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Forums / Long term support over the journey / Feeling down due to fatigue & undiagnosed health issues

Topic: Feeling down due to fatigue & undiagnosed health issues

  1. Guest_1055
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    16 November 2017 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Hi Elizabeth, I was going to suggest a tarp as well to help keep the hot air out. Gee once your kitchen is all fixed up that will be so great. Something new is often refreshing... well I think so. Hope you hubby starts to feel better soon, as good as he can be anyway.

    I am not sure what you are up to today , but I hope it is a calming sort of one. The birds are all chirping away here. Nice....And I can smell the bolognaise sauce simmering away on the stove top. Ooh I just heard the frog croak from within the down pipe.

    May I suggest to just be quiet in the mind and still and simply notice all the beautiful things around you Elizabeth? Hope you do not mind me saying that?

    Smiling at you

    shell xx

  2. Elizabeth CP
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    16 November 2017 in reply to Guest_1055

    Thanks Shell, Croix & Carol for your imput. I probably seem to just make excuse for not doing things which are suggested but I appreciate all the suggestions as they give me something to think about to help work out a way forward. Sometimes I need time to think or ponder on ideas before coming up with a solution.

    Shell today is much cooler with rain most of the day. I went out and finished a garden bed which I started a couple of weeks ago. I had t stop when it rained but I finished it. The rain will be good for the plants I transplanted. I have had to work hard to just focus on what I did rather than all the other overgrown parts of the garden screaming for attention as well as the lawns. My husband offered to mow. He thought he could manage with one hand if I got the mower out for him. I didn't accept the offer for some reason!!!

    I keep thinking about something my psych suggested but need some ideas in putting into practice. He suggested setting up a routine so I have set times for doing things which need doing (including time for myself) When young I lived by a set routine which worked as I interspersed time to study/work & time to do more relaxing things. Being in the habit of doing things made life simpler so I can see the advantage. My problem is that my life over the last few years seems to lurch from one issue to the next making it hard to get into a decent routine. Any ideas would be appreciated.

  3. Croix
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    16 November 2017 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Dear Elizabeth~

    I probably seem to just make excuse for not doing things - Oh no, perish the thought:)

    I'm pleased you got out in the garden and had the rain, it sounds good. Not looking too hard at jobs that still need doing there is very wise, most gardens are like that.

    As for scheduling time for you, your psych is spot-on, and the only way I would think it would work if you AND all your family ruthlessly applied the rules so your own time was not impinged upon or eroded. If an emergency comes up then they and you have to make an alternative time, preferably the same day.

    I honestly think it takes your loved ones too, because otherwise firstly - knowing you - you will try to do too much and secondly they need to themselves steer clear of your allotted time. Thirdly they need to encourage you to stick to it when the first strangeness of the arrangement has worn off.

    Croix

  4. Elizabeth CP
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    17 November 2017 in reply to Croix
    Thanks Croix, I need to work out what is appropriate not family members. Often things which get in the way are things which can't be controlled like illness & injury. I feel like I'have been so tired for so long that it is hard to work out a decent plan.
  5. Croix
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    26 November 2017 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Dear Elizabeth~

    I'm popping in to see how you are traveling - anything moving on the oven front?

    Croix

  6. Elizabeth CP
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    26 November 2017 in reply to Croix

    Thanks Croix for asking. I have been very busy so haven't been posting much as my brain feels overloaded with decisions & planning etc so even thinking enough to type is just extra pressure.

    My son tidied up the bricks which were sticking out. They were left because he was too exhausted to be effective after doing the main demolition. I've since built in the floor & the then the plinth to sit the cupboards on. My husband went away for 2 nights so I put together the carcass of the oven tower & narrow cupboards. Each step seemed to require a bit of thinking & planning eg getting the floor level. Building the tower on my own was interesting. Required ingenuity to lift sections without risking damaging it or injuring myself. In meantime was asked to babysit yesterday afternoon & evening so I had to get things into a state were things were safe. Unfortunately my son was unable to help so My husband assisted & we worked out an unconventional way to attach it. Normal way was going to be too hard if not impossible. Won't try to explain why. Each step forward seemed to unearth another challenge to overcome. I am feeling exhausted as my daughter didn't pick up the kids till after midnight so couldn't go to bed earlier. I've been waking up early feeling pressure to get as much done while I can & then even when I try to have break my mind is running overtime trying to solve the next challenge or working out how to get everything done. This is making it hard to relax. My husband is still not good so he goes in for a procedure to hopefully reduce the pain he is in which has flared up after yesterday helping me attach the oven tower and then babysitting. He will be out of action for a few days while he recovers. Tomorrow I will try to take some time to relax & recover although that might be expecting the impossible. All my life I have had a tendency to push through regardless & deal with the consequences later. Unfortunately I don't recover so well now. It has been hot this week & knowing summer is almost here is adding to my feeling of pressure. I need to get myself in a better mental state so I can cope with summer. Last summer was fairly mild but this summer is shaping up to be bad.

