If you look at my links above you will see one saying My Little Zebra. This takes you to my blog written especially for Star, a medical zebra.

“When you hear hoof beats, think horses not zebras”

This is what medical students are taught, to look for the obvious.

Star has been diagnosed with Hypermobility Syndrome Type III which is very similar to Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. I am chasing a diagnosis of EDS for her because I believe that is what she has. We were told by a surgeon after an operation that her connective tissues were too stretchy which is why they would not hold her discs in her spine together.  This combined with the Hypermobility, her pain and the subluxations (as well as many other symptoms) she has do signify that she has EDS.

Had she had the diagnosis earlier her treatment for her subluxation may have been different. Everything they tried for the first six months did not work, simply because of her connective tissues. This is the problem faced by many with rare conditions and that is why I’m writing this in aid of World Rare Disease Day.

This is the official video for Rare Disease Day, please take a minute to watch.

Today is the day to put rare diseases in the spotlight.

Just before Christmas I woke one morning with incredible pain in my tooth. Isn’t toothache the pits, it has to be one of the worst pains you can endure. Thankfully there is so much that can be done to relieve it.

The first step of course is to call your dentist. It was at this point that I realised that I’d not yet registered with a dentist since I moved house! Darn it, I’d written a list, I’d worked my way through it, how could I have forgotten the dentist? We’d been moved more than six months too so no excuse, I had already missed a check up appointment.

So I found my nearest dentist and went to register.

Yes, we can take you on and your family. Phew! Your first appointment will be in April 2015!!

Seriously, they could not do any better than that. I rang around a few other dentists but none of them could see me sooner and the answer was always the same, “you’ll have to go to the dental hospital”

I’ve been to the dental hospital before. You arrive as early as possible in the morning, preferably before 8am, then sit and wait until they can see you. It can be half an hour, it can be three hours! Then you go into a room and are seen by a dentist with someone else being seen by another dentist in a chair right next to you. I felt so uncomfortable I left without treatment. I was later told that they do have private rooms, but the whole experience was unpleasant, particularly if you find going to the dentist unpleasant anyway.

I decided to suffer for a while until I could find something better. I brought some Oraldine and it really helped so I think I may have had a gum infection. The tooth still hurt but it was bearable.

Then, just after Christmas my eldest son woke with toothache. I phoned the dentist but was given the usual reply, “go to the dental hospital”

There had to be something else. I had searched online before but without success but in actual fact you just need to look in the right place. There is help available and all you need to do is find an out of hours dentist

Both myself and my son were helped with 24 hours and are now pain free. We are still waiting for our regular dental check up in April.

This is a collaborative post. All thoughts and opinions are my own

Welcome to this weeks Kids in the Kitchen.
I don’t have a recipe for you today, but don’t despair because there have been some lovely ones shared on the linky. You can find all recipes on my Pinterest Board too.

Follow Anne’s board Kids In The Kitchen on Pinterest.

Thank you to last weeks linkers, Mummy Plus Two Girls had a lovely little helper in the kitchen when they made some yummy pancakes.
And the wonderful Tickle Fingers shows us how to make rice balls without using egg just in case you have a little chef who likes to lick everything.

It’s almost the end of the month so I’ll be starting a new linky soon, everyone who joins in will have their post pinned to my Pinterest board and get a mention here on Kids in the Kitchen. So do come and share what you’ve been doing with your little ones in the kitchen.

Birthday Cake Decorating

As I said, I don’t have a recipe for you this week but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been busy in the kitchen. It was Daddy’s Birthday so I baked him a cake and Boo helped me decorate it in his favourite team colours. I think we did a good job, and Daddy was pleased. (the cake was yummy too!)

So now it’s over to you, get in the kitchen with your kids and come and share what you’ve cooked,

I’d also be mighty grateful if you included my badge in your post so others can see it and come along and join in. (although adding the badge is not compulsory to joining in)

We love snacks in our home, the men are the worst for it and I have to keep a well stocked snack cupboard to keep them happy. I was sent some Jack Links Meat Snacks to try so I put them in the snack cupboard to see how things went.

They went pretty quickly!

The overall consensus was that they were a tasty snack, just a touch spicy and nice and chewy. Out of the packet they looked a little greasy, but they didn’t taste greasy. My boys gave them 9 out of 10. To get 10 they would have to be bigger and spicier!

At £1.30 you can buy them from Tesco Express stores which is great value, however, for even better value you can currently get them for just 80p using the coupon on the Jack Links Facebook page

“High in protein and low in fat, Jack Link’s Beef Snack products are made using only the best beef, which is then seasoned and slowly cooked in a smoke oven using authentic, treasured Link family recipes passed down from generations.”

About Jack Link’s

Jack Link’s is the world’s best-selling meat snacks company. The family driven company from the USA is one of the most successful and fastest growing companies in the industry. Jack Link’s offers a wide range of products across the world. Jack Link’s has its headquarters in Minong/Wisconson and over 3.500 employees all over the world. All European activities for the Jack Link’s Meat Snacks brand are headed from the European Central in Berlin

Disclaimer: We were sent some Beef Snacks to review, this is a collaborative post.

My OH is a huge fan of Ocean Colour Scene so how appropriate that they should be playing in Birmingham on his birthday week! No problem for me choosing his present then, oh and I get to enjoy it too.

“Fare you well I’ll carry me away ….
and sing for those I know upon their birthdays….”

My first memories of Ocean Colour Scene were from TFI Friday back in the 90s where they appeared on the first show and a snippet from The Riverboat Song was used every week. Chris Evans was a big fan.

“I see double up ahead 
Where the riverboat swayed beneath the sun 
Is where the river runs red” 
photo credit: Liam Garland (Little Liam)

I’ve seen them play live a few times now and I remember at the last gig saying how weird it would be watching them sitting down. We were standing, well dancing, throughout the whole gig. So, it was quite novel going to see them at Symphony Hall Birmingham, where it is all seats. OH has seen them play acoustic before at Town Hall and he loved it, but this was a first for me.

Ocean Colour Scene are known for their mix of rock and folk music. Their fans will argue which they prefer, but they actually make both work. I remember some stranger saying to me before we went into the hall, ‘I bet you don’t know what to expect?’ I’m not really sure what he meant but if I’m honest, I’m not sure anyone really knew what to expect. I’ve come to learn though, that when going to see OCS live there is one thing you can expect and that is not to be disappointed.

Let’s start with Simon Fowler’s voice. He is just amazing live. A recording can be tweaked to perfection, but to be able to sing like that on a stage is real talent. He complained at one point that the smoke machine was choking him, but honestly, I hadn’t noticed.

Simon Fowler. Photo Credit; Liam Garland

There were three band members on stage, Simon, Steve Cradock and Oscar Harrison, they were backed by a string quartet. For some tunes Steve was on his electric guitar with his box of special effects to give the show a more rock feel. The strings fitted in seamlessly and often added a lot more, particularly in haunting tunes like Alibis. Of course, Symphony Hall is made for music like this.

The band played a real mixture of tunes to please the audience. The theme was acoustic so there were lots of lovely melodies like Families (dedicated to all the mums dads and children, have I missed anyone out?) , Have you got the Right, Better Day and one of my particular favourites, She’s Been Writing. Then there were the classic rock tunes which had the audience up in their seats dancing and singing along, One For the Road, Profit in Peace The Day We Caught the Train and The Circle. Something for everyone, new fans and old, rock fans and folk.

“She’s been writing
She’s been writing
She’s been, ah, she’s been… writing”

We had a great evening, the music was great, the atmosphere was great and I’d definitely go and see them again like this.

Photo Credit: Liam Garland