Sunday, 31 March 2013


Have I mentioned before that I have tendonitis in both of my wrists? Well, for those of you who don't know, I have tendonitis in both wrists. It's a specific type of tendonitis called De Quervains Syndrome, which apparently is quite common amongst pregnant women and new Mums. I got it when Caleb was around a month old and when he was six months old, I finally had my first physiotherapy appointment. I had tried to get one sooner but I had to go through the process of taking ibuprofen and then something stronger, then applying voltarol gel to my wrists, wearing wrist supports, etc. I had hoped that the doctors would refer me for physiotherapy sooner than they did but apparently, your wrists giving out and dropping your baby isn't good enough reason to be referred any sooner. (Luckily I dropped him onto the bed, so no damage was done, but still!).

I had about 4 physio appointments but none of the exercises they gave me to do worked. It might be because they told me not to do any lifting. I told them I have a baby and I can't really not lift him and I was told if I want it to get better, then I would have to avoid lifting him. Obviously that really wasn't an option but I was so glad when they finally decided that I could have steroid injections in my wrists. I had read up on it a bit and it's meant to work really well. Last week I had the injection! I'm not the biggest fan of needles but I was brave. They decided to only do one wrist for now just in case I couldn't use them at all, which is fair enough. I had to try and rest my wrist as much as possible afterwards, so Mum came down to help out with Caleb. She's so good, bless her! We ended up heading up to Norwich straight after my appointment, but more on that in the next post......

A week later and I can report that the injection seems to have worked! For the first time in around 8 months, my left wrist doesn't hurt and I can hold Caleb without being in any pain. I am having my right wrist done on Monday and Mum is coming to stay again. I am looking forward to having two fully functioning wrists. Yay for steroid injections!

....... I meant to post this before now, so here's a little update: I had my right wrist injected on Monday. It hurt quite a but more than my left wrist, perhaps because I'm right handed and I use it far more and it's taking a while to recover but hopefully all will be well soon! I had a lovely week with Mum here helping out and Laura came to spend the day with us on Thursday too, so it was a pretty good week for me, despite the pain! As has kind of become our tradition when Laura is here, we went to Bluewater on the Thursday. We tried on fossil watches (neither of us bought one, even though between the two of us, I'm pretty sure we keep them in business! They have a new range out and they are rather lovely) and Oakley sunglasses. I'm kind of lusting after one particular pair but I am being very sensible and not buying them. Here is a picture of Laura and Caleb hanging out in Urban Outfitters:

Friday, 22 March 2013

The Exam

A couple of Mondays ago was the much anticipated and much dreaded day. My piano exam. I would like to say that I am one of those chilled out people who doesn't get nervous and who just takes everything in their stride, with the confidence that they are quite good at what they are doing. Unfortunately I am not one such person. I have always been like it really. When I was at school, when it came to getting the school report, without doubt every one of my teachers would say that I need to have more confidence in myself and in my abilities. No matter how hard I worked at things and how prepared I was, I would always still be insanely nervous before exams. Apparently this hasn't changed!

I think I started preparing to take this exam last May, when my piano teacher, Coady, gave me the first piece to start practising ready for the exam. By the time it came for me to go on maternity leave, I had two of the pieces in my possession, one of which I was steadily working through and the other one I had barely played. I was very optimistic about the amount of practise I would be able to get in once I had Caleb. After all, how hard can it be, having a newborn? They sleep all the time, I would have plenty of time to practise. I would probably have a week off when I had him and then I'd be back to it. And of course, THAT didn't happen. In fact, I don't think I played the piano for around three months, and then I started to have lessons again. We had to go over some of the stuff we had already covered because I hadn't practised in such a long time.

From just after Christmas until the exam, I upped my practise. I was practising every day anyway, but I started to practise for around two hours a day (when Caleb was sleeping). The couple of weeks before the exam I was practising more than that, as well as preparing for the aural element of the exam in the evening once Caleb was in bed and while Seth was revising for his exams. I think I had pretty much done as much as I could for the exam and it got to the point where the only thing left to do was to sit it and either I would play well, or I wouldn't, but either way, I would know that I had done everything I could.

The day of the exam was pretty good. Seth had the day off work so that he could come with me. He also got Caleb completely ready in the morning so that I could practise as much as I needed to before the exam. I felt quite calm in the morning but the more the day progressed, the more nervous I got! We left in pretty good time to get to Oxford Street. I am definitely not a last minute person and I would rather be half an hour early than on time. As it happens, we were 40 minutes early, but that was fine.

The venue of the exam was pretty cool, it was in a music shop. Downstairs is used as a venue for concerts and exams. The exam was..... well, I guess it could have gone worse, but it could have been better. Me, being me, I was very nervous and I think it came across in my playing, I made a couple of mistakes that I don't usually make. I was very grateful for a nice examiner who was quite friendly, so that helped me to relax a tiny bit!

I am so glad the exam is over with now. Straight after it, I thought I would feel really relieved that it was over with. I don't know how I felt. I guess, in a way, it was a bit of an anticlimax. I had worked so hard for so long for this, and it was over with in half an hour. Of course, I was glad that it was over with, but it was still a pretty strange feeling. It's such a novelty to be able to play anything I want to now without it having to be those three exam pieces which I have been playing forever.

The results should be coming out in a couple of weeks, so I guess we shall see how it all goes! Either way, at least I did everything I could, so time will tell!

Sunday, 3 March 2013


Mum has been down to see us a couple of times over the last couple of weeks. She has been coming down on Thursday, staying over and playing with us on Friday then going home on Friday evening. It's so lovely to have her here with us but one of the main reasons she has been coming is so that I can have a piano lesson. Since Caleb has been born, I have only had one lesson with him there with me and he was impeccably behaved. However, as much as I love him, it's easier for me if I don't have him there because I can't predict what mood he might be in and he may end up spending the whole time screaming. I try to arrange lessons on a Saturday but Mum and Laura are both really supportive and when they have come down recently, they have looked after Caleb so that I could have a lesson. Of course, they also don't mind because they love Caleb and love any excuse to be able to spend time with him.

Mum has been amazing though. She is always there and comes to see us whenever I ask her to. She has been knitting like crazy and Caleb has some gorgeous little jumpers and cardigans to show for it. Caleb absolutely adores her and is always full of smiles when he sees her. Even at the grand old age of 73 ( I can say that because she really doesn't care who knows! But then, if I look as good at her age as she does, I wouldnt care either!!), she still gets down on the floor to play with him. It's also great when she comes down because she really doesn't mind changing his dirty nappies and if she is more than willing, it would just be rude of me not to let her do it. Who am I to deprive her of that joy?! On Thursday nights, Seth gets home earlier than usual so when Mum is here, she looks after Caleb so that we can go out. A couple of weeks ago we went to see Les Mis (the film - I loved it!) and the week after when she was down, we were able to go out for a lovely Valentine's dinner. I am so grateful to her for always being there whenever we need her and for being a pretty great Mum and Grandma!