Doing my best

With everything that life has thrown at me, the second most worst thing is Fibromyalgia, it is certainly the most debilitating, but my ex, and everything she threw at me (figuratively and literally) was the worst. But this is about the fibromyalgia, it’s in the present, the other in the past.

I have been wrecked for days. Not sleeping well, until last night when I had a can of Wild Turkey and cola before bed although I rarely drink, at least it kept me asleep all night, although I did wake up early again, who knows why, but my body, as exhausted as it is, still wants me to be awake at 6.30am. I have had at times excruciating pain as well, so a full blown flare up is under way.

As crap as I am, I have been promising Jack that I would go out on my pushbike for a ride with him, a decent one, so he could show me how well he is doing with the bike riding thing. Well, half awake this afternoon at around 4pm, we went for a ride, first it was to the park just around the corner, I wasn’t sure how far I could push him to go, but we got there in a breeze ( I haven’t ridden a bike for waaaayyyy to long). So we rode through the park, and down to the highway. Still, he was going great guns, doing it all easy, and even I was doing pretty good, all things considered.

We got the the highway, and I bit the bullet. The tyres on my bike were a bit soft, not flat, but nearly there, so I decided that we would ride into town. The highway is about a third of the way to town, so we went across when there was a break in the traffic, and kept going. Down past his school (which was a good test, as we may be doing the bike to school thing together every day when school starts), and on to the service station to use their tyre inflator. Once I did that, my bike was even easier to ride.

Last year, I bought myself a ladies cruiser style bike, very retro, it’s powder blue and white with some tropical themed trim, and a bit of tan on the seat, pedals and handlebar grips. It was my very first new bike in my entire life, every single one I had had in the past was secondhand. Yes, you did read correctly, even though I am a man, I bought a ladies bike. It is easier for me to get on and off, as it doesn’t have the cross bar so high, and with the fibromyalgia, coupled with all the problems I have with my back from breaking it in 2005, I need something that is easy to use. It has a wide seat, I do have a more than ample backside, and those swept out and angled back type handle bars, so I don’t have to lean forward to ride, I can keep my back nice and straight and upright. I have to say, it is so much more stylish than any men’s bike, men’s bikes usually come in a range of black or grey, and usually are mountain bikes, which, unless you are a mountain biker, suck.

I was really stoked at how well Jack did with the ride, we ended up going right into town, which is 4 kilometres, and then back again, which is a slight uphill ride all the way. I think he was thrilled to do it, and especially seeing me out riding a bike, I think he didn’t think I could do it !!! To be honest, I am really stoked that I managed to do it too !!! And, considering this was the first time I had gone for a decent ride on the new bike, it blew me away as to how easy it was to ride, it is such an awesome bike.

Before our little outing this afternoon, we went into the city, as Mum wanted to buy a new TV.  She ended up buying a 50 inch screen one, and after watching an action movie on it this afternoon, all I can say is, wow ! Its Ultra High Definition 4K, and with the new Blu-ray player she got, it is just amazing sound and clarity of picture. I now have my TV back, it’s only 32 inch, but that is perfect for my bedroom, and it’s nice to have my TV back in my room so if I want to watch something on my own, I can.

Anyhow, I am completely wrecked, my evening painkillers are beginning to kick in, so I should attempt to get some sleep I guess. Goodnight.

Andy.

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Landscaping

For the past few days, I have been working away at a patch of the backyard that we are going to use as our main food production area, as well as an outside seating space where we will have a fire pit. It was a run down, weed and rubbish plagued area. Before Christmas, we took 2 trailer loads of rubbish away from this space, pulled down the already falling down chook run, which we didn’t want anyhow as chooks in suburbia don’t work, and the fact that if you watch the news, this part of Australia gets mega sized pythons, so the chooks wouldn’t last long anyhow.

So, this is a couple of shots beforehand, taken by the realestate agent to sell the house, so good camera angles don’t show how bad it really was. (I forget to do before photos all the time…..)

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There was a lot of rubbish down behind that shed too.

