Thursday, October 31, 2013

Pleasant moments...

Because I would have had to wait too long for an appointment with my regular hairdresser, I made one at a new salon that is also just a few minutes away from here. I called yesterday and had an appointment this morning. It is a brand spanking new hair salon and I was eager to try it out after having gone to the old one for 15 years. I do like a routine, but at the same time, I am more than ready to sometimes try something new and I felt that this was the time for it.
The young woman who cut my hair didn't really ask me how I wanted it cut, but made a suggestion that sounded good to me, and she added that she could always alter my hair if I was not completely happy with it. She then proceeded to give me an almost perfect haircut and really took her time doing it. When she was done, she asked me if I was happy, and I told her I wanted a bit more off the top, which she did. And then my hair was perfect.
I am glad I found a new person to cut my hair and from now on I will always have her do it. I also liked her sparkly personality and the way she looked so perfectly put together. The fact that she was so young added an extra pleasant dimension to it. That does help you get another point of view on life and other contents to your conversation. Both she and the other young woman in the salon are middle-eastern and that makes it extra interesting. I am always ready to be exposed to a bit of another culture.
I've got such easy hair now. It hasn't been this short in ages. I do want to wash it with the silver shampoo and get it a bit lighter, but that is something I will do this weekend when I have time to let it sit in my hair for a while.
Tomorrow morning I have to go to Tai Chi, which is in the same neighborhood the Exfactor lives in, so I will have coffee at his place afterwards. I told him I would only come if he still had windmill cookies and he assured me that he did. I can easily eat 4 or 5 of them and they do cheer me up. In the afternoon, I have to do the grocery shopping and before I go to sleep tonight, I will make a very detailed shopping list. This week I do have to stay under the budget. If I live very carefully, I will eek by this month. There is the sport in that.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

With a cat on my lap...

Gandhi has been trained to sit quietly on my lap when I sit behind the computer and to not touch the keyboard. This took a couple of efforts, but she caught on after a while and now behaves very well. She likes sitting on my lap so very much, that she is willing to go along with the program and also waits for me patiently to come back when I have to get up to get something to drink. In her advanced age, she is behaving more and more like a very settled cat, but more than anything, seeks out my company all the time. We have been doing an awful lot of bonding lately and even Tyke has come to accept it and does not get jealous. Gandhi and I must be having our golden years together.
I finished the book that I was reading at night before I went to sleep and I must say that it took me long enough. For fun, I am reading the footnotes in the back of it, but they make me sleepy quickly and I have another book ready to read. It is a book from the San Francisco Museum of Fine Arts and represents a selection of their collection. I got the book at the museum store when I was visiting it about two decades ago. I used to go to museums a lot and as a rule bought something from whatever shop there was. I can't afford to do that anymore.
I don't want to read a novel with a plotline and made up characters and I am going to stick to non fiction for now. Whatever is factual will do and I hope I have enough books like that on my bookcase. I may have to resort to borrowing reading material from the Exfactor now that I will be visiting him regularly, or have him bring books home for me from the library, where he is almost every day to read the newspapers. I can look up whatever interests me on the website and have him get it. That way I won't have to pay for a library card.
I am becoming more interested in reading, but for right now, mostly as a way of gathering and taking in information. I don't feel the need so much to become lost in a made up story about the fictional lives of other people. I learned a lot from reading 'A short history of nearly everything' and I hope to read more books like it. I wonder if having better glasses also makes a difference and having the book close to my face also does. And of course, having good enough light from the lamp on the nightstand. I suppose all these little things add up.
I wear my glasses inside the apartment and even when I do the dishes, so I know they get clean and sparkling, but as soon as I have to go outside I take the glasses off. I am too vain to be seen with them on, especially with my hair cut the way it is now. I have a hair appointment in the morning and I am going to have it cut quite a bit shorter because it is too long now and I literally can't do a thing with it. I know women always say that, but it is true in my case. I may have a lot of hair, but it is very straight and has no body, so it just hangs there doing nothing for me whatsoever.
I suppose I will go to bed now and look forward to a good night's sleep. Gandhi has deserted me, but she will show up again as soon as I have parked myself in bed with my book and my glass of lemonade.  

No matter how you look at it.

Having to decide what is important to blog about, I realize lots of things are not, although I very often, if not always, blog about the most unimportant details of my life. Today those seem not to matter and I want to talk about other things that go a bit deeper than that, the only problem is that I have to go deep inside of me to get to those subject matters. I do care deeply about a lot of things, but as a rule do not discuss them on this blog, which I try to keep as lighthearted and apolitical as possible. It seems to me that most bloggers do and do not discuss their more controversial points of views on their blogs.
You must know by now that I am a western European socialist and a humanist who does have a longing for some Higher Power. Not all of my opinions are cast in concrete and I realize there are in life lots of gray areas that we have to move in, in which nothing is written in black and white. The older I get, the more aware of that I am. But it is also true that with my advancing age, I do become more sure of some of my opinions, but do not want to force them on other people or convert anyone to them.
I realize that life is a process of gathering experience and that everyone has to go through that at their own speed. It is something that you can not force and you hope that everyone has enough smarts to learn from their lessons and gain wisdom quickly and not like I did by stubbing my toe on the same stone over and over again. I think you have to repeatedly go through the same experience until you have learned from it, and the moment that dawns on you, you have. You can't be aware of this in a superficial, laughing sort of way, but you have to have a real awakening and have a light bulb go on above your head. You have to have your 'eureka' moment.
In the end, it is possible that politically and socially and ideologically, you return to those values you had in your late teens or early 20's, but that they are more underbuilt and sophisticated now. Don't reject and belittle them. You probably had a very pure and honest point of view on the world when you were that age. Whatever sense of justice and injustice you had, was probably the right one.
Another thing you will come back to are the things you instinctively knew to be right and wrong when you were a child, because children can't be bamboozled. They have very strong instincts and they need those for survival, and it is only the adults around us that teach us to suppress and ignore them. Doing this is what gets us all into trouble and we learn to accept the unacceptable. We stop being indignant when we have every right to be.
I sign lots of petitions on line, and they all have to do with finding peaceful solutions to explosive conflicts, and for the preservation of endangered animals and natural habitats. I support Amnesty International and Greenpeace and the Dutch Environmental Defensive Group. If I run into a petition that I think is worthwhile signing, I do, and I don't do it anonymously like some people do. I don't have the money, but I do have my name to add to the cause. When I was 15, I marched against the war in Vietnam, and I suppose I would do that all over again. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

and don't forget the yoga cushion!

