Posts Tagged ‘health’

St. Servatius Basilicum

I went to see the GP this afternoon. It wasn’t our regular GP, because he has had a car accident and lies wounded at home now and won’t be back until the end of July. We are going to send him a get well card and hope that he is on his feet again quickly. Apparently he has quite a few broken bones. Poor man, what a horrible thing to have happen to you and he was in Belgium when it happened, not that they don’t have excellent hospitals there, still you are far away from home.

So, I saw a different GP, who was very nice and puzzled a bit at first by my story, but then realized that this was something serious, because Eduard was there to back me up and then he quickly ruled out any neurological problems. Then he had me undress and he examined my back and in a voice of horror said, “My God woman, it’s no wonder you tip over to the right, I have never seen a back as crooked as that!” Eduard and he both admired and commented on how crooked my back really was, while I stood there like a fool, totally unaware of anything, because I could not see my back, of course.

It seems that, because of chronic lower back pain, I have overcompensated and my back has grown crooked to take the weight off the pain. I am so used to the back pain that I don’t pay any attention to it, but it does limit my movements. On top of that, because I keep subconsciously trying to straighten my back, my muscles have become all sore on the left side from trying to stay upright, which I never manage to do anyway. Walking crooked has made me clumsy and it also has affected my bike riding skills, because I keep wanting to veer to the right.

I am so relieved that it isn’t anything neurological! I thought I was in for a life long struggle with something like that, that would get progressively worse. Of course, now I am going to have a struggle with this, that isn’t going to clear up overnight if at all. I am being referred to the physiotherapist, but I don’t think it will help much, I don’t have much faith in it. I am afraid I am just going to be a crooked woman, but at least I have an explanation for why it is so.

For those of you who all have great ideas on treatment, I do have to remind you that my insurance does limit the kind of “professional” practitioners I can see. Not every specialty is accepted as being a legitimate specialty. I think acupuncture is accepted, but I don’t think a chiropractor is. They are very few and far between anyway. My sister has crooked hipbones and she finally found some relief with an osteopath, but it was a long and painful and expensive journey and she still has problems.

The GP said for me to use a heating pad on my lower back and we do own one of those, so that will be nice to use, if I ever get up out of this chair. He said I could use painkillers too, such as Ibuprofen, but I take so much medication that I hesitate doing that.


Film Sound Track

The beautiful weather stopped today and rain moved in courtesy of France this time. We don’t owe it to England today, but tonight the clouds have drifted away and left us with the early evening sun shining from the west where it is setting over England one hour later than here. Greenwich Mean Time. All those English people are having their tea now and are arguing about which channel to watch the news on. Are all of you English people having your glass of sherry beforehand too or a glass of port? I used to drink Sandeman sherry, I don’t know if it was a good brand, it was what I could afford. Someday I want to come to England and eat fish and chips with vinegar over it out off a newspaper. Somebody will have to point me to the right spot and share the meal with me, because I can only manage a few bites. And I want to try beans on toast, I hear so much about that!

It’s actually so silly that we live so close to you, but let the Channel and the cost of the English Pound stand in the way. We so easily travel to Germany and France in comparison and it certainly isn’t the language that stands in the way.

I have been to Heathrow twice and briefly had some English money in my wallet when I bought a cup of tea and a bun to eat. I remember that at that particular place in Heathrow they had very ugly carpeting, but this was back in the eighties and it may have been the time for ugly carpeting. I think it was old rose and burgundy in a kind of plaid pattern. It boggled the mind.

All I really know about England is what I learn from literature and from watching very good BBC series. I do like the way English people make such good fun of themselves. You are better at that than any other European nation and it’s the kind of humor all the other Europeans understand and wish they could copy, but can’t. We don’t have that kind of highbrow slapstick. Ours is too common with ordinary oily looking types that don’t have one ounce of class. Or it is very intellectual and only meant to be appealing to a very customized sort of people, who all have gone to university and have money and status or pretend they have. Of course, they have to like this kid of humor, otherwise they will be outcasts. Gosh, even here there is still such a class system when you look hard enough. Eduard and I quite proudly belong to the X-class. Non-classifiable.



I am going to stop for now. I have to leave something to write about tomorrow.

I am working on my Deezer Sound Spot. I have found more music by female artists and I am eliminating some bands that I don’t think belong with the music I am picking out now. I am having a lot of fun, but it is labor intensive. I will get it just right. If you don’t like a song, just skip to the next one. See you later…

10:30 pm. I have had such a wonderful time on the Deezer website. I have thrown out Rammstein and Pink Floyd and found a whole bunch of new artists, one band by the name of Massive Attack who are completely new to me, but I really like them a lot, because they are a bit odd and I like that. I found some new to me women artists too and I am happy about that, because those are what I was looking for.

You know, it is really a shame that I am not more exposed to really modern music, because I see that I really do appreciate it, but through this website you discover it all, it is no longer hidden away from me. I live such a sheltered live, my god, I need to get out more often, but now I don’t have to, because I’ve got Deezer.

So, all night long I was pulling myself back up into a straight position. Now that I know what is wrong, I am not afraid to do that, but my back does ache, all those poor muscles! But that’s okay, nothing is broken or irreparably damaged,
well, I guess it isn’t. It’s not going to kill me and no limbs are going to fall off. That knowledge makes it easier for me to move around and that should help me. It’s all what you know in your mind that counts.

I am waiting for Eduard to come home. He was supposed to be here 30 minutes ago and it’s not raining so, of course, all sorts of scenarios play through my head. I do have an active imagination, rather call that overactive or hyperactive or extremely hyperactive. Woman, know thyself!

