WLM Member Monday – Gemma Murphy-Sanderson

Gemma Murphy Sanderson

Victoria Twead: Our Monday Member is fantastic WLM mod Gemma Murphy-Sanderson! She has kindly agreed to answer all our questions today. Gemma hails from the US and will be along later, but do leave your questions and I know she’ll answer them all when she appears. As usual, 2 people will be picked to win ebooks from the header.

Karen Knight:  Good morning Emma, what is Ehlers-Danios syndrome that you and your son suffer from?

Woofie Wotsit:  Howdy Emma How did you get to be admitted to a boys’ school?

Valerie Robson:  Hi Gemma from Zimbabwe… xxx

Betty Sue Brewster:  What are some of the other instruments you play? Do you prefer classical music or some other style?

Janet Hughes:  Shhhhush, she’s had a bad night. Here’s some breakfast whist you wait.


Janet Hughes:  No, pushing, there’s plenty for everyone.

Gemma Murphy-Sanderson:  Karen it is a range of symptoms ranging from hypermobile joints ( or being double jointed) to vascular disorder.

–From Wikipedia: Ehlers–Danlos syndrome (EDS) is an inherited connective tissue disorder with different presentations that have been classified into several primary types. EDS is caused by a defect in the structure, production, or processing of collagen or proteins that interact with collagen,

–Woofie there were 15 of us taken into the school as a trial. It was ‘interesting’ to say the least!

–Betty I can also play the flute, guitar, recorder, keyboard and and a little trumpet. I like an eclectic mix of styles from classical to more modern pieces.

–Janet thank you for the breakfast.

Janet Hughes:  No Problem Gemma, you’re welcome.

Victoria Twead:  *munches on Janet Hughes breakfast* did the trial work Gemma? Did they carry on taking girls into the school?

Gemma Murphy-Sanderson:  Yes Victoria they did! It was an amazing experience. The class sizes were so small. The largest class I was in was of 20 and when I did my A level chemistry I was in a class of 4.

Victoria Twead Fantastic. When I was teaching I often had 35 in a class. Impossible to give individual attention and the quiet kids were often forgotten. No class should be more than 20 in my opinion.

Janet Hughes:  Everyone finished breakfast? Good, the waiter’s coming to collect all your dirty pots, be nice to him, it’s his first day.


Cherry Gregory:  Hi Gemma. I’m impressed by all the musical instruments you can play. Which is your favourite instrument?

Gemma Murphy-Sanderson:  Cherry my favourite has to be the clarinet

Anne Wine O’clock Durrant:  Good morning Gemma – what problems does ED syndrome give you if any?

Karen Knight:  What is the story behind meeting your husband through your brother?

Cherry Gregory:  Thanks for answering my question, Gemma. The clarinet is a beautiful instrument (I speak as a listener to music, not a player!)

Woofie Wotsit:  What treatment/s do you and your son need to follow for that syndrome, Gemma? And how do you cope with it? I googled it to find out more about it.

–And thanks for brekkie, Janet.. was delish

Janet Hughes:  Woofie, Victoria Twead. Have you finished with that beefcake yet from last week? only his Mum was saying that she hasn’t seen him since!

Julie Haigh:  Do you play clarinet or flute in an orchestra or have you ever done?

Joy Hughes:  Hi Gemma, I’m interested in how and at what age you were introduced to music. We are a very musical family and it always intrigues us how a passion is introduced and evolves. Does your son show any interest in music or instruments?

Gemma Murphy-Sanderson:  Anne Wine O’clock Durrant it means I get sprains and dislocations easy as well as a lot of joint pain. I also suffer with brittle asthma due to the elasticity of the tissue in my lungs and also irritable bowl syndrome. I am permanently tired as I cant sleep due to the pain. X

Joy Hughes:  I will catch up on this thread after work Tuesday. In NZ it is 10.45 Monday evening so away to bed.

Woofie Wotsit:  That sucks, Gemma Is there nothing they can give you for the pain?

Gemma Murphy-Sanderson:  Karen Knight stuart was working at kwik fit when my brother started an apprenticeship there. As I finished uni I would walk down from the train station to meet my mum at kwik fit as she picked my brother up. One day my brother just said Gemma Stuart wants to ask you to go the the cinema with him and then 10 years on here we are!

