August 24, 2017

Things are far from ideal

Posted in August, Health stuff tagged , , , , , at 12:56 pm by viewfromthisdesk

It’s no secret I like food.  You only have to glance at me to know food is high on my list of daily obsessions.  And these curves take some maintaining, it has to be said.

So when I go off food, it’s a glaring red light that I should pay attention to.

Since first thing Sunday, I’ve had a continual feeling of nausea.  I can’t taste anything and I’m just not hungry.  The smell of food is making me more queasy.  And I’m not sleeping.  Yeah, back to that hilarious combination of ME and insomnia.

I don’t know where this not sleeping, not eating thing has come from.  Friday night I had an amazing night at a concert seeing an artist I honestly never thought I’d see perform live.  Saturday I had a wonderful day at friends’ wedding – it was a fun day full of laughter and love.  So much positive energy from two excellent dates.  But Sunday I felt dreadful and I thought I was just suffering the effects of two big days so I just took it easy and rested up for many hours and hoped it would pass.

But then Monday rolled around.  I’m forcing myself to eat breakfast so I can take meds.  I’m not wanting to eat lunch or tea and I know it’s not an ideal situation.  This continues into Tuesday and Wednesday.  This morning (Thursday) I’ve established I’ve lost 3lbs since Saturday morning.  Usually I’d be delighted but I know that it’s not healthy.  My jeans aren’t fitting and I just feel empty.  Lost even.

This morning after yet another rubbish, broken night of not-sleeping, I’ve resorted to taking my anti-nausea meds.  These are kept in my emergency crash box so that’s not a good start.  I ate porridge so I could take them but I couldn’t taste it and I didn’t enjoy it – I was eating because I had to.  And then I made a sandwich for lunch which I have no intention of eating if I’m honest.  I was dry heaving whilst making it, the smell just turned my stomach.  The thought of eating it is horrendous.  Maybe I’ll convince myself and those around me that I’ll eat it for tea.

It’s one thing to not be eating.  It’s another to throw not sleeping into the mix as well.  I’m at the crazy point of bat season.  I have weeks left before I too can hibernate until spring.  I need to be vertical and coping.  Not sleeping is not what is needed right now.  And to have this many awful nights in a row (6 and counting) is worrying me.

But.

And it’s a big but.

I don’t feel tired.  Usually after just one bad night, I’d be asleep in the afternoons, I’d be unable to go to work, I’d be unable to speak properly.  At the moment, none of that is happening, I’m just not sleeping.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I feel well, I just don’t feel as bad as I should be.  Aside from the ever constant metallic I’m-going-to-be-sick taste and the churning in the stomach sensation I am remarkably upright.  It was even commented on survey the other night that I’d not been seen so bouncy and looking so good for a couple of years.  It was high praise and I basked in it but knew it’s not the truth.

So I don’t know what is going on with me right now.  All I know is it’s far from ideal.  I’m not asking for hints or tips on sleeping and/or eating, I’ve tried them all I assure you.  I’m just letting you know I’m not right and your support and witty messages are appreciated.

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July 25, 2017

One Million Lovely Letters

Posted in July tagged , , , , , at 10:22 am by viewfromthisdesk

I had planned to write a post about suicide, which is nice and cheery but then that all changed last night.  As ever, I’m referring to something I saw on tv which got me thinking.  And crying and laughing.  If you didn’t watch it, find it on iplayer.

Last night on BBC1 at 7.30 was a program about a lass called Jodi who started writing letters to total strangers.  She has a target to write ‘One Million Lovely Letters’ and some of the people featured talked about how her letter had arrived at a really difficult time and had gotten them through.  One guy was from Canada and had fixed her letter to his computer so it was a daily reminder.  Letters, words, ink on paper are powerful things.

I used to love writing – my teenage years were full of writing to friends and boyfriends.  The angst of those years would pour out as my inky scrawl would fill pages and pages.  I’d look for colourful envelopes and nice paper.  I’d save any money I had for stamps which were much cheaper back then.  I’d feel full of love and excitement when I had an envelope for me when I got home from school.  That someone had taken the time to sit and write to me, take that time to think about me and want to connect with me, that was magical.

