Well, Good Morning to you. Unusually, it’s another nice morning here in the North East of Scotland. After yesterday’s heatwave and my unusual positiveness in greeting my fellow Affa Sair members; I seem to be in the mood to do it again.
This follows an event filled afternoon and evening which in normal circumstances would have me weeping with stress and emotion but instead left me smiling and very happy.
This is where you enter the terrifying realms of my mind so hang on tight. After looking at my Google Calendar of the week I noted that I had acupuncture today at two o’clock. Ah well, I thought “I better get the housework done so I can relax after the needle session and just have a deep sleep without rushing around trying to have tea ready for Rosie when she comes home from work.
I thought I’d already spent enough time on ‘Affa Sair’ matters for the day, starting around 6am with reading a very complicated, yet interesting, email between the intelligent part of the chronic pain campaign team of the Holyrood-based Cross Party Group on Chronic Pain and Affa Sair, and a representative of the publicly-funded Chronic Pain Industry that has grown up out of “chronics” daily battles with excruciating and debilitating pain in Scotland.
The email was filled with many acronyms and twaddle designed to deflect any information-seeking enquiries. Then about an hour on designing new promotional material for us to use on Information Tables throughout the coming year. After that, I inflicted my opinions on members with comments on posts left over the weekend.
So, duty done, onto getting the house in order for the week ahead. Two cats and their two supposed masters make an intolerable mess to my OCD-addled brain. Ironing, hoovering and other bits and pieces done I was just about to start on making my lunch, our tea and Rosie’s lunch for today when my MacBook Pro pinged alerting me to the fact that the acupuncture appointment was actually in half an hour! Aaaargh – panic. Now I had thought of using my buggy to take me to the appointment on Tuesday but now (on Monday) I didn’t have the time to get some lunch, get the buggy out of the garage and traverse the untested route to Bank Lane in half an hour. So luckily, my aged Father (85) who had already been out in his similar coloured buggy, was free to drive me to needle-wielding James.
I had just managed to eat one slice of toast for my lunch when he arrived. So, I left the other slice for Rory, who is partial to Clover, and ‘sped’ out the door.
Acupuncture was damn sore as James was working hard on my gut as well as my pain. You don’t need any further details other than he was attempting to help my officially undiagnosed IBS. I left there at 3:20 and phone Dad to pick me up whilst I was sitting at the wall at Bank of Scotland car park in the lovely heat and sunshine. Dad likes to drive with windows shut at all times – no matter the weather – so you can imagine the heat in the car.
Anyway, home and straight to bed surprised that Rory had left the toast alone ‘cos he was sound asleep snuggled up in my chair in the Summerhouse. Patch was upstairs in the front bedroom. I woke up at 5:30ish when Rosie phoned to say she was just about home. By the time I got downstairs, the pain had come back with a vengeance and I crawled out to the summerhouse for a drink and catch up with my other half. Poor Rosie had to cook tea ‘cos I was in quite the state and it continued all evening.
In-between coffee and biscuits and television viewing, Rosie did her best to set fire to the summerhouse whilst trying to hang some car window blinds on the summerhouse windows. This DIY plan is because the sun streams in throughout the day and is blinding if you are sitting there. She had only gotten one screw in when she knocked the table on which stood blazing citronella candles in a futile attempt to get rid of the wasp which she insisted was terrorising her. In reality, it was just buzzing around the bright yellow canopy we have on the ceiling of the summerhouse minding its own business. But, girls will be girls.
One candle and citronella wax ended up on the floor – which she emphasised was nothing to do with her. She then thought she might try to lift the wax which had dried on the (foam) floor by melting it with the flame of the candle lighter. (I don’t think she was serious but I’m not too sure). I wearily got off my chair and fetched her a wallpaper scraper to do the job. By the time we had cleared up and were back inside the safety of the main house, I was done-in and really in a helluva lot of pain, again.
Now, to the really eventful moment of the night. (Yes – there is even more nail-biting excitement ahead). We started to watch the Channel 4 programme “Catching a Killer – The Knock at the Door”.
This was a deeply shocking yet true story of an attempt to catch the murderers of an ex-Hong Kong policewoman who, with her family, had legally resettled in England after the handover of Hong Kong to China. They were a hard-working family with their one son at University when on 31st January 2017, Mrs Lin opened the door to a gang of six youths who proceeded to bulglarise her house while pinning her to the floor and slapping her on the head. She died some 12 days after the attack but was able to give the Police a gripping account of the event before having to be placed in a medically induced coma from which she never woke.
It was a tremendously thought-provoking programme to end the first really good day of the year. I made my way upstairs having taken a Zopiclone sleeping tablet as part of my new regime to get my sleeping pattern into a more usual one. About an hour later (I think) I was woken by Rosie shouting me to close the MacBook I had been writing a quick email to my one and only male friend. Groggily I complied and then woke up at 6:30am with Patch clawing at me to feed him and his brother.
I can report that yesterday’s acupuncture has worked, as usual, and I feel good again today. I plan to make the most of it having done most of the housework yesterday.
Importantly, for all chronics, is to remember the dreaded pacing though. It is a simple concept but oh so difficult to get the hang off.
Like all chronics, I tend to go berserk when I get a good day. I try to do as many things as possible, pretending I’ve no chronic pain problem and am a “normal” happy-go-lucky Scot. I’ve tried pacing for around 20 years I suppose but have never got the hang of it. The idea is to stop yourself before you do too much and so make your pain worse. Thing is, I never know I’ve done too much until I’ve actually done too much!
I have it ingrained into my mind that I’m expected to have done all the work needed to keep our house and home pristine so Rosie just has to come home and be presented with a beautifully cooked meal as if I’m some 50s housewife who dresses up for her husband before he comes home from a hard day at the office. The last time I dressed up as a woman my own Mother didn’t recognise me.
So, the point of all this drivel is quite simple. Pace yourself and go and enjoy the sun.