The tests were unremitting and daunting, especially the nerve reaction tests which I found to be complete torture and hard to bear. This is the first time I've been able to face writing anything on my blog, but I'm hoping that in the coming weeks I'll be able to write more.
|The garden is a haven and it's great to be outside again|
|This is the scarf that took months to finish made out of two |
different types of merino sent to me by friends in US and Canada
Still my life seems to be gradually kickstarting itself. In hospital, I found I couldn't knit very well and had to resort to good old garter and even then the resulting fabric looked much more uneven than I'd have liked it to. I couldn't knit for more than a few rows at a time, so the scarf that I was making using the lovely yarn that some kind knitters sent to me, seemed to take forever to complete - four months in fact. My brain is still not functioning as well as it might and I can't seem to decide on a follow-up project, mainly because I don't like the result of my much less than perfect craft skills at the moment.
However, there's better news in the music department. When I woke up initially from the seizure, I couldn't contemplate playing guitar or even singing and although I had my guitar standing by in the corner of my room in rehab, the sheer weight of it meant I could barely hold it, let alone play it. Since I've got home though, I seem to be getting stronger and I'm once again able to play. Not at all like I used to, but still it's doing me a world of good in the confidence department - my sense of self is slowly returning. I quickly realised I couldn't remember anything I'd learnt in the past year, but things I'd been playing for years were still there, if slightly rusty. It was still difficult for me to lift the guitar from my wheelchair and I couldn't play for long, but at least I was making some music again.
|Learning to play the ukulele has been a lifesaver|
After I'd been home for a few weeks my friend Susie, whose husband is a luthier, brought round a lovely little ukulele that he had just finished. She told me that when she was suffering from a rotator cuff injury in her shoulder, it was the only instrument she could contemplate playing. She said Dave would like me to have this one on loan and play it in.
Well. I'd never played a ukulele before and didn't even know how it was tuned, but that was soon sorted with an app on my phone. Susie taught me a few chords, then we played a few tunes together and I found I rather enjoyed it. As she left she told me to make sure I play it and those words rang in my ears a lot in the coming weeks. The more I played it the more I enjoyed it, plus it was so much lighter and manouvrable than my guitar that I didn't have to wrestle with it in the wheelchair or feel weak from the weight of it. It got to the point where I looked forward to my uke practice every morning after breakfast and the more I played it, the better I got and the better it sounded. I'm still no virtuoso, but I can pick out a tune and my repertoire is expanding by the day.
My songwriting is still in the latent phase, but last week I wrote a poem for a local online mag. York Mix had invited readers to send in poems relating to summer and although my entry missed the deadline for publication, the editor, York's own poet, Carole Bromley, said she liked the poem and would have published it. Yay, there's life in the young dog yet! :) Have a read and let me know what you think:
Seeds to sow and water, on a sunny window sill
Woods filled with starry ransoms and nodding bluebells
Hearing the first cuckoo, collecting elderflowers for wine
Coffee in the garden tastes much better than inside
... in early summer
Grit under wheels on mud-cracked track
Hollow in flower bed where cat hit the sack
House martins chatter on telephone wire
Finger food shared aound the campfire
... in high summer
Trees look so hot fully clothed in their leaves
Soon to be denuded by a cool September breeze
Distant drone of mowers before they're put to bed
Produce for the winter stashed away in the shed
... in late summer
I'm still having physio to get my legs going again and yesterday another milestone was reached - I was able to climb three stairs! On Friday we're going to attempt a full flight of twelve. There have been many other milestones along the way - standing up, taking the first two tentative steps, walking the length of a room with a frame, starting to walk with crutches - but nothing happens overnight. Little by little though, I feel things are moving and this is so important, psychology plays a big part in the battle. Also I'm very lucky to have Eleanor, my lovely physio, who manages to be encouraging but never bullying.
I've looked at my blog several times over the past six months and seen the most recent page, written before I became ill, staring sadly back at me. Several times I've tried to write a post, but always felt after a couple of paragraphs that everything I had to say was rather depressing and as I had nothing really positive to write, I felt I should wait.
So in a way, rekindling my blog is a big step on my road to rekindling my health and I'm looking forward to many more posts to come.
|Django waiting for his dinner!|