I still have notes from people from when I was 14, I’ve kept them and I re-read them.  My gratitude jar was amazing for the couple of years that it worked.  But it’s not been contributed to for a while.  Maybe I haven’t done anything with anyone worth writing about?  But that was amazing, tipping that out on New Years Day, seeing what people had scribbled on the back of a cinema ticket or shopping receipt.  Because it didn’t have to be an essay it could just be ‘I had a really nice time with you today’.  Something so simple makes a huge impact.

I miss it.  I miss writing terribly.  Holding a pen is absolute torture now and it’s all I can do to write happy birthday to someone.  Emails and faceache just are not the same.  They’re nice, but not the same.  I try and write proper letters to people but I have to type them now which I think is somewhat bad mannered.  It’s cheating.  But it’s all I can do and so I console myself with ‘at least I’ve written’ and try not to think about the medium within which I have written.

So, going back to the show – Jodi last night, had set up a webpage where you could request a letter.  At the time of filming, she had 8,000 waiting emails.  According to Twitter, she had over 1,500 emails during the program.  There are that many people out there, who feel that they need that random act of kindness from a stranger to tell them that it will be okay, that they will get through, that they are enough.  And I’ll be honest, I wanted to add myself to that list.  But now I know how many people have also asked, I don’t want to add to her pressure.  I don’t want to make her feel overwhelmed.  In all honesty, I don’t feel worthy.

So. if you find yourself with half an hour this week or weekend, write someone a letter.  Or a card.  Or just a post-it note.  Or rearrange the fridge magnets if you can’t be bothered to pick up a pen.  Tell someone you like their hair, their top, that they made you smile today, that they *are* enough.  Take lyrics from a song (with credits in case they want to listen to it) if you can’t think of anything!  Maybe challenge yourself to write to one different person every day for a week.  Spend fifty pence on a stamp, make them feel special.  It’s important.

Or do what Jodi did.  Write a note and hide it on the bus or train or in the communal fridge.  It doesn’t have to be huge.  Just a handful of words on a boring square of paper.  You don’t even have to add stickers or glitter or a smiley face.

Words hurt and that hurt lasts a lifetime.  But words can also make someone’s life turn turtle in a good way.  Words can remind someone that it’s worth persevering, that it’s worth struggling through because somewhere out there, someone does give a stuff.  Someone does care.

June 8, 2017

Revenge of the Rainbow

Posted in June tagged , , , , , , at 11:46 am by viewfromthisdesk

It really is as sinister as the title suggests.

Yesterday I decided to have a non-rainbow breakfast.  I wanted to see how – if at all – I was affected by non rainbow foods, either physically or mentally.  I suppose I was testing to see if my attitude to food had changed, so buy eating something that I knew wasn’t brilliantly good for me, would I feel guilty or inspired to counteract it and run a marathon or something.

So I had hot cross buns for breakfast.  They smelt delicious in the toaster; the spices, the bread goodness.  Yummy.  And then paired with a layer of budget-supermarket-own-brand-Lurpak-type-product it was just heaven on a plate, I could not wait to just shove it into my face.

However, I have learnt to take my time over food and savour the different levels of senses.  It didn’t make a noise so I was entirely enraptured by the look and the smell before the taste.  It was beautiful.

My first bite.  My very first bite.  Oh my taste buds exploded with joy.  And then a crunch and a weird metallic taste and ….. pain.

My mouth was on fire.  The sensation in my mouth was horrid.


I had taken a chunk out of the inside of my lip.  It’s just over 1cm square which for someone with a delicate sized mouth like mine, is a fairly massive lump.

I’d like to say that the rest of my hot cross bun breakfast was left on the table whilst I tended to the medical emergency, but it was not.  I can say that hot cross buns with a blood coating are not tasty.

My lip yesterday swelled on the one side, it was super painful to drink hot tea or even warm tea so it was another water day and eating wasn’t fun so I just had cauliflower cheese for tea.  This morning, it’s less oozy and less frequently bleeding so hopefully it will heal up soon.

 

Will accept tubs of ice cream as sympathy and love.

March 2, 2017

Snoring: suffocation or separation?

Posted in March tagged , , , , , , at 2:43 pm by viewfromthisdesk

I am very aware that I only write nice things about my husband on this blog.  He freely admits he’s never read any posts but I feel I should be polite and respectful about him.  After all, he’s put up with a whole tonne of medical rubbish and supported me through the drama that is my life since 24.

Alas, I can pretend no more.  My husband is a nightmare.  I cannot rose-tinted glasses it any more.  There is no half-full, positive spin to the situation.  I am beginning to hate him and that’s not healthy.

