Monday, June 30, 2008

Oh B*llocks!!!!

I hate that this problem of mine makes me clumsy. I dropped, yet again, a glass jar full of stuff on the floor. Yes it smashed. I had to move stuff and carelessly moved the hand held blender and it was plugged in and I touched the start button whilst my fingers were near the blade......

Now I have a slice of finger missing, it won't stop bleeding and it would of course need to be my knitting finger.....

I have wrapped it up well and stuck it down. I can still knit without much bother. I need to change the dressing again though.

I have felt a bit low today. I met someone yesterday I used to know and be very fond of. They have become a poisonous drunk and it is awful to see what that dreadful disease can do to a person.

I had LOADS of comments, most positive, about my attire yesterday. Mainly about my shoes. I had no idea at all that wearing two different colour shoes would cause such a stir!! Honestly, I am sure if I had worn just a jock strap it would have got less attention.

I am just gobsmacked that doing something that to me was a minor piece of artistic license was considered such a big deal. I ma glad to say in a positive way by most.

Bingo!

'I think partly it's because I feel if I take them at this level of pain, they may not work when I "really" need them.'

The above was left as part of a comment by AJ. This is precisely my fear. I have already, 15 years ago, experienced trouble with a drug where one needed higher and higher doses for it to work and then stopping it altogether was a nightmare of withdrawal. I swore I'd never go thru that again. Already, one of my drugs, which I take infrequently, is no longer as effective as it was when I first took it. I say infrequently meaning once a week or less. If I can gain a tolerance to a drug just taking it like that, you can perhaps see why I am afraid to take my pain meds regularly. Also, my condition is progressive and I don't want to be left with no pain relief because my body is used to drugs OR have to have such high doses it leaves me in a stupor or dead.


Saturday, June 28, 2008

WTF?

ABUSE FOR JESUS

We did our shopping last night. A delightful black girl child smiled at me and I said hello to her. Like many children, I assumed she was fascinated by my wheelchair. This child was no more than 6 yrs old.

I was horrified when she started to proselytise!!! She wanted to tell me all about the Real Lord and give me a dvd. However, she didn't have it on her so would come the next day and maybe I would be there?

I smiled and said thank you and she skipped off to her father and brother, also very young. I wanted to beat the father up. I wanted him in court right there and then charged with child abuse. i wanted his children removed to a place of safety. I wanted him to see the great harm he was doing his children by forcing this fundamentalist crap onto his children. i wanted him to understand that what he was doing was evil. Of course, I did nothing, said nothing, but expressed my anger to John.

Later, I had to wait for quite sometime to use the disabled toilet. The door opened and who should walk out, all able bodied 6ft plus of him? Yes, the fundamentalist father. He gave me a look of disdain and promptly let the door slam shut! I guess his love of the Lord doe not extend to everyone.

DRUGS

I have a dilemma or an issue or whatever the right word is about my drugs. I avoid taking them. Not the heart drugs, BP drugs, stomach drugs or cholesterol drugs, but my pain killers.

I worry about the effect they have or may have. I can't figure out if they only kill the pain or if they make me mentally feel better. It is the latter than worries me. Let me explain.

I took a dose today because I have the dogs to bathe and prepare for the show tomorrow. Now, I had been somewhat grumpy most of the morning, short tempered, grotty. As I often am. An hour or so after taking the pills I am not only feeling little pain but also in a good mood. I just don't feel grumpy and grotty any more.

Now is that because the pain has abated or because the drugs are changing my mood? John says it's because I am not in pain. He says I don't look or behave 'high'.

I worry about it. These drugs are not paracetamol but heavy duty Tramadol. The pack warns of dependence. I approached the chemist about it when I picked up my last sript for them and her response was that I ought not be concerned as I was l unlikely to stop taking them as my disease is progressive so what did it matter? Not a helpful answer really.

I am used to hurting. What I don't like and am not always aware of, is my grumpiness. I become aware when I over react to a petty annoyance. Then I feel bad and think I am losing it to have got so angry over a trivial thing. I feel so much better when I take the pills, not grumpy. Not hurting either. You see my concern? Am I not grumpy as a direct result of the drug or am I not grumpy as a side effect of not hurting?

Then of course, I take the pills only when the pain is bad. Trouble is when I have 24/7 pain and I do not find it easy to know when to take drugs and when not to. I have got used to it. So I am often unaware of how much pain I am in. Until it abates and then I think 'phew', thank goodness that's eased off.

I am sure this is a confusion for me because of my ability to disassociate. A trick I learned as a child when being abused. Not new. Many, if not all, children who are abused do it. To survive.
Trouble is, it is causing problems. I went undiagnosed for years because I mostly disassociated from it. Not just that of course but also not having faith in drs and my main experience had been with drs that assumed anything that I complained of was 'in my head' and stress related. My present dr is not like that at all. In fact it was she who had to broach the subject of me being ill with me as I never mentioned it to her. She had watched me, the way i moved, the way I held myself, the way I spoke(at times slurring as if drunk), the look of exhaustion, the paleness, the sometimes lack of balance and of my clumsiness. She noted it all and eventually when she realised I was not going to bring it up, she did. She knew I wasn't hiding it or trying too. She correctly surmised that I had either suppressed it or was afraid to mention it for fear of being sent to a shrink. Once she did, I was surprised but went along with her. I went for the xrays, to the neurologist, the rheumatologist, for the thalium scan etc etc. Much to my surprise I really had physical problems and worse than I thought. It wasn't nothing after all. And it wasn't stress or my 'nerves' or 'in my mind'.

