"Just stick to pushing the pram"

I will swear to whatever God you want me to that is what the GP i just saw said to me. No really. He did. And the worst bit is i was so shocked i just walked out stunned?!

I managed to get an appointment for my knees this morning. I just wanted an idea of what i’d actually DONE to them and how long it would be before i could expect to resume normal function.

I’ve never seen the GP before in my life so don’t know if he’s a locum or new practice doctor. He didn’t introduce himself. I told him the problem he prodded both knees which caused me blinding pain (thanks, you prick) and then announced with some glee that i have nobbly knees (i am not making this shit up) and that i have pulled both ligaments holding my kneecaps in place. He advised it would take, and i quote “months to heal” and that i should “rest for a couple of weeks”, “Give the run a miss” and “just stick to pushing the pram”.

What. The. Actual. Fuck?!

As an aside i have torn ligaments in both knees in the past and although it was admittedly some time ago i do remember the kind of pain. And this aint it!

So the bad news is i am apparently out of the running game.  The good news is that i am not even sure the guy is a medical doctor so i can probably disregard his diagnosis and get a second opinion!

I am impressed he managed to surpass what i thought would forever be considered my most ridiculous trip to the GP, when i went along with a severe ear infection and perforated ear drum to be told “But you have two ears” (Again, i shit you not.  This stuff actually happens to me all the time)


Feeling lucky (punk)

My knees are still causing me considerable pain, i had to wait until 3pm yesterday for them to have eased enough for me to drive to the supermarket.  This is not good.  Some kind and knowledgeable people have informed me via text message and Facebook of some things i can try to prevent this becoming a long-term/recurring problem for me, all of which i’ll be trying as hobbling around the house like a pensioner is about as much fun as one might imagine. Especially given i’ve had no special dispensation of my regular zookeeping, sorry, i mean, mothering duties.

I should be running again tomorrow but obviously won’t be doing any such thing.  Unless the zombie apocalypse happens in which case, i’ll be (un)dead before you know it.  I am contemplating a swim over the weekend though.  The boys have their class on Saturday morning anyway but that’s a workout for them not me, unless you count wrestling them in to their wetsuits, which come to think of it, probably does raise my heart rate enough to be considered a cardiovascular workout.  In all seriousness though, i mean, an actual swim,  as i want to keep the momentum going with my training even if my knees aren’t playing along.  It’s quite disheartening actually, having hit a hurdle so early but perhaps it’s a good thing as it gives me chance to correct the problem with plenty of time before the race?…

Anyway i realise my last couple of entries have been very “woe is me” what with the housework and the knee pain and the cold virus and all and it’s a shame because that’s not a true reflection of how i’ve been feeling lately.  So i wanted to tell you about something that happened to me on Saturday.
I worked Friday night, against my better judgement, i really was close to calling in sick but decided that the repercussions of that would have been worse than the actual lived experience of working whilst feeling so pap, so off i went.  It was an ok shift actually, the unit is pretty quiet at the minute, so i had enough to do to keep me from falling asleep stood up but not so much that physical collapse threatened.
I came home on Saturday morning, and let me tell you, working weekend nights, for all it’s suckiness, actually has some awesome benefits, such as for example, unsocial hours pay, but more importantly, clear roads on your way home.  It really is sublime.
So i was home early and the guys were all still upstairs.  Not upstairs as in, asleep in their beds.  Haha.  That would be funny.  No, our children rise about three hours before the sun itself.  But they were all in our bedroom still in their pjs, so i changed into my own pyjamas and climbed into bed with them.  Toby and Rudy were doing the usual, running up and down the hall, dragging all the toys from their bedrooms into ours, scattering them about and then disappearing for more, repeat ad infinitum.  They were being cute and funny with it though.  I mean, they’re always cute and funny, the humour is just well disguised sometimes 😉
Chris was in a good mood because he’d had a reasonable sleep (reasonable for a parent of two small children i mean, not by normal human terms) so we were chatting, and i even got brought a bowl of ready-brek and a cup of tea in bed.  I looked around and i had the strangest and most overwhelming feeling of absolute contentment.  Nothing about the morning was “Perfect”.  I felt like shit, what with the cold and having been awake for over 24 hours, i looked like shit (see above), the room (hell, the house) was is a total tip, Rudy kept head-butting me in his 15 month old attempts at snuggles, there was even a bit of bickering between the boys i think.  But it was absolutely perfect in it’s imperfection.  I just felt so lucky.
That doesn’t happen to me very often.  Don’t get me wrong, i know, in my mind that i am incredibly fortunate.  But knowing, and feeling are very different.  I know i’m lucky but i don’t always feel that i am. Sometimes i just get swept up in making things happen, or bogged down in the mundane, it’s hard to be still AND be present, and to really open your tired and scratchy eyeballs and see how amazing your life is right here and now…
but on Saturday, without even trying, without planning, or a camera or anything at all, it just happened.  I was there and it was lovely, and i felt it, and took a minute to acknowledge and share it with people through Facebook.
And then i ate my ready brek and drank my tea, the boys all went downstairs for breakfast, i pinned a few things on Pinterest (my latest “obsession” as Chris refers to it) and then i went to sleep.  And the day moved on, and i got up and things went on as normal and i wasn’t exactly floating on a blissful cloud all afternoon but i did have a lingering feeling of something for the rest of the day.  If only we could bottle that lovely something and take a sniff on the crappiest of days when no matter how lucky your brain tells you you are, your heart just won’t feel it.  Now wouldn’t that be something?

