New Life

I had spent the three days following the interview last week convinced that it would be another ‘no’.

I was too old, I reasoned (despite the legal knowledge that that would not be an appropriate ground for rejection).

I had come across as know-it-all and arrogant at the interview, I had concluded – based on my fear that that’s how I could appear to others when they know what I’ve done up to now (and we’d had to ‘introduce ourselves’).

I had spent waking hours following the interview checking and rechecking my phone.

Notification eventually arrived when I was en route from Aviemore to home – a work thing. Only I didn’t know.

It wasn’t until I was unpacked and readying myself for bed that it occurred to me to check my emails again.

And there it was: notification that I had a UCAS application ‘update’.

For the 10 minutes it took for me to follow the link and log into the system, I had bleakly convinced myself that it was hopeless – that I was most definitely a ‘no-no’.

But it was a ‘yes’. I was a ‘yes’!

Yes, Yvonne, you will be able to retrain. Yes Yvonne, you do have the chance to become a midwife.

 

So, there it is. An entirely new life just waiting to unfold.

Simultaneously terrifying and exhilarating. Up-ending all expectations and throwing my friends and family into a confusion that is amusing and a bit bewildering to watch. Did they really not know me at all, I ask myself? All this time? 

For the most part, barring a few excited and positive souls, they think I have taken leave of whatever senses they credited me with.

Maybe I have.

 

But,for now I need to get my arse in gear. Get my head around how to take my leave of my current employment – and the fact that I’ll go from big boss to consummate rookie in the blink of an eye. Get myself mentally and physically prepared for the more physical demands of this new adventure. And get my financial house in order for the long cash drought ahead. 😉

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Bit of a pish beginning

Well. That was a pish start to a job.

The first return to work was abandoned after 2 weeks.

I just went steadily downhill after that. A whole other 7 weeks. A whole other story – one that shows little sign of ending.

I am back again now.

Feeling like I was the prize catch that turned into an albatross. Or maybe not. Maybe I am just too sensitive. Reading too much into little nothings from people who are frantic with an excess of work – people I hardly know – people who don’t know me.

Anyway. It hasn’t been the best beginning. And I am still not entirely myself – though I hesitate to say that I am still recovering. I suspect this lower energy, old-feeling me is my new normal. And I just need to get used to her.

I also suspect that the physical illness has gifted me a mental depression. Like it wasn’t enough to scorch and excoriate my lungs and inflame every organ. It has left burnt earth inside my head. A dead zone.

And maybe that’s all just a natural response – as it should be.

I reason. Tentatively. I am just tired. My confidence has been crushed. And to top it all – I am the new girl – one who hasn’t time to be ‘new’ or to acclimatise – one who has to take decisions; organise; strategize; just know what the answer to the problem/s is/are.

I don’t much feel up to it. I don’t much feel like I’ve the energy ‘it’ requires. Nor the inclination to do anything other than sleep.

Yes, sleep.

Sleep.

I dream of sleep.

I dream of simply folding into myself and my bed. Into that velvety darkness of deep dreamless sleep.

Ah feck.

But there’s the rub.

Plenty of time for that when I am dead, says my sensible practical work-ethic wired head.

I will get there. I suppose. All things pass.

 

 

 

Well. I’ve survived so far :-D

I returned to work on Tuesday (past) after a (challenging) discussion with my General Practitioner.

I’ve spent all of today sleeping.

Recovery (I use the term loosely…) is taking longer than I thought. Turns out that GP’s sometimes know a thing or two…

thought that once I was breathing, more like a normal person, I’d be ‘my old self’ (the self who didn’t know about the other crap and was just blithely sailing on into the future).

I’m not.

OK.

look like my old self. I talk and laugh and joke and think (mostly) like my old self. I am just not anywhere near as energetic. Or enthusiastic. Or as resilient.

I am finding that I want to cry – quite a lot. And I spend considerable energy every day just suppressing that urge. My lungs still feel odd. Sensitive. Like they’ve been burned – and I am breathing through smoke. I am breathless and my legs ache when I climb stairs. I am not yet fit enough to do the moderate Walkway circuit – though I have tried.