Much to my disgust, I am awake at a time when I was planning on being asleep, but you know about well laid plans. Well, I know there is some sort of saying about them, but I can't for the life of me remember what it is now. I don't really mind being up and if I use my imagination a little bit, I could even say that it is early in the morning and that any minute now, somewhere in the countryside, a rooster is going to crow. It is just not going to be within my hearing distance, which is a bit of a shame. It would have been the perfect wake up call for me.
It's a shame that I can't say, "I'll sleep until the crowing rooster wakes me up," and then very soundly do so. Maybe I have to move to a farm and sleep every night in a fresh stack of hay.
After my yoga class this morning, I am going to visit the Exfactor for the first time at his place. I have never been there before, because I never had reason to be in his neck of the woods and in my imagination, he lived at the end of the civilized world. I didn't realize how relatively close his house is to my apartment and had never really looked it up on the map. Both my yoga class and the tai chi class are very close to where he lives, so I can pop in for a cup of coffee often, but I will always give him ample warning so he can tidy up.
I am undecided if I am actually going to join the walking group on Thursdays at all and I heard somewhere yesterday, that if you have pain in your joints, it is better for your whole body to ride a bike than it is to walk. I am finding out that having two activities to go to, besides my usual commitments, is enough for me to handle and that I may not want to take on more. I think what I really have to do, is see how I feel about it this Thursday morning, and if the weather is good, decide then. I will have to let my instincts guide me because they will know best. I do have to trust myself to make the right decision. The last time I looked, I was still in charge.
As is usual, I am sitting here with a huge pain in my knee and I will have to take a paracetamol and stop sitting behind the computer. The advantage of getting up and moving about is, that I will get chores done before I have to go to yoga.

Monday, October 28, 2013

A humdinger of a storm...

The worst of the storm seems to be over now, although the wind is still pummeling the apartment building. We only had code orange here in the south east, the rest of the country had code red. A woman in Amsterdam got killed when a tree got blown over on top of her as she walked down the Heerengracht. The man who walked beside her got wounded. I think she is the only casualty from the winds that had gusts of 135 km per hour. Lots of trees got blown over onto roads and rail tracks and roofs of houses. Roofs of houses got blown off too. Train traffic is stalled and European flights from Schiphol were cancelled.
The storm turned into a hurricane when it got to the island of Vlieland. I don't yet know what damage it did there. Here in the neighborhood lots of tree branches were blown down. It was a challenge to walk in, but lots of fun too. Whenever I turned a corner, the wind whipped around me and tried to push me back into another direction. I wasn't afraid at any time, and I think I had no need to be. I didn't actually think of it.
I have no hairdo left to speak of, and I think it's not important today. Any old hairdo will do. I just run my fingers through my hair when I come home from my walk with Tyke and consider that good enough until I go out next. It's a good thing I have short hair. You mustn't get any sort of idea that you are Farah Dibah, because that will only work if you are ensconced in a palace in Persia and protected from the elements in the loving embrace of the Shah. And we all know how that fairytale ended.
Tyke sat around staring at the window, trying to figure out what all that noise was about. It did last an awfully long time. He is only used to relatively short thunderstorms. I think the fact that he is so much at ease now must mean the storm has died down, and it is true that when I look outside, I do see that the trees are not shaking back and forth anymore. They are merely gently moving around. That means I can take him for a walk without being bundled up like an Eskimo. We'll go see how many leaves are left on the trees. The majority will have gotten blown of, I am sure. I will have to kick some around.  

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Another one bites the dust...

Those of you who live in Britain will know what sort of weather we are having here and will understand why I didn't get on my bike this morning to go to the service at the St. Jan's Church. It certainly was stormy and when I took Tyke for a walk, I almost got blown off my feet. This morning it was also raining and I did not feel much like getting exposed to the elements. I will try again next Sunday, when hopefully Mother Nature will be looking on us more kindly.
I had not planned on being home this morning and had to find something to do to fill up my time. As it was, I had slept very well all night, but I had gone to bed at a reasonable hour and woken up early because we had set the clocks back one hour. I must say that I liked the way I felt when I woke up and decided I was done sleeping. I made sure I checked with myself and there was no doubt about it. I looked forward to my cups of coffee very much, but I did not sit there with an addled mind like I do when I have been interrupted in my sleep.
I now see how important it is to not force myself to stay up after I have gone to the toilet late at night. I always thought that I would be unable to go back to sleep immediately when I'd gone back to bed, but I need not have worried at all, because I do right away the moment I put my head down on the pillow. Tyke patiently waits for me to wake up in the morning and then scoots up from the bottom end of the bed to greet me. He does pin me down beneath the duvet so I can't get up and I have to forcibly remove him. He then very cozily goes back to sleep while I get up and he doesn't show up in the living room until an hour later.
Luckily, I did have a few chores to do and I did them mindfully, without the least bit of haste. It seems to me that I have been doing laundry more often, but then again, I have been looking for reasons to. It's a chore I enjoy doing because I like nothing better than wearing clean clothes and sleeping between clean sheets.
Doing the dishes is a very simple thing because I have the same ones every day and it has become a routine job. I don't have to think about it while I do them and they only take minutes. I do enjoy having my hands in the warm water and I think this is therapeutic for my joints. I do wish I had a bathtub because soaking in very warm water would be therapeutic for my whole body. Taking a shower is just not the same thing.
I take short naps in the afternoon after lunch and they are hardly worth calling naps. All I basically do is nod off over my book for half an hour or so and get a sore wrist from having leaned on my hand with my chin. It almost speaks for itself that I am somewhat grumpy when I get up and do not like myself, but the thing to remember is to drink a cup of coffee and those negative feelings will disappear as snow for the sun. I don't know if other people feel this way when they wake up from a nap, but it is a terrible thing and sometimes I just want to be dead. Thank god for caffeine.
While I am writing this, Gandhi is sitting on my lap, which is fine as long as she stays away from the keyboard and I think that is becoming clear to her. I had to push her away from it a few times and then she felt rejected, so she is doing her best not to be a bother now. Cats can be very stubborn, but they do learn things if you are persistent.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Setting back the clocks.

Because I am planning on sleeping through the night, I will write this blog post now. You will wonder how I know that I will sleep through the night, but that is because last night I had a very hard time trying to come to my senses and should not even have gotten up. For the first hour or so that I sat here, I was constantly falling asleep and having lucid dreams, so where I really belonged was in bed. I had only gotten up to go to the toilet and very foolishly thought I was awake enough to make sense behind the computer. If you have to make that much effort to wake up, you had better go back to bed.
So that is what I am planning on doing tonight when I have to go to the toilet again. I will go straight back to bed and not let myself be fooled into doing anything but sleep. I need a good night of it, because I will be setting back the clocks and my watch one hour before I go to bed tonight. It is Daylight Savings Time again, and when I wake up tomorrow morning at a reasonable hour, it will hopefully be light outside. If I am really lucky, I will also be greeted by birdsong.  
I have decided that I don't want to be cremated when it is my time, but that I want to be buried in a cozy graveyard in a grave with a pretty stone on top. I changed my funeral insurance to be able to cover the costs and they sent me the new policy yesterday. There also was a booklet included in which I can write all my wishes for the ceremony, etcetera, when the time comes. For that reason, I have decided that I should belong to a church whose minister can take care of the official duties, and tomorrow I am going to the service in one.
It is the St. Jan's Church, which is a protestant church and one of the few ones here in a province that is mostly roman-catholic. The church dates from the 17th century and was a catholic church to start with. When it became a protestant church, the beautiful murals inside were painted over, but they have since been restored and are visible now, and during the week, can be viewed and enjoyed by everyone.
I hope I am making the right decision and that this is a well enough enlightened religious community for me to join. I have few choices and I will not go to a catholic church. I only know that it is a protestant church and not what brand of it it is. I generally have a good feeling about this and I think I am on the right path. Whoever is in charge up there, will have to guide me through this. Maybe this is one more step in the journey I make for the overall wellbeing of my body and mind. I am not trying to force anything, but just let it have its natural course. I sure don't want to manipulate the outcome.
I always have to be wary of decisions I make because I may make them while I am hypomanic. I don't believe that I am now, but then again, I am the worst judge of that. I do get over enthused about things and go off half cocked and full of, what I think, are the best intentions. Well, you know the road to hell...