Week Two Run One aka Ouch!


That pretty much sums it up! I ran a teensy bit further today and slightly faster but i found it much MUCH harder. This was the first run of week 2 so the run/walk ratio has switched from 60 seconds of running followed by 90 seconds of walking to now 90 seconds of running followed by 2 minutes of walking. You wouldn’t think that would make much of a difference would you? Well i didn’t anyway but turns out, it does! It was tough going.

To be frank though there were mitigating factors, like the fact i’m still getting over this damned cold. Also i worked last night and although i went to bed this morning it was only for a couple of hours.

I was worried about already being a few days behind though (week 2 should technically have started on Friday) and that’s why i decided to just do it today. Kind of wishing i hadn’t now though as my knees are absolutely killing me.

I don’t mean in a muscular “What a great workout” kinda way but a “FUCK ME MY KNEECAPS ARE ON FIRE!” kinda way. It’s definitely joint pain rather than muscular pain.

I do have dodgy knees. Not officially or anything. I just get creaky aches and pains from time to time. I’ve always assumed it’s because of old injuries from when i was a teen coming back to haunt me now i’m an old lady 😉 but maybe they’re actually naff and it’s only now i am expecting them to actually do something that we’re both realising the fact?! I dunno. The internet says i have “Runner’s Knee” which is vague and unhelpful but it could have been worse and churned out “arthritis” as an answer.

So i am laid in bed with a snotty nose and sore throat, a wound under one of my boobs, crippling pain in my knees and a fresh new wound on my shin where a vegetable knife jumped off a pile of washing up on the kitchen counter and attacked me while i tried to make dinner earlier.  Leading me to post the following status update to Facebook:

“That’s it- i quit. The Holland family.needs a new maid. Working conditions=abysmal, Rate of pay= non existant. Interested? Apply within!”

Emma, Chris’s sister expressed an interest in the vacancy so i’ve hired her on the spot.

Now i can barely move so we’re going to need a cook, cleaner, chauffeur, nanny and general dogsbody as well as a maid *sigh*

I’m happy to jobshare with the Nanny but the rest will be full time unpaid positions- anyone?! No-one?!…

Sick and Wounded

If you don’t hear from me for a few days it’s because i am sick and wounded. Even if in more lucid moments i find i have something to say i’m unlikely to also summon the energy to actually write about it.

I think i seriously underestimated my mole (“lesion”?!) removal, my wound is bigger than the mole itself was, very open and very sore. Not helped by it’s extremely awkward location. I am doing my own daily wound care and just hoping i manage to keep any infection out of there as it stings enough as it is.

Toby caught some pre-school snot-fest virus which made his nose stream and his voice disappear and he had one bad night with a barking cough but even though the snot trails linger he’s now back to his usual self. I’ve caught it and as per usual my immune system has done it’s thing and upped the ante…”A cold virus you say?! I’ll see your common cold and raise you The Flu!”

