Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Gratitude #50

Today I'm grateful for RPM. Today was my first class in over six months and boy was it soooo good to be back. I'm not just talking about being grateful for being back on a spin bike. It was just so good to be back in the gym environment again. People kept asking me where I'd been and I had to say that I'd had surgery, while trying to avoid saying that it was brain surgery, cause that just all makes it sound too dramatic. Of course Fi (hi Fi) says that it was and is all dramatic. I guess so ....

Anyway, Jude was the instructor, Fi rode the bike next to me. She hadn't done a class in ages either so we were both feeling it. Poor Jude had to fall back on her iPod after the CD player died but did well to improvise on tracks she hadn't prepared. We had brand new spin bikes to play with, which was nice. They were very smooth and a lot quieter than the old bikes but I couldn't get the handlebars and seat close enough together so was very spread out.

I did still have to battle the vertigo on the bike but as long as I kept spinning and tried not to think about it I got by. It helped to close my eyes, oddly enough! I didn't put as much dial on as I could have but that was never the intention of this class.

There are times when I feel a million miles away from normal, but there are times like today where I think I can still get on with 'normal' life even without the feeling of normality. That makes sense, right?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Gratitude #49

Today I'm grateful for emails from friends. I'm grateful for being stubborn by nature. I'm grateful for the wisdom to go easy on myself. I'm grateful for Google. I'm grateful for oversized red hoodies on cool nights, and for warm Drymax socks. I'm grateful for living vicariously through the lives of my colleagues, particularly the ones on the market for a new house. I'm grateful for Open2View satisfying my general nosy streak. I'm grateful for a glass of Pinot Noir in front of the television as I wait for Hamish to come home.

I'm grateful that I only have to wait a week before I see my Neurosurgeon again. I'm grateful for hope.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Gratitude #48

Today I'm grateful for escaping a cold, overcast and windy Wellington for warm and sunny Paraparaumu. I got to sit on the side of the airfield while Hamish got three more glider flights under his belt. He's at the point where he's having to learn some scary stuff now. Today he was practising stalling (nose down plummeting towards the ground, gulp), and stalling while banking, then recovering. Today nearly made him vomit again!

Apparently he gets to practice pulling out of a spin next. Er, rather him than me.

Today I'm also grateful that the tow plane broke down AFTER his third flight, and before it took off with a first-time passenger in the glider. Poor guy had to go home without his flight.

We had a beautiful drive home with the setting sun turning the surrounding hills flame orange, gold and apricot. When we got home it was still cold but the weather had improved somewhat. All the same, it's pyjama weather!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Gratitude #47

Today I'm grateful for waking up in time to wake H up so that he wasn't late for work. I'm grateful that it was such a nice day that I couldn't bear to stay inside. My running gear was at work so I stopped in at the office and got changed then headed out for a run. Today I ran while listening to Pitch Black on the iPod.

It was a stunning day today and a great day to be outside. There was no wind and the sky was cloud free. The fountain was spraying water in Oriental Bay and there were kayakers everywhere. The water was so clear that I could see the bottom for several metres out.

I walked down to the Meridian building then started running. I made it to Herd Street before I felt a 'ping' and felt a certain slumping feeling. One of my bra straps had come unhooked! I slowed to a walk and ducked into the toilets at Oriental Bay to put it back in place then started running again.

I ran round to Maidevale Rd then up and over and down Carlton Gore. I walked one tiny little stretch half way up but didn't really need to. It was a psychological thing. I wanted to take it easy on myself!

Once I got back to Freyberg I stopped to walk again planning to finish my run there. However that didn't last long as I wasn't really in the mood to walk. I started running again and picked up the pace till I was back at the Meridian building again. It was hot and I was sweaty and I even got a little sun burned, but I was happy.

I stopped off quickly at the NW Metro in the railway station then jumped on a bus home, ate left-over Channa Masala, showered, drank a cider and messed about the house for the rest of the afternoon. My metabolism went a little crazy on me and I wanted to inhale everything in sight but I limited myself to a little fruit.

Today I am grateful for running again!

Friday, April 09, 2010

Gratitude #46

Today I'm grateful for my A & E visit. There was only one other person in the waiting room when I got there and I was taken to a cubicle within minutes. I was then promptly seen by a nurse, then assessed by a very sweet student doctor. She and another doctor then gave me a good work-up. The student doctor made a bit of a mess of taking my blood, but I didn't hold that against her. I was then taken quickly for a CT scan, where I was able to go straight in and didn't have to wait. The CT scan was very brief and I was then taken straight back to my cubicle. I dozed a bit (yes, actually slept without the aid of sleeping pills), and before long was assured that the scan looked fine and was allowed to go. So, no explanation for the headache, but at least I don't need surgery.