An attempt...

I will try to write a blog post, but I am not sure if I can because I am somewhat stuck in a phase of sleepiness that I can't seem to get out of no matter what I try to do against it. I have had coffee and lemonade and heated up pasta, and maybe now I am beginning to feel a slight improvement. Instead of going back to bed, I am stubbornly staying up to do battle with this lethargy until I am over it. I would say that it is almost useless, but the small lucid moments give me hope.
Yesterday was a bit of a busy day and that may explain my sleepiness tonight. I don't often have such 'fun packed' days. It started off with Tai Chi Chuan, which I have to say I did with more grace and suppleness than the time before it, but then I was determined that I should. I paid very close attention to how exactly the exercises were done and remembered enough of them from the last time so that I did not makes as many of the same mistakes. I realized that the trick was all in the slowness with which they were done and I tried not to hurry through them and that did make a difference.
The thing is, that we do each exercise for a long time, so we really test our muscles and our endurance and sometimes that does not work out so well for my knee and I have to take a break for a minute and then start up again. Sometimes I just have to make a minor adjustment in my posture and that takes away the pain or most of it. When the hour is up, you do long for the cooling down and are ready for it to be over, but maybe that will change as I get better and stronger and last as long as the teacher does.
When I got home from Tai Chi, I had time for a cup of coffee and then I had to walk to the doctor's office for my appointment there, where we discussed my visit with the rheumatologist and the osteoarthritis in my knee. She said there was no law that I had to go to the rehab center and that it was strictly up to me, and she was impressed that I had started doing sports instead. She said for the osteoarthritis I can take double the amount of paracetamol before I do physical activity and that it should make a difference. She has no problem with me taking the Celebrex for anti-inflammatory medicine if it works so well. And I have to be tested for the vitamin D deficiency after I have been taking the supplement for 3 months.
Then it was home again for lunch and to take Tyke for a walk. I changed clothes and hopped on my bike to go see my psychiatrist and had a satisfying talk with him. I told him about my realization that I am 50% responsible for what happens in my relationships with other people, and that I shouldn't always assume that I am right and know everything and that whatever goes wrong is their fault. I did ask him why I came to this knowledge so late in life, but he told me not to break my head about it because some people got very old without ever finding that out.
On my way home, I did the grocery shopping and went 15 Euros over my budget, but everything I got was necessary. It did hurt me to have to pay that kind of money at the check out stand, but it couldn't be helped. Some of the items I got will last two weeks, but there were other things that I decided not to get now that I will still have to buy later. I think I will go to that discount store that is close by and see how cheap their washing liquid is and the fabric softener.
My daughter sent me the money to cover the cost of the yoga cushion, so I won't have to worry about running out of money because of that. I really can't afford any unexpected expense. The budget is that tight.
I am looking forward to the fact that today is Saturday. I think my knee deserves the break. Luckily, a box of paracetamol only costs 90 cents, so I don't have to be frugal with it. Oh, and I am wide awake now.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Gently down the stream...

In anticipation of the upcoming trip to the grocery store, I already made a shopping list, and when I totaled the cost of it, it came out way over my budget. That would not do at all, so I had to scrap some items from the list and that included some that were bonus items like the second one at half the price. If you can't afford it, is not a good deal no matter what. Now I've ended up with a very messy shopping list that I have crossed out items on and have added cheaper ones to, and that only I can makes sense of, but I will be the one that uses it, so unless I have a major brain lapse, it should serve me well.
My real motivation for making the list already, is that I am running low on coffee and the minute I do, I want to be able to grab the shopping bags and my wallet and hop on my bike to do the groceries, hopefully without leaving the grocery list at home. And it will be a challenge to get out of the store at a lower total than the new one I have added up so far, although it is inevitable that I buy some things that I simply can not do without. Of course, I also do have to buy Tyke a new rawhide bone because he has obliterated the old one. There is not a piece of it left. At least he made this one last for two weeks.

The pain in my left gluteus maxima (that is my left bun muscle) has dissipated quite a bit after one day of rest and I don't get up and move around like an old lady anymore. I find that the firmer the seat
to sit on, the better I do, so a soft pillow is not at all helpful. You think you are mollycoddling yourself, but you are doing just the opposite. I should do great at Tai Chi Chuan today, were it not for my lack of grace and co-ordination. I can be elegant only spontaneously and I don't have very flexible hips. I would never make a good belly dancer and it's a good thing I was not born into that culture. I do have a good lap for a cat to sit in.
I got the letter with the appointment for the rehabilitation center in the mail yesterday and enclosed with it were three psychological tests, which made me laugh out loud in disbelieve. I called up to cancel the appointment and to tell them that I thought it was an insult to have them send me those  tests so casually out of the blue. One of them at least was a personality test and all of them diagnosis to find out about what sort of psychiatric disorder I may have. I think they are being awfully presumptuous. I have a bipolar disorder and that is in my records and they should be making an effort to contact my psychiatrist instead of going off on a half-baked mission to treat a rheumatic disorder.
I am glad that I am seeing my GP today because my knee is bothering me an awful lot and it seems to be a non ending battle. It is the only place in my body that the anti-inflammatory medicine doesn't have much effect on. Looking back on it now, I haven't got much faith in what the orthopedic surgeon told me the last time, or even the surgery he did on it. I always had much pain on the opposite side of where the tear was supposed to be in my meniscus and that pain never did get addressed. The surgery is another thing I have become very cynical about. Medical hands are not necessarily good ones to be in.
I have to remember to 'live in the moment' and to not get excited about what has been and about what may be. Not everything should be rehashed and anticipated. It is okay to absolutely have a nearly blank mind and only occupy myself with sitting here and enjoying the silence and the solitude and the taste of my cup of coffee. To be totally at ease, just like the animals are when they lie in sisterly and brotherly love on the sofa together.




Thursday, October 24, 2013

Clothes make the woman...

