Tag Archives: 2013

Gàidhlig air Sabhal Mòr Ostaig

Well, I have made it to Week 6 – tutorial in the morning – and so far, not so bad.   It’s not easy, but putting in a lot of hours listening really helps.  I have been warned, however, it will get more difficult starting this month.  Having briefly viewed the next unit, and noted the number of sound files has more than doubled, I’m pretty sure the course is about to become intense.

I am surprised given how few units we’ve done just how much I can now understand when viewing BBC Alba.  I did have a limited vocabulary before starting the course, and could pick out words here and there when people spoke, but now I am getting the gist of phrases.   I am rather chuffed with this.

I am grateful to two students, from outwith Britain, with whom I have scheduled regular, practice sessions.   These have been invaluable as we go through the work together.   It also provides me with a chance to vocalise what I’ve learned, which is necessary as the official tutorial is only an hour long, and seems to over before they’ve begun – because it is fun, and cramming in a lot.

What I have enjoyed most with this last unit is how we are expected to learn sentence structure such that we can swap words in and out to form new conversations.  It’s quite a revelation to find I have the ability to do this, and this certainly enhances comprehension when viewing programs in Gàidhlig.

Here’s hoping I enjoy the next unit as much as I have the first two.

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Filed under Gàidhlig, Scotland

Glaring Error

Have been happily reading my book, getting engrossed in the history, then this:


I’ve highlighted the offending word, though doing so doesn’t have the same impact as it did on my reading.  It seems more books these days have more grammatical, or typographical errors.  I can be totally engrossed in a story and then a glaring error in the text will jolt me from my reverie.  I despise the affect these errors have on me, and find I have less tolerance for such oversights as time goes on, and as more mistakes appear to creep into modern printing.

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I have started the An Cùrsa Inntrigidh at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig.   I can see it’s going to be a challenge.   Students are recommended to spend ten (10) hours a week on self-study.  Despite not studying for two days last week (as I was down with influenza, and had medical appointments), I still managed to do slightly more than ten (10) hours, but, by the time my tutorial rocked around, I was still befuddled by certain sections of the work.  If I tried to studied these sections, then attempted to recall them some time later in the day, I was fine.  If I attempted to recall them the next day, I’d be confused again.   I am liking the course thus far, though.   If I could get those one or two bits straight in my head, I’d really be enjoying the course.

We have two weeks in which to study the next section before attending our tutorial.   Having sneaked a look at it on Sunday night, I’m starting to feel a little anxious.   In the interim, I am trying to get students on the same course together via Skype for some conversational practice.  If only I didn’t work odd hours.

I can see my time will be short over the coming months, as I immerse myself in learning again.

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Mixed Results

My blood results came back yesterday.

Good news:  my thyroid activity has returned to normal-ish.

Bad news:  the doctors still cannot find the source of my current infection.

Next step:  book appointment for MRI to see if they can see anything going on.

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The Kindness of Neighbours

The other week I happened to catch one of my neighbours as I was going out.  He asked if I had heard anything during the week as his car had been badly scratched on the pavement side.  Unfortunately, I had not.  He then went on to say he was planning to do something about the overgrowth on our property borders during the week, and said he might do some mowing on my side, too.  The borders of our properties are not clearly marked.  I responded saying I hoped to do it myself the following weekend, explaining I find the gardening a little difficult to maintain as I am rather ill.

Yesterday evening I took myself to the supermarket for essential “small room” supplies, and when I returned I noticed the lawn had been mowed, and the overgrown weeds removed on one side of the property; a considerable amount of work.  I never heard a thing but, then, I have spent most of the last three days in bed, resting.  I am so grateful to my neighbour for taking the time to do this, as it means I now only have a small patch of lawn to mow and, hopefully, I shall be able to do this later in the week once I am over this current bout.

I shall buy a thank you card during the week and pop it through his door.  I am truly grateful for the kindness of my neighbour.   I am also grateful to be living in a small lane that has retained a friendly community feel where people look out for each other – a rare treasure in these modern times.

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Rinse, and Repeat

Knowing I had to have blood tests today, I made sure I drank a lot of water yesterday.  I only ate once – some toast with olive oil spread – in order to avoid causing any aggravation.   I should not have bothered, as, once again, before bed I had the same experience as the night before.   I had very little sleep, woke up and experienced a repeat of yesterday.   I checked my temperature again and it was still higher than normal.

