3 April 2011

 Dear Sophisticated Ladies

 Happy Mothering Sunday to those of you who have selflessly contributed to the population, you have my respect and admiration. Could I do it myself, not now of course, but at some point in the past? Maybe but I chose not to perhaps because I am too selfish or perhaps because if I couldn’t replicate my own two parent upbringing I didn’t want too.

 Instead I have dedicated my maternal instincts to my two godsons and my cats. I have a Happy Godmother card displayed by the television and received a present too. I had my prejudices challenged yesterday when I had to hide my bemusement when handed a ‘handbag’. As you may have gathered over the last year I am a bit of a bag fan; indeed I have a collection of elegant receptacles’ adorning my hall way.

 The celebratory item had been made by my 3 year old Godson at nursery. The design owed more to the over active imagination of a nursery assistant who had a pile of unused paper picnic plates! Oh and don’t forget the multicoloured screwed up tissue that I assume was meant to represent flowers. A canny move on behalf of his mother who when proudly presented with this gift thought ‘I know what I can do with this’. Thank you darling the Spinster is very grateful!

 Before I forget I must tell you about my ‘comedy’ fall in the doctor’s surgery on Tuesday. I leapt up when the doctor called my name and well safe to say I lost my balance. Of course the waiting room was full of patients including a child who had been observing me intently (and not terribly discretely). I’ve noticed that children are terribly curious about my crutches.

 As I not so gracefully fell into a heap the child was mesmerised. His mouth practically fell open! Unfortunately I hit my right knee rather hard on the fixed bench seating. This I didn’t realise until later when my wonderful shiatsu practitioner copped a feel and advised me to do some exercises to loosen it up. At least that is what I think she said because of course I wasn’t paying nearly enough attention and can’t remember!

 We had also been discussing the matter of bladder weakness that to Salon attendees shall always be known as a Baroness (Finlay)! I have done the pelvic floor exercises in the past as advised by my then Physiotherapist. These aimed to improve my core stability and balance ~ in light of this week’s events I thought I should start doing them again.

 Are you with me so far? Good. So this lightening flash hit me when I was driving; or rather when I was sitting stationary in traffic on the Penarth spur. I distracted myself from usual pursuit of seeing who has their round windows open.  It should be easier in an automatic surely as the driving only involves two pedals.

 I had been reliably informed, by professionals who should know, that the exercises could be done anywhere. How many times have you wondered what people, who seem to be miles away, are really doing in the supermarket queue? You know the ones who have a glazed look and a vacant smile that smacks of ‘I had a fabulous time last night’.

 Putting on one side the urge to spit out the word ‘lucky bitch’ consider whether they are just doing their daily exercise regime! We’ve all seen that intent expression of focussed concentration a child has when the experienced parent just knows angel face is filling their nappy! Of course you can’t say anything negative in case you give the child a fixation with said natural act.

 The conclusion of this ramble is that doing pelvic floor exercises whilst driving isn’t as easy as it looks. I dare you to try and tell me if you stalled the car. It requires a rather (abnormally) erect posture which for someone with compromised core stability is a little difficult!

 This brings me neatly onto my new Colonic Therapist and my first visit for my intense Green Tea Treatment. Before the appointment I had lunch with a friend (possibly not the best plan), and I rudely had to leave sharpish when I realised the time. I still feel guilty now for my rather rude behaviour. I must remember to send a card apologising especially as I didn’t confess where I was going.

 The picture of the Therapist website was of a slickly coiffured woman, I would even go as far as to say sophisticated! So when the door of the house was opened by a diminutive woman sporting an ill advised, (Per Una I would suggest), cardigan I almost asked if her mother was home! An OMG moment if ever I saw one! Perhaps Peaches Geldoff would be interested?

 Well of course she is a qualified practitioner although I admit to being taken aback by her poor knowledge of the drugs I take. I would have expected her to be familiar with some of the more well known ones and the side effects. But hey ho you can’t have anything! We go through the questionnaire I have been asked to complete. As a side comment I note that this is the second time this week that (female) medical professionals have sympathetically brushed away my smoking. Funny that on both occasions this followed me saying I was unable to drink alcohol! 

