The small things in life

When my head started to feel a little bit less dizzy, I started to make some small walks in my hometown IJsselstein, and noticed that the small things in life are very worth noticing.

I am slowly getting better every day and I am back in London now. I am still having some trouble reading a book, or staring at a computer screen for too long, but I am sure that will all get better too. On Monday (1st of June) they will remove the dressing from my ear and have a look. But even with the dressing still in, sounds are coming through already, which is a good sign.

A helicopter

The young ones

Young swans

Mother and child

Pink flowers

Dexter in da house
My brothers dog – not at all pleased with his outfit and waiting to bite someones nose for revenge.

Very slow recovering from Stapedectomy

It is very slowly getting better after my stapedectomy operation. My dizzyness is not completely over yet but the good news is that it is now slowly getting better. It has taken nearly two nervewrecking weeks which is much longer than the couple of days they mentioned in the leaflet I received from the hospital.

I am still having trouble reading and staring at a computer screen for more than 10 minutes, but I am now able to walk around without having the feeling that I am wearing a huge heavy space helmet on my head. It is a big relief and I am sure all will be fine some time from now.

Another good thing is that there are moments where my operated ear opens (it is still stuffed with the dressing and cotton wool – that will be removed on the 2nd of June) and in those moments I can definitely hear things with it. It is hard to say how well I will hear with it until after the 2nd of June but it seems promising.

I am still in Holland but will return to London on Friday.

A big Thank You to all the nice people who left those very nice comments on the previous post! I am sure it helped!

Temporary on hold (I hope)

I am on my way to Holland (with bus and ferry because I am not really allowed to travel otherwise). Things are not how they should be with my dizzyness and I just need to be with my mum.

I don’t know if this dizzyness will ever disappear, I am still hoping it does, but until it does – I won’t be writing much here. There are more important things I have to worry about at the moment.

Be good readers, and I really do hope to be back soon with a steady head.

Otosclerosis and Stapedectomy

No you didn’t accidentally ended on a medical website. I have a funny ear which suffers from Otosclerosis, which means I am not hearing very well with it.

Tomorrow they will operate it and that type of ear operation is called Stapedectomy. I had the same type of operation done five years ago, and that did improve my hearing dramatically – it was close to being normal again. However, somehow I lost a fair bit of my hearing again last summer, so they will operate in order to see what is going on. The tiny prosthesis (and it really is incredibly tiny – look at the photo of it next to a 10p coin!) they inserted at the time might have moved, causing my hearing to become worse again.

Because this is the second time they operate my ear this is treated as a revision surgery, which means they will do it under full anaesthetic. And in stead of doing it all through the ear drum (like last time) they will make a tiny cut behind my ear too, so it is a bit easier for them to work.

Normally these revision operations have a good chance of restoring the hearing too.

Needless to say that I am pretty nervous for it. I have to be in the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital at 11am tomorrow, the operation will take between 30 minutes and 2.5 hours, so cross your fingers for me.

After the operation I will be off from work for some time and I will have to avoid flying, sneezing, and heavy lifting. They will insert a thin ribbon like pack in the ear canal after the operation (in order for the ear and ear drum to heal properly) and that will be left in for two weeks. I remember that it felt like having a football in your ear, but hopefully after a couple of days I should be able to experience some slight hearing improvement, even with the football still there.
After that it should continue to improve steadily day by day. When the pack is removed I will have to do a hearing test again to see how my hearing has improved. I will twitter when I have woken up after the operation (if there is a signal in the hospital and it is allowed to use mobile phones!).

Me and my ear hope to be back soon, and I can’t wait to write something like – yahoo I am back and they didn’t cut my ear off.

Beat the credit crunch: Five cheap ways to get books

Book exchange in Lympstone (Devon)

I like to read and I used to buy my books new in the many book shops London seems to have. I normally don’t really want to keep books after I read them so I found some better and cheaper ways to get books and to get rid of them again.

And in these times of credit crunch: here are five cheap ways to get books:

  • 1. Exchange with a friend.
    Probably one of the easiest ways to get fresh books to read and to get rid of some of your own books. You could organise a little book meeting and discuss a book over tea. Nice and easy!
  • 2. Charity shops
    The UK is a haven for charity shops (Oxfam, Red Cross etc), and most of them have a book section. I have bought several books in charity shops, they are cheap (ranging from 50p to £2) and often in good condition.
  • 3. Readitswapit
    I use the readitswapit website a lot. You can list your books there, and exchange them with other users on the site for the price of a stamp. It works brilliantly.

    The site is aimed at the UK though and I don’t know if there are any international equivalents out there, if there are, please add them in the comments!

  • 4. Ebay
    There are loads of books on sale on ebay, and it is certainly possible to grab a bargain there. In order to keep postage to a minimum, i is a good idea to buy them from someone who lives in the same country as you do.
  • 5. Lympstone book exchange
    And there are places like the book exchange in Lympstone. Lympstone is a tiny village near Exmouth. We had a wander through the small streets and accidentally stumbled over this outdoor book exchange. The idea here is that you can take any book you like from their shelf and leave the amount of money you find reasonable for the book in the post box beside it. You read the book and if you like return the book the next time you are there. (The money they get for the books goes to RNLI (Royal National Lifeboats Institution – which is a charity in the UK).

    I picked up Tony Parsons – The Family Way and left them £1.50. The stack of books looked great and I really liked the fact that people are still trusted. There were no people around to guard the book shelve nor the money. Lovely.

Other possibilities (which I haven’t tried myself):
Book crossing – leave a book for someone else to find, and register the book’s travels on the website
The new London based Choosewhatyouread, an attempt to get people to read books in stead of the free newspapers messing up the bus and underground.

Do you have any tips on how to get cheap books? Please add them to the comments!