A lot of pain lately…

Some weeks ago, my rib cage fell onto my hip. My spine is that weak. It was agony- I cannot describe it. I called for an ambulance and I won’t go into the hell they put me through. A private company helping out the NHS.

I saw a locum doctor at my surgery and he was helpful. But then the pain caused me to fall and I bruised myself badly. I made another appointment with the same doctor but he was unwell. I saw a permanent doctor who checked my breathing, which I knew was good. She advised me to take my mild pain killers. She ignored my concerns about my neurological disease, which is progressing.

So I am left to look after myself.

It has been hard to manage the house with such pain. Ribs typically take 6 weeks or so to heal. I had to ask Martin to leave as his lying and alcohol abuse became too much.

The night before last, I woken at midnight by banging on my door. I made my way down, feeling terrified. I found two police trying to deposit Martin’s bike and trolley in my hallway. I was furious at them and told them that he had not lived here for two months.

I fell over because I sleep heavily and am on painkillers. I hurt my elbow very much, cut my lip, and banged my knee. The female officer was so stupid she gave me a damp wad of tissue to staunch the bleeding of my lip. Wet stops the blood from clotting. I used the dry part.

I took their collar numbers and made complaints. But mainly, I’m in even more pain now.

I’m glad that when I went for groceries, I bought myself some flowers. They look lovely. I can see them while I type. I am meeting an old friend next week for lunch, so I hope my lip recovers.

The pain now in an elbow, a knee, my lip, as well as my ribs is a lot to cope with. I’m glad I picked up a bottle of wine too.


All my symptoms are worse…

Today has shown me just how much danger I am in every day. My short-term memory failure has scared me.

I left the house to go to a doctor appointment, and found that I had left the outside tap on when I watered the garden two evenings ago. I left the garden, and then realised I did not have my sunglasses on. I thought about turning back but did not want to be late. So, of course the doctor kept me waiting. But she was very pleasant. I forgot to mention what I told Martin what I would mention. Long after I was back, I realised that I had not applied my lippy. That is a first.

I washed my hair. For some reason, I delay it.

The jolt to my spine last week has altered my pain levels and my respiration. My voice is raspy because of all the vapours that pass through my throat.

I don’t where I end and medications begin. I feel as though I am a chemical being, no longer fully me. When did I last feel like me? Not since L left home. She helped me stay in touch with myself.

My feet hurt so much. My left arm hurts so much. My back hurts.

Every day, though, there is enjoyment of my garden. Laughter with friends. Talk and laughter with Martin.

I am so happy that Martin moved in.


Guest Post

Transmuting Thought from Pain to Tranquility We are Free

Watering our Garden of Compassion

By Joseph Lieungh

Photo by Chase Yi on Unsplash

Fall from atop the maple trees, wind in sails knocking out every breath, helplessly looking up at another broken sky. Floodgates watering spouts, nourishing life’s pain inflicted upon self-squirrelly forgotten playful songs.

Planted seeds of hope and tranquility growing between the stranglehold of weeded thoughts, battle of the gardener’s fever-toil in fertile grounds of possibility. Plucked one — a thousand more suffocating vines of death amidst the Great Mystery, laying them out as not to be forgotten, there for all to see upon the sleeves.

Uncle Bill, childhood friend’s gone-too-soon, the brick wall’s barricading life from seeing the light of day, smack of a Mack truck eighteen-wheeler running over our dreams and aspirations. Bare witness to the all, good, bad, and the ugly truth, survived yet another barrage and carnage of soul’s fleeting energy.

Enter the self, sacred space reserved for one, puffing on smoky Joe’s mysterious Cosmic Dance with alpha and omega — present in all the disfiguring faces foretold by the beholder of creative power handed down by the poets before. Breathe in quenching thirst, squelching forbidden memories whilst watering the hole in our heart.

Outwardly vines, vibrational pull, filling space for a new episode of life’s Great Mysteries. Open arms, reaching to heaven’s breath, magnetic polls attracting more of our greatest desires, all the while remembering the steps bringing into a present tense.

The golden globe is rising in the East, the daily promise of tomorrow’s bountiful cornucopia of reality spent in the present visionary animation that is true to self and collective well-being. Filling cup, watering canister in hand, a cleansing spirit of future generations, spreading love’s true home on pasture’s undertow of soul-filled strength and nonce within unconditional.

