Monday after the weekend before

This past weekend was spent cleaning, washing the clothes, cooking and sleeping.  I finally feel refreshed after sleeping most of the day away on Sunday.  I didn’t get up until after 10:00 and even had an afternoon nap for almost 2 hours.  Before you think I didn’t sleep Sunday night – I went to bed a little later than usual but slept like a log.

Of course I had my usual mad dreams again.  One of them I had all sorts of my ex-husband’s stuff and I was giving it away to some debt collectors/loan sharks when I saw his niece.  There seemed to be more than one person after her and as I was about to offer my assistance, she pulled out a gun, put it into her mouth and pulled the trigger.  It was awful.  As I woke up I said to her that she felt like a daughter to me – even though she doesn’t and I knew it wasn’t entirely true.

I think some authors/musicians use drugs to add a bit of surrealism to their writing.  I don’t need anything other than a good night’s sleep!  Last night’s dream was just as vivid.  I was looking and looking for a place that had a toilet.  At this point in the afternoon I can’t quite remember what else happened but I did leap out of bed first thing and went to the toilet.

Everyone at work seems to be organising holidays.  I’m trying not to get jealous.  I just don’t think I can afford to get away.  I do get disheartened with the thought of it.  Before I get to get away, I still need to apply for my British Passport (which ought to cost a lot of money).  I do have a small nest-egg at the moment but am uncertain as to what I should spend it on – the car (which needs a bit of work), the plumbing (which may or may not need some work doing), or the fridge (which has started beeping at me – so I presume it needs a bit of work too).  No, I may try and put off getting my British Passport at the moment.  I have to get my priorities right and getting away isn’t high on the list when my obligations are weighing me down.  BUT at the same time I’d love to chuck it all in and go away for a weekend in France again.  Unfortunately, I’m not that kind of girl.  I’m far too sensible.

My monthly cycle is moving onwards, as always.  I have been experiencing intense PMT this month.  I HATE it when Helios is behind me drying the dishes, and he reaches over my shoulder to get the next plate.  I know it’s bad when I just want to snap off his arm like a toothpick.  Not that I’d ever do it, or manage it for that matter, but the wanting is a very bad thing indeed.  I’ve therefore started taking Milk Thistle again.  What a relief.  Today I’m full of the joys of spring.  I’m pleasant to be around and happy to be at work (on a MONDAY of all things)!  Now I know my mom doesn’t like the fact that I love Milk Thistle (she’s read that it’s good for your liver and has nothing to do with PMT) but it does help me cope with my emotions.  Of course, on the other hand, it could be that I need a different kind of birth control pill…  I’ll get around to asking my doctor next time I pop in.

My blouse smells of bacon.  When Helios did the ironing on Sunday afternoon he left all the tops out and they picked up the bacon smell when I was making dinner on Sunday night.  All morning I’ve been sniffing things trying to work out what that smell is and when I finally realised it was ME, well I was not impressed.   It’s a little like wondering who’s trodden in dog poo when you discover that it’s you.  At least dinner was nice: bacon and prawn (brown) pasta with lots and lots of vedge in the sauce.  I’ve got it again for leftovers tonight.

On the bright side, I’ve re-discovered that it’s a small world after all.  I’ve finally been here long enough to run into people who have met my friends from places I used to work and, probably because I work in town now, I’ve been running into people I used to know.

I had two squares of dark, no sugar chocolate at around 10:00 this morning and I’m flagging now.  I’m wondering if it’s the chocolate that’s made me feel like this or if I’m coming down with something (?)  I expect it’s the former because I’ve gone a little woolly headed and feel slightly drunk – a sure sign that I’ve had too much sugar/caffeine.  I’m also yawning and wanting to curl up under the desk for a nap.  The main problem with feeling like this is that, if I were normal, I would reach for a cup of coffee or a bar of chocolate – for a quick jolt.  I can’t do that.  I usually just sit it out.  Luckily I don’t have the kind of job where I’m being watched every second so if I feel a little odd, I can just get on with it.  Or is the cause something to do with my hormones and/or PMT?  Sometimes identifying the source of the problem is as difficult as finding a solution!

