22 June 2010


The thought that the days are once again getting longer initially fills me with panic.
But, that much I have learnt in these last nine months: Panic comes and goes, it has no hold over me. Well, at least not now with summer out there and seven weeks of summer break for R ahead of us.
I am slowly learning to not fear the future, to let it happen. I have accepted a bit of this life. A bit only, mind you. There is too much to fear, so I am doing bits. Bits of work, bits of gardening, bits of cooking, bits of cycling, bits of weeping, bits of laughter, bits of distraction and so on.

20 June 2010


At the risk of coming across all esoteric or religious - and I am neither - I still feel this urge to note that at the moment I feel so incredibly grateful. Grateful for this slow unfolding summer, the abundance of fruit and blossoms, for R on my side, his patience and confidence, for lovely S far away and yet so close with her whirlwind ideas, for gentle N who despite all her personal upheavals has made the last 6 weeks so much easier, for being able to cycle down to the river every so often to watch this magnificent force of water flowing towards the sea, for pleasant dinners on the patio, funny or moving or crappy DVDs to watch in company, all the books to read and discover, to be able to sleep most nights, listening to birdsong when I wake in the mornings...

12 June 2010

from the wise man

If you are afraid of fear it can overwhelm you. But if you invite it calmly and smile at it with mindfulness it will abate.

When we panic we do not know what to do. Through breathing, smiling and giving we will find a solution.

other things

Our big cat is dead, she was put down after another seizure kind of event and is buried at the bottom of the garden. What a relief!

Tax rebate has arrived! My first success story since getting sick as I did the tax returns when I things were really shitty.

The garden is paradise. R starts his summer break in two weeks.


Almost every day  there is at least one moment of doubt whether this autoimmune diagnosis is valid. While I am on this roller coaster ride and long forgotten (i.e. absent for a couple of days) symptoms come back seemingly out of nowhere to viciously attack me, my imagination runs wild and the dreaded "what if it's..." pops up uninvited in my head screaming at me, especially at night in our lovely quiet neighbourhood without a noisy car, bus, train, plane, unruly cats or late night pedestrian to distract me.
So I juggle likely explanations about drug side effects and delayed efficacy, the hot weather, wrong food for dinner, menopause etc. around my head until I eventually fall asleep.

For some time now headaches have come and gone, increasing in intensity and a good day now is when the panadol kicks in which it rarely does. Yesterday all I could do was walk up and down in the garden trying to distract myself counting my breath, the roses in bloom and picking the first ripe raspberries - to no avail. In the end I remembered that one patient in my room at the WKH in November told me that she always drinks an espresso for her headache. And it did help  but I felt/feel like shit nevertheless. Doctors now want me to monitor time and strength etc. of headaches which obviously sends me into a fizz as I try to figure out why they are concerned.
And there I was not too long ago telling myself how lucky I am that I don't  have migraines. Whatever hit me yesterday was migraines' big sister.

The thought that I have been carrying this noisy dizzy vertigo exhaustion in my head and body for over nine months now (half time of my sick benefit) and that in less than three months ... fills me with panic and I end up weeping for my losses: working, cycling, walking, running, dancing, careless and thoughtless daily activities like boring household. Oh shit. This can't be it. No way. Come on, think of something. Quick.

08 June 2010

hope and wait

In early autumn 1981, I spent a morning with a wild group of new agey feminists in the basement of a yoga school near Fitzwilliam Square.  We wanted to start a health group and in particular we wanted to promote natural childbirth as a sort of radical right, all very theoretical and somewhat militant (the early 80s...).

When I left home that morning I was a healthy young woman, slightly hippie-ish, broke obviously, full of wild ideas and ideals, absolutely none of them involving motherhood, and mainly interested in connecting with other likeminded women ready to shake up the establishment.

When I got home that night I just knew that I wanted to get pregnant. Nothing seemed more important or urgent. And there was no discussion, none of the predictable arguments from my feminist friends could change my plan. I had to work hard on convincing R and I mean hard, including one very rough and stormy sleepless night on Inishmore of all places.

That done I naively thought things would sort of happen overnight.
Haha. In fact what followed was a couple of months of waiting and hoping and dashing of hopes and getting to know physical signs or rather imagining non-existent physical signs and when it finally did happen there was none of that romantic glow and shiny eyes and whatever softness of body some women-who-know tried to convince me of.

But that's another story and I am getting carried away here.

It's the waiting bit and the hoping bit that I am reexperiencing these days. I don't  want to dwell on it because it could all be back to square one tomorrow.
But as I drove back from BG this afternoon, Kate Bush blurted out of the car radio as I was driving through the sunny tree-lined streets and I turned up the volume and - loudly - sang along and grinned almost happily at the poor unfortunate teenagers at the traffic lights who had to witness this crazy scene.

06 June 2010


After three days of heat a thunder storm with massive rain this afternoon. The smell of rain on the hot patio stones overwhelming. Roses and lavender in bloom, sage and estragon almost up to my shoulders, a handful of plums on the little tree, first raspberries blushing, delphinium ready to blossom, taller than me. Strawberries next week if the sun keeps up. Rucola and lettuce ready for harvest.