Since my right bun hurts so much less now than my left one, I have great hopes for that one and can only expect it to get back to normal quickly also. The proof will be in the pudding when I go walking today with the sportive walking group. I will either be able to keep up or not and I hope for the first. I have to tell you though, that I sit like I am sitting on a cactus and I get up like I am a very old lady. Well, I actually hope that when I am a very old lady, I don't get up like this but am more supple and free of pain than this.
My yoga cushion was delivered yesterday and a very nice one it is also. Because I had never bought anything from this online company before, I thought maybe the cushion might not be as good looking as it did on the photo, but it actually was and it came with some extra stuffing also. This is how those companies built their good reputations and I will always go back there if I need anything else, like a luxurious sheepskin cover to put over my yoga mat. But that is something I can only dream of.
Because I am a woman, I was nicely dressed yesterday in an outfit of clothes that I had not combined before. I like when these happy accidents happen, because that is what I call them. I don't set out to pull that outfit together, but somehow I run into the right pieces of clothing and realize they all go together to make a nice whole. It must be because I basically like certain colors and patterns and it turns out that lots of things can be combined. I do have my favorite items, but try to include the less obvious ones also so I can surprise myself. That does remind me that I have to buy a new solid air freshener for the closet.
Because I was so sore yesterday, I did not do any yoga on my own and was also totally not motivated. It turns out that I like that day off to do other things that need to be taken care of and I like to do them leisurely. One thing I had to do, was get on my bike and go to the pharmacy to get the medicines that were waiting for me there, and I had to buy some more paracetamol. A stiff wind was blowing and I had to ride into it on the way there, so I had my exercise for the day. It is true that I had the wind in my back on the way home and that was a lot easier.
There was nothing refreshing left to drink in the house yesterday, but then I discovered the Schweppes tonic water that belonged to my American ex and, although I had never tasted it, I decided to give that a try. I drank it over ice (without the gin) and it turned out to be a great thirst quencher. It only took a couple of sips to get used to the taste. I can see how I could totally get hooked on this stuff, but I first have to find out how many calories there are in it. If there are a lot, I may as well drink cola because I like that a lot also. Or should I choose for bubbly water?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The after effects...

I have a sore rear end from doing yoga yesterday morning and I really thought I had enough padding there to prevent that from happening, but maybe it is because there are muscles there that I had not used in a while. That sounds reasonable, doesn't it, although I never thought of that area of my body as having muscles before. It hurts when I walk and sit down, so in effect, it hurts all the time, but it is a good kind of pain that makes me think I really did some work and it was all worthwhile.
The rest of me feels pretty good, but whatever sore muscles I may have, may be camouflaged by the pain pills I am taking. But last week I felt pretty good afterwards too, except for some sore stomach muscles, so I am probably doing the exercises right and am not doing major damage to my body while I attempt to twist and turn in every direction. I have to say, though, that I am not that bendable, and am actually kind of stiff, so when the instructor says, "Twist your upper body way to the left," I don't go as far left as the rest of the people.
I had to order a yoga cushion on line yesterday, because when I sit in the lotus position, I can't get my knees close enough to the ground, and also, my back is not straight enough and I have the tendency to slouch. I tried out someone else's yoga cushion and it made quite a bit of difference, and having my own will improve the way I sit and do the exercises. I will subsequently have less pain and discomfort. The yoga cushion is 6 inches high and filled with barley, I think. I got the 'chakra' one and that is supposed to be good. Hopefully, it will also help me chant better at the start and the end of class because I always have to take an extra breath halfway through the chant.
Having no activity planned for today, I want to look up a yoga video on You-Tube and work out on my own. I would very much miss not doing any kind of exercise and I would actually like to do yoga every day because it would keep me supple. I also like what it does to my mind and how it keeps me peaceful for the rest of the day. There must be a subtle way it works on my endorphins.
That was a very long and complicated way of saying that I like to do yoga.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Not one bit...

I am not at all sitting here in a stupor trying to wake up with some cups of coffee and barely succeeding. No, not at all. And I have not just eaten two slices of toast trying to achieve the same. Maybe this ice cold glass of water will do the trick. Well yes, if I pour it down my back, but I intend to drink it, although anything is worth a try.
I have to get up on time to go to yoga in the morning, so my being up now is just a short interlude between periods of sleep. Tyke was very insistent that I get up to let him out back and then I could not resist the temptation to stay up for a while like I always do. It is an old habit by now and one I calculate into my nightly sleeping pattern. Soon enough, common sense will take a hold of me and I will go back to bed.
I am drinking decaf now so as to not become overly alert, but maybe my mind will be fooled into being perky anyway. It certainly does taste as though I am drinking regular coffee, but that is because I am drinking the better brand. When I was at my sister's on Sunday, I had creamy butter windmill cookies and I sure wish I had some of them to go with my coffee now. But if I were to buy those, I would eat the whole package of them in the shortest amount of time and gain a kilo, so I better not do that.
I have been reading in my Betty Crocker cookbook about making quiches and I am sure tempted to try one. My personal helper had made one with Boursin cheese and had brought me a piece to eat. It was delicious and made me crave more. You can basically make up your own filling and it is not to difficult to make one. All I have to do is give the baking sheet of the oven a good scrubbing. I have the oven cleaner to do this, so there is nothing to stop me.
I feel like wearing cheerful clothes in the morning, but I hope this has nothing to do with being hypomanic. I sure do distrust my moods right now and if I feel like wearing yellow or red, I immediately try to work out why that is. I really must do the opposite of what I feel like doing and tone everything down, just like I have been avoiding all sorts of triggers. For that reason, maybe I should wear gray and black. It may be better to be a bit subdued.
I do wonder what sorts of yoga exercises I am going to learn today and which muscles will ache tomorrow so I will know that I have had a good work out. There is some satisfaction in feeling some kinds of pain, especially if you can take a pill for it afterwards.

Monday, October 21, 2013


It is a bit early to start the day, but because it is Monday, I am more than eager to have my first cup of coffee so I can properly wake up. Until I have had that, I am only pretending that I am awake, but the coffeemaker is done and I have just poured my first cup. The waking up process can start now and I am happy about that. For the moment, there is nothing else I need to make the morning perfect.
Although it was not a bad weekend, I am glad that it is over and that the week has started. The weekend can be a pleasant interlude, but sometimes it is nothing but a boring pause during which I impatiently wait for it to be Monday again. Especially now that I have started all those sporting activities, the week days are much more interesting.
But even now I don't know how I got through the week anymore without them. I must have had many dull moments that somehow I managed to fill with some useless activity. I probably made my chores last longer and spread them out over the days. Not that I remember the days as being dull, or that I thought I was bored. It just seems like that looking back on them now.
I have to be awfully careful that I don't become hypomanic again and I am extra alert for that now. I am trying to keep myself free from too many triggers from the outside world, but also those that I could cause myself. It is a fine line that I walk and although I am being careful, it does not mean that I can prevent it from happening.
I am super aware of what my attitude is right now, and how I react to my surroundings and the people in it and I sure as heck hope that's enough of an effort. I am 50% responsible for my relationships with other people, I realize that now. Much depends on how I behave and react and what I say. I have never realized my share of the responsibility that much and often put the blame of whatever went wrong with the other person. I see now that this is not such a good idea.
Yes, I am never too old to learn a new lesson.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Just another Saturday...