So, I have removed the chook run, and will be able to re-use most of the materials, I did send the chicken wire off to be recycled, but some heavier mesh, most of the timber, steel posts and roofing iron will all get a second life. That project will be the next one.

I have made a large vege garden along the retaining wall, as bending over to tend veges is so, well, in your 20’s, not fibromyalgia affected 40’s. In between the posts of the verandah in the 3 spaces, I have strung plastic coated wire, and now have 2 varieties of grapes and a passion fruit vine planted, which will be trained up onto the wires, thus creating a screen from the neighbours place, as well as producing a bounty of food.

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It may not look pretty right now, but the big area to the left was where the chook run was, and was very uneven, so required a lot of earth to be moved to level it. The other dirt patch near the vege patch was a huge dip in the ground, now it’s nice and level. The end posts of the chook run will stay, as I am going to attach the previously mentioned heavy wire mesh to them to grow beans and kiwi fruit on.

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These are our first green leafy things, lettuce, spinach and rocket for salads, it’s the real pick and mix salad, we will just pick the leaves as we need them and leave the plants to keep growing.

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This is our passionfruit vine. I have already tip pruned it to encourage some laterals to grow, to train out onto the wire. There are 2 wires, so it will be trained onto both in time

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Below is one of the 2 grape vines, this being a white table grape, it’s been in the ground for about 3 weeks now, and is nearly high enough to start training as well.

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Below is the newest grape to be added, a Red Globe table grape. It’s still very short, so I will stake it up soon once it gets some length, and then hopefully by the end of the month, it too will be ready to train onto the wire.

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This space beside the shed will be producing bananas and Paw Paws. I have seedlings of the Paw Paws growing in seedling trays, once big enough they will be in there too.

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Lastly, this was the gift from my brother for Christmas, a weather station. It measures wind velocity and direction, temperature, rainfall and humidity.  The panel with the data is in my bedroom on the desk, and it will be invaluable with the whole food production thing.

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I don’t really know how I have managed to do so much, I have been very fatigued for weeks, and in pain, but being out there doing this has helped take my mind off it, if only for a while. I haven’t done it all in one hit, just as I have been able, so sometimes I have just spent 20 minutes doing some, then other times an hour.  The feeling of achievement is so worth it. I guess the food will be too, once it grows !!!

Andy.

The Midnight Hour

Here I sit as the clock enters the midnight hour. I have been up since 7.30am, and although tired, am still a bit wired. I have managed to squeeze a little bit of “me” time in each day for the past 3 or 4 days, don’t know how, but it is helping me to become a bit more settled into the new life than I have been so far.

For the past couple of months I pretty much haven’t had “me” time, it’s been go, go, go, packing the old house, cleaning the old house, driving 3,500km, cleaning the new place, fixing the new place, unpacking all our stuff, and now finally, everything is starting to settle, so now, I am finally getting a bit of time to chill.

Up until the past few days, I have been so exhausted by the time I have had dinner, that not long after, I have had to go to bed, because I just couldn’t stay awake any longer. I haven’t slept well either, although that hasn’t really changed, the pain from the fibromyalgia has been really bad, so interrupted sleep has been the order of the day, or more specifically the night, for weeks.

Mum has been unwell, as I said in a recent post, today she wasn’t good first thing this morning still, but has slept almost all day, I checked on her at lunchtime, because I hadn’t seen her, and she was starting to improve, and then after almost the entire afternoon asleep again, she finally was able to eat all her dinner, and actually stayed up and watched Django Unchained with me tonight. She even sounds better and has more energy too. She’s been ill since Saturday, so today was the first sign of improvement in all those days.

Today, I over did it first thing, as soon as I could I mowed the lawns, as they desperately needed doing, trying to get it done before it got too hot, but it was already warm, and very humid at 8.30am. By the time I was finished at 9am, I was feeling very woozy, I felt nauseous, and extremely tired, so I sat in the cool for a while, after having a shower because I was dripping with sweat. Later in the day, I sat and sewed the buttons back onto the new couch cushions, but didn’t do too much else outside, as I also ended up with a thumping headache by lunchtime. It wasn’t until about 6pm, that I realised the cause of my headache. I hadn’t had a single cup of coffee all day, and it was caffeine withdrawal. I immediately had a coffee, and woosh, the headache was gone. I had gone hours with this headache, if only I had realised sooner that coffee was the solution !!!

