Thursday, 27 September 2018

It would be you

Yesterday was our 18th Wedding anniversary, we celebrated in style with a planned trip to hospital where I was booked in for a short Synacthen test ( as my cortisol levels were low or rather were in 2015 but my old consultant had never bothered to conduct this test and I had found this test result on going through some old letters) and a caffeine infusion. As this had all been booked in last Thursday by my hospital consultant we had presumed things would go smoothly. How silly we were, nothing ever goes smoothly for us.

The short Synacthen test is supposed to be conducted at around 9am in the morning when your baseline cortisol levels are at their highest. In 2015 I had been tested at 10.15 am just to check out the level. The cortisol level was found to be 107, I have written about this in a previous blog post. Basically my old consultant had said in a letter to my GP that he would run the short Synacthen a lot of things he said it never came to fruition. He promised to do a lot of things and never actually did, which amongst many things was the reason why I left his service. When I showed my new consultant ( new as in from December 2015) this letter the test was booked in for the following week.

When we arrived at the hospital yesterday immediately we asked about getting the short synathen test started and no one knew anything about it. I had to keep asking for anyone to take any notice. In the end they had to ring my hospital consultant to confirm he wanted this test to be completed. This was not my consultants fault whomever was supposed to have booked this onto the system hadn't. The caffeine infusion was showing but not the shirt synacthen test. There were also issues with the caffeine infusion as the drugs had not been brought up from the pharmacy. So before we even got started the phrase piss up and brewery were already rattling around my head.

you can find info on the test here

A set of obs were done and then they said that they would put a cannula in and send me off for a coffee whilst we waited for the caffeine to arrive and my consultant to confirm he wanted the Synacthen test performed. I had to shoot down the idea of putting a cannula in early, its been done many times before and all that happens is it either blows or the vein collapses and the site can't be used. We then have to go back through the fun of finding a vein that will co-operate. Thankfully after the staff talked  with the duty doctor, I was believed and the attempt at getting a cannula in early was dismissed. 

The time was now 9.50am, we had left the house at 7.20am, our dog sitter had to arrive at our house at 7am. The promise that we would be home by 1pm was starting to fade. The short Synacthen test takes an hour, the caffeine infusion takes two hours. We'd been at the hospital for an hour and were no further on than when we first arrived. Jay wheeled me down to the cafe where the queue was out the doors and there was no spare tables. Jay got us a drink from the newsagents and he got himself some breakfast in the form of a pasty. We got back to the waiting room at 10.30am. At 10.45am I told Jay that if we weren't in the treatment room by 11.30am I was leaving. My head was having a bad CSF leak headache day. Being in a wheelchair means I can't lie down and the chairs in the waiting room all had arm rests so it meant I couldn't lie on those either. I tried to distract myself by doing some embroidery but the pain was making it harder and harder to concentrate. At 11am I asked Jay to ask the nurses if I could have some pain relief, just some paracetamol and oramorph. Normally I would bring my meds with me but for some reason I had forgotten.

At 11.20am I sent Jay into the treatment room to ask the nurses if there had been any progress on the caffeine infusion, I had given up on the synacthen test taking place. We were told it was all ready for me and to come on in. The nurse in charge brought me over some pain relief two paracetamol and codeine. It really pisses me off when hospital staff who despite seeing your prescription list decide that your pain doesn't warrant what you would take at home. I hate the fact that hospital removes all autonomy, I manage my conditions better than any doctor or nurse ever has, yet when I go there they assume they are the experts. I pointed out that should I take the codeine I wouldn't shit for a week and yes I used that language - because I had been sat in my wheelchair for 2 1/2 hours at this point and was in a serious amount of pain not just from my CSF leak but also my hips and spine. The codeine was binned and I got the oramorph I had requested.

I was then informed that they were going to now do the short synacthen test. Looking back now I believe they still didn't have the caffeine from the pharmacy at this point and were doing this test to pacify me after basically doing nothing for the last two hours. You can imagine the shit they would have given me if I had rolled in 2.5 hours late for my appointment yet the same courtesy wasn't extended to me. I am a massive supporter of the NHS, I am terrified at the Tory dream of turning it into an insurance based system but when there are 8 staff stood around chatting - and no it wasn't about patients then you see that something really needs to change. I don't want patients to become consumers or clients but I want them to be treated with the same respect that the doctors / nurses all seem to demand. They don't seem to realise that there is a life for the rest of us outside of the hospital.

