Episode!

Well, I’m in the throes of an M.E. episode. Trying really hard to be positive and “do” stuff, but failing. This week I’ve managed to stay up and out of bed till lunchtime once in the last five days. Failed this morning. No knitting or crochet mojo. Tried a bit of crochet yesterday but it didn’t go well.

Was supposed to go to the osteopath today but re-arranged. It feels a bit sad-making but at the same time empowering because I have a measure of control over my stupid health. Plenty of sleeping, and reading when I’m awake. Also ordering stuff I do actually need, as well as want, online. Handcream, for example, is a constant thing for me as my hands are terribly dry all the time. So I’ve ordered some. And earrings are a new problem. Now I have various pairs of glasses, wearing at least two at once, the reading glasses dangling and the distance glasses on my nose (or vice versa), dangly earrings are just not going to work. Particularly with masks as well. So stud earrings it is. Ordered two lovely pairs from John Lewis, then of course needed a jewellery box to hold them, to replace the ice cube tray I’ve been using for the last twenty years or so. I can justify almost any purchase if I try hard enough . . . 🛒😉. And of course retail therapy is always, always good for the morale.

The garden is even better for the soul of course but it’s been cold and wet the past couple of days. I can look at it out of the window of course, and do. The bird feeder table is very popular at the moment, which is great. The cat seems to have an arrangement with all the birds. She looks at them, they fly away, and all is well. The pigeons – well, they just waddle off because they’re as big as she is.

The cat. Mm. She is much more chatty and approachable now she’s getting older. Not exactly affectionate, but keeps trying to herd me into the lounge, when I’m busy in the study. So I’ve set up another cat bed in the study, and she will occasionally sit in it!

To sleep? or not?

Sometimes I wake up at the normal time, thanks to the alarm, get up and have breakfast and have to go straight back to bed. My brain isn’t working properly, I can’t cope with easy crosswords or even Solitaire. Sunday (I think) I went back to bed and slept for five hours straight. Then woke up and had a shower, and felt ok.

Today is Tuesday. Same thing, but I only slept for two hours, and felt ok-ish. I needed to do my ironing but really couldn’t muster the energy until about forty five minutes ago. It only takes ten minutes, because we each do our own, and one of my little life rules is that I do it every week. So there’s not much. Schlepping the ironing board from utility room to lounge is the hardest bit, to be honest, but that’s what makes me want to put it off. Anyway, long story short, I did it because I could feel the energy needed just getting to the right level, and of course I felt much better afterwards.

A shower always helps me feel better. Always. But I don’t always have the energy! how frustrating.

Looks like we’re in for the long haul with Covid/lockdown, so I’ve been trying to find at least one positive thing in every day.

Today was the ironing! and then, as the sun was out and it’s not actually freezing cold, I pottered round our small garden and found these snow drops. Love them.

Also tried to take a photo of the cat, but she would not look at the camera. I pulled a little weed out of her catnip pot – it’s real catnip in there, just a bit sad and wintery at the moment – and her reaction was priceless. “What are you doing? That’s mine! Have you changed it? I need to investigate all of it right now!” she is such a doofus.

Up and Down

Yeah. My hands are particularly painful. Will be hoping to speak to a doctor tomorrow.

Also have had to give up on the daily walks. Even though they were very very short, I was having to spend two days a week asleep in bed for 6 hours at a time as a result. That is not how I want to spend my life. It wasn’t the best idea, really, although it sounded excellent. What with the M.E. and stuff, I wasn’t walking every day before lockdown, so doing more during lockdown wasn’t sensible. I am continuing with the morning stretches though, and trying to be more active in the house.

Little things, like going upstairs when I need to and not leaving it until there are several things I need to do upstairs. So I’m up and down the stairs more. Also, if I need to do something (small, in the shed maybe)  in the garden, I don’t leave it but do it straight away. That way I’m moving about a bit more.

This morning hubby helped me get a fuchsia out of its pot, where it really wasn’t doing terribly well, and into the soil. Fingers crossed it will perk up a bit and grow a bit more enthusiastically.