I also broke in the new BBQ tonight. We had sausages with salad for dinner, so I decided to fire up the BBQ and not heat up the inside of the house, so cooked the sausages outside. I have already come to the conclusion that it is the best BBQ I have ever cooked on.

So after all of today chores, we ended up with a monsoonal downpour late this afternoon, and it was a glorious thing to see. After all the gardening of the past few days, with the hot weather that has come back to us again, the garden needed a drink. I have been watering the new plants enough for them to survive, but now the whole garden has had a good drink, established and new plants, as well as the lawn. I refuse to water lawns, I like lush lawns, but don’t like watering them, the sky has to do that, and the grass has to learn to survive on that.

Jack has been working away at trying to learn to ride his bike today again as well, and he is certainly making progress, not a pro yet, but he is getting the hang of it. It’s nice having a garden where he can actually have the space to safely practice, and now hopefully, learn how to ride.

Anyhow, it’s now halfway through the midnight hour, so I will now attempt to get some sleep. My brother arrives from Melbourne in 2 days time, so still a few things to do before he gets here, but then, hopefully, I will be able to chillout a bit more over the Christmas break.

Andy.

Outing to Yarrabah

Today, we went off on a pure “just drive and see where we end up” outing. Just Jack and myself. My Mum is unwell, so I figured that if we went out for a little bit, she could have some peace and quiet to rest.

After a breakfast of bacon and eggs, we headed off to Yarrabah, an Indigenous Community to the East of Cairns, on the other side of Trinity Inlet. It is a bit of a drive, I thought it was closer, but was so well worth it. The drive had us meandering through the sugarcane fields, and after the downpour we had yesterday from Tropical Cyclone Owen, a lot of the streams were flowing. This was the first time we went to Yarrabah, so didn’t know what to expect, and it was also Jack’s first time going to an Indigenous Community. There are certain things you need to observe when entering Indigenous communities, and you must have the utmost respect for the place and it’s people.

The drive took us up over the mountains, which was quite a climb up and over the range, but the whole thing was worth it. Below, is a photo overlooking the bay that fringes Yarrabah, who wouldn’t want to live in this slice of paradise ??

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We wandered on down from this amazing vantage point into the community below, and as we pulled up at the beachside, a lovely old Aboriginal lady in a wheelchair was having her morning wander around, and we had a little chat. She was an amazingly friendly and warm woman.

We then wandered onto the beach, where we discovered that 2 shipwrecks also inhabited the waters just off the beach. It was a popular photographic subject with both myself and Jack.

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Jack was trying to get the best angle.

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The western headland of the bay also was quite interesting and picturesque.

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We then decided to head back home, but took a detour before getting home to have lunch, which included a feast of Lychees we got at a roadside stall on our travels. Below, is the Western flank of Walsh’s Pyramid, with water streaming down some ephemeral waterfalls due to the heavy rain yesterday.

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We also happened across this colony of Fruit Bats, or Flying Foxes, which just so happens to be not far from our new home. I have been itching for a bit of an explore, but due to all the work we have needed to do, this has been the first proper opportunity.

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All the usual crap with fibromyalgia is happening still, and we still have tonnes more work to do, but it was nice to just kick back for a few hours, and start to explore our new home.

Andy.

Feeling very unwell

On Friday night, I had to take my mum to the hospital. She had been extremely fatigued and in pain for most of the day, it came on quite suddenly when we had been in town during the morning. When we got home at midday, she went to bed, no lunch, just straight to bed. I too was feeling wiped out, and tried to sleep but after an hour, and a throbbing pain in my right leg, I gave up trying to sleep. I went and collected Jack from school at home time, and when I got back, Mum was still asleep.

I checked on her, she was restless but asleep, so I let her be. Then, at dinner, she was very lethargic, and my concern for her at this point was quite elevated. We had dinner, got ready to go to bed, and went to bed, but I couldn’t sleep. I checked on Mum at 9pm, and she was breathing quite rapidly, you can really hear it when someone is using a CPAP machine. I said something to Dad, who seemed completely unconcerned. In fact, I have come to realise that he genuinely didn’t give a shit.

