Monday, 5 November 2012

Life's lessons.

Four weeks ago I went for an MRI scan, The Central Pain Syndrome has been getting worse and then came a new pain that has caused cramp and red hot pins and needles in my left shoulder and arm, The diagnosis came back that I have stenosis in my cervical spine and unless I want surgery I will have to endure. I was upset with the diagnosis, but relieved that something had actually shown up. I will never know whether the pain in my arm has actually always been spinal stenosis because I have had two MRI scans of that area and have never been given a  result. The reports went "missing" once and the image was blurred on the second.

I knew that something had shown up because the woman in the Xray room was very kind when I got out of the awful machine - I nearly had a panic attack and a few times had to remind myself to keep breathing! My head was actually clamped and I think it was the feeling of being totally trapped that added to the panic!

One of my friends now has a diagnosis of a tear in one of her lumbar discs so now she is starting on the long road to recovery and I know from bitter experience how it is going to be. Perhaps I should write a book about THAT! All the books about bad backs concentrate on excercises and physio etc. but there isn;t a book that explains how to deal with back pain in a domestic setting - how to sit, how to lie, how to get walking, what to do around the house, what to avoid (lifting!!), what to do about shopping and so on.  I remember all too clearly having to walk with crutches as my back injury slowly healed. I can't remember now what I did to hurt myself so badly and at one point I never thought I would be able to walk without a stick again.

I wonder about living in pain and whether it has taught me anything at all. Sometimes I think it has stolen the life I should have lived, and sometimes the 20 years seem the only life I could have lived. I wish I could stop worrying about small things and just concentrate on enjoying the life I do have. Most of the time I am happy. I like to get out into the countryside - that makes the biggest difference, and I love to go and watch the sea come in especially when the weather is rough.

What I don't need is to listen to my mother in law saying "How the other half live...."  when we tell her that we have made holiday plans.
What I don't need is unnecessary stress.
What I hate is dark rainy weather.

What I do need is warmth, laughter, music, a good book, a wonderful day out, and the love of my husband above all.
What I need is space and time and the feeling of being cherished.

What I need is to be allowed to laugh and be free of sadness. The grief never goes away but like the pain I am in - it is absorbed into one's life so that this is now the only life I can envisage. Pain and grief follow some of the same patterns - the shock, the disbelief, the long slow road to some sort of recovery of self. I had never thought of the two that way and it is something that I ought to explore.

Perhaps this post is incoherent and I should delete it, but I will let it stand for now.

Sunday, 4 November 2012


I labelled this blog "musings"because I originally intended to use this space as somewhere to muse, to ponder, to give voice to some ideas. I had not thought that it would be a picture blog but it seems that thats what is happening. I always intend to blog what is current, and yet - and yet- it seems that when the time comes to write I find myself resisting the call.

I read somewhere that if you have a call that you strongly resist - that is the work you should do and it seems that writing here is what I ought to do so that I can return to writing. I am not sure why I stopped. No, that isn;t true. I just wonder, when or if I write, who is it for, what does it matter, will anybody anywhere read what I write? Talking to my philosophy guru Geoffrey Klempner recently I mentioned that I wanted to write my memoir and he asked why I thought anyone would read it. I don't think he was being unkind. I have to ask the same question. Why does it matter? What do I intend by writing a memoir? Revenge? That is unkind. Sympathy for me? I don't want sympathy. Information? Possibly. A good read? Well yes, definitely!

I would love to return to writing seriously. Perhaps the call is getting stronger. I think I will have to go and answer.

Autumn days

 We have had some beautiful days out this Autumn around Cheshire and North Wales and although my camera is not particularly good I have taken some photos that I quite like. Lots of photos of the natural world because it is in their final defiant display that trees and plants are both beautiful and fragile. And the colours have been stunning this year.
 I love seeing ornamental cabbages used as plants. They always look so cheerful!
 This photo was taken late in the afternoon (the day that the clocks went back!) and we were at Audlem following the Tour(Taith) of South Cheshire.
 This lovely ethereal view was taken from a pub we found above the Cheshire Plain - we think it was called The Pheasant. Fabulous views and the food looked good as well.
 Beautiful fragile leaves/
 A late sunflower.
 The trunk of a Scots Pine - and now they are under threat as well,
 These views of trees makes me wonder what the effect of losing Ash trees and possibly Scotch Pines will be on the landscape.
 Just a quick reminder of one of my favourite areas in North Wales.
 And a picture of a Maple. How stunningly beautiful at this time of year.
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