Gardening is lovely, but it’s very ad hoc. And I only do it when I need to, when the weather is nice, and when I have the energy. Those three things don’t always coincide.

Also am wondering about a power supply/adaptor for the wildlife cam, which eats batteries. Had a look on tinterweb, but didn’t really understand. Maybe tomorrow, with hubby’s help, we can sort something out.

Finished the slide project. Far fewer than I thought, probably 1,000, out of which I dumped about 500 (cats, dogs, views, people we don’t know, railway journeys  – 🙄 – you get the picture). I’ve uploaded them all to my Google Drive and shared them with the immediate family, who are very enthusiastic. So now I need to sell on the gizmo that converted them. Ebay.

Next up are the cine films. They really need to be done professionally. Doing them yourself involves a working projector, running each of the 55 films through it against a screen of some sort, and filming the result with a smartphone. Not ideal. But expensive to have done. We’ve sent off a couple of films, which weren’t labelled, to a company and will see how they come back. When there are lots they come and collect them and post the resultant DVDs or USB sticks back. We shall see.

I’m still putting a soft toy on display in our front window for any childreIMG_20190415_180432939n who potter past. There are a few, some of which I have knitted, some of which I haven’t. Currently it’s Eric the Bumblebee (congratulations if you got the Monty Python reference). Tomorrow it might be Bagpuss (Alan Dart). There’s also a Victorian style doll (Jean Greenhowe), and a couple of small penguins, also Jean Greenhowe. I did knit all of those. It just depends on whether I remember, and the mood I’m in.

Very concerned about the chaotic UK easing of lockdown. BoJo doesn’t really seem to know what he’s doing. Dominic Raab (the guy who didn’t realise that the English Channel was such a busy trading route!) is totally clueless and mostly inarticulate. And Trump! don’t get me started.

Hubby and I are carrying on the same, as we both have “underlying health conditions”. Zoom works ok, so does Skype and WhatsApp, but the broadband isn’t terribly reliable. Talking to YD in NZ is difficult, although ESW (now 4) is very engaged and chatty, so that’s a damn shame.

I’ve just finished reading @SusanCalman’s book Cheer Up Love, about depression. I do like her. She’s honest, funny, self-deprecating, and a lot of what she says about being sad resonates with me. I have certain go-to books when I’m down, and one of the other authors I regularly read is Bill Bryson. I have Adventures of The Thunderbolt Kid ready.

And today, for a special treat, I exfoliated my baggy old face and had a face pack. Doesn’t look any different, but feels lovely. Yeah.

 

Managing.

Writing is supposed to be cathartic so I thought I’d jot down a few notes about how I manage the depression and M.E.

Went to the osteopath today because I was in some pain. It’s part of the maintenance and upkeep. As usual after the osteopath I’m pretty low tonight and on the verge of tears. Taking regular painkillers. Can’t take Brufen because of my asthma. Big old bummer, because they are such effective painkillers. I can take Cocodamol though, and am at the doctor’s next week so might mention it then.

However I re-arranged the pedicure, which was going to be tomorrow, and have cried off the knitting get together tonight. Will see if I am able to get to the sewing course on Saturday – I’d really like to go, because it’s making a Japanese Knot Bag and matching purse, but if I’m not up to it, then I’m just not.

Such decisions sound a bit sad, but in fact once I’ve decided that I need to cancel stuff, I actually feel a bit better about things. Not exactly in control of my health, just managing it better. I don’t like to feel that it’s managing me. Even though it probably is. Mm.

I’ve been sleeping a lot. Most of Tuesday. Managed to have a shower and wash my hair on Wednesday. Then had a half hour sit down, and did my ironing. I do it every week, and hubby does his own, so it only takes about 25 minutes maximum. Then lunch, and then did the online shop. So quite a lot achieved yesterday. But the afternoon sleeps are long. At least three hours, sometimes four. Then I sleep all night too.

Might consider a bath and face pack tomorrow. Will see how I wake up. I very, very rarely have a bath. We have some nice bubble bath though and it does help relax my back.

