Okay, owning it

Hey y’all. It’s been a while.

I’m sitting on our new couch, in our new place, listening to disc 1 of 4 of *one* of my Ella Fitzgerald collections, thinking about the calls and paperwork I have to do today but I’ve been promising myself all week that I was going to make a blog post. It’s Friday, I’d best get on that.

So. Sometimes I like to think that I’m fairly intelligent and body-aware and all that jazz (see what I did there – ha). Then sometimes my body has to scream at me, especially when my stubborn, head-down, plough-through attitude is over-talking the gentle “Dear, stop.”

After two one week vacations this summer where I finished them off with a night where I kept myself from sleeping due to the anxiety of returning to work and all that would hold. Given my current medical mystery, the things I was anticipating were great – such as the feeling that I’m wearing a mask of pins (to clarify, pointy side down towards my skin), that feeling creeping into my arms and legs on a really bad day. Not to mention the dizziness, feeling like I have blisters on the underside of my eyelids (I don’t as far as I can tell), and a brain that constantly was feeling like I was trying to run an electrical current through porridge (usually how I feel post migraine).

It took me hitting the verge of tears at my desk, and a friend who also was telling me about her struggles and shrugging off crying at her desk as a part of a normal workday until someone convinced her that wasn’t right, to have me make the call.

I can’t do everyday work right now and try to fix whatever is wrong with me.

And I’m sure a lot of people around me sighed in relief, glad I finally came to the conclusion they’d known for months. Those people include my husband, who bears the brunt of it and only gets frustrated at my stubbornness occasionally… All the way to my RMT, who has felt like we were in an episode of Groundhog Day since I began seeing her in January, I am sure.

So I went to see my GP, and she wrote me a note of medical leave until “at least December 1st”. Thanks to a supportive manager and a workplace advisor, I’ve been navigating the system since.

I had another neurologist appointment a couple of weeks ago, and she has ordered an MRI. We’re playing with my meds again. I’m in another experiment right now – I’ve added the new medication two weeks ago, and tonight I’m supposed to increase the original medication again on top of that. But my neurologist had mad respect for the treatment my RMT has been doing (and that I’ve been undergoing it – TMJ massage is not for the faint of heart, or the easy gag reflex). And the good news was that the difference of one week on the new med (which I don’t think can be a forever medication) is a drastic reduction in the tension (therefore pain) in my jaw and face from two weekends ago to last weekend. So much so that we bumped my next (weekly) RMT appointment back another week to see how I’m doing.

It didn’t help that we moved house over Thanksgiving weekend, shortly after I officially went on leave. It didn’t help that I didn’t have any more sick leave because I’ve had to be away so much (and my previous job had me so stressed that I basically was sick every month with a new cold or flu – stress does depress your immune system). I’m on leave without pay right now, trying to get a bit of coverage. That’s the paperwork that has to happen today.

So when I didn’t perceive any prickling yesterday, it was awesome. I have some today – right now pins are prickling my cheekbones, the outer corners of my eyes and a bit on my top lip. It’s been pretty light this week, though I’ve still been having headaches.

One of the pieces of advice I got from my therapist, who has been trying to help me work through all of this, was to go for walks so that I actually leave my house. I’m not super great at just making them walks and not multi-tasking. But I have been able to take some photos of the beautiful, colourful autumn we have been having.

I’ve also been able to get together with a friend who is off on maternity leave, and have lunches or tea and we both are less isolated.

I still think about work. I wonder how people are, how my stuff is going. But I’m trying to do things that will make me healthy again and I’m trying to be mindful so that I can accurately report to my doctor what I’ve been experiencing.

So that’s where I’m at. I feel like I’m not really interesting right now but I’m doing what I can to try to heal myself. I thought for a moment about doing NaNoWriMo but that gentle voice said “No, dear. Not this year.” And I listened.

I’m going to go and make those calls and do paperwork now, and maybe play some piano for a bit. Then, I’ll go for a walk to drop off some dry cleaning and try to take another few photos of something interesting.

Happy Friday, everyone. :)


Flighty thoughts


I really did have a pretty awesome idea for a blog post, not once, but twice this week. It was the same idea, and I was thankful that it drifted back into my head the day after it occurred to me and then disappeared.

And then it disappeared again.

If it hasn’t been obvious by my lack of posts, I have been quite busy lately. Sometimes I’ve been busy doing things, going places, seeing people. Sometimes, I’ve been busy trying to recover from being busy. Which is why that idea has fled my mind.

We did our annual pilgrimage to Stratford last weekend and saw King Lear, with Colm Feore as King Lear, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, with a lot of the same actors. King Lear was amazing, and I felt so heartsick at the end of it because it really was such an immense tragedy. Another one of those plays where just a little bit of calm communication would have… well, saved lives. But Colm Feore performed King Lear so absolutely well. I’m sorry if you intended to go and didn’t make it this year – it was so worth it.

The production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream that we watched was not the chamber play (as they put on two productions this season) but the one that was performed on the main theatre stage. In it, they had played with some of the genders of the characters, such that Hermia was refusing a heterosexual marriage to Demetrius in favour of a homosexual marriage to Lysander, who was played by a great woman actor. Also, both Oberon and Titania were played by men, but Titania was still in a dress. The setting was a backyard wedding reception where the wedding guests put on this play in honour of the same-sex couple who had just been married. It was really interesting and I appreciated the creativity and the thought-provoking aspects they brought to the fore. I didn’t enjoy Titania’s performance as much, because at a certain point, it felt a bit too clownish. Oberon did a very good job, and was the only actor who was addressing the wider audience. Also, interestingly, they had one actor who was signing his lines, with a verbal narrator from one of the other actors for the audience’s benefit. It was really quite interesting.

Also, it is October, which is a bit of a shock to the system. Next month is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), whereby you dedicate all your not-working-not-eating-not-sleeping time to writing a novel during the month of November. While I was eagerly planning in years past at around this time, I shan’t be participating this year. If you haven’t tried it, I really recommend it. It’s hard work if you don’t take vacation to do it, but it’s really satisfying to try to pound out a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.

More things are coming up, including more pottery classes, an art-business one day conference, and various celebrations. I was just updating my daytimer (yes, I still use a paper calendar…) and I’m a little worried. I sent a picture to my sister of the state of my wall calendar, and I have more things happening this month than days where nothing is planned. Yoga and meditation and breathing will need to happen.

So, because we have passed the Autumn Equinox, and our nights are now longer than days, here is Vivaldi’s Autumn to make us feel good about crisp, autumn breezes, colourful leaves and dressing in layers.