Pulverised

I am feeling the most shattered into little pieces I have for quite a while. The fibromyalgia is just bearable, meaning the pain side, it’s constant and quite intense, but not quite yet at the, “shit, I need to go to hospital” stage. I don’t have any of the stronger stuff, well stronger than tramadol, to fall back on at the moment, so I guess I will be finding myself a new doctor in the coming days. I haven’t got a new doctor since moving from interstate, so necessity is calling to get on with it.

It’s hard to get on with it though, when you are basically feeling like you are being squished to a pulp.

I had a dream sleep on my new mattress last night. Yes, I finally got my trailer sold and the very next morning I ordered it from the store up the road, and it was here by lunchtime the same day. That was yesterday. Last night, I got into bed, and instead of tossing and turning for half an hour before finally getting comfortable, I was comfortable as soon as I got in, and went rapidly to sleep. It’s a pity the fibromyalgia is giving me hell, because I did wake up a fair bit during the night in pain, but every time I lay back down, I was out like a light in no time flat.

This won’t be a big post, as I am really ready to sleep, today I have been on the verge of sleep since 10am. Just haven’t been able to do it. I might just wrap it up here, because my hands are starting to get very painful, and typing is becoming difficult, but that how life is right now. Not so good.

Andy.

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Successfully back to school.

Jack has had a somewhat successful first day back at school, at his new school. He was so excited until this morning, when it dawned on him that he would not know anyone, and I guess was nervous about trying to make new friends. He is one of those children that makes friends easily, he’s a nice kid, so I guess that’s why, but he is also shy when he meets new people. As it went, the Good part of the day, according to him was he has made some new friends already, the bad bit was as it is a new school, and a lot bigger than the 2 previous schools he has been to, at lunchtime he got a bit lost. But it was easily sorted.

We’ve had a chilled afternoon since he got home, and now after dinner, his favourite spaghetti bolognese, he is safely tucked in bed.

Just before dinner time, Dad came over wanting a hand with something. The something was to go and pick up a treadmill, as usual, his timing was shocking. He really hasn’t a clue and is really quite selfish. I was supposed to cook dinner, but ended up getting Mum to, so I could help him. So an hour after we were supposed to have dinner, hence making Jack late for bed, we had dinner.

The other part of the frustration of having to go, which, if I didn’t, he would have carried on like a 3 year old, it must be a thing of blokes that age,(yes USA, you know who I’m referring to there), was that he is rapidly becoming a crap driver, and it was belting down with rain, he wasn’t concentrating on driving (I actually told him to stop looking at me and watch the road), was speeding, and it was just generally scary. Not happening again, I think I’d rather deal with the 3 year old, than get seriously injured in a car crash because he is so shit at driving.

I also had to put up with his boring diatribe of how smart he is (he isn’t), how he spent all of his sons childhoods going to university (which he has never used the qualification, so completely pointless, other than to use to big note himself), which meant that the time he could have actually been a parent to us, he wasn’t. I know both myself and my brother are pretty angry with him, he spent all that time away from us for no good reason, and he’s just become more arrogant because he has a university degree. He’s actually pretty dumb. Say’s more about the lack of standards at university than anything else, considering he walked out of there with a degree.

I really don’t know how I managed to get through the whole drive up to the other side of town and back without just going off at him. I did, but then when I got back, I was just in such a foul mood that I have been irritable ever since. I spoke with Mum after Jack went to bed, and she wasn’t surprised, about any of it. Apparently he has done the same when they have gone anywhere recently together, although Mum avoids it most of the time and goes with me everywhere instead. Honestly, now we have all had some separation from his bad behaviour, it’s actually quite shocking to see how bad he really is. It isn’t that he is any worse than before, he isn’t, it’s just that it’s not up in our faces 24 hours a day now, and sometimes we don’t see him for a couple of days now, so when we do, we see he hasn’t changed, and how bad he really is. It’s hard to deal with.

It’s one of those catch 22 situations, you feel like unloading on him, but you know it won’t make any difference. If you give back to him as good as he dishes out, it just makes it worse. He happily dishes it out, but can’t take it himself.

