Sunday, 31 October 2010

'Just' a simple meal.

So last Thursday I went and had spontaneous coffee with a friend and then on Friday I went to a big baby-company exhibition with another friend and then on Saturday I had my second night out since I got pregnant two years ago and then on Tuesday I arrive at hospital at 7am and they put me to sleep and ripped my mouth open and yanked all my teeth out.

Well. Two of my teeth out.

But it might as well have been all of them because GOD DAMN MOTHERFUCK that hurt. So then I just basically cried for a few days.

And that is where I've been at. I've also been avoiding blogger a bit because, to be honest, the reforms are overwhelming me right now. The atmosphere when it comes to disability is so toxic, it's terrifying. I never log onto twitter because my feed is flooded with news of who hates me now and who's started a campaign to have me and people like me sent to work camps or just made into dog food. I keep down what I'm doing, plugging away, trying to inject a little bit of good into the world in the hope that karma will see fit to take mercy on me. In the last month I've donated £100 to Whizzy Wheels, because Eilidh's story makes me cry, and because I want so badly for her to grow up thinking not of the people who's policies and decisions in some back-room in parliament made it almost impossible for her to get the chair she needed without a huge amount of help, but rather of the good people, the strangers who have so much love in their hearts that they spread their arms right out, touched as many people as they could, and spared as much as they could. I want her to grow up filled with the joy of the kindness of strangers, not the bitterness and fear and hurt that I feel. She won't have a face to put to most of her joy, and that's good. I have a face to my hurt, too many faces, in fact, and that's not how it should be.

The week before last, I changed GP practices, and I spoke to one of my new GP's about my depression. The good news? My new GP's are like, 700 shades of fucking rock. It's an all-female practise, you can get appointments SO easily, they're ridiculously friendly and accommodating, and I've met both doctor's and the practise nurse and they're all awesome. The bad new is that they're up two separate and brutal hills. The first time I went on my own, and by the time I got there I was late, grey, sweating, hyperventilating but barely breathing (I'm talented like that) and my pulse was insane. This is just what happens when I do hills, but they didn't know this, and thought I was having a heart attack. They took good care of me though, and from now on I'll do my best to only arrange appointments when Mr A can drive me there.

Had a bit of trouble at the appointment though, when I tried to explain to my doctor how worried I was about my weight. I'd just finished explaining how much pain I'm in and how difficult it is for me to move around. Her solution to my weight problems? Eat 7 meals a day! Words failed me, but I tried a different approach. What about the days when for whatever reason, I'm not hungry (this happens often, between pain and fatigue I can have to force down food I will gag on that will sit heavily and painfully in my stomach)? Her solution: Smoothies! Make lots and lots of fruit smoothies!
I just....
I don't....

I don't know how to explain to people whats wrong with me in a way they'll understand. Clearly I'm doing a terrible job at the moment, if my doctor thinks I can cart a toddler up and down the stairs and stand around making a meal seven times a day. Even 'just' a sandwich requires so much effort. My friends, blessed as most of them are with pain-free, mobile lives, don't understand. Just make some pasta? Surely that's the simplest of simple meals, and full of carbs! Excellent! Yes, it would be. But lets dissect that, step by step:

  1. Get out of bed by climbing over railings at end of bed (bed is flush against both walls in teeny tiny bedroom)
  2. Pick up toddler, carry downstairs.
  3. Find somewhere to stash toddler where she is not in my way, or harms way.
  4. pick up heavy pot
  5. either fill heavy pot with water at sink and move now-very-heavy-pot over to stove, or move heavy pot to stove and reach UP into cupboard, or DOWN into drawer, lift up jug, fill jug with water, transport very heavy jug to stove, tip into pot.
Lets stop here for a sec. I have already pulled my wrists out, lifting and carrying. I am already tired, from the lifting and the carrying and the fighting-toddler-into-highchair. My back and shoulders ache from reaching up or down, and I'm dizzy, too.
  1. Turn and press stove knob while holding down ignition switch for five seconds.
  2. shake out hands, which are throbbing and shaking from the pressing and holding.
  3. wait for water to boil (even if I pre-boil water with the kettle [which is heavier and hurts my wrists more] this takes a couple of minutes)
  4. pick up jar of pasta, unscrew lid, reach in and grab handful (because I don't trust my hands not to spasm and tip it all in)
  5. wait 5-10 minutes for pasta to cook.
  6. lift heavy pot off stove, avoiding toddler
  7. carry to sink
  8. tip out water while trying to retain pasta.
  9. carry heavy pot back to stove/counter while trying not to drop it
  10. reach up and get bowl
  11. pick up heavy pot, tip pasta into bowl.
That was 16 steps, some of which could have easily been expanded into two or three steps of their own. 16 steps, every single one a potential to hurt myself. Every single one a drain on my very limited supply of spoons, every single one carried out while not only looking after myself, but after Tiny Terror as well. 16 steps for one plain bowl of pasta. Since I can't eat pesto (it has cheese in it) if I want any flavour in my pasta, I'd damn well better make it myself. That's another, what, ten steps? 11 of those steps were carried out AFTER I had injured myself, while I was weak and dizzy.

It really isn't ever as simple as 'just' a bowl of pasta.


  1. I know. Maybe give your GP a copy of the Spoons theory to explain how 'not simple' making food can be? Gods damn, I wish I lived near you, then I could share meal prep with you [hug]

    I also feel hounded by the reforms. I have had sleepless nights wondering how on earth I'd manage if I have to undergo new tests, travel to medicals, survive, etc. I also know that some of my ex's friends probably agree with the changes, too. All I can say is .. work with your doctor. Use the spoon theory. Show her a list of steps, and the impossibility of your life, step by step. Well people make assumptions, don't see the barriers to simple things they take for granted. Register as disabled. Get a blue Badge. Don't put on a brave face.

    And .. know that you are loved.


  2. A: I never thought of giving my GP the Spoons theory. That might be a good idea next time I have to see them.

    I KNOW there are friends of mine who agree with the reforms. I actually had an argument on my facebook page with some of them about it. I was disgusted at the lack of common human curtesy that seemed to exist in people.