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Hospital Dis-Appointment

Hi,

I know I know it’s been a while, two months to be exact, and for that I apologise but the positivity of that last post didn’t last, and I didn’t want to lower the mood!

So I’ve left it a while, but now feel able to catch you up on what’s been happening.

If you’ve been following for a while, you know that I have a spinal cord stimulator that helps mask the pain caused by OPLL. The spinal cord stimulator was fitted in 2014 and the battery powered leads were placed according to where my pain was worse at the time.

Recently however, the pain has spread, most embarrassingly to my buttocks. Any pressure in that area has become unbearable, meaning that I can’t sit down for any length of time. Because of pain in my legs, I also can’t stand or walk for long either! A no win situation 😔

I had hoped that the device could be reprogrammed to cover the new areas, but my neuro appointment turned out to be a dis-appointment! They tried their very best, but it wasn’t to be. So I’ve been left having a review of my pain meds instead, which has so far been unsuccessful.

And I’m spending more time in bed lying flat or on my side, which isn’t ideal from a social perspective! Although I am usually joined by the dog so I do have some company 😆

Then about 6 weeks ago, I started getting very acute pain in my neck whenever I tried to turn it from side to side. I’ve been referred to MSK as I’ve had trouble with a disc in that area in the past, but because of Covid, NHS appointments have long waiting lists at the moment.

I won’t lie, it’s really been getting me down, and I haven’t felt like doing much at all.

Then, my daughter’s hen party plans began which lifted my spirits a lot. We also had a ‘zoom’ wedding fitting session which was exciting, and I began to feel better, emotionally at least!

My family keep reminding me how strong I am, even when I don’t always feel it. Surprise visits from my niece and nephew, followed by my brother and sister in law helped enormously too. And I couldn’t do anything without my lovely hubby who bears the brunt of my ups and downs on a daily basis 💗

My Sugar and Crumbs family have kept me distracted with Facebook lives and classes, and a few cake requests have got me up off my backside and actually putting some of my cakey skills into practice. And of course, recent events in Afghanistan have reminded me that there are a lot of people going through much worse.

So, I have lots to think about, to look forward to, and to be grateful for, and I’m now in the right frame of mind to appreciate that.

I’ll end by showing you some photos of cake, because it wouldn’t be a Baking for Therapy post without them would it? And if my friends didn’t keep trusting me with their requests, I wouldn’t have the therapeutic value that creating them gives me!

And here are my lovely family 💗

Until next time

Stay safe and healthy

Debbie 💗

Baking for Therapy, Birthday, Cake decorating, Cakes, Bakes, and Me, Celebration, Classes, Family, Friends, Learning, Mindfulness, Novelty Cakes, Sugar and Crumbs, Therapy

Telling it like it is…..

It’s been some time since I last posted, so I thought I would catch you up on what’s been happening over the last two months.

My mother in law was in hospital for 7 weeks (not Covid related) and we were all very worried for her. She’s home now but needing care. She’s not in our bubble so it’s very frustrating not to be able to help more, but hopefully will continue to recover.

I have seen an increase in my anxiety levels, partly I’m sure from worrying about her, but also in general. As you know, my distraction techniques include learning more about cake decorating in online live classes – Thank you Sugar and Crumbs – and I’ve also been trying some mindfulness exercises.

https://www.sugarandcrumbs.co.uk/shop.html?cat=144

Getting Started with Mindfulness

In a bid to distract myself as much as possible, I’ve been baking for my friends, which is great for my mental health, but does take a toll on my physical issues.

As always, it’s a precarious balancing act between the benefits and the outcome, and I don’t always get it right!

In my online class groups I’m the joker, (amongst others!) who always has a quip ready, and I love the camaraderie in there, it really lifts my mood. But each bake or class also takes a few days to recover from.

My poor husband bears the brunt of this as my carer, and has become used to the transition from ‘Joker’ to ‘Zombie’! He really is the only one who sees this side of me, but is so supportive as he knows it keeps me sane and feeling useful.

But with his Mum being ill, he’s had more than me to worry about obviously, and I’ve been doing my best to support him too. As if the pandemic wasn’t enough to be anxious about eh? 🤦🏻‍♀️

This past week, I’ve also been filling in my PIP award review. Although not as detailed as the original form 5 years ago, it does ask about any changes. This meant going over the answers from last time in order to ascertain if there had been any. Unfortunately, this brought back everything from my accident, diagnosis, surgeries, counselling and therapies from 2012 to present. All the things I try not to think about, suddenly rushing back to haunt me once again!

I know the review is necessary, but it took me a long time to be able to look forward instead of dwelling on the past, and it was a bit of a shock to the system to realise how close to the surface it still is. But it’s done now, so hopefully I can get back my positivity!

Mother in law home, hubby had his first vaccination (he’s older than me) and I have mine tomorrow. We’re moving in the right direction 😊

My lovely mother in law shortly after she was allowed home from hospital 😊

So rather than this post being about one cake, I’m going to thank you for letting me ramble on, and just show you some pictures of all the cakes I’ve made since January and end on a positive note!

I hope you are finding your own ways of dealing with this strange situation we’ve been in for the past 12 months. We’re only human and it’s normal to have some anxiety and stress, and not to beat ourselves up about it, so I’m sending positive vibes to each and every one of you.

Keep doing whatever it is you do to keep sane!

Stay safe and healthy

Debbie ❤️

Baby Cakes, Baking for Therapy, Birthday, Cake decorating, Cake decorating products, Cakes, Bakes, and Me, Celebration, Friends, Health, Recipes, Therapy

A Very Special Birthday Cake 🌈🌈

I’d like to begin this post by saying a big thank you to Viki Shaw and her partner for allowing me to share their story today.

I met Viki as she was part of my children’s group of friends, we are a generation apart, but hers is a story that sadly resonates with parents of any age.

I will let Viki tell you in her own words of the journey to becoming Mummy to her two beautiful girls. It’s a narrative of great loss and grief, but also immense joy and happiness, and is testament to the resilience and strength of the human psyche.

https://rainbowtwinmum.wordpress.com/2019/11/28/grief-gratitude/

Summer Violet and Isabella Rose just had their first birthday and I was lucky enough to make it!

The two cakes were chocolate and vanilla, both baked in PME 6” round x 3” tall baking tins, using PME baking belts. to ensure even baking.

See recipe page The vanilla cake was filled and coated with buttercream, for the chocolate I used ganache.

Both cakes were then covered in Select Ireland platinum sugarpaste coloured with Coloursplash pink.

I made the rainbow by adding Rainbow dust tylo powder to the sugarpaste and used Coloursplash in purple, pink, blue, pistachio and sunflower yellow to make some pretty pastels. These were rolled into long sausages and attached with PME piping gel to a cake board cut to size.

I used Cake Star Mini letters and Numbers , and FMM cloud shaped and heart shaped cutters from this set for decoration. The cakes are on a sugarpaste covered rectangle drum board 14”x10”

I’m not going to say any more, I’ll just leave you with the picture ⛈🌧🌦🌈🌈

Until next time

Stay safe and healthy

Debbie ❤️

Baby Cakes, Baking for Therapy, Cake decorating, Cake decorating products, Cakes, Bakes, and Me, Celebration, Family, Fun, Health, Love, Therapy

Surprise baby shower!

Hi everyone,

I can’t tell you how delighted I was to be making this cake! It was for my niece, Amy and her partner Robb (who was in on the surprise) and it wasn’t a cake I expected to be making as Amy wasn’t supposed to be able to conceive! Needless to say she was absolutely gobsmacked at first, but fully embraced this miraculous chance to become a Mummy 👶

We knew the baby was a boy, and even his name, which gave me a head start on design. Then all the disposable tableware arrived and was elephant themed! So I decided to make a fault line cake with elephants, textured buttercream, and a large initial ‘Z’ for Zachary 😀

I’m delighted to say that baby Zachary James Ray arrived safe and sound on Sunday 8th March 2020 😍

Here he is with his beautiful Mummy 💕

Gorgeous baby Zac with my lovely niece Amy
Proud Daddy

And you know what that means? I’m a Great-Aunty! Correction, I’m going to be an Awesome Great-Aunty! 😆 Can’t wait for cuddles 😘

Until next time

Stay safe and healthy

Debbie ❤️

Baby Cakes, Birthday, Cake decorating, Cakes, Bakes, and Me, Celebration, Craft Fair, Family, Halloween, Health

Where have I been?

Hello lovelies,

Apologies for the absence of posts this last 2 months, it’s been a very difficult time.

Last time I told you about my mother in law being ill. Since then, she’s been back in hospital, and then a local Community rehabilitation hospital, before we finally got her home last Friday.

After countless tests which revealed some minor concerns, but nothing which explained the severity of her symptoms, she gradually started to improve after they began feeding her through a nasal tube. She’s now eating and drinking small amounts on her own, and although she’s still very weak physically, she’s now ‘back with us’ in that she’s mentally aware again. I’ve never been so glad to hear her start complaining!

She can’t actually remember most of the past two months, so had no idea how worried we’ve all been. Of course she’s misbehaving already. Tiring herself out by trying to get herself washed and dressed before the carer arrives to help her, but she’s 85 and has always been fiercely independent, so it’s going to take time to adjust. I know from personal experience how difficult it is to accept that you need help with things you used to take for granted. It’s not easy, but she’ll get there. As you can imagine, my husband and his sister are keeping a close eye on her, and she’s being monitored by Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy for her mobility issues.

As for me, earlier in the year I applied to exhibit at a local Craft Fair which takes place over 9 days. At the time it was to be a joint venture with my friend, but her circumstances changed in the meantime, so she wasn’t able to help as much as she’d originally planned to. As the arrangement was to take our goodies, set up the table and then leave it to be stewarded by the organisers, I decided to go ahead anyway, with the help of my Mum instead. Luckily most of my items were non perishable, so I was able to get them ready in my own time, but 2 weeks before we were due to deliver them, I pulled a muscle in my lower back, so still ended up behind preparation wise! In the end, Mum came to finish the packaging and labelling for me, and Hubby took time out from hospital visiting to do the lifting and carrying to the venue.

However, over the two weeks, I ended up sleeping in my specialist reclining chair as it was too painful to get in and out of bed. I was just beginning to worry that it might be a worsening of my OPLL, when it finally began to improve…..phew!

So….baking wise, I did manage to make a cake for Halloween 👻 A vampire hedgehog of all things….

A two headed unicorn cake for my friend’s twin nieces…..

And a cute elephant themed baptism cake and cupcakes for one of my daughter’s best friends….well, for her son William, who is absolutely gorgeous 💕

As you can see, she displayed it beautifully in pride of place at the venue after the Church ceremony.

I will hopefully be able to get back to posting a bit more regularly now, but belated Happy Halloween, Thanksgiving and any other events I may have missed!

Until next time

Stay safe and healthy

Debbie ❤️