Thursday, June 13, 2024

Day Off

 Today is a day of rest and recovery. Back tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Heavy Date With Dr. S.

I had a great, but very hard session with Dr. Shoja yesterday. I’ve begun taking a new medication. Dr. S. is not a pill pusher. She has never advocated for me to take any medication. Instead, she has made offers, explaining the plusses and minuses of various options. She sees how much I am suffering, and she’s encouraged me to try Clonazepam daily for a while to see if my physical symptoms can be diminished.

I now understand why it’s so hard to speak to Dwight. She gave me an explanation that makes total sense. And I feel better for having had my session yesterday morning. She is alarmed by the severity of my symptoms, hence the Clonazepam—at least for a trial run. I feel well cared for and safe with her, but I declined having more frequent visits. She is amazing! She is my life support person.

Clonazepam. It’s “a benzodiazepine drug used for the acute treatment of panic disorder, epilepsy, and nonconvulsive status epilepticus.” That’s me, status epilepticus. Perhaps you’ve seen me in a museum. Clonazepam is one of now eleven pills or inhalers I take every day. Call me pharmasuticus addicticus.

I did quite a bit of weed whacking in the afternoon. I did the front lawn and the edible garden, and they both look great. That was enough work though, after a rough morning in the session, so when I was done, I took Her Highness for a nice long slow walk. Sheba was looking and acting better, so a nice walk was in order. I didn’t think to take a camera. I wish I had. The Daisies are in bloom. I must go again!

Nancy sent an email inviting me to dinner tonight. Kris will be there, as well. I’m quite excited. We always have a good time together. I see them as often as I see my gay cabal. They are my gal posse. They both are oblivious to my symptoms, bless them.

It’s another glorious day today, but cool again. I lit a fire this morning because it was so cool in the house. My hands were freezing when I was typing at my computer. I’ll be walking with our friends this morning, then doing more weed whacking before heading off to Nancy’s in the late afternoon. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Saying Goodbye

Monday began cloudy and cool, but by noon it was brighter. We walked with our friends and went into the village to do some shopping, and then we came home for lunch and a very, very chill afternoon that began with a nap. We visited Dave, next door, we played fetch in Rollo Park, and I putzed around and had a lovely mid-afternoon spa in the bright sunshine.

When I went to visit Dave yesterday, I found him underneath the house making some adjustments a consulting engineer had recommended. He emerged just as we arrived, and as we parted I realized that I speak almost fluently with him. And yet I can barely speak with Dwight, my pseudo-bro. I was glad to have realized this before I talked with Dr. Shoja.

I don’t know why I want to know why my speech is the way it is. What I want is to be able to speak as well with Dwight as I can with Dave. There’s no logic, no pattern, no rules I can follow; my speech is a masterpiece of disorder. It does occur to me that ‘the closer to home, the better,’ may be a clue. Around here, when neighbours drop by or I visit them, I speak well.

I feel as though I’ve been through the psychological ringer over the past couple of months, but I suspect things are better now. I feel calmer, and I have far fewer ticks and jerks. It helps that it’s Summertime. It’s so easy to be joyous when it’s bright and warm and mother nature is in full heat. I’ve never appreciated Spring more than I do now that I live right smack up against the forest, and I’m constantly walking the trails.

It may be the greatest moment of my life. I had just opened the door to let Jessica into my condo. She often came to stay when she had meetings in Vancouver. She lives in Victoria. And she tackled me. She thrust herself onto me with her arms outstretched, and I fell over backwards. Never before nor since, have I ever felt so loved by someone.

I had a long history with her family. I’ve written about them here. We were fast friends for 52 years and went through hell and heaven together. Her parents were the people who came here to visit and, on the night before they left, shamed and bullied me and my condition. Frani was positively vicious. I have never seen them since.

But I carried on with Jess and Todd, their daughter and son-in-law. I was always welcomed when I visited them in Victoria. But I think that is over now. I am disappointed that they didn’t help bring their parents and I back together. Todd, who has always stayed in touch by phone, has stopped calling. The last time I spoke with them, they encouraged me to visit, but they suggested I might like staying in their condo downtown. I’ve always stayed with them in the past, and that was the point of my visits. I don’t want to go to Victoria to stay in an empty apartment. All this wouldn’t be happening if Frani, a nurse, would believe in FND and my diagnoses. She has a different theory in which she has absolute faith. She thinks I am faking this condition.

The nastiness of the severance of our friendship hurt. I missed Chris and Frani deeply for two years, and I still actively miss them. But I don’t want to be friends with people who see me as they described me. Losing Jess, the woman who hugged me so passionately, also hurts deeply.

I suspect that these defections may be one reason I’ve become worse because Dr. Shoja has often used the word ‘betrayal’ in reference to my past. My birth mother, the Tyrells, the church who ran the orphanage, and the state that made it a crime to reveal my history to me. I never felt betrayal; I just felt alone all the time, but I can’t argue her point of view. Chris and Frani’s exit certainly felt like a betrayal to me. After 52 years of spectacular closeness, suddenly they were disgusted by me. 

I now have a ‘fuck you’ attitude about Frani, I am sorry to say. But I’m going to write Jess and Todd a goodbye letter that makes it clear that I will never ever stop loving them both, and their kids, but acknowledging that time and circumstances can bring an end to a friendship.

