13 June 2017





Sunday was a hot day with the powerful scent from the hundreds of lilies flowering in the garden.  It was too hot to think in long sentences. My back started to hurt a bit and all afternoon I frantically reassured myself that yes, it's muscle and no, I will not need more spine surgery. That's about the level of sanity I am currently entertaining.


Every day, I go through my rituals of back exercises as instructed and then out of boredom and because I have this stupid idea that I am missing something, I branch out, using nifty gadgets and online videos. Afterwards I freak out for a while because you know, I could be doing it all wrong. But, hey, movement is best, yes?

The last lab works were rough but some of it I can hopefully remedy with supplements, some of it does explain the weak knees and the bp in the low 80s and all that fatigue stuff but no real clue as to  why and how but I told them I was not up for anymore abdominal diagnostics for the time being. Give me a break, I shouted whimpered.

My daily medicines now come as a big box of colourful sweets in fancy shapes. And that excludes the one I refuse taking at the moment because it's contraindicated when taking immune suppressants. I asked WTF and they said, let's try it anyway for a couple of weeks and I said no and then I felt a bit like a fool but also a lot like a stroppy woman and I needed that. I also pushed my clenched fist into the clinically charged air between us while clutching the instruction leaflets from all the medicines with the one million side effects highlighted in neon colours. Alright, I didn't do the last bit, the fist raising, but R had marked the side effects earlier and when I told them, they shrugged their shoulders and offered a cheap grin, worth a try, they mumbled.

In the evening, I was lying flat on the hot patio stones and for a long time, watched the swifts catching insects in the sky above me. Earlier, we had cancelled the very expensive flights to Portugal. So what. I could probably have made it there and back. But. I could not persuade my health insurance, which is currently paying my salary, that gallivanting around Porto is part of my treatment.
So. There I was. Watching the swifts and the beautiful evening clouds above me. I felt small and insignificant and at home. Nothing seemed more important than this right now, hot patio stones, birds, insects, clouds, the vine growing above the sitting room windows.
Then a warm gentle wind started rustling the tall poplar trees, I closed my eyes and listened.

Much later, we watched Manchester by the Sea  and I couldn't speak for a while afterwards.

12 comments:

  1. Hot patio stones, sky above. This sounds like the choice of a stroppy woman. Thank God you read the medicine inserts. Worth a try? Wow.

    ReplyDelete
  2. A friend of mine called me yesterday. She is on a medication and it is making her hurt all of the time and she wants me to tell her that she doesn't need the medication and I couldn't tell her that. I don't know. It doesn't really seem like she does but...
    But.
    But.
    It's all so confusing and a balancing act between the positive and the negative, benefits versus the bullshit.
    No one knows the truth. Not me, not you, not the doctors but there comes a point where we do have to reach out our fist and shake it and say, "That's enough of THAT one, thank you."
    Meanwhile, let us smell the lilies while we can.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I feel the same sometimes that nothing is more important than the feel of the wind and sun and whatever beauty our senses detect. Doctors scare me too. I just wasted months with one who dismissed what an Mir later confirmed because it's rare. Now facing surgery, reduced motion in my dominant hand and a chance some pain will remain. Going outside and letting myself focus on the sounds sights and sensations has been wonderfully calming 
    Xoxo
    Barbara

    ReplyDelete
  4. I don't have the knowledge to comment on the medical consequences of what you've done but I do know this: that those who have emerged from serious illness have usually done so by maintaining a positive view of their future. Those that "give in" frequently suffer a self-fulfilling fate. Punching the air sounds positive.

    It's also in keeping with your antecedents:

    [They] with hair dishevelled and garments rent, the timidity of their sex being overcome by such dreadful scenes, had the courage to throw themselves amid the flying weapons, and making a rush across, to part the incensed armies, and assuage their fury...

    The battle came to an end, and the Sabines agreed to unite in one nation with the Romans.


    On a quieter note, the Guardian has just decided to change from the Berliner format (between broadsheet and tabloid) to conventional tabloid. To save costs.

    So your Dad's a trades unionist. Me too, a member of the UK's National Union Of Journalists from 1953 until retirement in 1995. Oh, the excruciating speeches I've heard.

    Saw Manchester By The Sea three months ago. It's about a working stiff. My novels aim to examine the condition of working stiffs.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh those precious moments when you can actually savour what is! We live in a beautiful world - I'm glad you have times when the pain recedes enough for you to enjoy it.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Doctors scare me, but the sky, the birds, those hot patio stones...that's the balance to everything else. Take care, Sabine.

    ReplyDelete
  7. WTF is what I would say, too, to them. We do have to be proactive these days when it comes to medical care. We always are free to choose what we believe is best for us. The best medical care includes the swifts, the beautiful clouds, the gentle wind, healing natural sounds. Recently put myself on a waiting list for "Manchester by the Sea" at our public library, expecting to be in for an emotional experience when it is available. Your sky is beautiful. There is vitality in your writing voice. Sending love to you, as always.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Even with all the troubles life throws our way, there's always something to be grateful for -- the scent of flowering lilies, the warmth of a summer Sunday,senses to appreciate it all with and even medicine to ease the way, but also the wits to research what they're prescribing for us because, for the most part, we're no more than lab rats to them.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I take so much hope from your post even though it does convey the pain you feel. Wish you much deserved luck!

    Greetings from London.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I wonder if you are getting enough pain relief. Just a thought.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I think you're right to be wary of medication. I'd do the same thing -- question them about it. I'm also glad you're having some joyful experiences, like the garden and the swifts, among the more trying ones.

    ReplyDelete