Ticking along.

Somehow or another, I have managed to get through another day. Yippee for me !!! I know, I know, wow wee, but when you are battling against your own body, or is that your body is battling against you, every single day, getting to the end of the day, having achieved anything at all other than getting up, and going back to sleep, is a big deal.

Talking about achievements, today I have managed to sort a few more things out, although I haven’t been able to spend much more than 5 minutes on a job before I’ve had to rest again for a bit, but I planted all the tomato seedlings we got on the weekend, finally hung the 2 hanging baskets with the Cucumelons in them, and, I have managed to fix the teeny little rust spots in the roof of my car where stone chips had started to become something else.

I used to be a car detailer for quite a few years, and learnt about fixing paintwork at an automotive refinishers as part of my qualifications (yes, car detailing is technical if you do it right). Even though I have the skills, and have also had the materials to do these little fix it jobs on my own car for at least 12 months, it’s either been my body against me, too many other things going on in life, or the weather hasn’t been conducive to doing car paintwork repairs. Now I live in a better climate, and life is starting to settle down a bit, I decided to push back against my recalcitrant body, and get on with it. The little chips had started to spider out from the original chips with little lines of rust forming under the paintwork, and the recent heavy rain had accelerated it a little bit, so it went from being a get to soon job, to a little more urgent. I also have a set of roof racks coming for my car, I bought them on Ebay, so I wanted to get it sorted before I fit them, otherwise the job would be harder with them in the way.

Right now, I have probably 2 more coats of paint to go on to them, and a little bit of cutting and polishing, and then it will not even look as though I have had to do anything. The paint is so well colour matched that it will not be noticeable in the slightest. I am so happy that I still have the skills, and am able to actually do it. There is a lot of other stone chips to fix, and a few small scratches as well, ( The roads in Victoria, Australia are not good for car paintwork, actually, they aren’t real good for any part of a car !!), but none were as urgent as the roof, and for now, they are only stone chips, they haven’t progressed into the more problematic rust as yet.

Apart from those tasks, I have also managed to do my washing, and changed the bed linen, which I am probably a bit anal about, I have to do it every Wednesday. Luckily, Jack is now old enough to help me strip and make the beds, so it’s not as big a task as it was even 6 months ago.

Well, for now, that is the little update, I am not great, but trying to get on with life, what else can I do ?

Andy.

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Untitled

My brain is not quite with it enough to come up with a title today. It’s still rough, but at least I managed to do some things today. I was determined to.

After I got Jack away to school, I came back home, and set about sorting out a job that has been gnawing away at me for a couple of weeks. The verandah out the back sliding door is sort of fenced off, with a low lattice fence about 3 feet high, along the side and then across to the house in one section. The section that goes to the house has a gate, and this was the main bit bugging me.

The fence piece from the house to the gate opening was very wobbly. It was secured to the wall well, but where the gate hangs, it was just the framed lattice panel, with concrete nails attaching it to the concrete floor of the verandah. No post, nothing. So consequently, when the gate was opened and closed, it was swaying back and forth. It was also flat on the concrete, meaning that the timber was in a position to rot, given time.

So, firstly, I raised the panel off the concrete, to get airflow under so it wouldn’t rot. This was easy as the concrete slopes away from the house, so I got my spirit level and just made the panel level. Now, the bit near the wall touches the concrete for about 1/2 and inch, then it is elevated the rest of the way to the gate. The next bit was to put in some supports for the bit where the gate swings. I got some large brackets, which are made of thick galvanised steel, and placed one on the inside and outside of the end of the lattice panel, and then on the end itself, I got a much taller bracket, just as thick, and bolted the whole lot together. The brackets are now dyna bolted into the concrete as well. Then I rehung the gate, and now it swings well, doesn’t scrape the concrete before coming to a halt half open. The fence doesn’t wobble, even big heavy me doesn’t make it move.

The next thing was to completely clear out the fenced off section, and pressure wash it. Walls, roof, floor, the whole lot. Halfway through the process of cleaning it, it smelt like a swamp, the crap that was on everything was worse than it looked. Once I had finished, it smelt so nice, and everything is shining, it’s so clean. Once it had all dried, I moved things back in, set up Mum’s treadmill, and our outdoor chairs, and it just looks so much better than it did before, more organised, and CLEAN !!

Once I picked Jack up from school, I was done. I just couldn’t stay awake. I ended up crashing into bed, while Jack and Mum watched some TV. It was a bizarre sleep. When I first laid down, it felt like I was hallucinating. Honestly, I haven’t had that sensation since the one time I tried magic mushrooms.  I don’t know what caused it. I did end up sleeping, but it was a weird sleep. I don’t know if I should be concerned or not. I hadn’t taken any pills for anything before I laid down, so really not sure what brought that on. Has anyone else experienced that with Fibromyalgia ? Or is it something else ?

Anyhow, I better get myself off to bed, I am still very, or better put, extremely tired, and I need to keep being the best dad I can be for Jack, which means I have to be up at 7am.

Goodnight.

Andy.

Going to the markets tomorrow.

Today I gave myself a kick in the backside to try and snap out of the funk I have been in for days. It seems it worked to some extent, I still feel no different on the pain and fatigue front, it is really shitty to be honest still. However, I pushed myself through the day, determined to achieve something other than just surviving another day. I managed to vacuum and mop the whole place, did the washing, and even did a bit of work on one of my headlights, as it had become yellowed, as these plastic headlights tend to these days. It’s not perfect yet, but it is a lot clearer, and not yellow any more.

