Tag Archives: coffee

Miss Non-Opportunity

idiotStory of my life.

I let the (potential)  man of my dreams slip through my fingers. Perhaps.

I was having one of those Sunday mornings, when you think, ‘ah, I’ll wear those really baggy jeans and a really old top with holes in it and some ancient shoes, but for some reason I’ll spray myself in perfume.’

You know – you just want to feel a little feminine despite the clothes? Touch of mascara and tinted lip-balm. Sorted.

In my defence, and with hindsight, I’d had an awful MS Saturday and MS sleep. No matter. It was too late.

Anyway. There I was, in my local corner store, buying up a pile of papers and one of those huge chocolate bars on offer.

A man appeared in my peripheral vision. I didn’t look – playing it cool. He leaned a little closer. I moved a little away (honestly – I have learnt nothing from reading all those ‘how to meet a man in your local store’ articles).

He spoke. ‘I love your perfume!’

Reader, I garbled. I cast a quick glance at the very tall, very handsome, very without-a-wedding-ring man standing next to me with a takeaway coffee in his hand. From my favourite coffee shop.

‘Ah. Ta, mate. Got it from Aldi.’

Did I just say that? Mate?

I did.

It got worse. I rummaged in my bag and actually pulled out the bottle to show him.

I even said, ‘Under a fiver! How’s that for a bargain!’

He looked a little scared, paid for his  newspaper and left.

I went home and had a very serious talk with myself.

Story of my life.

p.s. If you see this man – over six feet, black coat, Observer newpaper, bit of a stubble, nice boots – let me know …

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Live to Work? Work to Live?

workI was having a chat with the boss the other day over Hob Nobs and coffee.

After my exploding (and very icky) skin condition brought on by the sun and a healthy dose of Herr Uhthoff, he seemed quite surprised at my eagerness to return to work.

My arms are still covered in the rash despite steroids, ice packs and much lamenting.

Thinking about it, I was surprised too. I said to him, ‘isn’t it weird that I know I’m going to feel rotten again coming to work, but I still want to? Does that make me strange?’

I guess it’s something all of us with MS who work will face at some point. It’s 50/50. In work, I know I’ll be tired, I know I’ll trip over, I know I’ll garble my words and flare up in the sun, but I still do  it. Why?

Perhaps because the alternative is too frightening to contemplate.

For me, it would be all too easy to make MS into a full-time job. I’ve been there, done that, way back in the bad old days. Hospital appointments, blood tests, a fatigue management course, support groups. They all take up time. Fitting them all around a job, a Teenager, a kitten and just running the house all takes its toll.

But at the moment, work is my personal statement and a yah-boo-sucks to MS – it’s something I’m clinging on to. It gives me routine and pride in myself, and I’m planning to do it as long as possible. Of course, if I had a hunky, tall, chiselled-jawed, sensitive and caring significant other who earned shed-loads in hedge-funds, I may think differently. But I’m the only source of income in our little cottage – The Teenager needs pizza and the kitten needs her Dreamies.

So, in reality, I will still stumble out of bed and get ready for work. Some days I might want to crawl back under the duvet and hide. Believe me, it’s very, very tempting. But there’s always Hob Nobs …

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Happy Now?

I’ve had a tough couple of days. My old nemesis MS fatigue has dropped in for a visit and shows no signs of taking the hint and shoving off, the scoundrel. But in my new, positive spirit, I’m just trucking along, trying to make the best of it.

To cheer me up, I read an article I cut out of  January’s Glamour magazine – 100 Things To Make You Happy and here’s some of what I have taken on board:

