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I'm away this week to renew my superpowers; emails may take a while to answer!

I'm away this week to renew my superpowers; emails may take a while to answer!

Don't panic, but if you email us this week it might be a while until anyone gets back to you. But don't panic! We're still posting stuff out and logging returns, and you'll still get your tracking information and so on. Oh, and also, I'm running a survey since it'd be lovely to hear from you about sizes and brand stuff.

All that's happened is that usually when Lydia is away, our enormous team of staff means that the other person to answer your emails is me. But, I'm due in hospital tomorrow; we didn't know this when Lydia booked her week off because my procedure got rescheduled at short notice. I may or may not be up to answer both inboxes by Wednesday.

Definitely, don't panic - the warehouse carry on all the time! So, they've agreed to answer any "where are my pants?" queries for the four days, and I'm going to try and get as much done as I can.

Now I know some of you are interested in chronic health stuff or weird and wonderful medical things, so I thought I'd explain. Obviously, my main issue with hospital is the dreadful pastel prints, and also the time they made me keep my 5-inch stiletto heeled green leather knee high boots on with my gown, because that is NOT a good look.


For anyone not familiar with why I might be in hospital regularly; I have a bunch of chronic illnesses that like to make life interesting, with my main diagnosis being M.E, C.F.S or fibromyalgia, depending on which doctor you ask.

If you want to know what that's like, there are four things you might have been though:

1) pregnancy - you know when you're gestating and your body just does wacky stuff every day?

2) hangovers - ironically I've never had one as I've spent my life largely sober, but I hear they're suspiciously alike!

3) flu - my health issues were triggered by viral infections, so just recall the stage where you were still very ill but without a fever.

4) being very elderly - if you are or know anyone very elderly, my practical day to day issues are surprisingly similar.

Now imagine having varying versions of those symptoms all the time for over a decade. One of the symptoms has been that I have pain of various sorts all over, all of the time. A while back, I realised my painkiller use was causing issues, and that every "pain modulating" drug (which are mostly low dow old fashioned anti-depressants) gave me wacky side-effects. A pain specialist recommended a thing called a lignocaine (lidocaine) transfusion. Like most things with chronic pain, they have no idea why it works for some of us, and I have no idea who thought of it in the first place (I'm guessing someone with a hangover). Lignocaine is a topical anaesthetic, so it's used for things like numbing the skin for stitches, but for some people with chronic pain, putting a large amount directly into the bloodstream reduces the pain.

We tried it and it's surreal; on the day, I look better than the rest of the people in the clinic, as they're usually there for procedures that require heavy sedation or general anaethetics, so the staff are quite surprised by me chatting away. Especially the time they couldn't find a heartbeat. The couple of days afterwards can be bad though as I can't eat or drink on the day so invariably end up knackered and with a migraine, plus, I have a haemophilia disorder so I pretty much always get that bruised hand.

Equally, sometimes it's OK (last time they let me eat all day, hurrah!), so I'm back at my desk the next day.

Five days later I'm usually feeling much better. I can usually tell when it's kicked in because I start mysteriously doing things I've failed at for a month or two, like giving the bins a good scrub, walking to the supermarket (seriously, that's normally a problem), or god help me, actually getting to the end of my inbox. So that's nice.

This time round I'm also on a new medication, a very low dose of naltrexone, which seems to be showing some promise for chonic pain and auto-immune related disorders, but I've not been on it long so I'm not sure yet what the effects and side-effects are.

So, I apologise for any delays to email replies, and I invite you to imagine what happens on my desk when I'm not around to supervise:



He's awful at giving size advice!

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