Saturday, February 20, 2021

Twenty Barrows Full

I was stunned by this film. Yes, it’s of interest to me—I’m HIV+ and once ran the AIDS Vancouver organization; I know all the virus lingo—but it’s remarkable low-budget filmmaking and a stunning denunciation of American health care. The editing decisions, the unscripted dialogue of everyone involved, the pace, the choice to speak to the camera and the structure, they all totally hit their marks. And the protagonist, Christopher Nicholas, a physician, is smart, charming and eloquent—he speaks at about a hundred miles an hour, a hero advocate! 

Watch this short film, and ‘pray’ for a better world. Corporate capitalism, I hate it. Thank God for Tommy Douglas and our health care system.

From 5:30 am yesterday, until I left for our dog walk at 8:45, I watched videos and visited quite a few websites dealing with non-epileptic seizures—there’s even an hour-long documentary about NEAD on YouTube. One of them helped me understand the almost euphoric feeling I had when I got the official diagnosis:

“For some patients, simply being given a label for their symptoms and so understanding what their attacks are can mean that they stop having as many attacks or that their attacks stop completely (around 1 in 10). Being given a label for symptoms can provide a sense of relief. Knowing that you have a recognised condition can help patients to realise that they are not the only one out there with this, or that they are not ‘going mad’.”

When I got home, I got ready for the arrival of my first cords of wood, laying out a tarpaulin on the ground to receive it, moving the van and opening the backyard gate and she doors to make it easy for me to navigate my wheelbarrows loaded high with wood. As I waited for the wood, I set my goal at ten loads today. God blessed me, sending brief periods of sunshine to motivate me on a day predicted to be wet.

The wood came late. It arrived just after one. By 15:00, I’d done seven loads and I stopped for a rest as light showers began. I made yet another vat of soup and had a huge drink of Diet Coke, and then went back for more, figuring that I’d really enjoy a spa and a relaxing evening if I got a good whack of work done.

I worked until 4:30 and got twenty wheelbarrows full done, plus I got all the remaining wood covered. After dinner I was walking around like a rickety hundred-year-old man. At 8:30, I had a doozy of a seizure. It was scary long lasting and more physical than the others I’ve had of late. 

I’m not going to read anything more about seizures online or in the links Dr. S. sent to me. I’m afraid they’re giving my broken brain ideas. And I’m going to be very careful about what I watch. Documentaries or dramas with horrible human behavior cause me to over sympathize and put me in a danger zone.

It’s supposed to rain today but it’s not currently raining, so I hope to be out there all the time I can be to get another twenty barrels full of wood stacked. Monday and Tuesday are predicted to be sunny; I won’t mind working on those days and by then, I should be done. It ain’t so bad, this wood schlepping and stacking—even in Winter—I must remember this next year.

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