Monday, November 24, 2008

Medical Week, "Relax" (an odd term), and my dance.

Well, I am heading into a “medical” week and a “medical leave” at the same time. Which seem rather contradictory as one is supposed to give me more energy (medical leave) and one sucks the energy right out of me (medical appointments and tests, like the 90 minute one tomorrow – I have seen butchers treat a steak with greater care and concern than some of the EEG staff I have been…um….tested by). Have someone tell you not to move while they strobe light you early in the morning for say, 90 minutes and see how you feel; is punching someone a seizure? I find it no surprise that in this tarot deck, the Nurse or Medical is the High Priestess!

See, Linda keeps going on at me about how I am suppose to do this thing called “relax.”
I say, “You mean write a blog?”

“No, just relax, chill.”

“Respond to all the comments?”


I look at her puzzled, “Train for the race on Sunday?”

“No, just take it easy, take some time off.”

I cock my head to the side in confusion, “Make a list of postcards to send out? Find the postcards to send out. Write the BBC. Organize the letters and emails I haven’t yet written back to, organize the gifts I need to write letters thanking for, organize what I should sell to make some money for Seattle, put the stuff I have organized on ebay?”


I dunno, I think we need someone over here with a thesaurus as there definitely seems to be a communication difficulty! I am supposed to go up to Badminton tomorrow, and not having had anything dislocated this week (woo hoo, first time in three weeks!), I “should” be going!

Of course, what is Linda doing tomorrow, “I have to get to task with all the medical stuff I have gotten behind on, and then write up a blog post about it.” She already wrote a quick post, just keeping people up to date. I peeked a little and went, “What fundraising?” And she was, “What about some copies of your book, do you have any left. We could sell those for X.”

I was into that, “Yeah, and if they want my signature in blood, it will be X amount, and if they want my signature in MY blood it will be X+Y amount…”

Linda, “This is why I don’t talk to you about things like this.”

See, she is all holding out on me because I KNOW there is the annual Xmas party which includes spouses coming up where I get to meet all the NICE people who send her emails that make her not sleep (and not get paid! Because she is disabled!). And I think she knows that I have been practicing. I was saying a few months ago to another epeeist, that we could kill more people with an umbrella once trained than with a competition epee (they BEND when you strike the throat!). I am just saying, sometimes a girl in wheelchair with known seizure issues has spasms, and if she is holding an umbrella, well, I hear that there are lots of choirs looking for male alto’s and soprano’s. Think of me as a rolling career opportunity: You mess with Linda, you get a new career (and medical treatment). So she has not told me when or where the Xmas party is. This creates a small problem in my plan. Arg!

The truth is that I would like to laugh, but I need Linda to laugh too. I would like to have true and unfettered joy, I want to look like this (well, except not looking quite like if any guy comes to talk to me is going to get picked up for statutory something). I mean the whole openness of enjoyment. I don’t know how long it has been since I have had that. It has been a long time, and I know for Linda as well. Someone very close, who I trusted, emailed Linda without my knowledge and told her that really, she should send in an email apologizing to all those bosses, and that she was under stress and sort of promise to be different once she gets back – like what, bark when she gets abused? So even now, Linda has to stand up, for her RIGHT to stand up; which is what got her pay docked, her vacation days removed and all sorts of fun and joy. In fact right now, it seems the doctor who diagnosed her disability is so angry at her employers (you know, an arm of the BC government), that I am not sure if the College of Physicians and Surgeons isn’t going to sue them. But if Linda just promises never to do it again, and never to come to the hospital when I am taken, and never get career advancement until she puts me into a home, and never go to a medical or specialist meeting even though she is the only one empowered to make medical decisions, or go to Seattle (as she is now stripped of vacation….but not in retaliation…I am sure!), then maybe it can all go back to where she is just belittled, and treated lesser because of her orientation. Yeah, the higher ups must know best, right. That whole “No harassment or discrimination in the workplace policy" is just there for show, everyone knows that.

Sorry, got to calm down a bit. This is usually when I start having nose bleeds or dance the funky chicken. I am a little scared and on defence and a little not trusting of anyone. I wonder why. Good week for a bunch of medical tests…not!

