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Friday, March 20, 2015

Haiku on Save/ Choose/ Snow/ Better/ Down


They danced together
His whisper soft in her ear
Save me the last dance

Fund is running low
Charity not on today
Need save the fund fund

Since early childhood
He saved in a piggy bank
Coins now out of date


Some people choose pain
Atoning for perceived sins
It can make things worse

Life is predestined
You choose not to believe that
But is it your choice?

Each pathway in life
Choose not to actively choose
We still travel on


Rhythmic crunch of boots
Changing of the palace guard
Silence falls with snow


Towards better golf
Endless hits on practice green
Handicap improved

Our time is over
Guess I better hit the road
Until next Sunday

Is it ritual?
The cream swirl, or coffee hit?
I feel better now


Your hands feather light
Soothing my down mood away
Healing all my wounds

Soft warm body fuzz
Down in the small of your back
Tickles my fancy

Down into the depths
Escalators to platforms
Underground subways

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Haiku on Day/ Prize/ Flash/ Unleash


You will rue the day
You harmed another human
It black marks your soul

Dayboro, Queensland
Dayboring by day and night
Watching pineapples

Suddenly it dawned
First day, the rest of his life
He knew he could change


They all raced around
Drying out after the flood
Prize to every one

For weird diseases
Things I don't know, cannot treat
She does take the prize

For egg and spoon race
There can only be one prize
The last intact egg


Red carpet rolled out
Scantily clad young nymphettes
Flash bulbs and fireworks

She caught him looking
Sudden hot flash surprised her
Early menopause?

Life goal set early
Refused to wear a nappy
Old flasher Harry


A sweet song unleashed
Onto the morning airwaves
Butcherbird calling

Sit down for a while
Unleash all your mind's power
To heal all your pain

Unleash a talkfest
Take lots of nice photographs
Avoid decisions

Monday, February 23, 2015

Haiku on Beg/ Stare/ Tell/ Pry


Open and raw wound
Begs for any healing salve
Painful memories

Outside casino
No energy left to beg
He has had his chips

If I had to beg
Grovelling on poor old knees
T'would be for world peace


You stare at my face
Dear prosopagnosia
No recognition

Woman over there
Stares at my face knowingly
Wonder what she knows

Stare into mirror
If you can judge your true self
You may judge others


Tim’s telling tall tales
To teach alliteration
Terrifying tots

Tell or not to tell
Schoolyard bully does not care
I have the power

Wood smoke in the air
Tells me there is a bushfire
Burning to know where

Carry her to term
Whispering, playing music
Born she'll be attached


You don't have to pry
My life is an open book
Gift on wedding day

Pry if you want to
Life in photos and comments
It's all on Facebook

I am paid to pry
A trained curiosity
Reconnecting self

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Haiku on Story/ Content/ Discover/ Jump


Exquisite story
Words chosen so carefully
To evoke the mood

There is the story
And then there is the subtext
I read in your eyes

I read and re-read
The story of your body
Each scar a triumph


Content with Haiku
He created contention
No further content

Stood on the top rung
Content with his achievements
Then slid down the slide

Life is a process
Content different for each
The unique journey


Discover the depths
Look into her deep brown eyes
And lose your old self

Discover your soul
The risk in meditation
Meeting the real you

Know about the risk
Now discover protections
Against child abuse


Plain brown kangaroo
Jumped fence into the paddock
For the sweetest grass

Plain clothes policemen
Entered our home and said 'jump'
The firecrackers helped

He told me to jump
Being much bigger than I
I asked him how high?

Trampoline of life
Jump till we overbalance
Laughing as we learn

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Transverse Myelitis and Exhaustion

I recently got a new iPhone, and it comes with one of those health applications (apps).  Wow, I can record my sleep (averaging 9 hours + a night), every time I crawl upstairs (not often), my weight (decreasing), my blood pressure (116/78 - absolutely normal for someone my age), my pulse rate (varying between 67 and 83 depending on my activity levels) and walking. I was advised by a colleague to consider an app called ‘Pacer’ – a little more user friendly and links automatically with the iPhone app.
OK, here is the fun. I have always been competitive. So, Pacer measures every step I take, and now I carry my phone with me obsessively. I would not want to miss a step! It provides this nice little diagram showing my steps. The ultimate is a classic 10,000 a day – yeah, right. Well I manage somewhere between 400 and 2200, and this nasty little app calls me ‘Sedentary’. What a bloody cheek; don’t you know I am partially paralysed, and had to fight my way back from being totally paralysed from the chest down. And of course it doesn’t. So every day I get called ‘sedentary’... Grrr...
I decided to do something about it. First, I have to say I work part time, two days a week, in my profession as a psychiatrist (very sedentary). I drive there in the morning, but need my life partner to be there to drive me home each day. During work, I am mobile between patients going to the waiting room, the toilet or the kitchen and, by the end of the day, have usually clocked up about 1500 steps. So on the days I am home I have tried to emulate that. Well, to tell the truth, I have tried to surpass myself. I have begun to use a stick to walk, just to manage my balance. So, we began with a gentle walk to the end of the road and back again (800 paces or so); then we went the other direction and back (about 1000 paces), and on the best day I managed 1400 paces in the walk and another 800 paces fiddling about at home – total 2200 paces. Woo hoo...!! The bloody app still records me as ‘sedentary’. No sympathy. Grrr...
Now here’s the thing. At the end of a standard work day (about 4pm), I am exhausted. I need to stop, sit, veg out or snooze. I am really tired. We go to bed at 9pm, and often sleep 12 hours on those nights. After 2 days we have a whole day of vegging out. I am so physically tired, so fatigued, I really can’t do much more than sit about, read the papers, watch some sport on Television or, occasionally, do some writing.
Every thing I read says that increasing exercise will begin to combat the tiredness, begin to rebuild muscles, stop my slow annual deterioration, and keep me healthy. Mmmm... I revelled in my achievement of walking 2200 paces in a day. But I cannot exercise if I am exhausted. It is not that I have really pushed myself to exercise past what I can do. I do know about doing that, having done Karate for 22 years, and having run a full marathon in 1987. I am not really pushing myself. There are just days when I am exhausted.
So, yesterday was two days past the work days. I promised myself we would go for a short walk at the end of the day once the temperature begins to drop a bit. Well, I just could not do it. I was too tired. That made me feel a bit depressed. But I just had to accept my limitation.
Could there be something else wrong? Well, I eat well (married to a dietitian who works hard to ensure I get the nutrients I need). I am taking daily supplements to ensure that my vitamin levels surpass what I might use up – within reason). I am not injured as such. My leg and core muscles are much weaker than they used to be, but they do respond when needed. Could I be depressed? Of course I get depressed about things I cannot manage, but I am not chronically miserable, I don’t beat myself up or hate myself. I am optimistic within my limitations. As noted, my sleep and appetite are fine. No I am not depressed. Just bloody irritable at being referred to by some idiotic app as ‘sedentary’. Ah well.

I will try a walk this afternoon when the outside temperature drops below 30 degrees. Not too far. With Jan, and with my trusty stick. Then I can flake out in front of the TV and watch the golf without feeling guilty.

I have written about exhaustion in some chapters of my book (Taking Charge: a journey of recovery). You can also find out more about fatigue on one of the Multiple Sclerosis sites – information that mirrors what happens in Transverse Myelitis.
Does anyone know what causes the fatigue? No, not really. Several authorities have described it beautifully. But no-one knows enough to really find a cure, or at least find some solutions that might be better than the usual platitudes.

Sorry guys.
Just do what you can each day...
Oh, and don’t feel guilty.