DEM BONES, DEM BONES, DEM DRY BONES (Song) …

If someone had told me a decade ago that I’d be getting my mobility back after all these years of being in a wheelchair, I would never have believed them. But, here I am, walking with one crutch indoors, but not outside. However, the irony of this situation is that four weeks ago, I was diagnosed with very severe osteoporosis following a DEXA bone scan where my T-score (-4.5) was almost off the radar. My GP said she’s not seen anyone with this level of bone fragility for a very long time. If I fall, bend or twist, I stand a very high rate of fracturing my spine or breaking a hip either of which could result in permanent disability or paralysis. Bad news.

Having said all that, I’m not giving up on life … not at all. I have to learn to do everything differently and safely. Whether it’s getting something out of the fridge, picking up a bit of fluff from the floor, drying my feet after a shower and other tasks I took for granted before. I have to think before every move, and it’s exhausting sometimes, but I’m not complaining. It could be far worse.

I refuse to let this condition beat me. It knocked the stuffing out of me when I first got my diagnosis, and I was very depressed for quite a while, but now, I’m keeping active by moving around my home more and going to the gym at least two to three times a week and working really hard. Exercise is the key. I’m getting stronger, not weaker, and as long as I don’t fall, I’ll continue that way. I daren’t attempt to set foot outdoors without George (my electric chariot!) or my manual wheelchair for fear of falling on the concrete. There’s no way, after all this hard work, that I want to be back in the position where I can’t wash and feed myself again. I’m come too far.

So, I’m following my specialist’s advice, keeping active, taking medication which should help prevent any further bone loss and being extra careful about my diet. No big deal. That coupled with all my work at the gym should keep dem bones of mine ticking over for some time, I think.

 

 

THE TROUBLE WITH GEORGE

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Having my old tatty kitchen amazingly transformed into a beautiful, new and modern kitchen with units and a gas hob I can reach has meant I can use it independently of my carers. I’ve got a lovely, new electric oven (I have to get used to the temperatures as I’ve only had gas before). I’ve truly found freedom. At first, the novelty of washing-up at my low-level sink seemed attractive! Now I’m not so sure about that bit, but, nevertheless, I’m determined to not to rely solely on my carers, and I thoroughly enjoy cooking.

The next home-improvement project was my patio with a ramp. The word ‘patio‘ is in italics because it is actually built on the base of my newish forget-me-not blue garden shed – see my earlier post which you can find here … MY FORGET-ME-NOT SHED. The poor unfortunate hut became redundant (which is another story!), and was sold for a small sum to a primary school whose sports shed had been burnt down in a horrible arson attack. By rights, I should now be able to get up my ramp, accessing it through the front door, down the side of the house and through the gate – a bit of a long way round, but functional nevertheless. I’d be able to eat, drink and sunbathe up there if I wanted to whenever the weather is good and I have the time.

There is one big hiccup to this story. GEORGE!! Just when I was savouring the prospect of getting a nice suntan (with sun-factor 50 cream), and entertaining guests out there in the sunshine, George (my electric wheelchair for those of you who aren’t yet acquainted) decided to develop a fault. He sits, stubbornly staring at the ramp and refuses to summon up enough energy to climb it. He’s meant to travel at 8mph (no idea what that is in km), but in fact, he’s probably only going at about a fraction-of-a-mile an hour. No good! I imagine it’s the equivalent of an accelerator in a car going – or rather, not going. All this fantastic progress going forward; first the kitchen and new-found independence; and then the patio; and now? Now – my usual trustworthy lump of metal (sorry, George) frustratingly refuses to get up the ramp and embarrassingly slides backwards. I’m going nowhere fast.

Roll on Monday when the mobility repair company come out, and hopefully, give George the kiss-of-life, no doubt at a sizeable cost to me. Needs must.

LOOKING ON THE BRIGHT SIDE.

don't need to sit on a cactus

I certainly was given a cactus many years ago as is evident in my earlier writings about my very abusive childhood and not too pretty adulthood. I don’t intend to go back to that time of my life. It’s now a case of ‘been there; done that’, you’ll be pleased to hear. I’ve been sitting on the cactus for too long, and it’s getting too prickly so, now is the time to get off.

