The world is a terrible place for sensitive people.

Cats, Employment, It's not fair, Medication, MS, Multiple Sclerosis, Seasons, Why aren't I Patti Smith?

The world is a terrible place for sensitive people

but the closer we come to losing our minds, the harder we’ll work

to keep them.

Kate Tempest

Autumn’s an odd season.  It makes me… feel. Like Spring, it’s a time of transition, but instead of rebirth and renewal, it’s all about death – and hibernation; going to sleep until things are better. Trees are discarding their leaves as if the previous few months meant nothing to them. And for a brief moment, nature is so beautiful that it’s bordering on the ridiculous.  Seriously, nature: the human brain is only equipped to deal with so much loveliness. Turn it down a bit. See, being hugely sensitive to beauty is hard,  See above quote, if you will. 

I haven’t done this for ages, so forgive me if it’s a bit rusty, a little muddled – rubbish. I think I’m going to write about three things: being a supply teacher; my impending Lemtrada treatment; miscellaneous.

Being A Supply Teacher

S’alright.  So far, I’ve had quite a gentle introduction by working in two pretty nice schools with pretty nice kids.  The first place, which I really liked, were looking for someone who could work full time; three days are my limit. And if MS is about anything, it’s about learning what your limitations are. Man, I hate limitations.  So I couldn’t stay at that school, alas etc. The second school I was dispatched to, up to this very week, was the one D works at. Nice to work at the same place again for a bit. Unfortunately, they want someone who’ll work full time as well. Damn the ‘Man’ and his cash-orientated society/random allocation of chronic illness, specifically to me. So post-half term I fully expect to be rocking up at a less than pleasant Secondary, looking forward to being entirely ignored / possibly helplessly watching as kids conduct some sort of missile based tactical warfare across a shabby 50s built classroom, whilst any senior member of staff has gone mysteriously AWOL. IT’S ALL GOOD, THOUGH. Thing is, this supply, it has reminded me that I do like teaching, being in a classroom, interacting with those odd little youngsters that are, apparently, our hopes and dreams for the future. I think I get too attached too easily. Like I do with puppies and kittens. I’m a sensitive person.

Impending Lemtrada Treatment

This is both a good and a scary thing.  And it’s exactly one month away. So, what happens, or has happened, is I had to have a load of blood samples sent away to be tested for, you know, things – like HIV, TB (?!), Hepatitis, stuff like that, and a chest x-ray, conducted by a disarmingly (apologies D) HOT man who had an adorable East Midlands accent, which I love (reminds me of Nottingham), and addressed me as “duck” –  I know – so that was nice. And I got to wear a hospital gown, which I never have before, and I think they’re great – I would like a dress cut in that exact shape.  In fact, I’ve just realised, the dress I’m wearing right now is about 89% hospital gown-ish in its design. I’ve become distracted and deviated from my topic. Soz. Anyhoo.  In one month I shall be ‘checking-in’ for a week’s stay at Hotel Le Stoke Hospital and once there, I will be enjoying five days of IV drips sending steroids, anti-histimines and Lemtrada right up into my blood stream via a vein. And my immune system will be all trampled by the heavy boots of the aforementioned drug. And then I shall leave the hospital, and lo, will be all weakened like a lovely kitten, and will henceforth take to my bed, where I will repose until I am well enough to be transported to my lovely rocking chair, where I will sit covered by blanket and surrounded by cushions and cat, and there I shall drink endless cups of restorative chai, and read much edifying Literature, until my convalesce is complete, and I shall emerge reborn with an immune system that DOES NOT ATTACK ACTUAL ME. How appropriate that I am to have my treatment in Autumn/Winter. Good times.

Miscellaneous

Mate. Mo money mo problems? I think I could cope with that. Just a bit mo money would be downright first-rate capital. Although being a supply teacher is great, if you’re not working you’re not earning – and I’m going to be not working for a good two months, what with C’mas and all.  Basically, don’t expect a present and can you lend me a tenner? Hey-ho. Worse things happen at sea, I presume. Drowning, shark attacks etc.

This bit’s a mass apology. I have a tendency, as y’all know, to go quite hermity at times.  Metaphorically wall myself up in my cave. So I’ve not been good at responding to various missives: emails, texts, yellowed parchments in ancient green bottles. Sending birthday greetings. So, sorry? If that applies to you, I fall at your feet and offer to throughly prostrate myself whilst not making any promises to be better in future. That okay?

The world continues to go to shit, I continue to cry at news, read good books (Patti Smith’s M Train – still recovering from that), listen to good music (Gwenno – excellent reading to music on account of me not understanding Welsh and therefore not becoming distracted by lyrics, but mainly just great; also, Sexwitch. Totally love that name.) 

Nap, 

sleep, 

O perchance to dream.

blog 23 oct pic

Insanity through inaction.

Anxiety, Cats, Employment, Happiness, Life is hard, Medication

Let’s set the scene.  A bar, midweek, early evening, some sort of social gathering. Music plays indistinctly in the background, inconsequential chat drifts across the room as friends of friends and acquaintances of work colleagues awkwardly exchange small talk.

The camera begins to zoom in and, deep breath, there she is! The writer (ofthisblog). Gazing pseudo-interestedly at an art print on the wall, sipping a glass of red wine. Responding to a gentle tap on her shoulder, she turns…

Hey! – it’s been, like, forever – where’ve you been?

