Category Archives: Lifestyle

a romantic saturday

Today, unlike most days this last week, the pain abated and didn’t plague me till about 5pm. It was like heaven came and teased me with a few hours of freedom. I made sure to make good use of this though, and so did S – we spent an extremely happy afternoon doing the things we love, together.

 

  1. Went to Orient Express and bought our sideboard/tv unit for the loungeroom, which is the final piece before that room is complete!
  2. Bought a gorgeous antique asian ceramic/porcelain stool. So kitsch, and I adore it! Pictures coming after I clean it up a bit.
  3. Found some potential lamps/vases for dining and loungeroom. I am loving decorating!
  4. Went to Bunnings and had a field day buying gardening supplies.

 

Of course all this makes for a massive day for Lil Ms Currently Crippled, so by the time we got home the agony had set in. But I didn’t care – I’d had a taste of a gorgeous date afternoon with my lovely man, and it has been too long since we’ve had one of those… It was… heaven.

 

 

Sharon Pakir & Steve

At my birthday party earlier this year.

 

 

 

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three happy things

Oh my fantabulous, where have I been? Yes, I know, it’s been 3 whole weeks that I’ve been AWOL. Well what actually happened is… we moved house, I had all intention of blogging, and then our internet connection didn’t happen until… today.

The backstory (very abbreviated) – Stephen and I decided to go with a Telstra foxtel-homephone-bigpond bundle. Foxtel and homephone were connected at lightning speed. Bigpond however, bungled my order 3 times. THREE times. Finally, several phone calls, lots of clarification and a very impatient tap-tap-tapping Sharon and 3 excruciating weeks later, the nice Bigpond man came over today and got me all hooked up. And now there’s lightning fast innernets.

Of course, as happens often in Sharon-land, things don’t just get bungled, they get bungled GOOD. You know, besides them messing up my order 3 times. For one, they spelled our username: sky-rigger. The Sky Riggers! Those of you that know S’s last name will giggle. And we can’t change it unless we want to open another order and wait again! No thanks. Also, since my back was particularly moody today, I was incapacitated and unable to USE my new lightning fast internet until much later in the day! Grumble.

I have no idea how I survived 3 weeks being disconnected.

Meanwhile, the new house is LOVELY. We have had a LOT of settling in to do, unpacking of 150++ boxes, cleaning from head the toe (the old owners had a sheddy dog. Imagine finding dog hair even IN the tallest kitchen cupboards. eww.) Getting our furniture in. Getting painting sorted. We’re still in disarray, although finally, we’re feeling like it’s liveable.

And did I mention that in the middle of all that, whilst I was still in painpainpain, Natalie and I ran the Victorian Salsa State Titles event with over 200 people attending and over 19 competitors, and I flew to Sydney to judge the Australian Salsa Classic? Oh, and in the midst of that, as you do, I also went to Yea twice to teach some kids, trained up my competitors for the Australians and completed an e-learning module for a company? Yup, busiest 3 weeks of my life, and all whilst moving house.

Just as well I didn’t have internet connectivity. I either didn’t have time to blog or it would’ve been a tragic daily account of the vagaries of the above!

I can’t show you pictures of my new place just yet – it’s slowly taking shape aesthetically, but very slowly, but I can show you some pictures of the happy things so far:

Number 1 has got to be, constantly having gorgeous freshly cut flowers everywhere, from my own garden.

fresh flowers from gardenfresh cut garden flowers

fresh cut flowers and gong ornament

annnnd next to the gorgeous gong Maria and Gab bought me!

Happiness item number 2 is seeing my shoe collection properly archived in a library. In fact, it was the second thing I unpacked after daily necessities. Practical, that’s me.

shoe cabinet display billy bookcase ikea

ahhh. blissful.

And happiness inducement number 3, is the one corner of our new home that is actually ready and gorgeous. This also happens to be the favourite furniture item we’ve bought – an antique Chinese kitchen pantry. We use it as a bar. The painting above, S and I bought in Vietnam – and we love it! All that this nook needs now is to have the painting properly mounted, and there you have it, the one viewable part of our otherwise still in transition home.

dining room / bar with asian antique cabinet, vietnamese art

one side of our dining room... I lovvvvve it!

