Friday, February 1

Winter Winds.

Im sure everyone reaches a point in their lives where they think thats it, Im officially old and decrepit. At the moment Im at that point as this winter has almost killed me off physically. I feel its sucking the life from me and if I had a ticket to somewhere warm Id be on that plane yesterday with no intentions of coming back for some months. While I dont mind snow as such, once we get it Im trapped in the house. Last week we were in for 9 days. I have learned through bitter experiences that its better to sit it out than get stuck. But my God the cold is unbearable. The cold doesnt usually bother me that much but this year for the first time Im really suffering. My tendons in my feet are absolutely screaming at me, so much so that Im actually screaming with pain, as my feet arch and writhe. Im certain its to do with cold as this just doesnt happen in warmer weather, my legs shriek with sciatica and my hands are white and numb with cold. Im gobbling Tramadol and Gabapentin like they are chocolate buttons and I have long hot baths to ease my aching body and plot my escape to warmer climes. Anywhere will do to be honest Im not particular. Please take me a way from it all, failing that gifts of thermal socks will do.

Tuesday, January 29

A Step Up.

Rainy Days in January.

One of my biggest bugbears in the 21st century is lack of physical access century. Its is still acceptable for a company such as Boots Pharmacy to operate with a large step outside. I have worked in planning and I know while it may cost to remove the step it isnt actually that big a deal and I know of only one premises where this really would be impossible. However as Boots have a near monopoly on high street pharmacies they think they can get away with making people like me sit outside with our prescriptions and ring the bell for assistance. if you know me at all you will quickly realise I would rather crawl over hot coals than do this and so I end up either asking someone to go in for me or driving to the nearest accessible pharmacy which is 20 miles away. If you had to do this you wouldnt think its acceptable and frankly neither do I, But Boots thinks it is, and continues to be a serial offender. Shame on them.

Sunday, January 27

DING DONG! What did you say?

Ive mentioned sometime ago in the dim and distant past that I have tinnitus. I have had it for years and didnt realise for a long time because I naturally assumed that everyone could hear what I was hearing, which is a loud squeal or ringing and a shhhhhhh-ing sound. Actually its hard to describe and I dont think anyone could really reproduce it. Anyway over the past year I have noticed that its been getting a lot worse and to put it bluntly Im going deaf with it. The main problem is that the tinnitus has turned itself up in volume which means I cant pick out other sounds. Loud high pitched noises are particularly trying as I can actually feel my eardrums vibrate and it causes me some discomfort. Crowds stop me from having any meaningful conversation as I cant pick out what you are saying to me as opposed to the person sitting 10 feet away. Basically I can hear a lot of noise and no detail in the sound. The good news for the time being anyway is that I can happily play music to myself and enjoy it, I just dont want to share it with lots of other people. 

Friday, January 4

Resolutions 2013

Another Year older and wiser. Not sure about wiser but I have a few resolutions for this year. They're not particularly serious as I never make serious ones.
  1. Wear leather trousers and boots more often. The reason for this is practical. Think motorcycle gear and wet weather and you get the idea. Plus I need shoes with a fairly big space in them and you have Me with boots and leathers. Cool huh?
  2. be honest with people. Answer the question and stop rambling.
  3. Get my shoulder fixed because its bloody killing me.
  4. blog more often. I feel I will have a lot more to rant about this year
  5. take a foreign holiday. Its been nearly 6 years and a change is as good as a rest
  6. read more books. I didn't read as many as I would have liked last year
  7. work harder and sleep more
  8. take more pain killers. I have them for a reason.
  9. be kinder and not so sharp with my tongue. It does me no favours.
  10. appreciate my husband more. He is great and I don't realise it.
Se how the new year has turned me into a complete softy? Well its early days yet isnt it. Only another 360 or something to go.

Auld Acquaintances

2012 saw me meet up accidentally or otherwise with long lost friends or people who I have known in a professional capacity. In September I bumped into our former rabbi from 10 years ago who was the guest over the high holydays. She greeted us like the long lost friends that we were and then gestured to me in a what's-all-this-I-shall-make-light-of-it kind of way. I find times like this horribly uncomfortable because I can feel their anxiety and almost smell the sadness at seeing me there. Immediately I go into play it down mode. I feel bad that they are feeling even worse and really I shouldn't. I have a bit of a back problem, I say, yes that's right, shoot me now. I don't know why I do it, and after all this time I should stop. So I have resolved to be more honest from now on. Am I in denial I ask myself? Should I really be brutally honest? 'Oh I broke my neck and I'm paralysed from the chest down.... but I'm OK really...'  The trouble is, I am essentially always breaking bad news which isn't easy. Just when you think no more people from an old life can pop up, hey presto they appear on Facebook. I try to be kind but in the process I feel a bit like a fraud because I'm not being particularly truthful. But the truth hurts as they say and I don't want that. To be honest it is easier for me if people ask more direct questions, such as my husbands bestest ever friend from school and his wife.They are funny and I like them. She says how it is and I like that. So she says is the wheelchair permanent? Yes it is I answer. She nods and asks why. I tell her in a rambling way and as I'm going on a little voice in my head is saying shut the fuck up you are rambling. I ramble a  bit more and shut up. She seems happy with the answer and I feel relieved that I don't have to go into the whole medical history, not too much anyway. Resolution. Stop rambling in 2013.

