Painless

Lots of things we do aren’t as bad as we think they are going to be, and that’s been pretty much the case for a lot of what I’ve done this week.

On Monday I prepared for the probation hostel session, and answered loads of emails, and prepared for an Artlift meeting. And I cleared a lot of nettles from my garden. Usually I get stung badly doing this, but I wore appropriate clothing and only had a few stings. I had sold quite a lot of stuff on eBay, and I packed it all up to send, and that didn’t take quite as long as I expected it would. And late at night I went outside and saw two shooting stars, and of course made wishes.

On Tuesday I had an EEG! Not because there’s anything wrong (at least not that I know about); it was a psychology experiment for which I was a subject. It was interesting to see my brainwaves just bumbling along happily and try clenching my teeth, which made them go wild. Later I did a session at the hospital. First I worked with a couple who are going through a difficult time and were lovely, but then I spoke to another lovely woman but accidentally asked a fairly innocuous question that really upset her. Oh dear. However well they seem to be doing, many cancer patients are very fragile indeed. I felt awful about this, but it’s something that happens very rarely, and I suppose it’s inevitable now and then.

And then I went for a physiotherapy session. Soon after I had my accident, my mother said, in her usual encouraging way, “Wait until you have physiotherapy – then it will really hurt.” But in fact the physiotherapist was wonderful. He spent a long time explaining how the damage was still affecting my foot, and asking what I wanted to be able to do; he was honest but positive, and made sure I always felt in control of the whole process. I have to say that it’s all felt a lot better since I saw him, and I’m now the proud owner of a wobble board – not the sort of thing Rolf Harris used to play, but a foot exercising device.

I posted all my parcels and put more stuff on eBay. And that’s another thing that’s been much easier than I thought. I usually hate throwing things away, or selling them, but I’m in the right frame of mind at the moment, and letting things go has been relatively painless. I did some more gardening and handled emails and wrote up my hospital session.

On Wednesday I woke very late. I’ve always been someone who wakes feeling ready for anything, but I think the nerve pain drug has changed that – I have to drag myself from sleep and all the amazing dreams I have. I think I must start weaning myself off this drug now. I did some more gardening, did some prep for the suffragettes project I’m working on, and more or less finished sorting the spare room. Hooray! I also filled in two big forms, which again didn’t take as long as I expected, and answered loads of emails. There seem to have been a lot of emails this week.

Thursday morning was a bit disappointing. I went to the probation hostel, but only one guy turned up for the session, and he was really ill, so we abandoned it. Shame – but these things happen with groups, and I’ve learned not to take it personally. I did another session at the hospital instead, and worked with a lovely and very chatty chap who was the husband of a lady I worked with a few weeks ago – he actually beckoned me over in the waiting room. I did a bit more gardening. I tend to do a bit of gardening each day when I have the time. Usually after about an hour I get a backache, but that hasn’t happened at all this week.

And then (small fanfare of trumpets, please) I did my tax return. I know several people who do work like mine who put off their tax returns until the last minute, and then it hangs over them as a threat that lasts for months. I do mine on or about August 15th each year, and feel entitled to a certain smugness. And I am full of praise for the Inland Revenue, who have made the forms as easy as possible to complete. I did come across one problem, and had to hang on the helpline for half an hour, but once I got through to someone it was sorted out quickly. And you know what? I find paying tax painless as well. It’s my entry fee for living in what is after all a very pleasant country, with an excellent health service (except for the management, which is rubbish).

I wrote up the hospital stuff, made a cake for the meeting on Friday, and threw out some more stuff from another room, and did some more sewing.

Most of Friday was taken up with the Artlift meeting. We have all been working on Artlift for 6 years, and it’s great to get together now and then. The Son came home in the evening, and I collected him at 2 am after he’d had a night out with his old friends. I don’t mind doing this; it’s not as if it happens very often.

More clearing on Saturday, and then a bit of shopping, and on Sunday I cycled over to the Tewkesbury vintage car and motor cycle rally. Lots of pretty cars. And The Bloke held the ladder while I went up really high to finish painting the side of the house. I’d expected to a be a bit scared, but in fact once I was up the ladder I felt absolutely fine; I have my confidence back! In the evening I saw Red 2,  which is just a it of fun.

All in all, it’s been a painless week, although I’ve done lots of things that could be rather difficult. And what’s more, I’ve cut down a lot on the painkillers. One day I’ll be pain free.

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