Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Tuesday 12th -- hubbies 49th birthday!!!

When I read my entry for yesterday I realised just how low I was. I put it down to absolute fatique, frustration & downright loss of self-esteem. This is the punishment I'm dealt for having had a [brilliant] day out. I have to suffer 2 or 3 days of fatique if I do too much, which was clear that I had done on Saturday as Pauline picked up on it, bless her cotton socks. I hate to pester people or ask for help as I've always been so independant before I was struck down with this awful syndrome. The problem is people cannot see it - if I had my leg in plaster, for instance, people would be sympathetic & understanding; however, I don't have any particular outwardly obvious signs, except that I walk [small distances] with a stick. I view myself as pathetic as I get so upset when I get angry at my illness & how it affects my daily living. As I said yesterday, I've lost so many friends through this illness because I'm not the fun & confident person I used to be. Did I ever 'say' what a friend of 30 years + said to me? Well, I see my friend every week. She comes to me as I can no longer get to hers. She refers to be as "being on drugs" & continually refers to everything I say as being due to the "drugs". One day when she came she hadn't even sat down before she said to me "Your teeth are all yellow" ---- yes, she did say that!!! I was so taken aback that I couldn't find an answer. Now, before she's due to come I scrub my teeth for so long that my gums bleed (I'm on Warfarin - a blood-thinning tablet). I also chew chewing gum that's supposed to help with teeth cleaning as I drink herbal teas which, apparently, affect the tooth enamel. People whom I've told about what she said cannot believe she said it - even my counsellor was amazed that a friend of so many years could come out with such horrible things. I know it's because she can't cope with me being like this & wants the old Gill Baker back. We used to go out for days, shopping at Eastbourne, Hobbycraft & other places. Now we don't go out anymore.
This is how my illness is "punishing" me. I beg of you all, I don't want to be like this, I'd rather be independant, have my wonderful job with excellent pay as I'm well-qualified and not have to worry about how far I can walk before I'm bent double, if I'm going to find a loo in time before I pee myself, and to be able to hold a proper conversation without forgetting simple words or forget where I am in a sentence. I'd love to wake up feeling fresh in the morning, to be able to make plans to do things that day like going to the shops by my self. I don't want to be dependant on others. I want Geoff to be my husband & lover, not my carer having to clean me up when I have days in a row where I'm totally out of it & unrousable. This illness affects the whole family. My girls, 10 & almost 12, panic now if the word 'hospital' is mentioned as they fear that all that happened in June '06 will happen again, and maybe that I won't be so lucky next time. This has been said to me by my 10 year old. She's taking First Aid courses after school. She told me it was so that if something happened to me she could do something. A child of 10 shouldn't have that worry on her shoulders. I feel so guilty when I'm not having a good day & I'm in a lot of pain and get cross with them if they are giggling & being silly. They are girls, girls giggle, but I'm taking away that freedom they should have at their ages. They aren't children for long nowadays & I've taken away those special years. We talk together at length about how my illness affects them, they say "it doesn't matter mum", but it matters to me. It even affects my poor little Westie, Rosie. I can't take her out for a walk anymore & I have to rely on my mum, who comes every Saturday to do my ironing, & a friend from church to take Rosie out for a walk. Yet she is so protective of me & knows when things "aren't quite right" and lays close to me.
My hobby, scrapbooking, is my lifeline. It's cathartic. When I'm busy constructing a layout my illness goes to the back of my mind. My illness even affects this, as I demonstrated yesterday. This morning I looked through all the layouts I did on Saturday. They are mind-blowing. I've proven that I can follow instructions, eventually. Now all I have to do is complete the layouts before attacking that huge sheet of chipboard to make circles for the album. I understand what I'm supposed to do, it's just putting the instructions together. I won't give up as I said I would, that's defeatist.
I will not allow my illness to prevent me from doing something that I adore doing. I'm sorry to all those whom I "download" my frustration onto. It's just that you're there for me & I really do appreciate that. One day I'll be able to do the same for you. I've given my whole life, professionally, to others; now the tide has turned & I have to accept that. To try & fight it is a waste of energy. I need to focus on the positive aspects of my life -- my girls, my son & eldest daughter, my grandchildren, my husband & my special mum, bless her. I also make a point of saying "I love you" to my children, grandchildren, husband & mum, every day. That's special to me. I just get a grunt when I tell my 27 year old son I love him!!! I'm also grateful to everyone who have been there for me, and still are, those who ask Geoff how I am, those who phone on the off-chance to see if they can pop round. Of course you can, anytime! Anything to ease my loneliness... I thank God for all those good things He has given me, rather than blame Him for this dumb deal I've been dealt. It's not a punishment from God, it's life. Now I've said it!!!! I'm off to finish a couple of layouts from Saturday.
Bless you for reading this.

