Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Grappling for concentration

Yesterday, concentration and focus dangled out of my reach; our tether had snapped...

The 10.45 bus beckons for pilates, I have heaps of time, but as I load the washing machine the door bell plays Fur Elise. The post man hands me a parcel, I cut the tape and spy the contents with delight; but oops, it is not addressed to me so I hastily re-tape the box. I practice my oh my goodness how lovely look...for when Mr H comes home.

The laptop clicks its keys as I pass and I plonk myself down to check my blog, ensconced in my rocking chair I have to check my emails too...

The phone rings, it is Sue, apparently I have agreed to discuss the infection control project I am part of as I will miss the conference call because I prioritised Pilates! Twenty minutes later I grab my bag, lock the door then remember the washing, I just have time...as I step back through the door the tasks I had meant to do jump out at me:
Throw away the dead flowers
Do a bit of ironing
Pot up the green bean seeds

I scribble them on a bit of paper, tomorrows to do list.. hang out the towels, then make snails pace haste to the bus stop.

Leaning on the lamp post I realise I have forgotten my exercise sheets, the bus appears; too late.

As I drop into a window seat I recognise that now I can only juggle one ball. In my days as a Nurse Consultant I could spin plates, several balls and tame tigers all at the same time. My days in the circus are over.

Lists help but I forget to write them, if I write them they are often forgotten, I am easily distracted by anything. I started the filing at home but half of it still waits in the tray, I bought a new address book at Christmas but I have only got to D, the book snoozes patiently on the kitchen table.

...When the bus reaches my destination I have forgotten why I came so early, I make my way to a coffee shop and hope my memory kicks back in...

A good nights sleep and some rest should re-connect concentration and I.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Great fun and madness

We are having a quiet Saturday night in, I lie on the settee, legs mid air; look Mr H I can keep my legs in the air, are they straight; are they straight...look at me, arrrrrre my legs straight?

Mr H glances over, what are you doing? 

Trying to get my legs in the air and cycle like I did in the baby pool

For goodness sake there are wiser locked up...

I juggle with my legs and arms to try and sit up. A snigger erupts as I start to roll onto the floor. Mr H blocks my fall...I end up in a heap.

Laughter is like music in our house, giggles are as good as Belgian chocolates. 

We cherish fun because when fatigue digs its claws in I snap at a moments notice, one wrong word and my door slam is world class. I have learnt to blow out long and hard when anger bubbles and it has helped. 

But ladies; I know you will understand when I tell you it is always Mr H's fault, sometimes though I have a long wait for his apology!

...Mr H interrupts the programme I am watching, now sitting upright...

...By the way your legs were definitely not straight...


Friday, April 26, 2013

Growing A New Life

I have sunflower and sweet pea seeds on every windowsill in the kitchen. Each morning as soon as I get downstairs I peer into my pots and when I spot a green stem or leaf, a squeal slips through my lips. I chat away to my seedlings as I prepare my cereal and pop my pills, I have learnt from Prince Charles that my plants will respond to this quiet stimulation.  I turn the radio to Smooth 70's; they prefer that to noisy news and up to date stuff. I am sure they bop to the sounds of Stevie Wonder, Barry White and the Carpenters; I deny that the movement is caused by my footless swaying at the kitchen sink.

Growing is like dealing with change; it takes too much time and needs more patience than I can keep stuffed in my converse shoes!

When my life changed in November 2008, I assumed (we have been here before ..assume makes an Ass out of U and Me!!) that once the surgery was over and I had bounced back up onto my feet again, normal life would resume. 

I chose to ignore the words of the neuro registrar on day one...if your tumour is benign you will live but it will be a different life.

Recovery, like growing, is part lottery and part hard work. I watched other patients in hospital refusing to do exercises, whereas like a diligent student I did all I was given.  My bedside neighbours and the nurses watched bemused when, with my left hand, like a shelf stacker at the supermarket, I repeatedly moved everything off my table onto the bed and then moved them back again. My home-made occupational therapy worked as I regained the use in my left arm quite quickly.

But my attention to gardening is less thorough and brings groans of frustration from Mr H as I pull out flowers instead of weeds, only half fill seed pots with soil and don't water as often as I should.

My new life is growing, work is replaced by writing and hobbies; I put in my hours at the Gym and baby pool, at home I have a list of exercises too long to fit on one page.  But the changes are never enough...like my seedlings they need time and patience and perhaps some, despite trying, will never pop through the soil....

