Monday, 30 August 2010

My Brain Scares Me Sometimes!

I'm missing my holidays, yes I have only worked 2 days per week over the summer, but I've had possibly the most stressful 6 weeks ever!

There have been work stresses which have meant late evening phone calls, conversations which need brain power and concentration in spade loads. Exhausting!

My husband has been doing fencing, making gates etc, for his pigs. This has meant I (and it has to be me because he doesn't drive) have spent many hours going here and there on some errand or another. Buying, sourcing, fetching and carrying bolts, wire, screws, wood, hay, pig food etc etc etc....the list seems endless! Exhausting!

Looking after the pony and carriage, meeting the farrier etc. Being taxi driver for Ben to go back and forth to work at the stable, and his riding lessons. Exhausting!

Trying to cope with family life over the summer, demands v pacing/resting. Need I say more, I know you're all nodding sagely.

Organised a 16th birthday for my son, which I don't begrudge the guy at all, but it's.... wait for it......... Exhausting!

Looking at it all it's little wonder I'm as frazzled as I am, it's a formidable and daunting list. All this mixed in with a hubby who, at times, is a good way short of being understanding, and the general day to day activities that I normally manage.

I think I've done fairly well to still be upright by now!

It is all very stressful, and I feel that stress bodily and mentally, but mostly cognitively. I can forget within a nano-second what I was doing or saying. This is OK when it's something like "which load of washing was I putting in the machine?" But when it's something a bit more important (not that clean clothes aren't important you understand!) such as, when driving, which pedal is the brake? Boy it sometimes scares the pants off me!

That particular lapse has only happened once, just yesterday, and I'm still reeling from the feeling of panic. Having to check in my mirror then take both feet off the pedals and re-evaluate what I was asking them to do. The possible consequences are too much to think about. In fact most things are just now!

These cognitive challenges are a whole post on their own, but the point of this one, I think, is to tie my concrete-headedness in with the difficult times of late. Much as I try not to admit it, I can't handle stress like I used to, and it's getting worse.

There are some difficult times ahead, my son starts college and later this week there is a meeting at work that I would much rather never needed to happen. I am seriously wondering how much longer I will be able to sustain the upright version of me.....!

I hope I can, it's a much better version than the pyjama'd and horizontal one that threatens to rear her 'ugly' head!

I hope, oh faithful and determined reader, that our respective 'worlds' are kind to us this week, and our brains can keep up!!!!!!

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Thought Stream

Hey it seems like AGES since I wrote anything, it's not been through choice, but life has been keeping me busy, with not much cognitive 'oomph' to spare! I work just two days a week at the moment, and have been trying to keep up with family life and demands over the school holidays.

There is a pretty stressful work situation that has been brewing nicely for the last few months, and is now really taking it's toll on my head and it's tendency to 'jam'. There have been lots of anxious times, and some stressful encounters to try to get through. I am hoping that it will be nearer to it's conclusion next week. Fingers crossed for me! (Cos, if it goes on much longer I dunno if I will have the 'mojo' to keep up with it!)

My son is now 16! I am so proud of him, and the obstacles he overcomes- life has it's challenges for him too. He gained 7 GCSE's and is now looking forward to starting at college soon. He is heavily into horses and riding so he's off to do a horse care course.

Pigs are my husband's latest obsession, or more accurately two Kune Kune weaners (FYI- this is what they're called before they have their first litter) called Agnes and Winnie.
They are both quite nice girls, very affectionate and love a good belly scratch! They eat ALL my non-meat kitchen and garden scraps and are so clean I can't believe it! I have never come across such inoffensive creatures in my life. Think we humans could take a leaf outta their book!

But, having said that, have you ever tried to give a weaner an injection (shot!)? They're not quite so inoffensive then!

When I say obsession, I mean it! Hubby has turned into a 'pig-bore', he even has a webcam set up in their shed so he can see what they're up to 24/7!!! I think there has to be some kind of law against pig-cam, but he is LOVING it! Just looks like a lot of snoring, snoozing and scratching to me though!!! Perhaps that's what he likes about them!??!!

There is no point to this post, just a waffle- sorry if you were on the edge of your seat waiting for the deep and meaningful! It's just not going to happen today!

Health wise, (and I suppose we always have something to say on the matter hey!?) I am struggling with what I suspect will turn out to be Interstitial Cystitis. If you are with me on this one you'll know just what I'm talking about.....! My GP was going to give me something to help with it, but I am heavily against taking drugs until I have tried all other avenues, so I'll rethink this after giving some other lifestyle and diet changes a try first.

My stamina is low, my heartrate high, my head full of concrete and my body heavy, (Well, I suppose the 'head-concrete doesn't help.....!) I'm feeling just a teensy weensy bit frustrated as I'd really like to be boiling beetroots for pickling and making damson jam. But, instead of this I'm laying as flat as possible, TRYING to rest and type...!

I'm having an "oh woe is me" moment, no apologies! I know it'll pass and lets face it, we all have them!

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Just a List!

