Looks like I picked the wrong week to ……

Most weeks are busy but some are busier than others, and whilst it seems obscene to grumble about work when there are so many people unemployed, well you have to let off steam somewhere, my husband and sons get quite enough as it is and the cat – though sympathetic especially when being cuddled – is deaf as a post  and doesn’t always wipe his feet after he’s been in the litter tray.  Time to change my clothes again. Sorry blog – you get the full benefit of my rant.

It’s been a week of meeting after meeting – but hey – that’s my daytime job.  The main issue is that constantly writing at tables that are the wrong height and chairs that are bum-numbing and immoveable, has taken its toll on various parts of my body.  I wish I could get people to understand that I am more than just a commodity and if they are allowed time to eat a biscuit or stretch their legs – so am I.

I already have a back problem – which goes by the somewhat dodgy name of lumbar lordosis.

For those who may not have stumbled across it,  lordosis is not only a term used to describe a back condition where the spine curves inwards (in animals they call it ‘swayback’) but it also describes the behaviour of animals who are letting their partner know that they are ready to mate – ooh er.  In the office I have a special chair and a curved desk that enables me to work in comfort.  At home I have decent office chairs up and down, and an ergonomic keyboard that is a joy to type on. I also have a wonderful physio.

Just to complicate matters further, I have an old whiplash injury in my neck, caused by bouncing over-enthusiastically on a trampoline when I was sixteen – ‘I’m on the top of the world’ by the Carpenters was playing as my head snapped back onto the unforgiving canvas.  I spent six weeks wearing a surgical collar and looking over my left shoulder – crossing roads took a long time.  It’s  a lot better thanks to my physio but nevertheless, but when it flares up the pain is that kind of constant nausea-causing ache.

I’ve started using a laptop to take notes at meetings now; set up on a cheap plastic writing slope from the famous Swedish furniture store, it does at least mean that the strain is taken evenly by both hands typing rather than lop-sided on one arm from writing.

Buoyed up by a sense of self-confidence I set up a day of meetings in our conference room; not even thinking about the environmental implications for me.  I should have planned it better.  I know how uncomfortable those chairs are; even a hour-long meeting or a training course split up with comfort breaks can result in temporary paralysis.  I was in that room for six hours and five of them were spent in thrall to the laptop.

I had half an hour’s respite before getting home and signing on for my other job.  Fortunately I work from home and when I’m not dealing with calls and writing them up, I get to lounge on the bed.  It wasn’t a busy shift fortunately but by the time I went to sleep I could feel an iron band closing around my lower back and another one pressing down on my neck and shoulders.  In a rare moment of common sense I’d taken the next day off.  Just as well; I was the one whingeing my way round the house with a bad back and a king sized pain in the neck ( a phrase my younger son often uses to describe me.)

It took two days of being strapped up to a TENS machine and going very carefully but things are improving and this afternoon we are off to the gym for a very gentle workout and a blissful soak in the hydrotherapy pool.  It’s just as well that I go to the physio for  my aches and pains because I’m still sulking with the health centre and no, I haven’t written my Mrs Angry letter to the practice manager yet.

Despite the painful bits; this week has also been one of small but significant pleasures.

Hearing from old friends, helping my neighbour next door install some books on his Kindle, working from home on Thursday afternoon and listening to Sarah Millican’s ‘Support Group’ on my Kindle whilst I’m typing, taking time to cuddle my deaf and smelly cat, getting good hugs from my huge teenager and having a silly but wonderful conversation  with my Uni-boy(after he’d been at pains to reassure me that it wasn’t him that set fire to the chemistry block). As always, my lovely man is there; ferrying me too and fro, fastening the TENS pads to my aching back, bringing me sherry when I get home from work and listening to my grumbles.

This morning I had to do my least favourite job – unstacking the dishwasher – but courtesy of Twitter I noticed that the Rev Richard Coles was on Radio 4 at nine o’clock, with Mitch Benn as one of his guests.  Listening to Mitch Benn sing, I laughed and didn’t even notice that by the time he’d finished I’d put all the clean crockery and cutlery away and was now filling up the sink to wash up the sharp knives and the dreaded mouli-grater.  Thank you chaps.

My breath of fresh air visited me too, to borrow the cat carrier for the sick bunny –  hope he gets better soon – you brightened up my Saturday morning anyway.

I’ve done my to-do list for today and at least half the times are ticked off already –  oh and someone just proposed to their girlfriend live on ‘Saturday Kitchen’ and she said ‘Yes’.  Aaaaah.

So, I have studying to do – cognitive psychology for the next nine  months – hopefully I learn enough about learning processes to actually remember enough to pass the exam at the end.

Time now to have a cuddle for the carolling cat – he deserves some time and whilst I’m cuddling him I can take five for myself.  Oooh and now it’s snowing.



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