Monday, 15 November 2021

I Have A Leak

 Let me start at the beginning, 7 weeks ago today I was standing in the kitchen talking to our neighbour who had popped round and just out of the blue my leak started.

My leak is a Cranial Cerebral Spinal Fluid Leak otherwise know as a CSF. 

Why am I telling you about this ? Well there is not a lot of info out there and they say it’s rare but it can happen to anyone one at any time, trying to get diagnosed is a minefield because most doctors have never come across it, in the U.K. there is even less information.

So this is my story and if it helps just one person that is great. 

There are two types of leaks, Cranial and Spinal in my own case I have a Cranial leak which basically means the fluid that surrounds and protects the brain is leaking out, yes I have brain fluid leaking down the back of my throat and also out of my left nostril.

Sounds great dosent it, I can’t really say anything about a spinal leak as I haven’t experianced that.

Leaks are normal associated with a trauma with a cranial leak usually a head trauma, but mine wasn’t the result of a trauma, I was just standing in the kitchen, so mine is what they call a spontaneous leak, the reason behind it we don’t yet know. 

Anyway when it started I was thinking what on earth is happening, my visitor had left and then clear water like liquid just started pouring from my nose, like a nose bleed but without the blood. Just from one nostril. The liquid had a salty metallic taste, There was no pain just this liquid, I did a quick google, and there was very little info but what there was pointed to a CSF. I phoned the surgery and waited for the doctor to return my call. While waiting for a return call I started to feel unwell, I had a headache not a normal one but like a band of pressure across the back of my head, I was feeling unbalanced and dizzy, my eyes felt like they were sinking into my head and my vision was going blurry, and I had a pain at the base of my neck between my shoulder blades,eventually spoke with the doctor and paid a visit to the surgery, he examined me and declared I had a sinus infection and a small polyp at the back of my nose was causing an irritation, he wasn’t interested in a CSF as I hadn’t had a head trauma, left surgery with a steroid spray to use twice a day, 4 days later I was feeling ver very unwell returned to the surgery with a sample of fluid to show the doctor how much I was losing 20ml in 15 minutes approx, different doctor, changed the nasal spray and also suggested sinus irrigation twice a day  again, was not interested in CSF. 

Week two very poorly, still leaking, spoke with doctor on phone keep up with sinus treatment 

Week three still leaking updated doctor who said let’s see how it goes over next week

At this point the leak was getting worse, my pillow would end up soaked, I was constantly waking during the night either choking on fluid or from a cold wet pillow bedding mattress, during the day I would become exhausted from constant head ache and lack of sleep, I couldn’t go out anywhere as fluid just continually leak from my nostril, I was going round with a towel draped round me, my mouth was dry from the salty taste, my vision was affected, when I lay down the headaches eased but then I leaked over cushions etc

I dripped on the dogs, I dropped down my clothes, I dropped in my dinner, I couldn’t do any crafting, it was difficult to do anything, if I spent time in the poly tunnel I could only work for very short spells then I would be exhausted, same with cooking, I was trying to get videos done on canning etc, every section was exhausting to do, I was constantly wiping my face as you can see on the videos. 

Week 5 I had reached breaking point everything I had researched pointed to a CSF I phoned the doctor again and demanded a fluid test to see if it was Cerebral fluid, the doctor agreed just to put my mind at rest that it wasn’t. 

Next day fluid was sent off to a special lab to test for glucose and protein that is found in Cerebral fluid and not found in nasal secretions, I already knew glucose was present as I had tested that myself with a glucose meter and I was getting a high reading, nasal secretions do not contain glucose. 

Week 6 Monday doctor phoned to check in how I was feeling if I had any sudden change in symptoms I was to call him straight away.

Tuesday doctor phoned again similar conversation 

Wednessday morning doctor calls, again in the afternoon and early evening calls again to say we have the results and sorry to be the bearer of bad news but it is a CSF , was told complete rest don’t do anything, I was trying to clean out the goat house at the time, he told me to stop because with a Cranial CSF you are high risk of contracting meningitis, 

Next morning hospital phoned I needed to go in for some camera work  so they could see were the leak is.

So we’re am I at now, Camera work was done last week, tomorrow I go for CT scan and MRI scan thinghy we’re they inject me with some glow in dark stuff to determine exactly we’re the leak is and how big it is and how they are going to repair it.

I have been banned from farm work, banned from lifting, bending doing anything in fact Martin is at home with me and he has taken over anything that really shouldn’t be doing, I am still getting small jobs done in the kitchen, and editing lots of videos to get up on our YouTube channel, I walk the dogs around the field at a nice gentle pace I am allowed to walk thank goodness.

What I have discovered 

I can go through a box of tissues a day

Facecloths are a great substitute for tissues

Sudocream is great on sore bits from constant wiping and dampness

That brain fluid is clear

Your body produces and replenishes approx 500ml of spinal cranial fluid a day.

If you really believe your doctor is wrong push for a correct diagnosis after all they don’t know everything.