Okay, here is one for the road…

Nameless, because lost original and have no idea what it was.
Actually, I think it was a downtown street at Christmas time.

Well, it is actually tomorrow now, even though it is only 1 AM and Eduard is just safely tucked into bed. He listened to Massive Attack and agreed that they sound a lot like Portishead, which is a band we both like and then he made me listen to Louise Attaque who is a French singer with a lot of joi de vivre and a great band to back him up. I was tempted to include him in my list , but he really doesn’t belong there, so Eduard will have to start his own blog with his own player on it.

I am going to go to bed at some point, just not right now, but I am wearing my pajama’s and my bathrobe. I will get sleepy shortly and start making all sorts of spelling mistakes, which is what I am doing right now, so I better stop and say adieu, parting is such sweet sorrow.

Well, it is properly morning now, albeit still a bit early, 4 AM, but that counts as getting up time in my book. No doubt Jesker will be here shortly to tell me he has to piddle. I’ve got the music turned up real low so I won’t wake up Eduard, keep your fingers crossed. I am taking a real chance, because the apartment is little and I don’t know how far the sound travels.

I have to tell you guys something. When I got the diagnosis manic depressive some 14 years ago in the hospital, I also got, as a secondary diagnosis, borderline personality disorder. I never really warmed up to that diagnosis and for the most part did not believe in it, even though I got lots of literature on it and I could see how it applied to me in many ways. At one point I accepted it grudgingly for awhile, but at the first opportunity rejected it again and declared myself cured of it, if I had had it at all in the first place.

In the past 6 years there have been different caregivers who have carefully brought up the subject with me, but I was always very much rejecting and dismissive of it and nobody ever pushed the subject on me. They were aware of my feelings about it and didn’t want to upset me, but sometimes carefully suggested to look at something from a borderline point of view, which I then didn’t.

Until I asked my psychiatrist for a referral to a specialist team and one of his suggestions was to go join a team of specialists who specifically treat personality disorders, because he thought it would benefit me greatly and, although he knew I rejected the diagnosis of borderline disorder, to read the literature on it again and see if I couldn’t find myself in it.

Well, at first I was indignant and told him so, but then I started to think about some of my own behavior and became curious and got out my big folder with all my psychiatric literature that I have collected over the years. I had literature about the borderline diagnosis too and started reading that while taking notes and when I was done, I realized that yes, indeed, I probably still had that disorder and it was still affecting my life and behavior to a large extent.

I made a list of things of things I still do and a list of things I have stopped doing and emailed that with a note to my psychiatrist and the suggestion that I am willing to look into the specialist team for personality disorders. Unfortunately, I got back an automated response that he is out of the office until May the 4th, so I will have to be patient with that. Fortunately, I am seeing my SPN this morning so I can discuss this with her.

I don’t think it is a good thing for me to be in denial about this. I have accepted the manic depressive disorder and I am doing what I can to calculate that into my life, but there is something else wrong which is preventing me from having a smoother ride. There are too many emotional upsets and dramatics and I am too unstable. The medicine isn’t going to help me get over that, that has to do with behavior and unlearning some things, getting a better grip on myself.

Borderliners rapid cycle too, they are famous for going from one mood into another quickly and changing their minds about issues radically in a short amount of time. They are very quickly upset and become depressed quite easily, as easily as they become quite happy.

So, you can imagine my confusion. I am a manic depressive with a borderline personality disorder and where does one end and the other one begin? Luckily, the medications for the two conditions are exactly the same, so I’m okay there.

Well, it seems I am off on a new mental health journey. I left the literature out for Eduard to read yesterday and we had a bit of a discussion about it, but of course we need to talk to a professional. We will do that when my psychiatrist comes back from his vacation, or where ever he is.

Time for some art.

Still life with plant and candle.

I am having some terrifically creamy Senseo here. I never tire of drinking the stuff, double the pads in a large mug, very strong with low fat milk, no sugar. Oh, I know how to treat myself.

I think I have run out of things to tell you for now. Well, it’s been a lot already. hasn’t it?

Have a swell Tuesday, it is going to be some rainy Tuesday here. Tomorrow is Queen’s day and the poor queen will get drenched and have her pretty hat blown of her head. All the Royals will be blown to bits and get soaked. There are so many of them now, I don’t know who is married to whom and how many children they have. If one or two get blown off to sea, we won’t miss them at all, neither will the journalists that report on the big day. It would be sad for the queen, though.



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Green Leaf

Very early Monday morning
. I woke up, “walked” into the living room, turned on the computer and then sat there like a zombie with my eyes half closed and drool coming out of my mouth. I realized I needed to sleep some more and stumbled over to the sofa, that is literally the word for it, laid down and was instantly asleep again. I’ve stopped drooling and my eyes are wide open and I can even hold on to a thought, so I think I may be awake now.

Jesker has decided that he needs to go out for a piddle now in the middle of the night, every night. He very impatiently starts pacing right beside me and if I ignore him he starts to make urgent little sounds. If I ask him if he needs to piddle, he barks once, so I let him out immediately, so as to not awaken the neighbors. He disappears into the dark, but if I listen carefully, I really do hear him piddle, so it’s not a trick just to get a treat. Afterwards, he goes to his pillow beside the bed and goes back to sleep with not a worry on his mind.That does explain his impatient presence beside my side of the bed when I get up a bit later than usual. My slow middle of the night mind had not put those two things together yet. Duh! I thought he just liked me very much!

