The Huntley never does things by halves!


Well, some of you know that already. Whether it’s the gym, falling off the good food wagon, getting hands on with my DIY at home or going into hospital for an operation, I skip the shallow end and dive bomb into the depths with gay abandon. Alas, with such gay abandon comes consequences. Perhaps ‘everything in moderation’ ought to become my new mantra? Can you really see that happening? No. Me neither… but I’ll try.

For those newer to my blog it’s worth giving you a little background to the story of what led to last Friday’s op/ops. Four years ago I bought the ugliest house in a nice street. All good property buffs will know this makes good financial sense. The location takes care of itself and the house can be worked on. Work on it, I did. I’ve had a couple of friends who are in the trade who would come and work with me to show me what to do and then I’d carry on, grafting away, until they could come again so we could work on it together.

In my time doing this I’ve smashed down walls, ripped up floors, pulled down ceilings, put in windows, dabbled in a little tiling and plastering (only a couple of spots that didn’t show), lagged pipes, built, insulated and plastered walls, designed and remodelled, dug up and laid a driveway, fixed cladding, you name it, I’ve tried my hand at it. OK, not the electrics. I’m crazy but not entirely stupid. I even went on a training course and received a certificate for rendering. I’ve learned bucket-loads!

Countless are the tools and machines I’ve armed myself with and learned to master. One thing I didn’t do was pay proper attention to health and safety. I’ve done angle grinding in a bikini, laid paving blocks in bare feet and even did some rendering in my PJs. Can’t stress this next sentence strongly enough PLEASE, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME! Seriously, do as I say and not as I did. Before using machines really research their usage times first. Always wear protective gear such as specs, masks, hats, earplugs and so on. Thoroughly do your own homework. If you’re not sure then ask a professional for advice on how to safeguard against injury and even worse.

So, we come on to injury… I had many little injuries along the way and just accepted it as a ‘no pain, no gain’ kind of thing that went with the territory of working for anything worthwhile. Really dumb! Don’t do this! Pain is a warning. Heed warnings.

I can actually clearly remember digging up very heavy clods of clay soil and lobbing them across the driveway-to-be with great gusto and feeling something snap or twang across my right shoulder. Yes, it was painful but I carried on going, thinking of the end goal. I should have listened but I didn’t. This was maybe around two years ago. I carried on and tried taking every kind of painkiller and nothing worked except a night time cold remedy which I couldn’t take for more than a certain amount of time. Finally I gave in and saw a doctor who referred me to a specialist. What a man. He was, quite obviously, a leader in his field. He took an X-ray and confirmed calcific tendinitis, calcium deposits which press on the nerves and cause quite severe pain. When he offered me a steroid injection I jumped at the chance and it really did help for several months.

Then it returned with a vengeance. Back to Mr Shoulder God who suspected there may be something underlying and offered me an MRI scan but, don’t laugh, as I had hair extensions which are fixed with metal rings I was unable to have it done so just tried to see if it would go away. No such luck. I was barely sleeping a whole night. I went to my GP, had another jab and it lasted about two weeks but wasn’t as effective as before, even strong painkillers didn’t touch it. In fact, it made me quite unwell. Referred back to the specialist who X-rayed again and confirmed it was time to go the surgical route. He said he’d be able to look around for any more damage whilst the surgery was being carried out.

I consider myself to be fairly fearless but one thing that makes me nervous is a general anaesthetic. Also, I used to be a dental nurse where we carried out surgical procedures on a regular basis so I’m not squeamish about blood and gore. I had been joking with my friends at work saying how I’d happily stay awake and watch the whole thing rather than have a GA.

Fast forward to the morning of my op and I receive the loveliest message from a dear old friend of mine, Morag. We worked together at a high street jewellers over 26 years ago but she now works in anaesthesia! She said she could see a Catherine Huntley on her list for that day and asked if it was me. Yes! She said she’d be looking after me with the anaesthetist. Oh my goodness! The relief I felt was off the scale! I told her I was nervous and she said she would look after me. Well, she told all the staff I was her friend and I was welcomed like royalty. Everyone was so kind and friendly.