The funny thing is that at the weekend, because I get so dog-gone tired of eggs every morning, I’ve taken to having beans on toast for breakfast.  Now, if I’m being particularly strict, I don’t have it because it’s mostly carbohydrate but it hasn’t seemed to effect me.  Of course that’s not now stopping me wondering why I feel odd this afternoon.  Surely my breakfast on Saturday and Sunday isn’t affecting me now.  It must be the two squares of chocolate (no, I didn’t even get to enjoy a whole bar) I treated myself to this morning.  Now, there is a certain logic to having another piece.  For example, and even though I’m not ravenously hungry, I could have another piece or two because I’m already feeling odd and it won’t make me feel better but it would be nice to have.  I won’t have another piece, but I am tempted.

There was snow on the ground this morning.  Well, when I say snow, there was almost a quarter of an inch that made the roads extremely treacherous because no one knows how to drive on snow here.  I had no problems getting to work because 1) I wore my snow shoes and 2) my walk to the station was pretty clear.  It was a bright sunshiny day here and the snow has all melted.  Now that’s my kind of snow.  It makes a brief appearance and makes me smile and then goes away again without being too scary.  Soooooooo much better than having to shovel it!


Head cold and strange dreams

I’m finally starting to feel better.  My head cold is clearing and the sun is shining.  The snow that fell yesterday has already melted.  I’m a little down but I’m attributing that to my cold and lack of sleep.

Again, I have to say I have the world’s best husband.  The other night I offered to sleep on the couch and he told me not to.  He said that he would only worry if I was out in the living room on the couch and he wouldn’t be able to sleep.  I’m holding my breath to see if he comes down with my cold.  I really hope he doesn’t because he already has sinus issues.

I’ve been having more of my record-breaking strange dreams.  For example, last night I was driving to a restaurant called “The Monkey Puzzle” or something like that, to meet my sister.  When I got there I found a large building that looked like a warehouse with a sign on the side that said “The Monkey Box”.  The next thing I know, I was captured by the mob!  They injected something into my back and I found myself in the main dining area again, trying to convince everyone that I was in danger.  I pretended to collapse for the attention and in the hope that whatever I was injected with would, ultimately, have lead me to collapse anyway!

I’m still trying to work out what that was all about.  Perhaps it’s because I feel slightly out of control?  New Job, New year, new step-kids (or at least new to me!)  I’m trying to make a good impression all over the place and I won’t feel comfortable until I feel more in control.  As I’m a firm believer that dreams are some sort of indicator of underlying feelings told in a metaphor – I think I’m right in saying I’m 1) trying to find my way (in the case of the restaurant, not exactly succeeding) and 2) slightly out of control but doing what I can to resolve the situation.   This is a good thing because I’m not normally good at asking for help but, I think from my dream, I have been trying to do this.  Although, if I examine this to the fullest extent, I might actually feel more in control of my life if I formally asked for help from time to time from others instead of throwing myself down to the ground and hoping people will notice…

When I mentioned this to the gals at my new work, they asked me if I ate cheese.  (!)  At interview I mentioned my Insulin Resistance problem so they’re at least aware of why I won’t have cakes when there are some in the kitchen – and so far this week that’s meant everyday!  However, I neglected to mention my other maladies – mainly because I wanted the job and thought that I wouldn’t get it if I brought my list out.  Can you imagine how that conversation would go?

“Well, there’s the insulin resistance which means I really shouldn’t have cakes; there’s the PCOS which means I regularly have strange dreams and hair in places a girl doesn’t want hair; there’s the endometriosis which – although I have control of the symptoms at the moment, means that some months I’m in such pain that I look like I’m giving birth in the office!  Then there’s IBS which may or may not be affected by the endometriosis.  Oh and I’ve just had a biopsy done on some questionable cells on my cervix.  It could be something scary, but I could be lucky!”  I can just imagine their response to a tirade like that.

As I say, I did confess to the Insulin Resistance which means that I’m not under any pressure to have cakes that I really shouldn’t in the office.  The rest of my symptoms from my various maladies are under control at the moment, so I didn’t mention them with the thought that if they don’t affect my work, they don’t have to know.

In short, I’m doing better and better everyday!


Beautiful Autumn

We had a long walk today along the canal where we used to go while we were dating.  It was beautiful and peaceful.  My mom would sometimes play a song called “Windmills of your mind”, in it there’s a line that I just love.  “The Autumn leaves were turning to the colour of her hair.”  I love that line: I can almost see the colours!