I have two go-to authors whose books I read when I feel like this. Bill Bryson, who is just one of my favourite writers, and Tom Cox. Ditto. Can’t help smiling as I read their stuff.

Retail therapy always helps too, so have ordered a couple of tops (reduced) from Warehouse. Two different colours, and two different sizes, so we shall see if I like the colours and if they fit.

Hubby is off to a meeting tonight so I shall watch some crappy tv. No knitting mojo at all at the moment, and booked in for steroid injections into the knuckles of my right hand on Monday. Will see how things go after that.

Christmas almost organised. Thank goodness for the internet. A bit of baking to do, but nothing major. Last year I did a Yule Log which is fat free, therefore dairy free. It was delicious and both hubby and I liked it, which is a bonus. He doesn’t like fruit cake so if I made a proper Christmas cake I’d just eat it all and put on loads of weight. And am going to do some mince pies only in filo pastry as I have some in the freezer. Everybody else can eat normal ones from the shop, but the dairy free ones from the shop tend to be cheap and nasty.

April! What!

Where to start.

Just finished reading Fire & Fury. Jeez, what a read. Buckle up, buttercup, and hold on tight. Things are as I thought they were, only much worse. Devastating. I can’t believe this guy was elected. But he was, and it is what it is. Not going to read the Comey book, though, just can’t cope with any more bad news. Although I did wonder if that’s why Trump “pardoned” the guy who gave away state secrets – because Comey had prosecuted him. So Trump, having never met the guy, pardons him, just to piss Comey off (in my opinion). Right. How very presidential. Not.

Also, Syria. Sigh. Just. Sigh.

Getting over an M.E. “episode”. Slept for 23 hours last week from Wednesday lunchtime to Thursday late morning. Mm. Not great. No knitting. No gardening. No crying, either, though, so could be worse.

Been to the osteopath today, and need to go again in two weeks. Sore, achy and weepy (though not actually weeping!) and not planning to do anything at all tomorrow. Except possibly a little bit of ironing. Will see how things are in the morning.

Really need to get somebody in to do a spring tidy up in the garden. It’s going bonkers now, and I haven’t been able to do anything to it since last October. All the dead stuff needs cutting back. All the leaves need sweeping/vacuuming up. I have eleven huge pots of dead plants which need dealing with (emptying, getting rid of the compost, etc). Lawn needs mowing before it gets any longer. And now some of the daffs need dead-heading. Sigh.

I haven’t been able to knit, but I have been able to do knitter-type things, like make decisions about future projects and browsing Ravelry. That’s quite soothing to do.

And the weather has improved. Today has been lovely. Sunny and mild. We actually dried most of the washing outside on the line. Smells delicious.

On the much more positive side, I have a new great-nephew. He is called Zack and is of course delightful. Love little babies. Particularly when I’m actually related to them.

And that, my friends, is all for today. Hoping to be a bit less miserable next time.

What M.E. feels like.

I’ve decided not to say on facebook how I’m feeling. Looking at “on this day” I seem to go on and on about how much I sleep or how tired I am. And I’m not sure it’s very interesting for anybody really.

So this post is an effort to explain how it feels when I’m having an “episode”.

Last week I did some gardening on Sunday. Monday we had a demonstration of a Thermomix. Tuesday I went to see my friend. Wednesday I had my hair cut and lunch with another friend, then went to the library and picked up five books. Thursday was counselling. Friday I had a meeting. Saturday I helped unload the shopping. That is way, way too much for me in a week. I know that I should do a maximum of three things per week. But sometimes it just doesn’t work out like that. Life is just messy.

However, as a result, I have had to cancel everything I’m doing this week. It feels as if I’ve had the flu. I drag myself out of bed at about 10.30 am. Can’t wait to get back in there and just sleep. Standing up and walking to another room leaves me shaky and aching. My brain is just not working properly. Haven’t picked up my knitting or my guitar for a week now. And I feel sad about that, even though I would feel much worse if I did try to knit or play and it went badly.