I attended the surgery and, while waiting for my appointment, the hospital called to book my MRI for next week.   The lovely, sweet phlebotomist struggled to find a vein and I apologised saying I had taken as much fluid as possible.   After three attempts, the second yielding very little, we had success.  I am fortunate in that phlebotomist is so gentle that you don’t feel anything.   As soon as I left the surgery, I contacted my consultant’s office and was advised to take earliest appointment which is Tuesday morning; unfortunately, today’s tests results will be not back before the appointment.

I called my manager regarding my concerns about taking more time off work.   We came to the agreement that I should take tonight off work, leave it for the weekend, thereby giving me four days to recuperate, and reassess on Monday, by which time I am hopeful this new development will have settled down, and temperature returned to normal.  I’m hopeful this is just an acute, and not a secondary infection, so all will be well if I take it a little easy in order to give my body time to fight back.  As I am unable to take any antibiotics until after the MRI, rest appears to be all that is available.

What I find so strange is that despite the fever, and this new symptom, I don’t feel too bad.  Sure, I don’t feel great[1], but I am so used to experiencing horrendous levels of pain with acute attacks, that without pain I don’t feel particularly unwell despite the fever which feels more like a really uncomfortable, hot and humid, summer’s day[2].  It just seems wrong not go to work if I’m not in uncontrollable pain.   The joy of guilt!

Here’s hoping, dear readers, that you have a fabulous weekend, and enjoy it in good health.


[1] I am still incredibly tired, I have aches in my leg joints, and a headache, but these are things I have on a daily basis and, for me, are normal.

[2] If you’ve ever lived in the tropics you’ll know what I mean.  We used to call them “two shower days”; days so hot that you sweat constantly, even when sleeping, and so you shower to refresh.

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Last night I had a bit of a scare.  I won’t go into details, but despite being a bit anxious, I got to sleep alright.  I woke up as usual without any real pain, but an urgency, and two rapid repeats of the incident I experienced before going to bed.   This was something new, i.e another new symptom, and I wasn’t sure what to do.

I put a call into my GI’s secretary leaving a message on the answering machine, went on the support group at Facebook where I was advised to get a duty doctor appointment with my GP.   I wasn’t really feeling the urgency but thought it prudent.  I telephoned and spoke to the girl on the desk and she told me to come up in the next five (5) minutes.   I duly arrived, waited the compulsory 40 minutes to see the doctor – I do feel sorry for on-call doctors and their ever-growing list of patients.   We went through the last 18 hours step by step, and she duly checked my stats and noted my raised temperature.   I explained my meds, the fact I am scheduled to have an MRI and bone density scan in the next week with antibiotics to start immediately after.   The GP booked me in for some urgent blood tests, and wanted to sign me off work for a week, at which point I started to feel the seriousness of my situation, and anxiety ensued.

I actually don’t have any sick days left at work – 2013 being the year my symptoms worsened – so I am unsure what to do.   I am somewhat adrift.  I figured if I wasn’t in pain, things couldn’t be that bad, right?   I mean, I normally get pain, lots of it, along with any other symptoms, so as there was no pain I wasn’t sure this was a matter for concern.  Perhaps I was fooling myself to keep myself calm?  I don’t know.   Now, I really am anxious – not about this new development, but how I’m going to pay my rent, for food, my bills if I have to take any significant time away from work.  I don’t have any savings for emergencies as I am on a DMP.  I certainly don’t have access to a week’s salary.  I just can’t afford to take any more time off.   Even if I do take the next week off, how do I cope if I need more time off later in the year?

My Crohn’s seems to have taken a nasty turn this year.  Prior to Spring 2013, it was in steady decline, but I was managing.    If my condition continues to decline, especially at this rate, I will, once again, be in dire straits because of my health.   There is little I can do apart from pester my doctors; even then, this is an auto-immune disease with no cure, only management available.

So much for reducing stress which can aggravate an acute episode.  At least venting on this blog will release some of my anxiety.    I am (as ever) hopeful of a speedy resolution.

Wishing my readers slàinte mhath (good health).

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