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Getting out and about Converse style

After a clear scan result I am tired with relief, I wear my new Converse around the house, the sales pitch gave me an idea:

You can wear them around the house for up to a year and we will still exchange them... 

The toes on my right foot wiggle with joy while my left foot rudely sleeps. I optimistically pack my winter boots away; the ankle prop they provided in the cold is replaced by the Converse style summer support.

We take a dander around the village to show off my footwear when Mr H comes home. The wind throws my hair all about town, I peer down at my feet, not because I fear I will fall, it is a new shoe stare. A smile smeared across my face, every few steps I remind Mr H; new shoes... I have new shoes. He laughs at me, used to my childish deeds!

Why don't you buy a pair in every colour if they make you this happy...

Our path leads as usual to The Daisychain deli, like a bird of paradise displaying its feathers, I proudly show Wendelly (our nick name for the star assistant) my Converse.  I have a pair too, show me the top, I turn my feet slowly like a cake on display. The topic of shoes rains; sizes, heels or no heels, the colour of my second pair of Converse....now I will never need a pair of Jimmy Choo shoes!

My pre holiday diet fails as I eat celebratory cake ....coffee and no cake NEVER.  I will need new outfits if I cant find Control, I have no idea where he has gone!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Gawping at Brain Scans; Some News

As I wait for brain scan results, time flows like treacle.  I tell myself it will be fine and part of me believes it, after all, it will grow if it grows, like my addiction to chocolate I can do nothing to change things. 

I applied for copies of my brain scans last year, I wanted to scrutinise my brain, the tumour and its effects. I have spent many happy hours poring over the pictures, some may think I am strange but as a nurse I need a scientific approach to come to terms with the changes in my life. Detailed analysis, explanations with no knowledge assumed and understanding provide the key to my coping strategy. 

Scan Picture 2012. The black hole mid right (left as you look at the picture) was the tumour site

Today is the day, I tuck my list of questions and scan pictures into my pocket; like a quiz master I want to know what things mean on the scans; why does my head still feel heavy when I try and read sitting up; why do I get pains along the left side of my head, why is my epilepsy so hard to control.  My ever patient Consultant, listens and explains.

My fourth annual scan brings good news. No signs of growth. Those four simple words are like daffodils slowly opening in the sun to reveal their splendour.

Good news or bad, retail therapy is always the solution, my footsteps are as light as the wind as Mr H and I hit the shops.  I plan to trip into summer with trendy footwear, Mr H raises his eyebrows when I show him what I want, he patiently watches while I try them for size. High heels are history but Cinderella Dawn is never too old to go to the ball.

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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Finding Pleasure in The Moment.

The pace of my life is slower than it used to be. Yesterday, the golden ball was in the sky and I was about to hang the washing out when a flower stole my attention. I stopped, stooped and absorbed its wonder, hanging onto the bird table I stepped up onto the bed to get a closer look. I was in awe of its beauty, the white petals embroidered with a delicate spot of green. 

I put the pegs down and went in search of my camera. As the tiny flower swayed in the breeze supported by its long stem, I took shot after shot until I was satisfied I had captured its purity. I wanted a shot from the underside of this miracle of nature, for that I needed to step back into the bed. My left foot ignored my request not to step on any plants, but Mr H was at work so there was no risk of reprimand...

I went inside to download the photographs.

 The washing was still in the basket

There really is more to life than work!

They are spring snowflakes..which Mr H planted.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Fish Fingers for tea...

I have been scatty this week, the most important job I had to do was an on-line food shop. I forgot. The cupboards are bare, Mr H fears starvation, I have hidden the biscuits for me!

I adore on line grocery shopping, I sit in my rocking chair while I choose from my favourites, then my laptop checkout seals the deal. The whole process takes me ten minutes. The delivery arrives the next day and a handsome man brings the crates into the kitchen and plonks them down on my arm level work surface.Ten minutes later it is all in the cupboards, the kettle is on and I am sitting down again munching biscuits. 

I have considered opening cupboards, fluttering my eyelashes and pointing to where it all goes...but time is of the essence he has other deliveries to make.

I hide all the treats from Mr H. He loves me when I drip feed him the odd chocolate or biscuit. He will never know that he only sees a tiny proportion of the treats I buy, I trust you with my secret!

...But today I have to go to the shops. When Mr H arrives home from work I have the bags and list ready. At the supermarket Mr H pushes the trolley, I have tried to push but people stare when like a petulant child my left leg constantly kicks the wheel.