–Woofie Wotsit I take paracetamol, dihydrocodine, ibuprofen and a morphine based patch as pain relief then strong steroid inhalers and an anti spasmodic for the asthma and ibs. Some days are better than others but I struggle to lift my little girl anymore and she is only 1. I am due to go to London at the end of March to see the only specialist in the country about it so hopefully that will help.

–@julie I used to play them both in the school orchestra but have not really played since then

Anne Wine O’clock Durrant:  I feel so ignorant – I had not heard of EDS until today. I imagine you have to be really careful just doing your everyday activities – did you have a difficult time during pregnancy – I presume you had to cut down on the pain relief.

Woofie Wotsit:  Gemma, I admire you very much and I am keeping my paws crossed that that London specialist can sort out some decent help for you!!!:)

Louise Fenton:  Hi Gemma I used to play Clarinet and Piano. After having my tonsils out at 35 I struggled to play as my throat had altered somewhat and I have a lot of scarring. I would love to get a keyboard or Piano again at some point, I used to play with my Clarinet with my dad playing Piano. I suffer with Fibromyalgia so have sympathy for your pain and suffering! I’m hoping the warmth in Spain will help long term as I have always found it better when on holidays!

Cherry Gregory:  I’d not heard of EDS either. Like Woofie, I wish you all the best when you see the London specialist. Let’s hope that more can be done to ease your pain.

Janet Hughes:  What’s your favourite piece of music to play and to listen to? I too used to play a variety of instruments and sing, my mother wanted me to be a concert pianist, but I lacked the talent and hated all the exam pieces I had to play and sing. I rebelled, gave up the piano and singing and joined a marching band instead. Between playing trumpet, cornet, bugle and having my tonsils out, I ruined my singing voice. Now I just croak away like a toad.

Micki Stokoe:  Hi Gemma! I admit I’d never heard of EDS either. I hope the trip to the specialist will help you manage the condition. It must be intensely frustrating as well as painful. Did you have to give up nursing because of it?

Janet Hughes:  I admire your courage and determination Gemma, using cloth/reusable products is a lot more labour intensive and studying and working as a nurse must have been really difficult. Hats off to you for sticking to your principles and not letting the EDS dictate your life. Good luck with the specialist in London, there are new developments all the time in genetics and pain management.

–OK folks elevenses, no jostling please, Micki Stokoe, no you can’t have 4 biscuits! One sugar or two Gemma? (I’ve saved you a jammy dodger and a bourbon cream ).


Micki Stokoe:  Aw!

Gemma Murphy-Sanderson:  Joy Hughes no we were not really a musical family at all. I just loved the sound of the clarinet and it went from that. X

–Woofie Wotsit I am hoping to find something that works soon.

–Anne Wine O’clock Durrant yep I really struggled as I got really bad symphysis pubis/pelvic pain. I had to use crutches and my little princess was induced a week early due to it

–Louise Fenton thanks.

Anne Wine O’clock Durrant:  You gave birth naturally then – I thought you may have had a Cesarean – I do so admire you

Gemma Murphy-Sanderson:  Micki Stokoe yes I did there is no way I can work on a ward. I did spend sometime as a nurse advisor on the phone for NHS Direct but that has closed now.

–Janet Hughes I love the cloth nappies/ menstrual cup it is the best thing I have done and not that much more work really.

–Thanks for the biccies too. X

Micki Stokoe:  Must be so frustrating after all the time in training. I love the pictures of your children!

Terry Bryan:  Like some others, dumb about EDS…I wonder if reading helps…can you get lost in a book, so to speak. And do you have a favorite book?

Best wishes to you.

Janet Hughes:  Have you tried audiobooks? You don’t have to hold the book so less joint pain.

–Well folks I reckon it must be about lunch time. Gemma, please don’t pinch the waiter’s bottom again, he’s young and not used to such things Poor boy. No pushing – will you lot behave – Victoria, white wine or red?


Judi Bedford-Keogh:  And for those of you trying to lose weight


Janet Hughes:  Mmmm nice Judi, thank you

Gemma Murphy-Sanderson:  Erm my favourite piece. Janet Hughes I think it has to be mars from the planets.

