4.27am 2nd Jan.

So it’s ridiculously early, but I went to sleep early after being kept up until gone 5am yesterday, and apparently I’ve slept my fill for now.

Spent the last week stuck at a friends house thanks to a sudden onset of inclement weather, which had it’s own challenges- like expecting to be there for only 2 nights, so not enough clothes, or anything really, as well as it being the first time that I’d stayed elsewhere since getting out of hospital, so going from nothing to a week is definitely straight in at the deep end! I survived though, as always and made a few realisations along the way, mostly along the lines of my ability to tolerate social situations being rather diminished now. I don’t mean special occasions but everyday. The house I was at had no less than 5 people in it at any one time, and because I couldn’t go out, it meant virtually no actual alone time. That was really hard for me.

Then, there was acknowledging the things that are causing me trouble at the moment – mostly in short the non physical fallout of last years happenings. I broached this topic last night with my closest friend, and wondering whether I may in fact regret it. I don’t have many regrets, in spite of everything that’s happened to me in life, so the fact I’m wondering whether this will be something does worry me a little. I’m not sure I managed to explain myself – there just aren’t the words to describe anything, and what I did manage to get into words sounded incredibly weak.

I finally made it back today though, and it feels like something has shifted. Is it paranoia when something has actually happened? I don’t really know how else to explain it… whilst I was away it began to feel like people were glad to be rid of me for a bit… I’d say hi because in truth, I was missing being at the place I call home and the people, and I’d get a rushed response or polite pushback which once or twice would have been fine, but every time? So yeah. My head then went into pragmatic mode, and started making arrangements to extricate myself because I don’t want to stay somewhere I’m not welcome. That hasn’t been fixed yet, and coming back did nothing to dissipate what I tried to tell myself was just paranoia.

So I guess I’ll just tread carefully and hope that I’m wrong…

Twentyfifteen and beyond…

I’m going into this post a bit annoyed, which is generally never a good thing… but annoyed for a valid reason. The last post I’d written got lost in the ether somewhere, and reappeared only when I went to begin this one. I came out and went back into the app, and browser on multiple occasions and it wasn’t there…grrrr,

Anyway. It’s the end of the calendar year, and time to look to the next one. I’ve been putting this off for a while now, because of everything that happened this year, which whilst it’s not all been bad, has been pretty bloody major in it’s happenings.

One of the biggest struggles I’ve had has been whether or not to set myself some reasonably attainable goals, or just to set goals as I would normally. I never expect to get all of my goals accomplished within a year, but I am kinda goal oriented as a coping mechanism at the best of times, and this is not that time, so if I set myself goals as normal, am I just setting myself up for failure to begin with, or if, conversely I set myself realistically attainable goals, am I going to end up feeling like I have underachieved to my capabilities? It’s a fine line.

When I was 22 and under the hospital for the random unknown thing that was making me pretty ill, and I got the letter saying that dependent on the outcome of their suspicions I’d be dead by 27, I made a bucket list, and promptly completed it within the space of 18 months. I often wondered at that point whether I’d aimed too low, but actually I did some pretty crazy things on that list… but the things that were wrong didn’t affect so much….

My reasonably attainable goals are all for the most part kinda boring- being able to swim a kilometer again for one would be on there. But that’s something I want to be able to do anyway, especially as it’s unlikely I’m going to be able to run again.. (not that I did that much running before, but I actually enjoyed a treadmill- it hurt less) Other goals that were on last years list that didn’t get achieved would also come back – losing weight, which I was starting to do OK with and then July happened… that one is going to be even harder now, because I can’t do as much as I could before. I could stick a nanowrimo in there too – but my heart wouldn’t be in it. I could do 50k words pretty happily in a month given the time and a meaty enough subject matter – hell I’ve been writing for 15 mins and I’m up to 500 words now- and could even put in being able to get by independantly again, but again it’s something I’d want to be able to do *anyway*.

As for the other ones- ‘normal’ goals (for me)… I’m really lacking inspiration. I’ve got some things I’d like to do, but they won’t be next year, without a lottery win, at least, as they involve money. ¬†I’d like to make it to Northern Scandinavia to see the Northern Lights (preferably at the top end of the KP3 bracket). and I’d like to take a qualification in an holistic therapy with a view to being able to practice it professionally. Aside from these though.. there’s nothing springing to mind…

So feel free to suggest some…

It’s been a while…

I’ve started writing this post more than once… and stopped, deleted it, gone back, started again…. and so on… ¬†because mostly, I’m afraid to say what I want to say. That if I say these things, it gives them truth, and if I say them that I’ll alienate people, seem self absorbed or too self-interested… or other stuff. But it plays on my mind more and more. Especially as the winter hit, and my SAD kicked in and up multiple gears.