Tonight I have an arthritis glove on my right hand, as it is helping a little with pain relief, and I also have some ankle braces on both ankles for the same reason. Maybe, as these have been the 3 parts of my body that have been hurting in the middle of the night when I wake up, it will help me sleep better tonight.

Tomorrow, as a glutton for punishment, I am getting up at 6am to get ready to go to the markets at Atherton at 7am. We are hoping to get some bargains on fresh produce to stock up the pantry, and also, well I am anyhow, hoping to get some more food plants for the garden. A lemon, lime, mandarin, and a Pawpaw would be good. Chillies also.

Talking about the food plants, we’ve lost a few that we bought as seedlings, now we only have 2 lettuce and 3 rocket surviving, the rest just haven’t dealt with the recent climate well. The Passionfruit is going crazy, every night it seems to grow another 2 to 3 inches. I have beans that have germinated and are like the ones in the fairy tale. Yes, Jack and the Beanstalk, ironically. This afternoon I also saw that 2 of my corn seeds have germinated, along with quite a few of the spring onion seeds I sewed during the week. I didn’t check the peas, but yesterday they hadn’t surfaced yet. Our carrots seem to be chugging along well, and the only tomato that survived the weather, the cherry one, is doing well also. It seems that we will have to direct plant seeds, instead of seedlings, as they seem to cope better.

I also had a little win, I bought some shirts for Jack at an Op Shop before Christmas, not realising one of them was for one of the School Sports Houses, and I didn’t know which one Jack was going to be in at the time, but by happy fluke, nothing else, the one I got is the Sports House he is in !!! Incredible.

Anyhow, I have a big day tomorrow, it will start too early, and we will be going for a bit of an explore around the southern Tablelands after the market before coming home, so another 150km of driving, and the hard bit, thankfully, is first thing in the morning, going up the steep, narrow and windy Gillies Range. I don’t mind windy mountain roads, but it is a long climb, and you have to look out for twits that drive like loons.

I must retire to my sheets now, and snuggle for a good sleep, hopefully.

Goodnight.

Andy.

 

Just………..well, just

I am just hanging in there. This is one of those posts. You know, where I lay out how bad the fibromyalgia is, and the struggle worsening today. Well, it is, but isn’t one of those posts, but it is. Wow, that was a great bit of back and forth, wasn’t it ???

I still try and make myself laugh when the fit hits the shan. Yep, there I go again. Today has been rough. Real rough. This morning I woke up asleep, and really haven’t shifted past that all day, but somehow I have managed to get to this end of the day. And pains have been popping up everywhere. At one stage, the stage where I had to drive the car to pick up Jack from school, my right arm, around and just below the elbow, got so painful that I couldn’t hold it up and hold the steering wheel. “So what?” I hear you say. Well, I drive stick. I hate automatics. That’s the so what. So every time I had to change gears, I had to move my arm up in agony to steady the wheel while changing the gears (yes, I am Australian, we drive on the correct side of the road !!!)

It started waking up asleep, stepping out of bed, and as I took my first step, pain shot through every single toe on my foot. During the day, it’s been between my shoulders, and travelling up my neck, and randomly appearing in my calves, my feet, fingers, arms, and anywhere else it tickles it’s fancy.

Anyhow, not to let being absolutely crippled get me down, I  actually managed to mow the grass, and finally sold my trailer. I have been getting stuffed around by half a dozen people, they arrange a time to come, then no show, or turn up, agree on a price, say they are going to get the cash and come back, never to be seen again. Well, today’s chap contacted me last night, drove a 2 hour round trip from the Atherton Tablelands, this afternoon, and after about 2 minutes looking it over with his Uncle, handed over the cash, did the paperwork, and that was that. I have been stuffed around for over 2 weeks, and then this fellow made it all so easy. It was refreshing to finally encounter someone who has manners enough not to stuff someone around.

Now I have $500 in my pocket, part of which is buying me a brand new mattress tomorrow, the first brand new mattress I will have ever had in my 41 years of life. The rest is going to be rolled into a business venture that I am going to try and embark upon. I will fill you in on that as it unfolds, but just let me tell you, it will be multi-faceted.

The other little bits of today where I was capable of anything much, I managed to get Jack to and from school, it may not seem like much, but today it was climbing Mt Everest, I cleaned out a bunch of plastic milk bottles that we need to take to the container refund scheme, yep, a stinky job, and popped a cutting of turmeric, that the chap that is tiling our place brought with him for us this morning, into a pot.

On the subject of tiling, he is nearly finished, and it looks fantastic. The renovations are nearing completion, well the major bits anyhow, with the last major thing to do, the removal and replacement of the kitchen bench tops, being done early next week, yet again, by me. We will be without a functioning kitchen for about 5 days, but it will be so worth it. That is the time it will take to remove it, get the new tops made to size, and then for me to fit the new ones once they are ready. That will be the last majorly disruptive thing to be done. Over the next few months we will paint the place as well, but that is easy and will be done in small bits, as finances allow.

Well, for now, I might leave it here, I need sleep, and my body feels like I have done 20 rounds with Mike Tyson (minus the ear biting bit), so hopefully, seeing the pain killers seem to be just kicking in, I will be able to sleep.

Goodnight.

Andy.

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.