fortyplusandfrazzled

Life really does go backwards at 40

It all started last year

How it all started…

Musings of a 40 plus man

The Triathlon has been a long time coming……….
After many years being a sofa surfer last August when surfing the TV channels in bed one Sunday morning as you do I came across Beachbody, in particular Insanity.
For those not familiar with Insanity it is a workout programme designed by a rather enigmatic character called Shaun T.
After much debate and encouragement from the better half I ordered the DVD and set the 12th August as the date when the battle of the bulge would begin.
When it arrived the first thing you do, according to the literature is to take start photographs to help mark your progress (and to claim your ‘I’ve earnt it’ T Shirt, which to date I still haven’t done)……below is the first time they have been seen in public.

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Now I am not proud of these………and its a sobering thing to actually look at.

Well…

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And so I have become a MAMIL

My husband has become a MAMIL

Musings of a 40 plus man

Just a quick post to wet the appetite.
I have decided to do a Triathlon.
Now whether or not it is a mid life crisis thing or as I keep actually telling anyone that will listen, normally myself, it is something I’ve always fancied having a go at.
So here I am 12 weeks to go and a lot of trials and tribulations to come I’m sure.
Look out for my weekly updates of the good, the bad….and the ugly.
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Mr F is on a mission……

My rather better half has decided he wants to give something back to the unit at Guys and St Thomas’

MPD Voice leads the way in supporting people with rare blood cancers called myeloproliferative disorders (MPDs), with accurate information and emotional support. We’re funding research toward better treatments and one day a cure. Most importantly we offer hope to those affected by MPDs.

Mr F isn’t what I would call a fitness freak, he like’s sport, well from the comfort of our sofa and has propped up the shareholders of Greggs the bakers for a number of years….

So you would assume that he would start with perhaps a 5k run. Oh no, he has gone the full bifta and signed up for a sprint triathlon on 24th August in Tunbridge Wells.

Over the day he has to swim, cycle and run

Swimming, Mr F can dive in a wetsuit, with a tank and fins. I’m not sure I would class him as a swimmer, the only time I have seen him swim is to take a short cut to the bar whilst on holiday.

Cycling, Mr F’s last bike was a Raleigh Grifter…however he is now the proud owner of a road bike that has tyres as thin as a tightrope and a saddle that looks like it’s going to cause pain….

Running, I think the only time Mr F has run is when he has been late for a train or trying to catch one of the dogs.

This is going to be interesting

 

My involvement in this…

I will be purchasing blister plasters, Vaseline, supplying dry towels and general encouragement oh and to blog about his highs and lows, however I promise no pics of any sores, blisters or grazes

 

If you would like to donate to this cause his just giving page can be found here,

http://www.justgiving.com/Andy-Manning1

 

Thanking thee muchlies

 

J

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Senior moments….and irritating songs!

Why is that a woman of a certain age *coughs* can’t remember where,
 
She left her car
The names of her children
Pin number at a critical moment
What she went downstairs for
The number of the bus home
That she made a cup of tea half an hour ago and now it’s not only stewed its cold
The name of anyone you work with and call them all Dave regardless of sex
Why you were calling someone
 
However you hear a song and can remember it word for word and then can’t get the flipping thing out of your head.
 
This morning the song was The Chicken Song – as made famous or infamous by Spitting Image and in particular the chorus, for those of you that don’t remember it or have never been subjected to that irritating tune….
 
Hold a chicken in the air
Hold a chicken in the air
Stick a deckchair up your nose
Yes you’ll hear this song in the holiday discos
And there’s no escape in the clubs or in the bars
You would hear this song if you holidayed in Mars

Hold a chicken in the air
Stick a deckchair up your nose
Buy a jumbo jet
And then bury all your clothes
La la la la la
La la la la la la la
La la la la la
La la la la la la laaaaaaa

 
So I find myself sitting at my desk, I won’t insult anyone that can sing and say I was singing, more like a high pitched stupid voice squealing,

Hold a chicken in the air
Stick a deckchair up your nose
Buy a jumbo jet
And then bury all your clothes
La la la la la
La la la la la la la
La la la la la
La la la la la la laaaaaaa
 
Much to the annoyance of those that work with me….
 