So here I am, off on a tangent again, wondering about these pills. Am I feeling a good mood because I am not in so much pain or am I feeling good because the pills make me feel good?

I still argue with myself over how much pain I am in anyway and whether or not take drugs in the first place. A lot of the time, I get around fine. Certainly in my home. I can't walk far with out impinging pain. But even my easy appearing movement indoors is done despite the crunching pain I feel or the deep aches. I move despite it. Another benefit of my being able to act as if. It is also a drawback as it can give the wrong impression as to my situation. Mind you, there are those times when nothing I do can hide the fact of it from me or anyone else. At such times, I am well and truly buggered!!

edit: I have never taken more than 200 mg of Tramadol in one day and have yet to take it for more than a couple of days in any one week so I am sure I do not get withdrawal from it.

Pups

Group at 20 days
Girl
Girl
Girl
Girl
Girl

BoyLife is such a bore......

Friday, June 27, 2008

Knackered

I am aware that I owe people responses to email. I just have not had the energy to do much this last few days. I am okay, just knackered and a bit fed up with hurting all the time. Have kept up my swimming and what I have to do with the dogs but not much else, not even much knitting.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Not A Leg To Stand On

My swim went well. I drugged up before hand and it went better than expected. So well that by the time I got home, I had decided I would walk the dogs. Clever me. I got half way around the block and my left leg went. Or rather my left hip. At least I think it's the hip. Not sure. It hurts from there but the whole leg just stops responding. Fortunately, it was just the small block(20min) so I got home without having to summons assistance via my mobile phone. Not that I would know who to call.

I finished the entire 5 series of Cold Feet last night. Oh dear, I wasn't expecting anyone to die. They did. One of the main characters was killed in a car accident. I was shocked and upset. It is ONLY a tv series, I told myself but still, one had got to know these people and having one die like that was gut wrenching. It wasn't so much her death as the aftermath. The effect it had on her friends and husband. It was that which I found gut wrenching. John was not here. He thinks it odd that I cry at films and tv shows. 'It's just a film!!!' he will say. No point explaining I guess. Music can make me cry too. It can also make me feel ecstatic.

Still no summer here. The longest has been and gone and still we have no summer.

I finally sorted out an aran swatch that I like. It 's in 100% wool using 2 ends of 4ply(fingering) together which gives the equivalent of 200mtrs per 100gms. The colour is airforce blue. I am using 3.75mm needles. I tried using 3.5mm but although the swatch was nice to feel and see, it was too hard to knit. I am amazed that just upping the size by .25mm made such a difference.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Oh Poo!

If you have been following my adventures with food, you will know that my diversion into low GI foods was not successful. Well, me and my GP are fairly certain as to why.

A few years ago we did a test for Coeliac Disease, which came back negative. However, Elizabeth did say that this did not mean I did not have it. What neither of us appreciated was that at the time of the test, I had been on a carb free diet for ages. A Coeliac test must be done whilst gluten containing foods are part of the diet. Apart from that, not all people with Coeliac disease will have a positive test anyhow.

Okay, so why bring this up? Well, I mentioned to her that had tried this low Gi food thing and how it didn't work. How I had a hypo within three days and also developed the rash on my legs, I mentioned that here, and how my voice went hoarse and I got all the symptoms of an impending cold but didn't get a cold, because I stopped eating the wheat and the rash went too. Oh and how my IBS really played up.

It seems the rash and other symptoms are common to Coeliac Disease. I mentioned that the oats did not seem to be problem. (The jury is out on oats and Celiacs according to the medical research).

Well, shows how much I know. The other day, I started to eat rye bread as part of my diet. I am unable to swim today as my bowels are sore and I have already been to the loo 6 times in 4 hours. Guess what? Rye and barley as well as wheat are no no's for Coeliacs. I did not know that. And it seems I have a much stronger reaction to Rye than wheat. Bother!

So now I know why my carb free diet has worked so well! And why within days of starting it, my bowels felt better, although I did not. It took 10 days before I stopped feeling like I was dying. After that, I never felt better and no carb was definitely for me.

So why did I let this happen recently? Two reasons. Last year when we were away, I was made to feel very uncomfortable as a guest in someone's house as the only food on offer was carb and gluten laden. I had to ask for food I could eat and then I discovered I was in a kosher house. I was both embarrassed and angry as I had made it clear beforehand that I had food issues and could not eat carbs. Anyway, I it made me feel bad. That combined with the trouble I had in Belgium in trying to find food I could eat in restaurants, just made me want to try out different foods to see if Icould make life easier.

Instead, what has happened is that I know for sure I cannot eat this stuff and have to stick to the way of eating I know is right for me and damn anyone else's opinion of it.

Okay, at least I know now. However, I am still annoyed with myself because what started this tinkering with my food was all tied up with having been made uncomfortable by a person whose approval a distant buried part of me wanted! Why I do not know. I think they just pressed certain buttons in me and that was it. I don't have any contact with them so it doesn't matter but they have stayed in my psyche, much to my annoyance. I wrote here back in September how a person had left me feeling very much lacking in their eyes and how that triggered off my getting to the core beliefs in me that were rotting my life and needed to be expunged. I am glad that happened. I got rid of that grief. Yet it still bugs me that this person clearly didn't like me from the get go, treated me badly, and still I wish they had approved of me!!! (Fortunately, I was not alone in their company so was able to check my feelings out with two others about this and they concurred with mine.)

So yet again, I end up damaging myself because of someone else's opinion! Or rather because of my deep seated reaction to it.