I read out the items we need and Mr H walks up and down the aisles while I, like a dog needing a wee, lean against displays. I spot the Fish Fingers, they are reduced, I drop a box of 20 into the trolley, that will cover several meals,  I am not known for my culinary prowess. 

By the fourth aisle my huffs and puffs alert Mr H that I am flagging,  I feel sick, a sure sign that a seizure hovers  We aim for the checkouts, my rocking chair is replaced by the hard plastic seats as I wait for Mr H to pack. I pay.

At home I start my Dawn, Nigella Lawson special; Fish Fingers, oven chips and peas. Heaven... 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Fatigue....Introducing Mr P, Mr B and Mr S

Fatigue is my enemy.  Unreliable, he pitches up whenever he likes. Follows me like a black cloud on a stormy day.  

No body spoke about Mr Fatigue when I was in hospital. I cannot turn my back on Mr F through good nights sleep,he is persistent, he weaves his tentacles tightly... 

Like a shadow he has many forms..

Mr Physical (P) Fatigue  drains my limbs of battery fluid.  Today a short walk to the post office is like completing two marathons, as I walk with my head lowered I mutter to my leg...lift... lift.... lift.......

I am on full alert for trip hazards, I lean forward in a battle against light wind. My boxing gloves on I fight a strong gust trying to push me off my feet.

My envy gnaws as Mr P. Fatigue stops me entering charity walks and runs to raise money, I fight his grip.  I want to climb mountains too...

At home I replace the mantra lift  with... drag... drag... drag. I leave trails on the carpet, my socks clean the floor...holes need mending. The sofa opens its arms and I succumb to its warm embrace.

Mr Brain (B) Fatigue...rudely arrives without notice, I try to predict the appearance of Mr B Fatigue: Too much time at the computer... a day out ...too long talking to friends...an emotional day...

I muddle words in too many sentences; the top I wear is a sweatshop..under my breath I search in vain for its real name, until Mr H says... fleece. 

The empty water butt gleefully awaits these days, I snap at Mr H without cause; as a man he is always to blame.

Today Mr B Fatigue is in control; its attack is unforgiving...

Mr Seizure (S) Fatigue... is a danger...he might cause a seizure... but like the weather I can only rely on his unpredictability...no pattern has emerged from my seizure diary scribbles. I planned an excel sheet analysis... but don't have the energy...

The main Survival Tool for Mr F is pacing. But in my life, energy is like a packet of biscuits which must be consumed..

Pacing (described by Trinity College Dublin Disability Service) is balancing activity with rest to prevent energy-debt.; making the most of the energy that you have..

For me the loss of energy is like the losing a loved one; you only truly appreciate them when they are gone.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Following Brian........

Twenty years I have followed him... some say stalk...if having his photo as my mobile phones' screensaver ...not changing my jumper after he hugged me...seeing him two nights running twenty miles away from home....is stalking ....then they may be right!

Last nights performance was intimate, I could feel his spit on my face, gaze adoringly into his eyes...stare at his tight black T shirt as it clung to his well toned chest...

His voice surpasses any other, lyrics make me laugh and cry, my gaze is adoring as he flicks his dark hair away from his eyes... I know all the words, have all his albums, have seen him  more times than I can recall..

Mr H encourages... is the man behind the camera when I queue for another photograph and autograph.

Last night ...his music made me sing from within...we met up with friends, M introduced me to Brian Kennedy when he sang in a tiny pub.....like food, live music has been prominent in my life...

I left with a promise to me...more live concerts will feature in my routine....this morning my left leg refuses to climb up a step, my head is heavy to carry... but none of this matters as listening to Brian sends birds flying free in my heart...  

In Brians own words...
You keep saying that one day things could
Be fabulous,
If only you had the right shoes, new
Clothes, the dream team doing your hair.
Why do you have to waste time on your
Waistline when you could be having
Dinner with me?
Will you really be the winner
If you're thinner?
How can I make you see?

Get on with your short life,
Get on with this sweet precious time,
You know you're only dreaming
So why don't you wake up and get on
With your short life

You keep praying that some day things
Will be different
If you only had the right lips, killer hips,
A sun kissed permanent tan
But does it really matter if you're fatter
Than everybody else on the screen
It's more important to be truthful than just
Youthful on the cover of some magazine

Get on with your short life,
Get on with this sweet precious time,
You know you're only dreaming
So why don't you wake up and get on with
Your short life

...Thank you Brian
Dawn and Brian April 13th 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Flying away from it all

The holiday season will be upon us and people moaning about the weather will be history! As soon as I tick a destination off my list another ten appear....Travel is embedded in my genes....