The first attempt at a cannula site was a bust, the vein blew . This was the state of it last night, the bruising is much worse this morning but thankfully it doesn't hurt

The second attempt was fine but as soon as the Synacthen was injected I didn't feel right . Sometimes I can feel a bit weird / light headed when blood is being drawn or I am getting an injection. Within a few minutes it usually passes. This however didn't pass, I started to feel sick and dizzy. Then out of nowhere my face started to burn, it felt like it was bright red and was stinging. I said to Jay "is my face red?" he replied " yes it is but it's very hot in here", I tried to let the growing sense of unease go but at the 15 minute mark when I was feeling more and more out of it I asked Jay to get a nurse and let them know I wasn't well. All the sounds in the room had become too loud and I could smell a very strange smell, like cooked liver and over boiled veg. I kept complaining to Jay about it but he couldn't smell it.

After seeing them stood around quite a bit all morning suddenly all hell broke loose. My bed was surrounded by 6 staff including the treatment room sister. My Obs were being done and piriton (IV) was drawn up. My normally low blood pressure that sits at 100/70 -90/60 was now 147/98 unheard of for me. My body temperature was now 37.9 having been recorded at 36.6 at 9.30am. My pulse was irregular at racing at 91bpm. I told the Sister that my blood pressure is never high and was told I was anxious due to having an allergic reaction. I couldn't be bothered to argue as I was very frightened because I just felt so very unwell. Initially the IV piriton helped but after 10 minutes I could feel the reaction starting to come back as my face started burning and I started to feel very ill again.

Jay went and got the nurses attention again and I was given IV steroids. I have never had a reaction so severe that I needed steroids. This had been my worst reaction to date. Within 20 minutes of the IV steroids I was back to normal but then we had to wait around and be observed to ensure that the reaction didn't start up again. I was fully checked over by a dr and at 1.50pm 5 hours after we arrived I left the hospital, with no caffeine infusion. I declined the infusion as I just wanted to go home and the staff were also concerned that although I have had the infusion before after reacting to the synacthen it was more likely I could have another bad reaction.

We finally made it through the front door at 3pm. A few hours after being home I emailed my hospital consultant who told me in all his years of being a doctor I was the first patient he has known to react to the synacthen test and then he said " it would be you". Basically if there is a weird reaction to have I'm your girl. He also backed the decision not to have the caffeine infusion.

I have been left with raised red bumps / rash on my face which always happens after I have an allergic reaction. That will fade over the next two weeks and I will get very dry skin which will peel off as the rash is fading. It's a bit sore from being so dry but its still nowhere near what I went through yesterday.

This morning I am feeling like I have been run over by a bus. My HS has flared up on both sides of my groin so that is extremely painful and my joint pain is through the roof. I will be taking it very easy over the next few days.

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Human Barometer

We often joke in the EDS community that we are the human equivalents of
Barometers. Any sudden changes in air pressure and you’ll find us suffering
with a myriad of problems such as migraines, excessive joint subluxations
(partial dislocations), dislocations, joint and muscle pain. This week I feel
like I have had them all.

Monday started with a bang, I felt like someone had smashed me in the
face with a shovel. This lead to me spending most of the morning lying
in a darkened room. Until I suddenly had a brain wave and decided to see
if putting a soft neck collar on would help at all. I have always held a deep
suspicion that my migraines are triggered by my neck being hypermobile,
I get a lot of pain and stiffness in my neck overnight. I always wake up with
a migraine, very rarely do they start when I am up and about during the day.
Within minutes of putting the collar on my head pain had reduced by half.
Within two hours I was pain free but exhausted and still feeling sick.
However anything was better than having the head pain.