  7. Guest_1055
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    27 November 2017 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Hey Elizabeth,

    You are so industrious getting stuck in and fixing your kitchen. A good quality, that I desire myself more. I tend to easily get distracted.

    So may I ask why you seem to often do task after task? Is it your personality do you think?

    Does it keep you distracted from other thoughts or feelings perhaps? Or maybe you feel guilty if you are not working in a physical way or something?

    Anyway I know you are busy, so please do not feel pressured to answer me. All cool. Just saying a happy hello to you is all.

    Shell xx

  8. Elizabeth CP
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    27 November 2017 in reply to Guest_1055

    Thanks Shell, I wish I could focus & finish things more efficiently. I don't feel very competent so I try to push myself to feel better but then get stuck or do things wrong & feel like a failure or useless. Part is the pressure to finish. Once I started the kitchen I couldn't relax. I need my oven. I need the hole in the ceiling filled & I feel like I can't find things in my kitchen because I had to move things while my son removed the bricks because of the dust & mess but it isn't worth putting things back until it is completed at least to a stage where there is no more mess. While in the middle of a project I struggle to switch off. My mind is on the go non stop trying to work out what to do next or worrying about if I'm doing it right so it triggers self esteem issues. Before I could rely on my husband to help but now I have to manage on my own. My son helps when I need him & when he's free but that is limited at the moment. He's really busy on the weekends & at work midweek.

    As a child & teenager I really admired my dad & tried to be more like him. I never felt good enough. I looked at my attempts to do things & saw how pathetic they were compared to dad's. He never criticized me. It was me. I'm now crying because I really miss him. If he was here he would be helping me or probably doing it for me.

    I am exhausted. I couldn't sleep last night even though I was tired because my mind was too active. yesterday I went to my son's for a birthday party. (6 of my grandchildren have birthdays withing 6 weeks of each other) I drove a back way through the countryside. It was pretty but half way I noticed the signs giving the name of the place. This triggered memories of Ash Wednesday (The place was badly affected by the fires) & left me feeling really uncomfortable/ anxious. I have never had trouble driving through areas affected by Ash Wednesday & we lived in one of the towns affected for years. I'm worried how I will cope with summer if I'm getting triggered already.

    I spoke briefly with my son before his wife joined us making conversation impossible. He is becoming unwell again. He was supposed to meet us on Friday with his kids while my DIL was out but didn't turn up & didn't answer the phone. He was too depressed to function. This worries me because his wife makes things worse. Her constant nagging & overspending drag my son down but I can't speak to him without her coming to check on what we are saying & she takes over all phone calls. Sorry I'm so neg.

  9. blondguy
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    27 November 2017 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Hey Elizabeth

    Im sorry that I have slack and not been on your thread recently

    You know my health history as its on public record but I really understand you when it comes to having a problem in my house too. I seem to get really anxious and impatient. It probably the 'leftovers' of many years of anxiety but its still a pain.

    The heat also has an effect on me as well. I like it...but I sometimes find it claustrophobic when I breathe....I have no idea how people handle the super high humidity in Darwin.....

    you are never negative Elizabeth....a realist...yes.....not negative.

    I was 22 when Ash Wednesday happened....that was a bad time. I hope that people clean their gutters out before this hot summer.

    Peacefully yours

    Paul

  10. Elizabeth CP
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    28 November 2017 in reply to blondguy
    Thanks Paul, For me summer triggers PTSD. Until Black Saturday I only became extremely anxious when there was a real fire risk or actual fires. After Ash Wednesday I could drive through burnt out areas once the fire danger was over. As a teenager I frequently returned to the block where our house had stood before being burnt. I was only triggered by real risk of fires or news reports etc of actual fires. This brought back memories of the fire & I could imagine the distress of those affected vividly. After Black Saturday I became highly anxious. I had to leave home several times to feel safe & became less able to act rationally when triggered. A couple of months later I moved OS for a year returning the following Autumn after any fire danger was past. While OS I was free of the anxiety & assumed I'd be fine coming back in Autumn. I found the sight of burnt trees triggered a bad reaction which had never occurred before. I can't visit areas affected by Black Saturday without getting upset. After working with my psych I thought I was improving & had worked out strategies to cope so this recent experience is concerning.
  11. Croix
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    28 November 2017 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Dear Elizabeth~

    I can see how you would think your recent reaction to the burnt trees could make you start wondering if this was a sign that treatment had not worked and the recovery you thought you had was in fact not as good as hoped.

