Achy Shaky Breaky

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photo: pixabay

I have a nightmare. It doesn’t occur at night, though; it’s more like an all-day fear of what might be.

You see, I have this condition called an ‘essential tremor’ in my right hand. I’ve been to doctors and I’ve been MRI’ed, tested, poked and measured. The good news is that conditions like Parkinson’s have been ruled out; the bad news is there is a definite shaking when the hand is in use (which is the main difference between the tremor and Parkinson’s, where tremors occur even at rest).

If I hold a lighter to light a candle, I miss the wick. If I try to play a scale on the piano, the cat walking across the keyboard sounds better. I’ve stopped taking photos. I drop things and now avoid glassware or sharp objects. This avoidance is not medical advice, it’s just my fear of injury because I’ve jerked, sloshing liquid out of a cup. Then dropped the cup.

My nightmare is that this tremor degenerates to a point where I can’t sew, knit, butter bread, stir milk into tea, hold a writing instrument, point the mouse …

Some of you might have read that I’ve been trying bullet journaling. I have no artistic genes whatsoever, but I enjoy colour and looking at beautiful images, whether out the window, on Pinterest or here, where there are so many gorgeous photos. So I decided that I was going to try capturing some of this beauty on paper – my way.

I’m not going to beat myself up (I’d probably miss anyway) if my doodles are horrendous or if my handwriting is sloppy or if I jerk and create an unintended slash. They will all be regarded as artistic attempts and converted into something colourful and cheerful.

I will practise, and draw lines and circles, and every straight line will be a victory. I will set little goals to work towards, so that I can check ‘done’ every so often. I would like to see how far I can go and how far I’ve come.

I’m told there is no cure and that the tremors could get worse, but I’ll know I didn’t sit passively for the nightmare to take over. Oh, but I will say this: the tremors seem to have reduced. Perhaps it is writing and colouring. Perhaps it is switching to wooden knitting needles. Perhaps it is returning to beginner level chromatic scales. Perhaps it’s plain old using muscles in the hand. Who knows.

We’ll see what happens at the doctor’s appointment next month.

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In response to Ragtag Daily Prompt ~ Nightmare

THANKS

Me Day ~ Act of Kindness #24

Today has been an awesome day.

You see, I didn’t have to be at work and I discovered – with the hugest amount of glee – that the household chores had been either taken care of or could wait. Which meant I had pretty much the day clear to do as I pleased.

So I declared it Be Kind To Self Day. Or at least till it is time to prep for dinner.

COVER coffee

First, I brewed a cup of coffee – not instant. And added milk and vanilla syrup, although why there’s even vanilla syrup in the house is a mystery since I never bought it. Whoever owns it will have to make do with a tablespoon less. Or two.

Then I logged on to Pinterest and viewed bullet journal spreads like there’ll be tomorrow. Tomorrow will come, I know, but I might not have this luxury of time and computer hogger-ship. And looking at beautiful images on a large screen beats the teeny phone one anyday.

Why bullet journals? Because starting such a journal is something I’ve been wanting to do for some time. I have a diary that keeps my appointments and to-dos in order but leaves little room for ideas, thoughts, reflections and random, hideous doodles. This week, I bought a Leuchtturm1917 and a bunch of fineliner pens and brush pens. Then found I had neither the guts nor ideas to start, despite having read blogs on bullet journaling.

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photo: rayedigitaldesigns

Pinterest is an awesome place for ideas and links to other equally awesome websites. But I have to admit, it can be thoroughly demoralising to realise the chasm that separates all that awesomeness from the reality of starting out. Anyway, I have four pages mapped out so that is a great achievement for me, for now.

And while on Pinterest, I had Lang Lang’s performance of Beethoven’s ‘Emporer’ Concerto playing on YouTube. This was followed by David Garrett’s performance of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Converto in D, then Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. As I type this, the Piano Guys are doing their unique interpretations on everything from Christina Perri to One Direction to Mozart. Music bliss. Sensory bliss.

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David Garrett: meromax

So now it is 4:30pm and time to let the real world back in. Folks will be coming home and dinner needs to be taken care of.

But it has been a therapeutic, soul-refreshing kind of day. I’m content.

THANKS

May Meds, Math and Mayhem

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photo: alexas fotos

I went to the pharmacy yesterday to pick up my prescription, tablets which cost $8 a box. As I was allowed to buy a maximum of 5 boxes, I did just that. I queued, paid with my credit card, took the boxes and left. And, no, silly me did not check the charge slip, which explains the mayhem that ensued.