Tuesday started on waking with a gnawing pain in my coccyx - right between
my bum cheeks to be honest, hence why there are no photos! I have had
massive problems with my coccyx this year after slipping on the snow and
ice back in March. At the time I was much more worried about my head as
I managed to crack it on the back door step. The lasting injury has been to
my coccyx, which has resulted in me having to buy special cushions to sit on
and to lie down in the lounge whenever I can to take the pressure off. I've
lost 2 ½ stone over the year and you’d think that my joint pain would be getting
easier but it isn't. The coccyx pain is very uncomfortable, Tuesday it joined in
with severe lower back pain which lead to me giving up and going to bed a
4pm. Only after applying my Tens machine for 4 hours did I have any notion
of relief. It really was exceptionally painful and made me feel sick. No matter
what pain medications I took the pain remained causing my buttocks and the
backs of my thighs to spasm. I will be honest I really didn’t know what on earth
to do with myself. It wasn’t even particularly stormy here yesterday just a bit
gusty but obviously the weather and the air pressure were drastically
different to the stable weather - but way too hot in the summer.

Today (Wednesday) the UK is being battered by another storm and my body
feels like it spent the night being battered by a shovel. Since waking various
parts of my body have been covered with a hot water bottles, with very little
effect other than to make me sweat a lot as despite the fact the weather is
very windy outside the temperature is very warm.My body is overheating
constantly at the moment which is leading to me dripping with sweat at the
drop of a hat. Either that or I have hot the menopause! So what hurts today?
Today as most days I have pain in my lower spine and coccyx, my fingers are
swollen, stiff and sore. My ribs feel like someone decided to attack me with
a baseball bat whilst I slept and the soles of my feet feel like I’ve been hit with
a with a baseball bat whilst I slept and the soles of my feet feel like I’ve been
hit with a piece of 2 by 4 ( wood ). Other than that, I am groggy as hell with the
constant waking up last night to take more pain relief. This is not a good day
but I have been expecting a run of bad days after having a reasonable week
last week. It’s the way it goes plus add in a few storms and my body reacts
badly to the change in air pressure.

I forgot to mention that my shoulders are slipping in and out of  their sockets,
making a terrific crunching sound as they do. Today nothing other than just
surviving will be done. When I say just surviving I mean lying on the sofa hoping
at some point the pain relief I have taken kicks in. There will be no enjoying myself,
doing things that I like to do. It will be a case of just riding it out. That’s the way this chronic illness lark works. I may have a run of a few good days but they will be
followed by several if not more bad. Which is why when its good ( when I say
good I mean better than a bad day) I tend to cram as much in as I can.

I’m sick of this pain, especially when it’s like this and no painkillers touch it.
It’s not a pain where you scream and shout it’s a nonstop constant bone gnawing
pain that escalates as the day progresses. Sometimes it takes my breath away,
it makes me miserable and snappy. I hate the way it can completely change
my personality from laid back and kind to nasty and angry at the world.
Unfortunately those closest to me bear the brunt of it, with me losing my
temper very easily. A technique I have learnt to avoid me lashing out is to
just go quiet and not speak. That way I can be horrible to those I love the

Thursday brings more storms and a trip to see my hospital consultant which
is more than an hour away by car. It’s a crack of dawn appointment as well
so 90 minutes after this blog post is published I will be on the road. I will have
had to get up at around 4am so that I can pace myself whilst getting washed
and dressed. I am not looking forward to using my wheelchair as sitting upright
at the moment is so painful, added in the 2 hour car journey (there and back)
and I will be wracked with pain….again.

I do have a lot to discuss with my consultant, I haven't seen him since March,
it’s a necessary evil - he's not evil he’s lovely, just the journey is torturous. I
have developed numerous issues since I saw him last and I need to get to
the bottomof them. One of them is the possibility that I have got Sjogren's
Syndrome ( I have had dry eyes for years but the eye drops are no longer
working, my mouth is dry so I am getting numerous cavities and my tongue
is sticking to the roof of my mouth when I talk). I need this to be looked
at as my eyes are just so painful and with my pathological hatred of the
Dentist I need the cavities to stop. More information on Sjogrens Syndrome

This is such a down beat post and for that I am sorry. I had such a lovely
week last week seeing friends and managing to make some bits and pieces.

The Christmas wreaths had been half made since August so I managed to
finish those by adding hanging loops and bows.

I also made a number of Travis bags.

I am really starting to hate blogger if you are too please visit my WordPress
site at I write my posts in Google documents,
yet when I transfer them to blogger the text is wider than the page so hence
why the writing is weirdly placed. It turns my text grey for no reason at all and
this week has double spaced the last couple of paragraphs. Despite it not looking
like this on the page where I transfer my blog post over to. Blogger is just shite and
I am getting very close to no longer posting here and moving everything over
to my WordPress platform.