I know as you are reading the lyrics you too are singing along in your head and will be for the rest of the day……
 
J
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Always look on the bright side of life…

As bits of the song goes….
Some things in life are bad
They can really make you sad
Other things just make you swear and curse

And to be honest… Life can be a very big pile of poo no matter how you dress it up
So why is that, I hear you ask
They say life begins at 40, really, why and more to the point, why did mine feel it needed to go backwards a month before I had hit the big 40?

One afternoon on a sunny ish November afternoon in 2008 I was bumbling along the twisty hilly Kent lanes in my lovely convertible Mini otherwise known as Boris the Minji, an early 40th birthday prezzie from my rather lovely better half, when I came across an accident in front of me.
I left a car’s length in front of me and in my bumbling mood was considering ‘should I to do a u-turn’. Putting the Minji into first gear and about to do a ‘u-ey’, I noticed a green Clio come flying down the hill hurtling rather fast towards me, unfortunately said green Clio was hurtling rather too quickly and one was unable to shift one arse out of its way when…bang!
When they say your life flashes before you it’s very true, I could see the car hurtling towards me almost in slow motion and could do didly squat to avoid it mounting me Minji.
The other thing they say is red mist and adrenaline doesn’t mix, that’s also true as the young lady driving the Clio soon found out…
Flinging open the door of the Minji, bouncing, I say bounce as this is probably the best description for my behavior. I bounce round the back at lightning speed to assess the damage and yup its clearly broken and looks rather expensive, I turn and face the Clio driver and you guessed it…red mist!
I would like to point out before I go on I am not usually a person that swears, I favour the alternative swear words like, fudge, flipping ying yang, feck and so forth however, I can say my Mother would have been ashamed of me…
Before she had time to get the words ‘I am sorry’ or terminate the call that she was on causing her to not pay attention to the queue of stationary traffic in front of her, I started…
Look, what the *&@(&^%&:@) have you done to my @&^%$* car you $%$^&* bimbo, you do know you shouldn’t ^%&**& drive and use a mobile phone you *&^%^&.
Not really giving the Clio driver a chance to respond she started to mutter and I heard the word “sorry”
Sorry, what the *&^*^**. I’ll give you %$*&^% sorry and with that she started to hobble up the hill away from me, to be honest this only made me worse…..
Striding after her and shouting, Get *%^$^& get back here, Im not $%^**&^ finished with you yet &*&^&(((*&*^%^.
Fast forward 1 hour, the Clio driver is taken away in an ambulance with a suspected broken leg.
Me, I was given a lift home in a Police car by a rather sympathetic officer as there was a shortage of ambulances and everyone thought that it wasn’t a sensible idea putting me and the Clio driver in the same ambulance, I gave the ambulance man my assurance I would attend A&E or at the very least see my GP.
Boris the Minji was taken away for assessment and was never the same again…
Had I known then what I know now I would have probably sworn more, perhaps thrown a few things at the Clio driver or even placed a curse on her, you think that’s a bit harsh? Believe me a broken leg, a careful driver awareness course and 3 points is getting off lightly in comparison!
I escaped the accident with whiplash and a prolapsed disc however I now realise the trauma from this accident was the catalyst of where it all started to go wrong.
Fastforward to Jan 2013.
Prior to the Clio mounting the Minji incident I hadn’t been someone that got ill or visited the Doctors.
In the period between Dec 2008 – Jan 2013 I had everything going, flu, migraines, sciatica, rashes, back pain, neck pain, tired all the time, lost weight and put on weight, in fact you name it and I probably suffered with it, I even had my own chair in the Doctors surgery.
I woke up one morning in Jan 2013 and my right foot was swollen, not thinking much about it I went off to work and carried on for a few weeks as you do until it got to the point it started turning blue. So off I go again to the Doctors, I am sent for 2 lots blood tests and x-rays to test for arthritis..Oh the joys of getting old.
All the tests come back clear so I was referred to an orthopedic surgeon.
Unfortunately he didn’t really have a clue either but booked me in for a scan and told me to wear an aircast boot, the boot was to stop me walking, working, driving, actually it was to stop me doing anything, however I carried on whilst waiting for the scan.
I was fortunate to have a scan and see the surgeon at the same time, the scan didn’t show anything apart from fluid, possibly blood but he wasn’t sure and due to the pain and swelling he suggested I have steroid injections to see if that helps.
Oh my days I thought giving birth was painful…jeez I cried like a baby….
Needless to say I went through the pain of have 6 injections in my foot for nothing; back I go to see the consultant in March who suggested another blood test, what am I a pin cushion.
A week later a letter arrives from him which I read, re read and re read again…
The letter tells me that I need to see a haematologist as the blood tests show I have a high platelet count, high HB, red cell count is high and HCT is also high, armed with the letter off I go back to see my Doctor.
This time I manage to see my usual Doctor, I hadn’t been able to see her the during the foot episode, she reads the letter and checks the 2 lots of blood tests taken at the surgery, shock, horror (sarcasm) it would appear no one checked anything other than the results for arthritis, platelets, HB, RBC and HCT had been high for some time.
Having trained as a nurse when I was a youngster and hearing I was being referred to the local hematology/oncology/cancer center for further testing I was slightly alarmed.
The day of the appointment arrives and there I sit surrounded by cancer and leukemia patients still trying to figure out what the fudge I am doing here. Blood is taken and I am told to sit and wait for around 20 mins while they wait for the results. 20 mins, wow it normally takes a week to get the results as the surgery…
My name is called and I am taken into a room, I hear some words and have to ask the consultant to repeat what she has just said.
I think you have essential thrombocythemia ‘ET’ she repeats, what’s that I ask….
It’s a form of blood cancer, quite rare but a chronic illness which has the ability to turn into terminal leukemia she states.
In these circumstances it’s normal to spout utter complete rubbish and in my case I state, I only went to the Doctors for a swollen foot!
I am reassured that at the moment it’s not conclusive and I shouldn’t Google ET, a further sample of blood needs to be sent to Cambridge for genetic testing, I will need to have a scan of my spleen and then a bone marrow biopsy.
Off I go for a scan of my spleen, then I go for a bone marrow biopsy which quite frankly flipping hurts and wasn’t on my list of things I must do when I reach 40+!
2 weeks later I am back and this time see the head honcho who quite frankly has the bedside manner of the grim reaper.
So in April 2013 I am told I have a faulty gene called JAK2+ and the ET is closely related to and considered by many to be a type of cancer. I am told some consider it to be a chronic leukemia, others consider it to be a preleukemic disorder. Either way the disorder closely mimics what happens in cancer or leukemia with the copying and spreading of damaged or immature cells. Oh great what chance do I have if you can’t make your mind up what it is…
I am told I can look forward to, headaches, vision changes, weakness, fatigue, numbness, freezing hands and feet, nose bleeds, bleeding gums, memory loss, TIA’s, blood clots just to name a few joys of having ET, oh well at least it explains the last 5 years.
I am given some aspirin, handed a leaflet on leukemia, given a telephone number for the cancer nurse, told to come back in 4 weeks and am still quite confused as to whether I have cancer or leukemia….
Four weeks later back I go, bloods taken and I wait to see which happy smiley faced Consultant I get. Oh they joys it’s the grim reaper again…

