I am. In Dublin once again after a short stay with my mum. She moved houses last week but instead of having me pack boxes with her with lots of… well… you know yourself when you move houses and how much you gather in the space of about 60 years or so. I stayed in her new apartment by the marina, 5 minutes from the beach and 3 minutes from the main shopping street – my mum knows how to pick her favourite spots – so she chose wisely.
And while I stayed by the marina for a week before her moving in, my mum was slaving over packing boxes in her old place, doing admin related to the move and so on. For a week I had no internet (oh, the pain!) and no television (ooooh, double that pain!). What I did have with me was one Joycean book – still becoming more and more in love with Mr. James Joyce – and a book by Irvin D. Yalom (The Schopenhauer Cure). What I didn’t have with me was energy and fully functioning eyes. What I did manage to bring from Dublin however was a face that felt like a truck went over it. Not once, not twice, but at least a dozen times. Trigeminal blah blah blah still causing ouch-ouch-ouch. Needless to say I managed to rest enough without all those visual distractions, and I didn’t have anything to do in her new apartment at all because my mum insisted on doing everything herself… now do you see where I get my stubborn streak from?
In other words, I was there to lend moral support and to attend my nephew’s birthday cake-splash. Moral support I provided but I had to miss the eating of three deliciously looking cakes because of the said ouch-ouch-ouch. MS being MS, it turned out to be a stunning view on how it affects me. One day feeling OK, the following feeling like giant bees attacked me. Even a sea breeze on my face was torture, eyes that felt like causing absolute mayhem and fatigue that would have fitted better in a narcolepsy asylum for the majorly tired. My mum – knowing how, what and why – was absolutely right to keep me on a very tight leash exercise-wise and it helped resting so much, but I still feel guilty for not having been able (read: allowed) to help out and for missing my nephew’s 9th birthday party one of the afternoons. Sure, I unpacked books and CD’s (seeing I am such a book lover) but that was it. Five boxes later, I was back in bed, in need of more sleep. Even the idea of French cheese, chocolate milk and ice cream could not tempt me out of bed, and that says it all.
So why did I fly 800km to see my mum move houses without me being allowed to help out? Because she is me mam, she’s my rock and she’s part of my soul. Because she deserves to live in a town full of cultural activities because the hellhole she lived in for 20 years did not have anything-worthwhile going on. Cultural activities came in the form of elderly people peaking between their curtains to see why you’re walking on ‘their’ footpath and then telling their other elderly friends how so-and-so you really are, all according to their own standards of course. I like farming communities – because of the animals, not the people – but the town was just that, one major road, road works that seemed to take forever to finish, 5000 inhabitants and not 1 cultural event worthwhile going on at all. So yep, I applaud my mum’s choice for a new life.
I missed three of my Ulysses reading group meetings because of it, but I don’t mind too much at the moment. My fatigue needs sorting out by perhaps strapping myself to my bed in order for me to stay glued under my duvet, because what I can do physically rarely matches what I want to do mentally. Living with me is joyful and always requires negotiation with myself. Never let anyone tell you that ill people are dull people because I can assure you, if you could read my mind half the time, you would call the white horses right this minute to fly me to a lunatic home. OK, perhaps it is not that bad, but bad enough to warrant family members the need to rein me in a bit. I often refuse to know I am ill, and that I really do need to rest instead of reading books like mad, only to cause pain and hardship for the two white, protein-filled eyeballs of mine. Temperance and pacing myself – check all my blog posts about me wanting to pace life a bit more – is something that forever will be my Waterloo.
Right now, the words leaving my mouth sound like gibberish, like absolute nonsense and like something from a cheap station romance novel. I know… I get a bit gaga when I am that tired. I lose sight of the volume of my voice, of the words I use and need to use and I lose the innate filter for bad language, which means that I might curse just a little bit.
Just the other day, while my mum and I were watching rugby on TV – it was activated just in time to watch my two favourite Irish teams play woohooo! – my mum asked why rugby players often have their ears taped to their head by wearing a tight band around it. I said it was ‘because otherwise players develop balcony ears. Oh no, sorry, I meant broccoli ears.’ Then my mum starts roaring laughing, saying it was because they develop cauliflower ears (where the cartilage dies from blows to the head). Because cauliflower is called ‘bloemkool’ in Dutch, and thus starts with the letter b- also, I thought of balcony and broccoli yet could not remember the correct word cauliflower. Gobbledygook à volonté so!
Last night I returned to Ath Cliath. Dubh Linn. Dublin for modern people. Still the capital of Ireland, having the presidency of the European Union until the end of June and still full with chatterboxes for cab drivers. I hoped I would not fare like the morning when I left, when I managed to leave my identity card in my printer and when I forgot to put it in my wallet. So there was me queuing to check in at Dublin Airport and what the feck? Where is my passport? Result: flying to and from the house to pick it up… cost? €60! Oh. My. Flaming. God! In all the time I’ve been flying, I have never ever forgotten my identity card. EVER! The fact that it cost me €60 for a return drive to the airport… that will make me remember it next time I am flying out of here! Thank god, I had a chatty cab driver to keep me from stressing out over it, but still… it just adds to Billie’s Black Book of Blunders (not that I have such a book but I might just start one just in case I keep behaving like a clown!)
To top it off, after only 3 hours of sleep last night, I stepped out of the house to do my grocery shopping this morning and bam! Unceremoniously I fell flat on my face as I stepped out of the house, rather like Miss Confidentiality falling over in her little blue dress. Right foot sprained, a bit blue and swollen. So now, I am limping from my right foot injury while I have an orthopedic appointment for my left foot injury that’s been playing up for years… sweet! Thanks crunchie I can laugh about what so obviously ails me. That and the lack of taking myself too seriously. Back with a bang! That’s for sure!
© Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me, 2011-2013. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner are strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.