Still asking for responses to managing difficulties…

When I encounter someone with a problem they find hard to manage, I ask how they can break it into ‘bitesize’ pieces. One lady found it hard to do her vacuuming, so eventually she decided to vacuum one room at a time.

With my breathing problems, I need to sit often and stay calm. I have always enjoyed gardening, but now I must use patio planters and pots, though a small flowerbed I made with help is flourishing. I am filling it with perennials in shades of blue, purple, pink, and white with a bit of ivy to trail out. It will jostle with flowers from early spring through summer. But now, new neighbours have been making a nuisance by drilling holes into public land to hold their back gates open. (What happened to wanting some privacy?) This has affected my access through my gates, deliveries, collections, tradesmen etc. Sam, my lovely friend, hurt her back by having to close their gate nearest to me so she could take some paving slabs.

So I am less relaxed in my garden on my own, and today after I had planted two plants I was hearing my neighbour making lots of noise in their garden and my chest became tight. I had to go to my doctor’s practice to be nebulised. My doctor asked if I had any anxiety, and when he returned to me I told him about my neighbours . He expressed his dismay and incidentally suggested a new medicine that helps prevent allergies exacerbate inflamed lungs.

I am a good self manager, I just need an intervention now and then and more in summer.

How do you manage your stresses? Do you have good strategies or are you still looking for new ones? I’d love to hear your thoughts please.


Surprised at how well I did today

magic, miracles, serendipity, blessings, joy, delight

Today I awoke expecting a mattress to be delivered and my friend Ruth was going to take off my bedlinen and put it back on the new mattress. That happened, according to our plan. But thrown into the mix was a phone call that a French drain was being put in today, the 13th and not on the 30th as I had noted it. Also, I’d reported damp marks high on my dining room wall and thought it might be from my bathroom, so plumbers arrived too.

My house felt like a revolving carousel. The men doing the French drain were slightly grumpy but the plumber was so very pleasant and as he was leaving he carried out a bag of clothes for me and even went back inside the house to fetch my sunglasses for me. Pleasantness is not hard.

In between all this, I needed to collect my standby antibiotics, drop off to a charity shop, get some bin liners, and try to book a hair cut. It all got done and I still feel in control of my breathing, although it’s taken quite a bit of self management. I couldn’t have done today without Ruth, or even the helpfulness of the plumber.

What is it in your life that makes difficulties? How good is your self-management? Some people make lists, others plan a nap into the day. I’m interested because other’s methods could help me. Self efficacy is essential for me otherwise I would exhaust myself.

I am very tired now, but feel a sense of achievement. I also managed to buy an osteospernum and a tomato plant. And I now have borage, which I’m thrilled about, crazy plant lady that I am.

Do share some of your coping strategies. I’m waiting to hear.


My poem is up

Ariel Chart

A Monthly Journal

May 11, 2019

He Built a House

 He Built A House

He built for her a house of paper,
between low and high tide,
in the line between the sea and the sand.
She took their dead child, carried a spade,
dug into the warm earth his grave,
she mourned their child alone

Chrissie Morris Brady

Chrissie is much travelled and has lived and worked in several countries. She gained her degrees in Psychology at USC and worked with recovering addicts in the LA area for four years. She now lives on the South Coast of England where she writes. Chrissie has been published by Ariel Chart, Bournemouth Borough Council, Plum Tree Books, Mad Swirl, Anti Heroin Chic, Dead Snakes, and other publishers of poetry. Her articles appear in Novel Masters, Democracy Now and other newspapers


The relief is always brief…coping

This is what my cottage looks like in my heart and dreams. It will look like this when I go to it from this earth…

Yesterday was such a pleasant day and I enjoyed it so much. A day shared with loved ones is always a great day, I think. Especially when you are sharing a common goal, like my garden.

Today I am towards struggling with my breathing again. I realised last night that the antibiotics prescribed this time are one a day. I had already taken four as I normally have. This means that either I am incredibly well or maybe I have compromised my immune system to some degree. I don’t like the misuse of antibiotics because my sister died of sepsis so recently. No antibiotic could save her life. I am not unduly alarmed as there is nothing I can do about it now. I need to be more careful about reading the label from now on. Lesson learnt..

