Can’t stop now. Living I mean.

I feel absolutely dreadful these past few days. I hope it’s just a reaction to the stomach thing, not a sudden depressive relapse. I could burst into tears and never stop (it feels as if) or worse. But that would be giving in. I have this awful sense of loss. Just survive. Just survive. I can’t explain it. Trying to think about other people but only the ones that make me sad come to mind. Survive, endure; not explain.

No- not the PINGS!

Anyone familiar with the pings will instantly recognise what I’m referring to; the rest should be bloody glad they have NO idea.

After absolutely years of never having any pings, I got them back yesterday while enduring this strange stomach condition where I got all swollen (others might call it bloated?) after a seemingly normal meal (dining out). When I was younger I had a few of these episodes and named them “stomach migraines” because they felt like the ones I experienced in my head since the age of 10 until I was 32, when they left forever.

The current episode is nearly over and the pain and swelling have departed. I just have these abominable pings which I first experienced when starting SSRI anti depressants many years ago and which occur if I reduce my dose too much when feeling good. These pings seem to come from right inside my head- some call them brain-zaps – and the worst ones make my eardrums crackle and vibrate to every sound, even the softest flutter of leaves in a breeze. However, this time they are not making me cry and run away because I know they are temporary and I am not deeply depressed.

In the past the pings were unendurable when I sat next to a friend of mine at dinner, who has an incredibly breathy/spitty way of speaking (sorry if you read this). The eardrums could not recover between one burst of her speech and the next and eventually I would crash out of the place crying uncontrollably, sometimes just collapsing, unable to make any progress with my legs. The most abysmal sensation and one that could make anyone want to die on the spot. Not kill themselves – just wish fervently for instant annihilation, being unable to take any action to bring it on.breathy

The congestion or whatever it is in my abdominal area must use up all my free serotonin to produce the pings and I am not sure if it is the pain or the congestive process that uses it. I think it might have some relationship to the flow of enzymes and whatever – bile etc – that help digest food as I don’t feel nauseated or chunderous, nor do I get “the trots”. Whatever the cause, folic acid tablets and cutting out excess sugars, any oils and fats for a few days stops the episode from continuing. All I get now is the PTSD from the pings. Gee, thanks, Nature.

Anyone in the known universe get this stomach thing? I would have experienced about a dozen episodes since I was 20, so not all that frequent. But VERY unpleasant.

What the hell to blog about?

It seems I’m still waiting for things to be right. Now they are even less right than they were before. Slipped disc. Sheesh.

As we all know (??) a slipped disc is actually when the jelly stuffing busts out of the disc that cushions one segment of the spine from the next. The disc still clings valiantly to the vertebrae but the stuff that makes it cushiony has escaped so everything hurts. Currently I have slipped stuff pressing on my right sciatic nerve and it is an absolute killer. Gimme Pethidine! Uh-oh- I promised myself none of that until I am screaming because it is something I would never be able to get off!

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, a lot and not a lot have happened. My partner suddenly retired from work after seeing his boss finally retire after years of stalling. Steve is more than ten years younger than said boss! It was a bit of a shock and I’m not sure I will ever get used to being accompanied 24 hours a day, seven days per week. I have been so used to being on my own all day for the 8 years since I last had a regular job. Not that it meant I accomplished anything.

Random insert 3. Pansy monster

Random insert 3. Pansy monster

My love of photography is still lying dormant after being grossly disappointed by an ex-friend who had become a good photo and camera-chat companion. One day I suppose I will get back to it. All in good time.

ggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg

That contribution was by Stormy the drain-rescue kitty who desperately wants to sit on my cream furry jumper because the First Day of Summer is 10 degrees cooler than the last day of Spring. No aquarobics today as I tickled up my back by going once last week. Must wait until Craig (my physio) gives the all-clear. This means hopping up periodically to do several minutes bending in various directions to squeeze the disc back in, sleeping on my stomach on the floor and finding it very difficult to go to the loo!

Dreaming garden

Random insert 4. Dreaming garden

On the positive side, I managed to order lilium bulbs in time for planting during Spring. The results are now sprouting up to 1.5 metres high, some with buds ready for a show of colour later this week! We already had the light yellow lilies left over from a previous planting several years ago, but they are a bit past it and need renewing.

The kitties are looking after me with Bendix draped over the arm of the sofa purring quietly and Stormy tucked up on the other side in a tight ball! Aren’t they sweeties for looking after me? 🙂

Random insert 3. Pansy monster

Random insert 3. Pansy monster

Millions of things have obviously happened since I last blogged, but this diary-style entry is all I can summon at the mo.

Maybe I’ll be able to focus better now and discover a REAL topic to write about. I’ll insert some random photos now, merely for the sake of tradition and inserting photos.

