…drown out the endless chatter in my head.

I’ve been trying to meditate the last few days but finding my technique just ends up putting me to sleep.  I found this information online which may help.

Ideally meditation is done in the Padmasana or Lotus Position i.e cross legged position. But sitting on a comfortable chair is also fine as long as the head doesnt touch the wall or rests against the sofa because then one will go to sleep. Sleeping/lying position is not recommended for meditation because meditation being a passive activity will lead to sleep in lying position.
In heartfulness meditation, we are advised to sit comfortably on a chair/sofa or floor and with the spine comfortably erect so that the grace can flow easily.

At least I now know where I am going wrong; head touching either the bed or back of sofa.  I think this meditation malarky is going to be much more difficult in future.  I suppose ‘practice makes perfect’.  Also, I am hoping if I see/feel the benefits of meditation then it will all be worthwhile.

I’m now a week on from having my Reiki session and things are definitely different.  I feel calmer is some respects but finding it increasingly difficult to bite my tongue.  I feel I am lashing out at Dave quite a lot.  I’m not saying he doesn’t deserve it ‘cos I feel  I’ve almost bitten off my tongue trying to keep calm over the years.  I think I now realise I’ve got to be more true to myself, for too long now I’ve been putting his needs (and feelings, especially his anxiety and stress) before my own; bottling up my feelings/anxiety/stresses and letting them burst out, uncontrolled, when I feel I can take no more is not a good way of dealing with things.  Mostly because the last niggle or annoyance, which creates the explosion, is minor in comparison to the number of niggles and annoyances which have swallowed down and tried to keep under control.

In addition to the bubbling anger and frustration my aches and pains appear to have come back tenfold.  I don’t know if this is because I’ve not been sleeping well over the last couple of nights or it is more to do with the fact I’ve been eating badly (too many carbs) or in the darkest recesses of my mind I think I’m dying from heart failure, or something equally sinister!!  It could also be the Lignocaine infusion, I had at the end of last year, is wearing off.  I know I suffer with health anxiety but for a while now I’ve felt more breathless on exertion, I’m getting a bit of chest discomfort (which could be indigestion) and feeling bloated regardless of what I eat.  I know I need to exercise, to get my heart pumping, to build-up my muscles before they liquify, but I also have this fear when I feel my heart pumping and I start to sweat and feel uncomfortable, I fret more about causing myself a heart attack.  This negative thought cycle is only one of the problems I hope to cure with meditation, to be able to just live in my body (as shit as it may be) without fretting, without catastrophizing (but also without pain) would be wonderful.  Hence, I need to get on and practice my meditation skills and drown out the endless chatter in my head.

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With the addition of Costa Coffee the gentrification of Perry Barr is complete!!

Another work day over, thankfully.  I was not looking forward to going in this morning after yesterday’s stressed-out, frustrated day.  Despite having a rant at the manager about the pressure I’m under there appears little they can, or are even prepared to, do.  It is very difficult for me and my colleagues to remain positive and committed especially when the management team and the consultants do not seem at all bothered about the place.  Last week we took a very large bundle of referrals to the clinic for triaging; some have been sitting there since early January.  We went back down to clinic this morning to find them all sat there without having been looked at.  Its hard to even comprehend this; by avoiding triaging the referrals the consultants are making the patients (and the secretary’s) suffer unnecessarily.  Maybe if they had to deal with the telephone abuse they would be more understanding – or perhaps not.  After all their egos are more important than the little people they serve.  I need to find a way of not letting it get to me, after all no-one really cares; the world will keep on spinning irrespective of what gets done or not!

After work I decided to pop into One Stop on the way home, its been a long time since I’ve been there and I’d read recently that Costa Coffee had opened up.  Thought I’d  check it out so me and Dave could pop down when we are in desperate need.  This will be the easiest and closest Costa to our house!! Anyway, I parked up and had a wee wander inside the mall.  True enough there is going to be a Costa but it won’t open until Spring, when is that exactly??  Looks like I’ll have to go back on a regular basis to see when it opens up.  I was starving after my busy morning and we wander round so I picked up a Chicken Fajita sandwich from Asda for lunch.  I admit I wasn’t expecting anything great but it was actually quite nice.