I awoke earlier than expected and seemed at a loss to know what to do. I treated my sun tanned skin -it does seem to have calmed down and looks healthier. I’m not sure what my face looks like, as I haven’t really looked in a mirror today, just cleansed my face and applied a soothing cream. I expect all my freckles are out. I have a mix of European and Celt skin, so I am freckled but generally get a light tan in summer. Not that I am that bothered. My Dad and my sister used to go brown after an hour in sunshine. I always was slightly envious as I often might feel a sting on my skin after a short time in the sun. While I lived in California, however, this was never a problem. I just felt so healthy there and so loved by those in my care.

Sunshine is our best source of vitamin D which protects us from cancer. I no longer use sunscreen as I’ve learnt that it prevents the skin absorbing Vitamin D. It also stops buying #plastic which I detest. It is such a pollutant and does not biodegrade. It’s such a question of how long one spends in the exposure of the sun.

So the double nebuliser gave me instant relief, and though I did wheeze later my inhaler sorted it out. I did not sleep until after four in the morning due to its stimulant properties.

Yesterday was the best day I’ve had since my chest infection started. I slept well. Today I ventured out and got some cordials and fruit, the former to replenish and the latter to have as a cool refreshment when I feel hot and want more than a drink. When I came home I was struggling to breathe so made use of my inhaler, and rested. I play solitaire when I rest, unless I read. But it’s so hard to stay indoors with this glorious weather.

I went out a bit later, found that a friend was out so went to the shoreline to see the hills of Purbeck, but the breeze was cold there so I came home and came upstairs to write. I crawled to my bedroom as my breathing was such hard work. It is frustrating but I must adapt and accommodate it.

So this is me now in summertime in England. I love summer, but now it causes me so much struggle. Once I have a nebuliser at home, thing will be easier. But I now feel perfectly comfortable to dial 999 for an emergency ambulance.

I have made so many spelling errors in the writing of this blog. Brain fog is becoming a norm at the end of the day. I’m thankful for my spell check. I often repeat syllables too.


Sunburnt but coping.

Yesterday afternoon I went to post an important letter and my lungs felt like lead. They haven’t felt like that since I had pneumonia a long time ago. But I felt alert and interested in life, whereas with pneumonia one is listless and passive.

I got home and phoned my medical practice. They had the duty doctor phone me and he made a home visit. This meant that if I needed to be admitted to hospital, I could go straight to a ward rather than through the ED.

My doctor (I have known him since my daughter was four as our children attended the same schools) recorded my tachycardia, respiratory rate etc and then gave me a double nebulizer. It worked well, and I was no longer gasping in between words. To be on the safe side, he prescribed more antibiotics and more steroids. This concerns me but I need to trust and know I am in safe hands. This doctor has won my trust, which says a lot. The last doctor I trusted retired early about 18 months before my Dad died. I was angry at him, and it was a bereavement.

It took me until after 4am to sleep because of the trembling and stimulus to my nervous system. I’m told that salbutamol does not cross into the brain, but boy, it does make me high. I usually resort to drinking some alcohol to bring me ‘down’ so that sleep can come.

My friend fetched my prescription for steroids, the antibiotics had been delivered earlier by the pharmacy as I need some in the house at all times. I slept late and rested with my friend in the garden with a cup of tea, chatting. This afternoon, friends came and we did gardening, though I mostly supervised. I now have some solar lights for evenings, decorative ones, and a water feature that gives that relaxing sound of water running…

I am tired, but so grateful for a good day without wheezing or gasping. I am learning not to be so spontaneous about gardening, a little at a time and stop. Weeds can be beautiful too.

I am sunburnt, stingingly burnt. Medication has already changed my hair, and now it is changing my skin. I am learning a new me. A frailer, but still pushing on, grateful for the help and love of my friends. Being delighted with what I see everyday.

Mostly, I am learning to ask others to spare me exerting unnecessary energy. It’s a hard lesson.

Please follow @purbeckpoet


Some Apprehension

Photo Credit: Unknown

Last night I took my last antibiotic and in about an hour I will take the last of the steroids I have been prescribed.

I don’t feel as well as I feel I should. So I have apprehension about the weekend, knowing my only source of medical help will be paramedics and that it will probably mean going into hospital if I need to call them.

Hospital is not as friendly as it once was. They are understaffed and now underfunded due to the austerity measures over the last ten years, since we all bailed out the banks. What an injustice that has been. The National Health Service is changing beyond all recognition, and will soon be like the American system, which I find appalling.