We like to try and answer the questions on University Challenge, and award ourselves one point for each correct answer, as long as we actually say it before any of the panellists do – including when they’re discussing amongst themselves what the answer might be. Well, unsurprisingly, on Monday night I did very badly. But I’m not going to beat myself up about it, because I’m in the middle of an episode.

And I’m even more clumsy than usual. I managed to spill a full glass of water all over some magazines and stuff on the table next to where I sit in the lounge. Involved two large napkins, two hand towels and a teatowel to soak it all up. But it was only water, and I didn’t actually break the glass.

Some days I can actually shower and dress, other days I just get out of bed and slob around in pyjamas or old “working” clothes (an old t shirt and very old paint covered trousers). I haven’t been able to wash my hair for three days now. Usually I wash it every day. I’m hoping I’ll have the energy to wash it today. I do like it when I’ve showered properly, I feel clean and I smell nice. But it’s just such an effort that I need a long sit down afterwards.

I can cope with reading for short periods. I can play Solitaire on the computer, or my tablet. But that’s it. I was planning to do some baking in the new toy (the Thermomix) but that’ll have to wait.

And next week I only have to see the doctor on Monday, and the counsellor on Thursday. And that’s the way I’m intending to keep it.

And that’s about it really. I don’t intend to sound self-pitying, so apologies if I do. This was really just to blurt out how it feels during an M.E. episode. If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading. If any of you have M.E. I send hugs and sympathy.

Just thinking aloud

Today I was going to go to a local craft fair, to one particular stall, run by a young woman who comes to the knitting group. She’s very young, 16 at the most, and a crochet whiz. She’s absolutely amazing. Fast as lightning, and doesn’t use a pattern either. She makes the most beautiful crochet animals, with a Japanese twist, just out of her head. I’d really like to support her, and was thinking of getting some of her creations for Christmas or birthday presents.

But today’s not a good day. I helped put away the shopping, and had a shower and got dressed, and that’s it. That’s me done for the day. The tremor is quite bad today and I’m all of a doo-dah. Bit weepy and pathetic. Used some of my Chanel No 5 talcum powder after my shower. Washed my hair and everything. Small things to make me feel better.

So I made us both a cup of tea, and sat down at the computer and played Solitaire for a while, then a game of Mahjong with a particular tile set I like (it has Greek letters and Roman numbers, so bends my brain in a different way from the usual Mahjong pictograms).

I’m seeing the doctor in about ten days, and need to speak to her about how low I’ve been. Not sure what she’ll suggest, as I’m on almost the highest dose of antidepressants anyway. But we shall see.

There is some gardening to do – planting a rose and a medlar tree, both gifts, which I’m really looking forward to. But I know that it would just not be wise to do it today. Tomorrow and Monday are forecast to be fine and even sunny, so one of those days perhaps.

The bathroom needs a thorough cleaning, and that’s in the plan too. Not nearly as much fun as gardening though, huh.

Have been knitting things and am pleased with what I’ve made. Just started on a pair of socks for YD. I’ll post photos when they’re done. Fabulous yarn. West Yorkshire Spinners DK. Plain for the welts/heels/toes, and printed for the leg and body. Lovely to knit with.

Also re-organised my earring storage. Next up is necklace storage – special hooks ordered.

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Have been having problems with the network/hi-fi system, but it seems to be sorted now. A bit Heath-Robinson, because there’s a 30 metre ethernet cable trailing across the lounge/hall/study, so that the DS is connected directly and physically to the router. You’d think, in this day and age, that there’d be something a bit less messy. Plans to get it done properly and surface mounted, with proper cable. I’m thinking we need STP (Shielded Twisted Pair) rather than UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair) because it will be a permanent installation, so doesn’t need to be particularly flexible, but does need to resist interference. Need to talk to the installers. It’s been doing my head in, because his music so important for hubby. It would be for me like not being able to knit. So I like to make sure, if I can, that it all works.

I’m sick to death of the election already. Promises, promises, promises. Hmph.

Oh well. That’s it really for today.