One of the hardest things to accept about fibromyalgia is that it doesn’t get better. That there’s just one way it can go – and it’s not uphill. I’m never going to get well; I can only hope to alleviate some of the symptoms. It’s been a rough year doing that. I fought fibromyalgia, and to paraphrase Bob Marley, fibromyalgia won.
That’s why it’s so quiet here. There’s nothing going on to write about, unless for some reason readers want an endless tirade of complaints about health (let’s be honest here, no one does, adulting is hard enough as it is). I’ve been able to visit Emilie once since December 26. I’ve left the house twice in the same period – the other time was to have blood drawn. You know your life is exciting when the high point of the week is a nurse who can hit a vein the first time instead of having to jab you six times to get the blood flowing!
The wet weather of 2019 really has done a number on my asthma. The moment someone starts brushing down a horse, runs a broom across the barn floor, or spreads straw in a box, my lungs step out for lunch. The husband’s come up with a solution in the form of a dust mask but I’ll readily admit that I feel ridiculous, having to wear a protective mask to pat my horse.
Emilie thinks it’s silly too. She spent an hour trying to lip it off my face because I look and sound wrong. I’ll never stop being amazed at how prehensile a horse’s lips are. She very nearly managed to untie the string knot at the base of my skull.
Spring is coming now, though. The first snowdrops are out, and while I solemnly tell them to back under and wait another month, the weather service does claim that we will get a winter this year. I wish they were wrong; frost and cold is something I can dress against, but this constant wet air and rain, there’s no fix for that. But again, spring is coming. Statistically, the odds of another year with constant rain and no sun are minimal.
The thing about not being able to walk far is that you learn to appreciate the things that are close by. A beautiful garden full of wild flowers. Horses playing in the field. A cup of coffee sitting in the grass, while big red mama Emilie grazes nearby, watching me like I was her foal.
It’s been a while, and what a while; one of those whiles where you struggle to keep swimming and at some point you look back and realize that six months went by without you really noticing. But I’m not dead yet, and as long as there’s life there’s hope.
I did not get to do much with Emilie in this long while. She’s still struggling with back pains, and I am still struggling with fibromyalgia. Together we exercise from the ground – she needs to practise lifting her hind quarters over cavalettis and using her hips correctly, and I need to walk, any kind of walk. It’s harder than it sounds like, and I’m still not sure how I feel about my new walker-rollator. On one hand it means I can leave the house – on the other hand it kind of feels like giving up on ever walking unaided again.
My health has been down the crapper this autumn. I’ve been through the proverbial wringer, with hospital visits and with testing out new medication options. At this time it seems low-dose Naltrexone works best for me. It does not reduce my pain, but it does give me some energy and ability to cope in spite of the pain. The Combar that I was put on in order to solve my not sleeping due to pain issues has to go – it has weight gain and muscle pain as a side effect, and I’ve gained 10 kilos in three months in spite of moving more about than I used to.
In spite of the last two paragraphs, though, this is not a venting session or pity rant. The structure of my life is holding together. The framework is solid. I woke up this morning with the strangest sensation of relief; the proverbial manure hit the fan a couple of times, but the windmill is still standing. If there’s something to be grateful in life, it’s the ability to cope with crisis and still be there afterwards. I’ll never take that for granted.
Ah well. Onwards, let life speak for itself in pictures.
What comes next? Only time will tell. Life’s being a bit of a female canine at the moment but it tends to go on anyhow. A mountain of trouble may seem like a road bump six months later. I’m not dead yet.
No time of year is more beautiful than May. No joy is greater than the first May in a new house, watching the flowerbeds and wondering what’s going to turn out to be in them. So far I am not disappointed. It’s picture day!
No flower is closer to my heart than the humble dandelion. Together with the tiny white daisies they sum up everything I love about May. The sunshine, the freshness, the cool nights and hot days, the beginning of a new year. The earth awakens, explosively.
Those chilly May nights that soon enough become warm. They tend to be starry and clear blue, and my camera is not at all sophisticated enough to properly capture those colours.
And speaking of colours. Turns out we have a large rhododendron patch and not two shrubs are the same colour. Every shade from bright white over hot pink to blood red is represented. My favourites are the small purples and the large crimsons.
They’re there, the small purples.
Out in front we have poppies. Gazillion of poppies. They’re large and bright red and contrast gorgeously with the bright blue scillas.
And of course there’s a corner for self-planted more or less wild flowers as well.
But the strangest flower of them all is the hairy lawnflower.
Come the darkness of winter and my inner strength wilts away in a mire of feeling unaccomplished and exhausted. Finding the light seems harder every year in those dark, cold months. I’ll be all right when the first snowdrops declare their rebellion on winter in March. Alas, we’re still in December.
It’s hard to stay warm outside this time of year. You can stay warm by walking around and doing things. That’s me already freezing my ass off right there because walking around is not an option. I spend less time just enjoying Pilar’s company while she does whatever she wants to do (it usually involves grazing).
The world always seems to go crazy in December. This year it’s even worse than usual, with the reality TV show that the Americans call politics, and the war in Syria, and heaven only knows what else. I try to keep up, but what I am seeing over and over is a steady and terrifying decline in the way we treat each other. It’s become the norm to attack people online if we don’t agree with them. You don’t need to provide facts to support your views. Just call the other guy a libtard, a trumpling, a fedora neckbeard, a feminazi (but probably not all four at once).
Whatever happened to cleaning up your own act before you get started on somebody else’s?
Why are global politics now resolved (or indeed, very much not resolved) on Twitter?
Why is racism and misogyny becoming more predominant instead of less? Didn’t we leave these outdated concepts behind in the ’70s and ’80s?
Why are people arguing over “Merry Christmas” versus “Happy Holidays” while the rest of the world burns?