I’ve been taking life far too seriously of late so, although there may still be the odd solemn post because life isn’t always a bundle of laughs, on the whole, I want to lighten up a bit. [“Phew”] – Was that a big sigh of relief that I detected from my faithful followers? Yes? I don’t blame you – it’s as much of a relief to me as it is to you 🙂

Yep! It’s true that I will always have Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) or Emotional Intensity Disorder [as they are now beginning to refer to this condition] and this really can mess up my head at times. I’ve included an excellent link to explain what it’s like living inside the mind of some people with BPD. Please take the time to read it if you are interested – it’s not long-winded or boring, I promise: http://themighty.com/2016/07/how-to-explain-borderline-personality-disorder-to-loved-ones/

So, what of late? George (my new wheelchair, if you haven’t yet been introduced), is behaving himself brilliantly, and I love the fact that I can whizz down the path by the river at a colossal speed of 6mph. That’s 2mph faster than Charlie ever did although, fair credit to him – he did turn on a sixpence with much more finesse than George. George is nippier, although the little devil doesn’t much like getting up too close and personal with the veg section in my local Tesco’s. As for poor old Charlie, he’s sitting and looking very bored in the garage but as from today, he’s up for sale, on eBay listed as having been ‘a dear friend to one careful lady owner’ and ‘in need of a new home’. Although he’s seen better days and won’t go the distance anymore, he’ll do someone a good turn if they just want him for indoor and local use.

Oh, have I not mentioned the new addition to the family? I am now the very proud owner of a two gleaming, new, white patio doors (twins, of course). They’re sleeping soundly at present down at the dining-room end of my living-room. When they get mucky, they much prefer a duster to a wet-wipe. I’ve not named them yet; however, several names spring to mind, Tom & Jerry, Fred & Freda, Ant & Dec … I’m undecided. All suggestions are very welcome. They are looking very grand which is about the amount much they bumped up my credit card bill by. Needs must, though – with fair due, they’ve seen better days, 10,957 of them, in fact! I will bid you adieu while I leave you working out the equation of days into years.

 

PRINCE GEORGE (THE CASE AGAINST)

Well, sadly, that’s the end of Charlie, my wheelchair. He has finally given up the ghost and gone to that great big wheelchair heaven in the sky. I’ve been without Charlie for nearly a month now and have been cooped up indoors, slowly climbing the walls and developing a serious bout of cabin fever. Oh, it’s so sad and so hard to let him go after four long and faithful years.

Farewell, Charlie x

Charllie front

 

Introducing ‘Prince George’

I have now had to acquire a new wheelchair, although due to a serious lack of funds, he is somewhat, or should I say, considerably, inferior to Charlie. So, let me introduce ‘Prince George’, ordinarily known as George (and will possibly become Georgie if he behaves himself and endears himself to me a little more).

George 1

Today was my first full day of driving him and, oh boy, am I feeling it now?! Ouch! Prince George has so far shown himself to be very inconsiderate despite the deceiving ‘go faster stripes’ on either side of his back and his smart blue paintwork. I have noted the following points of comparison in the case against Prince George:

  • His back is tough vinyl whereas Charlie was comfortably upholstered.
  • George has four wheels, much more difficult to drive than Charlie’s well-balanced six wheels.
  • Parking is a nightmare … Charlie could do a nifty three-point turn. George just about manages it in fifteen points, (give or take a few).
  • Charlie had a neat, flip-up footplate whereas George has two very stiff footrests (I think he’s developed arthritis at an early age) .
  • George feels every bump in the pavement and he feels like he’s climbing the humps on a Bactrian camel’s back.
  • The armrests are plastic, as hard as cement which is tough on the elbows, as opposed to Charlie’s softly-cushioned arms.
  • I came home today totally exhausted and with my back feeling like I’d run a marathon in stiletto heels.