Sitting behind the computer is becoming quite a chore with me slouching to the right all the time, but it does not stop me from doing so, that’s how dedicated I am. I actually have sore muscles on the left side from trying to sit up straight. I keep trying to invent new ways to sit in this chair so I won’t slouch, but I haven’t figured it out yet, slouch I will. Eduard timed how long I would last upright in bed yesterday and it took one minute for me so start slouching to the right. I was leaning into two pillows and drinking a mug of decaf, so it was in my interest to stay upright.

I looked at the insert to the medication that was last added and increased to my inventory off, but it didn’t mention this kind of problem as a side effect, so next I will read all the inserts to all the other medications. You start thinking of a type of neuralgia or MS even, but it is too much of a puzzlement to figure out on my own. We just don’t have those kinds of diseases run in our family anyway.

The Street

I used to have a medical book in the States with the most common diseases and I would read it and diagnose myself all the time with having all sorts of diseases. This was before I knew that I was manic depressive and I tended to have vague physical ailments, some of which had real causes and some of which didn’t. Anyway, every week I had discovered a new disease that I had, because I became convinced that I had all the symptoms. I saw that GP a lot and he became convinced that I was a mad woman, thereby missing the diagnosis of severe endometriosis for which I had to have surgery and a bad case of hypothyroidism, because I had cried wolf too often.

Nowadays I tend to ignore my body and be aware of my mind more often and I don’t see my GP that much, although I had to when I developed diabetes from being overweight and saw him when I wanted to stop living and very seriously asked him to help me step out of life with the help of the right medications, which he refused to do, so I had to take what I had in my possession and failed.

He misdiagnosed my problem with my eyes, which turned out to be caused by too much thyroid medication and which I had to solve myself. That bothers me. That’s why I am worried about going to him about my back and I asked Eduard to come with me as a witness to it, because he sees it happening all the time. I am always afraid of being not taken seriously enough.

I diagnosed my own diabetes and just had him confirm it, even though I had come with some complaints earlier about being thirsty and having to piddle a lot, amongst other things, and always being tired. I guess I don’t have a lot of faith in GP’s, but in the Netherlands, you don’t get to see a specialist unless you have been referred by a GP. I should probably see a neurologist if I am not mistaken.


The Plague House

Let’s not get all morbid here, Irene! Really! There are so many other things to talk about. Yes, but are they always on my mind? I have some other kinds of memories on my mind this early morning, because I dreamed about my ex again and I must do that about two to three times a month, so you see how I am not done with that at all. In my dreams, I am always angry at him and tell him all the things I didn’t say when I should have, because he was such a nice guy who wore a big sign around his neck that said, “Please don’t kick me.”

He was so full of incompetence as a partner that it still boggles my mind and I try to solve that in my dreams. Being married to a passive-aggressive person is the worst thing that can happen to you, because they don’t fight fair and square. You aren’t ever supposed to get angry at them, because they are so nice and they do their best and everybody is on their side, because they are such kind and jovial guys. Argh! Stay away from them as far as you can!

Uh oh, I think maybe I am married to a nice guy now, but there must be quite a difference in type, because I don’t feel all suffocated and strangled and I am allowed to get angry and he does reply to me. But yes, I am married to a nice guy, maybe that is why he is being recalcitrant right now. Hhhmmm…this needs further looking into. I mean, I came out of a two year relationship with a not so nice and very self centered person when I rediscovered Eduard. I was ready for nice.


City View

I am going to put this baby to bed, isn’t that what they say in the newspaper business? Or am I way behind the times? I’ve got some thinking to do.

“Slay many dragons, spare not a horse, save all the maidens, boredom is worse.”

Sing this to the tune of “Climb any mountain.”

Ciao, y’all…

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Sunday in the wee, wee hours of the morning. Let me start off by saying that I always like getting comments on my posts very, very much. I get emails with the contents of the comments all day long and I always look forward to them and then hate to delete them and leave them up for several days before I do.

The thing is, I don’t like commenting on the comments, sometimes I want to on one of them, but then I think, if I comment on one, I’ll have to comment on all the other ones too and what will I say? “Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment,” or a variation there off?

I like going to the person’s website every day, if at all possible, and being a loyal reader and leaving my comment on their post and I always hope that suffices, but maybe I am breaking all the rules of protocol here, I don’t know.

My point is, that I really do like all of your comments and I am not ignoring them, I read every one of them at least twice. There, I hope I have explained myself enough about that subject. I do admire people who comment on comments, I just don’t have the discipline for it, or the good graces.

Yesterday, I found out that Sonific Songspot is stopping on May the 1st, so I thought it was time to go look for some other way to play music on my weblog. I found several others, but found not all of them that user friendly or with the choice of music I wanted until I got to Deezer.

They have a modern website and lots of music to choose from and they are fairly easy to use. You can download all the music you want and then have it played back randomly, which I think is the fun part, because I listen to it constantly when I am behind the computer. I just open one browser with my weblog on it and then open another browser to do the other stuff.

Now I can’t imagine sitting behind the computer in silence, I’ve gotten so used to the music in the background. It’s mostly just a question of thinking of enough artists that you really like well enough to download and want to listen to regularly. I like women performers, but I couldn’t think of too many quickly enough yesterday to really fill the bill, or my bill, I should say. I like them a little raw, like Amy Winehouse.


