She’s Got a Ticket To Ride

This week we gave been holidaying in De Nile- it’s a lovely place where everyone is happy & having lots of fun goddammit… it’s a delicate bliss that is easily broken into the usual stomach knotting anxiety by ‘I know you’re on holiday but…’ texts and fretting that the kids (and us) are causing too much noise or dashing plans for the family we are holidaying with. We are acutely aware that it’s their holiday too, so don’t want it to be all about us. When Squooze’s shower broke, we were offered a change of chalet – Mr Geek explained that he’d turned it down as it wasn’t the end of the world & the hassle would only be worth it if the shower mummy used was broken. I could’ve smacked him! I know he meant that I can only use 1, whereas other people can share, but I hate being the special snowflake. He means well, but ffs.

Our actual location is Les Trois Forêts, the newest Centreparcs in France on the very East near Nancy about 45 minutes from the German border. It’s everything the adverts promise & a little more. It turns out that centreparcs is my ideal holiday location; I’ve been resisting the calls from friends for years, but my ideal day of breakfasting, then a bike ride along smooth tarmac / smooth forest trails, lunch, & then maybe a swim in the warm pool is all catered for perfectly here.
We cycled along this river today.

My chair cycle has been a permanent feature on my wheelchair this week. So much so that when I offered to take Mr Geek’s broken inner tube back up to the cycle station on my own, he agreed with no hesitation. To recap: I was able to ride to the main centre on my own without anyone fussing. Leonardo (my electric wheelchair cycle) feels like I’m just part of the cyclists here. I can whizz about with my off road tyres on the wheelchair which take almost all of the bumps away, leaving me free to quite literally feel the wind in my hair. Ok, he has a top speed of about 12 mph, and going up hill can be a struggle, and some people insist on staring, but he’s my freedom. Let them stare.

It’s interesting how much we pin on our holidays. These 2 weeks underline the other 5o where we struggle with things day to day, so somehow the other 2 must be perfect. For my part, I am pulling the “I’m fine” card and pushing myself to my absolute physical limits which has already landed me with several nights unable to sleep from pain that I refused to show during the day. Mr Geek snapped several times this week, but today he verbalised his holiday woes – following losing an offspring in the forest, (we didn’t actually lose her, she just cycled so far ahead that we had images of her being eaten by wolves & us making television pleas for her to be regurgitated by the bear that ate her. Usual rational & calm parent reactions), he stated that he would like to have some time where he didn’t have to play UN, or panic about what a child was doing. And he was right. He has been running about trying to make everyone happy – he was rewarded with chocolate & banana crêpes & an hour watching the children continue their goat induced euphoria in the petting farm whilst we leached the WiFi and played Pokemon Go  (the chicken coup was a PokeStop & the enormous slide a gym!). We are both reasonably solitary creatures and he is suffering more than I am with the attack of ‘socialising’. 
Interestingly, I seem to be managing physically better this week, although I’ve had a couple of flares and kept these hidden under the guise of “sleeping in”. I’m keeping up my standard routine of painkillers & TENS, but I haven’t had more than a couple of dislocations this week. I pulled my elbow out a couple of times, but as far as major injuries go, I’m doing really well.

Part of my self care in that respect was to have an “early night” last night. Actually, what that entailed was reading a bit of my book then napping on the sofa from 5pm until dinner, eating a small dinner then heading to bed with the TENS machine running a variety of cycles on my hip & pelvis, and reading well over half of my book in between naps well into the wee hours. I’m reading The Druids Sword which is part of the Shannara Chronicles- brilliantly written, but perhaps out to come with a few TWs. Mentally & physically, it was exactly what I needed & left me with a full compliment of spoons for today. 
Life is not always easy with a heightened awareness of other’s emotions (such as it is with anxiety), but we are with family in beautiful surroundings & enjoying land & water. It doesn’t have to be perfect, because what we will remember is the riding through the forest & rescuing a small child from a locked toiled (always carry a 2p coin for this purpose!) & the late night card games & the food & feeding the cats paté. And of course the goats. We’ll always have the goats… note to self: must double check Beanpole’s luggage…

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Show Me The Way To Go Home…

Tired has different levels. Tonight’s tired is a special kind of tired.

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Going out for dinner last night did more than play havoc with my intestines, but has had some kind of altercation with my body.

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This morning I slept in until 11 and a visit to Mr Geek’s family just trashed any energy I got back from sleeping in. I’ve been really potsy all day with random dizzy spells and not able to keep warm at all. I just want to lay down and vegetate.

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Sadly, I can’t. I had prep to do for work this week and masses of poo has hit fans over a special event I’ve been organising. I’m not wholly sure how to deal with it. What I have done is randomly drop off during conversations and generally be pretty useless all day.