Getting there was a little chore.  We climbed into the car and Helios asked “Do you have the bread?” Of course I’d forgotten.  So we went back.  I went back in the flat and grabbed the bread but then thought I might need my asthma inhaler so I grabbed that and went back to the car.

Just at the end of the road, Helios said “You got the bread?”  To which I said, “no” and we turned around again so that I could get the bread.  I giggled with embarrassment and Helios managed to contain his frustration.

So when we got there, we fed the ducks, geese, coots and moorhens.  The geese were so gentle, Helios got them to take the bread from his hands.  Some of the coots seemed terribly hungry, crossing the canal as if they had a motor attached to their legs.  The leaves parted as the ducks paddled towards us.

We also saw a heron.  Beautiful and graceful it swooped and landed in a tree near the water.  It was breathtaking.  Of course, not much later one of the coots just managed to take flight while running across the water and flapping madly.  It sent me giggling to think that they’re both birds but one was so graceful while one just managed to wildly make it across the canal.

We saw even more wildlife on our walk…  Two white and ginger cats came along and insisted that we stop and worship them.  So we did.

I don’t have many symptoms at the moment.  I AM suffering from pretty serious PMT (Which is PMS if you live on the Western side of the Atlantic.) but I’m coping with the symptoms with Milk Thistle.  Beyond that, my health is on the good side of OK.  I’m eating well (a little too well with servings of Helios’ apple crumble or cookies at work), but I’m trying to fix that.  Of course, I’m experiencing some PCOS symptoms (I pulled out another dark chin-hair earlier this week.) but I’m hoping that when I get my diet back in order, that my symptoms will diminish again.


Metaphors and a Health Update

Dreams help us make sense of the waking world around us.  Some people believe that dreams are the windows onto other dimensions, but I’ve got a much more down-to-earth view of them.  I think that dreams are metaphors of your waking life.  

For instance, I woke up this morning in a bit of a terror.  I had been dreaming that I was in an office building with three floors.  There were windows across from the open elevator.  Now, when I say the elevator was open, I mean that there were only thin bars around the standing area and the buttons for the floors were on one of these bars.  There was no protective glass to contain the people.  I was standing to the right side and slightly away from the buttons, holding the bar with my right hand.  I could see my reflection in the slightly bronzed mirror.  I think I may have been preparing for an interview?  I must have pushed the wrong button because I went straight to the top. 

The problem grew as the floors passed.  There were only floors at ground and first floor level.  I wound up suspended in the air not quite near enough to the buttons to get me to a safe level and I found myself gazing in the mirrors.  I was terrified that I wouldn’t be able to get back down.  I clutched the right hand bar and tried not to look down…  I was shaking when I woke up.

Objectively, I know what this is about.  I am still terrified, even though I don’t let myself feel it during my waking hours, that I will find a job and I will be able to make ends meet.  I know for the moment my savings is keeping me afloat but I’d obviously be happier stopping off at the right floor of that office building and starting work rather than be left hanging!

I was wondering if I should take the opportunity to re-train as something else.  Trouble is that I would need to know what direction to go in, and above a certain amount of money in order to keep the roof over my head.  I’ve thought about teaching, palm reading, gardening, wedding planning and at one point I was considering creative writing for a living – or at least adding to my pocket while I’m looking for a full-time job.  I know it’s a strange mixture of professions (if you can call palm reading a profession!) but I thought I may as well consider everything – no matter how odd! 

(As an aside, and because I know my mother worries, Helios does contribute to the household.  I don’t want any of you thinking that he’s taking advantage of me!  He’s always contributed to the household and I’m only worried about the rest of the household bills.  I won’t go bankrupt anytime soon because I still have money in my savings account, but I’d obviously feel more comfortable with a job!)

 So, I’m back to looking for an office job.  The good news is that the Summer Holiday season is nearly upon us and I expect I’ll at least get temp work over the summer holidays.  The agency I visited yesterday said that they should be able to find me some work – even if it’s not permanent – because the market seems to be picking up again and temps are the first to feel the uptake in the market.  So, I’ve got everything crossed and I’m hoping I’m not left dangling in the air!

In other news, I have been busy staying out of trouble.  My energy levels are much more than they were.  I have been cooking and cleaning and washing the laundry and I’m happier about keeping positive.  Oh, this doesn’t mean I don’t have darker days.  But for the most part I’m feeling brighter.  I think I’ve always been a happy soul and it’s nice to feel like my old self again.