I sure like the rawness of Rammstein, because if you understand the lyrics they are kind of strange and violent, not in a cheap way, more in a disturbed poetic way, but not for the faint of heart, but because they sing it in German, the message is somewhat softened for me. I am sure Babaloo would feel differently about this, but she is in New York, so we can’t ask her.

I have developed a strange physical complaint. Whenever I try to sit up straight, my upper body starts to sag to the right and before I know it, I am bent over sideways. I have sore muscles in my back from trying to stay sitting upright, because Eduard keeps pointing out that I am bent over sideways again.

I also have it when I walk the dog, my upper body starts to sag to the right and when I ride my bicycle I keep wobbling to the right and as a consequence I am now an insecure bike rider.

When I sit up in bed, within the shortest amount of time I am completely leaning over to the right side and Eduard tries to push me back up. I really am most comfortable bent over to the right and subconsciously I take on that stance. It’s just hard to type that way.

So, I keep sitting up straight again, but it is a real strain on my back and slowly I sag back to the right again. I first noticed the problem when I was walking the dog a few months back, that I did that and in the last couple of weeks this whole sagging thing has started to happen.

Any ideas? Eduard thinks I should see the doctor, although I have little faith in him. I think I will check on line myself and see what horrible disease I have.

Yesterday was Eduard’s first afternoon off by himself. It was a beautiful day outside and he went off on his new bicycle and was gone for hours and came back sweaty and tired. I am not supposed to ask where he has been and he is not supposed to tell me and we did real well, although this is a little tough for us, because we always tell each other everything that we do and that happens to us, but that is part of the deal.

His Saturday afternoons are not open for discussion. He takes a shower when he comes home and changes his clothes and that is it. It’s a real responsibility we have taken on and we have to stick to the rules, neither one of us can break them and I’ll stick my fingers in my ears and start singing, “La, la, la,” really loud if he starts to tell me anything.

I didn’t miss him for the time that he was gone, I was too busy downloading music and making metamorphics and generally having a love affair with my computer, because, man, I do love that piece of electronic hardware (or is it software?). We had to do the trick with disconnecting the wires two more times yesterday, so we probably need a new modem. I can not do without an Internet connection! It is my life line to the world, for God’s sake!

The other day, out on the field, I told a weird woman that she was treating her dog badly and she got her teenage son to follow me home and threaten me. So now Jesker and I don’t go to that field anymore, but we go to a different field, which he likes just as much and he can sniff to his heart’s contend there. Oh, life is full of compromises like that isn’t it?

Anyway, Jesker and I have a different route and it’s okay. At least we are away from the boys playing football and the other kids playing on the field and in reality, this is a better route because we can make it wider if we want. I’ve heard that the woman’s husband is quite aggressive, so I am just keeping myself out of harm’s way. Apparently, she doesn’t have all of her marbles either.

Il y a longtemps que je t’aime

You’ll have noticed that I changed my banner again from the metamorphic of the yellow tulips to a metamorphic of three glasses of white wine. Don’t ask me why I do these things, just now when I have stopped drinking white wine. I liked the yellow tulips, but this one was a little more sedate and it is possible that I will change it one more tim
e, or twice. Yes, I am fickle that way!

I haven’t rapid cycled since Thursday! It was Thursday, wasn’t it? Yippee! Maybe some amount of normalcy is returning to my life. My friend Joost called me yesterday and said that he had been slightly psychotic again, but that he had realized it himself after awhile and had increased his medication and that he was starting to feel a lot better and more normal now. He says we are alternatively normal.

You see, you are never safe. There are always stressors in life that affect your state of mind and make something go haywire. Power shortages, burnt fuses, electric surges, you name it.
Mis-firings. Electrical storms, lightning! Positive and negative charges. It all happens in your brain. That’s the way I look at it anyway. When I am rapid cycling, I imagine a big electrical storm happening in my brain and I have to wait for it to be over. Or sleep and take medication if I still have enough sense left.

Yesterday I started ironing, there wasn’t that much to do, so I started with some of my things first and when I had the most important ones done off that, I stopped ironing and put everything away again. How is that for true dedication? The rest was almost all Eduard’s T-shirts and he has so many of those! He doesn’t even care which T-shirt he wears, as long as it’s clean and ironed. Which reminds me that I have to wash my bathrobe, I am starting to look like Andy Cap’s wife.

Well, I’ve come to the end of my ramblings. I have just caught a glimpse of Eduard who came to drink a glass of juice, but it doesn’t mean anything, he will go straight back to sleep. He probably wore himself out yesterday. Oh, that was mean of me!

Brion’s Ashes

Have yourself a suddenly super Sunday with a sumptuous breakfast at Denny’s. That’s where I used to like to go when I didn’t know about fat and cholesterol and heart disease.


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Circuit Board.

I had quite a scare yesterday morning. I was sitting behind the computer reading a weblog, when suddenly I got this enormous pain in my chest. It was incredible and I thought I was having a heart attack. I stumbled into the bedroom, where Eduard was just waking up and told him what was happening. I sat on his side of the bed while we waited for the worst of the pain to subside, which took about five or ten minutes, I am not sure.

As soon as the GP’s office was open I called them and the nurse told me to come in right away, which I did. The GP listened to my heart, but didn’t hear anything unusual. He wanted me to go to the Diagnostic Center in the hospital for an ECG. So, I took the bus and went there as quickly as I could.

The doctor at the Diagnostic Center didn’t quite trust the ECG read out and had me go to First Aid Heart Care in a wheel chair pushed by a nurse, which was quite embarrassing. At Heart Care I had to lie in a bed and I was attached to numerous cables and two monitors and I laid there for the next four hours while all sorts of people did all sorts of things including blood tests.