Hey! – uh, y’know – here and there, back and forth – holidays and all that – but here I am – back now.

So, dear reader, if you’d do me the kindness of taking on the role of ‘guest at indeterminate social gathering’ and I’ll be me. Don’t worry, you won’t have to do anything but listen, and do try to maintain eye-contact. I’ll be mainly monologuing.

Where do I start? Let’s go with MEDICATION.

If you think back, you’ll remember that I was hoping to stop Tysabri sooner rather than later – the two-year deadline is mid-November – and start ‘my Lemtrada journey’. Near to the end of August, I had an appointment at Royal Stoke University Hospital with their neurologist, who I liked a lot, and he said “yeah, that’s fine” – or words to that effect. Yesterday (yes, just yesterday) his MS nurse called and asked me to go in to see her next month and told me I could stop Tysabri immediately! This is good news. There’s a three-month wash out period so the Lemtrada won’t happen yet, but still. I shall tell you more as and when…

UNEMPLOYMENT

To sleep in and not have to deal with all that the first day of a new school year entails was delicious. The rest of the week though? I fear I was perhaps a little crazy by Friday. It’s the not doing anything, man. I mean, obviously I haven’t literally done nothing at all. I’ve read quite a bit. Listened to podcasts. Had my hair coloured. Hung out with the cat (can you spend too much time with your cat?). Not made myself a schedule which I had sworn was something I was definitely, without a doubt, for sure going to do. I spent the week stagnating. My brain disintegrating, My conversation collapsing.  Maybe I’m exaggerating a smidgen. I need some supply though, unless I am to be incarcerated in debtors prison. Or sectioned. One or the other looks likely. Might get a book out of the experience though, so swings and roundabouts.

Anyhow. Is that the time? I must be away! Things to do!* People to see!** Madness to stave off!***

Swiftly gulping the last of her wine as she stands to leave, you wonder when, and if, you’ll see her again. As she heads for the door, a voice cuts through the now alcohol-lubricated chatter,

Is this chair free?

chair

*Lie.

**Lie.

***Not a lie.

Possibly Maybe…Perhaps?

Fatigue, I'd like to sit down please, Life is hard, MS, Multiple Sclerosis, Sexy foxes

Hey, man. Let’s talk. I mean, I’ll talk, obviously, and you’ll listen. Because that’s our relationship dynamic, isn’t it?  No need to go rocking the metaphorical boat. Let’s settle into our comfortable groove, tred that well-worn path, commence this post.  

 
Indulge me, if you will, by taking yourself way back in time to Monday. Oh how we laugh at the way things were then: the fashions, the turns of phrase, the hopes and dreams… *wipes tears of mirth from eyes* Are you there? Good. On Monday, dear reader, I was full of the joys of early summer. I had succeeded in successfully shunning Monsieur Fatigue!  


His wiles were not for me. No longer was I separated from the technicolour flurries of life by a gauzy film! I was both human and dancer! I cautiously tweeted my victory! I marked some coursework! Made some gluten and dairy-free brownies! Told my neighbour that I was fine now! Pontificated on which of the anti-fatigue strategems was my best piece of weaponry! A triumphant day indeed. 

O hubris! The downfall of many a story-tale hero. And an equal number of over-confident MSers. Monsieur Fatigue is more artful than I’d given him credit for.  

 Foxier. But not in a sexy way. Damn him!  

 
So, yeah, I’m back to feeling like gravity, in homage to Spinal Tap, has turned itself up to 11. 

Good times! Now get out. 

Fatigue feels like…

Fatigue, It's not fair, Moshing in a sumo-suit on a Tuesday, MS, Multiple Sclerosis

You’re a leaf. You’ve become unstuck and floated down from your tree and already a few humans have trampled on you. From your position on the pavement, with your leafy eyes, you look up and see all of your leafy friends and your leafy family getting on with their leafy lives. It’s not fair.  

A fallen leaf’s view from a pavement. Yesterday.

A child has clumsily made a play-doh representation of the human form. That’s you, that is. 

The worst hangover ever but instead of following the time-honoured tradition of, on waking, swearing never to drink again before, that same evening, pouring a glass of wine, you just continue to feel awful. So you might as well open that bottle.*

As usual, you’ve neglected to check how much petrol you have in your car. (Yes, I know. But I’m both busy and important. Okay?). But you’re already running late and it’s not far. You’re sure that if you concentrate super hard, the fumes will get you there. Fatigue is you running on gas fumes. 


You’re an ineffective damp square of kitchen roll.

Stumbling in a mosh pit. No one notices and no one can hear you ask for help. They’re having a brilliant night! You, however, are being jumped up and down on whilst the gig-goers continue to mosh atop you. Blissfully slash angrily unaware of your predicament.

Like wearing a sumo suit on a Tuesday.

Like my bank account, always.

Like teaching year 11 for three hours after they’ve just finished their maths exam.

Like my cat’s face when you try to move him during a proper fluffy and adorable cat sleep.

Me and the cat just moments before he did an angry face.

Like the white noise between radio stations (pre-digital). 

Like being made to listen to Embrace, forever.

Like curdled milk.

Like a partially rubbed out drawing.

Like when you’re trying to describe to someone a really good dream you had, but you just can’t quite reach the memory of it.

A bit like that really.
*Please drink responsibly.