A Versatile Little Maple Leaf…

Promo JVL Multi Lion Does Not Sleep

Many people don’t  realise that, in addition to being both hilarious and generally fabulous at life, I’m also a published author and an avid reader.

If you’re interested in those things, you’re welcome to follow me at:

Book Squirrel A blog about books, authors, new releases, and generally bookish stuff.
WordyNerdBird where I blather on a bit about life as a writer, teacher, and director.
WordyNerdBird Writes  where I publish my new writing as a “road test” for the next book!
Where The Wind Has Taken Me A blog about the places I’ve visited and things I’ve seen.

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Warning: May Cause Insomnia

So, I’ve been limping for a few weeks with a sore heel.
It’s been much worse over the past two weeks, when I couldn’t have seen a doctor about it if I tried, unless I went to the emergency room. In my completely non-medical-professional, sucking-it-up-like-a-big-girl opinion, it wasn’t bad enough for that.

Today I saw a doctor.
Turns out it’s acute tendinitis of the Achilles. 
Oops.

I’m now on medication – anti-inflammatory pain killers and prednisolone – in addition to the DoTerra Deep Blue ointment that I’ve been using on it. That stuff is really good, by the way. I’ve also been told to rest it and be gentle when I do have to walk on it.

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When I opened the package from the pharmacy, the information provided told me that  the medication might cause drowsiness. There was also a sticker on the box that warned me that it could affect mental alertness and/or coordination. With those warnings heeded, I took my medication and went to bed.

At this point, it’s fair to point out that I’ve never been a sound sleeper. Insomnia has been a way of life for me for years. The degree of wakefulness last night, however, was unexpected, even for me.

I looked at the label on the box again this morning. It didn’t tell any lies. It certainly did affect my mental alertness. I was sitting up at 3am writing a story so good, I scared myself.

The saddest part is that I’m not even surprised by any of this. It’s exactly how my luck and my life tend to roll. Prescribed rest, though… that’s not so bad.  Hello, books.

 

 

Who Says Gentlemen Don’t Exist Anymore?

Today I took my sister, my brother-in-law and my 86 year old dad shopping. Between my dodgy spine and Fibromyalgia, I generally walk slowly.  Imagine my surprise today, then, when I actually found myself walking faster than someone else in the shopping centre.

Sure, he was 90ish and had a walker, but he was very gracious and let me enjoy my moment.

Who says gentlemen don’t exist anymore?

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Think About What You’re Asking.

My sister just called out to me from the kitchen while she was chopping vegetables.

Her: Are you two big vegetable eaters?

Me: If they’re big, we cut them up first.

Her: Huh?

Me: How do you even cook it unless you cut it up?

Her: No. That’s not what I’m asking.

Me: *looks at her expectantly*

Her: Do you eat a lot of vegetables?

Me: See now, that’s an entirely different question.

Her: *shows me the saucepan* Is this enough for four of us?

Me: No.

 

And she has the nerve to walk away rolling her eyes. Some people are just hard to please.

cornucopia-of-vegetables

Conch Piercing for Pain Relief.

Chronic pain is a bitch. I don’t like to complain about it, but it’s a fact of life for me, courtesy of both Fibromyalgia and a degenerative condition in my spine. Living with pain and the exhaustion it causes isn’t easy. “Faking it” in order to appear as though one is living life normally can be just as exhausting as the pain itself.

It’s easy to take medications and think that you’re doing all you can. It’s very tempting to feel sorry for yourself, which can be very dangerous because it’s a hole that’s hard to get out of.

I’m here to tell you, though, that I’ve found something else that helps.

Ear map

A “map” of different ear piercing positions.

Having had a daith piercing that successfully dealt with my migraines and cluster headaches,  I was excited to hear about a piercing that was reported to help with chronic pain.

I read as much as I could and spoke to an acupuncturist about it, who told me there was no reason why it might not work, especially given the success of my daith piercing. It seemed to be a therapy to which my body responded in a really positive way.

On October 18, I returned to the same professional body piercer who had pierced my daith and had another piercing done on an acupressure point in the ear that is treated to ease chronic pain. It’s called a conch piercing. It’s the one nestled in the centre of the “shell” of my ear.

The first night, I slept a lot, which is very unusual for me. In fact, I slept right through the night! I observed the next day that I couldn’t remember the last time that had happened. Since then, I’ve slept consistently better than before the piercing – probably because my brain is less jangled by pain than before. 

