanted to be sure that people who would take care of them had them.  Basically because we have a few very young kids and people with learning disabilities who like to go playing in the water and who it’s hard to stop – automatic life jackets inflate if submerged past a certain depth or a certain length of time.  And the the inner workings must be replaced.  Cheaper than a new one but still a cost. A lot of those people do have their own sailability life jackets but different sorts.

I’d quite like to buy myself a different sort but that’s another story.

He then mentioned that he’d ended up putting the life jacket around them and the chair.  I said that probably wasn’t a great idea due to the weight of a chair and also because they then wouldn’t be able to get separate from it in case of need (provided they weren’t already strapped in).

The next comment did make me smile though.

He said “Maybe wheelchair manufacturers could start making something built in”

I couldn’t help it.  I just looked at him and went “What, like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang?”

He laughed and said he’d just thought that.  Then we went back to our drinks and it was pretty much the end of the conversation.

But I must admit that the idea of a Chitty Chitty Bang Bang wheelchair is a good one.  Personally I like the life jacket idea but it wouldn’t be on my must have list.  I’d really like a button to change it’s colour  when I’m bored.  Or to match my outfit/mood/whatever.

How about you?

>One Stone Goal – Done!

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Down another 2 and a half pounds today.  Total weight loss is now 1 stone and half a pound!  I’m so pleased.  I’m now 17st 12 & 7/8lb.  I did see 19st 1 at one point at the beginning of the year but my official starting weight was 18st 13&1/2 lb – I didn’t have my scales for several weeks in between the two.  My mum commented today that I am so far from 20 stone now.  Apparently at the beginning of the year she was really worried that if I kept going the way I was I’d be ending this year weighing over 20st.

And because I am feeling mathematically inclined today.  My BMI has dropped 2.6 numbers which if I’ve worked it out right means when I lose a little more than another stone I’ll be saying goodbye the the morbidly obese category and just be “obese” which will be huge progress even if it doesn’t sound like it..  And I’ve lost a little over 5% of my starting weight.

I don’t have a set weight goal at the moment as such but I do have an idea of what I’d like to be between (between 11 and a half stone and 12 and a half stone) although according to the charts that would probably still have me as overweight.  Obviously however those charts are unrealistic when in actual use and as a full time wheelchair user I could potentially seriously increase my pressure sore risk (already high is) if I was much skinnier than that.  Bony bits need padding when you sit on them all the time!  But that works out as somewhere between another 75lb and 89lb left to lose.

I did briefly blog about this on the day it happened – but in January I was wearing a size 26 from Evans.  I fitted into a 22 from there last week.

I have a lot to be pleased about it seems.