ColetteB….

not exactly work in progress…

Day 8 – expanding comments

Today’s Writing101 task suggests being inspired by comments made by others on your blog, or by comments on other blogs. Some recent conversations with co-learners at their blogs and at mine are incorporated in my post and page today.

I’m making this page as a marker to remind me of how I can further expand this writing. I don’t expect reflecting on my kitchen be particularly interesting though. There’s a lot I might write but I’d prefer to be careful with how I present those issues, so they’re staying on the back-burner and this page is here to remind me.

My kitchen in reflection 16/09/2015

My kitchen in reflection 16/09/2015

I’ve been asked, politely, from my comment notification screen during this writing, about current circumstances of my health. I am very pleased to tell you I am enjoying being able to write more for the first time in over six years and so far keeping up with a regular habit however much it’s hurting at times.

I will keep running myself into the ground for trying with it though. It’s important for my baseline assessment for activity tolerance and also to excercise and build up my cognitive capacity and capability. I’m often doing that from my bed for being too ill to stand and unable to sit. I’m now no longer making myself so continually ill I’m unable to do nothing much at all most of days and having to sleep or rest completely inactive with my eyes closed kind of meditating away from the pain.

I am also standing more again, but having problems walking sometimes of most days even within the house. Right now I’m in the kitchen again, with my laptop at standing height, balancing it  on a laundry bowl on top of that washing machine partially shown in the picture above.

I am keeping my dog company of a sort when I use my kitchen for writing. Luckily Boo isn’t an overly needy dog and is quite happy to just have me around. I avoid being around so much that she’d suffer loneliness if and when I can go out and work at all. She’s excercise intolerant herself, was revived from dead at birth and taken at five weeks old to be nursed as she couldn’t feed from her mother and was dehydrated and malnourished. Chasing up and down the yard whenever she fancies at a cat or bird seems to be enough aerobic excercise for her.

Our excercise together is in short snaps of obedience training for her mental stimulation rather than worrying too much about her physical excercise. She plays, stretches, has good muscle and is agile and mostly obedient and responsive. A year ago I was playing in the yard with her tuggy and trying to get her to fetch a ball which she’d do once or twice then refuse.

During her first two years, once old enough to go outside we’d play in the yard most days for at least a few minutes. During this previous twelve to eighteen months there were days of struggling to be up on my feet and around with her for the two hours minimum welfare needs a dog apparently has and I’ve to manage that total time, including meeting my own needs for food, in two or three sessions throughout the day, some days.

I expected to be better sooner this summer and bought her new tuggy toys for yard play but I haven’t been well enough. She doesn’t seem so bothered and she’s not a puppy now. She has things to play with on her own that are fairly indestructible but can chew a shop-bought to pieces within a day if left unsupervised with it. She brings me found objects that blow into the yard, barks if I forget to eat food I’ve made. Just before my old electric fan heater motor burnt-out she barked and alerts me to forgetting to finish my bedtime routine properly – eg. forgetting to lock the back door or leaving a window open.

I’ve experienced unnecessary health detriment due to welfare reform and denial of full welfare entitlements during the last three years only. In this time, I’ve received, at best, basic ESA at assessment rate and having ongoing impossible battles. Last winter, while too ill to have any proper conversation  my mum for just a few minutes my benefit was stopped and I was told I was fit for work and should claim jobseekers allowance (JA).

It seems it is necessary to perform to a certain level and provide documentary evidence of a pro-forma nature with form-filling as if completing a graded exam. If you get your paperwork ‘right’ you are more likely to secure the welfare you should be entitled to. The more affluent ‘class’ of welfare a claimant may have, or be assumed to have,the less likely they’ll be of becoming such soft targets as the disadvantaged.

I’m not as disadvantaged as most people amongst our ‘underclass’ status. If you are keen to work at all and manage even a couple of hours a week you put yourself at risk. Believing those efforts to progress toward workability somehow are what you are receiving your ‘work-related activity’ element of benefit for, to spend supporting such activity, you are assumed to be capable of working a full week if you just tried! Continuing to ‘make yourself ill’ for trying, rather than having the full rest you need to recover better, is penalised – but not by saying you should stop you are contributing to your ill health, because that’s not recognised, while they might find other ways of applying a punitive rule worded slightly differently to mine.