At least i assume that’s what’s going on as i feel like i was runover in the night by a passing steamroller, and whilst unconscious flu-goblins inserted broken glass into my oesophagus and bags of flour where my brain used to be.

I am taking a vile rotation of over-the-counter medications all promising to relieve me of my symptoms but none have risen to the challenge so far. I’m in work tonight so if they don’t kick in soon i may have to mix them together into a potion and set it up as a continuous IV infusion to get me through the night.

There’ll be no more running updates for a few days obviously as i won’t be running until i’m well again but my High Visibility Vest arrived from Amazon this morning so i’m ready to head into week 2 of my training (evening runs and all!) just as soon as i shift this lurgy…

Running in the Dark

Tonight was my third and final run of “Week One” of my training program and my first ever evening run.
I came this close to not going. I had a list of reasons (excuses) as long as my arm- i drank exactly one more glass of wine than is sensible last night and almost instantly regretted it as we had a disturbed night with both boys waking up at various intervals and then a 6.30am start and out the house at 8.30am to drop Chris at work. I was back in my pyjamas by 10.30am.
Then as the day wore on and the temperature dropped and my energy levels faded the idea of summoning enough to go out running, that is, actually running outside- seemed impossible. Then there was teatime and i felt all full and heavy and very much like getting in to bed and not at all like getting dressed and going for a jog. In fact i almost fell asleep after reading Toby his bedtime story and that would have been the end of that but i managed somehow to pull on a ridiculous ensemble of clothing (bolstered by the fact it would be dark) and knowing how bad i’d feel about myself if i didn’t go, off i went.
I ran (no pun intended) into several difficulties that i hadn’t encountered on my first 2 runs- first up it was dark. I know, no shit sherlock, dark at 7.30pm in the middle of actual winter- who’d have thunk it hey?! 😉 But really, i wasn’t expecting the dark to be as much of a problem as it was. I couldn’t see much at all in terms of the pavement i.e. where was bumpy/icy/dog shitty. Also there were more people about than i’d expected and none looked particularly jogger-friendly, or indeed, friendly full stop.  One of my “90 second brisk walk” sections unfortunately timed up with me walking between the pitch black playing fields/park with no street lights/traffic or passers by so i decided to be a rebel and do an extra run instead- and a pretty fast one at that 😉
I also once again had to change my planned route that i’d come up with in my head before i set off. On Sunday i had to change course midway through because of the snow. Tonight it was because the bottom of Broom Lane appeared to be on fire or something?! Well it was closed off and there were fire engines and police cars and a diversion and such anyway.
Overall i definitely prefer morning running but i have to be flexible as there will be times, like today when because of work and other commitments it will come down to running in the dark or not running at all.
So now i’m going to have a well deserved cup of tea whilst humming “Daniel” by Bat for Lashes (fellow fans will get the reference there!) And leave you with my training stats so far-

Week One

First Ever Run
I tried to track using Runkeeper but for some reason it didn’t work so no stats 😦 I then started using Endomondo and the next two runs tracked without a hitch…

Run Two
Distance: 4.27km
Duration: 37 minutes
Average speed: 6.93km/hr
Calories: 326 kcal (Just including these for fun/curiosity, it’s not really relevant!)

Run Three
Distance: 4.37km
Duration: 35 minutes 53 seconds
Average speed: 7.30km/hr
Calories: 341 kcal

Bye bye mole!

Just before christmas i went along to see my GP  about a teeny tiny new mole in the middle of back that was (and still is!) itching all day long and driving me crazy.

It is exactly where my bra line is which probably exacerbates it. She had a look and was sympathetic but blatantly unconcerned since it’s so teeny tiny. She asked if i have any others so i showed her my biggest one which i’ve had as long as i can remember but seems to have ‘spread out’ recently. It is located right underneath my right breast in a weird no-man’s land of not quite rib-cage but not quite boob either. So,  like it’s friend on my back it is also exactly along my bra line and catches a lot (more so recently since it’s grown)

My GP was a little more bothered by that one and referred me to the rapid access dermatology team to get it checked out. That was on the 21st December so you can imagine my surprise when i received a letter just after christmas with an appointment for new years eve! Chris suggested maybe they’d had a cancellation and i have to say that sitting in the dermatology OPD waiting room at Hope Hospital at 4pm on new years eve i was inclined to agree. It is not, it turns out, the happenin’ place to be on NYE.