I was still nervous regarding the general anaesthesia but felt far more comfortable now Angel Morag was on the scene. The anaesthetist came to see me. Fred with a French accent, ooh la la. More relaxed now. He asked how I was feeling and I admitted to the nerves. I told him I wasn’t afraid of the op itself or pain, just going under. “I’d happily watch the whole thing” I said. “Are you serious?” said Fred. Silence. “You mean… can I?”. He said he’d have to get the specialist surgeon’s approval but if it was OK with him then it was a yes and I could chat with Morag whilst it was being done! Now I was not only relieved but I was excited!!

I had to have sedation and then my neck was injected to block all the sensation in my right shoulder, arm and hand. Whilst this was taking effect I was wheeled back into recovery and nurse Karen came over to keep me company. I had been told about Karen’s love for QVC by the other staff who said she’d love to come say hi. We chatted for at least half an hour. What a lovely lady.

Finally, it was time. I was wheeled into the operating theatre. Everyone was so lovely. I felt lucky beyond my wildest dreams. I watched the screen as they made three points of entry in my shoulder for the instruments and camera. I then watched and listened as the surgeon told me what I was looking at. It was fascinating. The calcium deposits were taken care of and I was informed I had two other problems in there. One, a bony spur which had to be removed. I watched him shave down the bone and he took away a little more explaining that this allows my stem cells to be released and aid healing. Finally, turns out I had a frozen shoulder, too. I watched as he worked. Absolutely awesome. He told me I’d had three operations instead of one! Told you I don’t do things by halves!

How I’ve been pushing myself to the limits at the gym I just don’t know. I guess I can be a determined little whatsit when I want to be! The physiotherapist showed me, prior to the operation, how my left side had been over compensating for the restricted mobility on the right side and showed me how much the right shoulder muscles have wasted away a bit. Again, fascinating!

I have so many great friends to thank but can’t list them all. Suffice to say I was bombarded with lovely messages offering help, phone calls, visits, help to and from hospital and so on. My son has been amazing, cooking me vegan delights.

I’ve had cards, crystals, arnica and just a whole lotta love for which I’m truly grateful.

I’m following all post-op advice to the letter and feel like I’ll be good in no time. I can’t wait to be back with you again. I’m missing you and I’m missing the gym, too! I have to be careful, though. I keep thinking I’m all set and then I have a sudden crash of energy and feel like I can’t move further than the sofa for hours. I think the meds have a lot to do with that.

In any case, I’m doing great and want to thank you all for all of your kind words on social media and on here. Forgive me if I’m a little slow to respond but know that your comments always mean the world to me. You are a lovely lot, you know that?

As today is Mental Health Awareness Day I think it’s a perfect opportunity to remind everyone to be kind whenever possible as we never know what someone else is going through and that one small kindness could be the thing that could even save a life.

My daughter has launched her single today which she wrote for my son. She is hoping to raise not just awareness but, also, funds for the mental health charity, MIND. Her name is Chrissie Huntley if you fancy looking her up on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter but I’ll also be posting more about it next week as I’m dearly hoping to be well enough to go to her launch night in Bristol tonight. I can’t drive for a couple of weeks but her dad has offered to take me. Fingers crossed I feel well enough! If not, she’s already told me it’ll be professionally filmed.

Thanks so much for stopping by. I miss you and will see you soon!

Facebook: Catherine Huntley TV
Twitter: @TheHuntley
Instagram: @catherine_huntley

Love Catherine x


  1. Theresa Hay October 10, 2018 at 3:35 pm -  Reply

    I’m with you Catherine I’m happier staying awake I’ve had a couple of procedures whilst still awake I’m terrified of being put under
    Glad to hear you’re on the mend

  2. Cecilia Sheeran October 10, 2018 at 4:12 pm -  Reply

    Hi Catherine. I’ve got the same problem you had and no, the pain is horrific. Not as brave as you. Hope you’re soon back on air as we miss you. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  3. Julia Johnson October 10, 2018 at 4:18 pm -  Reply

