Monthly Archives: November 2014

Liebster Award

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Leibster AwardI am honored that as a new blogger I was nominated for this award by cjohera at https://cjohera.wordpress.com/2014/11/28/leibster-award/

There are a few rules for the award, just like any other award.

1. Post 11 random facts about yourself.

2. Answer the 11 questions asked of you by the person who nominated you.

3. Nominate 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers to do the same.

4. Let the bloggers know you have nominated them.

11 Random Facts About Me

1. I am a teacher, currently teaching primary school Art and Cooking.
2. I love art but I don’t love cooking.
3. I live with my son who is 22.
4. I enjoy using my iPad in bed or on the couch.
5. I have a Masters in Education.
6. I was married for 15 years.
7. I lived in North Carolina for 2 years where I taught elementary school.
8. I love vintage and retro furniture and decorative items and have them all over my house.
9. I love to go to auctions and markets and swap meets to buy second hand stuff.
10. My favourite colour is red.
11. I have two chronic illnesses.

Answers to the questions I was given:

1. What is your favorite book and why?
Guess How Much I Love You, a children’s picture book. It depicts how I feel about my son and we used to read it together when he was little.

2. If you could go back to a certain period in your life, when would it be?
When I was married and I was unwell, that should have been dealt with differently.

3. What do you do to relax and unwind?
Watch tv or read on my iPad.

4. If you could jump into any movie, what would it be?
Thelma and Louise. I want to do that!

5. What do you do when you are stressed to the max?
Sleep.

6. How do you spend your holidays?
Travelling somewhere, looking at second hand shops, going to markets.

7. What is your favorite animal and why?
My dog, she is lovely and gentle even though she is so big and has a scary woof.

8. What is the most rewarding thing you have ever done for someone or a group of people?
I get this feeling all the time when I teach and I see the children connect with what we are doing.

9. If you won the lottery, what would you do with it?
Buy a house near the ocean and become an artist and writer.

10. Do you believe in destiny or fate?
Yes, everything happens for a reason.

11. What is the career of your dreams?
Teaching is a dream career, but being an artist and writer appeals to me right now.

My Questions to My Nominees:

1. Why did you start blogging?

2. What has surprised you most about blogging?

3. If you could change one thing about your current life what would it be?

4. What is one special thing from your childhood that you treasure?

5. What do you do to take your mind off your troubles?

6. If you could live in any country in the world, where would you go and why?

7. If you had a time machine, what time period would you travel to and where?

8. What is one of your favourite things to do and why?

9. When you go to the shopping centre, what is your favourite shop to visit and just get absorbed in?

10. If you happened to be stranded on an island with just one small backpack, what would you absolutely have to have in it?

11. If you could have a super-power what would it be and why?

My nominees:

https://escharae.wordpress.com

http://yourinnerart.wordpress.com

http://rubyonesock.wordpress.com

http://dddangerous.com

http://sarcoidan.wordpress.com

http://robertmgoldstein.com

http://sarcoidsoldier.wordpress.com

http://truthtonic.net

http://sharonlyn.com

http://moderndaywarriorprincess.wordpress.com

http://amyblaylock.com

Miracle Drug Day 21: A discussion about doctors

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I have a sore throat and it’s been that way since Friday night. It’s now Sunday morning. I don’t have a voice anymore. Actually my voice comes and goes depending on how well the pain killers are working.

In the five page instructions that came with Miracle Drug it says tell your doctor straight away or go to Accident and a Emergency if you have a sore throat. Ok, I’m going to use common sense here and not rush to the hospital. However, when I saw him a week and a half ago he was all worried about me getting sick because I was showing signs of going down with something. I felt better for a few days, now I’m having signs of becoming “regular” type sick again. I think it is a lot about being run down and tired at the end of a year and after a saga of searching for a new diagnosis and having a flare.Side effect sexiness

I am getting really tired of this ongoing question about whether I should go see the doctor or not. It also says go to the doctor if you bruise easily. I always bruise easily. It has been worse lately though which may be because of Miracle Drug. I hit the inside of my wrist on the guillotine last week and I got a lovely big black bruise out of it. At least I got the bruise while cutting paper for my students for their art activity, not while walking past a table and hitting it, or like in the old days, having a battle with my ex.

I don’t feel a fever and I actually feel ok body wise. Not spectacular like I can go do anything I want, but ok like I might have a shower and go somewhere later. My mind is also quite relaxed and it is thinking pretty clearly right now. I’m going to defer the idea of going to see the doctor.