I am an activist. I lobby and protest, not always in person, but I stand up to be counted. This makes me much loved by some and despised by others. I get comments like ‘no politics please’ on my neighbourhood website, while others thank me for informing them and trying to stop big corporation taking over and smiting the poorest of us and the most vulnerable.

Famine is always manmade. War kills only the innocent.

I have limited my activism in the last few months because the lack of change has affected my mental health. I get such dark thoughts and self destructive longings. I cannot afford that. I need to keep hold of the joy in living, the wonder in things I see every day.

I am so full of gratitude for my lady who cleans for me. Sam brings me joy. I am grateful for Matthew, Ruth, Jane, Sheila, Frances, Dodie, Roly, Maggie, Judy, Tanya, Nick, Lisa, Robbie and so many others who love me and add to my life is their unique ways.

No matter what happens to me I have so much to be grateful for. I thank God that even when people have despitefully used me, others come to fill a void.

But aren’t we all made of voids and plenty? We all have holes in our souls as well as abundance. It is a question of keeping our spirits sweet, not allowing bitterness to take root.

My sister Pamela is missing from my life, my Dad and my dog. Oh my dog. My daughter’s visits are never enough.

Loving hurts. It is a choice we make and renew daily.


Not well on this journey

Near where I live

Photo credit: unknown

A few moments ago I was thinking about God and prayer. I was thinking about all the wonderful friends I have who pray for me. Friends I’ve known a long, long time. And I thought how God can be thought of as breath in that we do not see him and yet there is evidence of him all around us.

Breath is the first action we make arriving in this world, and our last action as we leave it. Breath is vitality, it is the core of our existence and life. When breathing is impaired, we are dis-eased, not ourselves, and have less well being. So breathing is directly connected to our spirit/soul. When our lungs are diseased our whole life is threatened.

Before my last sentence I went to a neighbour where I knew a friend was doing some gardening. It did me good, some conversation, someone else’s achievements and point of view. The neighbour has recently moved in and it’s very enjoyable to watch the progress. She has finished the painting and awaits her possessions to arrive in June. I am trying to influence her to get rid of astro turf which was there when she arrived. It supports no wildlife of any sort, not even an ant.

I am passionate about conserving our insects, pollinators, and natural habitats. I am against corporate big business and the stripping of forests, wetlands, meadows, etc for the sake of money. We are part of this planet and yet we have almost finished destroying it. Please don’t use plastic, reuse what you can, repurpose it or give it away.

You can follow my passion for conserving nature by following me on Instagram, @purbeckpoet.

I am not confident that I will stay out of hospital this time. I have to trust God and I know my life is safe in his hands.


More Paramedics

OK, I don’t know how to put a photo here. When I have, it’s been due to accidental success rather than know how.

Last night I had to call for paramedics to come and clear my lungs with a nebuliser. They scared me for a moment when they asked what I was usually given for this. Of course, I know what I am usually given but my alarm was, briefly, that they didn’t know what they were doing. I wanted that feeling of the cavalry having arrived and being safe. Happily, harmony was restored and when they left I could speak easily without gasping for breath.

So it took a while to get to sleep after that as I was trembling from the steroids used. I then slept late and was woken by the phone ringing. I didn’t have a clue where I was or what had awakened me but then in a flash reality kicks in. It was the secretary of the respiratory consultant that I’ve missed seeing twice due to my health. She was very stern with me but conceded that I would have been unable to cancel my appointment while sleeping under the influence of morphine. I am still not certain of my status with that appointment, but I have a phone call booked with my GP tomorrow. I can tell him about it.

I am writhing with dystonia today. It is probably an affect of the steroid nebuliser. Nevertheless, it disconcerts me because I don’t know of anyone with the skills needed to treat me. I have already become accustomed to the medicine that was prescribed to help me sleep. The dystonia does make me nervous. I have the rarest type and as far as I know am the only person who has it in Britain. This is loneliness.

I wish my daughter had not moved in with her boyfriend’s family. I miss her so much and her visits are never frequent enough. I love her so much and lately I’ve felt like she is in her room, behind the wall behind my bed. The sensation comforts me until I realise she is not there.

I am thrilled to discover that blogging is a community and I have had some wonderful encounters through comments and emails. For this I am grateful to other bloggers, learning from them and my appreciation is heartfelt.