Anyhow, off we went, Mum, Jack and myself (because Dad didn’t give a shit), and spent the next 3 to 4 hours in the hospital emergency, where they did a variety of tests, including an ECG. Luckily, it wasn’t a heart attack, but it had all the hallmarks, instead it was the worst fibromyalgia flare up Mum has had yet. That’s the thing about Fibromyalgia, it can present symptoms of a heart attack.

We got home well past midnight, and Mum was off her head on Vallium and another pill they gave her at the hospital, and slept soundly until past 11 am on Saturday.  She was still not feeling great all day yesterday, but was noticeably better. Today she is almost back to normal.

So, now we get to Dad, and now knowing he doesn’t give two hoots about any of us, for sure.

Apart from his unconcern on Friday night, Saturday, seeing she HADN’T had a heart attack, he decided that it was game on again with all the nastiness. I found it very hard to stop myself from exploding at him, but did as mum had wanted, kept it together. Then came this morning, and I had had enough. So, I exploded. Jack was actually scared, and Mum and Jack both went to the room. I told him we knew he didn’t give a shit about us, how he was a nasty pig to everyone, and that I had had enough. He sat, completely unmoved, in his arrogant way. Surprisingly, he didn’t say a thing.

Mum, Jack and I left the house shortly after, as we had to get some prescriptions to be filled, and shopping to do. On the way into town, Mum told me that she was glad I said it.

When we got home, like the totally clueless fuckwit he is, he decided to be an arrogant pig again to Mum, but this time she found her voice. I haven’t spoken to him since this morning, and unless he starts being nasty to Mum, Jack or myself again, I won’t talk to him. I honestly don’t care if I never speak to him again.

Needless to say, I am now extremely unwell, I am having moments of dizziness, I am experiencing more and more intense pain as the hours go by, I feel ill in my stomach, and I have slept for most of the afternoon myself, even at one stage falling asleep without my CPAP machine, which I NEVER do. I’ve eaten dinner, but it wasn’t enjoyable. Right now, it is time for Jack to go to bed, as it is school tomorrow, and even though I have slept all afternoon, I don’t think it will be a problem to go back to sleep, as long as the pain doesn’t stop me.

I wish life would suddenly change. I wish luck would finally shine on Mum, Jack and I. I don’t know how bad it needs to get before things get better for us. I am still not depressed, I am just lost. It doesn’t come as a surprise when the next bit of bad stuff happens. I have always done nice things for everyone, I care about people. Why do we deserve this crap ?

In Limbo and Still in Shock.

Tomorrow, well the end of tomorrow, was the day we were supposed to be arriving at our new house. By now, we should have been on the road for the past 4 days. Every time I write, or talk to anyone, about this, I find myself slipping into a bewildered mindset. You know it’s happened, but still can’t believe it. You can’t believe there are people, evidently, in this world, who could be such huge pieces of shit, but you still, somehow, want to believe that there are still nice people out there.

I think I am at a point where I am the most confused I have ever been in my entire life. Funnily, I have learnt well how to deal with depression, and I am determined not to let that get the better of me. This feeling is not depression, it is just a pure lost and alone feeling. I am not depressed about feeling lost and alone. The lost and alone feeling is manifesting itself in confusion.

Right now, I am home alone, with Mum and Dad out trying to deal with one of the multitude of repercussions this situation has had. I had to do a lot last week, some things were immediately necessary, and on Friday I managed to have my head in an adequate place to deal with the last of the urgent things. I had changed my address with the college I have been studying through, and as I have just successfully completed that study, I was to be receiving my Qualifications in the mail. Well, now not knowing how long we are going to be here for still, I have had to change the address AGAIN, to my brother’s address, as he won’t be moving for a while. I also had to contact the ‘new’ school to let them know, as I had an appointment with them for next Monday.