I will post lots more soon, about a variety of different things, from dancing, to consulting, to more home stuff – having an internet drought means I’ve been saving up blog topics like a squirrel hoards nuts. Wahee! But for now, back to work.

replace “turtle” with “spine”

And you pretty much have the image I go to sleep with every time I try to do something beyond mild/light activity, and need a nap.

Motivator - Turtle is not Angry-1

thoughtfulness is alive!

Sometimes I long for the days of yore, where snail mail and letters were the norm. I love pretty stationery, receiving snail mail, having something to touch and feel and hold up, as I read real handwriting. I also love sending snail mail – and luckily enough have a bunch of girlfriends that share these little joys despite living in the world of email and SMS.

I’ve been pretty morose the last 6 weeks, and this whole being injured and debilitated has ensured, due to my extreme luckiness, a constant supply of love – flowers, cards, visits and food deliveries! All of it has been insanely wonderful and kept my chin up during most of the darkest moments.

I’d like to share with you though, one kindness that has left my jaw agape even more than the others. One day last week, I was about to tear my hair out in discouragement over recovery, and I received this in the mail.

Paper Exploits Stationery

Hand stamped envelope!

Kelly of Paper Exploits had sent this gorgeous, handmade Get Well Card from her stable of great stationery. What stunned me most was the attention to detail:

Paper exploits - pretty stationery

A lovely envelope inside a lovely envelope!

Paper exploits - stationery

That wee lil ribbon was so cute!

Paper Exploits - stationery

*drumroll*

Paper Exploits - get well card

Cute 3D flower!

And of course, a gorgeous message of well wishes on the back.

What I love so much about this can be condensed into 2 of my passions – living well, and championing wonderful small biz owners. Kelly is a fine example of someone who combines the both, an immensely capable and intelligent young lady who grabs life by its horns, is ambitious, thoughtful and kind (I have no idea what I’ve ever done for her to warrant such a lovely gesture!) – but also takes those ethics and values right into her business. I’m the kind of consumer who loves supporting people like this, because I know inevitably, the service and personal joy it would bring is unsurmountable.

Go check more of Kelly out at her little blog/site/store, Paper Exploits. Buy yourself something pretty and in doing so, make someone else’s day with some thoughtful snail mail and also support an incredible lady!

oh hai! you has the back injury too?

Recently I’ve noticed that some of you are coming to my little blog because you’ve googled “chronic back pain” or “slipped disc” or some derivation of that, and had some feedback that reading my updates has helped. Well I’m glad to know that us back-issue-laden people can draw strength from each other, and realise that our unbalanced emotional state as we go through this physical injury, is entirely normal.

It’s now been 5 weeks for me, and I’m about to write another update after my doctor’s appointment today, but here’s something I wrote on a forum that I’m pretty active on, to someone else who’s had a significant back injury very recently. I hope if you’ve come here seeking solace or understanding about your back pain or any pain/injury, that it helps a lot too.

The original question:

“Ten days ago, I was kicked accidentally (and it really was an accident) by a total stranger. Ever since, I have been in pain. I’ve had xrays and seen a doctor and it’s all good – it’s just a muscle thing, and it should go away with rest, physio, massage, gentle exercise etc etc etc. But in the mean time, I am in so much pain.  It’s getting to the point that I am almost in tears about the pain and limited mobility every day.

Re: pain relief: I am taking 16mg codeine phosphate with 1000mg paracetemol. I try to avoid taking it because:

a) it means that I can’t drive.
b) it makes me feel groggy / vague / out of it, which I strongly dislike, because I don’t feel like ‘me’.
c) it causes constipation.

But, clearly given how much the pain is upsetting me, I should be taking it more often than I have been. I am also taking 50mg diclofenac, but this is more an anti-inflammatory than a pain reliever.

Until July 2010 my boyfriend and I lived in different cities and I lived alone, so I am used to being very very self reliant and not being able to ask anyone for help.  So thinking “I can ask for help with X task” does not come naturally to me, especially when I am tired and in pain and not thinking clearly.

