Tuesday, 3 November 2015

So What Now?

I like to think of myself as a positive person overall yet my family tell me that's not always the case. Isn't it funny how we can perceive ourselves to be so different from how others see us? I presume they are going by my recent behaviour as I have to admit I have been a little down in the dumps of late, less patient, more cynical and definitely more anti-social. For those who don't know me personally after 2 years of to-ing and fro-ing to see my GP I have finally been diagnosed as having ME/CFS. Up 'til then it was just a vague "stress induced illness" label, so in a way it's a huge relief BUT also a massive kick in the gut as I have cared for both Tasha and Tara since being diagnosed with the same illness and so know the pitfalls and what to expect from this beast. Anyone who knows anyone with ME will understand how awful it is and so that is the reason for my recent lapse in communications, socialising and generally participation with the human race. It has floored me health wise over the past couple of weeks with virtually no energy and all the revolting symptoms of pain, headaches, enlarged lymph glands etc etc along with massive brain fog and moments when I have literally stood still in the middle of a room wondering what on earth I was doing!

However, there are some highlights for me to share with you amongst my moroseness. First off, regarding my previous blog, To Do List by 50, I stated for one of my "to do's" that (and I quote) I would...

"Let the girls do a make-over on me and wear whatever they decide for the day ~ I have no fashion, I just wear jeans and man jumpers with Docs or trainers. I like to be comfortable. The girls would like to see me looking girly and feminine so I have said they can choose an outfit (gulp ~ even if it is a dress or skirt) and put make-up on me and I will keep the look for the day. No idea when I'll let them do this, but it's one to have for a rainy day perhaps"

Well, this is one I can now tick off the list. Myself and The Dave had been invited to share in celebrating a friends wedding and typically I had "nothing to wear" for the evening do. At which point my girls stepped in and suggested a shopping trip and make-over on the day. So Tasha and The Dave came shopping with me, Tasha chose my dress and accessories. On the day Tara did my make-up and Tasha styled my hair, this is the end result of the "Mum Make-over"...

I must admit I felt very much out of my comfort zone wearing make-up and wearing "girly" clothes but part of me also liked it. Sadly I had to rub off the foundation and powder early in the evening as I started to react to it but the eye make up, eyebrows and lippy stayed firmly in place. Thank you girls xx

Another on my "to do" list is to grow my hair. This is obviously an ongoing operation for me and there are days when I have to sit on my hands to stop myself reaching for the scissors and chopping it all off. Knowing my frustration, Tasha permed my hair for me so that in a morning I just damp it, scrunch and it's done. No more washing my hair daily which for someone with ME is a real boost as I don't have to drag my carcass into the shower every day to clean it and waste vital energy, I am a dab hand a strip washes now I must say (not showering doesn't mean being dirty!).

So crazy purple mama is now sporting the retro 80's perm #bouncy! 

Purple filter for the Purple Mama
As we are now in November we have sadly had to close up our little holiday getaway for winter and had it drained down so that pipes don't freeze and burst whilst we are away. It's always a wrench to know that we won't be able to visit again until March, however, it's good to know it's there and we can go back for our monthly visits to the coast again next year.

I'm not sure if it's being ill, having depression or just general old aged-ness (aka grumpy old woman syndrome) but I find Christmas is so overrated. Not being of a religious nature, I don't celebrate Christmas as a religious festival but more of a time to spend with my family AND being a family who are challenged both physically and mentally we tend to have a very chilled, quiet, low key affair. No big parties, high jinx or mass excess, more pj's, bucks fizz, films, chatter, games and early to bed. We all chat as we cook and share in the preparation and setting up - it's not a job for just one person it's a communal experience for us, especially as we have so many specific diets to cater for, vegan, vegetarian, dairy free, lactose free, low fat, low salt and low sugar! 

While I'm on the subject of Christmas I also loathe the gift giving part too - why is everything so commercialised? It really annoys me, to the point where I become either angry of very grumpy and bah humbug. The carols, the fake cheer, the buy, buy, buy adverts selling "perfect gifts" get my back up. Can you love a "gift" can a "gift" give you a hug, be there for you when you are down or laugh when you are silly - no of course it can't. Why spend money for the sake of it - instead I prefer to give little gifts throughout the year to people as and when they need something, for no other reason that that it will make them smile and help them out. For myself I want nothing at all but if someone insists then please either donate to either of the two charities I support Invest in ME Research (because myself, Tasha and Tara have ME) or British Heart Foundation (as The Dave has had several heart "episodes" and surgery) - donations at least are a gift to many as it pays towards ongoing research to help sufferers. Although for my family/friends who don't want to do that then come have a cuppa and a chat instead of giving me a gift to unwrap. The same goes for other celebrations such as birthdays and anniversaries. As I get older I want less stuff but more time with those I care about. This year I will not be sending out cards and will be talking to family about future gift giving and asking them to not buy us any and hope they understand. Am I alone on this I wonder? Perhaps it was losing mum just before Christmas that changed my perception of the holiday because it was a time we always spent together and I can't even begin to tell you how much I miss her, the hole she left in my heart can never be filled but with each passing year I am able to smile more as I remember her and cry less. Her memory makes me want to squeeze every ounce of joy from every moment I have with my loved ones, make wonderful memories and hold them tight. Scarily, we never know when we are speaking to someone we care about for the last time, fate doesn't always keep us in the loop that way. 

Anyhoo, this grumpy old biddy is now going to go oft and have a cuppa whilst contemplating so what now? Who knows, is the answer I suppose, let's just see where our journey takes us next. Til next time.....

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