This is not a good week for getting sick, I have a lot of busy days at work coming up. So if it worsens I will have to get to the doctor quick smart. He will be grumpy if I end up going because it gets worse and I have had this sore throat for days, but I’m not rushing up there. Unfortunately if it worsens I will wish I went up there sooner.

I remember years ago when I would go to the doctor (GP) maybe two or three times a year. I would go when I had the flu and/or sinusitis and/or a chest infection. Oh, and I would go for my biannual women’s checkup. Anything else I just put up with because it had been mentioned before and nothing had come of it. Like migraines and toes swelling and fatigue for example. All symptoms that could have pointed to an illness, but they were never investigated further. Those were the days when symptoms were not debilitating. How things have changed.

Those were the days when I went to any doctor that was available, I told him my problem, he looked in my mouth and ears and listened to my chest, he told me what it was, I accepted what he said, took my prescription, had a day or two off work, and that was that.

Doctor and patientNow my visits are more like an ongoing story. They are all linked together with the same theme and the same characters. There’s the inevitable checking of blood pressure. There’s the catch up on latest symptoms and shared reading of the letters from the specialist. There’s the discussion about medication and blood testing and the printing of prescriptions.  There’s a little banter between the characters, some sharing of personal information, then a discussion of when they will meet again.

This is a relationship happening here, between doctor and patient. For the first time since I was a child I want to keep seeing this same doctor. This one is a keeper. I can’t tell you how many different doctors I have seen in the last five years since I returned from the US, because I cannot remember, but it has been a lot. Finally, when I saw this guy, he listened and he tried things, even though they might fail, which some things did, he had a go, and he was smart enough to find me an excellent new specialist rather than send me back to my previous one. He stumbled through and he got results. He also makes me rest, which is important. He doesn’t annoy me about things like water exercise, which there is 0 chance of me doing unless I build a warm spa in my backyard. He just deals with the body and it’s symptoms. Sometimes I argue with him and he puts me straight. He thinks a lot. How often do you feel your doctor is mentally engaged in what he is doing? That is rare in my world. Doctors seem to find simple answers and then they get rid of you. Quick in, quick out. But I don’t feel rushed with my doctor and I know he tries to do what is best for me.

I feel a little sad that I have crossed over into the regular contact with my doctor zone. I used to think that in this zone there are old people and people with terrible illnesses. So, either I have become old or I have a terrible illness, or both. Maybe there are young sick people in this zone too? I don’t want to be in this zone, but it is what it is. I’m in the zone and I don’t think I will ever get out of it.

A Quick Coping with Chronic Illness Quiz

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A Quick Coping with Chronic Illness Quiz

Question 1.

You have had a busy week, worked hard and kept up with life’s requirements and responsibilities. It is Saturday and your family is all out for the day, you are home alone. Do you:

a) Sleep in bed all day and have a shower just before anyone comes home

b) Write a list of all the jobs you need to do around the home and get as many done as possible

c) Get dressed in your favourite jeans and top and head to the local shopping centre for a days shopping, coffee and the beginnings of painful feet

d) Spend the day reading, sipping cool drinks and enjoying the peace and quiet

Question 2.

You have your bags and you are heading home after a busy day at work. Your body is telling you to sit down and your feet are starting to shuffle. A co-worker sees you walking past and calls out in a panic for your help with a cut and paste disaster on a Word document. Do you:

a) Tell them they will work it out, otherwise to redo it, and keep walking

b) Tell them that they will have to find someone else, that you’re leaving

c) Go over and manually help fix the document

d) Tell them the name of someone else who is good at that sort of thing

Question 3.

Christmas Day is approaching and your family, who live in another state, has been asking about whether you will be flying to be with them on Christmas Day. You haven’t been well and you have a long holiday trip planned for after Christmas, which you haven’t really saved properly for. Do you:

a) Tell them you are coming and then find the cheapest flights available

b) Tell them that your health has been bad and that you need to rest before your trip

c) Tell them that it is just one day and that you will ring them, that will be sufficient

d) Invite them to come to your place instead, knowing that they will never do that

Lotus flowers

Answers

Question 1.

All of these answers are acceptable, it just comes down to which option makes you feel most happy. All options have flow on effects, especially mental ones, such as the satisfaction of getting jobs done around the home or the feeling of restfulness and centredness after spending a day relaxing with a book, so remember to consider this as well. What will you get out of the action v’s what do you need right now. It is important not to keep thinking over the other options all day with guilt that you didn’t choose them. Choose your option and enjoy.

Question 2. 