Outside I walked into a wind and cloudfree day. I walked into town for a late lunch then walked to a local fruit shop on Cuba Street. A bus arrived minutes after I got to the Victoria Street bus stop. When I got home Gaffer curled up on my lap and was still there when Hamish arrived home and ordered Indian.

Now I am back waiting for my Neurosurgeon, Neurologist and Opthamologist appointments. I'm grateful for being home tonight and not in a noisy hospital ward.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Gratitude #45

Today I'm grateful for pain killers. I'm grateful for a beautiful autumn day and for a vegetarian chickpea dish for lunch. I'm grateful for the fact that I don't have to do anything other than lie here on the sofa tonight. I'm grateful that, whatever else is wrong with me, I don't have to languish on an organ transplant list.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Gratitude #44

Today I'm grateful that I'm not sitting in a hospital waiting room right now. I'm grateful for the staff at my medical centre, including the receptionist, nurses and my GP. They organised to fit me in today even though they were booked out. I'm grateful for my GP giving me a bit of an examination and then leaving it to me to make the decision whether to head off to hospital or not. I'm grateful for pain killers.

I'm playing a waiting game now. Hopefully the pain will just go away and I can get back into recovery mode again.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Gratitude #43

Today I'm grateful for being able to go home sick when my headache got too bad today. I'm also grateful for snuggly cats and curling up under a blanket on the sofa with a crossword puzzle and a bowl of tofu and rice.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Gratitude #42

Well, yes, I missed posting a NaPoWriMo poem yesterday. I guess I've dropped out already. Talk about a major commitment fail. In my defense, I've had a headache since seeing Alice on Saturday night. To add to that, my eyes have been bothering me and a general laziness has overcome me as I've slipped further into holiday mode.

However this is a gratitude post, so here goes. I'm grateful for meeting Jo to watch the film Boy together yesterday. First off, I even drove there. Sure, it's just a couple of kilometres down the road to Brooklyn, but it's the first time I've felt confident enough to drive since I got out of hospital in December.

Boy was a wonderfully sweet film. If it's on near you I recommend seeing it, particularly if you were, as I was, an 80s child. It's worth it for the mash-up of Thriller at the end alone. It is a beautiful piece of New Zealand film making. The children are absolutely believable and totally captivating. It's definitely worth the hype.

I'm also grateful for the new Dr Who. I love him already. I know he was a controversial choice because of his age, but I think he was born to the role. I never thought I'd get over the loss of Chris Eccleston, then felt the same about David Tennant, so to be so impressed already is really saying something.

Today I'm also grateful for a beautiful late afternoon walk. The day had started off chilly and windy but by 3.30 the wind had died down almost completely and the sun was out. I wandered off at a gentle pace. Kingston was almost completely silent. It was as if there were no one left in the suburb and it was hard to believe we were minutes from the centre of the city. I walked to Tawatawa Reserve and my old friend the Stone Man. The sky was big and blue above me, with just enough cirrus and the odd cumulus cloud to keep things interesting. I had a little love affair with the clouds as I walked.

From Tawatawa Reserve I walked west past the statue. I was attempting to find a route down to Happy Valley. I think it's possible but the path, as I'd suspected, got ridiculously steep after a couple of hundred metres so I turned round and walked back to the ridge top again. I was surrounded by fragrant gorse. Everywhere there were little white nursery webs. Cabbage moths and Admiral butterflies competed with sparrows and pigeons for space in the sky. A hawk circled lazily above the reserve.

Heading back towards home I skirted the perimeter of the Montessori school, thinking there might be a path from the edge of the playing field. However I was out of luck so I returned back along the road. It was the time of day when cats come out to explore, though none wanted to play today.

My plans for this week include reactivating my gym membership and hopefully also making it to a session of Mao's Last Dancer. I'm hopeful my eyes will settle again and that this headache will recede. I refuse to expect otherwise.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

NaPoWriMo #3

Another Read Write Poem prompt. It's late and I just got home from seeing Alice in 3D. I have a headache and, although it's been a good day, I'm tired. I can't concentrate enough to write anything serious today. I thought about writing a haiku, but I'll save that as my get out of jail free card when I really need it later in the month. This is just a silly trifle, but it's another day ticked!

There were spiders
on the windowsill
and snakes on the floor,
Clowns in the hallway
and monsters behind the door.

She knew she shouldn't be afraid,
She knew she should be brave.
She knew that it was fear
That her darkest
Thoughts always craved.

So she kept on walking onwards,
She faced the demons in the night
She never let them beat her
And in the end she found
Her braver self was right.