–Judi Bedford-Keogh thanks. I’ll have rose please just to be awkward!

Janet Hughes:  Be awkward all you want rosé it is.

Cindy Canavan-Sergeant:  I like the name Gemma. Is it a family name?

Linda Kovic-Skow:  Hello Gemma Murphy-Sanderson. I’m so sad to hear about your EDS condition and I hope the specialist can give you some relief. You sound like a very brave woman. Can you tell us a bit about your family? How many brothers and sisters do you have? Where did you grow up? Have you done much traveling?

Karen Knight:  What is you favourite book?

Gemma Murphy-Sanderson:  Hi Cindy Canavan-Sergeant nope Gemma is not a family name at all. X

–Linda Kovic-Skow I am the eldest of 4. I have 3 younger brothers. One who is 28 and works for Kwik fit, one who is 21 and is study ing for a masters degree in classical roman archeology following getting a first class bachelors degree and one who is 19 and at college. I grew up is God’s own County of Yorkshire. I have not done that much travelling really.  I have visited my grandad in southern Spain a lot though. Oh and when at school I spent 2 weeks a year on a commissioned Royal Navy Ship in Portsmouth Harbour

–Ooh difficult one Karen Knight fiction wise I love Berlie Docherty’s Children Of Winter. Non fiction I love Victoria Twead’s books and also Chris Stewart s lemons. X

Linda Kovic-Skow:  I really enjoyed the interview Gemma Murphy-Sanderson. All the best in the future:)

Cherry Gregory:  Hi Gemma, what was it like being a colour sergeant in the army cadets?

Anne Wine O’clock Durrant I was just going to ask about the Cadets – did you go to camp with them?

Janet Hughes:  Gemma, Pancho has been round to Frank’s to have a chat with Ginger. He’s ‘obtained’ some ketamine, reckons that you’ll sleep like a horse. He’ll look after the kids for you whilst you have a wee snoozette. x

Nancy Gould Gomoll:  Hi Gemma – Just tuned in to this conversation. Really admire you for all you do and have accomplished given the physical/medical challenges you face. Will be praying for some solutions for your pain, and for your son also. Thanks so much for sharing your life with us. You are an amazing woman. God’s blessings be with you.

Gemma Murphy-Sanderson:  Cherry Gregory it was amazing gave me so many opportunities. We went shooting, sailing. It was through them that I spent 2 weeks a year on board a commissioned royal navy ship in Portsmouth Harbour. Anne Wine O’clock Durrant yes I also did loads of other outdoors skills and learned to shoot a rifle. X

–Janet Hughes could pancho come round with it. Both kids are in bed now!

–Nancy Gould Gomoll thank you. X

Cherry Gregory:  The Army Cadets sounds like a wonderful experience, Gemma, especially the time on board a royal navy ship! And at least you can shoot a rifle!

Gemma Murphy-Sanderson:  Yep you never know when that will be useful.

Karen Knight:  I see you are a registered nurse; what type of nursing is your favourite speciality?

Susan Joyce:  Hola Gemma from Uruguay! Sorry to be so late joining in. I’ve been reading the questions and answers. Sure hope your appointment with the specialist will shed new light on a solution for you. I greatly admire your spunk and humor in facing these drastic health issues. Wishing you a real breakthrough. Quite an education for me to read about ED syndrome. Bless you!

Anne Wine O’clock Durrant:  I was a caretaker at a drill hall – and I too learned to shoot a rifle – mine was with the TA – we did have army cadets there too. In those days they didn’t use ear defenders though – thats why I am almost deaf now.

Janet Hughes:  Pancho’s gone over to your place, he’ll purr over the kids whilst you sleep…

Susan Joyce:  Love hearing about how fate steps in and people meet destiny head on. Nice about how you met your husband.

Fay Kearney:  Loved reading your conversations Gemma, best wishes to you

Susan Joyce:  Anne, you continue to amaze me. You’re a trained sharp shooter? Wow! Gemma, have you tried marijuana for pain? Our son has severe skin problems and only marijuana relieves his pain. Just a thought. Is medical marijuana legal where you live?

