Monday, 17 January 2022

Our little haven


So yesterday was a day of horrible fibromyalgia pain and fatigue. I felt a little down so I came to my couch and sat next to Chris for a cuddle and rest. 

We love feeding the birds that come into our back garden and all through the day, our garden is like an airport. Birds of all types come to dine and drink and it is so restful and fun to watch them.

They have their own little antics and natures and they can be quite amusing. And apart from watching their different natures and antics they have something else that we find very attractive: they have babies.

It's such fun to watch the mothers feeding their babies and to watch the babies venture further and further from her as they learn to feed themselves. They fly but are still juvenile and yesterday their mothers were distancing themselves from their chicks and refusing to feed them, much to their annoyance. 

The magpie juveniles are especially raucous and squawk even with food in their mouth. They are almost always feeding. The minor bird mummy also is weaning her chicks from her and as soon as she moves away, they follow like the duckling family juveniles do. So fun to watch.

But by far, my favourite birds are the Kingfishers which have also had babies. Whilst laying on the couch, I can see outside and I was delighted to see a mother Kingfisher with one of her three babies on our garden swing.

They were watching the porch which was covered in birdseed for the galahs and rosellas. I had thrown out some cut up luncheon meat, and they were waiting for the magpies to vacate the porch so that they could dine. Kingfishers are shy and besides, magpies are three times their size. So they wait.

It is the season for little white cabbage moths too. They are flying around the agapanthus plants and I guess they are mating because they seem to be in pairs. As are the pigeons that come for the seed.

There are three that regularly call in and partake of the parrot seed on the ground. There's a little female who just wants to eat, but there also is an amorous male who has romance on his mind. He pursues her constantly and hopes to make her his by dancing for her. 

He fans out his tail feathers and hops towards her, then takes a few steps back. He repeats this courting gesture until she tires of him and runs a few feet away. But he is insistent and pursues her over and over again. I hope that he wins her heart as it is such fun to  watch the young birds as they leave the nest under their mothers supervision.

We have a bird bath/feeder in the back garden which we used to fill with seed, but now with torn meniscuses in both knees, I cannot get down the steps to fill it, so they get fed from the back sliding glass door. I just toss the food onto the back porch. They don't care where it is. 

They are quite used to me now and I have them almost eating out of my hand. So much so that as soon as I open the door, they come flying in to the garden from all directions, calling each other.

We have water in the bird feeder and in a plastic container in front of the steps. They bathe and drink and sing and they enjoy our back garden as much as we do.

It's a lovely place to recoup one's spoons during a fibromyalgia flare. The daily scenes are so peaceful and we love our little haven and we know the birds think of it as their haven as well. Their constant visits and frequent broods of chicks speaks of a place of plentiful food, water and safety.

We are grateful God lead us to this little country town- it is a gift from Him: our little haven

Wednesday, 12 January 2022

You can say that again

So today we have shopped online but most of the food we ordered was unavailable. So we took a trip to Aldi  and managed to get  meat,  chicken and cat food.  Most products are being limited now.  There are distribution shortages of staff due to Covid. 

There's a four hour queue to get tested or one can do a Rapid Antigen Test at home, but there's a shortage of tests and it's very difficult to get one. People who can't get tested are isolating and missing out on work just in case they are positive.

Our Prime Minister suggested that as most Australians will test positive soon so he told us to make sure we have paracetamol aka Panadol on hand so that we can manage symptoms at home. (Lotsa luck with that one!) So people went out and stripped all pharmacies and supermarkets of all brands of paracetamol. 

To top it all off for me is that once again, my antidepressants haven't made it off the wharves. They don't know when they will be available again. So it's lucky that I have extra Panadol on hand for my fibromyalgia and an extra box of antidepressants. I am so grateful to the Proverbs 31 wife in scripture who was always prepared and laughs at the time to come. 

A past Prime Minister of ours once famously quoted that life wasn't meant to be easy. You can say that again. 

Monday, 10 January 2022

Through troubled waters to Home

We   are  now  into  2022 and   I  was  considering  how  fearful  some  of us  are  as  the   New  Year approached  and I was  comforted  to realise  that God has got this!   There  is no need to fear.
How can we have the peace we need as we face yet another year of uncertain times? By remembering Who is our Backstop, our Guide and our Comforter..
Jesus has brought us through every day until now... He guides us through each day through His Holy Spirit... He comforts us as we travel through this world on our way  Home with Him. 