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One Stop Shopping, Perry Barr

With the addition of Costa Coffee the gentrification of Perry Barr is complete!!

Dashboard, smash-board; bane of my f***ing life!!

Just finished 10 minutes of mediation; managed to stay awake for half of it. Result!!  Feeling a little mellow now.  It was a very stressful day at work, I’m struggling under the sheer volume of work.  I am a locum medical secretary, currently working part-time in the ENT department of the city hospital.  It is a f***ing shambles.  There’s   no doubt the NHS is on its knees, government underfunding has certainly taken its toll but where I work the problems are exacerbated by recruiting management positions from a very small gene pool of existing staff.  In fact, the vast majority of positions are recruited internally.  Is it any wonder the place is going to the dogs.  The place needs an injection of new talent but the recruitment process is heavily weighted in favour of existing staff.  There are no qualified HR representatives on the selection panels so invariably friends of friends, children of parents, aunties and uncles are getting all the good jobs.  Very occasionally jobs get advertised externally but these positions usually get filled by ex-employees who left believing things would be better at another hospital etc.  At 53, I feel I am working harder than I ever have in my life; harder but not smarter (not through lack of trying).  I feel the working environment has changed quite a lot, before you were given a certain amount of autonomy and responsibility but nowadays you are micromanaged, bullied and harassed on a daily basis.  The NHS is less about the health of the population and more about working to budgets, timescales; taking time to fudge the figures to appear more effective than just getting on and doing the job to the best of your ability.  Performance management is the biggest misnomer of the modern age as managers responsible for performance are so terrified of failing, or being found out, work very hard at covering up their inadequacies by alienating the teams that work for them through bully-boy tactics.  If only they realised nurturing good working relations with all members of their team, not just those higher up the food chain, would elicit more enthusiasm and excitement for the job.

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This cartoon perfectly illustrates the reason for management inefficiency; constant meetings to figure out why no work is getting done, constant meetings to justify why they are never in the office to provide actual support.  If only they would stop looking at their dashboards and spreadsheets and look at the desks, around the offices, the real world to see how much needs done.   (Do you remember when the only time you thought about a dashboard was whilst driving to work and you realised it needed cleaning).  Dashboard, smash-board; bane of my f***ing life!!

 

I’m going to become a Buddhist!!

Its been a while since I last wrote.  I’m not sure if the reason for my online disappearance was a sense of despair and hopelessness or just laziness.  Anyway, its been a while and I now feel less despairing, hopeless and lazy hence, I’m writing this entry.   I have no idea what my last entry was about and I have no intention of reading through it, that is the past and I don’t want to remind myself of how I felt then, especially if I was all doom and gloom, as I now feel slightly more positive.  I’m not sure if the positivity has slowly grown over the past month or is as a result of the Reiki massage I had on Tuesday; whatever the reason I now feel ready to do something other than sit, watch TV and feel sorry for myself.  Again, I think this feeling has as much to do with the beginning of a New Year.  I tend to feel inspired at the beginning of a New Year, it gives me an opportunity to start again, a chance to review and change previous mistakes.

This year like most years the uppermost thoughts in my mind relate to diet, exercise, feeling and looking better, but this year I am going to try and focus on feeling better physically and mentally by not relying on measurements of weight and girth but having fun, making small longterm changes for the better and having new experiences.  I have just celebrated another birthday, I am now 53 years-old.  As I think about those 53 years I am aware that the last 20, whilst living in Birmingham, have been uneventful and staid.  Every year for the past 20 years I feel I’ve lost a little bit of myself; I’m not saying I was anything special beforehand I just have this sense of getting lost along the way.  I feel worn down and embittered by life, I feel disappointed by people and I realise I have just sat back and allowed this to happen.  Along the way I have made the effort to change my life, myself, my situation etc. but I have lacked the courage of my own convictions, I have given up too soon if the results of my efforts didn’t bear fruit quickly.  This blog is testament to that ethos; yet another project started which after a few months dwindled until it slowly died away.  I’ve no intention of making false promises of being good and getting better, trying to become the person I see in my mind’s eye.  Instead I am going to take one day at a time and try and make a difference.  I want to feel at peace in my head, enjoy the things I have and appreciate the people I know whilst at the same time remove the negative thoughts, the stuff that is cluttering up my house and the people who drain my positivity.   All in all, I’m going to become a Buddhist!!!

