As we start 2015 TRB is nearly two, and rather a lot has happened in the last year!
Recently I've been writing about something other than Fibromyalgia and Interstitial Cystitis, which was a bit of a surprise and not something I ever expected. Sitting down with a purpose for this blog when I set it up, I never thought to have to deal with (and thereby write about) health concerns which didn't touch on either of those conditions. Fate, as Bernard Cornwell's Merlin was wont to say in The Warlord Chronicles, is inexorable.
It's the first of January, and I'm now two weeks post-surgery. I'm healing up surprisingly quickly (mad skills, clearly) and I'm looking at the week after next to hopefully return to work. This gives me another week to get over the lingering tiredness - I'm still sleeping a lot and I'm easily wiped out, although improving every day.
I've been off the painkillers for a whole three days now too! That isn't to say the scar isn't still aching and painful, but it's at a level where I feel able to cope with it by myself. I wasn't expecting to get here so quickly if I'm honest, but I'm certainly not complaining.
It's traditional to make resolutions at the turn of the new year to focus on in the coming months. These are usually concerned with self-improvement in one fashion or another.
I don't usually make them, but then my late November and December don't usually involve close brushes with "life's too short" either, so my outlook is somewhat different this year. For a week and a half before Christmas I (and everyone around me) thought I had cancer. Looking back now with a benign diagnosis, it's difficult to put into words what an earth shattering concept that is to wrap the brain around. There's nothing to prepare you, and no getting away from it. I was very lucky indeed that, thanks to Joffrey being highly unusual (unique in fact), this turned out to not be so.
So, this year I'm going to try and do more - including hopefully a welcome return to a former love.
When I was 17 I gave up horse riding after ten years to learn to drive - money simply wouldn't stretch to everything. Just as I was getting ready to look into going back to it I started with the Fibromyalgia symptoms and therefore wrote it off as a bad job.
However, in the last few months since moving into the Upside Down house, my health has been significantly better (Joffrey notwithstanding). Despite it being winter, the usual joint pain and stiffness has been noticeably less limiting than in previous years. It would appear (touch wood) that things are improving. With that in mind, I think it's time to give horse riding another go. I've found a nearby centre which looks very promising and have arranged to go for a visit tomorrow to see the horses and talk about the set up they have. I'm picky on several fronts with riding schools, and won't go just anywhere for the sake of price or convenience.
Yes, there's the risk of falling and jarring my aforementioned grumpy joints, but here's where my sort-of resolution comes in. I think it's time I was more willing to attempt things, rather than holding back and going "Oh, but x, y and z might happen!" and therefore giving up before I've begun.
(It's winter in the UK. That's excuse enough for me for a picture of a stunning horse running through snow. Image from rgbmag.com)
It was only when I went nosying on the website of the centre I'm visiting that I realised just how much I missed it. I love horses, they're unique and wonderful animals and spending time with them is incredibly rewarding. Also, if you'll permit me to blow my own trumpet for a moment, I was pretty good. I'd been at it for years and I worked hard to improve. It was a genuine skill, and I miss the comfort of the knowledge that there was a challenging sport I excelled in. As much as I'll be rusty at first, I'd love to get back to that level.
So, watch this space!
Continuing in this vein, I've agreed to let a friend take me to jive classes to try it out. This is likely to be hilarious for everyone except me. I've always liked the idea of being able to dance, but have been too shy to give dance classes a go up to press as I never had the typical classes as a little girl and see myself as largely uncoordinated and clumsy. However, in the spirit of "life's too short" I shall put myself to the hazard and risk some giggling for the sake of trying something new.
Something far more subtle seems to have already begun before the new year, but I hope to keep it going and see where it takes me. There's been something of a shift in the way I look at myself and my body.
As much as I can declaim at length about the fact our society is far too concerned with the concepts of beauty and perfection, I'm just as prone as everyone else to succumb from time to time in terms of fretting about this blemish or that weight gain or loss. I know it's silly, but bad days occur nonetheless.
Since the surgery though, I've really felt a profound shift into thinking about the amazing things my body can do. We'll call Joffrey and Petunia blips - we all have those, right? - but blips aside, my body is incredible. I had invasive facial surgery two weeks ago, and I'm already up and about, the scar is healing incredibly neatly, I'm regaining the weight lost through stress and inability to eat properly and the severely damaged nerve controlling the right side of my lower lip is showing small signs of recovery already.
Think about that for a moment. That nerve was rather battered and bruised during the operation as it was wrapped around the tumour, so had to be peeled away. In my surgeon's words it looked "extremely sorry for itself" when they'd finished. Full recovery was considered unlikely, but my team were hopeful for some improvement over the next few months. In two weeks, it's already taking baby steps towards getting better! I'm guilty of a little bias since it's my nerve, but that surely deserves full marks for effort? The swift healing process thus far really has left me taken aback at what a brilliant machine the human body is.
To further highlight how silly the preoccupation with how things look is, I've had several negative reactions from people whilst out and about when I've tied my hair up to get it out of the way, and thus revealed the scar on my neck. Initially I was incensed with this, but given how well the scar is healing it just further illustrates the lack of perspective involved. Rather than it being considered something ugly or disfiguring, to me with the knowledge of just how quickly and tidily it has healed it's something really impressive. It's a battle scar, and I'm proud of it. I'm proud of what my body has achieved in such a short space of time.
Also, I smiled almost normally for the first time today. It appears this tired the nerve out completely as it's not really responded much since, but if that isn't evidence of how hard my body is working I don't know what is.
(Me. Nearly there!)
So, a very Happy New Year to you all. I hope 2015 brings plenty of health and happiness.
Oh, the title? That's not a resolution, more of a request.
It's 2015. Where's my hoverboard?
Do you have any New Year's resolutions concerning your health or anything else? I'd love to hear about them!
Wishing you all many spoons xxx
Wishing you all many spoons xxx