A beast of a different colour

Dammit, I was almost through writing a post when the cat jumped on the keyboard and something got pressed and now it’s all gone.  Bosco, that is NOT HELPING.

Anyway, what I was complaining about before SOMEONE caused my carefully-crafted and well thought out post to vanish into the ether was how chronic fatigue is showing itself to be utterly different to any health challenge I’ve dealt with before.  For one thing, there’s the fatigue.  I’m fairly well acquainted with fatigue.  I know how to live around it, I know how to plan my days out so that I I’ve got energy to do the things I really want to do – but this is different.  It’s all the time.  Sleep doesn’t help.  Rest doesn’t help.  I don’t feel awake or lively or enthusiastic – I just go from tired to exhausted to completely wrecked.  On top of that, I have trouble sleeping.  I don’t have any trouble falling asleep, but I wake up about 3am and can’t get back to sleep after that.  I don’t wake up and feel like I’m ready to get up, though – I wake up and feel like I haven’t been asleep at all.  It’s easy to stay in bed and just rest for the remainder of the night, but that’s not sleeping.  Even if I get another hour or two after 3am, that’s still leaving me an hour or so short of a full night’s sleep.  After a couple of months of that pattern last year, I was struggling.  I got prescribed amitriptyline to help me stay asleep.  That helps.  Last Friday, I forgot to take my tablets before I went to bed.  I woke up at 3 and didn’t get any sleep after that.  I hadn’t gone to bed until 11 – so that was four hours sleep.  Who runs well on four hours sleep?  Not this little kitten, I can tell you now.  I was a ruin by midday, but I still COULDN’T SLEEP.  The Sleep Nazi had officially spoken – “NO SLEEP FOR YOU!”.  In the end I waited it out zombied in front of the TV until it was bedtime and made damn sure to take the tablets that night.  Sunday was a vast improvement.

On the topic of Sunday, I convinced DJ to help me with some gardening.  I have to convince him to help me if I want to get any serious gardening done, because even a short stint with a shovel knackers me for a few days, and I take a kamikaze approach to gardening.  Once I dug out a tree using  the only tools I owned at the time – a hand trowel, a tenon saw, and a pair of secateurs.  Fortunately it was only a small tree, or I would have been there for weeks.  So anyway, it’s just better for me to enlist assistance.  I wanted the garden beds widened.  We pulled out the scraggly remains of existing plants and DJ set about widening the beds.  All was going well for a short while.  Then we hit a problem.  Well, the shovel hit a problem.  Bricks.  At first I thought it was just building rubble – there seems to have been a fair bit of leftover building junk buried in the garden, as we’d been digging up bits of brick and other building scraps while uprooting the clumps of nettles and unidentified plant life tolerated by the house’s former occupants.  But it turned out to be a wall of decorative garden bricks.  The kind you use for edging a raised garden bed.  So why were they buried about two inches below soil level?  It’s just low enough that grass can grow over the top into the borders, but too high to let plants in the borders spread their roots out into the garden.  I don’t know how deep it goes, as my enthusiasm for the task was waning along with the daylight.  I’m fairly sure that getting the wall out will require most of a day’s work with a shovel and sledgehammer.  We don’t even own a sledgehammer.  I would have to buy a sledgehammer and THEN convince DJ to spend the better part of the weekend digging out a buried wall & smashing it with a sledgehammer.  As much as he does love smashing things, I think I’m just going to have to leave the wall there.  Maybe add another course of bricks to the top so that it does actually make a wall along the garden border.  But seriously – why?  If you didn’t want the wall, why not just TAKE IT OUT?  Why raise the entire height of the garden & lawn to bury the wall?  This week I am adding “people who do half-assed and poorly thought out DIY jobs” to my list of things that make me mad.

But this isn’t meant to be about things that make me mad.  It’s meant to be about good and happy things that’ll keep me sailing on through sleep deprivation and housework.  This week I am grateful for DAFFODILS.  I love daffodils.  And snowdrops, and crocuses.  I never used to be very keen on crocuses.  They’ve got hardly any leaves – just a single flower coming up out of the ground.  You call that a plant?  Living in England has granted me a deep appreciation of crocuses.  A great swathe of them scattered under the branches of a leafless winter tree like purple and yellow and pink confetti is a marvellous sight.  Daffodils are still my favourites, though.  They grow generously and enthusiastically here, leaping up to scatter little drops of sunlight everywhere from tended garden beds to winter-brown woodlands.

One thing I did that I’m happy about: I launched my fancy-dancy cleverpants quote-making tool to another business unit.  They were impressed.  I think that was the most enthusiastic reaction I’ve had so far.  So I’m happy about that.

One good thing that happened: DJ started his new job, and with the reassurance of a regular cash flow we got our builder and all-around handy guy back to finish the house painting.  We did make an effort to do some ourselves, but between my aforementioned lack of energy and DJ having to look for a new job we just kind of stalled on that project.  But it’s pretty much all done now.  Hey!  Check it out – I’m grateful for TWO things: daffodils, and completed housepainting!


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