To say I had a dull and boring Saturday would probably be exaggerating things a little bit, because I don't think things are ever that dull and I rarely get bored, but then again, nothing much exciting happened. That may be a good thing, because it means that the day went by without any mishaps, but it is not as simple as that. I do want some excitement in my day to break it up a bit, and some sort of event would have been welcome. I am trying to remember now if it did, but I think it was just a day of no high or low points, so I had no rollercoaster rides.
Perhaps the most exciting thing was the dinner I made for myself, which consisted of a very smooth and creamy broccoli mash with some braised pork and thick gravy, although I have to admit that I couldn't finish the pork and gave what was left over to Tyke. However, the mash with the gravy went down well and I think I gained a kilo by eating it. It was just plain evil eating and I must never do it again. I am better off eating pasta in which I also put evil ingredients, but I tell myself they are healthy because I cook them in olive oil.
It doesn't matter that I have gained weight and am starting to get a bit of a stomach. I accept that as being nothing more than the natural effect of being past middle aged and having the natural spread of all women my age. I am not vain enough to seriously be concerned about it and I do like myself better now than when I was skin and bones. My pajama pants were tight when I put them on last night and I could not loosen up the drawstring, so I put on another more stretchy pair. At least I am eating now, which was so difficult before when I never cooked myself a meal and was probably starving.
I am faithfully taking my vitamins and all the other food supplements in the morning, and let me tell you, they are big pills and I am amazed by the fact that I can get them down. I have decided not to be the least bit intimidated by them and drink large amount of water while taking them. They are almost like having a meal, although I know it is the fact that I take stomach tablets that  helps keep them down.
I had awfully sore shoulders yesterday from having done the Tai Chi. It was the very ends where the joints are that hurt. It wasn't a muscle ache, it was a joint ache. I lived on paracetamol and noticed it very quickly when the anti-inflammatory pill wore off. The rest of me wants to ache too, but if I take that pill on time, I am okay. I know the muscles around those joints will build up over time and become stronger so I will have less pain. At least, that's the theory. And I am not about to quit because of a little pain. I like to suffer too much. When it comes to that, I am a true Calvinist and Dutch woman. I may complain, but keep hanging in there anyway. I need to show a certain amount of stoicism.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Tai Chi Chuan.

I am almost falling asleep, although I am having my second cup of coffee, and I have to do something mentally active, like write this blog post, to keep me awake. Maybe I will be in great shape in a little while, but until that time, I have to dig deep to find the mental and physical ability to write. Digging deep is used metaphorically here of course. I would hate to have to actually dig a hole now.
Yesterday morning I had my first Tai Chi class and some experience it was too. It turned out that I had to be very graceful and coordinated to do the exercises and those things are not my strongest points. You know how it is said that white people can't dance because they don't have any feeling for rhythm? Well, I was one of them. I had to be constantly corrected in everything I did and I felt like the proverbial bull in the china closet, just as clumsy.
Of course, the other people in the group had already done the summer session and maybe more, so they were a bit better instructed and experienced than I was. But those exercises are a total work out and the instructor does not spare you and tells you if it hurts, then you are doing something wrong, and it turns out he is right and that's when I have to change something in my position.
It is called, Tai Chi Chuan, and that means the movements are a bit more graceful and slowly executed. It is almost like doing a dance and you do have to remember that many movements, which is confusing at first. No doubt I will get better at this over time, because I intend to persevere and stick with it no matter how self conscious I felt at times. You can't be embarrassed about what you are doing wrong because there is no place to hide and you can't walk away. It is not for sissies. The instructor is tough and does not allow for excuses, although he does have his own brand of humor.
There is no doubt about it that this is good for my body and aches and pains. I feel less discomfort now, just like I did after the yoga class, and I think that will only be more so as I get better at the exercises, so I can't wait until the next time. I am glad that I will be doing three sorts of sports activities, because I think the one will enhance the others.
I got my yoga mat delivered yesterday, so I am now a legitimate member of the yoga community. My daughter had sent me the money to get a good one, so I did not get one of the flimsy ones that they sell at the discount stores at bulk prices. Since my daughter is a yoga teacher, I am sure she would not have approved, but I would not have liked a real thin one either. There has to be as much comfort as possible at all times.   

Friday, October 18, 2013

What a poor performance...

Yesterday morning, attired in proper walking boots, I set off on my bike to join up with the walking group at he meeting point I had read about on the city's website, but when I got to the many sport fields I could not find it. I looked high and low and in every nook and cranny for 15 minutes, but I could find no walking group and went home disappointed.
Once I got there, I sent an email to the appropriate person in charge of the sports program and some time later got a response. I had been close, but they had changed their meeting place just a little and that is why I had been unable to find them. I should have walked around the indoor swimming pool toward the Jeux de Boules courts. So you see, careful instructions were necessary.
I was a bit bummed out about this, but will be more than ready to go next week now that I've checked out the location. I will probably become their most eager walker for having had to make all the effort.
I do have to tell you that I now have sore stomach muscles from having done the yoga and I think that is a good sign, because I expect some results from that. It is the only place where my muscles ache, but I think after this morning's Tai Chi session, I will have more of them. As long as it means less fat and tightly toned muscles, I am not complaining, but that is not the main reason why I am doing it of course.
My main reason for doing these sports is to help me deal with the pain of the osteoarthritis and the 'fibromyalgia.' I want to get my body and mind in good enough shape and balance so that the pain is at a minimum and my mind is elevated to a 'higher sphere' where there is more peace and serenity. I think doing these sports is a better way to achieve that than to go to the rehabilitation center and undergo their regime of therapies, which I think is a much too serious way to deal with it. I do want some amount of lightheartedness and humor in my life.
Instead of walking, I ended up cleaning up my computer which was having temper tantrums. I am happy to say that it worked out well and it is now functioning like an obedient child with a high IQ.
It is high time that I go grocery shopping because I am just about out of ground coffee and I don't think I will make it last until the weekend. It would be a disaster if I ran out before that time. I suppose I will be making a shopping list later this morning. At least I enjoy the fine art of grocery shopping and trying to get the most for my money, so it is not a punishment.
I know what I want to eat the coming week and one of those things will be a broccoli mash with the potatoes and the broccoli that the Exfactor was kind enough to bring me. He got the broccoli on sale for a ridiculously small amount of money at the Aldi in Belgium where he often shops. The potatoes where some of many he gathered from a field that were left over after a harvest machine gathered the majority of them. It is legal to do that. They get plowed under otherwise. Thank goodness that the harvest machine is not 100% efficient.
Food of every kind is on my mind...

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Talk about having some more fun.

Yesterday I went with my sister to the not too small but quaint village of Meersen, which is just a couple of kilometers outside of Maastricht. It is a lovely place with a pretty center with some stately homes that look like they ought to belong in a town because they have that much pretention. There is a small square with a church and outdoor cafes surrounding it and the small shopping streets leading off of that. Everywhere you look there are very old but restored buildings that make your heart weep with their handsomeness.

We walked through the shopping streets and entered some of the stores, one of which was a very good women's clothing store where we saw everything that we wanted to add to our wardrobe. As a matter of fact, we both could have bought a whole new one there, but we would have had to be independently wealthy and sadly enough, neither one of us is, although we both dress like it. We were not out of place there anyway. We left the place with empty hands and hurried to another store that was much cheaper and where they had a sale.
We had lunch on a terrace in the sunshine of a café that served some pretty good food, and we both had a lunch that included freshly baked, locally ground, miller's bread with locally made mustard. I had slices of young cheese on mine with assorted greens and to say that it tasted great would have been an understatement.
They also served some very nice coffee there and it was just the pick me up that we needed. It came with chocolates that they must have a secret supplier for, because my sister, who ate both of them, said they were the best she ever tasted. We did see a bonbonniere in one of the shopping streets and that was probably where they came from. But we were both smart enough not to go in there and buy a box.  

We took a peek inside the church, but it was being restored and I could not get a real good photo of the inside. It was impressive enough for a village that is now a place for forensics.