Most important of all, I know now that my diet is necessary for me. I have good reason to eat the way I do. And it is no one else's business anyway!

On another level, of course it pisses me off. The foods that are out of bounds I like very much! But then I like food all round anyway so it isn't as if I can only eat food I hate. I am lucky in that respect, I enjoy most foods. But like many humans, I want what I ought not to have!

The trouble is is getting others to understand it! Dear friends of mine, who know, still present me with cake to eat! And if a medical professional, knowing my food problems, presents me only with foods I have made clear i can't eat.....well you can see why this is difficult for me.

Still, it could be worse. Seriously, I know it could.

p.s. this could also explain the early onset of my joint problems and muscle problems as eating gluten when one is allergic causes damage to such, and I have been complaining of the poos, the bloat, the pain, the fatigue, the aches and pains
since the early 80's and it was ignored and put down to 'stress'.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

13 Days

13 days old today. Just couldn't resist this picture. the boy is the one with his head the opposite way to all the girls.

Blackpool

Blackpool was a good show. it was very windy but didn't rain. It was sunny but cold. And this on the 20th June. We still have no summer weather yet.

Micah was second in his class. He threw away his 1st place. It was down to him and another dog. The other dog was too close behind and Micah turned and hopped forward trying to get further away. So this of course blew his movement. I shall have to watch out for people doing this and stop myself and politely ask them to keep back.

Whitney was in a class of 17 and she didn't put a foot wrong. She won the class. she loves to show off. She wants to lick everyone, judge included. When she has had her turn, she always jumps at me as if to say 'wasn't I good?' Rather like Moon, Micahs' sister was when she was shown.

My different colour shoes, one red, one blue, went down well! It is amazing how many people notice feet!

I had to wait on three occasions for people to come out of the disabled loo. They were using it as a changing room.

It was 210 miles to the show. I arrived at 6.15am and got home at 7.30pm. I got sunburned on my face and neck. I was tired when I got back but otherwise alright although my walking was laboured when I got out of the car.

This morning though it was entirely different. I woke up at my normal time, 5.30 , and couldn't move so I went back to sleep and at 7.45am had to ask John to get up and deal with the dogs and get me my drugs. I could barley lift my head to take the damn things. I then just laid there and dozed whilst waiting for them to take effect. Almost 2 hrs later I managed to get up but had to take Tramadol on top of the Solpadol I had already taken. (It's safe). So now I am once again capable.

And some people think I am not disabled! Actually including me at times. Especially when I am having a good period. I think it was the wind and cold yesterday. Maybe not. I never know. I can have days like today when I have done nothing.

Thankfully it is Saturday and John is here otherwise it would have been very much more difficult. I have been known to fling myself out of bed and get downstairs on all fours. I am not at all sure I could have done that today.

I am fortunate . I am not like this every day. I have bad periods and better periods. One of my fellow exhibitors has had a knee replacement and she she has other joints in bad way and she is bad all the time I gather.

Just so long as I can continue to show my dogs. I can't find the words to explain why, but this has been my passion since I was 12 years old. I have never lost it. I adore this breed and knew I did the second I laid eyes on one. It was a picture of a dark grey shaggy puppy,about 7mths old, on the cover of Australian Dog. I knew instantly that was the breed for me and I couldn't even pronounce it's breed name at the time. Now at almost 50, I still feel the same way.

Windsor show is my next show, on Sunday next week, and it was at this show, 2 years ago, that I was finally able to start doing what I have longed to do for so many years: show my dogs.

My dogs are almost always in the cards, no mean feat in this competitive breed. I am enjoying it and as long as my body lets me, I shall continue to do so.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Hot Shoes ( and dogs)

Some more pairs arrived today. I had forgotten.
Millie is going to be shown soon. She has turned out very well, excels in front and head.
Micah is all ready for tomorrow, hence his hair being tied back until he is in the ring.
Lui just being Lui. Excellent dog, stubborn as a ....welll...an Apso.

Is as mischievous as she looks. She too is going to the show tomorrow. Like Micah, she loves to show off.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Baby Queen

Baby Queen

Showing Off

Me in my dog show outfits ( and when I go to do talks). I change waistcoats and trousers too, from these to black to navy. I have waistcoats in different colours and designs. Also different colour ties and shoes. In fact I have a pair of Kickers (2 pairs actually) where I wear one of each shoe so one foot is blue and the other red.



Blue Suede Shoes

No swimming today. Just couldn't drag myself out of bed this morning to do it. I did of course get up because the dogs don't give a toss how I feel, they need out.

Lorraine, my Dax dog friend is visiting later today.

I found some shoes / boots in bright red, turquoise, and violet and hopefully they will arrive today. I love bright coloured suede or leather shoes. Very hard to find. these are mainly Kickers. Most men's shoes are brown or black. Or black or brown. Some of the shoes I buy are women's but they are only women's because of the colour not the style and shape which is identical to men's. Seems shoemakers think masculine and feminine shoes should be clearly defined. oh brother. Or oh sister.

I am getting tired of my aran attempt. I spent the day yesterday knitting up a swatch that took forever. I used clean str8 lines, based on a one by one rib, all twisted and travelling. I thought it was a good idea. but it isn't what i have in mind after all. I think I am going to frog and go for a more traditional look. I do love aran but wanted to try out one that was all twisted travelling sts but it hasn't worked out to my liking. Now in socks, it works very well.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Good News

Dignity

Well, I logged on to my blog this morning with trepidation. I am very pleased to see reasoned responses and not what I feared could await me.