However, I do have to say in defence of George:

  • He has fitted LED headlights and rear lights for coming home on those chilly and dark winter nights when a starless sky is as black as coal.
  • He even has left and right indicators although because the controls are completely different, I indicated to turn left when I was trying to turn the speed down and I ended up having a close encounter with a brick wall which had very conveniently placed itself in my way.
  • George even has hazard warning lights – very useful in my case as the sheer effort of trying to keep him straight on a narrow footpath/cycleway renders him a hazard to anyone within a ten-metre radius.
  • George’s ‘beep’ is a tad louder than Charlie’s which means, “excuse me, please remove yourself from the vicinity if I am coming towards you”. Alternately, if I’m really exhausted and ratty, this may come across as, “get out of the way you silly idiot” (or for silly idiot, read “%$#@/&*£*”)!

So there you have it; the case of Prince George versus Charlie, with Charlie winning outright. However, unfortunately, I’m stuck with arthritic George so I’ll just have to persevere and leave the stilettos at home in future.

RIP Charlie

“6 THINGS I WISH I COULD UN-TELL MY CHILDREN”

I thought this was a really interesting article and found it very thought-provoking, and agreed with most of it apart from No.6 which disputes “You are special” – I tell both my son and my daughter (when I get the opportunity) that they will always be special to me and that I keep them close to my heart. x

Mother and sons looking out from hotel balcony, Fethiye, Turkey

(All credit goes to Tina Plantamura with my thanks)

My oldest son just graduated high school and is now embarking on the next leg of his journey that will bring him closer to real life. I have come to realize that there are so many things that I wish I could un-tell him.

I hope he knows that all of these empowering, yet misleading little statements that I (or others with the best intentions in mind) might have spoken into his nearly grown-up ears are not exactly true…

1. You don’t owe anyone anything.

You have one major responsibility: to be part of the positive change in this world. If you are not part of it, you are opposing it. You owe everyone (including yourself) a measure of kindness, mercy, patience, respect and empathy. Everyone is fighting some sort of battle. Everyone has a chapter in their lives that they do not want to read aloud. You might have stepped right into the middle of someone’s toughest battle, so while they are struggling to keep it together, if nothing else, all you have to do is be kind. How hard is that?

2. Respect is earned, not given freely.

This is similar to the “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” argument, but more ridiculous. Should you wait for someone to earn your respect before you respect them? Should you assume no one respects you until you have clearly earned their respect? Can you get respect without giving it? Can you give respect and just automatically assume you’ll earn it? If you don’t earn someone’s respect, should you be disrespectful to them? You are responsible for the way you conduct yourself, regardless of whether anyone else is respectful. So please, be respectful.

3. Just be yourself, and people will know how talented/qualified/desirable you are!

Too many other logical statements make this one seem absurd: Step out of your comfort zone. Make your presence known. Know when to hold ’em and know when to fold ’em. If you don’t ask, the answer will always be “no.” Persistence, humility, and deliberate effort will help you shine and move toward the direction of becoming a productive human.

Please, please do not just float around in this world and expect to get what you want by being your cute little self. Also, know that sometimes you will bust your ass and no one will notice but you. Hey, this leads us to the next one…

4. Hard work pays off.

Except when it doesn’t. Occasionally, the hardest work and the most diligent efforts yield the most dreaded result: nothing. Life is unfair sometimes. You have to work hard anyway, because no work ALWAYS yields nothing.

5. You have to pursue your dream career in order to be happy in life.

Find 15 people and ask them if they have their dream job. Then, ask them if they are happy with their lives. The answers will surprise you. Not everyone needs a wonderful, rewarding career in order to be happy in life. Some people are working in their field of choice, doing exactly what they always wanted to do, and they’re miserable. Some people merely have “a job” and still live rewarding, spectacular lives. And some love their career, but long for more in their personal lives. Do pursue your dreams, but make sustainability a priority. Working hard to support yourself can be more rewarding than being 30 years old and waiting for the perfect career while still living in your childhood bedroom. The way to prevent that from becoming your future is to make sure you are able to earn a living even if you don’t ever land your dream job.

6. You are special!

You are no better, no worse, no greater, and no less than anyone else in this world. Every person you know is better than you at something. Every person you know struggles with something that is very easy for you. Use your strengths to make this world a better, more enjoyable place (because when it’s better for others, it’s better for you, too). Ask for and accept help when you need it. Never behave as though any person, task, or circumstance is above you or beneath you.