I see Dr. Shoja at 9:00. I have lots of notes. Then I must apply myself. There is a ton of work to be done and I’ve been lazing the days away of late. I like doing nothing. But there is a lot of weed whacking to do, and a lot of raking and schlepping. The fountain needs attention, the Ivy needs trimming around the Pinecone Park sign on the shed at the highest point of the wall, just as the roof peaks.

I also have wood to split. There’s an endless amount of work to do. Summer is so demanding, all the gardening and watering, it’s nice the sun sets so late. I have lots of time for relaxing no matter how much work there is to do.

Monday, June 10, 2024

A S-l-o-w Day

Sunday was a recovery day. Preparing for the party and experiencing the party wore me out. I had a nice long spa, I took Sheba to the park, we went for a walk in the afternoon, and the rest of the time, I puttered at things and had a nap in the sunshine.

In the evening, I watched The Outfit on Netflix. What a spectacular achievement it is! It might have been a play first; the entire movie is in one set. The script should win awards. It’s terrific entertainment.

I had a good time at the party. I was the host; they endured my stories. I couldn’t help myself, I told a few. I earned it for making the dinner, and I’m glad I did it, because I’m not sure I want to do that. I’ve got a computer coming. My idea was to type in my stories and let a speech generator say it faster. I’m going to try it, but it’s going to me awkward. By the time I finish typing what I want to say, they will have moved onto another topic.

 I reckon this’ll be an ongoing issue for me for the rest of my life. I (briefly) had a French boyfriend when I lived in France, and for many years, my closest friend was bind. I learned a lot from them, and I enjoyed supporting them when we were together. I was quite a shy person, but with these friends I enjoyed quite an intimate relationship. We often were often touching each other, and always together at parties or events. I’m sure where had it been a friend to get FND and bad speech, not me, I’d be accepting and loyal. That’s how I justify telling stories.

But as you can see, I feel guilty for speaking. And it’s all from within my head; my friends are accepting and tolerant. Yesterday, I felt as though I’d just returned from climbing up and down a mountain. I did nothing very, very comfortably yesterday.

I have a single engagement during the coming week. I see Dr. Shoja for an hour on Tuesday, so all the rest of the week will be walking, gardening and/or puttering. That will be nice. But today might be a pass for the gardens, it is grey and cooler again.

Sunday, June 9, 2024

A Good Party Exhausts Me

Saturday was hot. Even so, I was tempted to light a fire because it was so cool in the house. Instead, for the first time this year, I opened all the (screened) windows and doors and I turned on all the overhead fans. Then the house interior was a perfect temperature. These huge thick logs, many having a 16” diameter, keep this house warm in Winter and cool in Summer. 

Sheba is hurting. We had only a short walk, then we went to our weekly famers’ market. It is always a bit of a thrill to go and to see the many people I recognize. It’s the heart of our island, the market, I reckon. I go to buy dog treats from Darryl (and sometimes a donut or two). But it was hot!

When I got home, the laundry that I’d hung on the line was entirely dry. It took only half an hour to dry, so when I brought in all my clothes, I washed my favourite blanket that had dirty Sheba footprints embedded in it. It, too, dried very quickly. Then I (tried to) vacuum, tidied, dusted. The vacuum wouldn’t work, and the house desperately needed vacuuming, so I took the thing apart and, miraculously, I got it working. 

Dwight called me, and it was impossible to speak. I could only say one syllable at a time, so it took forever to say a sentence. He, bless him, never betrays the slightest concern. Every time I hang up after speaking with him, I realize how much I love him.

Then it was time to cook, and I chose to start with the corn dish that I Iove so much. I opened the package of frozen corn only to find that it was frozen mixed vegetables. Damn! So off to the store for corn and thank God my van has air conditioning. It was 26° and I was baking.

By 3:00, it was 29°, and I was cooking on a hot stove! Regardless, I had to go, go go, to get everything done, but I kept calm by thinking that I’d conscript François as my sous chef when the going was destined to become very busy just before eating. By 4:00, I was done my prep and had only the table to set. Plus, I was totally beat. A rest—a good restwas in order!

We might have eaten outside, but there were too many flying ants to make me want to haul all the outdoor furniture out of the studio. With all the doors and windows open, eating indoors is practically the same thing anyway, but there are screens to keep out the guests.

The party was great, but I forgot to serve the salad, the sauce for the chicken was a bit bitter for my taste, and the chicken was dry. However, they were all polite, and we had an enjoyable evening of conversation and laughter. Darryl is blind and I can hardly talk, so we were quite the group!

This morning has dawned bright and sunny, and it’s predicted to be as warm as yesterday. Sigh. But it’s Sunday, my day, so nothing at all matters. Nothing interferes with me celebrating my day of relaxation—relaxation after 2 hours of washing, drying and putting away all the dishes from last night.

Soon I will Zoom with my stuttering group, and then the day of R&R will get seriously underway. I’m considering driving to the south end to visit the food truck for lunch with Her Highness. She is still not keen on walking, so an hour of wandering slowly in the park looking at all the artisans goodies and seeing kids playing will do us both good.

Camus fills this meadow and it is gorgeous!

Camus up close. The colour!

A beautiful purple ground cover also in the meadow,

Wild roses.

Bright, gorgeous, golden Buttercups are everywhere.

Thimble Berry flowers add white to the Spring banquet of colour.

One of my favourite dishes for last night. Fried corn with lime juice, 
lots of jalapeño, lime zest and lots of Manchego cheese. Yum!

With the toppings on. It makes a nice presentation.

The cake François brought for our dessert!