But what I really want, is to have a day or a week where I can be what I was. I talked to Linda about taking the “Dr.” off my name. She said she knew I fought all those years for that, she wants me to keep it. I told her, I don’t have the capacity I had, I cannot WRITE a syllabus from scratch; some days, teaching 90 minutes maybe, but maybe not, if I have some absance seizures. In fact, I don’t know, when I get home some days, if I left all my money or what I bought on the counter. Today, some things I ordered arrived. I didn’t remember ordering them. I vehemently denied I ever ordered them. I went back on my records and yes, just over eight days ago I ordered them.

I had a dream the other night, that I went up to badminton but I was dressed underneath with my epee gear, and I convinced my volunteer to take me in my chair a few blocks on, and showed up at fencing practice. I got her to help me stand (since I can’t feel anything, as long as I keep moving, I can’t feel the damage I do to myself when I stand….or when I fall). And I was fencing again, not well, but getting a point here and there. Another point in epee, who would have thought that is what my dreams are, but they are. I want to be free, I want to be what I trained to be. I have been having nightmares, where each night a different part of my life is destroyed. In last night’s nightmare I was a teacher but the kids wouldn’t listen, they destroyed my books. The previous night my bookstore, I couldn’t find it, then when I found it, the stocking was all wrong. The previous night I lived in a UK town but couldn’t find my home, couldn’t find a B&B or hotel to take me in. How do I set goals when I don’t know how much more my brain will be damaged? I did 55 postcards, this weekend. I slept little, I wrote with purple and blue hands, I kept going until 4:30 am, and then up early, because this WAS my dance, my art, what goal I had left to finish. Living is not enough for me. I don’t know what is.


thea said...

No wonder living is not enough for you; you live a million lives at once and still you go on!

I did laugh much at the sweet suggestion of a girl in a wheelchair (perfect height!) with an umbrella 'just happening' to have a seizure or something around a lot of harassing males. Career change... hrmmm. Well I am sure they should not be working for a government representing HRH, so you are just helping them understand this, right?

Congratulations on the lack of dislocations, may it continue.

Maybe you could have a sliding scale for charging for your books: signed in blood, signed in human blood, signed in EFM blood. Then advise everyone you have to wait for the order from the blood bank...

thea said...

I adore the pics, particularly the early ones with pointy ears - to me: very sexy :) :)

And the little innocent-bliss-dancing girl is just... well I see what you mean, there is a jailbait issue there if you want to look like that _all_ the time, but she's just so open and joyful, it's such an innocent enjoyment.

Michelle said...

My partner was bullied in his ex-workplace too, and it was all I could do not to slap them and let their tyres down.

I believe in karma when it comes to bullies, I really do.

Hope you guys have a good week. Hope the search for a new GP is successful too.

Drake said...

I know what you are saying about the "Chill" factor. I can't sit around and do "nothing". I can't even sit through a whole movie because my brain gets too bored after a while. If the tests come back as "Surgery required", I don't know what I will do to keep me occupied as everything I do do, requires two hands. Worse case scenario of 6 months without the use of my arm? You've got to be kidding! Even a couple of weeks in a sling in terms of best case scenario, sounds like hell on earth.

It seems like I am also heading for a medical leave week...I actually have leave for tomorrow... Just so long as it doesn't end up a fiasco like MRI where they had to start the scan all over because I was moving due to not being able to breath 20 min's in... And no, that wasn't from clusterphobia. For some reason, if I lie on my back for too long, I can't a shark that can't breath unless it's moving.

I wish you all of the best for your medical tests ... hope u studied Dr. ;D

P.S. Don't be disheartened if I don't comment over weekends. In S.A. we don't have very good bandwidth and ADSL is far too expensive so I am stuck with a 64k dial-up that usually chews up my comments.

Maggie said...

My thoughts will be with you as you start this rough week. I hope it will lead to answers, no matter what they may be. Sometimes, knowing the bad answers are better than not knowing at all.
I've had to rip out my own poison tree and I'm not quite sure it's gone. Linda and I are running quite the parallel track at work.
I hope you are sleeping because I've not been able to sleep for hours.
Hoping that we can make it over for a visit this weekend. Are you allowed to bring turkey dinners over on the ferry?

Neil said...

Hai: The elf with the book at the base of the tree is a very pretty image, but the girl in red with the sword and the wicked expression is awesome! THAT'S how I imagine you, dear Beth. (Or me, if were half my age, female, better looking, in better shape and totally living in a fantasy world...)

