Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Love hurts

About a year ago I fell in love with Polly- My pollytunnel ( a plastic version of a greenhouse..) Polly was my friend- and still is! Then around Christmas my love turned to Oisin... He is "hot" as "hot" as Polly!
Oisin was the best gift anyone could have wished for. For the first time since living in this house, I was able to stay warm...

But love hurts- Last night while I brought a bag of recycling material to the corner I noticed that the smoke from my chimney was very black and furious. Suspecting a chimney fire, I "ran" home and closed the damper on Oisin- my beloved stove

Although I can't remember the exact sequins of events, at some point I opened the door of the stove and was greeted by a huge fire inside the stove- and more worryingly, flames bellowing out towards me.
Later when I couldn't see flames in the stove I opened the door again. Wrong thing to do. There  was an almighty loud bang- an explosion almost. I "ran"  outside and called 999. 

The fire brigade came and brought the stove outside- fire still burning inside it- smoke bellowing out from the back of it- flooding my kitchen with coal dust- everywhere. All I could think of was that I was safe- I didn't care about the state of my house. Was glad I still had a house!

They cleaned the chimney from the top and the bottom, cleaned out the stove- outside in the garden, checked the attic and weren't sure what had caused the loud bang (might have been the sheet of aluminium that was behind the stove being sucked in again...)
Fire crew were lovely, they checked and checked again, and only left when they felt that all was safe again. 
My house is dirty.... Black dust everywhere. 
I left the livingroom-kitchen as it was, swept the dirt in the hallway as to not bring too much of this black stuff into my bedroom- had a bath and watched movie in bed as I couldn't sit anywhere in the living room. Horrible dry-dusty air, and black couch etc.

Had a hard time sleeping as every time I dozed off I could see that huge fire and heard the loud bang.
Jane is coming this afternoon to help me clean. For now I just have the windows open and staying out of the living room.

It was scary. The fire officer is going to get in touch with the council and get them to put in the flue pipe. Also when they were up on the attic they were horrified to see that the spotlights that are in my kitchen ceiling, and need air in the attic so as not to overheat, were covered with a thick layer of insulation.... a big fire hazard.

What a night. But I am grateful to all whom were here to sort out the problem and for my neighbour Margaret to checkup on me if I was ok; Spark for listening to my tale of woo, and Jane for coming to help me clean.

Spring clean with a difference!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Contorted willow- wonders

Sitting in my "Zen Corner" 
(the little bench behind the tree, where I can catch the last bit of sun in my garden... 
with my back against the sun-heated stone wall...)
I wonder about how the growing branches decide
 if they go up
or down
or left
or right

Maybe the sun makes it happy
and the young shoots go up?
And feels down on a rainy day?

Or is it the other way around?
So happy when it rains, that it sticks its 'head' up, 
licking the raindrops
with its tender young leaves?

What about the sideways twirl?
Does the branch make a turn to the right
when I come out of the back door?
and left when I am sitting on my 
zen-corner- bench?

I wonder...

...always love to read your thoughts and commets here! X Corina

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Jogging through the forest

As many of my readers will be aware, I am living with the chronic illness M.E. for almost 13 years now. The symptoms are varied from person to person. For many this illness means a major change in their lives, (to put it mildly) and it has a habit of joining up with many other ailments in the body, like IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and  FibromyalgiaThe lather is a syndrome in which people experience long-term, body-wide pain and tender points in joints, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues. Fibromyalgia has also been linked to fatigue, sleep problems, headaches, depression, anxiety, and other symptoms.

I still believe in recovery from all the above. I am unwilling to give up. On days when I have an appointment with the 'medical profession', or when I am in serious pain, or I can't take part in the activities I would like, I am reminded with all force that "all is not well". I hate those 'reality checks' with a vengeance. They are incredible unsettling. I rather get on with my life as best I know how. A life in which I can be well in my mind, and although throughout the day I come face to face with restrictions, I can deal with them. 
One of my ways of coping and striving for further recovery is to take time out to do guided meditations. I have not mastered meditations on my own, but feel fortunate to have come across Kerie Logan. 

  • Kerie has been utilizing meditation, imagery and hypnosis for over 17-years. She learned and understood the powerful life changing benefits that hypnosis, guided imagery, meditation, and energetic healing work can bring to someone in need. Kerie's intuitive and transformational coaching skills evolved in 2000 and in 2004, when she was awarded at the Positive Changes Hypnosis Convention - "Outstanding Slenderific/Hypo-Nutrition Coach of the Year".
I have purchased many of the guided meditations downloads over the years, from aid to help me with a more restful sleep, to learning about the pain in my body, and how to limit this pain. 
For the past week or so I am using the Guided Healing Meditation for Fibromyalgia. Kerie brings me on a journey to look into my 'book of time' and guides me back to a time when I hadn't even heard of the fibromyalgia, and when I was well. The effects are quite powerful and I have been brought back to many a happy memory of jogging through the forest, or swimming alone in a huge swimmingpool. This positive feeling is brought with me when I return to the present time.

I have been in contact with Kerie and she is looking into the workings of the hypothalamus gland, as some doctors belive that the malfunctioning of this gland is at the root of the problems for people with M.E./ fibromyalgia and IBS. She might be able to bring us a meditation in time to help us deal with this. If you are interested in any of her gentle healing meditations, please visit Empowered Within and browse throught the long list of options.