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Solitary confinement

I’m used to my own company, I am in fact quite a solitary character. I don't
need to be surrounded by other people, as I can entertain myself. However
sometimes the loneliness of chronic illness really gets to me. I am having
a wobble.

Mr Myasthenia Kid had two weeks off work (as annual holiday) in August,
it’s the longest he’s taken as holiday in years. Normally he takes a week
here and there throughout the year. Always holding some back in reserve
in case he needs to take time off to look after me or take me to medical
appointments. Usually by the end of his weeks holiday I am happy to send
him back to work, as I have my own routine and ways I like to get stuff
done. This time however I am finding hard to adjust to not having him
home with me. We had a lovely two weeks together, laughing, talking
and generally just being together and now the house just seems
so empty and quiet. It’s been quite hard to g back to it just being me for long
stretches at a time.

It is really hard to explain how empty the house seems, it’s not like he takes
up lots of room or that he makes loads of noise. It’s just I got very used to
his presence and having someone to talk to. When you are chronically
sick and virtually housebound your world gets very small. You only see the
people who can be bothered to make the time to see you. Being below
retirement age all of my friends are working and have families of their own,
so I am very grateful for the time I do get to spend with them . With the
pace of life these days, it’s very easy to be forgotten about, out of sight
out of mind. I found that back in 2008 when I left work, that all these
people who I had known for 12 years who I believed were my friends, just
disappeared. They think a quick comment on your facebook page is a get out
of jail free card, it doesn’t replace seeing someone in the flesh and having a

Most of my friendships are now online and I have made some truly wonderful
friends. Particularly on Instagram amongst the crafting / sewing / creative
community. I am lucky to have got sick in an age where to talk to someone
I just have to open up my computer but it doesn’t replace the physical presence
of another human being. I am grateful for the online friends I have but I would
imagine they would agree that proper physical contact with other human beings
trumps any other contact with the outside world.

I have always been quite a solitary character, my own company isn’t something
that has ever daunted me. In fact there are days where I cherish the time I
spend alone. I like being able to step back from the outside world but I also
like to spend time in it or as close as I can. I like a balance of both but due to
my health being so utterly rotten this year, I have barely seen anyone since
the end of June. I have literally gone weeks and the only person I have
spoken to is Jamie. Can any of you who aren’t chronically sick imagine
what that is like, that the only contact you have with the outside world is
with one person? It’s no ones fault, this isn’t a dig at any of my friends
as it has been me doing the cancelling due to not being well enough. Is
it any wonder now that after having two weeks of company I am finding
going back to being alone so very difficult? I am grateful that we have the
dogs but their conversational skills are very limited.

It’s hard to explain but my heart hurts with the loneliness and the missing
Jay. I know he’s only 7 minutes up the road but the house is so quiet it is

Every year around Christmas time there is always a campaign about loneliness
and the elderly. Every year I want to scream at the TV it’s not just the elderly
who are lonely in this country. There are hundreds of thousands if not millions
of people whose lives are blighted by illness who see no one for weeks on
end other than their caregivers or partners. It is assumed that if you are
aged between 18-67 that you are in work but there are many of us who can’t
work, who are housebound who are crying out for some company yet we are
the forgotten ones. I don’t know if it is because people don’t understand
chronic illness and can’t get their heads around the fact that there are working
age people, who through no fault of their own do not have the social outlet of
work and are just forgotten. It’s like we don’t exist.

I am extremely lucky I have friends who do come and visit me. I really
appreciate those visits and I hate it when I have to cancel due to my health
deciding to have a hissy fit. It takes a lot for me to cancel because I don’t
know when they will be able to visit again. There are lots of people in my position
who never see anyone. I know I am lucky, I am just sad this week as I am finding
it so hard to adjust to Jamie being back at work.

I know given a few more days I will have got myself back into a routine and I
will be used to being on my own again. I thank my lucky stars for my cyber
friends who are so supportive and caring. Even though I am shit at messaging
people because I am always in my own little bubble. I have an issue where I
think of someone, say to myself “oh I must message them” and two weeks
later I realise I haven't. I’m currently struggling with what day of the week it is.
Not because there has been a bank holiday it’s purely that I have no clue.
To give you an example of how bad it is at the moment, I had no clue today
was Thursday and was quite surprised when I started to get notifications on
my blogs Facebook page. It was only when I looked I realised that my blog
post for this week had been published. I tend to write them in advance and
schedule them in to be published automatically. This morning I had no idea
that it was Thursday. I do however know who the prime minister is and what
year I was born! Just in case anyone is concerned about my mental status.
It’s just the days are currently blurring into one.