Jack has not been doing well either. He wouldn’t admit it, but I can tell. He was eating like a horse before this all went to shit on Monday afternoon last week, then since, he has been right off his food. He even threw up after dinner a couple of days ago. The constant piggish behaviour of my father doesn’t help. He is acting like this is only happening to him, that none of us are affected by it, and he is continually being  rude and insulting pig to everyone. Even to the point, that he was starting to annoy our new legal counsel the other day. I wasn’t happy that I found myself suddenly thrust into the middle of my parents marriage breakdown on Jack’s birthday, I’ve already gone through this shit myself, but now, I find myself living with someone who is acting even worse than my ex.

So then, I also find myself in a situation where I don’t feel like I have a face to face person to talk to about all of this. Writing this blog helps a lot, but it’s only part of it. My Aunt and Brother both say the “if you need someone to talk to” bit, but then when you do, because they have no idea or experience of this sort of thing, they really don’t have a clue, and the suggestions they make prove it. You sort of get sick of idiotic, or what you view as idiotic, suggestions. I think if you want to offer advice to someone, you need to either know what you are talking about, or realistically put yourself in their shoes and be honest with yourself on how you would handle it before you even begin to just spout some inane, cliched advice.

“Of course I could do that if I had bucketloads of money, BUT I DON’T, and you know it, so why suggest it ????”.

“Of course I could do that, IF I WAS MADE OF STONE, but I am not a cold heartless bastard !!”

You get my drift here, don’t you ??

And don’t get me started on psychologists, because every single one of them I have dealt with have been crazier, and in more need of institutional help, than I. I guess they might help weak minded, easily manipulated people, but when you can see through their bullshit, and when you’ve tried their advice and it has failed spectacularly and only made the situation far worse than it was, you don’t have much faith left in them.

Anyhow, the next lot of crap I have to deal with in the fallout of this crazy episode in my life has landed on my lap as I have been typing, an email has arrived for one matter, and a text message has just arrived on another. I better deal with it.

Until next time…….

Stress is my biggest enemy

I do everything to avoid stress, I hate it, I don’t like it, but most of all, I despise what it does to me. The past couple of months have been VERY stressful, parents marriage breakdown, my father prior to that being such a nasty person to me and everyone, and then after a brief lull in that behaviour, a recent ramping by him again, the drawn out sale of the house, dealing with government agencies on a few matters, just all too much.

I don’t like conflict either, ever since living my abusive ex 6 years ago, I have hated it anytime anyone decides to have a yelling match. It’s another thing I avoid at all costs. I just can’t deal with it. It brings back too many bad memories.

The toll of the recent stress and conflict has taken it’s toll on me. I try ever so hard not to let things get the better of me, it’s almost essential to try and keep some sort of lid on the effects it has on the fibromyalgia. I have been losing the battle for the past couple of weeks, so 2 mega flare ups, spurred on by the ever changing weather as well, pain everywhere, fatigue, mind fog to the maximum, it’s just crazy. I even trimmed my hair today and there is definitely more grey in the past month. I am looking more “distinguished”, as my Aunt puts it.

The past couple of days have seen the good old indigestion make a comeback, I haven’t suffered indigestion like this for about 3 years. Once again, stress. I lost 8 kilograms in 3 days when this all started with Dads little tantrum on Jack’s birthday. I have got a little of it back, but even though I feel like I have been a bit of a pig recently, it’s not showing on the scales.

It’s funny with the whole fatigue thing. I have sleep aponea, but sleep every night with a CPAP machine, and my readings are very good, so that isn’t causing the fatigue. I have been sleeping like a log every night for the past 2 weeks since having the Tramadol to control the pain again, I mean, sleeping all night, no toilet wakes or even stirring, and I go to bed at 8pm and get up at 7am, 11 hours sleep !!! But the fatigue, it’s so damned crushing by the time lunchtime hits. I have had to have sleep in the afternoon most afternoons this week, although, all it does is rests my body, but I wake up like I am drunk and confused. It is not a nice sensation.

Anyhow, tonight I am up later, and going to watch a few silly youtube videos with Jack before we go to bed, it’s Saturday night, so why not let our hair down !!!

Andy.