Lockdown 3.0 / Happy New Year

I had hoped Covid-19 would be less of a thing in 2021, I knew that it would be months before we started seeing light at the end of the tunnel but thanks to the British governments catastrophic handling of the situation, things are worse than ever. Deaths are at over 1,000 a day on our small island and people are taking lockdown 3.0 less seriously than they did in March 2020. Just WTAF?

It is hard when you are home alone all day not to fall down the Covid-19 rabbit hole. I can’t lie I do worry about it. Especially with the situation where London hospitals have called a major incident for days in a row now, meaning they are overwhelmed by the number of Covid patients needing treatment. They are now having to ration the care they give and assessing what “value” your life has to society. Over 70 years old with a bad case of Covid the chances of you getting off a ventilator after being intubated are slim to none. It won’t be offered to you, instead you will be made comfortable and be under the Palliative care team. More than likely you won’t even get to see the back of an ambulance, soon you will be “allowed” the dignity of dying at home, not remotely comfortable because there aren’t the district nurses to cope with the sudden influx of patients.

And yet the Covidiots shout “It’s only the Flu!” “It only kills the old and infirm”. That’s all well and good until you realise that you are in that category. There are actually very few people without underlying health conditions. So many people have asthma, are overweight or have autoimmune conditions that mean that they could find it harder to fight off Covid-19. I find it very upsetting when people start spouting that shit because I have a lot of underlying health conditions. I know my “value” probably wouldn’t be high enough. I wonder should my life be sacrificed so you can live your’s unimpeded?

I have managed to stop myself being caught like a rabbit in the headlights, watching 24 hour news channels all day every day like I did back in March 2020. I restrict myself to only watching the news in the evenings. That way for the large proportion of my day I can pretend that it is just a normal pre-covid day. Because in reality my life has changed very little with lockdown, other than I can’t have the fortnightly get together’s of The Stichin’ Bitches, the little craft group I had set up in the weeks before the everything went to hell in a hand basket. Sadly I had just found something that gave me immense joy and it was snatched away. But it will still be there when or should I say if things get back to normal.

Routine I have found is very important, in the 13 years since I have worked. Without a routine it is very easy to slip into depressive thought patterns and feel like life has no meaning at all. By having routine, it is like having mini goals for what I want to achieve for the day. Some days I achieve everything I want and more, other days I barely move from my bed but that is ok too. Although I still need to work on feeling guilty for not using my days more productively when I need to rest or heal. I still hold my self worth to how productive I have been, our whole society is built around being a productive member of it. If you don’t work you can feel that you no longer have any value. That there is nothing that you can offer society. That is a tough way of thinking to escape. I like to think I offer more than a monetary value to society, I make beautiful things, I make practical things. I am enough.

Over the last 5 months music has become very important to me. It started with listening to the radio ( I love Absolute 80’s ) . It coincides with when I started taking HRT, within days of starting the low mood I had been experiencing for at least 3 years had lifted. In all that time I had only listened to music very sporadically. Now I have it on every day. I really enjoy singing along with the radio as I go about my day. I like the 80’s music as I remember so much of it from growing up. I know some 90’s music but I was at an age where you (can) stop listening to new bands and get very stuck in the music you like. 

I’ve always been a bit of a Pop Princess as I like to call it. I like all genres of music but Pop is the one I will always go to if I need a lift or need some energy. Just before Christmas as part of Jays Christmas present as he was desperate to see The Mandalorian I subscribed to Disney+. Flicking through its offerings, I saw they had the Taylor Swift Folklore The Long Pond Sessions. Now I will be honest all I had heard of Taylor Swift musically up until then was “Shake it off” and “Look what you made me do”, which were ok. All I had seen in the press were negative articles about her and her love life. I didn’t hold an opinion one way or another. I had  seen on Netflix that they had the Taylor Swift Documentary on it. So I thought why not, if I didn’t like it I could turn it off. How wrong I was.

I actually liked Taylor Swift the person, well what she presented on the Netflix documentary. So the following night I decided to watch the Disney+ one about her album Folklore. Well I fell in love. I have been chatting to my friends about it and laughing because I am like a teenager again obsessed with this album. I play it multiple times a day and never get bored. From morning to night my internal sound track is playing it in my head. The whole album has been like a giant ear worm but one that is thoroughly enjoyable. I have watched the Disney+ documentary so many times now, poor Dembe must be totally bored by it now as that is all he hears.

Finding my way back into enjoying music again has been the combined result of having HRT and the lockdown. Without either of those it wouldn’t have happened. It has been like a journey of discovery for me. A bit like when you are a teenager listening to new bands and deciding which ones you like. It has been very uplifting in a time when it would have been very easy to be overwhelmed by the news / Covid-19 / Lockdown 3.0. I have been lucky enough to be able to inadvertently get back to something I love which is music. I do believe time in lockdown can be used positively rather than sitting around doing nothing but watching the news. I know not everyone will love my taste in music and that is ok, find what you love and use it to lift you up.