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…all she wants is peace!

I’ve not been in the mood to write for the last few weeks. I’m still struggling with an ‘infection’ in my leg. I’ve taken a number of antibiotics (Flucloxicillan, Doxycycline and Metronidazole) all with limited effect. The doctor has now given me medicated bandages to see if this helps. So far, not feeling it; just feeling fed up with it all.  In addition to the leg problem, I started the Pregabalin but gave up after three. They made me hot, sweaty, breathless and fatigued. Wasn’t sure if related to leg, or not, but didn’t risk continuing. I’ve got the Lignocaine infusion booked for next week but again I’m anxious about going ahead because of the persisting leg infection. I feel I can only deal with one problem at a time just now.

On a more positive note, I had an assessment for a Blue Badge (disability parking ticket) earlier this week. I didn’t think it went well but I think that was because I judge myself quite harshly.  Anyway, I got an email saying I’ve been successful. Now I’ve got mixed feelings; one one hand I’m pleased ‘cos it will make things easier on my bad days, but it also reinforces my feelings of being old and decrepit. I know I’ve got to work harder at having a positive opinion of myself; after all I wouldn’t judge anyone else so harshly.

It certainly feeling very wintry now. It’s quite dark in the mornings and cold. I’m now having to put on the heating to take the chill off the rooms more and more often. I’m not very good come winter; I tend to hibernate. As soo as its dark and the curtains get drawn I have to fight against the urge to go to bed. Last night at 08:30 I had to really force myself to stay up I managed to fit his by making a lovely warming cup of hot chocolate. Only problem, when I eventually went to bed, around 10:00, I suffered horrendous restless leg syndrome; it finally subsided after I took an Ibuprofen and Zapain.

I’m writing this while I’m at work, not something I usually do but the system has crashed and I’m unable to log in to the system. Thought I’d put the time to good use. Tonight I’ve got to take wee Remi (one of our wee old twin cats) to the vet.

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Poor old Remi

 She was recently diagnosed with hypothyroidism and has been on tablets but we’ve noticed recently her eating habits have ramped up again so we’re taking her to get her bloods checked. It’s a wee shame for her; she’s 15 years old and a wee bone, she doesn’t do very much except eat and sleep.  Her twin sister Mili seems much more robust in comparison.

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Mili Minki

I’m feel nervous taking her to the vet as I know one day soon there will be nothing we can do to help her. In the meantime all we can do is make her comfortable, although every night we have to force feed her medication; it takes less than a minute but everyday I feel I’ve torturing her. Poor wee boney maroney all she wants is peace!!

 

 

 

Who would have thought macaroni cheese could be so lethal?

Woke up today in much the same mood as yesterday, feeling very tearful, and achy.  I made some really bad choices yesterday, which I paid heavily for last night; the   echoes of which are hanging around this morning.  Because I was feeling so low, the weather seems to have worsened and the temperature plummeting I was in need of something comforting to eat and decided (against my better judgement) to have some macaroni cheese.  Its been a long time since I’ve had this, especially made with real pasta and not spelt pasta.  I made a big casserole dish, planning to have as a side order with some salmon, somehow I omitted the salmon and ended up with a ginormous plateful of macaroni cheese on its own.  I admit whilst eating, it was delicious however, I quickly realised I’d made a mistake and spent the entire evening sipping hot water to help with the indigestion and bloating it gave me.  When will I learn??  When am I going to start taking better care of myself and stop giving in to flights of fancy, after all I always suffer more in the long run.   As I sit writing this having taken  Co-codamol to ease the pain and had a long chat/cry with my patient and put-upon husband, I am feeling a bit better.  I know I’ve got to stop all this mithering, take affirmative action (wow, that sounds powerful) and start living my life in the real world and not in my head.  To that extent I’ve decided to start the Pregabalin tablets I was given by the pain management team and re-visit LCHF (low carb high fat) as a lifestyle choice.  Last week I pondered whether or not to take the Pregabalin due to fears of gaining more weight, trouble coming off them and general anxiety concerning  worsening of my symptoms.  I realise I’m in limbo at present and by taking the medication I will find out 1) they don’t make any difference or 2) make me worse (in which case, I stop them) or they can 3) help make things better (a good thing).  I have also given myself an initial 6-12 month window for taking them.  I am hoping they will take the edge of my pain, helping me mobilise better and hopefully start doing things I enjoy, which in turn may help with my low mood.  Win/win.  I have also got a date for my Lignocaine infusion (27 September); once again I am mithering whether to go ahead with this or not, I’m quite nervous but also think I should give it a go.  What is the point of asking for help if you never actually take it?