My blood isn’t behaving, my platelets are on the up and told I will have to start chemotherapy tablets to try and eradicate the excessive amounts of platelets, it’s explained as though it’s an inconvenience and feel I need to have a stern talking with my bone marrow telling it to behave, or, actually I am not sure what I should threaten it with!
Armed with a bag of chemotherapy tablets I am told, not to let anyone touch them, if a capsule should happen to explode..What the fudge!, basically I have to don a boiler suit and adopt cleaning procedures for cleaning of bio chemical hazardous waste. If that is not bad enough I am told to expect the following, hair falling out, tiredness, sickness, say good bye to my immune system and so on.

Oh the joys, remind me again why I need to take this because at this moment in time I feel pretty pants without adding to the list, the final blow I am given by the grim reaper, the medication I have been given can cause ET to mutate into terminal leukemia.

If I were a horse I would be put down…

4 weeks later back I go everything is still on the up and my foot is still swollen so I am referred to yet another specialist, this time it’s a vascular surgeon to check my veins.

Various scans, tests and it appears I have a blood clot in my toe, thankfully not a DVT just a clot in the small veins, oh well that’s okay then. Warfarin is suggested and more blood is sent off.
Back I go again and it appears not only do I have ET, I have autoimmune issues, Raynaurd’s is diagnosed, possibly Lupus or something similar too but further tests need to be done.