Now that I’m basically concentrating on treating my endometriosis symptoms, my PCOS symptoms have come back.  My endo treatment consists of running my birth control pill packs together and having fewer periods per year.  I’m still on my insulin resistant diet – lower carbs and higher veg and protein.  I am allowed a serving or two of fruit per day but by in large I need my vitamins from the veg.  (YES Mom, I am also taking a multi-vitamin every day with breakfast!)  More recently I started taking Prozac and another anti-depressant to help me get to sleep at night. The sleeplessness is a PCOS symptom.

 Normally the treatment for PCOS is HRT to add oestrogen to my body that’s lacking due to the cysts on my ovaries.  I tried HRT but it fed my endometriosis and I had to have another laparoscopy back in November.  So, now I’m trying to ignore my PCOS symptoms including the sleeplessness and dark hair in places a girl doesn’t want hair.  I’ve also got the beginnings of a decent bald patch at the back of my head – I’m totally covered at the moment but am much thinner than I was.  Finally, my vaginal burning hasn’t been too bad recently.  I think I get that when I stray from my strict diet.  I can’t tell you why there’s a link there, I’ve just found that when I take a little too much carbohydrate, I get the familiar pain… 

While I know that I will never feel as healthy as I did in my 20s, I’m managing my symptoms as best I can.  I think I need to be realistic about my body and be grateful that my good days are still outnumbering the bad!


National Health Service

I’ve had a cold for roughly two weeks now.  I’m, once again, looking forward to a quiet weekend and hoping that rest will help me kick this thing once and for all. 
I’m still walking into work but getting Helios to come and collect me every evening – partly due to the rains and partly due to the fact that I’m coughing up my lungs by the time 5:30 comes around.  I am so tired!
I’ve had to make another appointment with the GP to get more Prozac.  Even though I’m tired and grouchy at the moment, at least my heart doesn’t feel like it’s wrapped in a cloud. 
I’ve had PMT for several weeks now.  I never thought I would be looking forward to a period but I am at the moment.  I’m bloated, grouchy, hot, tired and my back has been aching off and on.
Now I’m going to say something about the National Health Service.  I grew up in the US where the worry wasn’t just that someday you might get ill – but also that you’d have to find a way to pay for it! 
I don’t like to talk about the NHS in England because I know so many women in my position do not have access to free care.  When I need to go to the GP, I go.  I walk in, see the doctor and then walk back out again without stopping to pay a bill or confirm insurance details.  When I needed to use my private medical insurance (usually obtained through work), I went to the GP, got a referral to a specialist, phoned my insurance company to get authorisation, went to the specialist (and confirmed my insurance details), and then left again without paying a bill.  I sometimes get letters in the post through from my insurance company where they confirm they have paid a bill.  That’s it.
As far as prescriptions go, I normally pay a nominal amount per prescription.  There was a time when I was taking so much medication that I got a pre-pay prescription certificate.  This certificate allowed me to pay a one-off lump sum that covered all my prescriptions for the year.  Believe me when I say that I made it worth my while!
Of course, I pay taxes to fund this.  10% of my salary goes toward this vital service. There are some services I honestly don’t mind paying – Police, Schools and National Health are at the top of that list! 
So there you have it.  I have health worries without the worry of how to pay for treatment.  Now, I could moan the way the English do and say how bad standards are, or how dirty the hospitals are or how the government is closing hospitals due to funding shortages, BUT it’s here.  The structure is in place and we can do something about improving it. 
The fact is that one of the richest countries in the world, I never could work out why you don’t have an NHS.  I vaguely remember Bill Clinton promising this and he put his wife in charge of the task force but then it disappeared.  I don’t even remember hearing excuses as to where it went to or why.  Now, I know Republicans are all for business and BIG business at that, but do Republicans have any health worries?  Do they have a hard time finding the money to pay health insurance?  Or do they walk in front of a bus when their money runs out?  (Sorry, that was a cheap shot, I know.)
I can’t help but wonder these things because I’ve got Endometriosis, Polycystic Ovaries and Insulin Resistance.  I don’t have a “high profile” disease that will kill me.  I have a syndrome and a disease that have occasionally made me wish for death because the pain was so bad.  How do people in the US cope?  How do you cope?  While I agree that we need to raise the profile of Endometriosis, isn’t your first priority getting the money sorted?  Hey, we don’t have a cure but at least the surgeries won’t cost an arm and a leg anymore!!