You see, my credit card requires a signature for purchases above $10. The fact that I hadn’t been asked to sign anything for a $40 purchase only hit me as I was halfway down the escalator to leave the building. Upon checking the receipt, I found that I had been charged – you guessed it – $8 for all five boxes.

Dilemma! Go out the door (the car was right there!) and no one would be any wiser. Or go back up and pay the full price. I will be honest to say it was so tempting to head right out – I would have saved $32 and, I mean, who would have known?

I went back up.

There were two others ahead of me and so I queued – again. When it was my turn, the cashier was supremely confused at my explanation. “Did you not want 5 packs, then?”

“I want all five.”

“You’ve got five, haven’t ya?”

“Yes. But I paid for only one.”

“So?”

Believe me, it was really tempting then to just leave. “So I was charged for one box but I have five boxes.”

At which point the manager sauntered over. I retold my story. By this time there were three people behind me in the queue, all listening with great interest.

He glared. “So you tryin’ to pay for the other four you took?”

Hmm … that didn’t sound exactly right. Took?

“I didn’t take the other four. I came back to pay for the four boxes your cashier didn’t charge me for.”

“Oh.”

Yes. Oh.

“Lady,” said the gentleman behind me. “Just take your stuff and run. I’ll swear I never saw you.”

“You shouldn’t have come back!” chipped in the lady behind him. “I’d have just kept going. They don’t even get it!”

I checked with the third person, just so she didn’t feel left out. She cackled. “I say go. Not too late. I’ll hold them up if you like.”

Eventually, the manager got it. The cashier got it. The cashier also got it from the manager but that’s another story.

I paid the full amount and left. I will always cherish the support these total strangers offered. But I think I’ll go to some other pharmacy next time. And check my receipts before walking off.

Who knew it would take this much effort to right something?

What would you have done?

THANKS

Excuse Me! ~ Acts of Kindness #21

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I’ve been a bit remiss in the kindness department lately. I created this blog to acknowledge and thank the folks who have shown kindness, either to me or to someone else; then I got distracted with the sheer enjoyment of reading the wonderful and diverse blogs, and writing about all sorts of other things.

Fortunately, my attention hasn’t been completely skewed. Some writers have advocated carrying a notebook around to jot ideas and observations. Thank goodness I took this advice! I’ve been writing down acts of kindness I’ve observed and I’m happy to share three of them today. I’ve also developed a fascination for notebooks as a result, but that’s another story!

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I was having lunch with my BFF when we were startled by a man running past our table shouting, “Excuse me! Hello! Excuse me!”

In a foodcourt of casually dressed patrons, a man in suit and tie stands out. When that man runs and yells, everyone pays attention.

Turns out, he was running after an elderly man who had left his table but left his wallet behind.

Flower 16

I was at the bus stop near my place of work, and people-watching while waiting for the bus.

At the traffic crossing, everybody was hurrying to beat the lights. Right there, in the middle of the crossing, a woman suddenly stopped. There were quite a few annoyed glares as she was effectively holding up pedestrian traffic, and getting herself bumped into.

She went back to an elderly lady going in the opposite direction, and who was carrying two shopping bags. She took the bags from her and walked with her to the safety of the other side.

Flower 16

I had just entered my building when a middle-aged lady stopped me to ask if I’d seen a man in a black shirt go by. As it happened, he did indeed pass me moments ago.

“He dropped his keys!” she said, holding up the bunch and peering up and down the street. “Where’d he go?”

There was no one in black. The only possible place he could have disappeared into was the bank. Another man approached. “You looking for a guy looking for his keys? He’s in the bank.”

Off went the middle-aged lady to return said keys.

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DAILY PROMPT ~ SKEWED

THANKS

Ora et Labora

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Like the young Kung Fu Panda, I was a bumbling rookie, trying to find my way in an organisation filled with folks who already knew what to do and how to do it. There was no use for a rookie. And then I met the unfortunate Shifu, who was assigned to be my mentor.

He must have had plenty to say, not that I heard any of it. He simply had me shadow him to every conference, meeting, discussion group … you name it, I attended it. Everything I wrote, he checked. Everything I had to present, he checked. Some might say he micromanaged or was bossy or had some sort of negative intention.

All I felt was grateful for a Department Head who bothered to explain things, from how to use the inhouse templates to how not to irritate the clerk so she wouldn’t put your folder at the bottom. He critiqued and found fault. He approved and gave credit. He squabbled over points and lost his temper. He went to bat for something I believed in. We figured out how to work together.

