About to launch

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One day in August I had the thought that my bucket list contained too many overseas travel items and I had no plans or money to go anywhere anytime soon. So, I worked out a way I could pay for flights right then and booked a three week stay in England.

I am now hours from leaving on my trip, with three winter weeks in England and a day in Paris on my itinerary.

How will I go on my own, travelling with illness issues? Dunno
How will I go in the freezing temperatures for three weeks? Dunno
Will I survive? Yes
Will I enjoy myself? Yes
Will I be exhausted when I return? No doubt

I will try to post about how I am going sometime when a free wifi and my iPad meet.

Signing out from Australia.

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A feeling of peace

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Today is the first day of holidays for most teachers and students in Victoria, Australia.

I am sitting in my lounge room watching Bargain Hunt on television, feeling a little pain but a lot of peace.

It is a good time to bring my thoughts together in words. These are my thoughts:

The working year is finished. I don’t have to plan anything right now, but I will have to at some point in the next month.

As exhausted as I was I attended the staff Christmas social function. I dressed up but I’m not sure I looked ok, I think I looked fat and was boring. I was too tired to know.

My son graduated from his postgraduate study on the weekend and it was a great day. Strangely, I really enjoyed the graduation ceremony and the speeches. I am very proud to have a son who achieves highly academically and who cares a lot about others.

My family visitors have returned home and it was lovely to see them as I won’t see them on Christmas this year.  I hope they don’t think that I am becoming a sad, tired lump of a person.

My niece is the cutest little thing. I can’t wait for the next baby to arrive.

I have a short manageable to do list for the next few days. But right now I don’t want to move.

In six days I head to England for 3 weeks of adventure. I have no idea how this will go.

My coughing is gradually going away again and I have to feel well by Sunday, cross fingers.

Tea tastes wonderful on holidays.

Cheers to a restful day.

A work friend gave me this cute red teapot set, she said it just reminded her of me the moment she saw it.

A work friend gave me this cute red teapot set, she said it just reminded her of me the moment she saw it.

Worn down

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The Twelve Apostles, a group of limestone pillars off the south coast of Victoria. There are only eight pillars remaining.

The Twelve Apostles, a group of limestone pillars off the south coast of Victoria. There are only eight pillars remaining.

Chronic illness wears you down like a rock. Even when you have had good days and you start to think things may be looking better, things may be turning around… there it is again… the feeling of unwell. Drowning in pain and temperature and confusion. No one knows what it is like and the people looking at you can not even tell.

Like a rock, will you be worn down until you become smaller than a grain of sand, until you become nothing?

Stella Young TED talk

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Stella Young TED

Stella Young died unexpectedly last weekend at age 32.  She was a comedian, journalist and advocate for rights for disabled. Here is her TED talk from Sydney in April this year. Her speech provides much food for thought, enjoy.

 

Thinking about thinking

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For more forced perspective photos, click on the picture

For more forced perspective photos, click on the picture

This is a very cerebral post, so I will try to keep it short.

As a person who thinks a lot, I think lots of possibilities. I have ideas upon ideas and they pass through my mind quite fleetingly. This is happening to me all the time.  I think the goal, the steps, required materials, possible problems, possible outcomes, all in one foul swoop. I can break ideas down, but when I am thinking in general without concentrating on disciplining my thinking, I see it all at the same time. So generally, ideas come and go quickly because they have been attended to and are usually dismissed, because, well I can see a lot of possible problems before I start and my mind has moved on to the next idea.

Because of the way I think, I also see a lot of complexity in the world.  I can think of lots of bits and pieces that make up whole actions, so anything that I do not know how to do I see as difficult. I appreciate how demanding everyone’s jobs are. I empathise with people’s different life situations. If you give me a problem I can give you many explanations why that happened.  I can also justify anything because I see how different things are linked. As a teacher, I can create activities that are engaging, educational and manageable all at the same time, and often quite quickly off the top of my head. I can envisage change and how that may or may not succeed.  Of course, the actual result may not be the same, but in my mind I can think of the big picture. I actually do not like the tedious details, they weigh down on me as there are too many, and I see them all at the same time. I enjoy the ideas phase of a project and teasing out the plan of action. The actual doing is not so inspiring to me, so it is very hard to find hobbies that I enjoy from beginning to end.

