The Old Trout saves the day, again – Juneathon 2018, Day 28

I was all set to head out for a walk today. Really, I was. A roughly 2.5km wander along an old railway line. But I felt extremely groggy this morning and informed the Old Trout that she did not have to get up and chauffeur me anywhere.

Instead, I worked on my crocheting again and moved my chair every so often so that I wasn’t in the blazingly hot sun.

Here you can see how I’ve been crocheting the hexagons together. I join 4 together with single crochet. When I have 4 groups of 4 they then get crocheted together in the same way. That makes 16 flower motifs in total, which is the length of the blanket. Only another 32 to go!

Unfortunately at that point I had a seizure and fell off my chair.

The Old Trout did her bit to make me comfortable. I have more seizures when she’s around. But that’s because I get more tired because I can do more when she’s with me. I live alone and when I feel ill normally I stay at home and lounge about. Having a schizophrenic episode whilst out by yourself is horrendous. But when I’m with my mum, even when I feel a little ill, we can head out in the car. I can scream, or be anxious, or paranoid without worrying anyone. She’s there to calm me down so that the rest of the day can be a good one. And it was the case again today that having someone there made all the difference: because she was sitting beside me, acting reasonably nonchalantly, even though her daughter was thrashing about on the grass. I didn’t worry any fellow campers. They could see she was fine with the situation. And that made it easier for them too.

I’m glad I made the decision to not head out into the wild blue yonder today. But it did leave me wondering how I was going to fulfill my Juneathon requirement of actual exercise. I’m not like some of the Juneathoners out there who seem to think that running in this sweltering heat is a bit of a lark. In the end I resorted to walking around the campsite. Twice. Yes, everybody is now wondering if I was trying to size up their gaff. I probably have neighbours armed with newspapers to ward me off if I dare trip over their tow bars, or look sideways at their calor gas bottles again.

And then a fortuitous piece of luck blew my way. Actually, it blew away from me, but let’s not get stuck in pesky details.

There was a couple who arrived and tried to erect a large dome tent. I could see that they hadn’t a clue what they were doing. But I only stepped in when the wind whipped the thing out of their hands and into a nearby tree. I know a thing or two about erecting tents, having spent a misspent youth traipsing the Highlands of Scotland with a tent in tow. Once you’ve dealt with gale force winds on the Isle of Skye, a slight breeze in Dorset is nothing.

The tent was erected in a couple of shakes of a lamb’s tail. I’m not entirely certain they were thankful. But the Old Trout informs me that they were impressed by my tent erection skills. Oh, and that they were more amused by the whole escapade than anything else.

Day 28 – Daily step count reached, tent erected

Step Count – 5,479

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A day at the campsite – Juneathon 2018, Day 24

Yesterday’s blog was a little short. I had a seizure and decided that I was exceptionally tired. But I was determined to write something for Juneathon. Unbeknown to me, I was in a mildly catatonic state between seizures. Another occurred virtually as soon as I finished writing. So, sorry to anyone who read what was an incredibly lacklustre piece of writing.

Today the Old Trout decided that we’d have a day off from geocaching. I don’t know who she thought needed a rest more: myself after thrashing about uncontrollably for a few minutes, or her after I hurt her already incredibly sore shoulders, whilst she tried to stop me from bashing the tent to pieces.

It doesn’t really matter. We both just needed a rest.

It was hot today. I spent most of the time like a vampire: trying to hide from the sun.

And crocheting. Always crocheting.

That meant that I hadn’t accomplished many steps. I tried to make them up by walking to the toilet block and back. But I think I may be too dehydrated for that to work today.

Instead, I dragged the Old Trout along the short, dog walking path in the campsite with promises of a cool, sheltered woodland walk. I also informed her that she’d be as stiff as a brick tomorrow if she didn’t do something.

That did the trick.

And because I refused to walk aimlessly around this campsite any more today, I decided to add 20 kneeling push ups to the day’s efforts instead. I think that’s reasonable.