Anyhow, this is what this blog is about, I apologise, but don’t at the same time, for unloading all that crap and venting my spleen, is a way of getting it out without a major catastrophe. Also, I guess, it makes some of you realise that you aren’t alone, because I am sure I am not the only one who deals with crappy people like this.

I must go to bed, I am exhausted, and need to be up early again for the next day of school.

Goodnight.

Andy.

My boy goes back to school tomorrow.

It’s been quite an extended school holiday for jack. With the move, coupled with the bad time of the year to do that when it comes to school, he has been off school for 11 weeks. I could say “yippee”, crack open a bottle of some highly intoxicating beverage, and celebrate, but it has never really been the case with me and Jack. I love having him around, most of the time. Yes, he drives me crazy at times, you show me a child that doesn’t drive their parents wild at times. But, I will feel this great emptiness tomorrow, after I leave him at school in the morning. I always do.

I will come home, and it will be quiet. It will feel like something is missing. I won’t be constantly nagged “Daddy, daddy, daddy”, every 5 minutes with some new discovery or just mundane little thing, but I will miss it. I think, the fact that this time around, having been such a big break, it will be worse.

In some ways, I am looking at this first week as a circuit breaker. So much has happened in the past 4 months, that I am really worn to bits. Today, I collapsed into bed at 2.30pm, exhausted. If not for a few last minute things I needed to do for Jack, like a quick trim of his hair, and make sure he went to bed at the proper time (not that I doubt mum would have made sure anyhow), I probably would have forgone dinner, and slept until the morning. It’s not that I worked my backside off today, but it is the accumulation of everything, now coming to a head. I said to Mum an hour ago that I am likely going to spend a lot of this first week of Jack back at school in bed, asleep.

The worst thing about having woken up to make sure things went as they should, is that I awoke a zombie. Then, after getting out of the fog that was enveloping my head, I have then struggled to get back into sleep mode, even though I am dog tired.

I did do a few things today, I mowed the lawn, which is not a huge job, half an hour and it’s done. I also went and picked up some seedlings of some pink desert roses, they were 50 cents each, so I got six. They will be great statement plants when they end up where they will be planted and have grown. Pretty, and pretty hardy as well.

So, in a few hours, I will have to be up, make school lunch, and get the boy off to school. Back to the regular routine, sort of, finally.

Andy.

I don’t know what I’m doing….

Living with this crappy ailment means half the time, I don’t know what I am doing. Ground down by pain and overwhelmed by fatigue, you lose your mind. I can get up whilst thinking about what I am about to do, like go and make a drink, or hang the washing out, and by the time I have walked the 3 metres from one side of my bedroom to the door, I will be wondering what it was that I had got up to do. It’s absolutely crazy.

If I get distracted, by something else, or someone suddenly talking to me, that’s it, it will take ages to remember what it was I was up to again. I know now that it’s all fibromyalgia related, at first I was really concerned I was getting dementia real fast or something, but then when I had a better patch with the fibro, it got better again.

I have had a really weird day today. Plans thrown out the window, firstly, because of the weather, we were going to a market, been planned for the past week, but now we are under a tropical storm, that has dumped nearly half a metre of rain on us in the past 36 hours. So, we could drive a couple of hundred km’s to get there, as the direct, 30 km route is too dangerous in this weather, it is very mountainous, very narrow and winding, and very prone to landslides with heavy rain. The prospect of driving all that way, although I was excited to go to the market, was not exciting at all.

So, I spent, and wasted 2 hours this morning waiting for a bloke to come and buy my trailer, who never ended up showing up (the second one now), then he organised to come this afternoon after 4 pm. He still never showed up, and now wants me to wait until next week. Then he might not still buy it. What is wrong with people ??? We decided after the morning debacle, to head out anyway, but closer to home, not half a days driving.

We went to a few Op Shops, which was productive, we got a few things we were looking for, and then went to Bunnings for some stuff to finish off the kitchen renovation. Then, I treated mum to lunch, and we wandered around the shopping mall for a bit, got a few other things we needed, then headed home to be back in time for the chap who never showed up.