Then there’s the too-fast-heart thing – not constantly too-fast, but just there. Occasional. Reminding me.

Of frailty. Vulnerability. Limitation. Mortality.

My very own glitch in the system. My on-board shit-faced irritant.

 

As for the work?

In the main, it was a typical new-start’s week: information coming at you in a tsunami of words and people and tasks.

Differentiation’s always difficult when it’s like that.

But I am starting now, to assemble the mental ‘filing baskets’ that will help me categorise and then perform the tasks that will be required of me.

There is much to be done. I don’t think I will be bored or unoccupied.

I’ll just leave it at that.

Some little punk in a rocket…

I was on top of the world
it was right in my pocket
I was living the life
things were just the way they should be
When from out of the sky like a bomb comes some little punk in a rocket
now all of a sudden some strange things are happening to me….
Looks like it wasn’t a virus.
Or it might have been – and that might have been the precipitate. That, or some lousy manky allergen.
Anyway. The asthma I have only ever paid lip service to, decided to roar – or wheeze and cough and nearly kill me.
I have had too many folk – who should know better – telling me that I should be thankful to it.
Because I now also have louping arrythmias and tachycardia and a thickened heart muscle (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy) at least identified (and just waiting for sufficient lung recovery to be tested into a certain diagnosis or a specific degree of hellish-ness).
It could be (and this makes perfect sense to me in terms of diagnosis given every other condition or illness I currently have – and have ever had) Churg Strauss Syndrome (the very nasty vasculitis both respiratory and cardiology are considering it might be).
It could be (and this is what I am hoping for) bog standard heart disease and bog standard asthma.
Anyway. Forgive me for not feeling the glowing warmth of gratefulness just quite yet…
In fact, I don’t feel remotely thankful.
I feel fucking furious.
And I feel afraid.

A bit battered

I’m in hospital. An inpatient. Still full of this virus that I am now 100% certain is just wanting to take me down and out. Waiting on tests that will explain the abnormal ECG. And pain. And deranged bloods. And enlarged liver.

Being treated for a heart attack that the blood tests tell them hasn’t happened (it’s routine). Holding onto a GTN spray to deal with ‘angina’.

What a spectacular coup d’etat my ill health troll has pulled. From pole position squatting in my lungs it has engineered a fucking blinder.

I am sanguine. I am alive. I am not as bad as the old man in the room next door. I’ll be ok I think. Bit reduced. Bit battered. Someone who will have a box of pills they take to keep them going – together with some pills to counteract the effects of the pills that keep me going.

It’s funny though – what knowledge that there is a union wummin in the ward can do. 

So far I’ve conducted a conventicle of domestics from my side room this morning. Getting them organised for a fight with management.

Never miss an opportunity. 

That’s always been my motto.

Nae point changing now.

The old man’s friend

Coughing is the new me.

Or pneumonia is.

Funny. I thought pneumonia was for hospitals and old dying folk. Taking us gentle into the final night.

And here it actually is: a feverish, walking, talking, fucking sore, rattling and wracking gut-wrenching cough; requiring steroids and antibiotics that give you the shakes and the runs; sucking on inhaler spacers every hour.

I am struggling with it. Every breath is a temptation to fold into spasms of rumbling rattling coughing.

Yes. I am struggling and I am seriously pissed off. And I am fucking fighting this.

I mean: for fuck sake. What the fuck?

The new job starts on Monday – and the cough has so far seen off two 5 day courses of prednisolone (40mg); 2 week long courses of antibiotic and two ventolin inhalers.

My medical bro says I need hospital and x-rays – and I say ‘just one more day… it might be gone…’ He is frustrated with me – and I am avoiding him. And I am pushing myself to do stuff.

Like pissing off my old employer by spending the last month of my notice intermittently calling in to say I was too feverish and sore to work – and then turning up at meetings and to the office as I tried to ‘finish stuff’.

Now I am actually finished with the old job.

I am technically between jobs for all of two days.

Between jobs – and worrying about being well enough for Monday because, ffs, we all know that you just can’t phone in sick on your first day.

You can’t.

You really just can’t.