We’ve just returned from our summer holiday.  We have to take it in February because of work so it’s a nice experience to get away from grey, dreary, miserable home and go somewhere sunny.  Yeah, the temperature change on our return is a shock and it’s horrible in the summer when everyone else is going away and we’re not but hey ho.  As usual, I caught some germ ridden lurgy on the plane back and coupled with jet lag and everything, I’ve been feeling utterly wiped out and quite down in the dumps.

Hubby is immune to all lurgy and is just bouncing around the place, relaxed, refreshed and showing off his tan at every opportunity.  I’m shattered.  I just want to sleep.

And herein lies the problem.  For some unknown reason, he’s snoring really, really badly.  Since we came back it’s like sleeping with what I imagine a bunged-up hippo would sound like.  He’s utterly unaware of it though.  It doesn’t make an ounce of difference which position he’s sleeping in, whether he’s coated in a thick layer of vics and has olbas oil all over his pillow, whether he’s had a shower immediately before bed or not.  And in my lurgy-miserable-exhausted state, I just want to suffocate him.

For a couple of evenings I’ve moved to the spare room.  My leaving the bed wakes him up and he always tells me he doesn’t want me to go.  But he doesn’t understand in his slumbering state that I WANT and NEED to sleep.  He says he’ll try not to snore but I’m not sure he really has any control over it.  If I stay in bed, I’m staring at the ceiling, bunching up the duvet in my hands in an effort to control my urge to punch him really hard in the ribs.  I’m tense and angry and not at all relaxed or calm or anywhere near sleep.

But the spare bed is not my bed.  I do not have a me-shaped dent in the mattress where I curl and fit perfectly.  The pillows are not covered in sleep-spray in my foolish effort to drug myself into slumber.  The room is not perfectly dark, the shadows are different and it’s not mine.  He refuses to sleep in the spare room, there is no discussion about it once I ask and he says no.

So, at 1.30am I moved to the spare room.  At 3am this morning, when I’m still wide awake and I know the alarm is going off for him in a couple of hours time and he’ll wake me with his gallumping around, I’m in the spare room, crying with frustration and exhaustion.  I don’t know what to do.

I’m working every day this week because we’ve returned to a busy and full diary.  Yey.  But I’m a zombie.  And it’s hard not to be grumpy ALL THE TIME.  I’m fighting the urge to have an afternoon/evening nap because my OT says that’s the wrong thing to do.  And I want to sleep AT NIGHT like a NORMAL person.  ARGH.

I thought vics and olbas oil might help him breathe easier if he’s got any small trace of my germs but it’s not working.  Waking him up and asking him to change position isn’t working.  He refuses to move to the spare room and I don’t sleep much if I do.  I just can’t win.

So.  People of the blog-reading-pastime world.  What on earth do I do?  Make the spare room mine and separate?  Or just suffocate him so it’s silent?

 

January 12, 2017

January again

Posted in January tagged , , at 11:52 am by viewfromthisdesk

Almost a year ago I wrote a post about death.  At the time, there had been many high profile celebrity passings and society was in shock at the loss of talent.  For me, the date that I wrote was the anniversary of my Dad’s death and as this looms on the horizon again I find myself in a pretty dark place.

Celebrity deaths last year were frequent and many people were upset at these.  Music and the arts affects us all, we each have a song that takes us to a magical memory, a favourite film or album for all occasions.  I must confess, I wasn’t upset at any of these.  Shocked and surprised for a moment, but never upset.  Growing up, death has just been one of those things and for a long while I’ve wondered if I’m immune to feeling any emotion when it comes to death, I’m all out of feeling, I used it all up.

But at the end of January 2016, Patch Cat died.  It was a Sunday afternoon, we were not with her.  She was 16 and had been everyone’s favourite cat.  She loved boys, tolerated girls and would run off in an open van in a heartbeat.  She did honestly once elope with the RAC man who had come to fix next door’s car once.  If you were allergic to cats, she loved you more.  She was old but was the Peter Pan of cat-ness.  She always wanted to play and had this look on her face that was always kitten like.  She wanted nothing more than to chase after a scrunched up ball of paper or to lie as close to the brick hearth of our open fire as possible, even if it meant singeing her whiskers on occasion.