Munchausens Syndrome...

.... is a real condition where an individual feigns illness. Typically someone has a long long history of hospital admissions. The difference between Hyperchondria and Munchausens is that people with Hyperchondria genuinely believe they are ill while those with Munchausens know they are not and seem to do it purely for attention. Well that seems to be gist of the Wikipedia definition anyway. So why have I decided this was an interesting thing to talk about, well, its possible, nay likely I have come across someone who would clinically be defined a having Munchausens.
Lets call him Mr X shall we? Mr X turned up at our club a few years ago in a wheelchair after an accident. I never found out the nature of it, but he did seem to me to be rather unusual. Over the months he had various operations, was hospitalised with swine flu, had another operation, then had meningitis which precipitated a miraculous  recovery of his legs and was able to walk out the hospital upon recovery. In fact his recovery was so total he was seen carrying a fridge, yes thats right, out of a well known store.  Now I learn that Mr X has had some sort of tumour removed from some place in his body. Or not as the case may be, who knows? Oh I forgot that his house was blown up in an explosion.
So maybe Mr X is the unluckiest person in the north or maybe just creative. I dont know. I suspect I am right to be at least incredulous, what do you think?

Saturday, December 8

Perchance to dream

I have a dream......... actually I have been having variation on a dream for some weeks now. Generally it goes like this. I am proceeding along a footpath, when I come across an obstacle in my way. The only way to continue is to climb over this wall, tower or whatever it is, there is no gong round it. The obstacle is very high and as I climb I realise that Im having to bring my chair up behind me, although it turns out to me as light as a feather if rather bulky. Once at the top I discover that getting down might be more difficult until I suddenly find an easier way of descending.
Well what do you make of that then? Seems pretty much an allegory of life I suppose, but I find it interesting how the brain constructs these stories as it processes information. 

Wednesday, December 5

Pain in the Neck.

I have been moaning for months, nay years that my neck hurts me. I mean, it really hurts at times as if I have been hit on the back of the head. Actually come to think of it I have, but the medical profession is like a dog with a bone, and wont leave a particular symptom alone until there is no life left in it. You keep telling them your neck hurts but, Oh no they are far more interested in... your feet for instance! Despite my moaning and groaning and kvetching and complaining, no one has really taken a 2nd look. That is until I got a new GP this year. It sometimes takes a fresh pair of eyes as well as an enquiring mind to solve a problem. When I told him about this constant pain in the neck he asked when Id last had an MRI scan. Not for a few years actually as I had a bout of having babies which always makes medics run away.  He nodded and I could almost hear the clock ticking inside his head as he decided to send me for a new scan. Consequently I was referred to the local BUPA hospital 2 days later.
I actually dont mind MRI scans at all. I know a lot of people find them dreadful but Im able to relax, listen to the hum and doze off. A week later we discussed the results. Interestingly I have moderately significant damage to C5/6/7 vertebrae which I suppose is an oxymoron itself. Can something be moderate and significant at the same time? Thats medico speak for you. Explains my hand problems and general am weakness. Nothing to be done. My GP just nodded sagely and gave me a copy. Im nosey, I like to know, he knows I like to know, but I have no expectations. One for the file I think.

Tuesday, December 4

Friends and family.

We are but ships in the night. Yes I come from a family with a useless saying for any situation but friendship is like that, it comes and goes.  I have friends who I would like to ask, what happened? where did our friendship go? why did it stop? I have friends, well they used to be who I know actively avoid me. Life is too hard and what do you say. i have friends who read this blog and I suppose cyber stalk me. I know its You because I can trace your ISP address. Its not difficult you know.  I have friends who pick up from where we left off and I have friends who want to be friends but cant quite do it the way it should be done. I have friends who I don't want as friends either. they are never the ones who decide to live in Australia for some reason. And finally some of my friends are the ships on a Mediterranean cruise following each other from port to port but who never stop still long enough to get together. 
Recently someone I know was commenting 'well Fuck friends' he said, 'thank god for family. They are the ones who stand by you.' Really? I mean REALLY?  We have siblings who live 400 miles away. They never call, write, text or e mail they never contact us apart from a birthday card. They never come and see my children and I don't know why. The hand is extended from this end but never grasped the other and after years of effort Im all done in. The logistics of travelling from one end of the country to the other with 4 kids and me isn't great and the prospect of the difficulty of getting into peoples houses doesn't fill me with excitement either. Various family members spend an inordinate amount of time enjoying ill health. Their thoughts are not with loved ones but themselves, only a few contact us from time to time to see how we are and fewer still come to visit. I am only a bit bitter and twisted by it you will be glad to know,but without doubt I am envious of people who seem to have huge amounts of fantastic friends and jolly family members visiting for fun weekends. 

Parking Space Wars.

Its true, and I know you know its true, but really old people are so bloody rude they should have to take lessons in manners once they retire. Today I was at the end of some old blokes gesticulations and bad mouthing because he thought I was going to take HIS disabled parking space. The old sod was certainly more able than me as I actually need the space to get out the car and by the looks of him, a he strode across the car park he didnt not directly anyway. Sometime I feel like chasing after them and pointing my pointy finger and tell them not to me so ignorant, but its pearl before swine with these people as my grandmother used to say.  So since manners maketh the man I shall ignore it.