Anyway, the consultant asked me  a bunch of questions and didn’t even lecture me when i confessed to having used sunbeds as a teenager (God i was such an idiot) Probably because i admitted the error of my ways and told him (truthfully) that i now use my childrens’ Factor 50 suncream!

He had a look at the mole using a special lens and said it was probably fine and my options were to leave it alone but keep a close eye on it and come back if there were any changes or else just have it removed, which was the ‘safest’ option but would leave a scar. I decided that since it’s making a nuisance of itself i’d just get rid and he duly put me on “the list” for removal.

I expected it to be quite a lengthly list so was surprised for a second time when i got an appointment letter through for 10am today.

Suddenly i was nervous. It occured to me i had no idea what mole removal involved. I’ve actually observed dermatology theatres as a student nurse ( i had an 8 week dermatology placement in my 2nd year. And what a barrel of laughs it was too) but that was a long time ago. I knew they sometimes used lasers, but that wouldn’t remove the ‘root’ would it?! Last night i was having visions of them digging around under my boob to get it all out and by this morning i’d almost changed my mind about going. I’d even started to feel a bit sorry for my poor mole- it didn’t know what it had coming to it!

I was seen right on time, which once upon a time would have delighted me but these days appointments are the only peace and quiet ‘time to myself’ i get so i’d taken my Kindle and hadn’t even got through a chapter by the time i was called *sigh*

In theatre the lovely registrar gave me 2 options which TOTALLY flummoxed me as i wasn’t expecting there to be a choice! Either they could do a “shave biopsy” which pretty much does what it says on the tin- the mole is shaved off flat to the surface of the surrounding skin. This is the easiest and least painful option but has downsides because sometimes they do grow back and also the results from the biopsy only reflect what was on the surface of the mole, not what was underneath.

Option number 2 was much less friendly. This involved an incision and cutting the mole out including what was under the surface. It requires stitches and leaves a scar 2-3 inches long. Although the biopsy results are then more conclusive. But she warned that because of where the mole is located the scar can sometimes become raised which is called a “keloid scar”.

I was momentarily thrown because i hadn’t been expected to make any decisions and traditionally i don’t do well making decisions in a hospital gown but i figured that since the whole removal and biopsy was precautionary anyway it seemed overkill to be talking about incisions and stitches and keloid scars. Plus the fact i’d not be able to wear a bra for a few days! So i opted for the “shave biopsy” which the theatre nurse seemed to approve of?! Not sure if it was because it made her job easier or she just genuinely thought i’d made the right decision?!

Anyway i had an injection of local anaesthetic, then came the shaving part and then the lasering (mmm there’s nothing quite like the smell of burning flesh is there?!) Then they dressed it with a ridiculously oversized dressing

and sent me on my way with an aftercare leaflet. My mole is now in a specimen pot and being sent for testing to confirm that it was indeed just a pesky little mole.

Interestingly, in the business of dermatology, they don’t actually call them “moles” or “warts” or “beauty spots” etc, but “lesions” which is absolutely the least attractive way i can think of to describe them.

I have a few other ‘lesions’ to be keeping an eye on, including the damned itchy one on my back which i can’t actually see?! But hopefully they’ll all behave themselves. If not they’ll be finding themselves in a specimen pot also!

Run Forrest Run!

I love that film! I haven’t seen it ages but absolutely feeling the need to watch it again now.

Well, as one door closes another opens, or so the saying goes. I finally closed the metaphorical door on my mentorship assignment yesterday evening and handed my practice assessment document in at the university today, drawing a big happy line under the chapter of my life in which i spent many evenings staring blankly at a jumble of words and journal articles.

Now it’s officially time to open the next door and step into a new chapter in which i shall be braving wind and rain (and apparently, SNOW!) in order to begin training for the Bupa Great Manchester Run.