Henceforth, forever shall it be, wind-filled breathtaking songs flowing through the physical. Carrying sans fear-ridden hold of past and future’s untold stories, intoning planetary natural aligning thoughts, painting a brighter future, lighter and freer than the day before.

~Ani Po


Still recovering…

I am still recovering from my appointment in Southampton. My body hurts everywhere. Yesterday, I managed to get to the shops, today I took the shower I needed but have slept on and off with painkillers.

I feel without hope. I want rid of the body I am trapped in.


Not great…

I had intended to blog last night, but I got too tired and in too much pain. My breathing has struggled a bit in the somewhat muggy whether we have had.

It’s hard adapting to being a carbon dioxide retainer. It causes me to make so many typos and adding syllables to words, as well as typing the same word twice.

I choose to be happy. I will not be robbed. I have so much to be grateful for. I need to concentrate on those things.



I used to love waking in the morning because I would be pain free and relaxed.

It seems that is over now. I wake with painful spasms. My neurological disease is progressing fast.

My appointment in Southampton is on 1 September, so that seems far off and also suggests the end of summer, and reminds me that winter is not a good time for me.

A friend came over yesterday. We had a good chat and watered the garden together. I have more beautiful flowers opening. My garden is a pleasure to be in, despite all the weeds left by Benn Jackson.


Struggling a bit…

I had a very stupid fall some days ago. One second I was standing, and the next I was draped over the bath.

My shoulder and sternum are painful. My sternum is very painful indeed. Everything I do seems to cause the pain to be noticed. I take painkillers but there’s only so many one can take.

Watering the garden seemed like agony.

A wonderful poppy is in bloom. I was awe struck. There are so many flowers. It is truly lovely in my garden. Bees bumble around and butterflies are fluttering.

My strawberry plants were looking a bit droopy. There’s lots of fruit.

I still have some plants to plant. I don’t feel up to it with this pain. So I keep them as healthy as possible, and will do what I can when I can.

Some poet friends have blocked Colin Meek, my so called editor who edited nothing. A thief, a con-artist but he is neither an editor or a poet.


The beauty in my life…

Photo by Belgium Tourism

I am so grateful for the beauty in my life. My daughter, my garden, my home, my friends. The smile of strangers that I pass. I always give my smile to people. It may be the only one they get that day.

I am in a wonderful community of writers. They give me support as well. It is hard to deal with inauthentic people, who use stock phrases glibly. I ignore it and it has no effect after the initial disappointment.

People ask if I feel the cold, as I’m wearing summer skirts. I try to explain that I need sensation in order to live well. In my garden it is sheltered and warm. The wind is cold outside my garden on my warm body. It exhilarates me and makes me glad to be alive. I do have my limits. Last evening I put a sweater over as it was cold.

I am serene and content. Oramorph helps with the pain. It is hard to describe the pain. Neuro pain is a category of it own. It is far worse than the pain caused by windchimes, and that was agonising.


Painkillers for breakfast again…

I am still getting pain from having to plant plants in haste, as I was let down at the last minute. I went to bed at 9pm last night as I was so very tired. It can take up to a week for me to recover from gardening, especially when I have not planned ahead to do manageable tasks.

As a friend pointed out, free often comes with a catch. I just did not expect to be slandered so cruelly on a website. People I have never heard of joined in, saying bad things about me or sympathizing without realising there are two sides to every story. Even saying they’ve met me. I’ve actually only met three people from Nextdoor, and two became very good friends.

A jealous person has tried to use the website to speak ill of me, and later accepted an invitation from me. I know where they live now.

I actually care not what people think of me. The people that matter know me to be kind. The rest mean nothing. I help strangers all the time. I help whoever I can on Nextdoor.

It’s funny, the guy I welcomed to Nextdoor and later mentioned free gardening was, I thought, a school friend of my daughter, who I had also welcomed that day. I know he would never have broken his word, or slandered me all over a website.


Pain and planting…

This morning the pain I had seemed to prohibit any productivity. I found an old poem on Facebook a few days ago, so I reworked it a bit and submitted it to a publication. I was in tears, both from pain and the events of yesterday. I”ve been in touch with my friend Judy a bit more than usual.