    He is able. 
         He is. 
              And was. 
                 And will be....
      God with us. 
          Not far from us. 
A very present help in trouble...

Let  us join our hearts  and hands united in faith,  and not fear the future. We are in very good Hands... and  may  God give us His Peace  and guide us  through troubled  waters to  Home....

© Glenys Robyn Hicks

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. Revelation 1:8

If you are not sure where your eternal Home will be, please read this link. Don't go another day without assurance and peace that comes with salvation...

Wednesday, 5 January 2022

It's gonna be a PJ's day.


The rain is pouring down but it's not cold just pleasantly warm after the last few days of summer heat. Xena is still asleep on my bed.

Chris is watching TV and I have got the breakfast dishes soaking in hot soapy water. The house is tidy and cosy. Life is good.

I woke up early and left Chris to sleep. I heard the birds calling each other and watched as my beloved Kingfishers came down searching for some left over sausage among the rice dish I put out for them last night.

Carefully opening the sliding door that opens onto the decking where they congregate waiting for me to feed them, they sat only inches away from me. Gradually they are coming closer to feeding from my hand. 

The washing machine is churning away at the load of clothes I am washing. I try to do a load a day so as not to use up all my spoons in one hit, folding them and putting them away. 

People with fibromyalgia would understand the need to pace oneself in order to achieve some completion of household tasks. There's so much job satisfaction in even doing one load of washing and putting it away. 

I have some steak thawing for dinner tonight. I am planning on cooking a vegetable intensive beef stew.
With the cooler weather and rain, the menu begs for a stew...

I still haven't changed out of my pajamas and it's 1pm but I don't really care. We aren't going anywhere and I am feeling pretty laid back and a tad achy. It's the change in weather.

It was a pretty slow but pleasant morning with Chris making me some breakfast and a cup of tea. The panadol is kicking in helping me with the aches and pains of fibromyalgia that's reacting to the weather change, but I am glad to report that it's not a fibro flare per se.

So in spite of aches and pains, I am feeling pretty good today, but even so, it's gonna be a PJ's day. 

Saturday, 1 January 2022

I just have to pursue it.

 So with a horrid year last year, I was quite happy to see the end of it. I messaged my friends and family and wished them a happy new year, then turned my phone off and went to bed.

It was on 11 o'clock, but I was exhausted and had no spoons left. The weather was really warm and I decided to forgo my electric blanket. With the help of a Tramadol, I managed to quell my fibro and back pain and soon fell asleep.

I woke up at 2am and realised that it was January 1st. Not that it makes much difference what year or day it is- for Chris and I one day is much the same as another. We stay home mostly.

This year, I am training myself to live in the moment. That's all we are promised anyway. I have worried about what lies ahead this new year, but I am going to stop thinking too far ahead.

I plan to read more of the Bible and saturate myself in uplifting read and videos. I am going to try to live with hope and not dwell on negatives.

The eternal optimist, I am going to believe that I am going to have less fibro pain and get more done. I mean, if one thinks only of horrible things it will ensure that I just exist and don't live.

I don't want to endure next year, but enjoy it. It's a big ask, but it is possible. I tell myself it's possible to live an abundantly happy life in spite of pain. I just have to pursue it. 

Friday, 31 December 2021

But by the grace of God, go I

As you probably know, I suffer from a myriad of health issues from life threatening to annoying. Each day is a constant struggle to keep my home and look after Chris and myself and our little white cat, Xena.

Recently, I read an article about chronically ill bloggers who use the internet to feed their latent Munchausen's disease  The writer who obviously is not suffering an invisible chronic illness, concludes- falsely that we are feeding a desire for attention and sympathy.

This writer had no medical expertise and spoke with the confidence and freedom of a healthy person who knows nothing of the pain every day brings to us who aren't so blessed. It made me both angry and sad.

Anyone who manages to carry on a relatively "normal" life, sacrificing their comfort to serve and love those closest to them, know that the only thing we really desire is compassion. We rarely take delight in our symptoms, in fact the majority of us try very hard to appear as a healthy person in spite of being in pain and discomfort.