By the way, the doctors think that the seizures I’ve been suffering from for the last couple of years are non-epileptic seizures. They’re probably caused by my schizophrenia as opposed to epilepsy. Thankfully I don’t become unconscious and do have a little warning. But after that I flail about on the floor uncontrollably for a few minutes. The main problem is how utterly bone tired I then feel. Last night was no exception.

Unlike epilepsy, my brain’s electrical connections aren’t misfiring and it isn’t causing any form of neurological damage. It is however very real and something that I can’t control. Medications to stop seizures won’t help. But unlike epeleptic seizures, I have a very real chance that one day they’ll stop and never return. Here’s hoping.

Day 24 – Reached daily step goal, 20 push ups

Steps Taken – 3,434

Back again – Juneathon 2018, Day 18

Some of you might have realised that I haven’t posted for the last couple of days. Naughty, I know. But I’ve not been slacking, I’ve been packing. Packing and stressing about packing. Add to that, the fact that the sprats decided that they really wanted to spend some time with their Mamgu before she disappeared again… Well, let’s say that things got extremely frazzled in my little house. I couldn’t fit anything more into this tiny little mind of mine.

Even at 11pm last night, it was uncertain if we’d be ready to set off today.

But, we’re here, at the campsite in Dorset. And we’ve started our summer hols! It took one final midnight bout of packing (and trying not to panic) from me. Mum took over this morning and when I awoke she’d packed the car. Talk about teamwork.

We’re both lying in our beds in our tent, utterly pooped. I haven’t reached the relaxed stage yet. I’m still too wound up. But a couple of days of watching the Old Trout floundering about on a soggy airbed should do the trick. She looks like an aged and wisened turtle wobbling about on its shell! Trying not to laugh is going to be very difficult.

She knows I love her. She also knows that I’ve been in her situation and am never laughing maliciously. Hopefully she’ll even get a bit of a workout by rolling about on the floor.

My workout today was erecting the tent and getting everything out of the car. It took an entire hour. I was so impressed at how easy it was to erect the tent. Well, it was until my back and my knees gave out. But that shows that it’s worth counting as today’s exercise.

There she is, lounging around, waiting for me to finish putting the tent up.

And, because this is a Geocaching holiday, I insisted on finding a Geocache today. The one we happened upon quite by chance was located in one of the old red telephone boxes that’s now being maintained as a lending library.

This one contained a fake book that was a Geocaching container. A very enjoyable cache to start our holiday off with.

And that’s it. We travelled 140 miles, I did some shopping in Morrisons and now we’re here. Not much more to say. Especially as I’m falling off to sleep whilst writing.

Nôs da

Day 18 – Erecting tent

Steps Taken – 8,114

A little bit of pootling – Juneathon 2018, Day 15

I was feeling a bit better today, so pootled around the house. My main mission was to remove the clutter that has built up over the past few days whilst I’ve been unwell. I find it remarkable how I can somehow make every room untidy in a matter of a few short days, whilst I’ve been doing absolutely nothing.

Oh, and I had to make room for The Old Trout to fit in somewhere. I realised rather belatedly today that she seemed to be making a beeline for my house. I have lost a day somewhere. I thought I’d another 24 hours left to make things spick and span for her.

I don’t envy my mum. She is heading down to my house in South Wales so that we can jet off to Dorset for a holiday together. The distance from her home in Yorkshire to mine is roughly 300 miles. Except… the silly woman can never do things simply. Oh no. Instead, she has travelled to mine via her mum’s house in Sudbury, Suffolk. The Old Trout has been lounging at Gran’s for the last few days.
You really might start to feel sorry for her when I tell you that a few years ago she was doing the following round trip: Sudbury to see my grandparents, South Wales for my sister and then Inverness in the Highlands of Scotland to see me. But don’t feel sorry for her. I blame the old biddy for bringing up two stubborn girls, who decided to well and truly fly the nest when they were old enough.

