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Tai Chi and some hopes and fears

Posted Oct 24 2010 12:00am
A week has passed and I have managed to plant precisely six bulbs. There have other demands on my energy which have taken priority such as a Tai Chi class. That was a challenge, but an enjoyable one and I shall give it another try this week. It is at a community hall a very short walk from my home, so there's very little payback from getting there - always a problem with any activity. If a kind friend makes a suggestion about going swimming, for example, I have to tell them that just getting there and getting changed is enough to trigger a crash. With the Tai Chi I don't have to get there, and I don't have to get changed. 

Now this is interesting - the day after, I had a spell of feeling normal. I mean normal normal. It went. I was Old Jo for about three hours. I had all sorts of exciting thoughts along the lines of 'this must be my lightning process', 'I'm going to get better overnight', and 'look out world here I come.' Inevitably though, the next day I was fairly crashed and I slept all afternoon. Actually, feeling sleepy is new too, I don't normally sleep in the afternoons but it happened twice last week. Ah, but I had a glimpse of what it might feel like to be well again. And I have hopes that there may be more of these little windows.

At the beginning of the week I rang for my blood test results. We checked Vitamin D levels, ESR (for inflammation) and something called ANA, an indicator for Lupus which I once had a weak positive for. They said I needed to make an appointment which is usually a sign something has come back positive, but since they didn't say 'you must come in straight away' I'm assuming if it is a positive, it is borderline. Frustratingly my doc is away all this week. It's half term and she has kids, so I'm going to have to wait. She did write me a letter in support of my claim for Incapacity Benefit full of phrases such as 'poor concentration' and 'muscle weakness' for which I am very grateful.

This week the Chancellor of the Exchequer delivered the government's spending review. I'm not sure if the full impact of this has really hit the collective consciousness yet. Perhaps it won't for months, or even years, but I feel sure the political and cultural landscape in this country is going to change radically as a result. The coalition government would have us believe that 'we are all in it together' and the rich will carry the load. However, independent observers seem to agree that the poor, vulnerable, young and elderly will be most affected by these swingeing cuts.

I'm pretty certain we are going to see an angry backlash with industrial action, riots and other social unrest. Looking more inwardly, this family is going to have to make some choices. We have already cancelled a long trip where AJ was going to take his son to his Mother's birthday party. We just can't afford the petrol. Christmas will be a token gesture this year. But we are also talking about limiting the number of showers we each take and the number of times we use the washing machine in a week. And this is before I lose my out of work benefit. I'm sure my disability benefit (DLA) will be next up for scrutiny too. AJ works for the government and, although his job seems secure for the moment, if he loses it next year when the funding runs out we will be stuffed. 

There's no point in projecting. We'll take it as it comes.
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