Karen Knight:  Thank you so much Gemma for a really interesting interview and also for finding the time as well as juggling your children and dealing with your illness. I hope you will not pay for taking the time out to open yourself up to us. Good luck at the London specialist and let us know how you get on. Will hold you in my prayers xx

Susan Joyce:  I feel positive about Pancho helping ease your pain and helping you sleep. He’s quite the healer. Does music help relax you?

–At times I have felt miserable, music has been very helpful. I also play a couple of musical instruments.

Anne Wine O’clock Durrant:  Gemma thanks so much for being with us today and good luck when you see the specialist. x

Susan Joyce:  It’s dinnertime here. Just want you to know that you and your family are in my thoughts. Wishing you love, light, and laughter. Thanks so much for sharing your life with us today. You are a blessing to know.

Terry Bryan:  Thanks for answering our questions, Gemma. You have lots of prayers and good thoughts coming your way. I hope that helps.

Betty Sue Brewster:  Gemma I’ve been gone for a few hours and just tuned back in. I like hearing the clarinet, though I only play the piano. One of my very favorite pieces is “Clarinet quintet in A Larghetto” by Mozart – so smooth, lyrical, and sweet

Gemma Murphy-Sanderson:  Karen Knight I loved gynecological nursing. X

Susan Joyce no it is not legal in the uk at all.

Janet Hughes:  Have you read about this Gemma? Maybe there’s hope yet http://www.clear-uk.org/legal-medicinal-cannabis-in…/

Cherry Gregory:  Thank you so much for your fascinating interview, Gemma. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you better. Good luck with the London specialist.

Janet Hughes:  Hope you managed to doze last night. Pancho loves your children, he says that he’ll pop round later and purr them a story. Thank you for all the time and effort you put into your Member Monday, good luck with all your future endeavours.

Sue Clamp:  I love these Sunday Spotlight and Member Monday interviews and yours was no exception, Gemma. It’s really fun getting to know people and what makes them tick! Great interview, Gemma!

Micki Stokoe:  Couldn’t have put it better, Sue! I’ve enjoyed it – thanks, Gemma!

Victoria Twead:  Gemma, thanks so much for allowing us to bombard you with questions! Really interesting Fred, thanks! Please choose a couple of winners for books from the header and let me know who they are.

Victoria Twead:  Gemma Murphy-Sanderson has just told me she’d like Janet Hughes and Susan Joyce to win books from the header. Congrats! Good choice!

Janet Hughes:  Wow, thank you Gemma. CoNgRaTuLaTiOnS To Us Susan.

–Please may I have French Illusions. *big smile*

Craig Briggs:  Yeah! congratulations Gemma and Janet.

about an hour ago · Like · 1

Janet Hughes:  *Whispers into Craig’s shell like* Susan and Janet won, Gemma nominated us *wink*

Craig Briggs:  Doh!

–Of course I meant to write – congratulation Gemma on choosing Janet and Susan.

Victoria Twead:  Linda Kovic-Skow, your book has been chosen, popular choice!

Susan Joyce:  Yea! I’m a winner. Thanks Gemma! Congratulations Janet Hughes, another winner. I’d like A Thousand Miles to Nowhere, por favor!

Terry Bryan:  Janet & Susan…enjoy your books.

Janet Hughes:  Thank you Terry, Pancho loved that lobster you gave him He says though, can you cook it first Terry ‘cos it it nipped his tail, and you know how attached he is to his bushy tail

–Gemma Murphy-Sanderson, Pancho sends you these for the kid’s tea-time treat.

Photo#6 KidTreats

Victoria Twead:  A Thousand Miles from Nowhere by Saffron Mello Castro is flying to you now.

Susan Joyce:  Many thank Victoria and Saffron Mello Castro. I know I will enjoy it.

Victoria Twead:  French Illusions sent, Janet Hughes

Janet Hughes:  Linda Kovic-Skow thank you, I’m looking forwards to reading about your escapades in France.

Terry Bryan:  Janet Hughes don’t panic…Pancho’s lobster was cooked…he caught his bushy tail in one of the claws and it scared him, which he hates to admit. Sighhhh

Gemma Murphy-Sanderson:  Janet Hughes thanks. X

Micki Stokoe:  Congratulations, Susan & Janet!

Karen Knight:  Well done Janet & Susan!