All of the pootling resulted in doubling my daily step goal. I also managed to make enough room for her bags. Perhaps not quite enough room for her the woman herself. But we’re jetting off in a couple of days. She’ll just have to squidge in for the moment.

2018 06 African Flower blanket

As I haven’t really done anything to take a photo of today and you certainly don’t want a picture of the Old Trout, here is how far I’ve got with my African Flower blanket. In previous blogs I’ve posted photos of partial motifs or a couple of flowers crocheted together. But I wanted to prove to you that they weren’t just the same small bits of crochet, just photographed from different angles.
It really is beginning to look like a blanket. Currently it measures 16 x 12 hexagons. But my aim is to add another 4 rows to the side to make it square. And then it will be large enough to cover a double bed.

It has taken over a year to get this far. Each motif takes roughly two hours to crochet, weave in the ends, crochet into place and then weave in those ends. I’m not sure how many skeins of yarn it’s taken, and how much it’s cost me to make. And erm… I’ll admit it now: I have no idea what I’m going to do with it. Essentially it’s doing the job I intended it to do: it’s busywork. When I’m on the bus it gives me something to do. When I’m waiting for an appointment it calms my nerves. When I’m mentally unwell enough to do anything else, I can pick up my crochet and feel that if I at least get a flower finished then I have done something for the day. So perhaps it doesn’t need to have another purpose. It’s just what it is.

I warn you now. There will probably be a dearth of anything resembling an exercise blog for the next couple of days. I will be packing. And packing and I don’t mix. I get far too stressed and unwell. Sanity unravels when I’m trying to pack. The last thing I will be able to do is head outside for some exercise.
But perhaps this time will be better. The last time I tried packing for a holiday I could hardly move. That does tend to hamper things somewhat.
*Fingers crossed* that this time it will go smoothly.

Day 15 – Doubled daily step goal
Steps taken – 7,215

3,000 steps – Juneathon 2018, Day 14

Today is the sort of day which is the reason why I’ve fixed my daily step count at 3,000 steps.

If it’s a good day mentally then I’ll invariably walk more than 3,000 steps. It’s easily done, even if you’re just pootling around the house trying to a bit of housework. But if it’s a day like today, one where I hardly got out of bed and slept for most of the time, then it’s a great goal to try to reach. One that generally takes no more than half an hour of concerted effort.

Half an hour was all I could muster today. I’m feeling worn out again. When I woke up I thought I might head outside for a walk. It was 10:30pm which meant that it would be a cooler temperature for walking. But I couldn’t face the thought of putting my “outside clothes” on. So I fell back into pacing up and down to get some movement into the day. There were very loud songs (played through my headphones) and a fair bit of stomping.

And now I bid you adieu until tomorrow.

(By the way, the Old Trout is making her way down from Yorkshire and we’re going on holiday very soon. So I’d much rather be feeling bad beforehand than during our holiday. Feeling bad must NOT be allowed to get in the way of camping, swimming and geocaching!)

Day 14 – Reach daily step count, again.
Steps taken – 3,117

Not Well – Juneathon 2018, Day 12

I am not well mentally today.

IMG_20180612_145132[1].jpg
I went to the Dr’s. It’s on the other side of Swansea. My sister was meant to drive me, but there was a death in the family. I am scared of the Dr. My one in MUmbles told me to exercise more when my muscles were breaking down. He fobbed me off entirely when I was taking 3 minutes to dsfffffffffffffff  get up 3 steps to his office. My sudden incontinence was ignored. 5 years ago I complained of breathl;essness – he told me that the fact I couldn’t breathe was due to being overweight and needding to exercise. My family told him that I’d alwayyyyyyyyys exercised. We went to other doctors in the same practice. Same response.

Eventually I moved practices. They were better. But my ansietuyy levels had risen considerably. And then I moved house and was forced to move surgeries agaaiosn. There I was kicked out after my first visit. I had my mum anad niece there with me. I was not violent. I was just anxious and needing merdication desperately that trhey had promised to give me weeks before.

