Tuesday, March 12, 2013

utilized day but what a night

And yesterday I was gifted with a little extra stamina and, I also felt capable of correctly pacing my utilisation of this resource.  Took advantage of this little power surge to top-up and refill the sundry avian feeding stations in our garden; meal worms, sunflower hearts, black sunflower seeds, suet treats etc. most of which swiftly attracted a miscellany of birds ranging from starlings, blackbirds, finches, blue, coal and great tits, collared doves and the odd wood pigeon were all ready for some superior dining experience. I swiftly realised that all the birds’ watering stations needed de-icing so heated up some water.

Already my halo was shining and, I felt totally in control of my physical stamina resource. Mid-afternoon was time to sort out the main aquarium, changing 30 litres (out of the tanks 180litres) and changing nitrate removal filter and a couple of others. Proud of my achievement I relaxed a little before par-boiling a few potatoes, ready for roasting alongside the already simmering casserole which I’d prepared on Sunday.

That’s when the tiredness hit but, fortunately, not uncomfortably so. Come bedtime, I started to feel that I was being punished for the day’s moderate exertions. Perhaps I’m not handling my pacing all that well. Tenderness of the glands under my chin and in the armpits seemed to be sufficiently calmed by a fairly light dose of painkillers but, obviously I’d been deceived again!

Having joined my beloved au lit, decided to watch a diverting little sitcom on TV before snuggling down.  Within about ten minutes of attempting to settle down, the peripatetic clog dancers decided my lower limbs were an ideal place to practice. The duvet felt as if it was scrubbing the skin off my toes as a nausea inducing bruised aching feeling ambled from calf to thigh and back again. Whatever angle I positioned my legs bent or straight, stretched over the end of the bed, hung out over the bed side, the disconcerting ache continued. At one stage I half fell from the bed, my right calf resting on the rug whilst my left lower limb remained in bed, a real groin stretching experience. I can assure you that this posture wasn’t the result of any voluntary action.

Next thing, the old familiar nauseating aches in both arms began to do their darnedest; applying wrist support splints initially seemed to make little difference. I found myself unwittingly whispering, and occasionally screaming, profanities against the Gethsemane night, alongside whimpering like a lonely puppy. Many hours later I started to enjoy a little post-dawn sleep.

Reluctantly, I emerged from the duvet lair, and returned morning greetings to the bright shiny sun!

Sunday, March 10, 2013


And suddenly I’m swamped, drowning in the muddy wastes of isolation. It’s not that I’m alone, nor am I not loved; the problem is the endless nagging of sundry aches and pains, the loss of contact with those I once considered friends as if it’s some kind of punishment for being exhaustingly unwell. Where once I was a social and political activist of a somewhat gregarious disposition, attending clubs, concerts, theatre, cinema, I’m now trying hard (although it often comes quite naturally) to be content with a lifestyle where all my entertainment has to be served at home, and campaigning becomes virtual via the internet.

I must admit to the blessings of TV, radio, CDs and mp3s but, they never fully compensate for the more participative experience of actually being present in the theatre, cinema, concert hall or jazz club. For much of the past ten years I’ve had neither sufficient stamina or confidence to think of attending / coping with the duration of a church service, although previously a regular attendee and house-group leader, especially if there’s a reasonably large congregation.

Much of the time I manage to accept these health imposed limitations without too much grieving, at others – such as today, a sense of frustration and despondency verges on despair. Perhaps the frustration really began when I didn’t feel really up to dining out with my beloved and her daughters; a sense of guilt swiftly ensued as I felt, albeit needlessly, that I was being anti-social. At times like this, I start to feel that I’m a burden on my beloved OH and family, although they reassure me that I’m not!

As I write my own report card the familiar words, “must try harder”, take on a marked significance. It’s so easy to be trying, even when it’s difficult to try.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

sunshine and celebration

Sometimes it seems as if the day is almost over before I even get started. In one way this is good, it’s generally a sign that I’m appreciating each waking moment, so much so that it’s sometimes a real struggle to stop myself resenting the earth’s rapid orbit.  Recently we’ve been sighting a bright glowing orb in the sky, bringing a little warmth and elevating one’s spirit; after weeks of dull wet days the sunshine has proved most welcome.

As my beloved took a few days off work, around the time of our wedding anniversary, time seems to pass even more sweetly as we enjoy each other’s company. Visits to CafĂ© Culture, for a cuppa and cakes, and Al Bivio Ristorante helped heighten the sense of celebration. We also paid a visit to the garden centre at Otley where I acquired a new bird feeding station for the garden, finally using the vouchers that I’d received for my birthday last June; although the centre is less than ten miles away this was the first time I’d really felt up to spending a little time there browsing around. I especially enjoyed looking at the reptiles in the centre’s pet shop.

Meantime, I’ve acquired 5 more golden and 5 white cloud minnows which, having first spent ten days in my quarantine tank,  have now been added to the Main aquarium.  It’s really quite strange that, having introduced my beloved OH to blogging. I have to check out Helen’s blog to see what I’ve been up to!

On Wednesday I had an appointment with my GP, a lesion on my leg, which I’d been attempting to alleviate with a 1% hydrocortisone preparation, wasn’t showing any improvement (quite the opposite in fact) so I was going to see the doctor who specialized more in skin disorders. He was quite baffled by this particular sore spot, it was quite unlike anything he was familiar with, definitely not discoid eczema or Bowens etc;  so he prescribed a potent topical corticosteroid (Mometasone Furoate) which I’ve to apply once a day for a fortnight. He also checked a small occasionally weeping lesion on my chest which he says is a basal cell carcinoma and has duly referred me to the District Hospital. [I’ve had previous experience of having a bcc excised – see ‘Sunshine and Blanket Stitch’] If the ointment applied to my leg hasn’t healed the lesion he suggests I also have the specialist look at that when I have my appointment for the bcc!

Another positive outcome of the visit was to confirm that the recent X-Ray of my hips, following a quite prolonged period of chronic pain, apparently emanating from the right hip, showed no abnormality on the right hand side but, it did show that I had arthiritis on the left-hand side. Fortunately, after copious doses of tramadol & co-codamol the pain had eventually abated!

I received a further acupuncture treatment on Thursday and, I’m no longer averse to expecting resultant miracles. Life goes on and I’m determined to enjoy it – if only I could discover some refreshing sleep all manner of things would be well!