The ECG that was made there was non conclusive, but the blood tests pointed out that there was no damage to the heart muscle and that I had not had a heart attack. By this time I really didn’t care what it had been, because I felt like a captive animal laying in that bed in that small room attached to all those cables. I just wanted to go home.

So, now it is a mystery what that pain was. It was not an anxiety attack and it was not indigestion. I thought my last minute on this earth had come, that’s how much pain I had.

Wasn’t that a great big adventure? Actually, I thought it was all rather horrible, because as a “patient” you are rather powerless and are left at the mercy of the medical personnel. You lie there for hours, not knowing what is going on and unable to get out of bed. They close the door behind them and there is no call button to fetch the nurse. They only come when they feel there is a need or if the monitors suddenly were to go haywire.

The worst part was, that at one point I realized that I had forgotten to take all of my medications in the morning and I was really starting to notice that. I had my mobile phone with me, but I couldn’t reach it, as it was in my purse laying in a chair. I wanted to call Eduard to let him know where I was and to have him me bring my medicines.

At first nobody would give me my purse, because mobile phones are not allowed to be used in the hospital and they promised to bring me a regular phone, which they promptly forgot and which really made me mad and I let them know that too. I finally got someone to give me my purse and I secretly called Eduard who was at the hospital in no time at all after that with my medicines.

I hope I never have to stay at the hospital for any length of time, because I will not be a gracious patient. I will be grumpy and bad tempered, especially when I can’t get out of bed. I find it all very frustrating.

The interesting part is, that this whole experience seems to have shaken me out of my depression a bit. I still don’t want to do the grocery shopping, but I don’t feel as blue as I have. It literally scared the s**t out of me and maybe that was good.

I slept six hours last night, with one tiny interruption. My psychiatrist had me increase the dosage one more time and now I am taken as much as I can. He said that it is possible that six hours of sleep is all I need, with maybe a nap during the day. At least it is far better than it has been and I am not getting up and staying up at midnight.

Well, that was all of my interesting news. I have to go and find some interesting images to go with it.

Have a lovely day, all of you people. Ciao…

P.S. I can’t find the original photograph of the circuit board that I made the images of. Eduard has absconded with it, so you have to use your imagination and picture what a circuit board looks like.

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Today’s opening sentence is, “…trying to remember when I wasn’t comatose because of my medications.” I woke up thinking this when I had to go to the bathroom very badly and barely made it. Apparently, I had been trying to wake myself up sufficiently to go and was having a hard time doing so. This became part of my dream and therefor I uttered that sentence when I finally did get up. I was sort of comatose when I went to the bathroom, my eyes were barely open and the light of the bathroom hurt them. Nevertheless, I decided to stay up and try to become awake properly with some cups of Senseo and some cigarettes.

It took me about a half an hour of sitting here bleary eyed and half stoned before I could function properly, but now I am wide awake. It took two cups of Senseo and two cigarettes and now I will drink some regular coffee to keep the momentum going. I pretended that this was nothing worse than getting up in the morning very early to go on a holiday, and that people somehow have to manage to become awake then too, so I could certainly manage this. Albeit that this is strictly voluntary and I could easily go back to bed, but I really can’t, because I don’t like to be in bed and waste my time there.

When I go to bed at night I say to myself, “Well, all you have to do now is close your eyes for a little while and then you can get up again. It will be like no time has passed at all.” That’s the way I make it bearable to myself, otherwise I wouldn’t go at all. I much prefer taking unofficial naps on the sofa, which are really sleeps, but don’t feel like it because of the spontaneity of them and the ease with which I wake up from them.

I have often thought that, if I could decorate a special bedroom for myself, I may enjoy sleeping more easily. If I had an unlimited budget, I would have a bedroom of sheer opulence and elegance and I would leave the light burning all night. I would have many pillows on my bed and a Hästings mattress. A really thick and fluffy duvet with silk covers and sheets and thick carpet on the floor. Lots of window decorations and interesting paintings on the walls end one wall filled with bookcases. A chaise lounge and a side table with a lamp on it and a tall dresser for all of my delicate underwear and sweaters. A walk in closet for my clothes and, of course, an adjacent bathroom with a big bath with bubbles. A room of my own, with a writing desk by one of the windows and a fireplace that really worked. Then, if I woke up in the middle of the night, I would fluff up all of my pillows and read a book by the soft light on the nightstand, after I had gotten myself a snack out of my built in refrigerator that is hidden in my walk in closet.

Sure I would, and we all still believe in fairies, right? And Santa Claus lives on the North Pole.

Actually, I like this time here by myself early in the morning, when there is nobody around. It gives me ample time to wake up properly and to sit here and type this and visit blogs and leave comments and just indulge in myself for awhile. I jealously look at the clock for fear that it is getting too late and that soon the cats and the dog and Eduard will be getting up and it will be done with my peace and quiet. There is no place I would rather be right now than here. That’s why I can’t go and stay with anybody, because I would have to forgo the pleasure of my early morning rituals. Unless I knew they had a computer to which I could have unlimited access.

I was supposed to go up north this month, but now I don’t know if I will. I have that job/training thing happening now and I need to get some firm dates on that before I make any plans. I may still go. It will be nice to see my oldest sister, whom I have not seen in more than a year and to visit some family and friends, but it isn’t absolutely necessary that I go, I could just as easily not go and that would be fine too. I could also see my aunt Elizabeth in Zeeland and stay with her for a few days and that would be nice, except that she sleeps really late in the morning and I get up so early. It is hard to leave home when you are so set in your routines and are so comfortable in your own place and your own life. It really has to be worth it to go. There has to be enough satisfaction in it.