 

 

Triggered

I’ve been working from home today. And some neighbour (who doesn’t know what he’s doing with ‘that thing’ according to my Dad) has been cutting grass all feckin day. I want to punch his lights in. I’ve never liked him and after 4 hrs and 30 some minutes of this intermittent whining drone I now despise him.

Who cares about the grass. It’s fucking wet anyway. It’ll be like hacking at bamboo with a teaspoon. 4 hrs and 30 some minutes and he’s covered a patch no larger than 6 car parking spaces.

Idiot.

Anyway.

I need to look on the bright side. I am nearly finished my employment notice period. The kids are back at school – Jamie having achieved a brilliant set of Higher grades. And my racist Father is now too ‘warned’ to consider even mentioning the words ‘Brexit’ or ‘immigration’ or ‘swamped’ within a mile radius of me. So I’ve not had a screaming match – with him at least – since before the holidays.

The hassle? That the dark side is almost 10 trillion miles bigger than the bright.

  1. Brexit. David Davis. Theresa Walking Dead May. Boris Fuckwit Wankstain Johnson. Fuckingfarage.
  2. Fucking arsehole 60yrs+ white Englishmen whose fucking main topic of conversation with French folk in the queue for the ferry was fucking WW2 – like they saw France and all they could think of was ‘we won the war and youse lot should be a bit more grateful’. FFS. Every single fucking one of them. ‘Blah-blah WW2 blah-blah’. Somebody needs to tell them it was the US wot won it.
  3. Trump. Bannon. Mercer. American Nazis. Christian Nationalists. Fascists. White supremacists.
  4. The Telegraph. The Express. The Daily Mail and The Sun.
  5. Fucking Alnwick Castle and the whole GB ‘aristocracy’ and me. The castle because I think it’s a Disneyfied fraud of a place – still privately owned (which disgusts me) and a piss poor (imho) custodian of the past. Them for their arrogance and the hideous stench of entitlement and superiority. Me – because I joined the queue and paid the entrance money (I thought it was National Trust – honest).
  6. Repeat any combo of the above. Ad nauseum.

They have formed a major crust (for GoT adherents think Greyscale) that I am permanently engaged in picking.

So I find myself trawling social media comments sections and examining the profiles of the hate-fuelled (largely) confederate or UK flag wielding noody-noddies – and wishing dark misfortunes upon them.

I am not tolerant of their intolerance. I am the triggered snowflake liberal of their ludicrous memes and bile filled rhetoric. I am the living breathing embodiment of Popper’s paradox.

R and I have debated the limits of freedom of speech off and on our whole together life. His own threshold is somewhere a bit further on than mine’s. So he’d happily invite a white nationalist to a televised debate – because he says nobody destroys them better than the cold light of day – that they condemn themselves most effectively from their own mouths.

I agree. Mostly.

I remember encountering a couple of educated US South’ners a few years back. On a blog. Polite. Entertaining. One was a multi-talented man. Someone I felt a genuine fondness for.

But they were intent on mythologising their South’ren past. Of making martyrs of those lying in confederate graveyards.

Sure – those poor bastards were pawns in a game played by the powerful. But don’t pretend to me that slavery had nothing to do with the Civil War. That it was all just about seccession.

Bottomline? That I don’t give a rat’s flying arse about the alleged or actual nuances – of an event that took place nearly 200 years ago. I am more concerned about what it symbolises today – about what young white men think it means and why they will kill for it.

So, by all means, embrace your past. Own it. But don’t fucking pretend that your ancestors were fucking saints. And don’t use nostalgia and a sense of blood-loyalty for your fallen kin as the excuse for your now-today (this-very-fucking-day’s) support for statuary that was erected by racists of the 1910s and 1960s and for flags that mean white supremacy.

No. These blogsters, their kin were like my much-loved maternal grandmother – supporting UDA and UVF gun runners. Steeped in Unionism. Staunchest supporter of ‘the Crown’ and of a Northern Ireland that would forever be bound to Great Britain.

She and they – creatures of their time and of the prejudices of their day.

But whilst I loved my grandmother deeply, I am not obligated to adopt her beliefs nor to be their apologist or protector or modern day proponent.

Neither are they.