Even better was the news item I read. Click on Dignity and you'll see the same news.

I almost didn't go to the pool. I really felt like I wasn't up to it. i went and told myself I need not do much. It hurt like hell for the first 20 mins but then I got into my stride and did my usual 80 laps. Of course I was stuffed afterwards and can barely walk now but I have nothing to do today but knit and watch the second disc of Damages.

The puppies are still doing well.

I abandoned the Aran altogether. I am swatching in 2 strands of 4ply wool a nice twisted stitch aran type. I hope it works out as I am rather pleased so far.

I sometimes see clients at home. Not usually men. However, recently I have had only men wanting to come for a reading. I have accepted, nervously as I still feel uncomfortable around men. Yet I have learned quite a lot form this. Not only have I been able to work well with them but have also found that other men, heterosexual ones, have similar issues to me. Yesterday's one had a father pretty much the same as mine and he had problems today because of it. He is str8 so he chooses women to have relationships with who treat him just like his father did-with no respect and over demanding. They use and abuse him. The poor man is very confused and hurt. Perhaps he gained some insight from our session that will be of help to him .

Monday, June 16, 2008

Cats and Pigeons

I have stopped itching. My headache and 'cold' have gone. The bloat and gut discomfort have gone though I am still having to go too often. 4 days off wheat. Oh, and my joints feels better today. Not sure if that flare has anything to do with the wheat. Mind you, I did almost fall twice today because my legs went funny. Specifically I couldn't feel my feet properly. Fine now.

Now for something delicate.

A number of years ago I met a couple from the Southern USA. I chose to get on alright with them and have since had some correspondence due to our mutual passion for knitting.

It seems they have taken exception, not in a mean or angry way, to my post where I implied that the Southern USA states are not exactly safe for gay people. It was clear, from my post,I was not talking about city life, but outback life.

Anyway, they want to dispel the myth that southerners are bigoted as my post I suggested. Trouble is, this couple are! Or were. But they don't see it. They made several bigoted and offensive remarks regarding gay people whilst at the same time telling me how they were not bigots! The one I recall most clearly, was that they really object to gay people being so promiscuous! Not only is that a stereotype, but not true of all gay people just as it is not true of all non gay people. The promiscuousness of non gay people is paraded for all to see on the tv now.


Anyway, these people were guests, I didn't want the hassle, and I know they are good people if only they'd get educated on this subject and drop the homophobia. They won't because they don't think they are. I have also chosen not to directly answer the email and to say my piece here.
I have grown enough to know that just because someone is homophobic, doesn't mean they are bad. Of course, it depends on the degree of their bigotry. I aint gonna be tolerant of those who want me dead or cured!

The email rather put me on the spot. Ignore it completely was not the right thing. Respond and not say what I wanted to say was not an option. So this option seemed like the best one.

The only way for the Southern USA to get a better reputation is by changing their attitude. Dropping the fundamentalism would help. I get many emails from people who feel unsafe where they live in their Southern state. Not just gay people, in fact mainly str8 women who for one reason or another have had to go live there, usually following a husband, and they feel threatened because they are not fundies, not conservative, etc etc etc

Of course, not all Southerners are the same. Enough of them are though for the Religious Right to hold sway and , correct me if I am wrong, for most of them to still support, and carry out, the barbarity of legal murder.

I don't think it is too surprising that I and many others feel threatened
enough to not want to visit. if the impression we get is totally wrong, then someone ought to tell your TV and Film makers to stop portraying them as such, for the news to stop portraying them as such. Oh and change your President! Preferably NOT for McCain. He will do nothing to dispel any myths about the south.


ooops! Did I just upset the apple cart?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

One Week













Saturday, June 14, 2008

Best Outcome

When we had arrived in Australia in 1971, I had been led to believe that we were staying there. I was relieved. I could not have borne yet another set of losses - pets, friends, familiar surroundings, home. Yet more grief with no where and no way to express it, so I ate it down.

(My eating disorder was already under way and had been for years. It took the form of binging on high sugar foods. I had discovered at around the age of seven, after the death of my friend, that high sugar foods numbed me.)

At school soon after we had arrived, and I had already been victimized by the teacher who was a child pornographer, my elder brother informed me that we were on the move again. I was too upset to know he was teasing me. That same day we had streaming exams and needless to say I did poorly.

Eventually, just like so many times before, over so many different issues, the word of parents came to mean nothing. We were informed we were moving yet again. To the UK. I was devastated. By this time I was well and truly into self harm and anorexia. I was depressed. Unnoticed.

I could have stayed in Oz. I was of an age, 16, where the law would have allowed me had I shown I was not in any moral danger. I didn't do this. I was bribed. I believed my beloved Sally would be coming with me. She was my yellow Laborador. I had two Lhasa Apso which my father sold to the first person to pay him. My feelings about this mattered not a jot. My feelings had never mattered.

My elder brother had already left home at least a year previously and was in the UK. At least I would have an ally in him as he had fled my father. Oh how wrong could I have been? Far from being an ally, he was an enemy.He humiliated me, called me a liar and spent his time sucking up to my parents about how well he had done for himself since leaving home. He had turned into a self centred obnoxious twerp. Perhaps he always had been and I was too naive to see it. certainly he never did a thing for me. Even when the centre of the family's 'problems' became my homosexuality, he kept quiet about his own homosexuality. He proffered help for my parents so they could come to terms with this awful thing by telling them of an organization for parents of gay children. all the time lying thru his teeth and ignoring me. When I was put into a mental hospital, he, like my younger brother, did not come to my aid with the truth. Instead he curried favour by saying he would pay for me to go into a private funny farm. Even in the state I was in, I was disgusted with him for making this obvious ploy which I knew would never happen. He said it only to appear like a good son.

