I’ll keep this post brief, both because I don’t want to bore you senseless and because I’m not sure what to write. My brain isn’t working well enough and my body is falling apart, which makes writing, blogging, emailing and generally keeping up with life impossible. You know, the usual. This is just a little mini me update about birthday blues, life “after” Covid, health frustrations and animal action (I refer to a farm park, nothing perverse aside from a pig threesome).
Birthday Blues & Vomit
Tuesday 9th August was my birthday. Birthdays are a difficult time for me since my health went down the metaphorical toilet. I won’t drone on about being miserable, so suffice it to say that I prefer to distract myself to oblivion. Sadly that did not happen. My birthdays seem to have a way of reinforcing that people don’t really care, it doesn’t matter what I want, that I get taken for a fool even though I seem old enough that it shouldn’t still happen, especially by own family. Anyway, by 4pm I ended up back in bed and there I stayed until the next morning, alternating between falling asleep, rolling around not knowing where I was and throwing up my stomach lining. The next morning I was greeted by a bowl of sick, sick in my hair & the feeling I suddenly got super attractive right there. The intense nausea was yuck and the continual throwing up was yuck, and the miserableness persisted for the next day and the next.
I had hoped to go into town with my mum on my birthday and treat us to a game of bowling, or my idea of bowling: that involves not being able to bend at the waist because of the stoma girdle thing I have to wear, not being strong enough anymore that I have to get the lightest ball, and also not being able to bowl irrespective of my health, so I end up throwing the ball in the air and it bounces back down and ricochets off the barriers several times before hitting any pins. But at least it’s usually good fun. Maybe we can do it another time for an hour out of the house, but the grump monster won’t let go of me yet.
Thank goodness for cake, at least when I feel well enough to eat any. It doesn’t make Birthday Blues go away, but it takes the edge off. Funnily enough, I only eat chocolate cake (and I drown it in toffee sauce). I don’t do other flavours, no bits, no fruit, or even jam. Is anyone else like that, or am I just very boring? I’d love for you to join me and have a slice.
I’ve not been online much as a result but I’d like to say thank you to all those who’ve sent sweet birthday wishes. Also, this isn’t a pity-me post and I wondered whether to write it at all, but I also think it’s good to show a little of the reality, even when it’s not popular to do so. I’m certainly not the only one to find birthdays difficult or to feel the strain of being chronically ill, so please don’t feel you’re alone if you feel similar.
To save repetition, you fancy reading my thoughts on birthdays or coping with them when living with a chronic condition then you can see some earlier posts below.
I took my mum to the Cotswold Farm Park on Monday (before my birthday), so at least there was one good moment to savour. I wanted to do something to get her a change of scenery that I thought she might like, and I think we both enjoyed it. This is the farm owned by the farmer & TV presenter Adam Henson. I picked us up sandwiches in town first (to save a fortune), then paced it slowly when we got there.
I bought a bag of food for the goats and such outside, and one of the cheeky
bastards sweethearts tried to steal the bag! He was a devil-like goat (my mum pictured him as a cigarette-smoking Baphomet), keen to push others out the way so he could get what he wanted. You know the type. He ripped a good hole in the bag and tried to take the whole damn thing out of my hand! We then had to do a team-based distraction tactic to get this bully away from the little goats – I distracted him, worrying he was going to jump the fence and eat my face, while my mum fed the others on the sly.
There were a lot of “awws” on our park trip. It was also a day of newness – first time I’ve fed a goat, first time I’ve stroked a bunny rabbit or a guinea pig, the first time I’ve seen pigs partake in a threesome. The latter was a bit disturbing.
I couldn’t manage walking around the whole park let alone doing the larger area hike, but we did a little and that was good enough.
Life “After” Covid
It’s strange to think the world is going back to “normal” as though Covid came and went and is no more. The politicians and certain press outlets started to sweep it under the rug in the latter part of 2021, followed by restrictions, testing, masks and isolation being removed in 2022. For those who are concerned about Covid for themselves or others, for those who are vulnerable or live with someone that is, the choice to stay safe has pretty much been taken away from them. The news has all but forgotten about the virus.
But the cost of living in a Covid bubble also started to get greater after all this time. The discord between you and the world, the loneliness, the feeling of being left behind and angry with the so-called “Covidiots”, the lack of fresh air and exercise, the huge limits on independence. That known cost weighs up against the unknown cost of a virus, and many are now choosing that unknown risk, in part because there’s little choice.
For someone who has been antibacterial cleaning everything in sight for a long time now, it has been difficult to wean off doing so. To put away groceries without cleaning them takes a lot of self-restraint. Before Covid, I never would have dreamed of doing that, or putting post into quarantine before opening it, or cleaning the items in my handbag and cleansing the car before my parents get in it. Everything I have done has been for my parents. But Covid has done a number on them too and that risk seems higher now than the virus. I know there will be so many people in a similar situation.
Despite less cleaning and faffing with Covid, I’ve still got to much to do, I lose too much time not being well, my personal inbox has over 1,300 emails awaiting me, and things at home haven’t been great. Okay, that’s a little understatement because it has been frustrating enough to make me want to crush a grape, just about the only violence I have the strength for right now. I’m trying to do as I wrote about recently and appreciate the small joys and simple pleasures, especially with the brief summer weather we’ve been fortunate enough to have in the UK recently.
The good thing has been gradually doing a little more living and a little less cleaning and fretting. The odd ice-cream here and there. Remembering the glorious taste of a Subway for a picnic in the park.
Major Surgery : On Again/Off Again
After so much to-and-fro with the major surgery I’ve been waiting over four years for, I spoke with both surgeons required for the op earlier this year. I wrote before about how it seems it may be rather too little too late and I wasn’t sure whether to proceed or not. Recently, while in the go-for-it mood because I can’t keep going like this, I contacted the lovely woman surgeon who I mainly deal with and she said she’d get me in during August and it would be at a different hospital, which really appealed to me after a not too great experience at UCLH for my EUA in 2019. So I try to get my head around this, rush through a last minute blood test at my GP practice in the hopes of getting an iron infusion before surgery, panic about everything I need to do in so little time, and then…
Someone at the hospital tells me the surgery was not possible at this other hospital because the second surgeon isn’t working there and furthermore it couldn’t happen in September. For fox sake. Back to not knowing what’s going on. It may be it happens in September, but who knows. Not to mention that one minute I think I should give it a try and the next minute I feel I just want to give up now. Oh and the blood test I raced off to last minute? Turns out that was a balls up too. Then there’s the legal case for my first private surgery that has been a hellish experience and still isn’t over yet. So there’s little in the way of resolution or direction on these things generally.
Thank you all for bearing with me. I know I’ve not posted as regularly, while being regularly behind on others’ blog posts and emails. To all those who read, comment, like or share InvisiblyMe, it is hugely appreciated. A big thank you to my online friends, you know who you are and you rock.
Please help yourself to a slice of virtual birthday cake – gluten free, calorie-free, low-fat, vegan and delicious!
💜💙💚💛🧡 Take good care of yourselves and I hope the week is a good one for you all 💜💙💚💛🧡
How’ve you all been? I hope you’re keeping as well as possible.