The tiny Therapist tells me that she is a dietician first and foremost. She became aware of the impact of diet when she made a connection between consuming some foods and her health. Specifically her mental health; she tells me she is bi-polar. Not sure I needed to know this. 

She ticks me off for my coffee intact and says that whilst my water intake is enviable coupled with said caffeine consumption the result is a big fat ZERO. OK I might drink a lot of coffee and yes I will consider reducing it. Actually any other answer would have been rude and hence I agree to something I have NO intention of doing! 

And then we get to the killer diagnosis; one I have had before and am half expecting. Yeast is the enemy! This is the underlying problem behind most bowel disorders apparently and it sounds plausible but not one that most GP’s are going to offer up. She draws me a rather alarming diagram about the behaviour of yeast and how it hunkers down in pockets in the bowel wall putting out roots. I am officially scared now!

 Chat finished I am instructed to strip exposing my torso. The treatment, part 1, is about to begin. I duly slip out of my clothes and lie on the bed. The green tea it turns out is a mask a la a facial. She massages my torso before smearing it with the green gelatinous concoction she has mixed in a bowl. Later as she is clearing up I ask her what is in the plastic bottle containing turquoise liquid, she peers at the label (in Italian) and replies its sea water minerals ‘all good stuff’ (technical language for heaven only knows but it costs an AWFUL lot that more justifies the price’! 

The mask applied I am left for an hour for the infusion to do its business. Worrying this was apparently originally for a skin treatment and during the process of using it therapists realised that it also helped move the bowels! Oh so well thought out then, how reassuring! I am obviously tired as I then fall asleep! 

Tiny person wakes me up and peels off the now solid sheet of grey green gunk. There is rather a lot this attached to me and I am told to wash it off in the en suite shower room. This substance stains I am told and I think that next time I won’t wear decent underwear as the garments I am wearing may never be the same again. That wasn’t on the website! 

During the mask removal process I ask her what she had meant by her earlier comment about the spiritual aspect of her practice. I am making conversation during a less than dignified space in the treatment. I am expecting her to tell me she is a Buddhist based on things she has said earlier. I couldn’t have been more wrong. 

She asks me to tell her what colour my MS is; I am confused. Then I realise we are doing a visualisation exercise. I ponder the question before saying purple. Ok she answers, now what shape is your MS; I’m beginning to get into this and after a pause say it doesn’t have a shape and that it is amorphous.  Finally she asks what I would say to my MS; I giggle nervously as by now I am tiring of this process.

 The thing is, I say, I don’t actually think about my MS very much. It is just there. It has to be accommodated. I can’t do anything about it so it’s pointless focussing on it! Awkward squad membership is duly rewarded! It does get me thinking about what I would say. I read Oriana Fallaci’s ‘Letter to a Child Never Born’ some years ago. It is about reproductive rights in many ways but I may compose something along these lines in future.

 The standard element of the treatment is administered painlessly and I leave. I have two more such visits to complete the course so the jury is out on the merits long term; I will of course keep you informed of progress!

 Yesterday I went to visit Godson’s kittens and found myself asking if I could have two! They are only four weeks old and very cute; I can see why Godson thought they were mice as one in particular does squeak rather loudly!

 This week I am chairing a discussion about Women and the Partition as part of a series called Voices of the Partition at Chapter on Tuesday at 730 pm. I am rapidly boning up on the subject as there has been confusion over dates with me agreeing to a date in May not April. I was a little alarmed to see the occasion in this month’s Chapter brochure! If you are interested in the events of 1974 and the horrendous experience largely hidden from recorded history please do come along. 

Oh this cheery note I leave you as Waking the Dead calls me. I have so much more to tell you and will be posting additional nuggets on the wordpress blog

https://victoriousendeavours.wordpress.com/  please do sign up to it as I have put a lot of time into it!

 In sophistication

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