Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Wonderful Exhaustion

Tuesday exhausted me.

I got up, fed all the pets, had breakfast, and sat down to work on clinic things. I had a ton of stuff to do. The hardest thing for me was making a PDF file of our practice profile for our Be Our Doctor website, but I got it done. I worked like a fiend because I knew the day would be demanding.

For a break, after a few hours work, I went shopping for the dinner I’m serving tonight to the fellow who led the recruitment campaign before he was fired and Nancy and I took over.  When I got back home, I went right back to work for the clinic and then, for my second break, I watered the back gardens. I watered. In late October. Go figure. Then I had a quick spa before making tonight’s dinner.

I have more clinic work to do today. I must place ads in a whack of medical media in Canada, the USA and South Africa, but the pressure of the past few days is off. And … my personal biggest wish has come true. The Foundation has talked with the clinic doctors, and they have agreed to work with me to put copy into each edition of our Foundation newsletter. This is a huge development! The journey to this position began with my shock and dismay when I was not informed by anyone from the clinic that my doctor was leaving. Nor, was I informed that a locum was coming, and I had the services of a locum for the coming year. I heard nothing. Ever.

Now the doctors know my name and that I am the link to our newsletter. I’m the editor/copywriter, and one of the doctors, Tracey Thorne, is also a journalist. So, we are set. I felt this was coming, but to see my name in memos in the role has made it real.

The reason I did so much work on Tuesday is not due to feeling pressured to perform. Nancy only okayed action on various initiatives in our meeting on Monday. I could have done the work over a few days. But I did it because I love doing it. 

It’s been like this all my life. When I was very young, I attacked schoolwork with enthusiastic vigour. From then on, it was work. I have what geneticists call ‘the short sleep’ gene. I slept only four hours a night. I’d lie awake for another half-hour or so, and then I’d get up. I was healthy; I was not impaired in any way. I thrived on the long days. I could have a job and do consulting as well. Regular readers may recall my paper dress period. I was obsessed with them, often working 18-20 hours in a day.

I sleep like a normal person now. That’s been one benefit of FND. But old habits never die. That’s why Tuesday was so tiring, and so wonderful. The concentration was intense, but I loved every freakin’ second of it. I love when there’s a graphic element to my work. And I love doing work. I’ve never been one for sports, I wasn’t a joiner of clubs, I didn’t drink or do much with friends through high school. I had to look after Connie, the paraplegic. So, I did work. It's my favourite thing to do.

I like using my brain, is what it comes down to. Typing is my Olympic sport—and typesetting and now, designing type in graphic programs. It’s like there’s a superhighway between my fingers and my brain. And now, when speech is challenging, I write to tell my stories—stories of a practical nature—and I write long emails and the odd ramble here. Doing what I love best. Speeding along the superhighway.

For the STAMMA workshop I am in is for doctors serving veterans with speech disorders. It’s moderated by a STAMMA a staff member, and Charmaine and I are the two people with FND in the session. We are to make a brief presentation and then answer questions. Here’s what I send to hosts of online group meetings, including clinic board meetings:  

I like to arrange in advance for shared understanding of a sign. When I am having serious difficulty speaking but have something I want to say, I hold up my left hand, with my palm facing my right hand, and with my right hand I wind my index finger in a circle—time passing quickly on the clock. That’s my suggestion that the meeting carry on, and I will write something in the chat feature. Then, I’ll raise my hand to let the moderator know that I have finished my piece.  

Last night, I watched a great little film on Netflix called, The Dreamlife of Georgie Stone. It’s short. I love Georgie Stone now, big time. It’s moving, she’s absolutely fabulous, she’s sharp smart, eloquent, and a new hero of mine.

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