    Well I can think of something very similar from my own experience. After a very long time, earlier this year, I started reacting due to an incident from long ago - not even a really serious one.I've thread about it however unless you are really keen I'd not go there. I've a good idea what triggered this, not relevant here.

    I can to a couple of conclusions. The first is that the symptoms die down to manageable levels very quickly and by now 9 months later are merely the occasional nightmare about this particular incident - they do have to timeshare with other incidents though :-/ Frequency and intensity much less plus. emotions muted as well compared to full-blown attacks in the past

    The second is we respond to being in a different state, and they change over time. My psychiatrist says it's due to my increased feelings of security and well-being, my system could afford to let these things out.

    The upshot of all this is that if you are anything like me your new reactions may be transitory and more manageable.

    I'm sorry your son is not good at the moment

    Croix

  12. Elizabeth CP
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    28 November 2017 in reply to Croix
    Thanks Croix for your explanation.When I have been away from any triggers for a long time I seem to react more strongly when they come. Last summer was very mild here with very few fires at all whereas this year there are reminders on the radio all the time about how bad it is likely to be. I am overly worried about sunburn which means I avoid going outside in the summer which means I am restricted in what I can do which has a negative impact on my mental health. At least when I was working I had something to keep my mind off it. I would move to England if I could.
  13. Croix
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    29 November 2017 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Dear Elizabeth~

    Yes I'd imagine when you have had a rest from reactions for a while it is a double blow when they are triggered again, one hopes they had started to die down and they may well seem worse than before.

    Add to that bush-fires are a real threat and I'm not surprised those blackened trees and radio warnings all make for a triggering environment.

    Not going outside in the sun is something I do too, never become really acclimatized to the Australian heat. I'm not sure I'd move back to the UK though, it would be nothing like the place I remembered. Can you walk at night time. This is what I do and enjoy looking out for rabbits and such.

    Croix

  14. Elizabeth CP
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    30 November 2017 in reply to Croix

    My psych told me that avoiding situations teaches your brain that avoidance is the safe option which then makes the situation feel worse when confronted. This can happen even when you are not deliberately doing it. So my spending a year in the UK soon after Black Saturday (I'd started planning months before) made things worse when I returned. We went camping in our normal spot @ Easter after returning. It was very wet so fire danger was low. I expected no issues because I'd always felt safe in those conditions even if there were blackened trees. I was shocked to find my anxiety was through the roof the whole time because of the black trees on nearby hills. Nothing could calm me down. I've since had some exposure therapy but it has had limited effect.

    I enjoy walking at night but lately it hasn't cooled down till late & I've been too tired to walk then. I'm struggling to fit in everything I need to do. My psych has been unavailable for the last month & there have been a few extra stressors so I feel a bit overwhelmed at the moment. My eating is out of control which is a sign that I'm not coping.

  15. Croix
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    30 November 2017 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Dear Elizabeth~

    My psych told me that avoiding situations teaches your brain that
    avoidance is the safe option which then makes the situation feel worse
    when confronted.

    Oh dear, I'm a past master at that! Been doing it ever since I was retired. I guess I'm for it one day :(

    I find visiting somewhere I've been often in the past is a bit like a time-warp. Memories return fresh as if I'd just stepped out for half an hour. While I've never done so I'd imagine if I ever went back to places that still cause me grief I'd find it most difficult.

    I hope the temperature lowers for you. I find evening walks are far the best.

    Croix

  16. Elizabeth CP
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    30 November 2017 in reply to Croix
    I guess it is OK to avoid things which you don't like & never need to face in the future. For example I avoid all slides & most fairground type rides because I hate the feeling of falling. I don't think that will be a problem. I can't imagine any situation where I'll need to slide down something. It is a problem when avoiding the sun because I do have to go outside at times!!! I think next week will be cooler hopefully. I feel like I'm in Queensland instead of down south at the moment
  17. Croix
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    13 December 2017 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Dear Elizabeth~

    I have not spoken wiht you for a while and am wondering how you are. Hopefully you've been able to take advantage of a cool spell

    Croix (who does not like the heat either)

  18. Elizabeth CP
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    16 December 2017 in reply to Croix

    Sorry I haven't replied earlier. I continue to be caught in a never ending list of urgent things to do. Even things which should be enjoyable seem to just add to the feeling of overload. I just went away for 4 days which was nice but instead of feeling relaxed I've returned home tired & feeling under pressure. While away my mind kept telling me I should be relaxing & enjoying myself. Even when feeling tired I still tried to push myself to keep doing things rather than wasting time doing nothing. My psych hasn't been available much lately & several sessions cancelled at the last minute. I managed to get a phone visit in last week because the only time he could reschedule to was when my car was being serviced. That helped a bit but not the same as face to face. It had been nearly 2 months between visits.