The bats turned out to be birds
Flying free in the night sky,
The goblins turned to fairies
When seen in the first rays
of early morning light.

Gratitude #41

Today I'm grateful for yoga. A workmate invited me to her class and, after a few drinks on Friday night it seemed like a good idea. This morning I was nervous, not just about attending a new class, but about my vestibular issues. However I've been feeling so much steadier this week that I thought it worth giving a go.

Well, vestibular problems turned out to be the least of my worries! I felt weak and inflexible, podgy and the sight of my hairy legs kept bothering me. However it was the best ninety minutes in a long time. The class was small, the studio was airy, and the instructor was incredibly sweet. It was all very laid back, there was laughter, and no one was taking themselves too seriously. I have a feeling my shoulders are going to be sore tomorrow, judging by the effort I was having to put into my Downwards Dogs and planks, but the relaxed back bends we did were fantastic.

After the class I met Hamish at the supermarket then we had a quiet brunch at the cafe in Brooklyn. Tonight we have tickets to Alice in Wonderland in 3D.

I'm thinking I want to reactive my gym membership, and I'm also thinking I feel like I'm slowly getting myself back.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Gratitude #40

Today I'm so grateful for a long holiday weekend. I'm grateful for Hamish vacuuming then pouring me a glass of wine. I'm grateful for Easter eggs arriving in the mail. I'm relishing simply hanging around the house.

I'm also grateful for plans to try a yoga class tomorrow morning, although slightly nervous about the effect my vestibular issues will have. Hamish and I also have tickets to Alice in Wonderland tomorrow night.

NaPoWriMo # 2

Prompt number two from Read Write Poem

In autumn leaves
collected in the rain
water pipe so
that when the clouds
came, cumulonimbus,
the gutters overflowed,
spilling in curtains onto
the veranda outside their
bedroom window.
They dreamed of
rivers, waterfalls,
the sighing of
tidal estuaries and
they woke each morning
with beads of moisture on
their brows.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Gratitude #39

I am, once again, grateful for so many things today. So many that bullet points seem appropriate:

  • A full, busy and interesting day at work,
  • Reading - lots of reading,
  • Buses that came early when I was also early,
  • A Cuba street shopping mission,
  • Finding the right t-shirt,
  • A yummy rice roll for lunch,
  • Finding out that a poem I was given wasn't from the person I thought it was, creating more mystery,
  • Bumping into my old PT and agreeing to meet about starting training again,
  • Organising some work-related training, possibly in Auckland,
  • Being told by so many people that I look and sound so much better,
  • Staying at work till late drinking,
  • Eating heaps of potato chips, but everyone else eating just as many,
  • Enjoying the pie I ate when I finally did get home,
  • NaPoWriMo, and five fantastic songs shuffled on my iPod,
  • Gaffer and Tissy both joining me while I was in the shower,
  • Being just drunk enough to indulge in some caring and sharing at work,
  • Project Runway,
  • Weekend plans,
  • Yoga plans,
  • More reading.

NaPoWriMo # 1

I can't believe I'm doing this, but here goes ....

Finally, my
sister madly,
found her premonition
was not so true.
The voices in her head
woke up the dead.
They dug up
something buried in
her head.
Strangers were
banging on her wall
from dusk and till dawn.
She found herself smiling.
Outside the shit was
coming down.
Unable to explain
she could not risk
her neck again.
Outside there were
four seasons in
one day, blood
like rain.
She could make no
predictions, there
was only the
immediate pain
of sleeping on her
unmade bed.
The voices in her head
spoke to her, asked
how she felt, was her
love real, then they
told her they
believed in her.
They drove her from
her town and
she knew she
would be back
no more.
One thousand miles
from home she still
believed. My
sister madly, she
believed in the dead,
and the premonitions,
and the fools, and
the dawn, and
her heart.
And finally, when
there was nowhere
else for her to go,
where she could fee
safe and sound,
she lay in the land.
She lay in
the land.
She found her name.
She found where
she belonged.
She rolled home.

This is very much a 'found' poem, in that many of the lyrics are directly from, or barely adapted from, the lyrics of the songs themselves. This was an interesting experience as the songs on my iPod at the moment are those that my husband loaded for me during my hospital visit in December. As such they were songs he knew I would like, but not ones that I had loaded myself. They were all fairly safe bets though!

NaPoWriMo #1 done and dusted.

Here are the tracks:

Sister Madly (Crowded House, live recording from the Recurring Dream album)
Dusk Till Dawn (Ladyhawke)
Four Seasons in One Day (another Crowded House track)
I Believe in You (Cat Power)
Lie in the Land (Fly My Pretties - another NZ band)