We also walked around a bit on the smaller cobblestoned paths and admired the more quiet parts of the village and admired the restored homes. I saw one that I liked very much that sat a bit higher than the path we walked on and seemed to have an interesting garden. Right behind it was the village green and I thought it was the perfect location.
What can I say? I have the taste and wishes of a rich woman and I will never get that out of my system. It must be the patrician DNA that flows in my blood. 


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

That was fun!

I had to set the alarm clock yesterday morning to make sure I got up on time to go to the yoga class, and as it was, I really was woken up by it at 7 am. That is unusual for me because I am as a rule up earlier than that. Of course, I had to sit for awhile and do nothing but have my first cup of coffee and become a functioning human being, but after that I was ready to start the day. Tyke even got walked properly and both the animals got fed and given attention like they always do in the morning. And by the way, I have found the greatest cat food for Gandhi that she very eagerly eats.
I rode my bike over to where I had to be (after looking it up on the map) but first could not find the place. Then I realized I was searching on the wrong street and quickly found the right one where a couple of women were waiting by the door of a gym of an elementary school. That group grew bigger until the instructor showed up who turned out not to have a key, and because the school was closed because of the fall break, there was no one to let us in.
While we waited for someone with the keys to show up, we did our warming up exercises outside which made for quite a spectacle on a chilly autumn morning. Little did we care though. Soon the person with the keys showed up and we could go inside to start the class properly.
It was nice in that there were great big mats available to do our yoga on, so that was very comfortable. The gym was also at a nice temperature, so we didn't feel chilled and after a while we were warm enough anyway from doing the yoga. I am happy to say that I did well and could keep up with the rest of the group and did better than two other people who had issues with their bodies. I pretended that I didn't and went along with everything. I had a bit of a problem with doing 'the frog' because of my knee and could only do that 7 or 8 times.
The class lasted an hour and a half and that was just long enough, but I felt real great on my bike ride back home and my body felt really good and it has ever since. It all feels very loosened up and relaxed and as if things are realigned. The thing that is bothering me the most is my left knee and that is where I have the osteoarthritis. I still take the anti-inflammatory pills, but I hardly use any paracetamol.
Beside going to the walking group Thursday morning, I looked on the website to see if there was a yoga class at another location I could take, but they are all too far away from me to comfortably get there on my bike. I did find a Tai Chi class on Friday morning that is not too far away and I will go to it and I am looking forward to that. Hopefully I will enjoy it as much as I enjoyed the yoga.
Oh, and the instructor spoke the local dialect throughout the whole class and I could understand it as well as I can understand Dutch.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

It happened again.

I was hypomanic again and it wasn't until these last couple of days that I realized I had been. I was it for quite some time, but I can't look back and say, "that's when it started." I slowly stopped being it and yesterday it really dawned on me that I had been hypomanic and making all sorts of decisions while is was in that state. It was only a week or so ago that my psychiatrist asked me if I was and I answered him sincerely that I was not, because when I am hypomanic, I have no idea that I am. I am the last person you should ask that question of and rather base your answer on the observations you make yourself. I think he must have had a suspicion that I was.
My personal helper, who I see every Monday, told me yesterday that she thought that I had been, but that she had not confronted me with it, because she thought that I would have gotten angry with her. She had also wanted to call my psychiatrist, but did not for the same reason. I told her yesterday that she absolutely had my permission to and that I thought it was very important that she does, because she is a keen and frequent observer of my moods and behavior. If anyone can tell things are not 'normal,' than she can.
I think I get hypomanic about 4 or 5 times a year and I am it for weeks or months at the time. Like I said, I don't know that I am until I stop being it, and then it is too late to undo whatever damage I have done in that stage. All I can do, is return to my 'normal' life and hope that I stayed within the law and did not hurt anybody else too much. I think I put my foot in my mouth many times when I am hypomanic and end up hurting the people I love most. I won't give you a litany of my 'crimes,' but it is an embarrassment as usual. One or two of them you may even be able to figure out for yourselves.
I am going to my first (in a long time) yoga class today and my daughter sent me the money through Pay Pal to buy a yoga mat. I think I can get one at the sporting goods store that is just a block from here, so I will go there this week. I want to make sure first that I really want to join the yoga class after trying it once. It's possible that with my stiff and sore body it will turn out to be a disaster, but I must look at it optimistically and assume it will be the perfect exercise for me. My daughter told me that with my physical limitations, and my hypomania, yoga should be the perfect sport for my body and mind.
For her daytime job, my daughter is an attorney, but in her spare time, she teaches yoga and she is very good at it and has built up quite a reputation. She can do the most difficult positions that I as a older, inexperienced person could only dream of. I tried to follow one of her classes once and it was very tough and nearly impossible for me to do. That's why I only tried it once.
I just had to take another anti-inflammatory pill and a paracetamol, but I looked at the clock and saw it was past the time to. The system does work and the pills do work about 12 hours. It is a good thing that some things are so reliable. I do need every bit of predictability in my life.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Things like that also happen...

I can tell you that my darn knee is giving me a break and is not hurting so much right now. I thought that maybe it was a problem when I sat behind the computer, but maybe I was wrong and it just has a mind of its own and decides to bother me whenever it feels like it arbitrarily. In this way my life always does deliver surprises and one moment is never like the other. The unpredictability of it does have its charms, I suppose, in that it keeps me on my toes.
Yesterday, when I was fixing dinner and slicing a green pepper, I cut into my left thumb also which quickly started to bleed, so I grabbed a Band-Aid out of the kitchen drawer and applied it to the wound. It didn't help much and it was drenched in blood very soon. When I got the chance, I wrapped a bandage around it and while I ate my dinner, watched it turn red also. It was the second bandage that I put on it after dinner that finally did the job, and now I am sitting here typing somewhat awkwardly with my thumb wrapped up.
I am right handed and am amazed by how many things I do with my left hand. I keep having to reinvent the way I do the most ordinary things, such as taking my medicines out of their sealed wrappers. I often thought I was just as much left handed as I was right handed and this proves the point.
Wrapping up my thumb did make me realize that I have to resupply the first aid box which I have slowly been plundering over the years and which is now very incomplete. In case of a catastrophe, it would not be sufficient at all and I may have to get a complete new one to be really on the safe side. It's an expensive I will have to consider making when I am more able to spend the money, or maybe I can ask for it for a Christmas present. You see how I always have practical wishes on my lists for birthdays and the like. When you are not financially very solvent, you have to think about such things.
Because the fur around Tyke's eyes had gotten so long, and they almost started to disappear behind it, I trimmed it yesterday. Tyke went along with it, although he did put up a little bit of passive resistance to let me know that he did not quite like this as much as I liked trimming it. In the end, his eyes did reappear and he now has a whole new look on the world. He looks very bright eyed and startled  as if he is amazed at what he sees, but I think he is happier for it.
When I was at  the store last, I bought herbal butter to put on my toast and I must say that it is a great enjoyment. I think there is a lot of garlic in it and I am now considering making my own herbal butter, because the containers of it are small and relatively expensive. I also bought a new jar of Italian herbs, so that would do just fine.
I accidentally bought some very expensive olive oil that I thought was on sale, and it didn't realize the real price of it until I saw it on the cash register receipt when I got home. I will be bringing that bottle back to the store this morning to exchange it for a cheaper one and I will also be buying more of the cat food that Gandhi turns out to really like. I bought some to try out and it was a success. Anything to make her happy.   