Also, I had an irrational fear that if I asked him for help, he would think that I was faking or exaggerating or being lazy, and he would think less of me, even love me less. We had a conversation last night, and he reassured me that this was not the case, he was very happy to help me. I’m also having issues because we don’t have any intimacy at the moment due to my injury. How do I cope?”

My response:

Firstly I’m so sorry you’re in so much pain. I have actually just been through almost exactly your situation a few weeks ago. It’s now been 3.5 weeks for me, and I’m only just starting to be able to sit for longer than 40 minutes and am now managing to be off the mattress for about half the day. I am on 30mg codeine painkillers and anti-inflamms twice a day, and I totally see where you’re coming from about not wanting to take them, but just do it. I didn’t want to either and when I didn’t,  it greatly hampered my quality of psychological state!

I can totally relate to all the anger, emotion, and frustration you are going through – in some ways, it is almost as bad as the constant pain. Here are my experiences and what I did, hopefully some of it will be helpful:

I was able to cuddle my partner only after about 10 days. I too went through the same issues of wanting to be self-reliant and fearing he would resent the lack of intimacy, as well as having to help me so much. It turned out, after a couple of tearful conversations, he was more upset that I was in so much pain and wasn’t my usual happy self.

I learnt to ask all my friends for help. Having been in the role of caretaker myself, it’s much easier if the burden is split. About 7 of my closer girlfriends came over every evening in turns to assist with simple things like bringing me food, keeping me company and doing my laundry/everyday tidying. This also took the load off my partner who was run off his feet working, running my business for the moment and coming home at 10pm to a needy me! It also kept my emotional state in check, because I was able to vent to them and they were very understanding!

I slept a lot, because of the debilitation. I’m still doing 8 – 9hours a night and if I’ve gone out, a 2 hour nap is needed.

On recommendations of my doctor, I didn’t drive at all (I did try, and ended up wanting to cry at the end of it. Being seated and pulling a steering wheel around is not good in these early tender times!)

To help with intimacy issews, my partner helped bathe me and washed my hair. This went such a long way to helping me feel physically close to him. I went through a huge period of feeling unfeminine and unsensual. It helps if your partner is happy to do something nice for you, a date night – mine set up a picnic in the living room and fed me whilst we watched a movie. VERY helpful for emotional state.
We set me up a laying area in the living room so I could stay connected – when my partner was cooking or friends visited, I was right there in the thick of things. YMMV with this if you don’t need to lay a whole lot but I find lying flat is really good for the back as much as possible and sitting is the WORST, so I lay whenever I can. Our setup is a mattress, a stand to put my laptop on, and phone, drinks, snacks in easy reach. I moved as little as possible and I think this helped a lot in the first week. The first weekend I tried resuming some normal activity and was duly punished by my angry back.

I used the first week to do all the things I had put off for a long time. Watch tv shows, catch up on emails, read books. The great thing about catching up on emails is that it keeps you in contact with people whilst you are going through this. Try and find reasons to lay, things to do you can do when lying down. then you are being productive AND rehabbing!

Expect to be angry and accept that it’ll come. I had whole moments of angry tears, and I would type out all the rageful feelings I had and email it to my closest friends. I’m a professional dancer so this has been fairly damaging not just to me but my career, my business and my ability to plan for future gigs. You will feel like it’s super unfair. You will feel sad. You will feel pathetic, useless, and like you can’t do anything adequately. This is normal. (And will linger!)

At the moment I’m typing this to you from my laying area. As I said, it’s been 26 days and only now am I managing basic stretches and exercises, and short trips out of the house. I’m going to try driving tomorrow, and I managed a 3 hour excursion on Sunday without too much backlash (ha! did you see that??).

But overall, the overwhelming advice I have been given and I’ll give you is to let it heal as much as possible. Backs are iffy things and I’ve pushed through many injuries in my time as a dancer. This one scares the holy macaroni out of me so much that i’m giving it the full time it needs. And I’m already seeing the results in that I’m feeling like I can now do some things because I’m genuinely better, not because I’m pushing through the pain.

Don’t do anything. Your back will thank you for it.