Tuesday, 28 December 2010


It's been a wonderful Christmas. The big day was spent at the beach, with my mum and sister, the big D and the smalls. There was home cured gravlax made by my man, a wonderful Asian themed spread of seafood and salads and home baked breads.

The sun shone for all the important bits and no one cried or behaved in an appalling fashion. If there were slights they were borne.

The presents were all loved and played with and so far Wil hasn't even broken his remote control car.

There's even been time for sewing and I have rehabilitated half a dozen garments off the refashion and mending pile and today I might even tackle a new dress in time for the hot days at the end of the week.

There's also been too much eating and not enough exercise, so luckily the weather is on the up and there will be some swimming in the next few days.

And a bit of contemplation on excess and the nature of satiation, and a bit of effort to try and reset the levels in my brain that say when we've had enough - when I have received enough but also when I have given enough, when I have done enough. Ms Yarn Harlot has a lovely post about this titled "enough", but I can't seem to link directly to it but you can find her here http://www.yarnharlot.ca/blog/.

I guess this is the start of thinking about the coming year and a bit of self improvement. Exhaling Christmas, exhaling 2010, exhaling the old, the tired, the worn out. Gathering the effort for a big breath in and the start of a whole new year.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Great Ocean Rd,Anglesea,Australia

Monday, 20 December 2010

the run up

I think part of why I am blogging so little is because, well, at this time of year we all have the same things to say. Sooooo busy! Madness!

Presents to buy, treats to bake, children to amuse, family to see, parties to attend, frocks to wear, new toys.

Tiredness to battle, frustrations threatening to boil over, people seemingly obvious to others and doing dumb stuff and being misunderstood, frictions and negotiations.

And in between, if we're lucky, the odd moment of golden delight. Time with people you love, delight at gifts and care, some stillness amongst the chaos. The joy. Fleeting insights into our own incredible, overwhelming good fortune.

I have been giving the knitting machines a good work out and baking like a crazy person for the satisfaction that comes from handmade gifts and all I can say is that the current stupidly unseasonal winter style weather is making my handiwork very appealing. Yay for me.

I am also suddenly inspired for a round of sewing without patterns, so I think the full suite of machines may be coming with me for a beach holiday. The last lot of sewing had very mixed results and if I wasn't so tired I'd tell you all about it, but I am so I won't.

And in the background here I am also wading through the kind of major and long term upheaval that comes with a change in government. It's my policy not to talk about work here, so I won't. But it's big.

Plus thanks to a very fast acting endocrinologist I have now started treatment for the Graves. He is a lovely man, which is lucky since I've already had one scare about the medication that saw me ringing him at home on a Saturday morning. I hated to do it, but while the treatment is generally well tolerated, for about 1 in 300 people it can turn very bad very quickly and he was very clear about the need for vigilance. Anyway, I promise not to turn this blog into a medical text but since treatment takes 12 to 18 months, and even then has only a 50% chance of long term remission, either way this is going to be a part of my life for a good long while. As is the doctor, so it's lucky he's nice and that he finds craft interesting, otherwise we might run out of things to talk about.

Thank you for all your comments on the last post too - I am going to do my best to walk that fine line between being honest about what's going on in my life and what's occupying my mind, and not focusing on the minutiae of What's Wrong With Me. Because that's so very boring.

Oh and I have tonsilitis and feel like crap. I caught it from Amy who is lucky I love her so much because I don't much appreciate her gifts. I feel like I have been perpetually unwell for ever but my GP reminded me that aside from the one bout of bad tonsillitis last year I hadn't had any antibiotics since the year before - that's two whole winters without antibiotics! Woot!! And a salient lesson in not catastrophising when one feels unwell because really I am well much much more often than I am unwell. And if anyone really wants to make me feel bad they can just tell me how often I seem sick.

In three days I will finish work for the year and Wil will join Amy on holidays and I will drink in some ocean time. So good I can almost taste it!

Friday, 10 December 2010

yet another boring post about my health. yawn.

Whacko, we have a diagnosis!

It seems I have Graves' disease.

It's rather tempting to retrospectively blame every malady and character flaw on this insidious condition, but at the very least it explains quite a bit about some aspects of the 'stroke' it was hard to explain with the neck injury. It is typical that this disease takes a long time to diagnose, with a wide array of apparently unrelated symptoms that not uncommonly leads to diagnosis and treatment for stress and mental health problems.

I know I have certainly felt quite mad at times with my seeming never ending (un)wellspring of things that are wrong with me.

I have most recently been aware of the inverse relationship between my exhaustion and my ability to sleep, of strange dry, itching eyes, of powerful inexplicable waves of nausea, of scattered thoughts and mangled language (technically cognitive impairment), heart palpitations and racing pulse, muscle weakness, headaches, galloping appetite, chronic sinusitis, irritability and so on.

While treatment is neither simple nor guaranteed, a definitive diagnosis is a very compelling first step and I feel hugely relieved that I am neither mad nor doomed to the perpetual life of the hypochondriac. Woot.

Though I continue my status as medical curiosity by managing to gain weight whilst suffering from an autoimmune metabolic disease known primarily for rapid and alarming weight loss. (One can only imagine what may happen when treatment slows my metabolism down!)

So I am now jumping into a whole new stream of medical specialisations, no doubt some more tests to accompany all the ones booked but not yet done for the 'stroke' and starting what promises to be a fairly gruesome regimen of drug therapy while doses and drugs are fiddled to find something that works for me. Wish me luck - I suspect I will be needing it.

In other news I am just wrapping up an extended single parenting stint, contemplating going cold sheep in the yarn buying department, rushing around in that old December ritual of killing myself to try and make sure that one special day is truly special enough.

I am also celebrating a school report for Amy which began with Amy being described as a delight to teach and goes on to comment on her enthusiasm, her readiness to help others and how she is always respectful of the contributions of others. I can't imagine her teacher writing anything else that could make me prouder of her.