I’m off now to do some planning and preparation there is a lot of stuff in the kitchen that is not LCHF which needs to be used up; the Scot in me won’t let me just throw out good food so I’ve got to become quite creative to use it up without compromising the principles of LCHF too much.  However, before that I’ve got to decide whether to eat the remaining macaroni cheese and suffer one last time or force feed my husband and he can suffer for me.  Who would have thought macaroni cheese could be so lethal.

 

 

 

 

…train my cat to make dinner!

I woke up this morning in tears…feeling very low and lonely.  I’m still trying to fight off this episode of cellulitis, nothing I do seems to be helping long-term.  I’m frustrated with my GP surgery, every doctor I see (when you can see them that is – last time it was a telephone triage appointment) seems to be unable to understand 2-3 separate problems can connect to make one big problem and the solution isn’t always the standard you would have for each initial problem.  They understand cellulitis, as a condition, but not in conjunction with lipoedema; in fact, I can’t even get them to acknowledge lipoedema, they always correct me with lymphoedema (‘cos I’m fat and have large legs) and if I repeat lipoedema, they give me that look as if I’m a simpleton. No GP has ever looked it up, or taken any interest in lipoedema.  After all, how could a lay-person who suffers from a condition, no more than a doctor who has studied general medicine for years.

All I can say is I’m totally, and utterly, disappointed and frustrated by most medical professionals (except specialist nurses; they are under-rated and under-valued).  I’m not sure if it is particular to Birmingham (‘cos this place is a shit-heap), or because the NHS is being squeezed into oblivion by the Tory government, but things have certainly changed.  There is no ‘care’ in healthcare these days.  If your condition doesn’t fall into a neat little box you’ve got no hope.  All they want to do is foist their drugs, lotions or potions on you; as long as we keep profiting  the pharmaceutical companies (and their shareholders) it seems people’s lives, health and, in particular, their mental health do not matter.  I suppose this is why the internet to some extent is a life-saver.  Although it is difficult wading through the diatribe, eventually you come across some good advice, humour, support etc.  The difficulty is everyone has an idea and when you want a quick solution it can be very frustrating.

Over the past few years (prior to diagnosis) I invested in solutions to my problems by buying stuff (chi-machine, rebounder, vibration plate) or consuming strange concoctions (apple cider vinegar, gelatine, bullet-proof coffee).  All of which I am unable to determine has helped or hindered my progress, I have always been looking for a quick fix (2-3 weeks) to see or feel an overall improvement, if nothing definitive I’d go back to the drawing board (internet) and start again.  This is why I’m frustrated with healthcare provision at present, it places the onus on the patient to investigate their condition and to find solutions unless of course you are willing to take prescribed medication.  The problem I have with just taking medication, is it deals with the symptoms, but fails to acknowledge the underlying  cause.  The way the NHS is being run, because it is so tight on time, prioritises medication over any other solution and this working model is repeated over and over, so if you have a reaction to one medication they often prescribe another to deal with that symptom and if the same thing happens another medication, and another – ad infinitum.  We are encouraged to be drug addicts, but not happy-clappy drug addicts, ‘cos the pharmaceutical companies, its shareholders and the government don’t want you to feel happy in a natural way ‘cos they can’t make money off.  They want you feeding off their drugs, keeping you in just the right amount of pain and misery, so as to be able to offer you more – all the while slowly destroying your internal organs.

All I want is a meaningful discussion, not limited to ten minutes, to discuss my concerns, my fears and possible solutions – I want a more holistic approach to my  healthcare, but I’m afraid I think it more likely I can train my cat to make dinner!