Reflecting on this perspective that my mind naturally takes, I feel like I am being tricked. I feel like I am being tricked into thinking too much and almost sabotaging my action on difficult ideas that might be worth doing.

Is it not true, that doing would be a lot easier than my mind thinks it would?

I wonder why I have this thinking pattern, and is it good or bad?

Does this type of fast thinking hinder creativity or is it how creativity works in my mind?

Is my mind allowing me to see a lot of ideas and be selective on what I choose to do, or is it making me eliminate possibilities before I have even tried?

I do a lot of things but I always feel I could do more. I want to know how other people’s minds think and how they manage their idea processing. I also want to know whether processing too much thinking has played a part in exhausting my body to the point it is now chronically unwell.

Single and sick

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Retro dating

If you are chronically ill, you try to avoid putting the negative effects of your illnesses on anyone, including partners, families, work colleagues, friends and strangers. As a single person then, it is difficult to take the plunge to try to meet new people. Who would want to be with me and my illnesses? How could I inflict this life on someone? Dating is also so emotionally taxing and exhausting. The other day I said that I think I can’t be bothered. My son told me I need a different perspective to the situation. I guess I do but it might take someone to educate me to see it differently.

There was a time when I was married to a very generous, supportive man. I know he would stand by me no matter what. I failed that relationship, not him.

Then I was in a relationship with a man who is bipolar, narcissistic and unable to show empathy unless he is trying to get something out of you. He failed me and left me three weeks after my diagnosis with fibromyalgia.

Right now I am flaring, sick, dealing with new medication and all round mentally exhausted. I am not as active as I want to be and would be poor company most days. I am also 41 and becoming very comfortable running my own life solo.

I am starting to consider the possibility of finding a new mate incomprehensible.

How can someone who is so frequently sick and no doubt very hard to coordinate time with (and put up with) find someone who will be supportive in this situation?

Surely the initial meeting someone and having early dates requires you to be at your best physically and mentally?

When should you tell a new person about your illnesses and your struggles?

How could you put the struggles you deal with daily into the life of another person?

How would you even find someone compatible at this stage of life?

These questions are not all unique to dating, or finding a partner. However, in the mind of someone who is chronically ill, the odds seemed to be stacked against you. You could have the most interesting, engaging personality most days, but one day you’ll be in pain, medicated up and foggy and you won’t be so attractive anymore. Then this will become more than just one or two days, when you have a flare and you can’t make it out of your bedroom. Suddenly you won’t be able to give anything of yourself but you will want your partner to somehow understand and support your random needs. No one would want this.

So, this is my perspective. Please tell me another way of seeing this situation of being single and sick. Maybe I need to hear success stories. Are there any?

Miracle Drug Day 23

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You just never know how sick you are until you start to feel better. Last night was terrible, this chest infection was trying to beat me down, my temperature was up and wouldn’t come down and I was aching from the coughing and from the fourth dose of miracle Drug which hits me like a truck.

It is frustrating that yet again I have to take days off work. I only have two and a half weeks to get through until holidays, but this last few weeks have been such a struggle. My body doesn’t care that I have so much I need to be at work for right now, as the end of the year races towards us.

I don’t know what to blame: flare, Miracle Drug, end of the year run downness, kids giving me illnesses, or all of the above. I have managed to stay away from most “regular” illnesses this year, but with Miracle Drug in my system I obviously can’t fight them off so well. I think Miracle Drug is helping my arthritis ever so slowly, but at the cost of getting sick (at the moment). My blood tests may shed light on this, but I really hope they just come out high ESR, I can’t deal with anything more complicated right now.

I need to get this all sorted by Christmas. Come the New Year I will be on my own on the other side of the world, trying to have an adventure. I can rest and I can pace myself, but I won’t have time for medication side effects or illnesses every few days due to no immunity.

Come on body, get this shit sorted out.

Isn't this pretty? This is what the cells in the immune system look like.

Isn’t this pretty? This is what the cells in the immune system look like… or should look like if it’s a healthy system. I’m guessing mine doesn’t look like this right now.