Thursday, March 31, 2022

I'll Finish Stacking Today: Four Cords Done

Work, work, work. Five loads, rest; five more loads, rest. That was my day—a day without cookies or treats for rewards. Sigh. But lovely, glorious weather. By noon I was in just a t-shirt and shorts. It was wonderfully warm. After ten loads, to give my back a rest, I went into the village to unload a ton of recycling stuff that I had been storing in the shed. It felt good to be rid of it all and to have more space in the shed for more wood.

I had a nasty seizure in the grocery store. I hate having a seizure in public. But as I twitched, jerked and panted, I heard the cashier say: “Take your time. Don’t worry. I have an autistic son who has seizures.” Those were perfect words. 

It felt good to stop for a while (and to have some ice cream for diligence rewards). When I got home, I checked on today’s weather and saw that it was going to be nice today, so I relaxed about my work, knowing that I could finish these most recent two cords today. 

Once back, it was time to do more stacking, but under overcast skies and light rain showers. I did a few loads and then stopped when the rain got heavier. But it was just a short shower. The sun blasted through the clouds, and I was back at it. The day ended as it began—a true beauty of a day. 

All in all, I only did 18 loads, but that was enough to satisfy my, for today is another gorgeous day and I can finish stacking all the remaining wood.  I had a spa and a piece of Nanaimo bar as a reward last night, had dinner, watched some television and went to bed feeling great about my day (except for the seizure).

All my writing exercises that I have been posting begin with me, in the mood, perched at my keyboard. Something immediately engaging. Like: She was sure that when she went to bed, she had two legs. But not quite as lurid.

It’s like stepping onto a moving train when I write the sentence, and the story just comes out of some delicious kind of free-floating in your memories to piece together something that builds, quite quickly, to a solid ending. The train is in the station.

So, last night I thought I’d follow the same format of my writing exercises, but instead of something fictional, I thought that I might write about a current concern: Why do I feel so ashamed of having seizures in public? And why do I apologize all the time for my speech? 

People say: “Own it. Own who you are.” “Get over it.” “Move on.” There are plenty of ways people say, ‘accept it.’ I can’t. Am I supposed to feel guilty about that? Guilt goes well with shame. 

I learned to love being gay. My mental health improved when I came out. With FND, I’m not finding the path from awareness to acceptance and celebration. Can you imagine having a seizure in public and “owing it?” Like how? Come out of the seizure, and then do some runway strutting and vogueing for the pointers? I don’t think so. I know: “Don’t care about them.” It’s so easy to say, but I don’t know how to do that.

I’m not going to post what I wrote. I didn’t like it at all.

Lydia was my sister-in-law for the fourteen years I was with Steve. I adore her. She, her mom, Steve and I were a unit. We were always delighted to be together. Martha, their mother, was more of a mother to me than was Connie Tyrell. Well, you can imagine my delight to get an email saying Lydia and her husband, David, are coming to visit this coming Summer. Hurray!!

I’ve been preparing my notes for Dr. Shoja. Between sessions, I make notes and jot down questions I want to ask her; we always have a full agenda for our sessions. I’ve decided that this will be my last session—at least for a while. I feel really good about life and my condition, so I’ll take the Summer off, and I’ll stay independent until I feel I need her help again. If I do. 

I’m doing as well right now, as well as I ever have since the onset of FND. My speech is very good; all signs of the decline that set in last December are gone.

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Wood: The Chaos Correction

Behold the Halitrephes Jellyfish. Such a beautiful creature!

Daniel is the brother of a high school friend. He arrived here on Gabriola yesterday and got in touch. So far, I’ve helped him find and purchase some firewood, and yesterday morning I arranged with Jay for Dan to borrow Jay’s truck to move the wood. I’ve been helping him with sourcing other things as well. It feels good to be helpful to a new island resident. I can hardly wait to meet him.

I walked Her Highness rather late in the morning, and then got to work on the nicest, warmest day so far this year. I had to get all my tools and containers and crap out of the shed, and I slowly started packing all the fallen wood, and even that which was still stacked, out to various other places around the yard. Later, I will bring it all back in and re-stack it.

But I’m not hurrying; I’m taking it easy. I have no real deadline. I can get Bob to deliver the last cord when I am done all this wood done. I was not at all disturbed by this nasty turn of events; there was only to do it, and the weather was so nice, I didn’t care.