    I often find this time of year difficult. The pressure to get ready for Christmas including all the unfinished jobs, the hot weather & anticipating more hot weather. My dad dies a week before Christmas years ago but I often feel really down at that time even when not much else is wrong. My mother died at the end of Nov although her death date doesn't affect me as much There have been several other Christmases which have been a disaster (eg my husband has been seriously ill several years round Christmas & one Christmas my son was suicidal making the day very stressful) This has led to a feeling of anxiety expecting something to go wrong.

    I need to find an effective way to relax but at the same time manage all the things which need doing.

  19. Croix
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    17 December 2017 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Dear Elizabeth~

    You sound as busy and stressed as usual. Fancy saying "wasting time doing nothing". I think we both know doing nothing at times can be very beneficial, all you need to do is stop those ever present feelings of responsibility - or at least mute them just a little.

    Actually the one thing you keep on mentioning apart from pressure is hot weather. Personally I realy dislike it, stops me from doing things and won't let me sleep. When I first came to Sydney from the UK I was amazed (and horrified) that the nights simply did not cool down - plus the mosquitoes were enormous!

    Nowadays I've a couple of air conditioners, one in the bedroom. Although my partner does not feel the heat the blower points at my side of the bed and we are both happy. Makes a marvelous difference.

    Do you have something like that?

    Croix

  20. Elizabeth CP
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    18 December 2017 in reply to Croix

    I have a ceiling fan over the bed which helps but I find it distracting at night making it hard to sleep but better than boiling. Unfortunately my husband is affected by the cold so likes things warmer than me. Prior to his disability he enjoyed cold weather activities. I am better when doing things which focus my mind off all the pressures & negative thoughts. When my kids were young before I cared for my mum I would do everything during the week so weekends & holidays were free so we would go out either for day trips or camping overnight so the house stayed tidy & I was away from reminders of things to do. I could then relax & enjoy myself with my husband helping & enjoying the activity. I have never learnt to relax at home.

    I don't think I've ever been so behind with preparing for Christmas.

  21. Croix
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    18 December 2017 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Dear Elizabeth~

    It sounds as if you used to have a pretty good system, keeping the weekends for special. It's a shame you can't do something like that now, You do find it difficult to step outside that list of jobs.

    A fan certainly helps, had one for many years. Pity you can't go further and get an air-conditioner, it even helps my back - don't know why though.

    As for not being ready for Christmas, join the queue:)

    Croix

  22. Elizabeth CP
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    19 December 2017 in reply to Croix

    I wish I could get back to being able to work hard & then have a complete break but I don't seem to be able to When the kids were young it seemed easier. I was younger & fitter so could get through things easier. I had my husband to help when I needed & I had friends in similar situations so we could visit & have a break while the kids enjoyed playing with friends or cousins. Things were harder after my dad died because I had to move away from friends & had to care for my mum which was extra responsibility but I managed as well as I could. My mental health went downhill after my son became mentally ill & my husband's condition really deteriorated. This happened not long after my mum died so there wasn't much of a break from the caring role.

    Every so often I think I'm improving & getting on top of things. I set some goals & try doing things which help me cope & feel better but then something gets in the way & I'm back to square one. Sometimes it feels pointless trying as I never seem to succeed for long. If I could just switch my brain so I could enjoy things like I used to & get back enough energy to do what I need I would feel better. I feel like a broken record complaining about the same things but never changing!!!!

    I need to get organised for Christmas otherwise it will be too stressful instead of being a chance to enjoy my family. I shouldn't complain as there are so many so much worse off. I am lucky I come from a good family.

  23. Croix
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    19 December 2017 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Dear Elizabeth~

    I quite understand what you are saying, however I think you are missing one point.

    You set goals and after a while the wheels fall off and you are back to square one. Well, OK, but firstly for the time they are in place -no matter how short - the stress is relieved a little. Secondly, and most importantly, it shows you recognize the the situation and are striving to do something abut it - a pretty healthy approach.

    Good luck with the preparations!

    Croix (who can produce a silver lining out of practically anything:)

  24. Elizabeth CP
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    19 December 2017 in reply to Croix

    Thanks Croix, Can you teach me how to make that silver lining!!!!