The right thing to do here is c. This should be a quick fix to help someone and then you will be back on your way home. However, depending on how tired you are and how much pain you are in, the other options may slip out. Be careful to not let illness get in the way of you being the person you are without it. Checking your inner voice to make sure it isn’t driving negativity is very important and it can be hard to do that when in a lot of pain. If you do slip up, don’t forget you are human and you are in pain and sometimes you can’t be everything.

Question 3.

The problem with this question is that you probably want to jump on a plane and go be with your family for Christmas. However, life with illness means that you have to plan your energy use very carefully. Your body doesn’t care if it’s Christmas Day, your birthday, graduation day, the day you are presenting a proposal to your bosses, your children’s school concert day, the day you leave for a trip overseas, etc. Your body needs rest constantly, in order just to get through a normal day. Be very careful with planning big events and trips. Sometimes you will have to say no to some things in order to say yes to others. Don’t fight it, it is just the way you have to live with chronic illness.

Score

It doesn’t matter. Be kind to yourself.

The creativity of Jean Paul Gaultier

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My artist’s date today went wonderfully. Even though I had a fair bit of pain, I pushed through it. I may pay for that later, but who knows?
I had an inspiring afternoon at the National Art Gallery in Melbourne. I did find out a lot about my own creative leanings along the way, so that was a success!
Here are some tempting snippets of the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition (my new compact camera is out of its box). The creativity of this amazing man speaks for itself.

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Where is my creativity hiding?

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Matisse quoteWhen you have to spend a lot of time resting you end up with a lot of thinking time. Pain and fatigue means that your thoughts can be confused and untamed at times and, if you overthink ideas like me, your thoughts might go round and round, but lead nowhere. When my mind is all over the place I have been turning to easy pastimes while resting, like television and computer games and reading. However, I know I have a creative side so I thought I might be able to harness my thinking and channel it into more creative hobbies that may be a lot more mentally stimulating and rewarding. Story making, drawing, painting that sort of thing.

Having an illness leads to connecting more intimately with the inner self. Some people find that they are able to express this connection with their inner self through art, writing, photography, sewing, etc. This is what I want to do, but it seems that my motivation and creativity is lost as soon as I arrive home. Lately, as soon as I am home I crash to sleep and then I struggle to feel well thereafter. It is like because I want to use my creativity more, suddenly it is not ready and waiting, it is hiding from view. Further, days off at home when I am well rested, relaxed and interested in being creative and not catching up on jobs, are few and far between. I am capturing little bits of time here and there but it is just not enough effort. I am not getting the quality time to think of an idea, grab onto it and run with it. Right brain

I think I am creative enough. I know I used to be when I was younger. I show creativity at work, especially with thinking up teaching ideas. I am beginning to share my creativity when I create art examples for my students. I have such an urge to create art in my own art lessons, but I am not student, I am teacher, and that involves a lot of time doing management and assisting and not a lot of time doing making.

I have twittered from one idea to the other and not settled on anything very productive. There are things in my project box, but nothing is focused. I have used morning pages and now I can’t do them while I’m working, there’s not enough time to get ready of a morning (it takes me a long time).  I am ever so slowly working through what I like and what inspires me, the topics and materials. It feels as if I will never settle on an idea and get that motivation towards a project that I am seeking.

Tomorrow I am heading to the National Art Gallery in Melbourne. I am going to the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition and will see what inspires me throughout the day. I will also take my new compact camera with me to have a practise with it’s settings.

You may be thinking, “Why are you not staying home tomorrow on your day off, you could work on it then?” I should be staying home, especially as I feel like I need to sleep. But, my car needs a service. It’s a month late actually. So, it’s a trip to the city for a car service. The redeeming factor is that the Subaru where I take my car give complimentary coffee and provide a shuttle bus into the city centre. It’s the small things that make all the difference.

What made you smile today?

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Our Zoo Mr and Mrs MottersheadIsn’t it fantastic when you discover something that just resonates with your personality and preferences, something that makes you smile? Especially when you have difficult days and moments, finding easy pleasure is so very important.

It might be a pair of shoes or a picture for your wall or a tv show. I might be anything and you find it quite randomly with no notice.

A couple of days ago I discovered Our Zoo. This tv series from BBC One features the true story of the Mottershead family, whilst they were starting up Chester Zoo on the 1930s.Our Zoo June and Mortimer

I love historical fiction. I love animals. I love television. I love vintage. I love good stories. This series ticks a lot of boxes and I’m finding it extremely charming.

What is one thing you have discovered lately that makes you smile?