From one-handed to no-handed meals…. #CRPS #Arthritis #Fibromyalgia #BIS


This is not, and I can’t stress this enough,  a sympathy garnering blog. I’m very much a say it as it is person who usually tries to make everything funny if I can. But this is what’s been happening the last few weeks. And I’m trying (and failing) really hard here to find the funny.

I want to put so much into this blog but struggling with the order of things. And the fact I can barely type. Where to start….

Few weeks ago now on a Wednesday morning I’d had a really bad headache for a week. Always have a low level one but sometimes they really escalate. The ones where you feel faint/sick and don’t want to move. Teen came into my bedroom and started to cry. “What’s wrong?!”
“You. This. I don’t know how you do it. How do you keep on living in constant pain?”
These might not have been her correct words, but the gist of it. “Oh love!”, I said, “Its not like I have a choice and its not always like this! Sometimes I have days when I’m fine!”.  Which is sort of true if I move the bare minimum – one load of washing, one washing dishes, one dog walk (which will hurt but worth it) and that’s about it. Hopefully I tried to cheer her up (can’t remember) and got on with dinner.  Took photos so I could blog about another quick meal I’d rustled up using my left hand only (CRPS in the right). I’ll blog it tomorrow, I thought. Will write about coating the halloumi in smoked paprika & frying it for a couple of minutes on each side, lovely.

And then the next day, out of nowhere, started to get pain in my neck, across my left shoulder/back and all down my left arm to my fingertips. Gradually built until it was agonising. Finger and thumb went numb, skin on my hand stretched, could not find a single comfortable position. Popped painkillers like Smarties. And there I was, bed bound, every movement agony.  Nearly called an ambulance twice. After 10 days (last Monday) I got to see a doctor. Tennis elbow, he said. WHAT?! Its not my slipped neck disks? Combination, he said. Then proceeded to tell me all the likely people who would suffer with this –  tennis players, painters & decorators – yeah yeah, I  interrupted, but how long will it last? About 3 months. 3 MONTHS. Not what NHS website says:

Most cases of tennis elbow last between six months and two years. 

So that explains why one week after doc appointment I’m still struggling to move. Except the pain is definitely emanating from my neck and across shoulder. I need another doc appointment.

It’s important that you rest your injured arm and stop doing the activity that’s causing the problem.

Shit. I have limited ability & severe pain in right hand and now no using left? I’ve only just found that on their website and I have been using it the past few days. (Using it now to type!) Teen is in middle of mock exams, the house looks like a pit and she’s rushed off her feet walking dog, shopping, cooking, revising and on and on. So I’ve tried putting a few dishes away.

A few weeks back I was looking forward a little bit (instead of back to my accident that usually takes up most of my thinking space 24/7).  Was getting a bit excited. The weekend home delivery bakery had been going for 3 weeks. One handed. With a handmixer for cakes and my left hand for the kneading. Not loads of orders but some repeat orders, word spreading (thanks friends) more people liking my page and I really believe(d) I could make it work. Everyone who did taste/buy wanted more. Yes it hurt like hell (especially the day after) but what can I do? My talents and abilities are limited.  And for the past 2 weeks I’ve had to put a CLOSED sign on my FB page. And every day I get notifications of more views. Which makes me anxious because I don’t know how long this pain is going on. KNOW YOUR LIMITATIONS. Its reminding me of dog walking business all over again….

[A while after my accident when I lost job (& home) I tried to start a dog walking business. This is when my brain injury came into play. Its so much worse when I’m stressed. Not just about losing words, would lose whole paragraphs/thoughts, empty-headed. So I’d turn up for the wrong dogs at the wrong houses on the wrong days. WRITE IT DOWN! everyone cried. Not realising its really not that simple.  For a start the info wouldn’t even stay in head long enough to write it. I don’t process it. The other was I give myself false information. I would *think* oh I have to do this today.  And off I’d go. I still do it occasionally.  But worse than bodged appointments was the pain and fatigue. Brain injury and fibromyalgia. And I was gutted. I bloody love dogs.]

Back to the baking: At the same time as the bakery idea, I became an Amazon Affiliate and started to blog my one-handed recipes, linking products, hoping for some purchasers buying through my links. I get about 0.001p commission. I made 1.67 in a month you know!  But to make any decent money from a blog you need readers (I know, right?!) and your own website so you can host adverts.  I’m disabled, I don’t have money for my own website.  The plan was to put any money from the baking towards the blog.

In the meantime I’ll try & get more followers on Twitter.  Need thousands. Think I’ve managed 20 in about 4 weeks. Trouble is, I’m not like majority of bloggers I see tweeting. They tweet sunshine, positivity and, well, non-judgemental, which I’ll struggle with(!). They promote each other and like each other’s blogs and leave comments everywhere boosting their profiles, giving each other constant shout outs to obtain new followers. Now I was all huffy about this when I saw it happening, its cheating! I want my blog to be commented on for its merits, because you like my writing, you’re reading it by choice. Not by sycophants playing the game. But you know what, they’re doing it right. I need to learn to play the game. Not least because my rent is due today (its £300 a month more than my housing benefit) and teen has been using my debit card to pay for shopping which I didn’t keep track of it. See above.

So if you see me tweeting in a fluffy capacity you’ll know why.  In the words of Tosca “I need a miracle”.

Its sink or swim time. Again.


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