***

A TANGLE OF WORDS

learn me slowly

I am at a loss today. This isn’t going to be a clever piece of poetry or a blog as such; more a tangle of words because my head is muddied today. Love, compassion, charity, honesty and practising at least one random act of kindness every day are important to me. Friendship too….I have very few close friends but we know each other very well and that’s what matters. I also like my solitude; time to think, feel (not always desirable), dream, hope and more…

When I love, I love with passion in my soul; not a burning desire for sexual intimacy but more burning desire to understand other’s thoughts and feelings. My own, I trash! I’ve been told that I don’t give myself the respect that I give to others. I feel I am not deserving of that. I anger slowly with others, but rapidly and ferociously with myself.

I am confused; I am angry: I am hurting; I have had ‘the book’ thrown at me in this life that I do not desire today. I have been used and abused, beaten, yelled at, abandoned, trodden down, smashed to pieces but I bear no malice and I fear conflict with a very deep rooted fear.

Yet, I know that am, too, a survivor. I know that much although remembering it is not always simple and it is far too easy to slip into the victim role. I do not want to be there! I do not want to be that! I am a tough cookie, so they say.

But still I question, who am I though? Who am I really? I am a daughter who fears terribly the thought of one day soon, not being a daughter anymore because life gets snuffed out as is the order of nature. It is so unfair at times. I am a sister; I am an aunt; I am a mother (all be it unwanted by my children); I am a grandmother (all be it denied me). I am, however, forever blessed in that I am a daughter of God, my Father. I trust God; I’m just not sure I trust the rest of the world.

Am I making any sense? Am I being rational? I think not? Sometimes (like now) I seriously doubt my sanity…I feel so often that my life and my sanity are (in the words of Paul Simon, “Slip, Slidin’ Away”.

Sometimes I wish I was……..

THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF FACEBOOK

facebook share

Social networking? Good or bad?

Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, Pinterest, YouTube, Path, Instagram, Foursquare…..I could go on…

Well, some years ago I chose to open a Facebook account. With it came a cauldron of emotion that I didn’t bargain for. It has, I have to say (somewhat feebly) been quite life-changing or perhaps more aptly, I have let it become so. Isn’t that pathetic? Is my life really so uninteresting that I have to rely on FB for the thrills and spills of my day? Well yes, I thought so or at least believed that was true when I first ‘got into it’. Now, I am clambering to get out of it!

To start with It was a good way to stay in touch with friends, follow their lives, share their holiday snaps, admire their families etc. A lot of it was positive but there are also many negatives too,  just as there are two sides to a coin. It is so easy to get hooked into the ‘Like’, ‘Comment’ and ‘Share’ routine and FB gradually becomes disproportionately prominent in one’s life and it can come quickly become a love/hate relationship. I know it did in mine and quite quickly became addictive (not helped by the fact that I have an addictive personality anyway). I got hooked….well and truly….I would get up in the morning and (in the absence of having either a partner, family or children), it was the first thing I did  – I checked Facebook for anything I might have missed or looked for messages from friends, looked to see who had ‘Liked’, ‘Commented’ on or ‘Shared’ whose posts, (a post consisting of an opinion, a feeling, a photo, an image, a quote, a recipe, a weather forecast, a status such as 🙂 [smile], 😦 [frown], 😉 [wink], etc or what colour pyjamas were being worn, or indeed if there were any being worn at all (no doubt accompanied by a photo!).  Everyone seemed to be on FB and if you weren’t, you were considered somewhat of an odd-bod or not ‘cool’.

However, having become a veteran of many years on FB, I’ve come to the see the other side of it (or at least in my opinion). I’m tried of all the pointless exchanging of useless information, the endless and tedious ‘selfies’. the numerous photos of people’s dinners or wonderful pets etc). I don’t like the bitchiness that sometimes goes on; I don’t like the trouble and problems it actually causes sometimes between friends, acquaintances and families. In my case, it has become a weapon of war between my children and myself (as some of you will know) whereby both my son and daughter have ‘blocked’ me meaning I am not allowed to see or know anything they might post about their lives (as in reality, sadly) and they can deny the privilege of seeing photos of my grandchildren that everyone else can see (and that hurts, believe me, that does hurt in the absence of any real life photos or visits from them.

