It is now almost 4 years since I thought I had only those 4 years and so I have been celebrating a birthday. I don’t care what age I am, whatever the age, it is truly something to enjoy. Every year feels like a bonus and I am happy that I am actually here to get older.
- Dealing with each day as if it is my last has engendered an attitude of awareness of what makes me tick, big or small.
- I am thinking myself “well”
- Physical travelling has been indulged – in the past 4 years I have been on so many adventures and am loving it…Crete, Israel, Jordan, Deep South US, Salzburg, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia, Hungary, St Petersburg, Dublin, Saint Lucia as well as Hay-on-Wye, Brighton, Bath, Manchester, Harrogate, Liverpool.
- Not sweating the trips or outings I have had to cancel
- Perhaps more importantly I have also travelled from utter despair to contentment, albeit taking a rather kinked? kinky? tangential? route
- Living life vicariously is not living at all
- Family and friends (ancient & modern) have made the world a better place for me
- I have reframed the challenges I want to undertake and have, finally, accepted that some you win, some you lose!
- I also know how easily tired I get and am learning (or, more truthfully, am on the learning curve for) how to stop/opt out/cancel/take time out when head says yes and body says no.
- Indulging my creative and academic sides through writing, art, silversmithing, photography, studying again….and on a different level altogether – nail art, taxidermy…the list keeps on growing
- My new benchmarks for living – serendipity, psychotherapy, reading and laughing whilst climbing every mountain (as it were!)
- I am not planning on dying with any regrets of things not done/achieved
A very drunk young Irish guy politely shook my hand and introduced himself to me last night, as I was walking along, I say introduced but he gave no name! He rabbited on about in the most extreme jingoist terms about his full support for Brexit – assuming that we both felt the same. Then got round to asking if I agreed with him. I didn’t and before I even got going, wondered (out loud) how he could wax so lyrical (not) about “bloody immigrants” whilst, at the same time telling me that both of his parents were Irish nationals but he had emigrated and was British. He didn’t want to hear that (because “Ireland is different”) nor did he want to hear anything other than Britain could and should face the world alone, as, he spouted “they did in the war”. When I challenged that, he started shouting and walked off…but then scurried back and shook my hand again…
I am seriously angst-ing about Brexit…wonder if the forthcoming referendum will echo the miners’ strike when families and communities were forever divided by opposing viewpoints.
But naturally this is not the only thing on my list of concerns. As I move further away (in time not memory) from the betrayals that led to the breakup of my marriage. I ponder that I am not dead yet, and look around me wondering how a breast-free future with a very poor shelf life, pans out in terms of any potential partnership. Who in the world would be brave enough to love me and who would I ever trust enough to love? Two years of therapy and counting…
…and, for a final nail in the coffin (as it were) weather forecast in Sound of Music-land is thunderstormy and wet…very wet, heavy showers in fact. I am told (in a roundabout kinda way) by “frockfrolics” that this could be in keeping with the mission
Should I stay or should I go?
So…I approach the moment of truth..hospital doctors say yes, travel insurers say perhaps…Consequently yet another clinician has to be involved as it seems everything balances on what is said in my medical notes and how that compares to what I need it to say. All this in order to get insured to kick-start anything on the scale of a vagabond lifestyle…
Not only do I now need to attend multiple regular medical tests (to keep them “happy”, makes me neither happy nor re-assured) but also these appointments to see how I have been coded by the GP from the spider’s web of data she is getting from multiple departments. Fngers crossed that it matches what the insurers have strongly hinted is required.
I am now 2 weeks off having to pay the balance for the big adventure I have planned for later in the year, with yet more uncertainty seeping into the mix. Insurance aside, am I actually strong enough now to cope with such a big trip, perhaps I’m not? Whilst uncertainty seems to be a way of life for me…it would be so great to have some fixed points.
So I have made one. I could completely drown in this medical madness but instead have taken some diversionary steps. I am going to do something I have long hankered after and have booked a trip (with friends) to Salzburg for 3 full days of Sound of Music immersion (and accompanying kitsch). Something, I imagine, everyone hankers after..?
I was depressed to find that whilst I could flounce around the city singing and wearing curtains, I would not be able to hide behind the gravestones in the convent with Rolf’s torch flickering over me before my escape. Alas this set was man-made and dwells in Hollywood. The rest, however is there to discover…But first a visit to Oxfordshire Drama Wardrobe to select the right “costume” even though there is a “rent a dirndl” option with the tour (good for backup)…
A few of my favourite things…well…so far as a day in neurology goes
- Parking space
- Appointment on time
- The sun shone – literally and figuratively
- ECG clear
- EEG clear
- Brain “normal”
- Not dissociative seizures
- Not epilepsy
- Not meningitis
- Can reapply for driving licence in 3 months (neurology says yes!)
- Can travel
- Can ride bike
- and, it appears I can touch my nose with both left and right index fingers with my eyes closed – this is obviously the most comforting thing to discover!
- Can’t swim in deep waters (haven’t I been doing this for past 3 years?)
- Can’t go up ladders (but then I never could)
Tomorrow, another day, another hospital
So I have delayed/postponed/cancelled all medical appointments because I have (finally) managed to obtain travel insurance that isn’t more expensive than my travels. I cannot risk any new developments, diagnoses, tests, investigations whilst I get on with doing the “living” bit whilst I still can.
Gone with the Wind comes a distant second to Sound of Music in the favourite film stakes…so I am saving the Salzburg shindig for when I am restricted to European travel and, instead, am going on a trip I have been hankering after forever…The magnet for my holiday is Nashville – The Grand Ole Oprey, Baton Rouge & Lafayette (and who wouldn’t want to go to places with names like that?) but I am more than happy to take in all the other delights of the Bible Belt, the Mississipi Delta, Memphis, Graceland, New Orleans…and in my head, I am already shopping, cutting a disc at Stax Records, hitting the Honky Tonk bars…and trying to find an alcoholic drink on Sundays..
I have a visa, a ticket AND a translation guide so I can be understood and, (by happy chance) get another language under my belt…eg hello translates as “Hey yall” and am just going for it ’til “I’m too pooped to pop” and am, (hopefully) “happier than a tornado in a trailer park”
Chucking health onto the back burner, going for broke and “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn”