It was another dull Monday and I was a little disappointed because the forecast had indicated a sunnier day in prospect. Nevertheless I still got on with my schedule. The weather wasn’t going to stop me. I had not eaten for fifteen hours as I had to give some blood samples at the surgery which required I wasn’t to eat in advance. Fortunately the appointment was for eight-thirty but unfortunately I had gotten up around five o’clock because I couldn’t stay in bed once awake. That meant three hours of feeling hungry until the samples were taken. To my amazement I was seen ten minutes earlier than I expected so was back home before eight forty-five. After my breakfast of porridge I donned my overalls and went into the garden to do some concrete laying. I had prepared the area before leaving for the surgery by breaking up some of the clay floor tiles which we had left over from digging the pit in the gym/boiler room. They would act as a rubble to bind the concrete together at the same time lessen the amount of concrete needed. I do this with every concrete mix I prepare but it is usually used as a base on which the concrete is laid. As the ramp was being constructed on an already existing concrete base the rubble was only being used to take up some of the volume. It would all get covered with a finer concrete later anyway. Well just as I had finished it began to rain so I covered the area with boards and sheets to keep it dry whilst setting. I had it finished before ten o’clock. I couldn’t do any more work that day because after lunch I had a funeral to attend. My next-door neighbour had passed away in hospital the previous Monday and her funeral was at two o’clock.
We drove to the crematorium to meet with others there though not many had attended, about a dozen including E and myself. The service was fairly brief and soon we were all outside chatting together and paying our respects to her son who was putting on a brave face. There isn’t much one can say at funerals but simply being there lends much support. There was no wake as such but a small gathering at our neighbour’s house. Later in the evening I returned the flag to the top of the pole as it had been at half-mast for a few days. Now life was to carry on as usual for everyone.
Just as with any machine check-ups are also necessary with with the human variety. We are in essence as far as the flesh is concerned machines of a kind and indeed a superior kind. We also need to have regular check-ups so that we can maintain our bodies. We cannot do as some are inclined to do with their mechanical machines and that is to leave well alone with the philosophy of ‘if it still works then why touch it’. We cannot be sure that there may be something wrong or that something if not seen to could develop into a much bigger problem, even to be life threatening. A wise person gets machinery routinely checked and so it should be with our health.
So it was that on Friday (8 th) I had an appointment to see the doctor to have a quick check-up. I am supplied with six-months of hormone medication to alleviate the need to visit the surgery too often and that means I therefore get two check-ups a year. On this visit the doctor made arrangements for me to have my blood checked but it would be ten days later (it’s the way the surgery operates) by the nurse. That test would be to check my blood cholesterol levels. It is imperative that cholesterol levels are kept low in every person’s case but especially if taking hormones. My own levels do tend to be on the high side but not too much, however I try to keep it low by exercise and diet. I would collect my medications from the local pharmacy perhaps on Wednesday the next week. I didn’t take my walk early in the day because of the early appointment. Instead I spent time on the gym equipment we have in the cellar. As I write this late morning I may take the walk this afternoon.
I was wondering if and when my muscular problem would improve and hopefully disappear for good. When I arose on Tuesday morning it was still with me but a short time later after my prayer session (I have one every morning) everything changed – no pain whatsoever and it stayed that way throughout the day. An answer to prayer? I think so, though I know not everyone will agree. The day itself was wet, and cold as expected but that didn’t matter, I was staying indoors anyway. I wasn’t about to replace my lost aches and pains with a bout of cold! With not being so active lately I was inclined to stay that way I decided to remain that way for a few more days. Maybe at the weekend I would venture out on a walk once more. I value my health and like to stay fit as far as I am able so it is important to me that I get back into an exercise regime as soon as I can.
This time next month I hope to be able to report a healthier me, not that I am not healthy right now but it does feel that way for me.
As we get older it becomes more necessary and important to stay healthy if we are to live out the rest of our lives feeling the best we can. That is true for people of all ages and not just for older folk. I’ve not been totally inactive though, I have spent a little time out in the garden pulling out bluebells and montbretia as they appear. I mentioned a couple of years ago whilst digging out the many hundreds of them from our flowerbeds that it would take time to be rid of them totally.
