Wednesday, February 07, 2007

How to hurt yourself

Our green keyboard

On Monday, I cycled 7 miles (round-trip) over a fairly hilly route, accompanying J to see his doctor. This possibly wasn't the best route to choose for the first ride in several months, because as well as the seat-ache I was expecting, the backs of my thighs were seriously complaining yesterday. Which meant that I didn't do anything terribly strenuous.

I can't help feeling it would be better if muscles let you know when you were doing something that is going to hurt, rather than saving it up so that you can't move the next day.

I did clean the oven, though, which ought to burn lots of calories if there were any justice in life.

The big news of yesterday: J went to work. And didn't have to come home. (And he went back again today. This is real progress, although he's only there in the afternoons until he's feeling a bit stronger.)

In order to cement positive feelings of achievement and what-have-you, we had a healthy salad tea and then spent some time looking at kitten videos on Cute Overload. Exciting stuff like that.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Something resembling a proper post!

OK. It’s now February. The last time I posted anything with any actual content in it was Hallowe’en. This is rather pathetic. Where have I been for the last three months? Nowhere much.

I think I’ve said in the past how difficult it is for me to write sad posts. Some people enjoy venting, and it gets it out of their systems. Others, like me, don’t like to put it down on the page, because then they have to think about it. So, the short version: I didn’t have a job, and I needed one for both financial and logistical reasons. J was off work with depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and general exhaustion. Grandpa and Granny both ended up in hospital over Christmas. There was general family stress. It was wet and windy and dark. I didn’t take any exercise to speak of between mid-November and mid-January.

If you read my mum’s blog (do I have permission to link to you, Mum?) then you already know some of this.

Archives is a small field, and because I can’t move or commute a long way away (I don’t drive) I was limited to looking for jobs in the Central Scotland area, and there weren’t very many to apply for. And those I did apply for, I didn’t get. But… a couple of weeks ago my luck changed, and I now have a job again, or at least a contract - I start later this month. This is good. It does involve about an hour’s commute, which is less good, but I can do it all by bus, so it’ll be do-able and I’ll get to read in transit. I won’t mention my new employers on here, but it is in a nice shiny new archive and I’m looking forward to it.

My grandparents: Grandpa has been in hospital for a few months now. He broke his hip a while back and since then has been unable to stand, and because he’s now confused, he doesn’t accept that he isn’t able to, which isn’t ideal. There’s no way Granny could look after him on her own, but he doesn’t really see why he can’t just order a taxi and go home… Which is really sad. He’s always been a very forceful person and until recently, was still very sharp. And while you can feel his frustration at (apparently) being surrounded by idiots who won’t do as he says, that doesn’t make it easier for those who have to deal with him.

Granny had a lot of fainting fits on Boxing Day and also spent a few nights in hospital, but she seems to be a lot better now. Which is good. Mum is staying with her for a while, though.

I’m sure my parents have been worrying about my grandparents for much longer than I have – but it does seem as though they’ve quite suddenly lost their independence. Which I suppose is inevitable, given that they’re both well into their eighties. But still sad.

J’s problems started a little before Christmas, when he had a flare-up of his OCD – it got so bad that he was having great difficulty leaving the house, because he couldn’t quite convince himself that the gas was turned off and that the door was locked. The trouble with OCD is that it’s often an exaggeration of sensible behaviour: obviously you SHOULD check if the door is locked before you walk away from your house. But not twenty or thirty or fifty times, because that begins to make you late for work, and then you can’t go to work because you can’t stop checking.

His psychiatrist prescribed antidepressant no. 10 (clomipramine), which does seem to have cured the OCD. Unfortunately, it has various side-effects, the worst of which was that it made J really, really tired. So he’d try to go in to work, and be too exhausted to think after a couple of hours, and have to come home. And it appears to have no effect whatever on his depression, which seems to be resistant to all the antidepressants he’s tried over the years.

So his doctor has agreed that he can come off it, slowly (as you have to) and we’re trying a combination of gentle exercise, sunlight when available, and Eating More Protein and Less Breakfast Cereal. (Another side-effect is a craving for sweet foods. Because we don’t tend to buy biscuits and sweets much, J found himself eating four bowls of Weetabix a day, which we agree isn’t a balanced diet or very GI-friendly.) He is not exactly cured. However, he’s currently playing his guitar downstairs, which is a really good sign – when he’s really depressed he doesn’t have the energy or desire to do anything.

J and I have been doing a fair bit of walking recently, and he has just fixed my bike, and the weather is improving. So I have hopes that the Time of No Proper Exercise is over. I’m still thinking I won’t rejoin a gym; my old gym is nowhere near my new work, and I’m only on a six-month contract. However, I’m hoping to spend some of my first pay on some proper dumbbells. At the moment, I feel weak and flabby and I don’t like that very much. I don’t know what I weigh either, so perhaps buying a bathroom scale ought to go into the budget too? In a month and ten days, this will be my two-year blogging anniversary. Blogiversary. Thingy. Let’s see if I can write some proper, accountable posts between now and then.

Blogger at work