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Considering everything...

I want to bitch about my darn knee first. It is bothering me so much that I find it difficult to concentrate on anything else, but I have just taken a paracetamol, so I hope that takes care of that. I am sure that is the osteoarthritis that is causing me that pain, and it is not walking around on it that makes it hurt. It is when I sit down with it that it gets bad. I would say that it is a real pain in the neck, but I get that for other reasons. Well, you just want to moan and groan when a body part hurts relentlessly. And I can't take an anti-inflammatory pill, because it's not time yet.
I just hand fed Tyke a bunch of his kibbles until he started to eat them by himself and finished what was left in his bowl. He really wanted a treat, but I wasn't about to give him one. I figured if he was really hungry, he would eat the kibbles. He is quite contend now and has gone to sleep in a most uncomfortable spot where I will trip over him if I get up. I guess he wants to make sure that I am aware of his presence, as if I would forget about him.
Someone informed me that there are community sports available for free and I went to the city's website yesterday to find out what was on offer. I actually managed to find a yoga class that's not too far from me (only a 15 minute bike ride) and also a walking club a little bit closer by. The yoga class is on Tuesday morning and the walking club is on Thursday morning, so that would be perfect. I am going to try both of them next week and see how well I like them.
Luckily, I have good walking boots, so I am all set for that. I don't have a yoga mat, but I hope that they have an extra one available there, so all I will have to bring is a towel. I do have comfortable enough clothes. It is going to take a little bit of courage to initially go to both of these activities and I do need a cheering section. Tell me that you would also need to find your courage if you were to do this.
I just relented and took the anti-inflammatory pill. I am an hour and a half early, but that is just too bad. I can't stand the pain any longer. I have to take them every 12 hours, so I am sure that it's not all that awful if I take this one a bit early. I'm tough, but I'm no fool and I'm not going to suffer if I don't have to.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

With a sore knee...

It's some time in the middle of Saturday afternoon and I've just done the shopping and hauled the load home on my bicycle. I forgot to take my anti-inflammatory pill on time and now I am sitting here with a very sore knee. I'm actually sore all over the place and I can't wait for the darn pill to work.
But I've got a very fresh cup of coffee and that makes up for a lot, and I turned up the thermostat to get it a bit warmer in here. I wore my down coat and my scarf and gloves when I went to the store. It is that chilly outside.
I took the old shopping list with me instead of the new one that I had just made, and then I had to try and remember what I had written down on it when I was in the store. I think I did a good job, but I can't for the life of me find the new list now that I am home again to check if I forgot anything. This sort of thing has been happening to me a lot lately, and I think it is the early sign of dementia. Either that, or I am loosing my mind.
I am becoming a bit forgetful and I don't really know if I should worry about it. I put a full pot of coffee creamer in the recycle bag the other day, and then spent 5 minutes looking for it. And I am usually more sharp minded than that. Little things like that are happening.
It will thrill you to know that I bought the very good brand of ground coffee, both in regular and decaf. But I am making coffee more sparingly now and never more than two cups at the time so I don't waste any. And did you know that it is more expensive to buy the whole beans as opposed to the ground coffee? Who would have thought that? There is probably a tax on things that taste extra good.

Friday, October 11, 2013

How is that for an answer?

I very comfortably fell asleep with my book on my chest and my glasses on, and woke up in the same position a few hours later because my shoulders hurt. I don't normally fall asleep while lying on my back. On sore knees, I stumbled out of bed to go take the anti-inflammatory pill and a paracetamol and I am now waiting for them to start working, which they should any minute now. At least I now know which of my aches and pains to blame on what rheumatic condition. I think I have become an expert on my own body's failings and know them better than anybody else. That does give me a feeling of comfort and I don't feel that I have to have a medical stamp of approval to own them. They just are and I will take care of them in the best possible way.
The good thing about reading a book before I fall asleep, is that I don't fret about anything those first 20 minutes or so until I do. Reading, in this instance, about scientific discoveries, does not give me the opportunity to ruminate about the day I had and the days to come, which is a great relief because I can do that more sensibly during the day. Of course, yesterday there was the news about Alice Munro getting the Nobel Prize for Literature, and I realized that I have none of her books on my bookcase, a condition which I will have to rectify as soon as I can. I know I have read her stories in a distant past, but I can't remember anything about them having read so much literature in my lifetime. If I ever have the money, I will go to the second hand bookstore and try to find some of her collections of stories.
I have started drinking concentrated fruit juice with sparkling water on ice and a pleasure it is too. The fruit juice has no sugar or anything artificial added and is just plain good for me and has natural vitamins in it. It is also very thirst quenching because of the bubbles, and that is something I very much need, of course. It is a little like drinking a cold soft drink, but better. The sparkling water comes from the Belgian town of Spa, which is not too far away from here, so I don't have to worry too much about the costs of transportation. The plastic bottles it comes in get recycled. This is one indulgence I am allowing myself and it is one of the highlights of my day. The other one is cooking myself a good dinner.
I started taking glucosamine tablets again yesterday because of the osteoarthritis. I had already gotten two bottles of it earlier and they were waiting in the kitchen cabinet for me to start using them. I will take any supplement that is supposed to help me, but I do draw the line at anything too outlandish. If there is too much of a controversy about the benefits of their use, I will not spend my money on getting them. I don't have enough of it to spare. That does remind me that I have to order another bottle of probiotics. Tyke does very well on them. He gets one capsule wrapped in a slice of lunchmeat every morning and has been very healthy ever since. This is the dog who will eat things off the street, so his intestinal system takes a beating, but he is always alright.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Sometimes you feel like a nut...

I was so badly in need of a cup of coffee, that I didn't wait for it to cool of and almost scalded my mouth drinking it. But it sure was worth it and now I am almost at a normally functioning level. It will just take one more cup and I should be bright eyed and bushy tailed and capable of great things. Ha, I wish I could honestly say that last thing was true, but I doubt very much they are going to happen. I am still limited by the pull of gravity and by the lack of wings. The weather is not all that great either. I will only metaphorically take flight.

When I saw my therapist yesterday, we decided that she should be no longer it, and that I will have a new one. I think I have given it a fair enough chance, because we have had this problem in our relationship come up before and I tried very hard to get over it after discussing it with her. I just do not feel comfortable enough discussing my life's events with her and I feel that I always have a defensive wall up when I am with her. I did not have this with my previous therapist, and do not have it with my psychiatrist, so there must be something the matter in our mutual chemistry.

I have made a decision about the rehabilitation center and I am not going to pursue that whole process. Fibromyalgia is the only rheumatic disorder that gets treated with behavior therapy and psychological analysis, this despite the professionals saying that it is not a psychological disorder. No one takes into account that I have a bipolar disorder and that I am in active treatment for that and that I am not waiting to be analyzed all over again by another set of specialists. I am certainly not going to tell my life story all over again.

Some ten or twenty odd years ago, rheumatic arthritis was looked at the same way until a lab test was developed for it and it could be shown what the problem was, and now it is treated with medicines and physiotherapy. It was stated by my rheumatologist that the anti-inflammatory medicines didn't help with the fibromyalgia very much, but that is not my experience at all. For me they make a difference between night and day and when I take them, I function pretty darn good. Oh, and by the way, it was also casually mentioned by the rheumatic nurse, who could look into my complete medical records, that I also have osteoarthritis. That probably explains the hellish pain in my knee.
So you see, I am a bit cynical about this whole fibromyalgia thing and I am just going to not get in the rat race of it and pursue my own course of treatment.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Drinking a cup and a half...