So it was now Sunday Jan 27 and it marked the anniversary of E and I’s meeting for the first time. Much water has passed under the bridge since then and although we are divorced we still live together. It has something to do with love I suspect, well I know. The day started out very windy and has remained so as I write late in the afternoon. In fact it has been blowing throughout the night. Fifty miles per hour winds tend to keep people indoors yet people do travel anyway. It certainly lowers the amount of people out walking. I am one of them. I haven’t been out for a walk for quite some time because of the muscular problems which are constantly causing me pain. I could understand if I knew what brought it on but I am convinced it wasn’t through work and believe more so that it is a trapped nerve. I say this because the pain comes and goes erratically. Take yesterday for instance, it was almost pain free and when I retired to bed last night all was fine. This morning however the pain struck as I lifted myself out of bed. It appears to be happening regularly that I get the pain first thing in the morning as I rise. Once walking about it often disappears but not always. However if the corset is put on the pain all but goes away. One of the reasons I bought the corset was to help support my back and those muscles which perhaps need it. I am hoping it is not a lasting problem for that would prevent me doing the things I like and the things I need to get done too. If and when the problem has left me I will continue wearing the corset anyway because I want to though not all the time, just when I feel like doing so. I do wish this damn wind would stop!
Over the past week (it is now Jan 20) I have been suffering with muscular pain which I had thought was due to working out on the cross-trainer. Today however I am beginning to think otherwise. I reckon I was too hasty in blaming it on the machine for aside from anything else I had been working hard for weeks on my projects in the cellar and had suffered no ill-will. On a number of occasions in past years I discovered that many of my so called muscular aches and pains had been due to having a trapped nerve in my neck! When I arose today I was beginning to feel much better and the pain and muscle weaknesses had reduced immensely. This I now think was because I had been doing neck exercises the previous evening. I have been continuing with those exercises throughout the day with much effect. Why I hadn’t thought about trapped nerves I have no idea considering I’d suffered with the condition before. My age and forgetfulness perhaps?
I will try to remember next time and be less hasty.
It was eleven o’clock in the morning when I went out for my first walk in days on Wednesday (16 th). I had been suffering with aches and pains in both my lower back muscles and my buttocks. Walking actually doesn’t appear to aggravate the situation but on my return home four and a half miles later I felt awful. After preparing lunch I was glad to be able to sit down for a while . Raising myself from a seated position however has been really painful. It’s as if my muscles are on strike. As E has difficulty in getting about it is imperative that I am available to do the things she finds difficulty in doing. Even simple things like taking out the garbage or sweeping up leaves in the garden she leaves to me. When I am fit and well I take it all in my stride. Fortunately the major projects I have been engaged in doing have come to an end so I can take time out to rest but it isn’t always possible. I can hear my dad saying ‘you’ll just have to grin and bear it’. How right he was. It is no use grumbling or moaning when things need to be done and this is why I say it even when I am at my best. It is that time of year when certain plants begin to grow and especially those you don’t want like weeds. After all my efforts in removing bluebells (and montbretia) from the gardens two years ago there are still some which persist. On my return from my walk and before I went indoors for lunch I set about removing some I had seen in the front garden flowerbeds. I will be trying to curb my enthusiasm for finding things to do for my muscles’s sake, until there is an improvement of course.
During Saturday I had been suffering with pain in the muscles of my lower back or lumbar region. There had been no obvious reason why it came about for I had not done any strenuous work or put my back under any form of stress. As with other times in my life muscular pain usually arrived a day or two after the cause. Only a couple of weeks ago as I recall I had a similar problem. Everything was fine if I remained standing on my feet or if I lay down just as it was this time also. If I sat down I had problems trying to get off the chair or sofa. So Saturday wasn’t pleasant at all. Now it was Sunday and the pain had eased just a little but still let me know it was there when trying to stand from a seated position. Once up and about there was no problem and that is why I hadn’t been suffering after going for a walk. What could it be I asked myself? Then I remembered that on Friday I spent some time on the cross-trainer, the treadmill and the cycling machines, even though I had been for a long walk earlier in the morning. My guess though is that the cross-trainer was the culprit. I had spent much more time on that than the other two machines. As I wasn’t doing much more than a brisk walk on the treadmill and hadn’t exerted myself on the cycle machine it had to be the cross-trainer if it was any of them.