I am supposed to go and see my old boss from when I was still a teenager and worked in the purchasing department at Honeywell. We always have kept in touch all these years and he is really getting on in age now and so is his wife and I know they would like to see me one more time. They live in the same town my sister lives. I am sure that there is a lot we would have to tell each other, there would be no shortage of conversation subjects. That alone should motivate me to go.

Well, I’ll see, I’ll have to think about it. First I’ll find out what is going to happen with the job/training thing. Get some firm dates on that and then move on from there.

Every time I think my hands are nearly better, they start to itch again, so it is a non ending battle of applying the ointment. I am not in touch with any chemicals that I know off and I think I will start wearing latex gloves when I do the dishes and see if that helps. My aunt Elizabeth says that eczema runs in the family and she has it herself also and my uncle had psoriasis. Apparently my mother had eczema on her hands when she was a young woman. It is claimed by some people that it is stress related, other say it has to do with diet and still others say it has to do with temperature. My head is not especially bad now, but my ear is, so it is all a mystery to me and I can’t make heads or tails off it. All I can do is fight the symptoms and not second guess why I have them.

For my birthday I got two gift certificates for books, so I have that to look forward to. I will go to the book store in the Dominican church and really have a good look around before I pick something out. They have such a large selection of books, it is going to be very hard to decide on something. Maybe they’ll have a good English language section. I may also get a book about Jung, if I can find anything satisfactory about his theories or maybe a book on dream interpretation. It’s been awhile since I have really been downtown. This has partly been due to lack of funds and partly due to my lessened interest in going there. Now I have a good excuse to go and have coffee with Eduard at his work and eat all those wonderful cookies with it. If I am a smart girl, I’ll go this morning.

It’s my nephew’s birthday this Sunday. He is going to be thirteen. We’re going to give him money, so he can go and pick out his own birthday present, because it is so hard to pick out something for a boy that age. My sister said that she had already ordered my favorite ‘vlaai’ at the Noblesse bakery, so I am looking forward to that. My nephew is a real cute kid and not at all a rotten teenager and I don’t think he will become one either. He has a ge
ntle character and he is a good student. I am still allowed to kiss him!

I am still yawning a little bit. I have a theory that the regular coffee doesn’t wake me up as well as the Senseo does. It may just be an excuse for me to drink more Senseo, even Eduard has started to drink it in the afternoon. We have stopped our tea drinking ritual, which is kind of a shame, but it always made me run to the bathroom many times. It really works as a diuretic. And then I had to get up in the middle of the night too a few times or run the risk of wetting the bed. There is nothing more embarrassing than being 53 years old and finding out that you’ve wet the bed because of poor bladder control. So, I’ve stopped drinking tea.

It is really funny how there are parts of your body that decide to start to malfunction for no reason that you can think off. And how they spontaneously clear up again after a while. Take my knees for instance, they were bothering me so much a few months ago, but now I hardly feel them. Just the odd twinge now and then. I also used to get heart palpitations and for awhile I took medicines for that, but now I never have those anymore. I also used to get horrible migraines, but I seem to have completely outgrown those. I used to have to lie in a dark room and avoid any noise and light and I really used to suffer, but that is all over now.

Oh, by the way, speaking of body parts functioning, my thyroid levels came back as being completely normal, so I am on the right dose of medication now, which leads me to believe that I was taking too much before and this may have caused some of my agitation and high flying emotions. I knew the levels would be normal, because I felt better myself, I felt a lot calmer and more at ease mentally. It had been more than a year since they had been checked and that was too long a time to wait for that, they must be checked every year, so I must remember that myself also.

Well, it is getting to be that time of the morning again when I have rambled on long enough and other things need to get done. Not that those things aren’t a pleasure to do either, they’re just different than sitting here being self indulgent and self absorbed.

I sure appreciate being able to sit here and let my thoughts wander on the screen like this, though. It gets my head cleared up properly to start the day with, even if I discover nothing earth shattering about myself or life in general. Sometimes, I am more astute than others. Lately I have just been less obsessed with issues and more contemplative about the little things that really don’t matter much. Those are just little pin pricks in my mind.

Have a great day, people. Be good for goodness sake. Ciao…

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I get up in the morning and make a pot of coffee and while that is brewing, I make a cup of Senseo. While I drink that, I start reading my favorite blogs by my favorite people. Because of the time difference, there is always lots of new reading material there and lots of new images to look at and, of course, lots of comments to read and leave behind. It takes awhile to do this and it allows me to slowly wake up, while I drink more coffee and smoke numerous cigarettes. It is my favorite time of the day and I am so glad that I don’t have any little children anymore that require my time and attention. I am so glad that this time is all mine and that I can do with it what I will and that I have found such a good way to spend it.

It’s really great how this has been a way to meet new people who all contribute their bit of excitement to my life. They are all so different, but all interesting and very amusing, but I suppose that comes with the territory of being a blogger. A dull blogger wouldn’t last very long in blog land. He or she wouldn’t gather many followers.

Some people have beautiful websites, you can see that a lot of thought has gone into them and that they just didn’t pluck them out of the choices that Blogger gives you. Some people know how to place images and text, which is still a bit of a mystery to me. Mine just come up in any old order and have no little bits of text under them. I couldn’t copyright if I wanted to.

