Sunday, August 29, 2021

It's been a weird summer.


The weather has been weird, both literally and metaphorically, since I last blogged.  From time to time I think I'll write a post and then things change completely and I don't.  

Really, I feel completely cheated of the summer.  I have had no good weather in my garden since the end of April.  All the times when everyone else was complaining of the heat I was away and for the hottest week I had been pinged and was confined to barracks.

Since June I have also been suffering from a mixture of some of the worst grief and a bad bout of post-viral fatigue.  The fatigue is very frustrating.  So many things I have been unable to do.  Some of my friends just don't get it.  I ventured out for a rare coffee with friends this week and they asked if I had walked in.  

I laughed.  

They were surprised.  

I had to explain post-viral fatigue all over again.  Interestingly, although I've always described the condition as post-viral fatigue my cranial osteopath talked about "people with ME" and then corrected himself to "post-viral fatigue" so I suppose I'm crossing the line between the two.  I've bad PVF before, though, about 18 years ago, and got over it completely until April 2019, so watch this space.

Part of the problem in recent weeks, though, is that one of the feelings - best described as tired brain-fog, I suppose, can be caused either by the post-viral fatigue or emotional "stuff".  I'm usually pretty good at working out emotional stuff but it has been a challenge.  I now know to look for stuff first and if I can't find anything it's probably fatigue.  But the fatigue is definitely getting better and the brain fog associated with it has mostly gone.  I still need to be careful, and probably haven't been today as I've done quite a bit in the garden/patio.  I think it will have done me good, though, even if I have to rest tomorrow.


 




Thursday, June 10, 2021

It may be summer




It may be summer; my garden says so.  In this weirdest of times, though, I don't always feel that it is.  There was a short period at the end of April when it was lovely and much sitting out was done, by me and by visitors.  Since then, though, I'm not so sure.  May's weather was truly dire.  June has begun better and things are coming into flower ...

But what about me? 

I have post-viral fatigue and have had for the past two years.  It's not quite ME but it could turn into that.  Fatigue and brain fog are the main symptoms in my case.  On the face of it, flare-ups are unpredictable but when I consider that stress is a trigger and look for one, there always is one.  It's often something small, but related to the underlying stress, e.g. currently grief.  When it hits, if I don't notice and do too much, it can get significantly worse but it's very minor compared with ME and I want to keep things that way.  

Most people seem unaware that for two years after a major bereavement your immune system doesn't work as well as it should.  This includes it being much more likely that PVF will flare up.  I am now really taking that on board and trying to be positive and know that the difficulties I'm having at this particular time will fade.  I need patience (not a trait Aries people are known for!)  Gradually my friends and relatives are understanding where I'm at. 

So it may be summer.  The grief hit really hard in the middle of May, but now I think I'm coming out of the worst now.  But in the garden the summer-flowering plants are competing with spring things, like wallflowers, which shouldn't be around any more.  In my life PVF is flaring up badly from time to time, along with other, minor, ailments.  I'm hoping the warmth and light provided by summer - and people - will give me the patience to continue moving forwards.   

 








Sunday, March 7, 2021

It feels like spring

 



I'm cheating with this particular photo, as when I took it (early February) it didn't feel at all like spring.  The flowers are so joyful, though, and every year they encourage me to look forward to when spring will be here.

February, too, did feel like a never-ending month.  I often felt fatigue, I often felt depressed in spite of anti-depressants, I often felt the year would never move forward.  Of course, in one way I had good reason to feel depressed and every visit to my parents' empty house has made me ill for the first few days of returning home.  

But now, early March, it does feel like spring.  There have been gloriously sunny days, with actual warmth in the sun.  I've been able to do some outdoors jobs, which includes a massive tidy-up of my biggest shed.  It isn't outdoors, of course, but as far as temperature is concerned it might as well be as it has no heating.  I booked a trip to the local tip and got rid of some huge things and now the shed looks like it never has before.  I went on my first walk since October.  I just haven't had the energy till now.

Spring is a time of new beginnings.  And suddenly I do feel I've moved forward to a new time in my life.  My mood has lifted in the last three days.  Apparently I even sound better on the phone! 

Having brought back lots of tools from my parents' house, and added them to those I already had, which was more than most people have, it occurred to me that I needed to prove to myself that I could still use them and wanted to.  It has been about 18 years since I've done anything with tools other than tiling and decorating as Mike3 did everything with tools and after he died I just asked my builder friend to do all the odd jobs.  It turned out I was quite scared of trying and this has become worse as the years have gone by.  I think somewhere in there was a sense of responsibility to stay ok for my parents.  Now they've both gone, I can have a go again, and if I damage myself, well, there's nobody really depending on me so it doesn't matter.

On Friday I needed to put up a spice rack in the kitchen.  I didn't want to wait till aforementioned builder comes to do various jobs on Wednesday as it meant I could empty one of the boxes I'd brought back.  I would do it myself!  And I did.  Not entirely, it turns out, because I needed advice on using Mike's drill as it was different from my old one.  And advice on size/length of screws and rawlplugs.  But my builder had 15 minutes on his way into town and popped in and advised and now I've done it!

So it feels like spring out there - and it feels like spring inside me too.  I am moving forward, discovering rejuvenated me after a period of statis. (Blogger doesn't know the word but I'm sure all my readers do.)  Nothing I haven't been before and of course now with various age-related aches and pains but still, I feel better.  I feel like spring is happening.





Saturday, January 16, 2021

Dining-room cat

 
Dining-room cat
 
So this is what this grief is like.
This time it’s taken
seven weeks to hit.
I was waiting and thinking
maybe it wouldn’t.
 
Connected
by the invisible
cut but not cut cord
all my life,
so like each other
in mannerisms
and talents.
The last person I was allowed to hug.
 
Yesterday I brought home
Dining-room cat, a painting
your grandmother gave you,
and with it I brought the grief
at last.
 
Symbolic of you, Dining-room cat
has been there all my life
the archetypal cat
as you were, to me,
the archetypal mother.