Goodness knows, we suffer so much with people judging us unkindly and this simply serves to push us further into depression and loneliness. Especially when our illness is invisible, like fibromyalgia.

Many of us chronically ill people are housebound for the most part, and therefore we feel a certain amount of loneliness and disjointment from society. We simply want to be respected and allowed to simply exist without the stigma of mental disease in the form of Munchausen's.

We bloggers of chronic illness do so because we know the feeling of disenfranchisement in a social sense. We are stripped of our right to live in peace and freedom from bullying ignorant people. 

Writing for those who suffer like we do helps us to reach out to people who would understand the psychological insulation and the sting of being misjudged and categorised as a malingering attention seeker. 

Whilst it is true that we have the LORD to love us unconditionally, it nevertheless hurts us that people are so cruel and instrumental in adding ridiculous labels to us that demoralise us even further.

Chronic illness and pain is a horrid  way to live and those who cast stones at us would do well to thank God that they aren't so afflicted. God has not chosen them to walk the lonely path of chronic illness and they also would do well to remember "but by the grace of God, go I" 

© Glenys Robyn Hicks

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. 3 John 1:2

Wednesday, 29 December 2021

They're silently waiting for me

Anyone who follows this blog knows that I struggle with washing the dishes. It is a battle that is fought and lost on two fronts: emotional and physical.

The emotional part is owing to the fact that I don't have a dishwasher and the dishes multiply like rabbits and are a continual eye sore on the side of the sink. 

In spite of cleaning them up and being rewarded by not only an empty sink and benches and of course, clean dishes- I find the complete futility of feeling done with them is disheartening.

A terrible procrastinator, I promise myself that I will keep up with them, but illness laughs as it assails me with yet another flare, and they remain on the bench mocking me for being  defeated yet again.

So here comes the other side of this domestic dilemma: being completely out of spoons and suffering from broken knees and collapsing spine. I simply cannot stand.

And of course that horridly wicked ruler, Fibromyalgia ensures that I am in an almost constant flare, and it is the cherry on the top of my cocktail of pain. So not only is my physical health attacked, but also my mental health. It's depressing.

I know I could ask Chris for help, but he has heart failure and battles his own health issues. It has always been me who washes the dishes, and then he will usually come and dry them and put them away. I am grateful.

Until I can gather some spoons I will sit and wait for my Tramadol to work. I plan to clear the dishes up, cook some steak and vegetables for dinner tonight and rest. That's the plan. Meanwhile, they're silently waiting for me.

Sunday, 26 December 2021

The cupboard was bare.


So with chronic illness, one has to find shortcuts and plans that whilst celebrating events, keeps the work involved to a minimum so we don't run out of spoons.

This Christmas, with the mother of all Fibromyalgia flares and hosts of painful ailments all vying for top position, my twin sister and I decided to buy KFC again this year, and make that our Christmas feast.

With her being a Fibromite with Lupus, we planned to buy it to eat as a family for our festive lunch. We had done it before and we found it just right. So the plan seemed sound.

However, it turned to dust as Chris and I travelled to my sister and son's house, looking up various KFC's on our phone. Each website showed it as being closed this Christmas Day! 

We called in to my elder son's home to wish them a Merry Christmas and exchange gifts, and I told them of our dilemma. Straight away, my daughter-in -law called my son to start carving up their enormous leg of ham.

She also gave us a large tray of pasta salad and a frozen dessert suitable for 4 people. They both saved the day for us.

Arriving at my younger son's and sister's, I was informed that her cupboard was bare. She also planned on KFC as our Christmas fare and hadn't anything else available. She was so relieved when Chris came in with the food from my other son. 

We ate lunch with great relish, exchanged gifts and hugs and took Holy Communion together. It was quite special and we enjoyed remembering Jesus's birthday.

Later on, I talked to my son and his partner and told them they had saved our Christmas. Faced with nothing to eat and an empty pantry, it made me think of Mother Hubbard and how she must have felt when the cupboard was bare.

Friday, 24 December 2021

Oh no, no ho ho!

So we had our little granddaughter Taylah for a few days, and picked her up Friday, but it didn't go to plan. After a full day, in spite of me making an effort to play with her and give her my full attention, she decided she wanted to go home. 