Yes, today of all days was the date i’d set to begin my training. It snowed overnight here in Manchester so there was a dusting on the ground already first thing this morning and then it’s snowed pretty steadily from around 8am throughout the day. I figured it would be a really bad start if i jibbed on my very 1st day of training though so off i went…

Yes, that’s me, in actual sportswear! I decided if i was going to have to wear sports clothing then i was going to do it my way- hence the ironic top 😉 i also deliberately chose lots of purple and black and avoided anything shiny or alternatively velour, neither of which are a good look for me- although come to think of it the velour might have been handy for staying warm in the snow?!

I’m using the “Couch to 5K” program available through NHS Choices-


It’s basically a series of podcasts that you download and listen to and the idea is that you start slowly and build up across 9 weeks to being able to run 5k.  All you need is something to listen to the podcasts on, like a phone or mp3 player, and a pair of running trainers. And you have to commit to the idea of running 3 times a week for half an hour for the 9 weeks.

The first week starts with a 5 minute brisk walk to warm up and then bursts of 60 seconds of running followed by 90 seconds of walking. That section is 20 minutes long and then there’s another 5 minute brisk walk at the end to cool down.

My plan had been to ‘brisk walk’ to the park and then arrive just in time to start the running, do the running around the actual park and then walk home but it turns out- it doesn’t take 5 minutes to get to our local park. Well it might if you were pushing a buggy and walking at toddler speed carrying everything but the kitchen sink with you…but brisk walking all by yourself? Not so much! So i had got walked all the way through it to the other side when she commanded i start running but actually it was a good job as i’d begun to panic a bit about the snow. The pavements outside the park were pretty clear but inside they were pretty slippery, i’d even switched to walking on the grass at one point but that was almost as bad. Thankfully the road on the other side of the park is long straight and clear of snow most of the way down it so i ran up and down there mostly before circling the park to head home during the cool down.

I actually felt ok when i was doing it. I’d expected to feel like a bit of a knob to be frank, but that only lasted about 30 seconds, after which i was too busy concentrating on running and not falling and breathing! A random guy did full on laugh at me but that was before i’d even started running so i like to think he was just appreciating the humour on my jacket! I was also followed around the block by some lads in a transit van which was perturbing at first but then they pulled over outside the chippy for a spot of stodge for lunch which made me laugh and nearly gave me a stitch.

Physically i was breathless but i didn’t feel too bad until i got back into the house which was boiling with the heating on, and at that point i felt a bit like i was dying so had a glass of water and a banana ( as instructed by the helpful podcast lady) after which i felt much better. Talk about feeling the burn though- my legs are killing me this evening and my hips, which have possibly still not recovered from the PGP i had when pregnant with Rudy.

I did also do a fair bit of walking today though too so it has been somewhat of an onslaught for them!

Because of the snow we decided to collect Toby from nursery early and head to the park with the sledge i bought this morning for him and Rudy. There wasn’t really enough snow on the grass for “proper” sledging but it was enough for “toddler/pre-schooler first ever sledging experience sledging!”

Some of those photos make it look like we were sledging in the middle of the night but i assure you it was only teatime!

We had a brilliant time, neither of them wanted to leave when we said it was time to come home so there was a bit of sulking (Toby) and wailing (Rudy) but they seemed to appreciate being back in the warmth once we actually got back, and decided to sledge up and down the living room instead.

Now they’re both in bed and i’m sitting and i intend to stay sitting for some time, to give my poor legs chance to recouperate from the day’s activities!

Oh and just in case anyone is thinking “Why?! Why are you subjecting yourself to this pain and humiliation?!” and missed my earlier post explaining why, here’s the low-down:

A. I’m mad

2. I fancied channeling my madness into something new and positive.  This is the first year in a good many that i haven’t actually been pregnant, or have just given birth, or making plans to be pregnant or anything of that sort so i felt like doing something totally different that i’d never normally do.

And finally…

C. I am hoping to raise money for two very special children- Findlay and Iona who have a website-


and a Facebook page-


and if anyone feels so inclined, having seen actual photographic evidence of me in a tracksuit, then they can donate here-