Saturday, March 27, 2010

Work, health, eyes, shopping and dragons

I'm still busy on the website, although this week my work has been in dribs and drabs. I only had Monday and part of Tuesday where I got a solid go at it, and I've had to squeeze in the time where I could all over the place, so, not as structured as I'd like. I think I'll do some on the weekend, and then I'll feel I've done a good amount. Last week was full of hiccups and my time was wasted trouble shooting, which I don't feel good about, so in the next few weeks, I want to put in extra to make up for it. It's close to becoming live, which is exciting, but I want quite a few more patterned papers on there before we do that though. I was working on it the other morning and was blown away because there were 52 people online. It was so funny because both Barbi and I wondered if they were all hackers lol.......that's a lot of people on a site where not much is happening yet.

My week was full of interruptions because of medical appointments. My physio has been looking after me for a few years now, and on my last appointment I started to cry as I told her I was so happy she was leaving to have a baby, but sad that she could no longer look after me. I told her my pain levels are increasing and I don't know what to do. While my shoulder is better, I still suffer badly. If I spend too much time at a time working on the site, my arm aches. Even though I"m not actually typing, and I have an extremely sensitive touch pad and my arm is completely supported, my forearm carries a lot of strain and this then puts pressure on my upper arm and shoulder. Even when my shoulder eases, there are many things I really catch me unawares, or where I grit my teeth before I do the movement. Even lifting the doona over my body as I roll over causes it to aches and catch.

My pectorals ache, my forearms hurt in the trigger points, my achilles are no better. That doesn't even cover the neck pain and shoulder pain which is very often present. My physio has been crucial in my pain management. With her manipulations, massage and acupuncture, I have relief for about ten days...... While I used to believe this meant I was 'healed', I now just make the most of the lull and know with absolute certainty that my pain will return. I have tried anti inflammatories and they do nothing anymore so I have stopped taking them: no need to subject my body to them and risk any stomach damage. I depend on paracatomol and ibuprofen, generally using them together for pain relief and management.

While I realize I could easily be mistaken for a malingerer or hypochondriac, I'm heartened by Carlie's faith in me, her belief in my pain levels and her desire to help me further. She's convinced there's something systemic going on as I have too many problem areas, which are now all chronic. While my current GP is good for the normal day to day stuff, I don't feel like he has the wherewithal or even the desire to really investigate me. I want questions asked, and I'm not getting that? I need someone who is prepared to take the time to investigate me properly. Carlie recommended a very thorough GP for me to visit, and lady doctor, whom she'd had favourable dealings with and good results with other patients.

In fairness to the few other GPs I've visited in recent years, I can't lay the blame at their door. I've often addressed my issues, but it's only ever the problem that is the worst at that time. I've never gone to a doctor and asked that all my issues be addressed at once. Perhaps having worked at a surgery before, I understand, that the 'shopping list' approach by patients is often not looked upon favourably......this train of thought has probably been to my detriment.

The doctor I saw on Tuesday, was forthright, friendly, interested and showed a genuine wish to help me. From the moment I sat down I felt comfortable and didn't feel like I was whining. She asked questions I've never been asked before....... She questioned me about my depression, and I spoke of my anxiety attacks which I've been plagued with for the last three Christmases, the last one I actually sought help and was given medication which made the Yuletide Season even better than it would have been. Much nicer to not have that constant feel of dread accompanied with a racing heart. I wanted to feel in my body like I felt in my head. Calm, organized and happy. At first the doctor said it might be worth considering I see a psychologist as depression is so often tied in with inflammatory problems such as she suggested I may have. The diagnoses she presented as possibilities were Seronegative Arthritis and Fibromyalgia Rheumatica. The doctor suggested I read up on both of those. On reading, I found that the once mysterious fibromyalgia which was often a euphemism for a malingering lazy sod.....(in my opinion - gathered from reading and how this was viewed by others) was now proven to have a basis in medical fact. Inflammation does exist and is the cause of this illness. This coupled with my depression is possibly the root of my pain. As this never goes away, there are just degrees of pain, it gets better, but never completely goes away and the intensity when it's worse also varies.

On the psychological front I will consult a psychologist, I'm a cynic and dubious as to how this will work, but realize that this will work hand in hand with all my treatment. I understand I need a holistic approach. Added to this I am changing my anti depressants. I am nearing the end of my 'wash out' of my current meds, and apart from barely sleeping, and bad dreams I'm feeling okay. The interesting and more unpleasant phase will begin when I start my new medication on Monday. My saving grace this time, is that I don't have a toddler and a baby to contend with while I'm feeling dead on my feet from fatigue and ill from the meds, with headaches and nausea. I will be able to lie down and take things easy. On the physical side of things, I will have a blood test done and then we can go from there. My ESR is always elevated, and I know this is a result of inflammation in the body. I will be curious how that result is.

I feel good about this direction, and I have faith in my new GP.

I had my eyes checked during the week too. My prescription has changed slightly so I need new glasses and I'm investigating getting contact lenses. I went there 7 times this week. Once for my appointment and then six times to have a trial pair of lenses in and out. So far I've not worn a pair where I can see properly, but the optometrist hasn't given up. Those 7 visits meant my Daisy work was all over the place.