We pottered around this afternoon when we got back, I contacted another potential buyer of the trailer, who is just as fickle as the previous two I have discovered, put the last 2 handles on the new kitchen cabinets, tidied up my tools which were spread everywhere, cooked some steak for dinner, and now, I am just about ready for bed.

We have had so much rain, it’s incredible. While driving around today, it was torrential. In some ways, it was time to come home when we did, with basically rain so heavy that even on well drained roads the water was at least 2 inches deep, and with even deeper puddles where the rain was frantically trying to get away, it was exhausting. You have to be on your toes when it’s that wet, especially with so many lousy drivers out as well. Since I started writing this 20 minutes ago, we have had 25 mm of rain, or about an inch. I told you the rain is heavy.

It’s actually funny. Last night, I went to bed at this time, and we have basically got exactly the same amount of rain as the same time last night. This time last night we had had 189.3 mm, today, up to now we have had 186.9 mm. The rain is supposed to be like this for a few more days, and it is currently being slated by those in the know to be the biggest rainfall event in over 2 decades. Crazy, the first few months we have been here, we have had the highest daily temperature ever recorded here, and now we are experiencing the wettest period in over 2 decades.

The past couple of days have also been tough. Every time we have gone out, and then returned home, we have been expecting to let Smudge out after being inside in the air-conditioning to do her business, but she is not here. Same in the mornings when we get up. You get so used to having a pet around, I mean, 17 years is a long time, that it is all the regular things you do automatically that catch you off guard. I am sure it will be some time before we get past this, she was such an amazing little dog. Gee I miss her.

Andy.

Hmmm.

Feeling so wrecked for the past few days has been very difficult. I have somehow managed to drag myself through the day, even though I am sleeping poorly because of the fibromayalgia pain. It is so damned frustrating not being able to get comfortable in bed to sleep, you lie one way, your hip hurts, you lie another way, your shoulders hurt, or lying on your back, which doesn’t feel right to me, makes everything hurt. It’s matter of picking the least painful position to sleep and then hope you get some.

When I am like this, I feel a complete failure. That is the source of the related depression. You just can’t do anything. I feel like I am failing Jack, failing myself, just………, failure.

I hate it when I have stuff mapped out and planned, only to have this hit me, and then it’s just a huge game of catch up for weeks until I get to a point where I can make headway with the tasks I have underway. Sometimes, well lot’s of times, MOST OF THE TIME, I don’t even get caught up before it hits again, so I have this snowball affect happening, where everything I have going on just gets put on the back burner and gets further and further behind.

I hate how I, at 41, am in such a state, that I need to live at home with my mother again. Don’t get me wrong, it is easier knowing that when I am as bad as I am right now that there is someone around to help, but it does suck it out of you knowing that you just can’t manage completely on your own anymore. I will admit it, I’m man enough, it makes me cry at night.

Today we had to go shopping. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be eating. Mum doesn’t drive, so I had do that. Well, we went out at around 10.30am, and got back around 2pm, we had our new floor tiles delivered this morning, so couldn’t go earlier. The later in the day, the more mammoth the task gets for me. Just driving up to the shops 15 kilometres away is arduous when I am like this.

Then, dealing with all the sensory overload while out just makes it worse. We stopped in at a fake plant place because mum wanted to see what they were like, and as soon as I went into this small, overcrowded with stock shop, and with the smell of stale human urine, I needed top get out, so I went out and waited beside the noisy, busy road, to have a smoke, as the claustrophobic feeling was one thing, but the stink was just too much.

After we went there, we went to the shopping mall, where we got a frozen drink to keep us going until we got home, and the noise was unbearable in the food court, as I guess, and from experience, all food courts in shopping malls are. Mum wanted to sit down but I was clearly not coping with it, so I said I didn’t want to, and walked around with our frozen drinks while we did the rest of the grocery shopping. They had some very noisy (and pointless) performance (you know, some dance school exploiting very young girls to make more money, while plastering the young girls in make up that looks good on nobody) on in the centre of the mall, which really didn’t help either. After we managed to get the groceries in the trolley, we ended up with the worlds slowest checkout operator, it felt like I aged 50 years while the transaction took place. What should have been about a 20 minute grocery shopping experience took 40 minutes, yes, that is how slow the operator was. I mean, I had 3 bags of groceries (well, if I packed it, it would have been just 2 bags…).