I also know that the way I am feeling now is probably a reaction to all the
stress I have been under lately. My mum has had some pretty major surgery
that was needed out of the blue. Adrenaline has carried me through for weeks.
Now things are starting to calm down, I have the time to spend analysing my
feelings because during that time period it was just getting through that day
that mattered. It was a frightening / stressful time. In a year of horribly
stressful and sad events. I know I just need to get back into a routine and
allow myself the period of adjustment instead of being so hard on myself that
I am struggling to adapt.

This probably  seems quite a depressing read, I’m sorry. I have just really been
surprised at the depth of feeling that Jays return to work has caused me. I don’t
think in the nearly 22 years we have been together that I have ever missed him
so much. Silly really as every night he is home, every morning he is here.
Just at the moment being in the house alone seems a little like solitary

P.s Its over a week later and I am back into my old routine.
I am enjoying the time I have to myself and have been really productive
on the sewing front.  I have also had a visit from some friends which was
really nice. Obviously I still miss Jay during the day but it's not like the deep
ache in my heart I had before. I  am much happier now that I have re-adjusted
to the time spent alone.

Thursday, 6 September 2018

My first gifted quilt

Many of you who follow me on various social media platforms will know that my
mum has been quite poorly. It’s actually a massive understatement for what
she has been through. She’s had a major operation that will take months to
recover from. The stress of being so far away from my mum and too sick to
travel impacted my health a lot over the summer. So as soon as I could take
a breath and think straight I decided I was going to make her a very special
gift for her birthday in September.

I was very lucky that a friend on Instagram gifted me a pattern for a quilt,
which I had seen her make and loved. It was 4 pussy cats, spread over 4
separate panels, making it a lap quilt. The cats were made by using applique
and then sewing over the raw edges. Initially when I decided to make the
quilt I was going to use fabric from my stash but whilst I was mulling over
the quilt in my mind I decided I wanted to buy some material for the cats.
I knew I wanted muted colours rather than bright colours. I had also had
the last of one of my subscription boxes, I was unimpressed with the project
contained within so I decided I would use the floral fabric charm pack
( 5 inch squares ) in conjunction with the polka dot fabric I purchased.
The white background fabric was bought earlier on in the year during
the sales. I had no plans for it and decided this would be superb for what
I wanted to do. The pattern was discreet enough that it wouldn’t fight with
the fabric I wanted to use for the cats which I wanted to be centre stage.

I've not done much applique before so I was a bit stressed about it.
To be honest everything was stressing me out when I started this quilt.
My brain was just fixating on anything it could to worry about. I made the
first two cats and immediately fell in love with them.

Both cats had been fiddly to do and although I loved them both, I decided
to do what I always do which is make it up as I go along. When I had last
seen my mum she had been in awe of the free motion embroidery I had
done on a cushion.

I decided instead of having 4 cats on the lap quilt, I would have two cats
and two mice, as I knew how much my mum had loved the mouse on the
cushion. This also meant that the lap quilt would be completely unique with
it being a mash-up of two different designs.

The above photo shows the 4 panels that have the applique designs on
them. These were created using bondaweb, which is a fusible webbing.
It's very fine material that is a glue. On one side you have paper and on the
other side is a rough surface which has glue on it. To begin you trace out
your design onto the paper side of the bondaweb. Then using a dry iron
you stick your traced shapes to the wrong side of your fabric. You then cut
your fabric shapes out, then remove the paper ( I use a pin to score it as
it makes it easier to remove). You then position the shapes how you want
them to appear on your background fabric. Using a damp cloth and a
steam iron you apply heat to the fabric to bond it to the background fabric.
This is raw edge applique, as you haven’t turned the edges over, so the
raw edges are exposed. To prevent fraying you then sew over the edges.