Even with all my travel experience, I could never have prepared for the onslaught of flying disabled style... I assumed it would be easy..but you know what assume did..it made an Ass out of U and Me...

Getting to the airport is the easy bit...I am in control...Like a dried up meal I pre order Disabled Assistance. At check in I hand over my suitcase... my sense of control and sanity swiftly follow ...

The first hurdle is to get through the stares at the assistance desk, the mouth says Can I help you but the eyes say You need assistance??? ..my fatigue and medical history are not printed on my face...maybe I should forget the make up so I look pale, get a tattoo or wear a T.Shirt with Mines a Brain Tumour... What's your Excuse!

Settled in a wheelchair the second hurdle...the Xray machine... is in sight...I pre warn them about the plate in my head....and even have a letter from my Consultant.....but we play the same game every time...
Them: Can you walk through without your stick? 
Me: Yes but the scanner will go off I promise you...Beeepppp
Them Can you walk through again...Beeeeeppppppp
Them; Hold out your arms I will run the scanner over you..beep, beep, beep
Them: Can you take your shoes off
Me  If you find me a chair,  I need to sit...
Them: Oh don't worry we will swab them... (for what MRSA!!)
Them; Hold onto the glass screen here and lift your feet so we can see the soles of your shoes.
Me:  I can't lift my left foot
Them: Just try...!!!!
Me...Like a novice ballerina trying to do backward plies I fail to lift my foot ...Mr H watches patiently from the sidelines, we share a grimace
Them; OK thank you.....Our session of public humiliation is complete

Back in the wheelchair the third hurdle is waiting by the sign saying Assistance...anxious that a slow dash to the loo will mean I will miss my turn...manic panic surrounds us....our flight is called but we wait....and wait.... At the gate we discover that able passengers are being loaded first..mmmmm

When we land The Wheelchairs ...have to wait till last...I have never been called a Wheelchair before..........'The Wheelchairs' are offloaded like cattle...kept waiting mid air in a metal shed ...an occasional smiling groundsman snaps the tension which builds.

On Terra Firma as one of 'The wheelchairs' I am separated from Mr H...not enough room on the minibus...

I no longer worry, passport in hand, I know at some stage I will pop out like a missing horse by the carousels....and the holiday for me...will begin

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Fighting ...how many rounds...before the bell rings

The words of a friends' friend yesterday made me think... The sooner you stop thinking about what was and concentrate on what is you will find peace...wise words from someone I hardly know

Fighting is part of recovery, a fighting spirit part of success... 

Round One was to get back on my feet and walk
Round Two to get back to work
Round Three to get back behind the wheel of a car
Round Four to find something to replace work
Round Five to get my epilepsy under control
Round Six to get back behind the wheel of a car; again 
Round Seven .......

Am I fighting a battle or war...if so is it against the tumour and its effects.... or am I making a vigorous effort in the face of difficulty...

In the ring not all rounds have been won:

Round One I drew, strong legs knocked to the ground have been replaced with weaker wobbly ones 
Round Two I was knocked out but staggered back up onto my feet when I won Round Three.
Round Four is a constant battle. 
Round Five I won, wobbled, saw sparks and fell in the corner
Round Six The ref counted to Ten ...beyond my control

My adult life has revolved around personally driven challenges...Nursing qualification, Climbing mountains...Honours Degree... Masters Degree..move up the professional ladder...pass piano exams...

In the words of Paul McCartney..spookily playing on the radio at this very moment..

When I find myself in times of trouble, 
Mother Mary comes to me,
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be,

And in my hour of Darkness 
She is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be

Let it be, let it be, 
Let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be....

May be for me it is time to accept and relax into my new life keeping hope and motivation alive but not seeing living as a battle to be won...

Monday, April 8, 2013

Easy on the buses.......?

To catch my bus requires split second timing, if I leave too soon I lean against the bus stop like a drunk after a night on the booze... leave too late with no chance of breaking into a run and I wave my fist as the bus passes....

When the bus stops I rejoice at the hiss when the step is lowered, ...snarl when the driver doesn't think  ...grimace when faced with two steps on old buses...hoping one heave ho of my leg will do.