It’s nearly six months now since the accident. Since I tripped over and everything changed, and there’s plenty of things I should be and am thankful for. I still have two legs. That’s a pretty big thing right there. That the graft seems to have taken without issue another big thing. That I’m able to use crutches instead of a wheelchair. Another big thing. And don’t get me wrong, they are definite markers of forwards movement. But it’s the small things that are causing me ambivalence at best, and grief at worst.

Today, for example: I managed to have a shower without needing help or a seat. It was a walk in shower, and after thinking about it, taking precautions by having a towel outside it and also on the floor of it so there was no danger or me slipping, I managed to get in there and get my hair washed and have a quick scrub round everywhere else. I couldn’t stand up for too long, so I had to be quick, and I had a lot of trouble on my left hand side as I got lower down my body, as starting to twist was making my knee come out. But it was more than I had managed previously, and whilst I should be happy at that, I’m wondering whether I’ll ever be able to have a shower without having to think about it.

It’s a small victory, for which I should be grateful, but it’s tinged with the pain that something so simple, is now so hard.

I manage to walk all way up or down fargate without stopping: it’s a small victory. Something I couldn’t do a month ago. 6 months ago I could go ten times that distance with utmost ease, and I have to wonder whether I’ll ever be able to do that again? I get back home and I’m knackered. Before that I’d come home knackered after 25+ miles through the peaks.

Truth is, I don’t have very much confidence in walking now, and I’m actually glad the hospital have said that I’m not to go out in ice or snow, because I’m terrified that I’ll slip or end up bracing wrongly and undo everything I’ve worked for. But then I look out of the window and I can *see* the car less than 30m away, and feel ashamed that that is such an obstacle for me now.

I look at my legs and see the scars. They bother me a lot more than I’d like, and way more than I let on. The fact that I may have to always use a stick bothers me less than seeing those. But I can’t avoid them. It’s like they’re there to taunt me.

I’m not looking for sympathy by writing any of this down. Just trying to get it out of my head. which is going to be hard enough when I’m being constantly reminded about it every time I look down, stand up, take a step…

I’ve tried flipping it round on it’s head and trying to look at it that if this has happened, then maybe it’s allowing me to make way for something new, or another way of doing things. It’s certainly given me time to think about the moot, and how to take that forwards… but I don’t see anything else springing up either…

I and everyone else can clearly see the physical scarring – and there’s a fair bit of that! But there are other wounds with this too, and these are the ones I’m now struggling with, and have no clue how to start to let them heal. I can’t just leave them be like the bouts of pain from the damaged nerves in my leg when they hit and it feels like a thunderstorm going off over my shin…I can’t just grimace and wait it out, because I know it will pass in a few minutes because these aren’t going anywhere. I don’t want to be defined by my injuries, but I’m also out of ideas.

The most wonderful time of the Year?

It’s been a fair while since I posted anything, because to be honest, I’ve had little to say, and I didn’t want to just end up charting the progress that has happened with my leg…

It’s December.

I don’t like this time of year, for a lot of reasons, and this year is no exception. In fact, this year, I’m trying to wish it away, which is rare, even for me. It’s not just because I want this year to be over and done so I can concentrate on better things, although that’s certainly something I’d like to do. Moreso, it’s an unintended consequence of my leg.

I tend to suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder – more commonly known as SAD, which means that I get depressed in winter. As someone who’s prone to low mood anyway, knowing this, I tend to prepare and be aware and have plenty of coping strategies. This year though, these have all gone through the window. I’ll normally make sure that I spend a fair bit of time outdoors and in the light from October onwards because this not only helps to lessen the effects, but helps my body stay in tune with the seasons. This year though, I’ve not been able to do that, or to spend a chunk of time outside everyday now that winter is here. I can’t stand still for long, and it’s been too cold to sit outside, nor have I really been able to get anywhere to sit. Add to that I spent the whole of the summer indoors – July in a hospital bed through into August, and then just indoors, and it’s all combined into one doozy of a hit.