PS. While reading an old National Geo at Craig’s while I got electrocuted, I discovered a 1992 article on an airship I had never heard of, so there’s a good topic (for me, not necessarily for anyone else, LOL!).

Woolly things for Second Semester (winter) university intake.

I was warmed by the idea at the Australian National University in Canberra to make their winter intake students feel welcome. Volunteers made 110 woolly scarves so the winter weather would not be such a shock for new students coming from the Northern Hemisphere summer. Here’s the link:

Supporting our New Community

This would be an excellent project for all of Australia’s southern universities to adopt. I would certainly help out with some scarves and beanies knitted from my stash!

My daily hill-climb through the Pyrenees

This blog post from Tiny Buddha says it all. It immediately brought to mind my own struggles. Not ONLY climbing the steepest hills in the Pyrenees on foot starting from 2 000m (which I have done, gasping and hyperventilating) but totally on the flat getting from our back door to the front door! If you can’t quite identify with clawing at the earth yourself, recall those images you see annually of those sweating cyclists in the Tour de France who pedal their way up to the highest passes in those gorgeous mountains while you slouch on the couch.

Ain’t easy on foot either…*

I reached the deepest gulch last week; the darkest howling hole. Now I am shredding my nails to scrabble up the first crumbling slope towards the sun without knowing how long the journey will last. I hope it’s short and hope that a few kind souls will venture out to hold my hand while I keep climbing.

I really DO think this is The Key to Helping a Person who is Depressed.

Mt Gambier SA sinkhole

View from inside the Mt Gambier SA sinkhole gardens

If you’re struggling with physical illness and can’t quite identify with the above blog post, try this amazingly open and often humorous blog from a guy who has just had his fourth brain surgery for cancer.

The Brain Chancery.

*Link to a table of inclines if you would like to know about struggling up the Pyrenees!

A painful topic: what doctors need to know (according to patients)

You could easily substitute “depression” for “ichthyosis” in this piece. Plus, I had no idea that ichthyosis sufferers were so misunderstood by medicos as their disorder is so visible!

Doctor's bag

What doctors need to know (according to patients)

Ok, so I was wrong. I really liked the RACGP good GP television commercial. It had some flaws but I thought they were small in the grand scheme of things (see my last post). But many patient advocates did not agree and were unhappy about the lack of communication portrayed in the video.

Blogger Michelle Roger commented: “My current GP asks me what I want to do, what I think is most important and together we sort through the problem at hand and potential solutions. I feel valued and heard and trust her more knowing that she listens and knows me and my family.”

“That for me was missing in the video. It was one-sided and the patients appeared little more than props to be talked at. In fact the patients had no voice at all. A problem that still permeates a lot of medicine.”

Crockey health blog posted an article

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Orphan Choir read and reviewed… a little late but done

Although I had to wait 2 weeks before I could start my Book Challenge, I manage to read and have a good think about it.

Choir in the chapel

The Orphan ChoirThe Orphan Choir by Sophie Hannah

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I enjoyed the excellent writing style for the first 25 pages and then I became saturated with what I felt was the self-indulgent rambling of a neurotic woman. I understood after reading more that the self-indulgence of the main character was probably somewhat justified, but it spoiled the whole tale for me because I wanted to throttle Louise Beeston more than finish reading! The style struck me as rather English Major but it was easy to read even when the character was bugging me. A slight loss of momentum and maybe some disconnection happened about 2/3 the way through as I felt there had not been enough contribution from the other characters. Some observations of Louise’s behaviour towards the neighbours and the local environmental health officers might have been helpful as well as some insights from her young son. The ending was done quite neatly and left a sense of mystery with a few awkward moments.The author tried to bridge the beginning of Louise as a neurotic whinger and denouement (where Louise seems to have completely changed her whole attitude to life) and wavered a bit in order to not give away too much. This would have been a good novel to workshop before it was sent off to the publisher in my humble editorial opinion. But then, maybe what Hannah did was the best anyone could hope for as it was a really knotty problem to finish without destroying the point of the story.

View all my reviews

So I took on a Read my Library Challenge…

I was looking for an easy online challenge and came across one that only required me to read one book in a month. Sounded like me in my current frame of mind!

So I’m
palmbw going to check out my local public library which is funded by the local suburban council, Unley, Adelaide, South Australia. I used to borrow quite a bit when I first joined on becoming unemployed in 2007 but quickly exhausted their supply of craft and garden books. I found that the novel section was rather dominated by romantic and/or historical fiction and modern thrillers and that the latest additions to the collection were reserved months in advance.

Now I will have to go down there and pick out something from the shelves. Fingers crossed. I rather fancy a rambling, thoughtful tale by an Indian or Pakistani author but I wonder what I will discover? I’ll let you know. 😉