Giving something back, having someone listen.

I am soooo excited!  I actually went out today and found out about some volunteering opportunities. I approached the British Red Cross.  I was so completely unaware of all the things they do just in the local community and I can’t wait to get out there and start helping out and doing some good. I am really looking forward to the first meeting that I have to go to on Thursday. Apparently I have to attend four weeks and then decide if it’s for me. Is it selfish to say that I think I might benefit from doing this just as much as the people they come into contact with?  Really relishing the chance to meet people again, learn new skills, etc. I’m sure you’ll be hearing more about this in the future.

Looks like I’ll have things to do again very soon! YAAY 😀

I also got a second contact for the volunteering service at the local hospital, but so far I haven’t been able to get in touch. Will keep tying though.

Oh oh… I took the first dose of Metformin today… and I haven’t felt sick at all but I failed to get hungry and forgot to eat dinner.  This getting three meals a day continues to be a pain in my behind :S

Speaking of the medication… I went to see the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) about my recent disastrous doctor’s appointment.  This is breaking new ground for me. Usually when I have a bad experience I just suck it up and move on… maybe – no definitely – bitching about it to my closet friends along the way  and/or refusing to go back. I really was so darn irritated after my appointment on Thursday, but I didn’t know where to turn. Google is your friend, or actually in this case maybe Gadget Guy’s friend.  He found me the details of this organization.  The tag line: NHS Wirral Have your say ~ so I decided for once that’s just what I would do instead of bitching and moaning. I’ll go and talk to someone who might be able to help, make sure it doesn’t happen again to me or anybody else for that matter. I actually found the service very friendly and approachable. I was able to tell the representative all about my issues. I mentioned all the issues that I talked about in my post:  the lack of eye contact, how I didn’t feel like what I said was being acknowledged and that I felt pushed out the door before my concerns were properly addressed. It was all noted – I even got to check over what had been written.  I can’t tell you how good I feel for having somebody official LISTEN to what I had to say. Anyhow, upshot of all this was I had the option to have the PALS’ representative call the surgery and complain for me but I decided instead just to keep the information on file in case of further issues (basically because I think a lot of the issue may have been that the doctor didn’t have my medical notes and that’s not her fault) but I will not hesitate to go back again if I am not given more respect in the future!

I’m not gonna be Miss Shut Up and Put Up With It anymore

Ali xX

K.S.: I looove watching Dancing with the Stars from the US. The show has me dancing in my chair lol (there will be no video evidence of this 😛 )

Show and Tell

This week for show and tell… roast chicken!

Roast chicken

Nothing particularly special about it… except that I’ve been craving a chicken dinner since Friday night. Not sure what put the idea in my head. Maybe the fact that there was a picture of one on the front of a magazine I was reading, or the fact that a friends Facebook page mentioned he was going to eat one. That’s the power of suggestion for you! Anyways I was all ready to make one for Sunday lunch with Kayak Man except that today I slept for a total of 12 hours! Insane, I know!  I woke up totally confused. I’d lost almost a full day – definitely too late to start roasting a chicken. My craving would have to wait another day.

 That’s when I went downstairs to find that Kayak Man was waaay ahead of me… and my chicken was waiting for me! He’d cooked a full roast dinner!  Lovely surprise… and it was oh so good!

Now run along and see what everyone else brought to class

show_and_tell

Metformin and gummy bears.

I’ll be starting on Metformin as of Monday. I need to start with one 500mg dose in the morning with breakfast (which means I had better get a lot better at eating breakfast and quickly). I’ll be eating my oats like a good girl every morning just so I can take the pill despite the fact that I’ve really struggled with the whole food thing recently. After 7 days the dose doubles to 500mg twice a day morning and evening. The drug has been shown to help women with PCOS controlling the effects of insulin resistance.   It has been shown to help women suffering PCOS with losing weight and even returning to a regular cycle.  Here’s hoping I’ll see some good results from it.