So, in sum, I’m pretty shit company to be around at the moment. I’m the first person to admit, that when I’m struggling with this, I’ll go and hide, because there’s no reason to inflict myself on anyone else when I feel like this. Again, this year, I’ve not had that option, and I feel terrible about that. Which in turn makes me feel worse, and so the catch 22 continues…. Round and round and round…

There’s not even that much that can be done about it – the things I’d usually do to cope with it aren’t open to me this time, and so I hide as much as possible. Which brings it’s own foibles, and stresses and struggles. Either way, I cannot win.

I don’t really have any answers… or suggestions…. just wanted to update something… and try and explain why I am the Christmas Grinch amongst other things.

She returns!

Yep, you read that right, I’m coming back, and returning to blogging that isn’t just me musing or typing stream of consciousness what’s in my head.

I’m going to resume bblogging (that’s beauty blogging for those unfamiliar) and also some blogging about stuff I’m doing – probably crafty stuff I reckon for the most part! Those who know me will be doing a double take probably as I’m known as a tomboy, but I started bblogging as a way to break out of that somewhat, so will start off simply, again and build it up. I’ll never be an amazing make-up person, but I’d like to get to the point where I can make myself look better.

To kickstart this, I’ll be going to the Sheffield BBlogger event tomorrow, so I can guarantee there’ll be stuff to write up then!

So it does mean I need to get better with my tags… or maybe sort out pages… but stay tuned.

Autumn’s approach

The nights are drawing in, and it feels right to have a Custard Cream to dunk into a cup of tea – a sure sign that Autumn is getting closer. I’ve missed the whole of the Summer pretty much, which is weird, as whilst it’s my least favourite season, it still needs to be there so I can appreciate the others all the more.
As it stands, I’ve got a niggly cold, which isn’t causing me hell as much as a bunch of irritation, as sneezing hurts because I’m not moving around as much so tends to throw my joints out (and occasionally, back in).
Add to that an ear infection, which isn’t bothering me in the slightest, but I know is there thanks to it trying to spread to my jaw (which happens 9/10 times I get an issue). Hopefully I’ve caught it early enough, and am plying it with ibuprofen in order to prevent a golf ball appearing on my jaw, and tomorrow I’ll add honey and lemon to it. And hopefully lots of garlic too.

I’m a little disappointed, as I’ve just weaned myself off all the painkillers – tramadol especially, as that stuff can be evil. I’ve been put on it for a length of time twice. The first time, in 2012 was fine; I’d been warned not to come off it cold turkey – especially as I was on the max dose, so I halved it, then halved it again, and came off over a couple of weeks without any real problems.
This time, I had to be more careful. A couple of weeks ago, I missed ONE dose, as I’d slept in, meaning my last dose was due around 3am, and I’d fallen asleep around 12am and had slept right through, which was long enough for it to come entirely out of my system, and I woke up feeling like I’d been hit by a truck! I thought I’d got the flu, as I’d got jelly shaky legs, as well as that prickly crawling sensation you get when the blankets move. It wasn’t until a few hours later that I’d worked out what had happened, and I knew I needed to start reducing sooner rather than later, as the longer I took them, the worse it would be. So I did it over a few days, given I’d already flushed it from my system in that instance. I’ve had a week without that and the paracetamol, and the pain isn’t completely gone, but it’s tolerable without, and if I need to I can always take some paracetamol.

The only thing I’m still taking after discharge is Asprin, which I’ll need to do for a year minimum, if not for life. As much as I don’t like taking pills of any kind (the pill being the exception, as mine is amazing, and stops those issues entirely) that one I can deal with – it’s not for pain, it’s to keep the blood supply in check, I think as much for the bypass as for the leg that’s now missing it’s Saphenous Vein to provide it.
No blood clots or complications for me thankyou very much!!