Xmas party Feb 09

I don’t know why my new work put off their Christmas party until February but I was grateful for the opportunity to get to know everyone outside of work yesterday. 


I was unsure if I should wear my black dress so I tried it on in front of Helios.  He said I looked great and when I asked if he thought it was too low-cut, he simply said “boobies”!  The dress nearly went back in the wardrobe!  I knew that everyone else would be dressing up so I decided to scare the natives with the sight of my cleavage!


We had nearly a full day at work – we all left the office and caught the 3 pm train into London. 


We started off at Brown’s in London with “Afternoon Tea” which consisted of a choice of tea (I chose Rose – which was delicious), finger sandwiches without crusts, scones with jam and clotted cream, and a variety of pretty finger cakes.  This wide variety of carbs arrived in a tower of plates that were replenished accompanied (in my case) with a glass of pink champagne.  It was all terribly civilised and frightfully English.  I really enjoyed myself.  I don’t often get to behave like a lady and do something that I would consider to be “refined”.  After we couldn’t possibly eat any more, we took a short walk to another hotel for cocktails and water.


I knew I’d be suffering a bit today.  Of course, I am.  Not only do I have a little headache, I also feel even more dry and hot vaginally than I have done over the past few weeks.  I will have to be doubly strict with my diet over the next few days to feel more normal. 


I’ve been told that the vaginal pain comes because I have low oestrogen levels (which is related to my PCOS problem) but my most recent specialist insisted that my birth control would give me more than enough oestrogen – but clearly that’s not entirely the case…  I’m starting to think that the only answer I’m going to find is that there isn’t a balance and I have to decide which symptoms I can most easily live with on a day to day basis.


It’s not good enough, is it?


Sorry, I started off this entry bragging about a Xmas party in February and I’ve ended up having another moan.  I’ll have another glass of water now and go back to bed.



Work Achievements and Other News

It’s the end of my second week at my new job and I’m still feeling confident.  I’ve come to grips with the process of dealing with translation projects and am starting to build relationships with translators.  I need to get involved in creating a spreadsheet of preferred suppliers but I can start that next week… 


My boss is completely mental.  She brings her cats to the office and I’m now officially an aunt to two cats.  In order to cope with the allergies, I take my nasal spray and wash my hands soon after stroking them.  Despite this, I find them relaxing in the office.  Sure, they’re a distraction but the fact that my boss brings them in the office makes the place seem fun. 

The cats themselves are sweet but went bonkers when they smelled the tuna in my salad.  They sat on my desk like vultures until I finished it off and put the bowl away.  I called it cupboard love and my boss suitably giggled.


In other news:


I saw Ramman after his birthday and because he keeps finding things in his house that he considers to be mine.  This time it was an old spoon, some more out-of-date paperwork and an old photo of a friend.  I went over to his house for a cup of tea (I brought my own because I’m a little particular – I need caffeine free drinks because caffeine instigates an insulin response.) and a chat.  It is nice to catch up with an old friend, and even nicer to leave Ramman’s house behind.  I don’t hate him but I have started to see him in the light that a lot of my friends and family see him – he really is full of himself.  I can’t help but think that he wanted to see me to crow about his impending job promotion and HUGE pay increase. 


At least this time he had the decency to remind me that his mortgage is a lot higher since I left him but I know that I took with me the equivalent of one year’s salary to him a few years ago and his salary and bonuses have only increased since I left.  What a pr!ck!  As if I’d ever feel sorry for him financially.  These days to even things out, I feel the need to crow when I’m around him: show off by telling him all the shows and movies I’ve recently so that I’m not outdone by him.  Beyond that it was nice to talk to him.  He seems to be doing much better these days, he’s lost weight and his ambition is taking to further dizzying heights.  I wish him luck.


I find I only have an emotional reaction when I go in the extra bedroom – which is where I was staying while I was separated from Ramman, and when I was courting Helios, before I found our flat.  The rest of the house is cold to me.  It’s as if I never lived there.  I used to find this reaction strange but now I don’t – it’s just how it is.  Perhaps it stems from the fact that I never felt comfortable living with hm?


I suppose at least the decade I spent with him isn’t a total waste at least we can still be friendly…