As with all drugs there are side effects. Last time I took this I felt so sick the first couple of weeks. It was terrible, feeling ill.   The most common adverse effect of Metformin is gastrointestinal upset, including diarrhea, cramps, nausea, and vomiting. Apparently this affects more than 1 in 10 patients to some degree (that’s according to the leaflet accompanying the drug. The previous time I was taking Metformin things seemed to settle down for me after about 2 weeks. I really hope that’s the case again! The drug is also hard on your kidneys and liver.  The information I’ve read STRESSES the importance of drinking plenty of water while on Metformin (OH BOY this could be a SERIOUS problem for me) other recommendations are NO Alcohol and to try and stay away from over the counter drugs that may also be hard on your liver & kidneys.  It’s advised that people on the prescription should have blood work to monitor liver and kidney function and I am slightly concerned that this never came up in the 10 minutes I was with the doctor the other day. Seems kind of important to me.

So over all, I need to cut the booze (I’m not really a big drinker anyways) and work HARD on the water thing!!

Along these lines … I’m super pleased with myself today for taking a step towards being more organized with my medication at least. I found myself a little pill organizer (or as Kayak Man likes to call it my pill Filofax) with compartments for morning and afternoon medication and set up a full weeks pills in advance. I’m hoping this will not only help me to remember, but more importantly I’ll never have that stooopid moment of wondering if I took my meds yet today. Again.

Any good behavior points I may have awarded myself are totally and utterly wiped out by the fact that I ate half a packet of Haribo Star Mix though I can tell you I feel sooooooo guilty. These things are technically not MAOAM’s the annoying sugary sticky messy things I haven’t eaten since I gave them up in this post,  BUT  the problem is that I only started eating the MAOAM’s in the first place to STOP myself eating WAAAAY to much Haribo. Today I gave in and I didn’t even ENJOY it. I feel bad. From now on, I declare a blanket ban on all sugary / jelly /gummy sweets … and instead when I want a sugary treat I will go for the chocolate that I actually ADORE. Even then I’m making an effort to switch to mostly enjoying dark chocolate in smaller quantities.

I’ve decided to change around my reading goals a little origionally I had set myself the goal of reading one book for pleasure each month but while I was over at Kirstin’s blog I decided instead to join in with her Book challenge 2009.  The idea here is to set a goal for the entire year as opposed to month by month. I think I’ll be much more likely to stick to this and it’s more fun when other people are doing this too.  I’ve set my target at 36: that’s 12 fictions books (one for each month as per my original plan) but I’m also adding that I will aim to read one non-fiction book for every two months.  Now, granted, 36 books seems like a low target compared to the others in the group, but having dyslexia I make  redonkulously slow progress. Anyways,  look for my I’m reading page to be updated with the books I have read so far this year as well as links to the others taking part.

I have this really odd urge to make a roast chicken dinner (don’t ask me why – I dunno!)… So I’ll be doing that tomorrow or attempting to I should say… Wish me luck!

Ali xX

K.S. Getting hold of the T.V. remote for an hour so I could watch NCIS for the first time!

Cooking up a storm ~ Cod,Prawn & Corn Chowder

So one thing that’s stated twice on my plan is that I must learn to cook better (both because I enjoy it and it would be great for my diet). I’m not the world’s best cook, it has to be said, but you can’t improve without practice, right?  I’ve decided that in order to help keep me in the kitchen I’m going to try at least one new recipe a week. Hopefully I can share them with you here under the title “Cooking Up a Storm” because, after all, usually when I get done my kitchen does look like a small tornado past through it!

I will be trying to make the things that I chose relevant to my changes in diet (there will be naughty weeks though because I LOVE to bake!). This week something to do with fish (because I need to eat more of it)

Cod, Prawn & Corn Chowder

Serves 4

Ready in 40 minutes

273 calories per serving (so I’m told)

Ingredients:

1 medium onion

2 medium potatoes

2 carrots

10 ml (2 tsp) sunflower oil

300ml semi skimmed milk

1 vegetable stock cube

100g (3 1/2 oz) can of sweet corn

100g (3 oz) frozen peas

50 grams prawns

400g cod / haddock fillets cubed

 

Method

1. Peel and finely chop onion. Peal and dice potatoes & carrots

2. Heat oil in a large pan and add the onion, potatoes, and carrots. Cook for a few minutes stirring. Add the milk and 300ml water, crumble in the stock cube cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

3. Add sweet corn, peas, prawns and fish. Cover and continue to simmer for a further 10 minutes. Serve chowder in bowls with chucks of crust whole grain bread.