It would be disingenuous of me if I said every day in the last 12 months have been filled with roses and unicorns, of course it hasn’t. I got very down after the car accident as it massively impacted my ability to sew / embroider / crochet. I allowed myself to have those down days because denying it would have stored up trouble for the future. It is important to acknowledge those feelings, they are real and they are valid. The trick is to move on after 24 hours and pull yourself out of those negative thought patterns so that they don’t become all consuming. It is hard at times especially when I have had to go to bed early yet again due to the crippling headache I am suffering with due to the neck injury and the muscles spasming. I still have issues every day with numbness and pins / needles in my left arm and headaches of varying ferocity. It could be a while before that goes if it ever does. So you have to just get on with it because life will still carry on around you.

I’ve rambled on much more than I thought I would! I am back after my Christmas and New Year break. I want to wish you a Happy New Year! Thank you for reading.

I have left you the YouTube link to Taylor Swift’s Folklore Album, listen, don’t listen. Just find what brings you joy and stay safe.

Turd Cake

I will be honest very little about my health gets me down. Well not strictly true, the migraine situation ( up to three a week) was pretty trying but thankfully that has settled, plus when I have a CSF leak flare up of symptoms but that is more of a freak out along the lines of what if it doesn’t heal and I have to spend the rest of my life in bed ? I don’t know if I can do it. The injuries from the road traffic incident are really messing with my mood at the moment and I feel a bit of a flake due to it. I put up with a lot of shit that seems to be continually thrown my way but I am struggling to deal with the constant pins and needles in my left arm / hand along with the burning pain that comes with it. Topped off with a numb left buttock which is the icing on top of the turd cake, I am struggling.

I spent last week feeling really tearful, the physiotherapy session from the week before had done nothing but make everything hurt more. Six weeks after the accident and instead of things improving things are getting worse. The pain is like electric shocks, you never know what movement will prompt the sharp zing of pain radiating either from my neck or my upper back. My left shoulder is grating in the socket. I have had enough, it is as simple as that. The only time I am free from the pins/ needles / burning / numbness is when I am asleep and even then I am being frequently woken up by the pain in my neck. And just when you think things couldn’t get worse they do.

On Saturday I had a video call with a private Doctor for an assessment of my injuries following the car accident back in August. I had all my notes written out, a list of my prescription medication printed out, I was all prepared for the “meeting” which I was anticipating to last around 30 mins to an hour. So you can imagine my frustration when I was rushed off the phone in 8 minutes and 22 seconds. I was told that my injuries would take months to heal and that he would organise 8 sessions of physio therapy. Basically as soon as he found out I didn’t work, it didn’t matter how my injuries were impacting me. I was sat dumbfounded in shock afterwards trying to work out what had just happened. Every time I went to speak I was talked over. He was completely clueless about EDS, so when I say my range of motion is reduced, it doesn’t look like it as it has just reduced to a non EDS persons range of motion. You need the input of someone who knows me and has been treating me for years. Yet my whole case could be settled on the basis of this arsehole doctor. I cried. I cried because I felt like I hadn’t been heard, I cried because I felt like I hadn’t been believed and I cried because yet again I was going to have to fight another battle for a situation that hadn’t been caused by me but some stupid twat driving a BT open reach Van and him not paying due care and attention.

I was shocked at how low I was and how easily the tears came. I am not one that dissolves into tears over stuff that is to do with me. I will cry at tv shows etc but I am not one to sit and sob about my life. I made that decision a long time ago and felt that it would be a waste of time and energy. But Saturday I just didn’t care. It was just another punch in the gut.

I’m afraid to say I just wallowed a bit Saturday morning. I wrote a very strongly worded email to my solicitor pointing out all the issues i had with my 8 minute and 22 second health appraisal. I really wouldn’t mind but that doctor will be being payed hundreds to churn out these assessments over video calls and it appears there is no quality control at all with them. I then was angry, angry that as soon as he realised I was disabled and not part of the work force that my life was some how worth less than other peoples. WTAF??? 

So after Jay had popped home for lunch and I had a bit of a vent to him I decided that I needed to push myself and do something on my embroidery machine. I hadn’t touched it all week as I had been feeling like everything I do is shit, I couldn’t concentrate and sitting at the machine isn’t very comfortable even with extra pain meds, special cushions and hot water bottles. I set myself the target of completing one piece. Within 15 minutes I was feeling much more relaxed and was actually enjoying what I was doing. I ensured I had lots of breaks and pottered about on the long stitch outs. I actually managed to get two blocks done and it was such a mental boost for me. It really cheered me up after spending the last 4 days on the sofa feeling sorry for myself. 

By sitting at the embroidery machine and forcing myself ( it felt like pulling teeth initially) to be creative, I proved to myself that I was good at something and that my life even with this constant nerve pain, was worth something despite the way the doctor had made me feel earlier on that day. I was in pain when I finished, it wasn’t easy but I did feel like I had accomplished something. Something other than wasting the afternoon feeling sorry for myself. 

For me being able to be creative is better than any drug, it lifts my heart and fills me with joy. It makes me feel good about myself. So on Sunday I spent some more time at my embroidery machine not because I was forcing myself to but for the first time in ages I wanted to.

These are for some gifts that I am making. Hence why I have started Christmas projects now as everything is taking me such a long time to do as it has to be done at a much slower pace than normal. I have even managed to get some blocks of my spells and potions quilt for Halloween started.

I am lucky that I am a) able to do these pursuits and b) can afford do them. I count my blessings every day but that doesn’t mean that everything is wonderful in my life. It just means I have a distraction from the constant nerve pain. Nerve pain which is the icing on the Turd Cake I am currently dealing with.