I am well aware that my brothers had the same parents as me and they too deserved their love and respect and that they did what they could to get it. The big difference is they did it all at my expense. They were quite prepared to see me hang as long as they got the approval they so desperately wanted. Truth meant nothing to them and I most certainly didn't.

We arrived in England in May 1075. Within a week I was working at a quarantine kennel. Sally was duly booked in for August 5th. On august the 4th, I telephoned Mr and Mrs T. in Oz to make sure Sally had been put on the plane. Mr and Mrs T did not know what I was talking about. I was so upset, my boss took over the telephone. I was informed that my parents had had Sally destroyed the day we had left.

To this day, I have never been given an explanation. Just denial. Yet whilst I was working in those kennels, my mother said to me several times that I should not get my hopes up as you never know could happen. I did not suspect that my parents could be as cruel as they were. Yes, I know I had had plenty of examples to go by before of their cruelty, but I really did not suspect they would be this evil. Plus my mother was always telling us not get excited or get our hopes up or to enjoy anything really because it would always end in tears. so it did not occur to me that she was trying to warn me about what she already knew-Sally would not be coming./

This period of time was awful. I was really ill and hiding it. In fact i didn't know I was ill but knew my behaviour around food was not normal and I didn't want anyone to know. I was already going 48 - 72 hrs without food. I could not risk anyone knowing in case they made me eat and I was far too fat at 140 lbs. If only I could be thin, I would be loved by my family and liked by others.

I fell in love for the first time. I was 17. So was he. It lasted 3 months. He ended it. I was devastated. It was further proof I was no good. I mourned alone. Even those who knew about my love affair didn't take it seriously. After all, my love was another boy so it couldn't be real could it?

At the end of 1977, (yes I have jumped over other stuff which I will write about later), I wanted to die. I had a clerk job in the City. I lived with my parents. i had no choice. Even if I could have afforded not to, I was too incapable by then. It was normal for me to come home, go to my room and stay there until I got up for work the next day. At least 10 hours on my own. I swallowed every pill I had and I had loads. Sleeping pills, antidepressants, pain killers. The lot. I was so relieved. It was over. I relaxed, put on my music and waited to fall asleep for the last time. Despite my fear of God and going to Hell, I had by that time realised that Hell could not be worse. Besides, I had no choice. I couldn't carry on in that pain.

My parents could not wake me. Later that day, an employee asked my mother what was wrong and she told her that she could not wake me up. It was the employee who called an ambulance.
(Now my mother related this to me as an illustration of how upset she had been. In fact, neither she nor my father could bare the possibility that people would find out about our family secrets.)

I came around in hospital, to hear my parents being told there was little that could be done as the drugs had all been absorbed. I was ill for weeks, about 6. I couldn't hear properly, taste properly or smell properly. Worse, to me then, was that I was alive.

There is more to tell but I can't do so now.

The best outcome referred to in the title of this post is my life now. If I had not come here to the UK I would not have met John. I would not have met the therapist who made the difference. I would not have met and done all sorts of things. In all likelihood I would have ended up dead and alone in that awful outback place I live din where homosexuals were and still are ostracised severely.(According to a BBC documentary about the area I lived in.) Think backwoods southern US state and you get the picture.

It is good to be able to have all this recorded here. As i write things become so clear. One thing that is apparent to me is just how much I minimized in order to survive. As I write it here, I am appalled at what I lived through. It shocks me. It reveals to me a person whom I feel compassion for and not the shame I always did.

Oh Sh*t 2

My guts have still not settled. It would also appear that what I thought was cold coming on, husky voice, stuffed sinus, wasn't. I also have a rash on my legs and the IBS is playing up enough to stop me swimming. My sinus and throat have cleared up once I stopped eating wheat. The rash is going. It will take a while before my gut settles though. Once I am 'clear' I will introduce the rolled oats (porridge) again. I think I can manage that.

I have had two lots of yarn arrive. One from a very kind Ravelry friend who sent me some Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock yarn in a lovely blue colourway because she didn't want it. Another lot came from a USA friend in a grand deep purple wool and camel mix. I am knitting this up now in a textured design.

John came home early yesterday morning and the dogs were delighted to see him. He of course gets to see a 5 day old litter, all cleaned up and none of the fuss!

I have a dog show next Friday. This is one of the furthest ones for me-200 miles. I shall be leaving at 3am. I shall be taking Micah and Whitney. John will have the day off to dog sit.

My aran is going nowhere. I am swatching again, this time on 4mm needles instead of the 4.5 mm. It is looking better. I think it comes down to the fact I don't really care for this yarn, 80% wool 20% alpaca, for the textured work I want to do. However, I think the tighter gauge and the twisted stitches will work.

Oh and I watched the first disc (5 episodes) of Damages, starring Glenn Close. I really like this.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Oh Sh*t

Yesterday was day 8 of the low GI foods. What I thought was just a niggle a couple of days ago has turned into a full blown IBS situation. Bloated, diarrhoea, fatigue, pain, generally feeling crap and tearful. With hindsight, I think this was on it's way long before now-within a couple of days really of me starting to add the foods but I thought, well, I'll give it a week. A week turned out to be too long.

I shall have to go no carb for a few days. I think I might then just have the porridge in the mornings and see how that does. The wheat, beans and rice will have to be out.