Repost from Dissident Voice


by Chrissie Morris Brady / May 15th, 2016

They talk about being in harm’s way,
your son, father, husband
They’re in slaughter’s way and
often don’t see another day.
Bullets tear open guts,
blow their brains out spilling on the dirt.
Grenades blow limbs off, shell shock,
blood soaking shirts.
Killed, maimed, driven insane in harm’s way.
Collateral damage, friendly fire,
euphemisms to placate.
Civilians ravaged, murdered, raped,
bombs rained down on, crossfire
and soldiers mistaken for the enemy,
shot by compatriots.
This friendly fire has no love,
ironic way to meet life’s end.
Body bags, toe tags, no coffin yet,
but finally draped by the flag.
Field hospitals, ankle deep in blood,
limbs cut off, the mind numbed
Going home a hero, but soon forgotten,
driven to drink, homeless, alone.
Isolated by night terrors,
dead mates they would have died for,
and wish they had, better a grave than a living hell.

That’s just our soldiers who live by a convention,
now starvation is a weapon against the innocent.
Those made homeless by indiscriminate bombings,
Children made orphans, parents made into the nameless
Of losing children, sisters, brothers, cousins.
How the belly aches for food, for love, sheltering arms
There are none.



On self harm, I’ve only told a handful of people. Once I sent a photo of blood running from me. I am sincerely sorry for that and apologised to the recipient. I have never disclosed to a mental health clinician. Personally, I find a lot of interventions artificial. They are paid to ‘fix’ me. All I want is to love and be loved. But loving would be sufficient.


And oops! on this odyssey

So, I am less recovered than I thought. I went into town to return an item I had bought online, but the refund they’ve given me is only of use in store, so they made a mistake and I’ve spent ages online trying to make up my mind for nothing. (The receipt was lost.) I feel a bit angry, and it’s partly because I was served by a former friend who dumped me after a sexual assault which left me physically injured as well as emotionally. I was even more hurt after she dumped me.

Now I am doing a counselling session by text, and my chest is really hurting. I just want to sleep. No, I want to run along side the sea and leap, and dance but I’m wheezing and my chest hurts. I don’t want to be counselling by text and I don’t want to be wheezing and in pain. But here I am, and all I can change is my attitude.

A friend has whatsapped me from the States, asking if I have a nebuliser. I have missed two appointments with a respiratory consultant because of my health problems. The irony! It reminded me to phone his secretary to grovel and ask for another appointment. So that is done. I’ve accomplished something today.

Someone told me recently that I was lying about something. I know that I wasn’t lying which means that this person was gaslighting me. Making me doubt myself. My sanity. My ex husband used to do this, he would tell me that a thing that happened had never happened. He used to undermine me long before I realised he was undermining me. Friends had to point it out to me. And that was the deal breaker in the end. Not the occasional violence. But that he never ‘cleaved’ to me. He would do the opposite of what I had made routine with our daughter. He made chaos where I had tried so hard to make safety and security.

And now I am exhausted.


Another day…

Today I am feeling so much better physically. I can tell the antibiotics, the steroids, and rest are working. I feel more interested in life again, but I know I have still a way to go before I am well.

For some reason I found it very hard to sleep last night, despite the new medicine to help me sleep which had worked so well. I’m hoping it was just ‘one of those things’ and that tonight I will sleep well again. It makes such a difference.

I had wanted to start taking the steroids after the antibiotics but then I decided that they must synergise well together. Here I am, feeling the improvement despite losing the morning to sleep.

I am so grateful that my friend, Geoff, installed the ceiling fan in my bedroom. Was it last year or the year before? I can’t remember. It’s wonderful in the heat or when I have a temperature. He will be putting in new light fittings in my dining room and living room very soon.

So why am I blogging so much more frequently now? Maybe it’s because my living situation is coming to some kind of crisis that must be resolved. Or that my health is declining faster than I care to believe. Whatever is going on in my subconscious mind, I no longer have to drag myself here to be so honest with a blog.

He wasn’t content to be a happy memory. He had to come and mess with me. Because he thinks of himself primarily, although when he loved me he was so thoughtful, tender and kind. I think this is all I have to say about him now. Michael Ebsworth is in my past, and unless he messes with me or frees himself from dw, and asks me, that is where he will stay. But I shall pray for him, because I believe we meet everyone for a reason.

The harbour is grey now, although earlier I was aware of sunshine.