On my mind were the plants I needed to get planted. I took a strong pain killer, and sent a text to my cleaner saying I would need help in the garden, after they had done the most important tasks.

I sat in the garden with a cup of coffee, a kneeling pad and filled a window box with pinks, and forget me nots. I took this down to my neighbours’ who are so kind to me. As I came around the corner, I heard my name and saw a red Audi sports car. I wondered who it was. The woman took off her sunglasses and it was Juliet, the neighbour whose house I was heading to. John, her husband was waving and they said they were off to fetch their little daughter. I told them I was on my way with the the window box. We all laughed and went our ways. On Friday, John and his son put together some chairs for my garden.

Getting back to my garden, I asked my cleaner to tip soil into a planter. I then planted five plants in it with their help. I’ve had to order more soil. The rest of the plants are in the shade waiting for the soil to arrive.

I surveyed the weeds left in the garden. It was a heart sink moment. Especially as the forget me knots were gone. I will have to get in a pull them up. There’s nothing else for it. I simply can’t afford a gardener.

My cleaner said that he knows nothing about plants. But he does as he is instructed. And does it well. I can’t name every plant there is, but I can tell a lot by the foliage to put it in the right place.

I need another painkiller now, as this afternoon is adding to the pain from this morning. I don”t know how I’ll be in the morning. I don’t want to think about it. I’m usually asleep by now, but pain prevents.

He’s not just a skilled handyman. He’s Pete Lambert.


Shrill drills and other stories…

I was awakened this morning by the whine of a very high pitched drill. I cringed and felt the pain it causes in my nerves. It went on for too long.

I have started on antibiotics again. Yesterday, I heard fluid in my chest. I will continue with steroids too. I almost called an ambulance, but I feel in charge now. I am trembling and have a temperature.

My daughter seems to be the poster girl for her company. She is doing well in Oxford, and it seems she would like to stay there.

This causes me a huge dilemna. I don’t want to be parted from her, with only visits, yet I don’t want to leave my garden or have the hassle of moving.

If I move, it will be to somewhere that will give me palliative care. I cannot go on like this, surely?

I am so grateful that the neighbours with the windchimes left. Had I known that mentioning them here would get rid of them I would have doneit sooner. What cruel, cold, vile people they were to deliberately cause me pain. I can only pity them.


Strange times…

England has just back stepped in it’s opening up of the economy. I think this was inevitable. One cannot pretend a virus is ‘under control’ while there are still infections occurring. Indeed, people are still dying of Covid 19 here. This is not a second wave. The first wave is not over.

For the last ten days or so, I have woken thinking I have Covid 19. Whether this is becauseof dreams, or because I wake with a dry throat, I don’t know. I think my dry throat or sore feeling is the chronic fatigue that I get once or twice a year.

I started this summer waking very early and not sleeping well. Now I don’t wake early and find it hard to get out of bed. Sleep comes more easily, but is reluctant to leave. My mornings are sluggish and reluctant. Next week I have an X-ray appointment before noon. That will be a challenge.

My late mornings correlate directly with the loss of seeing the harbour from my bed. For fifteen years I have only had to rise on one elbow to see the vista of the the water and boats. I can still see the harbour but have to leave my bed. It is no longer my constant companion while writing or thinking. Daydreaming.

It is a bereavement, a grief, and one I feel keenly. If I am struggling this much now, how much more worse will it be in winter? It is unimaginable. And yet I have my garden. It bearsfruit. I have just picked and eaten my second fig, and tomorrow’s is marked out. They are so refreshing, so sweet, so unimaginably good. There are strawberries and tomatoes waiting, blueberries ripening. And my flowers. My trees.

So, there are many not as fortunate as I am. Counting my blessings and gratitude for what I have is my strength. It keeps me going in hard times when my mood is low.

My only regret in life is that I married the man I did. But then I wouldn’t have my daughter. I often think of dropping the name Brady, but the expense and inconvenience are too much.

My pain is manageable. Most days I have none and then my hip will start to hurt. That is manageble. Meditation and prayer take it away.

I am aware of my body though. There is always a sensation somewhere. And I know I look different and I wonder how many men would talk to me if I didn’t.

We need to stop putting the economy ahead of human lives. This virus kills and when it doesn’t it can leave nasty side effects for life or a long time. This will be with us for a long time.