Sh*t, sh*t, sh*t. I HATE this f***ing food thing. It is such a pain. It is the one thing in my life I have NEVER been comfortable with. Never. The closest I have come to comfortable is no carb, meaning fish and chicken and turkey and pork and loads of veggies. I really don't seem able to handle anything else.

I have had a couple of people express reservations, to put it mildly, about the what I eat. I ought to have ignored them. I KNOW what my body and mind can cope with. If the human body could not do well on this diet, none of us would be here as this how we all ate before we stopped being hunter gatherers.

Whatever, I know where I am today and how ill I feel because I let know it alls impinge on me. So it's back to what I know is right for me and others can keep their ignorant opinions to themselves.

Oh, I get so annoyed with myself sometimes when I assume others know best. It's almost always got me into deep do do.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Think Your Life

Swimming

I am somewhat sore today and my gut doesn't feel too hot. I still managed my swim. I am persevering with the new foods in my diet. After a week I have not gained weight. However, my gut is now beginning to play up somewhat. Too soon to give up though.

SHAMELESS


She and the puppies are doing well. I am supplementing the smallest with puppy formula in a human baby bottle as she is getting pushed out by her bigger siblings. She gulps it down so needs it. Once her weight is up she will be able to fend for herself.



Below is what came out when I responded to an email:


Because my husband is treating
me bad and has for 40 years now ( only his temper is getting worse) *is not
because* of anything I've done.
It took me many years to understand that. It isn't an easy concept because it goes against what we are brought up to believe. Most of us are taught that we are responsible for how others feel and behave, that we are so powerful that we can make others feel or behave the way they do. BULL!

We can control the way we behave but not necessarily the way we feel. However, just because we feel something does not mean we have to act on it!

There is no point feeling a bad over what we feel, there is little we can do about feelings. There is plenty we can do about behaviour. I might feel like wringing the neck of a noisy dog at 3AM or ramming my car into an aggressive driver. I don't act on it. don't waste time and energy putting yourself down because of how you feel at times.

What we THINK is most important. What we think dictates the life we lead. By 'what we think' I am not referring to those moments when we curse because we stubbed our toe or because a driver cut us up. No I mean what we think about ourselves, others, the world we live in and God. These are the important thoughts. If you feel you are not worthy, that you are a shameful person, that you are not good enough, this is the foundation for a miserable life. Not only are you going to be an easy target for abusers but also for religious abusers-fundamentalists. If you already feel you are bad to the core, it is going to be easy for a religious control freak to 'rescue' you by feeding on your shame and lack of self worth and convince you that you are not acceptable to God either-unless you believe as they do. For me the question of what is right and what isn't cannot be clearly answered-no one can possibly know what is right but it is easy to tell what is wrong. Any belief system that says if you don't believe you will be destroyed or sent to suffer in hell, is clearly wrong. Such an idea is merely there to control you, feeding non your shame and fear.

Your shame and fear is also what abusers closer to you, like partners, parents, bosses, co-workers etc , use to manipulate you. The abuse and control you and convince you that 1. they care about you , 2. that you are not being abused. 3. if you are being abused then you deserve it OR that you caused the abuser to abuse.

How we feel about difference in people-gender, sexuality, race, social class, work, money etc is all important. It contributes to our life either for good or for bad. Do you think you are a lesser person than the President or the Queen or the Pope? Are you, in your mind, worth less than these people? Do you know they are just people like you? Do you think that person is less than you just because they are different to you? A different skin tone? Different nationality? Different social class? Just different is enough for some people to think lowly of another.

You cannot escape what you truly think. What you believe in your heart will out and be reflected in your life. We don't experience life as it is but only how we think it is. We truly do create the world we live in-each of us and individually. No two people see the world in the same way and even those that appear to believe the same things, do so for different reasons. We each experience life differently and each create meaning from those experiences differently.

Everything is subjective. we cannot know objective truth because we can step outside of ourselves. NO ONE knows what THE TRUTH is. No one. We can only have ideas. And we can have an idea how close we are by how our lives are. The more unhappy our lives, the more clear it is that our ideas and beliefs are wrong.

Many people kid themselves that they believe such and such a thing because they' pass the buck to your upbringing or your church. Bigotry dwells in you nowhere else. Of course some people say they hold beliefs which deep down they are not comfortable with but they have been taught that they are bad if they disagree so they continue to spout the belief until such time as they have the courage to dissent, or until their own self- centredness becomes too much too bear. After all, when you get down to it, doing something or encouraging something you feel to be wrong, in order to curry favour with God is still wicked!

Monday, June 09, 2008

No Secrets

Shameless and her puppies are doing well. Past the 24 hour mark now and all are heavier than their birth weight. I have a brindle boy, a brindle girl, two brindle particoloured girls and two particoloured girls that may be gold parti's or brindle. Time will tell.

I did 100 laps in the pool today. I feel fine but my voice keeps going hoarse so I wonder if I am coming down with a cold. My colds normally start in the throat.

The eating is going okay. Am not totally comfortable with it yet. I think it will take a while to sort out. I was hungry last night and when i worked it out realised I had eaten half the cals I need! I also did not eat enough protein. this is what i shall have to watch-the natural tendency for me to under eat. Yes considering how fat I was, that sounds odd but it isn't when you understand the full picture and I am not ready to go into that yet. However, I am fairly sure that adding these low GI carb foods is going to be okay for me.

'We have no secrets,
we tell each other everything' wrote Carly Simon and as she discovered this is not good in a love relationship or even a friendship. That is the point of the song.