Pirate Cat didn’t seem bothered that her sister had died.  They were never close to the point of ever curling up together.  They had their own favourite places and these never overlapped.  Pirate had a permanently worried look about her, she was much more quiet and took her time getting to know people.  It wasn’t that she liked girls more than boys, she didn’t like anyone much because she just didn’t trust anyone.

But Pirate Cat chose me.  She would let me fuss her, she would on occasion sit near me.  A few years back, this progressed to sitting next to me on the arm of the sofa on the condition that I didn’t move, attempt to stroke her or acknowledge that she was there.  And then one day, she sat on me.  We must have had the cats for at least ten years, if not more by this point.  It was for less than a minute but I remember the shock and excitement like it was yesterday.  Neither hubby nor I could believe it had happened.  She was not a lap cat.

And then I got ill.  And whilst I had been ill for a bit, it was around the time that I was not managing my crashes particularly well.  I was not listening to anyone and I was just in a cycle of making myself progressively worse.  Hubby got me to sit on the sofa one day and all of a sudden Pirate Cat was sat on me.  I was so shocked that I didn’t move.  And so it began.

Pirate Cat became a kind of service cat if that makes sense.  Her sitting on me made me stop.  It became a statement in our house that ‘Pirate Cat says rest’ and it was the only thing I’d listen to.  No human could get me to take any notice of how I was feeling or how bad I was making myself.  On occasion, hubby has come home to find me asleep on the sofa/floor/bed with Pirate Cat on guard.  She wouldn’t leave me until he’d acknowledged her.  It was like she was making sure he knew he was responsible for me now.  She would calm me, look after me and make sure I knew I was to stop.  She was the cat guard of my duvet palace.

Just before Christmas, Pirate Cat was noticeably old.  We had celebrated her living with us for 16 years in November and knew that as she was at least 17, this was a proper stonkingly good age for a mog.  She slept more, she ate less, her joints began to click more than mine.  The tables had turned and it was us that was looking after her.

Last Friday, at 6.20pm, Pirate Cat died.  The details are irrelevant, but we were both with her.  We said thank you and goodbye and she just deflated away.  I haven’t cried the way I did on Friday for decades.  She has left an enormous hole in my life that I’m struggling to cope with.  Last night I apologised for sneezing because sneezes made her jump, then I remembered she wasn’t in the living room to be startled by it.  She used to let herself in the downstairs loo and lick the back of the door, we have no idea why, she did it all her life but she would often get stuck because she’d lick the door shut.  Before we left the house, we’d have to make sure this door was properly shut and I’m still checking it each morning.  I am leaving the bedroom door open just in case she wants to curl up in the duvet even though she hadn’t made it upstairs since late November.  I’m convinced I hear her clicking along the laminate in the hall.  I was certain I saw her the other night walking around the edge of the sofa.  Hubby and I have both heard her chattering in the night and then remembered it’s Jack from down the row, not Pirate.

I’m not ready to think about new cats.  I don’t want new cats, I want Patch and Pirate back.  I don’t want it to feel like I’m replacing them.  I’m sure in time it will happen, it certainly is very odd having a cat-free dwelling and it is true that ‘a house without a cat isn’t a home’ for us.

In the meantime, I’ve found a company that does memorial jewellery and I’m in the process of sorting that.  It isn’t cheap and I’m going to ask to friends and family to consider getting me a bead instead of birthday and/or Christmas gifts this year.  Certain colours mean different things in the honouring of Pirate Cat and it’ll mean she’s always with me.

October 18, 2016

Think before you blog

Posted in Health stuff tagged , , , at 9:36 am by viewfromthisdesk

Last week I wrote on Tuesday about how fabulous I was feeling, how things were fairly even-keel even though I’d done way to much on multiple levels.

It was all really quite glittery rainbows and dancing unicorns wasn’t it?

I ended up horizontal on Thursday and Friday.  Only managed to get out of bed and dressed on Saturday.  By dressed I mean more than my duvet.

This week I’m incredibly sore in most of my usual important joints.  Some of my finger joints have swollen up and I thought it was a genius idea to grab a sheet tray off the worktop the other evening without realizing that it had just come out of the oven.  I’m unable to manage fixings or fiddly stuff so all my clothes have to be pull on sorts, writing is really painful which isn’t ideal when there are dates in October than need cards and notes.

Physically, I’m struggling.

