I've been waiting a while before writing about the current state of the world and its effect on me, my life and the chronic pain. I've been feeling quite confident with a kind of 'meh' attitude about the daily routine. I've been sleeping like a baby and if I remove the financial stress from the situation, I'd have to say, I'm having a jolly time! As the silence began to build outside a few weeks ago, I found myself listening to the news hourly – that was about the only thing that changed for me when COVID19 stopped the world. It'll be dawning on you... I've had a lot of experience with 'isolation'! I've been living a scaled-down life for much of my last 13 years. Living a life within a 1-3 km radius and not seeing family, friends or living as freely as I like has been my PhD study topic! Profession: Isolation specialist and physical distancing Queen. In fact, without the physical demands of working, seeing family, friends and socialising, my physical ability has increased and the pain levels have even dropped a little! I walk twice a day! And I'm also sharing puppy training duties as well. Yes, we welcomed Olive to our home – a medium size Labradoodle (pictured with me being picked up). This decision to welcome a new fur child is evidence of mine and Theo's isolation experience. Did someone say, 'plan to stay home'? We've got this! Theo's and my conversation went like this; 'Honey, given we won't get to go away this year and it's going to be financially impossible to afford a holiday, why don't we move our plans forward to welcome a dog?' 'It's a great idea, we'll be distracted and it's the perfect time to train a puppy too'. We know what it means to tuck in, stay tucked in and to have to occupy yourself for a very long time.
That was my endnote for 2019. As life evolves within my 3km radius, I find myself looking back less and less and looking forward more and more. Bitter, defines the heartache of not being able to see loved ones as often and the missing perks of our previous city life. Sweet, is being defined by new friends, the gallery, our new home and the sea that surrounds us. As for confused, another year has passed and I still don't feel anyone can quite define what's going on with my body. Does it matter heading into a new year?
Being resourceful is what makes the difference — it is so hard working life out. But Theo and do it. We burrow down and we make it happen. There's no choice... or rather there was but I didn't want a fulltime WorkSafe paycheck. Of course, I think about that. And of course, I often call myself stupid for declining it – I was safe! I had that full-time paycheck for the rest of my life. But creativity and sharing the day with Theo is so precious to both of us. Even with the complexities and risks, it appears to be the only way Theo and I can live. For this, I am grateful! So I'll stop complaining now and go on with what I've been doing and what I am achieving. It's all good! I'm moving. Life is in forward motion after being so still for so long – a decade at least!
It will take one whole year until stim and I get to know each other. I've done this twice before, I know! There are programs to explore, capacity to pace, and sitting to try without the aids. I want to hop in a train and a tram, and hop off in the city without an agenda and limits. I want to catch up with my dearest friends, some whom I've not seen since I left Melbourne. We've been living off parcels, emails and the phone, and that really hurts.
Where to next? (Part 2/3) I knew there was something seriously wrong with my sacral stim implant. By the time that information was confirmed, my mind had run off a few thousand questions. I’ll share a few: Question number 1: [...]
Then things got even more strange. There was heat, radiating heat where the IPG is, in my face and also other strange feelings that not only added to my pain issues but it made me turn my stim off, more than on! Weird.
While you read this, I'm in total bliss under full anaesthetic having my spinal stim implanted and my sacral stim (which fizzed) removed. I've popped this poem in my head, and now yours too in the hope that Brain Plasticity, in all its madness as clarified so perfectly in Michael's poem and illustration, works its nonsense on me.
I'm not exactly enthused about health admin. There's already enough admin and digital filing to do in life. But I've found that my PT health summary is saving me, not only admin time, but alot of stress having to remember details of my experience. I've included a self portrait for my specialist today!
You all know how the song goes, ‘Miss Polly had a dolly who was sick, sick, sick…’ In fact, most of us would know it and know it really well. I consider myself to be some kind of role model [...]