    Hope you recover soon,i had my knee replacement done while being awake,i had so much relaxing drug ended up singing with the surgeon as i had my music with me in the theatre,ha! x

  4. Lyn shortman October 10, 2018 at 5:02 pm -  Reply

    Hi Catherine sorry to hear you had to have a operation hope you get well soon at least your 2 Cats 🐱 can keep their eyes on you to see what you are getting up to best wishes Lyn and Mr Pip the cat xxxx

  5. Marie October 10, 2018 at 5:05 pm -  Reply

    Dear Catherine you are truly a one off. Your family and friends are so lucky to have you in their lives.
    I wish you a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing you back on air. Marie xx

  6. Susan October 10, 2018 at 5:06 pm -  Reply

    Hi Catherine,
    You’re a marvel! How on earth have you managed to keep going to that level of activity?! And how did you watch that op? I can’t believe you were a dental nurse? Never knew that! You’d be great putting people at ease.
    Congrats to Chrissie on her single. That’s a wonderful thing to do to write a song for her brother. I’m all for Mind. It’s tough out there for everyone particularly younger people. Huge pressure and not really enough support or prospects. Hope you feel better soon xx

  7. Pauline anne October 10, 2018 at 6:08 pm -  Reply

    I saw you on QVC today and you looked well I thought you would be off work longer so was surprised when your lovely face appaired I’ve had the very same injection in my hand so I know what you felt like I’ve to go back this week to see my doctor so hopefully I get another steroid injection wish you well xx

  8. Sian James October 10, 2018 at 6:19 pm -  Reply

    Brave lady …. get well soon and hurry back to QVC .. we are missing you xxx

  9. Sally Carr October 10, 2018 at 6:39 pm -  Reply

    Just listened to the single and it really spoke to me – even though I’m 53!

  10. SheMag October 10, 2018 at 7:18 pm -  Reply

    Hello, darling. Well, your world of pain is about to be transformed, isn’t it! Nerve blocks are a magical development in my view. Don’t forget Decleor prolagene gel once your scar starts to heal, it makes an incredible difference to the healing process. Well done for being so brave all this time and also for belatedly appreciating the messages pain is trying to tell you! After almost three decades my partner has finally convinced me that you stop when the magic words pass your lips. They’re “just one more”! Works whether it’s one more piece of wallpaper or one more piece of cake! Haha! Much love, SheMag

  11. Rebecca Bryant October 10, 2018 at 7:47 pm -  Reply

    Hi Caththerine gosh you have been through alot. I do hope you feel better very soon. Missing you cheerful smile and cheery character on QVC. Make sure you get plenty of rest. Get Well really soon Catherine. And looking forward to seeing you back with all the guys and gals on QVC again soon. All my love and Get Well Hugs from Becca XXX

  12. Anne Ruth Lewis October 10, 2018 at 7:59 pm -  Reply

    Well done Catherine. I fell down in snowy weather getting snow off the drive one Feb and hurt my shoulder. Thought nothing of it and took painkillers. In May of same year I was no better in fact worse so went to an osteopath. Turns out I had displaced ribs! So agree with you, pain means something!

  13. Lisa October 10, 2018 at 9:02 pm -  Reply

    WOW very very brave. Hope youre feeling better soon. The singles great by the way. Well done Chrissie xx

  14. Nina October 10, 2018 at 9:29 pm -  Reply

    Glad to hear your on the mend. Looking forward to seeing you back xxx

  15. Christine Shine October 10, 2018 at 10:14 pm -  Reply

    Hi Catherine. Hope you are recovering from your op. Just to say I had a similar shoulder operation (only one) and ABC wipes were greatly used under the armpit plus later on arnica gel! The main thing you have to do is the physio exercises. Do these regularly and you should get back to normal (?). Wishing you well.