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Poor Mr Geek hasn’t had it much better. My weird sleep patterns are disturbing him and he’s reaching he end of the line with people demanding his attention left right and centre. He needs a break, but can’t just hand over to me and piss off on his own for a while. He’s just too nice to say no & is making himself ill looking after & worrying about me.

We both need a week to just stop & sleep & probably attempt a normal relationship.

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Date Night: Then and Now

After nearly ten years of marriage, date night is a nice space for both of us, although it’s changed a bit since our first dates….

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Venue (Then): Cheesy meal out at Nando’s or similar then cinema.

Venue (Now): Hydrotherapy pool

Dress Code (Then): black, black and more black. Big baggy skater jeans & skinny band / weird cartoon tshirts. Vans.

Dress Code (Now): Comfy pull on clothes that are at least a tiny bit stylish (proper trousers, a buttonless blouse, and a chunky cardigan from being at work), then swimsuit & floatation belt.

Conversation (Then): music, cartoons, not so subtle suggestions of what we should get up to later

Conversation (Now): kids, cool stuff we’ve done at work, which bits hurt, ooh look! My bursitis is swollen… seriously, feel it! Ewwww!

Sexy Time (Then): Titanic style window steaming in my shitty young person car with added bra fumbling. Followed by wine drinking and falling into the washing basket.

Sexy Time (Now): Mr Geek helping me out of my swimsuit and helping me get dressed. Helicopter style waving of willies (which never gets old). Followed by handing me a hot bowl of homemade stew from the slow cooker & painkillers.

Bed (Then): generally unmade, fallen into slightly tipsy whilst we snogged until our lips fell off.

Bed (Now): double thick mattress and full body pillow with separate extra blankets for me that I can snuggle under and throw off at random points during the night. Helped into. Kissed goodnight.

It’s not all bad. It’s just different.

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Hello? Is it your wife you’re looking for?

This evening I’m determined to have some grown up time with Mr Geek. My body is suggesting otherwise.

The zantac is finally taking the edge off the reflux, but the backs of my thighs are joining in with my spine, hips and hands in a chorus of my theme tune “Everything feels broken” (everything is basted in a tonne of deep heat… everything feels broken… We’re living the dream….)

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I wish it would piss off for just one evening so I could feel vaguely female and alluring (rather than nauseous and slurring).

Sigh.

The Photographic Subject

When we were first married, Mr Geek used to take photos of me doing everyday stuff as a romantic thing.

These days, on a good day he’ll grab my phone and take photos of me doing “weird” stuff to add to the mind map.

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On these good days I’m happier to add photos rather than perform like a monkey at doctors appointments when I’m tired and in pain.

It works for most. I’m just hoping this is sufficient for the string of specialists that I’m waiting to see, if nothing other than for protection of any more damage!

(Getting up from that yoga mat was nothing short of hilarious)

Edit: later in the evening we also took some screen captures of my heart rate from laying down to standing up. It was a test to rule out any worries about why I keep getting stabbing headaches in the morning as I get up and swooning like Colin Firth just walked into the room shirt billowing…. ahem… ‘scuse me….

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It did bugger all to alleviate any worrying & I may just email these into my GP (I’m not sure I can tolerate seeing him twice in a week). I would’ve stood for longer, but the you’re going to faint buzz at the top of my head kicked in 😦

I have a mind of my own, and I’m not afraid to use it.

Sometimes you read a post that literally leaves you reeling. This one did just that: http://fatbottomgirlsaidwhat.wordpress.com/2013/06/24/reminders-2/

These days I live in a nice little bubble with a caring husband, two precocious kids and a great big mind of my own. I like my bubble. It’s rather middle class: the kids prefer humus to dairylea, we read nightly and our idea of a big night out includes our best friends and a few bottles of really good wine.

So exactly what has that got to do with a woman a world away posting about a black eye? It’s a trigger. My bubble consists of a fair bit of selective memory and denial. I am intent on showing my girls what a healthy marital relationship looks like so they grow up expecting their partners to be their friend and to treat them with respect. I will probably not tell them that before their dad I dated an absolute wanker who thought it was totally acceptable to treat me as an object to be bruised at will. I’ll definitely not tell them that them learning Kung Fu from age 4 was highly influenced by my desire for them to be able to beat ten bells out of anyone who dares raise a hand to them.

I don’t like to dwell on former lives. What’s done is done, and we move on. But, if there’s anything that I can say with hindsight is that by being with someone because we were first and foremost friends, we have supported and encouraged each other to grow instead of always trying to belittle the other to look better. I’ve been with LSH for a decade now and we’re still friends (and I’m better at Total War than he is, never let him tell you otherwise). That’s how marriage works – eventually everything gets a bit saggy and wrinkly, but your minds stay sharp(ish) and you can still make each other laugh even if you’re in iron lungs.

Not all men are crap, some are really quite exceptional. But others, well, others need a really long time out in a room with clanky bars and a big guy called Otto with an unhealthy interest in where your soap is.