After we got home, we had a late lunch, I flopped onto the couch, and tried to interact with the rest of the family watching a movie on blu-ray, I was too wired from the outing, but too tired to move. I was bored crazy, even though it was a movie I actually enjoy, I was just too tired and not focused enough to actually enjoy it this afternoon.

When Mum, Dad and Jack took the dog for a walk this afternoon, I went outside and watered the garden, I just had to do something where I felt like I had actually achieved something. Doing the shopping I guess was an achievement, but actually doing something other than that mundane task was what I needed. Even watering the garden was tiring, but at least it means the garden will keep growing, and I will be able to enjoy it when it does.

Anyhow, I need to go to bed, I dread it at the same time as yearning for it, I need it because I need sleep, but I dread the almost certain possibility that tonight will just be another crappy night of sleep.

Andy.

 

Barely.

Last night I knew things were going down hill. For a few days I had been getting some of the tell tale symptoms that I was crashing. I kept on getting very windy, which nearly always precedes a flare up of Fibromyalgia for me, but it was coming and going for the last few days without anything progressing further. My fatigue levels had been in the upper end end of the 1 to 10 scale, for weeks, but have been even worse this past week. And the pain has been waxing and waning as well, but a gradual overall increase has been the trend.

After dinner last night, everything started to hit, except a rise in the pain, which hasn’t fallen below about a 6 on the 1 to 10 scale for weeks. The fatigue hit me like a truck, I mean, I was feeling okay one minute, the next it was almost all over red rover. I have been getting increasingly unsteady on my feet in recent days, but last night it was one step forwards, 3 steps sideways until I crashed into something, the wall, a chair, the door….. It’s almost like I feel like I am going to pass out.

Nausea, oh so much fun. I eat a delicious meal, not at all rich or spicy, just tasty normal food, and then it comes like a wave. My left hand has started to drop shit all the time again, which is the hangover from the stroke, as the fatigue gets worse, my ability to cope with it all slides. When I am okay, you wouldn’t even know I’d had a stroke, but when I get heavily tired, then it just all falls apart. Last night, as I was doing the dishes, I dropped a plastic container into the sink of water, it splashed on me, and I just got so annoyed and frustrated that I yelled at my hand to settle down, and almost felt like ripping it off.

I am just frustrated and annoyed this is happening. I try my best to stay positive about it all most of the time, but today, I was completely written off, pain, fatigue, everything, and for the first time for a bit, I have found myself monstrously depressed about it, and feel like completely giving up. This afternoon, I popped out the front for a cigarette, and was staring off into nothing, and just thought that I felt like I wanted to just soldier on until I keeled over, and then it would be all over. I don’t know if any of that makes sense, it is just too much to deal with right now. I can’t enjoy anything. I can’t sleep well because of pain, I am always dead tired, I can’t eat anything without feeling nausea, or if that doesn’t happen I get IBS and farty as well, I can’t concentrate on anything much, I sit and watch TV, hoping to be able to take my mind off it, but sitting down hurts. Lying down hurts. Standing up hurts. I reckon that if I was in space, floating around would hurt.

I so much want to do things, but just can’t do anything. I tried to sleep today, but it was hopeless. I just couldn’t get comfortable. If it wasn’t great pain in my hip, it was in my neck, or one of my shoulders. My feet were just throbbing with pain. My forearms aching. I feel like screaming.

Well, for now, I will go and have a shower and try to sleep once again. I have dosed up on pills, trying in vain to reduce the pain to a bearable level, so I guess I know tonight is going to be hell, I have resigned myself to that.

Andy.

Watching the storms.