Monday, 11 February 2008

Monday 11th Feb

OMG! Was I whacked out after the [brilliant] all-day crop at Meopham on Saturday. I'd had a really bad night Friday night so I wasn't really up to going but I didn't want my illness to stop me going as I love this particular crop so much. I struggled big-time & I know that I got on my friend's nerves as I just couldn't grasp the simplest of instructions - all part of the syndrome - and I started to panic. My friend said I wasn't being a pain when I kept asking her but I just felt I was. I was so 'out on the edge' that I felt out of it - paranoid I know but I just felt as if I shouldn't be there & I should have stayed at home after all. The classes were great, excellent value for money, as usual, and Karen as the teacher did her best to get through our adled brains!
I get so upset when I feel so tired that nothing makes sense & I feel like I'm going to collapse on the floor. No-one sees that part. I keep how I'm really feeling under a wrap; it's only those who really understand where I'm coming from that see how I'm really feeling. Pauline, bless her heart, offered to fold down a seat in her car so I could rest a while; I was thankful but I didn't want her to have to do that for me - she had enough to do with the shop, without having to fiddle around in her car just for me.
The shop was fantastic (as usual) with fantastic bargains & I got the 'in Stitch'z ' templates "as a birthday present from my girls". I love to sew, both hand & machine, on my layouts, so it will be used. I had sorted this months' class kit for 'Romance' using the new Bazill 'in stitch'z' cardstock with pre-pricked hearts. I had no idea that 'Scrapaholix' - who I have no contact with anymore - had sewing on layouts as February's kit. Pure coincidence.
I chose the papers so carefully, added the right embellishments - ribbons, sewing threads (DMC) that co-ordinated with the papers, brads & blooms. I thought it represented good value for money, especially as I hadn't, at that point, got any chance of trade prices. I want to give my 'girls' value for money as their satisfaction is paramount to a good evening. My gut feeling is that, when I showed those who came to the informal evening, the response was rather on the negative side. I'm rather disappointed to say the least.
After my disasterous, brainless, behaviour at the crop on Saturday, as well as all the unpleasantness I've experienced through emails from other scrapbookers, I'm seriously wondering whether I'm actually doing the right thing. If I gave up my hobby would my life be any better? Would people respect me more? Would I be respected as a friend? Karen was so supportive on Saturday when I reflected like this. I should, as an experienced scrapper of 3+ years, be better at following instructions than I was. I don't deserve to teach others if I can't even do things myself..... I, and everyone else says 'it's the illness' or 'you're over-tired', blah, blah, blah. Yup, I am over-tired, my brain has got slower on the uptake, and my mobility has got so bad that I can't even walk a 100 yards before I suffer. I'm handicapped by this dragging syndrome that takes my life over.
I haven't even got my husband his birthday present as I have to rely on someone taking me shopping & everyone is busy. So his card will contain an 'IOU' for a DVD 'Atonement' plus another. He says he doesn't mind, but I know he does. I feel guilty as he's so generous to me, buying me presents & flowers. I'm spoilt.
I did manage to do several more layouts on Saturday as I didn't do so much talking as I was 'on the edge' at the end of the line. It was good to sit & do layouts without being interrupted by the phone, the dog or the kids. Quality scrapping time is a rarity when you have kids & a dog who wants to be wherever you are. The first class (the easy one according to Karen) was gorgeous, once I got to grips with the cutting out bit. The MM Paisley & the BG 'Two scoops' weren't too bad to follow but I panicked big-time with the 'manly' chipboard circle album class. It just refused to make sense. The more I tried the worse it got. I wish I'd just left it, taken notes, and left it rather than persevering. I got into tears.
This isn't the old Gill Baker aka 'The formidable Gill Baker', this is the Gill Baker who can't follow simple instructions nor retain them for future use; who gets teary when things get on top of her, who feels that people are fed up with her because she isn't what she used to be. This is how Fibromyalgia Syndrome takes away your life, your independence, self-esteem and value to others. I can name on one hand those people I can truly say value me as a friend nowadays. Once upon a time I would have had to have taken off my socks to count them. This condition ruins your whole life.
I wanted to do the chipboard album for Geoff. I have never made him anything so when I saw 'album' and 'Masculine/manly' in the description I thought 'yeah! I can make this for his birthday (tomorrow) or valentine's day............ He'll get it for Christmas!!! I'm not going to let it defeat me. I shall persevere. It looks brilliant, karen's example, as usual, was amazing. She is one hell of a good crafter, I could never be like her but I sure could try.
I won't be at the April's crop (Scotland) nor at the June one (Ian's wedding) so I shall be chomping at the bit for the August one! You can't stop me going, I refuse to give up!!!
I'm sorry this blog entry is a bit low, but this is a reflection on how I feel about me - I'm not running down others. I find that when I've done a blog entry I feel better about things...................... but I've still gotta cut out all those chipboard circles!!!!!!!!!!!!! Bless you all, friends, class members and others, for taking time to read about how it feels to have Fibromyalgia & to try & hide it from others so they don't see you as weak & helpless (hopeless - yes!!). My life's a struggle from the moment I wake, through the day and at night. For having a good day out it takes me a day's bed-rest plus a 'slow day' to get over it --- but it's so worth it! Thanks Karen, Pauline & Karen's parents for a brilliant, well-planned day. Oh, I mustn't forget the Carrot Cake.......mmmmmmmmmmmmmm!!