And so My sister suggested I went to her GP’s practice. It’s halfway across the city. But there are buses and the Doctors are brilliant. They know I’m just anxious. And a couple of months ago one diagsnosed me wwith silent acid reflux. It meanss that without suffereing from any noticeable indigestion, or heartburn, acid is flying up my oesophagus. It’s hitting the opening to my lungs which, as a defence mechanism, are shutting to stop acid getting inside. And so I wass getting these bouts odf breathlesness. Ones which are solved because a doctor botheredc to listen to what I was saying.

Even when I now get the acid reflux, because I now know what it is, I don’t have to worry about continuing to do what I’m already doing. I know to take an antacid and the symptoms will subside. Oh, and it’s so much easier to breathe now. That’s one heck of A bonus.

I got to the surgery by bus. Saw the doctor. We discussed the seizures I’ve been having. I had to take a couple of diazepam to stop myself from hitting the roof with anxiety. And then: joy of joys! The Dr. announced that my sister had arriveeed. I was extremely confused. My brain did wonder if theey had a telepathic link. It also wondered if I was hallucinating that statement. Was I starting a schizophrenic episode where everything goes very weird?
No, she’d got a notice from reception on her computer screen. My sister came in a minute later.

I was soo happy to see her. By that time I’d worked out that there was going to be a problem getting home swiftly and safely. I was likely to be found cuddling a bush in a park somewhere in a couple of hours’ time.
She drove me home and I went straight to sleep. I have been asleep since. My thoughts are still disordered and naff. Hence the eerrrors in this blog. Sorry about that.

But somehow, by walking to tjhe busd and surgery I have now reachede my da\ily step goal of 3,000 steps. I am going to sign off today by being very happy with that achievement.

Day – 12 reached step goal
Steps Taken – 3,000 (yes. Exactly.)

Some discoveries – Juneathon 2018, Day 10

June has, so far, been a lovely month of bright sunshine for us in Swansea. Unfortunately The Old Trout has been suffering from haar the entire time I’ve been sunning myself. No, that isn’t some kind of nasty disease. It’s thick sea fog that often coats the North East coastline at this time of year.

Day 10 01
But, as it was another sunny day here today, I took the opportunity to bimble about in my garden. I did some crocheting. The first time that I mentioned this African Flower Hexagon blanket was during the middle of last Juneathon. By then I’d completed 33 hexagons. As of today that count reached 198. I’ve only another 58 to go. I’ve found that I love crocheting with bright yarn. Looking down and seeing the colour shine back at me always brightens my day.

Day 10 04
Another thing that brightened my day today were a couple of discoveries. I discovered that my Jasmine is finally flowering. It’s only a single flower. But I’ve been quite concerned about the state of the bush’s health since I was forced to cut it back last year. It really didn’t like that.

Day 10 03
And this Lacy phacelia, or Tansy, is the other discovery that I made. I try to attract wildlife to my garden. Last year I bought some wild flower seeds that did absolutely nothing. But I persevered and this year’s sprinkling has given me this fantastic little flower. Hopefully the bees will like it as much as I do.

Day 10 02
You might be wondering why all of this is on my exercise blog. (Well you’re not if you’ve read a few of these. You know that I’ll blether on about anything) Well, as far as I’m concerned: if I’ve managed to get myself out of bed and am doing something physical, then it counts as exercising.
After all of the little bits of pottering I did in the garden today I’d completed 2,000 steps of my daily step goal.

And after the scorching sun lost a bit of its heat, I went for a quick walk to the beach and back. Today I decided to take a detour through Victoria Park where the flowers are normally fantastic. But today two other things caught my eye:

Day 10 06

The bowling green with its pristine lawn and clean lines.

Day 10 05
And this amazing array of different greens heaped upon one another.

As you can probably tell. It was a good day mentally.

Day 10 – Gardening, 1.3 mile walk
Steps Taken – 6,466