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The Rat who is made of Stainless Steel

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Monday 'n Stuff
BB Piano
Firstly, Lu corrected me on my previous post. She *did* go to the dentist a year ago, whereas I went 2 years ago. Although she was the one who got a snotty "you've got to look after your teeth" letter from the dentist, which I didn't. Ha! In your face Lu!... I'll probably be laughing on the other side of my numbed dribbling face tomorrow when I find out I've got 10 fillings.

As for what happened, technically yesterday...

I don't remember whether we had a bad night with Amélie. I suspect we probably did, as she's still coming out of this cold, and we're reluctant to play hardball with the bedtime routine. The hotel stay inevitably threw a spanner in the works of the bedtime routine anyway, because suddenly Amélie's got a direct line to Lu again i.e. the cot was right next to our bed. In short we had a fair share of wake ups during the night, where Amélie "demanded" a feed. Arguably this is the more natural way to raise a child, as I'm still somewhat convinced that the hardball bedtime routine is one more of convenience for the parents than for the child. I think despite a bad night it was at least a long night, with a reasonably early start and a late wake up.

Lu wanted to attend a work meeting, so headed off much earlier than usual, around 9:30am. Because of my hospital appointment at 11:30am, Mum came over much earlier than usual, around 10:30am. I had all my times confused, and had the idea that the hospital appointment was 11am fixed in my head, so was in turn fretting when Mum didn't turn up at 10am. This was further confused by the food order from Tesco being late.

Anyway, I headed off around 10:50am to the hospital. There was a long queue to get into the car park, but I still made the journey in less than 20 minutes. Then I had a long wait for some reason to see the consultant, of around 30 minutes. Not a huge issue in itself, as I was reading the new Naked Scientist book (which isn't as good as I was expecting) on the Kindle app, but I began to feel extremely tired and somewhat ill, and would have fallen asleep given half the chance. This time around I got to see "the main dude" at Immunology. He reviewed my "progress" re. the nausea, and we had quite a long discussion. I'm still amazed that they can use blood tests to determine my allergic responses to things, and it turns out that it's good news and bad news again. The good news is that my allergy to what they tested (gluten, cow's milk, pollen, moulds etc.) varies from non-existent to moderate - those with moderate reactions were pollens and a selection of weeds (which might explain why I get covered in spots every time I weed the front garden). The inherent bad news is that none of the reactions appear to explain why I get the nausea during the Autumn and Winter seasons. The consultant still thinks though that the reaction is histamine related, as I'm still getting a bit of general urticaria, along with dermatographic urticaria. I can live with the urticaria, as it's only mildly irritating. It's the nausea that's the real problem. The plan of attack now is that I have to take an over the counter antihistamine combined with a more powerful prescription only antihistamine, although I won't actually take these until the Autumn, on the assumption the nausea starts up again. I have another follow up appointment scheduled with Immunology in November, again based on the theory that the nausea will have started up by then. At least I feel they're taking it reasonably seriously. There was a long (30 minute) wait at the hospital pharmacy to get the antihistamines. Stupidly I forgot to ask for a printout of the weeds I'm allergic to, I just briefly saw the Latin names.

It was a relatively quick drive back home. Mum had taken Amélie out for a walk, and she had fallen asleep in the pushchair. I can't remember the details now, but I think she had just woken up when I arrived home. I think arrived back around 1:10pm, so I quickly made lunch for us all. Amélie more or less refused to eat any proper food, but she did eat a big chunk of cucumber, and then some grapes.

Then it was off again, leaving Mum with Amélie, to the Jobcentre to sign on. It was yet another 20-25 minute wait, past my rather specific appointed time of 2:05pm. On the one hand you could argue that those attending are unemployed, so have plenty of time to wait, tough shit etc. etc. On the other hand it just makes you feel like dross if they can't be bothered to even get close to your appointment time. If I was more courageous I would turn up 20 minutes late every time. It transpires that I get contribution based Jobseeker's Allowance until early August, and that's it. If I continue to sign on I will then only get National Insurance credits, aside from the "motivational factor" of turning up there every 2 weeks and demonstrating I'm looking for work. I won't get any more substantive benefits until our combined savings are reduced down to around £5-6k , if memory serves, and that's very unlikely to happen. I passed on the details of my interview on Friday, along with the long list of jobs I've applied for over the last 4 weeks, and that was that for another fortnight.