For the mice I used a different technique, which is called free motion
embroidery. This is where you drop the feed dogs ( these are the things
that pull the material under the presser foot as you sew), I also have a
special bobbin case for my Janome Atelier 5 ( blue dot bobbin case)
which has a lower tension on it. It makes the world of difference when
doing free motion quilting or embroidery. I also attach the darning /
embroidery foot which is a closed toe. I haven’t done much free motion
quilting, I really need to make up some quilt sandwiches and just have
a play but I've done a couple of pieces of free motion embroidery. The
free motion embroidery gives the applique an outline and it also makes
it look like you have drawn the edges on. I love the way it looks and the
fact that it doesn’t have to be brilliantly accurate as its supposed to look
a bit messy!

After I had completed the 4 panels, I made my patchwork backing for the
quilt. I wanted the quilt to be as beautiful on the back as it was on the front
and in effect be reversible. I used my charm squares for this and added in
some squares of the background fabric so it tied it to the front of the quilt.
Using precut fabrics speeds things up, as you can literally just sit and sew.
Things come together very quickly. I was extremely lucky with the finished
size of the back panel as it was a complete guess. As at the time of putting
this together I hadn’t decided how big my borders were going to be that would
join the 4 panels together.

I decided to use the backing fabric from the panels as part of the sashing
joining the panels together. I also used some of the fabric that I had made
the cats and mice out of to tie all the fabrics together. I settled on 1 ½ inch
strips of fabric, sewn together with a ¼ inch seam allowance. Thankfully
earlier on this year I bought a creative grids stripology ruler, which means
cutting strips is an absolute doddle. Cutting that would normally have taken
me hours and lots of ruined fabric - because I can't cut straight or measure
accurately for toffee, now takes a matter of minutes. I can’t tell you how much
I love these rulers, they’ve made my life so much easier! I used a 3.5 strip to
make the outside border.

I then freaked out for a few days over how I was going to quilt this. I couldn't
decide if I was going to leave the applique panels unquilted and only quilt
the borders. Or if I was going to quilt the applique panels how would I do it
without distracting from the applique. I won’t lie it gave me a sleepless night
or two. This was an important present, that had significant meaning for me.
It was important that I got this right because once I started there would be
no going back. Thanks to Instagram and all the quilters I follow my deliberations
over the applique patterns were brought to an end when I saw how someone
else had quilted their work with just straight lines about an inch apart but not
going through the applique. It would be tricky as each time I started a new
section would mean bringing the bobbin thread up, something I hadn’t had
to do for ages as my new machine means I don't have to do this. By bringing
the bobbin thread up it meant I would avoid a nesting of threads on the back
of the quilt, when a locking stitch was used. Although it's not perfect I used a
few small stitches forward and back to secure my threads. I am not advanced
enough at the moment for burying threads and due to when my mums birthday
was I didn’t have lots of time to master a completely new technique.

Quilting took a few hours and a lot of back, arm and shoulder pain from terribly
bad posture.

To finish off the quilt the raw edges of the material needed to be bound,
if you didn’t do this the material would fray and the wadding / batting would
be lost from the quilt. I made the binding using a fat quarter from the polka dot
material I bought. I used my stripology ruler and cut 2.5 inch strips and then
joined them together. It then needed to be pressed, and folded in half.

The raw edges of the binding and the raw edges of the quilt are lined up
and then I used the sewing machine to sew the binding onto the front of
the quilt. I had an absolute nightmare with the binding. After sewing it on
I had to unpick it as I had sewn too far over and not left myself enough binding
to pull over to the reverse of the quilt. It took me over an hour to unpick.
I was also having a disastrous time with mitred corners. So I have done the
best I can. Once I was "happy" with how the binding was sewn onto the front
I then settled down for a few hours of slow sewing whilst I ladder stitched
the binding onto the back.

This process took ages as the polka dot material was quite thick. I have
ended up with blister's on my thumb, forefinger and middle finger. There
is also a bit of my DNA in the quilt as I lost count how many times I stabbed
myself! Finally the quilt was finished.

The very last job left to do was to sew the label onto the quilt. This was a
personal message to my mum, so I won't be sharing. However it also covers
who it was quilted by, on what date and what the design is called. I have named
it Cat & Mouse.

It's quite exhilerating finishing a quilt but it can also leave you feeling a little flat.
You are overjoyed at what you have accomplished but for me I have lost that
drive of what I have to achieve for the day. I really hope my mum likes it.

It was gifted to her on 1st September and she was thrilled to bits with it.