Sunday, 3 February 2008

Sunday 3rd February

Happy Sunday to you all!! I woke at 10.30 this morning and I felt better than I have for a long time, despite having woken several times in the nite & having to suffer my dear husband's nocturnal noises ( :o). I have been finishing a couple of layouts and I have just done week 4's challenge for UK Scrappers (www.ukscrappers.co.uk) which was a layout that I've had the papers for ages and have never had the photos / layout that suited them. I used the Basic Grey 'Blitzen' that came in a monthly kit from USA that has now closed down - that's how long I've had them! It goes to show that one day you will use those papers. I have masses of the [very] loud 'Tinkering Ink' papers that also came in a kit from the same people --- any ideas????!!!
Just a quick reminder for all my 'girls' that there's the informal club evening this Thursday (7th) and I will be demonstrating the hand-cutting titles that I should have done on the January class. Bring a [sharp] knife & a tile if you want to actually use / practice this technique. I shall have some titles printed on white card -- you can colour with pens, chalks, ink pads, embossing, the list is endless!
Look forward to seeing you!
I'm being called to join in a board game downstairs -- I think it's 'Cluedo' - do you remember that one? I got loads of family presents for Christmas of board / DVD games so that we can have family 'quality time' together. Alice has eaten some chocolate so she's bouncing off the walls & giggling for no real apparent reason. It's okay for a while then it kinda does my head in...
I've been looking at the brilliant classes that are up for the [fantastic] 'Total Papercrafts' (aka Karen) all day crop on Saturday. The classes are brilliant. I have booked in for 3 as any more drains me & I can't concentrate & then I panic (all part of my Syndrome). I shall be there, by hook or by crook!!
See you soon! GillX