Category Archives: Daily Life

Missing. Inaction …

inactionWhoah.

This relapse (spike in symptoms/exacerbation/whatevs) has drained me.

After falling face-first into some gravel, things have progressed steadily downhill.

Plates have been flying, I’ve become intimately acquainted with every wall in my house – and discovered every sneaky cobweb – and to top  it all, vertigo descended yesterday and has been plaguing me ever since.

These last two weeks have been an exercise in containment – getting away with as little as possible to keep up the facade that I’m ‘doing OK’.

I’ve cancelled meeting up with friends. I have a birthday present to deliver that’s now three weeks overdue. I won’t be taking guitar lessons for the foreseeable (long story). Life, for the moment, consists of a need-to-do basis.

I had an initial meeting with my dissertation tutor and I agreed to hand in 7,500 words of a novel by mid-September. Lol. I’ve written just over 100. To be fair, they are excellent words and it’s just a shame there’s not more of them.

I’m becoming a little fed up of lying on my sofa after work with a Dulux paint chart, eyeing up the walls, just to pass the time of day. I’ve bought a tonne of gossip magazines, caught up on my Sky Planner and watched a wide range of subtitled films. My head aches.

I hate being forced to do the minimum; I am a doer, not a wait-er. I would rather drag myself to work than lie in bed. However, I might just be made to do that very thing, and fairly soon. The endocrinologists agreed today that after two years of yo-yo medicines, I will have an operation to remove my thyroid, as I developed Grave’s disease, a 1-in-3 chance of having Alemtuzumab treatment.

It was a chance worth taking, but the logistics will take a little working-out. Two weeks off work, unable to move my head and the possibility of a husky voice; the last one seems a fairly benign symptom though. Mariella Frostrup?

Anyway, as always, life has to go on and I am co-ordinating from The Sofa HQ. I watch the hours passing on my clock. I go to work, get home, collapse, go to sleep, get up and do it all again. Why? I don’t have a choice.

Today, I met a new endocrinologist. He was reading through my file as he ushered me into the non-soundproof clinic room.

He said to me, ‘Wow, for someone with MS, you do a lot, don’t you?’

‘Yes’, I answered.

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Spontaneous? Give Me A Couple Of Hours …

fat faceI have been out twice this year.

With my ill relative taking up most of my spare time (what little there is of it – Teenager, Masters, Cat), this is quite an achievement.

So when my friend texted last week asking me to try a new restaurant, my first thoughts were, ‘I’m shattered, I can’t, I’m not dressed, I’m tired. I’m boring.’

Cannily, he sent the text four hours before said restaurant reservation, so I had fewer excuses, apart from the fact that I had just applied a stinging face pack and had inadvertently loaded on a good few pounds since the last time I had been out for dinner, way back in 2015.

He picked me up and we set off. I checked my blotched complexion in my tiny mirror. I tugged my hem and shifted my considerable weight in the car seat.

We got there early, so went to the pub round the corner for a drink. Reader, I have never felt more conspicuous. I was twitching with MS and my walk was funny. In short, I looked a few sheets to the wind. When we sat down, I tried to look sophisticated but got wine up my nose when my elbow slipped on the shiny table as I was holding my glass.

After our drinks, we walked across to the restaurant. It was empty. The waiter flourished menus in our faces and told us he had the perfect table reserved just for us. The one in the back corner. By the kitchen and next to the toilets.

Inwardly, I collapsed. My friend took the reins and asked for a table nearer the front. Was it me? Had he taken one look at my quivering large mass and decided I was better suited at a table out of the way? My self-confidence has taken a serious knock this year, but this was surely confirmation?

I hastily ordered and popped to the loo where they had fitted a circus fun-house mirror. You know, the one where they make you look ginormous. I turned this way and that. Ah. We have a problem. Four months of comfort-eating have taken their toll and I am now a Blob.

I quickly ran through some positive thinking mantras – ‘you are a worthy peep, you may be fat but you have a nice lovely personality, get back down there and enjoy yourself, life is short’, etc, etc.

I took a deep breath. Here goes. Well, I sailed back to the table with only one tiny foot-drop trip, sat down with a triumphant thud and had a wonderful dinner with my friend. The best this year, lol.

The diet starts tomorrow.

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Life, As Always

stopLife is pretty grim right now, as my relative is still poorly.

So what better way to cheer myself up than dropping my trousers for a couple of doctors?

Today started like any other day at the moment – escaping to work to switch off for a couple of hours. I had a laugh with the lads, scoffed a couple of biscuits and had the first of several coffee breaks until I couldn’t take it any longer.

The pain in my right leg which had started up last week became unbearable. It was badly swollen, difficult to walk on and my ankle was puffed up.

I called my lovely chiropractor and booked an emergency appointment. He took one look at my leg, prodded it and advised me to go straight to my doctor Ah. The last time he said something like that in his Serious Voice, I ended up being diagnosed with MS so I was naturally hesitant and not a little alarmed.