  16. Sue Pebbles October 10, 2018 at 11:28 pm -  Reply

    Good to hear you are on the mend but don’t push yourself too hard. I’m happy your trip to my world of pain was brief. Don’t risk making it a permanent home.I’m back housebound again but managed a trip to the vets for Pebbles. She has lost a lot of weight and I thought her kidneys had got much worse. They had slightly deteriorated but her boods showed a few raised levels. Now we check for diabetes. At least P&P are well. Take care and speak soon xxxx

  17. Essie October 11, 2018 at 12:38 am -  Reply

    Aw your a brave wee soul and I hope you make a speedy recovery, you’ll be in our prayers and I hope you do take your time to get well and not overdo it again.
    I’m sure your lovely daughter will be a great success.
    Take care my dear 😘😘

  18. Debbie Booth October 11, 2018 at 8:51 am -  Reply

    Oh Catherine what a blog! I think it’s amazing that you watched your operation, glad it went well and that you are feeling well. I am currently going through something similar with my shoulder and am currently having physiotherapy but an operation has been mentioned so was encouraging to hear how yours went. Hope all goes well. Well done to your daughter as well a wonderful thing for her to do. Good luck and love. Debbie X

  19. Sue Howick October 11, 2018 at 10:50 am -  Reply

    Glad to see you back on air this morning. No stopping you Catherine. How proud you must be of your daughter. Looking forward to hearing the track. Mental health shouldn’t be hidden away anymore and thanks to people like your Chrissy we can be open and honest about it. Take care and no D I Y for a couple of weeks. Xxx

  20. Susan Podmore October 11, 2018 at 1:11 pm -  Reply

    Get well soon Catherine,will miss your cheery and happy face and make qvc a joy to watch with your funnyness,,
    Best wishes susan

  21. Helen Magowan October 11, 2018 at 2:51 pm -  Reply

    Great blog, Catherine. I feel exactly the same way about GA’s.😱 Great you were able to be awake for the op (or should I says ops!!) Many congrats to your daughter & what a very worthwhile cause she did it for. Loving the food your son cooked, looks yummy. Wishing you a speedy recovery, Catherine. Take care. Helen x

  22. Mitz October 11, 2018 at 5:57 pm -  Reply

    Brave girl! I’d have a GA for a dental check if I could, I hate being ‘fiddled about with’. Good to know you are OK and being looked after. Wishing you a speedy, full recovery and look forward to seeing you back on QVC very soon. You are missed.

  23. Janet October 11, 2018 at 9:48 pm -  Reply

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery. Try and take it slow and steady!

  24. Linda October 13, 2018 at 11:41 pm -  Reply

    Get well soon Catherine. I have had two hip replacements and two knee replacements all when I was awake done by having an epidural and could hear all that was going on drilling,hammering and soaring. I had to have them that way as I have problems with my neck. It did not worry me at all. Love Linda. xxx

  25. Michelle October 14, 2018 at 11:53 am -  Reply

    Awwwwww Catherine you’re a star & missed on QVC, I hope you have a really speedy recovery, as I could do with you to come and render my house! Lol. Take lots of rest & look after yourself! Keep smiling, love from Michelle xxx

  26. Jillian Mason October 15, 2018 at 6:06 pm -  Reply

    Hello me babby…you have been through it aint you…poor you…Ive only just started readin all the qvc presenters blogs(im 66 an quite a tecno fob)what a fasinating bunch you are…who knew…lol…hurry up an get back to work coz you are very funny an i miss youre inpromptuness…ive met my match…hurrarr…take care bab…

  27. Jenny November 5, 2018 at 3:35 pm -  Reply

    So pleased you are on the mend Catherine. I have had multiple surgeries on my left arm and elbow and my surgeon said to me when the scars are healed rub E45 cream in gently and scars will be pliable and prevent lesions. Take care Jenny x

  28. Caroline November 13, 2018 at 8:48 pm -  Reply

    .Hello Catherine. So sad you have been going through so much at the moment, I do miss you on QVC it isn’t quite the same without your sense of humour, you do make me laugh a lot.

    I hope you make a speedy recovery and hopefully see you again soon on the tv. Rest plenty. Caroline X a .QVC fan

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