All aboard, I spy an empty seat labelled Please leave for the elderly or less abled..and plonk myself down. Relief reigns where embarrassment once hovered. In the early days of my adventures on public transport any poor soul who sat by me and spoke was bombarded with my brain tumour story... flutters of relief crossed their faces when I reached for the bell to get off....

My first outing after surgery was with a carer in tow... a lesson on how to get on and off a bus safely was needed. A little bit of shopping completed we sat at the bus stop and let two buses pass ...after an hour the same bus driver returned. Falteringly we got on.... He had seen us sitting there the first time...me in my helmet (that's another blog..), my carer in uniform... we tittered all the way home. My care plan read...can't read bus timetables needs another outing!! I loved those trips.  

Nowadays I am a seasoned bus traveller and know the timetables off by heart....I choose my seat in order of preference:
A) a front forward facing seat on either side by the window; even if I have to squeeze myself into half a seat I will.....to suprised stares
B) an aisle seat with my right leg in the aisle; even if I have to ask for a bag to be moved, sometimes my hard stares are required
C) Please No...front aisle seat with my left leg in the aisle:

Option C ..is like being on the waltzers at the fair-ground... with no carriage sides; I prepare myself for the white knuckled ride. Buttock muscles on full alert, hands gripping under the seat (no rail in front today). Every corner turned or island rounded.. my left leg grip on the floor is tested....my buttocks squeal, fist clenches. Muttering under my breath. you can do, you can do it, you can do it....the alternative...a helter skelter slide down the bus on my bum...

Near my destination I search for the bell...every bus differs...I let go of my seat...press... re-grip my seat... phew... safe again....

I wait until the bus comes to a complete stop before I move. Meerkat stares from passengers ....steps are extra slow as my left leg sleeps

Finally the step challenge rears its head again...this stop is in the road.. no kerb to reduce the height. Tentatively I drop my foot onto the ground pulling my other behind. Aerobic workout complete...now a few minutes walk to Pilates...

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Everyone should have one!

The perfumed aroma of fresh manure fills my nose, gloves make grasping fistfuls of straw and horse muck almost a pleasure..no peg on my nose.. I am becoming immune...

Lottie the allotment is looking well, she grins a green grass smile as we approach; the sun performs a glorious welcome amidst a pure blue sky...

We tackle listed jobs, the ninth bed sighs as we fill her with dark brown compost from last summers flower tubs, she will soon be nursing raspberry canes and gooseberries. I sit on my throne, an upturned water-butt stand, and settle twenty strawberry plants into the rhubarb bed...better than being joined by my bum! Mr H does the heavy work trundling to and fro from the water trough with full watering cans...

Snacks accompany regular breaks, my oatcake sandwich surprise has Mr H grinning (oatcakes stuck together with a spread of lemon curd..savoury and sweet... yummy), Jamie Oliver beware.... On my deck chair I tilt my face up to smile at the sun, my skin rejoices ...at last spring is in the air...

Fellow allotment holders stop to chat, they ask if I will be doing cream teas once the shed is up; yes of course and champagne...Mr H wants Rachel de Thame from Gardeners World to cut the red ribbon.... In that case I will invite Monty Don!

Back at home our red faces glow with satisfaction as bacon sandwiches are munched. Then Mr H falls asleep on the sofa....

My nephew must not be told I am eating bacon  I am a vegetarian..uh hum...well a pesce-crispybaco-tarian.....he says I am attention seeking!!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Extreme emotions... my new normal

Calm used to be my middle name. Now.. Frustration. Anger. Laughter. Fed-up-ness. Giggles. Tears. ...are as unpredictable as wind on a calm day..

My Dad used to say his bladder was too close to his eyes..I too am good at the waterworks... now I could fill a reservoir...drought...not in our house....

At the moment my OK and Not OK balance on an uneven pendulum. The latest test of endurance is the news that I have A TEN PERCENT CHANCE OF GETTING MY SEIZURES UNDER CONTROL. Yes I am shouting!! I have tried so many epilepsy drugs now my chance of getting back behind Dorothys' driving seat slides beyond my grip, like a boat moving down the slipway into the sea...

Benign tumour indeed...

I recently read a snippet from the Canadian Brain Tumour Foundation on Hammer Outs website  Myths about Brain Tumours Two points poke me in the eye...

  • The end of treatment does not mean the end of the experience of having a brain tumour and the person may need to adapt to a “new normal” depending on long-term effects the person may have from treatment....I add in here and complications...
  • Any brain tumour is life-changing regardless of grade or stage.

These points take me back to the Neurosurgery Registrars wise words when I was first told I had a brain tumour..if benign you will live but it will be a different life...I am reminded daily of the truth of those words...

My New Normal...I like that ....But my friends would say I have never been normal...Ha ha

My anger and frustration fizzle...

I dig deep to find my coping strategy for this one...maybe I will be in the ten percent group that the new drugs I am about to try, capture...if not there is always public transport, my wobbly legs and the gift of lifts from friends...

The Rug of Hope
Hope is everything
I hope to laugh as much as I cry, 
Dance as much as I stand still, 
Cope as much as I can, 
Live for today,
Find the strength to accept my changing reality.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Escape to the sea

The blue sky wakes me, the sun shine makes me smile, a day for a trip if only I could drive .... memories of days at sea float into my mind...The waves lift the boat free of the sea, my stomach jumps with joy as I grasp the life buoy holding me upright. The sea holds my heart in its hands. I squeal and point when the first whhhoosshh of spray goes up. A grey head and fin breaks the surface. Fellow Caribbean travellers run around the boat to get a closer look, I stay put. Any attempt to move on the rocking boat will leave me doing breast stroke on the floor. I tell Mr H and our new friends to chase it; the grey wonders will perform their show in front of me soon enough....

The sea has been my companion throughout my BT journey. During my frequent visits to the CT and MRI scanners I close my eyes and go back to the sea in Florida. As the warm salty water washes over my toes I feel for sharp edges; I bend and dig, lifting the multi coloured wonders served up by the sea..to add to my collection. The sun pierces my skin as I hold my face up to soak in its sunflower beauty...

In my hospital bed unable to sleep, I visit Lyme Regis a small seaside town where a magical summer holiday had been spent with my friend and her parents Lottie and Albert!  Each day we woke to the sky as blue as the Caribbean sea. The sun pierced the sky from dawn to dusk and we lay on the beach from morning to late afternoon sizzling in factor 2 suntan oil....treated each day to cream buns fetched from the local cake shop; fresher than the fish from the sea...

My recovery was not as quick as expected and as dark days set in I craved an escape.  I dreamt of a cottage overlooking the sea, decorated with nautical blues and whites...long walks over cliff paths as waves hit the rocks below. Afternoon tea in the seaside garden surrounded by the sweet smell of roses as I stared at the sea...buns oozing cream fetched from the cake shop...

I was trying to escape me....

Driving licence reinstated in 2011 I book a hotel in Lyme Regis, pack my new MINI, enlist the driving skills of my niece and set off on my first adventure. Insisting I drive until tired... then Lois takes over... two giggling girls head for the sea...ipod blaring music...living my dream...
Until my licence was stolen again...

Twenty years from now you
Lyme Regis August 2011
 will be more disappointed
 by the things you didn't do 
than by the ones that you did.
So throw off the bow lines.
Sail away from the safe harbour.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Energy; if only I had bottled it

Running shoes on I pounded the pavements; I walked miles in pursuit of a bird in flight, teased by the flash of pink and black...a long tailed tit...its family would follow.  

My 80 year old Mom sets the pace when we go out for an Easter walk, I  follow, Mom slows the pace by walking behind me. Children run around as the sun lights up their faces; they search for eggs, I take all the short cuts.

Energy is expensive. To use it comes at a cost. When I wake I do my first test with my 'Energometer'.  A shower is the barometer; if the towel is heavy then my overnight recharge has not been effective; a lie on the bed after the shower, I am on red. If I progress to breakfast without dropping things then my plans for the day stand a chance.... chores complete and the sofa calls.... I will have to get a later bus or ditch my outing.....

If I had known how valuable energy would be I would have filled every bottle, jar and Tupperware container until the lids were bursting... 

My energometer is a sophisticated tool; a calculation is required; 

                 Action  + Time + Energy Needed 
                   -----------------------------------------                          = Do. Delay or Don't Do
  Energometer Level of Fatigue (Zero, Red, Amber, Green)

My Mom has had years to develop her technique which I admire but constantly fail to apply. Her success is down to Cat Naps. She wakes has breakfast, does chores then Cat Naps. Shops or goes to craft, has lunch then Cat Naps. Out again, or irons then Cat Naps. Eats Tea then puts on a programme she really wants to see and Cat Naps....

I have been told about this concept of pacing but have yet to consistently apply it. Energy in the bank is for me like chocolate in the fridge it has to be consumed...

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