I’ve been able to significantly reduce my codeine intake by about 90%. Before the conch piercing, there were days when I was taking as much codeine as I had been prescribed, and sometimes it didn’t seem to touch the pain at all.
In the seven weeks since the piercing, I’ve taken less and less of it. I still have pain, but I can manage it most of the time with ibuprofen or paracetamol, only needing to take codeine occasionally.  When I do need to take it, I take one pill, not two.
Reducing my codeine intake is something for which my liver and kidneys will thank me forever, and has other… erm… regular health benefits which need no spelling out to anyone who has ever taken codeine frequently.

Conch 2I’ve also coped a lot better with the hot weather, which always caused my Fibromyalgia to flare and render me almost useless. I still have summer to get through, but I got through some very hot weather last week without falling apart, so I am hopeful that it is a sign of improvement that I will enjoy from now on.

I deal much better with stress than I did previously. I used to experience temperature spikes and pain flares whenever I experienced stress or strong emotions. Those seem to have diminished to instances that last only minutes instead of hours.

So, here’s hoping that it will continue to diminish my pain in the long term.

I’ll keep you updated.

My New Career… Or Not.

Today I was at a potluck lunch where the guests included a number of my relatives. 

When I walked in, my sister-in-law congratulated me on the award I won this week for my book, Nova. 

“What did you win an award for?” One of the ladies asked, with a time that suggested she was surprised that I could win an award for anything. 

“Pole dancing,” I replied. 

Nobody laughed. It was such a good line, too. 

One lovely young lady, whom I didn’t know, said, “Really? That’s fantastic!”

Seriously, one look at me should have told her I am no pole dancer. Between my decrepit spine and my fibromyalgia, the only thing I can ever climb these days is the pain scale between 1 and 10. 

“No, it was for my book. I write poetry.”

“Oh. That’s… kind of cool.” 

But not as cool as pole dancing. I get it. 

The Hell-Fired Pizza.

I want to establish from the outset that I am not a wimp when it comes to spicy food. Indian, Asian, Mexican… I love it all.

For lunch today, my husband ordered a meat lover’s pizza with chilli. It was delicious – until I bit into the hottest fuelled-by-all-the-power-of-hell piece of chilli I have ever experienced.

What I experienced at that point in time was way beyond taste, pleasure, or delicacy. It was excruciating.

My mouth was on fire.
I lost sensation in my lips, then almost passed out.
My eyes were streaming.
I was using bad words, but slurring them terribly.
My dear man thought I was just being funny. I wasn’t. This was one of the rare moments in my life where being a comic genius was not something I had in mind.

That supercharged little sucker burned my mouth, throat, oesophagus and stomach for at least an hour, only moderately assuaged by milk. I have had a persistent stomach ache for 9 hours, and my mouth and throats are still sore.

And now, the assault continues as the nugget of hellfire works its way through my system.
N e v e r  in my  e n t i r e  l i f e  have I experienced anything like this.

Suffice to say that while the volcano is not erupting hot lava,  it is definitely shooting out dangerous levels of sulphur and brimstone.  It’s probably worthy of an official health and safety warning.

At least there is one thing of which I can be certain: this, too, shall pass.
And that, my friends, is going to hurt.

pizza

Edit: On reading this, a friend sent me an article about two guys in New Zealand making someone eat a Fijian Bongo Chilli, which had exactly these after effects. He was suing them for assault.
I don’t blame him. 

You Know You’re Tired When…

After teaching yesterday and then spending the night at school supervising the antics of my graduating Year 12 students, I have entered my 29th consecutive hour of being at work and awake.

I just spent two minutes wondering why I couldn’t correct a randomly occurring capital letter in an email I had already sent.

I have also just realised that there is no way to scull a Barista Bros Iced Coffee in front of 20 Year 9/10 students without looking needy.  Upon this epiphany, I reverted to sipping it in a casual coffee-house-with-minimalist-art-on-the-walls kind of way.

I need to go home.

The Blogging Life: Catching Up.

Sometimes we need to just stop and catch our breath.

After an insanely busy term 3 at school, which included directing and producing  five shows of ‘Les Miserables’ over two weekends, I’ve really enjoyed the two week term break.
I’ve caught up on my rest, on grading papers, and on some writing that I really wanted to refine before I could consider it finished.

Today, I’m catching up on my photo blog at yeeehawimacountrychick! which features photos from various parts of Australia that I visit.

I started this blog because my friends and family overseas often wanted to see my pictures, but I wasn’t always available to show them. Since then, it’s gained a wider following, which is really encouraging for this very amateur-level hobby photographer!

Feel free to take a look, and follow that blog if you’re interested in seeing my part of the world from my point of view.

 

I don’t post there every day, or even every week, but I do try to keep it updated.
All the photos featured there are my own, and remain my intellectual property.