However, secrets are not healthy and it is preferable to not have any. I have no secrets. None at all. Someone knows everything there is to know about me. EVERYTHING. How I feel, how I think, what was done to me, what I did. That someone is not one person. No. Not at all. I have no secrets but no one person knows all of my stuff. That is important. Certainly John does not know everything. Some of it would hurt him. I have never wanted him to know the details of the sexual abuse.

The point to this is that secrets are not healthy at all.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

The Journey

This was sent to me by a knitting friend as she rightly thought I'd identify with it. I am sure others will too.


The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice—
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do—
determined to save
the only life you could save.

Mary Oliver, 1935 -

Puppies!

This is Shameless and her first litter. Five girls and one boy, born between 9.15 am and 10.45am. She made no fuss and delivered these very quickly. She and they have settled down now. They were due on Wednesday.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Weird

I am rather p'd off. John has been away in Dublin and he didn't come home but when str8 to Belgrade. So I won't see him until weekend. It also means that my plans for a day out at the mall today have gone too. I won't be able to go for weeks now either as the puppies are due any time now and once they are born, no going out for long periods.

My swim went very well yesterday and today. Yesterday I did 100 laps and today I did 80. According to an online calories/swimming calculator thingy, a man my weight (182 lbs 84kgs approx) uses about 800 cals per hour. I do 80 laps in an hour. I checked it with several different sites and all said the same. It surprises me.

The new foods added to my diet are not causing me problems. My blood sugar has stayed stable, no funny turns, no hunger. Also no bad gut. I have been eating rolled oats Porridge for brekky and have added rice noodles to my stir fry meals, at least once a day. Last night I added whole wheat Pasta. No problems.

If my blood sugar remains stable and my weight does too (it has so far) I shall be very pleased. Not only will it give me more options when travelling and visiting, but it also means I can return to vegetarian fare. I will never return to being a 100% vegetarian but I can at least eat some of the meals I miss.

It is odd. The last few months of last year when I was so ill with the dumping of all that grief and anguish, I went off eating meat and started to eat a lot of fish which I had not done previously. I wasn't into fish at all. I ended up eating mainly fish. But still no carbs. I also discovered that my long term gut problem was IBS and I take drugs (Colofac) for that and it is solved.

Then as I started to come out of the grief, I started to feel hungry a lot and crave cigarettes again. I struggled with this for the last few months, still not eating carbs but constantly craving something. I discovered that although it felt like I wanted a fag, it wasn't a fag I wanted because I had one and still I craved.

Then this book smacks me in the face
and I am now eating low GI carbs and am feeling good. I am not craving for anything either. I do think it is weird how for years I have not touched carbs except for the minuscule amount in veggies, and that made me feel better than I had ever felt. It took most of my gut problems away, solved my blood sugar level problems and generally made me feel really good. To then suddenly stop being right for me. Weird.

I have cast on a new pair of socks and now think I am fed up with socks for now and will concentrate on my Aran work and some machine knitting.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Marco adjusted

This is very much closer to the real colour of this sock yarn.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Marco

Knitted using Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock yarn. 80% Superwash Wool, 20% Nylon. The colourway is called Tuscany.

This yarn has a beautiful handle which stays after washing.

I used a KnitPicks 2.25mm circular, knit both socks at same time on own needle. The design is my own and I utilized the Andersson Heel Mach 2 again.

I find it easier to keep count of rows if I use a stitch pattern, hence the cable. Even though I use a row counter too, I still get lost as I forget to turn the *(*&^% thing.





Shocking

Yesterday's swim and today's went well. I also managed to walk the dogs today. Am soon to go back to bed.

I am on day 3 of introducing new foods into my diet. It is going well. I have had a little gut discomfort, especially the aerated feeling and mild cramp,mainly in the morning. Nothing to get worked up about though. Oh and no hunger either.

Today I went to see an acquaintance to see if my socks would suit her feet. I got a shock when I saw her. She has the same condition as I do yet hers has progressed very rapidly. I saw an old crippled lady. It was awful. I really felt for her. Her head is bent forwards, her feet have gone as have her ankles. She is 13 years my senior. Yet 9 months ago she was not like this, she was just as I am now. Leaves me all the more determined to continue with the swimming and the diet and my emotional work. Hopefully I can stave off the worst for very long time. Arthritis is a real f***er.

There has been no rain today which is lovely. On my drive to the pool I get to see lots of our wildlife. Cranes, Barn Owls, pairs of white Swan, Rabbit and Hare, Badgers and Foxes. Some of it is roadkill.

I am a soppy sod. Yesterday, on the way there, a mother duck walked across the road followed by half a dozen baby ducks. It put a lump in my throat and fear into my belly. Thank goodness they crossed in front of me as I stopped for them, thus making the other side stop also.

On the tv, there was a news article about a rough and ready man who had raised an orphaned Crane and the piece was about him trying to teach the Crane, which followed him everywhere, to fly. It was a success and this too brought tears to my eyes. I think it was the combination of the vulnerable bird and this rough looking man who I would have crossed the street to avoid.

I see many rabbits on the side of road, eating on the verges. I hate it. I worry about them and tell them to stay off the road. They take no notice of me of course and I also see many squished ones.

On the way to a dog show in the early hours last July, I hit a Fox. I felt awful. It ran across the road in front of me and I managed to avoid it but in it's fright, it doubled back and there was nothing I could do to save it.
When i went to WELKS , a bird flew str8 into my windscreen. That upset em too but frightened me also. It came out of nowhere. It did not do any damage, just dirtied the windscreen.

