Sunday, 3 October 2010

Season of mists and mellow thoughtfulness

Seven days home and already my tan is washing away in the inclement weather. Loads of washing almost complete, the ironing beckons. Quiet Mousie has settled back into school. Idle Jack once again looks handsome in his chef whites.

I sit at the island in the kitchen and look out. Outside, the world looks an oppressive grey and the hills sit in suspended animation on the horizon with rain-filled clouds sagging over them, waiting to burst. Autumn has applied its brush strokes to the surrounding countryside. Leaves have turned to browns and ochre as green chlorophyll is leached from the trees. Hedgerows bulge with brambles and hawthorns. Elderberry and apple trees bow under the weight of fruit. The swallows have gone but finches, buntings and sparrows flock across the country lanes. Fields lay bare; the harvest gathered and already turned over by ploughs leaves pheasants and partridges exposed. Next door’s straw is stacked against our fencing for winter use. In our courtyard, freshly delivered logs sit neatly stacked, ready for the first fire of the season.

Antigua is a distant dream and as my list of things to do grow in my Filofax, I begin the countdown to surgery.


13th October has a large red circle around the date. And I’ll confess to being ever so slightly in a panic. About everything; the domestic arrangements and whether I’ll get it all done in time, the children, the animals, the housework (I haven’t nested like this since I was last pregnant.) Most of all it’s the thought of six hours of surgery and waking up in intensive care, and the long recovery. This is the biggest thing I’ve had over my thirty years with Behcets disease.

It’s hard. I’m frightened. My chest has taken on the feel of a cage. A bird flutters constantly within it. My insomnia has returned. However with the electric blanket now on the bed, my duvet cocoons me and getting up in the night doesn’t have quite the same appeal in autumn and winter. So I stay huddled beneath, staring up at the vaulted ceiling, watching the oversized illuminated digital clock project itself up onto the bedroom ceiling, the rhythmic flashing on and off, on and off, as the second’s ticks away and morning draws closer.

On Monday 5th October my replacement jaw joints will wing their way across the Atlantic and wait for me in a lab in Birmingham. 7th October is pre-op day. I’ve treated myself to new slippers, pyjamas and a ‘cardigown,’ an ideal jacket rather than full length dressing gown, made of soft fleece fabric. Nan would have called it a bed jacket. I had a facial last week; a vain attempt to prepare my skin in addition to the copious amounts of bio oil I slap on my face. My hair has been a dilemma. I contemplated having it all cut off so it wouldn’t be so noticeable when they shave each side, but then figured that it’s probably best to leave it long - that was idea of growing it in the first place – it would be better to help cover the swelling. And after surgery, I can always have lots of layers cut into it to disguise the scars.

I miss writing. In between the fuzz of chaos, I think about writing and my projects. For now, I must be content simply with thinking about them. Usually at this time of year I would be picking elderberry’s to make wine, plucking rosehips to dry in the airing cupboard ready for Christmas garlands and pot pourri, thumbing through the charity catalogues for my Christmas cards.

There’s no time for any of it. I need to prioritise. And remain positive.



In two weeks time it will be over. By Christmas, my consultant tells me I might be able to have a little food. Hopefully, soon I will be able to eat a banana, hug and kiss people again, talk and yawn without it feeling as if my jaws are dislocating, turn over on my side in bed, brush my teeth properly and visit the dentist. In a year’s time, life should be much improved. After the eighteen months I’ve had, it will be good to have my life back.

So until another day

Bye for now
x

22 comments:

her at home said...

Bon Courage , try lavendar oil on the pillow for the insomnia and plan ahead for the joy of being able to feel free again once all this is done.

Colette McCormick said...

Look forward to Christmas - focus on the future.
Good luck.

Chris Stovell said...

That's a very daunting post-op list so no wonder you're lying awake, but if good wishes are enough to fast-track your recovery you'll be out the other side in no time. We''ll be thinking of you. Cx

Jenny Beattie said...

The very best of luck to you. Our thoughts will be with you. JJx

Queenie said...

Eek. My first visit to your blog (I finally got around to blogrolling you, sorry it took me so long, I'm rubbish at that) and you're awaiting surgery. Yes, remaining positive is the key - often easier said than done, but still, essential. Sending my very best wishes for a smooth and speedy recovery.

Carol said...

I echo what everyone else has said. I'm not surprised your nervous but hang onto the positives and just think how much better life will be when you can do all those things you have listed at the end of this post!

Her at home's suggestion of lavendar oil is a great one...it does help when your having trouble sleeping.

Best of luck with it all.

C x

bayou said...

Will be thinking of you. I hope you will be able to write whilst you are recovering. I am very impressed how detailed you describe all what is going to happen after the surgery. I am sure it helps and gives you something to hang on to. Boatloads of good wishes to you.

Flowerpot said...

Valerian is also good for insomnia but I have found it helps not to know what the time is so I turn my clock over face down. Best of luck with it all - of course you are apprehensive and nervous and everything else. But as Colette said, focus on the future, writing plans and all the stuff to look forward to - and there is lots. xxx

Irish Nomad said...

Thank you for the lovely description of autumn from the sweaty tropics :) My heart goes out to you as you build-up to the surgery. I'll keep you in my thoughts over the next few weeks. Stay strong and positive - I know you will :) Jo x

Posie said...

What a lovely start to your blog, beautiful descriptions of the autumn,and then the creeping in of that awful fear, I am thinking of you. It will be over quickly and then a bright new start away from the pain. I think the waiting for an operation is the worst.Best wishes and purple hugs xx

Melissa Marsh said...

Oh my goodness. You're really going through quite a bit! I hope the surgery is a rousing success and will leave you feeling like a brand new gal. Hugs to you, and just think of all the writing fodder you will have when it is over. :-)

Frances said...

Oh Angel, when you write bye for now, I just want to be able to connect with you immediately.

Of course, I send you best wishes for October 13, and know that you will be well.

Your way of seeing this early autumn season through nature, though your family, and even through all that October will bring to you is beautifully expressed in your writing.

I am honored that you visit my spot. Thank you! I agree that we will meet around this time of year in future ... as that NYC marathon comes round again.

Surely, you do keep all sorts of journals and notes, and are jotting down many words privately about this time in your life. You are very generous to share so many of these words with us, letting us into your life.

xo

Amanda said...

I'm not surprised your insomnia has returned. Sending you lots of luck and thinking of you. x

Talli Roland said...

Thinking of you and wishing you all the best! Take care of yourself!

Dayana Stockdale said...

Hope your surgery is going well today, and that when you come out of the haze of it, that you can pick up a pen. Sounds like you have a lot of material and experiences to work with today.

Debs said...

Sending you all the very best of good wishes and positive thoughts and looking forward to you being on the road to recovery and feeling 100% better.x

Sarah Callejo said...

Good luck with the surgery and keep in mind all those goals. It will be worth it.

Susie Vereker said...

Oh goodness, Bluestocking Mum. It sounds as if you have a lot to cope with, but you sound very calm and sensible.
My very best wishes.

liz fenwick said...

Hugs

lx

Joanna St. James said...

Hi, I am humbled that you found time to visit my cyber digs.
I shall be sending you a special shout out on the 13th as well as keeping you in my thots.
Good Luck

Suzanne Jones said...

Will be thinking of you on Wednesday. The very best of luck and much love, too.

XX

Madeleine said...

What a beautiful description. It rounds off today's Harvest Festival day nicely. My ironing beckons too. Thanks for reminding me LOL! Thanks also for becoming my 75th follower, MUCH appreciated ;O)