It’s all great fun anyway and I feel like my time is well spent. It makes getting up in the morning even more exciting and I can’t wait to be up and about and to get my day started this way. Boy, would I miss my Internet connection if I had to do without, knock on wood! It’s also nice to get complimented on your ‘artistic’ endeavors, small as they may be and prematurely as you may be publishing them. It is good to get the encouragement, because it really does make you want to keep trying and it does make you want to learn all the things you don’t know how to do yet.

The art that these people make themselves is very inspiring. It gives you goose bumps to see how well done some of it is. There is so much incredible talent out there and these people are just leading ordinary lives like you and me. They’re not all kept under special living circumstances in a colony on an off shore island somewhere. Which you think they almost should be. I suppose artists need to be living every day lives in order to create, but you almost wish for them to have some special place to escape to where they can create to their heart’s contend.

There was a huge villa in Saratoga, California, that was set in a large garden on the side of a hill, where writers could retreat for long periods of time to write their novels. They would get a grant to come and stay there. It was a wonderful place and I went there often to walk around in the garden and to walk the paths in the hills. It was very peaceful there and I am sure it was very conducive to writing great things. I imagine there are places like that for all sorts of artists, be they digital or traditional. If there are not, there should be. I imagine some place by the sea, where you can walk the stormy beach and be inspired by nature and the waves and the wind and the sun and all the living things. But maybe that wouldn’t work at all, maybe today’s artists need the hustle and bustle of every day life, I don’t know. I know what I would like, but then again, I am not an artist, yet.

In the meantime, it is getting later and later and I need to take care of the critters, so I’ll pause for now and continue in a while. I’ll contemplate while I feed the cats and walk the dog. Such is life in these here parts…

While I was walking the dog, I ran into my sister and her dog and she told me how she had been busy this weekend painting my niece’s room and putting together furniture from Ikea while my niece sat on the sofa with her iPod stuck in her ears. She is fourteen and being a teenager and my sister had to work this weekend too. And she has a husband who can’t be bothered. He is a cardiologist who doesn’t know how to do home repairs. So Eduard does them or my sister does them herself. I think that if it were up to my brother in law, the house would slowly fall apart around them and nothing would get done.

My sister didn’t used to be handy, but now she can handle a screwdriver and a paintbrush very well. Necessity makes you a master at things, I learned that myself too in my life. I can even use power tools. My daughter owns her own cordless power drill and she has her own tool box, we don’t like helpless women in this family! Of course, since I am married to Eduard, I never have to do anything involving tools anymore, because he is so technical and handy. I don’t think I am allowed to touch his cordless drill or his other variety of tools. It looks now like I am helpless, when in reality I am not, I just have a quick and handy husband (with a Swiss army knife).

Today my gastric band is going to be filled for the last time. I have an appointment at 10:55. I can’t wait to have it done, because it will hopefully mean eating a lot less than I have been eating and getting rid of those last 12 kilos, which is 26.4 lbs. Yesterday I allowed myself to eat an extra omelet for the last time along with a good piece of cheese and then some raisin crackers. I wont be having any whole pieces of pie anymore if all goes according to plan. It will be nice to get rid of my stomach. If all goes well, it should take me three months to get rid of it.

In October it will have been a year since I got my gastric band. It seems like it was just a short time ago and I can’t believe a year has gone by already. Time flies as you get older, it seems. The days and weeks pass by so quickly. The summer was gone in no time at all, especially since the weather was so bad. It didn’t feel like we had a proper summer at all and now it feels like it is fall already. The years add up quickly and that means that I am aging quickly too, which is the drawback of the whole thing. I don’t really mind turning 53, but it is bringing me closer all the time to that dreaded age of 60 and I don’t know how I feel about that. I have very mixed feelings about it.

I don’t mind growing older, as long as I get to do it gracefully and without too many wrinkles or ailments or physical discomforts. So far, so good. I have a bit of a wanky shoulder that doesn’t always feel good and sometimes my knees hurt, but mostly everything still works as it should. I have physical scars and mental scars, but they don’t prevent me from functioning. All has been healed. Luckily, things like rheumatism and arthritis don’t run in the family. We do get to have wholesome bodies as we grow old. My oldest sister’s high blood pressure really is an exception to the rule.

Well, people, it is time to get the proverbial show on the road. Time to clean up the kitchen and decorate and make my self up. Wouldn’t you like to do that? Make yourself up as you go along?

Have a terrific day. Ciao…

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I fixed the list of blogs that I had listed to the left of my posts. It turned out that I had entered the information wrong in the template under add to blog in the link list. Figured out how to do that right and added some blogs to the list. Slowly by slowly I am learning how to do things right. I am going back to the homepage today to figure out some more things. I have also added a list of random books from my catalogue at librarything.com and added a link to that catalogue, so you can see all of the books I have read over the past years. It is a random list and different books could have shown up. I’ll change it from time to time. Oh, I see I don’t have to, it changes itself. That’s handy!

I am still suffering from the aftereffects of the allergies, but taking the paracetamol helps and so does taking the allergy pills and applying the ointment. It is just a real strong reaction and I remember feeling this way in California often, where the climate was so dry and the environment so filled with dust and pollen. I always felt like I was getting sick when it was really just allergies that were bothering me. I am not wheezing, so that is good and I have not needed to use my inhaler once.

