Simply couldn’t

It isn’t often I feel unwell but it happens nevertheless. It was Thursday 9 th May, shopping day and I felt well enough doing that but by the time I had put the groceries away I was feeling very tired. I’d had plenty of sleep so I figured it was more to do with overwork and fatigue. At any rate I was feeling down and lethargic and sat through the morning watching television which was unusual for me. The weather wasn’t that great which didn’t help. It had been raining through the night and into the morning and in fact remained dull, overcast and damp all day. There was work to do on the project but I simply couldn’t be bothered to do it. The previous day I had been reasonably busy by completing the work of cementing in on and around the two lintels and driving to the timber yard to purchase some wood for when I tackled the boxing-in of the pipes and cables. Later in the afternoona couple of guys came round to measure the space for the new door and its requirements. They would be in contact once the door had been manufactured and was ready for installation. The space was ready for it to be installed at any time as I had concentrated on making it so. Also on the day I inspected the condition of the top of the stone slab and found that it needed attention. When it rains it leaves a puddle of standing water which weeps through any gaps to the underside especially where the stone step into the kitchen rests upon the slab (right middle in picture). It will need a covering of concrete screed with a slight slope on it to ensure any water will run off down the steps. I would hopefully sort that out on either Friday or Saturday when there would be an improvement in the weather. One of the other things I intend doing is skimming over the underside of the stone slab and the rear of the top steps as they have been flaking a little over the years. First of all though they will need coating in a sealant, either silicon or PVA but probably PVA which would aid in the skim taking grip. So there is plenty to do but for the moment I was taking a break…….Shirley Anne

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Weighing things up

During the last couple of days rain has threatened to fall and it looks like we are going to have a few more days of unsettled weather before it returns to the way it has been lately. It is Thursday 25 April and I write this late in the morning. I should have been doing a little more concrete screed laying but I am not. I was up quite early at 4.45. I had set the alarm for 5.30 but had awoken at 4.00. I usually get up this early when I have the shopping to do though I don’t actually go out until after 7.15. I was feeling fine until I returned from the supermarket and had stored everything away when I began to feel tired and listless. The idea was to take a short break before recommencing work for the forecast had indicated a few hours of dry weather before it would rain.

Although the work is inside the building the preparation work is all done outside, collecting the materials loading up the mixer and emptying into the barrow to take indoors. It just isn’t practical to do that outdoors if it is going to rain. I suppose I could have rigged a shelter of some sort but it wasn’t worth the effort seeing as the weather had been generally dry. I went to the room to inspect the work I had done the day before and it had set just fine (see picture top left to bottom right, driest where it is pale). It would be best to allow it to dry out some more before pouring wet concrete alongside so doing the remaining area would be better left off doing for another twenty-four hours. It sounds like an excuse not to work but having weighed up the situation I decided that was best. In any case I wasn’t feeling up to it. Friday I would take an early morning walk but having again looked at the forecast the driest part of the day was in the early hours up til noon or thereabouts. I would have a window of around four to five hours before it would rain but I would have to take the walk later to take advantage. Decisions decisions. It all would depend on the forecast being right and me being fine and in the mood. Well the remainder of Thursday should give me the rest I obviously need! I am eager to see the floor finished (as far as the screed is concerned) so that I can begin other work such as door frame removal, lintel replacement, ceiling stripped and boarded and other minor works. When the shell is completed then I can plan installing the toilet furniture and arrange for a new door to be installed. A lot of work but I am taking it slowly. ……………………….Shirley Anne

Sometimes

I sometimes push myself too much I know I do. It’s not about trying to keep fit and active nor about trying to keep pace as I once did when young for I know my limits. This is how I was not so long ago, about thirteen years ago and before….

I place my feet upon the floor
About two thirty in the morn,
When most folk are asleep in bed
I wash my face and clear my head,
The stars are shining in the sky
As I begin to exercise.
It is so hard, it must be said
To rise up early from my bed,
And so I start my morning run
And tell myself I’m having fun,
At first it is so very hard
But eases as I go along,
Till finally I’m back at home
And still find that I’m all alone,
I have to wait almost an hour
Before I’m cool enough to shower,
Then rest? No I’ve no time to shirk,
I dress and then go off to work.

Copyright Shirley Anne 4 Aug 03

Nowadays and since retiring from my old occupation I try not to do too much but sometimes I fail and sometimes I am forced to slow down. I have been very active at home since retiring and of my activities can be read in this blog. My latest project concerns the rear door of the garage in which my van is parked. Outside that door I have just completed alterations to the concrete ramp and now I am in the middle of replacing the door and positioning the new one further back. If you’ve been following my latest posts you will know what is involved. The first two days of this week (25-26 March) saw me installing a new door frame and constructing the new door which as of today (27 th) has yet to be completed. In fact I took the day off from the project all together because I was feeling under the weather. ‘Right’ I told myself after returning from my morning walk earlier than usual, ‘Give yourself a break or run the risk of wearing yourself out’. I had a headache anyway and was generally feeling a little tired. Took the break I did and felt much the better for it. Sometimes you have to discipline yourself. Hopefully tomorrow will find me returning to my labours, at a slower pace!

Shirley Anne

Tried to stop me

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.

Shirley Anne

Check-up

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.

Check-up

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.

Shirley Anne

A better day

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.

Shirley Anne

Back to the corset

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!

Shirley Anne

Haste

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?

Reminder

I will try to remember next time and be less hasty.

Shirley Anne

Still at rest

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.

Shirley Anne

Sunday rest?

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!

Shirley Anne