I had a very pleasant interruption: Leo came over. He and Merrill are spending their first night in their new house tonight. They are finally moving in, so Issa is back, and I can hardly wait to see her and to see how she’s grown.

Mid-afternoon, I had a brainwave. I used a large plant like a lever to right parts of the collapsed stack and saved myself hours of de-stacking and re-stacking. So, the late afternoon involved schlepping stuff I normally store in the shed to other locations so that there is more room in the shed for wood.

Today, I’ll be doing a run to GIRO to rid the shed of all my recyclables, and then getting back to work on stacking the remaining cord+ of wood in the driveway. 

This has turned into a much, much bigger job than I expected. But it feels good to be outside every day, all day, and working. I’m glad to be off my ass and studying all the time. I love being outdoors and active.

Dan offered to help me with my wood. I thanked him but declined as I have only one wheelbarrow. Instead, I proposed that we meet at The Surf for dinner at 6:00 and I also invited Jay to join us. So, I quit working early enough to enjoy a nice walk with Sheba, have a spa and rest before leaving for The Surf.

I’d thanked him. Is that why people make fun of Canadians? I thanked my doctor for telling me I was going to die. I can’t believe that! From the second he told me, my body and voice were piloted by instinct. Thoughts and images strobing in my brain occupied my mind. I couldn’t process anything. I wanted to be alone. I wanted to have a plan.

There are a lot of practical things to do—revise my will, write out access codes, account numbers, get an executor and so on. And then there’s saying goodbye to all my friends, and arranging for a future for Cain and Able, my cats.

I thought about going away where it was warm for a while, but I decided I’d rather just stay at home. What surprised me was a conviction that I didn’t want to see my friends.

I feel kind of numb. I haven’t cried, I can’t say I’m scared. What’s the point of being scared? There’s no point in anything negative when there isn’t much time left. Forward to my end. Soon I won’t have to hear about or read about stupid human deeds and words. I am sick of us.

I’ll go back to Dr. Murphy. I want to know what it’s going to be like at the end. I want to know about pain management and if I can be at home until I go to the hospital or if I should arrange for hospice. And I’ve decided to throw a party—and soon, while I look and feel okay.

I’ll rent a site and arrange for a band and catering, and at some point, well into the night, after briefly visiting with everyone, I’ll make a speech. I’ll tell everyone that the party is a celebration, and then about my situation and I’ll ask them not to visit or call. They can write, but I won’t reply. And then I’ll muster every cell of sincerity in me, to thank them for all the joy and laughter that they brought into my life. I'll tell them that they are reason that the night is a celebration, that I want to honour and celebrate all that we shared together.

And then I’ll leave, but I’ll have a knock-out entertainer ignite the room with dance-or-die music so that the partying will continue. Fade to black.

Tuesday, March 29, 2022


 Monday became a beautiful bright and sunny day, so of course I was very happy to be schlepping and stacking wood in dry comfort. However, I’m committed to going slowly. There’s no rush to finish it super quickly. I have a week to get these two cords stacked before the last cord arrives next week.

I did ten loads and then went into the village to get some groceries (after my sweat dried). Man, I was hot even though I was wearing a light top and shorts. I did ten more loads when we got home, and then quit for the day. I loved getting into the spa, and then having dinner followed by sinking into a comfy chair to have dinner and watch the Oscars (recorded).

It felt good to get the loads done. It feels very, very good to be in shorts and a tee in the sunshine. There is a shitload of work to be done in the yard, and every nice day, I’m going to get to it once the wood is stacked. I miss studying and I feel guilty every day I don’t work but I’ve done well in two intense months, and I let all everything else go. It’s time to get caught up and then get back to ASL.

At about 7:30 last night, I heard a loud rumbling noise, and I knew immediately what had happened. My long row of stacked wood fell over and knocked down the second row of stacked wood I was building that ran parallel to it. Two days of work, crashed to the floor. It’s a total mess in the shed and now I must work every day all week to be ready for the next delivery of wood. Sigh. Double sigh.

You may not be able to tell in the photo above, but the stack closest to the back wall has collapsed into the second stack. I have to take out all that remains stacked, to start all over from the beginning. Oh, my arms despair.