I can't sleep. I'm not sure why, but it may have something to do with the giant takeaway pizza I ate last night or the large quantity of water I had to drink to combat its thirsty saltiness. Both these things (the high-salt food and the large glass of water) were a rare treat, since I am not meant to have too much of either. I justified it to myself for its rarity, but then lay in bed feeling a little bit niggly-style stressed about it. Then my eyes started watering and I convinced myself that this was my body's only way of processing the excess fluid I'd consumed and that I would drown if I didn't get up. I wasn't really going to drown, of course, but after lying awake for over an hour, I got up anyway. Once I was up, I wondered what to do and ended up looking at my neglected flickr account for a picture to blog about.
This picture has nothing to do with anything, but I liked it. I found this ornament (for about 20p, I think) in one of my favourite charity shops a couple of years ago. I still really love her. I found out afterwards that one of my mum's ornaments is the same make. That ornament is kind of different, but they do have something in common and I wonder if that is what drew me to this one. I've been realising lately that a lot of my favourite things (e.g. favourite flowers) are things that I associate with my childhood. I wonder what things from our ramshackle and overcrowded home will stand out to Dulcie as she grows up. I'm on a constant clear-out mission these days. I think a lot of my clutter is made up of lovely stuff (it's been funny to hear visitors' oohs and aahs over my living room shelves these last few months, where this ornament stays along with many, many other things) but I want to get rid of some of the less lovely stuff so that it's all good wherever you look. I am not aiming for minimalism, however! Minimalism might be good for peace of mind, I am willing to accept, but it is just not me. Minimalism + love of charity shopping is not a stable equation, after all.
Not being able to drink a lot is one of the most irritating aspects of my heart condition. I'm supposed to stick to a maximum of 1.5 litres a day. That sounds like a reasonable amount, but it's not. I am constantly thirsty. I also have to take water tablets to help my body get rid of the fluid I consume. This makes me thirstier still. Not drinking a lot of water seems all wrong after so many years of being told the benefits of it. I think about glasses of lovely cold water a lot and when I have one I usually end up gulping half of it in a desperate oner while saying, "Sip it! Sip it!" in my head. It's hard work to resist the water cooler in the over-heated/air-conditioned environment of work. I try to sneak fluid from unofficial sources too - I ate a yoghurt when I got up this morning for its near-liquid qualities. I think thirst might have something to do with my recent love of oranges too. I try to avoid tea and coffee these days as I figure caffeinated fluid is probably not the best use of my 1.5 litre allowance. The same goes for alcohol. Soup is meant to count as part of my 1.5 litres too, so should probably be avoided, but I tend to turn a blind eye to it. It's funny how you end up kind of manking up your own rules to suit yourself. Well, it's all steps in the right direction, isn't it?
In general, my new year's resolution to make an effort with my health situation has been going well. I've not been depriving myself (this last fortnight has been fairly sociable so there's been a lot of cake and meals out etc.) but I have made lots of good choices and changed a lot of my day-to-day habits. I've lost quite a bit of weght as a consequence, which can only be a good thing. I've been making a real effort to avoid salty processed foods and have been doing complicated mathematical problems in order to get to grips with how much salt is in each portion of homemade soup etc. The physical activity thing hasn't been going so well lately because my recent medication increases have left me feeling really pretty unwell, but I have still been pushing myself to do as much as I feel able and hopefully I'll feel able to do a bit more in time. Much as it is hard (major understatement!) when you're feel constantly exhausted to look after a small child (who doesn't feel that small when you have to push her around in her pram/carry her up and down stairs!) it does mean that you can't give in to the urge to stay in bed permanently. That must be a good thing.
The third part of my resolution was to be more positive in my attitude to my situation/future. This has been the hardest thing of all, but I think I am doing a good job...ish! Heart-wise, things really have been tough, especially over the last four months, and I will admit that I have been down-down-down-down a lot of the time. But, with a bit of help from the NHS and the British Heart Foundation, I have been facing up to things and just this week have been feeling like maybe I have turned a wee corner. I found myself having a proper giggle with a work colleague this weekend (if you had to, would you rather sleep with Tinker or Eric off Lovejoy?) and realised how long it had been since I had properly laughed about something silly with no big, scary thoughts distracting me. I've had a few more giggles since then too. I've got another couple of months (at least) of scary stuff ahead, but I'm starting to feel hopeful that it might all be for the good in the long run. There's a long way to go and I'm sure I'll do plenty more crying (oh, the crying!) along the way, but I am prepared to cut myself some slack and say that, given the circumstances, I am doing well at sticking to that mental-health part of my resolution. I can only try, right?
This blog post has fairly passed the time. I can probably get up for real now. Dulcie and I are heading out on a top-secret mission today. I'll tell you what it was once we get back!
Thanks for reading this, anyone who's still here. Before you go, can you tell me one thing? Tinker or Eric? Tee-hee!