But I shall emerge from my cat guarded duvet palace and shove on something so I don’t get arrested and paste a smile on my face.  Just don’t look too closely for the cracks in this veneer will shine through.

 

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.

January 14, 2015

Random acts of Kindness

Posted in January tagged , , , , at 11:51 am by viewfromthisdesk

Last year I tried to do this.  I sent some cards, gave some flowers, tried to surprise people and say ‘thank you’ and ‘I appreciate you’ and make them smile.

I didn’t truly appreciate how fabulous this activity is until just now.  I was honest last week and said I wasn’t great, which wasn’t a lie.  Wednesday through to Saturday evening were totally written off.  I made it to the rugby on Saturday but I was held together with neoprene and held up by crutches and friends.  I didn’t jump up and down, I didn’t expend too much energy on the game, I just enjoyed mud-covered fit-men and felt proud of myself that I’d made it out.  Sunday wasn’t ideal, I was able to move around by clinging to walls or hubby. I had to turn down a bat activity which just about ruined me emotionally.

Monday was AofK #1.  A friend had treated me to a spa day and it was lovely.  I’ve never been a girly-girl and so this was an interesting experience.  I had a gorgeous massage and delish afternoon tea.  I felt spoilt.  When I got home I had a banging headache which I put down to not drinking enough through the day but I couldn’t shift it.  Early to bed for me with rather a large handful of painkillers.

Yesterday was AofK #2.  All through December and into January I’d been entering competitions to win a certain set of cups on the internet.  I was desperate to win these blinking cups.  And I didn’t, but a friend did and I was horribly jealous.  My headache from Monday hadn’t abated all day and I was feeling really down.  I was utterly beaten into a mess of pain and emotion.  I was falling asleep at my desk and was begging to be taken home.  All I wanted to do was go to bed and never wake up, I felt that pathetic and rubbish.  So I was put to bed and hubby woke me at 6pm to feed me.  Yesterday, whilst I was at work, a box was left with my neighbour which hubby fetched whilst I was asleep and within said box were two of these cups.  I cried with happiness, I really did.

I felt so touched, so blessed to have these people in my life.  I felt fantastic – my cheeks hurt from smiling so broadly.  I felt humbled; the whole ‘why me?’ thing flying around my brain, battling for space with my headache.  So, if you have the opportunity to do something nice, do it.  Just do it because not only will you feel brilliant, your recipient will feel a thousand times more brilliant.  And if you want to practise your random acts of kindness on me, I’m not going to object 🙂

January 8, 2015

Being honest

Posted in Health stuff, January tagged , , , , , , , , , at 1:44 pm by viewfromthisdesk

I’ve being going on for years about how I need to be more honest about how I’m feeling and how I can’t use the phrase ‘I’m fine’ to cover all my lies.

So, deep breath ….. today is a bad day.

There you go.  It’s out there.  It’s flying around like an enormous neon sign, telling the world that I’m really rather useless and pathetic and rubbish.

Last night I got home from work feeling okay, I fetched firewood, lit a fire, watched some tv and then slept for nearly two hours.  Spent the rest of the evening feeling groggy, nauseous and cold.  Went to bed and slept for twelve hours.  Failed to get up for work at the appropriate time and didn’t wake until 11.59am.

I now feel utterly rubbish.  Weak as a kitten, groggy and fuzzy and ache like I’ve been in a fight.  Really light sensitive and my hands and wrists are KILLING me.  Couldn’t put my work trousers on because after fastening my bra, I couldn’t work the zip and buttons.  So I’m in the office with soft trousers and a jumper.  Get me looking professional as heck.

If ever there was a time I wanted to be able to crawl back into a cave and hide and cry and pretend that reality isn’t happening, this is it.  Honesty is horrid.

October 10, 2014

Notes on now

Posted in Health stuff tagged , , , at 2:07 pm by viewfromthisdesk

I’ve not been managing too well and my brave face on things has been shockingly rubbish too.  I’m sleeping lots during the day, I’m spaced out at work, I’ve got extreme mood swings and absolutely no attention span.  I recently saw my doctor and he has agreed that I should stick to an increased dose of my pain meds which now classifies them as anti-depressants.  Am I ashamed to admit this to the world?  I was, at first but now I know that if I don’t tell then I don’t get hugs and help.  I need another household angel, I need the domestic pressure taking off.  I can’t reduce my working hours any more, I shouldn’t be sleeping so much.  I should be better than this.

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