So here we are in Feb 14 a year after I went to see my Doctor with a swollen foot, I now have ET which could be cancer or leukemia depending on who you ask, it’s not terminal, its chronic however has the ability to morph into a terminal illness, I have a clotting disorder on top of ET which is still being investigated, I have Raynaurd’s caused by another autoimmune condition which has yet to be identified and will be on chemotherapy for life be it tablet or injection form.

Every day is a struggle; I have gone from being extremely independent to relying on everyone around me for the simple things in life.
I long to do the things I took for granted like, walking the dogs, go for a ride, spend hours wandering round the shops with my Emo’s, write a few chapters of the next book, read a few chapters of a book or just wake up and not feel exhausted before the day has even started.

In my head I am not ill, I do not look ill, if you met me in the street and didn’t know me you wouldn’t guess I was ill.
I have a brain/body conflict going on, some may say its denial, my brain tells me I can get up and go to work every day, come home and do the normal things everyone else does, the reality is I get up, go to work and by lunchtime I am exhausted but I push myself on because I don’t want to be ill or dependant on anyone.

I want to be me, the old me.

I don’t want people feeling sorry for me, I just want people to understand that sometimes I can’t do things, won’t be able to reply, spend time and if it bothers you then its time you found a new friend.

So for me the car crash was the start of life changing and going backwards, but as they say life is what you make it and I am not quite finished yet.

Today is world cancer day and I wanted go public and tell my story to highlight there are many forms of cancer.
I remain hopefully that a cure will be found for not just the type I have but for everyone suffering so please show your support in whatever way you can.

Love

Frazz x

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Diary of a Frazzled Mother

Diary Cover 5

Julia Frazzleby, a working mother from England, was the winner of the second season of The Novelist writing contest. This is a competition originally made for the iPhone and iPad that quickly spread to Facebook and the Internet. By winning the contest, Julia was able to publish her novel Diary of a Frazzled Mother with the eBook publishing company Perfect Wave Design House.
After writing a variety of short pieces for the American idol style contest, Julia made it through the competition week by week until she found herself in the final two. At this point she was required to provide a free sample to the readers along with a synopsis of the novel. The reading public loved it and chose her as their winner. The synopsis follows:
From the outside, they look like a normal family of second timers; one you could meet anywhere in suburbia.
Mum, Dad, 3 children, an elderly father, an assortment of relatives and friends – of both the real and cyber kind. Oh and the family pets, including dogs, cat, horses, pony, alpacas, etc… alpacas?!
It’s not easy being Mrs. F, holding down a high powered job in a male dominated environment, running a house, looking after children, animals and a father (although not necessarily in that order) and generally keeping high maintenance relatives happy; often at her own expense.
Then of course there are her friends; the ones she sees regularly and those who live in Twitter-land but have become a part of her daily life.
Mrs. F has kept a diary for 4 years, after deciding it was better than talking to herself or the kitchen wall, although it is sometimes not easy to keep a diary up to date with everything that goes on in such a colourful life.
Now she has made a New Year’s resolution:
To make a daily list and cross everything off it before the day is out. Sounds like an easy resolution to keep doesn’t it? But then, you’ve never met the family or the obstacles that are regularly put in her way.
This fourth diary and starting point for this voyage into the life and times of Frazzleby Towers starts on a sad note following the death of Mrs. F’s mother. The relatives decide that Mrs F should collect ‘mother’ from the undertaker, despite other family members being far better placed to do it.
On top of this it has landed on her plate to organise the funeral (of the ashes) and sort out her dad, and all without murdering her sister in law, who sits in the background quietly noisily over-seeing procedures.
What could possibly go wrong?

Now available on Amazon, http://www.amazon.co.uk/Diary-Frazzled-Mother-ebook/dp/B00EA6U6XG/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1375427577&sr=1-1

If you enjoy the book please leave a review, thank you muchly

Frazz

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Via Amazon

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Coming soon as an Ebook

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My teenage fashion faux pars

How good did we think we looked when we were teenagers?

We thought we were the bee’s knee’s and to be completely honest I had some serious fashion faux pars!

In the early 80’s I was 14, weighed about 6st wet, size 2 and was straight up and down apart from the hair which was big and looked a bit like Leif Garratt, whatever happened to him….don’t ask!