And there it is… I really enjoyed my dinner tonight. I hope you like it.

If you have an recipe suggestions for me to try please get in touch!

Bon appetite

Ali xX

Can I have a word… Doctor !?

I hate doctor’s appointments. Really really HATE. I’m not too sure who is to blame for this; either the NHS and their stooopid 10 minute appointment time  or the individual doctor,  but either way I came away from our brief encounter today feeling down right depressed and pretty worthless. I didn’t actually get any of my questions answered. I still don’t have any explanation for the things I don’t understand that are going on with my own body. All you seemed interested in was whether I was about to collapse and die today.  If the answer is no then I should just STFU and move along. At least that’s how it felt! You failed to even look up from typing away on your laptop ONCE during the whole ordeal.  So I’m there trying to have a conversation about some quite personal issues and I feel like I’m interrupting. THAT’S NOT RIGHT.  OK, so, granted what you were actually doing was making notes, but, hay doc, for all your intelligence I’ve got to tell you EYE contact works wonders. I’m human just like you, ya know! FFS I’m the one who’s actually dealing with this on a day to day basis. When you ask me what the issue is, I expect you to acknowledge my response at LEAST. Maybe even let me finish my sentence before you cut me off with some dismissive remark. I know you may see people in much worse states than me so to you this seems like nothing but it’s a big damn deal to me. Right now my health is making my life hard everyday.  I want to fix it, but I need advice and help support from someone who supposedly knows about these things – someone like you. It takes a lot to even get me in your office, so if I sat in front of you, give me some respect. Please!   Now I feel totally worthless another number. a statistic. A piece of meat. An item of curiosity. I’m so MAD.  I don’t feel like going back. Was that your aim!?  Because I tell you  3 months ago that’s what I would have done crawled back into the hole I came out of and not seen a doctor again for a good long while, but I’m different now.  I’ve got my fighting gloves on and I will not give up. I’m going to get control of this thing with or without your help but I sure could use you on my side.

Despite being told to wait till yesterday for my appointment so the new surgery would have my notes, I got there to find that you had no such information which makes both of our lives miserable. So when I asked about counseling, I got a shrug. I asked about medication for PCOS and I got a prescription. Oh and then I got showed out the door because obviously I was only there because I wanted pills. For God sake what will it take for somebody to actually sit down and explain things to me in a way I can understand? What do I have to do just to feel like someone is honestly listening when I talk and not thinking about the previous patient or what they are going to have for lunch? I need somebody to look at the whole picture here, not just how I feel in the 10 minutes I’m in your office. IS ANYBODY LISTENING?? DOES ANYONE ACTUALLY WANT TO HELP!??

And another thing… if  as it appears you have no clue what PCOS actually is or what the best advice for me might be, could you at least make some attempt to either find out or put me in touch with somebody who does know?  is that too much to ask? Don’t fob me off.  If you don’t know – SAY SO. I won’t think any less of you. Honest. Until 2 years ago I had no clue either!

Oh and thanks so much for the last minute referral to the diet & lifestyle clinic.   an appointment time given to me on a scrap of screwed up paper that looks like its a rude note that’s been passed round a class room a few times before it got to me. Thanks. That made me feel just great. Yes I KNOW I’m overweight. Yes I know it’s not good for me… believe it or not I want to do something about it to. UH HUH I care. I’ve tried so many diets before I can’t even list them all. Does the person running this clinic actually know what PCOS is? Will they be able to help me control it with diet… or will they just be another person who see’s my failing attempts to lose weight, assumes I’m lazy and looks down on me?. Because, seriously, I’m not sure how many more condescending clueless people I have room for in my life right now.

Your very frustrated and desperate patient

Ali xX