27 May 2023

key changes

Agh, things have been tough. This week was a holiday week and I spent it mostly resting because my left shoulder, neck, upper arm, whatever, hurt like hell. This started as a stiff neck three weeks ago, something I let slide, applied some heat when I thought about it. I am right handed, so there is that. I even went to get a relaxing osteopathy treatment not covered by my health insurance. And then I got some abdominal pain (which is an old chestnut with me when under stress) and R delivered me to our GP who sent me to the ER and no, it's nothing to do with my heart (check here for neck, shoulder and abdominal pain as a heart attack symptoms in women). Also, the two guys who occasionally do some house repairs for us were here yesterday and repainted the hall and the kitchen. Of course, I lifted stuff and cleaned and held shelves while R drilled holes and so on. So now I am cursing and have made another osteopath appointment.

The worst is that cycling and walking are really painful and I feel like a beached whale looking with longing at the horizon where everybody is having fun in the sun.

So, limited typing. Instead, I'll drop a few links and quotes that have cheered/enlightened me,


To say that the nervous system is connected to the immune system, and the immune system is connected to the emotional apparatus, all of which is connected to the hormone system, is incorrect. They are not connected; they are the same system.

Gabor  Maté (read the full interview here)


The Mower
by Philip Larkin

The mower stalled, twice; kneeling, I found   
A hedgehog jammed up against the blades,   
Killed. It had been in the long grass.

I had seen it before, and even fed it, once.   
Now I had mauled its unobtrusive world   
Unmendably. Burial was no help:

Next morning I got up and it did not.
The first day after a death, the new absence   
Is always the same; we should be careful

Of each other, we should be kind   
While there is still time.


You don't care for things because they share the same country, religion or politics. Life itself is kinship.

We should not differentiate between all that breathes.

A quote from All That Breathes, this amazing documentary, watch it if you get a chance. 


And finally, some music, strange to begin with, a bit dull, said R, but then there's that key change just after 6 min. Every time, I feel my chest opening, I want to raise my arms and shout something like, all is forgiven, all will be well. We even discussed the power of key changes in music. 


Ms. Moon said...

There is indeed great power in key changes.
I truly hope you feel better soon, dear woman. Much better. Very soon.

NewRobin13 said...

The poem you shared is so moving and beautiful, even if it brings tears to my eyes. I so hope you feel better soon, Sabine. Take care there.

Colette said...

Ouch! I hope you feel better soon.

ellen abbott said...

yes, the body is a whole not just a conglomeration of linked systems. one of the failings of western medicine is that it doesn't acknowledge this. health care should be wholistic. and yes, all is one and one is all. all life is one. we should sustain it because it sustains us. and music. how is it that music has such power. how is it that some people are not moved by music. hope your painful neck and arm is better soon.

Anonymous said...

"We should be kind while there is still time." Wow. My new mantra. Thank you, and I hope all your pain will lighten up and allow you to enjoy summer. Thanks also for that wonderful movie recommendation.

Molly said...

That was me....

Jackie M said...

Oh yeah, the nervous system ,immune system, emotional system, vagus nerve, pain in odd places...just going through a "thing" too. FODMAP diet and A-Lipoic acid has helped me, might help others.

Elizabeth said...

I'm practising yoga nidra a few times a week, and it's helping me. Have you ever tried it?

37paddington said...

I adore that quote from All That Breathes, which is itself a great title. Dear Sabine, I'm so sorry your body is in pain. I hope it eases soon, going away as mysteriously as it came. In the meantime, sit under the sky, let the breeze whisper away the pain. Maybe. Hopefully. Hugs.

Steve Reed said...

That Philip Larkin poem is heartbreaking. We've all killed something unintentionally and lived with that heaviness.

Roderick Robinson said...

Thanks for the Larkin. If you read the published correspondence (with Amis) it's astonishing someone so crass could write a poem like that. But, then, we must always learn to separate the character from the work.

As to health, I'm not actively suffering as you are (horriedly, my deepest sympathy) but I'm due a post-op scan on Wednesday, nearly five months after the last op!. The only other delays I've experienced during the last two years (three ops, four months of chemo, a PICC, pills galore, scans, telephone dialogues, visits from the district nurse, follow-ups, filling in surveys, developing car-parking strategies that work) concerns scan interpretation. The NHS seems to lack people in this area. A quick (ie, bad) reponse would bring about a quandary. A rented French villa for the whole family looms with thousands spent. Suppose urgency was urged. I'm 87, this could be the last time to practice a second language I've worked on for nearly fifty years. You've proved yourself decisive with recommendations in the past, what do you think?

Sabine said...

How much of a distance would you have to travel back from France if need be? How long would it take? Options as in could you go by air? What about insurance cover for emergency transport? These are the practicalities I would and often had to consider. I have spent a good bit of money on travel cancellation insurance, extended health insurance covers abroad etc. - careful research will come up with wonders.
But if you can spend thousands for the villa, you know all that surely. Practicalities can always be arranged. Whether the NHS approves, is another matter. But what is there to lose?
If your point is whether you could even have the audacity (courage?) to travel in the current scenario, my reply is, why not?
This is your life, you own it.

Roderick Robinson said...

We travel from my daughter's house, it's 45 minutes nearer and we need to start early the following day. The distance is 876 miles so, by car, it's got to be two days. Never mind, the journey and the overnight are part of the holiday and as the years go by I've grown to hate air travel. One is so glad when it's over. Also Eurotunnel helps; ferries are the past. Besides, we need a car when we get there and that would mean hiring at extortionate rates. And I'm too old for car hire. Insurance cover? With my medical background I leave you to guess at the premium. Yes, it's a risk but there are four of us in the car and both my daughter and my granddaughter share the driving with me.

I know it sounds odd but planning the route in France is fun. We have 15 years' experience of this complex journey, with Paris providing a hugely intractable blockage en route. Last year, returning, my daughter (well informed about traffic via Google Maps on her phone) - on a whim - instructed my granddaughter to aim for the centre of Paris rather than take one of the bypass routes. It worked! Minimal traffic, a sunny day and driving through Paris is not like driving Passaic, New Jersey.

Yes, spending thousands does sound profligate but it's a way of gathering the family together once a year and this seems to be a worthwhile aim. Anyone is free to duck out, no one does. I happily communicate with the natives (It's one reason why we go to France) and the others, all sports mad, are gradually improving their skills by constant perusal of L'Equipe. No mean feat, it's an unfailing source of up-to-date idiomatic French

But to go in the face of possible bad news from the scan. Here I am supported, to some extent, by earlier experience. In 2021 I had my first op. Surgeons and other medicoes, knowing I was hoping to go to France, urged me to take the planned holiday. Convinced it would be psychologically as well as physically beneficial. A delayed op? Well so be it.

Thanks for responding. I guess you have faced similar problems given your background. As you say, one owns one's life. One wouldn't wish to finally leave it behind in an embittered state of mind. The road not taken.

jozien said...

Dear Sabine sorry to hear about the pain. I often work Gabor Matte idea's too. And know that meditation works wonders for pain, he suggests it is better then morphine. I also believe/experience that all is one, and often work with my emotional side. One of my favorite ways is to ask myself, why do i love this predicament? what is the benefit for me to have this situation? and i will come out at an emotional blockage of kind often developed in childhood, to protect myself. To which i then can work with as in: I am an adult now, i can deal with this, now, in an grown-up way, etc. For me this approach often works miracles.
The poem is beautiful.

Pixie said...

Somehow I missed this post. That documentary looks quite interesting and thanks for the trailer.