I have been on my lower dose of thyroid medication for 19 days now and I am again reminded how the functioning or malfunctioning of the thyroid plays such an important role in the functioning of the mind. How it is important to be taking the right amount of thyroid medicine and that too much is really too much and not a good thing at all. Possibly I had been taking too much medication since I had lost the weight, because at this lower dose I feel much better and when I have the blood test, I will probably find out that the levels are just right now. I will have the blood test when my GP comes back from his vacation and that is in a little less than two weeks. By that time my thyroid should be functioning at its new level completely. To illustrate my point, I am adding this bit of text that I found on the Internet about the thyroid and the mind and emotions.

The Thyroid and the Mind and Emotions/
Thyroid Dysfunction and Mental Disorders

A.G. Awad, MD, BCH, PhD, FRCP(C)
Associate Professor of Psychiatry, University of Toronto
Director, Psychobiological Medicine Unit, Department of Psychiatry, Toronto Western Hospital

The Thyroid and the Mind and Emotions

Summary of an address to the Kitchener-Waterloo Area Chapter

The psychiatric disturbances which accompany hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, the two commonest thyroid disorders, mimic mental illness. People with an overactive thyroid may exhibit marked anxiety and tension, emotional lability, impatience and irritability, distractible overactivity, exaggerated sensitivity to noise, and fluctuating depression with sadness and problems with sleep and the appetite. In extreme cases, they may appear schizophrenic, losing touch with reality and becoming delirious or hallucinating. An underactive thyroid can lead to progressive loss of interest and initiative, slowing of mental processes, poor memory for recent events, fading of the personality’s colour and vivacity, general intellectual deterioration, depression with a paranoid flavour, and eventually, if not checked, to dementia and permanent harmful effects on the brain. In instances of each condition, some persons have been wrongly diagnosed, hospitalized for months, and treated unsuccessfully for psychosis.

So you can see that a thyroid dysfunction can be serious stuff and that it is important to get the right amount of medication. I feel really good now and have for the past week or so. I am very curious about what the test will show. I bet my thyroid levels are going to be just right now.

Now I am sitting here with my first cup of coffee and my first cigarette and I am trying to wake up properly. I wrote the stuff above yesterday when I was fully awake and quite alert. Now I am not so and I am waiting for the coffee to do its trick.

Yesterday was an alright day. Nothing much happened really, except for me figuring out some things on the blog. I didn’t do much house cleaning and I didn’t even do much TV watching. I piddled around behind the computer and looked things up. It’s amazing the stuff you find while looking up one thing. You run into a lot of other things and start reading them and before you know it, the whole afternoon is gone.

Eduard was home in the morning, but he had to work in the afternoon and in the evening. I didn’t wait for him to come home, but went to bed at ten o’clock and I was asleep very quickly and I think that maybe I can lower my dose of Temazepam, because I sure have no problems falling asleep. I barely finish eating my raisin crackers and my glass of milk before I am out cold.

I started watching Inspector Frost before I went to bed, but then didn’t stay up for that, because I was just too sleepy. That is saying a lot, because I really like Inspector Frost.

Jesker and I stopped by my sister’s in the evening to see if Quinto was there yet and of course he was and Quinto was very happy to see us and I think that Jesker was happy to see Quinto. He doesn’t come right out and show it, but you can tell in the subtle things. Together they mark all the important places in the garden and together they check out all of the nooks and crannies. I think my sister and her family are happy to be home again, in spite of the fact that they had a good vacation. I think the kids especially are glad to be seeing their friends again.

I think my allergies are better today. Most of my sore throat is gone and my ear is a lot better. I’ll have to put ointment on it still, but it is not nearly as bad as it had been. I’ll never eat anything with corn in it again, I’ve learned my lesson. I remember eating a steak once at a restaurant that proudly announced that their steak was corn fed beef and that I had so much trouble with it the next day. I wonder if that was because the beef was corn fed.

I don’t miss eating meat, although I like the taste of it. I do like my Dutch meatballs very much and I like eating leek pie. Oh yes, I did have some of that the other day, didn’t I? That tasted delicious. I think that by nature I am a meat eater, but I’ll forgo that pleasure now. There was an item on the news yesterday about the transport of pigs to Spain in trucks with no water or food and how the pigs suffered very much and how a lot of t
hem died during the transport. The pigs are packed into the trucks and all of them suffer. It seems like a very archaic way to do things and I am absolutely against it. I can’t believe that humans do these things and get away with it. You see how there need to be laws inside the European community about these kinds of things, but I am afraid that the EEC is like a large slow moving machine with a lot of bureaucracy. It will take ages for that to change. In the meantime, transports like this will continue. I suppose the dead pigs are seen as collateral damage

It is raining like crazy outside. Jesker will have to wait for his walk. Luckily, he hasn’t been out here yet, so it can wait for a bit and he does have a strong bladder. The sky is gray and dreary looking, there will be lots of rain to come. July was a very wet month and we are hoping for something else altogether in August. It would be nice to have just a bit more sunshine.

Well, there comes an end to my words and this is it. I am not that inspired this morning. It is a good thing that I wrote most of this yesterday. Maybe I will keep doing that. If and when I get a job, I will have to arrange my days differently anyway, There won’t be this sea of time in the morning, most likely.

Have a terrific day everybody. Ciao…

P.S. It’s nearly 10 am and I am still waiting for the rain to stop. Jesker is sound asleep, he doesn’t seem to be in any sort of a rush. Still, I am going to have to take him out with the umbrella. We can’t wait all morning. I have been searching for more blogs, but I haven’t found anything interesting yet. It is tough out there in blog world. Men write technical blogs and there are many video blogs out there or blogs with just pictures. I am looking for blogs with stories.

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