I have to say, I am now slowly withdrawing from the all-consuming Facebook and intend to deactivate or delete my account shortly. A sorry tale in the end but maybe a case of ‘too much of a good thing’ or in my case, too much of too many bad things. Having said that, it works for a hell of a lot of people so if it’s good for you then I am genuinely pleased for you, in fact generally quite happy for you 🙂 .  So, I guess what I am really saying is……IF IT AIN’T BROKE, DON’T FIX IT!!

SCRAMBLED EGGS

Well, firstly, I owe big apologies to so many of you because I have been absent from WordPress world and also my linked email account for weeks and I realize how many of your posts I have missed especially my friends, Mercy James and Meghan. Along with other friends, I think I’ve missed out on reading approximately 70 posts from you all and I know I’ll never catch up with the backlog so all I can offer at this time are my humble apologies 😦 .

As well as not being too well and therefore my mind being incapable of forming sentences long enough to write a blog, there has been so much ‘mucky’ stuff going on in my life and things have been so frenetic that I’ve hardly had time to blink, let alone string words together. Strangely enough, most of the major issues currently in my life begin with the letter ‘C‘, purely coincidentally. If this sounds like nonsense that’s because I have a brain which somewhat resembled scrambled eggs at the moment! The list goes something like this….college, Colin, church, crime, Care, children and Carole, etc, etc. and no, that’s not in alphabetical order as my brain cells aren’t quite up to that at this present moment in time. I won’t go into the details of each one for fear of boring the pants off of you but merely offer these snippets which illustrate examples of the individual issues. So here goes…

College = closing down (2 weeks), politics, mixed media, warring factions, celebration, saxophones, the press….

Colin = brother-in-law, redundancy passport, post, diabetes, aeroplane, cats, August….

Church = pastoral care (lack of), ordination, art, new pastures, brass band, friction, apartment block, cucumber….

Crime = family, trains, Marks and Spencers, blackmail, baked beans, city, money….

Care = all change, independence, scrambled eggs (again!), pyjamas, invoice, D & D….

Children = absent, car tyres, little ‘uns, grapefruit, failure, vitamin B12, heart, spots, frogspawn ……….and finally,

Carole = box of grapes, tutor, Prince Harry, music, old photographs, emails, two foot high patchwork elephant….!

patchwork elephant

So…..Interesting?…No; Relevant?…Yes; Necessary?…No; Nonsense?…Yes, certainly, but all true and all totally applicable to my life right at this moment so is it any wonder I have a ‘scrambled egg’ brain?…No, definitely and absolutely not!

Delia-scrambled-eggs-006

EMERGING FROM THE DARKNESS

Dear Friends,

Today is a better day for I am emerging from the darkness, having spent too many days buried in negativity and suffocating with my own self-pity. The character written about in my last blog, I have to confess openly, depicted the darkness and evil I feel within myself when I am sitting at the bottom of the ocean floor amongst the sea urchins, snails and the plankton that exist down there. I despise that black side of me. BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) is characterised by black and white thinking to name but a few, no, many other aspects.

bpd-wordle

I can’t say today is a completely ‘white’ day – they don’t exist in my world (and I question whether they do in other people’s’ lives too). At least I can say at this moment in time, I am experiencing a buff colour sort of day….not too bad but nevertheless beset with pain and problems, frustrations and battles but still keeping my head above water which I don’t always manage to do as those of you who know me will have witnessed on many an occasion. Today, I don’t feel that heaviness of many burdens like a lead weight around my neck and the pitch blackness of my inner turmoil. Today, I am emerging from the darkness….

out of the tunnel

Today, where I am in the world, the sun is shining. I shall go for a walk (well, wheel  in the park in my case). I shall notice the ducks on the river persevering as they swim through the duckweed, the wild rabbits hopping in and out of the hedges, a blue sky above my head only broken up with cotton wool clouds and birds in flight. All these things and more, I take for granted or in fact don’t even notice on dark days and yet the beauty of nature where I happen to live exists in abudance. I only have to open my my eyes and see the daylight. I will make the most of today. Love to you all, Ellie xxx 🙂