At the moment, I’m on wait and see for the torn cruciates, due to the complications making operating to repair a Very Bad Idea(tm), which means another two months of the knee brace (which is a cast below and above the knee with a hinge on both sides of the knee, which essentially controls the amount of bend I can have, and stops me from twisting it) but on the plus side, the consultant is happy to increase the amount of bend (previously limited to 90degrees) and is also happy for me to begin to bear weight on it as well, so it’s at least in the right direction.
So come Tuesday, I’ll be getting a new cast whatever, as they need to amend the hinges. They also need to remove it so I can have an ultrasound scan of my knee and lower leg to check the bypass is all OK, so that’s also a good thing, as apparently I’m losing weight, which has made the cast loose. This one is currently being held together by velcro as they’ve cut two inches out last time, and it’s now loose again… >.>

The advantage of this happening, means that I should hopefully be able to get in and out of a car now, which we’ll hopefully test next week as well. And if I manage to secure a chair somehow, then I might even manage to make it out to the comic event at Doncaster on Sunday. Not that I’ll be able to buy anything, as I don’t have any money coming in other than my statutory sick which (given my Housing Benefit claim may well be denied) won’t cover even the essentials.

I am beginning to feel horribly cooped up and hemmed in now.
I’ve never been one to just sit around, whether inside or outside, and I’m really starting to feel the strain, both mentally and physically. I may joke about it, but my bottom is REALLY starting to hurt now, because I can’t walk, I’m constantly laying or sitting on it. Aside from the respite I get when I lay on my side, which I can only do for a short time because the weight of the cast on my good leg starts to get too much, and also get pain in my hip.

I’m also starting to feel rather bored. It’s hard not to get frustrated at the situation, especially when there’s lots going on around and you’re unable to do anything to help, but there’s also only so much of something you can do. Going to try and get stuck into some crafts, and also got a couple of Online Learning things to do, but they’ll only take up a couple of hours a day, and week, respectively. I’ve also applied for some work from home stuff – writing and proofing mostly, but it could be weeks until I hear from them….

Usually at this time of year, I’d have been out and gathered fruits that were ripening and be baking crumbles, cobblers, and strudels, as well as breads and all kinds of autumnal goodness. But this year, it looks like I’ll be settling for a Custard Cream to dunk in my tea…

Time.

It’s definitely true that your perception of time changes as your life pattern does.
For me, having so much time, has meant bizarrely, that I find myself procrastinating MORE than I did when I was insanely busy with work etc… because I KNOW I have time to do it, so it’s not essential to do it now… and then of course, I find myself extremely bored and wondering why there’s nothing to do.
Great how the brain works isn’t it!!

I remember thinking a few months ago, that when I had a bit of time, I’d get some writing done, whilst blitzing through the washing, and some of the projects I have planned would be brought closer to starting, if not started. Well, I can honestly say I’ve had some time now, and NONE of it has been done… I’m not annoyed at myself though or particularly frustrated about it, because my thinking was all about having made the CHOICE to make time to do these things, to see friends etc, and that choice was taken away when I ended up in the hospital. I’m not surprised I haven’t felt like writing particularly yet, but that’s always been one for fits and starts. Should I get the inclination, I’ll probably write like a mad thing for a couple of days straight only stopping to eat and sleep before not bothering again… so that’s fair.

However, I’m now beginning to feel I could probably use my time a bit more effectively. I’m still so limited in what I can do physically, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything I can do. So I’m thinking I might make myself a timetable of sorts, even if it’s pretty vague, and only listing a couple of things a day, it will help me. It will give me something I know I’m doing the next day, and something to even look forwards to. And if I know in advance what I plan to do, then I won’t feel as bad about asking for things to be passed to me/gotten instead of it being out of the blue/random requests.

So I’m going to look through my project lists, and see what I have that I could start, get further with the planning with by myself, what will need help with, or things picking up from my house or buying etc, and what stuff is happening with the things I was interested in studying as well. Even if it takes up only a couple of hours each day, it will break the day up some. There’s only so much reading, playing on the internet or playing with Loom bands you can do without a break from it!!

So I guess if there are any suggestions feel free to make them!

I’m looking forwards to hopefully starting to be a bit more mobile soon, I think it’ll be worth trying to get in/out of a car, especially now I’m allowed to put a little weight through my left leg – which would make getting in/out a bit easier, and I’m hoping I’ll be able to get up off lower things a bit easier too, which will potentially mean being able to get in/out of the wheelchair I’ve been loaned, which would be great, as I miss being outside! Even if it’s sitting in the garden with something to do with my hands, it’s still a big treat, and I’m beginning to feel the lack of outside some (which I knew would happen and there was never going to be anything I could do about it really) So I also need to try and get out in the sun a bit more while it’s here, otherwise this winter will be bad for me, and I may end up having to resort to drastic measures to up my exposure to stuff I need.

It’s all a matter of time really…