July 12, 2016

What *have* you done?!

Posted in July tagged , , , at 11:25 am by viewfromthisdesk

As mentioned before, I’ve been using my crutches more frequently this year.  It is what it is.  And yet, even people who have known I’m not in the best of states have that horrified gasp of ‘what *have* you done’ as their greeting, as opposed to ‘morning, lovely to see you’ which I’d much prefer if I’ve managed to get dressed and leave the house.

I had a situation a couple of weeks back where I had got out of bed, thrown clothes on and made it out into the world.  The person I first met just looked at the sticks and went ‘been doing to much have we?’ with a grin, so that was fine.  Topic done, dusted and left.  Then someone else came and did the horrified end of the world situation and wouldn’t leave it alone.  But what HAVE you done?  It wasn’t nosey, it wasn’t even really concern it was just on repeat.  Which did my head in.  So I smiled and said ‘oh you know how it is these days, these husbands think they can get away with anything they like’ thinking a joke would just let it lie.  ‘Don’t be silly’ came the reply, ‘what have you done’

At this point I wanted to get to my feet (and sticks) in an elegant fashion, much-like some new-born giraffe that had been born on its head and say ‘it’s none of your business, shut up and respect personal boundaries’

Instead, I replied again and said ‘it’s just my life now, I got out of bed and this is what happened’

They just wouldn’t accept my answer.  I wasn’t wanting to get into a conversation about my ME, about how some days I can’t walk or balance or do anything. How it was effort enough to get more than my dressing gown on that morning, how my hands were still burning from having to brush my teeth and hair.

I looked at person number one, begging them to get the other person to just shut up and thankfully, the message was understood.  Person two was told to stop asking questions and just leave it.

But the experience has shaken me up a bit.  I’d finally gotten my head around the fact that it’s okay to be out on crutches, that it’s fine to still make the effort to go out even if that level of extra support is required.  Yet this level of persistent questioning that invaded all aspects of personal space ruined it all.  If I know you and we consider each other to be friends, I’ll tell you the truth – if you genuinely asked.  Equally, if you were a friend, you’d know that today wasn’t a great day but I wanted to see you and therefore it was a sticks or cancel situation.  You’d be thrilled to bits that I still made it out.  You wouldn’t care about the sticks.

I’m finding myself analysing everything now.  Do I really need to go out?  Do I really need to go somewhere because there will be other people there.  Can I ask hubby or a friend to go instead?  I’m getting hermit-like again.  It’s not good and I don’t know how to fix this.

July 5, 2016

Learning the art of balance

Posted in July tagged , , , , , , , at 2:29 pm by viewfromthisdesk

I’ve been utterly awful at the whole ‘pacing and prioritising’ thing that the medical peeps bang on about.  I’ve been brought up with the ‘if something needs doing, get on and do it’ attitude and approach.  It’s hard to change something that has been forced into your brain for so long.

This year has been the most challenging for me so far.  I’ve spent way more time on my crutches than in any year previously.  I’d like to claim it’s because I want to show off my gorgeous coloured sticks but it isn’t.  My joints and balance have been particularly horrendous this year and I cannot attribute it to any particular reason other than this condition is deteriorating.  I’m not doing as much physical stuff as I used to or indeed want to.  Any fun event is wrapped in days of resting and relaxing and neoprene things.  My bat work is set up on the basis of not much walking around on site and me being somewhere I can sit for the survey which is neither professional or ideal.  Concerts are few and far between this year.

On the back of all that misery however, I had a light bulb moment last week which I feel deserves praise.  I was working away for ten days, at what I call my temping job.  It’s a tough gig though.  It’s a proper eight to nine hour day, it’s constantly busy and noisy and bright.  There is nowhere to hide, nowhere to escape to when it gets too much and certainly no flexible working hours.  It always makes me ill and I’m absolutely aware it makes me ill so nothing *should* be planned for the time I’m temping.  Nothing except sleep and more meds.

In previous years, I’ve taken the approach that of course I can do it all.  Of course I can temp and keep house and do bat surveys and have a social life, of course I’ll be fine.  With bad consequences.

This time, I literally just did temping.  The house is now a mess, I turned down bat work and I had no life outside of the nine hour day.  It was work-home-pyjamas-sleep.  So I managed some time of balance.  Not in the literal sense because I was on my multi coloured sticks for the whole time, but balance in terms of not trying to do it all.

But how do I now not over compensate for this week of being sensible?  This week I have booked three surveys with another as a possible.  I desperately need to turn into some crazy person with the ability to clean the house (even though housework is one of my worst pain triggers) and make it all look normal and respectable.  I just can’t do everything in a sensible and balances fashion, I’m wading through treacle whilst being stuck inside a constricting jumper.  I can’t employ someone to clean because I can’t afford it.  I can’t turn down temping or bat work because I can’t afford to do that too.

I’m clinging to the ‘look how well I did last week’ attitude in the hope that no one will notice what a mess I’m making of this week!