From the Jobcentre I went to Sainsbury's. I'd forgotten a couple of things from the Tesco order, and it transpired that a bunch of things I'd added for Lu had not turned up, although I could have sworn I carried out the relevant order amending process. Either way, I bought those as well. I bought Amélie a toy for the bath, as I always like to buy her a small toy when I go there.

From there I went back home. When I arrived (around 3:20pm) Mum was carrying a crying and apoplectic Amélie out of the hall. Apparently she'd been on the stairs for a fair while, and Mum said she couldn't cope with much more of it, so she'd had to forcedly remove her (Amélie's obsession with the stairs continues, along with a new obsession for going out of the house, which she requests by leading you to the front or back door, then waiting for you to open it, or not). We calmed Amélie down and I changed her nappy. I was rather concerned to see a rash all over her nappy covered bits, and also extending down to her legs and up over her stomach. It was even visible to a slight extent on her arms and face. My assumption was that it was another of these post-viral rashes we'd had before, but either way I put Sudocream on the worst of it. I then sat down with Mum, and showed her some of the photos and videos from Turkey. Mum was in a bit of a rush to get away though as her and Dad are going on holiday tomorrow, for a short break in the UK somewhere (I've already forgotten where *slapped wrist*).

I got the "On Way" text message from steveeeee just as Mum was leaving, and then steveeeee turned up shortly after. I was already in the car park with Amélie, as she'd wanted to go out in the garden, and then wanted to walk up the side passage by the house (I managed to get the padlock open for the side gate, after 3 years of never using it, and it having rusted shut). There's gravel all along the gutters in the side passage, along with the gutters in the car park. For some reason Amélie absolutely insisted she walk on it, despite scratching her arms against the brickwork of the house walls... I still don't understand her obsession with gravel, although perhaps it was some OCD thing about not wanting to walk on the path. Anyway, steveeeee was given the heady choice of yet another walk around the Nature Reserve, or a walk into Fleet. He opted for the latter, so we went there, and all the way up to the end of the High Street and back. Amélie was fairly good in the pram, although a little whiny every now and then. She randomly decided to take her shoes off halfway around, although I guess they must feel constricting, especially when you're not walking on them (when she takes off her shoes I'm reminded of that moment from Planes, Trains and Automobiles, when Del Griffith/John Candy takes his shoes off). steveeeee headed off once we got back. It was good to see him again.

Lu arrived back just a few minutes after steveeeee left, around 5:30pm, and I had assumed they crossed in the car park, but Lu said she didn't see him. I told Lu about Amélie's rash, she had a look, and then called the local GPs. We got an appointment for 6pm, which was pretty amazing, and headed straight over there. It transpired that the GP covering the late shift was in turn running very late, so we didn't go in until around 6:30pm. Even so, he was absolutely lovely, and very sympathetic. As expected though his conclusion was that it was one of the post-viral rashes, but better safe than sorry. He was also 50/50 about whether she was still infectious, and should go to nursery. Amélie was very difficult when we came out, and had to be manhandled into the car seat. Lu and I were both shattered when we got back, so I opted to go and get cod and chips from our local pla(i)ce. We are good though, and have half each. I tend to feel bloated to the extreme after a full portion, so to speak.

Amélie must have also been tired to the extreme, as Lu gave her a feed (before she'd had a chance to eat) and she fell asleep, and was put to bed. I don't remember much of the evening, other than catching up with the latest Mythbusters. I think we both went to bed around 9pm, and I don't remember much more so must have fallen asleep very quickly...

... that is until Amélie woke us up around 1:20am. I felt it was time to re-engage the PUPD technique, as she's over the worst of her cold, despite being super grouchy. After the last few days of disruption though it took around 1h20m to get her to sleep, which has now left me wide awake.

As mentioned, we have the dentist tomorrow late morning. There's debate about whether I go to get a suit with Lu and Amélie. Failing that, and assuming Amélie doesn't go to nursery, I'll have to take her by myself in the afternoon. I'm not sure what the practicalities are going to be of trying on suits and toddler juggling. Ideally I need to start work on my interview presentation tomorrow afternoon as well, but I can delay that to Wednesday if the worst comes to the worst.

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let's hope the seasonal strong antihistamines help

Will be interesting to see. I'm not convinced by the theory, mostly because I can't imagine what the trigger would be.

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