Sunday, 31 October 2021

Filling The Store Cupboard And Not The Freezer

 I am so glad we grow and raise most of our food, I do feel there is a shift taking place more and more people are taking an interest in growing there own and learning how to preserve and store food.

storing your harvests is an important part of Self Sufficiency, there is no point in putting all that time and effort into growing and it is a lot of time and effort, then letting it spoil or you give it away then have to buy in. 

I got into preserving food many many years ago and had lots of fails and disasters while learning, the biggest being with freezing, oh that is such a minefield area get it wrong your food is spoiled, power goes off, your food is spoiled, the door is left open food is spoiled, bags get squashed and torn, containers become brittle and break, then there is freezer burn, labels coming off, leaving you to play guess what it is ?

Another issue with freezing food that is becoming important, it costs you every day to keep that food, preserved, Freezers cost money to run and electricity costs are rising and very unstable, If you produce your own power and you do not have to rely on the nation grid, you are going to be more conservative over what you freeze and how many freezers you run.

We have too many freezers, I am ashamed to say we have 6, four large chest freezers  one small chest freezers and a tall upright,right let me put all these freezers into perspective. I am not a freezer hoarder promise.

We raise Buffalo for meat, we keep about half a carcass for ourselves, we also raise goat meat, pork, lamb and chicken. All this meat takes space for storage and the freezer is a convenient easy space to store. 

I want to reduce our six freezers down to 4, one of the large freezers is old and uneconomical to run, same goes for the tall upright freezer, it was one of the first new electrical appliances we bought together. Even though they work fine, there energy rating will be off the scale.

I am now making more of an effort to use other methods of preserving, clear those freezers down reduce our energy consumption.

I am ramping up with Canning





I have started uploading videos on what I have started with,

Canning Tomato Soup

Curing Goat Hams

There is a link on the top right of this page that takes you to my You Tube Channel, or you can search it same name as my blog, hit subscribe and you will not miss any of my future videos.



Sunday, 10 October 2021

New Addition to the Family


Meet Poppy
She has just joined our family, ex breeder from Many Tears.
It has been a year since we lost our beloved Tess also an ex breeder from Many Tears who was deaf and blind.

Poppy 5 years old and blind, we are hoping with treatment she can regain some sight.
Her resemblance to Tess is uncanny, we are now at the stage we’re we felt we are ready to do it all again.
Poppy has never lived in a house and she is finding lots of things scary but given time she will settle.

She has a whole new world to discover and together with Paige and Mia she will have lots of adventures 

Saturday, 2 October 2021

Just Play Nicely Please.

 This post should have been put up a week ago, but I was delayed because my I pad would not play ball with blogger, its been happening more and more, I have now decided to go back to using my laptop but of course I then have to move photos off phone and I pad to laptop and none of them wanted to play nicely together. 

Then to top it off this week I had health issues not going into details but it made doing anything very difficult and uncomfortable.

enough of my health I am battling through it and getting or trying to get back to normal.

We got round to  having the two weather goats slaughtered, and got a great lot of meat, we don't normal keep them on to this age but its been a challenging year and time run away with us, but we needed to press on as we don't want to be housing and feeding animals over winter that we should no longer have

following on from the success of lamb bacon earlier in the year, I did a load of goat meat bacon 6lbs of it

it has been some the most tasty I have tried, short video above of it being cooked, hear that sizzle. There is a full video of the whole process over on my Youtube channel, link up on the top right corner. 

We are also making some Country Hams with two of the legs, video to follow soon, and I smoked the bones to make into stock.

I did manage to collect a load of Elderberries and turn them into a syrup.

and I was gifted a lovely lot of Rosehips


They have gone into the freezer until I have a spare moment to turn them into syrup.

I have been clearing bits of space in the freezer too, making room for goat meat.

all the packets of bacon bits got canned up.

along with some of the Buffalo meat.

I will be uploading a new Vlog tonight on YouTube I have to do it overnight as our connection is not the best, 

It would be great if you could subscribe to my channel as lots of stuff gets uploaded there that perhaps doesn't get mentioned here.

Sunday, 19 September 2021

All New Stuff

 Yes a new look to the blog 

Not just a new look but up the top you can find new links 

To our YouTube channel we’re there is lots of videos from Stickle Tarn including Vlog 001 our first vlog giving a snapshot of some of the things that have taken place through the week. Don’t forget to hit like and subscribe to the channel then you won’t miss anything.

My You Tube

Don’t want to go through the link here is the Vlog 001 

Also a link to Stickle Tarns Facebook page for those of you who like to follow on social media.

Stickle Tarn Facebook

A link to my craft blog that will also be overhauled in the next few days

Craft Blog

And a big NEW yes a new blog that is following our building works here at Stickle Tarn.

Building Work

What else is new well Mia had a new Birthday, she is now 11 years old although sometimes it’s like she is only 1

I have some new trees to plant this coming week, Monkey Puzzle Trees, Scots pine saplings 30 of them, and some Elephant Grass.

I had a go at canning a few new recipes, Tomato based pasta sauce and a Tomato based BBQ sauce, We have done well this year for tomatoes.

I did do a video on making the pasta sauce you can see it on my channel or just view it here

I also tried a new recipe from the Amish Canning Book 

Stewed beef and vegetables

That’s it for today I hope you enjoy all the new stuff