A favourite quote and a way by which to approach life.

Today is the tomorrow that you worried about yesterday.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Coming together

I'm getting sorted. I've slightly decluttered the flat, not by actually getting rid of anything (God forbid! ;oP ), but by buying some more book shelves. I've had books piling up on tables, my desk, on top of other books on shelves, and doubling up on each other too. It's been annoying me for a while, and I thought I'd run out of space for new bookshelves, but I solved the problem by replacing some that I had with longer ones and giving the old ones to W. A rather wonderful friend and his oldest son came round to put the new shelves together for me, and after some sorting and re-organising I now have some spare shelf space on all my bookshelves even though all my books now have homes! Hurrah! I find that getting my physical surroundings straightened out often helps to get my head a little less cluttered too, so it's a good thing all round :oD

As you know, I was feeling a bit vulnerable and overwhelmed by the whole swine 'flu thing. Way back at the end of October/beginning of November I wrote to one of my GPs after a series of infections and admissions. I was worn out - physically, emotionally, spiritually - much as I have been recently. I wasn't asking for anything from the doc; I just needed to off-load. When I was writing it I wasn't sure if I was actually going to send the letter. I wanted to, but it was very much an emotional out-pouring, that didn't necessarily make sense in places to anyone but me ... or even me, but in the end I did send it and I'm glad that I did. I hadn't necessarily expected a reply, but when I was at the surgery picking up a prescription shortly before Christmas, the GP I'd written to popped into the reception area so I asked if she'd got my letter. She said, with a friendly smile, that she had and to make an appointment to see her sometime to talk through some of it. After having to cancel the first one I made because of being in hospital in Edinburgh, I eventually got to see Dr P last week. I knew that she wouldn't be able to do anything - to change my situation - and I wasn't expecting her to, and as I said before (and in my letter to her) I wasn't asking for anything in particular, but all the same the appointment was really helpful. I dunno, it helped by just talking through some of the mess in my head from the relentlessness of chronic illness and repeated life-threatening illness, with an opportunity to cry about it without being presented with 'there's always something in the pipeline' syndrome that negates my anxieties and upset, and really only serves to placate the person who's saying it, and they're only saying it because they can't cope with any thought of the reality of death. *Ramble over and takes a deep breath* So yes, it was helpful. Dr P listenend, and understood, and offered some advice, and talked, and was fairly aghast that the health psychologist hadn't been able/willing to offer me anything, and she gave me loads of time. Appointments are supposed to be ten minutes, but she must have given me maybe forty-five minutes. Okay, so this won't have pleased others waiting to see her, but it was the time I needed and she was happy to give it to me. She, like most of the doctors in the practice, has known me for a lot of years now and has seen me through a heck of a lot - including very severe depression through my twenties - so she knows me well. We talked a little about how things used to be and how things have changed on many different levels, and I was of course right that she can't change my situation now, but just having that time to verbally vomit was invaluable, and I came away feeling a lot more together. Dr P assured me that it had been more than okay to have written to her, and even said that I was very welcome to write again, anytime that I wanted to, or if I preferred then I could make a double appointment to see her again, whenever. She was lovely. She just gave me the time and the space that I needed, and the opportunity to cry and splurge and say, 'Sometimes it's crap and it's overwhelming and exhausting,' and even though she may not have the experience of it herself she appeared to truly understand. I feel somewhat emotionally refreshed by the appointment, and will definitely go and see her or write to her again if I feel I need to.

And then car-related things began to come together. They're a bit long and complicated to go into the nitty gritty of, but the upshot has been that despite work needing to be done on my old car after its bump, I got my new car on Monday. I love it! I'll get a photo of it sorted out at some point and put it up here, but that might not be for a day or two. In the meantime, here's a link to the website for the type of car I've got - Vauxhall New Meriva. I do like my new car very much, and it's such a relief to have all the worry about whether or not the crunch in Crotchet (the old car) would mess up timing of getting MacTavish (the new car), and all the hassle with insurance etc. No, that's all in hand, all been paid for, and all sorted out :o) The stress is gone and I can get on with enjoying MacTavish, and trying to learn my way around all the controls and buttons and different lights, which reminds me that I must get the instruction books out and have a look at them to familiarise myself with some of it.