Yesterday we had a pretty impressive storm outbreak, brought on by the remnants of Tropical Cyclone Penny. After lunch, Jack and I went off for a little drive, as the sky was looking menacing to the south and west of our place, and, of course, my favourite photographic subject is storms.

We headed a little east and north of home, trying to get a good vantage point of the storms across open ground looking back towards Walsh’s Pyramid, away from power lines and any other man made structure that wasn’t photogenic. It’s hard trying to get a good landscape shot without power lines, and I hate power lines. We sort of left our run too late, as we found a spot, and the storm was really advancing towards us very quickly. I did get a couple of shots, not lightning, the ultimate goal, but the storm was menacing.

This was taken not long after we got out of the car. The sun was still illuminating the foreground. That is Walsh’s Pyramid, the pyramid shaped mountain on the left. The foreground is a sugar cane field in fallow.

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Only a few moments later and the sun was rapidly vanishing, and so was Walsh’s Pyramid !!!

gordonvale jan 2018 006

This was the view to the west of our location, which was at a place called Packer’s Camp., a very turbulent sky indeed. The wind was astonishing as it came over. Under that rain on the left is where we live. There is a mountain about 900 metres above sea level in that rain.

gordonvale jan 2018 009

As the cloud front came upon us, this was the view of the sky to the north. Amazingly blue, with the menacing blackness over our heads.

gordonvale jan 2018 012

We quickly decided that staying out, trying to find a better location to get more shots was a daft idea, the wind was gusting very strongly, buffeting my little car very noticeably. And the rain, it was almost impossible to drive. The water was accumulating on the road so quickly (and these roads are made to cope with a big deluge and drain well), that it was like driving through a pond, the water was 3 or 4 inches deep just from what was falling from the sky.

After a slightly nerve wracking drive the 10 kilometres home, we pulled up in the carport, went out the back verandah, and found 2 inches of water across the rear verandah, it was raining so hard that the drain couldn’t get it away quickly enough. I ended up going out in the rain with the shovel, and dug a trench about 3 inches deep to get the water to flow away down the slope, it was raining so hard, just 10 seconds out in the rain meant you were drenched right through, and the rain was cold !! The trench worked rapidly, and it drained off, even while it was still pouring down. We ended up with 60mm of rain in the space of 30 minutes. in the old scale, that’s probably a bit over 2 inches. In 30 minutes.

Later in the evening, we had a round 2, with lightning flashing intermittently to the west and east. I went out by myself after Jack went to bed, but didn’t capture anything worth sharing. It was nice to see some lightning return after a couple of weeks of nothing.


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Today, it has rained a bit, we’ve had about an inch of rain again, but nothing as spectacular as yesterday. We woke this morning to a bit of a disaster from our elderly dog, we have to contain her during the night in a playpen, so she doesn’t do her business all over the house during the night, we have a tarpaulin under it so if she does anything, it goes on it, and not the floor, and we just take that out to wash it off and clean it. She is very old, nearly 17 years old, and a Jack Russell, she is an awesome dog, but just getting a little incontinent. Dogs, or any pet for that matter, are for life, and you just have to take that getting old will happen.

The disaster was her best yet though. It was contained, but all over the tarp, her bed and bedding, her, it was just full on, and it stank so bad. Even when it was all cleaned up, the smell lingered, and we sprayed every version of room deodoriser we have around. Some just made it worse, as their scent, mixed with, well, the smell of shit, was more revolting than the smell of the shit on it’s own. I know, it’s hard to imagine air freshener making it worse, but trust me, it did. I ended up going over the entire floor, even though it wasn’t on the floor, with a very strong bleach and water solution with the mop, and after that, the smell was gone. I think the bleach dissipating into the air actually killed the smell that was lingering. Tonight, you wouldn’t even know there was such a mess this morning.

My fatigue really is a problem right now. It just doesn’t seem to want to subside. The pain is going from uncomfortable to bad on a roller coaster over the days, today wasn’t so bad on the pain front, but then I have had all sorts of gut issues, and nausea. This fibromyalgia is just sooooo fun !!!

It wears you down.

Andy.