Seven years later, the unimaginable happened. I was promoted to – in a situation of epic tragi-comic proportions – a position that included being Shifu’s supervisor.

And this is where his true colours shone. We had a talk about how to manage this: he saw no reason for either of us to transfer, and assured me he had no issues with me bossing him. Well, I had plenty of issues with that! How was I supposed to tell Shifu what to do? What if I totally disagreed with a decision he’d made? How was I supposed to do his appraisal report, which was inevitable? This was horrible!

His response?

I did not train you to be me. I trained you and guided you so that you would be better than me one day. Now get out there, be professional, be objective, be you and do your job.

Today, Shifu is happily retired. We met for lunch two months ago, and will be meeting again soon.

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DAILY PROMPT ~ MENTOR

 

THANKS

 

Three Quotes, Three Days Challenge #2 ~ Day 2

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Hello, again!

I was tagged to participate in the Three Quotes, Three Days Challenge by the Irish Procrastinator and windsofchange18.

To participate, I should thank the nominator (thank you, both, and everyone should take some moments to visit these two awesome writers!), come up with three quotes – one a day for three consecutive days – and nominate three other bloggers each day to fulfil the same task.

Alas, I am going to nominate one blogger each day, each a new friend who has stopped by to say hi. Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoy this fun challenge. I assure you wholeheartedly there is no obligation to participate if you’d rather not.

The blogger I’m nominating today is Brandy’s Lab.

Here’s my quote for today:Β PIN SILENCE FOOL 280418

 

 

THANKS

Three Quotes, Three Days Challenge #2 ~ Day 1

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Hello, friends!

I’ve been tagged to participate in the Three Quotes, Three Days Challenge by the Irish Procrastinator and windsofchange18. To participate, I should thank the nominator (thank you, both!) and come up with three quotes – one a day for three consecutive days – and nominate three other bloggers each day to fulfil the same task.

Now here’s where I’m going to take some creative liberties. Because attempting to choose six bloggers each day will annihilate my decision-making cells, I am going to nominate one blogger each day. Each of them is a new friend who has stopped by to say hi, so thank you for visiting and I hope you will enjoy this fun challenge. I assure you wholeheartedly there is no obligation to participate if you’d rather not. And we’ll still be friends. I think.

The blogger I nominate today is Cee Cee

Here’s my quote:

May or may not. There is also to may.

2 May, yes? Sorry. Could not resist.

Here’s my quote for Day One:

PIN words quote 010518

Have a happy day!

 

THANKS

Eye Care ~ Act of Kindness #20

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photo by: hush naidoo

Exactly six months ago, I received a call no parent ever wants to get.

The Munchkin, on the other side of the world, had developed an eye infection that was diagnosed as conjunctivitis. The Doctor’s eye drops and anitibiotics did nothing to help. In the photo she sent, she looked like the ultimate loser in an MMA punchup.

She returned to the Clinic a day later, complaining of headache and sporting half a swollen face. The Nurse Practitioner initially refused to let her consult the Doctor because she “had not given the anitibiotics sufficient time to work.”

The Munchkin recalls sticking her face into the Nurse’s, and demanding to know under what circumstances then would she be entitled to a session with a doctor? When blood leaked from her eye? Apparently, the Nurse finally took a good look at her and panicked, sending her straight in to the Doctor ahead of everybody else in the waiting room.

The Munchkin was then taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital, where an eye surgeon and his team were already waiting when she arrived. She was allowed to make that dreaded call, then was whisked off to get the infected fluid in her sinus cavity drained. The “conjunctivitis” turned out to be infected fluid building up under the eyeball and in her upper eyelid. And yes, it was that bad.

I was on the next available flight. 22 hours later, I was at the hospital and meeting with her surgeon and nurses. It was well past visiting hours but the surgeon had arranged for me to visit, and to stay as long as I wanted. The nurses offered hot tea and dinner, if I didn’t mind leftover beef pie. And then someone found a small tub of ice-cream.

Which is the point of this post. I can’t remember the names of every nurse who cared for The Munchkin. But if any of them reads this, or if anyone reading this knows a nurse or the surgeon at the Sunderland Royal Hospital who cared for a young girl with a swollen face (admitted 27 October 2017), please tell them I remain deeply grateful and thankful for their professionalism and care. I could never thank them enough for the level of reassurance, kindness and comfort they provided.

Thank you, Sunderland Royal Hospital and Sunderland Eye Infirmary.

 

THANKS