Skin and muscles sore to the touch,
'Wandering' skin sensations that sweep over my body,
Bladder pain,
Over sensitive hearing,
Symptoms fluctuate and change throughout the day,
Eye pain in bright light/sunlight,
Muscle spasms,
Weak legs,
Sore throat,
Easily startled by sound/touch,
Irregular heartbeat,
Occasional paralysis,
Weak and very painful arms,
Severe memory difficulties,
Bladder frequency,
Insomnia and sleep that doesn't refresh,
Sudden onset muscle weakness,
Chest pain,
Poor coordination/clumsiness,
Slow processing/thinking,
Word finding difficulties,
'Foggy' brain/thinking,
Inability to cope with one more health professional who believes this is all in my head!

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Lost the plot!

Just can't seem to come up with anything interesting or even mildly diverting today, my head is creating a world of it's own and doesn't seem to have let me in on the plot!

I tried to talk to my friend last evening but the words just would not come, too hard to get them in my head, ordered, and spoken in a sensible and coherent way! Poor girl, she had to keep breaking the silence herself, whereas normally I can be relied upon to waffle on for Britain! I managed a few sentences of 'cocktail party' type chat, but nothing meaningful!! Sorry A!

This morning I tried to have a reasoned and sensible talk with my hubby, but I couldn't manage to make what was in my head come out of my mouth. Now, he'll tell you that is not something I usually have an issue with! Ha!

I really had trouble forming the thoughts and finding the words, it was worse than normal, and much more frustrating because I really wanted/needed to talk to him this morning. (Not that I don't at any other time you understand!)

'Thinking through treacle' doesn't touch how it feels, nor does 'brain fog'. I may have to return to that tired old analogy of 'Concrete'! As some of you will know I have regular attacks of 'concrete-headed-ness' and it can be extremely debilitating. Trying to explain to hubby, through the concrete, that I couldn't get my thoughts and words sorted, without the thoughts or words needed for such an explanation, was nigh on impossible today. I just stumbled about a bit, saying goodness knows what and floundering! Doesn't make for a good start to the day.

It all seems to be much worse at the moment, which I think is probably due to some pretty stressful situations here and there, taking their toll on my health and little grey cells. It doesn't take much extra in the brain, to throw it completely and render me a useless lump of uncommunicative, tastefully pyjama'd wife!

When I'm stressed I need to be able to think things through, to work out possible consequences and how it may be best to deal with them. But instead I find all I am doing is trying to bludgeon my way through the concrete to thoughts which whirl and slide about, making me more frustrated and emotional than relaxed and sorted.

Hey ho! For someone who's thoughts are 'sleeping with the fishes' I've managed quite a long post.....sorry if it's rambled, but I guess you're used to me by now!

Monday, 2 August 2010

I Follow Humbly.....

It's been AGES since I have had the opportunity to write anything at all. I've not been lazy, promise! There have been obstacles - stressful work situations, stressful home ones, visitors, DIY and the arrival of hubby's piglets to name but a few.

Still, I'm here now so here goes!

'Lark Rise to Candleford' is undoubtedly the best book I have ever read, first when I was around 11years old, and then at least two or three times a year, each year since! It became my manual for living and shaped my life more than I had realised until recently.

For the uninitiated- I'm sorry that the magic hasn't reached you yet! This book is a semi-autobiography of a girl growing up in a tiny, isolated English hamlet (which Flora Thompson, the author, born and raised there, calls 'Lark Rise') in the late 1800's. It is a fantastic piece of social history detailing life at that time, for farm workers, housewives, children and the ordinary, poor folk of Oxfordshire.

My description of it does it no justice, really, just take my word for it and go read it!

I knew the place still existed as a real place called Juniper Hill, on the Northamptonshire/Oxfordshire border, but I had no idea it was so unchanged since Flora wrote about it.

I met a local historian in Juniper Hill last week, and did a little tour of the places she wrote about. It was sublime! To see the hamlet, walk the paths, even sit in her very pew in church! I could hear the voice of Flora, walking with me, describing the flowers, the scenes, and people she knew so intimately, in the words I knew by heart.

As I walked alone over the very ground she trod, I realised that it was her writings, her outlook and her experiences that have shaped who I am. I long for the simpler times, the horsedrawn carriage, growing your own food, making and mending what you need, keeping animals etc etc. Then it hit me.... without really following a plan I have tried to bring a little 'Flora Thompson' into Zarla all these years!

I have a pony and carriage which I drive, vegetable plots/herbs/edible plants, make rugs/glasses etc and keep sheep, pigs and hens!!!!! In this busy, bustling 21st Century world I am including as much as I can of her 19th Century one.

Back to the trip to Juniper Hill, I had the most amazing time. I'd never been there before, but because it was so unchanged, and I knew Flora's words so well, I just knew where everything was. I walked a path and just knew, even before I got to it, that there was a little copse with a deep forgotten pond. I have never felt so at home in somewhere I'd just seen! A very bizarre feeling.

The flowers she spoke of, in the places she said, all still there! I picked some and placed them in my book! It could not have been better, I almost felt as if the little girl Flora was walking with me, explaining as she went.... I know the book that well!

I managed all this with as many rests as I wanted, just sitting/lying in the long grass, in the tall yellow wheat etc, reading my book! I took all day about it, had food and drink in my pockets, and removed myself from the 21st, back to the 19th!!!!!