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Chatting with a friend recently I remembered my first pair of red stilettos, I saved up money to buy them from money I was given for babysitting. Oh my days I adored those shiny red patent 3 inch shoes however I couldn’t walk in them. Thinking back I staggered, although in my mind I was convinced my walk was up there with the top cat walk models.

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The place to be as a 14 year old was Ulceby Disco, which happened to be the next village along from where we lived.

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The Disco was held in the above village hall every Tuesday and the entrance fee was 20p. Everyone at school would spend the week discussing what we would wear, the red stilettos got an outing combined with my hair fluffed up to the biggest it could be, drain pipe jeans with white piping down the side, remember those? A black batwing jumper which had a repeat pattern of cerise roses and this was finally topped off with a red batwing leather jacket to match the shoes, you guessed it……fashion faux par!

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The following week the red shoes got another outing to Ulceby Disco this time combined with a bright red rara skirt, a white blouse with lots of ruffles and yes the red leather jacket came out again. You guessed correct……another fashion faux par!

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I then discovered monkey boots after spending hours looking in Chelsea Girl, remember that shop?

At the time I was really into Adam and the Ants, oh my goodness I don’t think swoon is the right word….

The rara skirl got another outing this time combined with a white t-shirt with the Ant logo on, black tights, monkey boots and not a sign of the red leather jacket no this time a Harrington jacket. Yep another fashion faux par!

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However the back of my jacket had been personalised, I spent hours embroidering the Ant logo on the back of the jacket, I loved that jacket and unfortunately a few weeks later it was stolen from the Disco.
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Later that year and as part of my French studies I was selected for our school exchange. My paired student Fabrice arrived with his French fashion, tight brightly colored clothes, lots of scarves and hair gel. Fabrice it would appear came from a very strict family, he wasn’t allowed much freedom and decided to make the most of his time away from home and flaunt every rule the school or his exchange students parents gave him.
So with Friday approaching and my Mother driven mad by me begging to let me go to the Disco, I remember suggesting to my Mother that Fabrice could stay with her, I would have sold my soul to be allowed to go to the Mecca that was Ulceby Disco, not much happens in villages….

Off we went, me this time in a Jumper dress, footless tights and the monkey boots, Fabrice in a velvet jacket, jeans and a multitude of scarves we both thought we looked fabulous.

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Unfortunately Fabrice was sent back home to France the next day, bless him I am not sure how or who served him in the village pub but a 14 year old French exchange student who lost the ability to speak any English when drunk wasn’t a usual sight in the wilderness of Lincolnshire or Humberside, can’t remember when it changed from Lincs to Humbs back to Lincs…
Unfortunately due to Fabrice’s behavior I wasn’t allowed to go and stay with his family and experience the French fashion scene, I was banned from the Disco for 2 months as my Mother thought I should have looked after our guest and been a better ambassador!
As a sweetener I was given some money to shop and oh my days you’ve guessed it fashion faux pars at its best however I never felt the need to wear a shell suit, I was in fact banned from owning, borrowing or wearing one because my Mother considered them to be a fire hazard!

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I now look at my teenage daughters and some of things they wear, I just sigh, I’ve been there, done that and just wish I had kept the t-shirt…..

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Random blog searches

This morning I checked my blog, I don’t do it that often but one of the searches used caught my eye. So I started thinking perhaps I should have a look at what searches people used and what the top 10 funny, random or just weird ones are,

1, Is aloe vera good for a black bum, probably not and if its black is probably most likely to drop off sometime soon and I doubt aloe vera is goanna help you.
2, I bark at my arse when I fart, sorry cant help you with that condition….
3, Can I buy poo bags for my Granny. I think incontinent pants may help with that issue
4, I am lost please return to the nearest party. I know an Emo that can answer that one
5, I’ve had a lady pee. Congratulations and well done you, bet the lady in your life is well chuffed
6, What do Emo’s spend their time doing. Don’t get me started on that one
7, Why are gingers so smelly, I never said gingers smell, I said ginger alpacas stink!
8, I’ve got a chipped rim. I blame the man from Minji for that one
9, My lady garden has chewing gun in it. Yes, been there enough said….
10, Braless trampolining. Good luck to you with that one

I wonder if I need to add a disclaimer…. 😉

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