So, there’s an extra few paragraphs I’d not planned to write J – you can’t possibly be reading all this! 😀

I am currently enjoying writing, with indirect natural light from my kitchen window and the back door open for fresh air. I have to be more careful soon for the cold and damp and spinal arthritis flares and for my hands also. my doctor says my red swollen knuckles during flares isn’t arthritis without even looking. I know it’s the not the gnarling of old age and I’m aware of how to help prevent or manage onset. But it compounds those M.E. type issues with various, multiple parts of my organic body. I’m quite happy at the moment functioning like a little Automattic robot throwing letters together at keys.

I’m smoking less hand-rolled cigarettes for always having something I can maybe achieve in my burning to-do list and getting on with things. I don’t smoke at all swhile resting, I make myself get up and go downstairs, usually at the door, to kill myself a little bit more with my spiritual and medicinal relief – though i wish it was hte proper variety because it helps a lot. i know that’s controversial and I shouldn’t mention it. None at all of the good stuff in much more than a year hasn’t helped my health.

My ability to wash up has now increased from once every seven to ten days (when I’d have a bit more cutlery and cups with the rest looking like a place setting for four people and a few saucers used for making and eating sandwiches when desperate); I’m now washing up at least twice a week. Sounds disgraceful I know but I’ve not been able to cook half the days of the week and not using as much as I should. It’s good to have such increase whilst also making efforts to write and read blogs etc.

Things like washing up and hanging laundry to dry cause excruciating pain during or after. It’s not part of my usual symptom patterns with M.E. related illness. I get nowhere fast with having any other investigation for diagnosis because I have what is essentially lifelong disabling illness with a confirmed diagnosis of M.E. Apparently it makes you immune to everything else under the sun. My spinal problems may be caused in part by hereditary degenerative disease of the spine (diagnosed in my mother by medical specialists) and compounded by injuries in the last six years.

i don’t enjoy what seems like a ‘my condition is so more important’ from M.E. organisation campaigns and individual attempts to raise awareness. I feel excluded because of my low class. I know that’s probably my own mis-guided perception but the likes of Yvette Copper type saying that they attended state school as if that makes them lower class than the affluence of lower middle class family status they enjoyed makes me puke. I’m glad she resigned from the shadow cabinet recently. Her type of politics is dangerous and she seems to be in the wrong political party for her asserted stance of politic. Not that I’m an expert, it’s all so over my head!

I don’t want to be ‘an M.E. blogger’. I feel writing about my personal health must be very boring and seem like self-centred whinging. My long-term medical condition tends to be under-estimated, expected to be fluctuating enough to have ‘good phases’ or remission. That’s largely brought about by the evidence-base foundations of middle-class values and experiences.

I’m very aware there are other very serious circumstances of health, as most people are. My dad died of cancer just before pensionable age; my best friend had a brain tumour and lung cancer and died at thirty-five years young; a family friend died of leukaemia aged seven and another of a heart defect aged twenty-two; my grandson has a degenerative disease with a prognosis of not being likely to reach his adult years, my mum has recently had major surgery and chemotherapy for her cancers; etcetera.

One of my ‘bug-bears’ is that pensioners who are ill and disabled have the extra financial support they need removed until they are in need of such intensive support that they qualify for Attendance Allowance. That seems like blatant age discrimination to me and very unjust and unfair. It makes me struggle with fighting for my own welfare needs and ‘entitlements’.

I hadn’t planned most of this writing and was expecting to make a short page! The last four paragraphs have been included ‘on the spot’ having been asked by a co-learner in comments at her blog enquiring how is my health now. I’ve incorporated my answer to her here and thank her very much for asking that question and providing the opportunity to remind myself how much progress I’m making with my health 😀

You can visit my recent posts and find my main writing for today’s task from the sidebar or by clicking ‘home’. Some of my writing101 stuff occurs on my other blogs. I’ll be updating my Writing101 index page next-ish and all writing 101 task responses wherever they occur are listed there.

Thank you for reading. If you have any suggestions of things you’d like to read to challenge my writing practise, or any other feedback – particularly ease-of-use issues you encounter at my muddle-along blogging, then please leave a comment.

(I’m tagging my pages for practise with keywords and attempting appropriate categorisation)

#reflection #kitchen #conversation #ME/CFS  #back problem #housework #disability #health #old-age #pensioners #discrimination #disease #childhood #life #death #dog #writing101

Note to self: this is probably in the wrong order, has distracted lots from original intention, could maybe be split into seperate topics… and I might never even look at it again myself, never mind have anyone reach this far down the page to leave me a suggestion – learning along the way of how i do my blogging all wrong at every step of the way!

One thought on “Day 8 – expanding comments

  1. Pingback: Making loo roll and calling it art (like writing) | The Wishing Well

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