The next thing is study. As you can probably imagine, I'm a long way behind with my studies again after my recent adventure with the flying pigs (swine 'flu). I had an assignment due in for my OU studies on 7th January, and the End of Module Assessment for my last postgrad module at Newcastle University was due in on 10th January. Obviously I missed both deadlines. My tutors have both been great, with my OU tutor telling me not to worry at all about any assignment deadlines apart from the last one and the ECA that are notoriously difficult to get extensions for from the OU; and my tutor at Newcastle just asking me to let her know when I was home so we could go from there. I contacted them last week and I have a new deadline of 11th February, which is only Friday next week, but I got the impression that it may be a fairly flexible deadline. I kind of hope so, because although I would have liked to have got a lot done during this past week I've felt rather brain-dead, and for the first little while I was concentrating on that OU assignment that had been due on 7th January. I re-read the course material related to that and continued on with the few notes I'd made for the essay when O and I were away, then I set to and got the thing written. As ever, one of the most challenging things was getting in all the info that was being ask for into the stupidly low word count. I did it as best as I could in the circumstances, sent the essay off, and a few days later had the marked one back - 82% Not bad. Not a First (with the OU a First starts at 85%), but I'm pleased with it :oD I'd been going to get down to my postgrad EMA for my last module (Writing for Young Adults) today, but I haven't been feeling too well - absolutely exhausted, thumping headache all day, sleepy tired as well as physically tired. I've glanced in the general direction of study instead, and I'll let it tick through my mind overnight so that maybe I can get a bit done tomorrow morning. Having said that, tomorrow is rather busy with pulmonary rehab in the afternoon, followed by a quick return home for a bath and change of clothes before heading out to the first class of my second postgrad modules (Memoir Writing). I'll just have to hope that I'm feeling okay at the weekend and work hard throughout.

All in all, things are coming together, I'm feeling more together (despite being a little off-colour for some reason), the new shelves have been put together, my physical surrounds feel a little more organised, all the car stuff is sorted, and I'm all together rather pleased with my new car. Things ain't bad :oD


Joy said...

How lovely to read that things are looking up for you after such a rough time. Good luck with the OU study - the OU can be tremendously understanding, can't they?

J x

Dawn said...

I'm glad to read that things are coming together! Your GP sounds lovely. Being able to vent, even if nothing changes as a result, can make you feel so much better :)
Dawn xx

BeckyG said...

Thanks, Joy and Dawn :o) It is great to have things pick up a bit again and to have at least a little energy to do some things ... or even to have the energy to procrastinate ;oP

Joy, the OU have always been very understanding, except for one ridiculously pompous tutor I had who wasn't going to give me an assignment extension despite the fact that I was in ITU when it was due it. He relented after I asked him how dead one actually had to be to be granted an extension. He was definitely the exception, and other than that all my tutors have been great. I wasn't sure what things were going to be like at Newcastle University though where I'm doing my post grad stuff, but so far they've also been very understanding.

Dawn, my GP is lovely. There are six GPs at the practice I go to, most of whom have known me for many years now, and I trust them all entirely. I'm very lucky that they're all so good, and it certainly was extremely helpful talking with Dr P last week, even though she couldn't do anything practical or change my situation. Venting is good (except when it's of the ITU variety ;oP )

B said...

yay to decluttering! i'm having to do it by actually getting rid of stuff :( which makes me sad. but i'll deal :)

i'm glad your GPs are good! you know mine is fab too :) to my mind, a good surgery is worth *twice* its weight in gold :)

BeckyG said...

B, are you actually getting rid of books?!!! I find that so difficult. Other things I can eventually part with (depending on sentimental value), but there's something sacred about books lol.

You're so right about how valuable a good GP is. They can make all the difference, can't they?