Wishing you all the best.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Nature's way to rejuvenate

Lying on the garden bench in the SUN.... yes yes it has arrived in Ireland .... I'm so excited to watch the garden "rejuvenate" itself yet again. No matter what is going on in the world or in our lives, small plants are sticking their heads up among the winter's debris.
I am sticking my head up among the debris too, although I can not claim to be rejuvenated in the correct sense of the word.. especially the appearance one ...I wish!
  • rejuvenateto make young again; restore to youthful vigor, appearance. 
  • Various myths tell the stories about the quest for rejuvenation. It was believed that magic or intervention of a supernatural power can bring back the youth and many mythical adventurers set out on a journey to do that, for themselves, their relatives or some authority that sent them.
  • An ancient Chinese emperor actually sent out ships of young men and women to find a pearl that would rejuvenate him. This led to a myth among modern Chinese that Japan was founded by these people.
I do feel however that the sun, but most of all, all the happenings in my garden are helping me to take a deep breath again and get on with my life. I love being outside. I love removing the debris from the garden and uncovering these tiny green shoots buried underneath them. 

While snoozing I became aware of birds coming into my garden. A pair of great tits took turns at the feeder filled with sunflower seeds. They'd pick a seed and sit on a branch of the butterfly bush to eat it. The male- on his return from the feeder -would every time sit exactly where his female companion had just left. I wonder what he was trying to proof. Maybe deciding how well her judgement is in finding the right place to eat? 
When he decided it was time to go, he took one last seed and flew out of the garden. Swiftly followed by his lady friend.

These little scenes fill my heart. 
Same as the bee checking out every crevice in the stone wall, or the starling coming over with friends to eat. After (s)he had checked out the place.

After the disastrous appointment at the hospital there is one thing that I have come to terms with: taking medication. I do not like to put anything foreign in my body. Chemicals? No thank you. But for the past month, I have been on a hormone replacement drug (HRT) which is really putting my life back on track again. For the past year I had such a tough time, it felt that the whole ME experience was starting all over again. A horrid feeling- to put it mildly. Until I realized that maybe the menopause had started. (sorry guys- women's talk). In short I can say that I feel some form of rejuvenation again. I might not become my 20year old self again, but am surely sticking my head above the debris again.
So drugs can be a good thing, and I am grateful for whomever has invented this particular drug. The pain has more than halved from last years levels, and I can move around easier again. Thank goodness!

Talking with that doctor on Monday, and having a good think myself, I am (finally) accepting that drugs can be OK, as long as there are not too many side effects.

I hope/wish you are able to go outside too, and keep your eyes open to what is around you, and of course that you can do this without pain.
Lots of love

Monday, March 21, 2011

Patient Patient?

While sitting for almost that two and a half hours on a plastic chair in the waiting-"hall", to see the neurologist, I wondered if the word patient really is spelled in the same way for the person who is ill and the person who is waiting, and waiting, and waiting some more.
It is!
Here a few descriptions of pa·tient (from
nouna person who is under medical care or treatment
–adjectivebearing provocation, annoyance, misfortune, delay, hardship, pain, etc., with fortitude and calm and without complaint, anger, or the like.
– Idiom having or showing the capacity for endurance

I didn't want to go to this appointment.
I always end up exhausted, depressed, disappointed, and in more pain than I was before going.

I nearly had my wish granted- I hadn't been able to organise a life to the hospital- 1 hour away from here. But as Jane had to go to Cork anyway, I could hardly refuse the lift.
So I went. Thinking that whom ever or whatever is in charge of setting up these kind of options (the universe- God, whatever your choice) must have some reason to make it important for me to go and not to cancel the appointment.

As usual, I went with a certain expectation in tow. Again. Maybe, just maybe, "they" can tell me more about the ME in my life. Or more importantly, how to ban it out of my life. 
Silly, as it is me- or all of us living with this challenging illness- that know more about living with it than any medical professional you happen to see 5 minutes every 6 months will ever know...

I was seen after waiting for 2 hours and 45 minutes. Not by the neurologist but by a registrar, or whatever the title. No offence to her, but her stop word was "I know". This confused me, as how would she know how my past year has been before I told her... How did she know I had many renewed challenges regarding pain and exhaustion, together with the mental challenges that followed...
She didn't know.

When she checked my racing heartbeat, she suggested that I have an ECG done.
As it was now after 5pm there was nobody available at the ECG department. (I thought I was in a hospital..??)
I said- maybe not so nicely- or patiently- taking today's theme into account... "I have been here since half past two..." Neither the registrar, or the nurse present, responded.

Blood tests were also suggested, but that department also closes as 5 pm.

The requests for these tests will be forwarded to my General Practitioner.
Knowing from experience that a letter from the hospital can take months, I asked when this would be done.
"Oh probably within the month." She said with a smile. 
This left me speechless.

Finally home, I am mad, tired, in pain, sad, in tears and pledge again not to do this to myself ever againNo more pointlessmeaningless, unproductive, futile, ineffectual) appointments (–noun a fixed mutual agreement for a meeting)
I am better off staying at home and deal with the illness the way I know best.
I feel I wasted very precious energy today. 

Oh before I forget.. I asked her what her views were on the XMRV virus and the links to ME.
In all honesty, she said that she doesn't follow the news.... and kind of laughed.

I rest my case.
Tomorrow I will go back to what I know best, writing, meditation, go out into the garden, and love all I love in life. 
That at least makes me feel good.

PS in fairness, the doctor was courteous and kind, it is the system that I am most annoyed about.

Thanks for listening! I feel better now!

PS.. always happy to hear/read your thoughts/comments on any of my blogs.