The combination exercise and movements on a trainer are not natural, nobody walks or runs as they do on a trainer. I said when I first bought the machine that I had to approach it with caution and slowly build up the regime over time. That I promised myself I would do after first using it and ending up with aches and pains a day or so later. I seems obvious to me therefore that I had forgotten to take my own advice but to be fair I had used it many times since that first time with little or no consequential problems.
So Sunday was also spent doing very little at all which was a good thing. I did some baking though, just to keep my hand in……ahem!
Having ordered my new tablet and expecting its arrival in a week’s time (24 – 31 Dec) it arrived today on the 22 nd. Haven’t used it as I write for it is charging the battery. It feels a lot lighter in weight than the old machine and slimmer too. I wonder how they cram everything into such a small frame. Computers in general have taken great strides in development since the days of the Vic 20, Commodore 64 and others and many times more powerful and versatile. Since becoming mobile they have not lost anything being no longer tethered to the power supply. It shouldn’t take me long to get to know my new tablet.
It was Saturday and I wanted to get on with the work in the cellar again. I was plastering in the various holes in the walls and ceiling prior to getting out the paintbrush but it was taking such a long time to do. I spent a couple of hours down there and made a lot of progress though there was still more to do and I planned on continuing with it until it was finished but I was taken ill. I thought I had contracted the ‘vomiting bug’ though I didn’t vomit anything. The symptoms were similar, severe stomach pains, dizziness, feeling light-headed, nauseous and suffering hot and cold sweats but it turned out I had trapped wind! I was in agony but thankfully everything went back to normal after a short time. Not pleasant at all. I decided to leave finishing off the plastering for the day and took the weekend off. I would probably do it on Monday instead.
My experiences with computers have been somewhat of a pain the proverbial over the years. They either work very well, occasionally have tantrums or simply refuse to work as they should. Well the latest problem has been with my tablet. I have two lap-top computers, the one I am writing this post with, the Acer which is running Windows 7 and the other a HP which is running Windows 10. The latter gathers dust most of the time because I prefer Windows 7 which is far easier to use and isn’t cluttered with useless applications. It is practically new even though it is two years old as it hardly gets used. The other computer I own is the tablet a Samsung Nexus 10 which is running one of the Android platforms. Well it was running until recently. It was used mainly for taking photos or for tuning the guitar though it was capable of much more. Suddenly I found it wasn’t starting up properly and kept booting up then shutting down. Having done a factory reset the problem still remained. I did suspect the battery to be faulty and it may still be and I will get that checked when I’ve the time. In the meantime I thought I would treat myself to a new tablet so I purchased a Lenovo of the same physical size but running the latest Android program. It may arrive before Christmas but that doesn’t matter. All I want is something reliable.
So no more taking pictures for a week or so until it arrives. Today is Thursday 20 th and I have taken another break from work. I had been to do the shopping earlier in the day and on returning home felt miserable with aches and pains from head to chest. I guess it may have been the weather and a lack of food though I had eaten breakfast. It is mid-afternoon now and I am feeling great but it is too late to be starting work so I hope that tomorrow morning I will be able to continue with the hallway in the cellar which has been coming along quite nicely.
My day yesterday (29 th) wasn’t pleasant at all as those who read my post will know. Although I had been a bit poorly I had to take the opportunity when there was a lull in the bad weather to take down the tunnel I had previously erected over the longer patio flowerbed. I took this picture through the kitchen window the following morning. It shows the bamboo canes I placed over the two Phoenix Canariensis Plants there which will need the frost protection.
You can also see two of the other three plants of the same variety covered over with plastic bubble-wrap. The fourth is out of sight to the left of the picture. On reflection erecting the tunnel had proved to be a bad idea though only because it had been too exposed to the high winds we had been experiencing. In a more sheltered spot it would have been a different story. Lesson learned. Today as I write I hope to be able to wrap the two ‘wigwams’ with bubble wrap which won’t take long as the wind dies down a little. Though it had been windy during the week it had been quite warm over the last couple of days so there was no hurry to wrap the plants. If the weather was going to be reasonably fine I thought I might finish the lawn feature by filling it with the pebbles which had finally been delivered. The work in the small store was on temporary hold until I purchased more materials and of course made steps to cure that floor leak from the wet room above. Having said all that I was prepared to take more rest instead, at least for that day.