You cannot go rolling down hills for fun; well, you could, but the consequences of doing it in a wheelchair are Bad. You couldn't do it like a child though. And you can't maybe go fly a kite, 'cause it's cold out, and kites are out of season. I gather you love sending cards, so do that for relaxation? Except you need to make so many, and it stops being fun when you start dancing funny. So what's a girl supposed to do for relaxation when all her relaxing things are forbidden? You could sit with Linda and practice snogging, unless she's too busy catching up on life. Sleep: that's what you could do to relax.

A pox on the BC government for allowing such organized hate crimes. I hope Linda's doctors do cause a lawsuit - some good coming of discrimination? Maybe, and you won't have to do all the work this time. Bonus!

I wish you an easy time with the medical idiots this week. Yeah, just relax while we make unpleasant noised and invade more than your personal space.

Love and hugs all 'round!

Oh, and another hug for Dawn: I hope you're feeling at leasst a bit better!

Lene Andersen said...

So, Linda's doctor actually fights for her? Can you get in to see her/him??

The dance changes with us. What's improtant is that we dance. And you're doing that.

Dawn Allenbach said...

I've alwas thought f your blogging and the postcards as your formof relaxation. OK, sure, it takes you a while and you've been known to exhaust yourself -- but those activities give you some bit of happiness, and isn't that what relaxation's for? Now, blogging or doing postcards until 4:30 and then getting up early, thereby exhausting yourself is NOT relaxation.

Linda absolutely does NOT need to apologize to her bosses!

Abi said...

Would a thesaurus necessarily help? Would it not be slightly distressing as you failed to understand so many words?
"Rest. Put your feet up."
"What's wrong with the position of my feet?"
"Erm, I mean, have a break; take it easy."
"Chill out. Be calm."

(Yes - crappy thesaurus - I thought alphabetical order was a pre-requisite, but apparently not. But maybe you didn't notice and so I am pointing out deficiencies that I should have just kept quiet about...)

And yes, challenges are good. I am just about to face a large challenge myself - choir practice, without being sure of how to play the carols. I hope that it turns out to be a good sort of challenge...

Veralidaine said...

Relaxing, Beth, is when you lie down and look at books full of pictures of pretty anime girls. You can do that, can't you? For a few hours?

I am so sorry about what that person said to Linda. I also emailed her (at her Paypal address) but only to ask for your Canadian address to send food because I was worried that your health would prevent you from sending it soon, but you need food soon anyway... had I known that she'd been recently hurt by an email from one of your friends, I never would have done that. I don't want to cause either of you any stress.

I packaged up a package for you today and, brilliant woman that I am, left it on the kitchen table. I'll send it tomorrow, so if you see Cheryl this weekend it should be there waiting for you. The other package I had sent to you (from Amazon) STILL has not been shipped. I sent an angry email to the vendor, who said the color I asked for was out of stock. Hopefully it will ship today after I gave them permission to substitute a color. So, with any luck, maybe two packages for you this weekend!

Alex M. (Alameda, CA) said...

Have you contemplated trying wheelchair fencing? I have seen it here in the US and it looks like a lot of fun. BTW, my old coach in NY once told me a story about taking out a NYC mugger in a subway stairwell with an umbrella, but who knows if it was real or just a good embellished story. Anyway, it's fun to think about;-)).

FridaWrites said...

Elizabeth, hi, I've been away a few days but wanted to let you know that I'm back and catching up.

rachelcreative said...

I want joy for you too.

Rolling down hills? Reminds me of playing on the (teenage) park play equipment with my colleague on the way home from work in my twenties. Much hilarity was had.

Hope the medical stuff doesn't set you back this week. And that you and Linda both get to relax (in your own ways) and find a little happiness here and there (or ideally big bucket loads of the stuff).

SharonMV said...

I'll never be what I was - having the opportunity to be what I am now, that's what I want. To dance on the edge of a blade, that's what we do, how we keep our spirits alive.


yanub said...

I like the happy, happy girl with the ice cream, and am right with you wishing that was you, plump and smiling. But the next picture with the plotting angel sitting in the grass, I also wish that was you, not just able to cook up a diabolical plan, but able to see it through. Say it with me now, "Muwahahahahahaha!"

