13 September 2019

feeling a bit snappy

Pushing along. I am climbing mountains. It feels like it. Every day. So now they tell me that cutting down the cortisone after almost ten years does produce symptoms such as all the shit that is going on. Now! Seriously. There is me learning about the cortisol metabolism and how cortisone fits in and the adrenal glands and, wait for it, adrenal fatigue. Brilliant, isn't it, that there's a name for almost everything which feels great for a while until you realise it doesn't matter and certainly is of no help. None whatsoever.

Anyway, it could last for about 12 months, they said. And we all know that 12 months is one whole year. But, they said, it comes and goes. Ah sure. Doesn't everything. Come and go.

Cutting down the cortisone has now become my mission in life. I have a chart drawn. I am keeping a cortisone tapering diary and I am the best pupil in the school of cortisone tapering the young and well-dressed immunologist has ever had. He in his pretty argyle socks.

And, in the words of a learned and sceptical friend, if it all goes sideways, everybody'll know why and let them pick up the pieces then. Well-dressed or not.

There are bigger things to concentrate on. It rained! One whole day and most of the night. That was weird and wonderful. The word lush comes back into use. But with caution.

The larger family is assembling in my father's garden on the weekend. Instead of coming out in a rash, as some would at the the thought of 17 people talking at the top of their voices pretending to be close, I woke up with vertigo in the early hours and have been spending a considerable amount of time today dealing with seasickness and the various ways this causes voiding of half digested food stuff. Somehow I will get to sit in my father's garden eventually, R can do the driving, and once we arrive I could hide somewhere in a tree. Or under one.

After that, we are going to the sea side. At least it's booked. That's the plan. Let's not think of what could go wrong. In other words, I am on holiday. My boss suggested I take a rest. Very funny.

In an effort to not lose sight of the bigger picture, to avoid getting lost in too much self pity, and to keep the mind occupied during sleepless hours, I have listened to episodes from the Awake at Night podcast (https://www.unhcr.org/awakeatnight/) where "listeners will join UNHCR’s communications chief, Melissa Fleming, in personal conversations with an array of humanitarian workers, and learn what drives them to risk their own lives protecting and assisting people displaced by war". It's strangely uplifting, reminding me of the fact that there are good people everywhere.
I leave you with another sign of hope and happiness.

Trevor Mallard, New Zealand's House of Representatives speaker, bottle feeding Mr Tāmati Coffey's baby while he presided over a debate. Mr Coffey is an elected politician and is married to Mr Tim Smith and this is their son Tūtānekai Smith-Coffey.


  1. And that last bit warms my heart so much.
    I hope you feel good enough to enjoy the seaside. Really, truly I do.

  2. Ah, that picture warmed my heart. It is my treat for Friday the 13th (a lucky day, in my opinion)
    Enjoy the family reunion, especially in the fact that the garden may be beautiful even if the people are not so agreeable.
    And happy for you that you get to see the seaside. Coincidentally, this is my last day to go before the rain begins, so I will. I love the air there. And I get vertigo occasionally too. It's a real bitch, sorry you have that to deal with on top of everything else.

  3. We've had some rain here, too, as well as an extremely unusual extended thunder and lightning storm in the past week that those who are children will remember for years to come. You reminded me of this song:

    Rain, rain, rain. I don't mind.


    (and then sung backwards. Ha!)

    So much going on. Mountains to climb. Babies being bottle-fed in New Zealand's House of Representatives. Thank you so much for the link to "Awake At Night." Good people everywhere. That's for sure.

    I hope you will post a photo of the seaside. Have you seen the film "Maiden"? About young women from England who sailed around the world in 1989. When I say I like the ocean, I mean that I like looking out at the ocean from the shore. It's another thing to be far from shore in raging storms! It's inspiring to see young women who ventured out so far from shore, against all odds.

  4. I'd like to move to New Zealand. Immediately.

  5. I'm so glad you are going to the seaside for a vacation. Enjoy every blissful moment. It is always restorative in every way. Take care there, Sabine.

  6. we finally had some rain too! about 2 1/2" over 4 days. so nice to see an example of loving masculinity instead of the toxic kind that infuses too many American men. I managed to avoid the last gathering of my husband's relatives.

  7. So what's Trevor Mallard's relationship with the Smith-Coffey duo? Best man or woman? Not that it matters; what pleases me is that Mallard looks as though he knows what he's doing. Baby Tutanekai is properly positioned and is being fed properly. Also there appears to be some spare cloth (the pale green stuff) on hand to tidy up if and when regurgitation occurs.

    Round about millennium the RRs visited New Zealand three times. Even then we were struck by the country's humanity. On one visit the big talking point concerned the re-positioning of a sacred Maori tree. It was a complex matter and different opinions were espoused. Our host at some far-flung farmstay apologised to us about the ensuing argument. Then sort of scratched his head and said: I suppose it says something about NZ that the whole country should be thus engaged rather than being at each other's throats over public greed and international hatred.

    It did indeed. Since then NZ has led the world in teaching us how politics should be managed. A prime minister who takes maternity leave provides an interesting lesson on priorities.

  8. I hope you're feeling better soon. I had to go home from work last Monday because of vertigo but thankfully it was short lived. Enjoy the seaside.

    That last video clip gives me hope in a world that is sometimes devoid of hope.

  9. I Am Thinking That Today Would Be A Wonderful Day For A Bike Ride - Stay Strong


  10. You have just reminded me that when I was 11 my parents had to travel to England and left us with relatives in Jamaica so that my dad could be weaned off cortisone which he had been in for years so as not to go blind. The weaning took 6 months, much of it in hospital. He was a different man when he can home, he smiled more. It was a hard passage for him. I hope yours is less so.

  11. New Zealand is our default nation of sanity.
    I watched a new dad change his son's nappy this morning in clinic. He was so tender and gentle.....

  12. Back after months awol and glad to see you're still surmounting all the challenges life continues to throw in your way. I hope the seaside will be wonderful and restorative!

  13. I missed this post and I'm just reading it. Aaack, you do suffer my luv. I hate that. Sending lotsa love.

  14. I love Beth Coyote's comment. My god, yes.

  15. I meant to write a comment as well about the arduous task of going off cortisone. I feel for you as my daughter Sophie struggled mightily with that when she was a baby. May you be well and soon.