    This evening was a bit scary. I'm not normally afraid of thunderstorms but today the storm was so loud & huge hail stones that I felt overwhelmed & anxious with the noise so I couldn't get much done.

    To counteract this I'm going to share something positive to take my focus away from negatives. My oven is in & I sealed up the hole in the ceiling & laid insulation over it. Hate getting in the roof cavity but did it. Today I finished the last cupboard door & handles. There is a couple of things to do later but they aren't urgent so can wait till after Christmas. The oven & new cupboards look nice.

    On Sunday DIL #1 asked what she needed to bring for Christmas. When I asked for dessert (she is good at making desserts) she offered to bring a Christmas pudding. she hates Christmas pudding so I was surprised & she explained she would bring it for those who want it (namely my husband, 2 sons & myself) I declined her offer asking her to bring something she enjoys & I'll supply Christmas pudding but I really appreciated her offer. I am lucky to have such a considerate DIL.

    1 person found this helpful
  25. Croix
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    19 December 2017 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Dear Elizabeth~

    I don't have to teach you, your paras 2 and 3 indicate you can do at least as well as me -they were lovely!

    Croix

  26. Elizabeth CP
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    22 December 2017 in reply to Croix

    I have managed to achieve a few of the things on my long list but there are still things needing to be done urgently. Unfortunately I injured myself during the process. I needed to attend emergency as there were no GPs available which took all evening. I pushed myself to finish what I was doing , cooking tea for myself & my husband & then showering first. Glad I showered as I can't get my wound wet so showering is now difficult. It isn't a serious injury but there was a high risk of infection so needed medical attention to prescribe meds to reduce risk.

    I feel I could get things done on time if I could work efficiently but I'm not sleeping properly as I have to be careful how I move in bed. My tiredness is really annoying me as I I'm struggling to focus on what needs doing. Currently procrastinating as I was too tired to keep going. I am annoyed at myself for me being so stupid.

  27. Croix
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    22 December 2017 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Dear Elizabeth~

    I'm sorry you were hurt. Hopefully it will heal quickly.

    You know, the English language is a marvelous thing, it allows you to say the same thing in different ways, and that can change how they are regarded.

    eg: "Currently procrastinating" == "Currently re-grouping and rebuilding my energy"

    Croix (who is just plain awkward - no two ways about it:)

  28. Elizabeth CP
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    22 December 2017 in reply to Croix

    Hi Croix. Are you sure you are not part of my family. Your cheeky sense of humour suggests you would belong. I am trying to balance resting/regrouping with getting things done.I need to get things ready for Christmas or I will struggle too much. I have had a number of really bad Christmas eg after my dad died, when my son was seriously MI on Christmas day, a few serious illnesses & injuries nr Christmas. This means Christmas can be stressful & if things start to go wrong it leaves me feeling a failure & reinforces negative feelings about Christmas. To counteract this I try to get organised well ahead of time so the day is pleasant & helps to turn the negative feeling back to a more positive frame of mind. Of course this year my plans went to pieces.so I'm trying to concentrate on the essential things but sometimes get side tracked.

    On a positive note I have mowed the back lawn & cleared the broken bricks from the chimney so there is room to sit outside & eat. Easier as it doesn't leave such a mess & there is more space. Lawns were essential for the usual water fight afterwards. I put up decorations yesterday. My dtr would make fun of them as they are not up to her standard but she's in the UK. I just made a boiled fruit cake (too late for traditional cake) & mince pies. I won't give up those English traditions even if noone else likes them my husband & I do. I need to go as it is late

  29. Croix
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    22 December 2017 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Dear Elizabeth~

    Do you mean to say you have only:

    Cooked tea
    Injured yourself
    Been to A&E
    Mowed the lawns
    Cleared the broken bricks
    Put up decorations
    Made a fruit cake (boiled)
    Made mince pies

    Well, perhaps it was procrastination after all.

    Croix (who is working studiously on the cheek)

  30. Guest_1055
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    24 December 2017 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Hi Elizabeth and a wave to Croix

    Leaving a virtual Christmas card and gift here for you.

    *********************************************************

    Dear Elizabeth,

    Letting you know that I am thinking of you this Christmas. And may it be a peacefull one for you. Sorry you got hurt though.

    Merry Christmas to you

    love Shell xx

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    There is a virtual Christmas gift that I am leaving here for you. If I met you in person...well I would give it to you. It is wrapped up in gold paper with a blue and white poker dot bow. It is a hardback book, with lots of beautiful scenery pictures of the mountains and valleys in Switzerland. There is also a small clear bag with homemade shortbread in it.

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