Whoever told Linda to apologize at work and just get back to things is wrong. She should only apologize if it is part of some cunning plan to undermine them and send them naked into the streets sometimes in January. (I know, these cunning, nefarious plans are supposed to take a long to come to fruition, and you are supposed to have a long-haired cat that you stroke while relishing the downfall of your enemies, but I am impatient and would want them freezing their delicate bits off by the end of the feast of Epiphany.) There's way too much apologizing being done by Canadians and Brits. (And people from Wisconsin. I'm looking at you, housemate.) Stop it. Stop it right now. And don't say you're sorry for saying you're sorry. And don't be sorry. Be annoying and in the way. If you are going to get kicked like an unwanted mutt, the least you can do is bite.

Uhhhh. I think I was going to say something else, but I better simmer down and get to bed. Early doctor's appointment. But just the normal kind, nothing with poking and flashing lights. At least, there better not be or will be one pissed off yanub.

Oh, and you. Get some rest. It's that thing that happens when you aren't doing anything in particular but could be. But you aren't. So don't. Just rest.

cheryl g said...

I would love to give you and Linda moments of unfettered joy. For you both to laugh joyously would be the most incredible gift for me.

You should keep the Dr. in front of your name. You worked incredibly hard and overcame a lot of obstacles to get it. You earned it 10 times over and it is your right to keep it whether you can teach now or not.

Resting is when you watch anime or videos while snacking and drinking gatorade. At least that's one definition.

Anna said...

I hope you are relaxing. Bullying sucks.

FridaWrites said...

I hope you're doing okay with all the tests and appointments. I did enjoy reading your list about managing with chronic illness and will put more of these into practice for myself. The book you mentioned does seem very callous toward people with disabilities, very nonempathetic. I like your list much better.

Lisa Moon said...

Hi, Beth,
I'm sorry I've not been able to read or comment for the last many days (seems like forever!); my computer went pfft! on me, just after my friend gave it to me (it's his old one, twice as fast as my old one). Seems there was some glitch in the Windows install and maybe some other issues... all I know is I was trying to read on this little, tiny tablet thing which is very tiny and to try and peck out a reply on it was frustrating in the extreme! (it tended to eat my comments after it took me 15 mins to peck them out!).

I'll be catching up in between packing and moving, which happens on Monday! Yay, no more stairs for me!

And BOO!!!! on the fuckers at Linda's work! That makes me SO STEAMING MAD I'm sure there's smoke coming outta my ears! Worse, my friend and I stumbled across the branch where she works, as he also works there (just to reassure you we're not planning on stalking you, I'd be happy to email you privately giving you his name :) We're weird, but not THAT kind of weird, honest!) Anyway, I was telling him that they've been cruel and inhumane to Linda (and therefore you) and am asking him if he knows of any way to get some help for her. I will also email you if he comes up with anything. I mean, there's the union for employess, but what about the management in cases like this? Disgusting! A pox on them, indeed (but not ALL of them, please! My friend and mom both work for the BC Gov and do not deserve poxing!).

I loved your umbrella idea! It gave me an excellent visual. :) Think I will get myself one, too, instead of the compact foldy kind I have.

Sorry you have to endure another crappy test but I'm pleased that it sounds like it's nearly time to head to Seattle, so I'll be praying that it happens VERY soon so you can get the help you need and DESERVE.

Sorry to hear of your nightmares; I've suffered some, too and know how terrifying they can be - especially having had a couple that when I woke, it took a while to 'shake it off', tell myself it was a dream, not something that really happened.

Not to sound incredibly glib or crass or something, but sometimes I wish I could claim 'seizures' just to punch some folks in the face - usually those jerks who dart around me, nearly trip me, and then glare at ME like I'm in THEIR way! Hah! You gave me a good laugh, though. I wish many good laughs for Linda and you in the VERY near future.

Gentle hugs,

Donimo said...

OK, I am going to try again. The last time I posted, it didn't seem to work. Me and my headache haven't been able to look at the computer much, but reading your blog today and looking at the beautiful anime drawings that you use to set the mood really was a priority for me. I miss being able to read you/be with you regularly.

I wish you the smoothest medical appointments possible and I really do hope that you get some useful information from them. Why be put through the ringer if you don't get some good juice out? Or something like that.

I see how you and your big, busy brain and all your yearnings have a hard time imagining just chilling and doing nothing. Me, I like to stare at a sunset, but it's true that I don't like it so much when that is the only option at that moment. Maybe a shorter day of postcards would be a way of chilling a little bit. Pacing is a touch thing... it might even be a virtue.

Take care this week, both you and Linda.