Merino/Angora Garter Stitch Sweater





I knit this using the garter carriage on a Brother 940. It is my own design. The yarn is 75% Extrafine Merino and 25% Angora. I used 2 strands of 2/28, which equates to 2/14 weight and 700mtrs to 100gm.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Wet Wet Wet and GI

Did I mention it was dull and wet?

Did 80 laps in the pool today.

When we took the stuff to the charity shop, I found a brand new hardback book for 50p on the Glycemic Index. It is possibly one of those fortuitous finds. I am not sure yet. I have read it. It is written by bona fide scientists, not diet gurus.

The gist of it is that if I add low glycemic foods, foods that release their energy slowly, I ought not to have troubles with my blood sugar. Since I also take drugs for my gut, I may not be as affected by the carbs now either. Well,I am willing to give it a try. It certainly will make travelling easier as it opens up what i can eat more. Believe it or not, pasta is a low GI food.

Anyway, I have had a bowl of porridge for brekky. Rolled oats are low GI. It says it will keep my blood sugar level and I'll be fine until lunch time. We'll have to wait and see.

I must admit to finding this rather scary. I haven't eaten such foods for years, unless I have been forced too.

Bread, white, is still off the menu as is sugar. Basically, whole grain foods and pasta/noodles are on. The latter two are low GI because the process of making them into pasta noodles does something to them which makes them low GI.

I ought to know in a day or two if this is going to suit me. I hope it does as it will make life easier and cheaper!

Shameless is a week from delivering. She is getting more fussy about food. She is however happy with her new quarters and has nested.

By the end of today, I ought to have finished my angora / merino sweater. I am still messing about with this damned aran. I am starting again with fewer sts. Although really it isn't as I knew I was just knitting a large swatch. Worth it in the end. I have only had to redo once.

Basically I knitted a swatch of 164 sts and 22 rows. I washed it and dried it. I know the rows per 10cm now and how many sts to cast on for the size I want. That is it. Much simpler than knitting several little swatch or knitting a large piece you think is right only to discover it isn't an done already spent a week knitting it!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Dull and Wet

The weather, not me.

I did my 80 laps this morning. Afterwards, I felt surprisingly good. By the time I got home, I thought to myself that i felt barely any pain. None in fact, just a little discomfort. This has happened before and it is a weird feeling. By 1pm I was feeling rough and had my nap and now I feel like I usually do. I was really wanting a pot of Haagen Daz too but that passed.

We have set up the whelping bed and pen for Shameless. She is due Wednesday after next, but my bitches usually whelp 3-5 days early.It always amazes me how dogs instinctively know what is going on. she is now ensconced in the pen and is happy. She has been a real pain this last few days. Not eating, bad tempered. today she really have Millie a beating. Millie came running in and John picked her up and fussed her. Millie milked it for all it was worth and laid her head on his chest and started up into his face. you could almost see a single tear drop fall. Pathetic. Mind you, she wouldn't go through the door into the garden when she knew Shameless was out there.

We are still clearing stuff out. It takes time. it isn't as easy as I thought it would be either. I really do want to de clutter and get rid of all this stuff. I find it hard though. I just got rid of a load of sweaters i have made. Some by hand and others on the machines. They were the hardest to part with as they were 20 plus years old and in good condition but really I didn't care for them now and besides they are not up to my standards now. They laid in the pile to be taken top the charity shop for weeks and I finally did it yesterday.

About 8 pairs of very good shoes went too, Kickers and DM's. All size 9 and I am now a size 7.5. Who knew that feet lost weight too? The DM's were the hardest to let go of. Royal Blue and dear to me. Yet i haven't worn them for years. Why? Because they have a high leg and are lace ups. Even if I could manage to get them on and tie them, I'd never get them off gain. I could only wear them if John was around. So they all went to the charity shop too.

This room I am in now is cleared up enough to not leave me hemmed in and having to be careful where I put my feet. I can access the set up machines with ease and my PC.

I have spoken today with a person I know who has the same conditions as me. She is 62. She is now more or less housebound. There is always someone worse off. Speaking with her reminded me of how fortunate I am. It also scared me a little. I don't go there in my thoughts. I swim and keep active as much as I can so that I can pout off as long as I can the inevitable progression of my disease. Perhaps I can hold it at bay so that when I am 80 I am still as mobile.

I have eaten a lot of stir fries recently. Seafood and chicken ones. Today I used Quorn which is a mycoprotein. It was satisfying and nice, much better than soya protein veggie stuff. I don't think I would eat it this in anything other than a stir fry though.

I tend to go through phases with food. I am into to stir fries right now and eat them twice a day and have done for the last couple of weeks. It'll run it's course and I will go off them and get into something else. Talking about this at my Eating Disorder group just showed I am not the only one with and ED who does this. (I might add here that my ED is not a problem now and has not been for a long time but it is still there lurking and I can easily go off track if I don't stay aware. The urge to over or under eat is still there.)

I wrote a brief critique of Carly Simon's new album, This Kind Of Love, for Amazon. Critique is not a word I like but you get the idea. Anyway, when I went back to Amazon to read it again, I noticed a spelling mistake which still makes me laugh when i think of it. I mentioned one of the songs, 'People Say A Lot' but I wrote 'People SAT A Lot'. It tickles me now as I write this.

I am half way up the legs on the Lorna's Laces socks. I am also on new version of my forest green aran. I decided I did not like the other one so will frog it and continue with this version. Eventually this damn aran will get knitted!