He checked my Achilles tendon was intact – it was – then mentioned deep vein thrombosis, DVT. Ah. Ok. So I called my doctor and was miraculously slotted in for an appointment within the hour.

I made my way over there, thoughts whizzing round my mind. I could just go back to work and forget it all? Keep dragging my dodgy leg behind me in the hope it would somehow disappear? Maybe not the best idea.

So I sat in the waiting room, being coughed over by an elderly gentleman until my name was called. In the consultation room, I dropped my trousers, the doctor took one look at my leg, prodded it and set me on the DVT Pathway, which basically meant I was booked straight in to hospital and told to go there immediately with a bundle of paperwork.

By now I was kind of worried.

At the hospital, I was seen by a doctor within five minutes, which in itself was alarming. I dropped my trousers again. He ran a probe up and down my leg and squeezed it now and again. My leg, not the probe. I held my breath. He looked at the scans. I looked at him.

I was DVT-free. I almost kissed him, but he had a wedding ring on. He told me the swelling was impressive and probably due to a snapped ligament. I hobbled out of the hospital, got to my car and exhaled.

So now I am sporting a glamorous flesh-coloured compression stocking (if you have American Tan skin) and trying to keep my leg elevated as much as possible.

I’m trying to laugh in the face of adversity, but honestly, there could not be a worse time for this to happen. Life, eh?

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The Chubster Goes To The Gym

chocIt’s January, and so far I’ve been to the gym three times.

I’ve also cooked at least five healthy chicken dishes.

Don’t faint with shock.

Okay, so I drove to the gym but waited for The Teenager as he exercised for an hour. Luckily, his gym is on a retail park, so it would be rude not to look round the shops.

I’ve bought a pizza and some yoghurts from Marks and Spencer’s, shampoo and conditioner from Boots (which promised to give me luscious, luxurious and nourished hair – they lied, it’s still straw-like), a candle from the Laura Ashley sale and three Starbucks soya lattes (healthy).

Going to the gym is costing me a fortune.

I’m actually rather envious of The Teenager and his absolute dedication to getting fit. I have no idea where he gets it from. The other night I was settling down in front of the telly with a bag of crisps when he bounded downstairs, heading for a bowl of Special K and skimmed milk. He saw me, plucked the crisps from my hand and read out the calorie and fat content in a horrified voice, wagging his finger.

He’s helpfully suggested gentle exercises and talked me through the proper way to do bicep curls (surprisingly similar to the Malteser box-to-mouth action). And all this while I’m trying to cook or finally finish my essay.

He was chatting away the other day, pondering the price of tuna steaks when he asked me what my New Year resolutions were. Hmm. Good question. I hadn’t really thought about it as I normally give up by the second week in January.

Anyway, he pressed me to come up with five things I wanted to do in 2016, so here they are:

  • Begin a proper, grown-up skin care regime with at least five steps.
  • Learn how to wear scarves in a French-like manner. Or Danish.
  • Grow herbs on my kitchen window-sill without killing them.
  • Make my own bread, brownies and chia seed porridge.
  • Take up calligraphy.

The Teenager was distinctly unimpressed …

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Birthday (Cake)

birthdayYup, today I am another year older but not much wiser.

However, in my ongoing bid to become a responsible adult, I decided to take the bull by the horns and do something I’ve never done before.

There’s a special occasion coming up next month and after gazing at my pre-thyroid wardrobe, I realised I really do have nothing to wear.

So. Get this – I booked in for a personal stylist appointment at John Lewis. I know. Me!

I drove into town, parked up and had a coffee in the local bookstore’s cafe, ear-wigging at the French for Extreme Beginners group meeting being held next to me. Quite excruciating, but their seriousness was inspiring. They caught the waiter’s eye and yelled ‘Garcon!’ in unison. Ah.

Anyway, I arrived at the due time this morning and was quickly ushered into a little room full of mirrors. Great start. The lovely stylist made me stand up and turn around. Before I knew it, he’d pulled my loose-flowing shirt tight, showing my muffin top off in all it’s glory.

‘I see‘, he said with a certain level of gravitas.

He dashed off with a rail and I sat there for ten minutes, glaring at Cara Delevigne on the front cover of Vogue.

Against all hope though, Boy Wonder The Stylist arrived back with five garments. Each of them was perfect. Divine. Behind my heavy velvet curtain I sighed and stared at my transformed figure. The clothes were beautiful.

He was a genius. He had picked the perfect outfit. Simple, comfortable, and most importantly, stylish with flat shoes.

I paid and floated out the store on a shopping-induced high before foot-drop tripped me up and me and my John Lewis bag – clothes exquisitely wrapped in tissue – went flying outside the Apple store. Red-faced, I gathered myself together with the help of two pensioners and got back to my car in one piece.

p.s. I’m not actually 42 until 8.04pm tonight.

p.p.s. So I still have a few hours in my very early 40’s.

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