By Friday, I needed a break. No appointments, no housework, no work. I spent the day with one of my closest friends and we whiled away the time. We drank coffee, shopped in Myer, had a delicious lunch at the Turkish Restaurant, and planned our trip to the movies for the next day. I also looked at glasses frames, and enjoyed having Suzy tell me what she thought. In years past I've bought them with my Mum, but have chosen the last two pairs on my own. It's always nice having a second opinion. I saw some gorgoeus frames, with of course an equally gorgeous price tag.... Why can't I like cheap crappy stuff????

Scrapping last night was lovely as always. I enjoy spending time with Barbi and Karen. Barbi and I debrief after the week and it's my precious catch up time with Karen. It's wonderful how a few hours where you're not anything other than being yourself, (you're not a Mum, wife, house cleaner, organizer of all things, just yourself).... can make you feel rejuvenated and a little stronger for the next week ahead. We talk about a wide range of things, from the flippant and funny, to the deep, dark and worrisome. A sanctuary of friendship that offers a haven of love, advice and support. A powerful combination.

I came home last night, late as per usual. I was about to crawl into bed when I noticed lots of black 'dots' all over my wall............ The corner of my room right near my bed was covered in hundreds of baby spiders. (Huntsmen, my dear Bunny tells me this afternoon!!) I sprayed them, couldn't vacuum them up because of the late hour and just crawled into my bed. 2.30am and I was still wide awake, listening to my audiobook, no where near the land of nod! A little while later the tell tale beeping of a fire alarm, meant I had to go and get a chair and dismantle the fire alarm, so that peace was restored...... I got to sleep around 4am. Once the boys left for golf, I slept a little deeper, but this was riddled with horrid dreams, and the same dream over and over. I was dreaming that I was trying to sleep, and my house was being broken into. My house was being robbed and I was so afraid for my MacBook. By the time I got up I was happy to see that it was bright and cloudless outside and my house was safe, as was my MacBook.

I arrived at the Plaza a little earlier than needed so I could ply myself with a good strong coffee. Suzy had a headache, so we were a fine pair, and were looking forward to spending a relaxing time together, yet again. We saw 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo'. The movie was awesome. Not only did I enjoy the story and how well it emulated the book, I loved the 'realness' of it. The non Hollywood feel for the movie, gave it even more credibility. Can't wait to see the next two movies. We ate some sushi after the movie, and then went our separate ways. I I went to the Spectacles Superstore, which was a tragic misnomer of a business. Not only was there nothing super about this tiny store, it was closed, on a Saturday afternoon on the coast, woeful when you think there are many optometrist chains open all over the coast on the weekend.

I've been home for a while now, I've cleaned the bathroom, done some washing, put up a tent, vacuumed up dead spiders and have spent the last hour doing my blog entry, rather than the Daisy work I'd considered doing....... That can be done tomorrow.

I've bought some lamb cutlets for dinner and I'm making a tabouleh as well. I've got some yummy fresh avos and I'm trying to figure out how to add them in.....

Monday, March 22, 2010

Love, loss, faith and friendship

As the helplessness threatens to drag me down, my faith lifts me up. I have a couple of friends, who I count amongst my closest who are suffering deeply at the moment. One has lost a family member in an untimely manner and another is going through a separation at a time when her health is not the best.

I have the propensity for taking another's sadness onboard, which in turn creates stress and heartache for me. Someone I care about hurts, then so do I. It's the natural order of friendship. That's when my faith helps me. I take comfort, that my control freak abilities, are of no use here what so ever! I can't take away the hurt, I can't 'make things better'. I know when I'm beaten and when it's time to hand over to God. I also take comfort knowing that he watches over my friends, and that they can and do call on Him.

I pray that You bring them peace and comfort. I pray they can sleep well and that they are easy on themselves. I pray that the nights aren't haunted. I pray that they're days will have lots of love and laughter so that the sad moments are easier to bear. Amen.

Stieg Larsson - The Millenium Trilogy

I have just finished the second book in this trilogy. I found 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' slow going at first but am pleased that I persevered. The second book 'The Girl who Played with Fire', was a fantastic book, I was unable to put it down. I'd downloaded it in ebook format and read for most of the afternoons on the weekend. I was most upset, when for some reason the last part of the ebook was missing!!! I spent about two hours trying to find it to download it again. I downloaded the audiobook version and had to leave it overnight. Unfortunately the recording was not complete and when I synced my iPhone in the morning, only a third of the book was on my iPhone!! I tried to purchase the book then, via various ebook sites, but it's geographically restricted. In the end I bought the book so I could listen to the last part. I'm so glad I did, it was gripping.

Lisbeth Salander is a brilliant young woman, whose never been acknowledged for her many skills. She's created an insular being out of her self. She has no use for others, has no knowledge of how to cultivate a friendship, or how to live a normal life. As the books go on, you learn why she is how she is, and I just kept marvelling at her brilliance. Her survival skills and clever planning are nearly her undoing though, and the ending of the second book was riveting. In the first book she becomes an unlikely researcher for Mikael Blomkvist, a journalist. He features in both books, and even though they don't even speak to one another in the second book, their bond is unbreakable.

I'm so excited that the first book is released this week. I will go and see it, and I can't wait.

No other news. Everyone here is fine. Sammy had a great time at camp. He coped well with the different routine and was very happy while away. His asthma was better by the time he came home, so no dramas there. Everyone is well and looking forward to the Easter break. This term has gone very quickly.


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