  • Become a regular somewhere – I am now a regular at several cafes due to my (at times alarming) Americano addiction, and it’s nice to have a chat and pass the time of day.
  • Get a cute fix – I regularly google ‘animals doing funny things’ and ‘cute baby animals’. I also google ‘ugly babies’. I know, I know, that’s terrible. But try it – I dare you not to smile.
  • Watch ‘The 19.57 From Euston’ on YouTube – a man hires a singing group to perform on the London underground while he proposes to his girlfriend – soooo sweet.
  • Put clean sheets on the bed – possibly one of my most favourite thing to do. Finish off with a squirt of perfume or Febreze if you’re a cheapskate.
  • Buy a smart new notebook – I just bought two and am cultivating an intelligent air in cafes (see above), scribbling down my bon mots and musings. Pretentious, moi?
  • Write down, in new notebook, three things that made you happy each day- it really works.
  • Use a zingy shower gel to get you going in the morning – this works too, but I have to remember not to grab The Teenager’s Lynx by mistake. Not nice.
  • Try a new thing every day – a different newspaper, a new route somewhere, anything. This is great fun and really perks up your mind. Mind you, my builder friend has bought me a chicken curry pie for my lunch. I’ve never tried one before and I’m not sure I want to….

Am I happy now? You betcha.  The article ends on these facts for all us worriers out there:

  • 39% of things you worry about will never happen
  • 32% of things you worry about have already happened
  • 9% (ONLY 9%!!) of worries actually relate to important issues.

So, I’m off to the cafe, notebook and pen in hand. Perhaps I’ll try a different coffee, shake things up a little. The excitement! And it might, just might  keep me awake a bit longer…

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Just Hook Me Up

I am living on coffee and stress so why am I putting on weight? I want to be one of these people who sheds pounds when they’re dashing around like a demented chicken, pumped up with stress and an unfair dismissal.

My mind is racing, but it seems my body isn’t. It’s just over a week since I was sacked for having MS. There is too much to do, apart from the everyday routine, the Christmas planning, the taxi service for The Teenager. Throw in all the ubiquitous health appointments, blood tests, a newly-diagnosed day and a fatigue management course and I’m up against it.

So the thought of launching a legal case is filling me with fear, and coffee. I (think) I am a nice person. I don’t like fighting. At school, I gave my lunch money to the bullies without a word. But this scenario, the one I am facing right now, is out of my league.

The bullying in work was horrendous enough. A year of loathing myself for not standing up to them, whilst battling to come to terms with my diagnosis and what it means for my future. Perhaps there is a tipping point. By dismissing me on the spot, expecting me to clear my desk and leave straight away has made me angry. I would hate myself more for walking away.

What have I got to lose? I have had incredible support. My healthcare professionals have risen up in outrage and anger, my friends have rallied round and my forum buddies have carried me along on a wave of advice and soothing words. One of them pointed out that I would only ever have to do this once. Excellent point.

I have to do this.

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Dodgy Hands and Wonky Feet

dodgy hands and wonky feetI have been bouncing off the walls the last couple of days. Quite literally. It started in work, where I walked into the kitchen door three times. Just for good measure, my hands have decided to suddenly let go of things at random or not grasp them at all and my feet aren’t working properly.

I had a day off work yesterday, but rather than hiding away with Jeremy Kyle and the Loose Women, I pushed myself out the house and went off for some retail therapy and a determination not to let the symptoms get the better of me. Bad idea?

It started so well. I navigated the supermarket, dodging the Jenga towers of Christmas chocolate tins and super-value loo roll packs. Went to pick up my newspaper and failed four times. Looking around me, I pretended I meant to do it, undecided as I surely was about which paper to choose. Think it worked. Got to the checkout where the terminally bored girl sighed loudly as I fumbled with my purse. And fumbled. Couldn’t open the darn zip or find my loyalty card.

Leaving with a heavy bag of shopping, I stumbled, knocked into the automatic doors and dropped my keys. Undefeated, and after being helped by the Big Issue seller standing outside, I made my way to the coffee shop. Deep breath. Order a coffee and a poppy seed cake for being so brave. Turn round with my tray, shopping bag heaved onto my shoulder. I can definitely do this. But somehow, within five minutes, a three-prams-and-a-double-buggy assault course had formed behind me. And the table I wanted was past them. Ok. Co-ordinate feet, hold on to the tray very, very tightly and do not bounce off the cake cabinet.

I must have looked distinctly demented and the mothers gripped their pram handles a little tighter. But I made it. I ate my cake, drank my coffee and watched the world go by. And when I got up to leave, I didn’t knock anything off the table or drop my bags. But someone had definitely moved the door….


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