She said she missed her mother, and so we made the 2 hour trip each way to drop her off again. Even though I didn't drive, I was exhausted. Even being a passenger is gruelling when you have a fibromyalgia flare, angina, sore back and broken knees that throb with every heart beat.

I had bought a rolling pin with the nativity on it and planned to make Christmas cookies as gifts. Well, I did make cookies as promised with Taylah helping me, but not the ones I planned to give away. They were plain cookies. 

When I told her we had to refrigerate the dough for a couple of hours, she said she didn't want to have to wait. So the Christmas cookies didn't come to pass. 

The Mother of all Flares has come to pay me yet another visit- or maybe I just haven't recovered from the last one. I am feeling so exhausted I could collapse. So yesterday I had a nana nap and went to bed earlier than normal.

I was hoping that would do the trick and give me some wind under my sails, but in truth I awoke with no spoons. No spoons on Christmas Eve is a disaster!

We were supposed to leave our home around 11am today and visit my children and grandchildren but I felt unsteady on my feet, due to wonky knees, foggy in head due to fibro and hurting so badly with my spinal stenosis that I had to cancel.

Tomorrow we are supposed to see Taylah open her presents, visit my sister and son for lunch and go to my step-daughter's for afternoon tea before driving the two hours home before dark.

Truthfully, unless I have a miracle, we won't be going. After I finish chatting to you, I will be letting the Tramadol work by going to bed to rest. I really want to feel better.

As much as I love my family and Christmas, it would seem that it is going to have to be cancelled. It's a pity but it is what it is! Besides, nobody wants a spaced out whiny woman around them on Christmas Day. And I don't want to her, but unfortunately it's hard with illness to have any ho ho ho. 

Monday, 20 December 2021

No mojo with fibro

So leading up to Christmas, I had my 9 year old granddaughter Taylah, stay with us until Christmas Eve, when she would be taken home in plenty of time for Santa to come.

I promised Tay that we would make Christmas cookies make cubbies, play school, go swimming and have a play date with her cousins. 

Day one started out well and we played school, office workers and shop keepers. I showed Tay how to touch type, taught her a bit of Italian and French in a fun way and then I promptly ran out of spoons.

I simply had to give in to the pain and take some Tramadol to keep going. I made some lunch and felt like I might pass out. Dizziness assailed me and I felt vomity. Probably the Tramadol.

I had to explain to Tay that I love having her here, but am not well and I need to take a nana nap. She got a crash course in fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. 

She had lost her paternal grandmother last week and was very anxious about me so I didn't want to frighten her too much, so I said that if I don't go to rest for an hour that I would not enjoy her stay because I would be cranky. If I went to bed just for an hour, I would enjoy it so much more, and so would she.

As she accepted this fact, she immediately bombarded me with "but I thought we were making cookies, playing out side and making a cubby house?" I told her we could do all that if I took a nap. She said OK then got her ipad out. I went to bed and allowed the Tramadol to do its magic. It didn't.

No, it didn't do anything except make me nauseous, even after a 20 minute nap. That was all I got. So, I got up, made us all a cup of tea and sat down with Chris to watch a video he wanted to show me.

Taylah pouted and demanded to make cookies, as I had had a nana nap. Groaning, I got up and started taking ingredients out to make the cookies. 

After that, I was too exhausted to clean the kitchen. I cooked dinner and then it was time for Tay to have her bath. That wasn't a big deal as she's nearly ten, but she wanted me to play MacDonalds with her, so I got some wooden spoons and plastic cups for her to play with. 

I sat on my shower stool and bought some Big Macs,"no pickles, no onion and a soft serve cone for my daughter." We blew bubbles with the Imperial Leather soap and I did what Fibromites do best: I tried to hide my pain and pretended to have a good time.

By 9 o'clock I insisted that Tay go to bed and I joined her. Before we went to sleep, she told me she missed her mother and wanted to go home.

In the morning, she assured me she loved being here and she loved me but wanted her mum. I told her I understood and that it was fine. We would take her home. She was humming to herself as she played teacher and when I went to the fridge, I found a love note from her to me.

I was glad as I worried she didn't stay with us longer because I was a boring old lady. And I fear I am. Cos everyone knows there's no mojo with fibro.