I've got a spare minute before I have to leave to go talk to my therapist, which is really not something I am looking forward to that much at all. My talks with my psychiatrist are much more satisfying and I really don't know what I am even going to talk about with my therapist, who by a long shot doesn't get the very best out of me at all. I very seldom feel that I can talk about anything of value or importance with her, because she doesn't seem to have all that much insight or great wisdom, and I don't think she possesses all that much depth. The one good thing that you can say about that, is that I have learned to function independently much quicker. I never felt that I could rely on her.
I certainly do feel a lot better now that my NSAID is working and I have no discomfort and no grouchy attitude, because I did have one earlier this morning and it lasted for a long enough time that it was even bothering me. I honestly do get in the way of myself and walk around here mumbling evil spells that are directed at no one else but me for the first 20 minutes or so. I also ought to inhale caffeine even quicker than I do already and maybe I ought to submerge my face in a whole sink full of it. I should definitely not wait with taking my medicines until after I have had my coffee, but take it immediately, no matter how incapable I think I am. I tell you, it is tough to do your rituals at the right speed in the morning.
I am washing a load of clothes and I can't wait to hang them up to dry, which I will have to do inside because rain is predicted. It has really become autumn and the leaves are turning yellow and red. The temperature is dropping and there is a stiff breeze and the air feels crisp. I enjoy walking outside in conditions like these as long as I have my down coat on. It is the kind of air you want your laundry to smell like, but alas. I am sure there will be days when the sun will be out and I will dry the laundry outside again.
I have changed my clothes twice this morning before I was happy with what I had on. The first outfit just didn't work out at all when it came to the color combination. I did put all those clothes back where they came from and didn't, like a teenager, leave them lying all over the place. It helps that I am organized and that there is a place for everything, so it is not frustrating to put them away. The only problem I have, is that some of the clothes want to slide of their hangers and that does drive me mad. I hate to find stuff in the bottom of the closet all wrinkled. Because I do not like ironing, that does present me with a bit of a problem.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

What a strange thing...

One thing I learned from going to see the rheumatism nurse, and that is that I mustn't think that fibromyalgia is something that is a psychological problem, yet she then proceeded to tell me that the major part of treating it, is to tackle it psychologically, so I am very confused. It is assumed that the one thing that aggravates (or maybe even causes it) is stress, and therefor that must be reduced. It seems to me to be a very odd way to treat a physical disability. It is putting the responsibility of having the disorder in the hands of the patient, just as if having any kind of disease is the fault of the person herself for having it.
She then proceeded to tell me all the ways that the stress manifested itself and could be reduced and I interrupted her and told her that this just did not hold up for me, and she was somewhat taken aback. She was describing a very ambitious and perfectionist, overextended person who had no time for herself and who couldn't say no. Someone who didn't have enough hours in the day to do all the things she had committed herself to doing and who was running ragged. I really don't think that applies to me. If there is one thing I do, it is make a lot of time for myself to do as I please.
I think because the cause of fibromyalgia is still a mystery, and there is still no lab test to detect it, they fabricate this story around it, just like they did around rheumatic arthritis 20 some years ago. I think they are actually operating in the dark and are just as confused as anybody else is. Blame it on the patient until that time.
She showed me a chart with major pressure points on the body which cause the most pain, and when I said that they did not correspond with mine, she quickly said that of course there were many others. But they are talking about pain in the soft tissues, and I am talking about pain in the joints. You can tell that I am now full of skepticism and that I am not going to go along with the treatment with blinders on. I will be a cynic until I am proven wrong.  

Sunday, October 06, 2013

That's the way it is...

Because most of the books on my bookcase are in English, in the end, that is the language I end up reading in, and I am now reading Bill Bryson's 'A short history of nearly everything.' The chapter on the origin of the universe alone is worth it, because it is an incomprehensible event that is hard to wrap your mind around. Because I read it before going to sleep, I nod off over it and have to take my glasses off and turn of the light on the nightstand some time later when I briefly wake up. I am hoping that this kind of literature will be of influence on my dreams, but I have not noticed the effects yet.
It is a bit of a challenge to read in bed, because Gandhi wants to lie on top of my book, and no matter how often I push her away, she comes back just as quickly to try it again. I have to find some sort of compromise and read around her and stealthily move the book without her noticing it. It is her habit to sleep as close to my face as possible when we go to bed and that is just where the book is. Of course, she is purring away cozily while all this is happening and I feel bad for disturbing her peace and quiet. In a friendly way, she can be very obnoxious.
I am learning to live with the errors of my ways and I am almost to the point that I can forgive myself for being human. Some of the problems that I am dealing with are beginning to resolve themselves in small increments and maybe soon, they will be out of the way completely. Everything you do in your life, and especially that what turns out negatively, is a lesson learned and an experience to look back on later, so you won't make the same mistake twice. The advantage of being older, is that you learn your lesson quicker and don't stub your toe on the same stone over and over again. At least, that is the premise.
Tomorrow in the afternoon, I am seeing the rheumatism nurse and I am very curious as to what she will have to tell me. I do think this fibromyalgia process is following a very strict protocol and I must say that I appreciate that, because it means it is being taken seriously. There would be nothing worse than having it be treated as something that is all in my mind and not as an acknowledged form of rheumatism.
My blood sugar is plummeting, so I have to eat something quickly.

Be it ever so humble...

Thank goodness for strong cups of coffee that make my brain cells function properly and in a semi logical manner. That does not mean I want to face what's ahead of me the next couple of days, but for now I am functioning just fine. Since I am living in the moment, or at least am trying to, that is a good thing. It is nice to be in denial and pretend no sword of Damocles is hanging over my head. I have almost convinced myself that it is hanging on a very strong rope that is not about to unravel. Maybe that is the same as believing in a higher power, which I wish I did.
I feel I need to put my faith in something bigger than me, because I don't have a lot of faith in myself right now, what with my self esteem being a bit at the low end. My ego has shrunk to the size of a microbe that can only be observed under a microscope. Well, for the sake of drama, I am slightly exaggerating. It probably isn't all that small and with a bit of effort and good luck, I could even inflate it. And I am not claiming to be depressed, because I still love life to an extend and still have high hopes that the near future will look better.
I am purposely dressing in cheerful colors, because although I don't feel all that sunny, that is the disposition I want to reflect to the world. Yesterday, I wore bright yellow and red, and today I will wear yellow and apple green. I want people to take notice and think to themselves, "There goes a bright and sunny woman." If I could dress Tyke in a bright yellow sweater, I would do it.
Much to my own surprise, I am reading a novel, but only in the evening for about an hour before I go to sleep. I stumbled on one that I had not read in 20 years and had forgotten everything about, so it is like reading a new book. I find my bed to be the only comfortable place I can read in, my armchair just won't do at all. I need to be in a reclining position and be able to go to sleep immediately when I feel the urge to. It is a Dutch novel I am reading and it is possible that I have now come to a point that I am more comfortable reading in that language as opposed to English.