You may have noticed, if you follow me on social media or Twitch. that there is a glaring gap in my presence from late February until last week. I’d love to say that I went on an exotic holiday. Maybe I won the lottery? Definitely not.
It started with a pain in the crook of my elbow. I had done a load of hand sewing the previous day and assumed I had irritated some sort of tendon or muscle. Within 12 hours there was a raised hot welt about the size of a £2 coin which then was about the size of my fist 24 hours later. My mum in law is a nurse and she thought it was cellulitis so up I went to the out of hours doctor and got antibiotics. It got better. Then worse. Much worse. Then I developed clots in the veins. Those spread from my wrist to my shoulder. 2 more courses of antibiotics and steroids followed and we thought we were winning until I suddenly couldn’t breathe. One ambulance ride and a lot of tests later, it was discovered that the clots were now in both of my lungs (pulmonary embolism). Which is pretty firmly in the ‘can be life threatening’ category. What complicated matters is that my pre-existing conditions meant it took practically a UN summit to decide on what medication was safe to take. 2 months later, I can honestly say I am beginning to feel better. I am still phenomenally tired and want to nap every 4 hours (good luck with that when you have a cat and a child!) and still have residual pain in the chest plus some arm swelling. The NHS, although pushed to their absolute limits and therefore slow, were fantastic and I hate to think what would have happened if we didn’t have that wonderful service access when it is needed.
So that scrubbed the last week in February, the whole of March and half of April. I had projects on hold which I knew needed finishing and that was quite stressful. Luckily the clients concerned were really understanding. It isn’t easy being self employed and then falling ill, particularly with something that has you bed bound for a number of weeks AND when it involves the very limbs you use to create with! There isn’t sick pay or someone else who can pick up the slack for you. You do feel an enormous sense of panic when you cannot complete something you have started in a timely fashion.
March was also spent in chocolate abstinence. When I told people I was giving up chocolate to raise money for the British Heart Foundation during their DECHOX event, I was met by a spectrum of response from concern, to laughter, to admiration, to ridicule! My name is Hannah and I am a chocoholic. Badly. I love everything chocolatey and this was a huge test (especially when running concurrent to illness and therefore moping). But I raised over £500 for BHF and some lovely folk sent me some delicious treats to celebrate the end of the challenge. Apparently I will be receiving a medal in due course which is very exciting. My mum and my great uncle both have pacemakers due to heart problems and the BHF were a really helpful resource when I was coming to terms with my mums condition.
In other news, I welcomed a new nephew in March – baby Harry! As per my other nephew, I made some bunting with his name on to match his bedroom. I will post some pictures up when I can finally find a space to lay it all out properly. I’m not the best at photographing my creations! I did a quick scrap buster solution to donate to a little boy with sensory needs at my old school. Quite tricky to make when you have sensory needs yourself and just want to play with the fabrics! I also made some ears and a tail for the lovely Octav1us Kitten, star of YouTube and many other projects to come. I’m going to blog about that separately as the process was quite a new one for me, but there are some photos here to show you the outcome. I also finished a stack of promotional cushions for the team at The Code Show, who have a brilliant travelling computing museum. What a time to be alive when the machines you played on as a child are now in a museum haha!
I have plans in the pipeline. My wonderful cosplay for my appearance at PLAY London in August will now not be happening. There’s no way I can complete it properly and take on clients and be a mum and sleep. I will still make it eventually but for now, time and finances preclude starting that one. I have a couple of patterns to make some summer dresses for myself. I purchased these in the whole 5 days of hot weather we had recently – like any true Brit! I have a secret project in the works which you are going to love, but requires a financial outlay so I am just weighing up my options on that front. We also have a new member of the family joining us in two weeks time, Merlin the kitten. Very excited! One last point, if you nip over to Twitter, I am running a gift voucher competition to celebrate reaching 500 followers. Be in it to win it!